Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Everything is falling into place

So, I'm about to take another week and a half hiatus from blogging, as I leave tomorrow for Chicago and my last chance at travel for awhile. It's gonna be awesome. I'm flying to Chicago via Southwest, after which flight I will definitely need a friggin' drink (long Southwest flights make me want to claw my eyes out... I was totally spoiled by all those recent international flights). Thankfully, as soon as I get in, I'm going straight to a bar to meet a few friends. Thursday and Friday will be more of the same, plus breaking into my old apartment to take inventory of what's still in a condition to be worth bringing back to LA and hopefully packing said items. And when I say 'breaking in,' I mean 'walking through the unlocked back door'--it was locked maybe twice the entire time I lived in that apartment and both times I was blamed for the fact that my roommate had to crawl in through the window next to the door. Saturday I pick up the truck I rented from Penske (my ultra-cool yellow 'Ske and me are going to take this country by storm) and load it up with the help of whatever poor soul I conned into agreeing to do this for free. Saturday night, more alcohol-aided meet-and-greet, and then Sunday morning I head out going north. Hopefully I won't be too hung over.

First stop: Madison, Wisconsin, and lunch with the girl who was my pen pal growing up who I haven't seen since the last time I was in Madison, about two years ago. After lunch it's off to St. Paul, Minnesota, where I'm staying with a girl I knew in grad school and her husband: very much looking forward to seeing them as well, as they have the distinction of being two of the most cheerful people I've ever met.

And after I leave St. Paul: I drive for three days straight across Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Washington to Portland, Oregon. I hear it's beautiful country, and hopefully I'll find a couple of cute podunk towns in which to spend the night (unlikely off an interstate highway... will I get up the courage to leave the certainty of Taco Bell behind? All this and more in my next post!). It's going to be a long three days, though. Then visiting friends and family in Portland for a day or two, then down to San Francisco (another long drive) to visit more friends that I haven't and won't see for awhile, and finally home to Los Angeles a week after I left Chicago. And once I get there, I...

...wait for it...

...am moving into my new apartment! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I will be living in an apartment reasonably close to civilization, rather than at the end of a mile of winding road. When I give people directions, it will take less than 30 seconds! And I won't be giving up any of the comforts of home: free parking, check. Hot tub, check. Balcony, check. Deck to lie out on, check check (this place has a rooftop deck, so it's possible to get sun for more than an hour and a half each day). Own bathroom, check. Dishwasher, check. Close to a decent route to the valley (so I can commute to work without too much hassle), check. All for a very reasonable rent in West Hollywood, between Sunset and Santa Monica. And I'll have all my things back from Chicago: my clothes, my DVD's (I've really missed my DVD's), my duvet, my couch, my papasan chair. I feel a sigh of contentment coming on just thinking about it.

So where did I find this gem of an apartment? How? Who was I sleeping with? By complete coincidence, I was talking about my new job and the start date (June 1) while I was at work at Starbucks a week ago, and one of the people I was working with asked if I had a place to live, as she was going to have a half-empty apartment on her hand starting June 1. (I wasn't sleeping with her, as it happens.) It started off as a joke, but the more we talked about it, the more we liked the idea of me moving in. I came by and had a look, loved it, did a few financial calculations to determine if I could actually afford it, and we shook on it a couple days later. Bonus: I have all this friggin' furniture and she has none, so as soon as I arrive in LA, I have somewhere to put everything.

So now I have the job, the apartment... all I need is a new car to complete the material trifecta. Y'know, I was approached recently by someone who wanted to buy mine...

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