Today Gabe is wearing a maroon shirt and blue shorts.
Since I started this blog, almost 3 years ago, I have almost never missed a post. I have skipped maybe 3 times on purpose and have outright just missed a week due to forgetfulness or confusion maybe twice.
Last week was one of those times.
Last Friday, when I normally would have been writing on this blog, I was packing everything I own into reusable grocery bags and suitcases, and stacking them high in the back of my station wagon, and driving up the coast to my new house in the woods.
All weekend, while listening to a nonstop stream of the Invisibilia podcast, I carried load after load into my new house and deposited it all on the floor. Then, over this week, the one main stack became several distinct piles, which then moved closer and closer to their room of choice.
Pots moved into cabinets. Clothes got hung on hangers. (Anxiety dreams were dreamt.)
And I am VERY tired.
To speak on my behalf in this week’s blog post, please accept the following photographs of things that have recently happened and my best attempts to capture the beauty of my new home in spite of its current pile-based state. (Hover over photos for captions.)
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and brown boots.
I bought new running shoes! And then I took them for a run.
After Gabe’s dad told me a year ago that I needed new running shoes, I finally decided that the foot and leg pain I’d been complaining about a year ago when he told me I needed new shoes was bad enough that maybe I actually would buy those new shoes.
I walked into the local running shoes store (yes, the, because there is only one) and asked, “My ankles are getting all wobbly when I run. What would you recommend?”
He told me his best seller, I tried it on, he showed me that it came in bright pink, and I walked out in under about 4 minutes.
Possibly one of the best transactions of my entire life.
In case it matters, he was un-ironically sporting a wonderful mustache. And we all know how I feel about a guy with an un-ironic mustache. So I guess he has my business for life now.
Because I love a mustache, and I absolutely don’t have the time or knowledge to buy a shoe online.
Earlier this week, I went over to Gabe’s parents’ house to celebrate his grandmother’s 94th birthday.
I brought over some work to do before dinner, but just as I was sitting down, the power went out. Which meant the internet went out. Which means no work.
And also meant a candlelit dinner, which was tres romantique for a 94th birthday party.
We ate enchiladas and delicious chocolate cake, while rain poured down outside. Since Gabe’s grandmother is French, we spoke French all through dinner, which meant I nodded along politely, reacted about a second too late to everything anyone said, and contributed a lot of “Oh!” and “Oui!” sounds to the conversation.
After hauling out several old candles to light the room, and after cutting off the lumpy, melted, knocking-this-candle-over-so-it-can’t-stand-up-straight wax off a couple of particularly old ones, Gabe got the brilliant idea to make a candle.
And so, because we had no electricity, we did.
It was beautiful, and difficult to photograph.
Also this week, Gabe finally completed the whole entire floor of our new apartment! Which he has been building for us, in the middle of the woods, and which we’ll be moving into together in like 2 weeks!
Here is Gabe midway through his work on the floor. (How about that stove, btw?? I can’t wait to crank it and make it so warm all the time forever in this new apartment.)
Other than these photos, nothing interesting has happened. I am still a Twitter robot and I spend my days either staring into the Internet or trying to chat people up at 94th birthday parties about WHAT IS EVEN GOING ON ON THE AMERICANS!
Today Gabe is wearing a teal jacket, a blue sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
Last week I was trying to figure out how to get health insurance in California (I had applied and gotten coverage in Washington, and then of course, like a genius, moved out of state shortly after) and on the very same day that I finally enrolled in a program that would start in California on January 1, 2014, I cut my finger nearly down to the bone with a bread knife.
Here’s a moving pro tip: there is no better way to learn about your new community’s medical facilities than to have a minor emergency during your first week!
Another fun part of this situation was that no one in rural Northern California has a web presence, so my attempts to Google my way to help were completely useless. So after wrapping my finger in a hand towel and taking several deep breaths, I did my best to make a very calm and business-like phone call to Gabe’s parents to ask for “just a quick recommendation on where I can get some urgent care.”
Since I don’t yet have insurance, I was hoping to avoid the emergency room (the one medical place that I actually knew of in the area) and was luckily referred to a local clinic, where a nurse took a look at my finger and told me I got “really lucky” because I wouldn’t need stitches. Instead, I would just need to wrap my finger in bandages 24 hours a day, even in the shower, and then live that way — I guess for the rest of my life?
That’s just the theory I’m working on now, since my finger is healing slowly but still oh-so painfully. Who knew cutting your finger in half would be such a big deal?
It makes typing a real pain. And since that is basically 100% of my job, it’s been a bit rough — but don’t worry I am being very brave as usual. Speaking of typing for my job, we just released a new thing I helped make!
In other rural California news, I am being visited/stalked by a neighborhood cat who thinks I owe it something.
Today it decided to simply take up residence in the sunny patch outside my door. I would feed it, but I don’t think that would be a good idea, and also I don’t have any cat food.
Otherwise, life in California is just great. I am learning all about the healing power of crystals, and what my chakras should and should not be doing. The sun is shining all the time, it’s so much warmer than in Seattle, and there are hiking trails all around my new home.
I just have to figure out how to get outside without letting my new best friend inside. Hmm.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, outdoor slippers, and brand spanking new khaki pants.
Gabe’s khakis are so new, in fact, that he still has the stickers on them. He says he’s leaving them on to remind himself how new they are. That is crazy; I think he just forgot to take them off, and continues to forget to take them off.
BIG NEWS Y’ALL: I live in California now! I got to town almost a week ago, and spent a few restless night crashing on a pull-out bed at Gabe’s parents’ house while I tried to patch together housing, finally landing a beautiful apartment on the perimeter of a gosh darn Redwood forest with a wraparound deck and huge windows.
It’s great! Well, except for the fact that I haven’t had internet since I moved in on Wednesday and I won’t have internet until Tuesday and it’s the worst.
The only way I’m able to do my job or connect with the outside world is to go to a coffee shop, which I do at least 2 times a day, which means I’m having way more caffeine than I am used to. I’m not sure I’m working smarter, but I am definitely working faster.
Anyways, my life these days is filled with a lot of staring at a box of items and trying to quickly assess what place I can put them in that I won’t immediately forget about. I’ve already lost a few key items that I’m sure I won’t see again until I move out.
Moving is so fun.
Today Gabe is wearing a grey sweatshirt, khakis, brown shoes, one grey sock, and one blue sock.
I woke up way too early for a holiday today, and had my usual thought, “Well, I guess I’ll just get up and go do some work in the living room.”
Only this time, when I got to the living room, there was nowhere for me to work. Well, the floor was still there. But everything else was gone.
We (and by we, I mean Gabe alone, like a champion, with a tiny bit of assistance from me but really this is all Gabe) have been selling all of our big furniture on Craigslist. Yesterday was a banner day; we got rid of a desk, a little couch, a table, four chairs, another chair, a futon frame, and a dresser. All that remains in the living room is one lonely ottoman.
The two big couches were moved outside yesterday as well, though their future owner flaked and so someone else will have to come get them this morning. Moving the couches was a moment I have been dreading ever since we first moved them in after walking by an estate sale over the summer and accidentally purchasing two enormous couches for $20 and cramming them over our front steps, under the upstairs apartment stairs, and through the front door, twisting, sweating, and swearing.
But we got them out, and my year-long stress dream about moving these couches finally came to an end. I hardly know what to do with myself anymore.
Today is Thanksgiving, and for the first time since we moved to Seattle, Gabe and I are not hosting. We are going over to a friend’s house, where two turkeys will be fried (luckily I don’t drink, so I can drive everyone to the hospital whenever the fryer explodes) and 4-5 families’ assorted members will be smooshed together for an afternoon of overeating.
This morning I am hoping to get some work done… I have a writer who works with me from time to time at Popforms, and I have been promising to get her feedback on her work for a really long time, and told her yesterday that I would absolutely have it done by the end of the day, and well, here we are and it’s already tomorrow and whoops. So today I will get it done for sure.
Unless I get sucked into packing again. Or looking at apartments online.
This is my last post from Seattle, and I feel excited. There is a lot I will miss, but there is more that I am looking forward to. Last week when I was in California, I knew for sure that it was where I wanted to be and that moving will be a great change. Now I just have to get through the next three days of packing and cleaning and driving, and soon it will happen.
Oh, and editing that writing work. Because I *have* to do that.
Today I am thankful for Starbucks, which provided me an early morning place to write my blog post and do my editing, with a warm beverage and a place to sit that wasn’t the floor.
Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, blue jeans, and brown shoes.
ALERT: What a highly unusual outfit! Have we ever seen jeans on this blog before? I’m not sure we have.
Maybe it’s appropriate, though, since we are having a highly unusual week. On Saturday, my dad flew into town and we have spent the last 5 days hanging out and touristing all over Seattle. We ran around downtown on a sunny, brisk Sunday, toured Capitol Hill and saw mammoths at the Burke Museum on a misty Tuesday, and toured the Theo’s chocolate factory yesterday. We had to wear hairnets on the tour, and afterwards I faced one of my greatest fears: the Fremont troll.
In between fun events, we have both been working a bit as well, and watching Season 2 of The Killing — we watched Season 1 the last time I was visiting home.
It’s really fun to be a tourist in your own town, and walk around with the leisure of someone who doesn’t have a to-do list or who has to make each trip out of the house as efficient as possible. You can slow down. You can go get a latte just for an excuse to look out at the Puget Sound.
Now that his trip is over, it’s nearly time for me to wind down my time as a Seattle-ite. It’s kind of perfect that he came to visit when he did; getting to spend some time driving all over the city, showing off my favorite things, and enjoying the best parts of it — it is a great way to say goodbye.
Soon I will become a resident of Northern California, living away from the startup world and the traffic and the rainy days of Seattle. I am sad to leave — a lot of really good things have happened here — but really excited to go, too. Thanks to the Internet I get to keep my amazing job, and I can’t wait to explore my new home.
Meanwhile, I’ll be disappearing into a Redwood forest, maybe trying being a vegan (Gabe says no, but we’ll see), and learning about different kinds of local kale and organically-sourced granola. It’s exciting!
I’m driving down today to look at apartments. Then it’s back to town with Gabe to pack, and then we hit the road for good. My next post is likely to be my last Seattle-based post before I come to you LIVE AND DIRECT from somewhere in the rural hills of California. It’s about time to shake things up.
Today Gabe is wearing a white t-shirt, red shorts, and brown flip flops.
It’s no secret that I basically never sleep, but that I would really like to. I don’t tend to have problems falling asleep at night (except for when I do), but I do tend to have problems with waking up at 3am even if I’ve only gone to bed at midnight.
Days where this happens, I sometimes try to take a nap if I can around 7am (one of the perks of working at home), but morning naps are not really my thing. I wake up feeling weak and sick, and don’t usually bounce back until noon. So my naps are few and far between.
So most of the time, I just start working. I head to the living room, get comfortable on the couch, and just start typing in the dark.
And here’s the thing: even though waking up so early makes me feel upset and out of sorts for most of the rest of the day, in those hours between 3am and 10am, I am usually so insanely productive and the feeling of superiority that comes from completing a project and sending it in at 5am is so satisfying, it almost makes living life as a pale, sleepless zombie worth it.
Because really, who doesn’t like to send emails at 4:30am that are just like “Oh me? No, I just wake up this early because I am a really amazing person.”?
Wrapping up a day’s work at 10am feels like you are cheating the system somehow. Plus, the self-satisfaction of getting all your work done at an hour that’s embarrassingly early to eat lunch at is just great.
Of course, then I crash. Then I ask if 6:30pm is too early to go to bed.
But that’s later. For now, I am just amazing.