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Posts Tagged ‘moving’

I Get Around

So, as you might have guessed from my last post, I’m here! It’s actually been almost three weeks now. I’ve experienced a lot of exciting NYC so far, and I’ve had to find my way around to do so. Lemme tell ya how.

Getting Around NYC

Method 1. Car (not recommended)

Back in the long ago time of two weeks ago, I had the use of my parents’ car. During this time I got acquainted with customary New York greetings. A quick honk is a way of saying, “Hello and welcome to the city Georgia driver!”, while the longer, almost never-ending horn blast can be loosely translated as “Please move along now friend! Life is too grand to dally! That’s right. Scoot it. Scoot! Seriously, get the F out of my way!” Instead of waving hello with the whole hand, middle fingers are flashed in a friendly and playful exchange between motorists. How fun!

I got a parking ticket, basically a personal thank you note from the city expressing their gratitude for making Astoria my new home. It’s practically the key to the city! After paying my $45 fine, think it as a membership fee, I’ll be in a special club for New Yorkers only! Oh goody!

Method 2. On Foot

I have gotten lost while walking so many times already. I prefer this method of transport when it comes to losing my direction (apparently one of my favorite activities). It is easier to rectify a wrong turn with no one-way streets or horns barking “Hey asshole! Hey neighbor!” to worry about.

Astoria is crazy with their numbered streets, roads, drives, and avenues. Last week I made the ever so wise decision, considering my track record, to buy groceries at an unfamiliar store. I worried my frozen peas were going to thaw out before I ever made it back to my apartment. I cursed my choice of purchases (canned goods!?) while lugging around my bags for half an hour. Thankfully, and for the good of future frozen veggies, there are two grocery stores closer to home. I finally bought my own NYC Not For Tourists Guide with many handy and discreet maps which will become a permanent addition to the contents of my purse.

Method 3. Cab

I cannot comment on this method from personal experience. It would cost about $30 to get me home from Manhattan or Brooklyn. No thanks. I would rather wait around for an hour in order to catch a late night train. I’ve got more time than cash to burn.

Method 4. Bike

My roommate’s method of choice. She’s got the fit legs to prove it. I’m jealous, but doubt I will soon join her in this eco-friendly mode of travel. I’m too scared. And there seems to be lots of physical effort involved.

Method 5. The Subway

Halloween on the Subway

Easily the best way to get around NYC. It’s great. It’s easy. I live right by the N. Even I hardly ever screw this up!

It is safe too, but I must say that earlier this week I saw a gun pulled out on the subway.

While seated on the N returning from my trek into Manhattan after a vigorous day of window shopping on 5th Ave, I witnessed some cwazy on the train. Two young men rushed in mid-fight. Lots of yelling and cursing. They seemed pissed. Shouts soon became shoves, and one guy was pushed hard into another passenger. This happened right in front of me, and I was hoping they would continue to move on so no one could fall in my lap. The guy that got shoved reached into his pants. The passenger he was just propelled into began to yell “He’s got a gun! He’s got a gun!” I was trying to mind my own business, but that will get anyone’s heart pumping. Then the guy pulled out the “gun”, a hairbrush. Al three dudes started laughing and ran out of the car. The last one said as he left “You all should be ashamed.”

The subway driver made an angry announcement about holding the doors and delaying the train. I didn’t know what to think. It was crazy. I looked around. The other passengers didn’t seem phased. I started grinning.

And that’s how you get around in NYC.

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Miss You Much

I’m leaving tomorrow! Finally! I stayed around Georgia a little extra time to take care of some things, make some more money, humor my mother, and blah, blah, blah. There is a slight chance that I was just maybe a little bit scared too, but I’m freaking-fracking going. Tomorrow!!!

I’ll miss fried squash and non-frigid temperatures too, but here follows my top five most likely to be missed people, places, and things.

4. My bed.

My queen size bed won’t fit in my tiny room in Astoria. Not even without the iron head and footboard, not if I want access to my closet. I’m buying a futon so I can have more space in the room regularly and the extra bed space when I have visitors. You know, like my parents.

3. My dogs.Doggies

I can’t take my furry friends with me. Sad, sad. These dogs aren’t city dogs. My folks had talked about trying to find them a home with a bigger yard upon my leaving, but they have changed their minds for now (go team puppy dog eyes!). I’ve gotten even more attached to these dogs since living here. I’ll miss waking up with Gilbert’s head on the corner of my pillow and Abbey at my feet. Hairy bed-hogging monsters.

2. My parents.

The 'rents

They are pretty awesome people. This photo was taken before they went to see a Pink Floyd cover band at the Fox. I’ve spent more time with them since moving back than I have since… I don’t know. I think I got out more in high school. Hahaha. I’m so cool. Tonight I’ll watch Dancing With the Stars with them one last time. We like Mya.

1. My girls.Gals at the Clermont Lounge

I miss Sheeji, Jessica, and Alicia too, but I have already come to terms to their departures to Tennessee, South Carolina, and Korea. Ashley and Marissa though, not having you guys around every weekend is going to be a challenge. Who will be my wingwomen? My dogs, my parents, and these girls have been my best friends this year. I’ll miss these babes most of all.

(5. Clermont Lounge)

My favorite Atlanta nightspot. Alive since 65! (Dancers alive since 47!) Good times, always.

I’ll really miss you much.

BUT… I’m so bleepin’ excited about NYC! Yippee skippy!

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Oh blog! I put you in the corner, and we all know that nobody puts baby in the corner. Sorry bout that. I suppose I could say I’ve been too busy living life to write about it, and while that is almost true something tells me I just got lazy. Blog, I’ll buy you flowers and take you out to a nice lobster dinner if you let me try to catch up quickly and make it up to you. K honeybee bloggy-boo?

OK, some blog worthy events I have missed since I went AWOL:

Mom and Dad spent their 40th wedding anniversary back in February watching the Super Bowl. How romantic.

February also marked the nine year anniversary of my becoming a vegetarian. Next year I’m throwing a party. No giant sub sandwich needed, maybe giant falafel?

The same month I visited Chapel Hill for NCCAF. I saw a lot of great improv. My group Elaine was reunited for a really fun show. I played a French terrorist who was lured into capture by Girl Scout cookies; singing orphans made an appearance at one point. After our performance we tried dabbling in modeling… good thing we’re funny.

The Basement held the Spontaneous Combustion Festival in March. Also a great time. Furbus and penthouse after party, oh yeah!

I had been spending time with girl friends already, but in early March The Unit was formed. The Unit core consists of five fun gals up to no good. The group has been hanging out in various incarnations in Atlanta and Athens ever since. We see concerts, we dance, we drink tequila shots with Marissa’s parents. We talk all night. These amazing friends are the reason I have not gone insane while living here. I’m so thankful for having these girls in my life!

Chances are any Friday or Saturday night I wasn’t with The Unit I was probably hanging out with a group of French foreign exchange grad students from GA Tech. I randomly met these kids in January at Opera, the biggest club in Atlanta. They liked to dance so we became friends instantly. I drank many a room temperature beverage with these European nerds (not referring to Cécile of course, she is no geek) during their spring semester. They were only here until the beginning of May, so they had to live it up America style while they had the chance. I thoroughly approved of this pursuit of fun, and together we explored Atlanta. They even taught me a little French. Let’s just say my French vocabulary isn’t in the text books. Pictured below are my friends, the first six, and two of their classmates at Sweetwater Brewery.

In April, Ashley, Alicia, another friend, and I took a quick, spontaneous road trip to Austin, TX with a pit stop in New Orleans. We are talking salsa, margaritas, and dive bars. We were there for my birthday, and it was a good one. Ratatat guest DJed at the place we were dancing. The adventure was, as Marissa would say, epic. Pictured below is our traveling group plus guide seated on a massive rock at Barton Springs Park.

My good friends from college Zac and Hollie got married in May. Ashley, Courtney, and I drove from GA to Iowa City for the ceremony. It was possibly the coolest wedding ever, so casual and relaxed. One of the groomsmen walked down the isle barefooted. We ate organic pizza, drank home brewed beer, and danced to Freak Nasty’sDa Dip” (which I should admit I supplied to the playlist). Below the couple do “the Hollie” with back up from the bridesmaids.

Unfortunately my grandma fell and broke her wrist. When she had to have a second surgery on it in late May I drove to Arkansas to stay with her for a few days. I actually left the day after I got back from Iowa. Lots of driving that week. We watched a good bit of The Dog Whisperer, The Game Show Network, and Lifetime. I cooked, and to my surprise my fried squash, my favorite food and a tricky dish indeed, came out to perfection. Grandma spent a lot of time complaining about what she couldn’t do, then yelling at me to stop with the chores and come sit down. That is Grandma. He wrist seems to be healed nicely now.

In June, Ashley and I made an exciting last minute decision to go to Bonnaroo. My disposable camera is still yet to be developed, but I can promise that we saw some things. So many stages, so many bands, so many wannabe hippies, so many degrees, so little showering… somehow all this equaled an incredible time. The highlight would be the outrageous late night dance party that was the Girl Talk concert. It began at something like 2am and went longer than scheduled (no one was complaining). We were then misdirected back to our tent. We got to camp at sunrise. Amazing.

Later that month my family and I visited my sister in Virginia for a couple days. I got to see her in a very cute production of Jack and The Beanstalk and a spectacular Wizard of Oz at the Barter Theater. Somehow my nearly 6′ tall sister played a munchkin. The wonder of costume! Obviously my favorite part of the play was when she, suspended on wires, flew her bicycle through the tornado as the evil Toto-hating neighbor of Dorothy. She always gets the parts of the witch or wicked stepsister. Typecasting? Winks. Love you sis!

I managed to squeeze a little work in between all this travel. I started doing antique shows for my parents again this summer and cut the retail back to only three days a week. It was a smart decision for monetary and family reasons. Dad is having some health issues and needs to limit his time working in the heat. I sell mostly in Atlanta and thereabouts, but I have been to a market in Charlotte, NC once and just a few weeks ago Brimfield, MA. I really like peddling the wrought iron. I will make sure to have my camera charged up when I go back to Brimfield in September. This is a week long antique show that happens three times a year where many dealers camp out in the fields they set up in. I spent three days in the tent and met some real characters out there including two old men and a 12 year old kid who all want to date me and a gruff old woman who sells jewelry and swears like a sailor loudly under her hoarse breath. Besides for the kid, a real sweetie, I’m not sure who scares me most.

I tried to quit my retail job at the end of May and was actually offered a promotion instead. The whole interview process was long and tiresome (don’t get me started about the interviewer who didn’t show up and the other fun BS I had to deal with), and by the end of it I changed my mind. I had pushed my lofty plans for NYC aside until out of nowhere my good friend Brannon came up with the perfect place for us to live in Astoria, Queens. This apartment is nice and has amazingly affordable rent for the location meaning I could live in NYC for about the same I would pay in ATL… basically I was being asked to choose between my dream and so-so retail promotion with a minuscule raise. It seemed like a really tough decision for about a second. Below is my future home.

I haven’t exactly kept to all my goals I blogged back in January (for instance I now put my resolve into untagging myself from those pesky double chin photos), but I think I’ve succeeded in staying true to the most important ones which are simply staying positive, having fun, and getting the hell out of here.

So blog, I’m back. I’ve got things to write about. I’ve got a life to live. I’m MOVING OUT! In October! My name is on the lease as of the first of this month (I got a friend to sublet in the meantime). You know, living with my parents (yours would probably be a different story) wasn’t so bad. It didn’t really suck after all. But please, don’t get me wrong; I’m doing a little dance inside my head just thinking about having my own place again. Thank you blog, friends, and nights out in ATL for getting me though this transitional phase only three months past my self imposed deadline. That’s right on time for a procrastinator like me!

Yep, I’m back. Back from Paris as of yesterday actually, but that dear blog deserves a post all of its own.

So blog, doesn’t that feel better? We aren’t strangers anymore. Think we can make things work if we really try? Oh, caught you smiling! I knew you would come around. And hey bloggy-boo, if I slip up again I swear to go to conseling, like maybe take a writing class in NYC. And blog, if the screen on my laptop worked I promise we would cuddle like crazy.

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Goodbye Old Friend Couch

Yesterday I said goodbye to an old friend. We unloaded the truck full of my belongings (yes, I’ve got a ridiculous amount of stuff and plan on seriously downsizing) and my dear old couch was given away. I believe my family has had this couch since I was in the fourth grade. It wasn’t always so ugly, worn, and out of style. My grandma bought it for us; she had the matching couch (ours was technically a loveseat). It was so nice then and sat in the living room we never used where food was off limits.

It was passed down to me when I moved out in January of 2004. By then it had already sustained some injuries. Buttons were missing and the ruffle had been chewed by the family dog when he was a puppy. Now he is so old he can barely see. This couch has seen five different living rooms in three different states. It was the site of adolescent make outs and college party pass outs. It wasn’t long enough to fully stretch out on, but I’ve slept on it more times than I can count. You had to like who you were seated next to on it because the couch pushed you right into them on its sinking cushion. It didn’t fit two dogs and two humans comfortably, but that was the seating arrangement at my last place anyway.

Couch, I will miss you.Goodbye Couch

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RV Living

I can’t say I’ve ever lived in a mansion, but I have occupied several houses and apartments all over the South. I’ve never lived in a shack either, but my family has stayed in a couple interesting places that M.A.S.H. just doesn’t cover.

The summer before my freshman year of high school we wandered all over Georgia and parts of Alabama. We were making a move from Arkansas and were trying to find an acceptable house not too far from Atlanta where my dad sold at a monthly antique show. It should be said that my family doesn’t do anything in the conventional fashion. We were originally planning on turning half of the warehouse we rented in Atlanta into a hip, urban loft apartment. We stayed there a lot that summer. We bought carpet and picked out paint but never built more than a bathroom. Our minds were changed when the raves started happening next door. Loud music no one in my family was fond of to say the least would blast through the concrete walls at night and empty water bottles and pacifiers littered the outside by the next morning. This wouldn’t do; we needed a house.

Somehow, after a few close calls, it was time for school to start and we were still without a home. At the last minute we chose Adairsville, GA, a small town close to Dad’s hometown and only an hour from ATL. We decided (but never went through with it) to build a house there. The first day of school we didn’t have a proper address to put on all the forms we had to fill out. We were staying at the Ramada Inn.

Due to massive indecision we ended up living in our small, orange-red carpeted 1978 Ford RV at the Family Leisure RV Campground. We were practically the youngest people there. It wasn’t exactly recreational for us. It wasn’t like Road Rules. It was supposed to be temporary, but before long we had moved to the long term section. This section was denied access to the pool, game room, and the laundry facilities thanks to some of our trashy neighbors’ actions. We were allowed to attend the chapel there, and we did.

I will have to take a picture of this camper just so you can truly understand. It looks a lot like this. Ours had a brown and orange color scheme. My sister and I shared the coffin-like bed over the cab of the vehicle. My parents slept on the couch bed. I never had any friends over because I was an embarrassed, uptight high school kid, but my sister would sometimes invite a girl over. At those times I would sleep on the bed our booth style table made.

Did I mention we also had a dog? Thankfully Buddy is small.

The AC froze up and leaked all too often. The carpet would get wet and the orange-red dye stained the bottoms of our unsuspecting socks. There was only one tiny closet, so we kept our clothes in the cab and in trashcans outside. We ate a lot of Wendy’s and Patty’s Truck Stop during that time because of the cramped kitchen area. My sister and I were happy to participate in as many after school activities as possible to keep us out of that camper. Plus, we were just overachievers like that.

There was no such thing a personal space. I would stay up at night doing my homework with a reading light on at the table a foot away from my sleeping parents. My sister would pull the orange-red curtain that separated the cab from the rest of the RV closed and complain. Privacy was not an option. My sophomore year I would sit outside in the car at night and talk to my boyfriend on Dad’s cell phone. When I was 16 and allowed to date I was always paranoid that the one-legged old man next door was watching me when I got a goodnight kiss.

A year and a half later we upgraded. We got a camper trailer with slide out rooms. My sister and I had a bedroom to ourselves with an actual bed and a actual door. It was amazing. We had a washer and dryer too. Mom and Dad still slept on a couch bed.

Two other kids we went to school with moved into the campground during our stay. One guy was cool and I wished I had gotten to know him. He shared a big camper with his dad and he didn’t stay long. The other girl was made fun of at school for being “skanky”. Her crime? Being overweight and goth. Maybe they smelled the poor on her. I don’t know. I remember the first time I saw the school bus drive through the campground to drop her off. I almost had a heart attack. I was so afraid that kids would find out I lived at the campground, that she and I both lived there. I would see her at school and when we made eye contact I knew we knew we were keeping each other’s secret.

I am not really a snob. I was a timid high school kid at a new, bigger school in a new state. I know we didn’t have it all that bad, but a friend of mine from college told me we were considered homeless by the school system. This is funny because we had a house in Arkansas the whole time, still do.

Right before my junior year a miracle happened. We moved out of the RV. We weren’t ready for traditional housing though. My family bought a building on the sleepy downtown square and converted the upstairs into a beautiful and spacious apartment. After all that time feeling like a sardine this place was so impressive. For the first time in my whole life I had my own room (in AR my sister and I had separate rooms but we shared one anyway). Family time wasn’t forced. When arguments happened it was possible to just walk out of the room. We had space for our computer. We had a living room and a big tv. The couch wasn’t anyone’s bed. It was a mansion.

I’m going to do my best to not complain (too much) about living at home. I could always move back into that RV. Oh, that is not even funny to me. Nah, it isn’t going to be so bad. I’m an adult now and my parents aren’t going to try to control me, not that I’m going to need any controlling. My parents are cool, but I’m not going to get too comfy. This time temporary means temporary. No moving to the permanent section. I’m setting my personal and financial independence day for July 1, 2009. I know that the next place I live is going to feel like a mansion even though the apartment I plan on renting in NYC is sure to have more in common with that 1978 RV. Well, I sure as hell hope it has different carpeting.

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