ReAliTy bItES

Fantastic news! The movers delivered us this past Friday rather than next Tuesday! I firmly believe that they adjusted their schedule for us because we treated them right. Our driver was a Texan…and there’s no question about that. The same group of four who packed…also delivered that was a plus because they knew we’d probably 1. feed them and 2. tip them. We are extremely happy with the job they did (from loading the truck, driving it 2k miles, to unloading). We did pack ourselves so we were a little concerned about things possibly breaking…but as our driver said “if it doesn’t shift in transit it won’t break”. So far we are solid. Nothing broken in transit….but here’s a couple reality bites: I will tell you if you ever decide to undertake what we have, make damn sure you have bathroom cleaner available because truckers/support staff do NOT have the best diets. I won’t go in to detail for obvious reasons but just know they can wreck an “american standard” in five seconds flat. The other is a little disappointing but hopefully avoidable for you…be sure if you pack yourself to seal up your boxes. We shrinkwrapped a few items that were simply too big for boxes and unfortunately they smelled of cigarette smoke when they arrived. (They smoke in the side or in the trailer when loading/unloading). I was actually very surprised that it happened…but it did. Our Sleep Number bed foam soaked up a little of the smoke but I was able to clear it out by airing it out on the porch and a little soap and water. All in all…still happy with the job they did. Some very fragile stuff made it without a problem. Obviously we haven’t unpacked everything just yet…so who knows I may be changing my opinion in a couple weeks. But then again we packed ourselves, so it will have to be determined if it was the packing job or the transit that caused the issue.

Reality is beginning to settle in at a tremendous rate. I’m actually finding it hard to keep up with all the changes…and lack of routine. Thursday the cable company came out to install our cable & internet, we got our licenses (their DMV is very efficient) and afterwards Ginger and I decided to get a cup of coffee at a local shop next door to the DMV. I overheard a couple guys talking technology so when we were finished I went over and introduced myself to them and apologized for barging in on their conversation. As it turns out one of them is a tech recruiter so we struck up a brief discussion and by the end of the day I was sending them my resume. Shortly after that I received a call from him, had a short discussion about what I’m looking for and he complimented my personality and told me that I was very well spoken and awesome presentation. So he thought there will be no issue finding me a position. Great news…but also another reminder we’re not here for vacation…this is for real this time.

Thursday night, I ventured out to a concert at the Moda center in Portland by myself. I was pleasantly surprised out how friendly everyone was. I had a total of two people compliment my “Pigface” t-shirt(it’s a 20 year old tshirt from a concert in Dallas…and that makes two compliments I’ve ever received for that shirt) and a different two complimented my beard. All of those conversations were quite entertaining and fun…with strangers to boot. The most interesting conversation was with a guy at the train stop on the way home from the concert. I left early because I had just learned that the movers were coming the next day…so these old bones needed rest before running stairs the next day. I was probably one of six people total at the train stop outside the venue. Some random guy asks me if I’d read the drum magazine blog…something or other and I replied “no”. He started to tell me how he wrote an article as well as a letter to them chastising them for not including Martin Atkins. I finally figured out the connection right as he said “Martin Atkins” (my pigface t-shirt). So we had a great conversation about P.I.L., Pigface, and all the numerous projects Martin was involved in..and really hit it off. When I mentioned that I just left the “Tool” show he said “isn’t it still going on?”…I replied “yeah, you want my ticket to go in?”. He shook my hand and told me that they run an industrial hits night (type of music btw)…at this club and I should check it out…and with that he tore off running with my ticket in hand to catch the rest of the show. “I had to say it was a good day”…thanks Cube.

Friday was spent performing inventory and loading rooms with our goods from the truck. It was also spent trying to figure out how to fit ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag. We were moving from an 1800 square foot home to a barely over 1100 square foot apartment…so we knew storage was going to be crucial…luckily we have a garage so we knew any overflow could go in there. No problems with that.

Saturday was another day I didn’t quite grasp. We spent the majority of the day setting up our kitchen and trying to figure out why the hell I have a pasta maker. Anyway, the lack of routine…no jobs…and cabin fever was beginning to take its toll on me. I started missing “home”, I started missing friends, missing co-workers, and missing family all over again. I swore I would never live in an apartment again so this is especially tough. However, this is like no other apartment complex I’ve ever been in for sure. I cannot believe how quiet it is around here. It’s deafening…really. I had to put my headphones in just to get some noise. Don’t get me wrong it’s beautiful…geese fly overhead every 45 to 60 minutes honking…birds are chirping beautiful songs, and there’s no obnoxious A/C units buzzing. I mean they don’t exist…so that sound won’t be heard around here even in summer. Rarely a plane. It’s all very foreign to me. You don’t realize how much those simple sounds impact you until you’re eating dinner outside and all you hear is water rushing and nature.

To all my friends back in Texas, I’m finding it extremely difficult to temper my Oregon advocacy because I don’t want to come off as some sort of ungrateful elitist. All of this is extremely hard…the missing you…the missing routines…the familiarity of the the terrain. However, IF you EVER decide to get out of Texas…or want to see a completely 180 degree turnabout from the lone star state….Oregon is it. Thus far, there are NO similarities I can find. It’s exactly what I expected. It’s that reality of sink or swim that scares the crap out of me. Even though we’re treading water waiting to get settled in to look for jobs, it’s a sinking feeling having to rebuild our lives. I sat with Ginger on our deck tonight, and ate a beautifully delicious dinner with a glass of wine and the heat of the grill perfectly cutting the chill of the 54 degree evening. Our deck surrounded by cherry blossom trees about to explode open, we watched the gorgeous sun set behind the serrated tree edged horizon…an enormous blue heron landed on the roof of a building two down from us…quiet enough for us to hear it land. I decided I’d better come back inside before I wake up and it’s not real.

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