In which I’m all about the neighborhood.
I’m an Uptown girl!
After a full month, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I’m stupid and missing something, it’s that there really is nowhere to put our remaining stuff. It has to go away somehow, or get packed into the basement storage closet, because there’s just no way to organize it. And I’m sick of having bags and boxes in my living room! Ugh!
For people who don’t have much shit, we have too much shit. Hell, we have an entire drawerful of single-function kitchen gadgets. I mean, I’m sure I really did feel like I needed a garlic press, tongs, corkscrew, can opener, and thermometer at one time or another, but all that crap in one drawer and it’s basically a bunch of shit that wants to gnaw your arm off at the wrist. Dude, seriously, that drawer is dangerous and pointy. Stay out of it.
I’ve also got a bit of buyer’s remorse, on the level of the apartment’s issues. The window and air conditioner leak when it rains. None of the outlets will hold a plug, so everything’s always falling out, which is frustrating as hell — I can’t even count how many times we’ve had to reset the digital alarm clock on the nightstand, or how often the internet’s gone out because the router plug (which we have taped to the wall) just fell out.
Laundry list of first world problems. I know. I know. There’s more, of course:
The A/C basically only half-works. It comes on, but even if you have it on full blast, it cycles off every few minutes and just blows recycled air. (Even if you run it for hours it never gets cold in the apartment, and merely cooking a meal makes the place unbearable even with the door freshly weather sealed and two fans circulating the air). Half the lights in the kitchen overheat after ten minutes and turn themselves off, so cooking and dishes and cleaning is done mostly in a sort of dim gloom. And it’s smaller. And there’s no cross breeze. Plus it costs more than the other place!
But the location is great. I love the location. Bars, stores, tacos, falafel, liquor, parks, lakes, libraries, coffee, nail salons. Pretty much anything you could ever want is within walking distance.
Well, except for a job. I still don’t have one of those, but I’m not out of money yet so I’m trying not to freak out about it. I basically don’t let myself go out and spend money more than once a week, and usually that’s either a trip to The Egg & I for breakfast, or down to CC Club for a drink. Just to get out while it’s not blizzard season and enjoy the fact that I can. But basically I’m afraid to spend, because part of me is convinced I’ll never get another job again. Too many online friends out of work for two or more years, all those ladies at Home Depot with two or three jobs, my age, plus getting turned down by that little CU for both of their P/T teller gigs…
Oh, and this: I applied at the wrong grocery store. My Saturday interview last weekend wasn’t over here at the neighborhood store, it was 4 miles and a half hour bus ride away, on the other side of what Scott described as “pretty sketchy areas.” Never occurred to me that the Cub on Lake street would actually be on Lagoon, and that the one on 26th is actually called the Lake Street one. Because how would anyone who doesn’t work there even know that?!
Anyway, we moved here so I could make friends and have a life without needing to buy a car or drag my beloved everywhere all the time. To make friends, you go out. Frequently. And people get used to seeing you and start talking to you, and the next thing you know you’ve been off on adventures and you have a back story and now you’re friends. The last time I went through this process in a new town I was spending the last of my money like a dumb kid (which obviously worked out okay or I wouldn’t be here, but still isn’t very responsible) or I was on unemployment. It takes a lot of money, actually, to just hang out in a bar or a bookstore or a coffee shop enough to belong there. Well, “a lot” if you have no income, I mean.
So I now live somewhere cool! Yay! And I’m not doing shit. Boo. Right now I have time and no money; by the time I’m working again I’ll have money and no time (and it’ll be too cold to go anywhere anyway). I’m basically screwed either way.
I should really be looking for a band, but it’s too hot. I just can’t even. Actually I found a couple of musicians via Craigslist last spring and then blew off following up with them because of work and moving and travel and blah blah blah I suck.
The old place was closer to Scott’s work, had a park next door, no traffic, everything worked, was bigger, was cheaper. He didn’t want to move; I did. I just didn’t like the neighborhood, because everything was a mile or more away over an overpass. Now I like the neighborhood but I’m too old and too conservative to spend money without a job and I basically just look at it out the window and feel like an asshole because I know any second now there will be three feet of snow out there and it’ll be twenty below and it won’t matter that there’s a corner store because I’ll just wait ’til the weekend so I can get a ride in the car to the grocery, like I did at the old place, and we’ll have moved for nothing.
Because that’s how the Midwest works. You’re frantic in the spring and fall to Go Out And Do Things, and the lakeshores and streets are absolutely stuffed with humanity. During summer there’s still a lot of bodies (because these people don’t seem to understand that HUMIDITY IS AWFUL) but less than spring and fall, I think, and in the winter you hardly ever see anybody outside besides in grocery store parking lots, at all, ever, because the weather will legit kill you. They don’t even plow most of the sidewalks, because people aren’t walking.
Lots of traffic at our intersection. Really a strong noise comparison with the old place. Cars here 24 hours a day, lots of emergency vehicles, foot traffic pretty much all the time. Lots of activity and vibrancy. It’d probably feel amazing if I knew anybody, but mostly I still feel like a tourist. Or a tourist’s mother.
Seriously. I unconsciously classify the vast majority of people who walk by as “kids.” How did I get this old? (more…)