We've been talking about moving out west and I think it's a good idea. I hope so because I SIGNED A LEASE LAST WEEK. Woo!
This will be Matthew's first move to the Pacific and my fourth (Olympia - 1996, Seattle - 1999, Los Angeles - 2007, Oceanside - 2011) but this time is different. The strongest incentive for us to move is our relationship; I go to California for work regularly enough that the three-hour time zone difference is annoying. And flying four hours for a meeting is annoying and not seeing each other for five weeks during tour rehearsals? ANNOYING.
It might also be nice to just, I don't know, be in California. Our apartment is in Oceanside, 100 miles south of Los Angeles, 30 miles north of San Diego, and seven blocks from the water.
Also, I've never moved with someone. Not really. I moved with a boyfriend to Olympia but but we didn't live together. I moved to Seattle with a friend but we didn't own anything. All of our belongings in the world fit into a Ford Escort. Now my material possessions have expanded to the size of a two-bedroom apartment and this might not sound like much to some but to me it's huge.
Not only do I own the most wondrous thing in the world one can own, a tempurpedic bed, but Matthew and I counted the other day and we own seven modes of transport, not including our feet, buses, and trains. We sold his car so that leaves us with one but we bought two mopeds from the 80's and we have four bicycles: his single track, his BMX, my ten speed and my Electra cruiser. Moving a lot of stuff is physically a lot more work but somehow it seems easier because I'm not doing it alone. Was that cheesy? Fuck it.
Several train lines stop in Oceanside so we could theoretically get to San Diego or Los Angeles without driving. Every time I say that to someone they say, "Yeah but what are you going to do once you GET to LA?" I don't know! I'm just saying I can get there without driving or flying which is more than I could do before. Jeez.
Last week, before I met Crystal in San Diego to begin working on the promo appearances for her album release (Farmer's Daughter, Dec 14 - You should buy it), I spent three days apartment searching in O'side. I was one step away from signing a lease on a place that I called The Boat because that's how small it was. I liked it though, because it had character - I'm a big fan of character - even if there was only room in the kitchen to chop one vegetable at a time and we would have had to hinge a chopping board to the wall.
I woke up my second morning in a panic, wondering if we'd be able to walk inside The Boat once we moved furniture in. If it feels like a small sailboat when empty, a single couch would make us look like hoarders. But it also had a giant yard and little french doors that opened onto the giant yard. And the next door neighbor owned a giant tortoise and a pig, bizarrely strong selling points for me. I was completely determined we'd make it work since the other places I'd seen in our price range smelled like garbage or were next to auto dealerships.
By the way, this is where I turned to Marisa and said I think I'm becoming booschy, as in the bourgeoisie.
There was another place down the street from the The Boat, a four-plex that looked really well taken care of from the outside and like it wouldn't smell of garbage. An ad had gone up for one of the units on Craigslist and I left a message. The night before I was leaving for San Diego, I called again and told the machine I was sorry to stalk it but I was leaving town and would really like to see the place before I go.
The next morning I was on my way to drop off the application at The Boat when the man from the answering machine called me back and I headed to the four-plex instead. And listen, I am not exaggerating when I say that I could chop 25 vegetables at once in this place (I don't want to, but that's not the point). There is a second bedroom so we have a work space / music studio and the floors are Spanish tile and we won't have to walk into the bathroom sideways.
Oh, and there's laundry out back. Because in California it's never a high of 22 degrees like it is in Kentucky. Not that I'm going to miss something, a certain je ne sais quoi, about my local KY laundromat with its smog of cigarette smoke and people yelling at their kids and calling them dummies.
Yeah, I signed that lease with a quickness. And handed over credit reports and dog photo album and offered 8x10 copies of my social security card and license. It was ours within hours. That night I stayed with Miguel and Mark in San Diego and Miguel told me the delicious news that he has a sailboat. A boat. That we are going to sail on.
We are now T minus 30 days, pulling out of the driveway on Jan 11.