26 February 2008

a bit of progress.

I've been mute lately. For good reason: I've been trying to figure out what to do with myself. The plan all along has been to get to the gulf to get to work. When my car died, though, I had to reconfigure the plans.

So, here it is, the run down. I'll be brief, because my mind has little room for fluff and sentence formulation.

1. I'm kind of liking not having a car. I like not having to worry about when the car's going to explode, implode, whatever. It's kind of nice. Plus, I'm communing with my bike again.
2. Now, however, is not the most convenient time for me not to have a car, having planned the whole x-country drive to find work, and all.
3. Amtrak is a potentially plausible alternative to driving, by myself, for 25oo miles, for the second time in as many years.
4. I am blessed beyond belief by amazing relatives and friends and coworkers who offer little bits of help along the way, especially Rob, an MDT grad, who offered to help me get to the gulf, and housing once I get there, and Claudia, Ale, and CK + current coworkers who listen to my ramblings and sounding out of potential schemes, helping me to see reason beyond all the emotional nunsense in my head.

So. This is my last week of work. I'd love to say I've stockpiled loads of cash and am totally set to move, but you wouldn't believe that of me anyway, right? I'm glad to be getting out of SB before the sea swallows up the rest of my cash, and my tax returns. I thought it sounded like a good idea to stay, work full time for a while, but in reality, it's still not enough. This damn town eats a girl's money like an alky on a bender. It costs SO MUCH MORE MONEY to stay here than I'm actually making. I seriously don't know how or why people live here. For real, it's ridiculous.

My boy and I had planned to go to Death Valley for a last weekend together, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. If we do go, I'll start really packing/organizing next Tuesday. But (and this is the more probable possibility from where we stand at this particular moment) if we don't go, I'll just start packing on Sat., putting me on a train somewhere around Monday. The train takes 3 days, and I think I'll be opting for the:

Superliner Roomette

Superliner Roomette (Day)

Our Superliner Roomette is ideal for one or two passengers, with two comfortable reclining seats on either side of a big picture window. At night, the seats convert to a comfortable bed, and an upper berth folds down from above. Roomettes are located on both upper and lower levels of our double-decker Superliner train cars.

Which sounds pretty rad, and a very good way to begin a new phase in my life. I'm thinking of it as an adventure, because if I start to analyze and realize that I'm not totally in control of every phase of this move, I start to hyperventilate and freak out, which can only be cured by test-driving old 4runners or drinking leftover wine.

One day at a time, to bring it back to the alky comparison. One day at a time, grasshopper.

12 February 2008


I've been known to become quite attached to my vehicles. Not this one, however:

The go-kart, in Death Valley.

I can't say exactly why, it just never weasled its way into my heart the way the Saab 900, or even the Toyota wagon did. It was a less sexy, only mildly evil cousin of that rat-bastard Saab 9000 I drove- something was always wrong, but never so wrong I was actually forced to fix it. It smelled of gasoline the entire time I drove it, except for maybe 3 months after a friend patched the wee devilish hole in the filler neck; there were cracks in the windshield; an exhaust pipe got loose after a snowy off-road expedition in Yosemite last spring; the front door frames always leaked when it rained which had recently resulted in a car funk I could only compare to a bad man-smell like hockey socks, or forgotten gym shorts. A little of this, a little of that, but the damn thing started every time, no matter how loud or smelly she happened to be.

Yesterday though, she sputtered out on the outskirts of Santa Barbara, as I was driving to work. I left her there, and went to work, hoping the CHP would be kindly, and leave her there for me. Alas, when I returned in the evening, she was gone, which forced a decision early this morning to let her go, to let her complete this incarnation as a junky-ish go-kart, to be molded and pressed into something far more noble and majestic, like... like... I don't know where old cars go after they've been smooshed into a big square mass with other junky cars.

In any case, take a moment of silencio for the go-kart. She served me well in my last months in MN, on my cross-country journey, all the way through 1.5 years of California residency. She was a good car.