Tuesday, August 23, 2005


One more piece is in place: we have an apartment in New York. Sure it was previously inhabited by heroin addicts (according to our colorful, verbose super, Eddie) and it’s pretty much infested with roaches, but it’s a place to call home.

Did I mention there were roaches? Okay, this is New York. Roaches are a fact of life. Still, why is this not a big deal to anyone else? People keep trying to get me to accept it. Similar to my move to Lubbock, when people kept telling me "Yes, it smells like cow shit, but you’ll get used to it." My response was why in the world would I want to get used to the smell of feces? If my sensory input is so kaput that I can’t discern the vile odors of manure then I’ve got bigger problems than Bessie down the road.

Alright, I grew up in suburbia. Roaches were around but they weren’t out of control in my house. So why do I have this inherent horror whenever I see one? I remember in seventh grade when I was watching TV late one night. I see a roach crawling under the TV stand. I don’t freak, but I am disturbed enough to grab a kleenex, kill it and flush it down the toilet. Turn off the TV, go to bed, forget it ever happened.

Next sighting, weeks later, another late night. I walk into the kitchen, flick the light on and there it is. A huge cockroach on the counter. It’s antennas wheeling around. I grab a sandal and inch close. Then the thing launches across the counter to the edge and dive bombs into the open trash container. That’s when I lose my shit. They look so vile, move so fast, and that scuttling sound when they move. Ugh, I’m squirming right now.

But what can you do in the city? Set a few roach traps, fog the shit out the place and pray those ultra-sound generators actually work.

The apartment has come leaps and bounds from my first impression. We painted the walls some pretty decent colors. Nevermind that we almost killed ourselves by standing on a janky stool. Our stuff is out of storage. (So long U-haul, and screw you!) We had Christian and paid some awesome Asian guys to help us move our boxes up the narrow, windy stairs. Think of doing squats on a stairmaster for three hours straight. The neighborhood is awesome. East Village is ripe for exploration.

Anyone know a good place for Dim Sum?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Feet don't fail me now

In-soles. When in New York, you are going to need some damn good in-soles. I can't believe the amount of walking I've done in this city. It's only seven miles, right? And I haven't even been anywhere near the north or south tips. But I think I've discovered my New York stride. I'm already brushing past tourists with a scowl on my face. Everyone knows that the bane of Wal-mart and grocery stores is the stragglers who take up the entire aisle. The thing is that's everywhere in New York. There's always someone in your way, whether it's a slow walker or a group who just has to walk side by side and block everyone's way. Seriously, I nearly pushed an 8 year old into the street because he was in my way.

Not that I'm jaded already or anything. I still love the streets and the subway. Not having a car or paying gas is great. I lost my 30-day MetroCard after only 7 days and called and got the rest reimbursed. Beat that Exxon! Why would you choose to sit in traffic over the trains? Okay, so the part where the weathered guy with B.O. pressed up against you isn't so fun, but nothing's perfect, right?

I can see why there's such intense love and pride for this city. But that's the thing, this place is made up of extremes. Walking the streets or traveling the subway, you can't help but notice the polarity in everything. For someone who strives for balance, it'll be interesting to see how well I get along with this place.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

New Yokel (part II)

The exodus from Austin is over. I’m in New York. I learned that U-Haul is the devil and that every employee is disgruntled and incompetent. I also learned that New York is so overpopulated that its inhabitants decided to make it as hard as possible to get in. (See the Holland Tunnel. See also the Lincoln Tunnel.) I will say that I owned that U-Haul truck. All of a sudden, SUVs aren’t so menacing anymore. "What? You want to inch into my lane? Do I look afraid to scratch this U-Haul P.O.S.? Yeah that’s what I thought."

Even with a weekend of adjustment, it still feels like a vacation. I’m still gawking at the tall buildings and grinning at the characters on the street. Lest anyone think I’m a total tourist, I should note that I have yet to bust out any of my multiple cameras AND I was asked TWICE on the trains for directions. My reaction was a blank stare and a shrug, but that still counts.

The food so far has been awesome. Thanks to Lauren for being my guide and my gracious host. I’m sure this debt will be called in someday when she decides to move. And thanks to my buddy Chad for helping me get out of Austin. Ah friends, not just for drinking with!

Tomorrow starts a new chapter. I have a feeling that reality will set in. I have very little money and I need to find a job. Come on New York, gimme some of that lovin’.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Here I am blogging from Texarkana! The last goodbyes to coworkers, friends and family have been done. The frantic loading up of the U-Haul is completed (Many thanks Chad!). My biggest fears of having too much stuff to put into it were laid to rest (but just barely). And we’re one fourth of the way there.

A lot of pressure and stress has been lifted after the weekend but New York is still so far away that it still seems surreal to think that by the end of the week, I’ll be walking around in the city.

Everyone knows that U-Haul is the oldest and crappiest, but come on, not even a tape deck in the dash?? I was banking on being able to pop in a tape converter for my iPod to drown out the creaks and squeaks of the truck, but no luck.

Oh, and for anyone of you out on the road: If I’m in a 10ft U-Haul loaded to the brim with boxes and I can still pass your ass, you need to have your license revoked.