Friday, July 27, 2012

Up the river without a paddle

Now I am convinced that I am insane. I will be leaving Chicago somewhere between August 27th and September 1. Come hell or high water. Or since it's Chicago sleet or snow or golf ball sized hail.  I am at that point where everything is snowballing. There is much to do and very little time to do it. And I am learning who the truly important people in my life are. I am stressed out and overwhelmed to say the least. I am most occupied by sorting out the car situation. Both the licensing and the buying sides of the equations. And my tribe of girls is helping me organize my apartment sale on August 12 (Please mark your calendars!) so I am continually going through my stuff and sorting out the have and have nots. My apartment is a a claustrophobic mess of boxes and piles. But there are moments of stress relief like when Giddings randomly decides to curl up on my lap to remind me to take a break, when I get excited about visitors because I already have people specific places to show them or when I get my copy of the  Not For Tourists Guide to Los Angeles in the mail. If you have never seen a NFT Guide you should check them out. They consider Farmers Markets and Public Libraries as essentials. They make me very happy. So here are some fun facts for you:

  • Los Angeles averages 329 days of sunshine a year. (This bodes well for me)
  • The city boasts more stage theaters (80+) and museums (300) than any other city in the U.S. (including New York!) (and this also bodes well for me)
  • Annually, LA residents consume over one billion pounds of red meat, over 300 billion pounds of ice cream, and absolutely no carbs whatsoever. (This might not go so well)
  • The Hollywood sign was erected in 1923. (It originally said Hollywoodland) And restored in 1978 (at $27,000 a letter).  It is approximately a 3 mile hike round trip to the top of Mt. Lee and there are rattlesnakes. (This is at the top of my to-do list)
  • You can never really get lost in LA as long as you know where the hills are. (Sort of like always knowing where Lake Michigan is.)
  • You can purchase chessik aka loquat at the Hollywood Farmers Market. (See the third picture below Jimmy Stewart in the previous post.)
  • The Parlour Room offers happy hour until 10pm.
  • I will be arriving just in time for the Lobster Festival, the Silverlake Film Festival and the birthday of the City itself. (That would be September 4th) (Good thing I like lobster, movies and birthday parties)

Facts taken from NFT LA 2012 and from my own knowledge and experience.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Keep Calm and Love California




Friday, July 13, 2012

All of the Things

I have hit the approximate half way point in my planning. I have personally wrapped my head around the fact that I am doing this. I have started going through my stuff and deciding what I am getting rid of.  I have started telling everyone that I am leaving. I have told my parents. I have started planning out some of the important minutiae, like acquiring a copy of my birth certificate and finding out that my health insurance isn't valid in California so it would all be out of network. And hoarding money like a squirrel in the fall.

At this point my brain is mush.

I am still excited to be clearing everything out and paring down to just essentials but I just don't want to spend every waking moment feeling like that is what I should be doing. I am also starting to get concerned about the car situation. Finding people to let me drive their car and then coordinating our schedules is being difficult. It is not progressing as fast as I want/need it to. And then I need to find someone to take me to the driving test and *hope* I pass right away. And then on to purchasing a car. Which is probably going to take longer than I think it will.  Sunday is currently my only day off to do the things I need to do and to spend with people and to go driving. My Sundays are filling up fast.
There are also a few people I haven't told yet, partially for logistical reasons, and I am really over pretending that I am not leaving. Once I don't have to do that anymore, I will be at the real half way point. Because then it is all downhill from there.

And in the midst of all that I feel like I am having an identity crisis. I don't like any of my clothes. I am questioning what I am going to do with myself in LA. Do I really want to do wardrobe? Really? I am doubting my capacity to make new friends, to be able to deal with just myself for such an extended period of time, that my bullshit radar will function properly. That I will not have enough money. I won't but less than I think. That this isn't maybe a huge mistake and I am being the stupidest person on the planet.

But big reward only comes with big risk. So I am trying to make my self a list of what I want to accomplish in my first year in LA. Besides hike up to the Hollywood(land) sign. And be more specific than: Find a job, find an apartment.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Table for One

Moving to LA is going to be lonely. I know exactly 5 people there.  I won't have my own apartment right away.  I won't have the cat to lay on my chest in the evening. I won't be able to call someone and say "Hey! Come over" or "Let's grab brunch on Sunday." I am looking forward to the time alone on the road. I am prepared to pull over at least once, if not more, so that I can have a little crying breakdown. But I am thinking of the driving time as me time. This is me all by myself. This is my time to figure out what that means. I am planning on plastering my dashboard with photographs so I can see all my loves even as I drive away. And if I can manage it, to visit some family I don't see very often along the way. This will break up my alone time a bit. But once I am in LA I am going to be alone, homeless and broke. I am having ambivalent feelings about being so alone.

I got a table for one for dinner this week. I haven't done that in many years. I can handle movies by myself. I actually rather enjoy it. But there is the movie to distract you and get lost in. I have yet in my life to go to a bar by myself. I feel like that is ok when you are a boy but as a girl I feel like it throws up invitations to creepy people to talk to you or for awkward guys to hit on you. There are too many question marks surrounding a girl sitting by herself in a bar.  Dinner is sort of different. You aren't obligated to talk to anyone. You have your own table. I usually read or write while I am waiting for my food. You can't really do that at a bar in the evening. 

I think living in a big city, in not so awesome neighborhoods, and having had quite a few awkward, creepy people try to talk to me has set me up to isolate. I second guess and analyze the intentions of anyone randomly coming up to me. I get really impatient when talking to people that I don't really enjoy talking to or who I feel have ulterior motives to their conversation. My tolerance for putting up with things I don't want to put up with has gone way down as I have gotten older. Which is actually why I am moving. I am done with wanting to leave Chicago and not leaving, dealing with winter which makes me crabby and feeling stuck through all of it.

Not having a network of close reliable friends is going to force me to have to talk to people. To meet as many people as possible and to feel comfortable talking about myself to strangers as well as having myself as the only person I know in the room. In other words, I will need to be social in a way that I am usually not. I am not queen social butterfly. I really enjoy meeting new people and I really enjoy having conversations with people I just met if I find what they have to say interesting. I also like having my alone time to get my own shit done, my thoughts in order and to do the things that I like to do that nobody else does. Like knitting and a movie on my couch. (Note to self: Look up knit nights at LA knitting shops.)

 I look forward to having to push myself in a direction that I don't normally go in. I am just not looking forward to having to do it all the time. And having to be "on" all the time because I won't have too many people that I can chill and be "off" with.