Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Saturday of Freedom

I spent my last Saturday of Freedom running around doing errands, in an attempt to get my apartment in order before school begins on Monday. I'm in need of a microwave oven, a TV, and DVD player so I scoured Craigslist and responded to many ads. Only 1 - the microwave - responded. Made a second trip out to IKEA to pick up a garment rack, which is serving as my wardrobe (as I don't technically have a closet), because the first one I bought fucking collapsed on me. 

I also had to drive to Gin & Tonic to see if anyone had found a camera and turned it in (ha - fat chance). The losing my camera-thing has me really bummed out. If I replace it, it will be the 3rd camera I've purchased in a year, and another $250 that I had not budgeted to spend. Plus, there were some great photos from my first Cohort Happy Hour.

[I've been spending waaay too much money; money that I really don't have, which is another stressor for me. I turned in the rental truck a few hours late and therefore was billed another day's worth. I pleaded with them to let it slide but they weren't having it. So when they asked for a signature for the bill, I signed "Eat Shit" instead of my name -- take that, Budget Rental Car Corporation! And then on Friday when I got my DC driver's license, I also had to pay a $100 parking ticket left over from my first life in DC. A ticket that I'd contested in writing several times that I thought had gone away (ha - fat chance). ]

I was going to bake a pizza for dinner, but realized that my stove doesn't actually work. Hmm.

So: Let's sum up these first few days in DC, shall we? I've paid for parking tickets I didn't know I needed to; been charged an extra $100 for the already over-the-top expensive moving van; lost my precious camera; needed to replace furniture; and ordered out for pizza because my oven doesn't work. This is Aces.

I was in bed by 10 p.m. On my first real Saturday night in DC, which is simultaneously my last Saturday night of freedom before school starts. Fuck my life.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

I Like it in the City When the Air is So Thick and Opaque

Riding my bike home from Glover Park tonight around one a.m., I am drunk without a helmet and I am speeding because it is almost all totally downhill and the night air is thick and fragrant and heavy and kinda sweet in a bread-ish way, and suddenly Adele's "Hometown Glory" pops into my head and I think: This is Perfect; and I let Wendell and myself wander past the wrong side of the yellow lines on P Street and again on Mass Ave., and I think this is truly Wonderful (with a capital "W") despite the fact that just minutes ago I lost my beautiful camera, which is missing, lost somewhere around or in Gin and Tonic, and Goddammit I'm not even drunk and I somehow let this happen... 

This is supposed to be an entry about my first impressions of some of my cohorts, whom I met this afternoon for Happy Hour at J Paul's (or some shit like that). It went well, and afterwards we went back to Jeff & Katie's place for more drinks and the inevitable drinking games, where I texted Mark to say: "I am at a party after my cohort mixer, about to do drinking games. Christ. This is either going to be the best sixteen months of my life, or the worst."

Christ, I need a donut. But instead I will go to bed. But goddamn a donut would be so nice right now...


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tears at the Metro

(Ed. Note: You can find the Prequel to this entry here.)

My brother and I, after an uneventful 12 hour drive* from Chicago to Hancock, MD last night, arrived in DC around 9 a.m. this morning. It took us only about 45 minutes to unload the moving truck. A little while later we were off to Georgetown, where I finalized the last of my paperwork before school begins next week.

He had a 5 p.m. flight, so around 3 o' clock I walked him over to the Columbia Heights Metro. As we walked, I thought about this past summer and how much fun I had crashing at his place, and how I feel like we're closer than we were even just a few months ago.

We bought his ticket, I showed him on the map where he was going, then we said goodbye. I hugged him and I suddenly began to cry. He looked at me like, "WTF?" I told him I loved him, which I think just made it worse. I felt like an idiot but I couldn't help it -- we'd had a really good drive and I am glad he took the time off work to come with me, and I told him so.

To make me feel better he said, "You know, we're going to come visit you!" and I said, "Yeah, I know." I was still choked up and couldn't really talk. It was like I was 17 and heading off to college (for the first time) again; like this was my first move away from home, which of course is ridiculous.  He's right that I'm going to see him often enough, but what I wanted to say was that, even if he was back to visit every weekend, it doesn't mean that I still can't or won't be lonely.

I've got good friends here in DC and I'm looking forward to making even more in the next few months. But right now, today, I'm really missing the ones I had in Chicago.

P.S. - I need to go to IKEA tomorrow. And find a hardware store. And a laundromat. Ugh.

* Getting pulled over by the cops in Ohio isn't eventful, is it?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hoya Saxa, Bitches

Last night was my Goodbye Chicago Going Away Party at Matilda's from 8-11.

Of course, I was there at 7:50 to make sure all was OK. And I was the only person there for a good 30 minutes. I love it when that happens. I sat in the reserved basement room with the bartenders, chatting it up before people arrived. At 8:20 they asked me if anyone else was going to show up. Haha, make all the jokes at my expense that you want, just keep the shots coming. 

Which they did. It ended up being a great time, with a good amount of friends in attendance. Words were exchanged. Hearts were broken. And I was more drunk than I've been in awhile. Don't quite remember leaving the bar, or going to Sidetrack afterwards. But whatevs -- It's my last night in Chicago I can do what I want.*

Back to DC on Tuesday. For good. Woot! (I think, right?)

* "Do what I want" apparently included not being able to walk a straight line, needing to grab onto the wall in order to stand up, kinda/sorta falling asleep at a urinal, and vomiting my guts out at Mark's, but whatever.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I Hate Dulles

I took the Orange Line out to Vienna/Fairfax thinking I could save some money on a taxi. Still cost me forty fucking dollars, plus the $2.50 for the Metro.

And for all the security lines in all the airports I've ever been to in my life, the one at Dulles is always the longest. Always. And why o why in this day/age must an airport charge for wi-fi?

Because of bad weather and delays leaving Dulles, I missed my connection in Atlanta and spent the night on the airport floor. Fuck my life again. 

Friday, August 21, 2009

Should It Really Be So Hard to Find a Decent Apartment in DC? (Pt. II)

There's a lot of crap out there for $1K or less. So I'm re-adjusting my rent budget up to $1200. Dammit. 

I knew it would be hard to find something for a thousand, and that I'd have to have a bit of luck on my side, but dammmm I didn't think it would be so bad.

When I posted a "Housing Wanted" ad on Craigslist a few weeks ago I got some responses, but none of them was very positive. Some dickwad responded back to me essentially saying, "Wow, you're probably not going to find something you like for $1K." And that's all he wrote. Thanks for the encouragement, prick. I hate that he was right.

I've looked at 11 places so far. It's pretty much come down to 2 studios on 16th St., and one basement apartment off 14th St. All of then in Columbia Heights, all of them pretty decent actually. But all of them about $200 more than I originally wanted to spend.

But at least I feel good that I've met my goal of finding a place before I head back to Chicago tomorrow...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bad Omen

I had an appointment at Georgetown this afternoon, so I hopped on Wendell and off I went. First, I took a wrong turn somewhere just west of DuPont Circle. Ended up heading towards the Naval Observatory on Mass Ave.

Then, got onto Rock Creek Parkway, hit a bad pothole and blew my rear tire. Fuuuuck. I had to then walk with my bike along Rock Creek, up P St., then all the way down to a bike shop on M St. and 33rd. In the sticky heat. Fuck my life.

If I were a superstitious lad, I might think this is some sort of bad omen for my academic career at Georgetown; that maybe I should just quit while I'm ahead...

Lucky that I'm not a superstitious lad, I guess. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Should It Really Be So Hard to Find a Decent Apartment in DC?

... apparently it should be, yes.

I've scoured every inch of Capitol Hill, Eastern Market and Lincoln Park to find a place and so far it is dismally slim pickings.

And all on my bike, in the blazing hot DC heat/humidity. It's like an extra "fuck you" from this city that I love/hate (although less love than hate).

Tomorrow is NW - Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, specifically. But if that goes anything like today, I'll be living in Edmund. Christ.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

700 Miles and 3 Hours Sleep...

It was long and hot but after about 11 hours of driving I made it to DC. I was feeling a bit anxious by the time I arrived, but since I drove straight to Hains Point in time for a swim workout with DCAC, I was able to relax.

It's hot. And sticky. Just like the DC I remember. Yeah, it is strange to be back but I keep telling myself it is going to be a great adventure. Right.

I vacillate between being truly excited about the next 16 months (of school)/4.5 years (of service), and being completely petrified.

But I can worry about that later. Now, I just need some air conditioning and some sleep.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Giant Butters!

You know those rare times when you realize you’re at a major crossroads in your life, when you're aware that you’re about to embark on a major journey, and your life is going to change drastically? And right before you take those first steps you think you should be doing something to take note, to document it, savor it?

Yeah, me neither.

And so it begins…