Move It: 2017 Edition

Back when all my worldly possessions amounted to a twin bed, a stack of CDs and a Mr. Coffee, I thought moving was fun. These days, things are a little different. With five bicycles, three grills and a small collection of non-Ikea, grown-up furniture, changing addresses is a stress-inducing hypothetical endeavor. Add a pretty lady, a big black dog and their stuff to the mix, and the subject of relocation is enough to inspire visions of a massive bonfire fueled by unnecessary household goods.

So when the landlord’s real estate sign went up in our yard back in June—roughly eight months after we moved in—the task before us seemed daunting. The Craigslist search. The big dog discussion. The you-want-how-much-for-the-deposit shock factor. The packing. The truck. The loading and unloading. But we did it. Mission accomplished. With a little help from a friend*. Now, as we dig our way out of the boxes, we’re up against the real-life limitations of physical space. We’ve stacked, stored, reconsidered and rearranged. I gave up on recovering the tape measure two weeks ago. I’ve come to terms with the idea of never owning a couch again. I hate shoes (other than the ones on my feet). Extra shirts seems extravagant. I find myself questioning why anyone would need more than two forks. All the things I’ve loved before are clutter and clutter is the enemy!

But one must remain calm. It’s the only option a relatively sane person has. In the end, we’re lucky to have a roof over our heads, a wonderful new neighborhood just beyond our front door and, of course, a magical sunflower watching over the entire process. Without the sunflower, I’m pretty sure the above mentioned bonfire would’ve been the first and only thing on my agenda.

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Cut from my lady’s garden at our previous address, this sunflower has kept me grounded.

* I hired a mover who happens to be a nice guy and by the end of the process I considered him a friend

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In bloom.

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The neon flowers of the bay area are alive and well around every corner. I snap pictures like a tourist and occasionally spot a theme among the many. In this case, Bougainvillea that’s so healthy it’s become an architectural element. Just one of the many reasons I’m proud to call this place home.

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Is this thing on?

The gray is starting to appear, and I’m no where near being the man I’d hoped to be at this juncture. Still crammed into small spaces. Still no savings to speak of. Still motivated by small, simple endeavors. 

When I was a kid, my parents seemed like adults and followed a certain orderly process. Cars in the garage. Yard trimmed. Hamburger Helper on the table. 

I never wanted any of that, but I often wonder what it would be like. The comfort zone. The safety zone. The not-too-spicy, fall-asleep-after-the-evening-news zone. 

Something tells me I’m not destined to find out anytime soon. Maybe I’ll look good in gray? 

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Friday night feeling.

Another day spent wondering what’s next and reading bad news about the government. 

The billboard tells me there’s a Lexus sales event I can’t miss, but I have a feeling I’m not gonna make it. Damn, maybe next time, Lexus.

Moving on and off. Hoping my haircut doesn’t make me look like a douche. Hoping my personality doesn’t allow me to act like one. 

Everyone preaches love and peace, but few show much interest in either when a parking spot is at stake. 

That’s life and so is this. 

So on and so forth. I’ll quietly plead the fifth if anyone asks me for answers. 

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Nice Shot: Oddities

Welcome to the latest and long overdue addition to the Nice Shot series. It’s been a while.

It all started yesterday when I was reading about Tesla and Chevrolet jockeying for the #1 spot in “market value among U.S. automakers” which inspired a quick scroll through the local Craigslist. There I found an unusually high number of abandoned oddities that were most likely launched as an alternative to mainsteam when they were released. Edsel, Packard, International…something like the 50’s versions of a Tesla. Now I’m left wondering how those big batteries will age after being left in a field for sixty years?

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Not so criminal.

The security alarm began blaring as I sifted through a bin filled with mildly abused apples at the local Safeway. The security guard was barely fazed as he walked slowly toward the emergency exit door left slightly ajar.

“Happens all the time,” he mumbled, pulling the door closed and deactivating the alarm.

Everyone in the produce department went on about their business—ruffling lettuce leaves, massaging grapefruit and plucking stray bananas from their bundled bunches

Fairly certain no one was going chase the perpetrator down the street, I made my way toward the express lane. The checker offered a mostly genuine, “howya doing?”

“Big heist today?” I said, nodding toward the emergency exit.

“Pardon?” she replied.

“The alarm? Someone ran off with a bunch of stuff,” I explained.

Punching in the code for abused apples, she responded with a slight smile, “I don’t even hear that thing anymore…it happens so often, I just block it out.”

The notion of people having to steal food made me feel rotten. But the fact that no one at the store seems to strictly enforce the rules left me wondering if there might be more empathy out in the world than I’d originally thought.

The jury’s still out on that one.

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Sunshine and M&Ms.

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As life in the Bay Area gets increasingly more expensive and hectic, I try to frequently remind myself how lucky I am to be here. In this case, three random photos taken on a Tuesday made all the difference. Now let’s see what Wednesday brings.

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