Friday, June 13, 2014


Yes, I'm still alive.

Lots of things have happened.  Weird things. Unplanned things.

For example, we finally decided we were miserable enough in our old neighborhood, in our old house. And we sold it.  In two weeks.  Such is the housing market in Portland.

Yes you read that correctly.  Here's some snotty FAQ to help you deal with it:

  • But don't you feel like you are throwing money away on rent?  No and don't ask again.  Gutter re-attachment (and not replacement) cost 300 dollars alone.  Contractors are hard to come by in Portland, and may take weeks to months to reply to your personal request to pay them outrageous quantities of money for labor.  While your gutters are pouring water directly into your basement.
  • Sub question:  But why didn't you do it yourself?  The roof was so tall we couldn't buy a ladder at conventional stores that would safely reach it for less than 300 dollars.
  • Isn't homeownership the goal of every living, breathing human being on planet earth?  Yes.  No.  Maybe, but we're still not 30 yet, so there is plenty of time.  Plus our new landlord is that dude.
  • Wow, but Sellwood is so cool.   Have you been to Alberta or Irvington, or even the Lloyd District?
  • But your house was so cozy/cute/nice/amazing/quaint!  Please spend one depressing, dark winter there and tell me that again.  Everything needed to be replaced within the next 5-10 years and it was not comfortable.  It was a 80k house on a 220k lot.  End of story.  
  • Don't you miss it? The paint job was pretty cool though, right? (The last owners used the wrong kind of paint, and it was causing the plaster to chip off in many places, but I digress.)  I do miss my built-in display cabinets, but nobody but me ever saw them anyway.  I also miss Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.  That's nearly it.  I feel so much more like I'm in the city here.  

So after we sold our house to some needy high-maintenance empty-nesters that annoyed the crap out of even their own realtor, our house closed a month before our apartment was set to be move-in ready.  The buyers were pretty adamant about that date, and we were just really glad to be at the end of the selling process.

After a gently pleading conversation with our new landlord, we got the move-in date set for two weeks earlier than we were meant to.  That still left two weeks for us to find a place to stay.  And store one three-bedroom house worth of stuff.  And three cats. I will not lie and say it was easy, but I will truthfully say it was probably worth it.  It forced us to get rid of (i.e. charity donation) a large quantity of things we didn't need, didn't intend to keep, hadn't looked at in four years, or had been given as gifts.  (Note: please do not ever buy us gifts)  Sounds harsh, but any professional organizer or decorator will tell you sentimental clutter ruins lives.  It took two storage units, two u-boxes (the cheap-o U-Haul branded pod), and several truck rentals to get it all done.  We moved out of our house with literally nine minutes to spare before we had to give up the keys.  Hot potato.

So we decided to rent an RV because that is a thing that you can do.  And drive to Big Sur, because that is a thing that you can do.  And Zach had the week off.  Coincidence or divine intervention?

We spent our 4 year anniversary on the West Coast just chilling.  In an RV.  In a park or whatever.  Which is not something I could have dreamed would happen when I moved here in 2010.  Or that I would become everything I've ever hated.  But that's a different blog entry for a different day.

What did we learn? (more bullet points)

  • Being kind of sort of even a little bit homeless is really shitty.  I have a real feeling for genuinely homeless people now.  It's something you barely think about until something disrupts your routine of awesome hot showers and comfy beds.  Sorry if that sounds douche-y.  I know I wasn't broke or down on my luck, but I felt out of sorts, and it really changed my perspective.
  • No risk, no reward:  You can be happier with less, even if it looks dangerous or goes against what other people think is right. Our new place is smaller, but has a nicer feel.  I feel, surprisingly, more like a grown-up here in a place that is definitely less grown-up than our last residence.  I almost feel like I could raise a family here.  I never felt that way in our last place.
  • There is an entire industry centered around RV camping, at all levels of luxury that could exist while still having to do with RVs.  Well of course there is, but how would I have known that?
  • Big Sur = Awesome but remote.  
So since you're bored and you didn't expect to read this much text in a blog post, here are some pictures for you to look at:

Big Sur hiking.
Lunch looked like this one day.
New bed.  Very comfortable.

Nice afternoon with Balloon.  Who still gets to go outside because she is responsible.

Reading on my new porch.  Where nobody will tell me to get back to food.

So that's it.  Now I have some things to do in real life.  Hopefully I'll write again real soon.  But maybe not.  My diet and cooking have become complicated?  Everything is gluten and dairy free, and I feel like it might not be that enjoyable to read about.  Other than that, I don't have much to say.  We'll see.

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