Moving to Avondale

Tomorrow I move out of my aunt’s mom’s house and into my new roommate’s home/my new home. I’m really excited, even though “moving” is going to consist of putting my clothes and shoes BACK in my car and taking a drive down to Roscoe Village/Avondale. The rest of my stuff remains in Caldwell and my bed is still at my brother and sister-in-law’s. Think a full-size bed would fit into a mini van? Because renting a U-Haul in December is going to suckkkk. My dad can’t help me caravan my stuff here until after Thanksgiving, when his school break is. It’d be nice to come home for a few days, but we’ll see what I can take off from work.

Speaking of work, I did my training today. On that note, there was a small thing in their employee handbook about blogging, and so, from now on I’ll be referring to them as the department store. It’s never a brilliant idea to blog about where you work, even if I’ve been guilty of it in the past.

I’ve been sick as a dog since Wednesday night but I’m finally starting to feel better. That made today’s training pretty horrible, and for some reason we weren’t told to take a lunch break between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Maybe we were supposed to ask, but I didn’t want to look like a slacker my first day and whine about taking a break.

Next week, I get to be an audience member for a taping of some talk show (NOT Oprah) as the result of my answering some Craigslist ad. I don’t know anything about it other than it’s about women’s issues and they needed a studio full of ladies. It tapes Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., but I get paid minimum wage to chill out there for the day. I fill out paper work Monday morning.

I had an interview at Old Navy, but I think they were a little discouraged when I told them I’d just gotten on part time at another store. In any case, they said they’d call yesterday but they never did.

I miss home, but I’m glad I’m here. I am trying not to rely too much on Christina and Liz, the only people I know here, but lucky for me, they both seem very willing to show me around and help out when they can. Christina’s already got me straight on how to buy a CTA pass, where my nearest bank and Target are, where to get my dry cleaning — should I ever be able to afford a luxery like dry cleaning. Someday, you guys. Someday.

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Getting better all the time

This time last week, I was driving away from Ohio in my Cavalier with two duffle bags and a winter coat. It was a surreal day, although nothing compared to the week that would follow. So ended the weirdest week of my life, just yesterday. And today, I feel a lot better than I did, because I found a placeholder job and an apartment, much to my own surprise.

This morning Macy’s offered me a part time gig in housewares. It’s only 12-17 hours a week, but I also have an interview Wednesday at Old Navy that might be able to offer a similar schedule. Between the two of them, I might be able to pull off full time, minus the benefits and security. But anyway. Now I actually have time to work toward getting a full time job in my field. With this newfound time, I am of course blogging.

I met a huge group of Christina’s (my future roommate, a lawyer and full-time awesome human being) friends Friday night, including a woman who does PR for an environmental non-profit. She is excited to help me get some possible project work or a full time stint, and I am excited to let her do so. She moved to Chicago from New Jersey years ago under similar circumstances, without a job or friends or a home. What is it with us crazies?

Christina introduced me to Chicago’s own Old Style, a beer my dad had mentioned the week before I left. “It’s swill, but it’s our swill,” she said as she pushed a can toward me from across the table. She and I are watching the election returns tomorrow with the third roommate (or I guess I’M the third roommate now).

I went to check out the second place Saturday morning with my aunt’s sister. It was a beautiful home, but I decided against it. Christina is great, and I think I will have a little more freedom and less awkwardness staying with her. She seemed to have a lot of rules and she’s used to hosting exchange students who don’t have people over often. And that’s fine, it’s her house, but I think I am ready to finally have a place where I can come in at 3 a.m. and not feel like I have to answer to anyone about it. I can’t think of anywhere I’d realistically be until 3 a.m., but I like having the option.

The argyle fairy

On Saturday night, Liz took me to Lincoln Park and we hung out in a couple different bars. First was Mickey’s, the OSU one I was all excited about. It was fun, although as Liz pointed out, it wasn’t so much like going to a Columbus bar on game day as it was like going to any bar anywhere on Halloween. There were definitely more people in costume than in scarlet and grey, but that was just fine. We decided at the last minute to dress up; Liz got out all the costumy accessories she already had and we went from there. She had a tiara and a pair of wings, so I added a wand and a tutu from an Evanston costume shop. She bought a cowboy hat and threw on her most western style jeans, boots and shirt. Presto chango.

On Sunday I spent the day with my aunt’s mom and did some more job hunting. She and I went to Border’s for a little while, and she bought me a David Sedaris book. The first essay in it is about his stint as an elf at Macy’s, so it seemed like appropriate reading. She also took me out to dinner at a place called Grandpa’s by the train station and I got best burger I’ve had in a long time. I’ve really enjoyed staying with her and I think we have really gotten to know each other in a week.

I have something to do every day this week now, which is weird, especially compared to last week’s vast nothingness. Tomorrow I’m hanging out with Christina all day; Wednesday is my Old Navy interview; Thursday I am meeting one of my uncle’s friends for lunch in Evanston; and Friday is my training for Macy’s. Pretty crazy.

Half of my problems are solved

I know it’s soon, but I’ve met someone, you guys — and she’s fantastic. (Aaand that’s how you get record blog hits for the month of October. That, and picking up your mess of a life for all the world to see, moving it to unfamiliar territory and promptly whining about how hard it is).

Last night, after my now standard six-to-eight hour shift of bumming Starbucks wifi and job hunting, I met up with a woman who’d replied to me via Craigslist about a room in her home she’s renting. She asked that we meet up somewhere in public before I see the place, and I agreed. She gave me an address for a bar called Tuman’s and we met up around 4:30. I can’t tell you why, but I liked her right away. She figured out within minutes that, a, I had only been in town for a few days, b, I was unemployed but stupidly optimistic, and c, had no clue where I was.

She was very easy to talk to. She has a glowing sense of humor, admittedly sardonic at times, and full of wit. And when she asked why I decided to move to Chicago, I hesitated, but ended up telling her about breaking up with Brandon and basically going against everything I thought I knew about my life. It turns out she is going through kind of a rough time right now too, so we could really relate to each other on that level. Before long, we were talking about growing up in small towns, getting out of said small towns, our oldest friends, music, even our dead parents.

She told me she had been reluctant to email me back about the place because I am a few years younger than she is. “But it’s weird, even though you’re 24, you don’t annoy me at all,” she said. I thanked her. I told her even if I didn’t end up living at her house, I was really glad I met her.

We ended up talking for three hours last night, and we are meeting up again tonight. I get to see the house (and Roscoe Village, yay!) and meet her other roommate and some of her friends. It turns out she knows a couple people in both TV/film and public relations, which is random and awesome.

We really hit it off, and she ended up offering me the vacant spot. I think I’ll be moving there soon, which is a crazy relief and something I am really pumped about. I have an appointment Saturday morning to see a house with that middle-aged couple, but I am thinking about canceling. If I already know I want to live elsewhere, it’s probably a waste of their time.

Tomorrow night, I am going to an OSU bar with Liz, a mutual friend of Eileen and me. She lives and works in Evanston, but she told me about this bar months ago. I must be just homesick enough that this sounds like a great idea. I guess enough people have migrated from Columbus to here, and you can go there on game days and it’s just like Lane Avenue. This is ironic on many levels, since I never once went to Lane Avenue on game day when I lived blocks away, and now here I am acting like an OSU bar is some kind of home away from home. It should be fun, though.

Anyway, I’ve got agonizing job applications to fill out. But things is looking up.

A hostel living environment

This weekend I took another car load of stuff to my dad’s. Most of my belongings are out of Owen and Jamie’s, but I don’t know how to get my bed and small couch out of there and to Dad’s. It sounds like they’re okay with those going in their basement until I can bring a U-Haul trailer to their place en route to Chicago next month.

I have become more accepting of the infeasibility of my getting both a job and an apartment lease signed between Oct. 25 and Nov. 1 and am now looking into the cost of living at a YWCA or a hostel for most of November. Most hostels seem to be between $20-$40 a night, but I’m going to call around to some places and ask about a weekly rate. The word “hostel” sounds a little scary to me, but I mostly blame Eli Roth for that. My mom and I stayed at a Y one night in NYC and it wasn’t so bad. We had to share a bathroom but we got our own approximately 12 ft x 8 ft room. Close quarters, but it was cheap and temporary. Just like my future living situation!

No landlord is going to let me sign a lease without a job and my invitation to stay with my aunt’s mom is only for two weeks. I don’t want to make her nervous by asking to stay any longer, nor do I want to be the burden I’ve felt like for most of 2010 for any longer than that. My dad, aunt and uncle didn’t seem to think the hostel idea was so crazy and I know if they had any doubts they’d voice them. Have you ever stayed anywhere like that, abroad or in the states?

Because I am taking vacation days to go to NYC, I only have five more work days left. That is insane.

I will have moved at least five times by the end of 2010

I’ve been knocking out some to-do items from a long list of crap I need to take care of before I move. Get eye exam and fresh supply of contacts? Check. Get new brakes? Check. Lady doctor annual exam? Check. Slowly save thousands of dollars in preparation for being unemployed? Check. I even got a flu shot yesterday morning. I haven’t had one since college but I figured since I will be likely be without health insurance all winter in one of the coldest cities in the country, any inoculation I can get my hands on while still insured is probably a good idea.

This past week I moved out of Owen and Jamie’s and back into my aunt and uncle’s. I’ll be there for the next three weeks, after which I’ll haul everything I own from Owen’s and my aunt’s to my poor Dad’s house. For a week and a half, after my last day of work, I’ll go through the few worldly possessions I still own, after having moved four times in 2010 and subsequently pared down a bit, and pack my car with the bare necessities. That is, whatever I’ll need for two weeks of job searching and apartment hunting in Chicago while I stay with my aunt’s mom. After I get a place, I’ll head back to Ohio, where my dad and I will pack up everything I’ll need/can fit in my future apartment.

For those of you unfamiliar with the past eight months of my living situation, or those who have become far too confused to keep track, here’s a helpful time line:

  • Feb. 2010: Broke up with live-in boyfriend, moved into benevolent aunt and uncle’s house in Clintonville.
  • April 2010: Boyfriend moved out, I moved back in to the campus area apartment.
  • July 2010: Lease at apartment officially ended, moved in with unsuspecting brother and sister-in-law east of the city.
  • This week: Moved back to Clintonville to my aunt and uncle’s.
  • Three weeks from now: Moving stuff back to Caldwell before packing some of it up again for Chicago.
  • Oct. 25, 2010: Leaving Ohio for Chicago with two duffle bags of clothes and a pillow.

Blehhh. Dear Lord, please let me find a job so I can live in an apartment for the next year and not have to move again for a very long time. This, of course, is a relative term. But c’mon. This is getting ridiculous.

I found this helpful guide to moving out of state recently and am trying my best to follow its advice. Who knew moving to another state could be so complicated? Also, why are there no Tim Horton’s (my prime source of sustenance) in the Chicago area? Let’s hope for a smooth transition over to Dunkin Donuts, which populate most city blocks there instead.

Apartment and job hunting

Last night I dared check Craigslist for Roscoe Village apartments and was pleasantly surprised; prices seemed to be between $450-$700 for renting a room in a two or three bedroom place. Per person of course, but still awesome, considering I’ve been budgeting for at least $1,000 a month. And these places look really cute. I hope I can find something pretty easily during those first two weeks out.

Basically everyone knows now that I’m moving. And boy, people sure do look at me funny when I say I don’t have a job lined up, nor am I starting grad school. I also keep hearing “you’re so brave” a lot, paired with bewildered but polite facial expressions. Fun! On the other hand, some people seem genuinely impressed that I’m going for my dreams full-force and admit they’re somewhat envious. Envious of my strength and audacity, I hope, as opposed to my caution-to-the-wind crazed mentality.

If I really can’t find something in my field by then, I fully accept the reality of working in a hotel for a while. In fact, I welcome it. Housekeeping was a great job; I was active all day, worked hard, made tips. At some places you’re allowed to listen to music while you clean or in my case, books on tape. It was hard work and the first week left me a pile of raw cookie dough, but I liked it. Obviously I don’t want to do it forever, but it sure would be a nice change of pace from being behind a desk for eight hours a day. Being a reporter was a nice mix of sitting and writing and being out and about on my feet talking to people.

Anyway, I’m getting more and more excited about my plans although I am also starting to realize how many people I will miss and no longer be able to see on most given weekends. I need to have a big going away party or something. Britt’s throwing me one back home but I don’t have a plan for seeing my Columbus friends before I head on out. Something’s gotta get in the works soon.

God help us

Brandon and I are probably going to move again this spring.

We really liked our current place until the neighbors moved in. You may remember them from an earlier post, where I complained like an old person about the level of noise those young college boys can produce. They have since obliged us and are much quieter (regular baked goods work wonders to sweeten such deals, it turns out) but they are no longer our biggest problem. Our place is falling apart; on New Year’s Day, Brandon and I heard the shower running upstairs. We couldn’t help but notice the water dripping down from their apartment into our bathtub. Water should never be coming in from the ceiling, I’m pretty sure. This is a problem, but what is more of a problem is that no one has done anything about it since we called, freaking out.

Our maintenance guy said someone would be over first thing in the morning, and we understood that no one wanted to come over on New Year’s Day to fix our problem. This made us believe it must not be an emergency as we originally thought. On the maintenance guy’s advice, we went upstairs and politely asked our neighbors not to use their shower until the next afternoon. They agreed and thanked me for the red velvet cake balls I’d left outside their door. However, no one showed up  all day Saturday. Or Sunday. That night, I called our guy again and he promised to send someone Monday. Yesterday after work, Brandon saw two muddy footprints in our bathroom and that’s about it. We really hope they’ll be coming back to patch something up now that they’ve had a good look first hand.

We’re looking at an apartment this week. I really don’t want to move again.

Year in Review: 2009

This was the second year of The Sleeper Hit’s existence, and this blog documented a lot of changes in my world in 2009. Granted, 2008 was my first year in a new city, living on my own, buying a car, etc. But 2009 brought lots of new things as well. After all, 2009 was the year I decided to make movies and actually did. As I did last year, here is a recap of the inane and the important, a.k.a., the things I deemed worthy of blogging about.

January: Brandon started his job at OSU. Coincidentally, we stopped cooking dinner in the apartment around the same time. The pipes in our old place froze. Obama was sworn into office. I started the screenplay for “Beacon Alley” (untitled at the time) and read lots of books about how to write screenplays. I cut nearly a foot of hair off, and so did Brandon. The Sleeper Hit turned one year old.

February: I left my car unlocked and someone rifled through it and stole my faceplate but not my stereo. I discovered Club Trillion and did not do much work for a of couple days. Owen and Jamie found out they would be having a girl, which I totally called. I discovered my undying love for curry and finished writing “Beacon Alley”.

March: I began seeking donations from local businesses for the movie but got poor response. Casting for “Beacon Alley” took place this month, starting with heroine Becca and ending with villain Melissa. Brandon and I went apartment hunting and found our new place near campus. I switched from Live Journal to WordPress. I joined and promptly quit Twitter. A generous friend donated some gift cards to use to buy food for cast and crew on shooting days. I bought a high-def camera. Filming for “Beacon Alley” began.

April: Brandon bought me a new faceplate for my car stereo. Surly Girl allowed me to film at their place. Filming took place every weekend this month and I woke up shaking with fear every day of it. During the actual filming I felt awesome, and even better after we wrapped for the day. I named my production company Wilmer Productions, an homage to Owen’s former Willow Films. We made t-shirts. I juggled moving out of our old apartment with the final days of filming. It was slightly stressful.

May: I chose the name “Beacon Alley” after taking a photo of a street sign by our old place. Editing began. I co-hosted a baby shower for my sister-in-law with my aunt. I ran into many technical issues and discovered the importance of lighting. I got the idea for my web series, “Paper Cuts”. I threw a cast party to debut the trailer of “Beacon Alley” and scheduled the premiere with Studio 35. I watched the “Glee” pilot and flipped for that show before the rest of you bitches. Count it. I re-joined Twitter and saw the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

June: Saw the Decemberists with Brandon after he won tickets from CD101. I began casting for “Paper Cuts” and met my muse, Taylor. Editing of “Beacon Alley” continued, and I wrote the first four episodes of the show. Met Monsterbeard who advised on my scripts. Watched a lot of web series. My beautiful niece was born. Participated in Cincinnati’s 48 Film Project and met the awesome folks of Plum St. Productions: love at first shoot. Michael Jackson died.

July: Production of “Paper Cuts” began as editing of “Beacon Alley” wrapped. Showed episodes one and two before the movie at the premiere, which was well attended to my relief. My blog stats hit an all time high the week of the premiere as people googled “Beacon Alley” after presumably seeing it on the marquee at the theater. Brandon and I planned a fall trip to Colorado.

August: Filming of “Paper Cuts” continued and involved casting new extras for each episode, one of which included child actors. It was weird. Brandon dressed in a borrowed tiger suit. I had a last-minute cameo in episode six after a friend had to cancel her role as a bridezilla. Filming wrapped at the end of the month. I lamented majoring in journalism rather than engineering or nursing or some other field that is still hiring.

September: Realized I had somehow gained ten pounds over the summer. Brandon’s gallbladder attacked him in his sleep. Went to Ft. Collins, CO and San Francisco, CA to visit friends on my first-ever vacation as an adult. I tried to write a one-hour TV show pilot while in California. Got one of the worst sunburns of my life.

October: Plum St. Productions exploded into prominence. I helped them with their short film, “Gnomewhere to Hide” and loaned them my camera. Got an iPhone and began using it to help me lose weight. Brandon got his gallbladder removed and his parents paid us a visit for Halloween. Became obsessed with roller derby after seeing “Whip It!” and visited a retro rink by the interstate.

November: Spent time with my dad on a sad anniversary. Spent Thanksgiving in Chicago with Brandon’s family again, saw Second City. Became very interested in both improv acting and stand up comedy (influenced partly by seeing “Funny People”). Started announcing my weight loss progress (or regress) on my blog. Actually lost some weight.

December: Visited my mom’s parents in Cleveland with my brother and his family. Lost the ten pounds I’d gained over the summer. Brandon got new glasses. Wrote 2009 Year in Review. Oh, wait…