August 24, 2005

On the trail, we often talked of the 'payoff' - the payoff being what the trail gave back to us for all our hard work. Like stepping over the last rock to find yourself above treeline or having breakfast 'in the clouds' on a given morning. Many times, the payoff is much deeper - the payoff of solitude, of emptying yourself, of finding kindred spirits along the path. But, in order to get the payoff, you have to 'pay the trail' - hours and hours meandering your way through endless forest. Hiking downhill when your knees hurt. Waking up at 4:30 when your body is doing whatever it can to manipulate your body to rest.

Kari and I often talk in similar terms when we move to a new city. We've learned over the years (LA being our fourth city) that we need to 'pay the city' before she'll ever start paying us back. If you've ever moved to somewhere new, you know exactly what I'm talking about:

// The awkwardness of meeting new people (over and over).

// Getting lost on the highways and biways for several weeks (or months) because you don't have a clue where you're going.

// Feeling lonely on a consistent basis (weekends by yourself for a while).

// Finding a place to live!! Need I say more??

// Acclimatizing to new jobs that make you feel unsure of yourself.

// The joys of trying to find a job and going through the task of interviewing.

// Having to learn your spots (theatres, restaurants, best place to get gas, etc) for the first time.

// Wasting money eating at restuarants you thought were going to be good.

// Changing all your digits (phone, address, driver's license, etc, etc, etc)

Sometimes, depending on the size and location of the city, it takes 6-12 months of paying the city before you start feeling adjusted and at home in your new city... before the city (places & people) starts paying you back, depositing into your account called TRUE LIFE. Lots of people (especially young) bail in this time because it's hard and awkward and doesn't always feel like a fit. I don't blame them though - it's like hiking on the AT - hard.

So, we've been paying the city for over a week now. I'll keep you posted.

August 20, 2005

Okay, it's only been six days - but who's counting? The week was capped off by an urban meal @ Cafe Metropol and a free concert downtown with friends and first time acqaintances. We've met so many people already who we love. We feel so fortunate to have Sam $ Rosie introducing us to LA and lots of people. What a week it's been...flying by the seat of our pants...

Monday :: Sam took us around every part of the city that we thought could be home material. After driving, walking and thinking - we decided Pasadena was the perfect fit. Here we can walk to everything - it's more East Coast in the sense that the grocery, pub, University, restaurant, Post Office, theatre, train station and bookstore are all within a John Elway stones throw. This is what we imagined our new urban home being like.

Tuesday :: We spied out different buildings and started calling the signs that read 'vacancy.' We didn't have much luck until we stumbled upon a building in the heart of Pasadena and happened to meet the apt. manager. He showed us a studio that was opening up Sept. 1st - the guy who lived there wasn't even out yet. We signed the lease today!

Wednesday :: I had two interviews - one with i-Soldit in Santa Monica and the other with Marriot Hotels. Both went great - I took the Hotel job yesterday because the commute to Santa Monica was too far.

Thursday :: We swore our loyalty to Bank of America and received library cards from the amazing Pasadena Public Library.

Friday :: We walked five miles around our new neighborhood and finally hooked up with our best friends and teammates 'in the move' - Justin and Jess - it was amazing to hook up again!! Kari made some sweet connections with people who can make some sweet connections in the television production side of things.

Saturday :: Kari and I are spending all day together!! A bit of a refresh after a long week of making decisions and spying out the place!!

August 16, 2005

We made it!! And more remarkable, our 1990, 193,000 mile Honda Civic made it! We also survived 95 - 110 degree heat and no A/C from Spring Lake to LA. Yes, it was bloody hot – the 44oz ice waters from Taco Bell did help a little. It was an unbelievable trip.

Tuesday :/:
From/To :: Spring Lake – Muncie.
Distance :: 284 miles
Sleep :: We crashed at Matt and Liz’s place!! Amazing to catch up before leaving again.
High :: Going to a local pub with the Carder’s
Song :: “Standing Outside The Fire” - We screamed the lyrics at the top of our lungs:

“Their so hellbent on living, walking a wire, convinced it’s not living if you stand outside the fire. Life is not tried, is merely survived, if your standing outside the fire.”

Wednesday :/:
:: Muncie – Kansas City.
:: 558 miles
:: We crashed with Justin and Jes @ the American Inn for $44.95
:: Going to Kauffman Stadium to see a Royal’s game with the gang!!! (see blog below)
:: “Hangin’ Around” – Screaming once again,

“I’ve been hanging around this town corner…I’ve been hanging around this old town too long… I’ve been hanging around this town corner…I’ve been bumming around this old town for way, way, way, way toooo long…”

Thursday :/:
:: Kansas City – Denver
:: 604 miles
:: We crashed with Josh and Em Stokes at their temporary pad!
:: Celebrating my 26th birthday with my favorite people (and getting an old NES Nintendo Game System)
:: “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own” – Reflecting on Bono’s words while singing them loudly,

“Listen to me now I need to let you know. You don't have to go it alone. And it's you when I look in the mirror. And it's you when I don't pick up the phone. Sometimes you can't make it on your own”

Saturday :/:
:: Denver - Las Vegas
:: 748 miles
:: Motel 6 - $82.00
:: Driving over the hill that overlooks Vegas. We were side by side screaming and yelling.
:: "Glasgow Love Theme" - It's a beautiful anthem of sorts that makes you want to stand up and cheer

Sunday :/:
:: Las Vegas - Pasadena
:: 262 miles
:: Crashed with our temporary housemates - Sam and Rosie Bills!!
:: Highlight of the day was celebrating our move with Justin and Jess before we split ways in LA. It was chaotic and wonderful!!
:: 710AM Sports Radio - So we were getting to know our city!!!

Well, I think that is all for now. I have more to say in the days of ahead about what it means to "Pay The City" and of course, where our new home is going to be!! Lots of SoCal love to you - Josh

August 11, 2005

So I went to a Brewers game on Monday and a Royals game on Wednesday and knocked off two more stadium’s in the process. When I was a kid, I decided I wanted to visit every Major League Ballpark before I died. Dad started the journey with me and I think Kari will finish it. I have eight left and in case you care – here they are:

1. NY Mets (I’ve been to NY 10 times, what was I thinking?)
2. Washington Nationals (At least I don’t have to go to Montreal)
3. Florida Marlins
4. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (really, I’m waiting for the FL teams to be sold)
5. Texas Rangers
6. Arizona Diamondbacks (I flew over it once?)
7. Oakland A’s
8. Seattle Mariners (beautiful new stadium)

I hope to visit 6-8 next year while we’re living out West. Texas will be my toughest get-to stadium - Would anyone be willing to fly me to Dallas so I could see a Ranger’s game? I may start all over with my son one day. That would be nice.

Oscar and I, Josh

August 7, 2005

After four fantastic days together, the Jackson reunion is over. We spent lots of time talking and inventing new ways of playing UNO (re-inventing if you ask Regina). Mike and Joni’s wedding was a blast! The ceremony and reception were beautiful. On Monday, Dad and I head to Milwaukee for a 24-hour Father/son trip. Heading to a Brewer’s game on Monday night – I’m getting closer to finishing my goal of seeing games at all the MLB stadiums.

One week till LA...