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MAKING ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE BODIES.
With a couple days left before I leave New York City for a bit -- I cannot help saying "a bit" or "for now" for reasons both sentimental and superstitious -- I find myself pretty amazed by the number of grown-up person decisions I've had to make and execute in a short amount of time. At the time of this writing, I am sitting at my desk and eating from a Halloween handout-sized box of Sour Lightning Lemon Nerds. I am also surrounded by Post-It notes and piles of paperwork detailing some of the things Lisa and I have had to take care of these last couple of weeks, including:
- hiring coast-to-coast movers
- moving insurance
- auto insurance competitive quotes and new policy forms
- cable and internet disconnection/install
- new car research, brochures, competitive price quotes, and V.I.N. number
- california vehicle registration paperwork
- auto financing forms
- research and purchase of dashboard-mounted GPS
- apartment lease
- cross-country roadtrip itinerary (see you soon, Corn Palace and farmhouse from In Cold Blood!)
I now know a little bit more than I ever did about lien holders and dealer invoice price and the pros and cons of estimating a residential move based on the cubic feet vs. gross weight of its contents. I know about California's jerky mandatory (state revenue-generating) smog test and VIN verification, even on new vehicles with well-documented low emission rates. I know what paddle shifters are. I know that, when Laverne and Shirley moved to Hollywood and their address was "113 1/2" this was not some kind of Vaudevillian joke but a real phenomenon common to Los Angeles.
And I know I'm going to leave New York City eight pounds heavier because I insisted on eating as many of my favorite things as possible before leaving, and that many of those favorite things were enjoyed with favorite friends and favorite alcoholic beverages, followed by lurching in my kitchen at four a.m. and drunkenly cramming favorite greasy carbohydrates into my slop hole.
The movers are arriving tomorrow morning, and I'm picking up my new car shortly after that. (pictured here with its previous owner) Then Lisa and I will clean our empty apartment, attend a recital where Lisa will sing "Stormy Weather" and a Lee Hazlewood song, have a couple more drinks with friends, and sleep on our newly-swept floor, get up the next morning, pack the car and, for the first time in over thirteen years, I'll start everything all over again.
I feel like I've been saying goodbye constantly over these last couple of weeks -- to the people I like, the shows at which I regularly perform stand-up, to my own cats who are already living in Los Angeles, to bars and restaurants and street vendors, to the buildings in my neighborhood, the evening ride home across the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, to gai tom kha soup at Lemongrass Grill and pretzel croissants and The Pickle Guys on Essex Street, to the conveniences and frustrations of mass transit and the endless anecdotes and pet peeves it naturally produces, to running into friends on the street. I'm tired and a little sad from all of it. There are many things I'm looking forward to in Los Angeles -- for instance, my job, which continues to make me feel, in a very un-jaded and corny way, like I've won the comedy-writing lottery -- but the thing to which I most look forward is the end of goodbyes. That, and In-and-Out Burger.
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Lisa and I are getting ready to move--temporarily, indefinitely--to Los Angeles. Ever since I started writing and performing comedy, and getting any kind of traction with it, I've heard that question: Would you ever move to LA? My standard answer used to be, Not if I can help it. Later, it was revised to Not unless something pretty great brought me there. Well, something pretty great is bringing me there. And, whether she likes it or not, that pretty great something is bringing Lisa there, too.
It does seem odd to use the expression "getting ready" when talking about our move, though, because neither of us feels especially ready at all. Really, we aren't even sure how to feel ready. We can't really start looking for an apartment until the end of this month, for a move the following month. Consequently, we don't have a new address or even a move date. We just have a few solid but disconnected plans: We will pack up our stuff and move it to Los Angeles in some moving company's truck while we rent a car and drive together across the country and hope we all arrive on the other coast around the same time, at an apartment for which we have a lease and keys. There's also the business of getting our cats to Los Angeles--subjecting them a 10-day car trip seems unnecessarily cruel to everyone on the vehicle, but flying them out early means they'll have a month to hang out somewhere in Los Angeles in advance of our arrival.
Oh yeah, and cars. Two cars. Purchasing one car seems like a six-month research investment, so purchasing two, in a window of just a few days, seems fairly insane.
Oh yeah, and neighborhoods. Lisa will be working in Santa Monica and I will be working in Universal City. Are we supposed to just rent a trailer parked on the median of Pico Boulevard? What is even considered a reasonable commute compromise? And what is considered a reasonable compromise? One hour? Four hours? And will we ever walk again?
Oh yeah, and we have about three dozen more "oh yeahs" to sort out over the next few weeks. Sometimes Lisa and I become paralyzed by our own checklists and that's when days like today occur, where the only progress we made toward our relocation was spending several hours at Sol Moscot buying new eyeglasses for her and new prescription sunglasses for me. (Now I can enjoy my own genetic weaknesses in style. LA style!)
I've lived in the same city for over thirteen years, and the same state all my life. There are so many ways I feel connected to New York that on good days, I try to look at this sudden move as an "adventure"--a corny truth I believe. However, on bad days it's more like a "terrifying change," a "tremendous imposition", or a "stress test of the bond of marriage." That said, no matter how things shake out with this new job I'm glad Lisa and are embarking on this tremendous imposition together.
Did you know I wrote this week's non-expert column for The Morning News? It's true. I helped a lovelorn young man who was desperately trying to understand some complicated signs he was receiving from an ex-girlfriend. I might have even saved his life! You can read it here and judge for yourself.
Hello. Do you like words? Especially when they're all smashed together to form thoughts? And what about when those thoughts are entertaining and heartfelt? If so, then have I got a blog post for you!
I contributed a story about a bachelor party I planned, and ruined, to a new book titled REJECTED: Tales of the Failed, Dumped, and Canceled, which comes out next week. Thankfully, this being the Internet, you can even pre-order a copy right now.
And if you are going to be in the NYC area next Tuesday, January 27th, I'll be reading my contribution to the book at The Bell House in Brooklyn for the REJECTED launch party/live show.
Some of the other scheduled performers include David Wain, David Rees, Mike Albo, Dave Hill, Odd Todd, Sara Schaefer, Tom McCaffrey, Katina Corrao--plus, live music from THE DEFIBULATORS. The event will be hosted by the creator of The Rejection Show and the editor of this anthology, Jon Friedman.
AMERICA, LET'S HEAR SOME NOISE AND BRAMBLE.
Even with the incessant and thorough coverage of today's inauguration, its importance can't be overstated. The only thing it was missing was Obama escorting Bush into his helicopter with a big goodbye boot to the ass.
Right now I am anxiously awaiting for the Red man to get ahead, man.