Monday, May 26, 2008

Tail Between My Legs

I have moved three times in less than three years. I'm about to make that four times. After debating about it for the last couple of months, I've decided to move back to Richmond. I called up my old news director a month ago and asked if he had anything for me. He did, and after a month of back-and-forth, I accepted. I won't be making as much money as I do here, but it's still a heck of a lot more than I was making before. Cost of living in Richmond is unbelievably cheaper than Virginia Beach, so let's call it a push.

Here's the faceoff that helped the decision:

Richmond: Less stress.
Here: More stress.
Winner: Richmond

Richmond: Less money.
Here: More money.
Winner: Here, but cost of living makes this a push

Richmond: Character everywhere.
Here: Stripmalls as far as the eyes can see.
Winner: Richmond

Richmond: Unique restaurants and freaking Chipotle.
Here: Chain restaurants and no Chipotle (the hell?).
Winner: Richmond

Richmond: Ten minutes to anywhere.
Here: Thirty minutes minimum to anywhere.
Winner: Richmond

Richmond: Tons of friends.
Here: Zero friends.
Winner: Richmond

I could keep going, but Richmond is far and away a better area than Hampton Roads. The only things this area has that's better are less crime and beaches. Still, when it comes to beaches, the best time to hit them up is when the tourists come flocking. Not cool. At least we can still swim in the James River in Richmond, not that I really want to.

It's an easy decision. I love Richmond. My job here sucks. At least I dominated my job in Richmond. I miss my friends. This city is boring. I miss actually having a kick-ass music store to go to every Tuesday. I miss Carytown, and the Fan, and Shockoe Bottom, and Stratford Hills, and Church Hill, and Manchester. Ukrops, Legend's Brewery, meatloaf at the Hill Cafe, PBR tallboys at the Triple, sushi and tator tots and more PBR tallboys at Sticky Rice. I even miss Baja Bean, even though the last time there I almost got into a fist-fight with the bartender and demolished their patio (it was his fault). I miss getting a buzz at one in the afternoon at BW3's, even though the food always makes me horribly ill. Fuck yeah, I miss Richmond Lucha, where I can watch one of my best friends there get horribly injured all summer long. It all sounds weird, but Richmond is a weird town. And I'm a weird guy. It's natural.

I do love my apartment here in Virginia Beach. Our new apartment in Richmond is pretty darn nice though. It's about the same amount of space. Here our apartment goes straight up, while the new apartment is a flat. Also it'll be nice to have a private balcony that faces the woods, rather than our balcony here that faces the rest of the neighborhood. All-in-all, our new apartment is almost half as expensive as this one. Richmond wins again.

By the way, this is definitely a mutual decision for both me and Molly. Richmond is her home. Really, Richmond feels more like home to me anymore than Kirksville does. I haven't been back to Kirksville in almost exactly a year, and there's nothing left there but mom and dad. No more friends back home even. Richmond is my home now.

My last day of work here is June 11. We move June 13. I start my new (old) job on June 18. Damn, I'm really excited.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Car

I love my car. It has always been reliable. Very rarely had too many problems with it. It was cheap when I bought it five years ago, and I've taken very good care of it. After five years the only problems I've had with it are routine things (had a fuel pump problem-cost $30 to fix, new tires, had to get a new battery twice, had to get a new rear window). I only have one more payment on it, then it's all mine. Now is the time to get paranoid.

About a month ago my check engine light came on. I immediately got a cold sweat. "Here it is." Went in and got it checked out. Just needed a new gas cap. Cost $20. Whew! Dodged another bullet.

But then a couple of weeks later before work it struggled to start. Eventually it did, but it did it again that afternoon. Took it in and the mechanics found absolutely nothing wrong with it. Nothing to worry about. Weird.

I happily drove it around for the last couple of weeks, confident that nothing was wrong. And I didn't have any problems. Well, until last night.

Molly and I made a stop at the Food Lion after I got home from work. As we were leaving, it wouldn't start. No problem, just wait a minute and it'll be fine. But it wasn't. Food Lion is basically in our backyard, so it wasn't a problem getting home. Later last night I walked back over to try again. No luck. Oh boy.

This morning I went again, but still wouldn't start. I called the mechanic to get it towed in and went home to wait..... and sweat. This is it. One more car payment and I'll own a dead car. My phone rang thirty minutes ago. Oh God!

Eh, just need a new starter. Will cost $250. No big deal. Actually this is probably the worst thing that's ever happened to this car. God I love this car!!