Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Bedroom view

Unexpected benefits to the new apartment are…unexpected.  The drain in the kitchen sink had a little bit of a drip, so I turned in a maintenance request in the evening and the next morning, the maintenance guy turned up to do the repair. Like magic!

And then, as he was leaving, he said, “Hey, turn in a request for those cabinets and I’ll come back and fix them.”

I looked baffled and he said, “You want them to latch, right?”

I’ve lived in vintage buildings for so long that I’m sort of used to cabinets that close imperfectly. The notion of having a handy-man notice and then offer to come back and fix them for me is a luxury that was unlooked for.

Other benefit.  The post office is four blocks away from the apartment complex.  Manuscript submission just got a whole lot easier.

BedroomAnd now, here are some carefully cropped photos of the bedroom.  Carefully cropped so you can’t see the pile o’ boxes over in the right hand corner.  Hey. We’ve only been here a week, so it’s amazing that we’ve come this far.

As you’ll notice, we’ve not yet unpacked the artwork.  The room itself is actually quite bright, but because of the sunny courtyard outside the window, I had to turn on the bedside lamp to make the camera happy.  The bed is one that Rob picked up in Hawaii. It’s missing some pieces and so required a little bit of assembly. Our NYC solution wasn’t as stable as this seems to be. I’m also very fond of the afghan on the bed. SF writer, Laurel Amberdine, made it as a present for my 40th birthday.

Bedroom viewBut what really makes the bedroom, indeed all of the rooms here, is the view out the window. This is what it looks like when you are sitting on the bed.  I can’t wait until spring when that apple tree outside my window is in bloom.

The only apparent downside to all the green involved landscapers with power tools at 8 am, but I don’t get the sense that it will happen every morning.  Actually, it was pretty funny. I was up at 6 for some reason and sitting at my desk writing.  This guy with a rake walks past.  I thought. Hm. Me. Window. Bathrobe. Perhaps I should get dressed.  When I came back, he had just spotted Marlowe.

His face lit up and he approached the window like he was going to talk to the cat.  Marlowe totally freaked. It was as if someone on television had suddenly turned to address you.

We are still unpacking, but are into the art and ephemera boxes now. This is my favorite label.

Tardis box

The TARDIS and books were fine. The cloth napkins are horribly wrinkled.

The kitchen and my desk

Marlowe by my deskI have to say that my desk situation is vastly superior in the new apartment to either the old apartment or even the house.  I’m right by one of the windows.  Marlowe uses me as the highway to get to his window seat.  He looooves the windows, here.

I can’t blame him.  There’s nothing like sitting at the desk, having granola with  Sauvie’s Island blackberries for breakfast while staring at all the greenery outside the window to make one think that moving was the right choice.  I just feel so much more relaxed here.  Granted, I’m not working on any shows at the moment, so sleep deprivation isn’t currently a part of my life.

Meanwhile, let’s orient you a little about the apartment.Apartment Floor Plan

The apartments were built in 1945 and are pretty intelligently laid out, though not for a world where telecommuting was a large part of life.  We’ve adapted Dining Room (D.R) to be a dual office. Rob and I have our desks back to back and I sit on the kitchen side.

The kitchen is the smallest I’ve had, but pretty well laid out for all of that. My biggest challenge will be pantry space. It’s actually nice, in an odd sort of way, to be forced to consider if we really need things.  There are a number of things, like the 1930s toaster that belonged to my grandmother, which I love but don’t need. We almost never use it, so it is going into a box and down to the basement.

Kitchen window viewThis is the view from the kitchen sink window.  Pretty amazing, eh?  What’s remarkable is how much this feels like a private yard, rather than part of a complex. The designer did a really good job with the layout. We also don’t have any common walls with our neighbors, except right at the end of the kitchen.

I’m not sure what it will actually be like to cook here because, alas, the gas company won’t come until the 16th so I won’t do any serious work in there until then.  It gets crazy amounts of light and the morning sun comes straight in the window.

KitchenThe downsides? The floorspace is not much wider than the doorframe. The refrigerator and stove are to the right of the picture, along with a single bizarrely deep cabinet.

There’s also only one outlet waaaay down next to the door. That’s where Rob’s espresso machine lives.  Technically, there is also one behind the refrigerator, and we’ve plugged a power strip into it, but I won’t need a lot of power on that side of the kitchen.  I foresee an extension cord in my life.

As the rest of the apartment comes together, I’ll post pictures of it.

First night in the apartment

Tonight will be our first night sleeping in the apartment. I’m already excited by how quiet it is here. We’re only a block off Sandy Blvd, which is a busy street, but because of the way the apartments are constructed, there’s almost no street noise here. It is lovely.

The apartment is slowly coming together. Honest, I’ll post pictures eventually but at the moment, to paraphrase -e- it looks like a yardsale gone wrong. Lamps in various states of disassembly, cardboard, more cardboard, and then a few boxes.

Being back in Portland is at once good and very strange. I’m used to living closer in than we do now. So, on the one hand, there are all these familiar places. On the other hand, we’re in a different neighborhood. I keep catching myself saying “Back in Portland…” as if we are living in another city now.

I’m also struck by how very white it is here. Very. We went out to eat the other night and there were two people that might have been Latino and otherwise, no one who had brown skin. This happened driving across country too, but it’s not surprising in, say, Idaho or Kansas. Our house is in a part of town that is historically black, so it was in a much more ethnically mixed neighborhood. That might be part of what is contributing to the disorientation, actually.

Marlowe is also disoriented. I think he keeps wandering around the apartment wondering how all his furniture got here.

Besides that nagging sense that things are just a little off, it is good to be back. I’m looking forward to being settled so I can start entertaining. It won’t feel like home until the first dinner guests come.

Truck is unloaded

This entry is part 16 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Because our friends rock, we were able to unload everything from the truck and get it into the apartment today.  A hearty thank you to David, Kate, Aimee, Michael, Dave, Don, Yan, Eve, David, Ben, Rebecca, Taylor, Whitney, Bob, and Evan.

After everyone had gone, Rob carried me across the threshold.  In a fireman’s carry, to be sure, but romantic in his own way. We never did that when we got married since I already owned the house when we met.

I managed to get most of the kitchen unpacked, which makes me feel a little better. It also gives me a clearer sense of what we’ll need in order to make it a workable space.  Actually, the layout, compact as it is, will probably be the most efficient kitchen I’ve worked in. It’s just going to be a matter of deciding where things go.

We have an apartment!

This entry is part 15 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Rob and I looked at a sweet little apartment, built in 1945, in NE Portland. We think it will serve our needs well.  Gas range, hardwood floors, lots of trees. Quiet.

And we’re moving in tomorrow.

Yes. You read that right. They actually processed the paperwork today and we’re unloading the truck tomorrow into the new apartment.  I am relieved.

I’ll post photos later. Sorry I forgot to take any today.

Looking for apartment, part deux

This entry is part 14 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

I believe we saw seven or eight apartments today. Only one of which were we both excited about.  Of course, someone else is in line for it.  Two of them would work as fall-back apartments. The rest were no goes.  Workable, if we had to get something and get it now, but not otherwise.

If we drop the “must have a gas stove” requirement, the field widens. We’re giving ourselves a little longer with the current criteria.

My feet are tired.

It’s also been interesting what things each of us sees in the apartments.  I respond to views. Rob responds to ceiling height. He notices how many outlets are in each room. I notice how the windows open.

Did I mention my feet?

When we got home, -e-‘s friend G– was here with her son. G– it turns out is a fantastic baker and had turned up with homemade bread, quiche and a loaf of banana bread.  -e- made a salad.  We contributed cheeses carefully aged in a vintage ice chest and agitated in a large truck for ten days.

I wonder if Rob will rub my feet?

Shopping for apartments

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Today Rob and I walked up to Alberta to Fuel, which was my favorite coffee shop when I was living here before, and had pastries and coffee while surfing apartment listings.  Besides price, we have a very small list of hard and fast criteria.

  • Gas range
  • No carpet

We’d like to be able to walk to the grocery store and be close-in so getting downtown is easy.  Architectural charm would be nice.  But most apartments can get eliminated by lacking a gas stove.  We like to cook and neither of us wants to go back to electric.

We only looked at one today, it is Labor Day after all, but we have three appointments set up tomorrow.

This evening we walked up to McMennamin’s Kennedy School to see Up which was as wonderful as everyone has told me it was.  Loved it a lot.

Portland, OR: Day 10 of the move

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

We have finally arrived at the Chelsea household, were we will stay until we find an apartment. So, the roadtrip portion of the move is finished.

Driving into Portland from Idaho was strangely nostalgic for me. Back in my puppet theater touring days, I was on the Idaho tour for three years. The whole drive yesterday and today covered territory that I was thoroughly familiar with. If there was an elementary school in Idaho, I performed at it.  We’d drive back and forth between the states about every two weeks, so this was like coming home in many ways.

Next, comes the apartment hunting saga.

What? I hear you say.  Wasn’t this a houseswap? Why aren’t we going back to our Portland house?

The answer is fairly simple. Even before we did the swap, Rob and I had been talking about moving into an apartment and renting the house out. It was more space than we needed and would give us an opportunity to find a place that suited both of us.  I owned the house before we got married, you see.  We’ve never done that typical married couple thing of finding a place together.

Wish us luck.

Meridian, ID. Day 9 of the move

This entry is part 11 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

May I start by saying that the entire staff of Utah Truck and Trailer is wonderful and that Chris, in specific, saved us.  As you might recall from our last thrilling installment, because of the holiday weekend, there was serious concern about finding the part.  Not to be thwarted by a little thing like that, our hero spent the morning on the phone calling stores trying to find ANYONE who was open and would carry the part.

She was facing a dire landscape as business after business failed to answer their phones or didn’t have the part.  Then, in a stroke of inspiration, Chris had a mechanic pull the fan clutch from our truck instead of relying on the VIN number.  Behold! The fan clutch had a different part number on it and she found one a mere thirty minutes away.

This wonderful woman got in her own car and drove to get that part for us.

By three-thirty they had us on the road again.

When we got to the hill that did in the truck last time, we climbed it with no problems.  We had a safe arrival in Meridian, ID with no trauma.

Except for Marlowe. He’s still not excited by the whole truck thing.

Ogden, UT: Day 8 of the move

This entry is part 10 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Where to begin…

So, we spent Day 7 of the move in Salt Lake City yesterday and aside from the frustration that nothing was happening with the truck, it was a really lovely day. To sum up yesterday, here are my twitter posts from then.

  • 06:59 Heading out to have the truck looked at. #
  • 08:02 They say it will be an hour before they can look at the truck. We’re at a deli having breakfast. #
  • 09:50 Chapter 22 = finished. Still at the Rose Canyon Deli with no word on the truck. #
  • 10:35 We are taking a cab back to @Bethwodzinski and @Seanmarkey’s. Still no word on the truck. #
  • 14:23 We are staying in SLC one more night. #
  • 16:18 Novel = Finished. #
  • 16:36 In other news, just talked to the truck place and they haven’t even looked at it yet. sigh… #
  • 17:23 Visited Gilgal Garden with @seanmarkey and Rob. Really interesting. #
  • 21:37 Truck update. Needs a new radiator cap. They’ll pick that up tomorrow. Hope to roll by noon. #

Now, I do need to stress that Budget’s customer service has totally rocked on this.  Tricia, the woman who was on call when we had trouble Wednesday night got up at 7:00 am to call the repair shop to make sure we could get in.  I’m pretty sure she wasn’t still on duty from Wednesday.

Anyway, after not hearing anything today, I called the truck rental place at 10:00 this morning.  They needed to “check on” the truck.  About half an hour later I found out that they were just getting to replacing the radiator cap and told us to come on down.

Amazingly, the truck was ready when we got there, we loaded up our luggage and the cat and were on the road by 12:30.  Not that far off our original estimate.

We were on the road for about an hour and a half when the engine overheated again.  In the middle of nowhere.  We called Budget, who again, were totally on top of things.  The gentleman I spoke with found the closest shop, patched us into a conference call and we were on our way.

Backwards, admittedly, but only 20 miles to Tremerton.

Here’s the only serious bit of miscommunication. They didn’t accurately describe how tall the truck was.  It wouldn’t fit into the shop.  Now, the folks there tried gamely for an hour to figure out a way around it and talked with Budget to see if there were any options.

The only choice? Drive back to the next town, Ogden, and a shop that could accomodate us.  Utah Truck and Trailer Repair rocks.  I mean, these guys are great.  They offered to drive to us to repair it, with the caution IF we could get the truck to them, it would be a more efficient and faster repair. It was a half hour drive on level ground, so we chanced it.  Since the overheating only happens on an uphill grade, we thought it was fairly safe.

We arrived and they put the truck straight into bay.

This was a mistake on our part. We should have pulled Marlowe out of the truck first. The noises were so deeply traumatizing to him that he buried himself under the seat. I had to fight to get him out and into the carrier so I could take him to a quiet place.  Er. Quieter place.

The diagnosis is that it is probably the radiator fan clutch.

The problem is that this is Labor Day Weekend.  The UT&T folks are willing to work tomorrow, they just don’t have the right part.  He’ll know by noon if he can get it, but his initial parts search only turned up one place that carried it.

In Pennsylvania.

So, basically, he’ll know by noon if he can get the part closer. Otherwise, they won’t be able to ship it until Tuesday.

Which means we’d be here for another week.

Oh, don’t worry. I’m going to talk to Budget tomorrow, but I’ll wait until I know what is happening with that part.  Meanwhile, Rob and I have the jacuzzi suite at the hotel and I’m going to take a good soak in the tub.

Salt Lake City + Novel = Finished

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

We had to stay one more day in Salt Lake City, because the truck broke down.  I can’t feel bad about this because I am very fond of Beth and Sean. Getting another day to hang with them does not suck.

Plus, I finished Glamour in Glass moments ago.

Now, by finished, I mean that I’ve got the first draft and that I need to go back and fill in the bracketed sections, tidy up the loose ends, and file off the rough spots. But structurally it is all there and it is completed first draft.

This makes me quite happy.

Salt Lake City: Day 6 of the move

This entry is part 8 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Really? We’ve been on the road for six days?

Today was largely uneventful as we left Colorado and headed up through Wyoming. I cranked out story and got about 5000 words written.  Things were fine until we got to Utah.

Ah, Utah.

There’s this dinging noise that our truck makes when the temperature spikes. How do I know this, you might ask? Because it happened when we hit the hills leading into Salt Lake City.  Thrice, in fact. Rob had checked the fluids before heading into the hills, but that didn’t stop every light on the dashboard from lighting up.  The third time we called the truck rental company and talked to roadside assistance. They are going to get us in with a mechanic tomorrow, but won’t know what appointments are available until seven am.

Needless to say, Rob and I did the only logical thing. We coasted into SLC, to Beth Wodzinski’s house, where she and Sean Markey had arranged for us to meet up with some fellow writers at a local pub.  We got to see Eric James Stone, Sandra Taylor and Chris Hansen.

And now, I’m going to turn into a pumpkin so that I can get up in the morning and talk about the truck. We’d just better not have to reload the thing.

Denver, CO: Day 5 of the move

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Black Swan Inn provided us with a lovely breakfast this morning and then we hit the road. For the most part on this trip, Rob is doing more of the driving than I am to give me write. My goal was to have the first draft of the novel finished by the time we hit Portland. I think I’m going to be just shy of that, which is fine by me.  I’m in Chapter 21 right now out of a projected 23 or 24 chapters.  If I’m very focused in the truck tomorrow I should finish 21 and get a good start on 22.  We’ll see how it goes from there.

This evening we’re at T.L. Morganfield‘s home which has given us the opportunity to meet her husband and kids. The interesting thing about knowing writers is that we tend to see each other at cons divorced from our real life.  Actually getting to stop in and spend time with online friends makes, I think, a stronger connection to their writing life.  For instance, Traci has an office that is very jealous making. It has a walkin closet for books.

Yes. I want it, too.

Tomorrow? Salt Lake City.

Russell, KS: Day 4 of the move

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

We had originally planned to push straight through to Denver today, which would have meant leaving insanely early and then arriving at midnight.  At some point I think Rob and I both realized that this is, in many ways, a vacation and decided to slow down. In Denver, we’ll be staying with T. L. Morganfield.  The last two nights have been so enjoyable that we wanted to arrive early enough to actually visit with Traci instead of heading straight to bed.

The change in schedule was agreeable with her so, as we were traveling today, I looked up Bed and Breakfasts in the area.  We’re at the Black Swan Inn.  Normally they cater to hunters who come out to shoot clay but we’re the only ones here tonight. It is quiet and beautiful.

Des Peres, MO Day 3 of the move

This entry is part 5 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

We stopped today with the Valenti family who we know from our time in Iceland. The driving was good today, so we took time to have a picnic at one of the rest areas and still arrived by 3:30. It has been wonderful to have time to visit and catch up.

Edited to add:
Here’s what my twitter stream looked like for the day. It gives you a sense of the rhythm.

  • 07:54 We left @scalzi’s house at about 7:30 this morning. Had a lovely evening last night. #
  • 08:45 Welcome to Indiana. #
  • 10:23 Trading drivers, at the rest area outside Mooresville, IN. 1050 words plus a nap. #
  • 11:38 Welcome to illinois. #
  • 12:38 At a truck stop to refuel. The mullet is alive and well, lest you were concerned. #
  • Marlowe with the Basket of Invisibility 13:00 Our cat Marlowe, wearing his basket of invisibility. It’s how he copes with stress. #
  • 15:41 Welcome to Missouri. Woot. A four state day. #
  • 16:10 Have arrived at destination in Des Peres, MO. 2019 words today, plus picnic and nap. #