Tag Archives: LA

A-Movin’ And A-Truckin’

Cassie and I moved in together, at the same time moving north to San Francisco. Double whammy! Luckily, my company paid for the move, so we were able to sit back and relax as paid men boxed all our crap personal effects and loaded it onto trucks.

They were amazingly quick, because they weren’t distracted by everything they picked up, like books or scraps of paper, they just packed everything in their path. They were like locusts, it was incredible. We had to shift all of the stuff they weren’t to take out of the way. That was easier for me, because I was living alone in San Diego, and I had a spare room. I just put my suitcase and the stuff I was taking by car in there and told them to ignore it. It was harder for Cassie, because she had a roommate, and lots of his stuff was mixed up with hers, especially in the kitchen.

But because they were so quick, they also ended up packing some stuff that was a little unnecessary. They would open a drawer, take a sheet of their wrapping paper, grab a handful of the drawer contents, and wrap it up, almost without looking at it. This meant that when we were unpacking, we would open a bundle of paper to find that they had wrapped a couple of paper clips, a half-burned tea light and some lint. If we had packed, it would have taken ages, but we would have purged at the same time. As it was, while unpacking at the other end we filled the trashcan twice over, and the recycling bin, and two or three boxes for the thrift store.

It was kind of embarrassing to have them running up and down stairs in San Diego on a very hot day, while I literally just sat on the sofa. There was nowhere else to sit, the sofa wasn’t being moved, and it was out of the way. I walked to 7-11 and got them cold drinks, but other than that I was just hanging around, keeping out of their way and answering questions from time to time.

Once they had left me alone in my little place in San Diego, Rimah, the best landlord I’ve ever had, came over and we did the paperwork and final sorting out. Then it was time to hit the road, first to LA, where Cassie had just said goodbye to all her stuff as the movers whisked it away.

Her place looked weird, completely empty. I don’t think her roommate had much of an idea how much of the furniture was hers. A blank slate, so he can make his mark. We spent a day or so making final preparations, meeting friends, feeling too hot thanks to the local brushfires, and getting psyched up. Then we hit the road, Cassie in her Jeep and me in my Audi, stopping first at Home for a final breakfast. We didn’t plan to drive caravan the whole way, but that’s the way it ended up. We got a mighty convoy, ain’t she a beautiful sight, only with Bluetooth instead of CB Radio. We only got split up in the morass to pay your toll and get over the Bay Bridge into San Francisco itself. Once we arrived, we had a bit of a rest before inflating our temporary air beds and getting comfortable before the delivery of our stuff.

In San Francisco it was the same embarrassing situation. I stood there with a clipboard, while the movers dealt with the stairs, boxes, and sweat. When they left, Cassie and I were stuck with the task of trying to make all this stuff fit in our apartment. We’re still trying now,  but slowly and surely we’re getting there.

After unpacking, we had a dozen boxes filled with flattened other boxes and wrapping paper. A call to the movers and they came and collected that as well, for reuse or recycling.

And here we are! It’s been couple of weeks, and we’re pretty settled, but there are some boxes around the place which whisper to us and make us feel guilty when we watching whatever’s On Demand on the cable. Soon, my boxy friends. Soon.

Nautical Coincidence

I was helping Cassie clear out some stuff, including loads of old papers, and we found the paperwork for when she had her belongings shipped from London to Las Vegas via New York. I don’t know how much unlikely this is, or whether it is a perfectly reasonable coincidence, but her stuff was shipped London-New York in June 2005 on the exact same ship that carried mine London-Los Angeles in June 2008.

If it was the same route I would be less intrigued; they probably just go back and forth constantly. But in 2005 it just went across the Atlantic, whereas in 2008 it crossed the Pond and then nipped through the Panama Canal. What are the chances? Just an intriguing coincidence, or (anecdotal) evidence of a higher power with his/her/its hand at the controls?

On The Cusp(id) of 2008-2009

~ Better two months late than never, that’s what I always (have to) say. This is one of those summary-style posts that simply serve to let the folks back home know what I’ve been up to. ~ 

As is now tradition, Cassie and I started the Xmas season with a nice meal at LA Prime, at the top of the Hotel Bonaventure in downtown LA. Steak, Vodka Gimlets (Dirty Martinis) and a bit of a view, along with the cool glass elevator ride, and the Logan’s Run lobby.

Most of Xmas Eve we spent driving up to San Francisco to stay with Cassie’s brother Don and his family, like last year. They have a beautiful house out in Orinda, and as they have the large (soon to be larger!) family, they’re the holiday destination.

The 24th is Cassie’s eldest nephew George’s birthday, and he was turning 5. He got the usual shower of gifts (kids these days eh, etc) and traditionally he had his choice of dinner, which this time was sushi. Actually he seemed more into the udon soup and tempura, which left more dragon rolls for us.

Xmas Day was as you’d expect. Pyjamas, paper, gifts, food, drink, toys, music. Cassie’s Mum (Mom) Joan did another fantastic job of feeding us. She’s great. Sugary rolls and strata for breakfast, then more deliciousness throughout the day. Coffee, however, was an issue.

Over the holiday period I was recruited as the new family engineer to try and get the built-in coffee machine to work. I managed it in the end, with lots of help from family friend Renee, printed instructions from the web, and frequent breaks to build up my patience with what turned out to be an astonishingly badly designed bit of kit. You have to open it with a key and remove half the fittings to clean it, and you have to clean it every time you make a milk-based drink. The instructions were poorly written and omitted key information. You can imagine the manufacturers response, “Oh no, it can’t do that. Why would you assume it could?” If I could remember the manufacturer, I’d recommend you not buying.

On Boxing Day (which isn’t anything except “day after Xmas” here) we drove into the city and went to the All You Knead Cafe again, where we met up with Taylor, Aaron and of course Chandra, aka burlesque artiste Ruby White. After a good lunch there in the bohemian surroundings, we wandered up and down Haight Street doing some shopping. Cassie wanted a new Jerry (Garcia) Bear plush toy for Gordon, and I was needing some clothes because I’d managed to leave a load of stuff hanging in Cassie’s closet in LA. There are loads of second-hand and vintage shops along there, with some pretty good stuff, including an original Thompson Twins t-shirt, which I would have bought if it wasn’t for the fact that it was 5 sizes too small, $30 and threadbare. An amusing and incongruous meeting: while browsing in the headshop where Cassie bought the bear, we ran into my San Diego office manager and his wife, who were just browsing as well, honest. No wonder he seems so relaxed at work.

Don and family were off for an Xmas vacation on the 27th, so they left us in charge, with a short list of things to do, mainly involving Hollywood the hugely fluffy white cat, and Nora the pug, aka The Walking Meatloaf. We had to drop Nora off at the kennels, so we headed out to Clayton to Camp Four Paws, which looked like loads of fun for dogs, with large field scattered with toys and exercise equipment. On the way back, we stopped at a farm shop for something, and ended up being shown the shop’s collection of exotic birds, all chattering and squawking away in the barn. Strange little place.

In the evening we looked for somewhere nice for dinner, eventually settling on the Wood Tavern in Oakland. This had been recommended by Don and Darien, and we weren’t disappointed. They were very friendly, the food was great, the refilled cocktails were delicious, and the fact they (accidentally?) forgot to charge us for our entrees was very nice. We left a huge tip, and left quickly.

Saturday saw us back in the city at Chandra’s, for a little gathering to talk, listen to music, and experiment with a bottle of Pisco. It was also my first experience of a Sloppy Joe sandwich, which was very yummy. We started out trying to make proper Pisco Sours, but as these things often do, it deteriorated into random drink mixing. Singing about the Pisco Disco to the tune of Copacabana – “the hottest place in San Francisco” – are you proud, Petty? Really?

Back in LA on New Year’s Eve, I noticed a pain in my jaw, which grew into a huge throbbing and a swelling. I called my dentist (also on his holidays) and he phoned through some penicillin to a local pharmacist. Cassie also had a stinking cold, and she was popping the pills too. So it was that I saw 2009 in with drugs coursing through my veins, avoiding too much alcohol. Brought back memories, it did! (Not really.) It was really nice though, if quiet. Friends, decorated sheet cake, champagne, toasts, midnight kisses. Had I not been in pain and dosed up I would have been up for much more.

On New Years Day we were both fine as far as drink effects go, but we were both still feeling rotten with swollen faces and runny noses. So we ended up watching Arthur while drinking Perrier and eating leftover crudites with onion dip. Not the start of a diet, I hasten to add, we just didn’t feel like anything more. Just to add to the health kick, the next day we walked round Silver Lake reservoir with Gordon the dog, who loved getting a good trot in.

Then just before I had to return to San Diego, we had dinner at Brian and Stacy’s, where we stuffed ourselves after taking an axe to the Xmas tree and burning it in their garden fire grate. Those dry resiny needles went up like rocket fuel. One cute little treat we’d picked up at Gelsen’s was chocolate dipped fortune cookies, which had the usual mix of cold-reading nonsense (“things will change in the year ahead”) and the wrong lottery numbers, made palatable by a coating of chocolate. Talk about sugar-coating the bad news.

The cookie was right though. 2009 is going to be a biggie.

Heavy On The Magick

It was LA again a couple of weekends ago, because we had a few special things planned. Thursday evening I drove up as I often do, and as we couldn’t decide what to do for dinner, we just walked down the road to good old Dusty’s. Walking back up the hill with Cassie in the warm evening with a good meal and a couple of strong Euro-beers inside me was most pleasurable.

Despite having Friday off, I had to be up early, though not as early as Cassie, bless her. My job was to take Gordon to the vet to have his teeth cleaned. This involved a general anesthetic, which in turn involved him not eating, and being given blood tests and all sorts of palaver. I dropped him off, made sure all was OK, then went and hung out with my buddy Brian in North Hollywood. We went for brunch, then for a quick tour around the statues in the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame Plaza, including the Henson Wall. A nice afternoon of chewing the fat, playing with Brian and Stacy’s dog Camden (a beautiful Golden Retriever), exploring the Brian Kinney Museum of GI Joe, Star Wars, Batman, and KISS action figures, and then it was time to pick up Gordon.

He seemed pretty perky when the vet brought him out, but when I got him in the car he curled up on the passenger seat, and went to sleep with his chin on my arm, which is unheard of. Unbearable cute. He was so stoned, he was wandering around, his eyes all droopy. He had a dogsitter that night, because Cassie and I had got something cool lined up.

Our friends A and I had got us tickets for the Magic Castle in Hollywood, which is a bit of an institution. It’s a crazy place, and it does have a bit of a reputation for being esteemed and classy with one hand, and sleazy and naff with the other. They make a big deal over getting people to dress up, and Cassie actually phoned to ask if she would be allowed in wearing flip-flops, because she had an ankle bandage on (she wasn’t, but she wanted to try). She was recommended to ask a friend with bigger feet to lend her some shoes!

Anyway, the four of us made an effort, and it was nice to be there, everyone all dressed up. We were booked in for a meal at a set time (it’s all very “by the clock”), but we got there early so we were able to grab an earlier dinner, then see more of the shows. The shows were what made the evening fun. In one of the small auditoriums we saw a magic variety show with a new stylish act involving clothes that changed color, followed by a much more traditional “assistant in a box” routine. The compére was a live wire, with a great finale involving dozens of those snake-in-the-nut-can tricks, and a blue double-breasted jacket that I think used to belong to the keyboard player from The Jets. Elsewhere in the various nooks and crannies of the building, card tricksters and traditional ball-and-cup-meisters were plying their trade. You could just stop and catch a short act, then move on.

It’s kind of a weird place – all twisting corridors and stairs and dark corners with a couple more tables for dinner, then another bar, then some creepy doll in a box on the wall, then the magical piano that plays what you tell it to (we heard Sweet Child O’ Mine).

The clientele were a mixed bunch. Several groups of younger people, getting a bit rowdy on the monstrously expensive booze. And I don’t know if they were magicians, but several of the older gentlemen were definitely accompanied by their “beautiful young assistants”, if you catch my drift. Maybe they have magic wallets.

It was a great night though, and A & I are cool for inviting us. If you throw yourself into it, and enjoy the effort that the performers make, it’s a really fun evening, even if the actual atmosphere and environment don’t tally with the image they seem to want to project. It’s all smoke and mirrors I guess, the former especially outside waiting for the valet ($8!) to bring your car round.

Then this weekend just gone was a San Diego one. Cassie came down late on Friday, then Saturday lunchtime we went to see The Reader in Hillcrest. An excellent film – my hope for the Oscars, rather than that patronizing one set in India. Kate Winslet was great – a really subtle and strong performance, and the male lead was great too. I also loved the furniture in the scenes in the 70’s. And the professor’s leather portfolio. Seriously. After that we strolled through the drizzle (as in light rain, not some Snoop Dogg thing)  to Mille Feuille for a cup of delicious hot chocolate and a couple fancy macaroon things.

Sunday we actually managed to get to the beach again – Gordon was in need of a good run around after being cooped up out of the rain. The sky was blue with little fluffy clouds,the sun was warm, the sailboats on the horizon out towards the Coronado Islands – pretty fecking beautiful. I must get another camera. Gordon was enjoying running about with all the other dogs, and we walked up to the wire fence separating the dog beach from the Naval Air Base. Then the usual trip to the Dog Wash, then a soda, then some relaxing and TV, before Cassie headed home.

These weekends are the only time we get to spend together, so we try and pack them as much as possible. That’s easier to do in LA, because I know more people there, but that will change. It looks like we won’t be making a move north for a while, because of the work problem – Cassie would need to quit her job and find a new one in SF, which would be kinda dumb, given the climate. We’ll see.

On-brand Seasonal Message

Happy Holidays to everyone!

I wish you all the best wishes of the season, and a happy, safe, fun and prosperous New Year! See you all in 2009, I hope.

Love from Matt and Cassie, and Gordon

LA Xmas Lights


This photo was taken by Cassie, who would otherwise be in it. It was taken while walking along the Los Angeles Department Of Water And Power Annual Holiday Light Display And Bake Sale, which was a nice brisk walk through a cold Griffith Park, checking out all the imaginative displays, eating churros and drinking hot chocolate.

One-Way Ticket To LAX

~ Ancient history, from notes found on my laptop. This dates back to June 7th 2008, when I flew to the New World from my Old. ~

Waiting around in Heathrow, having cruised through bag drop, security, passport control and bought far too much duty free stuff, including the biggest bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Cassie will have ever seen.

Trying to find that most sweet of scaleable commodities, free wireless internet access.

Also trying my hardest to be excited. I don’t know what it is, but after seeing so many people before I left, all lovely friends I will miss a great deal, all I could feel was a kind of numbness. The only goodbye that caused me to well up (and is doing so now) was Shuggie, who at least was kind enough to lick my face and ear.

I’m currently trying each of the various wireless networks that show up around here, in the hope that one of them forgot to set up their irritating “buy your crappy web tokens here – £3.95 for an hour” page. No luck so far. “The Cloud” has a partnership with iPass, which is a system my company uses to allow employees to connect worldwide. Sadly, and as usual, it doesn’t work. And I resisted the temptation to include a modifier beginning with “F” between “doesn’t” and “work”. I don’t know whether it’s because The Cloud keeps hijacking the stream, or because of iPass’s usual sterling lack of performance.

More later.

 ~ *Real* evocative, Matt. Nice one. ~

Pacific Train Thoughts

~ from notes found on my laptop, dated several weeks ago ~

Early evening, coming out of Santa Fe Depot. 3 hours away from Los Angeles. I’m on the
Pacific side of the train, but I don’t know if I’ll see much of the ocean. At the moment
there’s a hill in the way. The sun will be dropping over the course of the journey. According to my calculations, it will set at about 30 seconds after 8pm.

I’ve lived in the United States of America for nearly 3 weeks. The various pieces of the
critical path jigsaw are slotting into place (must have this before that, then that
number goes on this form). What do I know now that I didn’t before the move? Not much
that’s quantifiable. Little things. How annoying it is to have a newsreader trying to
emote and react to the news instead of just reading it.

Landscape so far is scrub, rock, orange soil and grasses, hilly and rough. A few palms
springing up from scattered buildings. Telephone wires.

And after a break in the hills, we are now riding right along the shoreline, overlooking
the narrow beach with a few scattered walkers and surfers, floating in and out of the sun
on the water. Then over another estuary as we pass the racetrack inland outside Solana
Beach, and a large crowd board the train. Glad I got a seat when I did. Also glad to see
the train is so popular, although it is Friday evening.

The people on the beach wave at the train, while they stand around the concrete fire pits and crack open a beer, something I’ll be doing as soon as I can.

The Perfect Surprise

So as I was saying, on my birthday proper I went for a nice dinner with Cassie. We also planned to have dinner again, at a nicer place, on the following Friday. The plan was to let LA know I was here. Turns out they already knew.

Cassie told me that we would have a nice meal relatively early on Friday, then we’d go home in time to meet a couple of friends who would bring a birthday cake. I was looking forward to seeing that bunch again, as I hadn’t seen them yet this trip.

Come Friday, Cassie and I dressed up (well kind of in my case), and we went to Café Stella, which is a really nice place, even if the cheese plate looked like they were taking the mick. The food was great, the suggested wine was really good, and of course, sitting at a table in the covered outside area, in the balmy Silver Lake evening, was delightful.

During the meal, Cassie sent a couple of texts, which I don’t mind – I need to send messages as soon as I remember as well. Then as we were finishing up, the waitress came round with our coffee, and asked if we wanted to look at the dessert menu. Cassie looked at me and then said that we would skip dessert, as we were meeting friends at home. The meal was pretty pricey, but excellent. We’ll be going back there.

I drove us home, then I walked up the steps, unlocked the front door, and opened it just as the aprtment full of guests turned on the lights and shouted, “Surprise!”

It was perfect! I had literally no idea. The place was full of people I hadn’t seen for ages, and was strung with stars and stripes bunting and a big ‘Happy Birthday’ banner. You see, it wasn’t just a birthday party, it was a surprise birthday-and-welcome-to-your-new-life-in-a-new-country party.

As we walked through the door, a glass of bubbly was pressed into my hand, and Brian stepped up to make a short speech and toast. I was too busy gasping and gaping like a fish on a carpet to remember exactly what he said, but it was spot on, and everyone cheered and drank the toast – none more so than me. I was then presented with my first gun – an inflatable M16, in camoflage pattern, with USA stencilled on the stock. I slung it over my shoulder and carried it for the rest of the night. I don’t want no teenage queen, I just want my M16.

I say I had no idea, and it’s true, but thinking back, little things I’d dismissed turned out to be relevant signposts. The bathroom had been cleaned, and candles put out. People I’d wanted to meet for dinner earlier in the week had bailed out, or asked for a raincheck. It was like an M Night Shallamallamayan film, only without the intelligent design advocacy, and very enjoyable.

There was a cake, an amazing Red Velvet beast with cream cheese frosting, and barbecue, and lots of food, and music, and people being nice to me. It was organised by Cassie, with loads of help from Brian and Stacy, whose wedding I attended in October, and Sarah, and lots of other people all in on the deceit.

Obviously it look loads of organisation, and part of that was the detailed instructions Cassie left for Brian and Stacy so they could set up while we were at dinner. Here’s a bit of what she wrote.

Hi guys,

I thought I would put down on paper some last minute stuff that I won’t be able to do because it would arise too much suspicion. But first I want to thank you guys again for your help with this. It could not have been pulled off without you.

Kitchen:

  • Extend the kitchen table by pulling out the sides under the table and push it up against the window. This will allow the food and cake to be displayed and provide as much room in the kitchen for mingling as possible.
  • Fill the blue ice bucket found in the laundry room with ice for people to put beer in. You can put the Champagne in there too.
  • Display the cake on the table when it arrives with Sarah Cohen. You can put the plates and napkins and forks out too.

Living Room

  • I will have the iPod set up on the speaker dock set to a playlist for the night. It’s called “Cocktail Mix.” Just press play at some point when people start to arrive.
  • Please make sure the curtains are closed.

Bathroom

  • Keep the bathroom window closed until we get home. We will walk right past it on the way from the car to the house.

Outside

  • Please do not plug in the green/blue lights in the back where the BBQ is. I will be parking in the driveway when we get back and Matt will see them if they’re on. We can plug them in when I get home.
  • Don’t worry about anything in the back. Just keep in dark and quiet over there and we can set it up when we arrive.

Our Arrival

  • I’ll text you when we are paying our bill which will give you a 15 minute or so head’s up. At that time you can make sure everyone has their champagne glasses assembled and the champagne ready to be poured. Please have two glasses ready to hand to us when we walk in the door.
  • When we get close to our place, maybe as we’re turning on the street, I will call my land line and let it ring once or twice. That will be your signal to be quiet and have your glasses ready. We will park in the driveway and walk up the stairs. I will have heels on so you will hear us arrive.
  • Make sure the door is locked, both the door knob and the dead-bolt. I will unlock the door, open it and hopefully Matt will be right by my side. Make sure you tell everyone to get eyes on Matt before they yell “Surprise!”
  • Brian, I would love it if you would make a little toast to Matt when he gets over the shock of the surprise and has a glass in his hand. It’s totally cool if you don’t feel like it but there just seems to be a need for some sort of formality as long as everyone is standing there with champagne in their hands. Anything you want to say would be great.

After all that, I want you to drink, eat cake and relax. Thanks again. You are awesome.

And that’s exactly what happened. I ate cake and drank as well. Lots of booze and cake.

Thank you Cassie, and Brian & Stacy, & Sarah, and everyone. I’ll never trust you or anyone ever again.

What’s This I Hear About America?

stellar feets So yeah I was thinking I should post an update on the thing about moving to the US.

First, some background. While visiting Cassie in LA in March 2007, and then in May, I realised I would like to spend more time over there. The idea struck me that my company has offices pretty much everywhere, including Los Angeles. In fact the office in LA is about 15 minutes drive from Cassie’s apartment. I thought, would it be possible to get my company to find me some work in that office. I asked my line manager, his line manager, my supervisor at work, the project manager, the development engineer, and someone at the bus stop, and they all thought it was a good idea, that I should try it, go for it, grab life by the horns etc. They also said I had done the right thing by going through the correct channels in the correct order.

The next thing to do was to find some contacts in the LA office. So by looking around at the company intranet, which has a page for each major office, I picked out a few likely names for the disciplines I am involved with. I called them all, got a few leads, and put forward my proposal to them.

Given that Cassie and I hadn’t been together long, it would be a big step into the unknown to quit my job in the UK and go and live in the US. Apart from anything else, the visa situation would be very unfavourable. So the best way to do it was to find a position in my current company, and transfer internally.

The next time I visited LA in May 2007, I met my leads in the offices in downtown LA. I had to get a lift there, and realised that LA is a pig to get around in, even with a car. It was a useful meeting, but with no specific leads on positions, just discussions on what kind of work was coming up. I tried to get back using the bus, and that drove home the lack of public transport. I also went to meet people in Orange, which is a bit further away, in Orange County. The situation was the same there. I met one of the managers, and had a very nice Thai lunch, but it was a pretty fruitless trip as well.

The next trip I took, I spent the whole of October in Los Angeles. It was wonderful, spending some serious time with Cassie, and I took the opportunity to go to the La offices again. However, by this time I had made contact with some people in San Francisco. So Cassie and I drove up the scenic and twisty Route 1, stopping off in Monterey, to visit San Francisco and see what I thought. It was a great place, made as lot better by the fact that the reaction and sense of possibility I got from the San Francisco PB crowd was a lot more positive. We stayed with Cassie’s brother Don and family in Orinda, and had a nice touristy day in San Francisco, before heading home to LA, this time on the quicker, straighter, and much more boring Route 5.

While in San Francisco, I spoke to some people about a possible position in San Carlos, just south of San Francisco, and when I returned to LA to spend Xmas and New Year with Cassie, went and talked to this contact. Cassie and I were up in San Francisco anyway, having a big Italian-American family Xmas, combined with a birthday for Cassie’s nephew George (no Xmas Eve here, just George’s birthday). The meeting in San Carlos was really good, but in the end, no position was available until the next client budget year, in November 2008.

Back to square one. A pretty depressing first couple of months for 2008. But another possibility was then mentioned in San Francisco itself! I went back in March 2008, the same day I went in 2007 (an omen?), and took the opportunity to fly up to San Francisco on the new Virgin America service in the morning, have a meeting and an interview of sorts, and then fly back in the evening. It was a really useful trip, but in the end, the skills and experience they needed there, I just didn’t have.

Just as things were at their lowest ebb, I was suddenly sent an email describing a position in San Diego. I hadn’t considered San Diego at all. But a bit of research and asking around told me that it is a very nice place. Cassie’s brother Don had studied there, loved it, and his wife Darien was a big fan too.

Various wrangling later, I find myself going through my belongings, deciding:

  • what to set aside to be shipped to San Diego;
  • what to set aside to be packed to carry to San Diego;
  • what to give away to friends or charity;
  • what to leave in the flat for use by my new tenants; and
  • what to lock in the loft, never to see or use again.

That’s the situation as I see it at the moment. The Twitter feed at the right tells a more detailed story. There’s obviously lots to do, and lots to tell. Watch this space (by which I mean, “subscribe to the newsfeed”).

A Cigar Tube At 35,000 feet

This post was written on March 26 2008 while trying to doze off on allergy pills. Warning – contains introspection, fractured sentences and fear.

This is being written on my EeePC while listening to the new Sigur Ros CD in the in-flight system over the coast of Greenland, approaching Godthab. I’m in a Boeing 747-400, in seat 51B, I have my earphones in, but they don’t block out the baby crying.

I’m flying to Los Angeles to visit Cassie. It was nearly a year ago that I flew to see her the first time. In fact it was exactly a year ago.

Turbulence is a bit rough, and the guy in 51C can’t write in his logic puzzle book. I can’t type either, but that’s nothing new.

So I’m going back now to spend more time with Cassie, and while I’m here I’m flying up to San Francisco to meet a guy about a job. This job would involve me moving to San Francisco to live. Long term. It would mean packing my life, sticking some of it on a pallet, and shipping it weeks away. I would rent my flat in London out to a young professional couple who want to enhance that segment of Tooting’s demographic.

So am I moving to be with Cassie? Yes, partly. To be more accurate, we want to check if we want to be together. Seems a bit drastic for something uncertain. That is, I’m certain I want to be with her. It’s taken on a life of its own now, really. Lots of momentum, if that’s the word.

Turbulence really hotting up now.

Some people say inertia when they mean momentum, but I’m not sure momentum is the right word either. Kinetic energy? That’s potential, isn’t it?

My Mum hated flying. She would be crying right about now. She once got some Valium to knock her out before a flight. She took it before boarding, then the plane was delayed by 7 hours, during which time she was conked out on a plastic bench in the airport. She came around just in time to board and fly. Poor thing.

I’ll be seeing Cassie’s parents again this time. Dinner. They’re very nice. Cassie said it’s a shame that she and her parents will never meet mine, and I agree. I’ll have to get Simon and Jacquie and their families over there. We’re also seeing Don, Cassie’s brother, and his family. Also very nice. Christmas with them was great. Three cute nephews.

Am I ready to make this change, this move? Who knows. I’m financially and physically ready. I’m able and capable. I’m inclined and encouraged. I’m more than inclined, I’m positively hopping to get there. Suck it and see I guess. Nothing that can’t be undone. To trot out the joke I’ve been boring everyone with, if things with Cassie don’t work out, the ratio of straight guys to straight girls in SF is well in my favour (me being a straight guy).

The turbulence has settled, I’m going to nap.