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Paul Paradise

Moving to Seattle

It’s 8pm on Thursday evening when I started to write this, which was really the first chance I’ve had for some downtime in a long while. In a way it’s boring, but in a way it’s nice to not have anything to do. It’s a long entry, and I’m just now finishing it on Saturday. Regardless, this entry is about my move up to Seattle, so let’s jump back in time a bit and start from the beginning:

All my stuff has been apart from me for at least a week now. The past month my mom has been wonderful in her neurotic way, ensuring I have everything I could possibly need to get started living on my own. I’ve got pots, pans, silverware, dishes, tupperware, mattress pad, sheets, blanket, etc. I’m not particularly fond of shopping, and ill-experienced at making such purchases, so I’m very happy she did what she did for me. Plus, I didn’t have to pay for it, so I really can’t complain at all.

My car left me well over a week ago, when a 2-level flatbed truck came and loaded my Pathfinder up on the truck. It’s now in the Seattle area, but I’ve yet to be reunited with it – I’m currently driving an Avis rental car. I should be getting my car back (it’s sad when an SUV has more acceleration and braking power than a 4-door sedan) tomorrow, which means I’m going to need to find where to drop off the rental car and get a cab back, because parking is hard to come by in downtown Seattle, and I only get one spot at the apartment complex.

A few days later all my possessions, save a few clothes and my laptop, went away. 3 guys packed it all up in boxes, tagged a few to be delivered to temporary housing, and headed up to Seattle. All those items are also in Seattle now, but away from me. Apparently it will take 3-5 days to get the things I marked for delivery to temporary housing, and I won’t see the majority of my stuff until I move into a permanent apartment.

The day of the move, my friend PJ came over to visit, and we had an hour or two to chat and go out for lunch at Roberto’s, a local Mexican food shack near the beach. I don’t care what anyone else says, it’s not Mexican food when you’re this close to Canada. PJ also got me a very nice Mont Blanc business card holder, for my foray into the business world.

The trip to the airport was uneventful, but the trip inside the airport was. I got just about every extra bit of security they could muster to annoy me. I suspect it was because I was a one-way ticket, but of course they’ll never tell you why you got on the shitlist. (I suspect they don’t even know; it’s probably only the sick and twisted programmer who wrote the software that does.) In any event, I was stupid and checked one of my bags under my name (instead of under my parents, who were also travelling and using their luggage allotment for my belongings), so the bag under my name went through a special hand-search process. Of course, the bag I checked was the 50-lb one full of various trinkets, including a duffel bag within the duffel bag, since I wanted the bags up in Seattle but didn’t fill the second one to capacity.

After the hand-search, when I got to the metal detectors, I’d already been prepared by taking off my shoes, pulling out my laptop and putting it in the grey tray separately, etc. Then the TSA guy looks at my boarding pass, and tells me I get a special security search. Everything comes out of the grey containers, and into bright red ones instead. I was told to put my shoes back on, since I’d be hand-searched anyways. Then he hands me a bright orange-red card that’s too big to possibly conceal, and as I walk through the metal detector screams “We’ve got a red tag coming through!” Even though I don’t set off the metal detector, I’m ushered off to the little row where those who do fair the metal detector wait.

From there I’m taken to a separate area. I get to take everything out of my pockets, my ID gets checked again, my shoes are taken somewhere else for a few minutes, and I get wanded by hand. Then he searches my backpack by hand. Oddly enough, rather than inspect my huge headphones in a black bag, he just asked me what was in the bag but never opened it. Finally, 5 minutes later, they’re satisfied and I get to put my shoes back on (again), repack my backpack, and head to the gate.

At the gate, I realized that my swap from middle seat to the last remaining aisle seat at checkin wasn’t without consequences: my parents, who managed to get 2 exit row seats together on check-in, were in row 15. I was in row 14. That means, of course, that my seat wouldn’t recline. Of course, by the time I realized this the only seats available were middle seats, and I decided that an ailse was better than not being able to recline. Once we boarded, however, my Mom asked the guy sitting next to her in the exit row to trade an aisle seat for my aisle seat, so we could sit next to each other. He obliged, likely realizing all the while that he was giving up the extra space of the exit row, which my Mom completely forgot about.

Leaving San Diego was a bit easier than I expected. Perhaps it was the fact that it was actually raining at the time we left, and Seattle with in the upper-80′s to mid-90′s that day. We landed at 8:30 when it was still light out, but by the time we got a rental car, luggage, and over to my temporary housing it was nearing 10:00pm. Even at 10, because the windows were closed the whole day, the apartment was a mere 95 degrees or so. Moving in was not enjoyable, and we were all very happy to take a taxi over to the W hotel for the night, which had air conditioning and something more closely resembling food than what they served on the airplane.

The next day, our biggest chunk of errands revolved around getting me set with food for the time being. We wandered in my rental car up to Queen Anne, which has real grocery stores unlike downtown, where there simply isn’t enough affordable space. About $350 later, I now have plenty of food to last me at least a week, along with the basic spices and some other cooking essentials you generally don’t get on every trip to the store.

After grocery shopping, we waited for my new apartmentmate Nick to show up – he had to cross Lake Washington about the same time as the I-90 bridge closures that have been happening all week as the Blue Angels practice and do their show this weekend. Nick finally got here, we helped him get his stuff up into the apartment, and then called the local Mercedes dealership to have a shuttle pick us up. The shuttle driver got horribly lost, but about 45 minutes later we were finally at the dealership, where I got to decide on my graduation present – a new 2004 C320 Sports Coupe. It’s currently on the water headed for Los Angeles, and I’ll probably have it in my possession by the end of this month. Yes, I’m horribly spoiled, and yes, I enjoy it. :-)

My parents left for the airport via taxi straight from Mercedes-Benz. They were worried about traffic, which ended up not being a problem, but it left me with an evening to myself without really knowing anyone it town. (Nick ended up at his parent’s house for dinner) I was surprised at how little my Mom, Dad, or myself cried as we said goodbye, but there were some tears involved. It’s definately another step farther away from my parents and towards independence, but at the same time I don’t think it’s going to be all that different from Mudd as far as seeing my parents goes. It’ll be more expensive to visit, but my Dad will come to Seattle to visit customers and take me out to dinner every once in a while, and I’ll come home for most holidays and the like.