life without the "stuff"

After living out of a suitcase for four weeks, I've graduated to living out of boxes. I have my clothes, a nightstand, a dresser, a filing cabinet and my computer. It feels a bit Spartan. I think I could get used to it.

I've confiscated this sunny nook in Ryan's apartment (technically "our" apartment but it still feels like "his"), where I set up a small workspace overlooking Meridian Street. Perfect for people watching and sharing the neighbor's internet. This is day nine in Indy.

Number of Colts games attended: 1
Number of times I've gotten lost: 2
Number of times I've cried: 2
Number of state fairs attended: 1
Number of red lights accidentally run: 1
Number of antique shops visited: 3
Number of mules fed (at an antique shop): 1

For the past week, I kept thinking I need to write about this... and I kept procrastinating. When everything is new, I find that everything is worth writing about. And since that would be impossibly overwhelming, I've just avoided it.

Plus, I've be
en busy ignoring certain realities (like how much I will miss my old life), and distracting myself with other things. Things like: finding a job, trying new recipes, making lots of to-do lists, running, driving in circles, watching Real Housewives ATL with Ryan (and finally talking to him without a cell phone), etc.

All the while, I'm sure there's some tepid pool of emotion lurking right u
nder the surface, just waiting for me to slow down. And when I do, it will surely catch up with me. Sigh.


dear facebook,

Thanks for the oh-so-subtle reminder...

This is my current view from Starbucks, across the street from the new digs, where I just laid down four precious dollars for two measly hours of internet. Whatever, I'll mark it down on my budget spreadsheet as "research."

Things are good so far... I've unpacked a few boxes at the apartment. Still feels like I'm just visiting for the weekend though, and I'm wondering how long it will take to feel permanent. The Penske truck is still loaded up and I'm waiting for Ryan to get back from work, so we can move it all into storage. Hooray for heavy lifting!


don't mess with it

Austin, Texas. Nice place to visit, bad place to camp in July. When it's still 90 degrees at midnight, the last thing you want to do is look at a sleeping bag, let alone curl up in one. But the highlights of our short stay were worth the sweat and tears.

Highlight #1: Greg Laswell at Stubb's
Stubb's is famous first for their BBQ and second for their concerts. Or maybe the other way around. After dinner, we made our way to the basement for the show. No air conditioning, but I had a good spot ten feet from the stage, and a cheap Lone Star beer, and I even got to talk to him afterward... when I promptly plugged Atlanta (their next gig) and recommend breakfast at Flying Biscuit. Gotta represent the A.

Highlight #2: Barton Springs
Here is what made the heatwave bearable Barton Springs. Thirty million gallons of spring-fed, stone-bottomed, 65-degree goodness. We parked our overheated selves in the water for about five hours.

Highlight #3: The
BatsBy day, the Congress Ave bridge is quite ordinary. But every evening around dusk, tourists stand elbow to elbow. Underneath the seemingly unremarkable bridge sleep 1.5 million bats, the world's largest urban bat colony. More than the sight of it, the sound was a bit unnerving.


the big easy

Above all else, go to New Orleans for the food and you won't regret it. Muffaletta sandwiches, Jambalaya, Cafe du Monde beignets and coffee.... I'm not ashamed to say I ate my way through the French Quarter.

Beyond that, it's a beautiful old city. Perhaps the American version of Venice: awesome and historic, yet sinking and smelly. And haunted. But unfortunately, the scariest part of our ghost tour was when a dark shape scurried past me on the sidewalk (I screamed, of course, thinking it was a rat, but it was only a pigeon who was too fat to fly).

We rode the street cars to the Garden District, wher
e Mardi Gras beads hang like fanciful icicles from phone wires and peaks of million-dollar homes. Oh, to have a rich Great Aunt Gertrude who lived there!

And what trip to the Big Easy would be complete without an outing on Bourbon Street? We spent a chunk of time at this karaoke bar, Cat's Meow, with a bird's-eye view of the stage, where a Kid Rock wannabe sang one terrible song after another. All in all, highly entertaining.


comforts of home

First of all, I can't tell you how nice it is to have access to a clean toilet 24 hours a day. In the past month of traveling, I have experienced the most revolting public restrooms in all of America. And what's worse than a nasty bathroom, is no bathroom... for miles and miles and miles. It's enough to make you dehydrated as hell.

But, believe it or not, I have more exciting things to write about. I'll post recaps of the places we visited as soon as I can get my photos in order. For now, I'm glad to be back in Georgia... even if the humidity is so thick it's like the earth giving you a big warm sweaty hug.