I moved to Chicago

September 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm (Uncategorized)

So I pulled an all-nighter after my going away show in order to be ready for when my dad came to get me. I didn’t have any furniture to necessitate a UHaul, but I had too much stuff to fly, so my dad came to pick me up in a small SUV.

I was totally not ready at all. Obviously, things had been crazy. There was the hurricane and the show being cancelled and rescheduled, and me trying to fit in as much day jobbing as I could. Plus I spent a lot of my packing time “organizing,” like compiling my notes on 3 or 4 volumes of the Guide to Literary Agents into a database so I wouldn’t have to bring the books back to Chicago.

But I had promised my mom up and down I was going to be ready when my dad got here. And we were planning on doing the whole trip in one swoop, so I knew we didn’t have a lot of time to screw around.

I can’t say I was fully functional the whole night. I was really drunk, first off. I don’t usually get very drunk, but like I said in the last post, I had felt compelled to place my no-shots policy on hold because of the occasion, and there was a LOT of free tequila. So I spent much of the night drunk/hungover/sleepy. But the rest of it I spent packing.

I still wasn’t 100% done by the time my dad was supposed to pick me up. I also wasn’t 100% sure if I had anyone coming to help or not. I’d had two friends say they’d try to make it, but they had been drunk at the time so I wasn’t sure if they meant it. Turns out they did. So my friend Ellen came over and helped me prepare things for my dad’s arrival, and my friend Dan got there around the same time as my dad.

I put everybody to work and somehow we managed to get everything moving smoothly, with no stalls. Mostly my Dad scientifically loaded up the car, Ellen and Dan carted stuff outside and around the corner to where it was parked, and I packed stuff up inside. I felt bad that my friends were doing the heavy lifting, but organizationally that was the best way to do it.

Ellen had to go to work, so Dan helped me finish up. Even after we were just finishing stuff inside the apartment, we had my Dad stay and watch the car. I don’t live in a bad neighborhood, but considering that the whole block had just seen us load all that stuff into the car, I didn’t want to tempt anyone.

We strapped my pole to the roof, with my Peruvian rug wrapped around it. It actually looked totally inconspicuous next to the rooftop box. Whatever those things are called.

The most irksome thing about the day is that my dad would not let us break for lunch. He spent most of the day standing out by the car while we busted our asses, and he wouldn’t even agree to me ordering us a pizza to eat while we worked, because he wanted to get a move on. I felt sooooo bad because we were working for 4 hours straight and my poor neighbor got sucked into it and I couldn’t even buy him lunch. So I opened a tab for him at Cafe Amrita to enjoy a sandwich and a couple glasses of wine after we left. I also got everyone iced coffee, which helped. I mean, we were wiped. I had pulled an all-nighter and Dan had been moving my shit for 4 hours.

The good thing is I’d already gotten my security deposit back, so I didn’t have to be paranoid about cleaning. I mean I totally cleaned, but anyone who’s moved out of an apartment knows how it is.

One of the most fun parts about the day was leaving a lot of my nicer stuff and stuff I hadn’t been able to sell at the curbside, and seeing how long it took for someone to take it. We gave away a fan, a framed poster of Opera Companies of the World, a hula hoop, a stool– almost everything we left out there was gone within an hour. I was so happy at the approval that goes with people thinking your stuff is good enough to take up space in their tiny Manhattan apartments. :)

We pulled out and my dad still didn’t want to get food ’til we were almost out of NJ and I was sooooo hungry!! And tired!!

Whiskey was fine with being in the car. I’d accustomed him to his carrier, and had him in a harness in case he wanted to go out. After driving awhile I let him sit on my lap, and he ended up sleeping in my lap almost the entire trip. Oh, he got up and was frisky a couple times, and even had to be put back in the carrier once, but mostly he was perfect.

I started regretting my move when we stopped at a pizza hut express at a truck stop and my dad wanted to say grace together. And not like a rote grace, like he wanted to pray with me. Ick ick ick. My parents are really conservative Christians and they can’t accept that I don’t follow their religion. It was even worse when I declined and he tried to use it as “an opportunity for dialogue about Christ,” but fortunately it didn’t last and he didn’t try it again. The one thing holding me back from wanting to come back here is my parents being pushy and creepy about their religion.

I thought the car ride would be insanely boring because it was too dark to read, the iPhone charger didn’t work, and we didn’t have a cable for the iPod. But they have XM Radio and Lucia with Sutherland was JUST starting on the Met channel. Lucia is good opera to pass the time because there’s something exciting in every act. Not too many dull moments. So that took up my attention for a few hours. After that it was really boring, I mostly just sat there and petted my cat.

I couldn’t really sleep in the car. I kept nodding off but only for a few seconds, so it was the kind of nodding off that makes time pass 4x as slowly. The last 2 hours were torture!

So we did the whole trip in I think 13 hours, plus the time zone change, so we got to Glen Ellyn after 6am. I had been planning on eating something and spending some time getting Whiskey settled, but I was so tired I pretty much went right to bed. Whiskey was having fun walking around smelling everything anyways.

I woke up at 1pm covered in sweat. It was HOT!!! I hadn’t realized when we got in that it was going to be over 90 degrees that day, and I have an attic bedroom. So I took a cold shower to wake up and went downstairs, where no one had seen Whiskey all day. I know how cats are, so I figured he must be hiding. My sister has a dog who’s living here, so I figured the cat saw the dog and found a good place to hide before the dog saw him, and fell asleep there.

I walked around the house calling his name in the tone of voice that I always use when I call him. ‘Cause he comes when I call. Isn’t that cool?? But I didn’t even hear the jingle of his bell. So we looked under all the furniture and in all the fold-out furniture, and nothing. All the other doors in the house were closed. I called my mom, who was working at her resale shop, and she hadn’t seen the cat all day either. But a moment later she texted back that the basement door had been open when she woke up. (My brother Dan has OCD stuff and tends to walk around and close all the doors.) Sure enough, it was closed, and when I went downstairs, Whiskey came running out.

So of course the first thing when I come upstairs is the dog starts freaking out. (He sleeps in my parents’ room with the door shut, so he hadn’t been out when we arrived.) Whiskey was in my lap and handled it really well, but I could feel that he was shaking. The only other time I’d seen him shake was his first time at the vet when they stuck a thermometer up his little kitty butt. So I made the dog go outside for awhile so Whiskey could calm down, then after awhile we let him in on the leash, and then after they’d gotten used to being in the same room we let him go. It actually went really well. They’ve been playing together ever since!

I was kind of incoherent for the rest of the day. My sisters came over but I was disgusting and too tired to say much. I hadn’t unpacked my clothes or toiletries yet so I was still wearing the same clothes from the move and hadn’t even brushed my teeth. As soon as I unpacked enough stuff to get cleaned up and change clothes, I felt like a million bucks.

Unfortunately I made myself a little sick. I’m not sure if it was the double-all-nighter (probably) or the sudden onslaught of too much air conditioning or throwing up the tequila too hard or what, but I had mild cold symptoms accompanying a bad sore throat. The nose stuff went away really fast but the sore throat lingered, and I’m still trying to get my voice back. Last week I was supposed to audition for the church job i MUST get and a teaching job at two of the high schools, but I had to postpone everything. It’s getting better but it’s slow going.

I am settling in here. I’m unpacked. The vaulted ceiling adapter for the pole will be here any day. I’ve been going to the gym on a guest pass. God, it felt good to be back in the gym!! Saw actually a bunch of friends from high school, some who live here and some who were visiting. My first gig with Opera on Tap Chicago will be in less than a month.

In NY I was a regular at a local cafe a few blocks from my apartment, which I haven’t been able to replace here. I can walk to Starbucks, but it’s not the same. (Plus it’s a mile each way, which is nice now that the weather is lovely, but soon it will be winter.) They were trying to sell me on getting a card so it could become a gold card, and I was like, no, that would be way too damaging to my hipster cred. But it turns out my brother had an old one he can’t use anymore, and there was $40 on it. I knew I had officially moved to the suburbs when I threw away my expired MetroCard and put a Starbucks Gold card in its place.

I hope my voice gets better this week and I can do my auditions and stuff.

Oh, school has been going well. It’s a lot of work, but that’s mostly because I’m a slow reader. I only got one graded assignment back and it was 10/10, so that boosted my ego. :)

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