I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get to this entry, but for some reason it has. And that, in turn, has kinda stalled all my other entries, because I didn't feel right making blog entries about my life in my new digs without first having explained that I got new digs, and then the longer I waited the harder it became, etc., etc. You know how these things go. But anyway...I find myself sort of twiddling my thumbs on this rainy Saturday afternoon, and I thought, hey, might as well try and bust through that blog logjam (blogjam?) I've gummed myself up in, so...here we go.
About two months ago, I revealed that I had finally decided to pull up stakes in Atlantic City and try and start the next phase of my life, whatever that might turn out to be. I didn't have much of a plan at that point, but I did at least have a destination, courtesy of my friend Professor Tallcake.
Now. Professor Tallcake is, rather than a character in a children's story or a teacher at Hogwarts, a 'Net psuedonym for someone of whom probably most of you already know the identity. This is not a secret, per se, but I'm making an attempt here to make it an Internet secret. This is much along the lines of regyt's (+1) secret identity, which is not really secret, but which is not talked about on the Internet. We good? We good.
So. Professor Tallcake, upon hearing of my consideration of exodus from Atlantic City, brought up to me that she actually had a house out in the boonies of New Jersey that she wasn't really using, and that I was welcome to stay there for a time. She bought the house a couple years ago as something of a fixer-upper, and since she had in the meantime actually started living somewhere else, and since this is, as most of you know, a poor time to be selling houses and such, there's just this house hanging out not being lived in and occasionally getting fixer-uppered. That sounded like a pretty good opportunity to me, since it was more or less a ready-made place to live while I figured out what I was going to end up doing with myself. Sold!
So about two weeks later, about six weeks ago now, I finished up packing whatever scant amount of things I had laying around that were actually unpacked, borrowed the Professor's trusty cargo-hauling Cakemobile, and I started the process of actually transporting my belongings. That went well enough, considering. It took two trips in the Cakemobile (not to mention countless trips up and down the fire escape stairs at my old A.C. apartment), and during one trip through a thunderstorm my belongings emerged thankfully unscathed, but eventually I got everything nice and settled in my new stomping grounds in scenic Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
So, Phillipsburg. If you're in New York City and just head due west, you will, of course, find yourself in New Jersey. If you keep on heading west, all the way through the top half of New Jersey, and then you screech to a halt just before falling into the Delaware River, then you'll probably end up in Phillipsburg. Seriously...if I go out my front door and accidentally sneeze too hard, I'm going to be in Pennsylvania. That's how close to the border I am.
Anyway. Once I got everything moved, I went back to close up shop in Atlantic City, and then I had a few more SoJo errands to run (like a couple trips to the dentist, which...somehow I felt made sense at the time to take care of while I was moving?), and all told it probably took me a couple weeks to get the move well and truly put behind me. Then...once that happened, I felt like things kept cropping up every once in a while that took my attention elsewhere: a trip to make somewhere, or an errand to run, or whatever. On occasion, Professor Tallcake happens by and we perform some minor act of house renovation or something. I don't know...stuff happened. Eventually, though, stuff stopped happening, and I basically started to settle in and start to take in my surroundings.
Phillipsburg itself is a quaint little town. It's got a kind of big-box commercial wing, but that's basically the part that faces the Interstate. In fact, at first glance, it just looks like one of those towns that somehow sprouts up as a stop on the Interstate -- that stretch of highway that instead of miles of nothing suddenly sports a bunch of gas stations and fast food joints? It's like that. Plus a mall. But a short distance away, once you get off the big roads, you've got something approaching a more "normal" main street in any small American town. Thus far in my stay I've been frequenting the bike shop and the bakery. The people here seem pretty friendly and engaging, which I of course have difficulty dealing with and feel like I've just landed on an alien planet where the members of the populace, like...talk to each other. Weird stuff.
All told, I've probably had like three or four weeks just kind of mellowing out and getting used to my new life here. I've half-heartedly started poking around at money-making opportunities, but as always, my heart's not really into it. That will change soon enough, I'm sure, as I come closer and closer to running out of money again, but for now I primarily amuse myself by cooking things and very slowly unpacking.
I'm finally making an attempt to go through all my boxes, this time, instead of just unpacking things I need for immediate survival. I'm hoping that doing so will help me divest myself of a lot of extraneous goods that I've been carting around for years now. I'm opening boxes that have not seen the light of day for, seriously, at least five or six years. My first priority is books, since they're the densest items. As I mentioned earlier, I've signed up with BookMooch and have been venting things off that way, and also I've unloaded a couple things on Amazon, which was a nice surprise. I know the majority of my library is RPG books, though, and I know I'm going to have a hell of a time getting rid of any of that stuff...but we'll see what happens. I'm not in, like, a giant hurry, but my goal is basically just to make the next move an easier one.
As far as life goes, I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen now. As far as immediate goals are concerned, I'm aiming very low. Ideally I'd like to maybe pick up a part time job or something...just something so I can meet base expenses while I concentrate on getting rid of as much stuff as I can stand to part with. I'm not...particularly hopeful that getting rid of belongings is going to bring any money my way. In short, I own a lot of useless crap. But my primary goal there is just to get rid of it, not to make money off it. It's more important to me that it ends up somewhere where it's wanted or useful; what I don't want to end up doing is just hauling a bunch of stuff to the dump. As time goes on, though, I'm sure that option is going to seem less and less distasteful.
In any event, the plan for the time being is basically to keep doing what I'm doing, except I should really also be finding my way to an income of some kind. I'll also be doing a lot of sorting through some internal conflict as I wrestle with my desire for a practical sense of streamlining my possessions versus the sentimental and collector instincts which lead me to never wanting to get rid of anything, ever. Such is life.
I guess that's enough for now. I've got other things to catch up on, but I'm sure that will happen along and along. I've got an interesting new neighbor. I do a lot of bicycling now. I discover amazing things when I unpack. I've attempted ridiculous things to make money. All of which I'll try to explain more, but later. One of my short-term goals is to get back more into the blogging vibe, but one of my longer-term goals is to get more patient about long-term projects. So I'll leave it at that for now.
Thanks for bearing with me, everybody. Good to be back. Peace!