Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Part 6

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Week 2 of this adventure.  Spent the bulk of this time putting in job applications and hanging out at the park.  Found this amazing forest – with a name I don’t bother trying to pronounce – right around the corner.  Score!!  Sesquicentenial State Park.  Well, I suppose it’s not that hard when you sound it out, but whatever.  It has tall pine trees that stretch as far as the eye can see.  This park is huuuge!  Like over 1400 acres huge.  I haven’t even went off the main path yet, but I spent a good hour and a half hiking through it the other day and still have more to see. 20170520_124458 smallAccording to the map there’s a waterfall in there somewhere.  Probably one of those small creek waterfalls the way the park’s lined out, but either way, I’ll find it soon.

I’ve also been spending time knocking out chapters in the book I’m currently working on. Kinda have mixed feelings about actually trying to land a new job versus spending more time writing.  I’ve literally finished about 10 chapters in a short amount of time!  Of course, I know the realities.  Cash reserves won’t last forever… Gotta eat!

Late in the week I pulled out my ACE personal trainer books that I’d hardly put a dent in a few years back.  Figured it’d be a good time to try and get through them again and do the personal trainer career.  Memorizing three hundred pages of medical terms and another five hundred pages of content is still not my strong suit.  Two days of flipping through these pages was enough for another few years for me… back in the bag. lol.  I’m a visual/action learner, so maybe I’ll try to find the DVD material somewhere.

Had a couple interviews, but they were set up before I moved.  Finally had a few more interviews during my 3rd week here as well.  Man this place is slower than I thought with the call backs.  That’s definitely one of the things I miss in the mid-south.  Getting a call back in a few days, rather than weeks about jobs.  You’d think it’d be the other way around with this area having less density in the population.  Although, it could be the dreaded “overqualified” rearing it’s ugly head again.  I did have 2 of those emails come back stating this in more or less terms…  I shall press on.

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Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Part 5

Waffle house

Finally arrived at my target destination of South Carolina on a Sunday night.  The first thing I noticed here is the air (and a crap ton of Waffle houses all over the place.  No joke, this place is what Starbucks is in metro areas).  So much cooler and easier to breathe over here.  Less stuffy.  The weather actually feels like a breezy 69 degrees outside.

The location I booked doesn’t open until Monday, so I spenpolar bear showert the night at an Econo Lodge. Hey, It was cheap and they actually had some continental breakfast in the morning. Hellooo Waffles and orange juice.  Though we won’t talk about the missing hot water…

I finally check in on Monday and well… let’s just say the online pictures must present the new inn on the west side of town, cause the live version isn’t as puurty. It’s a weekly inn sort of place Frige burner copyequipped with a 2 burner stove and a full size refrigerator.  My research indicated this was the most economical place equipped with $5 a week wifi, hot water and a roof.  It’s also tiny, but with no current income, we’ll make it work.

I settle in and set out to find a grocery store to stock up on grub for the week.  I spend small.  Lunch meat, milk and cereal.  Didn’t want to get too much food in case I have to haul it all out shortly.  After walking out of the Food Lion grocery store…  Brain: You can get all of this crap at a Walmart for 25-50% cheaper.  Me: I knooow I knoow!  Friday, hit ’em up!  Marie Callender frozen dinners almost half price cheaper for the same size.  Bet!!  Threw out all my cooking wares before I left Texas, so cold foods and microwave are the preparation methods of choice at the moment.  Refuse to buy replacements until I’m back at an official new address.  Just the basics man.  Humans have too much stuff!

Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Part 4

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Getting late.  Ran through about 600 miles today.  Pretty easy when you’re doin’ about 80 for most of the drive.  Talk about fun!  It’s always better when you’ve got blockers that do a buck ten on the freeway.  Driving tip: Let that Benz, family van, or late 80’s caddy slide by when they start tail gating.  That way you can pretty much do whatever speed you want since you know they aren’t gonna slow down and let you pass back by them.  Of course it’s always a bonus to have a blocker for 5-0 as well.

I decided to pull in to a Day’s Inn in Mississippi for the night.  Well, whaddya know, I was right smack on the Mississippi river!  (Totally not planned.)Mississippi bridge dayBridge and everything!  So I walk in, pretty much tired from that 8 hours of car time.  Soon as I walk in, the TV on the wall makes my face light up.  This dude seriously had Sanford and Son on like nobody’s business.Sanford  Yeyaaah!!

 

 

 

Of course the cig burns or whatever caused the holes in the bedding was also pretty comical here as well.  Definitely not recommended.Cig burns

Seven A.M. rolls around and the loud boom of Thunder hits just as my alarm goes off. How’s that for a wake up call?? Turns out there’s a tornado right over the river! Right over me!! Yikes!   My first thought; I hope this thing gets outta here before checkout time.  Messing up my scheduaaal.  So I get up and head down to the lobby to check out this continental breakfast that’s supposed to be goin’ on.   How about these fools had about 2 bowls of frosted flakes just chillin’ in the bin (I peeped them last night when I checked in) and the addition of 5 slices of sad looking toast in the bin. (breakfast was from 6:30am to 9:30am and it’s only 7:15!!)  Where’s the OJ?  Where’s the apple juice!? Maaan, damn!  Guess that Waffle House in the back of the parking lot there is about to happen.  Can’t roll out on an empty stomach.

Waffle house was cool. (but pricey) My sleepy/hungry ass didn’t pay attention to the prices and was just ordering off of hunger.  $18 breakfast cause I didn’t want them to throw out the food.  Daaaaamn!!  That’ll wake ya up.  The two ladies in there had the graveyard shift bloodshot eyes happening, but they were jovial and relaxed.  The dude cooking was on it though.  He was one of those people you see in the movies that never write down the orders and just memorizes everything.  This family of 5 rolled in and the waitress read off all of the orders.  My man just grabbed plate after plate, lined ‘em up and started cooking.  One lady was like, “he’s not gonna write any of that down?”  Waitress was like, “Nahh, don’t worry about it.  He’s got it.”  Love it.

Finally around 9:30 A.M. the tornado takes a break.  I don’t know if it was the heart or what, but one of the housekeeping ladies was like, “ya’ll better get out of here now while ya’ll can!  This tornado is huuuge!”  She didn’t have to tell me twice!

About an hour into the drive there was crazy rain, thunder and lightning happening.  Nooooo!  Had to do the speed limit ’cause, you know, can’t see squat out there.  I couldn’t tell if we were chasing the tornado, or if it was chasing us.  All I know is that was a nervous three hours with all of those damn mac trucks steaming up the road.  Finally the clouds parted and the storm broke off and headed north.  “Whew!”  Don’t know what I would have done on that part of the drive without my Richard Pryor CDs for the chuckles.

Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Part 3

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Long distance driving can be fun.  Almost therapeutic!  Just me, my posse and the open road.  Perfectly fine for the sort of introverted kind of person.  Pika loves riding shotgun on our long trips.  Every time we pass a car with kids in the back, he always waives or smashes his face against the window and the kids go bonkers.  Celebrities…

Everything has been smooth on the drive so far.  About 5 hours in I stop in at a Shell for some car nectar and hit the loo.  So many gas station restaurant combos these days.  This particular one was meshed up with a Whataburger.  Sure, fine.  I’ll get some damn fries.  Curse you food chains…

I laid out my grub on my trunk and ate while standing.  Mostly because my ass had that numbness happening like when you take a long flight and the right butt cheek feels like it’s gonna fall off until you punch it back to life.  Yeah, so I was happy to be standing for a minute.  Then I stopped and took in my surroundings.  Hey heeeey, look at all my chocolate peeps!  Then I remembered my Google maps navigator welcoming me to Louisiana about an hour ago.  She’s so polite.  Been a while since I’d seen so many of my folks in one place. (Outside of Houston or Dallas of course) Austin, not so much.

Things were pretty mild at that time.  Nothing happening except this one lady that kept giving me the eye like she wanted to give me somethin’ else, while she was puffin’ on a stogie.  Sorry mami, the Wolfeman’s not cool enough to handle that cigar smoke.  Deuces!

Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Part 2

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About 2 months before the soft date of my departure, there was much debate on where I should go.  Back and forth from Colorado Springs, to the Carolinas, to friggin’ San Antonio. San Antonio was a tiny blip on the decision list until I decided; I just have to get the hell out of Texas.  Something about the location just wasn’t meshing well with my psyche ever since I arrived over a decade ago.  Maybe the heat, or the over population combined with the higher cost of living in the later years.  Maybe it was the uber techie/hipster vibe permeating in the area that I thought I was all about until that company-who-shall-remain-nameless went and downsized about 30% of their workforce.  Turns out I wasn’t as passionate about the tech industry as I thought I was.  Ahhh discoveries.  I don’t know.  I stopped trying to figure it out.  I just knew I wanted to get the hell outta Austin for a number of reasons.  Finally I decided on South Carolina since my pro/con list told me so.  (Thanx Rory Gilmore) heheh…

So about a week before I’m about to leave, I’m still in kind of a passive panic mode trying to figure out what I can fit in the car, and what is really not a necessity.  This freak out was heavily sedated by binge watching Girlboss and Murdoch Mysteries on Netflix when my ass probably should have been doing a mock packing to see what can actually fit in the car ahead of time.  That way, when Salvation Army comes to pick up my crap, I have a clear idea of what can stay.  This passive non-decision bull shit went on until the day Salvation Army was scheduled to pick up all of my big items.  TV, futon, awesome speakers, and a bunch of other crap.  Why didn’t I sell it off, you ask?  Ooooh, I’m gonna tell ya!

Selling items in the other states I’ve lived in.  No problem.  Selling off video game stuff ANYWHERE, no problem.  Trying to sell household gear in Texas; pffhaa! Good luck!  Talk about low ballin’.  You advertise a $600 package for half price, these cats do not care.  $300? Nah.  Let’s start the haggling at $50… for everything.  FIFTY dollars!!  Fawk that advertised price!  Hell, some didn’t even bother hagglin’ and just straight up asked me, “what’s the least you wanna sell your items for?”  Like, really dude?!  Really?  GTFOH with yo cheap ass!!  Needless to say, there was a large charity donation on my behalf.  Tax write off was the better option.  You’re welcome.

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Goodbye stuff 😦

At any rate, I did learn one thing at the start of this departure;  You’ve not made any executive decisions in your life until you have to fit all of your super-I-can’t live-without-them worldly possessions into a compact car and you realize it all ain’t gonna fit!  Now is the time when you find out how much of a necessity all of your necessary items really are.   See that 20 inch computer monitor?  Gone!  Air purifier? Peace!  Pillows, Cotsco bulk food, and other clothes you sometimes wear?  Bag it, tag it, trash it! So much good stuff… sayonara, nice to know you!  Find out a lot about yourself when you have to throw out stuff you were just soooo attached to, let me tell ya.  On the plus side, it’s a good way to minimize the amount of physical stuff in your life.  Only have as much stuff as you can fit in the damn car!  I kinda like it.  Reminded me of De Niro from the movie Heat. 30 seconds flat rule.

And then, finally an hour after I was planning on leaving, I hit the road.

Phoenix of the Wolfe: Rise- Preface / Part 1

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A couple of months ago I started toying with the idea of relocating away from Austin.  Wait, that’s a lie.  I’ve wanted to move for something like 3 years now.  But it wasn’t until last year that I started mentally preparing for action rather than just spouting off a bunch of empty words.  I have also decided to chronicle this little adventure, because knowing my own mind, there’s gonna be some comical and no doubt politically incorrect nonsense happening on this journey.  It’ll probably be about 10% censored, and 90% raw, ‘cause , well, let’s face it, raw truth is funnier than trying to make every single person on the planet happy with whatever endeavor one chooses to embark on.  So don’t take anything you read here to heart. But if you do, feel free to Google a basket of puppies and try to forget about whatever it was that got your cereal soggy.  K? OK.

It all started sometime in March 2016.  I moved into a new apartment since my roommate was moving back to her hometown.  Fresh start back into the solo apartment life for me.  Except for the money part, I was cool with that.  Besides, I’m sure my ex roommate was happy not to have the “Clean Kitchen Nazi” constantly getting on her shit about keeping the kitchen clean anyway.  In all fairness, I did give fair warning ahead of time that I like to keep my kitchen spotless and would bitch about it if any roommate didn’t follow suit.  Must have thought I was joking…  Hehe, I got sooo many death looks coupled with the occasional “go f*** yourself!”  Wish I had my camera.  Seriously thought she’d try to kill me in my sleep over it one day.

So I moved in to my new place.  As soon as I walk in on move in day, I swear this was the universe putting shit in motion.  I say this because NONE of the maintenance items –this list was a lot of annoying things, but not deal breakers—I pointed out on my pre-inspection were addressed.  This was even after my 3rd call checking with the office to confirm things were in order a week before I moved in, so they didn’t have to be working around my crap after the fact.  They finally started to address the issues as I was moving my stuff in.

Then there was the issue of the strongest scent of curry forever wafting throughout both hallways and entrances into my damn building. This in itself would have seriously ticked off my nose enough to cancel the lease contract, but the place was the most cost effective one in the area (or so I thought) at the time.  I just partially held my breath every time I’d head into my place to avoid the stench, not to mention the sneezing.  Don’t know why, but too much curry scent makes me sneeze as well.  As much as I’m unbiased about dating a chica because of race, I probably couldn’t date an East Indian babe if she’s into the traditional cooking side of things.  I don’t think the sneezing would work out too well for either of us…

Finally having everything fixed up, the apartment actually was not so bad.  Things were cruising along just peachy until a new neighbor moved in 6 months into my stay there.  And then the real fun started.  “Sliiiiiide, Kachunk!. Sliiiiiide, SLAM!  BAM! Thump thump, kabooom!”  *glass shatter, dog bark*.  Wait 30 minutes and repeat.  Sounded like WWIV, the Dog Demolition Edition down there! This shit was going on for about 3 months straight, so this was about the time I started looking for my damn lease contract to check out the fine print…    After one final SLAM that sent a chunk of something in the crawlspace above me skittering across the ceiling, I finally decided to put that relocation plan in motion…