Dream Life

Happy Place

Wow, I think we found a place.

Let me step back a bit. The Boyfriend and I are in the Bay Area looking for a place to live. I accepted a job as a community blogger at CBS5 in San Francisco, and so we'll need a place to hang our hats. He and I came out here on a 4 day house hunting trip, and I think we've found our spot.

It's a three bedroom house in the heart of Berkeley with pergo wood floors throughout, a huge kitchen with a stainless steel fridge (with a freezer on the bottom!), dishwasher, washer, dryer, plenty of storage (a basement!), free off-street parking, a small yard in back, gorgeous tile in the bathroom and eating area and a KICK ASS working fireplace in the den. It's gorgeous. It's a four block walk to BART, and there are two off-leash dog parks within a mile. Landlord pays for garbage and water. There is even an adorable flower/cacti garden in the front yard. It's fucking perfect. (Okay, a fenced yard would be nice, but we are not gonna push it.) It is on the high end of what we can afford, but after looking at some super sketchy places in Oakland we are thrilled to have found this house.

Landlord has seen all our paperwork and is even cutting us a break on rent since we aren't moving right away. All we are waiting on is for dude to call our rental references (previous landlords who love us) and then he'll fax the lease to us at the beginning of the week. I wish we could have something binding before we leave for Tennessee, but he didn't even list this place until yesterday. We were the first people to view it. He's not going to even show it to anyone else, so I guess it's ours unless there is some bizarre stroke of bad luck.

OMG, so excited.

UPDATE: It's official. We got the house. Photo coming soon!


I'll Be Sure to Wear Flowers in My Hair

Should I vote in the Nashville mayoral election if I am moving to San Francisco before the end of this year? That is the question I face on this gray and rainy day. I prefer Karl Dean to Roberto Clemente, but is it fair to vote for either if I'm just going to be living in the Bay Area inside 3 months? I'm not sure that it is. I'd really like to see Megan Barry win a seat on the Council, though, so I'm going to cast my ballot anyway. I've always enjoyed the Barrys. Plus, I think she'd make a great progressive addition to the World's Largest City Council. I've lived in Nashville for nearly 30 years of my life, so I think the city owes me one last say in the matter. Besides, I'll be back to visit.

You see, I've taken a job with the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco, California, the land of godless liberals who have gay sex on the streets while shooting up. The kind folks at KPIX (whose website was voted best in the state by the Associated Press) recruited me to run a blog aggregator much like the one I used to run at WKRN here in Nashville. I took them up on their offer to fly out for two days to interview, and after some negotiating I agreed to take them up on a full-time position. I'll be working from within the newsroom Monday through Friday combing through all the blogs updated daily in the Bay Area, highlighting posts I find funny or provocative or insightful or informative. There will also be an automatic aggregator. Many of you may be familiar with the concept.

If you are wondering why I said I wasn't cut out for moderating a community blog site, only to take this job 8 weeks later, you likely aren't the only one. I asked myself that question many times in determining whether to pack up The Boyfriend and the dogs and move 800+ miles to one of the most expensive places in the country. But, luckily, I learned from my very public mistakes made at NiT, and I've taken them to heart. This new venture will be less about me. I'm not that interesting anyway. What I mean to say, though, is that I will put less of myself "out there" and concentrate more on building a vibrant blogging community in what is already one of the most wired places on earth. Also, there were some behind-the-scenes issues going on at the old station that I never felt the need to air publicly that had a lot to do with my decision to leave. I denied it at the time, because the pain from The Situation was so overwhelming that that was easy to do. But it was a factor. Also, the area out there is just different. My "radical liberalism" that makes me, according to the locals, "as far left as you'll find on the internet" would not raise an eyebrow where I'm going. Crusades by blogging GOP mouthpieces when I dare state that Gitmo detainees might not be guilty (of what they were never charged with) won't set off a firestorm. I've always been a liberal in a Republican oasis, but now I'll be more conservative than most just be virtue of my home state. I relish the thought.

But that site isn't about politics. It's about the people of the Bay Area. It's about mothers and strippers and activists and students. It's going to be what San Franciscans are talking about, so to speak. I'm thrilled at the idea of getting back into the newsroom. There is a hum in the newsroom, a sense of urgency and excitement that comes with daily turns and breaking news. This one happens to be filled with smart, engaging people who seem excited about the new media possibilities that await them. (Or, the ones I met at least.)

And I'm so excited about living in my favorite place on earth. The weather is phenomenal all year long, the people are diverse, the art scene is incredible (indie and foreign films in the theatre 'til my heart's content!) and the opportunities are endless. There is a magic to that place, and I'm about to become a part of it. It hasn't exactly been easy to absorb.

I'm going to miss my friends and family like crazy. I've lived here my entire life, so all my roots are here. But I've always wanted this. I used to drive down the long stretches of bending roads in Ashland City dreaming of taking the subway. The BART is close enough (and now I'm going to sell my car!). Long ago my "about page" on this blog said that I'd be moving to the Big City very soon. It was up there forever then I took it down one day, resigned that it would never happen. It's back now and better than ever.

We haven't decided yet on the timing, but I'm leaving no sooner than 6 weeks from now. I want to get together with many of you before I go for drinks and hugs. And mailing addresses. I'll be 30 in October and everything I have ever known is here. I'm going to be homesick for a while I'm sure. But I can't think of a place I'd rather be homesick in.

P.S. In the time since leaving WKRN I have been working as a copy writer at Magazines.com. I just want to take this space to thank the generous and jovial people who make up that great place. They took me on as one of the family--even if I was the black sheep--and made me feel very appreciated. And I learned so much in my time there. I'd recommend it as an awesome place to work for any copy writer in the area who wanted to earn a competitive salary while building what will be a world-class brand one day. It's an exciting place to work, so if you are interested in doing that, please let me know.


Our First Boarding Experience

The boyfriend and I are going on a mini-vacation to San Francisco, which means we have to board the dogs. This is the first time we've ever had to do that. I'm already anxious as it is, but leaving my dogs behind for three days to be locked in a cage while I galavant in California drives my nervousness up to neurotic levels. I wanted to find a place that would actually be fun for them and not stressful, so I lucked into finding Almost Home Pet Farm by doing a simple Google search. I read about their facility--no kennels, mountainside to roam, sleep where ever they want, romp with 15 or more dogs--it all sounded like a dream doggie vacation.

I called Friday night to schedule our audition for the mutts. You have to drive down with your pets for an initial visit to see if they will get along with the rest of the pups, and to make sure they are not manic or aggressive or otherwise risky to take on. There are no kennels or runs at Almost Home Pet Farm, so they have to make sure your dog is well socialized and adjusted. Tootie took a large dump in the driveway and Cooper drooled everywhere, so obviously they passed with flying colors. The place is great--really remote (an hour drive away in Carthage!) with tons of room for them to run and jump and hump and play. There are large leather couches and big comfy beds for sleeping. They also get homemade organic treats.

Oh, and that's another thing. The Almost Home Pet Farm is a hippy sort of place that requires, unless under special circumstances, that your pets be fed holistic foods. Holistic meaning all natural, no fillers like corn or other empty carbs, with most of the product being animal protein. The owner of the Pet Farm likens it to not allowing the children in her day care to gorge on candy all day. Once she requested that all dogs switch to the higher protein foods she saw behavioral changes in the animals that convinced her never to go back to Pedigree or even the "premium" brands like Eukeneuba. Tootie and Cooper are both overweight, with the blonde one being heavy enough for the vet to call her a 7 on a scale of 1-10 fatness. So, we decided to give the holistic food a shot. It's a little more than twice as expensive, but they don't need to eat as much, since they feel satiated longer due to the high protein content. It supposedly reduces shedding and barking and overexcitability, so I was willing to try it out. And besides, the owner of the Pet Farm wasn't selling these products, I had to go make a special trip out to Berry Hill to get the stuff. No commission at stake in this case.

The dogs seem to love it. I chose the Azmira brand, Classic Formula, because it has 8% fat whereas other brands had 11% or more. They don't usually get excited by dry food, but this stuff they gobble right up. And if the benefits are a less barky dog who doesn't shed like it's going out of style, I'm all for it.

We'll be gone for just three days. The dogs will be blissed out at The Farm. I doubt they'll miss us a bit.


At the Red Light

She waited to cross, a lump in a pastel dress. Her tights and shoes were meant for moving. She flexed her fist, pumped it when I drove past her. She looked twice, both ways, before crossing the street. Her hair was wild in the wind. I wondered where she was going, why she was smiling, with her backpack stuffed full and bulging.


I Like Beer

Last night I dreamed that the boyfriend and I went to our favorite bar (we don't have a favorite bar) for a pint of our favorite beer (we don't share a favorite beer) when, on a whim, I decided to get a giant tattoo of my favorite beer's logo on my right forearm. It was wide, about six inches in width, and it wrapped completely around my arm, like a band. It was maroon and black. (Oddly, I have no idea what kind of beer it was, but the logo resembled one that a Yazoo beer might have. Frankly, it could have been worse. Could've looked like a Miller Lite logo.) In fact, it was a really well done tattoo in a design I really liked, despite the fact that the bartender did it on the fly with equipment he pulled from under the bar.

Then I started to wig. I had considered a tattoo so many times in my life, ultimately deciding to remain ink free. Why had I changed my mind? And with such immediate abandon? And why did I pick a freaking beer logo? I was forever branded a souse. I thought of all the gorgeous sleeves I'd considered, the elaborate scenes I'd imagined crawling across my back or snaking up my waist, but no. I'd gone and gotten a brew tattoo. On my fucking forearm where, unless it was winter, it couldn't be covered up. I might as well have adorned myself with a giant pot leaf or crack pipe.

I also dreamed that I took off my bra to find heaps of cat hair in it.

I was very relieved when I awoke this morning.