Monday, February 28, 2005

Why does Georgia hate Atlanta?

At the beginning of the year the state legislature stopped Atlanta from passing a living wage. Now they won't allow Atlanta to enforce their non-discrimination laws against those who don't like gays. Finally, riding MARTA the other day - a train system much, much in need of maintenance, I realized that the rest of the state hates Atlanta. Damn if I know why. It must be envy.

Maybe the husband will be able to solve the Georgia hates Atlanta mystery soon. He has been hired by a state agency that works on regional planning issues. He is much relieved to have this job, because for the past month or so he has been bartending at the Fox theater. Bartending at the Fox is a nifty job if you can get it, but it's back-breaking work for inconsistant pay - just like any job bartending, waitressing, or anything that relies on tips. When you go to the Fox, please tip the concession people. All the tips are split among the employees at the end of the night, and they all work their asses off.

The husband was able to land this job with the state because it's the same sort of job he's held before. Now we'll both have solid middle class incomes to go with the new house. I will have to get a tattoo to balance out the white breadedness of it, some secret rebel symbol to prove I'm still, um, cool. Mostly. There's nothing wrong with being comfortable, right?

We're going to New Orleans next weekend to celebrate the husband's 30th birthday. I plan on eating and taking ghost story tours, the kind that let you bar-hop. Write me if there's anything in N. O. that you need.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Good News in a month of Bad news

When I posted last week, I was filled with anxiety about our house search. I am happy to report that the husband and I saw three condos today, all of them in our price range and all in our neighborhood, within a mile of where we live now. I am so comforted. We have a good real-estate agent, something that had concerned me; so many people were, well, *pushy* about trying to sell us a home. There were calls and calls from friends of friends or people who knew somebody, trying to get us to sign with such-and-such as an agent. I picked an agent I was comfortable with and stood by my choice, despite pursuasive arguments from other people; now I am so glad that I followed my instincts.

She's not pushy; she respects that I want to stay in town; she has let us know that there are more options available than we had thought. She's going to show us places in Midtown - I thought Midtown was just too expensive, but no, maybe there are places we'd like to see. She gives us scads of information beforehand, and doesn't try to get us to pick something *she* likes. And oh, thank god, she's low key. High strung sales people bother me to no end.

There was, for instance, the real estate angent from Buckhead who called to tell me that we should move to Brookhaven. She tried to tell me that Brookhaven was the right part of town, which immeadiately got me off on the wrong foot - like I care about the "right" part of town! She completely failed to understand that I love Atlanta and urban environments. A few of the places the husband and I looked at today face the train tracks along DeKalb avenue. I was ecstatic, because this meant a 10 minute reduction on the morning walk to the train station. I can imagine that Ms. Brookhaven would think the view ugly. I thought it beautiful; a view of the train tracks is a view of another 10 minutes in my bed every morning. A view of the train tracks is another view of my husband 20 minutes a day, another hour and 20 minutes in my own home each week. What would Brookhaven do but rob me of time? I am sure it is a perfectly nice place to live, and has earned its reputation. But it's not like I'm trying to join a country club, or really give a damn about the opinions of people who are country-club types.

The new house-to-be is my new muse. I have done rough sketches of places the husband and I have seen and liked, so we can better recall the floor plans. I have begun ot dream of furniture. I feel so energized by the thought of a space completely ours, the dream of not moving for five or six years. Perhaps next weekend we'll see some of those places in Midtown. Perhaps one of the condo owners will call us with some fantasic offer. I'm so excited. A place of our own, with all the headaches, heartbreaks, and comfort of my own decisions dominates my dreams.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The sun is bright and terrible in its beauty

The sun came out Friday for the first time in days. I had a hard time not running out of my office building on West Peachtree, disrobing, and streaking towards home. I wanted to be in the sun; it seems like it rained for weeks and weeks without a day like Friday, a day of clear skies and bright light and the 60 degree winters I moved here to enjoy. We have had a rainy, wet time for months and months. This weekend of sunshine and warmer weather was such a treat.

I have slowly started to pick up all my old comfortable habits again, the ones I lost during engagement and marriage. I now walk to Sevananda by myself again for guacamole supplies and chocolates, I again maintain my blog regularly, I can again make mix CD's and write letters to friends and toy with the idea of art projects. I again can ride the train to new restaurants and explore Atlanta. My routines are more comforting than I can explain. Yet I fall back into them with the dread knowledge that I am forcing a huge change in my life soon. Within two months, the husband and I will buy a house.

A house. I will have a house before I'm 30. The idea is wonderful and exciting and still fills my stomach with acid. I was standing in Sevananda the other day, shopping, and *enjoying* myself, because there is nothing I like more than a trip to the grocery store unless it is a trip to the comic book store. As I was standing the idea hit me that soon I would no longer live in my neighborhood, my home of two years now. I want to stay here, in this part of town. Inman Park is the center of my internal Atlanta map, where I have drawn all my directions from, yet the houses here are so expensive that Winn and I most likely can't stay. We'll be buying out in East Point or another neighborhood…the prices are just too high here. It kills me, but I have to accept the fact that just as I re-establish all of my beloved routines, I'm going to have to change them, and chart new paths, paths that will probably involve a car. The idea of driving everywhere is like ashes in my mouth.

We're trying to move somewhere close to a train station. This isn't easy. Wish us luck.