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[Original Post:I’m in Missoula, Montana, and it’s 3:30am. Will turn this into a real post when I wake up! 02/04/2007]

Hah, sorry it took so long for me to get back to this. The past week has been a little scattered, and other than apartment hunting, I’ve been pretty useless. Plenty of things to talk about, too. To briefly catch up on the last legs of my trip, wandering through South Dakota and Wyoming and into Montana proved to be an interesting journey because of the snow I hit in Wyoming: there were so few cars that there was more than one occasion in that 200 mile stretch of I-90 that I wondered if the road had been closed I’d somehow missed the gates. The roads themselves weren’t too bad, but rivers of snow flowed across the road like floodwaters, egged on by high winds from across the plains. The sun was setting during the snowstorm, an orange orb illuminating the snow as it fell, and I thought about stopping to take a photograph as it created a silhouette of a tree on a hilltop. I thought about it, and then let the urge pass. Not only was it unsafe to stop, but I decided that the moment was for me to experience, not to capture… sometimes knowing when not to pick up the camera is as important as knowing when you should.

The snow cleared up by Billings, which made for pretty clear sailing through most of Montana, before finally stopping in Missoula, where it promptly started snowing again. I was grateful for the snow-reprieve, and the full moon I was driving under made the Montana leg something special. I’ll admit it, I howled at the moon, but under the circumstances, it seemed the appropriate thing to do.

Missoula to Seattle was largely uneventful, but by the end of it I was starting to feel a little road-weary, exacerbated by going from the empty roads of the midwest to the traffic of Seattle in such a short time. I ended up grabbing a hotel for probably more than I should have spent (but decidedly not as bad as I could have), simply because it was there and had a gated parking garage (please bear in mind that my car is FULL of stuff I brought with me, so this IS a consideration). I got myself situated, and spent the next few days apartment hunting, using a combination of Craigslist and driving around and stopping anywhere that had a “for rent” or “apartments for lease” sign in front of it. Two things I gleaned from this experience: 1) just because a place has office hours, doesn’t mean anyone is actually there during that time, let alone answering phones or emails; 2) I really missed KEXP (the local radio station I listen to) — where else can you find commercial free radio that plays bands like Vetiver, Of Montreal, and The Bastard Fairies (to name only a very very few). KEXP definitely made the driving around the city a lot more enjoyable.

The trip was roughly 3400 miles and 690 songs, White River Junction to Seattle, by way of Washington DC. I can dig out specific mileage if people are really curious, but yeah, that’s the gist. None too shabby, I’d say!

Now then, Seattle: it’s good to be back. The traffic still sucks, it’s doing that grey and misting thing it does during the winter, and I don’t really know anyone, but it’s still good to be back. I can deal with grey, especially when it’s 50-55 degrees vs the 10 degrees it is back in Vermont. I can deal with the traffic, because at least they’re generally polite (it’s just a lot of them). And as for getting to know new people… well, we’ll see what I do about that. I’m a bit of an introvert (as has been discussed before, strongly typed INFP, with the I being the weakest typing), so it’s going to take a little concerted effort to step up to the plate with this, but I have some good ideas about that, and the apartment complex I’m theoretically moving into is apparently full of people my age, so hopefully that’ll help with making inroads.

Speaking of theoretical apartments: I’m saying theoretical because I’m waiting for the background/credit check to clear, but considering my credit and background are both good, it should be fine. Since I’m not currently employed, I’ll probably need to pay first AND last month’s rent AND the security deposit, rather than just security and first month, but that’s fine. I’ve put down the security deposit, and theoretically should be able to move in as soon as Wednesday. While I’m waiting, I opted to head south to Portland, where hotels are MARKEDLY cheaper. I spent most of today holed up in my room doing very little that could be considered useful, but it was nice to just chill for a bit. Finally left the room around 7pm local and wandered downtown… ate at The Roxy, and then swung through Powell’s… which as ever was a mistake. Shelves that go up and up and up… piles and piles of books, one of the best sci-fi selections I’ve ever seen… I was good though, and only picked up a few things… the complete scripts for Monty Python’s Flying Circus (it was $6!), On Bullshit and On Truth, and a photo-theory book by Berger that looked appealing. I opted NOT to buy several volumes of collected Heinlein short stories, nor the illuminated Notebooks of Lazarus Long, nor a copy of Watership Down, nor Four Screenplays by William Goldman (Marathon Man, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Princess Bride, and Misery collected in one volume), nor the David Lynch book on creation and meditation. I saw several books that I know several people would have loved to own that I thought about buying as gifts (like, say, the screenplay for Wilde including an introduction by Stephen Fry, or the Art of Walt Disney compendium), but given current circumstances, I opted not to get those, either. That basically brings us up to date.