Today, just one week after starting his new job, Dan is on a business trip to Arizona, attending the Republican presidential candidate debate. I am very proud of him.
Photo credit: The candidates as seen in The New York Times. But where's Dan?
Being in LA, Dan is getting to do really cool things. Like be June's godfather.
As Dan becomes more interesting, I get more boring. It was easy to hide this fact when we were staying in the back guest house at Kristin and Christophe's place, which was basically like having our very own apartment with the BEST.MATTRESS.EVER. Only it was better than our apartment because you get surprise visits from their two-year-old Will, who lights up and smiles whenever he sees me (it just melts your heart).
But now, we are staying with Chris and Cyndi, whose lovely house only emphasizes the fact that all I do is stare at my computer all day long, hoping it will conjure up some kind of magical employment or good will or fun. I sit at their kitchen island, working on things and futzing away my time. My energy level is quite low. At one point, Cyndi asked me, "Are you okay? You have been sitting there a really long time." Their own two-year-old, Sam, who is keen on repeating everything we say, makes remarks like, "Mrs. Pasquini's home." (Only it sounds like "Pasquini Home"). Yes, that conjures it up right now. I am sitting at home. I am the least entertaining house guest that ever was.
Not that I deserve a pity party. With his new job, Dan has discovered the horror that is the 405. To drive to work from where we are staying in Sherman Oaks, a distance of about 15 miles, it takes Dan about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to work, and 1 hour and 45 minutes to come home. Once, it took him 10 minutes just to drive one block. Thus, the priority on our agenda is to get an apartment on the west side of town, near his job--stat. (I have also narrowed down my job search to only west side companies).
We started our apartment search last weekend. We looked at four spots, each of them were very spacious places with two bedrooms, outdoor space, tons of storage, a kitchen, one or two baths that ran for under $2,000 per month. If we had seen any of these places in New York--especially in that price range--we would have snapped up any of them, no question.
The problem was that none of the spaces had any character. There was carpet everywhere. The balconies were the size of a bathtub, overlooking a busy street or ugly alleyway, offering zero ambiance or room to do much of anything. Where was my adorable mid-century cottage I had been imagining this whole time, the one with the cute Spanish accents, hardwood floors and the nice yard for my barbecues and garden? Turns out they do exist -- but not on this part of town. Dan assures me that we will only settle on a place that we love, but I can't deny I am a bit crushed. Being close to the beach does offer some solace, but having the cool home was one of the main reasons I was sold on this California lifestyle.
I also feel very concerned that there when I go to any grocery store around here, there doesn't seem to be much of a deli counter. At one fairly fancy grocery I went to, there were like five Boar's Head meats to choose from, and I had to flag someone down because no one was even manning the station. I am flabbergasted that it appears most people buy pre-sliced packaged cold cuts here. (Mind you - this used to be my regular deli counter. Watching the Deli & Salumeria video brings a lump to the throat.)
At least this place might be in or near my new neighborhood.
I am trying to keep my chin up. Where there's a June, there's a way.