West Coast State of Mine

I’m an emotional wreck. I’m always an emotional wreck, but this time crosses the line on emotional wreckage. I’m experiencing the sort of emotional wreckage you scrape off the pavement with a spatula.

We’re moving to San Francisco. At least for a while.

The past several days, I have gone from completely and totally excited to acting as if someone died in 30 seconds flat. It’s nearly absurd. (Damn chemicals). While I’m excited about being able to see red woods, it’s kicking my butt the idea of picking up and moving 3000 or whatever number of miles away from here. I wish I could assure to my father that it’s not his fault for moving us all over the eastern seaboard all our lives, that people move these days, that some folks just like to wander.

(I love my family. I have always been very close to my family. I love them with all my heart. They must know this.)

Why is moving so hard for me? It’s always been hard for me. Why can’t I see this as the best, most exciting adventure possible? Instead, I do that for a while, then I think things like what if something happens to someone in my family? What if I’m too far away to get back in time? What if Ryan is lonely? What if Missy and I lose touch? What if I never see Soung again? What if what if whatifwhatifwhatif?

What if?

What if my cats die on the airplane? Or worse, what if I drive them out there and they run away and die in the desert from dehydration or get run over by a camel? That would be terrible. Does anyone want a cat for a while?

I want so badly to know and predict the future. I want to know that this won’t render me a blubbering idiot with puffy eyes for the next month.

I want everyone to live forever, and near me. I want to invite them all with me. How much does that cost?

I’m excited. I am. The idea of seeing HUGE trees excites me. I’ll be near Crater Lake, something I have dreamt about seeing over and over again. We’ll bring back wine and take pictures of amazing scenery. I’ll see Reno finally, Death Valley, and cliffy coastlines.

I might experience another earthquake. (And this time actually realize it’s happening).

I want Toby to understand that I’m just like this. It’s not forever, but I’ll be up and down for a while. I will and have gone from jumping up and down with excitement to crying when my cat sneezes.

I think it was Tom Petty who said

The waiting is the hardest part.

(And doesn’t he live there?)

See? I’m all out of whack. Is valium over the counter yet?

But honestly, I am excited. Upon rereading this, I realize I sound totally devastated. Who could be? What a great opportunity.

(Everyone tell Toby I’ll be fine.)

46 Comments

  1. Whoo! Big changes! So exciting. When’s all this happening, and how come?

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  2. Mihow, as we talked about this last night, you may surprise yourself. San Francisco isn’t the backwoods, and you can use to opportunity to write and take photos with the fancy new camera and hopefully keep up with this site (none of us is going anywhere—we’ll be right here). It’s okay to be excited and scared at the same time. Even if you are there for one year, make the most of it, so that 50 years from now, you can tell your grandchildren, “Let me tell you about that wonderful, crazy year in San Francisco.”

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  3. Missy just made me cry again. THANKS MISSY!!

    (kidding)

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  4. michele, missy is right.
    go have an amazing year in california. it sounds like a dream…

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  5. All I’m sayin’ is, they sure as hell didn’t write a song called, “I Left My Heart in Detroit.” It was SF they were talkin’ about. There’s a reason for that.

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  6. …plus, mitch has never been there so we will visit promptly! hell, if you need help driving ‘cross country we’re there. mitch loves cats.

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  7. when tucker farts, michele cries. i don’t know what tucker farting has to do with SF or with moving or with anything at all, really. michele is a special creature. she can weather many a storm, but when the cat poots, it all goes out the window. it’s like a minefield in a playground. i love every bit of it. but it breaks my heart…

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  8. seriously? only last night i was thinking that if TOby flies out ahead of me, I might want to recruit people for a drive.

    No kidding.

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  9. Detroit has its charm. I left my heart on the People Mover.

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  10. awww, the People Mover.
    maybe you 2 should move here instead.

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  11. WOW. I can feel for you both ways, excitement and fright. First, I’ve moved between europe and the US three times and like you, everytime I wonder, why in the hell do I leave everyone and everything behind and why at the same time is it so exciting you can’t pass it up? Surely some folks can be happy moving out of their parents house, only to live around the corner, get a job in the same town and live their whole lives there… but the experience of seeing new horizons is addictive and has different benfits to your psychological health than staying in the familiar nest…

    It just depends what suits your personality more I guess, but I vote for the first option.

    And then… I had the pleasure of spending three months in SFO for an internship in 1997, and MAN! did that place steal my heart… It’s still the most beautiful city in the United States I believe, and as a fellow biking enthusiast I can tell you , there is nothing like a ride straight out of the city, over the golden gate bridge, into the Marina…

    I don’t think you’re ever going to want to leave….

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  12. Also, I spent my first date with my wife cruising around Detroit and also on the peoplemover :-)

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  13. San Francisco is so great! Just think of the fantastic people you’ll meet. Rather than losing touch with your old friends, you know you’ll eventually be broadening everyone’s circle of friends. And think of the things to do there … pottery, yoga, etc. A friend of mine who opened a yoga studio here spent 4 weeks in intensive ashtanga training in San Francisco last summer. It was a life-altering experience for her (in a very good way).

    You’re going to love it. As for the cats, heck, cats can survive a lot. They’re strong, hearty creatures. Just keep ‘em fed and watered. At least you’re not going someplace that would require a quarantine.

    And if you ever get over the bridge to Berkeley, go to Bette’s Diner. It rules.

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  14. There are camels in San Francisco??

    sorry.

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  15. oh and your favorite surfer buddy is actually quite excited to visit, mooch and surf. you don’t have to worry about not seeing that guy again.

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  16. I bet there’s a camel at the SF zoo!!

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  17. I better get over my fear of flying.

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  18. Wow!
    I have never really posted to your site before, but I am a loyal reader…I just wanted to let you know that SF really isn’t all that bad. I should know…I moved out here last year from the Wash DC area! It was stressful and crazy and fun and I did it with my husband, my two-year-old daughter and two cats! (and we flew too!)
    The city is really cool and the weather is amazing…nothing at all like DC weather.
    Plus there are tons of yoga places out here…
    I know you don’t know me, but I would be more than happy to talk to you via e-mail if you wanted to the low-down about the city.

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  19. Cat, please do. I would love the help. Thanks so much for commenting.

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  20. Are you guys planning on living in the city?
    It is expensive but it is really worth it….
    Just send me an e-mail and we can talk…. :o)
    Ps. Don’t stress, I went through everthing thing you mentioned…!

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  21. Yes, we are. Toby has been looking around. I think he has it narrowed down to a few areas. One, is where the office is.

    My email is anything at this domain.com. (I don’t want to put it up for fear of the spammers. :]

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  22. i have spoken to nifkin…
    and we will go out with you.
    just pick us up on your way out.

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  23. Don’t joke, because I will.

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  24. Seriously though, do they drug the cats? I can’t imagine Schmitty down there freaking out the entire time. I would hate that. It would send me over the edge. And Pookum?! Oh dear.

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  25. some airlines allow you to take an animal in the cabin for a fee around $100. As long as they fit in carrier under your seat. You can check airline websites to get the carrier dimensions and specifics. So if you both fly you could at least take 2 kitties on the flight with you. Tucker can go in baggage. he is young and fearless.

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  26. that makes me feel better. Tucker is fearless. As long as we have him under a blanket or in a dishwasher, he’ll do fine.

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  27. I’m sure the cats will be fine. Kitties have traveled far greater distances. Here are some good pointers:

    Travel Tips for Pets

    If you want to worry about something, worry about falling out of the baseball stadium there: Dumb Fan Article

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  28. That dude so deserves that ball.

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  29. Nico beat me to it. I’d bet Tucker would handle it in baggage, just fine. But damn, you’d feel bad about taking the other two up to the cabin! Would you even consider paying for a third seat? I’d do just about anything to ease my mind over the kitties.

    They make canvas cat carriers for airlines, so they fit under the seat. They’re a bit pricey. I’ve got one I can send to you, if you like. But I’d need it back.

    Also – talk to your vet, but kitties can pretty much take Gravol before travelling. Helps with the nausea, and the sleeping.

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  30. girl27, did you get my email? I sent it to you two days ago. To the addy on your site.

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  31. I tried sending you an e-mail…but I don’t know if it worked….
    at any rate, I have to go out for a couple of hours, but just so you know I am not some crazy person or such…I do have a poorly updated blog you can check out to see that I am somewhat legit and we can talk later about SF.
    http://bellekeboo.blogspot.com/
    Have you guys checked out Craigs list? that is where everyone looks when they are looking for a place to live here…
    That is how we found our place….

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  32. cat – we’ve been hitting CL, yes. we’re looking in Potrero, Noe Valley (where my office will be), North Beach, and The Mission. Oakland would be cool, but it would require a car and wouldn’t let us explore the way we will want.

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  33. I’m a little late, but, congratulations! You can always move back to PA if you get lonely.

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  34. Hi Toby!
    Potreo is cool…if you like a lot of hills. But they have great views.
    We actually live btw. Noe and Castro. Noe is really cool, plus it is one of the warmest spots in they city.
    It is kinda chilly here in the summer and they fog comes in every day which is fun to watch but it really cools things down. The hottest times are in the fall (Sept. and Oct.
    If you work in Noe, NOrth Beach will be a bit of a hike. It is nice but a bit far and it is also a bit chilly.
    Mission is a mixture of Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant…Really cool. Lots of hipster hangouts…Valencia street has tons of used bookstores, little restaurants and cafes….
    Plus as I have read you are a vegan, you will be happy with all of the really fresh veggies and stuff. SF is a vegetarian’s dream!
    AS far as Oakland is concerned…Most of it is like a version of the sketchy areas of SW DC!!!! Not much going on there….

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  35. dude oakland is not cool, it’s ghetto as hell. soma is great, portreo hill is great and north beach, castro and I stayed around union sq that’s rad too but probably hard to get a real apartment.

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  36. West Coast Players “cant touch this”! East coast Players Quack! Good Move guys im sure you will be way more happier than that crapier than hell whole they call the “nations capital” Mihow,now you dont have to worry about been shot!But you might get hit on by a big burly Rosie O’donell! and Toby whatch out for the fruits!lol
    other than that I herd its fantasic up there lots of great restruants and intresting people ( who cares if they are fruity)!! If you ever decide to come down and make the 8hr drive to San Diego be sure to drop me a line it would be my honor to show the sites and sounds of the finest city in America!!

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  37. And oh the bars of San Francisco!
    casa nova, the bottom of the hill, latin american club, make out room, the argus…

    + my friend b-girl out there can hook you guys up w/ a pottery studio

    James, don’t make me come out to SD and bust a chocolate city cap in your ass :]

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  38. SF should lots and lots of fun, i bet the hippies there don’t wear gap, and you can ride the trolly thing up the hills! don’t worry about the kitties, when i moved from the states i brought my guinea pig with me and he was fine!

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  39. she really is. i tried to control it. you know how it goes… oh, well… at least no fights at the pizza joint tonight. and no fictitious sisters offered to food service workers…

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  40. you will LOVE SF!
    it’s one of my favorite places in the world. i will come visit you…

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  41. Yes, everyone must come visit us so I’m not lonely. I don’t know anyone there. Yet. :]

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  42. “and no fictitious sisters offered to food service workers…”

    to everyone at the pool hall, however….

    :)

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  43. No, apparently last night was Show Michele’s Ass Crack night. I have been laughed at today, all day, because of it.
    *note to self: must buy belt.

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  44. toasting amy’s ass

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  45. don’t know who amy is, but I’ll drink to that. bottoms up!
    (I should probably fire my own self for that one.)

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