Well, here we are, in our new house, in our new city, in our new lives.
Been here since Monday, in fact. I brought up the rear of the caravan, providing transportation for (among many other things) our two cats. (Any of you who have ever traveled with cats know what that was like.)
I've had my handyman hat on since my arrival -- which so far mostly means that I've been doing a lot of painting.
The week before the move was fairly stressful. Played the last IJG gig of '06 at Safari Sam's on Thursday -- and it was sort of an anticlimax after the fun we had on our August tour. The band played well enough, though we were (in my opinion) seriously crippled by an unusually large number of subs. Further, the LA audience, which had come out in full force for our previous show (at Club Tropical), had seemingly retreated back into the warm comfort of a living room, a TV, and a beer. In other words, hardly anyone came out to hear us. All of this is quite frustrating, given that Safari Sam's is one of the coolest spaces we've ever had the opportunity to play.
Aside from the gig, pre-PDX week was full of recording sessions, as I continued to ready the material for our next album, The Art of the Mixtape, vol. 1. We got a nice chunk of work done, but it ate into valuable packing time, so I ended up having to delay my planned departure from 6 AM on Sunday to 3 PM on Sunday (an adjustment that also meant I was doing the trip in two days instead of one).
Anyway, so far, all our most optimistic expectations regarding life in Portland and our new house have been confirmed. Thandie absolutely loves the big-ass yard. Twice already the three of us have walked down to the nearest cafe for breakfast (a cozy little joint called Marco's -- stellar omelettes and coffee), a trip that involved following a "trail" (railroad ties set as steps into the side of a hill) through a mess of blackberry bushes. And twice now neighbors have popped over to welcome us -- one even brought cookies. Coming from the frantic lack of neighborliness that we found in LA, such acts appear extraordinary. They take some getting used to, in fact.
There'll be more details to relate in the weeks ahead, but for now I'm quite confident: this will be the perfect place from which to launch my plans for IJG, phase two (in which we finally are able to pay our bills by playing in said band).