It’s been an interesting few weeks of change here in SLC since I’ve returned and recovered from Euro-trip 2011 (screenplay coming). Since returning home I have moved into a new apartment downtown (where all the hipsters live) in which I have started setting up life, because I’m a grown-up now (they should change the voting age to 27). The apartment search didn’t last too long but it was full of enough terrifying glimpses into a potential lifeless future to scare me into the place my friend and I ultimately found. As it turns out, finding an apartment in SLC can be a bit daunting, especially at the end of the summer when all 6 million students move back into the city for the new school year. Our search began on one end of town in a place that I think I’ve seen on the news and then eventually made it to the other end of town with bird-house lady. Bird-house lady was nice enough, but the 30-40 pastel-colored bird-houses draped with 1985 lace and fake twigs strewn decoratively about her apartment and common-stairwell were already enough for me to want to high-tail it out of there. But being the polite boys that we were (or should I say “men” now), we went with her to the potential living-quarters and graciously thanked her and laughed when she pointed out that the entire apartment was Pepto-Bismol pink. I thought this was a bit of an inaccurate description because there were several places that were colors other than pink. For example, many spots on the walls, counter-tops, and carpets were suspiciously stained brown or blood-red. Also the bath-tub and bathroom tile were a nice light greenish-bluish-barfish. So there was that. While walking around the place she lectured us about how no parties were allowed and that she expected us to quietly respect the neighbors (who I think were all geriatrics, ages 75 and older). During this escapade, I had the distinct impression that I may never be happy again. It wasn’t even a temporary or potential feeling, like “oh I just need to get out of here” or “I would not be happy living here.” It was more like, “walking into this apartment may forever prevent me from feeling happiness again no matter what happens with the rest of my life.” This by itself was a good enough indicator that we hadn’t found the right place, so we told her we would think about it and got the heck out of there.

Finally we came across an incredible place just two blocks away from where both of us work. Perhaps we liked it better than we would have on a normal day due to our new perspective thanks to a depressing morning of apartment shopping in Shadyville, but it’s a great place nonetheless. Of course when I told Bob and Cathie where I was moving, Cathie immediately informed me that that is the building “where all the shootings happen.” (Cathie is one of the persons from whom I inherited the worrying gene. It’s dominant but manifests itself a bit differently in each possessor. One way it manifests itself for her is that it provokes an automatic chemical reaction in her brain that causes her to envision a bad gang scene from West Side Story any time one of her children mentions the word “downtown.” Bob’s worrying gene makes him think that any time one of his children leaves the country, there is a 200% chance they will be killed in a terrorist attack (this, ironically, is up from 150% since Osama was killed). Mine caused me to drive back to Uncle Will’s house three times last night to make sure I had turned the stove off and shut the garage. I have wondered whether two of my sisters are adopted because they seem to have escaped the effects of bad genetics. But Krisanda and I beautifully carry on the family tradition of curiously-optimistic expectation of certain death at every corner). Fortunately Cathie warmed up to the place when she came to visit and saw that it most definitely is not the “shootings” place (which may or may not actually exist) she has seen on the news.

I don’t begin my job until next Monday so I’ve been living the life of a stay-at-home-single-guy (which I think is less rewarding than being a stay-at-home-parent or spouse). While I have become quite domestic over the last 10 days, I am pretty ready to head on to work and do something lawyerly for the first time in several months. But until then, I’ll keep decorating, cooking, and “gabbing” with all of my friends on the phone all day. Fortunately the domesticism and decorating have been greatly aided by so many wonderful friends who have come out of the wood-work with incredible furniture for our entire previously unfurnished apartment. Biggest thanks goes to Uncle Will and our good friend Andrea from whom I feel that I just won the show-case showdown on The Price is Right thanks to their basements full of great tables, chairs, lamps, and art. After moving things in and hanging all of my art that I’ve collected from foreign countries over the years and never done anything with, Krishelle glanced around and informed me that “it looks like a grown-up’s apartment.” So there’s that.

Well I better go. Nothing awaits me.

~It Just Gets Stranger