Week 2 in McPherson

Week 2 consisted mainly of spending time with old friends and getting to know new friends. Last Friday Doug left for England, leaving me on my own to socialize with people I haven’t seen for over 2 years or had never met before. So far I think I’m doing well.

Last Saturday Lisa and I made a grand excursion to Lindsborg and Salina where we shopped at 2 thrift stores and Hobby Lobby and made a killing in cheap decorations.

Sunday David and Bryce took me in and fed me after going to church with them at the Free Methodist church. I was excited to hear a woman pastor speak but she was on a trip so the associate pastor spoke. I really liked it though and will probably go back again this Sunday. Maybe I’ll bring Lisa.

Monday and Tuesday are kind of a blur; I don’t remember what I did but I do remember lots of coffee was consumed and there was lots of pleasure reading. Its nice not to be told what to read and how many pages–which was the norm for the last 3 semesters at least, if not the whole 4 1/2 years I was in school. I finished my first book of 2010, Slaughterhouse Five, because I feel like as a self-respecting fan of 20th century literature, I should have read it by now. Currently I’m working on a Hunter S Thompson book and the recently popular Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Now I remember what I did on Tuesday. I took all the trash and recyclables out to the transfer station (so-called because they transfer our trash to a bigger dump somewhere else). Still, its the only place in town that separates recyclables and as a dutiful environmentalist and Californian, I want to do my part.

Wednesday was Justin’s day off and we had an adventure in Hutchinson, spending a little more money than we both had expected but still not too  much. He bought some art supplies and I bought some makeup since mine had ran out. We ate at Antojitos Mexicanos el Barbas, which pushed him way outside his comfort zone–generally he’s wary to even try new food chains, let alone a hole in the wall Mexican place.

The Job hunt has commenced! I have turned in resumes at a number of places and am waiting to get a call or an e-mail in response. I have a few more things to get taken care of today as well. Wish me luck!

Also, as promised, pictures of my new place…

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Week 1 in McPherson

It’s Friday which means I have officially been in Kansas for a week. Aside from the frigid temperatures (its 15 degrees outside as I write this), everything is excellent! Friday night around midnight I rolled into McPherson–as I did, it began to lightly snow. I kid you not the timing was perfect. Doug and I went to Justin’s to pick him up and then to my apartment, and Justin helped us unload everything from the back of the pickup even though it was midnight. The original plan was just to get the bed and mattress upstairs but it was fairly easy for them to get everything from the truck upstairs. I helped when I could, but I’m weak and it was about 9 degrees out. Although we didn’t put together the bed, I put clean sheets on it and loaded it up with blankets. Five of them. I promptly fell asleep because I’d been up since 6AM Kansas time.

My roommate was in New Jersey for Christmas so I had the apartment all to myself on Saturday and Sunday. During this time I brought up the rest of the stuff from my car, arranged things in the living room, and started unpacking all of my boxes. As of now they’re all unpacked except for one, and all my clothes are hung up (if you know me, you know hanging up clothes is my least favorite chore ever). The amount of books I have is staggering now that I have them all in on place. I need a bookshelf but haven’t found one at the 3 thrift stores I’ve tried so far.

My apartment has three rooms, plus kitchen and bathroom. The bedroom Lisa and I share is huge! The beds are on one side of it and the other side has my dresser and a huge open space for whatever. Right now Lisa has a sewing project all laid out and I’m careful not to step on any pins. The living room has seating for at least 6 (more if people squeeze together on the 2 couches), and we have already had people over every single night. The dinging room has a rug and a piano in it, as well as an empty hutch that will probably be used to store food because there are next to no cabinets in the kitchen. The kitchen has a non-working stove, semi-working microwave, and an excellent coffeemaker/espresso machine on loan to us from a friend. The bathroom is tiled in three different pastel colors and has a seafoam green tub.

I’m kicking myself for leaving my CBGB, Little Miss Sunshine, and Bright Eyes posters, among others, behind in California. I forgot all about them until I realized how much empty wall space I have and nothing to fill it with. Our ceilings are impossibly high and I haven’t figured out how to deal with that fact yet.

Due to the non-working stove, I’ve already eaten out at all my favorite McPherson dining establishments. First of course was the Main Street Deli, which I would eat at every day if I could afford to. Then Doug’s mom took us to a new Mexican place in town (well, new to me). I also ate at Amics, an oddity in the midwest as it serves Mediterranean cuisine–possibly the only one for at least 60 miles? Also, Doug told me about a Mexican restaurant in Hutchinson which is probably the most authentic one outside of Wichita–Antojitos Mexicanos el Barbas (what a wacky name, right?). We went there when we went to his parents’ house to do laundry and…. it was UH-MAZING. I’m going back every time I’m in Hutch.

Lastly, my skin hasn’t been this dry for a long time. Aveeno and Mary Kay need to send me a personal letter of appreciation for how much lotion I have been using this week. Any donations to the Keep Staci’s Skin Looking Pretty fund will be enthusiastically appreciated.

Packing Light

So my friend just moved all the way across the country and took all of her belongings in two suitcases and a backpack. She went by plane so each suitcase was under 50 pounds and her books were contained in a backpack or two.

CRAZY!

Deidra did the same thing when she moved from Oregon to Kansas and vice versa. Pared everything down to one or two huge bags and that’s it. Okay, on the way back to Oregon there were several large boxes shipped expensively with heavy books.

I admire this more than I can put into words.

I would never be able to do this. Darn attachment to material possessions. I’ll qualify: I think I could get most everything down to that size if I forsook my furniture and electronics. I just really like my stereo and wouldn’t want to buy another one if the one I have is perfectly good. Same with my mattress. Mattresses are expensive!

But at the same time I think about what I took to Morocco: One huge blue suitcase under 50 pounds and a small duffel. And I was perfectly okay for two months. I survived and didn’t even buy stuff to replace what I’d left behind. Like at all. Granted, I was living with a host family that had a bed for me and lent me a big fluffy towel since I was totally an airhead and that’s the one thing I forgot.

When Doug visited me last month he brought everything he needed in a backpack and a tennis bag. The boy is crazy.

I have been thinking almost obsessively about moving (packing, logistics, money, etc) in anticipation of December when I’m heading on back to the promised land (Kansas)! Thoughts? Best to pack/move light or to cart all your stuff so you don’t have to replace it when you get to your destination?