Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recap and hopes of things to come...

So, Journey is still delightful. The new singer is about 22 years old, and the rest of the band seems to be reveling in his youth. The set was great, even though they insisted on playing "new" material. Look, you are Journey. We came to hear you play about 5 songs. Play them. Don't dick around with this, "the best selling Journey album in 20 years!" garbage. I can't believe you all still even bother. But, well put together show, and Kat and I decided that she should probably marry the new singer. Just a good idea. He could wake her up every morning by singing Forever Yours, Faithfully. And who wouldn't love that?
Also, if you have the chance to see Heart? Please do it. I know, it's like 30 years later, but those babes are still powerhouses of awesome.
I officially hate the venue, though. They oversold the lawn seating to the point where it was standing room only before Heart went on, (Journey being the main attraction for the evening) and there were still several hundred people milling about getting beer and food. Unbelievably bad.
But the show was awesome, I got to have a nice visit with my family and Warren showed off how cute he is, so all in all a delightful trip.

My friend Meghan was writing about her desire to be more conscious of the food she buys and eats. Kind of funny how you drift toward similarly minded folks throughout your life, eh? Her musings remind me of a lot of the same thought processes I've been going through the last few years. I know all the things I'm supposed to be doing, and I'm working on it.

I want to eat locally, sustainably, organically and seasonally. I believe it's the best way to nourish myself, my family and also our environment. But I also want to stop spending money like we do. And you know what? It is often expensive to buy said foods. I've worked really hard at finding the cheaper places for produce and think I've got a decent balance of our local natural market and the farmer's market. I opt to make most foods from scratch, rather than pre-prepared. I haven't even bought ice cream in forever, opting to make it instead with some organic, local dairy and chocolate. My next project is learning to bake all my own breads so I don't have to buy expensive and still pretty tasteless bakery products.
But, I just can not afford organic meats. I bought them exclusively until Warren was born and Cory moved in. And feeding 3 full sized humans with the extra expenses of having a kid? Has just made it impossible. I try to buy the best meats I can, but more often than not, it's what's on sale at Costco.

I want to reduce my family's impact on the environment. We've reduced our water usage impressively, and we're getting better about recycling EVERYTHING we can. We use reusable rags instead of paper towels, I use cloth diapers and cloth baby wipes (except for most travel and some emergency situations). All and all, I feel that our household is doing well in that respect. Although I really need to swap out our cleaning supplies for less toxic versions. (And I've tried all the "organic" soaps, shampoos etc. and they are just awful. My hair was never so shitty. So, I object to that, but still aim for "biodegradable" and as natural as I dare).

Where the wheels fall off is car use. I work 35 miles from my home. And while I could take BART and a bus to get to my work, it costs the same money and takes 45 minutes longer each direction. I feel terrible guilt over this, but jeesus, I already have so little time with my family, I don't feel good about sacrificing yet another hour and a half of time I could be with them. Also, we live in a neighborhood that was publicized recently for having over 400 liquor stores and not a single grocery store. No wonder poor people eat so poorly. If you don't have fresh, good foods available, you want to know what's left? Go to the nearest gas station, see the foods? That's what you can buy in my neighborhood. Also, when you have a kid, it's just more work than I am able to put in sometimes, to load up the stroller and walk a couple of miles to do my errands.

And that's part of the reason I'm trying to get my family to move. I really want to plan where we live more thoughtfully than "It's cheap, it's available. Let's move." I want to live closer to my family, so that it's not a 3 hour drive any time we see each other. I want to live within an easy walk or bike ride of my work. I want to live in an area where it's easier to walk where we need to go, than drive. I want to be able to walk to a restaurant we enjoy, a grocery store, a coffee shop and a bar. Right now, we have none of these things within walking distance. We do have convenience stores and liquor stores. So, if you need some Marb lights, some Swishers and a bottle of cheap booze, I've got you covered.

When it finally dawn on me and Xtian that we'd eventually have to leave the bay area, we started plotting where we should go. I had a lot of criteria. No farther from my parents than we already are; needs to be a decent mix of races (we can't be the only, white/black/mixed people in the area); needs to be a big enough city to have the things we need; needs to have a healthy economy so that we can stay there; and preferably be cheaper to live than in the bay area.
We finally did some research and decided to aim for Sacramento. Our plan of action is this:
I find a job there, find a 3-bedroom place to live, Xtian and Cory put in their notice, we pack up and move. Xtian will use his Paid Family leave time while we get there and settled in. Giving him 6 weeks to find a job, daycare etc. That's been the plan for the last 6 months.

This move will be the next step in moving my family in the direction we want to go in. Hopefully, this move will be a great opportunity to adjust all these things I'd like to be doing differently. I'd love to spend that extra couple of hours with my kid, have more time and money to live my ideals, rather than feeling guilty for taking the shortcuts and knowing that I could be doing better for myself and my family.

In that vein, I'm almost afraid to mention...I have my first job interview in Sacramento tomorrow. It's my first call back from all this time I've been looking, so I'm understandably nervous. So, if everyone could think some good thoughts for me tomorrow at around 3 pm? I'd super, super appreciate it.


jen breese said...

Yup. I'll be thinking good thoughts at 3 tomorrow. :)

meghan...or is it? said...

I will think good thoughts at 5 p.m. my time tomorrow. And I'm guessing Sacramento farmer's markets are freakin' awesome. I have a couple contacts in the greater Sac area if you ever want me to put feelers out for you. Glad my blog gave you fodder...your blog makes me want to blog more! :)

Coley said...

Awww thanks for the thoughts Jen, and thanks for the fodder. Glad to see we're doing our vicious cycle here, Meghan.
I'm just betting Sac's markets and CSA's (Thanks for reminding me that these exist, by the way...) are just great, what with all the agriculture in the central valley.

Faith said...

Nope. Nuh-uh. I'm not sending you any good vibes or thoughts or anything until you change that "Sacramento" bit to "Kansas City."

::folds arms and taps foot waiting::

Ok, fine. Since we're only about 2 hours from the time of this interview you're having, I'll send you good vibes, I guess. ::VIBES::

There...happy? Stupid Coley's family living in stupid northern California...::kicks dirt::

Coley said...

Faith, I know. GIRL! Don't I know? But, until that carpet is installed in the closet, I couldn't possibly entertain the notion of moving to KC. Sorry, it's just the way it is.

Faith said...

FUCK! I forgot about that. Fine...