State of the Steven

I did it again. I mentioned my upcoming move in an offhanded comment on Heather’s blog, and she said, “And does this mean you’ve made a decision?? Spill!”

One again, I was absolutely certain that I had talked about this on the blog, but I haven’t. I scrolled back through the last few posts, and when I talked about this in February, I was still thinking about it and I hadn’t locked anything in.

So with that in mind, I thought it would be a nice time to do an overall check-in, a sort of “State of the Steven” post as it were. We’ll start with the topic I already brought up-

I’m moving! I spent a lot of time thinking about the things I mentioned back in February, and I talked the ears off of anyone who would listen about the possibility of a move. Most of the people in closest proximity to me figured out that I was definitely going before I knew it myself.

I did a ton of research, looked at dozens of possible places to live, talked on the phone with one helpful-but-also-standoffish realtor, and took several “virtual tours” of possible apartment buildings. Just a hair under two weeks ago, I signed a lease for an apartment in Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington DC. I have about ten weeks left in Florida then I’m headed up to the new place in August.

map of where I will be living relative to DC
The red pin is approximately where the new apartment is located.

On January 1st, I posted about my theoretical goals for the year, and one of them was blogging more consistently. I’ve obviously let that one slide, so let’s take a quick look at a few of the other biggies:

Health, exercise, and sleep: I started out the year strong on this one, but then we got a pandemic. My access to the treadmill went away. Grocery shopping involved more and more junk food and beer. All the things that keep me sane like live music and trivia out with my friends went away for more than two months. Time began to lose all meaning, thanks to the stay-at-home orders, and my sleep went off the rails. So overall, I would say this goal could be better.

Travel: Unfortunately, Covid-19 and the stay at home orders have killed this one. I’ve had five trips involving air travel killed so far this year, and one remaining for September is in serious doubt. I’ll probably be going up to DC in late June, partly to collect keys to my new apartment and partly because the planned Seattle trip with my sister got squashed and we’re trying to make up for it with a smaller East Coast city-hop. We have to wait for touristy things to open though; if we went now we wouldn’t be able to do anything.

Live Music: This is an utter failure, again because of the pandemic. I’ve honestly lost count of how many shows have been canceled, postponed, or rescheduled, but it’s more than twenty so far. The picture to the right is the little whiteboard in my office. The left column is cancellations and it’s only shorter than the other column because I erase shows once a refund is received. The right column is any show that’s been postponed but hasn’t said anything else about the status. If a show gets rescheduled, I’ll either erase it from the right column or move it to the left, pending a refund. I’ve given this WAY too much thought.

And some of the smaller goals from the January 1st post-

  • See more Shakespeare – I watched a little on YouTube, but the pandemic has put a kibosh in this one. Still, there’s a great Shakespeare theater in DC, so I’m optimistic for the future.
  • Make a decision about moving – Finally, a goal that I can actually say is DONE. All that’s left now are the move itself, the acclimating to a new city, and so forth.
  • More decluttering – I’ve actually done a heap of this in preparation for my move- I got rid of the kitchen stools I never sit in, the second television I don’t need, some other small furniture items, and a few odds and ends. I still have way more than I really want to bring for an interstate move, but hey, it’s a start.

How’re you doing so far this year?

18/52

298 Days

My residence permit expires at the end of October, and I’ll be heading back to the US around that time.   October may seem like a long way off, but it’s really not.   I have less than three hundred days left in Germany.

I wrote a 500 days post back in June, after I passed the halfway mark of my time here.  It listed a number of the things that I wanted to accomplish before I leave.  Between June and December, I finished five of them.  Here’s an updated list of things that I really want to do before I go.

I want to see the Tulip Festival in Holland.  This will likely happen-  My partner-in-crime Jenny and I are planning on trying to make it out, but you can’t really plan that too far in advance.  The tulips don’t bloom on a set schedule and if they’re not blooming when you go, it’s a wasted trip.

I kinda want to see Mini Europe in Brussels.  I’ll probably pair Brussels with a visit to Luxembourg-  they’re in a straight line, more or less, and they’re all on my Geographic to-do list.

There’s a bunch of other places in Germany that I want to see.  A selection: Rothenburg ob der Tauber.  Oberhaus Fortress in Passau.  The Tomb of Charlemagne in Aachen’s Palatine Chapel.  The Auto Technik Museum in Heidelberg.

I’m going to see Carnival in Cologne I already have my hotel room reserved for the events of Carnival Sunday and the Rose Monday parade.

I’m attending a wedding in July.  I’ve wanted to write a post about weddings here for a while, but I haven’t been to a wedding in Germany yet.  That’s going to change though:  Over the holidays, Jenny and her boyfriend Robert got engaged!   Jenny is my best friend on this continent, and  I’m wildly happy for them both.  I’m sure I’ll be writing about this happy occasion several times this year.

We’re going to DrachenstichI found out about this too late last year to make it happen, but I’ve already got tickets for this August.  I’m really looking forward to this!  Drachenstich is a festival in Furth Im Wald which is kind of like Medieval Times, but with a giant robot firebreathing dragon!

furtherdrache2010

Here’s a trailer thingie so you can get a sense of the festival.

I need to visit more countries.  I haven’t been into Poland, Romania, Turkey, or Croatia yet, and I’d like to.  And maybe Greece, if there’s time.  There’s still so much to see!

If you only had one year remaining to live in your current country, what would you want to do before you had to leave?