The New York gig is up

So. The gig is up. I’ve told some of you and hinted at it, but now I can talk about it. The big news: we are moving to Denver, Colorado. At the end of the month. Seriously.

I quit my job, and my last day is the 9th. Sarah quit too. She found a new position in Denver, and we’re packing up and heading out. I have not found a job, and I’m in no big hurry. I will most likely take the summer off to finish Book 3, and then try to change paths a bit, and either do some web dev work, or usability, or something else, provided I can 1099 and contract like hell during the winter, and then do other stuff in the summer.

Why Denver? Why not? I’m sick of New York. It’s been a good run, but in the long run, I know I’m not a New Yorker that says “New York is the greatest city in the world, dammit! Our pizza is better than your pizza! Everything’s open all the time!” Yeah, blow it out your ass. Try to find something in my neighborhood open past nine when you need some dinner, and you pretty much end up at McDonald’s. They have those elsewhere, I believe. The cost is getting to me, the rats are getting to me, the August total dehabilitation heatwaves are getting to me, and the fact that our two bedroom one bath apartment (that we sublet, btw) would sell for about $750,000 gets to me. And you already know how I feel about the grocery stores.

Almost six years at my current job has done me in, too. I will have to say that I will miss my closest coworkers, and they do pay me to work there. But you can only stay in one _Office Space_-esque situation for so long. I have cared too much about shit beyond my control for too long, to the point where I really don’t give a shit at all about anything at my job. After 17,000 iterations on the “lets versus let’s” lecture, with no end in sight, I have really stopped caring about anything. That’s a good time to think about an exit plan.

And we have been thinking about it for a while. The original thought was to go to LA (Sarah lived there for a while) or SF (lots of good jobs for me) and we pursued that for a while. I know a lot of people absolutely hate Los Angeles, but I’ve found the same general groupthink that tells people that New York is so great also tells people LA is so bad. But I actually like it there. San Francisco is cool too, but it’s the one place we could move in the lower 48 that would be more expensive than NY.

Denver came out of the blue, and I initially didn’t like the idea, mostly because I was certain I would never find a job again. And maybe I won’t, but the cost of living is cheap as hell. Denver is about the same price as Bloomington. On a New York salary, that means the heat is not really on for me to immediately find another gig. And with the real estate prices, it means a damn nice house is easily within reach. We’ll also be a few hours north of my land, so if I do work seasonally (or anti-seasonally, I guess), I can spend my summers driving down for long weekends of tree-planting and soil-tilling and whatever else.

As for the actual plans, we both finish our jobs, then we fly out for a week of getting shit done, with apartment hunting being at the top of the list. We also have to buy a car. The move will be taken care of by a moving company, who will pack it all and ship it out. (I found out during my 2005 move here that I am officially too old for this shit.) We have a notebook of crap to do, before during and after the move. The list is three or four pages. I think there are five or six things done. We have a lot of busy weeks and weekends in the next month ahead.

I’ve had to tell the above story 50,000 times in the last week, at work and to relatives and in emails. It’s getting very old, and I’ve probably forgotten some important details. If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Well, feel free to ask *most* questions, I should say. The most common question I get from mouthbreathing idiots is “why Denver? WHY Denver? Why DENVER?” The same groupthink that says “it rains every day in Seattle, I saw it in that Tom Hanks movie” when in fact, Seattle gets less rain than New York, is also the same process that makes everyone say “Denver is horrible because of the snow and winters!” Yeah, the current three day forecast in NYC is identical to the one in Denver, except in Denver, I won’t be walking across town; we will have a car with a heater.

In other news, John Sheppard was just here for a few days, and we went to his book reading last night. Always good to see him and Helen, and we had a nice dinner last night and much conversation. See for more details. And buy the damn book already!