It’s certainly no “Depot” and I can’t claim it to be “Worth the Trip” either; but hey, at least it’s bigger than Emerson 227. “It” of course is my new place. Now I realize that “place” isn’t all the descriptive, but I really don’t know what else to call it. If I say apartment that will make you think of an apartment complex, which I not at all where I live. If I say house, well that would be lying too. Duplex probably comes closest, but I’m not totally certain that is accurate either. So place it is.
I found my place with incredible speed and ease. Ironically, this seems to be a recent trend in my life ever since graduating college, which I did neither quickly (took me an extra semester) nor easily (double major in two different schools… who’s idea was that?). Perhaps I’m just making up for lost time. After arriving in Carlsbad at 1:30, I managed to get tours of three ‘places’ that afternoon. The next morning the real estate agency called back to say my application passed and I could come in to sign the lease at 1.
Before rushing over there, however, there was one final place I needed to look at. This provided me a classic welcome to Carlsbad moment. The landlord, a scraggly (she had remnants of a beard so I think its a fair comment) 60ish-year old woman named Rosemary met me outside in the lawn, which just so happened to be covered (may be an exaggeration, but not by much) dog poop. After several failed attempts to open the door, Rosemary declared she had brought the wrong key and needed to go retrieve the right one. As I headed back to my car to wait, one of the neighbors from across the street came out and gave me a short wave. I said hi and waved back then proceeded to enter my car. That’s when I noticed the neighbor was walking over and wanted to speak to me. I opened my door and before I could say anything this old man pointed to the house next to the one I came to see and said “that man who lives over there is a f***ing crook, watch your a**”. I nodded sheepishly, not really knowing what to say or do, and sat there shell shocked as the man turned around and went back into his house. Wow, I thought to myself, that just happened.
Between the creepy neighbor man I just met, the alleged crook next door and the absentminded landlord (not to mention the excessive amounts of feces in the front yard), I just about left right then and there. I only stayed to be polite to Rosemary. My tour lasted all of two minutes. I walked in, acted like I was looking around and told her I just felt better about another place I already looked at. Then, I got the heck outta there as fast as I could.
Even with the lease signed, I still couldn’t start living in my place right away. Utilities wouldn’t be turned on until Tuesday and every room was completely empty. Until then, I could stay at a fellow reporter’s house and sleep on his couch. His name, by the way, is Reid Wright. Yeah, he was pretty much born to be a journalist.
During the days I have kept busy running errands of various sorts… and watching football of course. Yard sale shopping Saturday morning was a fun way for Jesse and I to learn our way around town. Actually, I must say that without Jesse this whole would be a complete lost cause. Seriously, I would be so lost without her. What did people moving to new towns before the days of GPS even do anyway. I’m not totally sure what I would have done but it probably would have involved sitting on a street corner and crying.
The yard sale adventure was a huge success. I came away with a hide-a-bed couch, a kitchen table with chairs and a set of dishes. One of my neighbors, who just so happens to be much friendlier than my alternatives, also gave me a small cushioned chair for the living room. His (the neighbor’s, not the chair’s) name is Dan so I will be able to remember his name. His wife (who’s name is not Dan and thus I am unable to recall it) is also super nice.
I dedicated Saturday and Sunday to the NFL playoffs with the justification that it would help me learn the local sports bar scene (side note: Sunday NFL games start at 11 am in this time zone. This is both weird and inconvenient. I will have to find a church with an early or evening service). Well, Saturday and Sunday are over, and I have yet to find said sports bars. Chili’s seems to be the best option this town has to offer. There is also a Mexican restaurant called Lucy’s that will suffice as well. Other than that… nothin. Oh, and for all of you who suddenly hold ambitions of starting a BW’s franchise in Carlsbad you should kill that dream immediately. Even with only two quasi sports bars in town, neither were anywhere closed to being full during game time. This both scares and excites me because it means that high school sports really are more important to these people than any other team. By the way, do you know why New Mexico doesn’t have a professional sports team? Because then Texas would want one too!
While Carlsbad lacks in sports bars it does offer some nice local restaurant options (they just don’t like putting TV’s in every corner of the room, that’s all). So far my best meal by far came at Danny’s Place. No, this is not me making up ridiculous lies about how good my home cooking is. There is actually a really great BBQ restaurant in town called Danny’s Place. It even serves “St. Louis cut pork ribs.” Between Danny’s, my neighbor and the new sports editor, I’m beginning to think that all good things in this town share a common name 😉 No that is not an invitation for you to start calling me Danny (only my sister gets to do that). Yes, I did just insert a winky smiley face into my post.
Besides random errands, aimless driving around and football, I also have already had several fun and/or interesting nights here too. Ellen Rohn (a girl I know from Miami and Navs who also randomly ended up in Carlsbad) has let me tag along with her group of friends from work as a tour guide at the Caverns. Thursday (my first night in town) I joined them for two hours of volleyball at the rec. Friday I trekked it out to her place (housing provided by her employer, about 45 minutes from town) for Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Poker night. While walking back to my car I discovered that in addition to the sunny short sleeve weather you can also be jealous of me for how great the stars are here (yes, even better than Oxford, Ohio). I seriously almost fell over when I walked out Ellen’s front door. They are that good.
Sunday night was a ‘weekend’ night for Reid and I; we spent it over at one of his friend’s houses where we were joined by a bunch of college and/or (I didn’t really know) high school aged kids who also had a weekend night due to MLK day. The details of this gathering probably should not be posted on the world wide web but the cliff notes version says there was a ‘rave’ (think black lights, glow sticks and techno music) and we will leave it at that. Like I said, fun and/or interesting.
Well, work starts Tuesday (which will probably be ‘today’ when this gets posted). Reid said my desk has been empty for several months and there are probably hundreds of messages on the phone, none of which he expects to be pleasant. I’ve been told this town is quite serious about its high school sports and that’s no joke. Everyone I’ve told about my job as sports editor gave me some comment about how bad the section has been or how they want it to be. The good news, anyway, is that improving the section will not be much of a challenge (so easy a caveman could do it). Improving it enough, however, will.