Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Been waiting to say…


Toto, we’re home. Home! And this is my room, and you’re all here. And I’m not gonna leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all, and – oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!


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So, what’s up with you?


I hope you’re doing well.

Mr. TR drove away today with our pets and all our stuff. Goodbye pets. Goodbye stuff. Goodbye husband.

Hello rented room.

And I thought I was ready to get back to Pittsburgh before? That was nothin’.

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Just in case you’ve been yearning for visual proof that I hung out on the deck at the Grandview the first week in March:


Also, I apologize for not being around so much since I’ve been back in Oz-tin. Truth be told, I’m a little melancholy and a lot distracted. Ya see, turns out Mr. TR’s job will be starting significantly earlier than mine, like months. So we’re packing up the house so he can move away. Not a pleasant prospect – my favorite person in my favorite place, while I’m still stuck in traffic on I-35. 


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Good morning Pittsburgh. Time to find out if I can still be funny and interesting while I’m here.

I woke up before my alarm yesterday, which was set for 3:30 CST. Threw on a sweater (yes!) and waited for Mrs. PF to pick me up at 4:00. I owe her a kidney. She played The Clarks in the car on the way to the airport, because she is funny.

The first flight was easy – at 5:45, we were one of the first flights out of Oz-tin, and the plane was practically empty. I had a whole row to myself, as Mr. TR drove up earlier in the week to bring bedding and home-repair tools in the car. Once we got to Atlanta and its hot mess of an airport, things went downhill fast. Our flight was oversold, the plane was held for delayed connecting passengers, and when we finally got in line to take off, we were informed by the condescending flight attendant that we were 25th in line for departure and could expect another 45 minutes of taxiing. At the same time, he reminded us that we could not lay our seats back, use our tray-tables, use any electronic anything, or get up to pee. I was forced to actually talk to the stranger next to me.

So I conducted a little trick, er, experiment. Once I ascertained that she lives here in Pittsburgh, I let her tell me all about it. I didn’t ever exactly lie, but when I told her that I was moving to the ‘Burgh for a job, she just assumed that I was moving here for the first time and could use some advice. Which was amusing as hell.

She warned me that it is hard to find my workplace. She told me that the neighborhoods where I’m looking for houses are “too city-like” and I should look in the suburbs where houses hold their value. She recommended visiting Wholey’s if I go to The Strip, and she pronounced it “Hole-eys.” She also recommended Primanti Bros sandwiches (she wasn’t sure where they were located), but she warned me that they would put everything I order on the sandwich – “even coleslaw!” – unless I asked them not to. I just smiled and nodded, and felt sorry for the next poor schmuck who gets her advice and actually tries to order a Primanti sandwich without all that extra crap on it.

Once we finally arrived in Pittsburgh, however, everything was okay. As okay as it has ever been. I’m home. I’m happy.

There’s a kind of peace that comes with being at home that is totally unique. You just feel safe. Mr. TR and I drove around yesterday to look at houses (after we had Primanti’s, complete with – gasp – coleslaw), and at one point we weren’t completely sure we were going the right way. I said, “Just keep going. How lost can we get? We’re in Pittsburgh.”

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Explain something to me

Explain to me… the decorative fireplace. If you have never lived anywhere but Pittsburgh, you may never have thought about what a ragingly stupid concept this is. So think of it now: it’s 19-0-whatever, you’re building a drafty brick Victorian house in a part of the country that’s under snow for 4 months of the year – do you build a fake fireplace that doesn’t have a chimney, doesn’t burn any wood, and doesn’t provide any warmth? Do you build seven of them?? In the same house??!

fireplace1Mr. TR and I are madly house-hunting, combing real estate websites, trying to use Google StreetView as a substitute for actually driving by properties and checking for crazy neighbors or sewage smells, and a good number of the houses in the neighborhoods we’re searching are plagued with an infestation of superfluous fake fireplaces. Some are flagrantly fake, like the one to the left – just a wooden mantel glued to the wall. Others are slightly better replicas – the type that actually has a small bricked-up indentation in the wall with a mantel over it. Still others appear to be actual fireplaces that have just had their flues bricked closed… until you look at the outside views of the house and see no chimney.

fireplace2Wait, did I say “chimney?” Because I meant “chimneys.” Because these decorative fireplaces travel in packs. If a house has one, it has five. There are phony fireplaces in the living room, the dining room, the master bedroom, the kids’ rooms, the bathrooms, anywhere someone might need a little extra heat and be longing for a warm crackling fire – you’ll find a mocking reminder that there will be no warm crackling fire.

fireplace3I cannot understand what these early 20th century architect people were thinking. Were they thinking, “The radiators and coal heaters already provide so much reliable heat, a woodburning fireplace would just be overkill?” Were they thinking, “No one around here can afford wood, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a beautiful useless fireplace?” Or were they thinking, “Oh shit, we forgot to build five chimneys, what do we do now?”

fireplace4People. I think there are more working fireplaces in Oz-tin than there are in Pittsburgh. I don’t have to tell you how pathetic that is. Texas needs fireplaces like it needs a hole in the head. I know there are charms to Pittsburgh architecture, but at least the Pittsburgh potty has some utility. Decorative fireplaces? That’s just a tease.

Photos from actual properties for sale at http://pittsburghmoves.com/default.aspx.

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1. No, no, no, no, and no. That is all.

2. Spring training is underway, and if you care, follow the analyses here, here, or here. This is the bestest time of year. Almost time for baseball joy, but no actual sucking yet.

You guys, I love baseball. I don’t know if I’ve emphasized that enough. I would anticipate a lot of never shutting up about it very soon.

3. Uh, sorry neighbors. Cleveland is number 4 on Forbes’ 10 most miserable cities in 2009. That’s higher than Flint, MI. Michael Moore made a whole movie about how miserable Flint is.

4. So, Mr. TR and I are looking for a new house (anyone wanna buy a little Cape Cod?), and one of the big pluses noted by a real estate agent about a house we were considering was its proximity to a new retail development. I was mildly annoyed by it (see the rant I just wrote about mixed-use neo-urban development), until I realized two things: a) this is an actual old urban building, the Nabisco plant; and b) we’d be so close to a gym, I might actually go.


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It is the year that I move home.

I’m going to say it again, because it sounds so good.

It is the year that I move home.

I don’t need any New Year’s resolutions this year, because I made a resolution three years ago when I was standing in the middle of my empty house, feeling like that house looked a lot like the inside of my heart. I resolved that I would come home again. And now I will.

We planned our move because we thought it would be a Good Thing for the TR family. We were taking next steps in our careers, we were adventuring out to a new exciting growing place. But we actually moved because neither of us had the stones to say, “Wait! I changed my mind! I don’t want to leave Pittsburgh, I want to stay.” At least, not until it was too late – the job contracts were signed, the house was leased, the busted Honda was sold.

In the end though, we both admitted that we had indeed had a change of heart. We knew that neither of us was brimming with enthusiasm for the move to Texas, and that we were already wondering how to get home. It was with heavy hearts that we had our last night in Pittsburgh. So that last day, we resolved that we would come back after all – no last night for us. Not goodbye, but see you later.

So now, it is finally the year that we move home. No cold feet for this move – the resolution stands firm. That’s what New Year’s Day means this year, and I don’t want to change a thing.

But I do think I’ll try to go to the gym more, and maybe learn to bake bread.

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