Monday, April 29, 2013

Moved In

A week to the day after I got to Phoenix I moved into my new apartment. I had been slated to get a studio apartment that would be available near the end of the month of May. However, the person decided not to trade up to the 1 bedroom apartment after all, so the studio was no longer available. The 1 bedroom that he didn't want was available immediately, though, so I moved in on Saturday. It is a second story apartment, and I was a tired and sore mess by Saturday night. I have more than enough room now.

What I don't have is all the little things one needs when moving into an empty apartment. You know, the things that are in storage or on the long trip to MO from Honduras. Not here in Phoenix. I am learning my own hierarchy of needs that doesn't quite mirror Maslow's (do I have the right person there?). My first trip out was for toilet paper and a shower curtain. I have one towel as I did remember that was something that I needed immediately on another move, and I read Hitchhikers Guide (again, was that the series that said always have a towel? I remember the concepts, not always the source...) Next was some dish detergent. I got my camp chair and small camp table from the storage unit, and also my few plastic dishes I got in Nashville the week I stayed in my vacant house. I didn't bring the air mattress or pump with me for some reason, so also had to replace them. I have internet in the apartment (a girl has to have her priorities) and so now have most bases covered temporarily. I would like something to put the folding clothes in other than being piled on the floor, an iron and ironing board, various kitchen things, but I don't want to spend much more money right now. WalMart has an inflatable couch that I think I'll get since I need to keep furniture small enough I can carry it up/down the stairs. A table will have to wait.

I only got a 7 month lease. I still plan on researching RVs, another reason I don't want to run out and get furniture. However, I'm 2.5 miles from work right now, and I'm not finding any RV parks in this area. A blogger I sometimes read gave some good advice once: if you get confused, slow down and stop spending money. So, for now I'm officially slowed down and not spending on much other than food. I also still hurt from moving, so the idea of being in one place for 7 months sounds really good to me right now.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Suite Hotel

I rolled out of Vegas a bit poorer. No issues getting down to Phoenix, except that I realized that what I thought was the south side was not even to the middle of Phoenix. My storage unit is 30 miles north of where I (will) work. Not a huge issue as I don't need to go there often and it is all freeway. Checked into my extended stay studio and got my dressy clothes all pressed for the first day of work. On Monday everything was going fine until the boss called me into his office to talk. Not an unusual thing to happen on a first day. Except it turns out that all that paperwork wasn't actually finished. The stuff that has to be done for me to actually start doing any work. So, I went back to the hotel and started making calls. I think now (Thursday!) I have finally finished submitting the additional forms and peeing in the cup and it is up to the 3rd party background check folks to figure out how to deal with my Honduras life. I keep saying that I had a clearance that I guarded and that they wouldn't have let me keep if I'd screwed up down there, but it doesn't compute in the civilian world.

I think I have found an affordable apartment that will be available about the time my reservation here at the hotel is up. I'll finalize that tomorrow. I have real food that I cook in the kitchen here. Well, it is frozen food, but closer than I've been able to do for a very long time. I bought a Magic Bullet mixer/blender and am making smoothies. Hint, don't get frozen berries that have pomegranates included for smoothies or you spit a lot of seeds. So far I really like it. Yes, I have been touring WalMart, IKEA, CostCo, etc. I also bought a printer/scanner as I have so many forms lately to print, fill out and scan back in to email. It is amazing to wander around those places after not having much of any selection for anything for so long in Honduras. I try to keep it under control, though, as I'm still in the situation of needing everything to fit in the Jeep.

The boss says he's not giving up on me, even though the background check is taking longer than we'd like. I know they won't find anything adverse as I managed to keep the clearance which is harder to get than what they are checking for now. So, I hang out and cook and eat and drive around the area to see what's here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Vegas, Baby! Take 2

The trip west went without incident. I did end up getting Motel 6 rooms, first in NM as I was getting unsafe driving. Motel 6 is my Uncle's go to place. I was not impressed, especially since the internet I paid extra didn't work. I drove to Phoenix and got a storage unit to drop the things I don't need right away. I walked out of the first place I tried (U-Haul Storage) because they were asking for all kinds of information and requiring insurance. Not just offering it, but extorting the money to get the unit. So, I walked. I didn't like the vibe of the place. I called another place from the parking lot. They worked with me, and the unit was half of the price of the U-Haul place per month, so I have temporary storage for a couple of months. Second month was free, so I'll at least keep it that long.

I then drove to Kingman, AZ and got the second Motel 6 room of the trip. Still not impressed, and the paid-for internet didn't work here either. Drove into Las Vegas on Sunday, stopping at Hoover Dam to look around. I made it half way out the walking bridge along side the new highway bridge before my fear of heights got to me and I decided it just didn't take me long to look at a dam (take off on a very old joke that if you remember it you are older than I am... :)

I was at the Quad for 3 nights, and I'm now at the Luxor. Again, I appreciate both places giving me free rooms. I did gamble so financially it was probably a wash, but I'm having fun. The internet, that I again paid for, did not work at the Quad worth a hoot. Seeing a pattern here? At the Luxor it is included in my 'resort fee' that I may or may not have to pay depending on how much I gamble here. It is wired (uses a cable) instead of wireless AND IT WORKS!!!

Tomorrow morning I check out and head back to Phoenix where I check in to my home for the next 30 days and start unpacking for the first time since I left Honduras in February. I'm ready to settle down for a bit.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Westward Ho!

I am all packed up, and in the next hour will get into the Jeep and head West. Making things up as I go. Gypsy asked about my tent: it is a very small 1-person called a Walrus. I used it on vacations in St. John for 2 years several years ago and it is too small to live out of in a humid climate like that, so I packed it away. All my 'good' gear is on it's way here from Honduras, but this tent was accessible, so that is what I'm taking.

My background check is still not back for the new job. I'm boring enough that I don't worry about any issues other than the military contracting outside the US stuff. They didn't really seem to know what to do with that.

Internet access will again be spotty for awhile. I'll post from my phone as I go along, not that I anticipate much excitement. All plans are in sand at this point, other than to head south and west.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Time to Update

I am still in MO at Mom's. The paperwork is making it's rounds, I hope, for the new job. Of all the things I was not worried about, the background check was at the top of the list. However, nothing is official until that is completed. I have two major things left to do here before I head west: Taxes and get the Jeep serviced. The taxes are just to capture the losses last year on my rental house. Hopefully that will soon be history. The Jeep is in need of an oil change, and 4WD is acting strange. Granted, I don't use it much, but it doesn't feel like it actually 'shifts' when I put it into 4WD, and I don't feel much change. I am wondering if it is stuck in 4WD, as my gas mileage is bad, even for a Jeep. So, today is taxes and tomorrow I work on getting the Jeep ready.

I have 6 nights free in Las Vegas all reserved. I decided I want to be out in the general area of Phoenix while waiting for my start date. I'll have my Jeep, so I can travel around and sight see, which I couldn't when I flew out there in February. Also, I'm getting antsy just sitting around here, so it is time for a road trip. A low-budget one, but a road trip just the same. I usually drive straight through from point A to point B when I travel, but I'm not sure how I'll do this drive. I'm planning on taking I40 across, even though Google Maps says I70 is a tad shorter. I don't want to deal with snow again, so I'll head south. I'll have a tent and camping gear with me, so I'm thinking I'll just stop along the way a couple of places. Then again, I drove straight through both trips to and from Washington State a few years ago, and that was a lot further.

As usual, all plans are in jello. I am so ready to have a 'home' again. Oh, and I still have 1.5 Jeep loads of stuff I want to take, but slowly I'm paring it down.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Paperwork never ends

I am working on getting paid for my last job and getting the paperwork filed for my new job. That has been the last 2 days' job. I'm still filling out the background check forms. I don't fit into nice, neat forms very well. I called the support line and he left the call as puzzled as I was about how to do this. His answer was to give my recruiter a heads up on why the paperwork is wonky.

I know where I'm going, and roughly when I need to be in Phoenix. I just don't know when I'll leave. Finances are the issue as usual. I can get more free nights in Las Vegas I have discovered. That may be a cheaper place to spend time than here where I'm wearing my welcome thin. Or, I'm just not used to sharing space, especially when this is a one-bedroom apartment that is my Mom's place and not mine.

I'm looking to see how to put together a low(er) cost trip out. In the meantime, I'm still sorting and repacking. I'm down to maybe 1.5 Jeep loads of things I want to take, mostly clothes. We took some of the clothes I'm getting rid of to a neighbor of Mom's who is smaller than I am now. She also has many, many grandkids and great-grandkids, so someone will get use out of them.