Getting ready

I’ve never driven across country before, and certainly never done it by myself. So I’ve spent a lot of time getting ready. I got the car checked out on Wednesday. Most of it is packed full to the gills, and I’m not sure my framed photos from my office (for instance) are going to make it intact across the country. But I start driving tomorrow either way.

Here’s the route, or as near as I can get it in all the different online map programs that I’ve messed with. Tomorrow’s goal is Livingston, Montana. I’m hoping to get as far as St. Paul on Day 2, but we’ll see.

My companions? My digital camera; Roadfood; more Triptiks and maps and AAA guides than I can possibly use; ten years worth of mix tapes; my iPod (newly loaded with the free audiobook version of the 9-11 Commission Executive Summary and a not-free audiobook version of the Benjamin Franklin biography, plus about 8.5 GB of other stuff); and a Griffin iMic voice recorder that I’ll probably start using somewhere in North Dakota, which is when I imagine I’ll start seeing vapor trails and really talking to myself in earnest.

Maybe some audioblogging will come out of this. Who knows? All I know is that from this perspective the open road isn’t seeming too simple.

Untold story: How I sold my house at my ten year reunion

Untold story #1 from the last two months: how we sold our house at my ten year reunion at the University of Virginia, 3000 miles away from home. While we were at the Court Square Tavern.

We had left Kirkland on a red-eye Thursday night, bound for Charlottesville knowing that our agent was going to be showing the house while we were gone and trying to forget about our house being on the market and just enjoy the reunion. After we met Don Webb and our other friends at dinner, relaxing and enjoying became a lot easier. I already wrote about our trip to Court Square Tavern that night. What I didn’t write was what happened after we got there.

After we had been there for about half an hour, Lisa’s phone rang. She excused herself to stand over by the door where she could hear better, and Don and I continued to catch up. Then Lisa came back to the table with an odd look on her face. “What’s up?” I asked.

“James [Raysbrook, our realtor] says someone wants to buy the house. But we have to sign the offer and fax it back by 9 pm Pacific time.”

I looked at the clock. It was currently 10:40 Eastern time. An hour and 20 minutes wasn’t going to be enough time to find a Kinkos, call James with the fax number, and fax the documents back and forth.

Then inspiration struck. Lisa asked the bartender whether James could send us a fax on the Court Square’s machine. Twenty minutes later we had the offer in our hands and were paying scant attention to our beers as we pored over the details with James on the cell. Twenty more minutes later and I beckoned to the bartender again.

“You’re probably wondering what we’re up to. Well, we’ve just signed the papers to sell our house in Seattle and need to borrow your machine one more time to fax them back, if that’s ok.”

The guy was very clearly amused as hell, and I could see him cataloging the story to retell tomorrow. But he never cracked a smile. He said, “Of course,” and led me back up the stairs to the business office, where we faxed the papers back.

Smooth as silk. I’ve decided: from now on, I sell all my houses at the Court Square Tavern.