Massive Life Changes

Oh man, where to start? My last post was about pumpkins back in October, which was nine months ago. A major life event has happened since then, so let me fill you.

Most of the people who are likely to ever come across this ancient and oft-neglected blog will already know this, but I’ve left the Walt Disney Company and the whole family and I have moved to Portland, Oregon! Yes, we are back in the great Pacific Northwest once again! So long California, you’ve been great! Oregon, it’s nice to be back!

So, what brought all this about? Well, last summer Megs got let go from yet another lawyer job in Los Angeles, which makes twice in 2018. That was so disheartening that we took an impromptu road trip to Oregon the very next day. We quickly asked Kim to look after the cat, checked with friends and family up north, and hit the road! Maverick the dog came with us this time, and our route took us through San Francisco where we stayed a night with Jacques, Hanh, and Ellie. We got to see their new house and how much Ellie has grown! The next day we were off to Bend, OR, where we stayed two nights with Chris, Megan, and Hazel. Bend is a lovely town, if a little removed from the big city life. After that we drove to Sandy, OR, where Megs’ folks live about half an hour outside of Portland. We stayed the next week there, visiting with friends and family, seeing the sights, and generally falling in love with Oregon all over again.

The long and short of all this, is that somewhere in this trip we decided to actually move back to Oregon for real, not just talk about it like we’ve been doing for years. And thus vague plans began, with the promise to each other to make serious plans starting in early 2019. Well, 2019 came around and in February I started applying for jobs in Portland. I was cruising LinkedIn and saw a bunch of Software Engineer postings for a company called “New Relic”. I also saw that a friend of mine worked there, so I hit her up and asked if it was a good place to work, to which she replied in the strong affirmative! So I applied for six Senior Software Engineer jobs there on a Monday afternoon, and within a day I heard back from them to set up a screening call within another day! That Friday I had a video interview with an Engineering Manager, and the following Wednesday they said they were going to fly me up to Portland for an on-site interview the next Monday! To recap, I’d gone from applying online to an on-site interview in two weeks, which was much faster than I’d expected! Anyways, long story short (too late!) I flew up to Portland, had great interviews with a half dozen people, and by the end of the week I had a job offer! I gave my two-weeks notice at Disney and then the cat was out of the bag!

After getting a new job, everything was set into motion. We had to tell our awful landlord we were ending our lease two weeks early, and of course he had us pay out the rest of it and tried to stiff us on our security deposit–that’s another story, but it’s fine, whatever. We had to arrange movers, Megs gave notice at her job, we had to pack, we had to arrange with Megs’ folks to have us live there for a bit when we first landed, we had to arrange driving and drivers, etc. Lots to do and suddenly very little time to do it! We’d started this adventure in July 2018, and now we had four weeks to get to Portland, because I started work on April 29th and it was now the beginning of April!

I arranged for one of those PODS moving thingies, so I hired movers to just pack our stuff. Two problems there: one, the PODS people grossly overestimated how much stuff their biggest POD will hold! We ended up leaving a buncha stuff in L.A. due to lack of space. Second problem, movers/packers don’t know your stuff. Their jobs is to put all your stuff in boxes as fast as possible. We had each plate wrapped in many layers of paper. We had loaves of bread packed. Honest-to-God trash packed. It was a mess, and very expensive. As much as it sucks, you gotta pack your own stuff, guys. You’re the only ones who knows what you need and what you don’t.

PODS storage container
We had to put all our worldly possessions into this thing.

Anyways, we got our stuff (mostly) packed, and the next day we hit the road! Megs’ mom had come down to help, so it was Megs, her mom, and Maverick in Megs’ car, and me, Kim, Sammy, and the cat in mine. We caught a lucky break the previous weekend (Easter) when we went down to Long Beach for Easter at Grandpa’s, but we visited our friends Kyle and Liz at their place nearby. Kyle’s folks happened to be there, and they happen to live up in Redding, which happens to be about half way to Portland from Los Angeles. They kindly offered their home as a mid-trip stopover, and when we got there after a very long day that started with the tail end of packing, and ended with 10 hours in the car, it was a glorious oasis! So nice to not have to stay in a hotel and deal with the dog, cat, and kid there. Our eternal thanks to them for being a shining light in an otherwise fairly stressful time.

We rolled into Sandy, OR around sunset on April 24th. We were so tired, but Megs’ dad had already got the rooms ready for us, so we could just crash. It was great to be back in Oregon!

I’ll post more about the new job, our security deposit, and our current lodgings in a future post. This one is long enough, but stay tuned–there’s more story to tell!

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