18 June 2009

For the record

I am fond of letting people know that I've lived in fifteen different cities and four different countries . . . okay five countries if we observe Scottish independence. At least twice in the last two weeks, however, I have been challenged to name them. That I do so quite easily seems to settle it, but I do think it's interesting that both times the requests came from German men of a "certain" age.

In any case, this blog post certainly won't replace me rattling my life off, but here it is anyway:
  1. Rocky Mount, NC
  2. Wilmington, NC
  3. Chapel Hill, NC*
  4. Big Spring, TX
  5. Austin, TX*
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. Sunnyvale, CA
  8. San Francisco, CA*
  9. Vienna, Austria
  10. Frankfurt, Germany
  11. Brooklyn, NY
  12. Birmingham, England
  13. Bridge of Allan, Scotland*
  14. Washington, DC
  15. Berlin, Germany*
I could have made this really complicated and done it in precise chronological order (e.g., I moved to Vienna from San Francisco, and after Frankfurt back to SF), but I'm not preparing my CV here, just naming the cities. And now I am embarrassed to admit that I have actually lived in SIXTEEN cities. Between Vienna and Frankfurt, there was Essen. I would erase Vienna and insert Essen, but I need to get proper credit for living there during the fall of 1994. This was when Jörg Haider first scored significantly at the polls, capturing about 25% of the vote in Vienna . . . all of them my neighbors I'm sure, as I recall the way I was treated.

Okay, so it's sixteen. The ones with asterisks represent the top five and they were/are truly amazing.

And yeah, that's a lot of moving and stress and good-byes and hellos and what in the hell am I doing here and why the hell didn't I just stay there and oh god why did I sell [something I now love more than life itself] and where the fuck do I buy [insert something I think I need desperately] and why don't people here just [insert something cool from the previous city].

But I believe it's been worth it. For whatever the tortured path my life seems to represent, it means that right now I am sitting at my desk in my lovely apartment listening to Roberta Flack in my favorite city on the planet and I'd hate to think that anything I could have done differently would mean that this wouldn't be so.

Home is where the heart is . . .


  1. You weren't doin' time in Big Spring, were you? Just asking innocently...

    Or were you helping sell off the stock of the legendary The Record Store?

  2. Hahaha!

    Well it felt like doing time, that's for sure. My mom married my stepfather while I was in my freshman year in college, and she and my brothers moved to Big Spring. At that time my stepfather worked at a natural gas refinery about a half an hour or so from town. He had been stationed at the Air Force base there, and after it closed he retired and stayed on in Big Spring ... for some strange reason. In any case, after finishing my degree, I followed the family. Yikes! No regrets, though. I learned a LOT and had the most bizarre kind of fun with the strangest people. And it led me to Austin, which is where I would have gone had the Ausländerbehörde not approved my work permit.

    My mom's office was located on the former base, and prisoners from the country club penitentiary (also on the base) would come to do maintenance jobs there like painting and mowing the grass. Crazy. My fave, though, was the State Hospital, from which it was apparently quite easy to escape given the number of residents who always seemed to end up in the pizza parlor where I worked when I was on duty.

    I saw Midnight Cowboy recently and was struck to see that the opening scene was filmed in Big Spring. I used to go to that drive-in ;-)

    The Record Store must have been closed when I was there. I did, however, work in chain record store in the mall.

    AND I'm happy to report that my parents now live in NC having moved back there after my stepdad retired from the refinery. Whew!

  3. Two people involved in a relationship isn't the problem.

    Two people getting together for sex and perhaps reproduction isn't a problem

    Where the problem occurs is when Religion and other peoples opinion of how we should live and have relationships come in to be the way its suppose to be and even pass laws to say what a relationship has to be.

    Some where it was said. Why do humans have such a cultural misteak and laws surrounding such and essential biological function.

  4. Ok my bad i posted the above comment on the wrong post.

    ? about this post. I admire you for this ability. I have always desired to do this. The only thing that kept me from it was after having such a difficult time with language barrier traveling.

    Speak to this Inez are you just naturally adaptive to learning a language or you desire to travel you over came the fear i have about not being able to communicate.
    i have such a love for communication some how i felt i would be lost with out the security of English ( Terrible language that it is)