May I mention that the move happened to be over 1,000 miles away from everything I've ever known and the job was everything I'd ever wanted but never experienced. Yes, stress was on my side to say the least.
But I pushed through and the week went perfect. As I type, I glance over at the clock to see it has officially marked a week in Liberal.
Let me give you the highlights:
The Job: From my opinion, I am doing well. I did ask a ton of questions this week and had some glitches on the computer. But I am pretty sure I didn't mess anything up. I had a story for each paper and edited quite a lot of pages. Not to mention that I even built my first ever page. (Weird accomplishment if you have no idea what I am talking about.) Although, the first day was a little rough and well, Wednesday when I couldn't figure out how to work the camera. Oh and then there was Friday, when I had to call the office because I had gotten a bit lost while out on assignment. Other then those moments of feeling like an idiot and wondering if my co-workers were thinking "Why did they hire her?", I have to say the week went great. Plus I really like what I am doing and can't wait for more to come.
The Housing Crisis of 2009: For those that don't know I am currently living in a hotel. The newspaper has been nice enough to pay my stay at a hotel for up to 14 days. Although, I never imagined I would take them up on the whole 14 days it has since become that way. I spent much of my downtime this week looking at places, driving around and discussing my options with my parents. It came down to the townhouse that I really liked and a house that was just so-so. But there were problems with each. The townhouse was unavailable till November 1st. Then there was the landlord who quoted my mom on the phone at $525, quoted me in person at $595 and then, when I checked out his website it was listed at $575. I don't play numbers games. I asked him about it and he shut me down saying it was $595. I felt really uneasy signing a lease for it because I felt like I was getting ripped off. Who's to know what he might make me pay for later! My mom credits the fluctuating pricing based on how I was dressed when I met him. Perhaps if I had shown up in jeans and a Kansas City Chief's t-shirt it would have been $525. But my heels, dress pants, sweater set and nice sunglasses said $595. My dad said it was small town and that the landlord must figure he could get away with it. I just felt like it was a no win situation. Plus it was more then I had originally planed on spending.
On Thursday, I put the application in for the house which was available for move in. The house was older but it was nicely kept up inside. Outside, another story. But, I am not trying to be on the cover of Midwest Living. Friday, I called the office to check up on my application. I had figured 24 hours would be a sufficient time to do a credit check and call references. But the women went on to tell me that she should of told me the following: they had leased the house to someone else on Wednesday and it was no longer available. Should of told me? Heck yes, you should of. And the fact that I had to call. What if I had passed on something else for this house?
My head was spinning at work the rest of the day as I got off the phone with the relator for the house. What was I going to do? There was hardly anything available to rent in this town. There aren't too many apartment units. Liberal is mostly composed of neighborhoods with homeowners. I spoke with my parents on Friday evening and it was a tough conversation. They were upset to hear the house hadn't worked out and none of us were happy about the townhouse. But we did make a game plan. A listing to appear in the Sunday paper (thank God I have access to that stuff) was for a 2 bedroom, one bath, washer, dryer apartment for $475 and included water. I called Friday night. My mom called Friday night. Saturday morning he got back to me. 1 p.m. Saturday I saw it. PERFECT! Great sized bedrooms, nice kitchen, built 14 years ago, decent bathroom, large living room, available next Saturday and nice neighborhood. Although, it isn't official yet, this could be my new residence.
Keep your fingers crossed. Funny thing about it. It happens to be in Oklahoma. (Not too weird though because Liberal is 3 miles from the border and well, the apartment is in Turpin, Oklahoma, 13 miles from Liberal.)
As for the rest of it:
- My first night in town I called Pizza Hut and asked for carry out. Got lost on the way there. Should of done delivery.
- This weekend marked the 70th year of the movie, The Wizard of Oz. I am in the home of Dorothy and it was OZFEST this weekend. One of the movies munchkins was in town on Friday and I went and took photos for the newspaper.
- I went to the local furniture store in Liberal looking to purchase a mattress. I found one and am having it delivered somewhere next weekend. The furniture sales people were very nice and got me free delivery. Of course, they did ask me if I had found a church community yet. This is funny to me because if you have scene the movie New in Town, Renee Zellweger's character gets asked the same thing shortly after moving to Minnesota. I said no but will keep that in mind.
- I did make the front page with not only the byline but on the actual paper. Which lead me to get remarks by four different people in town that they knew who I was. Although the photo is horrible, the story is not. Please check out my links on the right hand side under The Southwest Times for all articles I write and any that might included me.
- Stories from my week of work included prairie dogs, breast cancer awareness and 212 lbs. pumpkins. Ask me about any of those topics and I am an expert.
- Had that first glimpse of true small town life. I went to the grocery store on Friday night. I was a bit upset about the housing issue of earlier in the day and had worked till 7 p.m. So I picked up some mac & cheese, a Milky Way candy bar and a 6 pack of Bud Light Lime. Only to approach the check lines to see a very prominent politician in town that I had met only a few hours earlier. Thinking this would look bad in the sense of possible unhealthy eater and boozer, I ducked into the Hallmark Card aisle. I don't think he saw me. And really the mac & cheese just sounded good and heats up in a hotel microwave well, the candy bar was for my chocolate craving and the beer was for a beverage celebration of finishing up a week of work. Kill me?
- Saturday, I woke up early to cover the 5k Toto Trot. It was 29 degrees with ice all over my car and raining. I scrapped my VW Bug and spilled hot coffee on my right hand. I'm fine but thank you early season cold front. Can't wait to move next weekend.