237. it's official, but is it home?

A few weeks ago I got my Washington driver’s license. Today I got my Washington license plates attached to my Xb. I guess that makes me an official resident of the state of Washington.

It’s not just the official documentation though, life here feels somewhat normal. What I mean is, I don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “what the hell am I doing here?”

I’m sure that part of the reason life feels normal and somewhat routine has to do with the fact that I’m working now. My hours are from 9AM to 5:30PM, Monday through Friday. I really like the job. The people are cool and the work has me walking and climbing stairs all day (it’s basically a warehouse job). I don’t have a scale at my new home, but I know I’ve lost some weight by working there.

Which reminds me of something else I’ve been meaning to write about: the provision and providence of God.

A few months before moving to Seattle, I bought a pair of walking shoes. See, one of my philosophies when it comes to fitness is the maxim, “no pain, no pain.” Although I did some running (and plan to take that up again once summer comes around), I did just as much walking (often on my lunch breaks). I didn’t want to wear out my running shoes, so I purchased a pair of New Balance walking shoes. I also bought gel-type insoles for them.

Fast forward to the present and these shoes turn out to be perfectly suited to my warehouse job. Like I said, I’m on my feet all day but my feet never get sore. I thought I was buying walking shoes for exercise, I now see God’s subtle hand, preparing me for the job I have now.

I can’t call them to mind right now, but there have been lots of little things like that – little “coincidences” that help me to know that as big of a change as this is for me, God is in control.

As for things with my band, we found a rehearsal space and unless something really strange happens, we’ll be in there starting Monday.

Back in Hawaii, most of the rehearsal studios rent out space by the hour. There are places up here that do that as well, but also common is the setup where you actually rent out a room by the month and that’s what we’re going with. Basically, it’s like renting an apartment except that we’re renting it for our musical equipment, not ourselves. So our rehearsal room is OUR rehearsal room for as long as we pay the rent.

The cool part of this arrangement is that as a band, we don’t have to worry about finding an open slot. We can practice pretty much whenever we want to. Also, even if we’re not rehearsing as a band, I can go in there and bang away on my drums (aka practicing).

It’s hard to convey what a benefit that is to me. See, the other guys in the band, they can strum their guitars and practice all kinds of scales and noodle around whenever they want. Granted, they can’t turn up their amps as loud as they’d like, but still, the physical mechanics of playing their instrument is the same whether they’re playing unplugged or through a screaming stack of amps.

Drummers don’t have that luxury. There’s no volume knob on the drums and there’s no substitute for playing at performance volume level (aka loud). The drums are a very physical instrument. If I don’t get to practice on my drums at the same volume I play during a gig, I’m going to cramp up on stage – something that’s happened more often than I’d like to admit. In fact, even when I’m able to practice somewhat regularly at full tilt, I still sometimes cramp up on stage because the rush of performing makes me play even harder.

But back to the idea I started with – that living in Seattle is getting to feel normal.

Another thing that’s helping me feel that way is the fact that I don’t need to consult my map or the GPS unit that I bought to get around.

Now I know I didn’t blog about the GPS unit, so let me digress (again) to talk about this amazing little device. After a bit of research, I picked up the Garmin Street Pilot. Main selling point for me was the fact that Garmin is the only GPS company that was providing any kind of indication that they were pursuing support for the Mac OSX platform. All the other companies only support PCs (boo). Now Garmin doesn’t support Macs yet, but at least they say they’re working on a solution.

Anyway, the GPS unit is a fun little device. After you turn it on, it takes about a minute or so to link up the the GPS satellites. Once it knows where it is you tell it where you want to go and it does it’s best to give turn by turn, street by street directions. It’s not perfect (I occasionally program a destination I’m already familiar with to see how it will get me there and sometimes that results in a really bizarre route) but it certainly beats wrestling with a map while doing 60 on the I-5.

About a week into owning the device, I saw that I was becoming dependent on its directions. I wanted to learn how to get around Seattle without using a technological crutch, so I started to limit its use to getting me to places I’d never been before. Apart from that, I’ve been trying to find my own way and more often that not, I get to where I want to go.

And so, Seattle is beginning to feel familiar. I’m not quite ready to call it home. I mean, I know I live here, but it doesn’t feel like home yet. I have no idea how long that will take. A part of me suspects that I’ll be back in Hawaii before I get to that point, but who knows. I always tell people that I want to end up back in Hawaii, but I wonder if the only reason I say that is because Hawaii is familiar and it’s where I was born and raised.

I don’t know. I don’t need to make this decision tonight. I’m just glad things are going well and that I’ll soon be able to rehearse with my band again.

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