Keep the home fries burning

If everything goes according to plan, tonight will be my last night in the Jewish rooming house. I will be moving to a nice big house with lots of rooms and facilities that I only have to share with two other guys. I’ve heard John mention his “bedsit” living quarters from time to time so I know he understands the circumstances I’m coming from. I’ll actually be paying $35 a month less to live in this house than at the rooming house but the one thing I’ll be sacrificing is location.

My new house is on the west side of Ann Arbor which is maybe five miles outside of downtown and is more of a neighborhood type place than the urban feel of downtown. While there is a strip mall about a mile down the road from me featuring an independent bookstore, a library branch and a great Thai restaurant with plenty of sidewalks to get there, I’ll miss being able to walk to Borders and Starbucks and all of the wonderful other downtown shops. One of my favorite memories is last winter when we were snowed in for a couple of days, I was getting a nasty case of cabin fever and needed to get out of the house so I walked the five blocks to the State Theater and saw “Sideways.” It was the perfect evening.

There are buses that service downtown and there is a stop right in front of my house, but it will still be a bit sad not to be at the heart of downtown. Last night was beautiful outside so around 8pm I had my window open with a cool breeze sweeping in and it felt like my favorite fall evenings. I could smell the Italian food from Pizza Bob’s across the street and I could almost hear the fall football crowds in the wind. I’ll miss being able to see Michigan Stadium from my window and seeing the mass of maize and blue clad students and fan making the trek to the stadium past my building.

The biggest thing I’ll probably miss though is being forced outside to walk. Since I only had the one room, I looked to Starbucks as my living room and Potbelly restaurant as my kitchen. At least once a day, many times two or three times, I needed to walk downtown for some reason, even if it was just to get out of the house. That, combined with six flights of stores and my poor student food portions, has dropped my weight by about 30 pounds this year. It’s been steady and it took me a while to even notice, but last night I was hanging out at the Meijer store waiting for them to start putting stock up so I could get boxes, and I decided to weigh myself on one of the scales in Home Fashions, and found I was at 175. I’ve been hovering within a few pounds on either side of 200 for many years so this was a nice surprise.

But, in case you think I might be giving up a good thing, the things I won’t miss include: having food stolen from the fridge, being woken up in the middle of the night by my loud neighbor, being woken up in the morning by my loud neighbors FOUR alarm clocks, being woken up in the morning by the construction crew building five feet outside my window, the trash piling up in the kitchen, the smells, the dirt, the showers, and finally, the retarded, yet vigilant cockroaches who managed to survive the spraying but couldn’t move very much at all.

Hasta la vista, bubbies…