Its been a gas, life in California. Palm trees. Sunshine. Cultural people wandering in farmers markets. Weekend trips to LA. Frat parties in Berkeley. Too many drinks on my 21st... and my 22nd. And most Thursdays. Of course of all this is enjoyable in a cozy little home with your family. That is until your family decides to move forcing you to find your own cozy little spot. But not to worry. Craigslist has a blessing as well as a curse. In a matter of weeks I discarded the notion of living on my own in the Bay Area with a pharmacy technicians salary. So I swallowed my pride and the roommate search began. I interviewed with a co-op in Berkeley whom advertised a huge bedroom and free meals every night given you cook for a house of 11 at least one every 9 weeks. I figured although my idea of cooking is throwing whatever is in the refrigerator into a skillet and calling it scrambling it into a heap is pretty rudimentary, I'm sure they wouldn't mind. Of course I was the one surprised when I arrived to the mansion and they explained to me that their favorite hobby was savaging for dumpersted food. And how everyone in the house must participate in this "chore". So maybe the granola folk weren't for me after all. Next please. Two college students whom I had interviewed on the phone for at least an hour were excited at the prospect of having me aboard. I wasn't too keen a living with fellas I barely knew but they seemed so clean-cut. Honor society, class president, organizing volunteer events, and running student support groups for their own personal enrichment. I agreed to meet them at the house the three bedroom house in West Oakland. Of course as soon as I entered West Oakland, the scenery changed dramatically like in a movie script. People stared at me with blunts in their mouths, one men carried a brown paper bag and exchanged money with a parked vehicle while one kept watch. Two prostitutes strode down the sidewalk waiting for the next customer. The liquor store on the corner was surrounded by a group of people throwing dice and cash on the pavement. And then there was the house. I immediately turned around and called the students to explain that I was very sorry but my mother is sick and needs to be taken to the hospital. So after careful consideration and weighing all my options, I agreed to room with a young woman who lived by the lake. I was instantly attracted to cute apartment and her roommate, who would be moving out. The roommate offered me the room and I began buying furniture to load up in my new space and telling everyone the good news while corresponding via email to my new roommate Nancy, whom I had not yet met. It was during one of these exchanges a few weeks later that she dropped the bomb that while she has enjoyed our emails she has chosen someone more suited to her aesthetics. This really stung since I was already living in an empty condo where my family had left me to my own devices. So I decided to pack up and drag myself to go visit my father in the Twin Cities. He was really supportive about my change of circumstance and offered to let me stay in his home while I sort things out. In fact, up until the first 24 hours I was considering his offer when in fact my worst fear came true. He began treating me like a child. And not just any child.  A child with an IQ level indicating a borderline deficiency in intelligence. Great guy though, really. But kicks one day I decided to check out the housing market on Minnesota Craigslist. My jaw nearly dropped to the ground as a read posts featuring large studios and one bedrooms not located in the ghetto and not costing a kidney transplant. So I offered to drop old pops off at work the next morning as I scouted the Calhoun area for gold on the form of a home. Then I applied to local pharmacy, who not only considered me, but offered me a job. Then I drove to Bloomington and applied to Northwestern Health Sciences University and they enrolled me in classes starting the following week. I was enamoured as well as angry. Why can I do so easily in the Midwest what I've been trying to do on the West Coast for months. It would be stupid to turn down such great opportunities. And what do the words approved, accepted, and hired spell? AAH...

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