Tuesday, February 19, 2008

There’s Two I’s In Miami

Let’s recap:

28 years ago I was born. At the time, I was presumably lacking in self-awareness, though local lore claims that I didn’t utter a single word until I was two and a half, at which point I woke up one morning and asked what was for breakfast – suggesting that, at the very least, I was smart enough to milk a good situation for some attention and bide my time before absolutely HAVING, at the threat of eating one more sub par bowl of oatmeal, to communicate with the outside world.

Flash forward to senior year of high school. I am smart and lazy. College applications qualify as “paperwork,” which isn’t very high on my to-do list. I decide I can go one of a few ways: I can go to the University of Miami and be a marine biologist; I can go to Loyola in New Orleans and drink; or I can stay local and go to Fordham in New York. In the end, I decide to stay local, because my high school girlfriend will be nearby, and ultimately I am a sucker for romance.

2002. I graduate college. Someone older and wiser tells me that the world is my oyster, and I respond that I don’t like oysters. It sounds like some quippy line out of a mediocre indie movie, but it’s the truth: Sushi hasn’t really taken off yet and for the price of three oysters I could get a chicken parmigiana hero. I decide to stay in NY and hone my craft. At this point, my craft includes programming my first generation TiVo, drinking in the afternoon and emailing my friends forty times to discuss the nuances of adulthood, like food shopping and pooping in a communal corporate environment.

2005. Tired of being a cliché, mid-20’s poster-boy for the lost technological generation, I decide to start a blog. Five weeks in, I read an article in the New York Times about how blogging is the wave of the future. This has me ambivalent: On the one hand, I’m so happy to be a part of the future. On the other, if the Times is reporting on it that means it was the future about three years ago. I decide to stay the stale course. I am smart and lazy.

2007. I meet a girl. Not just any girl, but a real girl. One with hair, an education, and a bewitching guile. And what’s more, I meet her through my blog. I consider writing an op-ed for the New York Times entitled “Blogging Is The Wave of My Future (In Bed),” but stress over the stylistic impediments of having to refer to my girlfriend as “Ms. Brooke.” Instead, I start another blog and move to Brooklyn. I inherit a dog. I shop at FreshDirect. I have two TiVos, two computers, a refrigerator with a bottom-level freezer storage drawer, a home office and a love/hate relationship with Ambien. I consider the real possibility that I am peaking.

But wait . . .

January 18th, 2008. I’m at work. I get an email from Brooke with the subject “OMG!”

“Cute,” I think.

I open it up.

“Do you like Miami? I hope so, because I just got a job there.”

Now, I’ve never passed out before. The closest I ever came was in 6th grade when I broke my wrist after falling out of a tree. The doctor had to reset my bone. The nurse held my forearm down, and as the doctor yanked hard on my hand I felt a wave of darkness pass over me – my mind’s way of saying, “Eh, I’ll sit this one out.” That’s pretty much what happened here, except instead of my wrist, it was my whole body. And when I came to, the worst that had happened was that I’d spilled my coffee.

Now, a little back story: We’ve talked about moving for a long time now. I’ve been on the Escape From New York Bandwagon ever since “Lost” premiered and I found myself agreeing with Locke that, sure, while hunting for your food and reusing the same dirty water bottle over and over aren’t exactly the apex of success, it might not be such a bad life to be stuck on that island. Then I went to Tuscany for two weeks, and it was decided: I am a man who enjoys being disconnected from modern life; one who will eventually throw off the yoke of a commercial existence and work a vineyard in Italy. And blog about it. And read all the comments on my Blackberry while I till the soil.

This plan, of course, had to be revised once I started researching international immigration laws. More paperwork. No thanks. But I didn’t give up, surprisingly, and my stick-to-itiveness was an indication to me that moving must be something I really wanted. In the past, I solved all my problems by watching TV or starting a blog. Now, I was actually looking outside the TiVo box for solutions.

Back to January 18th.

My first reaction was an audible, “Who?” Words didn’t seem to make sense. Job? Miami? I thought, Is this what a stroke feels like?

My second reaction, born of my need to rationally understand everything and research endlessly to get the best price, was to Google “Miami.” It wasn’t much help. I was reeling. I needed new bathing suits, new sunglasses. Do they allow dogs in Miami? I began to sweat.

Just then, an email popped up on my screen. It was from an attorney requesting some forms and an edit to a contract. He signed his email, “ASAP, Steve.”

It hit me: I would have to quit my job.

It hit me: I wanted this.

Flash forward to today. The past month has been ridiculous – an amalgamation of every stress I have experienced in my life thus far, condensed in time and complicated by about 1,300 miles. There was an impromptu trip to Florida one weekend, apartment hunting, job quitting, job hunting, mover interviewing, packing, family and friend informing and complete lifestyle adjusting. And we’ll get to all that, but the bottom line is a big truck is pulling up in front of my apartment tomorrow and they’re driving all of my stuff down to Miami. And on March 1st, Brooke and I are getting on a plane, and when we get to Miami, our stuff will be there waiting for us. And we’ll live there. And despite the decidedly unsettled nature of my predicament, I couldn’t be happier.

So, to recap:

Job? Non-existent.
Income? Paltry.
Health insurance? Good fortune and a strong constitution.
Future riddled with uncertainty, insecurity and a dramatic increase in budget allocation for sun block? Bright.


Anonymous b.girl said...

good lord, reading about all these life changes made me think you'd end the post with a "thanks for everything, I'll use my blogging time laying on the beach from now on". Good luck in Miami!

February 19, 2008 at 12:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Plexus said...

Good for you! Though personally I would have chosen a different locale than Florida - that's the climber in me speaking.

But you'll be happy you severed the cord with what you are familiar and comfortable with, though I wouldn't suggest trying that with everything; shaving with a Bowie knife like he does in Crocodile Dundee is dangerous.

Life is about gathering experiences; some are good and some are not so good. You're adding to the collection.

February 19, 2008 at 12:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger -J said...

This is so cool; another cool blogger for my state! Although, Miami is sort of it's own country, I'm still counting it. After all, I lived there more than any other part of Florida, thus far.

February 19, 2008 at 12:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Arjewtino said...

Congrats, Dan, I can tell from the way you wrote about this how excited you are. I hope to follow in your footsteps soon enough (not to Miami, though, just somewhere out of DC) so I wish you and Brooke luck.

February 19, 2008 at 12:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger j said...

While I certainly understand the appeal of not thinking anything through ever and how strong the desire to just get the fuck out can be and the blinding properties of sleeping with boobs, I hope Miami is for you less of a complete and utter disappointment. This is a good time of year to go, though, before the water is the same temperature as stagnant bathwater.

February 19, 2008 at 12:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Stacy said...

holy crap - congratulations!

February 19, 2008 at 12:39:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only are there two I's in Miami, there's also sunshine and warmth. Good time to move. ;-)

February 19, 2008 at 12:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sarah said...

Holy crap! Congratulations! Sounds like a good adventure.

February 19, 2008 at 1:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger Peter said...


I currently solve all my problems with TV watching and blogging. I'll be following your progress with great interest.

You know, unless you start a new blog and I miss the memo because I am watching Laguna Beach.

February 19, 2008 at 1:25:00 PM EST  
Anonymous k. said...

holy shit! i can't believe you're leaving us. but not really leaving us, right? you're still going to post, it'll just be about old people and skin cancer now, right? right??

February 19, 2008 at 1:28:00 PM EST  
Anonymous k. said...

can puppy swim

February 19, 2008 at 1:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger Dan said...

Yes, I'm still writing [redacted], and no, Puppy doesn't really "like" the water. He thinks it's passe, and it ruins his coif. But give me a few months and I'll change his mind.

February 19, 2008 at 1:36:00 PM EST  
Blogger MonkeyPants said...

WOW. Um, you just hurt my brain. You're leaving? :-(

Well, Congrats and Good Luck! Keep in touch etc etc.

Brain still hurtie.

February 19, 2008 at 1:37:00 PM EST  
Blogger Faith said...

Well, since the move to Brooklyn worked so well and all, I'll see this as an even *better* move. (Not that what I see as happening matters in the teensiest. Just, like all the others, would hate for you to go 'way again, is all. Please don't go 'way!)

Looking forward to reading your new posts written with your new Miamian accent! Have fun with the move...

February 19, 2008 at 1:49:00 PM EST  
Blogger ie said...

Good luck in the new place!

(ha, what am I saying, such a great guy must fit in easily anywhere in the world).

February 19, 2008 at 2:01:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... my first reaction was to say I'll miss you, but since I don't actually know you in real life, that makes no sense. Second reaction -- what is happening to your awesome apartment?

February 19, 2008 at 2:07:00 PM EST  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

Just the other day I was shooten at some food and up popped some bubbling crude.---- all the Kin folk said I should move away, and I chose DOWNTOWN MIAMI--- I think of it as kind of being like the "J.V. New York...." except you know, with better weather and a higher frequency of bikinis. Plus there is enough European influence that sometimes women will sunbath with no top on... thats pretty cool to me...

February 19, 2008 at 2:10:00 PM EST  
Blogger Law Girl said...

Wow, congratulations!! Yay that you will keep writing from South Beach!

PS, I need to know, does the new mattress fit in your bedroom in the new apartment? After the whole fiasco, it would be really sad if it didn't.

February 19, 2008 at 2:13:00 PM EST  
Blogger Vanilla said...

So, you're retiring?

BTW, I just found your blog (I wish I could tell you how but I really don't recall) and I love it.

February 19, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Kate said...

Everybody's got to do the spontaneous move at least once. I've done it three times (which is enough - I'm getting to old for that shit). Enjoy it - the suddenness of it probably is uncomfortable now, but it sounds like you're up for it and I'm sure you'll look back on this as one of most exciting times of your life.

All the best in your new hot, hot Miami life...!

February 19, 2008 at 2:37:00 PM EST  
Anonymous BrooklynSeaHag said...

But how will you find a moving truck big enough for your bed?

February 19, 2008 at 3:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Gillian said...

While I'm sure we would have been great friends had we met under different circumstances, I will console myself with the enjoyment of your refrigerator with a bottom-level freezer storage drawer. Good luck with the move!

February 19, 2008 at 3:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mood Indigo said...

wow, I feel like the lamest feminist ever. When you told me you were moving I assumed you'd gotten a new job in Miami. NEVER occurred to me it was Brooke - hells ya to her for a new job, and you for going along with it!

February 19, 2008 at 4:04:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Lauren said...

You're right. It is a doozy. Good luck in Miami.

February 19, 2008 at 6:33:00 PM EST  
Blogger Becky said...

delurking to wish you and brooke and puppy wonderful success in miami. how exciting!

i always think i want to move, then i realize that i ama chickenshit and love the security that family here offers. people like you give me inspiration!

enjoy miami,


February 19, 2008 at 8:58:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Airam said...

That's awesome! Congratulations!

February 19, 2008 at 9:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh, holy shit! Cool!

My brother used to live in New York and I got the impression that adjusting to a new city, no matter how cool, is difficult after living in the Big A. Just keep an open mind and watch out for sting rays.

(PS Would it be negative of me to bet that you'll be back in the great north in under two years?).

February 19, 2008 at 9:45:00 PM EST  
Blogger WiscoBlonde said...

What a change! Good luck!

February 19, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Green said...

I lived in Florida for four years (Broward Cty though, rather than Miami-Dade), before moving to SF three years ago.

Feel free to email me about anything Florida related.

For now, here's my advice for you:

1. Get AAA if you don't have it - you will need it.

2. Some of the old people drive fast, rather than slow.

3. Brush up on your Spanish.

4. Put a towel and an old pair of shoes and an umbrella in your trunk. You will need all three eventually, especially during hurricane season.

5. Just have your mom bring you bagels from NY - there are no good ones there.

6. Ditto for pizza.

7. Envision every old person as your grandparent who you love - it will help when you're trying to have patience.

8. Pick up a map for each of the three counties in S. Florida - they sell them at Publix.

February 19, 2008 at 10:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Mara said...

I've never seen this blog before tonight. A friend of mine reads your blog and just emailed me this link. I moved to Miami exactly a year and three weeks ago after five years in New York (year and half in Brooklyn, three and half years in Manhattan). CULTURE SHOCK! Everything that commenter "green" said in his list above is true, except for the emphasis on old people. That is more true to the north, not so much in Miami. I'm still adjusting. There are lots of transplanted New Yorkers to be found... and you will find them. You will need to find them. This is a good time of year to move, when everything is cold and gray up north. I see ducks and fish and two manatees in the canal near my apartment, and I live way out in Kendall (someday soon you will know where that is... think of it as the New Jersey of Miami-Dade County). Anyway, winter here is wonderful. Summer isn't as bad as people say it is, as long as there isn't a hurricane. It is hard to be down when the sun is shining every day. But I still can't imagine staying here more than a year or so... I moved for my boyfriend's job. I know this sounds crazy, but feel free to email me if you are job hunting. I've been doing some freelance writing and other projects down here, and would be happy to share some ideas. Best of luck with the move! Miami is a crazy town. Loco, I should say.

February 19, 2008 at 10:40:00 PM EST  
Blogger marymurtz said...


February 19, 2008 at 10:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger Camels & Chocolate said...

Congratulations! I just moved 3,000 miles from NYC to SF to be with my boyfriend a few weeks ago, so I fully support this decision. And the unemployed, lack of a bank account existence? Yup, going through that, as well. Though, sounds like you have the potential for a lucrative, freelance career so I'm sure you won't have any problems (I've been fine landing assignments and I'm not half as talented as you! Though I don't mind paperwork, so maybe that works in my favor.)

February 19, 2008 at 11:09:00 PM EST  
Blogger Susan said...

Holy cow, congrats to you and to Brooke! I look forward to your posts from the Sunshine State. (I say this in a "you better keep blogging because we would be lost without you" kind of way.) Cheers!

February 19, 2008 at 11:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger [mother] said...

You got it all right except the part about the sub par oatmeal. I NEVER make sub par oatmeal.

February 20, 2008 at 8:07:00 AM EST  
Blogger SAILOR MOON said...

nooooo. holy shizznit. I cant believe your coming here. Miami is niice, its definetly not New YorK! Culture shock will set in when you youre like " No speaky spanish!!" Dot get frustrated embrace it...you will soon be Bilingual...oh and Fidel Castro resigned so you might be seeing some type of celebrations by all the Cubans... you will learn to live off of "coladas" a delicious cuban coffee, and youre new breakfast will consist of that and "tostada" the best flat buttered up bread ever...i cant wait to hear what culture difference you will be experiencing. This blog is just about to get better...

February 20, 2008 at 8:07:00 AM EST  
Blogger SAILOR MOON said...

p.s. let me know if you wanna open a bank account with us , i work at a bank, and any miami advice!!ive leved here since i was 9 months old, so i know my way around town :)

February 20, 2008 at 8:10:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan, Brooke, and Puppy - congrats! You guys are going to have an amazing time in Miami. Keep us updated on all the new adventures - you'll have a ton of stories just from the move alone!

February 20, 2008 at 8:53:00 AM EST  
Anonymous BurkeInTheOzarks said...

WOW! That is utterly crap-tastic news!

Actually, I'm confident it will be a good thing (for us readers, at least) as this blog will get even more entertaining, if that's possible. You're a great writer and observer of life and I look forward to your culture-shock.

February 20, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Jamie from Miami said...

DUDE! We're neighbors!?!?!?! I live in Miami! OMG! This is awesome! I knew I liked Brooke for a reason....

February 20, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM EST  
Blogger Mike D. said...

Congrats! Best of Luck! Enjoy!

February 20, 2008 at 11:03:00 AM EST  
Anonymous victoria said...

Congrats! You should work for the National Enquirer since you're down there. I use to work for them and it was the BEST job ever! It will also make you feel better about your life everyday.

February 20, 2008 at 11:59:00 AM EST  
Blogger David said...

Wow. Congrats! This seems like a pretty big move, especially since you both just went through the big move to Brooklyn...I am sure everything will work out.

However, make sure you realize that a.) Hurricanes mean business. Get out if you see one coming, and b.) your vote will most likely not be counted and end up in a container ship at the bottom of the ocean.

February 20, 2008 at 12:05:00 PM EST  
Anonymous SLC said...

Dan and Brooke's Big Cuban Adventure! Yeah - the food, the sun, the ocean - you'll love it!

CONGRATS! Now, when are you getting married?


February 20, 2008 at 1:07:00 PM EST  
Anonymous k. said...

this is pretty much your most popular entry yet! clearly, you should move to miami more often.

also, glad you'll still be writing.

February 20, 2008 at 1:16:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Lara said...

HOly shit! This is exciting news! I hope the move and everything else go well. Here's to cuban sandwiches, salsa dancing (or, er, watching others salsa-dance), and espanol!

February 20, 2008 at 2:14:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eve said...


Is your apartment available?

February 20, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM EST  
Blogger bill s said...

Just wanna make sure you've been to Florida in AUGUST. Just sayin'. Either way, good luck, Dan!

February 20, 2008 at 3:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger Cath said...

Congratulations! I might be sad if I still lived in NY, but I don't--you're actually coming closer! I hope you love it; the South is verrrrry different. :)

February 20, 2008 at 5:46:00 PM EST  
Blogger Brooke said...

Weird, the clip art you used "welcome to miami" has a picture of Wait Chapel in the first I, a picture of Demon Deacon in the A, and a picture of the Wake Forest football team in the second M. Weird much?

Anyway, enjoy the FLA. I hear it's warm and gets windy down there sometimes. Ha.

February 20, 2008 at 5:56:00 PM EST  
Blogger Ripe for Reading said...

dan, when are you going to marry brooke? is she supporting you now that you're jobless? congrats!

February 21, 2008 at 1:17:00 PM EST  
Anonymous dwight said...

Miami is nice, so I'll say it thrice.

February 21, 2008 at 5:48:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm coming in way late on this, but this is the sort of thing I hear from someone and think "God, if more people did this, there'd be more happy people in the world..."

Good for you.
I've made a few decisions like this in recent years and have scared the shiznit out of friends and family by being so "spontaneous", but the truth is, I've just learned to take control of my own happiness.

Life is an adventure. Miami doesn't have to be forever...but why not try it?

Best of luck to you two. Despite being intensely jealous of your how-we-met story, I still wish you the best. ;) (You give hope, to be honest...)

March 11, 2008 at 12:12:00 AM EDT  
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May 1, 2009 at 11:30:00 PM EDT  

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