Apache Relay

Just saw Meru. The movie is rad. Pittsburgh’s arts theater is conveniently located a five minute walk from my doorway, and has discounted student tickets and $2.50 PBRs. Win.

I cried an unusual amount during Meru. I’m given to cry in movies, in general. Any movie about climbing necessarily has heartbreak around its fringes. But what, unexpectedly, caught my breath away and sent tears streaming were the images of Bozeman in the wintertime. Oh, Bozeman. I was moved by the images of the Flatirons and Boulder, as well, but it’s not the same intense pang straight through the heart.

I’ve realized in the last two months how incredibly important place is to me. Place has absolute primacy in my aspirations in life. At present, my life trajectory is to move to New York City (which, I hear, is a place)–and then eventually to return to the Rocky Mountain West (Montana, Idaho, or Utah). My career goals are merely means of accomplishing my location and place goals.

I obsess over place and landscape. Place is far more important to me than career, romance, status, etc. I just need to be in the place I want to be, and on trajectory to where I want to be next.

When I ask new acquaintances where they’re from, it’s not idle “getting to know you” chitchat. It’s important to me. I feel place is one of the most important and defining aspects of identity–in myself and those who I meet.

Went to a free concert in Schenley Plaza (a lovely park just down the street from CMU) last night and saw The Apache Relay perform. Really, really enjoyed their performance. First truly good band I’ve seen perform in a very long time.

Survived the first week of orientation. The least productive week I’ve had in many, many months.

I had these grand visions for myself, for the person I would be at Carnegie Mellon. I really saw myself as becoming this extrovert, some sort of social butterfly, striking up new friendships and acquaintances at every turn. Well, fanciful as that image of myself seems… okay, yup, mostly fantasy. In fact, I find that I’m very much my usual self. I’ve met many wonderful people during orientation, but not nearly as many as I had anticipated for myself. In typical extrovert fashion, I found myself quickly fatigued of making new acquaintances, and needing time to recharge between bouts of social interaction.

I guess I’ll never be Bill Clinton.

I feel like I’m losing my enthusiasm for becoming Pittsburgh Mark. I feel the weight and inertia of Rocky-Mountain-Mark with me. I feel myself running out of give-a-shit for things like trying to learn and adopt the style of dress out here (it’s not hard–just take your credit card to The Gap, and get yourself some stupid boat shoes). Carhartts and Chacos are starting to sound pretty good to me right now. There’s a Carhartt outlet right next to The Gap.

I’m also really quickly running out of steam for online dating. I’m just frankly not that eager to be in a relationship. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d put finding a relationship at about a 3 in terms of importance. Is it just fear driving some sort of impotence? Or, is it sincere disinterest? I’m thinking the latter. Mostly, I’m realizing that dating is godawful lot of work.

Also, what’s the reasonable amount of time to spend on setting up a comfortable living environment? If you’re going to live someplace for one year, how much time do you spend acquiring furniture, painting, installing shelves, etc? I’m not sure what the ratio is… but I do think I’ve spent ENTIRELY too much time hauling furniture all over Pittsburgh. Ug!

About Mark Egge

Two truths and a lie: Mark Egge is an outdoor enthusiast, opera singer, and a transportation data scientist. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.
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