From the Blog

Big Announcement

Last week, Dave announced that he had put in his notice at work. He’s quitting his job. I also quit my job a couple months ago. We are essentially taking a leap and going paycheckless. This is exciting and freaky as hell.

For the record, we aren’t independently wealthy, and we don’t have rich families with magic horses that will ride in to save our asses because we want to eat something besides Spaghettios. We did our best to reduce our expenses because we knew this was the direction we wanted to take. We paid off our debts and built up our savings. We do have income from our various web projects, and we will continue to develop those and other income streams.

Last week, you may have heard me bellyaching about being tired of moving, of wanting to feel more settled, and wanting a little more space. Or, you may not have noticed because frankly, I get tired of listening to myself, even. But yes, those things have been on our minds. And while wanting to feel settled, we knew our sublease was going to be up after four months. And we would have to move again.

So to recap:
1. I quit my job.
2. Dave quit his job.
3. We have to move at the end of May.

So we are moving. Again. This time, a further northwest.

We are moving to Astoria. For the summer. Maybe for longer, but for now, we are just saying we’ll be there for the summer. We are calling it a “creative sabbatical.” We are going to write and paint and explore the north coast. We are going to live frugally, eat local food, and enjoy the festivities of Astoria’s bicentennial this summer. As weather allows, we’ll go to the beach, camp on the coast, and probably huddle against the rain.

Crazy, huh? We’re excited as hell.

Here are some answers to Questions:

Q: Have you ever lived in a small town before?
A: I grew up in a rural town. I couldn’t wait to leave. Dave has never lived in a small town. This is going to be awesome.

Q: Have you ever moved to a new city without a job?
A: This is the fourth time in my life I have moved to a new city without a job.

Q: Aren’t you married to Dave Knows? Isn’t he supposed to “know” Portland? How is he going to keep his website going if you’re not in Portland?
A: Thankfully, we are moving to Astoria, not Antarctica. We will be making many, many trips back to Portland through the course of the summer. We have a bunch of weddings to go to, some camping trips planned in the mountains, and we have Timbers season tickets. We will essentially be splitting time between Portland and Astoria. So if you have a couch to spare, let us know.

Dave also has some plans up his sleeve for Daveknows.org. Researching history, covering events and working on his site are some of Dave’s favorite pastimes, and quitting his job will allow him to spend more time doing those things.

Q: How in the hell are you going to get by without a job? What kind of hippy moonbats are you?
A: We’ve done what we can to reduce our expenses, and we sort of stopped buying stuff. We don’t need a lot. We are anticipating that our largest expenses may be tasty beverages. Astoria has mighty good coffee and beer. But we know we won’t have the same disposable income as we did when we had regular employment. We may get part time jobs, if we need or want to. Before we became office monkeys, we had vast experience in wearing name tags and polo shirts.

Q: What are you doing for health insurance?
A: In reality, we are expecting that rent and health insurance will be our biggest expenses. Health insurance is a pain in the ass. We are doing the research now on individual plans, group plans and health savings accounts. I will be writing in more detail about getting health insurance as an entrepreneur later.

Q: I thought you were going to buy an RV and become Camper People.
A: We may still do that. We do love squirrel chili. Gas is expensive, and we can’t imagine that it’s suddenly going to get cheaper. For right now, living in a small town with cheaper rent is going to stretch our budget further than buying an RV or trailer like Lucy and Desi. It’s not out of the question, though. If we ever become rich and famous, we might do it. Because nothing would make me happier than being rich and famous camper people.

Q: Is quitting your jobs and living off savings the best use of your time and money? Didn’t you just get married? Shouldn’t you buy a house? And make babies?
A: Yes. Yes. No. Maybe.

Q: Doesn’t the weather suck even harder in Astoria than Portland? More clouds, more rain, more wind?
A: Yes, probably. But we have often visited Astoria and experienced more sun breaks and unexpected clear days than Portland. We will be taking note of locals’ rain gear and we’re going to suit up as needed. As the old Swedish saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

Q: Are you moving to Astoria because there were articles about it in the New York Times and the New York Daily News recently? And like, all the hipsters are going there now?
A: We’ve been planning this move for a while. We can’t help that our hipness is a beacon unto others. So, yes.

Q: Are you moving back to Portland after the summer?
A: Probably. It’s very likely. We love, love, love Portland. We sort of miss it already. The past few warm days are reminding me how lovely Portland is. I have heartache that we can’t be in two places at once. I’m not sure why science hasn’t come up with a solution for issues like this. Can’t someone superposition my ass?

Under ideal circumstances, we’d live in both places and go back and forth. And we’d have an RV, too. And we’d be rich and famous. That’s not asking too much, is it?

We will certainly be blogging our adventures over the summer. I want to thank our families, our friends, our twitter buds, and the folks who read our writings. Thanks for following along. I know I’ve said this before, but it doesn’t make it any less powerful: You are the wind beneath our wings, yo.

(And to my Dad, please don’t worry too much.)

Comments

  1. “We can’t help that our hipness is a beacon unto others?”

    You’ll be missed.

    Katy

  2. I wish i was going, you are doing something I wish I could do.

  3. Yay! Even more reason to visit Astoria this summer. You guys are going to have so much fun — I knew you would end up there eventually (if only (maybe) temporarily). ;D

  4. Love it! Hope we can venture over to Astoria and come see you guys!

  5. To the nay-sayers – now, while you don’t have a house and children to make things more challenging, is indeed the time to have your adventures!

    Re: health insurance for the self-employed. Some things to look into: The Chamber of Commerce often has a group plan you can be part of if you’re a member. Software Association of Oregon had and likely still has a group plan member organizations can be part of.

    Buy a “high deductible” plan if nothing else – it’s unlikely to actually pay much (except for major catastrophe) but if you are aware of which hospitals and doctors/labs/etc the insurance company “has a contract with” the insurance card becomes effectively a major “discount card”. Like 30-60% discount. One neurosurgeon we visited was $900 appointment, but with our high deductible insurance card it went down to $325.

    That said, failing to go to the hospital with which your insurance company has a contract can be very very expensive, so do your homework *before* you need to go to the hospital to find out which ones are “in the plan” and with which your insurance company “has a contract”

    I hope you have a great adventure! We still reminisce about ours 14 years later. We (Myself, the Mom and 1yr old Geek) converted a 40′ city bus into 2/3 motor home 1/3 mobile office (solar electric panels on the roof!) and lived in it and travelled around the US for 8 months. On the issue of fuel – the idea is not to be driving all the time, but to drive to a nice place, stay for a couple of weeks, then drive to the next close nice place. Diesel was cheaper back in 1997 when we were cruising around (very cheap in some states – $1.29!), but you can get a smaller vehicle that’ll get 3x the mpg of our 40′ city bus conversion.

    Anyway, you don’t have to be rich to do the Techno-Gypsy RV thing, just have to be creative about finding free places to park and remembering that it’s not about the driving, it’s about being in the nice places. (Programming lake-side while the Mom & Geek played on the lakeshore – yes, very nice! :-).

  6. FlamingAtheist says

    Cool! My in-laws live there (and my wife is from there, and I was stationed there in the CG) and it has become a much neater place to live than the early 90s when things were at their lowest. I haven’t been much of a Blue Scorcher visitor, I end up at Astoria Coffee House more often (it’s my FIL’s place of choice). Good luck to you both!

  7. Auntie Laurie says

    God I Love Your, ” I Can DO This DAMN IT,” Self! I Really AM Amazed that you found someone else as, “out there” as you, but after reading his Dad’s comment, I can see that he is an apple that really did not fall far at all! So you and Dave Keep that Hipness Beacon shining, I’m sure going to keep looking for it !!! HAVE FUN!!!!

  8. I’ve never met you in person and I”m missing you already!

    Boy, it’s a good thing I didn’t quit MY job and ask you for a job at that new, game-changing startup I thought you were going to do. Because that would have been way awkward.

    But good luck. Astoria is a nifty, nice place. You’ll love it there. And through the magic of the intarweb, it won’t really seem like you moved that far off.

    One little bit of trivia for you: Astoria’s population is one of the most stable in Oregon. It has hovered around 10,000 since about 1900, if my sketchy recollection is correct.

  9. Yay! Or should I say, “fun fun fun fun!”

  10. Meredith says

    Awesome. Get another memory card for your cameras, get, “proof of credible coverage” of your health insurance to rule out any pre-existing conditions for future coverage, and buy a city bus and convert it into a camper.

  11. lurker from San Diego….this sounds like so much fun. I would actually be very interested on your advice for health insurance for entrepreneurs…VERY interested. good luck!!

  12. Exciting!!!!

  13. you go girl!! and guy!!
    i just love that you do this stuff. living your life exactly as you want to, not constrained by the dictates of a “normal” definition.
    so happy for you.
    kelli

  14. This is GREAT. Ali and I know all about reducing expenses, piling up cash, and taking a step of faith. I love adventures like this. We need to go on a double date!!!

  15. Recently found your blog and love it! Best of luck to you and Dave on your new journey. My husband and I are up to a little of the same, we are moving to Portland early July, we snagged temporary transfers with our current employers but will quickly be jobless and we both feel as if we’re in that “transitional” phase, unsure of what we really want to be but excited to figure it out.

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