Utah or bust

$3,450 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 43 people in 11 months
My ex is planning on moving to Utah, in June, with our kids in tow. This isn't a case of her trying to shake me off; on the contrary she would like for me to try to make the move at the same time so our two boys (3 & 10) have both parents with them as a constant.  Of course, I have to make this trip on my own dime, put my place in Arkansas up for sale, put down deposits on my own place and my own utilities, take some (but not all) of my furniture and belongings with me (as well as the kids' beds and belongings that are at my house), and get myself, my vehicle, my four cats and my lovable but derpy dog from western Arkansas to Lehi, Utah.

This move benefits all of us; the ex is accepting a transfer through her job, but educational opportunities and resources for the boys will be vastly better than they what we'd find in our area, as will job opportunities for me, a tech/creative guy currently stuck in an industrial/manufacturing heavy area with very limited job opportunities.  Lehi and the surrounding areas (including Provo and Salt Lake City) is home to offices of such companies as Adobe, Microsoft, and of course Ancestry.com, so despite the sheer terror of a close-your-eyes-and-jump move like this, the opportunity is here for me to find more lucrative work in my chosen field, and to better support and spend time with my kids as a result.  (I am already putting in applications in Lehi and its immediate vicinity; I plan to hit the ground with a job waiting for me.)

Anyone who knows me knows that my kids are pretty much why I keep drawing breath.  Although we're all no longer intact as a traditional family, the grown-ups involved have decided that, whatever disagreements we have among ourselves, it's really all about the kids at this point: the kids still having both parents, the kids have more opportunities, and our own duty to provide society with two productive, motivated, creative, bright minds who are ready to take on all challenges.  In the end, look at things from my perspective - you're not helping me, you're helping them by helping their dad to stay with them wherever they go.

And for that help, whatever help you're able to pitch in, you'll have both their gratitude and mine, more than you'll ever know.

About me:  I'm Earl Green, creator and curator of theLogBook.com , one of the oldest sci-fi/space exploration history/classic video game/general-geek-interest sites on the web.  I research, write, host and produce its three podcasts, theLogBook.com's Escape Pod , Select Game: Expanded Memories of the Odyssey2 , and Don't Give This Tape To Earl .  I've also written four books which expand greatly upon content I originated on the site: VWORP!1 and VWORP!2 (ongoing guides to the BBC's Doctor Who), WARP!1 (a similarly arranged first volume of an ongoing guide to Star Trek), and a popular book of memoirs and random writings, Fatherhood, Fandom, and Fading Out.  I also produced, roughly ten years ago, a series of documentary DVDs on the early history of the video game industry (now long out of print).

Much as I'd love to say all these things pay the bills, they don't.  I just love writing and publishing and getting to go to conventions and hawk my wares when I can afford to do so.  (I'm a past exhibitor in good standing at GlitchCon, Konsplosion, ComiCon-Way, and the Oklahoma Video Game Expo.)
Professionally, I've been a TV writer/editor/producer specializing in news and entertainment promo spots, a voice-over artist, an IT specialist, and, currently, a graphic designer.  My favorite creations, however, are my two sons, who I try to raise with compassion, common sense, humor, and the same sense of wonder with which I examine the universe around us.

Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings, as always.
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Good news! (about time, right?)

Yesterday we signed the lease and got the keys on a nice (I mean...actually *really nice*, nicer than I was expecting to be able to get) house in Spanish Fork, Utah. The keys are a-janglin' in me pocketses as we speak, and we leave the hotel for the last time today to go move in. I'm also expecting to start work on Monday, though there are some rather important details in that department that remain maddeningly vague (which is why I've kept applying for other things in the meantime because, you know, the stress of looking for a place to live isn't enough).

The search took way too long, and those of you following me on ye olde Facespace know what kind of crazy stuff I was running into that stretched the search for home out to six sanity-testing weeks in the hotel. None of that would've been possible without your help. In a Go-Fund-Me-less world, we would've been camping out in vacant parking lots a long time ago.

And if it was just me, well, that's okay, because suddenly moving to Utah wouldn't have been the first bugf**k crazy major life decision I've made by a long shot. But it wasn't just me. It was my boys and some critters, none of whom had any say in any of this. I know my Facebook has seemed like a constant pity party of late, with just a bit of directionless rage-venting thrown in for good measure, and that's because six tenuous weeks in a tiny hotel room is not a hell I voluntarily or intentionally visited upon my kids of either the two or four legged variety. As you can see from one of the photos I've included with this final update, the little faces that really matter are utterly delighted with this development. E asked repeatedly as we drove back to the hotel last night, "Why are we going back to the hotel if we just got the house? Did we really get the house or did we get turned down again?"

That right there tells you how accustomed he's gotten to disappointment - sometimes having to watch my face fall yet again as someone turned me down in person in real time - and that he was so excited and one the verge of disbelief that he'd momentarily forgotten the pets.

So, the final score:
* We have a house.
* Gabby has a yard to patrol.
* I potentially have a job.
* The kids start school in a little over a week in a pretty good school district.
* James Bond will return in The Living Daylights.
* We somehow managed not to strangle one another over the past six weeks.
* Obi Cat has the stinkiest farts.
* Man cannot live on bread alone, but in a pinch, an uncooked can of the Wal-Mart store brand mini ravioli is actually pretty good stuff.
* Gabby Dog has the stinkiest farts.
* The human adventure is just beginning, along with the feline adventure and the canine adventure.
* I guess I kind of live in the state of Utah now.
* I have you to thank for all of the above, with the possible exception of the bits involving James Bond and stinky farts.

Thanks for putting up with the digital panhandling, the raging, the despairing, and the suspense (if the suspense was killing you, you can only imagine how it felt for any of us). I am so ready to crash in my own room with a klutzy cat or two perched on my belly for the most epic nap in history.

Anyone who wants the address, you know where to find me... I'll be at home.
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What does it take to find a place that would let us move in tomorrow morning with all the kids and critters? (Believe it or not, we've been running into places that don't even want *children*.)

It takes finding a basement apartment managed by a couple that recently moved here from Oklahoma. No, seriously. BOOMER.

I've just gotten off the phone with them, and the place is ours...*if* we can come up with the scratch. They need to hear back from us tonight. So far as I know, she had $400 in her account a couple of days ago, $50 of which was spent on groceries last night, and an undisclosed amount of which got her a big breakfast at IHOP yesterday (in the meantime, I ate uncooked 68-cent Great Value mini ravioli straight out of the can, while the boys once again enjoyed some of the bazillion Special K protein breakfast bars I bought before leaving Arkansas, almost as if I knew this whole thing was going to go splat).

I'm waiting to hear back on freelance graphic design work in SLC (that guy's been stringing me along for a week, so not holding my breath there), as well as a possible overnight warehouse job that'd pay $12 an hour, to say nothing of the other jobs I have put in for online...but either way, neither will happen fast enough as the one thing our prospective landlord *can't* do is let us move in already at a deficit. Which I totally understand.

I gotta go hug a little sleepyhead who just got up from sleeping in, blissfully unaware of all that's going on around him. Man, do I wish I was him.

I sincerely appreciate everyone who has pitched in so far. Anything that hasn't gotten us into a house yet has kept at least the hotel roof over our heads, and food in our bellies...but wow, would we ever love to wake up in that apartment this week instead of the hotel, so let me express my equally sincere gratitude to anyone who can help us one more time.
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Sunday afternoon was spent looking at a house in American Fork, UT, maybe 3 miles from where we've been staying. $1950 a month, all utilities paid (!!), $1950 deposit to move in. Still waiting to hear on pet deposit. These folks are very understanding and are holding the door open for us; if we can even come up with the deposit by itself we can move in ASAP and will have a little time to come up with first month's rent. This is the last hurdle. I am truly grateful for the past donations that got us moved up here and and have been paying for our way-too-long hotel stay, food for kids and critters, and countless rental applications - hopefully we can land this place and cross the finish line. At that point, I can try to do some freelance stuff from home to bring in some money until I land a full-time gig, something that it's been difficult to even go and interview for when I'm looking after the kids all the time.
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We're here! Now what?

So far, so...well...okay? Last Monday when the boys and the kitties and I left Arkansas, I had to leave the house in Arkansas in an unfinished (read that as "not ready to show") state, so obviously it hasn't sold yet. The entire trip thus far - hotel stays, gas, food, you name it - has taken nearly every cent of my final Arkansas paycheck, the respectable take from the epic "moving out" yard sale, and you fine GoFundMe folks. We arrived in Lehi, Utah late Wednesday night and have been taking up a room in the pet-friendly Days Inn just off of I-15. Me...the boys...a dog...five cats...two droids...and no questions asked.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, we left Arkansas much later (as in weeks later) than expected, so while I had a few "drop in and see us" interview offers in my back pocket, the length of time it took for us to actually hit the road meant that those jobs were filled in my absence (which is to be expected). So it's as if my job search has started from scratch... from a hotel room... where I'm also looking after the boys. The room has been costing $109 a night, and the staff has been very patient with my daily "no, actually, we're not checking out until tomorrow" visit to the office, as well as my constantly dragging 75 pounds of half-Rottweiler through the lobby several times a day for walkies... but suffice to say, we have to find a place soon, even if it's an apartment that's somewhat cramped.

Getting an apartment *or* staying in the hotel is going to take money I don't have yet. It's kind of scary to be $109 away from homelessness at any given point - and that assumes no eating or burning up gas by driving around. Needless to say, sleeping at night isn't coming easy to me right now. Whether it's the slapdash yard sale or the interminable delays in actually hitting the road...you know, I'm pretty sure this is almost a textbook case of how not to cross-country move.

Stay tuned...hopefully I am able to land a gig quickly, get the Little Green Men and their entourage of four-legged friends moved into some new digs ASAP, and bring this blood-pressure-spiking exercise in moving the wrong way to a close.
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Raised by 43 people in 11 months
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