In the Battlestar Galactica series finale, Kara Thrace enters the coordinates into the jump drive to an unknown location – coordinates she knew in her head all along:

Some readers of this here blog have added up the clues from my DC Cribs series and have figured it out: I’m moving again, but this time out of DC. There will be no 12th home in Washington, DC – the next jump is to Portland, Oregon.

While I annually ponder a move when the hot months of summer hit the city, I made the decision about a month ago before the latest heat wave hit. I won’t get too deep into why – there are many reasons but the biggest one is that when I did the math I realized how long I’ve been here. 16 years is a good run, but it’s time to shake things up a bit.

Like Madonna said in the song Jump:

“There’s only so much you can learn in one place.
The more that I wait, the more time that I waste.

I haven’t got much time to waste, it’s time to make my way.
I’m not afraid of what I’ll face but I’m afraid to stay.

I’m going down my own road and I can make it alone.
I’ll work and I’ll fight ’til I find a place of my own.

Are you ready to jump, get ready to jump, don’t ever look back…”

I got my advanced degree here and put a lot of good work experience under my belt. I don’t have a job lined up there but now I got the skillz to make it on my own. The last time I lived in Portland in 1995 I was fresh out of undergrad and flailing wildly for a job and a place there. This time should be much easier. I’ve been saving up some cash for this and have enough to live easy for a bit. And I have friends there to crash with temporarily when I arrive. My oldest brother still lives there as well.

Making the decision was hard, but I’ve felt better about it every day. I hate to sound corny but it’s the first big decision like this I’ve made entirely myself without pressing external factors egging me on, and it’s very empowering.

I think I’ve been spinning my wheels for years here and haven’t gone anywhere for a while. Call it a mid-life crisis if you want, but everyone has one and mine has ripened.

To continue the corny theme, it was some words from the Dr. Seuss-inspired video “Oh, the Places You’ll Go (at Burning Man)” that struck me last year. Take note at minute 3:08 about “The Waiting Place”:

“The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.”

I’ve been at The Waiting Place long enough and I’m ready to jump.


  1. Dan says:

    Good for you! Portland is a great town. They will be lucky to have you there.

  2. henry says:

    You go, girl! The fur factor is through the roof in Portland and always will be, even if the no beards remain in DC, and the beer is good and there are plenty of choices of mandals and people wear shorts every day. What is not to like?

    And if the Romneystilzchen wins, it’s not that far to Canada and Vancouver… and that is truly beautiful.

  3. Fitz says:

    Two things: one, my car is in that video towards the end, and two, we need to have chow again before you leave!

  4. JackB says:

    Totally know where you’re coming from, jimbo. After 18 years in the rat race that is WashingtonDC, my time there ended at the end of 2010. I have few regrets living there, and made good, good friends all over the spectrum life. Whether one’s “jump” is their own choice, or from extraneous forces, you know in your gut that it is time to move. I wish all the best life has waiting for you, Master Jedi!

  5. Jim says:

    How scary and brave and awesome!

    And, of course, you’re too smart to go down a not so good street. 😉 Seuss’ prose and the pure energy from those Burning Man attendees makes it really moving. I was re-watching some Dead Like Me episodes recently and found this scene got me in the same frame of mind:

    “Maybe. Or maybe I just can’t stand to sit still for too long.”

  6. Glen.h says:

    Good luck!

  7. homer says:

    I’ll be coming to visit you in Portland in 2013,Wonder what fantastic fun we’ll have.

  8. brettcajun says:

    Good luck with the move boo. I hope you find an abundance of happiness and hot Lumberjacks in Portland. I bet you’ll never hear “Sorry… I’m busy!” there.

  9. meetmeinva says:

    hi jim- been a reader of your blog for some time now. congratulations on the big move! when’s the farewell party? would like to meet you in person, after all these years.

  10. Christian says:

    Congrats! PDX is a great city. Also, teh menz are super easy on the eyes and friendly.

  11. Ohio Tom says:

    Happy landing, Jimbo!

  12. J.P. says:

    I think a move like this is awesome! I’ve never been to Portland but I hear it’s a great town. Best of luck and have fun!

  13. Luther says:

    DC will miss you, know I will! Hope you keep up your blog! May your future be bright.

  14. kalalaumango says:

    good luck with your move. it’s a beautiful city, it should suit you. burning man started out more than two decades ago as something with depth, it’s a shame with so many people now attending that it doesn’t translate across a wider spectrum. but, look at how gay pride events have become taciturn moments of boring beigeness and bigotry. best wishes. 16 years in d.c. with your taste is an odd relation.

  15. rusty, out on the factory floor says:

    DC’s loss is Portland’s gain. Continuing the musical theme I am reminded of Steve Forbert’s song “You Can Not Win If You Do Not Play”
    Best of luck in whatever comes next for you Jimbo and I hope you’ll continue to regale us with tales of Portland (once you’re settled in)

  16. Michael says:

    Best of luck with the move! As a lot of people have said, I hope you’ll keep writing about your adventures in the new city.

  17. Kevin M says:

    I’m really happy for you – though sorry you’re going farther away. I was still hoping to get you down here for a good birding experience (and it’s a lot farther/more expensive to do that from Portland). Still – it’s a good move for you.

  18. Michele says:

    “We” are not pleased. No, we are not pleased at’all.
    Washington, D.C. metropolitan et al needs the Jimbo.
    Begrudgingly we concur that this move sounds lovely, but if it sucks the big unhappy suck we want you to come back. Okay?

  19. Rick says:

    Congrats on the move Jimbo….Portland is an awesome place

  20. Jeffrey says:

    As someone who’s been in the waiting place for far too long and is finally breaking out of it, I could not be happier for you. We love Portland and I hope we relocate to the Pacific Northwest in time. Mazel tov! (Leap and the net will appear. Jump!)

  21. Todd T. says:

    Congratulations! “Your mountain is waiting, now get on your way!” I’ll be up the road a piece in Edmonds, WA, if you ever wish to visit.

  22. Chuck says:

    Definitely a gain for the west coast. Yay us!