In case you haven’t heard, here’s what’s happening: I got a job, saved some money, quit aforementioned job, and am now a walking cliché on two fronts by backpacking Europe (as well as select parts of the Middle East) for two months and keeping a blog.

If this initial entry is totally mundane, I apologize, but there’s a lot of pressure in trying to write something mildly entertaining and I’m not sure I can right off the bat. Additionally, I’m being forced to write this while having to endure SRV guitar licks–something I don’t particularly enjoy in Austin, much less around the world in the basement of my hostel.

Being a travelogue and all, I’m going to start by reviewing my final hours in Austin.

Because I (comparitively) moved rarely as a child and in the first few years of being an adult, I’m not very good at it; compound that with my surfeit of laziness and you have a real hasty and stress-filled process.

Two nights before I left, the last Mayfield/Dart Bowl Story Club of the season took place. There were a fair number of people there and not too many stories, so it just became a drinking session at Dart Bowl. Prior to the meeting, though, there had also been a partial happy hour and dinner reunion for the peeps from Land Arts 2004. For dinner I had a delicious avocado Reuben with about a pound and a half of sauerkraut washed down by brews.

(I realize this is totally mundane, but it sort of comes into play later.)

After the Story Club, people went down south to Deep Eddy’s where we continued and then finished the night of drinking. By night’s end, I probably had around 10 beers which is plenty for me.

I was graciously driven home by Mark, walked up my interminably long stairs, and opened up my condo to find everything there: The TV, the DVD player, lots of cash, passport, et al were all there. Everything but my partially broken Ikea chair and ottoman. I instantly recognized this and became incredibly confused. Was I just drunk as a skunk? Why wasn’t anything broken? Was this a prank? Why not take anything else? What? Huh?

I called a couple of friends who had just become suspects and my subleaser who I had given the keys to earlier in the night: All parties were just as in the dark as me. While perplexed and distraught, my body caved and I passed out.

I woke up through out the night, each time expecting my chair back in its rightful place. I also took a couple of peeks outside: Nothing.

At one point my spins and the urge to check that my chair wasn’t bathing itself in the shower got the best of me. After reconfirming that my chair was in fact not bathing itself; I hunched over my sink and expelled the pound and a half of sauerkraut I had enjoyed earlier in the night.

I still have yet to definitively solve the case; but I guess it’s an honorable lesson to be learned: Even when things could be much worse and more dire, it will be the small stuff that inevitably drives you crazy.

Minor details: