Heavy weather

The sunshine finally returned, boys are wearing cutoffs, and one subject preoccupies me constantly. The scope of my life has narrowed to a single point which, like a black hole, obliterates all other concerns: music, food, even sex.

I’m moving.

The gory details are simple. The house I’ve been renting went on the market. I couldn’t afford to make a bid. The prospect of owning real estate seems awfully grown-up. I’d rather master the basics—pets, a husband, not killing houseplants—before I commence with mortgage payments.

But moving has forced me to accept that the current structure of my life preempts even a half-assed shot at domesticity. Who in their right mind would date a DJ or music journalist, when the possibility always exists that you might have to help them relocate their entire library sometime between now and the Mexican divorce?

Yesterday, I moved 24 boxes, containing 150 vinyl records apiece. Each record weighs about half a pound. That’s practically a ton of wax. My biceps have never looked better. Plus, now they’re covered with little red welts from the cardboard cartons. Very foxy.

But I have rejuvenated hope for discovering love, because I’m not settling into new digs immediately. I’m spending June, July, and August in New York. And since I’m subletting a tiny apartment, I’m only permitting myself a handful of records and CDs. The other 99 percent of my collection went into storage. I’m aspiring to be less weighed down by material objects. Minimizing music will increase my physical and psychic space. Other things subsequently flow in to fill the void. Preferably single men.

Despite the distress of being uprooted, there are aspects of my upcoming adventure that leave me all a-tingle. Like listening to mix tapes as I cruise across our Super-Sized nation. The other day, I pulled out stacks of unpacked albums—Roseanne Cash, Peggy Lee, Lesley Gore, They Might Be Giants—and made a killer tape. I put a big dent in a 12-pack of Henry Weinhard’s Hefeweizen while doing so, too. Making cassettes is less taxing when you’re drunk, and the first playback always reveals surprises you’ve forgotten in your brew-induced stupor. Plus the empty carton was perfect for storing 7-inch 45s.

There are things about Seattle I’d rather be around for, though. For one, the rise of teenage quartet the Vogue. In mid-July they’re releasing their debut three-song single. Wait till you hear it—these skinny kids sound like the Fall meets Bis smoking crack in an alley. They’ll be stars by September. And I’ll have to listen to my irritating friends blathering on about how much better they were “back in the day.”

At least I can turn on with the Vogue in my car. Would that the same could be said for the guy I’ll miss most about the Emerald City: Q13 meteorologist Jim Castillo.

Big Jim’s impossibly bright smile, reminiscent of those beauty pageant contestants who put Vaseline on their teeth, always stirs me. His charms transcend the banality of info-free (unless you like funny animal stories) Pacific Northwest news broadcasts. Jim controls the weather. Countless King County denizens depend on him to improve their dreary lives. And power is an irresistible aphrodisiac. Plus you’re never certain if his predictions will come true. There’s nothing sexier than a handsome man who’s a convincing liar.

Last St. Patrick’s Day, Q13 ran promotional spots for a race they sponsored downtown. Jim did one with sportscaster Dan Devone, set in a gym, where goofball Devone stopped spotting Jim while he pumped iron. The clip ended with Castillo pinned to the bench under the weights. How I envied that barbell.

In my beer-fueled reverie, I considered making a mix tape for Jim before I split town. There are so many superlative weather songs—”It’s Raining Men,” “Like a Hurricane,” “Wild Is the Wind”—that I’d leave him no question about my sincerity. Now it’s too late. I’ve put those records away.

How galling that I’ll be without Jim all summer, when he’s in his glory. These precious few months, he gets to talk about conditions other than rain. And sometimes he reports from scenic locales, wearing short sleeves. My baby does an excellent job of filling out a suit, but the summer drag makes it easier to envision what he’ll look like grilling chicken on the Hibachi that we’re certain to receive as a wedding present.

I don’t know what side Jim butters his toast on (although his hair is awfully fussy), but if I get the slightest chance to investigate come autumn, those records may never come out of storage. Suits me. The world is primed for the first MP3 DJ. Meanwhile, I’ll bide my time till our day in the sun arrives. If I can lug a ton of vinyl without assistance, dragging my heavy heart through muggy Manhattan sans weather boy for three months shouldn’t be too taxing.