I returned home from Birmingham, Alabama this evening, after very little sleep and a bevy of new impressions on a place I'd never visited before.

The point of the trip was, of course, to see Annalisa; I stayed at her place for 5 days, which was (as always) wonderful and full of good feelings and emotional connection. As a bonus, as it were, she showed me around the city that I'll be moving to in a few months. Prior to this past week I'd only ever driven through Birmingham on my way to New Orleans or Nashville or Atlanta. It's just what I think I need -- not too much excitement, no tourists, and a terrain that's foreign to me. Birmingham is all big sloping hills, forests, and various US/Interstate/state highways. Most of the buildings are fairly new and there's very little left of the city that's over 100 years old, which is nice, because I'm bloody sick of living in decrepit, falling-apart duplexes, which is where I spent most of my nearly three years in New Orleans living in. I don't care if I ever see another hardwood floor, high ceiling or chandelier ever again. Give me carpet, furnished kitchens and non-clawfoot bathtubs from here to eternity. Yeah!

I worked from Annalisa's apartment in The Summit last night, unbeknownst to my employers. I was supposed to leave on Sunday afternoon, but, you know... love stays late. In any case, staying up til 6:00am working and then having to get up at 10:00am, pack, and go to BMH four hours early didn't leave me with much headspace today. I've been in a sleeplessness-induced haze all day. After the hospitible discofever picked me up from MSY and dropped me off at my apartment, I managed to get about an hour and a half of sleep, which was filled with dreams of nothing other than kissing Annalisa, wonderful dreams which were broken by the alarm clock calling me to the office, which is where I am now and have been at since 9:00pm. I've still got five hours before I can finally sleep again. Hopefully 10mg of Ambien will ensure at least eight hours of unconsciousness.

Annalisa will be here for my birthday next month. In the meantime, it's going to be a long July.