That's how long I've been here.
And it's not just living in a miserable, hateful city that weighs on me. It's living in the same crummy apartment that whole time. It's having to still live like a poor college student despite holding down a fairly well-paying, boring job for three years.
But I did have an interesting weekend. (Uh-oh, blog alert!)
I talked with a friend who happens to own a house in Arlington not far from me; it's a smallish size house, with maybe three bedrooms, that's valued at $750,000.
I went to a party that started with drinking games, but degraded into people comparing the law schools they had attended, like they were comparing penis size. It's the only time I've been to a party where the phrase "I'm proud to be an elitist" was said out loud, in a completely sincere fashion. I really wish I could say I was kidding about any of this.
I went to JournalCon D.C. and served on a very interesting panel about political blogging. It took me a while to get used to the idea of people saying hello to me completely unprevoked.
The convention hotel was a quirky, modern boutique; I'd never before seen automatic curtains that swing open as you approach. A block away, I walked past a homeless man having a very loud and disturbed conversation...
...with a public mailbox. Another block away is Logan Circle, which was packed with several homeless and/or crazy people. Only in D.C. can you see Two Americas on display in such close proximity. "Hey, poor people! Check it out... you can't afford to stay here! BWAAHHHH HA HA!!! [Curtains automatically slide closed]"
I passed a taxi stand near K St. and 15th, and told the driver I wanted to go to Arlington. He shot me a look like I had just asked him to take me to Saskatoon. I sunk low in my seat, depressed, as we drove home in complete silence.
Went to another party thing Saturday night. Some friends of mine from a gentrifying area of D.C. told me that a 2-bedroom townhouse in their neighborhood recently sold for $800,000. Much consternation among people my age about property values, since none of us will ever be able to afford a house here, ever.
But I will get out, dammit. There has to be a fourth year for me here, but there won't be a fifth.