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I've been in Las Vegas now for a little over three weeks, in my apartment not quite that long, and already this feels like home in a way that Northern Virginia never really did. Yes, the bulk of my worldly possessions are in a warehouse somewhere until I can raise the money to spring them and have them brought to my new home; yes, it's true that I've made no connections here aside from the people I work with. Still, there's something about Las Vegas that feels familiar and comforting to me, and I think it may be the place I was supposed to be.

As the old song says, the heat is hot and the ground is dry, and the air is full of sound. The first time I came here, in 2010, the light and noise on the Strip were too much for me; thanks to jet lag, I suffered a bad case of sensory overload and wanted nothing more than to retreat to my room, plug in my electronics, and go to sleep away from all the noise. Last year, when I came here for a three-day recon of possible apartments and jobs, I stayed at the other end of Las Vegas Boulevard, in the old city, and didn't have that problem; this year, I live three blocks off the Strip and don't notice either the light or the noise. Have I adapted? Maybe; I don't have much reason to go down to the swanky new resort casinos, and the crowds are thinner in this part of town.

I am here to avoid the high cost of living in the Washington area, to be in a place of my own with its own kitchen where I can cook for myself in the approved low-carb manner, and to get a handle on my life. Maybe get some more writing done. Maybe figure out what I'm supposed to be doing now that I'm into the protector stage of my life. I do know that if nothing else, I am happier in my nearly-empty apartment than I have been in a long time. Maybe I can, at long last, get my head right. It's not too much to hope for.

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