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A little more settling in

Sunday morning started out gloomy, but we went out for pancakes and then to Home Depot.  And then the sun came out!  We bought a little reel-type lawn mower for our postage stamp lawn, a rake, and a dandelion puller (because we have WEEDS and many of them are dandelions).  I’m not crazy about having to do yard work again, but there’s really not much.  John mowed the back and front of the house in about 5 minutes Sunday afternoon.

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Then he re-potted our avocado plant,  because yes, we drove across the country with an avocado plant in our car, and we want it to grow big and strong.

The old pot is in the background.  Perspective is making it look smaller than it really is.

The old pot is in the background. Perspective is making it look smaller than it really is.

Sadly, the little hedgehog pot-hugger dude doesn’t fit on our new pot.  We’ll have to figure out somewhere else to put him.

Here are a couple of shots of our backyard, for the curious.  Not so surprisingly, it looks a lot like it did the last time I posted a picture of it.  Not as wet this time, and you can see flowers in the bed over near the shed in the second picture that weren’t there in February.

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Our stuff is coming tomorrow!  YAY!

Get used to disappointment

Mild spoilers ahead.

We saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last night, and it was bad.  It was very not good, and we are very not happy.  On the one hand, we didn’t have great expectations for it, so it’s not like we were let down.  On the other hand, COME ON.  It was a Superman movie where Superman is the bad guy for no apparent reason.  It was a Batman movie where Batman didn’t act like Batman at all.  And Wonder Woman?  With as little introduction and explanation as she got, she should have been a cameo.  Instead, her scenes were inscrutable.

Boo.

Settling in

It’s hard to settle in without furniture, but we’re trying.  John is calling flight schools and flying clubs, looking for one he likes.  I’ve made an appointment for a facial at Massage Envy (my first in MONTHS) and an appointment for a haircut (just a trim THIS time – my first in…a year?), and next on my list is finding a new doctor.

Our washer and dryer came, and I’ve done a couple of loads of laundry already, and it’s WONDERFUL.  Our very own machines, FULL SIZE, in OUR basement, which is way cleaner than the Annapolis basement, and I’m very happy about that.  Yay!

I’ll be happier when our stuff gets here.  But for now, the weather is nice, and I can do laundry!

Violence is in my future, I can feel it

I have been forced out of my comfort zone, largely because I don’t HAVE a comfort zone right now, and it is a good and wonderful thing.  I got up this morning (early this morning) to get online before one of my big weekly meetings, and I found that I couldn’t get online on my work laptop. My personal laptop was fine, my phones were fine (I almost typed “phine”), John’s computer was fine.  My work laptop was good yesterday.  Why not today?  It has something to do with Comcast, and I’m going to have to call them, but I didn’t have time right then (meeting starting).  And because of the meeting, I couldn’t dash out to Starbucks for more reliable internet.

I got through the meeting, but I was SO frustrated and wound up.  And THEN we heard from the moving company, who said the truck will be here between 2 and 5pm on Tuesday, which is the latest time possible within the window they gave us.  I’m SO glad we rushed across the country.  That added anger to my frustration (and I sent them an email that hasn’t been replied to yet), and THEN I remembered my air card.  That’s the solution to my work internet problem, and I feel like an idiot for not thinking of it sooner.  I still didn’t want to work another day in the house without furniture (First two days: sore butt from sitting on the floor.  Third day: sore legs from standing at the kitchen counter all day.) and it was still too early for the library to be open, so I packed up my air card and my laptop and headed to the 5th Street Public Market area, just a few blocks away.

It’s a beautiful sunny day, right around 60 degrees, the people at the breakfast place make a really good decaf Americano, and I’m sitting out in the courtyard looking down over a splashing fountain with a chicken on it.  I haven’t figured out the significance of the chicken yet.  I can work here, and I can breathe again.

But I really want my stuff!

There are no chickens in this picture. Sorry.

There are no chickens in this picture. Sorry.

Back into the swing of work

John had to go back to work Wednesday, so I decided to start slowly and try to catch up on email before anyone really expected me to do any real work.  Once Outlook stopped refreshing, I had over 3200 emails.  Most of them (around 2300) were emails from our ticket system.  Usually, I read them all, but that’s day by day, as they come in, and even then it’s not always manageable.  I decided to ignore ALL 2300 of them and start fresh on Thursday, so I deleted them all.  That left about 900 emails from real people, so I spent about 7 hours today going through those and trying to get a sense of what’s been happening.  What’s been happening?  Both a lot and not that much.  It’s probably the same for any job when you disappear for a week and a half.  The biggest news is that I have a new boss (I totally dreamed that Tuesday night, too.  Weird, right?).  My old boss left abruptly 3 (maybe 4?) weeks ago, and my new boss started this Monday.  I didn’t expect them to hire someone so quickly (I don’t think anyone did), but hopefully it’s a good thing.

No one asked too much of me on Wednesday, so it wasn’t too stressful except on my butt.  We stayed in the house all day (except for lunch), and I can say from experience now that working in a house with no furniture sucks A LOT.  Where is our furniture?  I wish the moving van had a tracking number like packages do.

Sense is overrated

I can’t decide if 14 states feels like a lot to cross through in five days or not enough, considering we crossed the ENTIRE country. Same with knowing that we’d never been in half of them before. Is that a lot? Not a lot? I have lost all sense of perspective. And all sense. And, since we got here, I’ve been fighting decision fatigue again. It’s kind of scary to waffle between options, knowing the choice you make won’t be wrong (the thing you’re trying to decide on is not that important), but completely unable to choose. I don’t like it. It’s not all the time, and it’s not debilitating. In fact, I think it only happened twice and only Monday morning. It’s still weird, and I don’t have to like it.

Five days in the car. I was ready to give the car a break (my butt was ready to send the seats packing), but at the same time, I wasn’t ready for the trip to be over. It wasn’t restful, and it wasn’t a vacation, but we didn’t have to do anything except drive. Work was a distant memory. It was freeing. We’re still somewhat in limbo, since we don’t have our stuff. I called the moving coordinator Tuesday morning (Day 7 of the 7-14 day window), and she said the driver couldn’t provide an ETA yet, but call again on Friday, and maybe they can provide one. Sigh. No internet yet, either, but the install kit could arrive any day, assuming it has actually shipped. I placed the order Friday night, but I never got a confirmation email. I called them Monday, and they confirmed the order and resent the email. I just realized I never got that email, either. I have to call them again and hope hope HOPE it’s out there and actually on its way. Cross your fingers for us!

Update: the install kit arrived and we have internet!  We still don’t have anything to sit on or at, but we have internet!

First day

Yesterday was an odd day.  Good, but odd.  We had plenty to do, so we got up relatively early (woke up around 7:30), checked out of our hotel, and had a quick breakfast at Panera, conveniently located next to Sears and Target.

First, Sears for a washing machine and dryer, to be delivered Thursday.  The salesman suggested we buy fishing rods.  We didn’t.

Next, Target for an air mattress, a broom, a mop, Windex, Tilex, sponges, paper towels, toilet paper, and a shower curtain.

After that, back to the house to clean.  It looks great and was pretty clean to begin with (SUCH a nice change from our last place).  That took a couple of hours (and we’re considering becoming no-shoes-in-the-house people), and then we started walking.  We walked from the house to the library (the long way because we forgot where it was), with a stop at Noisette Pastry Kitchen for a couple of really good sandwiches.  The library is really nice, but a little frustrating since we can’t check anything out yet.  We walked back to the house after a while (it’s about a mile away), hopped into the car, and drove to Home Depot to make a copy of the house key (the property manager only gave us one).  Picked up dinner, came home.  Exciting.

The light was neat this afternoon as the clouds blew away (it was rained the first half of the day), so I took a few pictures during our walk to the library.

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We made it!

We made it to Oregon under sunny skies.  We met our property manager (and her daughter, who’s a big dork and was able to hold her own in a Batman vs Superman conversation with John (that had nothing to do with the movie, since neither has seen it)), got the key, and unloaded the car into our new house.  Yay!  Our new house that has flowers!  And some weeds.  We went straight from there to dinner with Christina and Will (much appreciated), and all of a sudden it was 11pm and we fell down in a hotel room (Our hotel room, not a random one.  That would be weird.).  (We decided to put off sleeping in the house until we could clean it.)

Not the most exciting update, but hey – we made it!

Quick stop

Yesterday, as we drove through the mountains in western Montana, we saw a sign advertising more than 100,000 used books at the Montana Valley Book Store.  You know us.  This is not something we could ignore.

It was in a tiny town, in the middle of the mountains (I don’t know which mountains), and the store was in this white house on the main road.

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The entire first floor had ceiling-high shelves, crammed full of books.  The picture I took only shows one side.

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The basement (slightly scary) ran the length of the house and had all the paperbacks in it.

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It was everything you could want in a used bookstore.  I really like the ones in old houses.  We didn’t stay long, but it helped us get through the rest of yesterday’s drive to Spokane.  It reinforced my growing desire to spend all of my free time in the library, if we ever actually get to Eugene.

(I bought a book, even though I’m not supposed to be buying books.  It’s a science fiction anthology edited by (and with commentary from) Isaac Asimov.  I felt the need to support the store.)

Somebody really sculpted faces into a mountain

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Our plan worked!  We have become shadows of our former selves and are drifting aimlessly through life. Or, the early morning snow cleared out and we got a perfect day for Mount Rushmore.  That’s the plan I meant.

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It was surreal and SO weird.  What a strange thing to want to do!  And how VERY strange to be driving along and all of a sudden see these giant faces in the mountainside.  In person, it’s even weirder than just knowing it’s out there.

I learned something about myself yesterday.  As we were driving up to the park, we caught our first glimpse of it, and THAT’S when it sank in to me that this giant sculpture actually existed.  If you had asked me the day before if Mount Rushmore was a real thing, I would have said of course it is, but when I saw it, just that first glimpse from a moving car, it felt almost like learning that Bugs Bunny is a real talking rabbit.  Mount Rushmore is something I’ve only heard about, only seen in movies, and I guess I never really processed it as real.  I don’t do that with other things I haven’t seen for myself, do I?

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We’re being photobombed by stone heads.  Also, I am incapable of looking at the lens.

Thursday

Thursday was a big driving day.  We woke up in Michigan (barely in Michigan), drove across Indiana and Illinois (waved to Chicago and got stuck in traffic there), drove across Wisconsin, the entire width of Minnesota, and spent the night in South Dakota.  811 miles.  We had to make up for Wednesday, and we wanted to be able to detour a tad to see Mt. Rushmore on Friday (which, as you’re reading this, we’ve probably already done – I’m writing this Thursday night).  It rained on us almost all day, and we got snowed on as we climbed into Minnesota.

I can say with certainty that Ohio rest area bathrooms are WAY nicer than Indiana rest area bathrooms, and there was one in a truck stop barely into South Dakota that was REALLY nice.  For a public rest room.  It had a bench and a plant!

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Yes, I took a picture.

Away with March

Today is the last day of March.  There’s something about March 31st that tickles my memory, but I can’t quite get to what it is.  Maybe it’s nothing, a phantom itch.  I googled it, which didn’t help, but did provide a bunch of random facts.

  • Ewan McGregor, Al Gore, Christopher Walken, Angus Young, and Johann Sebastian Bach were all born on this day.
  • The Eiffel Tower opened on March 31st.
  • It’s Dance Marathon Day AND National Farm Workers Day.
  • The US took possession of the Virgin Islands.
  • Ford debuted the V-8 engine.
  • LaGuardia Airport opened.
  • Okay, that’s enough.

I’m done with facts and clearly too lazy to provide links and NONE of that helped me figure out what I’m trying to remember.  Let’s just assume it’s nothing until I hear otherwise.  March 31st is like any other day.  Go about your business.

We could have gone farther

We drove about 530 miles today.  We detoured briefly in Ohio to go see Lake Erie, and we stopped in time to have dinner that wasn’t fast food (Applebee’s is ALMOST fast food – there aren’t a lot of options right off the highway in Coldwater, MI), and now we’re about to collapse.  We’ll need to do better tomorrow, but we can do that.  Especially if we’re asleep soon.

The biggest decision we have to make tomorrow is whether we’re going to drive across North Dakota or South Dakota.  Time and distance are the same.  We’ll have to decide around midday.

Look!  A great lake!  It was windy.

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And a bit gray.  But great!

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Day .5

Tuesday evening shouldn’t count as Day 1.  We got ALL the way to Frederick (an hour and twenty minutes, and that includes a detour for fast food) and spent the night with Emily and Sean.  That was wonderful, of course, but we had SUCH a late start.  The movers, originally scheduled to arrive between 8 and 10, were switched to the 11am to 1pm window, so instead of starting first thing in the morning, nothing even got going until practically midday.  THEN we had parking problems.  Turns out our neighbors, just three houses down, were also moving out, but they had two moving trucks and they took up all available space.  I had a mild freak-out, but it all worked out okay because the drivers of their trucks were super-cool and accommodating.

Our movers arrived around 11, but there were only two of them.  Granted, we don’t have that much stuff, but what was planned for no more than six hours took eight, even with John helping with the heavy stuff.  They finished about 7:15, and we left town at 8.  We expected to spend our first night in Frederick, almost no matter what (and we had Camaro-related stuff we had to hand off to them, so we were stopping there definitely no matter what), but it would have been nice to have dinner with them and not just use them as a free bed.

It wasn’t the greatest start.  But it’ll get better!  Tomorrow, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana!

Moving Day!

It’s Moving Day, and I have to box up the modem and cable box to return to Verizon, so this will be quick.  We spent all of yesterday doing the last-minute stuff – get rid of things not coming with us, stage the stuff that is going in the car, put “DO NOT TOUCH” signs on everything that is NOT supposed to go on the moving truck, do the last of the laundry – and now, we’re ready.  The movers will be here soon.

Goodbye, Annapolis!  You’ve been sunny and wonderful!

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Of course

I was just looking at the weather forecast, and Eugene is about to get a whole week of really nice sunny weather.  A week of sunny weather that ends in rain the day we’re supposed to arrive.  Of course.  And it’s raining right now in Annapolis, so…whatever.  But that’s okay!  Winter is over!

Eh, technically winter is over, but we’re going to be driving right through winter to get back to spring (more snow is coming to the Rockies).  But that’s okay!  Winter coats and winter shoes will be in the car.  And the car has new tires.

We can handle it.   We just need to get moving.

Panic panic panic panic panic panic

Panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic stress panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic No, everything is under control.  All I have to do is laundry and pack a suitcase and put signs on everything that stays in the apartment and make sure our stuff is in the car before the movers arrive and panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic What have I forgotten? Panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic panic

At least it’s not work panic.  And it’ll be over soon. Oh, and I’m okay now.  Got it out of my system.

I would work for a company like this

I got two emails back to back from ThinkGeek today.  The first one had this subject:

Crypton

The second email arrived 43 minutes later with this subject:

Krypton

That’s right you will.  Same email otherwise.  And that’s why I love ThinkGeek.  Someone realized that they screwed up big time (big time for marketing to geeks, and nowadays, that’s BIG time (yay!)), and they admitted their mistake in a way those of us who get these emails appreciate.

Their office is in Fairfax, but that is no longer local to me, and they don’t seem to do remote work.  I’ve checked.

Companies suck

I am SO irritated right now.  We chose Mayflower as our moving company for three reasons, in order:

  1. They were the cheapest.
  2. Their delivery window was 7 to 14 days after they pick up our stuff, not 5 to 25 days like the other two companies we spoke to.
  3. They told us we could get the no-earlier-than delivery date moved out to give us more time to get there.

We were counting on that third point to give us at least an extra day.  The sales guy told us we could do that, and when I talked to our move coordinator on Monday (Tuesday?), she told us we could do that.  I thought it was all settled.  I sent her an email last night to confirm that our delivery window would be 8-14 days instead of 7-14 days.

She called me this morning, confused and not sure what I was talking about.  I reminded her of our conversation earlier in the week, when we discussed our preferred delivery date.  Today, she told me that she can make those notes, but she has no control over that.  She can tell me that, based on the weather, she’s pretty sure the driver won’t arrive on the 7th day, so we should be fine.

THAT IS NOT THE SAME THING.

Basically, the preferred arrival date thing is bullshit.  It was bullshit when the sales guy told us, and it was bullshit when I discussed it with our coordinator on Monday or Tuesday, and it’s bullshit now.

Yes, we probably would have chosen Mayflower for reasons 1 and 2 (and possibly just for reason 1), but COME ON!  We had multiple conversations with our sales dude about it.  What if we were counting on having 10 days to get there?

I voiced my anger and then got over it.  Well, I stopped taking it out on her.  I’m not over it.  Partly over it.  I will also be calling my sales guy.

This is bullshit.

Somewhat eventful

My outside time in Annapolis was interesting today.  Mildly interesting.  Could be considered interesting if you cock your head to the side and squint.

When I’m running and I come up even with someone who’s coming from the other direction, I acknowledge them.  Sometimes I smile, sometimes I wave, sometimes I nod or say good morning, but I always acknowledge them.  Seems rude not to.  And when I do something, I expect some kind of acknowledgement back.  It seems rude to ignore me.  It doesn’t have to be the same.  You don’t have to wave back if I wave. Just nod.  It’s fine.  It’s similar to getting the little wave from the drive of the car you just let turn in front of you or merge into your lane.

In Ashburn, maybe half the people I passed waved (or whatevered) back.  In Annapolis, it’s been better – maybe 75% acknowledge me back.  Most days.  There was one day, maybe last week, that I must have passed 20 runners and only THREE of them smiled back at me.  Bad day.

Today, I have no idea how many people I passed, but one of the very first was this woman running towards me, and she had the friendliest face.  Her smile was genuine and really nice, and I got the impression that she just really likes people.  It was nice and it helped.  I wish I could have told her that, but it would have been weird to turn around and chase after her.

Then I tripped over a traffic cone and almost fell into traffic.  Annapolis sidewalks are pretty narrow, and when the city puts up signs about parking or road closures, they block the whole width the sidewalk and go out into the street a little.  I was trying to go around it and stay near the traffic cones so I wouldn’t end up in traffic, but I guess I got too close.  And of course there were cars coming.  I didn’t fall (it was close), and my desperate arm-swinging shifted me back towards the sidewalk, so it all worked out.  The driver of the car I almost fell in front of probably thought I was having a seizure, but there’s nothing I can do about that.

Then later, I was driving down a narrow street with cars parked along one side and barely enough room for my car to fit, and a family was walking down the sidewalk toward me, and this woman was walking in the road.  Not partly on the curb and partly on the street, not near the curb, just IN the street.  She didn’t seem worried that I was driving her way and might hit her.  I mean, I didn’t, and I wouldn’t, but still.  Don’t walk in the street when there are cars driving AT you!