Almost there

Emily and Sean are coming tomorrow to help us move the heavy stuff.  We’ll move the couch, the last two bookshelves, dining room table, coffee table, media center, dressers, and the bed into the apartment.  So basically, as of Saturday night, we will officially be living in the apartment.  And since we’ll have people to help, we need to get as much moved as possible, and that means we have to be ready, so we’ve spent nearly every waking moment packing things.  I’ve skipped yoga and zumba in the evenings, and we only went to boxing on Monday and Wednesday.  Tuesday morning, we got up, packed up the linen closet, and went to work.  When we got home Tuesday evening, we packed up the kitchen.  (We’ve been eating mostly takeout anyway – we can eat out of takeout containers for a few more days.)  Wednesday night, we started packing up the bedroom, and we finished that last night.  Tonight, we picked up the truck and packed up our bathrooms, and we’re pretty much ready.  All is going according to plan!

It’s a little sad – tonight is our last night to sleep here.  But it’s all in service of our grand plan and our very exciting future.  Yay the future!

Decision fatigue

We have to make a decision about every single thing in our house.  Does it come with us?  Do we store it?  Do we get rid of it? Sometimes the answer is easy, sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes we decide to take something to the apartment, knowing we’re just delaying the decision a few months.  It’ll be easier then, right?

We have a few projects scheduled for the spring and summer.  There are things we want to have while we travel that we don’t want to have to physically move.  Right now, there are two enormous boxes of CDs in the apartment.  CD project: rip every single of one of them so we have the MP3s.  Then give the CDs away.  Paperwork project: we both have boxes of paper (old school projects, letters, etc.) that need to be sorted through, organized, and filed.  We’ll buy more plastic file boxes – something better for storage than cardboard – and, depending on the type of paperwork, store that stuff in the storage unit or with John’s parents.

Right now, at least, it means we don’t have to make those decisions.  Right now, I’m all for minimizing the number of decisions we have to make.  Right now, I’d like to be able to focus on what’s in front of me, one thing at a time, and not everything, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.  Actually, the big decisions about those things in particular (CDs, paperwork) HAVE been made.  We know exactly what we’re going to do with that stuff.  We just need the time to do it.  That helps.

Boxing update

Our chief negotiator, Heather, got Nick an interview with the new boxing gym (Title), and he was hired.  Yay!  For now, he’s just teaching two mornings a week, but this gym gained 12 new members this week.  Very good for them, and good for us that we still have somewhere to box.  It’s twice as expensive as UFC (which may be why UFC couldn’t pay their rent), but we’ll do it for six months.  Nick started this week, so after our super-hard and tiring weekend, we got up early Monday morning to go support him at the new gym (and, you know, work out).  I can’t tell if Nick made the workout harder (to prove something to the new manager) or if it just felt harder to me.  Doesn’t matter much.  The new place is a little farther away from the house, but way closer to the apartment, so it’ll be convenient to us soon.  And it’s nice.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the same good news about Doug.  We worked out with him one last time on Thursday (he still had keys to the gym).  Turns out neither Doug nor Nick had been paid since last September (possibly longer for Doug) – they stuck around because they like teaching, they were going to be working out anyway, and they liked having access to the gym.  There’s definitely no loyalty to UFC.  (And they both have 9-5 jobs, so they’re not unemployed now or anything.)  Finding that out made it much easier for all of us to switch to Title – too bad for UFC if they manage to reopen.

Happy Birthday To Me

I’m officially rescheduling my birthday to some weekend with perfect weather in the spring.  Possibly late spring.  I definitely need a do-over.  One that involves wine.  On the one hand, yay – we got a lot of moving done, and that’s something I wanted.  On the other hand, it was maybe the WORST weekend we could have scheduled a move.  Let’s start with Friday.

Friday: My actual birthday.  My gym was closed, so there was no boxing.  John and I went to the normal gym, but eh – it wasn’t that much fun.  Then I stayed at work late, which is also no fun on your birthday.  Highlight #1 (during the day): Chastity took me out to lunch.  We went to the Cheesecake Factory and ate only appetizers and cheesecake.  Delicious.  Highlight #2: everything after I got home.  John picked up Indian takeout (yay!), so that was waiting for me when I got home, but even better, as I walked in the front door, I was enveloped in the smell of a cake baking in the oven.  Best smell in the world.  The smell was so good I wanted to dig myself a hole in the middle of the cake and go to sleep in it.  So for my birthday (the part that counts), I ate Indian food and cake while watching Stardust (I love that movie). That part was good.

Saturday: The forecast called for 5-8 inches of snow, but it wasn’t supposed to start until late morning or early afternoon.  We picked up our truck at 8:30 and were back at the house before 9.  The snow started before we got home.  We spent the next four hours carrying a bed, 10 bookshelves, and 54 boxes (all books and office stuff) from the basement out through the garage and up the ramp into the truck (thank goodness for the ramp), then back down the ramp and into the storage unit (which is only 2 miles from the house), all in below-freezing temperatures (I think it was in the single digits) and driving snow.  We had to keep sweeping snow out of the storage unit before we could put anything else down on the floor, and it was SO cold.  Three pairs of gloves were not enough to keep my fingers warm.  Getting the truck back to the house was treacherous (the roads were awful and windshield wipers on the truck didn’t actually touch the windshield – useless things), and then, to add insult to actual injury (we were sore and achy and I’m bruised all over my arms and legs from schlepping heavy stuff), we couldn’t get it into the driveway again until we shoveled the four inches that had accumulated so far.  We left the truck idling in the middle of the street while we cleared the driveway and sidewalks.  Then we collapsed.

Sunday: Weatherwise (hee – hi, Margaret!), Sunday was the complete opposite of Saturday.  The sun was shining and the temperature climbed into the 40s.  We still had to start the day with shoveling the four inches of snow that fell after we collapsed Saturday afternoon, but after that, we loaded the truck with a few more things for the storage unit and some stuff for the apartment.  The storage unit part was comparatively easy, but the apartment – whose idea was it to take the apartment on the 4th floor?  Sure, we’re in good shape, and on a normal day, three flights of stairs is no big deal.  But over and over?  Carrying odd-shaped and heavy boxes?  Really?  That was not fun.  We quit around 3:30 and returned the truck, then treated ourselves to cheeseburgers and fries at Cheeburger Cheeburger, with milkshakes to go.  It was around 5 or 5:30 when we got home, and after those two days, we were wiped out.  We showered, climbed into bed with our milkshakes, watched TV for a couple of hours, and went to sleep early.

Happy birthday to me!


Another step forward

I’m not sure if this should count as a whole step or a half step, but it’s definitely some kind of step in the right direction.  We signed a lease today!  We officially have an apartment, and we are going to officially start moving this weekend.  We also officially have a storage unit, so this weekend will be more about moving stuff in there, but I’m sure we’ll put something in the apartment.  Symbolism.  Plus we have to do the initial inspection and write down every scuff mark.  The future is almost here!

Speaking of nothing lasting forever

John and I went to boxing this morning only to have Nick announce to the class that today is the last day the gym will be open.  Apparently, they can’t pay their rent.  It’s only been six weeks since the other location closed.  Not cool!  There’s another boxing gym in town – one of our classmates has rallied the troops and we’ve all called the manager trying to convince him to hire Nick.  If he does, he’ll get 10 or 12 new members.  We’ll see how that goes.  In the meantime, we’ve just lost our workout routine.  Sucks.

Nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

I’ve been hearing for years that blogging is dead.  Maybe it is – it’s certainly changed over time.  Maybe I’m a ghost.  Well, I’m alive, but my blog is a ghost!  Ghost-blog! Nananananananananana GHOST-BLOG!  (That’s my theme song.  It’s similar to Batman, but a little more melodic.)  Back when I had more free time (less going on at work), I read a TON of blogs (seriously a lot).  Maybe not daily, but certainly weekly.  They’re all saved in GBookmarks (all 82 of them – I just counted), and over this long weekend, I decided to check them out after my long absence.  My VERY long absence.

SO many of them have died!  56 out of 82 are gone.  That’s actually not as many dead ones as I expected when I started checking and counting, but that’s still an awful lot of dead blogs.  Some of them still exist but haven’t been updated in two  years or longer.  Others don’t exist at all.  The next step (in cleaning out my bookmarks) will be to see if I actually go back and read the ones that are left.  The bigger question is how long will it be before this happens to me.  There’s nothing wrong with the people who have dead blogs (I hope).  Life got too busy, they didn’t have anything they felt like saying so publicly, some made their blogs available to invited people only (and I was not invited)…I only know of one who actually died (Roger Ebert), but I guess I wouldn’t know if that happened to anyone who wasn’t famous or who I didn’t know personally.

Let’s hope I don’t get bored, too busy, or die so I can stay right here for a while yet.  For all three of you who are still reading.  Okay, maybe five.  Love you guys!

It’s the little things

I am not going to talk about the weather, even though it’s snowing.  I suppose it’s February, and snow should be allowed in February, but John and I had really hoped we’d be out of the house before we had to shovel again.  With 5 to 8 inches in the forecast, shoveling is almost certainly in our future.  On the plus side, it’s likely we’ll be working from home tomorrow.

Our neighbor has been over here twice today.  They don’t have any water (he thinks the meter is frozen), and the water people haven’t shown up yet.  He’s been here filling a big cooler with water from our sink.  I’m not entirely sure what the water is for, actually.  His wife has already gone to their daughter’s house, but someone has to be around when the water people show up, so he’s still here.  I offered up our shower – no idea if he’s going to take me up on that offer.

Update from John: the water is probably to fill the toilet tanks.

I started a new book at the gym this morning – it’s an evil take on Peter Pan.  The prologue sucked me in.  I hope it holds up.

Update on the neighbor (because I know you’re dying to hear): their water is back on.  They’re unlikely to need our shower now.  Thank goodness.

I was productive today (kind of), so I’m going to forgive myself my afternoon of The Vampire Diaries (I only watched two episodes).  I slept through boxing, but then I had breakfast with John (not really productive, but I was out of the house), then I went to the store (we’re COOKING tonight!  And tomorrow!), then I went to the gym, then I cleaned the house and started laundry and helped my neighbor – twice!  And I rolled up all my boxing wraps.  (I might be reaching a little.)

John just got home.  We have no intention of being productive again (except for cooking dinner), and we finally finished the last few episodes of How I Met Your Mother last night, so we’re starting at the beginning of Futurama.  We always need a good half-hour show in our back pocket.

Quit playing games with my heart

We had some house drama last week, but it’s all over now.  Freaked us out for a few days.  Our buyers’ buyer flaked out on them.  John found out from our agent AFTER I LEFT FOR CANCUN.  We were all ready to sign a lease on an apartment (6-month lease, local), John was going to find a storage unit, and we had a truck scheduled to start moving stuff for the weekend I was getting back.  But this meant we lost our closing date (because our buyers lost THEIR buyer), and everything came to a screeching halt, and John had to deal with it alone because I went gallivanting off to Mexico (bad timing).  This is the first vacation I’ve been on in years (maybe ever?) where the wi-fi worked, so we were able to chat and email, but still.  John canceled the truck and postponed the apartment until we could get more information.  Our contract was still good, but we were not happy about having to go back to the mindset we had in January, all uncertain about when we were moving while waiting for our buyers to sell their house.  Luckily, our buyers had an open house this weekend that resulted in another offer.  (I’m mostly very happy for them and for us, since their offer means we can move.  I’m only a teensy little bit jealous that selling their house has been so easy for them.)  We’re back on track to close in early March.  We can still have our apartment (as of late next week), and we can still take a couple of weekends to move all our stuff around.

I don’t need this kind of excitement.

I picked a good day for it

I scheduled a spa day (a spa couple of hours, anyway) right in the middle of my vacation, and it was SO good.  I had an 80-minute deep tissue massage, and the people at the spa said to come an hour early with a bathing suit.  That hour was almost better (definitely as good) as the massage.

Except for the first ten minutes.

I spent the first ten minutes in the steam room.  I had never been in a steam room before, and I found out I don’t like it.  It might have been the lavender scent they added.  I love lavender, but it was a bit strong in there with all that steam.  Then again, I might have felt the same way if it was just unscented steam.  I couldn’t take any deep breaths, so I was pretty much incapable of relaxing while sitting in there.  I had to pop out into the hallway twice in those ten minutes just to clear my lungs and breathe.  On top of that, I was wearing my contacts, and they were fogging up, so I kept my eyes closed, except when I was groping for the door to get a breath of air.  Then I’d take a deep breath of dry air, open the door again, and plunge into the steam looking for my towel so I could sit down.  I don’t know why I didn’t just give up.  No one said I HAD to sit in the steam room.  Seems a little obvious now…  Thank goodness I was alone and that it was only ten minutes.  I was already out in the hall when my valet (I had a valet!) came to get me.

Next was a cold (by comparison) shower with nozzles spraying water at me from sides from my ankles to over my head.  Nice change.  Then the sauna.  That I could handle.  I was about ready to take a nap in there.  After the sauna, my valet brought me to the jacuzzi.  It was inside, but one whole wall was glass with a view of the gulf and the beach).  SO nice.  I was happy enough in the jacuzzi, but I had similar breathing problems – too much heat and steam.  Hm.  So maybe an unscented steam room wouldn’t work for me, either.  After maybe another 10 minutes in the jacuzzi, it was time to get in the pool.  Again, comparatively cold water, but this pool started inside and where the jacuzzi had windows, the pool had glass doors that opened to the outside.  I headed there right away.  So I was in this pool, two stories up (maybe three) in this hotel, outside overlooking the beach and the gulf, all by myself.  And as if that’s not cool enough, there was a storm coming in from the southeast.  I could see where the rain started, and I could see it take over the other hotels (you know, when I couldn’t see the hotels further south down the beach anymore).  It was awesome.  I headed in when the rain started to fall on me.  It was time for my massage anyway, which was really really nice, and then I went back out to find Mel (who sat out the rain on her beach chair, under the umbrella).

It was a good day.

Thank goodness for beach umbrellas

Hello, everyone!  I’m sorry I was missing for a week.  I was in (mostly) sunny, (mostly) warm Cancun with my sister, Ilyana Clover Mel, having a wonderfully relaxing time.  I came home basically the same shade of pale that I was when I left.  I consider that a win.

See how relaxed we look?

See how relaxed we look?

It was great.  Easy to get to (although we had to fly through JFK – wrong direction, guys!), no reason to leave the resort.  Every day was the same, in the best possible way.  We got up early every day so we could watch the sun rise on the beach.  (Sun rise was around 7:20 – getting up in time for that was still sleeping in for both of us.)  I left Mel meditating on the beach (and/or taking pictures – there was time for both) to go to the gym at 8am.  The first day was yoga, on the beach, just me and the instructor.  (It was always just me and the instructor, three days in a row.  I took a well-deserved day off on Thursday, and we left Friday morning.) Yoga on the beach, in the morning before anyone else is out, is SO COOL.  The other two mornings were aerobics/resistance/pilates-type workouts in the gym, and they were HARD.  The instructor (Israel) kicked my ass.  But it made me feel better about all the food I was eating.  Totally worth it.  Anyway, after the class ended (9am), I’d go back to the beach, round up Mel, and we’d go to breakfast.  Mimosas arrived shortly after we were seated and were kept filled.  After breakfast, back to the beach, lunch in one of the beachside restaurants or the grill, more beach time (so much reading), then off to the pool in the midafternoon, where we made friends at the swim-up bar (and Mel practiced her accents and various personalities – she had a LOT of people completely fooled).  Pool until early evening, then shower and dinner, and we were in bed nearly every night by 9:30.  Rinse and repeat.  It was a little bit of a shock to have to return to winter.

This is the sunrise when God gave us our instructions.  "I'm averting my eyes, oh Lord."

This is the sunrise when God gave us our instructions. “I’m averting my eyes, oh Lord.”

Context, for those who need it.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls

We had a plumbing issue about a month ago (leaking pipe), and to fix it, the plumber had to cut some holes in the wall along the stairs and the ceiling above the front hall.  The contractors are here today to repair the drywall and paint, so I’m working from home in the dining room.  I just walked into the kitchen to reheat my coffee, and I realized that I have been sealed in.  Because they’re going to paint the ceiling in the front hall, they have closed off the doorways from kitchen to front hall and living room to front hall with a big sheet of plastic and some tape.  I’m feeling closed in all of a sudden, claustrophobic despite having at least 700 square feet available to me and a back door to get outside if I have to.  What if I have to go to the bathroom? I CAN’T GET TO ANY OF THE BATHROOMS!!!

I guess I could go out the back door, go around, and come back in the front.  But I DON’T HAVE SHOES!!!  WHATEVER WILL I DO?!?

I’ll start with cutting out the coffee, for sure.