Category Archives: moving

photographic evidence

The move is over! I rode my bike over to the FORMER landlady’s house tonight to drop off my house key. She wasn’t home, so I left a note and put it under the mat. Woo!

Click on this lovely preview to see the Flickr album. I put in the energy captioning each shot, so I have none left for an actual post tonight. Enjoy, my lovelies. Will write soon.

newAptAlbum2

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moving triumph

We are in the home stretch, people. Well, we’re pretty much done, but there’s a few loose ends to be tied up at the old place first. I’m basically in house-sitting mode over there now, as my landlady is on holiday until Tuesday. I spent half the day over there today cleaning the upstairs and doing several loads of laundry.

I’ve determined that I really am the suck when it comes to sweeping the floor. I run a mean vacuum and am skilled as the dust-pan holder, but put a broom in my hands and I become totally inept. Which translates into trying to mop a floor that still has hair and bits of dust all over it. Then getting irritated as you smear the debris into all the grouted crevices. And then just giving up and doing it by hand with paper towel and bleach. That was my afternoon.

But let me rewind momentarily to what you all can read if you check over to the right in my twitter feed… Friday night, I donned a hat and walked from my apartment over to Canoun Mediterranean Grill to read a book, inhale a delicious gyro and sit outside on the patio soaking up the warm May evening. The manager gave me a free piece of baklava after I turned down the usual offer of dessert by the pleasant southern waitress. Canoun is definitely coming in at the top of my list of restaurant preferences these days. =)

After dinner, I walked back home, painted my toenails turquoise and watched some episodes of “Extras” on DVD. Clay lent me two seasons of that and one of the British “Office” after I explained that I’d just realized I had an entire extra day off from work and no idea what to do with all that spare time. =P

This morning, the awesomeness continued when I woke late, brewed coffee (eh) and listened to “Whad’ya Know?” on NPR. I had a little work to do for DU (a tweet, some videos to post and a news release on our new prez), watched “My Neighbor Totoro” (cutest movie ever), stopped at Kroger for a few things and then went to the landlady’s for the rest of the afternoon.

Brett texted to see if I’d be interested in hanging with him later. I met him at Hastings (wearing my cleaning attire, no less) where we ran into the captain (that’s how I think of him anyway) of Spinal Tappin’ That Ass. We browsed the books a bit, but mostly Brett vented about politics and religion, which was fine. It was the first human interaction I’d had all day, so I was OK with any content whatsoever. We drove over to Starbucks for a quick beverage and then parted ways just before 10. My beverage was not decaf, but it hasn’t affected me yet—I’m up late because I’m a dork, not because I’m not exhausted and ready to crash. =P

Tomorrow may hold Cracker Barrel for breakfast with RP and then a trip to Cooper-Young to try out a church Brett mentioned where his friend Joey pastors. Mandy and I walked in its general vicinity when she was here (not the church with the big banners—it’s across the street from there) so I’m familiar with the area. RP asked me to go to Bellevue with him, but I just can’t bear it. Great pastor, but stuffy, uninteresting atmosphere that smells like cold cream and Sea-Bond. *shudder* Besides, if I’m going to make an appearance in Midtown, I probably will stick around there and find a place to drink coffee and read for a while. Maybe Eclectic or Otherlands.

Something I think everyone should read: The Great and Secret Thing Seven days a week of intriguing, amazing and otherwise awesome stuff from the brains of local Memphians and other select creative contributors. My favorites: Magictown, Brandon Dill’s photographs and Matthew’s Cartography verse. I so enjoy being immersed in other people’s creativity. It is ever-inspiring, especially when it’s as good as this.

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Filed under friends, fun, happiness, moving, recap, web

reflections on a thumbnail apartment

aptThumbs
As nice as the house is that I currently live in, it’s not a home. Even if I felt comfortable with the circumstances, the whole feel of the place is cold and uninviting. The furniture isn’t comfortable, every surface is scrubbed to a gleam and it’s just a little too perfect in all the little ways that most lived-in houses are not. I think back to the days of laughing about how my grandparents’ house never felt like anyone lived there. They occupied so little space themselves and kept everything so tidy, it was like half the house or more never got used. Just the recliner downstairs so Grandpa could watch baseball games late into the night, the kitchen table where they’d share crossword puzzles and Bible study over breakfast and their bedroom and bathroom. Everything else was pristine. But I didn’t have to live there myself, so what did it really matter to me in the long run?

But being here feels bad all around. Even my tiny thumbnail of an apartment already feels cozier than this place, with half-unpacked boxes, wads of newspaper packing and unsorted socks all over the place. I already feel more at home there than here. Luxurious beds, hardwood floors and granite counters, be damned! I’d rather have all my Craigslist furniture, a kitchen that’s too small and a little balcony facing the woods. That equation is better any day of the week. And, yes, I’m having a little trouble fitting everything I own into this minuscule space without jamming full every nook and cranny in the place, but I’m making marked progress. Photos are forthcoming, I assure you.

Seriously, though—who has only one piece of comfortable furniture in the entire house? Especially when it’s a recliner. Only one person can occupy a La-Z-Boy at a time. It ain’t no papasan chair, after all. ;)

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Filed under home, moving, thoughts

when she bars the door and strikes a match

I am speechless. I have no idea how to express to all of you the realization I’ve now come to about myself: I am insane. I am honest to goodness loco, people. And all it took for me to see that was an empty 1-liter bottle of Mountain Dew.

Said bottle was labeled in black Sharpie, “Matt’s from the first day we met—6/12/04, Rivertown Crossings Mall.” This empty soda bottle was from the first day I met my second boyfriend, in 2004!

This was not the extent of my unearthed crazy however. I had an entire box filled with notes, greeting cards, ticket stubs, Pizza Hut placemats, crispy roses, wrapping paper bits, USED BIRTHDAY CANDLES IN A LABELED ZIPLOC BAG. This was just one relationship of five, so you can imagine how the memorabilia adds up over time.

I swear I paced around my bedroom for 10 minutes after discovering this trove, wondering aloud how I could’ve thought these things were worth saving. The sad part is, these items mean nothing to me now. I remember almost nothing about the events associated with these mementos. The things I do remember don’t require bits of paper and plastic and extensive cataloging to stick in my memory. Though I will say I’m happy to have found my hand-painted “My First LAN” T-shirt. THAT I will wear again. =)

Even as I scoffed at my hoarding, some of the items also gave me pause. It occurred to me how my memories of people, places and events do not always accurately convey the reality. I remember this boyfriend and the surrounding circumstances a certain way, but those items revealed a different reality. And maybe what drove the reality was silly and stupid, but it’s just so strange to realize how little I recall now of the emotions and exchanges and actual relationship. What I remember are the really bad times, the hurt, the confusion and the stupidity (mine). I remember the time spent on the road, the stress I felt over the circumstances, the cold water. But there was something good in all that—there had to have been, I suppose, or we wouldn’t have been in the middle of it. It’s just so hard to see through the shroud of negativity I’ve placed on the situation now. It has nothing to do with the person himself, but everything to do with the situation and the timing. And me.

I just can’t believe what I’ve found in these past two days. I spent years collecting bits and pieces of memories, most of which were other people’s. I have programs from plays/concerts I wasn’t in, yearbooks in which my picture did not appear, photos taken from afar. What were these items meant to remind me of? The fact that I never truly lived and instead chose to live through the feelings brought on by others? That’s all I can think of now when I reflect on these yellowed, tattered remnants of bygone years.

What I note as I look back is that my best memories (those that are truly mine) have almost no physical manifestation today. There are a few snapshots scattered throughout my boxes, but what remains are the mental flickerings of middle school and high school with Mandy and Carla. College with the former. Even the days of pursuing unrequited love.

I’ve cried and laughed several times as I’ve looked through all these pieces of my life, amassed in the basement of my mother’s house. And, even more often, I’ve sneezed. But the lesson I’ve come away with is that these things aren’t me. They are things I want to remember, things that helped shape my personality along the way. But they do not define who I’ve become. I am so much more than these dusty boxes, empty soda bottles and coupons that expired in 1988. I am ready to rise from this rubble and start the next phase of my life. AND NOT KEEP ANOTHER DAMN THING, NO MATTER HOW SPECIAL THE EVENT. Good grief.

mountainDew

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Filed under dating, home, lessons, moving, thoughts

endless

Where—where—did I get all this stuff? How, on the green earth that is God’s, did I manage to accumulate what must be at least three people’s allotment of random crap?

I’m sitting here in my mom’s basement in Michigan, staring out over a sea of boxes, Rubbermaid totes and piles of … really, who am I kidding? Trash. In all seriousness, I could make a small mountain in the front yard and light it on fire—I’d never notice a single damn thing missing. Some of these items haven’t been unearthed since my first or second year of college, or earlier. And while it makes me laugh and cry to sift through the really memorable stuff (photos, journals, old notes and letters) the rest is just insane.

I have half-empty bottles of mouthwash and shampoo. Stolen Putt-Putt balls and signs. Spools of thread, doorknobs without keys, my honors cords from graduation. I have at least a dozen bibles, my Girl Scout mess kit, decorations from my freshman dorm room, brand-new granny panties.

I’m at this difficult crossroad. I’m taking a step down the road that is “the rest of my life,” but there are things here I don’t want to take right now. Maybe not ever. So, what do I do? I don’t have time in the next two days to organize a garage sale or sell things on Craigslist. I don’t even have space enough to sort through the remaining boxes full of randomness that I know haven’t been touched since 2002.

Almost everything that’s packed to go back south with me is practical. I don’t know how (or why) I have at least five Rubbermaid totes of kitchen-, cook- and tableware, but I do. And that, to me, seems necessary. There are a few knickknacks in the mix, but I’m keeping it to a minimum. The piles just keep growing though.

I was raised a packrat, but my internal desire is to be a minimalist. As I looked through all my life’s memorabilia tonight (still packed in the same crate from my high school graduation party) I smiled at the photos of familiar faces, reading my dark poetry, looking through old newspaper clippings. But I don’t want that stuff anymore. I do, but I don’t. I want it to exist, and to have an excuse to look through it every now and again, but I don’t want it stacked in my closet or wedged under my bed. I want my living space to be almost empty. I hate the look and feel of living in a cluttered space. And, honestly, I’m ready to let go of this stuff if someone forces me to do so. If my mom says, “Get this JUNK out of my basement now!” then I’ll be forced to light the match. But, until then, I cling. My memories aren’t really even happy ones. But it’s nice having any memories at all, recalling what life was like in the late ’80s, ’90s and early new millennium. That was my youth, as dull a period as it might’ve been.

I have a feeling that my next trip home will involve some burning. So, if come December, anyone wants to hang out in Chelsea for a night and burn my history in the front yard, you’re welcome to join me. I’m not going to have sufficient time this visit, but I look forward to that release sometime this year.

Back to another hour or so of this craziness, then I’m crashing for the night.

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prefill

I have visited the new apartment every night this week and transferred a load o’ stuff each time. I fly to Michigan in the morning, so tonight’s haul was the last till next week or the following. Thank goodness! I know the worst of it lies ahead, but I need a break for the next day or two.

I did take some obligatory pre-stuff photos of the apartment! Here’s a preview. Click it to visit my Prefill Flickr set.

Click above to see full-size photos on Flickr

Click above to see full-size photos on Flickr

On a totally separate note, I am so thankful for the people in my life. Recent highlights: Mandy offered to spend her break from school visiting me and helping me move my shit to Tennessee. Brett and I went out for coffee twice this week as a break while working late. Matt and I played a rousing game of Scrabble via Facebook (I won’t rub in my win, though it was pretty amazing). I finally talked to Carla after at least a month of missing each other’s calls. Dennis and I had our first phone conversation post-breakup and it went really well—I’m looking forward to the next bit of news on his impending condo purchase! The rest of you rock too. Those are just the highlights.

I’m looking forward to the end of this moving process. Mostly because it marks the start of a new chapter, but also because I can settle the eff down for the first time in a few months. Even when I wasn’t actively packing boxes, I was searching for a place, pacing back and forth cursing my current living situation, stressing about what my future in Memphis would hold. Not every question has been answered, but I’m on a track somewhere now, right or not. Can’t wait to feel settled.

Look out, Michigan! I’ll be there tomorrow morning!

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Filed under friends, fun, happiness, home, moving, photography

the wall begins to crumble

I feel as though my life has switched gears back to what it was… oh… last summer and fall? I am incredibly busy with work and have little time to do anything else. Unfortunately, this time the circumstances are slightly different. Instead of the just-getting-started-in-a-new-job phase, I’m in the bunch-of-people-were-let-go-so-I-took-on-someone-else’s-duties phase. I now do the work of approximately four people instead of just two.

My new tasks include working on DU’s state Web pages (there are 50 of them, obviously; each one has several sub-pages) and helping with customer service for member login problems, e-mail address changes, etc. I also need to come up with a plan for revamping the way we populate the state pages and work with the designated webmasters. I got so excited by the idea of having “my own project,” I completely forgot about twitter, which is mine already. I need to get back to updating that more often…

I’m not complaining about the increased workload though. I really like what I do, even if I do it twice as long now. =) I’ve been at work till 7 p.m.+ the past two nights, and I’m sure that will continue the rest of the week. Though I will be leaving early enough to take a few loads of my stuff to the new apartment.

I signed my lease today and got to see my unit. It has a bit of a hotel-room smell, so I’m looking forward to airing it out soon. I have a lovely view of the woods (just trees, with pretty much nothing else visible from the balcony) and I’m on the backside of the building, which means less foot traffic. I’m on the third floor by numbers, but the building is split level, so the climb is only a short set of steps and then one flight of stairs. The living-room ceiling is vaulted and there’s a nice fan in there. The living room and bedroom both have doors out to the balcony, which is nice, but the one in the bedroom is a sliding door that needs some “lubrication” (I don’t think you can really use that word for sliding doors, but I can’t think of an alternative). The only disappointing part is the kitchen, but I knew that’s how it would be: old appliances, a microwave that doesn’t rotate, small size overall, fluorescent lighting. I’m sure I’ll find some way to make it homier.

At this point, there’s only one major problem: the shower doesn’t work. When I turned on the bath tub, there was almost no water pressure and it wouldn’t switch to the shower. So that needs to be addressed before I can live there at all. Fortunately, they have 25 days to fix the issue before I need to be fully moved out of my current house, so God willing, that will be enough time. However, the whole mechanism was pretty darn dated, so I’m not sure how much work will be involved to make things right in there…

I walked over to the workout facility to scope out the evening traffic, but all I found was one girl on the treadmill. No one was using the racquetball court, aerobics room or laundry room in the same building. Score! Now, I know it’s Tuesday and summertime, so I have to keep that in mind, but still – that’s definitely a good sign. I’m fine with having a few people exercising at the same time I do, but I’d prefer not to have it be crowded – the room’s not really all that big.

I have three more days of work to get through and then I fly to Michigan on Saturday to visit family/friends, pack up all my furniture and other assorted crap and haul it all back down here with me the following Wednesday. I’m so glad to be going home – it feels like I’ve been gone forever. Five months, I suppose, so that’s a good stretch. I’m not as excited about the moving furniture part, or the sifting through assorted boxes of junk, but the end result will be a positive one, so it will be worth the effort.

Sorry for the complete lack of energy and personality in this update – I am pretty drained and tired of staring at the computer screen for the eleventh straight hour today. =\ Pictures of the new apartment to come!

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