So I moved this past week and it was quite they event. Of course it was an event! If I am involved, it’s going to be an event. So let me start this epic tale of how I moved an entire apartment alone in under two days. I know that might not seem like much of a feat but to a person like me it was so BACK OFF! ….sorry.
I live, as many of you know, in a small town in the northern sector of Idaho that is home to a huge University. During the summer months the town drops in population by about….everyone. The only ones around are the locals and the neurotic students who live in academia and refuse to accept that summer can be for fun too. I fall into the latter. But balancing a full-time job and research doesn’t leave much time for beer drinking and river floats. I am okay with that because really, summer vacation died years ago as well as it should have. If I am drunk at noon on a Tuesday sitting on a raft I need to reevaluate my commitments.
So, since there are not too many people around that means there are not too many people to help me move. No matter. I found a better place closer to campus and that’s a good thing since the 2010-11 winter forecast for the Northwest calls for something like an apocalypse of snow and my Georgia driving skills still don’t cut it for such weather. I can literally hit the campus with a football from my front porch. However…I must have been high when I toured the inside completely over looking the pink carpet and a wall color that brought up images from a Beatles song lyric “…yellow custard dripping from a dead dog’s eye…”. I get to that later.
Whenever I tackle a large project I tend to stand in a spot and stare, not knowing where or how to start. I know that things go in boxes and boxes go in a truck but the details overload my brain and if you stand close enough to me, I have been told, you can faintly hear the same alarms that a 737 has before it slams into the ground after being batted down by windsheer.
I do everything wrong while packing, like stack all my books in one astronomically heavy box and this is only after I get distracted halfway through by reading one of them because I forgot I owned it. Then I will pack another box with tissues and my collection of helium balloons. There is a reason I was never a bagger at the grocery store growing up. Guaranteed I would bag your milk, cat litter and eggs together and then tell you to go long.
I will say that I had help with the boxing of stuff and if I didn’t have that help, well, I would have a lot of broken shit. I even learned through observation how to do it! It’s somethin’ to add to the resume’. I am pretty grateful for that but unfortunately the hardest part was yet to come because the new place was not yet available and I would be on my own.
The day of the move was here and I was strategically set to transfer my stuff from apartment one, to truck, to apartment two without total confusion and minimal hernia. I really felt the only problem that would occur would be navigating the two section couch out the front door because it requires a certain angle and twisty motions to make it fit. While I was contemplating this geometrical dilemma there was a knock at the door. Peeking through the peak(p?)-hole I saw the type of visitor I really didn’t have time for: Jehovah’s Witnesses. Cheesus! It was 9am on a Saturday so who else could it be? I reluctantly opened the door and was greeted with a, “hello brother, do you have a few minutes to talk about the Word?”
“What word?”, I thought. I came so close to replying, “yep, I know the bird is the word, everybody knows that the bird is the word. Don’t you know that the bird is the word?” But instead I stood there and patiently listened to their mission and looked at their pamphlets. And then it hit me that perhaps there could be a barter between us.
I did this. As if I learned nothing from karma lessons in life, I conned the Jehovah Witnesses into helping me move my couch in return for a bible discussion later on in the week. Oh, and I gave them a made-up number too. Double farts.
Well, retribution was swift and immediate because when I went to move the Uhaul truck later in the day it completely died and I had to wait the next day for a replacement truck. Boppa Ooma Mow Mow.
Without going into a novel about the two-day war against gravity, stairs and knuckle-smashes I will just highlight a few key issues that will haunt me for time to come and why my next place with be a purchased ranch-style home and include professional movers.
I was given a TV from possibly one of the greatest people I have met during my time here in Idaho. It was a very generous gift but for a brief period of time I was certain that this gift was not out of love but sheer hate. The TV is an older model that has a 52″ screen give or take a few. But I don’t know what goes into the construction of this piece of technology because it’s 200 lbs of awkward weight displacement leads me to believe that it is full of water, lead and a dead midget that used to power the reception before everything went digital. It is quite possibly the worst thing to move in the history of pushing, pulling, lifting or setting down and doing it by one’s self up stairs is what I could only imagine to be like reverse child-birth. Once I have this thing set up in the den I think the first thing I am watching is porno because I feel that this TV needs to give me something back.
The funny thing about a futon is how many moving parts the frame has to make it transform from couch to bed. No matter which way you turn the damn thing to negotiate an obstacle, a lever or panel will come crashing down on a finger and cause you to involuntarily speak in tongues. I think I made noises similar to beluga whales mating because on my way up the stairs to my new apartment I heard two girls say “Oh my god, let’s take the other stairs. Something is wounded down there.” Remind me to light dog shit on their front door later, will ya?
Odds and Ends
When all the big items and boxes are finally moved, the little details are left in the old place and I have come to find out that this is the part that will cause fist-itches. I never knew how many pennies one can collect in a year but they are everywhere. God I hate them so. Because of the Uhaul dilemma I found myself in a race against the clock to do one last clean before the landlord showed up to do a final walk through. I was vacuuming like Charro on a four-foot coke rail. Right up to the point the vacuum found a penny causing the vacuum to go from “VROOOOROOOO” to “VROOOREEEEEEE”.
There is nothing like sacrificing a late move-out charge of $100 over one cent. But I made it just in time. I even got the deposit back too. I guess they where surprised that I was a neat tenant since this place was full of college kids that treat these units like Motley Crüe treats a Hyatt room.
So getting settled a new place is taking time. Well, that’s not true because I have collectively been in the place for a day since I have been on business trips since I dragged in the last piece of furniture. But yesterday I was able to come home and begin the second phase: unpacking. This is when I find out that little things like the stubby leg of the coach actually is important and not to be discarded. Oh and wires for all electronics shouldn’t be thrown into one box and tied in a knot. And that in a rush, I probably should have just thrown away my bananas rather than placing them in a box marked “random” and forgetting about them.
Also, dimensions are not always universal. Take my drawers.
For about 6 hours yesterday I painted the place because living with the current color is like living with your high school science fair awards displayed on the wall; people will notice and most likely not tell you there is a problem. I went to Home depot and $200 dollars later I have a weekend project. The pink carpet however will be a fight worth fighting. I just need to be in the same time zone for one fucking day to do it.
Oh! One more lesson I learned. No matter how careful you try, you will get paint on yourself so don’t wear your favorite pants. Actually, if it’s a latex based paint, do it in the nude. It washes off skin but clothing gets screwed. If you need me I will be freaking out the neighbors while painting with my windows open. Chao’!