Sunday, August 30, 2009

dark wood and a stiff drink

We're living in turmoil again... still ... again. The living room looks like a terrible experiment -- 5 seven foot tall bookshelves are propped against one another in the center of the room. The recliner, ottoman, and 27 boxes of books are in the family room. It's chaos, albeit the controlled kind.

We are having our living room painted in a couple of days, a Benjamin Moore color called Golden Straw. We went back and forth about painting it ourselves, but the timing was very bad and the ceilings are very high, and I was just not up for it. (Jer was up for it.) I will paint the other rooms; this was just not a good room to hinge my newly minted painting career on.

On Friday we stopped at a fantastic beer store. Its sign says, "Hugest selection!" yet I forgive it because it brought me Sam Adams Cherry Wheat (haven't had this in 5 years) and Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout (more like 5 months). In related food news, we ate dinner that night at an awesome establishment -- a complete throwback featuring double martinis, big bloody cuts of meat served with real horseradish, hot fudge sundaes, and reasonable prices. I plan to return.

We also bought a TV stand today from After shopping online all weekend, we went with one of the first options Jer found. I notice we are gravitating towards furniture with a Mad Men vibe. This is no exception.

I am a little afraid my decorating style is heavily influenced by my grandparents. It does seem like you can tack the word "modern" onto anything and make it acceptable. Maybe I am just enamored with modern retro. Is that a style?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

entertaining myself, sort of

Somehow I am just not in the mood. I left work early yesterday -- after an 11 hour work day the day before -- because I was exhausted. Plain bone weary. All the stress, all the responsibility, all the stuff pulling me in twelve different directions came to a head and my body said, enough, I'm done. Take me home.

So I did.

And slept from 6pm to 6am.

Today was a little better. But now I'm having a hard time getting started. I forced myself to put on pajamas and take out the garbage when all I really want to do is turn on the TV and veg out. Of course Jer is holding TV hostage until I unpack more -- for good reason, obviously. So I keep picking up "The Atrocity Archives," reading a bit, putting it back down, wandering around, drinking some water, until I find myself telling you all I am aimless.

On the bright side our new microwave arrived and it is a behemoth. I am excited to have a microwave that might fit a 13x9 pan; Jer is wondering if I plan to cook a turkey in it.

I just spent the last hour trying to pry apart some Tupperware in which I accidentally created a vacuum during an early microwave experiment. In related news he really shouldn't have taken away my TV. Mwahahahaha.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the circle grows smaller

Last night we packed the last of the cleaning supplies and vacuum, two floor lamps, and packing materials into the Escort, left the keys on the counter, and drove away.

Four years, over.

Back at home we built the last of the bookshelves, took a break for Italian food and a trip to Fred Meyer (the shredded hash browns we eat every weekend were only $1 per bag!), then drank a celebratory beer. Boxes are still everywhere, black plastic bags, and plastic bins, but the transition is complete.

I sent off our first mortgage payment a few days ago.

I haven't set up my computer yet properly, so I'm still huddled over the laptop propped on a box in Jer's office. I'm cross-legged on the floor with a Chiana in my lap, so not much has changed. I crave Diet Dr. Pepper. I am not used to having all of these stairs between me and my soft drinks.

In the last two weeks I've read five Sookie Stackhouse novels. Lily, thanks again for the birthday present. I'm on the last book now. They are like candy.

I guess I better go unpack something. Maybe someday we will be done with this.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Let there be light scheming

Last night I had an epic adventure. See there's this chandelier...

So a few weeks ago I fell in love with a lighting fixture. I asked Jer to buy it for me for my birthday; he tried. It was a very good deal and it sold out before his order processed. Since it was discontinued I had a hard time finding it for a reasonable price. And then there was eBay.

I negotiated with an eBay seller to get the price down -- it was one of those best offer auctions -- and we finally worked out the details. He shipped it UPS to the old address. Fine.

So our neighbors are very helpful. Sometimes they are helpful to the point where I was deeply nervous they would see an attempted package delivery to us or an InfoNotice and they would confiscate it. Because clearly we've moved out, er, they've moved on. Although we have paid rent through 8/31, a VACANT sign is attached to our mailbox and while I was upstairs (WAITING FOR THE UPS GUY TO RING THE BUZZER) they replaced our names on the buzzer directory with nothingness. So there was no way for the guy to tell which unit to buzz.

We even left our neighbors a note the day before explaining we were waiting on a package.


I took the 4:40pm water taxi to West Seattle from work, cleaned the apartment a bit, and waited until 7pm to take the last water taxi back downtown -- my car brakes are still dying. And just as I had given up all hope of meeting the UPS guy, I swung the door open and he was standing right there! I almost hugged him. He explained he had rung some other buzzers until they let him in, since he had the unit number but no way to buzz. I thanked him profusely, then raced to meet the water taxi.

On my way out I confirmed that in the 2 hours I was upstairs someone had removed our names from the buzzer list. Ugh.

I can't wait to finally see the chandelier. I hope it looks like the picture.

I arrived downtown about 7:25pm. Raced up to the University Street Transit Station, Bay A, and hopped on the bus. I arrived at my stop about 8:17pm and walked the half mile home.

Before bed I finished another Sookie Stackhouse book and fell asleep. Chiana slept in Jer's spot. The end.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A new commute

I rode a new bus into work this morning. Getting to it is a little treacherous since there are no sidewalks and it's on a busy road, but the ride was pleasant. We took side streets through Ravenna and the University District. I saw a lot of beautiful homes, parks, and cute little restaurants I didn't know existed. It was a great introduction to my new neighborhood. We eventually made our way to the express lanes and then to the bus tunnel, where I was deposited at the Pioneer Square Station, a few blocks from work. It was perfect.

The brakes on my car are making terrible noises or I would have driven today. Jer is planning to take it in.

Last night I went back to the apartment and moved another load of odds and ends. The kitchen, linen closet, and office closet still have items which don't appear to diminish in quantity no matter how much I haul away. We're getting there though. The question now is do I take the water taxi over tonight and do some light cleaning, then take it back downtown and then take the bus home? I wish my car had waited longer to malfunction. But, hey, it's 11 years old I should cut it some slack.

I watched Chiana finally eat her first wet food since the move. She's been twitchy, but seems to be coming around.

The good news is all the exhaustion caught up with me and at 11pm last night, I slept. Finally.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A boxy weekend

I am sitting on the floor of Jer's new office. My laptop is balanced across a box and a computer case. It feels like I've been off-line far longer than 2 days.

Yesterday the movers came and whisked everything away. It took 6 hours, 4 strong young men, and 1 truck. Boxes and furniture were delivered to the correct rooms and I am taking a break from unpacking to post.

I am pleased to know where the silverware is again.

The cats are gradually adjusting. Both are lounging at the top of the stairs right now.

All that's left at the old place is a few items like food, some of my clothes, and lots of cleaning.

We've already found a very tasty sub shop and Mexican restaurant. Next we should find the grocery store and a Downey ball.

Annnnd... the towels are dry. Laundry calls.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Garbage day!

I took a load of fragile items over to the house last night. About 12 big picture frames, some acrylic for the frames (mostly for On Focus Photo), and some towels. While I was there -- it was hard to leave! -- I watered the indoor plants and took the hose around to the plants on the deck and the ones in the entryway at the front of the house. We've acquired many new plants from the seller. And I really don't want them to die.

Funny thing. The seller left us a bottle of champagne and two flutes, also a very nice card signed by his family. The flutes are the only sort of cups in the place at present, so I used one to carefully water the indoor plants. I think I kept the dirt and leaves off, but I should probably warn Jer.

I also set the yard waste and trash bins at the curb. Yay, homeownership! Such a small thing but it's been years since I've had to do that. It's such a nice and normal thing.

Once the bed is moved over on Saturday, I plan to start sleeping there. Then I will only go back to the apartment to clean and wrap everything up.

On May 20, We received mutual acceptance on our home offer and here we are, almost 3 months later, finally moving in. It has been, and will continue to be, a stressful experience, but I am confident the end result will be worth it. We'll see soon enough now.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I just returned from my first trip to the house since the seller moved out.

I did not want to leave.

In completely unrelated news, anyone know how you can tell when frozen edamame goes bad? I ate it anyway, but it might be good to know.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Premature nostalgia

Our new front door

Seems like I should keep track of what's happening right now, since you only move into your first house once. Or your second or third house once, for that matter.

Life is full of arbitrary technical firsts.

We visited the seller at noon yesterday. We walked through and read the water and electric meters. He showed us the garage door openers and gave us our State Farm mail which has been piling up. Asking them to send mail to our current address was accepted and ignored. There's been about 8 envelopes so far...

In the evening we went to a housewarming party for friends. They have a delightful, charming home close to where we've been living. It was sort of like, HI, welcome to the neighborhood, see ya later!

It's been very interesting to see all the different types of Seattle homes during this process. It's been fun to dream.

Future home of my library - we bought all the furniture from the seller in this picture

Work has been pretty stressful lately, on top of the normal house stuff. I'm hoping it tapers off next week.

Movers come next Saturday. I suppose these material possessions that own me won't pack themselves.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

in line

I spent a lot of time in government offices this week. Friday it was an hour at King County Metro getting my bus pass. It could have been avoided, sure. I shouldn't have waited until 2pm on the last day of the month. Rookie mistake. I could have bought online with their ORCA solution -- except I've been avoiding that until they get the kinks worked out or I moved. It just doesn't work very well when you commute via the water taxi.

On Saturday Jer and I spent two and a half hours at the Department of Licensing. Things that could have been avoided: going on a Saturday; arriving there at 11am, a couple hours after they opened. And that's about it.

In both cases the employees were friendly, overworked. But the people... It's just a different world. In line for the bus pass someone behind me said, "Every time I get mugged they let me ride the bus for free... I was mugged 14 times last year." It's safe to say I can't relate to that.

A guy kept sighing heavily and finally called over the supervisor and started grumbling to him about the inefficiency of the place and how he could see somebody who wasn't working and blah blah blah. Congratulations on making it worse, dude. You pulled a guy from his job so he could listen to you berate him.

At the DOL we came in and they were calling number 38. We were 133. It was the parents of young children that attracted my ire. They just let them run around. One of the employees finally had to make an announcement that the rope and stanchion they were swinging from was dangerous. Turns out two hours of waiting is my limit. I came out of there with no compassion whatsoever. So, you know, congratulations young parents with wayward children. You helped me find my way to the bottom of a Bloody Mary post-haste.

My waiting line epiphany: if more people understood cause and effect we could solve all of the world's problems.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


Jer picked me up from work yesterday and we went to the cycle store. Jer was already picking up the helmet he ordered so we decided to try on protective gear while we were there. He ended up with a jacket and gloves, and I got a helmet, jacket, and gloves.

I guess I'll have to start practicing. Or update my license. Or... pack.

Two weeks from today the movers will be here. I've made reservations for 4 guys and a truck to whisk everything away, and I am very excited about that. Moving into our current place with just the 2 of us and 1200 miles may have involved tears and proclamations about never doing this again god-as-my-witness.

Better start my day.