Archive for August, 2006

It’s My Move

This past weekend, I moved about fifty miles eastward. I have my entire family (sans my brother, who had to work on Saturday) to thank for helping me with this process, especially given the fact that at the end of the week, I had far less material packed than I thought I would.

All told, there were five vehicles transporting stuff, two of which were trucks and one of which was an Explorer, which meant that we only had to make one trip. This is beneficial, of course, when you have to travel fifty-plus miles.

For the most part, the move went successfully. We went back to my dad’s house for a barbecue afterward, and I spent the night there because it was closer to my old apartment (I had to do some cleanup), so last night was the first night I spent in the new place. The new apartment is an absolute mess right now, boxes and crates everywhere, but I suppose that’s to be expected. I got internet and cable turned on today and I’ve started setting up my computer/music station. The kitchen is next once I can get the living room straightened up some.

Why did I say “for the most part,” though? Some stuff got broken. This is the first time I’ve had serious mishaps occur during a move. My headboard lost one side when my father tried to put it in the truck by himself. My entertainment center was the victim of wind shear during its ride on the highway and the top half of it was ripped off. And the 4×3-foot plate of glass that used to sit on top of my desk got broken when the attempt was made to open the truck tailgate.

The glass isn’t a big deal—my parents had made me the desk when I was in school so that I’d have something to write on. Now it’s used mostly as a computer desk, so there’s no real need to replace the glass. The entertainment center has already been replaced with a smaller TV table-esque unit I found at IKEA yesterday. (A side note: I could have spent all day at IKEA. It’s like crack for the home furnishing industry.) Now I just have to find a way to get the old one to the dump (something my friend Steve is willing to help with, given that he’s got a larger car than I).

As for the headboard, I’m not entirely sure. My dad thinks that I can repair it, and given the way that my bedroom is currently configured, it would be hidden pretty well. I guess I’ll have to see what I can do with it.

So it’s been a pretty busy weekend, overall. I slept for about twelve hours on Saturday night, which was a really really great way to start my vacation after the move. Of course, it’s not quite completed yet, as I do still have to shampoo the carpets in my old place, clean the oven and empty the storage room of all the empty boxes I’m never going to use but saved anyway. Then I’ll call, tell them I’m ready for an inspection, and hand the keys over. And then I will officially be completely and totally moved out.

Site Moved

If you’re reading this, then it means that my site migration to the new server has been successful. Please, if you notice a piece of the site that isn’t working (I believe I’ve gotten all of the kinks out), let me know by posting a comment on this post.

Get a move on / Landlords / Jacked up / Sideways

My plans for today were that I was going to get up early and clean my apartment. I need to throw out a whole bunch ‘o stuff before I move. There’s just no point to my packing up everything in this place when the fact of the matter is that most of the stuff lying around here is stuff that I no longer use. I have two—count ’em, two—computer monitors that I either don’t use anymore or don’t work. I guess part of me keeps thinking that at some point, I’ll get it fixed or I’ll find a use for it, when I know deep down that it’s pointless and if I don’t throw them away they’ll just sit there collecting dust in my storage room. And speaking of my storage room, I have about six big 13-gallon trash bags full of old soda and beer bottles that I never bothered to take to get redeemed. Potentially dozens of dollars’ worth of old plastic and glass that I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything about. Why? Because, dear readers, I am a lazy-ass son of a bitch.

So yeah, getting to my whole getting-up-early-and-cleaning thing. Didn’t happen. Well, that’s not entirely true. I cleaned today, I just didn’t get up early. It’s not that I didn’t try or anything, but I didn’t anticipate that when I went to bed at 11:30 last night (getting to bed before midnight on a Friday is quite a feat for me) I would actually sleep until ten the next morning. But I did get up, watched a little TV, and then after lunch I really did clean. I actually cleaned quite a bit of my living room up, filling up a whole gigantic trash bag with stuff for which I no longer have a use. Made me feel good and horrified at the same time. I mean, I had a whole trash bag’s worth ‘o stuff lying around my living room just collecting dust. How awful is that? But hey, at least it’s gone. Now I just have to redeem those bottles and empty out my storage room, then throw away just about everything in my bedroom that doesn’t either sleep two (well, potentially two) people, hold a synthesizer on it or keep a computer monitor above the floor, and I’ll be all set for the move.


Speaking of the move, I got a call from my property manager the other day. She told me that they had received my letter that said I was moving out, but because I had not given them 45 days’ notice, I was going to forfeit my security deposit. I wasn’t too blown away by that, and had sorta been expecting it, but my security deposit was only a hundred bucks, and I’d easily be saving that after a single month in my new apartment, so I wasn’t torn up about it.

But then she gave me the whopper: My security deposit wasn’t only a hundred bucks; it was six hundred and thirty bucks.

All of a sudden I was a little torn up.

I guess I’d just not realized how much I had actually given them as a deposit. It just so happens that the six hundred and thirty bucks she had described to me was the same as one month’s rent plus a hundred bucks, back when I originally moved in. So part of me just assumed, way back when, that I had given them my first month’s rent plus a hundred dollar security deposit. I was mistaken.

The funniest thing about all of this is that had she not informed me of the actual amount of my deposit, I never would have realized it, never would have gotten upset and wouldn’t be posting this right now. I wouldn’t have even missed it.


Friday, while driving to work, a tire on my car went flat. I pulled off the side of the highway, nearly got killed by cars going by at 80 miles an hour, jacked the car up and put the spare on. I found the nearest tire place and waited nearly two hours before being told by the guy at the shop that I had to get a new tire. There had been a slow leak on that tire for a couple weeks, and God knows how long it had been leaking before somebody had told me about it. At any rate, it had apparently developed some bubbles on the sidewall that made it basically completely unfit for driving.

Sixty-five bucks later (after a discount because I bitched about having had my tires worked on only a few weeks ago and nobody mentioning anything about this), I was back on my way to work.

It just bugs me that what was under normal circumstances a perfectly good tire—that was still under warranty, mind you—wasn’t any good.


Random musing: Why is it that every time the movie Sideways is on, I feel the need to drink some wine? Also: Know how I can tell I’m not an alcoholic? I have a bottle of opened Cabernet Sauvignon on the counter in my kitchen, and a bottle of Riesling chilling in the refrigerator, and what do I go for when I look in the fridge? Crystal Lite Lemonade.

Life Update

Whew, now that I got that big entry all handled and done with (I’ve been picking at it a little bit over the last couple months and finally just decided to scrap it, start over and write it all in one sitting), here is a little update for my life:

I suppose there isn’t a whole lot to update on, except for this: I’m moving! After almost two years at my current job, I finally found an apartment close to work that isn’t the size of a matchbox and doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg, and I decided to take the plunge. My parents were kind enough to lend me the money to make the deposits, and I’ll be moving at the end of this month. It drops my commute from almost an hour to a whopping eight minutes. I don’t know what I’m going to do with all the extra time I’ll have available to me. Maybe I could actually start working out in the mornings again… but I have the nagging feeling that maybe I’ll just end up sleeping another hour instead. I’m hoping that as I start to get used to the extra time, I won’t need so much of the extra sleep and I can adjust enough to start the workout regimen again. God knows I need it.

Speaking of workouts: My company is instituting this health initiatives thing. They announced it at our latest quarterly dinner, and I thought that it was quite ironic for me that they decided to announce that they were going to pay us as much as a thousand bucks to quit smoking or lose weight. This being ironic, of course, because I was celebrating my sixth-month anniversary of being off cigarettes only a couple weeks prior to this event. And I had just lost ten pounds. Cosmically funny. But hey, my CEO was kind enough that once he found out that I had quit smoking this year, he said that the company would gladly pay me for that.

I gave my father his birthday present on Monday. It was an 11×14 blowup of this photo, and he loved it. It makes me want to photograph more stuff. I really wish I had a digital SLR. The primary thing preventing me from taking photos of everything everywhere is that I know I have to take the film to a processing location and get it developed, which takes time and money, and then if I want a professional job done, I have to take it somewhere where I’m going to pay even more money to get it processed well and blown up. But perhaps I can get enough photos taken of interesting subjects that I can use them to decorate my new apartment. Or sell, for that matter. If you’re interested in buying any of my prints, I’ll gladly sell them. :)

On the subject of photography: I’m thinking of creating a moblog for my site. It wouldn’t be on the main page, but would probably be a subcategory of the regular blog. Do you think that’s too pretentious? I figure that now that I have a camera on my phone, I’d like to try and post some creative content with it.

Are we headed for another Tower of Babel?

I fear that the human species is headed for its untimely end.

We, as a species, have some serious delusions of grandeur. I mean, for a long time we have believed that we have some kind of entitlement to the planet, that we can do whatever we want. We poison our air, destroy our forests, kill off entire species, and all this without any regard to what it might do in the long run. I think that ultimately, the real source is that we have just lost all humility.

I’m not usually so philosophical, but lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the things that have happened to the human race due to this lack of humility. The movie Titanic has been on HBO a lot lately, and that’s what primarily got me thinking about all of this. Here is a perfect example of hubris run amok: We just had to build the largest and most luxurious ship on the planet. We just had to load it with every amenity available to the wealthy that would be strolling its decks—except for the one that it really needed, in the end: lifeboats. We just had to get it into New York harbor ahead of schedule by pushing its engines to unsafe speeds, and on a night when there was no wind and therefore no waves, and therefore no way to see icebergs by the water crashing up against them.

It’s prophetic, in a way. On the evening of April 14, 1912, the whole of the human race suffered a gigantic blow to its ego. Not only did we overreach, we did so with such callous disregard for what might go wrong. And as a result, we were smacked down hard.

Are you familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel? It comes from the Bible, and it goes something like this: (Genesis 11:1-9) After the Great Flood (you know, Noah and the ark, all that good stuff), the descendants of those on the ark were all from the same tribe. Because of this, they all spoke the same language and were easily able to communicate and cooperate with each other. They decided that it would be best if they built a great city for all of them to live in; and they would build a great tower to the heavens. This way, they could all be together in one place and not scattered around the world.

But God saw them building this great tower and said to Himself, “Man, if they can accomplish this, I don’t think there’s anything that they can’t do,” and He didn’t like that one bit. (Remember, kids, this is the Old Testament God. Old Testament God was a real prick.) After all, if they could do anything, they might be able to rival His power someday. So what did God do to combat this? He made them all speak different languages and He scattered them all over the earth so they couldn’t build their city. The city was named Babel because of the differing speech. (“Babel” is similar in sound to the Hebrew verb balal, which means “to confuse or confound” and is one of the roots of the word babble as in “to babble on” or speak gibberish.) And in this way was God able to win out.

So yeah, that whole story is really just a metaphor for how our pride and hubris can be our own downfall. And yet I don’t think people pay much attention to it or its message. Not that I think that everybody needs to be a Biblical scholar or believe what it says, but I don’t think that anybody can argue with me that the message is a pretty apt one.

I’ve been thinking about this story quite a lot in the last couple years as I read of the various scientific achievements we’ve made or as I see the movies that have been released. The Day After Tomorrow addressed this, in a more direct sense of “we’re ruining the environment” and not so much in the generic “we need to pay attention to what our actions do” sense, but it was there nonetheless. But for the most part, we don’t even think about it. I’ve read stories over the past few years about how scientists want to be able to recreate the way the universe looked in the moments just after the Big Bang. You know, I’m no astrophysicist or anything, but I’m really not comfortable with making it happen again. I like the Earth right where it is and I’d rather not start recreating an entire universe just so we can know what it looked like. But that’s just me.

So where am I going with all of this? I guess what I’m trying to say is, does it feel to anybody else like we’re about due for another one of these things? Is the human race headed for another cosmic smackdown from the Almighty? It’s been a while since we’ve had one. Some might argue that 9/11 was one, but I can’t really agree with that theory, given that it was based more on the views of a bunch of crazies and less directly related to our own conceit as a species.

I suppose it’s going to be a race against time to see whether we can get our own act together before we destroy ourselves. I do have a small degree of faith that we can do it, but in truth I’m more worried that we’ll end up deploying our nuclear arsenals and destroying ourselves that way before God can ever get the chance to do it. I guess in some way that counts, right?

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