Monday, June 30, 2008

We're fine! We're fine!

One afternoon a few years ago, Ann and I were driving to the Studio in Cambridge. I was at the helm of her car, which is how we roll. Right near where I-84 spills into the Pike, a vehicle came to a dead stop right in the middle of the fast lane, which is where we were. Since all the lanes were nearly bumper-to-bumper, I could do nothing but slam on the brakes.

It was really scary. But the scariest part is the part where I started shouting, "We're fine! We're fine!" over and over again, at a point where it was not clear that we were nor would be fine.

Perhaps it was the power of my positive thinking that helped us narrowly escape a giant highway pileup. I would like to think that it helped in some way.

We drove a distance in silence. We were a bit shaken (not stirred) by the whole experience. Suddenly, it blew over when Ann began openly mocking me by shouting, "We're fine! We're fine!"

She asked with a laugh, "What was that, 'We're fine! We're fine!' thing all about?"

Hell if I knew. But it's become a thing we shout when things are more stressful than we'd like. We've even shared it with some colleagues. Every now and again, you'll hear cries of, "We're fine! We're fine!" coming from our area of cubicles followed closely by laughter and hard work.

We're basically in a constant state of, "We're fine! We're fine!" in the house right now. Things are just starting to shape up and seem almost like it's a place where people can safely live.

Scott's doing much better than I am. I have a hard time with chaos, and have been falling apart regularly due to same.

I've been trying to keep it together so I can get things done, but sometimes I find it pretty paralyzing. Also, I have been having the racing thoughts about everything we need to do. A couple nights ago, I came undone reciting lists of things we had to do. I kept listing all the things and talking in circles and making just about no sense. When I had worked myself up into crying out loud, Scott handed me a clipboard and some paper and advised me to make a list.

So I did, and it really helped. Now we have the clip board and a dry-erase board with the stuff we need to do and want to do ranked by when we want to do it and how big the job is. This is progress.

Moving is so hard. I don't know how people do it. I know people who move every couple years and I, frankly, don't know how they maintain any level of sanity. I really don't intend to move ever again. It may happen; since I am not a seer, I can't know what the future holds. As far as I'm concerned, however, I'm here for the long haul.

We made some real progress over the weekend. My dad and I hooked up the stove and lit all the pilots (scary) on Saturday. When I say, "my dad and I", what that really means is my dad did it while I stood by and handed him things (and worried just a little bit about blowing up). On Sunday, Margaret came over for most of the day and helped me set up the pantry and unpack all the kitchen stuff. All of these things mean I can cook up proper meals again and we can stop eating take-out and mooching off our friends.

Also on Sunday, the Comcast man came and fixed the internet connection in the house, so now we're online. I can't seem to get the wireless to work properly, but at least we can plug in and have a connection.

So, in sum, we're fine! We're fine.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

Blogging from the library with limited battery left

Hi. We're fine. No internet at home yet. Moving basically sucked. We finished cleaning the apartment out last night. The house is total chaos. I need to get my systems set up, but haven't yet, mostly from being paralyzed by chaos. Argh!

I have today off (my birthday) and all of next week, so I imagine we'll get to a good place before the week is out. Organization can't come soon enough.

I learned many things about myself this move and I think it was an opportunity for growth. I'd be happy to tell you more about this at a time when my battery wasn't dying.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moving on up, to the east side to our deluxe house on Saint James

Our official move date is Sunday. Holy hell. It seems like we've had the house for months and months, what with all the work we've done. But it's only been three weeks since our closing!

We met a very nice man thanks to craigslist* who sanded our floors and basically made them totally beautiful. Joe (that's his name) told us that our floors are not pine, which is what everyone else said they were. Of course, he became intimately acquainted with them in a fashion that no one else did. But it turns out that our floors are hemlock. How about that?

Anyway, our floors will be done tomorrow, and then will need a couple days to mellow, so we're moving in on Sunday.

I'm really pleased about this turn of events because I am about 100% ready for this moving process to be over. I reached a fevered pitch of heart-pounding anxiety tonight. Sunday can't come soon enough.

Today, Scott got a U-Haul and moved a bunch of stuff he can move by himself. I'm gathering a small band of ladies on Saturday to help me with the final packing while Scott is at work. Then Sunday, we'll have a small band of helpers to help with the final big stuff. Then it will be over.

Oh! Hear this excellent news! I found an awesome, awesome dining room set on craigslist for a low price. It's extra fancy and the table extends to eight feet long! Scott and I had just been talking about what we were going to do in our big new dining room. Now we will dine there!

I'm hoping that once we're done with the madness that I will return to blogging about hilarious things. I hope you will bear with me as we get through this crazy time.

Thank you.

* If you're looking for someone to sand your floors, consider Joe. He came in with the best quote and he was just about the nicest person ever. We met a couple total shysters -- one that quoted us fully twice as much as this guy and bellyached about how hard it would be to sand our floors. Joe definitely knew they were hard floors, but he didn't bellyache or try to separate us from any more of our money than his original quote. I can't recommend him highly enough.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert, we hardly knew ye

I pretty much stopped watching TeeVee a few years ago. Everything, that is, except Meet the Press and SNL.

Tim Russert, the man I've spent every Sunday morning with for untold years, died today of a very sudden heart attack at 58. He was in the Washington bureau recording voiceovers for Sunday's Meet the Press when he died. It's a terrible tragedy for his family and for NBC. It's an unbearable loss for the United States politics and and for old-school journalism.

I can't believe it!

That guy understood politics in a way few others do. He always knew how to ask a question and get results. And he always seemed to be able to call an election weeks in advance. Remember when he said in 2000, "Whoever wins Florida is going to win this thing"? Everyone made fun of him with is lame-o white board when he could have had the people make him a fancy digital map. Remember how he kept circling Florida and shouting about how Florida was going to be the deciding factor?

Man, was he ever right.

He did the same thing in 2004 with Ohio. He had a sixth sense for politics -- more than anyone else on TeeVee.

He was second to none when it came to grilling politicians, really turning them on the spit and blowing on the flame. He wouldn't ever let up until he got the person to give a straight answer. The thing that always struck me about it, though, is that after the show, when they were running the credits, he would always be laughing and talking in a relaxed and friendly way with whoever he just decimated on the show.

Man, he was a class act.

I can't stop crying. How are we going to make it through this election without him? Who will help us see the politicians' true stripes now?

Tom Brokaw is hosting a special Tim Russert-retrospective edition of Meet the Press on Sunday. I'll be tuned in and weeping openly.


Saturday, June 7, 2008

The insanity continues

Listen. It's crazy time over here. My friend Amy came by and helped me pack up a whole bunch of my shit. Tomorrow Scott and I spend the whole day at the new house working. It's been very hard, and more than I bargained for, if you want to know the truth. We only have a little more carpet to pull up before we lose our minds entirely. Man!

I need a product called the PaintShaverPro. It does exactly what we need to have done. However, it's very expensive and I can't find a single rental place that carries it.

Do you have a PaintShaverPro? If so - I know I'm a stranger and all, but - can I borrow it? I promise not to break it or cause it any trouble. I will buy you a new carbide blade. Seriously. I am about a thousand shades of serious here.

If you have one, please consider lending it to me. If you know of any place to rent one, tell me. I'm all ears.

Thank you.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

June 7 show cancelled

The Gay Men's Chorus cancelled their Saturday night show, so that means I'm not opening for them. It's just as well, because I've got my work cut out for me at the house.

I called The Artist tonight and gave him a list of tools we need to borrow. Margaret procured for us a lent shopvac.

If anyone has any advice about how to get linoleum that's fused to the floor off the floor, we're all ears. The paper backing of the linoleum in the bathroom (that was under the carpet and held to the floor by nails, upholstery tacks and - and! - copious amounts of glue is fused to the floor. Careful work with a putty knife has freed some of the paper, but wood is coming up with it. It's hideous. I got so frustrated that I decided to move out to the hallway and pull up that carpet, where I found the same linoleum held down by the same nails, upholstery tacks and glue.

The more we pulled things up, the more I cursed every single other owner of our house. Margaret advised that we can get their names from the Holyoke history room in case we want to hate them by name. I only wish there were time to go over there.

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