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I made the pies. I finished my mom's Mother's Day present and wrote the card. I cleaned the kitchen.

And I carefully took the clean laundry off the line and heaped it on my bed, then piled all the other clothes I like and will want to have between now and August on the bathroom floor.

I am trying to figure out how I can justify leaving them there and either becoming a nudist or hiring a personal shopper to arrange me a new wardrobe in Anchorage.  Probably I should just put them in some suitcases, but what fun is that?

Have I mentioned I hate packing?
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Vacuuming has always been the chore I hate most. I would rather scrub toilets.  I would rather wash floors (sometimes I actually mop the kitchen without first vaccuuming it). I would rather clean up after the dog.  I think it's my dust allergy and aversion to loud noises, in combination, but whatever it is, I hate vacuuming.

Vacuuming has now been surpassed - my new least favorite chore is packing.  Packing isnt a chore, you say?  Hi, welcome to my life - I pack more often than I vacuum, and I probably pack more than most people vacuum (not you, Eliza, but your love affair with the Dyson is awe-inspiring).

I dont mind packing the electronics and entertainment, because that is rote by now: laptop, power cord, USB mouse, digital camera, camera cable, Ipod, Ipod cable, cell charger, etc. + books equal to number of days away, maybe some knitting, my planner, address book w/ stamps. and whatever work I will need to reference.

It's not the toiletries - I keep a kit packed in the bathroom, and just have to wing it into the suitcase. 

It is the clothes - thinking about clothes makes me cranky.  My identity is a little muzzy right now, which makes my disguises fit less well.  Throw in some confusion about how this trip will be spent, a dose of body issues, and some I-hate-to-shop-but-things-are-wearing-out, and it's a recipe for disaster.

(Of course the irony is that if I was taking a good-size duffle rather than a roll on suitcase, I could just put every item of clothing I own in the same bag).
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I am packed.  The funny part is that we are going for three days - driving out earlyearly tomorrow to return Sunday night - and I packed four bags.  For three days and two nights away, I packed four bags (in my own defense, they are small bags and I can carry all four with no problem at all, which is good since I recall doing a lot of sherpa duty last year).

Bag one: clothes, etc.

Bag two: car snacks, knitting, books to read, Ipod.

Bag three: dance costume pieces.

Bag four: thesis stuff.

Good thing I am so low maintainance and am used to traveling light.
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Made some phone calls today.

The lawn service (aka:  Marvin) is done mowing my lawn and will let me know how much I owe him tomorrow. I need to send him a check.

The electricity is no longer in my name.

I cant get renter's insurance until I figure out the address for otherHeather's house, but the agent will call me tomorrow to move on that.

And.

Kiska has a reservation to ride in the airplane cabin when we fly east in August. 

She passed her therapy dog test in October, but being Delta registerred is not the same as being a service dog. I inquired about having her fly in the plane then and realized I could probably take advantage of the ticket agent's lack of understanding, but didnt want to do something ethically questionnable. 

Then, on this last trip, I took her all over Regan National Airport with no problem and the women at the customer service desk in Seattle urged me to take her on the plane (after seeing her in her vest and checking her ID).  Between those successes and my continuing worry that the airline is going to kill my dog by leaving her on the tarmac in the heat for hours during a delay, it seemd like time to take her onboard.  So, I called and made her a reservation. We will ride in the bulkhead row window seat, with her curled up at my feet.  I won't tow a roll-on suitcase: I will carry a laptop bag and a shoulderbag with Kiska's stuff.  Not having the dog crate will make travelling so much simpler, and I think she will fly like a champ.
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I am typing this sitting cross-legged on my kitchen floor, eating cold leftover Chinese food with my fingers. My back rests where a table used to reside, and the silverware I should be using is more like silver?where?

I am packed.

I have about an hour of house wrap up to do tomorrow - rolling up my airbed, cleaning the bathroom, etc. I am glad I decided to have an official cleaning person come in. Washing walls and mopping floors is more than I could handle right now.

In the morning I will mow the lawn, sprinkle grass seed, and tighten the roof rack on my car (I need an engineer, but since none are likely to be wandering by I will have to rely on Dr. Google for directions). Then I will pack, go to Goodwill, go to storage, and hit the open road - hopefully by 9 am. The promise of missing rush hour traffic on the Beltway is very motivating.

My life is cyclical, and always in transition. Still, this is a big change. I was going through my desk and found a driver's license photo that was taken literally the day before I first came to visit the program I am now enrolled in. I was a week shy of turning 21, and looking at my sweet, hopeful face makes me feel miles away from myself.

That girl moved here with a man she was going to spend the rest of her life with. She believed that she was going to do great good things, and speed through the obstacles of a PhD. She bought a house for them to live in, and bounced gleefully about over her prestigous assistantship. She painted walls red and blue and yellow and hung pictures of Einstein and old book covers.

Now, three years later I have taken Einstein down and given my plants away. I am selling the house because I dont need the weight of sole responsibility. I have some friends here and have been learning a lot, but it is not the life I imagined.

Selling the house and moving Elsewhere is a huge transition, but right. I am simplifying and hunkering close to my kindred spirits. And the house will, hopefully, go to people who have the energy and cash to love it better than I have. It's been good for me - I am stronger for having had these last years, but it is time for new challenges and a new focus.

I will likely not be posting for a few days, folks, as I travel. Wish me well.
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Okay, there are 42 students.

One did not take the exam.

Another is literally having a problem with his psychotropic medication, so he turned something in but I am not grading it. That is the professor's job, in this volatile situation.

That means I had 40 to grade.

So far: 31 down, 9 to go.

I am going to run around the house a bit, tidying up so it can be shown and getting paint cans out of the kitchen, then head to school. I can finish grading and prep to meet with Roseanne there.

I am going to be badly prepared for my meeting with Roseanne, but I am pretty okay with that.

On the way home I will go to Lowe's to buy a doorknob for my bedroom closet (it hasn't had a knob in months), grass seed, and electical outlet plates, then come home to pack for Alaska and continue the move out.
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Okay, I took an hour and ran a huge load to the thrift shop and some big awkward pieces to the storage unit. I also went to McD's for my guilty pleasure breakfast - an egg and cheese bagel.

The thrift store ladies are hilarious. They say "Bless your heart!" over and over again when I am there unloading the assorted bits and pieces which I give them.

I also called every local lawn service in the phone book (ie the ones that listed my small town, as opposed to the neighboring small towns).

I am back at home now, contemplating one last bit of touch up painting, packing for AK, grading, changing clothes, and heading to school.

I think I need to leave here in about 40 minutes, so will grade for a bit, then see what else I can get done in that time.

Poor Kiska is going to have to be crated while I am gone, since the house might be shown while I am at school and not everyone "gets" dogs. I certainly am not leaving her outside, since we have already had one "suitor" show up since she is in heat. Kis ran straight at him barking ferociously - very funny. He looked nonplussed and hung around outside the fence until I brought her inside.
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I think I am finally ready to grade. Well, as soon as I hang the heap of wet laundry on my bed and pull all the wine off the top of the kitchen cabinets. It is still up there since I haven't been able to figure out what to do with it - it will go to vinegar in my storage unit, considering the climate. Maybe I will haul it to Baltimore and give it all to my cousin, if space permits.

I am tired, but glad to be done pulling things out and sorting them into give away and keep heaps, spackling, and touch-up painting. There is still a lot of stuff to be dealt with, but at least I know exactly how much since it is all out in the open.

I leave for Baltimore in 32.5 hours.

In that time I need to:
- grade
- prep to meet with R
- hire someone to mow my lawn
- pack to go to Alaska
- haul everything else to storage / Goodwill / the dump
- meet with advisor
- lunch with Julie
- call my cousin
- supervise roommates moving the rest of the crap in the universe out

oh, and hopefully, sleep. I am already tired, and know I will be up for a couple more hours.
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Who do I think I am kidding with my grade / work / grade plan?

I like to pretend I believe in it, but I hit "Post" then wandered off to absolutely trash my kitchen. It took more than 10 minutes, and I cant quit now since everything is higgledy-piggledty.

If only Goodwill was open at 10 pm on a Wednesday.

I am not officially crazy, as *someone* likes to suggest (two entries ago), but I am a little manic tonight. Anybody wanna come over and help me wreck my house?
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I am still packing school stuff, but have the clothes piece sorted. No one who has ever met me will be shocked to learn that I am going to be wearing exactly the same clothes to the conference I wore last year. I may mix it up and wear the gold pants on the second day and the black pants on the first day, but that is about it. I have to manage two very professional days and some evening things, which is a challenge for my closet. I need to buy some more clothes that fit the body I am currently inhabiting.

I have decided to check a suitcase, and thus take a bigger bag so I can check the research papers on my way home. All my clothes fit in a roll-on-sized bag, but getting back with the conference paraphenalia is always hard and I would like to let someone else haul these silly papers once they are graded. Waiting for luggage is always a pain, but being able to wander through the airport without it is very appealing.

I just went through my data and figured out which sets have to be dropped from the analyses to take care of the different kinds of correlations problem. It was suprisingly painless.

All I have left to do is balance my check book and pay bills, then it is off to sleep and then Dallas for me. This is definately a life in motion, but a fairly happy one.

In motion.

May. 3rd, 2006 09:06 pm
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Okay, I have pulled up the window to post about ten times today, and cant seem to find it in me to type.

It keeps "Restoring saved draft[s]" which have one meager line.

My movers came today. I am totally the person you want organizing your next move. In an hour and a half they:
- loaded everything I wanted to store (went in first) followed by everything going to the thrift store
- dropped off a huge load of thrift store stuff
- unpacked all the storage stuff into my storage unit
- and went on their merry way

Best $150 I have spent in a while.

I came home and swept up the drifts of dust and dog fur, and pushed my roommates' stuff around to make the living room look bigger (all their stuff was really close to the door). I also lugged the kitchen table into my office and set up my computer. The table and my desk chair are literally the only furniture left belonging to me. My roommates have a large squishy armchair, two directors chairs, a shelf unit, and coffee table in the living room, and their bedroom stuff.

I have a (clean) garbage bag of clean laundry on my bedroom floor. I was really flummoxed as to what to do with it since my dresser was already unloaded into my two laundry baskets, and there was not a single clean surface in the house (well, except my desk chair, and it already had a bag of groceries and one load of laundry wedged in to it).

On my way to the dog park I dropped another load of stuff at the storage unit. It is getting pretty empty around here.

The house echoes strangely when I talk.

Anita and I walked and talked, then I did the dog handoff when I passed Greg on the dog park road (I rolled down my window and said, hey, you want a dog? he looked confused, but rolled with it).

Dance class was wonderful. As always.

In our sharing time at the beginning of class I let them know I was moving, and a little of the backstory. They are the only group of adults I know to whom I was easily, without thinking, able to say, "The universe is telling me to move, so I am moving" and know they wouldn't join KM in watching for a psychotic break.

Fantastic Jen and I also talked a little bit about "welcoming disturbances" and how I am not simply moving away from the problems, I am also trying to move towards something better by living with kindred spirits rather than people (like my current roommates) who I can never truly communicate with since we have such different views of the world and what matters.

Before this conversation, she suggested that I contact her Heather who is roommate hunting. I had emailed that Heather and not heard back; apparently her computer is in the shop. So I called and left her a message and she just called me back.

I am going to introduce the dogs and look at the room on Monday night, and I think living there would be peaceful and quiet and wonderful. Just getting to hang out with her and Jen is probably worth the rent money. She is looking for two roommates, which is fine with me, and I think it has great possibilities. Probably no good office space for me, but maybe we could find a spot for a small desk, or I could just get used to working at the kitchen table.

I had been feeling disappointed that the other girl's whose place I looked at were not returning my emails. Now I feel like, okay, maybe that wasn't meant to be so that this could happen. I am not really a signs kind of person, but this is all feeling pretty right.

I am tired. And I have a lot of school left to do and a few more hours of moving, but it is going to be okay. I am not really even stressing about it, just plodding though. For me - fretter-extrordinaire, homebody, and control freak - this is a Class B miracle.

I have to be at the airport in R (half an hour away) in literally eight hours, so I need to focus on collecting the information I need to work on my paper while in transit, printing rubrics to grade the 28 papers I am hauling along, and packing. It's going to be a weird trip, but hopefully a good one. I will get into my weirdness about this conference later, but in the meantime, duty calls. Time to go dump my garbage bag of clothes onto my air mattress and pack.

Bonus line for today: Talking to my mother, rather than saying, "I am moving" I said, "I am in motion." It was probably a symptom of my sleep deprivation, but it also captures this all so perfectly. I am in motion.
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Today I called and made arrancements to have the water and refuse pick up discontinued, phone and internet turned off, and electricity moved from budget to pay-as-you-go.

I rented a storage unit and hauled three loads of stuff into it.

I looked at two potential places to live, and want to sign a lease for one of them. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow - I emailed the girl with a couple questions and hope she feelsl ike I would fit into the house. More details will follow, when I feel less like talking about it might jinx it.

I hired movers to come on Wednesday, thus reducing my stress about the furniture.

I left messages for some cleaning people, with the idea that maybe I will have someone come in and shine the place up after I leave. That way I wouldn't have to worry about leaving it clean (since time is so short, this would be helpful) and it might appeal more to buyers.

I packed my car with stuff to drop off tomorrow, and tidied the chaos in the living room, my office, and my bedroom, with the idea that Judy may want to show the place soon. That would be akward with us in residence, but the sooner it sells the better (i.e. the fewer mortage payments I have to make and the sooner I am free from the albatross part).

I am still overwhelmed, and realize that these two weeks are going to be a sprint to the finish line between the paper I am writing, the grading to do, the getting moved out, and the trip to Dallas (the main challenge associated with the business trip is coming up with four days of business attire. Usually I stress about it, but this year it isnt even registering).

My presentation is tomorrow, and I feel ready. I need to read it outloud a few times, to time myself and create note cards with extra (non-displayed) information for each slide, then I can shift to working on the paper. Damn paper.
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Okay. I rented a 10 x 15 ft storage unit. It was an easy choice to go to the bigger size, since it only cost $10 more over the course of the summer.

I dropped off one load of stuff when I signed the contract, and have since wedged several more boxes and one wicker chair into my car. It still seems very weird, but now more doable.

I arranged to have electricity taken off the budget balance and the phone disconnected. I checked on renter's insurance for my belongings in storage (I will have to do that once the house sells), and learned that I need to go downtown to arrange for the water / refuse service to be shut off in person. I even called to see what it would cost to have someone come in and clean the place once after I leave.

Now I just need to find my cellphone (I had it this morning, I swear . . .) and get! to! work! on school.
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I am taking the whole "not sleeping" thing as a sign that I am a wee bit stressed about moving. I spent some time thinking about it, and decided the most anxiety producing part is the furniture, since I have no way to move it alone and no friends with big vehicles and lots of spare time to rely on. So, I pulled out the yellow pages and (taking the brilliant AND beautiful Heather's advice) called movers.

On Wednesday afternoon I am getting two guy and one truck for two hours, for $150. If I need them longer, I keep them longer, at $75/hr. Hopefully I wont need them beyond that two hours, but it is worth it to get all the big stuff I cant handle alone taken care of before I leave for Dallas, so I can focus on grading, finishing my paper, and packing the small stuff when I get back.

What am I going to have them move?
- kitchen table
- two tables from office
- three tall bookcases
- two short bookcases
- two large filing cabinets
- one small filing cabinet
- bed
- dresser
- bedside table

Space / time permitting I will also get them to move:
- the patio set (table & two chairs)
- two wicker chairs
- office chair
- any packed boxes I have lying around
- the big totes from the basement

It feels good to know those things will be taken care of, even if it means I will be sleeping on an air mattress and sitting on the floor a lot when I get back from Dallas. Also, I have to have the bookshelves / cabinets / and dresser drawers empty by then. Oh well, it's good to be busy.

In the meantime, I am off to rent my storage unit . . .
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I layed down for an hour, and tried to soothe myself to sleep by repeating "It will all work out okay. It is going to be okay. It is going to work out okay," over and over again.

Obviously the chanting didn't work that well, since it is 2:24 am and I am sitting at my computer in my bathrobe trying to read blogs and be distracted from my life.

Tomorrow I will start hauling stuff to storage, which will help. I may even arrange to have the thrift store people come sooner, since I need to see discernable progress to keep from freaking out.

As for the paper, well, meh. I emailed John to clarify the length I should be shooting for, and he refuses to commit to anything but "write the paper so it is complete, rather than worrying about length. The length is what it is." I find that to be absolutely useless advice and it makes me feel like avoiding the whole damn thing. That would work, except the paper is 50% of my grade in that class. Oops.

I am going to work on it for twenty minutes now, then go to bed. I have to be up in less than five hours . . .
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Okay I managed the shower and getting dressed, but the dog walk was postponed. We are meeting Anita at the dogpark later, to walk and talk. It's way nicer when Kiska can be a free dog, and I dont have to manage the leash.

I spent probably an hour in the basement, figuring out what I need to pack, what goes to charity, and what is garbage. There is actually a fair amount for the thrift store (I left it down there, to be hauled off one backseat at a time), not too much to pack, and lots of garbage to dispose of (packing materials, etc). I hauled all the garbage up - I am hoping that the trash fairies take pity on me and haul it off, even though it is a bit over my weekly quota. They might, since usually I am a one bag/week girl. If not, I can take it to the dump on Tuesday afternoon.

I heard back on the doghouse I freecycled, and decided to donate it to the Dalmatian Rescue (second email I received). I am having to resist the temptation to post lots of other things on freecycle, since it is so! much! fun! to have people come haul off things I didn't want / use anyways. I want to make sure to maximize my thrift store donation tax deduction though (up to $500, I hear) so am not posting anything else just yet.

I sent my prof a couple emails with pertinent questions on the MA and have a plan for the paper. I am writing it as a conference submission (which the syllabus hints at) which means it can only be 3500 words, which feels doable. I am at around 2500 very disjointed words, so my current focus is on smoothing it out and deepening the information provided. I can't get too invested in the analyses / results section though, until I can redo the numbers using the correct program.

Busy Brain

Apr. 30th, 2006 01:37 am
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I went to bed an hour or two ago, but couldn't sleep. I have cleverly (self-mockingly) diagnosed myself with a case of "busy brain."

This is what you get when you decide to sell your house and move within two weeks, around the normal end of semester craziness (grading everything in sight, exam creation, final projects), data analysis associated with your thesis, packing to move to a completely different life some 3000+ miles away, and a four day trip to Dallas.

I got up and packed two boxes of books (I am now out of boxes to pack, unless I decide to make a witching hour trip to the box stash in the carport). And partially packed another two totes. And I am thinking about a mug of sleepytime tea and some exam writing (the test itself, not my response to one). I'd rather be sleeping, but that seems unlikely, just now.

[Even as I write this entry I have hopped up about four times, to pack a tote with my sewing machine and crafting stuff, collect some more fragile decorative stuff (all with great sentimental value) for the hard to pack box, fling a few things into the thrift store box, and generally bewilder the dog].

The bad news: I am out of Nyquil.

My current plan is to putz awhile and then try to sleep. I can't take anything anywhere tomorrow (storage place and thrift stores are both closed on Sundays), so don't need to get too carried away. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I will haul carloads to both places, and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday I will be in Dallas. I am planning to have the exam created and in the copy queue before I leave, and to grade the research papers en route. I just need to make sure to finish my MA paper, so when I get back I can spend Monday through Friday grading exams, MOVING, and packing for AK.

I had been under the impression that thinking it through like that would make me feel better, because that sort of exhaustive listing usually does. Unfortunately, this time, I was wrong . . .
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I am still having trouble with the meta-analysis program.

Fortunately I had an excel file set up to do the appropriate calculations (homework from earlier in the course), and was able to plug my numbers in there. The results from it are useful, and I was able to do one interesting moderator search to partition variance.

I am putting those results into my presentation, and transferring my attention tomorrow to my paper. Hopefully John will get my query emails and send some troubleshooting advice by email, but in the meantime I will be able to go on, knowing that my presentation Tuesday can go on, either way.

I also packed one box. The packing seems sad. I need to get my storage unit lined up, so I can start hauling stuff there - I dont want to live amidst heaps of boxes any more than I have to.
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Who do I think I am kidding? I am not going to wait until a week from Thursday to take stuff to the thrift store. I just set a timer for ten minutes and packed a large box of books, threw in the heavy cut glass candy jar my ex's mom gave me (looking at it doesn't make me happy so it goes, despite having actual value), and then ran around rounding up other things that can go! away! More books (I used to save every book, ever, but I read too much for that. Now I just save books I want to read again or own so I know they are close to me. Everything else is freed to find another reader. If only there was a used book store I could turn them in at . . .)! A popcorn popper, turkey roaster, and coffee pot I have never used. Some plant stuff from the basement. Etc.

It's addictive. I finally - several minutes after the timer went off - wrested myself back to my desk and I am itching to jump back into the thrift store roundup.

I spent many years as a serious packrat. My stuff was powerful, and oppressive. For awhile in high school I slept on the family room couch, because my room had been taken over by the possessions I could not part with. I cried when my parents removed enough stuff for me to move back in, and continued squirelling away memorobilia and all sorts of goofy objects.

However, since then, I have moved several times, travelled with only a backpack, and come to realize that I am happier as a minimalist. Don't get me wrong, I like stuff, only I am pickier now. I will keep most of my kitchen gadgets, the books I love, and everything else with either a functionality I need or a memory I want. But everything else - the stuff that collects somehow when you aren't paying attention - that can go. And sending it on its way feels very freeing.
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I just spent $50 mailing myself 40 lbs. of stuff (from here to there) - one large tote (which I cleverly zip-tied shut after drilling holes around the lid) and a therma-rest mattress (light, but way bulky).

Listing the contents of the tote, even in my head, makes me cackle like a hyena because, hello, weird life!

It has my workboots (Army regulation). My full-circle dance skirt. A heave duty carhartt jacket. A fringed velvet hipscarf. My rollerblades. Some wool socks. A bikini. Black high heels. Beads. Books. A folding dog crate.

Yeah. My life is so strange.

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