Archive | May, 2015

When It Rains, It Pours: April [moving-drive-1st leg]

28 May

Let’s see, driving long stretches is mostly boring.  But a few key things are worth noting.

-Going on a Sunday was genius.  Traffic around cities was a lot less.  And bigger then that, the construction was on hold.  So we still lost time to slow speed limits, but we never had to stop in a line for workers or anything.  Any other day would have taken a LOT longer to get through those zones.

-Cool had fairly bad behavior for the entirety of the planning and execution of all of the move.  She was the bad kind of manic:  Unfocused, irritable, all over the place, no common sense or concentration.  So mostly she provided stress upon the stress.  BUT the one amazing thing that she thought of–and followed through to completeion–was walkie-talkies.  I wasn’t all about them–I figured they’d be fun if we had them, but not having them wasn’t a deal-breaker.  Let me tell you:  Walkie talkies and 2 vehicles are THE way to go if you have to drive a moving truck.  I drove the 16 foot Penske, and Cool (and the cats) followed along in her HHR.  This was great, because she could monitor my blind spots.  If I wanted to switch lanes, we could just beep each other quickly on the radios.  No cost of cell phone minutes (though using Boost, we both have unlimited talk, text, and data anyway) and no one-handed stuff.  We could also easily communicate which speed we wanted to go and when we had to stop for gas, bathroom, food, or rest.  The walkie-talkies made driving the Penske EASY!  Awesome job, Cool!!!

-We got started around 2PM, and drove 5.5(?) hours to Butte, which was about 2 hours past my point of fatigue.  Having long-hauled many road trips before this, 2 hours isn’t all that bad–relatively speaking.

Big Sky Country

-The cats rode in the car well (I’m told).  Usually Goose is good, quiet, and still during the car ride.  Choco-Luv likes to scream and yell the entire trip.  But sans drugs, they did pretty good–maybe Cool just tuned them out with loud music though.

-And the hotel seemed magical when we got to stop for a real shower and bed and TV.

-The cats fussed a little–they do the opposite thing at lodging that they do in the car:  Goose is usually a horrible, terrible noise-maker and pacer in hotels.  He kept us all awake the whole night in Boise, and when when my dad and I took him from Missouri to Nevada for the final time, Goose was so angry with me he peed on my hotel pillow.  He yowled a little, but not incessantly and we could still sleep.  I think it helped that we didn’t drug them at all this time.

-Splitting the trip into 2 days helped bunches, and the next day we just had to drive 7-ish(?) hours to Salt Lake City, instead of a whole 10.5 hours.  Which I think 10.5 is a low estimate from Google, it might have been more like 13 in real conditions.

-Montana and a nice high speed limit, and I always feel at home under it’s big-sky.  Idaho is full of nothingness, but at least they also have an extreme speed limit.  I just kept driving the Penske because it was going well.  And I think switching off would have made everyone more nervous.  Unlike Rusty, the Penske had cup holders, and you don’t realize how important and nice those are until you’ve lived without them.  It was also nice having a clock, which Rusty does not have.

-The only thing about the Penske that was bothersome, was my accelerator-foot got tired.  The speed tops out at 70 mph, but with a speed limit of 80 mph, I wanted to push it as fast as it was willing to go.  But it made the truck roar and shake, and I had to mash the pedal all the way to the floor.

-Utah drivers are awful, and it made it a little difficult that we had to finish the drive like that.  You’re at a point where you’re tired and just want to get there–it’s no time to have to employ a bunch of defensive-driving techniques.  But we did.  And all 4 of us made it in one piece and without very much fatigue or headache.  Also–this is of course relative to past trips.  We were all very tired of sitting in a car, sleepy, and wanting to be home.

-We got to the new apartment at 3:30PM.  I needed a shower.  I was fatigued.  I was SO done with moving!  I just wanted to shower and chill.  But alas, the parking situation was tight, so in order to unload the Penske in the vicinity of our unit, I had to park in 3 neighbor’s spots.  Needless to say, there would not be an afternoon/evening of rest.  Not even a meal break.  We had to immediately unload the Penske in order to move out out of the way before people got home from work and had no place to park.

welcome to utah- t-rex

Next episode:  Unpacking.

When It Rains, It Pours: April [moving]

27 May

I know, I know I made you a promise–then I broke it.  Again.  You see, what’s happening is I want to do the blog-post “right.”  As such, I never feel I have enough time to write something decent.  So today, I’m just going to quickly get things down:

Moving sucks, we all know that.  Here’s what my April was like once it was time to go:

-I packed pretty much every box at the old apartment.

-On moving day, it was up to Cool and me.  But a few items would require more strength, so I asked my Aunt and Uncle for help.

-But they are in their 60’s and both kind of dinks.

-So I knew they would only be marginally helpful, and probably start fatigue, complain, and become an impredimant in a hurry.  So I asked them to help for the first hour.

-They were there to move a bookshelf, 3 shelves, the treadmill, and the 37″ TV-mistake from Craigslist.

-I had no idea where this TV was going to go, and no one wanted it for free let alone purchase, because it wasn’t a flat screen-what is that, anyway?

Goose Moose x-mas 2013 035

-But first, Cool and I had to rent the Penske–which I had done a lot of research and measurements to pick out of the moving truck companies.  This was after I worked til midnight the night before (ie I’m starting out tired).

-We get the truck and I drive it back to the apartment.

-Aunt and Uncle help us move the things and the TV goes out on the sidewalk with a “free” sign.

-I need some place to park Rusty while I’m in Utah for a week.  My Uncle volunteers my Aunt (a notoriously bad driver who doesn’t know manual transmission) to drive it to their house.  I agree to park Rusty at their house–but say I’LL drive it over later.  They go home.

4-16-11 my new car

-Cool and I take load after load to the truck.  I begin to pack things to the ceiling, but quickly realize the truck is waaaaay bigger then our amount of things.  In order for things not to float around–we must pack them in a single-layer on the floor.  And it’s still too much room.  Oops.

-We load the things.  I’m hot and tired.  Cool has died.  She’s obese because of her meds and not much help.  She moves slower and slower and takes more and more breaks.  It’s up to me.

-But we manage to finish in under 4 hours.  And it’s just 1PM.  And now the apartment is empty.  We have to hang out doing nothing.  With the Penske sitting outside.  Then wake up at 4AM to begin our interstate trek.  Why are we waiting?

-We decide we will get a hotel in Butte and drive halfway today–there’s plenty of time.

-But first I have to take my car to the Aunt and Uncles.  But when we get there they aren’t home.  It’s OK, they told me where to park so I did.  But I didn’t want to leave my keys because of the afore-mentioned casualness about them driving my car.  There would be nobody but me driving my car.  What if they got in a wreck?  No–the keys were going with me.

-But sometimes Rusty’s alarm will randomly get set off.  And it just goes on and on.  And on and on.  Until you use the key fob to disengage it.  And that’s the only way I know of.  So I was very worried the alarm would go off leaving them no recourse.  But MORE worried them would drive Rusty (badly) if they had the keys.  So off we went.

-Cool packed both cats in her car.  And I took the Penske.  Then we got on the road.

uphill rd

Next edition–not so spaced apart (for reals!) the road!

April Goal Accountability

26 May

Those of you astute enough to see the pattern may have realized I neglected to write this post.  The reason is that the goals–my January goals are not all that pertinent anymore.  I’m going to have to re-evaluate and write new ones more aligned with my current situation.

1.  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

A+  Done–AND I hit day 500 in a row!

3.  Collect a minimum of 2/mo positive moments in a jar

F-  Also neglected.

3a.  listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.

F+  I have not really done this.  Except twice.

3b.  I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.

D  Othere then being thankful for non-rainy weather and enjoying wals with Cool, I haven’t concentrated on this either.

3c.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day. EVERY day.

A  I am a new person, with a different lifestyle.  I don’t really have all that much TO worry about anymore.

4.  Dental health. Floss daily

B+  Mostly

4a.  brush twice daily for an adequate time

A-  Mostly

4b.  find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

I’m just not sure if this is going to be a possibility.  It’s one thing I have to re-evaluate seriously.


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2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1: Get the money. Make it, keep it.

I don’t know if I’m keeping this.  Right now, I’m just trying to get settled in my job and get the apartment set up.

#3: Cool.  Defined as:

3a) tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.

3b) Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).

3c) Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.

For some reason, I’m not sure this goal works.  It seems complex and changes throughout a month.  I think I need to refine it more to make it useful.

#4: Make a menu

B-  Who knew?  I’m a fair-kitchen cook.  Now that my apartment has a decent kitchen and I have user-friendly kitchen-ware all of this is so much better!

4a.  do a grocery list

A+  We have stuck to this beautifully!

4b.  grocery shop 1x/wk

B  Now that I’m not constantly in motion (or tired) this one’s a lot easier also.

4c.  cook 5 days of cooking per week grow it to all 7.

C  This might actually be manageable now!

#5: Prepare, but don’t stress out.

I don’t know what this is?

cityscape 4

So I need to write a new set of goals for my new quest as a Utahn.  I’ll have to brainstorm.

 

When It Rains, It Pours: April [pre-move]

8 May

Since I didn’t have time to update throughout April, I’ll save some time here by making a bulleted list.  I’ll try to remember everything, but things got pretty hectic!

-At the end of March, we started looking for apartments.  In another state.  Real Estate agents are apparently flakes, hardly reading correspondence or answering/returning phone calls.  We also immediately saw that not many understood out-of-state moves = No, we cannot come view it tomorrow!  This was going to be more difficult then we anticipated.

-We also learned that securing an apartment before starting to pay rent wasn’t a thing.  We wanted to have pro-rated rent mid-April, the agents wanted us to start a lease 4-1-15.  Which wasn’t going to work since our Spokane lease wasn’t up until 4-30-15, and we couldn’t afford to pay rent on two places at once.  How do people usually manage this?

-To further complicate the matter, I had committed to house-sitting until May 2nd.  This meant we either HAD to sign a new lease that started May 1st in Salt Lake City (SLC from here on out) or pay month-to-month at our current apartment.  Mo-Mo increased our current rent from from $480 to $610/mo.  On top of moving expenses and deposits–that was not going to work.

-In addition, it seems SLC is anti-pets.  We could hardly find ANYthing that accepted 2 cats.  And those that would, were about $100 higher in rent (and mostly more then that), charged a minimum of $300 extra deposit (on top of $300 security deposit), AND charged monthly pet rent.  This was going to be expensive–and I didn’t have a job so I didn’t know how much money I had to budget. . .

-Needless to say, we are scrambling around on the internet, looking for suitable places, e-mailing (to no avail), and calling–without a SINGLE return phone call.  WTF?!  Is this a real estate “thing” or just a SLC thing?!  Either way, it was super-annoying, not to mention bad business practice.

-Cool gets legit-stressed, but then goes full-on manic.  Not awesome timing.  She decides she has to visit her family, 6 hours away, right when we’re trying to find housing.  I was going to go, but I work on Saturday, and didn’t want to leave my co-worker friend alone to do everything.  So Cool and I were initially going to visit Tacoma Sun-Tues.  BUT Cool also realized she had NO time off work.  None.  And she only gets weekends off.  So she planned to make the visit without me.

-To compound the situation, the Friday Cool was going to leave (after her work shift was over at midnight) for the other side of the state, she calls me.  It was 9PM.  Good news:  She was able to transfer within the company she’s been working for into a job in Salt Lake City!  Cool got a job!  Bad news:  She had to start work April 23rd (in 14 days counting that night).  Worse news:  We had no housing, she still intended to leave for the weekend, and in order for me to give 2 weeks notice at my job, I’d have to turn in my letter of resignation tomorrow.  STRESS!

-After we had a deadline looming, things got really insane.  I had to turn in my notice at work, secure housing, start packing (and getting rid of things), and making reservations for moving trucks, hotels, flights, etc. . .  Despite this being 2015, the internet wasn’t super helpful in finding an apartment OR changing my address.  I had to make a zillion phone calls–and you know how I despise that.  Forget about details like cleaning the old apartment or trying to get a job in SLC–that stuff would have to wait.

-We found 1 viable housing-option (above our price range).  But the landlord was a doofus.  We Cool (because this kind of crap makes me belligerent, and that would accomplish nothing, plus, I was doing EVERYthing else) had to call like 6 times before we got any response.  Then we had to wait.  Then, things didn’t work right.  My full 2 weeks notice were closing at work, and we still had only the promise of housing–no lease, no deposit. . .  This is terrifying to me.  What would happen if it fell through?

-Meanwhile, I was frantically packing and trying to get rid of things.  What to do with the huge, old treadmill?  How were we going to get the 37″ TV down the stairs, and where would we put it?  You never realize how much stuff you have until you have to put it in boxes and move it!  Even though this is a small bullet point, this stuff really consumed the majority of my time.  It was a lot of thinking, planning, lifting, and packing.

-Nothing was easy.  What size rental truck should I get?  I got a 10′ in Missouri and had to leave half my stuff at the storage unit.  It sucked terribly, got rained on so it was unsalvageable, and the storage management were pissed so they took all the money I had paid ahead as a “cleaning/trash fee.”  I did NOT want that scene again.  So I fretted, measured, and deliberated, before deciding on a 16′.  It was big, but they’re all bigger then what I’m used to.  The 12′ and 16′ were the same price, gas efficiency, and width.  The only difference was the 4′ of additional length–and after 12′ what’s an extra 4′?

-We also had to decide how we would logistically move 2 cars, 2 cats, a moving truck of stuff, and ourselves to 10.5 hours away.  While still getting Cool to work in SLC on April 23rd and me to my house-sitting job in Spokane April 27th-May 2nd.

-We decided to drive the Penske full of stuff and HHR with the cats to SLC.  Then, Cool would start work while I unpacked the stuff at the new apartment.  Then, I would fly back (rental car was only $20 cheaper and took 6 more hours) to Spokane.  While in Spokane, I would clean the entire old apartment by myself before the lease was up, then continue on to my house-sitting job, before driving (a 2nd 10.5 hours) my car back to SLC.  At least we had a plan.

I think I probably forgot some things, but you get the gist:  April was busy, busy, busy, costly, and stressful.  In the next installment I’ll talk about the actual moving process.

BAD Blogger!

7 May

I just moved.  Moving is crazy.  This is my excuse for such a long post-drought.  This is my timeline for past moves so I can tell the stories of this last month:

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And it’s not like I haven’t done it (moved) before, on the contrary I have moved so much it portrays a wanderlust or flakiness that doesn’t really fit my true personality.

Polson- enteranceWhen I was 4, my parents and I moved away from all of our extended family in Montana, to Nevada for job opportunities.  Montana is beautiful, but you “can’t eat the scenery.”

I grew up in small-town Nevada, going to the same Kidron's NV pics 050school for 13 years.  Which is good and bad.  I have well-established roots, and I always knew everyone and all my teachers, and everything.  BUT everyone always knows you and your business too, so good luck trying to live down embarrassing moments, changing/growing, or keeping anything on the D.L.

RenoI went to the same college everyone goes to my first year, which required a short move to Reno (an hour away) but tried to branch out instead of staying with my same ‘ol click as most of my small-town counterparts did.

I wanted more opportunities and was chasing my veterinary dreams so I took a HUGE leap and transferred to mid-Missouri, site-unseen, my sophomore year.  That move was big-time, but I was still somewhat protected by the insular world of college:Mizzou quad  I moved right into dorms and worked for campus dining services.  When housing, jobs, and school all line up–moves are substantially less stress.  And emotionally, I had already been away from loved ones before (moving from MT at 4) so I wasn’t lost or lonely.  Plus, school and work kept me so busy, who had time to miss anything?!  The move from Nevada to Missouri required a 30 hour drive.  I made that drive with my mom carrying a few dorm essentials.  I made that 30 hour drive with Douche, in a U-Haul.  I’ve made that 30 hour round trip by myself and a car-load of essentials and a dog.  I made the return trip by myself and 2 cats.  I HATE that drive.

265173_2208001644072_1368379309_32588356_2533618_nThen, my Saint George acceptance pulled me out of Missouri–which I really liked the 6 years I was there.  I had to make that 30 hour drive once more, with my dad, in a U-Haul.  Never again!  I’m not sure anything else aside from vet school would have compelled me to ever leave the midwest.  But veterinary school was calling, so I temporarily visited my parents and dropped off my cats that summer.  Nevada was just a brief visit.

Except Saint George fell through a week before matriculation.  Suddenly, I had nowhere to go, but obviously I wasn’t going to live with my parents–that was never the plan.  I had to choose where to go–and not being based on any acceptance, it could be anywhere that had a vet school.  I didn’t really know, and my parents dictated that I decide immediately.

I had been watching a lot of Frasier, wanted to try out a more liberal and city environment, and Frasier saturation increasedliked Washington’s veterinary program.  So to Seattle I (blindly) went.  Driving a car-load of essentials the 15 hours by myself.  I lived with my great aunt, which I always saw as a temporary transitional set-up while I looked for my own place.  I had previously gotten along famously with my college roommate, so I wasn’t discouraged Seattle housing prices negated living alone like I had in Missouri.

bedroom darkI moved to 12th Avenue, and soon saw what real-life roommates mean.  I needed out of that place ASAP because it was ridiculous!  Around this same time, I met Cool.  We hit it off, and sometimes I stayed at her shared housing situation, which was WORSE then my 12th Ave scene.  I don’t think I ever completed a full sleep cycle in Seattle.  I was always tired, always grumpy.  It made me HATE the city.  I needed my own space, without crazy roommate scenarios.  I needed a reasonable housing cost.

So we moved 6 hours across Washington to Spokane (with cats in Cool’s car and me driving a U-Haul).  And it was so much better!Fremont Fest 114  We could afford our own apartment without roommates!  Vet school didn’t happen for me, and the job market in Eastern Washington is horrible.  There was nothing there for us–Spokane wasn’t home.  We needed out, but Western Washington is out of our price range.

So I wanted to show you, I’ve moved.  I have left those emotional connections and everyone I know.  I’ve moved out of state.  I’ve had to find housing from a distance.  I’ve known the expenses.  Which brings us to 2015 and my latest move.