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You know, you’d think I lived here or something…

November 20, 2007, 11:30 PM

Yeah, based on my activities today, you’d think I lived in Maryland or something. Today, I finally got a Maryland driver’s license. Emphasis here on “finally”. I’ve lived here for what, six months now, and I’m just now finally getting the Maryland license. So that took me a while.

Of course, I’m pleased to have a license that once again agrees with the state where I actually live. Now whenever I get carded for the Manischewitz that I occasionally buy, the birthdate will be nearer the center, vs. in Virginia, where it’s towards the edge and partly blocked by the edge of the pocket in my wallet. Likewise, when I go to the bank and they ask for my ID, now it agrees with what’s in their systems, since I changed that to my Maryland address right away online.

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Well, that was fruitless.

May 28, 2007, 5:12 PM

Turns out I can’t order any of it online. It’s all in-store only. Drat. It means I have to brave that which is Ikea in person again. Well, I’m going to be sleeping on the couch for a while, since I’m not going back there today. But at least I have my list. Next time, when I’ve properly prepared myself mentally for this adventure, I will get the stuff.

And I’m going to go with someone next time I go, I believe. Mom’s likely going to come up on the third weekend in June, and so maybe we can go to Ikea then.

Still, though, I’m just glad that everything’s starting to come together in the apartment. It’s starting to feel like home.

With my desk and real computer in place, it’s really starting to feel like home in here…

May 27, 2007, 11:52 PM

At last, the Lappy is back to being the “other” computer. My real computer is all set up. My desk is together, and feels a lot like the old one. Sure, the color is slightly different and the edges are rounded, but it feels like home. I like it. It certainly says something about a desk when you have to replace it, and replace it with an exact duplicate.

I also upped the resolution on my monitors while I was at it. Working on the Mac in my office and also on the Lappy made 1024×768 on this computer look huge. So I upped my resolution to 1152×864. This harmonizes with the Lappy and my office Mac.

And now that the computer desk is set up, I only have one thing left to acquire. I need a bed. I’ve been sleeping on the futon couch in my living room. It’s not a bad bed, but I don’t particularly like sleeping in the living room, especially when I’m paying for a one-bedroom apartment and not an efficiency. So tomorrow I’m going to Ikea in College Park and going bed shopping.

This might also be an opportune time to go over to College Perk and have a cup of joe. After all, they’re both on Baltimore Avenue in College Park. You may recall that this is where my friend Rose used to work. I’ve been to it three times in the past on DC trips. Depending on how close it actually is to Silver Spring, College Perk might just become my equivalent to Daily Grind in Staunton, which you may recall is where I spent many happy hours with the Lappy and a cup of coffee during my unexpected six-week vacation.

And now, it’s late. Good night!

I have a cell phone, and I have a desk.

May 25, 2007, 5:49 AM

Everything showed up Thursday evening. The desk showed up right outside my door, and the phone sat right next to it. So life is good. And I didn’t have to be a he-man, either, since the desk was brought right up to the door. So all I had to do was drag it in. If they had left it at the main door to the building, I would have had to drag it up three flights of stairs. And then I could have saved myself the trouble and brought up the old desk.

So, yeah, I’m happy. Cell phone is working again, same number as before, so text away. And I’ll be putting the desk together this weekend.

Wireless Internet is now set up in my apartment…

May 22, 2007, 9:17 PM

Okay, everyone. I’m online in Silver Spring. I’ve set up a wireless network, and the Lappy is online. My real computer comes online once I get the new desk set up. That will be a breeze now that we know that everything else works.

So life is good. I can now go sit out on my balcony with the Lappy and send messages to people and surf the Internet.

Now what I’d like to know is what the heck did I need to have the cable guys over for? All they did is bring the cable box and such and hook the cables into the jack. Big whoopty-doo. They didn’t have to fiddle with anything outside. They just went in, hooked it up, and left. I could have done that myself and not have to wait around the house.

But at least it’s set up now.

Categories: Internet, Move to DC area

Two days from now, I will have a phone.

May 21, 2007, 6:33 PM

Good news! I will have a cell phone again two days from now. Verizon is sending me a replacement phone after the first one got crushed during my fall in Logan Circle. So all in all, good deal. I backed up my contacts, and so that’s not an issue. I am, however, going to have to download all my games again. But at least I’ll be whole again, after I mail back the old phone. My apologies for being out of contact for so long, but you know what they say… stuff happens.

Otherwise, the cable guy comes tomorrow and sets me up with TV and Internet service. I can’t wait. I’ll be able to, like, update the Web site and check my Email and such again. As it is, the computer’s up here now, but it’s just not set up yet due to lack of a desk (which is on its way). Then on this long weekend coming up, I might see about finally getting a bed. Sleeping in the living room on my futon when I’m paying for a one-bedroom apartment is not a good thing, since the bedroom is basically wasted right now.

So that’s what’s going on.

Trust me when I say that carrying a large desk up three flights of stairs is not my idea of fun.

May 19, 2007, 11:44 PM

First of all, hello from my parents’ house in Stuarts Draft.

In continuing to outfit my apartment in Silver Spring, I’m bringing my real computer up with me this time, and it will get set up in a little corner of my apartment. And then I’m going to have Internet service on Tuesday, so all in all, life is good. And the first week with my new employer was awesome. Now I’ve kind of caught onto how this whole thing works, and I feel confident. It’s not like the first day anymore, where my level of anxiety was so high that I could barely eat my cereal in the morning, and forgot the lunch that I’d packed.

So what does this have to do with the desk? Well, the original plan would have had me returning to Maryland with the computer in the Sable, and the desk in either the truck or the Sienna, depending on who went with me. Then in looking at the cost of gas to take a second car back and forth to bring this large piece of furniture to Maryland, we realized that it wasn’t exactly a worthwhile proposition. Thus we had a slight change of plans. My parents will put my computer desk of nine years to work for them. Translation: It’s staying. Meanwhile, I went to Staples and ordered a new desk. It’s identical to my original desk in almost every way, except that it’s a lighter shade of brown (I don’t know what you call the original desk’s color, but the new one is “natural oak”). And it’s getting delivered to Silver Spring. That satisfies everyone. No one, including me, really wanted to drag that thing up three flights of stairs. However, I liked the desk. It was sturdy and well-designed. I’ll happily put a new desk together on site after it’s delivered to my door, and I’m sure my parents will like the old desk.

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Sable is packed to the gills…

May 11, 2007, 9:53 PM

I don’t think I’ve filled a car so full since I left Potomac Hall at JMU for the last time back in 2003. Back then, I had the Previa stuffed to the gills with my junk from the dorm. Now, I have the Sable filled to the brim with my stuff, headed for Silver Spring. That car is literally packed full. The back seats are folded down, and I’ve put stuff in every possible spot. There’s even stuff sitting in the passenger seat. I just hope the car doesn’t think it’s a passenger and sound the seat belt alarm when I get going. That would look odd to have the seat belt buckled over there, to keep the alarm quiet.

It reminds me of a rhyme by Muffy from Today’s Special:

There was an old woman who lived in a hat,
With fourteen kids and one smelly cat.
The hat was bulging, filled right to the brim,
And inside, things were looking mighty grim.
And then when the woman came back with one more kid,
The hat shouted, “Fifteen!” and blew its lid!

That was then followed by the top flying off a nearby top hat. But yeah, I think if I put anything else in there, the car will shout, “Fifteen!” and blow its lid, too.

One thing that I will really appreciate with this run for stuff is the lamps. Those four torchiere lamps that I have are coming, and will be placed in strategic locations in the apartment. It’s helpful because there are few light fixtures in the apartment, and lots of switches attached to electrical outlets. Thus since I brought no lamps on the first run, I had to kind of find my way around in the dark upon leaving the apartment, feeling for walls and furniture, to avoid running into them, and the subsequent cursing. And I don’t particularly like to swear, though I’ve been known to let them fly fairly easily.

Speaking of swearing, I remember something I did for a professor at JMU that both the professor and I found amusing. He said that we could write whatever on the tests themselves, “Just don’t write any swear words.” So I decided to be a bit of a wiseguy. I wrote “SWEAR WORDS” in all caps near the top of the test paper. Not actual dirty words – literally the phrase “swear words”.

All in all, I’m excited about living in the DC area…

A little housing update for you…

May 11, 2007, 8:24 PM

Just so you know, I am now partly moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland. It’s nice, too. It’s right up the road from Glenmont station, and also close to shopping. Westfield Shoppingtown Wheaton is very close to where I live, and it’s home to a two-story Target store.

By the way, shopping with a cart across two levels is interesting. There are two escalators. One for you, and one for your cart. Basically, you put your cart in the special cart escalator, and then you ride (roughly) next to it on a conventional escalator. Shopping in a two-story Target is certainly something, but it’s kind of fun. Target is also so much cleaner than Wal-Mart, which always impresses me when I shop there. They also trust that their customers will do such simple things as flush the toilet and turn off the sinks, which Wal-Mart does not. Wal-Mart has automatic sinks and flushers which don’t work half the time. Target has faucets with handles, and flush handles on the toilets.

By the way, I outfitted much of my apartment on my first trip to this Target in Wheaton. I blew $300-some on stuff for the apartment, across two shopping carts. That’s the most I’ve ever spent at Target. Prior to this, I don’t think I’ve ever spent more than $20 in a visit to Target.

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Look what I found!

May 7, 2007, 12:06 PM

I’m going through and cleaning stuff out in preparation for the big move to DC, and I found this:

Mrs. Maidt's fourth grade class, 1990-1991

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Categories: Move to DC area, School

Now I really know where I’m living!

May 5, 2007, 4:50 PM

After the first apartment deal fell through, and we found out what a bunch of slimeballs they were, I found another apartment up the road from the other one, and I can move in immediately. And unlike the first one, the new place showed me the actual apartment – not a model. Top floor, private balcony, and a huge walk-in closet. And rather than being nine pages, this application was only one page and took two minutes to do.

And as I mentioned, I can move in immediately. That means that when I go to DC on Tuesday with Katie, I can finalize the deal and start moving in. And I can go right to the apartment, and not spend a week with Matthew Tilley in Reston (though that would have been fun).

So rather than go to Ikea, since the first apartment deal fell through, Mom and I went to Wheaton and did more apartment hunting. And I think I’m going to enjoy it in Wheaton. Nice area.

And now, I have to move…

Categories: DC trips, Move to DC area

And it looks like I know where I’m going to be living in DC…

April 30, 2007, 7:35 PM

As things presently stand, it looks like I’m going to be living in Wheaton, Maryland. The apartment is going to be nice. It’s got one bedroom and one bathroom, a good-sized living room, an eat-in kitchen, another separate dining area, and – the best part – a balcony. The balcony was the clincher for this deal. One thing I never liked about dorm life was having to go halfway across the building to be able to go outside. Now, I’ll be able to go out onto a balcony right off the living room. Sweetness on a stick.

And it’s within walking distance of Glenmont Metro.

However, here’s the kicker – the apartment won’t be available until May 20. The job starts May 14. This is when you find out who your true friends are. Matthew Tilley and his mother are letting me stay with them for that week before the apartment becomes available. So for a week, I’ll be living in Reston, and taking Metro to work from Vienna. Then that Friday, I’m going back to Stuarts Draft, getting a whole lot of stuff together on Saturday, and then moving into my apartment on Sunday. That will be when Wheaton becomes “home”, and Stuarts Draft officially becomes “my parents’ house”.

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It’s a very satisfying feeling…

April 20, 2007, 2:11 PM

It is a very satisfying feeling to shred a pile of junk mail. All I do is sit down at my desk, open each piece, confirm that it’s junk mail, and then, in a stunning finale…

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

And it’s shredded into confetti. Yes, I shelled out the extra few bucks for the cross-cut model back when I bought the shredder.

Meanwhile, I’m going up to the DC area on Tuesday to scope out a potential apartment in Wheaton. If I get that apartment, it would put me on the same line as my job, which is near Dupont Circle. That means I wouldn’t have to transfer, though it would be something of a long Metro ride, going from Wheaton to Dupont Circle. But we can handle that if need be.

Additionally, if I end up leasing that particular apartment, I will have wasted $35 in Virginia state registration fees, since the apartment is in Maryland, and so I’d have to get Maryland plates, etc. Since the Sable’s registration is up in April, I had to re-up my registration, and I did that yesterday at the DMV in Waynesboro with Katie. Believe it or not, I was in and out at DMV pretty quickly. I always say that Virginia DMV offices remind me somewhat of a game show. You get your number, and then you wait. Then a chime sounds, and the voice says, “Now serving B213 at window number eight.” Two signs flash. The sign over your designated window flashes, and the main sign in the middle of the room flashes, “B213 please go to Window 8,” with a little arrow pointing left or right. When that goes off, I’ve wanted to shout, “I won! I won!” What they really ought to do is get Rich Fields from The Price is Right to record the announcements. Imagine if you will: “B213! Come on down! You’re the next contestant on The DMV is Right!” And add a little music, and you’ve got it. Of course, in the end, you don’t win anything – and you probably will have to pay them money. But it would add some spice to the otherwise boring DMV office.

Categories: Move to DC area

I am moving to Washington DC!

April 18, 2007, 6:30 PM

I am happy to announce that my days at Wal-Mart are over, as I have finally found a job in Washington DC! I will be working for Food & Water Watch in Northwest DC. Needless to say, I am excited.

I would like to thank the following people for their roles in helping me get there… first of all, thank you to my family for putting me through college, and to the student advising people at JMU for getting me out of the College of Business and into the Public Administration program. Thank you to all of my friends in Augusta County, etc. for their encouragement and support whenever I started feeling discouraged. Thank you to all of my friends in the DC area who also lent me encouragement and support in my quest to find gainful employment up in DC.

And in an odd twist of things, I’d like to thank Dorinda Wilson-Bowers and Lee Pinheiro at Wal-Mart… for firing me. Yes, I got fired from Wal-Mart on March 31 for what I consider specious reasons, which we won’t go into here. However, since Wal-Mart had become a very hostile and unpleasant place to be in my last month or so there, after the initial shock of getting fired (I’d never been fired before!), it was a great relief to be fired, because it meant that I no longer had to deal with this situation that was making my life a living hell, and where I used to dread coming into work every day. However, from the moment that they said to me, “You’re fired,” I made it my job to find a new job. And as you can see, I found one, and as it turns out, getting fired was the best thing to ever happen to me.

And throughout the time I was looking for a new job, I’d especially like to thank my friend Katie Shapiro, who really helped me through the day I got fired, and constantly kept me going like a true friend.

And to all of you that I’m leaving behind in Stuarts Draft, Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, etc., thanks for the memories.