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Several hundred bad words later, I have a new dresser.

July 29, 2007, 10:14 PM

First of all, let me preface this story by telling you that Mom came up to visit this weekend, and we went to Ikea in College Park. I’ve finally just about figured the place out, and so it’s no longer as intimidating as that first trip was back in May. Mom wanted to get some more silverware and various other odds and ends. In the end, we came out with a dresser for me, since I’d mentioned I needed to look at dressers since my present one was too small.

In the bedroom department, they had dressers coming out of dressers. Mom and I found a dresser that matched my bed – the “Hemnes” style. Very dark wood. And this dresser was really big, too. So after perusing the “marketplace” where Mom got more silverware and various other stuff, we went into their big warehouse and fished out the two boxes that the dresser came in, checked out, and brought it home in the Sable.

By the way, it’s a real you-know-what to carry that stuff up three flights of stairs. Just thought you ought to know that.

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First night in the new bed…

July 2, 2007, 6:03 AM

I had my first sleep in the new bed last night, and it was okay. The first night in a new bed is never five stars, because one is not used to it. But it’s going to be a wonderful relationship, I can tell. The bed is HUGE! This is a big upgrade from what I used to have. I used to have a twin bed from 1988, where the sleeping surface was only about a foot off the ground. This new bed, meanwhile, is what sleeping is all about. It’s queen size, and it’s got a box spring, a nice, thick mattress, and the sleeping surface is just below hip level.

Problem: I need a table or something to put next to the bed. I currently have this tiny little wooden box next to the bed that’s only about a foot or so tall. The bed is tall enough that I can’t reach the floor from the bed, so I can’t feasibly put like a book and a thing of water on the floor next to the bed. So it seems another Ikea trip is in order to get a bedside table.

Speaking of Ikea, I realize that they’re a multinational operation with so many languages spoken, but putting the bed together was a challenge using only the little pictures they showed. One of my neighbors said that you almost have to be a rocket scientist to put Ikea furniture together. But somehow, I made it.

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Categories: Furniture, IKEA

And now we’re in Stuarts Draft…

June 23, 2007, 3:02 PM

And now I’m in Stuarts Draft, where I’ll be until Sunday. Visiting the parents, and spending some time with others as well. I went and visited Katie on the way back in. That was fun.

Then here, Mom’s been busy. She’s already redone my old bedroom. The bed’s gone, and there’s this new nautical-themed futon in there now. In fact, Mom went nautical on the whole thing. She even used some of my old ship posters and such as part of the decor. Additionally, there’s a new coffee table, plus that chair Mom bought at Ikea.

Also, here’s a weird sight – going down to Stuarts Draft from DC in the daytime. I took nearly 100 DC trips over a litle more than three years, and offhand I can think of maybe two where the return trip was made while it was light out. It was weird. The trip was so different. I saw so many things I wasn’t used to seeing. I know what it all looks like in the light in the towards-DC direction, but not in the other direction.

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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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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

So will it be the “girl room”, or the “man room”?

May 2, 2007, 6:31 PM

That’s the question I’ve posed to my parents about my soon-to-be-former room once I completely vacate it. But first there’s a back-story to it.

When Uncle Johnny and Aunt Beth came to visit two weeks ago, they described about how they repurposed their three children’s former bedrooms now that they had all moved out. The idea was that rather than referring to the rooms by who’s not in them (i.e. “Kate’s old room”, “Jesse’s old room”, and “Jan’s old room”), they would refer to them by what they were now using the rooms for. Thus one bedroom became the “girl room”, another one became the “man room”, and the third became the “sewing room”.

Now in our family, there are only two children – Sis and me. And since no one in our family sews, we can scratch off “sewing room”. Thus if we were to follow Uncle Johnny and Aunt Beth’s naming system, we’d have a “girl room” and a “man room”. One will become fully vacant by June (I get the apartment on the 20th, but there is no way in hell that I am moving everything at once), and the other room will be vacant in August when Sis moves to Chicago with Chris, with whom she is engaged to be engaged.

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Categories: Family, House

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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