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

2 minute read

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.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Family, House

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

2 minute read

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”.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

It’s a very satisfying feeling…

2 minute read

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…


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!

2 minute read

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.

This Thursday, the kitchen counters go in…

< 1 minute read

July 26, 2006, 1:18 AM

Mom found out today that our new kitchen counters are going in this Thursday. These new countertops are STONE. Mom actually went to Roanoke to pick out a slab of granite a few weeks ago that would become our new counters.

I am impressed. So on Thursday, they go in. And we had nearly fourteen years with the old counters. The old ones were cheap counters with some sort of laminate on top of them. These new ones are nice. I’m told that if you put something really hot on them, that the worst that will happen is that the surface will get hot for a while.

So that ought to be nice. And so preparing food will be a touch tricky for the next few days while they put it in.

Otherwise, today I ran the first vertical photo feature since the main page was redesigned. And it’s from my very first protest back on April 12, 2003 of a black bloc demonstrator. Boy, oh boy, oh boy… that was an interesting protest. The word “greenhorn” comes to mind to describe how I handled that event. I had never heard of a black bloc back then, and I had certainly never seen masked demonstrators before in real life. But this was real life, and there they were. And I never thought that three years out from that first demonstration, that I would have participated in a black bloc six times.

But seriously, though, if you look at the April 12, 2003 protest and compare it with something more recent, like Night March, you’ll see a big difference. The first one is very much an account of a first protest, while the other one comes from a more seasoned participant.

Categories: House, Schumin Web meta

Tonight, I pledge a set of kitchen chairs!

2 minute read

May 13, 2006, 9:24 PM

I have two cans of Pledge (as in the furniture polish) so that I can work on a set of chairs we used to have in the kitchen and then stored off-site.

A little history for you… we bought the table (which is still in storage off site) at Freight Sales Furniture in Bentonville, Arkansas right before we moved to Virginia.

Freight Sales Furniture, for those of you who don’t know, is (or was, I don’t know) a small furniture chain that had locations in Joplin, Missouri, and also Fort Smith, Springdale, and Bentonville in Arkansas. Their spokespeople were Lurlene Freight and Lois Price. Lois Price had a thick southern accident, curly blond hair, and was a touch overdressed. Her big line was, “Remember, if you’re looking for Lois Price, I’ll always be at Freight Sales Furniture!”

Anyway, we set up the table in the house here, and that’s where it lived until 2003.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: Advertising, House

Spring cleaning…

< 1 minute read

March 18, 2006, 10:12 PM

Spring is a matter of a few days away, and I figure I might as well clean something. The junk I’ve collected since last I cleaned is starting to choke out the floor space, so something needs to be done.

My goal is to reclaim some space so I can empty out a storage unit that we’re renting that contains stuff for a future DC-area apartment that I’m long overdue in getting due to my inability to secure a job up there.

So all in all, it’s time to eliminate some fluff. I’ve got this dark corner in my room behind the recliner that I could use to hold stuff, plus the closet is still mostly empty from last year’s cleaning-out. Still, it ought to be fun.

Categories: House

The toilet is in the bathtub!

2 minute read

July 25, 2005, 5:17 PM

So what’s missing here?

Notice anything missing?

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: House, Weather

It only took me a month, but it’s done!

3 minute read

June 29, 2005, 11:41 PM

Yay! The closet is clean! It only took me a month to do, but the closet is completely devoid of all of my crap. And I took no prisoners. Sixteen tubs’ worth of crap went to the landfill. I have one tub’s worth of stuff that I’m keeping/selling/donating. Not much came out of the closet that was of any worth, though.

I did find some interesting stuff, though. One was an old videotape of early-1990s television that I had been looking for on and off for years. Turned out it was in my old toy box the whole time. How it got there, I don’t know. But that tape was a lot of fun to watch again. It contains, among other things, a re-airing of the original 1990 pilot of America’s Funniest Home Videos. Let me say this about it. The pilot was awful, but it showed great potential.

Speaking of my old toy box, we found it, and it’s in pretty good shape. I cleaned it completely out, and Mom and I are going to refinish it. Right now, it’s got some splinters in it, mostly around the edges, it’s got some weird marks on it, and some discoloration. So we intend on sanding it and painting it before it sees a new life storing whatever it is that I choose to put in there. It could hold a lot of stuff.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

You’ve heard of Deep Dish? This is what we call “Cheap Dish”.

2 minute read

June 25, 2005, 5:45 PM

Yes, tonight, dinner consists of what I call “cheap dish pizza”. In other words, Great Value is the name of the game. Store brand pizza. Whoopty-doo. Of course, on a Wal-Mart income, that’s what it’s about. Still, that ought to be pretty good.

Meanwhile, Mom’s been organizing and rearranging things in my bathroom lately. I have two words for it: BAD IDEA. She completely rearranged all the stuff in my bathroom that I use on a regular basis. In fact, it’s been in the same place for so long in there that I can reach for it all while still half-asleep (and sometimes do end up doing just that). So Mom rearranged. A big handful of my Q-tips ended up in a container on top of the toilet. My blue toiletry tote that sits on the counter and contains all my toiletries was missing, and the contents scattered all around the bathroom. My toothbrush was in a holder elsewhere in the bathroom. My flosser was in there, too. My deodorant was in the closet. So was my dental floss on a string. And then while the flosser was in the aforementioned holder (that had always been known for being downright nasty), the floss clips that fit it were in the closet. All on different shelves all over the bathroom. And my toiletry tote was in the bottom of the closet, empty.

Needless to say, this rearrangement of my stuff without even so much as telling me was not wanted nor appreciated. My Q-tips went back in the box. Q-tips are for cleaning ears, not for display. That little container went back in the closet empty. My tote came back out. And all the stuff that went in it went back into it in the proper places. Everything I needed to use regularly went back where it was before. When I am ready to rearrange, then I will rearrange. And for someone who doesn’t even use that bathroom to come in and totally rearrange it really irritates me.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Cleaning out another corner of the closet…

2 minute read

June 15, 2005, 7:30 PM

It’s really amazing what I found in this wing of the closet. First of all, I managed to fill up two tubs’ worth of crap that’s getting hauled out (and I’m not even finished with this corner yet).

I did, however, find a whole bunch of pictures (a few of which may end up on this part of the Web site), three cents, and, of all things, the Grimes Good Egg pin that I got in May of 1989 (second grade).

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Good Egg Award is basically a student-of-the-month kind of award, given to one student in each class at Bonnie Grimes Elementary School. Officially, the award is given for “good citizenship”. Though it really was more of a “teacher’s pet” award. And you could tell, too, because the same faces got the award every year, and those kids would wear ALL their Good Egg award pins at once, which always irked me, since until the end of second grade, I’d never gotten the Good Egg award.

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: House

I only cleaned out a little tiny section, and I’m well on my way to three tubs of refuse!

< 1 minute read

June 2, 2005, 8:43 PM

Well, I procrastinated all Wednesday and much of Thursday, but I did get started on Thursday evening. And this is going to be a BIG job. I only cleaned out a little bit of stuff on the floor and ended up with two full tubs of refuse, destined for the landfill, and one tub with the stuff that I’m going to keep, sell, or donate.

It’s interesting what I found, too. A lot of it was literally trash. Paper. Empty boxes. Old, dried-up markers and stuff. I did find three new Sharpies, though, which I’m going to keep.

I also found some old clothes that I didn’t realize I had. I have an old “CFW Information Services” shirt still new in the plastic. That shirt is going away. Look for it in a thrift store near you. I also found a bunch of old, obsolete computer books, and some old textbooks from when Mom was a teacher before, back in the 1970s. Mom taught in New Jersey from 1973-1981, had me and then Sis, and didn’t go back to teaching until 1997.

Speaking of which, today was the last day of school for the county, and Mom tells me that her students all lined up at the end of the day for hugs. How cute!

But anyway, though, I can already tell that this project is going to require quite a few trips to the landfill to dispose of all the stuff that my Schumin High Intensity Target locator (think about that for a moment) came up with.

Categories: House

The enemy has been identified, and we shall clean its clock…

< 1 minute read

June 1, 2005, 11:43 AM

This is the enemy, as identified by the Super High Intensity Target locator (I’m not even going to give you the acronym for that one – figure it out yourself):

The closet

Continue reading...Continue reading…

Categories: House

And we managed to get something accomplished…

< 1 minute read

May 6, 2005, 10:49 PM

So I didn’t make my goal of getting everything out of Sis’s room. So sue me. But I am almost there, having gotten everything out except for one nearly-empty tub and some small odds and ends. I’ll tackle that after work tomorrow. Still, I’m proud of myself. I got most of the junk out, and I placed it all in a corner of my room that would otherwise sit idle due to the way the furniture’s positioned.

And then once I get the rest of my junk out of Sis’s room, I’m going to start on the closet. I suggested that we just park a dumpster outside my window, but Mom shot that one down. Seriously, though, most of the junk in my closet is just that – junk – and needs to be given the old heave-ho. I think I’ll start with the floor and once I clear that, I’ll work my way up to the shelves.

All in all, it will be a very liberating feeling indeed to be rid of all that junk.

Categories: House

Productivity is the name of the game today.

2 minute read

May 6, 2005, 2:32 PM

Today, being off from work, I’ve decided to tackle some things around the house.

My main goal for today is getting all of my junk out of Sis’s room. I put it in there way back in January for a planned cleaning up/out in my room, with the intention of ultimately cleaning out the closet and unloading tons of crap-ola that I don’t ever use. Heck, I haven’t even touched the closet in some years, so this ought to be interesting when I eventually get around to it. My original plan was to do all this clean-up work in February. But with the whole to-do that ultimately led to the surgery at the end of that month, the project was shelved. A shame, indeed. I still do intend on cleaning out the closet, though. Just give me time.

I’ve also started a few eBay auctions for old stuff of mine that I think might be worth something. They are a Chick-Fil-A Christmas cow, Lethal Enforcers for Sega CD, a University of Arkansas vanity plate, an IBM PS/2 keyboard, and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Official Fan Club Video. If you find any of this interesting, please bid.

Otherwise, life is good. I’ve gotten into a very nice rut at work. 7 AM to 4 PM, and off Wednesdays and Thursdays. I used to grumble at the thought of mornings, but then after having quite a few of them, they’ve come to grow on me. Now I like the mornings, and it’s nice to get in early and get out while the best part of the day still lies ahead. I don’t know what I did to get all these mornings, but I’m certainly not complaining!

I also can’t believe it’s been a week since I last wrote in here! I’m usually far better than that. I like to write in here every couple of days at the very least. But a whole week… goodness!

Categories: House