In transit

Moving is stressful. Moving out and being homeless for a week before moving in is VERY stressful. But after double-checking and triple-checking that everything would go smoothly, I told myself to relax and stop being paranoid before I made myself crazy to no good end.

And that’s when everything went to hell.

I called U-Haul the day before I moved to absolutely triple-check my reservation and confirm the pickup place and time, and was assured everything was fine. So I woke up, finished packing, and when Uri, Sam and Jody showed up, I went with Jody to rent the van. At the U-Haul lot. Which didn’t exist.

We combed the neighborhood for an hour. Nothing doing. Found a payphone, called the place, which assured us there was a lot right there. Asked around, and found another U-Haul place two blocks away… which was gutted. After TWO HOURS, we found a U-Haul place, in a whole other neighborhood, by sheer accident. It was closed.

At this point, I’m completely freaking out. The guys refuse to admit defeat, explaining that their masculine prowess will be called into question if they can’t solve this for me. Can I just say at this point how much they rock for doing this? All three of them did the impossible here.

Back at my apartment, we called up U-Haul and demanded to know what was going on. Customer service assured us that I had picked up the van on time with no problems, which was news to me! We finally got them to refund the money, at least, and had to hire a livery cab to shuttle my stuff in small batches to my new apartment, where I was previously assured I could store stuff in the basement this week until the current tenant moves out.

There’s no basement storage. The landlord’s father says I can maybe store some stuff in the narrow main hallway if it won’t block foot traffic. They’re also renovating the hallway, and the walls are half-stripped of paint.

By 3:30 AM, a third of my stuff is in the hallway of my new Harlem apartment. A third of my stuff is hidden carefully in my office in the hopes of not getting me fired or letting security in on the fact that I’m sleeping in my dad’s office in the same building for the homeless week, which would get both me and my dad in trouble. And a third of my stuff is in my brother’s apartment in Brooklyn, over an hour away. We also took off for two hours to watch X-Men at midnight to keep our spirits up, because boy, we so needed a good movie right then. And then I woke up at 7:00 AM to scrub my old apartment for the move-out inspection which, thank God, actually went off without a hitch.

Over the next week, I have a Lyme disease test, Shavuot, my regular work, and I somehow have to move all my stuff from its scattered locations to the new apartment. Oh yeah, and I’m scared I’m gonna be kicked out of my dad’s office and get them mad at my dad for letting me stay there, and I’m worried about my stuff screwing with the hallway renovations and vice versa. Plus, this is a lousy way to start off my relationship with my new landlord, who is probably not going to like me very much by the time I move in. All in all, I’ve had better weeks.

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Obsessions

I’m moving in another week. Actually, I’m moving twice, as I have to be out of my current apartment a week before I can move into my new one, a fact that is causing me quite a bit of stress. I’m divvying my friends up into two sets, one to help me move out, the other to help me move in. But there’s still the issue of packing.

I decided not to pack my comic books, as I know from experience that the binders are a bitch and a half to box. So I’m carrying three binders at a time to work to sit out the move, which means a lot of logistics and swearing on the subway, not to mention trembly, tired arms. As I lugged the first three binders this morning, I calculated that since I collected loose comics for roughly eight years before switching to graphic novels, each binder represented roughly ten months of my life and a hundred dollars of babysitting money. (And these are the comics I’ve kept; there are another 200 issues I’ve gotten rid of, plus a whole shelf of graphic novels that are hella easier to pack!) It’s a little frightening to realize how much of myself I invested in a hobby I don’t really keep up with anymore. But even though I’ve moved on, I have to admit I’ve been waiting for someone at work to ask me what’s in the binders so I can show why I love Alan Davis so much.

Life changes, not mine

Busy, busy week! Tuesday night, my dad and I drove out to Rhode Island for my aunt’s retirement. Most of you are related to her and know exactly how cool she is, but for those of you who aren’t, my aunt is a city planner who got a doctorate back when women didn’t do that sort of thing. She did a tremendous amount of good for urban development, but she also had a huge impact on the women who came after her, creating a support network and mentorships in the previously male-dominated field. Tuesday night, person after person got up to say how incredible she was, and as each piece of praise unfolded, the enormous range and extent of her work in transforming communities was made clearer and more staggering.

Then today is the seminary graduation ceremonies, and I came in early to go to shaharit, where my dad gave a beautiful d’var torah on the laws of jubilee and Rashi’s question about what these laws are doing at Sinai. And now, off to the siyyum!

Sad News

My great uncle died Sunday night after a long and painful decline and today is the funeral. I only met him in person once, when I was eight, but the impact he had on my mother’s life, especially in these last years, was immense. My best memory of him was the summer I decided I was going to sky-dive, no matter what my parents said. I informed Uncle Mal of this over the phone, and the WWII quartermaster, completely unfazed, said, “I see. Tell me, do you ride a lot of rollercoasters?” When I said no, he said, “Spend two dollars on the Cyclone at Coney Island. If you still want to jump out of a plane after that, be my guest.” After riding the Cyclone and finding out what my spleen tasted like, I decided to save myself a few hundred bucks and give the extreme sport a pass.

Facepalm

One of my bosses just made a comment about him being pretty tech-savvy for an old guy. I meant to agree with him that he was tech-savvy and ended up sounding like I was agreeing that he was reeeeally old. Further attempts to extract foot from mouth made situation exponentially worse until I fled his office.

Sleep deprivation clearly cannot be sufficiently overcome by coffee.