Monday, December 29, 2008

Last rant for '08

As you can tell, no xmas post. If you follow my tweets [cause I'm so ridiculously important] you knew I was at my in-laws who live so far out in south Virginia country even the cable company won't go there. It's about the one place Verizon isn't reliable, and I wasn't going to wrestle with her dial-up connection. Love blogging and all but it took my wife an hour to buy tix online 'cause the page kept timing out [I swear it was two tins cans and string technology]. But it was good family time. Lots of table-top foosball with Joy [I shoulda done the Dad thing and let her win every time but what's so character building about that?] and I made out like a bandit with the gifts. [Click here for my fav-thanks hon] Then it was back to the never-ending unboxing of the house that's still not done. But after a week I'm feeling blog-withdrawal, so here I am, the junkie getting his fix. 

It occurred to me as I was unpacking that I never vented about the wonderful chaos the Mayflower company referred to as my moving experience. Let me uncharacteristically start on a good note: nothing was lost. Every last bit of everything we owned made it safely halfway across the country. Well everything except some shelf they have on their list that no-one can remember or misses right now. But considering how it all got here, that in itself is a pretty freakin' HUGE xmas miracle. 

It started with a tragic underestimation of how many treasures [read:crap] we had crammed into our little split level in Kansas City. We aren't pack-rats by any stretch of the imagination, but we know how to cram. So when the moving truck showed up, there was only enough space for about 90% of our treasures [again:crap]. The driver was all full of swagger and bravado when he first walked in:"Oh yeah, we'll get it all on. Not a problem." Well it became a problem when his truck was bursting at the seams and there was still half a garage to pack. Driver with a lot less swagger: "Seems like you had more boxes than I thought you would." 

And here was problem number two: the lovely ladies who boxed up our treasures [you-know-what by now]. I knew I should've been worried when they huddled in their truck with the heater on for a smoke break every couple hours, but I try not to judge [I said I try...nobody's perfect]. A friend of mine told me if I don't want it packed either get it out of the house or sit on it. They weren't kidding. These gals packed EVERYTHING! Even the stuff they said they couldn't pack, like cleaning fluids. Even the empty broken trash can. Even the empty [and evidently precious] beer bottle sitting by the back door found its way back to me. I wouldn't have been so flabbergasted if the day hadn't started with a walk-through and a "tell us what you don't want packed." Obviously a wasted moment as I gingerly unpacked my slightly mouldy loofa sponge [now who's judging?] which I said to leave because I planned to shower the next day [soap got packed too!]. And they really wondered why they had so many boxes? Did they really believe I had a strong emotional attachment to three empty plastic bags?

Then I became intimately acquainted with the 'overflow routine': a second smaller truck; a trip to the warehouse for an undetermined length of time; a hunt for a new driver with room heading in the same direction; maybe a thrid-party shipper. Again I sing a small hymn of praise: this costed us nothing extra since it was their fuster-cluck to begin with. Five days later and against all odds [what with it being xmas] the second truck arrives with the rest of our boxes to fill the space we had just cleared [...*sigh*].

Unboxing has been qutie the adventure in itself. Unwrapping memories I forgot I had saved was sweet. Disagreeing on where to put things not so much. It's been contributing to the re-entry process Jen and I go through when we've been apart for a while. Even though we spoke every day, and even though we saw each other via the techie wonder of Google Video Chat [Skype sucks on Vista] almost every day, we still had to do our Space Shuttle routine: we enjoyed our time in space, there's no place like home, but those first few minutes in the atmosphere are bumpy and hot-things have to be approached at exactly the right angle or KABLOOM!! No more shuttle. The last couple weeks have been constant adjustments. But after a singed wing-tip or two, it looks like there'll be a safe landing.

Jen announced what I thought was an ambitious goal of a house-warming party in six weeks. I'm certain we'll be unpacking well into April, but by February the house should be in decent enough shape to entertain. One thing is absolutely clear: all things considered, we're never packing a u-haul ourselves again.