Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Blah kind of mood...

Sorry for the downer tone of my title, I just am having trouble to get motivated to do anything productive last couple of weekends. I did find out I was suffering from allergies which may have been part of the problem, but I still can't get psyched up to finish unpacking. Today, my AC has been acting up in the apartment, and while it's fortunately not too hot yet, that has kind of sapped my energy also. Fortunately, the new apartment does appear to have very responsive maintenance, so I'll call it in tomorrow and it will hopefully be fixed by the time I get home. Had it been mid-summer here, I would have used the emergency maintenance number, but since the temperature is tolerable, I'm just saving on electricity this weekend instead.

My goals for the weekend were: work on unpacking, exercise, update my blog, do laundry, and study. So far, I'm doing my laundry right now (Sunday night!) and this is kind of a lame blog update.

I did see a doctor about the allergies and am now taking Claritin so that should help some. Part of my laziness just may be stress related to recovering FROM the move. This move was STRESSFUL. Without going in to details (yet), if I may make a suggestion to those who read this blog, avoid using a small company for your moving needs when the time comes for a long-distance move. And if you happen to peruse the Galaxy Van Lines site, run far, far away. I thought I'd save money by using them and after all was said and done, a full-service national moving company would have cost about the same amount! Oh well, live and learn. I will provide more details once I've unpacked more and can write about it without getting upset.

Training is going all right, Houston is fine, and aside from a couple minor paperwork issues at work (they seem convinced my last name is MANN JR. and not MANN which is screwing with my company email, among other things) the new company is a nice place to work. I am still waiting on a check for some relocation expenses but that's actually handled by a separate firm who I will be calling tomorrow.

OK, this makes two goals down (blog, laundry.) I'll do studying next. Unpacking and exercising probably are not going to happen this weekend, so I'll try and get a bit done each day during the week, and work out tomorrow after class.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Alive in Texas

For those few of you who have been looking for updates...I have survived The Move, and The Lazy Movers From Hell. Much more information on them to follow shortly. On a positive note, the job at the new airline is going great! We'll be in training for several more weeks though. Perhaps by the time training is complete, I'll be done unpacking...but don't count on it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Adventures In Public Transportation

OK, for all of you who read my HAWESOME news a few posts ago, you may remember I was worried about how I would afford the move. This is what I decided upon to make everything swing financially...I sold my car. Now, regular readers of this blog will know that I was very fond of my car. However, it was just a car, and it was all paid off, and since it was well maintained and had low miles for a 2001 model, it still had some good residual value. In addition to the cost of the move, I also owe money on my taxes this year...as well as the deposit plus rent on my new place, and rent through the end of May on my current place...so for this, and other reasons, selling the car seemed like the best decision right now. The RLA (really large airline) which just hired me is giving me a positive-space ticket to fly to the new city where I'll be living in.

I had originally listed my car in a nearby local paper at a moderately high asking price. Not over-the-top, just on the high end. I got no response. I attribute this in part to the fact I'm living in a smaller-sized market...not tiny, but not a big city either. Anyway, after my apartment hunting trip was over, and I received no calls, I decided to drop my asking price. That did the trick. I probably could have got closer to my original price had I been willing to wait, but my new job starts next Monday. I definitely got a lot more than I would have selling my car to a used car dealer.

I had a guy and his significant other come to check out my car on Sunday, which was a rather rainy day to look at the car, but at least it gave me an excuse for not washing it recently. They seemed to like it, although I had never really thought of it as a "family" car...but they only had one kid, and it is a sedan. They called me later that night to say they wanted to buy it...in fact, they wanted to pick it up on Monday after the got off work. I told them that was fine, but my going away get-together was already planned for Monday afternoon, and I had arranged for a ride home from that since I didn't want to worry about drinking and driving...so they agreed to meet me after my party was over at the local brewpub, pick up the car, and give me a ride back to my place, which was only a couple miles away. I was a bit on the tipsy side but not so far gone as to be slurring my speech or anything when I signed the car over to them. It's kind of funny to look back on it, but they really wanted to pick up the car ASAP, and that's how things happened.

Now let's fast forward to this morning. While I do live in a smaller sized town, they have decent bus service and my apartment is right on one of the bus lines. So, after a visit to the gym this morning and saying farewell to some of the people there, I decided to ride the bus to my bank to deposit the check. All fine so far. I had put the check in a folder so I wouldn't lose it, and I double-checked the folder on the bus to make sure that the check was there...then I put the folder down and neglected to take it with me when I got off of the bus.

Yup. You heard it right. Yours truly left a MULTI-THOUSAND dollar check payable to himself on a public bus.

Naturally, this had a somewhat traumatic effect on my mood once I realized this after my walk to the bank. I didn't start screaming in public, but I was close. I immediately called the bus company, which said the same bus was on the same route all day, and that they would notify the driver via radio I'd meet the bus to pick up my folder...but I was still worried someone took it or something. I walked back to the bus stop and waited for one of the longer half hours of my life. The bus finally showed back up and opened its doors, and I asked the driver if I had left a folder on his bus. He grabbed it and handed it to me, with the check still inside. I practically screamed "THANK YOU!!!" to him and my tension level ratcheted down several points. I then walked back to the bank and deposited the check.

After that, I decided to go get a haircut, which was long overdue. (The salon I go to was near the bank.) I have hair which tends to stick straight up if it's cut too short on top, which it was this time, but it's still a decent haircut. I swear, I get grayer every time I go to get it cut; however, I do still have my hair in my late 30's, so there's something to be said for that. My opinion is, I think gray hair kind of looks cool, plus if I get tired of it there's always the Grecian formula option. At the same time, it does remind me that I'm not a kid any more. The results of the haircut are posted below for your enjoyment.




After the haircut, it was back on the bus to go visit my chiropractor. After my recent back issues, I decided it would be prudent to go in for a final adjustment prior to the move (even though I'm not doing anything but packing.) He agreed we'd come a long way since December and that I seemed to be doing fine. I finished off the day by doing a bit of shopping for clothes at the mall located near his office (I needed some new Dockers) and then a final bus ride back to my apartment.

I am starting to pack and clean my old apartment beginning tomorrow. I imagine that the computer will be one of the first things that gets packed (after I finish doing all my various computer style errands like paying taxes, balancing my checkbook, paying bills, and changing my address) so that it won't be a tempting distraction FROM my packing. I can be very lazy about starting a job like cleaning or packing, but once you start, you really build momentum. So this will probably be my last post until I arrive in Texas to start my new job.

See you in Texas!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Hospital Chronicles, Indexed

Greetings all. As a quick summary guide to my first blog series, I've decided to index them all in one post for easy reference. Here we go:

Part I: Birth
Part II: Horse Sense
Part III: Driving Range Adventure
Part IV: Go-Cart Crash
Part V: Car Crash
Part VI: A Flash Of Stupidity
Part VII: Winter Fun In New England
Part IX: A Voluntary Experience

Yes, I know there's no Part VIII. I skipped that one on purpose. Can't blog about EVERYTHING, ya know.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

April Fools

Well, I should be busy packing, but progress is slowly being made, so I thought I'd celebrate today by reminiscing about a couple of memorable pranks.

The best prank I ever pulled was when I was visiting my friend's house in Tuscon and he was gone for the day...leaving me at home, with access to his answering machine. I changed it to say, "I'm too drunk to come to the phone right now, but if you leave a message, I'll call you back as soon as I sober up!" I should note that he wasn't job hunting or anything at the time, otherwise I wouldn't have pulled that one. The hard part was, he didn't notice I did it for like three months. Someone he worked with finally told him to call his answering machine when they were out at a bar somewhere. I don't think I'll ever top that one, personally.

The funniest prank I ever heard of was a high school prank where these two guys convinced one of their friends that the local Dunkin Donuts was a front for a prostitution operation, and that the secret phrase to get hooked up with a hooker was to order a dozen jelly donuts. Evidently the guy tried it and came out all puzzled looking with a dozen jelly donuts in a box while the other guys waited outside in their car. They told him, "I don't know, dude, maybe you're just not saying it right!" I can just imagine him going back in and trying it again..."No, no, a dozen JELLY donuts..." While this story could be urban legend material, I can actually see someone in high school being naive enough to fall for it.

Have a fun and safe weekend, everyone.