Monday, July 23, 2012

Recent Past Update

Let's see, it's been an eventful July so far. The hard part is over... or the hard part that we knew of at the beginning of the month, that hard part is over. There's another hard part coming up.

We started out with Rebecca's birthday. That kind of fell apart: I had one idea for a party that didn't see fruition, and I tried to coordinate another party with a friend but didn't follow through on it, so he assumed the event was canceled. Which, in practice, it was. I tried to make up for that with some interesting gifts, one particularly hard to retrieve, so I hope Rebecca felt special even if she's married to a procrastinator.

Mid-month was when we moved out of the East Isles apartment (above Tao Natural Foods) and into the Fulton apartment, half a mile from the pricey 50th & France shopping district. The move did not go smoothly: Rebecca underestimated the outlandish volume of property we've accrued, so it took two guys four hours, instead of one hour, to move it all into the truck. But they called a third guy, and we pitched in, so we got it all hustled into the Fulton apt. within 45 minutes.

"I'm not an omen, but I can see how you'd be confused."
The Fulton apartment... I thought it was ungainly and queer, but Rebecca was convinced we'd love it and could make it work. That was before the inundation of off-gassing toxins from the new carpet in the front room (a long, narrow catwalk created by building a facade over the recessed front wall of the building) and the staircase; before we found the dead bird in the bathroom; before our as-promised free washer and dryer were swapped out with coin-op machines. Yes, they stripped the carpet and polished up a wonderful hardwood floor in two rooms. Yes, they installed a nice ceiling fan in what we're using for a bedroom. No, there are no light switches in any of the rooms, except one in the kitchen that doesn't seem to control anything. No, we have no idea how to supply power to the lights in the basement: sometimes they're on and sometimes they're off. No, we don't know where the water leak or the dead mice are coming from in the basement. Yes, the landlords have agreed to release us from our lease.

That means we'll be moving out at the end of August. I can only hope August is a slightly cooler month, temperature-wise, than July has been. I also hope, of course, that we can find another apartment before September. Rachel and David, my in-laws in the neighborhood, have generously offered to let us camp out in their household for as long as we need, so we have a support network.

Just in time for the company rebrand.
On the plus side, I was finally hired by the company I've been contracting for since April. I went through the whole interview process, I retook the editing test, and I was offered a position at the beginning of July. I was only too delighted to become a real boy. Now I come to life at work, looking forward to seeing everyone there and doing the work I love to do for a good cause. This is the royal flush of my career, without qualification or waiver.

Genuine happiness and community.
A couple weeks ago my mom went in for knee surgery. It was uneventful and she healed up quickly: they started her on exercises promptly, even just a machine in her bed that moves her leg for her so her knee doesn't get thick with healing tendons that would, ironically, impede her flexibility. Now she has a good 110 degrees of motion and last Saturday we picked her up at the recovery facility. We took her to Famous Dave's for her first time, had a celebratory lunch; she and I got celebratory haircuts at GreatClips for $6 each; and we helped her get settled into her home. Promptly, her neighbors stopped by to check on her and see how she was doing. It was incredibly sweet to see people come up and visit out of genuine concern. I don't know why that's such a novel and alien concept to me.

So... I'm just muddling through. The cable and gas bills are completely befuddled by the transfer of services so we've lost the luxury of auto-pay so our bills may be overdue, but I'll take care of that. I'm used to corporate incompetence; it's disingenuous to act surprised when these things go wrong, because they always and reliably go wrong. The stabbing headaches I get from the off-gassing carpets are finally beginning to subside, though one of our cats is presenting as sluggish and inactive: I think it's depression but Rebecca thinks he's poisoned from the fumes. Neither answer is reassuring. There has been no downtime for me (except staying late at work, which is peaceful and uplifting, which is a damned strange thing to say) or Rebecca, who I know desperately needs a quiet couple of hours. We've been so stressed, we've been squabbling with each other, but when things are quiet we're starved for each other. I really hope we can secure a new apartment, move all our bullshit in, throw half of it away (sell, donate, give to friends, etc.), and sometime in September forge a quiet evening to relax.

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