Thursday, October 21, 2010

Settled In -- Bleeding Stopped

We've settled into our new place almost completely -- and the money bleed-out has ended. I think finally getting our stuff Monday made me realize that, nope, I don't have to buy everything again. I could feel the contentment hitting. It was a good feeling.

We spent all of Tuesday and most of Wednesday unpacking. I'm not 100 percent on this -- but I think all of the boxes are out of the house. THAT is a marvelous feeling. We also were able to buy new bedroom furniture (something we've wanted to do for a long time) for a decent price from a local furniture store. It is also assembled and in place. Yay.

One of the downsides of moving -- at least military moves -- is that your stuff gets lost or broken. Military movers are notorious for this. While we are only missing a lamp (the shade for which did make it here and, yup, is broken), someone out there is missing a softball bat and a giant steel rod. How do I know that? Because they are sitting in our attic space.

At some point in the near future we'll submit a little form with all the broken and hurt things (lamp shade, all six of chairs dented and scratched, two IKEA dressers destroyed) and hopefully get some sort of compensation out of it. We'll have to replace some of those things (like the guest room bed -- they lost all of the parts, including the feet) but most of the stuff is "eh," and I wasn't that into it to start with -- it won't be missed. Hopefully this will mean a nice check for the savings account.

In other news -- if I'm not that upset about this stuff being broken or destroyed, why did I own it to start with?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sticker Shock

Remember back when I was all "I shall throw out everything I've ever owned because, alas, I have too much crap?"

Yeah, that was a good feeling compared to this feeling.

Because this is the feeling of spending tons of money, with no end to the splurge in sight.

It's not that we are buying things that I do not want ... it's just that I can feel my penny-pinching soul melting into the ground as I buy towels at Walmart instead of shopping around even a little bit.

This is the problem with things you need pronto. I'll hit up Marshalls and Home Goods to see if they have a cute little table for the entry way because life will continue on quite nicely without one for a bit. But that new second bathroom MUST be furnished.

Another killer: baby gates. If we want to paint without worrying about the child falling head first down a huge flight of stairs, we need a baby gate ... and I mean right this second. No time to look in a few thrift stores so that I can spend $15 on two instead of $80. That's the kind of savings that's worth the time ... but I don't have the time right now.

Then there are the really unavoidable things. In Washington we were able to keep our car insurance out of Ohio, where Luke's "home of record" is. Georgia is apparently populated by strict policemen who insist you have Georgia based insurance if you are a resident ... and so we had to switch our policy to this state at an increase of $150 over six months.

Uncool, Georgia. Uncool.

The good news in the midst of all this spending is that it means we do have a place to live -- a very nice place -- and that our stuff is coming Monday. (which is far away but ... I'm going to be positive about this).

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Lies America Tells You

There are lies, friend, embedded with the fabric of America. I will now share them with you.

During our cross-country adventure we wound our way through every National Park and forest that lives within a 40 or so mile distance from the route we wanted to take. We weren't really going out of our way to see them ... but if they were there we were taking a slight side route. It only makes sense, really. We were also stopping to see things that are not federally mandated parks but are important nonetheless. Like the "Corn Palace" (a palace, billboards tell you, made of corn) and "Wall Drug," (a big fat tourist trap that does, in fact, sell delicious donuts in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota).

It is during these adventures that I have discovered the Lies. Let me tell you about them.

1. Saw Tooth Mountains

Lies! I have no picture to demonstrate this but I can safely say that there are no saw teeth there - not a-one! - and they dont even resemble teeth. They are a smidge pointy. That is all.

2. Black Hills

Deceit! Not black! I know, this shocked me too. I thought surely at least the dirt would be black. But it wasn't. It was regular dirt color (brown) and the trees were average (green).

3. Craters of the Moon National Monument

False! Not formed from meteorites or anything even remotely space like! They are actually pointy rocks formed by lava. Way cool, but still -- false advertising, folks.

4. Yellowstone

Trickery! I drove all around that giant place and I did not see a single yellowstone. But I did see this pretty thing above. How cool is that?

5. Corn Palace

Deception! Palace made of corn, my foot. This place is just a big building with some corn husks stuck to it. Seriously, what a drag.

6. Badlands

I'll give this a "mostly false" because I can see how you would think they are, in fact, bad. ... if you had to travel through them with your cows. But we were driving and I think cows are smelly, so I thought they were "good."

.. and now you know.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dumbest Thing Ever? ... Could Be.

Yesterday marked a real milestone in my life -- I think I can officially rule the moment I watched my cell phone fly off the back of my car onto I-84 and under an oncoming semi-truck as one of the stupidest moments ever.

Or maybe just the moment I finally did something stupid that had very real consequences that affected no one, really, but myself.

I believe my exact quote was "Oh, no." (<---- but you have to imagine it being said like the character of "Pheobee" in "Friends" for it to have real impact.)

And if you think THAT wasn't quite stupid enough, you should know this: it wasn't the first time. I did the same exact thing the day before, only that time the phone stayed put ALL the way from the yogurt place on Steilacoom Blvd to my friend's house in Dupont (about a 20 minute drive ... and I was going about 45 mph top speed).

You'd think getting out of my car and finding my phone sitting on the trunk would've taught me to never put it there ever again. But it didn't. And so yesterday when I got out of the car at a rest stop to quickly help Dave before jumping back on the road (Luke was trailing in our second vehicle) and set my phone on the trunk while I took care of business I distinctly thought "don't forget you put that there."

... then I helped Dave, got back in the car and got back on the highway.

... and looked up just in time to see it go FLYING off the back, a black spot in my rear view mirror, hurling through the air, landing on the ground and bouncing SUPER high (that rubber case did its job!), landing back on the ground, skipping a foot or two and .... going underneath a semi where I'm assuming it met its final demise.

There's a lot of thoughts that go through your head in that split second. "Oh no," "well crap" and "I could go back and ... um ... yeah that's not going to work. So that's gone now" are among them. Because that was my only connection to Luke in the other car I pulled over on the shoulder to wait for him to pass, trusting he'd see the emergency flashers and join me shortly.

He did. And like a champ he offered to go back and look for it. I had visions of that ending with HIM squished under a semi so I said "um thanks Babe but... no." And we went on our way with a plan of where to meet up next.

The story ends just fine -- many of my contacts and my entire calender are synced with google, so I can get them back just dandy. I got a new blackberry (almost got a droid but decided to stick with what I know until the iPhone is an option). And all is right with the world.

But let this be a lesson to you: don't put your phone on your trunk! For reals.