noideadog: (a plan!)
Decluttering websites focus on how to say goodbye to Stuff without separation anxiety. Dudes, I've said so many enthusiastic goodbyes, but the things just won't leave.

This is my problem: I would like 90% of my belongings to immediately leave my life, but I want them to go somewhere where they'll be useful. Tons of cleanup services exist, but they're gleeful about tons of junk going into dumps. The "decluttering" services are more coy about what happens to the once-clutter they "get rid" of, but it's not hard to guess. That stuff kills me. I can't do it.

But then the ethical options are so manual and painful and slow. Like, charity shops accept donations, but they each accept different categories of things, and moving stuff to them in bulk is awful without a car. I like the idea of Freecycle, but in practice it's slow and unreliable, and it means itemising millions of tiny unrelated things: one remote control for a mac, one combination lock, one metronome, four cork tiles, a case for a macbook air, a mosquito repellent kit, several notebooks, a cubic foot of comics (I usually put these outside, but if I give Warren Ellis to the neighbourhood kids, their parents will burn down my house), a first generation OLPC, a 4x4 ikea expedit, a saxophone stand, a mask from Sleep No More, a keyboard, cables, cables, more cables... and that's a subset of the stuff I can see from where I'm sitting in my little study. With Freecycle, this will take the rest of my life. I will have burned down the house myself by then. Some charity shops come collect, but... itemising. Pain. A staging area that takes up half the apartment. Probably divorce. It's risky.

There's the option of hiring a storage service that will come get stuff and paying to have it hidden like toxic waste forever, but, that's more mental than I am (yet). Though someone floated the idea of doing that and then not paying the storage company, so they'll try to sell things to recoup the cost. (Still no.)

What I really want is to hire a skip/dumpster, spend a week putting things into it, and leave it sitting outside for the good people of Brooklyn to scavenge from, then have someone else aggregate stuff into piles and deliver the clothes to Goodwill, the furniture to Housing Works, random bits of metal shelving to a recycle depot, blankets to dog shelters, etc, etc. I'd be willing... no, I'd be _overjoyed_ to pay for that service. This is New York City, you know? Every crazy service you can imagine exists. Why doesn't this one?
noideadog: (Default)
I'm going to the LOPSA PICC conference tomorrow, and am doing the last minute things you do before going to a conference, like booking a hotel room and finding out what city the hotel is in and how to get there. I was very entertained by their special note to people coming from NYC:

"A special note for people from New York City and Philly!

Don’t be afraid. It’s just New Jersey!
[...]
We know you don’t love New Jersey. But we promise that except for a 3-block walk from the train station to the hotel, you can stay indoors the entire time and pretend you are still in the city. We promise! (There are some amazing restaurants within 1 block of the hotel. It’s a shame that the registration fee includes all meals.)"

Nice work, folks :-) It's extra funny for me because I mailed my team this evening saying that I wouldn't be here tomorrow because I would be "in frickin' Jersey". (Sorry, Jersey). Though apparently it starts at 5pm, so I'll be in th office for a while after all. I should maybe pay more (any?) attention to things.

Is anyone I know going to this thing? Will I have to talk to strangers?
noideadog: (Default)
Damn. I was just remarking to myself that it's a good thing that Joel's back soon -- it's 3am and I'm eating crisps in bed -- when he texted to say that Eyjafjallajökull is keeping him in Ireland for an extra day. Can I last another day without becoming a mouldy hermit, shouting at squirrels? Time will tell.

Eyjafjallajökull, though. Seriously. Do you think any word in any news story has ever had a higher instance of being copied-and-pasted rather than typed? It's the newscasters I feel sorry for.



Edit: A second text from Joel says that all flights are booked out until Monday. The cat shook my hand, packed a little knapsack with tuna and shoelaces and left to seek her fortune.
noideadog: (buttercup)
You know when you have a flat surface in your house, like a kitchen table, and it gathers all of the stuff you don't really have a place for yet, like bills and notes and remote controls for things that don't really need them and pens and screwdrivers and paperwork and things. In theory you could decide to always immediately put things away and have a Defined Place for everything, but in practice it gathers until you get annoyed at it and move it to another part of the house. WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? Thank you for your time.
noideadog: (Default)
Partly to sort it out in my mind, mostly because I enjoy sharing the insanity, here's my schedule for the next few weeks:


Work:
Tuesday 8th - Tuesday 15th: On call 24x7.
Wednesday 9th: new dude starts on our team and I'm his designated mentor and question-answerer
Monday 14th: Self-assessment due for performance review season at work
Wednesday 16th: on a course
Thursday 24th: Peer assessments due for performance review season at work
Wednesday 30th: End of quarter. Should have finished all of the things I said I'd do this quarter and made a plan for the next quarter.

Apartment:
Soon? We hope?: Closing
Thursday 10th: boxes arrive
Thursday 17th: movers collect boxes. I sure hope we've closed by then.
After that?: Getting a cleaner in
Wednesday 30th: Lease ends in current place

Interesting data:
Sunday 20th: Joel goes to Zurich for a week
Monday 28th - Sunday 4th: Joel's parents are staying with us

Misc:
Thursday 24th: first class in Arabic III. Need to do a bunch of revision before then so I have a clue what anyone is talking about.


Needless to say, I'm looking for ways to measure and graph the experience. Here's some numbers I think are interesting when measuring stress levels: Hours asleep, [productive/non-productive] hours in the office, number of browser tabs and terminals open, tidiness of house, frequency of interruptions at work, self-estimated levels of pressure and tiredness, amount of time spent thinking about things that aren't related to the problem under consideration... whoops. Back to the codemines. (But do tell me things that are interesting to measure; gnuplot doesn't feed itself.)
noideadog: (monkey!)
Back from the Caribbean. In a cab to see Eric Clapton somewhere in Jersey. Have one comically enormous foot. My life, folks.
noideadog: (chimney rabbit)
Tailgating is brilliant. Only a vague sense of "didn't this elevator used to be a stairs" stopped me from trying to break into a stranger's apartment this morning to feed their cats. Right house number, wrong street. Very smart.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
Prepare to be impressed: I withdrew money from my branch ATM, then -walked away-, leaving the card sitting happily at the "Another transaction?" prompt. Not many people are smart enough to do that. Trying to resolve this situation while on the AirTrain was about as pleasant as you might imagine. My bank's website's location search is a dead link. Their card cancellation service has an automated component that won't proceed without an account number. The bank's published phone number has no options that end at a human. I would describe my mental state of twenty minutes ago as "unsettled".


Luckily, Joel (at a different airport just now, but also on the way to Dublin) did some magic to find the number of my branch, and a human there checked and found my card. I don't know for sure if it's been used, but probably not. I'm relieved and, as usually happens, I'm luckier than I have any right to be.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
What a lovely weekend I have had. Thanks to everyone who came to the party, and particularly effusive thank yous to Cian and Meaigs, the tentmakers; Matt, the gazebo-wrangler; OB and Raphaele, the suppliers of bin; Brid, the organised organiser of light, vegetables, tea-towels and much more; and Nina, Drew, DoC and Joel who did everything else. I love you guys. Seriously. You have no idea.

I had a perfect time. It's sad to think that we won't ever do that again. It's the end of a very pleasant era.

In other non-news, being busy and tired recently has made me feel guilty about not having my life more together and not getting enough done. I actually stopped to process this at the weekend though, with sitting down and thinking about it and not doing anything else at the same time. And, you know what? I need to shut the hell up. In the last two months I've visited Korea, Japan, Germany, India, Kerry and America, organised a party, entirely changed my plan for the next few years, started moving house and (lucky girl!) fallen in love. It's -probably ok- that other parts of my life are a bit neglected as a result. I resolve to stop giving myself a hard time, to slow down, and to be content with just enjoying life, enjoying work, and not doing anything much else for the rest of the summer. It is ok to relax. It is -good- to relax. (I accept that this is not rocket science, but I'm a slow learner when it comes to this stuff.)

What else? This week started with a phone call to eircom to get internets in the new place. The phone line will take two weeks, absolute minimum. I'm on call a lot in August, and not having internet means being at my desk at 8am (6 at weekends), instead of using the pager as an alarm clock. It's inconvenient, but I expect I'll live. We don't need to be out of the current place until the tenth anyway, and I've printed out a list of bitbuzz hotspots, and can hang out in those places too. It'll be fine.

Moving is not stressful yet. Soon it will be time to test my theory that I don't really have much stuff. When that turns out to be a pack of lies, well, there'll be stress then, I guess.

The rain's not optimal, but there's enough sunlight and brightness in between the storms to keep my brain regular. I'm feeling good about everything recently. 2007. For the freaking win, baby.
noideadog: (california)
The Shannon stopover is a pain in the arse. Get over it, Shannon. Nobody likes you. Stop being so needy.

A guy just passing was complaining about it too. "An hour and a half in Shannon! Soon as you go up you come right back down." His friend agreed: "Like riding a duck's back". Fantastic.

You know what? I packed my bag the night before last. You should have seen me, all together and organised and so very pleased with myself for being ready 24 hours in advance. "Bed at 11pm", I decided, "and six hours sleep, and maybe a pleased livejournal post about being a being entirely devoid of chaos. Hurray!". And then I stayed at work until after midnight and couldn't get to sleep at all. You can't win, can you?

If you're ever in Dublin airport and stuck for laptop power, most of the sockets around the C Gates don't work, but the one at the disabled toilets at C44 does.

My next three weeks are kind of chaotic. Like riding a duck's back. Counting stopovers and layovers and sleepovers and hangovers, I go to Dublin, Shannon, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, New York and Dublin. Check it out! Toronto! The BA strike meant [using reasoning I'm not clear on] that it wasn't prohibitively expensive to fly home from [livejournal.com profile] cliphsville. Luckiest girl in the school, me. Thanks, BA!

My bag was 9.7kg, but in my defence, a lot of that was hats. It's -11C in Toronto. Crazy shit.

Like riding a duck's back.
noideadog: (travel)
4am the night before a flight. Bag not packed. It's not even funny any more. But I did watch all the rest of Heroes. If you don't watch that, you should watch that.

Edit: 8:45am. Sorted! Back late Thursday night.
noideadog: (booze)
Remember the start of Four Weddings And A Funeral? That was my morning. I was wakened from a deep deep sleep by my taxi driver calling from outside. Fuck! And I couldn't find my wallet. Fuck! And I couldn't remember if I'd packed enough (any) clothes. Fuck! And had I written down the flight number? Fuck! And where's my taxi voucher? Fuck! And so on.

Improbably, I've checked in in plenty of time. I don't deserve to have. Seven hours ago, [livejournal.com profile] olethros and Victoria were explaining how I should leave the party and get some sleep, and I was reassuring them that It Would Be Fine. "I never miss flights!", I was explaining in confident tones. And several hours later I was outside [livejournal.com profile] natural20's apartment block, looking at my watch and saying "Oof". And an hour after that I was most of the way home, walking an unsteady drinkywalk and wishing for a taxi. And after that the rains came and I sheltered under a tree outside the Burlington, and then I was sharing a cab with some dude, it being tacitly agreed that getting out of the maelstrom was more important than whether we were even going in the same direction.

And then.. I fed the rabbits. The past is hazy, but I remember feeding the rabbits. There was a trek out to the washing machine too, so I may have put clothes into my bag, but that's a lovely surprise for when I arrive.

The taxi driver was a friendly, chatty man. I can't say that I held up my end of the conversation other than an unhappy "I think beer might not be good for you". "I've heard that", he said, "but I'll have to have some more before I can be sure."
noideadog: (chimney rabbit)
I cut my finger slicing mushrooms. And then I was frying the mushrooms and kippers together and I dropped kippery mushrooms into [livejournal.com profile] bringaisce's food by accident, and he hates fish. And then I dropped the other mushrooms on the floor. And then I accidentally let a page go through to my Californian counterpart on call person and woke him up at half six in the morning. And then I was getting my laptop power cable from under my bed and I knocked over a shelf full of junk and a metal trombonist fell on my head. Does anyone have an exquisite crystal vase or nuclear reactor they'd like me to take care of? I can guarantee Consequences.

I'm not especially competant today to be honest with you. But I'm in an absurdly good mood. And I'm wearing leg warmers. I suddenly remembered I'd bought them a few weeks ago, and I had the same moments of delight and exclaiming all over again as when I saw them in Dunnes. Leg warmers! They're the only part of the 80s I wished would come back. Except for maybe absurd hats. There should be more absurd hats.

Glen's in Cavan so I'm in charge of the hoppers. "Jump!", I command, and they snooze quietly. They're quaking really. They know who's the boss. Oh yeah.
noideadog: (meerkat)
I have to meet my parents off a plane in seven and a half hours. This is why I'm asleep right now and not fecking around on the Internet. Snore. Snore. Zzz. Idiot.

Something reminds me. Anyone know where I'd get a big map of Dublin for hanging on a wall? I'm willing to Pay Money.
noideadog: (california)
Half twelve. Taxi minus 210 minutes. I've almost started packing. Haven't showered. Haven't written down my booking number or apartment address. Almost considering winging it with what I have so far which is a passport, a powerbook charger, some clean socks and a note that I need to go to a hotel miles down the road from the apartment to pick up keys that will include the apartment number. Can't possibly go wrong.

Am almost certainly doomed. Will most likely be eaten by bears. Have mysteriously lost ability to use pronouns.
noideadog: (meerkat)
"Glen?"
"Wait, killing zombies.. ok. Yes?"
"This isn't something I ever expected to have to wonder about, but do you think this is maybe a bit low cut for the Vatican?"
"Good Jesus yes."

Heh. In one way I pity the people whose lamentable need for organisation means they never have conversations like this at 1am.
noideadog: (meerkat)
I saw a pair of magpies this morning, flanking the path in Herbert Park. This afternoon another couple stood in our garden, by all appearances greatly enjoying the springtime. By magpie mathematics, I am now 8% more joyful.

I have to be at the airport in five hours. I should probably sleep. Though I should probably pack a bag first. Actually, I should probably check that my passport is where I think it is and find out which airline I'm flying with and maybe write down the address of where I'm staying and find my camera and spare batteries and something to read on the plane and clean socks. Booking a taxi might not hurt either. Damn.

I am (probably) not bringing my laptop, unless I do. Quite possibly out of email coverage until late on Tuesday. The idea fills me with vague disquiet.
noideadog: (Default)
It's a measure of the general disorder of my life at the moment that today I was surprised to find my passport under some scribble paper in a laptop bag that's under my desk at work. I may not be the world's most organised person (heh), but I always, -always- know where my passport is. Always. Except now I don't. I have nothing left. Today I have become a being of pure chaos.

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