noideadog: (Default)
Day two in Carroll Gardens, which, I don't think I mentioned, is a traditionally Italian neighbourhood. This is fantastic because the Italians are as good as it gets, neighbourhood wise, if you like good food. Fresh mozzarella. Barrels of coffee beans. Locally grown vegetables. Pastry shops every two blocks. You buy a sandwich from a sandwich shop here, it's going to be an A1 perfect sandwich. Add in a weekly farmer's market, a fine cheeserie, a specialty chocolate restaurant, several good bars and one of the most complete beer shops on the planet: this place is a joy of food.

The rush of things to do has slowed down somewhat, and either this made me feel like I had time to crash, or a week of highly scheduled organised chaos finally caught up with me. Either way, I powered down unexpectedly this evening and couldn't boot again; I spent an hour sitting very still and watching the cat and wondering whether I was going to stand up again, followed by an hour of achieving very tiny tasks. "Now it is time to wear shoes. Find shoes. Good work! Let's rest a bit before the next epic challenge.". This algorithm for greatness has gotten me out to Brooklyn, filled my belly with pizza and salad (the pizza was good; the salad was spectacular) , and will (after this little rest), put a beer into my hand and an episode of Doctor Who into my brain. Slow and steady.

Today was good otherwise, for me at least. Lucy Cat may feel differently, having today suffered her yearly physical, blood tests, a rabies vaccine, a cat leukemia vaccine, uncomfortable thermometer action and (presumably least pleasant) a microchip between her shoulder blades. If she's going outdoors, she's going to be as prepared as she can be. The vet suggested a quick-release collar with a bell, so the hyper-protective parent (that would be me) can be reassured by jingling noises. It might be one indignity too far for our girl though.

Lucy's still in Chelsea until after the movers come on Monday, and Joel's in Indiana until tomorrow, so I have the new place to myself tonight, all alone with the no furniture and an inflatable mattress and the lovely 1980s brown wood and cream metal Hotpoint appliances. Cheesemonger alert: there is no place I would rather be.
noideadog: (Default)
[ profile] giftederic wins: a box with lightbulbs, camcorder and condoms clearly gets labelled "Lights! Camera! Action!". Well done, giftederic. Your prize is in the post. [1]

We've pretty much finished packing, which is good because Joel is on a plane by now. Take care of him, Zurichers! I've sent freecycle mails about the stuff that's any use, hauled a couple of loads into work, and done a first pass on the fridge [2][3], and now I'm just faffing about until it's after 6pm so I can take out the bins. After that, I'm calling it a day.

What I should do with the evening: prepare for arabic 3 (starts on Thursday!), or do performance review stuff for work (deadline is Thursday!), or make sure we have all the paperwork we need in one place for closing (happens on Thursday!).
What I will do with the evening: drink a beer and watch the Glee pilot and see what people are talking about.

[1] The prize is a lie.
[2] It should be a good excuse to get rid of a lifetime's supply of condiments, but I can't make myself throw out food. Someone please help convince me that condiments aren't food. I promise I'll recycle all of the jars.
[3] Joel, if you read this, note that the three month old cured beef tongue is, and will continue to be, entirely your problem.
noideadog: (Default)
Pop quiz, hotshots: in the "misc" stage at the end of packing to move house, you notice that the box you've just packed contains many fluorescent bulbs, a camcorder and a box of condoms. What is the hilarious way you label the box? (Note: may not be hilarious if you're not me.)
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
Transfer everything from personal accounts into mortgage accounts, in case closing costs are higher than expected and we run out of money and hilariously can't make our first mortgage payment.

Go to our attorney so Joel can sign over powers to me so he can go to Zurich during closing.
Write performance reviews for people at work, because it is that time of year.
Haul the old bed downstairs. (Dead furniture is collected on Friday mornings.)
Revise some Arabic.

Today so far:
Go out to Red Hook (Joel drove a zipcar!) to get more moving boxes from our movings company because apparently I was full of crap when I estimated that we have "very little stuff"; it turns out that we have "fucktons of stuff".

Later today:
Get building insurance, which insists on flood insurance, so get flood insurance.
Write performance reviews for people at work, because it is that time of year.
Choose a post-move and pre-move cleaning company.
Pack some things that are easy to pack.

Decide what to do about boxes of old hardware, etc.
Pack the hell out of as much as we can pack before getting crabby (part one).
Write performance reviews for people at work, because it is that time of year.
Revise some Arabic.

Pack the hell out of as much as we can pack before getting crabby (part two).
Take down shelves.
Write performance reviews for people at work, because it is that time of year.
Call home. Respond incredulously to detailed questions from family about wedding plans. What kind of food? Really?
Joel goes to Zurich.

Arrange house cleaners for old and new place already.
Write performance reviews for people at work, because it is that time of year.
Bring clothes and stuff to the Goodwill box at work.
Revise some Arabic.
Freecycle a ton of stuff.

Get mail from attorney with list of cheques we'll need to write. Check that money has all converged in mortgage account. See whether we can buy food this month. Pawn cat/sofa/Joel's right kidney.
Finish performance reviews for people at work.
Do some real work.
Meet Freecycle people and give them stuff.

Get bank cheques which are different from personal cheques and seriously dudes, cheques? What year is this?
Continue to finish performance reviews for people at work, because it always takes longer than you think.
Insomnia of death (predicted)

Final early-morning walk through the apartment we're buying
Closing. Sign a million pieces of paper twice, once for me and once as Joel's agent.
Get keys. Become home owner. Walk around Caroll Gardens with overwhelmed expression.
Relocate bag of emergency supplies to new apartment. Walk around apartment with overwhelmed expression.
Go to Arabic class. Sit in one place with overwhelmed expression.
Resist urge to spend first night at new place all alone and quiet (and overwhelmed).
Spend quality time with the cat.

Call utilities companies with meter readings.
Go to work. Do some work.
Joel's back! Spend first night at new place.
Talk about interior design when we should be sleeping. (We used to be cool).

Have new place cleaned.
Joel goes to Indiana.
Pack the stuff we never got around to packing because it was too hard and we hoped it would magically go away.
Spend second night at new place all alone and quiet.

Take lemon tree indoors and bubblewrap him up.
Extract cat from behind sofa and ditto.
Get a wodge of cash to pay movers.
Pack the stuff we really don't want but weren't sure how to get rid of and probably will take with us forever.
Joel and his parents arrive in New York.
Try to remember not to fart or swear.

Move house.

Sort out final crap in old place.
Go to work.
I don't know what else. This seems like a year away. Who knows what will be happening by then?

Have old place cleaned.


Start planning a wedding, I suppose.

Tonight will be our last Friday night sleeping in Manhattan (unless it all goes wrong)
noideadog: (coffee)
The moving boxes arrived just before 8am. I don't think I even became fully conscious while I dragged my carcass to the door, mulled over whether one tips people who are delivering things that the same company will later collect, didn't, and then folded back into bed. Zzz.

My sleep cycle has been drifting later and later, and it was around 4am last night when my scheduler finally convinced the rest of my brain that it was not time to go ride bikes. Ugh, waking up hurt a lot. Recent sleep-resolutions were called upon: without enough sleep I'm useless and stressy, and I decided a while back that being well-rested will always trump having a normal human schedule. Which is to say that I woke up again at 1pm. *streeeeeeeetch*. And I'd do it again.

Lucy loves the towers of boxes. You know in the Sims where each Sim walks up to a new object all "!" and "What's this?"? Our girl does exactly that with anything she hasn't seen before, or presumably anything she hasn't already marked as her own. I plugged a new WAN card into my laptop once, and she immediately identified as a thing that hadn't been there before. I was impressed.

What do you think of these? Cat stairs!.
noideadog: (monkey!)
It's not exactly the same angle, because I couldn't resist including my boy in the picture, but here's another shoddy blackberry photograph from the windowsill of the new place, 46 hours after the first. We.. uhh.. moved in, I guess.

There's a bunch of things left to do -- the random-tools-and-crap cupboard closet is barely breached, and we need to rehang three interior doors, polyfilla spackle where the spice rack used to be, and unhang the curtains, but we're pretty much out of the old place. It was hard work. Harder than I expected, certainly, with the aforementioned burly gentlemen on the payroll, but once they were gone we were still left with the small but difficult things: bins garbage cans, the hoover vacuum cleaner, a couple of chairs, computers, an ice cream maker.. things that aren't very heavy, but that each take most of one person's carrying ability for a single trip. And a single trip involves going down three flights of stairs, through two locked doors, crossing the street, through another two locked doors, and up two flights of stairs. We worked hard today. We sweated and swore a lot today.

Lucy's still exploring. She's not -entirely- impressed so far. Some things she likes: the skirting board baseboard is a sort of three dimensional thing that can be removed from the wall and turned into a cat-sized tunnel; the boxes make for good climbing. Some things she doesn't like: the windowsill isn't as securely attached as it could be; we didn't like that lamp anyway.

Check out that brickwork!
This evening, we celebrated, glugging fizzily from the bottle, because we didn't know where the glassware was buried. I'm impressed that the Chinese dude in the offie liquor store, whose utterances are usually incomprehensible to me, has far better French pronunciation than I do.
noideadog: (Default)
Standing outside our new place, watching three burly gentlemen hauling our sectional sofa upstairs, posting to lj from my phone, not helping in any way. Easiest move ever.
noideadog: (coffee)
I posted this to a list at work; I bet some of you chaps know about this stuff..

My relocation company have finally shipped my stuff from Ireland, and
tomorrow morning it's supposed to arrive at my door. It's six pretty
heavy boxes (books, clothes and kitchen stuff, no furniture), to be
carried up three flights of stairs. I don't know how many people
it'll be, or how long it's likely to take them. What's the right
amount to tip the movers? Tipping's still a bit of a mystical art to
me and I'd really appreciate any advice :-)
noideadog: (monkey!)
It's spring! Happy spring, everybody. Check out how great the google doodle is today.

I'm not noticing the seasons change here as much as I would in Dublin. I think it's because winter here has been very easy. It's also rumoured that spring may not really happen until May. Either way, there isn't the crackle in the air that is usually electrifying my brain at this time of year. I love spring in Dublin, and although I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like here, I'm a little sad to be missing it at home.

We viewed an apartment yesterday, and may move. It's just across the street from our current place, so we wouldn't lose our great location, but it's much bigger, with a better kitchen, a working fireplace, and shared access to a back yard and a roof deck. We'd be moving from a one-bedroom place to a zero-bedroom place, and paying a lot more money, but we're strongly considering it.

The zero-bedroom thing is something I hadn't seen much before, but seems to be a phenomenon here. It's like a studio apartment, I guess, except that the apartment takes up the entire floor of the house, so you can easily have separate spaces, just without dividing walls. Kind of funny: the thing I dislike most about the current place is that we have no interior doors. We'd be moving to having no interior walls either. Joel's excited about it, being a wide-open-space kind of guy, but I much prefer the security of small, cosy hideyholes. Luckily this place also has a walk-in closet that's bigger that our current bedroom. We'd probably equip that with a sofa-bed and a stupid amount of bookshelves, and my need for an alcove would be fulfilled. If we added some very white lightbulbs, it could also be a spare bedroom for visitors who weren't put off by a lack of windows.

We'd screen off a corner of the main room to make a bedroom, and although this still seems a bit odd to me, both the bedroom and the remaining living room would be a lot bigger than what we currently have. And having a back yard to sit in would be pretty cool. And we'd be sharing the house with only two other tenants, so we might make friends with them. And the new place has a washing machine, so even though we'd probably still be bourgeois scum and have the Nice Chinese Man downstairs do our regular laundry, we'd be able to wash stuff at home too, especially the delicate things that the NCM tends to shrink or fade. And we'd have control of our heating, instead of having the temperature for the house determined by the furnace in the basement. Which would be lovely, actually.

Heh. I think I just talked myself into it as I wrote this.
noideadog: (monkey!)

Originally uploaded by xymb.
Aishling brought some disposable camera to my going-away-and-birthday party last month, and posted me CDs with the pictures on. Yay! I removed the horrific ones (these are the more flattering ones, seriously), but if you hate a picture of you, let me know and I'll terminate it.

This evening I filled out my tax return for 2006, and I'm happy enough that it's correct, and all I need to do now is duplicate it into a clean printout of the form, and post it home, and then I will cease to be a criminal. Hurray!
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
It was a pleasant flight. Calories, caffeine and sleep all worked their magic, and by the time we landed, I was enthusiastic again.

The plan had been to go to the office (half a block away) for dinner, but when it came to it, I didn't want to have to be social. Talking to people is hard when you're sleepy. We had burgers in Better Burger, a fast food place where the lady asked seventeen different questions before we had a contract for a veggie burger. (The paperwork's arriving later today.) The chips came with wasabi and honey mustard and ketchup-with-stuff-in.

Joel's cat, Lucy, seems to not hate me as much as last time. We're still figuring each other out.

And I'm digging up clothes from the bottom of hastily packed boxes to find something to wear.

Tanya: "Hm, all of my clothes are tight today. I wonder what that's about"
Joel: "They tell us about these conversational lines in boyfriend school."

I have to go to work. More later.
noideadog: (meerkat)
At the airport. Not excited or nervous or anything that one might predict, just sort of tired and drained and a bit sad. It'll pass.

Lots of checked luggage. 14kg and 19kg and 26kg and 32kg. It includes a lot of books and some whiskey and Joel's desktop machine though, so it's not unreasonable. Customs and immigration was ok. I guess we're boarding now. Have a nice Tuesday, you chaps.
noideadog: (meerkat)
The only really stressful parts of relocating are the parts I can't control. Cancelling utilities, selling stuff, finishing up projects, arranging flights.. all done. Not all pleasant, but done with time to spare and nothing to worry about. But trying to convince the shipping company to return calls, respond to emails within forty eight hours, or to turn up when they say they will? That stuff is not possible. That stuff is very stressful indeed.

They said "No. First thing Wednesday", when I asked for boxes to be delivered on Monday. No boxes arrived. I called an hour ago to find out whether they maybe weren't working in GMT, and they said that their driver was in Wexford. Wexford. Maybe I didn't -need- the boxes today?, they suggested. I was.. ahem.. polite and measured in my response. They say they're sending the boxes now, and that they'll arrive at 16:30. I am not entirely optimistic, but at least they're learning to communicate, even if the communication is a lie.

Grar. Honestly, this relocation business is harder than I expected. I'm a reasonably organised person (no, really), so I honestly assumed, for all my exclaiming about how much there was to do, that everything would come together, items would get crossed off lists, and that the stuff I'd do at the last minute would all be chaotic-seeming, but secretly under control. I thought it'd be easier than this.

(And I have a cold and it's kicking my ass, but that seems to be my default state recently.)

Six sleeps left, or more like twelve, since I've been napping a lot, but you know what I mean.
noideadog: (weirdofreak)
A clothing bank opened up just down the road, which is nice timing and very convenient. Anyone know if they take duvets? The box says sheets and curtains are ok, which might imply that duvets also are, but it's hard to be sure.
noideadog: (natural dancer)
I called four moving companies and got fairly similar quotes, with one exception. Most places are saying e1200-1300 for a cubic metre. These guys,, reckon it'll only cost 450. That's door to US port; I'd need to get someone else to take it the rest of the way, but I'm sure that couldn't cost as much as 750. So, that's encouraging and worrying all at once. I asked why they were cheaper -- how's the service different? -- and they don't know. In general they've been pretty scattered and vague. Each of the three times I've called them I've spoken to the same woman, but she's never had more than limited recollection of having ever spoken to me before. When I hung up the phone last time, she said "I'll do that then" although we hadn't agreed anything. It makes me nervous.

I called a fifth place, who have a very sensible web page with box sizes and suggestions, and I might just suck up the expensiveness and go with them. It's taking too many brain cycles to sort this out. Throwing money at the problem is increasingly attractive.

What else.. I sold my bike (Thanks penexpers and Hannah!). I took it for a little spin around the car park one last time, and I was a bit sad, but it was ok. There's a work thing next week that means some weird hours, being in the office at night, sleeping at unusual times, and so on. I've removed a lot of stress from my life by writing a really detailed calendar, stating exactly which hours I plan to be in the office, asleep, and doing relocation stuff.

I've also made a detailed list of the relocation stuff that needs to happen, so that any time I seem to have free cycles, I know where to spend them. And now, any time I start stressing about the impossibility of the task of relocation, I can relax and know that it's all in a document and under control. In these ways do we trick our brains into functioning properly.

12 days left.
noideadog: (Default)
Buy my stuff! G'wan. Big things need to be collected from Donnycarney in the next 12 days. Small things I can bring into the office or town or whatever.

enormous tool box with loads of compartmentse5
a green glass nargile (hookah) Bought in Istanbulfree
single bed duvet + coversfree
king sized duvet + coversfree
computer chair (I took the arms off, but I have them somewhere)free
samsung 21" tv + rce60
clock radioe5
blanket boxfree
lamp. (small. has leaves on it. Is nice.)free
delonghi heater 2400wfree
food processor and liquidisere30
king sized mattress (5ft. mostly memory foam. awesomely comfortable)e100
several metres of black silk with odd pink embroidery, bought in chinafree
computer desk made of grey metal. Ugly as hell, but
bucky bag (sort of a pillow thing for using on planes.)e5
noideadog: (drum)
I am slowly, slowly, -slowly- getting my shit together.

1) Party!

Six days until I'm thirty. I'm kind of ok with it.

There's a party, which doubles as my relocation party.

Saturday January 19th at Cassidy's on Westmoreland Street. Do come.

2) Flights!

We booked the flight. Tuesday January 29th at 10.30AM. Landing at 1:00PM. Unpacked and in the office in time for dinner.

That's all the important stuff, right?
noideadog: (drum)
I started to think about the stuff I need to do in the next couple of weeks, and now my brain is flooded. Deep breaths and a todo list will help. *breathe* *breathe* Ok. Whew.

I could use some boxes. Anyone got any boxes?
noideadog: (monkey!)
It's been a while since I posted a real update, with real information. Here's one of those.

So, I moved house. That was great. No, that was really fantastic actually, especially once I'd finished unpacking (mostly) and put my books on shelves and my clothes on hangers and had friends come over for tea. I'm not anti-social, I swear, but I find that I -love- living on my own. I mean, I have bouts of very specific loneliness -- my beloved is far away, and won't be back for another month at least -- but I'm glad to have had this experience. Living alone is a whole other world. I like it so much.

The Northside is, it has to be noted, different to the Southside. The local wine shop doesn't sell Prosecco ("It's a fizzy Italian wine? No? Cava.. won't really do, no."). The only coffee place nearby tried to put -sugar- in my -latte-. There is -- I know this will horrify you -- nowhere to buy fresh berries. It's quite a trial, as I'm sure you can imagine. And there are people everywhere, and they -interact- with each other. Local teenagers (teenagers!) knacker drinking in the football field (football, not rugby!) told me about their penises, which are apparently very large and attractive. Perhaps in celebration of this, someone has drawn one on the stop sign at the end of our road. It's a good aid to navigation. "Turn right at the stop sign with the penis on it", I tell people.

Honestly, I don't think we're in Donnybrook any more.

I have more furniture than I did before. Brid lent some fold up chairs, and Joel and I built an Argos flat-pack bed. This is the perfect bed: a bed of such comfort and stylishness that getting up in the morning becomes somehow easy. I can't quite explain this, but it must be some effect of the (wonderful!) memory-foam mattress that has me in work at 9am for almost two weeks in a row now. (It could be witchcraft.) It's a good thing, whatever it is. It's a great bed. Being up at eight means that I'm usually asleep by midnight. I? Am old, officially. And that? Is.. ok, actually. And this sentence structure? Is kind of cool, I always thought. It's ok if you disagree.

Everyone here has dogs. This is most definitely a dog neighbourhood. We made friends with Ben, a dignified[1]-but-enthusiastic[2] west highland terrier who lives on the corner. It's nice to have a dog to greet on the way to work.

I still don't have internet really. I hope it arrives soon, sort of, but it's also ok to have to make my own fun. I've only been skimming LJ; if I missed anything important, please do tell me.

If Joel wasn't 3300 miles away, I think I'd be just about as happy as I've ever been. It's a measure of how excellent everything else is that life is really not bad at all.

[1] The kind of dog I like. An aristocratic dog with self-respect.
[2] The kind of dog Joel likes. A "Holy shit! You threw the ball! Thank you!" dog.
noideadog: (coffee)
Packing, unpacking, cleaning, working, sleeping, losing mind. Moving house is a lot of work. There aren't a lot of internet particles in the new place yet, but our neighbours are kind enough to share. There's not a whole heap of furniture either, but there are millions of shelves, the bed arrives tomorrow, and I'm hoping that freecycle will provide a workable sofa. What more does one need, really?


noideadog: (Default)

February 2014

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