Friday, April 9, 2004 (1st entry)
(The Week of the Big Move)
O.K., this is going to be my first diary entry. It will be a long one, so try not to be bored. My hope is that the rest of the entries I can keep up with more often, and they won't be so long.
My last day at Globe was on Friday, March 19. Everyone got me an ice cream cake, which was very good. I ignored for the day the fact that I had cut down on sugar. :) Lots of running around and wrapping things up. I spent a number of hours on the phone in the last two weeks at Globe getting a replacement birth certificate and the official name-change paperwork from the courts. It turned out that even though the courts had ordered the state to change my name, the state doesn't notify the counties. I could get a certificate overnighted to me from the county, or wait six weeks for the state. I spent a week dumping out every single box I had, and never found the originals. I have a box that I keep all paperwork in, and it had been there for over ten years. I finally got that stuff the week between my last week at Globe and my first week at Carnival. The courthouse in Dayton, TN was incredibly helpful. They faxed me a copy of the paperwork, had a notarized copy made, and sent it to me that afternoon all for free. No waiting on hold, no automated systems, just calling a woman who immediately went into the storage archives to dig it out. On Saturday I went to my sister's (Tami and her husband Peter's) new house to meet with The Fam. Heather (my other sister) and her husband (Patrick) were down, and my parents were there. I went to Circuit City and bought a laptop computer. We had dinner, admired the horses and the new house. Once again, I am the only person at the family gathering that is single . . .
I spent the next nine days putting my whole life on hold. Stopping services, paying off things, selling things (cars, motorcycle, sailboard) on EBay, etc. (the beautiful and very helpful model in the sales pictures was the oldest daughter of Tonya, in town from college for Spring Break). I was originally planning to let Noel (my cousin) stay in my place at the Yacht Club, but unfortunately they said that it wouldn't be allowed. So, instead of a glorious week off spent sleeping in and sailing, I ran around like a madman (and, of course, it was a gorgeous week which would have been perfect for sailing and the beach). I was also setting up the new laptop computer (this is me, deep in thought as I am working away at the computer). I went sailing for the last time on Sunday (the 21st), and got the boat ready to sit for a while. I cleaned it, oiled the teak, packed things away carefully, ran all of the gas out of the engine, and put fuel stabilizer in the gas.
I spent several hours one day running around to different stores, looking for digital cameras. I narrowed it down, then at the last second I ended up buying a Sony camera that I had really wanted but originally couldn't afford. They discontinued it, and I ended up getting it for a third of what it had been selling for when I had looked at it a couple of months before (all of the pictures you will see here are taken with it).
My apologies to anyone who wanted to spend time with me before I left, there was just waaaaay too much to do. I packed up everything that I own, and threw away large amounts of stuff. Nearly everything that could have gone wrong or slowed me down, did. I ended up being up from 7 am Friday (the 26th) 'till 2 am Tuesday. Even taking out the trash one morning slowed me down for an hour, as right when I lifted the bag into the dumpster the bottom burst on it. It dumped a bunch of glass bottles, and all of the flour and sugar that I had emptied out of my canisters, all over me. I spent a while putting broken glass and everything that I had thrown out from the 'fridge back into smaller bags. I went back up and vacuumed as much stuff off of me as I could. Then, just as I finished setting up the laptop, the DVD player went out on it. I am really glad that I got it a week before leaving, it would have been tough getting it fixed from the ship. Half the reason that I got the laptop was so that I could play DVD's in the room. I took it back to Circuit City, and they told me that even though I had spent ten hours setting it up and copying things from my other computer, under no circumstances would they swap hard drives on the computers. I took it all the way to an assistant manager, and they insisted that they wouldn't take the computer apart. I pointed out that they didn't have to, the hard drive is a user-swappable one, and comes out just like the battery, but they said no. Then they proceeded to take it apart to show me whether or not there was another RAM slot open! After THAT, they pointed out again that they couldn't take it apart to swap hard drives. Another hour wasted there, another ten hours wasted re-setting it back up . . .
Much thanks to Erik and his lovely wife for helping me move the large items on Saturday, and for buying one of the cars I had for sale. Also thanks to David for providing the use of his SUV, and to Stan for providing a trailer. I wasted most of Saturday morning trying in vain to rent a refrigerator dolly, everyone was moving a refrigerator that day. I also went to pick up my tank bag (I had the zipper fixed), and it wasn't ready yet, so I wasted around an hour with that. We moved the big things to storage, but when we went down to move the old 'fridge back up to the apartment, it had been closed and off for a year and a half. They had said that they were going to plug it in, but never did. It was pretty bad when I moved it down there, I assured them that they would likely NOT want to put it back into the apartment. Erik and I took the dolly I finally DID get back (they closed early and wouldn't be open on Sunday, and I had to get my deposit back), and then picked up the tank bag. Erik took the trailer and SUV back, and I spent the rest of Saturday night cleaning, organizing, and packing. Sunday morning I wasted another hour standing in line at U-haul, but it paid off as I was able to make just one trip rather than ten, and was able to get out of the house in time. Unfortunately, the smallest truck that they had was approximately ten times bigger than what I needed. It ended up being pretty empty, this picture is after I had put everything in it (except for the couple of large items that I took the day before). I wish that I had taken it more to the side, you can't really see the fact that it is a 40-foot box on the truck. The apartment was finally empty, and after some haggling I got my deposit back. The woman who came out to inspect the apartment was the new club commodore, and hadn't ever even seen the apartment before.
Of course, there was this gift box (the kind you get clothing in at Christmas) that I hadn't opened, as it just had random comedy stuff inside. It turns out that I had taken a bunch of things from my documents box that were just nostalgia and put them in there also. I was just going to throw it out since it had been sealed for three years, but I decided to see what nostalgia was in it. Of course, when I had grabbed and envelope from the documents box to put in there, I had grabbed the wrong one, and there was all of my paperwork that I had just had sent to me. I now have two copies of my birth certificate with one name, one with my new name, two certified copies of my name-change paperwork, and one un-certified copy. Wasted time . . . I spent from Saturday afternoon 'till midnight Sunday night organizing stuff and getting ready to go.