Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Let the games begin (again)

Friday, March 25th, 2011

For much of the last month, my life has revolved around one of three things: moving, finding an apartment, and making sure our stuff made it from one place to another. The last of those three bullet points was wrapped up earlier this week. The new apartment is about as much of a home as we can make it for the moment. We have a bed, a comfy living room with a decent entertainment center setup, a fully stocked kitchen, and so on. None of our basic survival needs have gone unmet.

That not to say we’re anywhere close to finished. There are still a host of boxes that we can’t divulge ourselves of until we can add some more furniture to our place, like bookshelves, bedroom furniture, a desk. But for now, both Shannon and I have to focus on each drawing some paychecks and taking some time to pay down debt and refill savings accounts — both casualties of the costs of a cross-country move.

For the most of this past week, I’ve been taking things easy, but those days of freedom are winding down. A very, very small part of me is sad about that, but that slice of my psyche is almost immeasurable. The vastness of my being is ready to get back to work in the real world, a phase that starts this coming Monday when I report for duty at Redfin.

Not a pretty picture

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Since we moved into our new apartment, we’ve been lucky enough to have a free internet via someone’s open wifi connection. If I could find out who it was and leave them a basket of cookie at their door for sharing their bandwidth, I would. It’s been a great help as we’ve been getting ourselves established, but the time has come to pay our own way and get our cable and internet situation cleared up.

But therein lies the rub. The choices out here in this tech savvy city border on horrible. Remember all that competition that the 1996 cable deregulation bill was supposed to stir up? Yeah, we all know how that turned out for consumers. For where I live, if I want cable and internet in one package, my only choice is Comcast.

Fuck. Me.

As you can tell by my artfully placed expletive, I’ve been a Comcast customer before, and I don’t relish rejoining the fold. They have a near monopoly in San Francisco, which means the already high cable rates I was paying in New Jersey are even higher here. (Of course, that might be changing for Jersey soon in more ham-handed deregulation attempts). I could get better TV service, and maybe I could get better internet service, but not from the same place, and at the cost of some of my previous equipment investments (namely my cable modem and my TiVo).

I beg and plead for the day I can just get a big open pipe with as much bandwidth as I need, and I get to select what channels or shows I get over it. The news that Netflix might be getting into broadcasting a brand new, first run TV show says to me the writing is on the wall, and it’s all just a matter of when it happens, and not if.

But for now, I guess I just have to suck up my pride and bite the bullet on this one. I’ll try to keep my bitching to a minimum, as I’m willingly giving my dollars and soul to the soulless. But the very instant I can cut the cord and get everything I need from the net, I’m running for the door and laughing like a madman the whole way.

If you plan to pass another vehicle, you should…

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Shannon and I just spent the last 30 minutes or so going through the sample tests on the California DMV site in preparation for going to get our new licenses. Yep, they don’t just transfer your valid status from one state to another out here — you have to earn that right to drive.

I have to respect that, though there is a tiny bit of dread in my gut about having to prove my knowledge of the rules of the road for the first time in 16 years. Really, every driver should be mandated to retake the written portion of test every five years or so, just to keep us all honest. And once you get past a certain age you should probably be made to take a road test every few years as well. Of course, I highly doubt that would happen. Too many people see driving as a right and not a privilege, and anything that gets between them and their cars is always prime for scorn and ridicule.

UPDATE: Tests have been passed. Photos and thumbprints taken. Our Cali licenses should be in hand in 4-6 weeks.

This many fingers left

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

One hand full of fingers. Five days. That’s how long Shannon and I have to wait to be reunited with our possessions here on the West Coast. It’s hard to imagine that it’s already been a month since we packed two apartments into one ten-by-ten storage unit, but it’s actually harder for us to imagine our new, spacious place cluttered by our plethora of boxes and furniture.

Because of time constraints with the start of Shannon’s new job and the fact that NO ONE in San Francisco would talk about an apartment with us until we were here in person, we were limited in what we could do to get our life’s worth of material goods from New Jersey to California. If we had time we probably would have driven them cross-country. Instead we were forced to deal with a moving company and keep our fingers crossed. While everything has taken the maximum time quotes (and then some), we’re finally getting close to feeling like we’re really moved in.

Of course, not everything made the trip. I shed almost all my furniture and Shannon got rid of just as much, including her bedroom set, so we’ve been able to do some shopping for things. But I think Sears and Ikea must be in league with United States Van Lines, because even something as simple as getting a mattress and a bed is going to take forever and an eon to get delivered.

Until then, we’re just gonna have to keep ourselves calm and make due with the air mattress and the few dishes we have. But believe me, we’re both counting the days.

Moving forward at great velocity

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

I’ve been away from the writing for so long, I don’t even think I’m the same person anymore. Once again, my purposes here seem to be at a crossroads, and I’m starting from square one. Fine by me — I could use the excuse to rebrand and refocus.

For certain, my life hasn’t been dull since last I wrote. My work has been satisfying in ways it hasn’t been for years. The skills I ply for my trade of choice have never been sharper, and as I write this I’m on a train to Boston to give them a further tune-up. The majority of my writing these days has been focused in the professional and personal realms, mostly sequestered in the walled gardens of email. And I’ve even managed to add spice to my life where relationships are concerned — slow and steady, but satisfying to a degree I’ve never known before.

I can say with no sense of sarcasm that it’s never been a better time to be me.

Of course, to make all this new Andrew version 3.3 work, some deep changes in old habits and expectations have been made. Old hobbies that were dead on the vine (like the podcast I always expected to get back to “someday”) have been pruned away. Spoiled expectations (such as my decade of 10 am start times my work day) have been brought back to the new reality — I’m an adult. Time to fuckin’ act like one.

I’m generally healthy, mostly happy, and the chance to make the most of all these newfound opportunities is there in front of me. I just have to be brave enough to take it.