Friday, January 06, 2006

A job, a dresser, messed up glasses, a movie, yadda, yadda

Things are happening so quickly I can barely keep up, let alone let y'all know about 'em. But here's a quick rundown of today:
  • Free rent department: I'm on a quixotic quest to convince my landlords that they shouldn't charge me rent in January. (Would sure be helpful financially, since I've already paid January rent in Boston, and am paying an equivalent amount to rent a truck next week.) So far I've offered up my washer, dryer, and bunch of phone and home networking improvements to them as incentives. Don't know if they're biting.

    This morning they said they definitely don't want the appliances because these would then have to be maintained for the next tenant. But they might be willing to make allowances if I leave the complete home network. Some of it is probably going to stay anyway simply because it's impractical to tear out several hundred feet of under-floor Category-5 cable. But if they don't cut me a deal I'm certainly taking the router, modem, etc. So this morning I wrote a big manifesto (with photos) describing what I'd done and laying out how the stuff I installed would sell for almost $500 on the open market. We'll see what happens.

  • Cat yakk department: Scheduled a pickup for my dining room rug to go to the cleaners. This is my cat's favorite place to deposit hairballs, dead mice, and other feline detritus. So it definitely needs help. Plus, if the cleaners bundle it up all pretty when they're done, it will be easier to move.

  • New job department: I've been pretty ambivalent about the fellowship I applied for in Boston. The good news was that it would hugely reduce my tuition and give me a (tiny) bit of actual income. The bad news was it has lousy hours and involves doing still more of the techie stuff I'm trying to escape by going back to school. However, a lot of my ambivalence evaporated when I got a $10,000 tuition bill over the holidays. Clearly I'm on a fast track to the bread line if I don't come up with some sort of get-solvent-quick scheme. So when the school called back today and offered me the job, I didn't hesitate too long before saying yes. Unfortunately, they want me to start two days after I arrive in Boston. So much for a leisurely transition.

  • Brain dump department: Over the holidays I set up MediaWiki and started creating an encyclopedia of everything I know at my current job. This has turned into a grueling task because a) despite appearances, I actually seem to know quite a lot, and b) there is nothing more tedious than trying to write about boring stuff you already know. That said, I'm pushing on in hopes of cutting down on the frantic phone calls from Nashville after I'm gone. I spent a big chunk of today camped out at my favorite WiFi-equipped neighborhood coffee shop tapping away on this. The only good part is that I've gotten more familiar with how MediaWiki works, which should come in handy in the future.

  • Furniture department: I have a dresser that my grandmother gave me when I moved to Nashville. It was pretty banged up when I got it, but is a solid piece of vintage furniture. About five years ago, I talked to a neighborhood furniture maker about fixing it up. Last month I finally got around to handing it over.

    He brought it back to my house earlier today. My wallet is now $125 lighter, but he transformed a dull hand-me-down into a pretty slick looking home furnishing. A good investment, I think. Add it to the shelf I finished repainting a few weeks ago and the clean rug, and I may not recognize my new place.

  • Magical furniture department: Needed a stress reliever after driving to Green Hills to pick up my glasses only to find out that LensCrafters had screwed up the order. So I stopped at Wild Oats to grab dinner and then popped over to the movie theater to see the Narnia flick. I'm not normally a fan of fantasy movies, but I thought it was phenomenally good. Made me want to go back and reread the books, which I last looked at sometime in grade school.

  • Evil empires from Redmond department: Now at work, where I popped in just after midnight to try to get some things ready for tomorrow. Thought I'd be here for maybe an hour and then perhaps go to the gym. It's been more than two hours now and I'm still digging around in e-mail looking for stuff. Outlook is a piece of crap when it comes to finding things you wrote six months ago. Microsoft could sure learn something from Gmail.

Apropos of nothing department: After seeing an exhibit at the airport the other day, I've decided that I really want to get one of these Anderson Thomas Nashville posters for my Boston apartment. Still waffling... Maybe this one, this one, or this one. I also really like this one, but I think I'd feel weird having it on my wall because I've never actually been to the Bluebird. Maybe I'll have to fit that in before I leave.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Belated Monday morning blues

Today isn't shaping up to be the greatest day.
  • When I got home last night, my first tuition bill from Simmons was waiting. Suffice it to say, I am in severe sticker shock. I knew it would be bad, but somehow it hadn't percolated that it would be this bad. I'm suddenly more interested in that fellowship that would pay a big chunk of the tuition. Otherwise, I need to start applying for student loans real soon now.

    Part of the damage comes from getting slammed for Massachusetts-mandated health insurance. I think I need to investigate whether it would be cheaper to hang on to my current insurance under COBRA until this summer. Hmm.

  • My Linux box (which was becoming my primary desktop computer) seems to have died a horrible death. It started out with much unexplained sluggishness. It then became clear that there was a problem with one of the drives in the RAID. When I rebooted the first time, the system attempted to reconstruct things and then froze. Now it can't even find a bootable partition. Argh. I don't have time for this right now.

  • We had a grand plan where my brothers were coming down to help me move. Only problem is that they had booked their flights on the soon-to-be-defunct Independence Air. So my brother is now trying to book replacement tickets on Southwest (the cheap ones have already been snapped up), and we're trying to rearrange the plan to fit the new airline arrangements. (For any volunteers who may be reading this, the plan is still to load in Nashville on Sunday the 15th and unload in Somerville on Saturday the 21st.)

  • Speaking of all that, I'm realizing how much I have to get done in the next two weeks, which is when I'm supposedly leaving Nashville. I started making a list on a sticky pad last night, and then decided it was going to take too many pages. Seemed like I had tons of time before Christmas. Now it seems like there's no way I'm going to get it all done.

Have to go walk to work now, because my car is still being held hostage at the body shop. The door was starting to fall off, which should have been covered under the CarMax warranty. But the CarMax people said they couldn't do it and to take it to a body shop. Then the body shop people said they couldn't deal with the CarMax warranty people. Much telephone hillarity ensued last week. Supposedly it's all worked out now, but I guess I'll find out later today.