Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm Back!

Well. We're here in Charlottesville, finally. So much has happened in the last, what, week and a half? that I don't know where to begin or what to tell. Especially because most of it is really mundane stuff but still. So, Random Bullet Point Time!

Before the Move

> The moving company. Damn, everyone needs one of these. I'm never moving without the help of professionals ever again. They show up at the apartment at 9:00 sharp, they pack EVERYTHING WE OWN, they carry it out to the truck. In four hours FLAT. By 1:10 in the afternoon I'm alone, with nothing in the apartment but a roll of papertowel, a roll of t.p., and random aerosol cans. Because they don't pack aerosol stuff. I'm a little in love with them, really.

> The apartment was trashed. It's partly because Don and I are messy people. It's just the way we are. It's partly because we really like to make a place out own: hang things on the wall, paint stuff, make a garden on the patio, whatever. We can't just leave a place alone. Mostly, though it was because of my sister's puppy who spent part of every day with us for her first year. Dog stains EVERYWHERE. It took 22 hours of cleaning to get the place looking like "reasonable wear and tear." Three days: 10 hours, 10 hours, 2 hours. Unbelievable.

> I rented one of those rug-doctor things from the grocery store. They actually work pretty well. Kills the lower back though.

> My sister came over and helped clean, for hours and hours. I never even asked her... she just called; "What are you up to?" "Cleaning." "Want some help?" In return for nothing but a grilled cheese, she helped shampoo the carpets all day. Turns out the carpet cleaner works really well if you FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS which apparently she can do but I can't.

> Cathy stayed at my parents' house with me during that last week. My mom and dad are both "cat people" but they haven't owned a cat in over 20 years due to his asthma and allergies, so they aren't *used* to cats. Every time she did anything, it was like this: "Look! The cat just walked into the room!" "She's eating her kibble!" "She's grooming herself!" They were so charmed with everything that she did, because they had forgotten all the the things that make cats unique. It was fun.

The Drive

> Both Cathy and Alice travel well. Amazingly well really. We didn't have to do anything special to accomodate them on the drive. Cathy just curled up on top of my dad's duffel bag and slept the whole time. Alice slept a lot, and spent the rest of the time with her front paws perched on the center console as though it were the prow of a ship, looking out over the road. The only drawback was that after sleeping all day the cat went nuts in the motel room and wouldn't stop playing with her litter box.

> I love some things about roadtrips. Seeing the terrain change. Watching the mile-markers on the interstate drop back to "1" after crossing the state line, and seeing them climb for hundreds of miles... until you reach the next state line. Seeing my little car go 434 miles on only 12 gallons of gas. Passing the signs for towns with funny names. The funniest-named town between Dallas and Charlottesville is Bucksnort, Tennessee. How does a town come to be named Bucksnort?

Here at Last

> I can't put into words how good it is to be reunited with Don, so I won't even try. For our whole little 'family' to be back together...

> Virginia is beautiful. It's so pretty, with mountains, huge trees, winding roads. The city is nice, too. It's not Burlington, but it ain't bad either. Unfortunately, I get lost EVERY SINGLE TIME that I venture out in the car. I've been here for 4 days. Every day I get lost. This is one of those towns laid out in a manner that only the locals understand, I think.

> This whole town is a shrine to Thomas Jefferson. Charlottesville is sandwiched between Monticello and the University of Virginia, which he founded. Every visible quote, whether etched in the stone over a doorway or graffiti'd on a bridge, seems to originate from Jefferson. Of the four statues I've found so far, three were of Jefferson: the fourth was Lee. I feel like having a bumper sticker made that says, "John Adams is my favorite president" just to be different, although around here that might get my tires slashed or something.

> I have a job interview for Friday morning, so I shouldn't be out of work for too long here, even if it is just for a part-time job.

There's so much more going on, but I can't organize my thoughts any better, and Don and I are going out to dinner now, because the kitchen is a sea of boxes and tissue paper and it's a beautiful evening.


Bex said...

Yay! It's great to hear that you're all moved and lovin it. Tell me when is a good time to visit :P

Mara said...

Any time, Bex. Any time.

Benjamin said...

Glad you are safe and sound. Your new surroundings sound delightful. Dallas' loss is Virginia's gain.

Mara said...

Thanks, Ben. I miss Dallas a bit though. At least the people there.

Benjamin said...

I was referring to Don!