Twice as long…

Happily, I can report that my feud with Best Buy has been concluded satisfactorily. I have my appliances and a $25 gift card. I wasn’t actually trying to get a freebie from the corporate customer service office, but I’ll take it.

I am now the proud owner of a ridiculously large black refrigerator. The down side – and you knew there had to be one – is that the water dispenser in the door seems to have a slow and annoying leak. I’ve taken a deep breath and will hold on to see if it is something that will resolve itself as the seals and piping acclimatize to the cold. We’ll see…

Based on the experience so far, I’m not optimistic that will go according to plan. I may be a little jaded because as I picked up one end of the couch yesterday to move it out of the way, one of the legs fell off. Normally this is something I can fix myself, so I flipped the couch over to find that, in fact, the screws that are supposed to hold it to the frame were all stripped. I’m not going to go on a rant about using the right tool for the right job or anything here, but still. So, next Thursday, I’m going to loose another afternoon sitting around waiting on the furniture company to send out one of their “expert repairmen.” That should be interesting.

I have always heard the old saw that when it comes to home ownership everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as estimated. While I haven’t really been surprised by the cost of things, I have found that everything really does take at least twice as long as it seems it should. Actually, twice as long may be a bit of a low-ball estimate.

Still, with all that being said, I am incredibly grateful and fortunate to have this place. Somewhere along the line, perhaps I’ll learn patience and tolerance of the stupid… But don’t hold your breath.

Not-so-Best Buy…

It feels good to get back to the basic reason I started keeping this blog… Bitching and complaining about the stupid people and things that cross my path in the course of everyday life. Every so often it’s good to come back to your roots. 😉

Before heading back to Maryland for Christmas, I made a point of doing the vast majority of my major purchases ahead of time. I ordered blinds, new living room furniture, and a refrigerator, washer and dryer. Now, being a good steward of my own money, I did my due diligence by checking prices both locally and online. The best price on the washer, dryer, and refrigerator was actually from Best Buy. Good prices and points on my rewards card… Sweet.

I knew I would be in the house by this weekend and scheduled my delivery for today. I should have been prepared for a problem when I called the store yesterday to confirm the delivery time… I called the delivery department. There was no answer. I called the store’s main phone number. There was no answer. I waited an hour, repeated the process, and got the same result… and infuriating ring… ring… ring. By this point it was early evening and I needed to go out to get something for dinner, so I thought I would stop by the store to get an answer and critique their customer service. After waiting for 15 minutes for the customer service desk to actually find the manager, I explained the situation and the information I required. In response to my comment about not being able to reach anyone by phone, she mentioned that “oh, during the holidays, we don’t even bother answering the phone.” I’m fairly sure one of their forklifts could have driven into my mouth at that point. Did the store manager actually just say that they don’t answer their customer service line? Yes. Yes she did. Even if this were true, I think I would have come up with a better excuse.

And so, we come to this morning, with delivery scheduled between 8:00 and 11:00. The time is now 11:38 and I just got a call from the delivery driver. Apparently my street doesn’t exist and because he spent so much time driving around looking for it, he’ll have to move on to the next delivery and try to get me in later in the day. What the fuck?

Honest to God, I can’t believe anyone actually does business this way. If I don’t have a refrigerator, washer, and dryer sitting in this house by about 4:00, I’m cancelling the order and going to Home Depot.

First Night…

You don’t realize how much time you spend sitting down until you don’t have anything to sit on. There’s the floor, of course, but in the final analysis, you just sitting on the floor looking at four bare walls. Not exactly what I was planning on doing tonight. Instead, I’ve spent most of the afternoon and evening hanging blinds. I know that it’s something that needs done, but I would have preferred to spend the first night sitting on the couch, watching TV, and possibly even drinking a beer. I’ve spent the day on my feet and at 9:30 CST, I’m beat… Looks like its time to inflate the bed.

Missing my furniture, cable television, and internet access aside, closing came off without a hitch. The biggest upset of the day was that either I forgot to tell them or Home Depot forgot to order blinds for my frigging giant dining room window. Not a huge deal, but until I manage to get something to cover it, you can see straight through the house. I have as much of a voyeurism streak as anyone, but not when I’m staring in the picture.

Living room furniture and the cable guy are coming tomorrow (Friday) sometime. At least I hope they are. The furniture store called this afternoon to confirm the delivery, but I made the appointment with Comcast almost a month ago and neglected to call and follow up to confirm the installation. I’m hoping for the best, because God help me, the prospect of spending the next five days without TV or the internet is terrifying beyond words.

I’m not dead yet…

OK, so I’ve been told by those whose advice and wise counsel I trust implicitly that my last post sounded more like a funeral oration than the heartfelt farewell I was trying to hit. I don’t suppose I have to confess that the move has me a bit bewildered and out of sorts. As much as I have moved, it should be old hat by now, but it never really seems to go that way.

I think a large part of my melancholic tone can be attributed to the fact that in the days leading up to Christmas, I was stuck mostly thinking about the future rather than doing something to actually carry out the plan. Now that I’m here in Memphis waiting to close, and the boxes are all on a truck somewhere between here and Maryland, I’m feeling much better. I’m ready to tear in and actually do something.

There are things back in Maryland left undone that I wish I would have been able to get to. There are family and friends I will miss horribly. But tonight, there is new ground stretched out in front of me. There is a new way ahead to forge. There are nearly unlimited possibilities. And that makes me a happy camper.

Moving on…

Blogger’s Note: The following is a verbatim copy of an email sent under the same subject line. If you didn’t get the original email, please accept my apologies, as apparently, I have not been keeping up with several of your email address changes. Exclusion from the original distribution was not and intended slight in any way or fashion. – JDT

Friends, Family Members, and Sundry Others who have made it to the Distribution List,

As many of you know, it is nearly time for me to say goodbye to Maryland for the greener pastures of Tennessee, but I couldn’t let the occasion pass without saying a few words. To say I part with mixed emotions doesn’t do justice to the raging tides of excitement and uncertainty that I am feeling at the moment.

The last year and a half has been a busy one for me, as I know it has been for many of you as well. Time marches on as they say, and things seem to have a way of slipping away before you really know it has happened. I have not kept in touch with some of you as regularly as I would have liked or taken the time to visit as often as I should have. I regret that and can only express my gratitude for your patience and your indulgence.

Each one of you means more to me than you know and although I have always had difficulty expressing it, you have all helped make me the man that I am today. In some cases you may not exactly think that is a compliment. I assure you, it is.

The next time you have an inexplicable craving to spend an evening in a smoky blues bar or backwater barbeque joint, look me up and then plan a road trip. As long as I have a roof, you’ll have a place to stay.

While my time here grows increasingly short and the thousand and one details of planning a move are again demanding my attention, I did want to stop and take this brief opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an extraordinarily bright and happy New Year.

Home Station…

I’m back in the People’s Republic of Maryland for the next week and a half. For anyone who may be interested, the rough plan is to head back to the old homestead some time next Saturday and putz around up there through Christmas, either heading back to the EC very late Monday night or very early Tuesday morning. I’m hoping to have the movers here on Wednesday to clear out the apartment and drive all day on the 28th so I can be back in Memphis to meet the new furniture and appliance delivery people on the 29th.

Christmas is hereby cancelled due to lack of available daylight. The holiday will be reinstated with all rights, privileges, and family activities in 2007.

Happy friggin’ holidays, people.

Punch List…

I did my final walk through with the builder and inspector this afternoon, put together my “must fix” list, and crawled around parts of the house I will very likely never see again. It’s entirely possible that I will be hacking up blown insulation for the rest of my natural life. I’m fine with it, since that means I am one step closer to getting this damned move behind me.

With two pages of punch list handed to the builder, the only thing that’s really left for me to do on this end is sign the paperwork once my realtor and the inspector verify that all the repairs have been made. The big day should be on or about the 26th, when the lawyers FedEx me the final paperwork. After that, all that’s left is meeting the realtor on the 28th to pick up the keys and physically take possession. Of course then there is the small matter of waiting the week or so for my stuff to catch up with me. Fortunately, the new living room furniture I ordered should show up the day after I show up, so I won’t be spending the long weekend in a completely empty house… Just a mostly empty one.

It’s satisfying to see everything coming together, especially considering the short timeline I set for myself. When it’s all over, I think I may lay down and sleep for a week.


I realized this afternoon that it has been a while since I posted anything. I think this might actually be the first time since I started blogging that I’ve let five days go between getting some thoughts out here. It’s also one of those things that I realized I missed when I didn’t do it. With that said, I’m back for a quick update before dinner.

A lot of the really hard decisions have been made already. The house is where it is, the finance people are doing their thing, the lawyers are drawing up the necessary paperwork and I’m running from pillar to post here in Memphis working the detail stuff.

In the last week, here’s what we’ve managed to accomplish: carpet picked and installed; linoleum picked and installed; washer and dryer purchased and delivery scheduled; refrigerator purchased and delivery scheduled; cable, electric, gas, service change scheduled; cable, electric, and gas service in Maryland terminated, blinds measured and order. There are a bevy of other issues resolved that I can’t remember in detail.

Here are the major things still to accomplish by the end of the month: Install washer, dryer, and refrigerator; put the punch list together with builder and do walk through; fly back to Maryland; finish packing and close out the apartment; get an estimate from the movers; actually do the move; drive back to Tennessee; unpack; collapse.

Oh, and I almost forgot squeezing 10 hours a day in for work and grad classes. Can someone tell me why the hell anyone ever inflicts a move on themselves?

Why is it so hard…

…to get a goddamned steak cooked medium-well? I swear to Christ, I can’t get a fucking slice of beef cooked right here anywhere. Next time I go out to dinner, I’m taking my own flip chart showing the “levels of doneness.” I’m not asking every place to be a damned Morton’s or anything, just to leave a very light strip of pink in the middle. If I can do it with my own limited cooking skills, surely people who cook dozens of steaks a day can manage it with something approaching consistency.

Every passing day reaffirms my complete lack of faith in the ability of the general populace to manage anything more complicated than breathing with any degree of accuracy.

I should have gone to grad school to be a hermit. I think I’d enjoy the lack of interaction.

New Place…

OK folks, first, please let me apologize for not staying as current with posting as I would like. As almost everyone knows, I’ve been spending the better part of my life working here in Memphis. While nothing is official and probably won’t be for some time yet, it seems more and more likely to me that this is where I am going to end up when everything at work shakes out. With that in mind, I’ve decided to climb my ass way out on a limb and make an offer on a house down here. To make a long story short, everything is squared away and I should be going to closing before the end of the month.

It’s not the old house that I thought I wanted, but that tiny little rational part of my brain reminded me that at some point I was going to have to sell this place and newer construction will probably sell faster when the time comes. So, with that in mind, after the first of the year, I’ll be the proud owner of a tract house in a new subdivision of Memphis.

There’s something not entirely right about buying a house where you aren’t positive you’ll even be there in six months. It sounds crazy, but you’ll have to trust me that it’s not as far out in left field as you’re probably thinking it is. It’s definitely more of a chance than I’m generally willing to take on things, but I figure nothing ventured, nothing gained. Worst case scenario I have a place to live for a few months while I’m here.

I’ll keep y’all posted, but beg your understanding that the updates won’t be as frequent for the next few weeks.