Or, alternate title: Hey, I Found My Camera!
I don't think I've said so, but I'm moving out of my apartment into a house with two other gentlemen from the English program. The final move is set for May 29th. So for those keeping track of my schedule, that means I write my written comprehensive exam on the 28th, move the next day, and leave for a conference in Montreal on the 31st. Then I get back on the 5th, just in time to take my oral defense. Why did I schedule so many stress-inducing events in one period? Simple: I'm thinking ahead. Looong term ahead. Whatever life's future hurdles--dissertation, marriage, birth of children--I can look back, and think, well, at least this isn't that bad as that last week of May in 2010.
Yep. Totally planned.
Anyway, for me, the most stressful part of moving has been getting Rid of My Stuff. The place I'm moving is fully furnished, which means that a large portion of my furniture needs to be disposed of. This step would probably have to occur sooner or later; wherever I go post-degree, I probably won't be in a financial state to bring it all with me. So I guess I'm just going with "sooner." I sold the coach and loveseat a few days ago--which means that I've been watching TV from the oh-so-comfy position of a mattress I grabbed and pulled into the living room. And I'm getting getting rid of the spare bed on Saturday. The kitchen table and chairs are hopefully going later today. The only piece of furniture I'm having trouble getting rid of, in fact, is this one:
Not the TV, mind you. Goodness no; I need something to play video games on. I mean, conduct research with. No, I mean the thing the TV sits on. The... shelving unit? Leveled coffee table? Horizontal bookcase? Maybe my difficulty in naming the piece reflects the potential buyers' problem: it's not an easy piece to classify. On the other hand, if there's any piece of furniture that I need to take with me, I'd rather it was this one; it's fairly collapsible(compared to a couch, anyway)and out of all my furniture, it's pretty much the only thing that's got some family value to it. My grandparents kept it in their basement for years, and looking at it now, I can still remember playing alongside my cousins and siblings with little barnyard animals, while the "grown-ups" conducted themselves upstairs. I've used it as a bookshelf/TV stand for the past half decade now--there's some sentimental value there.
And that sentimental value can be yours for $15. Or best offer. Between you and me, I'm kind of desperate here.
Anyway, the other big thing I'm getting rid of is the old bike, the one I've been posting about/complaining about for the last year. Here's a photo:
Oh, how the mighty have fallen/been dismantled. Again, my sentimentality--or perhaps Protestant thriftiness--has prevented me from merely throwing away the object in question. Rather, I've arranged for it be donated to a local program that teaches kids about bike repair. (And if I had only taken the course myself, the bike might have lasted a bit longer...) The catch is that I need to bring it in, which means finding someone with a van. I've arranged for that to happen tomorrow, but for today, that meant preparing the bike for transport. In particular, I had to saw off the bike lock that I'd lost the key for. That was a fun 20 minutes. For the record, here's what the inside of a bike lock looks like:
Six photos, and that was the best one. Anyway, if for some reason you can't make out fine details in fuzzy-view, there's an outer plastic shell that's kind of gray, an inner silver metal layer, and, at the center, a set of yellow, rope-like strands. I was expecting the metal, but not the strands. I don't know if this is standard for bike lock cables, or whether I've been suckered by the cyclist equivalent of painting bars of lead gold. At any rate, it's certainly secure enough; given the amount of noise and energy it took to hack through the damn thing, I don't know how today's modern bike thief does it.
Final note before I return to studying. A few months ago, I had the following conversation with my father:
"So I was looking through my things, and I see you guys left me a hacksaw. A HACKSAW. What on earth would I ever need a hacksaw for?"
"Oh, you never know. Might come in handy."
Touche, father. Touche.