Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What to expect when you move:

You’ll lose things. We can’t find the phones. Or the Vonage modem that goes with them. What’s worse, we have a range of conflicting—albeit extremely vivid—memories of where we packed them: with the office stuff, with the kitchen stuff, with the bedroom stuff, with the important stuff that didn’t go into storage so we could access it immediately when we moved in. And because apparently I’m more packrat than organizer, we’ve found the BOXES the phones and the Vonage modem came in. Which means I actually took the time to pack the empty phone and modem boxes into a big moving box we could find right away, but I hid the actual hardware we would need in some other, never-to-be-seen-again box.

You’ll become a Luddite #1. We spent a great deal of time packing up my DVD/CD/ TiVo/surround sound system with labels and padding and shrink wrap to ensure it would stay wired the way it needed to be and we could essentially plug it into the wall when we got to the new place and it would work like nothing ever happened. But no so much. First of all, the speakers are making no noises, no matter what buttons I push. And the cable guy brought us a tiny little cable box that doesn’t have the same jacks as the old one I had. And he maliciously bypassed my TiVo when he hooked us up because I didn’t order DVR service from him. And I have no idea how to patch TiVo into such a tiny, jack-free little cable box, so I have another 2-hour hold on the TiVo help line to look forward to. Whee.

You’ll become a Luddite #2. Determined to make our house completely wireless, I bought three AirPort Express thingies for all our electronic toys: the computer speakers, the surround sound system that suddenly doesn’t work for shit anyway and the printer. I tried to set up the computer speakers first so we could listen to show tunes while we set up everything else, but Macintosh’s dirty little secret—its products aren’t as out-of-the-box functional as their marketing would have you believe—made itself instantly apparent … which means its dirty little secret works faster than its AirPort Express thingies. Which are all probably going even faster back to the store.

You’ll have to start wearing underpants. We both moved into our charming courtyard building from highrises with unobstructed views. And when there are no buildings obstructing your view, there are no buildings with people in them who can look in your windows. Which makes you a little indifferent to the importance of getting dressed with any sense of urgency—or modesty—in the morning. Which means for two mornings now I’ve spent time in front of our yet-to-be-curtained windows digging in boxes and suitcases and disorganized closets looking for clothes while I was completely naked. And since all our windows look across our courtyard, our new neighbors may have gotten to know us much better than we’d intended. Hi, new neighbors! On the plus side, maybe those neighbors are good with electronics and they see in our nakedness a metaphor for the helplessness we feel in the dismissive taunts of our hiding phones and our non-working speakers. And maybe they’ll bring Bundt cakes when they come over to offer their help.

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