This soft, cuddly guy just jumped up into my lap.
We are slowly settling into life in Connecticut. We’re in an apartment with a six month lease, but it looks like we’ll actually be in the house closer to November than March. Fortunately, our leasing office said we can assign (sublease) the rest of our lease, so it should work well.
It took way longer than anticipated to get internet set up. I was somewhat smug that I had made an appointment to install internet at the apartment last Monday (the 9th), but it got really confusing with self-installing and dead phone jacks. They finally sent a technician, who unplugged the filter from the phone jack, and everything worked. I asked him if that was the whole problem. He shook his head and said no, that he had hooked up the cable in the basement before coming to the apartment. That would help, yes.
We got a new bed, new mattress, new chest of drawers, and new sectional couch delivered from Ikea. Alan and I picked everything out a week ago, but because direct deposit wasn’t set up for his paychecks then, I went back this week to actually place the order and pay for everything. I didn’t feel comfortable loading up a cart with 86 lb. mattresses and 240 lb. dressers. So I used the “pick and deliver” service, which was only $119 for everything, and they delivered it 24 hours later. It helps that we live about 45 miles from the Ikea in New Haven!
I’m still assembling furniture. I have everything put together except for the drawers for the bed. It surprises me that I like putting together Ikea furniture. I’m very much a “big picture” person: I really prefer to know the overview before I hear the details. But that doesn’t work (for me) with looking through furniture instructions. Instead, I have to just do the next step, and trust that it will all come together. And it does. It’s a very Zen-like experience for me, focusing on the present.
Copper and Ptoley are doing well. They did not like the seven hour car drive. Copper hid under the passenger seat for 99% of the trip. Ptoley walked around for a while, before perching on the center arm rest and looking out the windshield. It wasn’t long before he got nervous, and climbed into my lap. He’d lay there for maybe a whole minute, before he decided he really wanted to be able to see out the window, so he’d make a loop back to the center arm rest. He split his time between those two locations, never staying long in either.
They weren’t happy to be in the car, and they were even less happy to be locked into the bathroom for the next six hours. The apartment is a loft, and the bathroom is the only room of the house that has a door that closes and latches–all the closets have metal bi-fold doors. So the cats, their food, and their travel litter box hung out in the bathroom while we (mostly Alan–I had come down with a miserable cold the day before) unloaded the van. They hid in the cabinet in the bathroom–poor cats :(
Alan seems to be enjoying his job. He’s working on getting his security clearance right now, so his job duties are somewhat limited. His office is in the unsecured part of the building, and the lab is secured. He said the most common conversation in the cubicles is “let’s go to the lab–I need to talk to you about something.” Despite the fact that all the employees’ offices are in the cubicles, I get the impression that he’s sometimes the only person there for portions of the day; everyone else is in the lab.
I got a new phone, an iPhone! I’ve had a flip phone since forever, which has worked fine for me. But being without internet, and without the ability to do things like look up bank balances, the decision to get a smartphone was reinforced in my mind. I hadn’t been able to wrap my mind around a two-year contract for a ridiculous amount of money each month, so when a friend told me about Page Plus Cellular, I was intrigued. I bought the phone (it works on the Verizon network with any Verizon phone) from Amazon Warehouse. It’s a few generations old, but it was in a sealed package with all the original accessories, so I do not care! And then I put a $12/month plan and a $10 prepaid card on the phone. The $12/month plan is the lowest, and provides 250 minutes, 25o texts, and 10 MB of data. I have cellular data turned off, and will turn it on if I’m out and about and need to look something up. The $10 card is a cushion, so that if I use up the plan minutes/texts/data, I can draw from the card, which lasts 120 days. So I could spend as little as $14.50 a month for iPhone coverage, which is awesome.
I also hooked my phone number up to Google Voice, so that I can have both a local number, and keep my old number. It’s kind of like getting a new email address when you get married. Plus, I can use the Google Voice app on the iPhone on WiFi (at home), and make calls without using my minutes! It’s pretty nifty.
Lest you think my life is all new phones and new couches, 65% of the apartment is still boxes. The decluttering never ends. I’m hoping to consolidate between this move and the next. And it’s hard to wrap my mind around settling into this apartment, if we’re moving again in a few months. I have to go assemble more Ikea furniture and live in the present… or something…
I hope you have an excellent weekend! Is it starting to feel like Fall? Do you have any plans for the weekend? I’d love to hear them in the comments!
[With Alan’s help,] Ptoley has managed to catch a chipmunk three times now. It’s the same chipmunk; it lives in our neighbor’s yard.
The first time, Alan called me to come watch. It was the strangest thing. Ptoley would carry the chipmunk around the yard, and then set it down. When Ptoley set the chipmunk down it wouldn’t run away; it would fight with Ptoley. In fact, it would jump on Ptoley’s back, like a Tom & Jerry cartoon.
Eventually the chipmunk made it to some bushes and escaped.
The second time, when Alan called me to come watch I brought my camera.
And then this happened:
Where did the chipmunk go?
There it is!
Alan turned in his dissertation yesterday morning. He got four copies (180 pages each) printed and bound: one at Staples, three at the university print shop. He stuck around school most of the day to field any potential phone call regarding paperwork.
At 3:30pm I picked him up. We hung out at home for a few hours. We were going to go out, but Alan seemed pretty bushed. He wanted hamburgers and milkshakes for dinner. I wanted to go to a movie. I swung by Wegmans and got supplies for milkshakes and burgers, along with some cheese, rice crackers, and raspberries for an appetizer, and a six-pack of beer. I also got a movie from Redbox.
Alan snacked while I cooked up a couple of hamburgers. For Alan, I pressed some jarred jalapenos into the patties, and topped the cooked burgers with pepper-jack cheese and arugula. I pressed my patties thin and cooked them until they were really brown on the outside. I melted some cheddar cheese over the top and ate them with a fork and knife (no bun). Alan wanted a vanilla-caramel-bourbon milkshake like he had at a restaurant recently. I think I did a pretty good job of replicating it.
We watched the movie, and went to bed early, chatting for quite a while before nodding off. Copper came up and snuggled between Alan’s knees and mine. Ptoley looked out the bedroom window for a while, and then went downstairs to sleep, as is his custom.
It was such a regular, mundane evening (dinner, movie, bed), but we haven’t had it in so long. It felt like the best, most romantic date ever.
I got back to tiling the bathroom today (I’m off to mix up another batch of mortar after this), Alan read some wikipedia articles (a hobby of his), and mowed the lawn. We’re headed out to a restaurant tonight to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It’s nice to be back to a rhythm: work, rest, friends, chatting, down-time, entertainment, cats, food. I’m very happy :)
[conversation takes place on the phone]
Eliza: I wanted to let you know that I started to dig through the papers on the desk. The house might be in the it-gets-worse-before-it-gets-better phase when I go to bed. So if you get home and the house is a mess, that’s why.
Alan: I always think that if I come home to a messy house
Eliza: Thanks! Oh, Copper just knocked the pizza box onto the floor.
Alan: I always think that the cats knocked the pizza on the floor. I never think it was you.
The first time the cats knocked pizza on the floor overnight we were mystified–why? how? Turns out they like to lick the pepperoni.
A few weeks ago the weather got really hot and muggy, and I asked Alan to put the air conditioner in our bedroom window. He opened the window and screen, and I warned him not to let the cats jump out the window. They love to be outside, and we let them out occasionally, but only if we’re out with them, and only if the gate is closed so they can’t escape. Also, I didn’t want them to jump too far, or to get stuck in the big tree outside our window.
Alan kind of rolled his eyes at me and gave me a “yes, Dear” nod, as the cats slipped out the window one by one. I gave a little shriek, and scrambled to get downstairs and check on them. I put on shoes to go outside and close the gate so they wouldn’t escape from the back yard. Alan seemed unconcerned.