Alcohol is Serious Business...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's becoming apparent to me that moving to another state is an ordeal. There's a lot to take into account when you're picking up your whole life and transplanting it 1,315 miles north and west. You'd think I would know that, seeing how I once did it. I picked up and moved 1,380 miles east. But that was different. That was something less intense than this. I was 20 years old and didn't have anything, or had next to nothing anyway, and I had someone who offered an already established place to be. This isn't that.

This is more than that. This time, we have to think about things we didn't before. We have to think about two cars to re-register and plate. Animals to license with the city. All the stuff people do every day, all over the world, when they relocate. It's pretty commonplace, in fact, for a lot of people. For me, it's a big deal and, as it turns out, is requiring some extra steps. Steps like the procedure for moving with liquor to a control state, like Utah.

A control state has some pretty steep regulations about liquor--they control the sale of spirits inside their borders. In Utah, transporting liquor into the state under almost any circumstances is against the law. One of the only exceptions in Utah is the relocation of a permanent residence and even then you have to fill out a form, give them an itemized list of all of the bottles you're bring in, and pay them a handling fee.

In Texas you'll encounter dry counties, where you can transport liquor in in small quantities without being a bootlegger. Something I have some small experience with since, until a few years ago, the county where we live was a dry county. Even now, you can't buy hard liquor here, but you can bring it in. In Utah, bringing it in in any quantity is a no no. So, we're jumping through their hoops as laid out for me by a very nice man at Utah's DABC.

Right now, I'm just thankful that there is a procedure at all. Matt is pretty fond of his Scotch and he would be heart broken if he had to give it up. Not to mention the expense involved in leaving it. But, there's a silver lining (I'm trying to find a lot of those these days). The very nice man at the DABC told me that you can definitely buy liquor in Utah... including Scotch. So, at least there's that.


Ultimately, I'm just thankful my diligent husband did the research because I wouldn't have thought of it. Had we gotten to the border without permission, with fifteen bottles of booze in tow, we could have had it confiscated and/or gone to jail. Compounding an already pretty hectic move with, you know, a felony. And, while that would make the move more memorable, it would also kind of suck.

Buried Treasures & Silver Linings

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I've spent the weekend cleaning out a room in my house that, until yesterday, we could not even get into. For almost 11 years that room has been closed up by the heaps of junk I've stored inside. Irregularly-shaped boxes I couldn't get my husband to take to the dumpster, broken desk chairs, vacuum cleaners that aren't working any more (we've gone through about one every year and a half), old lamps, a boom box that doesn't work anymore, an old computer monitor, a stack of text books in one corner that's almost as tall as I am, an old wing back chair, a dresser filled with paperbacks, old end tables.

Some people have junk drawers and a closet somewhere, I have this. And, that doesn't even begin to address all the junk I've been storing in this little room. I've spent a day and a half working on it and it's still not cleaned out. But in the process of so doing, I've also re-discovered many treasures I thought I had lost.

Pictures, some of which I haven't even ever seen, hidden in drawers. I found the title to our car. Old pictures of me as a baby, with my folks, class pictures from elementary school, certificates of achievement. I found my senior yearbook, signed to both me and my ex-husband, wishing us a long happy life together. ID cards from high school, from the first college I ever attended.

I've been so caught up in all the work this move is going to be that I've perhaps failed to see where the process might unearth treasures forgotten. It might be an opportunity to downsize, get rid of everything we don't want or need anymore, but it's also an opportunity to shuffle through those things that have, until now, been stored away. It's a small silver lining on an otherwise ugly gray cloud. And let me tell you, it's a BIG, UGLY cloud right now.

Not the reason for this move, that's awesome. But the work involved in doing so, which is mostly my fault because I haven't been very diligent about keeping things clean and clutter free, isn't so awesome. It's daunting and, on several occasions, I've just about given up on the whole thing... and I've only gotten one room partially cleaned up. There's so, so much more to do. But, if I can get this one room done, maybe I'll see some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Might be that this one room will give me the push I need to get the rest of it done. We'll see.

For now, I'm looking forward to seeing whatever other treasures I might manage to dig up in the process.


Cleaning & Packing

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Let me let you in on a not-so-secret... I am not a very good housekeeper. Or, at least, I haven't been a very good housekeeper in the last few years. My house is a mess, which wouldn't be a big deal except that we're about to move in like... a month and a half.

And, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "it can't be all that bad." Oh no, it's bad. We've lived here for 11 years and we haven't kept up with the clutter very well. Since the house is only a little less than 1,000 sq. ft. there is almost literally stuff everywhere. We're drowning in it.

But, I can't seem to do anything about it because we don't have a truck to haul away all the crap, we don't have any friends who will lend us a truck to haul it all away, and there's so much to do that my anxiety is out of control. I see it and rather than tackling it--which I need to do so that we can actually get it done by the time we move--I just shut down and can't seem to do anything.

To make matters about a million times worse, when I try to clean it up or tackle it, it just makes a bigger mess because I have no means by which to get anything out of here. When I try to resolve the issue about all the stuff, I run into walls at every single turn.

I tried to rent a dumpster, but you have to take a year commitment, you can't rent them by the month. I looked into a roll-off container, but they cost like $1,000 (which is ludicrous) and the park manager seemed sketchy about allowing it on the lawn. Apparently, we can park a house here, but roll-off's are a no-no? I was going to get a Uhaul pick-up for 3 days this weekend, but after making the arrangements they called me and said none of the Uhaul places in town rent out pick-up trucks. So, we're going to have to rent a 10' moving truck instead, which is going to be ridiculous.

The whole mess is pretty frustrating, to say the very least.

Oh, and then there's the issue of packing. With everything being such a mess, I'm really self-conscious about anyone being in my house. I'm pretty ashamed, to be honest. So, I ask Matt to bring home boxes. Instead of doing that, he tells me he's pretty sure the relocation company packs your stuff for you. They do everything. Packing, moving, they'll even take one of our cars and they'll store our stuff for up to two months.

This is about where my anxiety skyrocketed and I just about lost my shit. No, I did lose my shit. I do not want strangers in my house, I don't want them packing my stuff. I can't handle it, at all, so I tell him again (loudly) to bring me some boxes. But now that he has brought them home, I can't bring them inside because there is literally no where to put them. Awesome. So, there're boxes in the trunk and back seat of his car, which I can't do anything about until I get some of this junk out of here.

Again, frustrating.

I just don't handle change very well and this is change. This is huge change. I want to move, more than I can possibly express, but the process of moving is already making me nuts and it hasn't even started yet.

I'm hoping we learn more when the relocation company calls us to talk about plans to move our stuff. After that, we should have a definite idea about what they do. I know they offer a self-move option where they'll get you a Uhaul truck, but I don't think I could convince Matt that's the way to do it. He's pretty set on not having to worry about it, which means I get to do all the worrying. Sadly, he's much more well-equipped to do that worrying than I am.

So, wish me luck. I'm going to need a lot of it to get through this.

The Good News...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A week or so back, I posted some non-news with promises to share news when I had some. Well, I have some. And it is awesome. So here goes.

At the beginning of the year my darling husband went to Utah to work for two weeks on a project. A few weeks ago, he was invited back to interview for an open position (this was the non-news, because we didn't know anything yet). He was there for three days and since then we've been waiting to hear back. Today (this was written yesterday), we got word...

Logan, UT
He got the job!!

Which means we're moving to Utah sometime in the very near future--likely, in the next two months. He's so excited for this new opportunity. We're both looking forward to going somewhere new. Doubly so because he says it's really beautiful there.

But, I'm also terrified. I've done this once, I've moved to a new state. When I was almost 21 years old I moved from California to Texas. Back then, I was more adaptable than I am now. I also didn't have much because my ex-husband refused to let me take anything but my clothes and some stuff I'd had before we got married. This is a whole different story.

We have a ton of stuff. There's a whole house worth of junk to get rid of. There's a lot of stuff to pack and not a lot of time to pack it all. Makes me glad I'm not currently working and have the time to devote to it. We also don't have a truck, which means I'm going to have to rent one in order that we can get rid of all the junk that needs to go.

And then there's the fact that in all his years Matt has never lived anywhere but in Texas. While I've experienced a culture change--California and Texas are two distinctly different beasts--he never has. It's going to be something completely new for him. I'm looking forward to it, to seeing how he manages to assimilate to a new place. I think it's going to be awesome. He wants this so much and is so ready for the change, I'm sure he'll thrive there.

So yeah, big news and a big move on the horizon for us. Wish us luck as we try to navigate it without making a mess of things.

WIPMarathon #3

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oh man, I am not making a good impression with these things, huh? I have no excuse except that I've been busy this weekend and it didn't really occur to me that yesterday was the last Saturday of the month. Fail. Okay, so here it is...

Last report wordcount + chapter count/scene count: 70,210 (8 chapters, lots of scene breaks)

Current report WC + CC/ SC: 81,788 (10 chapters, lots of scene breaks)

WIP Issues this month: I've been pretty sick, which makes writing really hard. So, I pick up my WIP, write a few words, and pass out. Or, I couldn't work up the energy to even think about working on it. Or, even doing anything except laying in my bed. All of that makes writing pretty hard. Also, now that I'm getting on to the end, I find it takes a little more thinking to think through all the loose threads and how to tie them together.

Four things I learned this month in writing: Let's see if I can come up with four...

  1. Making word goals is kind of pointless for me. I've been saying I want to finish this current novel inside 85,000 words. That is definitely not going to happen. That's so far from happening, it's not even funny. BUT, since I plan to maybe remove one whole subplot from the final draft, if it goes longer than 85k, I have room to toss all the stuff that doesn't work.
  2. Hmm...
  3. Hmm...
  4. Apparently, I have been so busy this month, I only managed to learn one damn thing. lol

What distracted me this month while writing: I can almost sum that up in two words--my husband! When his schedule is off, my schedule is off. He's been so busy this month with work, his schedule changing around a bunch of times, which throws me off. Also, being sick I somehow ended up on a sleep all day/stay awake all night type schedule and that doesn't really work. Which sort of sucks, since I was most productive when I was up all night. Finally, my husband had to go to Utah again this weekend (he was gone Thursday - Sunday) which meant a lot of driving back and forth from the airport (about 2 hours from here). Oh, and I went out of town this weekend to see friends, so no writing.

Goals for next month: Since I made my goal last month (yay!!), I'm going to go for another 10k and hope that maybe, kinda, sorta finishes it off. Then I can get to editing, or at least allowing it to rest while I work on something else to get some distance before editing.

Last 200 words: “Stop it,” I moved between them, my voice a hushed warning. “Now!” 

“Son of a bitch,” Holly was still looking past me at Alexander. 

“Holly,” I shook my head at her, “don’t.” 

“Anna,” he peeled his homicide glare off of my best friend, “take your friend home before something regrettable happens to her.” 

I took a deep breath through my nostrils, then turned to Alexander until our chests were nearly pressed together. 

“Do not ever threaten my friends,” I warned, “she was wrong to have slapped you, but you provoked her.” 

He cocked an eyebrow, the muscles in his jaw tightening, but he didn’t argue. Instead, he said good night and strode past us and into the restaurant without another look at Holly who still seethed on the sidewalk. 

It occurred to me, only after he had gone inside, that I hadn’t asked him what the hell he happened to be doing at my favorite restaurant at the same time I was. Not that it made a whole lot of difference, but I wondered somewhere deep down if he had come here because of me. I turned and looked through the glass into the restaurant. Alexander sat alone, watching me out the windows, chatting with the waitress who had served us dinner. 

I turned and handed my keys to Holly, “Go home,” I said. 

She looked at the keys like they were some wholly foreign object. “You’re not coming?” she sounded small. 

“No,” I shook my head, “I need to have a chat with Alexander.” 

“No Anna,” she looked toward the restaurant, “look, I’m sorry.” 

“I’m not mad at you,” I assured her, “just go home and sleep it off, I know you’re angry. You’ll feel better tomorrow and you can bring my car back when you pick me up for work.” 

She looked tired all of the sudden, like she had used up all of her energy being angry at Alexander and had none left for herself. When she nodded and headed for the car, mine this time, I watched her and Cass go. Then I strode back inside CIRCA and slid into the both across from Alexander. 

“I think I’ll have that drink after all.” (367 words)

***

I know it's way more words than 200, but the last 200 didn't make a lot of sense without some of the ones that came before them. So, overshare!!
 
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