Saturday, November 1, 2008

I hate packing!

(The rewards of hard work; see Update 2)

I'm going to be moving in one month, so I've already started boxing things up, sorting things out, throwing junk away and setting aside a lot of donations for Goodwill. I have just spent a good chunk of the day packing the living room books (which are most of the books that will be moving with me), knocking down the bookcases and setting aside books I no longer really want.

The 500 lb. gorilla is downstairs in the storage unit: decades of accumulated books that have rarely seen the light of day since . . . well, maybe never. I've been schlepping them around from basement to basement, adding to them when shelf space got low or a new book obsession displaced the old one and whenever it was time to move I've looked at them with dread. The new apartment is considerably larger than this one but the storage unit is small and those books are just not going with me. The good news is that I've combed through them over the last 2.5 years and have a pretty clear idea not only of what is down there, but how little attachment I have to most of them.

Still, this is going to require work. I've got to dig the book boxes out from under everything else down there (what do I need with an electric chainsaw?) and make a final pass through the books, perhaps ambitiously sorting them by topic, all the better to impress the buyer at Powell's. Fortunately, the basement can be accessed by a ramp around the side of the building, which means I can roll a cart down there, pile on the doomed boxes and them roll them out to the car (and roll them, one hopes, into the Powell's warehouse). I will be doing well if I get out of this with only one box that can't be gotten rid of. Well, two, because I know there is a box of paperback science fiction that I can't lose. And there are picture books from when the kids were little (that was my excuse).

And when everything in the apartment is sorted, packed, boxed (what about the booze bottles?) and the new apartment is ready, I won't have to lift a finger or carry any of the boxes up that flight of stairs to the new place--the wonderful people at Thunder Movers, who moved me into this place in June 2006, will knock down the bed, strap up the tv and the liquor cabinet and woosh! in no time at all I'll be standing in an apartment surrounded by unopened boxes, desperately trying to find the booze and the cocktail glasses.

UPDATE: It appears that my old friend, Mike Horvat, will be taking a lot of these books off my hands, driving up from Stayton, OR after I get through sorting them out. It probably won't completely free me from the book buyer, but one never knows.

UPDATE 2: Maybe it was something about the time change, but I had an ungodly amount of energy this morning and was feeling restless. As a result, I tackled the gorilla, got all of the boxes out of the storage space and sorted through everything. Gack. After a couple of hours, though, I had boxes sorted by category and ran across some treasures I'd forgotten all about. At the top of the page is one of them: the August 9, 1974 6 am final of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Outside of the usual yellowing of newsprint, it's pristine. I should get it framed.

What the . . . ?

Don't even ask how I stumbled on this, but the story is even funnier than the photo.
A mouse got sweet revenge when a cat who was chasing it got its head stuck in the jam jar the mouse was hiding in.

Confused cat Mindy was seen wandering down a road in Peterborough with the jar on her head - the tiny mouse just millimetres away from her jaws.

A worried motorist took her to a police station where officers unsuccessfully tried to ease the jar off Mindy's neck.

Eventually, the tabby smashed the jar on the floor of the station, releasing herself and the mouse unharmed.
The cat had a microchip and was returned to its family; the mouse amscrayed and is reportedly still somewhere in the police station.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dog in the house

Since I'm moving out of this apartment anyway, I figured we could break the rules. NO PETS! NO PET VISITORS! Ralphie is spending the weekend.

He has a nice cedar-filled bed that he loves. Why, then, has he shunned it in favor of my favorite Afghani rug? I may need a stronger vacuum cleaner.