the dilettante's guide to life



I'm here, but here isn't quite where I left it.
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004 @ 9:26 am

I know it's been two months, but I am still here.

Mind you, it turns out that "here" isn't quite where I left it, but I suppose it could be worse. Most things can, if you think about them hard enough.

So, two months and then some. The last time I updated, it had been more than three. That's a 33.3% decrease, more or less, which makes the bit at the end of my last entry about updating more often technically true, although I must admit it's not quite what I had in mind.

What I've been up to between then and now falls roughly, with a lot of Venn-like overlap, into three categories: Making the Most of the Time We Have Left, Moving, and Settling In.

Making the Most Etc. came first, and involved a lot of going out, seeing friends, going to places and doing things that we've been meaning to do but never got around to-- stuff like that.

Moving involved more of the same, plus the added passtimes of getting organized, visiting the vet and the Portuguese Department of Livestock and Agriculture to get the proper papers for Calliope, arranging for movers, acquiring more documents of various types, sorting through the stuff we've accumulated, attempting to be Ruthless With Our Discards (especially in regards to clothing, which is very difficult for a packrat such as myself, and books, which was downright painful), deciding what to take with us and what to ship. Stuff like that-- the sorts of things that one usually does when moving, only more so given our situation. There was also the added thrill of discovering where we were going to, where we'd be living, what sort of transportation was on offer and for how long (we still haven't fully discovered the answers to that last bit, in part because there are not answers to be had, as yet.) And then there was the actual packing, arrival of the movers, and related liver damage. The Liver Damage was, of course, the most fun (although if you asked our livers they might have a different answer). There wasn't so much a Going Away Party, but a Going Away Festival that featured lunches, dinners, parties, dinner parties, and staying out too late. Big Fun, all of it, and somehow we managed to survive.

Which brings us to the now, which is the Getting Settled In part of the program. We've been sent back to Dallas, so where we're attempting to settle is not entirely new, although it sure feels that way at times. At the very least, there are a lot more highways, for one thing. It's the same place we used to live, but different. It's a very odd feeling to be driving from Point A to Point B, just like I've done so many times before when hey! Where the hell did that come from? We're living in temporary corporate housing (a rather nice apartment, actually, albeit a small one) in a different area of town than where we used to live, so that's something new as well. Calliope has settled in amazingly well, and has already figured out how to open the doors, so no room is safe from her now. It's rather disconcerting, to be sitting on the toilet doing what one does on toilets, when click! -- in she strolls. She always gives me a a rather disdainful look: "Such a pitiful door. Did you really think that would work?" It would be nice if she would figure out how to close the doors behind her, but I'm certainly not holding my breath. So far, she hasn't tried to open the front door and go for a stroll outside, but I've been making sure to keep the deadbolt on, just in case. Knowing Calliope, the idea will occur to her sooner or later.

We'll be moving to another form of temporary accomodation at the end of the month, because The Company will only keep us here for one month and what this place charges is far too much, at least as far as I'm concerned. It does have a very nice (and very large) gym, which I have used exactly once. I'm hoping to do better with that, though. Even so, gym or no gym, the minute we have to start paying rent we'll be doing it somewhere else, most likely at one of those suite-hotel places which, believe it or not, are far cheaper.

Not, of course, that we plan on paying rent for long. Mainly what we've been doing is looking for a house. It's been time consuming, but fairly sucessful. In fact, we put in an offer on a house earlier this week. We're in the negotiation phase now, which is nerve wracking but I'm hopeful that everything will work out. This will be the first house either of us has bought, which is exciting and somewhat scary at the same time. If we can come to an agreement, though, we'll be looking at moving into our new home around the 15th of December, which (not so) coincidentally is the date that The Company stops paying to store all the stuff we had when we left for Europe in the first place. Fingers crossed and much praying.

And now it's time for me to hop in the shower so we can go pick up my car from the garage. We had them take it out of storage this week, and according to my new pals, The Mechanics, it has survived exceedingly well. I probably won't know for sure until I drive it around a while, which is a problem in itself as its registration expired in 1997 or thereabouts (at least we've got insurance on it, which is something). Also, I don't know if it passed the new (at least to me) emissions standards. The Mechanics were going to run it on some sort of car-treadmill last night, and test it for me only if they thought it would pass, so I won't really know until I get there, I guess. If it doesn't, there's stuff I can do, but to be honest when I talked to them on the phone yesterday I sort of let that whole segment of the conversation just wash over me, so I'm not really sure what's involved. More crossing of fingers. More prayers. Hopefully all that will be left for me to do (besides braving the DOT to get it reregistered and new license plates) is to have it detailed which is an absolute necessity as the poor thing is an absolute tip on the inside. Ah, well: nothing that a spot of fumigation won't handle. We've already bought an elderly Pathfinder off a friend, so at least we'll have something to get around in once the company-provided rental car runs out.

And that is that for now, as I'm off to shower and make myself presentable for whatever today throws at me.

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I'm here, but here isn't quite where I left it. - Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004
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