I have been very remiss in my blogging obligations, as of late...but the accursed cross-country move, the new job, a spur-of-the-moment work trip to South Carolina, a planned trip to Bora Bora that turned into one of the worst Snarky Snafus in history, and the addition of a new puppy to our freak circus sideshow of pets that perform no special tricks whatsoever has kept me on my toes and my fingers away from blogging. Sad, but true. But now I’m back from outer space and ready to belt it out like Gloria Gaynor.
For all of you out there who are even beginning to contemplate a move of some distance, I have sage words of wisdom for you: either suck it up and pay through the nose and ass to have one company move you, from alpha to omega, loading/unloading/driving/and everything in between OR sell everything that won’t fit in your vehicle and embrace the beauty of being free from material objects. Do NOT under any circumstances hire a local unloading/loading company by the hour to load your stuff onto a freight vehicle that has only a pre-set amount of linear feet available to you based on a faulty computer program, especially, and this is important kids, when you live a mile off the grid off a dirt road that cannot support the weight of a 16-wheel rig. If you do not heed my advice, the following events MAY occur:
(1) Your seemingly friendly local movers, who quoted you a price of $400 for the job (but are paid by the hour), may end up costing almost $900 based on the fact that you have stairs, own more heavy shit than you thought you did, have a foreperson from Romania who does not communicate well with the other two Spanish-speaking movers, and are secretly charged for rolls of tape and "specialized" boxes that the movers used (at $6 per roll and $15 per box) without your permission and despite the fact that you had rolls of tape available for their use and abuse. Screaming matches with moving company management in which fraud allegations and litigation are threatened may follow.
(2) You will run out of your allotted space on the freight moving truck, because although you allowed for two linear feet over what their computer program told you that you needed (because you’re Type-A that way), well, you were a cotton-headed ninnymugins for trusting a computer program (e.g., see 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Terminator oevure, and TRON). You will then either be forced to have a sidewalk fire sale on whatever doesn’t fit on the freight truck or beg and barter with the freight moving company to load and unload a SECOND truck with your extra stuffs, so that now your move is not in one fail swoop, but two rather inefficient swaps.
(3) Your stuff will be broken, damaged, chipped, and dirty on account of the fact that linear space moving trucks require one to follow the "pile high, my son" theory of packing. You may wonder if removing the dining room chair that is sticking precariously out of the morass of furniture about 3/4ths of the way to the diaphanous ceiling of the freight truck will be the "Jenga" piece-de-resistance.
(4) You will have to hire a THIRD moving company (in addition to the loaders and the freight company) to unload the freight truck and shuttle your worldly goods along the one mile of oh-so-scenic-and-yet-oh-such-a-pain-in-your-ass dirt road leading up to your new three acre tarantula-bearing estate. This will inevitably cause the unloading process to last five to six hours, when it should have only lasted two hours under normal operating conditions. However, if you’re smart, at this stage, you will have figured out to hoodwink the unloading moving company into a flat rate job estimate, thereby avoiding problem #1 (because lord knows they won’t anticipate that anyone with two brain cells to rub together would possibly attempt to move in the manner described above).
(5) You will end up paying equal to or more than the estimates you received for total moving solution companies, and will now simply have more headaches and a harder time getting all the bills together for the moving tax deduction for next year. On the upside, if you’re a believer in whatever doesn’t kill you make you stronger, well then, you just paid for an injection of titanium rods into your ego. Congratulations.
Oh, and one last word of advice - never, ever, ever, if you can avoid it, plan a cross-country trip with yours truly. While my laissez-faire, last-minute packing ethos works perfectly fine for in-city moves (where I can slink back to my old place after my friends have helped me move and clear up the detritus littering my floor and closets), it is wholly incompatible with an organized launch across the nation. Sassyfras should be given a medal, or at least a year’s worth of slave labor.
Speaking of Sassyfras - the FUN part of our trip was the part where we arranged our five cats (see above reference to freak circus sideshow of pets that perform no special tricks whatsoever) into five kitty carriers and five sets of kitty-sized leashes and harnesses), ourselves plus luggage, and my 70-80-bottle wine collection into a BMW 335i two-door coupe for our own temperature-controlled cross-country voyage. Along the way, I learned some valuable lessons - (a) I am not allergic to cats unless you place five of them within close proximity to me for four days in an enclosed space less than 14 cubic feet; (b) the Meox Mix "meow meow meow meow" song is NOT entertaining if it persists longer than an hour; (c) organic pet sedatives are da bomb; (d) attempting to walk five cats on leashes at rest stops and restaurants is inefficient, unruly, and would cause a diaper-clad walrus with an alien growing out of its head to look at you funny; (e) Best Westerns allow pets in pretty much every state of the union; (f) Arkansas has six dry counties and a roadside billboard that gives you the number for Satan (which we failed to write down in enough time to call it and see if it rang either of our cell phones); (g) the birth places of Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Andrew Jackson are more or less off the same highway; (h) the United States would get much prettier if we allowed the Western part of Texas to secede from the union; and (i) if your relationship can survive all of the above, you’re probably pretty set for a life of peace and happiness.
Needless to say, we finished the trip with less wine than we started (although, in no event did we drink in any of the six dry states in Arklansas; indeed, we neglected to even stop in any of them), and we are not moving our boot-ays out of this house for a good, looooooooooong while.