Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Move to Virginia

It's been a while since I've blogged, just because everything has been crazy busy. I still don't feel settled at all in Virginia. I left Princeton on July 1 and haven't been able to find the time to sit down and write about it. I'm going to attempt to give a day-by-day update on what's happened since I got the U-Haul out on the road:

Saturday, July 1st: My family and I get on the road around 6:45 am. I sleep for most of the first leg because I was out with Lelani the night before and didn't get much sleep. We stop off for gas before we even leave Wisconsin. The car gets horrible gas milage with the trailer attached to it (about 15 mpg, I think...). My parents have a second breakfast at McDonalds, which confuses me and my brother. I have a coffee and then drive after this first stop for a few hours. I plug my ipod into the car stereo while I drive, which annoys my family because we aren't constantly changing CDs so that other people can pick the music. We stop and have a late lunch at a Chinese buffet around 2 or 3pm. Around 6 or 7pm, my mom starts to complain and says that we need to stop off for the night. She claims that we will never find a hotel room because it is a holiday weekend. I think to myself, "We're in bumblefuck Ohio...who comes here for the holiday? People are going to the beach." I don't say anything to my mom, though, because I'm afraid that she will fly into some sort of rage if I contradict her. I complain to my brother while we are stopped off for gas, though, and my mom ends up overhearing at least some of what I said. She gets angry with me for a little while, but it passes. Nothing gets thrown at my head. We get a hotel room in Springfield, OH, which is still pretty far from Columbus, which I thought was our goal for the day. Our hotel has wireless internet, so I check how much further we have to drive the next day. We still have about 12 hours of driving to go, according to google. I say to my parents, "How are we going to get the U-Haul returned by 5pm tomorrow if we have so much more driving to go?" My dad says, "What? The U-Haul place is open until 7pm. We'll be fine." I read Lelani's myspace blog while in the hotel room. It makes me cry and I get the feeling that my family is wondering what the hell is wrong with me. We go out to some barbeque place for dinner and then shop at Big Lots. I'm overwhelmed by the enormous amount of crap. I overhear an amusing conversation between two old black men about how the devil knows all of our weaknesses and is out to get us. My brother begs my parents to buy him a bunch of blank CDs and a plastic file thing that he wants to use to organize his scrapbook materials. He's randomly decided that he wants to make a scrapbook of his life. He's been working on it on and off throughout the car ride. He's mostly been sleeping, though. I get my parents to agree that everyone will be ready to be on the road the next morning at 6:30am. We'll have continental breakfast as it opens up and then take off.

Sunday, July 2: We do lots of driving through the mountains. The car struggles to get up the inclines. My mom bitches at me and says that I'm going to overheat the car by making it go too fast. We stop off at this place in Maryland and there is a sign that shows where in the horizon we should look to see the Mason-Dixon line. I realize that I am now a Southerner. We get to Arlington a little bit after 4pm. Jake comes downstairs with a cart and we take loads of stuff up in the service elevator at the apartment building. It gets to be after 5pm and I ask my dad where we are taking the U-Haul. He pulls out a sheet of paper with phone numbers on it and realizes that all of the U-Haul places do close at 5pm on Sundays. As we're pulling the last things out of the U-Haul onto the cart, it begins to rain. Jake lets us know that he noticed a parking spot on the street where we could keep the car and U-Haul for the night. We are lucky because it's a spot we can pull straight into. It would be impossible to parallel park that U-Haul. Jake drives us to Alexandria and we go out for pizza. It's still raining when we get there, but it clears up enough that we are able to take my family for a walk down to the waterfront in Old Town after dinner. We inflate an air mattress for my parents to sleep on in the living room and my brother sleeps on the futon. I start working on putting my things away in the apartment.

Monday, July 3: Jake and my dad return the U-Haul in the morning. They buy a parking pass so that my parents' car can stay in the apartment parking lot for the week. I say that I wouldn't mind trying to go the National Archives. Jake and I went once before, but didn't have time to stick around and look at everything we wanted to see then. We take my family on the Metro into town and find out that the Archives are closed due to the flooding that occurred the week before. We go to the Museum of Natural History instead. Cory said earlier to me that he wanted to go shopping at Urban Outfitters, so I suggest that we head into Chinatown, grab lunch and go to Urban so that he is happy. We try to go to someplace simple and reasonably cheap like Fuddruckers or Potbelly, and both places are crammed full of people. My family doesn't want to wait in line for food. There is a tapas places called La Tasca and there isn't a wait to get in. My brother and mom want to go to it. We order tapas and my dad is incredibly grumpy about the whole thing. He doesn't want to have anything to do with this kind of food. I also think he was pissed because it was more than he wanted to spend on lunch. After lunch, we take Cory to Urban Outfitters. We spend an ungodly amount of time in that store and no one buys anything. My dad is still being grumpy. I'm irritated at the amount of time we are spending shopping. We also go to a sports store that is in Chinatown. My mom buys these little spandex shorts for my brother. Jake and I think the shorts look hilarious. Cory needs them because he is going to be in a triathalon soon, though. I hope someone takes pictures of him in his tiny shorts. Haha. We go to the Museum of American History in the afternoon and then head back to the apartment around 5pm. I continue working on cleaning up the house and putting my things away. My dad is still grumpy and does not seem to want to leave the house to get dinner. He wants a hamburger but doesn't want to walk a few blocks to get one. We end up ordering food from this horrible Doctor Delivery service. Our food doesn't come until after 9pm and is cold. I don't complain though, because I don't want to irritate my parents.

Tuesday, July 4: We head into DC to see the parade on Constitution Ave. Jake and Cory run to Potbelly and get us sandwiches as it opens. It's really hot outside and I get thirsty. After about an hour and a half of parade, Cory gets antsy and says he wants to leave. Jake and I have the idea that we should take my family to the Old Post Office Pavilion to sit down and have a drink. We have to cross Constitution Ave. to do that though, and my family doesn't want to wait for the police to let us cross the parade. Jake and I wait outside as my family goes into one of the Smithsonian buildings and uses the bathroom. They come out and we go to the Post Office Pavilion. My dad says we should take a walk past the White House, so Jake and I take my family up there. Jake has credits left on a game card for ESPN Zone, so we take my family there to play games in the afternoon. After that, we head back to the apartment for a bit. Right after we get home, a huge storm hits. There is lots of wind and hail and we watch lightning from the windows in the apartment. Cory wants to use the pool at the apartment building right after the storm blows over, but he goes downstairs and someone there tells him the pool is closed. I manage to clear away all of the boxes in the house and store them. I only have a few random things in the bedroom that need to find a place. We eat Mexican food for dinner and then carry some fold out chairs out on the Mount Vernon trail and watch fireworks across the river. We spare ourselves the huge lines to get onto the Metro that Jake and I experienced last year.

Wednesday, July 5th: We go up the Washington Monument in the morning. Jake put tickets on hold for us so that we wouldn't have to wait in line at like 6am or whenever people who don't order tickets ahead show up. We check out a bunch of the other monuments (WWII, Korean, Lincoln, and Vietnam). It sprinkles on us on and off. We walk up to the Exchange to get sandwiches for lunch and it starts to rain harder. It's still raining hard when we leave lunch. We decide to ride the Metro to Arlington Cemetery and check the weather there. When we get off the Metro, it's sprinkling lightly and it appears to me that the darkest clouds are moving away from us. I suggest that we risk it and try to do the cemetery. We stop in the Visitor's Center and it starts raining a lot harder outside. We mull around in the Visitors Center, but the rain doesn't appear to be letting up. I suggest that we just make a run for it back to the Metro and leave. My parents are against this idea. Jake, Cory, and I are antsy to leave. After sitting in the Visitor's Center for about an hour, we finally convince my parents to make a run for it. When we get back to the apartment, Cory says that he wants to try to use the pool. My family tells him that it's probably closed because it is raining outside, but he insists that they probably didn't close it because there's no lightning. He really wants to train for his triathalon. Jake and I offer to take my parents to the hotel they've reserved for the evening and ask Cory to ride along so that we can go to Home Depot and buy a grill. Jake wants to use the HOV lane and we need a third person in the car. Cory whines because he just wants to check on the pool at the apartment and go swimming. Eventually, Cory gets his way and my parents tell him he can check on the pool at the hotel to see if he can swim there. My mom offers to ride along to pick up the grill. We buy a grill and come back to the hotel to pick up my dad and brother. Cory still couldn't use the pool because the one at the hotel is outdoors and closed because of the rain. HA. We go to the grocery store to pick up food. My brother somehow manages to slice his toe open on an escalator there. We have to buy a bunch of stuff so he can bandage up his foot. We come home and Jake and my dad assemble the grill. Cory puts on the movie The Usual Suspects, which he has been begging to watch all week long. My mom and I boil brats and corn and put togther sandwiches to put in the cooler we're planning to take to Six Flags the next day. We make dinner and drop my parents back off at the hotel. Cory and Jake convince me to start up a game of Risk in the evening, which is the longest game ever. We don't finish the game and leave it set up when we go to bed.

Thursday, July 6th: Some of the power randomly goes off in Jake's apartment in the morning. At first, I think we've blown a fuse or something, but then Jake goes out in the hallway and says that the elevators in the building aren't working either. We load up a cooler to take to Six Flags and Jake and Cory haul it down the stairs to take to the car. We pick up my parents and drive to the park. We get there early and have to stand around for about an hour. We get in line for this Superman rollercoaster and it appears that there are problems with it. A guy behind the controls is on his cell phone and appears to be working on something. The operators keep running test runs and not letting anyone on. While in line, Cory picks at this pimple on his ear and suddenly it starts gushing blood. He has blood all over his hand and nothing to wipe it up with. My mom gives him a map made up of glossy paper, which he uses to try to soak up the blood. I say the whole thing is ridiculous and tell everyone we should just turn around, get Cory to wash up, and get in line for a different ride. I take off and my mom and Jake follow, but then I get outside of the line and my mom informs me that Cory and my dad refused to leave the line. WTF? The lines are short, so my mom, Jake, and I ride a different rollercoaster. We finally meet back up with my dad and brother after Superman starts running. I have a headache and am severely irritated with my family. I keep thinking about how I just want to go home, relax, and get ready for my interview that's happening the next day. We have lunch in the parking lot out of the cooler and I go to a really cheesy show with my parents afterwards because I say that I don't think I can handle rides. My dad says that he's not feeling well either and doesn't want to go on anything. Cory and Jake go off by themselves and ride a bunch of rollercoasters. After the show, it gets warmer out, the sun comes out, and I start feeling better about things. I go on some rides and Cory and Jake say they want to go to Hurricane Harbor and go on water rides. We do some water stuff while my parents go off on their own and then meet up to leave the park. We drive to Red Lobster for dinner because my parents have a gift card they want to use. We drop off my parents and return to the apartment. There are still problems with the power and we have to take the stairs again. There is no power in the apartment, but luckily it's still light outside. Cory has to go number two, though, and he starts to complain that he doesn't want to do it in Justin's dark bathroom. I find a candle that he can light and use while he's in there. Jake and Cory leave for the park to play basketball and I start to look at interview stuff. The power comes back on just before it gets dark outside. I get bored and call Maria to wish her a happy birthday. Jake and Cory come back and I win the Risk game because I am a strategy genius.

Friday, July 7: My family leaves in the morning. They pull out of the parking lot and I randomly start sobbing, which I think freaks Jake out because he didn't expect it out of me...probably because I'd done a lot of complaining about my family the whole week long. Jake leaves to go to work. I take the Metro to my interview in the afternoon. The job sounds overwhelming. They ask me how I would care for my own mental health if I have to take a job where I see children in terrible conditions. They ask me pointed questions about if I feel that I can be culturally competent and work with people different from me. I don't know if they'll offer me a job or not. They said that they will probably contact me in about two weeks. I get home from my interview and fall asleep. I'm totally exhausted. Jake comes home and I'm out of it. He makes me get up and we go to Noodles for dinner.

Saturday, July 8th: Jake and I go shopping. I get a free card to Costco, because Jake is allowed to add one person onto his account. Costco is the most awesome store ever. You can buy huge pakages of Combos! And big platters of sushi that are only $5! And beer! And books! And digital cameras! And whole Norwegian salmon! And chocolate sculptures of the Capitol building! We go to Brian's (a guy that works at the patent office) in Alexandria in the afternoon. He has a 1/4 barrel of beer. Justin is there and I finally get to see him for more than half a second. He asks me who the guy was sleeping on the couch and I tell him that it was my brother. He makes a random inappropriate joke about tea-bagging my brother. Hmm. I find out that Justin plans to work 120 hours over the next two weeks so he can take another vacation, so I figure I probably won't see him much around the apartment over the next month or so. Brian has a nice little backyard area where he is growing a bunch of tomatoes and random herbs. We grill a bunch of food. There are about 7 or 8 of us drinking a bunch of beer. We end up finishing off the 1/4 barrel. We see some of Alexandria's fireworks from the front yard. Lelani tries to call me, but her phone cuts out before I hear her say anything. I'm drunk and it's loud anyway. Most or all of the guys at the party work at the patent office. There are a few girls at the party and most or all of them work at Mount Vernon. I think they are all friends with Lori, who is married to Matt, who works at the patent office. There is a lot of bitching about jobs. It seems like a lot of people hate their jobs.

Sunday, July 9th: Jake and I go to see the Pirates of the Carribean movie. We watch the end of the World Cup. I cook salmon for dinner. I'm happy because we have a dishwasher...if we didn't, I know it would have taken me five times as long to clean up after dinner. I start this blog.

Monday, July 10th: Christ, this thing is getting long. Kudos to anyone who stuck with it and read it. It's probably pretty damn boring. Today, I'm going to work on looking for a job...



Emily said...

Sounds exhausting.

You crying when your family left reminded me of when my sister left Korea after visiting me...I started balling and couldn't stop. I felt like a total tool on the bus back to Pyeongtaek. "What the hell's wrong with the whitey?"

Good luck on the job front. I'm not looking forward to finding a job after returning to the US. Maybe I'll be a bum the rest of my life. :)

Sarah said...

If you dare wear short shorts...
Does Cory use Nair? Hmmmm.

I agree with Emily...your experience seems exhausting. It sounds like you made it through pretty well, though, with Jake at your side.

You can pass along to Jake that I saw his mom at the Art Fair on the Square Saturday. I think she recognized me, but I didn't see her until she was practically past me, and it took me about 7 seconds to realize who she was, so no conversation was had. My appologies!

Maria said...

random thoughts:

What's Corey's scrapbook look like? I'm imagining something frilly and pink.

You did win Risk. Even after they teamed up on you. Yay! Good job; I always knew you'd be great at world domination.

How was Pirates of the Caribbean? I wanted to go see it for my birthday, but it was packed. We saw Click instead. I cried a lot. Adam Sandler movies make me cry (And Joe Dirt. I cry when I watch Joe Dirt...)

I'm really hoping Corey decides to put shorts over the tiny shorts!

Love lots,

guammy_bear said...

TINY SHORTS. Someone really ought to get a picture of that.

Cory makes me feel like such a bum.

Why does Maria spell Cory with an "e". Let's just call him Darling Love, shall we? Simplify things.

I'm so glad that we never did the family vacation bit. I'm pretty sure that sort of thing would drive me goddamned NUTS. Congratulations on having enough self-retraint to NOT murder a family member.

I also give Kudos to The Jake for being a good fiance and going with the flow.

I'm so damn scared of having to introduce someone into my family. They'd tear the poor sap apart. How. Unseemly.

I also like that you cried when they left. Even though they made you miserable.

You're a sweet heart.

I love you.

Oh yes. I want to hear more about that interview. It sounds FANTASTIC. I love blunt questions.

I was never good at answering those...because if someone asks me a blunt question I tend to give them an unfiltered answer.

Apparently, people only *pretend* to want to know the truth. Mostly what they want is a flowery, vague truth-like statement.

Maria said...

Yea... Where did I pull that extra "e" out of?