Posts Tagged ‘moving’

Moving is EXHAUSTING! We’ve taken 3 trunk-loads of stuff to donate to the thrift shop, 3 coats and a blanket to the homeless shelter, 3 trips to Best Buy (where they have a recycling program for old tech!) and trash to the dumpster every few hours (as needed). Getting all that stuff out of the house and to the right places, as well as picking up boxes from the U-Haul store and getting all the mail sorted out is tasks enough, but then there are all of our household effects!

We’ve mailed about 500 lbs of books to McLean. It’s just under $0.50/lb to mail them media rate and would have cost about $0.75/lb if they’d gone on the moving truck (then unloaded at a climate controlled, indoor storage unit, and then reloaded onto a long distance truck and hauled out to us within 10-14 days of when we ask for it). Instead, my dad now has lots of small, heavy boxes with which to build box forts if he wanted to.

I’m tired and rambling. We went to be around 11:30 last night, but I’m fairly certain that I didn’t fall asleep until 3 AM. Then I woke up before my 7:30 alarm even went off. Blergh.

Like I said, I’m not sure, yet, but I may hate moving. On the other hand, if this is the worst of it, moving may be OK after all!

OK, off to Ben’s lab group farewell dinner. Mmmm, Italian food.

Also, the packers packed my baggie of plastic utensils and my tool boxes! WTF, guys. Those were set off in a separate area for a reason. Grumble….

Read Full Post »

Saturday we had a great lunch at Rabbi Marc’s to say goodbye and to greet Julie Geller before her channukah concert that evening. We skipped the concert and Jason and Diana invited a whole bunch of friends over to have a little going away get-together for us.

Skiing on Sunday was GREAT, I’m still sore; probably because I bruised my right calf pretty well, oops. I need to not tighten my boots as tight as they go just because I can.

I spent Monday (usually my quiet day off to do yoga) packing my office.

I’m moving on both ends, packing up the office at CBS, where I’ve been the temporary office assistant for about 2 months, for a renovation. They just finished the sanctuary/social hall renovations and are starting on the office today! New carpets, fresh paint, and rearranging the furniture, woohoo!

Ben was published in NATURE magazine yesterday!!! Here’s a link to the press release that he claims any college graduate should be able to understand (I don’t!): JILA Physicists Achieve Elusive ‘Evaporative Cooling’ of Molecules

Ben’s parents arrived last night, they both have a cold/cough thing of some sort :(

He is currently out for brunch with them while I have some quiet time and iron his gown and hood (he has a poofy, blue doctoral hat, it is not very flattering)

My dad should arrive around lunchtime today (my mom is currently posted in Germany)

Physics Department graduation is this afternoon, then we’re going out with all the parents and some friends to a fancy-ish Mediterranean restaurant (The Med)

University Convocation is tomorrow morning and then just the 5 of us are going to lunch at The Kitchen (a local farm-to-table restaurant) before his parents fly to Kansas

Packing is going kinda well, we mailed most of our books (about 400 lbs so far and another 150 still to be mailed) and sold our crummy Target furniture on Craig’s List

A friend Diana is adopting Mr. Fishy and taking him into her second grade classroom

We still need to give away a few pounds of butter, ice cream, frozen spinach, etc. from the fridge/freezer. We can only pack unopened pantry goods on the moving truck.

Still planning to move into my parents’ basement for a while we look for a house in Silver Spring/Takoma Park, MD (about an hour from McLean).

And that’s life for the moment. Pretty Ben-centric and surrounded by boxes!

PS- U-Haul has great boxes! They’re so much sturdier than the ones we stole from the recycling bin at the book store….

Read Full Post »

We are moving to Maryland. Ben had his interview last week, just as Sandy started to pummel the East Coast. Things are moving forward: we let our landlady know that we plan to be out by the end of December and I’ve put in requests for moving companies that also provide storage to come visit and give us estimates (though we’re more likely to go with a friendly company than a cheaper one).

As for me I’ve been nannying for a some family friends of ours who just had their 3rd baby and just need some help getting the 2 older ones to school, going grocery shopping etc. Soon, I’ll also be working part-time at our synagogue while they look for an office assistant/administrator. Hooray for keeping busy and getting paid for it!

That’s all for now.

Read Full Post »


Flatirons (Photo credit: Zach Dischner)

Remember when you were 17/18 years old and waiting to hear back from colleges? I know I certainly had a lot of trouble sleeping and spent a lot of nights staying up reading until my vision went blurry (around 1:30 AM) to avoid thinking about it (yes, I’m starting to do that again, libraries are a very good thing for my budget).

Now, instead of  worrying about if/where -I- will get into college, I’m wondering where Ben will accept a PostDoc position! Last week it was for-sure College Park, now it looks like Harvard might be a contender again. Close-in, old-school suburban Maryland (Silver Spring/Tacoma Park) OR old-school urban Cambridge/Somerville.

I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m not entirely sure that I care. What I do care about it having fewer shared walls with neighbors (top floor unit, townhouse, end unit, whatever!), having a place to build our own sukkah (or even one on the roof that’s shared with our building!), having hardwood or other non-crappy rental carpeting, and maybe getting to paint walls!

In Silver Spring/Tacoma Park, MD we can afford to buy a townhouse (skwee, ownership! veggie garden! picking paint colors! dishwasher! washer/dryer!) but then we have to budget for interior and emergency maintenance, taxes, and HOA fees. In Cambridge/Somerville we can afford bupkiss. Instead of buying a 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse with a spacious patio,laundry closet , and garage (or at least assigned parking), we can afford to rent a two bedroom, 1 bath apartment for the same price. Womp, whomp. Older, charming, urban-ish apartment vs. modern air handling system in a townhouse with a laundry closet. Honestly, both are appealing in their own way! Urban living in a walkable neighborhood or suburban shleps to the grocery store every week? I hope to avoid needing to go to a laundromat, I might have become too princessy to be OK with shlepping my dirty laundry down the block and then folding it in public (though having a folding table IS a nice thing). The idea with doing that with future potential offspring in tow is entirely unappealing.

This is really Ben’s choice. Where will he make the most progress as a physicist? Which advisor is more understanding about taking off work for most of the Jewish holidays AND every Saturday (as well as coming home at a reasonable hour on Fridays, especially once we have a munchkin who is old enough to keep a schedule)?

We only know a few friends in each location. My family is mostly in the DC area and Ben’s parents are in the Boston area. Either way we’d be living at least 30 minutes from either set of parents (a good thing IMHO, I am NOT a fan of drop-in visits). But then my brain gets stuck on the fact that cost-of-living in DC is not much higher than Boulder, being at least 1/3 less than the Boston area. Ugh. So much money squandered on renting (again), rather than buying and just existing in general (milk and gas are both $1 more per gallon in both locations, but insurance and parking will cost more in MA and then my brain just gets stuck running on the hamster wheel and I want to retreat into a book or start trolling townhouses/apartments online and planning for my ever-fluxuating future in my head.

All I know for sure is that I will miss getting to see the flatirons everyday and being able to ski on a world-class mountain for >$45 per day, will less than a 2 hour drive to get there (shout out to: Loveland). Yeah, I’m spoiled, but someday I’ll have a sukkah I can invite people over to share a meal in and then I’ll feel spoiled in a different way!

cartoon sukkah (temporary structure or booth with >2 walls and branches for a roof, many city dwellers use bamboo mats)

PS- I sincerely hope, more than having my own sukkah, that next year I will still be able to invite President Obama into my spiritual sukkah. Otherwise, we might be looking at trying to emigrate to Canada. Ben’s mentioned, with all seriousness, that he would like to find out what the logistics would be of having a Canadian “anchor baby” some day. I kid you not!

END braindump.

Read Full Post »

I finally feel like I have the right number of friends: enough that I can call someone if I need someone to talk to and not overwhelm any one person but not so many that I feel like I’m constantly playing catchup to keep up with all of my friends.

Then there are my volunteer commitments, I recently backed out of one because I didn’t want to leave them in a bind when we move, and am looking for someone to replace me in 2 others (CSA media/newsletter writing and shabbat kiddish team). I’m concerned that once I leave our CSA will have no media presence and no bi-weekly newsletter. Bleh. I hate that I let things get so reliant on me!

Employment is a whole other issue. The firm I’d been working for all summer sold their building and closed shop. Doh. Thankfully, I had an interview for a new job before the old office was even packed out. Supposedly I’m the first choice of the interviewees, but they’re still debating whether to fill the position or just shuffle current personnel to fill the vacancy. I’ll just keep waiting. Until then, I get my last paycheck, for a 1/2 day’s work tomorrow. That ought to cover the groceries and tank of gas I bought on Sunday. I felt torn about even taking the interview, I don’t want to make them feel like I’m abusing the job opportunity by taking it for only a few months and then leaving, but I need a job. Our savings our not as much as we’d hoped to have by the time Ben graduates in December, so the only way we can really afford the 2-3 week trip to Europe we’d been hoping to take is if I get a job and put most of what I make into our savings account so that we don’t deplete it by taking a month off to move and go traipsing around Europe (my mom is currently working as a Child Psychiatrist for the US Army in Germany).

Yes, it’s offical: Ben is graduating in December. He’s been extended an offer to apply for a job at UMD College Park and is planning to take it. I’ve been looking at townhouses and condos online, since rent in places that aren’t corporate apartment megaplexes are PRICY! We can afford a tiny bungalow, but those are all old and require lots of maintenance, something I don’t think we’ll have the time or desire to care for if we also want to grow our family.

I’ve been chatting with a realtor who is looking for an end unit townhome or upper level condo with 3 beds and 2 baths that is near a bus line connecting to UMD and in Montgomery County. She’s found us a few things worth visiting if we were closer, but I’m sure they’ll all be sold in 3 months when we’re closer to moving. We’ll have to visit some synagogues in the area too, but

Uh, and to compound it all there’s family planning mishagas to deal with. No, I’m not pregnant, despite the unflattering outfits I sometimes wear and once-overs from old ladies. I don’t want to be until we’re settled somewhere. I just bought new skis! Skiing is probably a no-no while pregnant, even early on, so I’ll just nip that in the bud and keep taking the little orange pills. Also, I have trouble sleeping when I’m stressed. I’m guessing that moving and looking for a home will be stressful. I prefer to tackle challenges one at a time when possible. No babies (yet).

What other brain-dumps can I make on the internet? My in-laws are in town for sukkot. They’re here in time to watch people spin around helplessly after a teacher/awesome lady at our synagogue lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last week. The funeral is today, in half an hour. I’m having trouble deciding if I want to go, it’s so beautiful outside and I’m in a weird mood. Also, I volunteered to make shabbat dinner for her husband and adult son next week.

In other news both of my brothers are currently employed (Dan in San Francisco and David in DC, living at my parents house). Apparently only 2 of the 3 of us can be in a goos spot financially at a time. Doh!

Read Full Post »


Some good friends of mine (and Ben’s too) Moved at the end of May. That made me a very sad panda. Soon it will be out turn to leave people behind.

I know that we’ll be moving in probably less than a year, when Ben graduates. The idea of starting over in a new city is intimidated. We might end up at HarvardMIT, Lincoln Labs (part of MIT), UMD, NIST Gaithersburg, or staying in Boulder at NIST. That puts 3 of the 7 possibilities in the Boston area, where we know more people our parents’ age in the Boston area than other folks under 35…..

How do you go about finding a synagogue? We are SO lucky to have Bonai Shalom, but it is so awesome that it’s going to be difficult to replace. From what I can see, most other communities of its size don’t always have a building and/or a rabbi. I’d like to belong to a slightly larger congregation (with both a building AND rabbi) just because I know what it’s like to be in a smaller class in Hebrew school and feel like you don’t really have any friends there. It’s got to be easier to make friends when there are more people your own age, right? There I go again, thinking about tiny people that don’t even exist yet!

Do we have to start thinking about school districts already too? Here’s our idealist wish list, I think our projected priorities are:

  1. no lead paint (it freaks me out, just the idea of it being there)
  2. proximity to new synagogue (i.e. we don’t want to live in Malden and go to shul in Newton, it should not take more effort to get to shul than work!)
  3. being .5 miles or less from good public transportation (no more than one connection to get to/from work)
  4. having a big/kosher friendly kitchen (to store our double almost everything)
  5. having at least 2 bedrooms (or 2 + an area to use as a study)
  6. having at least 2 functional toilets in the apartment/house
  7. parking for 1 car, preferably off street (unless we’re at MIT or Harvard, do we really need a car there?)
  8. eco friendly stuff (steam heat, double glazed windows, etc.)
  9. wood floors or easily cleaned carpets (I’m NOT a fan of the solid wall-to-wall that we have currently)
  10. a place to grow veggies (a community allotment or small yard), I’d rather have a community association or some sort of service that shovels sidewalks/driveways for us

Read Full Post »