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April 14, 2000

Empty ShelvesThe old Home Office is starting to show signs that it's being deserted. It's not that there's any more room to move around in, just that some shelves are bare, and a few of the boxes lining the halls have disappeared. There's enough random clutter, though to make up for anything that might be missing. Things are stacked everywhere, waiting for more boxes. The whole family, it seems, is scoping out the back rooms of supermarkets and convenience stores, and I'm gradually accumulating enough boxes to make a dent in the massive packing job.

After closing down the office tonight, I loaded up the car and took another full load over to Green Acres. While I was there I stood for a moment in each room, picturing how it would look with various combinations of furniture and furnishings, arranged and assorted in all the possible ways.

The frightening part of this exercise was that I realized I'll need even more furniture. I mean, someone who comes to visit me while I'm working needs a place to sit, right? And yet I have not one occasional chair. There's a couch, which will work well in the family room, but beyond that, I have nowhere for a guest to sit without dragging a dining room chair down the hall.

The more time I spend in the new house, the more I realize that it's not quite the Valhalla it appeared to be at first glance. I'm not disillusioned, but the imperfections that were at first imperceptible are gradually seeing the light of day. The back screen doesn't slide smoothly. There are stains in the tub. The faucet in the bathroom sink needs some adjusting.

Little things, but I didn't see them before because I didn't want to. I still don't want to see them, but you can only look past the obvious for so long before it jumps in your face, does a little dance, and cackles at your lack of sophistication. My standards aren't so high (obviously) that I can't deal with a small inconvenience here and there, but I tend to plunge into a new adventure like this with my own rosy na´vetÚ keeping me blissfully oblivious.

I got over one big hurdle today. As much as I hate making phone calls, I made it through the ordeal by doing them all at once. Well, not at once so much as one after another. Not simultaneously, but consecutively, don't you know. When I called the phone company, the cable company, and the garbage company, they all wanted to know, "How may I provide you with excellent service today?" So I told them.

My new best buddy Jorge at Pacific Bell said, "I have some good news for you. When you move, you will be able to keep the same phone number."

Well, thank you, Jorge, I never considered any other possibility. Since I've already printed the old phone number on the same letterhead with the new address, I had darn well better have the same number. Thanks for the favor.

And thanks for talking me into your special package, with all manner of other services I'll never use. By trying the package free for a month, some of my installation charges are waived. Then I can go back to the one service I need, call forwarding.

At least I got him to send someone a week from Monday, the day after I'm moving, to put the phone jacks where I want them, as opposed to where they are, which is in just about every room except where I want them.

That Monday is the same day the cable guy is coming, and for the same reason. There's no cable outlet in the living room. What's that all about? Two bedrooms and the family have incoming cable lines, but the living room, where I'll be spending most of my time, has none. AT&T is going to fix that.

My garbage service at the new place will start that same week. The kicker is that I have to supply my own garbage can and recycle buckets. That's an expense I wasn't expecting, but at least all the things I wanted to do today got done. That helped take some of the sting out of coming back to work. A day off in the middle of the week is a wonderful thing, until it's over.

I don't have to worry about decorating the walls of my new place, because my mom is an artist:

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