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So, why did you move to North Carolina?

Photo by juniperberry / by NCND 2.0 CC

“So, why did you move to North Carolina?”

This is a question I’ve gotten a lot since I moved to Chapel Hill six weeks ago. Yet every time it is asked—by the mail man or the insurance agent or the bank teller or the sofa delivery man—I hesitate. I’d like to say something simple, like “for work” or “for school,” which is easy to understand. People move because of work and school all the time. I could make up a boyfriend and say I moved here because of him, or pretend I moved for a job, only these lies would then mandate follow-up lies. I don’t want to have to discuss my fake job and my fake boyfriend every time I deposit a check. Also, I am bad at lying. It takes far too much energy to keep track of two separate realities in my mind.

Despite all the self-promotion I’ve had to do for my books and my blog, I’ve never quite gotten over the uncomfortableness I feel talking [...]

Assembling the IKEA Expedit workstation…expediently?

There are several things you’ll need when assembling IKEA furniture.

A big cup of coffee (or your caffeinated beverage of choice).

Tools! I purchased this toolkit at Target after I moved into my own apartment, and it’s the best twenty-something bucks I’ve spent in a long time.

An Allen wrench, thoughtfully provided by IKEA. The Allen wrench manufacturers of the world must highly covet the IKEA account.

Patience. I have no visual representation of patience for you. A good understanding of spatial dimensions doesn’t hurt either.

IKEA furniture typically comes flat-packed in large cardboard boxes, which you can rip open to view the large Swedish puzzle pieces, a bag of screws, bolts, nuts, and a diagram illustrating how to put the item together. There is no text on the instruction book, probably so IKEA can use the same booklets internationally without translating everything. I was putting together the Expedit bookcase and workstation in black/brown.

I was able to understand the little cartoon character’s instructions fairly well, but I ran into problems connecting the wood panels with the wooden pegs. I [...]

I see an IKEA

For too long, I had heard tales of the Swedish superstore—the IKEA—without ever setting my eyes upon this big box monument to sleek, flat-packed, affordable furniture. Truly, this was a wrong that needed to be righted. So, it was this noble desire (or my need for a cheap desk set) that led me to rent an SUV two weeks ago and drag Big Brother to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit the closest IKEA store.

To make things harder, the IKEA was not in my Magellan GPS. It then became a race between me and Big Brother to see who could use their smartphone faster to find an intersection near the store to enter instead. (Big Brother won.)

Then we drove and drove and drove and didn’t die on the highway, despite the high concentration of morons we were sharing the roads with. Finally, after two hours, we beheld the IKEA!

Or, the “KEA” as it would appear to be titled in this photo. It was a huge, blue and yellow store set in a large lot near the [...]

17 observations about my move to Chapel Hill, North Carolina

1) Indiana has The Flying Cupcake. Chapel Hill has The Flying Burrito. I’m glad my relocation hasn’t led to a lack of airborne edible objects in my vicinity.

2) There are three highways that all have the number 5 in their name around here and at one point they all merge into one before diverging again. This will not be confusing in the slightest bit, I’m sure.

3) “Are you a student?” No, I am not, but I might start saying I’m one if people keep asking me this. It seems to be the standard way to open a conversation here. (That, or to check that you’re not jailbait.) I suppose this is what I get for moving to a college town.

4) This place called Chapel Hill has lots of hills. Who’d have thunk it?! My little 4-cylinder Saturn is discovering gears it never knew it had when we lived in the post-glacial flatland of Indiana.

5) This city is very bike friendly. I’ve seen lots of bike lanes on the road and lots of cyclists actually [...]

Moving Diary: Settling in. BEEP!

Friday, July 2, 2010

9:30am – Sleep in because I can. Eventually get up. Pour the cat food and the coffee. Try not to consume the wrong one.

10:00am – Call the water, gas and electric companies to get utilities set up in my name.

11:15am – Drive to grocery store next to post office to scope out PO Boxes. Enter the Food Lion and go to the customer service counter to get my MVP card so I can get deals and they can overanalyze my oatmeal purchasing habits.

11:25am – Buy another bottle of wasp killer, just in case. You can never have too much wasp killer. DIE WASPS, DIE!!

11:45am – Return home. Home! This is my home now! How cool!

12:40pm – Leave for Big Bro’s house. On the drive over, I realize I will have to reset all my radio presets. Such a pain.

1:00pm – Arrive at Big Bro’s house and sign up for cable internet installation using his secure internet. They can’t come out until next Saturday. SATURDAY!! Eight days from now!! How dare they [...]

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Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

Life in Quarantine for Ebola Exposure: 21 Days of Fear and Loathing - NYTimes.com
I tend to stay at home a lot, but 21 days stuck in my apartment would drive me crazy.

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The Man Who Smuggles Trader Joe’s into Canada
I'd heard of Pirate Joe's before but this article gives a real in-depth look at it.

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