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Moving Diary: Moving in and moving up (the stairs)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

8:30am – Wake up, clean up, and eat up. Coffee can’t erase my tiredness. Wish I could sign lease from bed.

9:10am – Leave for rental office.

9:40am – Arrive at rental office. Can’t find parking space in front of building, so I park in adjacent lot that has signs threatening to tow me. Cross my fingers that car will still be there in an hour.

9:43am – Enter office, which is busy with staff doing three things at once. All the students are moving out of town, leaving dozens of properties open, leading to increased activity. I pet the office poodle and tell her she should help pick up the slack by learning to type.

10:00am – Read through lease, but stop to say hi to new landlord who has same name as my neurologist. Uncertain who will be charging me more money.

10:30am – Finish signing contract indebting me thousands of dollars over the next year. Try to remember all the rules about sorting recycling, noise levels, and parking spots, but know I am destined to become an enemy of the community association when I inevitably confuse the corrugated and uncorrugated cardboard bins. Get keys.

10:32am – Car still parked where I left it. Ha! Take that office park! I laugh at you and your empty threats! I am a TOTAL bad ass.

10:45am – Inspect apartment, fill out maintenance sheet, noting burnt out porch light and nail holes in wall. Leave to start unloading stuff from my car.


10:51am – Skedaddle down front steps, escaping four wasps that have built a small nest on the inside of the screen door, which is hanging slightly off track.

10:52am – Move remaining possessions from my car into apartment using back entrance.

11:30am – Stop at hardware store and find the insecticide aisle, browsing dozens of varieties of death in a can. Buy name-brand wasp killer instead of generic. Probably doesn’t make a difference, but I want to make sure I don’t wound something I don’t kill. Think this is a quote from a movie, though not sure which.

12:00pm – Return to Big Bro’s house in Durham. Tell Baby Bro about wasps. He sighs, but does not complain. Seems resigned to fate of endless suffering today.

12:30pm – Take long way to apartment so Baby Bro doesn’t have to navigate narrow city streets. Back up truck to sidewalk, brushing against several inconvenient tree limbs.

12:40pm – Use rarely-seen wood saw attachment of Swiss Army knife to do some improvised yard work. Thank you, Swiss Army! Keep eyes open for disapproving agents of the community association. Complete illicit yard work without incident.

12:45pm – Grab wasp spray. Approach screen door. DIE, WINGED WARRIORS! DIE!!

12:47pm – Three wasps fall to their deaths. One escapes and vows revenge on me and my kin.

12:50pm – Start unloading truck. Baby Bro carries boxes halfway up stairs to landing. I take boxes off landing, up the remaining stairs and carry them to appropriate rooms.

1:20pm – Screen door hinges are on inconvenient side of the frame, blocking the front stairwell when it opens, making it hard to carry in bookcases. We throw them over the railing from the stairs, balancing them like an underage Chinese gymnast.

1:36pm – Remaining wasp returns, his flight fueled by thoughts of sweet revenge for his fallen comrades. I leap for the spray bottle of death.

1:37pm – Lone wasp falls to his death, leaving his dreams of vengeance twitching on the floor.

2:00pm – The screen door keeps falling farther off its hinges the more we open and close it. Add this to maintenance list.

2:10pm – We break for lunch and eat gyros and hummus at a Mediterranean deli.

3:00pm – Oh God. So. Full. Can’t move. Drive around town, showing Baby Bro the sights while we digest.

3:45pm – We carry the rest of my earthly possessions into my apartment.

4:45pm – After hydrating, we leave truck parked in lot and drive the Saturn to fetch Baby Bro a reward of ice cream. Pull into McDonalds to get McFlurry in the drive-thru.

4:56pm – HOLY SHIT! This McDonalds doesn’t have a drive-thru! Did not know such things occurred in nature. Is as bizarre as sighting a two-headed turtle.

5:15pm – Arrive at Big Bro’s house in Durham just as sister-in-law is coming home. Tell her about McDonalds without drive-thru. She tells us that is because of city ordinance. No big-box stores are allowed in Chapel Hill either. This means that closest Target is 15 minutes away. Have discovered first negative thing about my new neighborhood, but can cope.

6:00pm – Hang out.

8:00pm – Eat dinner.

9:00pm – About to collapse for a nap on my table mat. Make my good-byes and grab the confused feline members of the family for final trip. Must be traumatizing. Wonder how I’d feel if someone snatched me, locked me in a shipping container, and sent me to an unknown location without my consent.

9:20pm – Arrive at apartment. Screen door is gone! Either there is an illicit ring of door thieves operating in Chapel Hill, or the maintenance man dropped by and took it.

Or perhaps I’ve underestimated the wasps…

9:22pm – Tired, yet feel compulsion to unpack basic items like peanut butter, bread and coffeemaker. Leads to unpacking more items and then more.

11:00pm – Finally force myself to stop unpacking. Inflate air mattress. Lie down to sleep.

11:01pm – BEEP!

11:02pm – BEEP!

11:03pm – BEEP!

11:04pm – Realize that the fire detector in the vacant apartment below me has a low battery. Is emanating warning beep every minute, on the minute. Too late to call maintenance about it. Get earplugs out of purse because I am prepared like that.

11:30pm – Conk out. Sleep like a dead wasp.

To be continued

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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[…] It was exactly two years ago today that I said good-bye to my old job working for The Man and said hello to my new job working for The Woman, namely me. It’s been two whole years of designing webs and writing words and I’m still not broke! If I have a freelancing motto, that is my freelancing motto: Still not broke! I should put it on a T-shirt, but that frivolous expense would put me one step closer to being broke, so I’ll skip that. I have adopted that motto because when I first made the jump I wasn’t sure if I’d be living in a cardboard box under an underpass a year later. Nope, instead I’m living in a two-bedroom apartment that was once terrorized by wasps. […]

[…] We lucked into a great parking spot near the Kure Beach pier. It took us a minute to figure out how to get onto the pier though because the chain link gate we thought was the entrance was locked. It turns out you have to go through a building to get onto the pier. I suppose this is so they have a chance to sell you souvenirs and fish bait. Please don’t get the two confused! We arrived about an hour until sunset, so the pier was really busy. My mom said that was because the best time to catch fish is at sunrise or sunset. Coincidentally this is also the best time to kill wasps, which I learned during my moving-in experience four years earlier. […]

[…] We lucked into a great parking spot near the Kure Beach pier. It took us a minute to figure out how to get onto the pier though because the chain link gate we thought was the entrance was locked. It turns out you have to go through a building to get onto the pier. I suppose this is so they have a chance to sell you souvenirs and fish bait. Please don’t get the two confused! We arrived about an hour until sunset, so the pier was really busy. My mom said that was because the best time to catch fish is at sunrise or sunset. Coincidentally this is also the best time to kill wasps, which I learned during my moving-in experience four years earlier. […]


Kris • July 6, 2010 at 9:26 am

you crack me up PQ. good luck with the new city, and the wasps.


Melissa • July 6, 2010 at 9:37 am

I really was laughing out loud! It was fun to experience your moving day from the comfort of my nice office armchair ;)


jancd • July 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

Oh, I hope you like your new home. This adventure sounds exciting. Keep writing……..


Dolores • July 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

I was wondering yesterday just how you remember all this detail. Does your phone have a recorder and you make audio notes? Is this all fiction? Are there even any wasps at all? Are they even allowed in Chapel Hill??? However you do it, please keep doing it. Very fun!


Jackie • July 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

It is great to see my town through your eyes. I sure wish Target was closer. There is a great Super Walmart in Hillsborough. Just drive up Martin Luther King Blvd (route 86) for about 8 miles. It’s a scenic drive. Plus you pass Allen & Sons which is famous for its BBQ.


Lisa • July 6, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Moving sucks but it’s a helluva work out! So is DIY home remodeling!


Hunter • July 6, 2010 at 1:30 pm

You are hilarious. You should make a career out of this writing thing…Ha!

I hate wasps and was amazed to find out they are acutally a benefit to us by keeping certain insect populations down. Who knew?

Anyway, looking forward to your further adventures.



Maureen • July 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Of all the insects, wasps are the ones I believe WOULD plot vengeance for their fallen comrades. Wasps hold grudges, and will get even.

Besides finding your wasp adventures hilarious, I am really looking forward to reading about your new home. My husband and I sometimes dream of leaving our extreme northern home, and think about the sunny Carolinas as a place to relocate. Good luck!


Debbi Does Dinner Healthy • July 6, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Too funny! The Adventures of Moving Jennette!

Poor wasps. :-)


Rachel • July 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I feel bad for the wasps…and laughed so hard about them stealing your door. I wonder how many wasps it takes to carry off a door?


ChrissyS • July 6, 2010 at 6:21 pm

haha, loved installment # 2. Somehow it even makes moving sound..well, kind of smooth. Wow! All that planning you did I guess.

How did the kitties sleep? No howling?

I can’t believe after a day like that, that you settled in to sleep to the tune of a smoke detector chirp. Omw. Sounds like you coped nicely.

Yeah, you sure burned the calories these past few days. Or more than few. Weeks?

SO glad it was wasp spray you had to purchase instead of roach be gone as shown in a previous post/diff apt. !

Perhaps chapter 3 will tell of neighborly neighbors introducing themselves.


Dana • July 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Ok~ This was a great post. I am so excited for you and your new advernture. Love your writing style here.

Wasps SUCK. Hope you find the screen door.

Totally jealous. I wish I was moving some where new to have adventures.


kris • July 6, 2010 at 8:26 pm

curious about something…shouldn’t the wasps have been the property manager’s responsibility?

and I agree with Dana….wish that I could move somewhere new.


cindy • July 6, 2010 at 10:04 pm

There is such hope and possibility to moving… I am a little bit jealous! It is also a great time to clean out the unnecessary clutter we accumulate when we stay in one place too long. Just to simplify my surroundings would be a good enough motivation to move. I’ve tried pretending that I’m moving, but its not the same and I really don’t de-clutter nearly as well. Have fun setting up your new digs!


Amy • July 6, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I know you’re exhausted, but I am completely amused!


Debbi • July 7, 2010 at 7:03 am

You used the word kin. Heh. Now that you’re a Southern girl, will be reading “vittles” and “y’all” soon?


Debbi • July 7, 2010 at 7:05 am

Grrr. I meant to say ‘will WE be reading … .’


PastaQueen • July 7, 2010 at 10:02 am

@kris – I called the property manager about it, but they couldn’t send someone right at that moment and I wanted to move in right away. Since it was just a small nest, I decided to handle it myself. Death in a can only costs about $6.00.


wyn • July 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I LOVE these posts going through your day because you’re so funny and approach things with a really fresh outlook. Actually, I saw a news story about a cat that did unwittingly get stuck in a shipping container and traveled from China to Canada! (http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=3253093)


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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 JennetteFulda.com 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.

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