Monday, January 28, 2008

Two More Pieces of Furniture

Many thanks to my dear friend Pat who brought my bed and a few more boxes of my stuff up from GA. He also is letting me borrow for an extended, indefinite period of time the most comfortable chair ever.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dang It!

The former tenant came back yesterday and reclaimed his furniture and all the other crap he left that I hadn't already thrown out or given away. So that kinda bummed me out. The extent of furniture in my apartment now is a coffee table and a bookshelf. I am literally sleeping on the floor.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Moving In

Saturday at about 10:30 am Rodger, Angela, Esther, and I showed up at my new place with two carloads of my stuff and one carload of cleaning supplies (I am taking over the lease for two college guys and intense cleaning was definitely called for). The former tenants not only didn't clean, but also left a bunch of stuff in the apartment. Some of it was just plain trash (i.e. moldy hotdog buns), but some of it was perfectly good stuff that they just left for no apparent reason (i.e. a $60 clipper/trimmer set that looked brand spankin' new with price tags still on it and all). So we weeded out the trash, the recyclables, the goodwill items, and the stuff I was keeping for my self. Some of the items I am keeping are a sofa and two chairs, an air mattress, an inspirational poster of Steve Prefontaine, two suitcases, a coffee warmer, a husband pillow, and a few other odds and ends. Anyhow, we cleaned and cleaned and cleaned until it looked like an entirely different place than the one we walked into. We hung curtains, assembled a bookshelf and coffee table (housewarming presents from Esther), arranged furniture, hung pictures, and at the end of it all, it kind of resembled a home. Albeit a home that seriously needs more furniture and many other household items, but a home nonetheless.

I haven't spent the night over there yet because Esther is in town and I don't yet have decent sleeping arrangements for company, but tonight will be my first night in my new apartment. Yay!

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Latest

My car is fixed. I officially have my own apartment, keys and all. Esther is visiting me this weekend. Life is good.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Week of Highs and Lows

Where do I begin with this week? Well, let's back track a little. . .

Going back to December 19th, I put my paper work in for an apartment in Carrboro. This began a frustrating saga of delay after delay which has been on going for nearly a month now.

Going back to last week, I began a huge mailing project at work involving somewhere in the ballpark of 2,000 letters going out. All of these letters are individually addressed and tweaked slightly for each and every person. So this takes alot of time.

So Monday, my boss and I catch a typo in the letters. We start to redo what we had already done, then he decides that the typo isn't so significant that we should redo everything. So we carry on with only a little bit of lost time. I skip my lunch break to try and make up for the lost time. No real news on my apartment. I talked to the lady who had been handling my paperwork, only to find out that she is no longer handling my paperwork and it has been passed on to her superior. I called her superior, but was only able to leave a message for her.

Tuesday, I talked to the lady who now is handling my paper work for the apartment. She is very apologetic for the length of time it has taken and promises me an answer one way or the other by the end of the day. I never heard back from her that day. I called back and left a message. Then at work, a more significant typo is found at about 4:00 pm and we literally have to redo each and every single letter. I want to shoot myself in the face. Time, money, effort gone down the drain. I stay three hours late to work on it. I leave work only to find that my car won't start. I sit in my car for 30 or 40 minutes telling myself that the next time I turn the key it will crank. No such luck. I call Rodger and Angela to come rescue me. I eat chinese food while I wait for them. They come. We stand out in the cold trying to charge my battery and then replace my battery, but it was all for naught. My car would not start. They bought me a snickers bar. We go home.

Today, I make significant progress at work and start to feel like I might actually be catching up. Finally. I have my car towed to a shop, but they can't work on it until tomorrow. So I don't know what the damage is gonna be there. I hope it's not too rediculous. The apartment people call. I'm approved!! Double Finally!! Yay!

Tomorrow, hopefully my car will be fixed. Hopefully it won't be too expensive. Hopefully I can find the time and the transportation to go by my new apartment complex to sign final paperwork and get my key. Hopefully there will be no more hang ups at work.

This weekend, Esther comes to visit and help me move in!! Maybe, just maybe Bee Jay and Alice will come up from GA with my bed.

So hopefully all the bad things happened at the beginning of the week and it will all just get better as the week progresses.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Investing is Important (Subtitle: What God is Teaching Me)

In my quiet times these days I have been thinking about the past, the present, and the future. I have been asking God questions like why Chapel Hill? What should I be doing while I'm here? School? Just building relationships? Focusing on church, church, church? What is the next step/what am I preparing for in the future? What have I learned about the past that can guide me in the present/future? Etc.

Do I have answers to all of these questions? Heck no.

Has God spoken to me at all relating to these question? I'd like to think so.

Here is what I have (forgive the stream of thought writing that might not make any sense to anyone but me): School is still burning in my heart. I want to go back. I want to do education. I'm really thinking ESL, but that is negotiable. Chapel Hill is a great area for schools. If I don't do it at this point in my life, will I ever? But also while I'm here, I want Chapel Hill to be like Cairo and Augusta were in some ways. Cairo and Augusta have felt like home. I have connections with the places themselves and with so many of the people there. I was invested while I was there and now I want to invest myself in the community here. Whatever that means, I don't know exactly, but I want it. In college at LaGrange, I was not invested. My heart was still in Augusta. Sure I made a few friends and generally enjoyed my time there, but I was always looking to go back to Augusta and to seeing my friends there. I don't want to miss out on Chapel Hill the way I missed out on LaGrange. I want my heart (or at least a third of it) to be here in Chapel Hill. So that's all I've got. It's not really a plan of action at this point, but maybe it is the beginnings of such a plan.
Other Updates:
I still am up in the air with the apartment and I don't feel like even talking about it right now.

I am excited about going to visit the botanical gardens here in Chapel Hill today with 2 (maybe 3) friends.

I am excited about seeing Esther over MLK weekend. Either she will visit me or I will visit her. We haven't decided all the details yet.

I am brainstorming with Sara about doing a half-marathon in the spring with her and then doing a full marathon in the fall with her.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bubble Tea

Tonight Rodger, Angela, and I ventured out on the streets of Chapel Hill to accomplish three things: (1) get Rodger a gym membership at a gym where a poster of Arnold Schwartzeneger watches over you as you work out. . . check, (2) laminate signs for our church. . . check, and (3) try bubble tea . . . check. What in the world is bubble tea? Read about it here. It was weird and I don't know how I feel about it, but if any of you ever come to visit me. . . you have to try it while you are here. There is nothing in the world like it.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Apartment Frustration

I am frustrated with the lady who is handling my credit/rental history for getting this apartment in Carrboro. If I get this place, I will be taking over the lease for a guy who is moving out of the country. So when I went in on December 19th to give her all my paper work and references and what not, she knew that this whole process was time sensitive. I will give her that the Christmas/New Year holiday was just around the corner, but nevertheless she said that she would have all the work done by Thursday of last week. I am not pushy and were it just a matter of me getting an apartment I probably would just wait patiently and never say a word to this lady. But the poor guy who is trying to be sure he isn't breaking his lease before he leaves the country is stressing out, and understandably so. So yesterday I called her up to find out the status and what was still needing to happen. She still needed to speak with two of my references and there was also some sort of information she needed from the payroll headquarters from my employment. There isn't much I can do about the payroll stuff, I really just have to leave that to her. But I emailed the two references with her contact info and asked them to contact her as soon as they could. Response from reference number 1: "today was the first time she called me; I missed her call and I tried to call back twice, but I haven't been able to reach her". Response from reference number two: "she called twice before, but never left her name or what organization she was with in her message, so I figured she had the wrong number; today she called and actually left a name; I called her back twice before actually speaking to her, then she asked for the rental information for somebody else entirely; I told her I never even met that person and then suggested that perhaps she needed the rental history for Dottie Lee; this apparently threw her off completely and she said she would call me back." At this point in time, I'm not sure if she has cleared everything up in her mind and gotten back with my references, but I am so frustrated.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


We got snow in Chapel Hill yesterday! When it comes to snow, I turn into a kid automatically and just want to run outside to build snowmen and have snowball fights until my hands are frostbitten. Unfortunately, I was working all day in my office that has no windows. I missed the snow entirely. Bummer. Hopefully there will be more to come.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The New Year Post

Happy New Year everyone! I hope yours was as wonderfully relaxing as mine.
I am back in North Carolina now. I came back on Sunday, as we had church on Sunday evening here. I went to a New Year's party last night. It was nice, but different since (outside of Rodger and Angela) I only was acquainted with about four of the people there and the rest were total strangers to me. Still it was a nice party and a happy way to bring in the New Year.
I lazed around this morning and took my time getting out of bed and getting ready. Then I went and spent some of the gift cards I got for Christmas. After that, I went to Starbucks (I got two gift cards for Starbucks). I enjoyed a cinnamon chip scone and a triple grande latte while I contemplated decorating ideas/themes for the rooms in my potential apartment. Speaking of the apartment, I still don't know whether I am in or not. I am hoping to know by the end of this week, but I was also hoping to know by the end of last week. We shall see.
After daydreaming about my potential apartment for at least a solid hour and a half, I came home and did some reading. Then I forced myself to go jogging. I didn't go running at all when I was in Augusta. I figured I would be too busy visiting with friends and family to really make it a priority, and I was right. So yesterday I eased myself back into gear with a jog/walk for only about 1.5-2 miles. Today I upped it to approximately 4 miles and jogged the whole time. My feet felt like bricks on the ends of my lead-filled legs. Of course on one of my days of getting back into the groove of running again I would cross paths with a man whose legs seemed to be a bout ten feet long and who ran with the grace and speed of a freaking dear. Not only did we cross paths once, as if that weren't enough to make me feel completely inadequate as a runner, no we crossed paths twice. I just have to accept the fact that I will never be one of those really graceful, gorgeous runners. I will always be short. I will always run out of breath just a little more easily than most runners (I have chronic asthma). I will always turn beat red every time my heart rate is raised even a little. Okay, I am going on a complete bunny trail here. The point of this paragraph is supposed to be that I made myself get back into gear right away for three reasons: (1) the longer I wait to get back into it, the harder it will be; (2) I really do love running, even though the first couple of days back are a kick in the pants; and (3) my New Year resolution is to run a marathon this year. I haven't picked which marathon or where or when, but I will make a decision after I have done a little more research as to what my options are and what is realistic.