Have I mentioned that moving into a new apartment post-hip-replacement ranks right up there with "having more electrified needles jabbed into my ass" on the list of things I'd rather not do? Well, it does and if I ever consider moving again, you should probably beat me senseless; (I probably should not be saying such things when I'm going to have to move next year). While I was looking forward to going to Champaign, I was dreading moving in to my new place, despite the fact that A. and his boss had done most of the heavy lifting for me; (thanks, guys!). As I've said before, moving is not exactly hip friendly. There's something about twisting, bending and lifting heavy boxes filled with all your worldly possessions that makes you think, "Gee, I wonder if this is what my surgeon said when he told me I didn't fit the psychological profile of someone who will do well with a hip replacement."
Still, it had to be done (those 85 hand-crocheted blankets weren't going to move themselves and Lord knows that when the winter comes around I'll be needing them!) and I've spent the past few days trying to put the chaotic mess of all of my belongings into some semblance of order. This, however, is a tricky thing to do when you're in life limbo, since you don't know what to keep and what to discard. The more I sorted through the boxes and bags, the less my possessions seemed to fit my current life.
There was, for example, a time in my life when owning 70 T-shirts made sense, when I would wake up at 5:30 in the morning for basketball practice and think, "Damn. I wish I had more T-shirts." Then, I would do 10 loads of laundry in one sitting and annoy the other patrons of the laundromat while doing so because I would take over all of the triple-load machines in the place. Now, however, my days of training twice (and sometimes three times) a day are over, (okay, my days of training for anything but sitting on my couch are over) and having 70 T-shirts seems a little bit like overkill. Same with the boxes and boxes of assignment prompts, grade books, sample student work and other remnants of my teaching days. Same with the various remnants of my grad-school career and my fancy teaching clothes. I hope that the recycling machine in Urbana is hungry because I recycled so much paper that it's about to get the snack of a lifetime. (Tasty, tasty Rhetoric essays).
Well, I was not about to let a little quarter-life crisis get in the way of having a good time in Urbana. After thoroughly medicating my hip to make up for any moving-related trauma it must have suffered, I set out to socialize with all the lovely people I never get to see when I'm in Vancouver. A. taught me how to cast a fly-fishing rod in his front yard and I only hooked the line in the trees twice (okay, five times)! Mika pretended I didn't exist and made a show of cuddling up to A and putting her ears back whenever I came near! I ate K.'s delicious fudge and saw all the wonderful people from my former office! E.Mc made me delicious lamb shepherd's pie and sauteed apples and we watched "Iron Giant!," which by the way is one of the cutest robot-related movies I've seen in a long time! S.C. and I went to Curtis Apple Orchard and I had a minor heart attack at the thought of spending $11 for a bag of apples, then drank delicious hot apple cider and ate apple donuts in my car! It was a lovely, lovely day.
Well, it was a lovely, lovely day until my new roommate casually mentioned that, oh yeah, by the way, she's seen a mouse or two scampering around our new house. Right. Great. Apparently, I am the pied piper, because it seems that whenever I move into a house, rodents of all varieties follow me. Perhaps the tapping of my cane imitates some popular form of rodent techno and they're irresistibly attracted to the crazy beat. Oh well. At least when I move down there for good, Mika will join me. If there's any cat who can inform a mouse that its glory days are over and there's a new sherrif in town, it's Mika.