intjonathan: (Default)
Luke came over to give us our 85-day(!) notice today.

I'm surprised at the degree of calm I feel about this. For the first year or so that I lived here, I dreaded moving ever again. Moving out of Lynnwood was such a miserable experience that the notion of moving again was repellent. But today, this moment, it doesn't seem so bad. I feel like I've done the important things I was put here to do, and the scenes of my life that needed to play out here have finished.

Just in the last few weeks have I started to spend some time unpacking my few remaining moving boxes, and I've found in them just a lot of... stuff. Not memories, not happiness or gloom, just stuff. Stuff I'd be throwing away 5 years from now anyway, so why not today? I figured if I could eliminate one box a week I'd be in good shape soon enough. That was about all I had energy for (I hate organizing) so I feel good about my ability to set and attain a realistic goal there. It's turned out to be a very positive process, as eliminating stuff often is.

Some of this came about also when I discovered that the fear of an imminent and unpredictable move was causing me enormous stress, and I decided that since I could not control the situation, to accept it. I had been holding back on spending effort or money on things that would help me settle into my current space out of fear that it would all be for naught and I would be forced to repack everything Very Soon anyway. I decided you know, tomorrow will come soon enough, and mortgaging my happiness in such a wonderful house for the sake of tomorrow's uprooting is compromising my feelings of safety and home. I need to feel safe and settled in my house, and out of fear I had stopped investing the time and energy in creating the environment for it. My stuff and my situation had control of me.

Deb posted an offhand remark about adulthood that has been clanging around my head lately: "is it some sort of plateau you reach when you've learned to just do what needs to be done and not hide from it?" I think it's less a plateau than a process, but to some extent that's the center of it. I was afraid of moving because it felt like death, but running from it was no more useful than covering my eyes and believing I was invisible.
intjonathan: (air)
Rumor has it my house might be going on the market.

Soon we'll be doing better financially at work.

At the end of next month I might have a home church again.

I might also be moving.

Hopefully I'll be getting a healthy raise.

This isn't all of the life I planned for when I moved here. Only some of it.

I wonder whether I have waited a year for a life that might never arrive.

Because tonight in a lovely evening eating hot sandwiches around a beach fire, little around me looked like I planned it to last August.

It was much more beautiful, with its strange sadness.

Like a wineglass continually being filled.
intjonathan: (Default)
Part 1 is also available.

My father never taught me much about hard work. I think he was too busy working hard to talk much about it. In my memory, hard work was something I just did, and was praised for. Whether it was expected or not seemed to be beside the point.

But success always came easy to me, and accomplishing what would take hard work for others never felt very hard. If I could succeed at what others called hard, could I credit my success to that same hard work? Or was it something else? Things I came to call difficult often turned out to be unreasonable or unnecessary, and life went around it. Things I found very difficult were rarely made unavoidable. Over time, I learned how to avoid difficult things.

This talent came by way of two factors. First, my late entry into the schooling system made me older than most of the kids around me. A few months can make a big difference early in life. Second, my parents had little occasion to force me into things when I was doing so well.

But when college came, I found myself unprepared for the breathtaking difficulty of many classes. Not only were they hard, but nothing I could do would make them easier. I became content with lower and lower grades, until bottom-end Cs were cause for celebration. When graduation came, was again unprepared, this time for departure. The dark secret about graduation, the one no recent graduate will tell you, is that no matter how much you wish to be done with college, you will miss it. Leaving school is a harder class than any you will take there. You think to yourself, "if only I could get a real job, I'd be pulling in bank and go home and just chill." And sure, you can do that, but that doesn't make it easy. There's no "but I'm in college" excuse at that point.

This move has been, and is, very hard. I keep not buying food, not organizing, not acting like this is my favorite place in the world because it's easier. Easier to pretend it doesn't matter, because I just moved. But if I keep acting like I'm going to go home sometime soon, this will never be home. And I may not want it to be, but it must be.

But what kind of home do I want? What kind of life would I have if it wasn't defined by a routine that changes every 3 months? Will I still be getting up at 8:30 every morning next January? Next June?

It is a hard, unavoidable, and very necessary problem. A river crossing in winter.
September arrived on my doorstep today, a chill wind and a gray forecast. It was not welcome this year.

bided time

Sep. 4th, 2006 11:25 pm
intjonathan: (Default)
The house needs more seating, bad. If we're going to have as many guests as we seem to be having on weekends, we'll need two couches. Bloody Freaks and Geeks.

Sunday of Bumbershoot was fuckin' fantastic. Kanye put on one of the best shows I've ever seen, no question.
Bring it on by niralisse on Treemo
Hip-hop with live orchestration? Sure! He also would play sections from like Jay-Z songs he produced, and played the new Puff Daddy single (Get Off) just because he liked it. You never knew what was next.

Spoon, The New Pornographers, and mewithoutYou all put on great shows as well, although I'd seen TNP and mewithoutYou at real clubs before, which was of course better. mewithoutYou had some new material, though, which was quite good.

Spent the day on a Fry's trip with Deb, Beckie and Josh. Parted together a computer for Deb, which took a while and was kind of stressful, but I'm really happy with the setup and I hope it works really well for her. She bought me a delicious Indian food lunch, so I can't complain about that deal. Also got a nice wireless router for $20 and a 400GB hard drive for $100, a price I'm likely to laugh at for one reason or another when I read this entry a year from now.

The house is slowly feeling comfortable. A monster shopping run at fred meyer's on Saturday went a long way. Amazing what a shelving unit and some rugs can do. Andy made us some ethernet cables for the living room and attic runs, bless his clogged heart, but the one I painstakingly ran tonight didn't work. Plus, they're blue. Since this is a nice place, and it seems best to keep it that way, and because the cables will be nailed to the wall, I'll probably spend the $25 and get known-good white ones from monoprice.

Everyone that comes by has something different to say about the house, but it's been very good. This is encouraging.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work, unfortunately. It's been a busy weekend. I need sleep tonight for sure.
intjonathan: (haku)
Cable modem's upstairs, CAT5 is strung about the house, and I'm feeling better. There's still an absolute mountain of stuff to do, and it's very hard to take it one evening at a time. I'm starting to understand the cultural idiom of taking years to unpack every box, because when all you've got is 3 hours a day, that's how long it takes.

I strongly doubted the value of my Thinkpad when I purchased it just one quarter before I graduated, but it's turned out to be one of the best purchasing decisions I've ever made. Having something so small, useful, flexible and durable by my side during all this fluttering about the continent(s) has been invaluable. That I got it for only a few hundred dollars after selling old gear is icing on the cake.

Work is a brisk 15-minute mile away. I'm looking forward to being used to it. We're horribly busy this week, as CTIA is next weekend and we've got a bunch of demo stuff there for Jeff and Brent to show off. If you have internet access on your phone, be sure and check out the site. It's improving rapidly and we've got a bunch of neat tricks for your phone to do. I'll probably be roped into doing late nights tomorrow and Wednesday so we can squash all the P1 bugs before the Thursday push to the live site. I haven't worked with the rest of the site much, since I've been doing side projects, so I'm kind of dreading it. I also resent having to still go to work when the house is such a disaster, but it's the only way I can afford this silly space anyway, so I guess I better go. The house isn't going anywhere, but the site sure is.

Moving is best described as an iterative process of evaluation, ownership, chaos, control, refinement, and mastery. It is not a sequential process of evaluate, select, own, master. The mastery phase is temporary, as life changes around your stuff, and you must evaluate again, own the problem, create a mess, tame the mess, perfect things the next day, and make it routine. By the time I had to leave Orchard Meadows, I could make a box of Annie's with my eyes closed. Today, it took about twice as long as it typically would, and involved many unnecessary or inefficient steps.

My nature is to seek perfection in routine and surroundings, to refine until my day rolls by like an ancient river. Moving is a 100-year flood. The river flattens houses, swirling in an angry roar of force until the land is tamed and the flood retires.
intjonathan: (shinji)
The moving process today burned everyone out. Whitney was found staring blankly at the canned fruit, unable to decide whether she wanted canned peaches or pineapple. It was yet another decision after making thousands for two days straight. There are things in my room we had plenty of room for today, but I couldn't touch another thing. Moving anything from its spot in there would mean moving it at least 3 more times before it found a place in the new house. My ability to deal with it dropped out early on, and I did a lot of packing while being, emotionally, curled up in the corner wanting it all to go away.

Leaving today was a familiar feeling. It was goodbye to a very close friend. It felt like an airport, or someone else's packed car. Departure.

I'll not come back the same. But no matter what becomes of that room, that house, that yard, that infinite wilderness of my childhood, it will always be partly mine.
intjonathan: (air)
What a long, trying and stressful move. I spent most of the morning halfheartedly moving the already-boxed items out into the spare room, hoping it would help me feel more ready. It did little. Everyone was focused on moving Whitney out, as she was the morning move. By the afternoon it was my turn to get together a vanload, but it involved moving all the furniture from my room, which was hard. I have a remarkable talent for filling flat surfaces with crud. In many cases, the crud on the surfaces of my room had been there for over a decade. The reason it stayed on that surface was because there was no better place for it. Now, a better (or at least different) place must be found, and after 20 minutes of helpless panicking, I shoveled the whole thing into a box. Boxes of "stuff", and I hadn't even started loading the car. It was not a good start.

I took a load of furniture down later, and made an impromptu stop at Jared's, which is 10 blocks south. He greeted me with beer and quesadillas, a welcome respite. Him and Ryan and Josh also helped me unload the furniture, which went quickly. I tried to take 65th home and got lost. I was tired.

I am tired. Change is hard, moving is harder, pulling up such deep roots is hardest. Every new home carries a vision of the life you will lead there, the things you'll do and surround yourself with, the rhythm you will keep. Things that fit that vision stay, things that don't, go. Do this enough times and you'll have nothing from some of the old lives. But what happens when the old life is much stronger than the vision?

In my case, it meant mood swings. I'd try to pack stuff in my room and feel panic. I'd be unpacking into the new place and feel hope. I'd drive between them and sometime around 220th it would change like weather.

I only pulled one pair of underwear from my dresser before I moved it. I still need to shower tonight. Thankfully everyone else is in bed. I forgot to keep a good shirt here for church tomorrow. Tomorrow may be the last time I attend church in our current sanctuary, which has been there since the 60s. The fire damage from the port-a-potty arson was bad enough that the building is a total loss. Soon the insurance claim will go though, and the building will be condemned and demolished. The church I grew up in will be entirely gone.

Creation, destruction. Every new being comes out of the death of another. Snakes eat their old skin, like the tail of the ouroboros.

What will grow in the fertile soil of my boyhood's grave?
intjonathan: (girl)
Started paying rent on The New House (it still needs a name) today, which meant I could put stuff in it, so I did. There's boxes, mostly of computer parts. A microwave. Nothing essential, just what was already boxed from the last move.

What should be my last commute from work to Lynnwood was pretty miserable. I got home just in time for dinner though. I'll definitely miss having dinner waiting for me after work. Of course, spending 10 minutes walking home is a very different business than spending 30 minutes in traffic. We'll see how that works out.

Took a load of stuff to Whitney's apartment. It's right off the main drag in Capitol Hill, and it smells like paint. It's a cool place though, it fits an art college student well. Funky, old, good location.

Tomorrow - like when I wake up after the sleep I really want right now - I must begin to disassemble my room. I've consciously avoided it all week. I'm unready to walk away from the only space I've consistently called mine for 23 years. That's a long time. For almost a quarter of my potential lifespan has this room been mine, and it deserves a proper farewell. All the ghosts, prayers, urges and fears of childhood lived alongside me here as my companions. Monsters lived in this closet. I've seen snow on Christmas morning out this window. I hid under the bed right there, on the east wall by the door. I carved into the drywall next to my waterbed when I couldn't sleep.

The carvings are still there, soon to be patched and painted over by a mother zealous to design and freshen, to claim what is really her property as her own once again, and to stretch her arms into a twilight free of dependents. The light blue will change, the persnickety roller shade will be replaced, the closet will put on its doors. But part of me will still be curled up in the corner, waiting for evening prayers so he can go to sleep.
intjonathan: (bjork)

Work is work. Still looking forward to not having a commute. Still annoyed at monthly paychecks. New COO seems cool and raises hopes for raises and other Real Company things.

Made several copies of the new house key. It was a slow process.

Picked up a nice recliner for free out in Everett.

Got a bunch of boxes. Should be in pretty good shape for cardboard, at least for now. Will know better when packing starts - tomorrowish.

Some very old disappointment is starting to cool into resentment at the back of my heart.

I keep looking around the house, trying to look at it, but it never changes. It won't until I start removing things. Truthfully, I am afraid to. Something will happen, and I don't know how it will end.


Aug. 22nd, 2006 11:33 am
intjonathan: (Default)
Things I still do:

  • make macaroni and cheese on Sundays
  • walk around the lake and stop at the fishing access to think
  • sit on a log by swamp creek in my favorite place and pray
  • build computers as a bonding experience
  • load the dinner dishes
  • move in September

New things:

  • commute to Ballard for work
  • move completely out of my room
  • bars
  • looking seriously for home furnishings
  • seeing items priced over $100 as "affordable"
  • doing nothing in the evenings

I've become addicted to zazzle. I don't need any $20 t-shirts with videogame characters on them, but the idea is so fun. Making big prints of my photos is addicting, too. I can pretend.

I think Becca captured everyone's spirit quite accurately here:
SLUGs by polevaultpower on Treemo

Oh, and while I'm posting pictures, here's the new living room:
62nd Street Living Room by niralisse on Treemo

Moving this weekend; I still don't have any boxes. I'm really excited about the new place, so much so that I keep forgetting that I'm going to be totally displaced from the only home I've known. Sure, it'll be close, but it'll just be a room in a house.

At least I can still use the basement.
intjonathan: (bjork)
Enjoy the changes, because routine will set in before you know it.

I graduated on 10 June, 2006. I spent a week in Bellingham sorting things out and packing. On the 17th and 18th, I said goodbye to Bellingham and moved the last of my belongings into what is now my parents' house in Lynnwood. I spent a week moving what I could and preparing for a large LAN party on the 24th. The party went well, minus a few guests. On Sunday I dealt with the exhaustion, hot weather and excess sunlight... poorly. Yesterday I moved my waterbed out of my room and into the basement, along with alll the rest of the furniture that had been displaced by the party. Last night I slept in my childhood room on a different bed for the first time in over 10 years.

This morning I drove to Ballard for my new job at Hyperboy. The work environment is very similar to HITS, it's a small office with relaxed management. Typical startup. It'll be a fine 2 weeks.

When I first moved back here I felt very displaced. I still miss Bellingham, especially on sunny days like today, when having 3 lakes within a short drive was invaluable, and driving to Ballard in traffic with no A/C is awfully tedious. I've been walking around the neighborhood a lot, trying to get a feel for the place again, and striving to connect with the decades of memory that live here. I visited my 5th grade classroom for the first time in years, very haunting. Walking through all the housing where there used to be forest, telling myself the stories about the mink farms, abandoned country clubs, and wildness that marked the edges of my childhood, has been theraputic. I don't know how much longer I will recognize my home. As I was vacuuming the basement after the party, I realized that this was the same basement I would build blanket forts in, the same bar I built enormous Lego creations on, the same fireplace that has kept me hauling firewood in winters as long as I can remember. That TV stand was my grandmother's, we got it when she died. She had it in a tiny apartment on Broadway in Everett, along with my fold-out desk and stereo cabinet. They looked different there.

I've lived here since I was small enough to stand on the ledges in the basement. Returning to it has been strange. Were the circumstances different, I'm not sure I would've chosen to.

But it's true that I would've had to move out sometime, and my room can't stay a time capsule forever. If I take the time to live here again, maybe when this stops being my home we can part peacefully.

It has been a lonely two days. I have been thinking a lot about my future. On 17 July I will board a plane to London (from which my parents have just returned), and shortly thereafter Venice. I haven't been thinking a lot about this trip yet, as there will be time for that soon enough. I'm very preoccupied with the years that stretch out afterwards, where I must reconcile with the life I abandoned 3 years ago. It hasn't exactly been waiting for me, and I intend to find what's left of it and see what still matters.
intjonathan: (air)

It's a slippery thing. I still feel like I'm visiting here, and leaving Bellingham tonight felt more like departing than returning.

But I got to sail with Amiel again, see some awesome bands, and talk to a lot of good friends who like me very much. Why wouldn't I miss it?

I hope I can find home wherever I go this year. Thanks for helping Bellingham be that for the last three.


Jun. 3rd, 2006 06:06 pm
intjonathan: (bjork)
It's so hard to capture the final two weeks of a quarter. The conflict of "I shouldn't be doing anything but studying" conflicts with the "well, not much else to study, so I'll watch this TV show here..." reaches a peak. For two weeks one feels guilty about doing any one time-consuming thing, but spends similar amounts of time doing many shorter things, because the math doesn't occur to them.

This quarter is doubly weird, as I have moving to do in addition to studying, but with two weeks of moving time allocated, and less than a week worth of moving to do, it's hard to justify spending "study time" on packing. So then I think well, I'll do coursework, that'll chew up time. Then I discover that everything's on schedule and what little remains has time allocated for it this week.

And you know, it's hard to write poetry for several consecutive hours. The flame burns out real fast.

I'm sure everything will get done ok in the end, but I don't know how to shed this continual stress. What if I took a test I never studied for and passed? What if I didn't work on a program the day before the due date - because it was already done? Is that even possible? Could I have made it even better?

Crap like this leads me to circle the wagons wherever I can in order to maintain some semblance of control. For instance, I haven't packed up anything in my room. It's exactly the same as it was last week, and I intend to keep it that way until sometime next week. There ain't that much stuff in it, and in there I can forget about the emptiness outside my door and get down to the business at hand.

The stress surfaces in other ways, though. Got a lovely excema breakout on my legs for a few days. I had frequent headaches last week, and haven't been sleeping all that well. Even though I know it's all surfaced stress, it's really hard to channel it elsewhere. Control feels necessary, control of the situation, control of the stress, control of time. I feel helpless, but it's just uncertain, and when have life changes been certain? There's enough certainty in my life this month to choke a Scantron reader, but it's not very comforting for some reason. Like, I'm not going to fail my classes. I'm just not. The grades I do have are a comfortable C and a very high B, and senior project is practically a gimmie. And I'm not going to be struck with financial ruin, no matter how many more parts fail in my cars/computers. I'm moving home to $0 rent and a full fridge. Besides, I just got paid June rent, so it's not all bad.

Life is much better than it feels, I guess, but it's so hard to see. Who would believe that your last quarter would be fun, you'd pass your finals easily, you'd have no problems closing your lease, and you'd move for practically free with plenty of time to somewhere with no rent? I mean sheeit, I've even got a little work lined up before I leave for 3 weeks in Italy! I shouldn't even care that I don't have work when I get back, because the way things are going, I'll get a job while I'm gone. :) It's understandable that I would have a mental block against such good fortune.

So yes, moving is scary, and when I get home, things get harder. But I've really got to work on crossing bridges when I'm at them, not 20 miles hence.


intjonathan: (Default)

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