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Very glad for the Sabbath, this week in particular! We need a rest. Thursday, after many complicated gymnastics involving cars so that everyone could get where they needed to go, we officially bought the house. That evening we began work: tearing down all of the curtains, changing the locks, cleaning out the carport, and bringing loads from the neighbor’s. I must tell you a hilarious and disgusting story:
The people who lived in the house before us left some furnishings (it’s a long story – the house was an inheritance, they rented it out, then it was left empty for a while, among other things), most of which are thoroughly disgusting, so I was going through throwing out the cushions from the furniture since they stink. There were, for some reason, two large stuffed fish (not taxonomically stuffed, more like plush toy stuffed) on one of the couches. They were hideous, not to mention smelly, so I was going to put them in a trash bag with the curtains and cushions. It smelled even worse in that area than usual, but I, all unsuspecting, lifted up the giant stuffed carp that was lying on the couch, and lo and behold, there lay a dead chipmunk. It was gross. It was very, very gross. I named the unfortunate chipmunk Dorian and buried him in the dumpster with proper honors. I can think of very few worse fates in this world, dying of starvation in an empty, dirty, smelly house. No matter how awful your life is right now, just think of this: at least you’re not a dead chipmunk named Dorian wedged under a giant stuffed carp. Just think about it. The whole encounter had a rather sobering effect, causing one to ruminate on one’s own mortality, and also if one really wants to sleep in a house in which a chipmunk has expired. Alas, poor Dorian. We barely knew you. We’ve named the couch Dorian’s Couch and it will be departing as soon as possible because it has a certain eau de decayed chipmunk clinging to it.

Friday was crazy busy, and in spite of Dad twisting an ankle and Mom cracking a tooth (unrelated events, I assure you), we managed to get a lot done (also, don’t worry, Dad’s ankle is better and Mom’s tooth is fixable). We painted the ceiling of the Carolina room and the garage, ripped down/unscrewed the remaining wall hangings (they left a lot of truly hideous furnishings), got the last of our stuff from the neighbor’s, cleaned the closets preparatory to painting them, cleaned up some pinecones and brush outside, fixed up some of the window screens, cleaned the bathroom enough to be usable (priorities, you know), and I’m really not even sure what all else. It’s all very productive but also very exhausting. We’re trying to get the Carolina room and garage in working order first so that we’ll have two livable rooms to store things in and set things up a bit. Internet, phones, and warp drive will be installed next Tuesday (cool points if you know what Star Trek movie that’s from), among other things, so this hermit existence will shortly be less hermitly, I hope. The only living souls I’ve talked to lately have been Lowes personnel, for the most part.

Finally, a breathing space. I can’t remember when I’ve worked so hard as in the last two days. On Sunday we finished packing everything. We filled the last of our three pods (Personal On Demand Storage!) I have picked up and carried every possession we have, and in my opinion we have way too much stuff. We worked from 9 in the morning until 10 something at night, hauling things to the new apartment that we would need (the stuff in the pods will be in storage for up to 2 months so we can’t use it). We made several trips to the new apartment, which takes awhile because it’s half an hour one way between the two places. Our apartment is in the middle of nowhere (which I suppose is why it’s cheap), and is slathered with a thick coat of cheap golf décor. It’s actually pretty nice, if a little old, and the surroundings are pretty. Not that we’re going to have a whole lot of time to enjoy them. Yesterday we hauled lumber and outdoor things and house plants (ugh) to the woods behind our neighbor’s house, where we will leave them until Thursday night when we can start moving things to the new house. The people to buy the house suddenly demanded a walk through a day early, forcing us to move quicker than was humanly possible, so that was kind of annoying since they were breathing down our necks, and we ran out of room in the car for the last of the stuff for the condo. We had to make yet another trip, in which we also picked up Beowulf. He is exceedingly unhappy right now. We had to leave him at the new house (no where else to put him) with food and all of his little accoutrements. He freaked out for a while and then decided he might as well eat before he dies of stress, so I think he’ll be ok. We’re going to check on him there twice a day. Today our house officially no longer belongs to us. It was sad leaving it for the last time, especially since we were so hurried. The new people aren’t going to take care of it, I can tell. It’s hard to see something you put SO much work into ruined. We have a couple days’ respite here until we start tearing apart the new house. Thursday we sign the papers, so after that we’ll make a couple loads of stuff from behind the neighbor’s. Then Friday is demolition day: out comes a couple walls, the carpet, the gutters, and I’m not even sure what all else. We’re going to hire a giant dumpster to come and live on our driveway for a while. Perhaps I shall name him.

Another school year come to an end. I was even more torn about that than usual this year. I love school so much, but I like a rest from the academics; I love being at Campbell, but it’s great to be home too. And of course it’s always kind of awful leaving everyone. However, now that I’m home, I’m enjoying it very much, in spite of the chaos. We’re moving into a very teensy tiny apartment on the 21st, where we will be staying for a couple months while we fix up the new house, which we officially get on the 29th. Yet again, we buy a fixer-upper! We’re not very fast learners, apparently. I’m mostly packed (I wanted to get it done early since we have so much other stuff going on), and my room looks so small and sad with even just half of my books packed up and everything taken off the walls. There is nothing so forlorn in this world as an empty bookshelf.

I am typing this from my brand new, ever-so-lovely laptop! Mini Jim did indeed give up the ghost, and my relationship with his replacement is progressing nicely. He is as yet unnamed, but that will shortly be remedied. He’s wonderfully swift and talented, so I think we’ll get on swell.

I am reading a book called Legendary Warriors (the same one I fought the battle over with some mysterious person who kept putting it on hold…I’ll find you one day), and it’s quite interesting from both a mythological and historical perspective, even if it is rife with typos. If I were their editor…*shakes fist* But yes, ask me a question about 5th century Scandinavian armor, I dare you. In other books news, I really haven’t read much of anything else that is non-school-related. I’m still coming off of the post-exam week reading blahs, so I’m just wrapping up a couple books. But I foresee a trip to the library in my near future.

Rediscovering one’s love for bands is quite nice. I am currently re-experiencing Bright Eyes, which would be a good band if only for its name, all lyrics aside.

I love I just spent an unbelievable amount of time looking at photos from the Crimean War!

Reassures me that Gattaca will not come to least not anytime soon.
Weird things live in Russia.
More college kids should do this sort of thing in their spare time instead of making Drano bombs.
Scientists have proven shoes are evil. I feel vindicated.
21 accents in 2.5 minutes, shamelessly stolen from a friend and reposted so that all may see and marvel.
Kind of disgustingly cute, but I like the French kids singing.
Psst, there’s a second Prince Caspian trailer out.
Somewhat encouraging!
Misread by Kings of Convenience – one of the saddest, mellowest songs and videos you’ll ever see.
The legend of Drake’s drum – England is beating us, I’m telling you. I think the problem is that America is too young to have hundreds-of-years-old legends of returning heroes. I’m fascinated by the king in the mountain motif in mythology, and I wish we had more of that kind of thing around.

Off to sleep…

You seem to have stumbled upon a storytelling of ravens. Watch for falling collective nouns; you may find a wing of dragons or a charm of hummingbirds caught in your hair. Hardhats are recommended.

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