Archive for the ‘moving’ Tag

Tuesday was a bad day   2 comments

Target finally paid me on Tuesday, and I was utterly delighted. I was now about $400 richer. I began having fantasies of not dipping into my savings to pay for my student loan, and also, getting my car registered in North Carolina. Delighted, James and I went and ran errands. He wanted to buy some fabric so we could have a proper surface for our mini-games, X-Wing and Pirates. We took care of my errands first, because they were administrative and thus time-sensitive.

Both James and the bank teller said that they paid about $120 to get their car registered, so I kept $120 in cash from my paycheck and put the rest into my bank account. Then James and I drove to the nearest North Carolina Title and License Plate location.

There was a line, not surprisingly, but fortunately my line was shortest. I got in line while James sat in a chair.

I stood in line.

I stood in line some more.

I had already been on my feet working for eight hours and I think I stood there in one spot for what felt like 45 minutes. Finally I was called up. I had all my paperwork ready in-hand. The woman immediately began processing. Then she said, “That will be $199.”

“199?” I repeated.

“199.” The woman looked absolutely bored.

“I have 120 in cash,” I said. “Can I pay the rest in debit?”

“That will be an additional $5.”

I handed over the cash and my debit card. The woman looked at my cash, and then glared at me. “What is this extra $3 for?”

“That’s all the cash in my wallet,” I said. “I wanted to put as little on the debit card as possible.”

“But why,” she said, “Is there three dollars?”

I said, slowly, “I’m giving you one hundred and twenty-three dollars.”

She sighed and tapped at the computer some more and then put all of my cash in a little drawer. Then she shoved a license plate and a letter from NCDOT into my hands.

I decided to speak up. “All the people I talked to said that it would be around $120. I asked a lot of people. Why did it come out so expensive?”

She sighed. “We base your rate on the value of the car. If it seems like a bigger liability then we charge more.”

I processed for a second, and then said, “You charge more for cheaper cars?”

“Yes. Next!”

I stumbled back to James, who looked up from his phone and saw immediately that I was close to tears.

“Are you okay?”

I’m not sure what I said. I was more interested in leaving the building. We walked back to the car and James drove us to JoAnn’s Fabrics. Then he turned off the car and looked at me. “Are you okay? Do you feel up to going inside?”

“I don’t know.”

“Do you want to go home?”

“You decide.”

James drove us home. I made grilled cheese and tomato soup for myself. After I ate, James recommended that we play a game. We tried out Kamisado, which James won handily at twice. Then we finally played Pirates, which I had been pushing for a month for us to play. James again won.



Normally I wouldn’t have been bothered by losing constantly, especially at a game like Pirates. Pirates is one of those journey-not-the-destination games. He ran my biggest ship derelict; normally I would have been narrating the plight of my poor pirates and laughing and suggesting that he sink my derelict ship. But my mood was so sour that it just made everything worse. After we cleaned up the game, I picked up my Cicero biography and lay on the bed and read. James came in and checked on me, but other than that, I spent the evening reading. It was probably the best part of the day.

Posted September 25, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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That’s what it’s all about   Leave a comment

At orientation at Target, as Belinda, the HR person, was giving us a store tour, a man stopped us and asked about small refrigerators. Belinda took him over to Seasonal, to the college supplies section, leaving us new employees standing awkwardly in the middle of the main track. We all avoided eye contact and looked around at our new place of work.

We were standing right next to where all the team/college shirts and jerseys are. In Sterling, it’s a row dedicated to Hokies gear. Here, it was evenly split up into the three main colleges in the area: Duke, NC State, and UNC.

Hokies gear decorates a lot of cars and shirts in the DC area, and in a lot of other places in Virginia. Its main rival is UVA, but you never see UVA pendents and shirts and bumper stickers. It’s all Hokies gear. And yet, no one discusses it. I’ve never heard anyone discuss Tech’s chances of getting into whatever championship they would get into. No one talks trash about UVA. No one talks up Tech. It’s all just Hokies gear.^

When I sat down in orientation, Belinda decided that the best way to introduce ourselves was to tell our name, what our position was going to be, and what our team was.

That seemed silly to me, but I listened in. I was going to be the last to speak anyway.

“For example,” said Belinda, “My name is Belinda, I went to school at Ohio State, and while I still say Go Buckeyes I have definitely joined the Wolfpack since moving to North Carolina.” She went into detail about how she became an NC State fan.

The next person to speak was a little grandmotherly lady who was going to work on the sales floor. “I am a Tarheel, long and proud,” she said.

From the reaction of Belinda and the kid next to me, she might as well have caught fire. A TaRHeEl? iN tARgeT? Non capisco!

“I’d keep that to yourself,” said Belinda, a smile pasted on her face.

During our security orientation, the security officer would ask us the same thing, and would have much the same reaction that Belinda and the kid next to me had. The officer would then say, in an overly-friendly voice, “Well, you look much better in red!”

I was already feeling awkward by the time we moved on to the kid next to me. He was a former high school football player, and was going to be doing morning front work. He had strong feelings about the Wolfpack, and was a fan of theirs. Then he took some time to start putting down Duke University. No one had said anything about Duke University. He just did it, off the cuff. Belinda and the little grandmotherly lady encouraged it. I sat quietly for several minutes and listened to these three now-coworkers of mine do nothing but put down Duke University.

Finally it came time for me to introduce myself. I said that my name is Kelsey and I would be working primarily in Starbucks and then, I said, weakly, “I went to George Mason so…go Patriots?”

Belinda nodded and the orientation continued.

So now here were the three of us, with nothing to do but stare at all these shirts and jerseys from the three primary schools in the Raleigh area. I indicated the shirts and said, “You know, it’s weird. In Virginia, there’s really only the one school everyone cares about — Virginia Tech. It’s weird to go from that to here, where there’s three schools and everyone is picking sides.”

The grandmotherly woman gave me a look and said, “Yes, it’s almost as though it’s an entirely different state.”

I’m not sure Target is going to work out for me, guys.

^That isn’t to say that I’ve never seen George Mason gear around town. It’s just much less prevalent and much more understated. We Patriots are proud of our education and would certainly recommend the school to someone who asks, but that’s about it.

It finally happened   Leave a comment

The plan for Tuesday morning was simple: at 8:00, Mom and I would drive to Budget and pick up a 10-foot truck. Mom would pay for the truck. I would drive the truck home, and Mom would continue on to work. James, whatever friends of mine showed up, and I would load the truck with my stuff, and we would leave Virginia at around 10:00 in the morning, probably.

Although the sign on the Budget office said OPEN, the doors were all locked. There was a guy working, but he looked and acted more like a mechanic. He didn’t speak English very well and said that someone would help us soon.

At 8:30 the office worker finally showed up. He looked about 20 and sounded tired. I told him that I had made a reservation a few weeks ago for a 10-foot truck. He said they didn’t have any 10-foot trucks, but we could get a 16-foot truck for the same price. I told him that I wanted a 10-foot truck. He began to call local Budget offices, trying to locate a 10-foot truck. Mom and I conferred. I didn’t need a 16-foot truck. I doubted James nor I could handle a 16-foot truck. I hadn’t had breakfast, and Mom wanted to go to work. We told him we would be right back.

Mom drove us to McDonald’s while I got on the phone with U-Haul. They said no problem. There wasn’t a 10-foot truck at the nearest U-Haul, but there was one nearby that we could get. I got a sausage McMuffin and waited for the confirmation email.

“So where’s the U-Haul?” Mom asked.

“Alameyada,” I said. I creeping sensation went down my spine.

“Where’s that?”

I looked it up. “Orlando, Florida.”

Mom pulled off to the side of the road and I got on the phone with U-Haul again. A man answered.

“I’m moving today and I just ordered a 10-foot truck, but the reservation is wrong,” I said.

“What’s your last name?” he asked.

“Hancher.”

“Where are you moving to?”

“Morrisville, North Carolina.”

“That looks right here,” he said.

“No it’s not,” I said. “It says I have to pick it up from Orlando, Florida!”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“I’m in Virginia!”

“Oh,” he said. “Well I can transfer you to someone in Orlando.”

“What? How is that going to help? I don’t want to talk to someone in Orlando!”

“What do you want then?” he asked.

“I WANT A TEN-FOOT TRUCK IN STERLING, VIRGINIA.”

He gave me an 800-number to call. A woman answered.

“What’s the problem?”

I gave her my information and my reason for calling.

“Well I don’t see any reservation in Orlando,” she said. “And I don’t see any 10-foot trucks in Sterling, Virginia. The closest one I can find is in Fairfax, Virginia. How’s that?”

“It’s in Northern Virginia,” I said heavily. “That’s fantastic. I’ll take it.”

“It’s going to be, let’s see, $667.”

I told Mom. “That’s ridiculous,” she said. “We could get the 16-foot truck at Budget for $550.”

I negotiated with U-Haul and ended up with the truck for $380. Mom ended up getting insurance added onto it, so the total was somewhere around $440.

I drove up to the Sterling house at 10:30 in the morning, already exhausted from the phone calls. James, Katie, and Josh were waiting. We got the truck loaded up in half an hour, but we didn’t leave until 2:00.

Something weird about it, though: while waiting at random times to get off hold with U-Haul, I kept glancing over at Mom, who was supposed to be at work but was instead waiting for me to get off the phone so we could do the next step.  I felt bad.  I felt like I should be guilty and sorry, but why should I?  I said, “I keep feeling like I should apologize to you for holding you up, but this is the opposite of my fault.”

Mom nodded.

And when I was finished yelling at the guy because I wanted a truck <i>in Sterling</i>, I wondered how I should have handled that.  But I couldn’t think of a way I could have.  I told him exactly what I wanted and then he gave me what I wanted.  It had all gone rather smoothly, even if I had lost my patience a bit.  Shouldn’t I feel bad about losing my temper?

I confessed to Mom that I felt conflicted.

She explained that women seemed to think that they had to be liked by everybody, and other such things that Sheryl Sandberg says a lot better than I can.  And that I should never feel bad for standing up for what I really wanted.

Posted August 22, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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This is relevant because I am now moving from somewhere I am well-liked   Leave a comment

When I was in third grade, we moved to Sterling, VA. My parents rented a townhouse in the Sugarland Run community there and I attended a nearby elementary school. We lived in that townhouse and I attended that school for two years. There, I made some friends, some connections, but I wasn’t part of any particular group; mostly I sat at my desk and read, to be perfectly honest. But I knew lots of people and was generally well-liked.

However, the winds of change were sweeping through Sterling. It was the mid-nineties, and the dot-com boom was in full swing. With it came AOL and Verizon and government contracts. Lots and lots of government contracts. A server hub was built in Sterling. AOL set up its headquarters right outside of town. New houses and schools were built to accommodate all its news residents. The demographics changed within the two years we lived there; the newbies had their large, fancy McMansions with high fees to pay for their “fascist” HOA. They looked down their noses at the likes of the established Sterling Park and Sugarland Run communities. They didn’t want their children going to school with those children. Boundaries shifted. To my mother’s horror, we would no longer be attending the same school we had attended for third and fourth grade. We would instead be attending…another school.*

The time was nigh. Just before the end of fourth grade, Mom and Dad bought a townhouse in the relatively new Cascades community and we moved in. For fifth grade, we attended a brand-spanking-new school with high test scores.

I never really fit in with the kids at that school. It was 1997, and we were all hitting pre-adolescence. I continued to read Animorphs and Star Trek novels in the back of the classroom. All the other kids wore designer children’s clothing and sang Spice Girls songs. I made one friend, but she moved away halfway through the year. I spent the year alone, desperately alone. The Vice Principal even noticed how alone I was and tried to make some popular girls spend time with me. I tagged along with them for about a day before going back to reading quietly in the back of the classroom. They were actually very nice (I was actually had many classes with one of them throughout middle school, and we were perfectly friendly), but we just didn’t have anything in common. I was just that girl who didn’t have any friends.

The same year that school opened, a new high school opened, right behind our townhouse. Towards the end of fifth grade, all of the fifth graders in the school district were bused to the high school to see a special production of Alice in Wonderland. Not everyone in my class would fit in our assigned row, and three of us had to go sit with another school. That school was my old school. We were sitting with all of my old classmates.

“Kelsey!” they all shouted.

“Hey guys!” I said.

“Geoffrey likes you!” said one boy.

Geoffrey gestured wildly that this was not true, but I laughed. I didn’t care whether Geoffrey liked me or not; what was more important was that I was welcomed back. I had a place. I was too goody-two-shoes of a girl to sit backwards on my seat, so instead I had to keep turning in my seat to add to conversations. I caught up with all my old classmates, how their schoolyear had gone and what middle school they were going to and how sports was going and how much they liked or didn’t like their classrooms and what books they read and where they had gone on vacations and oh the play was starting but I kept turning around to talk to my friends. Sitting next to me was a boy in my class named Andrew Olson. He was a boy I didn’t like very much; he teased me a lot. He slumped lower and lower in his seat throughout the whole afternoon.

I finally had to say goodbye to everyone from my old school as the chaperones collected us and brought us back to the bus. The class was waiting for us as we approached the bus.

We hadn’t even reached the whole way when Andrew Olson shouted at the class, “Well Kelsey made a lot of friends! All her friends were there! She wouldn’t stop turning in her seat and talking!”

And everyone was surprised, because I was tiny and quiet and smart and quiet and I never talked to anyone. Andrew Olson was brought back into the fold. I stared off into the sunlight and scratched my teeth, because I am gloriously attractive.

I heard a boy shout, “WHEN’S THE WEDDING?” followed by laughter. I worried about my dental health.

One of the girls in the class — Sam, maybe? — approached me. I was broken out of my sunlight-and-tooth-scratching reverie.

“Andrew Olson likes you,” she said.

Well that was right out of left field. Andrew Olson couldn’t stand the sight of me. I once won a science-review contest by remembering that the skin is the largest organ of the body, and he had followed me around the entire recess shouting “skin! skin!” at me. I said a cuss word one time and he had laughed hysterically at me. Another time I said a cuss word and he ratted me out.

I had no idea what to say so I just smiled awkwardly.

“Do you like him?”

This was clearly the heart of the matter. I have no idea what I said; I stammered it out, whatever it was.

So Andrew Olson, fuming, had to sit next to me on the bus ride back to school. He slouched in his seat and stared at the windshield. His friends sat in the back, popping their heads up, trying to see what we were doing. I had the window seat, and I stared out the window and rubbed my tongue along my teeth, thinking about plaque.

I wouldn’t have another date for nine years.

EDIT 8/22: Apparently I wasn’t clear enough on my school situation. My family liked the school I attended in 3rd/4th grade; they were “disappointed” in the school I attended in fifth grade. The school that I described as “dangerous” my family was indifferent to. The main reason that we moved to the house we ended up moving to was because it was right next to a high school, and my family wanted us to walk to high school rather than depend on transportation. I was mistaken.

*To this day I have no idea what was wrong with the school we would have gone to had we stayed in the rental townhouse. Mom insisted it was dangerous, or in a dangerous neighborhood, or something. I have had plenty of friends who attended that school who said that there was no such danger.

Get on with it!   Leave a comment

All day long I’ve had various songs from Tangled stuck in my head, so during dinner I sat down and watched it. I wasn’t even sure why I wanted to see it so badly. Then we got to the famous lantern scene.

Rapunzel: Hmm.
Flynn: You okay?
Rapunzel: I’m terrified.
Flynn: Why?
Rapunzel: I’ve been looking out a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what it might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?
Flynn: It will be.
Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then?
Flynn: Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.

And then a minute later he eye-fucks the hell out of her.

flynn eyes her

Thank you, Flynn Rider, for existing. You are precisely what I need for the next few days.

Posted August 16, 2014 by agentksilver in animation

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Smile because it happened   Leave a comment

I’ve packed three boxes! I put some clothing in my overnight suitcase and I’ve been stuffing the rest of my clothes into the boxes. It feels good, making progress, you know?

My sister Lacey stopped by the house momentarily. She was looking for Dad, but Dad was napping, so she grabbed a rug and some old CDs of hers that Mom had found. We carried them out to her car, where she took inventory of the CDs and found a CD by Ludo. She then pulled up the song I’ve shown you above to show to me. I was kind of mumbling random Labyrinth quotes as she pulled it up.


Ludo doesn’t say much

Then she started playing the song, and she straight-up started chasing me around the parking lot pointing at me, jabbing at me, and moshing in general. I was walking backwards around the lot, trying to make sure we didn’t back into anything.

Towards the end of the song, Mom drove up, stopping short of hitting Lacey and I in the street. She was talking with her brother Steve via hands-off cell phone about the ice cream social/my going-away party tomorrow. Lacey and I leaned our heads in and chatted with Steve as well.

Meanwhile, our next-door neighbor emerged from his house to interrupt our conversation. He wanted to report to our mother that we had been dancing in the street, and more importantly, we had done a fine job of it.

We helped Mom carry groceries into the car. Mom bragged that she had gotten an entire case of Dominion Root Beer into the car all by herself (quite an accomplishment, given her recent surgery).

“What is this for?” Lacey asked.
“Some of it is for the social tomorrow,” Mom said.
“Oh, I’ll just put it in my car,” Lacey said.
“No, only some of it is for tomorrow. Some is going to North Carolina.”

It’s those…little things in life, you know? Mom went out and got my favorite root beer for me to take to North Carolina. We have a friendly enough neighborhood that we can play eldritch horror songs and dance in the street to them and neighbors will compliment you on your dance. I’ve been reading nonstop about Ferguson for the last two days, but it seems like it’s okay to acknowledge that your own neighborhood isn’t that bad. That I have good things in life. And maybe, in my new life, I’ll find new good things, too.

Posted August 15, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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Things will change   Leave a comment

So last night my Britches and Hose took me to IHOP and bowling as a going-away party for me. And I had fun — good conversations with good people, and I made three strikes — but at the end of the night I felt sad. I realized that I was supposed to feel sad. It was a going-away party because I was leaving these wonderful people. I am going to miss all these good friends.

It doesn’t feel real to me. My room is full of boxes. I’ve put all of my books into all of these boxes. I’ve put about half of my wall hangings into these boxes. But not all of them. I spent this morning staring at the boxes, until I went upstairs and played on my phone. I spent yesterday morning making up a silly story about zombies trying to eat someone. Normally I would chalk this sort of behavior up to depression, but this doesn’t feel like depression.

I’ve been planning this move for months and months, and now that it’s almost here, I’m scared of it. I’m sad to go. Afraid of change. I’m avoiding the work of packing. If I don’t pack, then I won’t move, and nothing will change. Even though I want the change, I’m scared of the change. Part of it is fear of it turning out the last time I moved out of state — came back nine months later at my lowest point in my depression — or maybe like the last time I moved in with a boyfriend — less said about that the better — and even though I know it won’t be like that, I’m still afraid. I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of. Just the abstract concept of change?

Packing is hard. Moving is hard. Next week, nothing is going to be the same.

Posted August 14, 2014 by agentksilver in Personal

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