Sunday, July 24, 2011

"Operation Lonely Week Pt. 2"- Kayla

I'm sure that at seeing the title of both of our posts, some of you are gagging.  Fortunately, I don't have it nearly as bad as Nick.  Yes, he does have the kitties, and all the furniture, but I still get Justin and Jessica to pass my time.  I also have a lot of cleaning to do and I get to help them move, so that will pass a lot of the time.  Combine that with the fact that this is the last week of my job and I have to close SEVEN desks, it makes for a week that will most likely pass very quickly.

So, ruminations on the move: it went pretty smoothly considering we went across two states.  We unfortunately had forgotten to pack quite a few small things making for the last hour of the packing process a little chaotic- a special thanks to Nick's mother for helping us navigate this potentially disastrous, rookie mistake.  There was only one box of "random, almost forgotten stuff" by the end of the packing process, so it could have gone worse.  We also failed to properly stack the boxes in the back of the truck because we were too scared that they would fall; wrong.  We ended up almost unable to fit everything into the truck; we actually had to put a lot of things in the Quijas' van.  A lot of stuff ended up in front of the stuff that was going to my dad's so the unloading at his place was a little rough. A special thanks to my dad for letting us stay with him at the last moment.  This made everything so much better, including the amount of stress on the poor cats.

I'm glad to announce that the cats are adjusting well (for those of you who care).  There was only one point in the drive in which I thought my cat was going to throw up, but neither of them did; they also refrained from peeing in the car, so despite the panting and freaking out, they did pretty well.

It is strange to be here on a blow up bed in a house that's been my home for 1.5 years, but it's exciting to know that I'm one step closer to moving my life to Chicago.  And thank GOODNESS we are done with that move.  It was a very hectic day that would have been impossible without the help of family and friends.  A special thanks to Justin and Nick's dad for making the 30" couch fit thorough the 30" door of our apartment; I think some sort of voodoo magic was involved here.  Also, a special thanks to Jessica for letting us steal Justin away from her for a whole weekend, especially since we took him a whole night early.    Overall, very successful, smooth move.

Begin Operation "Lonely Week"-Nick

The move is over and it's all here.  The last two days have been some of the craziest that I have experienced.  It's hard to believe that 48 hours ago I was carrying some boxes down in the house in Columbia that I've inhabited for four of my happiest years.  Now I'm in Chicago moved in and unpacked (mostly).  Now I begin a lonely week here by myself, with the cats of course, until Kayla finishes her final week of work and heads back.

The move went pretty smoothly overall.  It's never easy to drive a moving truck 420 miles, much less into a very crowded city.  There were bumps, but we made it safely and in good time.  A big thank you to Kayla's dad for putting us up for the night on Friday.  We were originally going to get up before the crack of dawn on Saturday, drive to St. Louis and drop some furniture off with him, and then proceed on to Chicago.  Instead, we drove to his place Friday night, unloaded, and then crashed there.  That put us two hours closer and we had the furniture that he is storing already unloaded.

We got here around 12:30pm and were unloaded about an hour later and unpacked by the end of the night.  I can't thank my parents or Justin enough for all of the help they provided.  Without them, I'm not quite sure how we would have managed the whole operation.  It gave me the chance to say goodbye to them as well.  Well, not so much goodbye as a see you later.  Sad day.

Anyway, I took some pictures of the place.  Unfortunately I only had my laptop to take the pictures with as Kayla has the camera back in Columbia as well her her Iphone, so the pictures aren't the best quality.  We'll post some more later.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moving madness- Kayla

Ok, so it's my turn to add something to the blog :)

Let's talk about moving.  Let's talk about the piles of boxes all over the house and the inordinate amount of time it takes to fill those boxes.  I would like to put up pictures of the madness, but the camera cord is packed... Let's talk about how having two cats, who love to get into those boxes, does not make the process any easier.  We can talk about all of that, but let's also talk about how exciting it is to see evidence that this is happening, and SOON!  It's strange to see all our our worldly possessions wrapped in bubble tape and packed in boxes, but it's also great to know that we are actually taking this positive step in our life together.  Sure, there are things I'm going to miss.  I'm going to miss campus and all the memories I've made there.  I'm going to miss running into familiar faces (even on one of the US's largest campuses).  I'm going to miss all the little oddities that Columbia has to offer.  I'm going to miss this house that I've known and loved for over two years now.  And of course I'm going to miss all of my friends and family members, people whom I'm not going to get to see but every couple of months, maybe some I will never see again.  It is sad, but it's a new chapter, and with each new chapter, old chapters have to be left behind.  Yes, I'm about ready to tear out my hair with the stress of packing and trying to make everything fit into a tiny studio apartment, but I absolutely cannot wait to move to this new city and make a new life for myself.  Thank you all for your love and support!

Fun with Amtrak-Nick

A fun story to demonstrate the fantastic difficulties that arise when you are living in one place while trying to get a job in another place.

Last week I scored an interview with Northwestern University (located in Evanston just north of Chicago). I had anticipated, and hoped, that I would get some interviews while I was still in Columbia, and would have to travel to Chicago for these interviews.  Inconvenient, but necessary to get a job ahead of time.  Anyway, things started out smooth: I got a train ticket for Tuesday from Jefferson City to St. Louis connecting to another train there that would take me on to Chicago, then I got a ticket for the following day after my interview to take me from Chicago to St. Louis where Kayla would pick me up.

The adventure began-Kayla drove me to Jefferson City to catch the first train.  We got there about 20 minutes before the 11:18 train.  When we arrived, we found that the train was delayed and would not be arriving until 12:02.  Well, that was ok because there was supposed to be an hour layover in St. Louis, so I would still catch my second train.  Oh wait, no, the delay is longer, now the train wouldn't arrive until 12:30.  We called Amtrak and they assured us that the train in St. Louis would not leave without the passengers from the connection.  So we waited a bit longer.  Then the deal breaker came-the train wouldn't arrive until after 1pm.  

At this point we called it quits and got back in the car.  Kayla would drive me to St. Louis to catch my train there.  On the way, I called Amtrak and they canceled my first ticket and instructed me to pick up my remaining two tickets at the St. Louis station before I boarded my train to Chicago.  We sped down the highway to St. Louis and arrived at Union Station with a good 30 minutes to spare.

Oh wait...Union Station no longer has trains.  Dope!  Apparently the Amtrak station is located a few blocks away from Union Station.  No problem right?  Wrong.  It was pouring rain and we actually passed it the first time and thus had to walk a few extra blocks while backtracking to find it.

Nevertheless, we arrived at the Amtrak station.  The train was there by that time and leaving soon.  We quickly found the ticket counter and I went to the first open window I could find.  I explained what had happened to the man and gave him my reservation number.  Here is how that conversation went.

Ticket man: "Well, it looks like your tickets are on your original train.  They printed them out in Kansas City so that you could pick them up on the train when you boarded in Jefferson City."
Me: "Yea, but that train isn't going to make it here before my train to Chicago right."
Ticket Man: "That's correct."
Me: "So I'll need to get tickets to get on the Chicago train from you all."
Ticket Man: "No you'll have to wait until the other train arrives to get your tickets."
Me: "I'll have to wait for the train that's not going to arrive until after this one leaves?"
Ticket Man: "That's correct, there's nothing I can do for you, you'll have to call the 800 number."
Me: "I already called them and they said I needed to get my tickets from here."
Ticket Man: "There's nothing I can do."

From here it's pretty much a blur of anger.  Without Kayla there I probably would have burst into the hulk and rampaged uncontrollably across St. Louis.  However, she intervened and talked to another man that, through some magical ability, was able to help us where the other guy was unable (or unwilling).

End of story is that I was able to get on the train just in time before it left and made it to Chicago, to my interview (which went fantastic), and back again.  Not going to lie of the more stressful moments in life.

The End

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting Ready to Move-Nick

Kayla and I have been packing for the past week or so and things are getting a bit hectic.  Our house is looking less like a place that people live in, and a lot more like a giant storage container.  We're attempting to spend time with everybody that wants to see us before the move, but that's a bit tough while we try to pack everything up and get everything ready before the move.

Every day that passes makes us just a little bit more excited and, in my case at least, just a little bit more scared.  That's mainly on account of my joblessness, but hopefully that will change soon (I've had a couple interviews that I'm waiting to hear back on).  We know that it's a bit risky moving to a place without jobs lined up...but at some point you just have to take the risk and we reached that point.

We are super excited to move into the apartment.  We got to go see it about a week ago and we loved the place.  It was a bit small, but we figured it would be considering it is a studio and all.  We did some work around the place while we were there to make it a little more like home for us (painting, installing some shelves, etc) and that helped.  If you want to see pictures, check them out below.  We'll be adding more later.