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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Road Worry

What was supposed to be a six-hour trip from Louisville to Cleveland began 90 minutes late and actually took 8.5 hours Tuesday.

I rented a Penske truck over the weekend, had the privilege of several helpful friends help me load it on Memorial Day Monday, then was hoping to get on the road by 8 a.m Tuesday.

I've never been a good planner, and when I do try to plan things, it seldom works out anyway. About 50 miles north of Louisville, up Interstate 71, this happened. Had Jennifer and I left on time, we'd have avoided the hour and a half traffic delay that followed.

But when I wrapped things up Monday night, I underestimated the amount of time it would take to tie up a few loose ends Tuesday morning. And having slept on a deflated air bed didn't help my condition at all, but at least I had the XM Radio in the truck with me.

Insight Communications, btw, is now officially on my list. You guys better watch out after pulling that little stunt. As I sat in traffic behind Jennifer, who was driving my Honda, I tried to make a few calls to creditors to change my address and so forth. After holding for more than 10 minutes, a "customer care specialist" thankfully interrupted the bad hold music only to tell me I was connected to the wrong department. My protest fell on deaf ears as she transferred me back to the electronic waiting room, a room that I left about three minutes later. Sorry, Insight, but I just might have to wait a minute before writing that final check to you.

So we stopped just north of Columbus, then again in Mansfield, then again in Medina. Jennifer drinks a lot of water, and small girls have small bladders. Enough said there.

We arrived in Bainbridge, home of mom and Mike near Cleveland, at precisely 6 p.m. We chatted for about 90 minutes before Jennifer and I left to check into the hotel. After that it was dinner at Rick's Cafe in charming Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a walk near the water and we were back at the hotel by 10:30, moments away from a much-needed eight hours of slumber.

And now it's Wednesday, May 31. Now that it's been two weeks since the guy from the new company said it would take two or three business days for my moving expense check to be direct deposited into my checking account, I'm hoping to check it shortly to see that such a transaction finally has occurred. And the middle-Eastern outfit that will unpack my truck in New York Thursday also is troubling me. I mention its region of origin only to emphasize that a dispute is much harder to solve when you can't understand the person on the other end of the long-distance telephone conversation. I guess I should just be happy that they're going to show up at all.

So Wednesday should bring another visit with mom and Mike, perhaps one with Aunt Marilyn and some other unexciting errands. The plan is to leave late Wednesday night and arrive in Manhattan early Thursday morning. Check back Friday to see how badly I F this one up.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Goodbye, Louisville

The rest of my life started today. I leave Tuesday for a job in news in New York. I'll be a national editor for a major online news provider. I start on Monday, June 5, and in the meantime, I'll be spending this week driving a big, yellow truck up to Cleveland, hanging out with Mom and Mike for a day or two, then on to New York City, ETA Thursday a.m.

I lived in Cincinnati two different times for a total of 14 years, and Louisville twice for a total of four years, and I have to say, I really feel like I'm leaving a lot more in Louisville. What a great city it is. There is nothing quite like the Derby, and next year, instead of lugging camera gear all over the place, perhaps I'll be enjoying the Derby with actual tickets, a drink in one hand and a winning ticket in another.

The reason I think Sunday marked the beginning of the new chapter is because last night many friends showed up at Felt in downtown Louisville to see me off. When groups began to depart after midnight, that's when it hit me that my life was going to change dramatically this week, in ways more than a $1,900 monthly rent check could suggest.

Thanks so much to those who came to Felt. It was a great gathering, and I look forward to a return in the fall and am hopeful for a similar showing then.

I spent Sunday packing up boxes, throwing shit out and procrastinating more than necessary. Thank goodness for Jennifer, who continues to be a positive presence in my life, and will spend the summer with me before grad school comes calling in August. Without her, I'd probably just be starting to pack tonight, but she's pretty good at getting my unmotivated ass to work.

Alright, enough for now. I'll try to update this shite a few times this week. That's good news for both of you.