Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Dog's Life

As I wrote in my last post, Bauer spent the first week back in New York a bit depressed. Everything was new and he didn't have a set routine. I've always heard that dogs love to have a set routine. They like to get up at the same time, eat at the same time, go on walks at the same time, etc. Routine makes them happy and comfortable.

Apparently, I am not much different than a dog. My first two weeks back in New York have been completely without routine. I've rotated between sleeping on an aerobed in my bedroom, sleeping on my neighbors couch and crashing at my friends place when he was out of town. I don't have a TV in my apartment yet and there is no food in the refrigerator. I haven't had a single home cooked meal that didn't consist of peanut butter and/or jelly. In short, I've been living like a hermit and it is really starting to bug me. I need a routine.

Yesterday, I couldn't take the randomness any more and decided to do something about it. I started setting up my apartment the best way I could - even though my furniture and main belongings still have yet to arrive. I put dishes away, went to get food (OK, milk and bread) and even set up a ghetto desk using empty boxes and a load-bearing comforter. This is my new routine... typing on a keyboard that sits on a creaky box while holding it together with my leg so it doesn't shake too much.

But, not everything about moving sucks. If nothing else, I've learned two new lessons.

First, moving is so damn expensive. It starts with the home improvement projects. We had to come home and clean the house from top to bottom, paint, get the carpets cleaned and re-do the floors. Even though we did much of this ourselves (I'll get to this in point two), it still costs a lot of money. Every time I go to the hardware store I walk out at least $100 poorer. It's not just the big stuff, but the little things as well. Cleaning products, gloves, sand paper, etc. It all adds up.

And then there are the electronics. I had to sell all of my electronics before moving to Europe. So I now I had to buy everything new. A new TC, stereo, DVD player (I choose an PS3 instead), wireless router, printer, etc. Don't get me wrong, it will be fun to have the new entertainment system around the house. But it is very expensive to buy it all at once with everything else.

The second lesson I learned is that I am never - ever - doing home improvement projects by myself again. I spent the better part of the last week sanding and refinishing the floors. I talked to my dad before hand and got instructions. I watched how-to videos on YouTube. I bought all of the products - top quality. And, you know what, it looks like shit. I did a bad job.

Honestly, I should have known better. It's not that I'm an idiot and can't do manual labor (although some people may claim that is the case). It is just that I have never refinished a floor before. Of course I'm going to fuck it up the first time I do it. You need to learn from someone, practice and make a few mistakes before doing it yourself. But I didn't do that. My first job was my apartment. Great decision on my part. Last time I make that mistake again. Seriously, I'm never lifting a finger again. If I have to change the battery in my smoke detector, I'm going to call my super and ask him to do it.


But, it's not all bad news. R started her new job and has been in Las Vegas training all week. I head out there on Wednesday night to join her for the weekend. So life could be worse...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back in NY

I have been in New York for 10 days and haven't posted a blog. Sorry about that. I've been busy doing manual labor - trying to fix up my apartment before my furniture arrives. I'm not used to that type of work. A decade of sitting behind a desk has made me soft. The truth is, I'm exhausted. And my finger tips hurts. I've been using my hands so much that my fingers are raw. Every type I hit a character on this keyboard I endure a little bit more pain. The fact that I am putting up with this intense pain to post you a blog just shows how dedicated I am to my readers. So, on that note, here is the blog entry I have been meaning to write....

R, Bauer and I made it back to New York safe and sound last week. For the humans on board, the flight was perfectly fine. For the canines, it may have been a bit more stressful. We'll never know for sure because Bauer spent the 9 hour flight stuffed in a crate with the rest of the cargo.

Once we landed in JFK, we went through customs and got our bags without delay. But it took quite some time for the airlines to bring Bauer out. After about 30 minutes of waiting, we finally heard some yelping in a crate in the far off distance. It was good ol' Bauer... and he wanted out of the damn crate. Rightfully so. It took another 20 minutes or so to get all of the dog papers signed - with Bauer making himself heard in the crate the whole time. Finally we got outside, let Bauer out of the crate so he could do his long-awaited business and order was restored in the universe.

I wish I could tell you what a great time we've had eating/drinking/laughing during our first week back in New York. But the truth is much less sexy than that. We've been doing hard manual labor for 12 hours per day. Cleaning, painting, sanding, etc. Lots of work. We're trying to fix up our apartment before our furniture arrives.

And, in case you are wondering, Bauer is doing OK. The transition from Prague to New York is a tough one and he is quite confused. You could tell that he was depressed the first couple of days. But he's starting to come out of it and will be fine in a couple of days.

The real bad news is that he doesn't remember his friend Casey - the German Shephard down the hall. Not only does he not remember Casey, but he is absolutely petrified of him. We've been forcing the two of them to hang out with each other all week but Bauer wants no part of it. He's scared to death of the big dog. Our plan is to just keep on forcing them to hang out with each other until they eventually like each other.

Don't worry about Bauer. He'll be fine in a few days. I'm much more concerned about my precious hands right now.