What I Did This Weekend

December 21, 2004

Here's why I wasn't home between 9:30AM Saturday and 10:50PM Sunday.

Last week, Htet Htet was getting ready to move down to the DC area, and I was helping her get organized when I could (I can be very organized when not dealing with my own things). Everything had to be ready by Wednesday night because the moving company she hired -- some fly-by-night outfit called World Movers -- would show up as early as Thursday morning.

Well, they didn't show up at all on Thursday. That in and of itself wasn't cause for alarm; the window they provided was Thursday or Friday. It could've been slightly problematic because Htet Htet and her husband were leaving their new apartment for England on Sunday, leaving only Saturday to unpack, but that wasn't really a show-stopper.

Except that they didn't show up on Friday, either. Plan B was put into effect: Rent a 17-foot U-Haul truck and a car trailer (no sense paying for the gas twice) and find someone skilled enough or crazy enough to drive the thing.

Well, I sure as hell ain't skilled.

After making it back from Murraysville with everything in one piece, a few of Htet Htet's friends came over to help load up her things. With five people working it took about an hour and a half. Not bad, except for the fact that it started at a quarter till ten at night.

The next morning I left my place at about 9:30 to load the last of her things into the truck, grab a quick breakfast (yay for Whole Foods's breakfast burritos) and start on the way to northern Virginia. It took a little longer than I'd hoped to get out of Pittsburgh, but we were on the road, with a full 24-foot truck hauling a Ford Escort behind it. Yeah, I felt like a badass driving that thing.

A 24' U-Haul towing a car trailer behind it.
Note the amount of control I exerted: There isn't a single SUV stuck in the grill. It's hard to see, but the trailer sans car is barely visible behind it. You want better nighttime pictures, you know where to send donations for a digital camera.

It wasn't too powerful for its size, though -- on the hills I was routinely getting passed by everybody else on the road, with the exception of a single semi truck and some dumb woman in a PT Cruiser. I don't know whether fault lies with the slushbox or the engine, but I had to hit the four-ways on more than one occasion.

We finally made it to NoVa just after 5:00, met Htet Htet's sister and her husband, Cory, and started unloading. Htet Htet and Cory have a nice apartment on the fourth floor. It has a balcony with a decent view, large windows and an in-unit washer and dryer. Know what it doesn't have? An elevator. After helping to haul God-knows-how-many boxes of books up those stairs, in addition to three bookcases, a futon cushion and a desk, I'm still sore and nursing a couple bruises as I write this Monday night.

The last box was set down just after midnight. We printed out directions to the nearest U-Haul center and drove that sumbitch out of there. All told, I probably drove that sucker close to 300 miles. Just after 2:00 in the morning everybody collapsed for a few hours.

Sunday went pretty quickly: There was just enough time for use all to grab some Thai food for lunch, take Htet Htet's sister back to her apartment in Silver Spring, and get back in time for Htet Htet and Cory to pack for their flight.

Menu item: 'Slice of chicken ... in sweat and sour sauce'.
I know it's too easy to pick on people who probably don't speak English natively, but remember: Just because the spell-checker doesn't flag it doesn't make the word right.

Once we all got to Dulles I discovered something: Since Htet Htet got flagged as "SSSS" at some point, I got flagged too since she paid for the ticket on her credit card. I got the whole shoe-inspection, metal-detector-wand, pat-down treatment and went to my gate.

My boarding pass, flagged as 'SSSS'.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Fleshman, but since you were raised in Akron and live in Pittsburgh, you may have decided you have nothing to lose..."

I flew Independence Air back to Pittsburgh. (The stewardess, in addition to being rather cute, actually told the passengers that if they couldn't figure out the seat belt they probably shouldn't be out in public. I should've asked her out.)

Once I got on the 28X to get back to town, I had to hike back since you have to have a CMU ID to ride the university's shuttle. That was a bit cold. And by the time I got home I was too wired to sleep.

I didn't get a lot done at work today. On the upside, I don't think I snored, either.

December 20, 2004December 23, 2004