Musings, Nits, and Praises: July 2006

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher

Walkin' in Memphis

It took us a week, but we're settled in nicely now in Memphis. Unloading the moving truck proved to be the easiest part of moving. Of course, it helped that we moved into a first-floor apartment and that we didn't have any big furniture to move (we sold our leviathan couch before we moved.) Unpacking took quite an effort, though. I don't know how many times I opened a box and thought, "I didn't know we had one of these." Fortunately for me, since I'm a man, I'm not too particular about where things go, and I have no real sense of interior design, Janet limited my unpacking duties to books and the office/spare bedroom. Trying to arrange the kitchen would've been akin to touching the Ark of the Covenant.

Last Tuesday we bought a sofa and a chair. I learned that furniture shopping, like clothes shopping or grocery shopping, is something that requires considerably more time and consideration once you're married. In fact, our search for a sofa was actually discussed at the G-8 Summit. When I moved to Austin, I went to three stores in approximately thirty minutes before I bought my couch. (My thinking was that I might as well buy a cheap couch because whenever I got married, my wife would surely want to get rid of it. And I was right!) After looking in two stores with some rather paltry selections, we went to Haverty's, where they did, in fact, have exactly the couch/chair combo we were looking for. Well, almost. They only had the couch and chair in baby blue. If we were looking to furnish a beach house or we were diehard UNC fans, then the furniture would've been fantastic. They offered several other colors, though, so we figured we could just order the furniture and they would have it in a week. Try eight weeks. Eight weeks! You could build several couches from scratch in that time! So it was on to another store.

I was skeptical of the next store because of its name--Value City--but Janet figured it wouldn't hurt to check. As it turned out, they actually carried a line of furniture that Janet had seen online but whose stores are only in Nashville. At last, we purchased our furniture--a deep red sofa and a tan chair. (I managed to dissuade Janet from an ottoman.)

The rest of the week we did a little exploring and searched for some necessities--a good Chinese restaurant, a coffee house, a good Mexican restaurant (we're still looking for one of those, and we may never find one), a movie theater, etc.

On Sunday, we began our search for a church home. Being that we're in the Bible belt, there's no shortage of choices. Although we have preferences about size, worship style, etc., we mostly want a church where we can be active members among the community, not just a number. We attended Grace Crossing on Sunday. The people were extremely welcoming, and there are some folks our age there (a few Harding grads), which are certainly positives. I'm sure we'll check out a few more congregations, but GC seems like a place where we could be useful.

This week we're slowly beginning the transition into our new jobs. Janet and I taking her supplies to her new school this afternoon, and she's going to meet a bit with the principal. At some point, I'll make a trip to Harding Academy. I'm going to stop talking about work now since it somewhat ruins my state of summer bliss.

Austin: The Last Go-Round

After nearly a month's worth of scenic drives and sightseeing, we saved the most awe-inspiring stretch of travel for our return to Austin yesterday--the incomparable Texas panhandle. I can't understand why someone hasn't tapped into the potential for tourism in the area. Where else can you drive through vast expanses of flat, brown, sun-baked land while the smell of cattle and oil wafts through your car's air vents? California Highway 1 pales in comparison.

Before we leave for Memphis on Sunday morning, we're squeezing in as much time with friends as possible (we'll be in Austin a few times during the year, so it's not a really lachrymose experience, just a bit bittersweet) and taking care of final moving preparations--loading the moving truck tomorrow, paying remaining utility bills, etc.

I hate the phyiscal process of moving. On "Jason's Scale of Pain and Annoyance," it ranks just ahead of a trip to the DMV (a joy we'll experience in the coming weeks) and faculty meetings, so I'll be ecstatic when we finish moving in on Monday. We're moving into a first-floor apartment so that does mitigate some of the hassle.

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