Tag Archive for 'moving'

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Imparting Wisdom

Today Cornell’s dorms open to the freshmen, which means that stores are crawling with parents and their soon-to-be college kids getting all those things that they held off on buying until they actually saw the room they’ll be in. It’s worse than before. Being me, I was silly enough to go out today to pick up a couple of the things that we need that I can currently afford–namely a dishrack and some filing tabs. While searching through the office supplies at Wal-Mart (don’t ask), I saw a girl with her family picking up various desk supplies, including a stapler. “I recommend getting a little stapler and keeping it in your backpack,” I told her suddenly. “Because you’ll inevitably be about to turn your homework in and will discover that you’ve forgotten to staple it.” I didn’t mention the likelihood that she might not finish her homework until after she’d left her dorm and stapler behind. I mean, her mother was standing right there.

She turned and brightened. “Thanks! That’s a really good idea! Are you a student at Cornell? What are you studying?”

“I’m starting graduate school there,” I told her. “I study aerospace engineering.” Bug-eyed look. “How about you?”

“Nutritional science. But I’m a freshman obviously.”

I smiled. “It’s okay. I remember the Wal-Mart run when I first started college.”

“Yeah,” she said. “You get to your room and start to unpack and realize that you need more hangers.” She turned back to the shelves. “Would you recommend an automatic pencil sharpener?”

“Actually, as an engineer, I prefer mechnical pencils. And,” I reached for a Mars plastic eraser, “I recommend these erasers. They don’t leave smudges.”

“Thank you!” she said as she snapped up a 3-pack.

I smiled again. “Have fun in college. You’ll love it.”

An Evening Jaunt

Many of you have already learned this first-hand, but I have Internet access now. It’s not in the comfort of my bedroom until we get a router and a lot of Ethernet cable, but it is high speed and I can use it from the living room, so I can’t complain. The cable won’t be hooked up until September 2nd, but that’s before House comes on again, so I’m okay with it.

My roommate was in town yesterday with a carload of her things, but she left again. She’ll be back for good tomorrow evening. In the meantime, things have been quiet. I’ve got my room pretty much set up. There are still odds and ends that need to find a home, but that will happen. The living room/kitchen still needs some work, but then, we’re waiting for dishes to arrive, so that may take a bit longer.

Having spent way too much time alone in the apartment, I decided to go for a walk this evening and explore downtown Ithaca. So I walked down the hill (and, believe me, it’s a substantial one) to the Commons, a pedestrian area lined with stores and restaurants. It reminds me quite a bit of Germany, actually. As I was walking around there tonight, the restaurants all had filled tables outside where people were dining and laughing and talking. Many of the stores were closed, but a few of the book/record stores were still open. I checked out Ithaca Books first and was quite impressed not only with their selection but with their prices. It’s a used book store, but everything was in good condition. Greg, I’ve got another reason you have to come visit. They had two-and-a-half full bookcases filled with French language books. Tall bookcases. I suspect that Mark would like them, too.

I stepped into Autumn Leaves Used Books next and liked it, too. On my way toward the door, an illustrated book all about Gnomes caught my eye. I flipped through it and had a bit of a laugh. Then, as I was putting it up, I noticed a book about Branson, MO and really just about lost it. They described Branson as “The Vegas of the Ozarks”. I didn’t think that was too accurate, at first, but after some reflection, I figured it was probably true. Then again, when I went to Branson, it wasn’t typically for the shows but for White Water and Silver Dollar City amusement parks. Although, the Shepherd of the Hillsoutdoor theater show does come to mind. Primarily, I remember that they set a building on fire in that. And, apparently, my parents went to see it when I was a baby and everything went well until they starting firing guns near the end, and then I was no longer a happy camper.

As I left the bookstore, I saw that the outdoor stage that’d been set up in the middle of the Commons now had a group playing there. I had to smile as I passed: there were middle-aged couples dancing together barefoot on the sidewalk.

I made the mistake of switching back and going down Seneca toward the lake after that. This led to finding Ithaca Guitar Works, which led to me going inside. I was good enough to leave without a guitar–just a good idea of what I’m probably going to get… eventually–but I did walk out with a $15 instruction book and CD. I’m hoping that those will let me move toward what I’d prefer to be playing. The old books I’ve got from when I played before are classical guitar and I’m interested in learning to play some of the music I like to listen to. But God knows I need a new and expensive hobby about like I need a gunshot to the head. If you couldn’t tell, I’m kicking myself over my lack of restraint.

Other than that, it was a very pleasant walk and I’m glad I took it. Beats spending another two hours in front of the television or the computer screen.

Tomorrow I’ll probably try to run a couple of errands. In the evening I’m heading up to Cornell Plantations, where a local theater group is doing a free performance of Shakespeare Abridged. I’ve never had a chance to see that particular show, and I’ve heard people rave about it for years, so I’m looking forward to it.

Amid The Packing Boxes

I’ve only got a couple more days here in North Carolina. It really is amazing how time flies–although I suspect that the bits of traveling I’ve done this summer have sped things along. Right now, life is full of packing boxes and shopping for housewares. The big move-in date is set for Saturday, so I guess things will be extra silent from me after Thursday night because we’ll be driving to New York Friday and then I won’t have Internet access until God-knows-when. If I get desperate, I’m sure I can run up to Cornell and hijack a public computer or possibly get my laptop set up on their wireless network.

I’m just listening to an audience recording of the Frames’ recent performance in NYC. (ETA: Now available for download.) Can’t wait for their new album. In the meantime, though, I shall just have to make do with my obscenely large collection of live recordings.

For the moment, I’m just feeling listless.