Monday, June 05, 2006

Albany or Bust (or Ich tue es selbst. Weibchen.)

So I finally got myself packed, stored, and up to Albany. Which was a really long day. For various reasons mainly including my own disorganization, I didn't finish packing my stuff last night, so I did it this morning, after a bank run and waiting a suitable period for my roommate and his gay-best-friend to wake up and be out of my way. Which meant that instead of going over to the storage place in the morning to fill out paperwork and pick up a van, it happened this afternoon.

So I take the van, which is huge - a GMC 3500 back to my apartment and put most of my worldly goods into it. Drove it back to the storage place, and backed it up to the loading dock. I was proud of my ability to back it up to that dock. I had no spotter, the spaces were standard width, and the only one available had both vehicles next to it sitting right on the line. And it was off of a narrow one-way street. So I had to back and fill backwards into this spot, and not cause property damage. And I succeeded.

Now you might wonder how many trips it takes to put all of one's worldly possessions into a 64 cubic foot locker. Three. Once for the four big boxes. Once for a couple of bags and most of my boots. And once for most of my clothes, my file cabinet, and my snowboard. On the one hand, I like it that I'm not tied down by owning too much stuff. On the other hand, it's a little depressing (and wrong, but whatever) to think that if I ceased to be, that's all I'd leave behind. So I turn in the van, having had it for maybe an hour. Expensive hour - I bought the insurance, because my credit card doesn't cover vehicles in that class.

Then some other stuff happened that's boring.

After that, I had to get my rental vehicle for driving up to Albany. The astute reader might ask, "Andrew, why did you rent a cargo van in the morning and another vehicle in the evening?" The answer, gentle readers, is that a one-way rental of a U-haul vehicle costs $250. Other cargo rental houses charge even more. So I determined I was going to take the train, rather than drive. I realized last night while worrying about the fact that my special expensive box for shipping my bike hadn't arrived that I might be able to do a one-way rental of a non-cargo class vehicle for a lot less. So I did some research and decided to get an SUV from Budget. Cheaper than the combination of train and bike shipment. Also means I can bring more stuff, and when I learned I needed to bring my own bedding, I started to get worried. After reserving the SUV I read my contract for the van, which I'd already put a deposit on, and learned that I was pretty much committed. On the other hand, cargo vans really are better for moving cargo.

So at this point I'm about three hours behind schedule. When I call Budget, they've given away my SUV, but might have another, bigger one available. I tell them to reserve it, which doesn't require a credit card number, and ask the Enterprise people around the corner from my building about one-way rentals. Enterprise doesn't do that, but within regions, they can finagle things. Which still costs more than Budget. So off I go to midtown.

The full-size SUV they have is the Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer edition. This thing is pimped out. Leather interior, kick-ass sound system. Also a mushy suspension, sort of like a pick-up's height and an old American luxury car's softness, pedals with a really light push, and an engine that doesn't have too much pick-up under any circumstances and fades quickly. I'm missing that 3500 van. Not really - once I hit 87 North, the trip consisted of me keeping the car between the paint lines while the cruise control kept it at 75 and I listened to the aforementioned kick-ass stereo. But I would have enjoyed a more responsive feel.

So there was much driving. The New Jersey turnpike was messed up. Albany has a serious signage problem. And now I'm here. I have to move the car by 9am tomorrow for street cleaning, so I think I'll drive it the block or so into the park that I need to go for my 9am meeting. My apartment is huge, though, and I get the big bedroom with the big closet. I think I'm the highest-ranking person staying here. Yay algebra and trig. And artistic talent.

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