Thoughts Two Weeks After Moving

Been in Ansonia, CT almost 2 weeks now. 2 weeks ago we were sleeping on an egg crate, exhausted and overwhelmed. So, so much stuff, so much crap. Terrible loaders, filled the truck too much (were still packing) and after a while had to tell them to come back up and get things. Of course the fact that there was wasps didn’t help. I sympathize with that, but movers be expensive.

We did leave early in the morning, exhausted and a full minivan, did leave some stuff behind, a desk that we couldn’t take apart, and the big step stool being two things we wish we had brought. And simple things like lightbulbs (almost brought), trash cans, the toaster … Also need to give a big thank you to my mother in law Dottie Maheux and some family who helped us clean up after we left. Big, big thank you, I appreciate it so much.

I don’t even know if you can prepare for the nightmare and shitshow that is moving. My friend said it can take a year off your life, and I think I now agree.

We brought too much media, and not enough little things. We had and even after culling have way, way too much stuff. Started a storage with one minivan load of boxes, still need to take a couple down.

My old desk didn’t survive the move well, was pretty much a POS, couldn’t believe how flimsy it was when we took it apart. Was able to get two new desks, 3 lamps and a bunch of stuff at IKEA for under $300. That was pretty awesome.

Able to get a vacuum that looks like a good model but is a pain to put together for $150, Hoover Industrial Vacuum, tons of power from Sears Outlet. Lanna’s old (over 10 years) drill died trying to put together the second desk (hers) from IKEA. Bought a new drill at Sears Outlet with more than twice the power for $70 with a powerful shop light. Went from 9.5 to 19.2 Volts. Huge, huge increase in power.

One of the other frustrations is that the queen boxspring couldn’t go down to the cool, cool basement where we now sleep. So slept in the guest bedroom for a week and had to buy a split boxspring at Sleepy’s. $200 for the boxspring ($100 each piece) was so bad, but $100 for delivery and $20 for the takeaway was a HUGE ouch. But the bed is very nice downstairs, it’s good to sleep in a cooler space, and having a frame makes and enormous difference.

Just got through my first week working remote. It definitely takes getting used to, so, so quiet. With the heat wave here, upper 80s to 90s, I have been very happy with central AC, such a nice thing to have. The view is beautiful we have in Ansonia, CT. We look across the other side of the very green Naugatuck Valley. And it’s so hilly here, a 5 minute drive away we are in a state forest. I loved that when I took the 40 minute drive to play pinball in an old industrial park in Meriden, CT I drove through a state forest in Woodbridge, down country roads, and up the beautiful, treelined Merritt Parkway. I tried the route down 691, 84 and 8 on the way back and didn’t like that nearly as much. Still pretty but so much more work. And the fact that a FedEx semi tried to cut me off on the 84 onramp didn’t help, he could have passed me miles earlier.

The drivers in Connecticut are terrible. Rude, aggressive and driving like 45 MPH in a 25 zone in my residential neighborhood, slow down, pay attention, be in less of a rush. The world is more beautiful when you are able to appreciate it.

We are also down to one car. My 99 Mercury Sable with over 150,000 miles on it was looking at a $3000 repair bill. Decided to junk it with a local guy who decided to keep it for himself and registered it. His problem. There is a lot of good features about the car: leather sunroof, 6 cd changer (wish I left the holder for the 6CDs now, originally wanted him to take it out, just as well I didn’t), and it’s good for a big guy like me, nice engine too, but fuel filter leak, oil leak, bad suspension, brake issues and most expensively a messed up power steering rack and huge leak made it better to stay in Maine. Living with one car hasn’t been bad so far, and it’s great I can work remote.

It’s also been nice to drop Lanna off and walk around the beautiful Shelton Lakes Recreation Path. The initial enterance I got from Google Maps is my favorite, going through a neighborhood of ugly, huge, expensive, cheaply made McMansions that won’t look good in a few decades, to a little court with huge, rustying bulldozers and industrial equipment. I would think the construction company would want them for other projects. Maybe the town of Shelton bought the land before a second round of development. Anyway, I went into the trail and there were beautiful rocks to sit on, great graffiti and just a sense of peace. Really excellent place to spend a morning and then get a small cannoli, and a bagel with cream cheese at the delicious Royal Bakery.

I would say more but I am running out of writing gas. It’s lovely here I love hearing the cricket songs (my original idea for the post), and the beautiful, trees, flowers and bees. Had amazing real tacos, for the first time in years from taco trucks in New Haven Long Wharf, near IKEA and 95. There is a good puerto rican place to eat up the block …

More updates to come. We are getting settled, I think this will be a great plus for us, but moving is a frustrating mess. A moving adventure, which I think is U-Haul’s motto, is a horror film. Glad we are here, glad I got rest today.

Blessed be.

edmund

Lucy – 0* (full of spoilers)

This review is full of spoilers and plot summary. I highly recommend you skip “Lucy” as it may be the worst movie I have ever seen, but going to give that warning.

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I went to see Lucy with my wife last night. The previews looked cool, I like Luc Besson and I like Scarlett Johannson. I read a horrible review of it but I thought I would give it a chance since it was the most interesting option at the movie theater.

It was absolutely horrible. Horrible, ridiculous setup. Seems like there should be much easier ways to transport drugs that with stomach surgery. Horrible druglord.

And when she becomes “enhanced” she just acts more and more like in a major mania where she should be hospitalized, while taking something like cocaine and angel dust. Kind of like Charlie Sheen when he was “winning.”

And she kept needing more, and was supposed to be somehow “enlightened” and could go through communication media.

Also if she had all this power couldn’t she stop the drug lords without a shooting sequence?

And all of the animal cut-outs were ridiculous and annoying too.

Luc Besson is a very talented director. This could have been a good movie but it was just horrible.

The idea that we only use 10% of our brains isn’t true. The concepts Morgan Freeman’s professor character gives for more “cranial capacity” are ridiculous. The idea that more brain power makes you worse to people is insane. Lucy’s lack of compassion for humanity is terrible.

Awful, horrible, ridiculous. Although I think this could use Rifftrax. There is so much to make fun of.

Banana Brasil Grill ****

Sometimes when you travel you get lucky.

Me and Lanna are moving to Connecticut and going up 8 towards 84 on the way home. A mile before 84 we decided to get off the road and find lunch.

After a couple miles or so on the old road now Main Street we found the Banana Brazil Grill. A small place next to an old motel. At first we drove by it and then circled back.

It’s delicious. A buffet with unlimited food including meat on a fire rotisserie. Only $12.99. The rice and beans and rare beef are spectacular. Lanna loved their potato salad. It’s clearly a neighborhood place where Portuguese is spoken. I am seeing takeout and even huge party platters.

I am sure I am not saying enough but if you are in the area you have to go. Plug it in the phone with an empty stomach and prepare for happiness. ****

It’s on 2060 South Main Street in Waterbury, Connecticut near where 84 and 8 come together. But not right off the road. Definitely will require a GPS.

They are open 6am-10pm seven days a week. The phone number is 475-235-2671.

Three Great Things (or so): Day 15

1. That Swype is pretty good at guessing the correct words. Well not always.

2. That I am finally going to Connecticut today even though the bus is going at 2:30 from Boston not noon.

3. Boston Chinatown is wicked close to South Station so I can go search out for dumplings.

4. Friends who are cooking for us tonight.

5. A realtor that agreed to work with us.

6. A chance this week to run around Connecticut and explore the Shelton area.

7. Music to drown out the madness of bus travel.

8. Cheap bus fares and Concord Trailways, one of the best run bus lines I have ever seen.

9. That my mother in law Dottie Melia Maheux can watch the kitties and give me a ride to the bus station this morning. Her being close has been a great thing in our life.

10. The perspective that starting the day thinking of positive things brings.

11. Blogging every day since last Monday going to copy the last two positive posts on the blog.

May y’all have a great day!

Day Fourteen of Three (or so) Good Things

1. Remembering to turn my alarms on before going to bed.

2. Snooze

3. Lenny. Even though his ability to anmoy in the morning is very high.

4. Scotch tape dispensers for packing tape. Good to close boxes and move on.

5. Seeing Lanna Lee Maheux tomorrow. We are much too close to be parted for nine days.

6. Apartment/House hunting. Hoping we can find a most excellent place to rent.

7. New possibilities. Going for an information session with Yale Nursing School tomorrow at 3pm to look into becoming a nurse practitioner in mental health. I am very excited if daunted about this idea.

8. The fact that Concord Trailways rind an excellent bus line and that Megabus has an inexpensive nonstop bus from Boston to New Haven.

9. Getting something to eat in Boston Chinatown tomorrow. I’m hoping Connecticut has better Chinese food than Maine.

10. Totally ignoring that I am only supposed to list 3 things.

Wheeeeee!

Pinball madness

At Pinball Wizard Arcade in Pelham, New Hampshire today so feel like reviewing some of the older games.

First is one I know from my friend and Ballyman John Reuter – Firepower II – Williams. Not one of my favorite games sound isn’t great, look isn’t great. Gameplay is just fair. 68/D+

Next Firepower (Williams). Much better than its sequel, better gameplay, better look, not a fan of the sound. 82/B-

Scorpion (Williams) A much better game that I haven’t played before. Great gameplay, interesting and challenging shots, nice upper left mini board, locks. I love wide bodies too. 93/A

Eight Ball (Bally) Not a fan. Odd feel to it. Odd sound. This particular one seems in pretty rough shape. 65/D

Kiss (Bally) Solid game. Nice look, especially on the bumpers, has kept a lot of love due to subject matter. 85/B

Silverball Mania (Bally) One of the more interesting designs for a pin ever. The center shot for the kicker save is very clever and makes it a longer player. Fun. 89/B

Gorgar (Williams) I prefer it’s widebody brother game Algar. Nice look and sound. Lots of points for the Pit. 83/B

Sorcerer (Williams) a fun game I enjoy at JR’s. Solid. 84/B

Laser Ball (Williams) Not a fan. I like widebodies but this game is in rough shape. 65/D Could be condition related. Feels rough.

Creature From the Black Lagoon (Bally) Great subject matter, fun skills, wonderful look. Difficult until you get the hang of it. 91/A-

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Williams) Meh. Seems okay at best. 72/C-

Who dunnit (Williams) Fun game. Neat subject matter. The two minute novice mode with unlimited balls is genius. 90/A-

Fire! (Williams) Very odd feeling game. Very steep rescue victim ramps. Odd. 73/C

Teed Off (Gottlieb) Has Giant Dots big screens which is very weird. Solid little game. 83/B

Black Rose (Bally) Very dependent on center shot but still good fun. 82/B

Tale of the Arabian Nights (Williams) A fun solid game. Nice shots lamp means an awful lot. 89/B+

Tron Legacy (Stern) Feels all too fast. Lots of shiny but overly fast gameplay. 79/C+

Mustang (Stern) Nice looking but pretty meh gameplay. 80/B-

Avatar (Stern) Possibly my favorite Stern. The special edition lighting makes it less fun to me. A little harder to see. JR’s 88/B+ Here 84/B

Thoughts on the Cost of College

I was reading an article in the New York Times this morning with the headline: “How the Government Exagarrates the Cost of College.”

I have already discussed before that the idea that 18 year olds should all go to college is absurd.

Here is my comment on the story:

When I went to college 20 years ago the caps on student borrowing were far, far lower. One major issue so many students have is crippling student loan debt. I know a lot of people who go to the University of Southern Maine and are taking out $10,000 year in student loan debt for a public college. I went to Rutgers for $2,000/semester and it’s skyrocketed since.

We also need to get rid of the absurd cost of intercolliegate athletics and move to club sports.

And the idea that everyone should go to college that is part of the American story right now doesn’t serve many well. A lot of 18 year old need to learn humility. There is a lot to be said for working out of high school and just getting by with your friends. There is no reason to pay tuition to get drunk, high and play Halo. Far too many college students do this.

Also college is not the place to “discover yourself.” Traveling overseas and working your way across the world for a year is a far smarter way to do it.

Also need to get rid of the idea that college is required for so many jobs where it’s irrelevant. Having a liberal arts degree for instance is totally irrelevant for selling insurance. The ones who would be good at that are popular kids in high school, naturally affable and good with people.

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We are moving toward a time where you can do most of your learning online. I think the college cost bubble is due to pop soon. I’m not sure it’s the way to go. Certainly if you don’t know what you are doing.

I think if you want success now you should learn to code and keep gaining credentials, languages and certifications. And try to find a job in the field you like. If you want to go to marketing and start at the entry level, you are better off with 4 years of experience and positive cashflow than a marketing or liberal arts degree, a ton of debt and no experience.

I also think that looking at default rates as a measure of “success” is absurd. Truthfully we need to move to a model where students pay debt as they can like the English model. Paying for rent, utilites, food and diapers is going to be ahead of student loans every time. The current system works great for banks and especially debt collection but not for students or America.

edmund

7 Good Things

Today I will just be lazy and just post my 7 good things for the day.

I feel like a lot of my blogging and writing goes directly to Facebook.

Three good things: Day 11

1. The success of my poem “Write Poorly”. It even ended up in Colleen Hoover’s we wonderful bestseller “Point of Retreat.”

2. That I was able to write a chapbook last year. “Embrace the Geek.”

3. That I have this pocket computer in my hand that allows me to blog with WordPress and use Facebook without being on a computer.

4. Wi-Fi. May it be free in more places.

5. The open space of the internet to allow ideas to come out.

6. The teaching power of failure and practice.

7. The chance to pontificate on lists about positive things.

I wonder if I will keep having more of these as I keep at it. I think I plan to. It’s a nice way to start the day.

Three Good Things – First Ten Days

I am always skeptical of these memes. But I liked it was only for 5 days and just 3 things a day.

I am now in day 10. And really enjoying it.

It’s nice to think of positive things in the morning and the good things going on your life. Definitely encourage y’all to try it.

Day 1 I can’t seem to find so let me do some new ones.

1. Thinking of positive things in life.

2. Moving and the chances to pare down.

3. New beginnings.

Day 2 of three positive things

1. Being able to explore beautiful Portland, Maine

2. Having lunch with a friend.

3. Slow progress on packing.

Day 3 of 3 positive things.

1. I have a job.

2. I can move my job to Connecticut.

3. Maine is so green.

Day 4 of three positive things

1. The quiet of the pre dawn witching hours

2. A comfy, comfy bed

3. Friends to help you through this weird world.

Day Five of three things that make me happy.

1. Lenny barely fitting himself in the bathroom sink.

2. Things coming out great in the crockpot.

3. Hanging out with cool and crazy friends.

Day 6 of three things that make me happy. Meme is for 5 days but keeping it going.

1. Generous friends who put on a wonderful party on a glorious night. Great people with great spirits is awesome.

2. The beautiful summer days and nights of Maine.

3. New beginnings. Lanna Lee starts a new job tomorrow in Connecticut and around one month to move. Huge change and a chance for new relationships while keeping the old ones. It’s something I want to make an effort on.

Day 7 of three good things

1. Have 3 days off a week with my job. Let’s me sleep in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

2. My job offers a lot of PTO and flexibility to switch shifts.

3. I help people get medical care and peace of mind with my job.

I like helping people. We live in broken times. Let’s heal.

Three good things: Day 8

1. Making a lot of progress of the move.

2. Having all of this stuff to give away. I hope it finds a good home.

3. A cool day to pack in.

Yep all about moving right now.

Three good things day nine.

1. Hearing wonderful poetry from Slam Free or Die as the feature before The National Poetry Slam next week in Oakland. Especially from Sam Rush and Christopher Clauss.

2. New readers of poetry going on the stage for the first time and showing their truth.

3. Amazing lunches with friends. I want to get together with people before I move to Connecticut in a month.

4. (Bonus) Local craftsmen and artists making amazing things.

Blessed be. Try this. I was skeptical and have really enjoyed it.

3 good things day 10:

1. That I got to spend 9 1/2 years (since January 2005) living in the Portland, Maine area. Portland is a very special small city.

2. Having dinner at Schulte & Herr last night. Potato Pancakes with apple sauce and the rye dipping stuff with sour cream, cream cheese and spices is delicious, as is that stuff on rye bread. And some nice rich split pea and ham soup. It don’t get no betta. If you haven’t been yet it’s on Cumberland near Preble and actually quieter in the summer.

3. Getting some good sleep finally last night.

4. Going to Urban Farm Fermentory for some of the best kombucha ever. I love that they let the 1.5% alcohol come out. Many places denature their kombucha when hurts flavor. Wonderful tasting room on Anderson St. too.

5. Having some delicious beer at Rising Tide. Lovely tasting room.

6. Getting some of the amazing and delicious herbal Little Lads popcorn for Lanna before we leave town. Seriously yummy.

That’s definitely not 3 things, but I guess I am an overachiever.