I live an epic life, my friends. Case in point, this past Monday. I manfully wrenched a glass doorknob from its moorings in my new place. I don’t mean I pulled the knob off, I mean I tore the fucking thing in two. “RRRRAAAARGGGH!” I cried in primal rage as I cracked the orb with my bare hand.

That’s mostly true. What really happened is that I tried to open the door to my bedroom and the knob came off in my hand. I thought I had pulled the center bit of the lock out so that I wasn’t going to be able to get into the room. That happened to my neighbor once at my old place, he got trapped in his bedroom for a while. So I’m standing there with the doorknob in my hand and I think “oh fuck I broke my door, I can’t get in the room” then I realize that just the doorknob itself broke and most of it came off in my hand, not the bit that actually moves the latch or whatever it’s called. Great. Then I realize my thumb kind of hurts, like I pinched it or something. I look down and there’s blood all over my hand, really pouring out of my thumb. I think something vague like “oh no really hurt myself! Stitches? Hospital?” then “where the hell are the band aids?” The band aids were nowhere, basically, because we’re moving. They’re in the limbo land of moving box-ness.

I regain composure. Sort of. I run my thumb under hot water – on the vague thought that heat kills germs – and wash it with soap out as blood continues to gush. I run it under cold water a moment on the vague thought that cold helps constrict blood vessels. I pinch my thumb hard and hold it over my head. I count to sixty. It stops bleeding.

I call my friend Erik, who is due to pick me up in like … two minutes ago, to take me to prepare for co-facilitating a workplace organizing training in an hour and a half. I ask him to buy me some band-aids on his way over. I try to put on my nicer button down shirt – I want to look okay for the training, not all grubby and not like the training is a casual event with friends. I try to put it on without bleeding on it, I think I succeeded, but I don’t button it. Then I walk my dog so she hopefully won’t pee in the house during the next 8 hours when she’ll be home alone. I come back and pace around my house, a bit too agitated to read. I call the landlord and leave a message asking him to replace the broken doorknob and the other (really cool, really pretty, but suddenly threatening seeming) glass doorknobs in the place.

I hear a crash somewhere, a lower pitched one – something breaking but it’s not glass. I look in every room of the place until I get to the basement. One of my bookshelves lost its battle with gravity, with the great many books double stacked on it entering the fight on gravity’s side. The bookshelf just sort of disintegrated, or at least it came apart at the seams. Every place where two pieces of wood were joined seems to have un-joined. At the top of the shelf were ten or twelve copies of different volumes from the complete works of Marx and Engels. The lesson, comrades, is that proletarian science crushes objective reality. Or at least flimsy bookshelves.

Then Erik shows up. I put on a band aid he gives me, then give him a quick tour of the place, including book-and-wood-scraps heap in the basement. I slowly button up my shirt – hard to do without using my right thumb – and we go off to get a bit of food and prepare for the training. Then we do the training and it’s great and inspiring and stuff – certainly way, way better than using just one hand to dig books and bits of particle board out of a jumbled mess. I mean, it was great being one of the trainers, I can’t speak to what it was like for participants.

The books and ex-bookshelf are still in a heap in the spot where I sometimes used to sit to play bass, in front of and off to the side a bit of where the bookshelf used to be. From moving again I have remembered that while I may like the occasional individual book, really I hate books as a group, because they make my back ache to carry. My books have apparently decided the same with regard to me – some of them may like me, but as a group they hate me and tried to kill me. Luckily I was too fast for them. This time. My other bookshelves are all just about equally rickety, maybe that one that collapsed was the worst – I want to believe that – but I’m not sure. Only one of them is equally stuffed with books, so that’s the only one I’m really afraid of. When I finish moving I’m going to go buy newer better bookshelves, sturdier ones, and ones that have been more firmly implanted with the 6 laws of bookshelves.

As I just alluded to, all of this occurs toward the tail end of an odyssey of a move, now entering it’s fifteenth day. We’re paying rent on 2 places this month, cuz we didn’t want to move when my wife was 8 months pregnant and cuz we wanted to avoid one intense day of moving. That’s worked so it’s mission accomplished. The downside is that the move has been pretty much all me by myself making trip after trip in a borrowed jeep. That’s a
bummer. Almost done though. Nothing but ice cube trays, condiments, and cleaning supplies left at the old place. And I guess some dirt and schmutz, but I don’t plan to take that with me. Oh yeah, and bikes. As I type this – offline, because I don’t have internet at the new place right now, I’ll put an update below when I actually post this – I have I think two trips left to make to the old place to move stuff, one to get the last of random kitchen and fridge stuff and one to get our bikes. I have a fair bit of cleaning to do. I have done other things than moving, I know I have (I have, for instance, read a few old articles and interviews by Badiou and taken a bit of notes on them, all of which I’ll be posting soon-ish; I have also gained many levels in Mafia Wars), but it doesn’t feel like I have. It feels like moving is all I’ve done, for like forever, and I really miss climbing. I’m too tired after moving, though, and I don’t want to wake up tired or stiff – the way I sometimes do after some serious climbing the day before – and *then* have to go climbing. That would suck.

Aside from not climbing, I’ve also been not working. I desperately need to get down to some real work that’s piling up, and oh yeah there’s the little matter of my daughter’s impending birth to prepare for. But I’m not stressed (I keep telling myself.) It’ll all get done. Poco a poco. (I remain a model of equanimity and poise; they call me Mr. Grace Under Pressure [because that’s what we changed our name to when we got married]).

Oh, and the dog peed in our bed tonight. That SUCKED. We used to let her sleep with us but we intend to co-sleep with the baby when she arrives and don’t feel comfortable kicking out the dog then – we don’t want her to associate the baby with being displaced from the bed. So we’ve been keeping the door to our room closed. Apparently I didn’t close it tight enough because she peed in our bed tonight while we were out running errands. I walked her before we left and she wasn’t alone long so it’s clearly her being upset with us (the choice to pee on our bed is further evidence of that).

The peeing incident sucked, as I said. We have a king sized bed now – just a mattress, really – which is a real pain to move. It weighs 80 pounds and I kind of hurt myself a little manhandling it to put the mattress cover on when we bought it. It’s super new for us (we bought it slightly used) and was expensive for us, 400 bucks. That plus the difficulty of moving it around and all made it extra upsetting that she peed there. I yelled at her and then felt bad later because she looked all scared. That sucked too so after a bit I petted her and let her sit in my lap. Damn cute stupid peeing dog.

Another thing that sucked is that we drove for – seriously – an hour tonight looking for a spot to sit and use wireless internet. My wife got a bit of one-off work that she did on the lap top. She had to email it in today. It took longer than she thought so she didn’t get done until 9-ish. Our new neighborhood is not late-night-coffee-shop central. Or even peripheral. There’s basically nothing. We drove, and drove, and drove. Keep in mind, you can basically get between any two points here in 15 minutes.

We finally found a place – we went way across town to where we figured *something* would be open. My wife took care of her business and I had a French soda, strawberry flavor, and an egg salad sandwich. That part didn’t suck at all, that part was awesome. Hopefully life will continue to have this pattern, at worst – three minor annoying incidents followed by a delicious sandwich and refreshing drink. (And what the hell, a blog post to finish it off.)

My new place? It’s great. It’s a bit bigger, with enough storage for all the flotsam and jetsam that time has deposited here in the delta of the river of our lives. (Sorry.) That’s cool. The neighborhood is quiet, residential, not so many damn loud younger people. (No offense to any damn loud younger people who may be reading this – it’s nothing personal, I just don’t like people like you.) I’m going to put a fingerboard in the rafters in the basement, to hang on to exercise for climbing, and a pull up bar if I can figure out how. The best part is that our place is right across the street from a beautiful lake. It has a bike path and a walking path and a beach.

Like I said friend(s), epic.

(I’m going to bed but remind me to tell you about my baby. That *is* a truly epic thing, in the awesomely excellent Faith No More sense of “epic.”)

Update: Two quick things on medical stuff. I apparently do not have the heart condition I spent my life thinking I have (a bicuspid aortic valve). What I have instead is one piece of one valve just slightly thicker than normal. The doctor said I should get it checked again in ten years just to be on the safe side. Weird. I have also started seeing a physical therapist for long standing knee pain. His thought is that part of my leg is way too tight and inflexible (I have way less than normal flexibility on this one stretch) which in turn puts pressure on other stuff causing pain (my wife has a similar problem with her back, according to her chiropractor). He told me to do these different exercises and a stretch, all of which feel pretty okay, and he gave me this thing to do with a hard foam roller where I sort of lay on my side with my feet stacked on top of each other with my weight coming down on the roller on the side of my leg (below my hip bone and above the bones of my knee). He said “your leg might go numb from the pain, it will hurt a lot.” He wasn’t kidding. It really, really hurts! The weird thing is that when I’m laying on it pretty high up on my leg in an intensely painful spot I can also feel it in my knee. Then when I stop my knee feels looser, sort of liquidy, in a good way. Neat.

While I live an epic life my poor brothers lives are dull. One got in a fight with my dad and moved out suddenly, to several states away. The other just got another tattoo and way the eyewitness at a shooting. Bor-ring. I guess it would be odd if *all* of us in the family led epic lives.