2016 OMW’s I-95/Moving Adventures
I wasn’t going to write about this one, because it was a rather protracted experience — and a travel that was effectively cut in half compared to what it normally consists — but a few people have inspired me to pretty much chronicle my every move so that I can incorporate it into one of the several books that I will write in the coming months. One of the books I am HOPING to make the rounds and seek out publishing, but I will not let that cat completely out of the bag for now. I have about 750 pages of material with which to choose from, so it is just a matter of which direction I want to take this thing.
I have moved up and down the I-95 corridor for nearly all of my life, and the older I get, the more annoying the process becomes. One of the things I hate about moving is that things always seem to get lost, broken or thrown away accidentally, and then there is the matter of the time restrictions. I have become a pro at moving as if I were an on-the-road scout for a sports team or something (11 moves in 9 years). Regardless of this experience — and hopefully this is the last move I have to make for a while, other than into the townhouse that I will get near here next year — the aforementioned are seemingly always constants.
I had a while to prepare and get packed up bit by bit in the week or so prior to my actual moving date, so things were slightly easier this time versus when I left Harlem a few years ago, when it literally took all day to finish packing and then get everything down a narrow stairwell in a pre-war walk-up building from four floors above. The pain I felt after that move (and ended up driving for 12 hours immediately afterward in the fog from Harlem to Charlotte) sticks in the back of my mind every time I have to move. I have zero problems living on the first floor now, because the thought of lugging furniture up and down the stairs moving forward is not the wave.
We had planned to move into a spot as far back as June of this year. I had gotten accepted at Georgetown back in May and immediately began classes during the summer online. This bought me enough time to get my affairs in the Washington area in order months in advance without needing to commute to and from campus.
Naturally, things did not go as smoothly as the best laid plans dictated.
My cousin works down in Virginia, and most of my obligations require me to be in Washington and out in Prince George’s, so something in the relative vicinity made sense. It seemed like pretty much everything in the area was either in a location where a particular “element” that we want no parts of was prevalent, or that element and their close relatives, rodents, roaches, bed bugs and the like also came together as a package deal. We went back and forth with a few places in Northwest DC, a couple in Southwest DC, a couple in Montgomery County, three in northern PG, and then came across a couple in southern PG.
Normally, I do not flex and let property managers about my real estate background, because they tend to become very restrictive with information, as if you are going to push in and steal leads and steal their deals. I left real estate years ago for a good reason, but I did not leave my knowledge of how to game the system. That knowledge came into handy, because after a couple of attempts to give us the run around, I finally had to go guerrilla and “make” things happen. This took nearly three months. I really did not want to remain in prison — aka living in East Orange — all summer, because I had things I wanted to do during the summer before we entered this point of the year.
Nevertheless, after making some forceful moves and giving ultimatums to a couple of entities, we had a lease rolled out and had everything prepared three days sooner as a result. I do not play around; particularly when my money is involved.
I knew that the Monopoly Hats would try to do whatever they could to keep my security from my old spot in East Orange, but at this stage in the game, that money was out of sight and out of mind, so I lacked the desire to even go through the back channels necessary to get it back quickly. In exchange, I merely up and left and didn’t bother doing what I normally would have done upon moving out (not going to put too much out here in case I decide to into fiscal recovery mode later). It is what it is. I had about a week to pack as economically as possible, because I knew I would have flaky asses backing out and unwilling to help me with what would have been a 90 minute move (which turned into a two and a half hour haul). I am grateful to my friend Monique and her nephew helping me as best they could, but now the challenge was to arrive at the new spot before the office staff left before we could pick up the keys.
Now you know I rented a 10′ truck so that I would have enough room for my things and my cousin’s, as well. I had this whole thing plotted out in meticulous detail, and indeed, once I physically got out of that rat hole and that RAT WITH FUR across the hall barking all hours of the day, I went into my old whirlwind mode where I had eight or nine things in motion at one time and juggled each of them. I had to pick up the truck, pick up Mo and her nephew, haul the stuff downstairs and load it, drop of Mo and her nephew, then hit the bank, a couple of stores to get materials to assist with stabilizing everything, the Comcast store once I got to Maryland and then to get the keys, and head to the storage facility in Virginia to get my cousin’s stuff. This was to all happen within a five-hour period.
Had there not been ridiculous amounts of traffic on the Turnpike (with a guy having a Jayne Mansfield type accident — do not know his condition, and saw plenty of authorities there at the crash site) and the rain which began halfway down the Turnpike, I MIGHT have pulled it off. Thankfully, my cousin was able to leave work in time to get the office in time, so we were good. Prior to that, I had to sit in traffic for about an hour and a half to go 30 miles, and proceeded to do my “normal” (even in a 10′ U-Haul) hustling to get there in time. People were actually getting out of my way when I was on the left lane. I should drive a U-Haul more often LMAO.
I was able to get to the only Comcast store that was still open once I got into Maryland, which was the store in Jessup. Of all the places and times, I ran into someone who I hadn’t seen since 8th grade (which was 1992 for me), Elgin Jamison. It is uncanny that no matter where I go, I always run into someone who I knew once upon a time. I guess when you make acquaintances with people wherever you go, this tends to happen. He helped me transfer everything over smoothly (because of course the Comcast customer service rep COMPLETELY screwed up the extremely simple service order) and I was on my way down to the crib from there.
I knew that since we aren’t on a high floor that we would be able to unload this stuff pretty quickly, thankfully my friend Leah came through to help us (and show off how much of a fitness maven she is while throwing furniture around like a hulk LMAO) and we were done in about 30 minutes.
This was “Miami Week” and it was Florida State vs. Miami, a game that I do not miss under any circumstances. In fact, the game in 1987 (where Bobby Bowden went for two in the end) is when I became a Florida State fan. I have never once missed FSU/Miami and was not about to start now, even in the midst of a complex move. Because I was able to get the Comcast matter settled on the way, I was able to get the whole TV/cable/internet set up just in time for kickoff.
Later, we were able to get my cousin’s stuff and get everything unloaded before midnight, and just downed a couple of pizzas and relaxed. Transferring services and getting set up was pretty smooth and fewer attitudes from the people who I have to deal with, unlike back in NY and NJ. I realize the longer I am away from NYC that I was spoiled by the MTA, despite all my qualms over the years with delays, weekend cut offs of service and overcrowding due to mismanagement. The bottom line is that outside of the extreme situations, I never had to wait on a line for more than 5-7 minutes for any train or bus, and often times had it timed up so perfectly that the train would be pulling into the station once I swiped my Metro.
I moved to Jersey and this became less convenient. People love to tout public transportation as a convenience out there, but it is anything but convenient if you do not live along one of the train lines or a long-ranging bus route. You need a car. I was not about to buy a car in Jersey with the highest insurance rates in the nation. No thanks. I was able to do everything I needed and what I wanted (for the most part) and, in fact, the amount of walking I did while living in Jersey is probably the only reason I don’t weigh 300 lbs, because everyone knows from seeing my pictures from cooking that I eat heartily on a daily basis.
Now that I am in the DC area, the Metro has more problems than Jon Lester throwing to bases for the Cubs, and there are many more on the way. No thanks. Again. I won’t even use it. So I am currently scouring for deals on a couple of models that I had planned to get the next time I bought a car, and then pit a couple of dealers against each other and squeeze them for the best price, because I ain’t trying to have a car payment for more than a year or two. I got a house to buy.
As for now, I am keeping a low profile and working to get back into the shape that those who knew me before I broke my back came to know and expect. I’m not done yet, Phil and Larry, we’ll get up on the courts when I am down in NC when it’s warm again. And Shap and Piazza, I still got a trip to make out to ‘zona now that I am settled in, but for the moment, I am just glad to be out of the prison in East Orange, and it’s been full speed ahead on a couple of things that I had developed a vision for, but had to put on hold due to being in an impossible situation pretty much since I left Charlotte at the end of 2013.
I am glad to finally be back in the field where I was unceremoniously ripped away from against my volition back when I left Brooklyn LIU in the late 90s, but I do have to say that without all of the things that I have gone through in the past few years that were not of my making, have shaped and prepared me for what’s coming. I sincerely doubt that I would have been able to sustain myself going forward with the mindset that I had when everything I did worked with relative ease, and I was making close to six figures with no debt and not a concern in the world in my mid-20s. Sometimes you have to go through the fire to really come out as pure gold.
Any virtue or value that anyone sees in me is the product of the last few years’ trials, many of which were orchestrated by God, so I have no regrets. But for now and moving forward, it’s 100 mph daily and making up for lost time. I will be chronicling each important move that I make in the coming months, as they will comprise important sections of the book that I will compose revolving around the years 2006-2016, which have been a period of time of great growth and change, and signaled a shift of focus; particularly after I broke my back almost nine years ago to this date in 2007.
Side note: I love how people who go to the emergency room over a hang nail or a sore throat attempt to play me about basically being bed/couch-bound for months after that injury. These very same people would have contemplated and many would have gone through with committing suicide. The biggest pansies always have the most to say. Even that freak injury that led to the surgery is not a regret of mine. It caused me to shift my focus from “Ball is Life” to PLANNING FOR AND ACTIVELY WORKING ON that plan for my future going forward.
Every setback is an opportunity to propel forward 100 fold.