I haven't posted much--or at all--but I do have reason; abruptly in January, my job transitioned to a new testing methodology called Agile, and everything went to frantic, high stress hell. Then I entered dental hell in March, which if you know about already you just winced and if you don't, you can guess. Note: never try to do all your dental work in two and a half months: you will still be putting off the last two appointments after the horror of May. Which I will not discuss because holy shit.

However, now I am a.) in the middle of an allergy attack and b.) at home noting how rain really does exist because after the last couple of years it felt more like a legend. Also, I'm about to move.



The thing is, I didn't expect a.) the first place I applied would have apartments available, b.) I'd get approved in less than a week, leading to c.) instead of doing this over a few months of prep, I got six weeks before move-in and owned no lightbulbs or living room furniture.

I feel like I've been in the pre-moving stage forever now and holy shit this is exhausting (note: it's only been four weeks). It hasn't helped that there have been massive issues with the new release that has to do with our change in testing methodology; basically, all my weekends and evening shave been working or guilty because I'm not working.

(Also, related; my middle sister is also moving (er, this last weekend), as Mom finished refinancing the mortgage and both she and my sister and BIL have paid off needed debt. So it's been 'whee finanical solvency for everyone' the last couple of months.)

My mother and sisters have both said I'm bar none the first person they've ever met who is moving with everything they could need bought first; most of it is still unassembled in boxes in my closet, wrapped in plastic in my closet, in the living room in boxes and/or wrapped in plastic, or being held for me until the day after I move for delivery. Some of it I've had for months slowly accumulating, but most is recent as I assure I am overprepared like I'm conquering a foreign (apartment) country.

I'm not sure any of them get why I am treating this like an Apartment Test and I'm getting an A, and I can't really explain because I'm not sure. My Spreadsheet of Moving has several pages just for budgeting for my furniture and houseware and my three month budget for bills. I have kitchen things I'm not even sure how to use and like, three kinds of short turners and two can openers: why? Who can say? I took a small loan out against my 457 retirement to make absolutely sure everything I could pre-pay, I pre-paid, everything I needed that could risk my monthly budget was bought, and I had a cushion against emergencies or if I made a mistake in my budget math. Now I just had to worry about my impulse control, which is why everything that can be taken from my account automatically every month will be before I even check my balance in my account.

(The only thing I compromised on was buying a washer and dryer; I really needed to get those and event to myself I had no idea why, just I had to buy them. My bff finally used small words to explain--and a lot of them, I feel bad now--that a.) I will not lose points on my score for renting, b.) why am I doing this when no one sane does unless they plan to live in that place for five years because it's expensive to move it, c.) I would be responsible for damage if I bought but the rental company is responsible if I don't (I checked this, it's true) and d.) stop being crazy no one is going to judge your laundry choices and it's not like you care! Rent and instead buy a good mattress instead! Yours is older than your son!)

(That is...possibly true.)

I do get part of this; as I learned finally after years, I am not and will never be the prudent person who is always in budget and rarely impulsive and will make sound financial decisions; I am an enthusiast and either I'd live the rest of my life very poor in terrible jobs I hate or make my own fun (this is how crazy cheese tricks became a thing when I was twenty and worked fast food). My retirement account for my income bracket is really good but not for normal reasons; this is not because I am prudent, it's because I go through phases of being incredibly fascinated with stocks and bonds, and I'll make ridic complicated spreadsheets and I'll up my contribution monthly until suddenly, I wake up one month and realize I have no disposable income (there was a terrifyingly hilarious point where I literally was putting away thirty percent of my gross income in just that because I got super excited watching my balances on my spreadsheet and had to quickly drop my contribution for living reasons; tax free, sure, but holy shit I had no money after bills. I've repeated that cycle twice now, because I also don't learn well). When I first got into buying stocks, very smart people counseled me to a.) pay off my debt and b.) create a good savings account becuase this stock market thing would never work out well for me.

I didn't laugh but I wanted to; I can't leave money where I can get to it. I won't pay off my debt, what kind of crazy is that? I'll use it for new computers and really awesome shoes that I desperately need for reasons. They weren't wrong, but they assumed--like most financial advisors--that controlling my hindbrain is a matter of will. It's not; I could have lost money in my stock accounts but it still was better than savings; I can't get to it. It takes a minimum of a week to dissolve stocks and transfer the money (sometimes two), and then I have to go through the horror--and it is horror--of updating my private spreadsheets that show me how well those stocks are doing and how much in dividends I'll be losing when I do this and it's weirdly traumatic. And it will bother me for months if that stock starts rising in price after. I am still bitter about selling Bank of America seven years ago. I could be losing money in my account and it would still be saved money because if it wasn't there, I would have bought another tablet, thirty needed tank tops (I've done it before, in all the colors), or solid state hard drives that newegg has on sale to rebuild my server again. I do that; telling myself not to is a lot like whisting in the wind when there is money I can get to; I need barriers is what I'm saying.

(My mom has a lesser version of the problem; hence, she has a Smartypig account for vacation or major purchases that she contributes to for the last few years. It takes about two weeks to get the money and she curses it only when withdrawing; otherwise, it's a magical place that keeps her money safe from her.)

So when my mother said "but you're just moving, you don't have to buy everything right now--" I'm like, "Oh God I do. Left to my own devices I will build two new servers and have no furniture. Right now I am desperately interested in having a home that doesn't look like a cliche of a hacker; I cannot guarantee this will last long. Right now, I care about lightbulbs; do you want to see your daughter live in the glow of her laptop and tablets?" I literally bought a multicooker because the buttons on it fascinated me; I can roast and make soup! This will assure I cook for quite a while because I have to try all that functionality at least once and it's programmable. I won't wander to the corner store--which is like a two minute walk--for breakfast tacos for dinner every night.

(Note: my nineteen year old son is worse; between us we'd live on ramen and cheese sandwiches without caring until scurvy commenced. He's gamer; give him an X-Box and a Playstation and internet access, he gives no shits.)

This may have been brought home a little recently when I impulse bought an Amazon Echo, which is awesome (oh my God, it is awesome) but was not in the budget but I made it fit. My mother kind of regarded it warily while I made it answer random questions and learned I could buy light kits it could control (this is how I made lightbulbs interesting and became committed recently to energy savings, and also live my life like I'm in Star Trek, I live in Star Trek people), and said, "That wasn't in your budget you refuse to so much as vary from other than to research how to save a dollar on spatulas".

Actual conversation:
Me: It was this or a 4K TV that just went on sale and no food but rice for the first two months at my apartment.
Her: You don't watch TV. You download.
Me: I know.
Her: When is the last time you even turned on your TV?
Me: When my server crashed and I couldn't SSH in, so I hooked it up to the TV.
Her: You're not even getting cable, just internet at your apartment.
Me: I know.
Her: Then why....
Me: It was on sale and really big and shiny.
Mom: *looks at the seventy inch 4K Samsung TV that's on the wall she bought on impulse at Costco last week and then me* Oh.
Me: Alexa, play "Smells like Teen Spirit".
Mom: Oh God.

Later (about a week):
Me: *breathless* I will be able to control my entire apartment with Alexa. I have a smart home budget now. These are Philips Hue lights. Watch.
Mom: Oh God.
Me: Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights!
Alexa: *turns off bedroom lights* Okay.
Mom: *in the dark* Oh God.

(Note: I also ordered a smart thermostat, since the apartment said I can install my own provided I replace it with theirs whenever I move out, and same with smart locks. So I am looking at smart locks. No idea why, but I am heading this under 'energy efficiency' and being able to use the trigger phase 'Enterprise, open the door'. This is going to happen.)

(I already enrolled an Alexa programming course and started building my own Amazon Dot. Instructions here for the curious. Anyone does, tell me: we can be Dot buddies!)

One week, four days to go: washer and dryer rental complete and will be delivered September first. Electricity transferred, internet company contacted this week. I still need a mattress.
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