Thursday, November 7, 2013

Things I've Learned Rolling Cables (That Don't Want To Be Rolled)

Status Update: Plentiful coffee today. I misestimated the amount of coffee I had on hand on the last shopping expedition and I retrieved far too much vis a vis my current supply. If a blizzard were to roll over today, I would emerge from the vast and snowy drifts far too energetically. Starved but over-caffeinated. If I lost a pillow before I went to sleep tonight, I could recline on one of my spare piles of coffee. I would have uncomfortably-wired dreams of happier places, where jittery cows raced across plains strewn with discarded coffee cups, where waterfalls of pure espresso thundered into vast rivers of frothy latte. I need to stop writing this before it becomes a story. Also, now I want espresso.

Not much on the writing front at the moment. This week, I believe, is going to be another short-ish exercise week. Probably shooting for about two thousand words or so, unless my subconscious decides to take me on an adventure, which does, occasionally, happen.

Speaking of adventures, I'm moving some time in the next month or two. It's one of those thoroughly unexciting moves you occasionally engage in when you're a renter: if the place I lived in were a place I owned, this would be about the time I tore everything out and remodeled. Slapped some more paint on the walls, replaced some of the appliances, sending them to the appliance old folks home where they could trade stories about the glory days of the 70's.

I would replace the carpets with carpets that haven't seen quite so much gnarly action. I may put in a special request to go all Office Space on my refrigerator, which has been a thorn in my proverbial side for the last few years, but not thorny enough for me to kick up a ruckus about it, if that makes any sense at all.

But I don't have to, because I'm a renter. It's one of the perks of being a renter, that ability to not have to care about things. You can just drift around and not accumulate worries.

Since I'm fairly happy with the management and location of my complex, I'm simply moving to another apartment of the same general sort and layout as soon as one opens up.

I'm a firm believer in preparing for moves as far in advance as possible. I'm the go-to person in my social circles for moves because I'm usually available, I'm reliable, kind of a softy, and I'm in pretty good shape. I've been involved in some moves which were, to say the least, awful. Snowing sideways. Hundred degree weather. Up five flights of stairs. You name it, I've probably moved someone in it, because a lot of my friends are lousy planners.

My absolute least favorite parts of moves, though, are the ones where you have to move a ton of small, light boxes. I'd rather have to lift four heavy things than four hundred really light things.

So I'm preparing in advance as much as possible. I don't have a move date, yet, so I'm mostly cycling through my apartment, decluttering, reorganizing and generally straightening things out. When I do have a move date, I'll arrange a week of overlap so I have to annoy as few friends as possible with the small stuff. Also, it's just a good idea to get rid of the cruft, strip out all the nonessentials, lighten your existence in general.

As a nerd, it turns out I have a lot of cables. I've tossed a lot, given away more, even taken some into work, if they were of the useful variety. But I still have a ton. It's amazing how much space they take up if you leave them tangled, so I roll them up, tie them off and store them.

Cables tend to each have their own personality. You want to roll them one way and they resist. Sometimes you just have to let them have their own way, roll them the way they want to be rolled and then pack them up. Of course, once they're out of your sight, they instantly unfurl and tie themselves into knots.

It's an interesting mental exercise, because a lot of life is that way. If you try to force some things, it'll just go tits up (as my dad says) and at the end, you'll have just as big of a mess as when you started. If you go mostly with the flow, nudging gently along the way, things work out better.

If you work with the cable, understand why it bends the way it bends, you can achieve a compromise with it, find the point of stability where it'll let you make it neater and you can coil it tightly. Each one's different. Rope bends and loops differently than ethernet cable, which bends and loops differently than headphone wire.

I tend to have a lot of problems I've exacerbated by just brute-forcing them when I should have nudged them along. I suppose packing and uncluttering is a good mental exercise, a field test for all of life's different strategies.

Anyhow. No idea what I'm writing this week. I'll see if I can surprise myself.

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