This is it — the apartment’s packed, I get the truck in an hour, and after a grueling few hours loading it up, it’s off to Boston.


Some geek-related stuff:

Things you can’t have enough of while packing:

  • Ziploc bags, sandwich-sized and gallon-sized, to pack all the loose crap in;
  • small boxes, to prevent yourself from packing too much in a single box;
  • cable ties and velcro wraps, to hold together pretty much anything;
  • bubble wrap, to protect pictures, mirrors, and electronics;
  • plastic milk crates, to carry things like plants and breakables to the truck;
  • air conditioning;
  • friends.

res•er•va•tion (1c): an arrangement to have something (as a hotel room) held for one’s use; also : a promise, guarantee, or record of such engagement.

Something I relearned today: when moving, call all the various companies you’re paying for moving day services to see if they actually intend to provide those services. In the case of moving truck rentals, their contracts are actually explicit in telling you that your reservation isn’t really a reservation of equipment, just of the price of the equipment if they have it to give you, so you have to call to ask if there’s even a chance of them providing everything you’ve asked for. Want the small equipment, like a hand truck? Find a friend with one. Want a truck? Make your reservation for the absolute earliest time the pick-up spot is open, so that you have a chance of getting the few that they will provide. If you rely on the company for everything to work out right, assume that it’ll all work out terribly; at least then, you’ll be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t fall apart.

I cannot wait until this move is over.

What an incredible evening. As everyone is now painfully aware, my last few weeks have been jam-packed, planning for the move, finishing up at the hospital, and working on my custom content management system. All this time, tonight has been reserved on our calendars as a break, ostensibly for a dinner with Shannon’s parents and some of her father’s colleagues. Thus, we got all gussied up tonight — Shannon wearing, for the first time, a piece of clothing that she had knitted — and headed out to Dos Caminos. Imagine my face when we wound around all the tables and into the very back to find her parents sitting with my entire family and a bunch of my closest friends, all in a surprise party to wish me an early birthday, congratulations on finishing residency, and good luck on the transition to fellowship in Boston. I can honestly say that I’ve never, ever been as surprised. It turns out that Shannon, my sister, and my mother have been working since January to put this together, and it showed; there were hand-dyed name placards, custom menus, and a framed invitation in the middle of the table with a photo of a 1975 version of me blowing out my birthday candles. I had a fantastic time, received gifts both thoughtful and memorable, and left feeling like there was nothing I could have done to deserve that celebration. I’m glowing tonight, a little sadder about leaving everyone, but happier that I have such a close group of people in my life.

Is it rational for me to feel like a loser because there’s absolutely no evidence that the MSNbot knows of this website? Could it be that the new Microsoft search crawler knows about the lethargic rate of posts here as of late, and is merely acknowledging my sheer boringness?

It came as a pretty cool discovery to me this week that SpamAssassin has made its way to the world of major university mail servers. I’m the first to acknowledge that today’s filters aren’t a panacea for the ever-worsening unsolicited e-mail problem, but doing nothing hasn’t been a raging success, and legislating the problem away seems to be both improbable and impossible given the reality of the Internet. I’m hopeful that, as mail filters are implemented by larger and larger mail providers, they’ll get better, and they’ll also help everyone involved discover even more effective ways at getting to the root of the problem.

Five simple words: San Antonio Spurs, NBA champions. What a great way to send David Robinson off into retirement, and for Steve Kerr to win his fifth ring. And finally, my blood pressure is returning to normal.

Something else I’m thinking about in planning my move: blanketing my new apartment with WiFi. Specifically, I’ve been trying to figure out how many base stations I’ll need in order to cover every nook and cranny (and whether it’s important to also try to get to the corner of the basement, where the washing machines are). I’m already figuring that there will at least have to be a second base station in the back of the apartment, but after reading Paul Boutin’s article, I realized that I haven’t thought out whether it’s important to try to get the two base stations to merge into a single, seamless network. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to pass them along; I’ll be sure to do the same after I figure it all out.

Last week, Shannon and I began the packing (and garbage disposal) process for the upcoming move, and in an attempt to start small, we decided to attack the closets. In one of them, I uncovered a box of college textbooks and notebooks (I’m that kind of packrat), and among them were my spiral-bound notes from what may be my favorite class of all times, Kenneth Jackson’s History of the City of New York. It was a weird moment — I was busy packing up to move out of New York City, and in so doing, uncovered evidence of the class (and professor) who, more than anyone or anything else, helped me fall in love with New York City. Jackson taught the class as part-lecture, part-walking tour, and one-time all-night bike trip around the City, and to this day, the experiences he passed on have served to cement my psyche to the streets of New York. It’s unclear whether that is because I’m a natural-born New Yorker or whether Jackson just got to me at the point when I was most vulnerable (or, perhaps, whether I was just extremely likely to grasp onto any big city after ripping up my San Antonio childhood roots). After looking through the spiral, I found myself hoping that I have enough time once I get to Boston to invest myself in a similar exploration of the city’s history; I think it’s time to start compiling resources (both online and off) that exist to help weekend urban anthropologists like myself discover the Boston of times past.

Last night was my final 24-hour call in the hospital (a fact I didn’t realize until about 1 o’clock this morning). The milestones are just stacking up; next in line, my last class retreat (next weekend), my last clinic (two Tuesdays from now), and my last overnight call in any capacity (three Wednesdays from now). In the mean time, though, I’m off to Boston for one day of geekery before returning to marking the passage of time…

Another few milestones passed: my last overnight call as the senior resident in charge (last Saturday), and my graduation ceremony (today, although there are still two and a half weeks left). It feels totally strange to be finishing my association with an educational institution that has provided the last eleven years of my education, but it also feels liberating. In three weeks, I’ll be in a completely new hospital, with a completely new ethic, learning completely new medicine. I’ll have a new apartment, be driving my new car, and be further than three miles from my family for the first time in 10 years. From the start of college through now, I’ve rested on my New York haunches at every decision point, partly because it was the best thing to do in the context of each decision but also partly out of stasis. Now, I finally get the experience of totally uprooting my personal life just as I’m starting the next stage of my professional life, and once I get past the holy-shit aspect, it’s going to be a ton of fun.