Sunday, October 19, 2008

Urban Camoflauge

So here's a random tip for city dwellers who want to *dramatically* change the way that people react to them on the street: On the morning you are planning to be walking down said street, forget to shave, then spend your day ferrying things back and forth between your old apt and your new apt by stuffing them into a 50L+ camping/climbing/travelling style backpack. (Note: I only did this because I had to return my rental car yesterday). I'll admit that these circumstances may not be easy to reproduce for everyone. And for some of you, you'd have to forget to shave for a lot longer than one morning. For the women among you, this may never work at all.

I used the same pack as from my Eurovoyage, and it worked well. I dropped a receipt with a $5 bill crumpled in it and a random guy picked it up and handed it back because apparently I looked like I needed it (really I was more worried about the receipt). In Subway just now, it was nearing 10pm and these 4 guys sitting at a table stopped me as I left and were wondering about train stations and hostels... I didn't know, and they said "oh, we thought you were like us -- had to spend the night on the street; because of your pack" ... :p

Also some of the looks you get from random people are fun too. As they peer into the cloth bag you are holding in each hand, to see what sort of things destitute people carry around. That probably only confirmed their suspicion of my homelessness, as at that moment I had a box of cheerios and some peanut butter in that bag, clearly visible :p

"No video games for you!"
On a somewhat disappointing, note: I have nearly everything unpacked at my new place except for media boxes (books,movies,music,games). So at the end of today, I wire up my amp and surround speakers, the xbox 360, and hook it all up to the component video input on my computer monitor (I have no t.v. yet). Then, in a round of crushing disappointment, discovered that since I had last used my xbox 360 with a dashboard resolution of 1080p, it was stuck on it, and my monitor won't accept that signal format over component video cables :( So no way to change it until my t.v. arrives in a week or so. Shame! One might have thought that since the freakin' monitor does 1920x1200 from a DVI input, it'd work just fine to take 1920x1080 from another input... le sigh!

Unpacking is a lot like Christmas
.. at least, like the Christmases I remember from childhood ;) except now there's way more boxes to open.

Each box has a hint on the outside. 2 or 3 words that summarized the contents as notated by the guy who packed it [who, incidentally, was generally not me, since the moving company's insurance policy only covers stuff they pack themselves]. Once the box is opened, the contents are revealed as being very many wads of paper in varying sizes and shapes, for lo, all thy items shall be individually wrapped, say the packing masters. So you grab out a big wad of paper (big!) and start ripping and unwinding it. After four or five seconds the big item is revealed! A shot glass! ... hm, that leaves a lot of space in the cupboard. No wonder 5 giant boxes of stuff managed to disappear into my kitchen!

Also, those hints outside the box aren't always correct. Sometimes the packer just didn't know what something was, or was fooled because I had cleverly stowed things in boxes from other products, and then he mistook even those.

For example, if I had only one chance to pick a box to find my toilet paper before someone pressed a Big Red Button of Doom For the Whole World (hey, it's a family blog, I don't always need to stoop to "before someone killed someone"... besides, the double 'someone' sounds weird!), we would all be Doomed now. The toilet paper, as it turns out, was in a box marked "computer games". Other contents of this box included my bathroom scale, and a few boxes of miscellaneous PC hardware (screws, clamps, cables of varying sorts...).

There were actually a lot of boxes marked "computer games," due in part to the fact that I have a lot of games (and game related paperphernalia), but due in large part to the fact that after a few boxes of games, I figure the packer's eyes glazed over and he just started writing "computer games" as a default if he couldn't think of anything else.

Anyway, back to the Christmas-y bit...
The best part is that some of these things I haven't seen in nearly two years, since I packed them up in January 2007. I had actually forgotten what most of my cutlery and dishes looked like, so it really added to the opening-a-present feeling... you know, you rattle the box, weigh it, look for clues as you rip into it, and still you get surprised by the final thing! I mean, sure you knew this paper ball was probably yet another coffee cup since the last 3 were, but I bet you forgot that you had a "Class of '97" mug in there, right? Right? Okay fine, so you didn't. I did, and it's my story, so sod off.


Laurel said...

I can just see you having so much fun with all those different reactions!! And no workout at the gym required when you were finished!!
Love ya!!

Scrapnqueen said...

I hear ya on the "Christmas" bit. I keep saying "unpacking is like a box of chocolates..." Okay, I don't. But I DO keep mumbling something about an adventure, as I open a box labeled "bathroom stuff" and get spatulas in them. And I packed most of this myself!

Hilarious about the "mistaken for a homeless guy" bit. Maybe you shoulda let those dudes at Subway know that you had a nice floor they could sleep on for the night!

Oh, and I love the new blog look. Very snappy, and yet calming at the same time. How do you do that?!


Logan said...

How do I do that? .. prepare to be underwhelmed.

1. ponder changing look of blog
2. click 'customize' on blogger bar
3. click 'pick new template;
4. click 'thisaway blue'
5. click 'save template'

Ok, so there were a few minutes at number 4 as I looked at all the available options.. but still... oops, did I just spoil your high image of my l33t web design skills? :)