I got home from New Orleans on Monday night but had cleverly taken Tuesday off as well, as a decompression/get-my-head-on-straight day. Throughout the early spring, I had looked at the New Orleans trip as marking a boundary between the period of time when I could just dabble in getting ready for the move, and the period of time when preparations would have to begin in earnest. In addition to unpacking, then, I knew that I would need to sit and do some planning, make a few calls, etc., before returning to giving my best eight hours of each day to someone else. Well, not giving, but you know what I mean.

So I was up by eight a.m. and headed to the gym. This will be a difficult summer, I think, with ample opportunities for visits from the black dog, so I want to get into a real exercise routine to keep my mood and energy up. Routines in general are reassuring to me, in part because it’s the best way to make sure I get the important things done, but also there is just something soothing about knowing what shape my day will take, if only in outline. Don’t worry, this won’t become an exercise blog (I don’t consider it a blog at all; blog is short for weblog, which originally meant “log of interesting stuff you found on the web,” but I guess that’s a usage battle that is pretty much lost), but it finally occurred to me that I could overcome my hatred of lifting weights in a gym by breaking up my routine, and then, on alternate days, running and using the elliptical trainer. I know, I know, that’s what everyone does. It just hadn’t clicked into place for me before in a way that felt manageable.

So I moved some heavy objects and then went for a run. The cupboard, as I believe I mentioned, was bare, so I went to Sam’s for bagels for my brother and me, and was at my desk working on the final diary entries from New Orleans/Baton Rouge by eleven or so. I emailed the property manager and our alleged future tenants, and I filled out a form on a moving company’s web site so that they can call me with an estimate. This is the same moving company that moved my parents to West Virginia, and my parents raved about them, not least because they were inexpensive. The company seems to act like it wants your business, and that’s my favorite kind.

I also uploaded the New Orleans/Baton Rouge photos to Flickr, a process that has become so amazingly fast and easy now that I have a computer with decent memory capacity. Not that they’re paying me or anything, but I highly recommend Flickr for your online photo sharing (I especially recommend it if you want to share them with me – I ain’t looking at no Snapfish), not least because no one has to join Flickr to see your photos. Even if you keep them “private,” which you can do at various levels of restriction, you can use a “share” function to grant access to anyone with an email address. And why keep them private, unless they are risque? I know people are often very concerned about pictures of their children ending up on line, but I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s because there is this steady drumbeat in the culture about online predators, but those people are in chat rooms looking for real people to converse with. Of course you need to be careful about giving out too much information, so it might not be a good idea to post pictures in which your address is visible or your house is otherwise locatable, particularly if you also post pictures of the riches contained in your treasure room. But even then, what are the odds that a burglar is out there scouting around on line for places to rob? I suppose it could happen, but that kind of burglar really will be looking for a treasure room, not a tiny rowhouse that contains pretty much the same stuff as any other tiny rowhouse.

Except for my shrunken head collection, of course.

And back to Flickr, for a second. The best thing about Flickr is that it is very easy to navigate and use. The second best thing is that the color scheme is reminiscent of a box of laundry detergent, and doesn’t that just make you feel clean and happy?

By late afternoon I was already feeling very productive, and it didn’t stop there. After starting some laundry, I drove to Fells Point to get a new pair of running shoes and then stopped by Giant for some groceries. I guess one reason I was able to get so much done is because of the feeling I always get when I’m home on a weekday – even on a vacation day that I earned fair and square – that I am somehow playing hooky, yet another example of the way our minds are poisoned by this innocent-sounding thing called a work ethic. Frankly I wish I had a stronger leisure ethic, but that’s a rant for another time. But the idea that I “should” be working anyway makes it harder to laze around like I might end up doing on a Saturday.

In other news, while I was at Giant, I received live text-message updates from my brother concerning the car that crashed into the outdoor-seating area at Regi’s, the bistro where I once tended bar (my brother works across the street). Amazing that more people weren’t hurt, and that the ones who were got off so lightly. Just think, if I’d kept working there for only three more years, and if I’d happened to be working a wait shift last night, and if I’d happened to have been standing in the outdoor seating area taking an order… well, the mind quails.

That’s all.