I have learned an important (and somewhat expensive) lesson about buying appliances. Nothing to do with the brands or features, but rather the simple engineering problem of an item of a fixed size needing to fit into a fixed size space. If the space is smaller than the item, even by a little, one of them has to give. In my case, it was giving back a washer and dryer to Sears and exchanging them for a much smaller model. The only things that were lost in that transaction were a non-refundable delivery charge, a 15% restocking fee and two days that we desperately needed clean clothes. Because we got the smaller unit, it ended up being a net savings for us anyway. I am kicking myself for a) not refusing the shipment when I realized that it was much too small and b) not measuring more accurately in the first place. The real estate agent had said a compact model would not be necessary. He was mistaken.

Other than that goof-up, every other hassle has been minor. More than 85 percent of the stuff we are keeping is out of the old apartment, and hopefully all that we are giving away will be cleared out next weekend when a couple of guys from my college fraternity come and get a few pieces of furniture for one of the houses. It is a generous amount of stuff, the only stipulation is that they either have to take all of it or help me get rid of what they do not take or does not fit.

Samantha has been taking care of getting the finer details of our living space ironed out. We are still without bedroom furniture (other than a bed), but that is supposed to be arriving from ModerNash on Saturday. The living room furniture will wait a bit until after the taxes are paid. The space is smaller, but I think we're already seeing how we will be able to get "more" out of it.

The one thing that we were not counting on is replacing is my personal computer. The guy at the Genius Bar ran it through some diagnostics and formally declared what I already knew: the hard drive was toast. He gave me their quote for a replacement ($225 plus $85 or so in labor) and then proceeded to advise against it and to just take it to an authorized repair center for a refurbished or aftermarket drive. The computer is ultimately not suited for my needs anymore, so I could not justify spending money to have it fixed. Instead, I have offered up for $75 and anyone who wants to give it a shot can try to fix it. I will see how long I can put off buying a new one (probably not very long at all) despite having just purchased a new display to replace my 10 year-old CRT. Just my luck, I suppose.

I am looking forward to warmer weather, having a clean/organized apartment, hanging out with friends and not having a major expense every couple of days. At this point, I would take any two of those.