The day was May 28, 2006 and the objective was simple. Move the contents of Jon's apartment in Berkeley and Crystal's apartment in San Jose from their present location into the space afforded by Jon & Crystal's new place in Foster City. Despite the triviality of this description, the day proved to be far less simple. ;-) Here is our story.

Four of us participated in the effort. Jon, Crystal, Ryan, and myself.

Here is a map of the situation. We had Jon's stuff up in Berkeley. We had Crystal's stuff down in San Jose. We had to get all this stuff to Foster City and we had to do it without anyone getting flattened by a couch. To make things slightly more complicated, Kayvon had to be back down in Palo Alto for a IM soccer game at 2PM. In short, there was a lot of territory to cover. Thankfully, Crystal had the assistance of some big, strong (and quite frankly good looking) computer-science majoring guys. The plan was set. It was time to execute.

8:00AM (sort of). The four of us planned to meet up out in front of Jon & Crystal's new place bright and early at 8:00AM. Of course, this didn't happen since we all got there late. Any concerns I had about being a few minutes behind schedule in the morning were quickly allayed when Jon blew by me on 101 on the way up to Foster City. The day officially started at 8:15AM once we all arrived and immediately it was onward ho to Budget truck rental.

8:20AM. Phase 1. Rent Truck. We rented a 16 foot truck complete with hydraulic loading ramp and hand dolly. We got a hydraulic ramp? Yep! Clearly, I thought, today was going to be a piece of cake. For the curious, a 16 foot Budget truck, as stated by www.budgettruck.com, is capable of carrying a payload of 3,400 lbs in its 8000 cubic feet of cargo space. If you don't have a good sense of what 8000 cubic feet of space, the photo at right should help you out (it's a good bit of space). Budget claims that a truck of this size can hold the contents of 3-4 rooms. We rented the truck for 1 day, meaning we had until 8:30AM the following morning to complete our task. This seemed like ample time, given our early start.

After a quick tutorial on how to properly operate the ramp, Jon jumped into the cab and began to manuveur the vehicle. As you can see below, he quickly became confident in his abilities.

9:30AM. Phase 2. Load Jon's stuff. We arrived in Berkeley, and amazingly found parking for the truck on the street right out in front of Jon's place. So far so good. The goal was to get Jon's stuff loaded, grab some lunch, then get everyone and the truck back down to Foster City by around 1PM. This way, Kayvon could split off, play his IM soccer game back at Stanford at 2PM, and be back in Foster City by 4PM to resume the effort.

Like most guys of about our age, Jon really didn't seem to have a lot of stuff. Despite growing discussion about the magnitude of requisite heroism required to move the contents from Crystal's place later in the afternoon, Phase 2 was supposed to be easy. So we got to work. It quickly became apparent that although it remained fair to say Jon did not have a lot of "stuff", he did have a fair amount of "heavy stuff", namely wooden furniture with ackwardly located centers of mass. With only a single small dolly for 4 people, much of this stuff had to carried out of the apartment by the aformentioned big, strong (and quite frankly good looking) CS-majoring guys. This, combined with the fact that Jon's place was on the 4th floor of an apartment building with a extremely high-latency elevator suffering from heavy contention by several groups moving out at the same time, caused us fall behind schedule.

The astute reader might recall that the original plan was to get Jon's place loaded in the morning, and be working at Crystal's by the afternoon. The fact we are now in a subsection labeled "The Afternoon", yet the story remains at Jon's place should be taken as a subtle hint that trouble was brewing with our original plan.

1:20PM. Due to great work by everyone, perhaps most importantly the elaborate strapping of strikingly large items to a very small dolly by Jon and Ryan and some efficient bin-packing of the truck by Crystal, most of the loading was done by 1:20PM. Crystal and I rushed back to the south bay by car so I could get back to Stanford. Jon and Ryan stayed behind, packing a few last things before they would bring the truck down. On the way home, we crossed the San Mateo bridge, and I have to admit that if you want a good omen while moving into a new home, this day in the Bay Area was certainly it. The warmer temperatures had dropped a few days ago, and with it the wind blowing off the coast had blown unbelievably clear air into the Bay Area. It was sunny, there were bright blue skies, the Oakland and San Francisco skylines were clear as ever, and you could pick out the individual trees lining the Santa Cruz mountains to the south. Rock on mother nature. Nice job.

2:15PM. I was rushing down to catch the remainder of my soccer game and got a call saying the other team had forfeited. Fuck, what a waste. So I spun around on 101 and headed back up to Foster City, mildly annoyed, but with a day like that and with the windows down and having the opportunity to be rocking out to great music, one cannot complain to much. When I got back to Foster City, Jon and Ryan were still on their way in the truck from Berkeley. This is a very good time to note the state of Jon & Crystal's new apartment. This was the condition of the place just before the truck's arrival at approximately 2:30PM.

Crystal inspecting her new kitchen.

Crystal showing off her new living room.

2:30PM. Phase 3. Unload Jon's Stuff. Ryan and Jon arrive in the truck. Before proceeding any further the group decides that food is abosolutely necessary. However, the plan once again stalls. First, none of us know where the hell anything is to eat in Foster City. Second, we observe that a padlock is required to lock the back of the moving truck, and we have no padlock. A quick search of the nearby strip mall ensues. A search of the nearby Ranch 99 yields nothing, yet we do obtain free samples of asian baked goods. In order to not waste much time, we begin unloading the truck while Jon runs off to a nearby Home Depot to buy a lock.

3:00PM. Jon Returns. Jon returns with not only the padlock, but a second, much larger dolly that can be reconfigured to lay flat to handle stacks of large boxes at once. We are overjoyed. Instead of breaking for food, since work was already underway, we decide to forge ahead and complete phase 3 before eating. As we work, Crystal is silently, but clearly becoming hungry, and that makes the guys worried. We attempt to acclerate the pace, but the distance between the truck and the apartment makes things go slowly.

5:45PM. Phase 3 complete. The last item is carried into Crystal and Jon's living room at around 5:45PM. Everyone is jubilant! A decision is made to get burgers at Red Robin burger down near Crystal's apartment in San Jose.

Ryan observing his handiwork.

For the historical record, the decision to get burgers was made with everyone approximately in these positions.

6:30PM. Phase 4. Dinner. I rode with Jon in the moving truck (referred to as the roller coster due to it's lack of shocks) down to San Jose. Then we ate. And given the importance of this meal to everyone involved, I have decided to promote the act of eating dinner on this particular evening to it's own phase as I recant the story. Unfortunately, I have no images from dinner. Yet I can assure you that Crystal and Jon treated us to queso and chips, some enormous burgers and steak fries, and unlimited strawberry limonades. Excellent. I must brag that my gametime decision to replace the mayo and onions on my guacamole and bacon burger with sauted mushrooms led to it being called called "the perfect burger" by Ryan. And indeed it was.

8:00PM. Phase 5. Load Crystal's stuff. We entered Crystal's place at 8PM and immediately began to grapple with the scale of the task that lay ahead of us. Shock, dread, and perhaps dispair flowed through the group. The rumors that had been softly spoken throughout the day were indeed true. Crystal did in fact have a lot of stuff. Given the hour of the evening, and with a lack of daylight, everyone began doubt whether we would manage to bring our plan to successful completion. Noneless, we got started. Crystal vigorously packed boxes and the rest of us moved load after load into the truck.

Two hours later, we had half the truck full, but Crystal's place looked no different, a dent had not yet been made! 10PM passed, 11PM passed, midnight passed... clocks struck, glass slippers broke, dollys rattled incessantly (and loudly) along the complex's tiled walkways, yet luckily no neighbors complained.

12:45AM. Phase 5 complete (sort of).. Finally, the 8000 cubic feet of space in the trailer had largely been consumed, and we concluded the rest of the items in Crystal's place were managable later in the week with a couple of trips by car. We declared that we had done enough for now. We closed up the truck and headed north (reader's note... the perspective from which the photo at right was taken does not do justice to the amount of densely packed boxes that in fact were in the truck behind the items visible in the picture. The image also seems to indicate there was a fair amount of empty space in the truck. I assure you there was not).

1:15AM. Phase 6. Unload Crystal's stuff. When we arrived at Crystal & Jon's new place, we once again debated whether it was possible to unload the truck silently in the middle of the night. Even if it was, it was unclear if we had the energy to do so. To quit now meant we had to rent the truck an additional day. Additionally, the story of the day would have been far less magnificent. Once again, the decision was made to forge ahead. Jon took a position lifting everything off the truck (without the help of the hydraulic lift, which was deemed to be too noisy for the hour of the night), Ryan and I shuttled everything between the truck and the apartment, and Crystal carried the boxes from her door to the appropriate places inside. It was our finest hour. No complaints from the new neighbors. No haggling from building security. By 2:30AM, in record time, we were done.

2:45AM. Project complete. The truck was finally empty and its contents filled the various rooms of Jon and Crystal's new place. One might say that their place was now packed as tight as a moving truck. But that was not a conern at this time (from Ryan and I's perspective, that was Jon and Crystal's problem to worry about). Crystal attended to the wounded and kept everyone hydrated.

The living room in its final state. Note there are also two bedrooms in the place that each contain significant contents as well.

A very tired Crystal attends to a very tired Jon.

So finally, over 16 hours after we originally got underway, everyone agreed a hard day's work had been sucessfully completed, and Ryan and I headed home. Crystal and Jon, however, were already home; nearly lost in all the hustle and bustle, that was the point. All-in-all, a very fine and memorable day. Good times. :-)


An addendum: It appears that employees at Budget Truck Rental do a little googling themselves. A couple of months after putting this page online, I received the following (unsolicited) email:

Hi Kayvon, 

I enjoyed reading your account of Jon and Crystal's move - it sounds
like it was quite an experience. Should I require moving assistance in
the future, I'll make sure to contact you! Thanks for mentioning our
company's service and providing such lovely photos of the truck - Jon
looked pretty good as well.

Best regards,

[name removed]
Head of Internet Marketing & E-Commerce
Budget Truck Rental

It suffices to say, all of us were very honored to have earned the compliments of Budget Truck Rental.