oceantheorem: (castle water)
 We own a house!

This has been exhausting.

Good, but exhausting.

So far, homeownership can be characterized as "you must drive 30 minutes several times a week to meet contractors at the house at the crack of dawn, and then drive 30 minutes back to get to work on time" and "make four thousand phone calls to contractors" and "please arrive with a check".

We've had asbestos removed. We've treated for termites. We are removing a wall between the living and dining rooms, and installing recessed lighting in those rooms, and then having the hardwood floors refinished, and repainting all the walls, and replacing the baseboards, and installing crown molding. I am told this is a "small" job. 

I've been spending spare moments daydreaming about how to landscape. I want ALL THE NATIVE POLLINATORS. I want native bees, and butterflies, and moths, and even pollinating flies, though I reserve the right to tell them they are ugly when they arrive. In the pursuit of this goal, I have compiled a massive spreadsheet of California native plants, and tried to focus on which ones might be native to my new county, to determine what to plant.

We also want chickens, and a vegetable garden, so I have tabs in the spreadsheet for plants for those purposes (cucumbers and nasturtiums are natural de-wormers for chickens, did you know?). 

I deleted my LJ today. I am sad. But all the content is here, so there is nothing lost. Still sad though.
oceantheorem: (castle water)
 We bought a house!

On Feb 13th, our agent said, "Do you want to see a house before it goes on the market? The sellers want out fast. I can show it to you tomorrow at 11:30am." Chris and I both said, "Yeah, we can take a long lunch for that."

On Feb 14th we met at the house and spent, between the three of us, still less than 60 minutes inside the house. We drafted an offer that evening. It waived all inspections and contingencies. We told the sellers they could cancel the proposed floor repair work they had planned for Feb 16th.

On Feb 15th our offer was submitted at 8am. At 5pm the sellers accepted.

The first thing Chris looked up was whether we can have chickens in our new city.

We can.

We close on March 8th.
oceantheorem: (Eek)
Bleh. Okay.

[livejournal.com profile] snoopdawg posted on her journal a couple days ago with basically the following information: the Livejournal servers have apparently been moved to Russia, which makes LJ no longer subject to US laws about privacy. This is the source she linked.

One of the entries linked in that source is this one, which, along with [livejournal.com profile] snoopdawg's recommendation, led me down the rabbit hole of signing up for Dreamwidth, which uses the same code platform as LJ, but with a totally different business philosophy. I looked them up on Wikipedia too. It's really easy to import your journal to Dreamwidth. It took me about 30-40 minutes to do the research, make the decision to move, and start the import. Dreamwidth did the rest, and it looks like the full import of 13 years of entries and comments took about five hours to migrate over. I am pleased with this.

I don't know yet if I'm going to delete my Livejournal, but I've certainly been looking the other way for a good seven or eight years when they've done sketchy stuff, because I haven't had a good alternative. Now I have a good alternative.

If I had a large friends community I might hesitate more, but I think I only have three active readers these days. :-P

I'm making this entry from Dreamwidth. It should crosspost itself to LJ for me. Let's see how this goes!
oceantheorem: (Eek)
o.0

We got the Redwood City place.

Turning 30

May. 28th, 2015 01:08 pm
oceantheorem: (be careful pretending)
So, I have lots of things I want to say, but I'll separate them. First up, a recap of my 30th birthday and celebratory trip to Kentucky!

It turns out Kentucky is an AWESOME place to vacation. Who knew?

So, so many pictures... )

...and I've literally had this tab open on my laptop for over a week now, and have only gotten through the beginning of day 2 of our 6-day trip, so I'm going to stop here, post this, and probably never finish the recap.

So here's the quick version: The Kentucky Horse Park was awesome. We spent two days there. Elena was bored out of her mind, but my mom and I loved it. We saw retired Derby winners, big draft horses, and about a dozen examples of rare breeds of horse from around the world (got to pet some of those!). We then spent two days at Mammoth Cave, which was incredible and very educational, and we got to go on an Introduction to Caving tour that let us crawl over and under and through rocks, which Elena loved. Otherwise she was fairly poorly behaved and had problems listening to instructions, but on the crawling tour she was great. On our very last day we drove back to Louisville and actually visited Churchill Downs, including their museum, and went on a walking tour of the track. We got lunch there and ordered mint juleps (yum!!!) and something disgusting called Benedictine (note that if you forget what this is called, searching Google for "Kentucky green spread food" will get the answer for you on the first hit).

Overall the trip was lovely, and I had some wonderful conversations with my mom, which I may or may not go into in a later update. Elena is... difficult for me to relate to? Is that a diplomatic way of saying things? I have a really hard time with her. I feel very guilty about this but I don't think it's alterable.

I was really glad to come home to Chris.
oceantheorem: (airplane)
Haven't updated in ages. September was a month of ridiculous travel: we went to DragonCon, then I went to Zion National Park, and then I went to LA for a wedding. I'm finally home from everything and trying to get my life, my job, and my bank account back on track...

...and also planning Thanksgiving and a possible trip in December. My life is awesome.
oceantheorem: (yay omg yay kermit)
Dragon*Con is this weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!

/flail
oceantheorem: (Solitaire)
I've been kinda flaily the last few days. I found a new author on teh intarwebs, and read a bunch of his articles, and came across one about how NaNoWriMo is terrible. Because most people fail, and then those people think they can't be writers.

Holy crap, I thought. That happened to me. That goddamn happened to me.

And I'd already been a bit flaily about work for... oh... a few years (ha! no, but really, the last two months have been kinda trying). What am I DOING? Do I want to keep doing lame lab tech benchwork for the rest of my life? I mean, sure, it's relatively easy, and I'm relatively good at it, but it's also pretty boring and not very meaningful. It's... honestly, it's not even paying very well. I want to be doing something more interesting, and more challenging, and something less... irrelevant?

I don't know what that "something" is. It's probably NOT writing.  It did take me a while to realize that one can "be a writer" without writing novels, and I still don't think I want to write novels (though maybe I'm wrong. I do want to revisit that last failed NaNo story and see if I can fix it now that I'm not trying to slavishly produce 1667 words every day. it had time travel AND pirates). But trying to create a blog or a large base of short stories or some other written body of work that would produce income also sounds pretty horrifying. And like a really good way to kill my passion for writing altogether.

So, I'm still pretty flaily about what I want to do with my career, but after a couple of days of intense thought, and several really good conversations with my spouse and my incredibly intelligent friends, I think I am going to start a blog. And write about non-traditional life choices - everything from sexuality to diet to childlessness. I set up a wordpress and I'll link over to it once I've got a few articles up. I have ideas for a bunch already, and I guess I'm sitting here writing this instead of over there writing those because I still kinda needed to give myself a pep talk telling me it's okay to do it. Even if it won't make money (I expect not to). Even if I don't keep up with it for five or ten or fifteen or two years (I... expect not to). At least I will be doing something creative, something I enjoy, something that will stretch my brain a little - and maybe something that will help other people think about the way they live their lives.

2013

Jan. 2nd, 2014 12:38 pm
oceantheorem: (be careful pretending)
1. What did you do in 2013 that you've never done before?
So many things! Maybe the most notable was beginning to hike. On July 3rd I hiked 14 or 15 miles around Florence Lake with friends. That was pretty crazy, and unlike anything I'd ever done before.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I do not make resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My cat died in March. :-(

4.5 Did anyone close to you get married?
Nope.

4.75 Did anyone close to you have other critical, life-changing moments or revelations?
Yes. Holy crap, yes. Not mine to reveal here, but it was an eventful year for a lot of people close to me.
Oh, I guess I can reveal that my dad was diagnosed with liver cancer. That was (is)... bad.

5. What states/countries did you visit?
... just Michigan and Nevada, I think. It was a quiet year for travel.
ETA: Also Georgia for DragonCon!

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I guess I'm still hoping for more followthrough. I need to make myself work on leather and other creative pursuits. I need to make myself seriously examine my career and then plan out where I want it to go, and make it go there.

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 17 and July 3. Also June 1st - I feel like I woke up on June 1st.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmm, not sure. Successfully integrating into a circle of friends, and developing a strong social network?

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not doing a good job at work. Not doing anything at all to further my career in any way.
Not figuring out my relationship with my dad.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I hurt my knee pretty badly in October.

11. What was the best thing you created?
New social relationships? And a few neat leather items.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Jim's. Jim's been awesome.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm gonna leave this blank this year for the sake of "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."

14. Where did most of your money go?
Food, actually. Also rent and loan repayments.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Corsets. I bought a lot of corsets.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Hmm, not sure. I listened to Lifehouse's Between the Raindrops a LOT. Walk the Moon's Anna Sun was my theme song for our housing search. Really like that song. Maybe also Peter Hollens' Shenandoah? I listened to that on repeat a lot, earlier in the year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Much happier!
- thinner or fatter? A little thinner! Going mostly paleoish and cutting out almost all sugar helped me lose about 12 pounds. Some of that I put back on in the last month, though. Eesh, holiday food.
- richer or poorer? Monetarily I think richer. A little less debt, a lower rent rate. Emotionally, much much richer. Life feels so full now.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Learning. Working to build a stable future - I need to attend to my career path in 2014.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Wasting time. Surfing the internet. Crap. I'm doing that right now, aren't I?

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went into lab for a couple hours, then played video games and hung out with Jim. Our housemates and I started a tradition of making gingerbread houses, which was a lot of fun, and I hope we keep that up.

21. How will you be spending New Years?
A bunch of us went to Colleen's for dinner, which was delicious and fun. I got to meet her friends Nick and Erica, who are amazing. Eventually Chris and Colleen and I ended up watching the fireworks down at the Ferry Building, which was great. Jim worked, as usual.

22. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes. :-)

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
BABYLON 5!!

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
No.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Peter Hollens

27. What did you want and get?
Meaning. Emotional connection.

28. What did you want and not get?
Direction. A plan.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
? Thor 2?

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
28. Jim took me to the ballet to see Cinderella! I wore my wedding dress. We got ice cream at Smitten.

31. What one thing would have made your year?
My year was made. It was a great year. :-)

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Same as always! Solid colors. Skirts whenever possible. Oooh, I did begin adding a lot of corsets.

33. What was the best book you read?
I really liked the Guild of the Cowry Catchers series by Abigail Hilton. Not sure it was the best thing of the year, but it was really good.

34. What kept you sane?
I don't think I was really in danger of insanity this year. I was pretty well-grounded by friends, loved ones, good books, good food, lots of intellectual stimulation... I'm not sure this question is still relevant.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Ummm, I dunno. I kinda started to tune out this year. It all just seemed like more of the same. I feel I can effect more change by starting conversations with the people around me than I can by closely following politics. Also, I kinda feel like Obama let me down, so I'm done paying attention to him.

37. Whom did you miss?
My cat, Claire. My friend Claire. My friends Stefan, Ann, Eliz, Mike, Mike, Andrea. The more I build a community here, the easier it is to let go of people who are far away. I don't know if that's good or bad.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Chris.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
You are not broken. You have great capacity to love. You have more power over your own life than you realize.

40. A quote or song lyric that sums up your year:
This is part of last year's, but it's oddly relevant this year too:
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some
But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours
Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damm you're free
Look into your heart and you will find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved


Also this bit, from Between the Raindrops:
...There's a smile on my face
Knowing that together everything that's in our way
We're better than alright
Walking between the raindrops
Riding the aftershock beside you
Off into the sunset
Living like there's nothing left to lose
Chasing after gold mines
Crossing the fine lines we knew
Hold on and take a breath...

Though, really, I'm not sure either of those sums up the year at all. It's a hard year to sum up. It was an adventure, and it was emotional, and there were PEOPLE, and I remembered parts of myself, and I hope I grow as much as a person in 2014 as I did in 2013.
oceantheorem: (coffee life)
I'm not sure anything in particular really needs to be written, but it's nearly noon, and I'm at work with nothing to do, and I am bored, and I want to write.

We found a new place to live and started moving in earlier this week. Unfortunately, our gorgeous, beautiful, spacious new house (which we'll be sharing with three housemates) attacked me on the first night, and I had to get my kneecap x-rayed on Monday to make sure I hadn't shattered it. I'm mostly fine now, and am off the crutches already, but my knee is still very sore, and stairs in particular are still problematic. So I'm not doing much at work today. Just sitting. It's better than sitting in the new house without anything at all to do - at least there is internet here, and I had a long chat with Ulf this morning about science - but it's still pretty boring. So I might as well catch up on writing and other creative pursuits.

Overall, life is really good. We love the new house. I'm still very much in love with San Francisco, and am thrilled to be moving to an area that will test that love a little less - we're leaving the high-crime, filthy, noisy downtown/SoMa area and will no longer have crackheads and other bums screaming in the alley outside our apartment every night. The new house is on a street with a bunch of other houses, and the only noises I heard last night were a cat yowling and a dog barking. I can handle these noises.

Also, there is a coffee shop literally across the street. This is bliss.

Our social calendar has been delightfully full lately. We've had board game nights and hiking excursions and dinners with friends. We're both pretty happy with our social circle here. It feels solid and supportive. I'm so glad we moved out here. I miss our Michigan friends, but California is so great in so many ways....

Let's see... what else is new? Jim went Paleo, and has stopped eating all grains and sugar. He's lost a lot of weight. I worry about how much protein he's eating and how he avoids any carbohydrates at all, but he says he'll stop being so drastic about it once he gets back to his target weight (and he's nearly there). I have not gone Paleo, though I am at Jim's mercy for dinner since he's the cook in our family, and I have also tried to cut out sugar. I've lost about fifteen pounds this summer, kind of accidentally. I guess sugar is a lot worse for weight than I had thought. I now weigh what I did in high school, which is shocking (and delightful!). I had to buy new pants. And shirts. (Woe is me, right? How terrible. I just wish we actually had a budget that allowed for a new wardrobe right now.)

Yeah. I think that's it for now. I'm not feeling terribly introspective at the moment. Just wanted to get down a snapshot of where life is at the moment. 
oceantheorem: (journals)
I don't really feel like typing much, so I'll just make this mostly pictures. Here's what I've done in the last month!

Large pictures! )

The next step with the map is to figure out how to do the lettering for the place names. I ordered some tiny letters and should have them this week, so hopefully I can stamp little tiny places names into the leather. Otherwise I'll have to resort to painting them on, which I've practiced and looks totally crappy. After I get the lettering sorted out, I can texture the water and then add color. I'll try to keep taking progress pictures. :-)

I actually have lots to write about, but I'm kind of exhausted and my brain isn't giving me coherent sentences, sooooo all you get is pictures today.

Also, wow, I have a million user icons and not one of them even remotely relates to this post. Probably because I last updated them like four years ago. I should do something about that...

2012

Jan. 1st, 2013 02:01 am
oceantheorem: (journals)
1. What did you do in 2012 that you've never done before?
Well, I got married. So that was new!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I never make resolutions. I remain resolute that I never shall. :-P

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Uh, not that I remember. Some family members did (and one lj friend!), but no one I talk to on a regular basis.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No.

BUT some really close friends got married. I got to be a bridesmaid in Mike and Eliz's wedding, and that was really, really cool.

5. What states/countries did you visit?
Um. Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont. Also, England, Scotland, France, and Germany.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Foresight? Any ability to plan whatsoever? Creativity maybe. I need to work on that.

7. What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Well, I got married on April 22nd. That was pretty cool. :-) Also, we moved to California on August 1st, and words can't even express how happy I am to be back.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmm. Biggest thing I achieved...? Finally getting back to California? Getting a good job in California? Not sure. Those both feel like inadequate answers.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Still being terrible about follow-through.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major, though I seem to keep re-breaking the same pinky toe, and that's obnoxious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
This is kind of a sad question. Really? We're elevating monetary purchases to status of Must-Be-Remembered-Next-Year? Can't we ask something like, "What's the best thing you created?" instead? The best thing I created was probably our wedding. It was very us, and we worked together to make it exactly what we wanted, and I think it turned out to be an incredibly personal and wonderful celebration.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Um, Jim is pretty damn impressive. Both our moms have been pretty cool, too. Jim's parents are both really amazing people, actually. And I definitely want to highlight how absolutely amazing everyone who came to our wedding was. It would not have been what it was without the support and effort all of our friends and family put in, from the table runner my mom knit to the plates my friends put on the tables to the dress my friend made. Jim's cousin paid for my dad's hotel room. I mean, geez. Above and beyond. I was blown away by how hard everyone worked to make our wedding incredible. Thank you.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Humanity's in general. Can't we freakin' be nice to each other? Is it going to take an alien invasion for us to realize we're all humans and worthy of the same respect we demand for ourselves?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Student loan repayments. And rent. Ugh, rent.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
DRAGON*CON!!!!!! It's basically like Christmas for nerds.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Um. Someone else mentioned this, but We Are Young by ... who sings that? The internet says "Fun." Fun? That's a band name? Oh my god, I'm old.
Train: Hey Soul Sister
Jason Mraz: I'm Yours (our wedding song)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Waaaaaaay happier
- thinner or fatter? About the same. Maybe slightly thinner.
- richer or poorer? Monetarily? Who the hell knows. Abstractly? Oh man, so much richer. Life is so much better now. I have an amazing husband and a good job and I love living near the ocean and closer to my family, and I'm getting to know my dad, and learning a new creative hobby, and things are just GOING SO WELL.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Eesh. It would have been hard to have packed anything else into this year, honestly. But more planning and adhering to plans would have been helpful. (Europe would have been more fun if we'd done, like, ANY planning at ALL.)

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Sleeping. I wish I didn't need so much sleep. Why does my body need so much sleep??

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Quietly, with Jim, in our apartment, playing video games. It was wonderful and absolutely unremarkable. Perfect.

21. How will you be spending New Years?
I spent it playing video games online with distant friends. Jim was out working. I am content. 

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?
No.

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Errr, of all time? Or of this year? What came out this year? Uh. Still enjoying How I Met Your Mother

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I don't think I actually hate ANYONE.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Train, actually. I didn't like them when I was younger, but I think they're great now. Have you heard the song 50 Ways To Say Goodbye? HILARIOUS.

27. What did you want and get?
California and an endless, fabulous, organic supply of ripe avocados. Ooooh avocados. I could write sonnets for you.

28. What did you want and not get?
Uhhh. Nothing comes to mind, really. This was actually an amazing year.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don't think I liked ANY of the movies I saw this year. :-P Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit were both awful, and I can't remember seeing anyth- OH THE AVENGERS. That was really good. Joss Whedon, I love you.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Um, I turned 27. It was just a few days after we got back from our honeymoon in Europe, and I was sick, and I don't think it was particularly good, but that's okay. Europe was good and that was fine. :-)

31. What one thing would have made your year?
Ha, I think my year WAS made. I mean, can you ask for much more than marrying an amazing person and moving to the best place in the world? I mean, we went to a spa at the foot of the Alps, with friends, on a gorgeous spring day. Can you ask anything more of life than relaxing in a hot tub while surrounded by good people, staring at a mountain lake and a blue sky?

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Solid colors. Knee-length or longer skirts whenever possible. I started buying multiples of shirts that fit well, because it's so rare that I find ones I like. The more unremarkable and plain they are, the more I like them.

33. What was the best book you read?
Oooh. Um. Well, I just finished The Way of Kings, and that was really good. Oh - but WOOL was way better. Did I read that this year? Man, this year has been really, really long, hasn't it?

34. What kept you sane?
Jim. And endless books on my kindle, and music on my phone. And I drank a LOT of $4 Trader Joe's Blue Fin Petite Syrah.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Eh? This is another bizarre question. We should delete this one from the list next year.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Oy. I get pretty wound up about feminism, and abortion, and education, and the military. But overall I'm really just appalled that we can't all agree to be nice to each other, and to take care of each other.

37. Whom did you miss?
This list is so long, every year. :-(  Nanny. Ann. Eliz, Mike, Kristy, Emily, Clark, Stef, Richard, my mom, Ellie, the whole HPKCHC knitting group I seem to have somehow grown away from, my cat, and a few people I shouldn't miss but I did anyway. Aaron, George, Jamie. Someday hopefully I will stop missing those three.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm. I really liked some of the people from the failed housing experiment our first month here. Damian was cool. I also really like my new coworkers. Sharon (and her metalworking from her garage!) has been an inspiration for me to be more creative, and is part of why I'm managing to muster the courage to try leatherwork. Ulf has motivated me to be a better scientist and to learn faster, when I always thought I was a quick learner. Everyone has room for improvement, I guess! But really, I wasn't blown away by any particular new person this year.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
Uhhh. Everyone has room for improvement? People have an incredible, untapped, powerful ability to love and to help one another. A society based on money necessarily squelches that by pitting us against one another instead of fostering cooperation.

40. A quote or song lyric that sums up your year:
...I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's gonna stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damm you're free
Look into your heart and you will find love love love love

Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
And it's our God-forsaken right to be loved loved loved


If I'd read this entry ten years ago, or even five years ago, I don't think I would have recognized myself (the last time I filled out this questionnaire, that I can find, was 2006. it makes me cry to read it - oh, I was so not in a good place that year.). It has been a CRAZY decade. I am not the same person, but I think that's okay. Even good. Not that I wasn't a good person a decade ago, but I have come a long way. I hope I keep growing over the next decade. Hello, Kara of 2023. Do I even recognize you?
oceantheorem: (coffee and writing)
Oh wow, has it really been this long since I updated? Where did the last month go?

Things are going really well here. We've definitely settled in, to our new apartment and our new jobs and our new life. I can honestly say I'm happier than I've been in years. I like my job, I like where my life is, and I LOVE being back on the west coast. I know I keep going on about the food, and the weather, and the FOOD, and the WEATHER, but I can't stop. I marvel at every perfectly made sandwich slathered with fresh ripe avocado, at every November morning that's warm enough for me to bike to work in a t-shirt. In the three+ months I've worked here, I can count on one hand the number of times I've been forced to eat lunch indoors due to inclement or cold weather. There is SUN! And good coffee! And something called aioli! ::dies::

So. I'm also thrilled with the amount of STUFF to do. I've hung out with friends, gone to a vampire-themed ball, seen people fling themselves into the bay in poorly-designed homemade aircraft... Tonight I went to a tiny little cafe on the other side of the city to see Lauren O'Connell sing. I discovered her two or three years ago on youtube (I can't even remember now how I found her. through Julia Nunes maybe?), and she has an absolutely incredible voice, coupled with a real talent for songwriting - the way she takes emotions and puts them into neat little words that don't diminish their feeling at all is just... mindblowing. Anyway, so I got to go see her sing tonight, and she's just as awesome in person. And is an awesome person. It was one of those times where I became the awkward nerd I really am deep down inside, and she was super friendly. I told her my name just once, when I first walked into the cafe 20 minutes before the show and she was standing by the door, and she remembered it. She called me by my name an hour later. Wow.

Jim is out driving for SideCar tonight, and was far away when the show ended, so I actually used the SideCar app myself for the first time tonight. The woman who picked me up was really friendly, and we had a nice chat. She's in the global health program here and suggested I look into it or something like it. I had forgotten how much energy and passion there can be for science, and I feel like there is a lot of it here in this city. People here want to do things that matter. And, astonishingly, they ARE. It's terrifying and intimidating and inspiring.

It's late, and I know I'm rambling, so I'll just stop. But yeah. I'm happy. That's new. It's cool. It should keep... doing... that.
oceantheorem: (ff Kaylee happy)
I skipped over some stuff with my last entry (which I posted to G+ first, and then decided I wanted archived, so I put it here too).

Jim got his second paycheck from Knight. It was for negative $1400. He quit. They said he had reported his work "late" and that he would get paid "in the next check", but they couldn't tell him how much he'd get paid. And he had been told three or four different deadlines for the reporting, so it was hardly his fault that he missed the real one.

We bought a Prius. It's a 2005, and it's gold. I hated it for the first day, but when I finally got a chance to drive it on Sunday it immediately won me over. It's fairly comfortable. It has automatic windows, locks, and transmission (well, sort of. it's got Prius transmission). It's like driving a computer - if you have the key in your pocket, the door unlocks automatically when you approach the car. You get in, still with the key in your pocket, put your foot on the brake, and press the round Power button, and the car turns on. You move a lever until the display reads Reverse or Drive, and then move your foot to the gas and the car goes - all with the key still in your pocket. It's insane. It's like driving a spaceship.

We named her Serenity.

Jim went to a meet and greet for SideCar, his new company, Friday evening. It's a ridesharing company that is essentially a taxi service, but cheaper, more reliable, faster, and WAY less creepy. It's all coordinated through smartphone apps. I tagged along in the passenger seat Friday night while Jim gave rides around the city for a couple hours, and it was a lot of fun. We got to chat with interesting people, and we made like $100 in two hours. I think this'll be a much better job for Jim, at least in the short term.

This weekend was supposed to be a mess in the city, so I flipped through event listings on the web to see if anything in particular looked like fun. I found a listing for a steampunk/Oktoberfest combination dance, and we decided to go. This meant we had to put together costumes, so we went wandering around our neighborhood Saturday morning to find thrift stores. We got some decent costume pieces and cobbled a look together, though we didn't have any accessories or anything (no goggles or awesome boots or leather of any kind). The dance was a lot of fun. They had victorian waltzes in addition to polkas, plus a few set dances they taught on the spot, and we had a blast. I even got to wear my nice dancing shoes, which I haven't done since the wedding. We got some fliers for some other events by this group, and we'll definitely be going to more of them.

Sunday we drove Jim's semi to the nearest Knight lot, which was four hours away, in the central valley. Serenity averaged just under 50 miles per gallon (she's meant for city driving, not highway, but I still think that's pretty impressive!). Jim and I played "what's that crop?" on the way through Gilroy and the surrounding area. It's a little sad that we don't recognize fields of bell peppers or strawberries or garlic on the spot. If I had a kid I would insist on having a garden and making the kid help grow our food. Maybe once we get a house I'll start a garden anyway. I should be mature enough by now not to kill plants just by looking at them.

All in all, I'm loving living here. We've settled, I think, and I feel better than I've felt in years. I'm in better shape. Running and biking are enjoyable - my body RESPONDS to requests for action, in a I CAN DO THIS kind of way instead of a OH HELL THIS HURTS kind of way. It's giddying. I feel happy. I am home, and things are of course not perfect, but I made it back to California, after a thousand million years away, and it keeps getting better and it's going to keep getting better. This is good.
oceantheorem: (cheese)
It is a glorious day in San Francisco! The morning sun is shining - and by shining I mean SHINING - in through our apartment window and across my computer desk. I am actually getting tanned as I type this.

There are supposed to be a million extra people in the city today, for events such as America's Cup (sailboat races), Fleet Week (military leave, including Blue Angels demonstrations and navy ship tours), Italian Heritage Festival, Castro Street Festival, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, a 49ers game, and a Giants game.

What will Jim and I be doing?


Going to a free French cheese tasting. Hanging out in Dolores Park with ice cream while we check out the Zeitgeist/Venus Project (http://www.thevenusproject.com/) meetup. Going thrift shopping for clothes for Jim so we can go to the Steampunkoktoberfest dance ball tonight in San Mateo. Spending a few hours offering rides through SideCar, making more in a couple hours than Jim made in an entire month with Knight Transport.

Have I mentioned in the last five minutes that I LOVE CALIFORNIA?
oceantheorem: (wtf mate)
Also, you know how I said I was afraid Jim would get paid for the first three weeks of his current job and it would be $300? Well, I was wrong.

He got paid for the first two weeks, and it's $411. Including flight reimbursement to Phoenix.

He is actually losing money working at this job.
oceantheorem: (journals)
Jim is out somewhere in the city, selling my car. It's a good financial move. There's a job he can move into that requires a 4-door car, and mine is a 2-door, and he really needs to be able to take this job. So we'll sell this one and buy a different one. It makes sense.

Still, it's been a good six years. I'll miss her.


Pictures of my car! )
oceantheorem: (gatsby the past)
A friend linked me to this article today. It's interesting, but long, so I'll summarize it here if you want to skip it: San Francisco used to be home to the weird, the outcasts, the hippies who tried new things and lived art, but in the last ten years it's slipped into a new thing, a tech central filled with new money and young kids from Elsewhere who know how to program but don't know how to relax after work, and the entire culture of the city has changed. The old character has been priced out and replaced with the overflow from Palo Alto.

I noticed this. We got here and I started apologizing profusely to Jim. This is not the California I remembered, this is not the San Francisco I talked up, this is not the city I thought we were moving to. This city is harsh and fast and unforgiving. I remembered organic food and the smell of weed on street corners and lazy mornings spent lounging in the sun with a beer while discussing all the wealth of possibility the world holds. This is not that city.

The sad thing is that this is still home to me. I don't know what makes a place home, but this one is mine. I think of all the awful things, the high rent and the ridiculously out of place racecars and the feeling that nothing you do matters because no one cares... and then I look out my window and see the lights of a thousand apartments rolling over Potrero Hill to our south, and the fog rolling in from behind us to coat the buildings to our north, the smell of salt and the sound of sirens, and it just feels like home. I belong here. It's heartbreaking. What if I'd come here six years ago? How different would it have been? Would I have needed to stay here after it changed underneath me? How do I translate this feeling of belonging into something Jim can understand? Can I feel this attachment to other places in California? What the hell is wrong with me? Who falls in love with a 7x7 square of land?
oceantheorem: (crazy but ok)
We've moved into an apartment we're calling Shoebox Palace. Some of you  may have seen pictures of it on Google+; it is very very small and very very expensive, but we actually love it. It gets tons of sunlight, and the vaulted ceiling gives us acres of wallspace for our extremely nerdy art (cutaway pictures of Firefly, posters of the Ladies of Firefly, umpteen framed dragon art pieces, a horrible parody of Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, etc), so we are now once again surrounded by things that make us feel at home. The living area is actually pretty spacious, and who needs a dining area anyway? We don't miss having one. A dishwasher would be nice, as would our own washer/dryer, but you can't have everything, right?

There is a little market about a block away. The safest way to get there is to avoid the main road to our right and instead go down the dark alleyway through the center of the block. I am not even kidding. I am pretty sure that if I walk along the big road by myself I will get raped. By contrast, the alley is populated by people who are probably homeless and maybe a little crazy, but not one of them has tried to talk to me or touch me, which is in sharp contrast to the big road. Anyway, the market itself is fabulous. It is half produce section and one third meat section, and everything they sell is incredibly cheap. Avocados are three for $1. Plantains are $0.79/lb. A giant bundle of cilantro is $0.79. I've made two batches of guacamole in the last week (WHOEVER GAVE US THE CUISINART, I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE BUT I LOVE YOU), and each time it's lasted for a couple days and has cost under $2. This is wonderful considering Jim has still not received a paycheck.

He at least has a job, and has been working since we got back from Dragon*Con (which was amazing, just like last year, and we already have our tickets for next year), but his company is incredibly disorganized and tends not to know where he is, or what cargo he's picking up, or whether the clients he's dealing with are actually open (hint, if it's a Sunday, they probably aren't. good job, company.). I am beginning to fear that they are going to come out and claim that Jim was never actually hired, and thus not pay him a single cent. Or worse, pay him for the last three weeks and the entire thing will be like $300.  Uuuuuggghh.

My dad is trying to get a housing voucher from the VA to live in San Francisco, so he's been around a lot lately, which has been really good. He is incredibly insecure, so I've been trying to reassure him that I do love him and that the distance I keep from him is because I'm married and just moved and got a new job and omg my life is busy. But Jim suggested we have my dad over for dinner, so we did on Saturday, and it was awesome. It went really well, and they are getting along just fine, and it was an enjoyable evening. I look forward to doing that again and forming a normal bond with my dad. Plus, he wants to teach both Jim and me everything he knows about leatherworking, which will be AWESOME. My dad uses his leather skills mostly to make belts and guitar straps and stuff for other people, mainly things with like football logos or mustang heads or whatever on them. Jim and I will use these skills to make leather armor and costume steampunk gear. We are excited.

I got to see my mom a couple weekends ago for the Reno Balloon Races, which was fun. We took my little sister (now 6.5yo), who had never been before. She was more interested in going to look for frogs in the pond than she was in the hot air balloons. Seriously, this child and I have nothing in common. She's a bright kid though, so that's good. And seeing my mom was awesome. I'm hoping to entice her over to the city to go to operas and plays and stuff - as soon as Jim starts getting a paycheck and we can afford to do that kind of thing.

I've been playing an online writing game. I think the technical description is "play-by-post online role-playing game". It started in February and has really been picking up lately; I just finished running a giant event that seems to have brought back some inactive people and drawn in some new ones, which is awesome. The world we play in is mostly based off the Dragonriders of Pern series, with some Dune influence thrown in. It's been cool to work on writing lately; it's a hobby I've had for ages but haven't been able to indulge in much in the last half-decade or so. I still don't think I'll do NaNoWriMo again, as I have no lingering desire to write a novel, but I AM really enjoying spending a lot of my free time writing little scenes with the handful of characters I've created.

We went to a Ren Faire last weekend. I got my hair braided. It was awesome.

All in all, things are much much much MUCH better than they were in August. I'd say we're very nearly settled now, and I might even be re-developing a fondness for San Francisco, though I'm wary now. City, you have burned me, and you must earn my renewed affection!
oceantheorem: (Default)
On a particularly wet, miserable day in England during our honeymoon, Jim and I ducked into a store to escape the cold and wet misery, and saw this book on a shelf:

Apparently you won't think it's funny if you're not British, and we didn't buy it, but "Is it just me or is everything shit?" has become sort of our mantra for things that really, really suck. Like awful parties you have to attend because of social obligations, or conversations about homeless people and how our society doesn't take care of them, or San Francisco altogether. Because San Francisco is sort of shit. Maybe five years ago it wasn't. Or maybe it still isn't if you're a tourist. But this has been the worst three weeks I've ever spent in California, and I'm counting the ones I spent failing Physics exams in college.

Everything has fallen apart. Our cat is gone and I'm worried about how she is (or isn't) adjusting. She's tiny and stupid and has no idea what's happening to her; apparently she peed on the new owner's floor and I'm worried they're either not going to like her or worse, they're not giving her enough attention and she's going to start acting out, because she's a stupid needy little beast and she likes to cuddle and if she doesn't get cuddles she will bite feet. I don't know what peeing on the floor means; she's never done that before. Also Jim still doesn't have a freaking job, and I'm making a lot more now, but our rent is four times as much and I'm certainly not making THAT much more. And every social interaction I've had with people who are friends or used to be friends has been kind of strained and awkward. Obviously this means I'm doing something wrong or acting incorrectly somehow, but I don't know what the problem is exactly or how to fix it. I am stressed out, lonely, flat broke, and still living in a house full of extroverts who don't want us around. Maybe this isn't the best time to be trying out social interactions, but I'm pretty sure this is the definition of when a person needs friends the most.

I think it might be just me (well, just Jim and me), but I'm pretty sure everything is shit.

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