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)
o.0

We got the Redwood City place.
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: (women and tea)

Okay, where to even start?

We moved in to the crazy community house in San Francisco on August 1st. It seemed awesome. The house is incredible; it's a beautifully preserved and restored Victorian mansion, with original flooring and woodwork everywhere. I'm totally in love with it.  The people for the most part seem pretty cool, and the first week was exciting as we got to meet all the new housemates.

Apparently the people organizing the house didn't like us as much as we liked them, because they told us on August 6th that they didn't think we were a good fit for the community they are trying to create and they'd like us to move out. They offered to let us stay for the month of August rent-free while we look for a new place, but other than that it was non-negotiable. We were both pretty shocked and upset at first, but as the last couple weeks have gone by I'm more and more on board with the "we are not a good fit" assessment. I think we had expected a community house in which people hung out together, cooked dinner together, had interesting conversations about the structure and nature of society, etc... and what we have instead is sort of a house in which no one is ever around except for an hour or two late each evening, and then they talk about their startup businesses and how awesome they are and how they are going to modify this incredibly beautiful Victorian house to turn the basement into some kind of hostel. They don't communicate well. They don't seem to have any regard for other human beings. They seem to be happy to be at the top of the financial pyramid, and their only concern is how to climb further upwards. It is extremely frustrating to have moved into a community house in California and to realize that the people inside it are capitalistic and competitive. Seriously. How weird is that?

So anyway, we found a new place to live. It's extraordinarily expensive - like four times as much as we were paying for our 1-bedroom in Ypsilanti - and it's a studio loft. So it's basically a living room with a space for a bed above, but hey, we spend all our time on our computers anyway, so it's not like we need a lot of space... The good news is that it's extremely conveniently located. It's a very easy bike ride to work for me, and it's right next to the BART station on Market Street, so Jim can get to work in Oakland really easily (assuming he actually gets this job). 

Speaking of jobs... Jim went to LA last week for orientation and training, but still doesn't know if he actually has the job. Apparently this company is having trouble getting Jim's last employer to verify his exact employment dates. Maybe they keep their records on cowhide or something, because otherwise I don't see how this could possibly be a difficult fact to verify.

My job is really good. I like my new lab and I like the research. I'm working with a German postdoc, and he's got a great sense of humor and has given me a ton to do, so I feel like I'm starting off hitting the ground running, which is nice. I've only been here two weeks and I can already do a large portion of the things the lab does. I am getting up to speed really quickly.

The negative part of the new job has been all the HR stuff. All the official paperwork and security and benefits stuff has been one long nightmare. First I had to get a university ID card, which I couldn't do until I had a California driver's license, because my Michigan driver's license still had my maiden name on it. So two trips to the DMV and one trip to Santa Cruz later (there was a saga involving the loss of the original certificate of marriage, so I had to drive to Santa Cruz to get a new one), I have a temporary CA driver's license that has my married name on it, and the university finally issued me an ID. Of course then it took another WEEK to get me access to the building, despite the fact that I had completed all of the online safety training... I actually got access to the animal facility before I got access to the building itself. This building is so secure you have to scan your card to use the elevator, so I actually got trapped once trying to get from the animal facility back to my floor, because the elevator wouldn't let me select the correct floor.

So now I'm trying to sign up for health insurance and shit, and I log into the stupid university website with my social security number and my birthdate, like I'm told to, and it comes up with my maiden name and tells me I'm not an employee. WTF? Some digging around shows that my last W2 form (wait, why do I have one?) was issued in 2005. Oh right. I worked as a TA at UCSC my second year of college... in 2005... so I have technically been an employee in the UC system before.

Further digging reveals that there has been no mixup with names or employment dates. The problem is not that I existed previously as my maiden name. The problem is that the person in HR responsible for putting me in the system last week typed in my social security number wrong. So there are now two accounts for me in the UC system - one from 2005 with the right SSN and wrong name and no current employment info, and one from last week with the right name and right employment info that I can't access, because it isn't attached to my SSN. And no one in HR is answering the phone this afternoon. ::headdesk::

Apparently there is now internet available at the House of Awkward, though, so I'm about to head home and see if the rumors are true. It will be nice to have internet access again!

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