succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What can one do with seven days in CA?

One can spend a few nights with an old friend/new coworker, find an apartment (as Sid points out in comments, the link in the previous post is no longer good; and yes, that's a washer and dryer in the corner of that pic of the bathroom!),

spend a few more days with a friend from grad school and her beautiful baby boy, work half a day at the shiny new job, spend a few more days with a roommate from college, and visit Napa.

Good God, I miss mountains!

Monday, April 27, 2009

My new home, starting sometime end of May.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This should make that plane ride home particularly enjoyable.

Now that's what I needed

I'm out west, apartment hunting, and so far life is tiring but good. I'm optimistic about my current options, but since nothing is finalized yet I don't want to go too far out on a limb describing any of them. I'm in denial about the reality that Cleo won't be coming out here with me, but other than that, I'm feeling good about the community I'll be moving in to. While hunting I'm staying with an old friend and new coworker, who shares her house with the kind of community of friends I remember from my days at Belmar with AWB and PC. The kinds of people who hug me tightly and say, "I'm glad we're going to be friends." I like, and need, demonstrative people. Much as I like my crowd back in atlanta, and much as I'm going to miss them, I have to be honest about the fact that a lot of my core community move on last year or the year before.

My current roommate is awesome, and it is sad to be leaving her, but the other night we had a little impromptu gathering at our place, and lovely though it was, I had to look around the room and think, these are her friends, and this is their time. As it should be. But it reminded me with a pang of nostalgia of my first year here - with the boys and all the other chemistry and public health nerds, working our little butts off, but also spontaneously staying up nights drinking and talking. We don't do that as much, as we all start growing up and having 'jobs' and families. Which is as it should be, and as it always inevitably was going to be.

I guess I'm just saying that there's this pleasant, organic sort of ending happening to my time in the south. And I'm grateful to be moving to a place with a safety net of people.

Which brings me to A, about whom I've been thinking today. She just landed in Germany and is having a tough time of it. I'm not trying to rub in how great my set of circumstances is, just acknowledging how big and scary life changes are, and how doubly big and scary they are without a safety net. I know she'll do all right, but I hope she finds someone soon who will say they're glad to be her friend.

(written on airplane 4 days ago)
Money Money Money

What’s with the social standard that it’s impolite or inappropriate to discuss income? Is there any gain to be had? Except, perhaps, for employers? Isn’t not talking about salary how we get in to Lily Ledbetter situations? If we all knew what comparable work in our field was earning, wouldn’t we all be better off for the knowledge? Isn’t that how a free market is supposed to work? How can healthy competition exist when the employer setting the salary holds all the cards of knowledge? What am I missing? Besides the social awkwardness of volunteering for your friends and neighbors how much money you make, what’s to lose? Don’t we all already have a vague idea of where we fit within the financial hierarchy of our peers? What’s the harm in knowing specifically?

Kindle 2 – a review

Thanks to an incredibly generous friend, I am now the proud owner of a brand new, shiny Kindle 2. Clearly, this little bit of cutting edge technology is never going to replace my book collection. But they’ve done a surprisingly good job with design – satisfying weight, size, and shape, intuitive page-turning – that lends itself to a rather enjoyable reading experience (with the exception of a fairly dismal toggle button). So my kindle fits an excellent niche – as we speak I am headed to SF for a week, with only two ‘books’ in my bag – one actual library book and my kindle. My back thanks me for lightening the load. The only unfortunate aspect at the moment is that I forgot to charge the damn thing before leaving the house. So I may be stuck with trashy magazines for the flight home (it’s supposed to go two weeks on one charge if you turn off the wireless, but I’ve been using mine quite a bit already over the past several days, so it’s pretty close to empty. I managed to remember power cords for the phone, camera, and laptop, so I suppose as things go I forgot the lowest priority one). The only other immediate downside is no reading during take-off and landing (I assume? The thing has a power switch, so technically I’m not allowed to use it, right?).

The other thing the kindle is lacking is a Netflix-esque library feature. Pretty much by definition, I’m loading books onto my kindle that I don’t want to keep forever (if I did, I would buy tangible copies to add to my already-too-large collection). So although kindle books tend to cost about the same as a trade paperback, there are still tons of books I’d rather not pay for, as I’m going to burn through them once on a long flight and never come back to them. How hard would it be to get a library system up and running for a monthly fee with expiration dates or exchanges a la Netflix?