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Archive for August, 2008


Another “too tired to post” post. Too tired to post. Tummy full of meat. Had a wonderful day with birthday Lewis! Got up and made french toast from yesterday’s tea sandwich leftovers. Then went to downtown Sac to go to the train museum but got waylaid by a historically reenacted good time (and tasty comestables) at the “Sacramento County National Historic Day” (not sure what the deal is with a national day for a county, but I’m not complaining). Went thereafter back to the Lawyers’ for presents and then off to Winters to finish off at the Buckhorn. Very tasty. Very tired!


Much to tired to post a proper post. But let it suffice to say our housewarming was a total success, and our friends are all so lovely! I’m full to the brim with satisfaction in so many ways. Also… how on earth did we all manage to eat so much? A question for the ages.

Ups and Downs

It’s been a tumultuous day.  Got up late, again, which is something that I’d like to stop doing.  The Olympics really threw my schedule off and now that I don’t need to stay up to midnight or later I’d like to get back in the habit of getting up early.  It’s especially nice to be up in the wee hours in Davis cause you get more time during the not-so-hot parts of the day.  I think it was 105 today.  Blech.   Anyway.

I’ve been on a smoothie kick ever since moving here.  I’m not sure if it’s because fresh fruit is the one thing we always seem to have at hand, or if it’s because Davis weather is really conducive to cold liquid refreshment.  Either way, I see no end in sight.  So I started my day with a smoothie, per usual.  Didn’t have any big plans (also a poor way to start the day when you’re as plan-centric as I am) so I wandered around for a while deciding what to do with myself and decided I’d set up my workstation in the garage.  I’ve been wanting to build a Craft-style workspace where I can do dirty DIY things in my garage and make silly stuff. So I’ve got a spot all picked out, and I’m going to use our old prep table from El Cerrito… but the garage has been too messy to do it so far. I moved a few pieces of furniture today, but by then it was already hot out and hanging out in the garage seemed less fun than planned. I mowed the lawn instead.

That was pretty much the height of my day. Made lunch after that (shout out to Annie’s mac & cheese should probably go here) and then spent a significant portion of my afternoon finishing up my CD project. Think I’ve got all the pertinent cds in my computer now! Not sure how I lost a few of them in the first place, but all these multi-computer file transfers (of 7000 files no less) just always seem to spring leaks. Anyway, crisis averted, Pearl Jam collection restored, duplicates erased, and all is well. Even got several albums ripped that I had been meaning to do for some time. Sons of the Pioneers, here I come!

After that I sank a bit, feeling despondent about our impending housewarming party. I’ve been too tired and too uninspired to do anything to prepare, but after Lewis and I talked it out I think I’m back on the horse. Gonna make a bunch of tasty tea sandwiches and minimuffins. Num. So I spent the last few hours going over recipes and preparing for a grocery trip tomorrow. It’s kind of nice to be at the Co-op every other day or every three or so. But it does make me feel like I’m just shoving money in my mouth all day. Where does all this food go? (Answer: smoothies).

Anyway, I’m trying to make it to be before midnight so I’d better cut myself off here. Lots of chores to do tomorrow — going to UCD to sign more paperwork and finally finish signing up for classes! And then shopping, prepping, cleaning, all that. Good stuff. Hopefully getting up early will put me on the right side of the bed this time!


Yay, thanks UC Davis!

Went to campus this morning to go over my TA paperwork and get some questions about classes straightened out.  Turns out, I was completely retardedly going about trying to figure out what classes I should take.  Turns out universities publish “course catalogs” that have “prerequisite information” and “descriptions” about the classes.  Golly gee!  Also it turns out that the department has a “website” with “documents” that might list the “degree requirements”.  I’m on a whole new track of study here.  And I’ve jettisoned all my undergradute-level classes!  Woot!

Also the department took pity on me and is letting me register for a full class since it’s in my requirements.  I’m actually getting two requirements out of the way!  I’ve only got four classes I’m required to take, and the rest are in-department and free electives.  I think I’m gonna take those electives as neuroscience courses, which should be really awesome, though a little scary!  Just need to get started on the right foot there.

Anyway, today was much great success!  Now I just have to make it through dinner and waiting for this weather to cool off and we’ll be golden!  Weather says it’s 102 out… and it’s going to be hotter tomorrow!   Good day to stay inside and unpack some more boxes.


Blogging at night always makes me stay up too late. Perhaps I’ll make a little list and try not to be verbose. Today I:

  • went to a pub breakfast with Lewis’ high school buddies in Sacramento
  • did a small house tour with Lewis’ aunt and cousin, who also took some of their furniture out of our garage (yay!)
  • put away a few more boxes.  Nearly done with the immediately useable stuff…
  • started an audit of the music that made it onto my lappie to make sure everything’s there.  I’ve been missing a whole bunch of bits and pieces.  Lots left to do on this, but it’s nice to feel like certain bands are already taken care of.
  • chatted with Armand!  It’s so excellent to have him in my time zone again.  And with a girl to tease him about!

Tomorrow I’ve got to meet with our department administrator to get some TA paperwork done (W2 type stuff, my guess) and either meet with or email the graduate advisor about all those questions I was whining about.  Maybe I’ll take the lappy to campus and see if I can’t find a wireless hotspot or some such to use.

Now good night!

California, Curtains, Cocktail

Got so much stuff done today, it’s great.  I should probably also mention I just had a delicious cocktail and I’m feeling both sleepy and spunky.

Lewis made scones this morning, which was pretty much the best way to kick off a Monday.  Went to Woodland thereafter (to the very sad, very run-down County Fair Mall) to get some cheap supplies for the new bed in our guest bedroom, and curtains for ours. Boy do I hate shopping in those big department stores. When you’re looking for cheap, they’re the way to go, though, and that is definitely what was on the order of the day. Did manage to find some sheets for our odd-sized (single?) bed and curtains, and two new pillows to boot. Too bad it took us forever!

Came back to Davis to do a little Lewis-birthday shopping (while he got some bike supplies and more folk music at Armadillo). Feeling a little better about the inevitable belatedness of the major present, but it’s still rather silly that I mussed this all up. Anyway, wrapped some presents this evening on our awesome work desk and got a little bit of cleaning done – vacuumed, swept the kitchen, etc. It’s really starting to look pretty homey in here with our curtains and all that. Or I’m just getting used to where everything is. Finally!

I spent forever on Facebook last night, a thing I’m not normally apt to do. Perhaps I was feeling my having-nothing-to-do collegey best, or was just feeling disconnected from everyone. But I finally friended a ton of people who were in my “you may also know” list, and it’s pretty excellent seeing what everyone is up to. Making me excited to go back to Seattle next week! Good gravy, that’s next week already… we really need to get some stuff done before that happens. Like send in our residency paperwork to UCD.

Speaking of UCD… I told Lewis today if they were a service I was paying for (and not expecting something like my PhD back from) I would have cancelled them by now. I can’t figure out how to do anything, and I refuse to believe it’s because I’ve been out of “the school environment” for three years already. I have no idea what classes I’m supposed to take, should take, can take, must take… I got waitlisted on the class I was most excited about. The prereq-type class I thought I had to take (though now am unsure I even need to take, if it’s even a graduate course..) cooccurs with the class I TA for. All I managed to register so far is a class I’m rather nervous to take cause I’ve never been any good at it — Semantics. I’m really starting to get frustrated that I’m going through all this trouble for a bunch of classes I don’t even want to be in.

Every time we ask the department for help we get this crazy roundabout answer that leaves me more confused about what’s going on that I was before I asked. And that’s saying something! We both got billed (though only Lewis got an email about it…) and I’m not sure how we pay the school, since our funding packages both include our fees and tuition. Though the email I got from the department today told me I would be responsible for the (heretofore unmentioned) “remaining 214 dollars”. …sure. Whatever.

I really feel like I need an advisor just to get me to the point where I walk into campus and sit down in a class. You know, with my registration done, residency verified, fees cleared, and a paycheck in my hand. Oh. And why in the world does the first stipend disbursement happen in *November*? That’s six weeks after school starts! What the hell does everyone do for all that time, just sitting around waiting to get paid? Why would that take so long? Sigh. I wonder how much of this has to do with graduate school generally speaking, how much is Davis specifically, and how much of this has to do with being at a state school instead of a private school.

Sigh. This is nothing I should be getting worked up about right before bed. We have a breakfast date tomorrow to a pub in Sacramento, and I spent all evening working on an amusing geography project. Perhaps I’ll close this blog with the fruits of my labors: a map of California counties and whether Lewis (blue) or I (yellow.. nearly completely absent) or both of us (green!) have been to them. Criteria dictates that we had to have slept a night there, or done some kind of serious touristing to count as having “seen”. No interstate fly-bys. Viola:

Map of Counties Visited in CA

Map of Counties Visited in CA

Wordpress.. *fist shake*

I sat down at this computer hours ago to fix the mess the wordpress update had done to my page.  After all that ridiculosity (if I may) it turned out to be a problem with permalinks.  Sigh.  Getting Wordpress to work (let alone the same way over three installs) is like trying to put together a puzzle… a thousand piece puzzle that comes with three thousand pieces in the box, all the same color and nearly the same shape.  And every time you leave the room, someone switches a few out.  And the instructions are in Hungarian Pig Latin.  But here I am, and here is everything else at least doing what it’s supposed to.  Even some internal stuff from the last version fixed so it actually works on the back-end too.  Oh and by “everything” I mean not the password protected posts.  Which are most of them.

Anyway, we had a wonderful bike-jaunt to a neat old church today which Lewis has most delightfully blogged about on our more public-consumption-type blog. I wish I knew a way to migrate the old Blogger stuff from Cambridge into there… but that’s asking an awful lot. I tried migrating my LJ in here once and decided keeping things separate is probably all for the best, even if it makes me feel like I need to be defragmented.

Spent the rest of the evening watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics. Sigh! Have to wait two more years until another games, but I’ll survive. It’s a shame it’s probably uber expensive to go see anything, since for the first time (in my adulthood anyway) the games are going to be nearby. I’d love to go hang in Vancouver and watch some sweet ski jump or figure skating action. But I shant! Seems like a thing to save up for, so I can go when I’m all rich and retired. I’ll enjoy them either way.

I’m going to attempt to go to bed at some kind of reasonable hour tonight… this 1 am business is bad form.  Especially since I don’t need to stay up for these broadcasts any more.  I finished signing up for classes (I think?  Another long story…) and I’ve got a 10:00 am class I really should be ready to get up for.  Besides, I’d like to start biking or going to the gym or something in the mornings and getting up at 9:30 or 10 just isn’t going to cut it.  I wonder how I join the gym…  Lewis and I really need to figure out this student ID business so we can play in the library and such.  But we’ll be in Seattle in a week!  And school starts just a few weeks after we get back.  It’s all coming up so fast!


It’s been almost 20 days since post-the-last. Egad! I’m not sure I’m going to spend much time recapping those days. Let it suffice to say that there was a mad rush at packing, a furniture move sooner than planned, several box-gathering trips, several cleaning adventures, and a long, long series of unpacking and fidgeting days. In the last few days we’ve managed to get the last of the big boxes out of the way and have worked up to hanging pictures and arranging rooms. Woot!

We had a really productive day yesterday, hitting up the Co-op (my new love!), the Village Bakery, the Artery for a belated anniversary present (and a sweet calligraphy pen!), and The Paint Chip for framing. We must have spent at least an hour trying to figure out how to frame two sets of three odd-sized works of art. The girl there was so cooperative and indulged our sense of cheapness and eventually helped us figure out how to strike the perfect balance of cheap and decent looking. Ended up getting cheap ready-to-use type frames (with glass and all) and having them cut custom mats for them, and then float-mounting them ourselves. I can’t believe how well it all turned out! First art up in the new house!

Oo, we also had a very excellent party last night at Dylan’s house. I may have drank most of a bottle of wine by myself. I hardly ever drink, but apparently I was in the mood last night, and I must say it turned out to be a really great night. Good company, good drinks, all that. I’m also surprisingly completely not hung over this morning. I don’t know if it was the banana and peanuts and water Lewis fed me when we got home, or if I didn’t drink as much as I thought, or what… but woke up (rather late) this morning and all was well! Only amusing thing to note (other than there being a guy at the party last night who was the perfect combination of Sean Nelson and Scott Greider…) was that Lewis and I took a route through UCD campus to get home last night and definitely ended up riding through a sprinkler. Very surprising at 2 am. Oh, and we had to do a drunken tire patching job before we could take off. Great success!

We’ve also got next weekend to look forward to — we’re having a housewarming / hushed birthday party for Lewis on Saturday. Think lots of folks will be showing up, which is most excellent. We’re leaving for Seattle a few days after that, which is making everything feel like it’s coming up really quickly. Stupidly I put off ordering Lewis’ present till just today and now I’m sure it’ll arrive while we’re in Seattle… which totally sucks. We’ve been awful with presents this year for some reason, and I’m usually so good with them. Booooooooo. I do have a few other ideas up my sleeve, so I think I’ll at least pull of a half-yer-presents-now, half-yer-presents-later sort of thing. Sigh. Suboptimal!

Tomorrow is a trip down to Berkl to have dinner with Armandka and welcome him back to California. I’m so excited we’re finally on the same coast of the same continent. It’s been ages! I’m not sure how the whole train thing is going to work. I’m feeling a bit like maybe borrowing one of the Lawyers’ cars so we can hop in and out whenever. Not to mention the 75 bucks per train trip (two tickets, round trip) is a bit off-putting. But I guess we’ll see. I suspect Lewis is pretty adverse to asking to borrow a car for a thing we could do by ourselves, and I too am a little wary of driving when we could be taking public transit. It’s odd to be up against that money-vs-idealism wall again and it’ll be interesting to see how it all falls out. 75 bucks richer and come-as-we-please, but yuckily driving and parking? Or 75-bucks poorer, somewhat time-pressed, but more relaxed transit and more environmental?


Don’t think I’ll bother much with a nuts-and-bolts update today. Suffice it to say that we went to Nibs, moved a carload up to Davis, unpacked it, and came home. And packed some more.

What’s really on my mind tonight is home – the make up of the mental space that is occupied by all these disparate associations. When you change major locations as often as I have, home gets to be a big mish-mash of unrelated items. But every now and again, something floats to the surface that can’t really be explained in any way other than it warms my heart that these very things even exist and are a part of my being.

There’s a feeling, more than a place, that Seattle-y things remind me of. I was in Redmond for my first Christmas break from college. I had been so homesick and had not at all made particularly good friends in LA. I had broken with almost all of my friends from the south end, and had recently been actively fighting with the remainder. I was dating someone on the other side of the world, and it wasn’t going particularly well either. My parents had moved to this new house just the year prior (the latter half of my senior year) and it wasn’t anywhere I felt attached to.

Yet somehow this all combines to create what has become my most cherished memory, and the feeling I was referring to. It’s late at night, and I’ve been reading Annie Dillard’s The Living, a wonderful novel about the original white settlers in Seattle. Annie Dillard herself holds a very special place in my heart, and anyone who has read her other works should probably be familiar with her naturalist bent. Anyway, I’ve been reading alone late into the night, and as I decide to turn in I realize it’s been raining softly for a while. Seattle has this indescribable soft rain that just delights me. It’s not so loud as to wake you, not so wet as to drench you, and not infrequent enough to ever really be missed. The skies open up, like one eye peeking out of sleep, and the smallest, steadiest, most comforting rain whispers at you all night. I cracked my window open, and was so surprised at the smell outside. When you’ve lived your whole life in the area you don’t realize how special rain on pine smells, but there’s nothing like it in the world. And I hadn’t realized that I missed it until that moment. In all my loneliness, my heart was full of comfort and wonder, and I fell asleep supremely happy. This is home in my heart.

That was a rather long preamble to my primary point – there are a lot of silly things in this world, like the smell of the wind, that take me straight to this place. Today I realized that place names are one of those things. A while back I blogged about how I thought I heard someone say something Seattle-y on the BART and got all nostalgic, and this is pretty much the same thing. Lewis and I were trying to puzzle out posible etymologies for Suisun (City) on our drive back in, and it got me started on etymologies for Northwest cities which we had been forced to learn in Pacific Northwest History in Junior High. Our teacher had pounded in the idea that the “-mish” morpheme means “people”, and spent a seemingly interminable amount of time listing off words that ended in “-mish”.

I rattled them off to Lewis in the car, pausing ridiculously before the suffix, as she did: “Skyko…mish. Snoho…mish. Stillagua…mish.” It got me to wondering about other potential morphemes we could maybe figure out — what about the “muk” in Mukilteo, Muckleshoot, and Tillamook? Or the “coom” of Steilacoom? I have a book that has etymological information about many of the Northwest Tribes, so I spent a while this evening looking it up while unwinding from our moving adventures. And that’s when I realized that the very words themselves seemed to have some kind of power in them. If not for everyone, for me. There’s something really special about these names… almost like being in a secret society, where only the members know them, let alone how to pronounce them. And the just dance off the tongue — say a few with me: Tulalip, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Nisqually, Loomis, Nooksack! Semiahmoo!

Where ever home is in my mental atlas… it’s peppered with these names. All said cherishingly.


We had intended on being in Davis fairly early this morning to meet people for lunch, but after my lack of sleep last night, we ended up sleeping in pretty late. By the time we were up, showered, breakfasted, and on our way to Amtrak it was past noon already, and it takes a bit of time to get out to Davis. Anyway, we got in about two, which was the perfect time for a hot dog with Francie, Emily and Andrew. We had seen a Food Network show which featured Pinks the night before, so I just couldn’t resist getting a spicy Polish with chili… mmm. The taste of LA.

Didn’t do much besides hang out in Davis today. We toodled over to our place to unload a few boxes to bring back home today, and met one of our neighbors in the process! Seems like a friendly lady, if a bit obvious about her concerns for keeping the neighborhood a quiet place. Anyway, we got to admire her garden and talk about the neighborhood kids (our neighbors across the street have year-old triplets.. egad!) and it generally left me with a warm fuzzy feeling about our new folks. We also decided to move to Davis sooner than later, as in moving our furniture before our junk instead of the opposite, which had been the plan heretofore.

So we’ve rented a U-Haul for Wednesday, and that will be the first night we all sleep in Davis. How wonderful! Only three more nights here! It’s a little sad how much I’m looking forward to getting out of El Cerrito, but the last month or two (perhaps since Memorial Day?) has been rather trying and I just have never really recovered the sense of safety and happiness my apartment had before that. I don’t want to lay all the blame on the neighbors downstairs, but their childish fighting certainly has a lot to do with it. I don’t know how our old neighbors were so quiet, but I never heard a peep out of them except the usual working-on-the-car noises, and the time they accidentally broke the window below us in the middle of the night (trying to let the cat in..). Sigh. It’s as if the new people do everything twice as loud and are half as nice. Davis. Three more nights!

I did freak out a little when we changed our plans, for fear that it’s going to be really hard to get that done. I think it’s more panic about moving so soon (or rather, at all) than anything else. I’m so tired today it felt like I barely got myself to Davis intact, let alone moved a whole apartment’s worth of furniture in one go. But I do want to be up there so bad, and I do think it’s going to be fairly simple to do so. As Lewis pointed out, it will be a lot easier to clean in here with the major items gone, and it will certainly be less messy in the new house if we move all our junk *after* our junk-storage has been placed and put up.

So tomorrow I think we’ll do some of the regular-type chores we need to do, like laundry, and going to the bank, and the dry-cleaners. Then we’ll drive a load of moving stuff up to Davis, and hopefully we can be back early enough to start packing the next load and breaking down bookshelves and junk. We’ll only have Tuesday thereafter to do so, and I’d rather like to have a head start on it before then. I should remind myself, though, that even if we have to do all that on Tuesday, it shouldn’t be impossible. We don’t have all that much furniture to break down. And I’ve already made a list!

Despite the noise downstairs (I think it’s mostly TV?), I think it’s time to capitalize on my level of sleepiness and nod off. It’s going to be a big week.