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Archive for the ‘Berkeley’ Category

Making Plans

So, today started with the building where the lab is smelling of wood smoke… and the FD evacuating the building, and finding a small fire on the roof courtesy, one assumes, of the roofers who are putting a much-needed new roof on the building.  While this was going on, my phone went off – it was the owner of the management company who deals with the building where my apartment in Berkeley is – who said he had found the check, and described his partner as an idiot.  So, that is sorted.

Given that the apartment is locked in, I booked my flight (not for free in the end, but I will live – $285 to get the cat and me out there on Southwest) and my moving container ($1505, much less than the website had quoted me – which was $2200).  So, with everything else, it should be more than doable.  This is good.

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So, after traveling through time at one second per second for the last year, I am now twenty four years of age – I had a quiet but enjoyable birthday – had dinner and much wine with friends at a wine bar here in Nashville.  Much joviality was had by all.

Irritations include the USPS losing track of my deposit for my apartment in Berkeley… they claim that they will call me tomorrow with news as to where they delivered the priority mail envelope, but I am distinctly unamused.

And now, with a decent amount of wine on board, with work in the morning and a cat who is happy to see me, I am off to bed.

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Alright.  I am back from a whirlwind trip out to Berkeley, where I stalked the feral apartment through the underbrush (and the hippies, and the hordes of homeless, and the impressive gardens)… and I ran down my quarry and subdued it.  As it happens, I think I did damn well – I wanted a place in North Berkeley (as south of campus is the undergraduate district, as well as being Not As Nice), close(ish) to the lab and within useful striking distance of Useful Things (e.g., bakeries, groceries, bookstores).  Also, I needed a landlord who did not have a problem with the Dread Feline Overlord (who is, in reality, fifteen pounds of harmless beastie with a taste for sleeping in the sun).

I found a place (listed as a studio – hell, I would call it an extended studio – one main room, a detached kitchen and a bathroom; three closets [one laughably tiny, one linen closet and a walkin closet in the main room with a builtin bureau]) that is less than five minutes from the lab, while being a similar distance from the center of the gourmet ghetto.  So, five minutes on foot for excellent bread and cheese (Cheeseboard Collective), about ten minutes for groceries and alcohol (new Trader Joe’s at MLK and University; also, Andronico’s about 10min north) and about the same for one of the better bookstores in the area… I did damn well.

I spent three nights with friends who live in SF (one is a research assistant with the lab I am joining; the other did her PhD with my new adviser in his days at UC Davis) and had an awesome time.  Things to note: good coffee is easy to come by in the bay area (at least in comparison to Nashville, and I came back with 0.5# of BBCC’s beans), good Persian food is absolutely awesome (and that meal rekindled my love of pomegranate molasses) and there is such a thing as Tacos the Wombat Wants to Eat*.  I owe said friends several meals once I get settled in Berkeley, methinks.

The only lame aspect of my trip was my set of flights from the bay area back to Nashville : Oakland to Salt Lake City to Denver to Nashville… took off from Oakland at 1:20pm (which meant I was at the airport around noon)… landed Nashville at 12:20am.  That being said, Southwest is still awesome (they have a tendency to forget to charge me for alcohol on flights… so a scotch was had on the Denver-Nashville leg to blunt the pain of twelve hours of travel).  Had to eat a ~3hr layover in Denver (lame)… grabbed dinner (lame, but edible).  The nice bit is that said flights pushed me over threshold for Rapid Rewards, so I now have a free flight with Southwest – which I intend to use (well, half of it) to fly from Nashville to Oakland come August (when I move for good).  Even with the Overlord, I should only be out $87.50 to fly most of the way across the country ($2.50 security fee, $75 pet fee, $10 for early-A group boarding), which is better than the $250 is was going to be.

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