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Archive for the ‘Graduate School’ Category

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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