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Posts Tagged ‘going west’


I’ve been in California for seven months, and I finally felt my first earthquake.

What’s funny is that it didn’t feel like what people told me it would. In fact, it happened twenty minutes ago, but I wasn’t sure it was an earthquake until just now, when the USGS map updated. More than anything, it felt like a reeeeeeeally big gust of wind came along and knocked my building a bit sideways, like when you’re in a car and a semi goes whooshing past — but I seriously doubt any gust of wind is big enough to make this entire row of townhouses rock like that. Sure enough: earthquake. 4.3, ESE of San Jose.

I know I’ve experienced a billion and one earthquakes since coming here, but none of them big enough that I noticed them. Now I have. I can mark that off my checklist.

In which the moving castle moves house

Castle N 3.0 is up and running!

Well, not running. Groaning under the weight of boxes, perhaps. But our stuff is here; I’m sitting on my own couch, facing my own TV, and nothing is obviously missing, though as we unpack we may find something has gone astray. Right now, though, I ain’t worried about that.

(Unless the thing that has gone astray is the DVD player. kniedzw and I are bound and determined to be mindless couch potatoes tonight, if we can possibly manage it.)

It’ll take a while to settle in. But at least now we can start.

Update #2

Next up, housing.

We managed to finish packing in time for the movers’ arrival last week (though I had to abandon kniedzw to the task of handling them, since by then I was on my way to Dallas). More importantly, we managed — right before he left — to secure a sublease for our apartment, which we were on the hook for through April. Praise Be to the gods of housing, indeed. This is particularly worth noting because the subleaser we had lined up backed off at the last instant, leaving us with nothing. (I was caught somewhere between despair and murderous rage when I found that out, because I got the e-mail at 4:30 in the morning, right before we left to drive to the hospital for my father’s surgery. Can you say bad timing?) Anyway, all is well.

So now our stuff is somewhere in the Midwest, on its way here, and in the meantime we’re living at my brother’s house, which is where kniedzw has been all this summer. Our new place has a number of lovely things going for it, chief of which are the three skylights in the upstairs ceiling; combine that with big windows in the master bedroom and living room, and high ceilings and big rooms in general, and I am a happy cat with many sunbeams to nap in. (Once I have furniture instead of just a floor, that is.) My office is noticeably pink in the daytime, though, owing to the sun on the red roof tiles across the courtyard. Oh well. I can put up with pink.

Even better, it’s within walking distance of all kinds of fantabulous things. (Yes, d_aulnoy, such things do exist in California. Just not the part of it you’re living in.) After six years in a town with no Vietnamese food whatsoever, I now live within two minutes of some — most of those two minutes being spent getting out of and around my own apartment complex; if I could leap over the roof I’d be there in less than a minute. Had lunch there yesterday, and it wasn’t great, but you know what? There’s another one a block away, and more if I go looking. Yes, I am in the land of Asian Food Galore, particularly if you’re looking for Japanese. The Japanese population in San Mateo is dense enough that the restaurants don’t even have to call themselves “Royal Tokyo” or “Mr. Sushi;” they can be more obscure things like “Kaimuki” or even just “Liquid.” Y’know, like a normal restaurant, that can call itself whatever sounds nice.

Wandered on foot around downtown San Mateo for a little while this afternoon. It’s quite pleasant, and there’s Shakespeare in the Park this weekend, which always makes me look kindly on a town. (It’s Pericles, no less; this place has enough confidence in its outdoor Shakespeare to do the less-familiar plays.) The movie theatre is damned expensive, but it’s within walking distance, and it doesn’t suck like the Kerasotes monopoly in Bloomington, so hey.

More to come on this topic, I’m sure, once I actually start moving in.


We’re going into the last week of “pack to move halfway across the country while also going full-steam ahead through the novel,” and I’m trying to be as good as I can about policing my sanity. I can, you see, be very bad about figuring out when I need to take breaks, and when those breaks need to involve human beings not inside the Magic Picture Box.

To that end, I wandered down to moonartemis76‘s place this evening, and we finished our tour through the Terminator movies by watching T3: Rise of the Machines. I wanted to see it mostly to bridge between T2 and the upcoming Salvation, but I have to say: surprisingly, it was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. In fact, I don’t think I would call it bad. Not as good as the first two, and overly self-indulgent when it comes to the special effects — but they did a nice job of finding ways to rotate their ideas* and develop motifs from the previous movies. The call-backs were pretty thick on the ground, but that’s kind of a feature on the franchise. (“She’ll be back.” Etc.)

I’m interested to see the fourth movie, and I do want to give The Sarah Connor Chronicles a shot at some point, since apparently that isn’t half-bad, either. As far as franchise survival goes, this one is maintaining a better average of quality than most — which is to say, not phenomenal, but not a steady downhill slide, either.

*By “rotate their ideas,” I mean things like how Schwarzenegger was the bad guy in the first film but the good guy in the second — and if you watch T2, they do an excellent job of faking you out on that front. The series works very conscientiously to set up your expectations and then do something new. The “something new” isn’t always brilliant, but I give them points for trying.

assortment of things

Back home again. Trying to catch up on e-mail. Didn’t I just do this?

2008: the year in which I spend my entire summer playing catch-up. Oh goodie.

road thoughts

Eight states and four time zones later, we’ve reached California. Thoughts on the trip:

Good God, the U.S. is huge.

Going east to west is nice; you effectively get 25-hour days.

So glad I’m not driving back. Especially since I’d have to do it alone.

Just how big is this place?

Thank God for cruise control. I’m pretty certain I didn’t touch the gas or the brake for three hours in western Kansas — and that isn’t hyperbole.

Watching the gas mileage change going up into Colorado is depressing. Watching it change coming down out of Colorado is glee-making.

Especially in a hybrid. Thank God for those, too.

How is all of this a single country?

leaving, not on a jet plane

Commencing road trip to California. I probably won’t have internet access again until the end of the week (and sporadically until the 17th), so don’t feel bad if I don’t answer your comment or e-mail or whatever. But any images of Midnight Never Come sent in while I’m gone will be counted for the giveaway.


Come one, come all!

I’m posting this publicly to cast as wide a net as possible, but it’s only of direct interest to local people (for a suitably broad definition of “local”).

Next week, kniedzw will be loading up the car and Going West, preparatory to starting his new job. I’ll be driving with him, to split the task, and say hi to Bay Area folks; then I’ll be flying back to write a novel, pack, write a novel, have eye surgery, pack, write a novel, pack, pack, go to a con, pack pack packpackpack and eventually move.

BUT! Before we do that, we’re having a going-away bash. Because I’m dumb and was also out of town, I didn’t get the clubhouse reserved, so this will be at our place. If you ever hung out with kniedzw, or gamed with him, or were fed baked goods by him, and want to bid him farewell, come on by!

WHERE: Castle N (e-mail for directions, if you need them)
WHEN: Sunday, starting at 6 p.m., going until whenever
WHY: Because you’re going to miss him
WHAT TO BRING: A la the Boggan Birthday Bash, I’d greatly appreciate donations of drink, food, baked goods, and assistance dealing with the aftermath, so that we can keep kniedzw from doing any of that himself. I’m damned if he’s going to host his own going-away party, even if it takes thirty of us to stop him.

Feel free to pass this along to anyone not on LJ that might want to come.