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Showing posts from May, 2006


Okay, so I do things that don't involve worrying about moving to San Francisco. Last night we saw the new X-Men movie. My thoughts:

1. Stay through the ending credits. There's an extra scene at the very end, after the credits.

2. Bryan Singer, come back! Something was missing from this film. It was just a series of action sequences held together by a very weak storyline. I know that's what X-Men films are anyway, but under Bryan Singer the storyline was better, more developed; I cared about the characters more; and there were fewer loose ends. This new director had me thinking about too many practical concerns. I couldn't get swept up in the magic of the mutants. (We also thought that a fourth one directed by Tim Burton would be fun.)

3. If you're unfamiliar with the X-Men like I am, it will take you a while to figure out what Kelsey Grammar's mutant does, other than be blue. They never refer to him as his mutant name, and he doesn't show his other powers unti…

The Movers and Moving

Today someone from the moving company is coming to evaluate our possessions. He's going to laugh and say, "That's it? You need movers for this small amount of crap?" We essentially have 2 couches and an armoire, and the rest is books, clothes, kitchen stuff, and random stuff. But we obviously can't bring all that on the plane. And we're hoping it gets integrated with our San Diego apartment, which is still in storage, so it all gets to San Francisco together.

It's going to be weird to get two apartements' worth of stuff delivered to us in SF. We'll have to sort through our old SD stuff and our new DC stuff and decide what should be thrown out, what should be given away, and what can stay. And what we'll still have to buy. For DC living, we had to buy practically a whole new kitchen, and I tried to buy dishes that will go with our SD stuff, but I've started to forget what our old stuff looks like. We're going to have enough dishes to fee…

Grouch, Grouch, Grouch

We have to give our 30 days notice for the apartment this week. The guy who is supposed to write our official letter, in lieu of our official travel orders (which we still don't know when we'll get), is on vacation.

We finally heard from the travel tech who is supposed to answer some of our questions about how we actually move. On Monday she told us that she meant to tell us last month that we didn't properly make a formal request, so we have to do that right away and wait for some review board to approve or deny our travel plans. Yesterday we made our proper formal request, and it was received. We have no idea how long it will take to get an answer. I added a plea that no matter what the answer is, to please let us know right away so we can make arrangements for the cats. It's harder to fly with pets than it is with babies.

Now my worrying and anxiety has officially started. The last two or three days I've stayed up too late reading until I eventually fall asleep, o…

Change o' plans

We're going to Rhode Island this weekend instead of Memorial Day weekend. We hope to be on the road at 2:00 this afternoon. After thinking about the long drive, we decided doing it on a regular weekend will be easier than on the holiday weekend.

Required Reading

The movers are coming on June 19 to pack out our apartment. That's the only thing we actually have finalized right now.

In order to focus on the big positive -- We are moving to San Francisco! -- I've been compiling lists of movies and books about SF. Some I've read and seen already. The rest I'd like to read and see in the near future.

*On the Road, Jack Kerouac
*Howl, Allen Ginsberg
*A Crack in the Edge of the World, Simon Winchester
*The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Tom Wolfe
*Tales of the Fish Patrol, Jack London
*The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
*So I Married an Axe Murderer, with Mike Meyers
*San Francisco, with Clark Gable (coming out on DVD in June!)
*Tales of the City, PBS miniseries
*The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, documentary
*The Beatles: Liverpool to San Francisco, documentary
*Berkeley in the Sixties, documentary
*and good preparation for any move out to California, the American Experience episode about the Donner Party

San Francisco Survey

Mike's been sending out this essay-question exam to people he knows in SF. Anyone who has any info, please feel free to share.
Was wondering about the Sunset/Ocean Beach/Richmond districts; they seem to be a bit cheaper albeit more residenal than the center of the city. Are they completely suburban, or is there a decent 'feel' to the neighborhoods? Can you walk to stuff (restaurants, grocery store), or do you have to drive/take transit? How's the trip downtown from there...decent mass transit available?North Beach and Telegraph hill seem very cool, but I don't see much chance of us getting anything bigger than perhaps a small 2 BR for under $2k, and with the pets and my bikes and Steph's sewing, I don't see too much chance of making that work. Same issues with SoMA, Mission, and Bernal Heights, I'd assume?Berkely seems to be a cool town, and we'd be nearer to my family, but I'm wondering about the commute to downtown. It's on the BART, so I d…

Two steps forward, one step back

I've been lazy on the blog front, and that's mostly because not much has changed in the last week. And I've pretty much been lazy on all other fronts, too. I don't know if it's allergies or what, but something has me feeling funky lately.

A couple minor shimmery spots: 1) We don't need Mike's travel orders to break our lease. A note from someone who appears official can write a letter, and that will suffice. 2) One of Mike's cousins who lives in Oakland will be away the week we arrive and needs a dog-sitter. So we have a free house for a few days!

We still don't know exactly how we'll be moving or exactly what we'll be doing with the cats. As I've been typing, Mike emailed a link to We'll be looking in to this.

Oh, but there's a new complication -- Mike's car registration expires on June 12. We certainly won't be back in CA by then. I'm under the impression it needs smog this year; Mike doesn't think s…

What to do with the cats?

What to do with the cats? It looks like they'll fly out with us and we'll put them in a kennel for a week or so, or we'll find a pet-friendly hotel. We need to research the costs of those two options. We'll get reimbursed for the cats' airfare, but all of the lodging, for us and the cats, comes out of our own pockets. I found a page on the San Francisco SPCA website that lists pet-friendly apartments, so that will be a good reference for apartment searching. Unfortunately it's unmoderated, so the apartment buildings aren't rated or reviewed. Anyone can list their apartment.

After living in this wall-to-wall carpeted apartment, we really, really want hardwood floors. Or linoleum. Or anything that's easier to keep free of fur and furballs than carpet.

Moving Day Is Sneaking Up

A couple days ago I bought a San Francisco guidebook so we could get an idea about some of the neighborhoods, and look at some maps, and think about where to eat and what to do once we get there. It's Frommer's. It's okay; every guidebook has to be taken with a grain of salt. It's a good guide of where the touristy stuff is and how to stay away from those areas.

I like maps that have public transit routes on them, and some of the maps in this book does. We narrowed down some of the neighborhoods we had in mind, based on their access to BART or MUNI. We're hoping to stay a 1-car household, so public transit is a very important factor for us. When we moved to D.C. I bought D.C. for Dummies, and it was mostly useless, except for the maps showing the Metro stops. I consult those maps often, because it's almost impossible to find your way around without a streetmap that also has Metro stops marked. (Why would anyone even print maps without the Metro stops on them?)