things i miss about seattle
driving around seattle since i got back wednesday night reminds of the things that i like about this place. i like the lakes, and especially the drive across the 520 bridge when the sun is out and the sky is clear. you can see the olympic mountains to the west, the cascades to the east and mount rainier dominating the south. right now they all have a coat of snow and look spectacular. every day i went to work and saw those vistas i was awed. the scenery around san rafael is beautiful too, but in a different way. you don't get the sense of living in a forest that you do in seattle because the climate is much drier and the vegetation is more scrub. well here, this
is the view from my office building. not bad really.
today i'm packing up the last of my stuff, tomorrow i'll get the uhaul truck and pile everything into it. then sunday it's on the road again, but this time with an orange furry copilot
which should make the trip interesting. at least driving down in a moving truck should be somewhat better than putting a cat carrier in the passenger seat of my convertible.
new look blog
i'm zeroing in on a site design. it's not spectacular but the point is more to learn how to do it rather than to be michaelangelo of the web. i am a programmer after all, and color blind. y'all should be happy it's not black and white fixed width font. anyway, enjoy the magic of cascading style sheets.
btw, i'm bummed that the weekend that i'm getting back to seattle everyone is gone. serves me right for picking american thanksgiving i guess but still - bummer.
things to do in san rafael when you're dead
so the coolest thing i've done since i've been here was wander around the marin county civic center
. to some people that might sound pathetic but it's like frank lloyd wright church, especially at night when everyone has gone home and you're not supposed to be in there. shhhh, don't tell. it's a period of history frozen in time. even though it looks a little dated now there is such a sense of awe i get from seeing it up close. it is right on the other side of the freeway from my office, and basically right beside the hotel i'm staying in for one more night.
yeah, that's the other thing that i've been doing is driving around marin county looking for a place to live. it's pretty expensive to get a nice place, but i picked a complex about half way between my office and the golden gate bridge. it's in an area called larkspur at the junction of the 101 freeway which crosses the golden gate, the 580 which crosses the richmond bridge into oakland and the ferry terminal which takes you to downtown san francisco. they even have a gameday ferry cruise that takes you to pac bell park for a giants game and brings you back after. i can walk to that ferry from my apartment so i will definitely try that this summer.
the apartment is pretty standard, in a pretty big complex run by a very large corporation. i'm not at all a fan of corporate run places like that, partly stemming from my long feud with those money grubbing a**holes in champaign but the comparable places i found were all too much more money to justify. once my lease is up i have a vague plan to move to downtown san francisco, so maybe i won't be feeding the man money for too long. i can't see myself being satisfied living in the burbs, but who knows what happens in the course of a year. i was supposed to take a trip into the city today to poke around but i got up too late to make it, so i'll try again tomorrow. after football.
finally, work (not sure why i've left it for last) is really f*cking cool. i'm not sure why i turned down sports game jobs the previous 2 times i've interviewed but that was wrong. i love sports and i love video games and the combination of the two lives up to every expectation i could have. it's early but i very much like working here so far solely for the subject matter. plus the people are pretty cool and seem to like me so far. they'll learn soon enough, let them have their fun.
it's late, and i'm sitting in my sweaty workout gear (they have a gym at the office that i came in to use tonight) so i'm going to sign off. peace out my brothers and sisters.
i was raining when i started out, a half hour later than desired. hard enough that i had to stop to get new windshield wipers because mine were crap. finally i get on the road for real at 10am and as soon as i get south of the 405 the rain disappears, like the cartoon cloud over the head of the jinxed character or the well known (and usually false) seattle cliche.
anyway, the trip down took me 13 hours, and i have many observations to share about it. the first is that AM radio pretty much uniformly blows. the most interesting thing i heard on the radio on my trip down was an ad extolling the virtues of the country of saudi arabia. interesting in a very orwellian way, mind you. "saudi arabia is good. saudi arabia is your friend. you are getting sleepy. when you hear the word ecstatic you will think you are a chicken and cluck uncontrollably." it's my firm belief that all advertising either a) tries to make people believe things against their better judgement and available facts (look, oldsmobiles are sexy now) or b) distracts people from more pertinent issues (look, chevron uses corn in their gas, aren't they environmental). both are applicable to any pr ad about saudi arabia.
moving on, portland was interesting as it flashed by. i stopped in some small backwater in south oregon to get gas, which turned into an ordeal of wrong turns and gave me a chance to see the fbi investigating a costco store where 25 people got sick and puked. no evidence was found as to the cause, but it's good that the fbi is on the ball in rural america because that's where terrorists are likely to strike. some redneck kid with a chemistry kit was probably crapping his pants.
california was boring, partly because it was dark and partly because there isn't a lot happening. northern california is pretty empty around the I-5. i didn't really see sacramento or oakland, and wasn't going far enough to see san fran. san rafael and marin county is like a big mall so it doesn't look much different than any other suburb, especially at night. during the day you do have the rolling hills of scrub, and on the other side some spectacular coastline but the freeway is pretty nondescript.
and that was my trip. would have been more fun with someone to talk to, and if i was able to venture off the freeway more but that wasn't really the point this time. maybe when i head back to pick up my car i'll get to take some detours.
daily observation #1 - i have surprisingly little useless crap
. every time i move i purge all the detritus that has fallen into the cracks of my life and no longer serves a purpose. this time though there isn't much that i have to throw out. i wonder if once i get to a place where i want to settle down that i'll start to nest a bit more and shed my nomad's stance on collecting things.
daily observation #2 - moving sucks
. this is probably not a surprise to anyone but i thought that maybe if you got good at it moving would become less traumatic. not really the case. i would consider myself pretty good at moving now and it still sucks just as bad.
tomorrow morning, hopefully earlier than is comfortable, i'll be jumping in my truck and heading south on I-5 for the land of hot tubs. it's really weird because i'm not feeling nearly the emotional impact that i think i should be. it's different because i'm heading down to find an apartment but then i have to come back for my furniture and car in 1.5 weeks so this isn't the big goodbye. maybe leaving isn't like taking off a bandaid - you don't want to do it all in one shot. spread the goodbye out over a couple weeks and lessen the perceived pain. it's not over yet, so we'll see how my theory pans out.
okay, why do i think i need a blog? well, it's not because i think that my opinions and observations have merit befitting a worldwide audience. it's not because i'm an extrovert bursting at the seams with emotions that i need to pour out onto the page. but it does give me something to do to pass the time while i travel to yet another city in which i don't know anyone, and it does allow me to share some sense of connection with friends and family back home. and evidently it allows me to get sentimental and write crap that belongs on hallmark "just because" cards.
anyway, i'm doing this. i don't know how much or how often but you're welcome to read it. and you can respond in the guest book if you like. once i get that working...