Entering my third week back in the U.S. and I'm getting into the swing of things here, which is nice. Things don't seem as weird any more, though everything still has a surreal sheen to it. "People live like this?" I think to myself as I see conspicuous consumption and watch what seems to be an endless array of late-night home-improvement shows. When did TLC become the "reality home improvement channel?" When I left they had stuff like science and stuff. Discovery as well - it's just full of crap. It used to be good.
Anyways, I had to change hotels again. I did NOT want to be in another hotel, but I dropped the ball this week finding an apartment, so I had to bite the bullet and drop some more cash at Hotwire.com for another week in a hotel. Actually, most of the apartments I'm looking at aren't going to be available until the first of the month either, so it works out that way as well. I actually was happy with the place I was at, but Hotwire is playing games so instead of the Holiday Inn across from where I'm working, I'm going to be at the Double Tree down the street - which is "nice" in that it's in a little Marina. But I'm not looking for "nice" right now, just functional and convenient. Since it's right down University Ave from where I'm looking to live, I guess that it counts as functional, but I would've rather not moved. Oh - I didn't explain, the idea is that Hotwire gives you deals on hotels, but doesn't tell you which hotel you're at until you've booked. I chose the same exact description as the Holiday Inn and thought that all I would have to do is go downstairs and re-check in to the same room, but I had to change instead. Urgh. No real big deal as I'm pretty compact at the moment still living out of my suitcase, but still. It's another thing I had to do today. At least this week I didn't have to spend 4 hours returning my rental car like last week... Hopefully my car doesn't get broken into since I have all my crap in the back until I can check in this afternoon.
Before I checked out I did some webcamming with Ana and Alex. Though my old computer gave Ana endless problems (which is why I bought my new laptop not too long ago) we ended up chatting with the webcam for a few minutes and Alex really liked seeing his dad and I liked being able to see/hear him. Alex won't speak into the phone on cue just yet, but the webcam is like a conferencing/hands free microphone so I can hear everything that's going on in the room on that end, including Alex babbling at me. :-) It was a very nice way to start this sunny Sunday here in California (it's going to be over 90F/32C again today!).
So I'm back at my favorite Starbucks on north Shattuck Ave which is pretty big and packed with students and other people with laptops and is generally a very comfortable place to come hang out with your computer for a while.
I was using Craig's list for my apartment searching but decided to put some cash down at a local service which gave me a ton more listings for apartments and houses in the area. So I'm going to mark a map and use the new power adapter I bought for my car today (since the battery life in the Toshiba is soooo bad) and roam around the neighborhood today looking for places.
I found one pretty nice apartment yesterday, actually, but it's in a *horrible* building, so it's just a backup for now. It's in a great little corner and it's pretty big and in the back with a nice terrace and is relatively cheap and is available now, so it's definitely being considered, but I'm going to hold out a bit more for something more like a house with a yard. We'll see - they want 2x rent here for the deposit plus the first month's rent so we're looking at around $6,000 to move in to most places... that's stretching the budget *reeeeallllly* tight.
Okay, I gotta get moving.