killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
The move was a success! Nothing broke, I'm only lightly bruised, and nobody strangled me for contributing all the heaviest furniture. (My bed, it's a queen--my grandparents said I could have it and I love a big broad surface to sprawl on. Couple that with the tall wooden headboard that doubles as a kind of long nightstand with shelves AND my purchase of the heaviest side table ever made and you'll understand why my roommate's aunt was tempted to curse my name.)

Not having wifi is a pain. My phone does okay, but Tumblr tends to crash Safari after enough scrolling and I am seriously tired of fighting with mobile versions of websites. I'm fortunate that typing on my phone comes easy to me or I'd give up on using the internet altogether. My poor roommate's ongoing three-month fight with the bureaucracy of three schools requires the use of an actual computer, which has necessitated literal hours in coffee shops for her to search, research, write, and email on my laptop while I play Lux on my phone.
The broadband installer's due this next Monday. It was supposed to be this last Monday, except we discovered, too late, the phone box was locked out of reach. We await with bated breath (and suppressed screaming).
I can't tell if I'm mildly allergic to packing tape adhesive or if I just peeled so much of it that it abraded my hands raw. Either way, it was a happy day when I realized the vague hot itch in my skin subsided. Even if almost nothing is placed where it's going to be permanently, at least most of it is out of the boxes. The dust has been aggravating both my cough and my dear friend's migraines.
We'd be further along in unpacking, but we've had errands to run out and about. I don't mind.  Berkeley's an interesting city. The copious flowers and enormous trees everywhere delights me, as does the proliferation of weird buildings with really great paint jobs. (All-time favorite remains the little Victorian done in burgundy, maroon, purple, slightly different purple, and navy blue, with gold trimmings on the lot.) Parking is ridiculously expensive--a quarter buys you ten minutes on a parking meter. TEN MINUTES. And I need those quarters to run laundry in my building, which is a dollar-fifty for the washer and a dollar twenty-five for the dryer. I get the feeling I'm going to get acquainted with our drying rack real quick. 
There are other aspects of apartment life that take a little getting used to. Can't work on assembling a dresser all night because the hammering would wake the neighbors, have to run up a flight of stairs to shush the people in the apartment over ours talking too loudly at three AM. Things I would consider as 'inside the house' tasks do require going outside--I have to get used to wearing clothes I'm comfortable briefly showing off to a busy public street in order to shove wet laundry in the dryer. But it's kind of neat, all things considered. I like how neighborly our apartment building is--it's almost all students, they're inclined to be largely friendly, and they're not a noisy bunch by any means.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
My stepmother gave up on her vow of silent enmity in order to call me Saturday afternoon and let me know my brother and a friend of his were in town with a half-empty U-Haul. They were headed north Sunday morning, and I'm moving north, so she told us we should work something out so long as he had a moving vehicle and big muscles on hand to be lent to us. Great idea, right? Turns out that my stepmother's idea for a short-notice mad scramble to move some of our things with the aid of my brother and his friend's rented U-Haul and borrowed muscle was ill-advised, to say the least. How ill-advised? Let's see:

so very, very ill-advised )

It was a very, very long day. I feel like a dishrag last used to scrub out the inside of a tractor and then left to dry all crunchy and gross in a corner somewhere. Today is going to involve nothing more strenuous than picking up a book.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
Yesterday I went to the library this afternoon to renew some books for a friend. I did not actually get to renew them because the woman behind the counter took them from me and set them down behind the counter without another word. I didn't have the nerve to ask again, when it was so very clear she did not approve of my request. True, they were weeks overdue, but they were also Calculus textbooks. I did, however, see Guardian of the Dead, Ash, and Huntress all on the shelves in the YA fiction section, and took them home to tear through all three in quick succession.

very vague spoilers for said books )

Recently my stepmom has declared she's not speaking to me anymore (and wasn't that a fun conclusion to a long week) but for now she's still in charge of my finances because Dad's too busy with business to function as intermediary. While I'm still out and about looking at furniture a lot, I'm going to be very careful with how I spend anything, at least until I'm settled up north in Berkeley.

One good thing out of this mess: I really, really like my new apartment. It's clean and fairly sizeable and I have my own room, and between the two of us it is going to be FILLED with books and art. My dear friend doesn't mind if I date anyone, or if I come back at weird hours, and in most ways she's easy to share a space with. The landlord's letting my dear friend keep her bird with her, which is pretty cool--I really do love her bird, and at some point, I'll be able to get a parrot of my own to keep her company. That will be wonderful. I feel like I'm gearing up to begin my actual life. I can't wait.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
Crows in an area with a steady food supply are a menace. They're intelligent enough birds that they aren't content to sit around and be happy they're well-fed. Instead, a favorite way to spend an afternoon is 'harassing local wildlife'. My dear friend and I watched a handful of crows chase some poor hawk up and down the edges of the barley field behind La Purisima for nearly an hour. That reputation for mischief is well-earned, I tell you that.

I notice they didn't try to fuck around with the large egret/heron (not really sure which) at the furthest field, though. It stood alone in the dirt in the middle of the field, very patient and still, looking quite pretty and out of place, right up until a ground squirrel wandered too close and it skewered the damn thing right through the heart. Daaaamn. My dear friend quietly applauded its skill.

Thus started up another round of the Great Shrike Debate. I pointed out, yet again, that shrikes are devilishly adorable and it's not their fault they've developed incredible hunting and gathering skills for a bird that small and cute. My dear friend retorts that they are also named 'butcher birds' for a reason--she thinks their habit of keeping a 'larder' by impaling still-wriggling prey on thorns, twigs, and barbed wire is creepy. She's not squeamish--her mom keeps snakes, after all--she just thinks that slow death by stake through the heart is needlessly cruel. It's not the shrikes' fault they're too tiny and efficient to know that kind of thing is unmerciful, I tell her, but she's stubborn.

I'm easy to distract: just point out a bird, especially one in flight. I love the way they fly, how they all have a different pattern of wingbeats and gliding. Sometimes I'll read "The Windhover" just to recall the feeling of watching a raptor take flight. Birds are easy to love, easy to talk about.
killerkaleidoscope: close-up centered on a violet daisy on diagonally-cracked gray pavement (Default)
First of all, I gotta say that if there was ever a line-up to ensure my presence at the drive-in, this was it. Seeing both these films on the big screen while barefoot, curled up in a blanket on the pavement next to my dear friend, the two of us eating cheap grocery-store candy and joking to each other as much as we liked, was basically the best idea I've ever had. The drive-in is my favorite thing of all things for a reason.

Time for the inevitable post-film review, breakdown & revision. First up is the first film of the evening: Captain America: The First Avenger.

Does HYDRA recruit from some kind of evil marching band tournament? I want tickets. )

At intermission (because drive-ins, being awesome, have intermissions) we got up and stretched our legs a bit. I have a dim memory of trying to discuss the prevalence of mysterious-blue-things-that-glow in film and having it fizzle out because I am the only person who cares. I ate some more of my chocolate-covered pretzels. We shifted everything inside the car, turned on the radio (so much easier to hear dialogue this way at the drive-in, even if it's less fun) and then were were off to our second film of the evening... Thor.

Thor (& His Asgardian Super-Friends), a film I was expecting to halfheartedly tolerate and instead grew to love )

Despite my gripes, it was a good experience. Even when AAA couldn't make it before the drive-in's gates closed and we had to call up my dear friend's dad at two in the morning for a lift home, I don't regret it in the slightest. Next time I'll know to forget the leave-the-car on thing and bring a radio that runs on double-A batteries and we'll be good to go.
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