Wednesday, September 26, 2007

i have officially become one of those girls...

...who talks about her boyfriend constantly on her blog. (Are there girls that do that? I'm just assuming there are.) But today is our one year anniversary, so I felt the need to mention it. I don't really have much to say about it, though. Neither of us did anything nice for the other. He texted me earlier this evening to say happy anniversary and to say that he was thinking about me, and then he called a little while ago, but we didn't talk for long because he's still out with client-type people (although he did say he'd call me later).

Anyway, I guess it's kind of cool insofar as technically, this is the longest I've ever had a boyfriend (IB and I only made it 10 months or so by the official tally, but we did have sort of a quasi-relationship for a while after that). And this is certainly the most serious relationship I've ever been in, in terms of my level of commitment and my hopes for the future. It's easy to imagine finding someone else who would be, for lack of a better phrase, a "better boyfriend" (you know, someone who isn't gone all the time and isn't insanely busy and isn't terrified of commitment and emotions), but I find it increasingly impossible to imagine finding someone that I'd rather be with.

E is still staying with me, and right now he's teaching himself how to juggle. I'm often impatient with him (especially when I first get home from work and I'm tired and drained and don't want to deal with anything) so I'm trying to be tolerant of the constant sound of bean bags dropping to the floor. I might not last much longer.

I keep meaning to blog about work, but I have so much to say that it kind of feels overwhelming. Maybe this weekend I can set aside some time to do it, because my job is interesting, challenging, and fun, and I want to tell you all about it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

caution relationship deconstruction ahead

I'm on the fence about how appropriate it is to discuss the problems in my relationship with DWE on my blog, but as usual, I seem to be erring on the side of blabbermouthy-ness. It's not like I'm saying anything that I haven't said to him or wouldn't want him to read (he does occasionally look at this blog, so I guess he might read it).

Anyway, when I talked to him on Sunday afternoon, he said that he didn't want to call me when he woke up from his sleep on the couch because he didn't want to wake me up in case I was asleep (at midnight on a Saturday night, because apparently he thinks I'm as lame as he is), and also because he wanted to go straight to bed. I told him that I wasn't asleep, and that if I had been, I would not have been mad. And then I suggested that he consider the number of times that I'd gotten mad at him for calling and waking me up (none, although he's done it a few times in the morning) versus the number of times I've gotten mad at him for not calling (numerous, to say the least). In his defense, if he had called, it would probably not have been the 45-second conversation that he was hoping for, because I would have wanted to blab for at least 5 minutes or so. If he were a more conniving sort, he would call, experience the annoyance of not being able to get me off the phone for 5 or 10 minutes, and then throw that experience back in my face the next time I get mad at him for not calling before he goes to bed. But he's all reasonable and practical, and he doesn't want to prove a point or show that I'm wrong, he just wants to get some sleep.

So yeah, I was overreacting a bit. But it's also very true that the standards for him calling are different because he's gone so much. The phone calls average out to an amount of communication with which I am happy, because there are always a few nights a week like last night where we talk for a good hour or so. And if I imagine how I feel when he does call and wake me up in the morning (not mad, but not much like talking to him, either), it is slightly easier to understand how he could ever not feel like talking to me.

I guess the bottom line is that the logistics of what is essentially a semi-long-distance relationship are difficult, DWE is highly imperfect despite good intentions, and I seem to be particularly needy these days. And of course I should try not to lose sight of how wonderful he is and how hard he tries to make me happy. Nor should I lose sight of the fact that I have lots of wonderful and supportive friends who will tell me that I'm right (very true), that I'm kinda overreacting (also very true), and answer the phone when I call.

In other news, I actually managed to get up before 10 a.m. this morning. Maybe eventually I can have a real life in the mornings before I go to work. I guess coffee and a blog entry are a start.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

unpacking and waiting by the phone

After several days without progress, I did quite a bit of apartment unpacking and setting up last night. The books are all on their shelves now (I'm missing a bunch, and I know some of them are in Bakersfield, but it seems to me that there's at least one whole box of them that should be around here somewhere but doesn't seem to be, which is troubling). My new microwave, which is shiny and red, had been sitting on the floor in the livingroom/bedroom because I lacked the proper extension cord and outlet adapter needed to put it in the kitchen. Having a microwave in the livingroom was fun, but ultimately also annoying, and it's now been moved to its permanent home on top of the refridgerator (I have no counter space, so I have to be creative, and luckily the fridge is kind of short). Note to Rebel: between the microwave and the TV, I officially no longer live like a pioneer. =(

I've also started to put up pictures and knick-knacks, which is perhaps the true indication that this is my new home. Dad's ashes are on the mantle, which is a tad cliched, I guess, but I'm just so excited to have a mantle that I can't help it. Speaking of the mantle, the fireplace has been great. I burn Duraflame logs (or the Pine Mountain brand or the Safeway brand), so there's no effort involved, and it's like instant atmosphere. DWE seemed to like it when he came over on Wednesday and Thursday.

Speaking of which, I'm contemplating the possibility that I'm kind of a lousy girlfriend. Maybe not lousy, but at least sort of unreasonable. He and I talked semi-briefly on the phone a couple of times yesterday, and the last time we talked I told him I'd call him that night. So I did, but he didn't answer. When it got to be 10:45, I called again, and left a message saying that he should call if he hadn't already gone to sleep, and if he had gone to sleep he should have called first. At about midnight I got a text from him saying that he'd fallen asleep on the couch and that he was going to bed, but that we'd talk tomorrow (i.e. today). So I tried calling him back, but of course he'd turned his phone off already. So instead I texted him and said that I appreciated that he sent the text, but that I didn't understand why he didn't call, and it hurts my feelings when he avoids me like that.

In retrospect, I may have been overreacting (and I left him a message to that effect this morning). But really, I don't like it when I've asked him to call and he texts instead. Essentially what he's saying is, "I want you to know that I didn't fall off the face of the earth, but I don't want to talk to you. I don't even want to talk to you long enough to say that I'm too tired to talk." And despite my concilatory voicemail, he hasn't called me back this morning, which is also very irritating to me. Am I just incredibly unreasonably needy? Calling is so little effort, and it obviously makes me very happy, so why can't he do it?

Monday, September 17, 2007

more moving

No pictures of the apartment yet, partly because I refuse to take pictures while it's still in partially-unpacked disarray, and partly because I just got my camera (well, my sister-in-law's camera that I'm borrowing) from S's place. But the good news is that everything I own, save for some miscellaneous items at my mom's house and the hanging clothes that I forgot to get out of DWE's closet, is now in my new place. I rented a car on Saturday and cleared the rest of my stuff out of my storage unit, then spent the rest of the weekend unpacking and getting things in order. Some observations:

1. The Ford Taurus, which I honestly believe that only rental car companies purchase any more, has the biggest trunk I have ever seen.

2. The laundromat in my neighborhood is really, really nice, especially in contrast to the one near my old apartment. Yes, you lose some charm (no Judge Judy playing on the circa 1983 TV and no sketchy people drinking tall cans of PBR in the corner), but you more than make up for it with cleanliness, plants, a working sink with soap and paper towels, and an actual laundromat employee.

3. High ceilings are awesome, unless you want to hang something from them and you're not very tall.

4. I'm not very tall.

5. My next-door neighbor, who also just moved in, is really cool. She is approximately my age, in her second year of law school, and spent a month this summer in Iraq working with abused women through an NGO. We helped each other move some stuff. I also made E (who is starting his new job today and is staying with me for a while) help her move a dresser, and now he seems a bit smitten with her. So cute.

6. Moving into and setting up an apartment seems much more time consuming when you have a job.

Despite the job, which is still going well, I think I will have everything perfect by the end of the week. And then I promise to take pictures.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

(don't go back to) rockridge

I apologize for the especially long absence (and I know, of course, that the apology is necessary, because clearly your lives are hollow without a fresh dose of my blog). I have an unusually good reason for not posting: I have no internet access. But this is good news, because it means that I have my own apartment.

I got the keys to my new place this past Friday, and I did the bulk of my moving in this weekend, with the help of my ma, who drove up from Bakersfield, and the help of E, who drove down from Santa Rosa, where he is staying with family. I still have a couple of smallish bookcases and many boxes, mostly of books, left in my storage unit, which is paid through the end of the month.

My new apartment is in Rockridge, which is a neighborhood in North Oakland that is a little bit upscale and extremely close to the Oakland-Berkeley border. Rockridge, aptly enough, rocks. I love it. DWE suggested it as a possible place to look for apartments, and the first time I stepped off the BART at the Rockridge station I knew it was where I wanted to live. The main street is College Avenue (which runs north all the way to the Cal Berkeley campus, where it dead-ends), which is lined with great little restaurants and shops. My apartment is a block and a half off of college, and also a block and a half away from the BART station. In five minutes I can walk to two different taquerias, a Chinese restaurant, an oyster bar, a bar and grill, a coffee shop, a pizza joint, and an upscale food market (bakery, artisanal cheeses, etc). There are lots more restaurants a bit farther than that (probably another dozen of them in a fifteen-minute walking radius) along with about every kind of little shop you can think of (clothing, furniture, optometry, hair salon, spa, luggage, sports, bikes, etc).

The temperament of the neighborhood is pretty nicely balanced: there is no Starbucks, but there are also no flocks of dirty hippies. It's not disgustingly yuppy-ish, but it is fairly young, urban, and professional. The neighborhood is primarily houses, so it's lots of families along with the young singles. And I just love the name: Rockridge. Doesn't it sound cool? I may spend the rest of my life with "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville" by R.E.M. in my head, but I can deal with that.

My apartment is in a huge Victorian house that was long ago split into eight apartments. Mine is on the first floor, but there's a semi-above ground basement, and the entire house is raised up from the street level, so there are two half-flights of stairs to take to get to my front door, which is on the side of the house. The apartment itself is more or less a very large studio. You enter into a smallish room that I'm using as a foyer/dining room. To the left is the kitchen, which has plenty of room to move around in but woefully little counter space. It does have a gas range though, which kicks ass.

Just beyond the kitchen, I'm a bit sad to say, we come to the bathroom. Yes, they are right next to each other, and you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the bathroom. The bathroom, although it is cute and has fun indigo-blue hexagonal tiles, is probably the least appealing part of the apartment. As T would say, it is wee. Really, really wee. I haven't measured, but eyeballing it, my mom and I are pretty sure that it measures 3' X 5'. Tiny, yes, but you have to be a little impressed that they fit a toilet, a sink, and a shower in that space (and that I further fit a trash can, my bathroom caddy, and a bathmat in said space). If you are a guy, you could stand in the shower and pee in the toilet.

So that's kind of annoying, but it's also one of those things that you get used to really quickly, and it really hasn't bothered me much. There's a weird piece of furniture in the foyer/dining room that came with the apartment (it appears to be part table, part coat rack, and part mirror) that is perfect for doing hair and makeup (added bonus: lots of natural light in the foyer), and there's shelving in the bathroom for extra towels and TP and stuff, so it seems like it will work out fine.

So if you walk straight from the foyer/dining room, you get to the main room, which is about the size of the entirety of my old apartment. My loft bed goes on the far wall, my futon (with new cushion and fancy red microfiber cushion cover) goes on the near wall. The papasan chair goes next to the gorgeous bay windows, which are right across from the working fireplace (you can see now, perhaps, why I don't care so much about the bathroom). The floors are hardwood, and the ceilings are really high (even higher than in my old place, which is a big plus with the loft bed). Things are still in a state of disarray, and I need to buy a coffee table, but once everything is in place, there is going to be a ton of empty floor space, which is sort of my preference.

Anyway, that's the apartment. Pictures will follow, of course. Work is mostly good and very interesting, but that will have to wait for another post.

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