Wednesday, July 30, 2008

on the eve of departure

things I will miss about this apartment:
  • my beloved cottonwood trees!
  • en-suite half-bath
  • living at the end of a cul-de-sac
  • living within walking distance of Albertsons & Cafe Rio
  • birdwatching on the balcony, even though the railing isn't super stable and the couch is probably thirty years old and the new flooring still smells a little like glue ten months later...
things I will not miss about this apartment:
  • the unfathomable shower setup
  • the ugly dark blue carpet and the ugly textured walls
  • seasonal ant infestation
  • bent window screens that let flying bugs in
  • the crappy, er, vintage kitchen: hole in the roof of the microwave, crooked burner on the stove, weak garbage disposal that gets clogged way too easily, fridge without a light, ugly linoleum floor...
  • having to buy all new light fixtures because the ones provided were miserably inadequate
  • scary electrical outlets that work only if the plug is hanging at a certain angle (not a normal right angle)
things I will miss about Provo:
  • carefree midnight walks
  • Wasatch mountains as backdrop
  • Costa Azul turned Costa Vida, affectionately known simply as Costa
  • giant sycamores in the "downtown" area
  • Harold B. Lee Library
  • wandering near the trainyards, again, without feeling threatened
  • hearing train whistles at all hours of the night
  • free New York Times on campus
  • being able to walk to church
  • four distinct seasons, even is autumn is brief and spring is schizophrenic
  • low humidity - oh, how I prefer a Utah summer to a Maryland summer
  • low cost of living (minuscule compared to SF bay)
  • intellectual perks of being in a university community
  • El Gallo Giro & Delipan - but the Mission District should make up for it. Taquería, here I come!
things I will not miss about Provo:
  • it takes two hours on public transit to get to a decent-sized city
  • infrequent and untimely buses (though they could be worse)
  • minimal architectural interest
  • singles stake leaders who think it's their job to make sure we don't leave Provo without getting married first
  • the smell of Fast Food Row (Bulldog Blvd) on my walk to/from campus
  • the electric fireworks at "The Corner"
  • hearing or overhearing that so-and-so got married and whats-her-bucket got engaged, half a dozen times a day if out and about on campus
  • no curbside recycling! to be fair, it is available for a mere $5/month, but not at the apartments I've lived in because of the way they are managed. it's sort of a pain to collect recyclables and cart them down to the dropoff site in south Provo. not that it's not worth it. recycling makes me feel happy.
things about San Francisco that I'm looking forward to:
  • exploring the city
  • seeing sights like these
  • living near this guy
  • SFMOMA and other major museums
  • architecture
  • convenient public transit
  • La Taquería (best tacos north of the border)
  • and the rest of the Mission/Little Mexico
  • the hills
  • views of the bay and the ocean
  • plastic bag & bottled water bans (hooray!)
  • liberal politics and plenty of treehuggers (okay maybe that's a stereotype but I hope it holds true!)
  • artsy atmosphere
  • did I mention the Mexican food? and Thai, and Indian, and Vietnamese...
  • the prospect of meeting a cute, smart Stanford boy. hey, my sister did. and we all know that the only reason I'm going to California is to get married, right?
  • um, it's San Francisco. duh.
  • oh, and it's not Utah Valley. finally!
things about San Francisco that I'm not looking forward to:
  • high cost of living (and no job yet!)
  • no more midnight walks
  • the hills (walking up them)
  • hmm, yep, that's all I can think of.

California, Californiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, here we coooooooooooommme!
(that's for you, BreeAnn, Claire, Anna-Lisa)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

[untitled aeolian verse]

step outside into the realm of potential
where just enough rain to dilute the smoke rolled down the mountainside
--wet pine needles exhaling their delicate fragrance
over the lingering hot breath of burning timber--
leapt from the sky in a brief joyous shower
but the clouds don't look playful
so you know there must be more
this is false calm, a mid-storm limbo
poorly disguised, you think,
inhaling energy-saturated air
propelled into your lungs on cool infrared breezes
picking up speed now a steady wind
and the electrical im-
pulses through your veins and you
you are the stormy sky
what will you do with what is stored inside you it
can't stay cramped in there forever and
the sky is black now camouflaged the silhouette of the mountains
but you look over your shoulder at where you know
you think they are just in time to see
the violet light of a horizontal lightning bolt
a brilliant display of
drawing a blank

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

M oving day soon:

I n the deep blue carpet sea boxy islands of

S patulas sweaters skillets stilettos

P atiently wait,

L ook around at the place they know, soon to be

A bandoned

C alifornia taking over taking a chance recreating

E xistence

M ixer toaster teakettle up all night giggling in cardboard cuboid sleeping bags

E choes of their electric lighthearted chatter

N ot at all anxious about

T heir function in a new place

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

musings under a toasted indigo sky

I just came in from a midnight stroll around the neighborhood, a much-needed respite from I don't even want to count how many hours spent sitting at my desk staring at the computer screen today.

A collection of observations and conclusions, old and new:

* One of the things I love most about the west is the way the hot summer days cool down--a lot--to wonderfully pleasant summer evenings.
* The only thing that denies a western summer evening the status of ideal summer evening is the absence of fireflies. At least I've never seen fireflies in Utah, though there are reports of sightings. Anyway they're certainly not as abundant out here as they are in Maryland where I grew up. They're a part of me and still very much awe-inspiring.
* The goal of the midnight walk is better achieved at an hour somewhat past midnight, when things have really quieted down. There are still a lot of cars on the road at 11:30 pm, but not so many at, say, 3:30 am, when I ventured out for last night's meander.
* As much as I love the pulse of the big city, something in me really values the luxury of wandering around the neighborhood at any hour of the night without worrying about personal safety. I wonder how much I'll miss that in San Francisco...?

Monday, July 14, 2008

milestone, and job listing bloopers

Today I reached a milestone in the job search, in a figurative sense of course, as there was neither mile nor stone involved. Maybe I should go walk a mile with a stone in my hand just to literalize the event. Anyway, I hit the 100-application mark. I'm not really sure whether to celebrate or to despair, since apparently that's still not nearly enough.

Among the thousands of job listings that I have read during the past couple of months, I've found numerous amusing spelling mistakes. "Technical Writer" seems to trip up many a typist: variations include "techincial," "technicial," and the most common "techncial." Today I spotted an ad for an "Editor in Cheif," but my favorites are ads like "Proorfeader Needed." Yup, you sure do need a proofreader, huh? And the latest: somebody is looking for a "Fiance Specialist." What exactly does that job description entail, I wonder?

Friday, July 11, 2008

capital flora

Two days ago I made the trek up to Salt Lake just to wander around downtown. Then I spotted the beautiful flowers. Good thing I had my camera. Would you like to see what I saw? You would? Then you came to the right place.

We'll start with the spectacular hollyhocks in front of the Beehive House. There were at least a half dozen colors of the glorious flower in that little front yard.

Gardens in front of the church office building, looking south with South Temple street in the background.

I don't really know what these flowers are, but I love their happy light orange color.

And finally, a bit of friendly sidewalk graffiti:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

on the road in the midwest

A few photographic highlights on and near the road between Chicago and Cleveland. All photos taken Tuesday 24 June.

Tobacco Town/gas station, next to the State Line Fireworks shop. Looks like a dangerous combination to me. Looking north along US 131, between Middlebury, Indiana and White Pigeon, Michigan. (The small blue sign near the center of the horizon marks the state line.)

Sure, you could buy one of those other newspapers, but wouldn't you rather have The Truth? At the Tobacco Town gas station.

Classic American midwest. Isn't it beautiful?

Guilt & Furniture Auction? Why would they auction... oh. That says Quilt. I was lookin' at it quick.

Ohmygosh that street is SO overlook. Really, that's what we both said when we saw the sign. Just east of Cleveland Clinic.

Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the best road sign. Okay, second best. I already mentioned the greatest sign that we spotted on the trip. Driving through Indiana we saw several road signs reading "Co Rd," which we quickly determined stood for "county road." The letters "Co Rd" would be followed by a number and a letter indicating a cardinal direction, something like 300 E or 450 S. So we're driving along and we see a sign that reads:

Co Rd 5OON

What does that look like to you? County Road SOON! Hey dummy, don't miss your exit, 'cause it's comin' up SOON! Whoops, there it went. Gee, thanks for the warning. Anyway when I looked at the sign a second time I realized that the S was in fact a 5. But I wasn't quick enough with the camera. I guess you gotta be ready when the sign says 5OON.