Monday, January 30, 2006

Places where I don't get work done

I'm reporting from Alderman Library on grounds at UVA, where for the first time ever at this location I'm using my cranky old laptop to check email and do other things. We don't have Internet access at home, much to everyone's chagrin, including ours, but it means we get work done there. Only now I won't get anything done at the library.

I've outfitted our kitchen with a bookcase so I can keep all my cookbooks close at hand and have a place to put my stereo. The nice thing about having a kitchen that isn't an extension of the living room, as in my previous apartments, is that it's a real kitchen; the unfortunate thing is that our loud furnace is between the kitchen and the living room, so I can't hear anything in the rest of the house when the heat is on, and I think I'd like to have music when I'm cooking. I'm hoping that once we get all the furniture we need, once Justin can study up in the man-cave instead of the kitchen table, I can use the kitchen as a studying and cooking nest, writing my dissertation while waiting for my bread to rise. At least that is my dream.

Friday, January 20, 2006

We are here. Really.

We are more or less settled in Charlottesville, although we have not yet come to an agreement about what sort of Internet access we will have at home, if any, which is why I haven't posted in the last month. (Not that we don't love having high-speed Internet access. We do. Too much.)

I moved into our apartment on December 19; Justin arrived several days later with his brother Whitney, having driven across the country in five days and straight from St. Louis in one. We spent Christmas in Chapel Hill, celebrated a quiet New Year in our apartment, and went last weekend to D.C. to visit several of Justin's friends, two of whom have just moved there. This weekend we're going up to Ithaca to watch the Seattle-Carolina NFC championship game with Justin's family, ardent Carolina fans. I don't know if it will be any less intimidating than being the only Seattle fan in a sports bar in D.C. last weekend when the Seahawks beat the Redskins. Justin's brothers are hard core.

With all this traveling, we've spent relatively little time in our apartment, which is a shame because it's quite nice, despite our lack of furniture (we need to get serious about going to Ikea, but it's an hour and a half away). The kitchen exceeded all my expectations. It is well-lit and huge, with tons of counter and storage space. I've barely begun to take advantage of it, but now that I've stocked up on groceries, I'm starting to get adventurous again. Justin's parents gave us a book called The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking for Christmas, and I've picked up a couple of other cookbooks in the last few weeks, so I have a lot to try out. Oh, and I finally got the three-quart saucepan that was never in stock when we registered for it. The things I get excited about.

I also managed to be a real resident student again (it was not immediately obvious to me how I was supposed to do this) and regain library privileges! If I get a new ID (my old one expired right before I left; I'm not really sure why they only give them to grad students for three-year terms--who finishes a PhD in three years?), I can even start using the gym again.

Justin really likes exploring Albemarle County and the surrounding areas on nice days, which we've had a lot of lately. There is this one bookstore in Orange, about thirty miles from here, with really cheap books. In contrast to our days in Berkeley, I'm the one who's less enthusiastic to get out of the house, probably because I like it so much. The stacks of boxes in the second bedroom are frustrating, but we'll take care of those sooner or later.

We bought a queen mattress, the first bed either of us has ever bought. (I went through a series of inherited beds, first from my grandparents, who had plenty of spares, then from Anne, then a nice full-size set from Chris, the deacon and music minister at Incarnation, and his wife Peggy, who had somehow managed to share it with several pets.) It is more than we intended to spend, but SO comfortable that I have slept long and sound every night we've been here since we bought it. The one hitch is that our stairway is too narrow to get a queen set up, so our apartment management had to take it out on our balcony and hoik it through the second-story window. Apparently they do this all the time, so that was fine.

So we are settled in Charlottesville, and happy to be here. In addition to bookcases, one of our furniture priorities is a futon or sofa bed (or two)--so visitors are welcome, and I promise you'll like it here too.