Geographically, the new apartment is in an odd limbo state between urban and suburban. It’s just a stone’s throw from being on San Francisco Bay itself, and is at the corner of a pleasant residential neighborhood. It’s also the equivalent of a block or two from Highway 92 and the San Mateo Bridge. So if you walk around the neighborhood, it feels quite suburban, and the closest shopping and restaurants are all chains and strip malls. But add the nearby highway to the streetlights by the entrance road (which the apartment happens to be right over), and it means two things: it never gets completely dark in my bedroom, and if the rest of the apartment is quiet, road noise is a noticeable background, even late at night. It reminds me of nothing so much as being in a hotel near an interstate.
Yet sleeping hasn’t proved to be a problem for me. I’m fairly adaptable—perhaps I like being in hotels near interstates?—and I’m able to keep my room at a nice enough temperature for sleeping. I’ll have to see how things change as summer approaches. The apartment catches a lot of sunlight through the back wall my bedroom’s on (with a southwest facing), but on average Foster City’s highs don’t get past the mid-70s, so perhaps it will balance out.
From my window, while I get a clear view of another building in the apartment complex, I also get a clear view across the peninsula west to the Santa Cruz mountains. As the sun rises over the eastern range, the light’s surprisingly beautiful, suffusing everything—trees, buildings, even pavement—with gold. It’s a nicer view than I imagined it would be.
My evenings feel like they’ve changed markedly, although I don’t know how much of this perception is true. We have no television set up yet and may not for the foreseeable future; I’m using that big monitor I bought a few months ago as a TV set, effectively. I still have a few shows I’m watching through iTunes* and I’m trying to catch up with neglected video podcasts and add a few more. Mostly, though, I’m just working serenely on the computer or reading, and the background music is often coming from the table radio I have, tuned to KCSM. I suspect once the living room gets a sofa and tables, I’ll migrate my reading out there, and probably do considerably more of it—I’m a firm believer in the Big Comfy Chair as the best reading vehicle when compared to a bed.
My sleeping schedule’s also changed a bit, ratcheting somewhat earlier. I leave later than dracosphynx but given the peculiar parking arrangement, I need to be out at eight to move my car to let his out. This isn’t a bad thing. I come back up, have some coffee, get my act together, and usually get out before nine. I’ve been getting in a bit earlier, and I’ve been in bed by midnight every night this week. A slightly bitter part of me is attributing this to getting old, but I don’t think I was regularly up late when I lived in Brandon, either—only when I got myself hooked into a project of one sort or another. (I hope to get hooked into a couple projects again, finally, in 2008.)
This morning I got in earlier still, as part of an experiment: I drove three miles to the nearest Caltrain station and took the train in, hopping the free North Bay Employer Shuttle to get to the office. I gather this shuttle is really just for Intuit employees, but the closest stop is just a couple blocks away. Getting back may still be a minor adventure, but we’ll see. Unlike my time at Cisco, my employer isn’t paying for public transit, which makes the proposition less attractive—and there’s only one somewhat anemic deli within walking distance of the business park, so I’d be bringing my own food if I wanted anything else. (We have pizza brought in on Fridays, so I knew today would be fine.) I could buy a bike, I suppose, and ride to and from the stations. I’ll have to say, the experience was actually… pretty good.
I haven’t cooked much yet but I’ve cooked a little, doing a very simple pasta sauce last week and “Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic” this week. (I made a smaller portion, and indeed, only used 30 cloves.) Tonight I may do another pasta improvisation; it’ll have cheese sauce, which make make it a bit of a challenge with my usually cheese-hating housemate dracosphynx, but we’ll see.