an ankle adventure

Well. Yesterday I was at the climbing gym and had a bad fall when bouldering. I heard a sort of crunch, and I thought I’d twisted my ankle. What I actually did was dislocate it pretty badly and chip a couple of bones. That was the one unlucky thing that happened to me all night. The rest of the night was a series of lucky breaks. Also bouldering in the same area were two EMT’s and a doctor. They swooped in and took a look at the foot, elevated it, immobilized it, someone called an ambulance. I would put a picture of the foot right here, but it might bother some of my readers so I’ll just give you a link: here.

I got the first ambulance ride of my life. I foolishly turned down pain medication because I was still in shock and the ankle didn’t hurt too much. By the time we got to the ER I was probably in the most pain I’ve ever been in. About 20 minutes later they gave me some morphine, which evened things out a bit. They took an x-ray, then wheeled me back. Then a few doctors came in grabbed my leg and foot in various places, and crunched things around until my foot was pointing in the right direction again. At that point I felt a lot better. There’s something very psychologically unsettling about having a dislocated body part (at least for me). They said that I was very lucky that nothing broke, since it will probably save me from some arthritis 20 years down the line.

They splinted my leg and told me to get a cast put on the next day. I’ve got an appointment to get that done this afternoon. In the meantime, I’m not much use around the apartment. Hopefully I’ll be a bit more durable once I get in a cast.

check off the life-long to do list: live in berkeley

We’re here. Actually, we’ve been here since Saturday, but this is really the first time that I’ve been still and unoccupied long enough to record anything for posterity.

apt keys

Last Thursday we met Reza to get our keys and sign the lease. It was quick and painless, and we got to go in and look at our place, which looked great. Gone were the bare slats of the wall and the half-ripped-out ancient carpet. Instead, nice textured yellow paint covered the walls, and we had brand new hardwood on the floors. Very nice.

Saturday morning we narrowly avoided a huge traffic jam and picked up the truck in Berkeley (El Cerrito, actually, hometown of Creedence Clearwater Revival). Back down to Fremont, and the packing began. It went of without a hitch, with helpers trickling in until about 4pm. The process was complete by 6pm, when my parents showed up. We strolled down to a decent Italian place called “Fontina” on Shattuck where I rewarded all the movers with free food.

people in the new apt

Sunday was a great day. It made obvious the benefits of living so close to the middle of a town like Berkeley. We woke up, had no food, so just walked out for breakfast. Then, I was setting up the desk, and it needed to be hacked up a bit to get the legs in the right place, so I walked around the corner to the hardware store for the things I needed. Later, we went from hungry to fed in less than 30 mins by strolling to another nearby restaurant. I’m definitely going to take this for granted very soon.

outside the new apt

But not yet. For now, I have to cope with the commute from Berkeley to Cupertino. One hour, fifteen minutes, on a good day. It’s not so bad, and only for two weeks, but it feels silly all the same. I look at the gray haze on the horizon and imagine that I’m personally responsible for it being a shade darker.

The last few days have been spent, predictably, trying to impose some order on the mess of all of our stuff. We’ll have more pics and a complete tour of the place online soon, no doubt. In the meantime, witness the OCD of our computerized apartment layout (this is one of several versions that closest matches the current reality):

apt layout

berkeley is far from apple

I knew this. No surprises here. Still, I made the drive in one chunk for the first time on Friday afternoon so that I could talk to James about my SCA talk. That is a long-ass drive. I can’t believe people commute from SF or Berkeley to Apple for years. What a crazy place the Bay can be. Luckily, I’ve only really got two weeks of that pain to go through.

I burned up most of Saturday trying to build a cable to splice an iPod into my car stereo, and failed. I’m not giving up though, since commercial adapters go for $90 or so. The goal is that when we do our summer roadtrip (Canada is the plan, all the cool kids are doing it) we can bring Jim and rock out. When I finally figure out how, I’ll make some sort of guide to save others pain. Also, I’m trying to figure out how to use my phone to connect to the internets on the road so we can post up-to-the-minute photos of I-5.

pack pack pack

Well, Leslie is off to Thailand and clearly having a grand time. I picked up on packing where Leslie left off. I think we’ve got about 2/3rds of the stuff packed up at this point, mostly stuffed into G5 boxes that I stole from work supplemented with Crate and Barrel boxes from Cameron’s wedding presents. We’ll look like the most well-heeled grad student couple ever when we move in. T-minus two weeks to Berkeley.

The weather here is in full-blown summer mode: perfect every day. Not too hot, nice and cool in the evenings. When, inevitably, we leave California, it’s a virtual guarantee that we’ll bitch about the weather. Because weather is just not supposed to be this good, continuously. Really. You actually start to bitch about how boring the perfect weather is (it reminds me of Blind Melon, sing it with me: “… and I start to complain that there’s no rain…”).

The rest of my spare time has been sunk in to my summer grad student activities. The last week or so I’ve been trying to whip up slides for my SCA presentation, which I’d say are half done now. This is probably the most preparing I’ve ever done for a presentation. It can pay off, though, because talking at conferences seems to be one important way to establish yourself in the incestuous world of academic research. I should be giving some practice talks at Berkeley and Pixar befordhand, which will help.