And poof! I'm back.
The apartment is shaping up nicely, but is still sucking up most of the energy I have left over after work takes its share. We have been trying to furnish the place economically by buying lots of furniture off of craigslist, but somehow someone always beats me to the really good bargains even though I check the site maniacally all day long. But along with the tears of frustration comes some laughter, too, and by that I mean laughing at people and not with them.
Anyway, we have all the basics in place now, except for a bed and a couch. The couch we wanted just finally came in stock at IKEA, so hopefully that will be arriving soon, which should be a boon to our relationship (it is not easy to cuddle and watch TV while sitting on two adjacent chairs). As for the bed, we've been sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor, and I've kind of gotten used to it, although it's sort of inconvenient to set things down on the nightstand when it's a foot above my head. I did have a bed in my old apartment, but the frame cracked and we decided to junk it when we moved (i.e. I wound up having to pay a guy $25 to haul it to the dump). Now I'm just waiting for the new Room & Board San Francisco store to buy a new one, because I've heard they make good beds, and I like several of them, but the opening just got postponed from "Late Spring 2005" to "Summer 2005." Ah well, the mattress on the floor isn't so bad.
Last weekend, we had a housewarming party, which was incredibly nerve-wracking and ultimately a great success, I thought. It was nerve wracking for two reasons: one, the day before the party our living room was still full of Iggy's boxes of crap, and two, we invited lots of people who didn't know each other, and I was afraid that everyone would sit in their little groups and not talk to anyone. We even invited all the other people who live in this building, and we didn't know any of them ourselves except the building manager. But as it turned out, Iggy managed to straighten everything up in time, despite falling off his bike, landing on his face, and winding up with a concussion, a huge gash on his face, and a black eye the night before the party. And people actually talked to each other and had fun at the party and we got to meet a bunch of our neighbors, who were all extremely nice and friendly. I think the fact that it was such a mix of people may have actually been key to the party's success: most of the people there didn't know many other attendees, so they were forced to mingle.
So, in general, things are working out pretty well here. Even living next door to a firehouse has turned out not to be so bad. Granted, they do a chainsaw drill every morning at 9 (yes, Saturday and Sunday, too) but I'm always up by then, and Iggy can sleep through it. The only time firehouse noise has kept me up was one night a few weeks ago when the power went out for several hours and I discovered that their extremely loud emergency generator is right outside our bedroom window. But I eventually fell asleep anyway. And it's kind of nice knowing that the fire department is right next door in case anything happens. Our neighbor who lives directly above us came to the party and told me that once she and her boyfriend had had some friends over and they brought their 2-year-old son with them. They were playing peek-a-boo with him with the bathroom door when he somehow managed to lock himself in the bathroom and couldn't unlock the door. They tried to take the door off the hinges, but it wouldn't work, so she ran down to the fire station for help. Their bathroom, like ours, has a window that opens onto an air shaft, so the firefighters entered the apartment opposite the airshaft from them, opened the windows, and then one of them jumped across the airshaft and into the bathroom with the boy in it. Pretty impressive considering that the windows only open maybe 30 inches and they're on the second floor of the building. Iggy and I are supposed to babysit for our friends' kid next weekend, so it's especially good to know they're on the case!
In the rest of my time, I've been going to concerts, running, and playing some music again. I have two running partners now, which means that I am forcing myself out the door more often. Also, the days are longer, which helps a lot. My sister ran the Boston Marathon today, but she had to DNF (that's "Did Not Finish" for those of you not hep to the running lingo), which really sucks. But hey, at least now I can still say that I've run more marathons than anyone else in my family, at least for now! We won't mention the fact that her marathon PR is more than an hour faster than mine, OK?
And yeah, playing music. A couple of friends of mine, another flautist and a cellist, signed up to play something in this concert in a couple of weeks, and when we realized it was coming up in a couple of weeks, we decided we should probably 1. decide what we're going to play, and then 2. practice it. We finally got started on it last week, but in a sitcom-esque turn of fate, our cellist slammed his thumb in a car door and can't play, and his prospects for recovery are still a bit murky. But we're going to see what happens, and if he's not better in time, we'll come up with some sort of wacky plot or something.