Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally a post about something more than the internet

Even though the internet drama is still in the works (the internet is in a box on our couch, our property manager has verified that we have no normal phone jack, and she’s calling the owner and the phone company to see what happens next), I decided it was only fair to take a little time to type up a few observations about moving in, our experiences so far in Idaho, and getting used to living in an apartment again.

To begin, we had such a welcome send off from Portland and arrival in Boise on our moving day. Charlie’s mom and dad drove down to Portland so that his dad could assist us in driving our two cars and the moving van cross-state. It was such an amazing help to have that third person for the driving. We made a quick stop for a lovely warm breakfast (both the food and the people!) at the home of relatives of Charlie’s that live in Hillsboro, Oregon. After hugs and bon voyages, we hit the road.

There’s not a ton to say about being on the road. We drove. And drove and drove and drove. I’d had a bad experience the night before at an Oil Can Henry’s in which they essentially told me my car wouldn’t make it back to my house that night—let along all the way to Idaho!—so I was a little anxious about that most of the way. Suffice to say we made it here just fine. The cat survived the trip, too. We wedged the carrier into the front seat next to me, and he alternately meowed indignantly and slept with his back to me for the entire eight hours.

When we arrived here in Boise, family friends of Charlie’s showed up with tennis shoes and open arms and helped us unload the van. It was such an amazing help. We had six people in total helping us carry boxes from the street into our apartment. After spending the better part of two days painstaking loading things into the van, it was remarkable how fast we were able to empty it out. We then all hoofed it up to a bar and grill just up the road for a beer and a light dinner. After all the driving, and then a little drama with our apartment keys (the post office started forwarding my mail two days early, and thus the priority mail package containing our keys never made it to us in Portland—fortunately, our property manager lives within walking distance and could bring extra keys over), it was amazing to just relax and enjoy good food and such welcoming company.

Beyond that, our first week was concerned primarily with unloading boxes and trying to find things like clean underwear and the little Ziploc baggies we’d packed full of our furniture assembling hardware. In the process of opening and breaking down boxes, it was hilarious how many knives accumulated all around our house. We decided that 1) we felt exceptionally safe in case of a home intrusion (there were weapons hidden everywhere!) and 2) it would have been an excellent setting for an action movie (weapons hidden everywhere, boxes to back flip over). Sharp pointies aside, Otto settled right in, and we utilized our AC only a few times as we got used to a standard daily temperature of over 90 degrees. The other night, taking an evening walk, Charlie and I noted that since we’ve been here, it’s been sunnier than you can even imagine—we haven’t even had a single, fully cloudy day. Two weeks of exclusively sunny days. All sun, all the time.

Readjusting to apartment life has been… amusing. As it turns out, we’ve had a rock band (real, not video game) living in the basement apartment just below us. Fortunately, they sound awesome and they shut down practices by 9:00pm. Unfortunately they like to play loud and their drums are just below our dining room/library room. It’s also taken us a while to get used to the number of smokers in our building. They can’t smoke in the building, but it certainly wafts into the windows when they smoke in the rear courtyard. Finally, there’s a screamer in the building. We’re talking Herbal Essences, full blown best-experience-of-my life type of screamer (if you know what I’m insinuating). At least we know everyone is happy, right?

Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming. We’ve met almost all our neighbors, and they’re all exceptionally nice. The people above us invited Charlie up for a barbeque on the roof (I was feeling a little under the weather so declined), and the people (non-band people) in the other basement apartment complimented how good our food always smells. Oh yeah, and, as it turns out, the band moved out this week and the apartment below us is now for rent. Overall, things are good.

Adjusting to living together has been a funny process for Charlie and I, too. We’ve found we have such a funny collection of duplicate things. Two coffee brewers (the conversation went like this: “Mine makes tasty coffee!” “Mine’s smaller than yours! It fits better!” “Mine matches our other kitchen stuff!”—of course it was all in good spirits), too many knives, and too many Norton Anthologies. We’ve also found a few things that we’re curiously lacking: glasses (as in water/drinking glasses), floor lamps, chairs. As I’m sure any couple moving in together can attest to discovering, one of us is also a little less tidy than the other as well. I bet it won’t surprise anyone to hear how than dynamic breaks down. We’re thinking about getting Charlie a dust buster so that he can follow me around and pick up the trail of debris that follows in my wake. Whoops!

We’ve found that we’re also sharing our building with an unusual set of neighbors: a swarm of honeybees! The other night we were getting ready for bed, and I noticed Otto, nose to the ground, following behind a honeybee that was walking along the floor. The next night, there were three in the house, flying around the light fixture. We stuffed the gaps around the air conditioner with towels, and then the next day went outside to see if there was anything out there. Sure enough, in a crack between stones, we spotted a nest of honeybees. We elected not to make a big deal about it, considering the state of honeybees in the world right now, and I have to say, sitting near that window, I love to watch them flying to and from their nest. The towels worked wonders, and we all can coexist happily. Yellow jackets are one thing, honeybees have a whole different benign presence to them.

I think that this is about it for now as far as apartment updates go. I have plenty more to share with you all about other things we’ve seen and done since moving here, but those will appear in future posts. Stay tuned for updates about the day hike we took, the play we attended, live (free!) music, and the perils of job hunting.

Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with this funny little Boise fact. According to Wikipedia, the climate here is officially semi-arid. Other regions of the world sharing a semi-arid climate include: the Australian outback, Northern Africa, West Texas, and Pakistan. They are doing a military training exercise south of here in which they’ve created a faux Iraqi town, have hired actors, and are going to try to give soldiers a relatively similar experience to that which they’ll encounter in Iraq and Afghanistan. The newsman said that, while the temperatures were on average 10 degrees cooler here than in Iraq, otherwise it’s a remarkably similar climate.

So, there you have it. We send our love from little Persepolis.


Ariel and Charlie

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