Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 3 - Dogs, Dogs Everywhere

Sleeping on the floor was proving to be less of an issue - I had gotten a decent night's sleep and wasn't sore the next morning. Today I decided to explore the other end of Burlingame - which also, conveniently, had a Starbucks.

It was a bit further away than I had expected. There weren't many chain stores there, but a lot of independently-owned shops. It must be the "historic" end of Burlingame. There were also a ton of people sitting at the tables outside of the Starbucks and just as many inside. Since there was clearly no room for me, I decided to walk back to my familiar Starbucks.

The walk was nice except for the exact position of the sun, which shone above my transition lenses and directly into my eyes for most of the time, so I was stumbling blindly down the sidewalks. The streets are also not in a convenient grid pattern as I was normally used to, so I got lost a couple of times. Finally I found my way up Burlingame Avenue. There were lots of people out, and some of them I thought I recognized from wandering around yesterday. (Small town!) Lots of dogs out as well. Saw a couple of weimeraners sniffing intently at a golden retriever and their owner was giving the passerby their entire breed history. A block later a woman was doing a similar thing with her two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. Fancy dogs!

Unfortunately for me, this Starbucks was also crowded. There was one table free that I could see, but it was for the handicapable and I didn't want to be a jerk. So I parked it on a bench outside and attempted to use my laptop in the sunlight. Needless to say, I gave up after 5 minutes. I entered Starbucks again and almost everyone had disappeared, and there was room to spare. I parked it at a table near the back and was consumed by the internet for about 3 hours. I ordered Internet service for my apartment (which won't come until next Saturday), checked all my sites, and tried to study up for my first day of work tomorrow by playing the newest game, "Around the World in 80 Plays". Soon anxiety washed over me and I decided to head home. On the way, I stopped inside the small bookstore down the road. It was no Barnes & Noble but they had a modest graphic novel collection and they sold Moleskine notebooks, so I decided it would do in a pinch.

At home I wrote up some notes for my friend's novel, talked to my mom on the phone, and then talked to my old roommate Alex for almost 3 hours while I drew some Pokemon for the Pokemon Sketchbook Project. After that I watched some of War Horse (right up until Captain Nicholls gets killed, no surprise there) and turned in at about 10pm to rest up for my first day of work tomorrow!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 2 - Now What?

SATURDAY

I woke up to a loud banging noise and realized the wind was blowing through my kitchen windows and banging the blinds against the frame. I shut the window and tried to go back to sleep. Instead I lay "in sleeping bag" for another 30 minutes. I got up, ate some cereal, went to shower... and realized I had no shower curtain. I also realized I had no drain plug, so a bath was out of the question. However, I come from a family of women who wash their hair in the kitchen sink, so I made it work somehow.

My plan for today was simple - go to Starbucks and use their wifi. After a ten minute walk or so, I hunkered down at a sticky table with a frappuccino and proceeded to check my emails. Shortly thereafter an older woman asked to join me with her semi-infant granddaughter. We made small talk and the kid was pretty cute and well-behaved. They hung out for a little while (joined shortly by the kid's mother) and then left, wishing me welcome to Burlingame and good luck at my job. I decided then that this town seemed OK.

I stayed for a while longer and then realized I was starving, so I headed home. I stopped at Walgreens and was impressed by their selection of home products. I picked up a shower liner, bath drain, kitchen sink strainer (as I have no garbage disposal) and some extra hand towels. I was tempted to pick up a queen-sized air mattress (with pump included) for $40, but considering I had not found an air mattress/pump combo for under $80 anywhere else, I decided to give it one more night in the sleeping bag. I came home, made myself a sandwich, and read my friend's novel for the rest of the day.

At 8pm I didn't know what to do with myself. I had another book I could read, a little bit of drawing I could do, and 1 movie - War Horse, which I had already watched on Thursday night - but other than that, not much else to do. Wound up watching a couple of videos I had on my laptop, reading a little bit more, and half a package of my dehydrated potatoes.

One of the mental obstacles I will have to overcome eventually is feeling guilty about eating too much. I still have plenty of money left over to last me until my first paycheck, yet I'm trying to conserve the amount (and type) of food I'm eating. If I feel like I want a bowl of cereal in the middle of the day, I try to resist the temptation in order to make it last as long as possible. I'm acting as though I'm destitute, which I figure isn't a bad thing for the first month or so as I figure out how much I am going to be spending a month, but I really hope I grow out of it.

Day 1 - The Arrival

Hi everyone!

Welcome to "Fran Sanfisco", a new blog that documents my adventures of my new life in SF!

After a morning of errands, packing, last-minute things, and a tearful goodbye to my dogs, my mom drove me to the airport. The plane took off at 3pm (Central) and arrived at San Francisco International Airport at 5pm (Pacific). The first thing I noticed when we flew in over the bay was the infamous San Francisco fog. Half the city was engulfed in it, and though I could see Oakland through a peek in the cloud cover, I once again missed an aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge. (The first time I had flown in to SF, it was completely dark and I wasn't able to see much of the city except for light clusters.)

At the airport, I got lost trying to get to the Baggage Claim carousel (despite it being clearly marked), picked up my bags (with some difficulty) and headed for the Taxi area. I managed to get a cab within seconds of stepping onto the platform and marveled at the efficiency. After one terrifying ride later (got to experience the California traffic AT rush hour with a crazy driver), I was dropped off at my new apartment complex in Burlingame.


My new apartment was beautiful (walking tour video to come as soon as I get internet in my apartment)! I made camp in my room, put everything I brought in my suitcases where it needed to go, and immediately put my shoes back on and walked to the grocery store for some food. I bought the essentials - milk, cereal, bread, ramen, a box of instant mashed potatoes, and a couple cans of tuna. I did my best to buy things I could actually EAT with only one pot and some plastic silverware (which is all I brought), and only goofed up on the tuna. I signed up for the Safeway rewards card at the cashier and headed home to eat and settle in for the night.

After reading for a bit, I turned in at around 9:30pm (11:30 cst). Falling asleep in a new place is always hard - you have to get accustomed to all the new noises and smells. Whenever I would start to doze, I would hear another weird noise and bolt awake. The smell of barbecue and something else - marijuana? - floated through my open window. It didn't help that I was in a sleeping bag on a hardwood floor and would be for several nights. I finally grabbed some of my old dirty clothes and propped them up under my pillow for some extra elevation. That made a world of difference and I was able to fall asleep.