Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Change of Plans, and Look! A Decoy!

So, after a mild breakdown this weekend, at which point I decided to forgo all apartment-hunting plans, which included at least 7 open houses, and to not even call the landlords of the apartments where said open houses were to be held to inform them of my pending absence. This is extraordinarily out of character for me. Normally I would have called and apologetically said I wouldn't be able to make it, while the landlord pretended to know who I was. What happened was this: from a variety of sources (friends of co-workers, random people I found/stalked on Facebook), I learned that the commute to Google from Berkeley, including travel time from an apartment to a shuttle stop, would take me a minimum of 1 hour, 20 minutes--if I live literally across the street from a BART station where the shuttle stops. More likely, it would take me somewhere in the field of 1 hour, 45 minutes. That started to sound less and less fun as my Friday night went on. I realized that I would need to actually test this commute before signing a lease somewhere, and what the heck was I doing looking at apartments in Berkeley before I even knew what the commute was like??? I was a CRAZY, OBSESSIVE, APARTMENT-HUNTING NUT!!! Now, that doesn't really surprise me. Often, when I venture forth on some mission, I plunge into it full-speed ahead, and later regret having put most of my eggs in one basket, as it were. This has happened to me so many times that it's ludicrous that I haven't learned from it by now. I'm hoping this will be The Time I Learn My Lesson. I'm considering it a small gaffe, as I supposedly Learned My Lesson recently, just before embarking on the Live Life One Day At A Time philosophy. Yeah. I'm not so good at that. But I'm trying. Honest.

Anyway, in the spirit of Living Life One Day At A Time, I have decided to FORGO ALL HOUSE-HUNTING. For now. I start work at Google on Monday, and I will be living in my intern housing for a few more weeks (God Bless You, Christopher Jenkins!), and thus will be able to test the commute. See if it really is that horrible. Besides, maybe I'll get magically lucky (as some Googlers are) and I'll be able to do things like work from 8:30-9:30 on the shuttle and then from 4:30-5:30 on my way home. Or something. I literally have NO IDEA what my hours will be like, what my boss will need of me regarding time actually spent in the office, how much work can be done from home, etc. NO CLUE. Yet another reason to test things out for a while. My other option (as I will be moving out of intern housing at the end of the month) is to live with the fabulous Rebecca and Josh (and Keira) in San Carlos. Test out my little commute from that part of town, see what it's like to live over there, etc. I plan to do this for the month of July (when I'm not in Israel), and also for part of August. I also will spend a night or two (or several) with the lovely Emika and her mother in Palo Alto, which is very close to the Googleplex, and thus very convenient for work. I may try the commute from San Francisco as well, if I meet people who live there and love it...as of right now, the city kind of terrifies me as a place to live, but that all might change. I DO NOT KNOW. Ah, the Living Life One Day At A Time. So much uncertainty. And I'm trying really hard to embrace it. Yup.

So, anyway, moral of the story is, I'm going to be floating around for a few months, getting settled at work, getting acquainted with the Peninsula and with that side of the bay in general, testing out the commute from Berkeley, figuring out how to stay close to the people I love over here in the East Bay, and adjusting to an arguably different life altogether. Hopefully then (my goal is by mid to late August), I will have figured out where the heck I want to live and will move there.

Advice? Stories? Laughs?

And Look! A Decoy! Stationary made from elephant poop!!! I've been wanting to share this with you for days and just have not had the time. Check it out. It's awesome. I really wanted to share a picture from their website, but it's all locked to copying and I don't feel like taking the time for a screenshot. I'm not using my screenshots-are-easy Mac. Damn you, work PC. Only 2 more days with you and your slower-than-molasses silliness!

And because no blog post should be without personal finance stuff, here and here are articles about how Frugality = Happiness. Personally, I'm excited for that first real paycheck. Mmmboy!


  1. This TOTALLY sounds like something I would do/write/experience. You are smart for taking time to test options and figure out what will work best.

    I hope you get settled into work easily and that finding *just* the right place to live will be enjoyable.

    In the meantime, I love reading your stories.

  2. And P.S.: I'm so jealous that you're going to Israel, it's not even funny.

  3. Does google operate out of San Jose/Santa Clara? 'Cause if that's the case, you definitely don't want to live in Berkeley! Good Lord. Look into Mountain View. Menlo Park is boring, but cheap. These are all outside of San Francisco, which sucks, but so would the hour commute! :)

  4. It operates out of Mountain View. I may stay in Berkeley though...the commute is an hour, but I can take the shuttle, and it's the same as from San Francisco. Mountain View/Menlo Park/Palo Alto just don't really seem like what I want in a living situation (cough boring cough). No offense.

    Apparently all the Googlers who are young (ie not settling down with families) live in SF.