Thursday, November 29, 2007

Things I do not miss about Sausalito, or Benefits of Judah St

1. The feeling of isolation. It was dark on our street. It was dark going down to the laundry (in fact, we did the occasional load of evening laundry with a headlamp on). If we went out to dinner, walking to a restaurant provided either very limited choices or a long, somewhat creepy walk.

2. The lack of space. 600 sq ft apartment; 1048 sq ft condo. Not much of a decision!

3. Confirming our address. Yes, we're the Woodards on Woodward. It's spelled s-a-u-s-a-l-i-t-o, like the cookie.

4. Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge nearly every day. First, it's $4 per round trip. Second, it's a big red barrier to getting many friends to come out with us. Third, it takes a while, especially navigating around the slow moving tourists.

5. Coin-op laundry. Need I say more?

Things I miss about Sausalito

1. The view. It is really hard to beat the view we had from 3 walls of windows looking out over Richardson Bay and Tiburon.

2. The kitchen, specifically the dishwasher, gas stove and spacious cabinets, drawers and counter space.

3. The woodsy scent. I think it was eucalyptus, but I really have no idea. (And if it were, they're non-native anyway so it was a human-manufactured aura). To add to this one, I miss the feeling that the neighborhood (and the town itself) were somewhat isolated - bordered by Golden Gate National Recreation Area on one side and water on the other.

4. Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge just about daily. This stretch of the drive (or bus ride) provided such great variety of scenery. It could be a beautiful clear day and I'd see surfers, sailboats, windsurfers, kitesurfers, giant container ships, cruise ships, ferries, you name it. Other days you can't see the car ahead of you.

5. The Banana Belt. Our apartment was in a particularly great weather zone within Sausalito. If the entire Bay Area was socked in with fog, the chances were still good we would arrive home to clear, sunny skies. Marin is sunny in the summer 99% of the time; Sausalito sits around 68-70 degrees for months.

Friday, November 23, 2007


After the excitement of an unplanned cat bath, the Thanksgiving meal actually went quite well. We dined among some stray boxes, but all happily ignored them. With a little help from nearby Andronico's Market, we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I even used this as the first opportunity to use our silver and several wedding gifts.

The vintage oven proved rather useful for simultaneously heating the turkey at one temperature and cooking the sweet potatoes & stuffing at another.

We even attempted (and succeeded if you ask me) to make a Tarte Tatin, which, tho simple, is apparently a dessert which intimidates many people. For me, I'll make this any day over a pie - much less work, fewer ingredients! Also, a great excuse to break in the cast iron skillet.

Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim-in-ey, chim chim cher-ee

With my parents in town this week, Matt and I had many things on our respective to-do lists. Matt & Dad worked on wiring, electrical, cable, baseboards, etc. Mom & I worked at reducing boxes and organizing, painting the baseboards and of course had a meal planned. In the early afternoon, we were all in the midst of accomplishing these tasks when we were all rudely interrupted by a curious cat. Franklin tried his paw at being a chimney sweep. This prompted a snicker from my dad and an emergency quarantine in the bathroom for Franklin. What followed is not for the faint of heart - bathing a pissed off cat.

Here he is post-bath, still plenty dirty:

Monday, November 19, 2007

State of the Condo

After two full days of moving, unpacking, Ikea shopping and adjustment, this is the state of the condo as of this morning (photos taken while waiting for next train):

Ikea Madness

Although not ideal for the long term, we succumbed to the draw of Ikea for some new furniture, lamps, rugs and odds & ends to help make the new condo a home. It was a marathon 2 hours just to follow all the arrows on the floor and make it through the store. Then another 45 minutes or so in line. Ick. By the time we made it to the self service, find your aisle and bin, grab your carton of ready-to-assemble furniture, Matt was a bit punchy. I was even a bit tired of the place, after declaring Ikea my equivalent of an amusement park. Perhaps my Pumpkin Spice Latte wasn't strong enough.

Felines in a Frenzy

Any literature you read about cats will tell you that they do not like moving. They do not like change, new places. Ours do not particularly like cars - well that may be more a byproduct of not liking being trapped in a 2 cubic foot carrier. They have survived the ordeal, including 3 hours stuck in the bathroom in Sausalito, where they cried to be released and curled up in the safety of the sink. After about 24 hours huddled in the new bathroom (see below), under the bed and in their tree house, Franklin & Marin have been let out to explore the entire 1048 sq feet. I think they will love having more space to chase each other.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two Normal Men & One Medium Truck

The big move finally happened Saturday and now the new place has furniture. It's nice to be able to take a load off somewhere other than the floor or the Johnny Rockets booth. We had a few moments of fear when on the first two tries, the nice young men from One Big Man and One Big Truck movers stated the living room couch was not going to fit up the stairs. For the second try, Matt removed one handrail. For the third and final "this must work" try, Matt removed two more handrails and the movers forcefully removed a fourth (need to get some new hardware). Success! Now we just need to leave the handrails off until the new pull-out couch arrives Tuesday.

Moon Over the Freeway

The move has caused me to drive up to the 101 in the dark more than ever before. I have noted lately that the moon sits nicely above the freeway. Whenever I see this, the above-referenced Ditty Bops song pops into my head. This photo doesn't quite do it justice, but that's what you get for taking a pic while from the driver's seat at a stop sign.

Friday, November 16, 2007


The floors are nearly done! Matt, Brian, Greg and Hans collectively put in a long day & night Thursday and all rooms are at least 95% complete. The bedroom closets need the final 4-6 board placed and some other rooms need that last board cut just right to fit the remaining space. Next up: cleaning all the scraps and sawdust, figuring out what to do with 100+ square feet of extra flooring, painting/installing new baseboards, touch up paint on the walls where the mallet got out of control and, of course, moving! One Big Man & One Big Truck movers arrive in Sausalito tomorrow morning, 9am. Eek!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Packing Continues

While Matt & the boys laid more flooring, I kept packing in Sausalito. Hard to fill boxes when they're occupied though.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Construction Chaos

We have begun the various projects in our new home and also have moved quite a bit of stuff from Sausalito.

This is the current state of our new dining room

Project central: the living room

Brian, Matt and Hans (hiding) are contemplating how to continue the flooring project from the guest bedroom into the hallway:

More contemplation (aided by a well deserved beer)

The progress on day 1 of the flooring.

Friday and Saturday were spent prepping and painting. The guest bedroom walls were previously bright red - now toned down to a lovely tan. We had a big crew working all weekend. Toby & Steve and cousin Christine helped pack, move & unpack the kitchen. Former houseguests Brian and Greg helped 2 days each this weekend with painting, destruction (baseboards) and construction. We are very fortunate that Brian's roommate, Hans, is a carpenter and was critical in getting the flooring started. Not sure how we would have fared without him!

My work on the street

Ok, I didn't create the ad but I did review & approve it. See the little green line across the bottom? In real life, you would be able to read a bunch of disclosure. That is my work. This is really only exciting to me, but I'm posting anyway. It's not very often my company advertises on the street. First time in SF, actually.

I also realize the ad is not very legible here, but that's the best I could get using a camera phone and without standing in the middle of the road. It says "You know how some people have that certain something? This is that certain something."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

West Coast Sunset

Watching the sun set over the water is one of the joys of living on the West Coast. Sure, you can see this in many other places, but you have to make an effort. Go to an island, drive out to Hull. But I just want to share some of the pics from Saturday's perfect California day.

Unfortunately, Stinson Beach is now closed due to a 58,000 gallon oil spill after a cargo ship ran into the Bay Bridge.

Closing Day!

We get the keys to the place today! Matt, Brian and Greg will bring the flooring from Berkeley. We'll also start filling the empty space - with some boxes but mostly with tools.

A few more "before" pictures before we start working on the place and moving in. I'll take more pics to document the process.

Click photo to see full size.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lunch with Lisa & Olivia

I took advantage of our friend Lisa's last few weeks of maternity leave and her proximity to my office to have lunch with her and 6 week old Olivia. Nice for me to get away from my desk and for Lisa to get out of the house.

Monday, November 5, 2007

California Living

Saturday turned into a great California day. Mark (who just moved back to SF), Matt and I set out around 10 to cheer on Brian as he ran a challenging 15 mile trail run - meeting him first at mile 11, the highest point on the course (he'd gained over 1800 feet since the start plus another 1600 for fun on a loop). He ran by then we descended to cheer him at the finish at Stinson Beach.

How better for all of us to celebrate his achievement than by spending the day in the sun, drinking beers and playing frisbee? After all, Stinson Beach is rarely relieved of the fog. The munchkins you see, Grace, 7, and Jake, 4, adopted us for the afternoon as their friends. The parents sat back & watched, enjoying the peace and quiet, while we tired out their kids.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Signature Practice

I had ample opportunities this afternoon to practice and perfect my new signature. We signed all the loan documents known to man and now just have to wire over every last penny we have. Assuming all goes well, we'll have the keys Thursday, November 8th around noon!