Category Archives: Living in the Bay

Keep Berkeley Weird

People kept telling me how Berkeley is so much “weirder” than Austin. So as I headed out to grab me some lunch I was excited to see this fully ornamented “Frida Kahlo” car:

Frida Kahlo VW Jetta

Then I looked more closely. Never mind:

Yes, it had Texas plates too.

And the hunt for weird goes on…


  1. Drive 45 minutes in traffic to the nearest IKEA.
  2. Walk around for three hours.
  3. Load up shopping carts with 20+ boxes.
  4. Call a friend to help you drive the stuff because it won’t fit in one car.
  5. Drive back.
  6. Unload two cars.
  7. Start assembling the dining room table.
  8. Finish assembling the dining room table.
  9. Flip it over to find three perfectly aligned holes in the middle of the table.

Needless to say, that killed the furniture-assembling mood for the day. We won’t go back to return it until all the stuff has been inspected and assembled. This could take a while.

Still, I gotta admit that IKEA is insanely cheap and cool.

First day in Berkeley

A few quick notes on my first full day:

I went to work at my new office, the not-quite-secret Berkeley branch. It’s small: located in a shared office building, we share the bathroom with others, so I have a key to the bathroom. Our WiFi does not reach it. Please don’t ask how I know or why this is highly disappointing. First to come in in the mornings turns on the lights and turns off the alarm. The reverse is true for the last guy out. I need a parking permit. Etc. So far everyone’s been great and very welcoming. They even use the exact same cube walls so if I am sitting I won’t even know the difference… except for the view.

The house we are renting is great. Old and creaky and great. Believe it or not, it’s really hard to find a place around here with a washer and dryer. This was my one requirement: I’m not about to spend my weekends waiting for my underwear to dry at some laundromat. This house has them. According to my calculations, it’s one of four houses in the whole Bay Area with a washer and dryer. Also, it’s about 3 miles from work, so I need to look for a bike so I can replace the exercise from the eight flights of stairs to my Austin office.

Sure, I will let you use them... FOR FOURTEEN FREAKING QUARTERS!!!

While I don’t think they have good BBQ here, I did find good BBQ sauce in the supermarket: Stubb’s – an Austin concert staple. Sadly, the salsa selection was weak.

Stubb's BBQ Sauce. Now all I need is good brisket.