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Amparo Bertram

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09:05 pm: I can haz mattress!
For the past week, most of my free time has been spent exploring and shopping. My cable was installed a week ago Saturday, but after a couple hours the cable box malfunctioned and I had to make an appointment for someone to come replace it. For some reason, they had messed up which channels I was receiving, which may have had something to do with it. For example, I could view all of the premium channels, but I was randomly missing basic channels such as USA. Someone showed up yesterday to switch me to a new cable box, so hopefully the problem's all cleared up.

I've been spending a lot of time walking around areas to the north and south, as well as traveling a stop or two by train. One stop north is a shopping mall, where I've been picking up items a bit at a time. It's hard to buy bulky items when they have to be a small enough load to carry back to my apartment. Among my purchases were a new printer, stock pot, and camera. I wanted to buy a spice rack, but I visited three different department stores, and the only ones they carried were pre-filled with labeled bottles of spices. What the heck? What if I don't want those spices? What if I'd rather have garam masala than sea salt? That makes the entire rack useless. Not a single store carried just a plain, empty spice rack.

I tried to find a place to fix my digital camera, which spontaneously stopped interpreting light conditions while I was in Maryland. Apparently Sony cameras (which is what I bought in Japan) have to be sent back to Sony for repairs, which I heard from the one camera repair place I managed to semi-locate. (I tracked down the address, but there was no storefront. It turns out the owner operates solely by mail.) So I decided to buy an upgraded version to replace the malfunctioning one. The new camera has more features, but I'm a bit frustrated that it's missing some of the options that the old one had. For example, my old camera could select among about five different picture sizes. The new one only has two choices: Large or Small. Even the Small setting takes up twice the memory of the setting I had been using on my old camera, which means I can only fit half as many pictures on the memory stick. Anyway, I can now take pictures again, and I'll be linking some shots of my apartment later in the entry.

What I'm most excited about is that, after a great deal of searching, I managed to locate a health food store a half hour walk away that carries nutritional yeast and vegetarian chicken-flavored broth. (There is a train that runs to the area on weekends, but there's only one train per hour, so it's faster to walk.) Since I was down to my last cup of nutritional yeast, it was quite a relief to locate a source. Today I also bought a couple of plastic crates that I can set my laptops on until I get furniture. It's not exactly comfortable to hunch over to use a laptop on the floor, and it would make my neck hurt after an hour or so. Not so good for Warcraft raiding.

The other big excitement was that my mattress was delivered last night, so I got to sleep on it for the first time. I conked out at 7:30pm and slept for nearly 12 hours straight. Now I'm just waiting for the headboard to be delivered, which could take another couple of weeks.

And now for the pictures. Here is a shot of the exterior of my apartment building. The ground floor only has one apartment, for the building manager, and the rest is parking space. The remaining five apartments are on the second floor, with mine directly over the manager's. (On a side note, when I went to pay my January rent, I met his wife for the first time. She said "we're cousins" because we both work for the federal government; she's IRS.)

Inside, my living room is mostly empty, containing only my entertainment center consisting of my TV, DVD player, and laptops. In the rear of the living room is my reading nook (the one spot that actually has light). I need to flatten some of those boxes to put out in the recycling bin.

The doorway continues on into the kitchen (left side view, right side view). I'm slowly starting to accumulate items to fill my cupboard space. Next is the bathroom, which has a surprisingly high toilet seat. Also, for some reason the toilet paper holder (invisible from this angle) was attached at ankle height, making it impossible to reach. I plan to get a new one eventually.

Finally, there is the bedroom, with my new mattress. It turned out to be higher off the ground than I expected. I'm currently sleeping on it upside down, because when I tried the other way I was afraid I'd hit my head on that little bar holding the curtain cords. I'm probably going to move it around to another spot to avoid that problem.

And that pretty much sums up my week. Next week I'm scheduled to start learning new things at work, such as how to give out penalties to people trying to smuggle food, and how to detain items for other agencies (such as the Fish and Wildlife Service).

Comments

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From:sara_tanaquil
Date:January 5th, 2009 04:59 am (UTC)
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Wow. I remember when my apartment in California had almost that little stuff in it. Oh my, that was a long time ago. I kind of miss having such a spartan living environment.

Are you going to have a lot of stuff shipped out from Michigan, or stick with the minimalist approach until you acquire new things?

Nice to see you getting settled!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 6th, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
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Are you going to have a lot of stuff shipped out from Michigan, or stick with the minimalist approach until you acquire new things?

I don't want to pack too much into the place, because I'd likely wind up having to move it all again. My book collection is probably going to have to wait until I get a more permanent residence.
[User Picture]
From:manga_crow
Date:January 6th, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)
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I think I would wither and die without my books =/ I have some pretty hilarious pictures of one of my first apartments where the only furniture is my bookcases, all 9 of them - and then there's my sleeping bag and TV sitting on the floor :p

Glad you're starting to get moved in though =)
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:January 5th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
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I think you are going to love that new high bed. My back aches getting in and out of bed have disappeared since we got a higher mattress. No more climbing out of bed or crawling down into it.

I've heard that we sleep best with our head to the north or to the east, if that can be arranged. Mine is neither.

I'm really happy to see the pictures. Do you think you will still get your other camera fixed, even though it needs to be sent to Sony?

It's a nice apartment.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 6th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
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I've heard that we sleep best with our head to the north or to the east, if that can be arranged.

Interestingly enough, in Japanese tradition, northeast is the one direction you should NEVER put your head, because that's the direction from which demons originate.

Do you think you will still get your other camera fixed, even though it needs to be sent to Sony?

Possibly, depending on how much it might turn out to cost.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:January 6th, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
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That's interesting about the demons. I think the north or the east idea had something to do with the earth's magnetism and how it relates to the body's magnetism.

I have some extra dream catchers if you are interested.

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:January 5th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
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Yay, mattress! (Were you sleeping on the floor before that?) And thanks for the pictures; it looks like a nice place. Do the clouded (I know there's a better word I should be using here, but I'm drawing a blank right now) windows in your living room look out into the hall shared by other apartments?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 6th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
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Were you sleeping on the floor before that?

Yep.

Do the clouded windows in your living room look out into the hall shared by other apartments?

Nope, they aren't external windows, they just create a "hallway" leading to the bedroom. The bathroom is behind them.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:January 6th, 2009 01:14 pm (UTC)
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Oh good, because I was going to be really weirded out by that.
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