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Amparo Bertram

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10:28 pm: Improving by leaps and bounds
This past week has been quite full. At work, I was shown how to use the computer system and spent a couple days shadowing the officers who do immigration work (inspecting documents and determining whether passengers are eligible to enter the country). I also spent two afternoons at the DMV in my quest to acquire a California driver's license. They are only open weekdays, and only administer the test until 4:30pm. I work until 3:30pm, and the nearest DMV is a half hour drive from the airport; luckily a co-worker with a car needed to get a license too and let me ride along. The line of people waiting to do DMV business literally stretched out the door. I couldn't get my paperwork done in time to take the test the first day, so I had to come back the next day to finish.

Outside of work, I signed up for three trial tae kwon do lessons. I had my first one on Wednesday. It was me (white belt) with two more advanced students (blue and brown belts) and two instructors. They certainly had me working up a sweat, and I only did about half as much exercise as the other two students. My next lesson will be tomorrow evening.

mangaroo generously took time out of her weekend to drive me to Ikea yesterday for furniture. I bought quite a few things, though none of their sofas were comfortable and I didn't like any of their dining table sets. We were also forced to pass on the bookshelves, because not only were they too big to fit in the car, they would have been too heavy for us to carry up my stairs. After mangaroo headed home, I went to a department store for the sofa and table. They were a lot more expensive, but they are more comfortable/attractive, so I think I got my money's worth. They are scheduled to be delivered on Friday.

I spent most of today assembling my purchases. I now have a new look in both my living room and bedroom. I didn't have too much trouble with the wooden items, though the dresser took forever because it had a jillion pieces. Unfortunately, the adjustable reading lamp has a proprietary socket size that only fits Ikea bulbs, which wasn't advertised on either the product display or the package. Not only that, it's impossible to order lightbulbs from their website, nor do they sell them by phone; the only way to purchase them is to go to the store in person and pick them up. Considering a round-trip fare on public transportation from my location would cost more than the lamp itself is worth...I'm not very impressed with their customer service.

On the bright side, at least I have more light than I started with. That's a good thing, because since I moved in less than a month ago, three of the apartment's lightbulbs have burned out. I can't replace them yet because I have no chairs to stand on to reach them. Hopefully that will be remedied when my dining set arrives.

Comments

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From:amilyn
Date:January 12th, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
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TKD yay! Hope you LOVE it and have a good dojang with great folks.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 13th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
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I was grateful that you've been posting about your positive experiences. It helped give me the gumption to plunge in and try it.
[User Picture]
From:amilyn
Date:January 13th, 2009 02:54 am (UTC)
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I'd be even MORE positive if my damned ankle were letting me DO more TKD...and if I'd get my act back together and lose weight again...and if I could make there be more time in a day...

I hope you have a great time!
[User Picture]
From:kirbyfest
Date:January 12th, 2009 03:57 am (UTC)
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Your place is definitely starting to take shape! Excellent. I'm glad you're settling in.

FWIW, I don't care for Ikea's sofas, either. Their futons aren't bad, but their upholstered furniture is generally not all that comfy.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 13th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
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We commented upon what the stiffness of the sofas must say about the firmness of the backsides in Sweden.
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From:mangaroo
Date:January 13th, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
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For the reading arm on the Not, I went to my local Ace hardware today and picked up a Westinghouse 03625 bulb. You might want to check the Ace hardware near you (Google claims there's one about 2 blocks from your place.) You want an R14 style (R = reflective, 14 addresses its size) with an E17 or Intermediate screw/base. NOT a "Medium" base, which is the standard bulb.

And now I must forget everything I learned about light bulbs today. I'm sure I have better uses for those brain cells.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 13th, 2009 01:25 pm (UTC)
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Wow, thanks for the information! The Ikea customer service representative I talked to on the phone insisted that only Ikea bulbs would fit. Even when I literally begged for other options, she continued to say that returning to the store was the only way to get them.

I'll go check out the ones at the hardware store.
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:January 13th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
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I'm so glad you didn't mention the part about calling customer service in your phone call. I, too, would have believed that CS knew what they were talking about. Tsk on IKEA.
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From:megory
Date:January 13th, 2009 04:08 am (UTC)
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Home, Sweet Home!

When you get your bookcases, you are going to be very comfortable there, I'll bet.

So, does that mean you did get your California Driver's License?

Do you automatically register to vote there, too?

[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:January 13th, 2009 01:28 pm (UTC)
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So, does that mean you did get your California Driver's License?

I have a slip of paper that acts as my "interim" license until they mail me the actual one. I'm told it usually takes about six weeks.

Do you automatically register to vote there, too?

No, I don't think so. The interim license can't be used for that purpose, I have to wait until I get the real version with the photo on it.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:January 13th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I was just wondering. Here one can register to vote right at the driver's license office, which is an office of the Secretary of State. I think that's a state-by-state rule.

Congratulations on getting your new license.
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