Atta Ikede

February 28, 2008

The bus

Filed under: San Francisco — attaikede @ 4:00 am

I like the bus! I had to take the bus around town today because I went apartment hunting after work.

I’ve been taking the subway until now — it runs underground in some areas but runs above ground in other areas. There’s also a streetcar system here, but I haven’t taken that yet because (1) there’s a surcharge and (2) I think they’re a bit ugly.

Anyway, the bus was like an urban rollercoaster! They have this electronic display at the front which says which stop is coming up, and it says “HOLD ON” as it’s pulling away from a stop. Good thing they put that there, because that bus really lurches away to and from stops! that plus the hills makes it a crazy ride. I had to stand all the way down fillmore street from the marina (north part of the city, right near the ocean) to haight (several blocks down where I live) and I was a bit dizzy when I got off! The other really good thing about the bus is that the whole system is quite civilized. The bus stops are marked on the pavement and parking is banned there, so even if the bus stop sign isn’t visible you can make out where the stop is because it says BUS STOP in huge letters on the street and the curb is painted red. All the buses I took had electronic signs and all the drivers were friendly too.

February 27, 2008

and also …

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 4:56 am

I’m not going to blog about work, but I just wanted to let you guys know that I like my job! It’s been just over a week, and I have a good feeling about it.

It was almost exactly 2 years ago that I started at PM, and I was thinking about that today on the subway ride home. I suddenly remembered crying in my apartment shortly after starting at PM!! Looking back on it now, that reaction was perhaps a little overly dramatic, but I was really bored and trapped there, especially for the first few weeks, so it made sense at the time! There have been *no* tears this time around and in fact I’m surprised and delighted at how open and welcoming everybody is! Most people on my team take an actual lunch break and we go out for lunch, which is SUCH a relief! :) Regularly eating lunch in front of a monitor is dehumanizing!! Don’t do it people!

I noticed two females of around my age (or perhaps younger) on the subway reading books written by this guy Chuck Klosterman . The first girl was reading “sex, drugs and cocoa puffs”. I saw her yesterday on my way to work. The second girl was reading “willing myself to read”. I saw her on my way back from work today.

My curiosity was piqued, so I googled the guy and was disappointed to find out that he’s an ex Spin magazine guy who writes about pop culture. He looks very corny. He even has a beard and those nerd glasses! In his defence though, the nerd glasses in the wikipedia picture look suspicious ..maybe the image was doctored and somebody added those glasses to make him extra corny! If so, it worked!

Apartment hunting

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 4:17 am

Some people say that rents are coming down in San Francisco. Maybe that’s true — I have no basis for comparison. One thing’s for sure though — nice places go FAST!

I checked out a place today after work.  It’s just south of Haight and Ashbury. My temporary housing is just a few blocks east of there, but it’s surpring how much difference a few blocks make. My coworkers had been saying that the city differs block to block and it’s really literally true!

I got off the streetcar but took a few wrong turns before getting to the place I was trying to see, and I saw the neighbourhood change as I walked by. Suddenly it was all beemers and volvos! Talk about gentrified. Anyway, I scoped the place out and then went up to Haight street to catch the bus home. I met a girl on the bus who was originally from Wisconsin. She informed me that I sounded like I was from there too, and I agreed with her! I really did! She was getting off at the same stop as I was, so I followed her out. Good old Fillmore street!  A drunken guy got off at the same stop too, and he was walking behind me while drinking from a beer can wrapped in a paper bag. He seemed pretty harmless but I was weirded out so i crossed the street. I crossed back to my side a few minutes later. Next block, I noticed a mattress on the corner. lol.  Good times!

February 25, 2008

Summary of first 6 days

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 12:06 am

Weather – at first blush I thought it was lovely – mild temperature, flowers in bloom, etc.  Stepping out and catching a mild scent from the flowers from the trees across the street makes me smile. I don’t think they’re cherry blossoms .. more like sand cherry trees or something. Anyway, that was on Monday, Tuesday. Since then it’s starting to seem a bit crummy. Always drizzling; always damp outside. My pants got soaked today when I walked 2 blocks to the zipcar lot and my umbrella turned inside out more than once. It’s a good umbrella! It sucks to have wet socks.

My place – This Fillmore house place turned out to be ok. It’s slightly dingy but it’s very close to the subway and my housemates are nice.

The neighbourhood – Around here people use the term “sketch” as an adjective.  Some guys asked me for directions when I was walking around earlier today and then one guy proceeded to explain to the other guy how some people consider my neighbourhood “very sketch” but actually it’s not that bad.  It’s true. My coworkers also filled me in on some “sketch” neighbourhoods so I think i’m all up to speed on that.

The locals – I haven’t been getting a good night’s sleep for a long time now, and it’s been no different since moving here. That of course means that i’m rather groggy during the day and am tired by the time I get home after work. As a result I haven’t explored my surroundings very much (the drizzle hasn’t helped). I remedied that a bit this weekend. I got an impromptu haircut in a local place on Saturday. The sylist was a southern californian turned san franciscan and she was definitely the real deal!! She even had that particular accent that I’ve been hearing on the radio.  She kept up the chit chat and did a nice job straightening out my home-cut (thanks mom!) and tidying my bangs (thanks national post!). haha.  unfortunately, i hadn’t enquired about the price before taking the chair and it turned out costing $70 and they didn’t take plastic!! luckily i had exactly $70 on me (including all my $1 bills) and the stylist just laughed and took my money without any snarkiness and told me “it’s a neighbourhood thing”. I liked her vibe. The only other locals I’ve met are the cleaning lady who comes to my apartment every day and an old man who followed me around in the safeway. My coworkers don’t count as locals — they all moved here from other places within the past few years.

The TV – i have cable! From 0 to 100 channels in a day. Wow. I got here Monday late-morning. I went to safeway, went for a short walk on haight and then came home feeling kind of tired and sleepy. I turned on the tv and ended up watching half a season of America’s Next Top Model. WHAT an amazing show. Wow. I fell asleep during one of the last few episodes, so I don’t know who won. It was one of the old seasons .. maybe 7 or 8? I’m not going to check the website and find out who won … the most interesting thing about that show is the pose and photo critiques. Fashion modeling is quite arty and so it’s hard to guess who makes it and who doesn’t and the photographer/judge comments are surprising. Checking the website would be pretty flat so i’m not going to bother. Aside from that I’ve watched pokemon (where’s misty and why hasn’t pikachu evolved??), 2 episodes of hannah montana (it was scientific!), 2 episodes of rachel ray (also scientific!), CNN and a documentary on ronald reagan. He was a democrat until he was 51! His looks and charm certainly opened up a lot of doors. I’m not sure whether I’d describe that documentary as eye opening or inspiring. Maybe a bit of both.

The mood – I’m not as excited as I thought I’d be.  I’ve been feeling pretty normal. I felt kind of down this morning though, when I looked out and saw more rain and heard some sirens outside. I started to question why I moved to this “sketch”, rainy place where I don’t even have a friend to my name! There’s comfort in anonymity but it’s also kind of oppressive.  I had booked a zipcar for the afternoon though so I went out (and got soaked as mentioned before) and drove all around the city for the next 3 hours. That really cheered me up. The ocean was grey and wild with waves and fog.  I also got some picture perfect views of the GG bridge. I’ll have to go back next week with my camera :)

The radio – Counting Crows, Jimmy Eat World, REM, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Everclear, etc. It’s like a wormhole to 2002. I had been worried about my desktop harddrive getting fried. All my media is on there!! I’m not as worried anymore. The radio is acceptable.  Go nuts Allied!

February 24, 2008

First post

Filed under: Uncategorized — attaikede @ 11:10 pm

I’ve been in San Francisco for almost a week now. I thought it would be good to start a blog so that I can look back on it. The nuances of an experience are sometimes lost in my memory.

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