Smarmy Alligator

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Archive for the ‘home life’ Category

Whoo boy

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It has been a crazy few weeks. I can hardly believe I left Walla Walla only two weeks ago. I wanted to send updates sooner but I’ve been running on some type of auto-pilot and most of my normal life tasks and functions seem to have been suspended. I’m still trying to catch up on all the things that happened on the internet, and I should probably send some emails to some people so they know I’m still alive.

I started my new job on Monday, and four days in I’m starting to settle into something of a routine. I’m excited about the work, despite the fact that it’s not entirely what I expected. I’m definitely going through some amount of culture shock: I was working at a small liberal arts college, in a library with only seven librarians, and now I’m in a large office building in downtown Oakland, working in a small cubicle and surrounded on all sides by librarians and programmers and project managers and UX designers and who knows what all else. I was working in what was essentially a department of one; my projects were managed by me with occasional check-ins with the Director and perhaps one or two other folks. Now I’m part of a much larger team, and we have people whose sole role is to manage projects. It’s very, very different.

Not to mention that we haven’t moved into our apartment yet, my partner is still on the other side of the country wrapping up his stuff and getting ready to move, and I’m kind of in personal life limbo. I’m doing everything I can to manage the completely predictable stress I’m feeling (because when I’m stressed I get grouchy and no one wants to be grouchy in their first days on a new job). I’m trying to keep reminding myself that I’ll adapt to the differences, that we’ll be settled in soon, that I’m just not good with change.

It helps whenever I look around me and remember that I’m in California, I’m in the Bay Area, I’m in my favorite place ever. I instantly relax a little bit, and smile, and think, “Yes, I made the right choice.”


Written by laura k

April 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Posted in home life, work life


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I am pretty excited to announce that after years of trying to get myself back to California, I’m finally making the move. I got a new job in Oakland, and my partner and I are moving down there in less than two short weeks. It still doesn’t seem quite real to me. The Bay Area has become this fantasy place where I never thought I’d actually get to end up, and yet, here I am. I will soon be a resident of my favorite place on Earth. (Well, it’s my favorite place with which I’m familiar, and I will admit there are many places with which I’m not familiar, so I should probably say it’s my favorite place on Earth where I’ve actually been.)

It was actually not as easy a decision as I expected it to be, taking this new job. I have loved my work here in Walla Walla: loved the variety, the responsibility, the trust that my colleagues have in me do to things well, the opportunities that come up working with a small staff. I have loved the friendliness of people in this college community, and in this town. I love the library and the campus, the faculty and staff and students. And this little town of Walla Walla has started to grow on me, although I know I could never be completely happy with small town living. It might be small and lacking in some of the finer amenities that a city provides, but it’s charming and comfortable, and growing more charming every day as new businesses open and as the local wine industry settles into its unique and quirky and very special personality. So no, it was not an easy decision.

But California is where I belong, and my new job promises new chances to learn and grow, to do different kinds of work and contribute to projects that are bigger than just one small library. The work I’m going to do will potentially benefit all libraries, and in this particular time, I think that’s where I want my energy dedicated. And the idea of living somewhere where winter is a minor inconvenience, where snow is someplace you get to go visit, where farmers’ markets operate year-round? I get giddy just thinking of it. We found a great apartment in downtown Oakland (or uptown, I guess it’s called), surrounded by amazing restaurants and bars and theaters and markets, shopping and entertainment. And even more important, surrounded by family and friends. And just a short drive to so many other beautiful and amazing things California has to offer. I can hardly wait!

We leave at the end of March, and while it’s certainly harder to say goodbye to eastern Washington than I expected it to be, I’m running home to California with open arms. It’s about time.

Written by laura k

March 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Posted in home life, work life