The moving is (mostly) complete*.

* There is still a recliner, a sofa size painting that belonged to my grandmother, and sundry boxes of non-vital things and Christmas stuff, but close enough.

So in my last entry, I mentioned my apartment complex is on a hill. It's more clinging to the side of a hill, and the hill is a landfill just off a creek that hilariously stretches most of north Austin; ie, if it had enough water, I could paddle back to my old house. When it does have enough water, that's usually flood times, which means not recommended. Just saying, that could happen, who knows.



I've lived in houses all of my life but two years--one year in my dorm, one year when I dropped out of college--so this is all new and weirdly exciting. I feel like a super-eager alien going around "THIS IS ALL COOL SHOW ME YOUR WAYS". I have been chatty as fuck with delivery people (God, I'm sorry) and random others in my complex foolish enough to make eye contact.

There are pokemon everywhere and there's a nest literally on my porch (fuck yeah): fortunately, poke players are a tribe that know each other by no eye contact and staring at their phones while walking for no particular reason exactly two feet from the sidewalk or just to the right of the road or on the grass just off the sidewalk (or stopping abruptly in the parking lot). Especially if you're doing it at like, one thirty at night. A glance up, a nod, noting our weird choice of walking venue, kinship complete.

There are--I think--thirteen buildings in the complex, each three floors (excluding buildings that are units of two story townhouses) and we're all built at an angle. It's actually really cool when you aren't moving things; my front door is down two flights of stairs, and I share an entry area with one other apartment. To get to the stairs, there are dramatic walkways over vast chasms (er, twelve feet?) in which I may or may not pretend I'm Indiana Jones and for the third floor, there's long, death-defying walkways clinging to the side of the buildings that make me glad I don't live on the third floor, that shit was stressful when I was checking out the model apartment. On my porch side, I'm about seven feet up from the main complex road. Which I didn't expect but rapidly became reconciled to because a.) across the road is nothing but greenery, b.) very short walk to the corner store, and c.) I can't see any bad in assuring my favorite place to sit when it's nice (the front porch) is just public enough not to tempt random robberies through the sliding doors.

Also, for people-watching, it's superlative; most recently during the rain, I watched two kids street lugeing the fuck out of the road (there's a good hill about three hundred feet down the road in the complex); I wanted to try so much.

Actual conversation:

Child: *comes out to watch disapprovingly* That's so dangerous.

(Note: Child is nineteen)

Me: Where's your skateboard?
Child: No.
Me: But--
Child: You're going to get yourself killed. No.

So I can't find Child's skateboard--could be in a box?--but he forgot I am employed and can buy my own skateboard. You know, when I have money again and fuck knows when that will be, because I went above and beyond for that A in Apartment Test. My rooms are furnished--with added fucking rugs for extra credit wherever a rug can fit (you'd be surprised)--I have so many kitchen utensils it's breathtaking, I have a breadmaker (Christmas present), Instant Pot pressure cooker, food processor, super fancy hand mixer (it came with a case of accessories that I can't identify), stand mixer, egg cooker, Keurig, matching pots and pans (all enamel, which is good? Very white), my mom got me a salad set for when I make giant salads with matching bowls (it could happen), but the coolest part is I now have one half of the supermassive dish collection my grandmother collected for decades.





The Pfaltzgraf Village collection. The reason I'm linking you is about to become clear.

It's not super expensive, and it's very functional, so I can see why she liked it. However, to give you background, my grandmother after retirement became an antique dealer, then a job that involves planning estate auctions (now she's really retired), and her hobby was antiquing and garage saling. This is a woman who--casually--stumbles over Depression glass, solid silver thimbles, and mid-range jewelry on people's front lawns for twenty five cents.

I mean more than once; those weren't three one-time examples, that was stuff that happened regularly (she was like a magnet for depression class; it appeared to throw itself at her or something). The special stuff is like random-ass Tiffany bowls and antique silver shit or porcelain somethings I wasn't even allowed to look at too hard as a kid. She has more high quality costume jewelry than anyone I ever met from every random lawn in central Texas. She has a decent collection of nice jewelry as well; it's boggling. All bought in garages or random lawns or giant watermarked boxes at estate sales. Not always because she recognized what it was at sight, no; it was usually she'd like it, get it home, and a couple of months later would look it up and be all "well, that's surprising". Uh, no it's not.

Now that you have context: she had all of this collection. I mean all of it, every piece; right now, the spoon holder is on my stove, sugar dish (I think), two creamer pitchers, and (possibly) coffee or tea pot on the display shelf, the candlesticks (CANDLESTICKS) are on my weird server thing, the flour/sugar/tea/coffee bins on the counter, and weird jug thing with a coin hole in it is on the bar, and I have a shelf of pieces that we have no idea what they are or what they do. There's roughly twenty-four place settings (more, maybe?) including after-dinner coffee and a soup course.

It gets weirder: after unpacking and washing everything (it's been in storage for a while), I found two extra lids and only one small casserole dish and one platter and me and Mom realized there really is another box of this somewhere in our shed (the first box was so big we had to divide everything into smaller boxes to move it and we assumed we just didn't remember correctly because seriously, there couldn't be a second box). My grandmother, you see, is like me; she would not have random-ass lids unless they were attached to something, and like me, she's a collector. Much like me picking up a thing for Austin Platinum Noritake china (my china hobby is affordable china), there is no possible way she could deal with life not having every single piece.

I'm honestly anticipating finding out what else there is and what the hell those lids go to. I thought about checking the catalogue online somewhere, but spoilers: I want to see where this is going.





My china is in a...server thing? (Long story but short version: craigslist, looked cool, has two doors in front and three drawers, I got it a couple of years ago and still have no idea what its function is but now it holds china, serving ware, and a homemade water fountain for extra credit).

The only thing I'm missing is quirky artwork: I have a quirky clock--yeah, I own a clock now, that's weird--a painting my grandmother bought for me at an estate sale a couple of decades ago, and a sofa size painting that's been in the family since fuck knows (at least forty years and probably fifty) that shows the Brooklyn Bridge. Child has an Octophant print I bought him for Christmas years ago and I have TKodami's Map of the World artwork that I'm currently trying to work out where to put (I'm thinking hall or dining).

Now we get to unexpected weirdness: I have acquired a taste for throw rugs and am collecting them like a cat hoarder with strays. This started as a reasonable need for things to put on floor and is now hit my collector vibe where I want one in all the colors (sometimes multi).

For reasons, I find this practical: rag rugs are ridiculously comfortable, and as I found out and confirmed with coworkers, all the good rugs are made in India. Which is how I ended up with two rugs chosen by semi-committee where a third of the conversation was in Hindi as they debated if they thought I would like it (my role was to like it when they told me to; this method generally works gangbusters: tested on tea preparation and food, which is why I don't even blink when boxes of Tandoori paste or bags of spicy chickpea chips (holy shit, try those) appear on my desk).

Note: most of my Indian national coworkers speak Hindi as mother tongue, but a couple speak it as third or fourth, and all have English as second (or third). (That said, they all speak their second and third languages probably better than I do my mother tongue.) One of the side effects of this is that in just the right mix of coworkers, you'll have four languages brought into play when it's not a tech question or specific to the agency jargon, especially when it's something specific to India. There's also one slightly unexpected twist: some learned British English and some American (or adapted to American after years here), which makes some words definitely different.

On porch early in the morning feeling satisfaction with the world.
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