Tuesday, September 30, 2008

uh oh

I check the weather forecast every day. Force of habit, I suppose. And every day, it comes up the same - warm and sunny. Granted, sometimes it only goes up to 75, and every once in a while, it breaks 90, but usually it's somewhere around 80 and sunny.

Except for this morning, the forecast said that this Friday, there is a 30 percent chance of rain. This is the first time I've seen the rain icon since moving here. I almost didn't recognize it.

Not that 30 percent is that high. And not that I'll be here to see if it does rain - I'll be in London for five days, enduring colder (and probably rainier) weather than they will be having here.

But winter is coming, as evidenced by that 30 percent chance of future rain...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

now entering mordor

I live in Mountain View, which is about 45 minutes south of San Francisco. In any normal place, two places that are a 45 minute drive apart would share a similar climate. Not here.

I've been living here for four months now, and it has been warm and sunny every day. It rained once, for about five minutes, and there have been days when I have seen clouds. Otherwise, it's like the movie Groundhog Day - every day is exactly the same - except that in Groundhog Day, the weather was always cold and snowy, and here, it's been warm and sunny. I'm not complaining, I love it, it's just a bit disconcerting.

Every week or two, I drive up to the city to see my sister and friends. I toss my dog and a change of clothes into my car, as well as a fleece and a jacket for later. On the drive up, I wear a t-shirt and sunglasses, and turn the air conditioning on - sitting in a sunny car can get warm. About 30 minutes into the drive, right around where I pass the airport, however, I usually start feeling a little bit like Frodo, leaving the Shire behind for dark and dangerous territory. Driving in a sun-drenched car under blue skies, I can look ahead and see ominous clouds and heavy fog looming ahead. In the space of five seconds, I drive from perfect sun into misty darkness, and it feels like I'm entering Mordor.

Most weekends, by the time I get to my sister's place, the sun no longer exists, even at 2 in the afternoon. I hop out of the car and scramble to put on my extra layers as quickly as possible before the chill sets in. Fiver refuses to do his business, because he's too busy shivering.

Strange place, the Bay Area...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

happy lungs

Some coworkers and I decided to go play some pub trivia after work yesterday, and I stopped by my apartment before heading out to the pub. While I was in my apartment, I was debating between a sweatshirt and a jacket, and found myself mentally weighing which one would absorb less smoke, and which one was already dirty (and would therefore require washing, anyways, regardless of the smoke). Then I started dreading coming home with my hair reeking of smoke and I wondered if it was really worth going out at all.

And then I remembered...!!

California, unlike Switzerland, is wonderfully smoke-free!!

I spent nearly three hours in a pub full of people, and didn't smell a single cigarette while I was there. Bliss.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

five more things

Five more things I miss about Zurich:

1) Good chocolate and cheese  
2) Summer street festivals  
3) Uniform cell phone network coverage  
4) Having everything in walking distance  
5) The outdoor women's swimming pool-slash-bar  

Five more things I love about the Bay Area:

1) Readily available Lactaid and dill pickles  
2) Proximity to the ocean (and therefore diving)  
3) Testing pre-release stuff at work  
4) Unlimited cell minutes and free local calls  
5) Air-conditioned office buildings