(1) We have a refrigerator! Our long national nightmare is finally at an end. You may not have known we were having a long national nightmare, but we were. Sorry about that, America. You can start feeling better now.
(2) Because (a) we could not until now keep milk cold, and (b) the water here is so very hard that we have been afraid to make coffee until we get a Brita filter, because the machine is likely to crust over with scale after just one use, we we have gone from zero to (ostensibly) beloved regulars at TWO local coffee vendors in truly record time. Possibly the super-friendly and extroverted local culture is also to blame. We are all now on a first-name basis, a state of affairs that I find both charming and disconcerting.
In fact, the whole week and a half has been a complete social whirl. We went out to dinner with local friends and their baby, and had the fun of letting the babies flap their little hands at one another "just like a hobo fight!" as Steve said. We got invited to a lovely potluck full of nice academics who tell good funny stories, and saw them again at happy hour. A friend visiting his parents in LA drove up for the day and we all happily talked our heads off. Then we lost our car after dinner and walked around and around and around and AROUND in circles before finding it, making our friend and his friend horribly late for their drive back to LA. Oops. Sorry, friends. And now another friend is arriving this afternoon. Apparently we too are extroverts, now, whether we mean to be or not.
(3) Boxes. Boxes boxes boxes. Mess. Boxes. Paper! Boxes.
This is sadly completely unillustrative, because I haven't taken pictures of any of the really most chaotic vistas, like for example the one I am looking at right now. You'll just have to use your imagination. This week our trash and recycling pickup should be turned back on, so that should help matters a bit. (Sigh.) (Update: they told us to put the old recycling containers out to be replaced with new ones, because I guess the serial numbers on the side are how they can tell whether you've paid your trash bill. They did not replace them. Better luck next week?)
In other news, you'll be happy to know that hair is still with us. The flow has abated slightly, perhaps, but it is still a force to be reckoned with. I have spent an absurd amount of money on a vacuum cleaner, however, in the hopes that it will solve my two primary objections to vacuums I have known in the past. To wit: they are no match for hair, and I loathe using them, so they sit in the corner gathering dust anyhow, rather than hoovering it up. It remains to be seen whether this gambit will succeed.
It's nice, though, that my hairs have teamed up to make the new place feel like home. It's the little things, you know, that make all the difference.