Looked at a couple more units today. One more tomorrow, and then I'm going to need a real estate agent's help. If you're ever wondering if you really dislike a dwelling or an area, let your imagination roam and imagine living there for five or ten years (as I have to consider, in case the market crashes and I have to stay somewhere for a while to wait it out). I saw a one-bedroom today, precisely the kind of dim apartment I have always successfully avoided. The building, from the early sixties, smelled like the YMCA of the same vintage we used to go to when I was a kid--clean, not unpleasant exactly, but not really how you want your home to smell. The thick, dark brown carpet, the one-inch high cutting board built into the Formica countertop, the PINK inset electric stovetop and matching oven. Possibly the cabinets had been redone in the seventies; but not an improvement at this point.
The other one, clean, airy and light, I realized was a bit small especially for the price, and I'd rather do what I can to get a good two-bedroom (amazing what a 25% price increase can buy you). The owner matched the apartment and the area (south Palo Alto) as you'd expect from the stereotype: nice enough, kind of drab, button-down blue shirt, khakis, square-toed stylish shoes, works as a sales engineer for Oracle, no real ties to the area happy to move back to Southern California whenever. Pleasant enough, though, and the catwalks and big redwoods gave it a nice treehouse sort of atmosphere. Plus, hot tub alongside the pool.
I can't go to bed early any more. I'm waking up around 7 AM, but going to sleep before 11, and increasingly before midnight, is a no-go. It's not fair, I tell you.
Aaaagh, Ultimate Frisbee. My legs, they ache.