I'd first like to make clear that the similarities between "New Job City"--the perhaps thinly-veiled pseud for my future place of residence and employment--and New Jack City, the critically acclaimed 1991 Wesley Snipes crime drama, have not escaped me. I have faith, however, that my lovely readers (that's you!) are astute enough to discern the subtle distinctions between the misadventures of an almost professor in a pleasant college town, and the gritty tale of a drug lord in 1980s NYC.
J and I returned last Wednesday night from an extra-long Memorial Day weekend in NJC, and all in all we had a lovely time. New Job put us up at a swanky hotel that had just opened its rooftop pool, and so we were able to get in some quality lounging time in between apartment hunting appointments and general exploring. And eating. HOLY HELL, did we stuff our faces for five days. Thank you, NJC, for this nice new food baby I'm carrying around. It's squishy.
This was our first extended-stay trip to NJC, and I do have to give props to its cleanliness, and to how nice people were, and to the surprisingly good beer selection that almost every restaurant we went to had. J is way into the Belgians these days, and we were happy to see that we could get some really lovely ones almost anywhere. At one point, I saw a unicorn in the foam on the side of my glass, which I feel like has to be a good omen!
Goal number one of this trip was to find an apartment, which we did, and then we didn't. I'd been hoping that apartment hunting in NJC would not be as supremely soul-crushing and horrid as it is in New York, but this was not to be the case. Apartments are maybe slightly less expensive, but not to the point where we were skipping down the street all sing-songy, "We're going to live in a PA-LACE, and we're going to pay no MON-EY!," plus NJC has its own set of real estate issues, like the fact that they don't really "do" Aug 1 lease starts. Gah.
The bigger problem, as I've discussed before, is J's job situation. Should we be looking for an apartment that requires two incomes to pay the rent, or one? Though we found a totally beautiful apartment within walking distance of New Job Campus, we decided it would be a little scary if I were signing over 3/4 of my salary for an indeterminate amount of time. So we let it go. Bye, beautiful apartment!
Goal number two of the weekend was for J to kick ass on an interview, which he totally did! He's been invited back for a second, although it seems that we still won't know one way or another until after we need to have found a place, which is frustrating. But encouraging!
Goal number three of the weekend was for me to meet with the architects at New Job University to feng shui the shit out of my new lab. After many, many discussions over the past few months on where each lab bench should go, how big to make knee cut-outs, and whether I want cabinets or shelves on the walls (both!), it was finally time for the fun stuff!
It has pretty much always been my dream to be surrounded by fabric swatches, carpet samples, and furniture catalogs, with a green light to let the interior designing princess in me free. Can you picture this? I think you can. I had an absolute ball working out a color scheme for the lab, which you can see below.
Now, here is something fascinating/awesome. The architects offered, in all sincerity, to put the chemical structure of a molecule of my choosing into the floor design. I am thinking about this, but in the end, probably not. The molecule that would make the most sense with respect to my research is a little too complex given the shape of the floor, and nothing else I study really singularly defines me, you know? It would feel disingenuous.
I also (are you even still reading? I told you this was a juicy post) met with my faculty mentor, and we had a great chat about the future of the department, which he seems to be actively trying to get me involved with. Already I am going to be on the next faculty search committee! I am SO looking forward to seeing things from the other side, I have to say.
And I REALLY can't wait until they start building my lab! Fret not, lovely readers, there will be pictures. I've got some great "befores" that are just waiting for their "afters."