Earthquakes and cupcakes

Hello from the west coast, dear readers, where I wake up three hours later than most of my friends and every day begins foggy and ends up clear-skied and perfect. My boxes are mostly unpacked, except for those ones labeled “?” and “I don’t even know.” (True story.) I sometimes look out the window and expect to see the apartment next door in Boston, only to see blue skies and palm trees. I forget where I am. But I like it here, wherever it is.

Our apartment is tiny, and we don’t have room for a dining room table, so instead we eat sitting across from each other on the couch or at the bar in the kitchen. It feels as cute as college all over again. We plan to get a table for the patio so we can look out at the palm trees and feel all California while we eat.

I’m unemployed, so I’ve yet to make myself stick to a schedule. After the long drive, I spent most of two days on the couch recovering by watching episode after episode of Dexter. I eat cereal in the morning, soup or a sandwich for lunch, and whatever Charlie cooks for dinner. I’m a little lost without my routine. At dinnertime, I tend to sit on the couch and apologize while Charlie does the cooking. He’s a good man, so he never complains, but after reading about all the things I cooked in Boston while he was in California, I must be somewhat of a disappointment.

We’re getting used to sharing an eating schedule again. I like to plan my meals ahead of time; Charlie tends to eat whatever’s in the fridge or whip something up from whatever we have in the pantry. Leftover spaghetti? Great. Omelettes for dinner? Perfect. We don’t feel like cooking? Order some pizzas. Watch more Dexter. I’m the opposite. Example: Yesterday we went to a chili cookoff. While we were waiting in line, before we ate any chili, I was wondering about dinner. I think about my next next meal before I’ve even eaten this one. This morning, though, while we were brushing our teeth, Charlie asked, “What should we have for dinner?”

Because our apartment is newly remodeled, the kitchen is gorgeous and brand-new and FREAKING AWESOME. Go ahead and call me lame, but one of the best parts of this kitchen is that the end of the faucet comes off and works as a sprayer. Cleaning requires little to no effort. (The best kind of effort, obviously.)


They see me rollin'.

Because the apartment’s tiny, storage space is at a minimum. Some shelves are narrow and a good home for nothing but cutting boards and elves. There’s no pantry, so Charlie had set all the cereal boxes and canned food out on the long shelf. It made my obsessive-compulsive need for orderly piles go haywire. I suggested moving the plates and cups out of the cabinets and moving the food in. Plates and cups are inherently prettier. After the switch, the kitchen is indeed prettier and I feel less like tearing my hair out. However, the San Andreas Fault is about 15 minutes west of us. Earthquakes happen all the time, small ones we can barely feel and sometimes bigger ones we can. We haven’t felt one yet, but I’m just waiting for the day I ask Charlie to stop moving the bed and for him to tell me he’s not.

We have wineglasses sitting on an open shelf. Would it be smarter to put them in a cabinet? Probably. But the kitchen looks so adorable with the wineglasses and matching plates that we just can’t bring ourselves to be intelligent and put them somewhere low. We’ll compromise by not hanging anything over the bed. I’ll have to get used to cooking with the electric stove, rather than the gas I’m used to. But as Charlie pointed out, electric stoves are much safer, you know, in the event of an earthquake. No gas lines means a smaller chance of fire. So, there’s that.

In the meantime, I have a coupon for free cupcakes downtown. Perfect for an unemployed food writer. Let cupcakes and not earthquakes guide me home.

Jill Kolongowski is a freelance writer and editor living in San Francisco. When she’s not cooking, running, or reading, she blogs at Follow her on Twitter @jillkolongowski.

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