Ayn's story can be found here.
It was Mike’s lucky night – loud music, a friendly crowd, and an open seat next to a Barbie-doll blonde. She turned as he sat down; huge blue eyes and a pout. He grinned. “I’m Mike.”
“Alice,” she sighed.
Her eyes filled with tears. “Nothing,” she smiled weakly, pulling her shoulders back. Mike’s mouth went dry. “I just hate… crowds,” she edged intoxicatingly close. “But you seem nice.”
He thought he’d hit the jackpot until he saw the surgical scalpel on her bedside table. Oh, Shit. She kissed him as she tied his hands, though, and he forgot everything.
I am less than surprised that the drabble I wrote and the drabble Ayn wrote are remarkably similar, because, well, it's a fairly direct line? Or song? Or something? Maybe I'll try a figurative take on this one, just to see what I come up with. Also, I'll try to post drabbles more religiously; I have one more I wrote on the plane out here.
At the moment, I am searching for apartments (housing housing everywhere but not a room to rent!). We saw a really nice one bedroom today, with a very fifties feel and a tiny kitchen but tons of outdoor space (I could have climbing roses maybe, and a small kitchen garden definitely!) with a nice bedroom and a pretty big living room today. It's at the top of my price range, but the outdoor space is so very nice (and I think I would strangle myself if I lived in Palo Alto and didn't spend lots of time outside. It would be stupid). I've submitted an application. We also saw another one bedroom that was probably equally nice, but I got spooked by the packed open house and sort of... ran away. It was on a busier street and did not have a quarter of the outdoor space, so I can pretend that it was because I didn't like it as much, but the kitchen and the bathroom were a lot nicer and really it was the packed open house that scared me away. I don't like being stared at for no reason. Not at all!
Cool thing about Palo Alto #1: The downtown area has free wireless. I was surprised -- the entire downtown area (admittedly not very large since it's a small town suburb, but still) has free wireless. Now if I could just get my computer to hook up to it.
Cool thing about Palo Alto #2: "The Go Game"; a corporate teambuilding scavenger hunt. It's based in San Francisco, but I inadvertently sat next to a musician acting as a musical quiz at the end of one such scavenging/teambuilding exercise. It seemed really super awesome until I learned that it was corporate teambuilding and not just fun times. Really, I just wanted Harajuku Fun Madness to be real (as anyone else who has read Little Brother probably agrees with me on). But if I wanted that, I would probably have to create it myself, and either I am lazy enough not to do so, or my priorities are such that other things (like "Genetics") probably come first. Besides, I wouldn't want to run said scavenger hunt, I would want to run around the city taking part in said scavenger hunt.
Cool thing about Palo Alto #3: Although there are mountains on the horizon, the town here is surprisingly flat, making bicycling easy and reasonable. Huzzah! For some reason I had assumed there would be hills (probably because there are in San Francisco) and I am pleased with the Plateau or Mesa status of the town. It will make it easier to get to work in the morning.
Cool thing about Palo Alto #4 (and 5?): Farmers' market. Watermelon, $.39/lb. Avocados, 2 for $3. Everything smelled delicious! Also, a beautiful used book store we found when we asked a waiter for a "bookstore" thinking he would direct us to a borders where we could buy a map of the area. Gorgeous books, gorgeous book store, deserves more time spent wandering just because it's amazing, but as the owner said, "[they] only have old maps."
Cool thing about Palo Alto #6: There are four or five independent/old movie theatres showing, in total, probably 10-15 different old/independent movies at any one time. Whoah! I'd like to find a movie theatre showing mainstream/new stuff as well, but this town has independent cinema coming out of its ears!
Less than cool thing about Palo Alto #1: It's really... upscale. I mean, I thought the suburb my folks live in in Maryland was yuppie. But this puts it to shame. It's astonishing. I don't think I can afford anything at any of the shops. I will have to find somewhere else to get things like "clothing" and "furniture". At least farmers' markets are still cheap, so as long as I don't go out to eat I should be okay on food. My dad is worried that the apartment I choose be "safe". My mom thinks he's crazy: safe from what?
Less than cool thing about Palo Alto #2: It's an hour outside of the city. Two hours by public transit. And for Silks, I could go north to San Francisco (predicted transit time: 45 minutes), slightly farther south to Santa Cruz, or about twice as far east to Stockton. Which, well, it sucks.
Tomorrow I am taking the day off of apartment hunting and heading down (up?) to SF to revel in its awesome. (And to try and make heads or tails of the bay area public transit system -- as Alex says, Caltrain FTW!) Not entirely sure what I'll do once I'm there, but I'll figure something out. If nothing else, the museum of modern art (or some such) is a short walk from the Caltrain station, I think.