As soon as I finished all my new-apartment projects, I ended up leaving. Whomp whomp.

It was a tough decision, but I ended up flying back to the US last weekend after we shut down the observatory in Chile as a response to the pandemic. I’ll go back as soon as work restarts at the observatory, but for now I’m staying in California. I’m happy to be with friends and family and better health insurance in a time of crisis, but it’s sad to leave behind Chilean friends for some undetermined amount of time and mildly frustrating to be living as a vagabond again. I already did the whole live-out-of-a-suitcase thing for a full five months, and after finally being reunited with my bed and my wardrobe a mere month and a half ago, I’m back to rewearing workout clothes more times than I care to admit. At least it’s effective social distancing.

On the bright side, the apartment turned out really well! It started off a little rough when my furniture shipment was delayed by 3 weeks, and I couldn’t find the gas valve to be able to use the gas stove, and I only realized that the hot water heater was unplugged after I had gotten in the shower, but hey, moving into a new place is always an adventure, right?!

Sleeping on a crashpad is way less comfortable than I thought, and my hopes were not high to begin with. Yes, that is a pile of clothes under the blanket at the end since the crashpad itself is too short
Reunited with my game collection at last! Almost as important as the bed

One of the best parts of moving into a new place is, of course, new projects. So many fun things to improve!

I actually made this wooden bike stand over the Christmas holiday, but I’m super happy with how it turned out, even if it’s a little droopy at times
I had the perfect spot and the perfect tension rod for hanging pots and pans in the kitchen, and all that was missing was the hooks. Turns out neither of the two big hardware stores in town sell sufficiently large hooks (I searched for a LONG time), so I finally bought some stock aluminum rod, cut it to length myself at the observatory with a pipe cutter, and then bent it into the S-shape with a tube bender. Worked perfectly!
Finding a spot for my climbing hangboard was a top priority. I made an only semi-noticable hole in the wall in the kitchen before realizing there weren’t any studs to mount the hangboard to, so the only place left was on the concrete wall on the outside terrace/balcony. And yes, I am a big enough nerd to make a full 3D CAD model and assembly drawing of the wooden structure before actually building it
Finished product! Hasn’t fallen down on me yet, but I’m honestly a little nervous
And finally, my favorite one — a crashpad bench! The crashpad itself easily slips on and off the wooden frame for various climbing adventures, and otherwise lives in my living room for lounging (and bragging) purposes

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the last month and a half, plus just eating an embarrassing number of avocados and reveling in the fact that I get a whole apartment all to myself, something that would not be possible in California. I’ll leave you with this picture of the crazy cat from the apartment next to mine, who spends a fair bit of time exploring the apartment complex and mewing outside my door.

I secretly think he speaks English which is why he’s so fond of my doormat