I hate unpacking. Of course, I hate packing too, and I think packing is worse. But unpacking is a pain, too. I'm finally settled in my new place, have all of the stuff out of the garage where it's been stored for a few weeks, and am now faced with a mound of boxes. It's at this stage that I want to become someone who has almost no stuff. I think fondly back in the days (college) when I could fit everything I owned into the trunk of my parent's car. What's funny is that I own a lot less stuff than I did in early 2005, before I ditched most of it, and went to seminary. But stuff has a way of accumulating, and by now, I have a lot more stuff. I'm enjoying Fruitvale, the neighborhood of the home I now live in. Fruitvale isn't quite "the hood", but it sure isn't Piedmont or Glenview. I'm learning a lot about neighborhoods in Oakland, and what their reputations are, what their makeup is, and how they feel. Fruitvale is very multi-ethnic - part of it is heavily African-American, then it starts to blend into a part that is heavily Latino. It's vibrant and active. There are some great taco trucks and little produce/grocery stores, and a little restaurant down the street that makes good Licuados (basically sweetened fruit smoothies.) Living in Oakland is about as far from living in Western Mass as you can imagine in so many ways. It's noisy and crowded. It's incredibly diverse. People of color are a majority of the population in most places in Oakland (with some exceptions - Rockridge/Elmwood, and the Oakland hills for instance - all upscale areas.) Oakland is an incredibly interesting study in race and class, and how those manifest itself in how and where people live. The cool thing, though, is that it is just as progressive, and even queerer. That's been fun. So far, I'm really enjoying being here. I'm not really missing New England yet, although I am missing my friends there. And I found my sources for cider, an important fall thing. Weird too, being able to get local(ish - from Oregon) fresh apple cider and local strawberries at the same time! It's going to take me a while to get used to that.