29 April 2015 @ 09:50 am
It is fucking wild just how much a pet dying will take it out of you...

Long story short, my hamster passed away yesterday from tumor-related complications. We carried her body to be cremated after crying for god knows how long. I guess that sounds silly to anyone who has never had an attachment to little/pocket pets, but living in a smallish apartment almost necessitates it, and I've always had/loved hamsters in particular over the course of my life even when that wasn't the case. She was such a gentle, sweet pet, and she never once bit me, R, or even any of our multiple friends and family members. Only the good die young, right?? She was only a year and a half old so in theory she should have had at least a few more months in her. Oh well. I'm glad we gave her a very high quality of life and were able to spend her last few days with her, at least.
Current Mood: drained
03 March 2015 @ 10:14 am
Wow, February has easily been one of the most difficult, worst months I've ever lived through. Logistically and physically, I mean. I'm sure everyone has seen the news of the terrible, awful snowfall in and around the Boston metro, but living in it has just been fresh hell. It's almost absurd. (Someone, quite appropriately, created a blog titled "MB(ecket)TA", wherein absolutely depressing and nihilist Becket quotes are superimposed over ridiculous photos of what life has been like in Boston for the last month and change.)

Getting to and from my job, only three miles away, has regularly taken upwards of an hour and a half. Sometimes two or more. Sometimes I had no choice but to walk it, since walking 40 minutes in -30 windchill conditions was better than standing 40 more minutes with a hundred other people waiting for the same inevitably full bus to come. It was during those walks, through a foot of snow or more, that I discovered that a) your nose will start bleeding if you get too cold and b) iphones actually can reach a temperature so low that they'll shut down and stop working outside while giving you a temperature warning.

At one point, the trains at Park street on the green > red line changeover were so crowded that people, numbering probably a thousand or more, waited 50+ minutes to inch forward to get on trains that were just as crowded. Which is exactly what I did. I watched four full trains of people come and go before I could get on one and miserably trek further downtown, all the while having people bump into me and splash my hot coffee all over myself the entire time. I think I would have honestly preferred it if someone had pushed me onto the tracks.

Also, houses and roads here clearly weren't built with weather this bad in mind. We've had two (minor, but annoying) power outages, I've spent a grand total of 9-10 hours thus far shoveling my car out of snow (only to continue not driving it lest I risk losing my good parking spot), the indoor stairs to my landlady's side apartment door got so cold that they froze over, icicles included, and I fell all the way down them (thankfully uninjured!) and finally, to top it all off, the roof of our third story apartment finally got so burdened with ice dams and snow weight that it bowed, which has resulted in a giant, leaking hole in our kitchen ceiling that is still unrepaired. (Mostly due to insurance related bullshit, but thankfully our landlady is a pre-existing customer of some roofing guy who can come in to fix 'er up whenever that's ironed out. What's startling is that when she attempted to contact an emergency roofer instead of her normal guy, she was informed that it would be a while since she'd be 600th in line.)

Basically, the past month has been hell on earth and I'm glad it's over. It's still not even over, really, because it's in the 30s and it snowed four inches the other night, but even that's way better than the pure, unadulterated torture we've been dealing with up until this point. I can honestly say that 30 degrees feels pretty balmy right now and I can comfortably walk around or take out the trash or whatever in short sleeves. I don't even know if I remember what the sun feels like...or grass. Or life, or goodness, or hope.

Gotta say, though, it's impressive how resilient people are. Clearly god is trying to kill everyone in Boston but is just not succeeding. Despite these terrible conditions, people have still been soldiering through and going to work, continuing to party and drink, and generally surviving, albeit in a very depressed, world-weary state. Also funny...before moving here, people told me and R that the winters around Boston and Cambridge and such were "pretty mild" compared to the rest of New England. Well, both winters I've lived through so far have been so bad that they've been labeled as "historic", so I'm wondering what the fuck is going on here...
26 January 2015 @ 09:56 am
R and I are currently vacationing in NC for a week, and it's been...weird, exciting, and simultaneously a clusterfuck all at once. So far we've had to deal with one canceled flight, one rescheduled flight, two rental car reschedulings, actually GETTING to the car rental lot and then having an agent accidentally rent out a (clearly running, already rented) car to someone else with all of our bags in it during the three minutes it took for us to sign something inside... but now, finally, we're here and not in fucking tundra-like New England and it's nice! (We got our bags back. And a super nice '15 Chrysler with free gas to rent courtesy of the rental company nearly giving away all of our possessions to a random stranger.) I honestly don't even know if I've been inside of a car this nice before, let alone driven one, and it's not like my own car is an eyesore or anything. But anyway, yeah. I'm just thankful nothing else weird / inconveniencing has happened but I guess we have a week left to see if that pans out.

It's only been a day yet but it's been interesting being back in the Triangle. One thing I've immediately noticed is that there seem to be more visibly queer people walking around. I still feel like people are staring at me/us--I was used to getting lots of stares when I was still pre-T and more ambiguous looking--but maybe it's just some sort of paranoid psychic holdover from years ago rather than actual reality.

Maybe things are getting better since Amendment One was struck down, but I guess it's hard to say without having lived here for a couple of years. I wouldn't want to move back and sacrifice our current comfort in MA, but there is a definite je ne sais quois about NC in general, and particularly its LGBTQ community and dealings with community activism. It still just feels very lacking in the part of the northeast where we live, but I guess it's because people here have had to fight harder for more basic rights or something. I'm sure it's a lot of things, really. Maybe I'll be able to put my finger on it one day.
24 April 2014 @ 02:55 am
Wow, what a week. For days straight I kept getting the strangest requests for juice at work. Marathon runners, man. Why would anyone want 12 ounces of liquid kale? (Ignoring the fact that if we even tried to make pure kale juice, it would destroy our juicer and probably cost close to 15 bucks for a glass. People don't seem to understand that some vegetables and fruits are very difficult to juice. You can't juice a banana. You can barely juice kale, spinach, broccoli, and other leafy vegetables. It's Food science. I would have to juice near to seven bunches of kale to get an entire cup, provided our juicer didn't explode in the process from dealing with something so fibrous. Some plants were not meant to be juiced by the likes of men.)

Thankfully, the marathon itself went off without a hitch. I guess we got enough excitement last week when that MassArt guy pulled his rice cooker stunt, which pretty much shut down Back Bay for a few hours. Naturally, while I was at work..

But anyway! Spring is finally here. It's so cool to finally go outside again without worrying about my fingers falling off or something. A few new things are happening in my life. Since I have some more free time, I'm starting work for my city's Human Rights Commission. (I've already done my case management training, so now I'll be stuck in bureaucratic hell for a bit while they process my official application and check references and my resume and such.) But it's very exciting to know that I'll be able to help people report things like housing discrimination and harassment.

Oh, and we got a hamster! She's adorable.
12 February 2014 @ 02:52 pm
Boston winters are, without a doubt, the work of Satan.

......I wish I had something more substantial to write than that, but yeah, it's pretty true. Horrible, horrible weather. We moved up just in time for a freak winter. I can't believe I used to think that 50F was chilly. Well, not so much compared with -15F. And the snow just is relentless. Living in a fucking Siberian wasteland for the past three months makes me long for Boston summers, and they're also pretty miserable. Apparently this city hasn't quite caught on to "central air conditioning", but at least I was born to handle the heat gracefully. I've spent more money on winter gear (and alcohol) this past month or three than I think I ever did during all twenty-something years I've been alive up until this point combined.

Other than that, things have been okay. I feel like I'm finally getting to the other side of my intense winter-season depression and might survive this. Spring is just another month away. I never truly understood the significance of "spring cleaning" because I grew up in the coastal south, which is pretty mild in the winter and early spring, but now I get it. People here must go fucking insane when it's warm enough to actually do things outdoors and you have energy to clean again.

But at least I have enough energy to write now, which is a very positive sign that this horrible experience hasn't left me as little more than a husk. There are so many films and shows I've watched recently and I'm bursting to actually examine them, long-form. Sherlock series three in particular, since I'm sure watching it has left me irrevocably changed as a fan and fundamentally distrustful of television as a medium for at least a little while. It's been nearly a month and I still can't quite wrap my head around it. (I guess this'll make the years-long hiatus until series four a little more bearable...)