Saturday, May 31, 2008

From the airport

We are sitting at the gate right now waiting for our flight (Logan has free wi-fi), which should be boarding at any minute. Goodbye Boston!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Last day in town

Got rid of a lot of excess. Ran into Cedric on the bus on my way to Rosie's Place to drop off a food donation. Also got a haircut. See below.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Boston drivers

"In what can only be classified as an alarming development," it turns out that driving in Boston really does suck: a national study proved it. According to yesterday's Metro, Massachusetts drivers rank 48th in the nation for bad driving, with only New York, New Jersey, and DC below them. Plus, even the T-drivers can't drive; last night, one trolley rear-ended another on the D line, killing the driver and sending dozens to the hospital. And people wonder why it costs so much to own a car in this state. Sorry, in this Commonwealth. Don't even get me started on how much it bothers me that Mass. insists on calling itself The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You're a state! You're not even a very big one! Accept it!

In other news, David and I are halfway through painting his room. We've put the primer on, and are now waiting for it to dry before adding the real paint. We shipped off and donated the rest of our stuff, and the apartment is looking sad and empty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Exciting News

It's official: we have an apartment, the loft we wanted. Chris mailed us an official form the other day, so we caught the 86 bus to the Post Office in Brighton at about 8:30 am and picked it up, which we got notarized at my bank a little later. The background check company called around noon. The woman was excessively giggly. We passed apparently, and the place is ours.

I helped David and Dan paint their living room this evening. It was red, and now it's white. I was surprised by how many types of white paint the hardware store sold (Navajo White? What does that mean?), and this shade doesn't really match the original, but whatever.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big Day

Big day on the moving front: I mailed off about 25 boxes, with maybe another 10 small ones to go. David rented a truck from Zipcar, and we carted everything over to the Brighton Post Office. I like that one a lot more than the Coolidge Corner branch: the people are friendlier, and they have a loading dock. Plus, a really cheerful woman named Lucy did most of the work for me; she made the experience fairly pleasant. I think I'll write them to let them know how much I enjoyed her help. The only problem was that the machine will only process payments $50 at a time, and my bank didn't like this. Something about multiple $50 payments at the same place in a short period of time raised a red flag. Fortunately, all it took was a call to straighten this out, and Lucy was back to work. We were out of there in about an hour. We're going to go back on Thursday so that David can mail his stuff and I can ship the rest of mine.

I had a phone interview at 6 PM with an architecture firm in Seattle. It's a small office, though they have many branches throughout the country, mostly in Montana. I was really nervous, but had spent the previous few hours researching and preparing. I think it went well, because the woman told me to give her a call next week to set up a time to come in. Sweet.

Tomorrow we must whitewash the walls. Painting party!

Monday, May 26, 2008


We just got back from dinner at Dan and Erik's. They think I'm a vegan, so Dan made an animal product-free spread of bean salad, butternut squash, and a mushroom-spinach bake, with apple dumplings for dessert; it was all quite tasty and really filling. Afterwards, we played Trivial Pursuit and totally kicked their butts. David and I are both good at the game, and teamed up we were unstoppable. The gave us a piece of art that Dan made by making an impression of keys on a piece of paper with baking soda, then scorching it with a lighter. It's very zen. I want to try this with my stamps when I get to Seattle. Erik is coming to our party, but Dan can't make it, so I'm not sure if I'll see him again. I'm sad- I really like Erik and Dan.

This upcoming week is going to be intense. Tomorrow, we hope to ship most of our boxes. Wednesday, we need to paint David's room and the living room white. We also need to get rid of furniture; we've been posting on Craigslist, and have been getting some response, but not as good as we hoped. Laundry. Cleaning. If I have time, I'll get a haircut and buy a piƱata for our party (to fill with little plastic bottles: it's a dream of mine). I'd now also like to experiment with baking soda art. That's last on the list.


This was our last weekend on the East Coast, and David and I spent it in New York. His group threw a going-away party for Lucy, who is also moving back to Washington for the summer before leaving for a semester in Italy, and I wanted to see Tanya and Alex one last time before moving; since Alex is from Seattle I will hopefully see them again soon.

David had his last final on Friday afternoon, so we headed down on Saturday. Before we left, we did a shipping test run at the Post Office, which taught us that we will not be able to do the entire move using the T for transportation. We hopped on the 3:30 Fung Wah bus, which got us in to Chinatown around 7:30; it was the most efficient bus ride I've been on so far, probably because there was little traffic (and the driver sped). We made it to Williamsburg about an hour after that, changed out of our dirty bus clothes, and hung out with Chad and Katie before heading over to Alison and Lucy's.

The party was fun; I'd met most of them before, so I had people to talk to and wasn't just standing around awkwardly. A couple of beers and some sangria helped too. Their apartment is nice; a little cozy but not rundown or anything. Turns out we passed right by it on the bus. The building has rooftop access, which has a wonderful view of the Manhattan skyline (and a neighbor's shower), so we spent some time up there, which let everyone hang out together. Usually the smokers go outside to smoke and the party gets split into two groups, but when you're outdoors already, this isn't a factor. All in all, a good time. Again, good practice in talking to new people.

We slept until around 11, and were going to head out to the Museum of Natural History, but someone called to see if we wanted to do brunch at noon at a local bar. We did. Since it was only a 5 minute walk away, we watched the much discussed Risk documentary. One word: awesome. Brunch was fun; for $11, they gave you coffee or tea, a beverage, and food.

We didn't make it to the museum until around 3; Alex and Tanya met us there, which was a little tricky to coordinate because I didn't get great reception inside. Some of David's friends went with us, though we split off from them to find mine. My favorite part of the museum was the room with all the stuffed animals. Below are some pictures.

After the museum, we had a mission: Jamba Juice- very refreshing after all that walking on a hot day. I can't remember the last time I enjoyed one. We went back to Alex and Tanya's apartment in Brooklyn. The last of her roommates moved out earlier in the day, so it was just us and them. We hung out for a bit before getting dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. When finished eating, we watched "I am Legend"- good, not great. It would have been scarier if the zombies weren't so obviously computer animated. I'm going to miss them, but there's a slight possibility that they'll end up in Seattle when Tanya's job ends in August, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

We got an early start this morning around 8. We got some bagels and hopped on the 10 am bus to Boston. I slept most of the way.

Friday, May 23, 2008


I think I finally have health insurance taken care of... finally. Now, I understand the importance of health insurance; you can never plan for an accident, and if I just break an arm without insurance I will be shelling out thousands of dollars that I can't afford. My view is that for a couple of months, emergency coverage will be sufficient (knock on wood). However, my parents view this differently. My mom rejected one plan because it only permitted three doctor's visits a year, another because it didn't have maternity coverage. Maternity coverage?! (knock on wood again). However, they both work in medicine, so I should listen to them. And they're my parents, so I should listen to them.

In addition, I think we have a place to live! It's a loft in Capitol Hill right by Broadway. Chris checked it out this afternoon and said that it's sweet. Awesome: another thing to not worry about. Now I all need to concentrate on is shipping all my stuff. And getting a job, but I'll start that search once I get to Washington. We can't move in until June 15, so I will have another 15 days to adjust. I might go visit my brother or my folks- looking into airfare.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Happiness is...

It's been so nice not working these past few weeks; I can't remember the last time I was this content. I've been keeping busy, but I do things on my own schedule. The problem with work is that even if you don't have anything to do, you're still stuck there until quitting time. Now, if one project ends I can just start another or go for a walk or something. No meetings in overly-air conditioned rooms that don't really lead to anything except for another meeting: I make the decisions.

I'm trying to savor this happiness while it lasts; I'm not strapped for cash at the moment, but after a few rent payments I'm going to feel the need to start earning money again. However, this period has given me some insight into the direction I want to take with my life: self-employment.

Fake Meat, Real Life

I hung out with Mary yesterday for the first time in a while; I haven't seen her since December, now that I think about it, and it was good to see her again. We saw the noon showing of "Baby Mama" at Circle Cinemas (convenient for me, not so convenient for her), which was much better than either of us were expecting. It was actually pretty good! Both female leads were really funny, and Steve Martin was hilarious in his small role; I didn't even know he was in it, and he had the best lines in the whole feature. The entire movie was a pleasant surprise. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.

After the movie, we went to My Thai, a fake meat vegan restaurant in my old neighborhood. Mary is a vegan and really likes the place, though I'm not a huge fan of fake meat. I just don't like eating food that needs quotation marks to describe it: it's not meat, but what is it? Anyhow, the fresh "shrimp" and "chicken" spring rolls with peanut sauce that we ordered as an appetizer were delicious, and Mary's mango "duck" looked really good too. My tofu and vegetables were a little too greasy for my taste, but at least the dish wasn't pretending to be something that it's not so I stand by my choice.

David rented a Zipcar this afternoon, and we dropped off 4 garbage bags of clothes and shoes, 2 grocery bags of books, his army duffel bag filled with old uniforms, my laundry hamper (empty), and 3 boxes of other random stuff at Goodwill. Driving in Boston is terrible- it took us an hour to do something that should have taken 20 minutes. I started feeling kinda ill as we were driving there (I blame the fake meat) so I took a nap when we got back.

I heard from a woman at one of the jobs I applied for; she's interested in meeting with me when I get to Seattle. I'm really excited about the job: a receptionist position at a vegetarian food manufacturer. Ok, I'm not excited about possibly being a receptionist, but it sounds like a great environment for me. As long as they don't make fake meat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is what happens when you don't have cable

David and I are watching Catholic TV; it's a cartoon version of the story of Gideon overlapped with a story with bugs. The other options include soap operas, Mexican soap operas, a home video of children playing street hockey (with commentary from one of the kids), the home shopping network, and infomercials. Now I grew up with a TV that had dials and only got 3 channels, so this is in fact a step up from the first 18 years of my life, though all my roommates since moving to Boston have made TV a priority, so I've gotten spoiled over these past few years. Where are my America's Next Top Model reruns? Where is last week's episode of Top Chef? Hmm... I guess I could read a book or toss a frisbee or do something productive.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Just realized that last weekend was my last weekend in Boston. We're going down to New York next weekend, then the Saturday after that we leave. But we are throwing ourselves a pretty sweet party on our actual last night, so we won't leave without appropriate fanfare.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Channel 10 is showing "Jackie Brown" right now- awesome! I love that movie. I'm not really a huge Tarantino fan. I mean, "Pulp Fiction" was good, "Kill Bill" was ok but overrated, I didn't like "Reservoir Dogs" all that much and I haven't really had any desire to see anything else. The difference with this one is Jackie: she makes the picture work. Jackie is a strong female lead; most movie heroines are either damsels in distress or just men wearing bras. Take Lara Croft: she's a woman, but her behavior is stereotypically masculine. On the other hand, Jackie can defend herself without any violence.

Last night was fun: dinner with Diane followed by a party at Sarah's old place. I really like Diane and Sarah, and I finally got to meet both of their boyfriends. Diane's is leaving town for grad school, hence the good-bye dinner, and Sarah is moving in with hers, hence the good-bye party. The one bad thing about the evening actually a good thing: I met some nice people that I won't ever see again. It was great practice though: both of my friends were the only people I knew at their respective gatherings, and I was forced to talk to new people. I'll be meeting a whole new group of folks in Seattle, and I know I can make friends.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gardens and farmland

As I learned today, there is a working farm in Boston: Allendale farm. Erik and I got some lunch at the diner in Cleveland Circle, then walked there. It's about 3 miles away, but it feels like a whole different world. You go from urban to suburban to... farm. The farm has a small selection of organic fruits and vegetables, and also a pretty extensive nursery. Erik bought some flowers for his garden plot, which is maybe half a mile away. Lars Anderson Park, where Erik's plot is located, is really beautiful, particularly at this time of year because all the trees are in bloom. His plot is mostly dirt right now, and I helped him plant some of the flowers. Our original plan was to get lunch, walk there, and walk back, but Erik ended up coming over a little later than expected (was listening to music and missed the stop), so we called a cab home. I'm about to head over to Diane's, then Sarah's. It's shaping up to be a pretty social day, so I am looking forward to just relaxing tomorrow.


Recently, I've been having dreams that I am back in college and have a big exam coming up, only something is preventing me from studying. The other night, I had a Russian final but had to babysit a small child. Last night, I had a history test and couldn't concentrate because I was overcome with desire for soft-serve chocolate ice cream (when I had mono my senior year I lived off of that for about a week because it was the only thing I could swallow). I'm not sure what the explanation is; since I'm about to move across the country, I must be subconsciously stressed, though I haven't really felt pressured yet. It could just be because David has finals coming up this week and I am remembering what that was like. My dad still has dreams that he's back in college taking a test- and he graduated 45 years ago!

Friday, May 16, 2008

My day, in reverse

David and I are sitting on the couch. He got a haircut today and will shave his beard shortly for drill tomorrow. We just finished watching "The Office" online; I think it was the season finale, and it had some pretty funny parts, though ultimately I think the writer's strike killed the show. We went to Katie's (Chad's girlfriend) Senior Show this evening; I was really impressed by her work. She uses layers of vivid paint on canvas and paper, which creates a sort of textile effect, like clumps of yarn. She's sold two already, which is pretty cool. David and Chad talked, while I enjoyed a glass of Sangria. I've been playing phone tag with a woman at a Staffing agency in Seattle, and I went out to the lobby briefly to call her, only to get her voicemail.

Other than that, I went for a swim at the gym's underground pool and baked some pumpkin bread; it's a recipe that I'm still perfecting. I read that you can substitute applesauce or yogurt for oil to make a healthier loaf, and this time I tried both since I had both in the fridge (plus a bit of oil because if you don't add any the dough gets weird). I also added currents, and think it turned out well. The one problem with the recipe is that it makes an insane amount of bread: must be something about the proportions of a can of pumpkin to everything else. Fortunately, I'm hanging out with Erik tomorrow and going to a party at Sarah Lim's old apartment in the evening, so I can pawn off some of it on them. I'm counting on David to help me with the rest.

We slept in pretty late since we're getting up early tomorrow. David needs to be out the door before 7, and Erik's going to call me (after buying Madonna tickets from his work computer) so we can figure out what we're going to do. The initial plan was to have him and Dan over for breakfast, then go to their garden plot. But, it's raining, and Dan's grandfather died yesterday and he had to go out of town, so Erik and I are going to play it by ear instead. I'm going to think of some activities.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MBTA woes

In elementary school choir, we learned the song 'Charlie on the MTA,' which was written more than 50 years ago. It chronicles the frustration of a man who gets on to a Boston trolley and can't get off because he can't pay the exit fare. Everyday, his wife hands him a sandwich through the window of the car.

It's amazing that in 50 years, the only thing that has changed about Boston public transportation is the addition of a 'B' to 'MTA,' and the 'B' stands for 'Bad.' We were headed home after getting a couple of beers last night, and were going to walk, since they had shuttle buses running for half the route anyhow. However, just as we were crossing the street, a train came up, so we decided to catch it. The woman opened the door for the guy in front of us, then abruptly shut it and would not let us on. I could see if she had to go, but she was sitting at a red light, and was for at least another minute. When we tapped on the door, she blew her horn. There was no logical reason for her not to give us a ride: we were not drunk, disruly, beligerent or otherwise threatening, though that has never stopped anyone from riding before. I know that being a Green line T driver is one of the worst jobs in Boston, but she was mean just for the sake of mean.

A stark contrast to the friendly bus driver who greeted me in Seattle with a hearty 'Hello, where are you coming from?' and a friendly, 'enjoy your stay!' when I got off.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I'm not really sure where today went; it's pretty easy to lose track of time when you don't have anything definitive on your schedule. This isn't to say that I was unproductive: I walked to Washington Square to Coolidge Corner and back to Washington Square to pick up some things at CVS and TJ's, and went to the bank, returned a movie, found some cardboard boxes for shipping, and donated some old books along the way. I made some lunch and went for a run around the Reservoir when I got back, and started to organize the recipes I've been collecting in an album.

David had his first final exam this afternoon (he says it went well), and was tired when he came home. I was tired too from all the walking, so we took a nap. He played a video game while I ate cereal and applied for a job (as a receptionist at an architecture firm- I could totally do that), and now we're watching TV. Well, I'm watching TV: it's the season finale of America's Next Top Model. Don't judge. Later, we're going out to a bar with Dan and Kati.

I've been really getting into creating my recipe book because I'm really excited to start cooking again; I did it a lot last year when I lived in the 'burbs, but stopped because pre-made Trader Joe's meals are cheap, quick and convenient, and living in the city offers so many dining options. Cooking from scratch is economical and satisfying, but it requires time and planning. Plus, unless you're cooking for a family, you need to be able to eat the same thing several for several meals, which I guess I don't really mind. I didn't really think about food the same way I do now before I became a vegetarian. One thing that I dislike about people with eating restrictions (something I unfortunately see in myself) is that the stricter you get about what you will eat, the more personal food becomes. This may be one of the reasons I like cooking though; I can create delicious meals that comply with my diet of choice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Good news everybody: David found a subletter! Two actually; a couple. As it turns out, they both already live in the building. This situation works out well for everyone: David gets more rent, Dan pays less in utilities, and the couple doesn't have to pay all the fees of moving.

More good news: we may have a place in Seattle. One of David's friends is going to check it out tomorrow, and put a down payment on it if it's nice.

Cait's potluck was fun. Once everyone stopped asking me what I was doing there, it was a good time. The food was tasty, and it was nice to see people again. They may have found a replacement for my position. The girl sounds a lot like me; if she confirms, they're going to have me come in next week to help train her, so I'll get to meet her. And this will mean a bit of extra cash: sweet! I got some coffee with Somaly after I left; she had been in meetings all day but was able to get out of the office for a bit. We're going to do dinner next week.

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Monday

I went to David's drawing class with him this morning; it required getting up early, but it was worth it. As we were leaving, his roommate and roommate's friend were just getting to bed and were having a conversation about their pickle preference. I was tired, but not too tired to find that really funny: the friend is a massive guy who would probably scare me if I met him on the street, but he was going on and on about his favorite type of pickle: why it's better than all other pickles.

Anyhow, it takes about an hour to get to UMass from Cleveland Circle. On the train I ate a muffin. We were late, but that didn't really matter, since when we arrived people were filling out course evaluations. David got me set up and we drew a naked man for about 2 hours. One thing that this model did that others I've had have not: he stayed nude the entire class, even when taking a break. Usually, they throw on a robe or awkwardly redress, but he walked around the room looking at drawings. It's sort of weird to have a naked guy come up to you and stand uncomfortably close while he looks at your interpretation of his body. I liked how my work turned out, even though it was not anatomically correct; I need to work on my proportions. One hand was huge, the other hand was small, etc.

I stopped by Trader Joe's on my way home to get some provisions: I had a meal idea a couple weeks back, and wanted to make it for David and his roommate to say thanks for helping me move the other night. The idea combines two of David's favorite foods into a superfood: nacho pizza. I think it turned out well. I also made some truffles based on a recipe I found in a magazine, and Carolina-style coleslaw for our work potluck tomorrow. Wait, work potluck you say? But... don't you currently not work? This week just so happens to be Cait's 1) birthday 2) wedding and 3) one-year anniversary of her kidney transplant, so we're celebrating these milestones with a lunchtime potluck. The theme is Southern Barbeque, because Cait's fiance is from the South and she's adapted well to Southern cooking. Crap. I forgot to get her a card.

The search for a subletter for David's place goes on. Mike, the kid who saw it the other night, found another place, and David was pretty bummed, since Mike was very enthusiastic. He posted again though and has already had a few promising prospects. Fingers crossed. On a related note, someone bought my easel the other night, and I just got an email inquiring about my folding chairs. I'm most worried about getting rid of those; they're too cumbersome to ship, but I paid too much to just leave them. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

New Location

The first stage of the move is done. I'm out of my apartment and sleeping on David's floor. Kidding. We moved all my stuff over to his place on Friday night. It was a very sneaky midnight stealth operation; David booked a Zipcar for 11:30 at night to save money and avoid traffic. I figured that both of my roommates would be out for the evening, so I was surprised when I went back to the apartment at 10:45 to find the unpleasant roommate at home and asleep. So as not to wake her and face her wrath (or a scathing email), I removed my shoes and brought all the boxes to the hall in my socks. I then put the shoes back on and brought the boxes down to the landing. David came over, and we took them to the car. He took the car back to his place, and he and his roommate unloaded it and carried the boxes upstairs. It took 2 and a half hours, three trips in the car, and countless treks up and down three flights of stairs, but it got done.

Yesterday, I returned around 2 to finish cleaning. Maryne, my subletter, was supposed to arrive between 4 and 5, and finally got in around 5:15. I gave her a short tour and the keys, and headed off.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I'm feeling a lot better, though still not quite 100%. Maybe 75%. I made it off the couch though and managed to get some packing done. The Staples near my house had their grand opening today, and I used this to my advantage to get a discount on packing supplies: tape and bubble wrap, plus a nifty organizer for important documents. Plus, if I'm one of the first 100 people in the store tomorrow I can get a free stapler. One thing I'm worried about is boxes; I've run out of the ones I snagged from work and am going to need to rely on the kindness of Trader Joe's and CVS (Trader Joe's: you owe me for the food poisoning thing. I know it was you.)

David and I worked on our resumes this evening. His looks great; mine: not so much. He's helping me with the formatting. I emailed myself a few jobs from Craigslist and hope to start applying soon. One snag in our plans: we've lost our apartment. I guess as it turns out it was never officially ours to begin with, but we thought it was. I'm not too worried; David's friends have promised to take a look at apartments we find on Craigslist, and this means that we can find a place for just us and The Cobra.

Unemployment has been sweet so far. I'm sure my attitude will change once I've been jobless for a few weeks, but for now it's nice to have time to do my own thing, and a chance to do the creative stuff I haven't had (made?) time for. It's a whole different world in the daytime. The crowd at the supermarket this morning was entirely mothers and small children or elderly folks instead of students and professionals. I can get a seat on the T. No line at the Post Office. Now all I need is a pair of these:

Monday, May 5, 2008


I thought I was going to die last night from food poisoning. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration but I can't remember the last time I was that sick. It's hard to pinpoint it on exactly what I ate: an apple and a squash quesadilla for breakfast, a hummus wrap for lunch, a latte, and leftover Indian food for dinner. It may have just been the combination of spicy, zesty foods brewing in my stomach that did it. Whatever caused the trouble, it was a rough night. It's too bad, because all of those foods were among my favorites (not any more...), and I usually have a strong stomach.

I ate half of a bran muffin and some leftover ice cream (mint brownie chunk). David picked up some frozen yogurt and gatorade for me (the blue kind), and I plan on spending the day on the couch sleeping, watching TV and recovering. I'm a little disappointed: today is my first day of unemployment, and I was planning on packing, going to the bank, etc. to prepare for vacating my apartment on Saturday. Still, it's nice to just be sick and lazy and not have to worry about calling the boss or rescheduling appointments.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Second to last day

Yesterday was my second to last day of work. Today is my last day, but I'll write about that later. After tying up some loose ends in the morning, I went out to lunch with Len and Cait. We chatted people who used to work in the department (who was an alcoholic, who had an annoying voice, etc.), books, selling stuff on ebay, etc. It was nice to not talk about real work stuff, though that crept in of course.

After, Cait and I went to a Student Support Committee meeting, where we discuss what to do with students who are struggling in the school. During the course of this it came out that the school has been doing something very, very wrong that will affect over 100 students. This is the kind of thing that will involve lawsuits and lawyers. Not pretty.

I went to my exit interview with the HR woman pleased to be leaving this mess. Good news: my health and dental insurance are good until June and I get paid for my unused vacation time. Sweet.