Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Top pick

I like to think of baby names in my spare time. I don't know why. But I thought of a gem today: Ophelia Amelia. You heard me. That's what I'm naming my baby girl in seven years. And when I'm angry, it will be impossible to call her both names without sounding completely stupid.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thoughts are hard

Which is why I began two blogposts since the last one and scrapped them midway through. But I'm feeling the need to write something. So I'm cheating and using a modified prompt from One Minute Writer. The prompt is to write about a memorable summer activity you enjoyed as a child, but I decided to reminisce about a summer activity that I did not enjoy. I know, I'm so subversive sometimes.

My mom had a loosely-enforced summertime rule regarding the wearing of innertubes, swimmies, and the like in the pool: You have to wear them until you pass swim lessons. I say "loosely-enforced" because, like most of her rules, I could generally whine and wheedle my way out of them (don't judge my mom. You don't know the piercing hell that was/is my tantrum voice). However, it would seem a rule such as this--one designed for safety--wouldn't be up for compromise. But, dear reader, let me tell you: Had she actually enforced it, I would have been wearing my red rubber innertube-swimsuit until I moved out of the house. I never learned to swim.

It's not that I'm afraid of water. On the contrary, I always look forward to pool excursions. It's that I am supremely unathletic. My body simply refuses to move the way it should. Water gets up my nose, no matter how hard I try to blow out underwater. Diving inevitably ends in bellyflops. A simple freestyle stroke turns to a doggie paddle, and a float always ends in a sink. As recently as last summer friends tried to get me to execute a successful float on my back. I was relaxed, head back, arms out, and my legs still refused to remain horizontal. I'm very dense, you see. I can't tread water in the same way that other people can, either. The only way I can stay afloat in one place is by kicking as fast as I can like I'm riding a unicycle, while simulataneously sweeping my arms. If I try to do it slowly, the sea eats me.

Oh, and I still hold my nose when I go underwater. GOD HELP YOU if you dunk me before I have a chance to pinch my nostrils shut.

I can't recall the order in which I was signed up for swim lessons, but I do recall at least three separate summers in which my mom attempted to instill aquatic knowledge in my young mind. There was Mr. Doug, a large hairy man with a bushy mustache. I believe his swim lessons were in his home pool, but I could be wrong. We have a home movie of this debacle. I'm blissfully doggie paddling along in arm swimmies, a giant styrofoam q-tip under my armpits for extra support. I laugh and splash, and make silly jokes with Mr. Doug. Then Mr. Doug takes away my q-tip, THAT MONSTER. I flail and cry, my head dipping underwater and begging for mercy. After a good ten minutes of watching me sputter and die, Mr. Doug finally gives up and deposits me, still clinging to his hairy chest, on the side of the pool. There I curl up into an angry ball, betrayed.

I don't remember the second swim lessons at all, except that a pretty blonde lady (maybe a teen, who knows) taught it. Also, a failure, because that led to the final swim lesson at a local country club. I think I was about 8 or 9 by that time, and had to be placed with some younger kids. That probably didn't encourage me to take the lessons very seriously, and I recall mostly splashing around and ignoring the instructor. One day we had a CPR lesson, and instead of getting to be in the pool we had to sit on the side and watch demonstration after demonstration. I remember being hot, and thinking I can go into the water if I make it look like an accident. So I slipped off the side into the deep end and let myself sink to the bottom. Then, I kicked my way back up to the top, expecting the instructor to yell at me. Instead, she praised me for knowing how to get back up, and I was pleased that my deception was successful. THAT is what I learned from those lessons.

I'm pretty sure that because I disliked swim lessons so much as a child, and was so awful to my instructors, it's my cosmic fate that someday I'll be the sole survivor of a plane crash only to land in the middle of a small, relatively shallow lake/river/pond/swimmin' hole, and that I will drown right then and there with onlookers lamenting "if only she learned to swim." Or that one day I will have a child that I take to the beach, and he will get caught in a rip tide, and I will only be able to shout helplessly from the beach, "I'M SORRY JOHNNY. MOMMY HAS TO HOLD HER NOSE IN THE WATER AND SHE CAN'T REACH YOU WITH ONLY ONE ARM, NOW CAN SHE?"

Even worse: My mother will show up one day and demand I wear my swimmies again. She would.

This infant is actually rescuing me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

I am the Elmer Fudd of real estate

All week we've been out there: Silently stalking our prey. Meeting strangers on corners, following them into buildings. What we seek is the most dangerous game: Man Orca whales Apartments.

Actually, I'm beginning to think murder/whale slaughter might be easier than this. We have pretty specific requirements: At least one bedroom, a space big enough to fit the junk that's in our current apartment, a dishwasher, in-building laundry. As it turns out, these are steep requests of any neighborhood outside of our current residence. I've lost count of how many apartments we've looked at, because they all blur into one blob that looks like this:

Broker: Okay, I have a great place to show you. You guys will love it.
Me: Does it have a dishwasher?
Broker: Oh yeah, all these units have them.
*arrive at each unit. Discover that NO UNIT HAS A DISHWASHER, let alone a functional kitchen*
Broker: Oh, that's weird, I could have sworn there was a dishwasher. Let's look at the next one, you'll really love this one.
Me: Is there laundry in the building?
Broker: Oh yeah, all these units have them...

Repeat, ad nauseum. Each unit we've looked at is either way too old, in terrible shape, has zero kitchen cabinet space, has no dishwasher, no laundry in the building, dead children in the closet, or is out of our price range.

So we'll see a couple more tomorrow. There was one unit that was a maybe...the deal is that it has an identical unit that is getting renovated, but we can't see it for at least another week or so. The unrenovated twin wasn't something I would take, but if the renovations are what the broker describes, I would want to be inside of that. *Snicker*

One unit was laid out in the coolest way ever, but the flooring in the bedroom was that kind of tiling you see in a McDonald's, and the kitchen was minus a dishwasher. If the Mickey D's tiling hadn't been there I might have compromised on the magical washing box, but two strikes is two too many. The apartment was set up so that you entered the bedroom, which was a level below the rest of the apartment, from a spiraly staircase in the floor of the living room. Like a treehouse! Or a secret spy fortress of solitude! A layout in which I can pretend to be a superhero is the only way in which you will pry a dishwasher from my cold, dishpan hands.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How's that gentrification going?

Edit: This has been cross-posted at the always-thoughtful Stuff White People Do blog. If you haven't already, give the rest of Macon D's posts a looksee.

This might be TMI for an anonymous blog, but I live in Harlem. When we moved to New York, we had a weekend to find our place, and this was the second building we looked at. It was in our price range, on Manhattan, and in a great location relative to Boyfriend's work and (where we presumed) I was going to school at the time. The building was brand new, gorgeous, and just right for us. So we moved to Harlem.

At the time, I didn't think twice about it. My knowledge of New York City and its neighborhoods was pretty limited, and although I associated Harlem with its large African-American population, I knew little of this thing called "gentrification." That's a term that New Yorkers (and I'm sure residents in other cities) throw around pretty often. I didn't even hear it for the first time until we had been here for about two weeks. I can't remember where I heard the term or in what context, but something prompted me to look it up (Wikipedia, natch).

Gentrification is, as Wikipedia defines it, the change in an urban area associated with the movement of more affluent individuals into a lower-class area. Let's not forget that class is hopelessly entangled with race as well, and so in places like Harlem the more honest definition of "gentrification" would be: When rich, white individuals move into a poor, black and/or Hispanic neighborhood. For the city and the affluent people who move to lower-class areas, gentrification is a real boon. It produces more revenue for the city in terms of higher property taxes, changes the character of neighborhoods, and can reduce neighborhood crime rates. The City of New York would like to see Harlem and places like it gentrified. In fact, I believe my building was part of the city's conscious effort to do just that: The city auctioned off "postage stamp" lots for a bargain price of $1 million. My landlord bought one of these properties, and on it she constructed the building in which I sit typing this.

Unfortunately, it turns out those benefits for the city come at a cost. A human one. Higher property taxes mean the current neighborhood residents can't afford their homes anymore. Higher rents on gentrified properties drive up rents of surrounding buildings, and landlords force out their tenants with inflated rents. People who have lived in these neighborhoods for generations suddenly have to find somewhere else to live. People become homeless. And when I say that gentrification changes the "character" of the neighborhood, what that usually means is that it makes the neighborhood "whiter." Suddenly, a neighborhood in which residents have spent years socializing and bonding on their stoops and on the sidewalk is antagonized by white residents who don't understand the culture and make noise complaints. Instead of small, locally-run shops, a couple of Starbucks and Duane Reades move in. Although the wealthy white people who now occupy the neighborhood (and run the government) may see these things as an advantage, they are decidedly not beneficial to the already disenfranchised residents.

When I finally took the time to do some reading about gentrification, I was astounded and saddened at my own ignorance. I didn't know about it when we moved, and I was ashamed to be part of the problem. Correction: I am still ashamed that I am part of that problem. What I saw when we moved was a beautiful apartment in our price range, in a good location, that was well below what landlords in other areas were charging for units that weren't even as nice. We aren't "rich," and so we jumped on the find. But although we aren't rich, we're obviously better off than many of the other residents in Harlem, particularly those who live in the housing projects beside us and across the street. We're especially better off than those who stand in line for the food pantry every Sunday at the church on the other side of us. Oh, and did I mention that we're automatically more privileged in this society than every minority resident in Harlem simply by virtue of the fact that we're white?

So yeah, I feel pretty fucking bad about moving to this neighborhood. And it's not because it's "dangerous" or because residents harass us in some way. To the contrary, in the nearly-year that we've lived here no one has bothered or hassled us in any way that we haven't encountered in other city neighborhoods; I regularly stumble home drunk at 2 am feeling no more danger than I would stumbling home elsewhere at 2 am; and I've never lived someplace where the neighbors have been friendlier. I feel bad that the very act of signing a lease in this neighborhood poses a serious threat to the future of Harlem and its residents. I feel bad that the neighbors who are so friendly might be forced out in ten years' time, and that Harlem will soon become indistinguishable from Park Slope. I feel bad that it's my fault.

Maybe it's because I grew up without much money myself and have faced class discrimination that I empathize with the people whom gentrification adversely affects, but I thought any city resident would be able to see what a problem this is. I guess not, because this week a rich, white professional asked me, in cheerful and optimistic way, "So, how's gentrification going up there?" This is not the first time someone has asked me this question, and it is certainly not the first time someone has asked it as though they were inquiring whether my open, festering sore had healed nicely.

When asked in such a manner, that question boils down to this: "So, how's the forced evacuation of blacks and Hispanics going? And the poor in general? You've driven them out as well? Excellent."

I'm never sure how to answer that question. I try to be diplomatic and polite (something along the lines of "fine" and switching the subject usually works), but maybe I ought to be more direct about my feelings on the subject. What would I say? "Yes, depriving poor minorities of their homes and businesses is going swimmingly. I certainly love waking up each morning and thinking: What can I do today that will squelch the local culture into a bland, white mass?"

We were ignorant when we moved, but we know better now. We would like to move and not be part of this problem anymore, but I will admit that it is difficult, because we fall into what you would call New York's middle class (if it had one). We're somewhere between affording Harlem and affording Chelsea, but there isn't much in the way of accomodating that. We're recent college grads and it will take time before we are able to afford a place in an affluent neighborhood. But there's the rub: I can defend why we, and other gentrifiers choose these neighborhoods on the grounds that high prices elsewhere have driven us out; however, I can't defend doing the same thing to an even more disadvantaged group, especially when we have cause to believe we will eventually possess the earning power to move to those affluent areas that we can't afford now. Many residents of this neighborhood won't ever have that opportunity, and all we're doing is destroying the only place they have so we can have a temporary foothold on our way up.

So yes, we are looking for a new place at the end of this lease, in a different neighborhood. The shitty economy may work in our favor this time, as dropping rents may make those neighborhoods more accessible to us. I can't guarantee that we'll be able to find a place, and I genuinely enjoy our current apartment. But it would sadden me to be part of this problem for much longer, especially now that I know about it. That said, I realize that nothing is going to stop gentrification: What the local government wants, the local government gets. And really, nothing can change the fact that we've already contributed to the problem. But if we move, at least I can finally sleep at night knowing I'm no longer helping the government further disenfranchise the poor. And maybe the next time someone asks me the dreaded gentrification question, I can tell them how I really feel about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I can't believe this problem even exists

Facebook used to be so nice. It was open exclusively to college students. You needed a valid college email address to register. Preteens didn't use it to post sexy, semi-nude pictures of themselves. Older relatives didn't join and judge your drunken photos. Your boyfriend's aunt didn't use it to stalk you.

Oh, Facebook. If only you had retained your integrity, I might not be in this mess.

A few days ago Miss California said a nasty, disgusting thing at the Miss USA pageant. I happened to see it just as I was switching off a movie (because I will not voluntarily watch pageants). In case you missed it, here it is again:

Don't you love a supposed role-model spewing hate speech? So, I post a status update to my Facebook about how shitty this is. I get multiple comments in agreement. Then, to my surprise, I receive one more comment. From my uncle. From my racist, sexist, homophobic, Rush Limbaugh-loving, Bush-fucking uncle.

This uncle has always been an instigator. From the time that I was little, he has always made comments at family gatherings that have struck me as...inappropriate. Although he has always been kind to me, as I have gotten older I have felt less and less respect for him as a person. He has made it clear that the various "jokes" he cracks about blacks, gays, and women thinly mask his true feelings.

Anyway, back to the Facebook status. I won't paste or address everything he said here, but he made several statements that specifically bother me. I want to use this post to organize my thoughts on them.

On the other hand, I cheered when I heard [what Miss California said]. To each his or her own. People should have the right to say what they want and when they want. Political correctness is bullshit!"

I love the glaring hypocrisy of a statement like this. How can a person claim "to each his or her own" when their "own" involves actively denying the "own" of others? Furthermore, Miss California DOES have the right to say what she wants, no matter how horrible it is. No one arrested her, or stopped her from answering the question, or hauled her off the stage. BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE CAN'T VEHEMENTLY DISAGREE WITH HER. Dissent is NOT a form of limiting another person's speech. The audience has just as much a right to boo, criticize, send angry letters, etc., to Miss California as Miss California has to say hateful things.

I also have trouble wrapping my head around the anti-political correctness mentality that has gripped conservatives. They seem to think that all political correctness "goes too far" or is unneccessary. Let's get one thing straight: The purpose of political correctness is to RESPECT people. It is not to silence you, but to ensure you understand that it is hurtful to say certain things to certain people. Refraining from calling someone a "fag" is political correctness. Calling someone "black" or "African-American" instead of "colored" or "negro" is political correctness. Disenfranchised communities ask that you use this language because the hope is that reformed language makes you see them as EQUALS. If we can use language to denigrate and "otherize" groups of people, then we can use it to empower and equalize. Refusing to acknowledge the power of political correctness is to refuse to acknowledge the struggle of the disenfranchised to be seen as humans. It is NOT "bullshit," and it doesn't hurt anyone to practice it. But it does hurt when people refuse to practice it.

"and did Prop 8 lose by one vote, I don't think so"

This comment was a response to a comment in which I said that Miss California's opinion contributed to the denial of equal rights for millions of people (presuming that Miss California participated in the Prop 8 vote). Of course Miss California's vote wasn't the single determining factor in the outcome of Prop 8. However, it's highly fallacious reasoning to claim that her vote somehow doesn't count. Attittudes like Miss USA's are a part that constitutes the whole of the anti-gay conservative population. By participating in a state vote, she ACTIVELY helped build that population. By dismissing her hateful opinions and the impact those opinions have on other people via her participation in this democracy (including the people she elects to represent her in state and federal government), my uncle is dismissing the impact that every individual has on our government. If he's going to make statements like this, then I would expect him to not vote in any elections himself, by virtue of the claim that his single vote will not impact the outcome of the election.

As far as role models go, who gives a shit how Miss America, any pro athlete or any of those Hollywood idiots like Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn think. They all make a lot of money and think all of a sudden because they are famous that they need to tell us how to live our lives because it is the way they see it. Fuck em all.

Well, I can't argue with the fact that no one should care what a vapid pageant participant thinks about politics. However, Miss USA's SOLE REASON FOR EXISTENCE is to serve as a role-model. She is unlike Alec Baldwin or Sean Penn because, although some people might think actors and actresses should set a good example, they are not SPECIFICALLY labled as role-models. Every part of the Miss USA pageant showcases what a positive example the contestant sets. She is supposed to be clean, pretty, well-spoken, talented, thoughtful, feminine, etc. What she should NOT be is a homophobe. Furthermore, while an actor might "think...they need to tell us how to live our lives," the contest REQUIRES the contestants to answer questions on politics and current events; their opinions are not unsolicited, as an actor's might be. The pageant WANTS you to care what Miss USA thinks.

I don't care what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their house. It is none of my business. However, when people start protesting and telling ME that I am wrong or I am a racist or a homophobe, then they just drew a line in the sand.

Oh, jesus. Here it is, right here. Let's go slowly. My uncle is correct: It IS none of his business what two consenting adults do in their home. Based on this statement, he is not a homophobe. However, as soon as he begins supporting the politicians and legislation that deny people rights BASED OFF WHAT THEY DO IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOMES, he is making it his business. And that is what homophobia is. I know, it's a confusing word, this "homophobia": The "phobia" part would lead you to believe it refers to a "fear" of homosexuality, rather than a prejudice against it. Let me clear it up for you: Although I agree that the word is a misnomer, it is generally accepted that it indicates prejudice against homosexuals, which may or may not include fear. You can "love the sinner, hate the sin" all you want, but the INSTANT you decide to support legislation that TREATS HOMOSEXUALS DIFFFERNTLY FROM HETEROSEXUALS, you are showing PREJUDICE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALS.

What I think is most interesting about people like my uncle is that they will say racist, sexist, and homophobic things until the cows come home, but they lose their minds when someone labels those statements as racist, sexist, or homophobic. Do they only define racism as participating in a lynching? Or sexism as wifebeating? I think it's too easy for people to forget that these "isms" encompass a wide variety of behaviors and opinions, ranging from the classic extreme examples I just mentioned to the subtle injustices of daily life. For instance, falsely assuming that all gay men love interior decorating. Or making comments about shitty female drivers when a woman happens to cut you off in traffic. Or prefacing a story about a person by describing their non-white race, when their race has nothing to do with the story. These things all fall under the "ism" category of behaviors, and the more you do them, the more of an "ist" you are. The sooner people understand that these "small" actions and thoughts make as much of an impact as the extreme, after-school-special type of stuff, the better off we'll all be.

"XXX said "She's a Cunt" on the comments above. Is that not "Cheering" from his side? Don't like what you hear so you resort to name calling?
Obama won the election for President. I don't like him, didn't vote for him but he is my president. Unlike XXX, I don't refer to him as a fucking nigger. I sure as shit don't like his policies."

This is the comment that got my uncle placed on limited profile, as well as a frank private message from me. I also deleted the comment, because I won't have the n-word bandied about my wall. My sister felt that it was hypocritical of me to delete my uncle's comment, and not XXX's; however, I simply do not place XXX's use of "cunt" on the same plane as my uncle's use of the n-word. In the first place, XXX made his comment in passing, not as part of an attempt at high-end discourse or argument. Secondly, I'm not even sure what point my uncle is trying to make here: This comment came in response to one that a friend made, stating that the acceptance of homophobia is "nothing to cheer for" (itself a reference to my uncle's first comment). My friend's comment did not state that no one should cheer for who they support. Therefore, I would allow XXX his right to "cheer" for "his side" by calling Miss USA a cunt (and frankly, I'm not particularly bothered by that word). If my uncle is trying to state that resorting to name-calling is immature, then I would agree with him (and I am in no way saying that XXX is making the most intelligent statement ever. But to be fair, that was NEVER his intent). But here is the kicker: I have PERSONALLY heard my uncle call Obama the n-word. He uses that word ALL THE TIME. So actually, I know his argument to be a lie, and to have him openly use those words on my wall when they weren't actually relevant to the argument is unfathomable. I believe he was looking for an excuse to use the n-word in this argument, despite its irrelevancy: He loves shock-value.

After this comment, I apologized to my friends who had seen it, and promptly sent him a private message. In this message, I told him that I didn't want that word on my wall, especially not from him. I also told him that his years of bigotry have always bothered me, and now I find it especially bothersome that he is transgressing the confines of family gatherings and exposing my friends, co-workers, and other family to his hateful views. I asked him to seriously re-evaluate his needless resentment to non-white, non-male, non-Christian, non-straight people and the impact of his feelings on his family members. I also told him, point-blank, that he is an embarassment to me. I do not regret anything that I said.

His return message was a mix of backhanded apologies ("I'm sorry you feel that way") and typical conservative self-victimization ("What I do have a problem with is the attitude that I and other conservatives have to put up with because we believe what we believe."). The victimization is my favorite part, because it so blatantly ignores the fact that what they believe TRULY victimizes others (in the form of discriminatory laws, hate crimes, schoolyard bullying, etc.), while what the non-conservative view believes in DOES NOTHING TO VICTIMIZE CONSERVATIVES (For example, allowing gay marriage doesn't force conservatives to marry gays, or end the practice of heterosexual marriage).

He ended the message with a totally awesome example of bad logic: "BTW, as you may or may not know, I was raised in a Jewish neighborhood and the high school was 85% jewish. I have jewish friends and I have black friends and acquaintences. " Does he not realize how cliched this statement is? "I have black friends so I can't be a racist." Just because someone has friends and acquaintences in the group which they are trying to marginalize does not make their prejudiced opinions okay. It's a weak attempt at justifying opinions he knows to be bigoted. Also, why does growing up in a Jewish neighborhood have anything to do with validating the credibility of his opinions about gay marriage? Obviously, he is attempting to convince me that he is a man of the world, with a veritable rainbow of friends and acquaintances; however, the classic "I have a (insert minority)" defense is specious reasoning at best (I wonder what his oodles of black friends would think if they heard him talk like I have?)

By the way, I punched my boyfriend in the face for burning the roast, but I have male friends, so I wasn't wrong. So, you know, there's that.

The end of this is that I didn't give my uncle the dignity of responding to his last message. Arguing with him is such a logical clusterfuck, anyway; it's really impossible to make him see reason. Have I severed yet another family tie (albeit this time within my own family. I told Boyfriend that I did it so we would be even)? Frankly, I don't really care all that much. While I believe that it's possible to disagree on political issues and still remain friendly, some political issues enter a territory that severely alter my perception of you as a human being. Disagreements over how to treat other members of the human race do not fall under the category of public transit fare-hike disagreements. Instead, they speak volumes about the sort of person you are, and whether or not you truly support equality for all humans. In the end, if you can look me in the eye and tell me that you think we should value some people less than others based on their skin color, sexual orientation, sexual identity, or any other intrinsic factor, then I would prefer to limit my association with you. Even if you are my uncle. I have tolerated harmful opinions for the sake of peace for too long; This country will make no social progress if we do not call out our friends and family for their discriminatory actions.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

100th Blog Post Extravaganza

I have actually had the follow-through to complete 100 blog posts! Hooray! I've been putting this post off because I wanted to have something really good to say, but blogging hasn't been my main focus recently and I haven't had a ton of time to, you know, think. About stuff. And junk.

Frankly, I consider this lapse in blogging somewhat of a success for me, because it means that I'm doing things in real life. I started this blog during a time when I was fighting an ultimately losing battle for my graduate school funding, had moved to a new city with no friends (save Boyfriend), and was too broke to do anything. I was depressed and smelly, insomnia plagued me for months, and I couldn't bring myself to leave the sofa. This blog served as a good diversion from wishing for swift death 24-7, and I'm pleased that today I can say that it no longer serves the same purpose. Instead, I'm interested in using this as a medium to keep my brain from turning to mush. As lame as it sounds, I really liked writing papers in college, and I wish I still had someone to assign me a 10 page paper on the rising prevalence of autism diagnoses. I miss having regular brain stimulation, and I'm sure as hell not getting it from my job. So this helps.

Now that I've lived in New York for nearly ten months, am gainfully employed, have friends, and smell better, I don't feel as compelled to spend as much time on the internet (after work, that is). The weather is nice, and even though I enjoy working on forming a sofa-crater in the shape of my body, sometimes it's nice to get out, too. In the last week I went on a nine-mile day climb, saw a fashion show, visited my sister in D.C., and took a wine-and-painting class. So even though I enjoy the chance to write on this blog, and I enjoy the challenge of gaining and communicating with readers, I find that I have other things to enjoy as well. Like this jar of Nutella that I'm about to bust open.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's been awhile

It's been sort of crazy, between a couple people quitting at work and training new ones, and multiple trips to the D.C. area this month (related to my sister's wedding), and so there hasn't been much time for blogging. But, there are things to blog about!

For starters, there's that really cool thing that Vermont and Iowa did. You know, with the gays and the marriage and so on. Seriously, I did not see that coming, and it just restored my faith in humanity that much. From what I hear, Gov. Paterson is planning to send a bill to legislature to legalize same-sex marriage in New York; unfortunately, it seems like his timing is off and he's doing it for all the wrong reasons (read: dipping popularity in the polls). That said, I don't really care what his motivation is, I just want to see it pass.

I've also been trying to do more in my spare time than sit around in my underwear and scratch myself. On Sunday, we're joining a group for a 9-mile day hike in the Hudson Valley, which I am BEYOND excited about. Sometimes I just really feel the need to run around outside and scramble up a bunch of rocks. I also have a 5-day vacation starting today, so I'm at least trying to not spend every second of it on the sofa. I slept in late today, met Boyfriend for lunch, bought a new bra (this is no small feat. I have bras custom-made for me at this little shop in midtown. Buying a bra takes about an hour and a half of being measured and fussed over by a middle-aged woman, all while my tits hang out for the entire shop to see. If I wasn't a genetic mutant with 30-F/30-DD/30-E boobs, depending on the brand, I would not have to endure this), and took a stroll in Central Park. I spent about an hour on a park bench reading and watching the nannies with their kids. Bliss.

Um, I'm getting a little fat. That's not the right word, Boyfriend would disapprove, but...out of shape? Shapeless? I don't know what in-shape is supposed to look like on me, but I'm not it. I reluctantly returned to the gym a three days ago, and I think it will be another five before I can go back again. Ouch.

I paused in a pet shop to hold a puppy on my way home. This was foolish. Now I ache to press that soft, warm bundle of love to my chest again. My rabbit is not a cuddler, and I need a cuddler. Unfortunately, the reason we opted for a rabbit in the first place is that we do not have the time for a dog. But damn, I wanted to take that little puppy home with me. Side note: Although the bun is not a cuddler, he is a world-class champ at waking us at 6 am. If we stack the pillows beside the bed, he is able to leap and frolic his way into our bed. He then proceeds to snuffle our faces, lick our foreheads, eat our hair, and head-butt us (but ever-so-gently) until we acquiesce and feed him. Sometimes, after we feed him, he comes back and eats our hair just for fun. Although Boyfriend and I agree that this is disruptive and annoying, we also agree that it's too fucking cute to stop stacking the pillows. Also, it's a better alarm clock than the actual alarm clock. And fuzzy, too!

End non-sequitors.
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