All posts in: boston

25 Dec 2015

a family holiday letter

Dear subset of Friends and Family who know how to read blogs,

Greetings to you and yours at the end of a long and winding 2015.

Do people still write holiday letters? You know, the photocopied missives tucked into their annual greeting cards updating interested parties in the comings and goings of one family over the course of the year? It seems a little unnecessary in The Age of Facebook – anything significant is bound to show up on a feed at some point – and maybe even more unnecessary to post upon a blog. What is a blog other than a perpetual Christmas letter – look at me! Look at what I am doing, and let me tell you all about it!

As of last year, there were a few stalwart Christmas Letter Writers remaining in my family. Whether or not they have taken to the task in 2015 has yet to be determined since one recent event that has occurred in my immediate family is that we have lost our mailbox key. I’m hoping that we will gain access to this box soon and that it will burst open with cards and gifts and Christmas checks and that piece of paper proving that I did show up at jury duty so my HR department can finally be sated.

But I’ve skipped ahead. Let’s roll on back to earlier in this fine year.

The first third of 2015 can be divided as thus:

  1. Snow

Boston had a record-breaking Winter. The first storm arrived just before my Darling Husband’s 30th birthday. The second, just after. The third and the fourth, I just can’t remember. Was there a fifth? A sixth? I’ve blocked it all out. Darling Husband had 10 snow days off from school; I had some as well, but I also had the good fortune of enduring the total breakdown of Boston’s reliable 1000 year old public transportation system! What joy. This paragraph is officially depressing me. Right now we’re looking at a High of 66 for Christmas Eve, so shall we refrain from uttering the S word until 2016 forever and ever amen.

  1. Books

As you may well know, I had the good fortune of serving on a children’s book award committee this past year. The first half of 2015 was spent reading. And reading some more. Scheming ways to convince myself to read even more. Also thinking about books. And making lists of books. Opening boxes and making piles of books and moving the piles from one place to another. My Darling Husband assumed a supportive role, cheering me on and pre-emptively declining social events on my behalf, and also cooking dinner twice a week.

Also, at one point our apartment looked like this:


After four months of housebound snow days and couchbound book reading, we transitioned into the middle third of the year, wherein we decided to GTFO of the house… and the state… and the country.

2015-04-20 10.28.25 HDR

In April, Darling Husband and I paid a visit to Favorite Roommate (and Favorite Roomate’s Favorite Roommate and their sweet pups) in scenic Kansas City, Montana – the City of Fountains. We saw the sights. We drank the local beers. We examined libraries and children’s book stores. We even took a jaunt over to the famed Manhattan, Kansas – home of the Wildcats, and also my baby brother-in-law. TBH, we also did A LOT of pajama-wearing, Pandemic playing, and donut eating. But is there really a better way to vacation? I think not.


In May, I took the fancy bus on down to New York, New York for Book Expo. If you exclude jaunts to visit family, this was my first solo overnight trip ever. I made all of my own travel arrangements, met up with my little cousin for a long walk around Central Park, fed myself (almost entirely on free food), and got myself where I needed to be when I needed to be there. I even had a glass of wine on my bus ride home. WHAT A GROWN UP. Then, in June, I took my SECOND solo trip, this time to visit with my two dearest high school chums in good old hot-and-sticky San Antonio, Texas.


Six days after my return to MA, My Darling Husband and I departed for our second grand European adventure.


Three nights in Paris, during which we…

  • gazed upon Notre Dame, the Musée D’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, and the Moulin Rouge
  • bought a copy of A Movable Feast at Shakespeare & Co
  • suffered through record heats with the help of a supplementary air conditioning unit that appeared in our hotel room. (it was a giant bag of ice in a Styrofoam cooler)
  • ate a meal consisting entirely of wine, bread, and fresh cheese


Then, three nights in Amsterdam, where we…

  • accidentally wandered into the red light district whilst trying to find an Indian restaurant
  • made friends with our charming Airbnb-mates
  • observed a naked bike rally in the Vondelpark
  • cried at Anne Frank’s house, admired the expansive public library, and ate some street frites


Last but not least, Berlin. Highlights included…

  • a newly constructed, shiny, modern hotel room with a swanky roof bar and REALLY GREAT AC
  • zipping all over the city on big trains and little trains and buses like pros, I’m sure
  • the impossibly delicious creation that is the döner kebab
  • spending time with our dear friend Maren, who zipped on over from Dortmund to show us around town

PHEW. After that, we flew home, exhausted, and took it nice and easy for the rest of the summer.

And by “rest of the summer,” I mean “a few days.” In July, Darling Husband spent four nights on Cape Cod, camping out with his bandmates and ostensibly working on new music. He also bussed down to New York for the night to visit with a high school buddy who was in from Shanghai (and also to liberate his expensive trumpet from the borough of Brooklyn where it had spent a few unexpected weeks. Long, stupid story.) In August, we road tripped down to Sunset Beach, North Carolina to spend a week on the beach with my family. It was, once again, lovely, although we did reach some sort of testosterone tipping point. In where my usual family vacations are spent reading, beaching (tanning?), outlet shopping, and snacking, this time there was fishing and golfing and more golfing and spontaneous outbreaks of Magic the Gathering. Very curious.


At the end of the summer, we said goodbye to about a million of our Boston friends – everyone who was kinda trying to leave Boston for the past three years made an exodus in 2015. There were last drinks and last suppers and the desperate hawking of couches on Craigslist. There were emotions. To Colorado, Portland, Royal Oak, and New Zealand – what amazing, lovely people you now have among you. Treat them well!

The rest of the year has been (relatively) more bucolic. I prepped for a symposium in October and wrote a lot of book reviews. Darling Husband began his seventh (!!!) teaching year. I thought I couldn’t eat dairy for a while but decided I just can’t eat yogurt. We entertained my in-laws for another gracious visit. We switched Peach to diet food and subsequently cleaned up a lot of cat puke. After almost three years of living car-free, we bought a used Prius… and we kind of love it a lot. We attended a Friendsgiving. We went to seven zillion holiday parties. In five days, we will jet out of state yet again to ring our second consecutive new year in Michigan.

It’s Christmas Eve now as I finish up this lengthy missive. I had a nice day working in a completely empty office while Darling Husband did some last minute shopping. We have acquired some festive take out, I am cooking up a pineapple upside down cake, and we are settling in for a long winter’s 60+ degree night of enjoying some classic, cheerful television programming.

I’m thinking a few episodes of Game of Thrones.

I’m also thinking that I am a very lucky lady. Thank you to all of my dear ones who made 2015 the year it was for me… and my Darling Husband and my chubby orange cat. I’m wishing you the very happiest of holidays and a fabulous, fabulous, fabulous new year.






26 Sep 2015

horn book at simmons 2015

HBAS_2015_HeaderFriends, family, and other concerned parties: I am still alive and reading.

Well, assuming you consider picking up a different book every day and reading 10 pages before putting it down to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls to be reading.

At any rate, I am alive, and full intending on returning to this blog space in the near future.

But first, a quick signal boost to an Exciting! Event! on the near horizon, one that may be of interest to those of you Friends of the Children’s Book out there – next weekend is the fabulous, annual, simply not-to-be-missed Horn Book at Simmons one day colloquium! The Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and the fine fellows at The Horn Book Magazine are teaming up yet again to provide a premier one-day children’s-book-lovers-palooza. Or something like that.

I’ve attended before, so it goes a little like this. On Friday night, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards are awarded, and acceptance speeches are given. A fancy reception follows, where you may drink some wine, get books signed, and maybe Jack Gantos will walk up to you and start a conversation. Then you go to sleep and wake up early, trek to Simmons, take a seat in the perpetually freezing Paretsky Center, drink some sweet, sweet conference coffee, and watch while esteemed authors, illustrators, editors, and other children’s literature people proceed to blow your mind with brilliance. Then you go home and bask in that happy feeling that there is a whole community of people who value children’s books as much as you do, and probably spend an hour or so talking your partner’s ear off about all of the brilliant ideas you never had until this day (while he makes polite nods and hmms while trying not to check his iPhone unscrupulously).

Yours truly will be participating in the events of the day, so it is possible that your Day of Brilliance may be briefly interrupted by a whimpering, sweaty woman trying desperately to keep her wits about her while speaking to an author of more-than-average celebrity. Ignore her. Keep your eyes on the more brilliant members of the lineup. Susan Cooper! Marla Frazee! Neal Shusterman! Wow! Can you believe it? How lucky are you. It’s not too late to join, if you are a local person. If you’re not a local person, I’m sure there will be lots of fun content on the Horn Book’s various blogs, and you can watch the #hbas15 hashtag on the Twitters.

And speaking of interruptions (brief or not so brief)… I’ve really got to go so I can resume panicking preparing for the big show!

13 Feb 2015

her life with snow

Two years ago to the day, I wrote a little post about some snow we had in Boston.

Yeah, it was a lot of snow. They shut the MBTA system completely, for the first time since the Blizzard of 1978. Records, perhaps, were broken. I honestly can’t remember, because I’m from Michigan, y’all. It’s snow – it shows up, it sticks around, and eventually it’s 90 degrees and humid. If you’re lucky, you get a day off of work – otherwise, shovel out your car and hit the slippery and potentially deadly road. Snow is snow is snow.

Unless, of course it’s 2015 and you live in Boston and suddenly snow is just YOUR LIFE. FOREVER. IT WILL NEVER STOP.



You guys can read the news – I’ll spare you the play by play – but there is just so much. So much! The Boy has had 10 snow days, I’ve had 4, and they’re talking about another storm this weekend. I stopped caring about accumulation a week or so ago – once you hit 3 feet on the ground, does another foot really make a difference? I’m more concerned about my poor dear MBTA, which seems to be just barely clinging to life. I used to rely on public transit to get me to work in a reasonable amount of time under semi-dignified circumstances. Ever since The Snow, all I’m gunning for is Eventually Arriving at Work/Home. Not spending the night sleeping in my office. Not spending the night sleeping in a stalled train. In attempt to mitigate my public transportation rage (which is transitioning quickly to straight-up anxiety), I’ve been doing a lot of walking around in the snow, which is… ah… challenging. Some sidewalks are shoveled well, some are shoveled barely, and some are covered with an inch of solid ice. Snow plows turn street corners into impassable mountains of snow – that eventually melt into slushy swamps that one must ford in order to… stand directly in the way of traffic that couldn’t really see you around the remaining snow mountains. Check out this clever Boston city maze by Bikeyface to get a taste of what it’s like on the ground.

I’m incredibly grateful that I rent an apartment, and even more grateful to the owners in my building who have shoveled, salted, sanded, and paid a guy in a tiny snow plow to scoop out  a clear exit from my building. I’m grateful to have a job where my supervisor is flexible and understanding when the trains just don’t show up. Every day I pat Past Jessica on the back for dropping big bucks last year on snow boots that, at the time, felt like a luxury but are now making it possible for me to exist in this frozen wasteland of a city. Thank you, thank you Bean Boots.

I’m not getting to the gym. I’m spending way too much time cooped up with my darling husband and my completely obnoxious darling cat and we are driving each other a bit insane. But the power’s stayed on, I’ve got heat, I’ve got coffee, I’ve got food and wine and books. During the Great Blizzard of 2013, I laid about my underheated apartment and read Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina. During the SnowiestMFingFebruaryInTheHistoryofBoston, I laid about my adequately heated apartment and read the entirely enjoyable sequel. It’s good and it’s long and I have enough pages left to get me through the next XXX inches of snow.

I mean, assuming I survive.



25 Apr 2014

a marathon

I watched the 118th Boston Marathon from high above the finish line. It was an offer I had last year as well but did not take. We sat in a bar in Brookline instead, camped out around mile 22 with a bunch of day-drinkers listening to loud music and cheering on the second wave of marathoners.

We left in the afternoon. Between leaving the bar and making it home, it was clear something was very wrong. Twitter said there was an explosion, smoke. Cashiers at the grocery said a bomb. Amputations. My parents were calling. My friends were calling. Then our cell phone signal went out for a while.

We were far enough away. We were walking in the right direction. Heading home, not to the finish line.

I am not a sports person. Sports have always been what daddy watches all weekend when I want to watch cartoons, or what gym teachers force upon me, trading mild humiliation for passing grades. Sports in general feel like a weird, corporate-sponsored, steroid-ridden Gladiator match.

Marathons, though. Marathons are different. I watch the Boston marathon and all of my recessed sports-related emotions let loose. A bunch of semi-crazy people are just running beyond human desire, need, or comprehension, but I might as well be watching My Team win the Superbowl (or insert some other more relevant sports metaphor here.)

It’s been four years now, but I am still running. I am an ambivalent runner. A reluctant runner. An inconsistent, slow, occasionally sidelined by aches and pains and illness and general-life-exhaustion runner. It’s so minor-league compared to a marathoner – much less a Boston marathoner – but having engaged in the act regularly for a number of years gives me just enough perspective to be completely floored by the act of marathoning. It is time consuming and damn difficult to train for 26.2, yes, but it’s also something you choose, for whatever twisted reason, it’s a personal thing. Every runner that crosses the finish line, and even those that don’t. They choose to show up and give everything they have inside of them. 36,000 people made this choice, or a million small choices, and yeah, that makes me cry. Every time.

I am glad that the choices of 36,000 outweighed the choices of a few in 2013, and thankful for the many police and security folks who made 2014 safer, and for those who were injured I am so glad you are still here and I hope you are getting better. There are some things about city life that I loathe and some things I like, but coming out with the rest of the city and the world to cheer on the Boston Marathon every year is what brings me to my metaphorical, emotional knees. It’s the ritual, the celebration, the community, the city. My city. It was beautiful up there and I can’t wait until next year.

16 Nov 2013

bits and bobs

  • This autumn is my reward for surviving the rest of the year. The weather has been ridiculously mild – everywhere I go in this dang city, the trees are bright orange, the grass still green, and the sky blue blue blue. Since September, my parents have visited and my  sister visited TWICE. The Boy’s parents are coming after Thanksgiving. I’m in the groove of my new schedule and new neighborhood. I’m adjusting to our smaller space. Things feel good.
  • I probably owe some of this newly found equilibrium to those old fashioned mood-improving standbys – food and exercise. In September, we got ourselves a gym membership. It’s been over a year since we’ve had gym access. I was pretty persistent in running as much as I could last year, but the winter months – oh, the winter months. I have some warm-ish running clothes, but if it’s below freezing and there is 6 inches of packed snow and ice on all the sidewalks… yeah, I don’t run. I’ve been having some intermittent foot troubles while running so I decided to switch out my little New Balance minimal running slippers for something hardier. I got fitted at the running store across the street from my library, and you know what? If paying a monthly fee for a gym membership doesn’t motivate me to exercise more, then paying over 100 dollars for a pair of shoes will. I decided to kick it into gear – five workouts a week, bring my gym clothes to work, the whole mess. I’ve gone from run/walking 30 minutes on the treadmill to run/walking 60. I’m trying to up my pace from glacial to just-pretty-slow. I’ve put 50 miles on my new sneaks already. Word.
  • Hey, here’s a thing I learned recently – if I’m not cooking dinner most nights of the week, I’m probably grumpy. I’m not sure if this is a “home-cooked dinner improves mood” situation or a “lack of home-cooked dinner is a sign that you are in a bad mood,” but I’m arguing for the former. I checked out this new cookbook based entirely on the title – Keepers – and that delicious looking pot pie. I made three or four recipes from the book to good ends and added Ex-pat Fried Rice to the regular rotation. I don’t know. Life is just better when there’s warm food around.

  • One of the best things about library work is the variety of daily tasks and projects. When I worked part-time on the public library floor, Monday could be a storytime and a book list, Tuesday setting up a mobile laptop lab and weeding the YA fiction, Wednesday cutting out paper animals for hours followed by breaking up a fight between two 13-year-olds, and so on and so forth. Even though I am a Behind the Scenes librarian now, I am still regularly surprised by what I’m asked to do. We had a new branch opening recently, so we did a lot of stuff this summer to get ready – deciding which books to bring over from the old branch, ordering new books, unpacking the new books and shelving them, etc. One day, I was asked to select two picturebooks to offer as a give-away for the opening day festivities. I’m not sure many people can have the pleasure of buying 700 picturebooks at once. And then I got to SEE all 700 picturebooks, on a cart! Beautiful! Oh, my job. (I picked Emily Gravett’s Again! and Peter Brown’s Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, for the curious)
  • Have I mentioned that The Boy is in a band? I probably haven’t because I kind of hate his band. Not because I give two shits about whether or not The Boy is staying out in all hours of the night, hanging out with delinquent band types. No, I hate his band because the delinquent band-types he hangs out with are a bunch of 20-something male drama queens who regularly miss practice, storm out of rooms during arguments, and start Facebook flame wars. All of which The Boy wants my opinion on. And my opinion is “Your band sucks. You need a new band.” Anyway, despite the fact they are basically dysfunctional, the band persists. If they are playing on a weekend night somewhere that has easy access to public transportation, I try to go. This fall, I’ve watched them play to a nearly empty bar in Somerville, almost ruin a performance at an outdoor music festival in JP, and entertain the attendees of a snowboarding film festival in a swanky downtown hotel. Also, I stayed up way past my bedtime to watch him sit in with a Rolling Stones cover band.
  • Other than that? Reviewing is keeping me busy. Cybils books are keeping me busy. I started painting my nails this year, my back porch kittens found adoptive homes, I spend a lot of time sitting on my new couch playing Skyrim or reading or just hanging out with The Boy and The Peach. This is the life I made for myself. This is it. Hello.
16 Oct 2013

we keep asking where we are going

My Boston friends –  those dear grad school survivors, adjunct professors, teachers, librarians, writers, readers. All talkers, drinkers, dreamers, and laughers.  We get together regularly but with enough time passing between visits to warrant a proper life update. How’s your semester, how’s your classroom, how’s your new job, how’s your novel. What are you up to? What are you reading? Where have you been? Where are you going?

That last one is the conversation I’ve had over and over again. Where are you going? We are all going somewhere. We talk about cities we’ve loved, places we’d like to visit, homes we will someday have. Maybe this is a product of being Boston transplants ourselves – we landed here a few years ago for school, but also for Boston. The chance to live here. Maybe we are already stuck, but we chose Boston not that long ago; why not choose again? Before we are all too old. Before we are really stuck.

We all have places we’d like to go. Back to Los Angeles. Home to Colorado, to Michigan, to the Midwest. Try those Chicago winters out for size. The Pacific Northwest. North Carolina. Overseas for a few years.

But here we all sit, in the greater Boston metro area, still drinking, laughing, dreaming. Dreaming at 28 feels different than at 24. Like you have a last ditch attempt to force your life in one direction before life starts dragging you around behind it. Pressure. Nothing feels any clearer than 24.

So much weight put upon a place, as if happiness can be found with the right combination of luxuries and landmarks. For some folks, life is easier closer to family, or farther away. Life isn’t worth living unless you can see the ocean, go skiing, hike mountains. Some jobs are easily found in some places and impossible to find in others.

I don’t think I am that kind of person. Maybe it would be easier if I was, if there was any sort of impetus pulling me toward a particular zipcode, but then again, it would also be easier if I was more X, more Y, less Z.  But here I am, XYZ, no matter where I go. My life would change if I lived in San Francisco, rural New Hampshire, Baltimore, Cleveland, but it would also stay the same. At a certain point, I have to stop waiting for the Next Step to fall into place and just work with the Step I’m in now. At a certain point, maybe I have to stop worrying about where I’m headed and just be where I’m at.


20 Sep 2013

working for the weekend

I’ve been living in Boston for more than four years now. Unbelievable, but true. Four years is a long time. Longer than I lived in my college town. Definitely longer than we planned on staying here. Four years is long enough to forget you are living in a city, but also render the suburbs a bit foreign. I have, occasionally, marveled over a particularly large parking lot. But most of the time city-dwelling doesn’t seem impressive. Wake up, commute, work, come home, cook, chat, sleep. Same human condition, smaller parking lots.

It’s been four years, but I don’t think I’d call myself “settled’ in this place. No. I think most of my city-dwelling friends feel the same sense of drifty impermanence about their Boston lives – it’s fine for now, but life could take you somewhere else. Of course, when pressed, most of us can’t pin down where that somewhere else will be, which worries me. Are we, the drifty, childless twenty-somethings who couldn’t possibly live in Boston forever all going to end up living in Boston forever? Even though we all want to leave, are we all stuck, already?

Maybe we’re already stuck, but we sure do not acknowledge it. In fact, the folks I know live like they might leave any day. Or at least, they weekend like they might leave any day. There’s probably a metaphor for life somewhere in there, but all I know is that my friends are wont to turn down my more austere weekend plans because they are going to the Vineyard. Or up to Vermont, or over to Connecticut, taking the bus down to New York, apple picking with their cousins, hiking with their friends from college, [insert any other adorable twenty-something-in-New-England activity here]. I made some posturing a year ago that I would like to join the weekending yuppie fun (please note the “because of course we’re leaving” tone, and yet, we remain), but I think two weeks after I wrote that post, our car died. Then a few weeks later, a tree branch smashed our windshield. We’ve been car-less ever since, and it’s difficult to have yuppie-fun in New England without wheels.

We finally crossed one off the list, though; last weekend our friends invited us out to Cape Cod for the weekend. And while visiting the Cape might have been on my Yuppie-Fun-I-Promise-We’re-Moving bucket list, it is definitely the preferred destination for any and all permanent Bostonians. And I can 100% see why: it was like driving into a beautiful green suburb, where every house has beach chairs and a deck, a pool and a hot tub. And if you take a turn and drive a few miles to the north or south, then you are on the beach. The kitschy dive brunch places and neighborhood bars are well-populated and clean. There’s a Starbucks AND a Dunkin Donuts. All the neighbors wave when you drive by. Your dad has a boat. It’s a wonderland.

Sometimes I feel like Boston is eating me alive. This is probably largely due to reasons that would preclude me from ever owning a place on the Cape, but maybe that’s how everyone survives here. You have a beautiful Cape house to escape to, where it’s always vacation, where your weekday worries aren’t. I suppose it’s different if you’re not staying in a gorgeous rental home free of charge, drinking margaritas in a hot tub with your friends like a spoiled rich teenager, but I definitely see the appeal.

Let me summarize the logical flow of this post as such:

City Living is Rough, therefore we 20-something yuppies pretend like we aren’t going to stay here even though we can’t figure out where else we’d want to go. While engaging in such I’m-basically-just-a-tourist type weekending behavior, I discovered that City Living is probably better if you have a Beach House.

Important addendum: teacher salary + librarian salary / City Living = you are never, ever going to have a Beach House, so you better hope your dear sweet friends don’t move to Australia and leave you without the comforts of a delightful rent-free weekend on the Cape.

07 Aug 2013


Yesterday was my one year anniversary as a full time, professional librarian.

Working full time is not what I thought it would be like. But then again, I didn’t think that in between working part time and working full time I would work 17 part time jobs at once while going to grad school.

Working full time at my job is not what I thought it would be like. It’s better. It’s worse. It involves more spreadsheets.

A while ago I read Brené Brown’s Dare Greatly and refused to review it here because I could barely even read it without weeping much less write about it. It’s a book that sits under my skin.

There’s a chapter where Brown asks her interviewees what makes them feel most vulnerable – that emotion, that state that we love, we hate, we need – and I still remember the answer that stopped my breath for a second on an airplane in January.

I love it. I do. I mean, sometimes I hate it, but the next day I go back to indifference and then a few days later I take a look at how g.d. lucky I am and I love it again.

I’m a young person in her first professional position. I don’t know if I’ll be here until I’m 30 or 40 or 65. I worry that the timing isn’t right, that public service will kill my spirit, that this city will kill my spirit.

But I also worry that there won’t be another job for me quite like this one. It’s been a real blessing. I’m so glad all this schooling and anxiety and reading and nonsense has led me here. It’s just where I need to be.

31 Jul 2013

goodbye, goodbye

Moving is eminent. In 24 hours, we will be carrying our belongings down three flights of stairs and awaiting our movers. Still feeling no big deal about it, but last night I got hungry and started having some thoughts.

My first thought: “Man, we are moving in a day and have no food in the house. What am I going to eat for dinner?”

My second thought: “Man! We are moving in a day! And that means this is our last chance to get our favorite Thai/Vietnamese take-out!”

An hour later, I was walking down the street with my Spicy Basil Fried Rice with Duck Tofu and Khmer rolls, headed home to eat and pack.

But then I passed by my favorite burger joint and started having more thoughts:

“Wait a second… when am I going to have my one last Grass Fed burger?”

“Are there even any days left??”

“How in the world am I going to do a Whole30 ever again without Grass Fed burgers???”

“Why am I moving????”


Boston is a city of neighborhoods, and I’d forgotten just how much I loved mine. We moved to JP four years ago and never wanted to live anywhere else. We are close to public transit. We are close to bars and restaurants. We are close to a big, beautiful park with running paths. JP is full of kids and dogs and hipsters on bikes. It’s a beautiful place to live. This is a very reluctant goodbye.

However, I am finding that saying goodbye to my apartment is so, so very easy. And therein lies the rub: we can’t afford a nice place in JP. Or, more accurately, we are unwilling to sacrifice our budgetary priorities in order to pay for a nice place in JP. We’ve been living in a spacious but overpriced shit-hole for a year.

Goodbye, crooked kitchen floors that slams my refrigerator door shut with unnecessary force.

Goodbye, grungy carpet that fills up our vacuum with filth Every. Single. Time. We. Vacuum.

Goodbye, shower that is too short for tall folks and sprays water all over the floor and onto the walls of bathroom to disgusting, mildewy results.


Goodbye, people who live in the house right behind ours who have recently bought a table specifically designed to play dominos on and parked it at the end of the driveway (right below my bedroom window) and now play exclusively between the hours of 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Goodbye, dozens of extension cords snaking all over every room in order to plug in those extraneous electronic accessories like “lamps.”

Goodbye, pushing our laundry to the laundromat in a metal cart.

Goodbye, landlord/slumlord who neglected to take care of a 100 year old, completely dead tree on his property and instead waited for it to FALL INTO THE STREET and ON TOP OF ONE OF HIS TENANTS’ CARS.

Goodbye, gang wars and gun shots and living somewhere where your friends are a little freaked to come over because they are worried that their new Vespa might get stolen off the street. Because last time they came over, their new Vespa got STOLEN OFF THE STREET.


Goodbye, you crazy JP apartment. You will remain in horrible, hilarious memory for the rest of our lives. We are onto greener pastures. Greener pastures with a dishwasher.



28 Jul 2013

on the move

It is true, I am back in the states. I have things to tell you of my journey, my first trip across any ocean, but first: I am moving. Whose great idea was it to Get Married on the 13th, travel to Europe until the 26th, then move on the 1st. Oh, wait, I’m Moving in Boston, which means it was no one’s great idea. It was just the way things had to be to get a halfway decent apartment. That will probably still be an overpriced, semi-crappy apartment. C’est la vie.

No worries. We are seasoned pros. I’ve moved my belongings halfway across the country in the back of a pick-up. I’ve moved an apartment in a U-Haul up the DAMN street and survived an overheating cat and This Guy I Married running into a parked car, on said street, with said U-Haul. I moved down the street and around the corner and dragged all of my furniture up three flights of stairs after midnight. This move doesn’t even feel particularly stressful. We did a very good job of packing a lot before we left to be wed. We know how and when to call Comcast/NStar/National Grid. That Guy I Married is a teacher, so he doesn’t have the burden of full-time work for the next few days. Also, we hired movers, so That Guy I Married won’t be driving any vehicles into any other objects.

Tomorrow, I go back to work. Vacation: rad, but um… I am excited to go back. To see everything as I left it on my desk and tackle a pile of work.

On Thursday, we will wake up in one apartment and go to sleep in another. No big deal. No big deal!!

Please remind me of this nonchalance when I am crying on Thursday night and must go to work on Friday morning.