Sunday, February 22, 2015

Misery and Kindness

Finally, I got a picture of my little girl in the big snow!  Blurry and shadowed, but I just wanted a New England picture for posterity.  But she hates to put her feet on snow.  Today was mild enough that we took the bus home from the Aurora Kiddo Dance Party (you should check it out if you live anywhere near Providence), and LB even walked a bit.

This winter has been a misery of cancelled plans and wet feet, and broken hips, collapsed roofs, and hypothermia.  This story that's been making the rounds on Boston social media is a good example of the everyday suffering of trying to function in the endless cold and snow.

In the piece Barbara Howard discusses stopping in her car to pick up and mom and child waiting late a night at a snowy bus stop.  The other side of our current suffering is our increased kindness.  Each day along my bus route, riders work to get the lady with the walker and the guy with the cane safely on and off the bus.  From the bus, I watched an older man collapse in a slippery crosswalk on a busy street at dusk.  Two drivers immediately used their cars to block him from traffic and then carried him to the sidewalk.  So many "you want to hold my arm?" to unsteady crossers, and a "at least take that guy on crutches!" to the driver of an overfull bus.

It's never easy to get around as a person with mobility issues, or as a parent with a young child and multiple bags.  But those needs are so often invisible.  Barbara Howard must have driven by moms with kids at bus stops on other late nights, but this was the night she stopped.  Because our own suffering has made us more aware of the suffering of others and more sympathetic to them.  It's a beautiful thing in this world.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The long winter

Snow. Cold. Snowbound with child who woke in the night and puked in her hair. Bar dancing child and a snowy walk home. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Apartment

I just signed a lease on a new apartment for March 1.  A nice, plain two bedroom in a sunny 2nd floor unit.  It's $50 a month cheaper than the kind of weird attic space with the laundry and parking issues.  It has a very sensible layout, with a bedroom on the north side for LB (nice and dark) and a bedroom on the south side for me.  The kitchen is south facing, which was a major selling point for me.  It's a smallish eat in kitchen, with standard low-budget white stove and wood laminate counters (wish they'd kept the old cabinets).  Most of the rooms have nicely redone wood floors, and the whole building seems clean and well-maintained (unlike the death trap attic space).

The neighborhood is close to where we are now, and very close to daycare.  Ten years ago it used to be pretty rough around there, but I've been in the area a lot and there doesn't seem to be anything sketchy going on now.  There's a pretty big park across the street and a corner store on the other corner.

Feels good.

And then there's the bad:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New PW protected posts up at the other blog

And on one of them I'd misspelled the password, but now I've fixed it.  If you'd like to read the ugly you can contact me at the email address listed on this blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gay Divorcee

The first state-sanctioned gay marriages in the US began in 2004. Guess who is now divorced? Hillary and Julie Goodridge, the lead plaintiffs in the Massachusetts court case that brought gay marriage to that state.  So I'm in good company?

B and I went down to get our marriage license on the first day they were offered in D.C.  It was a lot of fun with people giving out cupcakes and flowers and a long line of diverse couples.  We were couple 80-something.  And I've wondered if we are the first couple from that day to get divorced.  Probably not, probably at least one of those couples freaked out within the first year and decided to split.

And on that day we were minor gay marriage poster children.  We were on the tv news.  Funny story: so apparently it's actually quite difficult to stand outside a courthouse and figure out which people walking out the building are part of a soon-to-be gay-married couple and who are just random work friends going to lunch.  So the news crew wasn't approaching anyone until they saw us walk out, me carrying the flower that I was given in line.

The charming Jim Darling took our picture.  If you need a portrait or some wedding photography, you should look him up here.

If you've been reading here, you know I am no fan of marriage as a system of distributing rights and privilege.  Remaining married isn't an issue of moral obligation to me.  But I do think that if a couple chooses to get married by the state and make that public commitment it comes with an ethical obligation to try and stay married.  And within that framework, four years of marriage seems pretty pathetic.

B says she feels no particular shame as a gay divorcee, but I'll admit to a twinge.  I think that twinge comes from the hubris of thinking that it would never be us who would split, that somehow we were different than all the divorced straight couples we know, that we would cope every so gracefully with the pressures that face all couples.  Pride comes before fall.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


You never realize how many love letters, notes, and card you accumulate over 10 years until you have to decide what to do with them. But in happier news I've also found some charming documentation of the 1970s and 1980s:

And in random good news, my side project got an acls grant-we are so fancy!

Monday, January 26, 2015


The snow started slow this afternoon, but now it's really starting to blow out there.  And it's my first blizzard alone in ten years-mostly alone, I do have my Ladybug tucked into bed upstairs.  B and I share a love of extreme weather, and we've been through blizzards, hurricanes, and on derecho together.  Two years ago I hitched a ride from BWI with a complete stranger after my flight got cancelled, because I couldn't imagine sitting alone in Baltimore while B and LB were in the blizzard zone.  My first bloodwork when we were trying for LB involved careening through the unplowed streets of Baltimore to get to our early morning appointment.  Overall, I feel like I'm doing well. I've been really honest with my friends about the state of things, and they all seem to think I'm doing pretty well.  But this hurts.

I've also started looking at apartments.  So far I've looked at a super cheap, super rundown "loft." It would be great for 3 youths, but I was worried about filling all that space, and the heating bill, and the 2nd egress which was a trap door in the front room.  Apt 2 has more potential.  It's more than I wanted to spend, but includes all utilities, which is a big savings in New England and I'd never have to worry about getting a huge heating bill.  It's a weird attic space with lots of little rooms, but it has potential for a lot of retro cuteness, and plenty of room for me and LB and visitors.  There some weird laundry situation I didn't understand about having to pay out the first floor tenant for use of the washer, and uncertainty about the parking (for visitors because you can't park overnight on the street in Providence without a permit). We would be close to daycare, library, bus, shops (although not a grocery store), and parks.  It's a nice, safe area, which I guess should be a big sell, but I was actually hoping to move into an adjacent neighborhood that would be a little more income and race diverse.

And then I started looking on craigslist and saw that there are actually a decent number of places in my price range-like also because this is a weird time of year to rent a place-so that's good.  But I'm trying decide whether I should take a place for March 1 now (and basically pay an extra month) or wait and rent something for April 1 and scramble to get out of our current place.  Option 1 would probably be much better for LB's transition, but I also don't want to throw away a month of rent (a month in which B and I could be renting 4! places).  Decisions, decisions.

Stay warm and shovel safe!