Archive for August, 2010

August 30, 2010


In addition

19. Being homeless for 5 hours means your favorite animal is homeless as well. Options include hunting for a cat babysitter (who doesn’t OWN a cat because your cat is mean and antisocial), leaving your cat in an potentially overheated car, or buying a cat leash and taking her to the park all day.

20. You will have to call Comcast, which is usually a lengthy, tedious experience. You will inevitably speak to the least informed customer service representatives employed by this corporation, including those with minimal communication skills and those who think that it is simply impossible to install internet and cable before September 10th, no matter what.

You may also end up with a land line. For some reason.

21. If don’t buy proper groceries and only buy a case of beer, your snacks start to look a little strange.

Apple, chunk of cheese…. beer.

Peach, crackers…. beer.

Blueberry yogurt, tomato slices… beer.

But it’s Sam Summer, so you should really just roll with it.

And who said you had to pack sober, anyway?

August 29, 2010

moving house

Things I Have Learned While Moving

1. Don’t move.

2. You REALLY don’t want to move in Boston.

3. You really REALLY don’t want to move in Boston on September 1st.

4. Your current apartment will want you out of your place on August 31st, so they can clean. Your new apartment will not let you move in until 1 p.m. on the 1st, so they can clean. Raise your hand if you would rather have that $130 for the moving van and $100 for a hotel room than that probably-not-that-much-cleaner apartment?

5. Things you can give away for free on Craigslist within 12 hours:

– parts of a broken hookah

– those Emergen-c packets you hate, the ones that taste like your tongue is decaying with every sip

– 3 jigsaw puzzles

– that deck of novelty drinking game cards you had two sets of from your Christmas stockings

– an air conditioner

6. We are, obviously, pack rats. Lance worse than I. He’s the one that wouldn’t let me throw away the silly package of bar cards.

7. Lance, however, is not as sentimental about his beloved soup pot as I once thought. We broke its lid in a freak accident months ago, and it is now time to say goodbye.

8. Moving is a fugue state. I used to feel this way about exam week in undergrad: it sucked, because I had to take exams and study and it was stressful, but I didn’t have to go to classes, most of my exams lasted less than an hour, my work schedule was different. So even though it wasn’t exactly fun, I did get to do things like sleep in, study leisurely with ample breaks for playing Super Nintendo emulators on my computer, go out with friends.

This week, my job is Move. It is stressful, and it sucks, but when I’m not actively packing or making plans or running errands, I really have not much to do.

And instead of fretting over what to cook each day, we decided to take our grocery money and use it to eat out when we want. The cost won’t be terribly more than our grocery spending, and it’s just more convenient.  I have eaten Qdoba twice this week and had my favorite sandwich from my favorite sandwich place. So more fun, too.

It’s a mixed bag.

9. Due to #4, you will have to abandon all of your frozen and refrigerated goods. Please, dear movers, acknowledge this reality months before your move, and do not allow your chronically optimistic boyfriend to delude you until it’s too late to eat all of your frozen goodies.

10. You can pack an entire box of your own belongings without making a visual dent in the amount of crap left in your apartment. Actually, you can keep packing boxes with the same effect, for at least 15 boxes, most likely more. I’ll keep you posted.

11. Moving Day Suckitude does not necessarily decrease with the distance of the move. Yes, it would be hard to beat a 24 hour, sleeping at rest stops, move in at eleven p.m. by yourself up three flights of stairs…. but given #4 and the complications of… oh… having to go to work the morning after and go to work and class on Friday? Well, this one could take the cake.

12. I am no longer infatuated with a new apartment. Any new apartment.

13. Unless it has over 1000 square feet of space

14. And a spare room.

15. And a pantry.

16. And central air.

17. Or a gym!

18. I’m going to bed…

August 28, 2010

what a peach

My animal did not particularly enjoy her trip back to her birth state.

On the drive from Boston to Jackson, Peach sat in the backseat, curled up fairly compactly, and refused to move or eat or drink or use her litter box for the entirety of the 14 hour trip.

And when we carried her into my parents’ house, she flipped a lid at having eight people, two friendly Corgis, and a foreign cat all in her face. I was bitten, Lance scratched, and she hid under a foot stool and swiped at her offenders with her claws all evening.

I learned that my cat can growl! Which she did toward Moonshine right on through our trip, never letting her enter the room without at least an intimidating hiss.

She also hissed at my parents, my sisters, and me. We penned her up in Dorothy’s room during the day, and she spent nights perched on the arm of the sofa that was my bed. I’d wake up in the middle of the night to see her 2 inches from my head, gazing intently into the ceiling fan. And when our eyes met, she would give me a good hiss too.

Anyway, then she had an appointment at the Reproductive Organ Removal Facility. I was in Ohio with my mother for two days, so my sister Betsy was so kind as to fetch her from her surgery. The drugs must have done her some good because from there on out, she was a changed cat. She let everyone pet, often to the point where I wondered what happened to her old fighting, biting spirit. Was her personality due to too much kitty estrogen? It was strange. She cozied up to the dogs, although they wouldn’t come near her after she’d swiped their noses a few times on that first night. She roamed the house freely instead of hiding in the fireplace all day, or behind a couch.

The abundance of loud voices and slammed doors and barking dogs still frightened her multiple times daily. And of course, she and Moonshine still had territory wars, but no actual catfighting took place. Which was for the best. My Peach has a freaking creepy growl, but Moonshine lives Outside, with Other Animals With Claws and Teeth.

I spent some time fretting over my antisocial animal.

“Are you upset because it’s your fault that your cat is hissing? Do you think you broke her?” my dad ask.

Which I could tell was code for, “Do you REALLY think you can control your cat in ANY way, you silly girl? I could barely control you as a child and you were a HUMAN for Pete’s sake!”

But no, I wasn’t upset about that. I was mostly upset that my animal was being such a poor houseguest. Like when somebody invites their grumpy boyfriend over and he gets mad at the world and then everyone rolls their eyes at that particular sister? I was that sister, and while my actual grumpy boyfriend spent most of the week in Lapeer with his family, my cat was an annoying stand in.

And also, ever since we got Peach, I’ve wanted another cat, someday when we have a slightly larger abode. Watching my cat claw at other animals dampened my menagerie-related spirits just a bit.

But I guess she ended up okay.

She’s now back in her home, where she hasn’t hissed once, where she eats, drinks, uses the litter box, and wakes me up every morning so I can pull her security blanket onto the bed she she can lay with me. She fights. She bites. She loves our abundance of moving boxes.

It’s just the *actual* moving I’m concerned about. We are moving in with a roommate. And I will be bringing both a freeloading friend of Lance’s who is looking to move to Boston, AND an antisocial cat who, on her better days, has a tendency toward ankle biting.

Everyone cross their adorable little paws for me.

August 26, 2010

the weather, again

This morning I walked to the train slightly ahead of two girls, my age, who ran into each other in the Starbucks.

One girl asked the other what she was up to – was she still working at the place where they met?

“No,” the other girl said. “I actually just quit.”

After a comfortable amount of small talk, the one girl asked her why she left, what she’s doing now.

“I started a blog,” the other girl said. “About four months ago. I’m really going to focus on that…”

*Insert seven thousand internal judgments here*

“… and it’s getting written up in next month’s Improper! You should look for it!”

Oh, wait, you didn’t mean “I quit my job and my life is a mess but GEE WHIZ, I have this BLOG!” you meant “I started a blog that’s getting pretty successful and I’m banking enough ad money to quit my job and work on being more awesome and popular and super cool.”


I missed one train by about 3 seconds, had my fare card denied, and got trapped on a disabled train  stopped about 30 feet from the station.

I got a little lost trying to walk to school from a different stop.

And I wore my sweater inside out.

But at least the sun was out.

August 25, 2010

gloom ‘n’ shroom

Everyone kept asking me “When are you leaving?” I would say “tomorrow,” but they would ask “what time?” And then I would make a grumpy noise and left the room because there’s nothing more debilitating that thinking about waking up before the sun, just so you can drive for 15 hours to get back to your messy apartment that needs to be packed in less than a week and a variety of other various small, annoying decisions and responsibilities.

That “tomorrow” was yesterday, and I am now back in Boston, sitting in a pool of annoying nonsense.

And also: it won’t stop raining.

It rained all through Massachusetts, then started pouring when we pulled up (ONTO THE SIDEWALK!!) in front of our building and continued to soak us through while we hefted loads of crap up and down the stairs.

I was thinking: what is all this crap, and aren’t we just going to have to move it all to our new apartment in less than a week? Why did I sign up for this, exactly?

I went to bed hoping I would be that stupendously motivated woman I often think about being when I’m falling asleep. The next morning, why, maybe I would go for a walk before breakfast! But I woke up to more rain. The kind of rain where you don’t have to second-guess bringing the embarrassingly large umbrella or wearing the rubber rain boots that match zero outfits.

I was thinking: it hasn’t rained like this all summer, Jessica, and aren’t you a lucky girl to have walked to and from work all summer long without such jeans-soaking rain to chain you to the 39 bus schedule?

But it was raining now and it will be raining later and I will be wet and taking the 39 and our apartment needs to be packed up and we still don’t have our new car and Lance needs to call UHaul and I have to read Little Women AND Tom Sawyer in the next 10 days and goshdarnit why are books so long?

And why am I old enough that I can’t sleep on my parents’ couch for a week without inducing daily migraines and mysterious, lingering hip pain?

And doesn’t anyone know that I don’t WANT to be annoyed right now? I don’t WANT to forward my mail/pack things/eat up the food in my fridge/read Little Women/set an alarm.

I want to sleep in and read Under the Banner of Heaven and play Mario Kart and take a nap and when I wake up, somebody has moved all of my belongings into my new apartment, including me, sleeping on top of my bed.

Is that so much to ask?

August 17, 2010


Dear Blog,

I love you.

I also love doing nothing at my parents’ house.

Tomorrow, I am going to Ohio with my mom.

Moonshine says hi.



August 12, 2010

mind mayhem

Yesterday was the last day of my internship.

My last unpaid assignment: write up the flap copy for a book of Egyptian Myths. That is code for “Summarize Egyptian History in about 150 words.”

Fun! But the editors also took me out to lunch, and on my way out the door, handed me a Judy Moody tote bag full of brand new books and goodies. And since it was the last day of my internship, and my last day hanging out in Somerville, I picked up some overpriced treats and headed home.

Of course, because of this detour, I ended up on the super-crowded 5 p.m. trains. Carrying a bag stuffed with the lunch I packed but didn’t eat, Judy Moody, and carefully balancing a bakery box while I teetered and tottered on the Green Line.

And of course, all that unbalanced, weight-bearing standing gave me one of those obnoxious headaches that just don’t go away.

You know, the headache that starts in that spot between your neck and shoulder muscles, climbs up behind your ear, clamps down your jaw down tight, makes one side of your nose start to run for no reason, and makes you kind of dizzy, kind of nauseous.

Wait, you mean I’m the only person on the planet who has these bizarro symptoms?

You’re kidding me.

So I spent the night stricken, in bed, reading the same Brazen Careerist articles I’ve read two, three times before. The ones about how you can’t control your biological clock, how you can’t put off your family dreams to nurture your career, how it is impossible to balance life and career goals without letting something go… while alternately scowling at my Facebook newsfeed for rubbing engagements and weddings and it’s-a-boys in my face…

and then alternately remembering that I’m only 25 and my boyfriend will come in and kiss me goodnight as soon as I flip off the light and that many people would probably enjoy this life that I consider to be so miserable so often.

Emotional and physical sabotage, keeping myself from oh, packing for this trip to Michigan that begins tomorrow… or  packing up my apartment for a move that will occur less than a week after we are back to Boston.

And I’m sick right now, thinking about all that Lance has to do today. I don’t even want to get into details, but it involves visiting Southbridge, Lowell, Brockton, and Dedham, and the RMV.

And waiting for a package. Which, if you don’t live in Boston, let me tell YOU… this is probably the worst part of the day and will probably involve strings of expletives delivered to those who answer the phone at UPS and/or FedEx.

I just had to stop writing and call him, just now, because all this is freaking me out so much.

This also could have something to do with the fact that breakfast this morning was half a rootbeer float cupcake, 2 slices of sugary cinnamon raisin toast, a Doubleshot in a can, and 2 Excedrins.


At this point, I can’t even see past the next 5 minutes. What is going on? I’m going where? When? And I’m going to be in the car for how long? And I’m going to be in Michigan with my family with nothing to do for how many days? And I have to attend a costume party on Saturday and dress up like what??

August 7, 2010

rockland harbor

Michigan is a gorgeous state, with Great Lakes, small lakes, sand dunes, islands, forests, and other beauties of nature.

However, the only landscapes I regularly gazed upon were those alongside Interstates 94, 127, and 69.

It’s a shame, because for some reason, living in New England inspires guests and locals to seek out similar natural beauties, and now I’m becoming biased.

Michigan was beautiful.

I’m sure of it.

But nobody ever came from out of town to make me look at it.

August 5, 2010

good things 1 2 3




I will be home, in Michigan, a week from tomorrow, and I get to stay until the 25th.


August 3, 2010


So my blogging friend Ashley is doing this video blog thing for the month of August. Fun stuff. I watched her latest vlog while I ate my lunch just now – the theme? Things I Am Bad At – and I found myself wanting to leave all these sympathetic comments ("Oh, jeez, even people who know how to cook still cook the same things every night! And if you buy a DSLR, you’ve basically spent 500 dollars to guarantee your pictures will all come out pretty decent, which is what we all do, I think. And I hate mingling! What the heck? Can’t we all just sit at home and be friends on the internet?)

Then I started to think about the things that I am not good at, and I wondered if I were reading them about someone else, if I would jump up to their defense like I wanted to jump up for Ashley. Come on, self, we are all bad at life! Let’s just suck together!

Things I Am Bad At

1. Phone Skills

I am bad at calling people I don’t know. I am bad at calling people I do know. I am bad at returning phone calls. Heck, I am bad at just ANSWERING my phone, because I’m really bad at keeping track of the damn thing. I leave it in Lance’s car on a regular basis. Leave it at work and head home. Leave it at home when I head to work. I left my phone in one of the slots of a six-pack of Woodchuck, put it in my fridge, and couldn’t find my phone for four days. One time, my dog got out of the yard and when I bent down to grab her collar and haul her back in, my phone fell out of my pocket and it was in my neighbor’s yard for 12 or 18 hours. Even if I have my phone, it’s probably not charged, or I turned off my ringer for class and never turned it back on.

2. Maintaining A Steady Mood

I’m having a good morning! I walk to work and by the time I get there, I am inexplicably grumpy. Or, I have a fine day, no complaints, until I get home and I start to slowly die. Somebody is rude to me at the bank? Life ruined. Late lunch? Blood sugar crash – suddenly wish to die.

This tendency continues at a macro-level as well – for a week, I will cry every day, and then I’ll be fine. Completely healed of my emotional trauma.

It’s so annoying!

3. Reading One Book At A Time

Who can do that? Seriously. Impossible.

4. Keeping Tidy

I’m a wannabe neatfreak, but you would never know if from my apartment. I’m getting better at maintenance, but some things – hanging up wet towels, making the bed, putting away laundry, taking out recycling – just plain don’t get done.

5. Throwing Things And Having Them Land Where They Were Supposed to Go

Like the trash. Or someone’s hands.

6. Remembering To Take My Diet Coke Out Of the Freezer Before It Explodes



I am good at a lot of things too. Maybe I’ll write about those later. Right now, though, I need to plug in my phone.