Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Thank you...where ever you are

I have many different things to say...especially since I spent 5 short lived days at home in sunny SoCal, but I am going to use these last few minutes of work to send a special shoutout to a kind stranger.

Yesterday I flew into Boston on a Redeye flight, not to worry, no one tried to blackmail me while I was on it- but I did get a row all to myself. Anyway, I got in at about 6 am, got my bags (one was big because I have started to really settle into Boston and I smuggled some homey goods over with me) and took public transportation all the way home.

Public Transportation from Logan to my part of The Ville: Bus to T (Subway), Blue Line to Orange Line (I sent this post to Anastasia for editing purposes and she told me I should include the part about how I broke the T, so here ya go:

Oh ya, I broke the orange line. The doors were about to close and i ran and stuck my foot between them so it would trigger the sensor and did...i got in....and they stayed started to wonder if other people also thought i broke the T....but no one was looking at me.......then T guys started running back and fourth and a woman's voice kept saying "close the doors"....then nothing would happen.....then she said it again and they did close.....but then nothing happened.....then they opened them again and a few minutes later they told us to de-train because it was disabled. Then we had to wait and watch the train sit there some more and finally it left and another came...GUH....I BROKE THE T!)

, then I got off the Subway and began walking (rolling one small bag and one big one AND carrying a satchel....after years of experience I have the technique down) to look for a cab....and I walked....and I walked, and finally I got on a bus (my mother specifically gave me money for a cab because we figured the bus would be too much hassle but it was cold).

By the time I arrived home I was tired, so I left my bags downstairs and took a one hour nap before going to work. Then I got up and took the same bus back to the subway station...

Here is where my wonderful stranger comes in:

I went to swipe my "Charlie Card" to use the T and it wouldn't work, so I got in the long line to buy a token. Then people on the other side of the turnstile started to run...I knew my train was coming and being three people back in line for a token I knew I would miss it.

Then, out of nowhere, a scruffy looking middle-aged man came up to me and held a card out in his hand.
"Do you want this?” he asked.
"(Blank stare)", I replied, holding out my hand and taking the card.
"It is only good on the Subway," he said, turning around and walking away.
"Thank you," she mumbled, still unable to register the interaction.

I stumbled over to the turnstile and swiped the card...pushed the bar and walked through...Suddenly the reality of how nice the man had been, and how soon the train would leave hit me at once. I ran and barely made it in the doors before they closed.

Now granted this is only a December T pass and will expire on the first, but considering that the T is much more convenient than the bus and I can take it back and fourth to work- it is at least a $10 value for me...that man stood there and handed me ten bucks and I didn't even have my wits about me to thank him...

To the kind stranger who gave me an unsolicited present: Thank you very much, I promise I will find some way to pay the present forward (you know, like that movie, always thought it was a genuinely simple and profound idea...)

Monday, December 19, 2005

When Life Hands You a Lemon...

At some point early last week I decided that my Karma must be fucked up...why else would so many things randomly be going wrong? I started searching my brain for what I could have done that was causing my karma to be so bad...had i casually bumped too many cars, was I too wrapped up in my own life and petty drama to notice all that needs to be done around me?

Now, a week later, I have decided that my Karma is not messed up. Instead life decided to show me just how BAD things could be.

The Wallet:
On Wednesday the 7th I lost my wallet in a bustling section of a big city....we're talking big department stores, jewelry stores and pawn shops everywhere you turn + 6pm + 2 weeks before Christmas.

On Tuesday the 12th I picked my wallet up at the Somerville Police Department. A man had found my wallet and contacted me, we decided the police department was a good place for him to leave it for me. I was sure that this man had found my wallet AFTER someone else had, since I had retraced all of my steps within minutes of loosing the wallet. Because of this I was sure that my $31 bus pass and my $10 cash money would be gone. NOPE everything was there...EVERYTHING!

This could have been a devastating experience, someone could have taken my cards and bought stuff and stolen my bus pass and cash, but instead I emerged from the experience with no harm done. That is amazing!

The Hit-and-Run:
On Sunday the 11th my car was totaled in a hit-and-run accident. I only have liability car insurance, meaning that if the culprit was not found, no one would be giving me ANYTHING for my loss! Instead of this devastating outcome, a neighbor heard the crash and wrote down the vehicle's description and license plate. But the story doesn't end there, if the responsible party is never located, I STILL will get NOTHING. On Friday the 16th sergeant Rooney called me to let me know that the driver was found, would be coming in to fill out a report and had FULL INSURANCE.

ANOTHER possibly huge loss completely avoided...., if only my laptop would magically come back to life...I may just by the
$100 hand crank laptop and a good green guide dell desk top once I have a little side cash....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I had a few different interesting/ funny things I was thinking about posting today...BUT I just got lost, in my building on my floor (work)... it went something like this:

karin (my supervisor) sent me on an errand

"go to the third floor and deliver this to terry andersen" (I work on the fourth floor)

so i took the elevator down

as i was waiting for the elevator to go back up i felt foolish, "I'll just walk up to the 4th floor", i thought

so i followed the exit signs to the stairs

I emerged from the stairwell to an office i did not recognize...i stood there dazed...i got a little dizzy...

"what in the world....I am sure I was on the third floor and I went up one flight"

I walked in circles for a few seconds and almost ran into someone

then i started feeling dumb....I can't ask someone for directions, I am in my building, on my floor!

So i decided to just start walking like a knew where I was took a while...few turns and such, before I could finally recognize my surrounds....

I had gone up the stairs on the opposite side of the building, and I had never been over there before....I've been working here for a month!

Man! and I call my mom "directionally challenged"!

Quote/s of the day: Tookie Williams

"And for anyone to think that murder can be resolved by murdering, it's ridiculous. I mean, we look at all of the wars that we have throughout other countries and other nations, and all it does is – this violence, all it does is engender violence. There seems to be no end, but a continuous cycle, an incessant process of blood and gore that doesn't end. And through violence, you can't possibly obtain peace. You can, in a sense, occupy a belief of peace; in other words, through this mechanism of violence, you – it appears that because there is a standing army or standing police that is used in brutality or violence or a system that uses brutality or violence that that is going to totally eliminate or stop criminous behavior or criminous minds or killings or what have you, but it doesn't."

"I apologize to you all -- the children of America and South Africa -- who must cope every day with dangerous street gangs. I no longer participate in the so-called gangster lifestyle, and I deeply regret that I ever did.... I vow to spend the rest of my life working toward solutions."

Healthy Living Tip of the day:

To reduce your chance of catching one of the many colds that fly around this time of year- add ginger, cinnamon and horseradish to your diet. These herbs have warming and antiseptic qualities that will help you fight off colds!

fresh ginger

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

A Happy Birthday message to Hungary

Join me in wishing Maria (Master) Bates a very very happy 24th birthday. Yes, ladies and gentlemen she has hit her mid-twenties!

Bates is one of my best friends from college. Here is a list of some of the reasons I love Bates:

  1. She is always willing to share her bed
  2. If you need a friend, she'll be sure to be there
  3. She is a very genuine person
  4. She is wild and crazy and full of energy
  5. She is in med school in Budapest (I miss her, but that is really cool!)
  6. Her ass is as hard as a rock!
  7. She let's me use her as a job reference (she was my safe ride boss)

Man, that list was terrible....there are so many more reasons that I love Bates, but I can't quite figure out how to put them into words. Anyway, she is wonderful and 24 years old!

Monday, December 12, 2005

So Long Cindy...

I have lived in and around Boston for a year and a half now. For a little less than I year I have been parking my car on the perilous streets of the city. If you have ever owned a car while living in a city, without the convenience of a driveway or the ability to afford to garage your car, then you know what I mean. Actually, you probably know what I mean if you have ever owned a car while living in a city period.

Over the last year my car has collected an outrageous number of bumps and bruises. People just bump your car while paralleling or driving and figure, "Hey, it's a big city, they'll never find me." And we're not talking small un-noticeable things either, im talking dents as big as my head, and cracks in my bumper.

It is so expensive to keep a car in the city! Because not only does the value of your car drop monthly as new dents and scratches are added, but there are also numerous simple ways to rack up tickets. There's street cleaning (can't park during), meters (malfunctions & forgetting to pay), driveways (can't block um), intersections (can't park too close), two hour visitor parking (can't stay too long), resident permits only, overnight restrictions (stupid Brookline) (I have gotten tickets/ towed for each of these), fire hydrants, snow emergencies, and the list of ways to get a ticket goes on and on and on....Not to mention that gas costs soooo much!

For a while I have been contemplating selling my car and investing in
zip car and buying a bicycle/ scooter instead. This would be both more economical and more convenient (albeit more dangerous as my mother heatedly pointed out). Well, on Saturday night/ Sunday morning as I lie in bed dreaming of sexy ladies, someone decided to give me a very very forceful push forward in my planning....

Sunday morning, around 9 am, I woke to the doorbell ringing. Despite the fact that I have three roommates I knew I was the only one who would both answering, so I got up and headed downstairs. As I was walking I suddenly thought, "This has something to do with my car" (the section of street right in front of my house is permit parking only M-Sat, so when ever I go out late on a Saturday night I gleefully park right in front of my house and relish in my 24 hours of freedom). Sure enough I spied through our small stained glass window that something did appear to be wrong with my car. I opened the door and a police office was there to greet me.

Here is what I saw next:

I think the pictures speak for themselves, but I do want to point out that the sticker on the right (mangled) side of the bumper reads "Be the change you wish to see in the world". Yes, someone smashed into my car, effectively destroying the bumper sticker and then took off...oh, you read correctly, I was hit and run.

At first I stood there in shock, then I thought, "Hm, there is a good chance my 'liability only' car insurance is not going to cover this", so I called my mom to confirm. My mom's response, "You may just have to be without a car for a while...that is when I started crying. But amidst my tears I noticed a note, neatly preserved in a ziplock bag, sitting on my windshield. I grabbed it and lo-and behold it was the description and license plate of the vehicle. A neighbor had woken up at 4:30 am to the sound of the crash, they wrote down the drivers info. and left it on my car for me. This just occurred to me: my karma may be messed up in some ways, but really these bad experiences have just been forums for others to emerge and come through for me in huge ways.

So now all I can do is wait. Wait to hear back from the police (please please tell me you found the person and they have insurance). Wait to hear back from my insurance company (please tell me you will be there for me if this person's insurance is not. Wait to figure out what the best course of action will be. Scooter here I come?

Speaking of scooters, my scooter loving friend Anastasia made me this to commemorate the occasion (note the bumper sticker changes...AMAZING):

There is always a bright side to look at:

  • I wasn't in the car
  • The neighbor took their info
  • My car was dirty anyway
  • I've been dying to drive stick again
  • I can seriously consider the zip car & scooter/ bicycle idea
  • I got some cool artwork

....end thoughts: That is a lot of pictures for one post....This post may not flow very well because I kept having to leave it and come back, and I don't feel like fixing it.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I get by with A LOT of help from my friends...

Now you may think that this is the beginning of a John Lennon memorial post, since yesterday was the 25th anniversary of his death, but it is not. Rather, it is a post about me and my amazing friends, who are always willing to come to my rescue.

On Wednesday I left the office and went to CVS to buy some hairspray. The bus I take home is right in fornt of cvs, so I left my wallet (with my new bus pass) in my coat pocket. I soon (like 1 minute) realized that the bus would probably not be coming because the street was all blocked off with emergency vehicles. So I walk toward the T station (subway), and on the way a woman asked me for money. I looked at her and thought, "it is winter, she says she has kids, I have two five dollar bills in my wallet, I should give her one", but I just walked by. As I walked down the stairs to the T station I reached into my pocket to get out my wallet, and to my horror I did not feel it. So I retraced my steps looking very carefully (it was a 1 minute walk). I went back to CVS and asked if I left it there...nope. I checked my purse....nothing.

Enter angel #1:

I went back to my office and immediately called Bekka (she was on her way from work to my house to watch America's Next Top Model with me). I told her the situation and we decided to meet at a T station. After much deliberation we decided to get some food to make and head to her house (she lives close to the station). After providing me with warmth, food, entertainment, and warm socks, Bekka gave me money for the T and Bus so I could get home.

I got to Sullivan Station (where I normally catch the bus home) close to 11 pm. I was waiting and waiting and waiting for the bus, freezing my butt off and wondering what time my bus stopped running (I had never attempted to catch it this late and there were no schedules available). There was another bus at the station that had been there when I arrived (this was the second time it had showed up), it said (town) via Broadway. I live off of Broadway, and somehow I decided this bus would take me near home, and I was so confident that I didn't even check with the driver.

And of course, it went the opposite direction (didn't think of THAT possibility, did you Melanie?). I walked up to the driver and asked him for a transfer and to let me off at the next stop. So I got off the bus in the freezing cold and walked to the bus stop on the other side of the street. It wasn't long before I decided that since it was 11:20 pm I had very little chance of catching a bus back to Sullivan and then another bus to my house.

Enter angel #2:
I decided since I had no money, my only option was to call a friend with a car, but who to call? I tried my roommate first, but she did not answer. I thought about calling my ex, Cameron, but I didn't think she would answer either. So I called Molly, and sure enough she answered. She told me that she had been drinking, and then I panicked, but she came up with the perfect plan. I flagged down a cab, took it to her apartment, she came out and gave the cabbie $20 and I took the cab home- the whole trip including tip was exactly $20.

I do not know WHAT I would have done without my two angels. Both times I was stranded, with no money, no way to get money, insufficient clothes for the cold weather, and too long of a walk in heels for walking to be an option. I honestly do not know what I could have possibly done with out the help of my friends. It is a scary feeling to be so incapable of helping yourself, but it is so comforting to know that when I am defenseless my friends will always be there to help me.

Morals of the story:

Always be there for your friends
Leave an emergency cash stash in your office
Leave an emergency cash stash at your house
Follow your strong instincts (if I had tried to give money to that woman I would have notice my wallet was missing sooner). Unless your instincts have to do with buses, because as my friend Anastasia once said, and in the words of my crazy friend Corrie: "Buses, they do what they WANT".

The winter is cold and lonely, do something to help those in need

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

WELCOME, now let's get to work....

So you may have noticed that I have been MIA for the last couple of weeks. That is because two days into my new job at the Department of Public Health, Division of Perinatal, Early Childhood and Special Needs Health, as a Program Coordinator (try saying that 10 times fast), I was told that we had a grant application due the following Friday.

I was one of three people who were wholly consumed by the "Healthy Weight in Perinatal Women Project" grant application. Everyday my supervisor would come to me to add 5 more things to the list of things I still hadn't accomplished to ensure that the grant got out the door safe and sound. I went from grading sophomore history papers to "editing" a narrative written by an adult woman. It was wonderful!

I think I may be a workaholic of sorts because now that the application is out (we mailed it off 2 minutes before the deadline) there is a lot less for me to do and I am less excited to go to work everyday. But, it means I have time to update my blog (if anyone still bothers stopping by to see if I've actually written). Oh man, I have some good things stored up in my noggin!