Monday, June 26, 2006

I have 3 cell phones at home...

...and my family has a lot more at our house in Cali.

If you are like us and have a bunch of used cell phones that you don't know what to do with you may find
this article interesting. It is about the mining of Coltan, a mineral used in cell phones. Eighty percent of our Coltan supply comes from DR Congo, in an area where endangered gorilla's live. The article focuses on a company that has joined forces with US zoos to increase the recycling of cell phones- a process both helps the environment by keeping toxins out of the Earth and could potentially have positive affects on the gorilla population.

Monday, June 19, 2006

"Sometimes you wanna go...

...where everybody knows your name."

As has been noted before on my blog, I live in lesbian, hippie central- Jamaica Plain. As also has been noted I am very, very happy with my new community. It makes me happy just to walk to the T in the morning and bask in the beautiful quaintness of my neighborhood. Last week I came to another important realization about my new home: for the first time since leaving Mount Holyoke I am actually part of my community.

Boston Pride was 2 weekends ago and since I live in lesbian central there was much going on in my community. The only event I attended was the JP women's block party (which happened to be like 2 feet from my front door). Maria and Chelsea (friends from MHC) and I had made plans to meet up at the block party but due to my poor communication skills they were not able to go until after I had to leave. And my friend Anastasia was also not planning on going until later. So I decided to do something I never do- go by myself. Then at the last minuet I got a phone call from another friend saying she would like to go- so we met up, paid our $10 donation to get into a roped off stretch of street with alcohol and ladies dancing on platforms- cowgirl go go dancers to be exact. While we were there I ran into at least 10 people that I know and even made a few new friends (and also got hit-on a little, including being told that I "Wear [my softball uniform shirt] well"). All told it was a very fun filled and community feeling day.

Then later in the week I walked over to J.P. Licks to meet up with friends for some yummy local ice cream. And of course, I bumped into two people from one of my softball teams. Finally on Friday I decided that since the weather was finally being cooperative I would go for a jog around Jamaica Pond. As I ran and people watched (the "pond" is 1.5 mi. around and attracts many the jogger and stroller) I decided that I was definitely going to see someone I knew. But I finished the loop and still no one. Then just as I was about to leave the pond Sally, a woman I know from football, came running over- Jackpot, my hypothesis proved.

That was when it hit me- community, real community. With neighbors and friends and even "free boxes" (a phenomenon I first discovered at Mount Holyoke- got something you no longer need that someone else might like? Just put it in a box with a sign that says free and someone will give it a new home. So far I got myself a spiffy new pair of sunglasses.)

*I'm not happy with the flow and structure of this post, but I can't think of how to fix it. Hopefully the point I'm trying to make came across.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Drinks after work = Hiding under table?

So, now that this has been alluded to in a blog comment, I suppose I need to keep up my promise to tell this gem of a tale on my blog.

Last Thursday, I was trying to round up a group of friends to be pretend to be socially minded by paying the Jimmy Fund $7 to get ice cream belly aches at the Scooper Bowl. But, due to the unseasonably cold and rainy weather we decided to go out for drinks instead.

My friend Mike met Claudia and me outside of our work and we all walked over to the Beantown Pub. Now, I've been working a 9 to 5 for a while now, so clearly going out for drinks after work is not new fare for me. Claud and I have gone for drinks, Mike and I have gone for drinks, heck, Mike and I had even gone out to Beantown Pub before.

But there was one key difference between those outings and this one. At those outings, dinner had clearly been written into the plans from the get go- the drinks may have been ordered first, but that is only due to the length of time it takes to deliberate between a ruben and a hamburger. This time, there was no mention of food, and since food was never mentioned I merely rationalized out that we were only planning on having a couple of beers and then we would head home and cook an economical non-pub dinner. I later found out that Claudia rationalized out the same plan.

The night started out with a bang. There was talk of recent events: Mike would have been fine with Condi Rice speaking at BC at any time other than commencement; there were jokes about who owned which beautiful sports car that was parked outside; and once Gary arrived there was even talk of match making: Claud has a friend- maybe Gary's interested?

Then the first beer came and went. Claud finished before me and tried to put up a protest that with no food a second beer was not a good idea- she was quickly convinced otherwise. When I finished my beer I knew, and desired, better than to put up a fight.

Then the second beer was finished. Now, if you return to the original thought out plans- two beers was the limit and then home for dinner. But once that second beer had been consumed with no food in our bellies, Claudia and I forgot all about our plans. A third beer was ordered and then a fourth.

Nine pm rolls around and suddenly the conversation turned to relationships. Melanie (who to make matter worse was about to start her period) let the emotional flood gates open. While Gary and Claudia were involved in their own conversation (and busily drinking my fifth beer as to keep me from drinking it), I was talking to Mike about my past failed relationships and current single status. Unfortunately, I was also unable to stop crying and crying and crying.

With the night turned sour Mike decided it was time to head home. But by this time I decided I was unable to function and that the best option in sight was to sit underneath the table! Mike, sober enough to realize this was not the best option, helped me out from under the table and out of the pub. At this point I made the transition from overly emotional Melanie to paranoid Melanie (for those of you who were around during the summer I graduated from high school you remember both of these Melanie's very well). I suddenly decided that Mike was making fun of me, which he clearly had a right to, but I was not going to be made fun of, so I told him not to touch me and I ran away. (This is a move that I pulled frequently in that fateful summer of 2000, but I have no recollection of it happening since then). As I ran I could hear Mike in hot pursuit of me- I could not allow him to catch me, so I ran faster and faster and faster. And as I ran I had the logical thought that if I were ever to be attacked while drunk I would clearly be okay because I have an amazing capacity to sprint while heavily intoxicated.

I ran myself right into the T station and right onto a train. After riding for a couple of stops I actually processed what the speaker was saying: "Haymarket". You guessed it folks- I had already gone two stops in the wrong direction. So I got off and somehow managed to get on the train going the right way- this is when the moaning started. Yes, I was that drunk alone person moaning on the train. So, after a couple of stops I realized that people on the train were staring and laughing at me (and we all know I wasn't in the mood for being made fun of). Then another logical thought hit me- "they must think I'm homeless- why else would I be drunk and on the T by myself?" So, to keep myself from being further made fun of, and to dispel any rumors that I was homeless, I got off the T and promptly threw up in the station.

That's when I actually made a good decision. I left the station and I called one of the people who has been there for me in other crisis situations: Bekka. I slurred a story about losing Claudia and not having keys and asked if I could walk (their apartment was very close) to thier place and sleep there.  Bekka and Allison welcomed me with open arms, and from what I was told the next morning, I entertained them for about half an hour with my stories of being homeless, my desire to have a serious conversation about Condi Rice, my unusually dry humor and my endless struggle to get the sheets covering me (it apparently involved a lot of flopping and frustrated grunts).

Moral of the story: never assume you can start drinking with no intention of ordering food! There are other morals here but I don't feel like writing them out...

Me and Mike on the crazy night in question. You bet your butt drunk pictures were taken and some how I made it through the night with out losing my camera.