Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm starting to look for jobs outside of the Nashville area. Mostly in NYC/LI and Massachusetts. I can't get really employed here.

Breaks my heart a little. Or a lot.

And that's not the only thing. Bicycle is getting itchy and ambivalent about beign partnered sometimes, and the same old stuff about feeling like it's really my place and he just lives here too.

I think a large part of that would be fixed if I had a fucking full time job. I'd be out of the house all day, he'd have to be more involved in domestic stuff, he wouldn't be shouldering most of the household costs, I'd meet some new people, etc. You know, I'd have a life of my own, instead of hitching a ride on his. But I don't know that I can get that in Nashville.

What a fucking mess.


In other news, I'm laid up with a torn Achilles tendon. And, since I don't have a real job, I don't have health insurance. Fan-fucking-tastic. Money aside, I'm going stir crazy. I've had a cast on my leg for two weeks, hopping around on crutches. I've got another 4 weeks or so to go with it, and then I'll have a walking boot. Which is an improvement, as they come off for showering and sleep and such. I desperately want a shower. I also want to move my muscles and joints, just a little bit, please. Most days I get terribly sore eventually. It hurts a lot.

Also, our landlord is a fucking rat. We found out about a month ago that we'd been paying the water bill for all four apartments. Cause it said lessee -- that's us -- is responsible for water. So we signed up. I'm pretty sure they did it on purpose. And that they did it to the last tenants, too. But we've sicked Metro Water on their asses. They owe us a bit over $200 for the water bills we paid, though.

A repair guy was in to fix some stuff last Friday. Still have some large problems, though. Like the 8 windows without screens, the animals living in the ceiling, and the water dripping in the walls from the apartment upstairs, and the lack of sub-floor and insulation under the floorboards. I swear, if they don't fix this shit, I'm calling Metro to come inspect this place the second we move out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Food



Here's a scan out of my cookbook. My mom lost whatever piece of paper she had this on and asked me for the recipe, so I scanned this up rather than copying it out into an email or reading it over the phone. (Now I just hope her computer skills are up to accessing the email attachment today!) Since I had the file, I figured I'd share.

I've never actually made this recipe, I don't think (though I have lots of canned cranberry sauce that needs to get used, so maybe soon). But my mom has made it lots of times, and it's pretty standard, so I recommend it without reservation.

I guess you could try the barbecue sauce too, another thing I've never actually made.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I hate my life these days. I'm lonely and have nothing to do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Summer story, continued.

After Roommate finished his visit and Bicycle departed for the summer, and the Fellow and I had our first tryst, my days took on a lazy routine. This leaves us around early July.

I went to class when I had class. Read a lot of books. Thought about the impending move. Rode the bus here and there. Didn't spend much time outside, as it rained just about all summer, but would take my book and blanket out on the back lawn when it was dry enough.

My affair went on, though slowly. The allergic reaction that postponed out first date set the tone. We scheduled time together every Thursday evening, but it was one thing or another just about ever week, though most weeks we did at least get together. General exhaustion, being short on time, the dinner took to long to cook, my uterus...

Early on, the Fellow said that his partner was not comfortable with us having PiV sex without me taking birth control. Which was his prerogative. I had stopped taking it for a bit to see what might happen with some chronic headaches I'd been dealing with. Lucky for me (I guess), I still had a whole bunch in the fridge, and was able to start up again the very next day.

Long story short, we had lots of cuddles and smooching and touching, but the only sex was that first time and then the very last week we carried on the affair before Bicycle came back up and we moved. It's like one great big joke -- the most ineffective affair ever.

Also going on concurrently, I finished my master's degree two weeks before we left. Got and A- and an A- for the summer term. Not bad, considering how much else was on my plate.


The rest of the story -- perhaps tomorrow. Or a month from now. We'll see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Car pics.





Back to the story. [Apologies for the long delay.]

Ok, where was I? My affair with the Fellow had just started, Bicycle was getting ready to go off to Nashville, and Bicycle's old roommate was in town.

Roommate, as I think I called him earlier, had just broken up with his twue wuv, whom he had been partnered with for three years, and with whom he had spent the last year living. In Arizona. Where he went with her when she started grad school. (Ok, I know I did the same thing, but trust me on this one, Bicycle and I are much more well matched thatn Roommate and his Twue Wuv were. For example, as far as I know, none of our friends are wondering when we'll get around to breaking up.) Anyway, Roommate was a sad puppy, and not really sure what to do with himself, and needed a vacation.

So he came and took a little vacation with us. It rained all week. Lots of cuddles were had, and we made and ate some tasty foods.

Now, ok, Roommate hadn't spent much time with us in the past year, and hadn't seen any of the wild bunch I ran with in Massachusetts since he'd moved away at all. (Ok, we're not that wild, but we're...different. Our rules are different.) I guess he forgot? just what we were like. I mean, here's a guy that a former partner and I took home the very first night we met him, and it surprises him that I sleep naked in my own house? He and Bicycle came to tuck me in the first night he was with us, and Roommate was visibly surprised to see me naked from the waist up, in my own bed. Surprised like his eyes got wide and he paused mid-step.

But at least he realized what was going on in his head. The next day the three of us had a heart-to-heart, and Roommate decided he needed to loosen up.

Unfortunately, our (my) part in helping him start that process was not as fun as it might have been. He was such a needy puppy, it was irritating in short order. I was slightly, and it pains me to say it, relieved to get back to my regular routine once the visit was over, even though it also meant that Bicycle was heading out for Nashville and I had the place to myself.



At this late date, when I am finishing this post, begun two months ago at this point, the Roommate has finally gotten his act together. After the break up with his twue wuv, the visit to us, many phone calls, and some number of intervening months, he's actually made a romantic/sexual choice I approve of. With the use of OKCupid, which I think is a great tool, Roommate met a woman who sounds pretty great, and is currently having a good solid fling.


Now, I will go back and read my entries, figure out what story, exactly, I was protractedly telling, perhaps finish that, and maybe get on with the story of my current life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vroom!

A week ago, we bought a new car.

That's right. A new car. Not a new-to-us, used car. A new one. We had hopes to buy a good used one, as it would have been cheaper, but the kind we wanted -- small hatchback with good MPG -- were in short supply. And we didn't have the patience, and my old car was going to stop working at any moment.

So we bought a white '10 Toyota Yaris 4-door hatchback, with power (locks, windows, keyless entry, etc) option. Picture soon, I promise, as soon as I get them off the camera and into the computer. The new car price was offset by the 0% interest rate on the loan, so that's ok.

So that's it, folks. A shared car loan and lease is all the commitment you're getting out of this little black duck. Next time someone asks me when we're getting married, that's what I'll tell them -- 'I've got a car loan, isn't that enough?'

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shopping.

Bicycle and I did a lot of shopping this weekend. I think it was the greatest amount of money I've ever spent on clothes at a time, and the same probably goes for Bicycle.

I'm not going to tell you how much it was.

And I didn't have to pay for anything! Sorta. Bicycle paid down a good chunk of his debt to me by paying for everything I got.

In any case, now we both look a little more dapper than we did on Friday. Bicycle especially. He really, really needed some new clothes.

And I'll say, we actually had an ok time. Most of the stuff I tried on fit alright, and we both kept the grumpiness that builds up from a long shopping trip to ourselves, and ate when we got hungry so we weren't super grumpy anyway.



It was amazing for us, we who have been so painfully broke for quite some time. To have money that we can spend at will, and not have to worry about how much we spend and how much will be left. It takes a major mental shift, and it's not one we've really made yet. Ever for things like groceries. We look at our current grocery bills, and think we didn't actually buy all that much food. But somehow it comes up to nearly double, sometimes, what we were spending on groceries last year (it's true we had the farm share most of last year, but still). And, for the life of us, we can't figure out how we stayed fed last year.

And Bicycle just ordered a bunch of bike stuff, and is thinking of ordering a bunch more, instead of waiting a month or two. Because he has the money for it now, and will still have plenty left over. We bought lightbulbs (CFLs, so they were pricey) this weekend, after one of the two in Bicycle's ceiling light burnt out, rather than figuring that one was enough light and we'd get them some other time, like we would have even a few weeks ago. We're going to turn the heat on soon, rather than waiting for it to get a few degrees colder, like we might have otherwise. We got beer and ice cream at the grocery store this week!


We don't live extravagantly, as my amazement at having beer and ice cream in the same week or buying lightbulbs shows. But being able to buy stuff! Whenever we need it! Or even just want it enough to bother! Is so novel and wonderful. We can hardly bring ourselves to do it yet. I can hardly imagine what it'll be like when I finally get a full-time professional job. Paying down student loans aside (of which, you may remember, we have a combined total of more than $100k), we really will have more money than we'd know what to do with.

I mean, it's kinda fucked up. Lightbulbs, people, lightbulbs! You know that funny/not-funny comic schtick about how old people, especially those who lived through the Great Depression, hoard stuff, and the unwitting child or grandchild of said person will find hard-boiled eggs under the sofa or something? (Especially women, now that I think about it; the silly old person in such a story is almost always a woman, with her silly ways.) I can totally see where they are coming from. Like, if I have something right now, but I don't need it at the moment, I'd better hold on to it as long as possible, because I might need one later, and if I don't still have this one, I won't be able to get another when I need it.

Even two or three years of relative privation and necessary penny-pinching has completely screwed up our heads, and I think it'll take a while before we get it straightened out. On the upside, having been through that personal economic situation, I think, again like folks who were around during the Great Depression, we aren't at much risk for developing some of the more irritating consupmtion habits of our more-or-less middle class peers who have not had the experience. (I really should write some times about where Bicycle and I come from, class-wise.)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Employment: I has it.

For the time being at least.

I was hired a week ago by the Peabody Research Institute at Vanderbilt. Part-time, limited term. $15.25/hr. For the next two months, I will be spending most of my weekday mornings playing games with four-year-olds.

Peabody
is the school of education at Vandy. PRI is, as the title might have clued you in, the research arm of it. The project I'm working on is trying to find an effective assessment to evaluate self-regulation in small children (nearly a contradiction in terms, I know), so that self regulation can be assessed in a way other than the judgements of teachers, which are too subjective. And then, with a solid assessment found, self-regulation will be able to predict (a) how well students will be doing in a few years, unless they get some intervention, and therefore (b) how well novel pedagogical methods are working.

But that's all the theoretical stuff that has little to do with me. I am giving a bunch of assessments to four-year-olds in local schools. Lots of "can you tell me what this is?"; "what word is this?"; "finish what I say"; and "can you do this?" With stickers as rewards.

The search for a full time library/archives/museum job goes on, of course.




But, though it has bearing on my relationship with Bicycle, we are not here to talk about my new job.

Things go, I guess. We have a rough agreement at the moment on household expenses, housework, etc. I am responsible for 30% of rent and utilities, and 50% of groceries. Of course, since Bicycle still owes my about $1650, he actually is paying for nearly everything, and then taking whatever my share was off the tab. The only utility bill in my name is the internet, so I just pay that and add his share back into the tab. Eventually he'll pay me back; most, if not all, will likely be paid in this manner.

I am paying less rent/utilities because I have a much smaller income. Look at it this way. If we were to split it exactly equally, one of two things would happen. Either we'd have to live cheaply enough that I could afford my half, or, I'd spend so much of my income on my half, if we lived more costly, that I'd be constantly broke and unable to accumulate any savings. So, in order to both allow the person with the lower income to not exhaust their money on living expenses and to be able to save some, and so that we can both enjoy a higher standard of living, we do it this way. When I eventually get a real job, we will recalculate. It is quite possible that I could make more than he does, so I would then pay more. (I originally got the idea of doing it this way from a bell hooks book; not quite sure, but I think it was Communion : the female search for love.)

Since my low income is partially the result of the part-time nature of my job, I have time on my hands still. (If I was working full time at this rate of pay, I'd make only a few thousand dollars per year less that Bicycle is making.) So, in exchange for my lower monetary responsibility, I have taken on more household duties. What this means in practice is that I make dinner most nights, vacuum the whole place weekly, make sure the dishwasher gets turned on and then emptied, and generally keep things (especially the kitchen) tidy. Bicycle cleans the bathroom and runs a mop when those things are needed, does more cooking on the weekends, takes out the garbage and recycling, and does a lot of pot and pan washing.

So far, so good, more or less. It's working smoothly in particular because I'm used to doing more housework anyway, even when we were supposed to be at parity. If our places were reversed, I'm sure Bicycle would try, but not be quite as together as they are with me doing it. You know, gender dynamics, Bicycle's own disorganized nature, et cetera. We've heard it all before. But there you have it.

I must say though, while I'm maligning Bicycle's disorganized nature, that he's made leaps and bound lately. (Just not necessarily when it comes to housekeeping.) Grad school is really whipping him into shape, and he's making a mighty effort. He got an iphone a few weeks ago, and it's helping with the organization a lot. The procrastination and planning still needs work, but it's getting better. Unfortunately for me, as I said, this has mostly been affecting his work and school habits. The improvements haven't really bled over to home life, though I sure hope they do, and by the time I have a full-time job.


I do promise to eventually finish the summer story. Haven't forgot.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New place.

I can't order my thoughts these days. Pictures of our apartment in Nashville will have to do for now.













Sunday, August 9, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Bicycle will be back in town tomorrow afternoon. We're leaving Friday night. Spending Friday night a couple hours down the road at my brother's, then I think we're spending Saturday night with one of my college friends after driving all day, and then getting to Nashville early on Sunday to unload.



But let's backtrack here. Where were we?

At the end of June, Bicycle and I we preparing for him to go off to Nashville, cleaning his space up, packing his things, getting rid of some stuff. My brother came up to get a bunch of stuff we were getting rid of, but that he could use in his new place. I had just started an affair with the Fellow, a long lusted-after friend. I was taking summer classes, to finish my degree before we left.

On June 29, Bicycle's college roommate and best friend came for a visit. Roommate had been living out west all year, and had just broken up with his girlfriend of three years and change, who he'd more or less followed out there. He needed a vacation, so he came and stayed with us for a few days, before heading out to spend a week or so with his family in the other end of the state.


To diverge for a moment, I met Roommate before I met Bicycle, by about four or five months; I met Bicycle through Roommate. The night I met Roommate, my then-partner and I took him and his kind of crazy girlfriend (who we'd already known for a little bit) home with us. I know, my life is interesting. In any case, over the next few months, there was much gnashing of teeth and ending of clothing, as Roommate decided he was all about monogamy, he broke up with his then-girlfriend, and then got together with the girlfriend he so recently became separated from.

In the meantime, I went through a couple flings. I also met Bicycle. The night we met (also the night my car passed 100k miles, true story, and having just looked it up, that was February 11, 2006), I decided I wasn't interested in him. He was kind of funny-looking -- no beard at the time -- and kind of awkward, and, while he could dance (we were dancing that night), I'm pretty sure he stepped on my (bare) feet. But we became internet friends, and I tried to hook him up with one of my housemates, who, by the way, is the person we are likely staying with on Saturday night.

But that never worked out. Roommate and Bicycle had an open invitation to come over for dinner any night, and I surely pestered Roommate about it a lot, but they never did come over. So Bicycle and my housemate did not meet until well after the fact.

By the end of that semester, after much internet communication, I had a little bit of an intellectual crush going on. On Bicycle, you see. His internetting from that period was quite lovely, and I totally fell for his mind. In May, Bicycle was to play at an open mike at his school. It was reading period or finals at mine, and I had some free time, so I popped out there for an evening to see it. I always maintained that I'd just happened to be there, blahblahblah, but I'll fess up and say now that I had penciled it onto my calendar well in advance, so that I could have another meeting with Bicycle and to hear him sing some songs. He forgot some of the words of "This Land is Your Land." So, Bicycle, if you are reading, now you know. After that, I spent the next three months or so chasing Bicycle, applying all my wiles to his dense self, and the rest is history.


Getting back to the current story, Roommate came for a visit. General good times were had. Unfortunately, we didn't get to play outside, which had featured heavily in our plan-making, because it rained and thundered all that week. Actually, it's been raining for most of the summer. So we spent a lot of time inside.

And a lot of the inside time was spent cuddling, in various permutations of the three of us. Roommate was being a little mopey and emo -- I suppose it was slightly justified -- about his recent breakup with his twue wuv.



Ah, hell, I've been writing for a long time. Sorry about the cliff hanger. I need to order my thoughts before I get on with the story. I promise to get on with it sooner rather than later.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I've been remiss.

Again. No proper post in a month. Sorry.

Anyway, I finished grad school this afternoon. Moving in two weeks. Maybe in the meantime I'll write something.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I've been meaning to write something long all week. Just, it's so long, i can't get up the gumption to start. Maybe tonight or tomorrow. Maybe I'll split it up into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

For us, it's dishes.

According to a friend's father, who, being an old hat at such things, would know, group living breaks down because of troubles with one of three things -- sex, money, or dishes.

For us, it's dishes. Household cleanliness and organization in general, rather.

What I mean to say is that we had the same old discussion/argument last night. I hit a steaming point with Bicycle's lax housekeeping tendencies (cheese left out on the counter one night and then butter the very next certainly didn't help), I express my frustration, Bicycle lashes back about how he's trying/can't really control his mindless messy tendencies, we hash it out, hurt some feelings, and neither of us can comprehend how the other's brain works.

On the up side, he's usually more mindful of cleaning up after himself for a little while afterward.

It's true that we've made some actually progress. I am a bit less exacting in my housekeeping standards -- we aren't currently cleaning the whole place top to bottom. And Bicycle, even though there isn't much in way of results, tries to adopt systems and methods that help him keep things straight. But, since he can't keep more than one thought in his head at the same time, of hold on to any one thought for that long, the results are less than spectacular, and the systems don't usually last very long.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Fellow (I guess that's what we're calling him) came over yesterday evening. He picked me up from class, as Bicycle had my car for the day. On the way home, we dispensed with most of the discussion. He is so earnest. It's nearly comical. But it's good, I suppose, being able to frankly talk about what we want from each other and this adventure, what is off limits, what we like, et cetera. He just gets so serious at moments.




Ok, can we take a break from the serious stuff for just a second, because I need to express how beautiful he is. The haircut and cleanshaveness have made him so lovely. The shoulders! Oh, he has shoulders! And eyes! And soft lips! Ah!




Ok.

The end of the story is that all went well, and our three years of pining for each other have come to fruition. We spent a great lot of the time giggling because it was so good and fun to be hanging out with no clothes on and touching each other.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Antici...

Bicycle says the property management folks called him, and we got the apartment in Nashville. That's a huge mental load off. Especially as Bicycle will be there in less than two weeks.



I was supposed to have an at-home-pseudo-date tonight. Hmm, I'm really going to need a blog nick name for this other fellow. (Not that anyone reads the blog, so maybe it doesn't matter.) Something will come to me, I suppose.

As I said, I was supposed to. Fellow was going to come over this evening, and I, he, and Bicycle were going to have dinner, and then have a discussion about expectations, boundaries, and all that other good stuff (and I may be a chatty-Kathy communicator, but this fellow takes the cake when it comes to deliberate communication). And then there was maybe going to be some play time, depending on how we felt. There was most likely going to be some play time.

But, alas, alack. The fellow called me while I was on my way home from school today -- a scant hour and a half before he was to come over -- and he said that he'd had a walnut.allergy problem, and his partner was under the weather, so how about tomorrow?

Le sigh.

So, tomorrow. Bicycle will be out most of the day at the velodrome unless the weather is bad, so the format will be different too. Fellow will be picking my up from school -- as Bicycle will have my car, I was going to bike home -- and then I guess we'll have some dinner and process away at things at the same time. Maybe by the time dinner is done we'll be up for some play? Cause he's got to run and do something else later in the evening.

Anyway, tomorrow.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Squeee!

Ah! I may not have had a date with someone who is not Bicycle in more than two years (how sad is that?). But, yesterday a fond friend and I declared our long-standing but heretofore-unspoken lust for each other.

Hadn't seen him in months, ran into each other in town yesterday, he gave me a ride home, and then came up for some gossip, which came around to the topic. Now he just needs an ok from his partner, which he suspects shall be forthcoming.

Yay!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Apartment.

Ok, we think we've found an apartment. It's more or less what we want -- dish washer, washer & drier, first floor, near schools, recently redone, could be a little bigger, but pictures look nice. I mail them our applications today, now here's hoping we're accepted.

We decided, or rather, Bicycle suggested and I accepted, that instead of him trying to find a sublet from July 6 to August 15 (which is nigh impossible) and then our lease starting August 15 when I and our stuff got there, that he'd look for a lease starting July 1, and just live in a big empty apartment by himself till and and our stuff got their.

This was contingent on me not paying rent for it till I was actually living in the place, and Bicycle conceded.


In bike news, I'm trying (finally!) to sell my two bikes and buy one that will suit all my needs and is much newer besides. A friend has said he'll buy one, and he was going to pay me this weekend, except Large Local University where he is working this summer screwed up payroll and he won't be getting paid for another pay cycle, so I won't be paid till then either. Would not be a problem if I didn't need that money to pay for new bike, which is languishing in the shop. Thankfully, this is the shop Bicycle is working at, so the proprietor cut me a break about holding it for me, since he knows I'm not going to flake out and change my mind. I do feel kind of bad about it sitting there so long; I was hoping to have gotten it by now. Would have too, if Bicycle hadn't decided last weekend that we needed an apartment in Nashville NOW!


Anyway, I started summer classes this week. That means I spent all of the last three days, all day loooong, in the classroom. At least it's a nice room and the subject matter is interesting. Being aclimate controlled rare book room though, it's been cold.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moving along

We had Bicycle's and his brother's college graduation of Saturday. After traipsing around campus for hours and hours and sitting in the (very uncomfortable) football stadium for some more, we had his family and a couple friends over for a barbecue. Though it was a long day, the barbecue went off well. Unfortunately we hardly had any leftovers, whereas we were hoping to have lots. Several other of our friends also graduated, so even if we were staying in the area next year, it would be a different social scene.

In really great news, Bicycle has only a couple more days at his awful job! He was going to work another 2.5 weeks, but this morning the owner of one of the bike shops in town called him up looking for some temporary help. He's starting there tomorrow afternoon, working for a couple weeks, and then maybe occasionally till he leaves. This makes everything so much better. It's closer, has better hours, is a more pleasant job, everything.

Speaking of leaving, Bicycle bought a plane ticket for July 5th. (Or was it the 6th? Anyway, one of those two.) Now he's trying to find somewhere to stay in Nashville for a month and a half. A couple possibilities, but nothing that lines up quite right yet.

Also, Bicycle had his identity minorly stolen. Some illicit charges on his debit card. Now he's got to make a lot of phone calls and straighten things out, but his bank is being pretty helpful.


All in all, Bicycle's life -- kinda exciting. Mine, not so much. I start summer classes in a couple weeks (speaking of which, I need to buy some books...) , went to my parent's last week, but that's about it. Oh, my car hasn't been doing so well. My mechanic fucked it up, but that's more or less fixed now. But now it's leaking oil, a lot. So it has to go back to the shop soon. I'm letting.making Bicycle handle it, as he's been using it a lot more than I have lately. Luckily, we found what seems to be a good mechanic, just down the street.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I broke a glass washing dishes this morning.

The house is in a bit of a shambles at the moment, as I am busily writing finals and inexplicably tired all the time, and Bicycle is a lazy sod who never cleans up. Ok, I'm kidding a little about that last part.

We tried to start Spring Cleaning about a week ago, but Bicycle was tired from a very long bike race the day before and was of no use. So we've put it off till I'm done with finals. So, a week or two from now.

The new, far away incarnation of Bicycle's job is not so good. It's 40 miles each way, so he's putting 400 miles on my car a week just to get to work, and it costs him about $6 a day to do it. he says he feels like he's spending his entire life driving to and from work.

And, because he's using my car all day, five days a week, I can't use it for much. I was planning to head down to my parents' in a few weeks, spend three of four days, go to some doctor appointments before my health insurance runs out, but then realized I can't. I'll have to go down on the morning of my appointments, and then turn around and come back the next day. Cause Bicycle needs the car.

But! Bicycle head back from Important Professor Man, who has found some funding for Bicycle to head down to Tennessee this summer and get to work before he officially starts grad school. Which means I'll likely be by myself here for about a month and a half, but also that Bicycle will have some money for once, and that he'll be able to look for apartments in person.