Sunday, May 30, 2004

This blog

This blog

I'm having trouble making myself write in this blog lately. I've posted a little over once a week both here and over on einboston for almost four years now. But lately it's been a struggle; not just because livejournal has come around with more interesting ideas, either. It's because, well, I have a full social life now, which leaves little time for writing.

I still need to write. I compose beautiful blog updates in my head all the time, when I'm on the train or on one of the mind-clearing walks I need daily to feel healthy. But my blogging was born of loneliness and lack of time. I started blogging in Boston because I found myself hundreds of miles away from everyone in a place so culturally different that I woke up everyday awed. Blogging not only let me keep up with my friends while I worked three jobs and attended grad school, blogging kept me sane. Writing about my experiences helped me process the sights and sounds and activities I never dreamed of.

Since I've found myself living in Atlanta, I feel that the quality of my blogging has declined. There's a good reason for the decline of quality; I'm surrounded by friends and family and things to do, and so I haven't got as much time to think about my writing as I once did. I'm writing this now while The Republican is washing up; once he's out, we're off into Little 5 where we'll laugh and read the Sunday paper and gossip about friends and probably play some pinball. I also need to call Aral about DragonCon; check on my sister's plans for the summer, and plan my next move.

Everything moves so fast at home, and I'm not allowed to blog at my current job like I have at past places of employ. I'm thinking of giving it up when this blog reaches the two year mark, the fourth anniversary of my internet presence. This makes me an internet Methuselah, so I shouldn't feel too bad about it. But I do. Blogging has been important to me since I started on a lark back in 2000. I looked forward every week to posting. I still do; it's just that too often I'm too exhausted to do this anymore.

In August I'm returning to Boston for a week of work and play. I'll try to update as frequently as I can between now and then. Probably while I'm back in Boston I'll switch over to the old page to record my (ambiguously) triumphant return. Then once I'm back I'll put down a few final thoughts and shut this puppy down.

It's been a fun trip, mi amigas, and it's not over yet, but I can see the end of the tunnel now.
Because the landlord is selling the house, I have to move at the end of June. With all the rental difficulties I've had living in Atlanta, people might wonder why I'm so dead-set on staying here. When I first meet people from rural areas of the south and I tell them I live in downtown Atlanta, their eyes get wide. "Ooooh." they say, knowing that I must be wicked or gay or just plain odd to want to live here. They don't say those things to my face though. What they talk about is usually the horrific traffic, or our crippled public services (water, library, or police force).

The people who fear and loathe Atlanta just don't know the city like I do. Or maybe they do know the city but fear its racial problems or pollution. It takes a certain sensibility to live in the Dirtiest South, I admit. But for those great doubters, I will now offer up my top 5 reasons to live in Atlanta:

1) The neighborhoods.

Honestly, I talk more to my neighbors here in the city than I ever did in the suburbs. People in Atlanta are generally friendly! I love the neighborhoods of ATL, many of which are named after their own park system (Inman Park, Candler Park, Piedmont Park, Ansley Park etc.). I also love how each of the parks reflect the sensibility of that neighborhood. Inman Park, for instance, is rarely mowed, alllowing the wildflowers to run riot, and contains the old staircases of houses long town down embedded into weedy slopes. Piedmont Park is always carefully trimmed, best dressed to show the city how much it wants to be the center of attention. Ansley park has a lot of landscaping, formal flower beds. Other neighborhoods include Midtown, East Point, West Side, College Park and oh, the list goes on and on. And in your neighborhood there are people just like you, and lots of dogs that get walked, and a barrista who knows your name and how you take your coffee (half soy milk, have coffee of the day, with a shot of chocolate).

2) Public Transportation

Sure, it's old, and sure, it needs more money. But I don't have to own a car. Can you say that about your Southern city? Nope! We're the *only* Southern city with true mass transit. Bite me.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Hot water again

Hot water again

I shouldn't be typing this right now; my Great Aunt Beth and my Grandmother are in town, and they, along with my aunt Laura, are headed to my house from Cobb County *right now*. I should be cleaning and getting dressed and...I thought I had this weekend to myself, but instead I've got family to see. And I'm happy to see them! Aunt Beth comes around from Texas but once a year. Golly, do I need some down time soon though. And I'm not sure when the down time might happen...The summer looms hot and long, filled with obligation, sweat, tears and work. It's 90 degrees here already, and the weather calls for locusts.

Christi Underdown was here the past week, attending a class I taught in town on book repair. We had a good time, I made her sleep a lot, and golly, if I ever think I'm overcomitted, I someone should just point me in Underdown's direction and say, "No, honey, SHE'S overcommitted. You're just really, really busy."

Other than the class we just hung out and ate good food. At Cafe Intermezzo, I laughed at her when the hairs on her arm stood up after a bite of Cheesecake and she laughed at me when my drink caused my face to go red. WE stayed up waaay too late on a worknight the last night she was here, talking about life and love and houses. After Christi left, there was nothing to my week but work and sleep.

My flakey landlord put us without hot water for a week. WHile Skeet was here, the gas company cut off the gas because even though we, the renters, had paid our landlord, he had forgotten to pay the gas bill on time. So they axed the gas, and I couldn't cook, and I couldn't take a shower without losing a year off my life. And what was worse is that I had guests all that time! Skeet was here and then Underdown was here and the hot water didn't come back on until after all my guests had left. I'm sooooo ready to move. And I've made the decision to get an apartment by myself for the first time. And I'm scared that I can't afford it, and I'm scared to live by myself, and it's out of the frying pan and into the know, as long as the gas is on, anyway.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Skeet is here

Skeet is here.

Have I ever mentioned that I have the best group of friends in the whole world? I do. I know that no one believes me when I say that, but it's true.

Skeet is here visiting for a week. I'm working, and so he's on his own during the day, but I think he's enjoying that; Skeet works in Nashville as a waiter and lives in a big house full of people, and I think he's rarely alone in his everyday life. He's going to museums and seeing things he's always wanted to see - dinosaurs and mummies and sculptures.

We've known each other for nearly 15 years now, and this is the most time we've hung out together in almost ten years. We're having a marvelous time, walking around the city and trying to figure out what I should do with my life. Skeet is the perfect friend to have around for that kind of decision making, because he knows the truth about me: I generally do whatever the hell I want. Skeet's the same way.

Somehow, without meaning too, I've come to another big crossroads, a place where I have to make a ton of decisions about where I'm going to live and how I'm going to live. I love my life right now, living in Little 5, but I worry about my job, and of course my love life is frighteningly stable lately. The Rebuplican is getting ready for even more commitment, or maybe he's just going to step up his level of gift-giving. It's all very confusing. The Republican and I are starting to plan around each other, and it makes me a little queasy, because of course I'm worried about making plans around another person. I'm not used to the men in my life being stable.

Except, of course, for the guys I knew in High School, like Skeet and Cairy and Virgil, who are all terribly stable. They're still basically who they've always been, and somehow I'm lucky enough to still be in contact and in good graces with all of them. When I think about the types of men I've had in my life, I know I'm lucky not to have turned into a total man-bashing bitch. If you've ever wondered why I keep dating, how I stay attracted to men, take a look at the guys I knew in High School and know: I never stopped looking for men just like these.

I came home from work Monday just bawling my eyes out, crying and sobbing because I feel like I'm a bad worker. I've never had a job before that made me feel so bad so often. I'm used to being the *best* worker, the worker that the boss brags on, the top seller in my store, the one you want at the front desk to greet people, the kid everyone knows is going to shine the brightest. But at this job I just can't seem to get things right lately, and it's killing me. I want to do a good job, and I worry that I may never get things right, even though my employer seems confident that eventually I will. It's such a huge workload and so intimidating that it amkees me emotional in uncharacteristic ways. People who know me know, I'm not a crier. I didn't even cry at Steel Magnolias.

Skeet was here, and he was the best while I used up a whole box of kleenex and then wore the box as a festive hat. We made stupid jokes about my next career selling tissue box hats, and then went out and played pin ball. And the next night, after I went out on the porch and talked to The Republican at some length, I came back in and apologized for being an inconsiderate host, but Skeet pretended to cry.

"No! It's my night to cry!" He said.

"Oh, Ok then, I'll take tomorrow and you can have Thursday...If we're crying in shifts."

"Thursday's no good for me."

"Well, maybe we could double up tomorrow, both of us could watch Angel and cry."

"Yeah, because they're canceling the series."

"Ok, so we both cry Wednesday at Angel and then take Thursday off, and Friday we can get drunk and cry because we're getting old."

"I was just thinking we should get drunk and cry Friday! That would be perfect! It'll make the drive back Saturday just right!"

"And then we can cry Saturday because it's the last day of your vacation."


Big hugs.