Trouble was, the subleaser wanted in on 1 October, and I was scheduled to leave Thursday evening and not get back 'til next Sunday. The first. Panic ... did not exactly set in, though stress certainly did.
Over the course of Wednesday I:
- Got a couple of friends to hang out with me Wednesday night and help finish packing, which otherwise would have been a) slow, b) frustrating, and c) generally sad-inducing.
- Acquired a small storage unit on short notice.
- Decided to just call in exhausted on Thursday due to not sleeping well (this is not a lie), and just go in for my early-morning meetings.
After all that I made it back to my basement apartment about an hour before I'd expected, with plenty of time to pack for ten days up north. Indeed, I managed to leave about an hour early to get to the airport, so I'd have plenty of time to grab a leisurely dinner before my flight.
Except that when I got to the airport I realised I'd forgotten my viola, which would make it difficult to a) practise and b) have a Skype lesson on Tuesday. So, half an hour transit back out to the apartment and half an hour back to the airport, and there went all the extra time I'd built in for dinner. I did manage to grab something to eat anyhow but it was a close thing.
I then discovered, once I got here, that I'd left my glasses at home as well. This is deeply frustrating, as it rather limits my late-evening options. It's also gonna make things interesting if my contacts self-destruct again.
(I briefly thought I had lost my Nexus card, but it turned up again. Still not sure what happened there. I'd blame my lack of glasses except that I generally find things by touch and not by sight, so.)
But the weekend was pretty good: reconnected with Erin, went out to a couple of events to start trying to make connections in the local kink community, generally got a little more sociable and a little less stuck in my own head.
And today's the equinox, so maybe the horrificness has just been the fault of summer and it'll start to settle out now. I can hope, anyway.
"This is a time for action -- not for war, but for mobilization of every bit of peace machinery. It is also a time for facing the fact that you cannot use a weapon, even though it is the weapon that gives you greater strength than other nations, if it is so destructive that it practically wipes out large areas of land and great numbers of innocent people. " -- Eleanor Roosevelt (b. 1884-10-11, d. 1962-11-07), My Day (newspaper column) 1954-04-16
Tufts Administration Building (TAB), 167 Holland Street, Senior Center, 2nd Floor
Join the City Planning Department for a special update and discussion on the Davis Square Neighborhood Plan. We’re excited to present this meeting with the help of a facilitator who specializes in a meeting format designed to give participants control of the discussion topics. First, city staff will offer an update on the plan started in 2013/14 as well as a look at next steps. Then, to address outstanding topics and ensure that any new ideas and goals are identified, our facilitator will use the Round Robin meeting format, which asks participants to bring up topics for small-group discussions. In short, participants will set the agenda for the night and also shape topics for the next meeting.
At the second meeting in this series on October 19 (at the Community Baptist Church, 31 College Ave. 6-8 p.m.), we’ll take a deeper dive into the community-selected topics and identify action steps to address the goals and needs related to each. City staff will bring in resources and experts on the topic areas selected in the first meeting to serve as a resource during discussions.
Whether your concerns are open space, traffic, parking, streetscape, bicycle infrastructure, housing or more, we hope you’ll join us.
Unfortunately we cannot monitor this page, so if have any questions or need any more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Davis Square Neighborhood Planning visit https://www.somervillebydesign.
"Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it's all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield
Gregorian: 2017 September 20
Julian: 2017 September 07
Hebrew: 5777 Elul 29 --- sundown will be the start of 5778 Tishrei 01
Islamic: 1438 Dhu I-Hijja 28
Persian: 1396 Shahrivar 29
Indian: 1939 Bhadra 29
Coptic: 1734 Thout 10
1 second interview
This summer was way more frustrating about teaching jobs than it has been in the past, in no small part because I really truly was doing an awesome job of applying places. I thought I was doing relatively well at interviewing. Maybe my references weren't as good as they could be, but in general, I was really putting myself out there and trying...and still getting nothing.
On Wednesday the 23rd of August, I got a call --would you be willing to come in?
On Thursday the 24th of August, I had an interview.
On Friday the 25th of August, I got a call.
On Monday the 28th of August, my perfect birthday, I woke up unbearably early and biked to school. Monday and Tuesday were teacher days, Wednesday was the first day with students. It's now partway through the fourth week of school, and I have finally gotten the HR bullshit sorted out and a paycheck into my bank account and that means it's really truly officially real.
I am a professional high school mathematics teacher.
For the whole year, from the beginning. At a public high school, with all the diversity and benefits that implies. With five classes and about eighty students (a frankly amazing average ratio) and oh my _dear sweet weeping gods_.
I am fully, blessedly, employed, in a place I love, doing exactly the thing I want to be doing with my life. Yes, it's frustrating that all my work searching this summer was for naught, but I can forgive the universe its machinations.
I've been sitting tight on announcing this until it was real, and it's been killing me. No matter how much I will complain over the next ten months about the early mornings and endless prep work, I am so so unbelievably very happy.
On Monday, August 28th, I celebrated my perfect birthday by starting at my perfect job.
FAQs: No I won't tell you where specifically online. Algebra 1, Discrete Math, and Calculus. Some 9th graders, mostly 12th graders. Yes the commute sucks less than the private school one. Yes the pay is better --I'm making a bit over $50k this year. Yes, I am so so so so happy.
[I feel, based on my own reactions each time I think about the loss described here, like I should provide some kind of content-warning to avoid ruining someone's day if this is their nightmare fuel. But I'm really not sure what form this warning should take.]( Linda Ronstadt describes what she can't do. May be upsetting to artists. Many people may just calmly think 'oh, that's sad'. )
Parts of this post certainly spoke to me. In particular, the idea that cooking and providing emotional support for the people on the front lines can be an important part of activism, too. A lot of my friends have been really involved in activism since the catastrophe last November, but it's something that I'm mostly just not able to do. I don't have a personality that can handle it: I find the very idea of going to protests stressful, and rarely have any spoons to spare these days as it is.
My friends have been trying to emphasize to me that I shouldn't feel guilty, because I'm providing emotional support for people who actually are going out and doing things and, well, maybe my role is to make pierogi for the revolution. Which, honestly, appeals to me a lot more, even if it's hard for me to find time or energy to actively do things of that nature rather than just being there for my friends in general.
At the same time, though, I'm kind of put off by the author's focus on tribalism and inherited community traditions. For me, at least, this sort of strength has always come from developing my own traditions, and creating my own community: I'm a bit distrustful of inherited family and community, and I certainly don't have one of my own that I fit in. But, as a friend recently told me, when I was commenting as usual that I'm not really part of the queer community, "Don't worry about it: you've made your own queer community, and it's the best."
I may not have an inherited community, but my efforts to build one by inviting friends over for Polish food, and by trying to introduce people who I think should know each other haven't been in vain and, to some degree, I've managed to build some communities in which I have a bit of a hearth-keeper role. If only I had the time and energy to actually do what it would take to keep them as strong and sturdy as I wish they were: that, unfortunately, is probably a full-time job.
Keeping this in mind, and recognizing that there is at least some connection between this part of my identity and my strong feelings about the sacredness of place, I should maybe make more of an effort to incorporate deities of the hearth into my practice. Given my largely Hellenic-inspired practice, Hestia would be an obvious focus for this. She is traditionally understood as the sacrificial fire itself, and when burnt offerings are made, the first is always to her. However, I've never found a practical way to do burnt offerings--a problem for Hellenic-inspired practice in general--and so I perhaps need to think of a different way to honor her.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-08:
"I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English." -- Philip Roth, novelist
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
Back near the start of June, Captain Awkward1 posted a link to the Ingrid Michaelson video "Girls Chase Boys". I'd seen it before, but not in a while, so hell yeah it was time for a rewatch.
And somewhere in the thirty or fifty rewatches I've done this summer, I came to a really striking realization about my sexuality. I feel queer2 or straight entirely independent of the gender of the person I am being attracted towards.
Like, this is probably a pretty logical end result of not having a gender myself. I can't be a lesbian if I'm not a woman3, but I'm also not able to be het with a woman if I'm not a man. Bisexual has served me fine as a term for years now (and queer even moreso). I am content and secure in my attractions4.
But it was a weird moment of clarity when I realized that the attraction I feel for the men in that video is decidedly queer attraction. And weirder still to realize that I can, and often do, feel straight attraction towards men. And continually weird to realize that my attraction towards women can be either queer or straight as well. Like, these are two markedly different feelings for me, apparently. They both have the same root (I want to get romantic and-or sexual with this person because I am aesthetically or otherwise pleased by them) but they feel different.
After some soul-searching5, I determined that a big part of what makes me feel queer vs straight attraction is whether the person I am attracted to is giving out queer vs straight signals. These can be either gender-queer or sexuality-queer, but apparently I save my straight attraction for the hets.
I don't know what to do with all this information. Hell, I don't even know if it's useful information to have, or if the back of my brain has latent transphobia in this regard (many of the attractive trans women I know are some variation of enby, almost all of them are sexuality-queer --I don't tend to feel straight attraction to people who I don't perceive as relatively straight, but would I automatically feel queer attraction to any trans woman, even a straight one?)
But it's a thing my brain is doing, and I like paying attention to those.
1: Captain Awkward is probably the single best advice blog on the internet, and I highly recommend pawing through her archives occasionally. She is better at teaching people how to be adults than just about anyone else, and I try very very hard to behave as would make her happy.
2: "Gay" would also be accurate here, but I very much prefer queer.
3: TRANS LESBIANS ARE LESBIANS. TERFS CAN FUCK OFF.
4: This is absolutely not true, I'm into a lot of straight men for an enby. The fact that I'm demonstrably more androsexual than gynosexual freaks me out on the regular, because boy howdy, is it hard to actually be "bisexual". But for the sake of this post, let's pretend I feel not-weird about myself.
5: Translation: Looking at a lot of different attractive people for science.
Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook.
Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.
"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix
"Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed.
Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have."
-- George Alec Effinger (not sure which story -- I can find lots of sites repeating that it is from Live! from Planet Earth, but I haven't seen any saying which story in that anthology the quotation is from)
The world needs practical people, that's good in it's way, but, I do sometimes daydream and wish I could create good art that moved people.
(yeah, lots of practice, making lots of bad art, hundreds and thousands of hours etc.)
"As long as we're valuing capital over labor, we have a future in store that's owned by the 0.0001% where the rest of us get to pay for the privilege of being allowed to breathe their air and live on property they own. Where I get stuck at is how we get out of this bind--with people like the Mercers and the Kochs and the various Putin-orbit oligarchs holding the rights to so much of the world's wealth, how do we devalue, divest, and otherwise claw back those resources to a place where we can use them for the good of society, rather than the plutocrats?" -- Boussinesque, commenter at Balloon Juice [thanks to realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]
I've been resisting air conditioning over the years for a variety of reasons, but this new style of heating and cooling tech I can have both, with much less environmental impact (and noise). Also right now there are big rebates and low interest loans. It's hard to know how much longer good programs like this will run in our current political environment, you know?
So this event will give you the backstory on the tech. https://www.somervillema.gov/events/
Wed Oct 4 2017 - 6:30pm
West Somerville Community School Cafeteria
177 Powderhouse Blvd.
Somerville, MA 02144