Monthly Archives: March 2011

Frustration.

Partly because of the previously-mentioned roommate annoyances, and partly because we really like each other, John and I are moving in together. I’ve been pushing for this almost as long as we’ve known each other. He has been very cautious and unwilling. For good reasons, though. He knows what he needs in terms of space, and doesn’t want to ruin our relationship because we move in together and he feels cramped and starts resenting me. This makes sense. But, he’s gotten to the point now where he’s willing to risk it, and sort of trusts that I’ll give him enough space, and that we won’t end up hating each other (and my rational is- that’s why we’re renting. If we hate each other, we just move out at the end of the lease. Easy).

But now the pain starts. Because he is so fucking picky. And some of it I get. He needs parking. This eliminates a lot of possibilities. He wants a good kitchen. So do I. We need a two bedroom. Etc. Some of it I get, but think he should get over just a little. Like wanting to live somewhere “pretty”. Which really means a house in the middle of nowhere with lots of trees and sky. Which I would like also, but we’re in New York, and I know you hate everything, but come on. Also, he seems to want to live in suburbia, and I don’t. This is an issue I should give in on as well. Compromise all around! Except I’m the one doing the compromising, and he’s wailing about how much he hates everything.

Another touchy issue is budget. Currently, he makes over 3 times what I do. And I’m going back to school. I (and most people I’ve talked to) think that this means it’s pretty reasonable that he pay more of the rent. Like, I put in 700, he can do 1000. He thinks we split it equally. There is not much available for 1400 in New York. Add in a two bedroom, parking of any kind, and “pretty”, and this narrows our options down a lot. To pretty much nothing.

So now I just found something that is in a neighborhood I know he likes, at our price range, the living room picture looks okay, and the kitchen picture looks like it needs a little work, but at least it’s a gas stove . And instead of being the least bit excited he goes straight to “the apartment sucks, and there won’t be parking. I do like the area, though.” ARGH.

I feel like I’ve got this recalcitrant turtle, and I’ve coaxed it out of it’s shell and into taking a couple steps, so now when it needs to cross a road (or something. This analogy is wonky, but stick with me) and it’s being all picky and mincing and whining about the asphalt, I can’t just yell at it to suck it up and help me out and if it hates everything I find then maybe he should find some places to look and holy hell stop being such a diva, because then the turtle will just snap back into his shell and not talk to me ever again.

Which is an exaggeration and unlikely, but still a fear. We’re not good at arguing. We very rarely need to, and it’s usually resolved quickly, but we’ve never out and out fought, and certainly never about anything this big, and it scares me. And I feel like I’m the only one it scares, which pisses me off.

We’ll see what happens. Worst case, I think we just won’t move in together. Which isn’t the end of the world. I just hope we can figure it out. And I hope we can have one of those adult conversations that I read about other couples having (we do have them. Just about other things.)  and I hope we come out on the other side with a decent place that we both like, and that he gets excited about arranging furniture and finding how our stuff fits together.

Roommate rant

SO, I cleaned everything yesterday. That included throwing away our old shower curtain liner, since it’s time was over, but I forgot to get a new one while I was out buying a mop that actually worked and drain cleaner. Shame on me. This morning I was talking to my roommate, and she mentioned she was going to go out and get more dish detergent “and other things”. Silly me, I thought that might include a shower curtain liner. This is a fairly small thing, but  Come on. Our shower curtain is awesome, and needs to be protected. She was going out for other household things. She had already taken a shower and noticed the liner missing. I figured this would happen, though, and bought one on the way home. I hope soon enough that the shower curtain hasn’t been infected. We have no air thing in the bathroom, so the humidity sticks around and creates mold. Nothing terrible, just has to be cleaned once in a while, and shower curtain liners need to be changed regularly.

This has been a pitiful rant. But there’s a part two! This same roommate! Does dishes sometimes, which is always nice, but she is fucking incapable of clearing the dishrack first. She always just piles the wet dishes on the already dry ones. WHY. I will never understand this. It’s also often pretty crowded, it’s not a big dishrack. WHY CAN YOU NOT PUT THEM AWAY FIRST?

I need to move. These are little things, but they’re repeated, and they bug the shit out of me.

Productive day!

I cleaned! Mostly superficially, but some actually cleaning. My room now has floor space, and the cats can sit on the windowsill again, and I packed up a box of clothes and a box of bedding. I swept the hallway and most of the living room, mopped the kitchen floor, and scrubbed out the bathtub. And did the dishes. The kitchen was the worst, because I couldn’t find the good mop thing, and the other one is pretty awful. I think it’s also because I don’t actually know how to mop. I had to go over it about 4 times to get all the soap up. Because that’s what you do, right? First you take soapy water and you wash and scrub it. Right? But then you have a floor covered in soapy water. So then you have to wash that off, but in my case it took a while. Oh well. Anyway. I’m really excited about being able to take baths again. I hope one of my other roommates bought a shower liner or I’m going to have to do that later.

So that was exciting and felt pretty good. Maybe I’ll even drop off my laundry tomorrow. Or do it myself later some time. Tomorrow I’m going to the dmv to get (finally) a NY license. I’m sad about having to give up my california one, but it’s really long overdue, especially since I’ve committed to another two years here. And then who knows.

And now I have to go make dinner, because I’ve run out of being able to justify buying dinner and/or eating cereal straight from the box.

Ack.

Taking a break from reading vet reviews. I’m compiling my list of places to apply to, so far about 25 places. There are some pretty terrible reviews out there. A lot can be taken with a grain of salt, like, they over charge, or they killed my dog. Because those are both subjective. Was your dog going to die anyway? Or did they actually fuck up and kill it? Did they overlook something rare and hard to find? And did they actually overcharge you, or is medicine just expensive? So there’s a lot of reading in to things like that, but then there are also a lot of terrible stories about things being done without permission, glib and incompetent doctors, and asshole front desk staff. So I need a break.

Along with that, I keep planning my escape to other places. There’s another thing in Greece that I’d like to do. Biosphere was the most expensive trip I found, everything else is fairly reasonable, but airfare is turning out to be prohibitive. Maybe I’ll win the lottery.

http://whatthefuckshouldimakefordinner.com/ is pretty great. I’m considering using it as a challenge, and making something it suggests every day. This probably won’t happen.

Big plans!

So I have to be in school for two years, so I figure I shouldn’t try to do anything else while I’m finishing that. But then after! (I like plans, but it does suck planning for more than a year ahead. But, yay ideas!)

I found a place in Bolivia, rehabilitating abused animals, and animals that were being sold on the black market. Mostly working with monkeys and medium cats, pumas and ocelots and the like. You take them on walks. I’m totally doing this. Two months there.

Then the place in Costa Rica that I visited. Two months there. I’m excited about that, I liked it a lot there, and they have sloths. And howler monkeys. After 4 months in Spanish speaking countries, my spanish should be awesome. So, clearly, after that, I should head to a german speaking country.

And go back to Namibia and Ongos and be a research assistant there for two months. They’re planning on being there for 5 years, so waiting a while isn’t a problem. I’ll try to time it so I’m there in the dry season, so I can see a different side of the place.

And then home again. OR maybe to CCF, but that depends on what I can afford. Bolivia will cost a little, but not much at all. Costa Rica is only cost of living, and then Ongos will be whatever it costs to house and feed me. Shouldn’t be too bad. CCf is expensive though. Hopefully with certification it will be cheaper, but that might only apply to vets, not vet techs. We’ll see. Six months is a plenty long animal saving trip. The plane tickets will be the most expensive thing, but hopefully by then I will have enough airline miles to cover one or two of those flights.  I would like to end it with a trip to Thailand with John and Lauren and Jon, and spend two weeks not doing much of anything, and playing with tiger cubs without having to take care of them. And eating barrels of thai food. Which is what I’m going to do now, it’s dinner time.

Blarg again

More Namibia journaling soon, but for now, current stuff.

I’ve fully adjusted to being back, I suppose, what with sleeping in to 11 (thanks, no work these days) and following the cats examples of being totally lazy. I applied for a couple more jobs at vet offices, so we’ll see how that goes.

I don’t want to be here, honestly. I’m trying to find ways to go back.

But, in the meantime, I should start studying for the ACT again (though, ray of hope, I might not actually have to take it. I hope I find out for sure before the test date that I scheduled…) and John and I are trying to find an apartment, though he rightly pointed out that what with the school thing, I should wait and find out what kind of financial aid I’m going to have so that we actually know what I’ll be able to pay in rent before we start seriously looking. Way to be sensible and kill the dream.

The Pogues concert! Was pretty great. We went out for ramen beforehand, which was great, though I shouldn’t have gotten the spicy one. Still, was good, and we took our time and hung out which is always nice. As per my ridiculousness, we were there by 5, with doors at 7, but then at 6 they let us go up to the rooftop bar which was nice. John decided to stay with me and come down front, which I was happy and surprised about. He ended up having a pretty good time, despite the floppy drunken asshole behind him (who I shoved at one point, and was impressed by how far he went. Also impressed by me shoving at all, usually I don’t stand up for myself, but he was drooling in my face and I decided to actually do something instead of ignoring him). The floppy guy left at some point, and was replaced by bouncing drunk. The opening band sucked. A lot. At first I thought it might just be that the sound guy sucked, but then the Pogues sounded awesome (despite a couple feedback moments) so clearly, it was just the band. Eesh. But the Pogues were great, and Shane was drunk and unintelligible, and it was awesome. I had a guy protecting me from the worst of the crowd mashing, so my ribs were saved this year. I ran into someone I know from work at the end, who was super drunk and overly happy to see me.

John decided that he didn’t like me going home alone and so he came along, always nice. We went out to breakfast at a place near me and decided we needed to go to dinner there at some point. I’m thinking about going there now to get a breakfast sandwich. Part of my ennui with being back is that I really don’t want to do anything for myself, especially cooking. Which is not terribly unusual, but before I was just lazy about it. Now I’m somewhat actively opposed, and feeling okay about tossing money around, which is no good. I need to save all my money for moving and being a poor student.

But what the hell. Today isn’t the ridiculous niceness that yesterday was (70 with a warm breeze) but it’s still good enough to go out and enjoy.

Namibia journal part 1- Getting there

A direct transcription of my journal from 2-24 to 3-13 while I was in Namibia. And additional comments I have will be in italics, otherwise it’s just as I wrote it at the time, bad punctuation, run on sentences and all.

 

2-24

We didn’t really sleep, since we got back so late from picking up another camera for John, and things I forgot, like memory cards and my headlamp. Whoops. When we got back we downloaded a bunch of podcasts and audio books, and I hope my ipod holds up for the whole flight. Around 1am I felt really sick and spent over an hour convinced I was going to throw up, but eventually felt better. John thinks nerves, but who knows.

When we got to the airport and checked in, we needed to change seats so we could sit together, and discovered that we’re actually on two different flights for the second part. Both are pretty full, so John is going to try to standby for my slightly earlier flight, so we’ll see how that goes. Not the end of the world if we can’t. I’m really hungry and excited about airline food.

 

2-25

Still on the plane. So far good food. I got to watch a couple movies that I had been wanting to see. Even with the xanax I only got 3 hours of interrupted sleep, but I was expecting that so it’s fine. I don’t sleep on anything that moves. Nothing works, except I suppose the xanax helped me for a little. Breakfast soon. Choices- pancakes or scrambled eggs. I got scrambled eggs. They were good, with little button mushrooms and bacon.

-Later-

Yep, two separate flights, which is fine. We have vague plans about how to meet up for the third leg, hopefully that goes smoothly.

The Johannesburg airport was pretty confusing. We got lucky and had a porter walk us to check in, and past everyone else in line. And then a two hour wait to board my flight. To get to the plane we all piled into a shuttle that was like a bus version of a tram thing, super low to the ground and lots of standing space.

We only have an hour in Cape Town which is a little unnerving, but should be fine even with having to check in and all.

Other than that, I am hot, tired, and regretting not bringing jeans. The only time I regretted this. I was just feeling weird and sloppy traveling in pajama pants and a button up flannel. But packing wise, and sitting on a plane for that long, it made sense.

-Cont-

I’m on another giant plane with the middle section. It sounds like they’ll be serving us lunch, hooray! While we were taxiing I saw a really pretty bird, though it was farish away, it seemed blue and something like- drawing of a bird. I wish I could have seen it better.

I was stupid and left my ipod and sleep mask and anything else to entertain me in the overhead thing and now I feel like it’s too late. I was in the window seat, and felt too shy to ask the woman next to me to move. Either I am the model of thoughtfulness, or I need to get over it and realize it’s not a big deal and she should have been fine with getting up for a second. I have a screen to stare at, but no headphones, and it seems like no control. And I definitely can’t sleep. Oh well.

 

2-26

My flight was fine, I was next to a woman coming home from two weeks at an ashram in the Himalayas. I kind of want to come back and visit Cape Town, the tabletop mountain and beaches looked interesting.

The airport again didn’t have much by way of signage, but I figured out hot to find checkins. I got there about 2:20 and checked myself in and got John a seat next to me. He showed up at 2:54 (our next flight was at 3:45). He actually made really good time since they had taken off late because of a soccer team taking forever to sit down.

I think that they way overestimate flight times since we didn’t start boarding until after 3:30, but managed to land 5 minutes early. It was the first flight that didn’t have stellar food, just what you would normally expect from an airline. But- they did have curry flavored Lays, in honor of the cricket world cup.

It was a small plane, so we got to walk down the steps and across the tarmac, like in movies. It’s the rainy season so there were all kinds of great blue grey clouds, and it was really windy and green everywhere. We stood there looking around for a minute and realized that behind us in the storm clouds was a rainbow. So I was happy. We ended up getting 5 rainbows over the course of our stay. It was pretty great, I never see that many normally.

Passport inspection and customs was fast (in both South Africa and Namibia, if you had nothing to declare, you just waltzed right past customs, no pausing or giving them your form. Weird.) and we found our driver right away. Changed some money, picked up one more person, and headed off. The other guy talked to us about Namibia and Sarah Palin and Libya and who we thought might be president next. He kept turning to look at the road, and back at us, so it was a little hard to hear.

For real. What?

We dropped him off in the hills and then drove to the hotel. It’s nice here, good air, not too humid. The hotel is really nice, we didn’t really have to check in, just confirmed who we were and went to our room. Ferrero Rochers as pillow mints, yay.

Breakfast was good, standard granola and yogurt and breads and cheeses and such. Really good yellow scrambled eggs. And now we’re trying to figure out what to do today.

-Later-

Most of the other people at breakfast had just come from the last expedition, and we talked to one of them after. She said the people on our trip are all American and British, apparently a bunch of BBC people. I’m a little disappointed, I wanted to meet people from all over.

I watched a frog in the pool for a while, and the house dog while we waited for the taxi to go down to the city center. We ended up in a mall for a while, which was surreal. There was a Woolworths. An interesting, but not terribly exotic or anything, mix of people and dress. Rap seems somewhat popular. We found sunglasses for John, and eventually made our way to the craft center. It was nice to find a place that actually makes it’s stuff locally and not in China. I didn’t see everything John got, but I picked up a painted ostrich egg, a soapstone hippo, and some nice salad servers.

I’m trying to remember to write what I think of stuff, and not just a list of what we did, but it’s hard.

I like it here. It’s very pretty, I’m happy that it’s summer right now. The taxi drivers are nice and talkative and no one’s tried to rip us off. I kind of can’t wait to get out of the city, though. And now we’re back at the hotel, and there are other people from the trip, so I’m going to stop being antisocial and talk to them.

 

Sinking in

Slowly adjusting to being back. And I’m seeing the Pogues tonight! Second time that I’ve seen them on St Patricks, I think. I got John to come with me, but he wants to be nowhere near the front, and I want to be right up at the fence.

I sorted through pictures and put a bunch up on facebook, so I’ll start adding some here, along with my journal, probably tomorrow.

I’m back!

It was amazing and fantastic and I didn’t want to come back. I kept a journal while I was there, and if I have the patience, I’ll transcribe it here and add pictures and such.

The good thing about being back is the cats. They’ve been very happy to see me, and I them. Also, I’ll get to do laundry soon. Other than that, I want to go back.