Transplanted Life
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
A week of nuisances
So, the bank continues to be a pain in the neck about my ATM card. "You'll get it back tomorrow" became "we can issue you a new one right now" became "we'll express it to you" became "it usually takes a week to ten days". I ask you, are these the actions of a trustworthy financial institution? Hardly. And what are they going to do to make things right? Nothing. Not a thing. I'll be put out because their machine chose an inopportune moment to crash, and they've got no incentive to make things better, because they've still got my money.

I mean, I had to ask Maureen to buy my groceries this week because the supermarket gave me shit about writing a personal check. I'm beginning to wonder what the use of a checking account is, if you can just use the ATM card to withdraw from savings, and that one earns interest - I know, it probably has a minimum balance, but still, checking accounts were created to be convenient, and they're not anymore.

So, that's going on, and then mother nature dumps a couple feet of snow on us. This screws the commuter rail up something fierce - I was able to take my regular train to work yesterday, but apparently sometime afterward they decided it was on a Saturday schedule. So I get to the station and congratulations, it's a half-hour wait. I don't exactly realize this until a #70 bus has come and gone, though. So, cold. Regular schedule today, except for the train I was to ride this morning. That one was delayed twenty-five minutes, with no bus alternative leaving from Porter Square.

Then, tonight, I miss a movie I wanted to see because the clock in my living room was ten minutes slow. I should have just looked at the one on the VCR, because that one has to be right or I miss the end of a show, but silly me.

I get back home and Telly's there, trying to scam some food off us since his roommates ate all his. There are two supermarkets (at least) between him and us, but he knows Maureen likes to cook and he's got a crush on her anyway, sexual orientation be damned. I'm in one of those stomping moods when I get in, holding up a finger to silence the others while I reset every clock and my watch in the apartment to match.

Telly watches me, and laughs, asking if I'm still saying I'm not Michelle, because having the clocks off always drove her nuts. No, I say, it alwas drove me nuts, too. Just part of my not-really-OCD, to go along with my alphebetizing my movies and sticking all the comics from a story arc into one bag and labeling it. I'll bet Michelle didn't even read comic books.

No, he says, that's new. But he never knew anyone who was so anal about syncronizing clocks.

He left about twenty minutes ago, and now I must admit, I'm trying to remember - was I this nuts about little things as Martin, or is it influenced by how this brain is wired?

Sunday, January 23, 2005
Kate grudgingly admitted that men were good for shoveling
Earlier last week, Kate called to tell me she'd gotten tickets to this year's show where the Alloy Orchestra premieres a new silent film score. After how it went last year, I was surprised she was up for it, but as she said, this year she wasn't going to make the mistake of counting on some man to get the job done, and bought the tickets herself. Then she kind of paused and asked if it was okay for her to go off on an "all men suck" rant to me. Hey, I said, I remember Wei and other female friends doing that rant even though Martin was standing two feet away, penis and all. Oh, yeah, she said, "except you" is sort of implied in that case, but she doesn't want to sound like she's trying to convince me of anything.

I say no, go ahead, but if that's how you feel, I could set you up with my roommate. That, she responds, is being needlessly literal.

I kind of wondered if it might get called off for weather, but there was nothing on the website about it, so up to Somerville we went.

Pretty good show; not quite as good as The Black Pirate or The General, but Blackmail is not quite as physically exuberant a movie. It is Hitchcock, though, which is always a good thing.

By the time we get out (about nine-thirty), it's snowing pretty steady, and Kate asks if she can crash at my place tonight. It's just two stops away and she's got something of a phobia about getting trapped on the subway during a storm; it happened to her once and evidently nothing sucks more than being in a tunnel when the train stops and the lights go out. I can see that, so take the subway two stops and get off at Harvard.

I'm not a big fan of snow, and this is the first really substantial snowfall of the season; I think it wound up being a foot or so. It seems deceptively mild, since it's all fluffy stuff that's not blowing right into your face; it's not even that cold. Sure, it's cold enough to snow, but you don't feel snot freezing or anything.

It's steady, though. We could hear the wind all night, and it just didn't let up, dropping an inch or two every hour all night. When I got up in the morning, we could barely open the door.

Why were we even trying? Well, we wanted donuts and coffee and a paper, and we might as well see if the Brattle's running the Sunday morning movie in spite of the weather. By the time we went out, though, the snowfall was pretty much down to nothing, and the city was digging out. It's kind of fun to walk city streets after a storm like that; you can walk out in the middle of the road - and you sort of have to, since the sidewalks aren't shoveled - and it's quiet, although some hardy souls are still baking donuts or selling papers (but not running movies).

You've got to be alert, though. Kate made the mistake of opening an umbrella to keep the snow out of her face, but a gust of wind made it into a sail and dumped her into a snowbank. I probably shouldn't have made that crack about how it's okay to put a little weight on for the winter, because I wound up in the same snowbank.

Kate hung around most of the day; we were a little worried about Mo, but apparently if you're going to get snowed in, a luxury hotel is as good a place as any. Though she said it was kind of surreal, since the ARISIA sci-fi/media convention is this weekend, and, as she put it, some of the nerds were dressed for the occasion..


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