Archive for December, 2010

Everyone is supposed to do these, right?  I’ve read “review” posts that claimed to be the year in fast forward (even though it was looking backwards), the year’s best restaurants (in Chicago, my new home), scandals of the year (which I promise I only skimmed), things that were too shitty to highlight during the year (but then they were highlighted by the review), “best of,” “worst of,” and so on.  I actually don’t read much of ‘em b/c I don’t see the point – the year is over.

But since 2010 has been a big year for me, I’m going to do some reflecting, like I did last year.  I can honestly say that 2007 and 2008 were two of the shittiest years in my life, and 2009 was better, if not great.  This year has been really wonderful.

Except for that bit in January with the Ex and his stupid girlfriend.  I use “stupid” here not in a bratty sense, but in a literal sense – the woman lacked intelligence.  But because I was in a very vulnerable place – my apartment with two violent people and sick with bronchitis – the Viking was able to sweep in and save me.

Save me he did.  He took care of me when I was sick.  He moved in with me.  He cooked great food.  He took me out to nice restaurants.  He took me along on fun outings.  He held me when I cried.  He was pleasant to be around.  He genuinely liked me, which I realized was something I didn’t have for most of the 11 years I was with the Ex.

The year has been … fun.  Yes, 2010 has been a very good year.  There was good fucking.  There was a trip to Chicago where I figured out I could live in this city.  There was good food.  There were nice restaurants.  There were evenings at museums.  There were video games.  There was spending time with people I like.

There was putting things permanently in the past.  Other than seeing his signature on a quitclaim deed, I have not had any communication of any sort with the Ex and I never will.  I am so glad that we only got animals together because if we had had a kid I’d still have to deal with his passive-aggressive bullshit.  It’s difficult to think that someone who was part of 11 years of my life is completely irrelevant  to my current life, but it’s true.

I will also never again see the apartment where I lived for the last seven years.  Since I bought it with the Ex that’s a very good thing.

I no longer live in San Francisco, my home since 1999.  I no longer live in California, my home since birth.

I’m not much for any holiday, except New Year’s.  Which is not to say I need to go out or have a party, but it does mean I like to start the year with a kiss from the person with whom I’d like to spend the year.  I also think it’s fortuitous to start the year in a place where I’ll be spending the year.

Tonight at midnight I’ll be kissing the Viking in Chicago so 2011 will start right.  And on January 1, 2011, we’ll be moving into our new apartment – definitely a good way to start a year.

I swear. True story.

12:05 A.M.

Abel called while I was on the phone with Laura.  He asked again to make sure I didn’t tell Laura.  Don’t worry, I’m practicing being sneaky.  Lying and conniving are how you make it to the top in this world.

How gross, I have a dirty phone.  I always said it was disgusting and swore I would never let it happen to my phone.  Oh well.  I also have dents on my phone from throwing it that time I was very mad.

Laura said I should try to go on a different kind of Pill ’cause this one is making me so moody.  Fuck.  I made and appointment today for Tuesday at Planned Parenthood to check out my problem but I just realized that I’ll be on the rag next week.  So it’s this week or in two weeks.  Maybe on Friday.  Maybe I’ll just have to be late for work.  Like I care.  Go ahead, fire me.  What’s some extra money?  A car, that’s what it is.  I want a car by January so I can go to school.

I am just like my mother.  I come home from work, go to the bathroom, and, while still on the pot, take my clothes off and leave them on the bathroom floor.  And I’m a slob, and I’m fat.  It’s actually very scary how much I really am like her.  Lord, help me change.

Abel said he was going to call back but he hasn’t.  I don’t know how late he works or anything so I don’t know if I should be mad or what.

I want to go buy myself a new toothbrush.  I think I left Beth’s at Laura’s and Laura’s is too soft.

Why hasn’t Henry called since Saturday morning?  Monday Tuesday come on.  Probably early tomorrow morning.  I was expecting him this morning but no.  And I tried to call him at work but he didn’t answer the phone.  What’s wrong with that weenie-head?


I had a terrible time sleeping.  Is it because I feel guilty about seeing Abel today?  I only feel guilty about having to be sneaky, not actually seeing him.  We’re going to go to Griffith Park to the observatory.  but I guess if I want to do this in life, I have to make myself callous now, huh?

I tried to call Henry this morning but the answering machine without a message cam on and beeped.

9:10 P.M.

Mom’s worried about what’s gonna happen if Laura finds out about Abel and I.  She won’t find out.  It’s her own fault I’m even pursuing this thing – she shouldn’t have told me I couldn’t and she surely shouldn’t have told me I need permission.  How dare she?  I don’t get permission to do anything – I simply do it.  She is not my mother.  Of course my mother isn’t dumb enough to try to tell me what to do.

I still don’t know what to do for my vacation.  Maybe I shouldn’t take one at all and just get the money for a car.

Oh, I got a “verbal warning” today from Judy for calling in sick on Sunday.  She said I called after my shift started – yeah at 9:30 when my shift started – I should’ve talked to a supervisor – Mary on that particular day –  should’ve known beforehand that I was going to be sick – maybe I was sick and wanted to come in until I realized I was too sick and could infest the children – she also wants me to write down her home number so I can call her there to get someone to cover for me.  She’s not very pretty, her hair is gross (I don’t care what Laura says) and the way she acts does not deserve my respect.  Hey, I’ll quit if she gives me enough shit.  I can find another minimum wage job.

I should go to bed.  My guilt wouldn’t let me sleep.  Laura should be at Abel’s about now.  Wonder if she’s giving him the time.  I’m not jealous, just curious.  Even though Abel won’t admit it, he does want to know stuff about Laura and still cares a little bit.

Why hasn’t Henry called?  Because I wouldn’t masturbate – no, he’s called since then.  I guess he’s just busy.

Is my phone ringing?

[Continued from "House Hunting (Part 4)."]

The Viking loves Starbucks.  Back in San Francisco he’d use the walk to the pet store as an excuse to stop at Starbucks.  For our short time in Chicago so far, the Viking’s been making Starbucks coffee in a Starbucks-purchased French press.  So it could be that the Starbucks being right across the street from the last building we looked at colored his opinion of the place.

Which is not to say the place was not nice, because it was.  It had all the things we wanted plus a half bathroom.  It also had exposed brick walls because it was in a building that had been converted from some sort of industrial or semi-industrial usage.

The last place also had something that none of the other places had: two floors.  The main level had most of the living space and the downstairs had a bedroom and bathroom.

The main floor’s entry hall had the half bathroom and side-by-side washer and dryer, something the owner’s agent was sure to point out.  The upstairs bedroom and accompanying bathroom were a good size, but “loft-style” the bedroom had no door and the bedroom’s walls did not extend all the way to the ceiling.  This was because the bedroom had no windows so that was the only way to get any natural light into the bedroom.  The old place in San Francisco didn’t have any bedroom windows either, so that was nothing new.

The main living space was … cozy.  The kitchen was well-appointed and nice and even included an island, something both the Viking and I like in a kitchen situation.  There was more of that exposed brick.  And then there was a room that could have been considered a large dining room, but not really a living room.  Because of the time of year, it was set up with a Christmas tree.  There was also a dining table and an overstuffed armless chair.  That was about it.

The downstairs, which was considered a bedroom for real estate purposes, the owner had used as a living room.  It was plenty big to hold a sectional couch, tv, ect.  It had a weirdly giant fireplace that took up a good portion of the room’s real estate, but that looked right as the room was being used; I thought it would have been odd to have such a monstrosity taking up so much of a bedroom.  Bonus on that room was that it’s windows, which were high because the room was below ground level, looked out to Starbucks across the street.

The Viking really liked the split living space, but I pointed out that using the downstairs room as a living room meant that we wouldn’t have a guest room, something that we agreed we wanted.

The Viking may have liked the place so much because it was furnished whereas all the other places we saw were empty or nearly empty.  The split-level place was fully furnished because the owner – a “party girl” according to her agent – was still living there, and though her agent didn’t say explicitly, it was obvious the place had been staged.  Staging, for those who haven’t had to deal with real estate bullshit, is placing items just so so potential residents can picture themselves in the space.

From what the owner’s agent said, the owner didn’t give a shit about Christmas, but the place still had a Christmas tree and decorations including a garland on the giant fireplace’s giant mantel.  There were no personal photos anywhere, and the picture frame on the bedroom’s dresser had no photo of any sort.  One of the staging requirements prohibits anything too personal sitting around in plain view.

The owner’s agent talked at length about the parking spaces that came with the unit.  This was something we had heard at every placed we looked, and at every place we looked the owners’ agents looked disappointed when we said we don’t have cars or even a car.  One of the reasons we chose to move to Chicago was the good public transportation since neither the Viking nor I have an interest in having a car.  But all the units came with heated parking, which I hear is something people in the Midwest need.

We had seen all the places our agent had for us, but she assured us that if we wanted to look at more she could arrange for it.  The Viking and I had some talking to do ….

I swear.  True story.

[Continued from "House Hunting (Part 3)."]

The real estate agent kept up a chatter telling about stores, restaurants, bars, and animal shelters in the various neighborhoods through which we were passing.  It was good to know but we didn’t know where the heck we’d end up so I didn’t bother letting the chatter register too, too much.  She told us the next two places were within two blocks of each other so we could park and walk, which was nice because her car’s heater was broken and overworking and I was feeling nauseous, which might have been a result of overdrinking the night before.

We parked and walked to the next apartment.  The building was next to a retired railroad crossing, which meant there was a sign up but no working tracks – a little odd.

The owner’s agent met us in the lobby and showed us to the fancy elevator.  I’m a simple girl so a fancy elevator is any non-hospital elevator that has two sets of doors; we walked in one side and were let out the other.  Whilst in the elevator the agent explained that the building was still under construction, that most of the units were sold, and that the owner of the unit we were to see was interested in a rental investment.  That was good news since some owners are interested in renters only as long as they can’t sell the place, and if they can sell the place the renters are out on their asses.

The unit was still under construction but the agent assured us it would be ready for occupancy by January 1st.  The kitchen – what we could see of it under the paper since it was being painted – was gorgeous.  I was big and open with a huge island.  The cabinets – which didn’t yet have any pulls – were many and of a gorgeous dark wood.  The appliance – there was only one because the others hadn’t yet been installed – was a five-burner Bosch cooktop that made the Viking’s panties wet.  The agent said all the appliances would be Bosch.  That made my panties wet.

The kitchen was open to the large living room and the den.  Between the living room and the den was a built-in room divider that had a space for a plasma television and any equipment one might need to accompany it.  On the den side of the room divider were book shelves and a glass-fronted cabinet.  Off the living room and den was a patio plenty large enough for a grill and an outdoor eating area.

Down the hall was a large laundry room – none of those stacked appliance in that room.  The Bosch washer and dryer in my San Francisco place is one of the things I’m really going to miss.  I wouldn’t need to miss ‘em if I got to use even better Bosch appliances.

The main bathroom was gorgeous.  The cabinets were the same finish as those in kitchen.  The tub was nice and deep; I could imagine nice relaxing baths I would have in such a deep tub.  I had really missed baths at my last place, where I lived for over seven years.

But it was when I saw the master bathroom that I really started fantasizing about things to do in a bathroom.  There was a spa bathtub – forget just soaking in a deep tub, I could soak with water jets in a deep tub.  My back would never hurt again.  There was a separate shower that had a pebble floor surface that our agent said feels like getting a foot massage every time you take a shower.  Add to that the rain shower head, the detachable shower head, and the multiple shower jets at various heights and that shower would be a place I spent a significant amount of time.  I would be all pruney and happy.  Detachable shower heads are a lot of fun.

It was gorgeous and new and I loved it.  The Viking liked it too, but he had some other considerations.  It was about a half a mile to the nearest El stop, which wasn’t very convenient for the Viking to walk twice a day considering the extreme weather conditions that can occur in Chicago.  Also, though a restaurant our agent called the best in the city was right across the street, there wasn’t much in the neighborhood other than single family homes and low-rise apartment buildings.  We wanted to be able to walk to things like we had been able in the Mission.

Because the next place was just two blocks away, I figured it, too, was ruled out because of location.  Then the Viking saw that right across the street was a Starbucks ….

I swear.  True story.

The Viking and I had everything squared away to register as domestic partners.  We filed change of address forms so both our common former address in San Francisco and our common current (if very short lived – we’re moving in less than a week) address in Chicago showed we had lived together for some time.  I had my passport, the Viking had his passport plus his Social Security card (since he’s a foreigner).  We had a welcome letter from the bank where we opened a joint checking account.  We had the form where we declared that we were “in a close and committed relationship of mutual financial and emotional support” among other things, like we weren’t related by blood.  The Viking even had the offer letter from his Chicago employer just in case us living in Chicago for a week wasn’t enough proof of our intent to stay in the city.

With our paperwork in hand – well, in the Viking’s murse (that’s a man purse) – we made our way to the Loop to the proper government building to register as domestic partners in Cook County, Illinois.  After some searching through the overheated concourse level we found the right room and got in line.  There was a same-sex couple being helped but otherwise there were no clerks at the counter.  There were a few clerks at their desks behind the counter, but they all seemed to be otherwise occupied … on their cell phones.

One such clerk got up with a visible sigh; it was obvious she did not want to do any work.  She trudged up to the counter with a flat, “Next.”  The Viking and I walked up to the counter with smiles and said we wanted to register as domestic partners.  The clerk with her darkly lined lips said, “Domestic partnership is only for same-sex couples.”  She looked bored.

I wanted to yell out, “Discrimination!” but I didn’t bother.

The Viking said, “It is?” and the clerk confirmed it.  We left the building and were actually glad to get outside where the temperature was in the teens.

The domestic partnership had been my idea, and it was my job to do the research to get it done.  I had apparently missed one very important requirement – that the Viking and I be the same sex.  I swore, though, that in my extensive research of the Cook County website had not uncovered that necessity.

The reason I had bothered with the domestic partnership tack was so the Viking could easily add me to his health insurance at his new job.  I had in the past been domestically partnered with a man, back in college with the man who would eventually become my husband.  We had done it so he could go to the university gym based on my affiliation with the university.  There is a possibility that the Ex and I are still considered domestic partners in the city of Berkeley.

When the Viking had been offered a job by a company that wanted to move him to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia there was an issue about moving me there on the company dime because he and I weren’t domestic partners, which is why I thought for the Chicago company it would be a good idea for the Viking and I to become official.

Officially together but certainly not married.  Neither the Viking nor I have any interest in marrying each other or anyone else.  We’ve both been married and know it’s not for us.  We both want to be with each other, and that’s enough.  Making a major move together is enough of a gesture for me, for sure.  I jokingly asked the Viking if he’d buy me a ring to symbolize our commitment and he assured me that he had no interest in doing so.  I like how practical he is.

I understand the logic of domestic partnership being open only available to same-sex couples since marriage is available to opposite-sex couples.  Us folks partnered with those of the opposite sex have an option that those partnered with those of the same sex do not, which I think is bullshit.  I think everyone should have the option to become officially entwined (and contractually obligated) in any way they choose.

But I still don’t want to get married.  Both the Viking and I are hoping that since his new employer was cool with moving me (and the animals) with him to Chicago without us being married that they’ll also be cool with insuring me without us being married.

So the Viking and I aren’t domestic partners.  Nonetheless we’re living domestically and we’re happy.

I swear.  True story.

My new favorite store, Binny’s, has a huge selection of beer, wine, and liquor of all sorts.  They also have cheese and a variety of mixers, meaning I won’t have a chance miss BevMo, which can only be found in California and Arizona.

Our (current) neighborhood Binny’s is well-stocked with everything a drinker of adult beverages might want, and some things that no one needs.  Case in point:  GIRL For Girls Only, which appears to be a sweet, fruity, pre-mixed drink.

I like my mixed drinks as simple as the next person (not girl) so when I make my own, and most of the time I order in bars, it’s vodka and soda.  Sometimes a squeeze of citrus for good measure, but very simple.  My home bar could consist of only two ingredients and I’d be happy.

I understand the appeal of a pre-mixed drink for those who don’t have a home bar, I do.  I have a feeling, though, that the pre-mixed drinks are meant not to drink in the home, but in the streets, cars, alleys, and sidewalks before going somewhere that overcharges for mixed drinks.  Hey, we’ve all been young and broke, and we’ve probably all done pre-drinking before going to a club that charges a cover and $10 or more per drink.  My friend Laura and I used to leave our empty bottles on the sidewalk so they could be collected by someone who would benefit from the redemption value.

What I do not understand are alcoholic drinks for men only or women only, and certainly not for girls only, since girls are, by definition, not adults.  Alcohol is an adult beverage, not for girls or boys, or underage transpeople.  GIRL For Girls Only screams “alcohol overdose” to me, someone who overdosed on alcohol as a girl of 14.

If I pretend for a moment that the drink is marketed to adult women drinkers, it’s still lame.  Booze is genderless, at least in English.  (I’m not sure what gender is placed on alcohol in the Romance languages.)  A search on Google, however, says otherwise.  Apparently there are drinks that are for the XX-chromosomed, and they’re fruity and sweet, and meant to get ‘em drunk (the no. 1 hit) so they’ll put out.  Disturbing to say the least.

A Japanese online retailer that carries GIRL For Girls Only notes that just like clothes, women like alcoholic drinks that are just for them.  We do?  Some of the translations are hilarious including the description which includes “lame girl pink sparkly.”  Lame girl indeed.  The product has apparently been featured in various women’s magazines all over the world, and may be a product of France.  I thought the French were less trashy, but then I’ve never been to France.

No, I will not be reviewing GIRL For Girls Only.  I hope the product fades into oblivion.  And now I will be having a vodka and soda.

I swear.  True story.

It’s Saturday, the ultimate Saturday in 2010.  I’ve heard the day has some significance but since it’s already a Saturday it can’t possibly be that it’s a work and school holiday.

Chicago seems much emptier than on an average Saturday but I know the trains are running because I can see them from our temporary apartment on the 33rd floor of a River North high rise.  I can also see a parking lot that is empty but for one snow-covered car.  It snowed last night so we could have a white … Saturday.

The parking lot being empty came in handy when I took Isis out.  I found out she loves the snow so I let her off leash and she frolicked around the parking lot.  When she gets out to a park – or parking lot, really anything with the word “park” in it – she runs around in a fashion that belies her ten and a half years of big dog life; she acts like a puppy.

This is a picture the Viking took of us in the parking lot.  The car is the largest dot on the right, I’m the medium dot at the top, and Isis is the small dot in the middle.  The photo is shitty because there wasn’t much light and the Viking doesn’t have a telephoto lens on his iPhone, which would have been necessary since it was taken from the 33rd floor.  I promise there are very cute little doggy prints in the snow.

So on this … Saturday the Viking and I have stayed in our comfy pants (when we didn’t have them off for the fucking), Isis got to play, and we watched some tv in the form of shows recorded on DVD and Online.  Overall, a very good day.

Merry … Saturday.

I swear.  True story.