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Most Normal Girl

Friday, September 30, 2005


I've been shot. In the left arm. Ouch.

Turns out that when you go to school, you have to make sure all of your immunization records are up-to-date. Fair enough. I handled all of that when I went to do my undergraduate work back in 1996. So, before I came out here, I had all of my records forwarded to me so that I could show my new school that I've been inoculated. (I love that word, inoculated. Inoculated. Inoculated. Inoculated. If you say it enough, it really starts to sound phunny. That's funny with a "ph".)

When I turned in these immunization records, the woman at the counter said that my Measles shot from when I was an infant was not noted on the record. Ummm... okay. She said that I would either have to call my provider to get the date sent to her office, or I would have to get another shot. Since you've already read the heading of this post, you know what happened. I didn't get the date (it's been lost in the system, somehow) and had to get the shot.

A lot of my friends that are in my Grad School program have had the same problem. Although, most of them are missing their Hepatitis shot while I was missing my Measles. We are a walking cohort of disease and plague. Sweet.

So now that I've been shot in the arm, I need to treat myself. (Because I was a big girl about it and didn't cry.) I didn't get a lollipop, so I figure I deserve something a little better. ...Where's the cheesecake?
Posted by Jessie_b :: 10:21 AM ::
Headline News

This post will offend some people. I advise you that if you are fond of freakish baseball enthusiasts, are conservative, are against anything drug-related, hate California, are from the mid-West, or like the smell of cat piss, you should stop reading now. If any of these subjects peaks your interest and you can read with an ounce of sense of humor, I encourage you to keep reading.

I've eluded to it before, but the news channels around here are weird.

Every single news hour begins with the update of the RedSox. I'm not kidding. The world could be coming to an end, but we first have to find out how the RedSox are doing... it's close, you know. Being a RedSox fan, I don't mind it so much - but the this type of behavior borders on lunacy. Even the weather guy tells us how the weather will be for the game. You know how they give the morning, noon, and night temperatures? Well, they always include the game temp (and whether or not fans will need to bring a jacket) along with the RedSox icon in the middle of the screen. It's crazy, I tell you.

Some of the news reports are weird too. Yesterday, for example, two stories caught my eye. One was a story of a big drug bust in town ($75,000 of pot was being grown at somebody's house). As usual, the news reporters interviewed the neighbors. One neighbor actually said something to the effect of, "I am just so shocked. I mean, this is something that you expect to hear about in California, but not here." Yes, that's right lady, we're all just a bunch of pot-heads who have nothing better to do than to grow, sell, and get high off our wacky tabacky. To make a point to the public that DRUGS ARE BAD, the police put caution tape up around the property and then invited members of the community in to take a look -- just to make an "example" (words they used) of the people that lived there and just how BAD DRUGS REALLY ARE. (They had left all the pot out in one of the rooms so that the people could see.)
Sidenote here: Does anyone else out there think this is asinine? I couldn't believe what I was watching/hearing... Time to grow up, folks. People in Massachusetts are P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

The second news story was about these two guys who lived in a house but who never cleaned up. The neighbors had complained so much that the Courts decided it was a public health hazard. Clean-up crews had been working all day in the house to remove the trash, 12 cats, urine-stained mattresses, dead rodents, and "scum" that had overtaken the property. The images that they showed were REALLY disgusting.

Yeah, I'll take the house of pot over the house of piss any day.

I'm trying to figure out what this state is all about, but I'm really having a hard time. If it weren't for all the college students and liberal-minded professors in this community, I would think that I was somewhere in the conservative mid-West (and we all know what a bunch of loons they are!). ...I just don't get it...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 10:18 AM ::

Thursday, September 29, 2005

My Elevator Just Yelled At Me

The last thing I want, when I come home, is to be yelled at. Especially since I live alone. But while coming up the elevator I met a nice woman and we got to chatting. Because we reached my floor first, I sort of lingered in the doorway while we finished the conversation. Until...


The noise scared the sh-- out of both of us. Needless to say, we quickly wrapped up.

Point to keep in mind: Don't piss off an elevator.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 2:34 PM ::

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Six Months... And Counting

Who would have thought that six months would come and go so quickly? Time sure does fly when you're having fun! And what fun it's been - sort of like a roller coaster ride that you never want to end. But not one of those rides that you throw up on or from... Getting sick is never fun... unless you're "love sick." And sometimes, love will do that to you... (or make you a little crazy). I think we're a little bit of both.

Happy Half-Year Anniversary, Blair!

Posted by Jessie_b :: 11:44 AM ::

Monday, September 26, 2005

Home Again

So... last Thursday, after classes, I decided that I really didn't want to spend the weekend here alone. Instead, I wanted to go home - to see Blair and hopefully to see my parents too! When I got to my apartment, around noon, I started searching airline flights.

And then I did it. I got a flight home for first thing Friday morning. Not having classes on Fridays or Mondays REALLY HELPS in times like these.

Blair picked me up Friday - less than 24 hours after I started researching flights. I spent the weekend just as I had wanted - with family and friends who I love and adore. It was HOME.

The best part of the weekend was the intangible moments that just make your heart fly. There were moments like that at every turn; and not just with Blair. It was with Andrew, Mike and Blair at the comedy club... It was with Robby and Melissa at Baker's Square... It was with Mom and Dad sitting around the dinner table... It was at the beach under a blanket of stars with the man I am completely in love with.

It's all of these things that I take with me nearly 3,000 miles away. They remain in my heart and bring to mind all the reasons why it was hard to leave, but also all the reasons why it is so important for me to be here. Once again, I'm reminded of just how lucky I am and what a good life it is. ...Even with all this homework that I still have to do...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 5:25 PM ::

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Things I've Noticed

Here is a list of things that I have observed or taken special note of, since living on the East Coast:

1. Toilet seat covers (you know, the paper ones) can ONLY be found in the airport. -It's completely changed my entire going-to-the-bathroom-routine.
2. Local headline news talks about issues such as a woman's cat being shot by a BB gun. This is a good thing - I got used to hearing about PEOPLE being shot at, in L.A.
3. Buses are anywhere between 5 minutes and 45 minutes late.
4. Nobody is ever in a hurry - they...go...especially...slow.
5. California is GLAMOROUS. I sort of always knew this - but, wow, people out here really have no idea how UNglamorous it really can be.
6. The streets are permanently bad - potholes, tree roots uprooting sidewalks, broken cement, cobblestone/brick streets where the cobblestones/bricks are missing... AND IT'S NOT EVEN BAD WEATHER, YET.
7. Cars have the right to run over you if you do not obey the cross-walk signal. That means, watch out!
8. Fast food restaurants are hard to find. Again, this is a good thing. Um, unless you like fast food... yeah...
9. Parking, anywhere, is expensive and hard to find. Not that I should care; I don't have a car.
10. One way streets are EVERYWHERE - which applies to bicycles, too.
11. Streets are not in a grid pattern -- no, no, they go around in circles sometimes. Just for fun, they even change their name along the way, too!
12. The leaves start to change color in mid-September. There is an anticipation in the air for the fall to come... It's palpable. And VERY exciting.
13. Cemeteries are at every turn. There are a lot of dead people over here - some of them even live next door!
14. All the grocery stores have different names. I had to sign up for rewards points for all new stores.
15. Things are just as expensive out here as they are out there. Which means, I'M BROKE.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 2:20 PM ::

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Baseball - The American Pasttime

Baseball, as long as I can remember, has been a part of my family. Generations of baseball and baseball history is in this family. My dad is a baseball enthusiast - Angels (whether they're from California, Anaheim, or Los Angeles) have always been his team. I remember, as a kid, playing ball with my dad. "Keep your eye on the ball," was one of those lessons I learned early in life.

It's only fitting, then, that I find a guy who loves baseball as much as our family. Maybe more. Not only does he have season tickets, not only does he play every Sunday (and Wednesday night softball), but he's also the guy who was instrumental in sending my dad to the World Series. Could he be anymore perfect?

Before I left to come this direction, I had bought my dad four tickets to the Angels vs. Red Sox game. My mom, dad, Blair, and I, all went to the game - it was one of those "last hoora" things that seemed to be prevalent before I left. Well, once Blair and I got here, the Angels were in town. THE ONLY THING Blair wanted to do that week was go to Fenway (and who wouldn't?). So, we ended up going twice (Angels won 1 of the 3 game series on the 2nd night we went). You can read more about this in a post from a few days ago. But I wanted to post a few photos from our night at Fenway.

Long live BASEBALL!
Posted by Jessie_b :: 4:24 PM ::
Drinking Buddies

I have a feeling I will be re-visiting my college experience in more than a few ways. Last night, a number of us went out to a local bar and DRANK, DRANK, DRANK. The only difference between drinking last night and drinking when I was an undergraduate student was that:

1. Everyone was passing around pictures of their significant others and/or kids.
2. Instead of talking about sex, drugs, and rock n' roll, we discussed trends in Higher Education and how that is affecting people. I'm serious. We talked about such issues for NO LESS than two hours -- and I LOVED IT. (These people are geeks about education, just like me!)
3. Instead of stumbling home, we all waited at the bar until we sobered up a bit and then I took the bus home.
4. As soon as I got home, I didn't pass out in a haze or spend the rest of the night praying to the porcelein Gods. Instead, I bought books online and poured myself a glass of wine.

So while the drinking may be the same (in fact, I am SURE that I'll be drinking more this year than I did in my entire four years of undergraduate experience) I am definitely different. The people that I am drinking with are different. I feel that this was just a preview of what is to come over these next few months.

Posted by Jessie_b :: 5:50 AM ::

Monday, September 12, 2005

And So It Begins

Today was my first day of Graduate School! WHOO HOO!

(This is me taking a bite out of an apple, metaphorically speaking)

It was a good first day. Even though I got out of my apartment late I got to school on time. I got to take my first bus to school - I never did as a kid, so this was kind of exciting. I met a guy named Carlos on the bus, who picked me out as being a newbie to the city in no time flat. He and his wife and two kids moved out here about a month ago from Portland. Even though he may be a little more experienced with the bus system, I have a feeling we will be commiserating together when the weather turns.

Speaking of which... It was frickin' HOT today. The last week was really nice and mostly comfortable, but today was just HOT. And windy. And muggy. It wasn't all that nice - but at least I was indoors most of the time and could avoid the HOTness.

So, I get to school, hear a few speakers, attend a few sessions on Financial Aid and Student Services, and then we have our lunch. We had been put into pre-assigned Orientation Groups, just to lunch with one another. Our "leader" was a doctoral student who gave us a few tips on things in the area, safety, resources, and other stuff that I sort of tuned out after a while. But the most interesting part of the lunch was meeting two other students from my cohort. We have already decided that we are going to go on a shopping excursion for winter clothes - YAY. I'm not one for shopping, but I have a feeling that THIS trip may be memorable; at least worthwhile.

Later in the day the entire cohort met together for the first time. We all went around and introduced ourselves. While the others were talking about who they are, where they come from, what they're all about, and blah, blah, blah, I couldn't help but feel that maybe I don't belong here. Every person that spoke was more impressive than the last. I literally felt like "the most normal girl" in a room full of exceptional people. If they don't speak three languages, then they've been working at the greatest job ever, for the most wonderful company/school, implementing policy and curing cancer while trekking the globe and raising three kids. And the next book will be released at the end of the month. And oh yes, my mistake, they don't speak three languages - IT'S FIVE.

The coolest thing about them, though, is that THEY REALLY ARE VERY COOL PEOPLE. They're nice, funny, LOUD, silly, personable and obviously smart. I like them all very much - and I'm looking forward to getting to know them as the year progresses.

As our first "event" together, we all went to a bar. Yeah, baby. A few of the alum students showed up to socialize with us and extend us some advice. It was going really well until a guy came over - who had sort of been "eyeing" me for a while. He introduced himself as David and proceeded to turn his attention to me. In front of everyone, he says "You're Jessica, right?" Now, at this point, I'm feeling a little nervous and TOTALLY confused. He continues to say that we met one another at a college fair and that we know each other. All of a sudden it hits me -- OH MY GOD I DATED HIM. Of course I did. Because I can't go 3000 miles away and NOT run into someone that I dated in L.A. ...DAMMIT. Anyway, it was only one date - which was NOT good - and we never spoke after that. Until now. DAMMIT.

So after the bar, I decided to head home. I found the bus station and knew which bus to pick up. So I waited. And waited. And waited. An hour passed and I was still there, waiting. I couldn't help but think (over and over and over again), if I had walked I could have been home by now. I finally found someone to ask what the hell was going on - and realized I had been standing at the wrong place. I had to go upstairs. OOPS. I caught the bus about 45 seconds later and was home within ten minutes.

And here I am; watching Monday Night Football, eating popcorn and drinking the left-over Coke Zero in the fridge. My apartment is still a mess - but it can wait. It's not like I have to clean-up for anyone. (COOL.)

Have a good night, everyone!
Posted by Jessie_b :: 7:01 PM ::

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hello Out There!

I'm waving at all of you from the other coast!!!

I'm no longer the single, twenty-something girl, living in Southern California. I'm now the twenty-something girl, who has the most fantastic boyfriend on the planet, living in Boston.

To all of my friends and family who frequent this site: THANKS! Thanks for all of your patience and understanding over these past few weeks. I'm so sorry that I didn't have a chance to spend more quality time with all of you - who knew that moving was so stressful? Why didn't anyone tell me? The support and kindness that all of you have shown me is truly overwhelming; thank you, thank you, thank you.

To all of you who are new to this site or visit every once in a while: HIYA! I recently moved to Boston (said like BAW-STON) to pursue graduate studies. I started this little site as an outlet to write about the daily happenings and observations of life - but it has since morphed into... well, I'll let you decide. Anyway, welcome.

I moved out here a little over a week ago. Taking a red eye flight, Blair and I arrived on Saturday morning. That day was soooo loooong. We caught a cab to my new apartment (an expensive fare, for only going a few miles), met the "Super" (Matt), walked about a mile to get breakfast, walked back, started unpacking, decided we would need a car for the week, went and got the car for the week (which is no small feat), ate, did a few errands (I needed SO MUCH STUFF), made a few trips up and down the elevator, did a lot of walking, and yadda, yadda, yadda. I know I'm forgetting a whole bunch of stuff here, but it's late and I've been crying a lot today.

A side note, here. We parked the car in a garage - we were going to Fenway Park, for the FIRST TIME - and we parked on the 3rd floor. Let me clarify: 3B. We took the stairs down, and as we were descending, I noticed some graffiti that I have become so familiar with living in Los Angeles the past twenty-something years. On level 2B (not to be confused with 2A), someone had written underneath 2B "OR NOT TO BE." How original. What cracks me up about this whole thing is that - in L.A., it's easy to come across graffiti that is unreadable, or makes absolutely no sense. But in Boston, where the concentration of schools of higher learning are more concentrated than Starbucks coffeehouses on the street corners in Seattle, graffiti is "smart" and readable. Oh, those witty college students.

The days following were a little more restful. We managed to find our way around to a few neighboring cities and locate the prominent places. I think we visited Target at least four times in four days... a place which Blair LOVES to go (she said with a sarcastic tone).

We also managed to take in two Red Sox vs. Angels games - which was AWESOME. What was even more AWESOME was when we got to the Thursday game two hours early, watched the teams warm-up, and Bud Black (pitching coach for the Angels) gave Blair a warm-up ball. I know -- totally awesome. Then we went and sat behind home plate, in the loge section. The awesomeness continued. Until both of us got headaches and we were in desperate need of drugs. But we stayed to watch the Angels win the game.

Even with all the running around, I think we both added five pounds to our mid-sections. It's definitely time to get back in shape. And what better way to start than to take up bicycling?

I took my first bike ride to my new home today, coming back from the airport. But I'll get to this in a minute.

I don't even want to begin to know what the total sum of my credit card charges was for the week. I spent soooo much money. It turns out, that, not only is moving stressful, but it is EXPENSIVE. Who knew? I bought a t.v., a DVD player, a bike, a bookshelf unit, a tool kit, a backpack, 26 pairs of underwear (I know I packed all of mine, but for the life of me, I can't find them in any of my luggage or the boxes I shipped), toiletries, a hand vacuum, a microwave, groceries, linens, towels, AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF. It adds up - and it adds up quickly! Plus, since we really didn't have a whole lot in the refrigerator, we ate out a lot - adding to the five pounds and thinning our wallets. G-R-E-A-T.

So today was the day that I was dreading. I knew it was coming, but still felt totally unprepared. Today Blair left and I was left alone. Saying good-bye to him was gut-wrenching. I did my best to keep some sort of composure, but once he was out of sight, I cried with everything I had inside me. It was my final good-bye. I found my way out of the airport, to the shuttle bus, to the blue line, to the green line, to the red line, to the parked bike we had dropped off earlier in the day, and ultimately, I found my way to my new home. Alone. I had to get off and walk a couple of times because my legs hurt, and well, because my eyes were too teary to see straight. When I walked through the front door all I could do was collapse. I was exhausted - physically and emotionally. I cried the hardest here - just because I could. But as soon as I was able to collect myself, I found pieces of "home" all over. I saw pictures of and cards from friends and family who are still near. I found little notes Blair had left for me, telling me he loves me. I found some sort of comfort in my new surroundings.

So here I am. It's a little past midnight and I'm waiting to hear from Blair - just to make sure he arrived safely in L.A. I may be a few thousand miles away from the LIFE I left behind, but I'm still the same girl - going through all the same-girl things that all twenty-something other girls go through. I'm going to be okay, when all is said and done. Part of the fun in this whole journey will be moments just like this - sitting in a living room, in an unfamiliar city, staying up late and wondering what new adventures I'll have tomorrow...

Goodnight, from Bean Town.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 12:12 AM ::