The people you meet on the road – part two


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My cab driver tells me he’s been in the states for 15 years. His family scattered when war came to his country. When he told me the year, I guessed he was Somali and was right. His face was gaunt and dark, impossibly high cheekbones and a great toothy smile he showed me in the rear view mirror.

He’s Muslim, he says, but no one religion is wrong if you seek God. He doesn’t drink or smoke. He is divorced, though, a softness in his tone lends to the shame he carries for such a thing.

He asks about my family. I tell him I don’t see my parents and why, he understands. He misses his family, but they are all in countries all over the world. He rattles them off with pride. Their ability to survive after the war is it’s own reward.

Soon, he says, he can qualify for citizenship. The pride in his voice when he tells me this is overwhelming. He left his country in war, settling in Minnesota of all places, then Boston three years ago.

His story is one I can’t put myself in, to flee in wartime, to find yourself anywhere but here, scratch out a life in a country that is full of people who hate you, a black Muslim refugee. Yet he loves us, he loves America in a way I never can. For, while I was born here, and know nothing else; he knows what’s out there and gets it. This is the best gig out there.

The people you meet on the road – part one


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Traveling alone, I befriend the hostess and waitress in an unassuming sushi restaurant near my hotel. The meal itself is beautiful. I sit alone to eat, so I am forced to overhear the cringeworthy pretentiousness spouted by some academics at the table behind me.

Taken off guard by the strength of the sake, the husband (I assume) mansplains to the (I assume) wife about how her recent unemployment is his opportunity. She chuffs slightly at this, but he is unfazed, going onto explain how specifically to he has the opportunity to “protect and provide” for her.

“Not in the patriarchal sense,” (ugh, they’re learning the lingo), but out of “love.” At this point, she is silent. She is no doubt trying to swallow the bitter pill of resignation to the fact that she’s in a moment of undesired dependence on this asshat. But also it would seem she’s grappling with the fact that she’s bound to this fucking moron who spent all of their meal monopolizing about the interdepartmental conflict at his university.

They’d order Fiji water and snap each time the busser comes by to top off with tap water. “This is Fiji!” He says with a tone which usually would be reserved for if this man had offered to top them off with urine. I paid my check and left shortly thereafter, not able to bear them a moment longer.

A thin line 


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It’s staggering how much the simple act of drawing a line across my eyelids makes me feel better about myself. When I have to leave the house for work, I hardly have time to do my makeup. I keep a fully stocked office, makeup, toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash, even a flat iron and curling iron. Usually mid-morning, after I get through my pressing emails and items that need my attention, I stop to do a little self-care.

My rituals are usually to put on some modest, yet professional eye make up, cover up some blemishes and smooth my hair out a little. All told, it takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on what I’m doing. The improvement in my mood is undeniable.

Yes, I recognize this seems vain, and probably is. For someone who grew up with practically no self esteem to speak of, to act in a way that only improves my own self image is foreign, and feels silly at times. However, I’ve read that this act of self-care is actually a vital part of recovering from depression. And, while it might be more comfortable for me to stay in pajamas and not shower or leave my bed for a week straight, I have to get out into the world and participate whether I like it or not. So my eyeliner had better be on point.

So this happened

I think I’ve posted before about the hispanic gentleman who sells flowers at this intersection on my way home. I never carry cash, so I can’t really help him out. But one time he broke off a flower and gave it to me while I was waiting. I didn’t have any money, but I did have an unopened gatorade, and considering the heat, thought he might want it.

Since then, there’s been a hispanic female working there with him, and the other day I saw a younger teenaged kid, likely relations or maybe his kid. I thought it was sad, but also nice that they’re able to sustain themselves somehow. Plus their selling flowers reduces the number of panhandlers I see. Then, one day I see this.

If you can’t tell from the image, the street sign is so mangled it’s almost ripped out of the cement. The plastic piece on the right is the front piece of a car, which either ran into the sign or was pushed there. No news on whether any pedestrians were hurt or killed, so I’m hoping they’re all okay. I haven’t seen them there since.

Expensive mistakes


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I leave for my annual conference next week and realized as I was adding it to the calendar that I had marked an extra day. Huh, I thought to myself, that doesn’t seem right. I check my flight reservation, confirming yeah, I did book myself there a day earlier than needed.


So, I had to change the flight, costing me an additional $200 I didn’t really have or afford to spend. Turns out, this isn’t something my job will reimburse me for either, so I must eat this expense myself.

I have to cancel my haircut and massage (I know, first world problems, feel sorry for me), to cover this cost before I leave since the hotel will use up my entire credit card limit while I’m at conference. Maybe next year I can just dial in instead.

This is (not) Halloween


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I’d been suspecting for a few days leading up to Halloween that my son might not be feeling the whole ‘wear a costume and go to random people’s houses to ask for candy’ deal. Although I tried to remain optimistic, buying him several options for dress up play, he strongly resisted. I sent a costume with him to school that Friday, but he refused to wear it.

I try not to put too much pressure on him, especially for things he can’t possibly wrap his mind around at this age. So, I asked him once more that morning, if he wanted to go trick or treating, or get candy, in costume. His response was definitive: no.

So, what do you do on Halloween if you’re not going to do the traditional stuff? Well, luckily for us the weather wasn’t awful. We spent the morning at the children’s museum, and then headed over to the botanical gardens for a light show I’d been meaning to see. It wasn’t the ideal way to spend the day, but we still had a pretty good time.



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