The Scamp and Beantown: Day 1

Only this girl would book a trip to Boston during the worst snowstorm the city has ever seen. Eight feet of snow is no joke. I took a red eye, and landed at 8 in the morning, and after an hour subway ride, and a ten minute walk in the ice and snow, I made it to the hostel that would serve as home for a few days. I was so tired by the time I got to Boston that I didn’t even notice the cold.

This was my first hostel experience, and I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into. I have a lot of friends who stay in hostels, and very few of them have horror stories, but when I got to the 40Berkeley, I was happy that it was in a safe neighborhood, and was reasonably clean.  The room reminded me of the dorm I lived in in Scotland (well, a less clean version) complete with the shared bathroom and uncomfortable cot bed. I was scared that the extreme cold weather would make the room extremely cold, but when I settled in,, the room was a tropical paradise. I was sweating in five minutes, and when the mysteries of the radiator knobs alluded me, I actually opened a window.

It was snowing….

The neighborhood streets had been plowed, and small paths had been cleared on the sidewalks, but it was still hard to get an idea of what anything looked like.

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By the time Sus arrived, it was late afternoon, and both of us were too tired to any real exploring. I knew that I could be in Boston without going to Cheers, so we walked through the Boston Commons, and had a bite where everybody knows your name.

The Boston Commons may be beautiful, but all I saw was 8 feet of snow.

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Chicken II made his first trip out and about, and he enjoyed Cheers.

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In the dark, with snow flurries and jet lag, I was worried that I would not enjoy my trip. I punctuate my life by the adventures that I take, and I was worried that if I did not enjoy the trip, then my mood would not improve.

Then I remembered the gratitude challenge. The challenge for this week was how I am feeling 9 weeks in. While I was worried I would not have fun, I was grateful to be out of California for a few days, and for the chance to experience the snow and Beantown.

I’m really not sure how I feel yet at this stage of the challenge. There are days when I feel like I am becoming a more grateful person, and that I am being reminded of all of the good I am surrounded by, and then there are the days when I feel like running over everyone I come in contact with. I’m hoping as the weeks go by, I will hold onto the positive feelings and become a more grateful person.

The Gratitude Challenge Week 7 and 8

I’m way behind, and a bit lazy, so I am doing two weeks at once.

Week 7 is all about one friend who I am grateful for while week 8 was all about expressing gratitude to three people.

7 is a no brainer. The woman who I am highlighting this week is Toni. We met while working for the University of San Diego. We bonded over filing and mocking law students, and our friendship is based on snark, sarcasm, and squirrels. When she finally met her soulmate, she allowed me to be the officiant.


When I need a cute kid fix, she sends me pictures of my meow


When I was terrified about walking into a meeting at Cal State Fullerton alone, she drove over 100 miles to come to the meeting and act as my council (knowing a lawyer is really handy). When my legal issues reach beyond her expertise, she hunted down a lawyer who was best suited to give me advice. There really are not enough words to express how grateful I am for her friendship.  I’m waiting for the day I can repay her for her kindness.

As for week 8, this was a hard one. I’m not very good at asking for help, and I am even worse at thanking people when they do help me. I have been a bit socially awkward lately in order to avoid having to explain what happened with CSUF, so my attempts to express my gratitude have been almost painful.

The first person I expressed my gratitude to was my therapist. My sessions with her have come to an end. Obamacare does not think that mental health is important, so I have to find low cost options to get help with my depression. The city of Brea offers a service, and I was matched with a great therapist. She really helped me cope with all of the nasty things that went on in the program, and helped me deal with the fallout of being asked to leave. Had it not been for her, the program really would have broken me. Unfortunately, I am only given a certain number of sessions, and now have to hunt for another manageable program.

The second person I expressed my gratitude to was a difficult one. When I visit my doc every few months, I have to give lots of blood and pee in a cup. Having gone through this procedure often enough, I know how much water I need to drink and when to be able to handle that, and I know that the veins in my right arm are better than the ones in my left. I also know which of the nurses has a light touch, and which one can never seem to find the vein. This week, I got Nurse Ratchet. She insisted on using my left arm, and when she jabbed the needle into my arm and missed the vein, I was none too pleased. I was ready to be mean, but instead decided to thank her and tell her how grateful I was that she was able to get my blood drawn quickly. She told I must have a low tolerance for pain, and then told me how to pee in the cup properly, I feel that my gratitude was somewhat wasted on her, but I did appreciate the lesson on how to pee in a cup (turns out I have been doing it wrong for years! Who knew?).

The third person who got a little of my gratitude this week was actually more than one person. My freshman level writing course were really good sports this week. I’m a big believer of technology, and the day I need to show a video and go over some grammar issues, the light in the projector blows up. My students did not complain and settled into hearing me discuss the lectures old school style. They actually took notes, asked questions, and did the writing assignment assigned to them. I don’t know if they are actually good people, or they knew that I did not want to be trifled with, but either way, I told them I was grateful that they kept their thoughts about the class to themselves.

Now that that is out of the way I can focus on my upcoming trip to Boston. It is snowmaggedon there, so it should be an interesting few days. I don’t think I will be seeing as many sites as I thought I would, but I am still going to try and get to Harvard Square and the Boston Commons. I may even go the bar where everybody knows your name.