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Give a tree, take a tree December 5, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Flyboy254 prompted me to write about “Christmas away from home.”

My whole family doesn’t get real sentimental about exact dates of holidays. One year we went to San Diego over the winter vacation, and got Christmas-day plane tickets because they were the cheapest. If people can’t meet up in December but we have a gathering in mid-January, then we’ll just save the presents and do Christmas in January. So that’s nice.

Here’s a photo from one of my first apartment Christmases:

Picked up the tree for free off of someone’s curb one January. It was the perfect size for a tiny apartment. Plus it came apart into pieces you could stuff in any box, and went back together super easily.

Now it’s been six months since I put it out on my own curb before leaving MA. Sure hope it got picked up by a new person who will appreciate it just as much.

Still have the tinsel and ornaments, though! My aunt doesn’t have a tree, so the ornaments are still boxed — but from where I’m sitting now, basically every direction has some tinsel draped over the most convenient surface.

(December talking meme.)

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All these places I’ve been December 3, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Nova wanted a post about the places I’ve lived! So here’s the executive summary. (Hopefully vagued-up enough to avoid identity theft.)

I was born in…

Wisconsin

…where my parents lived for the next three years. I don’t remember any of it, but I do blame its influence for the fact that I really, really like cheese.

Then Dad got a job in…

Maryland

Mom worked for a while too, but my understanding is that Dad’s job was the driving factor. He’s the one still working at the same place.

A couple of apartments, one of which I have the faintest memories of, then the house in the suburbs where my parents live to this day. Nothing too elaborate (if you remember the neighborhood from Desperate Housewives…yeah, all those houses are at least twice the size of ours), but nice and stable.

Lived there until…

College

Four years spent mostly in middle-of-nowhere rural MA. Interspersed with a semester abroad in the outskirts of Canterbury, New Zealand, which was great.

After graduation, a friend who was studying in Boston needed a housemate (shoutout to Katy), so I packed up all my stuff for good and moved to…

Massachusetts

Spent the next eight years going through a string of apartments, and housemates, and low-paying temp jobs, in the Boston area. (In the middle of this I went to grad school, though you wouldn’t know it from my employment history.)

For the most part I deeply enjoyed it! Met awesome people, followed cool opportunities, felt generally comfortable in the culture.

But the rents kept rising, while my income kept…not. Then 2016 happened, when my vote (among three million others) didn’t matter because of where I lived. And, you know. That sucked.

I considered moving back to Wisconsin. It’s a swing state, there would be a nice feeling of coming-full-circle about it, and I would get to personally vote against Paul Ryan. But then came offers of support from family members, which were pretty hard to turn down. Which is why now I’m in…

Ohio

As of this writing, still crashing at my aunt’s place. A planned short-term stay turned (by mutual agreement) into a medium-term stay. I’ve officially shifted into apartment-hunting mode, though! This post will be officially out-of-date by some time in January. (Barring any unforeseen complications. Knock wood.)

(December talking meme.)

*massive sigh of post-moving-to-Cleveland relief* May 31, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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I made it!

Staying at my aunt’s apartment in Cleveland, which is in a building tall enough that I can see Lake Erie from the window. All the boxes I shipped ahead of time have arrived — they make a surprisingly small pile in the corner of one room.

My parents showed up for the last few days in Boston, so everything I own that isn’t here is in the trunk of their car. Another couple trunkfuls of stuff went out on the front curb — books, dishes, still-half-full bottles of shampoo and body wash, lamps, fans, two entire cupboards’ worth of unbrewed tea.

All the furniture also went. For a while I was thinking about hiring movers for a few things, but finally decided to let it all go, including the couch I brought all the way from Baltimore and have been napping on since middle school. (It’s the one all the cats have sat on.)

The next-door neighbor complained about all this stuff being outside “when trash pickup isn’t even until next week.” Meanwhile, a regular stream of people came by and took things they wanted. (Guess what race/gender the neighbor was. Guess what race/gender most of the picker-uppers were not.)

My two housemates each cleaned their own rooms, but, for various reasons, made no effort to help with the kitchen or bathroom. (Or return rental equipment, or put general-house-use items on Craigslist, or…I could go on.) So, while Mom focused on helping me pack the last round of boxes, Dad basically scrubbed the whole apartment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them.

And then…at last…to the airport! It had one stop after Boston before continuing on to Cleveland — same plane, just a new flight number — but I guess the computer hadn’t figured that out, because I had to haul my stuff off, get my boarding pass re-scanned, then turn around and haul it right back on.

Didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before. Didn’t get any sleep on the plane, either. Every time I closed my eyes I saw half-packed boxes.

But now I have slept! And eaten. And restocked on conditioner/deodorant/etc from the local CVS. And programmed my webcomics to allow admin access from this IP address.

So far…so good. (Knock wood.)