Personal

My 'hood

I have been thinking a lot about where I live, and the kind of place it is, and how it is so completely different than anywhere else I've ever lived before. I live in Fruitvale. It is a neighborhood in Oakland that is incredibly diverse, although by far the largest population here is Latino.
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Unpacking and settling in

I hate unpacking. Of course, I hate packing too, and I think packing is worse. But unpacking is a pain, too. I'm finally settled in my new place, have all of the stuff out of the garage where it's been stored for a few weeks, and am now faced with a mound of boxes. It's at this stage that I want to become someone who has almost no stuff. I think fondly back in the days (college) when I could fit everything I owned into the trunk of my parent's car. What's funny is that I own a lot less stuff than I did in early 2005, before I ditched most of it, and went to seminary.
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My move to the big city

I've been in the Bay Area now for 2 weeks, exactly. It's been enlightening, broadening, frustrating, triggering, happy, sad, giddy, and scary experience. Finding a place to live has been one of the most difficult experiences I've been through lately. A lot of that is the varied parts of me that feel drawn to different things. I've been mostly looking at studios and one bedroom apartments in Oakland, Berkeley, and surroundings. I toyed with living in SF, although it feels much more costly.
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"Home", sweet "home"

I made it to Oakland last night, after a long, crazy day driving from Blackfoot Idaho, to Oakland. On Tuesday, I'd driven through Yellowstone, which was quite wonderful. But I was getting tired, and cranky, and realizing that I was ready to be done already with this road trip, so I got up early, and drove long. I gained an hour along the way, which helped me get here just in time for dinner. I'm a bit disoriented, and not quite sure which end us up.
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Big Sky, and The End of Food

I am now west of the Mississippi, in a small town called Windom, Minnesota. One of the things that happened between Indiana and Minnesota is that the landscape changed dramatically. The landscape in eastern Indiana is flatter, and with some fewer trees than the landscape of New York state and New England, but it doesn't really have the big sky.
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My tribe(s)

I have lived most of my adult life in comfortable, progressive enclaves (Cleveland Heights, OH, Western MA, Bay Area, CA - the one exception was Fort Collins, CO,) I have gotten really used to having people around me who feel like, for want of a better phrase, part of my tribe. Of course, my tribe is really more than one tribe. There is the GLBT tribe. The progressive religious tribe. There is the geek tribe. The crunchy-granola tribe. The academic tribe.
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Journeys

I'm sitting in upstate NY - a town called Apalachin, in a part of NY I've never been. It's the southern part, just above the PA border. It's funny, I've driven across the state on RT 90, probably a dozen times or more, but this time, I decided to try something a little different. It's an interesting part of NY state - very wooded and rural, but not touristy/resort rural, more like industrial rural. Binghamton, which I thought of as a college town, looks more like a working town.
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Three days and counting ...

I'm taking a little break from filling boxes and taking down pictures and wrapping delicate things in newspaper to watch the DNC convention via streaming video (since I don't have a TV.) In three days, a truck is going to come, and take all of my stuff away, to go to California. The next day, I drop Ruth off at the airport, and embark on my solo journey across country. I'm really looking forward to the trip. I'm thinking of it as part retreat, part vision quest, part liminal experience. It's a good thing I love to drive (Ruth doesn't).
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Two weeks and counting...

On August 28th, a truck will come and take all of my stuff away, to go to California. It seems unreal, somehow, that it will happen quite so soon. But the date is approaching at a rapid pace. I'm in my standard "moving is chaos" challenging place. I get restless, have insomnia, and indigestion, among other things. It's stressful to move, and it's hard for me to feel grounded and at peace with all of it going on, even though it's all really under control. For me, this emotional state is familiar, having moved so much in the last few years.
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Leave Taking

In a month or so (August 31st to be exact) I have to be out of our house, because we found a renter for September 1 (actually, one of my present housemates is going to take over, and get more housemates - and he already found a bunch.) I'm quite thankful for that, because the housing market is so bad, that for the two months our house was on the market, no one even came to look at it.  Yes, Virginia, the housing market around here is that bad. Our realtor said that basically nothing listed for more than $200K was selling. Sigh. So ...
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