Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I shouldn't get too explicit about this here, but: as of the end of this week, I will have made my year. One full year on the street. I've seen five people die, been assaulted three times, and crashed twice. I've gotten a lot of free food and made a lot of new friends. I've learned far, far more about my city, its places and its people, than I ever knew before.

It's changed me. Some. On one level, I'm physically stronger, mentally quicker, emotionally stabler than I ever was before, and I've gained reams of knowledge and miles of perspective. But most of the time I'm the same goofy slutty childish asshole I was going in.

I'll have to move soon. I haven't really thought this through as much as I should have, but I've gotten about as far as I can go on this career track in this area. It's been fun, I like this city, but I can't stay in this job forever, it's entry-level and I'm getting about ready to advance. I don't know--at all--where I'll be going. Boston? Any new city will be a shock, it'll take a lot of money and work and time just to get back to the standard of living I have now, but at least I know a few people in Boston and I've got some history there. Anywhere else I'd just be throwing darts at a map.

This is hardly a declaration that I'm moving to Boston. If I do it'll be months from now and I might not at all. I might move to Spokane. Or Anchorage. Or, fuck, I don't know, Albuquerque. I hear Albuquerque's nice. Don't know anyone there, but I only know two or three people in the other places so it's a pretty close running.

Right now I don't have to decide yet. What I do have to do now is exercise and study and save money. I can't live like I'm done growing, because I'm not. I'm getting ready for something better. I have to make myself better.

Man. I'm tired just thinking about this. It's been crazy. It's going to be crazier.


  1. Think twice about Boston. I love, love, love New England. Boston is its own special world, what with democratic machine politics, high taxes, and a tremendous amount of nanny state bullshit. OK, the scenery is great, and the food is good. But really, if you're looking for that, consider Maine. Similar scenery, similar food, the cost of living is much, much less, and the people are in fact, sane.

    If you want some leads on the state, e-mail me, I might be able to help you, I lived there for years. And it's at least accessible to Boston.

  2. William - Yeah, but one of my gripes with my current lifestyle is that I don't live in Seattle; I live in Boonietown about a half hour from Seattle. I feel like I'm too young to live in the boonies--this would be a nice place to raise a family, but when you're single and poor it's kind of isolating. I really want to live in a city.

    I know Boston politics are balls, but Boston social life seems like something I want to be a part of.

  3. Another thing is that Boston has very restrictive firearms laws.

  4. What do you mean by living on the street? I thought you lived in an apartment with a roommate.

    Also, how certain are you that there are no jobs you want where you are now?

  5. Boston is interesting. I hate it, but it's interesting. Might end up there for grad work anyway, there's a lot going on.
    I live in salt lake now, previously DC. Can't say I suggest either; at least, not if Boston sounds appealing. SLC is kind of sparse. It's pretty big, there is enough to do, but not condensed/centeralized like Boston or DC or SF. I'm out here in large part to climb, hike, and photograph. Not in that order.
    DC is filled with tourists, politicians, and lawyers. And interns during the summer (worst of the bunch). I love parts of it, especially at night (though really I shouldn't have been out alone at night as much as I was), but the governing bits, and all the support for that function, is vile.
    Admittedly, it appears we have significantly different taste, but if I were looking for a city with a climate more on the boston than el paso end of the spectrum, I'd look hard at Minneapolis, Portland (if staying close doesn't hurt), or maybe Denver.

    Or, on the crazier end of the spectrum, go expat for a year or five, before you have too much keeping you. No idea where, I've just been thinking about it for myself, and figured that if you hadn't considered it, it can't hurt to.

  6. GreenEarth - Working on the street (and not like that, geez), not living! If I had done everything on this blog while homeless, that would be... impressive.

  7. Come to Boston. We have puppies, cupcakes, and other amenities. :)

  8. If you pick Boston, give either me or LabRat a ping. I'd be interested in picking up your T9 since I'm pretty sure Boston classifies those in the same category as nerve gas and plutonium. I don't know about the rifles, but if they're verboten as well, I do like the looks of your marlin, too...

  9. I don't want you to underestimate the value of a social net, but I hated Boston. It seems to be a particularly awful city in which to be poor, and its suburbs suck.

    Denver might be a very good fit for you, with the outdoorsy folk, the gun-totin' folk, and a lot of perverts who moved there to escape their redneck mountain towns.

    For purely selfish reasons, though, I think you should move to Vegas. Oh, the stories you would have . . . .

  10. Stingray - I just read on the laws and it sounds like I can keep all my guns. Although to be honest I don't get that much use out of the Marlin so I might be persuaded to sell that anyway when I if you've got an offer.

    Bruno - I wouldn't live in the suburbs, I'd want to live actually in the city. As for your warning, and everyone else's... la la la I can't hear you? Boston is pretty! It has a lot of colleges! And it's old and stuff!

    Most importantly to me, it isn't fucking sprawled the way Seattle is--Seattle has a tiny downtown that no one lives in, a couple cool neighborhoods no one can afford, and everywhere else is twenty miles of strip malls. Living among the strip malls, where no one is on the sidewalk after 7 PM and there's zero sense of community, is what I'm trying to get away from.

    Anyway, anyone who recommends Vegas as a place to live automatically loses serious credibility points. It's awesome to visit, but I understand that the parts people actually live in are... less awesome.

  11. On a different subject, you say that in the past year you've "crashed twice"; is that typical for a new ambulance driver?

  12. One wasn't my fault and the other was minor. One fuckup ($0 damage) in a year of 50-hour weeks of constant driving ain't bad.

  13. Holly,

    You're good to *own* the Kahr, you just can't buy another one.

    Also, if you have any magazines with capacity > 10 rounds, they have to have been made prior to September 1994, else they're illegal.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any other MA-firearms related questions, BTW.

  14. Also, *the* place for MA firearm laws info is the forum at If you end up here, you'll have to come to Jay's next bloggershoot.

  15. Albuquerque is all right, but it gets pretty damned hot in the summer.