Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Natural Disasters


Apparently JJ and I brought with us an earthquake and a hurricane. I'm scared of what winter will be like.

Thankfully, the earthquake was so slight in Boston that I napped right through it. Huzzah!

The hotel and the media got us all freaked out about Irene. We hunkered down in our hotel room all day Sunday, filled our bathtub up with water, made sure our flashlights were readily available, and stocked up on non-perishable food items. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited. And what do you know, all we got was a little wind and some splashies. We are very thankful...I know that the hurricane was really horrible for some people. As for us, I think the Arizona monsoon was much worse...especially with the poor drainage system in Tucson.

I still can't find the camera-computer-connecty-thingamabob. Something tells me we packed it in one of our "miscellaneous" boxes. Which basically means we will never, ever find it again. ::heavy sigh::

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Apartment!

This past weekend, JJ and I ventured into Beantown to walk the Freedom Trail, take the T, and eat good pizza. I took tons of pictures. I had every intention of posting those pictures today, but I can't seem to find the linky thingy for the camera to computer, so I guess that TOTALLY AWESOME POST will just have to wait.

But you know, we did tons of other cool stuff this weekend. Namely, WE FOUND AN APARTMENT! Huzzah!

Let me preface this by saying JJ and I did a ton of freaking research on Boston suburbs before we got here. JJ is working in Burlington (which is just north of Boston), so it wasn't necessary for us to have a Boston address. However, for some unknown reason, Burlington is very, very expensive. I don't really know why. There's no good public transit system here, and it just seems to be chalk-full of freeway intersections and big corporations. The only recreation here is their very expensive designer mall. And the Dunkin' Donuts. Which, by the way, totally owns Massachusetts. There is literally one on every corner...they are more abundant than Starbucks in Arizona. (There were even two separate DD franchises in one train station!) These people really love their donuts. I have lovingly started referring to it as "Dunkies," but only in private, because JJ thinks the Massachusans will jump me if they hear me call it that.

Anyway, back to the apartment hunt. We had narrowed down our choices to Lowell, Billerica, and Bedford. Lowell apparently used to be a very industrial area, but now they have converted many of the old mills along the Merrimack River into funky loft apartments. Well, last Friday we took a drive up to Lowell (about 20 minutes north of Burlington, all on the freeway), and looked at two places that we had researched online. And you know, we both really though there would be more indecision. More, "Oh, I like this place better, but I don't want to give my first born child just to have exposed brick and a washer and dryer in the unit." More, "Oh, this place is cheap, but we'll probably spend the winter months fighting off hoards of rats because the only available unit is in the basement" sort of thing. But no.

We walked into Massachusetts Mills, the CHEAPEST (while still not a shit-hole) place we could find, to find out they had one apartment. And it so happens to be a two-bedroom, two-bath corner unit on the top floor, with huge vaulted ceilings, tons of windows, and a view of the river. It was currently getting new paint and carpet when we saw it, so we weren't allowed to take pictures (the lady wasn't even supposed to show us the unit), but we both instantly fell in love. And it was well under our budget. That was it! We were sold. Our lease starts on Sept. 1st.

In other news, we are looking at buying a couch, because right now we have nothing to sit on except JJ's Very Unconfortable Bean Bag Chair (the VUBB.)  We have sat on a lot of couches since we got here, and have discovered we are both very picky. JJ is weird about fabric, and I am weird about the squishy-ness factor. We both love this one from Crate & Barrel:

You have no idea how comfy this couch is. ::sigh::

Okay, I promise to get pictures up soon-ish. As soon as I find that camera-computer-connecty-thingy, that is.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Getting to Boston

So much has happened in the past few days! For now, I think I'll write about our travel to Boston and our first night on the East Coast.

JJ and I both love airports. Maybe it's because of the people watching? How important you feel dragging a suitcase along behind you? Feeling like you are going on vacation? For whatever reason, we both love airports a lot. Except for the TSA. That part, not so great.

I always stress about getting my laptop, shoes, liquids, and keys off of me fast enough to pile them in the little bins and push them through the scanner fast enough for the long line of people behind me. Inevitably, no matter how much you prepare, you always accidentally wind up putting your shoes (which should be alone) and your laptop (which should be alone) in together in the same bin, and then the TSA looks at you like you are a complete idiot. LIKE LAPTOPS AND SHOES ARE NEVER ALLOWED TO INTERMINGLE, EVER. 

Well, now the Sky Harbor Airport has incorporated one more unpleasant aspect to the whole security checkpoint nightmare. Yes, sirs and ladies, I introduce to you the full-body scan.

Or as I like to call it, the nakey-scanner.

And you betcha, this Thursday when we flew out, I got picked! See, the thing that annoys me is they don't even tell you what they are doing. Here I am, walking along, following instructions, and soon I'm in this photobooth thingy with my hands above my head. I share a knowing look with the TSA lady at this point. And I'm thinking, "I bet they are looking at me naked right now." But by then, IT'S TOO LATE. I already feel like cattle. Apparently, you can opt out of the nakey-scan, but typically they do a very vigorous pat-down to those people. So, now you have two choices: let a total stranger oogle your goodies, or be touched inappropriately. It's a lose-lose situation. Heavy sigh. 

Other than that, the flight was pretty uneventful (which is exactly what you'd hope for a plane ride). We got to Boston around 5 pm and got to the hotel, when I get a phone call from the car transport guy (you remember, Mr. Crazy), saying he will be in Burlington in 40 minutes. We have two thoughts about this:

1) HOOORAY! The car will be here, Mr. Crazy didn't sell it for scrap metal!
2) OHMYGOD we have to get to the Burlington Mall (predetermined drop-off point) RIGHT NOW. 

We find out the hourly shuttle is leaving in ten minutes. We run up to the room, throw (literally, throw) down our stuff and run back down the stairs to make it on the shuttle. Once we got to the mall, we had 20 minutes or so to burn, so we decided to walk around a little, do some window shopping.

Fast forward 90 minutes. Mr. Crazy is now saying he is "7 miles away" and he should be here in 10 minutes. By this point, we are literally both ravenous. We have not eaten in a little over 10 hours. We are no longer interested in looking at couches, or winter jackets, or anything else we might need for our life here on the East Coast. All the stores we walk into are somehow related to food.

In another 30 minutes, Mr. Crazy gets to the the mall, gives us our car, and lets us know, "Ohh, by tha way, you ty-ah...ez flat. No go. See, maybeh you go to Sears and they pump for you." That's genius! We are right next to a Sears Auto Center! Fantastic! Except, it closed fifteen minutes ago. Thank you, Mr. Crazy. 

We are both a little worried about the tires (it's actually not one flat tire, it's all four), we google for a nearby gas station or tire company. At this point JJ is pretty sure the rear tires will both need to be replaced. Unfortunately, we weren't able to find anything that was still open and the hotel is not even a quater of a mile away, so we just decided to deal with it in the morning and go eat.

And we did, and it was delicious, except for you know, the part where we saw mice scuttling across the floor in the dining room and the manager really didn't seem to care too much. But that's another story, another day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Car troubles

Okay, so JJ's company has offered to reimburse us for some moving expenses. Due to the incredible amount of time that JJ's thesis revisions are taking, we decided to have the car transported to Boston, instead of driving there ourselves. The guy came to pick up the car last night.

Basically, it goes down like this:

::telephone rings at about 3 pm::
Guy: Allo, Leendsee? Leendsee LoHON?
Me: Um, no, I'm not Lindsay Lohan. Who's calling?
Guy: Eet's me, Ahm comin' to peek up your carr tonight. Maybe, ah, 2 or 3 hours I be in Tucson. Den, ah, 2 ah-ther deleeveries, then Ah come to peek your carr.
Me: Um, okay. Just call.

You may have noticed, but this guy is VERY HARD TO UNDERSTAND. I have no idea what his name is or his nationality, all I know is some strange man in an 18-wheeler is coming to pick up the car in a few hours. This is good news right? Meaning, if he picks it up tonight, I won't have to wait around all day tomorrow. **

So, the guy calls again...at 11:30 at night. Seriously, why is he working this late? He calls to tell me that he is parked somewhere near our apartment (I couldn't understand the exact location), but I catch that he is somewhere near a "Zone-A Re-store-ANT," which I know is pretty close, so I figured we couldn't miss the guy.

We drive down, look around for the guy, can't find him and then...we see it.

Yes, sirs and ladies, the man with the indescribable accent has parked his 18 wheeler in the middle of River road like it his own personal parking lot. ::heavy sigh::

We finally got the car on the truck, the guy makes some veiled threats about how he will kill us if we say the car has been damaged and it wasn't, and then he tells us that the car is going to be there in "maybe, ah, 5 days." Now, sirs and ladies, this is WAYYYYY before we were told it would get there. We aren't even flying out until next Thursday. So he says he'll just leave it in a parking lot or something. I heavily suspect this guy is engaging in some illegal driving hours (meaning he is working much longer days than he should). However, at 11:30 on a Thursday night with the movers coming on Tuesday, what could we do but let him take the car? He may be batshit insane, but at least he seemed sort of nice, right?

Well, if worse comes to worse, I guess JJ and I can just buy bicycles. Right?

**Car transportation is apparently a very scammy business. Most of the companies are brokers; they give you an estimate and after you sign an agreement they post the car and a dollar amount on a bulletin for available drivers to pick up. The broker then takes a cut. Oftentimes you don't even get the contact information for the driver or have any idea when they are coming (they gave us a two-day window). You can get away from this brokerage thing if you are willing to pay the big bucks....but, we're not.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Future Fur-Kids

Okay, so even though JJ and I should really be packing right now, we are both exhausted! He has been working non-stop on his thesis revisions, and I have been in the middle of back-to-school immunization clinics at the county. It seems like we both get home and are too tired to do anything besides heat up dinner and crash.


We decided a while ago that our wedding gifts to each other would be a kitten and a puppy, once we got settled into a new home and we were both out of school. Well, now that we are moving to Boston (away from most everyone we know), we decided to perk ourselves up by researching our future fur-kids!

JJ's family is very partial to maltese doggies, and for good reason. They are small, don't shed or bark much, are very loyal, loving, and smart. Plus they are very cute! Look:

I, however, am one that firmly believes that the cuteness of a doggy depends on their height-to-length ratio. JJ and I argue about this a lot, but I really believe that the shorter a dog's legs are, the cuter they are. Case in point: 
Mini dachshunds (or DASH-hounds, as JJ calls them)

Corgi puppy.....OMG SO CUTE

So we thought we'd start looking for some sort of Maltese mix. And look at what we have stumbled upon:

Maltese/ Corgi mix

Maltese/ poodle mix

So anyway....we are really excited to get a puppy when we get to Boston.

But anyone who knows me knows I am way more excited to get MY VERY OWN KITTY. The thing I want most in a cat is a) for it to allow me to pick it up whenever I want to and b) for it to give to me undying affection. Now I know this is really a pipe dream, because most cats are very snooty, but that's why when people ask me what kind of kitty I want I usually tell them I want a cat who is either too fat or crippled to run away from me. I know, I know. That makes me a little crazy. Can I help it if I just love kitties more than anything?

Well, determined to make me happy, JJ did some research. Apparently there is a kind of kitty that is bred to be so dependent on humans that it literally does not have a defensive reflex. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the ragdoll: 

They are everything I have ever dreamed of in a kitty! Now I can't stop watching videos of cute ragdoll kittens like this 

I'm so excited to get my own. JJ and I have even tossed around some names for our future pets: Opie and Q (because my initials are LMN), Captain Hook and Smee, Chairman Meow and Kim Dog Il (or Fido Castro). What do you think?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Welcome to our blog!

Since JJ and I are moving nearly 3,000 miles away, we decided (well, I decided) it would be fun to make a blog about our new Boston adventure!

JJ found out he passed his thesis defense last Wednesday, and we figured out we are moving on the 18th of August so he could take a job with Exa Corporation. I would include pictures of our packing process but, well...

Anyway, we are very excited for this great new phase in our lives!