Monday, 27 July 2009

Settling In

I can't believe I've only posted once in July. I've been terrible about reading, too, though I'm trying.

Part of the reason I've been internet-absent is that I don't have internet at home anymore, at least in a reliable way. We don't have a television. Our old cable internet company want to charge us *more* for just internet than for television plus internet. I understand giving a discount if you buy more than one product, but charging less for the whole package than any component part? And it's not peanuts: they wanted over $60/month for internet. And the kicker: they wanted a $100 installation fee, too. Which they only charged for internet-only customers. If you got internet plus television, you could self-install. Because installing two things is easier than one? Because internet-only customers are clearly idiots? Ugh. Sorry for the rant. Anyway, I can walk to one of our local coffee shops most days, and get a coffee and free wireless, and not only do I still come out ahead financially, I get good coffee, too, and exercise! But not quite so much unlimited internet-surfing time in my life.

Then, too, life has been busy this month. I submitted the all-but-final draft of my dissertation to my committee. Defense is scheduled for late August. Now I'm working on preparing for my fall job and writing an article. Should be doing that now, in fact, but I wanted to holla to all of you first.

I truly love the new place where we're living. The apartment, the street, the neighborhood, all of it. We took the subway over toward our old neighborhood a few weeks ago and when we changed lines to our old subway line, I immediately started attracting hostile stares. A surprisingly stark reminder of how much less friendly the old area was.

A brief undeveloped thought on that: the old neighborhood was also much whiter and on average a good deal wealthier. This business that, as a movement, the queers are fine with the middle- and upper-middle-class East Coast whites but we struggle with people of color? I think it's a lot more complicated than that. I think even within the so-called 'liberal establishment' there are lots of white people with a lot more homophobia and transphobia than they'd necessarily admit.

I don't know, I don't want to theorize and over-generalize. But the shift has been striking. And while my white middle-class liberal family looks slightly alarmed at the racial mix of my new neighborhood, I put up with a whole lot less crap on the streets than I did in the old place. It could be unique to the balance of this particular neighborhood, which is so fantastically queer, too. In any case I'm enjoying the release from stress I had almost started to ignore, it was such a daily part of life in the old neighbhorhood.

And have I mentioned that our immediate neighbors are friendly, not just not-glaring but actually saying hello, trading favors, etc.? And the new place gets nice light, and the cats like it, and we walk regularly to one of the lovely big parks nearby.

All this makes me wonder if we'd be able to stay here for a long time. FG and I moved in together in 1998. All total, we've lived in nine different apartments in four states and one foreign country since then. I've learned a lot and grown up a lot in that time, and I'm grateful for all those experiences. But I'm also feeling bone-tired at the prospect of uprooting ourselves again. FG remarked that, as adults, picking up and leaving is what we know how to do. We've never really, truly put down roots in a community; we've always been planning our next escape. But I think we've been learning, this past year, how to start to be a part of a community, not just bystanders and transients. I may want to try staying put on for size in the next decade or so...

8 comments:

e said...

Foot loose vs rooted. I've tried both and find that rooted suits me very well. I've been in my house for 15 years and can't imagine moving. It's a plus that there are plenty of queers in my neighborhood.

Jess said...

Im glad that you like your new place and the neighborhood. I can't wait to see it!!

Oh and congrats on submitting the final draft! That's a major load off, huh?

Dylan said...

Sounds like you are getting raked over the coals by comcast. I'm in the process of moving and about to take on their crap as well... they are such a pain and the sadder part is, they have a monopoly on cable service where I live. Gross.

Tina-cious.com said...

What Jess said. LOL

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds good to me Leo. I think it is great when you find a place to live that does feel like home. We live in the country and the immediate town is fairly small. Unlike you, I like the attention and the looks I get. I never wanted to fit in, and I look so out of place where I live. It's finding a place that works for you.

Sorry to hear about the crazy cost for the internet though. I'd be at the cafe all the time! :D

greg said...

Wow! Your final draft! Dude, that's huge. I'm so happy for you. :)

It looks as though this is may be your year, Leo. Your work, your new place - it's really coming together.

Ms. Avarice said...

I move a lot too. It's such a thrill. For a long time I couldn't even imagine staying in one place for longer than a year or two. God forbid I purchase an abode! That would be disastrous, right? But then again, as I become more settled into my relationship with Dana and as my life matures, I am starting to feel myself sprouting like a little bean. Perhaps I'll be rooted soon enough. Thank you for sharing these thoughts!

Eli said...

gotta love comcast (am i right???).