Friday, December 21, 2012

Once upon a time, I lived in a tiny shoebox in the East Village and dreamed of a variety of outcomes of my life. This was after years of work to get to that tiny shoebox, to even think I could dream those dreams. I started writing this blog when I was a bartender, growing bitter about the rent.

The Mayan Calendar was wrong; no one knows what will happen. I like to think that the best outcome is something I can't even dream of, a goal that is yet unnamed. My childhood best friend would say,"Go where the day takes you."

But today, something else happened. 

It's not my favorite piece of writing. The editor had a way with some of the words, a snappy bedazzlement of the fonts, boldface, italics, and a peppering of phrases that I'd never repeat. 
But it's the first one. 

That's the best part. There will be more. And life will continue to make more things, that I could never have imagined happening, happen.  

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Marblehead Harbor

DSC00447, originally uploaded by RachelHyman.

July 4th was excellent. This is the view from the flare lit Fort Sewell, right before the fireworks began. Magical.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Generally, I don't care much about twitter trending topics. But then I clicked on #thuglife.

One might think of the things that are actual in a thug's life, like homework and taking out the trash.

Or better.

from the last three hours alone:
Notably, there are funnier ones. Go check it out. I don't know any of the above twitterers, but check them out too. Why not. :)
You can follow me on twitter too, I'm @rachelhyman

¯¯̿̿¯̿̿'̿̿̿̿̿̿̿'̿̿'̿̿̿̿̿'̿̿̿)͇̿̿)̿̿̿̿ '̿̿̿̿̿̿\̵͇̿̿\=(•̪̀●́)=o/̵͇̿̿/'̿̿ ̿ ̿̿

Thursday, December 31, 2009

On hiring contractors.

Sometimes even I get indecisive; or I buy property in small yachting towns that I love, but live five hours away from. In this case it was an apartment, well under market, that I bought in a Massachusetts sailing town.

First, a few notes:
  • This was a damn solid financial decision. And I'm stoked about leverage for my financial future. Buying foreclosures in rich towns is not as scary as other places, like Detroit. No offense, but that city is not up and coming, this town is more of a blue chip.
  • A punk rock past doesn't preclude the purchase of real estate, especially of real estate in a preppy sailing town. We all grow up eventually, or we should; we don't want to end up wards of the state. Take care of your finances, no one else will.
  • If you love pirates so much, learn how to sail. They all knew.
  • This town is nautically themed and early colonial. I like to think about all the tough ladies who lived here while their men-folk were basically out to sea all the time, and how bawdy and wild they were. I've heard stories, they were way awesomer broads than I am. I try not to out do them when I'm totally over served at trivia night. Instead I stumble home through the charming early colonial streets (never drive after drinking), and drunk dial boys. I like myself honest.
Aside, these things have nothing to do with the topic of hiring contractors.

Buying a place five hours from the city that I live in poses a few problems.
  1. Obviously, I won't be able to enjoy it much, because I don't get up there much. So I should rent it out in the meantime to preserve the investment. Flipping it should only be considered after the tax implications are weighed.
  2. Renovations. I've been spending all my vacation time working on gutting and renovating the bathroom and kitchen. Tonight, after another slow day of tiling, it's become clear that I will not finish before my train back to the city I live in, three days hence. Ok. But every weekend I return up here, I have to bail on my bartending shift. I hate taking the bus, so the train cuts a pretty penny. The costs of doing the labor need to be weighed against the opportunity costs of my traveling here to fix things.
In other words, I need to hire a contractor. Pronto.

I guess my uneasiness comes from realizing a few things:
  • My time is worth more than my labor. This is odd to me, but has become true. Yay, Jobs!
  • Work gives me vacation days so that I might relax, and be recharged for work. It's actually self serving to them, and not intended for me to do other labor-like tasks. Oh. Fail.
  • What did I get myself into? *stress stress teeth grinding stress*
Now I have to find a contractor who can see the place before I leave in a few days, even though the next few days are holidays. Sigh.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A long long year.. starting over.

A year later, I haven't written a peep on this blog. It's been a tumultuous year: funerals, divorces, moves, jobs, trips, purchasing property, working six days a week, trouble, adventures, art shows, broken bones, last minute trains, destiny hitting like a bag of bricks and sometimes hitting like the light from the diner booth windows.

Really, I'm just not sure how much I should share.

I've decided this: just because I don't write the column and I only bartend one night a week, doesn't mean that people have stopped asking me for advice.. *all* the time. I should just give the advice here, so there's a record of good responses, and so people who might not be able to ask or aren't smooshed up in the already running adventure of my life might be able to find some answers.

Sound good to everyone? If you still have questions, you can email them to me and I'll answer them on the blog, but otherwise, I'm just going to give it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've been so damn remiss.

Update: I stopped writing my column when I moved to brooklyn, got a big huge great apartment, and a new job at a great big tech company. I'll upload the outstanding columns for posterity, but now that all the hubbub has truly died down, I'm taking my blog back for me for a while.

Be ready.

Meanwhile: There's a deep trench of sadness where my cousin A is perched in a hospital bed in shock trauma at the U of M in Baltimore. He got drunk at a bar, and made the last awful decision of his life- to drive himself home. They cut him out of my Aunt's car, wrapped around trees 30 feet from the edge of the road. Immediate brain surgeries and a helicopter ride aside, he was laid up for everyone to sit and wait and see. What we've seen is the twitching of flexing muscles, pupils dilated at different widths, no eye movement or rem sleep, no meaningful gestures or high level responses to neurological testing, a mri that revealed bleeding in his brain so widely spread that we can hope for very little. There is so much valid anger felt at A for his terrible decisions. He didn't just do this to himself, but to everyone who cares about him, everyone he knows.

It could have been worse. The accident was with the trees, not an innocent bystander. But this best case scenerio is grave and horrible. The anguish he's forced on his parents and brother, his family and friends, is immesurable.

Please, no matter what you drink or how much you drink, don't drive. One drink is really too much. Don't let your friends drive. Take a taxi, call a sober friend to get you, find another way home. The consequences are very real, and very dire.

My heart and thoughts are with my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins at this time. Please try to think of them if you can, and send whatever good feelings you can towards their recovery, and their peace.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Advice Column #29

Hey Bartender!
I live in a three bedroom apartment, and about four months ago we (my one roommate and I) got a new third roommate. We're all men in our early twenties, and my original roommate and I are straight. Our new roommate, a rather attractive man, spends most weekend nights hanging out with his "best friend", a really nice dude. His bf stays over often, and I'm fairly sure that they're dating, but his bf sleeps on the sofa. I think he does this so the other roommate and I won't notice that he's gay. My other roommate said he saw them kiss once, but they didn't know he was home. We don't care though. In fact, we really like his bf, and think it's strange that he hasn't come out to us, or that he would make his lover sleep on the sofa instead of in his bed. We also think the secrecy is causing tension between them. How do we tell our roommate that we're obviously not bothered by his gayness, and get him to feel comfortable enough to let his bf sleep in his room?

I wish I didn't know any gay men who felt like they had to live a charade, not just with the people who they didn't know, but for the people who were very close to the intimacies in their lives. I've been told that it's just not anyone else's business, and that no one ever had to tell anyone they were straight, then wait for the shocking gasp or the confused look, or worse. Your roommate might not care to tell you, or might not want to handle your reaction or questions. Sometimes breaking the good news to bad people makes the whole situation worse. You're not the bad kind of people to tell things to, so maybe you need to break the news. I think you need to skip the part where you expect your roommate to sit you down and tell you he's gay, waiting for you to tell him that's ok. He probably won't ever do that. You are right in wanting him to feel comfortable. Having anyone uncomfortable in a three bedroom apartment forces everyone to feel on edge, expecially when there's an elephant in the room.

Before you ask him to go clothes shopping with you, or what happened on the L-word this week, try to talk to him like you'd talk to any of your other friends about their relationships. Ask him how he met his bf. Respond like you would respond to any straight dudes talking about a lady in their lives, except don't ask about boobs (this will be good practice for your general ability to talk about feelings, not gear). Give aloof approval and talk about how bf is a cool dude and he looks really happy when they're hanging out. Hope for a look of agreement, but be ready to get the look he fears most when he tells people he's gay. He probably invented that look.

On another occasion, if he still hasn't started letting bf sleep in his room, address the real elephant in the room. Don't have a sit down talk, do it with a side glance. The most macho men I know have perfected this mention and drop strategy of talking about feelings. Generally I don't employ it, but it would work here. While playing a video game, ask him if he wants to take player two. (Or create some similar situation where you're both distracted with something else, but hanging out.) Ask him, nonchalantly, why his bf is always in the doghouse.