Friday, June 25, 2010

Boston, Shoes, and other randomness

(Note: I must have been more tired last night than even I realized...I was sure I posted this! Oh well, a day late and a dollar short, story of my life...)

When this job came along, I was pleased to have the opportunity to work in Boston, since my previous jobs, by choice or by design, have always fallen in suburbia, and I wondered whether I would like it better or worse in the big city. The preliminary results are in: while there are both pluses and minuses to it (of course), I would rather not work in the city. I wouldn't turn down a great job opportunity just because it's in town, but I'd prefer to be driving again. Some specifics follow.

Public transit:
overall, meh.
  • I do enjoy the reading time, absolutely. (Or the knitting time, theoretically, though I haven't picked up the knitting again yet since getting the wrist treated.)
  • I actually appreciate the built-in exercise time (I lost 6 pounds in the first 5 weeks!).
  • But the crowding, being that close to my fellow humans (so many of them ... so close), and in summer yet. Claustrophobia, anyone? Why yes, here: party of one.
  • The waiting: for the bus, for the subway to come, for the subway to move (use all the doors... watch the doors ... all the way in ... get the bag in ... I can't close the doors until you move that bag).
  • The noise! Obviously more of a problem when I have a headache, but even when I don't. The people talking (on their phones half the time), the announcements, the screeching of the equipment: it's loud.
  • That bus schedule ... if I run late in the morning, my car is still there, but the bus goes. Who needs that stress? I end up hurrying and waiting most mornings (only missed it once so far).
  • Not being able to run errands on the way home is something I still miss. I don't really like going out again after I get home, but it's a lot to ask of a weekend to get through the whole list, and things aren't getting done.
  • As for carrying everything with me (lunch, book, purse stuff, snacks, shoes, umbrella, et-very-cetera), that got old fast, and has led to much experimenting with bags, not always successfully. I try to think of the hoisting and harching as part of the exercise regime, but ugh. I'd rather not, please.
To sum up: Give me my car, where I can't control traffic but I can control temperature, sound, and route, and carry far more than I would want to on foot.

The city: I like Boston, but I am not a city mouse.
  • I love looking at the architecture.
  • Today I met a friend in the Public Garden and we ate lunch together. Fun!
  • I hate to see the homeless people (I feel so bad about them, but I can't give to everyone every day, and how do you choose, how do you decide, the guilt...).
  • When you're a worker bee, the way tourists have of stopping suddenly in front of you, or strolling like they have all the time in the world (yes I'm jealous) is rather annoying. Meet road rage's younger cousin, sidewalk rage.
  • There's a lot of shopping temptation to resist.
  • Smokers hanging around building entrances kind of tick me off. Must you share that poison with me? I'll just hold my breath, shall I?
  • The necessary exercise to get from the T to the office is much less pleasant in the cold or rain, and I don't think I would like doing this in winter At All.
To sum up: It's a nice, nice place to visit...

The IT people at work send out e-mails to announce scheduled maintenance on various servers and programs, as well as to announce any site-specific problems and then the resolution of same.

I understand the need, and even applaud it in theory. In practice, do I need to know that "x" will not be available from 6-7 AM on Sunday, or that Austin is experiencing connection problems? Not really.

But. I have received 48 such messages in 6 weeks.
Random thought of the day: If I could have one totally trivial use of a time machine, I would go back to whoever said that computers would lead to a paperless society, and laugh in his face.
Can we talk about shoes?

I got these shoes in May, before my interview, when I realized how sparse my "good shoe" options were (oh, that year of wearing jeans and sneakers to work...what an adjustment I am having!). I really like them: they're very comfortable for "nice" shoes, and I love the way they look.

But I had to get them re-heeled recently, and I was surprised that they wore down so soon. A month! Aren't Clarks supposed to be good quality? But the first week I worked, I wore only them, before making the switch to sneakers for getting to and from work, so perhaps all that walking outside was too much for them.

I also thought it was funny that they wore down on the outside edges instead of straight across, but the woman at the shoe repair place said that's typical. Learn something new every day, right? At least it's nice to know I don't walk funny; I kind of wondered.

I haven't had shoes re-heeled in many many years, but I was expecting the price to be around $5. Would you be surprised to learn that it cost $18? I was! Have you had that done recently? What did you pay?

I don't really love the look of sneaks with work clothes, but you can't beat them for comfort. Now that I'm walking home from the T most days, I need to wear something that's up to a couple of miles a day. I might be able to get hiking-type sandals that could handle that, but work shoes? Doubt it. I console myself that perhaps switching to the different height shoes gives my legs some variety of exercise. It could happen.

Given the heat of days like today (in the 90s this afternoon), sandals sound better and better. I looked at some a week or two ago, when I was sneaker shopping, but the ones I liked didn't come in wides, and what can I say, I need wides.

I do need new sneakers, like yesterday. I've been looking, I swear, but it's that wide factor again, plus the butt-ugly factor and the inflexible* factor as well as the they cost how much? factor. I feel like my needs are simple, but based on the results, maybe not.

*At this point, wearing blocks of cement on my feet might be easier, I swear...

Did you get all the way to the end? Thank you! Here, see the pretty my brother sent me. A Pacific lovely to go with my collection of Atlantic and Gulf lovelies.


Blogger Kate P said...

Ooh, pretty shell! Too bad we can't pay for stuff with sand dollars!

I wear a 7W (that seems to be changing with teaching on my feet) so I get you! I think I spent about 10 or 12 about two years ago getting shoes re-heeled. It's better than not finding replacements. (That said, I bought 2 casual pairs on sale at Famous Footwear tonight. Yay!)

9:38 PM, June 25, 2010  
Blogger Leslie said...

Living in the city (near the city) obviously has some advantages, one being that there is a cobbler. When you get past Gardner your choice is toss 'em or go to Holyoke Mall to drop the shoes off and travel back the next week to pick them up. Honest! There are no cobblers in Brattleboro or Keene which are a bit closer. I've looked!

12:07 AM, June 26, 2010  

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