It's nice to be back home

Every time I get back from San Francisco I am so grateful to not live there anymore.

Today was also a very long day. I woke up to a notification that my flight had been canceled, and I scrambled to get an alternate booking. As usual Alaska Airlines did a great job of getting me an alternate booking, but it’s unfortunate that they’ve been needing to do that so much lately. Also this time the booking agent didn’t seem to understand that no, I can’t actually get to the airport immediately for a flight which leaves in 75 minutes…

Thankfully I was able to get on a pair of flights which got me home at the same time as my original flight would have, by leaving 3 hours earlier and flying down to San Diego and then up to Seattle from there. (The next best alternative would have been going to Spokane and having an overnight layover.)

At the airport they were asking for volunteers to check carryon bags, which is an option I usually take, but after I explained to the gate agent that my flight to Seattle had been canceled and I was rerouted, he tagged my luggage with a final destination of San Diego and I said, no, I’m going to Seattle, and he said “This flight is going to San Diego,” and I said “Yes but I’m connecting to Seattle there.” And then he disappeared for 10 minutes, then came back, and still didn’t understand my connecting flight situation. So I gave up and hoped for the best. Thankfully there was barely enough in-flight overhead bin space for my roller bag.

Then I had a pretty tight connection, but fortunately the San Diego airport is pretty small, and the flight from SAN to SEA was also quite a lot larger and there was plenty of overhead bin space.

Anyway long story short a sub-3-hour flight turned into a 6-hour epic, and when I got home I decided the last thing I wanted was to spend an hour on the bus so I just took a Lyft home, and then Fiona yelled at me for an hour.

I’m exhausted and in pain and so very tired.

Also I find it a little… obnoxious, I guess, that folks who are in love with San Francisco insist that everyone should love San Francisco, and take it as a personal insult when there’s something I dislike about the city, but then at the same time they do nothing but complain about the things they dislike about Seattle and can’t understand why anyone would want to live here instead. And like, I get it, Seattle isn’t right for everyone, but it sure is right for me! Let me live where I want to live, dangit.

San Francisco is a hard city to be in if you have a mobility impairment, or if you like peace and quiet, or if you’re not a certain kind of queer on a very short list. I’m not into the hustle and bustle and moving fast and breaking things, I don’t gain energy from having to hike everywhere and navigate between crowds of non-stop street festivals or people hawking their wares at me constantly, I don’t want to have to wear earplugs so that I can sleep at night because of the noisy streets and acoustically-transparent windows.

San Francisco has a lot to offer, but it’s just too much for me.

I love being able to sit back and relax and sip on nice coffee (that’s brewed for the flavor, not for the caffeine) while listening to the rain.

I like that I can be present without having to be “on” all the time.

Seattle is definitely way more my speed.


ATM cards

Oh yeah, a lot of places in San Francisco are cash-only. So, the other day I tried taking out some money at the ATM, and thus took out my debit card for the first time since the pandemic started.

It was declined, with an error that the card had been blocked.

I tried to figure out what was going on through my bank’s website and it only gave very evasive information. Reading up online it seems that most banks end up blocking debit cards which haven’t been used in a while, as a security precaution.

So just now I finally got around to calling them on the phone, and it turns out that’s exactly what happened, and unsurprisingly the bank is handling a lot of calls like this lately, because of how many people haven’t needed cash since March, 2020 until now.

It’d have been nice if my bank had, like, warned me about this rather than leaving me in the lurch while traveling, but much like the Y2K+20 problem it’s probably not anything that anyone had really thought about until it was too late.


The trip so far

Wow, I’d forgotten just how awful San Francisco is for disabled people.

Everything here involves a lot of vertical movement. Stairs and hills everywhere.

Friday I overdid it (due largely to some… overzealous, spur-of-the-moment activities led by my sister), and was surprised that I didn’t have a pain flare on Saturday. Then on Saturday I didn’t overdo it, and mostly had a pretty chill day (namely my nephew’s big birthday bash), and had some food and coffee tourism in the evening.

Sunday morning I woke up early with what felt like possible COVID symptoms, so as soon as the pharmacies opened up I dragged myself out of bed and bought a COVID test. By the time I had done that I felt a lot better, though, and decided to stop at Sightglass Coffee (staying distant from others and masked, of course), and halfway through my oat milk latte suddenly got hit by a huge pain flare and anxiety attack, and hurried back to my hotel room and took the COVID test, which came back negative.

I think the symptoms I had were just a combination of the overexertion finally catching up with me as well as me sleeping with the window open last night (since the hotel room was sweltering hot). In any case what felt like potential COVID symptoms have completely gone away, and I’m just extremely tired and in pain.

My original plans for today were to go to the MOMA and possibly catch a movie before meeting up with my parents (who leave tomorrow) for eclipse-viewing and dinner, but I just needed some time to recover. I’m feeling a bit better now, but I’m still going to take it easy. Maybe I’ll catch a movie (and have a late lunch) at the Alamo Drafthouse, which is nearby. I dunno. I just kinda need to be a vegetable today.

Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow since my plan was to go into the office and finally meet my coworkers in person.


Some easing of stress

Today things have gone significantly better than they had for the past few days. The plumber was able to complete all of the work this morning without incident, the tenants are taking care of paneling the wall (using plywood instead of drywall on the plumber’s recommendation since that makes future access easier in case any maintenance needs to happen), and everything’s all ready for the new washer and dryer which are set to be delivered tomorrow.

I also made it safely to San Francisco, and checked into the hotel. I was afraid of the worst, thanks to a bunch of incredibly negative Yelp reviews, but my room is totally fine. I thoroughly checked for any signs of cockroaches and bedbugs (both visually and using a UV flashlight) and nothing seemed amiss. The linens are perfectly clean, the mattresses are in Good Enough™ condition, and everything’s fine. The room’s just a bit dated, and it’s noisy what with overlooking Mission St.

It’s also an old building with many stairs and no elevators, which will be unfortunate if I end up having a pain flare, but I’m under considerably less stress now which means I’m also much less likely to have a flareup in the first place.

It might be because I paid extra for a “deluxe” room with private bath, though; all of the negative reviews also mentioned the condition of the shared bathrooms, which are only on the cheaper rooms.

I’m also pretty happy with how iOS devices can now act as a Clipper Card, especially since I was unable to find my actual Clipper Card. Knowing me it’s probably in my backpack so I probably actually have it with me anyway, but now I don’t have to care, as long as my phone stays charged and not-stolen.

… okay just as I was typing that someone from the front desk barged into the room, oops. She seemed to not realize that I’d already checked in. I guess I need to remember to lock the door when I’m inside. And I should actually make use of the safe to make sure my laptop doesn’t go a-wanderin' (especially since for some reason this MacBook refuses to be enrolled in “find my,” which might be related to why it also refuses to connect to my phone’s access point over the usual iCloud method).

Anyway, I’m feeling pretty okay right now. I guess I should look for some dinner. Being back in the SF Mission means there’s a lot of possibilities.


Why do stressful things have to all happen at once

A whole bunch of stressful stuff has decided to happen all at once and I really wish it would stop being like this.

A couple months ago my condo building had a water leak investigation taking place. They investigated the unit with full cooperation of my tenant, and never followed up on this.

About a week ago my tenant found a leak taking place in the laundry room, and she contacted me about it. It seemed that the problem was with the washer/dryer stack, and so I ordered a new washer/dryer to replace it. The new one arrived yesterday, and it wouldn’t fit in the laundry room without doing some work on the plumbing, and while looking at the plumbing it turned out the fixture was leaking a little. But it didn’t seem to be a long-running thing and wasn’t apparently connected to the leak investigation. In any case, we booked a plumber to repair all that so that the new washer/dryer would fit anyway (because the old connection was pretty hacky in the first place and should have been updated ages ago anyway).

Anyway, as part of following up on that, my tenant asked about the leak investigation, and it turned out that the building maintenance had, in fact, determined it was coming from my unit, and just never bothered to tell me. And because it was from my unit I was on the hook to pay for their services in determining that, so that’s another plumbing bill on top of the ones I’m already paying for, plus I was chastised by building management for not taking care of a thing I was never told I needed to take care of in the first place. And maybe if I’d been informed earlier, the work could have been taken care of sooner and maybe not cost so much, and maybe I wouldn’t have even been led to replace the washer/dryer in the first place. Argh.

So, parallel to all that, my brother is having a family gathering in San Francisco, ostensibly a first-birthday party for my newest nephew, but mostly an excuse to get together post-pandemic1.

I booked a nice AirBnB near him for not too much money. The owner canceled my booking, and then claimed to not know what happened, and then I was unable to rebook it. So I scrambled to book another similar (but not as nice) place, and that was all going well… until this morning when that owner contacted me to tell me he’d come down with a severe respiratory illness (which may or may not be COVID) and then canceled the booking out of an abundance of caution (which was appreciated, since even if it’s not COVID I wouldn’t want to be exposed to whatever he has). But this left me in a lurch for where, exactly, to stay.

San Francisco’s an expensive city to stay in, especially when booking things at the last minute.

My flight is tomorrow.

Which is, incidentally, the same time the plumber is supposedly going to work on the w/d hookup, so that’s another fun thing to juggle, and I expect that when I arrive in San Francisco I’ll have a bunch of messages about how something-or-other went wrong and it’s going to cost even more and even more shitty shit to coordinate and so on.

Because of the last-minute cancelation, AirBnB gave me a 20% off coupon for any replacement booking “of equal or greater value,” but the only places which would work for me are, at this point, at least five times as expensive.

So I went to the various hotel booking sites, and of course all of the good hotels are booked solid and/or very expensive, so I found a vaguely-acceptable one in the Mission district, and booked that.

Then I thought to read its reviews on other sites, and, uh. Bedbugs, cockroaches, dirty towels, unmaintained mattresses. Yeah.

And the booking is non-refundable.

I am a fucking ball of stress right now and I don’t fucking need all this shit all at once.

So anyway I’m having trouble focusing on work right now and I just have a giant headache and I want to lie down and have the world go away for a while.

Oh also the other night I had another carport prowler, which is just a cherry on top. As far as I can tell he only stole some pruning shears. Still doesn’t feel great to have my space violated like that.

  1. for very small quantities of “post” 


ADHD meds: probably not for me

I took a week break from dextroamphetamine, and tried taking it again with the idea that I’d just take it every other day. And all day I’ve had headaches, and what focus I’ve had has been difficult to direct towars the stuff I’m trying to focus on.

I don’t think that going to immediate-release would help with this either.

I’d like to just get my pain under control and go back to self-medicating with caffeine. And not be in a situation where everything depends on focus in the first place.



Remember to be kind

With the current state of the world, everyone is on edge and quick to anger. Approach situations from a perspective of kindness. You never know what someone else is going through at the time, and responding with a default of anger to what seems like a personal slight is only going to make things worse.

Lots of people around you are struggling with mental health, anxiety, loss, grief, and more. If someone does something thoughtless, it’s best to just let it go. If it’s egregious enough to require correction, start out by asking them if they understand what they were supposed to do (in a kind way) rather than assuming that they were purposefully being malicious. They almost certainly weren’t doing it on purpose, and even if they were, is it really worth getting into a fight over it?

It’s also worth remembering that other people aren’t necessarily in a space for the same reason as you, and they might be inexperienced with the use of that space. Something that seems obvious and straightforward to you might be a confusing mess to other people.

And the inverse also applies; if you’re the one who has caused other people to blow up at you, regardless of intention, you don’t know what they’ve been going through either, or how many microaggressions may have led to them boiling over.

tl;dr: Assume good faith in others.


Vashon ferry encounter

well I just had a lousy experience that has me depressed and frustrated and withdrawn and just hating everyone around me

My therapist was trying to convince me to come out to an art gallery opening on Vashon Island and I wasn’t feeling up to it but I decided I was wallowing and I should get out and do something nice.

So I start driving to the ferry, and I follow the GPS instructions for getting there, and there’s a long line of cars so I go a few blocks up to try to not cut into the line, and I guess I didn’t go far up enough because when I got in line, the person who pulled up behind me ran up to my window and started yelling at me for cutting in line, and acted like I was being a jerk on purpose. And then when I didn’t immediately get out of the line (which runs parallel to a busy street and it’s difficult to tell when it’s safe to pull out) she ran up to the person in front of me and told him what I’d done and then he started yelling at me too.

This was too much for me and I had a meltdown and had to head home.

And now I just want to wallow some more.

From her point of view it probably did seem that I’d cut in line and I understand her being upset but I didn’t know, and if I’d been told nicely that “hey the line starts up at such-and-such street” and not gotten other people mad at me too, things would have gone very differently. But now I just like. never want to take the ferry every again because now I"m worried I’ll get people mad at me again.

It sure would be great if people didn’t assume malicious intent. I absolutely wasn’t trying to hurt anyone, I was just confused about where to go while having a bad mental health day already. Being yelled at and berated for an honest mistake, by multiple people who immediately assumed I was out to be a jerk, is not what I’d call a good time.

The worst part of this is that the people who yelled at me probably feel like victorious defenders of justice, and they’ll never know the actual end result of their actions.