What a Letdown!

April 11th, 2014

Maybe I watch too much TV and too many movies, but I had expected my life to come to this moment where I proposed to the love my life and there were automatic fireworks, a national holiday, a ticker tape parade…alas, that didn’t happen. So, you know, my gayish tendency toward theatrics was a bit disappointed that the world didn’t appropriately prepare for the moment last weekend when I dragged Korey to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, dazzled him with a smartphone-based slideshow of our best moments and messages from the earliest days of our relationship, and followed it all with the BIG question.

Because he said yes! And that means there should at least have been a parade. I guess it’s true, what they say: If you want it done right, do it yourself.

So anyway, now we’re engaged. And that’s big and important and exciting. Our families are happy, our friends are planning the centerpieces at the wedding, and…ok, our cats don’t care. But I can pretend they do. We’re not planning on actually tying the knot until 2016, so this will be roughly a two-year engagement. Gives us plenty of time to plan and whatnot.

I’m not actually sure where this blog post is going, other than to announce this news officially to the four eskimos who read my blog during the warm season. But I’ve always shared the big milestones with this blog, for nearly 15 years now, and it felt imperative to keep with tradition this time as well. Keep an eye here for more details, as well as our official wedding site. And I promise not to make every new post here about the wedding for the next two years. But some will be. So deal with it.

Business Burn-Out

October 13th, 2013

One of the unfortunate things about being a 20-something in the 2010s is that finding a job has been nearly impossible. At least for people this age in the United States. As a result of the absolutely awful economy several years ago, I decided to make my own job by starting my own business. Digital marketing, with everything from perfectly composed blog posts to social media management strategies and AdWords management, became my main source of income. It’s something I pursued because I actually enjoyed it, but that’s started to wear off.

Three years into owning my own business, I’ve become tired of the daily grind. I’m sick of working seven days a week, I’m tired of dealing with nit-picky clients who think — erroneously — that they know better. I’m tired of slaving away without health insurance, a 401k, paid vacation days, or any number of other benefits.

So, with that said, it’s time to start winding down the business. I’ve decided to resume my legal studies and pursue a path that will allow me to leave behind my days as a small business owner. While it has been exciting, and at times very rewarding to be my own boss, this is a cycle that I simply view as unsustainable over the long-term.

So, in January, the whole process of adding fancy legal titles to my name begins anew. It’s a process that never should have been abandoned in the first place, and it’s a great way to eliminate my biggest regret. With any kind of luck, I will at least be able to manage a different kind of client, in a different kind of way, which will be a great deal more sustainable over the course of my career.

Here’s hoping.

Here’s to change.

Pennsylvania Welcomes You

August 10th, 2013

It’s moving day in the Mid-Atlantic! After months of job searching, interviewing, succeeding, and packing, the time has come for K and I to pack the moving truck and drive north. The big move has finally arrived, and we’re more than ready to move into our new home in the Main Line community of Devon, PA.

As has been stated before in this blog, our renewed appreciation for the benefits of Pennsylvania living occurred only after our time in neighboring, hellish Delaware. It is with a renewed spirit of progress, optimism, and proactivity, that we move to Pennsylvania and expect to finally establish a life and a permanent residence for ourselves.

Of course, we’re also excited to be closer to our families and friends; we’re really glad to once again be close to the Jersey shore, and we’re stoked to have the entire city of Philadelphia at our feet.

It’s just so good to be home.

Summer Holiday

July 27th, 2013

I’m not the kind of person who likes to brag, but — oh wait, yes I am. The blog will probably be devoid of written banter and full of Instagram pull-ins for the next week as I enjoy a relaxing stay on Oak Island in North Carolina. It’s my first time in the Carolinas since 2006.

I’ll be spending this week with my family, my Special K, and my Kindle app. I’ll also be celebrating my 27th birthday in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC on Thursday. There is no wifi at the beach house, with only mobile data to keep me connected. This will force me to unplug, unwind, and leave work behind. It’s something I desperately need; see you all in August!

My Out-of-Delaware Demand

July 20th, 2013

When Korey was looking for jobs in Pennsylvania, I had one requirement above and beyond the Philadelphia-centric geography. No matter the job that eventually, inevitably ended up hiring him, we had to make sure that we lived near a SEPTA regional rail or a PATCO station. As in, close enough for a brisk walk or a sub-5-minute drive. On the cusp of our move to Wayne, Pennsylvania, we’re posed to do just that. Maybe I sound spoiled or demanding, but there are actually a few major reasons that this requirement was central to our relocation.

1. Certainty of Transit-Related Expenditures

It sounds fancy, but it isn’t. Living next to a SEPTA regional rail station means that a trip into the city costs the same amount each and every time. SEPTA raises fares only every three years, and those increases are often between 25 cents and a few dollars. Gas, on the other hand, increases and decreases almost every day. It’s not uncommon for gas to go up by a dollar or more over the course of a few days or a few weeks. This uncertainty takes a major toll on financial planning and recreational pursuits.

2. Easier Commuting into the City

Wayne is centrally located for vehicular transit, with nearby on-ramps for the Schuylkill Expressway, the Blue Route, US-422, and US-202. The one thing that brings these disparate highways together? Congestion hell, spurred by the large and growing nature of Greater Philadelphia. Guess which mode of transit doesn’t get stuck in the left lane, signal on, unable to merge, unable to take the next exit? Rapid transit. SEPTA regional rail. From Wayne to Suburban Station in Center City, the trip averages just 28 minutes. Every single time. And the train shows up at the same time every day.

3. I Actually Care About the Earth

Sure, my parents and gradparents might not be exceedingly concerned about the planet. After all, the worst-case global warming scenarios probably won’t involve them. I, however, plan to be 125 years old when I die along the Pennsylvania coastline. Yes, the Pennsylvania coastline. It’s gonna happen. But that doesn’t mean I can’t take the train, significantly reduce my carbon footprint, and shave a few millimeters off that sea level rise.

4. Unplanned-For Conveniences

The train that stops right by our future apartment also runs right to Downingtown, dropping passengers off less than a mile from the town’s public schools. This actually allows Korey to “reverse commute” to work via train if he so chooses, especially during inclement weather or if gas prices go through the roof for some reason. Furthermore, this same train line can take me right home, and it enables my family and central PA friends to visit without accommodating the Pennsylvania Turnpike’s quirks. Win, win, win.

Down with DOMA

June 26th, 2013

When I was ten years old, and Bill Clinton was president, the Republican-controlled Congress passed a law known as the Defense of Marriage Act. The law was passed as a reaction to Hawaii’s assertion at the time that nothing prevented them from marrying gay couples and making same-sex marriage into legal contractual affairs identical to straight marriages. It was viewed as a “compromise” by Clinton, who now says that he signed the law to prevent even harsher laws from being passed that would have been even worse for gay couples.

In any case, it has been seventeen years since the Defense of Marriage Act went into effect. All the while, gay marriage has been legalized in twelve states and the District of Columbia, creating two classes of married couples. Straight couples enjoyed federal tax benefits, Social Security retirement funds, and a wide range of other perks after their marriages. For gay couples in certain states, though, their state-sanctioned marriage was met with a blind eye at the federal level. Gay couples for years have paid more in taxes, been unable to collect their partner’s Social Security benefits, or even visit each other in hospitals.

That has all begun to change, though, especially with the Supreme Court’s ruling today that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. In its ruling, the court noted that the law was harmful to children and families, unenforceable based on the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, and a gross and egregious power-grab by the mid-90s legislators who authored it. After that ruling, the court took the actions necessary in a separate case to restore marriage equality to California.

The result is not a sweeping, nationwide right to marriage for same-sex couples, but it is still profound. As of today, gay couples have federal legal protections that are absolutely essential for the financial benefit of the couple and the legal protection of the family unit. As of today, the pressure will be on to legalize same-sex marriage in the remaining states where that has not already happened.

The movement for gay equality, the great civil rights movement of the last two generations, advanced in a major way today. And it was all led by Temple University alumna Edith Windsor, a woman whose courage is incalculable and whose fight against this bigoted law was northing short of inspirational. The future is bright for those of us who wish for an equal future. And it just feels so good to win. Finally.