a_bit_of_wit_2: (fox news)
[personal profile] a_bit_of_wit_2
A final note...

Well, we survived yet another apocalypse. This makes three Raptures, the Y2K kerfuffle, and now the Mayan insanity. Life goes on. Endeavor to persevere, stiff upper lip, right-o, and all that jazz. Time for the yearly personal reflection. It began and will end the same way, as it has now for nine years, with Ryan and I going head-to-head at the Monopoly board. He's going to attempt his third straight win. It began and will also end with high hopes. By this time last year, April and I had moved into a house in Albany, happy and hopeful that we'd be there for a long time while I finished up school, and begin to plunge ahead in life.

For those who've followed my Facebook and sparse LiveJournal entries, you know the story. 2012 turned out to be anything but. Not long after moving in--in fact, shortly after Januarymas--the house began falling apart, starting with the washing machine that came with the house. That turned into a couple-of-month drawn out affair because our landlord (who, as we found out, was a brand-new landlord, never rented to anyone...and it showed. More on that later) insisted on replacing it with a massive washer that was not going to fit inside a 100-year-old house. Finally, after several failed deliveries, he finally listened to what both Sears and I told him--it's too big. He replaced it with one that fit. Keep in mind--the landlord lives in Connecticut, and the only reason he owns the house is because it was given to him by his in-laws. He hasn't a clue on what's in it. Nor did he brush-up on ANY of the New York laws that landlords must follow. After the washing machine fiasco, we find out that the City of Albany has to inspect the house, something that should have been done before he rented the house out. Before the inspector comes, though, our ceiling in the kitchen begins to leak. As it happens, the tile in the upstairs shower was coming off the wall, allowing water running from the shower to get behind the tile, down the wall, and eventually, through the ceiling, leaking into the kitchen. The landlord gets that repaired. The inspector finally comes, and to no one's surprise (except the landlord's, because he didn't bother to learn all the rules and laws needed to be a landlord), he discovers some code violations. The landlord gets those addressed as well. All the while, April and I are on the hook for minor maintenance repairs, which are beginning to add up. We anticipated some expense, yes, since we were responsible for all utilities (including oil heat--OUCH), but we didn't expect one thing right after the other. This, after being told up and down that the house was in good condition. After a year of this, our landlord decided that because he sunk so much money into the house doing repairs and work he should've done before we moved in, he wants to raise our rent by an additional $300 a month. That was the final straw. We got out of there when the lease ended, and have moved to a nice apartment in Guilderland.

But there were other things going on, house issues aside. In January, I made another attempt at going back to school, having already lost a year to Crohn's and related complications. It would rear its ugly head again right around mid-terms, forcing me to withdraw for the 3rd straight semester. A flare-up that lasted around six weeks had me bed-ridden. My wonderful, patient, and long-suffering wife made it known to me that while she was extremely supportive of me and my efforts to finish getting my Bachelor's, I was going to have to call it quits soon. So, having already planned to return to school full time in the fall, I came to the realization that if I had to withdraw again, that'd be it--I'd have to close the book on ever getting a degree. The Universe has already made it clear that it doesn't want me to get an education. In fact, the only one who honestly has encouraged me to keep going has been April--hell, my own family really doesn't give a rat's ass. My stepfather's already made it plain that he thinks college is an absolute waste of time and money.

Just before I got this flare-up, we picked up a couple of roommates: Heather (not my sister), who was coming off a nasty breakup and needed a place to stay for a short while; and her new boyfriend, Ryan (not my brother-in-law, for clarification. Yeesh. Too many Heathers, Ryans, and Danielles in my life). They didn't stay long--a couple of months. Right around the time they left, Danielle graduated from Wells and moved in with us, at my own urging, knowing all too well what she'd go through if she moved back in with her parents in New Bedford. She's been with us since then. Ryan (brother-in-law) moved in with us when the lease at our previous apartment ended, and moved out in mid-November.

The summer brought some relief--with my flare-up subsided and my body trying to approach some manner of normalcy, I went to the annual Dave Matthews Band concerts in Saratoga with Danielle and Annie. I headed down to Washingtonville to see my grandmother one last time before she moved into the west. She decided that she had enough of New York, and wants to live out the rest of her days in Las Vegas. I also went down to Ramapo for a weekend, solo, and hung out with Carolyn, Sara, Annie and her family. While there, I went to Lake Street, the place where I grew up. Not much has changed since I left there in 2003...a few of the families I remember are still there, but it still remains an area that time forgot. One house in particular is being slowly reclaimed by nature, abandoned for some years now. The Lavender bridge has fallen into disrepair--when Hurricane Irene came around, it did a number on the bridge, and the town of Ramapo haven't bothered to repair it, leaving just the back road, Torne Valley Road, the only way to get to Lake Street.

With finances tight, we only went to the Renaissance Faire once this year--opening weekend. We did manage to go to King Richard's Faire in October as well, but on the whole, our Faire-going was very light this year. Also, I originally wasn't going to head to Tanglewood, but I got lovingly coerced (or as April said, whipped) by Sara into seeing the John Williams 80th Birthday Concert. Apparently, I'm a unit of measurement, a Tanglewood constant. Glad I went, though--great concert, as usual, accompanied by a party consisting of myself, April, Ryan, Sara, Danielle, and Phillip.

At the end of August, I left my job at the Lottery and went back to Sage for my first full-time college semester since 2004, back when I went to the Massachussets College of Liberal Arts in North Adams. I was nervous, and just a drop scared--the past 3 semesters ended in medical withdrawal. Was my body going to crap out again halfway through? While that remained to be seen, I also secured a work-study job as a darkroom lab aide, working 10 hours a week. For the most part, it meant just having 10 hours to myself which to do homework. I'll maintain the position for next semester. Early on, I did suffer a round of food poisoning--knowing full well that it could snowball into a full-scale flare-up, I went to the doctor immediately, and after a couple weeks, my body relaxed again, and I made it through without any problem. On the last day of the semester, when I handed in my Art History final exam, I stood outside the classroom and just let out a long exhale of relief, just thankful that my body held out for 16 weeks. For my efforts, I netted a 3.7 GPA (2 A's, 2 A-'s, 1 B+), and at long last, leveled up. I'm a junior now. Next semester begins in a month, and I've taken on a slightly lighter course load.

Christmas was spent with my family on Cape Cod, and it was a very enjoyable holiday--for all my gifts, though, I think the best gift was seeing my stepdad in a wonderful mood the entire time I was there.

I find myself in the same place a year ago as I am now--in transition. We just moved again, and barring any major catastrophe, we'll be here for a while. I said the same thing last year, but I hope we can finally relax a little. As 2013 approaches, there are a few things I am hopeful for: that I make it through another semester. That my body can keep behaving itself. That April can continue to slowly relax and not worry about keeping me healthy. That Danielle continues transitioning into the real world, finds a full-time job, and gets a place with her loves. Much as I love her, we all know she'll eventually move out and onward. That I can spend more time with my friends. It's sad knowing that most of you are over an hour away. I need to see you all more.

Most of all, I hope 2013 brings you all some peace. Enjoy it as much as you can. Especially this snow. Who knows when we'll see it again.

Keelah se'lai.

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