Keith and I are picking up to move to Pécs, Hungary for one year. He has never been to Europe and the furthest east I've been is Switzerland.... Our Hungarian language skills are...well, we know some phrases. Come follow us on our adventure!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things to do in Moodus, CT

So Keith's parents' house address cannot be located on the GPS and we don't have cellphone reception...blowing things up is the one thing we can do...

Packing to Move Whilst Staying Somewhere Else....

Due to a fractured pelvis, I cannot go up or down stairs...the apartment that I need to have everything cleared out of (with the exception of furniture) by next week is on the 4th floor--no elevator. I am currently living with Keith's parents an hour from the apartment that needs to be cleaned out and has all of the things I need to bring to Hungary.

Keith is making trips back and forth between New Haven and Moodus, CT--filling up boxes and dumping them at his parents' house for us to sort through. It's a disasterous mess.

It's funny to see our different sorting styles. I'd rather donate or throw everything away whereas Keith is keeping everything from the shirt he was wearing the first time he saw boobs to the intentionally ugly art projects I've created for him.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fishing for Kitties

Currently Keith is trying to fish our cat out of a wall. She's been in there since about 10:00 this morning. The wall was cut so the modem could be flush with the computer desk, although the modem is perpetually falling off the shelf and hanging by some cord. All the cords in this computer desk-thing...it looks like a jungle with loads of vines. It's a hot mess...

Anyways, Kalliope climbed into said hole and we can't get her out. I've colored half a coloring book in since my last post.

Photos: One is Kall in the wall, the other is of the hole

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Injury

The orthopedic in charge of my release is also a cyclist and has friends who have been injured on the same set of tracks. He sent me a list of people to email and a form letter in regards to getting the tracks fixed. PLEASE (even if you don't live in the area)send the political leaders of New Haven and CT your own email or you can use this email.


Hello Fellow Riders,

Please take a moment out of your day to email the following people:

Dfitz@pwrr.com, RichardF@pwrr.com, Tom@pwrr.com, Governor.Rell@ct.gov,
jeffery.parker@ct.gov, looney@senatedems.ct.gov,
Slossberg@senatedems.ct.gov, Mike Piscitelli
mpiscite@newhavenct.net, Alan.Sylvestre@ct.gov,

Tell them you want something done about them.

Everyone of us travels over those dicey Rail Road Tracks down on
Forbes Ave .And everyone one of us knows
someone who has crashed there and or have crashed there ourselves.

Below is a letter sent by Bill Kurtz.

Thanks for your time !!

To Whom is may Concern:

By now I know you have been made abundantly aware of the treacherous
conditions caused by your angled railroad crossing on the Tomlinson
Bridge in New Haven, Connecticut.

I know that you have been made aware that this street (also known as
Route 1, or Forbes Avenue) is the main connection for pedestrians,
cyclists, and other non-highway traffic between downtown New Haven and
points west to the eastern shoreline of Connecticut.

You have received a number of suggestions for engineering solutions to
this problem. These solutions include the use of flange fillers. I
also know that your many objections to these engineering solutions
have either been discredited (flange fillers are unsuitable for use in
cold weather) or downright ridiculous to any thinking person (it would
be too expensive to re-install them at the end of a billion+ dollar
bridge renovation).

I won't rehash the various details here; the salient points about
engineering solutions have been raised by people who are better versed
in their intricacies than I am.

I know you have been made aware of the many serious crashes that have
taken place at your railroad crossing, and that you have so far failed
to take any meaningful action about this treacherous situation,
despite more-than-adequate knowledge of the hazard you have created
and allowed to exist.

Just two weeks ago, there was yet another crash there and yet another
experienced cyclist was seriously injured and now we are told that
according to Russ St. John, who is P&W's representative on the
Connecticut Public Transportation Commission that a
"cyclists-dismount-and-walk" sign is the solution that is "acceptable"
to Providence and Worcester. Please hear me clearly when I state that
your sign is not an acceptable solution to the many residents of
greater New Haven who cycle across that bridge regularly. For one
thing, there is nowhere to dismount. The west-bound side is currently
reduced to one lane because of the Q-Bridge construction. There is
neither a sidewalk nor a shoulder and traffic on that stretch
regularly reaches and exceeds 50 mph. It should be clear why any
so-called "solution" which calls for a streets user with all the
rights of any other vehicle operator to stop moving in the middle of
50 mph traffic is unacceptable.

In light of the facts outlined above, I only have one question for the
officials of the Providence and Worcester Railroad: what the hell is
wrong with you people?

I eagerly await your reply outlining your rationale for this clear
disregard for human life and safety.


William V. Kurtz
www.thedevilsgear.com (drafter of email)


My doctor also sent me this note yesterday:

Hey megan,
I wrote "the governator" and she (her office) got back to me regarding
your injury.
Probably a generic reply but i just wanted to let you know that i let
them know that we need to get those
tracks fixed! Don't know if it makes much difference but if enough
people talk loud enough stuff will get done.
The reply is below.

The "reply" is a standard form letter from the governor's office.

Change of Plans

Funny how things can change so quickly. At first, my big concerns about moving to Pécs, Hungary were: #1. where is Keith's passport? #2. how are we going to afford this? #3. how does one get international health insurance? #4. why won't Fulbright let me control everything!? #5. what if I don't get a work VISA? And other typical MegBlack concerns.

Keith's passport was under a bag of rice in the cupboard, the cost of living in Hungary is 1/5 of the cost of living in the U.S., obtaining international health insurance is easy as long as you are healthy, when I write the check I can control everything, and to get a VISA, I just need to prove I can support myself in Hungary for the amount of time we will be there. Done and done.

So ta da! We're set--flying from JFK airport to Madrid August 10th and traveling via train to Hungary (making stops along the way in Paris, Verona, and Vienna) via train before arriving in Pécs around August 20th. We have the airfare set and the train tickets reserved but not purchased.

And then I flip off my bike and fracture my pelvis. Friday (July 16th) I went for a bike ride to Lighthouse Point Beach for a swim while Keith took a nap. The water felt amazing!! On my ride back, there are unmarked railroad tracks that cross Forbes Ave at a diagonal. I hit them wrong and flipped off my bike. I had my cellphone and called Keith--the people in the car behind me helped me get untangled from my bike while someone else called 911.

The ambulance came and took me to Yale New Haven hospital. I was on a lot of morphine and in a lot of pain. Keith beat the ambulance to the hospital by like 20 min and got kicked out of the unloading area twice when he thought I had arrived.

Jan and Ted (Keith's parents) arrived at the hospital around 11:30pm (right after I got the news about my fractured pelvis) and stayed until 2:30am. I was finally moved into a bed in the hospital around 4:30am (Keith slept on the floor--poor guy) We were finally allowed to leave the hospital around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. I was on Oxycontin and Oxycodone and thought my socks were talking to me. It was weird and painful.

Keith and I are staying at his parents' in Moodus because I cannot walk up/down stairs (our apartment is on the 4th floor of a walk up) Jan makes an excellent nurse and Ted has been bringing me all sorts of treats. Keith, as always, treats me like a princess--even when I'm cranky on painkillers or cranky because of the pain.

Due to the pain, I can't do anything by myself...anything. Jan even shaved my lower legs for me--how incredibly sweet is that!? When he told me they were on their way to the hospital, I cried.

Since Fulbright took care of our airfare--they got us refundable tickets, so we are changing our flight to August 20th and flying straight to Hungary. I'll post my x ray soon. ;-)