Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

This isn't funny anymore

Tonight driving back from my parents in CT, I popped a tire on a pothole and possibly did some damage to the front axle of my car (according to the man from AAA, it is leaking oil.)

Fortunately, I was pretty close to home when this happened (Nonantum Road/Soldiers Field Road at Charlesbank Road in Watertown) and was able to get the car home before the tire went completely flat. And also, no one was hurt when this happened. (I am trying to count my blessings here, despite a LOT of frustration. It was VERY scary and upsetting.)

The tire also couldn't be removed from the axle because of the salt from the snow has the wheel sealed onto the axle (it took a lot of WD40 just to get the screws out) so AAA couldn't replace the flat with the spare. So, Monday morning, I am going to try to get my car (affectionately known as "the money pit") towed to the dealer (fun times) to see if they can get the tire off, replace the tire, and fix the leaking axle. I am hoping to be at work no later than noon, but if it turns into drama, I might just take the day. This sucks because it is going to be a quiet week, and it is a WASTE of a personal day.

Not to mention, while waiting for AAA, I MISSED celebrating the last night of Hannukah with JR. I not only suffered frustration and anxiety, but I missed brisket because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts doesn't have their act together to keep Nonantum/Soldiers Field Road/Storrow Drive well-paved. They either need to keep the road in decent shape or light it better. (I totally didn't see the pothole in the dark.) Please note that I only ask for one or the other because I realize that asking for both is a bit of a stretch < / end sarcasm>.

ETA: Thanks to the folks over at Universal Hub for correcting me on the location. I wasn't really sure what the road was called at that particular location and took an incorrect guess at it. In my defense, I was both upset and hungry. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorites at Christmas

On Saturday night, RECK and I braved the elements and drove down to the South Shore for a holiday party at M & C's. (I am dead serious about the brave part - it took us nearly two hours to get there and nearly two hours to get back - normally it would take 40 minutes each way, tops.)

At the party, someone mentioned that a friend of theirs blogged recently about the best movies that happen to be set at Christmas, but aren't necessarily Christmas movies. Here are some of the ones that we came up with:
  • Die Hard (1 & 2)
  • Bridget Jones' Diary
  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  • Love Actually
  • While You Were Sleeping
  • Home Alone
  • The Family Stone (there was some debate about that one - my argument was that it could have been set at any point in time when the family came together)
  • The Holiday (ditto)

  • I thought it would be good to list some of the best Christmas movies too:
  • A Miracle on 34th Street (I dare you not to cry)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (seriously, I dare you not to cry)
  • A Christmas Story ("You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out!")
  • Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck can't cook either!)
  • Elf ("HEY! There's no singin' in the North Pole!")
  • Meet Me in St. Louis (okay, whether this is a Christmas movie is debatable, but you have to love the "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" scene)

  • Please feel free to agree, disagree, or add to this list in the comments.

    Friday, December 19, 2008

    There is a reason that the apple of temptation is the illustration on the book jacket

    Since arriving home from work around 2:30pm (we were let out early due to blizzard), I have been reading Twilight, which I borrowed from my fabulous friend Ellen from work. I am about 400 pages in, having stopped for dinner and to make a couple of phone calls to check on family and friends in the snow.

    This book is like crack. It is crack for readers. Crack for readers with overactive imaginations. I now understand why internet blogger Cleolinda Jones has a love/hate relationship with this book. It is completely ridiculous, and yet I cannot seem to put it down. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Let Me Show You the Cold in My Eyes

    One of my colleagues thought it was amusing when I told her today that I have a "cold in my eyes" so I am blogging about it, in a bit of solidarity with other people who have this tendency.

    I started catching "colds in my eyes" within the last 3 years. Instead of catching a cold like people normally do - the coughing, sneezing, achy, stuffy head, fever, sore throat - I get very irritated, watery eyes. They usually start out feeling like sand is trapped in them, and then tears start flowing down my face uncontrollably. I might have some of the other normal cold symptoms, but a lot of the time, I just get irritation in my eyes. The first time this happened, I thought it might be pink eye. I even went to the doctor - something I am normally disinclined to do, and the PA told me that I didn't have pink eye. What I had was a cold, and there was nothing she could give me for it.

    I would much rather have the stuffy head/sneezing/sore throat because you can usually take some kind of medicine for those symptoms. For the eyes, not so much; they are too sensitive for drops. Even closing them is uncomfortable. My dad currently has a cold. Unless we both get cured soon, it is going to make for an interesting Christmas.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

    I finally have all my holiday decorations up. Here is a random sampling...

    Snowmen Snowmen

    Country Christmas wreath and star

    Fishbowl with ornaments Fishbowl with ornaments

    I got the idea for the ornaments in the round vase from something I saw in the Pottery Barn catalogue. I am really pleased with how those turned out.

    Tuesday, December 9, 2008

    Oh, Letters to Cleo, how I have missed you

    Driving to work yesterday, I noticed that Letters to Cleo was playing two sold out shows at the Paradise. Oh, how I love that Kay Hanley of LtC. She and Juliana Hatfield were the epitome of cool to 20something year old me. (LtC played in Crossroads at Holy Cross when "Aurora Gory Alice" was released my junior year. For some reason, probably involving boys, I only caught part of the show.) My friends Sauce & Sue made "Mellie's Coming Over" my theme song senior year. Then Sauce and I caught LtC in 10 Things I Hate About You at the movies in the Copley Mall. I have just COMPLETELY dated myself, and I DON'T CARE!!!!!!!! I hope that they are going to put out some new material. I'd buy it.

    photo from

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    It stands to reason...

    My aunt just sent me an email offering to loan me her copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns, if I was interested.

    My reply: Not for me, thanks. I am trying not to read any books set after 1950 because they are mostly too depressing. Not that the plague, poverty, prostitution, and the workhouse aren’t depressing, it is just that the outside chance of any of that happening to me is slim.

    (Well, except the poverty... knock on wood.)

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Reflections on Hamlet

    Did you ever think that Ophelia might not have killed herself if she had a core group of ladies to back her up? They would have told her that Hamlet was a looooooser and to forget him... and that, quite likely, he was secretly gay and in love with Horatio.

    Things I think about in the car, driving home from CT.

    Thursday, November 20, 2008

    Kindred "Spirits"

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I have seen the promised land, and it contains lots of ladies trying to save the classics.

    The more I think about it, the more I think that the Manhattan might need to be the drink of 2009. I haven't made a good Manhattan in years.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    One Good Thing; One Not So Good Thing

    I love that the Obamas are so obviously in love with each other and love their kids and the kids love them (and their new puppy). I love watching all the coverage about the move into the White House.

    I don't like that felt the need to post this photo on their site today:
    Hello, jelly donut!!!!!!! DANGER, DANGER, DANGER!

    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Nothing Quite So Cosy

    There is nothing like warm flannel sheets on chilly fall mornings. Seriously, you don't want to get up in the morning. Although in my case, it might not be just the sheets. (These are made by Eddie Bauer and were purchased on sale at LinensNThings.)

    Monday, November 10, 2008

    How much I do hate urban animals

    I had to take my car into the dealer's last week Friday, after a warning light came on that basically said, "Drive me and DIE!!!!!" (sometimes called the oil pressure sensor.) When I opened up the hood to take a look, I immediately noticed a large piece of cardboard on top of the engine. Uh, that wasn't there two weeks ago when I took my car in for service. Also, there was a funny smell of something decaying.

    Yes, true reader, you might have guessed it - a rat tried to turn my engine into its nest. ICK & GAG!! GAG & ICK!!! Thankfully, it died in there. Unfortunately, it also chewed through a lot of wiring in the car. And Audi still hasn't called me with an estimate about the repairs.

    My stomach hurts.

    I emailed my property manager telling them that I want rodent extermination escalated. I only hope my insurance will cover the repairs.

    Thanks to Flickr for the photo.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Change We Can Believe In (oh please dear God pleasepleaseplease)

    I got to Jackson Mann at 6:50 this morning to vote, and the line was already out the door. By 7:10, the line was down the steps and around the block. The people inside were doing a great job keeping the lines moving and staying upbeat. I can't help but wonder if they will be feeling the same way by the end of the day. Note to voters: it helps election officials if you know your ward and precinct number when you arrive. You can always check here if you don't know or don't remember.

    The kids arriving for school made it quite clear who they wanted people to be voting for: cries of "Obama in 08" were heard every time a group of kids got dropped off. That made me smile. I hope that they are as excited about the presidential elections when it is their time to go to the polls.

    When I was actually given my ballot, my heart started to race a little. It was so exciting to fill in the little bubble for Obama and Biden (incidentally, they are the last set of names on the Massachusetts ballot - "skip to the end" indeed.) When I put my ballot into the feeder, I gave it a little tap for good luck and then headed home.

    The walk to vote had been so quiet and peaceful; the sun just coming up and a brisk autumn chill in the air. The walk home was a reminder that I live in the city, as commuters (and voters) had begun to fill up the sidewalks.

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    I love presents to myself...

    In museums in the US, the gift shop stays open slightly later than the actual museum, ostensibly so that people can load up on stuff before they leave. In London, I learned the hard way that the gift shop closes a half hour before the museum does, and the Royal Shakespeare Company shop is not open after the play is finished. These things are, in my opinion, not the best business sense. Maybe someone wants to drop a load of cash in the shop before they leave and didn't have time to do that at the intermission because they needed to use the restroom and they are a woman so the line was insanely long. Just saying.

    So I didn't get to pick anything up at the actual RSC shop. Instead, I purchased several things on line and had them shipped to me. And they arrived yesterday. It is nice to have some reminders of the awesome time I had at the play!

    Thursday, October 30, 2008

    What's with today today?

    So in my 12 years living in the city of Boston, my favorite radio station has been 101.7 WFNX. Not to say we haven't had our problems - like when the radio station got rid of Angie C in the mornings and when they changed the format (for a time) from "alternative" to "alternative rock" (gag) - but for the most part I can count on FNX to play songs that I want to hear.

    When the new morning program, "The Sandbox", started, I was not terribly keen on the guys: Charlie, Fletcher, and Special Ed. First of all, Special Ed and Fletcher sound a lot alike, and they kept playing "Hey There Deliah" by the Plain White Ts ALL THE TIME, and I wanted to rip my ears off of my HEAD. But lately, I have begun to warm up to the format and the guys, especially Fletcher, who seems to like the same Brit pop music that I like.

    This morning, the guys were interviewing a psychic who they were hoping would contact Joseph, the ghost living in the radio station building, in the hopes that he could get the mice out of the building, so that they would stop eating the guys' food. For a split second, and I am not even sure who said it, possibly Special Ed, someone referenced the greatest camp movie of all time (IMHO) - Congo- when he said, "Stop eating my sesame cake."

    Guys, you just made me a permanent fan.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    "I must to England; you know that?"

    Back from England having spent a fabulous time with my friend and intrepid travel buddy, JeGlide, in London and an equally fabulous time in Stratford, where I did get to see DT and PS in Hamlet and started to cry about it once we were safely back in the hotel room. I think that I was overwhelmed that something I had anticipated with much excitement for months was finally over (and it was worth it, the money, the anxiety, the anticipation. So worth it.)

    Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of the things that we saw:

    St. Paul's from the South Bank Kew Gardens

    Kew Gardens Kew Gardens

    Parliament Square The Burghers of Calais

    The River Avon Shakespeare's birthplace

    I am still utterly jet lagged and cannot stop thinking about Hamlet, not just the performance, but the play itself. Good thing I still have the Branagh version from Netflix.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    You Dirty Rat

    When I was a child, I loved an "I Can Read" book called Mooch the Messy. The book begins with the sentence, "Mooch the rat lived in a hole, under a hill, in Boston, Massachusetts." Now that I live in Boston, I am somewhat less fascinated by the creatures. In fact, I am all for the widespread extermination of all vermin.

    Over the past few days, I have had a couple of interesting rat experiences. The first was on Wednesday night at the Somerville Theater. JR and I had just sat down in our seats at a showing of Hamlet 2 when I felt something quickly brush against my foot. There was something about the experience that unsettled me, and, when I asked JR if she had just touched my foot with hers, she said no. The two of us freaked and immediately put our feet up on the seats in front of us. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't stay in that position for too long, and eventually I had to put my feet back on the ground. (JR has shorter legs than I do and was able to sit like that for the duration.) Every time JR shifted in her seat or moved at all, I had to make sure it was her and not something else. EEEK! (At least I didn't scream when it happened.)

    Last night when I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a streetwise looking cat watching our building's dumpster. Figuring it had some tasty prey within its sight, I watched it for a little while, kind of like an episode of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom", just without Marlin Perkins. Suddenly, a rat come running out from behind the dumpster, headed straight for the cat. Instead of attacking the rat and there being a bloodbath of personal vindication, like had I expected, the cat jumped out of the rat's way and then ran behind the dumpster! Scaredy cat! (Not that I blame the cat. Those urban rats are crazy.)

    Friday, September 19, 2008

    Target Makes Everything Better

    I have been spending a lot of extra hours at the office over the course of the last week or so, and, last night, I ended up leaving at ten minutes to eight. I decided that I deserved a little present for all the hard work that I had been putting in, and that present was going to be the Keurig coffee pot that I had been contemplating the purchase of for the last month or so. Sister K has a pretty fancy one at her house, and I spend a ridiculous amount of money every week buying coffee from the shop that brews Green Mountain at work ($10/week really adds up.)

    (Starbucks went on the back burner at the beginning of the summer when the price of petrol went through the roof, even though the Starbucks still cost more than a gallon of gas.)

    So I got to Target, grabbed a carriage, and went off in search of my coffee maker. And there it was - on sale! I spent the $99 I budgeted for it, but then I got a $10 Target gift card with my purchase. (I plan to use that very soon.) And I was able to pick up the same kind of coffee that I had been buying at work. (I did the math, and I am not going to save a ton of money by making the coffee at home, but I will be reducing my carbon footprint in cup consumption. That is an added bonus. (And if anyone knows a reason that I won't really be reducing my carbon footprint, please don't tell me; ignorance is bliss.)

    I also needed some Downy fabric softener for this weekend's laundry, and that too was on sale! Clearly, the shopping gods were looking down favorably on me.

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Enough already about Sarah Palin

    I am considering throwing an Obama/Biden fundraiser at my home for my friends. We will each donate $25 to Joe-bama and then drink heavily while bitching about the Republicans.

    I think it will be a keen old time.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    I love books

    I started reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao the other night (for book club,) and I was having a really difficult time with it. There was something about the book that made me feel like I was fighting it. I realized, as a took a break to make a cup of tea, that it is the first book that I have read in months that hasn't either been written in 19th century England or is about 19th century England.
    Of course my brain was having problems processing: it was operating a hundred years out of its normal mode! Clearly I was not in the best zone for reading about 20th century New Jersey and Dominican Republic.

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Rambling on about nothing much...

    I haven't had really much to say of late. Things at the office are super busy, and I spend most of my free time reading about the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and getting myself really upset about the upcoming election, which isn't a very productive thing to be doing.

    I watched The Bank Job last night after having the dvd from Netflix for nearly a month. I have found that watching those kind of suspenseful scenes in heist movies that normally make me want to run into another room with a bag over my head are much more endurable when you have them on fast-forward with the closed captioning on. You get the plot development without the heart attack.

    I have given up eating desserts and in between meals in an attempt to lose 10 pounds before I go on vacation in October. I have lost 2 pounds already in just one week. This is very promising, but I am also concerned. Have I really been eating that much dessert? That cannot be a good thing. Every time I am tempted to help myself to something sweet or just cave in and run to CVS for some M&Ms, I take a look at some film actress I admire and think to myself, "does Cate Blanchett eat dessert?" Probably, but if she does, it doesn't show. It isn't really the most healthy way to wean myself off the sweets, but I am 8 days into this and haven't caved so far.

    I can't believe the summer is over. August was such a beautiful month, weather wise. I love the fall, but I wouldn't mind having a few month of those lovely August days before the days start getting really short and the cold weather arrives.

    Speaking of which, on my last day of vacation, I was driving up back roads in Lennox, MA to go to Tanglewood, and a mama bear and her two cubs ran out in front of the car ahead of me to cross the road. When I first saw the mother, I didn't really get a good look at it so I thought "that is a big dog." Then I saw the two cubs come out of the woods to follow their mother across the road and said out loud "that's no dog!!" I had to call Sister K to tell her since she had a bear in her neighborhood last fall. It was a good thing we were all obeying the speed limit.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2008

    My incredibly shrinking hair

    I have very thick, very straight hair and after growing it for most of the summer and fall, it had gotten ridiculously long by Christmastime.

    I liked the way it looked during the winter, provided I took the time to style or curl it every day. By springtime though and early summer, the humidity and the weight of my hair made that a problem, so I had 2.5 inches taken off the bottom so that it hit my shoulders.

    Two weeks ago, I could no longer stand the horror that my hair had become so another 2 inches were taken off the length and I was left with hair just below my chin. And I am one happy camper!!

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    What I did on my summer vacation...

    Or well at least part of it anyhow...

    I was down on the Cape...
    Saquatucket Harbor

    Saquatucket Harbor

    And then on Nantucket...
    Nantucket, Fat Ladies beach

    And then back on the Cape...
    Tidal marsh, Chapin Beach

    Tidal marsh, Chapin Beach

    And it was LOVELY.

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    It's a Wicked Pissah

    So last night after work, I drive over to my favorite supermarket, the Shaw's at Brighton Mills. Recently, they have been doing some renovations to the store, which has made it a little bit tricky to figure where one actually finds the pasta, for example. (There is no longer a fancy international aisle, but there is an Italian section; oddly enough, that is where the canned tomatoes are too. Why they are not with the rest of the canned fruits and vegetables, I don't know. But I digress.)

    The renovations on the whole are aesthetically pleasing, but not the best structurally (some of the aisles are too narrow while others are huge). The lighting seems to be better, and with everything being new, the store is clean and pretty.

    It wasn't until I went to check out of the store that I noticed something big. Something bigger than the new deli counter or the new pharmacy area. According to all the registers, my Shaw's was now a Star Market! Again. Somehow, I had completely missed the brand new sign on the front of the store.

    It was a Star when I first started shopping there, and it took me ages to get used to calling the store Shaw's, and now I love my Shaw's, and it is Star Market again. Did I miss an announcement about this? The Shaw's in Packard's Corner is still Shaw's; I made sure to check on my way into work today. I wonder if that is going to change back too?

    I tell you one thing: they better not be getting rid of the Shaw's brand French Onion dip; it's a winnah!

    Monday, August 4, 2008

    Do I spend too much time on the internet?

    My friend JR who knows how excited I am about going to see Hamlet in October sent me a link to McSweeney's HAMLET (FACEBOOK NEWS FEED EDITION). It is hilarious, and I thought I would share it. (This makes loads of sense if you are a Facebook person, not so much, if you aren't.)

    A sample:
    Hamlet thinks Ophelia might be happier in a convent.
    Ophelia removed "moody princes" from her interests.
    Hamlet posted an event: A Play That's Totally Fictional and In No Way About My Family
    The king commented on Hamlet's play: "What is wrong with you?"
    Polonius thinks this curtain looks like a good thing to hide behind.
    Polonius is no longer online.

    Lookee, it's David Tennant as Hamlet. SIGH. Two months to go.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Open mouth, Insert foot

    So last week, in one fell swoop, I totally ruined any hipster cred that I might have had. I went to see The Dark Knight last Thursday at the Somerville Theater with PunkRockMom, the Niblet, and PRM's friend Kevin. [I love the Somerville Theater. At $7 for a ticket and $3 for a popcorn, that is still less than the multiplexes, and you don't have to pay for parking (after 8pm).]

    As we were walking back to the car after the movie was over, discussing the merits and drawbacks (on the whole, way more merits than drawbacks), Kevin asked me what I thought of the end of the film. I said that "I liked it, but it certainly wasn't canon." The words came out of my mouth faster than I could stop myself. DOH! Good thing those guys are a bit geeky themselves.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Rain, rain, go away

    I thought I lived in Boston, but, apparently, I live in the rain forest. Or quite possibly, Florida.

    It is not supposed to be so rain stormy, thunder and lightning-y in the northeast corner of the United States, oh ye weather gods. At least not in this vast quantity. It is too bad that the lightning can't be harvested and used for electricity, although that might be a little too Neil Gaimany for real life. ;)

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Why do I bother?

    Every time I go to the Dunkin Donuts at work, something is wrong with my order. Today, I ordered a jelly stick; I received a cruller. (I threw it out because it wasn't worth the calories as I am not a fan of crullers.) It also wasn't worth it to walk all the way back to complain.

    Was this a sign from above that I shouldn't be eating the jelly stick? Because I really did want to eat it. From now on I am sticking with the Green Mountain Coffee downstairs.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Hitting the Glass Ceiling

    In case anyone was wondering, yes, there is such a thing as too much salad.

    I have to finish Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Sunday afternoon. The edition I have is 405 pages. I am on page 19. Can you say "challenge"?

    Went to Pie in Newton Center for dinner last night. I had the turkey, broccoli and cheddar hand pie for my meal and a slice of the strawberry rhubarb for dessert. The hand pie was fab, although the crust was difficult to cut, but the strawberry rhubarb pie was not tart enough. My friend RJ got the chocolate cream pie (she had already eaten supper) and THAT, my dears, was FAB. I don't know if I would go back there to eat, but I think I might order that chocolate cream pie to take home.

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Far too much information about my cookie addiction

    My friend Ellen from work (I begin a lot of sentences in real life with "My friend Ellen from work" but I think that this might be the first time I have done that in my blog) is a fantastic human being. Seriously. Someone on her blog once commented: "Ellen, how America should be", and I think that is just about right. I want a tee shirt that says that. (It would be red because red is Ellen's signature color.)

    ANYHOW, Ellen is the world's single greatest cookie baker (and trust me, I have tried a lot of cookies in my life. And if you don't believe me, take a look at the size of my bottom. That might remove any doubts you might have.) Ellen frequently bakes cookies and brings them into the office, much to the delight of her colleagues. My personal favorites: the chocolate chip cookies. Seriously, these are the best dang cookies you will ever taste. Each one has just the right amount of chips, the right amount of chewiness, and the bottoms are never even slightly darker than golden brown.

    The other day, she took a stab at the New York Times recipe for chocolate chip cookies, and she brought them in today. Because that is what Ellen does: bakes and shares.(Check out her blog for a photo.) I tried the cookies out and felt that cookies that take over 24 hours to make deserved a serious taste test and review.

    And this is what I have to say about the cookies as a cookie connoisseur:
    • the cookies were a beautiful golden brown and looked like they could have come out of Mrs. Field's bakery; they also had some height to them

    • the cookies were a nice texture, thicker than Ellen's traditional cookies, but not as chewy either

    • at first, I wasn't a fan of the salt on the top, but after I had my coffee, I found that the salt was a nice compliment to the taste of the coffee

    • the chocolate wasn't as sweet as I like. I know that darker chocolate is better for you, and it is being used more frequently now, but I like regular old chips in my cookies.

    Ultimately, I think that these cookies are very good, but the fact that they took a lot of work and the batter had to chill a full 24 hours before they could be baked (no instant gratification here,) made me more inclined to favor Ellen's traditional chocolate chip cookies, which it turns out, ARE the Nestle's Toll House cookies. Hmmm, go figure. A classic, just like Ellen herself.

    Wednesday, July 9, 2008

    Downtown -- everything's waiting for you

    Last week, I was out of the office, hanging out in town and then visiting my family in CT. I managed to get some awesome shots in historical downtown Boston on Monday, June 30th. I thought they turned out rather well.

    Boston-6-30-2008-Quincy Market 3




    Friday, June 27, 2008

    Bill Gates Meets the Queen

    This photo from makes me laugh. I came up with a pretty good caption. "We are not amused by Service Pack 3. Or Vista. And, no, presents will not make it better."

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate...

    Last Wednesday, I was called to Boston Superior Court for jury duty. I got there just after 8am, having been kept up a significant portion of the evening by people in the streets celebrating the Celtics victory (I was happy, but annoyed at the same time.) I brought an Agatha Christie novel (about as close to crime as I like to get) and hoped that my number would not be called to be empaneled. As luck would have it, I missed out on being empaneled on the first two juries called, and the last three cases settled. The last one to settle was a criminal case that would have required 90 jurors; what did those guys do? I am glad they took the plea; it was all very "Law & Order."

    Anyhow, when we were finally done for the day, I took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat in Quincy Market, and then walked over to Talbots in Downtown Crossing, where I picked up a tee shirt to replace one I had ruined earlier in the week. (They had some really nice, high quality, keep their shape, bright colored tee shirts at Talbots, on sale!)

    I was dressed that day somewhat like a Talbots' advertisement. I had on a floral long sleeved blouse, a pair of cuffed navy slacks, brown boots, a white cardigan tied around my shoulders, and I was wearing my pearls and pearl earrings. Needless to say, I was the most conservatively dressed person at jury duty, which consisted mostly of people wearing either tee shirts and jeans or shorts or capris. One lady was wearing a suit, but it wasn't a conservative one. I was also carrying my summer Coach purse. (Thanks, overtime!)

    As I headed for the Park Street T station, I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and spied my friend Sauce, who was with two of his lawyer colleagues. I had tried calling him earlier on one of the jury duty breaks to see if he had wanted to meet me for lunch, but I had gotten his voice mail instead. Sauce took one look at my outfit and realized that it must have been my day for jury duty service. "You look like you just escaped from the Junior League."

    I countered with, "I was thinking more like the Connecticut Ladies Rotary. Please take note of the pearls. Or the Young Republicans." I made a face.

    He then observed the Talbots bag hanging loosely over my shoulder. "Is that a prop!?!" he exclaimed, much to my embarrassment. I told him and his colleagues about my run into Talbots, multi-tasking as I was in town. They congratulated me on being released early, and Sauce and I said we would catch up soon. They continued on in the direction of the courthouse, while I headed home to take a much needed nap.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    What happened to "wicked bummed"?

    You know that your Anglophilia has completely pervaded your life when you realize that you sent someone an email where you unconsciously wrote that you were "gutted" that you couldn't participate in an activity. And this was to a person who doesn't know me well enough yet to know that I have these occassional Brit outbursts. Yeesh.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    What happened to retro being cool?

    I am all for modernization, but is this really necessary??

    This illustrates my feelings that those of us who were kids in the 80s had the BEST cartoons. Why do they have to be updated? Why can't they be embraced for what they are? If parents are looking for innocent things for their kids, why can't it be the innocence of our childhoods?

    Leave the innocence of my childhood left intact, Corporate America!!!

    Next thing you know, Raggedy Ann is going to have a designer bag and a Sidekick while Raggedy Andy is wearing saggy pants and aviator glasses. (I have a homemade Raggedy Ann and Andy that my Great Aunt Lena made for me sitting in the cedar closet in my parents' attic just waiting for my kids to be born.)

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    Playing the "Grown Up" Card

    My friend JR sent me a link to this story about "being an adult" on the Dooce blog today. (The post is about having low/zero tolerance for jerky behavior at concerts. I am so there.)

    The post is prefaced with this: See if you can get through this post of his without using Google. Go ahead. Try it. See?

    Uh, I didn't need to Google anything. I didn't get why people needed Google. Was it because of the bands? Clearly, I am still a hipster then! :-) A crabby adult hipster, but a hipster all the same. ;-) (Seriously, does this make me still a hipster that I knew all the band references in the article? I thought that all of them were fairly mainstream. Or maybe I just listen to the right radio stations, thank you Paul Driscoll on WFNX.)

    The post though is really relevant to me today. I talked myself out of going to see The Fratellis tonight at the Paradise because I didn't want to deal with jerky concert goers in this heat.

    Tuesday, June 10, 2008

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    Still here

    I have been ultra busy of late, with work and with life. Through the thoughtfulness of a colleague, I got to see JK Rowling do her thing over at Harvard. My favorite part of her speech was about her college friends: "The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children's godparents, the people to whom I've been able to turn in times of real trouble, friends who have been kind enough not to sue me when I took their names for Death Eaters." I ended up leaving voice mail messages for a couple of my best college friends after that. JK is utterly right on that front; they have certainly turned out to be among the best friends in my life.

    My friend Ellen took a photo of The Protégé in her cap and gown with her fellow Sloan grads. I missed seeing her march because I was across the street getting ready for the lunch (we were five minutes late), but I got to see it on the archived simulcast. I miss her already.

    Events last week were particularly stressful. My car crapped out the day before a big work event, and I was stuck relying on cabs and public transportation. I realized during this particular occasion how much I really am a person who needs her car. Having the car is a huge part of my freedom and mobility, and having it taken away unexpectedly was a real blow. How American can you get? When I got it back, I did even blink at the cost of filling up the tank; I was THAT HAPPY to have my car returned.

    I babysat this weekend for the Niblet while his PunkRockMom was out of town on business. Sitting through a Little League game in the sun and heat on Saturday I think earned me a cosmic/karmic prize. Good grief. Poor kid was not in good shape at the end of that game. Whose idea is it to play baseball in the summer, outside, in polyester? Lots of Gatorade was administered, STAT, along with some really good grapes we picked up at Shaw's.

    After watching a good number of episodes of series one and two of "Doctor Who", we spent Sunday in the dark (relative) coolness of the NE Aquarium. My favorite fish was the octopus, with the turtle running a close second. The Niblet enjoyed the sharks (what nine year old boy DOESN'T like the sharks?) Afterwards, we went outside for a short walk around the harbor where the Niblet found seven decent sized jellyfish swimming right next to the dock. Yuck. I mean, cool, science.

    After this weekend, I think that my maternal needs have been fulfilled for the time being. (Don't get me wrong. He was VERY well behaved, and we had a lot of fun despite the fact that many of the things I suggested we do were "strange". I did get bonus points for introducing the Niblet to Pizzaria Regina and for making a shepherd's pie that went over very well (I thought it had too much gravy.) I just have realized more than ever that I am not cut out for single parenthood.) Well, I thought that until I saw my friend D's little bibs and Onesies she customized as baby gifts for some friends of hers. Maybe I don't want children; maybe I just want dolls to dress.

    I plan on spending this week in the air conditioning as much as possible and catching up on a lot of missed sleep.

    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Year of the Sidecar - Progress Report

    Last night, I was watching a new episode of Doctor Who, and, in it, the Doctor's companion, Donna Noble, orders a sidecar to drink. I let out a whoop of joy. The message has been spread across the pond!

    Not that it matters at all that the episode was set in the 1920s... nope, it is all about me bringing back the classic cocktails. Donna also mentions a Harvey Wallbanger, which is on the short list for 2009. :-)

    One problem with Donna's sidecar - no sugared rim!! C'mon folks, it's part of the drink!

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Kill Your Television

    Every week, I watch "Lost" thinking "this is it, I am done. The last one. I am not going to watch this show after tonight's episode." And then they throw something at me like last night's episode, and I am totally sucked in for another week. Curse you, "Lost", you are like the mafia. Every time I try to get out, you pull me back in. (Thank goodness next week's is the season finale.)

    Tuesday, May 13, 2008

    Things that Make Me Happy

    Lots going on at the moment, but I thought I would take some time jot down some good things going on in life at the moment.

    1. Burritos from Anna's Taqueria. Seriously addictive and such a tasty lunchtime meal.

    2. Muse. They were featured on "Live from Abbey Road" on the Sundance Channel, and it made me love them even more. I am nowhere near their biggest fan, but I have some serious love for this band.

    3. Continuing on the theme of good things found on the Sundance Channel, I am totally hooked on Slings and Arrows and have rented the entire series from Netflix. If you are not familiar with this show, it is about a Shakespeare Theater Festival in Canada, and the ins and outs of their production seasons. It is clever; it is charming; it is a pretty accurate portrayal of the backbiting in the theater world. Makes me miss my college theater years desperately. (Plus, one of the "Slings and Arrows" writers wrote the musical The Drowsy Chaperone, which was one of the most funny musicals I had experienced in quite some time.)

    4. The generic form of Veramyst nasal spray. It is totally knocking my allergies on their butts. Touche, allergies!

    5. Catherine Tate on the new series of "Doctor Who". I didn't really like her character Donna when she turned up in the Christmas special before series 3, but I seriously love her right now. Donna is totally accessible. I feel if I were going to end up being a companion to the Doctor, she is the kind of companion I would be, except I would not be so up for the running. There is seriously LOADS of running. (It made me laugh when Donna mentioned all the running in the most recent episode.) I don't do running; it makes one sweaty. Yick.

    6. Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell. It is like The DaVinci Code for Shakespeare fans. I am having a hard time putting it down. BONUS POINTS for geographically accurate description of Harvard Square. (I had a dream inspired by this book the other night: I was at the Courtyard Theater in Stratford, waiting to see Hamlet, and I ended up sitting next to Oprah Winfrey, who engaged me in a debate about what makes a quality sandwich and the authorship of the plays written by William Shakespeare. I then went on a manic search throughout the theater desperately hunting for... a bathroom. I really need to get out more.)

    7. I am really excited to see The History Boys at the Calderwood Pavilion this Friday. I totally loved the film; it will be interesting to see how it transfers to Boston, (I wonder if they are going to do it with accents.) The biggest concern I have is that it is going to be weird seeing it without Richard Griffiths because he was such an integral part of my enjoyment of the film. But the reviews are good, and I think it will be a fun evening out with my friends.

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    Speculation is the Enemy of Calm

    It is nice when people email you to tell you that they were thinking of you while they were watching "Cranford" on Masterpiece Classic. It is because I am soooo classic, just like Dame Judi Dench (although I think my character is more like Eileen Atkins.)

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    I said I would rather be with your friends, mate

    Another really good champagne/sparkling wine is Sofia by Francis Coppola. It is super yummy. (Exactly why it is super yummy is a little muddled at the moment, but it really was.) And in a really pretty pink bottle with a pretty label. And yes, I did buy it because it was named after rocking writer/director Sofia Coppola (geek grin) and in a pretty bottle, but it tasted SO GOOD. Also, tastes divine with both strawberries and blue cheese.

    Saturday night was a ridiculously fun time. I had invited "The Ladies" over to watch movies ostensibly (a Zombie Double Feature of Shaun of the Dead and Army of Darkness) but it degraded turned into a night of discussion, the quality of which rapidly eroded after the consumption of champagne and sidecars into a reflection on high school, movies, and music, and I dug out my old Charlie Sexton tapes and made people listen while PunkRockMom and I reflected on the music from our youth.

    In the meantime, my friend MEM directs me to the blog Fail, which is really big on the schaudenfreude.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Year of Champagne (Anytime)

    I don't think that have mentioned this in my journal yet, but 2008 is the "Year of Champagne (Anytime)" (as 2007 was the "Year of the Sidecar".) I have gotten a number of people to convert to the sidecar (a classic cocktail that should not have been as sorely neglected as it has) last year, and now I am trying to encourage people that champagne should not be reserved purely for special occasions, but can be enjoyed at any time.

    This of course requires finding a champagne that you like. For a long time, I was convinced that all champagne tasted like that $10 Korbel Brut (eww!), and I didn't really like the high end Veurve Cliquot either as it was too dry for my taste. However, a lot of tasting later (and a clever friend who was able to help me identify what I liked and disliked in champagne,) and I have been converted to sparkling white wine!! I am now a huge fan of prosecco and have been attempting to find "my" champagne.

    One of the sparkling white wines that I have tried and liked is Roederer Estate (Roederer is a French brand, but Estate is grown/made in California.) It is really good and, at $19 a bottle at Trader Joe's, is very reasonably priced for a Roederer. I should think that only a real wine proficient could tell this California wine (a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir) from the real thing. And as a person who doesn't really LIKE champagne (I still prefer prosecco,) I could seriously drink this stuff like water. SO SO SO good. It is bubbly fruity goodness. It is very good served cold, although when it warms up, it is still quite nice. I suggest serving it with some stinky cheese and fruit on a Friday after work.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    It's Not Easy Being Green

    Sister K mentioned last weekend as we drove her friend D-Rod out to Logan Airport that UPS is now planning their routes not to include any left hand turns to save on gasoline and be more "green" overall.

    There is an article about that in today's Green Blog at I think that it is certainly something to consider. I have been taking a number of left hand turns now that my usual route to work has been disrupted by major construction at BU. (Thanks a lot BU for fixing the sidewalks, but it would have been nicer if someone fixed the twelve million potholes first. Just an idea.) But my usual route is nearly all right hand turns. So I am doing my bit, and I wasn't even thinking about it.

    Imagine if we all planned our commutes to eliminate left hand turns. At $3.23 a gallon, I don't see any harm in doing so!

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Skanking in my Head

    I don't think that it is possible to say enough about the positive influence that a little bit of ska can have on the soul. So I am not going to even try. I will just remark that anything that can put a little bit of rhythm in your body when you are operating on way too little sleep and wearing a suit is a very good thing.

    Friday, April 11, 2008


    You know that spring is really here when you can smell the freshly laid mulch.

    Thursday, April 3, 2008

    Out and About

    So I had mentioned before I went away that I was planning to attend an event at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It was one of their Third Thursday After Hours at the ISGM, and I would like to encourage all of my fellow Bostonians to attend if they have the opportunity and inclination. It was a young crowd and certainly not a meat market. (Though we speculated that there might have been some first dates going on there. Gentlemen, this is a great first date locale!)

    The museum looked beautiful; it was like being at a party at a villa in Venice or Spain. The ambiance was very romantic (in a classic sense), and yet, there was still a cool vibe coming from the jazz combo playing in the courtyard. When I first walked in, I commented to Co-Worker Corey that I felt like I was in The Talented Mr. Ripley in the Matt Damon role ("I always thought it would be better, to be a fake somebody... than a real nobody"), but by the night I ended up feeling ended up feeling really special, like I had been let in on a secret.

    We ended up being joined by some of my other friends and enjoyed a delicious meal at the cafe, which had plenty of room available, great service, and wonderful fare. I would certainly go there top eat again, and the prices were very reasonable.

    I love the museum itself, mostly because it doesn't feel like a museum. It feels like you are in a European villa, and the owner has given you carte blanche to examine their collection. The coolest thing JR and I discovered, quite by chance, was a scrap of a dress owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, that was hidden under velvet in one of the display cases. We only wished that the hallway was a little bit brighter to help us see more clearly.

    Something to keep in mind: finding a parking space at 6:00pm was the most difficult part of the evening. My friends who joined us closer to 7:00pm had a far less difficult time. We did end up in a primo spot on Museum Street, but only after circling for 15 minutes.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    Tunes on the Player

    Sister B gave me an iPod shuffle for my birthday a couple of weeks ago (I am officially in my mid-30s, which are the new mid-20s, so I am not bothered... much,) and I am totally hooked on this little piece of technology. The purpose for the gift was to help motivate me to go to the gym (which I am doing,) but more importantly, I am working on the world's greatest exercise mix. Unfortunately, the world's greatest exercise mix is more like the world's greatest dance mix, and, instead of making me want to walk on the treadmill, it makes me want to go out dancing. I need to get some folks together to make that happen.

    RANDOM DIGRESSION: It seems like lately, I have been listening a lot to Muse and the Viva Blackpool soundtrack. (God, I love import cds.) I need to broaden my musical horizons at present. I usually am listening to a whole bunch of random things at once, but lately, Muse and Viva Blackpool seem to dominate. I am toying with the idea of going to see the lead singer of Pink Martini at the Paradise, but I am concerned that it won't be Pink Martini material. The other idea I was toying with was seeing Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls at the Boston Pops. THAT would be interesting, but I don't know if I want to fork over the cash. (I suppose that is what happens when you are used to seeing bands in clubs, and they break into the big time.)

    Monday, March 31, 2008

    Birds go flying at the speed of sound, to show you how it all began.

    I was on vacation last week in Florida, visiting my parents for Easter down in Sarasota. Shortly after 8:30pm on Wednesday night, we were interrupted while watching a movie by a very loud boom. None of us knew what the noise could have been, and my dad went outside to investigate. It sounded like an electrical transformer exploding (which I encountered in college the night the lights went out in Woo) or even a bomb going off! I was concerned about him going outside, but there was nothing to be seen except the neighbors going outside to investigate too. At a loss, he came back in, and we restarted the film. (It was Enchanted, by the way. We all hated it.)

    The next day we read in the paper what the noise was: the space shuttle Endeavor broke the sound barrier when it was landing. For a moment, I felt like I belonged in The Right Stuff!

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Thursday's Child

    Despite how it may look, there is not a uniform policy in the office at work. Diana just happens to idolize my style, that is all. :) I don't think we could have dressed more alike if we had planned it.

    Heading with some lovely friends to the Gardner Museum after work to partake of the Third Thursday activities. I hear that it is lots of fun, and the gross old man quotient is at a low. Plus, art and socializing is always good.

    My friend Emily gave me a whoopee cushion for my birthday. I don't think that I have ever had one of these before. I think that I might need to make up for lost time. Look out, office mates. I might need to use this on the Protégé. She also gave me a retro penmanship kit which reminds me of the time in the second grade I tried to teach myself cursive from a book and misread it thinking that the capital "J" was actually a capital "I". I ended up writing my mom an interesting letter about how much "J love her."

    I wonder if she saved that.

    There is going to be tea this afternoon. Tea is always a good thing. I am very much looking forward to the tea.

    Note to WBOS 92.9FM: people who are in their early 30s (for at least one more day) seriously do not need you to identify yourself as an "oldies" radio station when you are playing songs like "Heart Shaped Box" by Nirvana or "Back on the Chain Gang" by The Pretenders. You are going to end up giving me a complex.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2008

    Under Pressure

    I am so out of it/stressed out that yesterday I walked into the shower and took a shower with my glasses on. It was only when they fogged up that I realized that I had forgotten to take them off!!

    Tuesday, February 26, 2008

    Seven random habits/quirks/facts about myself

    1. I like to eat breakfast every day. If I don't have breakfast, I get cranky. Really cranky. Like the Hulk cranky.
    2. I tidy up my work area each night before going home. I can't stand coming in to a mess.
    3. I usually am reading three to four books concurrently. I don't think that you need to finish one before starting a new one, especially if you vary up the genres.
    4. I treat the Pottery Barn catalog like it is porn. When it arrives, I stop everything and read it from cover to cover.
    5. I check the locks on the doors twice before going to bed, just to be sure.
    6. My favorite kind of cake is homemade yellow cake (from a box) with chocolate frosting (from a jar). I prefer Betty Crocker, but will certainly eat Pillsbury. Sister B once made a coconut cake from scratch, and I didn't like it nearly as much as I like the frozen Pepperidge Farm kind.
    7. I have an obsession with high end pocketbooks that are utterly impractical and, yet, are so lovely to look at. Shoes are difficult because sometimes they don't fit right, but I haven't met a pocketbook yet that I didn't like.

    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    "Let us dare to read, think, speak and write."

    A link to the below was on my receipt from the Post Office today, where I went to buy stamps at lunchtime. I thought it was great, and as I have been a pretty good letter writer in the past, I thought it was important to share this news.

    Power of the Letter
    Today, it's easy to forget the value of a heartfelt, handwritten letter or card. But the written word holds a singular place in the American story.

    In his prolific correspondence, John Adams left us a remarkable first-person account of the birth of our nation, as well as a candid portrait of his life and personal relationships. John and his wife Abigail's letters offer a window to our past; we can be inspired to revive this tradition, to return to the enduring power of the written word, and leave a legacy for future generations.

    And to celebrate letter writing, First-Class Mail® letters will be postmarked with our special Power of the Letter cancellation in February and March.

    Is this addiction?

    Compliments of my friend Emily, I am drinking a Diet Coke. I can feel it starting to kill my digestive system, and I just don't care. It it THAT good. YUM!

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008


    You know how in My Big Fat Greek Wedding the main character's father uses Windex to fix everything that goes wrong?? Aches and pains, even zits! It works! (Well, in the movie at least.)

    Well, Sister K told me about a trick for stains that she learned from a friend of hers whose father was a dry cleaner. If you have a spot on your clothes that is a grease spot, use baby powder to blot the spot up, and then brush away the powder and POOF! the spot is gone.

    Today at lunch, I got something on my shirt. I don't know what the something was, but it didn't come off with water. And while trying to get it off with water, I soaked my shirt. One of my favorite shirts. I was not remotely happy about this. Then, I remembered that a colleague, who I had told about this powder trick, had given me a small bottle of Johnson and Johnson's baby powder for Christmas.

    So I let the shirt dry as I hid behind my desk. Then I hit the shirt with the powder and brushed it off. The spot... nearly invisible. (It would be invisible to anyone other than me.) POOF! Just like that.

    And now I smell like happy babies. Bonus!

    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    One of these days, Alice, To the moon...

    This actual conversation just happened. [To preface, I have a ganglion cyst in my left hand that I have been "treating" for years by having someone whack it with a heavy book, preferably a hard cover dictionary. Usually it is PunkRockMom, but since she left work, I haven't been able to deal with this because I can't whack it myself, and everyone else freaks out about hitting me. Apparently, I didn't mention the ganglion to the Protégé before I began this exchange.]

    Me (to the Protégé): Hey, you are kind of vicious...

    Protégé: Umm...

    Me: (draws circle on wrist over ganglion) Here take this book (hands heavy dictionary to Protégé) and hit me with it here (points to circle.)

    Protégé: Umm, okay, but what if I don't hit it hard enough?

    Me: You have to hit it hard; if you don't hit it hard, I will be mad.

    Protégé: Let me practice first. (practices three fake hits and then slams my hand with the dictionary.)

    Me: (testing wrist) Hey, I think that worked. (puts away dictionary)

    Protégé: That was different.

    Me: You should tell your mom. It's not every day your boss calls you "vicious" and then asks you to hit her hard with a book.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    another one gone too soon

    An overwhelming number of people in the blogisphere have posted commenting about the untimely death of actor Heath Ledger yesterday. The reoccurring theme in the posts are shock and unexpected sadness at the loss of this talented artist. Everyone keeps saying that they are much more effected by this news than they would have guessed they would have been. Myself included.

    Reflecting on this while reading the posts, I have come to realize for myself, (that as far as I knew) Heath Ledger was not a part of this crazed young Hollywood culture that I have come to despise and ridicule. From what I knew of him, he was an actor who was committed to his craft, took risks in his work, took parts in films based on the strength of the role or the strength of the director or cast not on the paycheck, loved his little girl, and lived in Brooklyn. He kept a relatively low profile, and even his romantic breakups were not extended tabloid fodder.

    I could totally see something like this happening to Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan; Brad Renfro's death last week was not surprising (his police record for drug abuse was common knowledge.) I equated Ledger with actors who I think are above that behavior, a Leonardo DiCaprio or a Tobey Maguire, who separate "play time" from "work time" and who are recognized more for their talent than their escapades. I was (and still am) seriously looking forward to seeing Ledger go head to head with Christian Bale (one of the greatest actors of my generation) in this new Batman movie.

    Lately, Encore has been showing the Ledger/Miller Casanova, and every time it is on, I stop to watch. (I really should just buy the dvd.) Ledger is so versatile in the film, charming and funny, and yet still full of sincerity. I just love his scenes with Jeremy Irons. It is the same role that David Tennant played that year on TV, yet each actor made it his own. I think that Ledger captured the physical sensuality of the part in a way that Tennant did not (then again, Tennant's Casanova was far more clever.) Ledger did the same thing with his part in Brokeback Mountain; he didn't have a lot of lines, but his face and gestures communicated so much.

    The one good thing to come out of this tragedy is that it is obvious that people have not become completely immune to these kind of losses. And that as fun as it can be to indulge in some old-fashioned schadenfreude while following stories of Britney Spears' manic behavior, people still actually care about each other. Talent is still appreciated, not just on a "how much did we take in at the box office" way either. I feel bad for his parents and his daughter, because they will experience the loss of the man, but I also feel bad for us, the audience, who have lost the artist.

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    Bag Tag, or Show All Your Stuff

    My friend Diana tagged me in the Bag Tag meme yesterday. And so I present to you, my pocketbook and its many contents.

    My bag is a black Coach leather hobo that I picked up this summer at the Coach outlet. I heart it lots, and even took it to London with my because I could stuff fit my little Totes umbrella in it!

    I can fit lots of fun things in my bag because of the pockets on the inside and the overall roomie interior. I have my work ID and keys, my cell phone (in its pink case), Palm Pilot (ditto on the pink case), Vera Bradley Java Blue wallet (I heart this pattern), my iPod (in its little blue sock), eye and sun glasses (both prescription), favorite pen, and four of the new Presidential dollar coins, which were given to me by my coin collecting father. Yesterday, I also stuffed in the new issue of Vanity Fair, the new cds by Editors and the Killers, a hair elastic, and my black leather gloves. I also have a little Coach zip pouch for things like tissues, cough drops, lip gloss and Dramamine.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    The Newfallen Snow

    The snow outside my bedroom windows this morning made such a pretty picture that I decided to capture it.

    First Snow 15 January 2008

    First Snow 15 January 2008

    First Snow 15 January 2008

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    The First Snow Storm of 2008

    I took the T in to Hynes and then switched to the bus because NOTHING in Allston was shoveled or plowed. There is really nothing like riding the B line on a crummy Monday morning. < /irony>

    The one funny thing was that the majority of the people taking the train this morning were united in their annoyance at having to come to work in a blizzard so it was very quiet and people were polite.

    I am so glad that I have a Charlie Card. It makes a HUGE difference in the life of this occasional public transportation traveler. We had to come in on time today; I just hope that we get early dismissal later!

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    Seeing Red

    Today, I picked up three "Lily" bracelets, one for myself and each of my sisters. The Lily bracelets were created by Boston based jewelry designer Jojo, in conjunction with Lily Burns, a friend and colleague of mine who had a stroke in the summer of 2006 and subsequently open heart surgery that winter. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds of the bracelets are going to the American Heart Association, up to $10,000.

    When Lily had her stroke, I was one of her colleagues who took the news incredulously. This is a woman who works out every day, who teaches aerobics, who eats fruit and vegetables, drinks loads of water and who rarely touches birthday cakes or sweets brought into the office. If this could happen to her, then what about me? I have a (small) heart murmur, and I drink a ridiculous amount of Diet Coke. (Well, drank. I have gotten a lot better about drinking more water and less soda, which has improved both my blood pressure and the health of my teeth.)

    Anyhow, I thought that the bracelets would make nice "sisters" Valentine's Day gifts, as well as helping to raise money for the Heart Association. This goes along with my whole mind scheme for 2008 to get myself into better overall health through rest, diet and exercise because, to be completely honest, I do not take enough care of my physical person, which is not particularly smart, as I intend to have a long life. The bracelet will be a good reminder to stick to my goals for the year.

    Fortunately, Lily is doing really well and is back at work and in good health and spirits. She is currently writing a book about her experience to help other young women who suffer strokes. Her activism on behalf of heart health has touched a lot of us in our office community. Including me, which is why I am reminding folks now that February 1st is National Wear Red Day, where people wear the color red to show support for women's heart disease awareness. So make sure you mark the day on your calendar (it is a Friday, because there are 31 days in January, thanks, JR) and wear red to support women like Lily and raise awareness of women's heart health.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    Old Buildings Have Their Charm

    The office I in which I work is in an old academic building, and the infrastructure is a bit antiquated. Over the four day holiday weekend, a lock on one of the windows came loose, and the window blew open and stayed open. All weekend.

    It was 50 degrees F in the office when I came in just before 9am. It is now about 63. I have on my hat and scarf and am sitting in front of the heater which needs a serious jump start.

    I think that I might travel down the hall in a little while, in search of a reasonable temperature. Oddly, this reminds me of senior year of college when our dorm couldn't manage to regulate the heat in the building properly, and we were either sweating or wrapped up in wool.

    ETA. A colleague just came in to let me know that SHE opened the window because she noticed that a BIRD had gotten into our office over the weekend, through a different window that someone else had left open in our suite. Thank GOD she did because, if I had come in this morning to find a bird in here, I would have DIED. Irrational fears may be irrational, but that would NOT have been a very good start to the new year.


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