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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