Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Picture Can Say So Much

My friends JR and RH got married on Sunday in Ashland. This picture of the three of us is the epitome of 13 years of close friendship.

Dancing feet

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lost in Ashland

Normally when I write these entries, I write about being lost in Somerville and calling PunkRockMom to give me directions to get the hell out of Dodge, or at least back to Prospect Street. Tonight, "Ms. Darcy" and I were driving back from JR's wedding rehearsal dinner out in Ashland, and we got lost for 45 minutes trying to find our way back from the hall to the highway.

It is one thing to get lost in the city, where things are well lit, and there are gas stations or Store 24s where you can pull over and get your bearings or ask for directions. The middle of Metro West is a whole other story, driving around on dark winding roads where you need to have your high beams on until a car coming the other direction, with its high beams on, forces you to cut the lights and drive blind for a moment or two. We had to retrace our steps not once, but twice, when we finally found a man getting into his car in Ashland Center who told us how to get to Route 9, and, from there, the Pike. (Bless him.)
Lost in Ashland
I don't like being lost, and I really don't like being lost in the dark in the middle of nowhere, or what feels like the middle of nowhere. Being lost tonight reminded me of high school, driving out to friends' houses in Berlin or Southington, that were out in the middle of cornfields, at least in comparison to New Britain. As much as I think that I like the country, I really am a city girl at heart. I like my street lights, I like my taxi cabs, and I like my Starbucks.

I don't know if Ms. Darcy had noticed, but I was driving with my jaw tightly clenched until we finally got on the Pike, even when I was talking. I am convinced that some archeologist, many years from now, is going to find my skeleton and based on the state of my teeth, hypothesize I had some dietary thing going on - like I was a vegetarian - when in reality, I had ground my teeth into a pulp from stress and tension. My poor teeth!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Music makes the people come together... yeah

I am in the process of putting all of my cds on my computer, and, subsequently, my 80G iPod Classic. At this point in time, I now have over 10,000 songs on the iPod (it is about half full.)

I decided to do this when I had to move my heavy cd racks and a bunch of the stereo equipment in my apartment to accommodate the annual visit of our condo's exterminator. I realized that, most of the time, instead of putting cds in the disc changer, I was just plugging my iPod into my tuner's AUX jack and playing playlists. (The playlist IS the mix tape for the new millennium.)

So I began the process of ripping the cds to mp3s. I already have ripped classical, film scores, world, reggae/ska, and jazz. I still have my entire pop/rock section to go (yes, I organize my cds by genre.) I will be putting my cds in storage with the absolute "must-keeps" in a little box in one of my closets (for the car and such).

It is nice to have some of the cds, especially for the car, but most new music I am downloading from iTunes. Plus, the way things are going with technology, it makes more sense to accumulate less stuff to clutter up the place. I know the music quality of the mp3s isn't the greatest, but are cds really all that better? Until they start making music in high definition, I think that I am going to stick with this plan.

Now, if I could just figure out what I am going to do with all my vinyl.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Take Your Mama Out Tonight

Last night, JR and I got together and had dinner at Hungry Mother in Kendall Square. I must have gone by the restaurant a number of times without noticing it before last night. Fortunately, I recognized the sign with the small cardinal logo from the website as I was driving past. Hungry Mother is subtly tucked away in a converted house, just down the street from the Kendall Square Cinema. When I heard the menu was Southern, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't sure if it was going to be like Famous Dave's or Redbones or what. The atmosphere was perfectly suited to my taste, hip while being comfortable and unpretentious, and, even though the restaurant was crowded, it didn't get terribly loud. The tables are a little bit cosy, and we did end up asking the people at the table next to us what they were eating as we eyeballed their entrees. (They had eaten there a number of times and gave some high praise to the catfish.)

We started with an order of the Southern-style cornbread with Sorghum butter, which I had never had before and tastes like a delicious blend of butter and maple syrup. So tasty. For our entrees, JR got the grilled rainbow trout in the almond butter vinaigrette, while I had the French-style gnocchi with pancetta. We ended up sharing our entrees, and that was SUCH a good idea. The trout was delicious, crispy on the outside, flaky on the inside, with lots of flavor. The gnocchi was a lot smaller than I am used to, but was still a light, puffy pillow, and the sauce was fantastic! JR asked for more bread so that the sauce wouldn't go to waste. Our waitress was attentive without being overbearing, and we weren't rushed out the door as we lingered talking over our respective tea and coffee.

While the menu isn't really expansive, there is variety in the selection, and the quality was very, very good. Prices are what you would expect at a nicer restaurant in Cambridge, reasonable, but not cheap (~$22 entree). The restaurant uses sustainable foods, and they recycle and compost. (It says so on their menu.) The drink and wine menu is diverse. I definitely want to go back soon. I wonder if they have outdoor space for the summer?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Seven things that are making me smile

This morning I was thinking about all the things that are currently making me happy. I thought I would post the list as a little reminder/pick me up for myself.

  • my new Tom Ford knock-off sunglasses. I like them so much, I bought a second pair in brown. They ROCK!

  • the play list at WFNX. The alternative songs out lately are very cool.

  • DVR cable. Why did I wait so long to make the switch? I had no idea how much tv I was missing.

  • tickets to the Depeche Mode concert at Great Woods in July. And Muse is touring this fall!

  • Intimacy of Boston. I first heard of this store from Carson Kressley's "How to Look Good Naked". While their stuff isn't inexpensive, it is AWESOME (and well made). Plus, the folks in the Boston store are super nice and helpful. (I worked with Maria, the assistant manager.) I left there feeling happy and confident with my purchases.

  • the chicken burritos from Anna's Taqueria. I am only allowing myself to get one a week so that I appreciate them when I have them.

  • flower boxes outside my bedroom window with herbs growing in them
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Measure Your Life in Love

    Sister K graduated from the UCONN School of Business this past Mothers' Day weekend. It was also the 10th anniversary of the death of our brother, who, oddly enough, was driving himself to back Providence from UCONN where he had been visiting some friends and fell asleep at the wheel and crashed his car. So I went down to CT to celebrate my sister, honor my mother, and remember my brother.

    When we lost him, I was very angry, but eventually I really started to focus on what was important in life. I try to take advantage of opportunities afforded to me, and I try to let my family and friends know how important they are to me. I also try to follow his example in the way he lived life, especially in not taking things things too seriously and being open to new people and trying not to judge them. (I don't always succeed at either, but I am more conscious of it.)

    When he died at the age of 22, he had a whole slew of friends from a bunch of diverse backgrounds and parts of his life. He still had so much he could have done; he didn't even get the chance to graduate from college. The friends he left behind though and the support that they gave to our family and each other was the mark he made in the world, and that was a very substantial thing. As Edward Everett Hale once said, "The making of friends, who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man's success in life."


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