Friday, July 29, 2011

"Mitch, there's something you need to know. Compared to you, most people have the IQ of a carrot. "*

Yesterday, late in the day, a mother of a potential student walked into our office looking for directions to the admissions session. (We get a lot of lost people come into the office so I keep a stash of maps of the 'Tute at my desk.) As I was getting one out, she said: "I'm just going to pick up the paperwork, but I don't think that "Douglas" will be coming here next year... because he is only 10."

Jaw hits floor. Sure enough, little "Douglas" is standing outside the office in the hallway, pressing his little ten year old hands on the glass window. He comes in to the office to tell his mom that he is going to the bathroom (just down the hall.) As she waits for him to return, she and I have a little chat about being the mom of a genius (!), traveling up from the South, and getting around Boston.

Then mom says, "I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but... how do we get to Harvard from here?"

Oh, good grief!

* Real Genius

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"You were under the impression that when you were walking forward you'd end up further onward, but things ain't quite that simple."*

I was just reading over at Britscene about plans for The Who (Townsend and Daltrey) to tour with Quadrophenia next year. Coincidentally, I was telling some friends last night about how I went to see The Who on their Quadrophenia tour in Worcester, MA back in 1996, shortly after I had moved to Boston. (At this point in time I had started to be involved with the Mod/ska music scene in Allston, culminating in my near weekly attendance at "Mod Night" at the Common Ground, despite the fact it was mid week and I had to work the next day.)

This was the second leg of the North American tour. Then governor William Weld was sitting three rows in front of us. I couldn't believe I was actually seeing The Who - well 3/4s of The Who anyhow - play live, as well as getting the added bonus of seeing Billy Idol play "Ace Face" (dressed as the consummate Mod). (Gary Glitter was the Godfather, but I wasn't impressed at the time, and now I am completely unimpressed by him.)

I was on the edge of my seat all night even though I didn't really know the music all that well at that point (my friend Jim is a huge huge Who fan and was filling me in). That didn't really matter because the show ROCKED! It was definitely one of the coolest concert moments of my life, and I am so glad that I went. I kind of wish now that I had bought a program or a tee shirt, but at that point, in my first job right out of college, I was lucky that I could afford the concert ticket!

Seeing The Who play live is one of those things I am so glad is on my life list, although it certainly wasn't planned that way. It might be cool to see them again with Quadrophenia (now that I know the music and before poor Pete Townsend loses any more of his hearing.) Maybe in London!?! (It is funny how easily music brings me back to that point in my life. So much has changed since then.)

Here is a clip of the finale "Love Reign O'er Me" from the start of that 1996 tour playing in Hyde Park (Roger is wearing an eye patch because Glitter had clocked him in the eye with a microphone). This is rock and roll at its best.

* Lyrics from "I've Had Enough" by The Who

Friday, July 15, 2011

Seven Things Making Me Smile

This summer has gotten off to a bit of a rocky start for me: a month ago (after a crazy two week combination of stress and no sleep), I came down with labyrinthitis, which has put a bit of a damper on my fun. Even though I still have a few symptoms, I am feeling better, and I am trying to be positive about getting healthy (2011 was supposed to be the year of being healthy). As I work on counting my blessings, here is a summer installment in my "Seven Things Making Me Smile" series.

1. If you live in New England, you know how humid things can get in the summer. I have been using up scads of dusting powder in trying to make my face look a little less "dewy" (read: sweaty) before going into work. I recently have switched to Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil. This stuff is a miracle worker: tames the moisture without drying, doesn't rub off on your clothes, and has SPF. I am very "pro". Nice thing too: Bare Escentuals has recently (at least it is recent to me) improved their packaging so that powder doesn't get all over the place the way it did years ago (which is the big thing that had put me off their products.)

2. I usually think of rum in two contexts: 1. fruity, girlie cocktails that go down too fast and then hit you too hard; and 2. pirates (gotta love pirates). However, this summer has become my "summer of rum" because I have really been enjoying both "Dark 'n' Stormy"s and rum and tonics. Neither of these is overly sweet, and both are very refreshing on a hot summer day. (Of course, I am still drinking Pimm's Cups and Bellinis; those will always be summer classics.) Rum had been out of my cocktail rotation for a long time; I really am pleasantly surprised at how much I am loving have it back! "Mmm, delicious, thank you!"©

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is coming out this weekend. Of course, I will be attending in the near future ... with bulk amounts of tissues in hand. I will never forget the day that the book came out. I went down to Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner at 8:30am on Saturday morning and waited in a queue of about 12 people, which had swelled to more than twice that by the time it opened at 9am. I grabbed my copy, drove home, and began reading, stopping really only to text status updates to MEM, who has done something very similar. When I finished by 7:30pm that evening, I was a wreck, but it was a WONDERFUL story. I hope the film will be equally good. (It is getting good reviews all around.)

4. The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is currently holding an exhibition called, "Cocktail Culture: Ritual and Invention in American Fashion, 1920–1980, which I am planning to attend this weekend. My friend RJ saw it a couple of weeks ago and gave it the thumbs up. (Note: the exhibit closes at the end of July so plan accordingly if you think you might want to see this.) According to the fact sheet provided by the museum, the exhibit is arranged around themes, including: mixed company, urban nightlife, travel, day for night, and international set/club culture. I am most looking forward to the stuff from the 1920s-1940s; I love those cultural eras in history.

5. I am growing my (thick) hair out. In the summer. Which, as I mentioned above, is quite humid and for the last week has been quite hot. I am totally in love with these Goody brand "Ouchless" headbands that I bought a couple weeks ago. They keep my hair off my face and off my neck and are super cute. (The ones I bought are sparkly and look like rickrack, but they have them in all kinds of styles.) They are extremely comfortable; I wore one all day today, only adjusting it once or twice. (I also recommend the Goody "Ouchless" elastics for when you throw your hair up in a ponytail or a bun.)

6. They say that one way to manage seasonal allergies is to build up a tolerance by eating local honey. As bees don't harvest pollen more than 3 miles from their hive, you will be eating (manageable amounts of) the very pollen that causes the itchy eyes, runny noses, and sore throats. My aunties first introduced me to Bee Raw Honey a little while ago, and I seriously cannot get enough of the Maine wild raspberry honey. The flavor is just heavenly; store brand honey cannot begin to compete. I spoon it in tea, drizzle it over my yogurt and berries, and add it to my oatmeal (a practice I picked up in Ireland). (...I may have been guilty of eating it straight out of the jar too...) I recently purchased the orange blossom honey, the buckwheat honey, and the wild Maine blueberry honey in an attempt to broaden my honey horizons. They look like they will not disappoint and should arrive next week!!

7. When I was in junior high and in high school, I loved Treetorn sneakers with their preppy tennis look that also managed to be supportive and comfortable. I probably had at least 10 pairs in my adolescence - all in different colors: blue, pink, and multiple plaids. They started to become harder to find in the stores by the time I was in college, and by that point, I had transitioned to wearing Converse Chuck Taylors (because that was what the cool kids did). Recently, I had been looking for tennis shoes to wear in the summer that were more feminine than the Chucks, and I was delighted to see Treetorns for sale on and scooped them right up. (Nostalgia is great like that, isn't it?) While these are not of the same quality as old Treetorns (the terry cloth lining is missing and the canvas is thinner), the look is still the same, and that is what I wanted anyhow. They still are very comfortable, but less supportive, kind of like my Chucks actually.

So these are some of the things that are brightening my days this summer. I am sure there will be more to add as the season progresses!

Please note: these are all my own opinions; I have not been compensated in any way for recommending any products, etc. etc. All images are from the sites referred to and linked.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Would you please call me 'Cordelia'? "*

I came across this photo while reading an article on The Huffington Post about Will and Kate's royal visit to Canada, and it was too good not to repost.

Seriously, if you told Anne Shirley that one day she would meet the Duchess of Cambridge, I think that she would have thought that YOU were the one with the overactive imagination!! I wonder if Anne and Catherine will become "bosom friends"? At the very least, they are certainly "kindred spirits", don't you think? The only thing that could have made this better was if Catherine had been wearing puffed sleeves. ;-)

(I am sure Mrs. Rachel Lynde has already communicated all of this to the whole of Avonlea.)

*Anne of Green Gables

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heads up, fellow tea drinkers!

Sadly, the website Cambria Cove is going out of business, but the upside of that is that they are selling Royal Albert commemorative tea cup sets for $45! (This is a $100 savings!)

Readers may recall that I blogged around this time last year about getting one of the sets as a gift. The set that I already have, 1900-1940, just sold out, but the 1950-1990 set is still available.

There are limited quantities, so place your orders soon. (I just did!) There is something about drinking your tea out of fancy cups like these that makes taking tea really special! (It also makes me wish that I had some of Jean's (from Delightful Repast) Victoria Sponge Cake!)


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