Monday, October 31, 2011

"If you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes."*

I was visiting my family down in Connecticut this weekend for what I thought was going to be a weekend of leaf peeping, photography, and apple cider drinking. Instead, there was a blizzard which dumped close to a foot of heavy, wet snow, pulling down trees and power lines.

The snow began at 11:00am on Saturday. After the power flickered off and on again several times, my parents lost power for good at 4:15pm. I started a fire in their fireplace at 5:00pm when we finally agreed that the power was off for the duration. This is the view of the backyard during the storm. (Please note the dogwood tree in the lower left-hand corner which is doing an impersonation of a shrub.)
During the storm
This birch tree bended closer and closer to the house until it was leaning on the roof.
During the storm

All night long, the silence outside was interrupted by loud CRACKS, which were branches breaking off of the overburdened trees. It sounded like gunshots! The next morning, I went out to take some photos of the yard post-storm. (This is the pretty part.)
After the storm
After the storm

THIS is what was waiting for us at the end of the driveway. I didn't see how we were going to get out.
After the storm
After the storm

As the day progressed, the sun came out, and the snow started to melt. The house was okay, but the dogwood trees didn't make it. My parents lost a lot of trees in and around the yard.
After the storm

Some kind neighbors (with chain saws) chopped back some of the limbs to create a path around the fallen tree and wires so I was able to drive home to Boston, and my parents could drive to Sister K's where there was power, and more importantly, heat! It could be a week until my parents get their power back.
After the storm
Between storms Irene and Alfred and all the snow at the start of 2011, this has not been a good year for weather in the state of Connnecticut. Hang in there, everyone, and stay warm!

*Mark Twain, himself a CT resident had a lot to say about New England weather

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Can you fly this plane and land it?" "Surely you can't be serious." "I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."*

So the new tv show that I am hooked on is "Pan Am". It is the PERFECT kind of television program for a Sunday night. (Unfortunately, it is on at the same time as "Masterpiece", so I have to DVR it and watch it on Monday, but it is still good on Monday.) "Pan Am" takes you back to a time when air travel was actually something that people dressed up for and enjoyed, rather than strip for and endure, like we do nowadays.
I wouldn't want to be a flight attendant in this day and age, but these ladies sure make their job look glamorous (well, except for that drunk who hit on Christina Ricci), AND they get to fly all over the globe! And have cool clothes and fancy cars and drink cocktails in Paris and champagne in Monaco! (Yes, I am sure in reality it wasn't quite as fabulous, but that is why this show is on ABC on Sunday night and not on HBO on Friday night.)

The most fabulous time that I ever had on a plane happened when JR and I were stuck in London due to a massive Nor'Easter and all the flights into the East Coast were canceled. I HAD to be back for work event and spent hours on the phone with Virgin Atlantic trying to get us back into the US. (Travel Rule #1 from Auntie N who worked in reservations at American Airlines for many years: if your flight is canceled, even if you are AT the airport, get on the phone to the airline. Do not wait in line to deal with the people at the desk. Even if you are put on hold, you will get to a reservations person much faster if you call.)

We finally got re-booked onto the airline's first flight into Boston the next afternoon, and JR and I got to Heathrow SUPER early to make sure that we were on that plane. (Four hours early. I spent a LOT of money in the duty free terminal, mostly on Cadbury, but I digress.) As our flight started to board, we were pulled from the line by the gate agent, and the two of us exchanged looks of despair. We thought we were being bumped from the flight!! But my hours on the phone being nice (albeit somewhat desperate) to the reservations people provided us with an unexpected bonus: we were bumped up to business class!!! FANCY!!

We got to sit on the upper level of the plane in bulkhead seats with all the legroom in the world AND got free champagne AND sat across from the flight attendant who became our chatty friend for the flight (and who looked like Jude Law, a gay Jude Law, but Jude Law all the same.) JR listened to her (fancy new) iPod, and I read The Eyre Affair. It was awesome! Best flight ever!!

This is me being goofy in business class (you can see where they changed my seat assignment on the ticket).

*from Airplane

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Movie Night

For the last four years, I have hosted an annual Alfred Hitchcock Memorial Film Festival. It started out as something serious, but it developed into something more irreverent. Friends come over, and we watch two Hitchock films back to back. There ends up being A LOT of running commentary ala "Mystery Science Theater 3000" so we end up watching the movies with the subtitles on. At one point, we started writing down the funniest of the astute observations because, well, they were pretty funny. (For example, have you ever noticed how high-waisted Cary Grant's trousers are in Hitchcock films? You will now. And after a couple of G&Ts, you will find that hilarious.)

This year's theme revolved around Hitchcock's work with legendary Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman. We started off watching Spellbound and were then going to segue over to Notorious (also known as "No-No-Notorious" for you Duran Duran fans), but that didn't end up happening because we ended up talking about other stuff.

ANYHOW, Spellbound is the story of a woman psychiatrist (Bergman) who protects an amnesia patient (Gregory Peck) accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory. There is some really cool imagery in the film, in particular a dream sequence that was designed by surrealist Salvadore Dali. This film has some seriously hilarious moments, mostly unintentional, like the romantic way Bergman accepts a liverwurst sandwich and when the psychiatrist who is her mentor declares that "Freud is hooey". I particularly liked when Gregory Peck says that he has "never been to Rome." I countered that with "How about that one time on a Vespa with Audrey Hepburn?". (I thought it was funny. Maybe you had to be there.)

While this film isn't one of Hitch's best, it was entertaining. (I wasn't surprised to learn that Michael Chekov, who played the mentor, was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar - he was the best part of the film.) I still need to watch No-No-Notorious. If you want to see the Dali dream sequence, you can watch it over on Turner Classic Movies website.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Nothing like an Autumn Day in the Northeast

When I was in elementary school, we used to sing a lot of seasonal tunes in music class. (I'd like to think that they still do that.) One of my favorites for this time of year went like this (yes, I still remember the words):
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "We don't care."
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "I'm ready for some fun."
"Woo-ooo" went the wind
And out went the light
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Here are some pumpkins in a patch that I saw yesterday down in Chatham. (I wish it were a little more practical to have a pumpkin/jack o'lantern in my apartment in Boston.)

Pumpkin patch

First Congregational Church of Chatham Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin patch

Saturday, October 1, 2011

As far as pumpkin patches go, this one looked pretty sincere*

Even though I have worked at the 'Tute for the last eleven years, this was my first visit to the MIT Glass Lab's Great Glass Pumpkin Patch sale. So many cool, unique glass pieces. I picked up a couple as gifts and one for myself. Really great turnout this morning, even with the rain. (Glad that I wore my boots though; the lawn was extra soggy.) I wish I had gotten a few more photos in situ, but my hands were kind of full. :-)

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at MIT

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at MIT

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch at MIT

*If you are not familiar with this reference, you need to rent "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". This is not optional: it's a classic.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...