I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

At the Pats game

And its so freaking windy they had to bring a guy out on a ladder to fix the goalposts prior to kicking.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Break Out the Bubbly!

Today is my one year blogiversary! One year ago today, I wrote my first post. (Not a very exciting one.) I love writing my blog and I'm glad that some people enjoy reading it!

This is a short post, because Nick and I are in Buffalo and getting ready to celebrate Christmas Eve with his parents, sister and brother-in-law and our two nephews. I know my mom and dad are reading my blog while I'm away, so I'd like to say "Merry Christmas! I love you!" to them and the rest of my family in Connecticut. I'm really looking forward to opening presents with my nephews, because it's been a long time since I've been able to see some kids get excited about Santa coming.

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What's the Punchline?

Here's a shot of some building materials being lifted to a construction site next to the Teriyaki House on West Broadway. I feel like this photo is the opening line to a joke...
Joe Smith is hit by a car and arrives in heaven only to find he must choose between 3 possible entrances...
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Passive Agressive Bus Driver

This morning I decided not to risk walking the quarter mile or so over sidewalks covered in blocks of ice to the corner of L and East Broadway to catch the 7, but just hopped the 9 which stops a block away on either side of our building. I was able to find a seat when I hopped on at H St; however, there was a boatload of people waiting to board at F St.

Some people stubbornly refuse to move towards the back of the bus when others are boarding. They press themselves against the seats and try to become as thin as possible in order to avoid moving back to the standing room section on the upper platform. As a result, there's usually a rider pig pile near the driver and people are in front of the yellow line. Some drivers just ignore the over-the-line-yellow line offenders, while others enforce the rule but shouting and shaming people into moving to the back to make room for the others.

This morning our driver was an Enforcer. After the last person had squeezed onto the bus, the standees practically had to inhale in order for the driver to close the front door.

Ding. Dong. Ding. I heard a series of tones overhead. "When boarding the bus, please make room for other passengers and stay behind the yellow line," a cheerful, yet stern automated female admonished. I hadn't heard that one before; a nice alternative to the male automated voice.

No one budged. Ding. Dong. Ding. We heard the same message again and still no one moved. Ding. Dong. Ding... The driver sounded the polite (and now incredibly annoying) message about 5 times before people finally got the hint and moved to the back of the bus. Give me a shouting angry bus driver any day; a loud threat "not to move this bus until you are behind the line!" is much more effective. There's no room for niceties on the bus.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ghost Town

When I was walking home this afternoon, something about Broadway looked different. Then I realized that the parking ban was in effect and that the street looked strange because there weren't any parked cars. What a strange, but peaceful sight.
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Lunch Grade School Style

I don't typically tend to make New Year's Resolutions; however, this year I've decided that I'm going to try my best to bring my lunch at least 3 times a week to work. I usually spend between $6-$8 on my lunches, so saving $18-$24 each week is a good savings. Plus, lunches brought in from home are definitely healthier than something I'd pick up from a sandwich place.

Starting my resolution a little ahead of schedule, this week I managed to bring my lunch in 4 times! (This is quite possibly a record for me, not counting the time I made way too much American Chop Suey and ate it for like 8 days in a row.)

Let's hope my New Year's Resolution lasts until January 1!

My culinary masterpiece: PB&J, apple, & brownie.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cologne Fit for a King... Here King! Here boy!

Burger King has introduced a body spray designed to smell like sizzling meat. The thought of smelling like meat all day is foul; however, I think it's a brilliant marketing idea. Burger King has had some great campaigns lately; I loved the ads where people thought the Whopper had been taken off the menu. Anyway, in the spirit of smelling like cheap food, I created a poll located at the top of the right-hand side bar.

Think globally, but drink locally.

While riding the bus into work this morning, I read a short article in the Wall Street Journal called "Holiday Beers: Tasting Seasonal Brews." I'm proud to report that not 1, but 2 out of the 4 featured beers are from Boston!

The Samuel Adams Winter Classics Mix-Pack was noted as "featur[ing] five different holiday brews including Old Fezziwig Ale, Cranberry Lambic, Holiday Porter, Cream Stout and Winter Lager. It's a good variety with flavors that pair well with sweet and savory foods. Our favorite of the bunch was the Holiday Porter. It has a root-beer-colored body and was a little heavy. The beer uses chocolate malts, but we didn't find it to be too chocolaty or overly sweet. It left a nice smoky after-taste."

The Harpoon Brewery Winter Warmer was the tasting team's favorite! They said, "This was our favorite beer of the ones we tried. The brew has an amber-colored body, was light and not very foamy. It has a fragrant nutmeg aroma and nice cinnamon taste with a hint of banana aftertaste."
Get drinking!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Looking Back on 2008: My Version of the Holiday Letter

It's the little things in life that make it interesting. Instead of detailing the wonderful, life-changing events that occurred during the year (you'll get plenty of that in your 3rd cousin's "A Great 2008 with the Smith's" holiday letter), here are some of my smaller, yet memorable 2008 moments:
  • Taught my mom how to text. Her first attempts read like the original Beowulf manuscript (thanks to T9); however, now she's a pro.
  • Tried durian.
  • Joined Netflix, which admittedly isn't much of a milestone; however, that did force me to learn how to use the Playstation 3 (which I never touch, unless it's to dust) to watch a blu ray disc.
  • Used the expression "oh, snap!" correctly.
  • Getting flashed by a pedestrian on West Broadway.
  • Flashing a pedestrian on Arch St.
  • Thankfully, never once going to the Natick Collection

What a great year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tagged by the Clothing Protection Foundation

I kept feeling something scratchy on the right side of my ribcage this morning. Turns out it was one of those "remove before wearing tags" that I never do.

When I turned to my right to perform the tag-ectomy, I noticed that my dry cleaning tag was also still firmly stapled to my back belt loop. So, I cut off the tag on my sweater and stood up to get a better grasp on my dry cleaning tag. Having now successfully removed a tag from both my sweater and my pants, I noticed my fly was down.

I should just rip the seat of my pants open now and get it over with.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Harlequin Romance on School St.

While books can trigger all sorts of emotion, including lust... Please please don't make out while waiting to use the Title Sleuth at Borders.
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Soxy New Look

Everyone is going to have an opinion on the new uniforms, and I'm sure a lot of those opinions will be negative. Although I like the new uniforms a lot; more importantly, I like the Sox and baseball. They could wear floral prints for all I care. Hurry up and get here Valentine's Day!

I love these guys.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

This Month's Featured Reader: Jen!

Introducing December's Featured Reader: Jen!

Here's George, Jen's cute cat that once escaped her apartment, but came thankfully came home!

Jen and I worked together for two years and ate lunch together almost every day. We were in a lunchtime knitting group and Jen never once laughed at my sad blue "scarf" (aka fabric strip) even though she had long graduated to sweaters. Jen has a quiet & admirable determination that sets her apart from most people; she's a loyal friend, the best coworker, and the best dancer I know. Seriously. She can shake it like a Polaroid picture. Here's Jen in her own words! (My questions are in bold.)

1) By day I am the female version of Chandler Bing (nobody knows what I do) …by night I either go to school, do homework and occasionally sleep.

2) I can’t live without food and water...I know, its crazy, but I would literally DIE without them!

3) Best meal I’ve ever had was in a small restaurant in France. Can't remember the name, but it was delicious! It might have had a lot to do with the fact that I hadn't eaten anything normal while in Europe, except Nutella and bread, so anything was delicious at that point. I even took a picture of my meal….

Worst meal I’ve ever had was a batch of macaroni n' cheese I made once. Yes, I completely screwed up Kraft Mac N' Cheese and in the process almost poisoned myself!

4) 3 Quirky Facts about Yourself
1. I was born in the Blizzard of '78
2. I hate coconut
3. If there is music, I will dance...even in the elevator

5) Haiku describing what you did yesterday
stressed a lot at work
ate food, drank wine with friends
crawled into bed...snooze

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My City is Crappier than Yours!

I found Rob the Bouncer's blog, Clublife, via Jason Mulgrew's blog, Everything is Wrong With Me. I really enjoy reading Rob's blog; his posts are to-the-point, interesting and well-written. Anyway, he related a conversation he had with someone from South Boston and here's an excerpt:

I once had a conversation in a bar with a guy from South Boston. He, too, was a very smart guy. He, too, said something I disagreed with. He said South Boston was more dangerous than New York.
I asked him why he thought this.
He said it was because even though there were “tough guys” in New York, they weren’t as “tough” as the “tough guys” in Southie, because all the “tough guys” he knew in Southie were serial killers with dozens of bodies on them. I said this was because the serial killers around here don’t go around bragging about it, so they don’t get caught and the beat goes on.
I wanted to repost this because sometimes it seems like Bostonians and New Yorkers are always fighting to be the (insert superlative of your choice here) city; including most dangerous.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Santa Claws

On Saturday morning, Nick and I went to Smolak Farms to get our Christmas tree. We went last year, and were really impressed with their tree selection and customer service. This year the trees were all so nice, that the 2nd tree we looked at we ended up buying.

Our Awesome Balsam

We put the tree up as soon as we got home, put on the lights, but then decided to let the branches settle a bit before putting on the decorations.

While watching VT humiliate BC, the tree started to sway violently back and forth. Then, as quickly the movements started, they stopped. I peered into the tree and saw two yellow eyes staring at me through the branches.

At least it wasn't a squirrel

Initially, I thought this was pretty cute; however, I'm now over it. Dwayne's covered in sap and every time he climbs the tree about 1,000 needles fall off. Any ideas on how to keep a cat out of a Christmas tree?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Free Downtown Crossing Wine Crawl

Last night, my friends Jen, Nell and I went on the First Annual Downtown Crossing Wine Crawl. The *free* event was sponsored by the Downtown Crossing Partnership, whose mission is:

The Downtown Crossing Partnership is a partnership of businesspeople and residents who work together to address neighborhood issues with one strong voice.
Our agenda is determined by our members, who share a collective vision of strengthening our neighborhood, the business environment and the natural vitality of this exciting urban area.
From ensuring clean, safe streets to promoting area events, the Downtown Crossing Partnership’s collaborative efforts are an urban success story.

The crawl started at 5:30 at Marliave, where we received our Wine Crawl Pass, a button indicating we were on the crawl, and a holiday savings pass good at many stores, restaurants & hotels in the Downtown Crossing area. (The holiday pass is also available on DCP's homepage.) By 5:50 or so, there were about 100 people gathered and a DCP representative briefly thanked us for coming and explained that we could visit the bars in any order we wished. Each bar we visited, had a variety of wines and appetizers to choose from, along with a designated spot for crawlees. Some bars even offered us 2nd glasses of wine (Max & Dylan's was especially generous.)

Cheers! (That's my man hand in the front)

We ended up going to 5 of the 7 crawl stops, stopping by Marliave, Lock Ober, Max & Dylan's, Mantra, and then Ivy for the wrap party. The crawl was so well organized and the bars actually looked happy to have us there, even though we weren't paying customers. This event was also a reminder that there are some other places to have dinner and drinks in the Downtown Crossing area besides Fajitas & 'Ritas (which is good, but it's nice to have variety.) I had never been to Mantra before, and was impressed by the layout and cool decor. Perhaps it was a little too trendy for me though, because the bathroom stalls feature two-way mirrors on the inside of the stall doors. The bathroom was empty when I went inside, but when I closed the stall door I could see 2 other women enter and start to fix their hair at the counter. Even though I knew they couldn't see me, it was still very unsettling to see them, and I was struck with performance anxiety for a bit!

Photo taken from inside the stall. You can see the stainless steel sinks through the door.

Also, I have to admit that on my way out of the bathroom, I couldn't help but wave enthusiastically at a closed stall door. Hopefully, I didn't give the girl too much of a fright!

The crawl was a fun time with friends and much better than my last documented Downtown Crossing experience.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Femail Problems

I have all of my holiday cards written, addressed, stamped and ready to go. Is it too early to mail them out?
They're neatly stacked on my desk and it's taking all of my willpower not to drop them in the mail. Something tells me it's still a bit early though. Any thoughts?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Advent Calendar Picture Interpretation

Every year my mom gives me an advent calendar at Thanksgiving. Seeing as today's December 1, we got to find and open the first door.
Let's take a peek...
At first I thought it was a colorful turkey baster...

What is this?

Then, I realized that it was a toy top adjacent to a small beach ball. Nick, however, thinks it's a Christmas ornament. I could be swayed either way, I think. What do YOU think?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thank You to RedsArmy.com!

A huge thank you to John and RedsArmy.com for their generous donation to Team Eye and Ear! This donation is particularly exciting for me, because it's the first donation I've received (including last year's campaign) from someone who isn't a family member or prior acquaintance.

I added a link list to my sidebar (under the Firstgiving.com widget), asking readers to check out the sites that support Team Eye and Ear. Thanks again, Redsarmy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Holiday Spirit Touches Some, and Misses Others

I just hopped on the T at State (hey, it's raining) to go to the Macy's downtown. I wanted to take advantage of the sales to buy a bigger ticket item. Anyway, when I got off at Downtown Crossing, the street level exits were lined with pedestrians shielding themselves from the rain. Squeezing past a teenaged girl, my bag accidentally brushed against her shoulder. "Excuse me," I said and continued to walk by.
"Don't excuse me, you b*tch," she yelled. "F*ck you!" Her sentiments were punctuated with an equally eloquent gesture.
Tis the season!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That Thing Looks Like it was Made Out of Green Pipe Cleaners!

While walking to the bus stop just now, I was hit with a refreshing whiff of pine. I love the smell of Christmas trees; their fragrance is one of the few things that really gets me in the holiday spirit. If you're in the city and looking for a tree, this stand on the corner of East Berkeley & Tremont promises a good selection for those looking to buy sooner rather than later.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fore Crying Out Loud

If you're not planning on playing golf, don't use your huge golf umbrella to commute on rainy mornings. Why don't you try a nice Totes umbrella? They fold up nicely and can fit into most bags and purses.

You can even squeeze a friend under here too... which leads me to sing...

"Bus stop, wet day, she's there, I say Please Share my Umbrella" All together now! (That's got to be the best rainy day song to sing while waiting for the bus.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

We're Not in Kansas Anymore

Or Missouri, or Nebraska. Nick and I just boarded our flight to BOS via DET from KCI. We originally came down here for a long weekend, so that we could visit MO, NE, and KS. Nick had been to 45/50 states prior to this trip, and the 3 we visited were part of the remaining 5. (AK and ND are the 2 states that he's got left.) We also timed the visit so we could go to a Bills/Chiefs game, which was a treat. It's so hard to get Patriots tickets, that it had been a long time since I got to see an NFL game. Kansas City isn't on most people's must-see lists, but it's an interesting place to visit. The city is very easy to navigate, there are some great restaurants and bars/clubs and the best part is that there's free parking lots and garages everywhere. It's not really a walking city though, so that's a bit disappointing considering my favorite way to explore a city is by foot. There are a lot of day trips you can do by car, which is how we came to visit the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph, MO. (Really cool museum that features old techniques to cure patients diagnosed with depression, schizophrenia, etc). After seeing the restraint cage and the "bath of surprise" be thankful that you weren't a patient at Glore... We also visited the Squaw Creek wildlife refuge, where we got to see a handful of eagles. All in all a good trip; it was nice to see another part of the country and get away for a few days. Also, traveling to other cities makes me realize how much I love Boston.
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Wheel of Fortune

We went to the ski and snowboard expo at the Bayside Exposition Center (said in electronic T voice) last night. The Expo is awesome for discounted ski & stay packages and equipment. Nick and I both got helmets this year, and we booked some trips with our favorite ski couple, Brad & Jenny. When you book a trip at Loon, Sugarloaf or Sunday River, you get to spin the prize wheel. They make a big deal out of it. You stand on a platform, bang a gong and have a try at lady luck. You can win a bunch of prizes; the most coveted being a season's pass and the least being logo gear. Nick won logo gear and I won a free ticket. Jenny got the 2nd best prize (5 day ticket) and Brad won a 2 day ticket. Here's a picture of Brad spinning the prize wheel. Its worth booking a trip just for the thrill of spinning the wheel! The Expo goes through Sunday, and is definitely worth visiting if you plan on skiing this year.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Goofus & Gallant Meet a Fox

This is a photo of Newbury Comics' magazine rack in Faneuil Hall. Why on earth do they sell Highlights? This product placement is a little disturbing.
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Did You See that Catch Coco Made?!

I'll miss Coco. He looks like the type of player who always gives 100%. He had a highlight reels worth of amazing catches in the outfield. Nick and I are going to be in Kansas City this weekend; maybe we'll see Coco scouting out his new digs?

Got to Twitter!

So, some co-workers and I were talking about Twitter yesterday, and I decided to make an account. I'm not sure how often I'll remember to update it, but you can follow me at:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Maybe Jobu Can Take the Fear from a Football too

Nick's favorite player on the Bills is the punter, Brian Moorman. He says he's the best player on the team; to which I say, if the best player on your team is the punter, then you've got a problem. For his birthday, I gave Nick a Brian Moorman jersey and he was thrilled. The party guests had a good time laughing at his enthusiasm for the punter, but Nick just kept repeating that he was the best player on the team. Anyway, I watched Monday Night Football last night with Dwayne, because Nick was traveling for work in Vermont.

Just chilling, watching the game...

After Trent Edwards' 2nd interception in 3 passes, I sent Nick a text.

8:51 PM "Uh Oh"

Then I sent him another one after Leodis McKelvin scored after running the ball 98 yards on a kickoff return. I wanted to make sure that he either a) hadn't fallen asleep, or b) gotten frustrated and turned off the game.

11:01 PM "Are u awake?"

11:02 PM "Yeah, what's up? Bills aren't looking so good."

11:03 PM "What r u talking about? That was a great return!"

11:06 PM "I missed it! Watching Rambo."

11:06 PM "What the freak?!" (Nick's dad, Joe, says that a lot.)

In the end, former game-winning hero, Rian Lindell blew a 47 yard field goal and the Bill's lost 27-29.

11:53 PM "Ugh. I'm so sad."

11:55 PM "Do you see now why my favorite player in the punter!"

I can actually see that now, because with the exception of Marshawn Lynch, Moorman had the best game performance. But like I mentioned earlier, if your punter is the best player, than you better start breaking out the lucky charms and offer Jobu a cigar.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Knotworthy Flyer

I saw this sign taped to a post in the Financial District. This is the first time I've seen a sign offering a reward for a found scarf. There's no mention of it being a cashmere (therefore expensive) scarf or any hint as to why a reward is being offered for turning it in. This is really intriguing. KNOT!
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Take a cha-cha-cha-chance"

Happy 30th Birthday to my Wonderful Husband, Nick!

Looks like he's ready to celebrate already!

I was going to list 30 reasons why I love you, but that might be a little too mushy for the blog. I do love you, and I hope you have a wonderful day! (Your age is finally starting to catch up to all your grey hairs, ha ha.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seeing & Hearing Firsthand Where Our Money Goes

Last night Nick and I attended an event that the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary holds annually to thank their donors. In addition to the event's great location (the Intercontinental) and tasty food & drinks, the best part of the evening was learning more about how MEEI's donations are being put to use. We saw a presentation that included two patients sharing their stories. One woman spoke about how her unborn baby had a ping-pong ball sized mass in the throat & neck area. Her doctor at UMass recommended her to a specialist at Mass Eye & Ear that saved her daughter's life. Doctors performed surgery on the baby both before and after she was born, and with the help of a trach (which may be able to be removed soon), the baby is thriving! We also heard from a woman who is receiving injections in her eye to prevent blindness, as well as a woman who was able to resume her professional singing career after having a potentially career ending surgery.

All of these success stories were made possible in part by generous donations to Mass Eye and Ear, and they were great motivation for me to increase my fundraising efforts for 2009! As Bostonians, we're so fortunate to have a world class medical facility like MEEI; please consider making a donation to my Boston Marathon Fundraising Team (Team Eye & Ear) by clicking on the widget to the right, or by clicking here.
To learn more about how your donation can make a difference, please visit this site.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Secret to Turning this Economy Around

Ugh. I think Wall Street needs to read The Secret.
Here are some suggestions to get the vision board started:

Bull Market!
Happy Trader!



Kill Your Television

Man, there's nothing good on these days... I saw this TV set smashed screen first onto a fire hydrant, while walking down East Broadway this morning. In any case, I don't think the digital converter box will help now.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Overheard in PO Square

After grabbing my coffee this morning, I was walking through PO Square, when I heard a snippit of a man's conversation.

"See the thing is, if you want to drink, don't drive. That's it."
Pretty good advice, if you ask me.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Nice Change of Pace

We're at the BC/ND game, and the line for the women's room is only a few people deep. The line for the men's room wraps around the corner and to the end of the hallway! Now they know how we women feel!
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Calling All Winos!

My friend Jen is earning her MBA part-time at Suffolk and is conducting a survey for her marketing class. It's about wine, how often you drink it, and what you think about it. Plus, there's a reference to the Olson twins. What more could you want from a survey? She's looking for as much data as possible, so if you have 5 minutes, it would be great if you could take it! Here's a brief intro from Jen and a link to the survey:

Its completely anonymous and there is no way for us to trace it back to anyone. Please forward this along to anyone else you think might be interested in taking the survey. The more responses, the better!
Please let me know if you have any questions at all. I really appreciate your help on this!! You guys are helping me get through school :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Scents and the City

An article on Boston.com discusses how the author strolls around Faneuil Hall with "home fragrance impresario" Harry Slatkin. I've never heard of the guy until this article, but I'm not sure I'd trust his opinion based on this:
"Surprisingly, the store that Slatkin applauds for superior scenting is Abercrombie & Fitch. It uses its fragrance, along with images on the walls, the clothes, the music, and the comely young sales clerks, to project an image of sensuality."

I've written before how Abercrombie & Fitch reeks like cheap cologne. Harry prides himself on his refined and heightened sense of smell, but if the entire store smells like a Guido on the prowl at an 18+ dance club, then I don't think that qualifies as superior scenting. And certainly not sensual.

The article also touches on how Boston, in general, just doesn't smell all that great. Being a city, that's expected; however, this also reminded me of a spot I pass on Tuesday and Thursday mornings on my way to the gym. I walk by the corner of Arch & Franklin half-asleep around 6:15, and am jolted awake by the stench of urine. I can't imagine what Finagle a Bagel did to provoke such wrath, but that is one pissed off customer.

This Month's Featured Reader: Vince!

Introducing November's Featured Reader: Vince

Vince was married a few weeks ago, & this photo is from his honeymoon in Santiago, Chile! Ole!

Vince and I both graduated Boston College in 2001; however, we didn't become friends until Nick and I started dating. (Vince and Nick were roommates after college.) Vince is a great guy for many reasons; one being that he shares a love of puns and corny jokes with me. Vince is a great cook and is fun to go out to dinner with, because his knowledge of cuisine is impressive. I admire Vince because he does everything with purpose and meaning; he's one of the most thoughtful people I know. Here is Vince in his own words! (My questions are in bold.)

1) By day I am an Compensation Analyst, by night I am an amateur chef!

2) I can't live without my iPod and cheap Mexican take out.

3) Best meal I've ever had is the epic tasting menu at Salts restaurant in Cambridge. That meal involved 1 Amuse Bouche (white gazpacho), 2 Appetizers (heirloom tomato salad and seared monkfish), 1 Palate Cleanser (grapefruit sorbet), 2 Entrees (chicken ballotine and a duo of pork confit and pork filet) and 3 Desserts (churros with a peach dipping sauce, a chocolate truffled dessert, and a nasturtion sorbet). It was absolute heaven and nothing has compared to that experience yet!

Worst meal I've ever had is in college, when my attempts to create a succulent piece of steak resulted in a dorm full of smoke and steak so burnt and so hard that you could've used it to hammer nails in.

4) Quirky Fact 1: I can stuff my fist in my mouth
Quirky Fact 2: I have no middle name
Quirky Fact 3: Despite my Chinese background, I don't like ginger.

5) Write a haiku that describes what you did yesterday:

Ate at Dumpling House
Had Pork Buns and Sauteed Eel
Nauseous all night long

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Less than 12 Hours Later, Change is Already Here

Lately I've been taking the 7 to work, unless the 9 pulls up to the bus stop just as I'm passing by. This morning, just as I stepped outside I saw the 9 stopped about a block away, and I decided to make a run for it. In this scenario, maybe 25% of the time the driver will pretend not to notice me running towards him and waving my hands like a maniac. Normally, the driver does wait, but will practically shut the door on me and pull away in the process. This usually means that I'm falling into the aisle and putting on a show for the other passengers.

Today, as I breathlessly boarded the bus, while fumbling for my pass, the driver smiled brightly and said, "Good morning!" Completely caught off guard by her greeting, I said, "uh, hell0..?"
"Thank you!" she said smiling again, when I pressed my card to the reader and found a seat. Last night, most of the nation collectively sighed in relief and is ready for change. Based on my experience this morning, people are happier already!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend Wrap Up

On Friday afternoon, I battled rush hour traffic on the Pike and drove home to Glastonbury, so I could help my parents hand out Halloween candy.

I may wear this to the BC/ND game on Sat night. This is the warmest suit ever.

Saturday morning, my mom and I drove to Bethlehem, CT to attend a baby shower. Bethlehem's post office is particularly busy around the holidays; a lot of Connecticut residents like to send their Christmas cards from there so they'll be postmarked from Bethlehem. I doubted whether someone would notice that, but my dad said that the few times he sent his cards from there, that his clients would tell him how they thought it was a nice touch.

Sunday morning, after I got home, Nick and I went to Costco to stock up on chicken breasts and paper towels (and unexpectedly, chicken meatballs after receiving a free sample.) Sunday around 11 am is probably the worst time to go to Costco, because the sample booths are in full swing. The popcorn chicken sample table was particularly swamped, and I felt bad for the older woman in charge of cooking the chicken and placing a few pieces in the small paper cups. As soon as the chicken hit the cup, greedy hands would grab as many samples as they could. I was frightened for the sample lady, but she seemed unphased.

This was not a good weekend for football, as BC, Buffalo and New England all lost. This weekend the Pats (my team) and the Bills (Nick's team) will go head-to-head; we only have one television, so that should be interesting. I'll hate to see Nick so upset after the Pats kick butt! (Hopefully.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh, sheet

This guy must be really excited to be a ghost, seeing that it's about 2:30 in the afternoon, and we're waiting for an inbound train at Brookline Village. Kids in costumes during the day are sweet; grown men, kind of spooky (but I guess that's the point.)
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Costumes of Halloween Past

The earliest Halloween costume I can remember having is a little clown suit with pom-poms on the front made out of green yarn. My grandma made it for me, and it's pretty cute, although I am terrified of clowns now, so I don't think I'll be passing that one on to any future children we may have. Other costumes include Madonna (maybe 3rd grade?), a hobo (complete with a coffee ground beard), and the Phantom of the Opera.

In 9th grade, we hosted an exchange student from St. Petersburg, Russia who happened to arrive on October 30th. At that point, I was only in my 3rd year studying Russian, and my language skills were limited to introducing myself and explaining how my fictional Russian friend, Tatiana, and I purchased sweaters and books on our recent trip to GUM. Our exchange student, Ekaterina, had never trick or treated before and I did my best to explain the process to her as I handed her a mask and an empty pillow case. What I explained to her in Russian (her English was no better than my Russian) probably translated back into English as, "We get candy. We are walking to many houses and say please give me some candy and then say thank-you."

My junior year at Boston College, I wore a full suit Winnie-the-Pooh costume that I bought at the Disney Store. I purchased it then reasoning that it would come in handy when I had to walk my own children around the neighborhood on Halloween in the freezing cold. My roommates and I went to an off-campus party that year, and after several beers and jello shots in a packed house, I realized the Pooh costume was like wearing a fuzzy sauna. I passed out in the middle of the party to enthusiastic shouts of "Pooh's down!" (or so I'm told.)

I am driving to CT today in order to attend a baby shower early tomorrow afternoon with my mom, but hopefully I'll be back in time to help pass out some candy. My Pooh costume is in CT, and I'll break it out for the first time since college to answer the door, but will be extra careful to stay hydrated this time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Looking for a Boston Marathon number?

My awesome marathon charity, Team Eye and Ear, has a few spots left on the 2009 team. If you're interested in learning more about becoming a team member, please check out the link on Mass Eye and Ear's website: http://www.meei.harvard.edu/what/events.php

If anyone is thinking about running and has any questions about the training or fundraising experience, please feel free to send me an email or leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Year old cake better than expected!

Despite the fact that our cake was a year old, it tasted pretty fresh. It was still nice and moist; in fact, the only indication that it was celebrating a birthday while we were celebrating an anniversary was that the foundant was looking a little worse for the wear. I think the key factor in keeping the top layer so fresh was that my mom wrapped it in about 6 layers of tin foil, which was then wrapped in a final layer of Saran wrap. Go Mom!
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Monday, October 27, 2008

I'll have a tall skinny Amoxicillin, no whip

Through his work, Nick received a gift certificate to Starbucks, which he gave to me since he doesn't drink coffee. Normally I avoid Starbucks, because their ordering system and staff intimidate me. I feel like most of Starbucks' employees act as if they're fulfilling their destiny to work there; or, perhaps because I don't have their small/medium/large equivalents memorized yet it's just that I am an annoying patron. Anyway, on Friday I went to the Quincy Market store and saw that they had a new smoothie called Vivanno. I decided to try the orange, mango and banana version and threw in the optional matcha for an extra $0.50. Matcha is apparently made from green tea and functions as a healthy add-in and a sweetener. It also turned my smoothie a pleasant green color.

Behold, the Vivanno

The smoothie had a unique taste to it; it definitely didn't taste like oranges, mangoes and/or bananas, but it was sweet and I became slightly nostalgic drinking it. About halfway through the drink, I realized what it tasted exactly like: amoxicillin! Amoxicillin is the pink bubblegum flavored medicine I used to take for ear infections, and it was delicious (for a medicine.) I'm not sure if drinking Vivannos will cure a bacterial infection, but they sure taste like they will.

"Whatever happened to my Transylvania twist?"

Nick enthusiastically removed my garter- the guy who caught it is now engaged!
Today is our 1 year anniversary! I can't believe a year has gone by so quickly! It seems like just yesterday I was writing about our 6 month anniversary... Everyone likes to say that marriage is full of surprises and it's been no different for us. For example, in the past year, I have learned 2 things about Nick that I didn't know prior to marrying him:
1. He has "the Monster Mash" on his iPod. (I learned this when I heard him singing along to the background ahhh-ohhhhhhs.)
2. He pronounces "Tootsie Roll" like toot-sie. As in, you "toot" a horn.
Happy Anniversary, Nick! I love you, and am looking forward to many more years!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blogging in the Dark

When I got home tonight, I noticed there was a work crew in the road. Then I got to my building, I realized why- there's no power on our section of Broadway. Dwayne and I are just hanging out in the dark, and I've been trying to think of where we should go to dinner when Nick gets home. That's one advantage of not having power; you can't cook.
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Publix Enemy No. 1?

After big wins, I like to browse the Sports sections of the losing teams' cities to see what their papers have to say. There's an interesting article in the Tampa Tribune that speculates whether or not a local grocery store jinxed the Rays.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Speed 3- Runaway 7

I'm on the 7 going home, and our driver must have tickets to the Sox tonight, or something. She is speeding like crazy and then slams on the brakes* if she has to pick someone up. Everyone's heads are whipping forward when she finally decides to brake last minute. If there is a service slowdown going on, this chick is definitely boycotting it. Ugh, I need a barf bag.
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*someone pointed out to me that I had been using "break" instead of "brake." So this post has been edited to use the correct spelling.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

They've Got a lot of Balls

I had to return something to Macy's during lunch, and this guy was in front of me on the escalator. The Downtown Crossing store is ALREADY dripping with garlands and lots of decorative red balls. Sad.
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The New Courtesy Counts Campaign Missed Some Key Points...

So, the MBTA has launched a new Courtesy Counts campaign. After 11 years spent riding the T and buses, I have some other complaints that, in my opinion, are worse than talking on a cell phone. Drawing on multiple personal experiences, here are the rider offenses that I would target:

Big Plans to Pee your Pants? Leave the train at your next chance!
Feel like a long, crazy diatribe? Save it for the next ride.
I know, your prices can't be beat, but sell your crap out on the street.
Gum disease is a shame, but please don't floss while on the train.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BAA Half Marathon- A Great Race!

The BAA Half Marathon was the most scenic course I have ever run. Click here to read a course description.

Image from www.baa.org

Running through the Franklin Park Zoo was pretty awesome. I kept hoping to see some animals, but none were out and about. There was a fake crocodile (alligator?) that initially got some runners excited though. Compared to Boston's Run to Remember, this course was much hillier. To me this is a plus, because you're forced to concentrate on your strides and it's harder to lose focus. There were water stations every mile or so, and a GU station right before mile 8, I think. The race was extremely well run (no pun intended) and the t-shirt was long-sleeved; I'm definitely going to sign up again next year.

Nick and I finished at the exact same time (2:08:01), which was an improvement for both of us from the half marathon we ran in May. I improved by 56 seconds and Nick improved by 9:32! Amazing! We were both humbled; however, by our friend Brad who kicked butt by finishing in 1:56:53 (who also improved from May by 4:47!) Great job! I'll post some photos as soon as they're made available on Marathonfoto.

A Tight Squeeze

I was drying my hair at the gym this morning, and out of the corner of my eye, I see the woman next to me wave down another lady who started to walk by her.

The lady stops and says, "So I went to Citysports to buy some running clothes."

"That's great! What did you buy?" the woman next to me said.

"Well, nothing yet..." She paused and asked, "I was wondering... How tight should the clothing be?"

"Uh, you know, just go with whatever feels good."

"Well," she continued, "I wasn't sure what size to get. I was going back and forth between a medium and..." (Now at this point I was certain the other choice had to be large) "or a small."

"Definitely medium," the woman next to me said; a little too quickly for the other lady's preference. Secretly I was delighted at the turn the conversation took and eagerly awaited the response.

The woman's lips drew to form a very thin line and she hummed a bit, before saying, "You know, I think I'll ask my trainer. You know, someone more qualified." She walked away and I looked at the lady next to me and we burst out laughing.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BAA Half Marathon

It's a beautiful day out; hopefully the weather is as nice tomorrow for our race. We are going to our friends' wedding in Cambridge tonight (yeah for local weddings!) and then waking up early for the half marathon. Then tomorrow night, we are going to see David Sedaris! I'm going to relax now while I can. Have a great weekend!
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Which of these Statements is False?

Sushi2 tagged me to list 6 details about myself. Since I have done this type of meme before, I will list 5 true details and 1 false detail. Which one do you think is false? (I'm not going to tag anyone; however, consider yourself tagged if you'd like to participate!)

1. On a dare, I once tried to drink a gallon of milk in 1 hour.

2. I made up a dance routine to Weird Al's "Fat."

3. Other girls play house or school. I used to make my friend play "Immigrant," which consisted of me talking in an Italian accent and her in a Polish one. We were just trying to make it in a new land.

4. I won a limbo contest at a middle school dance.

5. In elementary school, my friend, our younger brothers and I made up a musical about a mentally handicapped girl that wanted to show her classmates that it was OK to be different. It was on roller skates.

6. I had a guinea pig named Frabrizio for 2 weeks- until my mom returned him to the pet store while I was at school one day. I also had a hamster named Otto that my mom gave to a man collecting items for a tag sale when I was away for a weekend.

The Love that Blinds

My vision is terrible. This morning I couldn't find my glasses. I looked all over and finally needed to put my contacts in to find them. Already late for my bus, I finally found them nestled in my sock drawer. (I have no idea how they got there. I swear they have legs of their own.) Normally Nick helps me out in that situation, but he's in Montreal for work. I miss him more than he realizes when he's gone!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Breathalyzer Test for Your Email

Official Gmail Blog: New in Labs: Stop sending mail you later regret

This is great, but a true test of Google's brillance would be if they could somehow check your hormornal balance (or lack thereof) prior to sending email.

Alexander McCall Smith's Online Serial!

Check it out. Daily chapters are created partly based on reader feedback. I love it! It's so... er, novel. :)

I had the pleasure of meeting Alexander McCall Smith this past April. He's the author of the popular No. 1 Ladies Dectective Agency books, as well as several other wonderful series.

In a sea of street parking, beware the overtow!

On my way to the corner of L and Broadway this morning, I counted 3 different tow companies within 4 city blocks clearing cars away for street cleaning. (Which takes place on Tuesdays between 5 and 7 am.) I don't remember seeing the trucks before, and I have been going to early morning yoga for at least 4 Tuesdays in a row. They reminded me of sharks greedily swimming around fresh kill. Street cleaning is such easy money for tow companies...
P.S. Getting up to go to the gym this morning was particularly painful after another late, but awesome game. Go Sox!
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Monday, October 6, 2008

One Woman's Tasty Sandwich, Is Another Man's Brussels Sprouts

While ordering my sandwich today, the guy behind me was visibly gagging as I gave my order. I thought about it, and think my order was pretty standard.

ham, American cheese, mayo, lettuce, onion, pickles, & hot peppers on a chili wrap

Is that weird? I don't think so... Someday, when I have my own sandwich shop, Alicia's Tasty Sandwiches, this will definitely be on the menu. The only ingredient I would add is black olives, which aren't an option where I bought my lunch.

My Good Deed Won't Go Unnoticed, because I'll Make Sure to Point it Out to You

While on the train this morning, an older man with a cane and a foot cast entered our carriage at South Station. He didn't seem to be in much pain and quietly got himself situated by holding his cane in one hand and the overhead bar with the other. As soon as the train started to pull out of the station, the women sitting in front of where he was standing decided to take action.

She shattered the train's dead silence by announcing, "I'm getting off at the next stop!" Then she got up from her seat and valiantly gestured that the man should sit down. "You should sit here," she commanded.

"No thank you, I'm getting off at the next station too," he politely responded, although he was clearly not enjoying the attention as the rest of us were watching the scene unfold.

"You really should sit! I'll give you my seat!" And then the woman added (in case the man hadn't already realized), "Your foot is in a cast!" At this pronouncement, other passengers began shifting in their seat and craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the man's foot.

Mercifully, the trip to Downtown Crossing from South Station is quick. I would have forgiven the older man for whacking her with the cane on the way out; however, he left as quietly as he came, and the woman disappeared into the crowd; probably to find someone else in need to make herself feel better.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Until We Meet Again...

On Wednesday I saw a sign in Dunkin Donuts announcing that the pumpkin muffin was back. I love the pumpkin muffin, and told myself that I'd get it as a treat for breakfast on Friday. Well, this morning I said to Nick that it was going to be a good morning, because I was welcoming back the pumpkin muffin. I just got to my desk, peered into the bag, and anticipating the soft crumbly top, I saw sugar crystals instead. Those fools gave me a blueberry! Foiled!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Remarkable Show of Self Restraint

I just finished an hour long, grueling kick boxing class. I am starving. My subject heading refers to the fact that I haven't grabbed a handful of the McDonald's fries the guy next to me on the bus is eating. When you're hungry, does anything smell better than McDonald's fries? I don't think so.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

777 is the New 666

Obviously, yesterday was not a good news day. So, in an effort to pitch in and raise spirits, I decided to display the Herald's back cover on the serials' shelf...

Go Sox!

Instead of the front...
(Both photos from BostonHerald.com)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Month's Featured Reader: Lauren!

(So, I'm going to try and make it a monthly habit to feature one of my blog's readers. We'll see if anyone will be brave enough to be next month's featured reader. The questions will be the same each month.)
Introducing September's Featured Reader: Lauren

Lauren is 2nd from left. This is a photo of her paddleboat team.

I've known Lauren since 6th grade, but we didn't truly bond until an 8th grade yearbook meeting where we wrote a profile of our history teacher. (We bonded even more after the yearbook was published and we realized that the stupid yearbook advisor totally revamped our awesome article!) Anyway, Lauren is definitely one of the funniest people I know, and among many things, I admire her ability to consume large amounts of food in 1 sitting, her fashion sense and her strong, positive outlook in life! Now, here's Lauren in her own words... (My questions are in bold.)

1. By day, I... am a speech-language pathologist. And by night, I... pole-dance (ed. note: for exercise, not for money) and paddle (dragon boat.)

2. I can’t live without… my boyfriend's digital cable, soy lattes (iced or hot, depending on the weather) and chapstick/lipgloss, in no particular order.

3. Best/Worst meal I’ve eaten

Best meal: this clam shack near the outlets in Kittery, Maine - they have the best lobster roll, comes with a pickle and coleslaw, and I order a side of wild rice. Service comes with a smile - each time I've gone, there's the same cute little old lady working one of the registers. Her name is Lillian, she sits on a stool by her register inside the ordering window, and apparently she's been working there since the 80s. She has a dish named after her, and she genuinely looks pleased as punch to take your order.
Worst meal: It was the first Christmas my family celebrated without my grandmother, so my aunt and her partner invited us over for the day. They do not partake in meat or alcohol, and neither one of those things was permitted to even enter their house! (We did fill up on a meaty breakfast beforehand.) The food was terrible - a lot of frozen Trader Joe's foods that either weren't fully cooked, or were over cooked and dry. My brother, sister, and I were banished to the 'kids' room' for dinner, despite the fact that the youngest of us was my sister, who at the time was 18. (My aunt's partner claimed she got a headache when we laughed. So sue us for having some Christmas cheer!). To add insult to injury, my gift from the hostesses was a Celine Dion greatest hits CD.

4. 3 Random/Quirky Facts I used to aspire to be a marine biologist as a child, so I went on a ton of whale watches, and even attended some whale lectures (thanks Mom for humoring me and taking me along, despite some nasty sea-sickness!).

What I've retained: the blue whale is thought to be the largest animal to ever live, measuring up to 100+ feet long. Its' heart weighs as much as a small car, its tongue can weight up to 4 tons and could hold about 50 people, and its blowhole can shoot water up to 30 feet in the air.

5. Haiku that describes something you did yesterday
Half a year ago
Roommate made some granola
Now moths swarm pantry

Yeah for Librarians!

One of my favorite high school teachers, Mrs. Fecko, was just named Glastonbury Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Fecko is the library media specialist at Glastonbury High School, and is a terrific example of a rock star librarian. I was so disappointed when the card catalogs were replaced with computers; however, I still remember Mrs. Fecko taking the time to show me how to conduct an electronic search at one of the library's terminals. I ran into her about 2 years ago while I was back in town, and it was nice to be able to share with her that I decided to go to library school too. Mrs. Fecko was everyone's favorite and the award couldn't have gone to a more deserving librarian. Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sampling at Stop & Shop

When I was younger, I would sneak a few green beans or grapes at Frank's Grocery Store while shopping with my mom. The person who took a bite of this onion roll took sampling to a new level though.
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So it's just not a clever name?

POS Solutions? They suck.
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Pumpkin Up the Jam

As you can see, things aren't too lively around here...

Boring, uninspired desk...

So, after careful consideration, I decided to add some seasonal cheer...

Things are rockin' now!