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!

Monday, June 30, 2008

miCoach? Si, es tuCoach.

I usually don't get excited about the newest cell phone technology, but this looks pretty cool.

From Boston.com

With training plans developed by Athlete's Performance - the company that helped prepare Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez in the off-season - miCoach gauges a user's initial fitness level after a one-mile run. The phone feature transmits the data to the website. In subsequent training runs, a voice built into the MP3 player gives the user instructions to help meet the session's goals.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Shaving cream, be nice and clean; Shave every day and you'll always look keen"

During lunch, I was reading an article on Boston.com about how to tactfully tell a co-worker that (s)he stinks. A few years ago, one of my friends in another department used to complain that his cubicle neighber smelled like warm garbage, but I can't think of an instance where lack of personal hygiene has been an issue.

In my experience, it's been the opposite. I worked in a call center for almost 2.5 years after college, and there were about 20 of us housed in one room. We each had our own desk and surrounding area that was sectioned off to create an illusion of personal space; however, no one had any privacy, as the wall partitions only rose about an inch or 2 above our desks. One of my co-workers used to take off his shoes and socks during calls (we had headsets, of course) and clip his toe nails neatly into his trashcan . Another co-worker used to keep a small mirror and tweezers at his desk and pluck his nose hairs. Much to everyone else's amusement, these habits were addressed in a (bolded) bullet point during a staff meeting that warned us "grooming" at our desks was prohibited.

During my final semester at library school, the guy who sat next to me would floss his teeth during the lecture. I eventually ended up moving my seat instead of telling the guy to take care of his gums during the break, because I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that a grown man thought it was appropriate to floss in a classroom. Too bad there was no bolded bullet point to nip that gross habit in the bud.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Sometimes food tastes the best right after a wicked hangover. For awhile, the thought of eating makes you want to throw up, but eventually you reach a point where you're so ravenous that you'd kill for a Big Mac. Well, the same holds true for the stomach flu. Up until about half an hour ago, I had eaten 3 crackers in 36 hours. Around 8, I suddenly found myself so hungry that I thought I was going to pass out. Nick took me to Anna's and a silent tear of joy rolled down my face as I ate my super burrito. It tasted so good, that the flavorful warm mix of beans, cheese, lettuce and salsa almost made crapping my brains out for 2 days worth it. Almost.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

When You've Been Up Since 4 am With a Stomach Bug...

You need a cat nap around 8:30. I hope this bug goes away soon, although on a positive note Ill get to watch "Ellen."
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Like Nails Down a Chalkboard

Everyone has words that make them cringe. Mine are:
  1. flesh
  2. Sorry Mom, but "boobies" is one too. (My mom, and #1 reader, prefers I keep my blog language G-rated.)
  3. snark

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Shaw's at JFK

Why do people park like this? It's pretty selfish to purposely take up 2 spots.
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Friday, June 20, 2008

Shear Madness Review

Last night, Nick and I saw, "Shear Madness" at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. The Charles also is home to Blue Man Group, and the bartender told Nick that Josh Beckett, Dustin Pedroia, and (be still my heart) Mike Lowell were at last night's performance. By the time intermission rolled around, I have to admit that one of the main draws to stay and see the second half was not to find out "whodunit!" but for the slim chance that Blue Man Group let out at the same time and I'd catch a glimpse of the Sox rumored to be in attendance.

Without giving too much away, "Shear Madness" is a bit like Clue, only it's set in a hair salon. The first half sets the scene and the second half is for solving the crime (with the audience's help, so pay attention during the first half.) Some of the jokes were timely and funny; however, for the most part, I thought it was cute, but not especially entertaining. Most people think of puns as the lowest form of humor, but I think "Shear Madness" is a clever title. In retrospect, it foreshadows the production because like most puns, sometimes the gags will make you laugh, while other times they'll just make you groan.

Judging by who in the audience was laughing the most (and least), some reactions were potentially as follows:

From the cute group of little girls sitting across the stage:
SHEAR MADNESS is a hair-raising good time!

From the group of out-of-town middle-aged couples sitting behind us:
What a cut up! It's funny, because it's true!

From the teenaged boy sitting with his parents a few rows down and looked like he might take the prop scissors to his throat:
SHEAR badness.

From this blogger:
I wonder what Mike Lowell wore to Blue Man Group?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Only Thing I'm Married To Is...

Last night Nick's cell rang around 10:30. He was in the shower, so I yelled into the bathroom who was calling. "Answer it!" he said.

"Uh, hello. This is ___ ___. Is Nick there?"
"He's in the shower, that's why I answered."
"Oh! Alicia!"
"What? You thought it was some random chick answering Nick's phone at 10:30 on a Wednesday?"
"No... Listen, I have life changing news that I want to share with Nick."
"Are you drunk?" (Nick calls out from the shower, "He's probably sh*tfaced.")
"No, I have LIFE CHANGING news."
"Well, let's hear it."
"It's all been planned out. I liked the tampon story, by the way. 8 days, 8 golf courses, 8 Irish pubs."
"That does sound life changing. I'll have Nick call you when he's out of the shower."
"No! Just tell him now!" Nick, who can hear his laughter that followed that statement, pops his head out of the shower and asks, "Why is he so giddy? Did he get married?"
"Did you get married?"
"Alicia, tell Nick the only thing I'm married to is... epicness!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She's got it; Yeah baby, she's got it

Dunkin Donuts was packed this morning. Maybe everyone needs more coffee than usual after celebrating last night. While waiting in line and tapping my toe along to "Venus" which was playing in the store, I was lost in thought about how no one ever orders the blueberry flavored iced coffee. Suddenly, I found myself at the front of the line and I didn't have my gift card in hand. (Since the lines are so long and people are in a hurry in the morning, I try to be as expeditious as possible by having my precharged card ready to hand to the cashier.)

I figured I had about 45 seconds before the next cashier would become available, and I challenged myself to find my card prior to that. My purse is not in an organized state, and the odds of me finding the card in less than a minute were not in my favor. I felt my hand hit my check book, some loose change, a hairbrush, my keys, and finally, my card. With a sense of triumph that bordered on being pathetic I quickly raised my card from the bowels of my bag just as I heard, "Next person in line!" Not only did my card emerge, but out of the corner of my eye I saw something else fling into the air and land on the man's foot behind me. A tampon. To his credit, the man just let me remove it from the floor without a witty remark. Hopefully, the man was not familiar enough with feminine products to realize that the pink wrapper also meant that this was no ordinary tampon; it was a super.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hot Summer Reading

The woman next to me on the 9 this evening was reading this book. With a title like that, I admired the woman's lack of self-consciousness. If it had been me reading the book, I think I would have treated it like my old high school text books by covering it with a paper bag and writing, "The Red Pony" across the front for good measure.

Looking to get into politics? Try Craigslist

When I first read this ad, I thought, "Is this for real?" I scrolled back up and realized that I had missed the first line, and the post is indeed for real.


Friday, June 13, 2008

Plug It In, Plug It In

I spent the summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college studying abroad in Madrid. The average temperature during my stay was probably 95 degrees, and unlike Boston, it does not become cooler at night. Stepping out into the sunshine was the equivalent of sticking your head in a preheated oven. The stifling heat combined with the tendency of people older than 50 not to wear deodorant, meant that once in awhile I was treated to some ripe B.O. That was 10 years ago, and strangely enough, whenever my nostrils are assaulted with the scent of someone's malodorous pits, I'm flooded with happy memories of my Spanish summer.

I'm curious to see if 10 to 15 years from now, when I'll probably be living outside of the immediate downtown area, if the smell of horse pee will bring back great memories of time spent near the South Market Builiding in Faneuil Hall.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mind Your Running Manners

I'm walking through the Public Gardens on my way to the BCAE and I hear a guy behind me sort of yelling at people to get out of the way. As he made his way past me, I realized it was a runner, and I watched him purposely bump into a woman whom he thought was blocking his path. This is the type of runner that gives the rest of us recreational runners a bad name. If you're running through a public area, you need to be respectful of those just going about their business. It wouldn't be too unfortunate if someone decided to trip this guy someday.
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Playing Hooky or Really Sick?

Hey... I think I saw the governor at Nantasket Beach this afternoon enjoying the sunshine...


(Imagine if the entire state was notified each time you called in sick?)

Game 3 Fashion Victim: The Towel Guy

I love NCAA basketball, but I can't muster that much excitement for the NBA. This past season, I have been keeping an eye on the Celtics though, mostly because I followed Ray Allen when he was playing at UConn.

After the Sox blew it last night, I flipped over to the Celts and settled in to watch Game 3. I couldn't take my eyes off the towel guy's outfit. This is the guy who seemed to be collecting discarded towels from the floor and handing clean ones to the players as they were subbed out of the game. He was wearing a purple headband, which isn't that strange considering he was a part of the Lakers' organization. His pants were black, and again, there's not much more to say about that. What was so interesting about his outfit, was the fact that his black long-sleeved shirt fell almost to his knees. If you threw a belt around the guy's waist, he'd essentially be wearing a t-shirt dress. What prompted him to wear such a long shirt? He needed to be able to move around quickly to distribute towels and stay out of the players' way, so it definitely wasn't functional. As for fashionable, well, I certainly don't even come close to being "in the know" when it comes to the newest styles, but IMHO this guy looked fairly ridiculous in the long shirt.

Hey! Give me back my shirt!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PowerBar New Product Review

Recently, PowerBar asked me to try out some of their new product offerings, which was pretty exciting since I acquired a taste for all those energy bar/gel/drink/chews during my marathon training. I had previously had trouble with the PowerBar gel products during my runs; that is, I couldn't open them with my teeth. This is problematic during cold weather runs, when my fingers aren't nimble enough to tear the packaging.
They sent me a package with with 2 new products: PowerBar Energize Fruit Smoothie Bars and
PowerBar Electrolytes.
The first time I tried a Fruit Smoothie Bar, I was hungry and didn't even feel like going for a run; however, I felt like that would be a good test of the bar's performance. I choose "Creamy Citrus" and it initially tasted exactly how I imagined it would taste- like the orange-flavored Bubblicious gum. After a few bites though, I noticed there was a strong after-taste that was sort of stinging the back of my throat. It wasn't uncomfortable enough for me to stop eating the bar, but I definitely felt something. (My husband tried the same flavor and didn't notice any aftertaste at all though.) The bar's consistency isn't as stiff as other PowerBars I've had, which was nice since sometimes they make my jaw feel sore. The bar did satiate my hunger and I felt fine during my 5 mile run.
The second time I tried a Fruit Smoothie Bar, it was before the Harpoon 5-miler. This time I tried the Tangy Tropical flavor, while Nick tried the Berry Blast one. Mine tasted pretty good, and I didn't experience the weird aftertaste that I did with the Creamy Citrus bar. Nick loved his Berry Blast flavor. Nick had flown in that same morning on a red eye from Vegas, after being there for a bachelor party and managed to run the race in record time. He told me afterwards that he's pretty sure it was the bar that got him through the course. I also felt great after the run, and I'm guessing the pre-race bar had a lot to do with that. I can't say if these bars are necessarily more effective than the original PowerBars or other bar brands; however, they seem to do the trick and I'll definitely work them into my energy bar brand/flavor rotation.
The Electrolytes are meant to be mixed into 16.9 oz of water and consumed during the run to stay hydrated. I guess the theory is that people are more willing to rehydrate during exercise if their water is flavored. So far, I have only tried one flavor of the PowerBar Electrolytes: Natural Lemon. If by natural, PowerBar meant, the lemon's natural peel, then the name is spot-on. This flavor is not especially tasty. I tried a little sip right after I mixed it, and then I refrigerated the mixture for about 10 minutes. I poured a bit into a Fuel Belt water bottle, and off I went in the 90 degree heat for a run around Castle Island in Southie. During the run, I tried to take sips at consistent intervals, and I did notice that the flavor improved as the run went on. I think that the key is to really shake the mixture before drinking it, as the drink became more palatable the longer it bounced around in my water bottle. Overall, I felt good during and after the run, despite the heat; however, the mixture just wasn't as refreshing as water. I think for shorter runs, it's better to stick with water; however, for longer runs where I wear my fuel belt, it would be helpful to alternate the electrolyte mixture with plain water in my bottles.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Here's the Scoop: Free Cone Tomorrow

The news screen in my building's elevator clued me into the fact that tomorrow, between 12 and 5, Friendly's will be giving out free cones. Since it's supposed to be 90-something degrees tomorrow, this is an opportune treat!

Also, if you'd like a more reliable source than Captivate vision, here's the blurb from Boston.com:


Gino in the Journal


Thursday, June 5, 2008

I think there's a hole in my frequent flier pocket

A couple of nights ago, Nick and I were talking about how terrible the frequent flier program at Jet Blue is. You need to accumulate 100 points to qualify for a complimentary round-trip flight; however, your points expire after a year. Depending on the distance, each flight is assigned a point value. For example, a flight from here to Buffalo, NY is worth 2 points and a flight from Logan to California is worth 6 pts. In other words, you'd have to make 9 round-trip cross country flights within a year to earn your free flight. Last year, I think I was up to 6 points from some flights to Buffalo; however, I'm back down to zero. To rub salt in the wounds, I just got the following email from Jet Blue:

0 TrueBlue Points! As you can see, I'm well on my way!

Because Unibrows Don't Look Good on Anyone

If I didn't get my eyebrows waxed every 2 weeks or so, there's no doubt I'd look like Frida. Growing up, I was completely disinterested in makeup and hair, and I certainly had given no thought to my eyebrows. In my 7th grade class photo, I look like Groucho Marx's great great granddaughter. Perhaps it was this resemblance that prompted my mom to book me an appointment with a lady in town for my first wax. Thanks to a biweekly appointment, scheduled around tennis practice and other after-school commitments, my eyebrows remained perfectly sculpted throughout high school.

I try not to think about the money I've spent over the years, but when I do the math it's been about $40 a month for oh, about 16 years, it amounts to a year's rent when I was living with roommates in Dorchester. I'm someone who tells the hairdresser to do "whatever" would look good, I don't spend hours trying on jeans and I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn eye makeup; however, I am very particular about the state of my brows. More out of necessity than anything else.

For the past 2 years I've been going to see Natalie for my brow wax. She worked at the same place I get my haircut, and then she decided to open her own business. My brows always look immaculate when I leave- she has my complete trust. She doesn't know that I'm writing this endorsement for her new business, Unique Verve, but if anyone's looking for a great esthetician or massage therapist please check out her site. She's become a friend of mine and I'd love for her new venture to succeed!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

You Can't Win if You Don't Play

Nick left for a Vegas bachelor party tonight, and when I got home from yoga I was surprised and happy to see he had left me some scratch lotto tickets. I love scratch tickets, even though I never buy them for myself. They're fun to get as gifts, and scratching them is almost as exciting as winning. 9 times out of 10, I glance over the ticket too quickly and think I've won when I haven't really. That happened tonight- I thought I won $5, but I didn't. It was still fun to play though, and as you can see Dwayne was interested in them too.
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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Celebrating Colonoscopies

My dad recently had a colonoscopy, and we wanted to celebrate his clean bill of health. My brother and I wrote this back and forth to him over a couple of emails today, because Hallmark does not make a card for every life occasion. (No word yet from my dad who I'm sure is pleased that our college educations have been put to such creative endeavors.) Feel free to pass on our words to your loved ones.

We’re so happy to hear
Everything’s good with your rear!
And that you don’t have to fear
So let’s give a cheer!
No more moanin’ & groanin’
It’s all good with your colon
To Dad, We dedicate this salute
Let’s cap it off with a toot!

Circle Time, Miller Time & Nap Time

I saw a woman on my commute this morning wearing a backpack with the Bright Horizons logo. Nestled in the backpack's side mesh pouch were a pack of Marlboro's and a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels.

Having spent a summer teaching art & gym classes at Creative Movement & Arts Center, I certainly understand how she'd be feeling a bit crazed; however, hopefully she waits until after Ernie & Bert sing the "Put it Away" song to get her drink & smoke on.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What are ya gonna do with all that junk?

Put it in a fanny pack, of course.
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We're Slashing Prices! It's Craaazy!

Here at Crazy Priselac's we're slashing prices, as our merchandise needs to go! go! go!

These prices are so low, it's crazy!


(Recently reduced to $75- anyone need a futon?)

What Happens in Uncasville, Stays in Uncasville

For Mother's Day, my brother bought my mom tickets to see Billy Joel play at Mohegan Sun, and Nick and I got tickets too. We wanted to have dinner at the casino; however, since the wait at most of the sit-down places made the turnaround time at the Cheesecake Factory seem quick, we decided to grab dinner at Geno Auriemma's "Fast Break" Food Court & Pub. Note: Had the food court been named after Jim Calhoun, we probably would have had to have skipped dinner. Ever since Calhoun ignored my mom's request to sign her basketball in 2004, he's been (and, I quote) "dead to [her.]"
As promised in its name, the food court was indeed a fast break, and afterwards some of us decided to play blackjack.

David in line at the ATM. That smile quickly faded after a couple of hands...

My mom playing her first round of blackjack ever! She lost it all- all $25.

Nick & I before the show

As you can see from the group of politely seated people, his fan base is totally bad ass

This was my fourth time seeing Billy Joel in concert, and his shows are always worth the ticket prices. He caters his performances to his fans and sticks to his older material, which he knows people are there to hear. A couple years ago, Dave and I went to a BJ/Elton John concert and Elton's portion was dedicated mainly to his new album, which was pretty frustrating. All in all, it was a fun night!