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!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time to Recycle Another T Shirt...

I am very sad to see Manny go... I know my mom will be too as she has a t shirt that says: "This Fanny's for Manny." (I had one-that has since been cut into dust rags-that said: "I'm Claimin' Damon.")

Smoke If You Got 'Em

"No smoking, please." I think I've heard the T's robotic voice utter this about three times a day for 10 years. Obviously smoking is not allowed on the trains or platforms, but I frequently see people lighting up in the morning while waiting for the train at Broadway. This morning there was a kid, couldn't have been more than 12 or 13, that decided to light up for a morning cig. He gave those watching him a long, cold stare as if daring us to say something. About 30 seconds later, a T worker started towards him and our tough young smoker dropped the attitude and the butt and took off scared to the other end of the station. The rest of us got a good laugh out of that, and I was still smiling about it when I got off the train at Downtown Crossing. As I was walking to my exit, a cockroach scuttled by feet, which sent me running to another set of stairs. Just when you're feeling all tough and smug, there's usually someone (or thing) to put you back in your place.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things I Will Never, Ever Do

1. Bungee Jump
2. Drive cross-country in an RV for fun
3. Wear an A-Rod jersey
4. This

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mythbusters: Do cats go crazy for catnip?

I never really believed that catnip made cats act all that crazy. This afternoon, I picked up a little baggie and put some in a sock for Dwayne to play with. Here's his first experience with catnip- I think he liked the flavor better than anything else considering he licked the sock nonstop. Myth: BUSTED.

Free Panty Day at the Office

I have more underwear than I know what to do with. Victoria's Secret has sent me a coupon for a free pair almost weekly for the past 6 months. There's a store 2 minutes from where I work, so I generally just pop in during lunch to claim them (white, buff, or pink only!) Another coupon arrived in the mail last night, and I considered just leaving it on top of the area where our building's mail boxes are housed since I'm almost embarrassed to go claim another free pair. A few minutes ago, I collected the library's mail and nestled between invoices for our market data services, was another coupon for a free pair of drawers.

Victoria is keen to share her secret with me

I've never taken advantage of the "Plus $10 off any bra" offer that comes with each coupon, so it's not like I'm giving them any additional business. Maybe Victoria's Secret is just trying to improve librarian images one bottom at a time?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Orange You Glad I Checked the Box?

After having freshly squeezed OJ with our breakfasts each morning in Montreal, Nick and I were inspired to use our juicer. On Friday, Nick went to Costco and bought a box of 24 oranges. That afternoon he juiced about half of them, and we left the remaining oranges sitting in the cardboard box they came in. This evening, just 3 days later, I took the lid off the box and was surprised to see our oranges now resembled fuzzy limes. I guess the lesson here is to remove the oranges asap, otherwise you'll be drinking limeade.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Comcastic Fees- Part II, The Resolution

So, earlier in the day I wrote about how Comcast charges a fee to cancel a service. Well, I received the following email from Comcast:
I read your message on this URL: http://got2trotlibrarian.blogspot.com/2008/07/comcastic-fees.html. I work for Comcast and I am willing to reach out to my contacts to take care of the fee fro you. If you are interest in my assistance, please send me the phone number associated with your account at the below email. Thanks in advance for the opportunity to assist!
Best Regards,
Mark Casem
Comcast Corp.
I emailed him back and he left me a message saying that he took care of the fee. That's great, but if Comcast hires someone to patrol blogs and message boards looking for negative comments that they'll gladly take care of, why even have the fee in the first place?

Comcastic Fees

I called Comcast to cancel our HBO since we don't really watch it too often.

The call went smoothly until the Customer Care Rep said, "Ok, your new monthly service bill will be $130 and you'll just see a cancellation charge for $1.99 on your next statement."

"You charge $1.99 to cancel a service?"

She told me it was a standard fee and I wasn't going to argue over two bucks; however, from working in a call center I know that people are willing to argue over the smallest points and I'm sure others have given her a much harder time than I have. Comcast's cancellation fee reminds me of the airline (I forget which one) commercial where there's a fee to lean a seat back and open the overhead luggage compartment.

I fear that complaining about fees puts me in the same category as the scary old man who yells at kids for walking across his lawn...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My $230 Mistake

So Nick's parents (Joe & Linda), Nick and I went for an early dinner and then Nick took off for his hotel. He has a client meeting tomorrow morning about halfway between Buffalo and Boston, so the plan was for him to drive there this evening and I'd fly back to Boston. Around 5:30, I checked my flight status and saw that it was ontime and set to leave Boston at 8:50 PM as scheduled. Boston! I couldn't believe it- I had purchased a ticket from Boston to Buffalo, instead of Buffalo to Boston! I called US Airways in a panic, and they told me that it would cost $150 to change my ticket and that they couldn't fly me out until 5 PM Monday afternoon. Joe suggested I try a different airline and I found a flight leaving Buffalo at 7:45 on Jet Blue- I got the last ticket. Joe and I hightailed it to the airport, where I found found out my flight was delayed until 9:30. So now I'm paying the price for my stupidity, and am cooling my heels at Gate 8 at Buffalo Niagara Airport. Aside from my transportation issues, we had a great weekend though. Linda, Nick and I played golf this morning, and Linda shot an 80, with a 35 on the back 9. That's a new course record for the ladies on the back 9! On Saturday, we all went to an Italian street festival and then to visit my sister and brother in law and 2 nephews at their home just outside of Buffalo. Thankfully I'm already married into the family, because after tonight's hideous snafu, they may have told Nick to reconsider marrying such an airhead!
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Best Rest Stop of 2002

Nick and I are at a rest stop somewhere along 87 in NY. Outside of the plaza's entrance there was a plaque that read: Voted Best Rest Stop of 2002. The inside was dirty, dark and lacked any real sense of comfort. We figured things had really gone downhill in the past 6 years, unless the trucker's lounge was really kick ass.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 Miler

Last night was the 21st Annual Jim Kane Sugar Bowl 5 miler. The 5 mile loop takes you from the Bayside Expo Center, down William J Blvd to Columbia Rd and back. I love this race because it's close to home, it supports local charities, there's a running expo with a fun raffle, and you get a great tank top. Another reason to love this race, is that the photos are posted the following morning! Check out Nick and I tearing up the pavement:

I hope this Somerville Road Runner in the foreground finds her photo- she looks great!

Keeping my eyes on prize- the finish line

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Peeing Tom

Yesterday evening Nick was on a conference call driving home from work. After pulling into our space, he decided just to hang out in the car until the call was over. Our building's parking lot is next to a smaller house where an elderly couple and some of their grown children live, and our assigned spot is directly across from the couple's front porch. While Nick was sitting in car, he watched the husband slowly maneuver himself out the front door and onto the porch. The man's movement was especially limited not due to creaky bones or arthritic knees, but because his pants were down around his ankles. T0 Nick's great relief, the man was wearing underwear, but his relief was quickly replaced by horror as the man whipped himself out of his briefs and proceeded to pee off the front porch in broad daylight. At this point, Nick told me he buried his head in his hands so that in case the guy saw Nick sitting in the car, he wouldn't think Nick was enjoying the show. I think in this case though, that if you're relieving yourself off your front porch, that you're beyond caring if someone sees you.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Canadians on the Run

We've seen dozens of frenzied people with maps and cell phones on a city wide corporate sponsored scavenger hunt. There were at least 3 teams on our metro car alone- talking in whispered tones and wiping sweat from their eyes.
Looks like a lot of fun!
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Don't Bug Me!

Yesterday we went to Olympic Park to see the area built for the 1976 Olympics. Tickets were sold in discounted bundles, so we decided to visit the Jardin Botanique (that's Botanical Gardens to you and me) and the Insectarium as well as the main Olympic attraction: the Montreal Tower. The Insectarium had huge bugs from all over the globe mounted on the walls and in display cases. There were also live tarantulas, bees, beetles and ants. Very Silence of the Lambs.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Le Monde de Victor

We came across an art exhibit in The Village in Montreal, and we came across a woman being scotch taped from head to toe. Unfortunately since neither of us read French we can't determine what's going on from the posted fliers, but I think it says something about building art through plastics and tape. Pretty cool. I can imagine that removing all that tape won't be that much fun...
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Montreal or Bust!

Well, we've been on the road since 11, and realized somewhere in New Hampshire that we both forgot our passports. We called Nick's dad (and our source for all things Canadian) and he assured us that drivers won't need to present a passport until December of this year. Let's hope he's right, otherwise we'll be spending our vacation in Northern Vermont!
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Tales from the Bookstore

Nick and I are headed to Montreal on Wednesday, and I wanted to buy some audio books for the ride. When we drove to Buffalo in January, we listened to David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty Someday. Sedaris' hilarious narrations made the usually monotonous 7.5 hour trek down the 90 a lot more pleasant. After picking up a Chacarero to take back to the office today, I popped into the Borders on School Street and headed over to the audio book section. Romance novels lined the shelves where the audio books had been in December, so I looked around for a Borders associate.
After a quick scan, I saw a man standing by himself behind the information desk. His head was buried in a thick 3 ring binder and when I first said, "Excuse me..." to get his attention, he didn't flinch. I get lost in my own thoughts a lot and just figured that this man was as well. It didn't occur to me that he was purposely not responding. So I spoke up, but didn't want to startle him, "Oh, hello. Excuse me..." After a pause, he looked up, met my gaze and coolly stated: "I know it doesn't look like I'm busy, but I am."
I'm often surprised by how people in customer service roles aren't especially skilled at working with the public. Here was a man standing behind a brightly lit and cheerfully labeled information desk, yet completely unwilling to indulge my request for information. He reminded me of a librarian from my town that used to run the youth summer reading programs, and as far as us kids could tell, hated children.
When met with unnecessary rudeness, my reaction is usually to become overwhelmingly polite. I smiled and said, "I'm sorry, but I just wanted to know where the audio books are?" He begrudgingly told me that they were upstairs near the DVDs, and I became lost in thought replaying the conversation in my head while I rode the escalator to the 2nd floor. I realized too late that I was actually mouthing the words "Go f- yourself" and smiling all the while imagining the associate's reaction, when I caught 2 teenage boys laughing and pointing at me. Taking a cue from the Borders associate, I choose not to respond.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hot in Herre

About 4 years ago, 4 of my high school friends and I took a trip to Fort Lauderdale. Our beachfront hotel was gorgeous and centrally located. In order to cut costs, we all stayed in the same room, which meant that there were 2 to a bed and the last one in each night was rewarded with a makeshift bed that consisted of 2 armchairs pushed together. In addition to squeezing 5 adults into one room, we also managed to save some money by going in mid-July. I believe the average temperature hovered around 96, which made laying out at the beach practically intolerable. Our 2nd or 3rd day there, my friend John retrieved the complimentary newspaper outside our hotel room and sat down to read. "Well, I'm looking at the weather," he said, "And in case you're interested it's printed right here: Hot as balls." I don't think the weatherman could have put it any more accurately, and the expression has stuck with me over the years. On days like today when I set out on my 12 minute walk to the T and my glasses slip down my sweaty nose along the way, John's proclamation rings true in my head.

5 Cheapskates Beating the Heat in Fort Lauderdale

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Excuse Me Please For Being So Rude- That Was Not Me, It Was My Food.

I just had a journal vendor call me, and half way through introducing himself he burped into the phone. "Whoops! That was just a post lunch burp there!" This is from someone who wanted me to agree to a $1,745 newsletter subscription. If it had been me who had burped, I think I would have just soldiered on without acknowledging the bodily function. After a few minutes of talking with Bobby I knew that he was eager to make a sale, but I told him that I'd have to take down his information and call him back. Any new purchases require sign off and I couldn't agree to a subscription at that time. This prompted him to ask me if I was tired, because "[I] sure sound[ed] tired." I'm not so sure Bobby is cut out for a sales position.