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!

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)

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Comforting to Think That Something Like This is Much More Likely to Happen in OH than in MA

World's most effective scarecrow.

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!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rian Lindell's Birthday Present to My Father-in-Law

Yesterday was my father-in-law's birthday and he pretty much got the best present he could ask for when the Bills beat the Raiders in the last play of the game. Nick and I watched it at the Harp, and it was a pretty exciting game. With the Bills down by 2 scores with about 6 minutes to go, I definitely thought it was game over for Buffalo.

Joe with his grandson, Jackson, about 2 years ago

So, Happy Birthday Joe! We know you had a great day!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred

I've seen this posted on some food blogs that I read. I quickly counted 45 bolded items in my list- not too impressive. I bet my friends Vince and Steven (the most adventurous and cultured diners I know) could maybe get 90 of the items. I wasn't able to cross out the items I would never eat, because I can't figure out how to format that on Blogger; however, I guess I can't say that I'd NEVER eat something. An explanation (copied from Very Good Taste), the list and instructions are below:

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (my personal comments are in parenthesis)
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros (ole!)
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht (only the hot version)
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns (one a penny, 2 a penny, Steamed Pork Buns)
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (Blech. I hate Root Beer)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Every night, after I put on my silk robe and leather slippers.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (it's a house staple)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (Only if Bear Grylls asked me to)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk (I've had goat cheese...)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin (I will do my best not to eat this again.)
51. Prickly pear (Does a prickly pear martini count?)
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (one of my new favs)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian (yes, and it was well-documented here)
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho (I ate this in Spain, and discovered cold soup is not for me)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (No, but a friend of a friend ate turtle's blood soup from a roadkill turtle and they got a parasite that wiggled around under their skin for 6 months until they found an herbal doctor that managed to kill it. True story.)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie (the cupcakes are way better)
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (one of my favorites. I love to order this at S&S in Cambridge)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Mother-in-Law!

Today's my mother-in-law's birthday, and I wanted to wish her a great day! In addition to being a fantastic golfer, she's one of the funniest people I know and has always made me feel welcome when we visit Buffalo. Happy Birthday, Linda!

Linda and I at my bridal shower last August

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Pitch to NESN

I'd really like to see a show on NESN that works the same way "Cribs" does on MTV. They might have some trouble getting the bigger names to participate, but it would be a good way to highlight the up and comers, coaching staff, and perhaps even the NESN personalities. C'mon, who wouldn't want to see Big Papi making mango salsa in his own kitchen?

Skim, no sugar or poison, please

I can tell how my iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts will taste based on the first sip. I order a medium iced hazelnut with skim. I used to add, No sugar, please, to the end of my order; however, I've found that not mentioning sugar at all is the best way to keep it out of my drink. Most of the times, it's cool and refreshing and the correct flavor. Other times, it's warm and watery or non-flavored. The best way to test how well the coffee has been made, is to stick the straw all the way down to the bottom of the cup and take a long sip. If sugar's been accidentally added, then you'll find out for sure. This morning, after having attended an early morning yoga class, I was particularly looking forward to my coffee. Normally, I don't take a sip until I arrive at my desk and have situated myself at my computer. When I took a sip this morning, it was like drinking battery acid. I swallowed a little bit, but managed to spit the rest back in the cup. There was a pool of something (hopefully meant for human consumption) on the bottom of my cup that created a sensation of 200 miniature knives poking me in the throat. I've since downed 2 glasses of water, and am hoping that my tonsils aren't melting and dripping slowly into my stomach. Tomorrow, maybe I'll get an iced tea...

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Mom's 10,000 Step Plan; Plus a Fun Fact!

My parents came up to Boston for their 34th wedding anniversary this weekend. Happy Anniversary!
Mom & Dad at Mike's Pastry on Saturday night.

On Sunday we had tickets to the Sox, so I met them at their hotel before we headed over to Fenway. I asked them if they wanted to cab it over or take the T; however, my mom wanted to know how long it would take to walk. She had her pedometer in her pocket and was trying to reach her goal of walking 10,000 steps in one day; she was already up to 3300. We took a fairly direct route from the hotel, up High Street, through the Commons and Gardens and then down Comm Ave to Kenmore Square. When we arrived to our gate, my mom checked her pedometer and it read 9992.
So, I can now present this fun fact of the day: From the Boston Harbor Hotel to Gate D at Fenway park it's approximately 6492 steps.

Looking fresh and invigorated after 7000 steps and some Fenway Franks

By the time we walked back to the hotel, my mom was almost 19,000 steps into her day and could have probably knocked off another 10K had my dad and I been up for another stroll around the city. Instead, I went home, sat on the couch and got to watch the 4th quarter of the Patriots game. Yesterday was a monumental day; the Sox, Pats, and Bills all won... and we walked our daily recommended amount of steps.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh my Gross

The nectarine that time forgot is on the right. Holy crap.
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Wax On, Wax Off

In order to prevent them from taking over my face, my eyebrows require the time, skill & patience that Mr. Miyagi invested in his bonsai trees. It's come up once or twice on this blog that I need to have my eyebrows waxed approximately every 12-14 days. When I was able to track down my girl Natalie, I breathed a heavy sigh of relief. She does such a good job, that I frequently get complimented on their shape. When was the last time you noticed someone's eyebrows? You can't remember, right? That's how good she is.
Of course, fashion and style are completely subjective, and I know that there are lots of women out there that wouldn't be caught dead in my beloved cargo pants (just like I wouldn't be caught dead in their fug ankle boots.)

Robin Hood called, he wants his boots back

There are approximately 3 different nails salons that I'll pop into if I need a quick (I'm talking 10 minute) manicure. One is close to my office in Downtown Crossing, another is close to Natalie in the South End and, the other is about 2 blocks from me in Southie. All 3 salons are inexpensive ($11 for a manicure) and quite good. They are also each run by Vietnamese men and women who think I am the hairiest woman in Boston. On separate occasions while I was getting my nails done, and in each of the locations, they have asked me if I also wanted an eyebrow wax. Last night, when after I washed my hands and before my technician started to apply the polish, I asked for the slip so I could pay. As I reached for the slip, she pulled it back and asked, "Maybe you should get an eyebrow wax too?"

"Oh, just the nails today!" I sang, as I watched her expression fall in disbelief and pity. Then she said something to the woman next to her that probably translated into, "Swamp girl doesn't want to trim down those brow bushes" and they shared a hearty chuckle. At least she didn't ask me if I wanted my chin waxed again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Word of the Day: Chondola

Define Chondola:
a) Taco Bell's new beef & cheese offering
b) A mode of transportation
c) The dance craze that's sweeping the nation
d) Island nation off the coast of Brazil

If you guessed, b, you're correct! Turns out Sunday River is going to have North America's first high speed chair/gondola combination, or "chondola." (Why not, gondair?) Aside from looking pretty sweet, the chondola will combine a former 2 lift 2o minute journey into a one lift 7 minute jaunt. For photos and more information (including a blog, the Chondolog), check out: http://www.chondola.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Blowin' and Burnin', Blinded by Thirst"

This graffiti is spray-painted on the sidewalk just across the street from the Dunkin Donuts in PO Square.
Life In the Fat Lane

The Dunkin Donuts is fairly new, so I'm not sure if the store or the graffiti came first. Either way, I get a kick out of watching people traipse across it. This is almost as good as the Pilgrim Hat Old School graffiti I've seen around the city. That never fails to make me smile.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thompson Island 4K

Last Thursday, I ran in the 8th Annual Thompson Island 4K Trail Run. This race is a real treat!

  • A lovely ferry takes takes you through the Harbor to the Island. Prior to running the race in 2006, my only harbor ride had been for a booze cruise fundraiser for someone's ski house. The boat was like a floating VFW; complete with tin foil trays of popcorn and pretzels. If memory serves me correctly, we were so hard up for entertainment that my friends & I paid someone $5 to eat a flaccid pickle that was leftover from the sandwich platter. (But that's another blog entry.)
  • The ferry departs at 3:30, which means I departed work at 3.

  • The race course goes through "204 acres of rolling hills, forests, meadows, salt marshes and beaches along the trails of Thompson Island. " (from ThompsonIsland.org)

  • There's a 1.5 hour post-race BBQ on the island

  • The race is sponsored by Harpoon, which flows freely during the post-race BBQ

Keith & Brad signed up for the beer, the race was just a detail

Trying to keep up with the boys

Monday, September 8, 2008

You have died of dysentery.

The Oregon Trail was my favorite elementary school computer game, but I also loved Number Munchers, Facemaker and PC Man (which was like Pac Man, only much more primitive.) Much to my delight, there's a pretty awesome version of the Oregon Trail on ThuleRoadTrip.com. There are fun updates, but the look and feel is the same. You can name your passengers, choose your vehicle, decide how many bags of food to buy, etc. The best part is that you can still hunt for food.

Not sure how Thule knows my husband so well...

A (Business) Casual Plea to Area Employers

Some time ago, I read an article that pointed to a study that found women's hemlines got longer or shorter depending on how well the economy was faring. In times of plenty, mini skirts are in; and in times of "scrimping and pinching to make ends meet" (shout out to Ramona Quimby) longer skirts are in fashion. Now, I just read that Putnam Investments has reverted back to a business formal dress code. The few times I've had to slog to work in a suit on the T have been terrible. Usually, I'm so wrinkled and sweaty by the end of the trip, that it looks like I've just completed a 5k. Also, suit pants and jackets are just so restrictive; I can buy suit pants 2 sizes too big and they'll still bunch and pull when I sit down. Nothing puts me in a worse mood than a waist line digging into my stomach while I'm sitting at my desk. Please please let this be just an unfortunate situation for Putnam and not for other Boston area financial institutions.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Bills Backers at the Harp

Nick and I are at the Harp, which is a Bills fan bar. They just scored, and the place went nuts. Unfortunately for Bills fans, such joy is usually short-lived, but maybe this is the year?
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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thanks, Mass Eye and Ear!!

This past April, I ran the 2008 Boston Marathon to raise money for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. I can think of at least 4 doctors I've seen in 3 different departments at MEEI, so I was more than happy to raise money for a hospital whose wonderful services I can vouch for. Now, I am doubly thankful that I ran for Team Eye and Ear, because Nick had a surgical procedure done there yesterday. Every person we spoke to on staff was friendly and helpful; Nick said that he was even asked several times if his chair was comfortable enough for him in the recovery room. When I was in the Family Waiting Area while Nick was in surgery, his doctor actually came to introduce himself to me and to tell me that everything went smoothly and explained how to replace his bandages, if needed. That level of service really floored me. A couple of weeks ago, I signed up to run the 2009 Boston Marathon with Team Eye and Ear again, and now I'm especially motivated to meet my $6000 goal for 2009. Thank you, Mass Eye and Ear, for treating my husband so well!

Nick post-surgery, just chillin'...