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!







Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Woman is Like a Teabag...

While standing on the 9 Bus last night, a woman's bookmark caught my eye. The font and coloring made me think of Mary Engelbreit, and it read: A Woman is Like a Teabag, -and unfortunately, the woman's hand was covering the 2nd half of the seemingly ridiculous simile. The bus was crowded and I was desperate to see in what circumstance a woman could be compared to a teabag. It got to the point where I was practically resting my head on the lady's shoulder. In light of the "good touch/bad touch" awareness campaign the MBTA's got everyone all hyped up about, I decided to straighten up and think it through on my own. Nothing I could come up with sounded worthy of being printed on a bookmark or even made much sense.

A woman is like a teabag.... she's a flavorful pouch.
A woman is like a teabag.... dunk her water and she'll flavor it.
A woman is like a teabag.... don't throw her out after one use, she's usually good for at least 2.

It was finally my husband who had to suggest to me, the librarian, that it might be a famous quote, and that I should look it up online. Well, it took all of 1 Google search to reveal the entire quote, and the former First Lady who pronounced it.

Lightening Up Casual Male

Whenever I walk by "Casual Male" in Downtown Crossing, I usually put the "XL" from the sign in front of it, and read it as the Extra Large Casual Male, just because it sounds a lot more interesting than plain old "Casual Male." On my way to work this morning, I was reading in the Wall Street Journal how Casual Male's new spokesman is Matt Light and he'll be in TV commercials starting tomorrow. The article is pretty interesting and talks about how they want to broaden their sales to slightly less XL clientele as well. This is a pretty smart move, I think, because Matt's got a great fan base and it never hurts to have a Boston or New England sports hero hawking your products.

Looking good, Matt!

I hope I enjoy this commercial as much as Al Skinner's spot for Eastern Clothing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

New South Boston Gym on W Broadway

Over the past couple of months, I've been watching the former Curves gym on West Broadway being refurbished and re-branded as Regan's Motivated Fitness. I've lived in Southie since July 2002, and I'm not 100% certain, but I think the gym that occupied that space when I first moved there was not a Curves, but a locally owned gym. The Curves that I first remember being there closed and then reopened under new management. This eventually closed too and the building was empty for awhile until I started to see signs for yet another gym, Regan's Motivated Fitness.
I'm wondering if the effort to open a different type of business there would be too great. Or more specifically, why do people keep opening gyms here? Granted, Curves has a very specific target client base; women looking for a friendly non-threatening gym environment and a workout routine they can complete in 30 minutes. From their window advertisements, Regan's looks like they have a broader client base in mind. One of the window stickers reads, "Ripped by Regan" and another one promotes "Weight Loss" counseling.
I love thinking about advertising, marketing strategies and branding, so I've been curious to see how Regan's was going to set about getting new business. I was immediately wondering why someone would chose to open a gym in the springtime, when most people start to think about joining a gym in December & January. Last night a guy was handing out fliers for Regan's at Broadway T stop that advertised monthly rates and some fitness programs for May. He wasn't wearing anything to suggest he was working for Regan's and didn't look enthused about recruiting new members. The flier wasn't particularly impressive (although it did at least have the gym logo on it for some branding), and it invited you to stop by, but didn't list gym hours or a web site. According to the flier, rates start at $35/month, but this is only slightly cheaper than the Gold's in Southie that's a lot bigger, an established reputation, and a parking lot...
I'm certainly not rooting for Regan's to fail, but I think it's going to be an uphill battle for them.

Bow Down to the Buns!

Today's Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's! To find a participating Scoop Shop, click here. Also, for a little dish of heaven, try the Cinnamon Bun flavor, which has chunks of cinnamon buns mixed into a vanilla-caramel ice cream. What's not to like about that?


No caption needed- this flavor speaks for itself.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Revisiting the Durian

This morning when I was walking to work, a terrible, yet familiar smell flooded my nostrils. It took me a few minutes to place it, and then I realized that downtown Boston smelled like an overripe durian!

I forgot about it until I just received an email from our facilities guy telling us that due to a water main break, there's been a gas leak and we may notice a gas odor in the air... For more info, you can also read about it on Boston.com. http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/04/motorists_urged.html

All the Better to See You With

I've worn glasses since I was three years old, and thus, perhaps destined to be a librarian. My astigmatism is bad enough to prevent me from being able to wear soft contact lenses, so when I do wear contacts they're gas permeable. Unfortunately, gas perms aren't really suited for long term daily wear, so it's glasses by day and contacts by night.
Boy, Bacardi must have had me in mind during this ad campaign...
I don't particularly mind wearing my glasses; in a way, they allow people to remember your face better. I've worked at numerous counter-style breakfast places, and it was always easier to assign a memory device to customers wearing glasses. I'd see the tall woman with red frames and know to get her a toasted everything with hummus on the side.
Of course, some people wear frames that are easier to remember than others. My current ones are black with a lime green tint around the edges, and fall into the "easier to remember" category. I grossly overestimated my flexible spending account this year, so I have the luxury of getting a "free" pair of glasses before July. Shopping for glasses is a time-consuming process, because unlike a shirt that looks fantastic in the dressing room and hideous at home in natural light, glasses can't be returned and you need to wear them. I definitely don't want to be reminded of an impulse buy every time I look in the mirror, so I take a long time to make a decision.
For about a month now I have been trying on frames at different stores in the city, but I haven't found anything memorable. Last Friday, I went to Eyes Over Copley and tried on several frames there. I love Eyes Over Copley because they give you honest feedback and have a great selection of frames. Plus, it's always nice to support a local independent store versus a larger national chain. One pair really stuck with me and so on Saturday I went back and ordered my new frames. They should be in hand within a week or 2, and I'm looking forward to throwing off my co-workers and lunch counter staff with my new look.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beep, Beep! Beep, Beep! Yeah!

When I was coming home from work last night, I noticed how pretty the tree in front of our building looks now that it's in bloom.



Spring is finally here!

I hopped off the curb to take a picture, but I was struggling to find a place to stand so that I could get a decent shot. Suddenly, I realized why I was cramped for space...

Parked cars lining Broadway

At first I had been avoiding the inside lane because I thought those cars were in traffic, and then I realized that they were double parked. They were there for a church service, I think, but I decided to take a photo anyway, because this scene isn't that much different than the ones weekday mornings when people line up for their coffee at the Java House on the way to work. City parking solutions at their best!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Maybe Bolt Bus Hired Drivers Away from the Fung Wah?

Next week I'm going to NYC again for my friend Kim's bachelorette party. Two weeks ago, I took the Limoliner; however, since it's fairly pricey, I decided to try the new Bolt Bus service instead. Bolt Bus is a discount carrier (my ticket was $30 R/T) operated by Greyhound & Peter Pan; sort of like the Fung Wah but without the delays and accidents. Or so I thought.... Wish me luck next weekend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

3 Pronged Plan to Love

Including my own, I have been to 12 weddings in 2 years. Thus, a lot of discussion amongst my friends and I has centered around marriage, love and how to tell if he/she is "the one." Now, some people say that there's no such thing as a soul mate, while others believe in love at first sight. Most people fall into the middle of these two arguments though, which makes the decision to get married a thought-intensive process.

I used to work with a guy named Rob who told me that he proposed to his wife within 48 hours of meeting her, and she accepted. It was only after the proposal that Rob realized that he didn't know too much about his bride to be and, unbeknownst to his fiance, decided to put her through 3 tests to determine if she was "the one."

Rob had a reputation in our department as a bottomless pit. Any leftovers from departmental luncheons, holiday cookies exchanges, etc went to Rob. He would bring in his lunches each day in huge Tupperware containers that could hold a pan of brownies and put it all away in one sitting. The first test, thus involved his enormous, somewhat disgusting appetite. Early on in the relationship, he took Jane to Arby's and ordered half a dozen roast beef sandwiches. He ate each one, and to Jane's credit she wasn't (or at least hid it well) repulsed. She passed the first test!

Nag, nag, nag! No man likes to be nagged, and Rob was no exception. He wanted a girl who would keep complaints to herself and let bygones be bygones. One day, while they were still living in Utah, Rob took Jane for day hike near their homes. They came to a small brook and Rob offered to carry Jane across it under the guise that he'd be practicing carrying her over the threshold. Halfway across the brook, Rob "accidentally" dropped Jane into the water, so she was soaking wet and covered with debris. Jane accepted his curt apology, didn't mention it again, and passed the second test.

What man doesn't want a hottie? Rob had only seen Jane during the day after she had time to put herself together in anticipation of seeing Rob. Their relationship was such that there were no overnight visitations and there were plans to keep things G-rated until the wedding night. Rob didn't want any surprises though, so one early morning (around 3 am, according to Rob) he knocked on her door to catch her in her natural element. Other than scaring the crap out of Jane, the visit went well in Rob's opinion, so Jane passed his third and final test.

As far as I know they're still married, so when trying to decide if your sweetheart is a keeper, don't discount Rob's 3 pronged plan.

Dealing with Major PMS

Post Marathon Syndrome, that is.

All in all, I've been pretty fortunate though in terms of common marathon ailments. I still have 10 toenails and retained complete control of my bodily functions during the race.

Depending on whom you talk to, there are different opinions as to when it's OK to start exercising again after running a marathon. During and immediately after the race, my knees were in the greatest pain. Don't mistake my facial expression in the post-race photos as a smile, as I'm really just grimacing. Of course my quads and calves were also sore that night as well; to the point where when I used the restroom at dinner that night, I had to throw caution to the wind and plop right down on the toilet instead of squatting to avoid cheek to porcelain contact.

Now, 3 days later, I can move around pretty well and my knees and feet feel fine. My legs, while not particularly sore, feel heavy. As in, someone replaced my femurs with 100 lb lead pipes heavy. I tried to run to catch the bus this morning and it was a real-life version of the dream where someone is chasing you but you can only run in slow-motion. I literally can't run 50 feet. It's an incredibly odd feeling that has left me slightly panicked that should I find myself in a situation requiring speed I'm dead meat.

Boston Marathon Photos

Here are some shots my family took Patriots' Day Weekend
Flowers potted in sneakers on Beacon Street

My brother David, Red Auerbach, & my dad

The home stretch! (photo by Vince Poon)

David, Mom, & Dad at the finish line


Nick & I at the finish line

Smiling because I finished, but mostly because we FINALLY found an empty cab!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh, a-weema-weh

Aside from the final sprint down Bolyston Street, the most exciting area along the route was Wellesley College.
When my husband ran the marathon in 2005, he told me that the Wellesley girls were begging him for kisses and screaming as if the male runners were the Beatles and the students were teenage girls from the 1960's waiting for an autograph.

Wellesley College students along the marathon route in the 60's?
Like a fisherman telling me he caught a fish "this big," I listened to his tall tales and assumed that there was maybe a handful of enthusiastic signs, but nothing too dramatic. Wellesley College is more or less the halfway point and set back from the road on a picturesque campus. After running past the campus' main entrance, the serene scene quickly morphed into hundreds of hysterically screaming women. A barrier had been set up along the road, and it must have been made out of the same material spaceships are built with, because these chicks were pushing against it like caged lions ready to pounce on and devour their prey. Thankfully, the ladies were contained.

Yikes!

Ear piercing screams for kisses combined with suggestive signs and t-shirt slogans made for a humorous, if not slightly intimidating scene. I watched brave soldiers selflessly enter the combat zone and surrender to the students' hugs and kisses, while most of us only dared to sneak glances as we ran past. Note to all single men out there who are looking for training motivation; I have two words for you: Wellesley College.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Another big day for the blog!

"Librarian on the Run" is the featured New England Blog again on Boston.com!

Answering Nature's Call On 495 South

I decided to take the buses provided by the BAA from the Tremont Street side of the Commons to Hopkinton. I took the T to Park St. and when I got there around 7:30 or so, the main queue(which lead to about 20 different shorter lines where the buses picked you up) was only about 15 people deep. By the time I was ushered into shorter line to get on a bus, the line wrapped up Tremont, Park St and then back down Beacon Street almost to the start of the Commons. I can't stress enough how well the BAA and its volunteers managed the whole process of shuttling thousands and thousands of runners to the start. Whoever was in charge of that process should give the MBTA a lesson or 2 on transporting huge throngs of commuters in a timely fashion.
On the ride down to Hopkinton, I sat next to a lady from Washington state who had qualified for the Boston marathon in Phoenix. We chatted about Boston, while passing Fenway Park and then, on our right, early morning rowers on the Charles, and I was glad that all of our city's visitors were being treated to quintessential Boston sights on their way to run Boston's famous race. The ride went smoothly enough until we managed to give our visitors to another famous Boston treat: traffic. The Hopkinton exit off of 495S, was backed up and we were sitting in traffic for at least half an hour.
There were about 12 buses backed up off the exit ramp filled with thousands of fully hydrated runners and people were starting to squirm. At first there was only one man who couldn't hold it any longer and we watched him bound into the woods from a few buses in front of us. Then, slowly, one by one, many others began asking the drivers to let them off the bus for a minute so they could answer nature's call. It must have been quite a sight for the other cars to see the woods dotted with the backs of peeing runners. I decided to hold off until we reached the Runners Village; however, I'd like to thank everyone who bravely peed on the side of the highway, because the lines for the port-o-pottys were that much shorter.

26.2 miles and almost 5 hours later...

I finished! More recounts to come later- just wanted to let everyone know I survived (questionably, after mile 22) and to thank everyone for their kind notes!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mean Streets of Boston, 1. Alicia, 0.

On my walk from Downtown Crossing to work this morning, I stopped at my usual Dunkin Donuts to get my morning coffee. (Nope, still haven't given it up yet.) There was a long line and a woman two people behind me sort of stepped out of line and said to no one in particular, "Does the line usually go pretty quickly?" Now, having gone to this particular Dunkin Donuts since it opened maybe over a year ago, I could have spoken at length as to how the turn around time ebbs and flows depending on who's behind the counter and how many construction workers with laundry lists of orders are in front of you. The guy behind me was plugged into his iPod, so I said, "Most of time" and left it at that. After I said that I saw the lady look at her watch again, and to be a bit more accurate, I followed up with, "Unless you're getting a sandwich. Those take awhile since the construction guys usually have big orders." I assumed she'd either say, "Thank you" or maybe nothing at all, but I definitely wasn't expecting her to step completely out of line, turn to me and say, "I'd love to give you a makeover!"
Now, like anyone else, I have my good and bad days, and while I generally don't wear makeup or the absolute latest fashions, I don't think I stand out, but rather, blend in with the crowd. To my embarrassment, she held out her business card and told me that she was a Mary Kay representative and she'd love to help me with my "look." She asked me where I lived, and I said, "Southie," which troubled her a bit. "That's a bit far from me, but hey, I'll come by anytime." With that she left the store and I was left with her card and a slightly deflated ego.
Today's encounter was not nearly as unexpected as time I was getting a manicure at a place in Southie, and the woman doing my nails asked mid-polish, "You want chin wax too?"

Comm Ave: the Place to See and Be Seen

A couple of people have asked how they can follow my progress on Monday, so I wanted to re-post this information from the BAA's web site: http://www.baa.org/ My bib number is 24833.

How can family members track my running from home?
The B.A.A. will broadcast every 5Km split to its web site and family and friends can track your progress by logging in and entering your name or bib number. The "face" of the Boston Marathon web site will change on race day and the process on how to enter the search will be clear.

If you have other friends and family running in the race, you can locate their bib number here. Here's a fun fact: Lance Armstrong's bib is 100, so keep an eye out for that number if you're watching along the course.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flick Off the Old Block

I decided to go to Chacarero for lunch today even though when I made this decision it was quarter past noon. The best time to go is between 11:30-11:45, since an arrival any later than this usually means you'll be in a line out the door. A long line isn't going to stand between most Chacerero patrons and their sandwiches though, and 20 minutes is a small price to pay for this satisfying treat. When I got there the line was just almost overflowing onto the sidewalk and a group of guys got there right before I did.
They looked like they were in their very early 20's and were dressed in slightly too big suits, which made me think they were interns. The line moved forward slightly, and 2 of the 3 interns, who had been leaning against the door to hold it open were able to comfortably move into the restaurant. The 3rd intern, who was directly in front of me, decides that he does not want to hold the door open as everyone before him has done, and quickly steps aside and lets the door hit me in the arm, while he continues talking to his friends. I was annoyed by his behavior not because the door hit me in the arm, but because he opted not to follow the unspoken social rules for standing in long lines.
Once I managed to get inside too, I watched the intern create what I imagined him to think was a suitably carefree young professional look for himself by taking the shorter end of his tie and tossing it over his shoulder, while the longer part remained in place over his dress shirt. It took all of my will-power not to flick it off his shoulder, which would have been so satisfying. Instead, I took a photo.

This tie was just begging for a flick

I was so star struck you would have thought I met Brad Pitt

Except it was Alexander McCall Smith, my favorite author.

Yes, he's wearing a kilt. Yes, he's Scottish.

From the beginning of his talk, it was clear that Mr. McCall Smith is genuinely a nice person who loves being a writer and enjoys meeting his readers. He spoke for about half an hour and read from his newest novel, "The Miracle at Speedy Motors." Listening to authors read their own writing is such a treat, and in this case it was especially helpful to learn how some of the characters' names are supposed to be pronounced. I was most impressed with the fact that he took the time to meet with everyone who had a book to sign or wanted just to tell him personally how much they enjoyed his writing. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home, but my Blackberry took a pretty decent shot. If you weren't able to make the lecture, but are interested in what he had to say, I did see someone recording it and it will be made available on Harvard Book Store's audio site.

Tonight I'm going to the gym for a light workout and a nice, long stretch.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

They Need to Make a Coffee Patch

I am so excited, because tonight I am going to a reading by my favorite author, Alexander McCall Smith. He's going to be reading from his newest book in the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse in Cambridge. The event starts at 7, but I'll probably head right over after work because I want to get a good seat. Some people have the gift for story-telling, and Mr. McCall Smith certainly has it. It sounds silly, but I get so attached to the characters, that it's hard to believe they're not actual people.
A lot of people are asking me what I'm eating the week before the marathon, but I'm not really doing anything too differently. The important thing is to make sure I'm hydrated, so I'm trying to remember to drink water throughout the day. I start my day with a medium iced hazelnut coffee from Dunkin Donuts and usually just drink water or seltzer after that, unless I have a glass of wine or beer with dinner. Early on in my training I told myself that I'd kick the morning coffee habit with 2 weeks to go, and here we are with 4 days to go and my half empty (or half full) cup is cheerfully directing me to "try new Oven Toasted Goodness!" Booze I can do without, but kicking the AM Dunkies habit is proving harder than scoring Monster Seats during a Yankees series.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Big Day for the Blog!

One of my entries about the adventures of eating a durian was added to Universal Hub's blog this afternoon. You can check it out here. The same entry was also linked on Boston.com.

Keep scrolling... a little bit more... you'll see it...

Since I seem to be getting a lot more hits than I normally would, I'd like to ask visitors to consider making a donation to my marathon charity, the Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary. You can make a donation via the First Giving widget on the right, or if you'd like to peruse my team members' First Giving sites, you can do so here. There are about 60 of us on "Team Eye & Ear" and we're raising money for one of the best hospitals in the United States. Thank you for your support!

Give a Hoot

This morning when I was walking through Downtown Crossing on my way to work, I saw a woman toss her trash on the ground. This was a professionally dressed middle-aged lady who littered in broad daylight. I always see kids in Southie tossing their candy & fast food wrappers as if Broadway was one giant trash receptacle. Obviously, littering is not a new problem; however, I am continually surprised and disgusted that people have no shame when it comes to making our city's streets dirtier and more cluttered than they already are...
Woodsy needs to take his message to the streets of Boston

Monday, April 14, 2008

Free Daily Smackdown! We have a winner!

A few days ago, I posted about the rival free daily situation at the Broadway T. Well, this morning I noticed that just the Metro lady was there. I didn't think too much about it until I saw this blurb in the Boston Herald. Read all about it! BostonNOW is over.

Need an alternative to the Chinatown buses from Boston to NYC?

It's kind of scary to think that this time next week I should be a bit more than halfway through the marathon. I went for a 4 mile run yesterday around Castle Island, and plan to have a few light workouts this week to keep me limber.
On Saturday, I woke up bright and early to take a trip to NYC for my friend Kim's bridal shower. Since the shower was in Astoria, I decided to take the LimoLiner bus that drops you off at the Hilton on the Avenue of the Americas, instead of the buses that bring you to Port Authority. The LimoLiner is about the same price as taking the train, but it's a lot more comfortable than taking the Greyhound, Peter Pan, or god forbid, the Fung Wah.

Taking a short cut?
The LimoLiner was $160 same day R/T (it's a bit more for traveling on different days) and offers roomy seats, clean bathrooms and free wifi. There's also an on-board attendant, who repeatedly offered us drinks and snacks during the trip. The buses were very clean, prompt and comfortable. My only complaint is that the movie entertainment was a little baffling. On the way down, we watched "Bicentennial Man." The only other time I had seen this movie was several years ago on a Greyhound... On the way home we were shown "License to Wed" which led me to speculate that the LimoLiner cut corners on their movie budget by taking advantage of a 2 for1 crappy Robin Williams movie deal at Target.
Tonight I am going to the gym for a bike ride and a stretch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Durian Durian

A couple years ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I had ever heard of a durian. When I said that I hadn't, she launched into a horrific description of the fruit's smell- going so far as to compare it to "rotting flesh" and how it would be unwise to eat one indoors because the durian's mighty stink would hang around for hours. After listening to her, I was equally repulsed and curious to try a durian, but they're not readily available at your local Shaw's. On Sunday, Nick and I were at the South Bay Center, which has a Super 88. Normally I don't have any reason to go in the Super 88; however, something made me think of the durian and I told Nick I wanted to go and buy one. After several failed attempts to find someone who could direct us to the durians, we found a cardboard box full of the spiked fruit sandwiched between crates of dead fish on ice in the seafood section. I picked one up and smelled it, and I could detect a mild inoffensive cantaloupe odor. Since I had no idea how to choose one, I grabbed one on top and asked Nick to carry it to the counter, because it was surprisingly heavy.

Nick was extremely wary of the durian

On Tuesday, I lugged the increasingly ripe (read: squishy) durian into work, and Wednesday afternoon we found an empty office and dove into the durian. At this point, it was so ripe that we were able to cut into the flesh with a plastic knife. Having prepared myself for the worst smell ever, I was mildly disappointed when at first it really didn't smell that strong or bad. I put my nose up close and inhaled, which in retrospect might not have been the smartest idea given the durian's reputation. It smelled like gas. Not the kind you put into your car, but the kind you pass. The texture was like tapioca pudding and the durian tasted like it smelled. Needless to say, I don't think the next drink craze will be the duritini.
Looks like a pineapple, tastes like a foot
After everyone had sampled the durian, the next problem was where to toss it since, due to the smell, I couldn't leave it in the office's kitchen garbage. I gathered up the leaky, lumpy mess, wrapped it in the plastic bag and walked it down five flights of stairs (I didn't want to risk stinking up the elevator with it) and threw it out in a garbage can in Faneuil Hall. Hopefully it cleared some of the tourists out of there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Let's get the rhythm of the hot dog

Well, at least we had great seats last night. Seriously, I think Staci was able to get us the best bleacher seats in the park. We were just 7 rows back from Detroit's bullpen. I've never been to a game this early in the season before, and the bleachers were sparkling clean. The floor wasn't grimy and the seats were recently replaced, I think.
Everyone is going green these days and Fenway Park is no exception. Around the 5th or 6th inning, I think, a man came through aisles collecting the plastic beer cups to recycle, which is a great idea, and I'm assuming a volunteer position- so props to the brave souls who willingly go through the rowdiest section after people have had several hours to drink and collect recyclables.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Born Free

Last night I decided that it was finally warm enough to run outside after work. I changed at the gym and then ran a 6 mile loop, down Beacon Street to the Holiday Inn across from Jae's and back. I ran through Kenmore Square just as the game was letting out, which was kind of exciting since we won the home opener! I ran in my new Race Ready shorts to see if they'd be OK for the marathon, and they're great. What a relief to find running shorts with so many pockets!
American Idol was really good last night and I was so pleased to see that David Archuleta sang a Robbie Williams song! I've been waiting in vain for Robbie to become popular enough here in the U.S. so I can finally see him in concert...
Tonight I am going to the Red Sox game! Jon Lester's pitching, and hopefully I'll get to see a win!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Opening Day at the Office

If you can't be either at the game or at home or a bar watching Opening Day, the next best scenario is to have a big flat screen TV hanging in the glass walled conference room outside your office. (You can't tell from the blurry shot, but it's a clear view of the game from about a 43" flat screen.) Sweet.

You know it's getting to be spring in Boston...

...when you start to see just as many people dressed in Colonial garb as you do people dressed in modern day wear.

Free Daily Smackdown! Metro VS Boston NOW: Live at Broadway T

For awhile there was someone handing out a free Metro at the Broadway T stop and then he disappeared. More recently, there has been a Boston NOW guy there and he's established himself by constantly repeating, "Free newspaper! Read all about it! Baaaaston NOW! Baaaaaston NOW!" Over and over again... Maybe last week I noticed that a Metro rep was back, and I wondered how these two were going to peacefully coexist at the top of the Broadway escalator.
The Boston NOW guy still chants his morning mantra, but the Metro rep is a this tenacious short lady who stands directly in front of the guy and just thrusts free dailies in every direction hoping to get to you before the Boston NOW dude does. It must be frustrating for both parties to have to compete with each other in such small quarters like that and I'm curious to see who the first to go will be.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Blue's Clues

On Friday night, I went to the Cheesecake Factory with Veronica and Candice and we had a great time, despite the fact that the restaurant did its best to ruin it for us. We were told that it would be an hour wait, but we didn't get seated until an hour and 40 minutes later! Good thing we always have a lot to talk about- it was great to see them and hopefully it won't be another 6 months until we can all get together again!
Saturday was a our last official FitCorp group run. We had an 8, 10 or 12 mile option and I decided to run the 12. The weather was a bit rainy and cloudy, but overall it was good running weather at around 45-50 degrees. My legs felt good and I ran it in 2 hours flat. While I was running, the painters arrived and began working painting our apartment. My mom had offered to take Dwayne (our cat), but I didn't think he would be too much of a problem. When I got home around 11 Saturday morning, all of our furniture and books were piled in the middle of our family room (the one room we weren't getting painted) and it took me a little while to spot Nick sitting in the only free chair in the corner. "We now have a blue cat," he said. Turns out, Dwayne scooted through a tray of blue paint, and his tail and right hind leg were now a lovely shade of Cowgirl Blue. In the end, I brought him down the street to our vet so they could shave off the painted areas because I didn't want Dwayne to groom himself and ingest the paint. He's OK, but a bit patchy.
Dwayne, post shave, decided to stay out of trouble and observe from his perch on the mattress
The painters finished all four rooms in one day, and they did a fantastic job. If anyone would like a Boston area recommendation for painters, please let me know. Saturday night Nick and I went to the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse to meet Johnny & Leigh for dinner and watch the NCAA's. I hadn't been there since college and forgot what a fun place it is. A good time was had by all, especially since Memphis beat UCLA...
Yesterday we spent pretty much the entire day organizing and cleaning the house. Nick hung some paintings and re-organized the office, and everything looks a lot better. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do. Tonight I'm going to the gym for a 4 mile run.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Librarians Have the Tightest Buns

So last night's bowling outing was a lot of fun! With our matching team shirts, we certainly looked the sharpest, but I'm not sure we were among the best bowlers there. One thing that the annual bowlathon involves is beer, and by the time Nick came to pick me up at 8, I was pretty sauced. One of my teammates took some photos last night, so I'll post any that come my way. It should also be noted that my wonderful husband had a dozen beautiful roses waiting for me when we got home!
Tonight I am meeting 2 of my former co-workers, who are also 2 dear friends of mine, for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree. Our schedules are such that it takes us 4 months to find a common night to get together. Could be two wild nights in a row, as these 2 chicks are Cruiseazy!
Saturday is the last group run at FitCorp, which is a little unbelievable. I remember looked at the schedule in the beginning of winter and thinking that it was going to take forever to complete all of these runs, and in reality the winter flew by. We have an 8, 10 or 12 mile option, and I'm going to do the 12 mile option. The following Saturday is a rest day and the following Monday is the marathon! Hopefully I'll be ready and won't bring shame to Mass Eye & Ear Infirmary. :) Ta ta.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

No NESN at BSC Downtown Crossing = Bad For Business

Last night I left work a few minutes early so I could make sure to get a treadmill with a good view of the TV at the gym. The Red Sox played the A's at 3:30, so I planned on watching the game while I ran. Anyway, when I got to the BSC, I noticed the game wasn't on any of the TVs so I asked one of the trainers if he wouldn't mind putting the game on. Well, turns out the BSC Downtown Crossing doesn't get NESN anymore. The guy told me it had something to do with DirectTV, and I wasn't going to make a fuss about it there, but I know that NESN is available with a DirectTV subscription... I have no idea what the real issue is, but I really hope they find some way to get NESN, because half the reason why I'll go to the gym in the summer versus running outside is that I can watch the game while I run. Talk about bad for business! Anyway, I did run, but it wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be since I was disappointed with the baseball situation...
Tonight my team, Britney Spares & the Federlanes, will hopefully kick some butt at the Junior Achievement Bowling Fundraiser tonight at Boston Bowl!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Color Me Beautiful"

I was trying to think of a title for today's post, and the title of this book my mom had when I was younger came to mind. Surprisingly the book is still available on Amazon and it's described as: Using simple guidelines, professional color consultant Carole Jackson helps you choose the thirty shades that make you look smashing! When you think about it, 30 colors is a lot of color to incorporate into your daily look, but then again, this book was published in 1987 and it was more acceptable to wear 30 colors at once then.
I went to the gym last night and used the elliptical machine for 30 minutes set to a hill workout and had another good stretch afterwards. After the gym, Nick picked me up at Broadway T and we went to the Home Depot to choose paint colors. We're having our bedrooms and bathrooms painted this weekend and settled on the following: Crested Butte for the office, Horsehair Brown for my bathroom, Cowgirl Blue for Nick's bathroom (which, based on the name, I'm surprised Nick agreed to) and Blue Mesa for our bedroom. Aside from "Horsehair Brown" the names don't really shed any light as to what the colors really look like, but you can look them up here to see for yourself. Hopefully Professional Color Consultant Carole Jackson would approve!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Pity The Fool!

Last night I rode the stationary bike for 45 minutes, which was a good leg workout. I didn't want to use the treadmill or a "gait simulator" since I can't breathe that well and didn't want to be hacking and wheezing during the workout. I'll probably hop on the elliptical tonight and see how that goes; I'm not feeling any better than yesterday, but I'm hoping that I'll be less congested by the end of the day. When I got home last night, I was happy to see that the book I ordered from Amazon UK had arrived: "The Miracle at Speedy Motors," by Alexander McCall Smith. The books are also published in the States; however, Mr. McCall Smith is my favorite author and I usually want to read his newest novels as soon as they're published in Great Britain.

Today is my grandma's birthday, Happy Birthday, Nana! I love you!