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, February 26, 2009

My Battle with the New York Times' Customer Care

I am very frustrated with http://www.nytimes.com/ right now. Last Tuesday, I needed to access an account to update subscription information for an office delivery. The Customer Care link was broken, so I had to call Customer Service and wait in a queue to speak with someone.

Just now, I needed to check the status of a different account and I received the same error. The Customer Care link has been broken for well over a week. My thinking is that maybe they're purposely leaving the link broken so that people can't cancel their subscriptions online and they'll be too lazy to call?

So, I click on "Customer Care" and...

Partying with Thomas Jefferson

Congratulations to (Braintree, MA native) UConn men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun on his 800th career win! When I came into work this morning, it appeared Jim had celebrated into the wee hours of morning...

Looks like my Library of Congress shot glass got quite a workout

I gave Jim some coffee, washed off my desk and the shot glass. Jim's back to new (although Thomas J. still looks a little green.)

Congrats, Coach C!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Passing Incident from Today's Yoga Class

I've been attending yoga classes at the BCAE and at my gym since last May. The only positions I know by name are Child's Pose and Warrior II Pose. (I once read that while in Warrior II you're supposed to line up your front arm as if you were shooting arrows into your enemy's heart. I don't have any enemies, so I like to pretend I'm Link from the Legend of Zelda.)

Link in Warrior II
During my noon class today, we were in a pose that started with us bending at the waist and touching our toes. Then we moved our feet to the outside of our hands and crouched down so that our palms were facing the same direction as our feet and our shoulders were pressed into our knees. The next step was to press into the mat with our hands and lift the rest of our body into the air.
"Remember to focus on your breathing. Listen to your breath," my instructor said while impressively holding the pose. All I could hear were small struggling sighs and grunts, as we all tried to levitate our butts in the air. Then, I heard something that wasn't a breath or a determined sigh, but rather like the sound of a motor boat passing by and then fading into the distance. The sound of silence that immediately followed was almost more awkward than the fart itself.
Don'tlaughdon'tlaughdon'tlaughdon'tlaughdon'tlaugh!!!! I repeated to myself, determined not to be the one to burst out laughing and further embarrass the farter. I closed my eyes to try and shut out the scene and desperately focused my attention on my breath.
Then, I slowly opened my eyes and realized that I was in the pose! My feet were off the ground and I was supporting myself in a pose that I had never thought I'd be able to achieve. I'm guessing the farter probably wanted to sink into the mat and die today; however, personally, I'd like to thank whomever it was. Without their boisterous contribution to today's workout, I would not have achieved the success that I did. I award this person a passing grade for today's class!

Monday, February 23, 2009


So, on Saturday I completed an 18 mile run with FitCorp. I popped 2 Advil with my first Gatorade stop, and my knees felt pretty good. (Although, they "knee-ed" a lot of rest yesterday.) The run took me 3 hours, and since I don't run with headphones and don't like to make conversation while I'm running, this leaves me a lot of time with my thoughts.
The worst part of the run is the first couple of miles; that's when I think to myself, "18 miles?! Are you crazy? Holy crap, it's so freakin' cold out. What have I gotten myself into..?"
Usually, I just end up repeating a song snippet over and over in my head and work myself into a trance like state to take my mind off the run. Unfortunately, on Saturday, I had Tatiana del Toro's (of American Idol fame) Hollywood Week audition stuck in my head, which was a poor rendition of Whitney Houston's, "I'm Your Baby Tonight."
I'm a huge Curb Your Enthusiasm fan, and I also get a kick out of reciting the mantra that Larry gave to Richard Lewis, only to ask for it back. "Jai-ya." If you've seen the episode, you know what I'm talking about. It's actually a great phrase to repeat over and over again.
I have to say though, that the highlight of Saturday's run was the fact that I didn't have to leap over frozen pools of vomit leftover from Friday night festivities. Kenmore Square and Cleveland Circle are usually pretty good for at least a couple of chunky sidewalk presents.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's 56th birthday, and she and my dad came up for brunch and cake. My brother suggested Eastern Standard, which turned out to be a great suggestion. I especially enjoyed my Pom spritzer. After brunch, we came back to our place for cake and presents.

The fam

David, Nick & I got her an Ipod & an arm holder thingee for the gym.

Here's my dad patiently waiting for cake

Lighting the cake. Due to the cake's rectangular shape, I had to frost it on a cheese themed platter. It wasn't a cheese cake though.

First bite- Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's Official

If you're a registered runner in the 2009 Boston Marathon, you can confirm your entry on the BAA's site.

Better start training... ;-)

In addition to training 5-6 times a week, I am also fundraising for my charity team, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary.

Please consider making a donation: https://www.firstgiving.com/got2trotlibrarian $5... $8.79... $20... No donation too small! (Or too large, for that matter!) Thank you!

Mustache Contest- You Be the Judge!

Last week, I had the extreme honor and privilege of judging a mustache contest. Each participant had about 4 weeks to grow & groom their whiskers as he pleased. There were 4 female judges, and we were to judge on 3 points: fullness vs. patchiness; if the mustache contributed to the person's overall look in a positive or negative manner & overall creativity. Below are some of the entrants, including the winner and the loser. Based on the photos below, who do you think has the best 'stache? (Names have been changed to protect the hairy.)










Monday, February 16, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This Month's Featured Reader: Nick!

Introducing February's Featured Reader: Nick!
Here Nick is posing with some of his Christmas gifts this year from me: CVS brand denture cleaner for his nightguard & boxers. Was he a good boy this year? Tough to tell with those presents...

Nick and I officially met in February 2005; however, our paths may have unwittingly crossed earlier than that as we both graduated BC in 2001. Maybe it's best we met when we did though, because I have heard stories from his roommates about how he would play video games all night and one time even woke up the next morning still holding the controller and sporting a severely indented thumb. I, on the other hand, was a bit of a nerd (shocking, I know), followed the early to bed/early to rise mantra and worked the early morning shifts at the library and the on-campus Dunkin Donuts.

I could go on and on about why Nick is the most special person in my life and why he's such a wonderful husband and person; but I'll try and keep the gushing to a minimum. Although it sounds cliche, one of my favorite things about our relationship is that Nick encourages me to break out of my comfort zone and try new things. Before we met, I had never really thought to hike Mt. Washington, take up skiing and golfing again or go off the beaten path while traveling. Thanks to Nick, I've gone on some awesome hikes, am addicted to golf and look forward to leaving the resort area while on vacation. These experiences together are some of my favorite memories! OK, here is Nick in his own words! (My questions are in bold.)

1. By day I... manage the SPA northeast insurance sector, and by night... I'm an amateur photographer, chef, and Circuit City employee.

2. I can't live without... my wife (cough...cough...skiing)

3. Best meal I've ever had...A ribeye steak with mushroom sauce and a giant portobello on top at the Capital Grille; oh, and anything my mother-in-law ever made me (that one's for you Michele). Worst meal I've ever had... Orange peel flavored cous cous. (Ed note: I followed the recipe!)

4. 3 Quirky facts about me: I read Scientific American. I'm hooked on American Idol. I love cold Spaghetti-O's and Meatballs out of the can.

5. Haiku describing what you did yesterday

Lost in corporate life,

I found my way home to find

dinner and the wife.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ohhhh... Fuuuudddddggge (Only I Didn't Say 'Fudge')

On Saturday, after my FitCorp run, Nick and I went to the Natick Mall area to kill some time before going to see "Taken." We had lunch at Boloco and then wandered into the Container Store. There's something about all the nifty boxes, crates, and storage chests that are very therapeutic to look at; however, I realize the store is pretty much a rip off and that I don't need hanging spice racks or dividers for my sock drawer. It's definitely fun to imagine having the time, money and space to be that organized though.
I had almost made it out the store without a purchase when I saw a special little travel container for cereal and milk. While I've been making an effort to bring my lunch 3 days/week, it's unusual if I don't pack oatmeal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast. I've always thought cereal would be a nice option, but there was the problem of having a supply of milk on hand. I could keep a carton in the work fridge, but for reasons I won't go into, that seemed more trouble than it was worth.
Yesterday morning, I took a photo of the container to share on my blog; I was so happy with my $6.00 purchase.


When I arrived at work this morning, I stuck my resuable lunch bag (which held my cereal & milk container) in the fridge while I put the newspapers away and checked my email. My lunchbag had been sitting on top of my gym clothes in my backpack, and when I reached into the backpack to grab a hair tie my clothes were sopping wet. The seal on the milk container leaked and soaked through my tee shirt and pants. I am hoping the clothes will dry before noon...

Shoebox + fan = sad drying rack

They've started to dry, but are rather crusty. Container Store, 1. Alicia, 0.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

This (Last) Month's Featured Reader: Carlton!

Introducing January's Featured Reader: Carlton!
I mentioned a couple of posts ago, that Carlton Banks made a donation to Team Eye and Ear. Well, Carlton is also January's Featured Reader of the Month. Despite the fact that it's already February 5th, I will excuse Carlton for turning his answers in late as he was tied up with Bel Air social events. Here's Carlton in his own words! (My questions are in bold.)

Real men wear pink

1) By day I... crush my bridge club, by night I... rock out in a barbershop quartet.

2) I can’t live without... Bananarama’s Greatest Hits

3) Best meal I’ve ever had was Beef Wellington with Yorkshire pudding at the Beverly Hills Country Club. The worst meal I’ve ever had was Delmonico steak at Capital Grille – too spicy!

4) 3 Quirky facts about me:
1-I brush my teeth with my left hand, but croquet with my right
2-On New Year’s Eve 2006, I stayed up until 1:15AM
3-I prefer a single Windsor knot to a double Windsor.

5) Haiku describing what you did yesterday
the Prince loves the chili
I Saran wrapped the loo
not so Fresh now

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Performance Anxiety

A discussion on Universal Hub reminded me of the time I was called in for drug testing in college. All NCAA athletes could be randomly selected at any time to submit to a drug test. This was a terrifying prospect to me not because I did drugs, but because the test consisted of peeing in front of someone else. In the past, student athletes had been caught with bags of someone else's "clean" urine (ew), so thanks to those pioneering efforts to fake out the testers all selected athletes had to drop their pants (outer and under) to their ankles and produce a sample under a tester's watchful eyes.
On the test date, you were advised to go first thing in the morning and strongly advised not to go to the bathroom prior to the test because if you weren't able to go during the first try, you had to remain on premises until you were able to give a sample. I rushed over first thing in the morning and was ushered into the bathroom with the tester. All of a sudden, I felt a rush of sympathy for this woman and as I sat on the toilet. I tried to make conversation.

"So, hope I can do this with you watching..." She nodded. A few seconds passed and I couldn't get anything going, so I tried to break the ice with a little humor.

"Who'd you piss off to get this job? Get it? Ha, ha, ha.... haaaa...ehhhh." The woman didn't crack a smile, which just reinforced the fact that I was sitting on a toilet with my pants around my ankles and she was waiting for me to pee so we could both get the hell out of there. After another minute or so, it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to get the job done on the first try and I was sent to the waiting room. I drank a paper cup of water from the cooler, but was warned not to drink too much as an unreadable sample was counted as testing positive. Half an hour later, we both went back in and with my new strategy (closing my eyes) I was able to get the job done. A most humbling experience.

Also, please remember! The next 4 people to donate at least $25 will receive a freshly baked batch of my famous oatmeal Craisin cookies. What are you waiting for? Donate via this link and I'll hook you up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

B is for Bribe & C is for Cookie

I'd like to thank Colleen (a fellow librarian!), Seth, and Staci & Ian for their generous donations! Keep 'em coming, people!

The next 4 people to donate at least $25 will receive a freshly baked batch of my famous oatmeal Craisin cookies. What are you waiting for? Donate via this link and I'll hook you up.

Me love Alicia's cookies! Ha ha ha! Delicious!

Monday, February 2, 2009

More on my Favorite Subject... Me.

I've been tagged many times on Facebook to write 25 Random Things about myself. I held out on participating for awhile, but gave in while eating my lunch today. I cheated a little though, since I'm posting to Blogger and not Facebook...
  1. As soon as I saw my husband walk through the restaurant's door on our first date, I knew we'd get married.
  2. We met on Match.com.
  3. No, we're not in a commercial.
  4. People accuse me of being nosy, and I am; however, I am an excellent sleuth and have complete confidence in my research abilities.
  5. I used to drink a lot of Coke in college, but wanted to cut down on my sugar intake. I switched to Polar Seltzer & am completely addicted. I drink 2-3 cans a day.
  6. I allow myself one coffee (medium iced hazelnut with skim, no sugar from Dunkin Donuts) per day.
  7. I am the moron you see holding an iced coffee on my walk to work in -10 degree weather.
  8. I make half a box of spaghetti for myself and finish it. I don't believe that 1 box is supposed to feed more than 2 people...
  9. I prefer salty to sweet.
  10. I only eat hot dogs at ball parks. They taste better there.
  11. I don't understand people who don't make at least a small effort to stay physically fit.
  12. When my husband & I have a house someday, I want to have floor to ceiling bookcases in at least one of the rooms.
  13. I can recite Spaceballs & Pee-Wee's Big Adventure word-for-word with the characters.
  14. I regret not spending a semester abroad, and tell anyone who will listen that they should not make the same mistake I did.
  15. The Dunkin Donuts I go to in the mornings plays the best music. I imagine the customers and staff breaking out into elaborately choreographed numbers when a particularly good song comes on. Especially when "Like a Prayer" is on.
  16. I love writing song lyrics and jingles.
  17. I torture my husband by singing them non-stop. He's especially tortured by a song I wrote dedicated to my love of sandwiches.
  18. I am a terrible singer and dancer.
  19. I love to sing and dance.
  20. But usually it's when I'm cleaning the house or cooking and can't embarrass myself.
  21. I will always sing karaoke though. (And embarrass myself.)
  22. I love my family.
  23. You aren't supposed to like your in-laws, but I love them and wished they lived closer.
  24. I love my friends.
  25. I am raising money for Mass Eye & Ear. If everyone who reads this donates a dollar, I'll have a couple hundred bucks! Please donate $1! You can do so here: www.firstgiving.com/got2trotlibrarian