Sunday, December 19, 2004

Happy Holidays.


Merry Christmas!

Perhaps it's premature, but Merry Christmas, everyone! I say happy holidays to people generally speaking when it's on the phone at work, or at a store where you never know someone's denomination, but sometimes, i just get tired of being so damned PC about it all the time. I'm not quite as extremist as South Park's Mr. Garrison's "Hey there Mr. Muslim, Merry Fucking Christmas!" but sometimes i do feel like, "Godammit! I celebrate Christmas! I can wish someone a Merry Fucking Christmas if i want to!"

And i'm celebratin'. I had a wonderful birthday party last Sunday night, and we listened to Christmas music, and congregated around our beautiful Christmas tree, and we chatted. It was great. Since then, the week from heck (it wasn't quite as bad as hell) happened, and the weekend has been rushed, but i've been having a grand old time making Christmas candies and carrying on a tradition.

So to all y'all for whom Christmas is only a source of stress, find it in your heart to understand why i, who is stressed out more than usual this time of year, find so much joy and peace in this holiday season. I'm giving gifts out of my heart, and giving what i can give. I'm revelling in the traditions of listening to moving, generations-old music, partaking of the strange tradition of sitting around a dead, decorated tree, and eating enough sugar to kill a small mouse in most lab tests. This is my favorite time of year, and i'm not letting the rest of the world tell me that there's something wrong with that.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"Buy Nothing Christmas"

Courtesy of Abbi Chapman is this provocative site. It's funny as well as "thinky" check it out, and i highly recommend clicking on the "Jesus Buys Sandles" tract (non-evangelical).

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The following transcript is the most recent email to my Dad. It pretty much says stuff, and gets the general attitude:

hey dad! the new terry pratchett book came in the mail today! thanks! i can't wait to start reading it. i'm more than halfway through with memoirs of a geisha, so that will be tbe next one i start. AND, i have exciting news! i don't know if you recall me telling you about a proposal for paper on terry p's maurice and his amazing educated rodents or not, but the proposal was accepted, and i will be presenting this paper at the icfa in fort lauderdale in march! that is, if i can round up the funds for it. there is a conference fee, and the hotel is $103 a night. THAT'S CRAZY! and it couldn't come at a worse time. after christmas, grad school applications, a trip to paris. RIGHT. i'm going to see if hampshire has any sort of alumni conference scholarship or something... doubtful, but i can see if they have any resources. so, that's the great news!

in the bad news, my car was towed. i guess they didn't like me having street parking without plates on it. (i had to turn in the plates to cancel the insurance. they get you coming and going.) so, i have to call the city of cambridge tomorrow to see if i can do anything about it. i know they're going to charge me by the day. yarg. so yeah! lots of mixed news today. i love you, and thanks again for the excessive birthday gifts* :) love, lindsay

*He took me to see Cake at the State Theatre in Portland, which was SO COOL, got me an LL Bean throw, mad ass gift certificates to Pacific Sunwear and the Gap, and the Terry Pratchett book. Dammit, Dad, i'll never be as cool as you.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Weekly Update .... err, sort of weekly

Thanksgiving into Friendsgiving. I had a wonderful time. First of all, it kicked off with leaving work early on Wednesday with the rest of the company as we went out to celebrate the 5th anniversary of one of the people who works there. She's been there for five years now, and she's this cute tiny Vietnamese woman who is 40 and looks about 30. We all went to a Dim Sum restaurant in the heart of Chinatown called the China Pearl. Well, it was lunchtime, and the place was full of people mostly shorter than me, which is pretty cool, i have to admit. Mai was beaming! She ordered for the whole table, speaking to the waiter in her language. The place was a bustle of noise, people ordering food off carts (a la carte, you know, where the saying came from). It was so cool. She was totally surprised, too.

So we got out around 3, and i headed home to make some preparations for going up to Maine. Matt and Kathy got here around 4:45, Matt fell asleep on our futon while Kathy and i caught up and i fixed the buttons on my wool coat. daN got in around 6:30, and we piled into the car on that rainy rainy night and drove up to Maine. Yay! daN and i fell asleep hard on the pull-out at his mother's house, and we awoke the next morning to a breakfast of strawberry rhubbarb pie (OHHH how i have missed pie) and rolls and prepared for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Watier's. Dinner was great, the peas were forgotten again this year, but Kathy and i (well, really, i) drank enough wine to not notice. We looked at Pat's pictures of Maurice, Pat, Chris, Ron & Carol's recent trip to Paris, and then daN and i headed over to say hi to my Mom's side of the family down the road. The rest of the weekend was spent largely enjoying what we could of the outdoors -- the peace and the wind, the sunshine and the desolate lonely cold that i miss so much. I'm not kidding.

Friendsgiving was, for me, a joyous time of sneezing and post nasal drip in my sadly allergic reaction to the combination of dust and dry air at Bogland. It's really too bad! I don't know why it's so much worse this year, but no amount of tea and ibuprophen and allergy and sinus medicine could stop. I felt alright at Matt's BOOKSIGNING in Camden, probably as a result of having been away from the dust for so long. It's very sad that i had that reaction, but in the car on the way back down to Mass with the Bogs who drove us back so kindly, it became clear as i felt better and better that the dusty dry air is was had done me in. That and the fact that i didn't actually eat very well -- not nearly enough green things to keep me going. But let this not all give anyone the impression that i had a bad Thanksgiving weekend. Despite allergies, i was surrounded by love and loved ones the whole time, My friends are amazing cooks and amazing singers, as we all gathered around and sang 4 or 5 part harmony to beautiful Christmas Carols.

We also tested out daN's new board game, which is so MUCH FUN! I love it so much, and seeing the smile spread across his face as we returned from our walk to find friends playing it because they were curious and having a good time was enough to fill me with joy. daN is so creative, and i'm so happy when he can witness people deriving joy from his creations.

On people deriving joy from creations, Matt's book has been a big hit at work. Everyone comments on how amazing the illustrations are -- how animated the characters are and how quirky and fun the story is. I hope it makes it.

And that's that. My fantastic loved ones made my weekend special. On returning to Cambridge, the Bogs brought daN and i out to Anna's Taqueria for some vegetables and protein (veggie super burrito!) and we came back here and crashed. The week has been good and somewhat productive, even -- i got some grad school applying in, and i also applied to present a paper at a conference on The Fantastic in Children's and Young Adult Literature in June ... and i might even have a shot at getting in.

But i am off to have dinner with Laura and Dave at their apartment in Teele Square, so i'd better be heading.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

And now, our moment of Zen:

The Onion's Tips to Fighting Insomnia:

Insomnia—the chronic inability to fall and remain asleep—affects roughly 20 percent of American adults. Here are some tips to get a better night's sleep:
Although it's tempting to use liquor as a cure for chronic sleeplessness, be warned: Liquor is quite expensive.
Getting more exercise can help combat insomnia. If you suffer from sleeplessness, try shuffling from the bed to the kitchen, opening and shutting the refrigerator door, and shuffling back to bed.
According to researchers at the National Sleep Foundation, there is an actual National Sleep Foundation. Yes, for real.
If you are going to take pills to help you sleep, be sure you take enough to knock yourself out. Watching Good Morning America while sleep-deprived and tranquilized is a hellish experience.
Use your bed for sleeping only. Conduct all reading, eating, phone calls, and sexual relations on the kitchen table.
Try counting sheep, rather than the number of times you've failed as a wife and mother.
If you got less than three hours of sleep the previous night, it's important to inform everyone you meet of that fact all day long.
If you're having night after night of hours-long jungle sex when all you really want is a decent night's rest, go cry on someone else's shoulder.
Minimize noise, light, excessive temperature—all factors that could potentially disrupt rest—by sleeping indoors.
Sleeping pills can and do become addictive. Before you know it, you'll be giving back-alley blow jobs for hits of Ambien.
Remember: Insomnia is only a problem if you are employed or have a reason to live.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Books that I've Read (since February 10th)

It's that time of year again where i feel the need to sit back and assess things like what i've been doing with my time since i graduated from Hampshire College. I've been working, and now, a year later than i had hoped, i am finally and sincerely applying to grad school.

That having been said, what else have i done with my time aside from work the obligatory American 40 hours a week (not counting lunch)?

At least i can consider myself somewhat well read.

Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary
Toni Morisson's The Temple of My Familiar
Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle
Tom Robbins' Even Cow Girls Get the Blues
and Still Life with Woodpecker
Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklynn
Terry Pratchett's
The Color of Magic
The Light Fantastic
Monstrous Regiment,
Wee Free Men,
and A Hat Full of Sky
Gregory Maguire's Wicked
Elizabeth Peter's Crocodile on the Sandbank
Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence (restarted and finished)

I'm still in the middle of Tolsoy's Anna Karena.

Still reading Kenneth Graham's Wind in the Willows aloud to Dan, and thanks to allergies, surgery, and the cold season, i have yet to resume for quite some time.

I've also been reading Bitch Magazine regularly. It's good stuff and fulfills some need to be up on contemporary cultural studies.

currently working on Aurelie Sheehan's The Anxiety of Everyday Objects

Sunday, November 21, 2004


like all good sagittarians, i need projects. my current project is applying to grad school in whatever step. i've got all the testing out of the way, and now i'm on the final frontier -- applying. this has me freaking out almost as much as the general test back in june. my neck is killing me, and i sent off an email to my professors from hampshire asking them their advice/words of wisdom about the programs at boston college, northeaston, yale, and uconn in terms of american literature and cultural with interdisciplinary approaches. hopefully i hear back from them soon... especially since two of them are on sabbatical.... i suck.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Where'd you put the keys, girl?

This is going to be the non-update of all non-updates. Of course, it feels like a lot has happened, but really i'm just stressed with work and have been too tired to do shit when i get home.

Still and all, i went to the French Speakers' Meetup Group on Wednesday night and had a great time. I was hesitant because the last time, though encouraging, didn't exactly present me with a group of people i would normally want to hang out with in normal life, so the conversation had been forced and awkward. This time, however, was a totally different group of people, and we carried on conversations, made fun of each other, argued about liking the hot or cold better (if you don't know which one i prefer, i'm pretty sure i don't actually know you), and had a grand old time. It was fun. There was a dude from Maine, a cute couple (one from Zimbabwe and the other from Finland), a dude from India, and generally a good crowd from around the rest of the country. And they were all friendly and forgiving of my tired tongue. I had a hard time speaking (i forgot the word for FRIEND! That's the practically first word everyone learns!), but my comprehension was GREAT. i felt wonderful about that, and still do. Last night i went grocery shopping! I hadn't done that for a month! Tuesday night I went to see The Incredibles with Dan, Razz, and Lyrica, and that movie fucking ROCKS! I wanted to see it again immediately afterward. It was tremendously cute, and i definitely want to own it.

One of my best friends from college is going to visit this weekend! She'll be at a conference most of the time, so the 5 hours that i have her for, i'm hoarding her. But hey - 5 hours for a whole weekend is still more than i normally get to see her. Otherwise, daN and i hope to get pizza by the slice in the North End tonight. To be accurate, i want to get pizza by the slice, and he's kindly accommodating me. Mmm. Pizza.

Monday, November 15, 2004


More on the elections:

"Nation's Poor Win Election for Nation's Rich"
What Do You Think?: The Republican Majority
Liberals Return to Sodomy, Welfare Fraud

Movies that i really want to see (in theatres now or recently -- things i wish i had money to see but don't):

I Heart Huckabees (renter)
The Life Aquatic (unsure)
Team America (waiting for it to get to the Somerville Theatre)
Motorcycle Diaries
Vanity Fair
Sky Captain

...There are probably a whole lot more. But i don't remember previews at all. Everyone (Well, ok, Dan) complains about previews giving the whole movie away and negating the need to see the actual movie. The thing is, i don't remember movies. Or most books, for that matter. When i reread, it's actually a surprise to me what's coming up next. And unless i've seen a movie as many times as i've seen Monty Pythong's Search for the Holy Grail or The Princess Bride, chances are that i'm not going to remember it word for word, or even event for event. THAT's why i was so worried about the GRE English Subject test, incidentally.

My Dad came down to visit this weekend! It was really cool to see him, and to be able to show him around our new neighborhood (see posting from Sunday, November 7). We went to see Gregory MacGuire speak at Porter Square Books on Saturday afternoon, which was really cool! He's a pretty funny guy, and i got to ask my lit-geek questions about the topic of writing and rewriting history that i found thematic in his retelling of the Classic Oz tale Wicked.

That was great fun. I love getting to be a lit-geek in an accepted public forum.

And i got to show off in front of Dan and Dad, too. (Not that it was showing off. Sigh.)

We went out to dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen after spending close to two hours looking online at different restaurants and reviews, just trying to figure out where we'd like to eat. We all pretty much came to the conclusion that there's just way too much to choose from living in a city, and we miss the ease of having a significantly smaller by just as varied list of restaurants in Rockland or Portland, Maine. After dinner, Dan hung out here while Dad and I went to get beer at the Cambridge Brewery. I got my usual Charles River Porter (which is excellent, by the way, if you're a dark beer kind of person.) and we sat at the bar and chatted and chilled. It was very relaxing, which was great of course, since i had had that exam that morning and was quite tired by that point.

In the morning, he actually slept in, and then we went to KRISPY KREME!!! YAY!!! I LOVE KRIPSY KREME! It's my Disneyland. When we got there, the production with the Dr. Seuss donut machine had ceased, so we each got two donuts (i got an original and a chocolate glazed, while Dan and Dad went with two original) and some coffee...and some of those awesome Krispy Kreme mugs... Then we noticed that one of the gainful employees was greasing the cake making donut bowl. Then we noticed that the selfsame employee had plugged in the bowl, and had also plugged in glaze fountain. The suspense was killing me! What mouthwatering deliciousness was the creator going to create? I had to stay until i found out. Furthermore, i wasn't leaving until i bought one. Or three... but i shared. But good GOD. Don't eat three donuts in one sitting. Particularly if two or more of them are cake donuts. They were making the crullers. I thought i was going to die -- in two senses: One, i thought i had died and gone to heaven because it was so rich and yummy. Two, i was so blastedly full i thought i had died and started the "dead and bloat[ing]" process.

Dad left shortly thereafter for Maine, and then Dan and I watched South Park the Musical before heading over to Q's to watch the Pats game and eat their pizza. It was a good time. I feel quite fortunate to have had many friends move down to us rather than having to make too many new friends down here. That's always hard.

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Good news! All my hard work studying for the GRE English Subject Test paid off!

Err, well, that's overblowing things a little bit. What i meant to say was that I studied a little bit, and turns out the small amount of preparation that i did (yes i acknowledge that i should have prepared more) actually made something of a difference. There were a couple of questions on something that i think came from The Canterbury Tales, and generally the reading i did of random middle English poets helped me to remember what the language looked like at different periods of time. That actually really helped. And i could think to myself, "Well, i don't think that guy wrote then, and that guy is much later than that, so it has to be between these three other people." And that's how a lot of the test went.

And actually, my heart leapt with glee when the first question on the test was on none other than Toni Morrison whom i have spent a good deal of time studying, and then another question on Jane Austen. It seems as though ETS is making more of an effort to consider having people other than the cannon on the test. Also, there were a lot of Harlem Renaissance author questions on there, and i was generally able to answer all of those without a problem.

AND! (here's the part i'm really excited about) when i saw the passage, "O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars/ Are in the poorest thing superluous,/ Allow not nature more than nature needs,/ Man's life is cheap as beast's." Which is OF COURSE King Lear's reaction to his daughters Regan and Goneril's decision to take his horsesmen away from him (though he starts the play by divesting himself of his rule, dividing his kingdom and power between his three daughters. Regan and Goneril are the mean ones and Cordelia is the one who takes him in the end.) I was all over that question! That's one of my favorite passages!

So all of this sounds like very good news, and it makes it sound like i did very well on the exam. It's still entirely possible that I bombed. I certainly didn't finish the test (i probably answered about 2/3 or 3/4 of the questions), and i had to make educated guesses about most of them. There are only a few on which i was certain, and the rest was a little bit of process of elimination and then guessing from what i had left. All i'm asking for is a 500 or more so i'm not automatically discounted from Brown's program. That's all i'm asking.

We'll find out in six weeks.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Things I'm Thankful For

In the current political climate, and given my current angst about applying to grad schools and taking the freakin' GRE English Subject test this Saturday (i've given up on real studying at this point), it's easy for me to forget about some of the things in life I love the most. I never forget about how much I love Dan. But it's nice to browse through the pictures on my computer and be reminded of the other things I have to be grateful for. Here are a couple of them.

I could have just as easily titled this post, "Things I Like to Do in my Spare Time."

We like to sit around on each other. Posted by Hello

One of my two favorite holidays - Friendsgiving. Posted by Hello

Depsite all appearances, I'm the only one drunk in these photos. Posted by Hello

We like to play pin the donkey on the tail. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004


OK, so i admit that i REALLY should have started studying for the GRE English Literature subject test A LOT earlier. A LOT earlier. Like, weeks ago. Six or seven of them. But every time i thought about doing it, i would get trapped in thinking about how in the world i would study for this stupid test, that is supposed to be able to test the knowledge covered by all English majors across the US.... WHAT? NO two English departments are alike, to the extent that they can't decide whether to call it "English" or "Literature" or something else anymore. Not to mention that my focus is going to be more on the contemporary American Studies side of things, which is almost explicitly not covered on this test. Nope, i have to know how to distinguish Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur from Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, and of course i already knew that the latter is all in prose! That's how i tell them apart, naturally!

Oy as you can probably tell, i just get too pissed off about the existence of this test to be able to actually study for it. And now that it's down to the wire... it's a too little too late. Earlier, i had a chance of doing well. Now? It's going to be all about process of elimination on those few on which i have any clue whatsoever.

Did i mention that the test is 2 and a half hours of multiple choice? No writing, no breaks?

But the way i see it is that i did really well on the general test, i got a perfect score on the writing, my transcript is great, and my recommendations will be pretty damned good. I don't think this test is going to make or break me, if anything was going to.

And if it does, well, let's put it this way. For what i want to do (and let's not tell the grad schools this, because it would make me look bad because they want to admit people who will make them famous) what i really want to do is to teach English at some no-name college or university and see how many lights i can turn on in heads who didn't know they cared. I'm not interested in starting out by preaching to the choir at liberal arts colleges full of liberal arts students. Not yet, anyway. I really want to get the bored minds of this nation thinking. And for that, UMass Amherst or UConn would certainly do. But i really want to go to Brown. For that, i should have started studying earlier.

Regretfully going to sleep now,
Lindsay the Spokeschicken

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Your friendly neighborhood bio-firms

When it starts getting cold, and the sky turns that delicate pastel color at the end of the day when the bare trees sillouette resolutely against the pale horizon, I have always had sense of peace. This is my time of year. However, my sense of peace has been upset lately by the sheer amount of bio-firms in our neighborhood. The trees in our skyline meet with humungus, unimaginatively named bio-firms who pump out this strange smell from underground, emit loads of light polution, and we're pretty sure they're all working on manufacturing the undead (or, at least, that's what it smells like).

Here are a few of the aforementioned unimaginatively named neighborhood bio-firms:
Genzyme (the most prevalent and evil of them all, we're pretty sure)

Rather than having a neighborhood sprinkled with quaint mom and pop stores where you can find the perfect loaf of bread or cereal that costs too much, rather than a convenient drug store around the corner that is owned by an elderly Portuguese gentleman, and rather than a cozy diner that makes the perfect pie, our neighborhood proudly sports its bio-firms.

"Honey, look who just moved in next door!" Posted by Hello

Friday, November 05, 2004

The Good Map

Courtesy of Lyrica - this map is more realistic and less....controversial than the other one below. I think it's what we should submit to Canada when we appeal to join them. Please do have a look:

Get ready for more employment outsourcing, everybody! Posted by Hello

This is really what we felt in the United States of Canada when we saw all the red on that votes by county map. Posted by Hello

If we went through Canada, we could totally get the West coast with us Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Words Cannot Express

I really thought Kerry had a chance. Living in Massachusetts, or the Northeast at all, for that matter, has apparently skewed my view of progressive and conservative. I know people who think that Massachusetts is terribly conservative, despite the whole gay marriage thing, despite the recycling initiatives, despite the intellectual activity, and despite the fact that Massachusetts is entirely run by democrats (with the exception of the destructive Gov. Mitt Romney and his cronies). In fact, I know plenty of people, myself included, who think that democrats are conservative by virtue of being a part of the outdated two-party system.

The fact is the the rest of the nation thinks that democrats are threatening the moral values of the country -- this, in an election where 25% of the voter turnout (according to the Boston Globe this morning) claims to be "Evangelical Christian," the community most adament about preventing the possibility of gay marriage, restricting the possibility for abortion, and generally the community who sees it as their God-given duty and burden to save the rest of the us from ourselves.

The people who voted Bush because of fear of terrorism really are possibly the furthest away from possible threat. John Stewart (god, i love that man) pointed out while the Corn Palace in South Dakota may be an attraction, it certainly isn't getting Osama's attention as a Sodom or Gemorrah-type city of sin. New York, the state most threatened and the only one that has been attacked by a foreign terrorist group in this whole hullabaloo, went with Kerry. Who do you think the rest of the fear-driven voters should have voted for? Well, thanks again, Evangelical Christians, for saving us from ourselves, because clearly, as Stephen Colbert states, their safe distance from the threats of terror allows them an objective viewpoint that the people closer to "ground zero" actually attain. Clearly. Not to mention that all the terrorism in the midwest has been domestic. Hmmm....

And so i ask myself, "Really, how do we join Canada, or suceed?" Sure, there's been a lot of talk about it, and no one thinks it's going to happen. But if anyone saw that map in the Globe this morning, it's clear that the rest of the country doesn't want us, and i'm not so sure we want the rest of the country either. Can we really govern ourselves fairly under one president and one party with literally half the voting populus outraged, depressed, disillusioned, and conveniently all huddled together in one general geographic location?

The answers are complicated.

On the second question:
I don't think we can govern ourselves like this. Or allow ourselves to be governed like this. I mean, for pete's sake, Bush has already taken away enough of our freedoms. A co-worker speculated that if it gets bad enough, maybe in the next election the people will be ready for a change. I'm not necessarily sure about that. Evangelical Christians hold the viewpoint that the harder things get, the more it proves their point that God told them that the work of God isn't easy. But maybe the other 25% who voted for Bush will be tired enough of it. But here's the other problem: when you mention the word economics to a midwestern pig farmer (or a backwoods Mainer, for that matter), their eyes glaze over a bit as they fail to see the connection between decisions about taxes and how that affects health care, the price of pigs on the market, and the price of gas. To many of them, "economics" is an elective that you can take in high school that has no real connection to the real world.

Furthermore, stances on gun control, abortion, the environment, education, health care, religion, economics, etc have been neatly separated into two parties that are clearly not representative of how everyone in that party feels. The two party system operates on the notion that there are two viewpoints of the world. The current election certainly makes it look that way, but when you think about how many people voted based simply on economics, simply on foreign policy, or simply on the issue of the possibility of gay marriage, all perhaps without the slightest consideration for the other issues at stake, it becomes clear that there are a lot of different concerns out there that really little to do with a political party and more to do with issues that could and usually should be dealt with in the state legislature. And who represents us in Congress? The Senators.

And how well do they do that? What kind of accountability is there if they don't appropriately represent the state? Not much now that their terms are SIX years instead of two years. At least when it was two years, they had to represent more accurately, because otherwise, they'd get voted out. If it's six years? That's a lot of time to be able to misrepresent with no accountability.

The idea of being able to get out of the black and white two party system is ludacris at this point, since so many issues and motives are conflated and confused.

So back to the first question: just how DO we suceed? Would they let us? I mean, Maine might be able to sneak away without anyone noticing for a while, but the entire Northeast? It would certainly be nice.

So while i sit at my desk trying to convince myself for the umpteenth time that i should be studying for the GRE English Subject Test that I have in a little over a week, all i can think is this: I want out. I don't want four more years of THIS.

Monday, November 01, 2004

The Onion Election Guide

'Tis classic. In times like this, we all need someone to turn to to remind us who we really are. I have no television, but The Onion the the clips of The Daily Show at always keep me honest. Bring this with you to the polls. The sense of humor might help you deal with all the republicans you've been able to avoid.
> >sjebcut: The Human mind> >> >> >

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh, and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt

But on a more serious note, the human mind is a very important thing. Tomorrow, we are going to witness yet another great American tradition, and hopefully it won't turn into the second great presidential race catastrophe in a row. So just get out there and vote. I have the fortune to actually be in Boston where the Kerry rally is going to be after the elections while the polls close and the vote counts roll in. There are a bunch of us down here, and I think that since Dan and I don' t have TV, the least we can do is be there to show our support and maybe even get updates from time to time. If anyone would like to join us, take the Green line to Copley and hop out. You should see the stands all set up.

Tomorrow will be a tense day. We'll have to attempt to carry on life as usual when we'll all be wishing we could help somehow. I could have volunteered and lobbied for paid time. Coulda shoulda woulda. Maybe next time around we'll get our priorities straight. But i'm going to save the sarcarsm for later. Now is a time for sincere prayer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Newly uncovered archives!!! See for yourselves! Stories of torment and woe!

It's funny what the universe will do to make you realize that you are a racist pig, even when you thought you weren't. Today, Dan and I were on our way into the Target and heard someone searching through songs on the stereo on his car (we presumed it was a he, probably young and Black or Latino) trying to find the appropriate R&B and/or rap song to blare out his windows for the whole world to hear. He really wanted to make sure that whoever saw this car and heard the subs on this thing would know that Beonce, wherever she was, could probably hear herself sing on his phat stereo too... and that would get him some tail. Then we saw a somewhat elderly white gentlemen dressed in full business suit regalia with cuff links and all, balding, smoking his pipe, step lively onto the sidewalk.
Dan and I almost made it inside before we started laughing. Almost. The only way it could have possibly been funnier or less canny were if it were an elderly white woman.

More to come!

Friday, October 01, 2004

on the political end of things, i wrote some emails/comments tothe major news networks pleading with them not to spin the debate(s)to look like Bush is winning -- his short (hollow) answers are moreheadline-friendly than Kerry's longer (substancial) has links on the left to email addresses and commentspages in the nation's major newssources. if you're feeling so inclined, check it out.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

For those of you who are dying to know, i did go to that French speaking meet-up, and had a great time. I might not have thought the world of the facilitator, but everyone else was very nice. I also am solidly intermediate, which is reassuring. i know i'm not fluent, and that's fine. But i am certainly profficient, and people thought so. I'll definitely go again. The language came flooding back to me while i was somewhat immersed in it.

This is all very good, because daN and i are going to Paris in February! (we bought the tickets BEFORE my car finally passed away... that's another story. Anyone know of a good used car that handles well in the winter that doesn't have more than 50,000 mi on it and is under $10,000?)... so we have our plane tickets, and now all we have to get is somewhere to stay... :) but maybe we can also proffer daN's aunt Carol's help.

I was hoping to go up to Maine this weekend, but being carless and not feeling like dealing with the logistics of leaving work early to barely catch a bus just wasn't quite appealing after the week i had. Additionally, there were just too many other things i wanted to do around here this weekend, and it's already been fun. last night Q and Alex and I went out to the Cambridge Brewery to have a couple of beers, and BOY is that place good! I LOVE BREWERIES. i love that it's made right there, and it tastes so fresh... mmmm... and the food seemed really tasty too. daN and i will have to go there sometime to eat some real food. the saddest thing about being here without daN is that he is unreachable, working at the fair, and that does take some getting used to. i miss him, and i teared up crawling into bed last night without him. and this morning, that half of the bed looked like no one had slept in it, except that i had obviously reached over to snuggle him because the corner and the pillow were ruffled. not the first time we've been apart, but still sad.

At any rate, the rest of the day looks action-packed - Q and Alex and I will be going to the Italian Market and hanging out for a spell in Cafe Vittoria in the North End. I fell in love with the North End again the other night when daN and I took advantage of a gift certificate to Rabia's (a great Italian ristorante) that Matt got for doing some design work for them (but never got to use, so he passed it on to us.). Thursday night we realized we didn't have any food, nor did we want to venture to the grocery store in my derelict car before eating. We got all dressed up pretty and hopped on the green line to Haymarket, and joined another world in the North End. Rabia's had an astounding collection of vegetarian options, all for $14 a plate!, and there was also a good selection of seafood and meat dishes. The prices were comparable to Cafe Miranda, which is good for me and daN. Tasty enough to make it feel like a special occasion, not so expensive that we couldn't swing it on occasion. Fortunately, we got to test the waters first. It was DELICIOUS. I got broccoli and asparagus over penne pasta with a lemon cream sauce that was all dowsed in fresh parmesan and sprinkles of pepper, oh LORD! it was so good. the wine there was excellent. daN couldn't get over how good his chicken parmagianna was, and the service had perfected the art of making eye contact to check on you without rushing you. The evening was topped with a coconut gellato so rich it was almost flaky. It came served in half a coconut shell that floated on a plate of swirled chocolate and raspberry sauces. Of course, the accompanying espresso was so good it was almost creamy. The perfect combination. We had a lovely evening. We needed one, too.

I'll stop blathering at you, and then i should hop in the shower and get started on this lovely day of mine. Lyrica will be coming by, after all, to make stew with me tonite before she heads back out to Sudbury where she is housesitting. Tomorrow shall be the day of sitting in coffee shops and writing my personal statement(s). This shall be a good weekend after all.

Monday, September 13, 2004

My new favorite website:

I will be hopefully going to a meeting in the next couple of days to go speak French with people, and I am also thinking about visiting a playreading group or two. It makes me feel like there are things to do... that don't cost money. That's AWESOME.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Have i mentioned how much i love having the internet again?

Have i also mentioned how much i love my laptop? I am sitting here in the living room next to Dan who is also hanging out with his computer, and i am still comfy on the couch. It's quite lovely, i have to say.

But the real big news for why i am making an entry this morning to is brag about how fucking productive i was last night. Last night, i made brownies, poundcake, and bread. All in the oven, all from scratch (except for the poundcake because it's expensive to make like that and Trader Joe's has an excellent poundcake mix. I highly recommend it.), and all in ascending order of what tempurature the oven needed to be. And while i was waiting for the final rise on the bread, i cleaned and washed the floor in the bathroom. Yep, i finished around 11:34, and i was exhausted. But DAMN was i proud of myself :)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Dear Faithful Reader,

I would like to take a moment of silence to thank God for granting me with the internet. I realize this might seem petty or a small thing on a day like September 11, but there are some things that you can only carry with you so far, and sometimes grief for one who didn't know a soul in the September 11 crash, you have to let it go. So today, on this sad day of our nation, i release the grief from September 11 and embrace my new connection to the internet in our new apartment.

Thank you,

P.S. For those of you found this letter of thanks in pour taste, please submit your complaints to my new home phone number. Um, I'd post it here, but it's just not a good idea to do that.

P.P.S. We love our new apartment.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

My credit card came inthe mail, and i'm still wondering what i should pay on it. My budget is about to get a LOT tighter than it's been in the past year what with two people splitting utilities and rent rather than four. Thank goodness i might be able to get a raise in October.

I am excited about the new place, but i think the reality of finances has finally hit me. Or maybe i'm overreacting and feeling paralized. But daN and i are going to have a small splurge today useing up the rest of my "housewares" budget to pick up things like dishtowels, potholders, dish rack, broom, etc. All those things that our other roommates have always had that neither of us, de facto, never had to purchase ourselves. Now it's all happening at once. But i suppose that's normal. To be fair though, we're in good shape.

This week was hard at work. I packed every night when i got home, which actually felt somewhat theraputic and productive *especially after all the wine.* The week was nuts, and at the beginning of the week when the big boss asked if i had time for a particular project, i said simply, "it looks like it right NOW." By the end of the day, my week had shaped up quite differently, but all those things were still on my plate. When it rains it pours. But i think i lived up to the tasks, neither of which are complete but well on their respective ways, rather admirably. The other stressful thing at work is that one of our employees is getting let go. He works in the office side of things, and he has made so many assinine mistakes and has cost the company SO much money because of it. The really shitty thing is that he is currently on vacation (or was during the week), and he'll find out when he gets back. The print jobs he was working on ALL had mistakes on them, and most of the customers won't do business with him anymore. But when the bosses told the receptionist and i, they said, "we also don't want you guys to question your job security, because we know that whenever a co-worker is let go, it's really unnerving. But everyone here is very extremely pleased with the work you both do here, and so we also want to thank you for that." Strange timing for such a great compliment, but i'll take it. It's about time!

And it's about time to make some coffee for myself.

And now, for your moment of zen: a picture of my new checks: Fine Art

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Amendments and Updates:

yes, paris! it looks like dan and i will probably be going in feb now so that it can be during one of his school vacations and so he doesn't have to miss work to go. that is one big reason -- the other big reason is because yes, we could make it work for october, especially since we'd be staying with other people, BUT it would mean we'd have to have the money for it now. and frankly, i'm not sure that we do.
but i'm still excited, and i heard from my friend abi kelly who lived in france for a year that she thinks everyone should check out paris in february because it's beautiful and the skies are pristine and it's not as touristy. good idea. the louvre's free morning is much less likely to be completely swamped.
well, this weekend has been really nice, and i have to say that it was cool to have mark and stef down here. it was kinda like how when lee and alan were down here, it gave us an excuse to check out a couple of things we hadn't checked out before. and we played a couple of games (dan and i are big on games) and that was fun too. unfortunately, the weather was miserably hot and humid, AND it was pouring on and off, so going places didn't happen so much. but we still had a great time, and it was fantastic to see them.
dan and i also went to have coffee and croissants with our new landlord yesterday morning. she is a cool old lady who has so many interesting stories! i love old people -- they have so much to share. it turns out she lived in brazil for 10 years, and it always stuck with her. she was on the board of councilors who opened up hampshire college (!!!) and she was glad that i had gone there and had so much good to say about it. dan charmed the heck out of her, of course :) and she also had a great collection of british literature, which excited both dan and i. we had a great conversation about jane austen. dan and i are optimistic. she let us borrow a book :) so yeah, she's cool. the real reason we went over there to begin with was to sign some escrow forms to open up a certain kind of bank account for our security deposit. i guess it's this kind of account specially for real estate and it accrues a lot of interest, so that's GREAT. glad to hear of it. so we had to sign the papers for it, and we ended up then having a great time with margaret afterwards. it was cool.
well, i guess that's all for now. i'm having a chill day since yesterday was fun and crazy, and i think i'm going to seriously consider what i can start packing... sigh.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Oh, the excitement

Things have been very exciting in the life of The Spokeschicken since last i wrote. Let's see... i've gone to Maine and celebrated Mum's birthday, which was a lot of fun. It was really nice to see Mark, and I could tell that Mum was really just happy to have her chicks in one nest again for a bit. It was fun. We ate summer-y type BBQ food, and Dan was there with me, Lorraine was there with Mark, and Mark seemed sincerely happy to see me. Which was nice, since I was also sincerely happy to see him. We didn't fight even a little. It's funny how we still seem to need other people around in other for us to not start getting on each other's nerves. Also last weekend I was on my quest to find a pair of jeans that fit well, and I had been in the store for not longer than five minutes when i got some of the most excruciating pain i have had in recent memory. It was awful. Oh LORD do i hate periods sometimes! I was in so much pain i was shaking and holding down vomit, so i made my way to the Shaws in the same plaza just to find some painkiller. It was rough, but worth the trip. I then layed down in the backseat of my car for an hour trying to relax. It was not a very fun afternoon compared to the very relaxing morning i had had scampering around on the rocks and reading on Lucia Beach. Ah well. I got over it.

This past week kind of went by in a blur. I'm getting TIRED of Dan not being here. I mean it! I have been to bed before 12:30 only one night, and it was friday because i was so exhausted from the week of sleep deprivation. Tuesday night i hung out at Q's place, Wednesday night I hung out with Lyrica, Thursday night I hung out at Annie and Ivan's, and then Friday i simply crashed. Matt, Laura, and I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics (which were GORGEOUS), and then i called Dan around 10:00 and probably said something resembling a goodnight, but really, I just went right to sleep before 10:15. I was pooped! The thing is, Dan forces me to go to bed before midnight on worknights because he's already in bed and being cranky at me that i'mn not in bed yet, which it turns out is exactly what i need. Otherwise, even though i might have gotten home at a reasonable hour, i putter around and find things to do until suddenly i realize that it's 1am! And how'd that happen? So San needs to come home.

But, and you should all prepare yourselves for this exciting news, there is a solid chance that i'll be going to PARIS again in late October! YES, YES! Ron and Carol Watier and Dan's Dad Maurice will be going there from the 18th through the 26th, and they offered the spare bed to Dan and I! HOLY SHIT! SO, we're going to make it work. It comes at a HORRIBLE time, what with my sinus surgery a few weeks before that (= an unpaid week, and the fact that i have to talk to my doctor on monday to see if there is a real danger with me flying at that time), but fortunately, i will have been at Global Protection for a year at that point, and my accrual schedule for vacation time renews. YAY! The HR manager obviously wasn't as excited as I was when I told him the news, but he told me that he knows it's an opportunity i can't pass up. It will only cost us 60 bucks to stay there for the whole week! So now Dan HAS to get home so we can discuss exact dates so we can buy tickets... but i do have to call my doctor first. I'M PSYCHED!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The following was forwarded along to me by a friend. I liked it so much, i decided it needed a spot on my blog...

Things you have to believe to be a Republican today:

Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.

You support states' rights, but Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

Feel free to pass this on. If you don't send it to at least 10 other people, we're likely to be stuck with Bush for 4 more years.

Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Now, I don't want to come across as an ungrateful bitch for all the great things that are going on in my life right now, but it's fucking HOT out. Do you know how nearly impossible it is to enjoy life when it's this hot and humid. Dad just got back from Washington state, where he reports it was 80's and 90's with no humidity whatsoever all week he was there. That sounds LOVELY. If it weren't for the fact that everyone i know and love is on the east coast, i might be tempted to move out there. Believe me, it's a real thought.

But i did have a wonderful day despite the heat. Thanks to Lee and Alan visiting, along with the environmentally hazardous miracle of air-conditioning, today was an adventure of walking and sweating from one air-conditioned establishment to the next, with lots of catching up in between. We had lunch at this great place called The Wrap, which gives you your choice of motifs for filling flavors, and then you can decide whether you want that flavor with chicken, beef, roasted vegetables, or (what i was excited about) the baked tofu. Mmm. It was so good. I got a Bangkok style with peanut sauce and cucumbers. Oh, lordy. They do a good smoothy too.
It was a good time. Then we all (except Matt who had to meet someone at 3:30) made our sweaty way back to the ranch and talked some more, which was great, and played Carcassonne (a great board game) in our miraculously air-conditioned room. A good day.

Well, i'm off to get my laundry. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Everything peachy-keen in life of Lindsay  Lindsay is finding herself self-conscious these days of how well things are going for her: "I feel bad -- whenever I get on the phone with someone I haven't spoken with for a while, i'm all like, 'everything's going GREAT!   Dan and I signed a lease for an apartment, i got great scores on my GRE's, and i'm finally having that sinus surgery I've been talking about for a while.  My life smells like roses and yours smells like poo!  How's your crappy job coming along?'  I feel like I'm being borderline insensitive," Lindsay says.  Damn, I hate that girl. 
Update on the situation in Sinuses A procedure to correct and rebuild the warzone of the Sinuses has been assessed and scheduled for October 4th.  More on this story below. 

Friday, July 23, 2004


Come one, come all! Hear the amazing story of Sinuses Gone Bad! There was a time when the Sinuses in the quaint town of Lindsay were a peaceful place, when the law-abiding citizen bacteria were only the good kind. But 12 years ago, the picture rapidly changed, and now the Sinuses in Lindsay are incapable of surviving The Attack of the Bad Bacteria on their own. The Bad Bacteria has known ties to hoodlum gangs of Allergies, under the tags of "C-Zon'L" and "KRoNik." Working in conjunction with The Common Cold, they have wreaked havoc on the Sinuses, now too weak to fight against even the smallest Allergy Attack.

Much community involvement has gone into the fight. For twelve long years, Lindsay has employed the reliable likes of Allegra-D, Claritin, and Nasalcrom, to provide constant vigilance in the fight against the Allergies gang, but it's often not enough. At least five times a year, the town of Lindsay has had to seek outside reinforcement to restore a semblence of peace. Always an expensive and time-consuming venture, they have relied on the "Big Guns" Erythromycin, Ceclor, and good-old, reliable Amoxicyllin. It's been a long and tiresome battle trying to keep the peace in the town of Lindsay, and now, sadly, the Sinuses are shot. But this is not the first time this story has been told, and another community has stepped in to foot the bill for a much larger venture that will revolutionize life in the Lindsay community. Lindsay will be greatly indebted to all the benefactors, but like all good stories for all good little boys and girls, this story has a happy ending, and soon the Reconstruction shall begin. It's been a difficult civil war, but the rebuilding of the Sinuses should help to clear out the Bad Bacteria, creating a hopeful future for the once peaceful town of Lindsay.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

i was really stressed out with everything going on.  i wasn't quite sure how to handle the combination of bridesmaid duties competing with the desires to see the friends who also very much wanted to see me.  so i called mum when i had no voice and whispered to her over the phone.  i was practically panicking.  mum told me that i just had to calm down about how much stuff there is coming up.  she was right.  i told her "i'm TRYING."  and she said, "that's half the problem.  calming down isn't something you TRY to do.  it doesn't work that way."  she's right.
the wedding went off without a hitch.  the rain held off (i spoke with mother earth in the morning) for the ceremony and politely refrained from downpouring during the reception.  in the morning before the ceremony, amy (maid of honor), venice, and i decorated the place -- set up the tables, put on the tableclothes and centerpieces, decorated the chairs that lined the aisles, set up the gift table/boat, and finally managed to get ourselves dressed in record time while keeping stef calm and out of the way.  she was so excited.  it was so cute.  they both cried as she made her way down the aisle.   it was beautiful. 
so it's over.  i cried up there next to her, smiled at dan, and thought about how someday i would like something like this for the two of us. 
i drove back home to boston last night after the kick-ass reception.  it was a long haul from lincolnville beach, maine.  i made it home around 9:45 when parking was said and done, called dan and mum to let them each know that i made it back safely, and fell asleep so fast i that i don't remember my head hitting the pillow. 
but i did have time for one more bit of excitement --  my final GRE scores came in the mail, and my multiple choice we already knew is a 1300, but i got a perfect 6 out of 6 on the writing!!!   A SIX OUT OF SIX!!!  that's AWESOME!  so that is in the 96th percentile.  the reality of how fucking COOL that is finally sunk in today, and i must say it feels really nice to know that even after 3 years at a non-traditional school with no grades or tests, i'm still competitive in the traditional world.  go me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Well, this has been a busy few days, however long it has been since last i wrote. Dan and i found our dream apartment, if only we can find a way to get it. The guy needs to fill it immediately, but he'll take whoever comes first. We got there pretty soon, and now we're just trying to figure out how to get it since we don't even need to consider a place until August. But seriously, the place it big, sunny, not too far from Harvard Sq and Porter Sq, and it's GORGEOUS with plenty of counter space in the kitchen (and enough room for a kitchen table!) and plenty of storage space.

Right now i'm in Maine doing wedding things primarily. We had SO MUCH FUN at Aquaboggin. I'd never been to a water park, and it turns out i'm really a water park kind of person! It was a blast! We kept throwing ourselves down slides, and we went on this thing that is basically shaped like a half-pipe, but you use an inner tube and get shoved off the side of it. You slide down four stories before you finally start slowing down. So much fun! Mark and Stef gave that to the Wedding Party as a thank you gift, and it was well received. Dang was it a good time.

Time to get going. I've got showering and wrapping to do.

I've lost my voice, so it's been nice to write things out.

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Next Big Thing

Well, after an exciting week of socialing with our new locals Q and by proximity her boyfriend Alex, and also hanging out with Kal twice and going to see Madonna, immediately followed by a weekend of a trip to Maine, i'm pooped.

This weekend the primary concern was getting to the bridal shower in time and having the food and gifts with me. I got them a waffle iron, which went over really well. I figured it was worth the extra ten or fifteen bucks out of my budget to make sure they are excited about it, and they were (both Mark and Stef were there... well, OBVIOUSLy Stef was there -- she's the bride.) I made some four-bean salad and brought it there, and we all ate a LOT, opened her gifts, and shared memories about Mark and Stef with them. Their mothers were crying regularly, and it was a good time had by all.

This weekend also featured gorgeous Maine. On the trip up on Friday night, Dan and I crossed the border and were greeted by the most incredible skies we'd ever seen in our lives. We were sandwiched in between a sunset and a thunderstorm the whole way up, and we saw lightening flash against the clouds, dark purple clouds against featherly yellow clouds just above a pink and blue streaked sky. I'm trying my best hear, but words really cannot describe the beauty.

There was of course also the Fourth of July, for which we were very busy. All the day before we had mostly spent with his mother, and we also hung out with Nate and Tara. in the afternoon and evening. The next day we went to a BBQ with Nana, Aunt Kimmie, Mum, and Rick, and that was a lot of fun too. Nana lives across the road from some really nice cows, so i hung out with them for a while. One of them exfoliated my right arm to ultimate smoothness. Cow tongues are good for that. We ate and ate and shot the shit, and then it was time to head over to Dad's. We ended up meeting him at Yulia's (Dad and Jeanne's daughter) friend Ryan's parents' house. Yulia and Ryan are 7 (?) and were in and out of the pool quite regularly. Had a nice time talking with all of them and avoiding as much of the food as possible (we were still full from Nana's), and then Dan, Dad and i went to chill at Dad's place for a while. That was really great. We were tired and needed some chill time, so we drank coffee, sat on the porch, and talked for a while. Dad's got some really cool new art too...

Sigh. Yeah. Good weekend. The only part of it that sucked was the drive back here today, because it took over an hour to get from South Portland to Biddeford, and it should NEVER take that long. It was a trying expedition. Today's been good otherwise though. We've all been chilling in our separate ways. I actually want to do a bit of landscape drawings for some ideas i have for the future. And i found an apartment on craiglist today that is opening up in Sept 1, and Dan is going to go see it tomorrow. I told him to take it if he likes it :)

Ok, i'll stop writing now.

Friday, July 02, 2004


SO, a lot has been going on lately, and it's been crazy. there are some very important things i must share with my dear readers.

1. took the GRE's, and i got a 1300!!! YAY! i was hoping for low 1100's at best. i find out about the writing scores in another week or so.

2. last night, i saw MADONNA!!! kal-el called up yesterday afternoon with free tickets to see her in worcester, so we all (dan, matt, kal, and i) dropped everything and hopped on the commuter rail to worcester. all i have to say is HOLY SHIT does she know how to put on a show. no wonder it's so expensive for the tickets because she involves dancers, circus, skate-boarders, cabaret, and an incredible media show. everything going on complimented the other stuff SO well. amazingly well put together and well-conceived performance, aside from also being MADONNA.

that's all for now since i'm on break at work and that has taken up the time. love to all... i'll be in maine this weekend...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

So i have been a busy little bee lately. i went to martha's vineyard this weekend, which will be news to Dad who i totally forgot to tell about whilst we were on the phone this evening. The vineyard was gorgeous. The highlight? Being able to relax for a while. Went to the beach and swam in the ocean, which was LOVELY. It was like Maine is in late July. Totally swim-able. It was a much-needed relaxation device. It was great to see the Nevins, and it was really great to see the Aria bird in her natural environment. I could tell it was equally exciting for her to have us there (Dan, Matt, and I).

Otherwise, it has been a whirlwind of an absolutely hellish week at work and a fuckton of studying for the GRE's. Today i even disciplined myself enough to lock myself inside on a sunny day and take the practice test under strictly regimented timing. It went.... ok. That's about as well as i can expect. I scored what i got on my SAT. So that's good enough i guess. I know that i have gotten proportionately more intelligent, but i still can't standardize test my way out of a paper bag. I'll keep practicing and studying all week, but there's really only so much preparing one can do. I wonder what i should do on Friday night to treat and relax myself without staying up too late? Any suggestions?

Well, other than that, if you have something to tell me, put in on my blog in the comments or just fucking call me because my email isn't working at all right now, which has been a source of frustration for me. Yarg. I feel totally cut off from the world without email!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

An Update from the Midst of A Gorgeous Day

This morning Dan and i went to a brunch at Davin's (the president of Global Protection) house in Back Bay (REALLY nice area of Boston. Didn't used to be, but the property there was cheap and so it went fast, and now it's grown up quite nicely and is covered with trees and beautiful old buildings. It's really cool. He had a brunch there for the company and other companies we work with as a morning celebration before the Pride Parade. It was great! The brunch was really yummy -- i ended up helping out a lot, but i eventually got to hang out, and it was so sweet to watch Dan playing with the kids there :)

Then we went to the Pride Parade, which was literally around the corner, and it was the most celebratory parade i have ever been to. Everyone was just so happy to be in it, and this is the city where gay marriages are first legalized, so there was such an air of happiness and gratefulness. I loved it.

Well, Dan and I are off to go to Annie's house (she lives down here) for a BBQ with her and her boyfriend. That will be fun. It's GORGEOUS daY.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

the quick and the dirty

it's hot here. really hot. but the air conditioner is totally doing its job, and dan and i are happily not too hot together :)

my heart: the results from the heart monitor came back "normal," though the doctor still wants to talk to me about irregularities of the pace of my heartbeat. fine with me! it's getting rather annoying having all these doctor's appointments though. it's not so good for the paycheck, or the checkbook for that matter. i might drive to work tomorrow so i can come earlier and stay a little later to make up SOME of the time.

on the starbucks front: the interview went really well, and the recruiter has called some starbucks branches in the area for me to speak with about possible opportunities. she said that my past experience shows me as a better fit for shift leader (not enough money) though it sounds like i might get to talk to managers about that.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

The Past Few Days

The summer atmosphere of craziness is in full-swing. Here at the ranch, we have had guests in honor of Matt's birthday, as well as people passing through on their way to family vacations, someone who'll be stopping by on his way back from meeting a chick he met online, and someone who will be stopping by on her way back from visiting her boyfriend. The sun was out yesterday, and it was a marvellous day.

Friday, we took a surprise outing from work! It was one of our employee's 5th anniversary there, and she had always wanted to have the whole company go out for a ride on a boat in the harbor. So for her 5th, we surprised her by bringing her down to Rowe's Wharf (= NICE AND POSH) and took a ferry down to Hingham where we passed beautiful little islands. It's not nearly as pretty as it is floating around the coast of Maine, but i guess people do go sailing in Maine above other places for a reason. Then we ate lunch and had drinks at a restaurant right on the water, and it was lovely! We had cake, gave her tickets to see Rod Stewart (she calls him "her boy"), and then we all went home. And i got PAID for this. And i thought to myself, "this is good place to work if you're in it for the long haul." They really pay attention to what you'd want, because they really do appreciate you. However, if you're not in it for the long haul, well, it's not a very good place to work if you're trying to save up money.

Friday night was Matt's birthday party, and i am so proud and happy to be a part of what made his birthday go from the worst day he's had a long time to being one of the most fun time's he's had for a while. Kal-el, Gilly, Lyrica, and Aria came over, and we all went out to dinner with them (including me, Dan, and Matt) and Kal treated! The restaurant was not necessarily a place i'd go back to because it was Malaysian and didn't have more than two vegetarian options on a HUGE menu, and it was loud and we couldn't hear each other. Not to mention that the service was pretty poor. But it was fun and different. When we got back, Gilly and i whipped together some brownies and pistachio pudding, sang happy birthday to him, and we all watched a couple episodes of the most brilliant cartoon to come out in a while, Invader Zim.

Last night, we saw the new Harry Potter movie. I won't write anything about it since i don't want to give anything away for those of you who haven't seen it. Suffice it to say that it was necessarily different from the first two, which were short books and could easily be fit into a movie. I enjoyed it a lot nevertheless, and i also saw a preview for Spiderman, for which i am INCREDIBLY psyched.

All this before i have to take the GRE's. Someone PLEASE tell me next weekend will be less crazy and fun.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Addition to the earlier post

I had to leave work early today because i was having rapid heart beat, and the doctor wanted me to come over asap the next time it happened. It seems to correspond to medication i have been taking for my sinus infection, but not all the time. I think that's what it is this time, though. So they gave me an EKG, and they think it's normal (especially since i have a bit of a family history of it), but wanted me to wear this heart monitor for 24 hours. It's a pain in the ass! I'm hooked up to it with weird adhesives and buttons all over my chest, and on top of that i have to carry these wires around with me on the end of this battery run special tape recorder just to tape it. Sigh. Who knows if they'll find anything. I suppose it's worth it, but it's such a huge pain that i'm not sure if it is. But it would be good to know for sure it's not the condition of my heart, i guess. It could be anything from an advanced allergy attack to a side effect of decongestants. Ah well. I'll let people know once i find out anything. In the meantime, i just can't wait to get this thing off.
For those of you who are still reading my blog, i have an interview with the New England Regional Recruiter on Monday morning at 8:30! That's hella early, but hey - i can make it work. I hope it goes well. I spoke with her this afternoon, when she told me she would like to continue the conversation face to face. How did it go? Well, she asked me about my past experience, and that went fine. When she asked "Why Starbucks instead of all the other coffee shops in the area?" I had to be honest for a bit before i could pull something out of my ass that was still true. My first answer was the health insurance and benefits thing. Other than that? I said, "Also, i really like and appreciate the way that Starbucks educates the public about coffee. The marketing is really good (to which she laughed) it has made higher quality coffee a more mainstream thing. Starbucks also does a really good job of educating the public, for those who wish to be educated, about how to buy socially responsible and environmentally responsible coffee." She liked that answer. And the nice thing? It's true! The have done everything that i said they have done. So, go me. Onto the next round. I drive out to meet her on Monday morning. The next challenge is to be myself when i'm with her, to mention that i'm good at keeping morale up without trying to oversell myself to the point where i'm panting, "gimmethajob! GIMMETHAJOB!" Because i do have a job right now, and that also has to mean something. I told her i was very glad to hear from her because i miss working in a coffee shop.

What else? Glasses! I can't believe how much easier it is to see the computer screen!

And that's all.

Monday, May 31, 2004


I'll make this short and sweet.

1. I'm definitely pursuing the Starbucks job. I can't say no to the benefits, and after all the rounds of interviews, the timing would work out rather well (in terms of not starting before Mark and Stef's wedding, which would be a nightmare.

2. I'm getting glasses! It's not that either of my eyes are terrible in and of themselves, but that they're poorly matched. I'm nearsighted with my left eye, and yet i can see better with the left than with the right because the right eye has a stigmatism. And, oddly enough, i can see better with my right eye than my left eye up close despite the left's nearsightedness. They just don't work together very well. I'll be picking them up tomorrow... perhaps even today.

3. Dan and i are going to go to the Arboretum down in Jamaica Plain today. It sounds REALLY nice. And free too!

4. I have another sinus infection, so Dan and Matt wondered what was holding me up with sinus surgery. Honestly? It's the $250 copay, which is NOTHING compared to the $5000 it would cost otherwise, but it's still more than i have. So Matt contacted friends from home and started the Save Lindsay's Sinuses Fund so i can finally get underway on my surgery. I started crying.

That's already too much. Time to get ready. Coffee, clean the bathroom, shower, go to the Arboretum. !!! Yay!

Friday, May 28, 2004

On the job search again?

So when i was looking for a job still in October, and i was really desperate, i applied for a management position at I didn't want to bother submitting a paper application to be a barrista, because i figured that if i was going to bow to working at a huge coffee company that i consider not only inferior but also evil and detrimental to small businesses, i was going to make it worth my while. Management pays more, and i might be able to get something out of it.

Flash-forward to the end of March, when i hear from a certain recruiter/hirer for management at Starbucks regional headquarters for the Boston area. I get an email from her that tells me they're impressed with my resume and would like to talk to me more about my opportunities at Starbucks. I ignored it. I didn't feel like getting into it, for one, and secondly, it didn't seem personalized enough (aka something over email lacked expression and urgency) for me to think she was interested in me. '

Friday she called and left a message with Dan for me. So i thought to myself, "huh." If she actually bothered to contact me about it over the phone in person, she must actually be impressed with me. Who knew? So i didn't know... but then last night i called and left her a voicemail. She had an extention with regular 9-5 hours and everything. She called back today, and now we're officially playing phonetag.

Here's the thing: tonite i had the first cup of coffee from Starbucks that i really LIKED that wasn't sweetened. The tanzania makes a dang good espresso! Talk about their campaign of "personalizing" coffee. And then Matt mentioned that managers have salary. Hm. It is suggested that it's dang good, too. I guess i should entertain it. Perhaps i'll have an interview with her at some point.

Meanwhile, i'm not exactly on the job search right now, but salary would certainly take care of things, and i'm bound to have a better benefits package than what i have right now. I'm also in the midst of trying to plan a bridal shower and study for the GRE's, as well as find a new apartment for Dan and i in August. A little overcommitted? Perhaps. But the nice thing about the whole Starbucks thing is that if it gets going, it might not get going for quite some time. Which would give me a chance to get my time off for the wedding and the Fourth before i leave for another job.

Here's the other problem: i might have been at this job too long to want to switch. It's bound to happen sometime. But now i know this one in and out, and i keep getting great compliments from the people who it means something to there. Sigh. I don't know. But i'll go with the flow. Perhaps Starbucks seeking me out is a way of placing both an opportunity and a learning experience in my lap. I mean, the fact that Starbucks has done so well in expanding the public's definition of coffee has contributed to small coffee shop business' abilities to have business at all. It's a give and a take. And as far as companies go, they're not actually all that evil. Omnipresent? Yes. But can i blame them? Probably not.

But Dan made a KILLER pizza tonite. His best crust yet. It rose a lot, and yet it was still extremely moist. Great stuff. Kudos to Dan!

Monday, May 24, 2004

All Political and Stuff:
Post Graduate Education and Why Many Young Mainers are Leaving

A little over a week ago, i was complaining to Dan about not having a desk. The next night Annie called me up asking if i wanted her desk since her new apartment will not have enough room for it. I said sure... the only hang-up was that i'd have to somehow get it from Cambridge to Allston, and it's too big for my car. The next night, Q called up saying she would be in Boston the following night, with her truck. I called up Adam (Annie's ex in whose basement her desk resided), and he happened to have that next day off. So now, through the help of FOUR friends, i have a desk. Yes, the universe sat that one on my lap. It all fell into place rather nicely. And now that i have a desk, or "a room of one's own," as Virginia Woolf might like to refer to a space for a woman to write, i suddenly feel enabled to write a LOT. And i have been writing, for those of you who have noticed, academic article type stuff rather than journal type stuff. Yes, i guess having a desk makes me want to write. And it turns out my true calling just may be academic writing. Or at least i have a lot of bull shit to spew.

At any rate, this is a letter that i recently wrote to the Governor of Maine. I also sent it to the congressmen, senators, secretary of state, head of the Maine Department of Education, The Courier Gazzette, Lincoln County News, Portland Press Herald, & The Camden Herald.. Please feel free to react, or, more importantly, write a letter of your own regarding either why young Mainers are leaving or post-graduate education in Maine or both.


To: Governor John Baldacci
Office of the Governor
#1 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0001

From: Lindsay B. LeClair
121 Glenville Ave. #2
Allston, MA 02134

May 24, 2004

Re: Post-Graduate Education and Why Many Young Mainers are Leaving

Dear Governor Baldacci:

I am writing to you with great concern for the topic above from the perspective of a young Mainer who left.

Six or seven years ago, Governor King spoke to my class at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, Maine and implored us to stay in Maine after graduation. Even if we had to go to school out of state, he pleaded us to come back and make our lives in Maine. Governor King stressed the importance to Maine’s future to have us stay. It would perhaps prevent Maine’s economy from being entirely tourist based, and he suggested that if there were more young people around, more jobs would eventually be created by supply and demand.

Six or seven years down the road, young Mainers are still leaving. When Governor King spoke to my class of ’98, many career-oriented high-schoolers were planning on going to college, but not necessarily graduate school. The times have changed rapidly since then, and when I completed my baccalaureate degree at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2002 and was ready to work for a while until pursuing a doctorate in Literature in Cultural Studies, the only job opportunities available to me involved customer service or manual labor. I am not above either of those, in fact, I am 24 and have 12 years of customer service and 6 years of manual labor under my belt. But that’s not why I went to college. So I couldn’t work in Maine until I started school again. Furthermore, there was no suitable graduate program. There are a couple of masters programs in English, but no doctoral programs. Considering that I want to be a literature professor, which requires a doctorate now, there was no program in Maine for me.

Please realize that I am not attacking the educational system in Maine. I know many people who have received impressive educations through the University of Maine system, and I always express with pride the incredible opportunities I had through the Maine public school system. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for those opportunities and the community’s encouragement. I am, however, asking that the board members for the Maine Department of Education to consider expanding the extant graduate programs from catering to those in business and the sciences to also catering to the humanities and liberal arts. For example, there happens to be a wonderful location in Camden where MBNA has moved out that would make a perfect location for a graduate school extension of the University of Maine. Such an expansion would contribute invaluably to the surrounding community. Real estate opportunities would increase for students looking for off-campus housing. The jobs that the university alone would provide would allow many looking for opportunities in office management, clerical work, administrative and assistance opportunities, not to mention maintenance and landscape possibilities to find employment, and also, perhaps, a place to me to be a professor someday. Is all this a pipe dream? Maybe. But I dreamt it up with some fellow Mainer-in-exile friends of mine, and we all hope that someday when we come back, there will be opportunities like that to come back to.

So I have left again, gone back to Massachusetts after having graduated from college here to work in Boston while I look for a doctoral program in the liberal arts that will allow me to be competitive in the workforce of professors someday. There are very few things I am sadder about in my relationship to Maine than the fact that what I want to do with my future is incommensurable with what is available for me in Maine. I know a lot of other young Mainers who feel the same way. Please keep this letter in mind when you make future decisions about education in Maine.

Sincerely a Mainer in exile,

Lindsay B. LeClair

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Voting in America

Three years ago, I never thought I would be paying serious attention to the hit TV phenomenon "American Idol." It has, however, become clear not only that sometime soon i should audition for it, but also what a good example of the average voter's consciousness in America is. Or perhaps i should say that it is incredibly indicative of how Americans vote.

Last week the office was up in arms because Latoya was voted off. Furthermore, i was infuriated too. She was CLEARLY the best. To the point where the other three girls were crying knowing that Latoya should have taken any of their places. Allow me to back up and explain how it worked. There were four last week. America first voted to choose the "top two," and then one from the "botton two" was selected to continue on to the next week with the "top two." It is basically a way to drag out the show even longer. However, it became evident fairly early in the season that people weren't voting for who they thought the most qualified because they assumed that the most qualified would get all the votes anyway. No, they assumed that their one vote wouldn't matter much but to make the underdog contestant that person is voting for feel better. And that right there is the heart of the problem in America.

We have a real soft spot for the underdog. I don't even need to go into the racist aspects of the voting that occured last week, because it seems fairly obvious. The most qualified singers happened to be black, and they were voted into the bottom two. The top two were horrible, and they made it the top two. But i'm not talking about racism or politics or political sway involved in voting. No, i'm talking about the fact that people in America don't vote for who is the most qualified. In the same way, people who voted for Bush in 2000. About half the population did not step back from their emotional biases and try to choose the most qualified candidate. No, they picked Bush because they simply liked him better. I acknowledge that this is not the same thing as voting for the underdog in American Idol. I'm simply saying that the same kind of mindset goes into it. I would argue that both are good examples of the lack of personal responsibility the American voter accepts. In one case, it's because they like someone better, in the other it's because they feel bad about not liking the underdog better. In both cases, the most qualified candidate does not make the cut.

Does this problem stem from the American voter feeling disenfranchised and therefore does not think that his/her vote actually counts? I would argue that the problem does come from disillusionment due to the lack of action that political leaders take when concerning decisions for the people they represent. Perhaps the system doesn't work because our republic is not accurately representing our democracy. For this reason, the current system we have is not working. It makes me wonder if we can really carry on a republican democracy and have it actually work without having the under-represented minoroties feeling disillusioned and becoming apathetic. Because apathetic is the worst thing a voter can get. That's when you stop thinking it matters, and start voting based on some unheard emotion of your own.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

"From Piecework to Peacework: The Gentrification of Idealist Immigrants"

From the inception of the Americas, there has been a (mis)conception that one can go from rags to riches here. In 1876, Irish immigrants fleeing the devastation of the potato famine arrived in Boston seeking fortune, all of whom were under the impression that there were vast tracks of land free for the taking in the pioneer lands. Talk of feast and freedom, autonomy and toleration were abound. However, when they got here they found that they couldn't go much further than Boston. There were few jobs, the land was hundreds to thousands of miles away, and was prohibitively expensive for the poor. Thus, they worked in overcrowded textile factories to make a better future for their children founded on the ideals they found lacking in the United States for them. Generations later, their descendents became the hippies, the yuppies, and eventually, the disillusioned and ineffectual Generation X. But there have been other immigrant groups. This plight has been the trend for the Japanese, the Indian, the Latin Americans, and the continuation of American idealism depends upon the continual influx of optimistic, dare I say, naive immigrants.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


So, Dan and I have recently been on a kick to perfect pizza. It was, at the beginning, his quest, having been raised by a woman who makes the most phenomenal pizza you've ever eaten. Atkins dieters, eat your hearts out because this lady's crust is the shit. Well, today i called him up while he was at home and asked if he wanted pizza tonight. The last time we were in Maine, we purchased two things at the local mill: dutch chocolate powder and Debbie's secret ingredient, yearst. Yearst is, of course, just really really really good yeast. So we made pizza tonite with yearst. And HOLY SHIT what a difference. We had the same recipe as before, which we had hitherto dismissed as a crappy recipe. It turns out the recipe is fine -- it was the yeast that sucked! But now that we have our amazing yearst, we're all set. And this stuff was $2.89 to fill a peanut butter jar with! And it's so good! Our dough not only tasted far superior to the previous batch, but it rose about twice as much! Now, this recipe is good for four pizzas! (Mini -- we make individual pizzas in pie pans.) So tonite, Dan had keilbasa and garlic on his, and i had BBQ tofu, red peppers, garlic, and onion. The sauce also happened to be excellent. What a fabulous meal. The only downfall? It's friggin' HOT out, and i can't stand to eat when it's like this. So i have 6/7 of a pizza left. That's lunch and dinner tomorrow, i guess! I'm just so thrilled that it came out well. Our pizza is far from perfect, but now with super-yearst, we're getting closer. Next to conquer? Ginger snaps. Any good recipes?

Sunday, May 09, 2004

The New Post on the New and Improved Blog

I apologize for the length of time that has gone by, but as I am beginning to notice, time flies faster and faster as I get older. My friend Claudette from Hampshire College currently lives in Somerville, which is about a 15 minute drive away, and I probably see her every two or three months. I blame it partially on the 9-5, which I have realized really doesn’t suit me very well. If I work earlier in the day, like a 7-3, or even earlier, then I have the rest of the day to do something. If I work a 12-8, then I have my mornings to sleep in so I can do something when I get out of work. But if I work 9-5, as I do right now, I don’t get home early enough to do anything with my evening after eating dinner and still manage to get to bed in time. It doesn’t work out very well for me. I know I’d do more with my time off work if I had different hours. Not to mention the fact that I work during business hours and can never make it to the post office, and I work out in the middle of nowhere (for Boston), so I can’t do anything with my lunchbreak.

So I don’t know if you’ve been reading my blog regularly or not (I don’t blame you if you haven’t – I can barely keep up on my blog myself), but I took a much-needed mini-vacation down South myself last weekend. I went to visit my college friend Patty at Duke University in North Carolina, and we drove up for a night and day to see another college friend in Richmond, Virginia. It was so great! It was so lush and green down there with trees and vines growing in every crevice. It was so nice to be lazy for a few days and to visit friends. And nice not to be working!

Yeah, I hate the job again. Sigh. I know there are always ups and downs, but things have been on a steady downward spiral for over a month now. And now they’re working on making everything more beaurocratic and stratified. We'll now be documenting and formalizing everything like a big company because we're trying to meet a certain kind of certification. They’ve made it clear it won't change out accrual of vacation days or our pay. Or health benefits. In the same meeting that he told us that we need to keep better track of our vacation days, because next Christmas we'll be expected to be there between Christmas and New Year’s even though Production gets it off. Also, now I do have levels of people ahead of me instead of feeling like part of a family. Not, perhaps, umpteen level, but they've made it clear that Denisse and I are ENTRY LEVEL, and then there is ASI, production, and management, and administration. And it's all cleared up now. The HR manager really went out of his way to make us understand that we were lowest on the totem pole. It just is feeling less like a small family there and more like a big unfriendly corporation. So I’ll be working at a big company without getting the actual benefits of it (I only have 5 vacation days a year, and I have used 3 of them already. One for NC, and the other for Dan’s grandmother’s funeral. That pissed me off. I shouldn’t have to take a freaking VACATION DAY for a FUNERAL. The worst part of it is really that I stopped looking for a new job about a month ago when I registered for the GRE’s (which I’ll be taking on June 26th) and I was able to feel ok about it because I knew that no matter what, I had Christmas through New Year’s off (like it always used to be), and I still felt like I was an important part of something. But that rug got swept up from under my feet and tossed out the window last week. Ah well. I’ll resume the job search when I finish the GRE’s. I don’t know if I’ll look for another office job or not. I just don’t think they’re for me.

Otherwise, things have been going well. I feel like I’ve been using a lot of my time wisely, and my overall mood has changed tremendously since the springtime has hit in full bloom here, the lilacs are out, grass is growing (in some places) and the trees have leaves on them. It’s beautiful! It’s wonderful to go walking around and see people smiling and things growing. And I repotted a lot of my houseplants, and that was really nice too.