Saturday, December 31, 2005
I came up here a few days ago, here being Maine and the day of travel being Christmas Eve. I've gone from all stages of being thrilled, exhausted, busy, peopled out, content, well-travelled, restless, well-fed, hungry, and well entertained. daN was sick the few days before Christmas, and i was tremendously tired, so we came up twenty-four hours later than we thought we would, arriving an hour late for the festivities of Christmas Eve at me Mum's house. It was a blast. In fact, everything has been a blast. Christmas Eve at Mum's is a wonderful tradition of opening presents slowly and eating and laughing. Christmas day morning we went to visit daN's Mum for a while, then back to my Mum's house for Christmas dinner. THEN, we went to my Dad's for Christmas there, which involved a lot of mulled wine. I might as well include that i have been fighting off what daN had for several days now. It comes and goes. But i have realized definitively that yoga, lymphatic massage, and red wine and/or POM juice in large quantities make me feel like a million bucks again. From Dad's we all went to his girlfriend's to visit over there for a while, had some more wine, and then Dan and i went back to Union. Next day involved a lunch of vegetable soup and cheesebread with daN's Mum, then over to the Watier's where daN's Dad was housesitting for his Christmas/Channukah/Boxing Day/Kwaanza/Monday Night Football party. It was a good time, and i was falling asleep on the floor by the end of it. We spent the night there, which was a bit bizarre since the Watier's were in DC and Maurice was gone for work when we woke up, but we made do and took the dog Windsor for a walk. Eventually, on the day after Christmas, we headed up to see Zak and Mandi in Waterville, where we played games, did yoga, went out to eat, and had good times, and the next day daN and i came to crash here at Bogland.
BOY did we need a homebase by that point! We'd been in Maine for how long without a consistent place to stay? Not to mention that our car was a distaster zone of presents received and to give, as well as our suitcase packed for ten days away from the house.
I am happy to say that everything we got for Christmas was useful and lovely. I was so afraid that this year, for some reason, people wouldn't know what to get me and would get me STUFF that would end up sitting around. But they didn't! I'm so glad! I also think that all the gifts we gave were well-received.
All in all, it's been a good time, and i'm just starting to get to the point where i am needing some time to myself, which is why i'm in the jungle room away from others FINALLY updating my blog. No doubt about it, Christmas is stressful. But it's really my favorite time of year, so i'll have to make sure that i can keep it that way.
Friday, December 23, 2005
The following is an excerpt from an email to the FrisbeeJuggler:
well, things are better than they sound. the fondu dinner WAS amazing! life has been NUTs, and i mean nuts. thank god we got out early today. we were going to go up to maine tonight, but it's just not a good idea. daN is kind of ill, and i am exhausted. i went to bed at 11:45 on wed night, and that's been the earliest all week. the rest has been around 2, getting up at 6. getting ready for christmas. it's been hard, but enjoyable... and hard. but the hard part is only really between 11:30 and 2 when i wish i were sleeping.
in other exciting news, kathy gave me an ipod shuffle for christmas! she didn't go off on the economic deep end -- she aparently won it this summer and has been saving it for me ever since! isn't that so sweet! it's amazing how much better life is with music. particulary work. man, let me tell ya, i LOVE my job now that i have something to listen to all day! i just sit there with my headphones on doing what i always do, and somehow, it makes everything better. who knew that's all it would take?
speaking of the job, things have been going really well, there. i'm apparently scoring a lot of points recently. getting a lot of compliments, and am starting to turn some heads. someone even told me they wished i were the admin for business development rather than the admin for some segments within. it came from fairly high up, so i was flattered. otherwise, the days have been going by, i tell them what time i take off, and it's no big deal. i'm more involved than i used to be, which is also good, including some product design meetings, which is always fun.
i made family traditional holiday candies all weekend -- including but not limited to chocolate dipped peanut butter creams, needhams, and cream cheese mints in lemon, almond, coconut, and peppermint. we spent a total of $75 on raw goods, not including what we already had, and i put a total of 19 hours into it, not counting the help i had from daN and the bogs with cutting the candy and rolling them out. we calculated that if we were going to sell these, to break even, we would have to charge about $10/lb, however, typical mark-up is around 50%-100% to make a profit. To break things down even further, it cost about $0.43 per candy to make, once again making each piece worth near $1 on the market. Fun to think about, especially when i think about how much work went into them. it's all worth it though. the best part is the look on people's faces when they try them and can't believe that _i_ made that. yeah, that was me :)
Monday, December 19, 2005
We went for the Indulgence for Two, $88 for your choice of any cheese fondues, followed by your choice of entrée fondue, followed by your choice of chocolate dessert fondue. My LORD was it delicious. First of all, it’s the kind of place you walk by if you aren’t looking for it (we almost did, and we WERE looking for it). You descend a small, carefully crafted set of stairs, whose side rails mimic long leaves with flowers blossoming out of the creases, and looking around, the lighting fixtures all match. It’s small (seats only 36) and cozy and feels like Europe. They take your coat for you, which I find rare in restaurants these days. So, the atmosphere was perfectly romantic.
Second, the food was to die for. For the cheese course, we got the traditional gruyere and emmenthaller (sp?) with a white wine base. It came with bread and spiced potatoes for dipping, and I could have eaten just that. They were incredibly accommodating for the entrée, which is a broth that comes with raw meats that you cook in the broth. daN didn’t realize how adventurous he was being in agreeing to a fondue dinner, but he really enjoyed it. They brought me a half portion of vegetable-based broth that was still deliciously seasoned with basil, cilantro, lime, etc, with veggies for dipping, and they brought another half portion of an artichoke cheese fondue with more potatoes so my entrée would be more filling, all at their suggestion, no extra cost. WOW. I’m not used to that level of service. Dessert was a chocolate coconut fondue that came with grapes, honeydew melon, bananas, and cookies. My god.
It was all beyond fabulous, and we were there for a good three hours. No one was rushed at all. It was so nice not to be rushed out of a restaurant. All in all, it was a great place to go for our sixth anniversary.
Friday, December 09, 2005
Today when i got home from work and checked my email, i found an acceptance letter from Kripalu! YAY!!! i'm registered for the 3x9 format -- 9 days at the beginning of Feb, 9 in the middle of March, and 9 at the end of April. Woohoo! That was good news to end a good but hard week. After not having heat and then having a breakdown in the middle of the week because of having too much on my plate (mostlyl good things, but i overstuffed myself), i was fabulously excited to get that email. I'd say something like, "now i know i'm getting somewhere." But that would be inaccurate -- with this, i've known from the get-go that i'm getting somewhere. It's so nice that the universe is helping me along.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The following is an email that i wrote on Monday morning. It pretty much sums things up. The one thing i left out that is absolutely thrilling is that on Saturday, daN and i got a Christmas tree! I love it! It's probably at least seven and a half feet tall and 5 feet wide, and it's beautiful and makes me smile every time i look at it. It didn't start getting decorated until last night, though, because it was very cold ...
"I thought mercury retrograde was going alright for me. There have been plenty of challenges, one of them being that things are cooking up and getting harder at work, but other doors are opening for me, and I am certainly doing well on the yoga application process. I wrote it up last night, including four single-spaced pages in size 11 times new roman answering the questions “Provide a full description of your daily asana,” “what does yoga mean to you? how has it changed over the course of your involvement,” “why do you want to become a certified teacher at this point in your life?” and “why do you want to become specifically Kripalu yoga certified? What are your favorite things about Kripalu yoga?” I actually had a great time just sitting there on the futon with my laptop under a blanket typing away, really pondering these questions and taking time to answer them. I am happy with it.
However, other challenges presented that could have knocked me off my track: we lost out heat sometime very early on Sunday morning. OY. Yes, we woke up, thought it was quite cold, turned on the heat as usual, and…. Nothing happened. Nothing continued to happen for about an hour. We called the landlords, and they weren’t home. We called NStar, who we THOUGHT provided out heat… and they don’t. We knew that we had to wait for the landlords to get home for some answers, so we entertained ourselves. Fortunately, we still had hot water, because that’s run off gas provided by Nstar – who also provides our electricity, so we could still take a rather long hot shower to warm up. Then, I went to the GAP with Q, where I had a 30% off the entire purchase coupon. I paid for Q’s so she could get the discount, too. I put $117 on my card (including Q’s) out of which I bought a new skirt, two turtleneck sweaters, and a pair of jeans, and she got two lambswool sweaters, a pair of dress pants, and a sweater for her brother. None too shabby! I was happy. I’m wearing the new knee-length a-line brown cordouroy skirt and the white turtleneck sweater today with some knee-high brown boots, and I look fabulous!
After the GAP, I went home, picked up daN and met aria, and the three of us went out for Sushi, though daN did not have sushi and pretended not to be there (he just wanted to read somewhere warm, so he came along), and Ar and I had a great time catching up. Eventually, it was time to go home. We stayed there for a good long time, though, and it was so relaxing and a great restaurant. The landlord got home the same time we did, and she informed us that we are in fact on oil heat, so it looks like daN and I are going to have to cough up the money to fill the tank that heats just our apartment. OY. That’s gonna hurt. Well, that’s what the LLBean credit card is for. Low interest rate, and we earn Bean dollars. Could be worse just before Christmas. So anyway, daN went to go catch a movie, while I sat in the living room with the sliding doors closed and two spaces heaters – one that the landlord brought down, and one that Q brought over. It’s so nice to have people around who care about us! I toastilly worked on my yoga application until daN got home, and had some pineapple and tea for dinner around 10:30.
All in all, it could have been worse. I am not looking forward to the heating bill… but I guess that’s part of growing up. It’s just tough that we didn’t expect it, and daN and I are not altogether sure that the landlord told us about that."
Saturday, December 03, 2005
This month officially marks year #2 of me having a blog. To commemorate this momentous occasion, i would like to take a quick comparison of where i was then to where i was now, and to do so, i'll answer these questions:
1. Career Plans
Dec 2003: I was gearing up to take the GRE's for grad school application the following year, still hoping to become an English Professor
Dec 2005: I am working on my Kripalu Center application this weekend to become a yoga teacher. I'm much more dedicated and driven for this one. It makes me happy and healthy :)
2. Current job:
Dec 2003: I had been at Global Protection for all of 2 and a half months, and still wasn't even on Customer Account management, inventory management, or product development yet. I was still doing the books, making $12/hr... half benefits, 5 vacation days a year, still no health insurance yet, nor dental, so i didn't know i had 15 cavities growing in my mouth. The job sucked the life out of me.
Dec 2005: Working for FMC, a leading "solutions provider" for lenders in the student loan market. Job title: Administrative Assistant doing things like reporting, liaison for the department to the rest of the company, and oddly enough, product development again. Salaried at $38K with FULL benefits and 15 vacation days a year, as well as a boss who is going to let me take the time off for yoga training. Great health insurance, including amazing chiropractic coverage. And i've got most of my cavities taken care of. Do i like the job? Not particularly. But the people are good people, and i have energy to pursue important things in my life when i get home from work.
3. Living situation
Dec 2003: The "student ghetto" in Allston, MA between Boston College and Boston University -- dirty, loud, and out of the way -- four people in a three bedroom apartment that was falling apart, but it was still lovely and a great starting point.
Dec 2005: About a mile east of Davis Square in a great neighborhood with families who have dogs and grandparents and babies in the first floor of a Victorian house. There are two of us now in a 1 bedroom, and it's tons of space -- sunny, hard to heat, but altogether wonderful.
4. Plans for New Year's
Dec 2003: went down to Florida to visit a college friend who also bought me a ticket to see the Phish New Year's show in Miami if i bought my plane ticket. Woo!
Dec 2005: Finally getting to enjoy a quiet New Year in Maine again. I'm so looking forward to looking at the snow across the trees and fields, the quiet sluggishness of the cold ocean, and the northern light filtering in from the side of the sky, coating the world in subtleness.
5. Ability to do Christmas presents
Dec 2003: i got people small presents and some knitting IOU requests
Dec 2005: haven't started actually shopping yet, but for the first time since i started paying rent, i actually have money saved up for it.
6. Car situation
Dec 2003: 1992 Subaru legacy that hadn't hit the point where it was about to fall apart yet. The parking situation in Allston was terrible, so i didn't drive it much, but i had one, and it was useful for getting out.
Dec 2005: 2005 Scion XB -- brand new -- running terrifically, impossibly large. The parking situation is excellent. It's still street parking, but due to the fact that it's not a congested living area, we almost always get to park directly in front of our house and have a shorter walk from car-to-door than our landlords who park in the driveway do.
7. Relationship status:
Dec 2003: Happy and in love with daN
Dec 2005: Happier and even more in love with daN
Dec 2003: My hair was still mostly curly, and slightly below shoulder length. I had been getting the occasional gray hair, but it always fell out immediately.
Dec 2005: My hair is pretty much straight, and pretty much shoulder length after having had a few chin-length haircuts. Am i growing it out or getting it cut again? Getting gray hairs that stay there...
Dec 2003: In addition to being vegetarian, i ate mostly beans and rice, some salad, still ate a decent amount of bagels and pasta and a lot of chocolate and desserts
Dec 2005: i have full embraced being a hippy health nut. I still eat a lot of beans and rice, but i'm getting more into goat cheezes than ever. I also don't eat wheat and sugar if i can avoid them, and if it's a must, i do halvesies on the sugar combined with honey. I also buy organic evaporated cane juice instead of normal processed sugar. Buckwheat noodles and rice make up most of my carb intake. I make my own wheat-free sugar-free granlola, and I'm really on the look-out for wheat-free bagels...
Dec 2003: had too many shoes, and most of them came from Payless and weren't comfortble and were falling apart. Sneakers: a pair of well-worn gray camouflage Sauconies
Dec 2005: OK, so i still have too many shoes, but they're not falling apart anymore, and i have stuck to a "if it's not comfy, don't buy it" policy... and because of that i have two pairs of shoes that cost more than $100 each. They're so worth and i wear them every day. Sneakers: A pair of forest green Sauconies with a magenta stripe -- after having had a pair of well-worn blue with pink stripe Sauconies in the middle. I like Sauconies.
Dec 2003: I still tried to run sometimes despite my knees, but i had a mile walk to and from South Station to Global Protection every day along the Big Dig.
Dec 2005: I gave up on trying to run. I still have a mile walk every day, but this time it's between my house and Davis Square, and it's a much nicer walk. I also do yoga for an average of an hour every day.
12: Dog ownership
Dec 2003: Didn't have one, but was hoping to someday.
Dec 2005: I still don't have one, and i'm still hoping to someday. At least i get to play with Q's dog now, though.
Where were you two years ago and where are you now? Here's the list i used, but feel free to modify it.
1. Career Plans
2. Current job
3. Living situation
4. Plans for New Year's
5. Ability to do Christmas presents
6. Car situation
7. Relationship status
12: Dog ownership
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
That just says why i'm updating my blog in the middle of a workday. No, i don't have today off -- i took it off because i should have stayed home yesterday. However, i opted to go into work even though i was sick because of this reason: there was far too much to do before the end of a short week for me to enjoy a sick day. I would have been stressed out, so i decided to go in yesterday, take care of the things i knew NEEDED to be done, and then if the rest didn't happen, that's ok. I told my boss that in the morning, and he was cool with it. Thank goodness. I'm feeling a bit better now, since sleeping two hours later than usual and getting to bum around in pj's and drink tea and hot water intravenously is a lot more conducive to getting better than having to get dressed, commute the hour in, and try to engage your brain all day in an office that smells like mildew (which i'm allergic to, by the way). I think this was a good decision. daN still has to work this afternoon at his afterschool program, which i'm grateful for, honestly. I needed some time to rest in the quiet for a while before hopping in a car and driving up to Maine tonight.
Good things have happened lately -- on Monday, i finally talked with my boss about my ideas for yoga. I was nervous about it, thinking that he wouldn't take it very well, but he has. In fact, he was all smiles about it and was terribly thrilled that i'm going to be able to get paid for something i just obviously love doing. He was honestly happy for me, and told me he'll work with HR to make sure i can get the time off i need to take the teacher training. I decided i don't want to do the monthlong intensive -- that would really be too much for me. So i'm going to do a week (well, 9 days) in Feb, one in March, and one in April -- that's the plan. As far as what happens after that... well, that's still up in the air. I told my boss that i want to cut down to part time in order to facilate teaching classes, and he said he'll look into whether it's possible. (It might not be because everyone in my department is full time, and even if you're only part time, it still counts as a full person, and you're essentially down by half a person with no way to make up for it). All in all, it was a great conversation. He was very happy to have all this advance notice, and he said with a big smile on his face, "Well, certainly everyone in GATE has enjoyed having you here and love working with you, and I'll do whatever I can to keep you here and make you happy." Considering that compliments are not generally on his radar, that was extremely nice to hear. And i just love that from every direction, i'm getting support to help me on the way to a future in yoga :)
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Somehow around this time of year, things really pick up, and i always end up hitting a burning out point and then having a breakdown. That's not to say i haven't been having a great time. It just means that i didn't get to take any breaks between the good times. Let's go back in time, starting from after the weekend, which we all know was event-packed:
MON: first chiropractor appointment ever! It's amazing! I think it will change my life. Then to yoga at the gym downstairs from work. Then to Beer Tasting at the Boston Beer Works with Ana. It was SUCH a cool event, and i definitely want to go back sometime. I even liked their flavored beer, which is saying something -- i'm really picky.
TUES: daN and i went out to dinner with the history teacher for whom he did a long term subbing gig for the month of October. She's just back from Japan on a Fullbright and wanted to go out to dinner. Fun lady!
WED: worked until 7pm after having gotten there at 8am. Lots going on at work -- client feedback interviews (formal non-surveys, if you will) going on simultaneously as extensive training for a new database, for which, by the way, i am going to be one of the three system administrators company-wide. Got home and Razz and Q came over to hang out. I tried my hand at blowing out her hair. Let's just say i'm no pro at this, but apparently, it still worked out alright :)
THURS: YOGA! thank god! i really needed it! i even got there a bit early, and so did my instructor. We got to take a walk together before class started. We'd both been inside all day, and it was really nice just to get to talk with her outside of yoga. There was also and Alexander technique instructor there to help our muscles relaxes into the poses, and let me just tell you, she has the touch of an experienced massage therapist. It was SO relaxing.
FRI: came home, chilled out for a bit after work. Made granola and did yoga, which really cracked Q up when she called to confirm our plans for later. I'm so crunchy :) THEN, i met Q and a couple of her coworkers at TT the Bear's in Central Square so see a live Spanish rock band play Spanish 80's favorites (and some original, i gather), and then do some Spanish dancing.
The biggest difference between dancing at a regular club in the states and dancing at this kind of event is this: the respect the men have for women's boundaries. This was the first time i'd ever actually danced with guys at a club -- i only ever dance with women because they don't go past your boundaries, whereas the men at American clubs are usually there for something else, because American men tend not to dance. Well, Spanish men dance for dancing's sake, so i danced with them. It was a blast! I spun around, people dipped me, and guess what! Everyone assumed i was Italien! HA! They couldn't BELIEVE i was American. Among the other compliments i got that night were, "you drive men CRAZY. Your nose is so prominent." So yes, it was a fun night.
The rest of this weekend has been much more relaxed, albeit busy. daN and i only got 5 hours of sleep on Friday night (we got to bed at 3) and had to get up at 8 to bring our Scion xB in for one of its three free oil changes. While we were in the old Allston neighorhood, we strolled through Brookline to the bank so daN could deposit a few weeks' worth of checks and we stopped by the Super 88 so i could grab some more China Fujian Oolong tea as well as wicked cheap yet excellent dark sesame oil. After falling asleep on the futon together after lunch, we hopped into the newly serviced Flying Shoebox to Stoughton, MA through the inexplicable traffic to journey to the new IKEA. Whew! What an experience THAT was. I think we'll wait for the hype to die down a bit before we go again, since simply parking took nearly as long as we were actually in the store. But i'm glad we went -- we got lingonberries (!!!), some Swedish milk chocolate hazelnut bars, some sparkling pear beverage, and some spice jars. Now that we're home, i can think of several things it would have been useful to grab, but that's for a later time. It's definitely an overwhelming place to go on the first visit, but it was fun.
THEN we got home, and i crashed. I mean, really crashed. I was tired, i was overwhelmed from how busy i've been, and i just started crying in the car when daN and i were trying to figure out what to do for dinner. We opted to come home, eat cereal, and watch Fever Pitch, but not after i took a walk to clear my head. All in all, it's all been great... i think i just need to slow down for a bit. I've lived the high life recently, and it's been a blast. Time to settle a bit again before the holidays hit :) I can't wait till Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 14, 2005
I wrote this to a friend a few minutes ago: "last night i took a meditation workshop where i addressed the same thing. i started meditating when i was at syracuse, and i stopped because i couldn't live with trying to pretend that i always felt like a seemless point of light in the universe separate from my feelings. i was too achievement-oriented." it was keeping me from actually being able to see clearly." last night i learned that it's ok to be ok with things. that that is the only thing." i can't tell you how liberating it was to be ok with being tired. to be ok with having an achy hip from driving all day. to be ok with my mind drifting. to not judge myself. to see the way i think. to see the way i think. when i started the workshop with my yoga mentor's mentor (who happens to be from Paris, by the way) (i happen to be half french, speak french, love france, and feel very connected to my french roots, by the way), she asked us why we were there. I said, "integrity to myself. i have said for too long that i was going to find a way to get back into meditation, and i haven't. coming to this workshop was making that commitment. i am going to study to become a yoga instructor this coming summer, but i had to face my commitment to meditation first." needless to say, it was an incredible workshop, and i highly recommend anything you can ever take or read by Danielle Levi-Alvarez.
Things fall into place. Recently, (since August) i have seen several of my favorite bands: Ben Folds, Cake (2nd time) The Presidents of the United States of America, Foo Fighters, Weezer, and on Friday night in NH, Guster. Let me tell you, the venue sucked, the sound equipment was terrible, but it didn't matter, and no one noticed. The croud was filled with people i didn't necessarily imagine myself wanting to be around, but everyone there knew all the words to all the songs, sang along, and were happy, and you could tell the band was happy, too. They were having a great time up there playing and singing, beating the shit out of the drums, putting on a great show to people who loved it. The energy exchange was amazing. Guster is truly for lovers.
We crashed in Portland with daN's brother Pat, slept well, woke up confused, and continued up the coast to the Union/Camden area where we attended and contributed to the baby shower for daN's eldest brother and sister-in-law, who are very excited about their forthcoming firstborn. It was a good time. It looked nicer outside, and it was awkward, but we still made a good time out of it playing word games and talking to people when we weren't "supposed to." We had dinner at his Mum's house -- deliciously rounded with the best eggplant parm i've ever tasted and a HUGE salad with shiitake sesame dressing, and went to play Karaoke Revolution and sing the night away with his mum and her beau at daN's other elder brother and sister-in-law's place. We then took a walk to enjoy the crisp stars of the night, slept, ate oatmeal, and parted for my Mum's for a morning visit before leaving for Mass, not before visiting his crazy aunt and uncle on the way out and seeing the filming progress at a friend's filmsite on aunt and uncle's property.
WHAT a stellar weekend. I love Maine. And all punctuated by an eye-opening workshop with a wonderful meditation teacher.
...was a good day. Work was nuts -- i couldn't believe it when i looked at the clock and realized i had to leave in 40 minutes with still so much to do. However, i got the completely necessary stuff done, and left on time for my first chiropractic appointment ever! What a great time! Something about this place felt right when i picked it out and scheduled the appointment, and my feelings were confirmed when i walked through the door. Of course, it helped that there was a lovable old dalmation wandering around. The chiropractor himself (Dr. Melman, aka Jonathan) is fantastic. He could tell exactly what's been bothering me and why. Go figure that the side of the body with all the pain is the side that is all cramped up. Go figure that my right knee had been bothering me all day and didn't when i left -- it turns out my body was so cramped on my righthand side that my right leg was actually shorter than my left. Dang! When i left, they were the same length! Coincidence? I think not. I look forward to working with this guy. I think it's the beginning of a healthy thing for me.
then! Beertasting at Boston Beerworks with the brewmaster. I would like to say i learned a lot, but i didn't retain much of it. I had a great time, and confirmed my suspicion that i don't like hoppy beers. Most importantly though, i had a great time talking with a friend, and that was worth everything.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Not of the Saturday Night Live variety, but i was happy that last weekend involved me and daN curled up on the couch watching SNL Commercials :) YAY! This weekend, however, daN and i are heading North -- tomorrow night we see GUSTER LIVE at the Hampton Beach Casino in NH. WOOO! i've been wanting to see these guys for so long -- i've been fortunate in seeing bands lately that i've been wanting to see for a long time recently, haven't i? Anyhow, i'm REALLY looking forward to it.
Then, we keep going north. Yes, north -- not south to Boston. We'll be crashing at one of daN's brothers in Portland, and heading north again on Sat morning so we can go to his sister-in-law's baby shower! WOOOoo... ...er, what do people DO at baby showers anyway? I'll let you know. This and more next time on the Spokeschicken H.Q. I'm really looking forward to the weekend.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Please enjoy my favorite New York Times articles of the day. Yes, they were worth the time it took to do all this cutting and pasting.
When Cleaner Air is a Biblical Obligation
By MICHAEL JANOFSKY With increasing vigor, evangelical groups are campaigning for laws that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
A new study proves that mandatory controls on global warming gases will not bring economic ruin and that a nationwide program is long overdue.
Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies
By STEVE LOHR
Published: November 6, 2005
Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, often intimidates its competitors and suppliers. Makers of goods from diapers to DVD's must cater to its whims. But there is one company that even Wal-Mart eyes warily these days: Google, a seven-year-old business in a seemingly distant industry.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
I feel so fortunate to finally live in an area of Boston in which one can appropriately appreciate the joys of autumn. The park is lovely, of course, but most people here don't see it in their daily lives. I, however, am lucky enough to walk down a tree-lined bike path every morning on my way to work. I know i have remarked on the luxury before, detailing the happy dogs and dog owners playing with one another, the parents walking their babies. It is a beautiful place to enjoy the lush green leaves of the summer, and now the bright but soft yellow of autumn. The rich combination of browns, reds, yellows, and greens greets me with a wide mouth to a narrowing path that envelopes me with a canopy of shelter from the rain and bright sun. I love trees.
It always makes me nostalgic for the woods of Maine in autumn. But at least i live near something that can make me nostalgic.
Fortunately, we also live within a 13 minute drive of the Middlesex Fellsway, a 2000+ acre nature preserve/park where doggies and their owners go to play. There is a big gorgeous green clearing where most of them hang out. But off the beaten path are mountain bike trails that would make you swear you were in the middle of nowhere, were it not for the occasional sound of 93. For the most part, you simply hear the breeze rustle through the trees, the Canadian geese flying or resting overhead, the chipmunks and squirrels dashing from limb to limb, and a distant duck washing in the reservoir. As daN and i walked with our hands in our pockets (would have been hand it hand were it not for the welcome briskness in the air, even on a warm day like yesterday), the sun filtered through the leaves, flickering in patterns familiar but undiscernable and echanting dances, ancient and precious.
As the paths junctured and diverged, we even got a little lost, wandering amidst hills, rocky streams, the most amazing smell of combination forest -- the clearing, full smell of conifers with the organic smell of passing decidicous trees. I hiked up and down, across, through winding paths along which we encountered wonders all the way.
We were gone about two hours, just before the sun threatened to dip below the horizon and lick the dew of evening. My legs were a little sore, but my feet were not, since they got the rare chance to walk on actual earth, where different parts of the sole were challenged at every step. My feet needed it, and my soul did too.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I'm not the biggest Halloween person, but this was a good one. It's hard, of course, to top several years of Hampshire Halloween, a huge party that people at many colleges have heard of that involves live bands, a bouncy castle, and breakfast (including tater tots!) served at 2 in the morning by the dean of student affairs. However, this year was honestly cute and wholesome, a Halloween experience i haven't had for.... well, ahem, a while.
Since this is our first first-floor apartment, daN and i really got to give candy to trick-o-treaters this year! I was afraid i would miss them, but i think we were here for the bulk of them! We saw a lot of withes and angels, and there were a pair of ninja turtles as well, which was up until that point, my favorite part. Me mum called me, and i was walking around in the living room, when, to my surprise, there were two 2 1/2 foot vampires gazing into the window at me expectantly from our front porch where had hitherto been just a banister to view. AHHH! They honestly scared me! They didn't ring the doorbell because they were too short, so they were just staring in the window at me with these child-like, polite but expectant looks on their faces! I told them too! They were scarey. Their parents did a sincerely good job, make-up and all. And that's what it's all about, folks -- when people slightly less than half my height get the scare the dickens out of me and don't even really know they're doing it. It made my night.
Of course, friends coming over was good too, for which Halloween was a good excuse. But my favorite part was being surprised by two small vampires where i usually see a reliable banister.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Have a Good Weekend?
as much as i loved today's 60 degree weather, i was THRILLED that it snowed yesterday. snow just has a way of making me feel at peace. and fitting that it snowed, since daN and i drove up to nashua (it's only a 45 minute drive from here) to find me a winter coat. i did something dangerous -- i got a white coat. i know, i know. bad idea. but the thing is, i just don't want a dark winter coat. i can't tell you why not, since they make so much more sense. but i just don't like wearing them. i like dark coats on other people, but not on me. they had a grey, but it was still too dark. alas. but i don't regret it at all -- it's a beautiful coat :)
speaking of colder weather, daN and i had a stressful night putting plastic up over the windows. it helps insulate so well, and the windows here are the original windows, including the glass, from when it was built in the victorian era, so needless to say, the heat exchange rate is outrageous. i'm glad we got it done, and it is already so worth it (it's warmer in here already), but it was hard getting them put on the windows and moving things around to do so, yada yada yada. i'm tired and trying to veg out, but it was totally worth it.
i'm also upset that i'm missing desperate housewives. i mean, YES they're going to have it on after the pats-bills game and everything, but SERIOUSly. i'll be in bed by then.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
you might be getting the impression that all i do is work and yoga. that's so not true! ... not really... i do other things... OK, so that's a really big part of where all my time goes, and i'm happy about that, dammit! no one can take that away from me! except for the work part. i don't need to be spending that much time working. let's face it: 40 hours a week is just too much, especially when you consider that you're actually there for much more than 40 hours a week after lunchbreak. but who's counting? certainly not me... nope, not counting the hours at all...
what else have i been up to? well, this weekend i was extremely creative. it kicked off with seeing "wallace and grommit," (or as i once said, "grimace and wallet") with daN, razz, aria, Q, and ana. it was a wondering night. we ate too many amazing chocolate truffles at aria's before going, so that was fun :) saturday was great -- after i cleverly called tech-support and got our wireless router working again (go me! raise da roof!), daN took me out to lunch at this place i've been wanting to try near davis square called o'natural's, which actually started in maine, and it's incredible. we continued our merry walk to porter square books, where he read terry pratchett's "where's my cow" to me, which is an extremely sweet children's book featuring sam vimes interacting adorably with his child. we hung out there for a while just looking at fun books before progressing to the star market next door so we could pick up supplies for cooking.
YAY cooking! within the next couple hours after walking home, i had produced a lemon apple tart, chilli of the vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties (ok, so we split the chilli in half once the major ingredients had been issued, and daN put beef in his at that point), and some boston brown bread -- with and without raisins. it was a good night. then, we watched "constantine" starring keanu reaves and that really good chick actress from "runaway jury." as with most catholic end-times inspired gheist/demon films, it was much better than it needed to be. i expected fluff, and it turned out to be a decent movie. i wouldn't necessarily say someone should go out and rent it, but if you're feeling like it, it was a well-done flick.
what else? well, of course, i've been doing a lot of yoga. i think i will take my membership back at the fitcorp gym as i am really liking the yoga instructor for monday nights there as well. that's good to have too.
well, i guess that's a good closing point. this is discombobulated, i can tell. ah well. things are busy. what can ya do?
Monday, October 24, 2005
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Please review new corporate policy & procedures:
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you aredoing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you buy nicer clothes, and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore do not need a raise.
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead relatives, friends or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offender" category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company's mental health policy.
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.
Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Well, last night i decided that i wouldn't bother going to the forest yoga class at Back Bay Yoga studio. Instead, i'd just go for the 15-Minute Abs class at the gym downstairs from where i work. I have a membership there that expires at the end of this month. OK, so i cancelled it because of taking more yoga classes. But i'm thinking about renewing it because ...
... i accidentally went to the yoga class immediately following the 15-minute abs class. I really liked the instructor, the students didn't get on my nerves at all, and i found it a good pace. It would technically be cheaper for me to keep the membership there and have me keep going to my same yoga instructor, thereby getting in a minimum of two yoga classes that i like per week for $91/month rather than "unlimited" that are in conconvenient locations that i'm not sure i like for $150 per month.
Things to think about. So yes, i still went to yoga yesterday, just a different kind and completely on accident.
Sunday, October 16, 2005
In my group at work, we have a weekly staff meeting where we give our updates to each other in the form of a 3x3 in order to sponsor discussion and keep up on one another at the same time. It's the 3 major accomplishments of the last week followed by the 3 major priorities of the upcoming week. I like the approach (and the name, admittedly) so much that i decided to use it in my update tonight for my personal life.
Lindsay B. LeClair
- Drove to Maine and back in 18 hours to celebrate my Dad's birthday and hang out with Zak and Mandi. Killed two birds with one stone_ Happy Birthday to Dad with a ticket to Zak's performance in "Into the Woods" at the Waterville Opera House that we happen to be going to tonight!
- Drove to Bridgeport, CT and back with Q to see Weezer and the FOO FIGHTERS (!!!) with opening band Hot Hot Heat (who have a really cool logo, by the way)
- Co-hosted Bogland Boston (via Somerville) as Kate and Allin, Lyrica, and Matt all happened to be around here around the same time
- Finally got my nose repierced! Lyrica and Q were with me as i suffered the aftershock of my body getting used to having a metal foreign object lodged in it again for the first time in about a year (had to take the ring out for the surgery).
- Make it to Forest Yoga with a different instructor than last time at the Back Bay Yoga Studio before my 2 week unlimited welcome pass runs out
- See if i can check out the Vinyasa flow yoga class in the O2 Yoga Studio up the street from my house sometime this week
As happens quite frequently, i have the right number of dashes on there even if they're not distibutedly in their places properly. OH WELL. I'll keep you posted.
Also, new feature on the blog -- a link to my latest update of Cheap Vegetarian's Guide to survival. I'm pushing myself to update it as much as i'm encouraging people to look :)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I added things! Check out the new "Featured Articles" section where i provide links to articles that i find poignant, amusing, just plain cool, or a combination of the three. I also ripped off Sabrefencer's "Current Addictions" idea, but i didn't call it that. Hope you like it. If you don't, to hell with you.
or, I Can Stay Out Just as Late and Rock Out Just as Hard as I Did in High School
The following is an email to my boss to tell him about the concert since he was out on business when i got to the office yesterday afternoon:
"Now, I’ve always loved both bands, but there’s no contest when it comes to which band is stronger and has a better set of performers. WOW. The Foo Fighters were INCREDIBLE. David Grohl is a Rock God. He played the audience like he played his guitar. When he got quiet and acoustic, it was a rare treat, and the audience hushed and paid intense attention. When he rocked out, everyone rocked out. They also switched it up a bit by having David Grohl play the drums for a song, and the drummer played lead. When I went into it, I was hoping they’d do more acoustic than they did, but it ended up being the rockin’-est concert I’ve ever been to. Additionally, the Foo Fighters were so nice.
The drive home wasn’t painful at all. I was surprised. It’s a testament to my night-personhood. I got home at 3am fully charged, and I probably could have stayed awake for another hour."
I arrived at work around 1:20pm, and the GATE team was looking up at me with smiles on their faces, I think wanting to hear all about it, looking expectantly at me. I said, “what –- do I have afterglow or something?” I told them all about it. I told them the only crappy thing was our uncomfortable proximity to “huggy drunk guy” and the security guard’s micromanaging preventing us from getting closer but obviously not protecting anyone from the violent pit or “huggy drunk guy” from himself and others. Yeah. Whew! I’m still pumped. I actually have had hard time not crying when I talk about how incredible it was. This morning while I was getting ready, I listened to the acoustic album and was almost in tears. It was really incredible. Then, when i told daN about it last night, i actually did break out into tears. They were just that good. I had a blast.
For more of a play-by-play read about the concert, check out Q's posting -- no, seriously, read it. Not only is she an excellent writer, but she was there with me.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Well, while my own life sails along in its direction, the world gets more and more surreal as i learned of some more sad news: a college professor with whom i worked fairly closely was diagnosed with lymphomic leukemia, and one of my dad's best friends was diagnosed with throat and tongue cancer. Seriously. I'm incredulous at this point. How did i end up so lucky, and what's going on in the world right now?
Monday, October 03, 2005
I have recently put a stint of work into The Cheap Vegetarian's Guide to Survival in the hopes of eventual completion. Please check it out, and provide comments that are not akin to the ones presently there (soliciters, mind you. Grr. Anyone know how to prevent THEM from commenting?)
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
From New Hampshire to North Carolina, up to Richmond, Virginia, and back to Boston, i've been all over recently. Last weekend, daN and i went up to surprise Stef (per Mark's plans) for her birthday. We had a real blast, played minigolf, laughed and talked, and went dancing. It wet my pallet for nightlife, which was terribly convenient, because i got some more doses of that in the South this weekend when i visited Patty in NC.
Friday morning i had my own hijinx related to thinking my plane left at 8:30 a.m. when it really left at 8... and i figured that out around 7:13... thank god for cabs. The cabbie was listening to the French International Radio! I just made it. Then, the flight was delayed for take-off. So i was lucky to make my connecting flight in Atlanta, where i had 20 minutes to deboard the plane, make it to another concourse, and catch my flight. I made it! And then, it was delayed ever so slightly. Yeah. Noticing a pattern? Don't ever fly AirTran. I mean it. Find something else. Pay the extra 20 bucks to have a better shot on being on a plane that leaves on time.
I made it to North Carolina! Seeing Patty is always fabulous. What can i say? We used to live together, so visiting is harmonious. We can tell when the other needs time to herself. It wasn't a big deal for me to do yoga for half an hour while she checked her email. She's good stuff. Friday afternoon, we attended a lecture/viewing of Tom Waugh, who has the world's largest collection of early twentieth century stag films, and his lecture was on "toilet sex" in Canada from the 1950's on. It was really interesting, made especially interesting by the subject matter and video. It was a good way to spend a couple hours. We were going to go to a Pride event that night, but it looked REALLY lame. And for 15 bucks? No thanks. We sat and got a drink, and eventually went home and talked in bed until 2 or 3. Saturday, we got gourmet popsicles! It was so amazing! I got a mango chilli pop, and it was so tasty! The aftertaste was where the spice really came out, but the mango was stong and smooth from the get-go.
Saturday afternoon, we hopped in the car with my wheat-free stuff, our pears (that i kept calling peaches for some reason) and grapes, and music, and Mitch Hedberg (hillarious dead comedian), and headed north to Richmond, VA where we visited Kat for the night! It was too short, and the visit was marred only by having to deal with one of Kat's mean "friends." But we got drunk and were able to avoid the issue, and we all went to a gay bar in downtown and danced and drank the night away. And you can get Long Island Iced Teas in bars there! I love those things! We made it home alright, slept, and left in the morning. Sunday was a day of rest. We chilled, went out for dinner, and eventually watched the season premiere of "Desperate Housewives" (I LOVE THAT SHOW!) and the first episode of "Sex in the City" which she was going to be teaching on in the morning. Bedtime happened eventually too, but only after me having laughed hysterically at his book called "Bad Cats." Getting to sleep was a challenge, because i was so energized. I am a night person as it is, so it was REALLY easy to stay up late and sleep late. Let me tell you -- waking up this morning was a hideous experience. Especially after having arrived an hour and a half late on the damned flight. Like i said. Don't fly AirTran.
I might not be able to blame it all on AirTran though -- lots of weird things have been happening around me lately regarding the sturdiness of things... or something. Patty and i missed the exit off the highway to see Kat on Saturday. Going back to Durham, we missed the exit off the highway that she takes ALL the time. Every one of my flights this weekend was delayed. Then today, i found out that one of my friends ex-girlfriends (a fellow Hampshire peep. I liked her a lot, too, we just never really hung out apart from the context of her being a friend's girlfriend) died in a car accident last night in Oregon. :( Ten minutes after finding that out, i got the news that the CEO of the company i work for resigned this afternoon. So i left work eventually, and went to Barnes and Noble to get the latest Weezer album. While i was there, i saw someone i used to work at the Hampshire College Bookstore with! What the hell! THEN, tonight while daN and i were at Anna's Taqueria eating our burritos, i looked out the window and saw a guy i hooked up with at a house party at Syracuse University almost seven years ago! WHAT THE HELL?
Everything just feels so transient right now. It put me in a strange mood where i looked around the room in case there was someone ELSE i knew at one point. Odd night. It's good to be home, but somehow, i feel like everything is telling me that it's a good time to move onto a next step right now.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
This morning i had an interview at Elderhostel for a copyeditor/archivist position. It looks really cool. It's a wonderful non-profit that organizes educational travel across the world for people aged 55 and older. It's got a sister organization, Road Scholar, whose target audience is mid-thirties. The thing i liked best about it was the look of the people, the place, and the things there. Its location is fantastic -- it's at that neat nexus of Downtown Crossing, Chinatown, and the cheaper business district by South Station where a lot of non-profits are located. The people i interviewed with i like a LOT. They're very down to earth, they believe in what they're doing. How refreshing! I was assured that there is a flexible schedule so i can still pursue yoga. I was also told that the job was between myself and four other people out of an applicant pool of over 100 people. That made me feel great! I also felt great that the two or three other people they've already interviewed didn't do so well on the copyediting test we are all getting. I hope i did well... it's in the Associated Press style, and having studied English/Lit, i'm much more familiar with the Chicago and MLA styles. However, i studied up on AP style over the weekend, and am confident that i did at least SOME things right on the test this morning. Hopefully, the other two people they interview after me do terribly. I want them to be poorly-socialized dumb nerds. Although, if that were the case, i'm not sure they would have qualified for an interview there.
Erm, wish me luck. This looks like a healthy balance of sincerely making the world a better place without killing myself.
Otherwise, life is wonderful. Like i said, work is boring, but not particularly bad. The people there are really nice, but it's not the place for me to be.
Yoga, on the other hand, is coming along wonderfully. Last night i got yet another comment from my yoga instructor that floored me -- she said that i'm only the second student she's ever told should become a yoga instructor. She sent me all sorts of good links to www.Kripalu.org and www.massyoga.org for ideas on where to get training. I don't think i'll be ready for formal training for at least another few months, so i'm going to check out some classes at the Back Bay Yoga Studio since it seems to have a good spread of types of yoga. Yay!
Right now, i'm trying to find the right balance of right for now and right for always. I have realized that the equation that most people use, 'office job + a master's degree = hopefully something i might enjoy doing' was not going to work for me right now, and that i can DO something that i love DOING. What an amazing thought! I'm elated.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
in news in my life, i don't think i'll be taking the classes at tufts this fall after all -- the only one that matched my schedule was way too legal... and it turns out i'm not into learning about it. however.... i have seriously been considering going through the formal training to become a yoga instuctor,, but have been too sheepish to really tell anyone that it's been a serious consideration of mine, because it's the kind of thing where you're really not sure what kind of a reaction you're going to get. especially from your teacher, whose class you missed all summer long. but really, i just want to drop everything and do yoga all the time. (a feeling i haven't had since being a barrista and wanting to drop everything and do coffee all the time. i still could, but it's nice to have ANOTHER thing i like to do that much.)
well, yesterday i FINALLY made it to my class after having missed it for several weeks. on my way there, i bumped into my instructor, and we walked together. she asked me how my summer has been, and i let her know that it's been ok, but that the job i don't really like has been making my outside life harder because of being hard to get away from. she looked at me and said out of the blue, "you should become a yoga instructor. i'm serious. you'd be good at it, and i think you're really cut out for it." Whoa! it made my day. heck, it made my week. i have been glowing ever since. it's nice to be sincerely excited about something. furthermore, it's really one of the highest forms of a compliment one can get -- hearing from your mentor of a sort that you should consider taking the mentor path yourself because s/he thinks you'd be really cut out for it. and having it come unsolicited! for something i REALLY enjoy, something that REALLY makes me happy, centered, balanced, and something i can do for hours without noticing the time going by. that sounds like happiness to me. i can't tell you how thrilled i was when she told me that out of the blue.
i have been feeling more in touch with myself in general. though i haven't made it to many classes, i've been doing a lot of yoga at home, and everywhere i can. i've been eating better and doing hippie things like giving myself honey facials. i honestly notice the difference in how my body feels when i eat wheat or sugar versus when i stick to my no wheat-no sugar regiment. i feel more present. it's a nice feeling. so, i think i might pursue this one. and this time, i don't think it's just a twenty-something fluke.
Saturday, September 10, 2005
daN has always marvelled at my "incredible sleeping instincts." Two mornings ago, as i was having a particularly hard time rousing from sleep-delightful-sleep, daN sat on the bed, tried to wake me up again and again, and informed me that he wouldn't be able to get up off the bed until i got up.
My response: "I can't get up. I'm doing a crossword puzzle."
daN replies surprised and supercilious, "a crossword puzzle?"
"AND a jumble." I remember informing him about the crossword puzzle. I do not recall saying the part about the jumble. The fact is that in my highly developed sleeping instincts, i wake up just enough and just long enough to secure some more sleep for myself. Like turning off an alarm clock. I can do that and simply not remember later on in the day having done it. I can hit the snooze button six or seven times and not remember doing it. When i was in college, i actually had to get out of bed to accomplish said turning off/hitting snooze button. I still didn't wake up, even though i had to walk across a room to do it. Six or seven times.
To further illustrate this point, i would like to elaborate on a story from late childhood/early puberty. I was at summer camp with my friend Lee. Naturally, we had to get up early. It didn't seem like many other people in the cabins had much of a problem with that. I, on the other hand, was always one of the late risers.
I was having the most elaborate dream this one morning! I was at my aunt's house, and the TV wasn't on, but these little aliens in the shape of 1" planet Saturns were flying out of the television screen in droves! The only way to slow them down from filling up the house was to hit a particular sequence of numbers on the remote control. Every time you hit the numbers, you heard this beeping sound (remarkably similar to the sound of an alarm clock, i might add.) Just when i was making some MAJOR headway, i felt something heavy thump on the back of my head! BATS were flying down from the ceiling and repeatedly smacking me in the back of the head! How dare they?! Well, what was i going to do about THIS?! Then in the distance, i heard Lee's voice yelling, "Lindz! Lindz!" She was hitting me with a pillow in efforts to TRY wake me up. I managed to incorporate getting hit over the back of the head into my dream. Now THAT's a good sleep instinct.
The compelling part about this story is not only the incredible talent with which i was able to instantaneously incorporate outside forces (literally, FORCES) into a dream in order to maintain REM, but also that this particular talent was developed in me early on, in pre-teenage years. Most people were able to get up early without a problem until sometime in high school or college. Nope, not me. I've NEVER been able to wake up easily. At least, not for most of my life. There's no reason i should expect it to change now. I simply have to embrace what i have as a rare talent, unappreciated and unwanted in today's fast-paced society.
"Pooping is like having a baby. Short of a medical procedure, it's not going to come out until it's ready." -- myself, this morning on the crapper
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Well, i'll make a long sob-story short. Today was the first day of the class i was hoping to take at Tufts University called Environmental Law. Remember how i was all about finding out if this was going to be for me? How i was going to start it and see if it worked out? It's not going to. The first part of the class where we were mostly talking about stuff that was theoretical, i was happy as a pig in shit. When we started looking at legal case hypothetical situations, i got bored instantaneously. It was SHOCKING how uninterested i was in it. I was daydreaming about how i'd get out. Yeah. So, i decided that since i'm not actually enrolled, i'm not obligated to take this class that is going to bore me to tears. I went to Hampshire, so i'm really trained in class-shopping and using the appropriate signs from which to judge whether a class is going to work out for me.
A minor freak out about my life is currently ensuing. It's the syndicated twenty-something one where i wonder what i'm going to do with my life. For now, i'm going to stick to the plan of taking the french course that starts up at L'alliance francaise on September 19. That's doable, and that way i feel like i have some direction, and that way i'll be in a CLASS again! The saddest experience about tonight was realizing i might not end up taking an academic class this fall. :( But french will be challenging and fun. That is, if i don't flake out on THAT as well.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
-- Ben Folds, Landed
As i was poking around on the Tufts University website searching for the course catalogue, i was tempted by the big red candylike button (or blue, as the case may be) that announced that there are, indeed, Careers at Tufts. I hit it. The top position posted for the day was an Adminstrative Assistant for the Residential Life program there. Huh.
My mind raced. I love colleges and universities! I could take classes foR FREE! It would only be a 5 minute drive or a 20 minute walk to work! WOW! i wanna work at Tufts! So i redid my resume and submitted it online. I also put in two cover letters -- one totally professional, and one more personal explaining that i really want to work for THEM in particular.
Haven't heard anything back yet, but that was only Thursday.
A little early to be looking for a new job? Well, i'm not looking exactly. This was a job that jumped out in front of me. But what gave me the licence to apply after only being at my current job for four months was this... i'll tell you the analogy i like so well:
Global Protection was like a family. An abusive family. This is not news to anyone. I loved it so much because of the false sense of security, and i hated it because of how i was (mis)treated. It kept me so stressed out that i didn't have the energy to go anywhere else. But i finally did. I went to the hospital. FMC provides me with what i needed to heal. It doesn't ask me to get emotionally involved with what i'm doing or who i'm working with. It's a sterile environment, nurturing, quiet and peaceful, easy to get along with. It doesn't ask me to do anything i can't do.
I have learned a lot in my time there -- as useful skill set to make me a more rounded person after years of abuse. And it's been a good recovery. And now that i've had that recovery, i'm ready to leave the hospital. I thought, when i started there, that it would be a good place to stay for a few years. But that was from the perspective of having been beaten for a long time. Anywhere looked like a better place to be for a few years.
Now, i can see it for what it is -- a good place to have been. A successful healing grounds. And definitely a good place for me to be until i find the right situation for myself. For example, it would be really nice if i didn't have to factor in an hour and a half to get to the hospital and an hour and a half to get back. Either way you cut it, i have healed, and i am ready to go out and be challenged again -- to work for a place i believe in again, and this time, i'll have the skill set to really leverage myself to get a happy medium of challenging and healthy at the same time. I'm ready to go back out into the world.
I don't want to get too involved in a job search, because that would require more emotional effort than i want to put in -- where i am right now is a perfectly acceptable place to be. And it's hard to feel ok with where you are if you're constantly thinking about getting out of it.
I have friends on the outside helping me though -- it so happens that one of my friends was recently hired as a staffing agent, and loves the job, because she gets to help people all day. They get a lot of jobs for colleges and universities. Huh.
Huh. She has my resume.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Hear ye! Hear ye! The Tetris Gods have heard my prayers! No sooner did the game arrive, and did i set my prayers upon them, that they then showered their grace and good will upon me! I now have the good fortune of a functioning Original Nintendo! With the help of round two of the Holy Can of Air, the Tetris Gods bestowed upon me the status of Tetris Priestess, and i am now the keeper of Original Tetris, to be played at least once a day until the end of time. This is my duty to the gods who have made my life worth living.
Praise be to the Gods!
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Me taking a course this fall at Tufts Urban and Environmental Policy program this fall:
http://ase.tufts.edu/uep/academics/course_catalog_results.asp?semester=Fall&year=2005 (scroll down to UEP 207). This ought to give me enough hands on information and experience to decide whether to apply for the masters program there.
Bad Idea: Getting an Original Nintendo on ebay when the seller hasn't play-tested it for 2 years. It doesn't work. I have to get it cleaned.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
it has arrived. original tetris will be coming separately soon. good luck getting ahold of me for a while...
i guess i should eat something green before i hook it up though. all i've had all day is chocolate. god bless PMS for justifying it. AND for allowing chocolate to ACTUALLY make me happier during days like the one i just had.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
a couple of non-sequitors, though all important.
1. i realized the other day that it is only through Divine Intervention, every single morning monday through friday, that i am able to make it out of the house in a relatively timely fashion. i came to this realization when someone asked what exactly i do before i leave the house to go to work, and i couldn't rightly remember. it's as though something else acts through me, and the longer the day goes on, the less i remember about what exactly happens. Divine Intervention.
2. my friend and co-worker has recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer. this is terrible news, of course. she started a blog partially as therapy and partially to offer information about the process. it's intellectually fascinating, as well as amusing -- i must say she is in extremely good humor about the whole thing, and in addition to being informational, it's good to read. check it out if you would like. i've updated my sidebar, but here's the link: http://jennys-belly.blogspot.com
Sunday, August 14, 2005
my day has been pretty good. right now things are great. i have the house to myself! i have suffered from having very little alone time, and it's hard to get your thoughts in order if you don't get that. at least, i have a hard time with it. but daN is helping aria get a desk from brookline, so i'm here at home baking bread :) it's wheat free! i think this one will turn out well. i tried to make some yesterday, and the dough fell after rising for too long, plus i used too much yeast, and i am embarrassed to say that it really ruined most of my day. it's too bad, too, because daN and i were having such a lovely time up until then. he dealt with me magnificently though, and i told him how thankful i was. we finished reading harry potter 6 to each other a few days ago, and we miss reading to each other, so he started reading the first one to me yesterday afternoon to help me get over my funk. (fortunately, the bread right now looks EXTREMELY promising. i'm excited).
otherwise, we've been attempting to deal with the heat. it's just been so miserably uncomfortble recently! i'm sure that didn't help my mood.
last night my friend laura took a couple of young women out for drinks on a gift certificate she got to this southern bbq place called redbones. it had a really cool atmosphere. the nachos were great! and so were the mojitos... :) had a couple of those. i was glad i didn't drink too much last night, too. another not so great moment in my recent history is that i got really drunk at the company party (like everyone else did) and i lost my glasses. (did i already tell you this?... sorry if i did). the good thing that came out of it is that i got a new eye exam and found out that i need reading glasses TOO. so, now i have one pair of glasses for reading and another pair for distance (which should be coming in the mail very soon now). ah well.
AND i bought an original nintendo with some games on ebay! i am so excited! i don't like new video games very much, and i've been wanting to do this for LONG time. i got it all for 50 bucks! such a good deal!
what else? i've been busy. i've been doing something every night, and i can't tell you what. i've still been taking yoga occassionally, when i can make it. let me tell you, my body notices when it's been a couple weeks. i think i can make time for it tomorrow. i need it. i've met people for drinks/dinner, i've been talking with professors at tufts, and i've landed myself a spot in a class at tufts in the department of urban and environmental planning and policy. YAY! that department looks fantastic, and the issues they discuss will be more useful to me for a career in maine than the classes at any of the other university departments in this area.
i guess i should check my bread. i think i might also make this really yummy granola bar thing. i've been needing to create things a lot lately. it must come from a general need to express myself or something.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
i have realized lately that i actually have a social life now! i will be taking french classes a l'alliance francaise starting on september 19, and i'm very excited about that. my written is terrible, but i oral was good enough for me to get bumped up a couple of levels. what it looks like i'll most likely be doing is having basic written again just because i haven't had a course for NINE YEARS, and then intersperse advanced french immersion weekends to keep up my oral.
i am also excited because i think i see another possible career path opening up before me, which is urban planning! it doesn't have to be URBAN urban -- it just means looking at zoning laws, figuring out what kind of businesses it would be good to open up that would benefit the community. i have always been passionate about using things that are already there (like stuff that's gone out of business, but the building is still there) and preventing Maine from turning into a gigantic parking lot. so i am seriously thinking about this. i would be able to apply my cultural studies background -- i might have to get an urban planning degree? i'm not sure. i'm still looking into it, but i'm really excited! it's something i could actually be passionate about! the next thing i have to do is talk to some people who actually do it to find out what aspects of the job they like/dislike, what the actual job is like, etc. this could be cool.
the thing that's really nice is that oddly, now that i didn't get into grad school, i feel like i can allow myself to look into my other passions. for so long i had my horseblinds on so i could bring myself down that path, and at the same time, i wasn't really letting myself be interested in anything else.
well, i had better go because daN and i are reading harry potter to each other, and that takes a lot longer than reading a book yourself, and i want to know what happens next! i had a hard time falling asleep last night after i finished reading chapter 2 to him because i was so curious. "Only on chapter 2?" you ask! yes, and that's because matt and kathy were here from around 4am on saturday morning until just about 5pm yesterday, and we thought it was more important to hang out with them, chitchat, and eat brunch than it was too ignore them and read to each other. But now that they're not here anymore, what am i doing updating my blog when there is harry potter for read???
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Saturday, July 09, 2005
We had a fantastic fourth of july. I’m glad we stayed here in boston to see the festivities, because they were phenomenal! daN and I met with Kal-el and Gilly on the Esplanade at noon (they had been there since 10) and we sat around, played games, met tons of their extended friends from Emerson, read, slept, took walks, people-watched, and eventually saw the most incredible fireworks I’d ever seen in my life. It was an amazing time. It was well worth the exhaustion the next day (we didn’t get home until around 12:45). The nice thing is that that is what people used to do with their time before TV and movies on nice days. The whole affair felt so relaxed and human.
Otherwise, things are great. Our apartment is really shaping up, and we just have to find our hammer so we can put up our framed pictures.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Here's the deaL: we moved on Wednesday! We now live in a gorgeous Victorian era apartment with real wood and a built-in china cabinet! Lovely floors, etc. IT's great.
The move went as smoothly as one could possibly hope, but it still takes as long as it takes, and i still didn't get to bed until well after 1:00am, and i had to work the next day. Needless to say, i was dead weight. I wasn't even a warm body because i wasn't all that warm. Ah well. I am so grateful that we have a long weekend. I am even more grateful for all the help we had. We almost had more help than we could use, and that means so much. For those of you out there, i want to give a big shout-out to Kal-El, Razz, Laura and Dave, Q and Alex, without whom this move would not have been possible. Everyone did their part, right down to offering at all even if we didn't need the help at the moment. The moral support was great, and taking apart and putting the futon together with assistance was great. Borrowing hands and vehicles is key.
Otherwise, i'm going to get back to unpacking. There is a lot to do, and i'm about ready for this place to start looking like a home and not a gigantic storage closet.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
No one cared about the Cheap Vegetarian's Guide to Survival, so i'm doing something else to drum up interest! Also, i haven't been able to update the Guide yet due to technical difficulties... i need a different host for my recipes page.
Anyhow, Monday was a funny day at work, and my boss sent us some amusing emails for the first time since i've started there. Heheh heh. So, i have a bunch to share. Enjoy.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Have you ever wished you had a cool new place to live? Off the coast of Japan, a construction project is launching to build a totally enclosed city they're building on the ocean. Among the plans for the structure to have its own port, tourist facitilies, etc, are plans to build hanging residences from the top of this pyramidal dome structure over the ocean. I don't know if i'd want to live there or not, but it won't matter because it will beso expensive! Unfortunately, the site in Japan is going to be such a site that lower income families won't be able to participate in living in this "wave" of the future.
It's a good thing that Habitrail for Humanity is stepping up to the plate. It's not above the ocean, but at least its residents will get their exercise:
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Announcing The Cheap Vegetarian's Guide to Survival at http://cheapveggie.blogspot.com!
Spokeschicken will remain my vent, and now i have a venue for the area that has proven to most please my creative energy: my cooking. So, please enjoy The Cheap Vegetarian's Guide to Survival.
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
GODDAMN was it hot for a while there. YUCK. but on saturday i still managed to have an impossibly productive day.
7 am - woke up, ate breakfast. was too hot to put wear anything, so i went through my entire wardrobe, decided what to pack in the trunk, what to keep, and what to give away (then reorganized my office supplies) while naked. finished by 9am
9 am - showered, made coffee. still naked. too damned hot.
10 am - out of the house going to McIntyre books to sell some old religious texts i've had kicking around and refused to sell again. got 25 bucks for them! went to drop off clothes at goodwill, spoke some french with a moroccan woman who works there.
11 am - pick up chair from person i found on craigslist. fortunately the chair is really light and i can move it on my own. fits in the scion with plenty of space to spair!
11:30 am - run errands in allston, one of them being checking out a moving sale for another chair. nada, except for a wine rack i scored for 3 bucks.
12:30 pm - heading home. feeling very proud about how well i've moved around in a car in the boston area without a map.
1 pm - remember that i've had nothing since 7 but a bowl of cereal and a luna bar. still too hot to eat, so oh well. laze around for a bit
2:45 pm - walk to italian market. get produce to make salsa, pesto, and smoothies. spent 11.50$ on a pound of green beans, 10 peaches, 2 lbs strawberries, 2 lbs bananas (which i left there somewhere...oops), 2 lbs basil, 1 bunch parsley, 1 bunch cilantro, 4 lb bucket of peeled garlic, 3 lbs of tomatoes. all for $11.50! i'd say i made out like a bandit, but i didn't even have to haggle too much.
4 pm - made it home, started making pesto and salsa. MMM! both came out GREAT, and i ended up with about 3 quarts of each. dang.
the rest of the weekend was spent lying on the floor hating how hot it was. thank god it cooled down today. my hands are freezing, but i can breathe again.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Map to our place -- drag it on over a bit west, and the cluster of roads you see there is Davis Square.
Pictures of our new place -- it's even prettier in person
Picture of my new sandals... (well, you have to click on the brown box underneath the sandals in order to see it displayed in the color i got them in. I was considering the multicolor, but realistically? No.)
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
daN and i have quite a lot going on. We just got a new apartment! And there are no tenants there right now, so we can bring stuff over as we need to, and the landlord is totally OK with that! Additionally, when we went to bring over the checks today, she let us poke around in the apartment and take measurements, etc, so we could get an idea of what we're we'll want to put stuff.
Let me paint you a picture of this apartment and why we took it even though the begin-lease date is 2 months before our current lease ends. Full living room and dining room, with sliding doors between the two, so that when we have guests, we they can actually have their own space! Lots of windows. It's in the first floor of a two-family home -- the other tenants being the landlords, who are very sweet and liked us so much that they held the place for us over other people until we decided. The floors are actually level (which is a big plus over this place) and are gleaming, newly refinished hardwood floors. We'll be getting footies for ALL our furniture. The view out the windows is garden and trees. The street parking was ample. There is laundry in the basement, and we'll be the only people using it. Not to mention that half of the basement storage space is ours for the taking. There is a little porch on the back for our use only, and there is also the possibility that i'll get to have some vegetable plants on the side of the house. The kitchen also has a HUGE full pantry with beautiful cabinets and gorgeous counters. Only downside is that the sink is in the pantry as well (a butler's pantry, according to my mother -- common in Victorian homes, because the butler could clear dinner into the pantry and still have the kitchen look clean). The kitchen itself has a new KitchenAid gas range, and doesn't have counters (those are in the pantry up and down the sides) but is rather large and is big enough for a table and a breakfast bar. The fridge is big (our current one is small).
The bathroom has usable counter space!
It's about a 15 minute walk from Davis Square -- our favorite neighborhood down here -- along a tree-lined bikepath with no car traffic, and if it's a crappy day, there are three nearby buslines we could hop on if need be.
And it's 50 bucks a month cheaper than what we're paying now.
So, we're excited.
We'll probably have to pay July for the place we're still in. The landlord isn't contractually obligated to look for new tenants, and i don't think she's in a hurry. August, though, she says we'll get our money back if she is able to rent it out. We've already paid August, so that would be pretty sweet. Otherwise, oh well. The new place is essentially our dream apartment. As my Mom pointed out, it's worth it to be happy about where we're living.
That having been said, does anyone know of someone looking for a 1 bedroom in Cambridge that's only a 5 minute walk from Kendall, Lechmere, and the Cambridgeside Galleria?
daN and i have quite a lot going on. We just found a new apartment! And we're getting it! And there are no tenants there right now, so we can bring stuff over as we need to, and the landlord is totally ok with that! Additionally, when we went to bring over the checks today, she let us poke around in the apartment and take measurements, etc, so we could get an idea of what we'll want to have there.
Let me paint you a picture of this apartment and why we took it even though the begin-lease date is 2 months before our current lease ends. Full living room and dining room, with sliding doors between the two. lots of windows. It's in the first floor of a two-family home -- the other tenants being the landlords, who are very sweet and liked us so much that they held the place for us over other people until we decided. The floors are actually level (which is a big plus over this place) and are gleaming. We'll be getting footies for ALL our furniture. The view out the windows is garden and trees. The street parking was ample. There is laundry in the basement, and we'll be the only people using it. Not to mention that half of the basement storage space is ours for the taking. There is a little porch on the back for our use only, and there is also the possibility that i'll get to have some vegetable plants on the side of the house. The kitchen also has a HUGE full pantry with beautiful cabinets and gorgeous counters. Only downside is that the sink is in the pantry as well (a butler's pantry, according to my mother -- common in Victorian homes, because the butler could clear dinner into the pantry and still have the kitchen look clean). The kitchen itself has a new KitchenAid gas range, and doesn't have counters (those are in the pantry up and down the sides) but is rather large and is big enough for a table and a breakfast bar. The fridge is big (our current one is small).
The bathroom has usable counter space!
It's about a 15 minute walk from Davis