Sunday, January 30, 2005

An Exclusive Two-Part Update!

Publicke Service Notife: Lyrica has this link on her blog. It was too funny for me to not pass along. To all those of you who have lost socks in the laundry (or even shorts) and have wondered, like me, how they show up again later (in the case of my shorts, three years later)(you think i'm kidding, but i'm not. it was really creepy.), check out this site, which explains the Quantum Theory of Laundry.

Do-It-Yourself Get-Well-Soon
Some people say that there's something in chicken soup that makes people feel better immediately, and that it can help, if not cure, the common cold. That's all well and good, but i don't eat chicken soup. However, yesterday, as i sat on the couch nursing myself back to health eating a bowl from a huge pot of vegetable soup i had made, a salad consisting mainly of greens and a garlic vinagrette i made myself, and a piece of the molasses millet rye boule that i also made myself, i was proud. There's a great satisfaction that comes from knowing that i made everything i could have possibly made in all those ingredients of my dinner, and it was all delicious. I'm not convinced that it's the chicken part of the soup that makes chicken soup cure the common cold, i think the part of it that's eating something that's all homemade and not containing all kinds of weird stuff your body can't digest that contributes more to wellness. Because i sure am feeling heck of a lot better today.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Home Sick

So you know how i wrote in my last issue that i was afraid i was coming down with something and couldn't stop coughing? I'm home sick today, and i went home from work yesterday early. Actually, i went to the doctor's, and they gave me some cough medicine with codeine in it, because i hadn't been able to sleep for the previous 3 nights because i'd been awake coughing all night. The codeine is to help me sleep through it, and it's working. I slept yesterday from 3pm-8pm, and then again from 11 last night till 10 this morning, and i got up to eat. I've been reading magazines and doing email, and then i'm going to go to sleep again. I'm not feeling any better, which makes me so glad i came home and didn't go into work. Can you imagine how i'd feel if i hadn't been getting all this sleep?

On the other hand, it's been quite nice to have the time to putz around on the internet non-committally, because i have the attention span of a puppy right now. I can just sit here for hours. Although i guess it's only been one. I think i'm going to write a letter pretty soon here to an old friend, and then maybe even go back to sleep. I guess i should eat again though before i do. What should i eat? An omelette? I haven't really had any protein for days, so it would be a good idea to have some egg. Maybe i'll add some fresh basil and broccolo, and top it off with feta and red onions. Mmm. Sounds good. Let's see if i can remember that. Tea water is boiling again. Gotta go.

P.S. Incidentally, i am totally enthralled with my Trillian upgrade's new features. There are many exciting new features, but the crowning achievement of them all is that in a conversation, some of the words are lightly underlined. When you hover over them, it gives you the Wikipedia definition! It's so cool! Learning about stuff as i type along! I love passive learning.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

To-Do List

= Not done
= Done

Feel tired and overworked on a Tuesday
Make incredible salad with feta and homemade honey mustard vinagrette
Vote on Matt's art for a Magic card at
wish the sidewalks were better plowed so i could take a walk without fear of getting run over by a car
Make molasses millet rye boules
Drink two big glasses of a rather nice cabernet-shiraz blend
Write about the upcoming trip to Paris*
Get a great back massage from daN
Make plans to have dinner at Aria's new place sometime in the next couple weeks
Finish taking down the Christmas tree and decorations
Formally annouce that I won't be attending the conference to which i was accepted as a presenter. Financial reasons. It's the week after Paris, i won't have the money, and Hampshire knows of know resources to throw my way. Ah well. It was good to be accepted.
Drink more water
Remember to turn the heat off because the oven is doing a great job
Wish i didn't have such a bad cough and couldn't stop sneezing; AKA, fear i'm coming down with something; plan to go to bed early

I'm really excited about my bread! (the boules listed above) I made the recipe up, sort of. I had a base, but i had different kinds of flour. I'm looking for some bread that's going to be moist and delicious but isn't so heavily reliant upon wheat flour, because it makes me kind of sluggish and tired.

*PARIS: I'm so excited! The hotel we found is a 3-star hotel in Montmatre, and for those of you who are not familiar with Paris, that is where the movies Amelie and The Moulin Rouge are set. Montmatre is fun, spunky, with fun hills and curvey roads with tons of interesting little bakeries and cafés, and there are some museums i would like to check out in that district as well. We're definitely planning on seeing Le Louvre, L'Arc de Triomphe, and Le Tour Eiffel, if only because daN has heard of them and wants to go to the places he's heard of. Additionally, I want to see the Musée de Rodin, Musée de Picasso (again), and L'Éspace de Dali. Ooh! And perhaps the Pompidou Modern Arts centre again, too!

We're generally planning on doing museums in the morning and other sight-seeing in the afternoon after grabbing lunch at a brasserie or something. Then in the afternoon, after some wanderings, we'll stop in at a café and get some dessert and/or chocolat chaud (hot chocolate) for revitalization. Yay! I'm so excited! We're not going to make an exact schedule, because we want to be able to play it by ear and do what we feel like doing, so i'm psyched about that. I don't want to have everything totally mapped out -- it's nice to have some freedom to feel OK about being pooped when you're travelling.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Long Weekend

Well, suffice it to say that daN and i planned on going to Maine on Friday night and coming back on Sunday, and we ended up going to Maine on Saturday afternoon and coming back this morning. Plans change. He was going to meet me at South Station on Friday night with tickets so we could hop on the 5:15 bus together and head up on the last coastal route to Waldoboro. Well, everything took longer than he wanted it too. Two cold, undressed sandwiches took the people 20- minutes to make, and they weren't even all that good! The phone wasn't ringing, and he was the only customer in there. What the fuck took so long? So then he realized he didn't have time to walk all the way back to Kendall, so he took the Green line shuttle from Lechmere, which we've always found to be fine going in that direction. The bus driver wasn't in the bus. After five minutes, the driver showed up, and pulled into 5:00 rush hour traffic. Dan didn't get to the next stop until 5:10, and needless to say, that stop wasn't anywhere near South Station. All his efforts were foiled. And he blames it on his birthday. He has a sad history of his birthday celebrations going awry. I am sad to say that this one did too.

Fortunately, once we made it up to Maine, we had a good time. His party was fun, and there was mulberry-blueberry pie and pizza gallore courtesy of his Mum Debbie, and lots of fun family. We all talked about Paris a lot, because most have been there, and we're going soon.

Then we were going to head back to Boston on Sunday after the storm cleared up. Well, it didn't clear up in time. We took that opportunity to spend more time with our families -- i visited my Mum who is laid up with a broken leg (and please everyone keep her in your thoughts -- she is at the doctor's right now to determine whether she will need surgery or not, and she's hoping for an walking cast instead, but she was optimistic yesterday). I had a great time. That evening, we watched the Pats win the AFC Championship again at his brother and sister-in-law's apartment. We found our way back to Portland with Pat, stayed the night there, and got back in here in the afternoon. Whew! We were exhausted! Needed lots of time to ourselves. But's GREAT down here! Snow everywhere! I went snowshoeing :) I was excited to do so. I did my laundry, but i still have yet to go grocery shopping, which i desperately need to do.

For those of you who want more details about my haircut: it's chin length, and shorter and layered in the back. It's cute! Sometimes i hate it, but that's hair for ya.

For those of you who want more details about Paris, there is more to come on that front in the next issue ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Well, someone else did, but they did a good job of it. I went to the Dellaria Salon, and i have to say there's something fun about being in a place that makes you feel like you're being pampered. Nice environment, got my hair all washed and it felt like a massage, and then my hair was cut with all kinds of fun utensiles. THEN, he styled it for me! I have, for the first time ever, had my hair blown out. It looks so nice.

I'm happy. Nothing drastic. Yet :)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

I am officially a wino...

...but a cheap one. Allow me to back up. Today, Q and i loaded up early (well, ok, early for Saturday, which is 10) and went to Krispy Kreme, hung out for a while eating donuts and drinking coffee (that i got for free from the manager because he didn't have more than half a cup of the kind that i ordered! Exciting! I saved a buck-29! But it was really the gesture that made me happy). We then went to good old dingy Allston to bring some clothes to the thrift store there, and we ended up scoring! Q scored bigtime and got a full-length navy coat for twenty bucks! I informed her that I was going to buy her a new winter coat if she didn't, because the one she had wasn't warm enough. She was so excited, and so was i. And it looks fantastic on her.

I scored too -- new summer nighty, a tape of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, a Pottery Barn Christmas album, a GAP button up white shirt, and a small black belt for $11. Not too shabby! We hit up the GAP outlet in Watertown where i intended to and succeeded in spending down the rest of my GAP gift card from my Dad. I got two great sweaters! One bright orange and V-neck, one a deep plum with one of those classy side button floppy collars. OK, so i don't know how to talk about fashion, but i can recognize it most of the time.

Then we went to Trader Joe's... where i loaded up on seven, count-em, seven bottles of wine. But with the exception of one that cost $4.99, they were all $3.99. I found a kind of wine that i love and actually had to ask a clerk to help me find that's super inexpensive, but suits my tastes just right. I picked up a few bottles of that. It's La Boca Malbec. From what I recall, it's kind of fruity with a medium body, but has a heavy aroma at the end. Very tasty. There were also some others I wanted to try such as the Cabernet Sauvingon-Shiraz blend, and some Abrazo del Toro, and stuff. We'll see how i like it. I figured that the only way i can afford to drink wine as often as i like is to get it at Trader Joe's, and i don't have a car to get there, so i'd just load up. Hey - I got paid yesterday.

Thursday, January 13, 2005


I spent some time doing something i love doing, which is browsing travel info online. I have been looking all night for places to stay in Paris that would be affordable for daN and i, having little to no luck. Then i remembered a site that my dear friend Kate sent me to, one that has some good specials. I decided to check it out. During my browsing, i found a first class hotel in Montmatre for 6 nights for $475.55 (taxes, breakfast, everything included, INCLUDING our own bathroom - rare in Europe!), so, it all worked out in the end!

That works out to $39.63/night/person, and we get our own space! (something we had assumed we were going to have to sacrifice), so we're psyched. At a Youth Hostel, we'd have to pay at least 26 Euros a per person, and this is way better.

I feel SO great knowing the travel arrangements have been made. Now i can be truly excited.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Let the Good Times Roll

Well, this weekend I accomplished something I've been saying I'll do for two or three years now -- apply to grad school. In the end, it turns out that i missed the Harvard deadline, which is just as well because i was still undecided about it, and that was my last choice anyway. It's just a bit too traditional for me. I applied to Brown, Boston University, Tufts, and UMass Amherst.

All have great programs, and all have classes that look thought provoking. They all have plusses and minuses. UMass Amherst, while not the top choice nor the most highly regarded, is in one of my favorite areas in New England. It almost feels as home as Maine does. Not quite, but almost. With Tufts, though i have been turned off (personally) and warned against the undergraduate student body several times, has a fantastically active English student organization called TEGO (Tufts English Graduate Organization) that holds colloquia, important departmental activities, and acts as an academic support group that i lacked as an undergrad in a self-designed curriculum. Brown has the program that i would write for myself, which, as stated in my personal statement to them, i have had the fortune to do before, so it means a lot coming from me. But it's in Providence, which, while i hear is lovely, would mean quite a bit of commuting should we decide to stay in the metro Boston area. Boston University is a crappy campus in my opinion, but the American Studies program is interdepartmental, and the opportunities for networking and intellectual stimulation sound great.

So, now it's out of my hands, aside from emailing my last remaining recommender who doesn't have her recommendations in for me yet, just to check in. It is up to the winds now, and it feels really good. Now all i have to do is wait. Oh, and write that paper for that conference i'll hopefully be attending in March. But it's a new project, which frankly, is invigorating.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Back in Business

Merry fucking Monday, everyone! Well, actually, it's Tuesday, and the sentiment is still there. Coming back to work after the holidays was difficult, even though i still worked the three middle days last week. The work week was lighter because we didn't answer the phones, and we had told all our customers that we were closing for End of Year wrapping up. Which was true. It's just that there were only four of us, and we took it easy on ourselves, but were insanely productive at the same time. It's amazing how much you can get done when the phones aren't ringing off the hook to disturb your concentration, and when people aren't hollering your name left and right.

In other news, I got a promotion! I'm going to be Inventory Manager! Yes, Inventory Manager of condoms. Get your laughs in now, because it's much more serious and brain-boggling than one would even be able to begin imagining. I'm looking forward to it. The parts i'm not looking forward to include but are not limited to the transition. It's not going to be an easy one. It's going to take people a long time to comprehend that I'm not, in fact, secondary on the phones anymore. People are going to have to really think about what that means.

Christmas: BUSY. But wonderful. The hardest part was, predictably, not having a car. However, it generally worked out. Christmas is one of those holidays where people understand that family takes precidence, and they honor that. So we got some relaxation time. Among the cool things that i got are at TV with a DVD player in it already (cool), a VACUUM CLEANER! (totally psyched about that one), some beautiful earthenware mixing bowls, lots of chocolate, some coffee paraphanalia, dried fruit and ginger, clothing and gift certificates, more kitchenware, all kinds of exciting stuff. It was great. And seeing family was wonderful too. It was really fun chilling with Dad and Mark on Christmas Eve and visiting Jeanne and Julia and Grammy, and Christmas morning was relaxed at Mum's house as we opened presents and ate pumkin bread, and then I had a wonderful time with daN's family on Christmas night. It's nice having so much great family, and i am very grateful. I wish i had something funny to say, but the funniest is that i woke up in a different bed every morning quite confused.

New Year's weekend, on the other hand, i woke up in the same bed every morning, and that was the first time that daN and i have gone somewhere for the weekend in MONTHS, in truth, in memory at all, that we were in the same place the whole time. We went down to DC (actually, Bethesda, Maryland) to visit Matt and Kathy, and it was SO RELAXING! We flew in on Thursday night after being offered an earlier flight, and went to see the monuments lit up at night after we had the chance to settle a bit at their house. The WWII monument might be my favorite -- it was so cool, though not as thought-provoking as the Vietnam or Korean War monuments. The next couple days were spent browsing free galleries and museums (like the Smithsonians) and having a picnic at Starbucks on New Year's Eve since Matt was working late. We kept him company and played board games. He kept us well fed. I was so relaxed when i got back, and i even managed to get tons of work done on the plane to and from DC on my personal statement for grad school apps.

Speaking of which, one down, four to go. Brown University's was due on Monday, 01/03/05. The rest should be easier because now i actually have a personal statement and writing sample. They'll all have to be tailored to the programs, of course, but it's easier to make something out of something than it is to make something out of nothing. "Nothing comes of nothing, m'lord," says the jester to King Lear.

And with that, daN and i are going to watch "When Harry Met Sally" (a Christmas present from him -- along with my first gift of jewelry from daN, a gorgeous pair of earrings in a silver setting with differently shaped and colored pink and red stones) for a while, then probably finish it tomorrow night. Not my favorite way to do it, but it's what we had time for.