Sunday, December 31, 2006
I'm off beta now! And to celebrate, i have linked a new photo. Woohoo! This one is from this year, as opposed to from the year 2003. Sheesh. Has it really been that long since I journeyed to France toute seulle (all alone)? It's too bad that this new image makes my eyes look funny when the photo is shrunk. Ah well.
I suppose i have some updating to do. Christmas was wonderful. daN and i stayed in Friendship at the Bogs' empty house taking care of fluffy. Q joined us for one of the nights, and it was delightful. Being a 25 minute drive from any of our relatives really worked out for us. It took care of all the disadvantages of all other previous Christmases in Maine: 1. Privacy; 2. Familiar sleeping arrangments; 3. No one felt (this time) like they got unfairly less time with us than anyone else. We saw people when we went to visit them, and other than that, we were able to chill out, rest, do yoga to our hearts' content, take walks down to the ocean, and actually feel like we were having some "time off." It was pure bliss. And because of that, we enjoyed the actual time with our families more. Go figure.
The schedule went like this:
Friday, December 22, drive up from Boston to Maine in the pouring rain, right after our oven was (finally) fixed (YAY!).
Saturday, December 23 at 9:00am was daN's Dad's Christmastime Brunch, and we had a lovely time. No gift-opening -- just visiting. And it was really nice to just visit with people. There were lots of interesting tasty dishes like a corn souffle, and things of that ilk. Around 2:00pm, we drove to Rockland to Second-Read it (now rebranded as Rock City Coffee officially!) gave some hugs to owners and staff there, said hi to some regulars who were waiting in line, and said hello to a fellow former member of the Midcoast Children's Theatre with whom i did 42nd Street in 1997. She was a lot shorter then, and i much heavier, but we finally recognized each other. Then daN and i wrapped up some last-minute Christmas shopping (two gifts that we knew we couldn't purchase anywhere BUT Rockland, so we weren't just procrastinating. Don't be so quick to judge!), did some grocery shopping, and drove back to Friendship. Q and Sadie were there when we arrived, so we did yoga and watched a really shitty Bond movie on the Spike Channel -- Diamonds Are Forever. It really was rotten. I fell asleep partway through.
December 24th: wasted most of the morning. Yoga again, slept kind of late, wrapped the aforementioned last minute gifts, went for a walk down to the ocean. When daN and i left to do family stuff, Q did too, thus ended Q time at Bogland (:( ). We went to my Nana and Aunt Kimmie's house in Rockland to commence further Christmas celebrations. Christmas Eve with me Mum's side of the family is always special to me. We also got to see my very cool cousin Asa and my hillarious and awesome Uncle Danda (Anthony) and his partner Chris who both live in Minneapolis. It was so much fun. I always have a blast. It was really great to see how proud we all are of each other, and what interesting folks were in the room. I loved it. We eventually said our goodbyes, and daN and i are vaguely thinking about going out to visit Chris and Anthony in Minneapolis in March.
December 25th: Christmas day! We wake up sort of early, get in some yoga, and drive to Nate and Tara's new house (one of daN's brother and sisters-in-law) for Christmas dinner there. Of course, no one else was around when we got there at 11:00, so we played Guitar Hero 2 on the Play Station 2, and i didn't do so terribly! I'm thinking i might pick up guitar lessons at some point in my life. Eventually, everyone else arrived, and food (including green bean casserole...mmmm....) and good conversation commenced. So did good presents! In the late afternoon, people departed. daN and i drove to Gardiner at Dad's digs (he is now living in the house that Grammy lived in -- a great old turn of the century house that needs some visual updating, but it's beautiful and in good condition). My brother, and Dad's girlfriend and business partner Jeanne and their daughter Yulia were all there. It was a delight! Dad griped a lot about cooking in a kitchen that he wasn't terribly familiar with yet, but he made an absolutely delicious dinner. He likes the non-traditional stuff. He made penne pasta with spinach and porcini mushrooms and a portabello broth, some kind of steak tenderloin, shrimp with a lemon-roasted red pepper sauce, and some apples-and-potatos au gratin. Lots of red wine.
Overall: I was happy. I love all the different facets of my and daN's families. I just had a wonderful time with all of them, in the quirks. As i get older, i've learned how to enjoy people's difficult patches, laugh things off, and honestly be able to enjoy their company. What a great thing to have up my sleeve.
On presents: as an adult, presents are not the highlight of the Christmas season. I love the trees, the music, the lights, and the special-ness of having a different kind of warm atmosphere in cold weather (though it was disturbingly warm in the 40's and 50's the whole time we were up). However, we both got some really great things this year! Among them were some fabulous new knives that have already taken off small bits of my right hand, a knife sharpener, and a cutting board; a wonderful librarian card catalogue style CD case; some wonderful coffee and Ayurvedic tea, Amy Sedaris' new book I like you: Hospitality under the Influence, a some great gift certificates, Debbie-home spun wool yarn, a new towel set, and a painting done by my extraordinarily talented water color artist grandmother. It's unusual and remarkable that we don't end up with something that isn't enjoyable or useful in some major way.
Well, anyway, we've been home since Tuesday night, and we've basically wasted the past few days. I worked on Thursday and had Friday off. I'm really excited to take the daN-drawn-specially-for-me-piece-of-artwork into my office today. I actually cried when i opened it (it was his Christmas present to me). And, my presents to daN went over very well, too! Wicked Tickets, for us, a pair of slippers, and this GREAT game called "Settlers of Katan." We played it the other night, and i LOVE it!
Anyway, that's enough of an update for now. I am going to finish my granola, take a shower, and somehow get started on the rest of my day. I was thinking about going to LLBean in Burlington and getting a smaller vest, doing yoga, and somehow visiting a couple friends before they go out to celebrate New Year's in style.
Happy end of 2006. It's certainly been a big year for me and daN: i got my yoga teacher's certificate, he got a full time teaching job, and i became a fully fledged yoga teacher, and a better student for it. Through all that self-actualizing, i also became a better office professional and got a better office job. Things have been good. My uncle has good advice: "Be good at whatever you're doing at the time." It will matter, and you'll learn about yourself, at the same time providing direction. Happy New Year.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
"Moderate Drinking May Lengthen Life
More Isn't Better -- Heavy Drinking Is a Hazard, Study Shows"
I'm totally serious. Here's the link: http://www.webmdhealth.com/nl/nl.aspx?id=20270339&s=303&p=dietnut122606
The best part is the Italian version of "moderate."
They define moderate drinking as two to four drinks a day for men; one to two drinks for women.
"Heavy" drinking is anything beyond that. Light drinking is greater than zero but below the moderate amounts.
The Italian study's definition of moderate drinking is higher than the typical U.S. standard of up to two daily drinks for men and one for women.
In the U.S., a standard drink is 12 ounces of regular beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
"Heavy drinkers should be urged to cut their consumption, but people who already regularly consume low to moderate amounts of alcohol should be encouraged to continue," write the researchers.
They included Augusto di Castelnuovo, ScD, of Catholic University in Campobasso, Italy.
The researchers pooled data from 34 observational studies conducted in Europe, the U.S., Australia, Japan, and China.
The studies looked at more than 1 million people in total, with participants reporting their drinking habits.
The studies lasted from six to 26 years.
During that time, moderate drinkers were about 18% less likely to die of any cause than teetotalers and light drinkers.
Other observational studies have linked moderate drinking to heart benefits. The new Italian report covers deaths from all causes, not just heart-related deaths.
Meanwhile, heavy drinkers were more likely to die of any cause, and the more they drank, the higher their risk of death.
That finding "confirms the hazards of excess drinking," write the researchers.
"Our data show that consumption of little amounts of alcohol leads to a reduction of mortality up to 18%," di Castelnuovo says in a news release.
"But after a certain number of glasses, things radically change," he notes.
People who drink too much increase their death risk "in relation to the amount of alcohol consumed," di Castelnuovo explains.
In short, if you're going to drink, don't overindulge. And, of course, don't drink and drive.
The researchers stop short of suggesting that teetotalers start drinking for health benefits or that light drinkers increase consumption.
They also caution that further studies are needed to check their findings.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
By Marjorie Ingall
Listen to the way people malign chocolate: Sinful! Decadent! To die for! There's even that popular restaurant dessert known as "Death by Chocolate." But is this any way to talk about a loved one -- especially during the season of comfort and joy?
Bite your tongue! Evidence is mounting that some kinds of chocolate are actually good for you. Here's the latest about the healthy side of your chocolate habit and taste-tested advice on what to try. Merry munching.
A happier heart
Scientists at the Harvard University School of Public Health recently examined 136 studies on coco -- the foundation for chocolate -- and found it does seem to boost heart health, according to an article in the European journal Nutrition and Metabolism.
"Studies have shown heart benefits from increased blood flow, less platelet stickiness and clotting, and improved bad cholesterol," says Mary B. Engler, Ph.D., a chocolate researcher and director of the Cardiovascular and Genomics Graduate Program at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. These benefits are the result of cocoa's antioxidant chemicals known as flavonoids, which seem to prevent both cell damage and inflammation.
Better blood pressure
If yours is high, chocolate may help. Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory at Tufts University, recently found that hypertensive people who ate 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate per day for two weeks saw their blood pressure drop significantly, according to an article in the journal Hypertension. Their bad cholesterol dropped, too.
People who ate the same amount of white chocolate? Nothing. (It doesn't have any cocoa -- or flavonoids.) Word to the wise: 3.5 ounces is roughly equal to a big bar of baking chocolate, so the participants had to cut about 400 calories out of their daily diets to make room. But you probably don't have to go to those lengths. Just a bite may do you good, Blumberg says.
Chocolate milk may help you recover after a hard workout. In a small study at Indiana University, elite cyclists who drank chocolate milk between workouts scored better on fatigue and endurance tests than those who had some sports drinks. Yoo-hoo!
TLC for your skin
German researchers gave 24 women a half-cup of special extra-flavonoid-enriched cocoa every day. After three months, the women's skin was moister, smoother, and less scaly and red when exposed to ultraviolet light. The researchers think the flavonoids, which absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving its appearance.
It sounds almost too good to be true, but preliminary research at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University suggests chocolate may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. Chocolate companies found comparable gains in similar research on healthy young women and on elderly people.
Good loving (maybe)
Finally, Italian researchers wanted to know whether chocolate truly is an aphrodisiac. In a survey of 143 women published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, those who ate chocolate every day seemed to have more sex drive, better lubrication, and an easier time reaching orgasm. Pass the Godiva, right?
Not so fast. The women who ate chocolate were all younger than the ones who didn't; it was age and not chocolate that made the difference. Still, if a double-chocolate raspberry truffle puts you in the mood, why let science get in the way?
New York--based writer Marjorie Ingall loves milk chocolate but says she's ready to go dark this year
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
"The Most Incredible Knife"
http://www.outdoorlife.com/outdoor/photogallery/article/0,20036,1145812_1304110,00.html. daN sent this to me today. It's rather incredible. It's the Swiss Army Knife with everything. Literally. It bears a stronger resemblance to a chainsaw.
What I've Been Up To Lately
December 1st: our oven had a major gas leak and had to be turned off.
December 2nd: the technician who was scheduled to come never came and never called.
December 4th: daN and i went out to dinner at a restaurant called "Ten Tables" in Jamaica Plain. It was fantastic. Special occassion? Oh yes -- we were celebrating our SEVEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY. Wow. It was one of the most magical evenings of my life :)
December 5th: I flew down to New York City for a training on the program that we use at the Foundation to keep track of gifts made. I was there for four days, and I stayed at the Millenium Hilton Hotel, which it turns out is directly across the street from two holes in the ground that used to be a couple of World Trade Center Towers. As i remarked to my friend Q, it's a good thing i didn't know anyone who died in that -- otherwise, it would have been really depressing. However, it was a lovely hotel just the same -- great bathroom, incredibly comfortable beds, and the training itself for the computer program was extremely well done and worth my while. In the evenings, i caught up with old friends -- ONE of whom i hadn't seen for over seven years! SEVEN YEARS! It was so wonderful, and i can't wait to see her again someday. Flying hint: the Delta Shuttle is one of the chichi-est flights available. Complimentary everything, and i got several liquids through security with no problem. I'm pretty sure that people were calling each other "Muffy" and joking about their stretch SUV's. When i got off the flight, more than half of the people on the flight had coaches waiting for them... including me. It's good to be on a paid business trip for a wealthy company.
December 9th: came home, hung out. Got a Christmas tree with daN, and we decorated it!
December 10th: celebrated my 27th birthday with a small group of friends at a bar/restaurant we really like called "Christopher's." We had a lovely time.
December 13th: My birthday! The stove/oven technician FINALLY came! ... and brought parts for the wrong model number. Next available technician date: December 22nd. I broke down into tears. I love cooking. We have been living off salad, rice cakes, food that can be prepared in the microwave or toaster oven, and take-out. I was SO ready for the stove to be fixed after two weeks of that, only to find out that there were another 9 days to go. Still waiting, but we know that the right part came in the mail today.
December 14th: The Fidelity Company Holiday Party. MAN, do they know how to throw a good time! I saw The Fidelity Follies -- a short "play" where employees got to make fun of the CEO while he sat right there. And then I spent the rest of the night on the dance floor. My co-workers told me that my dancing was inspiring, and they loved to have me there! Ha! The band was great, the music was great, and the place didn't look like the Boston World Trade Center at all (that's where the party was held.) It was decorated as India, Japan, Canada, The UK, and the US, all the places around the world where Fidelity has offices. And it was so well done! It was amazing, and i'm already looking forward to next year's.
December 16th: Q's Christmas Shindig! I had a blast dancing my p-tooty off. Again.
December 17th: Our landlords tell us that they feel so terrible about the stove that they're going to reduce our rent for the month by 200 bucks. Sweet! Good month for it! I would have far preferred to have had a fully functioning stove and paid normal rent as usual, but hey! I REALLY appreciate it, and that's nice on the pocketbook.
December 19th: met Razz, daN, the Bogs and Kal-El for dinner at the Border Cafe in Harvard Square for a farewell goodbye session before Kal-El moves out to California :( I'm really going to miss him, but we had a great time all together.
December 20th: today. Christmas shopping is all but done, wrapping as well, and i'm honestly looking forward to going to Maine. We are most likely going to stay at the empty Bogdanove home, housesitting style, while they drive their son to the other coast. That means that we'll have one place to keep our suitcase, toiletries, PJ's, and one place to sleep. We'll still be bouncing around seeing people everywhere, but we won't be dragging our worldly belongings with us every time we enter and exit a domestic residence. It won't be such a production to go to and from people's houses, because we'll just have ourselves and presents. We're getting away from the fiasco of the last couple of years (most recent trips to Maine) where we had ourselves, presents, presents we'd already received, and our suitcases. Whew! AND, we'll have DOWN TIME! YEAH! I'm really looking forward to this. It's amazing what a difference that can make.
So, if i don't write again before Christmas, which i probably won't, Merry Christmas. That's what i celebrate. If you celebrate Chanukah, Happy Chanukah, too. May it be a relaxed and blessed time of year where you get to enjoy what it's really all about -- being with loved ones. I know I'll be enjoying it :)
Thursday, November 30, 2006
So, i think i'll rip off an idea from Melissa McCue and share a list of things from the Thanksgiving weekend i'm grateful for:
Family so understanding of my inability to be in two places at the same time. Pumpkin pie. Being considered "part of the family" in so many families. Apple pie. The fact that Thanksgiving dinner is the easiest meal in America to eat vegetarian. Maine. The subtle colors of the Maine sky. Sheepies and their amusing bleats. The ocean. The blessings of having grown up at the edge of a continent where the sky, the earth, and the ocean all meet. Amazing friends. Amazing food. Great coffee. The fact that i can never go to the Second Read without seeing people i know and need to hug. Long walks in the country. Warm coats. Leashes so i can take doggies on walkies with me. The new Terry Pratchett book Wintersmith. Cuddling with daN. Knitting. Treadmills. Stef's chocolate meltaways. Cranberry sauce. Green bean casserole. A slightly smaller and more intimate Friendsgiving (37 this year instead of 52). The artistic talent of my grandmother Norene Bradford, and the blessings that have passed that on to my mother, my aunt, and myself. Places to sleep when we go to Maine. The bed that daN and i have waiting hear for us when we get home. Good suitcases. Humungus LLBean canvas bags. Getting to watch other humans enjoying moving their bodies around and doing yoga. Knowing that they credit me with getting them into it. Self indulgence. Self control. Zantac 75. Laptop computers. Richard Cheese. Water. Warmth. Philodendrons, Geraniums, Bamboo, Spider, Jade, and other plants that don't require water every day. Yoga mats. History. Comfort. Loving and being loved.
I had a wonderful time, and i'm not sure how to encapsulate it, but a general list of half-poetry-half-prose things from the weekend to be thankful for just about does it.
There were only two down-sides -- one being woken up in the middle of the night at one of the houses we were staying at by a screeching mouse staring at us from the bureau three feet from my head. It was smoking a cigarette and telling us to get the fuck out of its room or it would feed us to the fishes. The only other thing was the indigestion + car sickness that ='d pulling over in Brunswick to find a nice clean place to be sick in. And then the NH liquor store was out of Bailey's. Can you believe it.
Not bad though. Even full sentences of the few draw-backs cannot even begin to compare to the amount of sheer love that i bathed in all weekend. I am truly grateful.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Can you believe it? It's still going well! I'm very happy. This was my second week, and I can't believe how quickly time is flying by. I am actually going to be down in New York for a training on the database that we use to keep track of things, and that's a good sign -- a place that will actually pay for its employees to be trained on the systems it uses is likely a good place to work. And the people are so great. And it's in a really cool location -- some of the oldest buildings in the country are along my daily stroll during lunch.
But anyway, life has been busy. I won't say that i haven't missed having some time off during the daytime, because i have. That's when i used to do the majority of small errand-running and housework, and that time just isn't there anymore. The yoga schedule makes it tough, too. I think i will have to cut my schedule down to teaching one class a week and taking one class a week, because taking one and teaching two means that i'm only home on two evenings. And that's hard. In addition to everything else that needs to be done in life, i miss seeing daN!
But i'm happy.
Weekends have been busy, too. The weekend before last, we went up for a Halloween Party at Mark and Stef's in NH after going to a memorial service for Eric Schocket, one of my hampshire professors who died of lieukemia recently. It made for a funny day, but it was really nice to see everyone at the party, and our costumes went over great (I was a 1950's housewife, and daN was a milkman).
Last weekend, we bombed up to Maine and back to see Zak and Mandi in Chicago, and while the leads in the show were lacklustre and left something to be desired (Roxy couldn't sing and Velma was boring) the ensemble was fantastic. The vaudevillian style didn't leave a whole lot for the ensemble of lots of characters -- it's really just about one or two people. However, i still love the show, and found it greatly enjoyable and i'm glad we went. Seeing Zak and Mandi was a joy, as always, short though it was.
This weekend, we actually managed to stay pretty much in the same place. Friday night we curled up on the couch and watched "French Kiss" -- and older chick flic with Meg Ryan and Kevin Klein -- and went to bed. Yesterday was eventful -- i taught a yoga class at Harvard, then returned a couple of puffy winter coats that aren't going to work out. I've been on a crusade for a really warm yet not completely unattractive down coat. It's not easy. Afterewards, we met the Boggies in Harvard Square for drinks and dinner -- I got a delicious martini with Bombay Sapphire -- and then we went to the Bombay Club (our favorite Indian cuisine) for dinner. It was so delectable.
And now it's Sunday. I must go -- it's definitely time for us to clean this house. We have a list.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
I STILL love it. I feel very lucky. Here is a huge group email that i sent out a couple days ago, proclaiming my joy. Yesterday, i was telling my co-workers how happy i am to be there, how i was actually a little sad it was Friday already because i have been having such a good time. They thought that was hillarious and great at the same time, and mentioned that it shouldn't take too long for Friday to be a welcome friend again. I agree, but it certainly felt nice to enjoy what i was doing all day. I get to read some fascinating things! They're also continuously telling me what a good job i'm doing, which is always nice to hear.
Hi there! Some of you I've been in better contact than others, and it's not for lack of want. But I've been incommunicado with just about everyone lately, and it's because I've had a lot going on. I've got a new job! And i'm REALLY EXCITED! I just started a new position on Monday as the Executive Secretary with the Sciences Team at the Fidelity Foundations. It's AMAZING. No, really. It is. It's day three, and i'm still not aware of how many benefits I have. It's a lot. But that's not the best part. The best part is what i'm doing and where i am. I will be reading grants proposals, processing them, and generally supporting a team of program directors who give money away to neurodegenerative disease research. It's a very small and lovely group of people -- all women on my floor (there are only four of us anyway), and we each have our own office. Mine's a corner office with lots of sunlight.
They love that i'm a yoga teacher in my spare time, and kicked me out of the office at 5:03 because it was important that i wasn't there "late" for the sake of it. How incredible is that?
On my first day, they welcomed me with open arms. Literally. They all gave me hugs and were so excited to have me. It was quite a welcome! I have gotten to know people very quickly, and I'm fitting in better than i could have hoped. And everything that could be bureaucratic is so easy! Helpdesk helps, there are designated IT people for each buildings, etc. It's so smooth -- a nice change! I'm learning so much already and am excited to go back in tomorrow.
Blah blah blah... anyway, i'm sure the honeymoon will end at some point, but i'm very excited and optimistic. I apologize for the huge group email, but there are so many of you i wanted to tell, this seemed the most expedient way to do it.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
This week, as i might have mentioned in the last post, i am taking off. Explicitly. Well, i worked yesterday teaching my last noon Monday class at Bally's, and i also went to teach yoga to my preschool teachers at Harvard. Today, though, the only thing i did that resembled "work" was going to get my badge and picture taken for Fidelity. Other than that, i've been making juice for my raw juice fast and drinking it. Yes, that's right, another raw juice fast. I figured i'd do a cleanse before starting a new job, and i've been wanting to do a juice fast again for a while. What better time than when i'll be sitting around all day anyway tempted to eat all day? I remember from my last one that my favorite juices were the carrot-orange-beet juice and the pineapple-grapefruit juice. I also recall that the homemade vegetable broth was invaluable, as was extra soymilk and ricemilk. So i stocked up accordingly, and have been enjoying it very much. Today is day one. I think i'll do two and a half days.
Tomorrow, i am going to get my hair done (having some highlights again, though not quite so bright this time) and will be using a gift certificate that i got for a massage. And i can have them both done at the same place! Woot!
Thursday, i'll be taking an early (8:00am) bus out to Lenox where i will luxuriate at the Kripalu Center for slightly over 24 hours. I'm not getting a massage or anything there -- just the basic package -- dorm sleeping for one overnight's stay, and all the yoga, meditation, walks through the Berkshire forest down to the lake in the autumnal air, and delightful hippy food that i can squeeze in. I'll most likely have three or four yoga classes, definitely will be going to the morning yoga, and will delight in the sauna. Yes, all inclusive. Not bad for $130. Too bad the bus ticket is so much. Ah well.
But i deserve it. For a while, i was feeling guilty about spending the cash. And then i remembered -- it's been a while since i've just plain old been good to myself. Yes, i bought clothing. I HAD to. Nothing i had fit anymore, and i needed something that would look smashing at interviews. This is me treating myself for a week before i start a new job. A real chance to refresh myself and start off on the right foot. YAY! How exciting.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I was just given a lovely gift. A monarch butterfly landed on the screen of the window next to my desk. The sunlight is reflecting through its wings, and the window is josteling it gently. The butterlfly is trying to warm herself in the sun, while the deep oranges, orange yellows, and polka dots shimmer in the light. I feel so blessed. How infrequently one is given the opportuntiy to see a live butterfly from the underside so intimately close. I feel lucky that butterflies have deemed me as a healer. They land on me with unusual frequency. But this is truly a new perspective.
The following is an excerpt from an email to my favorite cousin. Allow me to preface this by saying that it's almost too good to be true and, while i have known this since monday, i haven't written it down since i am afraid i'll jinx it...
"...after three months of looking and turning down offers that didn't appeal to me, i found [the right job]!
it's almost too good to be true. i'm totally psyched! it's with the fidelity foundation, which is the charitable branch of fidelity investments. there are 15 people there, 4 people in my department, including me, and they donate scads and scads of money to research being done on neurodegenerative diseases, as well as technological advancements, and they sponsor conferences to get these people talking to each other so they can possibly come up with solutions. isn't that cool>!>! and it's all done anonymously. i mean, people know that you can apply to the fidelity foundation for grants, but they do a lot of other work anonymously (like financing gallery openings, educational research, etc). my job will be grant administrator, so half of the job will be making travel arrangements and event planning, and the other half will be processing (reading) all the grant proposals that come through. i can't think of a better way to spend a day in an office. they are all really close, and they are out the door by 5:00 because they've all got families they want to spend time with. they're totally fine with me leaving by 5:00 to teach yoga classes and spend time with daN. YAY! so yes, on top of that, i've got my own office with a big bright window that i can put plants in, and they'll be paying me QUITE well. whew!
i'm so excited! the best is that they all OBVIOUSly love what they get to contribute to every day, and that feels wonderful.
i'm excited! yay good! i start october 30th, and will be taking this coming week off to mentally and emotionally let go of first marblehead and transition into a new full time job. i want to be ready. when i moved from global protection to first marblehead, i didn't give myself that chance, and i really regretted it. i was overwhelmed and simply not ready for a new job yet. especially not one that takes up so much time and energy."
I can hardly believe it. But there it is! A job i am truly excited about and looking forward to. I will be learning all kinds of new things, and that's thrilling in and of itself. I'll be around wonderful people, from what i can tell, and contributing to something i truly believe in. All the while, the Foundation is part of a larger company, so it still has the marvellous benefits. And yet it's in a totally different building from the corporate headquarters, so it's got a completely unique feel. I think i just got the best of both worlds. Maybe they'll even pay for me to get a Master's in Public Policy!
In other news, daN is loving teaching. in fact, he loves everything about being there -- his coworkers, the kids, the curriculum -- except for the commute. it's in foxboro. not close. he spends about three, sometimes four hours a day in the car. to add insult to injury, he hates driving. so we're thinking about moving south of the river and getting a condo (yes, BUYing a condo) in jamaica plain where i could still take the T into downtown to get to work, and he could shave off about an hour or so a day from commuting. that would be a big help. Things are changing again -- changing with the seasons. A move probably wouldn't happen for another few months though, at least. I want to pay a few things down before applying for a home equity line of credit. It helps the credit score. I can't say i didn't learn anything from working in student loans.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Let me preface this post by saying that when i am hooted and hollered at by passers-by, or people in a car or truck whistle at me, or i'm walking past and guys stare, i typically feel very uncomfortable with it and find it completely inappropriate. Usually, i'm by myself or with another person of the female persuasion.
Today, i was walking down the street in the re-invented part of the South End of Boston with Kal-El, his parents, daN, and Matt Razz. And this guy who had been hanging out at a street corner chatting with a buddy said to me, "I'm hypnotized by your beauty!" I did a double-take in disbelief, not believing my ears, i replied, "What?!" And he said with a big smile, "I'm hypnotized by your beauty!"
Yep, i heard correctly.
In broad daylight while i was walking in mixed company, he shouted out for all my friends to hear that he was hypnotized by my beauty. That made me smile.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
OK, that last update was really long, so i won't bother with a long update this time. No need. You still have some reading to do :)
Long story short: I have one offer out there from one company, and waiting to hear from another. The others aren't far enough along in the process for them to be viable at this point.
I'll be taking the weekend to think. And perhaps order some oil for our oil tank. It's starting to get cold!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Let's just say the job prospects keep trickling in, and i keep getting more an more excited about each one, as each gets closer to me getting it, and then someone else gets the job for a variety of reasons. The most recent is that they (this time, the architecture firm) wanted someone with a more senior level, and they were willing to pay for that. That's fine, and i respect that and believe that the right person most likely got the job. Apparently, though, they really liked me, so that's positive. All the feedback was great -- they just wanted someone with more years in them.
One company, a educational publishing house, is checking my references, and it's down to me and one other person. The one i'm MOST excited about, though, is a scientific foundation that donates scads of money anonymously to teams researching neurodegenerative diseases. I LOVE the people in the office, and their excitement and love of what they do every day was contagious. I hope i hope i hope... but, whatever will be will be.
Harvard still might pan out as well, and i had an interview this morning at the center for state and local government -- also a research place. So, all in all, i have some prospects out there that i am sincerely excited about, and eventually, one of them will be just as excited about me.
In OTHER news (sometimes it doesn't even feel like there are enough hours in the day for there to BE other news, but there it is), Q is alive and well. I spent Friday making sure she was alright during her second foot surgery. I was pissed to discover that no one had been at the hospital with her for the last one! What a shame! I would have taken that day off, too, had i known! Ah well. I was there this time.
Friday night, daN and i joined the Boggies to see none other than the illustrious Jon Stewart Live at the Wang Theatre. It was hillarious! We laughed. We cried. We balked. He's brilliant. Afterwards, they insisted on going to the Ritz Bar after we tried to find something else. And i have to say, i love the place. The coctails are certainly expensive, but they're all top shelf and delicious. I was impressed. The ambiance was quiet -- the kind of place you could actually sit down with some friends and have a pleasant conversation. The music was a pianist sitting in the corner wearing a suit and playing old jazz standards. It wasn't so loud that you couldn't hear what else was going on, but it was just loud enough. Perfect. And expensive. And the Bogs wouldn't let us pay. Grrrr. They keep doing that.
Saturday, daN and i had a lovely time bowling with Lee and Alan and some of their respective family members in celebration of Alan's birthday. It was a lot of fun! And it was great to see a couple of Lee's siblings, too -- with whom i used to spend quite a lot of time in late childhood / early teen years. They're a part of who i am, too. And i'm so happy to see Lee and Alan doing so well, loving their dog :) On Saturday night, daN and i went on a date to make sure that we didn't go a whole week without seeing each other. Lee recommended trying out this place called "The Pepper Club" in the Old Port, and it was great (Thanks, Lee!). Scratch that -- it was exactly what i wanted. I had a sweet potato rainbow chard streudle, savory with dried cranberries and walnuts, complimented by seasoned brown rice and a mesclun salad. I rounded it off with a glass of sangiovese. It was delightful. You can't find that kind of cool American fusion food in Boston, and if you do, it's $30 a plate. I was happy. This was more like $14 a plate, which is much more reasonable.
Sunday, we ate some more :) It was my Dad's birthday, and we met Dad, Jeanne, and Yulia for brunch at Slate's in Hallowell. Mmmm. I think i'd eaten there once before but forgotten just how much i enjoyed it. More experimental food, i got a strawberry cream cheese and almond omelette that came with home fries and a pumpkin spice muffin. Dad and i got bloody mary's and coffee, which was a fun celebrational thing to do. We had a wonderful time catching up and hanging out. Afterwards, we went to Gardiner to see what Dad has been doing with Grammy's old house -- he'll be moving into it soon after the floors are redone -- and it's quite astonishing! Now that all the 1960's furniture and 1970's shag carpeting has been removed, it's actually quite light and spacious, and the hardwood floors are gorgeous. It's really kinda neat.
Then, daN and i bid Dad farewell and headed to my Mum's new digs in Union about 2.3 miles up the road from daN's Mum's house. I have to say, Mum has done wonders with a trailer and has made quite a nice little home out of it. The area is absolutely beautiful, and the sunset was stunning. We had a really nice visit for a couple hours, and eventually we went down to daN's Mum's where we'd be crashing for the night in one of the spare rooms. Nate and Tara were there, so we got to hang out with them for a while, which was great fun. In the morning, daN's mum made some wheat free blueberry muffins! YAY! That and oatmeal with coffee made a lovely breakfast. We did the lazy morning thing, and eventually, daN and i set out for home, and sat in traffic for a while in doing so. Ah well.
It was a lovely weekend, and great to see the autumn leaves. There wasn't enough walking about in the gorgeous weather for my taste, but alas -- most of the times that we go up to Maine, more time is spent driving and sitting than anything else. Ah well. Someday it won't be that way.
Today, i cleaned here. I vacuumed, unpacked old boxes of crap, recycled stuff, washed the floors, put the dishes away, and that was an afternoon (during the morning, i was interviewing). I think i'm ready to do something creative now. Like cooking something. Hmmmm...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
i have two interviews tomorrow (thursday!) weeeeeeee! i am excited. they are both at architectural firms that also do urban planning and sustainable design! woot! one is through laura (my friend the staffing agent), and the other is through beacon hill staffing (they
remembered me as being hard to replace. when i was on the phone with them, they said, "wait ... are you, yeah, you're THE lindsay! first marblehead couldn't stop talking about how great you are!). i also had a phone interview this morning with houghton mifflin publications in the international relations division, and it looks like they want to bring me in sometime next week when the SVP gets back from germany. so, beacon hill staffing is working out. and so is laura. YESSS. i've got another interview at harvard next week as well. so, i think i'm in a good position.
in related news, today, the boss asked me about full time work at FM again. i told him i'd think about it, and we agreed on next friday as a deadline (he has some spots to fill). i was candid and let him know my reservations about working under this regime in a student loan company, the frustrations faced with the resources available to my team at work -- i don't think that creative thinking and problem solving is actually encouraged at FM because it means spending money. so... that having been said, i let him know that in order for me to return full time, i would need the bonus and to be able to work from home a day or two a week. but, i don't think that i'll be doing that after all -- not after all the great interviews i'll be going on. it's clear to me that i'd be happier in a place that's more creative.
with all this interviewing coming up, i needed a suit, so i bought two today. it would have otherwise cost me about five hundred bucks, but the wonderful women at ann taylor got out their calculators and used their knowledge of the system and ran separate transactions to help me get the best deal possible. i walked out paying about three hundred seventy. whew! they're good! and my suits look fantastic :)
well, that's it from here. so much more, but i won't bore you. i'm going up to maine this weekend, which should be good, and i'll see both of my parents' new respective houses and celebrating couple of birthdays :) that should be fun.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Loose ends and whatnot:
1. No go on the architecture job. It turns out they were looking for a candidate with more years of experience. Ah well. I loved that place, but so it is.
2. I have not yet heard back from the land policy institute, but from what i can tell, the interview went well. I plan on giving them a call after this.
3. ...erm, that about says that part of it.
This weekend was nice, if uneventful. On Saturday, we had a lazy morning until we mustered up the go-go-em to drive down to the Arboretum area of Jamaica Plain, because we are vaguely considering buying a condo down in that area. I could still take the T into to the city to get to work, and it would shave about, oh, 20 minutes off daN's drive. And fortunately, we seem to have been been very comfortable there -- there were some cute restaurants, easy access to the modern conveniences, and the BEAUTIFUL walkway along the Jamaica Pond, not to mention the Arnold Arboretum... it was lovely, and i found myself getting excited about the prospect of living in that area. The thing is, we LOVE it here. We really love it. But if daN ends up staying at the Sage in Foxboro for another couple years (which he'll most likely know about in the spring) then it makes sense to buy something, and it also makes sense to do that in a place that would allow him to save a LOT of driving time, but would still be T accessable so we didn't have to buy another car. At the same time, we want to live somewhere that we feel as comfortable as we feel in the Somerville area. It's great here. So, we'll see. There were a lot of hippies and babies and families in JP, so it will be on my mind.
Anything else, I don't think so. I'll be going into First Marblehead a lot this week -- good for me and for them. I need the money, and they desperately need the help.
Well, i should go check my now thrice-baked carrot cake. It has been acting more like a pudding, and i'm thinking that in hindsight, it should have gone in two separate baking pans. Well i was making a half recipe! How was i to know it would still behave this way?!?
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
That's what i did yesterday. Well, not entirely. I mean, i still did stuff -- i finished a scarf for a friend, i started on some Christmas presents, i made some headway on a big old scarf i'm making for myself, and i also did some laundry and went to the library. But all in all, i sat around in a comfy chair most of the day. It was magnificent. The only time i really left the vicinity was for the yoga class at Mass BJJ, which, since the school year started, has had a dwindled attendance. For a while there it was around 6 people every week (which is a great number for a new program at any studio), it has fallen to two every week, and yesterday there was only one. That's OK, though, because it's my last class there unless i go in once a month for a class there. I already told the studio owner, and he understood. I got a very sweet email from him about it in which he informed me that i am "a wonderful teacher, and everyone who takes the class has nothing but the best to say about it. But [he] certainly understand[s] the need for a full time job." Yep. Boy, don't i know it! And more than i thought i would!
Oh -- the other updates i promised:
1. The Weekend -- it was lovely! On Saturday, i did yoga in the morning, taught a class at the Athletic Center at Harvard University (for which i received a round of applause afterward! They really liked it!), and then daN and i met up at Razz's house to see off Ana, who is going to London. She had to postpone her flight because her visa hadn't shown up yet, and it was just as well, because we were all happy to have a couple more social occassions with her. Her flight was at 8pm on Saturday, so we all gathered to help her pack (and i love packing -- very good at it) and provide moral support, and hug her every now and then when we all got sad about not seeing her for three years. I AM going to visit her though. She took off, and daN and i walked home and domesticized. We had dinner and watched the recent 2005 Focus Features release of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Kiera Knightly. We both really enjoyed it -- i thought it was overall quite well done, and that Kiera Knightly did a fair job delivering the slighting quips of Elizabeth Bennet, and the actor who portrayed Mr. Bingley did a particulary good job of seeming awkward and unapproachable. However, my favorite version of the book (aside from the book itself) remains the six hour PBS version. It was long enough to put in EVERYTHING. I found the newer version more sentimental and less satirical than Austin's written text, but when narrowing a book down to a two hour summary, one must choose one's approach. And it was still a nice way to spend a Saturday evening.
Sunday, daN disappeared to hang out with some college friends, and i went to yoga at a studio down the street, and spent the rest of the day with Q. We hadn't done that for a long time, and i had a blast! We went shopping, which i desperately needed to do, since i really needed new workclothes. Not that i have a job yet, but i'll need them, and i had the time to do it. And a little money. Q didn't make out too badly either: as she said herself, "I meant to just go amd be moral support... I ended up with a new sweater, a winter jacket, and a bunch of other stuff." IT happens :) Eventually, we came back home, and i made some brownies to eat while we watched the Pats game and drank beer. The Pats lost horribly, but it was wonderful to spend so much time with a dear longtime friend of mine. Especially since she might be moving soon.
2. Job prospects:
- I'm fairly certain that the position in the Grad School of Education at Harvard isn't going to pan out. According to my sources, it was a personality match thing. They are actually going to do another round of interviews to try to find just the right person for their office. At first, i was saddened, but then i thought, "well, if they weren't comfortable with me, then chances are that i wouldn't be happy with them either."
- Boldened by my newfound something-or-other, i had an interview at an architectural firm on Monday in the Fort Point area of Boston. Global Protection is in that general neck of the woods, though deeper in. This firm was much closer to South Station, and yet just far enough out for me to experience the salty air of the ocean, watch the seagulls flock around, and notice how much it has changed out there with all the new buildings and roads being developed in the up-and-coming "Seaport" district. It felt indescribably comfortable there. There were real people, old buildings, history, and grit. The office itself was very open and light -- well laid out -- as i would expect an architectural firm to be, and i really sincerely liked all the people, the way they were interacting with each other, and the person i interviewed with. We chuckled together and had, i thought, a good raport. I'll keep you posted. There is a part of me that REALLY wants this one to work out, even though it would still be quite a commute from Somerville. But it's still on the Redline (as is Somerville) so that would make a difference -- wouldn't have to transfer train lines. It just felt.... right somehow.
- In the meantime, i remain open to temping through the Harvard temping agency, and we'll see if anything comes of that.
- I also got an email back from a land use policy educational institute in Harvard Square, and i hopefully get to interview with them soon. I should call them in a few minutes, actually.
3. What else? I might walk to Target today -- it's about 45 minutes and should get some more exercise into my system. And grab a couple things -- a plain necklace to provide accent with black clothing, a package of underwear for daN, and generally, get out of the house. I should also handwash some delicate clothing. Not a bad day. And more knitting!
Monday, September 25, 2006
Yes, prana. It is a Kripalu or yoga word for "life force" or "energy." I had a crappy night's sleep. I woke up around 3:30 and didn't fall asleep after that. I tossed and turned, thinking about clothing, what to exchange at LLBean, how my new clothes would go with the rest of my stuff, what yoga poses I felt like doing. So when daN got up at 5:10, i decided that i would get up, too. Why keep tossing and turning when i felt like doing yoga? *hence the prana-following* So i got up and put on some hot water, knit for a while, sipped some tea, and then did yoga for about and hour and a half. It was wonderful. Some of the best yoga i've done in quite a while.
I then ate a delicious breakfast, got together stuff to return to LLBean, and called them to make sure it was OK. It was, of course -- it's LLBean.
I sent off some applications for jobs, made coffee and sipped it while i did my bills, and figured out what to wear to my job interview this afternoon at an architectural firm (that could turn out to be really cool -- i get along really well with architects, for whatever reason). Class at Bally's today went really well, and now i'm eating some lunch before i head off for the interview. I also hope that i make it back in plenty of time to go teach yoga at Harvard... if not, well, i'll have a set of yoga clothes with me.
I had a great weekend, but i'll have to talk about it later. I have to get ready to go!
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Today, I had the pleasure of being at First Marblehead for one of my co-workers' wedding showers. AND, her boss (another co-worker of mine) brought in her nine-month old. She liked me A LOT. And i liked her A LOT, too. She smiled at me from across the boardroom (which is huge, by the way) babbling at me and making cute baby sounds.
I held her for quite a while, and at one beautiful point, she leaned in and giggled and cooed at me while she placed her forehead on mine! It was SO CUTE! I am still qvelling. Here is the evidence.
By the way, my other coworkers were asking if i was ready for a baby, since they're clearly ready for me. Well, i'm not, but the biological clock is. It's saying "HEY! You've been with the same guys for nearly seven years now -- it's time to start pushing them out!" I am hitting the snooze button on that darned clock as hard as i can. Funny thing is that as i get older, it goes off more and more frequently.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I was starting to wonder whether I was going to hear back from these staffing agencies or not, (I've been interviewing at a few), and today I got a slew of phonecalls asking to send me resume here and there. I've been applying for jobs all afternoon. I am, as it were, sick of being home all the time. I went through a particularly rough phase where I started to look the Bailey's square in the face at 10:00 in the morning saying, "i WILL not put you in my coffee. i WILL not put you in my coffee. BAD Lindsay, BAD!" I'm home far too often when part of my brain thinks that alcohol all day is a good idea.
And i can say this with no guilt or doubt: I want a fucking job, already! That being said, I want to find the right job, rather than taking the first thing that lands on my lap. If that is the one that looks good for me, i'll take it. Otherwise, i'm trying to remain level-headed about it so i don't start drooling over the fact that it's a job at all... and looking at it with a more critical eye so i really find something i can be happy with for a while. Who knows how long that "while" will turn out to be, but i'm trying to be realistic about myself here, and go with what i know about myself:
- Security = good, but too corporate = bad.
- Flexibility = good, but hating the company's mission = bad.
- Loving the company's mission = good, but being too stressed out to remember what my hobbies are = bad. (*not to say that all nonprofits are disorganized chaotic and stressful workplaces. Just that most are.)
- Nice work environment and good view = good, long commute to get there = bad.
Monday, September 18, 2006
First off, even though this is redundant, i would like to reiterate how much more i am enjoying both teaching and doing yoga now that i've decided to make it an "on the side" thing.
Second off, i can't wait to have a regular job again. I am waiting to hear back from the job at Harvard, and i'm also working with staffing agents who do temping and temp-perm hiring for Harvard directly. Both seem to be going well enough... still nothing yet, though. I am tired of my weekends and my weekdays smushing together, and continue to find myself hungering for people. Today i did get up the gumption to clean the bathroom and wash the kitchen and bathroom floors while i've got laundry going. It's amazing how being home more often actually makes me more resistant to housework. I don't get it. I sort of realized that after daN launched into dishes and vacuuming yesterday. I felt like a lump. I have been home all this time and have practically done squat! (not totally true -- i've been doing the dishes a lot and i rearranged the books on the bookshelves, but still...)
Third: had a great weekend! It was warmer out than i would have liked it to have been, but that's pretty much been true of every day lately. I got spoiled by those few really cool weeks where I actually required a couple more layers to keep warm. It was splendid!
Friday night, i went to LLBean in Burlington. Weeeee! As part of their Grand Opening weekend extravaganza, they were open 24 hours in the spirit of the flagship store in Freeport. It's not nearly as large, but it doesn't really have to be. I missed having all the selection in the world at my disposal, but i managed to come out of there with a few great things: a cashmere cotton blend cable-knit turtleneck (brown), a dusty-plum colored lambswool button-up cardigan (also cableknit), and a teal pima cotton crewneck with longsleeves. I recently also ordered an extra-thick and fuzzy and warm and long pink fuzzy bathrobe from LLBean. Last winter, i was very cold, layering up in an old bathrobe that served me well for nearly 10 years, but it was so worn so as not to be effective. I also, you may recall, went on a cashmere-buying binge (well, if you could consider buying three cashmere sweaters that usually retail for over $100 on ebay for $25 a binge) for the purposes of getting myself some clothing that is actually warm. Not layering up six or seven times (literally) to keep warm enough in our uninsulated old apartment, but having instead maybe, two REALLY warm layers. I'm working on it. Thank you, LLBean.
Saturday, i went a little crazy. That's OK.
Sunday, i went to the O2 yoga studio down the street, which it turns out i love. I always feel GREAT when i get out of yoga there. Then, daN and i ate, and threw ourselves onto the trails of the Fellsway, where, apparently, there is lots of illicit gay sex going on. We didn't realize that. But apparently, this is a well-known thing of the area. We had just been conversing about the oddities of it when we came across a couple of signs telling people which trails went where. On the signs were also little bits about "NO BIKING." Someone, in a very prepared and pre-meditated fashion, spray painted over the "BIKING" so the background matched the rest of the painted background, and had painted over it in white paint to match the rest of the text "GAY SEX." Therefore, the signs read "SKYLINE TRAIL. NO GAY SEX."
Does anyone have any light to shed? Is this a new thing, or a hold-over from the not-to-distant past where gay men were not allowed out of the closet and some sought love in public spaces? Anyone?
At any rate, the weekend ended wonderfully with a delightful dinner at the India Pavillion to celebrate Ana, her presence, and congratulate her on her upcoming journey to London for further schooling in archaeology, art restoration and conservation, and the like. We had a great time -- the usual Boston suspects were there -- myself, daN, Q, Razz, Ana, and Jenny Woodman. It was lovely. Aria and Kal-El were unable to make it, but we had a great time at our six person table, taking as long as we wanted.
Good luck, Ana. We'll miss you a lot.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thank you, Q, for introducing me to Stumble-upon. GREAT Mozilla feature. Yes. I am a junkie.
Latest favorite: Mr. Picassohead -- a site where you are given a variety of choices for noses, eyes, ears, faces, etc, to put together your very own Mr. Picassohead. Do it.
Friday, September 15, 2006
I just had a few small but sumptuous spoons of melted chocolate dipped in one of my favorite me-made apertifs (dessert drink) -- espresso with Bailey's in it. The results were ... ___gasmic. I can't think of the correct first syllable, but it has something to do with a sigh.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
I've been engaging in illicit activities with apples lately. But not in their pure form. I've been using them. Oh yes, using them.
It all started with the apple crisp with the freshly picked apples a couple weeks ago. I couldn't stop there. I had more apples, and i intended to be creative with them, to use them to my liking. And the apples liked it too. I no less than curried them. It was a spectacular vision of an apple with the slightly sweet and spicy curry, tart with early fall apples. Young and firm. I soon had to announce my apple love to the world! And the world said: "ok, that's cool. You can do lots with apples." And i didn't feel quite so weird about it anymore. It's the fall and i love cooking with apples!
After burning my first batch of apple sauce from inattention, my heart did not sink. I was strong, and maintained that i would soon make a batch of apple sauce to beat the band: creamy, smooth, tart, and yet, not so tart. Simple. Today, i did just that. And let me tell ya. It was worth it.
by the way, the interview went *really* well this morning. When i told a yoga student of mine who works at Harvard about how soon i had an interview (i applied a little after Labor Day), she said, and i quote, "FANTASTIC! I have *never* heard of such blinding speed before :)" and later refered to it as being "so unusual as to be a very good sign." It not only made me laugh, but gave me hope. I got along well with the hiring manager as well as the other folk, and had a good time. Keep your fingers crossed, and i'll keep you posted.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Well, folks, the search is going well -- the one for a new job. And tomorrow (Monday morning at 9:15) I have an interview at the Harvard Grad School of Education in the Student Affairs Office for a Staff Assistant position. The position reports to the Dean, and would deal with everyone from students to faculty to other staff members doing general advanced administration and front desk stuff.
This is the first interview i've had in quite a while that i really wanted to get the job based on the whole package -- the people i imagine will be there, the environment, the actual things that the job requires, the internal and external clients, the benefits and pay -- the whole deal. I'm excited. And trying to be level about it.
Wish me luck coming across as professional polished, competent, and kind.
In other news, this weekend has been a sad and happy one at the same time. I went to Hampshire College this weekend (in Amherst) to memorialize a couple people i knew in college who died in a car accident tragically last fall. Their families wanted to have celebrations for their lives... and everyone else who attended just wanted some closure. It was odd and sad to be back under such circumstances, but there were some wonderful familiar faces. The whole sadness was compounded by the fact that the Hampshire Community just lost a dear professor to leukemia. He was one of the two people on my Division II committee. I am very sad to have lost him. Patty and Drew worked much more closely with him, and we sat outside his office yesterday afternoon leaning on the door. It was really sad.
There were great things about being back there, though. There's nothing like western Mass in the fall time, with the boobilicious hills rolling in the background. I got to go to Atkins Country Market and pick up some delicious coffee and apples and a chocolate croissant (theirs are particularly good), and we went to the Haymarket for some delicious hippy-food.
Speaking of delicious hippy-food, we all had lunch today at this place called "Veggie Planet" in Harvard Square -0- daN and i met Patty and Drew there after Q's doggie event. Having walked from the Common in Downtown Boston, we were keen for food. The food there is tasty-licious and cheap. I highly recommend it!
All in all, a good weekend. It was wonderful to be reunited with friends, and wonderful to be in the Amherst-Noho area. It was also really nice to go on a hugely long walk with daN today.
Again, wish me luck with the interview tomorrow. I doubt it will be the last if i make it, but please wish for me that i make it!
And now, for your moment of Zen: the dinnerware that daN and i picked out at Crate and Barrel today.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Courtesy of YouTube and www.cuteoverload.com, have a cute moment for yourself today.
You'll need the pick-me-up, because yesterday, Steve Irwin the Croc Hunter passed away while swimming over a sting ray http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2006/09/04/irwin2_hum.html
Maybe i'm a day late in finding this out since i don't have TV, but i was saddened nonetheless.
Friday, September 01, 2006
of California Wine
-- The Decemberists
Maybe it's the fact that i never see people these days, and i'm feeling lonely. Maybe it's that my new set of pills is making me cry all the time. Maybe it's that i am fighting off the sense of defeat from running out of money and having to apply for full time jobs again. Maybe it's knowing that I'm running out of money and i NEED a full time job again. Whatever the reason, her heart or her shoes, she stood there on Labor Day's Eve feeling the blues.
Autumn has a sense of nostalgia all on its own. The smell in the air, the feeling of new beginnings, change, as the school year calendar is burned into my brain and flows through my veins. I miss having something new to do in the fall. And maybe that's why i'm applying for a fulltime job. I don't know.
But i do know this: i have learned a lot about myself this summer, things that i'm not sure i would have known if i hadn't attempted to be a fulltime yoga teacher from the get-go:
1. I am not the kind of person who can go long periods of time without knowing where the money is going to come from. It freaks me out, and i'm not OK with it. Read, i need more stability than i thought i did.
2. I still want to feel like i am doing good in the world. I can work at a college, university, non-profit, or some other socially minded company, and still feel like i'm doing good.
3. You don't have to teach yoga full time to teach yoga.
4. I don't want to teach yoga full time unless it's all in the same place. There has been far too much running around like a chicken with my head cut off this summer, and all the travelling is too much for me.
5. I don't need my own schedule as much as i thought i did. All i need is more time off every now and then.
6. I miss people. I'm 50/50 introvert-extrovert, and the introvert's even getting lonely.
7. I miss the basic comforts. Being able to get new clothing when i need it (and i need it, but i can't right now), being able to go out for dinner if i damned well please, and being able to buy a CD. Being able to buy a cup of coffee without feeling guilty about it.
8. It turns out you need money to travel, and i need to travel A LOT. I have the travel bug, and it's going nuts right now.
I have been feeling anxious lately because i am running out of money. And that's not easy. But i still have a small buffer. Fortunately, the folks at FM are kind enough to let me stay there until i can work it all out, or even come on full time again. They're good people, and they want to help me out.
So, wish me well. I'm a basket case right now, but i'm starting to be OK with where i am. I can still teach at Bally's, the Harvard Athletic Centers, and at the Children's Center i've been doing. I can still do those things and have a darned good time teaching yoga.
I wanted to do this all on my own terms, and it turns out, my terms are different than i thought they were.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Some people add to the family with babies. Some ease into things with pets. daN and i, on the other hand, not being ready for babies nor have the space for a pet, have been adding nice appliances that are expensive but highly rated and should last a long freakin' time.
It all started with the Kitchen Aid mixer. I love this thing to pieces and use it at least once a week. Next, we moved onto getting a Cuisinart drip coffee maker. Ah, the blessings of consistently good drip coffee. Today, we finally got a new toaster oven.
I feel the need to "bury" the old one, as i bury a remnant of my past with it. We've been using a toaster oven that i found at the swap shop at the Camden (Maine) dump. It looked perfectly fine, so i scrubbed it out as best as i could, and it worked! Recently, it's been showing signs of its age, and finally shit the bed as it doesn't toast consisently at all, burns the outside of the damned piece of bread while the inside remains cold and untouched by thermal energy at all.
All in all though, it did a good job for the four or five years that i had it. I did a lot of research online so we could find just the right one, when, surprise-surprise, Cuisinart and Kitchen Aid had the highest ratings. What is more, the brand that i picked up at the dump is reported to have gotten worse. All the reviews i read said that while the old models worked for a long time, the new ones barely last at all. Also, word to the wise, don't buy a DeLonghi electronic. They've got terribly reviews across the board. I based most of my research off a great consumer page called www.epinions.com.
At any rate, today, daN and i went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond (we have a stockpile of 20% off coupons there that never expire at that particular store) and picked up the $100 toaster oven for a mere $80. Well, it's a smart looking piece of equipment on our counter in a professional mat black finish, and we could make muffins in it to boot.
To see the most recent addition to our family, check out the link below: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU=12924216&RN=685
Rest your soul, 1970's Black and Decker toaster oven. Your generation has served us all well, and we have graduated to a higher class of toaster ovens. Thank you for setting the standard even if your children couldn't keep it up.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Sent to me by my friend Lee. It's official! According to the New York Times, coffee consumption has been scientifically proven as beneficial, reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, alcohol-related liver failure, and something else. Whew!
All i drink is water, coffee, tea, and wine. And the occassional coctail. By all measures, i'm in good shape.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Thank goodness! Let me preface this by saying that I am waiting to find out what hospital room an old friend of mine is in at Mass General. He had surgery this morning at 10:30 and he still doesn't have a room! Yarg!
At any rate, daN and i were in Maine this weekend, and ... to avoid sounding pessamistic, it was overwhelmingly filled with mostly wonderful things as trips to Maine often are.
1. Saw Emily Sibley! We caught up after about 7 years of having not really seen each other and split a bottle of wine on her porch. (maiden: Dail -- went to high school with her, and it was SO great to see her!) and got a wonderful free massage as a result -- she works at the Downeast School of Massage. I was so present, and the therapist in training who massaged me is a talented healer indeed.
2. Saw the Bogs! Actually, we didn't plan seeing them this weekend, but their warm open hearts and home made it impossible, and the day of recouperation was spent there, as we all sat around reading, went on a long walk down to the ocean, played video games, ate greens, etc.
3. Seeing Mum -- we hung out and shot the shit on the deck in the beautiful pre-fall Maine weather -- dry and warm -- while daN was fast asleep on the bed.
4. The Story Telling Circle at the Golden Raven -- Ron's project. We saw and heard some fantastic stories that will stick with me, and afterwards, we had a delightful time hanging out wiht daN's crazy Aunt Carol and Uncle Ron and Jon and Judy. It was a blast!
5. Got to see my Dad! And Jeanne and Yulia (his girlfriend and youngest daughter)! We also had a wonderful time. He made a DELICIOUS blue cheese and tomato tart with a green salad on the side served with lemon vinagrette. MMMM.
6. Saw the various aspects of the Miller Family! Young Alexander (daN's nephew) was baptized...and to be honest, a lot of that day was filled with awkwardness and disaster as specific people seem to have been excluded from specific things, but all in all, it was a fine day and we ate well at Debbie's afterwards.
7. Hung out at the Second Read! I love that place. Nuff said.
8. Had an EXCELLENT dinner (in fact, the only good meal we had out the whole weekend) at Rustica -- the new Italian restaurant on Main Street, Rockland. The service was unparalleled, and the food was wonderful and creative. I didn't even have to get wheat! I had a delicious salad with polenta (cornbased) croutons with roasted red peppers stuffed with sundried tomatoes and olive oil in a balsamic reduction. Oh my god. It was simply terrific. I was so happy.
9. We also, at the beginning of the trip, saw Graham Allen in "The Full Monty" at the Maine State Music Theatre. It was a fantastic production! I guess i would expect nothing less from a professional theatre, but, that having been said, the actual staging, acting, singing, overall talent were wonderful as was the play itself. I was very happy.
So, overall, good weekend.
1. Overwhelmed with seeing people 24-7. I am half introvert, half extrovert, and daN more intro than i... and we started to fall, apart around Sunday night riding back from Dad's house. It was too much. Monday was the day of recovery at the Bogs.
2. Food -- we ate pretty much terribly a lot of the time we were there, and spent a disappointingly large amount of money doing so.
3. Too much time in the car, not enough time relaxing.
4. No time for each other, let alone ourselves! We actually had to go out on a date on Monday night to catch up!
5. Never are quite sure we'll be able to stay in or close to Union -- where most of the family is.
Get a hotel room in Rockland for one of the two usual weekend nights, and perhaps more nights than that if we are staying for longer. This should help maintain the sanity levels.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
And now, for your moment of ZeN: me doing yoga on a cliff on Monhegan Island.
For those of you who wish to follow, some folks pulled together by my darling daN are working on a chain written online webcomic called "Chain Scarlet" surrounding a character of pirates. Despite my lack of photoshop skillZ (required to do things like making speech bubbles, inserting text, and move stock images of characters around) i am participating!
The chain cycle is still in its first round, so check it out from beginning to end, click here: http://achainstory.net/scarlet/z01.html and then use the "Next" buttons to feed along. Mine is #4!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
i am about to embark upon teaching yoga to some kids in the malden school system for an academic year. it frightens me, but i think it will be good. it will unfortunately only be once a month to each age group, and i will be teaching to 2 age groups -- a 1-4th grade set, and the other a 5-8th grade set. the two shall be very different -- any tips on how to handle it? i also have to put a curriculum together, which shouldn't be a problem. i will emphasize balance one time, inversions another time, etc, and then be practicing the sun salute all along so they can take it home with them. i'll make little hand-outs and stuff. the other nice thing is that they are going to pay me for prep time, which is great. they are very excited to have me twice a month, and i am very excited to have this going for me too. so, it shall work out, somehow. at the very least, it will be fascinating, and i'll be sure to have times around holidays off.
harvard athletics interviewed me this past week, and that went very well. they were already talking about how to get me on the schedule.
still no one showing up at the classes at the dance center of waltham, but i have one consistent student going to my harvard square gig. i think i'll have to put some more posters up... i did a mailing... i hope it works.
constant self-marketing is tiring. i'm still nowhere near getting enough to pay the bills, but i am slowing the rate of attrition in my bank account. and hell -- it sure has been nice not having to get up at 6 every morning.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Lots of things going on in my head and outside of it lately. First off, daN and i had a houseful of guests this weekend. Here is a clip of what i sent to Mum:
"matt and his girlfriend jessica flew in on friday morning zak and mandi drove down from maine on friday night. we had dinner, played games, hung out, etc. on saturday morning, mark and stef drove down from new hampshire. fun ensued. mark, stef, zak, dan, and matt played magic the card game all day, and mandi, jessica, and i went to a yoga workshop in downtown boston at a studio i'm trying to get in with. it was an AMAZING workshop and was highly beneficial and fun. we met my friend ana there, too, and she came with us back to the house afterwards (we got back around 5pm). Q came down to hang out with everyone, and we
started thinking about how to feed people. lots of salad and take-out was involved. by the time everyone was fed, clean-up was done, etc, we walked to get ice cream at christina's (out FAVORITE ice cream place EVER) and then came back home. got home around 11, and zak and
mandi left to go back up to maine. yes, we sent them back with a whole bunch of coffee. they made it home safely. eventually, people went to sleep.
salad, homemade granola, yogurt, bacon, and english muffins to feed people. showers were had, and eventually matt, daN, and jessica piled off to go to the airport. jessica caught a plane back to DC, while the guys hung around for 10 minutes until kathy's plane flew in. meanwhile, stef and i were hanging out back here catching up hadn't gotten to talk at all since she'd gotten there on saturday morning), which was really lovely. eventually, the guys and kathy arrived, we all had lunch, and then mark and stef packed their stuff back up to head back to NH. at this point, the people who were NOW in our house (me, matt, kathy, and daN) were POOPED. kathy fell asleep on the futon, matt crashed on the floor, and daN and i chilled on the bed (incidentally, i didn't see much of daN this weekend either, but we'll hang out a lot quite soon -- next week he has off!). it was good to have quiet time! kathy wasn't feeling well, so the two of us walked up the hill to CVS to get her some benedryl, and she started feeling better. we also started thinking about dinner -- i made most of it, and it was much enjoyed! i made a roasted carrot sauce to go over rice, some aramanth greens (which were DELICIOUS!) lightly steamed with onions and olive oil, and matt and daN made up some pork chops. kal-el and gilly came over for dinner, too, and after dinner, we played a few board games (yay! i love board games!) we sent them home aorund 10:30, and daN and i were in bed just by midnight. WHEW. that was the weekend. this morning when daN went to work and i went to waltham to teach yoga (still no one there.. i'm giving it time), matt and kathy left for maine, and now i am home with an empty house for the first time since thursday. it's kinda nice. but it was really wonderful seeing everyone this weekend. i am truly blessed.
i love you, mum :)
sunday: we get up and putter around doing lazy morning stuff. fruit salad, homemade granola, yogurt, bacon, and english muffins to feed people. showers were had, and eventually matt, daN, and jessica piled off to go to the airport. jessica caught a plane back to DC, while
the guys hung around for 10 minutes until kathy's plane flew in. meanwhile, stef and i were hanging out back here catching up (we hadn't gotten to talk at all since she'd gotten there on saturday morning), which was really lovely. eventually, the guys and kathy
arrived, we all had lunch, and then mark and stef packed their stuff back up to head back to NH. at this point, the people who were NOW in our house (me, matt, kathy, and daN) were POOPED. kathy fell asleep on the futon, matt crashed on the floor, and daN and i chilled on the
bed (incidentally, i didn't see much of daN this weekend either, but we'll hang out a lot quite soon -- next week he has off!). it was good to have quiet time! kathy wasn't feeling well, so the two of us walked up the hill to CVS to get her some benedryl, and she started feeling better. we also started thinking about dinner -- i made most of it, and it was much enjoyed! i made a roasted carrot sauce to goover rice, some aramanth greens (which were DELICIOUS!) lightly
steamed with onions and olive oil, and matt and daN made up some pork chops. kal-el and gilly came over for dinner, too, and after dinner, we played a few board games (yay! i love board games!) we sent them home aorund 10:30, and daN and i were in bed just by midnight."
matt and kathy left the house on monday morning while daN and i were off at our respective work places. this was the EASIEST houseguest weekend i think we've hosted for a few reaons:
1. people were really good about helping with clean-up and dishes.
2. i did a lot of stuff throughout the day ahead of time, like prepping veggies for dinner, doing little loads of dishes myself, etc.
3. having people come with me to yoga helped, too.
Yoga business is going well. It's starting to culminate into something. I am afraid I might have to do a separate posting on that tomorrow though -- a lot to report on there.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
The following are chapter headings of what i need to write.
1. Philadelphia: a friends' wedding, seeing old friends, feeling old, and having a great time.
2. Classes at Churches: no one comes! I mean it.
3. Classes with existant client bases: They go well, and they are affirming. And they pay me to show up.
4. A Day Spent in Waltham: A Real Community with People Happy to Hang Up My Posters and Recommend Other Places to Do SO!
5. Marketing: Thinking about going in on an ad with other yoga teachers at the same church, or, We Hope People Show Up at this here Church location class.
And that about wraps it up, folks. I have to get ready for bed, because tomorrow I am going back into work at FM (for a couple of Fridays).
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Just a quick note: Happy Fourth of July! While Jon, Judy, and Kal-El are watching fireworks, i sit at home, hot here, having showered, not, in fact, covered in sweat anymore, and NOT, most importantly NOT being hearded off the Esplanade like Jews into Auchwitz. At least, that's what i recall about last year. I had a wonderful time right up to trying to go home. So, this year, daN and i went and hung out for a few hours, and then we left around 8 or so when things were starting to gear up. I was going to try to hook up with other friends, but none are around at the moment, and i was just as happy to shower and sit around because i'm so beat.
Why am i so beat? Well, it turns out that i'm a mean boss! Yesterday i think i got heatstroke while i was postering in Central, Harvard, and Davis Squares. I was going to hand out flyers while on the Esplanade today, but i just couldn't do it. So, i placed the little quarter pagers strategically on the T instead. And, actually, a lady sitting down near where i was putting them up asked me if she could have one! I was very excited. I also saw that a couple of my tags were taken off flyers hanging in Davis, so that also gave me hope. Today i also found out that people work at the Improper Bostonian on the Fourth of July -- i placed a small line ad with them that will appear in the classifieds of the Boston's Best issue -- the biggest and most widely read. I also am seeing about getting the classes listed in the Body/Mind section of the Improper Bostonian. So i've been busy. I gave myself most of today and tonight off, though. But tomorrow, it's back to work. Whew!
I'm looking forward to this weekend -- one of my friends is getting married! So i'll be going to her wedding in Westchester, PA, flying in on Friday morning to spend the day helping out and hanging out, and then all day doing fun wedding things, and then on Saturday night late after the reception, i'll be going with another friend to see yet more friends! THEN, i fly back into Boston on Monday morning and prepare for my first class at Old South Church. Wee!
Lots of exciting things going on. But for now, i think i'm going to get ready for bed and then read my book for a while.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
i FINALLY made what appears to be a really incredible, moist, constitutionally sound, and completely wheat free bread i've EVER made today. It is an oatmeal spelt bread, and that's all i'm going to say, because other than that, it's proprietary. And it's SO GOOD.
So THAT made me happy.
Additionally, i've had a fun weekend. daN's brother and sister in law Nate and Tara came down to visit this weekend. On Friday night, we went to Redbones, which i thoroughly enjoyed. It was full of cornbread deliciousness, which was fantastic. Yesterday morning, we went to Johnny D's for brunch, and then continued down to the Museum of Fine Arts for fine art viewing. And, if you read the fine print, you can use the ticket a second time within a 9 day period, so we're going to go again next weekend! YAY! We hopped on the train and went to the North End for canolis at Mike's Pastries (oddly, the low part of the trip for me) and i grabbed a delicious espresso in a random Italian bistro.
Then we went to Loew's to see a movie, so we went to see X-Men, the movie that was at the intersection of our diverse viewing desires. I really enjoyed it. A lot! I will mention that there was a lot that happened in the movie that really could have handled to be explained or delivered with some more fanfare and background to it, but it didn't ruin the movie for me. There was just a lot going on.
Finally, last night, we came home for a dinner of salad and leftovers, topped off with some chocolate chip cookies that i threw together. They came out rather tastily. We played Carcassonne, daN's favorite boardgame, and i felt REALLY solid in the strategy of the game this time, and i was able to help cime in with some really good suggestions for Nate and Tara! Go me! It was a fun time. We crawled into bed around 11:30 or so. Today we had to bring them to South Station, and i was very proud of myself as i negotiated downtown Boston. Getting TO South Station was easy -- it was getting AWAY from it that proved a hastle. Still, i managed, and daN and i ran some errands, including Trader Joe's for wine and chocolate and Home Despot for plant pots and such -- yes, i have a potted vegetable garden in the back yard. Woo! It makes me happy. Hopefully it bears fruit. Well, vegetables, anyway. I heavily domesticized all afternoon, including the breadbaking, and i also made some tasty beet soup and swiss chard that we had with the bread while FINALLY watching Hitchcock's North by Northwest. It was OK.
What a good weekend. I am about to start my last week at First Marblehead. I think it will be a good one. I'm looking forward to being unemployed (well, self-employed) so that i can do things like organize the bookshelves again :)
Monday, June 19, 2006
I am glowing with joy from the sheer amount of sun i have had for the past few days. I have slept wonderfully, hearing the sounds of the ocean right outside the window, without a constant buzz. I climbed rocks, scaled down sides of small cliffs, bounced around on mossy hillicks in the forest, skipped around faerie houses, dodged low-hanging branches, leapt from dry spots to rolling logs sinking in swamps and back onto dry spots until making my way out of marshes, doing yoga on the grass, hearing no car sounds, felt the ocean breeze on my skin, and above all, enjoyed beloved company on Monhegan Island. The Bogs have a house out there, and to my great fortune, daN and i were able to join them this weekend and only this weekend before the summer renters arrive (so the Bogs can afford to keep the house). It was, without a doubt, magic. I feel so lucky. And a few shades darker.
Monday, June 12, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
This weekend, Judy came to town! So daN, Kal-El and i checked out the Picante Mexican Grill in Central Square, which was OK... but the beans and rice were both tremendously delicious! Mmm. We hung out all together playing Dr. Mario and laughing tiredly about ridiculous things (jolly good time) until around 12:15 or so, at which point daN and i went to bed, and Judy and Kal went downtown to hang out at a bar.
First off, Saturday began with daN waking me up a little after 10am. Yes, left to my own devices, i will still sleep that late, and later. I wonder when i would have woken up if daN hadn't come in. Thank god he did! We had a lot to do. daN and i worked all day yesterday. Yes, all day. He's been working on my website, and i've been working on content for it. I also made some decisions about equipment to order, how i'd like to get paid, that sort of thing. I'm having a good time with it! Now i just have to make some posters, business cards, and that sort of thing... of course, posters will have to wait until i get a schedule nailed down per location.
At any rate, Razz came over at one point and allowed for some break from the work. We all chilled together for a while, but eventually, i went back to writing website content while the boys played Civ 4. It was good! Reminded me a bit of college -- people hanging around computers doing their own thing, coexisting nicely. Eventually, it was time for him to go and for us to do some grocery shopping, so we did that while bringing him home. THEN, i made dinner! YAY FOOD! It's REALLY good and i'm looking forward to doing a pita sandwich with it in about 20 minutes. I made some beat greens, and then the kicker was a wild rice and black beans combo with stir-fried onions, celery and carrots dumped in, seasoned with salt, pepper, and tahini (sesame butter, essentially). OH DELICIOUS. I topped it off with some dried cranberries, and that completed the meal in a lovely way. It will taste so good in a pita, too! Mmm. I must be hungry.
ANyway, daN and i (mostly daN) worked late into the night on my site, and Judy got in around midnight. So, Judy and i went for a short walk before all crawling into bed around 1. This morning, we woke up around 7:30, and i did gentle morning yoga with Judy. It was marvellous! Then we had a great breakfast complete withyummy coffee drinks (daN had a hot chocolate, Judy had a mocha, and i had a soy cappuccino -- i have TOTALLy gotten my money's worth out of my 1970 La Pavoni Europiccolo chrome lever-pull espresso machine) and granola with kamut puffs.
Speaking of crazy food, i have realized recently that i like to eat basically macrobiotically. So yes, i guess i am officially almost one of those macrobiotic nuts who i used to call crazy. I am obviously not religious about it, but it turns out that's just the diet that makes me feel best. Do i still eat chocolate? Hell's fuck yeah.
OK, time to get working again. I certainly haven't got all day, and i DEFINITELy want to get outside and walk in the sun that's shining outside for a long walk!