Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Speaking of Spice

I said this to my friend in a voicemail last night:
"I thought I'd catch you before I went in for bowling league. Yup, I'm in a bowling league. That's what I've become, that's life after school. After you graduate perhaps you too could join a bowling team."

It made me realize that, as CJane put it, I need to get my spice back.

Bowling league would be awesome if I was legitimately good at bowling and went for more reasons than just to eat the cheesy fries and play Mass Millions (won $3 last one won the big jackpot....I'll let you know). The thing is, I SUCK at bowling, as in bowling a 48 suckage.

I tried to be spicy last weekend. I went to an alum event in Newton to hear the college archivist talk about photography at Smith. I went from this:

to this:

in an effort to be spicy, and really just came out with slightly less insane hair and not enough makeup to look less tired. Oh well, it didn't really matter because I was about the 5th oldest person out of the group. The median age had to be about 70. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but think I am seeking my spice in the wrong places.

I told Jamaal about this sudden lack of seasoning and at first he laughed and said that it was all a ridiculous notion. I was silent for a long while and then I said "but I'm a slave to my job - I work long hours and stress over it, then I come home, work out if I'm lucky, shove some food in my mouth and fall into bed - what the f*ck happened? I'm 27 damn years old, aren't I supposed to be more interesting?"

You know what he said?
He said "But you bowled tonight"

I flipped. I mean it was funny after, but I was like 'I BOWLED? That's your version of excitement? ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Finding a spider in my bed on Sunday night was more exciting!" (and freaky I might add).

I think he figured out what I was talking about finally because he was like "yes I know I know, since I've been in school we haven't done anything, it's true. We used to go out, we used to do stuff when you came down here, but we haven't in a while." Not since I forced him to go to the Statue of Liberty that is, lol. It was hard with us in school - harder for him because he has less flexibility about getting sh*t done. I could do work ahead of time before visiting him unless I had some hideous exam I needed to study for, but he is more "in the moment" with conference calls and group work, etc.

He promised spice when he moves up here (finally. whenever that may be.)

I shouldn't be so down because my life could really blow and it doesn't. It's just surface crap that needs cleaning, organization that needs to happen so I don't have to come home and be bogged down by boring sh*t. It's just that I was particularly complainy yesterday I guess. meh.

Something I did do earlier this week is a little garden photo shoot. You can really see spring happening now, especially with the native plants adapted to this wacky climate:

I also got this totally rad scarf in the mail from my RSE 3 partner.

I noticed how wackadoodle my front teeth look. Damn retainer, I should've worn it like I was told. uhhhhwell.

Alright I'm off to prepare for my big conference call. I feel less nervous about it, an improvement over last month. Sigh. Then I might try and find some spiciness...I will probably just end up watching ANTM in my pj's though, LOL

Monday, April 27, 2009

Because Turkey is the Spice of Life

And certainly makes spring more delicious ;)

Taken at BWH(ospital)

Delicious Spring

This morning I woke up with the windows open. It's the first time since last summer that it's been warm enough to do that...and I have to wait til it's quite warm because of the creatures with which I cohabitate (the birdies cannot have a draft blowing on them). Waking up to the morning sounds and a warm breeze is really the most pleasant way to wake up, I think, and I am not a morning person.

The sunlight and the air put me in such a great mood this morning too. The commuter rail seemed to glide over the tracks on its way to Boston; I looked out the window at the marshy areas in Weymouth and Braintree (I have learned that the left side of the train is the good side). I paused during my re-reading of Kalahari Typing School for Men to check for the lone Canada Goose and the set of turtles on the "turtle log" in a swampy bit before the Braintree T stop.

Once I got on the shuttle bus, I became reabsorbed in my book, but stashed it away when we crossed over Huntington. The trees near the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Simmons and the Fens are blooming and look gorgeous. The leaves are just starting to come out. I really do love spring.

Whenever this change of season happens, I can't help but to think of Kenya. I was there from January to May and yes, there was the marked change between "the dry" and "the wet" but other than that, there was no way to mark the passage of time. As much as my heart sometimes aches from missing Africa, I know that deep down I am a New Englander who requires my year to have four distinct seasons. I feel somewhat unhinged without them. As glorious as Kenya is in both dry and wet, the warmth, the flowers, the birds, there is something truly delicious about New England, Boston, in particular, clawing its way through the grey and brown end of winter to emerge colorful and lush in the spring. Of course by August we'll all be bitching about the heat, the scorched lawns and wilted flowers, but for now, we're reveling in all of April's spring tidings and May's potential. We're soaking up the warm rays of the sun (with SPF 45 on) and thinking "This....this was just what I needed."

Give me a few days and I assure you that I will return to the harried, overworked cranky yankee I normall am ;-) For now though, I'm going to go outside and smell the tulips.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Today I...

1. Drank too much beer during lunch
2. Wasted time in the BWH gift shop with my coworkers
3. Ate a cupcake
4. Knit
5. Enjoyed Life
6. Walked in the sunshine

Today I did NOT
1. do much work
2. have a headache

I see a very very suspicious pattern here....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Greetings from Slackertonville

Well I promised to do this list of 27 things I'd like to do before I turn 28....of course that was about a week ago. Let me tell you, work and life have not allowed me a second thought about being 27 - which is not bad, I'm not complaining or anything, but I just haven't had the time I expected for deep personal reflection.

The weekend flew by and I didn't do too much....which is actually frustrating because I had goals for this weekend dammit. That's not to say I didn't do anything - on Saturday I drove out to Northampton to go to tea and it was so much fun. I needed it. Of course I felt like ass because I think I have an ear infection (boo) but the amazingness of being back at school, back in our old house full of memories was just fantastic. The house smelled the same, looked pretty much the same (some cleaner furniture) - I realized how much a part of my life Hubbard really was/is. I guess what most people remember from college might be the parties or the classes or the town where they went to school - obviously I remember all of those and fondly, but the memories that have really stuck have been house memories. Probably because so many of us were embedded into house life.

Sunday was the day I wasted, lying in bed, going to storage for the migration of the clothes, and poking around Whole Foods and AC Moore. Huge timesuck day.

Monday I volunteered with my sister at the marathon. We worked at the cancer hospital's tent and let me tell you, it was freakin' inspirational. I've been to the marathon live a couple times but never as an "adult" and as someone who has completed a half-marathon and has a concept of exacty how freakin hard 26.2 actually IS. I so admire the people running for charity - there are so many, 100's for the cancer hospital alone. Amazing! My favorite part was ringing a cowbell on the sidelines screaming at the top of my lungs for the runners. I have a loud-ass voice too, so I got a great response from a lot of the runners. Some of them acknowledged with the eyes, too tired or too focused to respond, which I totally understand, but others flashed a thumbs-up or high-fived. I also found a friend from college and friend from high school and went buckwild as they ran by - they flashed huge smiles as they made their way to the top of the hill. Badass. Today I opened the paper where the Globe listed the full results of yesterday's race and for some reason I went to the end - the last person in took 7+ hours to run the race. I wish I had been there to give her a high-five. While we all love watching the elite runners kickass, the woman who came in dead last has BALLS, man. How many times did she want to quit? Probably a lot....but she didn't. She crossed that finish line and she is awesome for doing it.

Ok so the weekend wasn't a bust. It was pretty great actually. But in terms of getting shit done, it didn't happen, and one of those items that I really wanted to do was make my 27 list. Most of the times I am anti- "lists of things to do before xyz." For example, I don't have a "bucket list" because I have this irrational fear that if I complete everything on my bucket list, I'll die. I mean I get that it's inevitable and all and since I'm the type of person who piles on tasks to to do lists with reckless abandon, I probably will never complete my bucket list, but still....I think all the blog reading I've been doing lately has pushed me to get out there and be a little more adventurous....and has certainly delivered a swift kick in the ass in terms of prioritizing family and friends and good times above the dumb sh*t (work, judgements, boring crap, time-wasting) I realized that I've become a bit dull. It's not a huge problem, and I'm not worried about it yet, but I'm thinking it's time to add a little spice - and what's wrong with writing it down? Life is short....ridiculously so....and I have to enjoy it dammit!
So. Here goes:

27 Things I Want to Do Before I'm 28:

1. Go somewhere new and somewhat faraway
2. Make a superfluous and ridiculous cake for no reason
3. Finish my running excel file bird life list (uber DORK!)
4. Make a blurb photo book
5. Run the Boston Marathon*
6. Take more photos of everything, especially people
7. Become insanely and enviously organized
8. Finish a long-abandoned craft project (under the sea cross stitch? sr year calligraphy project?)
9. FTDS and move in with Jamaal, opinions and judgements be damned
10. Memorize a poem. Or two.
11. Set the bar higher at work- I'm not organized, I'm not putting in 100%, and that makes me sad
13. Spend more quality time with Jamaal. We hardly have any down time or time to do fun things beyond go out to dinner. I want to do fun stuff for a change (not that food isn't fun, but you know). I want to do photo-worthy things.
14. See a Red Sox game LIVE (bonus points for a stadium other than Fenway!)
15. Skip work, even if just for a day, to do something furtive and fun, like go to the beach. ooooh the indulgence!
16. Have the wedding planned out almost to completion so I enjoy the day
17. Take advantage of what Boston has to offer (restaurants, museums, shows etc)
18. Help more people and animals. I donate platelets and all, but it's kind of removed from the situation.
19. Bird watch more - see five new species! (neeerrrddd alert)
20. Take better care of my skin (beyond sunscreen, I don't do much of anything)
21. Chillax more. I am overbooked always, and feel guilty when I don't want to go to something, but have nothing to do otherwise. Have to stop feeling guilty too.
22. Conquer a fear (this will be the hardest thing on the list!)
23. Reduce that knitting stash!
24. Visit the Mapparium
25. Reconnect with someone
26. Spend more time in my kayak taking in the world.
27. Make a five-course dinner for me and Jamaal. I don't even know what those five courses would be really, but it's the kind of thing you hear in movies, and I'm gonna do it!

There it is. There's the list. I'll check in next year and see how I've done. For now, I'm heading home!

*This will be on April 19, 2010, technically 3 days after my 28th birthday, but I think you'll all cut me a break

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stuff today, Stuff tomorrow

Today I bought myself some bday gifts.

Normally I'm not all "oooh it's my BIRTHDAY I must buy myself lots of presents" usually it's more like 'oh I have been lusting after this one item for many months, now I shall use the excuse of my birthday and the check from my grandparents to purchase it' (*coughcoughdigitalrebelxticoughcough*). Anywho.

Today I decided to be frivolous. Well maybe not frivilous because I can use everything I bought, but I threw care and budgetary concerns to the wind. Plus I had a coupon, lol.

I bought myself new headphones because I broke mine. I actually already owned these headphones, but they lasted a year before they were busted. I bought them again because they were only $10 and they freakin' rock. If I had to spend $10 a year for them I might, simply because they come with different sized earbuds. I had been rocking your generic "comes with ipod" headphones and I dunno if my ears are oddly sized or shaped, but those b*tches killed. These are GREAT. I guess jlb makes fancier ones that are $40, but they only got mediocre reviews. I may as well get the ones that I love for a quarter of that and try to treat them a bit nicer in hopes they last. I tried them out today by listening to 'i am trying to break your heart' with my eyes closed. Seven minutes straight. It rocked. I felt relaxed and happy and now I won't have to listen to "man with high-pitched girlish laughter who sneezes a lot" and "loud man" on the train anymore. yyyyaaayyy.

Then I went to Sephora (coupon). I got this awesome hair sample there a while ago and I just dug it up recently and used it. It's fantastic. I went to pick up the full size, some more Hope in a Jar, some fresh face wash and some newer nicer-smelling body wash....and of course get my free bday gift, three mini glosses. Not too shabby.

I love unwrapping new stuff like this. It's Hope in a Jar, and it was so perfect and smooth and it really hope in a jar? ha.

Then I went to Target to buy a new pillow. I left my old one at Babson, and it's really the lamest thing ever that I never called them to see if they have it. It's just that with work being what it is and my days being long, the thought of trekking there was so daunting that I let it go. Yeah, it was my favorite pillow. It was also stained an ungodly color and disintegrating. I did a "Oh I'm not going to buy a new one when Jam and I are going to move in together and buy new stuff" blah blah, but it was really gross and it should've been tossed a long time ago. The thing is that it was pure latex, and you can't find that sh*t anymore (not cheaply at least). No I don't want down, I don't want cotton, I don't want bamboo, and I don't want friggin' memory foam. I want plain old bad for the environment, weird smelling pure latex. It was not to be. I bought an extra firm Target pillow for 9.99 with a special gusset for side sleepers. I hope it doesn't disappoint, but I have very low expectations:
**edited to add: The pillow rocked my world. Seriously. I can't even tell you how freakin' comfy it was. I was lying in bed thinking "why did I not do this years agooo......" but then the thought ended because I fell asleep and slept like a rock an hour past my alarm clock. ha ha ha. Might have to chuck my other three pillows and get another one of these!**

I also bought bday candy. Birthday sour patch kids (gone) and birthday chocolate (saving). I have to say after giving up candy for lent, eating it again has been anticlimatic and disappointing. I think I might pretty much quit it altogether. There's no point, no secret thrill. Sigh. Oh well. Maybe I should try healthy food again, for the thrill...

Also, I had Lily out for a long while. He likes it and it makes him happy. How do I know? He will compose 20 minutes worth of whistling songs to tell me so. Then he settles into his "comfy mode" (last pic) and grinds his beak (sign of contentment in birds).

In other news, I've been addicted to this blog lately. I dare you to read it and not cry. It's so f*cking sad I can't even begin to tell you. But it's amazing. I'm not being very eloquent here, but basically it's f*cking sad, but it would be as amazing as it is if it weren't and it sucks that the blog ever had to be invented in the first place, but what this guy has shared with all of us is so beautiful and heartbreaking that I think the world is a better place for it. Read it without crying I DARE YOU. If my coworkers are reading this, yeah, that's what I was doing with all the tissues this morning - it wasn't allergies, it was me dabbing at my eyes.

So Matt's blog got me thinking about how damn fragile life is....I worry about so much ridiculous dumb sh*t it's not even funny and I take so much for granted. Like on Monday as I trudged into work I was thinking "ugh I'd rather be anywhere but here." Then I caught myself. I work at a damn cancer hospital, how do I think the patients and families feel about being here?! I was like "b8tch. get to work. stop complaining." It's good that I can self-administer reality check/dope slaps when needed. Seriously though, I've been thinking a lot about the future and how Jam and I will just need to treasure every moment together because you never know what sort of f*cked up thing might happen.
Therefore I have been compiling a list for my kids. It is short 'cause I don't have any yet, but here goes:

I. Things I will never make my kids do that I had to do as a kid
1. Eat pork chops, pork loin, pork anything. iiiiiiiiick

II. Things I will let my kids do that I wasn't allowed to
1. Decorate the whole driveway with sidewalk chalk (my dad was type a about the driveway,

III. Things I got to do as a kid that I want my kids to be able to do
1. Travel with family all over the country (it rocked, happiest memories ever)
2. Go to summer camp and run wild
3. Go out in the backyard and run wild
4. Go to college, study abroad, etc
5. Be an innocent kid for as long as possible
(I like that this list is the longest)

IV. Things that my parents didn't make me do that I WILL make my kids do
1. recycle
2. practice an instrument/language if they choose to take it up. my biggest regret is that my
parents weren't hardasses about this, at least til I was old enough to make up my own mind!

I know when it comes down to it I'm just going to want to give them a loving home where they are safe and happy. But I might print out this list as a reminder. Especially part IV. I'll tap it and say "stop, turn, walk back to the piano and practice my little darling." ha ha ha. Ok maybe not. We'll see.......

Ok that's it for today...tonight....gotta go call Jamaal, tell him how much I loooove him because I don't do it enough.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts

1. A No-Go: I receive Martha Stewart's near-daily craft email. Today's email contained instructions for making paper peonies out of recycled paper. Since I'm yearning for spring and always feel the need to be keeping busy with something crafty, I thought 'yes, peonies sound fun and delightful, plus these are made with recycled paper. Brilliant, Martha, brilliant.'
Then I saw that it took 16 steps to make them and required obscure ingredients (ok obscure to me) such as "silpat" and "pearlized medium" and would also require a blender. Cancel paper peonies.

2. Allergy Season: I am stuffy, sneezy, cough-y, and eye-watery. But my claritin that I put out on a legal pad this morning is gone, so I must've taken it.

3. Slackeration: I have artfully avoided doing work for the past 3 hours (except for work emails). Time to take a blogging break and get some real sh*t done.

4. No Organizational Skillz: I am so beyond scattered right now in EVERYTHING it's not even FUNNY. Total lack of organization and plan. Every day is waking up, struggle to keep head above water, get home, eat, crash. The problem is that I've been maintaining this since my promotion, and pretty much pulling it off. My work and social activities increased exponentially when promotion occurred (not that the two are related in any way, ha ha) and I'm drifting along. I think the reason for the acceptance of drifting is that I haven't actually forgotten anything yet, like an important meeting or a hard to schedule appointment...if that had happened I may actually have my sh*t together...instead I make my meetings and appointments and let everything else go to hell. It's a "I look together on the outside, but on the inside....disaster" situation. I think I will take a personal day tomorrow or work from home in an effort to pull sh*t together. Oh, and to go to the eye doctor. I thought earlier this month I'd be able to do the eye dr and then work, but then I remembered that the eye doctor 1. dilates my eyes and 2. runs at least an hour late. By the time the eye situation is good enough for me to drive to the train, it will be noon or so, getting me to the city at 1:30. And then what is the point really? Maybe I should take my dad up on his ride offer, cause then I'd be home around 11 and be able to put in a solid day's work. hmmm.

5. Shafted by a Minister: Jam and I asked my minister if he'd marry us. He went "uuhhhhheeeeeeuuummmmmmmwellllllllll. I don't know. Let me think about it." Heh? It'd be easier if he'd just have said "No." He's moving this summer and that's part of it. All the other reasons why not I'm really kinda unclear about. My coworker said "You can find a minister everywhere." I wanted to say something uber snarky about Catholicism and generic weddings, but I bit my tongue (and normally I'm not a bitch like that about religion, because I'm cool with whatever people want to be/believe in/wedding style preference, but she routinely lorded Catholicism over my head when she worked right next to me, so it was hard to keep it in......I know BITCHY and EVIL. That's me.) sigh. We have backups, but I think it'd be rude to ask them (one of whom is the associate pastor at my church) and then have the regular minister say "yes" after all and have us either drop the back-up and make them feel like they were our second choice OR tell the minister that we don't need him after all, making him feel like he didn't really matter. Dang. If any ministers are reading this, cut the bride some slack: don't say "maybe" just say "no!" ah!

6. When People Change Their Minds: I signed up to volunteer for the marathon. When I did this it was all so casual "show up at 10" "plenty of parking" "just bring yourself." Well well welllll. This has turned into "show up at 7:30 if you want parking, otherwise good luck" "bring five chairs, a cooler with ice, and a shade tent" and "you'll have to stay til the roads open at 3:30" WTF? I mean whatever, I signed up, I'm not about to back out, but seriously, put that sh*t in the job description so you don't surprise people the week before, because that is super-crappy. What sounded like awesome funness is quickly starting to sound like more trouble than it's worth. They better have some damn good free t-shirts.

7. But You Have WAY More Skills and Are More Talented Than Me Times Ten: I got this email from a fellow alum that was like "hi I saw that you're a project manager on the alum web site and would love to talk to you about it because I'm trying to break into that field" Coooool I think. Then I see this woman is a 2000 grad...ummmm...and that she attached her resume. She has FIVE more years work experience than me and a ton of previous management experience. Seriously, she has a frickin' rock star resume. I can't even pretend to be badass. I'm going to have to tell her that my lowly position only oversees 7 people who don't even work in the same state as I do, and that I basically have no power. I'm going to enjoy the flattery til tomorrow morning though, just so ya know.

8. Le Pig: I ate an entire box of Special K red berries today (though to be fair, this did include two meals, breakfast and dinner. still though). This tells me one of two things: 1. I am a pig determined to gain 20 lbs by my wedding 2. I am not sufficiently meeting my body's nutritional needs. I am really hoping it's 2. Tomorrow, during "get sh*t together" day, I am going to address this problem, as well as the fact that I haven't trained for my 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks (ok I was really sick though, cough, could not breathe). I can't go through a box of red berries a day, no matter how delicious it may be.

9. Epiglottis Malfunction: I choked, really choked for the first time yesterday. It freaked me the f*ck out, I will tell you that much. I was munching on a roasted potato and laughed and inhaled. It happened so fast I didn't even get that I was choking, that the freaking potato was OBSTRUCTING my windpipe and I had stopped breathing. Then I got this really weird dizzy out of body experience feeling (hi dumbass, that'd be you running out of oxygen) and I noticed my grandfather staring at me with his hand on the arm of his chair (parent/grandparent body language for "will I need to spring up from my seat and give you the heimlich or are you going to breathe?") and I managed a cough. Actually it was a really foul gag cough barf noise, which no one really seemed to notice, since I've been hacking up my pleura on a regular basis for the last two was the desperate inhale that caught everyone's attention. I got up from the table because I thought I was going to barf, but I didn't, thankfully. A lot of coughing helped, plus a glass of water. Jesus, though, that was some scary sh*t.

10. Twenty-seven (late 20's!): My birthday is on Thursday (woooo). I am somewhat indifferent about it, not because I am anti-bday, but because bad stuff always happens on or around that date. To name a few: Waco, Oklahoma City, Columbine High, Virginia Tech...It's pretty much a downer-type day, so I usually do something quiet with my family. I am hoping for some cake though. Not even fancy cake, homemade funfetti cake would be AWESOME. My gift to the world that day will be some platelets. My gift to myself will be.........hmmmm. I don't even know. Oh well one gift will be making a 27 before I'm 28 list. A list of 27 things I want to do before I turn 28. Some will be tasks, some will be fun, some will be boring. But I am a lover of lists.

11. Sugah: My friend who does brain integration therapy suggested that I have a yeast imbalance in my system and that I should stop eating sugar. I was like "GET OUT OF HERE NO" but my tummy was bothering me so badly, I decided to give it a whirl, plus Lent was happening, so it was kind of perfect. Since about 99% of my refined sugar consumption was in the form of delicious candy, I decided the kick candy for Lent. It wasn't even that hard, and I only cheated twice (two mini snickers 2 or 3 gummi worms). My stomach feels a ton better, and I'm sure my teeth are thanking me. Today I bought some candy from the work vending machine, and expected it to taste like a little piece of heaven with a rainbow running through it. I ate it furtively, like the candy police were gonna come and get me. Boo hoo. It did not taste like rainbows. No one gave a sh*t I was eating candy. It wasn't even that good. Dammit, I am over candy.

12. Because What's a Post without OVERSHARING: OK. So this wouldn't happen to any men who might be reading this (yeah right) but girls probably get I totally forgot it was lady biz time of the month. HOLY CRAP. I had NO warning whatsoever (symptomatically...I mean I have been taking the placebo pills for four or five days lol) and totally went in the bathroom for an innocent pee and thought I had kidney failure. Then I put two and two together and. Well. You get it.

heh. can't believe I just put that in a public space. oh well.

With those 12 things I depart for yet another social activity. I think I am turning into a grouchy old lady because it starts at 7 and that means I won't be home til 10 and I am all "b*tch b*tch b*tch" about it, even though it should be great fun. There's ice cream involved. I better go psych myself up a bit. Til next time....