Wednesday, August 26, 2009


What do I have to say about my senator?

Not much. There are posers all over facebook talking about how sad it is blah blah blah.
It IS sad.
It's always sad when someone dies. Especially someone who suffered as the end drew near.

Senator Kennedy DID do good things for this state and country. He did have a past that was ripe with scandal. Most of the time I didn't know what to make of him.
I've never voted for him - I personally voted for new blood, though Kerry annoys me much more, I always thought it'd be good to see what would happen if someone new got in. Plus I knew he'd never, not in Massachusetts.

Scandal and politics aside, I did know a few quite nice things about the Senator:

He called our friend who lost her daughter on 9/11 every year on the anniversary to check in.

My father bumped into him once at the airport after talking to an aide. It was while I was in Africa. The aide said "Senator, the trooper's daughter is in Kenya, studying abroad." My father said he smiled and said "Kenya! Excellent. Where does she go to school?" He said "Smith." My father said Kennedy lit up and said something the lines of "that's wonderful/you must be proud/etc."

I'm sure there are a million of these little anecdotes.

There's certainly a long political legacy he leaves behind.

But all I can think of is this (and this is what makes me a bad person!)
When he got sick
He found the best doctor in the world for his type of cancer
Flew to Duke
Had probably a 250,000-500,000 brain surgery
It did not save him, but bought him time......

Which was his right, of course, given he could afford it.
Would he have made sure health care reform would've covered us common folk had we wanted the same procedure?

About that, I am skeptical.

For now, I am grateful I am going away tomorrow. Because for what it's worth in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, royalty has died, and no one likes a skeptic at a state funeral.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I am really cranky today.
And I know why.

It's the same old sh*t that makes me cranky again and again.
Oh, well plus something else, LOL, something legit and physical.

The first is being back in that competition I don't want to be in, but am helplessly sucked into by a distant friend's suggestions, comments and predictions. UGH. Of course dear fiance LOVES bringing it up. All I have to say about it, because I am tired, so tired of it, is: the sooner he is up here and we're together, the better. Because the conversations, the suggestions, the unsolicited advice, the "I'm probably going to have a baby by next spring?" Exhausting. Plus me finding it exhausting and not wanting to talk about it and having any reaction except pure joy makes me feel bad too. And frustrated. Why do I care SO MUCH. I guess it's because every comment is a piece of meat dangled in front of me and the commenter is waiting for me to react. I feel like I'm being tested and it drives me crazy. I told a friend that no one else makes me feel this way, WTF is up? She said "talk to her about it." Have I done that? No. But in my defense, this is the first time in a long time I've felt this way. UGH. Must shake feelings of ickiness.

On a higher note, my new boy coworker (boy would be irrelevant except that I've never worked at the D-F with a boy. EVER. and never in the office!) is fixing our printer. He asked me permission first, which makes me laugh as I have suddenly become the office matriarch at 27 LOL. I said "GFI" seriously - do whatever. Too funny.

So the second frustrating thing which I do not feel bad being cranky about in any way shape or form is my LEG.
Yes, it is still bothering me, I am still limping. I am still CRANKIFIED about it!
Yesterday though, I finally met someone who legitimized all my crankiness. I saw an orthopedist who totally rocked. Everyone told me he was a great doctor and when I met him and started chatting I thought "yep. this guy is good...he's listening, he's not writing me off, and he's thinking the problem though..." Of course not being written off means tests, tests, tests. Thursday I have to go in for a bone scan. If that's normal, then it's on to MRI. To some, this would seem backwards, but because the ortho is leaning towards stress fracture, we're starting with the bones because the x-rays I got a week ago? Junk. Reassuring, eh? Oh well.

So while I am very very happy with the orthopedist and like him a lot, I am still hobbling. He was hesitant to splint anything in case I have something torn or ripped tendon-wise (he said some fancy tendonitis name that I forget LOL) so for now it's more of the same: no running, favor the leg when necessary (aka all the time) motrin/tylenol for pain, ice and elevation for comfort. Oy.

Anywho. I'm going to stop bitching and Hulu (can I make this a new verb?) Season 1 of Lost. That will make me happy x 10. Oh and research a trip to Vegas. Just because.

There's some spice for you. Bitchy Spice. But there it is ;)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oooohhh I soooo don't want to work!

I am procrastinating hard today.
I have an excited feeling bubbling up from deep down's nearly THE WEEKEND!
Weekends are just so full of possibility. Also, this weekend heralds the light at the end of the tunnel: when it is through, I get to see the orthopedist.

Is it sad that this is a big treat? I guess not, not when you've been sleeping with a pillow between your legs for 10 days (sounds naughty, but is sooo not) and you only get pain relief for about four hours a day when the aleve kicks in. Not that the orthopedist will necessarily help this, but he might have some sort of solution. Or splint...

Anyways, yes, the weekend. It will involve lots of cooking because we are having (shh) a party for my mom. It's her birthday. Not a special one - ok all birthdays are special - not a significant milestone year, but I guess my dad just felt like a party and planned one....or rather, told my sister and I to plan one, LOL. So cooking awaits, but before that I have to go to the farmer's market to stock up on fresh delicious goodness. I haven't been all year (the shame) and all of the sudden have a craving for lots of fresh berries and peaches - weird! I think I will probably buy more than I need for the party just so I can make some berry muffins on Saturday or Sunday. Lovely.

Oh, and I have to buy some fabulous flowers. I also have to go to the Paper Source (oh boo hoo, such a chore (-: ) to buy some gifties. Then to the cinema to buy mom's gift from Jamaal (ha ha we're not even married yet and I'm already doing his shopping) and then to PetSmart to stock up for the various pets:


After that I am going to go home and flop onto the couch and elevate and ice the bum leg because I have a party to go to Saturday evening!! In the midst of tears and frustration on Wednesday night Jamaal told me I wasn't going anywhere over the weekend because I can't exactly put weight on my leg, but I really want to make it to my friend's grad party. ugh. dumb injury. I think I can overcome it though ;)

What else? Oh right! The party - I am cooking stuffed peppers and maybe a peach pie (or maybe I will just make bellinis with the peaches I plan to buy!). I am also in charge of guac I think. Then there's green salad, fruit salad, pasta salad. I am thinking that the fruit salad will be sort of "make your own" - my grandma, who is a bit cranky about food, can't really have berries, so I am thinking of putting them aside so people can add at leisure. Hmm. That might work.

Since this blog post is about my boring weekend, I am going to spice it up with some of my favorite links. heh heh yeah. So exciting.

First of all, there's a blog I can't get enough of lately. I've been reading it for just about a year. It's called the Nie Nie Dialogues. I picked it up when the Nielson's plane crashed and Stephanie and Christian were badly injured. It's been a year since the crash and their story is just remarkable. Today I was watching the first news broadcasts from YouTube and compared them to the posts Stephanie has put on her blog in the last few days - it really makes you believe that miracles can happen. Read it - you will be inspired.

Next, it's not a full day without a wedding blog shout out! Style Me Pretty is the pinnacle of wedding awesomeness. Even if you're not getting married, read it for the sheer gorgeousness of everything that makes its way across that blog.
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Conversations with a Cupcake. I so dare you not to bake. Actually, I only visit this site when I know I don't have time to bake, otherwise I'd go home every day and cook. And be fat. Or fatter than I am now, I should say, LOL.

The Meanest Mom and Mimi Smartypants. I don't read a ton of mom blogs since I'm not even married, nevermind a mom (I know they're not mutually exclusive, but I'm trying to go in my chosen order, ha ha ha). EE started me on dooce, and they somehow led to the Mom Blogiverse, but I am glad I found these two hysterical ladies because they can always brighten my day.

So I am not a New Yorker like my dear fiance, but I can appreciate what the city has to offer, one of the things being Central Park, an oasis in the urban center of the East Coast (yes I admit to it being bigger than Boston!) Marie Winn brings us nature news from the park and city, and I've often been inspired to get out in my own back yard after reading her posts.

After linking to a link to a link to a link I stumbled upon this bella e fantastica blog from Italy. Oh it makes you want to pack up your summer dresses and sandals and fly off to the Italian countryside. It is also rich in recipes, so again, I dare you not to cook.

Another link link link situation brought me here, back to Africa. I should know by now that this is unavoidable.

Well it's coffee time for me as I skipped breakfast. I need some fuel. I also need a little break from my coworker - I love her, but she has bad asthma and sometimes has "bad days" where she has to clear her throat literally ever 20 seconds. It's unnerving. Coffee break and I'll be ready to go.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No posts b/c

1. today is deadline day for ASH submissions and I am being hounded at work
2. I am trying to get an emergency visit with an orthopedist so he can evaluate my possibly stress fractured leg. It is an uphill battle.

So more soon :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Oy, I am on post two of the day.
That is weird, since after daily posts I usually take a road trip to two-week hiatus-ville.

So, just a wee update - I edited my Hillary Clinton in the Congo post, because new sh*t has come to light. Not to start any sort of war or fight (LOL)...but it does seem like the translation was correct after all. Until I speak French and can listen to the transcript, I won't know for sure, but a few enlightened souls at the NY Times have seemed to sort it out. And for some reason the suggestion that this was an "empowering" question - well. I can't buy it. Remember though, I am at times a royal pessimist that loses faith in humanity.


Now when I was in college I worked for 7.25/hr at the performing arts library, 10 hours a week. Let me tell you, that, was a gold mine. I felt effing RICH to have a bimonthly paycheck burning up my mailbox. I worked hard in the summers and guestimated that about $2500 could hold me throughout the school year: books for two semesters, food here and there, a bit of yarn here and there, a trip to Faces, etc.

Then senior year happened.

Suddenly I had a car on campus, I could DRINK whenever I felt like it. My friend Melu and I discovered that not only way Stop and Shop open 24 hours, but so was Dunkin' Donuts on King Street. We also discovered that the best fast food meal EVER was a Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with McDonald's fries, both attainable into the wee hours on the same strip as Dunkin' and Stop and Shop AND Liquors 44, also open fairly late, til midnight on weekends. Needless to say I got FAT (Captain Morgan spare tire WHAT?!) but I also started spending money like it was my job. As we made our way toward graduation, the expenses started piling up. Cap and gown, unpaid library fines and parking tickets, LIQUOR, about 18 million "final" events: final dinner at Packard's, final ladies night at Packards, "last time" to shop in Northampton, Senior Ball, Senior Banquet, Senior Willing, blah blah BLLLAH. There was also random sh*t like "tank of gas to get to job interview" "tire patch for flat tire" "new shoes and dress for commencement" "dry cleaning ($25 x 2)) for Ivy Day dress." What is a girl on a budget to do?

I introduce you to: Ye Olde Credit Card.

The first one I got was from Defenders of Wildlife. It has wolves on it. It had a great APR and I even got points. Yes POINTS! for spending money! Then I would get stuff for FREE! I started with a low limit, which I thought would mean double protection: now I would not be able to spend beyond my means, the credit card company would keep me on a tight leash. Little did I know that the tight leash would lengthen with time and punctual payments. As I spent and paid, the limit went up up up until.
I maxed it out.

Luckily National Geographic thought I had good enough credit for one of their cards. Woohoo! Even lower interest than my first, plus 10% at the positively fantastic National Geographic store! WOWEE! As I paid off the first one, I charged away on "Nat Geo," as I lovingly referred to my lion-bedecked 3 1/2 X 2 evil piece of plastic. By then, I had graduated and even had a decent job. A little bit of spending never hurt, eh?

Then....oh then, there was Amazon. Beloved Amazon, whose website boasts the best selection at the cheapest prices. I initially said "NO" to Amazon's solicitations, but the promise of a $25 gift certificate for every 2500 points accrued on the card proved to be the irresistable siren song. I thought of how I'd buy stuff, pay it off, and still reap the benefits of the pointage/gift certificate system. I charged away....

Now when I started pushing about $10,000 in credit card debt I was downright embarrassed I had let my spending get sooo out of control. I had 3 major credit cards with significant debt, a nearly-maxed Ann Taylor card, the shame of my semi-employment days at Ann Taylor Loft, Victoria's Secret, Dell (new laptop), JCrew, Old Navy AND New York and Company. WTF? I was out of control. And I was going to nip it in the bud, dammit.

So I began to pay them off. The store ones were the first to go. VS, Dell, JCrew, Old Navy, NY&Co all have zero balances. ZERO! ATL carries a small balance that I usually pay off in full, though if I am very bad I will split the payments over two months. Since I don't buy clothes on any sort of regular basis and usually have a binge about 2-3 times a year, I don't feel guilty about this. I was a VICTOR in the store credit card battle! HURRAH!

OH WAIT. I still had about $8,000 lingering. UGH.

I immediately put myself on a credit diet. No using the cards. I wrapped each in hot pink post-it paper, taped it on and wrote "NO" on them. It sooo worked. I used Amazon for purchases which I immediately paid off. I started to pay down the balances. I was triumphant.

But then, just as easily as I started, I quit. I thought "I have this so under control." I quit my regimented paying schedule. I was lax. I missed a few payments here and there simply from being totally disorganized, so I'd pay double the next month to compensate. I was using my debit card to buy stuff though - that was good, right? The problem was, I was buying sh*t at my usual rate, except paying cash. Fantastic in the sense that I could feel the money being spent, but horrible in the sense that after my little buying sprees, there was sh*t left over to pay the bills. Then I got a promotion and 40% raise - and thought "see ya LATAH debt!"


I contined in my pattern of slackerness.

I am back to being about $7,000 in the hole right now. Ew.
I hate it. It stresses me out for so many reasons, one being that I have a $400 a month loan payment. Another being that I'm saving $200 a week for the wedding (ha ha figured out how much I make yet?) Then I have cell bill, insurance, storage. After all the money is set aside for that, plus savings, I've got a bit of cash left over. And Jamaal wants me to move in with him and help with rent? With what?

I read recently that one of the five wedding money blunders you DON'T want to make is entering into a marriage carrying unnecessary debt (mortgages and student loans are excused/deemed as "necessary). All I could think was "I don't want to be the deadweight in our marriage!!" and "I want to help pay for the rent and stuff!"

So I went to CNNmoney and used their debt down calculator. I wrote that I wanted to be debt free in 14 months. The ugly truth is that's gonna cost me $574 a month. Combined with the $800 I'm saving for weddings and the $400 I pay for loans, the other calculations I made for other bills, savings, etc there goes my salary pretty much. I really really want to give it a try though. I'm tired of having this craptastic ball and chain around my ankle. I realized it while taking a leak today at work: if it weren't for my credit card debt, I could've afforded to replace my car this year. I was so effing depressed at that thought. So yeah. I'm sick of it, I don't want to be a slave to my plastic anymore, and I'm sharing it with the blogosphere to make it official: I am le done.

Here's my plan (to keep all three of you readers in the know). Feel free to hound me about it when you see me in person! Guilt me into it! I've got to do this!

Allison is puzzled to why New Yorkers put such an enormous effort into their Red Sox hatred. I'm friends with this acquaintance on Facebook (who I'm still working really hard to even like...he's a friend of a friend's husband and I find him...difficult, though more likeable with age). Anyways, EVERY status update has to do with some little foible committed by a Sox player. EVERY DAY. Who has that kind of time?

Now I am an ardent Red Sox fan. I told the Facebook world how I was wearing my Sox thong and it was magical and the Sox would probably break their losing streak because of it (because my underwear has that kind of power, duh). It totally worked! They won! I moved on. This guy though is wrapped up in it. My friend's husband is too to a lesser extent. I dunno. I guess I just don't have the time to invest. Maybe it's just that I don't give a sh*t about the Yankees on a day to day basis. Maybe I should to increase my fan cred. Maybe I should google news the Yanks every day. My status updates could be like "Matsui collects P0RN!" "Sheffield beats his wife!" "Giambi had a fungal infection - gross!" "Posada strengthens his hands with urine!"

Eh. So not worth it, LOL.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bits and Pieces

I am alone in the office today and have to admit that it is just delightful.

There's something so nice about having a space all to yourself, though I have to admit, since the departure of our swine flu coworker, the reconfiguration of the office, and the desk shift of my one remaining coworker, things have been quite lovely. My coworker E is so quiet, I might as well be in here alone. I do not think she enjoyed swine flu coworker either, as since she left, E has been more talkative and social than ever. We have even designated a shared space for a fish tank! Hurrah!

Here's a view of my desk:

Here's the corner (note the colorectal poster!) where the fish tank will go:

Anyways, so I'm alone here and I got a bit distracted by movie reviews. I saw (500) Days of Summer last night and have to admit that I didn't love it. It was ok. I found Summer insipid. Actually the best character in the whole damn movie was Rachel, one of the main character's middle school-aged sister. She was hilarious! Everyone else. Eh. We went on $5 movie night though, so I can't really complain as it was a cheap enough night out!

I then went on to read more reviews on E!'s website and noticed they gave Julie & Julia a "C." 500 Days got a B- and they give Julie & Julia a "C"? WTF?! It was 10 times more entertaining and hilarious and heartfelt and lovely. I get that it might not be everyone's cup of tea, but the critic wrote how it was boring, how Julia Child was boring, how Julie Powell didn't really achieve anything by cooking all those recipes. Agh! Of course this was just one reviewer and I never pay attention to reviews because I usually like movies that get C's and D's anyway. Seriously though - how could you find Julia Child boring? She was fascinating. On commenter wrote "Thanks E!, now I know to see you C-rated movies instead of your A ones, as I Love You, Beth Cooper was a disaster and Julie & Julia delightful." Wow. Special.

My sister and I decided to have omelettes in Julia's honor on Saturday. We saw her cooking some on PBS and were fascinated by the speed of the whole process. Also, when she put the filling in the middle of the eggs, she shook the pan maybe three times and then Voila! She had an omelette that just slid off the pan. We were determined to emulate this pan shaking style, but the results were not quite the same. I ended up surrendering and simply used a rubber spatula to flip one side of the omelette on top of the other. I have to admit though that I would love to learn her technique. Not only is faster, but it looks impressive.

Actually, I have some rare free time this weekend and think cooking would be an excellent way to fill the time (as long as it's not too hot). There's such a bounty of locally grown fruits and vegetables available out there that I should really capitalize on the nearness of Boston's farmer's markets and get out there and buy some stuff. I am overrun with mason jars (yes they are supposed to be used for the wedding!) and would love to try my hand at canning or making some jam. Hmmm....though these are the projects that I always think will take a neat 2 hour block I've set aside and then 8 hours later when I've been on my feet all day on the ceramic tiled kitchen floor and my back hurts and my sciatica hurts I question my sanity at undertaking these ridiculous endeavors. Maybe I should just make a pie.

Speaking of weekend and free time, this weekend must have some time dedicated to wedding junk. You see that little time ticker up there? In a mere EIGHT weeks it's going to start ticking down. The little lovebirds are going to begin their rightward migration. We'll officially be working off our to do list. WOW. That however makes it necessary to have certain things established before the ticker starts a-movin'. For example, I say I'm making save the dates, but I have to be sure that I can actually do that before I sit down in 6 months and realize that I just should've paid someone. Plus it's good to buy any DIY supplies over time. This makes it much less likely that I have to dip into the wedding fund to buy stuff - Jamaal insists that I do take from our wedding cash to buy ANYTHING wedding related, but honestly, I'm not going to take out some random sh*t like $11.78 to cover glue, tape and a rubber stamp. Bwahahah. I actually have JUST the wedding project in mind. More later.

I also have to run this weekend - have I mentioned that I have a screw loose in my head and am training for the Portland ME half marathon? And that this is hopefully a prelude to my Boston Marathon debut? Yeah. Insane. I used to be a legit runner. I wasn't great and it didn't come naturally or even easily, but in high school I ran miles in the 7's and was what you would probably call "average." What I did not realize then was that about a decade later I would KILL to run miles in the 7's. Seriously! When I ran the half marathon in '06 (random aside: it is so funny when people ask how long a half marathon or a full marathon is if it's in a different city. I want to be like "well marathons and halfs are standard: 26.2, 13.1. But people don't seem to get this). Anyway, when I ran in '06 I did about 11 minute miles - 10.9 minute miles to be exact. Trust me, I was FINE with this. I was running for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but had trained on my own given the fact that training runs were held at like, 7pm on weeknights. Sorry, but I head home around 4pm people. I noticed (very SMUGLY) while running that I was ahead of most of the L&L Society people, so that was good enough for me. This year I won't have a charity shirt to hide behind - 'cause when you run for a charity people are like 'oh look at that girl, running so hard for pediatric cancer/parkinson's research/to save the whales/to save darfur/to feed starving ethiopian children.' When you take the charity bit away, you just become the slow girl. I don't want to be the slow girl! I don't need to be the fast girl, but I would love to be the fantastically average girl. This has led me to purchase a new girly timex (pink - who would have guessed that I would suddenly like pink and that this like would be almost exclusively based in the sports world - pink watch, pink sneakers, pink kayak - weird) and time my runs. I fully admit - I have never pushed myself when running on my own. Never. But therein lies the problem. No one has ever given me a reason to go faster - there's no one around to do that anyway. My motivation had to come from within, which was going to be a big hill to climb as usually around mile 1 I am ready to call it quits and walk home. The girly timex has proved to be just the thing. Every run is a battle against the watch. I am to run my runs around 11 minute miles in hopes that my speed improves and I can run sub 10's in October. I life weights and exercise my core, hoping to build strength throughout my body that will help carry me the 13 miles. I take glucosamine and chondritin for my aging knees. I feel H-A-R-D-C-O-R-E.

Of course, this hardcoreness has only been happening for about a week. There's always room for me to slip up, LOL.

Finally, knitting. I totally started Lizard Ridge and am smitten. I've had to limit myself to train knitting only because the squares knit up so fast - I totally see myself become so involved that the infamous bridesmaid shawls get pushed by the wayside and don't get finished in time. Though I've self-limited to train knitting, I've already finished one square and am halfway done with the second. My next task is to figure out whether I want to do a bunch of different yarns or pick just 5 or 6 colors and keep the entire afghan in the same color family. I thought I wanted a wacky one with about 15 or 18 different colors but I am starting to lean towards the color family idea, as Noro Kureyon is such a colorful yarn already. Here's a little preview:Since tomorrow is pay day and student loans aren't due for two weeks, I might be a bit self-indulgent and order the rest of the yarn I need for the afghan. We'll have to see :)

Well that wasn't too spicy, but I'm working on some spice (more pics would help I think). That's all for now!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Go Hillary Go!

Now if we harken back to election time, we all remember I am not exactly a fan of Hillary Clinton. Her campaign methods made me shudder, I found her personality grating, and I wasn't sure if I could trust her. There was just something I didn't really like about her. Of course I am totally biased in my Obama love, and my Smith love (Hillary went to rival Wellesley).

Then when she got the Sec. of State position I thought "huh. Now she might be the perfect person for that job."

And I do think she's doing well.

Recently, while in the Congo (and honestly, let's give her props for even setting foot in Kinshasa) someone asked her what her husband thoughts were on a political issue - I believe it was a loan to the Congo. She reacted and said that she wasn't going to channel her husband. Now there are all these snarky comments about how "Hillary lost her temper" "Hillary lost her cool" "hell hath no fury" blah blah blah blah blah.

I ask you this: do people ask Bill what Hill thinks?

Do people ask Barack what Michelle thinks?

Oh hell no. You know that does NOT happen.

So in my opinion, Hillary's reaction was more than fitting. Actually I probably could not have held my sh*t together as well as she did, because when I heard the transcript I actually said "What the F*CK?" The local radio said the question was translated from the french and that perhaps something was "lost" in translation. Uh oh I'm sorry, is it not easy to translate "what does your husband think?"
Agh. The misogyny of it all.

This is actually where my rant is going to stop. Why? Because Natalie Holder-Winfield at the Huffington Post sums it up with much more eloquence.

After this, I think I'm starting to become a fan of Hillary. Do NOT let the bastards get you down, lady. You ARE the Secretary of State, dammit, and don't let anyone else convince you otherwise, or suggest that Bill is feeding you everything you need to do your job!

Ha. Can't believe I'm becoming a Hillary fan. Oh well.

**read this:

I think there's still more to this than simple mistranslation. I think there are a lot of different perspectives working here, but right now, I think this particular post in the nytimes blogosphere might have to most accurate representation of what happened. I respect your defense of the Congolese student, EE, but I do not think this was an empowering question by any means. I think he probably wanted to cover his ass after Hil's reaction though.**

Monday, August 10, 2009


I went to see Julie & Julia over the weekend.
As I expected. Or actually, better than I expected, and let me tell you, I had HIGH expectations.

Later, out on the sidewalk, we were all talking about cooking classes and blogs and life, etc. My friend EE said "Allison writes a hilarious blog!"


I think I write a boring, complainy, self-indulgent blog.

Though I appreciate the compliment :)

After that all I could think was "I want to have an exciting spicy and funny blog!"

I really do.
So I'm going to work on that.

BUT - I have to leave work early today and have the most raging case of seasonal (August? seriously?) allergies happening and can't focus too well on spice.

The spice is coming though. I hope. I promise ;)

Friday, August 07, 2009

You Know You Work at a Cancer Center When.... use a poster of colons and rectums to cover up an unsightly patch on the wall.

Luckily I am about to order a lovely three gallon fish tank from Doctors Foster and Smith in about five minutes. The staging poster does give off a certain air though...

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Since getting engaged a looong time ago (ok about...17 months ago) I have been avoiding buying too many household things.

Don't worry - I've been compensating by buying other random sh*t...

But, I have totally been avoiding things like sheets, towels, organizational things, furniture, etc, because I've been anticipating sharing a home with the man for a while now.
Of course it is taking a WHILE for him to secure a job up here. This actually isn't that big of a deal because I know he'll be up here eventually, I like my space, blah blah blah. As time goes on though, I am able to concoct more and more a ridiculous fantasy of our living space in my head.

We plan on securing an apartment. I've been to some of these new-fangled apartment complexes and will say, they are fantastic. A friend moved into a 2-bedroom, close to the T (correction: free shuttle to the T), pool, tennis courts, parking, garage, en suite laundry, etc. It's beautiful. But it's also too modern for me, almost chilly. I'm not sure what will tickle Jam's fancy, but I have to admit, I love the apartments by my grandma's old place, in the Merrymount section of Quincy because they are older and full of character (tried to post a pic but the only one I could find from the area was a housefire!!). I love the apts in JP for the same reason. Old! Details! Character!

Soo I go ahead and imagine myself in an older (but fabulous) space and begin to mentally decorate. I'm unclear on what exactly Jam will be bringing to the table, or apartment, I should say, but I think it will mostly be his stuff, because no offense if you're reading this love, but I do not adore your black lacquer furniture. There it is. Anywho, the space would have to be amenable to the meshing of our respective tastes. There'd need to be the ability to make our eclectic collection of junk look planned and inherited curio cabinet must go with my Maasai marriage necklaces and look cool....

Eh. Deep down, I am sure it will look jumbled.

I'm not sure what brought on this weird nesting urge. Probably looking at the Anthropologie website for too long,

or a recent visit to a friend's fabulous apartment where she was showing off her crafting space *heaves sigh of jealousy*. Maybe it's the new found space we've created in my office - in response to this spring's swine flu outbreak - and the space I now need to fill with something that is spurring me to think about our future home. Or perhaps it's the afghan I want to knit that really embodies the style I want to go after, wild, ecletic, but with a an ordered theme and pattern:
I once told Jamaal I wanted a "global bazaar" home. He was all "what the HELL is that?" and I said "It's a house superbly decorated with all the handicrafts we've purchased throughout our world travels." He just said OK and looked at me as though I was insane. A girl can dream though, right?!

Gah, I should get away from all this pointlessness and do some real work. Put my anthropologie fantasies on hold. It's payday though, and I must admit the hippo candle calls to me. heh.

Monday, August 03, 2009



I just realized I took a two week blogging hiatus. Totally unintentional, but the few who read are probably glad I stopped whining for a while, LOL.

Hmmm what have I been doing?
We-ell, I've been playing hard during the week so I can play on the weekends.

I spent the last weekend in July in NH with family. That was great fun and very relaxing. Some of the activities included knitting, cross stitching, kayaking, bird watching (when not chased by the neighbor's foul dog), and card playing. Oh, we also ate a lot and spent 13 hours putting together a 1,000 piece puzzle. Yes, we can entertain ourselves when it's raining outside!

Our little cottage on an island in the middle of a big lake is rustic and cozy. It's comfortable. I've been going there since I was two weeks old (though my mother told me that like my sister, I too had visited as a fetus, ha ha ha. I hope one of the old biddies asks me again one day how long I've been coming up to the island, just so I can say "since I was a fetus. BEAT YA!"). I am content to stay put in our one spot on Bear Island the whole weekend. For the first time this summer though, I had the urge to move off and explore in my kayak. There are so many little islands here and there (253 apparently) waiting to be explored. The rain kept me from truly exploring the last time I was there, but we're planning a bit of an extended trip in August, so maybe then I can truly head out into the lake. Last time I only paddled to East Bear Island, which is on the map below, beautifully altered by me in MS Paint:

This past weekend was spent in NYC to celebrate the birthdays of my favorite Leo's, the fiance and the sister. We indulged in a hotel for the weekend and it was such a treat, mainly because we were able to avoid the long trek back to Brooklyn, which after a 7 1/2 hour bus ride (the most horrendous inexplicable traffic I've ever seen EXCEPT for the time I drove to Freehold NJ in the midst of Yankees game traffic and it took me 12 hours) was a godsend. We had dinner and literally passed out, but hauled ass around Manhattan the following day, covering a chunk of Central Park, the Central Park Zoo and Fifth Avenue - Jam even made us go into Tiffany's, which was a special treat. I really wanted to see his wedding gift from me in person, but it wasn't around and I couldn't exactly ask with him there. Maybe when we head down in November I'll snatch it up, depending on the budget :)

Saturday night we partied at Mixx Lounge, which was fun, especially when the DJ showed up!! I think I drank six mojitos. This is what my doctor never understands when I go to yearly physicals. I tell her that I have about 30 drinks a year. She says "so about two to three a month?" and I say, no more like six drinks at five large parties dispersed throughout the year. She just shakes her head. The thing of it is, when I'm up dancing (and sweating) like I was on Saturday night, I don't even feel it! I did wake up a bit squidgy Saturday morning, but I think that more than anything, it had to do with dehydration and lack of sleep. Oh I'm getting old. But not as old as my 32-year old fiance. Heh heh heh.

Sunday morning was not as kind to Amy who did NOT get much sleep at all. We were packing up in the Embassy Suites when we came to the collective decision that God (and Chase) gave a girl a credit card for a reason: to take the Acela back to Boston in case of hangover. Yes indeed. This bought us not only significant comfort for the ride home, but also an extra hour in the city for brunching and buying magazines and books. Hurrah! After brunching it at the Tick Tock Diner (highly recommended for hangover food!! brioche french toast, yum yum!) we headed to Penn. I cannot be controlled at the Penn Station Hudson News. Everytime I go there, I spend so much frickin' money that I get a free bag. Seriously. It starts innocently with a bottle of water and pack of gum, followed by a couple of magazines....then it expands to three magazines....then I hit up the paperback section. That's where the trouble really starts. I was casually browsing and saw The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I've READ IT. "Ohhhh" I sigh "I just loved this. It's the perfect summer read and re-read" I snatch it. Then the name "Kate Furnivall" catches my eye. "Wait" I say alound (thank goodness my sister was traveling with me because normally I just look like a crazy person talking to myself) "She has's's the SEQUEL! And it's the ONLY ONE LEFT!" So off the shelf flies The Girl from Junchow into my hot little hands. Two books in one go? That is a record for a library wh*re like me! The good thing is that I know books are an excellent investment :) We don't have to talk about the fact I actually had two unread books in my bag. Heh.

So to shift gears a bit (we got home to Boston safely, blah blah): The Girl from Junchow. Yes. I did not realize how much I enjoyed The Russian Concubine until I saw there was a sequel. Then I realized that I had fallen in love with Lydia and Chang Lo and their stories. Gah. I am usually not ridiculous about book characters and it has been a while since I've felt so strongly about a pair of them -I snuck reading at work just to finish the book and discover their fate, then lamented that the book ended and a sequel is not securely in the future (though a visit to the author's blog revealed a prequel, which is great). Anyways, I can pretty much list on one hand the characters to which I have a deep bond. I mean there are always those that I like and enjoy, but "bond"? Yeah that's not the norm for me. Lydia and Chang Lo have officially joined the elite status of "Characters Allison likes so much she will reread the books in which they appear year after year after year" the list includes: Mma Ramotswe and Mr. JLB Matekoni of No. Ladies Detective Agency fame, Leah and Anatole from The Poisonwood Bible, Griffin and Sabine - who are still such a mystery to me, Henry and Clare from The Time Traveler's Wife, and of course, Eliza and Tao Chi'en from Daughter of Fortune. Of course there are others whose stories I read and reread, but these are the favorites. Yes, they're not exactly literary classics, but they're the stories I find captivating. Lydia and Chang Lo are in good company I think.

It's interesting to me that several of these pairs face a common roadblock, which is the issue of their interracial-ness. I wonder if I have a special sort of empathy for these couples, or find a certain deliciousness in their rejection of society's "expectations" or in these literary cases, practically society's laws about being together. I loved most of them long before I ever met Jamaal and found myself ready to marry outside my race, but it's interesting to me that I find them so appealing, so willing to sacrifice for love, so willing to cast aside what the world may think of them. It sounds a bit cheesy, but there it is - I love the dangerous edge of it all too. I think it must be my personality. Sometimes I say to Jam "what if we had met 150 years ago - we couldn't have been together!!" He always always laughs and says "Oh I am sure you would've found a way." Then I say "I hope I would've lived in Massachusetts where slavery was illegal and had been an abolitionist and independent-thinking feminist who would've rejected all the rules of society and marriage and expectations to be with you!" Again, he laughs at the ridiculousness of it all but always reassures me that we would've ended up together. Maybe he's just appeasing me, but I know him well enough to believe that he wouldn't tell me these things unless he thought they were true.

Well what a digression. I'm afraid its time to go back to work.

I think I caught some hideous cold in NYC or on Amtrak and feel just rotten :( We'll see what tomorrow brings. Maybe a long run will clear my sinuses, LOL.