Thursday, January 29, 2009

My Sister’s Friend Calls Them Gringolatas

Lately I have been doing a lot more cooking and I tend to be the one to wash dishes and such because Matt has begun working about 65 hours a week at his office, but I am mostly working from home. This is typical of our relationship; we do not really speak about things that need to be done and one of us just ends up picking up the slack when the other can not do so. Sadly in our case that is usually Matt so I guess it is only fair it is my turn to take over the household. Regardless of this current situation, in no sense of the word would anyone ever refer to me as “domestic”. I suppose what proves my point more so is the fact I feel the need to put the word into what would be air quotes if we were having this conversation face to face. Yeah I am definitely annoying air quote girl; this is the part where most of you rejoice that you have never met me. But I digress.

Although I love pasta and sauce and really feel it is the only thing I actually cook reasonably well, it can not be the menu every night so I have begun branching out to new territory for interesting meals that are not too involved (read: too involved will ensure I burn the house down when I forget it is in the oven because something shiny caught my eye and all attention is off the kitchen. This shiny something is likely to be a football game or Facebook). When shopping a few weeks ago I had the gumption to purchase a bunch of pre-packaged items and blend them together to create my own version of baked enchiladas.

Here’s the general gist for making about 10 enchiladas: cook a cup of brown rice stovetop (not really cooking -- rice in a pan and let it sit there 40 or so minutes, easy!), coat the bottom of a 13x9 pan with about a third of a can of green Verde sauce, brown ground turkey with chopped onion & set aside (tofu, chicken, beef, whatever your preference!), mix a half jar of salsa into the rice, open up a can of refried beans, spread layer of beans in center of flour tortilla, top with turkey, rice & a five finger pinch of shredded cheese, fold in sides & roll tortilla, put in pan fold side down & make sure to coat the ends with the sauce, cover the top with a bit of the sauce & sprinkle cheese on top, bake at 350 for about 35 minutes uncovered, top with sour cream and salsa or guacamole if you like. They actually came out freaking fantastic so I told my sister about them one night on the phone.

Let us all remember that Wendy lives in Arizona. Let us also remember that she can cook and makes a mean homemade salsa. Let us finally remember that people in the northeast are not exactly proximate to real Mexican food so although they may have been a nice mix of canned and packaged food-like products, their authenticity was not entirely on the level. So as I finish telling her about them she says “Yeah, my friend calls those Gringolatas.” I laughed for about a full minute because it was not at all ironic how perfect a name Gringolata was for the happy concoction I had just conceived! I loved it; I told her I was stealing it immediately. *

Cooking at home has meant a lot more cookies, a lot less money spent on food but also tragically, a lot more dishes which I really hate doing. I guess the tradeoff is spending all our money for the convenience of having someone else clean up our dinner mess. Considering I would never object at hiring a maid to clean our tiny apartment, the idea is not all that foreign to me. In the end I know I will manage the best I can but a girl can dream. I must emphatically point out however, no matter what slack I am picking up by baking up some yummy meals or running a vacuum across the living room rug, there are some things this girl will never do and as I explained to my sister in law last week, Matt’s laundry is definitely one of them.

*Check out the Urban Dictionary entry for Gringo

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

When I Think About Why I Support Our New President

Yesterday I read a post written by Jim, a blogger I read daily and tend to not only agree with most of the time, but truly enjoy reading because he has a remarkable way with words. In his blog yesterday I got the sense that he is cautiously optimistic with regard to our new President (and/or his abilities to change the nation as he has publicly stated multiple times that he desires to do). I wanted to respond to Jim’s post and began typing a comment but as my own opinions began to expand I felt it deserved its own post. I strongly encourage everyone to first read Jim’s post from yesterday to fully understand my response here. I would also like to say that I definitely respect and applaud Jim for putting his own feelings on the subject out there to be absorbed just like I am about to do; this is one of the greatest things about our nation -- we are allowed to freely express how we feel regardless if we agree with each other or not.

“Very well thought out and indeed an excellent way to explain the facts as you see them. I do agree that in most cases a "good" or "bad" job comes down to conjecture by the individual making that opinionated assessment.

I am an enormous supporter of Obama for many reasons and race definitely has something to do with it. It is a percentage of what makes him, well, him. Just the same there are percentages of him growing up poor, going to Harvard, coming from a broken home and losing his father. I am not a black man who grew up in a poor broken home that went on to attend an Ivy League school but I identify with him because I am, well, me and he reminds me that each of us in this world will face our very own unique challenges. I identify with the new leader of our nation because he is not seemingly excluded from this group like so many other politicians. We all struggle in some way, we all celebrate, we all come from somewhere and I applaud and respect Obama's ability to put it out there for all of us to see, no regrets and certainly no apologies. I guess what I am really trying to say is it is nice to see that the person running our country is not infallible, that he does not claim to have all the answers but is going to attempt in the best way he knows how to bring the spirit of this country back to good again.

One thing I noticed in almost all of his speeches of late is that he does not claim to be the only one who plans to fix our problems but that he counts on all of us in this country to assist with the rebuilding of our country and his role is simply to help lead us in the correct direction to make those necessary changes. He believes in our ability to do so and because of that I believe in his ability to do the same.”

I choose to believe that Obama will be a great leader of this nation because I do have hope and faith in the people of the United States to rise above the feelings of despair that have managed to roll in like a thick beach fog to blur our view for many years now. With nothing more than a collective shift toward positive thinking, a smile between strangers or a helping hand from those who have for those who have not we can transition this country into the place where dreams come true again. It may sound idealistic, lofty even, but I for one feel supportive of my country, patriotic and that feeling has not occurred in many years so I am truly excited to run with it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get On the Floor and Do the Inauguration Day Dance

It is finally here, the first day of the next four years, and if we are very lucky, eight. Today marks such an important moment in history for so many profound reasons. I will not go into all of them again but I ask everyone to think about them as they head off to work, errands, the back yard or even the sofa today. Beginning with our country, the entire world will be positively, mentally, revived by two o’clock in the afternoon as President Elect Barack Obama officially takes his place in history as the forty fourth President of the United States of America.

Last night a commercial came on that made me sit up and take notice. Obama was calling for all Americans to “Renew America Together” and gave a website to get more information on the subject. The website address is and is a clear call to request unbiased, unselfish help for and by fellow Americans.

The website was originally started to encourage Americans to consider completing a local act of community service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, yesterday. As I spent more time on the site however it was clear that there were many events in my local area planned within the weeks after January 19 and I became even more curious to somehow lend my hands to even one of them to help.

There are twelve categories to choose from and events are searchable by zip code as well as up to a 100 mile radius around it. We are therefore able to locate an event anywhere we might be from our own neighborhoods to anywhere across the country. For example: Suppose I have a trip planned to Flushing, NY and will have some down time while I am there so on the website I select “Find An Event” and enter the zip code 11367. The list of already posted events comes up and I can sign up to attend the one I feel most connected to.

But what if I want to do something in my own neighborhood and there is nothing scheduled? Suppose there is a park down the street that lots of community children play at but there is a lot of trash that needs to be collected to make it a safer and cleaner place to play. Why not simply “Host An Event” and schedule the date and time you will be out there collecting trash at the park -- others can sign up to join you and the spirit of community begins to grow!

A couple weeks ago Obama indicated something to the effect of ‘we got ourselves into this mess which means we can get ourselves out’ and although at the time he was referring to the current economic status I also truly believe we can apply that manner of thinking to our disconnect from community as well. I applaud this effort to get out and meet our neighbors, lend a hand, be a humanitarian, and most importantly, regain a sense of pride in our own communities. I strongly encourage everyone to get over there and check it out and then sign up to either attend or host an event. Matt and I are planning to attend an event this Sunday and hopefully many more there after.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
- Lao-tzu

Friday, January 16, 2009

I Am Working On a Time Machine

Anyone who went to grammar school here in the United States heard one of the most famous lines ever:

“In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue”

Had the good Captain crossed land as opposed to the great big sea he might have ended up landing where he intended to, The East Indies, instead of The Bahamas. After returning home Columbus no doubt ran around telling tales of how fabulous a place he discovered full of wonderful topography, gorgeous sunshine, blue skies and possibly even native people chillin’ in flip flops with some cocoa butter oil.

Word of this mystical and magical place, mistaken for the land of the spices they desired to trade, plausibly spread like wild fire all over Europe upon his return home. Whispers of a wondrous place, somewhere to build a fabulous life free of religious persecution, eventually made their way to the Pilgrims who gleefully hauled ass out of the eastern mid-coast of England for this beautiful place where they could start this free, new life.

The reason I am building a time machine is because I plan to go back to roughly 1610 with a big piece of laminated paper and a roll of duct tape. The paper will have a message written on it. The duct tape will be used to stick the page permanently to Plymouth Rock. The page will read something like this:

Dear Pilgrims,

You are roughly 1,530 miles too far north. Get back in your ships and follow the coast south until you hit a warm and wonderful placed named Miami. Please advise, should you decide to scoff at my suggestion roughly 75% of you are not going to make it another six months because it is going to sneak up on you just how cold it really does get here and I know there is no possible way you brought enough jackets, gloves, hats, mittens or wool socks; the village ladies definitely do not knit that fast. I warn you, it is inhuman here during the season known as winter. People should not needlessly be subjected to such harsh reality known as snow, slush, ice, frozen lungs, icicles for hair or frostbite. Those last words probably have not yet been invented but take it from me, it is not a pretty sight. Subsequently you will also be responsible for screwing over approximately 54,680,626 people as everyone begins to procreate just to stay warm and the population explodes over the next 400 years. Oh yes, there will be that many idiots who decide to remain here despite your early warning signs; better known as your rapidly dropping numbers. For some reason unknown, many, many, many morons will decide they must battle against this merciless, ruthless and brutal place just to prove they can. Only the smart will get out and take their chances on the open plains as they race for the gold; a substance known in these parts as the ever elusive warmth of the sun. That all comes later though. For now I will simply offer the same advice that the voice in the basement of every horror movie does: GET OUT. Please do not be the idiot who curiously goes into the cellar anyway even though three quarters of their friends have died tragic deaths.


The suckers who somehow got stuck here after you people made the mistake to stay.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Dew You Like My Nuts?

This past weekend Matt and I finally got a chance to get up to his Aunt and Uncle’s place in Vermont. The house is located on Mt. Snow and the Dew Tour was in town that weekend, the first time it had ever come to the east coast so it was pretty exciting. We were both looking forward to spending some time with the family and really happy to do so somewhere other than a wedding or a funeral; it did not hurt that they have a hot tub on the back deck and Aunt T really did not have to twist my arm too hard at the promise of spiked hot chocolate. Matt’s primary objective was to ski for the first time in about three years. My primary objective with skiing is to never do it again.

As far back as I can remember I fervently made a declaration that I would never get on a pair of skis. I could not understand why someone would feel compelled to lock themselves on two pieces of fiberglass and then fling their body down the side of a mountain at a billion miles an hour while simultaneously trying to avoid falling on their face and attempting to steer clear of crashing into trees. Maneuvering is further complicated by the fact that the person is bundled up in thermal underwear, a long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, scarf, mittens, goggles, boots…ugh, forget it, I am tired just writing out the list never mind spending the forty minutes it takes to get into all that gear. But despite my objections, a few years ago I decided that life is too short to say words like never so I agreed to go with Matt and S & B to give it a try. I figured if it turned out to be something I enjoyed, well, that might just make the winters here feel a bit less sucky.

We went up to Pats Peak because it was fairly close and not the most enormous mountain so everyone would get in a full day of a bunch of runs. Of course we began the day on the bunny trail. I did well on the rope tow; it was fine to be dragged up, it was the coming down part that did not gel well in my brain. As six year olds whizzed past me screaming “on your right!” I attempted a couple tries at weaving back and forth across the trail and not killing anyone at the bottom when I felt as if I would never stop moving. After a few runs they all felt I was ready for a chair lift and who was I to argue? Since the first time I ever skied was that morning how was I to know that most people either A) do not attempt this feat on their first time out or B) fall either getting on the lift, off, or both.

S explained the finer points of the chair lift on our way over to the base. She indicated that it would come up behind us and that I should just let it bump me into sitting; to not fight it. Sounded easy enough and boom, we were on our way up without falling. As we rode up to the top where it was literally 4 degrees that day (I have since been told these are neither normal or ideal skiing conditions), she explained to me how to get out of the chair -- tips up slightly, don’t cross them and let the chair give me the gliding push I needed to safely get out of the way of the people coming up in the next chair. I was relieved to find out that I was not deposited directly onto a ski trail from the chair as I had feared. So the little snow bump arrived and up went my tips. I managed to glide right over to the flat area at the top of the trail and stop to wait for Matt and B.

All three of them dropped their jaw and through my ear muffs, scarf, hat and hood I am pretty sure I heard them mention something like they had all fallen their first time off a chair lift and that I was doing really good. I really can not be sure though, the wind was an added sound buffer. So now came the super fun part where I had to get back down to the bottom and believe me, I remembered exactly how long it took in that chair to get to the top so I was not encouraged. They told me to “pizza” my skis without crossing the tips (or I would fall over) and bend my knees in to stop. Oh, ok, that sounds easy enough and I had come this far so what was the worst that could happen right?

The sound buffer must have blocked out that part where one of my knees should be slightly in front of the other in order to really slow down because I never once felt as if I did and immediately knew I was going to be in a race to the bottom -- I would not breath again until I was on flat ground so could I make it before I turned blue? Here is what went through my mind on that first run down the nice wide green trail:

“Oh fuck.”
“Holy crap, do not hit that tree!”
“TURN you stupid freaking skis! TURN!”
“Holy shit there are trees over there too!”
“Oh my stars I swear this mountain was shorter on the way up.”
“Matt must have taken out a life insurance policy on me.”
“Oh fuck.”

I reached the bottom and exhaled the only thing that kept me alive. My friends reached me and I am not joking that, basically, they said:

“Holy shit are you sure you have never skied before? You were swishing back and forth like a pro and kicking up snow off the back of your skis like it was no thing. Yeah, bad at skiing my ass.”

Somehow in the light headedness from my hysterical laughter at their completely incorrect assessment of my “abilities”, which I like to refer to as flailing wildly out of control of my own body, as well as the fact that I somehow managed to live on my first run, I miraculously found myself back on the chair lift and doing that little swishing dance of death two more times that day. The one and only time I fell was on my final run and I did it on purpose so I didn’t mow over the family of four who decided to spend their break in the middle of the trail. Damn them.

In the car on the way home they were all so excited about my performance and said how they couldn’t wait to get me back out again and gee, wasn’t I so excited by how great skiing was. Luckily we had lowered altitude by this point and my brain cells kicked back in so I was aware enough to understand that the feeling I had on the way down was not one I ever desired to experience again. But at least I tried it to know for sure.

To this day they all still try to convince me that it was the icy snow or the freezing temperatures that made me feel uncomfortable but to me, planting my butt on the nice warm leather sofa, sipping spiked hot chocolate and watching the ShamWow TV sales guy chop cashews and make statements like “You’re going to love my nuts” while laughing with Matt’s Aunt is about as extreme as I will get in the snow. That hot tub on the other hand, well that is just nice no matter how much effort I did not exert.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How to Tell if You're from Massachusetts

A friend of mine who now lives in sunny Florida sent this to me in email this morning. I proceeded to laugh hysterically at almost everything in this list but I noticed that some of it is out of date or missing critical information so it seemed appropriate to share it with everyone and make notes as needed. All you Mass-holes will understand a lot of this and most of you, whether from Massachusetts or not, will completely get why #1 is in fact #1.

1. The Red Sox World Series win was, and will always be, one of the greatest moments in your life.

2. The guy driving in front of you is going 70 mph and you're swearing at him for going too slow.

This is generally in the right lane. The left lane is for people going too slow at 90. Especially on the Mass Pike.

3. When ordering a tonic, you say a Coke.

4. You went to Canobie Lake Park, Pleasure Island or Water Country as a kid.

Extra bonus points if you are singing the Water Country theme song in your head right now.

5. You actually enjoy driving around rotaries.

This is crap. No one enjoys driving around rotaries, it is just a fact of life here so we deal with it but no one really understands how to do it correctly, we just hold on for dear life and pray we don't crash.

6. You do not recognize the letter 'R' as a part of the English language.

Yeah that's ...O, P, Q, AH, S, T...
Of course we also add it where it does not belong such as when saying pizza (peetzer) or aunt (arnt).

7. Your social security number starts with a zero.

8. You can actually find your way around the streets of Boston.

In a car, on foot or by the T.

9. You know what a 'regular' coffee is.

10. You keep an ice scraper in your car year-round.

Sadly this is the single truest statement in this entire list. In April I move mine to the trunk & then in September it lives on the floor in the backseat for the next seven months because you just never know.

11. You can tell the difference between a Revere accent and a Dorchester accent.

That’s Reveah and Dot thank you very much.

12. Springfield is located 'way out west.'

13. You almost feel disappointed if someone doesn't flip you the bird when you cut them off or steal their parking space.

14. You know how to pronounce the names of towns like Worcester, Billerica, Gloucester, Peabody and Haverhill.

15. Anyone you don't know is a potential idiot until proven otherwise.

16. Paranoia sets in if you can't see a Dunkin Donuts or CVS Pharmacy within eyeshot at all times.

17. You have driven to New Hampshire on a Sunday just to buy alcohol.

18. You know how to pronounce Yastrzemski.

Bonus points for his nickname.

19. You know there's a trophy at the end of the Bean Pot.

20. You order iced coffee in January.

21. You know that the Purple Line will take you anywhere.

22. You love scorpion bowls.

23. You know what they sell at a Packie.

Extra bonus points if you sent your older sibling to one when you were still in High School.

24. Sorry Manny, but number 24 means DEWEY EVANS.

25. You know what First Night is.

26. You know at least one guy named Sean, Pat, Whitey, Red, Bud or Seamus and you know how to pronounce Seamus.

I would also like to add any name that ends in a y -- Mikey, Timmy, Tommy, Jimmy, Johnny, Joey, etc. Bonus points if you know someone named Sully and it’s not their first name.

27. McLobster = McCrap

28. You know at least 2 cops in your town because they were your high school drinking buddies.

Or your sister’s ex boyfriend.

29. You know there are 6 New England states, but that Connecticut really doesn't count.

30. You give incomprehensible directions to tourists, feel bad when they drive off, but then say to yourself, 'Ah, screw ‘em.'

This is mostly because you know there is no way you will ever encounter this person again because they will be so lost they could never find you.

31. You know at least one bar where you can get something to drink after last call.

32. You hate the Kennedys, but you vote for them anyway.

33. You know holding onto the railing when riding the Green Line is not optional.

34. The numbers '78 and '86 make you cringe.

35. You've been to Goodtimes.

Yeah and it really isn’t that Good of a time.

36. You think the rest of the country owes you for Thanksgiving and Independence Day.

37. You have never actually been to 'Cheers.'

38. The words ' WICKED' and 'GOOD' go together.

39. You've been to Fenway Park.

Even my Mom has been to Fenway so yes, this is accurate.

40. You've gone to at least one party at UMass.

Which campus? Oh wait, that is rhetorical I suppose.

41. You own a 'Yankees Suck' shirt or hat.

Or bumper sticker, mug, pin, poster…

42. You know what a Frappe is.

Hands down Brigham’s has the best black & whites anywhere in Boston.

43. You've been to Hempfest.

44. You know who Frank Averuch is.

45. You know Frank Averuch was once Bozo the Clown

46. You can complete the following: 'Lynn, Lynn .....'

47. You get pissed off when a restaurant serves clam chowder, and it turns out to be Snows.

48. You actually know how to merge from six lanes of traffic down to one.

It is called do not look the other driver in the eye, step on the gas and merge!

49. The TV weatherman is damn good if he's right 25% of the time.

50. You never go to Cape Cod,' you go 'down the Cape '.

51. You think that Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon are more evil than Whitey Bulger.

No, not think. You know they are.

52. You know who Whitey Bulger is.

53. You went to the Swan Boats, House of Seven Gables, or Plymouth Plantation on a field trip in elementary school.

54. Bobby Orr is loved as much as Larry Bird, Tom Brady, and Ted Williams.

55. You remember Major Mudd.

56. You know what candlepin bowling is.

Almost every Sunday with my Dad for a boat load of years we went to Lanes ‘N Games in Cambridge on Rt. 2 and played candlepin. Those are some of the best memories ever, he taught me how to throw a ball without lobbing it and without twisting my wrist so maybe I could get a strike. As we got older it was an occasional fun spot for us to hang at with friends because we could take the bus to Magnolia Street, walk across Thorndike Field and cross the highway via the walking overpass to land right in the parking lot. This is where I fell in love with Pac Man, and pin ball machines.

57. You can drive from the mountains to the ocean all in one day.

58. You know where Scollay Square once stood and what is there now.

59. When you were a kid, Rex Trailer was the coolest guy around. Speaking of which.... You can still hum the song from the end of Boom Town.

61. Calling Carrabba's an 'Italian' restaurant is sacrilege.

62. You still have your old Flexible Flyer somewhere in your parents' attic.

63. You know that route 128 and 495 is some kind of strange weather dividing line.

64. The only time you've been on the Freedom Trail is when relatives are in town.

Or a school field trip if the teacher was particularly adventurous.

65. The Big Dig tunnel disaster wasn't a surprise.

Wait, is the Big Dig finished?

66. You call guys you've just met 'Chief' or 'Boss.'

Or ‘Guy’.

67. 4:15pm and pitch black out means only 3 more shopping days until Christmas.

68. You know more than one person with the last name Murphy.

And probably call them Murph.

69. You refer to Savin Hill as 'Stab 'n Kill.'

70. You've never eaten at Durgin Park, but recommend it to tourists.

71. You can't look at the zip code 02134 without singing it.

72. You voted for a Republican Mormon as Governor just to screw with the rest of the country.

73. 11 pm? Drunk? It means one thing: Kowloons!

Yes and refer to #22 for how to maintain the buzz once you get there.

74. 2 am? Drunk? It means one thing: Kelly's! The one on Revere Beach not the one on Route 1.

75. 5 am? Drunk? It means one thing: You wish you had a blanket in your back seat.

76. You know that P-Town isn't the name of a new rap group.

77. People you don't like are all 'Bastids.'

78. You took off school or work for the Patriots first Super Bowl Win Parade.

And the Red Sox World Series parade. Both of them.

79. You've called something 'wicked pissa.'

80. You'll always get razzed for Dukakis.

81. Saturday afternoons meant Creature Double Feature with Dale Dorman.

Oh man, Godzilla was the best.

82. Sunday mornings meant the Three Stooges on Channel 38.

Not in my house.

83. You've slammed on your brakes to deter a tailgater.

And it doesn’t work because they all drive here too and know all the tricks.

84. No, you don't trust the Gorton's Fisherman.

85. You know that Papa Gino's usually has a jukebox.

At least they used to. Most of them are gone now which is such a bummer because this was a regular afternoon of fun with friends in High School.

86. You think Aerosmith is the greatest rock band of all time.

87. Your town has at least 6 pizza and roast beef shops.

Banks and hair dressers too.

88. You know at least three Tony's, one Vinnie and a Frankie.

89. 20 degrees is downright balmy as long as there is no wind - then it gets wicked cold.

It is not uncommon in the eastern part of the state at least to see people walking around in shorts when it is in the 30’s. Of course they are also wearing a sweater and windbreaker (Red Sox of course).

90. You were very sad when saying goodbye to the Boston Garden.

I have pictures of the Garden from the old Expressway when it used to be above ground and cut right through the middle of the city. There was a Budweiser billboard out front that read ‘Thanks for the Memories’.

91. Thanksgiving means family, turkey, High School football, and the long version of Alice's Restaurant.

92. You know the guy who founded the Boston Pops was named Athah Feedlah.

93. You know what the Combat Zone is.

Well what it was anyway. Now it is just a bunch of gorgeous brownstones worth a billion each.

94. You actually drive 45 minutes to New Hampshire to save $5 in sales tax.

Yup, do this every couple weeks in fact.

95. You've pulled out of a side street and used your car to block oncoming traffic so you can make a left.

This is not optional here, you have to or else you will never get anywhere.

96. You've bragged about the money you've saved at The Christmas Tree Shop.

97. You've been to Hampton Beach on a Saturday night.

98. Playing street hockey was a daily after school ritual.

99. Hearing an old lady shout 'Numbah 96 for Sioux City!' means it's time for steak.

100. You remember Jordan Marsh, Filenes, Grants, Bradlees, Zayres, or Ann & Hope.

Or Caldor.

101. You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Massachusetts.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Back

The first day of a brand new year. A clean slate, a fresh start. Mum you know I told you the other night that is what I was bringing to me. Well now that it has arrived I feel it is alright to not only begin working on that other thing we talked about but to have a small moment of reminiscent nostalgia for the times and places that have gone by. Bridgete posted this a few days ago and I knew it would be something I would borrow, because the questions were pretty good (ok I guess technically its stolen since I do not really plan to give it back). I modified the questions slightly to be past tense when appropriate. I am really looking forward to another year of wonderful fun starting right now!

Where did you begin 2008?
S & B's living room.

What was your status by Valentine's Day?
Still living.

Were you in school (anytime in 2008)?

Did you have to go to the hospital?
Yes but it was not for me, it was to see my newly born nephews!

Did you have any encounters with the police?
Um, thankfully no.

Where did you go on vacation?
Humarock, Martha's Vineyard.

What did you purchase that cost $500 or more?
Quite sure I spent that on food and beer over the entire year. At a single purchase? Nothing.

Did you know anybody who got married?
Still know them. No one did so last year if that’s the question.

Did you know anybody who passed away?

Did you move anywhere?

What sporting events did you attend?
1 Red Sox game, 1 Bruins game

What concerts/shows did you go to?
Jason Mraz (2), Ben Taylor, Cas Haley, Emily Elbert, Makepeace Brothers, Bushwalla, Kim Taylor

Where do you live now?
Northwest of Boston.

Describe your birthday?
The best day of the year.

What's the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2008?
Move back here.

What were your favorite moment(s) of 2008?
In no particular order (and only what I remember right now but I am sure there are many more, like every single day) -- Waking up every morning, meeting my “nephews” and watching them grow, spending time with Wendy, selling a few CSD items, writing, all those nights of passionate love making, seeing family & friends, snuggling under a cozy blanket on a cold day, catching up over tea, snapping photos of some once in a lifetime moments, meeting new people, giving generously, being completely thankful when I received, dying my hair bright red, laughter during great meals together, seeing Jason perform live twice, exploring new parts of the country, ending the Springfield chapter for good, being at the Sox game when Crisp got in the fight on the mound, meeting two bloggy friends and getting to know others through their words, getting hired by multiple people to install finishes I had never done before and rocking them, seeing the deer in the field, seeing my Dad more and really bonding with my Step Mom, watching the sun rise over the ocean, convincing Matt to drive down to MD with me then fly back the same day, realizing just how much my body can handle then pushing myself to do more, driving home from MD with nothing to keep me company but music, seeing my Mother in Law and other in-law family throughout the year even though the circumstances were not always super, picking up the ice cream cake in the middle of the summer, attending the first BBGG meeting, the look on Matt’s face when he got the iPod for his birthday, New Year’s eve with our “extended family”, learning new recipes, road trips, starting up GLR, getting Ben & Bill’s every night but one, interviewing so many talented artists, every single moment I got to spend on a beach, the Alzheimer’s walk, accepting the fact that we might have to move far away but taking steps so we do not have to, taking the boys to the Museum of Science, cleaning out the physical and proverbial clutter, Boston Harbor Islands tour, starting new traditions, seeing every single person I love smile, making the most of every single day.

What's something you learned about yourself?
Far too many to mention.

Any new additions to your family?
Not my immediate family.

What was your best month?
All of them were great for different reasons.

What music will you remember 2008 by?
Jason and pretty much anything on Rock Band.

Who was your best drinking buddy?
Matt or Wendy.

Made new friends?
Sure did!

Favorite Night(s) out?
Anytime I actually got out was probably fun.

Any regrets?

What do you want to change in 2009?
The Commander in Chief, hurry up already!

Overall, how would you rate 2008?
Freaking fantastic, just like every other year.

What would you change about 2008?

Other than home, where did you spend most of your time?
With friends or family.

Had any life changes in 2008?

Change your hairstyle?
Not significantly. The color is an entirely different story.

Get a new job?
Sort of.

How old did you turn in 2008?

Do you have a New Year's resolution?
Yes, to not make resolutions. Damn, I already broke it.

Did anything embarrassing?
Most likely.

Buy anything new from eBay?

What were your favorite purchase(s)?
The small camera, iTunes music, food.

Get married or divorced?

Get arrested?
Thank goodness no lol.

Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
No. Reality shows are so over.

Did you get sick last year?
Don't really remember but I don't think so.

Start a new hobby?
No space for anything new in this place lol.

Been snowboarding?
Not a chance in hell.

Are you happy to see 2008 go?
I am always a little misty to end a calendar year but I see only good things in 2009, a year that is even better than 2008, so in reality it has to end so those great things can begin!

Drank Starbucks in 2008?
I think so in MD.

Been naughty or nice?

What are you wishing for in 2009?
To finish the novel, get it published, promoted and well received.