Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hey, Hey... My Calves are on Fire

Luckily I am able to borrow some internet access from a completely generous neighbor. When I find out who they are I am fully intending to pay them back by inviting them over for a yummy cookout later this summer. Nothing like meeting neighbors even if it is just through their network name right now. Thanks neighbor, there is a burger over here with your name on it.

So we’re in and settled. Spent the past couple days unpacking & arranging, what do they call this, nesting or something? Or is that only when one is having a baby? I don’t know what they call it but I call it awesome. I have some photos and when I have my snazzy desktop computer all hooked up and legally operational I promise to share. One of the best is of my mom, dancing with the lampshade on her head. Then again that one might not be approved for public viewing.

Last night we wrapped up everything by heading back over to the Valley of Despair one last time to give the old place the white glove power wash. OK in all fairness even after two hours that glove would not be white so let’s say the light grey glove. It was left nicer than we found it, and we even left our never used George Foreman grill behind with a welcome to the ‘hood note for the new tenants. Hope they like it!

Since the old apartment was a third floor there were a whole lot of stairs involved and I’ve been looking for my walker, you know, the one with front wheels so I can lean and hobble. That’s pretty much all I’m doing anyway. I’d mack it out all old lady style and go with the gutted tennis ball on the foot of the back leg. Better traction that way. The torture I put my calves through was brutal the past few days; if my legs were on the menu they would so be the shank -- just put me in a pot and stir me into soup, seriously.

Sorry body but it was all worth it when I ran my first load of dishes last night.

Then this afternoon I ran out and got the two things I always replace everywhere I live -- the toilet seat and the shower head. Both of which I feel it is inherently wrong to use someone else’s. Then at the end of the week I will be acquiring the two things I think are most necessary anywhere -- a fire extinguisher and renter’s insurance. Both of which I would be totally screwed if I had to use and didn’t have them. In fact one of those has gotten some use once and is why I need a new one now. Huh, now that’s a fun story, will have to share that one next week.

Now life can go back to its normal lame day to day of writing. Thank goodness, I seriously dislike stuff being strewn all over the place, world in chaos, drama of living between apartments with most day to day stuff being packed. Not that anyone would ever know that with all the moving I have done in my life.

By next week I should be back in full swing and am totally looking forward to catching up with reading and writing to everyone. Funny thing, I pretty much only miss the world of bloglandia, the others are fun but they don’t hold a candle to this. Hope you’re all having a swell week and can’t wait to read all of your life updates soon!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It’s on like Ping Pong

All our boxes are packed…we’re ready to go.
We’re running quickly out the door.
It can’t come quick enough…

Within the next few hours the cavalcade of moving joy begins. Right now feels like that calm before the storm where we are up and drinking coffee, tripping over filled boxes everywhere but not acknowledging that there is anything going on just yet. The wind is just starting to pick up a little bit.

Matt and I have moved so many times it is almost not even worth mentioning anymore but I feel compelled to get excited about this one because we both feel really good about this move. This is the first time in almost seven years we are moving to a place for no other reason than we wanted to.

When we first got together I was living in a little studio apartment in Malden, Massachusetts and he was living in Columbus, Ohio in a similar sized place. If you haven’t read the story about how we met and all that squishy stuff you can do that now. I’ll wait.

Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap.

OK ready? Good. Now where was I? Oh right, Malden.

So once we decided to move in together the studio was not going to cut it and we found a place a few blocks away, also in Malden. It was the second floor of a typical Boston two family -- three bedrooms, one bath, eat in kitchen, hardwoods, single pane windows, no insulation and a boiler from 1850 -- it was huge and we were getting a super deal on rent because Matt knew someone who knew someone. Then they told us they were selling and all of this moving for other people and other reasons began.

We bought the fixer in June of 2002 and by April of 2003 we actually started to work on the place. Just before that was when they sold the house in Malden we crashed for a while with a family member until the house in Springfield was almost ready to be inhabited, but not quite. We went to a motel for ten days while we put up walls in the bathroom and bedroom. Enough that the cat could be safe and we could shower. We lived in Springfield for three years too long but neither of us ever wanted to live there. We just went with the flow of circumstances so when a job opportunity opened up in New York, we figured it was worth looking into.

I was dying to give Manhattan a go. I have always loved The City and could not wait to get there!

So of course we ended up living in my cousin’s basement on Long Island. For over a year. With no windows.

We made the best of it because New York is freaking expensive and we were still paying bills on the Springfield house and trying to sell it. But East Meadow was not where either of us wanted to live. One morning after a particularly heavy rain storm the basement flooded. We had been discussing possibly moving so we would not turn into moles but had not entirely planned on doing it just yet. The house next door belonged to the man my cousin had been seeing and he had just moved into her slightly larger home.

Off we went to his place that day. Like within an hour of the flood.

That house was actually one of the best places we have lived even though we didn’t see the move coming. A cute little 900 square foot, single family, two bedroom ranch with a nice big living room and a kitchen with a dishwasher. We had a couple friends on the Island who would come over and we would hang out on the back deck and drink beers and laugh all night. It was actually not too bad.

Then the housing market imploded.

Our friends had worked together (at a substantial sized mortgage company) and were out of work on the same day. With approximately 5,000 other people. Six or so other small to mid sized companies also went down and Matt too ended up having to find something. There were about 10,000 people all fighting for the same fifteen jobs on the Island and our friends hauled ass out of there and headed for Texas. Matt’s boss at his former company loved him to death and got him into her new place per-diem but we both knew he was on borrowed time.

So we put on our rose colored blindfold and moved back to Massachusetts.

There is a whole lot involved with this move and a very lengthy story surrounding it all, which I may tell at some point but today is not that day. Let’s just say there are three sides to everything and that we moved back here so Matt could pursue a career change, which instead turned out to be a life changing experience for both of us, and we encountered some major financial hardship due to the culmination of everything up to this point. Yes, I think that sums it up rather nicely.

When we first moved back we were crashing at the beach cottage in Humarock. The day I become a wealthy woman I will own a home on both coasts -- a hip loft in downtown San Diego and a home in Humarock. That place is one of the most amazing places on the planet for me, something magical happens when I cross the river; I feel at home. But living in a family house that is opened up every summer means, again, living on borrowed time so this was never meant to be something we could treasure; it was transitional at best. Bringing in 75% of the pay we were making in New York also meant we were limited in where we could even look, not to mention the fact that saving a couple dimes was next to impossible.

I had started Chucka Stone Designs as soon as we arrived and was beginning to roll along with a few great jobs through 2008. That spring the family house in Damascus, Maryland needed to be freshened to be put on the market and I was hired to do so. That job was the most physically exhausting I have ever faced but one of the most rewarding in so many ways. And I came home with our moving money.

We had settled for an apartment in Arlington that was excessively overpriced for the size, but it was Arlington. Now I should explain, as much as Humarock feels like home, I have about as strong feelings to the opposite about Arlington.

The funny thing about Boston is that even the crappiest of areas are overpriced so we figured, why not at least move to a safe town. And so we landed here.

I grew up here from age seven to about nineteen and frankly I am not a fan. There is nothing inherently wrong with this town it is just that I am one of those people who 1. knows when something feels right or wrong and 2. enjoys leaving my past in the past. Even as a kid I never felt like I fit in here. Moving back here caused my past to come running right up to me to punch me square in the kisser; I knew it felt wrong. But when we were looking there was not much of an option and after three years in Springfield I refused to live in another crime ridden location simply because we could afford it.

I have shared some of the hilarity about this building -- the smell of dead cabbage cat, neighbors who sunbathe in the parking lot in a thong, the rabid animals that live in the dumpster, the claustrophobia upon entry -- but I really must admit, despite all of the crap, our landlord has been wonderful and Matt and I went through very distinct, positive transformations here.

This time, there was no pressure to move (even though we were both interested in doing so eventually). No major life changes were occurring which were forcing our hand, neither of us figured we would be going anywhere for at least a couple years. Then one night out of the blue we heard about what will now be our new place.

It is only one town away but it feels like the other side of the Universe to me. With so many positive things going on in our lives right now this new place kind of feels like the culmination of dragging ourselves back up from a very, very dark place that we lived in for a very, very long time. We don’t own it, it is not all that much bigger and who knows what the neighbors will be like but something inside both of us is saying that this time we were actually waiting at the right platform when the right train was pulling in and finally we are headed in the right direction.

I haven’t even set up an appointment for internet access to be hooked up yet. For the first few days I simply plan to unpack, make curtains, explore our new neighborhood, sit in the side yard and read the Kerouac novel I just took out of the library, set up our place and enjoy the surroundings. I don’t know when I’ll get back online to read, write and connect, but even though there is a lot of heavy lifting to come over the next few days, I somehow feel like I will be more refreshed than ever once I get back.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

And the Award Goes To…

This birthday girl! What a nice present from my mom over at Ramblings by Judi. She was awarded the Premio Meme Award and then was kind enough to pass it on to me. Isn’t it pretty?

It is like the award was designed with us in mind -- a photograph of a novel. There it is Mum, our next venture will be you taking pictures of the books I write. So I guess I better wrap up this blog post to get on with that then huh?

OK there are always rules with these things and the rules for this one say to pass it on to seven bloggers and then share seven random facts about yourself. I had a really tough time choosing just seven people the last time so I am breaking the rules and not passing this one on. Sorry but it is just too difficult to pick. I thoroughly enjoy everyone I read so if you stop over here and read this post you should know that you too deserve this awesome award. Take it, post it, tell your friends! Here’s the facts…

1. I enjoy working from home with no radio or television on for my entire 12 hour day. Silence helps my brain sort out thoughts so I can get them onto paper or Word docs.

2. But there are some days when I like to play music & it is always LOUD! Today is one of these days. Sorry neighbors but you’ll be rid of me by Sunday.

3. I still have not purchased Dave Matthews Band’s new CD. Shameful I know but I didn’t want anything else to move so I will be introducing it to its new home next week.

4. There are some artists I simply must buy the physical CD for and load it into digital format. Those artists are DMB, Jason Mraz, Melissa Ferrick and Matchbox 20. Unfortunately Ferrick’s most recent was digital only so I guess its something I have to learn to live with in the future.

5. We use soy milk in our coffee now and I really don’t even miss cow milk unless I’m eating something sweet (like birthday cake)!

6. I recently added Resume and Cover Letter Writer to my portfolio. Let me know if I can help you too!

7. I am a total maniac about my birthday. Today is all about me and I love getting calls, comments, messages, etc wishing me a happy birthday. Then on your birthday I repay the favor because seriously it’s the most important day of the year. You wouldn’t be here to wish me a happy birthday if you didn’t pop out all those years ago and vice versa. Time to celebrate woo hoo!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Between an Errand and Intellect

Maniacally I shuffle my little legs to
Push on, as the pelting droplets
Shake and dance on my bangs
Then surreptitiously roll down my brow
To land with a sting in my eyes.

I traverse the brick laden sidewalk;
Where mortar lines are missing
Moss fills in the wide gaps and
I crave a shaft of light to pursue,
As I round the corner toward the door.

The granite stairs climb sharply,
Although there are only ten between us
Protruding in angles toward clouds,
As if by some force from beneath,
The rise is taller than the run is deep.

The door swings outward wide and
Marble floors greet me in caution.
For the shaking umbrellas that
Reside at the front of this space are
Open wide; superstitions notwithstanding.

I am unwavering; my desire drives
And I head briskly through the lobby.
Turning left I read the sign ‘Fiction’ and
Feel comforted by the smell of
Musty ink and parchment.

This place has changed in years past,
The lonely and dank dutifully replaced by
Light and reflection; gold leaf domes.
A brief respite from the
Realities that exist outside these walls.

I am enveloped by the escape --
French speaking mobsters might fall in love,
Twelve year old girls could be lost at sea --
The options are as endless as imagination,
Within this space, daydreams jumble.

I vacillate between the titles but
Settle on the greatest ache in my soul.
As if illicit, my heart races on the way
To check out this tattered fantasy that is
Soon to become my new reality.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Done. Seriously.

I can not wake up to this:

anymore or I am most certainly going to lose my mind. In the past three weeks we have had one, yes one day with sun. The little blip of sunshine this past weekend was short lived. Even before I finished writing the post it was gone. I am pretty sure it did not rain that day. At least I think so. It’s hard to remember what day rained when every day seems to rain.

I want out of this movie. No matter how funny Bill Murray is.

S.A.D. is not something one should ever have to experience, but least of all in the summer. Yes yesterday was the Solstice, the official first day of my favorite season. The day that the birds sing and the hugest flaming star burns pale bottoms on lazy weekend days.

Or maybe that is just the reverie of my soul’s desires talking. Time to snap back to the real world and look for the silver lining in all of this right? So what are the advantages to constant rain?

► No need to put clothes in the dryer they will be wet again in moments due to the humidity in the air.
► Toilet paper is more like baby wipes because that constant humidity dampens and really nicely expands the quilting.
► It doesn’t matter worth a damn what I do with my hair; it falls when I go outside anyway.
► Or I get to wear a hat.
► A daily free car wash.
► There is no pressure to smile.
► I get to put the lifespan of CFL’s to the test; since it always seems like night inside they get constant use.
► Because of FM radio I have become so well versed in all the songs that involve weather of any sort in the words or the title that I would sweep the category on Jeopardy. Of course the coolest has to be Milli Vanilli.

Ooh, ooh, ooh, I loved you. Those guys were Fab. And Rob of course.

I noticed though that the day not yet revealed on Yahoo weather is Thursday. My birthday. I am ordering Mother Nature to cease with her crying, it isn’t as if I am some old hag or anything. I’m only turning thirty…ssssss…..mumble…grumble…Oh okay fine, I will tell you.

I will be thirty six this year. Crossing the threshold toward forty. No turning back now. Closer to fifty than twenty one starting overnight on June 24 at 1:58:01 AM. No kids and not a cougar (unless a three year age difference really counts). I get to write for a living and as of Saturday will have a dishwasher. Life is not all that bad in the grand scheme of things.

But none of that matters at all because I might just off myself over Seasonal Effective Disorder before we even get to Thursday. Never mind Saturday.

Please. I beg, plead, bargain and negotiate with you Mrs. Nature. It is time. I really want to move my mattress without having to wrap it in plastic and it would be oh so nice to take a walk without a slicker or my boots. My little pasty feet are in serious need of being back in flip flops again without turning into toesicles. Not to mention that it is mud, not mold, that is good for the skin. I am tired of being green and fuzzy. Moss is not a good look on anyone.

So go ahead and knock it off.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father’s Day

It feels appropriate to wish a very happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there in this great big world. Being a dad is a great thing, to enjoy time with your kids and share the everyday joy and beauty of their growth is something very special. Taking time to appreciate all the little things they do and recognizing that they are an awesome part of this big world will cause them to grow into wonderful people!

Take time to give your favorite dads a big hug and kiss today and thank them for all they do for you and others!

This is my dad…

This Polaroid was taken on Christmas about twenty three years ago. The bench, or stepstool, is what I gave my dad as his gift that year. I had made it in wood shop at school and from the moment I started it I knew it was going to be for him. My dad has been a carpenter / craftsman / contractor just about my entire life and I was very nervous that he would appreciate this gift. He loved it and could not stop hugging me for it.

I will be hugging you back a little later today dad. I know you don’t read this but it still seemed like the right thing to do to say happy Father’s Day and I love you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the awesome dads out there, you know who you are!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Body Is Always Getting In the Way

This morning I woke up at about 5:30 with a throbbing headache. This would not be atypical but I just had my every couple month headache only a few weeks ago so I had to figure out why I was oh so very lucky to be blessed with one on a Saturday. After sucking down a huge glass of water, two aspirin and a coffee the size of my bathroom sink, I am chalking it up to recalcitrance.

My body knew that I finally had a weekend day off, a day where the plans were to spend the day doing “nothing”. Well, in a manner of speaking.

To some it might sound like my head is, in essence, saying ‘hey dummy, now you get to lie down all day and relax like you planned.’ and that is all well and good but I don’t want to be forced into it. It is a choice I want to make on my own. Plus who can relax when they feel like crap? I was really looking forward to just lazing about on the couch while not feeling…well, not feeling period, just being.

Of course even as I type that I know it’s a big bunch of crap. I never just stop moving and chill out all day. I know myself way better than that (as evidenced by the fact that I am sitting here typing away a blog post even though my face feels like it could fall off my head at any second. But, Yeah. Relax. Sure I will.)

This goes right to the part of my personality where I really dislike being idle in body or mind. I think I truly have some deep seeded fear that if I stop moving, I might just perish from indolence (you like the added drama there?). Forget drowning or burning up in a fire, dying from boredom is definitely at the top of my worst ways to go list.

“Tell me, Doc, how did she meet her maker?”
“Oh the moron bored herself to death. I mean all she had to do was get up and do something. What an idiot.”

So then, because I am me, the self diagnosed bipolar freak show, I take everything right to the edge of the extreme and instead of progressing along at a nice even, manageable pace, I live my life as if I were a Nascar driver -- rapidly weaving with the bare minimum of pit stops; only when I blow a gasket, bounce off a concrete wall and roll ten or fifteen times. We can all figure out what the headache equates to in this convenient symbolism, right?

Irony always makes me laugh, even when it is presented as a sucky and wrong situation like today. Right now birds are chirping and the sun is pouring into my living room window. Here in Boston we have not seen the sun come out before six o’clock in the evening in what feels like months; therein lies the paradox -- the sun comes out just as it is about to set. So the entire day is dark and grey until it is too late to get out and do anything. Now, on the one day when it would be nice to have it dark and grey to not further upset my head, it is bloody perfect outside.

At least the rest of the city’s residents will be able to enjoy the first sunny weekend day in eons but bright light plus headache equals not a happy camper over in this seat.

Apparently Mother Nature likes to snicker and today I picture her pointing and laughing at me. It was bad enough that she created that total mockery with the rising-setting sun for the past few weeks, but today she has heaped on a big spoonful of Murphy’s Sunny Day Law just for good measure. The Bitch.

Yeah well I’ll show her who is really the head’s honcho around here. I have now been up for about three hours and my effort to rebel against the pain by using water, caffeine and drugs seems to be doing the trick. I might not have started this battle but I am bound and determined to win the war.

You will know that has happened as soon as the sun goes behind a cloud for the rest of the day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Expressing Thanks

Some of you know that I hand make bags from upcycled or recycled fabrics as a hobby and that I have a shop on Etsy under my company name of Chucka Stone Designs where I sell these little goodies. Well about a week ago, Jackie over at Etsy Item of the Day got in touch with me and asked if she could feature this

as today’s featured item of the day. As if I was going to say no! The funny thing is that I have been contemplating marking all of my Etsy shop items at 50% off as a moving sale next week so I can possibly unload some merchandise before I have to pack it and take it to the new place. I would much rather take it to the post office and send it to a fine, yet different, home.

This morning I was suggesting, over on one of the thousand or so social networking sites I now belong to, that perhaps I should get a couple huge posters made up that look like this

to mark the sale’s occasion. I guess pimping out my glorious feature (and the fact that I am thinking of having the sale at all) right here on my blog is going to have to be enough. Never mind the fact that there is no time to print up these babies, I am pretty sure my current landlord would not be expressing her thanks for my hanging them all over the building.

One of the people I recently started following on twitter, @EnlightenYurDay, posts these little excellent quotes a few times a day. They come from philosophers, musicians, writers, Saints and (who some might call) sinners alike. I don’t know where they find them but they never cease to inspire me and make me smile or chuckle too. My very favorite from today is:

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.
- Anatole France

This goes right back to being thankful today. I could ask Jackie how she found me, wonder why suddenly my long ago deserted Etsy shop is suddenly being noticed again or how I have been so lucky to make such magnificent connections but instead I will just say a big rock on to the Universe at large and bask in the accolades being vibed my way right now.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Broken Thought Process Thursday a Little Early

By the time I’m done rambling out this crazy stream of consciousness it will be close to Thursday on the East Coast. Though I really dislike the expression, “its Thursday somewhere!” applies. Hey wait, that’s right; it already is Thursday in Japan. Sweet, I’m covered.

I wrapped up my kitchen job today and although I did not find the exact liner I had posted the other day the one I got worked awesome. Tomorrow after getting back from mailing the check for our first month’s rent at the new place (in ten-ish days), I plan to work up a nice HubPage with a photo ‘how to’ tutorial for how I installed it. Could not be easier and really made all the difference on those impractical wire shelves.

So I always seem to look at the clock at two times during the day -- 9:11 and 11:11. I have looked into the 11:11 phenomenon and from what I read it has something to do with moving forward. I could be inferring it all wrong of course but that is what I get out of the things I have read. It makes me happy to think that but I also want to say well duh because aren’t we always moving forward? I mean as long as we are living there is allegedly no turning back so forward is really the only way to go. It isn’t as if digital clocks have been around forever and maybe there is nothing at all to any of it but all I know is since I can remember my favorite number has been 11 so I’m going to relish in the thought that I get a little extra propulsion every day.

Something that has been bugging me lately is that I have this recoculously huge vocabulary but for some reason I have decided it isn’t cool to show off my chops. I hide it behind myself and never pull out the fifty cent words in casual conversation even if it is right there on the tip of my tongue and I know full well the person I am talking to is going to understand either the meaning of the word itself or at least the context surrounding it. I keep questioning why I do this. Is there a such thing as fear of intellect? Do I hold myself down? Or back on purpose? Hmmm, food for thought.

A week or so ago I joined twitter. Yes that’s right, because I was so desperately needing to maintain yet another online tool. Online tool. Yup, I think I’m feeling like one right about now. There is an entire world of new language and terms I have to learn. I said to a fellow tweeter that I feel like I’m speaking Smurf now:

“Can you Smurf to the other side of the mall and Smurf me up?”

I looked to my all time favorite Google for help deciphering all of these things I couldn’t figure out on my own and man is there ever a shitload of websites dedicated to this one! I have a lot of reading to do just to get through the basics. So far it is fun and even though it might sound strange coming from a wordy mo-fo like me, I kind of enjoy the challenge of limiting myself to a shortened number of characters to express the same sentiment. It is as if I always write prose with 600 words and suddenly decide to toss out a haiku. In fact that sounds like a great idea.

An Ode to Vegetables Haiku:

Cauliflower or
Green squash and orange carrots.
Veggie medley. Yum!

OK seriously when I’m pulling out the haiku about carrots it is definitely time to consider a sleep aid on the insomnia weeks.

Actually this time around the insomnia isn’t entirely just me. The past couple nights I think there have either been some really hyper feral cats, or a couple raccoons I would not want to meet in a dark alley, scrapping at about midnight. And by scrapping I mean clawing the crap out of each other while screeching at the top of their lungs just outside the bedroom window. Needless to say there are reasons to not throw trash in the dumpster here after the sun goes down. There are also reasons to have an oscillating fan in the bedroom to help curtail the noise.

A short BTPT post this week, I kind of previewed this week’s rambling the other day when I posted the visual equivalent of five thousand words so I am kind of at a loss of randomness. OK not really but it is getting late and this has been a fairly long day so I am ready to pack it in. I will leave you on the happy note of a much better haiku.

Wild woodland creatures
Raise their voices, keep me up
What do they fight over?

Rockin Broken Thought Process Thursday Bloggers:


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Easily Translates into Five Thousand Words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of my usual incessant rambling, I’m going to let the photos do the talking for me today. Well, most of it anyway. OK, not much really but here it is anyway.

On June 8 my mom, her friend Eileen, Matt, and myself went down to Central Square to the bar All Asia to see a comedy show. The host and Comedienne of the evening was Janet Cormier, who my mom met because (as Mom pointed out just now) she was the leader of the Think Tank workshop at the Career Source. The show was great, we must have laughed our way through at least ten up and coming comedians. If you are in the area and want to check it out I think they are on the second Monday of every month and it was super inexpensive, just a $5 admission charge!

The Arlington Farmer’s Market opened on June 10th and although there was not too much yet there were some fantastic deals to be had! S got Hammer and Anvil bundled up in their best winter outfits (because this is late spring in New England people), she swung by to grab me and off we went! This is where I acquired the fifteen pounds of dill and yummy cacao nibs used on that fateful burnt sugar night.

I decided to pick up some last minute tickets to They Might Be Giants for Matt. Live music is never bad in my book so even though I had no familiarity with this band, he loves them so it seemed like the right thing to do. We had great seats, somewhere around the 10th row and the place was really tiny for a performance hall. These guys were awesome! What an incredibly fun band and come to find out they are originally from Massachusetts so it was like a big reunion show with their family in the audience too. They performed their album Flood in consecutive order, tossed in a few warm up songs and did two encores. I had only ever heard one song before that night but would definitely see them again. It was the perfect way to end the day after a fantastic time at a friend’s fortieth birthday party!

We helped my dad and Wicked Stepmother move this past Sunday and after literally half of a day of lugging boxes, emptying the water bed, sweeping water away from the house so it would stop seeping into the basement and driving back and forth to the mid-western part of the state to unload and unpack I was so physically worn out yesterday that I wanted to do nothing more than lie around and relax all day. I managed to do just that for a better part of the day but a good friend of mine, John, called to let me know he was in town for just a couple days from Florida so we had to do lunch.

My goal for today consists of nothing more than finding this product. During my down time yesterday I checked around locally and could not find it here in Arlington so today I must branch out to track it down. I need this lovely little item to complete the kitchen reorganization project I am working on right now so this, or the equivalent in a different brand, will need to magically appear today so I can heroically finish up tomorrow.

Talk about your whirlwind! So much to do, so little time.

Maybe this upcoming weekend will be a bit calmer? Nah, I doubt it

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Changing Career Path

Now don’t worry, I am not talking about giving up writing as a full time thing but I figured it out. It has been bugging me for quite some time now and I finally figured out what I want to do for a living. I want to be a cheerleader for everyone I know who is awesome. And I want to get paid to do it.

To some this might sound as if I want to be an agent or something but this is far different than that because I do not solely want to go out and pimp for people in the public eye. Although sometimes those people need an extra push too. Need examples? OK.

“Anyone who lives in Tucson, Arizona and has young children seriously needs to call my sister because she is the most top notch Director of the best freaking preschool in the world! She is smart and funny and runs a great place with so many amazing teachers that your kids will come out smarter and way cooler than most of the kindergartners they are going to be in school with.”


“If you are about to get a mortgage be sure that it is sent to Matt for underwriting. He is the super bomb, mack daddy, most detail oriented mothafucka I know when it comes to nit picking a file. He will be honest and fair and all those other things you heard don’t exist in that industry. So don’t go trying to slip any fraud past him. He’ll pop a cap in that loan so fast you’ll never get to see your commission. For super fast service from a guy who has weathered everything in this industry call him right now!”

You dig?

I was on Crackbook the other day and came across some photos one of my friends had posted of her modeling photo shoot. I thought she had so much promise I immediately wished I was ‘people who know people’ so I could share those with someone and get her some jobs. Then there is my Mom who is one of the best photographers I have ever seen. She has a clear eye and photographs so literal that the crystal clarity of everything comes through her lens even when she layers or applies effects. Or this band, The Grownup Noise, that I never even heard play until long after I knew they were converting a van to veggie oil but as soon as their tunes graced my ears I was curious how they were not huge.

I seriously could go on. At length. For days. There are so many amazing people that I know with such brilliant talents and I somehow now need to send this request out to the Universe that I am looking for a way to be paid to promote these people’s awesomeness. I do not care if it is a blogger, a teacher, a painter, a chef, a financial analyst.

So now I must marinate on exactly how I can use my own incredible talent -- shooting my mouth off -- as the way to make a living. Maybe writing about it, so it segues nicely into my passion. Any thoughts?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Broken Thought Process Thursday, Er, Friday. Yeah that’s it…

Here we go again, running late to the party. Sorry to make everyone wait out in line for the past day, shivering cold and damp in this freaking rain that never seems to end in Boston. Correct me if I am wrong but it is June right? Oh and it is just nine days until summer right? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Nine days until I quit smoking for good. Ya-flipping-hoo!

A few nights ago my mom and I went to the Arlington Cultural Council Artist’s Summit here in town and holy wow Batman, what a completely productive and fantastic time! I met up with some totally groovy people and we exchanged digits (actually more like characters since no one calls anyone anymore right?) so we can try to get together and possibly help each other out with our artwork , form some collaborations, and just generally connect with other like minded cats. How great is that?

Who knows where this will lead but it has certainly sparked a renewed interest in the collaboration my mom and I are already working on and I have started hatching some good stuff for it. Plus I found out there is a social networking site just for Arlington residents called famboogle. This town has always felt so very small to me (and with every connection I make on Facebook, see who has married each other, who is hanging out now, it is further confirmed). It never occurred to me that our town might need something like this, but it is pretty new and already has over 1000 members so I guess we do.

Tomorrow we are attending a birthday party for a friend who is turning forty. We only get together at best once a year but always have such a great time when we do so I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Unfortunately we will not be partying the night away there because I had picked up tickets to go catch They Might Be Giants. I have no idea who this band is, unless Matt sneaked something on and I did not know it then I have never heard their tunes but he loves them so it should be enjoyable. Especially because it is in a small-ish venue and I somehow managed to score like fourteenth row center. I guess it was either luck or that place is going to be totally empty.

Then Sunday we help my dad and Wicked Stepmother move again. The little place they got into had just a few issues -- for example the house is still on fuses & not a circuit breaker, there are single pane windows everywhere and it is heated with oil. Outside of New England that might not sound like much but their heating bill in the winter would likely have hovered around the $800 range. Ouch. So now they are heading to a much nicer single family a little further west and at least this place is fairly modern. Put it this way, they shouldn’t have to ask each other if they are using an electronic device before turning on the toaster oven.

What I really can not believe, and get even more excited about with the passing of each moment, is that we are moving so soon too. Just sixteen days until we can officially move in. Bring it on!

Lately I have been having some seriously wacky dreams. I really can’t share the extent of them because it would take days but suffice to say I wake up every morning asking myself ‘what just happened there’? A good example would be last night’s.

I am in an outdoor market type place; it reminds me of somewhere in Europe (which is not surprising as I was just talking to someone about the architecture in Amsterdam the other night). There are columns in stone that lead up to huge open archway doors which begin long corridors that border an open courtyard. So there are shops and restaurants on one side and an open wall on the other. There are lots of people everywhere. I am with someone but never see their face. Some apparently well known artist is singing for the crowd in the middle of this courtyard area and he sits down to get eye to eye with a belly dancer in an all white costume who has moved up to the front of the little platform type stage. I see my sister across the crowd but then she disappears and the singer tries to catch my eye but I will not look their way, as if I am shy or something. Suddenly the singer disappears but I have this feeling I am supposed to go after him so I do and end up hustling through one of the arches, down a couple stairs and start quickly making my way down a corridor full of people where I see a restaurant and ask my companion why we did not eat there. I have asked everyone if they have seen the singer and all along the way they are pointing in the same direction toward a door out. (I am using their name when I ask people if they have seen him but I can not remember what I was saying so let’s just call him Fred) I head out the door and spy Fred coming back towards the building across a long parking lot, walking a bicycle. He is out of stage clothes now and wearing a navy blue hoodie and jeans. Fred and I fall in step and the person I was with is now gone. We head into this open wall room that no one else can find and he pulls out a bag of weed and proceeds to ask if I would like to smoke a joint. I say sure and we continue to talk for a few minutes but then I wake up.

I guess that one is less freaky than the one where Bruce Springstein was my opening act but I am still thinking maybe I should stop drinking that glass of wine with dinner.

If April showers bring May flowers then what does June downpour bring?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Summer in the Mediterranean

For the first time in my adult life I made a meal that I conceptualized on my own and it came out good. So good in fact that I’m pretty excited to have a whole bunch of it left over so it can become lunch this week. As I have explained before I’m not much of a cook. In fact if it isn’t a recipe safely printed on paper in front of me or something I have tried at least a billion times, it is pretty likely the end result will be something so wrong even the raccoons in our dumpster won’t eat it.

Take for example what should have been lemon poppy seed cake. It tasted like lemons; the texture just happened to be, slightly off. If only I had the right sized pan it would not have turned into lemon poppy seed super bouncy ball surprise. Then there was the other meal that in a peculiar way almost kind of worked. I barely remember what was in it but I know it had corn. And something Asian because it was dubbed Kung Pow Sombrero. That is one of those memories I blocked immediately due to its ability to beget such immeasurable feelings of pain, er, I mean, nausea, to bubble up to the surface. Sorry for the visual but if you think that’s unpleasant you should have tried the meal.

Sometimes I feel as if I have turned into the Mom in Better Off Dead:
“It has raisins in it. You like raisins.”

So anytime I greet Matt with the words “Ooh, hey, I thought up this great recipe that I made for dinner.” You can understand his trepidation in shoving even one forkful into his empty belly. And that boy can put away some serious food.

But Wednesday was oh so different.

That afternoon my friend and I took a buzz through the local farmer’s market and I picked up a huge bunch of fresh dill. Now there is no way in all that is holy that two people will ever be able to go through that much dill before it goes bad so I began hatching plots for ways I could use it creatively. In everything.

As smoke rose from the empty space in my brain where normal people have an index of foods and the accoutrements that go nicely with them, I decided that cucumber might be a good start so I made some big ‘ol cubes out of about half of one.

Cucumber dill sounded somewhat ‘Summer’ to me so the next thing that popped into my head was Greek yogurt, instead of mayo, as a liquid dressing. Adding the yogurt would provide just a tiny kick of bitterness and that zippy ‘in the Mediterranean’ I was looking to add to my ‘Summer’. Not too overpowering though, luckily I only got the small container. A little lemon juice (from half of a real lemon which I bought to candy the peel -- a fun science experiment), finally, a squeeze of agave evened out the bitterness and it was oh so on.

I boiled up some elbows so I could turn this delightfully creamy goodness into a pasta salad and cooked one chicken breast with some lemon and dill as a little extra something. I never even put the chicken in mine though because I was completely satisfied with just the pasta salad. Man I love summer. I recommend eating right away because the yogurt has a tendency to dry out a smidge, but the flavor is still awesome later if you want to chill it and let it all soak in together like I did.

So then it was time to move on to that pesky lemon peel. I suppose I should back up for just a moment to say that not all of this meal went exactly according to plan. Desert kind of took a digger off the side of a 600 foot cliff in fact, which is so rare because I tend to bake much more effectively than cook. Precise measurements, blending together at predetermined intervals is just the level of structure I need to make something come out well.

Sadly I ended up with lemon graham cracker smoothie this time.

I took a recipe from Joan a few weeks back, bought the required ingredients and was so excited to make this delicious sounding lemon goodness that I even picked up a can of whipped cream and some cacao niblets to garnish the top of this yellow disc of heaven. Unfortunately I wasn’t really thinking when I decided to use soy milk instead of cow milk because that was all we had in the house. I also wasn’t thinking when I stuck with the three ounces of cream cheese instead of bumping it up to six.

Yeah, pudding is never going to set up when it has that little fat to bind it.

Watch it wiggle, see it splash out the sides just does not have the same ring to it.

Regardless of the pudding I was determined to garnish this baby. Besides, at the time of the lemon peel incident I still had no idea the pie would never set. So I commenced with creating candied peel for the first time. It sounded simple enough -- only three ingredients and a few straightforward steps. I could do that, no problem.

Whoever writes up those online recipes should really warn a person that it is necessary to constantly stir once the lemon peel goes back into the boiling sugar water or they might just end up with an entire pan full of syrupy brown goo. Oh and then also warn us that when we go to rinse that goo down the drain, even with scalding hot water, that it will instantly solidify to the bottom of the pan, causing much cursing to ensue and hours of soaking to save the pan that someone who can not cook has no business owning.

Poor pan, you only ever boil water, you’re barely broken in after 11 years. Well you earned your stripes last night. It was as if I had a car that I never drove above thirty miles an hour for two decades and then one night decided it might be fun to push her a little so I slammed the pedal down and jacked it up to 160 in 2.1 seconds.

The smoke in here was so bad I thought the alarm might go off but I kicked my own ass into high gear, opened the balcony slider and the living room window for cross ventilation then snatched the oscillating fan from the bedroom which I set up square in the middle of the kitchen. That pan continued to pump out smoke for what felt like twenty minutes.

I decided to forego giving it another try with the other lemon and instead made myself up a big bowl of the one thing I did oh so right last night. As I gobbled down the tart and sweet pasta salad I tried not to choke on sugar smoke as I enjoyed the soothing sounds of the slow turning, whirring fan. If I closed my eyes it was just like a lovely summer day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Riding the H Train

No, not that one...

Saw this on a blog this morning and it made me smile. I don't remember whose it was though so I'm sorry for not being able to give credit. Universal karma will take care of it so I'm not worried.

Go find your way of happiness today!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stuck in Your Head All Day

When I woke up this morning I thought to myself how nice it would be to go back to bed for like three hours, which is something I never do. As much as I do not enjoy getting up with that alarm, the minute my eyes open, I am awake for the day. I tend not to nap during the day, even when I am sick, and although I am up early-ish every day, it is typical I stay up until midnight or later. I refuse to miss anything and it has been that way since I was a kid. This is how I came to love cheezy, syndicated, television programs like Hawaii Five-0.

Back so many years I can barely remember the actual time frame, but somewhere around age eleven, I would fall asleep with the television on. My sister and I shared a room and she would be snoozing away while I laid wide eyed and transfixed on the Hawaiian State Police force catching the bad guys at 1:00 in the morning. Right from the opening credits it had everything -- a catchy theme song, hula girls, lava, big waves and of course the freeze frame of Jack Lord. Hawaii Five-0 was the show that paved the way for programs like Law & Order, Miami Vice and all those fast paced forensic shows like NCIS. In fact, the leading men on Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS had quite a bit in common.

On NCIS Mark Harmon plays Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine with a propensity to scowl for the full hour episode, but you love his gruffness because it is understood that although his past is something that hardened him as a man, he is a softie for the ones he loves. Touching. On Hawaii Five-0, Jack Lord played former Navy officer Steve McGarrett. He too had a tendency to avoid smiling unless absolutely necessary and almost always wore a full suit but he did a whole lot of running if I recall correctly. And Jack had much better hair.

After staying up most nights to watch it there is no doubt how I became fascinated with all the wonders Hawaii has to offer from towering waves and picturesque waterfalls to live volcanos and breathtaking sunsets. I would imagine being able to move my hips like a hula girl or having the guts to surf triple overhead. My renewed fascination with the show brought a resurgence of the interest in learning to surf.

I have wanted to try my hand at surfing since I was about eleven, back then it looked like a cool sport to try and I had no fear of the ocean because I had learned how to swim at such a young age. I can not remember when I found out but my dad used to surf in Humarock every summer; he has this amazing handmade wooden board just begging to be ridden again on the wall of the beach house in the basement.

Every year when we go on vacation with S&B to Martha’s Vineyard, B is boogie boarding but there are always a few surfers out there on longboards, catching the same small waves but looking like they are having a blast doing it. This year I decided, since we are going so late in the season (September instead of our usual July), the ocean will have warmed up significantly and it is the year I need to try gliding on water. In the spirit of not holding back, trying new things, and wanting to get into better shape, it seems like the right thing to do. And finally feels like the right time to do it too.

No question I will sleep like a baby after a day of salt air, falling over, and paddling. I’ll use the theme songs to Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS as my motivation to amp up. I don’t even care if I never stand up but I am sure going to give it my best shot.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sluggish Alteration

You came to me again last night
Told me exactly what to do
It is as if the universe is taunting
Does veracity exist in this reality?

My teeth are soft and
My belly is worn out.
Smoke fills my lungs.
Weakness takes over;
Too easily strung out to notice
The gaping holes that fill my face.

She is no longer smiling back at me,
This youth has vanished
Grown to a disproportionate level.
But I want to do it anyway.

There is no way to stop it
I am buried way too deep now.
Underground and screaming
The caving sinks through to my spine
I tingle but my abandoned soul
Refuses to face any truth.

Nothing will change until I do,
But trapped within there is an
Impossible cycle of viciousness
That I lay upon my own desire.

I am far from over my Self but
Far away from past indiscretions.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Presented with an Award, and Passing It On

Anna over at Almost Precious surprised me with this award today. What a cool way to wake up this morning, woo hoo! Her comments on why she awarded this to me were so sweet:
Was wowed by your new Blog look...it is awesome...even though you say it isn't completed yet! Since I just received the "Kreativ Blogger" award and one of its requirements is to pass it on to other bloggers that I love and feel are creative, I chose you. Should you choose to accept this award just visit my blog to download the award plaque and follow the list of simple requirements.

Wow Anna, thanks so much! I enjoy her blog a lot and hope everyone gets a chance to check her out.

So here’s the skinny on the rules.

1. Put the award on your blog.

2. Link to the person you got the award from.

3. List seven things you love.
The ocean and
The beach it washes up on
The smell of asphalt after summer rain
Live music
Sleeping in on the weekend
Strong coffee
Random road trips
(Please note I would have included Matt of course but it asked for "things")

The final two rules are where I always have trouble, generally I do not want to pick and choose between the awesome blogs I read because, well, look at the length of that sidebar list…I love them all and hate to play favorites. But this time I am going to suck it up and follow through because that’s just who I am today.

In the spirit of spreading the love I am going to feature some oldies but goodies and also a few of the newer blogs I have discovered, maybe you will like them too! So let’s get it going shall we?

4. Award it to seven blogs.
Audrey’s Country Crafts - I love reading Audrey’s stories about the great outdoors and she sneaks in fun environmental stuff with great online shop reviews and links to so much drool worthy stuff I could read her blog all day!
Grandma’s Recipe Box - Joan is a newer foodie blogger I have been reading but she has not let me down yet. Tasty recipes in about five steps or less, now that’s my kind of cooking!
Living Boldly - I enjoy Helen’s take on life and she always has some amazing photos to share with us. The Pacific Northwest is always beautiful through her eyes!
Maugeritaville - Chris works in the school system. Imagine how many stories that will produce. He is hilarious and one of the most gifted story tellers I have come across in a while. Seriously, read this blog now.
Karen Cooks - Karen will make just about anything from simple to complicated but explains it in a way that keeps even me calm in the kitchen. And there is always a photo guide so I know I don’t screw up. And it is always yummy.
Amazed and Confused - Ginger’s new blog is chock full of Shadow Shots and amazing prose. She is truly a gifted writer, get over there, you will not be disappointed.
Freshness Factor Five Thousand - A kick ass musician, I am always in awe at Jason’s ability to reveal his true self on his blog. Dork. Writer. Photographer. World Traveler who loves to share. Nice.

5. Tell recipients they got an award.
I am off to do that now.

Well with the exception of Jason. In no universe could I imagine him opening that can of worms (you know accepting a blog award from some random stranger who is a fan of his then posting it on his blog that he received it and linking back to that total stranger’s blog). In essence we are all total strangers if we have never really met, yes I agree this is true but all you other fine strangers have engaged in two sided conversations in the past and for that I am truly grateful and blessed.

Thanks for always rocking fearless writers! Now go put your award on your blog and by all means enjoy it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Broken Thought Process Thursday

Yup, it’s Friday. Hey, it’s my theme I do what I want!

There is a fine line between determination and insanity. Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again hoping to get different results; or something close to that. He was clearly onto something there. I wish he were alive and well, it would be nice to ask him to move on over here next door to one of my neighbors and share that pearl of wisdom because although they might not be insane just yet, they are quickly driving me there. Come to think of it, they are not driving much of anywhere.

For the past two weeks, every day, at multiple and various times throughout the twenty four hour period, my neighbor has gone out to their car and tried to start it. The car makes that cheg-cheg-cheg-cheg-cheg sound as if it is about to start but it never turns over. I almost feel bad for them, they must imagine that the car fairy comes at night and sprinkles magic motor oil all over the hood in a blessing for their success the next day. What would be the explanation for trying it every morning otherwise? Now, I am certainly no genius like Albie but it sounds to me like perhaps it is time to call a tow truck and go have a starter put in. I don’t know though, just a thought.

Hearing this occur every morning makes me want to quote the movie Mallrats:

“That kid, is back on the escalator again!”

OK well I am going to go take a nine hour break from typing so I can get out to my kitchen reorganization job out in Ayer. Today we are working on the two kitchen junk drawers and the “it used to be a broom closet but is now the toss it in there and hope it doesn’t fall out when the door gets opened” closet. Can not wait to get before and after shots of this job for all of you to check out. Its so liberating to toss stuff and get it into a more organized manner. Well at least for me, I hope it feels the same for the client!

Back now. Hope everyone had a fantastic Friday!

Yup, definitely all about pizza for dinner tonight. So now I have to decide if we are going to make the trek out to Revere beach to get our favorite from Bianchi’s or if we should just stick close to home and do a margharita from Nicola. Ooh choices are so fun, especially when it comes to good pizza.

Oh my, I am pretty sure that was just a really booming rumble of thunder. Perhaps we will stick close to home and forego the beach tonight after all. Decision made.

I don’t know if any of you are Lost fans but we started renting all of the episodes again from season 1 on and let me tell you, I have even more questions now than before going back to re-watch them! There was a whole lot of information, situations, circumstances or subtle nuances that I completely forgot all about. Plus some characters they got rid of that really bummed me out to see them go. We have three left until the end of the season, it is pretty likely that will be tonight’s activity of choice unless I can convince Matt to play a little Rock Band of course.

Speaking of, I think it is time to go tap the pads for a few before Matt gets home. This is about as broken a thought process blog as possible. I like this theme, think I’ll keep it up. Hope everyone enjoys their night!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

This Will have to Do for Now

So voila, here it is, the shiny new blog design. I am rejoicing even though it is not nearly finished yet. But I will get there.

Looks basic and plain but I had a whole bunch of editing to do to the html and layout just to get it to this point. All the blogger template design tutorial sites suggest starting with the Minima template as a basic gist. Minima is the skin that is a white background, boxed blog name at the top with a double lined border surrounding it and a whole lot of not much in the 2 column style. For a while I have wanted the text to flow further across the screen so it is easier to read and less scrolling so instead of Minima I started out with Minima Lefty Stretch.

After editing the Hex codes for background, text and link colors it was time to figure out what to do about the header. This was my biggest obstacle to changing from the old design because I really loved the idea of a picture at the water’s edge and the heart was just a sweet addition.

The photo I ended up cropping for it is this one:

This was taken last spring at Revere Beach, all the way at the far end of the strip and I love it because there is not a cloud in the sky and only one very tiny person on the beach. It is serene and with the color scheme I decided on, serene was just the thing.

I am a little bit of a Photoshop nerd so I pulled the photo in and cropped, beveled, dropped a shadow and edited the blog title then put em all together to get the lovely header you see above. While I was at it I took a screen shot of one of my articles in Word, tilted it crooked, made it somewhat transparent and snagged a few components to create the animated picture over on the side bar that leads you to my HUBPages article site. That is another story for another day though.

There are a couple more tricks I am learning as far as changing the post footer text and placing a static border along the sides but I will be getting to those another day as they are a bit trickier. After picking up containers to complete the kitchen job I will be wrapping up soon, hitting the bank, doing all the dishes and six loads of laundry (mind you, going up and down 2 flights each time), I am wiped out and ready for a nice dinner of sushi, a glass of wine and some reruns of Lost from Netflix.

I like this new look though so for now it is a-ok.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feed Me Seymour

In junior high school we used to have what were called health assemblies where a topic was chosen that was a serious concern, we would watch a movie related to it then listen to a spoken presentation. There was never discussion, just the nurse or another teacher who would stand up at the front of the class and drone on to a classroom full of kids that were happy they didn’t have to do any class work, but who were not really listening. The movie was always done in the spirit of those after school specials -- it lasted about twenty minutes and way over dramafied whatever topic they were drawing attention to with some of the worst acting ever witnessed. There were ones on teen pregnancy, teen suicide and sex in general but my least favorite of all was the one about eating disorders.

Never did I understand the propensity towards eating disorders but especially not anorexia. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t especially thrill me to look down at my now moderately out of shape bod consisting of a semi bubble butt and little pot belly but that is not exactly going to stop me from tossing back a toasted ham and cheese sub with mayo, lettuce and extra pickles; all it means is I have to do a little extra time on the bike that week. I simply could never fathom not eating at all.

When they would show the anorexia movie there would always be a girl who was too thin standing in the middle of a kitchen full of food and she would break off this teeny piece of a cookie and that would be her lunch. Say what? I always thought it was so very sad that she could not understand what a wondrous thing she had going for her there. Anything she could ever want to eat, right there at her fingertips and all she ate was one tenth of a tiny little cookie? My stomach always growled in hopes that my mom might have actually bought some chocolate chip cookies and snuck them into my lunchbox so I could chomp on all of them while I watched the flick.

I was never the girl who went out on a date and got a tiny little salad and only ate half of it. No, if you were taking me out you better bring a fist full of cash because I will most definitely be eating a meal thank you very much. Probably desert too. If by some strange twist of fate I happened to go out with a guy who cared about women who eat then I never knew it. Frankly it would have made no difference, if the guy could not understand that I was unafraid to chow down then I probably would not have been dating them for very long anyway.

Then there was bulimia. Yeah, what is up with that? Eat as much as possible, so much awesome yumminess, and then just get rid of it like ten seconds later? Seriously? How is that fun for anyone? Don’t those people know there are (as my mom used to say) “starving people in China”? And they aren’t exactly doing it on purpose. The nights I used to get too drunk and introduced myself to the well known porcelain God were the worst and it was not due to the drunkenness, it was because throwing up is possibly one of the worst bodily functions ever. Couple that with the fact that it takes the meal itself completely for granted. Shame.

So I guess what it all comes down to is I really think that food is good. And I certainly do not attribute that attitude to any badly acted movie I saw when I was twelve.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Don’t Give Up Until You, Drink from the Silver Cup

One of Matt’s favorite sayings is “I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it”. Well the moment I heard this clever little turn of phrase come out of his mouth I mixed it right into the soup that is my own life philosophy. Because of it I have re-tried a whole bunch of things in the last decade that I may not have enjoyed in the decades prior, or perhaps never even tried as a kid. I was tired of living by preconceived notions that I would not like it now just because of how I felt then and it has opened my eyes to so many kick ass experiences. Good examples of how I have applied this would be via avocados and skiing.

Avocados were a winner. Guacamole is a staple in my house now and I am always on the lookout for cool new stuff to do with this wondrous food. I will even eat them on the half skin with a little oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Quite a departure from my upturned nose of years past.

Skiing. Well that was an entirely different story. It is safe to say that is an activity I will not be taking part in again. Ever. But how would I have known unless I gave it a whirl right? Not to mention the skiing story is one of my favorites to tell because it is just hilarious so at least something great came out of the day.

In the spirit of this attempt at trying things…

The other day I promised a new blog background with my first post in June. Well sorry friends but I am currently in the process of learning how to create my own template skin and because I am working out of the house all week the lovely brown is going to have to suffice until I can work on it more next week. It is something I am seriously enjoying figuring out though!

I am back on the hunt for a new hair color. This is not completely shocking to those who know me but I had actually resolved myself to only doing my natural hair color after I dyed over the fire engine red from last summer. I was tired of finding new colors, trying to select the perfect one, so instead of doing it on my own this time, I asked for help. When Matt ran out to get soysauges (yes breakfast sausages made from soy -- again, never knock it ‘til you try it, they are freaking awesome) I asked him to pop into Walgreens and come back with a box of hair color; to surprise me. I told him no matter what it was I would put it in my hair.

He looked frightened, as if I had suddenly become one of those girls that asks the loaded question for which there is no right answer, just so I can kick his proverbial ass when he is forced to make a choice. He started to sweat and search for a way out of the house without having to pass me where I would trip him and laugh. Sensing his level of panic, I laid out a few ground rules -- no platinum blonde, no jet black and nothing I would actually need to go to a salon to make it come out nice (like hot pink or blue). He exhaled at this point and even seemed eager for the challenge. He came home with a mahogany color that has strong tones of flaming garnet when seen in the sunlight. I freaking love it.

Right before I dyed my hair I decided to peruse a few blogs over coffee. One of my best bloggy friends Ginger had recently been on a hiatus with a busted up computer and one of her first posts back was for vegan pancakes. I read a whole slew of foodie bloggers because now that I am in charge of most night’s dinners, spaghetti and chicken soup were getting a touch lame. Ginger has never, and I mean never, let me down in terms of deliciousness. Her recipes should be in a book. Seriously.

As if by sheer fate, she posted the pancake recipe and I already had every single ingredient on hand to make them. I was stoked because we had an entire Sunday to do with as we wished; brunch fit right into the plan. I slightly modified her recipe using agave nectar in lieu of maple syrup, whole wheat flour instead of unbleached all purpose and a whole lime’s worth of juice plus an extra shake of cinnamon. We ate them with fresh strawberries, the soysauges and scrambled eggs with spinach, fresh tomato and fresh cilantro. Best. Meal. Ever. The recipe has already been printed and safely tucked into my box of tricks (which is growing so I guess cooking also makes it to the ‘give it a try’ list). But I highly encourage you to write the book Ginger, I’m running out of space.

Most everyone knows that I do not consider myself much of an outdoorsy type of girl. Woodland activities are not my scene because I really strongly dislike bugs and there is just something so perfect about being able to sleep in a bed. So when our friends, who we vacation with every year on Martha’s Vineyard, mentioned that their summer trips were likely to phase out the over priced, albeit beautiful, island and grow to include more camping trips, my own panic set in much as I described Matt’s above; furrowed brow, clammy palms and all. Tent camping was not something I ever imagined blipping up on my personal radar.

This activity is something Matt really enjoys but as much as I can tolerate a nice hike now and then, when it comes to the sleeping without a door lock in the middle of the wilderness with who knows what kind of rabid animal or psycho killer just past the line of sight, I can’t say that I am going to feel all safe and snuggly because I have a nylon sheet in between me and those threats. But despite my completely irrational fear that some Stephen King novel will play itself out in the middle of the family campground, I find myself looking at the price of a nice, sturdy tent that sleeps four and comes with all kinds of clip on pockets and stuff, not to mention getting a little bit excited about it, because you bet your ass there will be an air mattress involved. Not to mention two bags of marshmallows for ‘smores and maybe a bottle of wine so I can pass out and stay that way until morning. All joking aside, I promise nothing but just like skiing I will at least never be able to say I didn’t give it a shot.

(Luckily I know the real secret to living through the horror movie is don’t be a virgin getting laid for the first time in the cabin in the woods. Done and done. Mosquito bites on one’s ass -- so not attractive.)

Although I love my drums it was time to take a crack at singing. And I do mean crack; as in Peter Brady When it’s Time to Change kind of crack. Right after Wendy and Kyle left we went out and picked up Rock band II. With constant access to all of the instruments and the microphone as well, it was only a matter of time before I decided to give it a go. Now, unlike on the drums where I delude myself into believing that I might actually be able to play them someday because I have that independent limb thing down, in no universe would I ever try to say I could carry a tune on key. But that does not make a bit of difference with Rock Band; the only thing that matters is being able to maintain the pitch. Any song by a moderately lower pitched singer I can pull off now on hard difficulty. Man in the Box, Alive, Everlong and anything by Oasis are at the top of my favorite list. Sorry neighbors.

So now when I see something or hear of something that I either had no use for previously or never even considered up to that moment, I fully intend to at least give it a try. Never know, it could be something awesome that I might have missed if I never gave it that shot.