Friday, May 27, 2011

Making My Day One Townie At A Time

You’ve very likely already forgotten me, driven off into the literal sunset while hanging out of the window of the passenger side of your best friend’s, body primer Camaro from 1986. You’ve probably already thrown your sharpened breath at 100 other girls by now so I am nothing more than a distant non-memory.

But let me tell you here and now Mister Inappropriate, I will never forget you.

I went out front to soak up a few rays of sun yesterday because for the first time in months not only was the shiny ball of glorious gas lighting up my front porch, but it was also warm. Like over 85 degrees warm! That’s spring in New England, one week it’s raining and 50 the next an almost 38 year old is being cat-called in front of her house because some random guy has developed a severe case of spring fever.

Its no secret that lately I’ve been, oh how can I put it?, lax about working out. My body really isn’t what I remember from the days of my youth as a hot little petite Irish athlete. For some reason I could eat anything I wanted back in those days and never seem to put on a single ounce. I was 105 pounds from seventh grade until, oh, about six years ago. Six years ago I had pretty much just slid into my thirties and marriage.

The world seemed wide open still and I saw no reason why guys would stop finding me attractive just because I had a couple rings on a certain finger of my left hand. I mean it wasn’t as if I planned to follow through on it or anything but hell, a girl likes to know she’s still hot.

About six years ago I started to put on a few pounds. I didn’t grow morbidly obese or anything like that, but I certainly started feeling less and less comfortable in my skin. A birthday suit that was stretching a little too far for my personal comfort. But when I went up a couple cup sizes and a back size, I decided to put my foot down.

And I put that foot down right in the front door of McDonalds and decided not to give a damn! Yeah, that’s right! Say it with me now -- bring on the fried mystery meat wrapped in cardboard! Yippie!

So what if my face was breaking out constantly and my pants didn’t fit anymore. So what if I started wearing sweatpants everywhere and thick, oversized hoodies in the middle of summer. So what if my tan lines were horizontal because when I sat down in the beach chair my rolls folded over themselves creating caverns that were never to see the light of day. So what if I could hardly touch my toes anymore.

I was still funny. I was still married to a guy who told me how much he loved me no matter what. And we had gone on the journey together so it wasn’t like I was completely alone in my weight gain. We enjoyed all the finer things in life together. Namely a lot of beer and fast food because who could afford anything else?

About two years ago after we got back from our summer vacation we both looked at the pictures of ourselves and I’m pretty sure the reaction went something like


It was so time to make a change. I bought and started using my treadmill all the time and last year we both invested in P90X. I was starting to feel pretty good, fast food had all been cut out of my diet and working out became a daily routine.

Then we “graduated” from the program. Then we sold the treadmill in anticipation of our move.

And with all that over and almost ten pounds lighter what did I do? I went right out and bought a bag of Munchos, a piece of cheese cake and a big old margarita, that’s what! It was time to celebrate! Wait, celebrate you say? Then hell let’s have three margaritas! Yippie!

I hover somewhere around ten pounds heavier than I want to be everyday but I just can not seem to give up food and booze. Sorry, but I love it all. Yeah salad is awesome, sure, but give me a big plate of loaded mashed potatoes on the side of that salad plus a bacon and blue burger and we’re good to go. Oh wait, as soon as you pour me a nice, rich and chocolaty stout to accompany it all.

So the thing is I didn’t even realize that it bothered me that I was hiding under a bunch of clothes until this afternoon when it was simply way too warm outside to do that. So I tossed on my boob-log shelf bra thingie, a tee shirt covered in paint and my standard uniform of sweats and flip-flops then went out on the front porch.

As soon as I got out there I saw that a garbage truck was meandering down the street picking up house after house so there was a pretty substantial line of cars growing behind him. I pulled out my phone and texted a friend about dinner plans on Saturday and the line of traffic moved a little.

I tilted my face up to the sun and soaked in as much happiness as I possibly could. I let my lips relax into a little smile just knowing that the warm weather was here to stay and then my phone vibrated in my hand.

Next thing you know I hear a whistle. And then, as I’m opening my phone to respond to my friend I hear the words “hey gorgeous”.

Now not to sound like a conceited brat or anything but this used to happen to me a lot when I was twenty two. I was a fashionista and super cute and just one of those girls who walked down the street with my head held high all the time.

Like I said, I was twenty two. Not thirty eight with half washed hair and a muffin top spilling over the top of my sweats. Not out on my ghetto porch without a speck of makeup. Not looking like a bobcat just dragged me through the nearest bramble a few (hundred) times and left me to cook in the sun. Not looking like I only have one saggy boob.

Twenty two and cute.

I didn’t even know what to do. I was paralyzed with my head down and busily got back to the text message I was sending because A) I didn’t want to look up only to see him talking to someone else or worse B) look up at him and have him start laughing like stupid boys sometimes do.

Or C) glance over to see that he was still in his prison uniform because all I could think was ‘man it’s been a while since that guy saw a woman huh?’

But seriously it took every ounce of my body and soul not to look up, run over to his car window and lay a big old sloppy wet one full-on the little townie’s inappropriate mouth. The line of traffic moved on shortly after that and I texted Matt to “complain” about what had happened but secretly inside I was beaming like a twenty two year old.

Guess I still got it. Even if it is all in my head.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Seriously, I'm Parched

You’ll notice I’m blogging more often these days. After doing the 30 photos in 30 days challenge for some reason I’ve just been feeling it. Don’t really know why, there isn’t much to tell all of you that isn’t the same old recycled madness. But it’s never when a lot of interesting stuff is going on that we have the time to share with each other the interesting stuff right? My boringness currently includes:

• We’re moving. In four weeks and 3 days. Holy crap that’s coming really fast now!
• I’m taking classes, and so ready for a nice summer break.
• Tornadoes are wreaking havoc on this country and I’m truly keeping everyone I know in the middle of the country fully embedded in my prayers right now.
• The Bruins are fighting for their lives to get to the Stanley Cup finals, sort of. Last night David Krejci got a hat trick. The first time a B’s player has done that in the post season since 1991 when Cam Neely pulled it off. Sadly though our goalie let just a couple more than 3 slide by him and we lost last night.
• Just learned last night it wasn’t all my imagination, according to the weatherman on channel 7 this has been the cloudiest May on record. Yes, ever.
• Still haven’t finished Lolita for Book Club and considering giving up, today will be my last try before I decide to throw in the towel.

Yeah that’s about it. So basically all of that stuff can be done with a drink in my hand right? Okay, maybe not the driving across the country but certainly everything else. Either a good, strong, dark beer, or maybe now that the sun has finally come out and the temperatures are supposed to shoot up into the 80’s (maybe even 90’s on the holiday yea!) perhaps my own made up creation -- the Summertini!

Only problem, I created this drink in the summer, beside a pool somewhere, many, many summers ago and must have had a few too many of them because I can barely remember the recipe.

I think there was vodka, maybe something having to do with watermelon, some lime and a little salt around the rim? There was definitely a sweet/salty thing going on. I can’t remember though.

Oh well, looks like I’ll just have to take one for the team and do some experimenting huh? The things I do in the name of research I tell ya…

Really enjoying For the Love of Blogs btw, some fun weekly and daily blog boosters like this Thirsty Thursday theme. If you'd like more traffic & to find some great new blogs I highly recommend these folks!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ten on Tuesday, No Way to Avoid It

You all know I’m a complete and total sucker for the tag, meme, whatever you want to call it. Not only are they a nice cop out way to provide a fun blog post but I actually salivate thinking about who else of my bloggy friends will do it so I can jump up and down, clapping while squealing, as I read their answers too. Call me crazy but that’s just me.

So when I was reading my new bloggy friend Jessa’s post this morning (that she obviously posted on time, yesterday, yes I’m late but so be it) where she shared her Ten on Tuesday then linked up to Chelsea over at Roots & Rings to credit the owner of the meme, I already knew I was doing it before I even selected the text to hit copy.


So first of all, you should all seriously check out Jessa because she’s really funny (even if she thinks its only sarcasm) and then take part in this happy little list. Because there are just those days when we all need help to revive our blogs right? So what if its late, maybe its just early for next week or something right?

1. Have you ever used Craigslist?
I am obsessed with craigslist but generally only to sell stuff. At least right now while we’re trying to get rid of half our furniture (read: crap) to move. Matt is always here when people show up though, way too many creepy types out there but so far everyone has shown up with the correct amount of cash and no weapons. These are for sale right now in fact:

2. Can you sew?
Define ‘can you sew’??? Yes, in some circles it could be said that I can sew. A couple weeks ago I hemmed up a pair of jeans. I also have pillows and curtains hanging around my house that I created on my nifty little machine. Plus I sell iPod cozies & other stuff in my shop that I had to sew. But can I make clothes? Well it took me like 3 weeks of lessons with my mom to make a skirt so, again, technically. I’m much better at bags and home décor stuff. I was commissioned to make a few bags including this diaper bag.

3. Do you pour syrup on your pancakes or dip your pancakes in the syrup?
I pour agave nectar over my pancakes, maple syrup is too sweet for me.

4. Rain storms: Love them or hate them?
Thunder storms I totally love but if I see one more drop of rain or cloudy day this spring I might pop a vein. I’m just looking forward to getting to Arizona where I’ll be able to see the thunderstorms coming for miles but its only during one season that the rains come, not 4 seasons of cloud filled skies.

5. Do you like swimming?
I love to swim! In fact I’m kind of like a fish if you want to know the truth. However, because I’m like a fish I try to avoid ocean swimming anymore because sharks really enjoy fish. You know… Also another reason I try to avoid swimming in the ocean is that if I continue to eat ocean fish then it seems only fair that larger, toothier, type swimming animals could decide to eat me (seeing as though I drained their food supply ya know?). Not really going to be a problem in the desert huh?

6. What kind of drink do you order at Sonic?
None. I’ve only been to Sonic once and it was okay but such a pain in the ass to get to that truthfully I haven’t wanted to go back.

7. Are you funny?
Depends on the day but I suppose there are some who would say I’m funny. I suppose its more wit than outright comical though. There are days when I got it, others when I don’t (like today apparently).

8. At what age will your kids get cell phones?
Absolutely never. You know, considering I don’t have, nor plan to have, kids.

9. What’s your favorite vegetable?
Ooh this is a toughie because pretty much all veggies hold a special place in my heart. I love avocado and getting a little obsessed with them lately. But carrots, asparagus, broccoli, sweet potato, green beans, artichoke, lettuce, turnip…the list goes on and on.

10. Were you a Girl Scout?
Yes as a matter of fact I was! I was a Brownie first of course and then I distinctly remember having this ceremony type thing where we walked over a bridge or just to the other side of the stage or something and “became” Girl Scouts. As a Scout, the two clearest memories I have are when I got to turn wool into yarn using brushes and a spinning wheel and when we went overnight to a camp type thing. Camping, as most of you could probably guess, was so not my favorite activity. We all had to eat in this big mess hall and pretty much all everyone did the entire time we were there was create gimp bracelets and key chains (which I couldn’t get the hang of no matter what I did) and gossiped about each other. I just wanted the cookies. I think I lasted until about eighth grade though and then that was enough for me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cheers Love Jolly Good Show!

That’s ‘hello my friend and you’re doing great!’, right? Lord knows it’s probably all wrong. I am so not immersed in British custom, language, anything at all. Although I am a huge fan of Absolutely Fabulous and Love, Actually, and that whole country in Epcot Center is on my list of favorites because, well, there’s a pub. But when it comes to the literature, yeah, not so much a fan.

So of course it’s a little painful that my final class before we move is British Literature I and it starts today. Yes, that does mean there is a Brit Lit II on the way and it starts up a couple weeks after we get to Arizona. But I can’t even think about that right now because my first assignment in this class is to read and complete 2 written assignments on Beowulf.

Oh god.

Want an example of why I’m freaking out? Okay, here’s my first assignment: “Find one passage from pp. 29-51 of the textbook in which the poem encodes the theme [of salvation through sacrifice] in an image, a statement, or a plot event. Reference the chosen passage by line number and a brief quotation. As recognition of the great story of this hero and an indication of the universal appeal of this epic, identify one other quest story from any culture and describe the hero’s quest in that story. What echoes of Beowulf are apparent in the story you have chosen to describe? (You may use film or literature for your reference.)”

Its not that I don’t love to read things that are old or about all kinds of characters in fictional worlds, hell, Lord of the Rings is certainly a favorite, but there’s just something about the formality of British writing that leaves me a little cold. And based on the request above, LOTR is likely what most people will pick as their comparison epic. That’s fine of course but I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Then again, other than LOTR I never really get into epics so what else can I do? Then I noticed that the assignment mentions film as a reference material for the comparison epic so I started thinking about Beowulf the movie.

I started to wonder if maybe I could rent it as a supplemental study guide. At least it might provide a minute semblance of sense then and while reading I would have that a-ha moment where somehow I can complete my week’s assignments with no problem. But it wasn’t available on the Netflix instant queue so I became a little defeated.

So last night my sister suggested I hit the library. And, um, yeah, duh! I go to the library all the time I have no clue how that didn’t occur to me. I’ll be enjoying lunch out today then I’m heading right for the library; hopefully they have it and I can watch it this afternoon so I can get a better grasp on this poem.

I wonder if there’s a film version of anything by Chaucer or Milton that I could take out while I’m there. Because those dudes and Beowulf are pretty much my choices to study for the ten page final. Five weeks tends to fly by so I’m definitely thinking about the final. Not to mention we have to choose our topic and research additional sources for it this week. Oh yeah and two of the sources we have to list have to be not viable for use. Um, what? Why am I being assigned work that isn’t going to be useful? Seems pretty recoculous to me. I already can’t wait for this class to be over.

And luckily I’ll have almost 3 weeks off in between the two Brit Lit classes.

God help me if I am going to be forced to read any Jane Austen in the second class because, and I’m sorry to say this as a Chick Lit writer myself, but her books are awesome for when I’m having trouble sleeping. Snooze fest extraordinaire. Bor-ing is an understatement.

I wish we were reading a whole lot of Shakespeare but regardless of the man’s obvious impact on the literary world as a whole we get one single sonnet. Yup, just one, and not even until week 4.

Luckily between the two classes its only 10 weeks of my life because I think my brain is likely to pop right off my body otherwise. Pretty clear what I won’t be teaching someday huh?

Right-o. Cheers!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Heat Is On

Last night I was lying on the sofa and enjoying Holmes Inspection after a pretty long day moving my dad and wicked step mom, and all at once the house got very quiet. It was as if a jet engine had been running above my head and it suddenly turned off. I didn’t even realize the sound was happening until it went away and I started to feel like the Dyson vacuum guy -- considering the “unsettling” nature of the white noise I’d been experiencing.

I looked around and said out loud ‘what the hell was that noise?’ and Matt responded ‘Maybe the heat was on?’

The heat? Really? We’re a week away from June right? Sure enough the heat was running. Now keep in mind we leave our heat set at 68 so it’s not like we’ve vying for the tropics here or anything, just a normal, average temperature.

I’ve worn my flip-flops a grand total of twice so far this spring. Right now I’m sitting in the office typing this up in sweatpants, a long sleeved cotton shirt, a hooded sweatshirt and thick slipper socks.

And it’s pouring out.


I’ve got a paper to write for my class that’s ending today and three assignments to do for my new class starting tomorrow and honestly my motivation level is so low the only thing I really want to do is lie down on the sofa and watch Springer or something.

Is it just me or should seasonal affective disorder have ended after the winter ended? It’s just too dang depressing here for words.

On Saturday this past weekend the sun came out. Yes I think it does call for attention considering it was the first time in almost three weeks that the shiny ball of light made an appearance here in the rainy, gray, cloud-covered northeast.

Ugh, I have to just move past it and must remember that in less than five weeks we’ll be on our way to browner pastures with more sun and blue sky than anyone could shake a stick at!

Not that I even have a clue what that expression means, why would I want to shake a stick at anything? How does that that signify a certain number anyway?

“That farmer has more cows than you could shake a stick at!”

I’m pretty sure I could shake a stick at a lot of cows so he’d have to have a lot of cows. Like enough cows that I’d be sure to stop shaking a stick at them because my arm would be worn out before I was done getting through the entire population of cows.

But anyway…

My blog is obviously all just a device meant to waste time this morning. As is perfectly clear, I have nothing of any real merit to say and I’m pretty much only writing so I don’t have to work on my school stuff. My topic is good too -- comparative between Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Anne Sexton -- but my brain simply doesn’t want to wrap around the thought of doing anything. Regardless of the fact that it’s due today.

Yes I totally know that the earlier I get it done the less I have to do later and that I’ll be able to watch the hockey game tonight and blah, blah, blah but tell that to my SAD brain.

Maybe I’ll eat a box of crackers and flick on the television?

Then again, more likely than not, I’ll take a shower and finish my paper before lunch. I can only waste so much time before my lack of productivity starts to bother even me.

Ooh, but there is that leftover steak in the fridge and I could read blogs while I eat it…

Friday, May 20, 2011

Giggling at the Rapture of the Lightning

First off I think that’s an excellent title for an album so if my aunt and her friend ever start the rock band that I predict they will start -- Mumsie and the Old Ladies -- I give them full permission to use the title of this blog as their first album name.

But of course you all know that I’m really talking about Saturday.

I just can’t figure it out. Is the alleged ending of the world being shoved down our throats so we all book trips to far off lands in an effort to satisfy at least one item on the bucket list? Is it so we stop giving a crap about high-ass gas prices?

Or maybe it’s so we turn a blind eye to the fact that there is actually a guy in Tampa Bay who is so desperate for ratings on his new wanna-be Howard Stern path that he’s actually trying to start a rivalry with us in Boston.


Sorry, I just slipped into full on girlie-giggle mode for a second there at the thought that poor old, sad and lonely Tampa Bay feels so left out of things that they had to go and try to create a rivalry between the Lightning and the Bruins.


Here’s the thing Cowhead, your letter is an interesting rebuttal to your own point of contention but we already have our rivalries set here in our city so maybe you should seek out some other expansion team to fight.

We, however, are not free to do more than roll our eyes at you; our rivalries date back at least eighty some odd years. A number you should be familiar with as it’s the median age of most people in your state.

We’ve got a long tradition of sports here in Boston and I certainly don’t discount that Tampa Bay has a healthy following of their teams, I mean hell spring training for the Grapefruit league is right around the corner from you and all, but again, when it comes to rivalries in Boston its Spankees, Jets, Habs, Lakers.

So as you can see there is just no room for your cute little team to weasel your way in there. I mean we totally respect why you’d like to try though seeing as though we’re clearly a good team to rival. After so many years without a Pennant the siege of the Yankees was like torture in Boston. But the thing is, in Boston we respect the reality of it all, we own it and just keep trying.

Oh yeah, which reminds me, you’ll want to change your letter to us, it hasn’t been thirty years since our last Stanley Cup, its been thirty nine. I mean hello, if you’re going to insult us at least look up some facts first, geez.

Anyway, the thing is, we took down the signs and all that stuff you were so easily offended by and that’s pretty much the reason we have no interest in your cute little attempt at starting a rivalry with us. The entire time we were removing the signs we were visibly rolling our eyes and thinking:

“What a bunch of pansies, they can’t take a joke?”

Because, you see, any team that is going to be our rival has to have as thick a skin as ours or more. Which is why half our rivalries come from New York. Are you catching on yet?

So here’s your sweet little pat on the head and suggestion that you find a new team to torture because we’ve got plenty of that going on here already.

I hear the Thrashers are about to move to Winnipeg, maybe they’re free.

Doing this today:

grab a cup and play along!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From the Depths of Hell to Your Front Door

Last night when Matt got home from work I was just wrapping up some school stuff and I had the movie “Constantine” on in the background. The moment he sat down was the part where some scruffy guy is about to get killed and a bug crawls out of his eye. Freaking Hollywood. That’s probably about the creepiest affliction you could ever give someone. Not to mention you made it happen so fast there was no way to realize it was coming so one could turn away.

At any rate, right after we both made shuddering sounds and crawled out of our own skin for a second, the next thing Matt said of course was ‘woah’ because, well, Keanu Reeves is the star of the movie. Now I have to unfortunately disappoint Matt here but I watched & listened pretty hard last night and not once in this particular movie does Keanu utter his most famous line. Sorry Matt.

Anyway, there’s this other scene where the main female character sort of dies and ends up going to hell for a brief second. It’s all fire and brimstone, dark storm clouds and red skies that swirl in giant whirlpools of half dead trees and brown rock. Dingy and dank and I can actually picture how it smells. I feel connected to all of this because it’s exactly the picture I got in my mind of what the internal gears of my body looked like last week while I was sick.

Full-on, fully engulfed in flames, flu for six straight days. In fact as soon as I was done writing my most recent post last week I promptly plunked down on the sofa and produced a fever that stuck around for 5 days and peaked at 100.8 while I was on Tylenol. I don’t even want to imagine what it really was.

My living room turned into a virtual pharmacy, my sleep schedule was spotty at best, food held absolutely no interest to me and I couldn’t even hold a book on my lap without my eyes starting to burn. It was one of those times when all you can do is lie there and pray there’s an America’s Next Top Model marathon on Bravo so at least you can pass the time with your favorite guilty pleasure.

I was all over the place the weekend before and since flu usually incubates in about 1-4 days I knew I caught it in one of three places -- the Bruins game, the NRCC concert or at the Old Manse on Mother’s Day. And more than likely it was one of those random drunk boys running around high fiving everyone at and after the game. That’s one point for microbiology, Jenn at zero (you can say I told you so if you want Sue, next time I’m bringing hand sanitizer and a blowtorch and I’m coating the outside of my beer glass).

In the end though it really doesn’t matter where it came from, I was toast.

I started thinking about last fall when we got back from Jersey and I came down with whatever disease they infect the non-locals with on the way out and how it equated to this most recent sickness. But neither of those compare to the worst flu I ever had.

It was about eleven or so years ago now, Matt and I weren’t even married yet and we were living in Malden. I was working with the IT Department at a sizable healthcare facility. That’s about the only recollection I have of the time, and I have absolutely no clue how this thing took hold, but once it latched on the fucker decided to stick around for what felt like eternity.

The first one to show symptoms was me, at the time though I was not prone to sickness; if I caught a cold once every 5 years for a day it was rare. Generally speaking I’m usually just a healthy person. So when the sniffling started I didn’t really think too much of it. I’m pretty sure that was on a weekend because by Monday morning there weren’t enough tissues or bottles of NyQuil in the world. Matt and I were both full-on quarantine ridden and for the first time in our adult lives we both took a full week off of work.

Moving was difficult, painful, even flipping over on the sofa wiped us out. And by sofa I mean the loveseat that we both shared for about 9 days trapped under a throw blanket. We had just recently moved into the place and still mid-to-late-twenties-poor, we really hadn’t bothered to furnish it with anything of merit. You never think about how nice a wrap around, microfiber sectional would be until you’re lying head to foot on a six foot long, wool loveseat with your fiancée as you both hack up a lung. Good times.

During our nine day stint with the body wrenching madness we left the house a grand total of twice -- once to go clean out the medicine aisle of the Walgreens down the street and the second time to go buy a new movie because after that many hours of confinement we had run out of interesting stuff to watch. Truthfully though I think we both just needed the fifteen minutes out of the house.

Next door to the Walgreens was a Blockbuster so we started there. Well, hang on. I guess I should back up to say that we were looking for the movie “Practical Magic” on video. And no I’m not using the term ‘video’ like I would ‘album’ where I say I just picked up someone’s latest album but really it’s a download from iTunes, in this case we’re talking old ass, old school VHS tape for the VCR.

Like I said, it was eleven or so years ago. There were no iPods and DVD players were just emerging as the newest technology. Of course like all new technology that shit is expensive when it debuts.

Oh is it ever.

Blockbuster didn’t have the video we wanted. I knew there was a Suncoast Video at the Burlington Mall positioned right near the door. It was only a ten minute drive. We looked at each other and, riding on a wave of semi-awaken-ness, decided it was worth it just to feel like human beings for the first time in about five days.

We got to the mall and thankfully there was a spot right near the door. Walking in that particular door used to be my favorite to walk through because Mrs. Fields Cookies was in the middle of the hallway so all you could smell was warm, gooey, chocolate chip cookies. On that particular day all I could smell was the Gramma-esque tissue I had stuffed up my sleeve for safe keeping.

Suncoast was two doors in; we were on an in-and-out kind of mission so it was perfect. We were both already fading fast and still had to drive all the way back home, climb the two flights of stairs and get some big Q into our systems before all hell broke loose inside…like I said before, swirling tornadoes of fire and brimstone.

We went right up to the cashier and asked to buy the video. He looked it up and shook his head ‘Yeah I don’t have that one on VHS but I’ve got it on DVD, you want that?’

There was no thought going through my mind other than ‘need pillow now’. Matt had turned the color of marshmallow fluff and his movements were about as smooth as if he was also walking through the stuff. I could feel my entire body beginning to rotate like a top and I knew it was only a matter of minutes until I spun out and went careening across the floor in a twirling line skid.

Simultaneously, we both asked ‘How much is a DVD player?’

About two and a half minutes later we left Suncoast Video with a brand new movie, new DVD player and about $250 less dollars in our pocket. Hey, like I said, this was eleven years ago and new technology is never cheap. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m sure we could have picked that thing up for a lot less at Service Merchandise or something but we weren’t exactly in the market to shop around.

All I know is somehow we made it home and survived the depths of feverish hell. I don’t think we even hooked up the thing until like 2 days later when we both had started to come back out of the woods. But once it was installed “Practical Magic” sure as hell didn’t let me down.

That player just died recently so this past bout with sickness left me movie free. Well, DVD free anyway. Without someone equally as sick to share the sofa with I would have been the sole responsible party to get up and change the DVD in the Xbox. Moving was not an option. In fact, being awake was generally not an option considering I only got one day of America’s Next Top Model.

Luckily I’m a master at the art of locating really bad free movies on cable. Woah.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

@CrunchySquares Make My #MouthWater

We were watching Hawaii 5-0 last night (because I’m a red blooded American girl and yes Alex O’Loughlin has quickly shot up to make it onto my celebrity top five list -- are you with me ladies? I mean, hello hot, and he even [finally] smiled during last night’s episode too, amazing!…but as usual I digress) and I have this unusual ability to be looking directly at the television but mentally I tune out anything that isn’t of interest. Like most commercials.

It freaks Matt out because he’ll start laughing and/or say some off handed comment about whatever is on the screen and I’ll just reply with ‘what?’, even though I was looking right at the television I had pressed the mute button inside my head.

For some reason last night though I happened to notice that at least ten companies have stopped putting their own website address at the bottom of the screen and simply have a backslash Facebook link where you can Like their whatever it is they are.

When I saw that a popular cereal was advertised with a Facebook page I said ‘well of course they’re on Facebook, everything and everyone’s on Facebook these days’. Matt replied ‘yeah, and twitter’ and I started laughing hysterically.

Matt is not on twitter. Matt is on Facebook but really only on Facebook like once a week (if that). Matt wouldn’t have a computer if it wasn’t for his love of surfing real estate (read: his version of porn). Matt wouldn’t own a cell phone if it wasn’t for wanting to keep in touch with his gorgeous wife (yes, for those keeping score that would be me).

But I’m on twitter, in fact I’m kind of a big old internet slut because I’ll open an account just about anywhere if I think its going to be good for shameless self promotion. I’m a writer and I’m pretty likely self-publishing my books so truthfully it just makes sense to connect with as many people as possible. And because I’m on twitter I know just how giggle inducing it is to think about a cereal being on twitter.

When I had wiped the tears of hysterics away I responded with ‘what would a cereal even say in 140 characters?’

To which we spent a commercial break discussing the finer points of crunchy goodness and how cereal could talk all about its sweet side.

Or maybe it’s the kind of cereal that has a dark side. Its profile could read ‘Buoyant. Enjoy floating in white liquid from cows, beans, rice and almonds. I’m baked, baby.’

My side hurts from laughing about it every time I think of logging onto twitter and seeing ‘RT @CerealLuvr Thanks for crunching on CrunchySquares! @CrunchySquares rocks my sugary world #letsgetmarried’

Has it gotten this out of control? Readers, please tell me if you’re on twitter and if so if you follow cereal of any kind. If you do follow cereal, which are your favorite tweets? The organic and all natural or the highly processed sugar coated kind?


Monday, May 9, 2011

My Ass Is Flat

Or any other possible title for today’s blog post.

Because absolutely nothing I could title this will have even a remote hint of having anything to do with the random drivel this post is going to likely become. I really feel like blogging though so it’s pretty likely all you’re getting is a stream of consciousness line of crap.

Sorry about that.

Wait, no I’m not. That’s kind of the premise of this blog right?

So over the weekend, as you likely surmised from my last post, the 1200 word ode to the Bruins, my aunt and I went to see them play win game 4 at the Garden. Then Saturday was “recover on the sofa from being old and out until 2AM” day, followed up by my mom’s closest friend’s Chorale Concert -- “The Best of Anonymous” -- Saturday night. That was super fun, we always love seeing them perform because it’s a pretty tight Chorale with loads of talent.

Sunday of course was the day we celebrated the fact that mom popped me (and then Wendy) out and became a Mother. Yea! She told us about a friend of hers who plays with the Scottish Fiddle Club and that they were performing a free concert up at The Old Manse in Concord so Matt, mum, my aunt & I all sat outside in the chilly New England spring wind to hear a couple hours of fiddle, cello, guitar, piano and banjo players rock the grassy knoll. Then we toured the Manse and Matt and I got to take advantage of our Trustees Membership for the first time this year.

Then we took mom out to dinner for Chinese in Lexington and polished off a bottle of sake and a bunch of spring rolls while enjoying each other’s company and lots of laughs as always. After the tour it was a great way to end the day.

That won’t be the last time we make use of our Trustees membership though as we fully intend to hit the beach every Saturday from now until we leave (where there’s lots of beach with no ocean). But now we’re already a quarter of the way “paid back” on the membership cost and counting, plus we learned a lot about Emerson and Hawthorne which was cool because I had just studied some of their works in my last class so it was nice to put some life to the literary works I’d read. My current class is already more than halfway over and its simply amazing watching time fly by so quickly before the move.

I had to list my drums for sale this week. That was kind of a bittersweet day because I know I won’t be able to play them in an apartment building (plus there won’t really be space to house them there anyway) but of course the thought of having to let them go makes me a little sad.

It also means I only have 4 more lessons with Gil. I’ll definitely miss him too but we’re compiling a novel of stuff for me to work on when I am fortunate enough again to be able to get myself a new kit. I’m counting the days.

In general life is pretty busy these days but its not totally overwhelming getting ready to go. I just keep thinking how much easier it is for 18 year olds who don’t have a house full of stuff and feel fine about crashing on friend’s sofas when they get to their destinations. But that was twenty years ago and here I am now.

Such is the course of my life.

I’ve been penning a lot of poetry in my journal lately too, nothing I’m overly anxious to share with the world but some interesting content that might be revised and expanded, who knows. And I’ve also revisited my second manuscript a couple times to try to get it ready for the world.

So much to do, so much time to do it all in.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It Makes Me Happy to be a Bruins Fan

Last night my aunt and I attended game four of the second round of playoffs where the Bruins had the chance to sweep the Philadelphia Flyers and proceed on to the next hurdle -- to win the title of Eastern Conference champions (and then the final round to vie for that big old silver Cup that so many other teams have claimed in the last thirty eight years while we haven’t).

My aunt is the original hockey fan and probably one of the main reasons I got into the Bruins back in high school.  As a fan for umpteen years now she knows the stats, the players, the game, and was in the Garden on the night that Bobby Orr made that "leap" that will live forever in infamy on film.  Cool.

I used to attend the Arlington High hockey games at the rink in Arlington and sometimes my friend and I would be lucky enough that her dad offered us the tickets he got to go see the Bruins.  Back then they were only skating though, the glory days had sadly come to a close fifteen or so years prior but the last time they won the Cup was before I was even born.

When we (and by “we” I mean the entire town because if you’re a sports fan from Boston you know exactly what I mean when it comes to your respective team) knocked out the Habs (Montreal Canadiens) in the first round something magical happened here.  I don’t want to say it was exactly the same as when the Sox pulled it out against their bitter rivals the Yankees back in 2004 but, well, okay, yes I do.

I just couldn’t help but draw the parallel.  And come to find out, I wasn’t alone.  The pressure for the Sox to rise above what ever curse was haunting them for over 100 years finally broke when we beat the Yanks that year.  It almost didn’t even matter that we hadn’t won the World Series yet.  After taking the AL Championship, just getting there for the first time in decades was enough.

And when the pressure was off we simply swept St. Louis in easy fashion then a whole bunch (read: millions) of people took a day off of work to go out and watch the parade.

It’s been since 1972 for the Bruins.  But that pesky rival Montreal always seemed to get the best of us.  Even though we made it to the playoffs last year and lost to Philly, not Montreal, there was just some overwhelming cloud of Hab hanging over us.  When we beat them in game 7 of the first round last month it was like a million Bruins fans finally exhaled.

The pressure was off.  The unbeatable had been beat.  The Referees owed their bookies a lot of money no doubt.  But we were off to round two.

When we won my aunt and I were on the phone within minutes discussing which game we were getting tickets to.  There was no question of ‘if’ we’d go.  I didn’t care what I had to spend, she and I were going to be in that stadium for a playoff game again this year.

The schedule was announced and we both agreed that Friday night would be best.  It wasn’t a school night and it was game 4.  Game four.  I said to her ‘If we happen to sweep Philly we will be in the building when it happens.  We are so there.’

And then I just kept repeating the ‘if’ over and over again.

But I knew.  Don’t ask me how, maybe it was the exhale on April 27 when Montreal went home after the battle was won by us, but I just knew.

So we spent an unholy amount on seats that required an oxygen tank to get to and tossed on our lucky shirts.  I even made a pair of black and gold earrings before we left last night.  We were on the way.

And by we I mean the entire town because the Bruins had already taken the first three games.  If we swept Philly we were going to be in the building.

The first three had our boys looking mighty strong, following through on checks and skating like they owned the ice, like the puck was meant for no one but us.  And it was.  We did so well that their starting goalie was pulled in favor of their back up goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, in every single game.  Not to say their back up was anything to sneeze at but like I said to my aunt, he’s young and less experienced and we have some serious veteran power on our team.  He would be no match for it.

At first last night I thought for a brief moment that maybe I was wrong.  Maybe this twenty two year old first year semi-rookie* was going to give us a run for our money.  It was 1-1 going into the third period and I just sent out a little prayer we’d just win it in regulation because with an start I didn’t think I’d be able to stay up through another all too familiar double overtime.

Then Boychuk scored and I said to my aunt ‘that’s it, now its 1-2 in the third of game four on May 6*.  We have scored the final goal.  We will now win on 1-2-3-4-5-6.’

I was, however, a little off.

Lucic promptly scored for the second time.  Up 3-1.  They pulled Bobrovsky.  Then Marchand hit the empty net.  Bobrovsky promptly returned.  But it was no matter, they pulled him again in a scramble attempt but their offense was no match for our spirit on the ice or in the stands last night and Palle sealed the 5-1 victory with another empty net goal seconds before the buzzer.

Holy crap.  Last night we swept through the second round, taking that victory for the first time in nineteen years.  Nineteen years.  Probably the same amount of time since the last time I went to a game with my friend.  And there sure is something amazing about seeing 17,000 other people jump out of their seats at the exact same moment when one of our guys lights that lamp.  There’s something amazing about this team.  This year.  In this town.

It’s their turn.  It’s their time.  Let’s bring it on home boys.  Sweep right through Tampa Bay.  And then follow through until the end.  Until that silver is in your hands.  Do it for Ray, for Cam, for the last 38 teams that wanted it so badly but couldn’t get past the force standing in their way.

The pressure is off, whatever black cloud was sent here by way of Canada has been lifted.  Now its time to lift the Cup.

*(When I looked up Bobrovsky I learned that he happened to sign with Philly on May 6, 2010.  Hell of an anniversary present there Sergi.  But honestly, I’m not at all sorry.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Obstatunity Comes from Strategery

When the move was nine months away I opened a savings account.

When the move was six months away I changed my yahoo weather alert to Phoenix.

When the move was four months away I started selling a few random items on craigslist, Matt began talking to the complex we liked about a second floor unit, we sent a letter to our landlords to let them know (and crossed our fingers they’d let us out of the lease early and with no penalty), and I brought my car in to have a major service done so it would be all spiffy to tow a trailer 3000 some odd miles.

When the move was three months away I knew that we weren’t going to be able to pull a trailer behind Little Car, that we’d have to get a truck, that we would have to wait another week or two before submitting an application, and that Matt was supposed to have a meeting with his boss to discuss how the whole telecommuting thing was going to work.

Now that the move is a little less than two months away I know that our current apartment has been rented (freeing us from the potential of having to buy out the last couple months of our lease), that no one in Boston seems to be interested in a super cheap commercial grade paint sprayer, that I have to sell my drum kit (because hard side cases are just out of the moving budget), that we’re about set on the truck rental, and that we’re approved for the apartment.

Oh yeah, and also that Matt doesn’t have a job anymore.

Last week Matt and his boss sat down to chat about the finer points of his work from home position. Yes, we all know that means the money. The position wouldn’t change, as predicted, and with a couple new loan officers coming on the workload was sure to increase (which is good considering from all I’ve heard the entire office is sitting around listening to birds chirp since the rates went up recently). Plus he’d be making a really healthy bonus structure on every file he processed.

In about 2-3 months when loans brought in by the new dudes actually start to close.

*insert hysterical laughter here*

But, the thing is, we’re going out there with some pretty good fundage in the bank so I said if he thought these new L.O.’s were going to produce relatively quickly that maybe it would be a viable option after all. That’s when he told me that the proposed plan accounted for his hourly wage only being compensated after the loan closed, that the hourly wage is about a 65% pay cut from what he’s making now and obviously he only gets paid a bonus (read: also his hourly wage) if the loan closes.

Wait, what?

So essentially his job could end up being a work for free from home position, part time (because he’s only allowed six hours per file).

Well, hell, where does he sign up for that?

He doesn’t. Phoenix is certainly less expensive than Boston but it ain’t 100% less expensive, you dig?

The following day he promptly told his boss that he couldn’t consider taking that offer and ever planning to eat again so he countered back with, admittedly yes, still a pay cut but more like a 25% reduction. His boss said he’d think about it.

So a day or two or something like that went by and Matt came home and said ‘The word of the day is obstatunity’ to which I promptly responded ‘Say what?’

His boss didn’t take his offer, didn’t counter back and Matt had to say that he’d in turn be saying goodbye, likely to the entire company (though he’s had a resume on file in the corporate help desk/support office for a few months too but not looking likely they’re hiring anyone in the near future, let alone him).

He’ll work out his final 2 months and then his boss will be left with only one person in a similar role in the physical office. Someone Matt has trained as best as he can, shown the ropes of his sixteen years of experience in the business, tried to teach how to detect fraud and whatever other awesome stuff he’s shown her that he tries to tell me about at night while my eyes glaze over and my brain goes to my happy place.

Its not that I don’t care about his work, I do, but truthfully I only really care that he comes home happy he was able to do something that got him jazzed all day, like investigating fraud or training, and not the actual work itself. I left the mortgage industry eleven years ago and I will never look back. It bored me to tears then and frankly…well you get the idea.

So he repeated his now Matt coined word of obstatunity again and explained that it was the blending of obstacle + opportunity. That out of the obstacle would come great opportunity, that we were still getting the ‘eff up on out of here (seeing as though that was half of the opportunity in the equation) and that for the first time in his professional career of late he not only had more than two weeks to find a new job but that his boss was fully aware of the situation, cool with it and able to act as a reference.

I promptly asked him ‘Is obstatunity born of strategery?’ -- another classic Matt used term -- and his response was something about the need for strategery to take advantage of the obstatunity but how they really are two totally separate things. Okay, I could buy that. Then he sat down to post his resume on all the career sites.

With a smile on his face and lightness in his heart.

Neither of us are truthfully all that concerned, he’s already targeted a bunch of positions, gotten calls from recruiters and follow-up emails to complete online assessments from companies as well, so it’s not like he won’t have something, now the question is what sector of the business does he want to work in (because from the tiny bit of information I’ve been able to absorb before mentally checking out of most financial industry conversations, Matt takes to training his peers and fraud detection like red to a tomato).

With the current state of the economy there has never been a better time to dig deeper into a fraud detection position. He knows his shit, that much I can say; I know that he’s even been responsible in the past for FBI intervention in some cases. Cases that led to imprisonment of the perpetrators of the crimes. Which is kind of key in uncovering fraud rings right?

And it just so happens the hot bed for fraud detection companies are in the Phoenix area right now…

Now that’s strategery.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Reason to Cheer?

Last night Matt and I went to have dinner at my dad and Wicked Step Mom’s house. As always, tons of laughter, good conversation, good food and great times ensued. My dad is famous for calling back within minutes of hanging up the phone so when we got home at 11:30, just seven minutes after leaving their place, I wasn’t especially surprised to hear my phone ring. I thought, ‘did we leave our chocolate bunnies by mistake?’

Instead of chocolate bunnies he said ‘Turn on the news when you get home, we killed Osama bin Laden and the President is about to come on and talk about it.’

Wait, what? Really? Could this be true?

I thanked him for the tip, flicked on the television and promptly put on pause the conversation Matt and I were having about moving to Phoenix versus Southern California and which would be more life fulfilling.

The AZ/SoCal debate and Matt’s not having a job in eight weeks was what I had intended to write about today. But now I just can’t. There are things that are bigger than that which must be addressed.


We all know the history, 9/11, etc. and the fact that we’ve been seeking out this guy for the past 10 years. Allegedly. So last night I sat and watched with likely a very small part of the population at 11:33 PM that we had finally not just captured, but killed the man responsible for starting the war in the Middle East. Allegedly.

I hate being cynical sometimes but this whole delivery to the country had me torn. Gandhi said something like ‘an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind’ and I kind of feel the same way about this death of a terrorist.

• He’s a jackass. [Something I can not personally confirm as I do not know the man and only know what I am told about him by the news media]
• He masterminded a group of people to kill a group of people. [Again, not being part of his alleged organization, how can I truthfully confirm this? I only know what I’m told by the news media]
• Osama bin Laden, as of 11:33 PM last night, is dead. [Do I really need to write it out this time?]

Before the President took to the podium Matt said ‘That makes me very, very nervous’. Immediately when President Obama finished speaking we got to talking about what it means for our country, the hope that our security is strong and that any potential organization of groups are paid very close attention.

And then they showed the people across the street from the White House. A group of people who all looked to be twenty-something college students were taking pictures, cheering, clapping and celebrating.

They were celebrating a murder.

Just like the al-Qaida likely did on September 11, 2001.

Now before you get all up in my shit here, don’t for a second think that I wasn’t deeply and personally affected by the events that transpired on my American soil on 9/11. If you read my tribute in memoriam of that date, which I wrote on the anniversary in 2008, called Never Forget, then you know how much my entire soul broke on that day. All I’m saying is that Gandhi was onto something about one turn for another.

If they cheer when they kill us and our response is ‘well that asshole really needs to die.’ What do you suppose their response is going to be when we kill the “asshole”? Yeah, that’s the troubling part.

Seeing Is Believing?

So as I’m lying on the sofa half listening to Matt, half listening to Brian Williams talk to the other news dudes across the country the first thing that went through my mind was ‘He just said we have custody of the body, pictures are going to need to be released for the general public to even consider believing this’. On Facebook, pictures were indeed released.

Up close, crash zoom shots of his bloody face with the alleged bullet hole he took to the head that was considered to be the kill shot.  That is if you believed a photo already released ages ago online, a mock up, was the picture of his death.

The fact that the internet has caused children to grow up way too fast is seriously and swiftly reinforced as my eyes glaze across this photo this morning. After that I promptly determined a couple things.

A) I will not turn on the television today because the constant visuals of this photo are already seared in my brain well and good enough, I don’t need to see it all day.
B) I think staying on the fringe of ignorant this time is going to play well for my psyche.

Am I just jaded, cynical that I only half believe half of what half the people are saying? Does it make me less informed to avoid information by the media outlets? Is there any form of information that can be trusted in a world of self published writing and Photoshop? Should I be happy that someone has been killed?

I think the fact that I sit here, blankly and with no response to the above questions is what makes me happy to be an American on a day like this. I can write whatever I want, choose whatever I want, believe whatever I want and ignore whatever I want and fully have the freedom to do so.

The one thing I can guarantee is that I certainly won’t be flying anytime soon.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The End? Really? Already?

Wow, I can’t believe how fast this whole month flew by. If the last 4 weeks are any type of indication though, the next 8 before we move are going to cruise by in the literal blink of an eye! On this final day of the challenge that I set out to complete last month, I’m supposed to post a picture that can always make me smile.

You and I both know there is no chance in heck we’re getting through this one with only one thing right? I mean as an eternal optimist I’m kind of required to be the irritating person that more cynical people roll their eyes at when I run around saying how great it all is right? Because of that, you and I both (love, what you and I spoke of, and others just read of….sorry couldn’t help it) know the list of things that make me smile will be pretty long, right?

Then again I’m absolutely bi-polar, so as soon as I tell you how nice it is to finally have spring arrive in New England I’m probably tossing in some snide remark about how nice it would be if only the wind would die down too.

Ugh. I’m working on it.

Anyway, rather than post a whole bunch of photos I’m just going to list a whole bunch of stuff that makes me smile today and sneak a picture (or two) in there randomly just for fun. Thanks for reading my last month of crazy posting. I really appreciate the love and support for my random babbling. So I guess that’s where I should start huh?

• Writing.
• Having people read what I write, even if I don’t know who or where they are. (and even sometimes when I know exactly who and where they are).
• Strong coffee.
This post.
• Making new bloggy friends that are the fun version of snarky.
• Remembering the Girl Scout oath about keeping old friends (sorry I am not linking all of you, you know who you are because you’re in my sidebar, even if you aren’t blogging anymore!).
• Spring finally appearing in white and green buds on trees and teeny flowers just starting to emerge.
• Knowing we have well more than we need to move socked away in the bank right now (which is good because Matt won’t be taking his Boston job with him after all -- which is a story for another post so stay tuned).
• Having understanding friends who won’t be totally upset if we end up keeping our furniture because of that.
• The thought of the Bruins winning the Cup before I leave Boston.

• The fact that I’m going to a playoff game at the Garden next week.
• The fact that its game 4 so if we sweep Philly I’ll be in the building when it happens.
• My current class being way less stressful than the last one was and how manageable/enjoyable the work has been.
• Free time.
• The fact that our Crane Beach sticker arrived a couple days ago.
• Knowing that for the next 2 months we’ll be spending some time every week at the beach.
• Listening to the rolling waves of the ocean.

• Making time for important people.
• Planning my birthday party.
• Working out (when I actually get my ass in gear to do it).
• Music when it fits perfectly with the mood of the day.
• Reading.
• Scrabble.
• New found resolve.
• A clean house, including the laundry.
• Flip-flops (because now that they’re on I have no intention of taking them off until I come back to Boston in November).

• That now I can take a few mornings off from writing and just relax.

Catch up on anything you missed  30 Photos, 30 Days