Friday, March 31, 2006

Spring fever

I’m constantly amazed by the power of smell. Walking down the street, I’ll catch a whiff of a particular odor and it will call up the most vivid memories of things I’ve completely forgotten about. The elevator in my grandmother’s old apartment building, my childhood blanky, the bread sticks my daycare center served at snack time. There’s a particular scent of Secret deodorant that calls up a week-long crew trip to Canadian Henley the summer after my sophomore year in college. I can’t put a finger on what Scully’s fur actually smells like, but I know it will always be the scent of home.

Today I was in the cafeteria line with Lunchboy and I caught the faint smell of his deodorant. My stomach bottomed out—it’s one of the smells I remember so clearly from when we first met almost a year ago.. I wanted to kiss him right then but there were about five of our coworkers in the room and it seemed like an imprudent thing to do. What a stupid thing, the smell of his deodorant. Love makes us all fools, but sometimes being a fool feels (and smells) really good.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

One down

It's officially spring. As I drove into work today, I passed a dead Canada goose on the road. It was an adult, not a gosling, which doesn't make it any more palatable but at least it didn't totally rip my heart out. Still, once the babies hatch I know the road rage and the gosling-shaped smears will be only a few days away. I wish people could just be more patient.

That said, I'm sincerely amused by the geese that have adopted the Alewife rotary as their new home. There are at least two pairs that spend their time in the marshes near Alewife and then take naps in the median strips up above. It can't be the quietest, most aesthetically pleasing place to nest so I wonder what's bringing them there.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


What makes a great kiss?

This is the question J asked me today over email. I didn’t have a good answer for him, not because I haven’t had my share of great kisses but because there are some things I prefer not to over-analyze. Good smooching has everything to do with chemistry. Technique matters, too, but really it’s the chemistry. So I can’t say what makes a great kiss, but you know it when you feel your stomach drop into your toes and there’s a sudden rush of blood to the…head. Really good kisses can blow your mind, literally. I remember sitting on the T years ago after a second date and missing my stop because I was punch drunk from a long kiss goodbye. I spent last spring in a hormonal fog while I waited for what I knew would be an earth-shattering kiss.

Remembering the first lick of desire is important. As we get older, I think we sometimes get too caught up in what good kisses lead to and we stop appreciating how great a kiss can be in itself.

A new thing every day

Apparently restraining orders aren't just for people.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Big time

Last night’s Simpsons episode was timely in that it was 1. funny, and right on time because I was about to give up on the season if it didn’t get better, and 2. about big, fancy televisions. Televisions are a major topic in our household right now because after much comparison shopping and drooling on the Circuit City sales force and wringing of hands over bonus moneys, Lunchboy finally pulled the trigger and got himself a 40” LCD HDTV.

Now, I’m a total girl in that I don’t pay much attention to sound systems or TVs, really. One speaker sounds the same as the next to me, and I couldn’t care less whether my television is smallish or has any kind of screen quality. The TV in my Cambridge apartment had basic cable, a 17” screen and no TiVo. I just don’t care enough to care.

But this new TV, this toy—it’s made me see the light. I finally get what all the fuss is about. The TV is huge. It’s slinky and pretty and very expensive-looking, and it makes sports much more user-friendly. I could actually see what the fans in the stands were wearing when we watched basketball yesterday. But most importantly, the toy makes Lunchboy happy. He works so hard—he’s been in 7 cities in the last 3 weeks, and his schedule is insane. If I’d had my way, he would have bought that TV a month ago because he loves his couch time and he deserves to treat himself to some good electronics.

But yeah. The part where Homer says, “I love you, TV! And I think you’re pretty great, too, Marge.” That wasn’t too far off base. He might have been sadder to leave the TV this morning than he was to leave me. At least now I can watch Grey’s Anatomy in high-def (I think).

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Oh yeah

I admit it--I like the Vows column in the Sunday NYT. It's obnoxious and occasionally really snotty, but I'm a sucker for a good love story and it's interesting to read about people's lives. So today I was crashed out on the couch, achy from moving yesterday and getting over yet another night of drinking too much. I was scanning the Times on my computer while watching Good Eats with Lunchboy, and I came to the slow realization that I knew the bride in today's Vows column. Dina played Rosalind in As You Like It my freshman year at Colby. I was Celia. Bligh was Audrey. MeanG was a techie. Dina was a wonderful actress and an incredibly warm, friendly person. I'm so glad to hear she's happy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

If only they knew

Things that are naughty: having a new personal toy shipped to the office. I had to pick it up from the receptionist, an Irishwoman with a backbone of steel and morals to match. I almost wanted to tell her what was in the box just to see the look on her face. But I didn't.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Closer to God

Or closer to death via snorting coffee out my nose. Tim Gunn does Closer by Nine Inch Nails, courtesy of Santino.

I admit it, I'm in Project Runway withdrawal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I know, I know

It's been almost two years, but the sight of his (partially obscured) face still turns my stomach. Maybe because the picture's from when we went up to San Franscisco for Thanksgiving in 2003. I don't think it's ever easy sharing friends with an ex, but it still feels bad even though they have every right to be in touch with him.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy spring

I didn’t know today was the spring equinox until Lunchboy sent me an email informing me that he’d successfully kept me warm for the entire winter. He did, and it was no small feat because I’m cold even when it’s hot outside. Somehow my feet never reached zero degrees Kelvin and my toes only turned numb and white a few times. So yay for spring! Except that it’s 30 degrees outside and it still feels like January. Back to the fuzzy Patriots blanket I go.

Speaking of fuzzy—we went up to Portland, Maine on Friday night. Higgypiggy and Chiztiz were in town scoping out Portland for a possible future move (knock on wood) and we had dinner with them at a cute sushi place near Front St. We tried to get drinks and appetizers at a number of bars in the Old Port but we forgot it was St. Patrick’s Day and the hordes of drunken college boys in green clothing drove us away. I made the rookie mistake of pounding my first two cosmos on a mostly empty stomach and ended up being hung over for the rest of the weekend. Because I’m that much of a lightweight.

After something like 2 months, I finally, FINALLY finished A Feast For Crows. I have no problem with long books but I do have a problem with bad editing. Someone needs to get George RR Martin off his lineage kick.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Doing the jitterbug

I can't remember if I posted this before but if not, please enjoy. Gimpadelic has an old picture of his cat Tucker with a beer can sitting between his ears, so I firmly believe that he started this trend.

Though I do not normally have caffeine (it messes with my already messed up sleep patterns), I indulged in a cup of DECAF this morning in order to stay awake through a 4-hour company presentation. Now, jitteriness. Let me say again--JITTERINESS!. Aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaia./

Thursday, March 16, 2006


M said something the other night about the nature of writing that made me sit back on my heels. Some people are horribly inarticulate in person but they write beautifully, and vice versa. He speaks and writes beautifully. We were talking about why it’s easy to write when you’re unhappy but almost impossible when you’re happy.

“When you’re unhappy,” he said,” it’s like you feel more aware of the world. You’re extra-sensitive to everything that goes on around you. You feel more connected to yourself and you think about how your feelings resonate in your daily reality. When you’re happy, you don’t think about things as much. Life just coasts along.”

“Maybe it’s that when you’re unhappy, you’re trying to answer a question. And writing is all about answering questions large or small. But when you’re happy, you aren’t asking questions as much. The answers aren’t as imperative.”

Or at least that's what I think he said. It sounded much better when it came out of his mouth.

Moons over my hammy

Moonlight cuts deep. Beautiful and scorching, its clarity lays the world open to the bone, leaving no room for misinterpretation. Things are black or they are white and any imperfections are evident for all to see.

Usually the full moon throws me for a loop, but this month it’s grounded me and erased any uncertainty I felt about decisions I’m making. I feel alert, lucid, fully awake. I’m taking no prisoners and brooking no bullshit. Noise is driving me nuts—I cannot deal with talk radio or water cooler gossip or the stupid printer that sits right behind my desk at work. The moon is making me stand still again, forcing me to be present in the moment rather than focusing on what might happen in the future.

Of course, my Osho card for the day is Patience:
There are times when the only thing to do is to wait. The seed has been planted, the child is growing in the womb, the oyster is coating the grain of sand and making it into a pearl. This card reminds us that now is a time when all that is required is to be simply alert, patient, waiting. The woman pictured here is in just such an attitude. Contented, with no trace of anxiety, she is simply waiting. Through all the phases of the moon passing overhead she remains patient, so in tune with the rhythms of the moon that she has almost become one with it. She knows it is a time to be passive, letting nature take its course. But she is neither sleepy nor indifferent; she knows it is time to be ready for something momentous. It is a time full of mystery, like the hours just before the dawn. It is a time when the only thing to do is to wait.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's a moral imperative

Over Mexican salad at Christopher’s with my college friend M last night, I realized that I may have made a fatal mistake when I graduated from college and attemped to grow up. Instead of saving money and going a little crazy in the remainders room at the Harvard Book Store, or attending the ballet and being religious about seeing all the movies at the Kendall Square cinema, I should have relaxed my sphincter and enjoyed life a little bit more. Because my early diligence is coming around to bite me in the ass as I recognize that all I did was postpone the inevitable.

I say this because M and I discovered we have many friends in common, including the two of us, who did try to grow up immediately after college and where are we all now? Drinking ourselves silly while watching TiVo and downloading iTunes and eating crap in a grand tradition that I personally trace back to my parents forbidding me to have sugar cereals, resulting in my current ability to eat an entire box of Froot Loops or Lucky Charms at a go.

Instead of talking about what we’ve been reading or what we’ve been writing (because we discovered that neither of us is doing much of the former or the latter), we talked about movies and the crack-like temptation that is iTunes. And the crap we cook for ourselves because cooking is no fun when you’re only cooking for one. Also, the restaurants we go to when we’re too lazy to cook. But mostly we talked about how we’re tired of being responsible and dedicated and devoted to intellectual growth and lots of other obnoxious things that the people who got all their drinking and laziness out of the way 10 years ago are mustering the strength to be. I should have let go and enjoyed life when I was still a size two and capable of standing up after five beers.

When I need inspiration, I look to my friend J, who’s a freelance Flash designer in Portland, Maine. J was a responsible, hard-working teetotaler for all four years of college and well into his 20s, only discovering the joys of alcohol when he hit about 29. Today I got an email from him declaring his intention to doghead his way through St. Patrick’s Day, starting with a polar swim and a beer at 6am. Props to him. As Chris Knight says in one of my all-time favorite movies,

"Let's just pause, put that down. Let's just take a step back. No, I was wrong, I'm sorry, take a step forward. Now, take a step back. Step forward. Back. And then we're cha-cha-ing!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Blah blah blah

I haven’t written much lately because I haven’t really had anything to say. Just glad spring is on the way. I’ve been running a lot and getting excited about the green things starting to sprout in the garden.

Last week a group of us hit Henrietta’s Table for restaurant week. Despite crappy seating, we had an amazing evening. Everything was delicious—the crab cake, the pot roast and mashed potatoes (cannot resist the mashed potatoes), the root veggies and the bread pudding sundae. The best dessert was the pineapple upside down cake, though by dessert I was too full to do any real damage.

Moving. Trying to create closet space where there is none. Enough said.

Really tired lately. Sleepy tired and tired of being blown off by friends. If you don’t want to hang out, don’t extend an invitation. It works much better than saying you lost my phone number for the 5th time, or always expecting me to come to you when you know I can’t get there. Reciprocity is funny like that.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Makes sense

Fighting with the one you love can actually harm your heart.

Spoke too soon

I need to learn when to shut up. Lately I’ve been oversharing in conversations with friends and it doesn’t occur to me until after the fact that I’ve weirded them out. I’ve always been a pretty open person. Hello, blogging? Journalism? All about sharing information. But sometimes I don’t realize when or where to draw the line at what to share and what to keep for myself. I always assumed that with good friends you don’t have to worry about that line, but maybe that’s part of becoming an adult—knowing when to keep your trap closed.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Best line from an email today

"May you ascend toward nonfrustration like a dove at a Prince concert."

I hope it's not true

Yesterday my friend Amy told me that Mercury just went into retrograde and it’s not supposed to come out until the end of March.

F#@^ing hell.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Something in me changed once the days started getting longer. Is there an internal version of the bunker clock on Lost? Because suddenly I feel like I’m approaching 00:00 and there’s all kinds of alarms going off. Flipping the pages on my calendar at work, I realized that I’ll be 31 next month and for some reason this birthday is wigging me out much more than turning 30 did. Call it hormonal or instinctual, but last week I literally sat bolt upright in bed and knew that it was time to grow up, put down roots, settle down, stop dicking around, whathaveyou---if it comes under that heading, I felt it. And then I curled right back up in bed because the sucky thing about DNA-driven impulses is that you can’t play rational with them.

Turning 30 felt liberating and celebratory. I was so ready to be done with my 20s and all the drama that lay therein. Thirty felt youthful and vibrant, the embodiment of the term “young adult.” So how come 31 feels so serious, like playtime is over (even though I’ll be damned if that’s the case)? I never quite got why people freaked out about 30 but if this is how they felt, it makes a lot of sense.

Of course, the real fun lies in coming to terms with this development and not freaking out Lunchboy. Quite frankly, if my normally sane significant other came to me and started babbling a hormonal streak about life, marriage, babies, roots, etc., it’s very likely that I would get a little panicked. Which is to say that I handled the conversation very poorly. Everyone comes to major decisions in their own time and I feel really strongly about not influencing that type of decision with emotion. I know so many people who wanted things to happen according to a certain schedule and then were royally disappointed when it didn’t work out that way.

So hormones, listen up. Go back to your corner, be patient and shut your pie hole.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Note to self

Bikini wax before tanning booth = BAD IDEA.

Break time

Could it have been any nicer today? OK, technically yes. How screwed up is it that after 4 months of bitter coldness, a sunny 45-degree day feels like summer. But still—I take it where I can get it. So I went for a kickass run and soaked up a little sunshine. Davis Square was packed with people emerging from hibernation like the schoolchildren in All Summer In a Day. The cats sprinted around the house with their tails up in the air. Spring fever is definitely here.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Vino, baby

If you’re a wine fan but don’t like to drop a lot of cash for a good bottle, my friend Kim just started a blog about cheap fun wines under $20. She’s a funny, irreverent writer and since she’s a 2 hour drive away from Napa/Sonoma, she’s got easy access to some really yummy stuff. Plus, she takes funny pictures at her wine parties.

Behind the curtain

At Mt. Auburn last night, the guy in the curtain next to me was getting stitches in his eyelid after taking an elbow to the face during a racquetball game. He and his wife laughed at the idea of a scarred eyelid, giggling because he’ll have to slather his eye with sunscreen this summer. Across the hall, a woman moaned in abject misery. Her pain seemed intimate and I felt like I was intruding on a private moment even though my curtain was closed and I couldn’t see her at all. The nurses kept getting on the intercom and asking for housekeeping to come to room 10. I was glad to be in room 2, fall away from whatever needed to be cleaned up, but I felt silly for being there in the ER, taking up room and attention when there were clearly people who needed it more.

I took my first kickboxing class last night. Layla Ali I am definitely not. I did discover that the only thing more humbling than taking extremely silly looking phantom punches and kicks in front of total strangers is coming down with a UTI in the middle of an aerobics studio. It’s right up there with peeing in the basement bathroom of the Porter Sq. CVS, though slightly more public. So off to the ER I went (my doctor doesn’t phone in prescriptions, which is very frustrating). Watching Scrubs in the hospital definitely isn’t as much fun as watching at home, especially when I’m squirming around and waiting desperately for the pyridium to kick in. Thank god for pyridium.

It's not fair

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be nice, especially when it comes to car accidents. Two weeks ago, someone crunched the front left corner of my car as they were swerving out of the way to let another car go by on our very narrow street. Despite what I’m sure was a strong urge to drive away, “C” left an extremely apologetic note on my wind shield. When I contacted him, he didn’t gripe or try to get me to let him off the hook. Instead, he was pleasant and contrite and totally responsible about contacting his insurance company to claim fault for the accident. Car issues are never fun, but C’s neighborliness made the incident much less stressful--until the car insurance company had its say.

Because the damage to my car was appraised at more than $500, C will lose his safe driver rating and have to pay about $2000 in increased insurance premiums over the next two years. I’m all for penalizing unsafe drivers but this kind of rule only encourages hit and run accidents. If C hadn’t left me a note, he wouldn’t be getting slammed with 3 points on his license. He’s basically getting punished for being a good guy and that’s a shame.