Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fantasy football championships

MeanG, it should have been yours!

Monday, December 24, 2007

The spirit lifts you up and you fall down..but then you get up again and dust your ass off

This year I had some trouble getting in the holiday spirit, and Florida is a strange place to go looking for Christmas anything (unless that anything includes tacky, of which there is plenty). When I was growing up, Christmas meant going to holiday services at our Unitarian church and then sitting in the living room inhaling the scent of pine tree and listening to music from the Nutcracker. On Christmas morning, we'd open presents and then my mom would make waffles and we'd all laze around playing with presents and avoiding the cold weather. I was a big old Christmas snob about how to celebrate Christmas, until a few years ago when I realized that the more time I spent with my parents the more I became like them, and I immediately set out to find some new traditions. Luckily, we do Christmas with Lunchboy's mom down south now and it's about as far as you can get from the way my family did things. Because Lunchboy's late father loved Outback Steakhouse, we have dinner there on Christmas eve with his mom and sister. This year his mom's new boyfriend was supposed to join us but backed out at the last minute, claiming that it "would be more comfortable if it was just us," which is code for he's had it with Lunchboy's sister's snarkiness. On Christmas morning, we open presents and go to the beach. There's a lot to be said for white Christmases, but seeing the sunlight hit the ocean speaks volumes on its own. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but all I can say is that I appreciate this Christmas for what it is. I'm still not feeling super merry, but I am feeling extremely grateful for my husband, who is kind and gives new meaning to the term "supportive," who never ceases to amaze me and has not left my side over the past three weeks; for friends who call just to say hi even though I haven't been good on email lately; for the fact that our little Pepe found a good, loving home and is safe and warm; for our ability to come here and be in the sun; for my doctor, who calls me to make sure I'm ok even though she's on vacation in North Carolina; for the fact that the world isn't as bad as it seems when things look bleak.

For the record, I'm completely aware of the fact that this has been a shitty holiday season for a lot of people and I'm under no misconception (HA!) that our little hiccup was the worst thing ever to happen in the history of the world. I can't explain why I've been in such a dark mood or why getting perspective has been harder than usual, but it has. I'm working on it and if I forgot to ask how you're doing, I'm sorry.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

What dreams may come


It took us 6 months and 1500 miles to find it--in a Publix in west central Florida no less--but ohhh it was definitely worth the wait.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Running on empty

Body apparently intends to set world record for unnecessary bleeding = anemic & exhausted.

Dark, cold, wet weather that will not quit.

Doctor says not allowed to do pretty much anything but sit and go to work = frustrated & bored.

Am I ok? At this point, kind of not. Too tired to pretend otherwise.

Went to start car in order to move it yesterday & discovered car battery is dead as a doornail. Ironic?

Counting minutes to Florida: sunshine, 80 degrees, beach, ability to sleep in and take many naps.

Praying said sunshine and rest will close the book on all this by the time New Years rolls around.

Am definitely doing resolutions for 2008. Need to create lots of goals and things to look forward to.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The limit

Fuck you, Jessica Alba

I don't care that you've been on my husband's top 5 list for years, or that whole movies are made around your signature capacity to shake your goodies on camera. Until now, you seemed nice and sort of girl-next-doory and tolerable. It's not my business that three months ago you dumped your boyfriend via text message and this is probably just a way to keep him on the line. Now, however, you can kiss my ass. This is officially not fair. You have taken it too far. I hate you.


OK, I'm done now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Nibble my ... ??

A few weeks ago we switched from Comcast to RCN, mostly because with Lunchboy working from home we needed to get a landline and router service that wasn't spotty like a Dalmatian. There is, however, one thing that cracks me up. Whereas Comcast kept their blue channels tucked away at the end of their channel list, RCN lists them high up, so if you're scrolling through the guide, you go from WWE Presents to Bulgarian Minxes 9. It's a little jarring. It's not the placement that makes me laugh (though I'm always afraid I'm going to click on the wrong thing when we have company and I'm not paying attention), it's that the porn titles are, of course, completely hilarious. Soccer Mom Sex Scandals 5. Bulgarian Minxes 9. Bombastic Bazookas 8. Nibble My Muffin 3. Tropical Booty on Fire. Ripe Melons 11. It's become such a joke that sometimes we'll scroll days ahead just to see what silly titles they've come up with next.

How does anyone take these things seriously?

Now ready to talk about something ELSE

I’m working from home today and since work is quiet, I find myself cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Technically I’m supposed to be “resting” but I am so incredibly tired of resting. Seriously. I slept for two months and then had to lie down for a week and for crissakes I am ready to be up and about already. So I’m neatening up all the things that got strewn about or just left out over the course of the last 7 days. Remaking the guest bed with clean linens, emptying garbage cans, putting all my comfy lying-around-the-house clothes in the wash, loading the dishwasher with what seems like every glass we own. Slowly, room by room, the house is emerging from that sick-bed state. It’s even warm enough to crack a window and get a little air. It feels good.

I finally feel good, too, which is such a pleasant change. Yesterday, after 4 more days of excruciating pain and continued badness, we went back to the doctor, who told us that the medication I’d taken last Tuesday hadn’t gotten the job done and I needed to have a D&E. I won’t get into what that is because it’s pretty gross, but I will say that it’s an outpatient thing and was over quickly. I woke up from the anaesthesia and felt like one of the Cylons from the new Battlestar that get reborn in a new version of their body. I felt loopy but underneath the loopiness I felt both like a new person and also more like myself than I have in a really long time. In hindsight, I wish we’d gone with the D&E option when we had the chance last week, but we had no way of knowing the meds would crap out. Either way, now that my body is finally getting over the whole sordid experience, we can finally, FINALLY move on, too. It’s fair to say that both Lunchboy and I are fried and are eager to talk about something, anything else. For me, the house cleaning is a big part of putting this behind us.

Needless to say, I am now really looking forward to our trip to Florida. It may be boring but the warmth and change of scenery are exactly what we need. We’re starting to plan a winter vacation for our anniversary in February—no idea where yet—but we’re having fun tossing around ideas. And hey—now I’ll be able to sit in hot tubs and have the occasional mai tai, so it’s a win-win. Life is looking up. And with that, I am ready to get on with it.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Silver linings

Because we refuse to sit around being morose, and also because we’ve been encouraged to find every possible silver lining in the situation, I’ve started mentally calculating the good things about being extremely unpregnant. All of them are superficial and don’t carry much weight, and most of them are food-related, but I figure I’ll take what I can get. Here are just a few:

1. Sushi. In fact, we ate sushi for dinner on Tuesday, when neither of us was remotely hungry or in a positive frame of mind, but by god it was there and it was going to be eaten because, well, I could eat it again.

2. Clear skin.

3. No more bloating.

4. No more horrible hormonal taste in my mouth that made all food, particularly anything containing sugar, taste like dookie.

5. Vegetables. I spent the past two months having a violently nauseous reaction to fruits and vegetables, so I am genuinely enjoying eating them. Fiber! Vitamins! God, I’m old.

6. The simplicity of lunch now that I can eat lunch meats again.

7. I can go to my company’s holiday party tonight and partake of the open bar.

8. The ability to exercise without feeling like I’m going to pass out after 20 minutes.

9. Hot yoga.

10. Boobs that don’t hurt whenever they’re hit by a passing breeze.

I am very serious about the boob thing. You’d think that an inflated chest would be a big plus (especially for a small person like me), but it’s a lot less of an amenity when the stupid things hurt so much. Like, hurt when you soap up in the shower, much less try to have any fun with them.

This made me laugh (thank you Dennis!)

I am really glad to be back at work today. One thing I gleaned over the last two months was how calming it was to be in the moment, because really there wasn’t any point in fearing the future or trying to speed up time. One of the weirdest things was knowing that, no matter what I ate, how many vitamins I took, or which activities I avoided, I had absolutely no control over what was going to happen. So I am making a very mindful effort to stay as anchored in the present as I can, if only because there are so many little things to be happy about. And, strangely, I know that one day I will be psyched to once again not be able to eat sushi, vegetables, or lunch meat, to be bloated and zitty and toting painful boobs, and to be exhausted to the point of falling over. Everyone kept telling me that all the misery was worth it. At the time I wanted to hit them but now I think I understand.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Speaking out, but not ready to talk

We found out that I was pregnant in mid-October, less than a week after Lunchboy accepted the new job that would allow him to work from home most of the time. It was a surprise--we weren't trying and we hadn't planned to think seriously about having kids for another 6 months or so. I still think Scully knew before we did. A normally reserved and independent cat, she suddenly started curling up in my lap, pressing herself as tightly as she could against my body. Then I went to see my acupuncturist, who gave me a slightly alarmed look after taking my pulse and said, "Is there any way you could be pregnant?" The next night we did 5 tests and all of them were positive.

Lunchboy was immediately thrilled and excited. I was shaken and scared. Would I be a good mom? Was I ready? Were WE ready--I mean, we'd been married less than a year. Was it too soon? As if we could press the pause button or something. This made us the third couple in our group of Somerville friends who were going to be parents unexpectedly. It was real. It was happening. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.

The morning sickness and exhaustion hit almost immediately. I was nauseous all day every day, and the short list of things that I could or wanted to eat was constantly changing. I fell asleep on the couch right after getting home from work. It was a major adjustment in every way. It felt strange, knowing my body wasn't my own anymore and it took me about 8 weeks to get used to that fact.

I wrote a lot of posts about how weird the whole experience was and how I was searching to find a place where I was at peace with this new development, where I could start to be happy and excited instead of feeling like I'd be put in the first car of a gigantic, scary rollercoaster over which I had no control. About a week ago I found that place and felt really good about what was happening. It had taken a little time but here we were and I was excited to be doing this. I wanted to be a mom. I was ready.

On Monday, we went to the monthly open house that the midwives at Mt. Auburn hold. I'd been feeling a little crampy on the way home from work, something that I hadn't felt before and was a little worried about but racked it up to some of the lovely digestive changes that accompany early pregnancy. But the cramps persisted and at the end of the open house I took the midwife on call aside and asked her what to do. She did a quick exam, got another midwife and they did an ultrasound, the first one we'd had. They were really quiet and told us that they wanted us to come back in the morning for another ultrasound--either they had the conception date off or there was a problem because things were smaller than they should have been at 10 weeks.

We didn't sleep much and went back in the morning. The sonographer was friendly and professional, but again very quiet as she did her work. "I'm very sorry," she said after a few minutes of scanning, "But I'm not finding a heartbeat. It should be there but it's not." Sudden. Final. That was that.

The next three days were a blur and I prefer not to think about them too closely. I have more friends who have miscarried with first pregnancies than friends who haven't, but you never think it's going to happen to you. We didn't realize how much we'd been hoping for the future until it suddenly went dark on the screen in front of us. It hits you a lot harder than you might think.

It's been so long since I've posted that I doubt anyone checks this and I am actually relieved about that because as much as I needed to write about this, it's an extremely private experience that doesn't really lend itself to conversation. I wanted to share what happened but not in a sympathy-grubbing way. We'll grieve and move on and be ok. We are already a lot more ok than we were. But it's why I've been silent for the past few months. The pregnancy permeated everything and since I didn't want to write about it until we'd hit the 13-week mark or so, I couldn't say anything because I didn't know how to talk around it. So that's the story.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Superslacker

Bligh emailed me today and asked when I was going to post something again. I have definitely been slacking, but to be honest I have written a bunch of posts that are saved as drafts and that I plan to post after the new year for reasons that will be clear then. I’m not trying to be opaque, just trying to respect some people’s privacy. Everything is good, though.

Then there is the fact that life hasn’t been super blog-worthy. LC got married. D&D had their gorgeous baby boy, and R&R had their gorgeous baby boy. We are now surrounded by friends with babies and while at first we didn’t really know what to do (if we make them food, are we intruding when we bring it over? What do you bring to the hospital?), it’s actually a very pleasant situation now. R&R’s baby was conceived on our wedding day, so he is kind of special to us. He’s also one of those lovely children whose parents describe them as “easy.” All I know is that he is beautiful, sleeps like a log, and makes conversational little grunts like a cat. The thing I struggle with most around babies is wanting to talk to them like they’re cats. This is me, turning into an old cat lady.

Speaking of cats, we had a stray that adopted us a few weeks ago. We nicknamed her Pepe because she looked kind of like an aristocratic skunk, but also because she was super peppy given that she’d clearly been abandoned by her family and was scrounging around for food and water. Once she figured out what saps we were, it didn’t take long before she was sleeping on our porch and running over whenever we rattled the Friskies box.



Things got less funny and more complicated once the weather started getting really cold, especially at night. We fed Pepe lots of food and gave her fresh, unfrozen water. We bought her a fleece blanket and a fleece cat bed from Target so she wouldn’t freeze. It broke my heart that we couldn’t take her in ourselves because she clearly trusted us and she started purring whenever she saw Lunchboy, but we’re maxed out with three cats as it is and I can’t even begin to conceive of the drama that would have unfolded if we’d tried to bring another cat into the house. So we emailed everyone we knew, posted flyers in the neighbourhood and posted posts on Craigslist. When that got us nowhere, we called no-kill shelters to see if we could keep our little friend from freezing to death.



Finally, this week a friend of my mother’s agreed to take Pepe in. We brought her to Carol’s condo in Chelmsford, a condo dominated by a yappy bichon frise, but also oozing with warmth and the light from lots of windows. Carol immediately renamed the cat Lily and though Carol seemed more like a dog person, we hoped for the best and were grateful that Pepe wasn’t being cold on the porch anymore. I guess we’ll see what happens.

We are going to Florida for 5 days around Christmas and I am torn between looking forward to a week of warmth and recoiling at the memory of what happened last year. Please, let no one get the flu.

Oh, and the basement tile got fixed. Hurray! Now we just need to put up the new baseboards and repair the drywall and paint. Oy.

I kind of want to see the Christmas Revels this year. And the Shaolin warrior monks.

Monday, October 01, 2007

No more painting white roses red

This weekend we road tripped down to New Jersey to attend my cousin’s daughter’s bat mitzvah, which was as crazy and over the top (and in the same place) as the bar mitzvah I went to a few years ago. One thing I will say is that the party DJs in Jersey definitely earn their money. They kept a huge crowd of 13-year olds dancing, playing with little plastic gadgets, toilet papering each other into mummies, and bouncing up and down to loud music for like 4 hours. It was pretty amazing. And loud. Did I mention the loud part?

During the temple service, my father’s cousin kept looking over at me to see if I was reading the prayers in Hebrew and then frowning when she saw that I wasn’t even reading them in English. I was reading them, though. The songs and prayers are interesting but it felt insincere to do more than read. I’m not Jewish and while I enjoy seeing my family and respectfully observing their traditions, I didn’t need the side helping of guilt for not having been raised Jewish. My brother and I are the oddball cousins because we grew up outside Boston, not in the greater tristate area, we were not raised Jewish, and we didn’t do holidays with my father’s extended family (only with my uncle and grandmother). I’m fine with all that—it’s just a little weird to sit at a table with people to whom I am related but with whom I have nothing in common. They must have felt the same way because we all struggled over conversational topics.

After the reception, we drove north along the Hudson river to visit the Gimp at Stonecrop. We were both really amazed at how beautiful that part of New York state is, and very glad we got to visit before Mr. Gimp absconds from his planty haven to parts south later this winter. The gardens were still blooming and full of color. I was totally charmed by his little Alice in Wonderland cottage and the fact that he gets paid to garden at an idyllic place so off the beaten path. Gimp made all the Latin names of plants much less confusing and he loaded us up with tomatoes and a cucumber before we headed home.

Yesterday Lunchboy accepted a job with a different consulting firm whose shtick is that they don’t require 80% travel. So starting later this month he’ll be working from home and making periodic 1-2 day trips to DC. It’s a big change for him and for us, but it’s a very welcome change and one that will actually allow us to have a consistent home life (and eventually a family) without getting the “You’re going to Kansas City for a week starting tomorrow” phone call on Sunday afternoons. The cats are going to be sooooo spoiled.

Zombie marathon!!

At the Brattle Theater on Wednesday night...Four straight hours of apocalyptic freakiness, runnning, screaming, and bleeding out the eyes--AWESOME.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mistress of none

I got this meme from MeanG:

(1) Go to http://www.careercruising.com/.
(2) Put in Username: nycareers, Password: landmark.
(3) Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
(4) Post the top fifteen results

1. Communications Specialist

2. Critic

3. Writer

4. Translator

5. Print Journalist

6. Market Research Analyst

*(and now it gets REALLY random...)*

7. Plumber

8. Comedian

9. Magician

10. Professional Athlete

11. Composer

12. Telephone Operator

13. Plasterer

14. Special Effects Technician

15. Stock Clerk

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Basta

It's hard enough when you can't fall asleep because you have a good song stuck in your head. But last night I had "Gimme More" on endless replay and it almost drove me insane.

Good? No. Say what you want, though, that song is catchy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Semi-starstruck

Every day on my way to and from work, I pass the production trucks for Bachelor #2, which is filming pretty much all over Back Bay. It’s kind of neat to see a movie being filmed in Boston because while this town tries its best to be sophisticated, it is the polar opposite of glitzy. That’s why I like it here—what you see is what you get. Still, it’s neat to see all the activity and today I got a taste of it up close and personal. One of my coworkers is a bigwig at the Old South Church and he spirited me into the sanctuary to watch a wedding scene being filmed. I’d never been in the Old South Church before and it's gorgeous! The chapel was full of director’s chairs, which stood out strangely from the polished wood and stained glass. The sanctuary is a heart-breakingly beautiful space made more lovely by extravagant lighting and $80,000 worth of flowers from Winston’s. No joke. Kate Hudson was nowhere to be seen, but there was someone dressed up as a bride under the chuppah (there was a rabbi and a priest up there, too) and about 10 rows of extras dressed in black tie wedding attire. Being an extra definitely doesn’t look glitzy—the cameras rolled every few minutes, but the extras all seemed like they’d been sitting in those pews for a long time. The bride came out into the hallway and complained about having to pee really badly. Someone I couldn’t see clearly jumped over a bunch of pews and shrieked some things we couldn’t hear. Then the production crew kicked us out because we were visible through the stained glass windows. Outside the church, a growing crowd of bystanders was watching for celebrities. I thought about yelling, “Look! There’s Dane Cook!” but decided against it because 1. that’s not nice and 2. Dane Cook stopped being funny a long time ago and he doesn’t need the attention.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Recap

Things that happened in the 6 weeks since I last did anything on this blog:

1. We went to Stowe for a week. It was lovely. It was not the city. We hiked and kayaked and ate a lot of mediocre ski town restaurant food. We also enjoyed the company of Scully, who we brought with us at the last minute and who might have had more fun on vacation than anyone else.

2. Our fantasy football league’s draft. In the middle of round 3, my laptop froze and there were a lot of colorful words in the air while Lunchboy rushed to get the downstairs desktop logged on (I would have done it but was extremely busy freaking out). Kickoff was last night and I’m excited for the season. Last year I got a leetle too into it and then burnt out before the Superbowl, so I am learning my lesson and pacing myself.

3. Tom Brady’s ex had their baby so I have been able to stop checking Inside Track roughly every 6 seconds.

4. Justin Timberlake had a concert special on HBO. SexyBack and Rock Your Body are really good songs but the rest of his music isn’t great, so we were both a little surprised by how mesmerized we were. Perhaps it was his fey boy-bandiness? His hiring of Janet Jackson’s choreographer? The way he flogged every tired arena concert trick in the book? Just in case anyone forgot where he was playing (Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York), JT helpfully blurted out, “New York!” every few minutes. So last night we watched part of the rerun and made a drinking game out of it. JT is much better watched when drunk.

5. I started doing biweekly group sessions with a personal trainer. He’s funny, flamboyant, looks like Chiz and Higgypiggy combined, has lots of good stories from his days as a designer for Tommy Hilfiger, and he kicks my ass so hard that I’m asleep by 7pm on workout days. Suddenly I have guns! After all my self-flagellation over Mysore, I realized I was burnt out on yoga—on getting in the practices, making it home in time for class, pushing through yet another class where the instructor can’t keep their sides straight. It feels good to mix things up. I’m still at yoga 1-2 times a week but I am amazingly less stressed now that I don’t have “Four times a week or die!” emblazoned in my brain.

6. Anxiety—it’s what’s for dinner. But the weights help. So does the clonozepam that my doctor was lovely enough to prescribe. C’est la vie.

When given a horse to flog, flog it I must

When Heather first wrote that she and her husband were going back to visit LA, I smiled and thought, “I bet she hits the stairs.” That’s because, way back in the day, Heather used to be a stairs junkie like me. I never saw her there because she left LA before I moved there, but her posts about the stairs made me feel warm and fuzzy inside because hey, I was no longer the only semi-obsessive stairs addict in the world. Those stairs, they stick with you. They are a discipline, they get in your blood. When Lunchboy and I went back last year, I took him to the stairs roughly 3 hours after we got off the plane at LAX. And then we went back the next morning. Obsessive? Just a bit.

Lo and behold, this popped up on Blurbomat. I once emailed Heather about the stairs obsession, but she didn’t write back. If I had a kid and a dog and an insanely successful blog, I probably wouldn’t have time for email, either. That and the fact that I'm a complete and total stranger. But the stairs thing is one reason I kept reading Dooce after MeanG first got me into it. And I bet Lunchboy would empathize with Jon because we somehow ran 10 sets of the stairs last year and both of us had a hard time walking for the rest of our CA trip. The Harvard stadium is nice and I appreciate having it close by, but it is not the same.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Props!

CONGRATULATIONS, DR. JUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toasty

Today the insulation people came. They drilled holes in the house and blew in insulation, and then did an amazing job cleaning up after themselves. It still blows my mind that our house had no insulation until now. The house was built in 1884 but come on--no one insulated? After the crew left, I found myself almost wishing for winter, just so I could give it the finger from my newly protected house.

It was a busy house day--the new storm windows were installed as well. The storm door hasn't arrived yet, but it'll be nice when it gets here.

We have like 7 projects going on right now and they're all about 70% completed. I know it's about the process, not the goal, but right now I'm looking forward to finishing at least one project just so I can have that feeling of crossing it off the list.

I am also in a war with ants. There are tiny red ants that have nested in our rhododendron (or at least I assume they've nested--there are nasty little ant holes all up and down the trunk of the tree) and I've been on a mission to eradicate their destructive little asses. I bought those little RAID spikes and stuck them all over the place. I got some spray that contains about 5 different carcinogens and deployed it liberally. Still, the ants continue to kill my tree. Today I went to the gardening center and got some diatomaceous earth. Also, some bonide sprinkles. Take that, you little red f*ckers.

I would be less angry with them if they hadn't bitten me, but they did. Yesterday morning I went outside to water the garden and a couple of ants fell off a leaf onto my leg. *zap*. Huge, red, painful swelling for a whole day. Now there are just a couple of red bite marks but guess what? Revenge is a bitch.

I'm swearing more than usual and Lunchboy thinks it's because we're watching season 2 of Weeds and that show always makes me swear. I can't say why--I love that show. I've informed Lunchboy that he's in charge of procuring Uncle Andy to give any potential male children the lowdown on sex.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dream on

This made my heart stop. If I ever have the kind of discretionary income that would allow me to build a home, it might look something like that house. Looking at the picture makes me want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a blanket, a cat, and a good book.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Definitely not what I would have wished

What happened to Wesley??????????

Simmer down

Today I realized that I know more friends who deal with anxiety than friends who don't--how f*cked up is that? Who knew? And why are so many people suffering from it? Anxiety is one of those nasty issues that people avoid bringing up unless someone else brings it up first, but once the floodgates are opened, the words come rushing out in a shared vocabulary of personal, pent up conflict. In some ways it's embarassing, admitting how unsure you feel about life in general: The 4am wakeups, bolt upright in bed, heart pounding. The palpitations and freakouts at work. The invisible appetite, scattershot diet, and nausea. Good times.

The other night, Renate and I went to a beginner's class here. It was so peaceful--a sunny room full of cushions and people looking for a little mental silence. We did some walking meditation that was literally just putting one foot in front of the other-- the quintessential first step in a discipline that I hope to have the willpower to practice regularly.

I've been thinking a lot lately about trying mysore. The thing is, when I'm not super anxious I am so not a morning person. It's a huge commitment, one that I've contemplated for a long time and I don't want to do if I can't be sure I can go at least 3 times a week. It might be time to stop thinking, suck it up and GO.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Too bad it wasn't the Mooninites

Two nights ago, someone broke into Lunchboy’s car and stole his iPod, the radio connector for the iPod, the earpiece for his cell phone, and his stash of parking change. It was not a happy moment when he got in the car and realized that all his stuff was missing. Knowing that someone has broken into your personal space, car or house, is an incredibly awful feeling. We live in a decent neighborhood full of families and young professionals, and it’s easy to get complacent and forget that pretty Victorians and nice people don’t cancel out the dangers of living in the city.

It sucks but we both know it could have been so much worse. The thieves jimmied the window instead of smashing the glass, which was why it took Lunchboy a few minutes to realize that all was not well. They left a weird piece of rubber in the backseat, which we’re guessing was part of what they used to get into the car. The change didn’t add up to more than a few dollars and the earpiece is easy to replace. Lunchboy’s iPod was at least 3 years old and had started crapping out on a regular basis, so it’s not like he’d just dropped $375 on a new video iPod or something. All his music is backed up onto DVD. I can’t help giggling at the thought that there’s some kid out there who’s feeling all macho but really he’s just skimmed himself a geriatric iPod full of death metal. OOPS.

I feel it’s necessary to mention but not harp on the number of times that I’ve mentioned that it would be safer for him to bring his iPod into the house rather than leave it in the armrest, and was ignored.

Still, Lunchboy’s not feeling too psyched about city life right now. Being burgled—even on a small scale—makes you feel vulnerable and that feeling doesn’t fade quickly. Last night we actually discussed suburban living and security systems. The former is a few years off and the latter turned out to be a lot pricier than we’d anticipated, but I have a feeling we’re going to get on the ADT wagon soon. Given this incident and my freakout a few weeks ago, it seems like security should be a no brainer but I don’t like the idea of my house becoming a prison. It seems like bringing that level of fear into your life can’t be a good thing. Call me na├»ve but I try to be optimistic even when faced with evidence of the opposite.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Canvassed to death

OK, the summer canvasers from Greenpeace and Save the Children are bringing it on a little too hard. They are EVERYWHERE. If I leave the building at lunch, they corner me on Boyleston. Tonight I got off the T at Kendall and there were 5 young, well-meaning people from Greenpeace in matching blue shirts lining Main Street, earnestly trying to get more signatures. Or maybe it's members. I don't know because I usually just tell them that I've signed it already so I can keep going.

I know it's cruel and I really do admire these kids. I mean, they're spending their summer sweating in the sun, working for an excellent cause and it really sucks to try and get people to stop because no one wants to stop. No one wants to be distracted from their little world. It's like a harsher, more cutting version of telemarketing. They must be exhausted by the end of the day and I wonder about the state of their self esteem.

Today, though, I stopped and signed something supporting the Cape Wind project. Don't get me wrong--I'm not a bad person, I just prefer to research my charitable giving first and I'd rather do it online than in person. Also, does anyone like being guilted into something? One of the Blue Shirts said to me, "Do you have five minutes to save the polar bears?" Break my heart! I saw An Inconvenient Truth. I watched Planet Earth. I wanted to go out there and personally drag those bears to safety, even though I knew they'd eat me as soon as they got their breath back. I'm still crying over the wolves in Never Cry Wolf and the whales that Japan and Norway kill every year in the name of expensive cuisine (er, research). Don't get me started on the baby seals. But guilt is not a good motivator--it just pisses me off.

Lips like sugar

Who can resist the ice cream man? Really--I honestly want to know. When I was little, I lived in a neighborhood full of kids and whenever we heard that music, we went running to our parents for ice cream money. Nothing's changed. On the 4th of July, the ice cream truck came down our street and part of my brain shut down, the part that tells me when I'm acting like an ass, and I went running out to the curb clutching my wallet, ready to splurge on a screwball and a nutty buddy.

This was a tactical mistake. Now the ice cream truck comes down our street on a daily basis. They know they have a captive audience. And it's sad because we have toddlers living all around us and they don't come out for ice cream as much as we do.

Also, we're convinced that the lady who drives the truck is on drugs. She's made up like Ms. Havisham and she's permanently out of it. As in, we're not sure she knows that she's selling ice cream from a truck. This suspicion is occasionally fueled by the fact that she never, ever has change, so she ends up on the curb with her purse on her lap, slowly counting change from her wallet, her violently colored lipstick seeping into her skin. She does, however, always try to hand out paper towels to little kids so their ice cream won't melt all over them.

Tonight I got a blue Bratz face bar--I'm sucker for the ones that have gum balls in there somwhere--and apparently the color got all over the place. I grinned at Lunchboy and he recoiled. "What?" I asked. "You look like a meth whore," he laughed, then kissed me loudly. That's me, the blue-mouthed drug whore.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Second wind

There's a side street near my yoga studio where I always park. Part of the reason I like to park there is because on summer nights a lot of the residents sit out on their porches to enjoy the air. Two older gentlemen bring along an old school transistor radio so they can listen to 40s jazz. They nod and say "good evening" and I feel like I've stepped back in time. It's lovely.

Somehow I made it to yoga and ended up having a great class. Now I'm watching the Tour (go George!) and waiting for Spice & Rice delivery to get here.
Blogger still won't let me create titles.

I was in the hotel gym at 8am this morning. Yes, hell has officially frozen over. I slept like a baby, woke up at 7am and couldn't believe how AWAKE I was. Wheee.

The food at the Millenium Hotel was horrid. Stomach-turningly bad. I spent two days searching for the time to cab it to Kossar's but it didn't happen. After the mess that was lunch today, I got out of the hotel and walked up to MOMA to try and see the Richard Serra exhibit but it was closed, so I sweated my way back to the hotel, making periodic (and highly strategic) stops in shops along 5th Ave to cool off.

Back home now, fighting the aftereffects of all that horrible food. Hoping to make it to primary series at 7:30pm but it may not happen. Where did my yoga motivation go? Need to try and do morning yoga, but the class selection is slim. If only we had a Yoga Sutra-like place around here. The grass is always greener, right?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sums it up

HA.

I'm in NYC for a meeting and even though it's 100 degrees outside, it's great to be here. Times Square is a seething pit of sound and motion, smoke and haze. The crowds are huge and I don't care--I've been curiously antsy this summer and I'm not really sure what to do with the antsiness. Boston is grating on my nerves. I'm dying to get out and go *anywhere*. If I had my way we'd be in a cabin on a lake in the middle of nowhere, but NYC is revitalizing in it own way. Boston feels claustrophobic and small, and after living in or around the city for most of my life, nothing feels new anymore. We've gone to Fresh Pond and Walden Pond, to Rockport and Maine, and still the antsiness persists. We are off to Vermont for a week in August and hopefully that will do the trick.

It's full summer and the cats are attempting to be as horizontal as possible--they spread themselves long and wide over every non-upholstered surface they can find in a flagrant display of feline immodesty.

We've been up to our ears in house stuff lately--new gutters, landscaping, new storm windows and doors, insulation, and a little bit of painting. Some of it (the gutters and landscaping) are house-wide efforts and it's been a lesson in how condos function as we try to get things done. I'm excited to have a warm house this winter, and also for the gutters to stop dumping water that ends up in the basement, but I tend to get too caught up in all the minutiae and Lunchboy has to reel me in. It is, in fact, possible to be happy at home without looking around and seeing all the work that has to get done.

Part of the getting caught up in stuff has to do with the fact that, having gone off the Lexapro, I've discovered a deep well of anxiety that was semi-obscured for a long time. I found a new shrink and she's great. She thinks the anxiety is biological because it comes out of nowhere for no apparent reason and refuses to leave for days on end until I'm wrung out and exhausted. I remember feeling this way when I first got to California and was taking meds sporadically, and thinking the anxiety was from all the change, but apparently it was more. I am remembering ways to manage the anxiety without going back on medication. Lots of regular exercise--morning workouts are best, which is insane for someone who has never been a morning person, but I'm waking up at 4am anyway, so why not. Meditation and deep breathing are good, but I am totally unenthused about yoga right now. I've been told to try acupuncture but I haven't gotten there yet. It's a major challenge but it feels so good to be unmedicated. The way I see it, I've reached a point where I want to address whatever has been causing the anxiety and depression, and I can't do that with pills in the way.

Holy long post. Life's felt too boring and too anxious to write about, but I'll try to be better about posting.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Can't even shout, can't even cry

The other night, I was sitting on the couch watching a movie on DVR. Everything was cozy—the cats were in their various spots, the doors were locked, and the AC was going strong. Suddenly, there was a huge crashing noise in the basement. Old houses make noise, especially at night, but this was something very different. Cringer and Griffin ran away with their tails between their legs. Scully got all perky-eared and wary. And I was completely terrified. Lunchboy was in Chicago for two nights and our upstairs neighbors had just moved to San Francisco, so I was all alone on our side of the house.

Now, part of me felt like a wuss for getting so scared. But we live on the ground floor and recently there’s been a rash of serious crime in our otherwise quiet neighborhood, including a car break-in and a couple of shootings. I get terrible cell phone reception in our house. Suddenly I felt completely isolated and vulnerable. I called Lunchboy but there wasn’t much he could do. I turned on the basement light and tried to see if someone had broken through the basement windows, but things looked normal. I was shaking, though.

I went to bed that night and slept on Lunchboy’s side because it was closer to the window (potential escape route?) with a carving knife on the night table and my cell phone open and predialed to 911. Today I read this and no, you are not alone. But ADT might be getting a nice call from us this weekend.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sort of like those Home Depot commercials where the parent puts the kid up to it

Last weekend we went to see my best friend and her family in central Mass. Her oldest son was our ring bearer. He is possible the cutest child ever. In the car on the way to get ice cream, he turned to me, an impossibly serious expression on his 5-year old face.

"Moxie?"

"Yes, Ivan?"

"When are you going to get a baby in your belly?"

*silence*

"I don't know, Ivan. A couple of years, maybe. Why?"

"Because you need to have a baby!"

"Did your mother put you up to this?"

*crazed giggling*

Blue light

Total work insanity. I edit until I can't see straight and then edit some more. Somehow I've become a proofreader in addition to writing and editing. When work is over, I am happiest when I don't have to read anything. I've become that person who inadvertently edits menus and gets angry about commas.

The good part is that I'm off the pill and the Lexapro. For the first time in years, I feel stable and sane.

Reunion was fun. Also, crazy. Campus looked exactly the same and I kept having these weird moments of temporal distortion when I'd feel as if no time had passed at all. The fact that everyone was floating in a sea of beer helped the deja vu. No one can say that the class of 97 forgot how to drink. The party in our class headquarters started around noon on Friday and was still going strong when we left on Sunday. And just like college, I was ready to be hide and be totally antisocial by Saturday night.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Far and wide

I grew up having cats and my parents were always adamant about letting those cats go outside. I think it was because they wanted to be able to boot the cats out the door when things got loud at 4am. Sometimes the cats would be gone for just a few minutes, but other times they’d vanish for hours and occasionally for days at a time. When one of the cats would go off on walkabout, as we called it, we always wondered where they went and what they were doing (in addition to praying that they were ok, which always came first). A cat owner in Germany had the same questions, so he attached a camera to his cat’s collar and recorded his kitty’s outdoor adventures. Check them out here (thanks to BoingBoing).

Way over the line

This week’s Dear Prudence column cracked me up. The lead item was, well, a little too familiar. My sophomore year in college, I dated M, a little blond rower boy who happened to be two years younger than me. This meant that he was a senior in high school and, as high school people tend to do, he lived at home with his mother, who was a nurse. Whenever I took the bus down to Boston to see him, we’d stay at his house and everyone involved tried to pretend that *nothing* was happening when his bedroom door was closed. Except that M’s mother decided to try and be cool about it, but in very unnerving ways. She left pamphlets about contraception on the breakfast table. She asked me what I was using just to be sure that there were no unexpected children on the way (her words, not mine). Every so often she’d knock on his door to make sure “we were ok.” And one very memorable time, after she’d returned from a whitewater canoeing trip and we’d stayed in M’s room until 2pm, we all ran into each other in the kitchen and she said, “My muscles are really, really sore. Are you guys sore?” And it was just so wrong and inappropriate and weird that my skin literally crawled and I had to leave the room.

Not that dating a high school senior when I was in college was a great choice on my part, or that M’s mother was wrong to try and find a way to deal with what must have been a deeply unnerving experience for her. But this was the woman who once told me that when M had been constipated in the not too distant past, she’d tried to help him out manually, a la Bobby and Whitney. There were no boundaries in that house. Eventually M realized this—years after we broke up, he graduated from college and moved immediately to LA, as far as he could get from Boston. I saw his mother once on the street in 2004. When she found out I used to live in LA, she said, “So people DO come back from the west coast.” I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying, “Not when they go there to escape their families.”

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Paeonia officinalis

I planted a peony bush on Sunday. I’m a sucker for peonies—something about the rich, densely layered thickness of their blooms. People tell me that peonies must be coddled and coaxed into blooming, but I’m hoping this one will soak up the sun in our side yard, take a cue from the oversized, exuberantly blooming rhododendron, and burst forth with a little color, if not this year than next.

For a few weeks there, I was suffering from an intense case of keeping up with the Joneses. Our neighbors, who don’t seem to do anything other than work on their condo and their yard, created a nicely designed little patch of garden on their side of the house. I felt like a slacker. They have actual porch furniture and we have two plastic Adirondack chairs and a metal Simpsons drink tray. I love the Homer table but you should see the looks they shoot at us when they think we’re not looking. In our own time, though, we’ve somehow turned what were weedy patches of crabgrass into two halfway decent gardens. I’d tell you what I planted other than the peony, but I threw away the little ID tags (what? I made sure they needed direct sun, I planted them in direct sun and now all I need is for them to evade death. Names are for people who have green thumbs). This weekend is reunion (!!!) but maybe we’ll get around to mulching next weekend. Then I’ll post some pictures.

They don't know from Mars and Venus

I read this story and am still thinking about it. If you have a few minutes, take a look. Imagine what it’s like living in a country where men and women are completely segregated, where women can’t drive or vote or sit in Starbucks, or stand in front of a bank because *GASP* men can see you through the window. Yesterday I lost it because the basement guy condescended to me on the phone but spoke patiently to Lunchboy with that “Hey, we’re guys, we understand each other” thing. I hate that feeling. Then I read Megan Stack's story and it put yesterday into perspective.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

You thought I was exaggerating

But no, I wasn't. Here's how the right (non-guest room) side of the basement looks after day one of Project Dry House:

From the stairs:


The corner:


More trench:


Where the sump pump will actually be installed:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Flying solo

The next two days will be an adventure. Lunchboy is out in Napa for a conference and while he's gone the basement people have decided to grace us with their presence. At the same time, our upstairs neighbors (who we just found out are moving to San Francisco next month--I'm excited for them but sad to see them go) are having their skylights replaced. I'll be catsitting for their Pancake while trying to convince our three girls that two days of jackhammering (the basement stuff) and a week of loud banging (the skylights) are not the end of the world. Technically I'll be working from home, but we'll see how much I can get done with all the noise and activity.

We had tried to see if I could fly out to SF with Lunchboy so we could make a long weekend of it on the west coast, but with the house repairs and the outrageous plane fares, it wasn't meant to be. I'm bummed but kind of relieved--it'll be nice to have a relaxing weekend at home once all the craziness is over.

My mom is coming over tomorrow afternoon for some food and a little gardening. She's promised me a cutting from her lilac tree and we'll see if I can get it to live in the sunny corner of the garden.

Sally Hansen would be proud

When women want to do some bonding and feel pretty, we go get mani-pedis. Cats, however, are not much for nail care. They preen and scratch and do that funny thing where they clean between their toes and make a silly munching sound. But beyond that, they let their nails alone. Which is why our cats are less than happy right now--last night we gave them manicures.

It was a love thing, not a vanity thing. Our girls are spoiled and they like to scratch things, especially the new couches which, as soon as they were delivered, Griffin honed in on as if the couches were god's gift to her manual dexterity. Couch scratching didn't used to be a problem. The old, ratty couch was a hand me down, ugly as sin, and neither of us gave a damn if the cats tore it to shreds. The new couches are different story. I've always been extremely anti-declawing but over the past few weeks I've begun to understand why some people do it. It's hard to watch as our beloved cats have attempted to rip our new purchases to bits.

First we tried to cover all the spots they liked to scratch with blankets. When that didn't work, we got them a nice, big scratching post that they immediately began using as a bed. Griffin sits on the base and plays queen of the mountain. That cat has attitude. Though they eventually started scratching the scratching post, they continued to rip at the couch. So finally we got these.

Applying the claw covers was...interesting. They did not appreciate it. They're still a little unsure about what's on their paws but at least now their couch scratching is a lot less effective. And Griffin has only managed to knaw one of them off (the claw cover, not her paw or the couch.) Now if only we could find a solution like this for Scully's litter box issues...

Monday, May 21, 2007

Strange celebrity dream #4?

Does this one count?

I dreamed that I went to see Metallica play at a bit outdoor arena, like Tanglewood but much bigger and more badass. I arrived at the concert on horseback, right as the band started playing “Comfortably Numb,” which the crowd thought that Metallica had written. Nikki Sixx was on guitar.

All I can say is that this is the least disturbing dream I’ve had after watching The Sopranos.

Lloyd Alexander died last week and that made me sad. I loved the Chronicles of Prydain, though Eilonwy was always a bit of a twit. When I was younger, I used to read my favorite books over and over and over again until my mother would take them away and hide them. By the time she took the Prydain books away, the bindings were falling apart.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Not here for the clothes

There's a clique at my yoga studio and it's pissing me off. Yoga studios are not where cliques are supposed to be--I kind of thought studios were anti-clique, seeing as yoga is a pretty individual discipline. But the clique is there and I can't ignore it: the four or five women who comprise the clique always somehow end up on a mat next to or in front of me.

I call them the Lemonheads because their main activity is gossiping about their Lululemon and Be Present yoga clothes. Judging from their conversations, which I try to but rarely succeed in blocking out, their favorite weekend activity is making shopping pilgrimmages to the Lululemon store in Hingham so they can debut their newest purchases in class on Monday night.

When I lived in LA, the general obsession with matching, color coordinated yoga ensembles was annoying but...it was LA and people there can be very silly. It's weird to hear these smart women talk as if practice is just a sweaty runway show. I try to relax and be less judgmental but sometimes it's hard, especially when the last ten minutes before class are filled with this:

"Oh my god, that is the cutest top! Come here, does it match the waistband on my pants? I think it does. OK, I have to order this online tomorrow."

"That lime green is so great! I think I have that top in white--don't you LOVE it?"

"Wait, is that purple a new color in the agility pants? It's pretty! And it goes so well with that lavender top!"

"I was just out in Hingham and they had a whole new line for sale. You should check it out this weekend!"

I guess it's irritating because for me the yoga studio is a retreat from all that. Maybe that's where the yoga really is, though--learning to breathe through the things that aren't pleasant, even when they pop up in unexpected places.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Break a hymen

My ten-year college reunion is coming up next month and the anxiety dreams have already begun. There’s no real reason to be anxious—it’s not like a high school reunion, which would have really major psychological implications. There’s no one I’m afraid to see at the Colby reunion, no ex boyfriends or ex friends to deal with, no one whose opinion of me would matter. Honestly, it’ll be a great time. A bunch of us hatched a grand plan to rent a house on one of the Belgrade Lakes, but no one got their act together and by the time we started looking all the houses were rented, so instead we’re staying in the dorms. Extra long twin beds!! Shared bathrooms!! Beer die parties in the lounge!! Woo!

So why is there still something weird about going back? I’m excited to show Lunchboy around campus, and to see all the changes that have been made since we graduated. The dorms? From what I hear they’re now luxury complexes as opposed to the tiny boxes we lived in back in the day. And the dining halls, which were always decent, are now supposedly 4-star eating establishments. Do they still have wok night? Taco night? Vegan night at Foss? Can I still have 5 bowls of Lucky Charms or make a Belgian waffle with whipped cream for dinner?

Reunion also offers the opportunity to do all the things I didn’t get to do as an undergrad, without any of the consequences. I always heard about people getting busy in the stacks at the library but the one time I ever got a guy back there, he was too chicken to get it going. I never signed my name in the library tower or streaked the Student Center or went skinny dipping in Johnson Pond. And Janice Kassman can’t touch me now so maybe it’s time to throw a big f*ing party. With alcohol. Maybe we’ll take the alcohol to the library stairs just so we can watch her jump up and down in frustration that 1. alcohol exists and 2. she can’t take it away this time.

Still, I keep dreaming that we get back to campus and I can’t find my way to the Student Center, where I have to go because all my course materials are in my mailbox. I’m surrounded by all the skinny girls who wore cute, expensive dresses to the semi-formals but I can’t find any of my friends. The place feels familiar and alien at the same time. I know where I am but can’t find my way.

All I need is a machine gun for a leg

I bumped into a coworker on the T this morning. He asked me, as people do when they make small talk, if I had any big weekend plans. “I’m going to watch zombies,” I said. I’m not sure whether it was the enthusiasm in my voice or the fact that I was enthusiastic about zombies that caused the look of fear on the guy’s face, but it was definitely not the answer he was expecting.

I was reading a review of 28 Weeks Later in the NYT this morning. The movie stars two people named Mackintosh Muggleton and Imogen Poots. Can you get more British than that? Can they get eaten by zombies just for having names like those?

28 Days Later terrified me for a good two months, not just because it’s an excellent suspense thriller, but because it was on TV almost every night and it was one of those movies that I couldn’t not watch if it was on. This caused some problems, given the fact that it kept me from doing laundry for a little while, but that was three years ago. I am psyched to see the sequel and yes, I’ve already let Lunchboy know that he’ll be keeping me company on all trips to the basement for the next X number of months.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Offsprung

Lunchboy and I have gotten into that new show Notes from the Underbelly. Neither of us are proud of this fact. It's a good show but I think it's probably funny to us because a shockingly large number of our friends, coworkers, and extended family have recently hopped on the baby train. Also, Cooper reminds me a lot of a lawyer I used to know in LA.

We joke a lot about babies--we CAN joke because we aren't ever around actual babies and since none of said friends, coworkers, or extended family have actually had their babies yet, we haven't been forced to face the gritty reality of parenthood. My best friend has two boys who are 3 and 5, but they are the kind of angelic, charismatic kids that make having offspring seem like it's only slightly tougher and less enjoyable than getting a daily spa massage while eating caramel straight from the jar.

Two of our friends, both of whom live in Somerville, got pregnant unexpectedly right around the same time and for a while we all joked that the Somerville water must be full of fertility cooties. It could have been true--the stuff in th Somerville water supply is mysterious and definitely capable of f*ing with your body. The truth, however, had to do with the porosity of latex and the effectiveness of withdrawal. One of these friends, who is about to enter her second trimester, had brunch with Lunchboy two weeks ago and he was astounded when she consumed about three plates worth of food and left the table still hungry. Days later, he continues to look up and, out of nowhere, say things like, "I can't believe how much she ate! I can't wait til you're like that." Then again, he jokes that I must already be pregnant because I'm constantly starving and exhausted. That would be the Pill, seeing as it works by making your body think it's already pregnant. Right? When I'm not eating, I'm napping. What can I say--I like food and naps. The week before my period, all I want is sugar and carbs. Vegetables become completely unattractive but cookies? Suddenly and totally irresistible.

Lunchboy's excitement and enthusiasm is wonderful. But we're not ready for kids quite yet. We talk about it a lot but then the cats do something gross or loud and really, 3 cats feels like it's enough for now. Plus, when they yell I can just throw them in the bedroom and close the door and you definitely can't do that with kids.

Overheard

In the elevator at work:

Man: "Work is my refuge from my kids."

Woman: "Hahaha. You're joking."

Man: "No, I'm not. When I get sick, [boss] tells me to go home but it's so much worse there. At least work is quiet and there aren't toys all over the place."

Woman: tightfaced, visibly angry, "Imagine how your wife feels, home all day."

Man: shudders, "I try not to."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Catching up

There are days when work is so busy that by the time 5pm rolls around, the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen again for the rest of the day, so no blogging happens. Then there are days when I just can’t think of anything to write. Both of these have been happening a lot lately.

Let’s see. We went to see Mike Daisey’s Monopoly last week, which was amazing. I liked it even better than Invincible Summer. The Somerville Open Studios were this past weekend and they were fun. We checked out Brickbottom, Joy St. and the Mixit Studios near Davis before “stopping” at home to get jackets and somehow falling asleep/playing Viva Pinata two afternoons in a row. Bliss. Napping is highly underrated. We did not check out our neighbor’s penis art this year, though I was tempted just so I could send a postcard to Higgypiggy and Chiz in LA.

The dry basement people are coming on Friday to install the new drain and sump pump. I am excited and also a little nervous because they’ll have to tear up a bunch of tile, dry wall, and baseboards to put in the drain and get rid of water damage (not to mention the jackhammering to get through the cement floor. We haven’t told the cats about this.) Since neither of us is particularly well versed in home repair, I’ve been calling contractors and repair people to get estimates for the cleanup work after the drain is installed. I’m very excited about the prospect of having a dry basement but very nervous about the contractor/cleanup part because I don’t know what I’m doing and don’t want to do something stupid and/or extremely expensive by accident. I am now very interested in taking some home repair classes. Not that I intend to do a lot of the heavy work but at least I won’t feel so ignorant. Why can’t it all be as easy as putting together furniture from Target?

One of the many good things about getting this basement work done is that it’s forcing us to deal with the pile of crap that’s been accumulating in the middle of the basement over the past year. One of the things we want to do once the basement stops leaking is put in some storage and shelving down there, but since that hasn’t happened yet, we haven’t had anywhere to put the giant, talking cardboard Darth Vader or the bags of stuff that Lunchboy says he wants to sell on eBay. Goodwill, here we come. Does anyone know where I can recycle a dead computer monitor in Cambridge or Somerville?

Monday, April 30, 2007

Girl's weekend at Kripalu


















I'll be finished gloating after this

Six months ago, when football season was in full swing and there were rumors swirling that the Patriots would find a way to trade for Randy Moss, I emailed Lunchboy (who had Randy Moss on his fantasy team) and said, “How interesting would it be if Randy Moss came to Boston?” “It’ll never happen,” he said. “Moss makes noise all the time and every team out there knows he’s just trouble.” And little football newbie that I am, I sat back and took his word for it, even though I had a hunch.

Fast forward to last week. Surprise, surprise.

Per our official agreement, I get five “I told you so’s” on this one and this post counts as #2 (when the trade was on the nightly news, I shrieked, “I so called it!” at the TV.) In the interest of preserving my marriage and in warding off a jinx on the 2007 fantasy football season, I won’t get into the final standings from 2006 or talk about certain articles that were published. But let’s just say that Moxie? She is still in the game.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Update

Mike has posted an update on his blog about the aftermath of the attack at his show on Friday.

Feisty

It’s amazing how much difference the weather makes. Last week people were getting seriously testy on the T. I saw a couple of angry exchanges that wouldn’t have happened in October and probably won’t happen now, just because everyone is a little happier that the sun is out.

I camped out on the porch this weekend while Lunchboy played with his new Xbox. Not that Gears of War isn’t cool, but I just couldn’t be inside any longer. We opened the windows and the cats sat behind the screen, sniffing the air as if they’d never smelled spring before. Scully rolled around in the garden and took her first dirt nap of the season. I have to get out there and rake so my hosta can actually surface. Maybe tomorrow.

We also found a couch this weekend, at long last. Perhaps the universe took pity on us after we muscled through a long lunch with my family sans alcohol, but finally the couch shopping is *finished*. The new set arrives Friday, which means only 3 more days of old couch-induced back pain. I am probably more excited about the couch than I should be—god knows I’ve talked my friends’ ears off about it—so now everyone can be glad that there will be no more talk of furniture shopping, at least not for a while. We’re having a sump pump and a new French drain installed in the basement next month and it’s going to be a long time before we’ll be opening the wallet again. Hopefully it will also be a long time, as in NEVER, that we’ll have to deal with flooding.

The sun and the couch—these things are cool. This, however, is not. At all. It’s shitty that something like this could happen anywhere today, but that it happened in Boston is somehow more offensive, more embarrassing. The most perplexing thing about it is that I don’t remember anything from Mike’s show that would offend a bunch of Christian activists. Not that what happened would be ok even if the show had controversial material of some sort but still. Why?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Naptime

This is really the smartest idea of the year. We need several of these in Boston, especially now that the city is in full Ray Bradbury mode.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Let's hope those May flowers are really freaking gorgeous

I'm not a coffee drinker and Lunchboy is a Starbucks latte fiend. Nevertheless, we have a coffee maker on a shelf in the kitchen that only sees action when his mother comes to visit. Today, however, the coffee pot came in very handy for bailing water out of the pseudo French drain in our basement. This drain has caused some problems in the past, and we've been talking to basement people to come and install a real drain that will keep our basement dry on days like this. Unfortunately, the work hasn't been done yet and now there's groundwater welling up in the drain, which means I have to bail using the coffee pot or attempt to hook up our complicated sump pump system, which involves duct tape and multiple hoses going out the basement window. I'm not afraid of doing it but it's really a two-person job and I'm just hoping it can wait until Lunchboy gets home tomorrow.

The cats think the whole thing is fascinating, though. They hover curiously while I bail and follow me when I empty the bucket in the bathroom. I bet it wouldn't be as interesting if their paws were getting wet.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tales of joy and woe

On Friday night we went to see Mike Daisey perform his new monologue, Invincible Summer, at the ART. At Colby, Mike was one of those rare performers whose talent mesmerized, and everyone knew he was destined to go on to greater things of a scope far exceeding the realm of college theater. So I was completely unsurprised when Invincible Summer proved to be stellar. Not many performers can create emotional, compelling stories while sitting at a table, flipping pages, but Mike's words grab you and don't let go.

After the show, we met up with Mike and his lovely, warm, dramaturg wife Jean-Michele and went out for pho. They told more stories over dinner. His show is full of extremely personal details and having just been privy to bits on his parent's divorce, his marriage, and his deeply personal response to being in the middle of the shit on September 11th, I had the odd sensation of feeling like I knew him really well and yet not at all. It was good to see them.

Mike's performing in Cambridge through the first week of May. You should go--the show is really good.

Grabbing hands grab all they can

Turns out that if you're in the market for a new couch, as we are, the worst possible time to visit Jordan's Furniture is on a weekend--particularly the last weekend of their brilliant little "you get your furniture free if the Red Sox win the World Series" marketing ploy. It was, as they say, a madhouse. In the 2.5 hours we spent at the Reading store, two things of note occurred. First, we saw Elliot, of Barry and Elliot, floating around the store, which was kind of cool. All the salespeople were genuflecting before him. He looks and sounds just like he does in the TV commercials, and it's really weird to feel that frisson of pseudo-celebrity recognition over someone who is mostly known for his cheesy furniture commercials. Maybe it's his scads of money? I don't know.

Second, we were so ready to be done with couch shopping and to get the hell out of that store that we found and bought a couch (in a much-debated red), only to get home and realize that we had just bought a red couch for our yellow living room and what the hell were we thinking. So we called and cancelled the order, fighting the grumpiness that came from the knowledge that we now have to continue shopping for a couch. But at least it won't be at that store, in those crazy-making crowds.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PMS

All I've wanted all day were fish tacos from La Salsa and Snickers frozen yogurt from Big Chill.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Fromage

I'm not sure how this got by me, but April is National Grilled Cheese Month. A whole month--dedicated to the eating of grilled cheese sandwiches. Could anything be more wonderful?

A friend's fiance likes to have a birthday week--not just a day, a full week. Given this new knowledge, I think I'll take that precedent one step further and celebrate a birthday month by eating as many grilled cheese sandwiches as possible. In an ideal world, we could go to all these places, but I think I'm up for the challenge of finding good grilled cheese here in Boston. Picco has one that always rolls my eyes back into my head.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's a mystery

I have never understood why people come to work when they're sick. Not just suffering from a cold, because that's pretty much a permanent condition in Boston and we should all just have IVs full of Sudafed implanted in our arms from November to May, but hardcore, high fever, messy bathroom sick. And yet people do this--they insist on working when they really should be in bed (or at least in their own bathroom, where their germs are less likely to migrate). Work is very important. This I know. But it's just work. And it's both unfair and unproductive to show up just for the face time, so your boss can see that you've heroically dragged yourself out of bed. Because what ends up happening is that you infect everyone in your office, which is why I'm home with the stomach flu today. And yes, I am bitter.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Crunch

So I am officially done with headstand, at least for now. I messed up my neck in practice two weeks ago and no matter how much attention I pay to my alignment in headstand, it just hurts. Last night I held headstand for the full 20 breaths and I woke up at 4am with a pounding headache and an aching neck.

That said, I’m finally starting to learn how to vinyasa out of supta konasana, though I’m still falling on my face half the time.

The kid in me is dying for this.

Completely random

There’s an ongoing argument in our house over who should be considered the comedic actor of our generation: Ben Stiller or Will Ferrell. I’m for Will, not because his movies are always stellar but because he’s of this time. I mean, the man has played Bill Clinton and Buddy the Elf—come on. Ben Stiller grates on my nerves and he seems to always play the same character, but Lunchboy says the roles he’s played are definitive in our generation.

I was just on a work trip to DC for a few days and was amazed at how the rest of the country actually gets to experience spring. It was sunny, 67, and all the trees were starting to bloom. MeanG and I caught up for yummies at KramerBooks and there was *no need* for a jacket. Go figure. Now I’m home and it’s still freaking chilly. I know DC is unpleasant in the summer but sometimes travelling makes me wonder why the hell we stay in Boston, period.

For a long time I ignored 30 Rock because I somehow associated it with Studio 360 (a 3? A 0? Silly me). Then we tried it. I heart that show. I want Tina Fey’s wardrobe on that show. Also, loving Andy Barker, PI. Anything with one of the alums from Arrested Development is promising, and I swear that Andy Barker’s wife is Buster’s sister. Look at their faces—they must bear the same DNA. It’s striking—and wicked funny.

Things I am currently addicted to:
--Etsy
--The Real Estalker
--Apartment Therapy

Things I just don’t care about, no matter how much everyone else seems to love them:
--Sarah Silverman
--pointy shoes
--Matsuzaka

Friday, March 23, 2007

Makes me feel like dancing

The deadly thing about killing time in malls is that it's really easy to buy stuff. Even when you're trying not to shop. Last night I met a friend for dinner at Bambara and got there 40 minutes early, so I wandered over to the Galleria. Somehow I ended up getting these on super super sale and they make my feet so happy. Whenever I wear red shoes I think of Meang, who always has the coolest shoes ever.

Can go both ways

Name changing is in the air, I guess. Kottke posted this article about new trends in taking your significant other's last name. Having both bride and groom take both last names and hyphenate them is kind of cool. I know a couple who did a variation of this--the groom took the bride's last name and kept his name as a middle name, and vice versa with the bride. Except the two names together sounded like a sexually transmitted disease, so they both ended up taking the groom's last name.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What would Luke do?

This is really cool. Lunchboy argues that it’s a good reason to put off writing thank you notes because using these would be a perfect touch. I completely agree but, sadly, they don’t come out until the end of May and three months feels like a very long time to delay sending thank you notes. Yes, I am anal and yes, I am a dork (if the fact that we took both class lectures and thank you notes on our honeymoon wasn’t already a big clue), but when I was little my mom wouldn’t let me play with new toys or gifts until I wrote a thank you note and it’s hard to de-program habits like that.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vernal equinox

Life is good right now. There seems to be good news coming from every direction: engagements, pregnancies, new babies, new spouses, new jobs, blind luck, expensive car repairs covered by warranties. It’s wonderful to have so much to celebrate!!

Expanding the...mind

During a section on Shakespeare in one of my high school English classes, our teacher sent the class to see Mel Gibson’s Hamlet in theatres as part of our Greater Shakespeare Learning Experience. My best friend and I sat down in the movie theatre and couldn’t believe our luck. Movies?!? As part of class?!? How cool was that?!? Then the movie started and, despite Mel Gibson’s extreme hotness (it was 1990 after all), the movie really sucked. But we felt all superior because even with our negligible 10th grade knowledge of Shakespeare, we could tell that the movie butchered the play. Plus, Helena Bonham Carter is just really good at playing insane people. And we got to watch movies instead of do real homework.

Shortly before the wedding, Lunchboy and I decided to get one of those CD courses from The Teaching Company so we could have something educational to listen to on the plane trip to Hawaii, and also because we thought it would be fun to take a class and talk about it together. We got a 22-lecture course on Western Civilization. Did we listen to any of it on the trip to Hawaii? No. But Lunchboy is way ahead of me on the lectures. He’s up to the rise of Rome and I haven’t even started the introduction (I’m not lazy, I just like to read when I’m on the T). But on Saturday we went to see 300 and I have to say that I feel like I made up some historical ground (in a Mel Gibson kind of way). Also, I learned a lot about abdominal muscles. Overall it was an excellent educational experience. Now I actually want to learn about the Battle of Thermopylae again, but only so long as I can watch the movie for visual cues. Did I mention the abs?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mahalo

Haleakala at dawn:



Luau!



Sunset whale sighting right off the coast of Wailea:



They're waving...



By the lithified cliffs in Poi'ipu near the good hotel in Kauai:



Whale watching! Yes, this is pretty much what we did in Maui:



Smiles on the balcony of the crappy hotel in Kauai:



The coast of Kauai:




Hiking toward the Na Pali coast in Kauai:


A surprise visitor when we got home:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

At long last

Still waiting on the honeymoon photos but here are a few wedding pictures taken by Lunchboy's mom:

Mr. and Mrs. Lunchboy:



Us with our families and lots of red eye:



The cutest flower girl and ring bearer ever:




A couple of friends were smart enough to upload their photos. If you want more wedding snaps, go here and here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Mrs. Lunchboy

What's in a name? A lot, it turns out. When I was deciding whether to take Lunchboy's last name (I am), it never occurred to me how much I had invested in my old last name until people started calling me something else. Suddenly being married felt very..all ecompassing. After all, I'd spent almost 32 years building an identity, an education, a career, a life around the person I was with my old last name. I make a couple of vows, put on a ring, and now I'm supposed to be someone new? I don't think that's the case, but that's kind of how it feels. There's also the issue of whether to keep the old name or whether to hyphenate, but my old last name always made people think I was Jewish and I'm not, so a fresh start is nice. Hyphenation works but seems to get complicated if kids enter the picture.

Quick aside: what's up with the term "maiden name"? Who are we kidding?

The truth is, marriage is a new start. We joined our lives together and I'm not the same person I was before, so I guess it's appropriate to have a new name to go along with the new life. That said, it still takes getting used to. In all the honeymoon advice we received, no one mentioned that taking off for a week or two is an excellent--and much needed--opportunity to stop doing a quadruple take every time someone calls you by a new last name. We still giggle a little whenever it happens. That and we do the Wonder Twins fist bonk with our rings. Shh.

The other thing no one tells you is that legally changing your name is a monumental pain in the ass. It is such a confusing, convoluted, red tape-laden process that I actually shelled out for something called the Bridal Name Change Kit from the Knot--and this is after I vowed never to buy anything from that site. I just want someone to tell me how to do this. Because getting used to being a Mrs. is where I'd rather put my energy.

PS--pictures tomorrow!

The force is with us

We got back from Kauai this afternoon at about 5pm, which was noon Hawaii time and my body is completely confused (isn't daylight savings time on Sunday? Woo!) It's good to be home, although it took getting off the plane and feeling the blast of icy air come through the plane door for us to grasp the fact that it was not in fact 80 degrees outside. Ouch. I wore my flip flops all the way to baggage claim but then admitted defeat and brought out the sneakers.

Hawaii was great. Is Hawaii ever not great? I feel trite and obnoxious getting into how great it was, but we had a wonderful time. Maui was pretty and had lots of whales (we now have video clips and lots of photos of empty ocean where whales were only seconds before--those suckers are hard to catch on film). It reminded me a bit of La Jolla, California, if only because after flying 6,000 miles you expect to get off the plane and be in a foreign country, not be driving by a KMart. Not that La Jolla has Kmarts, but Wailea felt a lot like La Jolla.

Kauai, on the other hand, was wild and gorgeous and uncommercialized and spectacular. We climbed the dunes in Polihale and watched crazy waves hit the shore in five different directions at once. We did a spectacular hike on the north side of the island past the point were you can drive a car. There were no bugs (or, as Lunchboy likes to point out, snakes). After two days of being marooned at a tacky, 70s era hotel, we escaped to the Hyatt and didn't move for 3 days. Bliss.

It wasn't until we got off the plane in LA at 4am that we heard about the helicopter crash in Kauai. Scary. We saw the helicopters buzzing overhead all the time. They seemed safe. But we didn't take a helicopter tour and now I'm extra glad.

As soon as we walked in the door this afternoon, the cats were bewildered. Perhaps it was anger that we left them for two weeks, or that they had a phalanx of friends coming to look in on them (girls, you are well loved!) Or maybe it was the 8ft. tall Darth Vader cut out that Lunchboy's sister used to decorate the house for our homecoming. Not only is he huge and is holding his big pink lightsaber, he talks. "You are not a Jedi yet," he says. "Your destiny lies with me, Skywalker." Perhaps, but you are not my master. At the moment, the bed is my master. ZZzzzzzzz.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

WHALES!

We're in Maui until Saturday and then we head to Kauai. Unbeknownst to us, Maui is apparently one of the best vantage points to watch the annual whale migration that happens between November and April. Whole pods of whales are hanging out in the bay off west and south Maui--in the morning and evening, we've seen their spouts and the occasional roll of a smooth back or a fin. But tonight we had the most amazing experience. We were walking along the waterfront path in Wailea, where we're staying, and there were whale spouts going off all over the place, sometimes as close as a few hundred yards offshore. Then, out of nowhere, a mother whale breached and then began slapping her tail and dorsal fin on the water about 250 yards offshore. She slapped her tail about 15-20 times and then got started on her dorsal fin. That fin must have been 20 feet long. It was the most exciting, beautiful, incredibly moving thing to see--we felt so blessed and lucky to be there. Every so often, the baby whale would flash a fin or roll around near its mother. Everyone on the path stopped in their tracks to watch. Lunchboy managed to catch some of the action on camera, but in our exhausted haze on Sunday we forgot to pack the cord that connects the camera to the laptop (duh), so pictures will have to wait :( But then---lots of pictures.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Married!

The wedding was a total blast. It went by very quickly, like everyone said it would, but it was really, really wonderful to celebrate with so many people that we love.

Now, packing. Watching the Oscars red carpet. Trying to keep my eyes open. Our flight leaves at the butt crack of dawn and then....off to the beaches of Hawaii. We'll have a computer with us and I will try to post but I can't promise anything.

Gimp, you have no excuses :)

Meang--good luck on the bar!!!!!!!!!!! I have no doubt you'll rock the house, just like your husband did on the dance floor last night. Also, we love our new blue mugs :)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Frenetic train of thought

Everyone told me that the week before the wedding would be insane and I didn’t believe them. How very wrong I was. We have a list of things to do on our coffee table and it just keeps growing, no matter how many things I cross off. I’ve been waking up at 3am worrying about parking of all things—what if people park in the wrong part of the garage and get locked in once it closes at 10pm??? How will the hotel let guests know that they can self-park in PART of this garage but not ALL of it (the other part belongs to the mall next door and that’s the part that closes). Then all I can think of is Mr. Henslowe from Shakespeare in Love saying, “It’ll all work out.” And I ask how and he says, “It’s a mystery!” It’s a sad state of affairs.

UPDATE--the garage closes at 1am on Saturdays. Hooray!

I’ve been pretty calm for the past 7 months, mostly because I’ve adopted an “I’ll avoid this so it doesn’t stress me out” approach but this week I’ve turned into the kind of wide-eyed, anxious, control freaky woman that cable TV makes shows about and it’s a little weird. I’ve watched my friends turn into this woman during the week before their weddings and it’s like aliens came down to earth and took over my friends’ bodies and now they’ve got me, too. The programs, they must be done exactly right. The papers have to coordinate. And I really, really need to just chill out but at this point I’m running on pure adrenaline and it feels like a freight train that can’t be stopped. A good train but an unstoppable one with lots of details that have to be taken care of or the whole thing could derail like there had just been a huge ice storm or something.

Yesterday I was standing in the changing room at Target (the new Proenza Schouler line is CUTE) and I made the mistake of looking at myself in the mirror sans clothes and literally burst into tears. Somehow other brides stress themselves down two sizes but me, I go on the stupid pill one month before my wedding and miraculously gain 10 pounds. I can see the 10 pounds—it’s there in the jiggly parts that didn’t used to be jiggly and even though I bought a new bikini for the honeymoon right now I am feeling that there is no way I will wear anything but a giant sack to the beach. Who sells Hawaiian beach sacks because I want several.