Thursday, July 26, 2007




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


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.