Thursday, January 31, 2008

Long past due

Seen on the beach during our Christmas trip to Florida:

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tastes like...burning!

Tonight Lunchboy will be vaporizing his taste buds at the East Coast Grill’s Hell Night. I’m not sure how a man who loves frying his tongue ended up marrying someone who’s a self-proclaimed spice wuss, but there you have it. This is the man who used to have spicy food parties with his friends to see who could eat the spiciest thing on the table. Once, two of his friends ate something (he still won't tell me what) that was so spicy they temporarily lost their hearing. They recount this story and laugh at the humor of it all.

Fun! Hahaha!!!!

Me, I order my Indian food mild to medium and avoid anything that resembles a pepper because you never know what it could entail (this stems from an incident at Boston Beer Works involving nachos, hidden jalapenos, and liquid streaming from every orifice in my face—good times). So while he’s off annihilating his mouth and digestive tract, I’ll be cozy on the couch watching Mansfield Park and eating something extremely bland, and waiting to see if he has smoke coming out his ears when he walks in the door.

Friday, January 25, 2008

High as a kite--a very short kite

If you happen to be like me and don't mind trying things that have the potential to cause whole-body muscle pain, then check out MetroRock . On Wednesday night, Lunchboy and I went with a bunch of friends who caught the climbing bug, and we had a complete blast. After a one-hour safety class on knots and belaying, we were released onto the climbing floor to do our best. There were lean, muscular people going up the hard routes and making it look easy, but I quickly learned that even the "easy" routes were NOT a walk in the park.

I’ve always liked the “up” part of adventures—hiking, stairs, trees, whathaveyou—and less so the down part (down takes forever and is so hard on the shins), so indoor climbing was extra fun because you get totally wrapped up in how you’re going to get up and then you get to come down very quickly and easily before going right back up another route. I understand why real climbers tackle tall challenges—you get to keep going up. The walls at MetroRock are about 40-50 feet up, which didn’t look that tall from the ground but felt very high up once I got going. Also, who knew that climbing involved so many muscles? After two ascents, I could barely close my hands because my forearms were so tired. It’s hard! Two days later, I'm still stiff and sore but we're definitely going back.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Clean and clear

So far January has been a month of purging. I've brought more stuff to Goodwill since New Years than ever before. I'm the first to admit that I've been a bit manic about it. Every time I open a closet or a drawer or go downstairs to the basement, I have the urge to clear out the old and rearrange what's left. Last weekend we finally finished the basement repairs (woohoo!) and I went into a 2-day frenzy of cleaning and moving things around. I took two carloads of stuff to Goodwill and now the basement is spacious and organized--one half is a comfy guest room and the other half is Lunchboy's office. There are still a few logistical things to figure out (where to put the cat boxes?) but now being home feels much more peaceful.

Emotionally, it's been more of a struggle. My hormones are all over the place and some days I'm way up while others I'm way, way down. About 10 days ago, my best friend's mother, who is a really warm, intuitive person, did an angel card reading for me (sort of like tarot but with angels). I wasn't anticipating much but it ended up being pretty powerful and because I have a weird quirk where I'm uncomfortable crying in front of other people, I held in a lot of tears. Big mistake. All that emotion sat in me like a chest cold--seriously, that's exactly what it felt like, except it's easier to cough than it is to make yourself cry--until last night, when out of the blue it all came out in a scalding rush. Lunchboy just held me. There wasn't anything to say, except what lay at the root of it all: I'm afraid it will happen again. I'm working on letting that fear go. We're not trying again anytime soon but still. It's like a fog that no amount of meditation or positive thinking can pierce. I don't know what to do with it, except what I've been doing, which is just being and trying to fill my time with things that are fun and distracting.

I promise, I really am trying to let this go.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Watch the stars

I have been missing California lately, steadily, persistently. Then I read this article in NYT yesterday and was struck motionless. Sometimes a writer says something that hits a spot you didn't even know was tender. It's a piercing moment, reading words that articulate a feeling so much better than I ever could because how can you write them if you don't even know you're feeling them. So thank you, Laura Dave:

"Maybe this is what we get in life, a few great loves: loves that return us to ourselves when we need it most. And maybe some of those loves aren't people, but places, real and adopted homes, that fill us up with light and energy and hope at moments when we feel especially tired or lost. That is the beauty of love in all its forms. We don't know when or how it is going to save us."

I am blessed in love. And California is one of those places for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Plain Jane

This is clap your hands and bounce up and down in your office chair exciting. Four months of Jane Austen movies on PBS! Suddenly, winter isn’t looking so bleak anymore.

It is, however, Lunchboy’s worst nightmare (wait—his nightmare might be an Anne of Green Gables marathon, but let’s not get our hopes up). Last night I watched “Persuasion,” which I Tivoed on Sunday. The movie was 90 minutes long and Lunchboy spent the entire hour and a half swanning around the house with his arm draped over his forehead, pained to the point of melodrama that he couldn’t play Wii and had to tolerate a movie that *gasp* involved FEELINGS and EMOTIONS. Periodically he’d pause in the living room to watch and then ask what was going on. “Will you please just sit and watch?” I finally said. “It’s not that bad.” “Baby, he replied, “that might actually be more emasculating than being sent to CVS for maxi pads.”

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Where are the pasties, precious?

I am currently irritated because I wrote a whole blog post and then accidentally closed the Word window without saving it first. This is what I get for writing blog material when I’m not at home.

There is a pole dancing studio one floor up from my gym near work (the gym I recently quit as part of my resolution to take better care of and therefore be nicer to and stop beating up my body). The sign for the pole dancing studio used to be really small and nondescript, like it wanted to be hidden. Maybe the owners felt the need to be subtle or maybe their students didn’t want anyone to know where they were going? I’m guessing here, only because if I were taking pole dancing classes you can bet your ass I’d tell everyone I knew, though probably not anyone I worked with, and so subtle signage in the vicinity of work would be nice. But that’s neither here nor there. Today I walked up and there’s a new, bright pink sign for the pole dancing studio posted right in the middle of the glass door to the building. Carmen Electra would be proud. Just as I walked in, a flock of youngish women came flooding out. I was so curious—did they come from dance class? Did they think I was going to dance class? It adds a whole new level of excitement to going to the stupid gym, at least for the three weeks that are left in my membership.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's that little souvenir

I ran some errands on Boyleston and Newbury during lunch today (after eating a meal that was not cereal and loving every bite) because it is...wait for it...almost 70 degrees outside.


My heart goes out to the polar bears, who deserve to have all the seasonal pack ice they need, but by God if this is global warming I am welcoming it with open arms.

The stereo in The Gap was playing “Here’s Where The Story Ends,” a song that never fails to make me sing along, so anyone that was in hearing distance looked at me like I’d grown a second head, but I was so happy because of the weather that I didn’t care. It felt good just to be out in the world. I’m probably being a little overeffusive, but I’m taking to heart something that Lunchboy said last night, which was that it’s important to think positive. I can’t do it all the time but when I’m in a positive mood I’m making the most of it.

Which is one reason I had to share this:

To me, this is proof positive that Bill Belichick has exerted some bizarre, slouchy influence on the fashion world.

(thanks to ESPN)

Maybe I’ve just watched a few too many Patriots games, but seriously—throw in some knit earmuffs and you’re on the field with Tom Brady.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Yesterday it was so cold that, once I defrosted from the morning commute, I refused to go outside again. This decision had sharp implications come lunchtime because it meant venturing into the insanity that is the Hancock tower cafeteria, a place I avoid at all costs. The cafeteria is located in the basement and I am always keenly aware of the gigantic building mass looming over my head, and I can’t help wondering what would happen if it came crashing down. Also, the cafeteria is perpetually crowded, the food is mediocre at best (try frozen pre-prepared sandwiches that still have ice on them and are thus rendered inedible) and obscenely overpriced, and the food stations are usually out of everything I want to eat roughly five minutes after the place opens for a meal. I knew it was a gamble given the cold and I was right because every other person in the building decided to avoid the cold and hit the cafeteria for lunch and the place was a madhouse. The lines at the food stations snaked around the room and it was almost impossible to walk around. I felt particularly bad for the people in the sandwich line, which always moves at a snail’s pace. In the end, I fled without buying any food, opting to go back to my nice, calm office for a nutritionally well-rounded bowl of cereal. Next time I’m just going to suck it up and hit the Rebecca’s across the street.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy new year!

New year, new slate.

We aren’t big new years people and it was pretty cold here on Monday, so we stayed in and had a few people over for a lowkey evening. I wore my new favorite pair of flannel pajamas because by god it was cold and I wanted to be comfortable (and I’m lame). We drank pink fizzy stuff (pretty foul) and tried not to be too upset by the way that Dick Clark looked and sounded on TV. I give him props for insisting on coming back but found myself hoping that he’d make it through the broadcast without collapsing on camera because he didn’t look so good.

The trip to Florida was GREAT—exactly what we needed. We slept and relaxed and went to the beach every day. The sun was amazing and healing and wonderful. Usually I’m very ready to come back home after we go down there but this time I wasn’t so eager. Now that we’re here, though, it’s good to be home. The cats almost had a cow when we got back. They are so spoiled by Lunchboy working from home that they take our extended absence as a personal insult. Fuzzballs!

Somehow I got caught up on everything over the break. We polished off season 5 of The Shield on Netflix, got through a backlog of stuff on the DVR, saw 5 movies, and read a pile of books. We cleaned out our closets and dresser and gave a huge garbage bag full of stuff to Goodwill. I got back on my mat more consistently than I had in the previous three months. My favorite teacher from LA is doing a workshop in Boston next week and I’m both excited and a little scared because I’m not super strong at the moment. Can I make it through his class? I’ll guess I’ll see. Oh, and last week we finally used the day spa gift certificates that Carmen gave us as a wedding present and got a couples massage at this place in Brookline Village. One of the massage beds had water in it, like a water bed. It sloshed the entire time and made me giggle, but there were people getting colonics in the next room and that was not as funny. The massage was amazing, though, so thank you again!

One of my resolutions for 2008 was to start volunteering again and to find a creative outlet that doesn’t involve writing. I’m convinced that 90% of the weird anxious energy I dealt with last year had to do with the fact that I didn’t have a project or something of my own to focus on. So Monday I signed up for an orientation session with Boston Cares and also for a pottery class at a studio near our house. I took classes there about 10 years ago, the results of which are still lurking in corners at my friend’s houses. It felt nice to make things for other people—and just to MAKE something tangible. I’m excited to give it another shot. When spring comes, I want to get more involved in the beach cleanups around here again. It may not solve the problem of what people dump into the ocean but at least it feels like I can make a tiny difference in what stays in the water and on the beaches.

Anyhoo. I made a couple of other resolutions that I will keep to myself for now just because I’m not sure if I can live up to them, but it felt good to make a list of things to grow toward.