Archive for the ‘day to day’ Category

pen in hand

I may have visited this topic before, but I’d like to address it just the same.

I type faster than I write.  Most people, I imagine, who know how to type, do.  The editing process involved in word processing is convenient and makes things so much simpler than ever before.  And you must know how I love to edit.   The fact that computers can contain and maintain what could be reams of work in a small space is also pretty amazing and awesome.

That said, I love love love paper and pens.  I love all the different fun pads of paper that exist, the variety of journals to choose from, the innumerable pens of all colors and styles and ink.  Not to mention the satisfying feel of pen in hand, making your mark on the page - instantaneously glorious.  I guess it’s really a feel thing.

Books are the same; there’s nothing like the feel of a book in my hands.  It’s a great feeling to break the spine of a new paperback, showing how much you love it.   I do prefer paperbacks, but I do like hardcovers when they’re books I consider reference books.

I’m also a big gadget fan, so the convenience of the Kindle definitely intrigues me.   More and more of my fellow commuters on the T in the morning have them.   At first I thought the iPad looked ridiculous, like a giant iPhone.  But the more I explore it, the more I want one.  Go figure.

We were in Nashville last weekend for my dad’s memorial and Chris asked my mom if she knew where my love, nay obsession, for pens and paper came from.  She said the fact that she and dad were both intellectuals they both had a lot of pens and paper.  We went up in my dad’s office and I opened the top drawer of his desk revealing what must have been about 80 pens.  “Does this answer your question?”

vampires

Last night I watched Twilight.  I’d never seen it before, though I was familiar with the storyline and the characters.  Frankly, I wasn’t expecting it to be very good, which I think is the best place to start.  (Chris gets annoyed with me that I rarely get excited about things.   But if I get all worked up like he does there’s a strong possibility that I’ll come away disappointed, so I try to maintain an even keel.)

Well guess what?  I liked it.  A lot.  And was I surprised.  The entire look of the movie was sumptuous, the soundtrack was amazing and the feel of the whole thing was spooky, seductive and hypnotic.  Who knew?  I guess everyone but me.

I can’t imagine any girl who wouldn’t want to be Bella.  She’s experiencing the ultimate female teenage fantasy, getting the attention of the handsome, brooding boy who doesn’t talk to anyone outside his small group.  Finding out he’s a vampire?  Bonus.  Maybe that was just my own teenage fantasy.

Since I’m all growed up now, ha ha ha, my vampire obsession from youth has faded.  For that reason I’ve been both surprised with the recent (fairly) resurgence of interest in them as well as annoyed by it.  Annoyed in the selfish way of someone gets when they’re “over” something, a real been there, done that feeling, you know?  I read the Anne Rice vampire books in the 80s and had my “goth” phase.  (Fortunately with my pale complexion I never needed that white pancake makeup I hear post-goths refer to these days.)  The curmudgeon in me mentally shakes my fist at the new wave/goth/punk kids and yells, “You’re not inventing anything, you know!!!  We did it first!”

Still, the vampire thing remains interesting and is retold again and again.   I’ve not watched True Blood, but the friends of mine who follow it tell me it’s amazing.  Then there’s Vampire Diaries on TV and I’ve never seen that.  Let The Right One In is one of my favorite movies now.  It’s a stark and haunting story about a child vampire set in a bleak Scandinavian suburb.   I’ve been lent the book and plan to read it, too.

It’s cool how people retell and reimagine the myth, too.  In Twilight the vampires never sleep; how amazing would it be to not need sleep?  Think how much more you could get done!  And daylight just makes them appear to be gold flecked and shiny.  In Let the Right One In, the vampires sleep during the day and incinerate if sunlight touches them.  This is much more in the traditional vein.

One final thing, the house the vampire family has in the woods is my dream house.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Reminds me of my friend Doug Schatz’s parents house in high school in Nashville.  It was beautiful and cool and I coveted it like crazy.

some like it hot

Whatever happened to the little girl who loved the humid summer weather?  I used to really dig the heat; days at the lake swimming by the dock, running around in my shorts and swimsuit, and oh, those summer nights.

Sadly I grew up.   And because I did so much of my coming-of-age up here in New England I doubt I’ll ever change back.  It’s true.  My birth father, Johnny, wonders if I’m really his spawn because he likes it hot.  The hotter the better.  Hot and sunny, if I’m not mistaken.  Which is weird to me.  I never did worship the sun.

Anyhoo, Spring arrived Saturday (at approximately 1pm est) and Tony, knowing it was going to be beautiful weather, invited me for walkies.  YAY.  Tony (”Anthony”) being now a full-time working lawyer and me being a full-time loser we’ve had precious little time together.  This was going to be one big uninterrupted stretch of catch-up time.

Actually, we DID have drinks a few Friday nights ago downtown and it was a blast.   But there’s always more to talk about, iddin’t there?  Plus I missed he and Sean’s Oscar Party thanks to a bellyache (or was it bellyachin’…?) and I know it was a great time.  blurg.

He came all the way to Davis to meet me.  We walked through Somerville to Cambridge, got bubble teas sans the bubbles (sometimes they just get in my way).  Ambled down Mass Ave to skirt Harvard Square and continue to Central, through which we utilized a parallel back street to avoid the crazies.  Down along MIT, across the smoot bridge with a left onto Newbury Street.  That was until we realized how stupid it was to deal w/all the other pedestrians when we had no real shopping or dining intentions so we veered over to the Commonwealth Mall.  To Arlington Street, through the Garden, up Charles Street in Beacon Hill where we stopped to eat appetizers the size of entrees.  We got polenta w/tomatoes etc,… and it tasted like polenta pizza (yum!) and risotto with asparagus and mushrooms.  This was a lunch that ended up being my dinner.

Throughout it all we chatted and enjoyed the sun and clouds and people-watching.  Good times, I tells ya, good times.  Afterwards we took the red line at Charles going our opposite directions. I had a feeling I knew the length of walk we took since I’ve done pretty much the same walk before, but I gmap pedometer’ed it anyway and it was 6 miles.  I knew I wore the comfy sneakers for a reason.

smallish snow storm visiting greater boston today

Headline on boston.com.  That cracks me up.  Is smallish even a word?  Not according my Webster’s, but I think it’s only the 10th Edition.  Time to update.

It’s nice of that storm to pay us a visit, too.  I know how busy they can be, always on the move and waving a big wet hello to us terrestrials.  Hope it stays long enough for a cup of this interesting tea mom gave me called Eggnogg’n, “An Exceptional Winter Tea” by Bigelow.

Wow, I just looked it up on Bigelow’s website b/c I’d never heard of it before and mom only had the bags sans box.  Now this is adorable packaging.

Eggnogg’n

Those penguins are having a blast!

family

It’s true I’ve not been writing much on here or elsewhere.  No wonder I feel so groundless.  What’s going on with my family, in particular my dad, is a subject I’ve been avoiding.  I guess I’m figuring if I don’t tell people anything, they won’t ask me about anything and therefore I won’t have to talk about it.

Dad’s been in and out of the hospital since Dec. 16th for various reasons; complications from congestive heart failure, his defibrillator firing multiple times, fluid in/around his right lung compressing it and making it extremely difficult to breathe).  As I write he’s in.  At 77 years old he’s not ancient by any means, especially in this day and age, but my dad’s had health problems since he was a child.  This spate of hospital stays has been weighing on me and has taken up a lot of space in my mind.

Last Saturday I got a call from Michael, who’s been in Nashville with mom and dad for a while, saying dad would like us to come to his bedside.  “Us” being me and David, who lives in Kirkland, WA.  The previous Thursday dad had a procedure to attempt to remove the fluid around his lung, but it had filled back up and they weren’t sure about the cause.  I had asked on Thursday night if I should come down and he said let’s wait and see.  So when I got that call on Saturday (fresh my 2.5 hour ass-kicking at the gym) I ran home, went online, got tickets for a flight home 3 hours later and started packing.

I was in Nashville from Saturday night (1/24) through Wednesday morning and if I wasn’t with dad and the family at the hospital, I was on my way there or on my way from there to get something to eat.  My apologies to all the people I’d like to have contacted and seen, but dad was my priority and I couldn’t handle any distractions.

The Parthenon in Centennial Park, Nashville, TN

Michael and I got a short walk in Centennial Park where I took this shot.  I do love Tennessee clouds.

Mike in Centennial Park

I wasn’t sure how long I should book my ticket for because I really didn’t know what was to expect  or what was going to happen.

I stayed at the hospital the first two nights because dad wanted me nearby.  By the third night I needed some real sleep so, despite dad’s mild protestations and after promising to return early morning on Tuesday, I slept at home in the guest room with my niece Elizabeth in the other twin bed.  Getting to be around her was one of the highlights of the trip.

There were discussions between dad and his doctors about various surgeries to remove the liquid around his right lung.  My feeling was that unless they could figure out what was causing the liquid to form and put a stop to it, surgery would be too risky an option.  And in his weakened state, I wasn’t sure his body could handle something so aggressive and intrusive.  By late Monday morning it had become apparent that the fluid was the result of an infection and the decision had been made to operate on Tuesday.

We had the last of our family meetings so that dad could make all his wishes known and get his ducks in a row before his surgery.   I made plans to fly back around the same time as Dave and Elizabeth so there’d be only one trip to the airport on Wednesday.  Here are David and EClaire in the lovely atrium as we waited out dad’s operation.

David and Elizabeth When we said goodbye he was still coming out of anesthesia, but I saw him eyes flutter when I kissed his forehead and he nodded his head when I squeezed his hand and said I loved him.

Michael called me on Thursday night to let me know Dad had eaten some and it sounded promising.  He’s seriously underweight and needs to pack on the calories so he’ll have strength to get around when he goes home.  The doctors told us he’d need about ten days of recovery in the hospital.  I’m crossing my fingers that my next visit to Nashville will be my loosely-planned trip in late March.

This entry is essentially an outline sketch of what’s been going on and I just want to apologize for any glaring omissions in my account here.   Mom mostly kept to herself during this visit, but she seems to be holding it together quite well.  Her leg has healed up nicely and she’s moving around at a faster pace than I’d expected with only a slight bit of a limp here and there.  She’s really amazing.

i’m not sick

Chris swears I never get sick.  Last Wednesday night I could feel the tell-tale a-cold-is-coming scratchiness in my throat and said out loud that I was probably getting sick.  Thursday, Christmas Eve, and I was feeling weak, completely disinterested in food (which is a sure sign of illness to me, ha!) and my sore throat had gotten worse.  I was, however, capable of handling the day at work.  Unfortunately going to the Anzalone Seven Fishes Christmas Dinner was out.  I knew I couldn’t deal with exuberant Italians and didn’t want to go and be a downer.

Christmas Day I was still at 75%, in fact, the whole weekend that’s where I was, just hovering at the surface, not wanting to make things worse by actually doing anything or going anywhere.  But Saturday night I ventured out to hear some music (the lovely Jess Tardy and her band at Bull McCabe’s) at about 6:30 and participated in the sing-along she asked of the audience.  Then Chris and I went to see the new Coen Bros. movie, A Serious Man and went home.  BTW, don’t bother seeing that one.  That thing just went nowhere and we were disappointed as hell.  Just thankful our tickets were comped.  

It was when we got home I realized I was croaking out my half of our conversation.  This morning Chris called me Marge (Simpson) and because it takes so much effort to make words happen I’m sticking to nodding and hand gestures for communication.  Fortunately it’s just me and Lucy tonight and she’s amazing at charades.

On the whole, though, I feel alright.  No need for NyQuil or Sudafed or anything, just a sore throat and weakness.  Saturday morning I sadly couldn’t go to my favorite classes at the gym, but Chris has a point - I rarely get an illness that knocks me out.  Breaking my foot notwithstanding, of course, I haven’t been really sick since we began dating.  I’m just saying.

spinning plates

Even though I don’t go home for Thanksgiving and I’m not going home for Christmas, I’ve still got things going on.

I enjoyed a lovely, though brief, visit from Mel over Thanksgiving here in Boston.  We ate an amazing dinner at Tony and Sean’s, including the juiciest turkey ever.  Those things didn’t require much planning or organization on my part, but let’s still say one down, two to go.

What do I mean?  This month my band has a show - another full-band endeavor - and my boyfriend, Chris, has a birthday.  He’s turning 40.  He cannot, shall not, will not have a 40th birthday without a party.

Who do you think is taking care of organizing these things?  Who is arranging the party, calling Chris’ friends and family, purchasing silly decorations, reserving tables at the Burren, asking folks to help with some chocolate cupcakes?  Who is advertising our show by making and hanging posters, emailing fans (”fans”?) , learning some of the closing band’s tunes so they can sing harmony?  That’s right, c’est moi!

Ok, maybe it’s not so much.  Maybe I just wanted to talk about some nice things I got goin’ on.  True dat.

this is my day’s forecast?

Boston’s local free paper, The Metro, has horoscopes. On the occasion that I’m in the copy room at work and helping out with the crossword I see these horoscopes as they’re next to the crossword. I don’t put a lot of stock in the accuracy of astrology, but it amuses me endlessly and I’ve noticed that The Metro’s forecasts are usually pretty right on.

That said, here’s today’s Leo description:

Don’t ruin things for everyone else.

Is it just me, or does that read more like a parental admonishment than a horoscope. What the hell? Just what are you insinuating, Metro?

seasonal treats

I’m a yogurt eater and a yogurt lover.  Yeah, you heard me.  I love yogurt and always have.   (No thank you Jamie Lee Curtis and your commercials for Activia.  I grew up knowing about acidophilus thanks to my favorite southern milk, Purity Sweet Acidophilus, so mnah!)

I adore yogurt, but not the thick Greek style, the normal thin low-fat kind.  Definitely not non-fat, either.  Runny much?  And don’t be handing me no Yoplait or Columbo crap, they’re too sweet.  I want my corn syrup in my candy where I can see it and feel it, not otherwise healthy things, you get me?  The best brands I’ve found are Stonyfield Farm and Trader Joe’s.  Oh so good.  My favorite thing to do is take plain yogurt and mix it with preserves.

This time of the year is the best because it’s pumpkin butter season.  Mix up summadat with the plain yogurt and you got yourself a delicious and healthy pumpkin pie alternative.  Hellzyeah!  Trader Joe’s has a nice pumpkin butter, too.

Don’t get me started on Trader Joe’s.  Their organic preserves are to die for; delectable and seemingly indulgent.  Their kettle corn is perfect, their dried mango is heavenly and has become an addiction, and there’s always 3 buck chuck.  I’m almost always surprised by how little it all cost me when I get to the register, which is quite welcome.

I’m just sayin’ is all.

razor’s edge

Baby, this weather is what I live for, 50s and low 60s.  Perfect weather for my long walks.  And other things.

Last week I realized my foot is healed enough that I dusted off my red razor scooter and rode to work.  No, silly, not all six miles to work.   I rode to the T, folded it up on the subway, and unfolded and rode it from the station to work.

Aw YEAH, it rocked!  It was so amazing.  I forgot how fast it gets me here to there.  Downtown Crossing to work walking can take up to 3 songs on my headphones whereas with the scooter I hear one tune and boom, I’m there.

It must be said, too, how I love the disapproving looks I get from the straights, er, uh, I mean business people… like me.  HA!  Though it’s just a little kid’s razor scooter it makes me feel like a bad-ass riding it around.

It’s also funny that many of my friends and acquaintances didn’t know I rode a scooter.  They’ve seen me with it lately and ask incredulously whether I really ride it or not.  Uh, yeah, of COURSE I do! I reply.

In the past I’ve wondered if I’d like to make the commitment to buy a real solid ride from Xootr Scooter.  I had one with pneumatic tires that I accidentally left in the basement of our apartment in Newton years ago.  My intention with that scooter was to change the tires out; being air-filled, they were slooow and you know me, I like to go fastfastfast!!!  It was killing me.  But it’s been way too long now and I’d feel like an ass going back there to reclaim it.  Guess I’ll start again from scratch.

The problem for me with Xootr Scooters is they’re made for adults (mostly) so they’re larger and heavier and can be unwieldy to carry.  That said, I think I still want one.  Now I have to decide between the Roma and the Xootr Mg (in black).  They’re both pretty sweet.  Considering how much fun I have on the scooter now, I think it’s a wise little investment.