Monday, December 22, 2008

Rationing

While we were out shoveling, the neighbors across the way came out and asked us if we needed anything at the store. Considering we're still housebound, we asked for the essentials:

  • Sugar
  • Diet Coke
  • Skittles
  • M&Ms
  • Laundry Detergent
You know, just the essentials. We made sure to add that anything on the list could be forgotten except the Diet Coke. Gosh I love being home.

Snow place like home

Update: We had to shovel today. 6 inches snow, 1 inch ice, 8 more inches snow. (photos below)

Dear reader(s),

I'm not sure where your location is this time of the year, but let me tell you a little bit about mine. Snow. Portland, Oreg. rarely gets snow, but the heavens have decided to remain open for eight days and counting. The universe righted itself this year and let me fly home without major incident. I threaded the needle between Boston and Portland storms and arrived Tuesday evening.

Due to inclement conditions, I've left the house only twice in the last six days. The snow is really coming down! Yesterday, after eight inches of snow, it rained for awhile--creating ice an inch thick. Now it's snowing again with no dry day in the forecast until the 1st of the year.

I haven't grown bored or stir crazy... yet. This is when the true home-body in me is clearly evident. I'm happy being at home relaxing and wearing the same clothes. We're trying to ration the Diet Cokes with little success.

So far we're healthy, happy and enjoying the time to laze about and watch movies or play board games. Here we are, Saturday at 1pm, still in our pajamas and ratty hair playing Ticket to Ride. It's rather heavenly.
ticket to ride snow

Now we need the heavens to close for just a few minutes to get our final guests in on Tuesday and Friday.




Friday, December 19, 2008

An otherwise odd pairing

Why yes. That IS a bacon-topped cupcake. Your eyes are not deceiving you.

bacon cupcakes

Isn't everything better with salty meat?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Now fess up

Someone left me a voicemail Tuesday night while I was en route to Portland. My phone was off, ergo I (sadly) can't tell who left the VM. Hands down one of the best voicemails of the year -- 45 seconds of my birthday/favorite Christmas song, and some kind of hard to hear best travel wishes message.

Honestly, I have no idea who it came from--and I wish I did. Reveal yourself!

And for the rest of you, check out what's become into quite the birthday tradition...

video video
video



What's better than vampires?

PUPPET Vampires.

Ohhhh. Would that I could have jumped on this genius.



"You are dreamy, but not very strong." I too hear that a lot.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Stop Believin'

I'm on some kind of blogging sprint. The most wonderful time of the year has inspired me I guess. Or I had a really great December (remember how I love it so much?) and am wanting to brag about my beautiful friends. The answer is F) all of the above.

Last Saturday was the annual Christmas Gala. It was exactly two years ago this night that I had my first experience in B-Town; I was flown in for an interview, attended the dance and met 30 people whose names I remembered. (That may have been the only time those people ever spoke to me--even though we've been living in the same place for 700+ days)

I brushed off the oldie, but goodie As-Is $7 red dress (as seen with red hair at last year's birthday), spent more time on Linda's hair than my own (totally worth it!), and bundled up for an evening of dancing and gallivanting about with friends. The highlight of the sponsored dance was definitely the 1, 2 punch of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Don't Stop Believin'." It must be the apostraphes and dropping of the g's.

Christmas Gala

After the dance we had a somewhat impromptu (planned at noon that day) fondue and pumpkin pie post- gathering at our place. One of the greatest nights of the year was born from jovial attitudes, fantastic attire, and the variety of music stations courtesy of Comcast. Insert one or two people dancing in the middle of the room the entire night (including a special solo dance of 'We Didn't Start the Fire" that you never saw coming), and it was nearly 3AM before anyone noticed.

I do love December.

Celtics > Jazz

I can't debate the merits of one musical genre over the other, but when it comes to basketball, the Celtics played a more lively, up-tempo game while the Jazz looked discordant, out of harmony, and out of rhythm. Linda and I had such a blast--we even made it on the jumbotron! (Thanks green hats, you were easy to spot.) We celebrated the C's fifteenth win in a row with a late night Big Gulp and run to the Bell. The *perfect night for my last night in Boston.

And all that JAZZ

*Linda's was almost perfect, save the nachos she stepped in during the 4th quarter while having her photo taken. Sorry L.
**Sorry that photo of me is so big. Picasa collages (FTW!) are the greatest, but are sometimes a bit finicky about rotating out photos of manual sizes. I guess you'll have to deal with staring at my braids.

Euro shorts

Alaina is doing a MUCH better job of travel-(b)logging our European Cruise of Dreams. Things have been pretty wild for me, so I'll get to posting some more photos in the next few days; especially now that I'm in Portland and everyone is pretty much iced in for the next three days. Today on the plane I put a few totally random stories or memories from the trip to type.

• Every day we had an off-boat excursion (which let’s face it was every.day), Alaina and I would plot where on the bus we’d like to sit. After our first bus day in France, we quickly learned there are seats with better visibility, better door position, and all-around betterness. Each morning we’d spend several minutes discussing the pros and cons of seats x, y, and z and our first, second, and third choice for seats on the bus if rows with higher desirability were already occupied. Sounds incredibly geeky, but ask me who never got sick on the bus and who had the best views and photos of the Amalfi Coast. Luck comes to those who plan for it.

• Our first big discovery once we got onto the boat was the pizza bar. The best piece of combo was eaten while we were still docked in Barcelona. No big shock here, but room #9306 quickly became regular customers—fueled by the younger set, but readily accepted by the elder. It didn’t matter how many courses we ate at dinner, if someone (anyone) suggested stopping in “just to see what they had” (as the cafĂ© also doubled as a mini-sandwhich, rotating desserts, and hot chocolate stop), someone was always willing to accompany the seeker. If pieces were brought back to the room they were eaten; it didn’t matter what time of day. My favorite Deck 5 memory was Thanksgiving night where literally on the way back to our room from dinner we stopped and sat for more than an hour; eating, drinking, and generally making merry.

• Cruises are all-you-can-eat pretty much from the minute you arrive until the minute you depart (or for me, in Paris, where I was still eating rolls I swiped from the boat the last breakfast morning), including the full-coursed dinners. My Grandpa set the tone early on at our evening dinners. He ordered with abandon and made us all (or at least me) feel comfortable in ordering whatever I wanted—even if it was two appetizers, two entrees, or two desserts. (One night I may have had three appetizers. Ceaser Salad, a shrimp cocktail [not on the menu but special ordered by our waiter who knew I loved shrimp], and some kind of veal/beef something-or-other.) My Gramp ordered three of something more than once, and when later in the week he was only ordering two, our waiter took to asking him every night if he’d like soup with his starters as well. He always agreed, we always laughed, and then I taught him how to rank order his choices. I think some kind of soup took the ultimate prize but my memory might be a little hazy.

• Then, and now, even in hindsight, I can’t believe how tired we were on the cruise. We’d get up between 5:55 and 6:30 most mornings, get ready, stumble to breakfast, do our off-boat activities and get back to the boat to barely make our 6:30 dinnertime. (It’s no wonder we slept on every bus we got onto!) We’d usually get done with dinner after 8, and then meander up to our room. We’d puruse the collateral for the next day’s activities and then one by one start to die off. Someone was usually in bed sleeping before 9:30 even rolled around. Everyone once in awhile someone might venture off on their own to a hot tub or to play a few nickel slots ::cough-cough::, but I’m 100% serious when I say there was no nightlife in our room. I think the TV was powered on a handful of times (a feat considering the tenets of our room!) and even G&G were wishing we could sleep in later in the AM (wild if you know my grandparents and their general AM cheeriness.)

These were the first four I remembered--chances are others will up-level in the next few days, but it should be enough to chew on for a bit.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Small and simple

• Girls in tight pants and dressy boots at Celtics games

• People who try to pass on the escalator when there are stairs right next to the "moving stairs" (Porter Square T stop being the only exception)

• The GG hair mystery. Am I supposed to believe the ladies of said show do their OWN hair? Could they just allude to (even once!) the stylist who gives the perfect body and flounce to every female on the show save Jenny every. single. day?

• The inability to find people who want to attend Celtics games

• My eyes glow red with 98% of camera flashes

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No one loves December as much as I do

And now, a break from your regularly scheduled cruise recaps....

If I don't blog about the first week in December this very second, I'll never do it at all. I love December. Every. single. thing. about. it. It also helps that I have a holiday birthday -- I love that too. What else to love this December? The parents, Kendall, and Mallory came to visit. Hel-LO fun.

We did what we do best on vacation -- shop and eat. And then I took them to do what I love best to do. The girls thugged it up Celtics-style. My Dad was true to his homeland and rooted for the Blazers. Don't worry, they still lost.

Birthday


Just like that, the family was gone, and it's the 8th day of December. And all rejoiced with pumpkin pie, cheeseball, and the glory of seeing a sequined, argyle sweatshirt. (Lemme know if you want to borrow.) The white elephant gift exchange was a success; and a rousing rendition of "All I Want for Christmas" performed. Many, many thanks to all the emails, calls, texts, e-cards, f-book shout-outs, twitters, and in-person visits.

Now come over for some pie and cheeseball, there's more left than Linda or I could possibly consume.

PS -- get used to seeing these photo spreads. Picasa upgraded their collage spread, and photos just got oh so much easier to display. Try one, you'll get hooked.

Monday, December 08, 2008

VillFRaaaahNGE

I'm getting behind. Actually, can it be considered "behind" if you haven't really started? Nonetheless, VE VILL SAIL ON. (Approximately one of you readers will get this reference.)

We went to the French Riviera. And Monaco. They were lovely, the weather was lovely, the grandest casino in the world was lovely (even if we'd been better off leaving the slots alone; you have to play in Monte Carlo, right? Right? That's what I told Alaina. She was a good sport.).

This was one of the two colorful days on our trip...

Europe1

... little did we know the rain was coming...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Let me entertain you

On the third day of Christmas, Costco sold to me--three pumpkin pies, two movie tickets, and one system for surround sound.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Going to Europe was good for me

My body and brain are still 6 hours ahead. I go to bed at 11pm, dead to the world, and wake up naturally at 7am.

This morning before getting on the bus at 8:05 (nearly 90 minutes before usual), I made my bed, unpacked more stuff, put my laundry away, and cleaned the bathroom.

Is this what being an adult feels like?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Guess who's back, back again?

So I'm back. Holy trip, you guys--it was unreal. Ten days, ten major cities -- Zurich, Nice, Monaco, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Pompeii, Amalfi, Palermo, Barcelona, Paris. I'm home, I'm exhausted, and I'm completely fulfilled. The trip was everything I wanted it to be--everywhere we went was so beautiful and different. It's kind of overwhelming being home and trying to make sense of the last ten days; and the 600 photos that accompany the last week and a half.

Before I start the daily (or city) recap, I wanted to give a shout out to my fantastic traveling companions -- my Grandpa and Grandma Wood and my sister Alaina. We had the grandest time. We laughed and laughed and laughed. (And ate and ate and ate.) It is no doubt a trip that we'll talk about for years and years to come. How special it was to have so much time with G&G. Here's my tip for the day -- try to make that kind of thing happen, it's worth it.

While I try to get my act together, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what we taught G&G to do on the trip -- self portraiture.

A) Getting ready for the mandatory emergency boat drill B) Cold, wet, and dark at the Leaning Tower of Pisa C) Formal Night on the boat on Thanksgiving D) Wearing our new Jihadist scarves in Barcelona

Cold, dark, and wet at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Formal Night on ThanksgivingJihadist scarves in Barcelona

Friday, November 21, 2008

Come ye thankful people come

This shall serve as my last blog before December. Coming at you from Terminal E of Logan International Airport in Boston, typed to Blogger through Gmail. Sorry if the formatting is wonky, nothing I can do.

If today is Friday, 11/21, I'm still in Boston.
If today is Saturday, 11/22, I'm in Barcelona.
If today is Sunday, 11/23, I'm in Nice and Monte Carlo (Monacco).
If today is Monday, 11/24, I'm in Florence and Pisa.
If today is Tuesday, 11/25, I'm in Rome.
If today is Wednesday, 11/26, I'm in Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.
If today is Thursday, 11/27, I'm in Sicily. Happy Thanksgiving!
If today is Friday, 11/28, I'm at sea.
If today is Saturday, 11/29, I'm in Barcelona.
If today is Sunday, 11/30, I'm in Paris.
If today is Monday, 12/1, I'm still in Paris, but on my way home.
If today falls on a day after Tuesday, 12/2, I'm probably dead on my feet, have a repeat of the European bird flu, or am busy washing all the sheets and towels in my house in prep of the family's arrival on Thursday, 12/4.

Wow, that list is long. I'm going to be out of phone and computer touch longer than, well ever. I just bet yall will get along without me. I hope you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Catch up in December. XOXO.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who's in your fave 5?

In the comments of my last blog, Kendall said she'd forgive me for ruining Thanksgiving if I kept blogging. That was two days ago, so I hope she'll forgive me. I also hope my "ruining Thanksgiving" is linked to my taking my sister and G-parents abroad for the holiday and not for simply being alive. Guess we'll never know!

In her honor, my Top 5:

Five things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Wondering if our Sophomore English teacher moved furniture on the weekends (holy calves Mrs. George!)
2. Playing Retirement Home Christmas parties with that hit swing band The Hubcats
3. Three weeks from sixteen
4. Having my friends monopolized by my [older] sister
5. Wearing short hair and ill-fitting jeans

Five things on my to do list today:
1. Make poster for Celtics v. Pistons game during work
2. Eat with coworkers before Celtics v. Pistons game
3. Go to the Garden for the Celtics v. Pistons game
4. Clap my heart out at the Celtics v. Pistons game
5. Arrive home without getting murdered after the Celtics v. Pistons game

Five of my favorite snacks:
1. Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke [insert cherry], Diet Pepsi
2. Skittles, Hot Tamales, Good ‘n Plenties
3. Popcorn from our home popper
4. A good chocolate chip cookie or anything with cream cheese frosting
5. Chips and Salsa

Five jobs I have had:
1. Front desk reception at an obstetrician/gynecology office
2. Arts & Crafts counselor at a rich girl camp in Maine
3. Receptionist at the University Advisement Center/Academic Advisement Office @ BYU
4. Management Intern at Target
5. Professional Plate Spinner / Finesser of the Internet

Five things I would do with a million dollars:
1. Invest in dollar store stock. Seriously; 40 percent return last year
2. Buy a townhouse in Boston
3. Buy a househouse in Utah
4. Visit Utah more frequently
5. Buy floor seats for the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix this year and take my cousin Corey

Five things that made me laugh this week:
1. Some bold behavior on my part
2. The look on my boss’ cat’s face while he’s [the cat] dressed like a scarecrow
3. All of my sisters’ blogs
4. My mom complaining that losing weight is making her too cold
5. An email strand between two old friends from the past and one really embarrassing story

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

T Minus 2 Sleeps

I feel like blogging, fancy that. Never mind it's 12:37pm and there's a list a hand span long of things to do before I fly off to Barcelona on Friday. Oh well, it's past business hours everywhere, so most "To do's" can't be crossed off anyway. What did I get off my list tonight? Buy a camera (thanks Costco--your pizza was delish as well), clean the toilet, unpack a bin, print travel documents. Phew. What's still to do? Oye, quite a bit.

And now, I shall brain dump enough bullets as fast as I can get them before I give up on this blog and toss it, as so many others have gone that way in the past month...

  • Weather is still relatively warm here in Boston. Had a bit of an Indian Summer, and are still experiencing mid-50's here and there. Today I tested out my halfer-weight jacket for the cruise--it will work beautifully.
  • Speaking of the cruise, only three more sleeps before I get on a plane. Considering I'm about to take care of one of those sleeps (and most likely will before the majority of you read said bullet), it's sooner than any of us think. Friday evening I'll jump on a red eye to Barcelona.
  • I have a quick layover in Switzerland, which is funny because the Swiss Consulate is on my floor at work and my coworker Heather and I have a running joke about the Swiss Consulate -- so it's funny that I'm flying through Switzerland. It's also not surprising, since I'm flying Swiss Air.
  • My nails are two manicures long now. This is a big big deal. I think I blogged about this two blogs ago. Embarrassing? Meh. You have to take pride in the little things right? Getting them manicured and my eyebrows waxed is on the list before Friday. RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Actually, my eyebrows ran out of time about three weeks ago.
  • I saw High School Musical 3 again tonight. Kind of a funny story.
  • The agency I work at has been nominated for two pretty major website awards. The Awards show is Wednesday night -- our agency has two full tables, access to an open bar (holla!), and my +1 is the lovely Katie, who also happens to be one of our clients. Two birds, one stone.
  • I kind of wish yall could see me bopping along home from work, a little extra bounce in my step as I listen to either HSM, Chris Brown, or Hair Spray. I am in fact, a 13-year-old girl.
  • I bought a pretty great green houndstooth BCBG dress at Marshall's last week for a few dollars. Wore it to church with a mustard sweater and mustard shoes. I like kind of mismatchy colors.
  • Juan, in town from Texas, brought me the first six episodes of Friday Night Lights on DVD. Sigh. I watched them all in one night. Cried on Smash's last episode. What they did with that kid in three seasons was beautiful. And my heart belongs to Matt Saracen--it has since the first season. I'm LOVING what they're doing this year. In a rank order of the seasons, it definitely goes 1, 3, 2.
  • Not Your Average Joe's continues to be the greatest place in the world to eat. Excited to go there with the fam in a few short weeks.
  • I'm half tempted to take my Connect Four to Europe. I feel like it's gone on so many trips and been photo-ed in so many places, it might be a fun photo series. Kind of like the jumping photos in the United Kingdom...
Speaking of photo series, now is the time to speak up with ideas on what I should do in Spain, France, Monaco, Italy...

And Happy 608th Blog to me. Is now when I should be getting a life?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Snore to the bore

Dear cyber world,

My life is boring. Bore-bore-boring. As boring as the still white and undecorated walls in my bedroom more than two months after moving in. Where the greatest accomplishment of the weekend was organizing my shoes and finally watching a movie I've rented on three separate occasions.

Snore.
Bore.

Now. Lest you think I'm saying my life is bad, I squarely throw a penalty flag. Tisk tisk. Boring does not equal bad.

Bask with me in my boringness.
  • Sorted through my shoes. Did the summer/winter swap and matched pairs.
  • Opened my bills mail.
  • Piled the bills actually needing paid together. Will over charge Linda tomorrow.
  • Spent .43 cents on a stamp returning a sweepstakes ballot to American Express. Openly scoff if you will, but no cash payment for being my reader friend if my sweepstakes number is the predetermined winner. (Tithing on sweepstakes entries? Discuss.)
  • Started a pile of clothes/shoes for Kendall and Mallory to sort through when they come out. (21 days and counting.)
  • Ate a Target hot dog. Am half considering having my Christmas Card photo taken in the food court there.
  • Secured my place in the annals of history as the worst small talk champion for as long as both shall live and then on into the hereafter and eternity foreverness. Sigh.
  • Foreverness kind of looks like Governess. Which makes me think of the Sound of Music.
  • How great is that song "Forever" by Chris Brown? Oye. Gets me moving every time. But back to task:
  • Watched "The Island" cast reunion. Unless you know what this is or watched it yourself, you have no idea how boring or shameful this is.
  • Worried.
  • Exchanged countless texts and phone calls with Alaina about the cruise wardrobe. Not boring-boring, but she was the one out doing the fun shopping. I was the one in my pajamas at 4pm on a Saturday sorting shoes or eating a Target hot dog answering/asking questions about a cruise whose weather and ports I know slim to nothing about.
  • Went to a Relief Society Board Meeting. (Oh snap. Not as boring as it sounds actually, props to the taco salad/burrito reward for staying late!)
  • Even the Celtics v. Pistons game was a bore. C's blow-out. Good news, but still boring.
  • Fretted about the fact I haven't bought a camera to replace my stolen one from Halloween. Better get on that. Flight to Barcelona is in twelve days and counting.
  • Looked at my nails a million times. They're getting long. For a 25-year nail-biting veteran, a major feat.
  • Looked at my hair a million times. It's not as brown or as gray as I thought it was two days ago. Phew.
  • Tried to think up more boring bullets to write. Lame huh?
  • Now I'm just waiting to talk on the phone. Mom's finishing a movie. Julie's learning finance. Sheesh. These people with their stuff to do.
Don't worry people. Work starts up tomorrow and I'm aiming to get a pep in my step and hopefully some joy to my heart. But I've gotta get going now, Mom won't talk to me unless I can start the call with five nice things. Better grab a pen and find some creativity...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Monkeys trump Darwin

OH. MY. GOSH. Oh my gosh. Oh my GOSH.

I just ate the poisonous part of my banana.

I MIGHT DIE. Right? That's what they tell you growing up. Not to eat that gray bottom. But I DID. ON ACCIDENT. This is NOT A CRY FOR HELP.

I'M GOING TO DIE. 15 days before my European cruise. Booooooo.

Life is so unfair.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Exercising My Right

Today, a historic day. I exercised a right granted to me based on the freedom of the land in which I live. Granted to me as a citizen of the United States, I did what many fought for years without success to be able to do.

I canceled my gym membership.

Oh yeah, and I voted too.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

System Reboot

And now, a bad* poem:

Five hours
At a dinner with 2 friends, twin 7-year olds, and 2 soups
And the Bishop and his Tammy
Are more than enough
To reboot the system for the coming week.

It's not every day you get to have a tithing settlement/dating discussion in between dinner and dessert.

Or see the Bishop in his pajamas.

*bad constitutes poor construction, not inappropriate content. regardless. if you read the poem first without reading this disclaimer, you were probably hoping to read some edgy poem? for shame. disclaimers are given for a reason.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saturday is a Special Day

I lost my phone. For real this time. (I think.) For some reason, I think I can exist without a phone. This means texts, email, and the constant contact to friends, family, and the rest of the world. I'm feeling pretty good about my decision after the first 24 hours. I'm wondering if I can make it to my cruise three weeks from today. Chances are slim to none, right? I tried to get Julie to bet me $100 as a little incentive (and the jumpstart on a down payment for another phone). She doesn't think I'll make it six hours into Monday. Guess we'll both see. Anyone want to put up any kind of bet?

Saw High School Musical 3 tonight. I requested we attend a late showing to mitigate the number of potential children in the audience. Then, we chose a theater a bit off the beaten track. Outcome? Five other people in the theater. Score. The movie itself? Sigh. Why do I love HSM so much? It's cheesy and ridiculous, and a two-hour display of shiny shiny hair and a parade of impossible, improbable and idiotic. Who cares. Came home and bought a few songs to update my HSM playlist. That's right, this is how awesome I am.

Also missing with my phone? My camera, a skull ring, and a pack of green Now-n-Laters. I'm still wont to think they're hiding somewhere together.

Hey! It was Halloween this weekend. Guess what I was? A combo of two of my favorite loves -- goth, and High School Musical. What was my costume? Ummmm. A High School Musical Goth. Let's just assume that not every student at East High wanted to sing and dance.

So friends, I don't have a cell phone. Or a house phone. I have access to the internet and a work phone during the standard 8-5 10-7. I have to check my email like a normal person. I have no text messages for the unforeseeable future. It could be 15 days, it could be 2. Que ser a, ser a.

So, uh, who wants to put up some kind of incentive to go sans phone? Am I missing any grand "this isn't going to work Nat! moments" in not having a phone? And how many days do you think I'll actually make it? Lastly, how awesome/atrocious is it that I set the stage to see a kids' movie where the probability of kids actually attending would be slim to none? Don't worry kids, I'm not having a baby any time soon.

P.S. -- JULIE IS HERE!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I see your true colors

Three Saturdays ago, Maine.
Two Saturdays ago, DC.
Last Saturday, New Hampshire.

Linda arranged a Fall Festival, and off we went. Concord and the shot heard round the world, back woods drives, random yard and estate tag sales, prep school visits, fall fashion photo shoots, a corn maze, pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies, dinner at a diner, a pumpkin patch, a hay ride, and hours of viewing the best leaves in the country. Yes please.

One of these days I'll get back to actually writing, but until then, enjoy these photos.

collage

Monday, October 27, 2008

Boston is a Brotherhood

Yesterday, Mallory posted a video that made her tear up. Today is my turn.



Tomorrow night. Opening Game.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monumental

Last Saturday, I was in Maine. This Saturday, on the mall in Washington DC, doing the monument marathon walk with my gal Michele. Like last week, the weather couldn't have been ordered any better, nor the company. Gosh I had a great weekend.

Mich has lived in the Nation's Capital (Capitol? where are my D-Mark copywriting friends?) for more than a year and I'm surprised I haven't been down there yet. In a somewhat random and spontaneous moment, I bought a ticket, and off we went. And went. And went.

collage1

Though the photos are gorgeous--seriously, could the color be any better?--the highlight of the trip was definitely the giggling and chit-chat that kept us entertained the four days I was in town. On the heels of a really rough week at work, it was exactly what I needed to reboot my system. Yay.

Tonight, I'm kicking it in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Glamorous, no? No. Though the warm cookie at check-in went a long way. More thoughts and observations of D-town coming your way later. Later as in tomorrow, not later as in later tonight. I still have to iron my pants for tomorrow. I haven't ironed in years, wish me the best.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spontaneous

Last Saturday I woke up and felt like an adventure. Weather across New England broke unseasonably warm and I knew I had to get out and about. The still unpacked (from a 9/1 move) pins could hold another week, so Katie and I jumped in the car and headed north to Maine.

Why on earth there's a Costa Vida in Portland, Maine is beyond me. Last year we made the same trek to partake of the Western "Mexican" goodness. I'm a Costa Vida evangelist--in fact, I get random texts about once a month from friends all over the place telling me they're at a Costa and thinking about me. (Like I always say, it's nice to be predictable.)









The drive was gorgeous as the leaves were at their peak. Pictures wouldn't do the festival of fall justice--which is good, because there are not photos to be had. Also in Maine are outlet malls. Quite a few. And of course we maybe spent the rest of the afternoon in beautiful Freeport, ME with 65 degree weather; a picturesque town, a fabulous companion, and hours of doing whatever we felt like. +1 for being single. +1 for having a good solid job. +1 for living in the Eastern time zone.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You're on the ride, you might as well open your eyes.

Lately, I have these overwhelming feelings of joy. They’re scattered frequently through the monotonous and mundane tasks of everyday living and loving—and I’m consistently overcome with this brimming sense of rightness. On all fronts. All levels. I am inexcusably happy.

More than a handful of times I’ve thought about blogging whatever it is that’s piqued my endorphins for the day/moment/current thought process but don’t—due to timing issues, an unexpected flurry of work or personal activity, or the decision to keep the sense of flat-out elation in my heart for personal reflection only. My sharing today is for further-down-the-road proof to myself that I’m blessed beyond reason and have hope beyond realization.

How great was General Conference this go-round? Like last year’s Education Conference with Elder Holland, it’s in the hearts and on the lips of most I’ve spoken with in the last ten days. I’m not sure if it’s a generational thing, but my age bracket seems to have been supremely affected by the delivered words. For the first time in my life, I took notes through all four general sessions and have retained more of the words, phrases, and topics as I’ve reviewed my notes and basked in the feelings of the Spirit. That written representation is a formal reminder to me of what I learned, felt, and aspired to integrate into my life.

So it is with this post. I need a formal, written representation to act as a reminder of my moments of pure adulation, peace, contentment and joy so I can work to integrate them more permanently into my life. Like it or not (--not!--) the dark moments do and will come, but remembering the light does exist goes so far in pulling me back from the mental ledge. Let’s consider this a General Conference for One! I’m grateful for the knowledge that there’s so much more to life than getting mired down in the things that are both temporal and fleetingly momentary.

Gosh I’m blessed. And overcome to the point of tears.
Thanks for joining me on this ride called life.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy 4th

My work/blog balance is kind of wacky right now. (It's good to be employed. It's good to be employed. It's good to be employed.)

I just saw this cute (read: quick and simple) blog idea on my cousin Angie's blog. Go into the 4th folder and find the 4th photo. Post said photo. Done y done.

So here it/she is: the third of the Wms. sister clan. Kendall is as funny as she is gorgeous. This photo was taken right here in Boston last Thanksgiving--and is one of my all-time favorite photos. How can it not be, right?

And everyone jump up and down and cheer with me: my parents, Kendall, and Mallory are coming to visit in early December for my birthday. I'm the luckiest girl in the world!

But in all reality, I should wish you a Happy New Year right now while I have the chance. The next few weeks are trips to Washington DC, the glamorous Dayton, Ohio, Julie in town for Halloween, the Mediterranian Cruise of dreams, Paris, family in town, birthday, and I'm in Portland for the last two weeks of December. Time flies when you're having fun...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Scar's Song

I'd like to bear my testimony. I know my 72-hour kit is true. Not only did I eat most of the food* when I was housebound with a broken leg** (before my food was imported), but I was able to crack open my first aid kit this weekend. Being prepared is half the battle. (The other half is not using a knife as scissors.) I was all alone when I started bleeding all over the place, but Page 7 of the First Aid Manual, entitled "Bleeding", had many useful tips.

BE PREPARED.

*I grocery shopped in between sessions on Saturday for more food storage. How holy does that sound? A) Church on a Saturday. B) Buying food storage. A + B = Holy.

**I finally bit the bullet and paid my insurance bill in full just this morning. It only took calling seven times before I got an agent who could clearly explain to me how and what each charge was. The stars aligned against my favor--it's a horribly boring story. I'm sparing you. You're welcome.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Home Sweet

Howdy folks! Can you believe it's October already? I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that August is long gone. I feel like I lost two months of my life moving across town--one month in prep work, the other in unpack work. To a degree, I feel I've dropped off the map. Time to reinsert myself in both the cyber and brick-and-mortar world.

I don't know that I've adequately expressed how much I love my new place and situation. It's a win on pretty much every front. In fact, I'm hard pressed to find a con to my new arrangement! I could start the list, but your eyes would probably glaze over. So we'll keep it moving...

My parents love a lot of things, but three lucky motives combined in my favor a few weeks ago--their love of Boston, redecorating/handy-man work, and me. In just more than two days, my loving parents transformed a cold, white-walled, furniture-heavy apartment into a custom pillows-sewn, pictures-hung, shelves-leveled, curtained, planted, wall-papered wonderland. Not enough can be said about the grand change--I love it because it makes me feel like I'm at home; both in the literal sense, but also in my parent's home. It's a wonderful feeling. Come see it for yourself!

before--void of color, void of life

after--infused with color, infused with life

How lucky am I to have already received my Christmas gift too? Check out my gorgeous lamp below. That antique floor lamp was dismantled and oh-so-carefully packed into a box, checked on the airplane, and then lovingly reassembled in the 617. It's even more beautiful in person.
come lounge!

It's okay if you want to come live here. I do too.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

I am, in fact, NOT smarter than a fifth grader.

Today, in attempt to prove a point, I played a fun "game". I think you should do it as well; it's all kinds of geeky historical fun. Without the aid of a computer, or lifelines, write down as many US Presidents as you can in 10 minutes. I promise, it's not as easy as you think.

There are 43 men who've held the title of Commander and Chief. I was certain I'd only get half; but surpassed by goal with 24 of 43. 55.8 percent, thank you, thank you. Without a decent church history knowledge, I doubt I could have come up with 20.8 percent of my 55.8 percent.

After completing said self imposed task, I checked my list against a full-blown history of the Executive Branch's head masters. Duh. I missed some easy ones. (And I swear at least two or three that have to be a joke.) But I'll tell you what, those important guys are next to impossible to remember when you're trying to do so. I can't tell you what or who exactly because I don't want to give you any hints.

So... how many did you get? Did you accidentally add any prophets to the list? Any self-realizations as you played?

Get thee to a cupcakeary!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

remarkable unremarkableness

I try hard to do what people tell/ask me to. I've been tagged to list six unremarkable things about myself. A case could be made for the fact that this blog has served a 2.5 year mission (perhaps even to China!) doing exactly that. Regardless, I will hunt through the dark and mysterious portions of my brain to bring you the unremarkable, the unexplainable, and the untold.

1. I have three freckles/small moles on my chest that start just under my collarbone and form a perfect diagonal line in a south-westerly direction. I can tell how low my shirt is by which of the three freckles are showing. Consider it a self-created Cleavage Check.

2. I'm a nick-namer. And a good one at that. In fact, I'd consider my girls Alicia, Krista and I to be the best nicknamers around. A good nickname can have multiple meanings--take for instance "Teaspoon." This nickname belongs to a guy in one of the wards who I actually spooned on the T, and who looks like a teaspoon (think tall and skinny with a big head.) Oh snap. To some degree Boston suppressed the creative act because I had no one with whom to first share my initial namings. (For you people who can actually remember names the first go-round novices, nicknames are given and most likely to stick if they're assigned early on in the non-relationship.

3. Lest, wont, apt. I have a fascination with out-of-the-ordinary-but-common-enough-not-to-appear-pretentious (hopefully) words that end in "t".

4. I'm a minimalist when it comes to certain technologies. I can't stand to have more people in my phone than I actually call (losing your phone is the best way to condense). Knowing people are online (on any of my instant message contact lists) that I never chat with drives me crazy (deleted but not blocked!), and my brain will literally explode if I have more than the absolute bare-minimum windows and applications open when I'm on a computer. Sometimes I refuse to turn on my iTunes lest it take the room in my taskbar. Also: my taskbar is set to double height so I can see everything open should it get that intensive. I -X out of things all the time (including chats), even if I know I'll need/use the window in the very near future.

5. I might be the only person you ever know/meet/lurk who delights in logistical planning.

6. For all the writing I do, I'm quite terrible at word games.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Group Think

My after-work hours have been filled with shopping for home goods and supervising my interior decorators. Last night, we (and by "we", I mean those who know how to accurately wield tools. I watched.) hung frames and arranged flowers until midnight. (Pictures forthcoming!) Thanks for allowing me to post about non-personal things.

Today's awesomely random must see site is SideTaker.com. Arguing couples let the residents of the World Wide Web choose whose side of the relationship argument to take. Some of these crack me right up. If you have a few minutes to burn and have already completed your home or visiting teaching (don't want you to feel guilty come end of the month!), check out this site.

Question: what might the global, social, and economic ramifications of this site mean? Will couples therapists be out of work? Let me hear your scenarios.

Now back to your regularly scheduled decorating program.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ninja cat +1

So Julie and I have this long-running cats vs. dogs (vs. sometimes other random animals) debate. When one of us finds a cool article or story about the species we're supporting, an email is sent to the other with the link and a +1 count. (Me tricking Ju into dressing up like a cat for Halloween was +20 on the count.)

I am not a fan of YouTube clips on blogs. To be honest, I rarely watch embedded video (or any kind of video any where online. It's a quirk). However, this next 1:13 of the NINJA CAT is some pretty humorous viewing. I'm just sayin'. No audio required.



Cats +1

Sunday, September 21, 2008

just another weekend

Last year it was Vermont. This year, New Hampshire.

I went to the regional camp out and all I got were these beautiful photos.

Either location, New England is a gorgeous, gorgeous place to live.

Life is good.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Sending out an SOS

A couple nights ago, a few of us were meeting for a fine Mexican fiesta in Harvard Square. While waiting and waiting and waiting for a table for eight, our attention was drawn, or rather forced, to a woman screaming--and I mean screaming-- at a little boy in a doorway set back from the cobblestone street.

Here's the thing with cobblestone streets with no vehicular traffic; they echo. What was an assault to the ears became an assault to the heart--because it was impossible to ignore. No one deserves to be screamed at like that, in public, in private, and least of all, a child.

Several people, including our group, inched closer to the action--wanting to step in, but not quite sure how. After a minute or two of back and forth, I decided to simply call the police. I don't know my police codes (Linda, our social worker, was spouting them off) but surely this was a disturbance of the peace at the very least.

So I dial 911.

Ring.

Rinng.

Rinnng.

Rinnnng.

Rinnnnng.

That's right, five rings, no pickup. At this moment, the woman decided to stop verbally scarring her son (who was 9 or 10) and was on a collision course with our group. In a moment of panic, I hung up the phone.

Less than half a second later, I realized how stupid that was. You can't call and hang up on 911 -- it freaks them out, and they call you back wanting to know what your emergency is. (I would know from one Sunday afternoon at 7 years of age.) Oh wait, guess what. Emergency services didn't call back.

Five rings and no call back. All of the sudden I don't feel very safe in Cambridge, Mass. Until the other night, I knew you couldn't count on most people, but you could always count on 911. My eternal trust had been broken.

Now all of the sudden, I have a stake in this year's presidential race. Who's going to clean up the emergency services of our fine land? Who's going to restore my faith in a 2-ring minimum pick up and a guaranteed call back? (How else will they know I'm in danger when I'm locked in the trunk of a creeper's creep-mobile?) Who? Who can understand?

I turned on the news this morning and holy stars! the very issue was being discussed. Governor Palin's state doesn't even have emergent services so she clearly doesn't know how to fix the system; but never fear. Obama blinked his eyes this morning and solved the problem at hand. Analysts are trying to decide if this blink happened before or after the economy-fix blink and the health-care blink. But glory hallelujah, it's fixed before he's even in office.

Excuse me please, I'm going to call 911.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hope Floats

This sweet baby of ours was born two years ago today. A lifetime and two time zones ago, I still lived in the 801 and was able to meet my niece in the hospital for the first time.

It's not just Adrienne who's drastically changed in the last two years however. Though her physical and mental capacity have shown the greatest exponential growth, I'd wager that each of the immediate members of my family have had significant life changes in the last two years. (I can't speak for you readers, but I'll assume it's so as well.) Time has whipped right by, and I'm happy to say that I think we're all better people than we were two years ago. And that makes me happy.

Isn't that what life is about? I love that recognition. I love knowing that if today was rough, there's always the possibility tomorrow may be smoother. I'm tired today, but tomorrow there may be rest. Hope is a valuable thing.

May the next two years find each of us increased in wisdom and in strength as much as we're willing to hope it so.

Happy Birthday baby girl.

"there is no future, there is no past"

Not only lovers break your heart.
I'm surprised that I can still be surprised.
It is, however, time to move on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knock on Wood

Alternate post title: Been There, Done That
Alternate to the alternate post title: Chat of the Year

Mallory: I love you,and I sort of wish you would break some bone just so you could come and live with me. xoxo.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the remedy is the experience

It's with a general sigh of relief that I bid final adieu to this week. Many a word could be used to describe the grand events, the misunderstandings, the hope, the experience, the highlights, and the emotions both up and down. Suffice it to say, I survived.

In an attempt to give our new place some color, Linda and I added a few pieces today to our living areas--this includes a framed piece with the quote, "The journey is the reward." I find myself staring at it quite a bit -- ironic since it's in the kitchen (better to stare at it than in the fridge, right?) above the sink. I'm trying to live by its sage wisdom. Or avoid doing the dishes.

Besides, what's the trouble when you do sweet things on the weekends? I propose that anyone attending a clam bake with gorgeous weather and scenery with equal beauty should have no need to bellyache. Alas:


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Less is more

My blogging has been spotty lately. Why? Because Twitter is the new blog. You've got the length of a text mssg (144 characters) to update what you're doing; to "tweet." Instead of getting overwhelmed with the idea of composing an entire blog, you can text or web-browse your status, whereabouts, or general thoughts in a few short words. (I'll be honest, the text aspect is what sold me--it's so convenient!) I'm having a blast--and generally tweet 3-6 times per day. And because I'm trying to get back in the swing of full blogging (believe it or not, I actually miss it), consider the last week of tweets as my latest brain dump:
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Bug on table equals two free meals at the Texas. Almost worth it. about 2 hours ago

Bought the perfect ottoman. Can a living room be a bedroom? about 5 hours ago

alternating between feelings of compentency and anxiety. ohhhhhh the working world. about 8 hours ago

Hatching a plan. about 16 hours ago

i am. a human magnet. keep our electronics away from me. 04:58 PM September 10, 2008

have a hankering to listen to the HSM soundtrack. slightly embarrassed to be 25 and doing so... 11:24 AM September 10, 2008

back to the night worrying. asleep before 2? a thing of the past. 12:44 AM September 10, 2008

Dinner with a friend I don't usually get to go out with--the panacea for the day. 07:19 PM September 09, 2008

technology nightmare. 12:41 PM September 09, 2008

making progress on the unpacking. doing everything to avoid my room. it WILL however be tackled tomorrow. sigh .09:13 PM September 08, 2008

working on 28% of a monitor. true story, and it's a depressingly sad one. work just got rougher. 05:51 PM September 08, 2008

back in business. 10:31 AM September 08, 2008

Wondering how I got to the point where going to bed before midnight was "early". 11:54 PM September 07, 2008

Couldn't have asked for a better ending to the CES fireside. 10:07 PM September 07, 2008

Might love Sunday afternoons more than any other time of the week. 04:57 PM September 07, 2008

Understands now why people can get offended by the ill-advised things people say to them at church. 02:05 PM September 07, 2008

5 minutes late for church per the usej. 10:03 AM September 07, 2008

kind of annoyed that the neighbors are still outside on the balcony boozing and noisy after 2am. 02:17 AM September 07, 2008

WHY would i choose to come to Target on a Saturday? why? 01:43 PM September 06, 2008

Finally watching When Harry Met Sally. Now maybe I'll understand all the pop culture references for real--instead of the learned. 11:04 PM September 05, 2008
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So there you go. If you decide to give it a go (Twitter is for the blogger who wonders if he or she can keep it up), find me. Only three of my friends are frequent Twitterers (it's a super geek thing to do), so I'm always happy to have fellow friends on board. (Lurking is also SO much more acceptable on Twitter than in the blogosphere. I'm "followed" by 6x more strangers than people I know.)

But until then, do as Snow White said and Twitter while you work. (or play. or shop. or exercise. but not while you bike ride.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Don't sideswipe me bro

So I bike to work now, right? Give me a green star. Or leaner thighs. I'll take either one. The ride is only 1.7 miles, door-to-door--so don't get too excited and glorify my exercise/carbon credits/frugality too much.

The ride takes roughly 15 minutes both ways and the weather has been GORGEOUS. Just gorgeous. Fabulously wonderful, I have at least another 4-6 weeks of riding before the black ice will scare me more than the fear of getting sideswiped by a car, knocked off my bike, and run over by the car behind the sideswiper. (I have an active imagination, yes, but it's important to be prepared. {Live every day like it's totally your last!!!}

Some quick notes now that I'm a bike commuter:
  • No joke, my ride has a hill at the end of the ride BOTH DIRECTIONS. What's the likelihood of that? Slim to none? Slim to none looooooooves the Nat Attack.
  • But really, when did bike riding get hard? Not the actual act of staying upright (which was my initial concern) but the hardcore leg pumping. For the record, riding a beach cruiser on metro city streets is world's different than riding a recumbent at the gym. I'm just sayin'.
  • Bike helmets don't look good on ANYONE.
  • Riding a bike in a skirt has this totally throw-back feel. I can't describe it, but I feel like I'm in a movie.
  • I will never be a hard-core bike rider. I get passed by virtually everyone--but *I* don't love showing up at work sweaty, and I'm not really in any kind of hurry, so I'm trying to enjoy the ride instead of using it as a method to get from point A to point B. {Stop and smell the roses! Joy in the journey! Tomorrow you might get sideswiped by a car, knocked off your bike, and run over by the car behind the sideswiper.}
And lastly, watch out for bikes on the road! That hard-core, totally earth conscious, outdoorsy rider you see might actually only have started riding a bike last week after a 15-year hiatus and might LOOK all calm and casual, but is inside getting nervous about every light, stop sign, car, curb, pothole, construction worker, other bikes, buses, stoop sitters, garbage trucks, garbage cans, taxis, strollers, dogs, unsteady balance, getting to work sweaty, judging the gap between driving cars and parked cars, and praying that the parked car doesn't have someone about ready to throw open their door and get out.

Double lastly: Don't sideswipe me.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Office Space

I survived the move yall. Don't think I'll be doing that again soon. And by soon I mean until I leave Boston. I have many a picture of the most manual labor I've done since well... ever, but it's overwhelming to write that blog just yet. So until then, I leave you with a photo of the only organized space I own--my work desk.

And yes, it's very open air. This is why if you call me during work hours I keep my words to a minimum. And yes, it was dark outside when I took this photo--that's how much I've avoiding the 20'x8' wall-to-wall of stuff. Anybody want to hang out tonight?

Slightly related--I have discovered the worst bloody smell in the entire world. My visiting teacher came over to help me clean our disaster of a kitchen as the clock was winding down at the old place. Instead of simply allowing me to throw the entire door's worth of condiments straight into the trash, she suggested we empty them first so they wouldn't be so heavy in the trash. Against my better judgment, I agreed; and proceeded to squeeze, dump, or spoon the most vile cornucopia of smells into the sink. I'll spare you any more of the details, but warn you to never do that.

More to come! .... eventually.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Higher! Faster! Stronger!

If I were tagging all the entries I've made about M. Phelps, he'd probably have more posts than people I actually know (in the flesh not because of the flesh) and love. The post didn't originate with Phelpsy (it started brewing in Olympic Week #1 but was thrown aside due to time constraints). However, after last night's foray to the multiplex for a viewing of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2", the Great Lookalike of the XXIIV Olympiad just had to be created.

Kostos as Michael Phelps. Or Michael Phelps as Kostos. I'm not too sure which.



Erica as Nastia. Or Nastia as Erica.



Stephanie as Kerrie. Or Kerrie as Stephanie.


Ryan as Ryan (Lochte). Or Ryan as Ryan.


Those babies as these babies. Or these babies as those babies. Same diff.


Honorable mention that I really don't want to post but can't help it: This guy as this guy.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

If NatA! posted a photo with this blog, here it is!