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 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.






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:

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
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.

Definitely, maybe, probaby related posts:

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