Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Booklist for Gil

My dear friend Gil, manfriend of my dear friend Annie, recently lamented to me that because he doesn't know what reading would be enjoyable, he, by consequence, doesn't read. This is not the first time a guy has said this to me. My brother, my own flesh and blood, doesn't like to read. Some of the smartest guys I have ever met don't like to read. This makes me feel awful; I derive so much enjoyment from reading. I think being forced to read incredibly dry novels in high school, and especially novels of manners (Emma, Pride and Prejudice) may have shied lots of guys (and a fair share of girls) away from reading novels: reading = boredom. Fear not! SJT is here to provide a reading list of exciting, literary, guy-friendly novels for your reading pleasure!

Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer, Random House 1997 (333 pgs)
    The harrowing true story of the doomed May 1996 expedition to the summit of Mount Everest, this book is pure action adventure at its best. Krakauer weaves his story flawlessly in and out of time, moving from the present to the informative past back to the present before you've even realized he's switched gears. Krakauer's Into the Wild was also a moving, thrilling book, but with much more subtlety than Into Thin Air.  Thin Air achieves page-turner status without insulting your intelligence. Filled with tales of he-man strength and male egos,  it will leave you breathless and wondering if you would ever have the stones to embark on such an adventure.

The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien, Houghton Mifflin 1990
     A series of vignettes that surround one platoon's (specifically the fictitious Tim O'Brien's) experiences during the Vietnam Conflict. What seems a compilation of short stories morphs into a bleak, profound, honest account of war and what it does to people. Reads like a memoir, and ends up having a much deeper overarching message by the end: it isn't necessarily a story about the War, but more the story of what Tim, throughout his life, learns.

Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis, Simon and Schuster, 1985 (208 pgs)
     Less Than Zero was the first novel Ellis wrote, and it was published when he was only 21. It is a good introduction to Ellis and his sparse, bleak, and at times terrifying writing style. He depicts acts of depravity, love, fear, and hopelessness disturbingly without changing tones. What the reader gets is a sickening picture of the society in which we live. I encourage everyone to read this book and then graduate to others: The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho(if you can handle the gore!), and Lunar Park (but don't read this unless you've read the others). Ellis uses many of the same characters in all of his books--they make appearances and it's gratifying to recognize them, and sometimes their appearances in other novels helps you find out more about them.

Liar's Poker, Michael Lewis, Norton 1989 (309 pgs)
   Who doesn't love a great true story about the greed of Wall Street? Michael Lewis wrote from the height of the Reagan Eighties, when he was a young stockbroker for Salomon Brothers. His tale begins during his days at Princeton, when interviewing, he made the mistake of admitting that he wanted to work on Wall Street because he wanted to make money. He didn't land the job at Salomon Brothers until years later. This book is about Michael's discovery of his disappointment in the shallow world of investment banking. He recounts the stresses (and thrills) of the trading room floor, the deception and lies, the outrageous amounts of money that people made, and the emptiness he felt when he realized that his only dream simply was not what he wanted.

Other great guy reads:
Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger, Harper Perennial 1991
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, Norton 1996
The Way I Am, Eminem, Penguin 2009

Food for thought:
If Harry Potter was so magic, why didn't he fix his freaking eyes?

Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm afflicted. It's terrible. I know I can't be the only person, but perhaps I am somewhat sensitive to noticing my own faults. This disease, ladies and gentlemen, is foot-in-mouth syndrome. No, it's not that nasty thing where you get blisters and stuff in your mouth. It's the thing where you say something completely rude and somewhat condescending and you don't realize it until later.

My foot in mouth disorder runs rampant, from the gamut of accidently insulting where someone went to school, or talking too inexpertly about divorce, or making an offhanded comment about where someone is from, to sounding incredible stupid by not knowing something somehow everyone else knows. I don't mean to be so uncouth, and I often wonder why sometimes I don't think before I speak. I know that everyone occasionally sticks their foot in their mouth. But when I do it, I tend to think about it for hours afterward.

This is how a foot-in-mouth situation might unravel for me.
Making conversation with some old acquaintences from high school, I find out one of the girls is getting her MBA. In a moment in which my brain had temporary made like Elvis and left the building, I asked "MBA in what?" They looked at me with incredulity. "Oh, that was a really dumb question, wasn't it?" They chuckled quietly at my expence. I simply didn't know if there were different MBAs you could get...how was I supposed to know that there was only one MBA?

Anyway, so I can't stop thinking about the stupid thing I said. Then my mind rambles on, and I start feeling really bad about myself. These girls must think I'm an idiot! Here I am, supposed to be smart, but really I'm dumb and talentless, TALENTLESS. Yeah, I think I'm such a big deal, moving to New York, but really I'm just a FAILURE. A big fat one!

And this will go on for a bit. It's worse when I think I've insulted someone's intelligence or life or whatever, because then my self doubt spirals further. I'm just not a nice person. How is it I have any friends, when I can be so mean like that? Why am I so STUPID???

Maybe I just need to pay more attention to the things I say. Other people must stick their feet in their mouths too, right? Am I the only one who feels really bad when it happens?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Things I wish I had

I love my apartment in New York. I really do. But being at home has its perks, and I've gone through them before (shower pressure, doggie, big couches with fluffy pillows, unlimited snack cabinet, etc). The one perk I've never talked about is the study. It's a small room my dad intended for his own library and personal home work space, but, being the loving, sharing family we are, the kids and wife took it over long ago for our various internet endeavors and snuggled up alone with a book in a big green chair. I could call the study a computer room, but that sounds so white-walled and brightly lit. No, our study has warm tan walls and dark wooden bookshelves, framed portraits, and best of all, a big mahogany desk my dad recieved as a 40th birthday gift. If there's ONE thing I really wish I had at my apartment in New York, it would be my very own desk, preferrably near a window, a calendar hanging over it, pens and pencils in the drawer, and a stack of books-to-be-read under a lamp.

Doesn't that seem so studious and fun? I know what you're thinking: "I have many leather bound books, and my apartment smells of rich mahogany" blah blah blah. I know! It's a silly want! But a girl can dream, right? I confess: I buy most of my books because someday I would like to have my very own study, with fiction and poetry anthologies, all of my favorite books right there for a cozy re-read, and a desk where I can write to my heart's content. I wouldn't even mind if my job stayed decidedly more Office Space than Devil Wears Prada, just as long as I could have a space in which to be creative at home.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The obligatory Thanksgiving wrap-up

Best holiday ever. Here's why:

Hometown football rivalries, best spent with Mom, Dad & brother in the stands, watching littlest (not-so-little) brother in the marching band, and my adorable grown-up cousin on the football field.

Listening to the noontime 100.7 WZLX airing of Alice's Restaurant. You can get anything you want...at Alice's restaurant...

My dad's superstrong coffee (Starbuck's Columbian, enough ground coffee for 8 people, but only enough water for 5) with a little Bailey's Creamer (is it me, or is the WORLD SHAKING???)

Thanksgiving dinner with only 26 close family members. We have SO MUCH to be thankful for! Did I happen to mention my supercute cousin Lindsay has a supercute and funny blog? Read it!

Sibling traditions: a late movie at the theaters (this year it was Megamind), an even later basement showing of Titanic, my brother cooking us hotdogs for a 2 AM snack (even though my sister opted for clementines instead...freak), and watching my brothers try to stay awake for 4 AM shopping (don't worry...I passed this year).

My snuggly dog who likes to take up half of my childhood twin-sized bed.

Sharing fun family memories. When we were kids and were doing something stupid, my dad always said to us: "What are you doing? What good can come from that?! NOTHING good can come from that!" Or, when he was really mad (my parents weren't the swearing type) he would say "Boo! BOO HISS!" like we were dogs or something. But hey, it worked. Just saying.

Getting to read the Boston Globe, my favorite newspaper.

I hope everyone else is having a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!

ps...I'm already sick of Christmas music. No, I couldn't end this post on a positive note. Sue me.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I must be the only person in America.

I hate the move Elf. I know, I know, you're all collectively GASPING. When I tell people I don't like Elf, they react like I've just said I hate puppies. But, you know what? Sorry I'm not sorry. Elf may have it's moments ("does syrup have sugar in it? then yes."), but I think that it's an all around creep-tastic film that Americans simply latched onto because it's quotable.

The real reasons I don't like Elf are as follows:
1. Will Ferrell has been in too many other movies where sexual innuendo and lewd jokes (which I do happen to find pee-your-pants on the laughability scale) have been the main attraction. It's hard to see him outside of that context. I can't help but imagine Ron Burgundy in that silly yellow leggings costume screaming "Veronica Corningstone and I had SEX and now we are in LOOOVE!" which is such a disturbing mix of movie characters. Elf's Buddy has this stupidity that leads to weird sexual jokes which he doesn't even know are weird. I know that Buddy is supposed to come off as sweet and endearing...I just find him kind of gross.

2. The scene where Buddy sings to his 'dad', who so obviously conceived Buddy in a brief love affair that shames him to remember, is PAINFULLY awkward. Which is confusing to me. Most of the awkwardness in Will Ferrell movies his pulled off in a funny manner, but this movie, and this scene in particular, just makes me feel uncomfortable.

3. Throughout the movie, Buddy's severe naivete borders on handicap: take him out of The North Pole context, he may have a touch of Asbergers. Or Tourette's. And that's not really a laughing matter.

4. Buddy's relationship with Zooey Dechanel's character is also strange. Here, I thought we were dealing with essentially a child's mind in a man's body, but then enter this blond elfin sexpot who works at the local mall who Buddy listens to in the shower, and all of the sudden we have a voyeur who "doesn't know it's wrong." And at the end they're in love, and if you have seen a lot of Will Ferrell movies, you can't help but feel weird about "Buddy" having "relations" with what's-her-face. And your mind is all, wait...isn't he like, a kid? The whole move has overtones of the Robin Williams movie Jack, about the boy who ages too fast and looks like a 40 year old at 10. Perhaps I would feel differently without this whole relationship in the movie's context if it wasn't there.

So hate me all you want. What I see in Elf isn't funny or endearing, but more of a very weird Jack meets Forrest Gump meets The Santa Clause. On the other hand, I love Jim Carrey's The Grinch. Maybe I should start seeing a therapist. I have some Christmas feelings I think I need to work through.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

start your week with a list

1. spoons are by far the best utensil. 
All the best foods are eaten with a spoon:
cookie dough ice cream, macaroni and cheese, tomato soup, honey bunches of oats.
Anyway, spoons are awesome because you can eat like a glutton. Scoop it in!

2. the boyfriend girl.
You know the ones I'm talking about: they have a horrible breakup
and then six months later they have a new guy
wrapped around their index finger. Which is great and all,
but I can't help but wonder: how does that happen?

3. I really wish there weren't bedbugs in NYC.
I would love to go see a movie.
Instead, I'm overloading on movie previews from youtube:
black swan
never let me go

4. Currently girl crushing on Natalie Portman.
How many people can you think of that would look this stunning
even when bald?

Friday, November 19, 2010


Right now I am:
Listening to Vampire Weekend radio on pandora

Baking mini pumpkin pies (so cute, like really) for (wait for it...) the church bake sale tomorrow

Eagerly anticipating the arrival of my darling redheaded Marina!


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Black Friday

Next week is the best holiday of the year. No gift pressure, no hype, no songs that grate on your nerves, just family and food and football. The next day is the worst holiday of the year: Black Friday. We all know how I feel about shopping, but once upon a time, I was not this way. Once upon a time, I didn't mind crowds and driving around for a place to park.

So on Thanksgiving night, 2007, my hometown friends Annie, Lauren, Melissa and I thought it would be a great idea to take a little ride to the outlets a couple towns over from ours. The stores opened for special Black Friday sales at midnight, and we weren't 21 yet and we were home for break. We piled into my mother's Trail Blazer and pumped some tunes and joked and laughed and were going to have the best time!

But best time, we did not. We opted not to take the highway to avoid traffic. We were locals. We knew the back roads. Unfortunately, everyone else headed to Wrentham that night was also a local. Because that was the point. We rounded a corner on route 140 (a residential street) and we hit a SOLID wall of traffic. No big. It'll take a little while...all part of the adventure, right? We amused ourselves by taking pictures.
  Anyway, it took us 2 hours to finally get to the outlets. It was TORTURE. We were exhausted by the time we got there, but come HELL OR HIGH WATER, we were shopping. The crowds were nothing short of insanity. I'm talking lines out the door insanity. You would have thought they were giving stuff away. Finally, we threw in the towel and walked back to the car. I could almost feel my warm bed, the sheets tucked up around my chin, the pillow cradling my aching head.

But no. The traffic going out was worse than the traffic going in. I'm talking get-out-of-New Orleans-Katrina-is-coming traffic. Everyone's-leaving-New York-because-of-an-asteroid traffic. Epic, epic traffic.

There were cars trying to drive over other cars and over the grass and through the woods to get to the highway. Never have I ever wanted to see open road more than I did during those few hours. I was like GET ME SOME FOOD WE'RE GOING TO STARVE AND DIE IN THIS PARKING LOT. I was like I'M STARTING TO PANIC WE'RE NEVER GETTING OUT OF HERE!!! I was like CAN'T YOU PEOPLE START MOVING?? KATRINA AND THE ASTEROID ARE GOING TO KILL US ALL DON'T YOU SEE??????

We tried to keep our spirits up. Lauren, Annie and I kept playing the "Dear AIM" game, which makes fun of Melissa's instant messenger away messages that liked to voice her every complaint, but she was having none of that. And when Missa ain't happy, nobody ain't happy. But then again, if I were her, I would have punched us in the face.

dear AIM, today i got stuck in the WORST traffic jam. wrentham sucks. and then my car started acting funny. what a TERRIBLE DAY. UGH.

I got home at 5 AM.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

mormon blogging (No, I'm not hating)

As a part of the "bloggosphere" for the past year, I have noticed a few trends. 80 percent of people who blog fall into three categories: college girls "obsessed" with anything preppy, newly-wed-surprise-mommy-housewives (this breed can be a combination of any two), and the Mormons (though this can also be, and oftentimes is, combined with newlywed housewife moms).

Anyway, I knew some Mormon kids growing up, but never really noticed anything about them except they were usually blond and had lots of siblings. But when I started blogging and, by default, blog stalking (I'm telling you, I get sucked in and before you know it I'm reading posts from February 2006), I found that a disproportionate blogs were by Mormons, up on a soapbox, spreading the good news one "how we met at 19 and were married by 20" story at a time.  This is what I've learned about the Mormon faith through blogging:

They all have really nice cameras and take really good pictures of their really blond, chubby, cute kids and their ridiculously good looking and young spouses. They usually didn't go to college (unless it was BYU, which really just seems to be one gigantic singles mixer where everyone in attendance is 'serious about marriage') but opted to go on "mission" instead. As a result, they tend to spell things wrong, use the wrong tenses and punctuations, inappropriately use possessives (o.k., fine, there are a few really good blogs that are also by Mormons. But Courtney Kendrick is a professional writer. Just saying). They've probably vacationed to Hawaii or Southern California, and most likely live in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, or California. They LOVE Mitt Romney. They talk about religion and the "heavenly father" way too much. Maybe it's just me (and I'm pretty religious), but I am just uncomfortable blogging about religion. It's way too personal, but that's a story for another blog.

But here's the kicker, and why I think I'm so fascinated: all the Mormons are so happy. Happy much in the same, creepy way the Duggar family is happy (you know what I mean, happiness that you suspect might not be real happiness, but paraded around and shoved in everyone's faces until you either think something must be terribly wrong with you, or terribly wrong with them, but either way, terribly wrong). A happiness that seems borderline naive. Well, at least, it seems naive to me, being a 23 year old progressive/liberal/New England native/New York transplant. Yeah, I just classified myself as that. I basically make a living out of having an existential crisis every other day and getting drunk weekly and worrying and bellyaching about the state of the world, the state of the dating scene, and the state of things to come hourly daily. And I know I'm not the only one (or am I?).

But, as much as I poke fun, Mormons seem to be happy in all the ways many of us, in the midst of our loneliest walks home from the train, buffering the world with our headphones, wish we could be. They are in stable, loving, committed relationships, they get to have a mess of kids running around, they don't seem to be too preoccupied with corporate America, but rather living quaint lives in the foothills of Utah where they go to Church a whole bunch and sit around and read Bible verses. They use the word "sweet" a lot, and a lot of exclamation points, too. They don't seem to be worried about the state of the world or the state of the dating scene (because before you even have to wonder about a dating scene, poof! you're married in less time than most people will introduce a significant other to their parents). They don't seem to have existential crises...ever. They know that, somehow, every living thing has a purpose.

I'm not hating. I seriously am not. Perhaps I'm a little envious because from the other side looking into these warm, beautiful blogs about love and family and home, the cubicle city world seems harsh. But honestly, I should really stop stalking, because the fact that girls my age are married and have babies is just plain strange to me. But I guess if you can't drink and can't have sex, the next best thing would be to get married, right? Still can't drink, but at least you can have sex. But seriously, girls, have fun being sick of your husband by 28 and have a kid in high school by 35. Maybe I'm not so envious after all.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I love being right.

In regards to this post, read this article. I'M SO RIGHT. I WIN.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Meet Cute

There’s a moment in a movie (especially romantic comedies) where the main love interests first encounter one another that screenwriters like to call the “meet cute.” Now, it would be like my cynical self to scoff at these (and most of the time I do), but being of the female variety, even while scoffing “Oh yeah right, and now POOF, they’re just IN LOVE,” a little part of my grinchy heart melts.

I've been watching lots of reruns of How I Met your Mother, mostly because my friends from college recommended it (I mean, Marshall is the TV incarnation of my friend Greg), and because it's in syndication (7&7:30 every night on mytv). It's a silly show, but there’s a terribly romantic overarching theme: everything in Ted’s life had to be just so in order for him to meet the woman that would become his wife; the whole show is based on a meet cute the audience simply hasn’t seen yet.

In a strange way, this concept gives me a lot of (wait for it…) hope, and trust in whatever larger powers there are that everything (in terms of jobs, relationships, etc) will work out how it’s supposed to, and that perhaps I’ll look back in fifteen or twenty years and be able to pinpoint the exact moment where my fate aligned.

This all sounds awfully metaphysical, doesn’t it? Let me put it in some plain, real terms for everyone. My parents met on the street in Boston in 1983. What you say? ON THE STREET? Yes sir, and I mean it. That was the exact moment in which the rest of their lives, the houses they’ve owned, the children they’ve raised, the happiness they’ve had, was all poised to happen. What things had to go right for that encounter to happen? A million. Like, so many.
            Dad graduated from college in 1977. That fall he went on to grad school in Washington D.C., which he hated. He stayed for a year and a half working at a rent-a-car agency. His apartment had cockroaches. He wanted to tell his landlord that if the apartment didn’t get fumigated, he wasn’t going to pay rent, but had no idea whether or not that was his legal right as a tenant. Having had enough, and never wanting to feel ignorant in the ways of the law again, Dad enrolled in law school, and moved back to Massachusetts to live with his (wait for it…) parents.
            Mom, meanwhile was an RA at her college in New Hampshire, going to Dartmouth on weekends and tanning outside her dorm on spring afternoons. She graduated in the spring of 83 and took the first job she was offered: an office assistant at a company that ran the Bar Exam in Boston, the very same place where my dad was studying for his Bar Exam.
            Now you say, “STEPH YOU LIED! You said they met on the street!” But I’ll quote Ted Mosby: Story’s not over. They only ever exchanged niceties.
            Dad passed the bar exam and moved on, beginning his law career. Mom changed jobs. Six months passed.
            Then one day, Dad was on his way to court. He saw a blonde girl walking along the opposite sidewalk, thought she looked familiar. Pretty. Beautiful. He crossed the street. He said hello. She looked so great, he asked her out for lunch.
            She said no. BAM! Her boss wouldn’t let her off for lunch. He took her phone number, said maybe he’d call in a few months, things were crazy at work.
            Yeah, sure, she thought.
            But he called.
            And she said yes.
            And then they got married and had four kids.
            But think about it. What if my dad had stuck it out in Washington? Or if he’d decided to go to law school a year earlier, or right after college? What if my mom had gone home to Syracuse instead of taking a crappy job just so she could live in Boston? What if she’d called in sick to work? What if he’d been running late, or taken a different route to the courthouse? Think about it guys. You never know what dead-end job or crappy apartment or miserable class will lead you to the rest of your life.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Anniversary

To my blog.
We met a year ago. Or, safe to say, I created you a year ago when I was having a bad night (of getting shut out of parties, etc). But, stupid is as stupid does I guess. Without you, bloggy, I would have so much more time on my hands. Just remember, sweet blog-o-mine, without me, you'd be nothing.
Love, me.

Anywhoo, I've been home for the weekend. It's been super. I had forgotten what a large bedroom my sister and I shared. And our closet! To die for. Taking a shower was like: Hey what's up water pressure? Haven't seen much of you lately! My soapy hair missed you! My dog has been so happy he doesn't know what to do with himself. Dogs are funny. They forget you exist when you aren't around; they're just as content as they were before. But when you return, they think OH MAN! YOU! I REMEMBER!!! YOU'RE THE COOLEST! I MISSED SNUGGLING WITH YOU! FEED ME SOME OF YOUR PIZZA CRUST!!!!! Friday night my sister, brothers, parents and I all cozied up in the family room for some dinner and Seinfeld. I'd missed them.

What's cool about the city (and I can't wait to get back for)? Being outside. All the time. And my friends, obviously.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Coffee culture

I am 23 years old, and I am not a coffee drinker. Or, safe to say, I never was a coffee drinker. Throughout my teenage and college years, I was vehemently opposed to the dark, hot libation; the beverage my parents, siblings, friends, teachers were so thoroughly dependent on. My aunt gave me a gorgeous coffee maker for my graduation from college, and I had to embarrassingly inform her that I never (ever) drank coffee. I was being honest.
Then I started working 9-5.

I would get to my desk yawning, stifle yawns while my boss showed me how to do things, and fight to stay awake, my eyes crossing or, in the worst moments, rolling back in my head.

I needed something. Redbull, which I was known to drink 16 ounces of to get through my waitressing shifts, was not going to cut it in corporate America. In the break room, one cloudy Tuesday, I broke. I poured a cup of coffee. I added Sweet n Low and a little milk (just how my mom drinks it). I brought it back to my desk. I stared. I thought of my father, who can drink an entire pot in one sitting. My mother, who brings her milky coffee in the car in a straight up mug, not even a travel carafe, the brown liquid threatening to spill with every turn and stoplight. I sipped. It was surprisingly sweet. It was warm. I sipped again, and again. I began to feel better, my eyes more open, my synapses firing,  the headache that usually pressed from behind my eyes subsided.

What is this? The drink of the gods? No wonder experts say adults only need 7 hours of sleep a night. With enough coffee, no one would ever need sleep.

Friday, November 5, 2010

New York minutes: the day the city hated me

 Ok. So this morning I woke up woefully late. Like, I woke up after I was already supposed to be at work. FML. I had plans this morning, BIG PLANS. I was supposed to shower (my hair needs some cleansing, my legs need some shaving, etc). I was supposed to pack (for my much anticipated weekend at home). I was supposed to eat breakfast (scrambled eggs, yummm). I was supposed to leave my apartment at 8 AM so I could have a leisurely commute full of fun songs on my new commute playlist (perfect for bopping along on crowded sidewalks). BUT NO. I had to sleep through the four (yes, four) alarms I set for myself. I woke up at ten past nine, and shot out of bed, my heart palpitating and my pits sweating. The rest of my day commenced in similar fashion.

  1. Not one M-79 (crosstown) bus passed my way during my speedwalk from York to 5th. Not one.
  2. 5th was a complete parking lot. Got in a cab, took twenty minutes and 10 dollars to go 12 blocks.
  3. Got out of the cab, convinced I could walk faster. I couldn’t. Bye-bye nice taxi man who was driving me. Have a nice trip down 5th without me.
  4. Tried to get on M-4 bus. Bus driver shook his head at me and shrugged his shoulders when he closed the doors in my face. I nearly gave him the finger.
  5. Experience the general world of suck Midtown is...ALL THE TIME. Usually I don’t really mind, but today I was running late, hitting every red light in all of Manhattan, and was seriously pissed off. People speaking French and walking around in clouds of cigarette smoke was not making me feel any happier.

Everything was pretty peaceful for the duration of the work day. I texted with my sister a little bit about our trip, told her my plight of having to go all the way back to the UES for my clothes for the weekend. Luckily, I told her we could make a quick pasta and sauce dinner. Peachy keenness until about 4:45 when I got this text message from my sister: “Just got a call from Amtrak. Our train is already running late. :(


This train wasn’t slated to leave until 7:30, and it was supposed to arrive in Providence at 11:20. But if this train was pushed back, that put our departure time between 9 and 10 PM at best, which doesn’t put us home until close to 2 AM. But like I said, this is best-case scenario for delayed regional trains, because when your train is delayed, Amtrak cuts all losses and allows every other on-time northbound train to pass the delayed train, causing the delayed train (and its increasingly mutinous passengers) to stop in the middle of nowhere outside places like New Haven or Kingston for more than an hour at the time. I foresaw NEVER getting home.

The 7:00 Acela it was. My sister and I flew out of my apartment at 6:12, already panicky. It was rush hour, and we couldn’t decide which form of transportation back to Midtown would be best: bus (pro: stops right outside my apartment, and has special quick bus lanes. Con: stops every block, and a transfer was required, and who knows how long we would have to wait for that), subway (pro: usually a pretty reliable and quick mode of transportation. Con: three short blocks and four long blocks from my apartment, at least 15 minutes of fast walking, which I used to call “Boston Walking,” but have now learned that to get anywhere quickly in New York, you practically have to run. Also, we would have had to transfer trains as well), or cab (pro: no transfers. Con: unpredictable traffic, cost). We chose cab. We chose wrong. Every light was red. There was a gridlock moving across town. Our cabbie was mean. It cost us 17 bucks. We still had to walk/run and we didn’t really know where we were.

But, in short, we made it to the train, and we are happily speeding our way home on the Acela, which, for the extra buck, is kind of worth it. I mean, I have wireless. And I could have a drink if I wanted. Too bad I spent my beer money on cabs.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

thoughts about rain

I love the rain. It makes me want to snuggle on the couch and read magazines and watch movies. I like walking around in the rain, too. Something about bundling up in a scarf and trench coat and popping open your umbrella is so romantic. I always feel like I belong in a movie, because it's always so rainy in movies (has anyone else ever noticed that?). When I was a little girl, my brother and I used to don our dad's khaki trench coats (that reached our ankles, mind you) and play "detectives" (complete with magnifying glasses and x marks the spot maps) in the pouring rain.

But you know what I like best about rainy days? Seeing this happen to other people:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

best movie quote ever?

"Hey Goose, you big stud!"
"That's me honey,"
"Take me to bed or lose me forever!"
(Top Gun, 1986)

Monday, November 1, 2010


Here I am feeling a little lonely on a Monday night. I suffered an awesome two day hangover with a cherry-on-the-sundae of a very sore neck. I'm feeling extra lonely because I haven't had anyone to talk to all day, not even at work. Watching happy couples on House Hunters isn't making me feel much better. But, I was thinking about all the wonderful people I've lived with, and it's making me feel a little less alone. When I talk about many of my friends, I often classify them as "my roommate." I had someone say to me once, "Wait, how many roommates do you have?" The answer was, and is: many. I've had 8 college roommates, and a dozen or so more summer roommates. In each place, the roommates created a family, even if just for a short while, everyone had a home to go to.

The original roommate, my gorgeous sister Brittany
aka BooBoo
aka Middens 
(like mittens, but we're silly.)

College roommates: Kaylas, Alex, and Elizabeth. 
Alex and I were direct roommates for all our HC years.

More college roommates (and NYC pals)
Fish and Tines

No Ris, I did not forget about you! 
Congrats, Bets, you made it on twice.

My gorgeous (NAHT) first house on MV.
Jeff, Ben, Joe. Summer '08.

Girls summer '08. Ash & Cat (&me)

Summer 2009. Not all of these were roommates!
Half of them lived next door. Two of the boys were my blood relations.
The third might as well have been.

Summer 2010. My sweet, southern gentlemen who 
enjoyed their fair share of whiskey.
Will & John.

Summer 2010, Ash & Ben reappear. Beautiful couple.
 Life friends, even if they're far (Ashley lives in Singapore now, Ben in Cali)

 Hey Mikey! He likes it! Summer '10.
And who could forget my sweet Suzie Q? 
Thank goodness she lives in NYC.