Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nostomania: West Coast Style

Anyone who has spoken with me at all in the past month has heard me answer the "What are you doing during your break?" question with a very excited "I'm going to San Francisco!" Being a student now, I got that question a lot more than I ever did while working in the "real world" and so I had many opportunities to joyously share my plans with anyone who asked ("I'm going to San Francisco! For 11 days! I'm so excited!!!").

Keep that in mind as you read below...

Yesterday I woke up way too early and made my way to the T stop. I will interrupt my own story to say this: Boston is head and shoulders above Oakland or San Francisco in ease of airport access by public transportation. Not only is it easier, but it's also CHEAP! $1.25 got me from 3 blocks away from my house to the terminal - including the bus that shuttled me from the T stop to the terminal, while $4.10 got me from the terminal to about a mile from my final destination in Berkeley ($2.00 bus ride to the BART, then $2.10 BART ride). Score one for Beantown!

I arrived at the airport and saw a rediculously long line of people, as well as a few shorter ones. I stood in a short line, wondering why on earth people would choose that long line over my shorter one, until I heard a man telling people that if they were flying to Phoenix or Las Vegas, they had to be in the long line. It seems that though US Airways and America West merged months ago, they have not yet merged their computer systems, and so all the flights that were America West flights had to have their own special check-in.

Of course, I was flying through Phoenix, so I lugged my stuff over to the long line, where I stood for the next 50 minutes. When I reached the counter, the man looked at me and said, "Are you looking for trouble?" I must have looked as confused as I felt, because he pointed at my shirt. "You are wearing a Patriots shirt and you are going to Oakland. Are you looking for trouble?" I laughed, and he laughed, and he gave me my ticket and took my suitcase, and I raced off (also, keep this interaction in mind as you read below).

By the time I got through the check-in line, it was already 30 minutes before my flight's scheduled departure, and I still had not yet conquered security. I got through security, only to have a woman pull my bag out for extra screening (despite the careful, liquid-free packing of said backpack I had done the night before). I arrived at the gate pretty much when the plane was due to take off, but I was allowed on because even more people were behind me trying to make the flight too. One plane movie and three episodes of Arrested Development Season III later, I was on the ground in Phoenix.

I had a layover of about an hour in Phoenix, so I grabbed a salad and checked the monitors for my flight information. The flight to San Francisco was leaving at 2:20 from the gate right next to the one where I had landed, so I parked myself on a chair and watched another episode of Arrested Development while eating.

The boarding began, and I gathered my stuff and headed towards the gate. The woman called Zone 2 (my zone), and I stepped up and handed her my ticket. She ripped it, said "thank you" and gave me my portion back.

As I began to walk down toward the plane, I had a split-second thought: "What if it's raining when I land? Will I BART or will I splurge on a SuperShuttle?" What happened in my mind as I was thinking this thought was the formation of a clear picture of me having to make this decision, and that picture of me was at the Oakland Airport, and not in San Francisco.

I gasped and looked down at my ticket, and sure enough, it said that my destination was Oakland, and I knew for certain that I had just been let on a San Francisco plane. Luckily, I had not made it far past the ticket lady, and I turned back to tell her that I needed my ticket back. She handed it back to me and thanked me for noticing (Um... wait, isn't that her job?!).

I looked at my ticket: Departure time, 2:10pm. Great. It was already 2:00. I raced to the boards and found my real flight gate information and ran down to the other end of the terminal to find that they were also just beginning to board. Despite my best efforts at sabotaging the trip I had been so looking forward to, I made it onto the right plane.

Apparently, I had been talking about San Francisco so much leading up to the trip, my subconscious mind automatically looked for it instead of Oakland. It is especially funny, however, that I had a conversation with the man at the counter this morning who specifically mentioned Oakland, and yet I still hunted down the SF flight.

So the title of this post is due to the fact that I think that I might have a case of perpetual nostomania (also known as "the grass is always greener"). When I lived here, I had an overwhelming desire to return home to my East Coast roots. Every time I went back to visit, I would feel stronger and stronger ties pulling me there, and I would be beside myself with excitement at being among "my people" again.

But now, after 5 months in Boston, I haven't yet settled back into those east coast roots, and instead have found myself missing the west coast a lot. I miss the burritos and friends and ocean and the mountains, sure, but beyond that, there is just something different about the west coast mentality that I think I connect with more.

Don't all you East Coasters get yer feelings hurt. I'm sure that in the next year and a half in Boston, I'll rediscover my love for living in New England (not just visiting), and I'll end up settling there for the long haul. But for now, there's the knowledge that I always have a home and second family waiting for me out here in California.

My heart, for now, remains firmly planted in San Francisco.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Best Gift

The best gift this holiday was not the gift of time shared with friends. It was not the phone conversations with relatives who live far away. It was not the sleep I caught up on or the lack of schoolwork I had to do. It was not even a gift that was given to me.

In fact, the best gift of this holiday season was the framed sheet music my dad gave to my mom:


Friday, December 22, 2006

Warm Wishes and Whatnot

I'm about to head up to Maine where I'll be sans internet for the next five days, so I'm wishing everyone out there happy holidays. Good tidings to you all and here's hoping for a little snow dusting in the next week so it actually feels like winter.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Rising from the Ash

Last week, my friend JK sent me a link to show me that I am now (despite the fact that I no longer live in the Bay Area), a very important part of San Francisco's environmental movement.

I post this now as an appropriate metaphor for my life, after just spending today huddled beneath blankets on a friend's couch, watching horrible TV (seriously LegallyBlonde, this isn't like your guilty pleasure TV. I actually watched portions of Full House, Golden Girls and Saved by the Bell in between naps and water breaks), recovering from the world's most unkind hangover. Those of you who know me know that I don't often drink, and when I do I don't go crazy, so let this be a lesson to me that wine - no matter how good or how free - does not a dinner make.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Spirit

Maybe it's that on the west coast, there's no snow, and so people just don't get into the holidays so much. Maybe the anticipation of long winters make east coasters do funny things. Either way, I have to say that I saw more holiday cheer being spread by cars in an hour this afternoon as I stood in the window of the tire store than I did in my entire four years in San Francisco. The two most notable I have shared below:

The first car actually drove into the parking lot and stopped, so I could get a good look at it.

Though this photo does make the idea of a Reindeer Car look kind of cute, imagine it on an old, beat up Chevy... Less cute, more rediculous, but I did appreciate the effort.

Entertaining though that was, it was the Car Menorah that got me to do a double-take. Yes, it is for real, and yes, the lights can be lit just as the real Menorah lights are lit - adding one each day until they are all aglow.

All in all, it was a good day. I got to take J & M to get ice cream (always a fun adventure), I got new tires, AND I got lots and lots of drive-by holiday cheer. Here's hoping my drive up to Maine on Friday will bring me many more such moments of entertainment.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yul Rules!

Because I have no friends on this coast who enjoy my guilty pleasure, I post this blog for anyone out there who does. Below, my comments on the Survivor finale and post-game show:

Can I first just say that it STILL makes me giggle (even though I know very well that it will happen) that everyone looks so damn fat in the reunion episode. I mean, I do understand that they are all rediculously undernourished on the island, and it's not healthy that they all get so skinny, but still, they do end up looking really chubby when they get together at the end, and it makes me giggle.

Let me say, in terms of who won, that my heart really wanted Ozzy to win. That said, I had been pulling for Yul since the beginning, so my brain was psyched for him. But my heart still hurts for Ozzy. I can't believe that the two finalists (I'm going to pretend - like all the jury members did - that Becky was not a finalist) were both so worthy. After seasons upon seasons of deciding between the best of the worst, it was nice to have a season in which the two people in the running for the million dollars actually played the game well and were deserving.

Final Episode Thoughts:

- The Tiebreaker - How absolutely painful was it to watch that fire challenge!? I mean, seriously. We knew that neither woman really deserved to be there, but then they basicially ended up competing to show everyone how little they deserved to be there. I was disgusted, and at the same time, I loved that they both dug their own graves and ensured their elimination from the competition (though I will say I was impressed that Becky didn't take the idol from Yul, even if I was entirely unimpressed with her fire-making skills).

Regarding the Reunion Show:

- Jonathan looks like a dweeb with his hair now. Didn't he have gray hair before? He definitely had a gray beard. Or maybe his hair was always covered by his hat, so I never noticed how toupee-like it was.

- Sundra is a hottie.

- So is Yul (according to People Magazine).

- Ummmmm... Sekou? His song was kinda Lionel Richie-esque, only, well, awful. "SurVIvor!" "Survivor!" Also, anyone else find it ironic that the first person voted out was the one who wrote a song about his experience? Maybe that's why it sucks so much - maybe if he had stayed on the island longer, he could have written a better song. (Update: turns out this little gem is available online, so for those of you who don't watch Survivor and/or for those of you who do watch it and were laughing to hard to hear it on the finale show tonight, you can check it out.)

- Adam is a dufus. Seriously. It pains me to look at him and know how far he went in this game.

- Parvati - MODEL boxing!??!?!

Unrelated to Survivor:

Did anyone in other parts of the nation see the car commercial where the people sing the "Sound of Music" song? It was awful, but let me tell ya that if I were looking to buy a new car, and the car salespeople promised to sing to me like that, I would strongly purchasing from them.

Final Thoughts:

This really was a damn good season of Survivor, which says a lot coming from me, considering I've watched it without my west coast peeps. Though it sucked to watch this finale alone, rather than in Berkeley with my friends and lots of yummy food and beer, I will say it still made me feel somehow close to everyone over there to know that just as the fun was finishing out here, it was just beginning over there.

If any of you west coast Survivor-watchers are reading, I can't wait to de-brief in person in a few weeks over burritos and beers.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Dreams Can Come True...

Not only did my classes end today, but I got home to this tonight...

Report: It's game over for Moynahan and Brady

(LegallyBlonde, I dedicate this post to you)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back to Basics

In celebration of my last night of Tuesday classes (for this semester), I indulged myself by going to Starbucks before class. Now those of you who know me well know that there are really only two things at Starbucks that make me happy: java chip frappuccinos and gingerbread lattes (ok, and apple fritters). I was all excited to get my first gingerbread latte of the season (my CalSAC buddies can understand the significance of that event), but then realized that it would be 6,000 degrees in the classroom I was headed to, so I went with the frappuccino instead.

All this to lead into the fact that the woman, though so very close, didn't quite get my name, earning her spelling a place in the hall of fame.

(For those of you needing an explaination of the Hall of Fame, please click here.)

Oh yeah, and by the way, I have my last classes of the semester Thursday night, so, well, ya know... WAHOO!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Operation Shuck and Awe

Last night I attended the 8th Annual Tree Trimin' Oysterfestivus, and (thanks to previous training on the west coast) got to play an important role as a member of team Operation Shuck and Awe. Three people, 200 oysters, and we shucked 'em all.

(To be fair, I was a relatively slow shucker as compared to our team captain, who was the fastest shucker I've ever seen in my life. But I still managed to make a dent, and definitely shucked more ersters last night than I have in my entire life.)

Thanks to MOMP and husband for a great party, and a much-needed break from my studies.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Think Equal

Nothing to write here, just needing to get out the word about a damn good ad campaign in New Jersey.

(who would have thought I'd be writing "damn good" and "New Jersey" in the same sentence?!)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Note to an Angel

It's been eight years since that night, yet your spirit and smile remain so clear in my mind. And every now and then, I think I hear you giggling in the wind.

I miss you and I love you always.

P.S. There's a sweet dog named Milo running around in your world, and he belonged to a family I babysit for. He just got up there tonight, so find him and take good care of him.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

While you're shopping...

... please keep the following in mind:

A record 138 companies scored 100 percent on this year’s Buying for Equality Human Rights Campaign report (up from 101 companies that earned a perfect score last year). By chosing carefully where you shop (and what brands you purchase), you can make a statement and support companies that actively promote equal rights for all.

Believe it or not, it is legal in 33 states to fire someone for being gay, and it is legal in 43 states to fire someone for being transgender. However, thanks to committment from these 138 companies (I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but many are parent companies that are wide-reaching), from enhanced domestic partner benefits to transgender inclusion in non-discrimination policies, we are seeing a revolution in the American workplace every day.

For more information on the Buyers Guide, click here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Eat this.

In the spirit of holiday giving, I offer to you, dear readers, some "fun" facts I have gathered today while reading for my social policy class. Assuming that most of you have not yet had the chance to study the "American Social Welfare Policy: A pluralist approach" (5th edition) textbook (and if you have, you probably haven't yet gotten to Chapter 17: The Politics of Food Policy and Rural Life), I have picked out my favorite tidbits of knowledge to share with you now:

- Consumers, retailers, restaurants, and farmers throw away one-quarter of the U.S. food stock (almost 100 billion pounds of edible food) each year.

- The average length of a state food stamp application is 12 pages. Ten states have applications between 19 and 28 pages long. Most food stamp applications are longer than the applications for a federal firearms permit, a federal home mortgage loan, or a school bus driver's license.

- Over 70 percent of all antibiotics in the United States are fed to healthy farm animals.

- Agriculture is the most dangerous occupation in the United States.

- The life expectancy of migrant farmworkers is 49 years compared to the U.S. average of 75 years.

- A single Utah hog operation raises 2.5 million hogs a year, producing more waste than the entire city of Los Angeles.

- A "Free Range" label claims that a meat or poultry product (including eggs) comes from an animale that was raised in the open air or was allowed to raom. However, the regulations do not specify how much of each day animals must have access to fresh air. In poultry, the USDA considers five minutes adequate exposure to be considered free range.

- Every minute, the United States loses 2 acres of productive farmland to urban sprawl - shopping malls, housing subdivisions and the like.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and in the spirit of not losing all my readers as a result of only posting links and photos for the past month), I have composed a list of people and experiences for which I am thankful this year:

I am thankful for my friends on the west coast who supported me in my move across the country even when it meant that we would no longer be in each other’s lives on a regular basis. I am thankful for good cooking and Survivor nights and conference crises met with good humor and the opportunities and challenges I faced while working out there. I’m thankful for the amazing volunteer opportunities I had while living in the Bay Area, and the incredible people with whom I came in contact through those opportunities. I am thankful for the renewing of old friendships, and for days at the beach, and days by the pool (neither of which I had enough of in my California life!). And I am thankful to the friends from the west coast who have made it out here and made it a point to get together.

I am thankful for my family - my sister for road tripping across the country with me, and my parents for their never-ending unconditional support. I am thankful for my aunt and uncle for letting me do dresser restoration in their garage and to my second cousin for being sure to call me when she came to town last weekend so we could catch up. I am thankful for my grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins – both the ones we were able to see on our road trip and who opened up their homes and hearts to us along the way – and the ones who didn’t fall along our path.

I am thankful for the friends and families with whom I have connected (or reconnected) here on the east coast. I am thankful for the friends who have motivated me to get out of the city and up to Vermont, for the friends who have motivated themselves to come into the city to visit, and for the friends who have helped me get out and see bits of Boston I otherwise would not have made time to see. I am thankful for all the amazing families for whom I babysit, and the children who bring joy to my life each week with their cute nicknames for me (“Feedee”) and hugs and giggles. I am thankful to the friends who keep trying to see me despite me being too busy with school work to have a life, and to friends who I only knew tangentially, who have made efforts to get to know me better and invite me to be part of their lives since I’ve returned to this coast.

And I am thankful for everyone in between – the amazing women I reconnected with at our camp’s 100th celebration, and the dear friends who honored me so greatly by allowing me to officiate their marriage this fall.

It has been an incredible year, and I am so grateful to the many people who have made it so. I hope that people I know who read this blog see themselves somewhere above, because what I am trying to say with my comprehensive list is that if you were in any way a part of my life in this past year, I am thankful for whatever role you played.

Much love and appreciation to everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

It's amazing I got into grad school, really.

Usually not such a good sign when the professor has to make a correction on the cover page...

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In which Britney finally comes to her senses...


Britney Cuts K-Fed Loose
by Sarah Hall
Tue, 7 Nov 2006 02:08:28 PM PST

Britney Spears has apparently decided that Kevin Federline's 15 minutes of fame are up.

The pop star filed for divorce Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court from her husband of two years, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split, according to her court documents.

Spears, 24, requested physical and legal custody of the couple's two sons, one-year old Sean Preston and two-month-old Jayden James, with visitation rights for Federline, 28.

She waived her right to spousal support (a no-brainer) and requested that each party pay their own legal fees.

A representative for Spears had no comment on the split.

For all the latest juicy details on the split, tune into E! News at 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A most excellent read...

...especially if you're a Pats fan.

The Sports Guy had a great article on

(Not that I read it, of course, since I have been hard at work all morning on the paper that was due last Tuesday. I'm just saying, IF I had had time to read it, I would have found it to be a great piece of writing.)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


For anyone who has ever been in community theater, known anyone who has been in community theater, or seen a community theater production, you have got to listen to this.

Scroll down to the 10/20 show entitled "Fiasco!" and click on the blue icon next to it.

Don't be afriad that it looks like an hour-long show. The Peter Pan section is first, and lasts only about 20 minutes. It's worth it - I promise.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Get Thee to a TJ's

Hello friends -

Apologies for going silent for a bit here... Sickness, followed by a weekend getaway to a wedding, followed by more sickness has left me a bit off my game.

I'm back, with an enthusiastic posting to tell anyone who lives anywhere near a Trader Joe's to GET THERE ASAP and buy yourself a package of the special holiday edition Joe-Joe's.

For those of you not familiar with the regular Joe-Joe's cookies, they are the TJ's version of an Oreo, but without the partially hydrogenated oils. They're good. But they have absolutely NOTHING on the new, holiday Joe-Joe's.

Imagine this: crunchy, chocolatey cookie outside, and vanilla bean cream inside... with CRUSHED CANDY CANES.

I have died and gone to heaven.

I am going to get very fat this holiday season, but I will be fat and happy.

Join me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Politics = Awesome

For those of you who don't live in Massachusetts (and therefore probably don't follow Massachusetts politics), I wanted to share this TV ad that is perhaps the most awesome campaign ad I've ever seen. Follow the link and click on "The Big Dig Explained" (the cartoon).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fun in VT

I'm entirely too busy studying to write anything, but since I like to think people actually look at this here blog every now and again (and I want to keep you coming back!), I'll share a few photos from my trip to VT...

Me looking badass with the pole picker.

Where's Adam?

Leaf peeping from my moving vehicle.

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Bad Kind of Tradition

So today was the Tufts Health Plan 10K. I was signed up to do it. Paid and everything.

To understand why I am more resigned than angry about the fact that I wasn't able to race today, you need to understand my history of racing...

In 2003, I signed up to walk the Maui Marathon with Team in Training. We trained all summer, and as part of our training, we walked the San Francisco Chronicle 1/2 Marathon. The day before that race, I woke up feeling sick. The day of the race, I felt no better. But since it was part of training, I did it. I didn't end with a great time, but I finished, and I had a blast doing it.

Fast forward to September of that year, when I flew out to Maui to do the full marathon there. On my way out, I started feeling sick, but it wasn't until I arrived in Maui that it hit - my first ever sinus infection. Every part of my head hurt. I couldn't sleep because I was coughing. But I had signed on to do this marathon, and I wasn't about to let months of traning go down the drain. I took my Dayquil, put some tissues in my pocket, and at 5am, began walking.

Now it is true that walking a marathon does tend to take longer than running. My goal to finish had been about 6 hours and 20 minutes. But once I decided to walk it while sick, my goal changed to simply finishing the race, no matter how long it took. I crossed the finish line at 7 hours and 20 minutes.

It took me weeks to recover from my illness, but it was worth it, having accomplished such a huge goal as completing a marathon. Probably not something I'd do again soon (maybe ever), so I was glad to have had the experience.

Interestingly, despite my history of always being sick on race day, when my friend Mary invited me to do this 10K, I jumped at the chance. What a great opportunity to get in shape again! And an all-women's race - what a fun experience!

And then, yesterday, while driving back from Vermont, I got an ever-so-faint sore throat. I chalked it up to too much singing in the car. And last night, I started feeling a little run-down. I chalked it up to my weekend in Vermont.

But this morning when I felt hot and cold at the same time and my glands were swollen and my head felt like it was going to explode... well, I couldn't ignore the signs anymore: I was sick.

It was an unseasonably warm day here in Boston today - 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I wanted more than anything to be outside running and to complete my first race in 3 years.

But then I thought about why I'm really here in Boston: school. While walking a marathon sick was definitely justifiable when I had sick days at work to use to recover, what about running a 10K when I only have classes once a week, and can't afford to miss them? And what about the kids I babysit? I want to be as healthy as possible all the time, so I don't have to cancel babysitting jobs because I'm afraid of passing my germs on to them.

And so I took the T down to the race and picked up my race shirt, and wished my friends good luck on their race, and then took the T back home. I feel guilty having taken the race shirt for a race I didn't run (though I did pay the $29 race registration fee, so it's not like I didn't pay for it even if I didn't "earn" it), but I also feel even more sick now than I did this morning, so I think it was the right decision.

I've decided that next year, when I run this race, and I will run this race, I will not register ahead of time, because I'm convinced that doing so gives my brain time to tell my body to get sick. I will do a sneak-attack and register on-site, and by the time my body realizes what's going on, I will have completed the race and earned the race shirt.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My Great Escape

So I've been aching to get to Vermont this fall, mostly due to the fact that I haven't experienced a New England autumn in about 6 years, and Vermont is THE place to do it, but also because my friend Adam is holding some of my clothing, shoes, and who knows what else hostage up there (when I came out for the wedding in VT in July, I passed off 3 bags of checked luggage to him so I wouldn't have to ship it when I moved, promising that I'd come up to VT to see his new place and also to retrieve said luggage, and that was July and it's now October, so, well, I kind of feel like it's about time).

Anyway, I was up in the air about going, because it's a lot of drive time, which takes away from study time, and that means I could be setting myself up for a lot of stress playing catch-up at school after my excursion to the great state of VT. BUT one of my classes today was cancelled, which means that I got an extra 2 1/2 hours of study time, and I got ahead enough that I gave myself permission to go (plus, I just really want to hang out with a friend, instead of with a book - is that really so wrong?!).

SOOO, tomorrow, I'll make a break from my internship a little early and cruise up to Vermont, where, according to the Foliage Vermont website (complete with time lapse map of when the foliage is peaking throughout the state), I'm going to get quite a show.

It makes me giddy just thinking about it.

(and yes, Burger, I've already downloaded the new Decemberists album for the drive)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The cutest couple in Cambodia (a link)

If anyone needs a pick-me-up, please read this.

My former roommate with a gift for writing put this encounter into words, and it's beautiful.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fun with a Pedometer

Today is the day I go from home to babysitting to school to home and my only exercise is walking in between all those places. So out of curiosity I put my pedometer on (thank you, CalSAC) and started walking. I arrived back home tonight and checked in with my new best friend, Mr. Pedometer, and this is what he told me:
20,002 steps, which translates to 8.5 miles. Okay, so I didn't do it all at once, and not all of it was all that fast, but still... 8.5 miles is 13.685 kilometers. That's no small number.

Speaking of kilometers...

Last week, a friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do the Tufts Health Care 10K for Women. I hate running, and haven't been exercising all that regularly since moving to the east coast, both good reasons to say "no thanks." But somehow the invitation keeps creeping into my mind, and I'm actually considering it.

Now just to be clear, it isn't that I don't think I can walk the 10K (6.21 mi), but since my friends will be running it, I'm feeling like it would be more fun if I could keep up with them (even if I'm muttering and cursing under my breath the entire way).

So yesterday I got in my running gear and headed out, just to see what kind of shape I was in. Not being familiar with the distances between things around here, I used my handy dandy pedometer. Turns out, I walked/ran about 4 miles (6.44K).

Does this give me confidence in my ability to run a 10K in 2 weeks? No. not really.
Today, I am embarassingly sore, and acutely aware that I only ran about 1/3 of the time I was out there. But I'm thinking I might just give it a shot anyway.

Monday, September 25, 2006

No need to adjust your monitors...

So you may recall a previous posting about my new role as a test bunny for Gillette. Well, today (after 24 hours of not brushing), I got to go in for my "dental screening" where they required me to swish with this disgusting pink liquid that helped to show how much and where plaque built up on my teeth in that 24 hour period of time.

Only thing is, even after brushing my teeth for a full 3 minutes and then eating, my tongue is still tinted this frightening shade of pink.

During all the errands I ran this afternoon, I had to talk with a mostly closed mouth, so that I wouldn't scare people.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Turn

While my friend, Burger, continues to have brushes with fame nearly every day in LA, I have not yet found any venues in Boston in which I can meet famous people... until tonight.

Tonight, a play opened in which my friend from high school is playing a role. She generously offered me a free ticket ("Hey - do you want to go on a date with my boyfriend to go see my play?"), and I enthusiastically said yes.

(It's a great show, and anyone in the Boston area should definitely check it out.)

At any rate, I saw the show, AND got to go to the after-party. Admittedly, not the same as a NYC or LA after-party, but still...

So the best part was when I realized that the woman who played one of the main roles in the play tonight is none other than Maureen Keiller. This is a name you probably don't recognize at all, but if you've seen "Fever Pitch" then you would recognize her as 'Viv' one of the season ticket holders. I even got to have a very short conversation with her at the after-party.

I felt so cool.

So now that makes 2 people I have met who have been in "Fever Pitch" and 0 people I have met who have been in any other movies.

Hmmm... perhaps I should work on that.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What did I expect, really?

So after it became fall overnight a few weekends ago, with evening temperatures in the 40s, summer made a surprise return over this past weekend. (That's a good thing.)

But then it got really humid and gross out, as it tends to do here in New England. And today was one of those sticky, gross kind of days. (That's not so good.)

I left my house this morning - in the usual rush to get to my babysitting job on time - and realized about half way there that I had forgotten to apply deodorant. What I also realized, in my train of thought thinking was "Hey - I think I forgot to put deodorant on this morning... It's a pretty sticky day out already and it will only get more so later... Wow, I'm gonna smell gross... I bet all this humidity means it's going to rain soon... Maybe I should have checked the weather before I left home, or at least packed an umbrella just in case..."

But of course, I was running late, and half-way there before these thoughts entered my head, so I kept going, and arrived at my job on time. The day didn't get any less humid, and my armpits didn't smell any better, and finally, just before class, I went to the bookstore to return a book and bought myself a stick of deodorant so that I could stand to be near myself for the 5 hours of class I had ahead of me.

Armpits properly deodorized, I headed to class... and then to my next class... and then headed outside with my classmates so I could walk home. As we approached the door, I noticed a few droplets of water on the glass. And then noticed that the pavement outside was looking pretty wet. Yes, indeed, it was raining.

Good news: it never rained all that hard, and it was still pretty warm out.

Bad news: It's about a 1.5 mile walk back to my house from school.

Could I have taken the T? Sure. But then I wouldn't have been able to take this photo:
Lending credibility to the theory that if you don't take your umbrella with you, it will most definitely rain.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

You Want Me to WHAT?

So it's nearly 11pm, and I have been working on a paper since 2:30pm this afternoon. Admittedly, I should have gotten an earlier start than this afternoon, but what with my duties as Reverend this weekend up in Maine, there wasn't much time to be reading assignments and writing papers.

At any rate, the paper is one of the hardest I've ever had to write, and it's not because I've been out of school for over 6 years and no longer know how to write.

Here's the prompt:

- Who should the government help?
- Why should the government help these people?
- On what basis should eligibility for hlep be decided?
- Who shouldn't government help?
- Why shouldn't government help these people?
- Who should be responsible for those who government decides not to help?
- How should government decide who to help and who not to help?


Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Well, then.

Ok, I swear I wasn't out hunting for this, but while on a search for the long-awaited Suri photos (yes, ok, I was hunting for those), I came across this.

And he really IS as bad as everyone says. I mean, I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but for a former back-up dancer, he's surprisingly awkward-looking up there (in addition to the mediocre-at-best rapping).

If you can't torture yourself for the full 3 minutes and 43 seconds, skip ahead to around 1:25, where it starts getting really good.

And by good, I mean "more interesting to watch."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Best a Man Can Get

So this morning, I drove over to Needham, to take a tour of the Gillette Testing Center, because I'm going to be a tester of all things Gillette (and in case you're wondering, that includes toothbrushes, razors, lotions, etc.).

For my time this morning, I got a gift card to Target, which I promptly spent. Future "studies" will give me random amounts of money here and there, plus I'll be able to test out products before they're available in stores!

I think I get a free teeth cleaning out of the deal too...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What a Weekend!

(... and it's not even over yet!)

My weekend started on Friday night with a Sox game. It was a great game, not only because we won, but because it was interesting. Many nail biting moments, a great relay play, and even a balk resulting in a run (oh, Mike, how I wish you were on the same continent to share that moment with me, since that is a baseball rule I learned from you!). Sarah and I splurged and got our ice cream in plastic, mini baseball caps, and then felt the need to pose with them on our heads.

Saturday, I spent the day in Wayland, working on my dresser. I found it on craigslist for $35, and though it was a little worn, it was a beautiful 100% wood (no particleboard!) piece that I decided was worth saving. My aunt & uncle generously offered me the use of their garage in which to work on this project, and so I began my work on Saturday. I purchased everything I needed from the hardware store (from a man of very few words who looked as though he would rather be anywhere in the world than standing in front of me, answering my "how do you refinish a dresser?" questions), and then sanded and primed the dresser (thank goodness for power sanders!).

Saturday night was "girls night out" with high school friends. We had a great dinner at Antonio's where we (I) flirted with the waiter and got us free limoncello, and then headed over to McFadden's for post-dinner festivities. While there, we noticed signs all over the place for their upcoming "White Party" (champagne social). Not so sure what that's all about, but we're all hoping it's nothing like what it sounds like ("by invitation only...").

Today, we ate breakfast at Sound Bites (amazing!) and then I headed over to a bbq hosted by a friend I hadn't seen in years (a theme of the past few weeks - seeing friends I haven't seen in years). Post bbq, I headed back to Wayland to paint the dresser (photos to come) and I am now recovering at home after a much-needed, paint-removing shower. Hurray for sleeping in my own bed tonight (and hurray and thank you to my hosts for the past 2 nights)!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fun with English...

Check out the text above this vending machine (and thanks to Meraiah and Tim for the photo).

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Turns out, I'm not crazy.

So on our road trip, a few weeks back, I became obsessed with license plates. This obsession has a long history, and dates back to when my family moved to Maine. I was in 7th grade, and was less than enthusiastic about being moved from New Hampshire to Maine in the middle of the school year. I didn't know much about Maine, so I focused my hatred of the state on the license plates (“What a stupid state with a stupid lobster on the license plate!”).

Eventually, after settling into Maine life and making some friends and (joy of joys!) getting my license, the lobster plates grew on me – so much so that when Maine switched their plates from lobsters to chickadees, I was as upset that we no longer had the lobsters as I had been to have to be in the state with lobster plates to begin with!

After college, I moved to Colorado, and then to California, where my interest in license plates continued to grow (oh, how I hated the idea of having plates with “California” scrawled across the top in tacky cursive! I even contemplated getting specialty plates just to avoid having such ugly plates on my car).

So on our trip across the country, I was on the lookout for interesting license plates. Kansas had interesting designs (please note blatant shout-out to Jme and JME), we caught a Hawaii plate somewhere on our journey, and Tennessee’s were the most beautiful (if you can call a license plate “beautiful”), but the license plate moment where I thought I had gone crazy occurred when we were in New England…

We were driving through Massachusetts (entirely boring plates), and I caught sight of what I thought was a moose on a license plate.

“EMILY!” I exclaimed excitedly, “Did Maine get new plates!? I think I just saw a moose!”

My sister (who hadn’t seen the plate, and who lives in Maine) humored me, telling me she wasn’t sure about new plates, and keeping an eye out to see if we could spot another car with the seemingly moose-y plates.

But in the next few hours of driving, not one moose plate was to be seen. I wondered if perhaps the days upon days of driving had finally taken their toll, and I had started to see things… perhaps the lobster on the Maine license plate had looked brown in a shadow, and I had mistaken it for a moose?

By the end of our trip, we still had not seen another moose, so I had accepted the fact that I had gone crazy, and forgot about it.

UNTIL TODAY. I was up in New Hampshire meeting my dad for lunch, and we pulled into a parking lot and there it was in front of me:

Mystery solved.

That should be where the blog ends, but in searching for images of license plates, I had to give a special shout-out:

To West Virginia:

I never actually saw these plates, but just knowing they exist is enough for me.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ho Hum

Well, here I sit on a rainy August afternoon, not quite sure where to begin unpacking, but recognizing that now that I have hangers and shelves, at least SOME things can get unpacked.

The first few days here have been productive, but also draining. My first (full) day here, I spent the morning on craigslist trying to find furniture, and then spent the afternoon at an interview for my internship. Yesterday, I did more craigslist work, helped a friend move in the afternoon*, picked up shelves from all around town, and had dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Today, I have managed to buy soap, inquire about a lot of furniture that I won’t end up purchasing, and open a bank account.

It might be the rain (or the exhaustion setting in from the marathon day I had yesterday), but I seem to have lost my motivation today. It’s hard moving to a new place. I knew that before I got here, but the reality of it is hitting me now.

I’m trying to take my own advice – advice I gave to a friend who just moved a few months ago – and do at least one major thing every day so that I can feel like I'm making progress. Yesterday it was getting my bed, today it was setting up my bank accounts…

Eventually I’ll have a routine and be so busy that I won’t have time to sit around and miss my life in San Francisco. I know that, of course, but on a rainy afternoon, when all my Boston friends are at work, and I am staring a lot of boxes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

And now, as my moment of self-pity comes to an end, I will open up some boxes and begin the unpacking process. I don't know what is in any of the boxes, so it's a little bit like Christmas ("Hey look! A power strip! Woohoo!").

P.S. A special shout-out to the new link to the right: Brother Matt's blog There are No Bad Experiences. More to come when I have time to work on the blog again, but that will do for now.

*Please note the appropriate wording on the side of the truck: America's Moving Adventure: Massachusetts

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Fibby apologizes profusely for the lack of postings as of late. A 100th reunion at camp and the long-awaited move to Boston have caused her to fall off the face of the earth temporarily.

Once she has secured furniture and has managed to make her new house a home, regular updates will resume.

For now, she is filling her days scouring craigslist for all kinds of furniture, and will be heading out to an interview for her internship this afternoon. Yippee!

While you wait for more updates, check this out to see why I'm pretty sure I just moved into the coolest neighborhood ever (the theater is a few blocks away).

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Sorry I can't be there in person to sing and play with you.

I love you and hope you get home soon!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Day 14: Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

States: MA to NH to ME
Driving Hours: 5.5

“Home” is an interesting concept for me right now… Where is it, exactly? Is it in Boston, where my carload of possessions got dropped off this morning? Is it in Central Maine, where I now sit with my parents in the quiet night? Is it at summer camp, where I’ll be this weekend to catch up with friends from ages ago with whom I shared secrets and adventures throughout my childhood and early adulthood? Or is it still back in California – having lagged behind while I moved east, not quite ready to let go of my my life on the west coast?

Yes. It is all of those places. It is all of those people.

Home is the smell of Tim’s cooking while I catch up with Jme on the couch. It is the quiet of sitting in the living room with my mom while my dad does the ironing. It is having breakfast on the astroturf at the Poolside Cabana. It is a road trip across the country with my sister. It is the smell of pine trees and the sound of loons. And it is now Boston too, where friends - new and old - will help make this unfamiliar place a welcome one, and where many adventures will engage and empower me and move me into the next phase of my life.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Day 13: Butterflies Everywhere

States: MA
Total Car Hours: 1 (but not my car!)

As of today, I have been to 2 Butterfly Museums in my life: one in Denver, and one in Western Massachusetts. Both are amazing – lush, green, enclosed spaces filled with butterflies that flit and fly every which way, and sometimes (when one is very lucky) land on a person passing by.

My trip to the Butterfly Museum today was with my sister, cousin, her husband, and their 3 kids. Let me just say that going with multiple children is an entirely different experience than going with my parents or friends (which is what I did in Denver).

Today, we got the boys all excited for the museum before we even left the house. We told them that butterflies would be most likely to land on them if they were wearing brightly colored clothing, so they all wore fun Hawaiian shirts and bright hats/socks/shoes. One even made a “necklace” of sorts out of some green paper with multi-colored flowers taped to it. There was much excitement in the air, and when we finally arrived there, the boys couldn’t wait to go inside and have butterflies landing on them left and right.

The only thing is, the butterflies hadn’t gotten the memo that they should land on the kids.

To attract butterflies, they recommend (in addition to bright colors) that you stay still. This is hard enough for an adult to do, but even more difficult for 3 active boys. But stay still they did, and as they sat there, they looked with eager expectation at each and every butterfly that came near. But none stopped, and as each butterfly continued on without stopping, those eager faces fell a little more.

And as the adults in the situation, there was nothing we could do, but continue to sit quietly with the boys and will the butterflies with every fiber of our beings to make the boys’ day by landing on them just once.

In the end, I think each boy had a butterfly land on him at least one time, but I don’t think it was the mass landing of butterflies that each boy had hoped for while putting on their Hawaiian shirts in the morning. I was disappointed for them that more butterflies hadn’t chosen their shirts to land on throughout our time there, but now, hours later, they seem to be unscarred as they put together a pirate ship and practice riding their unicycles.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Day 12: Over the Highway and Through the State Line, to Grandmother’s House We Go

States: PA to NY to MA
Total Car Hours: 7

We left PA and headed north to NY state for lunch with Grandmother. Got there early, and hung out on the lawn while we waited for her to get home. It was wonderful to catch up (though not nearly long enough!) and we were on the road again around 2:30.

Our final destination for the day was Western Massachusetts, for a visit with our cousin, her husband, and their 3 sons. We arrived in time for dinner, and got the tour of the basement, which is designed to look like the Gryffindor Common Room (from Harry Potter). There is a painted lady who asks for the password (ok, the kids behind the door ask for the password, but there IS a painted lady) and the walls are painted to look like castle walls with bookshelves and a fireplace and everything. There are even shelves with glass bottles full of magic potions and a place for each “student” to hang his robe and scarf.

Painted Lady:


I am sooooooo jealous.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Day 11: Tour of Cousins... Part II

States: KY to WV to MD to PA
Total Car Hours: 7.5
Our determination to get as far as we could yesterday paid off today, as we arrived in PA with plenty of hours of sunlight left in the day. Yippee!!!

Even more exciting was our 3-for-3 signage photos AND a visit with yet another cousin we hadn’t seen in a long while. Hurray for cousins!

(no, it wasn't raining – those are bugs smeared all over the windshield)