Thursday, March 31, 2011


This is not a post about Boston Sports Club.

In second grade, in the winter time, I took a book out of the library that cemented my status as a bookwork forever. It was called Claudia and the Bad Joke.

Yes, my friends, it was a Baby-Sitters' Club book, and I was forever hooked.

I pored over them like they were manna from the wilderness. My cousins just happened to have passed down a whole box of them to me around that same time and I read them with gusto. I'd discovered the Baby Sitter's Little Sister books the summer before, about Karen Brewer and her antics and her two of everything, but somehow the BSC characters pulled me in the way only my favorite of books have done since.

I wanted to move to the fictional Stoneybrook, CT (I knew it was not a real town because I, too, lived in CT.) I wanted to join their meetings, help construct kid kits, write in the notebook, and pilfer candy from Claudia Kishi's bedroom.

My favorite character was Stacey McGill. I still write some of my S's like her's, and used to dot my i's with hearts just like she did. My third grade self wanted to become a model, just like Stacey.

Early on in the relationship, I wrote a letter to the author of the series, Ann M. Martin. No response. Then my mother, the library director, found Ann at a huge book show in New York City. Mom scored several autographed books with a note in one of them (Dear Clare, Keep on reading! Keep on writing! Love, Ann M. Martin). I was thrilled.

Ann also mailed me a BSC fan club application, which of course I filled out and sent in. My application came with, among other things, a map of Stoneybrook with each sitter's house and street plotted out, along with each baby sitting charge's home. I spent hours plotting the courses from Kristy's house to Stoneybrook Middle School, from Stacey's house to Claudia's, from Jessie's house to Matt Braddock's. I would daydream that I hung out with all of them. When I played with my exorbitant number of barbies I had enough to give each Barbie a BSC name. They were all adults, and lived together in a mansion. Mary Anne and Logan (Ken) were married, Kristy and Bart (Ken) were dating. I had a black barbie for Jessie, an old Barbie that used to be my mother's and looked vaguely Asian as Claudia. Everyone else was blonde, obviously. Mary Anne and Mallory were actually represented by Skipper, since I didn't have quite enough Barbies to do the job. Another Ken rotated around as the boyfriend of various other members.

Now that I think about it, though, the ladies of the BSC had lasting effects on my life:

- I'm still an avid reader
- Dawn taught me at an early age the importance of environmental sustainability
- I enjoyed, and indeed strove for, baby-sitting jobs, which led to an awesome part time nanny job when I lived in London, involving me being flown to Salzburg and Nice for family trips
- Stacey's short run with the cheerleading squad inspired my own cheer experiences, giving me coordination, a mild ability to dance, and quite a few awesome friend!

These weren't just whimsical, Pleasantville-esque stories, either. Ann M. Martin brought up real issues in a way that communicated them very well to 8-12 year olds. Adoption, handicaps, cancer, death, prejudice, divorce, these were all themes of different books.

Martin recently wrote a prequel to the series, and Scholastic re-released a bunch of them. The original audience is old enough to have their own young daughters, and wants them to have an accessible series with positive role models. I hope these books are still around if I have daughters.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Force of Habit

If you have known me for any amount of time whatsoever, you will know this: I play with my hair.

A not-so-great habit, I will admit. When interviewing for jobs I of course made a maximum effort to keep my hands away from my head at all times.

My hair is just so soft, though. Its long and blonde (which you have hopefully figured out from the blog name by now) and silky smooth. I’m not trying to brag; merely stating a fact.

I don’t always think it is about my hair-playing, though. I am just one of those people who needs to be constantly doing something with her hands at all times. During those aforementioned interviews, or work meetings, I play with my pen. I play with my necklace. I play with my ring or earrings. Anything close by, really.

I don’t think it is a ‘nervous’ habit, per se. I am not nervous when I play with my hair. Half the time I don’t really know I’m doing it. I once had a boy I kind of dated for a second tell me he could tell my emotional state by the way I played with my hair. Never mind that he and I didn’t really have a whole lot of one-on-one time, just lots of long lectures and class discussions, during which time we sat in the same room. Creepster. Although it might be true. I certainly play with my hair more harshly when I am nervous, or do not feel well (especially when I don’t feel well, see fear blog in the vomit section).

My Lil Sistah plays with her hair as well. In fact, I see some of the same hair playing mannerisms in her that I do in myself.

I’ve had several friends try to break me of the hair playing, but either they didn’t try hard enough or it’s impossible. Just to show you, this is when I play with my hair:

- Watching people at the shop

- Talking to friends

- Hanging out at the bar with the boy

- Watching movies

- Skyping with the Lil Sistah (and laughing when she does the same thing)

I also think that my new dabbles in jewelry making have something to do with hair playing. Or at least, with the necessity to always be doing something with my hands. I wanted to do something while also watching sports games and other things that did not need absolute concentration.

I guess I am unapologetic about the hair playing. Its better than smoking, or picking my nose, right?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jersey Shore on Newbury Street

I don’t often use this blog to vent frustrations at specific people (tights are a completely different story, and thank you Em for the Spanx suggestion – I will look into it for Fall/Winter 2011!)

However, this morning I had a rather comical pseudo-encounter I could not help but share with cyber space.

I go to the gym on Newbury Street, which, for those of you unfamiliar with Boston, is known for its good shopping and some pretty hip restaurants. It is the most convenient gym for my life right now, and while I’d love to shell out over $70 a month for Health Works (where I guarantee this would not happen), that’s just not in the budget right now.

Every other day or so, I try to do some type of muscle building exercises on top of my cardio (abs, lunges and squats, etc.) Today was arm day. I usually go to the secondary studio area, that has little 5 pound dumbbell weights and is normally quiet and sometimes private. I avoid the weight area like the plague because it is normally crowded and testosterone filled.

This specific morning, I walk into my usual weight studio, and who is working his obscenely oversized arms but a wonderful male muscle-head with gelled hair, a black cutoff T shirt, skinny legs, and tattoos. But the appearance wasn’t enough for Mr. Man. He also had created a bench for his weights with an aerobic step and several layers of the pedastal things to put underneath them to make them higher. AND (get ready for this) he had rigged a small table with the foam long cylanders often used for floor work to hold a miniature laptop that was showing an exercise DVD.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not often mind sharing that space with others who are also using it as a more private exercise area. What I do mind is excessive grunting. I get that it may help people in their weight lifting, but if you’re going to groan and grunt every time you pick up your weight, perhaps you should switch to something a little lighter.

As for the gelled hair… Come on, dude. Its 9 AM and it looks as though you have been at this for a while. Do you really need to put on your full hair gel before you go to the gym? That is akin to me putting on full makeup, complete with a smokey eye and jewelry. And the only two people working out near you are a tiny Asian girl and me. Are you trying to impress us? Something tells me we are not your type.

Also, I will take a moment to talk about the guy’s legs. Looking at his upper body, you would think that he would have powerful legs, with Jason Varitek Man-Quads (as AT and I like to call them, with all the squatting baseball catchers have to do they must have thighs the size of tree trunks). TINY legs. They seriously look like he does no work on them. In other words, they look like my legs. My legs aren’t puny, they have a bit of muscle to them (thanks to my 45 minute jaunts on the elliptical and the squats, lunges, and other moves AT has taught me to do). But his legs reminded me of a British friend of mine who had spent a year in the US – a rugby player who also spent a good deal of time at the gym. He wondered why American men spent so much time working their upper bodies, and neglected their legs, ending up with the puffed up muscular chests and huge arms with spindly toothpick legs.

But I digress. This man looked like he was the lost Jersey Shore cast member who accidentally wandered away to Boston and its much more demure health and fitness clubs. I did find his presence a little off-putting, but was otherwise entertained during his grunting, groaning, and DVD watching (eyes were rolled, smirks were covered).

In the wise words of the SATC ladies – some people do arts and crafts... (finish this statement).

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

If only I were Harry Potter....

I am mildly obsessed with the Harry Potter series. I wouldn't go so far as to name my first born daughter Hermione or anything, but I can definitely watch the movies with my boyfriend and fill in the missing details; explaining what the plot couldn't handle in a 2 hour and 30 minute time slot. Magic would definitely be convenient, and I sometimes expect that there is a wizarding world among us. I sometimes wonder if an onslaught of natural disasters is Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters wreaking havoc on unsuspecting muggles.

But what would I do if I had magic? So glad you asked, dear readers!

- Create a potion that, when taken 30 minutes before a meal, prevents any calories from being absorbed.

- Charm my skirts to stay down on windy days (has anyone ever crossed the Mass Ave bridge in a non-pencil skirt? Treacherous! The whole world sees your underoos!)

- The ability to find lost things. Or really, just the 'accio' charm, ordering the lost things to come to me. The minutes I spend looking through my bag every day would be drastically reduced.

- Like Mrs. Weasley, I would charm my cleaning implements to clean my apartment.

- I'd totes try to find an invisibility cloak. I know, there are very very few in the world, and Harry's was a very old family heirloom, but the ability to throw it over my shoulders when I am about to run into someone I definitely do not want to talk to would be priceless.

- Apparation (teleportation for those less familiar with Potter-speak). I would save so much money on transport costs. I could visit my sister in Australia for the weekend!

- Flying on a broom would be equally cool. Wizards cannot actually make themselves fly the way people dream of flying, but brooms are almost as good. You'd just need a warm pair of gloves to make sure your hands stayed warm on chilly days.

- I'd love to be able to selectively erase my memory. There are so many embarrassing moments in life that I just wish I could forget, so many books I wish I could read again for the first time (like Harry Potter, oddly enough). Just *ZAP* and, hey! The Help? Shantaram? No, I've never read either of those books. Are they as awesome as they sound? I hope so!--

- Who wouldn't want a magic tent? A tent that has a full kitchen, bathroom and several beds plus a living area? Its a regular apartment, but externally the size of a small tent. Give them all to the homeless and keep them from dying from the cold!

I'm sure I can think of more, but this is the best I can do at 10:25 PM... Good night!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tight tights!

Ok readers, are you listening? I have a million… no, BILLION dollar business idea for you. You can take all the credit and most of the money. I am willing to be an investor if you are able to do this. Are you ready for this idea? Its going to be huge!

Run-free tights.

Winter in Boston isn’t the balmy sort. Its COLD. And as a female, I wear a lot of skirts and dresses. Sometimes I wear leggings underneath, but mostly I wear tights. The sheer, CVS bought variety. Perhaps I would not have to deal with as many runs if I invested a little more money and bought deep discount Calvin Klein tights at Marshall’s, but something tells me this is not the case.

Every time I open a new pack, I hope it will be different. I stretch out the tights to get them used to awkward motion. I take off all my rings. I put my hands in the tights in the form of a fist so no sharp hangnails snag on the fabric. I leave room at the toes.

This works… sometimes. Maybe I will get three uses out of a pair before a run begins. And depending on the run’s location and/or where I catch it, I can sometimes keep it from getting any larger (I have used everything from spraypaint, to spray mount, to nail polish, to glue). But this is only temporary, and soon the run grows, the hole gets bigger, and I must tromp to CVS for another pair of tights. If I’m lucky, the pairs normally sold for $5.79 are ‘on sale’ 2 for $10. Don’t you just love a bargain? (NOT.)

So here you go, folks. Can you create a sheer (not all outfits look good with solid tights or patterns) tight or panty-ho or stocking that does not run, or is guaranteed to last me 8-10 wearings before it craps out on me? I will buy it. I will buy a pair for every day of the week! One in every color, in every pattern! Tights seem to me to be of the absolute lowest quality of clothing. I have purchased $6.00 tank tops at H&M that I have worn for years without holes! What does it take for we females to unite and demand from tight manufacturers a high quality product?

If they don’t respond, I seriously encourage you or someone you know in the clothing industry to take on this challenge. It will be the most sought-after product fashion has ever seen.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

VF and Proust

First of all, I must thank my two 'followers' - Fleming and Jules, you both rock!

Additionally, THE Francesca of the La Cucina Francesca blog (plugged earlier this month) links to my blog from hers.

Other regular readers include my dad and the boyfriend! I can feel the love in the blogosphere.

I have been an avid reader of Vanity Fair Magazine since my mom bought a subscription in my sister's magazine drive sophomore year of college. Mom would mail me her gently read issues when I lived in Norwich junior year, and then in London for my masters. A good friend subscribed me for Christmas the year after, and I keep re-subscribing myself. It is SUCH a good read, with fashion, politics, movie-star bedazzlement, finance, and everything in between. My very favorite VF contributor, Dominic Dunne, has sadly left this world, I'm still loving Christopher Hitchins, Annie Leibowitz and the rest of the gang.

At the end of every VF they give the Proust Questionairre, a set of questions Marcel Proust gave to guests at dinner parties, to a random celebrity. They're very thought-provoking questions. I have never actually sat down and filled it out, so I thought it would be fun to post my answers, and to invite my readers to do the same.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting on the beach on a perfect sunny day with Mom and Blythe and the girls, while the Rev and Brian (and the boys) smoke cigars and have a portable tv with the Red Sox Game playing in the background.
What is your greatest fear?
See post "the fear" for explanation - vomit, spiral staircases, revolving doors.
What historical figure do you most identify with?
The hippies
Which living person do you most admire?
The Egyptian people
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Klutziness. And I can be a little too trusting of new people.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Outright rudeness. Get off your cell phone while paying at a store. Give your seat to the elderly or pregnant person standing right in front of you. Use your darn manners already!
What is your greatest extravagance?
J.Crew flip flops. There is no other place I would rather buy them, and I know they are so much cheaper everywhere else. But J.Crew's are simply the best. And candy, because it serves absolutely no nutritional purpose.
On what occasion do you lie?
When I am instructed to by intimidating supervisors (NOT anyone at my current places of employment). Over 3 years in sales have taught me how to be honest without hurting feelings.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My face in photographs. I am not photogenic. The camera adds ten pounds to my face alone.
When and where were you happiest?
I sincerely hope that my happiest moment has not yet come to pass. Some of the top ones were: becoming a sister, going Theta, re-friending Tallo, and B.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I'd be a little less of a push-over.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That they all lived in or near Boston.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My business idea (it WILL happen!) And moving to London not knowing anyone.
If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?
Ideally? A dog. They seem so carefree.
What is your most treasured possession?
This seems so obvious, but my loved ones. Everything else is somewhat replaceable.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
3 AM, in the bathroom, mid stomach bug.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Hero is such an overused word, and I think that overuse has cheapened it. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those who are choosing to serve others - defending the country, teaching the country, protecting it from crimes and fires, serving meals, representing in local government.
What is it that you most dislike?
Sweet pickles. And needing the bathroom when there is a mile-long line.
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?
Try to be kind to everyone, whether they deserve it or not.

Comment or email me with yours! I'm very interested in everyone's answers!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Fear

Everyone fears something. Heck, even the mighty groundhog fears its shadow. Some people manage to hide their fears, while others overtly flip out.

My mother is deathly afraid of snakes. When the news story broke about T officials finding a boa constrictor on the T that had been missing for over a month, my poor mother was in shock, and was very glad that she had not been on that particular T car when the snake had been found. One would think that due to her fear, I would also be afraid. Not so. When I was very young, she and I were in the woods behind my grandparents’ house (what we were doing I cannot remember – looking for a lost ball, perhaps?) Mom saw a snake. While she inwardly freaked out, she knew that if she showed signs of fear on the outside, I, too, would suffer from snake fear. Instead, she did one of the many cool things she did for me as my mother. She called me over and said, “Clare! Look at that! A little garden snake! Isn’t that cool?”

And to me, it was, because I had not yet learned that a snake could be something to fear. I am not afraid of snakes. Thanks, mom.

I am, however, afraid of other things. Specifically vomit, spiral staircases and revolving doors.

“But Clare,” you say, “No one enjoys vomit. It is not a pleasant experience, whether if you are the vomiter or someone who experiences the vomit secondhand.”

I know. But I am especially disinclined. If I do not feel well, I do not welcome the act of vomiting, even if it makes me feel better afterwards. I would much rather suffer through a stomachache, bug or food poisoning longer if it meant I would not vomit. I can’t listen to it. I can’t take care of the ill. Give me a feverish friend, someone hacking up a lung, that I can handle. Once the gagging begins I’m outta there.

Spiral staircases are all right in small doses. For example, if you have one in your home to go from floor one to floor two, I can handle it. However, if I am climbing an endless (or seemingly endless) spiral of stairs, especially if I can see everything below me (like the Statue of Liberty or St. Paul’s Cathedral), sh*t goes down. I actually had to stop going up the St. Paul’s stairs (something I really wanted to finish, because I love St. Paul’s and I wanted a panoramic view of London) because I was so frightened. I know in my mind I’m not going to fall. But when you can see everything above you and below you, how far you have come and how far you have to go… It gets to you, man!

Zinnia Jewelry has spiral stairs going down to the office and basement. That has helped my fear somewhat, but I have not again attempted walking up a St. Paul’s-like set of stairs in quite some time. We shall see.

Last, but most certainly not least, are revolving doors. These I have somewhat dealt with, because I know they are much more energy efficient than the regular doors beside them and, well, I cannot seem to escape them. My good friend AT knows firsthand my apprehension with these doors. I can do them, I just get very nervous. I don’t like to use them when other people are already in them (rather difficult at a place like the Prudential Shopping Center). I am partly afraid that part of me will get stuck (a hand, a head, who knows?) and partly afraid that I will not be able to get out of the door in time, before it goes around again. And again and again and again. My sister once got her head stuck in a revolving door, and ever since that happened we have both been petrified.

Abnormal fears are normal, right? They are what make us human and different. If only we had superhuman powers so we could overcome our fears…. Or our digestion tract could withstand anything and we would never, ever throw up!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hide and Seek

When I was a kid, Hide and Seek was one of my favorite games. The house I grew up in had no shortage of hiding spots - small dark closets, furniture, under beds, a great many rooms. My backyard had trees and bushes perfect for covering a small blonde female.

What makes Hide and Seek so thrilling?

I literally got a super attack of butterflies every time I heard the seeker come near my spot. During each game I tried not to repeat spots too many times, to up the chances of remaining unfound.

I played as a child with my cousins, as a tween with my friends and my sister. The challenge was in the chase. I never liked Hide and Seek tag, mind you. I have never been the most athletic person in the world. To me, the game is about being the most cunning, not the fastest.

What would an all Boston Hide and Seek game look like?

First of all, i-phone users, turn off that foursquare. The great Hide and Seek match of Boston, 2011, is on.

Rules: Hide anywhere within a specific border. You may change spots as often as you like. Once you are found, the seeker(s) check you off an electronic list. You may also continue to hide, for if there are multiple seekers the point is for a seeker to find the most hiders. You can mess with the rest of the seekers and let them think you are hiding and therefore make them keep looking for you while other, unfound hiders remain unfound.

Where would one hide?
In line at Starbucks
Behind a newspaper
In the stacks at the BPL
Under a pew inside Trinity Church
Dressing room at Second Time Around
Within racks of coats at Lord and Taylor
Under a blanket on the Esplanade
In a tree
The sale section at Urban Outfitters
Pretending to sign up for Boston Sports Club
The Paperchase section of Borders
Behind the towers on the Longfellow Bridge
The dugout at Fenway park (Ha, if only a mere mortal could get in there!)
Anywhere on the B line, it moves so slowly that a seeker would never catch up (mwahaha)
The second or basement floors at the CVS on Boylston or Newbury, respectively (didn't know there was another level? Now you do!)
In the pond in the Public Garden (gross, but resourceful)
Louisburg Square on Beacon Hill - no one can ever remember how to get there from Charles Street
Behind a group of hipsters (immerse yourself in their irony and superior music taste)
Within an Asian tour group (Asian participants only)

Now, as I walk home, I will be on the lookout for the next awesome hiding spot!

Monday, March 14, 2011


You know what's awesome? Daylight Savings Time. Especially after a cold winter - the extra hour in the day makes life so much better.

Yet another of my favorite things. SO worth the lost hour.

For Boston

Boston can sometimes get a bad rap. The weather isn't always the best, the people aren't always bend-over-backwards-polite, and our sports fans can be a little intense. I hope to counter these, and other stereotypes in this post.

1. Bostonians are rude.
No. We are not. Granted, there are populations in the US who are a lot more outgoing than we are (Southerners, Midwesterners). But my guess is if you compare us to New York City or LA, we are no more rude than these populations. We are quiet. We do not go out of our way to strike up conversations in the line at the grocery store. But we do understand the difficulties in getting around our city and are willing to help. We smile at customers or shopkeepers and thank people who help us. We are not rude. But if you try to stop a Bostonian on the street in a blizzard at night when the windchill is in the negative numbers, don't be surprised to be rebuffed. Would YOU want to be delayed in those conditions?

2. The weather sucks
Correction: Winters are particularly harsh and spring has a tendency to be really really rainy. However, summer normally includes days in the 70s and 80s with lots of sunshine. The autumn is gorgeous. Winter weather isn't for all dispositions, but the first few snowfalls turn most Bostonians into excited third-graders. And spring elicits hope that we will once again feel the sun's rays on our faces. The bad weather makes one appreciate the good weather all the more. A person could move to San Diego and live somewhere that is constantly 80 degrees and sunny... But they might not appreciate it as much.

3. The sports fans are crazy
Correct. But we have a reason to be. Four reasons, actually. Four professional sports teams that often make it into playoff games. In addition, the closest major city with rival professional sports teams is New York City, which (I will begrudgingly) produces some top-notch teams as well. So if we come off as a little bit loopy, a little bit intense, it is because we have to be. You try competing against the Yankees for 100 years, and watch them flaunt their twenty some-odd World Series rings at you, especially prior to October 27, 2004. Its all about pride, man.

4. It is very difficult to navigate
Don't try to drive, then! We've been deemed America's Walking City for a reason. If you can read a map, you can walk through Boston.

5. Boston is full of snobs
I think not!
This stereotype, I believe, comes from the large number of intellectuals and our tendencies to be passionate about our political beliefs, regardless of being on the left or right. But we are by no means snobby. Boston is much less image conscious than many other places. You really can make a name for yourself, and create something from nothing. I think that is part of the reason the Boston area is home to so many start-up companies. We actually value creativity and difference of opinions.
Our senses of fashion are across the board. One can find so many DIFFERENT types and styles of clothing on our supposedly snooty best shopping promenade, Newbury Street. Yes, it houses Brooks Brothers, Valentino and Chanel. It also houses H&M, Filene's Basement, and several secondhand and vintage clothing stores. Boston allows people to dress to their personality, rather than to their city's personality.

6. Boston is filled with criminals, dirty cops, and drug-addled mothers
Boston is not a Ben Affleck film. And most bank robbers don't look like him (sad news, ladies, I know.) We have our share of crime like most cities, but just as Law and Order is not an accurate representation of the US legal system, Gone Baby Gone, The Departed and the Town are not accurate representations of this fair city.

Why, then, friends? Why Boston?

That is for another post, on another day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

When it rains

This is almost an addition to the 'Little Things' post.

I am not a rain fan. I like the idea of precipitation and the fact that it feeds the plants an the water cycle that provides for us all, yadda yadda yadda. But on a rainy day, the only thing I want to do is be inside my apartment, curled on my couch, with a cup of hot tea/coffee/cocoa and a good book or the latest issue of Vanity Fair. I heart sunshine and always will.


I love rain boots. Cannot get enough of them. I love my rain boots. I love my friends' rain boots. I love the rain boots on Lil Hoots' twins' two year old feetsies. I love complete strangers' rain boots. I just love rain boots.

I admit, I didn't always love them. I thought them silly, something I would have worn at age six.

Then, it rained.

City living has many perks. But major weather events in the city are especially unpleasant. The rain likes to puddle in potholes, at curbs, just about anywhere with a dip. The walker suddenly becomes a jumper, a dodger, trying to maneuver between raindrops and puddles and general wetness. Not in rain boots! Rain boots allow a person to walk without first looking where they step. Watch others dodge the rain. You, oh rain-booted one, can stomp wherever you like, rain be damned!

When rain boots come in so many patterns and colors, they are accessible for every person and every style. Its ok to have ridiculous rain boots - they can have yellow duckies, pink whales, lobsters, even hands with middle fingers stuck up (not that I have seen them, but you get the idea.) Last year I had a pair with navy and turquoise zig zags. They pooped out on me (not to readers: beware buying secondhand shoes) so I purchased a ones with very colorful petal/paisley shapes. Adorbs. Even our organization's president likes them.

In the words of the infamous Charlie Sheen, "Winning!"

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Little Things

This morning, B and I actually left the house at the same time (him a few minutes early for the T, me a few minutes late for my workout). There is one apartment at the end of our block that has windows directly adjacent to the sidewalk. B likes to look at the huge cat they own, who enjoys sitting in the morning sun. Sadly, due to winter sun rays (or lack thereof), B has not seen the cat, aptly named 'Window-cat' in quite some time. And understandably so. I wouldn't sleep in a drafty windowsill unless the draft was countered with sunshine either!

This morning, though, Window-cat was right in the window where it (he? she? no idea) belongs. B was thrilled, and then a little embarrassed at his excitement. But I told him - its the little things that make our day worthwhile.

What are the little things? They are those small, mundane things that make you smile during the work week. Not even so special as someone bringing cookies. Tiny things, insignificant to most. What are some of mine? Well, I'm glad you asked:
- Purple pens
- Fun little note pads and/or bright neon post-its (for phone message taking)
- Window-cat
- Sunshine
- The March baby flower buds
- The man who sweeps outside the apartments across from the Christian Science Center - he is always so happy!

What are YOUR little things, friends?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Housewives, Events and My Two Cents

In a recent episode of the Real Housewives of Miami (guilty pleasure for Bravo's ladies of luxury, I admit), drama arose where one woman (let's call her Sally) came to an event organized by one of her friends (let's call her Susie) late, and without paying.

Being someone who has worked in the nonprofit world and helped run events of that stature (or maybe a little smaller, but around the same idea), I'm sorry but I have to pipe into the discussion.

A charity dinner/gala of that magnitude is usually a non-profit organization's major event of the year. It generates attention and much needed income and can make or break a fiscal year.

Of course organizers, committee members, and the development team of any particular charity want as many people to attend as possible. They want the event to keep old donors coming back and to entice new donors to create a long lasting relationship with the charity.

However, these events cost money. Supporters can buy tickets or sponsorships at several levels in order to attend (these sponsorships usually come with X number of tickets. The higher the sponsorship amount, the more tickets the donor receives.) The development team, obviously, would much rather have people purchase sponsorships rather than tickets, because the sponsorships bring more income.

Lets say the Animal Love League put on a dinner at the Superchic Hotel. The Superchic Hotel is more than happy to begin a relationship with the Animal Love League, but they have a bottom line too. The Superchic Hotel and the Animal Love League negotiate a contract. They figure out that if tickets cost $400 each and the cost per person is $200 each, the Animal Love League makes $200 per ticket sold. Not too shabby. If the first sponsorship level is $1,000 which gives you two tickets, Animal Love League receives $1,000 less the $200 per head amount Superchic Hotel charges, or $600. And so on.

Back to the drama: Sally decided last minute to attend the event. Rather than RSVPing to the event organizers (something that is easier and easier in the days of the interwebs on peoples cell phones) and paid online or when she arrived at the venue. Susie had every right to be perturbed that Sally and two friends showed up after registration (flat tire notwithstanding) and therefore missed the check-in process, during which time they could have paid. Sally and her friends went straight to the bar and received cocktails presumably included in the ticket price (that she did not pay). Yes, they only had three drinks total (that we saw on the episode). But rather than act defensive after the fact, Sally easily could have found an event organizer (she said she tried - you can usually find the organizers because they are the ones running around like headless chickens) and just written a check right then and there.

Perhaps the drama did not need to escalate in such a way that Susie invoiced Sally with photographic evidence. Susie could have called Sally the next day and gently reminded her that even though she just stopped by, she had just gone to a charity event intended to help those much less fortunate than herself, and how about a donation just between friends?

Remember, everyone: Wedding crashers = fun. Non-paying charity event crashers = Lame.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Does this mean I'm... old?

I have recently written recommendations for two people - one an advisee (I serve as an adviser for a local chapter of the sorority I was in during college) and one a co-worker, who I just happened to supervise.

It occurred to me that I wrote two recommendations at this time last year, both for advisees for scholarships they applied for. I've also been popping up on peoples' reference lists.

Does this new aspect of my life mean I'm old?

I know what you're thinking, blogosphere. Late 20s does not an old lady make, but it becomes an interesting point in time in one's life when one is asked to write recommendations and give references. Every person who has asked me for either I am fully delighted to recommend. They are responsible women (no men in sororities, and few at the shop!) who contribute to their sorority and their shop. But I think the youngest person I have ever asked to recommend me was still ten years older than I am, whereas I'm on the reference list of someone 2 months my senior! The rest of the people on my reference list have been adults for quite a bit longer than I have been; they have careers, kids, mortgages and cars. I have a teeny apartment where mice hold hip-hop parties at night and sirens screech by at early hours of the morning. I'm not even responsible for a pet!

I was hustled into a very supervisory role at the jewelry store - they needed an assistant manager for the new shop, I was slightly unemployed and eager for full time hours and health insurance. The people the shop attracts as employees are inherently awesome, fun, responsible and sometimes just downright silly. Now that I just work there a few hours on weekends, I've been able to really let loose with these people. When I was Assistant Manager, there were lines I tried not to cross, although inadvertently I did, with the help of margaritas or Andre.

I guess I just haven't yet thought of myself as someone able to recommend another's work, or as an authority figure. This new development makes me feel much better about my accomplishments, especially in light of Justin Bieber's cult following at the age of 16 and Daniel Radcliffe's 8 film franchise plus Broadway stardom at age 21. Hey! I'm on my way!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I have not posted in quite some time again, preferring to read blogs of friends rather than post my own. Do I even have anything interesting to say? Some would say yes, others... Well, let's just say that the last post about my klutziness was one for the books and I haven't thought of anything that good since.

Here are some blogs of those I know and love that are much more interesting than my quotidian life.

La Cucina Francesca:
Since I'm plugging, I'm plugging friends. This author has been my bff for over 10 years (with a brief hiatus - never again!!) She has always been a budding Martha Stewart, and began her blog while giving up processed foods last lent. Amazing, I know. She has since created a local following in her efforts both in and out of the kitchen. Check out the post from the fall with her gorgeous bouquets for a friend's wedding.

Lil Hoot:
I've known Sarah of Lil Hoot much longer and the woman has impeccable taste in entertainment. Her wedding was one of the most gorgeously, meticulously planned weddings I have been to in my life (and I have been to the lion's share of weddings). Mom of two lil ladies and two lil frenchies, Sarah turned an old house into a home and now plans parties with more flair (tasteful flair) than one would think possible.

Sugar High:
A newer friend with a brand new blog! She and Angela should open a restaurant. I know I would go!

As for me, well, since I last posted I got a new job at an organization I LOVE and doing exactly what I want to do (when I grow up). Event planning, event planning, and more event planning is the name of the game. No, not holiday parties, fundraisers or weddings, which are both the eventual goal, but seminars and 2 week long classes, events all the same. The dream job is obviously to work with Rafanelli Events ( but a girl has to start somewhere!

I like to keep the personal aspects of event planning in my mind at all times. Friendly reminder emails about meetings for staff, RSVP lists for surprise parties in secret notebooks, and the handshake/smile/"so nice to finally meet you" are some of my favorite things. No detail is too small and no guest is insignificant.

At the end of every post, I promise to keep better touch with the blogosphere, but this time I mean it! So have a lovely day, dear readers, and check out my plugged blogs!