Friday, June 24, 2011


I haven't been able to post in a while, 10 hour + work days does not an energetic blogger make.

I just wanted to say hello, and wax poetic about the Florence and the Machine show last night at the B of A pavillion.

That woman knows how to sing.  I swear she has to train physically as well as vocally.  Likely both at the same time, considering the rapid speed with which she ran across the stage belting her lungs out.

Obvi the songs I knew best were my faves.  During Cosmic Love a sheet of twinkly star-lights shone from stage.  And the crowd went literally crazytrain when she belted out Dog Days are Over.  We all had a sing-a-long.

Florence knows how to engage the crowd too.  Several times she mentioned having never played in front of such a huge group before, and made Friends references while talking about the massive lobster she ate earlier that day.

We laughed.  We cried.  We sang our lil hearts out.

I don't think any of the major media outlets have reviewed it yet, but trust me, friends, if you have a chance to see her live, take it and run with it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

City Noises

B and I are planning a move when our lease is up in the fall.  I like our apartment, I love its location close to everything in the city.  One major drawback of our apartment is also its location... on one of the busiest streets in the city.  This street runs through at least three cities (if not more), and connects to a major highway and crosses under a major hospital.

We were talking on our respective cell phones today, B at the apartment and me walking down our street, a good four blocks away.  I heard VERY loud sirens on his end, and faint sirens on mine.  Sure enough, down came the motorcycled police officers who stopped traffic to leg eight full tour buses drive by.
Someone please explain that to me.

Not so great for maintaining a quiet apartment.
We often joke that in order to sleep in our next apartment, we will need to make a CD (like Whale Sounds or Ocean Breezes or Enya) that will lull us to sleep, but with city sounds.  Here are some of the sounds we will need:

Fire truck/ambulance horns (we all know these are much more abrasive than car horns)
Car alarms
Loud rap music
Loud hard rock
Loud any other type of music, especially if blasted after midnight
Large truck hitting a curb or pothole
Bus (and bus kneeling noise)
Bottle/can collectors with clinking glass going through our garbage
Drunk people
Drunk people having half hour conversations trying to convince other drunk people to go home with them
Truck drivers arguing with each other
Squeaky breaks
Thumpy the upstairs neighbor
Opera singer who only practices at 7 AM on weekends
Vomiting sounds
Loud cell phone talkers
The man who walks down the street singing to his parrot (perched on  his shoulder - true story)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bravo, Bravo.

We all have a reality TV habit (or many of us do).  Even B admits to enjoying the occasional show regarding residents of a coastal town in New Jersey.  But in my humble opinion, no one does reality right now better than Bravo.

MTV \started it all with The Real World, and did so spectacularly.  I cannot tell you how many illicit episodes I watched in high school.  I'm sure that if my parents had known the content, they would have put a stop to it.  I just loved knowing that these were real people with real problems, causing some real drama.  I even wanted to BE on the Real World.  I had my role all planned out, the small town girl who was nice to anyone.

Silly me, I went to college instead.
Fast forward a few years without a heck of a lot of TV access (two separate years in the UK will do that to you) and suddenly the reality craze sweeps the nation.

I have to say it.  I love the Real Housewives of just about anywhere.  I finally caught up with NY and NJ tonight after a rather long day at the office, and am now feeling refreshed and ready to read the blogs and dish about them with my friends.  I try not to judge TOO hard.  After all, I don't know these women.  They don't know me.  They don't tell me their life stories, their hopes, dreams and aspirations.  But that's the thing about reality TV, more so than other shows or movies.  We really feel like we know them.
Being real people too, not celebrities (although they quickly turn into celebs - hello, Bethenny Frankel) we can connect with them on a different level.  This isn't a thirty minute scripted program (ok, it kind of is), this is their real lives, with their husbands, kids, and dogs.  They buy Thanksgiving turkeys, they take their daughters to gymnastics, they take fab 2 week vacays to Morocco (waaaaaait a minute.)  We end up taking sides in their fights with each other.  Are you team Jill or Team Ramona?  Team Alex or Team Luann?  Team Theresa or Team Melissa?  Team Cedric or Team Jiggy?

Regardless of your affiliation, you have something to dish about with your girlfriends the next day, or whenever you manage to watch it on your DVR.
I must say, though, no show has gotten me so hooked as The Rachel Zoe Project.  I mean, what a business the woman runs.  She gets to go to fashion shows, snag looks and dresses, and outfit celebrities for the most important award shows of the year.  I didn't start watching until Season 2, but I'm totes hooked and looking forward to the premier on August 2.

So when perusing what else Bravo has to offer this summer, I came upon Fashion Hunters.  Done.  A show documenting the lives of the Second Time Around staff (not in Boston, but still my favorite store)? I'm so there.  I cannot stress enough my love for my fashion finds at STA and am thrilled they are getting the publicity they deserve by this new show... I just hope it doesn't drive up the prices!

So - highlights of the summer?
Lil Sis returning from Australia
Wedding planning (obvi)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bugs Bite

I am normally a lover of living things, especially animals.  I feel badly for the endangered species across the planet.  I save spiders and am inwardly triumphant on behalf of the mice who seem to have outsmarted my landlord's attempt to rid my apartment of them.

There is one animal I cannot abide: the mosquito.
I know, they're part of nature, integral part of the food chain, blah blah blah.
The reason I loathe mosquitoes is that they love me so.

If there is a mosquito within a ten mile radius of me, I am convinced it will find me and have a breakfast, lunch and dinner of blonde blood.
Case in point: I have bites from the last 48 hours in the following places.
Left pinky
Left middle finger
Right calf
Right wrist
Right thumb
Right elbow
Right arm near shoulder
Right rotator cuff.

Count 'em, folks.  Eight mosquito bites.  EIGHT.

I managed to get bitten in March (are any bugs even alive in Boston in March?)

I managed to get bitten while on anti-malarial pills in India (which are supposed to make you undetectable to these cheeky buggers.)
I get bitten in Boston.  In an URBAN AREA.  Yes, I expect bug bites in Newburyport or Beverly, where B's and my parents live respectively.  I expect it in Old Lyme, CT (also the original home of Lyme Disease.)  But Boston is a different story.  I should be safe.  I should not wake up in the middle of the night to ridiculously itchy pinkies and middle fingers and others.

Does anyone have any suggestions?  (Other than bathing in DDT, which I hear isn't the best thing for my health.)  Perhaps I should stop sweating.  Or stop eating any sort of sugars.  Or stop being out of doors at all, ever (not bloody likely).


Monday, June 6, 2011

The End of Curious George

I am a Sad Panda today, friends.

I just learned that one of the sweetest spots in Harvard Square, and my go-to place for child gifts, Curious George Bookstore, is closing.

This is the most recent of several small, indie book shops to close in that area.  Harvard Square is a beautiful, historic spot that attracts tourists from literally every corner of the globe (I should know, I have worked there in retail for 3.5 years).  Locals and Harvard grads of yesteryear return to the square and comment to us "youngins" about how different it looks.  In fact, a friend of mine who began as an undergrad in 2001 and is working on a PhD now, all at Harvard, has said how much the square has changed since she began her studies a mere ten years ago.

I also worked at an indie book store during college and grad school.  The Book Shop offered the seaside community an alternative to the big box bookstores located 20 - 30 minutes away (without mall traffic factored in).  Owned by a group of really cool women, the Book Shop really had something for everyone, and thrived in part on customer service.  Didn't have a book you wanted?  You can order it.  The 'ladies' bend over backwards to find your requested book.  They also are avid readers themselves and keep on top of the NYT and Globe bestseller lists, making sure to have a few of each in stock.  This is a community book store, with a customer base who are on a first name basis with at least one (usually many) employee/owner.

So yes, maybe books are cheaper on Amazon.  Maybe you troll the bargain bin at Barnes and Noble.

But when your local book shop closes its doors due to lack of interest, and you cannot find a real human person to give you a decent book recommendation, kick yourself for not realizing the importance of the indies sooner. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Hi Friends.

Do you like salty snacks?  Pretzels, chips, cheezie-poofs?
I love them.  Perhaps not the potato chips, but sometimes a girl just wants to be able to sit at her desk and mindless nibble something with salt.  Which we all know isn't good for us.

I'm not talking about our salt intake, per se.  I like to think I drink enough water to counteract the occasional salt binge.  I'm talking about calories, and empty ones at that.  When you love goldfish as much as I do, its difficult to stop once you have started.
Enter Trader Joe's Roasted Seaweed Snack.
(Trader Joe's has not asked me to blog about this, nor do they even know I exist apart from being connected by my pretty much daily debit card use there.)
Its roasted.  Its salty.  Its (somewhat) crunchy, then melts to, well, seaweed.

Disclaimer: I like seaweed as a snack.  Not so much in my bathing suit.

Seriously though, people.  It has 60 calories in the entire packet, which is maybe 40 pieces of seaweed.  What other delicious morsel of saltiness is so darn calorie free?  And 40% of my daily needed amount of Vitamin C.  Eat seaweed, and coast through flu season.

 I will keep eating seafood until someone tells me something really terrible about it.  I suggest everyone at least gives it a chance.  Its not as weird as one might think.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lost in Space

Two emails our organization's president has sent me are lost somewhere in cyber space.  He sent them yesterday.  They have not come in yet.

Their absence made me look like an idiot during a meeting earlier today, but then our interwebs/email guru checked it out and its nothing on my end (and he confirmed I didn't receive the messages).
In the mean time... where do things go when they are lost in cyber space?  Do they get emailed to the socks we lose in the dryer?  Or the five bucks that fell out of our pocket last week?

This is what I think about.


Boston went from pseudo-winter to summer in 2.5 seconds recently, and I have to say I'm ok with it.  You all know my feelings on sunshine, after all.  I also love warm temperatures and outfits that include JUST a dress (and maybe a cardigan or pashmina for warmth while in the air conditioned office.)

Summer also reminds me to stay refreshed and hydrated, especially on my long "walkabouts", as B calls them.
Having been warned again and again about the added sugar and empty calories in soda, we figure-conscious females need to turn to unsweetened, or sugar-free drinks for refreshment.  I admit, I have a few faves:

1. Au Bon Pain Iced Tea
They have it unsweetened and sweetened peach tea.  Sometimes I do unsweetened, with a lemon.  If I'm feeling like a little treat, I do half unsweetened and half peach (because the total amount with peach, or any other iced tea with sugar, makes my teeth grow hair.)
 Dunkin Donuts also has iced tea, but I never find a franchise that carries lemons, and lemon in my brewed iced tea is a must... I blame Mimi, my maternal grandmother.  She used to visit us in summers and make iced tea, throwing a bunch of tea bags into a glass jug of water and leaving it in the sun to steep.
2. Snapple Diet Lemon or Peach Iced Tea
Equally good, if a little sweeter than the DIY at ABP.  
3. Crystal Lite Lemonade packets.
The beauty of Crystal Lite is you can add as much or as little of the powder as you please.  I definitely should invest in some to bring to work to give my water some flair.
Summer is also a wonderful time for the refreshing cool adult beverages we so love.  While I have recently gone on a St. Germaine Elderflower kick, I do mix it up, especially in the summer when bartenders use the clear and lightly tinted booze (rather than the heavy browns and reds during the winter.)

1. The Mojito
I fell in love with the Brazilian beverage while living in London, at a Brazilian bar called Cafe Kick.  A particularly attractive male bartender with long dreads and forearms to die for made the best ones, and many a night was begun at Cafe Kick... especially in the summer, when we could spill out into the sidewalk.  London does NOT have open container laws.  (Dear Boston, please take note and repeal a few choice Puritanical blue laws.)

2. The Margarita
So much more than tequila and sour mix.  I'm afraid I was forever spoiled because the first time I consumed this beverage was at Zavala (owned by the family of Lil' Hoot).  No cheesy pants frozen margs here, they made everything by hand, and showed me that the original recipe with lime is not the only way to go (Hibiscus Margarita, anyone?)  I have yet to visit the newer restaurant, Milagro, but Mom tells me its awesome as well.

3. Pimm's Cup

4. White Sangria
Because red wine gives me instant-hangover.  Not even kidding.  I had a half glass on an afternoon lunch 'date' and had to sleep it off for two hours afterwards.

So while I sit in my windowless office, I dream of roof decks and patio drinks and umbrellas in my cup (oooo good wedding idea, write that down!)