Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just a post about a very cute dog and cat

A picture my brother's girlfriend took of Millie and Midnight, my dog and cat. Their cuteness knows no end.

The Cherry Orchard at Fenwick Theatre

Saturday night I got culture of a whole different kind by going to see live college theatre. And not just any college theatre, but MY college theatre. I studied theatre at Holy Cross, and while I don't see every show now, I do try to check out the ones directed by Steve Vineberg, who was my college advisor and one of the few Canadians I like. Boston area readers, Steve sometimes writes film articles for the Boston Pheonix, so the name might be familiar.

My group of theatre college friends and I first went out to eat at a restaurant I had never been to on Shrewsbury St, as it opened after I had graduated, called Via. AMAZING Italian food. I got gnocchi with lobster meat, and I could have had five more bowls of it. I also had a damn tasty raspberry mojito. We're clearly warming up if I'm ordering mojitos again.

I also want to mention to my HC readers that construction seems to be at an all-time low on 290. Ever since I went to visit this college as a pre-freshman they have been revamping highway 290. So every time to drive on it it's either a mess of construction vehicles or lanes have been shifted or what have you. The last two times I was in Worcester (February and March) have been surprisingly pleasant driving-wise, because 290 seems mostly done with being worked on. It only took... what, 9 year? I'm heading back in April for Emily's Fenwick production, so I'm hoping to go for the driving hat trick.

Steve knows his Russians well, having directed me in The Seagull in 2005 and various other Chekhovs in his time at Holy Cross, and this proved to be no different. A very good, but very sad, production, as all Chekhov plays are. They're called "comedies" and there are light parts to each production, but at the end of the show you feel like someone has ripped out your heart and stepped on it a few times. Then again, Russia wasn't the happiest of times during this period, either.

The Cherry Orchard chronicles an aging family, one of the last clinging to aristocracy, losing their family home/estate for generations, and their spreading through Europe as a result. These characters are being pushed out my modernity and the newly forming middle class. Rank means nothing in this new world, something they cannot grasp, as former paupers who have built themselves up now have the power and control.

Good set, good acting, and always good to see the faculty. One odd moment was when I walked into the theatre, and the usher asked if I needed help getting to my seat. Oh please, usher, I've spent more time in this room than you'll ever know. Pshaw. Also odd to see the changes happening on campus, like renaming buildings and new streets and buildings. I sometimes freeze HC in time to when I was there, so in my world, these changes are odd.

But all in all, a very pleasant evening, and great to get some culture and see old friends.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Elijah Wyman at the "Grinding Tapes House"

Grinding Tapes Recording Company logo, made by local artist and good friend Joanna Heath.

I worked a half day at work on Friday, napped off some of whatever sick thing I have, then drove up to Andover to see a house show.

My friend Jason of Grinding Tapes Recording Company hosted musician Elijah Wyman for an intimate house show Friday night. Now I jokingly call it the "Grinding Tapes House" because while Jason does own the house, he hasn't moved in full time yet. So right now the house exists for house parties, recording studios, and concerts.

Elijah is a longtime friend of Jason and a great artist. Such good friends that when Elijah was going through some terrible health problems a few years ago, Jason donated one of his kidneys to him to save his life. This was all happening about the time I met Jason and his girlfriend, Joanna. But back to tonight's concert.

When I first got there, there was a lot of mixing and mingling, wii, and discussing music. The house was filled with all sorts of instruments, either driven up by Elijah himself or had migrated to the house by other local artists to help with recording. Many of these were played on at various parts of the evening. Elijah probably started playing at about 9:30, and played a set of about 5-6 songs. Most songs were Elijah and a guitar, but one of the songs that will be appearing on his next album involved a banjo, a flute, and a chorus of friends singing.

It was very good to see him back up north to work on recording his album as well as performing. I also like Elijah's songs, as they combine pretty melodies with great verbal play. His lyrics draw on strong imagery and a heavy dose of wit and humor.

His next show in these parts is quite exciting, as it will be at Club Passim in Harvard Square at the end of July. Club Passim is a big deal for artists in the folk genre, and the club has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Joni Mitchell. I will certainly be at that show, and will give a full report in July.

Until then, Grinding Tapes has a series of Showcases in the works at clubs in the Boston area in the works, though nothing is cemented yet. These have been happening once a month or so all fall and winter, and have been very well attended and a good way to get the artists on the label out and performing. I'll mention when the next show will be here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oranjuly at Church

Last night I trekked to Church (in the Fenway area) to see my friend Brian E. King's band, Oranjuly. Getting there was hell. Google Maps failed me for the first time in my time using it, and I ended up on the wrong part of Boylston and about a mile away. It was a pricey mistake, as it cost me $10 to drop my car in a random lot, and then $12 in cab fares to get over there when I realized that the very nice Berklee students who were telling me how to get there didn't mind walking a mile... but being a lone female at 9pm and not really knowing the area, I did. I think I said "Fucking Google Maps!" at least 20 times in my car.

But moving on. Oranjuly is a somewhat green band, only having performed a handful of shows and having some band member turnover. But at the heart of the band are two pals, Brian the singer/songwriter/guitarist, and Jordan the guitarist/keyboardist. Fortunately, they have some new members just with the band, and several very good friends in Thick As Thieves and The Shills to offer their musical services.

Oranjuly reminds me of Beach Boys, Weezer, and Ben Folds having a love fest and producing quick, catchy 2-minute songs. I really think they have potential to be a force in the coming years.

It was a small crowd, but very warm and responsive. After the show, I got to meet a couple of Brian's friends from the local music scene, which was nice. Then we all listened to the next band which I also want to give a shout out to, Lion of Ido.

Brian's friend Scott said they're very Kurt Weill, and I agree. Queen and Threepenny Opera all over the place. They put on a good show, very dramatic and captivating. Also check them out.

I'm off to another show tonight, and then to see theatre in Worcester tomorrow night, so expect many posts about culture, as well as the mystery of why I'm all of a sudden getting a subscription to Women's Health.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I know where I'll be October 16

My friends at Grinding Tapes posted a blog with the following trailer:


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the elixir of life if you had parents that grew up in the Nashoba Valley

I came home from work sick today. Nothing terrible, but I think a combination of allergies/stress/lack of sleep/breathing recycled air/hating Canada with every power of my being. You'd be amazed at how much energy that last one takes out of you. On my way home, I stopped at Henry's Market (a place I'll be returning to once I have an appetite so I can get lots of food and gorge on that place) to get soup and ginger ale.

I don't usually drink soda. In fact, I've pretty much given it up these days. Unless I'm sick. (or feeling like an old lady, which does happen from time to time) Then I get ginger ale. I don't know what it is, but there' s something about ginger ale that always makes me feel better. It's just so tasty.

My parents grew up in Nashoba Valley (near Lowell) and so the brand of choice has always been Chelmsford Golden Ginger Ale. Keep in mind, that first word is pronounced "chehms-fehd". It's hard to find around my parts, but I always keep my eyes peeled. Sadly, Henry's does not sell it.

I called my Mum to see if she knew where it might be, and after a "aww, I love that ginger ale session" between the two of us, she recommended trying Market Basket, so if I continue to feel like death warmed over, I'll try there next. It's not that this tastes better than Canada Dry or Schwepps... well, no. I take it back. It does taste better. No bones about it.

If you've seen this brand out and about, and know where I can find some of my own, please fill me in. I'd love to go enjoy a glass or four.

Well My Name's Maurice and I'm Here to Say...

I'm a fan of, because I think the gadgets are neat, but I like them more for their cool t shirts. Some are incredigly nerdy, but more often than not, they're just incredibly cool.

Well today's came as a pleasant surprise, for a few reasons. One, it features a whale, and who doesn't love a good whale? But more importantly, it's by Derek Erdman... aka RAP MASTER MAURICE. You may remember my blog post where I sing the praises of Rap Master Maurice, but to refresh, he's a Chicago-based revenge rapper. And very clever and funny.

Here's his shirt. GO BUY A COPY NOW!!!!

I'm thinking of picking up a copy of this for my mom. She would appreciate a good whale shirt.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things I like from Canada

I'll be honest, for awhile even Arcade Fire couldn't make me stop hating Canada for 20 minutes...

So the near and dear know that for the last week I've been struggling through a huge work project that came out of Canada. I've already worked many long hours to get it done, and today I worked 13 hours. Sufficed to say, I'm not a happy camper right now, especially since I know I'll have several more days of this nonsense ahead of me.

On one of my breaks, I was trying to think of things I like that are from Canada. I don't want to write off an entire country, though I'm very close. I came up with the following list:

--My friend Crystal, of the Knit Freak blog
--Bobby Orr (duh!)
--Arcade Fire
--Kids in the Hall
--My mom's side of the family that lives in Nova Scotia
--Andrew Ference
--Degrassi High School
--Tim Horton's coffee and doughnuts
--Seth Rogen
--Michael J. Fox

(Somewhat unrelated, Back to the Future is definitely a movie I could watch at any time and never get sick of it. While some of the cultural references fall flat, that movie does hold up surprisingly well over the years. And is there anyone cuter than a young Michael J. Fox? I think not.)

And that's literally everything I could think of. And some of those things in that list are a bit of a stretch. If this work project get any more stressful, things might get pulled from that list. I'm looking at you, SCTV.

So yeah... stay tuned for some probably even more disgruntled blog posts in the coming days.

I just got off the phone with my friend Michnya, who informed me that many good things come out of Canada, including our former college professor/Boston Pheonix writer/one of the greatest mustaches ever, Steve Vineberg. So my bad in forgetting to include Vineberg in my initial post. Here's a photo of the man and his (now shaved off) 'stache.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Save the date?

The photo that launched a thousand rumors, well wishes, and confusion...

Fear not, blog readers. I am not (at all) engaged. I'm not even in a relationship. Which is good for you, because you will still have months and months of me being awkward around guys to read about. Maybe even years.

No, this post is a look back and a pondering of my greatest April Fool's Day joke I've pulled off. Last year, I managed to convince many people, including some close friends and a family member or two, that I was engaged to a guy named Tom and that we'd be getting married in November '09. It was a short courtship, a proposal in an Applebee's, and I was very happy.

I had a photo of my friend Jaime's engagement ring that I was modeling, and I was laughing at myself because I knew that this was the only chance I'd get at wearing a rock for years and years. Well, when you post that as your photo, and change your relationship status to "engaged", and have a status of "Landry is asking you all to save November 21, 2009"... people start to believe you. Like...

--former next door neighbors
--boyfriends of coworkers (my wedding to Tom made his Google calendar!)

I also paid Erin $5 in meatballs at Ikea to post something convincing. And I want to point out that Tom is for Tom Alva. Because if I'm going to fake a wedding, it's going to be with my inventor crush, Thomas Alva Edison. Then the next day I spent squashing all rumors that I'd be getting hitched.

It was pretty great.

Well, the other day, I was talking to a friend of mine, and she said that she has still saved the date of my wedding, which was November 21, 2009. And that got me to thinking... what if I actually threw a party/fake wedding for myself on that date? More a dressy party for all my friends to eat nice food, drink a lot, dance around, eat cake, and have some flowers? Would that be in good taste? I don't even know, but I want to try and pull it off!

So thoughts, people. Would you attend a fake wedding/dressy party/drink up/cake fest?

And yes, you bet your ass I'd want a vespa at my "wedding". I did a google search for vintage wedding and found a bunch of old photos of people on vespas at their wedding... then did a search for vespa wedding, and holy hell... amazingness.

Not as terrible as to be expected

So yesterday I had two goals initially:

1. Get tea at Gulu Gulu.
2. Hang out with Sam before he goes back to college for the rest of the semester.

Trying to get #1 accomplished was a bit difficult, due to people calling me, people flaking on plans but never telling me they flaked, talking with friends who work on weekends online about all sorts of things (I'm looking at you, DD), more people calling me, record stores, and then another person calling me. But I finally got my cup of tea, and was even able to start a new scarf that a friend requested a while back, though I'll need to restart it since it's too narrow. While there, I texted DD that I finally got my tea and knitting in, and that it tasted of wool and victory.

While at Gulu Gulu, I had a good experience. No, this does not involve a guy with a sleeve tattoo. I was sitting at the bar drinking my tea and knitting, and there was another guy next to me on a laptop, when a friend of his came by to say hi. They were chatting, and I was pretty much ignoring them, when he said "I just learned to knit... and hey, look! She's knitting, too!" So I look up and start talking to him about knitting, and we introduce ourselves. He's probably late 40's/early 50's, and just a very friendly guy being nice in my city. It made me feel more like I live here than I rent here. So when he talks to the waitress about getting tea, I look down to see...

...he's wearing parachute pants that are painted to have the galaxy on them. HOW COOL IS THAT????? They were great. And I thought that it was great that he's so confortable with himself that he's wearing galaxy parachute pants. Go him.

After that, unfortunately, I had to leave Gulu Gulu, so I trekked to my family dinner in Ipswich. My younger cousins were making dumplings for us all, as well as lo mein and cole slaw. Well, I should say the latter two menu items were made by my uncle. It was a very tasty last dinner with Sam before he heads back to college. Great to see him. I asked if he wanted to do something after dinner, but he already had stuff going on with his home friends, so he politely declined. Ah well...

So after hanging out my cousins' house for a bit, I decided to head into Salem and make the "what's going on tonight?" texts. But when I got back to my car, I had a text waiting for me from my friend Mike saying "Hooters tonight?"

Now, in order to appreciate this, understand that I have a very close group of work friends, and we love wing nights at bars. And we've been tossing around the idea of going to a wing night at Hooters for awhile, just to see what it's all about. But as we work in Ipswich and this is in Saugus, we've decided to stay more local. So I guess Mike's twin brother John decided tonight might be a good night for it (since Mike is getting married next weekend, so there's a lot going on for the next few weeks) before the spring gets a lot busier. So I said yes, always being slightly curious as to what it's deal was for months, and offered to drive.

The crew for this trip included myself, John, Mike, Foster, and Michelle. And as the title indicates... it was not as terrible as to be expected. The girls were, and not to sound judging, moderately attractive... or about as attractive as one could expect in Saugus. The look of the room is someone corporate and lacking character, but this doesn't surprise me. Decent crowd for 10pm on a Saturday. A few big groups there along with us.

The wait for wings was terrible. We had already gone through a pitcher and a half of beer before the wings came. I think the waitress realized we were getting antsy since she kept coming over to make sure we were okay and give us excuses as to why they weren't out yet.

The wings were okay. I've definitel had better, and I feel like the coating of sauce on the wings were not even or consistent, though it did had a nice kick to them. We went with battered wings, and at times I felt like I was eating more batter than meat. But alas. The price of the largest platter was a good deal, though. They were not stingy with blue cheese, which after many fights with Paul of The Bay for extra cheese, this was a nice change in pace.

So while service was not good and the wings were alright, it was pretty much what I expected, and really great to hang out with some good friends on a Saturday night. And despite the heartburn I currently have from the night before, they were tasty enough for me to eat a few. So while I don't think we'll be becoming regulars any time soon, we decided we could be convinced to check it out every few months in a crowd like this.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm at a loss... a loss for delicious soups and reubens

Oh Stone Soup reuben, you so delicious and giant and awesome and deliciously awesome. I want to eat you all day long, yes I do!

Yesterday when driving in to work I noticed a few signs on one of my favorite lunchtime haunts, Stone Soup:

"We're moving in April! Stay tuned!"


I usually get Stone Soup a few times a month. My favorites are the soup with a grilled biscuit, or the reuben or grilled cheese. Because at heart, I love things that are grilled in butter and probably putting on pounds and ruining weeks at the gym. Mmmm. Their potato salad is also amazing.

I told my team at work about this, and they were just as shocked and horrified, so we decided to make a team mini-project and figure out where they were going. We called Stone Soup, and found out they're moving down the street to where Marco Polo's used to be.

Now this has some pros and cons, naturally. But more cons.

--bigger restaurant so you could actually get a table.
--if it's down the street, less tempted to get soup or sandwiches.
--they said fried chicken is coming back, and that sounds like a hell of a good time.

--I can't walk there.
--Driving in that direction at that horrible intersection blows.
--It's across the street from the high school, so instead of fighting locals for a table, I need to fight dumb high schoolers for a table. It'll be like Zumi's but a million times worse.
--The lunch options that are in walking distance are now almost all sub shops or Thai. (Cafe Zabaglione is one of the few soup restaurants now)
--I hate change.

So I'm sure my lunch crowd will try out the new Stone Soup when they move, because we like eating lunch out and complaining about change. So I'll keep you all posted.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Natasha... wow.

I got back from drinks at the Salem Beerworks to read the very sad news about actress Natasha Richardson's death from a skiing accident. This came to me as a surprise, so I of course called Erin, and she was just as surprised and saddened.

I'm a big fan of her work and of her as a person. White Countess I thought was underrated, and her turn as Sally Bowles in Cabaret was great and showed the raw emotions that Liza Minnelli just could not. She just seemed like such a class act. Her whole family appeared that way. Hard-working and incredibly talented people. And it seems so horrible and tragic that all of that was cut short at a (relatively) young age due to a freak accident.

My heart goes out to her sister, her mother, Liam Neeson, and their two sons. Wow, oh so sad.

To close this, which doesn't seem to have much substance but is me re-expressing sadness, I thought I'd end with some of her work. End on an appreciation of her talents, right?

Below is Natasha singing Maybe This Time from Cabaret. Your talents and grace will be missed indeed:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On St. Patrick's Day, let us remember the greatest drunk text I've ever received

I have to work on St. Patrick's Day -- mainly because I'm a little too old to be calling out to get drunk on a holiday I have no reason to celebrate seeing as I'm mainly French ancestry -- so I do not partake in the celebrations. I am wearing green, but that's about it.

Well, on this day, I want to celebrate the greatest drunk text I've ever received, which happened to be on this day last year. My friend Paul works at a radio station which has an event in a bar downtown on St. Patrick's Day. And from what I gather from asking him about it later, it was a good day filled with lots of drinking before noon.

So I texted him last year at about 9 something along the lines of "Happy St. Patty's! Drink a pint for me!" and got back about an hour or so later the following:

"I sound magical on the radio. I need to go home and nap, I am completely wasted."

Yeah, that sounds about right...

Monday, March 16, 2009

A band, or a weird cartoon about a boy with a giant apparently evil dog trying to find his mum in the Pyrenees? You decide

For all sakes and purposes, this weekend was very weird. It had a weird vibe, many weird things happened from Friday onward, and so I am happy to be done with it at this point. I blame Pi and Brutus, clearly.

Before and after listening into NEP for the week, I was listening to some Belle and Sebastian. It definitely lifted my spirits. I only recently discovered this band, and really like their poppy sound and it reminds me of 60's pop in a great great way. I realize I'm late to the party, but it's a party I'm really glad I found and was invited to.

Here's one of my favorites from their album, The Life Pursuit. It's called Funny Little Frog:

I really like how fun they are. Not too heavy on the ears or mind. They have a great concert through NPR I have as a podcast, which is also great. Their cover of Poupee de Cire might also be better than Arcade Fire's, but I'm not sure and that is definitely debatable.

And for all those people wondering "what the hell is she talking about with Belle and Sebastian the cartoon?", well, when I was a kid there was this very weird anime cartoon we used to watch called Belle and Sebastian, about a little kid who has no mother and is trying to find her in the Pyrenees with this large mountain dog named Belle and this tiny fluffy dog named Poochie (that name may not translate well from the French...) and they have adventures avoiding the police and trying to find the long-lost mother. And everyone thinks Belle is "the big white monster" and she gets accused of all these crimes and bad behavior, so they have to keep running from the police. It's odd, but gives me a warm nostalgic feeling. I'm pretty sure only people who grew up in the 80's, in or around Canada, or knew the original books would have seen this. Or maybe it's more far reaching than i think.

So yeah, enjoy both, and here's to hoping that maybe this latest stretch of nice weather is why this weekend was so weird.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Et tu, Brute?

I feel like a bad nerd. I went most of the day not realizing today was the Ides of March. I even spoke to my Mum not once, but twice, and didn't mention it once. Wow, I am slacking.

As I am more of a English nerd than a math nerd, The Ides of March is a bigger deal for me than Pi Day, which was yesterday. I was actually debating having a party for the Ides, but then realized that it was on the Sunday before St. Pattys, and thought it'd be under-attended. Ah well.

The ides, which comes from the Latin word meaning "half division", originally is for the half month/full moon, and this month is a celebration for the god Mars. It's more well known for the day Caesar was assassinated by Brutus. This was also depicted in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar, in Act III, scene i. (say it with me... NERRRRRRD)

So a big shout out today to those who know it's the Ides of March, Brutus, Caesar, and my fellow Lit/History nerds everywhere.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Falling out

Last week, while driving to work through Beverly, a certain sign happened to catch my eye. I was passing the Beverly YMCA when I noticed that it had a sign on it designating it as a fallout shelter. I found this both nostalgic and odd. While it is important to know that in case there is some kind of nuclear disaster I can drive quickly to the Beverly Y, and I guess even though the cold war ended almost 20 years ago these are still fallout shelters... but do we need to designate them? Is it part of the building's code to keep these signs on there no matter what? Or does no one even think about it any more and I'm just the girl driving to work and thinking about weird stuff like that? Who knows.

I then thought on my drive that maybe this is important in case we have a nuclear accident, like Chernobyl, so maybe we do need these shelters. So perhaps it's not an issue of war, but an issue of safety. So I continued driving to work, chuckling at the fall out shelter and wondering if people wonder about it as well, but then lost thought of it.

Until today, when I was taking my weekend walk in Salem. As part of being healthy/enjoying spring, I walk all over Salem every weekend. Anyways, I was walking back to my car when I passed this corner of a building:

...another Nuclear Fallout shelter in the bank? I got in closer and took another photo of it:

Yes, indeed, there is a fallout shelter down the street from me in downtown Salem. It's a small one, as it only fits 55 people, so I may need to fight people for access to it. I honestly had no idea that public buildings were designed with nuclear fallout in mind, and that there were two so close to one another on the North Shore. It was very bizarre.

I also wonder what it looks like inside. Are there cots and canned goods and water? Or is it just a very secure room? Or maybe it's storage for the banks' files?

Inquiring minds...

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike

Hey man, Jaws was never my scene, and I don't like Star Wars...

So all a part of GSD, though it seems counter-intuitive to my main goal of paying off my credit card completely, is to buy myself a bicycle. I had one when I was a kid, but I have no clue what happened to it and it was not very good. So I want my big purchase for 2009 (as I don't plan on flying as many places this year and the weddings seem manageable) to be a bike so I can bike around Salem/Beverly.

There are many reasons why I want a bike. First off, it's a pain in the ass to drive certain places in Salem, since there are weird one-way streets or parking, and sometimes I just want to bike around town instead of walking or driving to a walking place. This will also save me gas, since I could pretty much only use my car on weekends for trips to home, the various people I know in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area, and food shopping. It also helps my carbon footprint. And this will help me with my goal to be a healthier person.

I will not, however, be driving this to work. Because I work 14 miles away, and while it'd save me a lot of hassle with cars and buses... biking 28 miles a day right now seems a bit lofty. Maybe down the road when it's nice out I can bike to work, but right now, I think I'd die.

There are two bike shops in the area (Beverly and Salem) that I plan on shopping at for said bike. I don't want anything fancy. Just a few speeds, good for the roads, easy to take care of... oh, and in a neat color. But that last one is very low on the list, and bikes look so cool these days, I'm pretty sure anything would be neat to me.

So, any local bloggers who read this, what do you think? Is this a good goal? Am I forgetting any bike shops in the area? Are there good bike trails I could take?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bleeding Purple

Shameless plug time. Well, not really for something I'm quite involved in, but for my alma mater.

As some readers already know, I am a proud Holy Cross alum. (Class of 2006, biddies!) While I was never athletically graced, I do like catching a college sports game from time to time.

Today, The Crusaders play American on ESPN2 at 4:45 for a chance at the Patriot League title. If they win, they'll be on their way to the NCAA Tournament. Exciting times in Woo Town and in Washington DC, where they'll be playing this game. This is the first time they could win this title since 2007.

If you have ESPN, change it from the Ocho tonight to the Two so you can watch this, and cheer on the boys in purple. I know I will be.

I will probably blog next week about other HC news, mainly that they are getting rid of the trays in Kimball Dining Hall, and how as a former Kimball employee/HC sledding enthusiast, that is a terrible idea. So look forward to that trek down memory lane!

And speaking of a trek down memory lane, here's Bob Cousy!!

Update: Last night at dinner, Erin texted our friend Meg to get a score update, only to get a response something along the lines of "we got killed". I checked the score, and sure enough... American spanked Holy Cross 73-57. Boo hiss! Oh well, there's always next year...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Something so cute and sad that it circles around sad and back to cute.

New leg for mine blast elephant
From the BBC

An elephant in Thailand has been fitted with a new false leg, after outgrowing her
original prosthetic.

Mosha, 3, lost part of her right front leg as a seven-month-old when she stepped on a landmine.

She was taken to an elephant orphanage where staff initially thought she might die, but an amputation expert fitted her first leg and she recovered well.

Now eating 90kg (200lb) of food a day, Mosha was doing so well she needed the upgrade, and may live for many years.

When Mosha was brought to the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) hospital and sanctuary in Lampang, northern Thailand, she refused to eat and was rejected by the other elephants.

But a specialist in helping human amputees, Dr Therdchai Jivacate, thought he could help and designed an artificial limb for her.

"When Mosha first saw her artificial leg she was scared of it," said one keeper.

"But as soon as the doctors put it on and she could put some weight on it, she didn't want to let them take it off."

The new leg is made of plastic, metal and sawdust and enables Mosha to rest her weight comfortably, but it can still be easily removed.

She has been accepted by the other elephants and appears to be thriving in the sanctuary.

"She has grown in confidence and now likes to play with the others," said FAE worker Soraida Salwala.

"Mosha should live many long, happy, elephant years."

Thailand's borders with Burma and Cambodia are littered with unexploded landmines, the result of decades of conflict.

The FAE say many elephants, often domesticated ones used in the logging trade, are injured by mines every year as they work in remote forests close to the borders.


How freaking sad but also adorable is that???

You know we're screwed if The Muppets are facing layoffs

Thanks, Yahoo, for making me sad and fret for the fate of poor Grover.

Recession forcing layoffs at Sesame Workshop
By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer

NEW YORK – The crisis on Wall Street is plaguing Sesame Street.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of "Sesame Street" and other kids' programs, is cutting about one-fifth of its work force because of the economic downturn.

The New York-based company said Wednesday that it's eliminating 67 of 355 staff positions.

Declaring it is "not immune to the unprecedented challenges of today's economic environment," the company pronounced a need "to operate with fewer resources in order to achieve our strategic priorities."

The statement reiterated the organization's mission "of helping children reach their highest potential here and around the globe."

Best known as the home of such Muppet characters as Big Bird and Elmo, Sesame Workshop was founded in 1968 as Children's Television Workshop, then unveiled the groundbreaking "Sesame Street" as a literacy-building initiative a year later. That show, which remains a worldwide hit, was the first step toward a media empire that encompasses television, books, toys and online programing.

Among the company's early TV efforts is "The Electric Company," which aired during the 1970s and was revived with new episodes on PBS in January.

Sesame Workshop gets revenue from product licensing and the sale of its programs to PBS and syndication. The company is also funded by government agencies, foundations and corporations.

Total revenue was $145 million in 2008, with operating expenses totaling $141 million, according to the company's Web site.

The incredible, edible egg

I heart Tim:

Me: i have lots of eggs in many different baskets
Tim: haha for a second i thought that was literal
Me: oh lord no
Tim: i was gonna be like "oooh poach them!"

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Slowly making fewer and fewer friends in India

This is a gchat conversation I just had with my friend Brian. Yeah...

Me: So my story is that part of my job I assign projects to our team in India.
Brian: Okay.
Me: And the sentence was supposed to say "if you have any questions, please let me, Chris, or Alex know".
But instead, since I originally wrote Christopher, it said "if you have any questions, please let me, Christ, or Alex know".
To our team in India.
Who is Hindu.
Brian: hahahahahahaahahahahaha


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wool or Copper. Who cares. It's been seven years since March 9, 2002

This is a day early, but I won't have time to post this while I'm at work.

This is an anniversary shout out to Mum and Leo for their seventh wedding anniversary. I can't believe it's been seven years already!

It was a very small wedding. Only immediate family on either side was invited, and we all just wore suits. They got married at our church in Gloucester, with Pastor Martha. Her sermon involved the Velveteen Rabbit made real with love. That perhaps the Velveteen Rabbit was worn down, and had some tears, but he was made real and alive and wonderful with all the love he received.

Then we went to my aunt's house for the reception, and we hung out the rest of the afternoon to have appetizers and delicious lemon cake with raspberry filling.

In remembering all of this, I think it was the best wedding I've attended. It was all about family and love and togetherness. Really, a very special day.

Love these two people so much.

No Game Whatsoever

Store this one under "I have no skills when it comes to dudes"...

So one of the places I love to go in Salem is the Gulu Gulu Cafe. There are many reasons why I love this place, and as I like making lists, here they are:

--I can walk there.
--They have a wall of imported beers.
--There are no tvs, so I can sit and read or knit and not have to listen to a game or Keno.
--Comfy chairs.
--Board games.
--I can get a huge flavored latte for $3
And perhaps most important...
--The male waitstaff is insanely attractive in that hipster sort of way.

So, as you can see, there are many reasons why I like going here. Prior plans for my Sunday were nixed, so I decided to take a nice walk downtown and see the sites, then treat myself with a Gulu Gulu latte at the end of the walk. Exercise shot to hell by coffee and dairy products.

Well I picked the right time, since four very attractive dudes were working there today. I sat at the bar and ordered my latte and a bagel and read for awhile and watched people work. A very nice hour.

I noticed that one of the guys working had a really neat movie reel-themed sleeve tattoo. And he was quite cute. So between sips, I spent a lot of time staring at his tattoo and thinking "wow he's cute".

Now something you should know, if you don't know me personally, is that I can't get it done to save my life, I'm extremely awkward around members of the opposite sex, and I have no game whatsoever. This might be why I am one of the only single ones in my collective group of friends, now that I think about it.

Anyways, it came to the end of my visit to Gulu Gulu and I had my receipt and was writing the tip out, when I was overcome with a moment of flirting and boldness that leads to nothing. I was signing my receipt and adding the tip when I decided to leave a little note for the tattooed waitor. A "crush note", if you will. So I signed and then underneath I wrote "I really like your sleeve tattoo!" below it... and then wussed out and essentially RAN from the cafe. Because I thought "oh crap, what if it gets awkward?" so I fled.

Yep, no one should be surprised that I am constantly awkward and single when I try to flirt and then run from it...

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Simple Joys have a Simple Voice

Today I trekked to NH to visit my friends Alissa and Brendan because... THEY HAD A BABY ON FRIDAY! EEEEEK!!!!

I got the call this morning that Alissa had had the baby the night before. So I trekked up north with a few friends to see the little dear. And she is perfect. Perfect size, disposition, features... everything. Such a great day. So in love with this baby and little family.

Also, it's amazing how something like this completely changes your mood. I'll admit, I've been a little stressed and cranky lately. But there's just something about feeling that much love for a new baby that makes you feel so much better about things. It brought such great joy to my week and weekend.

I will not be posting photos of the baby, but just take my word for it... she's stunning and perfect. The greatest new life and birth for the eve of Spring.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Back to business: posting about music I like

Now that I've gotten my "stop being creepy with my Facebook statuses" ranting out of my system, it's time to do what I do best, which is post music I like.

I heard this song on NPR, and I loved the harmonies, how creepy it was, and how stripped down it is. Dept of Eagles, the same people who brought you Grizzly Bears and one of my other favorite creepy songs (their cover of He Hit Me), are great. Check them out.

Anyways, here's a live version of their song, No One Does It Like You. Soooooo good!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lindsay Weir makes me cry

Tonight I had dinner with some friends/coworkers, and the subject of tv shows we liked growing up came up. Freaks and Geeks came up. While I didn't find this show until last year, I feel like it sums up a lot of what I felt in high school and early college. I can't stress enough how much I love this show, and wish I had it on DVD.

Anyways, I mentioned that the last scenes of this series make me cry every time. Lindsay getting on the bus to The Grateful Dead's ripple... it gets me. Just picturing it in my head makes me well up. Because everyone knows that her relationship with her family is changing, and she's drifting away from her old life. And we're never going to see that trip she's going to take into adulthood. And her family loves her, and want her to stay in that one moment, but know that she needs to grow and make her own decisions. Or at least that's how I read it. And then she gets on that bus and... well, I won't ruin the end in case people haven't seen it. But it's moving and heavy and crying-filled.

I tried to find it on Youtube, but sadly it's not on there. So instead, here's a live version of the song. Very nice version, and a higher quality. I'm a big fan.

Before The Roots whored themselves out for a bad late night show

I'll admit, I'm only about 20 minutes into Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Who knows, it could make a huge recovery and not suck, but right now... that first three minute exchange with Conan was the best part of this show. And even that was just meh.

Jimmy Fallon is not funny. He sucks the funny out of everything he's near. Maybe he needs to get into his stride, but I really doubt he'll ever be good at this/funny. Licking lawn mowers?! I went from the weird genius that is Conan to yah dudes fucking licking lawn mowers????? For real????

The first week of guests is pretty impressive, but I have a feeling they want to lock people in with the likes of Robert DeNiro and Tina Fey before having them settle into the likes of Patton Oswalt* and Jason Lee.

Update: The Robert DeNiro interview was so painful to watch. DeNiro clearly didn't want to be there, Jimmy was hamming and playing up on Taxi Driver and bad DeNiro impressions. And now it's a movie called Space Train?! Dear lord...

But what really struck me is that his band is The Roots. Really, The Roots? You're not selling enough albums or being kind of cool enough, so you have to sell yourselves out to the man and be on Jimmy Fallon's suckfest of a talk show? Apparently this is the case. Ugh.

So here's a video of my favorite The Roots song, aka before they were playing shit like "slow mo news" or whatever it was called. Enjoy more than this talk show:

Embedding is disabled, but click on this link to see it on YouTube.

*The Patton Oswalt bashing is a shout out to any TBTL readers I may have.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The cherry pie hat

So here is the post I've been meaning to put up of my cherry pie hat. So Erin a few years ago jokingly asked for a cherry pie hat. I told her no, since I had no clue how to make one. So she sent me patterns for things that are cherry pie, but not hats. Or baby hats. I kept firm and said no, and she decided to keep bringing it up and leaving me voicemails in funny voices requesting said hat.

Well, for Erin's 25th, I decided to play into her whims and make said hat. I designed the pattern myself, with a lot of help from my knitting group, and got it done on time. My arms KILLED from all the bobbles for a few days afterwards. But I got it done just in time, and gave it to her for her birthday. And she loved it.

Below are some pictures of said hat. Enjoy!

A work in progress. Showing off how far I had gotten while working on it at work. Just a few rows of bobbles and some crust.

Finished the hat at 11pm the night before her birthday. Modeling in my kitchen.

Pretending to take it out of the oven. I was a little slap happy at this point...

Erin models her pie hat, and her boyfriend Matt groans that I gave into her whims.

Listen to 92.5 The River for tracks from my new album

I could also make reference to the last track on Harry Nilsson's The Point, "Buy My Album"

It's a Facebook meme involving Wikipedia, quotes, and flickr. I made mine last week. I'm a big fan. My coworkers decided that when Lilith Fair comes back, I'll be playing the second stage. I think that's accurate.

You bet your ass I'm watching The Price Is Right

This woman went on to win an additional $10,000 when spinning the big wheel. It was great, since she is adorable.

One of my guilty pleasures when I'm home sick or on vacation is The Price Is Right. I think because I was always sick as a kid I got hooked. And to this day, if I know I'll be home at 11am, you can bet I'll be watching pricing games.

This episode has been good. bonus spins that pay off, someone biding the exact price, nut jobs in all camo (who are NOT in the military), cars, and no golf game. PS, how badass of Bob Barker that he creates a game just to show off that he's a good golfer? And to thwart all people who are stuck playing that game.

Drew Carey does a decent job, I believe. I think because he's not trying to be Bob Barker, but is just a long-time fan who wants to see these people win stuff. And he's his own person. I also think it's not a terrible thing that this show has a younger feel and a certain level of Drew Carey snark.

Also, there was a Wilford Brimley commercial, so all was well.

It appears to have stopped snowing, but I also heard that it's supposed to start up again in a bit. If not, I might go visit Crystal and have lunch with her. If it does start snowing, I'll stay in and knit by myself.

The millionth blizzard of the season?

Where's my Almanzo to come save me from starvation during this blizzard?

All my coworkers are enjoying this very rare snow day all over Massachusetts/Southern NH/Southern Maine. I am holed up in Salem. So far, we've only been plowed once. My driveway is also not plowed, so I don't think I'll be leaving here any time soon.

Can I also stress that the fact that our offices are closed is extremely rare, because in my two years this has NEVER happened? I asked Mike about this earlier, and he's been here five years and he's also never had a day canceled outright. Usually we all try to get in and then get sent home three hours later. So this is a rarity and will probably never happen again in my tenure here.

I started the morning by having one of my favorite breakfast items, an egg sandwich with hot sauce. Mine was on anadama toast with some nice mozzarella cheese. And piles of delicious. They're so simple and easy to make, but so filling and satisfying.

Next, I think I'll have to do some laundry, and maybe a little cleaning. I also need to catch up on TBTL podcasts, since I'm about a week behind. I also made some delicious foods yesterday, so I think a lot of eating. Knowing me, I will undo years of running in one day. I think because I'll be stuck in my apartment all day, I need to feel like I'm getting stuff done (though not to be confused with GSD) so it's not a lost day, you know? I want to enjoy this freak of nature day.

I'll also blog the hell out of today. Show the pie hat, my album cover, discuss the lack of plowing in my neighborhood, and other things like that. Good times.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It never gets old, no matter how old I get

This is probably going to be no Blizzard of '78, but dare to dream that I'll have a few days off...

I just got a call from my coworker Mike, informing me that my company closed down because of the incoming storm. This is amazing, because my company NEVER cancels work. In my two years, we've had many half days, but never a full day off. (I don't want to use my company by name, so please refrain) So when Mike called, I accused him of lies. He then told me to call the snow voicemail and sure enough, Beth the head of HR was telling me in dulcet tones that the offices would be closed. Yaaay!

I shouldn't be so excited, but I am. I'm ecstatic. I love a good three-day weekend, and an excuse to do cozy things like bake and cook and knit and finish rewatching season 1 of Flight of the Conchords. Also, where I live, no one ever plows our street until well into the afternoon, because we're not a main road. And there's a hospital near by, as well as several schools. So it's far more pression to make sure they're plowed than little ol' me.

So tomorrow I will be found with candles going, eating warm delicious things, maybe walking around the neighborhood, but not making my way towards Ipswich. Because I will be snowed in, and I have the day off.

I also happened to take Tuesday off, so why hello 4-day weekend. What's up?!

Klassy with a K

I'll change the name off of who provided this "classy" Facebook status update to protect her identiy, but let's just say she's a 25-year-old wreck who i've seen photos of pole dancing, and she's kind of a trashy bigger girl that has no business pole dancing...

"Katie is stoked she won $25 Friday for having the most mardi gras beads..and then was able to dance on stage..."i'm so special, i'm so special, so special,so special."

I think some readers can guess who I'm talking about, but if not, you can email me and I'll tell you who this is.


The Bon Savants Show I went to!

Cozy in bed, feeling a buzz from a good night out in Beverly, but a friend pointed out that the concert I went to on Tuesday is on the WFNX website. You can see me for all of about two seconds, wearing green, and bopping along not at all in rhythm with the music. But that seems par for the course.

And since I'm getting this from a website, again this is a big thanks to WFNX/New England Product/Dave for this video. Watch now, in case someone gets wise to my posting and plugging.