Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010, a revue:

I'm preparing to be busy with the theatre peeps for NYE, so I'm doing my year in review now.

2010 was, I'd say for most people, about 40% good and 60% bad. I feel like I saw so many people having rough times. While a lot of good happened in 2010, so much bad happened, too. A recap:

The Good!
--Ricky and I moved in together, and had a great full calendar year together.
--Two of my good friends had babies! Awesome!
--My cousins got a great little puppy named Murray.
--Coco and Nicky.
--New job continuing to be good.
--Amanda got married!
--Countless friends got engaged.
--Rachel got married.
--I got Alva the fish.

The Bad!
--Midnight died.
--Maggie the dog died.
--Pat died. (too upsetting for me to write about)
--Ricky had some job woes and it was stressful.
--A rat moved into my apartment and wreaked havoc.
--Shitty neighbors.
--Three friends had issues with fertility (I won't mention who for their privacy).
--Buying my car was a dog and pony show.
--Leo switched to being in a wheelchair full time.
--Dramas with my grandparents.
--Too much family crap to write about in one blog between me and Ricky.
--Numerous friends have had job woes.
--Dramas with all dads.

But I know a lot of people have had issues in 2010. So I'm actually kind of glad to be putting this year to bed and move onto 2011. I have strong hopes for next year. A lot of weddings, some babies, two years with Ricky, probably more engagements, and other good things.

Peace out 2010, and bring on 2011!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE Christmas gift

It's mine! All mine!

Christmas Eve morning, Ricky and I exchanged gifts. It's far easier to do that than to try and fit it in with all of our families. And we can leisurely enjoy the whole morning together, and do things like make breakfast and just relax. Ricky loved all of his gifts and then I opened my last one...

...and it was a KitchenAid Mixer.

I almost started to cry with joy, I was so happy. As you know, I've been dreaming of one for eons, but have never gotten it for myself because they're a little pricey and it's hard to justify it when you already have a hand mixer. And it's a Cornflower Blue. So pretty and it works like a dream! I'm a grown up now!

Ricky decided to go with the blue because it was the prettiest, but also subtle enough. Some of the other nice colors were a bit too loud and "HEY LOOK AT ME I'M A MIXER IN A KITCHEN!" which I think was the correct approach. And he had it sneakily shipped to his parents' house so I wouldn't see it. I was very surprised and pleased. I plan on using it later on today to make cookies.

To the right, you'll see it stationary, being pretty. And below, here it is in action, making a meringue top for a pie I made for Christmas day.

It was so nice to just put in the ingredients and hit the setting and not have to manually make meringue! It works like a dream. I see myself using it a in probably weekly. It's so wonderful. Best Christmas gift ever!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Christmas Song from Oranjuly

Honestly, who ever really wants a hoola hoop?

My friend Brian of the Band Oranjuly (I've hyped them quite a bit over the years here) just released a Christmas single. Hoorah!

Brian, with the help of musician Michael Scott, recorded a cover of The Chipmunks' "Christmas Don't Be Late". I really like it. It keeps the same spirit and vibe of the original, but is a million times less cloying. I believe it's because it's really good, the harmonies are nice, and it's not being sung my chipmunks. Check it out and download it here!

More Obamas Holiday Cheer

Thanks again Tom and Lorenzo for these delightful pictures!

The Obamas are pretending to sing with an a capella group. I love the goofiness of the pics. I don't know why, but Obama looks even more dad-ish in this than usual*. It's almost like you can picture Sasha and Malia sighing and rolling their eyes slightly somewhere right now.

Yeah, both of their parents are pretending to sing with an a capella group and fully committing to it... they are sighing very heavily right now.

*and by "usual", I mean when he wears dad jeans again and again and when he wears track pants to play pick up basketball with his friends.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Frog Pond Skaters

Last weekend, Ricky and I spent some time soaking up Christmasy things in Boston. It's nice being there without having to be at work, and to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. Anyways, at the end of our day, we found ourselves at the Frog Pond in the Commons, watching the ice skaters. Neither of us are particularly good at skating, nor did we want to leave our bags unattended. But it was still very relaxing and nice watching everyone else.

I took some photos of it, and this was my favorite shot:

I love that everyone is blurry minus that one couple in the lower right hand corner. I also love the lighting. I took this without flash, because when the flash was on, the pictures were turning out horrible.

Just a little something to get you into the spirit.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Holiday times with the Obamas

I saw this photo on Tom and Lorenzo, and I have no clue what's going on right now in it... but I love the facial expression on President Obama.

In my mind, he's being charming and possibly a little goofy with the cute kid elves. That blonde one seems to be just getting in on the joke.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide: Crate and Barrel

Over the weekend, I got a good deal of my Christmas shopping done in Cambridge. I was in the area to see It's a Wonderful Life at the Brattle, and Ricky and I decided to make a day of it. Photos of ice skaters to come in a day or so.

I have the luck to work near a Crate and Barrel, which I have often hit up for gifts. I think for the quality and look of what you're getting, it's a relatively good bargain. They also cater to a wide array of needs and tastes. And did I mention that it's 2 blocks away from where I work?

Anyways, here are some things I've noticed in the store or have given as gifts myself in past years and why I think they're great gifts:

It's a candelabra that looks like a branch. How pretty is this on a table with white candles? They look like piles of snow on a branch. It's larger than I thought it would be in real life, but I would definitely consider getting this for a parent or even as a housewarming gift.

Way back in the day, on the once decent then horrible sitcom That 70's Show, the protagonist's mother had the line "they should call fondue fundue... because it's fun!" I'm pretty sure she was supposed to be stoned during this scene, but that's neither here nor there. I've actually given a fondue set to my friend Danielle a few Christmases ago as a gift, because she likes chocolate, snacking, and entertaining. I gave her with it some nice chocolates to make fondue with, and possibly a cheese. This set is not electronic, so it's not too expensive and also a nice intro to the world of melted sauces.

I've given this gift as a wedding gift once. Crate and Barrel makes nice frames, and I like the variety of picture sizes for this one. I gave the frame and the offer to purchase any wedding prints they want. As of today, the couple still hasn't decided which pictures they want, but they are very excited to decide and see the frame up in their house. Black and white frames are classy and go with all decors. I could also see getting this for a friend or family member, and printing out pictures of a trip or over the years. Erin's gotten her share of C&B frames from me over the years, especially when she moved into her boyfriend's house.

There'll be more gift guides as the weeks progress!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Stocking Update

Earlier I had mentioned that I was trying to find cute/nice stockings to hang on my couch with care. All the stockings I came across were either:

a) too expensive
b) not crazy about the fabric choice
c) tacky

Then Ricky came across simple plain felt stockings in Target for $1 each with bric-a-brac trim. This is, literally, what I was looking for. I will admit, I was eying a different stocking at the time, along with recovering from gum surgery, so I was pretty cranky. Ricky suggested we should get these stockings and then get puff paint from AC Moore and decorate them while watching Christmas movies.

This ended up being the perfect plan.

Ricky's stocking in progress: Ricky dressed up as Santa, with some presents and snowflakes.

That night, we watched Scrooged (who doesn't love Robert Goulet's Cajun Christmas?) and decorated them. Ricky made his, and I made one for me and one for Alva.

I think they came out nicely. They were quick to whip up as well. The quality of the felt itself is pretty cheap/thin, but they will do the job. We also dated our stockings so that if we did this every year, we could see the histories of our stockings. Mine is just a snowman with a tree, and Alva is one of him wearing a Santa hat. We also got foam snowflakes to add some flair to the stockings as well.

Here's an up close shot of Alva on his stocking. It's very orange in real life, but taking pictures with the flash on proved more difficult than hoped, because all I could see was the shine of the puff paint.

And in case you were wondering, yes we did get things for Alva for "Santa" to put in his stocking. Him living over 2 months already is enough to put him on the nice list for life.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Charlie Chaplin speaks!*

*this isn't news or new... he died in 1977.

So I was listening to a TBTL podcast where they mention John Wayne's Oscar acceptance speech, and I wanted to listen to it. Found it on Youtube, then went down that rabbit hole and found Charlie Chaplin's honorary Oscar presentation. A very nice tribute to a man who has had a HUGE impact on film and comedy. Then Chaplin himself said thanks at the end, and I was struck by two things:

1. He has a very regal and deep sounding voice.
2. He's British.

I think, while I knew he was from England, I didn't put two and two together that he'd have a British accent. Ah well. I wanted to then find more audio of him speaking, and I found the following video of his big speech in The Great Dictator. It's incredible. That he did it in one take, it's so eloquent, and he made this movie while the Nazis were in power and this entire speech is speaking against them takes great courage:

Just a little something neat. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

End of November

And end of blogging daily. I hope some of the blog posts were interesting. I think I may take a day or two off, but I do have some ideas for holiday-themed posts for the month of December.

In the meantime, I watched Rudolph tonight on CBS. It definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.

I woke up this morning to hear that Leslie Nielsen had passed away. Surprising, because I feel like he was never someone on my radar as that old. Never a big fan of the Naked Gun movies, but I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for him in the Airplane! movies. Him, Peter Graves, and Lloyd Bridges made that movie awesome, so I'm sad to hear he passed away.

Also, don't eat the fish.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Symphony seen, Christmas season can begin

Today Ricky and I went to the Cape Ann Symphony with several friends this afternoon. I feel like now Christmastime is official and can be kicked off. A very nice concert with a variety of music. Full house. Good cheer.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In honor of yesterday's post...

To continue the theme of Christmas songs, here's Ricky's favorite cheesy Christmas song. Paul McCartney's Wonderful ChristmasTime.

Mine is Elton John's Step Into Christmas.

Alva's is John Denver and The Muppets singing the 12 Days of Christmas.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Ricky and I got our eat one the day after Thanksgiving at George's, which was tasty and filling and amazing. Now I'm paying rent, feeding my fish, and being a blob. It's pretty good.

Also, bring on the Christmas music now!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Things I'm thankful for

Dear friends
My pets
Ricky and the wonderful year we've shared together
My health and the health of my family/friends
My job
My apartment
Apartment ponies
Warm socks
Crate and Barrel
Being friends enough to be in a wedding
Two kids who consider me their aunt
Long walks around town
Things that taste like buffalo
Mix CDs
Fresh sheets out of the dryer
Noro Yarn
Slim cut jeans
Egg sandwiches
My fish

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gift Wish List: Etsy edition

***note: Not a hint for anyone. Just pretty things that I think would make great gifts for anyone.***

I try to do some of my Christmas shopping on Etsy every year, because you get really great, unique gifts, and it helps individuals out a lot. I've made a list of some things I've been eying for myself or others:

A green vase with a bird on it.

How darling? How sweet and simplistic? I love that the color reminds me of jadeite green pottery from the 30's.

A succulent garden.

Succulents are super easy plants to have, and I love the look and shape to them. Sometimes it's nice to break up the very leafy plants. They also thrive in shade, which is nice for many an apartment dweller. I feel like succulents are becoming the hip plant to own, but they also remind me of growing up and my neighbor's wall had hens and chickens growing on it, and those plants are often potted with succulents on etsy.

Anything by Figs and Ginger, like this bunny necklace, or this whale necklace.

Full disclosure, I know the charming husband and wife duo behind Figs and Ginger, so I like helping them out. That being said, I think their jewelry is adorable. The bunny one is so cute, but the whale one also has a soft spot in my heart. Perhaps for my mom?

Turkey Day Eve

$20 there'll be a year I end up eating popcorn, toast, and jelly beans.

Thanksgiving is, by far, my favorite holiday. It's about friends and family, eating, no gifts, a four-day weekend, and eating. I don't feel the pressure to spend or give gifts. Just spend time with loved ones and give thanks for my health and happiness.

This year, I'll be spending the meal with my dad, dessert with my aunt, and the after party at Emile's house with Ricky and his crew. Last year, we got tickets to the Symphony, so it'd be nice if that worked out again, but I'm not sure that'll work out this time. I may also be trekking back to Salem to feed my fish, since we never figured out how to make sure the little guy doesn't starve over the weekend.

Thanksgiving also feels like the beginning of the holiday season and the beginning of the end of the year. The next month will be crazy, with gum surgery, dinners with dear friends, holiday parties, movies at the Brattle Theatre, Christmas, Vermont, and New Years. So I hope that the last month ends the year nicely.

I won't be making dessert this year, since I'll be spending the night before Thanksgiving at my mum's house. And I'm not sure if I'll be posting this weekend. I may just blog later on today at work and call it a day. I have some ideas for what to write about, never you fear.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cookie-eating fanatic bordering on glutten.

Getting ready for an evening of shopping with Erin and drinking with Bob. Before then, I stumbled across this Bad Larry. I've enjoyed the digital shorts the Muppets have been posting on the internet, it reminds me of the old Sam and Friends sketches from the 50's:

I love it, but I question if he has the chops. After all, the Muppets and SNL tried to blend together in the 1970's and it was considered a big flop. That being said, the condensed version of everything, Macarooner, and Cookie Gaga had me giggling at my desk.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The 6-year-old in me is jealous and impressed

I heard tell of this on TBTL and had to check it out for myself. This girl was able to solve an entire Wheel of Fortune Puzzle on 1 letter... and it's the letter L in "I've got a good feeling about this".

The letter L?! Daaaaamn girl.

Pretty cool, check it out. And gotta love Pat Sajak being flabbergasted.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas crafts

Today Ricky and I were discussing how we want the place to look for our first Christmas living together. This included how the tree would look, ornaments, and stockings. We decided to each fill the other one's stocking. I'm also going to get Alva a stocking and give him something in it. (him not dying so far is enough to put him on Santa's good list, as far as I'm concerned).

After some browsing of Martha Stewart Living, I know I want felt stockings. There's something charming and homey about them. I also like the simplistic look of blocks of colors. With this in mind, I did some light internet browsing to try and find some pre-made ones. They're either wicked expensive or don't exist. Hm.

Looks like I'm in the market to make stockings. I figure I'll get lots of felt, bric-a-brac and other classic trims, and some interesting buttons. Has anyone made a stocking before? I'm also nervous since my sewing machine is still acting up, but I'm pretty sure it'd be minimal sewing or even hand sewing.

Who's made stockings before? Any encouragement?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

There's a chill in the air, an egg in the nog

So noggy...

Every November for as long as I can remember, I get pumped for the re-emergence of my favorite holiday drink. That would be Hood's Golden Egg Nog. I'm a purist when it comes to my nog. I love Hood and I only get Golden. No pumpkin or vanilla. Just the Golden.

When I was little, that much richness was too much for my little stomach, so my mom would dilute it with milk. I remember being super pumped for the day when I could stomach straight nog.

This may be the little kid within, but I like mine straight. Rum gives it a different flavor that I'm not too crazy about.

Puelo's makes a pretty decent egg nog, especially since it's all natural and made only in Salem, but another part of me loves the classic Hood version. Straight from the carton with some shaved nutmeg on top? The best.

This post didn't have much substance, more to say I'm excited for the next month or so of enjoying Egg Nog.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finz during Restaurant Week

No no, I had a different kind of banana split...

Last Thursday night Ricky and I had date night at Finz before I headed out for my girl weekend trip. It's walking distance, and since it was Restaurant week, we knew we could get an amazing meal for less.

We were not disappointed. It was easily one of the best meals I've had in Salem.

It was surprisingly quiet for a Thursday night, especially since it was Veteran's Day that day, so we got seated almost immediately and by the window. During the day, it would have been a nice view of the harbor, but right now it was just darkness and some lights. The room looked quite pretty nonetheless.

Thanks to Restaurant Week, we got a three-course meal for $25 each. This is a deal for Finz, where entrees are averaging $20 a plate. We also each got drinks. Ricky got beer, and I had the ginger peach martini. The ginger warmed me upon this cold night, and the peach helped mellow out the flavors. If I go back, I'm next eying the cinna-rita or the autumn mule.

I got a salad that featured blue cheese, bacon, nuts, apples, and a pomegranate vinaigrette. It was very filling and the flavors were a unique twist on the typical "salad with nuts and fruit and a pungent cheese" fare. The bacon added a meatiness and weight to the salad without overpowering the flavors. Ricky got the lobster bisque, which had leeks in it. It had interesting flavors, and wasn't too fishy.

For entrees, I got salmon wrapped in bacon with a side of asparagus all over a cranberry walnut risotto. The Great Escape, THIS IS HOW YOU MAKE RISOTTO. Perfectly cooked, great flavors, and definitely complimented the fish. As far as wrapping some things in bacon... I'm not usually crazy about it. I hate soft, undercooked bacon, and I feel like this is what usually results. The top was well cooked and the smokiness of the meat complimented the salmon well, but the bottom and sides weren't as good, so I just picked around it. I could have eaten that risotto morning, noon, and night. It was that good.

Ricky got shortrib tacos with sweet potato strings and a slaw. I had a few bites of his meal, and it was quite flavorful. The meat had a lot of heat on it, but the creaminess of the slaw mellowed it out. And who doesn't love a sweet potato product?

For dessert, we each got their take on the banana split. I tend to shy away from banana splits because they usually involve pineapple, which I'm allergic to. This version, fortunately, did not involve it. Instead, it involved banana ice cream, candied walnuts, whipped cream, and fried cubes of cheesecake. Needless to say... it was a nice departure from the classic.

Finz is clearly not a "go every week" kind of restaurant, but I've found a new "go for special occasions" restuarant in Salem. The location is great, the convenience is equally key, and the menu is thoughtful and tasty. I strongly recommend it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crate and Barrel ornament dream team

This year we're getting a Christmas tree. I took a hiatus from trees last year because... well... I had literally nowhere to put a tree. I did get a tiny tree for my table, but you can't put ornaments on it... and it's fabric. But Ricky insists on getting a tree this year, filling it with cute ornaments, and enjoying the smell of pine in our apartment. I can do that.

The only issue with this is that I have about 5 ornaments and Ricky has a total of 0. Which means we have... 5 ornaments to cover a full-size tree. That's pretty sad. So lately, I've been on the hunt for nice-looking ornaments to fill out the collection.

Crate and Barrel, per usual, has adorable ornaments that I want. And they're not free. Damn you, C&B!

First up, Herringbone dogs. Two of which have little hats. And a scarf. Gahhh I can't handle the cuteness. If I find myself with some extra money, I will probably get these. Because... well, I think cute dogs in hats is explanation enough.

Next up... cute little baby stockings with poinsettia on them?? In pretty colors? So they're simple and pretty all at once?! You slay me, C&B!

Ricky and I are also debating having an ornament-making party, where our local friends come over and we make ornaments and drink egg nog and listen to good music. It should be a festively good time. If and when we do have a tree filled with ornaments, I'll post photos.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Got back from jury duty...

I spent over 4 hours waiting in a room (ugggghhhh) and then wasn't picked (hooray!) and could go home at around 1:30. From what I'm assuming, this is pretty good. From the civil trial happening today, I think it would have been a shit show. Old ladies, people defending themselves, hipsters, and more old ladies. I'm glad I missed out on this one.

In the meantime, why not enjoy Biz Markie and Jeff Goldblum making musical magic?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One angry girl

Ah yes, that movie with that guy from Winnie the Pooh, that other guy from The Odd Couple, and that other other guy who's Jane Fonda's dad...

Despite all my good thoughts and hoping, I found out I must show up for Jury Duty tomorrow. I'm hoping two things:

1. I won't need to serve.

2. If I do need to serve, I'm more of a Henry Fonda than a Lee J. Cobb.

I also have a strong feeling I'll be starting "Jury Duty mittens" or finishing my sweater tomorrow. Here's hoping...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Say it soft and it's almost like praying

Last night, after my big trip, Ricky and I watched West Side Story for the first time. I've always loved the music from it, and he was curious to see how they pulled it off and how it compared to Romeo and Juliet.

It was really good! (this isn't news, since the movie is 50 years old) I love the choreography and the look of it (reality vs. fantasy of the set) and use of colors. Ricky liked the music a lot. Our favorite song was Maria:

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Back from my girl weekend. Very fun, good to see the ladies, and very tiring. Now I sleep.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Read this on a Saturday, so it seems like I posted all weekend.

My coworker sent this to me, and I loved it so much I started to cry. Honest to goodness cry.

The sweetness of this, the silliness, and their commitment to making it a good number... all awesome. And it's from Fiddler, so you know I love it. The dance moves reminded me a lot from my high school production of Fiddler.


This is what you get when you google "Retro Maine". It is exactly the image I was hoping for.

I know I'm trying to do NaBloPoMo this month, but unfortunately I'll have to just post twice today, none tomorrow, and call it good. If you're reading this and want the full effect. Only read one post today, and one tomorrow, and it'll be just like I posted all weekend. S'okay?

I'm going to Maine with many of my best pals from high school for "Girl Weekend". It'll be a weekend of hanging out, taking long walks around Maine, shopping the outlets, and delicious food. Despite what Ricky thinks, it will not involve pillow fights.

I'm always very happy the best pals I had in high school (namely Jess and Amanda) are still my best pals today. I've been friends with Jess since 1993. That's 17 years!! I'm sure there'll be stories when I return.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day/Armistice Day/Remembrance Day

Thank any veteran you know today. And think kindly on all that you don't know.

I was doing some research on Veterans Day/WWI this morning, and it always fascinates me. Right now, there are four living veterans of WWI left in the world. This amazes me not because there are so few... but because there are so many. That war ended 92 years ago.

It's also neat reading about the transformation of the holiday from just WWI to all wars and all veterans, but also sad that we need to keep expanding it to encompass all veterans. Then again, as they say, freedom comes at a price.

So thanks, veterans. And read In Flanders Field today, too. Always a heartfelt, emotional read.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Facebook Friend Mashup is awesome

It's not called that, but it might as well be.

I noticed last week a new feature on FB which is where you can compare two friends of yours and see their friendship: the posts they commented on each others walls, the events you've attended, the shared interests, and the photos they're both tagged in.

What makes it awesome/addictive for me is that they show a photo of the two people. Ricky and I have been paring friends to see what Facebook has deemed THE photo of the friendship. Ricky and I are a photo of my Mad Men Meme, which is funny. Our friend Jon and Megin are the two of them with their daughter, which I found fitting. Me and Erin is one of my fridge where I tagged the two of us as a fridge magnet for when we went to Cleveland, which is odd. Me and Tim are a photo of us in Worcester one summer at a Moe's, which I actually have framed in my house. But my favorite is the photo of my two best friends from high school, Amanda and Jess:

If there was ever a photo that summed up their awesomeness, it'd be this. Happy while dancing at Amanda's wedding, full of joy. Hair a-flowing. It's just so perfect.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How do you measure, measure a year?

I don't work with Jack Black. Or Michael Cera. Or cavemen.

Sorry for the Rent reference.

So today marks one year at my new job... which I guess is not so new anymore. It's crazy to think it's been a year. It both seems longer and shorter than that. But I am happy I'm here, for sure.

I think I've learned a lot in the last year about working and myself. Such as:

--Driving to work is overrated. It turns out I love commuting to work via public transportation. I've done so much knitting, reading, podcasting, it's been great. I still have my car, but I don't miss sitting in traffic. And on those rare days when I had to drive in... I was reminded further why taking a train is great.
--I still have friends from my old job, which is very nice. I'm glad I still have my core people I talk to regularly.
--I'm capable of pulling off great things at work. I organized 850 college students for a graduation and it went off surprisingly well. I've also learned so much about curriculum and this college, which always pleases me.
--Newbury St and Boylston St kill my wallet. Regularly. I'm looking at you, Anthropologie and Crate and Barrel.
--There will always be that one person at work who drives you crazy and is close to useless, but it depends on the number of annoying people vs. non-annoying people which helps the work atmosphere. Two words: Ned Flanders.
--I really like working with college kids. 89% of the time, they're eager and sweet. And I like seeing how they have such big aspirations for the future. I'd say about 11% are awful entitled kids, but whatever. Also, they're far more stylish than me. Definitely makes me feel more Liz Lemon-ish than before.
--I don't miss eating at a caf daily.
--I do miss having a free gym daily.
--I hope to be here awhile. I really like working for a college, especially this one.
--I like working with caring, quirky, creative coworkers, and I hope they feel the same way about me.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On the morning of Team Coco Day...

...let's give a shout out to Coco and hope that his new show goes amazingly well while The Chin continues to phone it in on NBC. I'm hoping to stay up for his first show, but if not, I'll be catching Jon Hamm on his show and definitely watching the Wendesday episode since I have Thursday off. Hats off to you, Conan and Andy.

And Conan: yes, my mom did name her cat after you.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


My cousins got a puppy named Murray. He's really cute.

And yes, he is named after this Murray:

What up, FotC reference?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ricky Gervais=awesome

Long day out and about, but I needed to post, so here's awesome Ricky Gervais being awesome with Muppets.

Friday, November 5, 2010

When I'm not working on my next collection, I'm taking down cock-fighting rings in Mexico.

I admit it, I definitely think Mondo should have won. But there's something enjoyable about Gretchen Jones, resident Mean Girl/Winner of Project Runway Season 8. She's opinionated as hell, and had one of the greatest trainwrecks during judging, but I gotta love that about her. Plus, she was dealing with a lot of shit when creating her final collection, which I think she handled well. (admit it, haters, could you end a relationship/get evicted/pack up all your stuff in storage/be broke as a joke and have Tim Gunn in your house?)

Anyways, I follow her on Twitter, and I think she's great on that as well. Lot of non-sequitors and comments about art and the seasons. Today she posted a great video of Ten Facts no one knows about her... and I giggled a lot at work:

Her delivery of most of these lines is what makes it so awesome.

Podcast for your Friday

TBTL interviewed Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service yesterday. It was an awesome, awesome interview.

I'm not crazy about Death Cab, but I think I may need to warm up to them because of Ben Gibbard after this interview. He's warm, charming, funny, engaging. He had opinions on Hertz, Trader Joe's, free music streaming, music, For Loco, and everything in between. (note: He refused to speak about his wife and Owl City, which I actually really appreciated) Unlike some of Luke's other interviews, he wasn't stand-offish at all, which was a RELIEF. Definitely check it out here. Side note, he looks just like my friend Brendan.

Here's my favorite Death Cab song.

Ben also sang a cover of this Velvet Underground song, which was so so so great. He added a lot of sweetness to it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

To put next to my imaginary KitchenAid mixer

Someday, I'd love to get my own version of the vintage cookie jar my mom has at her house. It's cream and has cookies all over it, with a walnut as the top of the lid.

Story has it that she had this cookie jar back in the day at my grandmother's house, but my aunt broke the top of the jar so they threw it away. We grew up hearing about how great this cookie jar was, so when I was in college I found one off of eBay and forwarded it onto my aunt. She bought it for my mom for a birthday, and all was well with the world.

Erin has a vintage cookie jar of the Pillsbury Doughboy from when her grandfather worked there, and it's quite cool. I also saw a neat one of a Scottie Dog.

I have space above my cabinets, and I definitely want to put something on them other than the Christmas plates I got for Christmas a few years ago, and a cool cookie jar might be it. I'm also debating Jadeite Kitchen items. What to do... what to do...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Up close on Margot's finger

I realized that I never showed off my FO of Margot's wooden finger. Compared to something like my bird in hand mittens, it's significantly less impressive. Then again, for a Halloween costume, I'm not going to put in the time and energy as those mittens.

I was debating how to do the finger, so I decided to just knit a finger instead of painting my finger. I don't run the risk of spilling paint on any clothing, it won't irritate my skin, and I can take it off easily at the end of the night.

I made last year my brothers fingerless gloves, so I had the measurements for how big a finger of a glove should be for knitting, so I borrow from that and just extended the glove finger beyond just the knuckle and then bound off at the top. Because it was for Halloween, I wasn't too worried about finishing techniques, so it doesn't look very neat.

I had some leftover brown yarn from a baby hat that had a nice wooden quality to it, so I used that for the finger. Unfortunately, it have some give, and by the end of two nights it had warped a bit. I'll probably have to toss it, but it did the job.

Here's an up close photo of me modeling my fake finger. It was quite warm and snug, which was great. It also only took about 15 minutes to make, which was perfect.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween 2010!

I think we're just gonna to have to be secretly in love with each other and leave it at that, Ritchie.

Friends on Twitter or FB have already guessed, but this year Ricky and I were Ritchie and Margot Tenenbaum. Sadly, the Halloween party we always go to at Di and Danielle's house was canceled this year due to stomach bugs, but we did display our costumes all over Salem for two days. Ricky is currently rocking a shaggy, bearded look, and owns about 90% of the stuff that Ritchie wears, so it was an easy sell. I've always loved that movie and her look, plus... it's freezing cold in Salem at the end of October. Knowing I'd be walking around that area, I REFUSE to dress in something where I'll be freezing my ass off. I'm sorry, sexy nurses and storybook characters, but there's nothing "sexy" about hypothermia.

Ricky's character was quite easy to create. He owned a pair of khakis and the scarf. We then took a trip to Savers and got a khaki blazer and a polo shirt, and then a trip to the sports store to get sweat bands. I also let him borrow my Marty McFly aviators. He got dressed five minutes before we headed out to our Halloween parties, and plans on wearing most of the pieces again in his real life. Life is good for Ricky.

For me, it took some more planning and purchasing. I already own loafers. I found a striped polo dress on ebay for quite cheap. I then got a blonde wig, some barrettes, and a black eyeliner pencil. I also bought several packs of fake cigarettes for me to secretly smoke all night long.

I got (or tried to get) crafty for two parts of it. First, was Margot's wooden finger. I had some scrap brown yarn and whipped up a fake finger for myself. It took 20 minutes and was super easy. It got pretty warped and a little stretched as the weekend progressed, but whatever. It did the job.

Me as Margot, coatless. Note the wooden finger and secret cigarette, though.

Second, was Margot's fur coat. This one was an epic epic FAIL. I got cheap faux fur and a pattern for a coat. I spent a day cutting the fabric and ran into the first issue: it shed like a mother fucker. Such a mess and pain. The second issue happened on Friday night (the night before our first Halloween party) when my sewing machine started having issues. The bobbin wasn't getting the right gauge and was making bad noises. I had a bit of a meltdown at this, because I was a little stressed and overtired. Ricky came home to me quite sad and told me that it wouldn't be awful if I didn't have a fur coat. I agreed (sadly).

Me and Ricky, now featuring a fur coat. I liked not having to smile in photos all weekend.

Saturday night at the first party, though, was a fur coat miracle. Our friend Amy has a fur coat from her grandmother and let me borrow it for the weekend. COAT WIN. And this was quite good, since this weekend was miserably miserably cold. I was very happy to have a mitten on one finger and a fur coat to keep me warm.

Tenenbaums on the street.

I like how this costume turned out. We were both quite comfortable, and a few people yelled "Baumer" out to us, so I consider that a success. We did see two other Ritchies, and I hear that Nicole Richie was also Margot, but that's okay with me. Ricky and I have already discussing options for Halloween 2011, because we are crazy.

Monday, November 1, 2010


Last year, I managed to do NaBloPoMo, where I posted every single day for a month. And let me tell you... it was a bitch and a half near the end. But I'm feeling a spring in my step and a hope that I could actually pull that off again this year. So I think I'll give it my best. Good thing I've made enough knit items or have photos of cute animals for those days where there's just not much going on.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloweens of yesteryear: 2009

Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... Are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?

Let's bring it up a notch from "Sad month of 2008" Halloween. Ricky and I decided that we wanted to dress up in a couple costume as well as do something fun from our youth. We decided to do Back to the Future. Originally, I suggested Ricky be Marty and I be Jennifer or Lorraine, and then Ricky one-upped it by saying I be Marty and he be Doc Brown. Brilliant.

2009: Marty McFly (with Doc Emmett Brown)

This was both an easy and a difficult costume. It was easy, because the parts are quite recognizable (red vest, jean jacket, aviators... duh, Marty) but also a little difficult because when you need these items, Murphy's Law dictates that you cannot find them anywhere. The thorn in my side was the jean jacket. I already owned jeans and sneakers. Target provided the vest, plaid shirt, and aviators. Then a trip up the line to Salvation Army on Rt. 1 gave me the jean jacket for dirt cheap. Thank you, Salvo.

Me in all my Marty glory.

I basically just put my hair back and tried to look shocked or cool all night. It worked well. I also am happy to report that, just like the prom queen outfit, I've worn all the pieces again... just not together. That jean jacket is great for going to work and trying to look cool.

Ricky got a painting suit, an old man wig, and goggles. He borrowed a Hawaiian shirt from his friend Patrick, and had his friend Emile paint the nuclear symbol on the back of the painting suit. It worked out quite nicely.

Me and Ricky in character. Please note that he's not really wearing a watch, so that's pretty good acting.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloweens of yesteryear: 2008

They're all going to laugh at y... oh wait, never mind. Wrong prom.

Oh, Halloween 2008. While I like the results from my costume from 2008, the logic behind it is a little sad. I was telling Ricky why I picked this costume this morning, and he thought it was a little heartbreaking.

Early readers of HPFS will remember that at the beginning of that month, my boyfriend Justin broke up with me out of the blue. I now realize that it was for the best and lead me to Ricky, but at the time it was quite unexpected and very hard. It was also hard because all of my core group of friends were in happy and healthy relationships and spending a lot of time with them. My roommate was dealing with stresses at work in a very unhealthy way (she stopped eating) and much energy was being spent trying to help her out. I didn't really like my job. All of this leads to me not feeling in the brightest of spirits, very lonely, and even somewhat unattractive.

When it came time for the Halloween party, I decided that I wanted to feel very pretty. No blood, no being a dude, just pretty. So I thought... when is the one time when a girl is young and they feel the prettiest and most special in their young lives? Prom.

2008: Prom Queen

This is the only year as of recently that I didn't do a specific character, just more of an idea. This was also my most expensive costume to date, but I've worn the pieces several times since, so I'm okay with this. I found a really pretty green cocktail dress at a consigment shop (even though Prom dresses are usually longer, I decided to go for a cocktail dress to increase my chances of wearing it again and also increase my mobility for the night) and some vintage and sparkly jewelry. It all went together, to give the look that I planned this part of the outfit well before being crowned queen.

Next, I went to the Liberty Tree Mall (aka sketchy mall) to get materials for a boutenierre and a crown. Claire's jewelry and accessories was up first. I hadn't been there since my own prom (2002) so it was a bit of a time warp to be back. I was also BY FAR the oldest person there. I found a sparkly tiara that had combs in it -- key, since I wanted it to sit in my hair all night -- for a decent price.

Then I went to AC Moore and got ribbon and some fake flowers for my boutonniere. I based the look and colors on what my own boutonniere looked like in high school, as I wore a green dress to prom. The morning of the Halloween party, I spent some time shaping flowers and glue gunning together the piece. I also used a hair elastic to keep it tight on my wrist, as the ribbon itself was making it kind of flimsy.

My boutonniere! Some soft pink roses and baby's breath.

I made up my face a lot (lots of sparkles and green eyeshadow) and gave myself poofy hair. This made my hair look prom-y, but also gave the tiara something to sit on. Getting ready was quite easy, and it was nice to make myself look extra pretty for Halloween.

Gotta have a prom photo taken if you're prom queen!

I like the results. This probably isn't my favorite costume, because it's not a character and I think the inspiration comes from a sad place, but I do think it turned out well. I couldn't find a picture I liked from Dianne and Danielle's party, mainly because I got a little drunk and so I look beet red in all of the shots. I wore this costume again to my friend Jaime's Halloween party on Halloween night, so it was good to wear it a few times since it was so pricey.

Me being crowned queen and my friend Jaime (as a Celtics cheerleader) cheering me on.

And as hoped, I wore the dress again to my company work party that year. To make it less prom-y and more work party-y, I just had my hair down, softer make up, and then pearls that weren't blue and green to match it exactly. And no one even guessed I wore it to Halloween a few months earlier. I also have a feeling it'll make an appearance at a wedding in the coming months. (probably Dianne's?)

Me and my coworker Bryon at EBSCO holiday party 2009.