Thursday, January 28, 2010

I don't even know what I was running for - I guess I just felt like it.

Image from Time Magazine...

I read online today that JD Salinger - author of the novel Catcher in the Rye - died at age 91. This isn't surprising, but more sad and a moment to reflect on his influence on literature and society. I quote this from the Washington Post:

Salinger was writing for adults, but teenagers from all over identified with the novel's themes of alienation, innocence and fantasy, not to mention the luck of having the last word. "Catcher" presents the world as an ever-so-unfair struggle between the goodness of young people and the corruption of elders, a message that only intensified with the oncoming generation gap.

Novels from Evan Hunter's "The Blackboard Jungle" to Curtis Sittenfeld's "Prep," movies from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "The Breakfast Club," and countless rock 'n' roll songs echoed Salinger's message of kids under siege. One of the great anti-heroes of the 1960s, Benjamin Braddock of "The Graduate," was but a blander version of Salinger's narrator.

I didn't read Catcher until I was in my early 20's, so perhaps it was a bit too late for me, but I did appreciate his themes of alienation and innocence. My youngest brother Sam read my copy, and it definitely resonated far more with him.

I feel like his legacy will be just as much tied to Catcher in the Rye and even Franny and Zooey as it will be with his rejection and seclusion from society. The society that Holden Caufield grapples with Salinger eventually rejects outright, fighting every attempt to be out of the limelight.

It's been real, JD Salinger. Enjoyed your book, as did countless others.

Where have I been?

I spent more time at this bench in Forrest River Park than I did being a blogger... my b.

Yes yes, I thought I was starting the year so strong by posting a lot and outlining goals and blah blah blah... then last week was crazy at work, and I disappeared. My bad.
I'll update you on some things in the last week:

--I played bocce in Forrest River park, which was awesome. Reminds me a bit of golf since we went through a course. A great workout.
--Began sewing project #2.
--Finished lace scarf #1, started lace scarf #2.
--Finishing tan sweater (yeah... THAT tan sweater)
--Bowled and it went really well.
--Danced up a storm at my old company's work party.
--PLAYED BEATLES ROCK BAND (thoughts in a later post).
--Had long but good discussions with my boyfriend about us and life.

Oh, and I found an amazing coffee shop near my work.

So... yeah! I've been busy...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One slight note of left-leaning bitterness

I saw this tweet this morning... and I am convinced that people like this are the reason Scott Brown won:

Really - how can you not like Scott Brown as a candidate? He has a really cute dog named Snuggles! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To end on a good note

I've heard from many reliable sources that 2010 is not the best year ever. A morning radio show I enjoyed got shit canned. My cat has some newly discovered health problems. Yoga is proving to be more difficult than imagined. And now today... Ted Kennedy's seat goes to Scott "I drive a truck" Brown.

Readers of HPFS will know that I may lean more towards... well, not Scotty. So this is not how I hoped to end my day. I will say, though, that I saw Coakley at North Station this morning, and it was quite exciting.

He did win it fair and square, and I think it was a wake up call to my party that we need strong candidates to keep the awesome of 2008 alive. I could continue on, but I try not to get too political on this blog since I feel there are far better blogs out there for that voice, and I am more suited for posts about Salem food and culture, concerts I go to, my dog and cat, and singing the praises of the local Sonic.

But that is not to say that I am disappointed and sad. So instead of ending today on a sad note, I wanted to post some of my favorite songs of the week.

Elliott Smith - LA

Belle and Sebastian - If You Find Yourself Caught In Love

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lynde Street Cafe

This past Saturday, Ricky and I decided to treat ourselves to breakfast out since we both had a good full week as part of our "Get Healthy in 2010" goal. While we both liked Reds a lot, I wanted to explore other breakfast places in the area, so we decided to try out Lynde Street Cafe, down the street from the Witch Museum.

Lynde Street Cafe may be a victim of bad location, since we never would have known this place existed if we didn't stumble upon it while talking a walk around downtown in a snow storm. It's very much off the beaten path and not as flashy or well known as Reds or Taste of Thyme. It's also less than a year old according to their website, so they don't have the legacy of the aforementioned restaurants.

One thing to keep in mind if you decide to try this place out: they are not opened on Sundays. I realize every restaurant deserves a day off -- especially since this one seems to be a family establishment -- but I feel like they're losing a lot of Sunday morning business potential with this day off.

Lynde Street offers both breakfast and lunch, but the decor is more geared towards lunch, I feel. The walls were an interesting green with glazed plates on the wall in a decorative pattern. We were one of a few couples in the restaurant at 10:30 -- again, I feel the result of bad location and newness -- so there was no wait. The server was also attentive, even though she forgot my order of orange juice.

I wish I could say that our breakfast was this hidden gem in the downtown area, but it was most decidedly average. The breakfast menu is only about a third of a page, while lunch takes over the rest of the two-page menu. The variety and cooking also reek of an afterthought. I got an egg sandwich with a side of home fries, tea, and an orange juice. Home fries are not listed as a side, but if you ask for them, they'll give them to you. Ricky ordered coffee and a spinach, bacon, and swiss omelet. All eggs are served with toast (he chose wheat) and home fries. Ricky said the toast was quite delicious and soft, but he felt the eggs were a bit dry and nothing special.

My meal could be best summed up as "lacking". I originally asked for cranberry juice, and they replied that they only had orange and apple. I originally asked for my egg sandwich on an english muffin, but they were also out of those, so I had to get it on a bagel. The variety of vegetables you could get in an omelet was also small. My eggs were also dry, but the soft grilled bagel helped mask it.

Loyal readers are now asking "but how was the bacon?" I'm sad to say it was a bit under cooked for my liking. Very soft and the flavors were almost lost with the dry eggs and bagel. I would not recommend getting it on a sandwich.

All in all, while a cheap meal, we both agreed that it was squarely average and that we probably would not be returning again for another meal. The lunch menu seems fuller, and hopefully is better prepared. Hopefully with time, the Lynde Street Cafe will fix their mistakes and improve their breakfast offerings.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Today is your birthday!

Leo, at left, on Thanksgiving watching more football than anyone can possibly handle. I may be biased, though...

Today is my stepdad Leo's birthday. Heading home tonight for tasty food, cake, fancy mustard and pretzels, and beer. He's pretty awesome and kind and great, so he deserves all of it. He's also the best husband for my mom, something I will always appreciate since she needed someone like him in her life.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Love this man

Me and Ricky at Christmas... our first Christmas together, and the first one spent together with my family. (photo credits, Ashley)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010: The year of REALLY getting shit done

So... I don't know if you noticed or not... but 2009 was not the year of Getting Shit Done. It was more like The Year of Change. Let us review some of the changes...

I changed jobs. I went from not that great job to super awesome funtimes job. It took well over a year of hunting and secretly seeking out a new job, but it's well worth it. I've been there a month and a half, but it's been so wonderful.

I moved into a 1BR and live on my own. After three years of three different roommates, I ready to be done with living with people for a bit. And I wanted to prove to myself that I could live on my own and be self-sustaining. I will probably be moving back in with someone at the end of this lease (my boyfriend), but it's been a great year of living on my own.

I went to four weddings, one friend got married in city hall, I lost count how many got engaged, three friends had babies, and two are pregnant. Lots of big and great life changes from my friends. So exciting and fun.

And most importantly...

I re-met Ricky. I never would have thought the charming interesting person I met at Patti's house a few years ago and never spoke to for two years at EBSCO would come charging back into my life and I'd fall in love with him. After two years of miss after miss in the dating world, I found someone I can see myself with for a very long time and I am truly content in this part of my life.

So now that I've outlined the change, let's review the shit that needs to get done:

Really pay down/off credit cards. It's going to happen. I know it.

Buy my car. Lease is up in February, and it's time to make The Honda mine.

Start yoga with Ricky. I'm getting a video, and we're going to be spending a lot of time doing yoga.

Make a dress with my new sewing machine. (pictures to come soon of said machine) I've made pillows and a bag is next. I want to make myself sundresses.

Visit DC and/or Nashville and/or Pittsburgh. And definitely visiting Charlottesville. And Connecticut. Lots of friends in lots of places.

Eat better. I've made a lot of new and tasty dishes this year (see? I did get some of my GSD list accomplished!) but that's just the beginning. Time to get better and even more diversified.

Get a bike for Salem! Still would love to have a bicycle so I drive even less.

Be the best bridesmaid ever for Amanda (other than Lyndsey). My best friend gets married in August and I'm in the wedding. Let's show her a hell of a good time.

Let's hope I have a better success rate this time around.

Newsies analysis, by me and Ricky

Christian Bale before he turned into a doucher...

I got Newsies for Christmas from my brother's girlfriend. Ricky and I drank a bottle of red wine while watching it for the first time, and the commentary flew:

I like how Disney's response to 1980's Reaganomics is to make a Communist musical.

Santa Fe in 1890? I bet it's a bunch of depressing Indian reservations.

This is pretty much a little girl's wet dream: cute newsboys singing and dancing.

How can I sell papes if I'm in 18 hours of dance class?!

Horse hijinks!

Why is Bill Pullman trying to be sexy with Newsies?

There's a creepy albino kid!

If Teddy Roosevelt sings a song, I'm going to shit myself and turn this movie off.
~Ricky (fortunately, he didn't)

It's kind of a Deus Ex Machina ending, but Teddy Roosevelt is God. Everything is going to shit, and Teddy shows up and says "everything is fixed!"