Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't Fret My Pets

I'm jet setting to Dallas for my one business trip of the year tomorrow. Whoopee. I have one of those jobs where I get to go to exotic places like Birmingham, Baltimore and Dallas. Are you jealous?

The bad news is that I'll be having a crazy end of week with work and other assorted junk, so I'll be MIA for a little bit. The good news is that when I return, I'll have a brand new blog on wordpress! I like some of the wordpress features better than Bloggers, specifically the little stalker button that allows me to see who's reading (yes, all three of you). I think it will help boost my ego a bit. I even figured out how to move my posts and your comments over, although this one might not make the cut.

Anyways, have a good week, Go Patriots, Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy, and all that good junk. See you on the flip side!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The End of an Era

This weekend, I went up to Manchester, NH to run a half marathon. I went to college at St. A's in nearby Goffstown, so I know the area fairly well (technically, I know how to get to assorted bars & chain restaurants really well, I just wing it around the rest of Manch-Vegas). Driving from the Expo to the hotel in the pouring rain (I swear we get a Nor'easter the day before every big race I run. I could be a weather girl), I noticed that "The Balls" is gone!

"The Balls" was never called "The Balls" while I was in college. It was called the "Rack 'Em Up Lounge." Honestly, I'm not sure if or when it was actually called "The Balls." Or why, for that matter. Its probably because of the numerous pool tables, or it may be simply because it was just so call (you know: the balls).

My first trip to The Balls was the first Thursday of Freshman year. I wore jean shorts, sneakers, and a tee shirt I bought from a frat boy. I danced until I was a sweaty pig, and watched my new roommate dance on speakers. Shockingly, I didn't pick up any guys, and she was pregnant 7 months later.

The Balls was owned by George & Hannah. George had a loud raspy voice, and yelled at anyone who sat on his pool tables or drank too much. Hannah was his wife who swore like a sailor. They were the perfect couple. They were an institution around St. A's. Career & Employment Services once actually put up signs reading " If you don't want to end up like George at The Balls, come to CES for career guidance."

The Balls was huge. It had tons of pool tables that we usually just tried to sit on, two bars, and a dance floor. Oh, and, later on, a sex toy shop where George & Hannah's dog would nap. They had drink specials, and really strong Long Island Iced Teas. And Thursday was college night, so you could get in if you were under 21 (it probably wasn't a coincidence that there was always a handful of sketchy locals at the bar on college night). You were supposed to be at least 18, but George only checked your license if you were drinking. He wasn't happy when I announced to him, three weeks into the school year, that I was turning 18 that night. Oops.

If you were under 21, upon entering at the jacked up cover charge, you received a giant X on each hand, courtesy of an Industrial Sharpie. Those Xs stayed on for days, no matter how hard we tried to wash them off in the bathroom. A quick glance around Chem Lecture on Friday morning would tell you exactly who went out the night before, as the Xs were either still on their hand, or, for the unfortunate few who slept with a hand under their cheek and drooled, on their face.

The Balls was always our fallback Thursday night hangout. Some nights we were dying to go there, especially when a fraternity was hosting the night. We could usually convince the DJ to play Madonna for us if we knew him. And you could always count on hearing "Pour Some Sugar on Me." There was a Dunkies and an ATM that gave money out in singles next year. It was the perfect place for a bunch of Catholic college kids with hard classes and no boys allowed in their rooms to unwind after a long week of Humanities Seminar.

So, now a St. A's institution is gone. And I'm left to wonder: where will college kids go to drink underage? Is there somewhere else they can shamelessly grind with co-eds on the dance floor? What parking lot will frat boys use to beat the crap out of each other after a night of drinking? Are George and Hannah happy? Did they open a bigger sex toy shop? I may never know.

Farewell, Rack 'Em Up Lounge.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

This Blog is Brought to You by the Letter P and the Number 19

Tuesday, for the first time since I last watched Sesame Street, I watched a show on PBS. And I liked it!

For those of you who know what I do for a living, it might come as a surprise to you that I never watch public television or listen to public radio. Its not that I don't believe PBS offers fine, educational and uplifting programs, I'm just usually not personally interested in them. And I don't really feel badly about it. PBS seems to aim its programming at the under 5 or over 50 crowd, neither of which I fall into. I learn enough about the shows by proofing letter after letter asking you for money to support them to know that I won't really like them. If they start airing something like "Heck's Kitchen with Executive Chef Oscar the Grouch," I'll be sure to tune in!

The show I watched tonight was NOVA. They did an episode on 12 non-runners who ran the Boston Marathon. It not only showed the runner's progress throughout the 40 (!) weeks of training they went through, but it also discussed the physical and physiological aspects of running and how it affects the body. It was actually interesting, and I really enjoyed the show for even more value than just looking for myself in the crowd of runners. The end was heartwarming as well, watching these people cross the wet finish line with such an amazing sense of satisfaction on their faces. Its a nice reminder that the human body can do amazing things. Could someone remind my body of that fact when it wants to accomplish the un-amazing feat of eating candy on the couch all night?

So, that was my first PBS show in over twenty years. I'd watch more, but when the hell am I supposed to go to the bathroom if there are no commercials? Could you all please donate some cash to your local PBS station so they can afford to buy some ads? Thanks!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Again

I know, I know. I'm a bad little blogger.


So, what's new? Oh yeah, as DuJane pointed out, a little team called the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Again.


Its so weird to say that. Again. Like its no big deal. It is a big deal, its just not as big of a deal as it was 3 years ago. Don't get me wrong, its always nice to win. But this year seemed so easy. We had no heartbreak. No Aaron Fucking Boone. No coming back with walkoff after walkoff from being down 3-0. No spraying champagne in Yankee Stadium. We just kept winning, right from the beginning. Sure, the season had some bad moments, some scary moments, but we always looked good.


Not that I need a reason to be happy, but since I can't use the "Its been 86 years!" reason, I came up with a few more:




  • I don't have to break my promise to J: that if the Rockies won, we'd name our first born son Yorvit. This allows us to have the young "Jason William Kevin Curt Bronson Orlando Manny Papi" as we promised each other in '04.





  • I had a friendly bet with my friend Kay in Colorado. So instead of stuffing a Pilgrim into a FedEx box like I would have had to do if the Rockies had won, I am anxiously awaiting all the splendors that Colorado has to offer (with the exception of Rocky Mountain Oysters).




  • Free Tacos for America!








  • You gotta love signs like this:







(Sign Reads: Garko was right. Champagne does taste just as good on the road)

  • And this:







  • And, lastly, we can't see this white boy dance enough:




(okay, maybe we can!)



Congratulations Sox!





Monday, October 8, 2007

Finally.

It seems as though fall has finally come to New England. Thank Jimmy.

I really like the change of seasons. I can't imagine living somewhere where the weather is the same every day. Like "LA Story" where Steve Martin was a weatherman in LA. He wanted to take a vacation, but had no one to cover for him, so he pre-recorded himself saying it would be 75 and sunny. Of course, the week he was on vacation, LA was hit with crazy rain storms and low temperatures.

I can find something I like in all the seasons. I love the first snowfall of winter, cute hats and snuggling up with hot cocoa. I love that first warm day of spring, when wearing short sleeves without a jacket in the morning totally makes your day. I love sitting in the beach in the summer, or jacking up the A/C on really hot days to watch movies & grill hot dogs.

But I think fall is the best season. You've still got warm days, and no snow. The warm days are just (usually) not unbearably hot. The cool days don't cause your teeth to chatter, but do allow you to whip out the cute new sweaters you bought with your birthday money. Apples taste great, apple pies taste even better. Pumpkins are waiting to be carved, and Halloween candy is waiting to be eaten.

And, of course, baseball playoffs. The Sox have made it to the ALCS, and we're waiting to see if we have the Yankees or the Indians as an opponent. If it is the Yankees, they will be without the Rocket. Which I think is a good thing for the Yankees.

So, how did I celebrate the first day it feels like fall after a hot, humid week? By waking up and running a 10K in the rain. It was good running weather, just a bit wet, and I was rewarded for my efforts with a free Pumpkin Spice Latte from Fourbucks. Ah, fall.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Days

Last weekend was the Komen Race for the Cure in Boston. Once again, Team GDT was the largest non corporate fundraising teams, per capita. We raised over $87,000, which is more than we raised in the past three years combined.

We also had a fabulous weekend together, which isn't easy to accomplish with 50 women. But we all seemed to get along and just have a good old warm and fuzzy time together. The alcohol helped!

The best moment of the weekend was watching the survivor's victory lap prior to the race start. I don't know how I've missed this truly moving experience the past few years. Its simply amazing to me how strong these women and their families are. I think the part that touched me the most was the man who pushed his wife in her wheelchair, not only for the lap, but for the entire race. That's true love.

The happy day from this weekend was that the Red Sox clinched the AL East for the first time since 1995. Yay! I missed the celebration, as I was busy drinking beers by a bonfire and biting my tongue for various reasons. But we were lucky enough to go to Fenway for the next to last game of the season. It meant almost nothing, but we won, the Indians lost, and we got home field advantage. Double yay! The postseason is never easy. I'm off to the store for Tums & Coffee!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Its the most wonderful time of the year

No, silly, not Christmas! My birthday!

I love my birthday, because its the one day of the year that its all about me. Well, and the Nana, seeing as though its her birthday too. But, for argument's sake, we'll say its all about me! Because this may very well be the last birthday I celebrate, as I will soon slip into the realm of thirty somethings, I decided we should do this in style.

Last weekend J & I went to see Wicked. It was wicked good! J was a bit overwhelmed by all the singing, so I had to remind him, "Duh. Its a musical." I also ran a race with my dad. It was technically a 5K, but half of the people went the wrong way, making it more like a 6K. Imagine my surprise when I hit mile 1 at a whopping 14 minutes, after hoping for a 9 minute mile! Luckily, I was not planning on breaking a course record, nor was I planning on qualifying for the Olympics (this time at least) so all was good with the world. We then had dinner & sangria at a fabulous restaurant in RI, kicking off my week of non stop eating!

My birthday itself was lovely, complete with munchkins, sushi, ice cream cake, Mexican & margaritas. I may have technically had 3 desserts that day, but who's counting?! I got lovely presents from J, including earphones that stay in my ears, and windshield washer fluid. So romantic! I also have balloons all over my house. Festive, but it smells like a condom in here, and they make vacuuming a royal pain in the ass!

Tonight I am headed to dinner with friends (more food!) and this weekend is the big Team GDT weekend (yeah, more food). I'll be sure to give a full report, but I'm fairly certain we were the top fundraisers again this year. Go team! After that, I guess its back to the daily grind of watching the Red Sox in the post season and waiting to turn 30. I'm not sure what scares me more!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Runners are weird

I know this sounds odd, as I consider myself a runner. But, really, you should see some of these people, particularly before a race. There are many runners who insist on running before a race. Now, I get the need to warm up, but I usually accomplish that task walking from my car to the starting line. And its not like I run uber competitive races. The 4.6 mile Fourth of July jaunt through Rich-town, MA isn't exactly the Olympic time trials, people. The tee shirt isn't even that great.


Which leads me to two of the big reasons why I run races: the tee shirt and the food. The tee shirt is usually ginormous on me (really, a men's XL does me no good for anything; even J swims in that size). But, every now and then I get a really cool one. The technical shirts are particularly good, since I hate running in cotton, and, really, how many places can you wear a race tee shirt anyways? A close runner up to the technical tee is the elusive long sleeved tee, perfect for covering up after the gym or at the ball game.


The food ranges from water bottles handed out from the back of a pick up truck and maybe a too-yellow banana, to full out breakfasts (guess which one I prefer?) Even a 5K is enough running to justify a good bagel, in my warped little mind. The thing that cracks me up are the people who take not one, but six bagels, or a whole box of 100 calorie packs, as though they can afford the $20 race fee, but not to feed their family for a month. Save some for us slowpokes, please!


But the best race "freebie" is beer. There's nothing like a cold beer at 11am after a nice five miler to knock you off your ass. Two and you need an Italian Grinder to make it home safely. Three and you're on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.


During the race itself, you usually have people who run just to run, catch up with friends, see some different scenery, etc. Then there are those who run like its their last race. Its respectable enough to do that, but don't do it with a jogging stroller nipping at my ankles the whole time, for the love of Jimmy. I usually use races as a break from the monotony of running alone, but sometimes I challenge myself to beat my lame PRs. I like to kick it up a notch at the end of a race, picking different people who have been annoying me to pass right before the finish. On one occasion, a girl flew from out of nowhere to pass me, so I determined that I should pass her skinny butt. I took off after her, and, at that moment, her iPod dropped on the ground. I squelched my desire to laugh out lout as she hightailed it back to retrieve her Nano (if she had a snazzy armband like I do, it wouldn't have happened) and passed her before the finish line. I just missed making the Olympics. Good thing it wasn't a qualifying race.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The high and the low.

First, the low:
The only word to describe the Sox/Yankees game last night is painful. At a time when these games mean so much, the collapse of the Red Sox is not acceptable. Especially in a game where we had Petite's number, and a decent lead. One bad, awful, gross inning later, and we're done.

J made a good point about the Yankees yesterday. In general they play good baseball, but when their opponent has a weakness or makes a mistake, they exploit it, take advantage of it, and run them into the ground. Not a bad quality to have.

Let's just hope the rest of the weekend goes a little better for the Sox.

Now, the high:
A few weeks ago, I blogged about Team GDT and our fundraising efforts for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Boston. Today is the last day donations can be counted for the team/individual challenge, and I couldn't be prouder to announce that Team GDT has raised over $80,000 this year alone. That's $30,000 over our goal, and more than the first three years of participation combined. Unbelievable.

This is a fabulous group of women, and every year, I am even more honored to stand at the race and be a part of their team. The race is next weekend, and its sure to be a great, bittersweet time.

By the way, Team GDT has also published a cookbook, with all proceeds going to Komen. You can see it at www.teamgdt.com, and you can also donate through the link as well. Every dollar helps!

Monday, September 10, 2007

If you like pina coladas...

J & I spent one last hot day at the beach this weekend. Okay, when I say last I mean first. J doesn't really like the beach. He's a bit too antsy to sit still in the hot sun. He's also a bit too pasty. The first time we went to the beach together he developed a nasty burn that caused a giant bubble on the back of his calf. He actually went to the doctor for that (come to think of it, that may have been the last time he's been to the doctor).

Anyways, I convinced him to go to the beach with good beach snacks and a bucket o'margaritas. Tricky, aren't I? We got there early, finished our iced coffees, and, once I was confident there was a public bathroom, we had a drink. Hey, it was 11am!

Speaking of bathrooms, I firmly believe every beach should have a bathroom and a parking lot. A few years ago we went to the Cape for the day, and went to this awesome beach. The sign said 30 minute parking, but I thought "Who goes to the beach for 30 minutes? If I park far from the sign, I'll be fine." I was INCORRECT! (You're welcome for the $50, Chatham. I'm sure you needed it more than I did).

Where was I? Oh, the early morning margaritas. We had a few, ate some lunch, and dipped our feet in the frigid water. Seriously, it was frigid. Even children were running out screaming that it was too cold. It numbed your feet, but not enough so they didn't hurt. Thank God there was a bathroom -- I was NOT peeing in that water.

We had a lovely day, and stayed on the beach discussing life until lobster boy turned a pretty shade of red. Then we had to go home so I could apply a half a bottle of aloe to his back. I think that was the last beach day of the summer, which is kind of sad, but exciting because we're closer to your favorite blogger's birthday (that's me, by the way).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

A little ego boost

Yesterday, I went for a run after work instead of sweating it out on the treadmill. I have a nice little loop that involves a bike path, swarms of tourists (okay, maybe twenty of them) and America's most disappointing landmark.

As I ran, I looked at the sidewalk now and again to make sure I wasn't going to fall flat on my face or step in dog poop. And every now and again, I'd see something written on the sidewalk in chalk. Things like "You are so beautiful" (awww, thanks!), "I am so proud of you" (well, yes, my 11 minute miles are pretty impressive), and "I can't wait to see you again" (this one freaked me out a bit, especially when a homeless man winked at me a half mile later).

It made me wonder who took the time to write these messages with his cute little sidewalk chalk, and who they were meant for. Did she see the notes? Do others run those streets and feel like the streets are talking to them, as I do? Will the homeless man ever find true love?

I never said running doesn't get boring at times. So I'm grateful to whoever wrote the notes for keeping me occupied. And gave me a bit of an ego boost, along with the "I am beautiful" earworm.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Good Bucky.

Last night, J & I are watching the game, and I said "Hey, who's pitching?" He replied: "Buck Holtz." I thought, huh, you don't hear the name Buck too often (unless you know George Costanza's porn star name: Buck Naked). Later, I figured out that the kid's name was actually Clay Buchholz, and he was a 23 year old rookie, making his second MLB start for the Sox, because Wakefield being hurt messed up the rotation a bit.

So, the kid looked good. By the fourth inning, J was saying, but not saying, he was on his way to a no hitter. See, J is a bit superstitious when it comes to baseball. He firmly believes Don Orsillo (Sox announcer) ruined Schilling's no hitter earlier this season by simply announcing he was on his way to a no hitter. So, every time Orsillo or Remy would make note of the zeros on the board, J nearly had a conniption fit at the tv.

He fell asleep in the 8th, and I took over the worrying. They showed a clip of the last Sox pitcher to get a no hitter, Derek (Even though you're a headcase I still miss you since you went Left) Lowe, and I thought, this can't be good for Bucky. Then, they showed a clip from the '67 dream team, who apparently the '07 Sox are being compared to, and a fabulous catch by Yaz in the ninth to keep the pitcher's (whose name I can't remember) no hitter alive. Then lost on the next batter. I wanted to turn the tv off at that point, fearing the worst, but I left it on and woke J up for the last batter.

And he did it! Bucky got the no hitter, on a called strike that seemed to take forever to call. Jason Varitek picked him up (what I wouldn't give to have been Clay Buchholz for that moment) and the team swarmed the field, nearly crushing the kid to death. You could tell he was crying, and so was I. Then you could hear Josh Beckett say, "You just did something Curt Schilling couldn't even do!"

So, there you have it. The first Red Sox Rookie to get a no hitter. And I'm still calling him Bucky. But the good Bucky, unlike the other one, who is known to all Sox fans as Bucky Fucking Dent.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Get Out Your Brooms




After three games in the Bronx, the Yankees swept the Sox in a pitiful series. The Sox now only have a five game lead (which really saddens me, because I have been dying to title a post "Nine Games" ala Ferris Bueller). I'd have to check, but I'm not even sure if the Sox lead at any point in any game this series.


And who is this Joba dude the Yankees have pitching? I'm going to assume he did not really mean to throw the ball at Kevin Youkilis' head. I'm going to assume he didn't mean to do it twice. For his own good, I hope its true (I'm in my pjs, menacingly cracking my knuckles as I type that). APparently, MLB assumes otherwise, as he has been suspended for two games.


After the slamming we did of the "other" Sox last weekend, I was hoping for at least a win. Would that have been too much to ask for? I realize there is no reason to panic here, but its a bit discouraging to not be able to pull it together with a month or so left in the season, against a team we'll quite probably have to face in the playoffs.


So what now? The waiting game begins. The Sox lost last night, but so did the Yanks. Phew -- still at 5 games. I really think it will be this way throughout September, as the happy May days of 11 game lead are long behind us. But that's okay. That's what September is all about.
PS -- J took the picture at the top of this post after the parade when the Sox won the Series in 2004. Its hard to see, but there's a couple of guys hanging a broom out the window of their apartment.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Fair

J & I headed to the ginormous fair near our house this weekend. I was very excited, as this was my first trip to this fair, and my first fair since seeing Journey at the Big E 5 years ago. (Journey without Steve Perry is excellent, by the way, as it appears the band has simply cloned Steve Perry. I wonder is the government knows they can do that).

So, this fair had everything a girl could want, aside from Journey. I refused to go on any of the hastily-put-together-by-a-13 year-old rides, not in fear of my life, but the fact they cost about $5 for a 30 second ride. I was budgeting for fair food.

I love fair food. I loved almost everything they had to offer, from the giant hot dogs and dog food sized bowls of fries, to nachos & burritos, pizza, gyros, and everything in between. They even had ice cream filled cupcakes. What more could you want out of life? And, of course, the fried dough, fresh from the scalding hot grease vat. Mmmm mmmmm good. I was a bit disappointed at the lack of deep fried junk food. There were no battered and fried Oreos, Twinkies or Snickers Bars to be found.

I was amused by the "fresh squeezed lemonade," as I watched the tween working the stand pour some yellow syrupy substance from a foil bag into the plastic cups. She caught me watching her while her food stand door was open, and shut it quickly, yelling "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!" (Okay, I made that part up.)

The fair also had a bunch of 4H stuff. Lots of animals -- cows, chickens, bunnies, ducks. And lots of vegetables. Giant pumpkins and tomatoes, plus cucumbers dressed up like bugs. And free compost -- fun for the whole family!

But the best part of the fair is people watching. I saw a grown woman being pushed in a baby stroller with a toddler on her lap. If I ever asked J to push me in a stroller, he'd run away as fast as he could after he peed himself laughing at me. And I saw a toddler on a leash, who would drop face first onto the concrete just for fun. Lovely. It was kind of like birth control.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Run For Life



(Warning: Mushy Blog Ahead)

As many of you know, I'm part of a really special group of women called Team GDT. In 2004, the team was founded by 9 women from an internet message board who wanted to run a 5K and raise some cash for breast cancer. Today, our team has over 60 members, and to date, we have raised over $117,000 for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Boston.

I joined the team in 2005. I wanted to run a 5K, I had met some of these women and they seemed normal, plus the race was near me, so if they turned out to be crazy I could easily hightail it home. It was a lot of fun and games, and we were raising some cash and having a good time with everything, when one of our team members told everyone she had breast cancer. That really put our goal into perspective, and we ramped up our fundraising efforts to become the second largest fundraising team per capita.

Every year, the number of loved ones of team members who are battling or have lost the breast cancer battle seems to grow. And, frankly, it sucks. Its never easy to hear about a 28 year old with cancer, or a mom with two kids struggling through chemo. Sometimes the task is daunting. We try and raise every dime we can, yet people are still suffering. Its hard not to get frustrated, but its important to remember that this will be a long journey, and every dollar counts and helps. Like some rapper on my iPod says "Life ain't a track meet -- its a marathon." As is the battle against breast cancer.

So, for the past two Septembers, I've stepped up my fundraising efforts, bid on crazy auctions (causing J to say "You spent how much on jam?!?"), and hounded, er, politely asked, my friends and family for any extra cash they have. And I meet my team in Boston, and drink and eat and laugh with them, as they are no longer invisible people who I was apprehensive about meeting, but true friends who I love to share my days, and a weekend in the fall, with.

And on Sunday morning, I watch the survivors in their pink tees line up on stage and be recognized. All ages, all races, all walks of life. All surviving this awful disease. I run behind hundreds of people honoring their loved ones. Their moms, their aunts, their best friends. People that are missed every day when they're gone, and heroes every day they are here.

I'm in awe of the survivors, many who run this race faster than I, a healthy 28 year old, could ever run. After their bodies were subjected to things no human body should have to suffer through. They stand song, and run or walk as hard as they can, happy to be alive on a bright fall morning, happy to be here with friends and family for another day.

I've often wondered how strong I would be if I became ill. Would I just lay there and take it, or would I fight with every ounce of my being? There are days I hate running, but how would I feel if someone told me I couldn't run anymore? The people who stand in their pink shirts on race day are true heroes.

Its so easy to get wrapped up in the fun of this race weekend -- seeing old friends, wagering on who will raise the most money, eating all the free samples, trying to beat your time last year. But its hard to forget the survivors, and even harder to forget those we've lost to this awful disease. They really put what we're fighting for at the forefront of our minds.

I run for a lot of different reasons -- to blow off steam, to lose weight, to feel healthy. But on September 23rd I will run for life. For the lives of every man and woman affected by breast cancer. And I hope to one day not have to do it anymore.

"If you ask her why she is still running
She'll tell you it makes her complete
I run for hope
I run to feel
I run for the truth
For all that is real
I run for your mother, your sister, your wife
I run for you and me, my friend
I run for life"
-- Melissa Ethridge


If you're interested in learning more about Team GDT, look here.
Or, go to http://www.teamgdt.com/.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I Heart Apple


I know Apple has been around forever, its only just recently they have sucked me into their web of all that is good and happy in the world.

It started with the iPod. I can't be sure, but I'm almost positive Becca is the one who owes me $300 for introducing me to this fine piece of machinery. J just shook his head in disbelief as I dragged him to Best Buuy one cold Sunday and rang up an iPod, speakers, car connector, and the Garden State soundtrack for good measure. (This is before we combined our finances, by the way).

I love that iPod. I named him Ipod (pronounced Ih-Pid). I spent countless hours downloading CD after CD, even the crappy ones, just to watch my song count go up. I was amazed at the fact I could listen to 4 days of music without hearing the same song twice.

Then I took it running and dropped it. It didn't break (thanks to its rubber condom-like case I purchased online), but the thought of losing Ipod forever scared me so much, that I went out and bought a Shuffle (creatively named Shufflie -- see a theme?) When I opened the box I was a bit disappointed. What was this tiny plastic thing? How could it store my music? But it didn't fail me! Shufflie stored only my running songs, and, because I don't like to hear the same songs every time I run, the random shuffle was just what I needed in life.

Shufflie and I had a good run together, for a while. Then Apple came out with all these new iPods -- smaller Shuffles! Video iPods! The Nano! I resisted the temptation fairly well.

Until the Nike+ kit arrived.
I was strong for a while. I didn't have Nike shoes, so I couldn't even use the sensor, right? You Are Incorrect! I could buy a little case to velcro to my shoes. Then I signed up for the Boston Marathon, and somehow convinced myself that the $250 I would fork over for the Nano, the Nike+ kit, and the matching red & black armband would greatly help my training. So I bought it (and named it NanoNano, of course).

And it did help my training. It was a miracle! I owe the fact that I finished the Marathon to the people at Apple & Nike! If I had won the race (ha!) I would have thanked them as the officials placed the laurel wreath on my head. Maybe next year.

The kit is great, but I have to admit, it lies. I'm not fast, and would never pretend I am. When I'm on the treadmill, and it says I'm running a 10 minute mile, but the Nano says I'm going anywhere between 9:30 (yay!) and 10:30 (boo!) in a matter of 30 seconds of running. I recently ran a 5 mile race, but when I finished, NanoNano said I had run 4.6 miles. I need to fix that.
I love the Power Song function too. Just hit the button and you're best "pump me up" song comes on to get you through your workout. For a while, mine was "Eye of the Tiger" but I've recently evolved to Avril Levine's "Girlfriend." And there's nothing better than hearing "invisible male voice" say "400 meters to go!" Oh wait, its even nicer when Lance Armstrong congratulates you -- its like he's in my head, man!

Believe it or not, I do not work for Apple. If Steve Jobs is reading this, and he'd like to hire me as a spokesperson, I'm all for it. But I'm gonna need a video iPod as a signing bonus. And an iBook. And and iPhone, for good measure!

As an aside, did you see the slogan for the new iMac? "You can't be too thin. Or too powerful." Truer words have never been spoken.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Wild World of Sports

Slogging through my long run on the dreaded treadmill at the gym tonight, I got to see a lot of news. And the sports world has gone crazy, crazy I tell you!

First up, I'm not a huge X Games fan, even though I believe the first X Games were in my home state of Rhode Island. But look at this guy fall!
Jake Brown's X Games Fall
The amazing part, aside from the simple fact he's still alive, is that he's planning on coming back to skateboarding is three weeks. If I ever fell 40 feet, I think I'd wrap myself in bubble wrap and hang out in bed, getting up only to -carefully!- eat and pee. Of course, the odds of me being 40 feet in the air to begin with is slim to none, but you get the point.

Next, I think we may have to move the Seattle Mariners into the Evil Empire of Baseball. Why? Because their mascot, a moose of some sort (why the Mariners have a Moose mascot, I don't know) tried to run over Coco Crisp! How awful is that?! That moose should not be allowed into the Hall Of Fame -- blacklist him like Pete Rose, I say! Here's a clip: Coco and the Moose

The Rox Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster, is far more civilized, by the way. And, he's popular with the ladies


Some other stuff happened this weekend in sports too. ARod hit his 500th homer, and Barry Bonds hit number 755. I'm far more impressed by ARod, but that's a blog for another day. And, Schilling is back on the mound for the Sox tonight, so we'll see how long he can keep his fat yap shut for after the game.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Sox

I’m a Red Sox fan. I used to be a big fan when I was little (I even have Roger Clemens’ rookie card), lost interest, and am now a big fan again. I love Fenway Park. The uncomfortable seats, crowded T, $7 beers and the best hog dogs around. I saw a Yankee fan harassed by Sox fans at a Devil Dogs game. It was great. (Really. Why would you wear a Yankees hat in Boston to a Boston/Tampa game? The kid was clearly asking for it).

I was at the Yankees game with the infamous Varitek/ARod fight. My thighs were bruised from jumping up so fast I hit them on the seat in front of me. I almost cried when the Yankee fan behind me called Varitek a pussy. And my throat hurt for days after screaming for Bill Mueller’s walk off home run off of Marian-A Rivera, and chanting “Yankees Suck” to the tune of Dirty Water.

I cried when they won the World Series. And I stood in the rain for hours by Mass General to see the “Rolling Rally." You know those teeny boppers you see on tv crying and fainting because N’Sync signed their CD? That was me, except at 26, knees shaking and trying not to cry as the Boston cop assigned to keeping our section in line led us in a rousing round of Sweet Caroline. I swear Bronson Arroyo looked right at me (my friend said it was because I screamed “Bronson!” at the top of my lungs).

After the rally, we walked to the Common and took pictures in front of the World Champions banner outside of the State House. It was one of the best days of my life. And, on a bittersweet note, I gave a picture of J & I in front of the banner to my Papa for Christmas. He passed away after a hard battle with cancer less than 6 months after the Sox won the Series, and I’m so glad he lived to see it. We buried him with a Sox cap.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ohio: A Photo Essay

For a state with no ocean, these people sell an awful lot of lighthouse stuff. And saltwater taffy. Yes, I know the lake is really big, but its not an ocean. I don't care if its like an ocean.

The Amish make some great cheese. And they are not stingy with their samples. Hundreds of teeny cheese cubes everywhere! I thought I was in heaven.

And by the way: Rainbow sherbet flavored cream cheese is every bit as nasty as it sounds. Trust me.

Cleveland fans get cranky when they lose. Especially when they are sitting in front of a row of Boston fans. They also don't seem too thrilled with the original dirt dog, Trot Nixon. He must be sad out there, what with the weird accents and all. But it was a heck of a game, and the Jake is a pretty cool stadium. (The Jake is a cool name for a stadium, by the way. "The Fen" just doesn't seem to work very well).

Drive thru liquor stores = brilliant! Plus, they sell live bait & dog food. And, three different kinds of Zima (if you're into that kind of crap, er, stuff).

One stop shopping, and you don't even have to leave the car!


People in Ohio (Ohioans?) know how to cook my favorite things. Sausage Gravy & Biscuits. Chicken & Noodles over mashed potatoes. Who comes up with these things? (Aside from Bob Evans, of course). I'm fairly sure my ginormous breakfast was at least 1,500 calories. But, I can't find the info on Bob's site, so I'll just say it was 300 and call it a day.



Fireworks are legal to buy, but are illegal to light.

Define that logic. (Best sign ever, by the way).




Dollar dogs don't taste great, but they're only a dollar. 6 per person limit though, which was a bit sad. I heard they sold 27,000 hot dogs. That's a lot of, well, whatever actually goes in hot dogs.









The beers at the Jake were only slightly less expensive than at Fenway. But they're twenty four ounces. And they sell them in the stands. Unfortunately, they pour the big cans into a cup. I love beers in cans as big as my head, so I was a bit disappointed.

The Amish also know their wine. Which kind of surprised me. Goes well with their cheese. And, if you wrap a bottle in a sweatshirt really well, it will survive the flight to Boston.

Basically, I can't say for sure if Cleveland rocks or not as we were only there for a few hours. But this lamp in a downtown window definitely does rock. Careful! Its Fra-gee-lee... that must be Italian!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Cleveland Rocks!

To be fair, I'm not really sure if Cleveland does, indeed, rock. (I actually couldn't even spell it correctly). But I'll find out this weekend and be sure to let you all know! J & I are headed out to Ohio for four days to visit some friends. I've been to Columbus for the weekend, and was so mesmerized by the flatness and lack of ocean, that I can't wait to return!

To get myself excited about our trip out (mid-) West, I looked up some fun facts about Ohio:

  • "Hang On Sloopy" is the official state rock song. (The MA state song is "All Hail Massachusetts" Yawn).
  • Akron is the rubber capital of the world.
  • East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland was the site of the first pedestrian button for the control of a traffic light. The boy chosen for the 1948 newsreel to demonstrate its operation was Louis Spronze.
  • Dresden is the home of the world's largest basket. It is located at Basket Village USA. (Basket Village! That must really be the happiest place on Earth!)
  • Ohio is known as the Buckeye State. (This I knew. And, I've had buckeye candy. Its almost like I'm an OH resident!)
  • Ohio gave America its first hot dog in 1900. Harry M. Stevens created the popular dining dog. (Now, this I like. We're even going to Dollar Dog Night at the Indians/Sox game. They're going to lose money on me -- I can eat a lot of hot dogs!)

I hope you all (all = my 5 faithful readers) enjoy your weekends/week beginnings and pray I don't get beat up on Tuesday night for wearing a Dice-K shirt to Jacobs Field. While you're at it, please pray for the Red Sox to actually win a stinking game in July. Seven games is a sad, sad lead.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Oh, the hilarity

This news article is so riddled with dumb jokes, it makes me think "Huddala, Huddala" ala my favorite comedian, Lil Jimmy Norton.

Robber disguised as tree hits N.H. bank
July 8, 2007
MANCHESTER, N.H. --Leaf it to New Hampshire, where a bank branch was held up by a man disguised as a tree.
Just as the Citizen Bank branch opened Saturday morning, a man walked in with leafy boughs duct-taped to his head and torso, and robbed the place.
"He really went out on a limb," police Sgt. Ernie Goodno said Sunday.
Police said the leafy man didn't saying anything about having a weapon, just demanded cash, and was given an undisclosed amount.
Although the branches and leaves obscured much of the man's face, someone who saw images from the bank's security camera recognized the robber and called police.
Officers said James Coldwell, 49, was arrested early Sunday at his Manchester home and charged with robbery. Arraignment was not expected until Monday

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rock Lobster



The Nana was a big winner at the 7/7/07 drawing at the casino, and she left J & I some cash for dinner. I've been jonseing for a lobster, so we headed down to the water, intent on getting lobster and hopefully trying somewhere new. We're really good at coming up with tons of restaurants we want to eat at, but never going to them because we like to go to the same old comfortable places where you know the food will be good.

We tried to try somewhere new, really we did, but we looked at menus for two new places and neither of them had lobster. What the freak? I could see the water from the restaurant, how could they not have lobster? Can't you just go pluck them out of the harbor? (Hah-bah, for those Bostonians playing along at home.) Anyways, we headed to a place we've been to numerous times, a place with the best clam chowder ever. Why is it the best clam chowder ever, you ask? Well, because it is served with a pat of butter on top. How can we make an uber-fattening food even more fattening? Add tasty lard! Brilliant! (No, seriously. It is brilliant.)

Have you had lobster lately? Do you know what they cost? Almost as much as a tank of gas! $30 for a 1-1/4 pound lobster with some sides. Thank goodness for the Nana's gambling problem! And they're a lot of work. I probably should have gotten extra bibs for the patrons at the tables near us, as I'm pretty sure half of my meat landed over there. At the price I was paying, I wanted to pick it out of the hair of the girl at the table next to us, but I thought it might be awkward for her date. J looked at me at one point, while I had my bib on, crackers in one hand, tongue sticking out in concentration, lobster juice flying everywhere, and said "I really can't take you anywhere, can I?"

Thankfully, the lobster did not look like
this one. I may have never eaten lobster again. Despite the price and the mess, the lobster was fabulous. And the waitress seemed genuinely impressed that J & I could put down as much food as we did. Woo-hoo! Eat that, Kobayashi!



Thursday, July 12, 2007

So.

I've got a blog. Well, I already had a blog, but I didn't like the name, so a made a new one. I've been thinking about making a blog for a while now, but the main thing holding me back was the name. Its hard enough to pick an e-mail address, for the love of Jimmy. Creating a blog name that's catchy and defines me is even harder. And then the options that come with the responsibility of a blog are almost enough to make my anal little mind spin out of control.

Okay, I didn't really create the title, I stole it from one of my favorite shows, the Office. It fits me to a tee some days, usually on days I'm at work or in crowds of people. Neither happen to be my favorite places to be. Beer helps me deal with both.

If you found this blog, its most likely because I know you IRL or I know you from the internets. So you most likely know about me, but, just in case you care to know more, here's me in a nutshell: I live near Boston and love the Red Sox. I'm creeping up on 30 and not looking forward to it. I just got married and love my husband (obviously. If I didn't I wouldn't have married him). I send out junk mail for a living, and, depending on the day, like it (love is a strong word in this situation) or hate it. I am a runner, and, also depending on the day, love it or hate it.

So, that's me, and this is my blog. I don't know much about blogging, and may inadvertently steal ideas from some of my favorite bloggers, but I'm sure they'll either understand or bitch slap me as needed. I'm cool with that.