Monday, January 19, 2009

sunday funday?

yesterday
at the grocery store
this crazy man walked in
with a knee length fur coat
and big yellow rain boots
and a drugged up look in his eyes
and he said "yeaaaaah!"
when he walked in
like a frat boy announcing his arrival to the party

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

scribbles

In unburying my desk, I find strange little notes that I've scribbled to myself, no doubt interrupted thoughts while on the phone - one word associated with this thought, another associated with that, but somehow strung together. This happens especially during crazed times like the last two weeks.

I just found amongst phone numbers for my boss, flight options, reminders for me to send presentations to so-and-so, etc., the note: "loves walter." No idea who Walter is or why we love him but it must've been very important.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

overheard

Enjoying a leisurely stroll through the South End today, about to pop in to Starbucks for a treat between checking out some shops, we heard:

he: "So what's Christine been up to lately?"
she: "Jail."
he: "Oh, so that's what happened."

Oh! Of course.

Friday, October 24, 2008

commuting

I was having a rather pleasant ride to work this morning, enjoying the sunshine, the brisk air and my mug of pumpkin spice coffee. The light was green and there was no traffic at L Street - a rarity on the morning commute - and I continued to hit mostly green lights all along my route.

The merge onto Storrow can be tricky, however. For those of you unfamiliar, three lanes of traffic merge to form a two-lane Storrow Drive within 100 feet, before it later becomes three lanes after yet another two merges. This is complicated by several left exits. Commuters who drive this stretch every day typically take their time and are courteous to the drivers, most of whom have to make at least one lane change to get into their desired lane before suddenly being forced into an exit only lane, or the other way - to get to their required exit. Those who don't typically drive through there are easy to spot because they make abrupt lane changes or come to a complete stop in their lane to wait for someone to let them in, panicked that they will be forced off and get lost in the maze that is Boston.

I had the unfortunate incident in meeting one of the abrupt drivers this morning. As I was waiting for my opportunity to switch into the right lane, the driver to my right switched out of the lane, leaving a wide berth. Since I already had my blinker on, I started moving into the opening. The jerk behind me also switched into that lane and floored it, cutting me off, only to get ahead by an extra car length. I mean, this is traffic people! You're not getting anywhere faster than anyone else! There was enough room for the both of us to move into the opening had he not cut me off. The little VW Bug behind him saw this and waited for me to also move into the lane - no doubt a regular commuter. I was so torked by his ridiculousness that I honked at him and gave him the finger... to which he responded by slamming on his breaks in an attempt to get me to hit him as he watched me in his rearview mirror. How pleasant.

When Storrow turned into three lanes, I watched him ride up on other people and zig zag around causing unncessary havoc because he still wasn't getting anywhere.

But as I merged off of Storrow and drove over the Mass Ave bridge, I took in the beautiful sights of the Charles, where the city was just waking up. People running with their dogs, the autumn colors in the trees, the rowers on the river... and remembered all of the things I have to be thankful for, living in this city of ours.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

sillsby

Does it seem silly to you that my place of employment would rather give me a brand-spanking-new macbook for use at home instead of a blackberry? The macbook is in addition to my desktop at work. And not a "sign-out from IT when necessary" situation. Just all mine, all the time. Complete with a wireless aircard. 

chillsby

Boston.com has a feature called "Your Comments" where they post current events and topics and readers respond with their thoughts and opinions. A few weeks ago, the topic concerned the rising home heating costs in tandem with the shriveling economy and with the first cold night upon us, it asked whether people would start to nudge up their thermostats or wait it out.

Wait it out?

Let me qualify this by saying that growing up, our house was heated all winter long by a wood burning stove in the family room on the first floor. My sisters' rooms were directly above the fireplace, while my room along with parents' were on the other side of the house. The heat upstairs was not to be turned on above 60 degrees or Dad would have a full on fit. "A waste of money! Toughen up! Put a sweater on." We got used to doing our homework in our rooms under the covers or downstairs at the kitchen counter. Sitting upstairs under the covers would only lead to two things - a cold nose and a nap. Sitting at the kitchen counter was a minefield for me, getting critiqued from all sides. And Mom loved to pull the ol' "do over" on homework assignments. But, this is how I learned to cook too - instead of doing my math problems, I'd watch Mom as she fussed around the kitchen. At least my ADD was good for something.

The morning hours were the worst. It was nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed into the frosty air to get into the shower. Many times I would sneak out of bed to nudge the heat up to 64 degrees and pop back into bed for a few minutes, just long enough to no longer see the breath eeking out from my chattering teeth. Within minutes, Dad would emerge from his room and turn the heat back off. Showering was a struggle, because we were limited to being in the shower for five minutes and half of that time you were waiting for the hot water heater to kick on. "You're wasting water! Cut your hair!" Once barely rinsed, I'd pop back into bed to apply makeup with a handheld mirror.

At UMass, the heat in the dorms cranked and there was no way to adjust it. I'd crack our windows for some relief, but as they were right next to our beds, the cold would seep right into your ears and - like magic - you'd be sick all winter long. When we moved from the dorms to our off-campus apartment, we had control over our heat which was included in our rent. Since I was used to bundling up in the winter, it was quite a luxury - one that Eliza would take full advantage of. As there would usually be three feet of snow on the ground, I'd be bundled head to toe for a day of trudging around campus. I'd arrive home and immediately start pouring sweat because it was 80 degrees in the apartment, and there's Eliza bopping around in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts. "Isn't it great?" she'd ask. Well yes, if it didn't require stripping down to our skivvies to then have to layer it all on again in an hour. Can we make it a more tolerable temperature, say 72 (which was still even a little too warm)? "I love it," she'd say. So we'd launch a thermostat war - down, up. Down, up. All winter long. It was so dry in there that I'd wake, parched, gasping for air in the middle of the night, nasal passages constricted and tight.

Living on the Cape with the boys, we had a coal burning stove. If you've never lived with a coal burning stove, you cannot imagine how nasty of a thing it is. The coal was stored in the basement and brought up one dirty, heavy bucketfull at a time. About once an hour, you'd throwa  shovel full into the fire and the house filled with the aromatic stench of rotten eggs. Constant nausea. Not to mention the fine black soot that covered every inch of every surface of the living room - the walls, the curtains, the sofa, the tv screen, the dogs. And not unlike after riding the Tube in London, blowing your nose was an ashen surprise.

Now, in Southie, we have forced gas heat complemented with a space heater. Kevin, the firefighting brother, is constantly reminding us of the hazards of space heaters and we never sleep with it on through the night. (Anymore.) Michael is a breaker of the thermostat rules, much like Eliza. I frequently come home and turn the heat down from 72 to 65. Tsk tsk.

Back to the question that started this post... wait it out? Dad, lover of playing with fire, would start a fire in the fireplace the day the leaves would start to change. His comments would range from, "a great day for a fire in the fireplace" to "it is hot as a cannon in here" an hour later while he opened the slider. So despite being toasty in front of the fireplace or sweltering through college, this question is not something to which I'm accustomed. Several people commented that they make a bet with themselves to see if they can wait until November 1st. That's aggressive, I thought. November 1st!? It has snowed before then! But ok, I'm up for a challenge.

I have not touched the thermostat yet. I have, I will admit, plugged in the space heater the past few nights. I've also broken out the fleece pajamas and socks. But it also drives me to the kitchen. I love my tea before bed, but I've also been finding reasons to turn the oven on - I mean, bake. The other night I made crescent rolls to go with chili and last night I made banana bread. Takes the bite right out and injects the scent of cozy, homey nights right in.

Eight days and counting...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

a little song called denial

This song from the 80s just about sums it (denial) up. Poignant in so many phases of life.

I'm not in love, so don't forget it.
It's just a silly phase I'm going through.
And just because I call you up,
Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made.
I'm not in love, no no, it's because...
I like to see you, but then again,
That doesn't mean you mean that much to me.
So if I call you, don't make a fuss -
Don't tell your friends about the two of us.
I'm not in love, no no, it's because...
I keep your picture upon the wall.
It hides a nasty stain that's lying there.
So don't you ask me to give it back.
I know you know it doesn't mean that much to me.
I'm not in love, no no, it's because...
Ooh, you'll wait a long time for me.
Ooh, you'll wait a long time.
I'm not in love, I'm not in love...