Friday, December 29, 2006

my least favorite topic

Now that the holidays are over, I need to start thinking seriously about money. I am going to perform an experiment for the month of January: trying to spend as little as possible on "extraneous" things -- basically, anything outside of food, transportation, and bills will be considered suspect, and put through a very rigorous do-I-really-need-this? kind of consideration. I hate being the person who has to bow out because of money, or who even frets about it in the first place -- but, ever since last February's trip, I haven't really been financially stable. I know I say this a lot, but I have got to start getting serious. It's not that I won't have fun, don't worry! -- I enjoy staying at home & reading/watching Netflix movies/knitting/etc. -- but I'll just have to limit my out-of-house activities. Luckily I have free things like volunteering to keep me otherwise occupied -- not to mention, to remind myself that there are others who have money problems worse than my own, and therefore I have to cease wallowing in pity & start being proactive about solving my problem, instead!

I think I can do this, for the next several weeks. Besides, I really need to focus on finishing up the last few Christmas knitting projects I've got (most were completed on time -- sorry again, Karen! -- and a few I hadn't even been considering finishing beforehand, because I knew they wouldn't see their intended recipient until after the holidays). Plus, I wouldn't mind getting caught up on some serious reading -- I didn't get much of a chance for that last month, and I'm missing it a bit.

I just hope my friends will be understanding about my declining to do most things that require money, because honestly I am kind of looking forward to a quiet month. Things were getting a bit crazy pre-Christmas!

But it might also mean I stay in Boston instead of traveling down to D.C. for the peace demonstration on January 27. Which is actually not too disappointing to me, because there is a book sale I'd like to volunteer at, that day! Perhaps I can join in some Boston activist activities, as well.

Okay, enough boring money-talk from me. I have got things to get done. Ciao! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
AUTHOR: Chuck Klosterman

TITLE: There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale
AUTHOR: Sean Astin

Thursday, December 28, 2006

who knew?

Okay, so you probably remember the big to-do when they revealed that the very "masculine" Spuds MacKenzie was in fact a bitch, but did you know that her name was -- get this -- Honey Tree Evil Eye?

Ah, the weird things one learns on Wikipedia....

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Thumbsucker
AUTHOR: Walter Kirn

TITLE: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
AUTHOR: Chuck Klosterman

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

happy Boxing Day

Just wanted to post a quick note to say how much I've liked the holidays so far! Yay, thank you to everyone who's made them so lovely.

Dan & I took a bus back to CT on Saturday morning (ugh, had to get up way early!), and his mom & BJ picked us up & dropped me off at my parents' house; it was nice to have everyone (my family & Dan's) together for a bit, however brief the visit was.

I spent the afternoon with my family, and had a lovely visit from my oldest friend Chandra (it's been a year since we've seen each other!) and her husband Chris. It was so nice to catch up!

Saturday night, my family & I played a lot of Killer Bunnies. :)

I spent Sunday wrapping presents (with Bethany's flair for bows, they all looked beautiful), and hanging out at home. At 4 o'clock we went to church, and then opened family presents before heading over to my godmother's house for her yearly Christmas Eve party. We didn't last long (we were all tired), but it was nice to go back home & spend some family time together...before my parents made us go to bed, just like they used to, saying Santa wouldn't come if we didn't! Hehe.

We were awakened early Christmas morning by Sarah (she had driven over that morning from her place, so we could celebrate Christmas like we always do!), and we opened our "Santa" presents by the glowing tree. Later that day, we headed over to my aunt's house in Meriden, where we ate a ton (as usual) and played LCR (and I made $30 off my cousins! hehe). I really love seeing my family. (And no, not because I made some money!)

I was really tired again as we drove home (it's been a long December, as the Counting Crows would say), but I really wanted to see Tanya/Sarah/Karen and Dan & his family, so I caffienated myself :) and, after sticking around to see (Sarah's fiance) Liam (he gave me Knit Lites, fun!), I headed over to New Britain. Sarah's house was beautifully done up for the holidays, and I got to spend some wonderful time with her, Jenn, and Karen -- not to mention that I received some amazing gifts! -- and then (partially because I unfortunately had to miss out on going down to Dan's; I've postponed to Wednesday evening, I think) we got to visit Tanya's & Jon's place -- it was sooo wonderful to get to see everyone! I have so missed my NB girls. :) (Thanks for everything, ladies!)

I'm exhausted still, but it's a very content & happy exhausted. :) I am working today, but it should be pretty low-key (I hope!), and I am looking forward to seeing another of my oldest friends later this evening.

Wednesday, I've got a doctor appointment in the morning, followed by my work's holiday party at Carmen Anthony (we have a pleasant lunch with the 5 of us and a few spouses), and half day of work in the afternoon. I'll try to stop by Dan's family's house on my way back to Farmington that evening, and then I plan to catch a bus back to Boston, yay!

More about awesome presents & other holiday goodness later; for now, work! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Thumbsucker
AUTHOR: Walter Kirn

TITLE: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
AUTHOR: Chuck Klosterman

Monday, December 25, 2006

yup, that's my dad... his Hooters gig this year.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

thanks & no thanks

I have to thank Bethany for uploading some old family photos (formerly slides) for us, including:

Grandpa (dad's dad) and me during an old Christmas

my parents getting married

me and my mom

my adorable & beautiful sisters!

I also have to send a big NO THANKS her way, for showing me this site and wasting a half hour of my day! Haha.


getting things done

Well, things are (mostly) slowly falling into place, holiday-wise. I've got all of my shopping done, save for one thing I have to buy in CT, and a few random things for Dan's family (not sure when that will get done, but we'll see!). Yesterday, Bethany & I packed up all of the Christmas cookies we've been baking (we've been meeting up pretty regularly over the past week or so to get everything done!); we filled tins with peanut butter/Snickers surprise cookies, chocolate-cherry cookies, teeny gingerbread cookies (in the shape of a man, a woman, a star, and a fir tree), and sugar cookies decorated with red, yellow, blue, and orange sugar. So pretty! All baked from scratch. It's definitely fun to have a cookie-baking partner-in-crime. And we had so many that I was able to pack up several bags & a tin for my co-volunteers at the WLP. I brought them in this morning, and everyone was glad to get them (I hope they like them!). It was such a cheery day there, this morning. I am so sad I won't be in town on Christmas day, because 2 of my favorite WLPers will be running the kitchen for the holiday! Oh, well, though. I'll be back in on Thursday (I'll be in CT through Wednesday, so I can't do my regular shift).

In other holiday news, my knitting is getting done, slowly but pretty steadily. I'm so excited about the projects I am working on! I'll be sure to share lots of pictures post-December 25.

Dan and I plan to take a bus down to Hartford on Saturday; I'll be spending the rest of my time these next few days packing, knitting, wrapping, and generally just making sure everything is order for 5 days away.

Of course, that's all besides working. I should go do that now! xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs
AUTHOR: Chuck Klosterman

Monday, December 18, 2006

alphabet meme

Stole this one from Stariel:

The Letter A
Are you available?: Not to date. But in the metaphorical sense, as in being open to things? Yes, pretty much... :)
What is your age?: 25
What annoys you?: Slow and/or poorly designed websites. People with terrible T (or other forms of transportation) etiquette. When my foot falls asleep.

The Letter B
Do you live in a big house?: Nope, a small apartment.
When is your birthday?: May 8.
Who is your best friend?: Gosh, I don't know. Dan, Jen, Chandra, my sisters of course...I don't have a "best". Just plenty of very excellent ones. ;)

The Letter C
What's your favorite candy?: Peach blossoms.
Who's your crush?: Danny! (Shhh. Don't tell.)
When was the last time you cried?: I teared up while watching a sad movie this past weekend.

The Letter D
Do you daydream?: Kind of...I won't get into an analysis, but I don't have like elaborate storylines going in my head, I just do drift off onto other topics way too easily!
What's your favorite kind of dog?: Miniature Pinscher (with a teeny spiked collar!), or Chocolate Lab. Or, a mutt!
What day of the week is it?: Monday (ugh).

The Letter E
How do you like your eggs?: In a very cheesy omelet.
Have you ever been in the emergency room?: The only time I can really remember right now is when my grandfather was there because he was having breathing problems.
What's the easiest thing ever to do?: Avoid doing work. (Case in point.)

The Letter F
Have you ever flown in a plane?: Yes, but only a half a dozen times (twice to TX, once to Miami, once to Zurich (on my way to France), and once to Japan..and I think one other time? I can't remember).
Do you use fly swatters?: Nope.
Have you ever used a foghorn?: No...have you?

The Letter G
Do you chew gum?: Often, yes. I have this constant fear of assaulting people with my horrendous breath unless I've got a lovely minty bit of flavor in my mouth.
Are you a giver or a taker?: Oh man...I want to be a giver all the time, but I am pretty demanding emotionally of others, I think.
Do you like gummy candies?: Yes. Probably too much, although they are definitely never my first choice when faced with candy options.

The Letter H
How are you?: Doing all right. Kinda stressed.
What's your height?: 5'1" (sometimes I can stretch to about 5'1-1/2", hehe).
What color is your hair?: Naturally it's a dark brown. It's been just about every color, but right now it's just a few shades darker than what it truly is.

The Letter I
What's your favorite ice cream?: Chubby Hubby, and Moose Tracks frozen yogurt if it's done by the right company, which of course I can't remember the name of right now...! Also, Haagen-Dazs' Dulce de Leche.
Have you ever ice skated?: Dad used to take us lots when we were kids. I haven't been in ages, although I did bring my ice skates up to Boston in hopes of someday making it out to the frog pond...or that rink down the street!
Do you play an instrument?: I played violin from age 7 through 14, and then I picked up the guitar for a little bit, but I'm not terribly talented in either, and it was mostly frustrating more than anything else. Although I do feel lucky to know as much about music & musical notations as I do (well, what I remember, anyway...).

The Letter J
What's your favorite jelly bean?: I don't like jelly beans all that much...but if they're the big Brach's kind, I prefer the pink & white ones (I hate the black ones, and don't like the orange, green, or yellow ones. Red & purple are okay).
Have you ever heard a really hilarious joke?: Um...yes? (Are you asking me to tell it, or just answer the question?)
Do you wear jewelry?: I have 7 earrings & 1 industrial & 1 navel ring that I never take out; usually I wear my watch & several rings; when I am dressing up I'll wear necklaces & dangly earrings in earring holes #8 and #9.

The Letter K
Who do you want to kill?: I hate this question; no one!
Do you want kids?: I don't really right now, but I'm open to changing my mind....
Where did you have kindergarten?: Union School

Letter L
Are you laid back?: Heh...I can be, but more often than not I'm stressing over something or other!
Do you lie?: Like Stariel, I usually just prefer to bend the truth or omit, mostly because I am terrible at lying, though.

The Letter M
Whats your favorite movie?: Stand By Me (among tons of others).
Do you still watch Disney movies?: I didn't much even back in the day, and I haven't seen one in forever, but if someone were to bring over a copy of The Little Mermaid, certainly wouldn't be averse to a viewing...
Do you like mangos?: Not really. I always have to warn people to remind me that I don't like them in my Indian food, because whenever I go out to eat the dishes with mango always sound delicious, but then I get them & end up hating the taste! Oops. But they are fun to cut up! (I learned how at the WLP.) Also, I prefer spelling it "mangoes".

The Letter N
Do you have a nickname?: I had plenty of variations on "Ari" when I was in high school (such as "Ari Atarai" and "Safari", but I don't even go by "Ari" all that much (I prefer "Arianna" in most cases). My sisters have some nicknames for me that I don't care to disclose. And Dan has some more that I also don't care to share.
What's your favorite number?: 8
Do you prefer night over day?: I love the quietness and stillness of night, and how much more I feel like I can get done, but I do also love the clarity of daytime -- being able to see my surroundings clearly, and I just love when the days get longer in the summertime, and I can do things well into the evening without requiring lights. Hmm. I guess I would still say I prefer night, always have, although I guess that's starting to change as I get older...(as is my ability to stay up late).

The Letter O
What's your one wish?: Peace.
Are you an only child?: No, I have 2 older sisters.
Do you wish this was over?: Um...because I should get back to work, yes, but otherwise, I don't mind it.

The Letter P
What one fear are you most paranoid about?: I think most people will agree I go absolutely crazy about bugs, and even when they're nowhere near me I can imagine them crawling on me, ew.
What's a personality trait you look for in the sex you like?: That much-lauded "sense of humor" is definitely key to me. I have got to have someone I can laugh with.

The Letter Q
Are you quick to judge people?: I think on first sight, yes I often place them into those automatic "categories" based on who they remind me of, but I am also very willing to let people prove themselves to me through their words & actions. I don't think I judge complete strangers or people I encounter briefly throughout the day, but I do know that sometimes I can cattily put other girls in compartments, based solely on how nice or mean they look. :( I think we all kind of evolutionarily have a bit of an instinct to do that to people, whether we want to or not. We used to need to be able to decide quickly (and accurately!) whether or not we could trust a stranger who was approaching us. I think it's natural of us to want to assign people roles, but at the same time I hope we've all evolved into moving beyond that, and seeing people for who they are on the inside, NOT the outside.

The Letter R
Do you think you're always right?: I know I desperately want to be, but I don't usually actually think I am. I give way usually much too easily.
Do you watch reality TV?: I don't watch TV at all.

The Letter S
Do you prefer sun or rain?: Sunshine.
Do you like snow?: The first fall, yes. The 80th? Not so much. And never when it's all slushy and brown. But I love how quiet it makes everything, at first.
What's your favorite season?: Spring, with fall a close second.

The Letter T
What time is it?: 4:29pm
What time did you wake up?: 6:20am
When was the last time you slept in a tent?: I think the last time we went camping was when I was in my sophomore year of college? So about 6 years ago, yikes! With my family, in NH. Oh wait, maybe we didn't actually camp that time, just had a campfire. Hmm. Then before then it has to have been when I was 11 or so, when we camped our way across Canada. Unless I'm forgetting something big. In any case, I've been dying to go again ever since, but despite big plans, it never actually seems to happen.

The Letter U
Are you wearing underwear?: Yup.
Do you prefer underwear or thongs?: Underwear, no question!
Underwear or boxers?: Ditto.

The Letter V
What's the worst veggie?: Lettuce.
Where do you want to go on vacation?: Back to France & Amsterdam, or to Africa perhaps? I also wouldn't mind seeing Jamaica (birthplace of ska, among other things), but I don't want to be one of those rich tourists that gets shuttled off to one part of the island, although I know they say that the rest of the island is very dangerous to outsiders. I also would love to go back to San Francisco. And Japan, for that matter!
Where was your last family vacation to?: With my entire family? I think, again, it was that cross-Canada trip. I haven't traveled with my parents or sisters in ages. :(

The Letter W
What's your worst habit?: Nail biting is a bad one of mine. (Writing way too much might be another....)
Where do you live?: Boston.

The Letter X
Have you ever had an x-ray?: Before 2003, I had had only dental ones and a few hip ones when I was too young to remember much. Since? I've become a goddamn pro. I get x-rayed every time I see my hip doctors. Don't even get me started on CT scans and MRIs, either.
Have you seen the X Games? No, but I believe Bethany saw them when she was doing the RISD summer program, right?
Do you own a xylophone?: I do not.

The Letter Y
Do you like the color yellow?: Yes, it's okay. Not my favorite, but it can be pretty in certain shades.
What year were you born in?: 1981.
Whats one thing you yearn for?: The question to have correct punctuation, for one thing. But to be serious, I don't know if there's anything I yearn for. It's such a strong word. I have the love I need from my family & friends, and I can't think of a single material thing that I am dying without. So, hmm. I guess I'll just go with "peace on earth", since I definitely would love to see that!

The Letter Z
What's your zodiac sign?: Taurus.
Do you believe in the zodiac?: I like reading my horoscope from time to time, but I never actually believe it's going to happen. I have to say that sometimes I feel like those sign descriptions are spot-on, but that's probably because they could really be adapted to fit anyone.... :)
What's your favorite zoo animal?: Monkeys.

season of light

I've decided that I need to make like I'm going away more often. This past weekend, Dan and I had (quite a while ago) planned to make our now yearly trip in to NYC to see the lights and the tree and the people and all the holiday fun that entails, but due to financial & time constraints this year, we decided to put any trips off until later (even though of course there won't be any tree later! -- but I'm okay with that). Because of that, I hadn't made any other plans for the weekend, which upon trip cancellation left for an unexpected wide-open schedule, really. A rarity for me, it seems. So I got to run some much-needed errands and get a lot of holiday stuff done. Unfortunately, I still didn't have enough money or time to make a trip out to Worcester to party with Tanya, Sarah, and Lisa, and that was really disappointing, but I otherwise felt pretty accomplished. And I did get to have a nice brunch with Dan & Shaina on Sunday, at the Pour House, which was a nice brief break from getting things done.

I can't believe Christmas is in one week. I feel completely & utterly not ready, but at the same time, I think I do have most of my shopping done (mostly I am stuck finishing up Dan's family, which is difficult because we agreed to go in on a lot of things together, and he of course puts off his shopping until Christmas Eve!). But I think my family & most of my friends are at least settled if not ready, and ... yeah. I still feel majorly overwhelmed, so I guess I'm not ready enough! But I feel better with every passing day...maybe by Christmas, I'll actually be in good shape! ;) xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

Friday, December 15, 2006

je suis fiere

Oh, one thing I did take the time to do last night (unfortunately, more time than I had planned on!) was to make Chicken Fricassee (oh, how I wish I could type accents here), also known as Fricassee de Poulet:

It was my first time caramelizing onions, I believe, and definitely my first time doing a white wine reduction. I felt so accomplished! I love to cook, but I guess I usually just stick to the safer stuff. This is definitely making me more interested in trying out some other dishes from my French cookbook -- when I have more time, that is! xo

i am the tortoise?

Making slow, but hopefully steady progress on my holiday knitting projects. I've been watching a ton of movies (Enemy of the State last night, and part of Young Frankenstein) and haven't had time for much else besides work. My books are going by agonizingly slowly, which sucks because there are a zillion more that I want to move on to! (Not that the stories are bad; I just only get to read a few pages at a time, so I'm feeling somewhat detached from whatever is going on -- it always takes me a while to get back into the story every time I pick a book back up).

Well, the crunch will all be over soon, for better or for worse. xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: Dirty Blonde
AUTHOR: Courtney Love

Thursday, December 14, 2006

one FO for y'all

This one's not a very exciting one in terms of knitting technique, but it's the only one that I've completed recently that I can show with no fear of the recipient seeing it, as it's for a friend of Bethany's. (My first commission!) :)

Here is one shot of it in progress (I love how the yarn looks in this, and in the scarf in general):

And then one of the completed scarf:

It was a basic knit stitch all the way through, so it went relatively quickly, but it was fun because of the (intentionally) variegated colors & widths in the handmade yarn. For such a basic scarf, I think it really turned out beautifully (if I do say so myself -- which I feel I can, because Bethany even picked out the yarn, so all I had to do with it was the knitting!).

I really want to share more, but most of that will probably have to wait until after the holidays! xo

just call me Blanche DuBois

Wow -- I wrote this last Friday, but I never posted it. Sorry! xo

Never before have I depended so heavily on the kindness of strangers. My faith in humanity was largely restored last night.

Let me start from the beginning: after work, I raced over to Downtown Crossing so I could make a stop at Windsor Button and then Express (and I ran into Christine in between!). Bethany met me at Express and helped me so much; we efficiently picked out a great all-black outfit for me to wear to the new ICA preview party that Dan & I (as members) were to attend that evening. After stopping briefly to pick up some sushi at Ueno, I then raced home and got ready to go.

As a brief aside, you can see how happy I was earlier in the evening; this is from right before we left:

This was all set to change, within a matter of hours...the party itself was just fine; Dan & I enjoyed wandering around and looking at the art, seeing the people, and having a few complimentary drinks (not to mention some yummy desserts!). When we were ready to leave, we donned our coats and headed out to the street, which was largely deserted, as the waterfront is not quite yet the happening place that the city seems to want it to become.

We finally found a cab, and Dan & I decided to go to the RumBa at the Intercontinental for a few drinks to cap off the night. We arrived, entered the bar, and took of our coats, when Dan decided he wanted to eat at the 24/7 French restaurant in the hotel, instead. So we picked up our things, and were about to move into Miel...when I panicked, realizing that I couldn't find my bag!

And that was the start of an adventure & a half.

We spoke with the Intercontinental's concierge (who was very concerned but not able to do much, even after he got my hopes up) and Dan hailed us a cab back to the North End. I was so upset because our night was ruined -- but, more so, because that bag had contained not only my cell phone, not only my credit cards & ID, but also the only set of keys we had between the 2 of us! So, we were basically stranded. My sister, who lives down the block from me, has a set of keys...but she wasn't at home. Our landlord lives out in Ipswich. We could have probably managed to buzz ourselves in to the building...but, then what? We'd be stuck outside of our own door.

Me being who I am, I was capitulating ahead to having to call the next day to cancel all of my credit cards, convinced Dan was going to leave me because I was so stupid, and was already trying to figure out where I could afford an apartment by myself (well, not really, but I was close to that point), when my genius boyfriend thought to call my cell phone. Well...duh! Of course! At least it was a start.

We got quarters for a pay phone, and of course the first one we tried didn't even work. (I will never take for granted the existence of a pay phone, ever again! You never know when you won't have your cell phone on you....) The next phone connected, and I waited, holding my breath, as we heard the phone ring...and then someone picked up! Asking if it was Arianna! Apparently this angel had found my bag in the back of the cab and had taken it with him for safekeeping (okay, so I know that maybe I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt here, and he could have just wanted to see what he could get from it, but at this point I feel so much relieved love towards him that I'll give him that benefit), and had called my parents' house (it is listed as "Home - CT" in my phone, so it makes sense) to tell them he had found my bag. The guy was about to go to bed, and he lived all the way out in Brookline, but we begged him to stay up & wait for us to take a cab out there (I don't know what I would have done without Dan, who was able to finance all the cab rides for me -- for which I fully intend to pay back).

The cab we got into was also fantastic -- the driver let us use his cell phone to get in touch with the person who had my bag, so we wouldn't have to go out searching for a cell phone. Dan had offered a $100 reward to the guy for our bag; he ended up only taking $40 of our money for the trouble of staying up. I so wanted to hug him, I was that relieved to have my bag back!

What a night. I'm still exhausted from it! When I was finally back in my lovely, lovely bed, I simply lay awake for a bit, staring up at the ceiling, being grateful for every moment that I was able to lie in my own bed, with a roof over my head. I too often take that for granted, and I guess that's the lesson I learned last night!

Ugh, unfortunately, the Week From Hell didn't end up looking any brighter until a few days afterwards (and even then, I still at times feel like a total mess, screwing things up left & right!). But at least we are healthy & happy & safe, and that is all that really matters to me, in the long run. Even as I was crying over having lost my bag, I knew I wasn't nearly as bad off as I could have been. Granted, you probably couldn't have told that from the way I was freaking out...heh!

I'm just glad that's over. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: Dirty Blonde
AUTHOR: Courtney Love

Thursday, December 07, 2006

oh, Thursday

I am so freaking glad that this Week from Hell is almost over. I just haven't had a single thing go right for me since Monday! And hey, who knows, maybe the Fates will shine down on me, and start making my week better starting even sooner than I'd anticipated?

Here's to hoping!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I think I jinxed myself when I started thinking Odessa was a really easy, fun knit -- I have been having the worst time ever with it tonight. I tried to fix a mistake and ended up making such a mess of things that I just ripped it all out & started again. I was so frustrated I even left SNB early, as much as I was enjoying the company. I came home & watched Stella Dallas, which was a very good movie, and got about one repeat into the beaded pattern when I made another mistake. In trying to go back & fix it, I dropped a stitch and I'm finding it impossible to pick up correctly.

My hands are just not working for me anymore, and I'm soooo frustrated. All I want is to be back where I was this afternoon! :(

I need to go shower & get to bed. Clearly I need to take a break from knitting -- but it's the worst, when all you want to do is keep going, to prove to yourself that you can get it right. Ugh.

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: Dirty Blonde
AUTHOR: Courtney Love

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


To prove I really am in a better mood, though, I wanted to post a fun picture of the Odessa hat I am working on, as a Christmas gift. (I really hope the friend I am making this for isn't one of my readers; I don't think she is, but who knows!) In any case, it's totally fun to knit & turning out really well so far, I think:

I decided to go with a beautiful cranberry/wine color (I believe it's called Opulence) instead of the pretty light blue that Grumperina has in her photo. I think the beading looks really nice (and really stands out) with that choice.

I started it last night, while watching Proof, which was a really good movie. I actually liked Jake Gyllenhaal in it, and I'm not always his biggest fan. I am sure the math in it was somewhat elementary & all, but it felt like a very "smart" movie. I would recommend it.

Okay, really, work now! xoxo

Sam is not my friend

As promised from yesterday's post, I wanted to talk quickly about how a forum just dropped a post of mine, without notice & without any recognition that it had ever existed! I have been watching Sam Has 7 Friends since it began, only because my friend Caroline plays the Holly character (I wouldn't otherwise have gotten into an online serial, I don't think). I joined the forums because I had some questions about the show, and started getting involved in some discussions on there. Everything was hunky-dory until I posted about having noticed that the credits seemed to have put the wrong character name with an episode's actor. As the series is a mystery, and thinking it might have been deliberate, I posted the following picture:

Where it says "roman" I thought the character was "forrester", so I asked about it of the other forum members. The next day, checking back in for a response, I couldn't even find the post I had made. The forum admin must have not only fixed their mistake (on the episode it now lists the correct character's name), they simply used my post for correction purposes & then made like it never existed. What, they couldn't just own up to a mistake? It would have been no skin off anyone's back, and yet they decided to just pretend I hadn't spoken.

I suppose there's the very slim chance that when I meant to hit "submit" I instead hit "cancel", but I really don't think that's the case. I am 99.9% sure that I saw my post actually show up in the thread immediately after I posted it.

This isn't the way to handle fuckups, SH7F & Co. Don't expect me to be posting on that board anymore. I'm not angry or even all that upset, but I don't understand why I was totally, unnecessarily censored. Thanks for that. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: Dirty Blonde
AUTHOR: Courtney Love

Monday, December 04, 2006

in memory

I've never chosen to write about him before, but I feel the need to remember a bit about Abe tonight.

It was 5 years ago today that he passed away. I still can't believe he's gone. And all because of that motorcycle he had to have. Not that I blame him, not at all -- he lived life the way he wanted to live it, and he was happy. I just wish there had been more armor on that bike, a million times more, when he got in that accident.

I love to think of the little things -- the time when we carpooled home from K4K together, and he was running dangerously low on gas, so we stopped at the closest gas station we could find, in Avon. The pump was going unbelievably slow, so Abe went in to ask what the deal was. The guy inside told him that they were all out of regular, and that he'd have to go with premium if he wanted gas. Sensing he was being ripped off, Abe instead pumped $.25 worth of gas (agonizingly slowly) into his tank, and we drove off, in search of another station.

And I remember the time we went to a movie (I can't even remember which it was now) and lunch, and then stopped at the West Hartford Reservoir for a bit. We noticed the ducks were hungry, so he pulled out the leftovers from our meal at Friendly's, and fed the ducks our cold french fries.

We were alway smiling & laughing, always having a great time in my memories. I know that's not true; I know that there were times when we'd sit down and have the most instense, serious conversations. And we always had the best advice for each other. But the most important thing was that we were good friends, and we were there for each other. At least, that's what always mattered to me. I know I could always lean on him when I needed to. Abe was so amazingly strong -- he was like a pillar for all of us. He knew what he wanted in life & nothing would stop him getting there. And he taught all of his friends to believe the same way he did. To believe in ourselves the same way he believed in himself -- and the same way he believed in us.

The world is definitely a dimmer place without him. I hope he knows how much we all miss him, down here on earth.

AMH 1981-2001
love you.

eye of the Tiger

On Friday, I went online to order a present, on Dan's behalf, from TigerDirect. While I've had no problems with this company in the past (I built my desktop machine using parts ordered mostly from them, and haven't had any problems with the machine since I put it together), I had an awful one with them this past weekend:

Saturday morning, I received a voicemail from a TD representative, telling me that they would like me to call them before they can ship the order out. I called the number they provided...and sat on the phone for 25 minutes before I got frustrated and gave up.

The next day, Sunday, I sat on the phone for another 25 minutes before hanging up in anger & frustration.

This morning, I received a vaguely threatening email from the company, warning me that if I didn't get in touch with them very soon, they would be forced to cancel my order. Lucky for me, this time they provided their call center hours: 8-5, M-F. Right. That little tidbit of information could have been provided earlier! Perhaps in their voicemail, or in an email, or on their website? Or, at the very least, in one of their numerous voice recordings that I kept having to wade through before I got put on hold to wait for "the next available agent". Oh, and when would that have been -- 8am on Monday??!?

So clearly I wasn't in the best mood when I made the call this morning at 8:45am, but I didn't approach the call with malice. I waited over 10 minutes once again before I got a human on the other end, and I tried to explain to the guy (very nicely, I think!) that I had waited on the phone 25 minutes twice over the weekend, and it would have helped for me to know what their hours were, then! He got all defensive (he was just some kid, and apparently he took my friendly advice the wrong way), and said "Well, we [who's "we"?] are open 24/7, but the credit card department is only regular business hours." Yeah, okay. That really cleared things up, thanks buddy!

I then went on to explain that I had gotten a phone call regarding my order, and the guy told me there was something wrong with my credit card information. I asked if I had mistakenly given the wrong #, and he said (rather meanly, I might add), that, "Your billing address is completely messed up" or something along those lines. Oh, yeah? Wow. I thought it was way more likely that someone would mis-type a string of 16 digits than that they would mistype their entire address!!!

Confused, upset, frustrated, and worried, I was then "transferred" & placed on hold for another 10 minutes or so. The woman who finally picked up the line was friendly enough, but she didn't even give me a chance to speak -- just fired off questions that would help identify that I was the person who was really placing the order -- she needed address info, SSN info, the works. My head was spinning, but I apparently answered everything to her satisfaction, because as abruptly as the questions began, they ended. "Okay, I'm approving your order and it should be shipping out within 3-5 days," she finished. I sputtered " there something wrong with my credit card? Do you need that information? I--" but I was completely ignored: "Thank you for calling. We'd now like to offer you a 3-day vacation package. Would you like me to transfer you over?" She had already hung up between my saying "No thank you; I'm fine for now" and "Good-bye." I doubt she even heard my signoff. I'm surprised I was even as successful as I was!

Phew. I'm glad that's over, and that my myriad worries about what the problem could be (that they were out of stock of the product, that they couldn't fulfill the order in time, that I had mistyped my credit card number -- which I always triple-check!) were all wrong, but still. What a nightmare! I hope I don't have to deal with them again. I don't plan to do any further business with them, if I can help it. It makes me feel half safer, half totally annoyed that I had to verify that I was who I said I was. Arg.

And the worst thing? I got an email from their automated emails a few hours afterwards, notifying me that they were running an even bigger sale, which made the purchase I had just finished clearing up (which, at the time it was made, was a big sale) seem like a total waste of money. I wonder if I had just waited a few hours, could I have gotten a way better deal? ARGH!!!

a knitter's dream

Wow, what a morning, already! I've got a ton of frustrating things to rant about, but right now I just wanted to say that, for a while there, Webs was offering a Valley Yarns line at a $.00/skein special -- unfortunately, if you follow that link, you'll see that all has been set back to normal again, but I was seriously contemplating taking screenshots and then placing an order for 10 skeins (which would normally run $419.90, sans tax & shipping), because when I did a "test run" to the shopping cart with 10, I was only charged $.90, for the shipping!

I was too scared I wouldn't get away with it, though, and that I'd get charged $400+ for yarn I didn't really want all that much in the first place. Oh, well! It would have been fun to pull off.... :)

More to come later, all about a certain forum pulling a post of mine, and a certain computer hardware retailer pissing me off & scaring the bejeezus out of me. Oy. Gotta go work now, though. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: The Underboss
AUTHOR: Gerard O'Neill & Dick Lehr

TITLE: Dirty Blonde
AUTHOR: Courtney Love

Thursday, November 30, 2006


The UK's 100 Favorite books. As per stariel, I've bolded the ones I've read and italicized the ones I have plans to read soon.

I find it not at all surprising how heavily skewed this list is towards Harry Potter...I wonder what this list originated from? I feel like I've seen it before.

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
51. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
52. Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
53. The Stand, Stephen King
54. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
55. A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
56. The BFG, Roald Dahl
57. Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
58. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
59. Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
60. Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
61. Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
62. Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
63. A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
64. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
65. Mort, Terry Pratchett
66. The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
67. The Magus, John Fowles
68. Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
69. Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
70. Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
71. Perfume, Patrick Süskind
72. The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Robert Tressell
73. Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
74. Matilda, Roald Dahl
75. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
76. The Secret History, Donna Tartt
77. The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins
78. Ulysses, James Joyce
79. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
80. Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
81. The Twits, Roald Dahl
82. I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
83. Holes, Louis Sachar
84. Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake
85. The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
86. Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
87. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
88. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
89. Magician, Raymond E Feist
90. On The Road, Jack Kerouac
91. The Godfather, Mario Puzo
92. The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
93. The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
94. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
95. Katherine, Anya Seton
96. Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
97. Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
98. Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
99. The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie

Oy, guess I'd better get reading!! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: The Underboss
AUTHOR: Gerard O'Neill & Dick Lehr

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

sock curse?

Apparently my sock-gifting M.O. is to give only one sock out of a pair. I've done that every time I've gifted socks, and that's been 3 times. In fact, once I was giving 2 people each a pair of socks, but only had one pair completed, and thus gave one each one sock from the same pair. Yes, all quite befuddling, I realize.

In any case, one of these times occurred a few months back, on the eve of my sister Sarah's September birthday. I was taking a bus back to CT both for work & to help her celebrate! I had just settled into a good rhythm of watching The Baxter on my laptop and finishing up Sarah's second sock (I was just past turning the heel), when the bus hit a bump, and my 4th needle went flying. I calmly watched it arc through the air, somewhat detached from it all & feeling rather helpless to do anything. I figured I'd just wait until it settled, and then go & retreive it, rather than look like a crazed woman flailing around after it in the relatively small, enclosed space of the bus.

Well, it wasn't meant to be -- I continued to watch as the needle landed on the aisle floor...and then, hop! (said the French way), it kind of jumped & slid right through the grate running alongside...yes, the one the leads to the inner workings of the bus, I am sure, and not one that would be accessible to someone like me. Eep! I don't know how long it took for me to realize the gravity of the situation, but thankfully I didn't freak out on the bus. I calmly stowed the incomplete (and unable-to-be-completed) sock and pulled out the extra yarn (for yet another pair of socks) I had packed in a fit of ESP-esque inspiration earlier that morning. The rest of the ride went smoothly enough, with no more men down, but it was still rather upsetting. I had to, of course, present Sarah with only one sock on the night of her birthday. (Ironically, she later presented me with a bunch of needles she had purchased for me at a tag sale!)

I kept putting off finishing the second sock for so many reasons, but the other day I finally bit the bullet and picked it up again. The rest of the knitting flew by, and over Thanksgiving, I was able to present Sarah with the pair:

(That's me modeling them, but you get the idea.)

Luckily, I don't think the one-sock-giving affliction is going to continue to plague me much longer...but I can't reveal anymore.

For now, I've got non-knitting work to get done! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

TITLE: The Underboss
AUTHOR: Gerard O'Neill & Dick Lehr

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


This morning has been so awful. I broke the Bottomless Jar of Misfortune this morning while I was trying to get some change to use at Boylston (they still don't take Charlie Tickets there). Here's a picture of the awful damage, mid-cleanup:

Ugh. I feel so terrible about that. I loved the BJoM! Not only that, but I don't know how to dispose properly of this one (without killing someone with the dangerous glass) or where to locate a replacement. Sigh. Can anyone help me with any advice on either of those things?

Boy, I hope this day gets better, and the week isn't miserable. I am looking forward to seeing my family for Thanksgiving -- I don't want it to be a terrible time, the way all the signs seem to point right now. Meh.

And I'm also sad because Danny just got back from a week away, and now because of the holiday we're going to be apart for another several days. I miss him already!

Oh, day, please start getting better...xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Grassroots
AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

TITLE: The Memory Keeper's Daughter
AUTHOR: Kim Edwards

Monday, November 20, 2006

mail update

Also, hooray! It looks like my little package finally made it out of the pinball machine that was MO:

  • Enroute, November 17, 2006, 3:55 pm, BELL, CA 90201
  • Enroute, November 15, 2006, 5:12 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 14, 2006, 9:49 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 12, 2006, 10:04 pm, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 11, 2006, 7:20 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 08, 2006, 11:06 am, SPRINGFIELD, MA 01152
  • Acceptance, November 07, 2006, 3:12 pm, BOSTON, MA 02113
  • word nerd

    Okay, so I know this is kind of lame, but I've found my new favorite (for the time being) site:

    Common Errors in English
    (Scroll down to see the list.)

    I find it so fascinating! I've always had a thing for figuring out why people mistake certain words for others -- like, one of my favorites, that I once saw a guy type "computer rail" for "commuter rail". Sounds totally funny, but say it out loud a few times fast, and you can see where it might have come from -- it seems like he simply misheard the word.

    I could spend hours on this site, reading all of these little tidbits over & over!

    But for now, I've got work to keep me busy for this first half of the week... xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: Grassroots
    AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

    TITLE: Confessions of a Recovering Slut
    AUTHOR: Hollis Gillespie

    Thursday, November 16, 2006


    Should I be worried that a package that I mailed out last week seems (according to the USPS's tracking site) stuck in MO?

  • Enroute, November 15, 2006, 5:12 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 14, 2006, 9:49 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 12, 2006, 10:04 pm, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 11, 2006, 7:20 am, HAZELWOOD, MO 63042
  • Enroute, November 08, 2006, 11:06 am, SPRINGFIELD, MA 01152
  • Acceptance, November 07, 2006, 3:12 pm, BOSTON, MA 02113

  • Currently Reading:

    TITLE: Grassroots
    AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

    TITLE: Confessions of a Recovering Slut
    AUTHOR: Hollis Gillespie

    Wednesday, November 15, 2006


    So, I had heard these horror stories about a yarn store on Newbury Street, but the only one I'd ever been inside of was Newbury Yarns, which I definitely hoped was not the one everyone was talking about, because the proprieters there were great when I stopped in.

    However, this morning after working at the WLP, I made sure to leave after 9 because I knew that was when the store currently known as Knit & Needlepoint (it's also been known as Mary Jo Cole and Back Bay Needlepoint) was supposed to open. Oh, good lord. I wouldn't recommend it, even if you're desperate! I walked in and was basically watched, eagle-eyed, by the woman hunched behind the desk (I can only assume it was Ms. Cole herself), until I made it to the cash register, where I inquired as to the location of their circulars. The woman kind of growled at me that they were in the back, and she could "make things easy for me" -- she laid it out as such: "They're Addi Turbos. They're metal needles. That's the only kind we have. They're in back." And then she kind of looked me up & down and added, "They're $30. Do you want me to go & get them?" I don't know if she didn't think I could afford them or what, but I wasn't about to stick around & find out. I said thanks and hightailed it out of there. What a meanie!!

    I did definitely feel better as I walked home from the T, though. The weather is so nice today, and there were plenty of people (but not too many) out on the streets, all very friendly. I made some stops at the post office & White Hen, and then as I cut through the Prado (the park near our house), the wind was just right so that it was making all the brilliant yellow leaves blow off the trees and drift down, just like a light snowfall. It made me smile, especially to think of the upcoming first snows (I do love those; it's the 88th snow that really gets to me! hehe).

    I need to go start work, but I just had to comment. What a morning! xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: Grassroots
    AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards

    TITLE: Confessions of a Recovering Slut
    AUTHOR: Hollis Gillespie