Life and Literature Thursday, Dec 28 2006 

I finished The White Masai by Corinne Hofmann a few weeks ago. What a great book. It’s about a woman who, while vacationing in Kenya with her boyfriend, falls in love with a Masai warrior on the spot, then moves to the bush with him! It took me a long time to get into it, but the second half was much more incredible than the first.

Strangely, I liked the book better when their relationship started to unravel. That’s never happened before — I can’t tell you how much I cried through The Time Traveler’s Wife….I’d say more, but I don’t want to ruin one of the most phenomenal books I’ve ever read. I love the romance. But not this time.

But the best part, in my opinion, is the subtitle. An exotic tale of love and adventure.

I want that to be the subtitle of my biography. Or maybe the first line in my obituary.

That, in my opinion, is a life well-lived. Filled with love — at least one great love, as it says up in the top right corner of this blog — and adventure. A life of making huge decisions on a whim, hopping on planes at the very last moment, embracing the complicated, the impossible, the painful, all in the name of making life more interesting. All in the name of feeling more, even if it’s pain.

Think of it like a novel. Nobody wants to read about a neat life all sewn up and perfect. I couldn’t understand the blind happiness in The White Masai when Corinne and Lketinga were blissfully happy together, despite being unable to speak the other’s language. If all you know is blind happiness, then are you truly living?

I’m enjoying a very complicated life right now. And I know it will only grow more complicated. But I like it that way. I cry. I dream. I change. I am.

Daredevil, Baby Thursday, Dec 21 2006 

Every now and then, I fall completely, head-over-heels in love with a song. Usually it flares out quickly, and I end up stuck with a random song at the top of my iTunes “Top 25 Most Played” list and hating it. Sometimes the song loses its hold over me and becomes one that I like only on occasion.

But, for the first time, a song has come out that, even after months, causes me to close my eyes and tremble and just drink in the song as much as I can. It is that fucking good.

That song is “Daredevil, Baby” by Van Hunt.

It’s like in Girl with a Pearl Earring, when Griet looks at the painting of herself, and says quietly, “You looked inside me.” Just like that.

I absolutely love Van Hunt, and I’m always telling people how much I love his music. He truly is the most innovative musician working today, and he’s doing UNBELIEVABLE things for R&B. The only thing is that he hasn’t caught on. Not aside from the critical acclaim — let me mention that his latest album, On the Jungle Floor, is one of People magazine’s Top 10 Albums of the Year, and his self-titled first album was one in 2004! People just aren’t buying his music. People compare him to John Legend, and because he doesn’t have as good a voice, people don’t listen to him.

So please, download “Daredevil, Baby.” Preferably legally. I feel like I’m giving up a piece of myself.

I just hope that it makes you feel a fraction of the way I do.

You don’t know anything
Until you open up your heart
And find that you can’t stop bleeding
Till you’re playing with your cards
Out on the table, flying
Flying without wings
You’re a daredevil, baby

Covered Tuesday, Dec 19 2006 

Some images keep coming to me lately. I keep imagining that what I’m thinking is on my skin — as soon as a thought leaps into my mind, black curlicues shoot up my arms and swirl darker, pulsating, vibrant, until my body is covered with the lower-case first initial of the person I’m thinking about, all connected in cursive.

Or a single letter is burned into my sternum. It glows pink, still fresh. It’s large — a few inches square — and Gothic. Sometimes it’s black.

Is it that obvious when I’m thinking about somebody?

News of Lately Wednesday, Dec 13 2006 

So much to write and so much to say. Very little time. I’ve been working overtime to earn some extra money, and it’s quite draining to get home from work and know that I’ll be there again in just a few hours. Two things that I need to write about the most: my night out on Saturday (which included Hong Kong, the Rack, being a VIP at Avalon AND a late-night meal in Chinatown), and my commentary on the Grammy nominations.

For now:

I got an apartment!!!

I didn’t want to say anything until it was official, but it is now official, and I’m saying it! I’ll be moving to a lovely apartment at the end of the month — anytime after the 20th. Likely just after Christmas. It’s the top two floors of a two-family house in Somerville, just 7 minutes or so from Davis Square — which is an AWESOME area. I’ll be living with three other girls, two who work in Boston and one grad student at Tufts.

I first saw this house well over a month ago and once I walked inside, it was a breath of fresh air. For one thing, it was the neatest and cleanest place I had ever seen. And on top of that, it was beautiful. The bathrooms have just been redone, there are these beautiful arched doorways with molding, and so much is white, white, white. I do love color, but the white makes it look so peaceful….it’s in such a good location. Davis Square is right on the red line, and it’s only around a 20-25 minute ride from South Station, right down the street from work.

I am so excited. And relieved. This is going to make my life so much easier. I feel like everything’s clicking into place like one of those IKEA chairs that just snaps together. It’s like I always knew what was going to happen, it was just a matter of it starting to take place.

Another thing that was bothering me….the whole weight issue. I began college at exactly 111 and graduated at exactly 139, after a bacchanalian and hedonistic senior week. A lot of that weight was packed on in Florence; even more was added during my senior year. And because of it, the pictures of me from that time are awful. Especially the ones in Europe with Sars.

I’ve tried losing it, over and over again, and it’s just crept back on. But now it’s finally sticking.

It has to be a combination of the long walk from my car to the T and from Downtown Crossing to Southie and back five times a week — probably at least two miles a day in total — plus the weird night schedule and cutting way down on the amount I actually eat because of it. But now I’m down to 125.5.

Those size 8 jeans I bought from the Limited a month and a half ago or so? Now I can get them off without even undoing them. I’m like a guy — I NEED a belt!

So it’s going very well in that regard as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it — I have to be at work less than 10 hours from now, and I’m going to be getting some nice rest. Later on I’ll write about this weekend and post the pictures. They’re good. ๐Ÿ™‚

Impounded!! Thursday, Dec 7 2006 

So last night after work, a few of us decided to go out. Or a bunch of us decided to go out and it only ended up being a few of us. Lauren is a self-proclaimed dating guru, and she gave me so much advice. I love how a friend can just say a few words, and suddenly it hits you perfectly.

You know, going off on a tangent here, but I just watched Something’s Gotta Give and that movie is AWESOME! I should really put it in my favorites list. I feel like I relate to every single character in that movie — mostly Diane Keaton, but I try to keep all of that hidden on the inside! And Jack Nicholson’s character is quite similar to the persona of the International Pimpette….at this time, though, I’m probably most similar to Amanda Peet’s character. And Diane Keaton, but not officially. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyways, after a while, Gader showed up, and so did Lauren’s friend Joe. And we took pictures.

Joe, me, Lauren and Gader (whose first name is Brian)

The dating guru and me

Me with the founder of the Crazy Beard Club

There was great live music, there was dancing, and there was a group of people from a real estate law firm having their annual party. They had been drinking since 4:30 PM, and you could tell.

Originally, Lauren and I were going to walk to the T and I was going to drive her home to Chelsea from Wellington — and then Joe offered to drive us. Even better. And then when we got up to leave, we found out his car got towed.

You cannot park ANYWHERE in South Boston.

So we got in a cab, made some calls, and he found out it was at an impound in a random part of Southie — we found it and he paid $110.00, and then drove me back to Wellington. Heh. Now that I think about it, I’m realizing that that story took absolutely no time at all to tell. It seemed like it would take a lot more. Hmmm.

The moral of the story: do NOT park in South Boston unless you’re paying an exhorbitant amount of money, because you WILL get TOWED!! And it’s expensive, and you need the money in CASH!!

A night to remember.

I can’t imagine a WORSE hotel than this Wednesday, Dec 6 2006 

My coworker Peter is a huge U2 fan — he’s seen them 11 times so far, I believe. And you know that when fans get like that, they’ll do some crazy things. Take this: Peter is now going to Hawaii for only a few days, just to see U2. He leaves tomorrow.

A U2 concert is a huge event, no matter where or when, but there are even more major events going on in Hawaii this week. The Hawaii Marathon is taking place, and so is a big surfing competition, as well as another even that I can’t remember. As a result, nearly every hotel on Oahu is booked, and he had to resort to the Big Surf. While being one of the most budget-friendly options on the island, it comes at a price.

I present you with a glowing review, posted with the title “CAUTION! Proof that duct tape can not fix everything!”. This is what shows up when you google the hotel:

As soon as you slip through the iron security gate into the “lobby” of this hotel you will question your decision to stay there. The hotel is lavishly decorated with landfill rescued furniture and duct tape. As you board the elevator make sure to get out of the way of the elevator door…it does not reverse if it shuts on you. The rooms do NOT have air conditioning or telephones. The bedding is filthy with holes and stains in the sheets. Do not plan on using the mini fridge and micro. The microwave was very disgusting with an unhealthy aroma. The mini fridge was actually spray painted. When I first went into my room it was flooded with a few inches of water which the management “mopped” up with the raggedy bath towels from the bathroom. The insect population is booming in the guest rooms and will leave you itching and scratching for weeks. I would have gladly paid a lot more to stay anywhere else (including a public restroom) but everything was booked. The only available hotel…”The Big Surf”….it had vacancy for good reason. Most people just do not want to experience sleeping in a dumpster!


But it’s not as good as this next one:

The first night I came back to my room, I turned on the lights and a hundred roaches scattered in every direction. It took me an hour to kill as many as I could and literally fill the toilet with dead ones. It only got worse. I came to my room on 2nd night and found a huge rat, the size of a squirrel, eating it’s way into my luggage. When I turned on the lights, we were both taken by surprise, and the thing went nuts! It ran all over the room and I finally chased it down the hallway and it disappeared. I don’t know how it got into the room. It certainly could not fit under the door. Maybe the maidservice let it in? Then, what was even worse, when I reported it to the front desk, they did not act surprised at all. They said, “you pay for what you get.” “What?”, I said, “Where I am from, you get 2 nice clean beds and a swimming pool for $50.” I asked for my money back, but they pretended that I was hostile, and they called the police and had me evicted. To think that the thing was probably crawling around in my room while I was asleep. I’ve heard, where there’s one, there’s more. It was certainly true with the roaches, and I am sure it was true with the rats as well. That thing could have taken off an arm with only a few bites. I feel sorry for anyone who unknowingly stays at this “Rat-Hole!” You could not pay me to stay there again. Doesn’t Honolulu have a Health Department? Gross!!!


Good luck, Peter! Hopefully you won’t come back with rabies….

First Gleelumni Concert Wednesday, Dec 6 2006 

I went to Fairfield for the day on Saturday for the Glee Club’s Christmas concert. This was the first time I’d been to a concert since graduating — and surprisingly, it wasn’t weird at all.

The music was great. I particularly loved the Huron Carol — not because of the bells in particular, but I just loved that song so much — beautiful. I was a bit disappointed it wasn’t sung in Algonquin — that would have been a new language for the group, at least since I was a freshman! And I knew that there had to be at least one song that I had sung in the past, and it was there — Caroling, Caroling. I can’t remember what year I sang it — it wasn’t last year, and since I was in Florence during the junior year Christmas concert, it had to be either freshman or sophomore year. Maybe freshman year.

And yes, for the first time, I joined the group on stage with my fellow alumni to sing Night of Silence. Nothing strange, or weird, or unnatural — just standing on stage in my usual spot, remember to enunciate each S in “roses, sleeping” and not breathing between “winter of life” and “on breath you enfold us,” I believe, or whatever the lines are there. I never quite got the hang of the words, but the music is permanently ingrained in my brain.

It was great getting to see a bunch of my friends, and after the concert, I went up to James and Mike’s apartment and hung out with them and their roommates until James got a call from Dee, asking if we were coming to Senior Mug Night.

And I went.

And I had my dollar draft, and a few slices of free pizza, and got to see even MORE of my friends — Julie didn’t even realize I was sitting at her table until a few minutes after she arrived, and she immediately jumped up and gave me a hug!

Man, Senior Mug Night….that was weird. Not as crazy as the first Senior Mug Night of my senior year, with the line at the bar being 10-deep, but I kept feeling this weird feeling in my stomach that I definitely should not have been there, so I didn’t overstay. I left after about an hour and went home.

But it was nice. A very nice day at Fairfield.

And if any FUers want to come to Boston, you know who to call!

A Prayer Monday, Dec 4 2006 

O God!
Refresh and gladden my spirit.
Purify my heart.
Illumine my powers.
I lay all my affairs in Thy hands.
Thou art my Guide and my Refuge.
I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved;
I will be a happy and joyful being.
O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety,
nor will I let trouble harass me.
I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.
O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself.
I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

–baha’i prayers – `abdu’l-bahรก

Hong Kong….you’re calling my name…. Monday, Dec 4 2006 

The other night, we went out after work for a combination “Andy’s going to Florida and we won’t see him for six days” and “Andy’s birthday is two weeks from now” celebration. Guess whose idea that was? So we ended up going to pretty much the greatest dive bar in the Faneuil area — HONG KONG. I spend far too much time there.

It was a good time — Andy and I sang “Ghostbusters” (it’s a much better karaoke song in theory than in practice), we ate some awesome meat on a stick, and I later spent a long time wandering the financial district alone in the middle of the night because I forgot just where I pahked the cah. Do not recommend doing that. Ever.

The group, sauf moi: Jackie, Will, Crystal and Andy.

Andy and me: we would be bringing sexy back, if it had ever left in the first place.

Crazy shot!

Scavenger Hunt 2k6 Monday, Dec 4 2006 

Okay, so it wasn’t as competitive as our past outings, and we didn’t even have teams, but our scavenger hunts always result in great Facebook pictures!

Yoga on the Reading Common!

Lisa and Amy show their flexibility.

That’s Beth’s downward facing dog….you know how she likes it!

3/4 Brood — Lisa and Beth lift me, Reading Cheerleading-style, only without all the falls during pep rallies.

Our lovely town. Remember WAY back when the sign wasn’t even black and white?

Beth walks up to the drive-up only ATM and Lisa and I serve as her nondescript accomplices.

Bananas from Atlantic….no longer 69 cents a pound, to our dismay.

Riding around in the cart as we hide in the least-traveled aisle of the store.

Beth insisted on posing with the penguin wine.

There’s a bullet hole in the window of Bagel World!!!! I wouldn’t expect anything less from a town like Reading!!