Quote of the Day Saturday, Jun 30 2007 

“Damn it, Glynis, why are you always late? Put in your teeth and come down here!”
–Guy on his phone outside South Station

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Big News Saturday, Jun 30 2007 

Oh God, I’m so far behind. DC was a great time, and since then, this has been my first night at home with nothing scheduled (and no blackout). Yeah, there was a blackout, and it was actually a lot of fun, since my roommate Omni and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts (there was electricity 200 feet away in Cambridge) with the awesome Mormon missionary guys across the street and had a great time….I thought I caused it, having plugged in a brand new air conditioner about ten minutes before the lights went out, and I wasn’t quite sure that I had bought the right type of extension cord….

But yeah. Life is good. And once I have a spare moment, I’ll be getting around to documenting the news of lately.

For now, I have some very big news.

After my Grammar Vandal entry created such a buzz, I decided to create a Grammar Vandal blog. I’ve posted quite a few entries in it so far, so I’m ready to unveil it to the public:

TheGrammarVandal.com

That’s THE Grammar Vandal dot com.

Check it out. I’m very excited about it.

ESPECIALLY since a writer from the Boston Globe is doing a story on me and my grammar vandalism!!!! It will be appearing in the SUNDAY GLOBE (woo!) in mid-July. Of course, I’ll give more details when the time comes.

Thank you, Reebok, for your advertising idiocy — you have created some very good times for this girl.

TomKat and Suri Thursday, Jun 21 2007 

I know that most people can’t stand Tom Cruise, especially my favorite celebrity bloggers, and while I agree with them for the most part, I actually have to disagree — I love Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and little baby Suri!!

I know that there’s something odd about them. It’s nothing as odd as brainwashing or alien sacrifices or anything else that people say, but it doesn’t quite add up. Everything seems forced. Even so, though, I love them. I think they’re great. Aside from the Scientology/pills rant on the Today Show, Tom has always been reported to be a great guy, and from what I’ve seen and heard, he seems to be a great father. (His kids with Nicole Kidman live with him and Katie full-time in Los Angeles.) I think they seem pretty happy. I love Katie’s style. And Suri is beyond adorable!

I came across these pictures and they’re so cute, I have to share them. These are of TomKat and Suri on the French Riviera.

Suri is walking!

Decide for yourself. I think it’s nice.

How can Katie walk in those high heels and hold a baby’s hand?

I love this one! Suri is trying to steal her glass of water!

This is the cutest one. I love baby Suri!

Okay, go ahead, make fun of me all you want.

I like them.

Also, I know I’ve been absent from this blog a lot — I’ve been busy at work and working on a new project in the meantime. I can’t wait to unveil it. The weather has been beautiful, and it’s tough to stay inside for the sake of blogging!

I’m also going to DC tonight with THE ENTIRE BROOD! This is the first time the four of us will be together for more than a few hours in years! It’s also our first trip together since Montreal, right before we started college, and California, a few months before that.

Have fun!

Image Source

Class Rank! Wednesday, Jun 13 2007 

I was looking over my transcript from Fairfield tonight — my REAL transcript, not the kind you can look up online — and I saw something I hadn’t seen before.

My class rank.

There were 650 in the class.

I’m 155.

That would be the top 23.84% of the class.

Wow.

I was in the top 34% at Reading High, and the people there weren’t nearly the caliber of Fairfield. And they tell you that if you graduate in the top half, no matter what the school, you’ve done well.

I feel great.

A Great Place to Live Sunday, Jun 10 2007 

We’ve got some big news at the apartment — my roommate Christie got engaged last weekend! She’s thrilled, and I’m thrilled for her.

She is also moving out August 15th.

Hence, it’s time to look for a new roommate!

Before posting anything on Craigslist, I thought it would be a great opportunity to extol the virtues of my lovely apartment to the readers of Kate’s Adventures. First, check out some pictures of the inside. Keep in mind that they were taken in winter.

Basics:

–There are four roommates. We will likely be looking for another female.
–The apartment is in Somerville, specifically, near Davis Square. It’s about an 8-10 minute walk to the Davis Square red line station. Teele Square is even closer.
–I’m not going to post the rent (and you can probably find it buried in a former entry), but I will tell you it is SO cheap compared to most of non-ghetto Boston. As I’ve said many times before, I know only ONE person in the Boston area who pays less than me, and she had creepy Russian roommates who spied on her in the shower. (Hehe, sorry, Michelle.) To be completely honest, a place like this could easily go for $100-200 more. I lucked out. Utilities are not included and are about average for the Boston area.

Layout:

The apartment is on the second and third floors of a two-family house. The landlords live on the first floor (and are very accessible and very good about taking care of problems).

The second floor features the kitchen, dining room, living room, half bathroom, pantry, door to the basement, porch for storage, and my bedroom. There is also a good-sized piece of almost-flat roof where I like to sit in a lounge chair and read on warm days.

The third floor features the other three bedrooms (including your bedroom) and a full bathroom.

I’m not sure which bedroom it’s going to be, since the girls may switch. But mine is the smallest (though the best-located) and it’s about 10′ by 10.5′. I love being right next to the kitchen, so I’m not giving up this room!

Street parking is available with a Somerville sticker, which is a cheap price that I can’t recall. We have two parking passes for visitors. There is FREE laundry in the basement!

Location:

Davis Square is a great place to live for someone in his or her twenties. Everyone I know lives in Brighton, but this place is so much fun! The Square is, essentially, what Harvard Square used to be before it became a giant sellout. There are few chains, and there are plenty of quirky coffeeshops, thrift stores, a great used book store, an old school video rental place, an ANNA’S TAQUERIA (pure bliss), and a movie theater!

There is a Bank of America ATM and a Citizen’s ATM (and probably more that I can’t think of at the moment), there’s a Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, and there are plenty of cool bars, like the Burren, the Joshua Tree and Johnny D’s (which is great for live music).

For restaurants, there are a few Indian places, a few Tibetan places, a really nice place (Gargoyles on the Square), pizza places, Italian places, Chinese places, diners, and a great barbecue place (Redbones). There’s also a J.P. Licks for ice cream.

And, of course, there is the Davis Square station on the red line. It’s about a 15-20 minute ride to Park Street and downtown Boston. Best of all, you DON’T have to deal with the drama of taking the green line!!

Davis Square is so active every month of the year; even during the winter, you will see the streets full of people. It’s a mecca for people my age. One of my favorite things to do in the Square is to buy a super burrito at Anna’s and go see a movie at the Somerville Theater. The Starbucks is also a REALLY GOOD, really big Starbucks. (It’s always pretty busy, though, and it can be hard to find a seat.)

As for groceries, I go to the Shaw’s down the street in Porter Square. There’s also a Wild Oats nearby, and a Stop & Shop not too far away, if you need Bigelow Red Raspberry tea! And we have a really cool liquor store with flashing lights at the end of our street.

Roommates:

The other two girls are graduate students at Tufts who are in their twenties. At 22, I’m the youngest. They are both very kind, intelligent, funny girls, and they’re very busy with their schoolwork!

We don’t spend much time together, since we’re so busy, and we do most of our roommate communication by email, but whenever we hang out, we always get along great.

Rommate Criteria:

When the girls were looking for roommates before, they wanted a young professional or graduate student, and I believe that holds for this round, too.

Again, I need to talk over the specifics with my roommates, but I’m sure it’s safe to say that we do NOT want a smoker. For me, personally, I wouldn’t live with anyone who does drugs of any kind — ANY kind.

Also, we’re very quiet here. This is not a place for you if you plan to host parties. We have friends over from time to time, but this is definitely not a party apartment.

Roommates live here for a long time. The guy who I replaced had lived here for a year, and all of the other girls have lived here at least a year and a half. Christie, who’s leaving, has lived here the longest. This isn’t for a short-termer.

If you think you may be interested, or you know someone who may be, just let me know and I’ll give you more specifics, including the costs and the specific location.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an official roommate ad yet — it’s just an overview of the place. Everything is subject to change, including availability.

Even if you’re thinking of another place, if you’re thinking about moving, PLEASE consider Davis Square. It’s a great place to be, fun, reasonably priced, and SO much more convenient than living anywhere on the green line!

Have I discovered a cure for cellulite? Wednesday, Jun 6 2007 

Let me begin this entry with a bit of a disclaimer. I have never used any products for cellulite in my life, nor have I ever used moisturizer on anything more than my face and hands. I’ve never touched an allover moisturizer.

Consequently, my experience with this product might be affected by the fact that I’ve never tried anything else. I don’t have a control subject with me!

Anyways, I guess it began with the self-tanning debacle that left trails of dark down the white bottoms of my arms and legs. That look was not good, and it was achieved with CVS-brand “fine mist sunless.” For my next round, I decided to finally buy some of that Jergens sunless tanning moisturizer that darkens your skin gradually.

This was a HUGE product last year — it was so popular, it flew off the shelves! Now, this year, it’s widely available. I came across it when I was in CVS, and I noticed that there were two kinds — regular and firming. The firming kind cost a dollar more, and I purchased it right then and there.

Cellulite, that cottage cheese-like fat that lives on your thighs, affects nearly all women — I think something like 98% of women have it. In women’s skin, there is a layer above fat that is shaped like cylindrical tubules. The fat pushes through these tubules and pokes out the top, resulting in a lumpy appearance.

Men do not have this.

Cellulite is not directly related to your weight. It’s true that heavier women almost always have it, but many thin women have it pretty badly as well. Katherine Heigl and Mischa Barton are two of the more prominent examples.

I also have it very badly — worse than anyone else I know. I haven’t worn shorts or a short skirt in public in close to two years because of it. Also, although thighs and butt are the main locations, as they are on all women, I have it in my arms, calves and especially on my stomach. It’s pretty bad.

So I bought this lotion with the purpose of getting a healthy tan, and I ended up with so much more.

I showered at night and put the lotion on. The next day, I noticed how nice and smooth my skin was everywhere — like on my back and other places where I have NEVER moisturized!

And then I noticed that everything felt firm. It still looked dimpled like the hills of Umbria, but it really felt….different. I told myself that I was probably imagining it and mistaking smoothness for firmness.

But a few days later, I noticed an unbelievable change in my stomach. My stomach was one of the lumpiest parts of my body, unless I pushed it out all the way (which was not an attractive look, let me tell you that!). But now? Oh, my God. It’s smooth. It’s not lumpy at all. I keep feeling it and feeling it to see if it’s real, if this is really happening! I wish I had before and after pictures. It’s still a little bit lumpy if I suck it in all the way, but the difference is visually striking.

You HAVE TO GET THIS.

I think I understand it better now. There is no cure for cellulite — but creams like this CAN make a difference. Creams won’t get rid of it completely, but they can make a sizable dent (no pun intended). Maybe it’s working so well because I’m still pretty young. Maybe it’s working so well because I’ve never tried anything else. I’m not sure.

Just know that you need to get this lotion. Be sure you get the FIRMING kind — though I’m sure you know that by now!

And I’m actually considering buying a pair of shorts for the first time since high school!!

About the weight loss thing too, I’ve recently made the decision to go off elective meds that have prevented me from losing weight. There are a lot of pros and cons to this, but I’ve decided that going off the meds will give me more benefits than staying on them.

I’ve been on them since before I moved to Somerville, and it was so weird to be suddenly walking a few miles a day, eating right and GAINING WEIGHT like crazy instead of losing it!! But now, between being off the meds, walking a few miles a day and eating right, I’ll finally be able to lose this weight, and hopefully look somewhat like how I did before I went abroad to Florence. And hopefully my sister will stop calling me Heavy K and bringing up fat jokes whenever I walk into the room.

Missing Italy Again Tuesday, Jun 5 2007 

I studied in Florence for four months in the fall of 2004, and I wouldn’t trade those months for anything. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier, or more fulfilled, than when I was in bella Firenze, and Italy as a whole.

On occasion, people ask me if I miss Italy.

My response? “Every day. Every minute.”

It just doesn’t leave you. And when I talk about missing it, I’m not talking about the alcohol-soaked nights (and days), clubbing until 5:00 AM and flirting with just about every American guy in the city. (The ratio of female to male students was about 5:1 overall, so guys were especially precious.)

I’m talking about the people: meeting the Greek guys, Klement and Soni, on the Ponte Vecchio, and going to get a drink with them (all the time thinking, “What am I doing? Are these guys going to sexually assault me?” We actually had a very pleasant afternoon, attempting to communicate in broken Italian and English.) I met so many wonderful shopkeepers as I searched for the perfect Florentine jewelry.

And the food — oh God! SUCH consistently amazing food.

The beauty of the city, the art spouting from the pavement in every direction, the feeling you get when you walk across a piazza or climb hills to view the city at its finest….oh god, I miss Italy so much. I ache, literally. I watched Under the Tuscan Sun last night (I had seen it once before, shortly before I went to Florence), and seeing the brief images of Florence almost made me burst into tears.

There is a thread on Bootsnall discussing what songs remind you of certain places. At first, I remembered my homestay in Normandy when I was in high school, and how it seemed like the only song they would play on the radio was “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy. EVERY time you turned on the radio, there it was!!

And then I began thinking about the dance music at the clubs in Florence. I hold that music so close to my heart. When I returned to Florence for Gleetalia in spring 2006, some of my friends and I went out to my favorite club, Maracana, and I was delirious with happiness that they were playing the SAME EXACT SONGS!

So I began to write about that on Bootsnall….and I realized that I could only remember a few of them.

This devastates me.

This is what I can remember:

–Eric Prydz “Call on Me”
–Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get Retarded”
–Black Eyed Peas “Hey Mama”
–Beyonce “Crazy in Love”
–Jay-Z “Dirt Off Your Shoulder”
–“Superstar”
–“Bodiqua, Morena, Dominicana, Rubiano….”
–50 Cent “In da Club”
–50 Cent “P.I.M.P.”
–The Game “Fresh ’83”
–Houston “I Like That”

I think in addition to that, there were the classics, like “Yeah!” by Usher, “Big Pimpin'” and “Ice Ice, Baby” and “Baby Got Back”….but I can’t remember.

This is really bothering me and making me upset, so if you can remember any other songs, I would really, really appreciate it.

The Grammar Fallout Sunday, Jun 3 2007 

Wow. I got a huge response from the entry below, written about my personal quest to eradicate grammar errors in the city of Boston, one incorrect advertisement at a time. It was a bigger response than I expected.

Some liked it; some pointed out other errors I had made within the message, or simply said that it was “bad.”

But at any rate, here are some of the responses:

“Grammar Nazis” on BuzzfeedBuzzfeed is a site that picks a commonly blogged-about term, like “Fake Hogzilla,” “Japanese Beer for Kids” or “Celebrity Baby Weight.” My friend Andy submitted my entry to Buzzfeed, and guess what? It’s #1 in the list of eight blog entries! (For the record, it keeps switching back and forth between #1 and #2, but it’s still pretty exciting.) Because of that, my blog traffic shot way up.

“Grammar Nazis” on Thought Press — My friend Andy wrote his own commentary on my entry. Check out the rest of his blog, too, which focuses on news, trends and technology.

“Calling All Grammar Nazis!” on Bootsnall — I spend a lot of time on Bootsnall, which is an excellent online travel community. I find it to be great place for all kinds of discussions, including non-travel discussions, because I’ve found the people on Bootsnall to be very intelligent, educated, wordly and open-minded. This isn’t exclusive to all travel communities — on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree, for example, there are far more casual travelers, while Bootsnall is strictly for serious travelers.

Anyways, I posted my blog entry and got plenty of responses. Check it out.

I’ve also received a lot of comments via facebook, where I import my blog, and Lisa has taken to calling me the “Grammar Vandal.”

I don’t mind that title one bit!