Monday, June 30, 2003

Hectic Weekend

I think I need a break from my weekend! Kind of like coming back from Cleveland last week, and saying I needed a vacation to recover from my trip...

It started out Friday, when I had to work to make up for taking off Monday to spend the day in the car with the irrepressible Sean and my favorite Egyptian, Fady. Yeah, I know what a spoiled brat I am, but usually I don't work Fridays--I do a 4 10-hour days thing and skip the Friday commute. The unfortunate thing is that I usually don't use my day off wisely--I tend to go to Target or something lame like that and then whine that the weekend is too short.

But, I digress.

After a hard day of data entry and endless mousing, Sean and I headed to the FleetBoston Pavillion to see Iggy Pop and friends perform. (Well, I doubt they're actually his friends...) We spent a couple hours wandering the cheesy booths and drinking $8 beers before anyone actually started to play the "rock and roll music". This, incidentally, was just enough time for us to realize that we're not the target audience for these types of events any more. I just don't feel the need to dye my hair purple with Punky Color or drink an Amp or buy hemp-and-shell jewelery. *sigh*

So, let's review what we learned from this concert experience, shall we?
1. We are getting old.
2. There are still people FAR older than us who want to
attend an Iggy Pop show.
3. Hot Hot Heat is under-rated.
4. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are over-rated. And their lead
singer needs to consider an occasional workout.
Strutting back and forth across the street should
not make one gasp while saying "Hello, Boston".
5. Jellyfish are cool.
6. $8 Beers do not taste better than $3 ones.
7. Fischerspooner is one helluva prima donna
attitudy-ass queen. This made me laugh. Sean was not
8. Iggy Pop is too old for such hijinx as flipping the
audience "the bird". This is just plain silly.
9. Sometimes, the most fun part of anything is just hanging
out with someone you love.

So, that was Friday. Saturday, the alarm blared angrily at us at the ungodly rude hour of 7 am. We rolled out of bed and made for Saugus, where Sean's mom was determined to clear out a good deal of clutter through a yard sale and rented dumpster (for the unsold!). I "helped" with setting up a few things before I was shooed off by Sean and forced to make the big drive from Saugus to Brookline all by my lonesome for the first time. I did. So now I'm a Big Boston Driver Girl! Yay for me!

Again, I digress.

So I headed for my apartment, which I packed up. That's a pretty short sentence for a long-ass day of wrapping plates in t-shirts, throwing clothes in trash bags, and begging banana crates from Trader Joe's. But, long story short, I packed up the apartment. So now we just have to get all the stuff in it from Brookline to Medford. Luckily, I have very little furniture, just lots of "stuff".

Sean and I eventually reunited at his current apartment for a late-night of noshing on Redbones takeout and watching some Iron Chef.

Sunday I was awakened in the wee hours by the sound of my cat being an asshole. If you are unsure how exactly this occurs, let me explain. A cat being an asshole ususally consists of running back and forth across the bed and apartment at top speed, digging nails into sleeping bodies on the bed, and meowing at the top of one's lungs. See? Asshole. I implored Tivy to "stop being an asshole", and realizing the error of his ways, he settled down and went back to sleep.

I finally awoke at 9 am and decided to make surprise muffins for the sleeping Sean. Mmmm...lowfat blueberry/raspberry muffins! I had to use my vanilla soymilk because we were out of milk, but other than that everything was pretty standard. Sean gave a very unmanly squeal of excitement when I announced the existence of the muffins, and practically bounded out of bed to get some. Unfortunately, they tasted either like ass or something dead. I'm not entirely sure which. My muffins were a complete failure. I mean, the only job of a muffin is to taste good. Mine couldn't even accomplish that. Failures!

After a less-than-nourishing breakfast, we headed out to do some new-apartment-related shopping. At our first stop, the local Home Depot, we met with a great deal of success! I'm happy to announce that Sean and I are now the proud owners of our first large appliance--a brand-new Maytag washing machine!!! Goodbye, coin-ops and laundromats!! Woohoo! It arrives next Friday. I'll be saving my laundry till then!

We looked at air conditioners and rugs, but didn't buy anything. But hey, looking's a start, right?

Later that evening, we set out to meet a bunch of my friends from school at the Barking Crab for some seafood treats. It was a great time--we got to sit out on the patio under the twinkle lights and feed our faces with scads of shellfish. Mmmm. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to report that Sean's skill with the snow crab legs left a lot to be desired. I think it's save to say he's going to receive a sound schooling when we set off for Baltimore to visit the great Brandy and Robb in August--blue crab pickin' is SOOO much more involved than snow crab legs.

After a dinner that helped us work up an appetite, we walked across the street and plopped ourselves down in front of the harbor to watch the fireworks. They ended up being pretty spectacular, and Sean snapped some pretty good shots. Maybe he'll even change the picture on his site?

So, yeah, it's been a whirlwind weekend. And I've got a gabazillion things to do, still. Do you think it'd be possible to request an extra summer this year?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Why I Live in Boston

This past weekend, Sean and I made a road trip/excursion out to Cleveland to
see all my old buds/surrogate family. My friend Jumar even came up from
South Carolina, where he's busy training with the Navy's Nuclear Submarine
program (with my baby brother! Small world!) The hyjinx of the weekend are
probably fodder for another blog, but long story short; I found myself
grumbling quite loudly about the difference in cost-of-living between the
two cities.

Case in point: my friend Sarah, a fresh-faced new grad; is looking to buy a
house. A 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a nice yard in the hip barely-a-'burb
'burb of Lakewood goes for around $120,000. A townhouse in the same type of
neighborhood? Around $85,000.

Sean and I dabble our fingers in the idea of buying a house, and we'd be
hard-pressed to find one of similar description for less than $450,000.
And that would be in a much crappier neighborhood.

Now, before you start to blather on and on about salary differences and how
they're SOO much lower in Cleveland, let me say this: They're not. I mean,
Ok, if you make $75,000 in Boston, you might make $60,000 in Cleveland. But
bear in mind you'd be chopping your living expenses by two-thirds.

So, I've been more than a bit depressed about the seeming impossibility of
living the life I'd like to live while residing in Boston Proper.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not about to pack my bags and move back to
Cleveland (great town, but I'm kind of a coastal kind of girl...). But I've
been incredibly frustrated by the cost of living HERE. I know you locals
are used to it, but I'm just NOT. As I've said about a million times, an
above-average-income yuppie couple like Sean and I shouldn't have trouble
finding an apartment (not even a HOUSE!) we can afford. Suck!!!

Cut to last night. We met up at Scullers jazz club with my girls from
school and their respective boys to take in a Big Bad Voodoo Daddy show.
Bemoaning that the show conflicted with the free Guster concert in City Hall
Plaza, we filed in to the small, intimate club with floor-to-ceiling windows
overlooking the river and settled in for an absolutely GREAT concert. We
sat 3 people back from the stage, and we were in the back of the
club. When they left, they walked right past us for high-fives and
handshakes. And it was a ridiculous amount of fun. I think my throat is
still sore from "Hidi hidi hidi ho"-ing and "Go Daddy-O"-ing.

Cut to this Friday. We're giving up the free Blondie concert (again, at
City Hall Plaza) in favor of seeing Iggy Pop with Fischerspooner and the
Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Yay! And all summer, there'll be Free Friday Flicks and
the Boston Pops at the Hatch Shell. The weekends will be stuffed full of
Art Festivals and Music Festivals. We'll go hiking in the Berkshires, we'll
go down the Cape, to the Vineyard, maybe to Nantucket. We'll drive up to
Maine and eat lobster at a roadside stand. There's about a bazillion cool
things to do. All. The. Time.

And that kind of justifes the ungodly expense and makes me feel a little
better about living here. Well, for now, anyway.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I love breakfast.

I frigging love it. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't.

Sure, on a workday, it's less fancy, more meager. My mainstay is old-fashioned Quaker Oats. But I bring my 1/2 cup to work in a tupperware, and I flavor them with walnuts and berries. (Well, and sugar too...) Mmm...yummy.

What's not to love about breakfast? At what other meal is it considered appropriate to consume, as your main dish no less, a cakey substance smothered in sugary syrups and whipped cream and powdered sugar?

And such a variety of offerings on one plate! If you select the correct greasy spoon for your dining pleasure, you can look forward to an array of: vegetable and meat stuffed omelettes oozing with melted cheese; shredded, fried potato products; a salty, greasy, tasty breakfast meat; 2 pieces of crunchy toast dripping with butter (not margerine!); and a stack of sweet, crispy-on-the-outside pancakes or french toast slices. AND you can wash it down with a cup of rich, dark, life-giving coffee.

Ooh yeah, baby. Now, I concede that the above listing is far more food than anyone should or needs to consume in a single sitting.

Who gives a fuck? I will lay aside my health-conscious-anti-greedy-American soapbox and embrace all that breakfast has to offer. (What? You can't eat the whole thing, so you'd rather just have coffee and toast? Get the fuck out of here! These breakfasts are meant to be carelessly tossed out, only half-consumed!)

My roommate looked at me quizzically once upon a time and commented: "Boy, you sure like breakfast."

Fool. She's never lived the life where "breakfast" was consumed at 3:30 am on the way home, where 2 eggs over-easy was manna from heaven to combat the horrid rumbling of the 6 gin and tonics in your stomach. Oh, those were the days.

When I try to remember where we always went to eat in Cleveland, I mostly tend to remember breakfast joints. Our almost-daily haunt was Hylander, which was usually full of blueheads who lived in the nearby assisted living complex. Everyone knew us there, and they knew we tipped MUCH better than the blueheads, so we always got "taken care of". And for $3.85, you could get a kick-ass Greek (tomato, onion, and feta cheese) omelette with hash browns and toast. Ahh, Hylander. Or "Hylander?", as in, the way we informed each other that we should go there.

The best 24-hour joints were Dianna's and My Friends', nearly identical places practically across the street from each other. At Dianna's, they sometimes had this special omelette with spaghetti sauce and tons of veggies. And they had wicked good skillet breakfasts. Mmmm. My Friends', conversely, had better omelettes all-around. And towering tortes at all hours of the night.

When we lived downtown, we'd often make an excursion to "Ghetto Gyro" (I have no idea what it was ACTUALLY called...) for omelettes. They advertised "Open 365 days a year!", but since I was never in Cleveland for Christmas or Thanksgiving, I can't vouch for that.

On my way to work, I stopped by Einstein Brother's Bagels more than once for an Asiago cheese bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese. Although when I lived and worked downtown, I had to settle for Dunkin Donuts. That is, if one of the kitchen guys didn't make me an omelette.

In recent times, Sean and I have been big proponents of Bickford's. I LOVE when they have the pumpkin pancakes, and I'm a fan of the Dutch Country Omelette. We hit Lino's some Saturdays for the infamous "Big Breakfast". We do make the occasional excursion to IHOP.
But we made the best discoveries in the last 2 weeks--2 awesome breakfast places, both in nearby Ball Square. Sound Bites and Kelly's Diner are THE places to be. Just last Sunday, I enjoyed an artichoke and tomato omelette with white cheddar cheese at Kelly's. And the weekend before, I had strawberry and cream cheese stuffed French toast at Sound Bites. Yum-my!

Is it Sunday yet???

Friday, June 06, 2003

The Myth of Upkeep

For some reason, in this country, there's a prevailing notion that people who are rich, intelligent, beautiful, or exceedingly fit were born that way and shall remain that way indefinitely with little to no intervention.

It's pretty ridiculous, really. I couldn't even begin to count the number of stupid comments I've overheard or received that center around this notion. It kind of reminds me of that old shampoo commercial where the guy tells his friend to use Selsun Blue or Denorex or whatever dandruff shampoo it is; and his friend says "But you don't have dandruff!"; and he replies with an annoying "BINGO!" (usually accompanied by a mock pistol-shoot or other asinine gesture...). Yeah, duh, you fool--I don't have dandruff because I have the presence of mind to suds up my eczema-ridden baklava-flaky excuse for a scalp with freaking Selsun Blue every day. You might want to consider doing the same if getting laid is of any consequence to you whatsoever.

I digress.

Let me offer some other examples of this strange phenomenon. People say them to me often, simply because I am so very rich, intelligent, and beautiful. Or maybe just because they're all morons. Could go either way.

"But your hair is such a beautiful color! Why do you want to have it colored?" (Because the "beautiful color" comes out of a bottle, silly!)

"You don't have any wrinkles, yet! Why do you want to buy anti-wrinkle cream?" (See the word "anti-" preceeding the word "wrinkle"? Take a short course in Latin roots. Maybe then you'll understand the word "anti-" when used to describe a preventative measure.)

"Your eyebrows are just so lovely. Why would you want to pluck them?" (The "loveliness" comes from the careful removal of unsightly extra hairs. If you'd prefer I look like Brooke Sheilds circa 1986, that could be arranged...)

"You already have so much education! Why would you want more?" (You're right. Let me go sit in a dark room and experience sensory deprivation for an extended period of time. That's the best follow-up to getting any sort of formal education!)

"But you've got plenty of money. Why do you need to clip coupons/shop sales/buy a used car?" (Money grows on trees, you know.)

This one is perhaps the scariest, although sadly, it hasn't been uttered at me in some time. I just overhear it and sigh audibly: "But you're so thin! Why do you need to eat salad/go running/lift weights/count calories?" (As if achieving "thinness" automatically qualifies one for a lifetime of Big Macs in unlimited quantities and a couch cushion permanently imprinted with one's butt...)

People just don't seem to understand or recognize the cause-and-effect relationship. It's as though they just see something they covet, and automatically assume that they just were unfortunate enough to have called in sick on the day it was issued. Upkeep, people, upkeep! Sure, some people were lucky enough to have been naturally blessed with an attribute others desire. But that doesn't mean that they spend their entire lives sitting back and reaping the reward that X has afforded them. They keep the attribute because they're savvy enough to do so.

Gaw! Stop whimpering about what you've been deprived of and start making some progress towards it!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Today at Random

Riding the red line over the Charles this morning, the water looked like glass-shimmering, cracked glass. Not a boat skimmed over the water--I guess it's too damn dreary even for the Crew teams. I tend to look up from whatever I'm reading between Kendall and Charles/MGH, just so I can get an eyefull of the Charles, the trees and grass surrounding it, the view of the city. It's kind of my little last grasp at eye candy before I have to spend the day in Quincy.

Nothing amazes me more than the all at once small and immense miracle of another human being. Watching Sean as he slowly clambers out of sleep, I marvel at it all. The curved shell of his earlobes, the tiny hairs on his fingers, the way his lips will turn up just a little on one side if I brush them with mine. So many different ways the DNA could have lined up, but it did in that way. Amazing.

It just occurred to me that this blog might kind of read like a Deep Thought by Jack Handy. Hmm.

Monday, June 02, 2003

The ZIP Code Snob Gets her Comeuppance

The apartment search is over. After viewing no less than (*counting on fingers*) 27 apartments (not kidding, not exaggerating...that's twenty plus seven...); we have deemed one worthy of our inhabitance. Well, actually I guess it's more like the third we've deemed worthy; but (as I said before) one fell through because of the cat, one was the wrong apartment; and then there's the most recent addition to the story--the one we put the deposit on that was apparently "already rented on Friday". (That's realtor-speak for "We found some schumucks to pay more than you, so you're fucked like Li'l Kim!")

So, that brings us to today, when we signed the lease and handed over yet another check for yet another deposit, but this time it shouldn't fall through--the landlords seem completely enamoured with us. They keep thanking us for taking the apartment so they wouldn't have to rent it to wild pygmies or undergrads.

We don't have a porch to BBQ on, pout. But there's a front porch downstairs, and a back yard + blacktop area that might have some potential. It's not a BIG 'grill buyin' place, but it IS a make-do-with-the-little-grill place. So, that's a plus.

Anyway, it's a great place. Probably the best all-around that we saw. All kinds of brand new shit, and assloads of character. And a level of swankiness that is probably completely undeserved by someone who uses the word "assloads". I like it. It's pretty. I'll make Sean post pics on his site. :)
But, the comeuppance...

It's in freaking Medford.

I deserve it. I realize that.

But it IS in a nice part of Medford...

So, I'm psyched! We move in July.
We're Either Plugged-In or Pathetic

I am sitting on the couch at Sean's.

So is Sean.

I have a laptop in my lap.

So does Sean.

Very mod, right?

We are IM'ing.

Our thighs are 5 inches apart.

His last IM to me was "Made you look!"

Ladies, before you settle in with a die-hard geek, remember: This will be your life.