Friday, September 29, 2006

Happy Friday!

Sigh. I love Fridays. The work week's winding down, people are in better moods & you can really start looking forward to the weekend. I can also wear whatever I want to work - hence today's jeans, sweater with tweed elbow patches & Converse sneakers. :)

Plus, I had a present in my inbox today - wedding pictures! Remember my friends Iain & Sarah, who got married in Edinburgh on September 15th? Well, Sarah sent me their Snapfish photo album & I pinched more photos from my friend David's page. Here they are, for your Friday viewing pleasure!

Remember what I said on Wednesday about liking men in kilts? I would have been in heaven!
David & Stevie goofing around before the wedding. I miss those nutty lads.
David, Sarah & Iain at the hotel: post-ceremony, pre-reception (you can tell because David doesn't look drunk, or "mullered," yet)
Requisite cutting the cake shot
Requisite first dance shot
David & Stevie, dancing happily together (and thus clearly mullered)
Iain & David dancing together (also mullered)
Awww. How sweet do they look? Congratulations again, Iain & Sarah! I promise a trip home to Edinburgh by your 1-year anniversary!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Real Life Stories

Good morning! I treated myself to a coffee & 2 donuts this morning, so I'm in a great mood. Last night, I met Jayne & Jenny for drinks at Orleans. I hadn't seen Jayne since probably July, so it was great to catch up with her. I'd obviously never met Jenny "In Real Life", so that was great, too. We had a couple of glasses of wine & chatted about boys, bands, Indian food, apartments, work stories, and BLOGS! And yes, of course we talked about you guys & the upcoming Blogtoberfest. (Breaking news: Jenny blogged about last night as well. Man, we bloggers do run true to form.)

Since I gave the girls the update on BB, you deserve one too. He did come over on Sunday night to see the Pats lose badly. However, we're still in that heady, early, storytelling phase, so between sharing stories & our Blue Moon Pumpkin Ale & a little kissing, we didn't really watch much of the game. We have a date planned for tomorrow night (as Jayne said, "Prime real estate!") & he emailed me today to settle our plans. So things seem to be going well. I hate to get too optimistic, since I've been disappointed many times before, but so far, the signs point to yes. :)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I'm Back, Lads & Lassies

I'm back, I'm back! My blog has now been successfully switched to Blogger Beta. I'll explore a little & let you kids know how it is.

In the meantime, I haven't thrown anything significant up on this ol' board since last Thursday! So I've got a few things to update you on. I'm going to start with the NH Highland Games on Saturday & deal the rest out over the next few days. :)

Saturday was cold, rainy & miserable, but being good Scots, my mother & I soldiered through.
Since it was raining, I didn't get any good pics, but I dug up the one above from last year's games.

I'm always interested to see the diverse crowds at the Games. It's definitely a family affair, with lots of tots in strollers sporting kilts & Scottish face paint. However, there is also a good crowd of young (early-twenties to early-thirties) people there who often stay overnight in Lincoln & party it up, Scottish-style, at the local bars. I plan to try that some year.

There are also three main levels of involvement & dress at the Games. The first is the New Englanders of Scottish descent who may wear a Scottish T-shirt or sweatshirt and may have a Scottish tattoo somewhere (this is where my mother & I fall). The next level is the performers & the people who have gone all out: full Highland dress. (Note - I have no problems with these people. I love them, in fact!) However, there is a third level of Highland Games visitor who is a little "tetched." These are the Druidic, New Age Celtic Church people, who tend to wear long dresses, capes & crystals on a string. I have no patience for these people, as I know that their perception of ancient Druids has very little to do with genuine Scottish history. However, live & let live, right?

We got some adorable Scottish togs for Baby W. The first is a sweet little T-shirt that says, "Wee Laddie." The next is a bib trimmed in plaid, with a Scottie dog, two thistles, and "Scotland" on the front. We really wanted to get him a wee kilt, but I know that my not-as-rabidly-Scottish sister & Dutch brother-in-law might not allow it. Someday, though. If not for him, for my own future kiddies!

I also got a black T-shirt (American Apparel) that says, "Scottish Girls Rock." And I must say, I love me a man in Scottish-esque clothes & I was spoiled with eye candy. Wool sweaters, tweed jackets, flat caps, & kilts everywhere! It probably sounds a tad strange, but I just love a man who looks like he's come straight from the "Hielands" (or at the very least, Inverness or Edinburgh). Yum. :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Backward Blogger Beta

In case you're wondering where I am, I am trying to switch over to Blogger Beta. Have any of you attempted this yet? It's taking forever - I requested the switch yesterday around 1 pm & haven't heard anything conclusive yet. I emailed tech support to make sure things were on track & they basically told me to be patient. I've only had this blog since March, how much material can there be??? Anyway, I'm still here in the blogosphere - reading your blogs & commenting on them. Just not sure when I'll be back in business!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Have a Great Weekend!

I've taken the day off tomorrow to spend time with best friend R., who is home for Rosh Hashanah. So I won't be posting tomorrow. However, you can rest assured I'll be out gathering plenty of material for Monday.

R. & I (& her puppy Vixen) have a busy day planned tomorrow, including lunch with my sister, bro-in-law & Baby W and Rosh Hashanah dinner with her parents. I'm spending Saturday with my mother at the NH Highland Games (I promise pictures). Then, I'm working Sunday during the day, but hoping for a
low-key evening date with BB. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Drum Roll, Please

That's right, ladies. That's right, gents. Thanks to the hard work of Miss Jenny, of AllEyesOnJenny fame, we have ourselves a party. Introducing the first annual Boston Blogtoberfest, on October 19th. This exciting & fun event came about from a couple of key posts on Jenny's website, like this one. Check it out. And then, head on over to the Blogtoberfest site & sign yourself up, baby.

All Boston-area bloggers welcome, plus friends-of-bloggers, dates-of-bloggers, blog readers, blog commenters, etc. This is also a great way to prove to our friends/family/significant others that our internet friends really do exist, I swear!


P.P.S. I don't want to scare Berkshire Boy (or BB) away yet, so I'll hold off on inviting him for now. ;) But speaking of him, we had a lovely date last night in Southie. Pints of Sam Adams Octoberfest at The Playwright, a long walk through Southie's evening streets, and a little toe-dipping & city skyline gazing at L Street Beach.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wacky Wednesday

My schedule today is completely insane. Plus, after a very busy work day, I am meeting Berkshire Boy for a drink around 8pm!

Yikes. So since I have no time to post normally today and Blogger's photo thing is still being wonky, here is a link to a website with a number of beautiful background images. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Embracing the Randomness

Is it just me or is Blogger's photo upload feature being very stubborn this week? I've been having trouble uploading images. Consequently, you don't get the promised picture of Hometown green today, or any pictures to accompany this post.

Not that I have anything much to say anyway. Nothing extraordinary has happened this week, so I'll give you some random thoughts & events:
  • I gave blood last night at the Red Cross drive near my apartment. I used to donate blood much more often, but I've been too busy lately. It was nice to do so again. Makes me feel like a bit of a hero, actually. :)
  • I'm reading a new book called Sea of Glory, about the U.S. South Seas Exploring Expedition of 1838-42. It's a really interesting read about a largely forgotten exploring expedition, written by the author of In the Heart of the Sea.
  • I worked on my graduate school application a bit last night - added 200 words to my personal statement & wrote a note to an old professor asking her to write a recommendation.
  • My date from Sunday emailed today to see if I wanted to get a drink later in the week. That was a nice surprise. Based on the typical "3-day rule", I was expecting to hear from him tomorrow. I think I'll need to think of a good nickname for him, since it seems like he's sticking around. Since he grew up in the Berkshires, let's go with Berkshire Boy for now. ;)
  • One of my friends (Jaynie's beau) emailed me yesterday & said: "One of the drawbacks of your having a blog is that I always feel updated on your life. I get a daily update... then I forget that we haven't talked in like a month. Ah well, such are the digital times in which we live." Indeed, J, indeed.

Monday, September 18, 2006

D is for Dating Again

So here's the quick date recap, for those of you who were waiting with bated breath. :)

We met around 11 a.m. at the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown. We had a nice breakfast (me - two eggs scrambled, wheat toast, home fries, cranberry juice, coffee. him - Greek omelette, toast, home fries, coffee) & stayed for about an hour. One of my co-workers & her BF were there for breakfast as well, so we said hi to them.

He walked me to my car afterwards (which was impressive, since it was 4 blocks away). I mentioned that I was going to go sit out on the Hometown green
since it was so nice out. I said he was welcome to come if he wanted. His plan was to watch football, but he called me on my way home & said he'd like to join me on the green.

We hung out & talked on the green for a couple of hours, then grabbed lunch/dinner at Bertucci's. We scored an outdoor table, which was lovely, but HOT! We ordered two glasses of shiraz, since it was past noon & perfectly acceptable. ;) Both of us wanted some version of their tomato & mozzarella salad
. However, because of the ban on spinach, we chose a Margherita pizza instead.

He dropped me off around 5:15 & saw the apartment (liked it). Not bad as far as first dates go. :)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Days of Auld Lang Syne

I've been thinking a lot lately of my Scottish family. By that, I mean the American students with whom I studied in Edinburgh & the Scottish boys that we befriended there. We're a motley crew & currently spread out over the globe. Friends from my Scotland experience live in Boston, New Hampshire, NYC, New Jersey, DC, Michigan, Seattle, Buenos Aires, Wales, and (naturally) Edinburgh.

However, we have all stayed in touch & continued to care about each other's lives. I think the experience was important & transforming for all of us (even the Scots). Perhaps that's why we have all stayed close, as a way of honoring that bond. Here are some pictures from various good times together over the past few years:

Kristin (NYC), Kate (DC), and I - the summit of Arthur's Seat, October 2003
Steven (Isle of Canna), David (Wales), Kate, Monica (NH), Kate (Chicago), Alex (Buenos Aires), Me, Sarah (Edinburgh), and Iain (Edinburgh) - the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, June 2004
Iain, Sarah, Monica, Me, David - Finnegan's Wake, Edinburgh, January 2005
David, Chris (Seattle) and I - Medford, MA, April 2005
And the real reason that prompted this post - Iain & Sarah, who are getting married today in Edinburgh. Congratulations, you two! You're a great couple & I know you'll be happy together. I couldn't make the wedding, but I'm still hoping to make it across the pond in the spring. I've been too long away . . .

Thursday, September 14, 2006

B is for Brunch

So you know what I haven't done in awhile? Gone out to breakfast or brunch. I know - that was a toughie, particularly with the answer right there in the title. Anyway, I haven't been out for "morning food" in awhile & I've missed it. There's something I love about settling into a big feed of eggs, bacon & toast, accompanied by coffee & orange juice. Could there be anything better?

I have a brunch date on Sunday which I'm excited about (aagh - ending a sentence with a preposition!). Since no one in my office is over 40, I sent out an email requesting recommendations for good brunch places. I got no fewer than thirteen responses, ranging from American diner-style to upscale French, from Watertown to the North End. My office is better than a Zagat's guide!

So far, my top choices are S&S, Cambridge Common, Zaftig's, and Deluxe Town Diner. I'll let you know on Monday how the restaurant (& the guy) were! ;)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Green Things

I've been thinking about plants & fruits & vegetables more than usual lately. It's partly because I was given a stalk of fresh basil & a matching garden tomato by the mother of one of my students last night. I'm still mulling over how best to prepare them. I'm leaning towards chopping them both & eating them with sea salt & olive oil, but I am open to other ideas. Anyone?

It's also partly because I needed to re-pot one of my desk plants last night, so I brought it over to my grandparents' house. I had hoped they would have potting soil, but I was resigned to just stealing dirt from their yard. ;) God bless them, within minutes, I was kitted out with gardening gloves, a trowel & a bag of enriched potting soil.

And finally, I think it's partly because we're coming into the season of harvest. I don't have a garden of my own. All I can lay claim to is a small ivy plant and a boisterous pothos plant on my desk at work. However, tending them has been a pleasant experience. I look forward to having a garden someday . . . In the meantime, I'll keep bumming tomatoes off my other grandmother & my clients! ;)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This is a Family Show

I've realized that my life is becoming increasingly family-oriented & squeaky-clean. This weekend was a good example.

Friday night - I tutored a student after work, then headed home to veg on the couch & watch TV. I had to be up around 7 a.m. on Saturday, so I crept into bed early.

Saturday - I did a task for my company during the morning hours. Then, I babysat Baby W in the afternoon. Stayed at my sister and bro-in-law's house for dinner & a movie. Home around 10:30 p.m. (on a Saturday!)

Sunday - Drove down to the South Shore in the morning to meet with the seamstress about my bridesmaid dress. After thirty minutes of pinning & tucking, I headed back north. Vegged on the couch through the afternoon with a cup of coffee, a blueberry muffin, a Country Living magazine & a PBS documentary about Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sunday evening was a little, tiny bit cooler. My friend & her husband had a cookout in their backyard, so I headed over there in the late afternoon. Hung out with old friends & new acquaintances & drank two whole beers! However, there were 4 kids under 10 at the party. So, I also spent half the evening playing trains, drawing on a chalk board, rolling down the hill & having a deep conversation about the first day of preschool with a 3-year old.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I love my friends & family very much. There are not many things I like more than playing with my nephew & running around with friends' kids. However, a girl has to be a little naughty sometime, right? ;)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where Were You?

I'm feeling unable to write a normal, newsy, "here's what I did this weekend" post today, so I want to take a minute to talk about 9/11/01. Since this event has become the major historical tragedy of my generation, I think most people can remember exactly where they were when they heard the news.

It was the first day of class in my sophomore year of Undergrad College. I was getting ready for my day - picking out clothes, humming along to the radio, and enjoying my new single room. I heard the radio announcer mention "a plane crashing into the World Trade Center" in passing, but I didn't think much of it. I assumed (like many people) that it was similar to when that small craft had crashed into one of the towers a few years before. Tragic for the small plane and certainly sad, but not much of a problem for the towers or the people who worked there.

That is, I thought that until I got to class. I picked a seat & settled in. My professor, who was also my advisor, looked very solemnly at all of us and said, "This is your JFK assassination." Until that moment, I hadn't even begun to understand the nature of the tragedy - its gravity & its repercussions. I was stunned & very close to tears.

The rest of that day is a bit of a blur. After class let out, I raced to my room to call my best friend R., who was just beginning her sophomore year at Big City College in Manhattan. Naturally, I couldn't raise her on her cell phone & spent the rest of the day worried sick. I finally heard from her that evening. She was safe & sound, unlike so many other best friends that day.

It's interesting to note how events like the attack on the World Trade Center (and Hurricane Katrina) bring out both our selfish demons & the "better angels of our nature." On September 11th,
there was palpable relief in the Undergrad College community that we were so far from the "frontlines." On the other hand, on that day (and the days to follow), the line for the Red Cross blood drive at my school wove out the door & down the hallway. You couldn't get near the place.

After the 11th, politics took over. I believe the president has made many mistakes in judgment & foreign policy since that day. However, today, we take a moment to honor the best friends, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters who lost their lives & their futures on 9/11. Regardless of their politics, religion, race or color (and isn't that the point?), may they rest in peace.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Friday Book Meme

  1. One book that changed your life: The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Wait, before you dismiss me as a total nerd (which, of course, is entirely true), let me explain. When I was around 17 or 18 years old, I opened my dad's college copy & found the poem "Ozymandias" by Shelley. I was so enthralled with the idea that you could transmit history via the written word that I decided then & there to major in history.
  2. One book you have read more than once: I have worn out my copies of Pride & Prejudice and The Blue Castle.
  3. One book you would want on a desert island: Without a doubt, Anne of Green Gables. It was my favorite when I was small and it reminds me of my family & PEI.
  4. One book that made you laugh: Anything by Bill Bryson, really. However, I particularly love Notes from a Small Island and A Walk in the Woods.
  5. One book you wish you had written: No Great Mischief, by Alistair MacLeod. It's a novel about a tight-knit Scots-Canadian family that is by turns moving, funny & sad.
  6. One book you wish had never been written: To be completely honest, Middlemarch. I was given it as a present from dear family friends & thus felt compelled to have a crack at it. I never made it more than 100 pages in. It's just . . . meh (even though it's considered a classic).
  7. One book that made you cry: Night and No Great Mischief.
  8. One book that you are currently reading: Sailing Alone Around the World, by Joshua Slocum. I'm just getting into it now, but with a title like that, how can an ocean-loving, occasional loner with a bug for travel & adventure like myself say no? :)
  9. One book you have been meaning to read: To the Lighthouse. I bought it more than 5 years ago and have yet to sit down with it. I'm sorry, Virginia Woolf!
  10. One book you wish everyone would read, and why: This was a really tough one. In the end, I decided that the most important books I've read (from a global perspective) would probably be: Black Dog of Fate, Reading Lolita in Tehran, and Ordinary Men. All of these books deal with how ordinary people handle oppression, murder, corruption, and war. Each one will force you to re-think your world & realize how close we all are to the edge.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Eleven Hour Day

I know - it's not that long of a day & I'm a big baby. Here's the sitch - I was scheduled to work a swing shift today & come in 11-7:30 (to approximate my normal 8.5 hour workday). However, once my after-hours interviews were scheduled, I realized that I had a big, important meeting with a client in the city at 10 a.m. Hence, I'm working 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. Blah - good thing DD's medium coffees were only $0.49 today! :)

Plus, when I get off work, my friend L. & I have a movie night/sleepover planned at the new place. Hooray for old friends, chick flicks & junk food!

BTW, picture above is Thing 1 & I over the past weekend. Look at how big the kid's noggin is!!! And of course how cuddly & cute my little nephew-man is. :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Slow Going This Week

Hi. I know. I'm a naughty blogger. We're up to 4 days with no posts. AND Friday's post was really just a bit of fluff which basically blew you off. It's been busy around the office - but that's no excuse. Without any further ado, here's what's up with me!

First, I spent a lovely long Labor Day weekend at the Lake House with the family. Thing 1 is getting huge! He will be 7 months old next week & he's already into 9 and 12-month clothing. Even the J. Crew polo I bought him (meant for 2-year olds) almost fits! Here are the pictures from this weekend.

Secondly, I promised pictures of the new apartment & here I am to deliver! It's still a bit of a mess, so I'm somewhat ashamed. However, the bones of the apartment will speak for themselves.

Here is my kitchen table.

Here is my kitchenette.

Here is my living area (disregard the suitcases & check out those bookshelves!)

Here is my cute bathroom - I'm loving the tree view through the window.

Here is my bed, dresser & wardrobe.

And finally, my bed, night table & window. :) Doesn't it look like a lovely, peaceful place? It's definitely a bit weird to be living in Hometown again, but the quiet nights & crickets outside the window (versus traffic & drunk kids from The Square) make it up to me.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Office Obligations

I was out sick yesterday & consequently am being slowly buried in a huge avalanche of work. Therefore & ergo, you get today's webcomic from Married to the Sea, a wish for a great Labor Day weekend, and not much else.

Deal with it. ;)