Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hot Diggity Dog!

This, my friends, is a hot dog. Humble denizen of the barbecue, where summer after summer, he is lazily consumed with such side dishes as potato salad, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and watermelon.

Or, shoved frantically into greedy mouths during an eating contest. ;) Tonight, my company hosted a small hot dog eating contest. By small, I mean around 16 people in total: 5 eaters, 5 counters, 5 onlookers, and 1 official timekeeper. It takes a village, you guys . . .

And in answer to your unasked question, yes, I did take part! I was the sole women's representative & didn't bring shame upon my sex. My 5.5 hot dogs (in 15 minutes) earned me 4th place - 2.5 dogs behind the 3rd place contestant & 0.5 dogs ahead of the loser.

Plus, I won the two contests that I made up! I was the first one to eat after the contest ended, chowing down on a slice of watermelon not ten minutes after shoving the last hot dog in my mouth. AND, I was the loudest belcher, letting out two or three good ones during the contest itself. Mum & Dad - you must be so proud of me right now! :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

"Let no one sleep"

Roaming around my regular blog reads tonight, I was stopped in my tracks on Jen Stewart's blog, Jenny Sais Quoi. I clicked on her link to this video & was floored:

Paul Potts is the singer here & he won Britain's Got Talent last week. Jen pointed out how skeptical Simon Cowell & the other judges look when Paul first comes out, judging him mostly on his bad teeth & bad suit. Then, they are blown away by his awesome talent.

I know very little about opera, but I was moved to tears by his snippet of "Nessun Dorma." He has a true gift. To my untrained ear, there's not much difference between his performance & this one, by Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti's voice is of course more seasoned, but that will (hopefully) come with time for Paul Potts.

He is described on the show as a mobile phone salesman, which he was until last week.
However, he has also performed in local operatic productions with the Bath Opera. Some people have taken offense to the way the show presented him as an shy, quiet amateur, since he does have past operatic experience.

However, that's missing the point. The point is that this man wanted to sing opera professionally & he clearly had the talent, but not the connections nor the confidence, to do so. Now, he does: Simon has already signed him to a recording contract. Bravo, Paul!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Plumbing the Depths

Too lazy to write a long post & inspired by Kate's recent post, I present to you . . . a list of the stuff in my bag at this very moment!
  • lip balm
  • Verizon receipt & set-up instructions for my new phone
  • afore-mentioned new phone (a Razr!)
  • old/current phone
  • new lip balm
  • sunglasses
  • sunglasses case
  • wallet #1 - blue tweed change purse
  • wallet #2 - black leather
  • blue lollipop (not sure why?)
  • 3 sets of keys (home/car, family houses, work)
  • tampons
  • pads
  • slip of paper with the address of last night's party
  • pen
  • pack of gum
  • business cards
  • slip of paper with Friday's pizza order
  • passport
  • new landlord's business card
  • receipt from the Polo Factory Store (bro-in-law's Father's Day gift)
  • napkin (I think from lunch yesterday)
  • bottle of ibuprofen
  • Red Sox ticket from the game a couple of weeks ago
  • eye drops
  • 2 lipsticks (which is funny b/c I wear it like once a month)
Wow - there's more in there that I expected!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Drinking Local

(Image courtesty of

As you might know, I've been making more of an effort this spring to decrease my impact on the earth. I'm starting with small steps, kind of like Vanessa of Green as a Thistle. One thing I've found out more about lately is the 100 Mile Diet. If you're unfamiliar, the basic premise is to make an effort to eat local foods due to the amounts of fuel used to get non-local foods to your table.

In the future, I will be making more of an effort to eat local, including frequenting farmer's markets & perhaps investing in a CSA share. My current focus, however, will be "drinking local." As much as I love my Belhaven's Scottish ale, I'm finding it hard to justify the 4,000 or so miles it has to travel to get to me. That's a lot of fuel oil, you guys. ;)

So the new plan is to make sure my beer is coming from local breweries. Since I live in New England, this is no great hardship. Below, I've listed just a sampling of New England breweries by state. Tonight's brew is the Fisherman's IPA, from Cape Ann Brewing Co. in Gloucester.

Anyone want to join me or add any names to the list?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Friendly Strangers

Nick came over tonight to return a book that I lent him ages ago, when we first began dating. I offered him a beer, we sat (him on the sofa, me in the Adirondack chair), and caught up on each other's lives for a bit. It was . . . odd.

Part of me was thinking, "Oh boy, I miss him." Another part was thinking, "He's not that great - maybe it was right that we broke up." I guess the latter sentiment lessens the former a little, huh?

As I was walking him out, I said, "So should we have dinner sometime? It never made sense to me to give up your friendship with someone when you break up." He agreed that we should try to get together before I leave the Boston area. We'll see how that plays out, with our busy schedules.

It feels very strange to me that I made meaningless small talk tonight with someone to whom I was once so close. Look at the picture above - that was us at the end of March (not so very long ago).

After he left, I cried for about five minutes, then turned on the Sox game & started making supper. I'm tired of crying, you guys. I think it's about time to move on. Anyone have any ideas on the best way to do that?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Pics

Well, Thing 1 enjoyed his second Father's Day. :)
He carried around a watering can which was half his size,

got a ride down to the beach on Papa's shoulders,

inspected the dock with his Daddy,

went for his first kayak ride (video here),

saw his Grammy get splashed,

(sort of) posed with his parents,

and discovered that he likes playing with sand

(which led to this pile of sand on the screen porch after Auntie dusted him off).

He also approved of some of Pop's gifts.

Oh, and the rest of us had a nice Father's Day, too. Hope you & yours did as well!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Light at the End of the Tunnel (I Hope)

As most of you know from reading this blog, the month of May was a very difficult time for me. Naturally, I can't directly compare losing a boyfriend of eight months to losing a grandmother of, well, a lifetime. However, the fact remains that I lost two of the most important people in the world to me in the month of May.

Today, we buried my grandmother's urn. It was a sad moment, of course, but tempered by the time that's gone by since she passed & by the good memories we have of her. She is still a very real & loving presence in our lives, but with nothing further scheduled, we can begin to look beyond this sad time.

Unfortunately, on the other side, Nick & I had to reschedule our talk until next Wednesday. At this point, all I expect from the conversation is the return of my book and a little bit of closure. Here's hoping things work out ok. ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Green Tones

Yay! My friend L. had an extra ticket to the game last night & invited me along!

Our tickets were standing room & the place was pretty packed (37,008). Therefore, we didn't get a place to sit until the bottom of the 8th.
Still, despite spending most of the game hunting for a good place to stand while balancing two beers & a soft pretzel, it was good to be back at Fenway. :)

One of the things that always strikes me about the park is how green it is. Maybe it was the beers talking, but between the outfield, the Green Monster, and the green-painted girders, the overwhelming impression one gets of Fenway is colored by green tones.

Another thing that always hits me is how truly historic & important the park is. It is the oldest of all major league baseball parks & its significance is sometimes underestimated by the average fan. However, the current owners made a bold decision in 2005 - to restore Fenway & work with what they had, instead of building a new stadium (unlike some other team I could mention).

So, John Henry, Larry Luchino, and Tom Werner, thanks for honoring Boston's baseball history & making Fenway a place where I can indulge two of my passions: history & baseball! :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

My New Boyfriends

OK, guys. In lieu of a real boyfriend, I've picked up a few imaginary ones for the summer. IMPORTANT: I want to point out that I do not need a boyfriend. I'm a little over the drama the real-life ones tend to create. What I want is merely eye candy for the summer. And so, without further ado, I want to introduce you to my new boyfriends:
  1. Boyfriend #1: the 2007 Red Sox. See that schedule? Those boys are there for me, nearly every night, from April to September (and hopefully beyond!). I would have narrowed things down & just said Mike Lowell, but I think Jason would have my head for that!
  2. Boyfriend #2: Dan Snow, military historian & co-host of 2004's Battlefield Britain (which I blogged about last summer) and 2007's 20th Century Battlefields. To get yourself a crush on him, check out this interview in the Guardian. To sum up, he was asked what his greatest fear is & the lovely man's answer was, "Not having kids."
  3. Boyfriend #3: Josh Bernstein, historian & host of Digging for the Truth. He's a little bit nerdier than Dan Snow, but just as appealing in his own way.
As you can imagine, the main attraction for me with both Dan Snow & Josh Bernstein is their chosen profession. You know I love an historian. They both look rather posh in the pictures I've linked to, but they can do the Indiana Jones thing, too!

Note to future suitors - bring along a wealth of historical knowledge & a safari hat and I'm all yours! :)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Portrait of a Lady

For Grammy's wake, the funeral home put together a slideshow of images of her. This played on a flatscreen TV in a side room, accompanied by "Ave Maria." It was a lovely tribute. We got the DVDs from the funeral home today & I was able to pull out the older pictures that we hadn't previously had in digital form. I've uploaded them to Shutterfly & you can view them here.

In the meantime, I've added a photo of her at 17 (in 1946) to one of my previous posts about her. Here are my favorites of the older photos. :)

Grammy hanging out with a goat in 1933 (Watertown, MA)

Grammy & Mum in the early 1960's (Culloden, PEI)

Grammy & Grampa at my sister's wedding in 1998 (Boston, MA)

Grammy playing with our (late) beagle Sandy

Grammy & my sister sharing a hug around Christmas

Grammy & I busting a move at a family wedding

My favorite. Grammy with my sister & me at our summer house on PEI. It was taken sometime in the mid- to late 1980's. We all look so happy, which we usually were during family vacations on the Island.

Miss you, Gram.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In Response

Because I was lucky enough to get some thoughtful comments on yesterday's post, I'm going to take this space to respond. Figured it was easier than squeezing my response into the comment box!

First of all, thank you, ladies. I appreciate you all taking a few minutes to respond to what I'd written & help boost my ego a bit. ;)

Sarah - I agree that Nick, or whoever, should love me for all of the crazy women I embody. Thanks for reminding me. I think I am looking for closure with the convo. And I would love for you to meet us for a tini or two on Friday night! Also, your later comment was amazing. I completely agree with you, but I don't think I've ever heard someone "meowing" Gilbert Blythe! ;)

Jenny - Thanks for the reminder to be myself! I usually have no trouble with that, but you know how a break-up can sometimes make you doubt yourself? I'm really just talking to Nick next week to 1.) get a book back that I lent him, and 2.) reassure myself that I did what I could, without compromising myself, to make things work. And yes, tinis galore on Friday! Where do you want to go?

Kate - You've been an absolute dear throughout this tough month. Thank you for your insight & your support. There are few people with whom I can be totally honest & you're one of them. :) And yes, I really do want Gilbert Blythe. What woman doesn't (as Sarah helped prove)?

Caity - Thanks for the agreement! We're totally on for drinks on Friday. I really liked your idea from the other week - somewhere near the waterfront. Any thoughts?

Rach - Thanks for the blog reading & first-time commenting. I nearly died of shock! (She's been my best friend for nearly 11 years, everyone, and this was her first blog comment. Let's give her a round of applause!)

(UPDATED: After all the sighing over Gilbert Blythe, I had to add a photo of he & Anne kissing!) ;)

Monday, June 04, 2007

A Tale of Two Women

Sometimes, it's a little crowded in here. Charming But Single's recent post about her conflicting opinions on dating reminded me of my own issues here. I, too, have a bit of an internal conflict about dating.

See, there's this one woman - I call her "The Girl in the Pink Dress." She believes in true love & "happily ever after." She pauses in front of bridal boutiques to sigh over the dresses. She wants a white picket fence, golden retriever, and 2.5 kids. She really thought Nick might have been "The One." However, she also thought that AR was surely the one and TM might have been and maybe SM was, as well. She's a little silly that way. :)

Then, there's the other woman. I usually call her something butch, like Sam or Jo or Chris. She wears jeans & drinks beer in bottles. She watches baseball & revels in "the bachelor lifestyle" (as we're calling it @ work this week). She's pretty much resigned to being the cool aunt & dating only for fun.

Both of these women are me & neither of them is me. The real me is somewhere in between & she's having a hard time deciding where to go from here.

I'm meeting with Nick next week to talk. Basically, I want to explain that The Girl in the Pink Dress doesn't run the show & I was not, in fact, charging full speed down the aisle like he seemed to think I was. Hopefully, that conversation will give me some perspective & help me decide on my next steps.

In the meantime, I realized that I haven't flirted with a boy in a bar for nearly a year. I think I'm about due. Anyone fancy a night on the town on Friday? ;)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Whoo Baby!

This weekend was some exciting Red Sox/Yanks baseball! Despite the fact that we lost the series 2-1, we continued to show the Yankees the caliber of team we are this year.

In a way, it's nice to see a glimmer of action from the Yanks. We still have a comfortable 12.5 game lead over them, but it's good for us Sox fans to be reminded of how fickle the fates of baseball can be. A smart Red Sox fan is one who possesses a healthy distrust of extended good luck!

Kidding aside, I really, really love this 2007 Sox team. :)

Oh, and Mike Lowell is my new boyfriend. ;)