Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sox v. Yankees

This is why we watch, isn't it? Even when we lose, it's the greatest rivalry in sports. (But I could stand for a little less losing, thanks.)

Today's loss bumped our lead in the AL East down to 5 games. While I am concerned about our losing the series to the Skanks & Manny's possibly significant bench sentence, I'm not on the ledge yet.

Might I remind everyone that we still have a 5 game lead, which is tied for the biggest lead in baseball? Might I also point out that we are still playing .597 baseball? Only the Angels are close to that number (.594). The Bronx Biznitches are still down at .560.

There's still plenty of time left to panic, but for now . . . I'm a Red Sox fan. I choose faith. ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Calling Dr. Clarity

Busy day today. Took the day off work to head up to NH & get some things accomplished. I got my student ID, bought my parking permit, met some faculty & other new grad students at the orientation lunch, met with my adviser to discuss fall classes, took the second-to-last load to the Portsmouth apartment, and tutored a student on the way home. And boy - are my arms tired!

Anyway, while I was out & about, I passed a doctor's office - the small kind of practice that you usually see in what looks like someone's house. The sign out front said, "Dr. Clarity - Podiatrist." For some reason, I got a real kick out of this. Shouldn't someone named Dr. Clarity be an optometrist, or maybe even a psychiatrist? ;)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Things to look forward to in Portsmouth

Wow - what a lot of people found my blog through Universal Hub on Thursday! It always shocks me a little when Adam picks up something I've written & throws it up there. My normal traffic is between 25 and 35 hits per day. Last week, when he posted my story about the creep in Concord center, I got 224. The Boston post got 166!

Anyway, I spent both days this weekend up in Portsmouth, both working & moving. My college friend (whose wedding I was in last fall) & my parents helped me with the big stuff - bed, dresser, wardrobe - yesterday. Luckily, driving a 17" U-Haul isn't as hard as I thought it might be!

Without further ado, here is the start of my list of good things about Portsmouth. I know I'll be adding to it as I get to know the city better, but we'll start with this:
  • the ocean! Nearby! All the time! I'm really excited about this one, you guys. I love being near the ocean & hearing seagulls as I wander around continues to endear me to this little port city.
  • According to Google Maps, there are nine - count 'em, nine - bars within a mile of my new place. ;)
  • Ceres Bakery on Penhallow St. I've been coming in here for lunch for a few months now. The sandwiches are great & the counter help is always friendly & pleasant. Plus, the bakery often displays the work of local artists. What more can you ask for?
  • Free wi-fi in Market Square. Gotta love a city who recognizes the burning need of its citizens to loaf around the square, drink coffee, and surf the web.
  • Did I mention being near the ocean? ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Things I will miss about living near Boston

I grew up in the suburbs of Boston & chose to move back here after college. Many friends did not - mostly due to the very high cost of living here. While I understand & respect their decisions, there's something about living near Boston that I would never want to give up permanently.

Boston is absolutely a world-class city - filled with culture, history, and entertainment. Contrary to popular belief, Bostonians are friendly people. We're just not "howdy, stranger, I baked you an apple pie!" friendly. ;)

In recognition of the fact that I am moving away (to another East Coast city, albeit a much smaller one), I wanted to make a list of all the things I will miss about living near Boston. Some things are unique to my Bostonian experience; some will be recognizable to other Beantown dwellers.

I will miss:
  • the city skyline - no matter your vantage point, always a sight to see. It never failed to amuse me that if you only looked straight at the Pru & the Hancock, you could be excused for thinking Boston had just these two skyscrapers. Then, you look just a tic to the northeast (I was usually looking at the city from the west) & bada-bing! The Financial District arises!
  • Speaking of bada-bing, the North End. I went very rarely & never found a good parking spot, but it's such a sweet, old-world place. I'll be there this Saturday for St. Anthony's Feast.
  • The Common/Public Gardens. Peaceful, serene, yet you were never sure you wouldn't run into some kind of a loony.
  • Cambridge. Oh, Cambridge, I think I might miss you most of all! So many favorite places & sights: People's Republik, Memorial Hall @ Harvard, the little church on Brattle St. whose name I can't remember, Cambridge 1, the Forest Cafe, the Middle East, the Pit (where we used to pretend we were tough grunge kids when we were really preppy 8th graders with flannel shirts!), Charlie's, Fire & Ice, Bukowski's, Abbey Lounge, the Plough . . .
  • South Boston. Spent a lovely eight months here while dating Nick. Loved parking near L St. beach, the older row houses on K St., the church on West Broadway that they converted to condos (one of many, I know), Joseph's Bakery, the flower pots on nearly every house's stoop, and playing goofy video machine games with Nick & his friends at the Quencher, L St. Tavern, and the like.
  • Somerville. Lived in Davis or near it for more than two years. Will miss the Burren, Red Bones, McKintyre & Moore, Someday Cafe (which is no longer), Christopher's in Porter, Orleans, Pemberton Farms, and Anna's.
  • Beacon Hill. My dad went to Suffolk, so he educated me early on the appeal of Beacon Hill. To wander its streets at dusk on a winter evening is to step into Boston as it was in an earlier century. I almost expect to see men in long black coats & top hats stride by on their way home to dinner. ;)
  • Living so close to Boston's historic spots - the State Houses (old & new), Old North Church, Paul Revere's house, Faneuil Hall, the Bell in Hand, Tremont Temple (where my great-grandparents met soon after immigrating to Boston from Prince Edward Island), Castle Island, Bunker Hill Monument, etc. etc. etc.
  • The accent. :) It does wonderfully silly things to people. I once got two New Yorkers to wander down a street in Edinburgh, gleefully yelling "Nomaaaaah!"
  • The Sox - the heart & soul of this city, in my humble opinion. Not much more to say here & thank God I can get NESN in Portsmouth!
  • Sorry, Cambridge, I think I'll miss this one most of all. On nights that I worked late over the past year, I would take a different route home to my apartment. This route took me past my sister's house & I could see across the pond to her windows as I sped by. It always gave me a warm glow to see the lights & know that my sis, bro-in-law, and little nephew were enjoying their dinners.
Sigh. Remind me why I'm moving away again? I'll do one soon for things to look forward to in Portsmouth. Maybe that will help . . .

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Weekend Activities

This weekend was busy, but pretty low key. On Friday, I intended to move the first of my things up to Portsmouth. The best laid plans of mice & men . . . Before starting out, I popped my hood to refill the washer fluid & when I tried to close the hood, the latches wouldn't catch. After a frustrating half-hour trying to tie down the hood with rope & swatting at mosquitoes in the growing dark, I decided to postpone my trip north.

As luck would have it, the mechanic at a local gas station knew what the problem was & was able to fix it for me before I headed up to work on Saturday morning. And all for just a large coffee - God bless him! I spent the day working in P-mouth, then headed down 95 to my married friend's house.
Her husband was at a bachelor party, so I spent the evening with her & her 2-year old son - eating dinner, playing with his train set, and watching The Holiday on DVD. It was lovely to see her before my move & I had a great time with her son (who has been fairly shy with me in the past).

On Sunday, I slept in until 9:30 (!), then headed up to the new place with the long-awaited first load of stuff. Had a nice cup of coffee with my housemate, gave him the rent check & got the keys. He then helped me unload the car & I had a quick look 'round the place. It looked even better than I remembered!

Sunday afternoon - I went to a Lowell Spinners game with my family (mother, father, grandmother, sister, bro-in-law, and nephew) & best friend. What a deal - $30 gets you admission to the game, all-you-can-eat at the Gator Pit, and parking in the indoor garage. There's a lot of sideshow involved - raffles, T-shirt tosses, etc., but I guess they feel they have to do that to pull in the families. However, it was a good game & the Spinners beat the Vermont Lake Monsters in extra innings. Picture above is of the infield of LeLacheur Park from our seats.

So - busy weekend & I'm home for bed! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moving, Moving, Moving

In a scenario eerily reminiscent of last August, we interrupt your regularly scheduled vacation recap & present . . . "Stacey is moving again!" That's right, kids, I'm about to embark on my thirteenth move in seven years. Admittedly, many of my moves between 2000 and '04 were into & out of dorm rooms and therefore did not necessitate address changes, extensive cleaning, or excessive furniture moving.

However, as I start to move into my fourth apartment since college, I'm hoping this one will stick a little longer. Assuming all goes well, I'll be in this place for both years of my graduate program. I haven't lived in one place for two straight years since I grew up in my parents' home!

Anyway, the new place is awfully cute & today was my first day of residency. Sort of. I'm doing what I did last year & overlapping two weeks between the new & old apartments. And because I'm still working full-time in the Boston area, I'm making my move to Portsmouth gradually over the next few weekends. I bring the first load up this Friday after work & will be completely in by the 31st.

In the meantime, want to see pictures? I know you do! ;)

Stairs to my room & office (you can imagine how much
I'm looking forward to getting furniture up those stairs!)

My room (all furniture has been removed by
my housemate in preparation for my arrival)

Two-windowed wall

My favorite part! See the fireplace? :) It's not currently working, as the chimney is being repaired. However, I've got my fingers crossed & it's a lovely detail in the meantime. The bed shown is no longer there & I'm contemplating putting my Adirondack chair & an occasional table there instead.

Not shown is my office/study, which is one room away, through the laundry room. You guys - I have a study/office! I've always wanted one. Now, I just have to decide which to call it. ;)

So that's my new place! It was built in 1736 for a Portsmouth sea captain on one of the Isles of Shoals & moved to its present site in the 1770's. It's about a five minute walk from the house to downtown Portsmouth (including my part-time job) & there's a shuttle bus to campus one street over. Plus, I'm paying $300 less than I pay in Boston - for the same amount of room & the same amenities. :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Creepy Encounter in Concord Center

I'm a pretty careful person, you guys. If I'm walking alone at night, especially in Cambridge or Boston, I make damn sure to scan the surrounding area, walk purposefully, and actively think about what I could use as a weapon if the need arose (keys, high heels, purse, hot coffee, etc.).

However, sometimes creepy situations come out of nowhere. The other night, I was accidentally way too early for a lesson with a student: I got our meeting time mixed up & realized I was there an hour early! No biggie, I thought, I'm near Concord center & I can grab a coffee at the coffee shop where I used to work.

That, of course, took all of five minutes & I was left with lots of time to kill. So I started wandering up Thoreau St. from the coffee shop, heading towards Concord center. My dream is to one day live in a big, old, more-expensive-than-I-can-afford-now house within walking distance of the commuter rail station there & take the train every day to a great job in fun, hip Cambridge. A girl can dream, right? ;)

As I walked past the commuter rail station (opposite side of the street), I saw a guy sitting on the low wall. He was probably in his early 40's, short, and greasy-haired. He was wearing a nylon track suit & looked
kind of scruffy. Hmm, I thought, he's a shady character.

However, I tried not to be judgmental & was quickly absorbed by the sight of the cute little houses along my walk. I meandered along - checking out front yards & porches and daydreaming. At the end of the street, I turned right onto a wide road & headed towards the gift shops about a hundred yards further down. It was a typical Concord road: well-marked crosswalks, neat gravel sidewalk, and large, well-tended lawns leading up to beautiful homes.

All of a sudden, I got a weird feeling. I glanced back & the creepy guy had left his perch by the station & was about twenty yards behind me. I turned around quickly & hastened my step. I tightened my grip on my purse & coffee cup and thought to myself, "I will throw this hot coffee right in his eyes, don't think I won't. And then I will run. Very fast. I wasn't a track star for nothing, you know!"

After another quick look backwards, during which I determined that he was still there & maybe even a little closer (I wasn't completely sure - I was a little freaked out by this point), I decided to cut my trip short. At the next crosswalk, I crossed the road & started walking back to where I'd parked via the opposite side of the road. Just when I thought I'd been acting silly & started to breathe a sigh of relief, I heard him yell, "Nice round trip, huh, gorgeous?"

After I finished cringing, a glance back determined that he had crossed the road behind me, but mercifully, after tossing that comment at my retreating back, headed in the opposite direction. Shudder. It's times like these that remind me how vulnerable women are sometimes & how very angry that makes me. However, once I knew that I was
safe, I thought, "I am so blogging about this."

(Also, Jason, I blame you b/c it's your town.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Yet Again, I Lied

You guys need to stop trusting me. My sister sent me some of her pictures, so I'm breaking my promise & posting some more PEI pictures. Forgive me? ;)

Me on the Maggie Jane
(courtesy of my friend Chad's wife Adina)

Thing 1 & his uncle Andrew at Peake's Quay

My bro-in-law, his brother & my dad jumping
off the pier at Basin Head Beach

The little guy looks like Lawrence of Arabia (with modern shades!)

Thing 1 trying on his Grammy's glasses

He sleeps with his bum in the air & here's proof!

Me enjoying a cigar & a beer with my dad & bro-in-law

Thing 1 & auntie leaving Beach Point wharf on the Lady Shelby

Thing 1 pointing at a mackarel his daddy (or uncle, not sure which) caught

Steering the boat!

Fishing boats out by the bell buoy, just before a squall

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Vacation Recap

Unlike last year, my vacation this year was calmer and more all-in-one-place. No weddings, no extensive travel within the Maritimes, and no exhaustion from said travel. Just nine straight days at my summer cottage, spending time with my family & visiting with friends & extended family.

Also unlike last year, I didn't return with tons of photos & won't be boring you with numerous "vacation recap" posts. Just the one, unless I think of something wildly entertaining that happened which deserves its own post. And my mere twenty-five pictures are here

Things on the Island that I don't miss:
  • 1 bathroom - for six people! 
  • Limited access to Red Sox news 
  • Being single among my Canadian friends & their wives/girlfriends 
  • The American dollar being nearly the same value as the Canadian (thanks, Dubya!) 
  • Sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground 
  • The uneven sunburn that I get on the first day @ the beach - every year
  • Did I mention 1 bathroom for six people? ;) 
Things on the Island that I miss very much:
  • Arriving @ the cottage at 11:30am on the first day & being on the beach, beer in hand, two hours later
  • Canadian beer 
  • Opening the tent flap in the morning to the lovely view (see above) 
  • A whole eight days with my sweet little nephew 
  • Bonfires down by the lighthouse 
  • Entire days that passed without my putting on shoes 
  • Or showering
  • Or taking off my bathing suit ;)
  • Zooming around the Harbour in Murray's twin-engine jet boat 
  • Being with my Canadian friends (despite feeling like a little like a 5th wheel) 
  • Spending time with my family w/o having to schedule it :)

Monday, August 06, 2007


Hi peeps. So I got home from work around 9pm, made supper, checked my email, caught up on what felt like a thousand blogs, and suddenly realized it was nearly midnight & holy-crap-I'm-tired-and-am-working-late-again-tomorrow-night-therefore-must-go-to-bed-immediately.

So no big, fancy, thoughtful vacation post tonight. However, I give you my apologies & a cute picture of my nephew running around in the yard at the cottage. Will post something more substantial either tomorrow night or Wednesday night, promise.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Home Safely!

Hi all. I'm home from Canada safely (though not happily). ;)

Will post more tomorrow night after work!