Monday, August 27, 2007

The news from Walden Pond

While the midwest deals with the aftermath of flooding and Greece burns to the ground, Boston is enjoying some FABULOUS end-of-summer weather. I got out of work about 3:15 today and decided on my walk home that I needed to head out to Walden Pond. So I packed up some hummus and veggies, a little Vitamin Water and some pretzels and headed out to Concord. It's only about a 25 minute drive from my house and so worth the $5 parking fee. I walked about half way around the pond before I found a vacant little nook where I could sit and read in peace with just the sound of the water lapping at the rocks. The last time I did this was almost exactly a year ago and I sat and read March by Geraldine Brooks (listen to an NPR story here), which was appropriate as it's about the March family in Little Women. This time I brought Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems. It was a great little companion to my trek.

After sitting and reading for about 45 minutes I walked around the other half of the lake and then sat by the swimming beach and read a little more and just enjoyed the beautiful evening. It was getting a little buggy, I so got back in my car, had a snack and headed over to the Decordova Museum & Sculpture Park. I went into the store, which has been closed every other time I've been there and then walked around the sculptures a little bit. I realized that it was turning out to be a pretty nice sunset, so I headed back to Walden Pond to see the view:

Driving home I got to see the biggest nearly-full moon rising right in front of me. It was literally breathtaking. I had to pull over to the side of the road to get this shot:

And I didn't pull over to take this shot. It was just so amazing:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I really don't live in Chicago anymore

I ended up driving my car back to Cambridge after spending time in Cape May. My parents had been car sitting for the last year, but now that I don't live in the car-parking hell known as Brookline, I decided I could have my car in MA. This is SO much more of a process than just figuring out how to get the car up to Cambridge. For anyone who doesn't know, Mass. is known for it's ridiculous car insurance rates, taxes and inspections. After two hours of waiting at the RMV (known everywhere else in the nation as DMV) I was forced to turn over my Illinois license. This was the first big step in being reminded that I don't live in Chicago anymore.

Today was the real kicker. I took my car to be inspected before work this morning and had to pay the guy $29 to make sure everything works on my car and he had to scrape off my Chicago city stickers because that's where the Mass inspection sticker has to go (in the passenger's side bottom corner of the windshield). It was sad, and only made worse by the guy saying "Well, babe, it's good-bye Windy City and hello Taxachussetts!" He called me "babe" about 12 times during the entire transaction and had one of the thickest Boston accents I've ever heard. When I asked him how long the inspection was good for, he said "It's only good for a year. I'll be ready to take your 29 bucks again next year! Welcome to the Commonwealth!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's been a busy month

Since the last time I wrote, I finished my semester at school, went to Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, visited friends in Oregon, spent time with family in Cape May, NJ and spent a great weekend with friends in and around the Boston area. Finally I have a minute to attend to this blog. Thanks for your patience. I almost feel like the last month is too much to blog about, so instead I'm going to pick up where I left off and tell about the little details of my day that make me smile.

Let's start with tomatoes. This is the perfect time of year to talk about tomatoes because they are right in season. In Cape May I had the chance to eat some wonderful Jersey tomatoes and while traipsing about Central Mass last weekend I had the chance to stop at a farmstand and pick up some beauties that were picked that morning. On Monday I came into work, only to be gifted with one huge beautiful tomato and 3 little cherry tomatoes by a co-worker who's growing them at home and has too many to eat on his own. All of these tomatoes are so far superior to the pink mushy grossness that abounds in supermarkets. It makes me sad to think that they're considered the same fruit.

So what have I done with these wonderful treats? At the shore I cut them up and ate them as thick slices with salt and pepper, sometimes on a plate with some cucumber. Most recently I made a wonderful Caprese salad with real fresh mozzarella, basil from my back porch, a little balsamic vinegar, a little olive oil and some salt and pepper. I also included some in my most recent batch of stuffed zucchini. Tonight I sliced big slices to top grilled veggie burgers for me and some friends. They are just so wonderful. In fact, there is an article in the NY Times about this same thing. How to use all of these amazing tomatoes while they're still in season and so good. You know it's truly summer when your biggest concern is what to do with all of the wonderful tomatoes.