Monday, September 24, 2007

Hard to explain...

Last night Sylvie and Miriam and I went to see Sxip's Hour of Charm performed at ART's Zero Arrow theatre. This is their black box space and it's FANTASTIC. Oh, and ART=American Repertory Theatre. This is walking distance from my house and that makes me so happy. But more about the show. The reason we went at all was because Erin McKeown was playing, we didn't know too much else except what the website told us. The website told us there would be crazy music and something called The Red Bastard and an aerial artist doing something called a ceiling walk.

I'm so glad that a picture is worth a thousand words because I have trouble describing this whole scene. Basically everyone got about 15 minutes to perform and apparently they could do whatever they wanted. Sxip hosted and composed music for Una, Erin did her set in at least 3 or 4 inch-heeled, knee-high boots, Corn Mo was SO hilarious in his ernest-ness that I was laughing so hard I cried, MeowMeow demanded a lot from the audience and Beat Circus was just crazy. They ended the show and I was afraid I'd have nightmares about the lead singer. You can see how he's a little creepy in the photos. But they're a 10 piece band and really just amazing musically, especially the drummer. It was so worth the price of admission to support these performers and this beautiful space. The pictures don't do the space justice, it was all cabaret style seating, very intimate, and we had awesome seats. Not a bad way to end a beautiful weekend.

So, the photo of Erin and Sxip needs a little explaining. They had a lapel microphone in their mouths and they we sort of singing. Hey, I told you it was weird. Corn Mo sang this one song about a kid who couldn't get his pants to stay up and all I could think about was how my pants kept falling down while I was trying to move in to this apartment. I literally was crying and my face hurt I was laughing so hard.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The week in review

Here are some fun things that made me smile this week:

Monday I went to Davis Square to buy tickets to a Josh Ritter concert and I noticed that there are sweaters on some of the trees there. I've seen this in Chicago, but one here (in the center) spelled it out pretty clearly: "Pay Attention":

Tuesday it rained for the first time in a long time and I got to wear my golashes:

Thursday was this semester's first Panopticon meeting and we had an awesome turnout. Sixteen people showed up not including the co-chairs (me and Ashley) and the faculty adviser. This is an art librarian interest group that's new to Simmons. We have a lot of great things planned for the semester. This is one of the many school related things that has been keeping me busy.

Friday I took a tour of the Schlessinger Library at Harvard. It was really fascinating. It's the library for the Radcliffe Institute which used to be the women's college at Harvard. They have amazing collections focusing on American Women's History, tons of stuff on the suffrage movement, Massachusetts Girl Scouts, NOW, NARAL, and the personal papers of people like Betty Friedan, Amelia Earhart, Julia Child, and tons of other people. They have an amazing cookbook collection, too. It was great.

Yesterday, Saturday, started out rainy, but ended up being beautiful and Ann & Lee and I went apple picking. It was perfect, still tons of apples on the trees, not too many people and we got to have piping hot apple cider donuts! Yum, yum!

Today we have Veggie Dinner and I have a ton of homework to do. But it's so beautiful out (Sunny and mid-60s) I'm hoping to be able to do some reading on the back porch.

Overall, a really nice week.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Impromptu trip to Maine

Late Friday night, as I was watching the Red Sox game and finishing an unhealthy, yet strangely satisfying meal of garlic and cheddar mashed potatoes, sliced tomato with salt and pepper and a cold beer, I got a call from Sylvie. We had talked earlier in the day about getting ice cream later, and we were deciding what to do about it when she said, "You know what I really want to do is play Skee Ball." Well, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm always up for some Skee Ball. The problem: There is no Skee Ball in Boston, that I know of anyway. Miriam overheard Sylvie say this and she said: "Why don't we go to Maine?". This might seem crazy, except that Miriam's parents have a house in York, Maine to which she has a key. Sylvie thought this was a great idea, she handed the phone off to Miriam because she had to start packing. I figured out the details with Miriam and within 20 minutes they were picking me up. At this point it's about 9:45pm.The drive up was pretty easy, less than an hour and a half. We got to the house, got settled and then stayed up until 1am playing Yahtzee and eating and entire bag of Sweet and Salty Chex Mix. If you've never had this, I highly recommend it.

I slept until 8am, which is like a miracle and then after getting ready we all headed to the Bagel Basket to get some breakfast and split the paper. They had spinach bagels, my favorite! We then headed to a wonderful grocery store and on the way home we saw HUNDREDS of motorcycles on the road. It was pretty cool to see, lots of cool choppers and everyone was waving and honking. It was pretty impressive. The police had stopped traffic to let them pass, so it was obviously a big deal. I still don't know what exactly it was, but it was neat to see.

After heading home and unpacking the groceries, we headed to the beach, just a short walk from the house. We only stayed about an hour because it was really hot, but it was long enough for Sylvie to go in the FREEZING water and for Miriam and I to walk along the beach and then relax with our magazines:

We got home and Sylvie made some wonderful orzo salad, but not for us, it was for a dinner party that night, while Miriam and I played Mille Bornes, which if you haven't played is a really fun French card game where you get to shout things out in French. Miriam was way more into the shouting things out, but it was really fun.

After the orzo was made, we headed out to accomplish our initial goal for the trip: Skee Ball here we come! But first we had to eat lunch. We stopped at this great little sushi place near the Fun-o-Rama arcade. We enjoyed our lunch, but we were all excited to get to Skee Ball. So after eating, we headed over to Fun-o-Rama, got some quarters (about $4 each) and then played some great classic Skee Ball. Sylvie got the high score of the day with 350!,

I got 330 and Miriam got 300. It was great. I cashed in my tickets for a finger trap. It was the perfect arcade trip. And what is a trip to the arcade without getting ice cream after? We headed to Brown's and stopped to see The Nubble on the way. At Brown's I got Pistachio, Sylvie got Indian Pudding and Miriam got Planet Earth, which consists of Blue Vanilla ice cream, oreos and marshmallows. Just as we were getting our cones, it started to pour rain. We ran to the car and ate our ice cream there. We were treated to a fleeting view of an enormous rainbow and then the clouds covered the sun and it was gone.

We headed back to the house, packed up all our stuff, did a quick clean up and only 20 hours after deciding to take this trip we were already on the road back home. It was a perfect little escape to Maine.

Labor Day weekend in NJ

My Labor Day weekend plans fell through late Friday night and I decided that with nothing to do in Boston, I might as well head home and see some family. So I got in the car at 6am on Saturday morning and headed to John and Jill's (I know some of you thought Jill had dropped off the face of the earth because she never posts to this blog, but in reality, she's just too busy to post, so I'll keep you updated on her life, too). I got there around 10am and got to hang out with Nathaniel, Sebastian, Emerson and John and Jill. We went to the Farmer's Market and got some amazing cheese made in NJ at Valley Shepherd Creamery (Gouda with Nettles called "Nettlesome" and amazing mozzarella) and some wonderful Jersey tomatoes (the best!) and other fruits and veggies. We got home and just had fun in the neighborhood, playing in the back yard, taking a walk and then before we knew it, Aunts Marianne and Eileen had arrived for dinner. They brought all kinds of fun stuff with them including an enormous stuffed moose for the kids, hand made pasta and wine and other goodies, all made in upstate New York. So we set out a spread of amazing cheese, wine, grapes and cashews and sat around the table and chatted for a good long while. It was great to catch up as I hadn't seen them in way too long.
Sebastian got to show off his spidey mask and Emerson is just really good at looking cute:

We eventually got dinner underway and using all of our fresh ingredients made a tomato & mozzarella salad with fresh basil and then a delicious pasta primavera with zucchini and yellow squash and tomatoes and garlic and all kinds of wonderful things. It was just great to share such a delicious meal with family. After dinner we all watched The Wild Thornberrys and then everyone was pretty exhausted either from traveling or waking up before dawn with small children, so we called it a night pretty early. Aunt Marianne and Eileen went to their hotel and I got to sleep in the sunroom on a beautiful end-of-summer night.

Sunday was a pretty packed day for all of us. We all got to hang out in the morning and then John, Nathaniel, Marianne and Eileen all went to the Yankees game and Jill and I and the little boys packed up and headed down to Mom and Dad's in south Jersey where they had just gotten back from picking up Grammy in Pittsburgh. So we had a nice cook out on the back deck and got to enjoy each other's company all evening. Grammy really loves seeing her great-grandchildren. It was the first time she had met Emerson and they were instant pals.
Here's a photo of me and Grammy and one of Emerson and his Great-Grammy:
John and Nathaniel headed down to Mom and Dad's on Monday (Marianne and Eileen headed back to NY) and we all got to spend some quality time at the homestead. We played some whiffle ball and Nathaniel and Sebastian went in the pool in their underwear (hey, that's what backyard pools are for, right?) and were fascinated by a huge pile of ants that had found something good to eat.

We all enjoyed another relaxing meal on the back deck and then it was time for me to head out. I had to drive all the way back to Cambridge to be at work Tuesday morning. Jill offered to come with me with Emerson, so she drove back up to Montclair and then I drove the rest of the way home. I was bracing for the worst as far as holiday traffic goes, but it turned out to be fine and I was home by 8:30. It was a perfect weekend!