February 2008

This is kind of like a Whee! post, only a little more random and a little less structured (and anyway, isn’t one of the highlights of this blog is that it IS random?).  It’s kind of like, this is what I’m following and thinking of right now (“hey, it’s your tomorrow…”  Ok that’s enough Van Halen for one night).  It’s kind of like the “Right Now” portion of the program on Boston’s morning show on KISS 108, except with less rants and depressing life updates.  It’s more, what’s around me in my environment and influencing me at this moment. I want to know – what’s on your mind?  What are you watching right now?  What are you reading, eating, looking at, laughing at, concerned about, thinking about?   Here’s mine: 

  • Watching the Democratic debate on MSNBC, and all I can say is that every time Obama speaks, Hilary glares at him with these daggers shooting out of her eyes.  This is the kind of look that made Bill run towards Linda Tripp.  [Disclaimer: I am in no way trying to endorse any political candidate.  I just think it’s really funny.  Watch them the next time they’re next to each other – guarantee she’ll do it!]
  • I really want Christian to win Project Runway.

  • I’m so sore from the gym last night.  I decided to take a chance and take the “Old School Step” class, where I feared what sort of moves I would hopelessly imitate to an old Ginuwine song, but turns out it was an actual step class.  First good thing.  Then, the instructor didn’t show up, but they sent in a replacement, a guy named Craig who taught us kickboxing instead and whipped our shabby butts into shape.  It was awesome.  I am hurting today but proud of how far I made it.  Sometimes you need that outside influence to kick your butt . . . hence why I am pretending it’s ok to watch Biggest Loser tonight, too.
  • I’m reading Mary McNamara’s new book, “Oscar Season.”


  • I read this article in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, on the graffiti artist Krink.  Basically, he had this graffiti tagging style in the 80s where he would fabricate a marker out of stolen school materials (erasers, etc.) and leave his mark with a distinctive dripping style tag.  Fast forward 15 years, and he’s no longer a graffiti artist, but his pen is now being mass marketed since, as the article states, “graffiti aesthetic” is cool again.  How crazy!
  • I am still listening to Jordin Sparks’ “Freeze” on repeat.  But lately I’ve been on a Tori Amos, Shakira, and old Bonnie Raitt kick, too.  Go figure.
  • I think it’s wonderful when a guy holds a door open for me.  Only happens in Boston.  However, I hate when I try to hold the next door open for him, to return the favor, and he insists on not going in and keeps saying, “No, ladies first.”  And then gets mad at me.  I am only returning a kind gesture – I don’t want to be treated differently simply because I’m a woman!  I appreciate his offer, but why won’t he accept a favor in return?  Let him hold the door open because he wants to treat someone nicely, not because some old custom tells him to.
  • These bags rock.  Ok, so I’m biased because I own one, and the artist has been one of my best friends since before birth (our mothers have been best friends since high school).  Nonetheless, I would still be amazed at the incredible work she does.  And she does custom designs, too!  You can’t lose.

This is the one I own
(this is the one I own)

  • Is anyone watching Quarterlife?  What do you think?
  • Marion Cotillard was the cutest thing ever when she accepted her Oscar.  In the press room afterward, she apparently said she felt like she was all excited, like “fireworks, like boom! Boom! Boom!”  Adorable!

 Here’s to the week being that much closer to Friday.  I’m helping Abby move to Newton this weekend, so maybe I’ll see if Craig is teaching another class before then to stay in shape . . . oh and I’m going to my first Bruins game this season on Thursday!  It’s a nice way to roll into Friday.

The rap artist RZA once said “Music is the key that’s gonna keep us together under one banner.”This is a prime example.

Once we all start realizing the commonalities we all share, such as love and appreciation for a musical concert, rather than our differences, we will be one step closer to a better world.

clipped from news.yahoo.com

PYONGYANG, North Korea – The New York Philharmonic‘s unprecedented concert could herald warmer ties between North Korea and the West. After three encores, some musicians left the stage in tears as the audience waved fondly.
And more musical diplomacy could be in the works for the isolated communist state: rock guitarist Eric Clapton has been invited to Pyongyang.
Between horn fanfares and the flourishes of a conductor’s baton, the U.S. and North Korea found common ground in a concert Tuesday that spanned American and Korean musical traditions.
Former U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry attended the performance and called it a “historic moment,” remembering how close the countries came to war in 1994 amid a crisis over the North’s nuclear program.
“You cannot demonize people when you’re sitting there listening to their music. You don’t go to war with people unless you demonize them first,” Perry said.
  blog it

Deep breath.  Everyone together now: “Awww  . . .”

 My friend Colleen and her fiancee Todd had their engagement photos taken by Tirado Photography, who was recently awarded Best Wedding Photographer by Boston magazine.  Todd and Colleen were also featured on Boston magazine’s online TV station for Best of Boston!  Check it out here.

 I had to share because they are just so darn cute.  (Congrats again, you two!)

Thanks to the most recent issue of the Improper Bostonian, I have found a new addiction.  Football season is over, the working-again TV writers still have a while until they launch their new episodes, and it’s been nothing but reality TV to watch on my nightly treadmill runs.  The Improper gives props to a site that is the perfect fix and blending of all of the above: TVLeagues.com

It’s easy to get started – create a username, make up a team name, and join an existing league or create a new one.  Then, pick your reality show of choice (currently airing, of course), and let the fun begin.  Instead of picking the winners for each show, though, the catch is that you pick the losers.  The more times you correctly guess who gets kicked off each week, the more points you gain, and the higher your ranking.  It’s an ideal way to become a part of a community and to realize that your unexplainable desire to watch American Idol doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a squealing, girly mess of a Clay Aikin-ite.

(NOTE: If you sign up, make sure to join my fahhbulous Team Fierce and join the countdown to the finale as Project Runway unravels . . .) 🙂


Happy Valentine’s Day!

A lot of people are anti-V-Day, calling it a marketing ploy by Hallmark and Hershey’s.  Others claim it’s depressing if you’re single.  I happen to love celebrating holidays, so I love February 14th whether I’m single or attached.  (My favorite Valentine’s Day is still one from a few years ago, which was actually a girls’ night out with some of my best girlfriends in NYC – Beauty Bar, anyone? ;-D). 

I think we need to look past the commercialism and embrace the true spirit of Valentine’s Day: spreading love all around.  It can be a day to show your appreciation for your parents, your best friend, your dog, your lover, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your co-workers, your favorite TV show, your coffee barista, or all of the above!  (Although if you have both a boyfriend and girlfriend to love, that could make for a very interesting holiday . . . )  Take a moment today to show a little appreciation, support, adoration, or love for someone you admire or interact with and see how great it makes both you and that person feel.  Love is a basic emotion but one that we sometimes put on the back burner when all the other emotions come into play.  With kindness and caring, though, we can accomplish a lot more than with anger and frustration.  So show a little love today. 😀

Here are some interesting facts to get you through the day:

Valentine’s Day Facts

  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.
  • About 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year. That’s the largest seasonal card-sending occasion of the year, next to Christmas.
  • About 3% of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
  • Alexander Graham Bell applied for his patent on the telephone, an “Improvement in Telegraphy”, on Valentine’s Day, 1876.
  • Cupid, another symbol of Valentines Day, became associated with it because he was the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. Cupid often appears on Valentine cards holding a bow and arrows because he is believed to use magical arrows to inspire feelings of love.
  • During the late 1800s, postage rates around the world dropped, and the obscene St. Valentine’s Day card became popular, despite the Victorian era being otherwise very prudish. As the numbers of racy valentines grew, several countries banned the practice of exchanging Valentine’s Days cards. During this period, Chicago’s post office rejected more than 25,000 cards on the grounds that they were so indecent, they were not fit to be carried through the U.S. mail.
  • February 14, 270 A.D. : Roman Emperor Claudius II, dubbed “Claudius the Cruel,” beheaded a priest named Valentine for performing marriage ceremonies. Claudius II had outlawed marriages when Roman men began refusing to go to war in order to stay with their wives.
  • Hallmark has over 1330 different cards specifically for Valentine’s Day.
  • In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their valentines would be. They would wear these names on their sleeves for one week. To wear your heart on your sleeve now means that it is easy for other people to know how you are feeling.
  • In the United States, 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts. It wasn’t until 1537 that St. Valentine’s Day was declared an official holiday. England’s King Henry VIII declared February 14th a holiday.
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine’s cards with teachers, classmates, and family members.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
  • The oldest known Valentines were sent in 1415 A.D. by the Duke of Orleans to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England. The oldest surviving love poem is written in a clay tablet from the times of the Sumerians, inventors of writing, around 3500 B.C. It was unromantically named Istanbul #2461 by the archeologists who unearthed it.
  • Wearing a wedding ring on the fourth finger of the left hand dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was believed that the vein of love ran from this finger directly to the heart.
  • In America, the pilgrims sent confections, such as sugar wafers, marzipan, sweetmeats and sugar plums, to their betrothed. Great value was placed on these gifts because they included what was then a rare commodity, sugar. After the late 1800’s, beet sugar became widely used and more available, and sweet gifts continued to be valued and enjoyed.

I started this blog post on my MySpace blog (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog&Mytoken=0203F53F-0486-41C5-A5C4E94869BD32E723427454my).  I love the random format.  It reminds me of the scattered little tender moments that appear in our day in no particular order.  And I love how thinking of the list makes me take a moment to ponder all the things that make me smile.  So often we end the day reflecting on all the negative parts of our day.  But what if we take 5 minutes a day to reflect on the things that make us happy?  I think there would be a lot more half full glasses on the bar.  That’s what these “Whee!” blogs represent for me – not just a shout-out to the people currently crossing my path, but a reminder to myself that there’s always a silver lining.  (Ugh, my sincere apologies for the cliches; I think I’ve been watching too many sitcoms!)

Here we go!

Current Faves of the Moment:
(in no particular order)

-Jordin Sparks -“Freeze”
-The DVD highlights of Christina Aguilera’s recent tour (almost as good on TV as it was in person)
-Biographies of mid-century TV stars
-Emailing a joke or phrase to Abby at the exact same moment that she sends the same exact thing
-Brownies from Sebastians, mmhm mmhm good
-The ending of the WGA strike, yea!
-New episodes of Project Runway, especially getting to listen to Christian run around yelling “fierce!” everywhere
-Daniel Holloway’s daily “The Word” column in the Boston Metro (http://www.metrobostonnews.com/us/article/2008/02/13/01/3019-66/index.xml)
-Silly emails with emoticons from Ian
-Getting new books
-Cuddling up against Mark on the couch
-Dan Santow’s WordWise blog (http://wordwise.typepad.com/)
-Lazy hangover Sunday’s at Steve and Cristina’s
-Texting Cordie random jokes from our past jokes (“Rick the Temp!”, Spice Girls song quotes . . .)
-When Lucy greets me at Mom’s
-Finding out that Carly Smithson on American Idol (the Irish one) is the SAME PERSON as Carly Hennessy. who had the hit song that I loved in 2001 called “I’m Gonna Blow Your Mind” but then disappeared from the scene (random music trivia – the song was produced by none other than Gregg Alexander, of the New Radicals . . . you know their hit, “You Only Get What You Give”)
-Celebrating holidays
-Watching old home videso & then leaving Kate voicemails referencing forgotten jokes: “A catcher’s mitt,” “Why DOES the trash smell so bad,” the Pure Moods discussion, 40 ounces out on the porch . . .
-Finding out about cool new social media sites
-Baskin-Robbins’ super cute Valentine’s Day “Sweetheart” cake (http://baskin-robbins.com/Spotlight/valentinesday08.aspx)
-When I’m sore after a gym workout; it means it’s working!
-Letting loose in Sharper Image with Ryan and Mark.  Testing out the chairs, crashing airplanes into everything in the store, and trying not to laugh at the people riding the store’s latest horseback riding simulation machine
-The irony of Amy Winehouse performing for the Grammy’s her award-winning song “Rehab” . . . from rehab
-Manicures that last more than 2 days
-Kate Morton’s “The House at Riverton”
-Weekend dining with Mark, Colleen, Todd, Jeff and Melyssa
-Smoking Loon’s Cabernet Sauvignon
-Mark’s always entertaining updates to my to-do lists
-Getting the new US Weekly in the mail
-Finding Anchor Steam on tap the Abington Ale House – and getting a free Anchor Steam glass for drinking it, too!
-Paramore – “Miracle”

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
“Feelin great because the light’s on me
Celebrating the things that everyone told me…
Working with what I got, I gotta keep on
Taking care of myself…
Don’t worry bout who’s saying what
It’s gonna be fine
Work what you got…
Girl don’t hold back
You just be yourself…”
(mary j. blige, “work that”)
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Everything these days is about “going green.”  But it’s about time the environment got some face time in the news!

 My cousin Blake, who lives on Long Island, completely rebuilt the engine of a car to run on leftover cooking oil.  Talk about being environmentally friendly!  What’s also amazing is that he is only 22.

 Check out the rest of the story here, it’s pretty incredible:


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