June 2008


4th of July courtesy of KVIIFourth of July is coming up soon!  USA’s Independence Day comes up this Friday and in its honor, I thought it would be fun to share some interesting facts, courtesy of MSN Encarta.  Enjoy!

1. Independence Day commemorates the formal adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, it was not declared a legal holiday until 1941.

2. Fireworks were made in China as early as the 11th century. The Chinese used their pyrotechnic mixtures for war rockets and explosives.

3. Uncle Sam was first popularized during the War of 1812, when the term appeared on supply containers. Believe it or not, the U. S. Congress didn’t adopt him as a national symbol until 1961.

4. There are many precise rules for taking care of the American flag. And speaking of flag traditions, we’re sorry to report that contrary to legend, historical research has failed to confirm that Betsy Ross sewed the first flag.

5. Not all members of the Continental Congress supported a formal Declaration of Independence, but those who did were passionate about it. One representative rode 80 miles by horseback to reach Philadelphia and break a tie in support of independence.

6. The first two versions of the Liberty Bell were defective and had to be melted down and recast. The third version rang every Fourth of July from 1778 to 1835, when, according to tradition, it cracked as it was being tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall.

7. The American national anthem, the “Star-Spangled Banner,” is set to the tune of an English drinking song (“To Anacreon in Heaven”).

8. The iron framework of the Statue of Liberty was devised by French engineer Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, who also built the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

9. The patriotic poem “America the Beautiful” was published on July 4, 1895 by Wellesley College professor Katharine Lee Bates.

10. Father of the country and architect of independence George Washington held his first public office at the tender age of 17. He continued in public service until his death in 1799.

I’m going camping with friends this year for the holiday weekend. 
What are your 4th of July plans?

 

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In the hit Broadway musical “Into the Woods,” the Baker’s Wife (yes, that is her name in the show) has a wild tryst with a Prince in the woods.  Afterwards, she can’t get over the shock of the amazing thing that just occured to her and she gets caught up in the magic of the moment.  She sings,

Just a moment,RunningThroughRain.wordpress.com
One peculiar passing moment…
Oh, if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you’d never know you had one…”

I love the second a good moment hits you.  You have this flash of realization and suddenly whatever you just heard, saw, touched, tasted or smelled sent a lightning bolt of joy throughout your body.  It only lasts a second and then it’s gone, but in that fleeting moment, you are truly happy.

I wanted to share a list of some of the moments in my life that make me happy.  This is a little different from the “Whee!” posts we all know and love – these are not specific things I’ve recently experienced, but things that have come up frequently over time.

Happiness

 

So in no particular order, here are my moments:

 

  • When a Spice Girls song randomly comes onto my iPod that I forgot was even on the playlist
  • Receiving a Starbucks gift card
  • Walking out of South Station in the morning and being warmed with a sudden burst of sunshine
  • The look on the face of someone the minute they win something – sport team players (ahem, Celtics!), American Idol winners (love that David Cook), any of the numerous dance shows on TV
  • When I walk out of a bookstore with a brand new book
  • When my cell phone beeps with a random text from Mark
  • Waking up on a Friday morning with plans for the evening
  • When I finally relax in the midst of a manicure or pedicureOPI Manicure
  • Laughing at an old joke with Kate, or Abby, or Di, or Cess, or Dan, or Katie…
  • My birthday, all moments, all day, each year
  • That moment during my annual holiday cookie baking party when I look around and realize everyone is laughing and talking and singing and having a fabulous time
  • When I find someone on Facebook and realize we haven’t spoken in ages
  • Opening the mailbox and finding an unexpected card or a new magazine
  • When I scan the local upcoming concert list on Pollstar and find my favorite band just booked a gig in town
  • When someone makes me laugh
  • When I look out the train window and the landscape naturally forms a perfect photograph for that brief moment
  • When I get a rush of affection for my family or Mark
  • The moment I look in the mirror on a good day and realize those hours on the treadmill do pay off
  • Taking the first bite of a piece of chocolate or a cookie after I’ve been craving it all day
  • The moment at a friend’s wedding when they both say I do and realizing how truly in love they are
  • When an old favorite tune comes on at a restaurant or at the food store and I realize how incomplete my life would be without music  Chocolate

What’s your moment?

 

Today I got to live the life of a celebrity!

Well, ok, that’s a little bit of an exaggeration . . . ok, a lot of an exaggeration.  But I at least got to experience my 15 minutes of fame, and as a true Leo, I soaked up each minute.

I was in a major newspaper!

Yup, that’s my book review in the Boston Metro today.  I joined the Metro Life Panel’s Book Club about a month ago.  I picked my top choice out of their 5 selections for June.  I was one of the readers chosen, so they sent me a copy of my book (too cool! yea for free books!), which arrived really fast.  I read the book, The Sugar Queen, which was-thank goodness-a great book.

Then, I got an email last week.  If I wanted to be published in the paper today, I simply had to send in a quick review with a photo.  Whoo hoo!  So I wrote up a brief review, sent in a photo (courtesy of the Schneider Associates holiday photo shoot of 2007), and anxiously waited.

This morning I practically ran to the Metro box at the train station and frantically flipped through the pages.  And there it was, on page 12.  I almost turned to the woman next to me to shout, “It’s me!” but I (thankfully) held back.

The rest of the day I got emails and comments from friends and colleagues who had seen the article.  “You’re famous!”  “You’re a star!”  “I turned to my boyfriend and said, ‘I know her!'”  It’s really amazing what a few pixels on a piece of newsprint can do.

So let that be a lesson, kids – it DOES pay off to be a bookworm!  This is to all the naysayers who say reading is nerdy and stupid. 🙂  First stop, Metro Boston.  Next stop, Hollywood here I come!

Book stack

The internet is the new library.  You’ll find reading material about everything and anything you can imagine, and it’s free. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the classic brick and mortar library.  I think it is incredible that you can walk into a library and you can borrow any book you want.  For free!  However, the library isn’t open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Luckily (unless you are still dialing up the old modem) you can still read new materials at any hour, on any day, online.

I am constantly amazed and excited when I find another book lover like myself.  Reading has always been on the back burner of cool, regarded as a nerdy activity most enjoyed by four-eyed geeks who wear socks with sandals and run from social interaction.  Therefore, it’s been almost a secret addiction of mine.  However, over the years, I’ve learned that in reality, the majority of the population loves reading.  And none of these people fit the nerd stereotype.  In fact, they’re pretty darn cool.  I just found out tonight that one of my fantastic co-workers, Anna, is a fellow book lover.  Anna and I even discussed starting a book exchange in our office with Charlotte, another reader/co-worker.  This was inspired by my friend Jennie, who already has a book exchange set up at work.  Book lovers, rejoice – you are not alone!

Okay, so it’s late.  The library is closed, and you just finished the last hardcover from the stack of new books next to your bed.  You’re looking for something online to read.  Websites and blogs can offer fresh reading material, and I’ve got a few suggestions. 

If you check out my blogroll to the right, you’ll see some of my own personal favorites.  You can also check out my Delicious page, which links to articles, pages and websites I’ve bookmarked as worthy of sharing with others as I’ve come across them. 

Here are some other favorites that I’ve been enjoying recently:

  • Friday Playdate – Mommy blogger Susan Wagner writes about life, shoes & booze.  She’s a funny woman and a really cool person.  Yes, she’s in my blogroll, too.  But I had to point her out here, too.  Even if you’re not a Mom, you will enjoy her writing.  She also writes for Parent Dish.
  • E! Online – The Soup! – I absolutely love this show.  It makes me laugh out loud every single week, guaranteed.  The blog is almost as good, but at least it fills my craving until a new episode. 
  • New Brahmin – Also in my blogroll but worthy of extra promoting.  My co-worker Lindsey’s roommate and her friends blog about fashion, shopping and style in Boston.  A must read for Boston area ladies, but enjoyable by everyone.
  • Sarah Lacy – She is a BusinessWeek blogger who also is an active member of the social media world and provides some entertaining and intriguing insight.
  • Yahoo! Buzz Log – A new service by Yahoo!, which basically is an interesting summary of what’s hot on the Web.  The links within the page are cool and the writing is easy to understand.
  • Word Wise – Edelman and PR professional in Chicago who writes about, well, words.  If you’re a fan of Lynne Truss, you’ll love his writing, too.
  • Chowhound – Want to see what local foodies are chatting about in your town?  Check out this bulletin board out of Chow.com.  Fascinating and funny discussions abound!
  • Alltop – Fairly new blog aggregate site from social media influencer Guy Kawasaki.  Basically, pick the topic you want to read about, and it provides some of the top blogs, with links to recent posts.  Hours of entertainment!

This is just a small smattering of what’s out there.  If you search deep enough you can find E-books as well (do a Google search – it’s amazing what you’ll find), which are brief online publications shared typically for free and normally in a PDF format.  There’s news sites, communities, bulletin boards, and more.  Go exploring! 

And interact, too!  The web is wonderful because it is a world of give and take.  Post comments on blogs, start an account on Facebook and add friends and post on their wall, start your own blog, or join the Twitter conversations.  Start your own Delicious or Digg or StumbleUpon or Clipmarks account and share your favorite sites, too.  Add RSS feeds (the little orange square with the white stripes you see on websites) to your Google Reader, which will update once a new post is up.  (Shameless plug: add my site, too!)

You’ll be surprised what you can find or accomplish with a little turn of a page, whether it’s paper or electronic.  What are some of your favorite things to read online?