Friday, November 28, 2008

Oh Lordy, Who Started This?

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. Alex at Celexo's Rite to Write tagged me.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.

1) My hidden talent: I can whistle songs with my hands. I learned it from a Klutz book called "How to annoy your parents" when I was twelve. It impresses small children and drunk people to no end.

2) I am absolutely obsessed with mountaineering books. I can list the seven summits and all fourteen 8,000 meter peaks. I can also detail several routes up Everest. So if you're on Everest and you get lost, give me a call. I might not be able to help you much, but I'll be so excited to talk to someone on Everest, even if he's in his final hours.

3) I once got pulled over by a policeman who asked (without even bothering to leave his car) if I'd "had a brain fart." (My answer: a teary "yeeeess!")

4) My favorite TV show is America's Funniest Home Videos. Because an dose of "grannies getting hit in the head with giant lawn toys" cures all ills.

5) I'm a vegetarian, but I don't really like salad. I only eat it if I've done something stupid earlier in the day, like eat Snickers for breakfast. Not that I do that...often.

6) I have a really cool idea for a pre-teen novel and someday I'm going to put it on paper. But! I'm not telling you my idea! It's a secret!

7) I sing to my cat constantly. Sometimes she gets recitative, sometimes she gets an aria. Most often she gets a variation on "Clementine" or "O Tannenbaum."

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
I'm changing the rules here because I'm anti-chain; if you're reading this and you have a blog, consider yourself tagged. (That's you, Dad and Josh.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Jay's Birthday Party

Saturday night was Jay's 30th birthday party. It was a rousing success. You know you've thrown a good party when you were having too much fun to take pictures. I managed to snap exactly one:
This is a prime example of why you should never indulge in rum-induced photography. Note that no one's entire head is visible and the focus of the picture seems to be the floor.

Jen managed a few more than I did, including these two pictures of the parents playing Rock Band:
Mom Caissie was a hit on the drums (oh no, she didn't just make that pun!). People kept coming up to me, saying, "your mom rocks at drums!" As you can see in the above photo, rocking at drums takes a lot of concentration. Sadly, only one photo of Jay from his own party has turned up so far, and in it, he is displaying some inappropriately doctored cupcakes, so you won't be seeing that photo here.

The cat made a spectacular appearance late in the evening. Anyone who has ever caught a glimpse of our cat knows that she is extremely skittish around strangers and prefers to hide under the bed rather than socialize. Well, apparently she was behind the couch when guests started arriving, and must have sat there paralyzed with fear for many hours. Around midnight she decided to make a break for it and took off at a full run through the living room and dining room towards the bedroom. Once she hit the linoleum in the kitchen, it was all over. She careened into several cabinets and, in a blind panic, ineffectively pumped her legs like she was on a treadmill gone haywire. That was the last we saw of her that night.

It was a fun time. Lots of people came and we managed to wipe out over a hundred bottles of beer and several bottles each of rum and whiskey. There were many fights over the musical worthiness of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and an embarassing photo of Jay as a child surfaced. Thanks to everyone for coming!

Friday, November 21, 2008


This article caught my eye--I see a lot of babies in strollers at work (usually expensive "travel systems"), but I found myself appalled for the wrong reasons. Please take a long, hard look at the photo in the article. Why is anyone worrying about the stroller when it is plain to see that the child has a mohawk? If you want to developmentally delay your child, screw the stroller, give him an unfortunate haircut. But that is nothing compared with the horrors of the parent--what on earth are those pants? Is that some kind of wonky zebra pattern? Could they really be MC Hammer pants? And the big question--why is he out in public wearing them, never mind allowing journalists to photograph him in them?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wish List

I was recently asked what I'd like for Christmas, so here's my wish list for the year.

An Irish penny whistle:

Then I can frolic like a leprechaun. Won't that be fun!

Music books: The Real Book (Hal Leonard publishing) in C, Jamey Aebersold Play-Along books in C (any except Maiden Voyage, I have that one already)

A new music stand. A nice one. Mine is sad. I have one that won't go higher than waist level and one that slowly slides down when I use it.

Rock climbing stuff: a headlamp is at the top of my list. Or a Boston Rock Gym gift card or membership.

Cute dresses: Everyday dresses or teaching-worthy dresses (nothing evening). Size small (4 is safe). I'm girly, I like shoes and bags too (though preferably not leather).

Jewelry: cheap Art Deco costume jewelry from the antique store are my favorites. I have a few marcasite (faceted metal) pieces that I really love that look similar to this:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sign of the Approaching Apocalypse

Oldies 103 has started playing Christmas music allllll day. On November 6th! Excuse me while I attempt to ward off a psychotic break.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election ruminations

For the first time in my life, I've voted for a winning presidential candidate. Not only did I vote for the winning candidate, everything and everyone I voted for won. Even though I'm completely ecstatic, I feel a little nervous, because if things go wrong, it'll be partially my fault. That's a sobering thought, and one I've never really had to deal with.

Even so, I feel a great joy that I hope even people who voted for McCain or someone else can feel some measure of. About electing a black president, my Memere said it best: "I can't believe I lived long enough to see that!" What I really feel proud about is that he wasn't voted in because he's black; in fact, his multiethnic background was a source of fear for many (uninformed, I believe) people. He was elected because he spread a message of positivity in a time when a lot of the US was disillusioned. The most encouraging news, to me, was the response of the rest of the world: this Amanpour article talks about the renewed hopes for peace and cooperation that are quickly spreading across the world. I can remember being in England in 2002 and constantly being treated with disdain simply because I came from the country where Bush was president (I kept reminding people--more than half of us voted for Gore), and that was even before the invasion of Iraq. Willingness for international cooperation on the part of the rest of the world alone is worth the price we might pay because of Obama's lack of experience.

Hopefully--and it seems like he will--Obama will make good on his promises of bipartisanship and re-unify the country. Many McCain supporters have valid concerns and hopefully Obama and his adminstration will find ways to address those. Even if he does, I believe in the capacity of some Americans to make life infinitely more difficult for themselves through fear and ignorance. The Secret Service must absolutely be wetting themselves thinking of the task ahead, considering there's already been an assassination plan foiled. Here's hoping for a quiet four years for them.

Even though I'd really hoped we'd be welcoming the first female president right now, I feel really happy about Obama's election. I feel even more happy to live in Massachusetts, a state where my ideals line up so nicely with most other people's. It reinforces my reluctance to move elsewhere (even California--boo on Prop 8!).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Friday night we went to the Halloween dance at Boston Swing Central. Our costumes were both hits. Jay was teaching Thriller at the lesson (which turned out really great), so he was obligated to dress as a zombie. He was a very convincing professor zombie, which almost scared me into finishing my dissertation right then and there. Here he is preparing his next meal:

I went as the old game Operation. I stuck cutouts ("broken heart," "water on the knee," etc.) on some flesh-colored clothing with velcro, attached a pair of tweezers and string to my shorts, and wore a blinky red nose. I kept catching people staring at me, then a look of excitement would cross their faces as they figured out what I was. Here is the zombie playing Operation:

Monday, November 3, 2008


For our anniversary, we went to Ten Tables in JP for dinner. I'd been wanted to try it for a long time and our two-year seemed like a perfect excuse. They have a vegetarian tasting menu every night, plus they serve homemade smoked meats and sausages and all the meat is from humanely treated animals. Tuesday is wine tasting night, so they served a pre-fixe menu and paired each of the four courses with half a glass of wine.

Appetizer was a "French take on a Russian salad--" a root vegetable mix (Jay's had tuna) that was wonderful. Soup was butternut squash for me (I keep eating squash soup, because it seems like I should love it, but I'm just not crazy about it. I ate half), spicy lentil with ham for Jay (he loved it). Main course was chicken in tomato sauce with farro (some kind of grain) for Jay and potatoes au gratin with artichokes and bread crumbs for me (amazing). They paired mine with a little arugula salad and I could have eaten two entire plates. The cheese course was the part neither of us were crazy about--it was really strong bleu cheese, which almost activated Jay's gag reflex. There were also candied hazelnuts and pear puree, which redeemed the course. All in all, it was fabulous and we can't wait to go back.

When we got home, we had champagne and took this self-portrait.