Thursday, April 30, 2009

Birthday party: Candids

I liked this picture of Lara, but I really liked the shadow behind her.
Kyle and Sarah:
Is he playing Rock Band or plotting your demise? You decide:
Mandy's Jello mold. It's hard to see in this picture but she made a lamb, an owl, and a heart. Everyone was impressed.
Candice, Peter, Tiffany, and Jim, all smiles:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birthday party: Rock Band Idol Winners

At the party, Jay ran a game called "Rock Band Idol". It was basically American Idol with wildly better prizes that the real Idol, which were: a package of fake mustaches, an inflatable globe, and something else that I can't remember. Here are the four finalists. You can probably see who won first place: it's either Dastardly Dan or Josh. Second place was Sarah, who won major Song Choice points over Rob (who apparently should stick to Journey and Boston), and bringing up the rear was Tony.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birthday party: Erin and Nate

I know I said that birthday party pics were coming a long time ago, but I'm just now getting around to it (lots of grading, what can I say?). Plus, someone (and you know who you are) took a bunch of great pictures and has yet to give them to me (slacker). Anyway, file this series under "they'll probably hate me for this," and they're not even great pictures (fuzzy), but they made me laugh. Here are Erin and Nate laughing heartily at one another:
Oh, Nate! You're so funny!
Gosh darn it people, sit still so Jay can take your picture!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Everyday Amusements: Danger Men Drinking

This is a sign that the corner neighbors proudly display. And let me tell you, there is some truth to this sign, because there are constantly men out on this porch, and I don't think I have to tell you what they're doing. Fortunately, I have yet to see any danger, because they are very friendly. We knew it was spring when the Danger Men were seen out on the porch.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Everyday Amusements: Sexy Frog

Today I'm beginning a photographic series of my favorite everyday things. This is the most everyday item on the list, since we really do see her everyday--in fact, we see her every time we enter the house. I give you Sexy Frog:

Sexy Frog resides in our front yard, and looks like she is perpetually posing for a nudie pic. We can't take the credit for Ms. Frog, since she was already there when we moved in, but we've become her biggest fans.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Cupcakes

Not much to say about these. Cute, though, aren't they?
I made twelve egg cupcakes and the rest of the batch just got dollops of frosting. When I was doing the dollops, they looked amazingly like little piles of doggie doo. The little hearts and flowers helped reduce the excrement-ness...or made it look like the dog had had a very interesting meal. Your choice.
I've been attempting to improve my photography skills, and this week, I've discovered--gasp--wait for it--how to turn off the flash (work with me here people, I'm a musicologist, we're not so good with technology). It helped, don't you think?

I've also been trying to do that nifty thing where the front item is in focus and the ones behind are progressively fuzzier. This is the closest I got:
I want to eat that front one now, don't you? Now I just have to learn how to remove the cans of cat food from behind the picture before I snap it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Has this become a baking blog?

The answer: no. It's just that baking seems like the only thing worth taking photos of lately. I do have some party pics that I just haven't gotten around to yet. Anyway, here is something non-bakey:

Everest climbing season is underway and I discovered this great expedition blog recently. The First Ascent Everest team includes Ed Viesturs (star of the '96 IMAX movie) and Dave Hahn (who was on the '99 expedition that discovered George Mallory's body), among others. There are tons of Everest blogs out there, but this one in notable because they upload a very polished video dispatch every day. The "arrives Everest basecamp" dispatch from a few days ago includes some gorgeous footage of the icefall. I can't wait to see what they produce when the actual climb begins.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...I'm off to do some baking.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Because on your birthday...

you get to decorate your cake however you want. This birthday girl wanted to practice the technique of filling in shapes with the star tip, so she made a kitty stick figure on her cake.
And she wrote "yay" in the corner, just for kicks.

Partway through the evening, someone very carefully cut out kitty's head and served it to me. I wasn't hungry, so I didn't eat it, and by the end of the night, kitty's head was reattached to his body, only upside down.

Party pictures coming soon.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I made these for a small gathering at my friend Erin's house. They were really fun to make. The sunflowers were oreos with frosting petals and Fruit Roll-up leaves, and the ladybugs were M&Ms. I loved using my frosting tips and will definitely be using them more often.

Some cupcakes had two sunflowers or more:
And some had ladybugs, while others were not as lucky.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

March Lions and Lambs

After several tries at copying the recipes out of my cupcake book, creativity has finally struck. I'd come across a neat blogger ( who had been creating something called "cake pops." Basically, cake pops are cake balls on sticks. Okay, what's a cake ball? Well, besides the source of many a sophomoric joke, cake balls are crumbled up cake mixed with frosting and dipped in candy melts. Bakerella decorates hers in all sorts of neat ways, so I decided to combine my enthusiasm for cupcake decorating with cake pops.

I made lions and lambs in honor of our lion-like entrance into March:

The best part about these is that the decorations are almost entirely of my own invention. I stole the lion's mane (which is my least favorite part, frankly) from the cupcake book, but everything else was my own. The lion's ears are created with chocolate chips stuck to the cake pop with frosting before dipping, and the pink insides are little hearts. The lamb's ears are Swedish fish stuck into the ball before dipping, with curled Twizzlers Pull-n-Peel for the inside of the ears. Noses are an M&M and half a Jelly Belly, respectively.

The rest of their faces are drawn on with my new toys: edible pens. I was stupidly excited about the idea of edible pen, but it practice, it didn't go so well. The candy started sweating fairly quickly and then the pens hardly worked. Next time I'll probably keep everything in the fridge while decorating.

They turned out pretty cute, and they were tasty, too. Hopefully none of my creations ever turn up on my other new favorite blog:

Friday, February 20, 2009


For the past week, we've had a visitor. Most of Jay's family went to Florida to sort out Grandad's things, and little Gizmo needed a place to stay. So he came to our house.

Taking care of Gizmo confirmed that I am indeed a cat person. The dog drove me a little cuckoo. He's the best dog ever, too, so I can only conclude that it's the presence of a dog and not the particular dog that bothered me. The cat was also extremely annoyed by the whole thing. We started calling her Puffy Slow-Mo, because those seemed to be her two operating procedures when Gizmo was around: all puffed up and spitting, or in extreme slow-motion like a ninja. The one thing I enjoyed, though, was taking the dog on runs around the block. Not only did I get my exercise, but it tired Gizmo out and reduced his whining:
Jay, on the other hand, loved having the dog around. Their interactions made it all worthwhile:

Jay drove Gizmo home this morning and apparently Gizmo was sad to see him go. The cat isn't quite as upset about Gizmo's departure.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Butterfly in the sky

I can fly twice as high!

I had the Reading Rainbow theme song in my head all day yesterday as I made these. My mother chose these cupcakes out of the book at Christmastime, and didn't think I'd actually do them. Well, Mom underestimated me! Mom's birthday is on Wednesday, so the J crew (that's Jay, Josh, and Joanna) and I went up to mis padres for dinner last night, and the butterflies came along.

These are my favorite cupcakes so far. Not only are they completely vegetarian, but they turned out the closest to the book design. They were also very tasty--the last two designs were extremely sugary, but these, with dark chocolate cake and dark chocolate in the wings, were just right.

The wings are made of two different colors of candy melting wafers. The wafers are melted in ziplock bags and then dripped onto wax paper. This was certainly the hardest part. First of all, the book insists that it's easy to use ziplock bags for decorating (both for the wafers and for frosting designs). That is a load of horse hockey. The bags are far too flimsy and no matter how much tape I use to reinforce the seams, they constantly break apart. I've ended up covered in chocolate every time. So from now on, it's official cake decorating bags only for me.

The wings set really fast. Once I didn't even have time to sprinkle the nonpareils on before it had set. So that is one plus--the process moves fairly fast. 24 sets of wings took me about an hour, and probably would take half the time now that I've gotten the hang of it. The rest of the decorating is fairly simple. The wings are held up by M&Ms underneath:

Jay deserves an honorable mention for his involvement in the Butterfly Cupcakes. First of all, I sent him to the store twice: once for eggs, and once because I'd accidentally made the wrong kind of cake (it had pudding in it and the cupcakes blew up like muffins, impossible to frost). Then, as we were leaving the house with cupcakes in hand, he took a bad step and twisted his ankle horribly, but managed to save the cupcakes from certain death and dismemberment. His ankle blew up to the size of a baseball and he is hobbling around like an old man today.

I have no more cupcake plans for at least a month from now; so, if you are having a party, invite me, because I'm bringing cupcakes.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Little Effing Penguins

After a pretty crappy January, I've finally gotten around to making Cupcake Project Round Two. This time I picked penguins, since there's only a month left of winter (wahoo!), and I was making them for my friends Dylan and Mandy, who were having a party. For some reason, I felt Mandy would appreciate penguins.

Here is how they came out:

These were much easier than the dogs, mostly because I could assembly-line them. The most time-consuming part was creating the shape: they are made with a donut hole on top of half a mini donut on top of the cupcake. The whole thing is slathered with frosting to hold it together, then dipped in more frosting, which allows them the ability to give you diabetes immediately.

I made two versions. This is the vegetarian version, with gumdrops and Mamba candies:
And this is the original recipe, with marshmallows and Starburst:
The Mambas were a great replacement for the gelatin-laden Starburst, but the gumdrops didn't look as good as the marshmallow, since they're not as stark white. I'm still looking for some veggie marshmallows--our Whole Foods didn't have them. Also, the penguins were supposed to have Starburst feet, but I was too lazy, so I skipped that part. I'm also starting to hate those chocolate cookies--I ruined a bunch of flippers, and then they softened as the evening went on and fell off the penguins. However, they were much appreciated by the partygoers. Mandy kept saying, "they're little effing penguins!" Only she didn't really say effing, but you know.

Next installment of the Cupcake project coming soon!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why you can't trust Wikipedia

It's very hard to see, since this is a screen shot, but at the bottom of the article on James Lincoln Collier (a jazz scholar), it says, "i love nick jonas!"

Yes, you know Nick Jonas. Don't pretend you don't. He's that kid in the band on the Disney Channel. The big question is, how did an 11-year-old find her way to the article on James Lincoln Collier?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top 5 Musical Discoveries

I've been thinking about what I've learned from writing my dissertation, and one of the things that sticks out are the recordings I've discovered. It's not that I dug them out of a hole or anything, but they're recordings that I didn't know before. So today, here are some of my favorites.

1. "I'm Coming Virginia," Bix Beiderbecke and Frankie Trumbauer

Benny Goodman did a tribute to several earlier jazz artists on his Carnegie concert, and this was one of them. I read a lot about Bix before I heard the original song, and I thought, "there's no way this can be that good." People talked about falling off their chairs when they heard Bix play, and most of them cite "Virginia" as the best Bix solo. Once I finally got around to listening to the recording, I was floored. It's poignant, melodic, almost vocal, and I can't imagine a better solo. If you like this, you'll like the Bix/Frankie runner-up, "Singin' the Blues."

2. "Body and Soul," Goodman trio (studio recording)

Teddy Wilson hits me right in the heart with this one. His soloing is always lovely, but this one is superb. The studio recording is better than the concert one, though both are good.

3. "Blue Room," Bennie Moten

Goodman performed the Fletcher Henderson arrangement of "Blue Room" at the concert, but I ran across this one when I was searching for information on the original song. It has little to do with the Goodman version except for the main melody, which disappears after the first chorus of the Moten arrangement. If it weren't for the wretched clarinet solo in Moten's version, I'd pick this as one of the best early swing songs. I think this would make a great team dance routine--I'll choreograph, anyone up for some aerials? :)

4. "Swingtime in the Rockies," Carnegie recording

This is far and away the best offering on the Carnegie Hall concert, largely due to Ziggy Elman's spectacular trumpet solo and some re-arrangement from the studio version. Very exciting--too bad it's only two minutes long.

5. "Rock and Rye," Earl Hines

Okay, I didn't really discover this one in the course of my studies. I first heard this one in the Silver Shadows Ultimate Lindy Hop Showdown performance (2006 I think? There's another performance here, not quite as good--I can't find the original anymore). I came across some interesting tidbits about Earl Hines during my research, though (lots to do on him--next project, maybe), and it rekindled my interest. It's a bit of an odd song--straight eighths and swing eighth, pick one--and I hate the sax solo at the end, but overall, a very cool song.

You can hear all of these at .

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New week

Last week was just an awful week. It started on Sunday, when my car was broken into. I was at Simmons college for orchestra rehearsal, and when I got out, my back window was smashed. They took my rock climbing bag--which stinks on its own, since I had about $250 worth of gear in there--but I'd done something especially stupid, and I'd left my wedding rings in the bag. I'd been climbing that afternoon, so I took them off and put them in a little tiny pocket in the bag, and forgotten to put them on after climbing. So, it was an unexpected payoff for the thief, who couldn't have known that the rings were there, but now is the owner of a 1920s wedding band and a diamond solitaire.

So, we covered the window with a trash bag and waited for the glass people to come on Monday. It's nice that insurance completely covers glass--but it does help when the glass people bring the right glass. Yep, that's right--they brought the wrong window. Since we were their last customers of the day, they didn't have time to go back to get the right window. Thus we were stuck with having one more night of worrying that our car was open to the elements and crazy people.

They did come Tuesday afternoon, though not in time for me to take the car to my class at Brandeis. I took the bus--which is fine, I don't mind the bus--but the bus stops running at 3:30, and my class goes until 4. Supposedly, a Waltham shuttle takes over at 4, so I waited for that. When it drove up to the bus stop, the driver rolled down the window and told us that the bus was full. Now, my eyesight isn't that great, but I didn't need glasses to see that every one of the seats on the shuttle was empty. But the driver wouldn't let us on. So, I walked 40 minutes home.

Wednesday morning we got the news that Jay's grandfather had passed away. We spent the day with his family. Thursday was a bit of an odd day--I learned that there were layoffs at the Brandeis library, mostly affecting my old department, which lost several of the nicest people imaginable. I also got a raise (bright spot!) and learned some excellent but surprising news about a friend (another bright spot).

Friday was the wake. Wakes are never exactly a good time, but it was nice to see a lot of Jay's relatives that we don't often see. We had a really amusing conversation with Jay's great uncle about "CVS music," which is a phrase that will forever stick in my memory. My parents came, which was really nice, except that our bad luck rubbed off on them, and they got a flat tire in the funeral home parking lot. If you remember Friday, you'll remember that the nighttime temperature was below 0. Perfect!

However, we did get a sign that our luck was changing. While driving home on Friday night, a flash of whiteness caught our eyes--deer! There were three big beautiful deer on the side of the road. Jay slowed down and the deer stood still and we all stared at one another for a minute. It was a good omen, I think.

Saturday was the funeral, and afterward, lunch at Jay's aunt's house, which lifted everyone's spirits. So, we made it through the rest of the week without anything untoward happening. I'm extremely glad that there is a new week ahead of us. Now that things have (hopefully) settled down, I hope to return to photos for this blog. I've hardly been able to use the camera Josh gave us for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to playing with it.

Oh, and Grandad--I don't know if they have internet in the hereafter, but if you're reading this, you should know that Grandma's got it in for you. She told me that in return for you leaving her first, she was going to punch you out when she sees you next! You may want to locate a helmet when that day arrives.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Will Be Missed.....

Got some devastating news today. My grandfather passed this morning. A few days after New Years Day he had congestive heart failure and was in the hospital ever since. Things did not look good at the start. But his condition had improved since Friday. So much that he was removed from the respirator and was alert and talking to my mom and aunt. His first words when he woke up from his sedation were, "I Want to Go Home" as he and my grandmother had been up from Florida since a few days before Christmas visiting with the family. But early this morning his condition suddenly worsened and he passed away.

He was the best grandfather a boy could have. My childhood memories have so much to do with him. Let me share with you a few things that are on my mind.

First off, he was really funny. As a kid, I can remember camping with my grandparents and my brother in their motorhome. A highlight of my childhood. We would play Uno and he would have us rolling in laughter with his jokes and general demeanor. During breakfast he would proclaim, "I Never Have Coffee and Donuts for Breakfast!" This of course as he was enjoying coffee and donuts for his morning meal. I don't know why it struck us so funny, but it did. Again his sense of humor struck a chord with me. And he could tell. He kept that joke going even on this last visit. On the very same camping trip, it was his unfortunate sense of direction and his sharp wit that caused the infamous "We're Going to Boston" episode my Grandma will never live down. There are so many funny moments that escape my memory right now, but his humor stays with me.

He loved dogs. And dogs loved him. If it wasn't for him, we probably wouldn't have had our family dog that we cherished for so many years. Rusty was a stray and he took him in, picked the 30+ ticks that were all over his body, and definately convinced my parents (although i dont know if they'll admit it) to keep the dog. We were living with my grandparents at the time and when we moved out, Rusty missed my grandfather. Everytime we said "Grandpa is coming over!", the dogs ears would perk up and he would get excited. Recently, they rescued a dog Gizmo and he made the trip during the holidays. That dog LOVED him. The first few days he spent in the hospital, the dog would look out the window waiting for him to come back. At night, the little Gizmo would perch himself up on the bed looking for Grandpa. Even though Gizmo will be with our family or my grandmother, he wont ever have a better owner.

I'm happy the family got to spend the holidays with him. My little cousin Michaela counted down the hours to when her Papa and Grammy were going to arrive, and I'm so happy that he got to spend some of his last waking moments with her.

As I close this letter i'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this. It was a tough little piece of writing to get through as I sit in this coffee shop waiting to pass the time to meet with my family.

I hope you enjoy the picture. This is from me and Sarah's wedding day and it is one of my favorite photos of the day. He really enjoyed himself and the band. He danced more than us!

We love you, Grandpa.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Go-to Game

Nothing much new here. The semester starts next week so I've been scrambling to get syllabi done and lessons planned. However, there's always a little time for my favorite computer game:

This game is like Boggle, except that you score points for the length and rarity of your word. It's actually on the hard side--there are some people who must have mighty typing and language skills, and they skew the average (skew--remember that one for the game! It could come in handy!). This game fully satisfies my penchant for words and general dorkiness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Even though dates seem awfully arbitrary to me--numbers are imaginary, after all--I welcome the opportunity to set some goals, and the new year is a good excuse. This year I've got a few things in mind. I recently saw an article about how people fail at their resolutions because they make excuses, turning "wants" into "needs" (as in, "I need this candy bar because I've had a crappy day"). People also set goals that are too lofty or ambiguous ("I'm going to get healthy"). So here is my attempt to set attainable goals:

1. Eat sweets only after dinner. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious sweet tooth. In the interest of preserving my teeth and my insulin, I should probably cut back on the candy and cookies. That'll mean a serious overhaul of my breakfast habits, which involve many a donut and danish.

2. Take a class in something I've never done before. Scuba diving and African drumming are at the top of the list.

3. Keep a cleaner house. This one was Jay's idea for both of us. It's true that I am the world's worst housekeeper. I just can't bring myself to care about cleanliness and organization. However, I do care about Jay, and if this makes him happier, it makes me happier too. I wouldn't mind having clean clothes once in a while, either. So my attainable goal is this: clean something every day, whether it's doing a load of laundry or dishes or picking up the clutter in a room. (I can hear my mother now: "Good luck!" with accompanying eye roll.)

Some hopes for the new year, too:

1. Take a trip. Anywhere. Overseas preferred but not required. If we have to stay in the continental US, I pick New Orleans or Mount Rainier.

2. Play more music.

3. Have my family and friends keep their health and happiness.

ETA: I wrote this post on New Years' Day, and unfortunately, one of my hopes has already been dashed. Jay's grandfather had a heart attack on January 3rd--2009, you suck. My Memere also went into the emergency room the same day for something that turned out to be non-life-threatening, thank goodness. So I'd like to amend my #3 hope to say "Renewed health and happiness for my family and friends."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

You can call me Betty

A radio program about my favorite pop album:

Paul Simon talks about Graceland

Monday, January 5, 2009

Erin's new endeavor

I mentioned recently that I made a quilt for my mom for Christmas. The process was helped along considerably by my college roommates, Erin and Lauren, both of whom had made several quilts. Well, Erin has decided to take her quilting to the big time. She's started a website to sell her beautiful baby quilts. Check it out: .

This one is my favorite (picture is a little grainy because I suck at computers):
I'm totally impressed by her quilting prowess, especially now that I know how much work quilting is.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pup Cakes

For New Year's Eve, I took the opportunity to try my first batch of decorated cupcakes. I picked designs that didn't involve piping, since I don't feel too confident with that yet, but had multiple versions to try. The ingredients for the pup cakes were really easy to find, too. Here is how they came out:
From left to right: dalmation, chocolate lab, beagle, dachshund.

Sadly, the first three are not vegetarian, since their muzzles are made of marshmallow (underneath all that frosting). So I decided to make the dachshund also, which was the least cute in the book, but the only one without any marshmallow. He looks great in real life, though, and turned out to be my favorite.
The book (called Hello, Cupcake!) insists that all of the designs are easy enough for anyone. I agree that they were easy; however, they're very time-consuming. It took me three hours to make eight of them, though it was a fun three hours. Most of the time came from cutting the chocolate cookies (you can see the cookies on the dachshund's ears; they also make up all the dogs' mouths), and mixing frosting colors and loading bags. I couldn't find a good way to shape the cookies, which turned out to be the most annoying part. They tended to split in the wrong places. The book suggests popping them in the microwave for a couple of seconds to soften them, but that did nothing for me. The rest of the designs were easy. The ears for the beagle and lab are made of smooshed Tootsie Rolls, which was fun, and the pink tongues are squished Starburst.

I made two of each breed. Here is the whole dog park:
The book has a ton of really cute designs, so I hope you all like cupcakes, because that's what you're getting for your birthday!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jay's First Post - "Slumdog Millionaire"

Alright, alright! Since this blog is titled "The Provosts", and I am the "Provost-to-end-all-Provosts" I suppose I should be a part of it. Sarah has done a such a great job writing in this blog that I've been inspired to FINALLY jump on the bandwagon.

Just a forewarning, my writing style will be a little different from Sarah's. My posts may feature a little more "ranting and raving" than my better half. Oh, and as you will soon find out, she is a much better writer. My parents are always telling me how great "The Provosts" is and how much they love reading her entries.

Time for me to ruin it. Sorry honey.

On to my first posting.

Last night we went and saw the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" in Framingham. The theater was PACKED. Upon arrival to the lot we noticed there weren't any parking spots (which as you know is never a good sign.) We made the decision to drop Sarah off so she could get in line while I began my quest to get a spot. After about 1 minute of searching in the main lot I gave up and parked in the overflow lot across the street, which if you've never parked out there is quite a hike. I made my way towards the theater and was very surprised to see the crowds. It was so busy! I immediately glanced up to the marquis to see the other movies showing. I was confused. Other than the indie flick we were about to see, the theater was showing a lot of forgettable flicks. What was so exciting about this Friday night that so many people had to come out? It was so busy that there was a line to get into the door. I immediately became claustrophobic upon entering and quickly found Sarah who was almost at the front of the line thank god. Okay okay, onto the movie.

Did I mention it cost $4.25 for a medium soda?

Alright, the theater was packed! No buffer seats. A couple our age sat next to me, with the bearded husband to my right. They seemed normal. I remember his mom called him and i thought it peculiar to hear him say "Yeah Mom, we got in!"

Here is Yahoo's synopsis of the movie so I don't have to type it out.

"The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost. Each chapter of his story reveals the key to the answer to one of the game show's questions. Intrigued by Jamal's story, the jaded Police Inspector begins to wonder what a young man with no apparent desire for riches is really doing on this game show? When the new day dawns and Jamal returns to answer the final question, the Inspector and sixty million viewers are about to find out..."

Okay, back to me. The movie was great. It is drama in its best form. I'm not going to attempt to write my critique; so I won't tell you anything other than it provides you the full spectrum of emotions.

Here's what messed with my experience of the movie. THE GUY NEXT TO ME!

This guy was all over the place. He gasped "oh no!" loudly in every suspenseful scene, rocked back in forth in his seat during the tense moments, made the "awwww" sound in the film's tender scenes. He couldn't sit still. He kept bumping my leg with his. I even heard him crying.

Yeah...a grown man...with a public. He was acting ridiculous. I actually contemplated leaning over and saying something like, "Seriously dude, it's a movie. You'll be okay."

Don't get me wrong, there were scenes where I was on the edge of my seat and worried for the characters. But was I even close to tears? No way. If you are a man, and are crying so much that I can hear may need professional help.

So, in closing.....go see Slumdog Millionaire. Just move your seat if a bearded man sits next to you. Even if you need to sit in the front row.

Oh and to my Slumdog Millionaire neighbor,...if you are reading this.......

Shave your beard. You are a disgrace to bearded men everywhere.

Wait, maybe that's why my dad shaved his beard? Maybe it was the movie Braveheart that did it to him!

God no.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Highlights

Now for the obligatory "passing of the year" nostalgia. This year's highlights:

1. The Year of the Dissertation: I wrote almost the entire thing this year. All right! 2009 WILL see a graduation (perhaps not a job, but that's another story).
2. Milestones for friends: two weddings. Peter and Candice's was a hot but amazing day.
We didn't make it to Ricki and Fritz's (though we really, really wanted to), but we were there in spirit:
3. New activities: in a strange role-reversal, Jay took up a musical instrument and I took up a sport, both having to do with rock:

4. Family: a vacation with the Caissies and some great parties with both families were definite highlights.

5. Trips with friends: Camping and Mt. Washington was my favorite part of the summer.
In November, I also went with my college friends to the Cape for a crafty weekend. I've refrained from posting these pictures, since I was making a quilt for my parents for Christmas, but now I can post them. One table, five sewing machines:
Little Rory was a great distraction from Hemming Hypnosis:
They'll probably hate me for posting them in their PJs, but here is everyone with their almost-finished projects on Sunday morning:
6. Home: where my two favorite favorites are. Favorite 1:
And my favorite favoritest of all:
Happy 2009!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Part 3

Christmas morning started with Dad's famous pancakes. He makes them with Crisco--mmm, hydrogenated oils!--and chocolate chips, which make them possibly the worst thing you can eat. But they're ridiculously good, golden and crispy. I had a mini to start out with:
After breakfast was gifts at the Caissies'. Jay gave me a pennywhistle and a ukulele, just in case we ever want to have a Leprechaun Luau. Josh gave us the best regift ever--his digital camera. So our blog is back in business (and it is a super camera, too).

After Caissie Christmas, we split up. Jay and I went to his Uncle Bob and Aunt Linda's and the other Caissies went to Auntie Sue's. I was a little out-of-sorts until after dinner--I was so tired. We took a short post-dinner nap and I perked up, but forgot to take pictures. My mom took some at Sue's of the kids:
Jay and I gave Peter this Auto Garage (which I hope lasts more than two days--it wasn't very expensive). Apparently Emmy liked it too and turned it into a ladder for her dolls, saying "up up up up! Down down down down!" over and over.
After both of these gatherings, Jay and the Caissies headed over to cousin Kayla's for a few minutes (Christmas number 3), then Jay and I went back to Mom and Dad Provosts for Provost Christmas. There we did the stocking swap (Dad Provost did an impressive job on mine this year!) and other gifts. Mom and Dad Provost gave me some cake decorating supplies and a book on decorating cupcakes, which I think opened up a door that will result in everyone I know gaining at least ten pound from eating all of my creations. The book is super cool.

I only took one picture there (I was too busy playing my pennywhistle):
After Christmas number 4, Jay and I went back to the Caissies' and crashed.