Saturday, October 3, 2009

flying high




I am currently on a flight from Cleveland to New Orleans (work conference) and writing a blog. How awesome is technology? Granted I won't be able to post until landing but I just love this new phone!

Here's a shot of the tiny plane I'm on. The row set up is 1 seat - aisle - 2 seats; definitely one of the smallest planes I've been on... so far a smooth flight but it still makes me slighty nervous. I love me a 747!



Friday, October 2, 2009

love and hate relationship

Just spent some time writing a blog on my new phone. Then managed to delete the whole thing. Awesome. Ah well. Blogging on the go should be fun, regardless.

PS Does this thing have spell check? I don't think so. Please don't judge me too harshly in the near future.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

miss you


I spent some time the other night looking through old videos and photos from grad school and my heart ached, literally, over how much I miss it. It's funny, because even while I was there I knew how lucky I was to be there and tried to make the most of every moment and not take any of it for granted. Of course there were many times I did take it for granted, but I think for the most part I really did appreciate my time there.

I miss sitting around a kitchen table playing Bendy Bob Taboo (it's an actual game, get your mind out of the gutter!) wtih Malin, Evi and Manuela and explaining to my non-native English friends what a 'pigeon hole' was.

I wish for more nights spending endless hours sitting on my bed with Brenda and a cup of tea talking about everything and nothing - we really thought we had it all figured out! Of course there was also the Bones/SVU/Grey's rituals we looked so forward too!

I often think of many evenings laughing with Paul over our different pronunciations of words and a particular moment when I found him hiding in our hallway water closet and it clearly made sense I should join him there for a secret conversation.

I recall fondly when I decided that I wasn't going to miss Thanksgiving dinner two years in a row and was going to make it in my flat for my friends. The idea was quite popular and before I knew it 16 people were coming... and I'd NEVER cooked a Thanksgiving dinner in my life! But (at the time vegetarian) Paul helped baste the turkey, Brenda asked her parents to send us canned pumpkin to make pumpkin pie (some things just aren't to be found in the UK) and everyone had a great time and helped out!

I miss the classes and discussions and even the late night homework pow-wows where we all tried to convince each other it was normal to spend hours on Facebook as a distraction even though we all had a huge essay due the next day. I even laugh about the fire alarm going of for the millionth time in the middle of the night, standing outside half asleep while Erin clung desperately to her laptop for fear that if the building burned down, with it would go her dissertation. Mine on the other hand was saved in so many different places I couldn't even keep track of which was the most updated version.

I miss the bus, ASDA, Wagamama, the Litten Tree and Starbucks at Borders. I miss my Swedish pear cider from The Moon in the Square and oogling the Brad Pitt lookalike at O'Neills. I remember fondly our group going to the midnight Harry Potter release and not being the least bit ashamed that we were all well into our 20s, grad students, and able and willing to jostle with any kid who got in our way of us and book 7.

I miss Bournemouth, London, England, all of it. I love Boston and everything here. But gosh, I really miss those times, those friends, those memories.

Love you guys!




Tuesday, June 23, 2009

blogging blog

You know, blogs are pretty amazing. It allows us to keep up on the lives of those we love, keep others posted about ourselves... My friend Monica is about to embark on an amazing adventure to Sydney, Australia and I'll get to read all about it in her blog! So great! :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

finding time I never lost in the first place

We had some people over tonight for a BBQ (thanks Heather and Kelly for putting it all together!) One of our friends who joined us was Betsy, and she said something that I found quite interesting and have been musing over all evening (and clearly on into the late hours).

We were talking about the guy she's dating and she mentioned how they were compatible in many ways, one of which was their strong desires for neatness and organization. This statement was slightly embarrassing to me as we were sitting in my rather cluttered room huddled around my laptop (we were Facebook stalking aforementioned guy). Now I don't consider myself a slob by any means but I've got this habit in which my clothes and other items from the week don't really make it where they need to go and sort of end up in a pile on my bedroom floor. Typically, Saturday rolls to my rescue and I take the time to straighten everything out, feel relieved about the retrieved order in my life, and swear to myself it won't happen again. (rinse, wash, REPEAT it seems to go)

I know you're really reading to see what Betsy's wisdom was and probably don't care much about the state of my room (or you've seen it and are laughing at my clutter understatement). I said to Betsy in excuse of my bombshell, 'I just don't really have time during the week... how do you find the time?' And she said 'It isn't about finding the time, it's just about doing it. It's something that needs to get done, and you do it. Like working out - you don't 'find time', it's just one of the things you do.'

Now working out isn't really a good analogy for me because it is also one of those things I categorize into 'finding time' for, along with managing my room and other life affairs. But this brought me back to a conversation I had with a friend long ago who hadn't finished college and was just amazed that I'd (along with many of our other friends) been able to do it. She said to me 'You're so smart and so dedicated... I just can't seem to get through it. How do you do it? How do you find time?' and I answered 'It's not an option... it's just something I knew I had to do so I did it. I never stopped to think of the alternative.' I think for many of us who've finished our undergrad... did we ever really think 'What if I just didn't do this?'' No. We just did it because we were going to do it.

I guess that's the sort of attitude Betsy carries with her in the smaller things in life, like staying organized and working out. They shouldn't be things that you 'find time for', they should be things that we just DO. They are things that make our lives better - so why would there be any alternative? Because wouldn't the alternative be to continue doing the things that make our lives harder, like staying cluttered, not making healthy life-style choices, etc?

It seems I've been looking to find time that I've always had, I've just allowed myself to chose alternative things in which to fill up said time. Because some days (even some weeks most days) I have the time to do the things that make my life better. I suppose now it's all about recognizing my flawed thinking and working on resetting it. Keeping organized is not an option. Running is not an option. Saving money is not an option. They are all MUSTS. And so on and so forth...

Monday, April 27, 2009

mental, that one

As I begin my second week endeavor into becoming a runner (or at the very least someone worthy of her 2008-summer, barely used but purchased $$ Nike shoes) I'm coming to realize how mental running is. No, I'm not talking about mental as in crazy (though I do think that at times as I pound up a hill or dodge an oblivious motorist), but mental as in mind-games. Running is a lot more about overcoming mental obstacles than I ever gave it credit for. On the flipside, my body is a lot stronger than I ever give IT credit for; it is my mind that holds me back while my body struggles to push me forward.

I went running outside on Sunday and I think it is probably the first time ever, in my entire life, that I can say I ENJOYED running. As in I felt happy, motivated, and wanted to KEEP going. I woke up that morning feeling energetic, optimistic... like I could take over the world. While world-domination still alludes me, I decided to take my energy out for a 3.5 mile trek. Granted, I didn't run the whole thing, but I checked distances later and it turns out I went 2 miles before I allowed myself to walk. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me! I just kept saying to myself 'okay body, you can make it to that fire hydrant' or 'you can make it to that tree' or better yet 'you can make it to that bar on the corner of Cleveland Circle'. (too bad it was a Sunday at 10am!)

Probably the best part was the last 1/4 mile - I was coming down the hill and this old guy (we're talking 80 years old) was walking on a cross street and saw me coming. He gave me a wave, a thumbs up, and an air-pump with his old fist, topped off with a huge grin. I've never felt so encouraged!

So I'm on my way - I've got a long way to go but I'm making progress. I ran tonight when I got home and only did 2 miles, but I'm doing what I can, and am finally actually enjoying it for once in my life. Not only the exercise, but the mental change that I've discovered comes with it.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

the destination of this train is: running. no smoking please.

I want to become a runner. Now I'm not talking the Boston Marathon (26.2 miles? You have GOT to be kidding me). But I would like to be a competent runner - to be able to head out the door and run 4-5 miles without dying, without walking for that matter, and maybe even with some enjoyment.

I've been spending some time online looking at training programs and suggestions for beginning runners - and when I say beginning I really mean it. I don't think I could run one mile without walking; not yet, anyway. I 'ran' yesterday for 30 minutes and really only made it a little over 2 miles. That's just sad.

But that's why I'm writing it out here - goals are useless if never accomplished and I feel like publicly stating it will actually make me stick with my goal of true physical fitness for once in my life (well since my HS swimming days, that is).

If you have any good running tips, I would love to hear them.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

remounting the wagon

Okay, I've been blog-quiet for the last several weeks even though there have been several occasions where I say to myself (or even out loud to my friends) "I'm going to blog about this!" Such topics have included but are not limited to:

1) Locksmith-scam debacle
2) Night out when Alina was here and ensuing conversations
3) The Truman Show aka Brighton Center
4) 4 year old girl hates the B-line too

All of these topics, and others, would be good subjects for a future blog and may appear.

Tonight though, as I get ready for another week, I'm determined to not let this week pass me by in a blur as the last several have. I seem to be rolling from week to week with no significant progress or change in life and it is starting to get to me.

Things I WILL accomplish this week:
1) Will make it to the gym at least 4 days out of 7.
2) Will be careful to not over-indulge on any of the following: cookies, candy, coffee or wine. Okay, maybe a little bit of over-indulgence is acceptable when it comes to coffee... I'm not a saint!
3) Make some movement on the Foreign Services business.
4) Force myself out of my routine by doing something or going somewhere new. Friday night looks like the best possibility for this as Saturday night is Relay for Life. Any joiners?
5) Spend some time over the weekend FINISHING the organization of my room.
6) Continue blogging.

I've just started using Google Calendar and it is pretty amazing. I'm hoping it will help me to accomplish these goals and also remember birthdays as the Facebook layout is all now befuddled and birthday reminders aren't slapping me in the face.

Okay, bed time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

growing pains

Heather and I were riding the T together the other day, only mildly irritated about barely going 5mph down Comm Ave. I think it was a day we had resigned ourselves to the glorious pursuit of excellence the MBTA is always striving for. Boston subway stories are another post, perhaps even an entire blog, in and of itself, however. Anyway, as we're crawling along, she asks me, "Do you think we'll ever feel grown up?"

I sort of shrugged, non-committal, as I wasn't able to conjure the brain power to provide any semblance of an intriguing response as my thoughts fleeted a million directions elsewhere. But since she's said it, I've been thinking of it sporadically the past few days. Then today, I was poking around on MySpace and was looking at the page of my younger cousin who is just in middle school. She had quotes and sayings about how she and her best friend, regardless of what life brings them, will be friends forever. She also discusses her hopes, dreams and desires while a hauntingly beautiful song called 'Almost Lover' plays in the background.

Now the cynical side of my brain, which seems to take full possession of my mind on weekday nights during the approximate hours of 7pm - 10pm began to disregard her musings and epithets as naive. I also spent time contemplating on how, at the age of 13, she is too young to be experiencing such desires and emotions.

I'm not really willing to rescind the latter opinion (no 13 year old girl should be talking about broken hearts and missed life loves) but what about her naivete? I believed, as I imagine most young girls do, in life-long best friends and dreams of things never changing. But we grow up. Circumstances change. WE change and outgrow friendships and relationships. We find new friendships, lovers, dreams, desires, all the while we're growing up. But when do we reach the final destination?

Perhaps there is no final destination. As humans we are always growing, changing, evolving. Perhaps Darwin was onto something that spans beyond the scientific. We always look back at younger versions of ourselves thinking If only I had known then what I know now or How innocent/naive/ignorant I was. But is that so bad? If being "grown up" is some sort of destination, what happens when we get there? Do we stop changing, learning, evolving?

If that's the case, then I hope I never grow up. But if being grown up is about learning from mistakes, evolving into what is hopefully a better person with the chance to fulfill my dreams and perhaps even assist others in doing the same, then I hope I can feel grown up every day for the rest of my life.

So my dear friend Heather, I suppose that is my long-winded answer to your relatively short question. Perhaps it is best I did not provide it the other day, though with as long as the T takes, we would have had time to discuss it twice over. ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

wait wait.... don't tell me...

No, this isn't going to be a blog about the amazing NPR show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me which you can subscribe to free of charge via iTunes. If you've never listened to it I recommend you do so right away. Podcasts are amazing little buggers, aren't they?

This blog is more about dating and is connected to the movie (and by association the book) He's Just Not That Into You. So, if you plan on seeing it and haven't yet, you may want to stop here. Spoiler Alert. Though nothing that ends up happening is far off from what you will actually guess, all on your own, about 1/3 into the movie.

The main character of the movie, Gigi, is a far cry from normal. Now most of us women who have been in the dating scene for any fraction of our lives have experienced our own ability to justify, irrationally, men's actions; the obsession with waiting for the phone to ring or the text to come; and of course the desire to do random 'drive by's' of the places we know a particular interest may or may not be located. For most of us though, we left the completely crazy back in pre-Millennium (read: high school) and only have an occasional visit with her less hormonal sister 'slightly crazy'.

Yes, as women, we have a tendency to overlook signals men give us, dissect the little things that could potentially mean he's into us and use those bits to overshadow the more obvious signs: he's not calling, he's dating other women, he's not calling, he keeps losing your number, etc. But what about Gigi? She writes a script (a script?! that's when a good friend intervenes, not sits down with you to pen the damn thing) to leave a voice mail. A voice mail for a guy she went on one date with and hasn't heard back from. A voice mail that ends terribly as the script gets stumbled over and results in quite an embarrassing display of inappropriate bumbling about who knows what. It is too painful to remember.

But amongst Gigi's overly desperate attempts to find love, she meets this guy Alex who lays it all out for her - if he's not calling, if he's not asking you out again, if he's making excuses - HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU. Seems simple enough.

But what about Alex? As the movie progresses, my roommate and I leaned conspiratorially together, whispering about how we can see (obviously) that Alex is falling for Gigi. I mean all the signs are there, right? He's making excuses to see her. He's calling her out of the blue. It's so obvious.

Well Gigi comes to the same conclusion, and while I like to believe that I, and pretty much all of the single women I know (and the taken ones too, for that matter) would be suave enough to handle it a bit more gracefully than she does, she puts herself out there, based on the 'signals' provided by Alex, and gets rejected hardcore. Alex says she made all the signals up in her mind; essentially she's crazy. Gigi leaves embarrassed.

Here's problem number one. From an outside perspective, we thought he was into her too. It wasn't as if we were the friends coddling her to make her feel better (but ultimately set her up for failure). We believed as the faithful audience, based on the evidence provided, he was totally into her. Turns out he was, but that he was too scared or didn't realize it until she confronted him or some baloney.

So this leads to problem two: per the mantra of the book/movie, women shouldn't pursue men. Men know what they want and they'll do whatever it takes to get what they want and they prefer to be the pursuers. But according to this outcome, Gigi either misread the signals, or correctly read the signals but had to put herself out there (cause Alex wasn't making the first move) to get what she wanted.

So wait wait... don't tell me. What is it we're suppose to do? And what is with all the rules and games and ridiculousness? Why does this whole dating mess have to be so complicated?

So please, DO tell me - what are the right rules for dating? Because me, and many of the friends I know, would like to figure it out so we can play the game. For real.

Monday, February 16, 2009

revitalization?

I used to love blogging. I really only did it on MySpace previously as a way of staying in touch with friends that were long ways away while I was living in England, both during the first and last stint.

Thinking about writing a blog now is strange. Who would care to read it? I have no idea. Who could read it? Anyone, really - people I have been friends with forever, people I've been friends with for a shorter time, people I work with, my family, people who don't even like me. So much of writing is about taloring it to your targeted audience. In a personal blog, who is the targeted audience? Maybe it is me, maybe it is simply my stream of consciousness, something that allows me to do one of the things I love so much (writing) and something that helps my mental well-being (rambling out loud).

So maybe I will revitalize the use of the blog. Maybe people will read it. Maybe they won't. Maybe this will be a one-time thing I do late at 2am on a Saturday night because I'm awake and can't sleep for all the things tumbling around in my mind, those things which I KNOW the only audience privy to such musings is myself and not for the greater world wide web. Maybe I need to find a synonym to maybe and also limit the use of my run-on sentences... yeah.

Well if you're reading, thanks. If you're bored or you think this is ridiculous, that's fine too.