Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First Hair Cut

Well, it's not really my very first haircut, but today was the first time I cut my own hair (deliberately. And not in defiance of my mother telling me not to. And not to get gum out or anything either)! I've been meaning to get my hairs cut (not just one hair cut, of course) for a while. I don't mind having really long hair, but in the winter when it's windy my hair blows all over the place. And since it's curly, the dry, wispy ends get caught in all sorts of things: zippers and buttons as I pull on my coat, my purse straps, pillows (when I'm laying down), Taylor, other people's hands/sleeves/buttons on their coats. But the only lady who's ever cut my very curly (and unruly) hair lives in my hometown in CA and I haven't had time to see her the last few times T and I have visited my parents. So I got to thinking: if my hair is so curly and you can't really tell that it's uneven in the first place, why can't I just cut it myself? So that's what I did. I combed it out the way the haircut lady always did (wet, of course, since it'd be ridiculous to try to comb through my hair and cut it when it's dry) and snip, snip, snip! There was a small handful of curly hairs in the bathroom sink. I asked T if my hair was noticeably uneven in the back, and he said no. Then I asked him if he wanted to keep my cut hairs and make them into a ring (like Gimli did with the three hairs Galadriel gave him), but he said no to that too. So I just threw them out. It was kind of exciting! :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

Right back at ya! A response to an old friend

I am so glad I called! It was simply delightful to talk to you and to catch up a bit and listen to your troubles. (I need to remember that the time difference is only an hour (not the west-coast-three-hour difference I'm used to considering).) I, too, am grateful for your friendship! T & I treasure your and your husband's friendship more than most since we were all friends before anyone got married... it's a friendship that has grown and changed all together. We are, in many ways, the same, which brings us closer: in our faith, in our troubles, in our hopes for the future, our dreams for our children. I feel as though I could tell you anything and you would understand. I can talk to you about my philosopher husband and you can laugh right along with me. You're right--their dreams and aspirations are (mostly) quite worth trying (the nudist colony T thought up never quite appealed to me), even if they do change monthly, weekly, daily or.. sometimes hourly :) You were in our prayers all day that you would have a better day and that Alexander would smile more for you! I am touched that you remembered us in prayer as well--the closest link for friends far apart. Someday I hope we can live closer again. Someday I hope we can both have little girls named Lucy who can play together. Someday, I hope I can make you some coconut chicken soup when you're feeling sick and can babysit for you when you need some time off. And maybe someday our children will marry each other--who knows?! a little something from your wedding: O God, our God, You came to Cana in Galilee, and blessed the marriage there; now bless Your servants who through Your providence are united in the common life of marriage. Bless the daily course of their life; fill their life with good things; and accept their crowns into Your kingdom, keeping them pure, blameless and above reproach forever.

R. Amen.


Well, it's snowing today. The weather forecast says it should snow between 4-8 inches by late tonight. It's very exciting to have snow on the ground in February--I don't think that's ever happened anywhere I've lived. The funny thing is, this Monday was positively spring-ish! It was a balmy 55 degrees and the sun was shining.. Tuesday and Wednesday, though, were very clear, but pretty cold and I was silly enough to leave my scarf and gloves behind when I went to work. Brrr.... And today we have snow! :) Gotta love the east coast. Another few weeks of sweaters, boots, warm pants, and scarves before spring comes, I guess. And, another great part about today is that, since it's snowing so "heavily," I can leave work early instead of having to stay till 5. It's a beautiful winter-wonderland-world!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Of Ginger Tea and Ireland...

If I ask T to get me something at the store on his way home from work or class, eggs for instance, he won't settle for getting only one dozen eggs. Oh no, he shops just like his father :) He buys at least two dozen, maybe three or four. I guess he figures that if I'm asking him to get some, I must be completely out; and if I'm completely out, I must need a lot of whatever-it-is. So I asked him to get me a ginger root to grate into our favorite soup: coconut chicken soup. He comes home with two ginormous ginger roots... Like a good wife, I've been steadily trying to use the abundance of ginger root, but it's Lent now, so we don't have chicken soup as often as we did a month ago. Therefore, I make ginger tea. I cut the ginger into chunks and grate it into hot water (one teaspoon per cup is about right). AND! I discovered today that fresh ginger tea is delicious with a spoonful of sugar (or honey!). I had a whole pot of sweet ginger tea all to myself while I was cleaning up the house and it was wonderful. It was only more wonderful because, as I was bustling around cleaning, I had put on the movie Waking Ned Divine. If you've not seen it, I highly recommend it. Not only is it filmed in Ireland (which is beautiful), with a great (and hilarious) cast, but it's a fantastic story without any violence, sex, drugs (there is alcohol, though), or any of the nail-biting drama so common to movies these days. It's simply a delightful story. It got me thinking about Ireland and how I want to visit there someday. T is thinking about applying to a PhD program in Ireland (well, Ireland and one school on just about every other continent... except Antarctica, I guess). Everything about that small island is intriguing to me.. the music (both their instruments and their voices), the mythology, the people, the language, and the accent! I can totally see us living there for a year or three while my husband goes to school. I'd love to have little Irish babies who says "mummy" instead of "mommy" :) Just a thought, though. Part of being a philosopher's wife is the joyful six-year-old-ness of your spouse. This week he may want to study in Ireland, next week he may want to get a law degree from Stanford in CA. Who knows what may come in the future. And since the future will be full of good byes, no matter where we go or what T finally discerns he should do, I'll leave you with these words from an Irish folk song: My dearest dear, the time draws near when here no longer can I stay There's not a comrade I leave behind, but is grieving for my going away. But since it has so ordered been what is once past can't be recalled Now fill to me the parting glass, good night and joy be with you all!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bathroom Remodel Pictures

Here are some pictures of our bathroom remodel. It was quite an adventure, and we're very happy with the way things turned out. We are, however, also very glad that it's DONE!

Shrimp Potato Soup

Soups are one of my favorite things to make--ever. I think I may even like making soups more than cakes or breads.. if only for the fact that they're so easy to get right. Also, they're incredibly versatile. I had a myriad of ingredients and I was craving potato soup, so I came up with the following: 3 potatoes 2 garlic cloves (minced) fish stock 6 oz. cream cheese frozen shrimp herbs (I used parsley and bay leaves) enough water to cover potatoes for boiling The process of making the soup is a bit specific, but I'm sure you could mix it up depending on what type of soup you're going for. Boil potatoes and garlic in water and fish stock until tender. Turn off heat. Add cream cheese in small chunks and blend well. Add frozen shrimp, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot and let sit for about 10 minutes (or however long it takes the soup to warm the shrimp all the way through). You should be careful when reheating this soup as the shrimp can be over-cooked very easily and then become tough. ------- Now, another beautiful thing about this soup, like most potato soups, is that you can put almost anything else in it and it still tastes good! We had soup leftover from the first batch so I used it on leftover night. I had lots of other leftovers too: one baked potato, one serving pasta shells in a fish-sauce, two green onions, and one small bit of sun-dried tomato cheddar-type cheese. So, I did the natural thing one does with a soup and chopped and mixed everything together. It turned out wonderfully and we ate it with some fresh bread. Yay for leftovers!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rice Cereal

It's amazing how smells and certain foods can conjure up memories or emotions from the past. Some say that memories of scent are the strongest... I remember in college once, during "campaign week" (the campaign for student government, that is), I was walking to class in the cool of the early morning and smelled the spray paint on the bed sheet campaign-posters. The cold combined with the spray paint reminded me of:

Yes... that probably sounds a little weird. But one of the aspects of the holiday season when I was growing up was Momma's ceramic nativity sets which she always made for the parish holiday bazaar. We would help base-coat the pieces and then she would seal them (with a clear spray-paint-like sealer). Then she would antique them (somewhat like wood stain which is wiped off so the cracks and crevices of the figure are highlighted) and seal them again. The she would add the detail to the pieces and... seal them again. So the spray-paint smell was a big factor in our Christmas preparations.

This morning for breakfast we had a delightfully nostalgic dish--rice cereal. It's very simple:

1-2 cups leftover cooked rice
cinnamon sugar to taste

But eating it this morning brought back a lot of fun memories for me from childhood. 'Course, T and I used brown rice instead of white rice (because T likes it better), and we used raw milk instead of pasteurized milk.. but it was still delicious :) It reminded me of late evening snacks before going to bed, which reminded me of Mexican hot chocolate after a late-night summer dip in the pool, which reminded me of so many more fun memories (like playing barbies all day and waking up in the morning to keep playing all day again).

How good it is to have senses! How good it is to enjoy and experience the world in such a concrete, tangible way; to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste God's goodness. Being Catholic, sensory experience has always been an important part of my life. I was taught to watch for important signs at Church. I learned to recognize that certain music meant certain things. I smelled the incense at Mass and knew this was something special. At the Kiss of Peace I always wanted to shake everyone's hand (what sociable little kid doesn't?). The simple taste of the Eucharist is a familiar comfort which so often reminds me of my very first Holy Communion.

My thought for the day, then, is this: God gave us bodies for a reason. Through them we are called to know, experience, and understand the world around us. Many people will tell you not to leave your brain at the door of a church (as in: use your powers of reason in faith too). I'd like to add to that: don't leave your body there either.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cold Morning...

It's chilly in Boston today! It was a whopping 16 degrees this morning, but with wind chill it feels like -2. There's a wind advisory in effect until 3 this afternoon: "windy with gusts up to 50 mph" Now, having been raised in a desert where we routinely get gusts up to 75 mph, the wind is nothing new. But the COLD! T and I walked to the car today to drive to work and my eye balls were cold! When we finally got to the car the handle was frozen (so frozen, in fact, that T's door wouldn't shut without much coaxing). I wore two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, and three shirts along with a coat, scarf, gloves, and ear muffs. (I guess that's why only my eye balls were cold.) All day in my office the wind howled outside my window (trying to get in, no doubt) and I had to turn on my little space heater under my desk (I like to rest my feet on it. Sometimes it makes me sleepy... ahh....). They were chopping down trees outside, too (Orcs...), because they had been broken by the wind last night (I assume). But now it's almost three and the wind is calming down a bit. On my way home from work I didn't even have to wear my bright green leather gloves or ear muffs. And all in all, I still love the winter! I don't mind the cold as long as I don't feel cold. It's an adventure!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

February 6, 2008 - Thoughts on Ash Wednesday from a Byzantine

Having been raised Roman Catholic, I am most familiar with the Roman traditions for Lent. However, in my limited exposure to the Byzantine rite, I have noticed differences of emphasis between the two rites. For instance, Great Lent, in the Byzantine church is sometimes called "The Season of Alleluias" because of the increased frequency of Alleluias in the liturgies. The idea, I assume, is this: although we fast, we do so with the knowledge of the Resurrection. Whereas in the Roman rite, the Alleluia is removed entirely from Mass to remind us of the season of preparation. Instead, we say, "Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory" before the Gospel. Another example that comes to mind is the services which begin the period of fasting. For Byzantines, Great Lent begins two days before Ash Wednesday (because we count the days of Lent differently), on "Clean Monday" (the Monday after Forgiveness Vespers (the evening of Cheesefare Sunday)). During this first week of Lent (I am not sure what day, specifically), there is a service called the Anointing of the Spiritual Athlete. One is anointed with oil to give strength for the period of fasting--physically (so that one can fast and abstain) and spiritually (to resist temptation and to grow ever closer to God). In the Roman rite, though, the ashes which are distributed are the ashes of the palms from last year's Palm Sunday (on the first day of Lent we are already reminded of Jesus' passion). The priest makes the sign of the cross with the words, "Remember that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return." It is a reminder of our unworthiness and the need to remain humble. It is a mark of faith, of penance, and, most importantly, hope: we are only dust, and yet God had died for us. One other very interesting contrast is the type of liturgies celebrated during Lent. In the Roman Church, there is only one day of the entire year on which no Mass is celebrated--Good Friday, when there is a communion service. I have always found this custom very beautiful because the Holy Mysteries were, in that sense, eternal. Somewhere, every day, every hour, Mass is celebrated. It also makes Good Friday that much more barren because of the knowledge that Mass is not celebrated ANYWHERE. However, in the Byzantine rite, because Great Lent is such a penitential season, Divine Liturgy (which is a very joyous celebration of Christ's Resurrection) is not celebrated at all during the week. On Wednesdays and Fridays during this period, the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is celebrated, very much like a Roman communion service. Here, bread that was consecrated on Sunday is used, to which unconsecrated wine is added (the consecrated bread is (understandably) stale by the middle of the week). During this service there is much profound bowing (prostration), crossing oneself, asking for mercy, kneeling, kissing of icons, and, of course, incense. **Funny story: my first time attending the Presanctified Liturgy I received a particularly hard piece of consecrated bread. (I almost thought it was a rock.) I was eventually successful in slowly (so as not to hurt my teeth) chewing and consuming Christ's Body. Afterwards, T told me that, when he and his siblings were younger, they thought that those extra hard pieces were "Jesus' bones, because it's Lent." For some reason, that was quite comic and it was hard for me NOT to laugh as Liturgy concluded....** **Another funny story (or two): When T's family was first attending Byzantine litugries, one of the first ones they attended was Presanctified. Like good Catholics, they were closely following the book to understand what was going on. Meanwhile, the whole congregation steps out of their pews to prostrate themselves. When T's dad looked up from the book, the whole church was empty! and his first thought was: "Oh no, the Rapture, and I wasn't taken!" # 2 - T's younger sisters (Lydia and Caellainne) are participating more and more in the Liturgy. Caellainne (1) thinks it's hilarious when everyone lies down on the floor for profound bows and chuckles to herself whenever they do.. "heh heh.." Lydia (4) thinks that it's fun to do profound bows, especially when she can lay down on top of Daddy's back ("But Daddy, it's so cold in here and you're so warm!")... It's nice to have kids around to remind us that God has a sense of humor, too!** John Paul II said, in speaking about the Orthodox and the Catholic churches, "We must breathe with both lungs, the East and the West." I think this applies very truly (if not more aptly) to the Roman rite and the Byzantine rite Catholic churches.

Jan 7, 2008 - Taking down the Christmas Tree

I un-decorated our first Christmas tree last night; un-hooked all our pretty (and not-so-pretty) ornaments from the drying-up branches, took our new angel off the top and boxed her carefully away. I took the garland off and slowly un-twined the lights; leaving just an ordinary, bare, dark, no-longer-fragrant douglas fir tree, shedding its needles onto our floor as it slowly dies. If that sounds sad, it's supposed to. Un-decorating our tree (or darkening it, to put it another way) got me thinking about the liturgical year and how it all flows so naturally, so cyclically... The liturgical year (for the Byzantines) begins September 1st, just before the Nativity of the Theotokos, the God-Bearer. Fall is a season of abundance, of collecting and storing up. Advent arrives: the joyful, excited anticipation of a beautiful Birth which spells our salvation; the gifts, the shining lights and bright colors; the goodies and parties and family and friends. The liturgies! laying out prophecies and bolstering our hope for new life! Then there's Christmas itself--that holy, hushed, hallowed holiday where the world is wrapped in winter, sleeping.. waiting for the spring. There, in that cold time, is the warm welcoming of the Christ Child. In the midst of our darkness, He came to give us life and light. Why do Christmas trees have lights on them in the first place? don't they shine to symbolize Christ? The feast of Christmas builds and builds until Epiphany, when wise men from the East do homage to the humble and glorious Child. (In the Byzantine rite, this is also the feast of the Theophany of our Lord: Christ's baptism in the Jordan where God is revealed as Trinity. It is the beginning of Jesus' public ministry and the end of his sheltered (normal, comfortable, family-oriented) life in Nazareth.) But after Christmas, after the goodies are gone and people go back to work (and to school), the world is still shrouded in winter. There are no approaching holidays to warm our hearts as we feel the weather grow colder and colder. There is another season of preparation approaching and we do not remain in our Christmas-y festivity for very long. The Byzantine tradition is to use the trunk of the Christmas tree to fashion a cross, which will be used during the 6 weeks of Lent (similar to an Advent Wreath). From the Birth of Christ to the Death of Christ... Lent arrives. This season of fasting and prayer, in the Byzantine rite, is very austere. Strict fasts include abstaining from all meat and dairy for the full 6 weeks (occasionally eating fish) (there are less-strict fasts, of course, and pregnant or nursing mothers are always excused from fasting). The Church is un-decorated, the songs are sadder, and Divine Liturgy is not celebrated during the week (it's called the Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified Gifts). There is lots of kneeling, bowing, and prostration. And so, although the feast we are preparing for during Lent is a greater feast than Christmas, the preparation is all the more harsh because of Our Lord's Passion--without which we would not have the Resurrection. That, for me, is the major difference between Advent and Lent. Advent is a small child with shining eyes, looking forward to a grand celebration; a beautiful young mother swelling with life waiting with awe-full anticipation for her time of delivery. Lent is a penitent with ashes on his face. Lent is someone who knows he must die with Christ in order to rise with Him. But there IS Easter!! There IS life after death! Every time I think about Easter I get excited and my heart flutters a little bit. If Lent is especially austere in its preparatory spirit, Easter is especially joyous for that preparation and for the glory of God in Christ! Lent is 6 weeks long, but the Easter Season is 7 weeks. Life has conquered death.
"O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed. Christ is risen and the tomb is emptied of the dead: for Christ, being risen from the dead, has become the Leader and Reviver of those who had fallen asleep. To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen." St. John Chrysostom Easter Homily
And the year begins again... waiting for Christ to be born into our hearts and live in our midst to save us from our sins so that we may rise with Him on the last day.

Friday, February 8, 2008

December 13, 2007 - Of Egg Nog, Christmas Trees, and Colored Lights

It's only 12 days to Christmas (I have a countdown on my Google homepage), and I find myself feeling like a little kid again! I have always loved Christmas, but my favorite parts of the Holiday and the Season have changed over the years, and rightly so. But the anticipatory excitement is still there...
I remember working on presents for my parents in "secret" (didn't they always know what we were getting them though?) and teasing them about what a surprise it would be on Christmas morning when we all opened our gifts. Watching the presents under the tree multiply as packages arrived from friends and family and as we finished our presents (we even counted how many we had, occasionally). I still get a thrill making surprises for family, for T, and for our friends! There were the Kris Kringle presents which appeared on our pillow in the morning or on the dining room table next to the Advent Wreath. Singing "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" around the lighted purple candles with all our different voices "making a joyful noise" waiting for Jesus' birth. The Advent paper chains made in school--brought home to tear off one link per day and do the "good deed" listed on the inside. I remember the annual Christmas Pagent which our Catholic school put on and how I (and everyone) always wanted to be a main character in the tableau. I remember the Christmas Eve children's mass where all the CCD kids got to act out the Gospel reading with much pomp and circumstance. After the Mass, my family would all pile into the car and take a "scenic" route home looking at Christmas lights, singing carols, and eating hamburgers (yes, that was our Christmas eve dinner--Hamburger Stand).
I remember waking up at 3 in the morning and walking around the house, dimly lit by the twinkling tree lights and various Christmas villages set up with lights in the windows, gazing in wonder at the plethora of gifts newly set out for our discovery.
The Santa cookies were eaten and the milk gone; the Christmas Kringle (pronounced: kring-ly) was on the table waiting to be sliced for breakfast; and our stockings were stuffed to overflowing.
Then there was a Christmas morning one year when my younger sister and I woke up at 7am. The sun was up (we always had to wait until sunrise to open our Santa presents) and mom and dad were up too (we usually had to drag them out of bed)! We felt "grown up" and that we had somehow "missed" the experience of Christmas. But... I still get giddy when I wrap presents. I love to decorate the house and to revel in the warmth of the home while the cold weather blusters outside. I love the soft glow of Christmas lights (on a tree, in the window, on a garland) at night after the sun has gone down. I love the sparkle and tinkle of the ornaments on the tree. I love to bake!! cookies, cakes, candies, drinks (nothing ever tops momma's home-made egg nog!). I love Christmas music, movies, and letters.
And this is T's and my first Christmas "to ourselves." When we were dating we each went home for C'mas; when we were engaged we went to my parents' house; our first married Christmas was at T's parents' house. Not that we mind "sharing" our Christmas, of course. There are few things better than spending time with family at the holidays! But.. we got our OWN tree this year! We decorated it with our ornaments--ornaments we bought on our honeymoon, ornaments we were given as wedding presents, ornaments from our childhood. We're beginning our own traditions and customs.
I will still make the Christmas Morning Kringle, just like Momma always did. We will sing the Byzantine Advent prayers every night, just like T's family does. We will get Kris Kringle presents and leave out cookies for Santa (T says "Sure we can do that. I like cookies!"). Then when we have children, we can tell them the stories of our first Christmas in Boston; about our first (small) tree and the presents we got. About how it might be "Mommy's first white Christmas." What we had for dinner (Christmas roast, mmmmm!)--how we started most of the traditions they will be familiar with when they ask us how it all got started.. So here's to Christmas--to traditions old and new; to egg nog, colored lights, sparkles, and lots of singing to the New Born King!

September 12, 2007 - I got a job!

It's true! I've been offered the job I've been temping for for the past 3 weeks. I'm very excited. I will be the assistant to the Special Assistant to the President. This job seems simply perfect for me, too. It's part time, and I get to come in for a few hours 5 days a week. I appreciate that since I don't like going to work for the whole day and having no day left when I get home. I get my own little office, with my own little door (it's not a cubicle), and my own little air conditioner and shredder. :D I've already been thinking about how I'll arrange the furniture in the office to suit my tastes. Everyone in the office is very friendly and I've already met Fr. Leahy (S.J.), the president of BC. My boss also has a dog. His name's Sparky, and he only comes to work with Bob 3 days a week. Sparky's a fluffy little (little) white thing with buggy eyes and a pug-nose face. He's not a yappy dog, either... which is good. :) Another plus: I won't even have to walk very far to work every day. The BC shuttle bus has a stop just a block from my house, which will be very nice on those CUH-HOLD winter mornings. So, I'm going in to work tomorrow, on temp. assignment, so that I can attend a meeting for a project which I will be helping with there. It will be nice to go in and say "I'll see you Monday, for SURE!" to all the people there I've met so far. And when T came home from class yesterday (I had texted him that I got the job), he brought me FLOWERS!! Real flowers (not Facebook flowers). He got me one (really) long stem rose, and a pretty purple African violet. (Y'see, he doesn't really like bringing home cut flowers, as they tend to.. well, die.) So life is wonderful. And we should be able to pay our mortgage now (yay!).

August 22, 2007 - Things I've learned about Boston (Brighton)

This can also be considered a "Good experience(s) in Boston" note :) On average, it precipitates between 3 and 4 inches per month. My Seattle-fish of a husband likes that. The hottest month is July, at about 86 degrees (average) . Record high 104 degrees in 1911. Hopefully I won't be obtusely pregnant in July. Ever. Anywhere. The coldest month is January averaging about 36 degrees. Record low 30 degrees in 1946. I like cold weather :) After all, there are only so many layers you can take off (even in your own house where you can be naked!), and you can still be hot. But in cold weather, you can always add another layer.. or snuggle under the covers and stick your icy cold feet under your spouse's thighs which makes him squeal and sometimes jump out of bed, which makes you colder because he threw the covers off, forcing him to snuggle up to your poor shivering body out of pity. But.. I digress. The best thing I've learned about Boston so far today is that August is, on average, cooler than July, and September, on average, is cooler than August. That makes me happy. (I don't, on average, like humidity when it's hot.) I suppose that since our visit to Death Valley, where it was 90 degrees at 5 in the morning, I've been ready to get out the winter clothes and bundle up in cute scarves and matching gloves. I wanna wear my hair down again and put a warm hat on. I'm very much looking forward to Boston's winter. As a side note, I'm also very ready to go snow boarding... but from what I (in my own from-the-west-coast-and-raised-in-the-sierra's opinion) have heard, the east coast doesn't really have any mountains. Can we say "visit the parents for C'mas"?!
Another great thing I've learned is that, even though these Bostonians talk funny, they make fun of it too! For example: a soup place has called itself: Boston Chowda in Trader Joe's (great store!) there's a sign that says: Wicked nice cahds (cards) $.99 on the back of a taxi, an ad for a car wash: "It's like a spa for your cah" Cool thing number 6: The arts scene here is awesome! We've already been to see an Edward Hooper exibit at the mfa (Museum of Fine Arts), and it was neat! We didn't get to see the rest of the museum, since it closed earlier than we would have liked, but we have bought a membership and can go back, for free, whenever we want. We've also visited the aquarium, bought a memebership and--I saw sharks! Ooh, creepy nasty looking things! But there was a cool jellyfish exibit out and we enjoyed that. By the way, we have two free guest passes whenever we visit, so if you're in the area, we can get (two of) you in for free! Um.. I think that's all. People should visit us here! You'll be welcome to our air mattress and excess of warm fluffy bedding and our food and our company. :)

August 15, 2007 - Lost in Boston and Late for an interview!

This is the first note I wanted to import from Facebook since it seems good to start with us moving to Boston. We were staying at the house of a friend and had just gotten to the area.. Looking back now, this is a hilarious story...
Before any one becomes concerned about me counting up negative experiences in this city, I would like to state that I fully intend on writing notes about good experiences in Boston, too. The hope is that the good ones will far outweigh the bad ones. :) So, to begin. I have been applying to jobs through the BC staff employment website, which is, to say the least, rather pitiful in the technologically-up-to-date arena. In addition to not accepting my first attempts at uploading my resume, once it uploaded, I think the hiring managers were unable to access it. :\ However, they fixed that problem with a system upgrade, which meant I had to re-submit my resume. Fine.
And.. I applied for a few more jobs which opened. Cool. Then, yesterday I get a call from one of those illusive hiring managers requesting an interview!! How exciting! I had only applied for the job Monday and they called the next day! The lady had scheduled the interview for today at 2 pm, gave me the address and her office number in case I needed to contact her. She also mentioned that her building was an off-campus building, which BC leases, 1280 Boylston Street. That's cool too. But.. little did I know, that there were THREE 1280 Boylston Street addresses in the Boston area (not the CITY of Boston, but "Boston" in the same way people say "Seattle" to mean all those little cities outside and around Seattle). Our GPS wasn't very informative on that point, so we took the T all the way out to the Back Bay area (near Fenway Park) looking for "1280 Boylston St, on Rt 9, across the street from Legal Seafood," which is exactly what the lady told me. Now, normally, if our GPS had found a place that was not near BC, I'd wonder. But the lady had said it was off campus, and that BC leases the building.. so we went our merry way. There was no 1280 on Boylston street out in the Back Bay area. It was a McDonald's parking lot. There was no Legal Seafood on that block either. There was one on the 800 block, which we walked to, couldn't find, asked around about, found, and checked the building across the street to see in there were any BC offices in the building. Nope. We checked the map--perhaps the address was 1280 E Boylston, or W Boylston, and we were just on the wrong side. No... Boylston only goes up to the 300s on the other side of the street. Meanwhile, I've called the lady at the number she gave me three times, and left a message for her, "Hi, Marylou, I'm terribly sorry, but I must have heard the address wrong, since I can't seem to find your building. Please give me a call back... yada yada yada" Finally.. after determining that there are NO BC offices ANYwhere in the neighborhood, I get a call from the lady. I'm 45 minutes late--without having successfully contacted anyone I'm inconveniencing. Amid my profuse apologies for being stupid and not finding the office, she tells me "I'm at the doctors office." so that's why she didn't answer her phone. "My colleagues have been waiting for you all this time." DUH! Why didn't you give me a phone number other than yours?! I would have called them, I WANTED to call them! I would have been embarrassed, but at least they wouldn't have had to wait so long! GAH! "I though that, since you applied, you knew where the office was." Well, no, actually, since the building was off campus, the only "location" listing in the job post (which was all the info I had) was the Human Relations office, a building ON campus. Grrr... I told her that I was very sorry, and that if they didn't want to re-schedule, I completely understood. She told me "We'll have to straighten this out tomorrow." Yeah.. there goes that job. :Þ So lessons learned: --Always ask for the zip code when using a GPS. One of the 1280 Boylston addresses is in Boston (proper), another is in Chestnut Hill, and another is in Newton. Sheesh. --Always get more than one contact number, such as the secretary's number (oh wait, that's the job I applied for--maybe they didn't have one?) --Always Praise the Lord. As much as this was a frustrating experience, I can't say I'm driven to tears or violence at the potential loss of opportunity. I seem to have a gut feeling that I'll still get something. :) God has a plan, right? Hopefully, I didn't just blow it! In the picture, you might be able to see two blue upside-down tear drop markers. The one of the left is where we were supposed to go. The one on the right is where we did go. Oops!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

There's A First for Everything...

Well, this is my first post on my very own blog. It's moderately exciting, but I won't bore you with the details... :) I occasionally feel the need to express my (somewhat random and often silly) thoughts to a larger readership, so I created a blog. I've tried the facebook note thing, too, and that seems to work for that (relatively limited) audience. I think I'll copy and past some of the facebook notes I wrote on this blog, just to give me a head start. And so we begin...