Monday, June 28, 2004

Last week highlights:

One night Andrew & I went to JP for dinner and socializing with Andrew's brother and Jen. It was really fun and relaxing (although we got home a bit late). Kind of made it feel like it wasn't a weekday. We brought back yet more of Andrew's stuff.

Friday night we rented 50 First Dates which was surprisingly entertaining. I think that was due to Drew. I made some perfect popcorn. (As opposed to the last time Andrew tried, and it got completely burnt.)

Saturday I woke up pretty late -- recuperating from a crazy week. Then I did some more vocab words. Oh at some point I finished Madame Bovary. Started the Sound and the Fury. That's slower going. D. Becky came to pick me up and we went on a crazy adventure up to the North Shore -- it was good that she saw Greg again before he goes abroad! I saw tons and tons of beach, fog and mist, marshes, an idyllic path that let out onto a quarry (with lots of mosquitoes), and we went to a restaurant with amazing onion rings (that look like how I make them, as in, not frozen and dipped in oil). We got back pretty late, after going through Salem (satanic church), Rockport, Nahat, etc. etc. Then we got Andrew out of the apartment. I wore the perfect outfit that D. Becky picked out! We went to this cool bar that we can walk to in about 5 minutes, and I had a beer that I actually liked the taste of (belgian white or something? Andrew ordered it). Live music, it was good. D. Becky headed off and I was a bit tipsy so we ate buffalo wings and then I fell right asleep.

Sunday we somehow got up early, after a late night (2ish I think?). But it was so pretty out we HAD to wake up early. Brunch and then last minute items from the supermarket (including poisonous deet repellent). We got out of the apartment early though, and headed up to Ipswich River. We had the most amazing canoe trip. The Foote Brothers canoe rental place dropped us off upstream (but it's such a very very weak current the stream means nothing except for which way the weeds grow underwater). We had a 4 hour paddle at least, and a quick stop at the island the rental place owns. We saw many cool water turtles (and we tried to pick them up with our paddles). I saw one big frog. We saw multiple egrets and herons. I was constantly taking pictures. The geese and ducks had goslings and ducklings, respectively. Andrew spotted a beaver carting some vegetation around. A tail splashed so we're assuming beaver (Andrew insists it was the tail of a beaver). Merrie, any advice?

It was completely gorgeous, the sun was back and forth behind clouds and it wasn't terribly hot. We often had trouble paddling around between obstacles. My arms were sore by the end of the run. It was kind of like the old computer game Oregon Trail. Luckily neither Andrew nor Becky fell off the canoe or caught typhoid fever.

We were so hungry by the time we got home!! I tried the saute sauce (or however you spell it) that Andrew brought back from Amsterdam. It's like thick peanut butter, basically. It was good on chicken, surprisingly. Not the sort of things you'd normally put together. Andrew insists that in Amsterdam people eat french fries with peanut butter and mayo on them. I think that's disgusting, by the way.

Today at work we had Blue Cross Blue Shield come in, so I was at the front desk playing receptionist. It was an out of the ordinary day (which made it exciting). Plus, I ate a leftover veggie sandwich with good hummus (as opposed to MHC hummus (except the black bean, which is good)). And, I took some of the sweets -- cheesecake bites. Should have taken more of the sweets before other people got them =/ Poor me!!

Last night we started an off-beat movie, Human Nature.

Dinner was good tonight -- Mum would be proud -- shrimp and linguini and a white wine sauce and tomatoes...

That's enough rambling for now, I'm so tired!

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Last week went by so quickly -- Friday half the office (or more) was out, so I was able to work in a cubicle. That was cool, very quiet and peaceful day. Andrew & I had a hell of a shopping trip (not good to go shopping when you're hungry), but a really good dinner. In the evening we watched Runaway Jury, which was awesome. We took advantage of this free movie offer over the cable.

Saturday I kept busy with my scholarship application, laundry, GRE studying, and packing for the weekend trip. Andrew & I got a fairly early start off to D. Becky's for the rest of the weekend. I made a "Just Beachy" CD mix for the ride down =) Becky already had dinner going, and we had a lovely meal out on the porch. Very quiet and green there! We took an evening walk down to the lake, and looked through lots of Becky's pictures, documenting her South America adventures. It tempted me into considering a vacation destination outside of Europe...

Sunday we ate brunch and then headed out to the beach. I finally figured out why everyone goes to Cape Cod =) Very beautiful ocean, although it was a tad windy on the beach. We explored these marshy areas that Mer would love (and D. Becky says you could get a job there, Mer!) and saw crabs and fishes. This cool dog, Dakota, was fetching rocks out of the water. Very passionate about the fetching, that dog. We drove to the bridge and watched people jump off, it looked scary. It wasn't quite hot enough for me to take the plunge!

In the afternoon we went to the lake by Becky's house. It was like the best day -- Becky laughed while Andrew and I tried to row across the lake in the raft, and then Becky & I really laughed while Andrew tried to paddle around alone! (He ended up bailing out and just pulling the raft to shore, which I of course documented in photos.) Then I decided to get in the water and swim a little, so Becky took pictures of us playing around in the water. I'm not a very good swimmer, we discovered!! Especially compared to Becky, who swam all the way across the lake twice!

In the evening we had dinner and watched a bit of TV. Sad saying goodbye to Becky and Pawsy (the soccer ball cat with extra toes). Being outdoors again was awesome =)

Ahh and now we're back at work! Yesterday I was rather sick, and last night/this morning. I think I'm getting a bit better though. My nose and the back of my knees are burnt (curious, isn't it?)

By the by: I'm officially into Six Feet Under now.

AndyG321: harvey just told us over the phone that it's apparently the mating season for chipmunks
Pink Poodledog: hahahahaha

(Harvey is the jefe over at Andrew's office)

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Sunday: Andrew & I fixed another great brunch, and then got ready to go on an adventure. We went to Middlesex Fells, which is a cool place for people to bring their dogs. We started walking and kept going in circles on the VERY UNORGANIZED TRAILS. And we couldn't get NEAR the water because it's a reservoir or something. AND we were getting EATEN ALIVE by BIG mosquitoes. At some point I said "I'm miserable!" We sat in a sunny patch of fir needs for a bit, and I continued my campaign to kill as many mosquitoes as possible. Soon, we could stand it no longer, and we left. Vowing never again to go on a hike in the summer without bug spray.

Back in the open meadow we "picnicked" a bit. The dry Italian sausage sold in the supermarket we live next to is both more expensive and not as good tasting as the kind back home. On the way home we did some grocery shopping, and bought some lovely pompom daisies (or something like that) for $2.

I don't really remember what else we did on Sunday. That's the danger, I supppose, of writing blogs so late in the week.

Monday: Uhm... it was weird starting out a new work week. The song "Manic Monday" suddenly has so much more meaning than every before. Let's skip on to Weds. I've been getting encouragement from ML, Mike, and Janine on my writing here. And my first article is up! I used Merrie in my scenario. And yesterday was my first paycheck, very exciting. And Andrew & I have been having some lovely dinners (the stress ends once we start eating), complete with red wine (often when it doesn't go with the meal, but I don't know the different much, so I don't care). Although our mango fried rice with shrimp came out a LITTLE mushy.

Working on an obesity glossary at work these last few days. It's about 36 pages right now. Madame Bovary is going well, Kate noticed it by my desk and we talked about majoring in English & understanding history...

Well I should go now, I guess -- it's 5!

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Finally, it's the weekend!

Time goes by so slowly sometimes at work. And one day Andrew had to work till a little after 7 so we basically came home and ate dinner and didn't have time for much else! Friday I was so, so bored at times. I began entertaining myself by reading stuff on the internet that was related to work, but not really necessary... Tues. Andrew at work (not my Andrew, one of the marketing people Andrew) gave me a "special assignment" right before I left... Basically to research and report on how other websites with message boards monitored the posts. So that was cool to have something new to do on Weds. And Thursday it was back to the old grind, writing about tourette syndrome (for parent and kid articles). Friday I finished those up, and my next "special assignment" (I say this with sarcasm) was to photocopy some articles. But that was ok, I enjoyed taking a break from the computer...

So the big happy part of the day came when Michael came in to tell me that the editor has been pleased with what I've been writing. That I skipped over the whole learning curve thing. So that made me happy, because I've been curious about how I'm doing in comparison to everyone else and if I'm writing things that aren't in need of lots of edits.

Anyway... Friday night Andrew & I took an evening walk to Harvard Square, watched some street acts (crazy college percussion players, a spray paint artist, and a band complete with breath-operated hand-held piano -- and side shows of intense chess players laughing at successful game moves that no one else understands). We had another pad thai night, we've got that dinner routine down now so that it's not so hectic.

Today (Saturday) I almost went to Walden Pond while Andrew was at work. But I ended up staying here, as I thought it would be insufferably crowded at a lake on a nice Saturday. I woke up with Andrew, and this time I actually stayed awake. For those of you interested in the mundane details of my day (ok, now that only Mum and Merrie are reading on), I did a diagnostic GRE test (and I think I definitely need some practice), got all the laundry done, finished The French Lieutenant's Woman (strongly recommended by Quillian, and now by me as well), sat out on the porch for awhile hoping to a.) get highlights in my hair and b.) get a "healthy" tan (which I define as not frying myself to a deep brown. or in my case, a deep red), made a new mix CD with Andrew's burner for Monday's ride to work, and fed Buster (who yawned and blinked today and look funny eating because he couldn't get his mouth around a piece of lettuce).

When Andrew finally got home from work, we picked up some burritos from the taqueria and headed to the esplanade (I guess that's how you spell it?) for a picnic dinner. It was really lovely, although a little chilly with the wind and a little strange with the kids playing frisbee around us. We felt a little weird like lying on a blanket together, but we later saw couples totally making out in the middle of crowds, so I guess we could have gotten away with way more PDA. There was a concert of some sort, so it was more crowded than usual...

Side note on Buster: Most mornings I turn on the heat lamp for Buster (that would be Andrew's Russian tortoise, who isn't really Russian at all, as I'm sure he was born in a NY petshop). And Andrew is in charge of feeding and watering. So one morning on the way to work we realize that neither of us had turned on the heat lamp. So I said (and I'm really proud of this because it's rare that I think of something semi-witty to say on the spot and not an hour later when it's completely out of context): Wow, I'm glad we don't have kids!

Right now Andrew's taking the diagnostic GRE test that I took earlier today. I hope he doesn't do as well on the verbal as me. But he probably will, he has a better vocabulary. I'm completely letting him take me on the math section though, when I got frustrated with questions I just didn't answer them, as I know that math won't matter for grad. school English programs. Ok signing off now, as I've been typing away to kill time and I haven't anything left to say...!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Since Andrew had worked 6 days, we tried to cram a lot of activity into Sunday. We made a big brunch (with hash browns, homemade!) and then did a little more work. In the afternoon we went to the mall since it was raining. I finally bought the tote bag/purse and wallet (it took awhile to pick out the wallet) at AE that I had been eyeing for the last month or so. Dinner was yummy -- Andrew made pad thai.

Saturday evening we went out to JP for the sunset -- took a walk at the pond, saw the albino squirrel yet again (even after Andrew pretended to see it and pointed at a white plastic bag and totally disappointed me), and acquired a corkboard from yard sale leftovers. So we have yet more stuff in the new apartment. But it's cool, it's like home now. We made brownies which were really good with frosting and ice cream. "My Boss's Daughter" is a frightful patchwork of past comedies that weren't successful the first time around. The only highlight was the owl that the boss owns as a "pet."

So the weekend was relaxing overall, even though I wasn't ready for Monday morning... Luckily Andrew hooked his cd burner up to my computer and we made a new song mix for the way to work. Also luckily, I usually have about an hour after work to sit by the lake and read before it's time to go home. Last night we even ate on our porch for the first time, which was cool... Odd thing of late: we haven't seen our roommate in a few days!

Saturday, June 05, 2004

My first week of work is over!

Thursday: Emily worked by me all day, which was kinda cool. I think of everyone I've met at work she's the most likely potential friend. Andrew had a very quick lunch break, so I decided to take an extra break later with Stephanie (who first showed me around when I arrived at warm2kids my first day). We took a walk around the whole complex and chatted. It was kind of cool, I guess she does this most days. Since it was pouring later, I was glad I'd gotten outside to enjoy the sunshine.

We made tamale pie for dinner and it was excellent. Andrew likes it, too. =)

Friday: The day went by rather slowly it seemed. I finished my third (count them, three in four days!) article. I may change it a bit though when I get back, because it focused more on girls than boys. I thought that was justified with all the current literature on girls and cliques, but, Andrew thinks guys deal with that stuff just as much. This one was from the parent perspective. I'll have to look at the teen perspective one to see if it was inclusive enough or not...

Had a great lunch break, me and Andrew went out to sit by the pond. We watched the one white duck that inhabits the pond. He stuck around us for awhile (maybe because I was feeding him bread from my sandwich). I think I'm going to get a tan if I keep eating lunch outside in the sun. After work I went back to the pond to read for awhile.

After work we had leftover tamale pie in order to get an early start on the evening. We took the T into Boston and watched a juggling act outside of Fanueil Hall. And we got more chocolate mousse =) Yum, moose. Sat for awhile by the harbor until the wind became too chilly. It was a quick ride back, and then we got a movie from Blockbuster (thanks to Mum and her free coupons -- we live like a block away from a Blockbuster so it's perfect. I really like this place, close to everything and lots of young people around).

Weird sighting of the evening: Two 50-something identical twins, sitting at the T stop we got off at. These women were wearing identical clothes (and white hair ribbons, it was kind of trippy) and rather dour expressions. Andrew wished he had his camera.

Today! I initially got up with Andrew when he woke up to go to work. And I felt ok with getting up that early, but then I felt like sleeping in just because I could. I read from one of my skanky magazines for awhile, then I couldn't fall back asleep. Finally I did, but I didn't get up till 1! Then I was super hungry so I had to do lunch... I've been bad and haven't gotten started on reading more of my book yet today =/

I had a dream that Andrew had colon cancer. I think this may be as a result of the fact that the next topic I'm doing at warm2kids is colon cancer.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

And... I'm back in MA! It's been a very, very long what? 5 days? It seems like much longer because I've done so much! Let's go day by day...

Friday night: I got about 4 and a half hours of sleep, and Pensy conveniently sprawled himself across the middle of my bed so I couldn't even sleep as comfortably. But I didn't want to throw him off because I was a little sad... It was the last night I slept in my old bedroom, as the new house will be done by the next time I get out west. Kind of got sentimental and took old Corlath the stuffed lion to hug.

Very early Saturday morning (or very late Friday night): I woke up and rushed everyone out of the house to go to the airport. We made it, but I got through some of the luggage check-in line fast since an attendant was asking for people on my flight to go through first. Sad to say good-bye to Mum & Mer =(

The first leg of my journey I sat next to a young couple that previously lived in the Boston area. I ended up following them for awhile through the Chicago airport trying to get to the next gate. They make you walk about a mile and claim it's in the same terminal. But to make you feel better about it (and perhaps to disguise what they're doing), they've set up those moving walkways with crazy neon flashing tube lights overhead. And they play carnival music. We had a good laugh over that, as they weren't fooling us...(I finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next the morning after I flew into Boston. Kesey mentions Hood River on the last page. I loved it.)

The second flight took off soon after I got on the plane (thank God, minimal waiting all around that day. Very smooth traveling.) The middle seat was empty so I was able to do my leg contortions. My luggage was one of the first things on the carousel, literally waited less than two minutes. I found a spot to wait by the pick-up area, & I had waited less than two minutes when I saw Andrew driving up. It was lovely to see him again =) It was also lovely that it was a sunny day -- after driving through rain in Oregon to get to the airport, and going through cloudy skies over Chicago.

SIDE NOTE: United airlines are wonderful with being on time but HORRIBLE with food. They make you PAY for a stupid sandwich and literally starve you with tiny ass bags of pretzels (they claim to have nuts in them, too, but I only found one half of one cashew in my bag. liars.)

After taking a look at the new apartment and moving some of my stuff in, we made a quick supermarket stop, & went back to Andrew's apartment. We had yummy pad thai (Andrew did it from scratch this time instead of using the sauce kits) and watched Kill Bill (which was really good as far as fight scenes and special effects). And I introduced Andrew to the wonders of Oregon candy: Cherry Mountain bars and Big Hunks (he didn't find them so wonderful though, I'm afraid).

Sunday: Moving day! We moved the rest of my stuff and some of Andrew's stuff into the new apartment. Same yellow walls in the kitchen that will be in my room (white ceiling, too). And odd green color of tile in the kitchen. But the room is great, we've inherited a dresser, night table, and queen size bed. We cleaned out the room and began setting up house. Emergency run to Target for a mattress pad & other necessary supplies. A very busy day... in the evening we took a walk to Anna's Taqueria for yummy burritos (it was about a five minute walk from our apartment... oh the wonders of living in the city!) In the evening we walked to Davis Square to get ice cream at JP Licks. Yum, Oatmeal Cookie... So many young people out and about, it's like being on a big college campus.

Monday: We took another load of Andrew's stuff over to the apartment, did our grocery shopping, and finished setting up our things. In the evening we had our first real meal in the apartment (I think it was a chicken and pasta with Andrew's pesto night). So we officially moved in! And I ran into Sarah from Eng. 280 at the grocery store, which was really crazy. I heard someone say my name and was totally confused for a minute and didn't think it was for me!

In the evening we took a walk towards Harvard Square to see what sort of stores and restaurants we're near. I was nervous for work the next morning.

Tuesday: I was the second or third person into work in the morning, so I had the tour of the place and then got settled in to looking at the site. All morning I read stuff on the site. Finally before lunch we had an assignments meeting so I picked out my first subjects to tackle. Started right in with "productive summers" for teens. Researched and wrote after lunch, left around 5:30, read some while I waited for Andrew, and then we were off. We made dinner and ate after a quick supermarket trip. It was good, too... Mum's recipe for porcupine meatballs (not made with actual porcupine, I might note). Dessert was our own pineapple/winter blend juice popsicles.

At some point I realized how glad I was that I didn't have any big responsibilities (ie, a kid). It would really suck to have a kid right now, I'm realizing how little time people have when they work full time...

Wednesday: Second day at work went smoothly, and I had a lovely lunch break with Andrew, eating out by the lake together (the rain cleared up for us, luckily). Finished with the productive summer topic, now I'm onto cliques and popularity. Wowee.

After lunch we had a going away party for one of the high school interns, great excuse to take a break and eat cake!

Andrew suddenly appeared with Mr. Johnson while I was working, as he learned that he will in fact be coming into the office tomorrow so I won't need to carpool with one of the other women that work at warm2kids. Then I sneaked into Andrew's office with the help of Cheryl (one of his co-workers). I read a bit and distracted him until it was time to go. But we didn't get to go straight home -- we had business at Kitchen Etc and Trader Joe's. Had an easy to prepare dinner (fried rice packet from Trader Joe's, walnut and dried apricot salad thanks to a bit of inspiration -- Mum you would have been proud).

So now, well, it's nearly 10 pm here and Andrew's still finishing up some work. Poor Andrew, pobrecito, trabajando todo el tiempo!

I guess I should go shower now, signing off from this internet connection Andrew figured out for me!