Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cocaine (the drink) Update

My updated "Cocaine (the drink)" post is up at the Digital Hive - wherein the Chairman and CEO of the Knowfat Lifestyle Grille responds to my "customer feedback" and I learn a lot about the "energy drink" category.

I'm looking for input on this one peeps - give a shout out.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh My, Did I Forget the Pie?

Peeps! Did I forget to mention it's time for Pie In The Sky? I know I've been busy ranting and raving and doing fallish stuff.

The Annual Pie In The Sky event is the largest fundraising event for the amazing and wonderful organization called
Community Servings. Their mission directly from their site:

Community Servings is dedicated to providing free home-delivered meals throughout eastern Massachusetts to people homebound with HIV/AIDS and other acute life-threatening illnesses, who are unable to shop or cook for themselves. We provide our clients, their dependent families, and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, reaching out to those in greatest need. Our goals are to help our clients maintain their health and dignity, provide nutritionally and culturally appropriate meals, preserve the integrity of their family, and send the message that someone cares.

I am selling pies for Community Servings. My goal is to sell 100 pies for my friend and Exeuctive Chef of Community Servings, Brad Stevens. As of today I have sold 25 pies. I have 11 days to sell 75 more.

If you are in eastern Massachusetts there are dozens of pick up locations - but I would love it if you bought a pie or three or 20 (like my favorite co-worker Rob W. did last year!) from me. You can purchase the pies on line and choose my name from the pie seller list HERE . If you don't live in Eastern Mass. and you are feeling the need to give to a totally worthwhile, grassroots, no-nonsense group - you can "purchase a pie for a community servings client" and a pie will be delivered to someone in need, and funds will be raised to provide nutritious and delicious meals for all.

You need a pie. You need lots of pies. Community Servings needs you to buy pies, so why not be the champion of Thanksgiving and order some pies today?


Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Ride in the Country

Took a ride to Western Mass. on this blustery Sunday. It was a gorgeous day by comparison to Saturday which just rained down, well, rain - all day. It was a crazy (and damaging) windy day, but the sun coming through the most amazing clouds lighting up the landscape made for a stunnah (local slang for stunning) day.

Terrible Arithmetic of War
We remain keenly aware that the election is on November 7th. These fine people in Whately, MA want to remind travelers what their vote means.

We drove just two hours from my beloved Boston and looky what you can see:

We stopped at the Ripka Farm stand and bought a bushel of butternut squash. A bushel. A bushel is a LOT. But now I have a stash of local squash to see me through the new year. The Ripka Farm is protected from being turned into an ugly cul-de-sac of plastic houses.

HPIM7667.JPG
They had tons of gorgeous gourds and Indian corn for sale.

Gourds
We walked to the Salmon Falls/Glacier Potholes in Shelburne Falls.

Treaty of Salmon Falls
They have cows out there. Baby cows.

Baby Cow
Did I mention it was gorgeous? It was gorgeous.

Red Barns in the Sunset
Western Mass. got 3" of rain on Saturday.

The Day After the Rain
This is fall in New England. I love it here.

Fall

So Long, Red Auerbach


Legendary Boston Celtics coach and manager Red Auerbach passed away yesterday at age 89. He was much beloved in Boston for his amazing work with the Celtics (count 'em 16 championships), and for his trailblazing style and guts with regard to finding and hiring and getting the best out of talent. Couldn't we all use a few managers like that? A quote from today's Boston Globe profile to show what talent development means:

Proof of Auerbach's impact on the game as both a coach and talent evaluator is the number of his players who made it to the Hall of Fame (14) and the number of his players who became coaches (30), including eight of the 12 players on his 1962-63 championship team. Three of his players, Tom Heinsohn, Bill Sharman, and Don Nelson, later won Coach of the Year honors. Nelson won it three times.

Red and his famous cigars will be missed. Fare thee well Red, fare thee well.


(photos from the Globe article)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

On One of the Crappiest Days of the Year

I'm only referring to the weather here, it's howling raining and the wind is blowing crazy. It is gloomy and a day to sit by the fire and catch up on your Tivo. I don't have Tivo, so I decided to do some computer clean up and organization. I spent a few hours in iPhoto and thought I would make a Flickr set of photos from one of the most beautiful days this summer.

Dave Matthews Band at Fenway Park
On July 7th my dear friend Cynthia called with a last minute invite to see Sheryl Crow and Dave Matthews at Fenway Park. (Thanks Cynthia!) I'm always available to go to Fenway, no matter who is playing - baseball or otherwise.

The show was tremendous. Sheryl started playing around 6pm, so Fenway was just beginning to fill. I feel bad for the people who missed her show - she totally rocked the joint. She was alive and vibrant and feeling the Fenway. The stage set was a mind blow - I had no idea how they would situate a rock show in the oldest baseball park in America. The sound and visuals were quite amazing.

Dave Matthews really enjoyed being in Fenway park - he came out to intro Sheryl Crow and was jumping up and down freaking out that they were playing FENWAY PARK! FENWAY PARK! FENWAY PARK! His set was tremendous - on a gorgeous summer evening (not one of our 100 degree days) there was nothing better than sitting in Fenway with a plastic cup of wine, a lovely breeze blowing and Dave Matthews making music. It's a feeling I'll try to hold onto in the mean season of winter.

Visit the Flickr set.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Cocaine (the drink)

My next post is up at the Digital Hive Blog. I hadn't planned to blog anything until next week when the Cocaine controversy walked up to me at lunch. Yikes.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I Went for Coffee

My friend Peter calls this place "Settles" - maybe they need to reinforce their brand with signage not directly overhead?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Internets is a Funny Place

As recommended by the Burbank Democratic Club, some people who need a new job (but not the one they're running for.) I'll highlight the ones I find most frightening. It is halloween, but damn some of these people are s-c-a-r-y. (Like Kevin Spacey in Se7en scary!)

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl
--AZ-01: Rick Renzi
--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth
--CA-04: John Doolittle (Abramoff...)
--CA-11: Richard Pombo (Abramoff...)
--CA-50: Brian Bilbray
--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave (super self-righteous she-devil)
--CO-05: Doug Lamborn
--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell
--CT-04: Christopher Shays (seemingly lost his mind)
--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan
--FL-16: Joe Negron (wallowing in the Foley scandal)
--FL-22: Clay Shaw
--ID-01: Bill Sali (so radical IDAHO is afraid of him)
--IL-06: Peter Roskam (old school Illinois scandal generator)
--IL-10: Mark Kirk
--IL-14: Dennis Hastert (even the Moonies think he's bad)
--IN-02: Chris Chocola
--IN-08: John Hostettler (so well known he travels with a gun)
--IA-01: Mike Whalen
--KS-02: Jim Ryun (more Foley foolishness)
--KY-03: Anne Northup (ethically challenged)
--KY-04: Geoff Davis (sleazy)
--MD-Sen: Michael Steele
--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht
--MN-06: Michele Bachmann (another self-righteous she-devil)
--MO-Sen: Jim Talent
--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns (crazy bastard)
--NV-03: Jon Porter
--NH-02: Charlie Bass (weasel)
--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson
--NM-01: Heather Wilson (there are no words)
--NY-03: Peter King
--NY-20: John Sweeney
--NY-26: Tom Reynolds (Foley protector)
--NY-29: Randy Kuhl
--NC-08: Robin Hayes
--NC-11: Charles Taylor
--OH-01: Steve Chabot
--OH-02: Jean Schmidt (crazy lady who trash talked Jack Murtha)
--OH-15: Deborah Pryce
--OH-18: Joy Padgett (sleazy enough to fill Bob Ney's shoes?)
--PA-04: Melissa Hart
--PA-07: Curt Weldon
--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick (Abramoff)
--PA-Sen Rick Santorum (santorum)
--PA-10: Don Sherwood (beat the mistress guy?)
--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee
--TN-Sen: Bob Corker
--VA-Sen: George Allen (racist macaca head)
--VA-10: Frank Wolf
--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick (drinks and drives)
--WA-08: Dave Reichert


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Audi Presents: The Head of the Charles Regatta

My next post is up at the Digital Hive Blog. I'm talking fine Bavarian automotive engineering sponsorship of one of the most beautiful fall days ever.

Audi North America gently branded this weekend's Head of the Charles Regatta held on Boston's Charles River in glorious fall weather. By virtue of being a (practically) lifetime Audi owner, my husband and I received an invitation to the Audi Hospitality Tent with prime (heated) viewing space, virtually unheard of race-day parking, a lovely catered meal (including fine German wines & beers) and Audi swag. (More at Digital Hive)



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Best Line From a Phone Call

Mother: "Ethan, give your brother the gun now."

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I am so lucky to have friends that crack me up.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Dems for Dingbat


*LOL* I did actually laugh out loud at the banner for the Dems for Healey site.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Kid Thing - Returned to Their Rightful Parents

Was dreaming fully when the alarm went off at 5:55am, something about George Clooney and Tuscan eggs benedict. Not sure as I was very tired. The kid thing has been a lot of fun, but as one who does not have them, there is a lot of fear that you'll lose one or damage one or something - and fear is exhausting. Suzi was quite cooperative in arising for swim practice. Her cel phone was ringing a poppy little tune when I crept down the hall to make sure she was awake. (She was.) She went through her morning ablutions without any help from me - and as a matter of fact, she told me to go back to bed, that she could feed herself and walk out the door. I did as I was told and went back to bed.

I woke up in time for some morning news and the pundit shows. I took my time and was patient in figuring out the Cuisinart coffee grinder/brewer thing and was rewarded with an excellent cup of coffee. I needed it to withstand the punditry. It's going to be a very interesting election on November 7th. I expect to hear one difference of opinion between ABC (what used to be This Week with David Brinkley), NBC (Meet the Press with Fat Timmy) and CBS (Face the Nation with Fluffy Bob). Yes, I dislike all of them to some degree - can ANYONE ask a damn follow-up question? (GAH!) But they all present a bleak picture for Republicans in 17 days.

Anyway, I sat in the family room admiring the view of the lake and waiting for Pete to wake up. I knew he still had homework to complete before tomorrow, and I was willing to help to the degree I could. (I'm great with stuff like the Pompidou Centre, but AP Chemistry, sorry - can't help you there...) Pete popped into the living room during pundit hour with a smiling face and a good morning and announced he was hitting the books. He took a moment to show me the lime tree with fruit nearly ready for picking. I love that! An indoor lime tree!

Jeff and Cathy called from the road to say they would be home in time for Suzi's swim meet this afternoon and I was free to go. They gave me the rundown on Dave's adventures at Cornell (Hi Dave!) and their visit to the campus. Feeling like it was safe to go, I took one last shot of the lake - the ducks came swimming by and I took my leave.

What I learned: These kids are as wonderful as I always knew they were - well mannered, well spoken, good company - good fun to be with and absolutely not a burden "to watch over". They have WAY too much homework. I couldn't lift Suzi's backpack off the floor containing all of her binders and class materials. She has 4 tests tomorrrow and that's just wrong. The kids are very busy, but I am pleased to say it is self-motivated programming - they do what they like and do it really well. I don't know that my mother could have signed me up for anything that would have motivated me to get up at 6am! I'll take Pete and Suzi any time. All others pay cash on the barrel!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Kid Thing - Pete Home Safe!

Pete has arrived home, on time, in one piece. I am so totally relieved. One more day to go and then I get my deposit back!

FYI, the view is as stunning in the evening as it is in the morning. This is fall in New England.
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The Kid Thing - Evening Update (Still Alive!)

The PSAT report is good! Pete seemed in a good humor about the exam and understands it is a p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e exam and does not determine the rest of his future. That's a good kid. He went off to play lacrosse in the afternoon, and while the team didn't win, Pete did have three assists (and that counts for a lot!)

Suzi meanwhile worked on her mountain of homework. She made additional progress on the Pompidou Centre model, adding a very cool impressionist version of the Stravinsky Fountain and studied English, French and is currently working on her Math! Yipes! I was proud of myself for getting to the drugstore, the dry cleaner and the hardware store!

I bought some spray stone paint for the plaza portion of the Pompidou Centre, so Suzi and I did a test spray and then got the model ready for painting. We wrapped the fountain and the building in Saran Wrap, took it outside and very carefully applied the 'granite look' coating to the model. It's looking good!

Ozzie the dog recieved a copious amount of attention this afternoon. The kids dressed him up with a leaf collar. He seemed to enjoy it. Not really.

Me & Tommy took Pete and Suzi to the Upper Crust in Lexington, the place that makes the best pizza in the world. It was the kids' first time, so Tommy and I recommended our favorite Harvard Street Pizza (fresh tomato, buffalo mozzarella, basil and garlic) and the kids rolled the dice on Bubba BBQ pizza (chicken, caramelized onions, mozzarella and drizzled with bbq sauce.) Both pizzas were very well received by the dinner party.

Pete has wandered into Harvard Square with a posse of fine young Winchester youths. The return hour has been agreed upon - we'll see what the actual arrival time is. Fail not youths, I hold a grudge.

We moved the Pompidou Center to the project room to continue drying - the model is c'est magnifique! Proof is in the pudding:



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Best Line From a Hallway

I didn't want to call it 'Best Line From a Restroom' as I was actually in the hall waiting for the restroom - it just seemed to lack decorum, and I'm all about that. I stopped for a quick bite to eat in between errands today and needed to pop into the loo, this is what I overheard:

{Muffled woman's voice}

{Sound of toilet flushing}

Little boy: "Bye bye!"

Posted without additional comment.

Except for this photo. This is what I found when I finally got into the restroom:


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The Kid Thing - Safely Delivered to PSAT


Fortune has smiled and the weather is one of those gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous fall days - sun on the fall foliage and crisp air always portent good things for me.

I slept well (despite not being in my own bed) and miracle of miracles, I awoke before the alarm. So did Pete, as he was already in the shower when I walked down the hall to wake him. Ozzie the dog was waiting patiently for Pete at the bathroom door.


With clothes already selected and the bookbag already packed, all that was left was to feed the boy and hit the road. Pete is a smart kid and selected his cereal wisely.


Delivered Pete safely to the high school and headed back to the homestead. I wanted to be sure that I wasn't missing anything on the schedule of events, so all I had to do was check the counter. I love post-its too - I might just pull off this "visiting parent" thing without too much damage!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Kid Thing - Evening One, Survived

Survived flat out day at work, which also had moments of pleasure. We had a toast for the newly promoted in my department and that was a very good thing.


Stopped at my house to see darling husband and kitties, pick up my overnight bag and dash down the street to have supper with the kids. I called to say I was on my way and Pete told me the lasagna was in the oven (a very good sign!) and a salad was in process when I arrived moments later. Suzi was on her way home from swim practice while Pete and I finished the salad and set the table. Pete knows his way around the kitchen - here is the fabulous salad with improvised croutons:


I enjoyed a lively dinner conversation and catch up on the family events of late. We watched a few minutes of NBC's 1 vs. 100 - rather amusing to watch Ken Jennings lose at trivia and see a couple of friendly-looking people walk away with sacks of money.

Suzi worked on her model of the Pompidou Centre while we watched the end of 1v100 and a Tivo'd episode of The Office. I think she may have a future as an architect.


I'm off to bed early as I am driving Pete to his PSAT exam. He's fully prepped, backpack filled with sharp pencils and calculator, clothes picked out and at the ready. Setting the alarm clock now - I cannot fail tomorrow.

The Kid Thing

Much to the amusement of my husband and several close friends, I have agreed to be the "houseparent" for my good friends Cathy and Jeff as they go to visit their son David at Cornell for the weekend. I will "have custody" of their other two kids Pete and Suzi (and the house and the dog.) I'll be doing all the parentish stuff like waking up at the crack of dawn to wake the kids up for sporting events and PSATs. I will of course, be blogging it. Stay tuned.

I'm so afraid.

Oh yeah, do a good deed for people in need: don't forget to buy pies on-line from me!



Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sorry for the Runway Rant, Buy Pies

Sorry for the Project Dumbway rant - I really wanted my Pie In The Sky announcement to sit up top for a day or so.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Project DUMBWAY

WTF? Tattooed weasel boy and sewing cheat Jeffrey winner of Project Runway season 3? Laura's dresses were the most perfectly made, elegant, amazingly beautiful things (and stupid fatface Michael Kors and ratgirl Nina Garthia didn't know if she was CREATIVE?) Frigging MORONS. I am totally never buying Elle Magazine again - Michael Kors I shall ignore you even in Filene's Basement and Bravo you can screw - I'm not watching next season.

Pie in the Sky

Peeps! It's time once again for Pie In The Sky. What is Pie In The Sky you ask? You know I'm totally going to tell you!

The Annual Pie In The Sky event is the largest fundraising event for the amazing and wonderful organization called
Community Servings. Their mission directly from their site:

Community Servings is dedicated to providing free home-delivered meals throughout eastern Massachusetts to people homebound with HIV/AIDS and other acute life-threatening illnesses, who are unable to shop or cook for themselves. We provide our clients, their dependent families, and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, reaching out to those in greatest need. Our goals are to help our clients maintain their health and dignity, provide nutritionally and culturally appropriate meals, preserve the integrity of their family, and send the message that someone cares.

My dear friend and former neighbor Brad Stevens is the Executive Chef of Community Servings. He is a seriously accomplished man and a fabulous chef. I miss not living next door to him as no one walks in my back door with a spoon saying "taste this" anymore. Brad hooked me up with a team of terrific ladies that he works with and together we did the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer this past May. Through a grant from the Avon Foundation, Community Servings was able to extend their services to people with breast cancer (both men and women) and their dependant families.

Pie In The Sky gets every major restaurant, bakery and hotel to bake up the gems of the season. You might get a pie from the Four Seasons Hotel or the Flour Bakery or any one of hundred other delicious places. The pies are always terrific. You get to show up at Thanksgiving feeling all fabulous for actually bringing something and at the same time donating to a worthwhile cause. That is something to be thankful for!

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I am selling pies for Community Servings. My goal is to sell 100 pies for my friend Brad. If you are in eastern Massachusetts there are dozens of
pick up locations - but I would love it if you bought a pie or three or 20 (like my favorite co-worker Rob W. did last year!) from me. You can purchase the pies on line and choose my name from the pie seller list HERE . If you don't live in Eastern Mass. and you are feeling the need to give to a totally worthwhile, grassroots, no-nonsense group - you can "purchase a pie for a community servings client" and a pie will be delivered to someone in need, and funds will be raised to provide nutritious and delicious meals for all.

I attended the sales kickoff event at Vinalia Restaurant in Boston with my co-workers Heather (congrats on your recent promotion) and Katie (a dynamo.) Note to husband: I am not drunk - the stupid timer on the camera was acting weird and took me by surprise. Although Heather and Katie look fantastic.



Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Moo and Music


Today the United States Postal Service is my friend. The usual pile 'o bills was waiting when I came home, and I can usually force myself to ignore them, but there on my counter, beside the bills, was a stack of two things that promised great joy.

1. My Moo Flickr cards
2. My Andrew Bird record album (yes, record album)

Moo.com is my new favorite thing. I got hooked up with Moo through Flickr. They did a great promotion - the offer was 10 free mini cards (created from my Flickr photos) to the first 10,000 Flickr Pro users who asked. The set up was easy and the cards are great. I can't wait to order a whole box! The cards came in cute cute cute packaging (like a Chicklets pack on a post card). The interface to set up your cards is easy and intuitive, you can add your text on the back. Some nice people in England print them send them to you. Love it.


I was pointed to
Andrew Bird by Heather at the Dooce blog via her post at the Alpha Mom blog. Having some time on a lazy afternoon I linked out to Andrew Bird's site and (dare I say it) his MySpace page and listened to all the tunes available. I was sold in minute and ordered vinyl - an actual vinyl album. It's late now, so I'll play it tomorrow in all it's glorious stereo sound. Stereo stereo (not mini anything sound!)


Monday, October 16, 2006

Bad Camel. Bad! Bad!

Evil Camel
I had lunch in a downtown pub today and when our delightful waitress put down the cocktail napkins I did a double take and had to ask for an extra one. WTF? This is my first encounter with tobacco advertising on a cocktail napkin. Love this "website restricted to legal age smokers". Um, just guessing here, but if you are being served in a pub, you are likely to be of smoking age. I can't be bothered to waste the bandwidth to visit the site to see how they handle the age thing. I think it's vile. But you already know how I feel about smoking.

Logic+Emotion+Armano

©David Armano

My next post is up at the Digital Hive Blog. I'm talking David Armano, the author of the Logic+Emotion blog and the best diagram maker EVER. David's world tour brought him to Boston today for a session called "The Blog's Eye View" - I'm totally blogging it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Another Perfect Fall Day

A busy, but gorgeous fall day. We started with a walk in the Arnold Arboretum, a Frederick Olmstead design. The weather was stunning the leaves are turning and people seemed to be in a generally good humor. The photos are linked to a Flickr set, so click away.

Arnold Arboretum
Arnold Arboretum

We went to lunch at the Cottonwood Cafe where we bumped into friends Randy and M.J. whom we haven't seen in ages - I handed Tommy the snappy cam and because professional photographers are allergic to snappy cams, I got the patented blur-o-vision© photo. It's still kind of cool.

M.J. & Lori at The Cottonwood

We went to the rally for the next Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, on Boston Common with 5500 other peeps. It was a good turnout and an exciting rally. Deval continued his message of positivity while still responding to the dirty tricks of Sherry Muffy Healey's campaign. You can read more at Blue Mass Group. The Billionaires for Bush hit squad was out too.

Deval Patrick Rally 10/15
Billionaires for Bush at Deval Patrick Rally

We took a walk through the Boston Public Gardens on the way back to the car. America's oldest public garden was looking quite lovely today.

Gates to the Boston Public Garden

We strolled down Commonwealth Avenue - who knew what all those statues were? Who knew you could dedicate a bench? I love my town. You should visit.

John Glover Statue
Bench dedication along Commonwealth Ave.

I don't know who Ginger is, but she is one lucky lady!
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