Sunday, April 30, 2006

Sleepy Sunday on the T

Riding the T today I sat across from an older gentleman and, a few seats away from him, a teenage African-American guy. They both fell asleep. Very adorable. No one drooled.

Just thought I'd share my public transportation observations.

Common Yellow Bouncing Balls

I was out on Boston Common today (Sunday) and saw a group of people in the distance with what seemed to be a never-ending supply of yellow bouncing balls like this one. If anyone can fill me on what they were doing, I'm very curious.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Commuter Life...

... is not for me. I can't stand it. It leaves me irritated, stressed, out of shape (no more time to go to the gym between the commute and my half-hour lunch). My back hurts, my car is dying, and the driving skills of some people leave something to be desired (I had the good fortune to be behind a tractor trailer on 95 North today that had 'show me your hooters' painted on the back of it).

Even before gas prices rose to levels that make getting a tank of gas empty cost roughly the same as a dinner for two at a decent restaurant (and I have a Subaru. I pity SUV drivers), I've not been a fan of any commute over 10 miles. I feel like I waste almost two hours every day traveling to and from work. Podcasts and audio books only make it a little easier. I still spend too much quality time with the car and too little with other people. I have pretty much no life, especially since the move up here. I've barely had a chance to meet any new people (my previous job had me going to sleep at 6pm three nights a week and working on Saturday nights, which is not conducive to making new friends).

I like my job. The people there are not too bad to spend most of my day around. I just wish it were closer (it's located in a smaller town near the outlets, very cute and great place to live if you have 2 kids, a dog , and a minivan). You can even find decent Chinese food there. But it's still far away.

I suppose I should still be thankful that I'm not Dan Givens.

RMV rant, part II

My dealings with the Massachusetts RMV are turning into a comedy of errors.

My permanent license came in the mail yesterday. The RMV spelled my last
name wrong. Figures. Now I have to wait 72 hours while the Customer
Assistance Division* pulls my paperwork to see what happened. I'm left
wondering why I had to show all that ID if they end up misidentifying me?
Meanwhile, this little ID snafu may screw up a car loan that I applied for.

I understand that human error happens, but the Massachusetts RMV is starting
to make the Rhode Island DMV look competent.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Really green architecture


Will it leave grass stains on your throw pillows?

(thanks J!)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Yom Ha Shoah-ish

An email from a family member who lives in Israel shares her thoughts on what it's like to experience Yom Ha Shoah in the Holy Land:

Yom Hashoa started here tonight. Unfortunately, we Jews do memorials well.

For all of our occasional ill-mannered ways, we have the most noble ways of
honoring our horrors. We had taken the whole family to the mall where our
dentist's office happens to be. We planned to eat dinner there afterwards.
When we entered the office, on the top floor of the mall, the mall was
packed. We didn't realize we'd be there so long but we left at 7:15, starved
, figuring we'd eat at the yucky food court, a big treat for the kids. When
we emerged from the office, the mall was deserted. Not a store or a
restaurant were open. As we drove out of the mall, we saw that all stores on
the streets were closed and the streets were dark. On the radio, only somber
music or holocaust related programs played on all of the stations. TV is the
same story. Even the movies on El Al, apparantly, are not their usual fare
and are related to the holocaust. No music is played. By 8PM the ceremony at
Yad Vashem had begun and was on all of the TV and radio stations. That every
business, without exception, closes, that the national media is sombre, that
all outward life is muted, is very powerful. The public respect for the
meaning behind the day is very profound.
Tomorrow at 10 AM the siren that sounds uncannily like a cry will sound and
all life will stand still for a moment. I never cease to be amazed by the
power of that collective moment. On Yom Hashoa I always feel particularly
proud of this tiny country. Just standing on this Jewish earth on this
particular day is comforting.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Work Life

I feel bad complaining about my commute after reading about this guy.

Offical stuff

I'm now officially a licensed driver in the Bay State. My experience today
at the Milford branch of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles was
much better than yesterday's venture to the one in North Attleboro.

(I was previously licensed in RI, lest you think I was one of those people
driving around without one because it had been suspended or something).

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I scream, you scream....

... I had no idea that the neighborhood ice cream truck played such earsplitting crap at such a loud volume. If I were the driver, I'd have burst my own eardrums by now to stop the noise.

RMV Rant

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, my birth
certificate is not a good enough form of ID (combined with my old RI
license) to grant me a driver's license in this state. My paycheck and an
official letter from the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue, clearly states that
I am a MA resident (it has the word 'resident' on it several times)- both of
which list my Boston address- were not considered 'proper' proof of
residency. I mean, how much more official can you get than the tax people?

There are a few problems with the items they ask for to show proof of

  • utility bill- we don't pay any, they're included in the rent
  • mortgage- I rent
  • lease- the lease in a drawer in the apartment doesn't have our names on it
    (not sure what's up with that)
  • cable bill- roomie works for the cable company, so that bill is in his name
  • phone bill- I only have a cell phone bill (home phone is Vonage, paid on
    credit card, therefore no bill comes home)
  • bank statement- I think I can swing this one

They do get points for processing my paperwork, so all I have to do is show
up with the "proper" ID, and the woman took a decent picture of me.


Of caskets in Cumberland

I went to a wake yesterday (husband of someone I know passed away suddenly- cancer). It was my first wake. It was also my first time seeing a dead body. Not that I looked too hard. In fact, I spent as much time as I could averting my eyes from the flower-decked casket.

My coworkers (who graciously spent the day schooling me in Catholic Wake 101) and friends were surprised that I'd never seen a body before. Yesterday's wake seemed like a nice tradition, minus the open casket (I had visions of it dancing before my eyes as I fell asleep).

Jews don't do the open casket thing. Usually, at a Jewish funeral, that casket is rarely glimpsed, save for the actual burial. In fact, the wake reminded me of the Jewish tradition of sitting shiva, only with a body in the room. And minus the food.

My two previous non-Jewish funeral experiences were for my step-grandmother (Catholic- I was a kid, my dad banished me to a room with coloring books during the most of the wake) and my ex-boyfriend's grandfather (Unitarian- the minister did a great job, considering she'd never met the decedent), who died during my spring break, senior year of college.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Boobies gone wild

I'm not sure how showing one's boobies during a hockey celebration can be considered a political statement.....

"Women did talk about how they wanted to do something for the Flames and this was something they could do."

And, for many, part of the fun was flouting societal norms.

"The word daredevilish kept coming up. This was something they could do that was just somewhat off the edge," Prof. Valentich said.

Other women said they felt like models or celebrities as cameras flashed at the sight of their exposed breasts.

Indeed, photos of those who took part soon appeared on the Internet.

Some participants felt they were part of history. "One of them said maybe it's insignificant, but when the kids look in the school books, I'll be there," Prof. Valentich said with a laugh.

Just one participant said she was making a political statement.

(article found via Fleshbot)

Marathon Monday

A few friends and I wandered up to Beacon Street in Brookline to watch the race. We got there just in time to see the lead female runner. We sat, transfixed by the tired, sore bodies hurling past us, as if propelled by sheer will (we were right before Mile 24). I was impressed by the dedication of the runners. They came from all over- NJ, Syracuse, Mexico, Canada, Japan, Korea, Texas, NY, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force.... Some people had costumes or funny hats. One guy ran with a beer can dangling from a stick in front of him.

I'm learning to like these New England holidays.

Some pictures, courtesy of my cell phone camera:

(taken in the vicinity of Audubon Circle)

Matzah Matzah Man

Happy Pesach!

Enjoy these two gems!

What 'passes' for matzo

My mom has some whole wheat matzo. I didn't think that you could make matzo taste anymore like cardboard. I was wrong.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Jewish geography gets married

Thanks to this website, I can attempt to keep tabs on the few people I actually cared about in high school. It's weird finding out through the Manischewitz-flavored grapevine that your best friend from high school has gotten married. Out of my three close female friends, all three are married now and I'm the only one not sporting a diamond on my left hand.

I'm not sure that I feel bad about it, just kind of odd. I don't feel compelled to get married because "everyone else is doing it" (nor do I plan to jump off any bridges for that reason). I suppose that, if anything, this news makes me feel older (that, plus my birthday yesterday).

All of this (plus my boredom being at mom's house with not much to do) combines to make me wonder what stage I'm at in life... How much of a grown-up am I?... Will I ever feel like a grown-up?

I'm ambivalent about marriage. My own parents divorced when I was little, so I don't feel that you need a husband + wife + kid(s) + pet to have a functioning family. What do I desire for my future?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


There are children playing outside. Sometimes they play baseball in front of my car (it's 3rd base). With all the crime making the news in Boston lately, it's nice to know that I live someplace, thought slightly ghetto, where parents let their kids play outside on a warm spring evening.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pickup lines for women to use

I ran across this via Fark- 10 Friendly Pickup Lines. Unfortunately, a male friend of mine says that they'd probably never actually work (except maybe the last one).

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Commuter needs

I am ornery. I think the time has come to get a new car. Mine has been back and forth to the mechanic for the past 2 weeks. When I pick it up it seems OK at first, only to die at some point later in the day. Confusing. Frustrating. (I don't think the mechanics are mistreating it). I'm having it towed to a dealership tomorrow, maybe they can help it. Maybe.
If not, I'll bite the bullet and have to get a new car.

I like the new job. Too bad it's so far away.

Ah, the joys of commuting.

Monday, April 03, 2006


As much as I love the people in my life, I have spent the past hour and a half alone in my apartment, catching up on West Wing and Grey's Anatomy. It's been blissful.