Ashtanga and the Downward Dog

For whatever reason, I have always been intimidated by Yoga - perhaps it's the fact that most yoga-lovers are human pretzels, and I am about as flexible as an icicle. Maybe it's also because I just never saw myself as your typical yoga gal - a tall, thin, zero-body-fat person (who can make spandex look like a wonderful fashion statement) casually toting their yoga mat on their back, as though it were a fixture or a new appendage. I think it also has to do with the fact that the Yoga lexicon is completely foreign to me - you try saying "Vrksasana", "Bhujangasana", "Jathara Parivartanasana" or "Ardha Sirsasana" ten times fast.

I have a lot of friends who have really gotten into the yoga craze. And, the refreshing part is that they are people just like me! So, one of these friends convinced me to join him at yoga class today. And, I was actually looking forward to it all day. He lent me a yoga mat, I put my hair up in one of those stupid ponytails on the top of my head, and we made our way to the O2 Yoga Studio in Somerville.

I was definitely nervous when we first arrived. I found a comfortable, non-visible spot in the back of the room (WAYYY in the back) and waited for the instructor to arrive. I tried to look like I "fit-in" but was very intimated by the other class members who were "stretching" (ie. twisting and contorting in ways that were painful to watch). So, I sat quietly and watched, casting furtive glances at my neighbor.

An hour and a half later I had successfully navigated my first yoga class. And, I gotta be honest. I really enjoyed it. A lot. I haven't felt this good in a long time. Don't get me wrong - it was hard work, and I know my body will hurt tomorrow in places that I didn't even know exist. Apart from the phyiscal challenges, it was such a relaxing experience. I left the class feeling so mellow and utterly chellaxed, as my cousin would say. I am heading back there on Thursday to do a yoga class during lunch.


"I See Famous People"

Alright. I am seriously reconsidering naming my blog "encounters with the famous." While my sister and I were making our way to Hah-vahd Squah-re, we walked right by Mr. John Malkovich. I always knew he was a neighbor, but I heard that since the Boston Globe outed him (announced that he had just purchased a home in Cambridge) he didn't frequent my town that often. Apparently, he is back!

In any event, I am basking in the glow of my first sunburn. While it is a bit painful, I am just so happy that the weather has gotten nice enough to give me a burn. My cheeks are all rosy, and I feel so happy. I have spent the last two days cycling, so my back is a bit red and sitting down can be a *bit* uncomfortable, but it's all worth it! I just came back from taking Murphy to the park with my neighbor and his dog and am taking a break before heading out to dinner.

I realize today's entry is all over the place, so I'll keep it up. I watched two good movies this weekend and I highly recommend them: Transamerica (hats off to Ms. Huffman), and Shopgirl (suprisingly touching). Also, "Sinatra Sunday" at Lucky's in South Boston is a lot of fun - if the Rat Packs your thang, check it out.

Enough blogging for me. I'm off to enjoy a couple more hours of Memorial Day Weekend before it all ends . . .


Sox Fever

Normally I am not a huge sports junkie. The one sport I do follow though is baseball (and to some extent hockey). I mean, how can one live in Boston and call themselves a true Beantowner without loving the Red Sox. As a rule, I am not one to sit and watch an entire game (unless of course it's the playoffs or better yet, the World Series). But, when my friend Heather scored two behind-the-home-plate tickets and offered one up to me, I couldn't pass it up.

So, last night we schlepped on over to Fenway Park to go watch the Sox play Tampa. We were both a little worse for the wear after our Friday night bachelorette party (it was very tame mind you), and frankly, neither of were too sure that we would last the entire game. When we arrived, however, that all changed. The energy at the stadium was invigorating (and it was completely packed) and I couldn't believe the amazing, unobstructed view that we had from our seats. Schilling pitched the game, so the audience was on fire every time he ambled up to the mound and struck out a hapless Floridian. Ortiz hit some beauties, and there was lots of scoring going on. A reluctant Heather and I sang along to "Take Me Out To the Ball Game" and "Sweet Caroline" and ate over-priced peanuts (yummy). Before we knew it, the game was over!

All in all, it was a great time. It completely reminded me why baseball is still one of this country's favorite past-times. (Thanks for the invite H!)


The Trolls of Cambridge

Every fourth week my quaint and quiet little Cambridge street is attacked by trolls.

These trolls are known car eaters, and love nothing more than to capture an unassuming vehicle and whisk it away to their dingy, nasty lair. It's a horrible sight really - watching your innocent, helpless car get tied up and carried away, writhing and screaming.

There are many different types of trolls, and each one has a name. Some are named Bill, while others yet are named B&B, and sometimes, an unknown, unnamed troll will make an appearance to gobble up any left-overs.

Cambridge residents are intimately familiar with the trolls and their planned witching hours. Every fourth week the harassed town-folk are desperately calling each other to warn of the impending arrival of the trolls.

At about 7am, the alarm goes off.

"Get your car to safety and for god's sake, make sure you know where your children are!"

What follows is a flurry of activity - people running to the streets to get their cars, the sounds of closing shutters, the clicking of locks and a collective silence as the townspeople hold their breath while the nefarious trolls make their rounds.

This morning, my car almost became prey to the troll named Bill. I ran to my car as fast as possible, brandishing my sword (ok, not really) and defending my car from Bill's clutches. I furiously fumbled for my key (imagine a horror movie), and managed to turn on the ignition seconds before Bill could catch me. While I sped away, I watched in horror as the other cars were captured. I felt so helpless - there was nothing I could do for them.

Street cleaning days suck.


Friends Don't Let Friends Drink Expensive Beer (unless of course, it's Belgian beer)

I found these fake Public Service Announcements by the cast of "The Office" and had to share. God, I love this show. If you have some free time, fish around this website - they have outtakes, deleted scenes and MUCH more guaranteed to please the Office junkie in all of us.


Bennifer, Part II

Another crazy weekend, and three days have already passed since my last entry. It was the first time in a LONG time that we Bostonians actually saw the sun. . . Yes! The sun made an appearance and it was - here it comes - warm! I certainly was going to spend ZERO time indoor - it was time to Carpe Sol!

Friday night was spent with my friends in the "Hood". We started the evening off at the North Street Grille and eventually ended up at Tiernens. The next morning, I woke up to birds singing and the glorious, delightful, yummy sun peeking through my window - Can you tell I've missed it? Murphy was antsy for his morning walk, so off we went. I went to Starbucks (no comments please) for my java infusion and had another star sighting. Jennifer Garner and her little baby happened to be departing 'bucks right in front of me, and thanks to Murphy's cutenes, we actually struck a conversation. I have to say, she was much more cordial than her husband, Mr. Affleck who I ran into only a few short weeks beforehand (who practically growled at me).

After my brush with fame, I was all "girlie" and joined my friend Audra for her wedding gown fitting. She looked fabulicious in it. She has already lost so much weight for her wedding, we officially ended her diet by feasting on some yummy pizza at Reginas. The highligh of the day was when we got the call that Matt Black, one of the best guys I know, won his race for the North End Waterfront Neighborhood Council. We (me and all my "hoodies") spent the rest of the day celebrating Matt's win with cheap champagne and beer on one of the reveler's roofdeck.

Oof...You will no doubt be suprised when I tell you that I actually spent Sunday relaxing (*gasp*), and cleaning (*yuck*). I did stop in to visit a friend who was moving, and as is the custom, am spending my Sunday evening with my best friend, my sister.

Ok...it's 9pm...time for Sopranos.


Thou Shalt Not Blog In Anger

Yesterday, you may have noted that I did not post my usual end of the day thoughts. By the time I got home from an evening with friends in the North End, I realized that I probably was not in the best mood to blog. In fact, I was quite angry. Now that I have had some time to cool off, and let the steam dissipate from between my ears, I can blog safely once again.

So, why the anger, you may ask? It's a stupid thing really, but its the principle of the event that really p*d me off. When I got back to my car last night, parked on the corner of Prince and Snowhill, I found that someone had smashed my driver-side mirror. Yes, yes, I know - this sort of sh*t happens all the time in the North End - the tight little streets and sharp corners don't help. However, based on the way my mirror was bent, it was clear that my car was hit by someone driving up the one way street, going the wrong way. Ok, ok, yes this too always happens in the North End - invariably, the myriad of tourists driving around in their rental cars always end up going the wrong way on a one-way street. (Granted, this may not have been necessarily caused by a car - a pedestrian walker-by may have found my car offensive - but pfaa, I'll never know.)

Still, this was not what truly incensed me.

What was it you ask? It's the fact that some cop was standing 5 feet away from my car when it happened. I kid you not. When I approached the barely pre-pubescent police officer about the "incident" he scratched his head, thought for a little bit, shifted his weight...and gave me such a blank stare, I really wondered if there was anything going on upstairs. "Um...I m not sure what happened, but you can call the office and file a report." I quickly realized that continuing this discussion would be about as effective as trying to boil the ocean, so I acquiesced and walked back to my car to assess the damage. I called my friend Matt so that I could borrow a pair of wire cutters to cut through the sinew like wires by which the mirror was dangling on the side of my car and made my way home sans driver-side mirror (which was really weird...I never realized how much I relied on that mirror until last night).

Alright, so it was an evening of unfortunate events. And no, I am will not throw the Boston PD under a bus for this incident...I really think the kid on duty just didn't have a clue. I am now in the process of ordering the new car part, and Matt will help me re-attach the appendage. As he aptly pointed out last night "this will be your chance to learn to use a soldering gun."


[sidebar: while reading my RSS Feeds, I stumbled upon this story from wired about a Second Life player suing the company in state court over a bum "virtual land" deal. The laywer in me is VERY curious to see the eventual disposition of this matter.]


Doth Mine Eyes Deceive Me?

Is that the sun I see?


50,000 Mile Birthday

Two years ago, I purchased the car of my dreams. A Volkswagen, GTI GLX. When I decided to make this adult purchase, I knew exactly what I wanted, and found a great deal on a used 2001 with only 36,000 miles. I bough it below Blue Book value and to boot, it came Certified Pre-Owned by VW (translation: a used car with a two year warranty).

Other than a $500 Volvo station wagon college-junker, which really doesn't count, this was my first "real car." I am well aware that there a much better cars out there, but I love my little hatchback. For the price I paid, it's a much better value than those "other" cars, and I have so much fun driving it (I actually enjoy driving this car more than my friends' fancy-schmancy BMWs).

Now, when it comes to cars, I am a total dork and get pumped by talk of horsepower, torque, cylinders and other "car speak". The mileage is fairly decent for a V6 engine (yep, this little baby packs a V6!). It's small, so I can easily fit it into tight North End parking spaces. It has 180 horsepower, which means this car has some mean power (I did the math - it comes out to about 1 horse per 11 pounds - sweeeet). And, of course, it's a standard - I wouldn't drive anything else. (Yes, I admit, it has as of late had some mechanical problems, but there issues are resolved and were covered by warranty.)

Tonight, my car became a man. It turned 50,000 miles. Happy Birthday!


Mother's Day Re-Visited

As luck would have it, I spent the bulk of my day in bed with strep throat. Ick. As many commented, my voice has dropped a couple of octaves, making me an ideal candidate for a new job at 976-LOVE. The worst part was not being able to help my mother out at her flower store today. She was able to get some last minute assistance, but I still regretted my inability to help. I basically slept for most of the day, and during my waking hours, watched movies. I watched "Flight Plan", which despite being an action/thriller managed to bore me to tears. Please don't waste precious hours of your life watching this movie...I beg you.

Just as the rain, illness and doldrums were starting to take their toll on my already seriously waning spirits, my mother decided to bring mother's day to me! After she closed her store down for the day, she picked up my sister and they both came over. I rustled us some dinner, and we all watched the HBO line-up. (Actually, my exhausted mother fell asleep on the couch and is snoozing as I type this).

On another note, I was very sorry to hear about Yankee Matsui's wrist incident. The surgery to repair his wrist was deemed a success. I am a die-hard Red Sox fan, but Matsui is the one Yankee player I actually respect. Get well soon Matsui - otherwise, playing your team won't be as much fun!


Spongeback Mountain

I have never really watched Spongebob, but apparently, many of my adult friends really like the show. I stumbled upon this on YouTube, and had to post in honor of my sponge-Bob loving cronies.


I am in Love with A Local Boy!!!

Ok...I couldn't resist posting another entry for today. I just finished watching the season finale of The Office, and this comedy show both brought tears to my eyes, as well as some lovely chills down my spine. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who might have TiVo'd it or plans on ITunesing it, but Matt Damon, eat your heart out...there's a new man in town (well, actually, he's a native Newtonian). John Krasinski, who plays Jim Halpert, one of the wise cracking employees of Dunder Mifflin is my new love. I've always harbored a secret crush on this tasty-cake, but this latest episode just sealed the deal. I know, he's acting and he's probably nothing like his character on the show, but still. Yummy.

Be still my beating heart . . .

Mother's Day Madness

I am spending a quiet night at home tonight, something which I have not done in quite some time. Despite the nasty weather, I have refused to let it stop me . . .My friend Steve and I headed to the Border Cafe on Monday to engage in some post-Cinco de Mayo revelry, and Tuesday and Wednesday was spent with some of my girlfriends. But, I need a break. I must refuel, for I have grueling weekend up ahead of me. Why you may ask? Mother's day...

So, my mother, in a bold and admirable career move decided to leave corporate America a couple of years ago to become her own boss. She purchased a Kabloom flower shop in Westford, and since then has been relentlessly toiling away. She works VERY long hours, and often engages in back-breaking work, but she still cannot wipe the silly grin off her face. She loves what she does, and loves her customers- yes, even Republican governors!

For those who are familiar with the flower business, you are undoubtedly aware that the two biggest days of the year for any flower shop are Valentine's Day, and yes - you knew this was coming - Mother's Day. Accordingly, for the past three years, I usually spend most of mother's day weekend working side by side with my mother, wrapping flowers, helping children chose flowers for mom, and talk down the occasional irrationally irate customers. And this year is no different - I'll be right there. It's my small way of giving back to mom, because I have a feeling that sending her a bouquet of flowers just isn't going to cut it. And hell, she did give birth to me and put up with me all of these years.

So, if any of you haven't already ordered your mom flowers, please contact my mother's Kabloom and she (or I) will take care of it, even if she isn't local. And, those of you with out-of-state mothers and nothing to do on Sunday, feel free to stop by and hang out with mom and I at Kabloom!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man

That is a quote by Mark Twain that a friend of mine shared with me yesterday. It came up in the context of talking about our past careers (he was an investment banker in NYC, and I was a lawyer in NYC). We both made a very good living, but at the end of the day, we ended up paying for it with our lives. There comes a point in time in your life where you realize that it's pretty naive to think that you are able to put up with anything for a "phat" paycheck. (Sidebar: We both still work very hard in our current jobs, but generally, are much happier with our chosen career paths).

My friend and I started focusing on what we believe to be one of the problems with Corporate America - endless meetings replete with silly corporate speak (which exacts a heavy toll on the English language). We both noted that, if people actually spoke plain English, most of these meetings would be done in about one quarter of the time. (I guess if that happened though, people would actually have to do something productive in the meantime!)

When I was but a wee associate at a big NYC law firm, my colleagues and I would be required to sit through conference calls that would drag on for hours. We got so bored listening to the droning, that we devised a game which we affectionately referred to as “BS Bingo” - the words on our bingo card were things like “synergy”, “claw back”, “circle-back”, etc. You get the idea (and most of you are probably intimately familiar with it). It ended up being a very fun way to pass away the hours, and at times, the Partners would even join us in our frivolity!

Another version of this amusement was playing "Office Space." My friend and his colleagues would challenge each other by quoting as much of the movie as possible in big group meetings without anyone catching on. The would say things like… “yeah, if you could go ahead and ______, that would be great” or “he is a straight shooter with upper management written all over him” or “yeah, they are consultants who are here to …. Uh, help us, yeah”. Bonus points were awarded to for kicking the printer after the meeting yelling “I swear to god some day I will toss this piece of sh*t out the window.” It was pretty fun game, and only a handful of people (usually the few cool people who had seen the move) caught on.

You are probably wondering how the Mark Twain quote relates to this thread . . . I really have no idea either.


Octogenarian Boogy, High School Reunions and Motorbikes

Wow, what a weekend. I don't even know where to begin, other than to say I passed out last night without watching my usual Sunday night line up. Pathetic I know, but the blissful sleep and On-Demand made it all worth it.

The weekend was absolutely worth the sleep deprivation. Friday night, my close friend Lauren and I headed out to The Taste of the North End and danced the night away. The irony is that the only people with the guts enough to ask us to dance, were in their 80s. But, these guys could cut a rug better than most able-bodied men half their age! To top the evening off, I ran into one of my good friends from high school and his new wife. Lauren and I eventually hobbled home wearily at around 1am (you try dancing in heels), and were so relieved by the sweet cool feel of the grass between our toes (yes, we walked home barefoot).

Despite the late night festivities, I still got up early (the joys of having a dog), and took Murphy for his morning walk. I had brunch with Lauren, her husband and one of our friends who was in Boston while on a brief train layover. We supped at the South Street Diner, which was the perfect place to soak up the residual alcohol intake from the previous night. Of course, I had another night of festivities planned with some of my cast mates and friends at the Red Fez in the South End.

Even though I was exhausted on Sunday, my good friend Ashley called me up and we spent a delightful afternoon cruising on his motorcycle through Walden Pond, Concord, Sudbury, Acton and the environs. I know it's dangerous, but the adrenaline-junky, thrill-seeker in me loves nothing more than the joys of being on a motorcycle.

All in all, I came away from this weekend with warm, gushy, thank god for good friends feeling.


Junebug, A Must See

I watched "Junebug" last night, and I can honestly say that a movie hasn't touched me this much in a long time. No other movie has had such a resounding impact on me, save "You Can Count on Me". The Junebug script was amazing, but honestly, the power of the movie wasn't so much in what was said, but more in what wasn't said. The awkward silences and the long close-up of the character's facial expressions were more poignant than the dialogue. Don't get me wrong - the dialogue was great. But that parts that stick out to me more than anything were the silences. Each character in this film was crying out to speak and communicate but for their own reasons, they were unable to do so - each trapped inside their own prison. At times, I wanted to shake some of the characters and beg, PLEAD with them to say something.

Of particular note is Amy Adam's performance. The strained smiles and the obvious pain behind her character's eyes, literally ripped my heart out from my chest. She got a well-deserved Oscar nod for her performance in this movie. ( Who would have thought an actress from "Wedding Crashers" and "The Office" could be so amazing).

I recognize that I do not have the requisite writing skills to do this film justice, but believe me when I say this movie is good for the soul. I have only scratched the surface, and I am sure movie critics are currently scoffing at my trite thoughts. But, my two faithful readers - my point is to merely encourage you to see this movie. On a more shallow note, I have a new crush on the male lead in this move, Alessandro Nivola. Wow.

For those of you who are wondering. Yep, I am now a proud MAC user. I have officially sold my soul to Steve Jobs.


Stephen Colbert - White House Press Dinner

I love this guy...smart and funny as hell. Check him out at the White House Press Dinner - it's long, but WELL worth watching:

And, catch his mock Press Secretary Audition:


The Bastard People Finally Turned the Heat On!

It has been one bone chilling cold day for me. For whatever reason, the bastard people (aka my apartment's management company) refused to turn the heat on. I live in a pre-war brownstone, and all 40 or so units are controlled by a giant boiler in the basement. While we can all regulate the heat in our individual apartments, that is only useful insofar as the bastard people actually turn the heat ON. So, today was a work from home day, and it was painful. I worked while clad in two sweatshirts, jeans, wool socks and my winter boots (and my feet still could not thaw). Had a myriad of conference calls and other things not prevented me from doing so, I would have gladly planted myself in the local Peets Coffee to work. Ick.

I was already feeling a bit under the weather this morning when I woke up, but the permanent chill in the air has made it official - I am sick. The flu like symptoms have made a nasty appearance, and I type this having just taken my shot of NyQuil (let the medical inebriation begin!) I give myself about 10 more minutes or so until the meds kick in and I pass out. I was originally intending to meet a friend for dinner tonight at Skipjacks, but cancelled because the incessant yawning, sneezing, sniffling and general malaise would have made me rather unpleasant company. Now, one of my friends postulated I may be getting allergies, which I have never had in my life (something of a blessing). Apparently, allergies can afflict you as you get older. As if aging didn't suck already!

Of course, the irony is that the bastard people turned the heat on about 30 minutes ago (around 11pm). Not that I m complaining, but . . .