Fabio and His Lovely Locks

Last night, my friend Joel and I met up at Shays for some drinks, nachos and yummy pub-food. We both had just landed at Logan after attending some out-of-town meetings, and I was in dire need of some good company, grub and relaxation. (If, dear readers, you are ever looking for a good place to grab a brew and relax, I highly recommend Shays).

So, Joel and I are sitting at the bar and eating our oh-so-unhealthy dinners. We opted to sit indoors rather than sit in their patio so that we could enjoy the cool, refreshing air-conditioning. We happened to glance outside to the patio, and noticed two men sitting at the table. One of the men, who we dubbed "Fabio" was repeatedly caressing his hair and then . . . and I am not kidding here . . . .kissed his hair. Joel and I looked at each disbelievingly ("did we really just see that??) and began to giggle like schoolgirls. I know it sounds mean, but some of the other barstoolers noticed this behavior and were also audibly amused. Even the waitress couldn't help but suppress a chuckle.

What followed can only be described as an "MST3K" moment. It was as if all of us at the bar were watching a bad movie, and couldn't resist interjecting our own dialogue. Fabio happened to sitting with a bald man, so one of the barstoolers commented, "That's just mean! He's taunting the bald guy! 'I have hair and it's simply fabulous. Aren't you jealous?'" Everyone at the bar erupted into a cacophony of laughter.

This entertainment lasted for a solid 30 minutes, in which Fabio would not stop fondling his hair. I mean seriously, I was ready to ask him and his hair to get a room. Fabio and his hair "sashayed" away (to quote one of the barstoolers). When he stood up, we all noticed his undersized blue t-shirt which served no purpose other than to highlight his over-sized pecs.

Honestly, I do feel a bit bad for making fun of this anonymous Fabio, but believe me when I tell you, you too would have been greatly amused. Plus, Joel and I were able to make some wonderful new acquaintances with our bar-colleagues (we exchanged contact info), and I know we will stay in touch.

So, I really should say thank you to Fabio. Thank you for making Joel and I laugh our a$$es off, and for helping us make some new friends!


I Don't Remember Moving to Seattle

I woke up this morning at some ungodly hour - 5am - and for whatever reason, was as alert as a chipmunk on steroids (ok...I've never seen a chipmunk on steroids, but the imagery works no?) I did go to bed pretty darn early, but nothing to warrant being so bright-eyed and bushy-tailed while the sun was still dormant (ooo - I may keep the "chipmunkeries" going throughout this whole entry!) So, I leaped out of bed, put my hair in a pony tail, threw an old pair of jeans on and proceeded to commence my day. I washed dishes, I folded clothes, I cleaned up my office and continued working on a presentation for a very large, very important work meeting this week (which could potentially explain my 5am wake-up). I felt good.

Then the sun came up, and it all went away.

Rain....more rain. The sky a dark billowy nasty color, ominously looking above me.

And then the rain clouds began to taunt me, tease me. . ."You want to see the sun?", they say to me, "Here you go."

And slowly, the clouds part to reveal a brilliant blue sky, while the sun's rays cast beautiful hues and shadows on the ground beneath it. Just as quickly, the rain clouds return to cast their darkness. "You'll get to see the sun again, but not for a couple of days."

Haven't we suffered enough rain clouds? We gave up our entire weekend for you, not to mention most of our summer. For the love of everything sacred, when will it end?? I hope my supplications will convince the the rain clouds to show mercy and allow the sun to make an appearance for the weekend of the 4th.



I promised that my blog would not be about my dog Murphy, but I do need to announce the impending arrival of Hunter, Murphy's new little sister! Hunter will land on the East Coast (she is coming in from Washington state) in mid-July and I couldn't be more excited.

Murphy has only known life with another dog (his first buddy was a Boxer name Whiskey), and since Whiskey's departure he has been a bit forlorn and looking to me to be his constant playmate. After pondering this new addition for a couple of months, I finally decided it was time.

As you can see, Hunter is not a brand spankin' new puppy. She is in fact about 8 months old and will arrive already crate trained and house-broken. Thank God. As much as I enjoyed Murphy's puppy-days, I'd be lying if I said it didn't get really good until he was trained. Hence, when I began searching for Hunter, I knew I wanted and "older" dog.

Of course, I am a bit scared. I have had two dogs before, so the extra work doesn't frighten me (actually, it really isn't much more work to have a second dog...in fact, it can be easier because the two can keep each other occupied and challenged). What does frighten me are the unknowns - will Murphy and Hunter like each other? Will Hunter be as lovely as Murphy? I will not know until she arrives, although my conversations with her breeder and trainer lead me to believe that she will be the right fit.

We shall see - an update will be forthcoming upon Hunter's arrival in July!


"Please Return You Seatbacks to their Upright and Uncomfortable Positions"

I would like to meet the inventor of the airplane seat and have a nice chat with them. I'd like to know what their goals were in designing these seats. Here are some of my guesses:

OVERALL GOAL: Design the most uncomfortable cushioned seat known to man

- make sure that the back pain these seats will produce gets exponentially worse on longer flights;
- design "cushions" that feel like rock (the "I can't believe it's not rock" sofa);
- keeping in mind that the human back has a concave curvature, ensure that the seat-backs are convex;
- Pretend all of your customers are over 8 feet tall when determining the location of the headrest;
- make sure that the recline on the seat is not noticeable

I mean seriously. I've sat on piles of shattered glass that are more comfortable than airplane seats. And, unfortunately, I fly so often, these "seats" (if one can call them that) take their toll on my back. How hard can it be to make these seats more comfortable?? It's not rocket science is it?

I woke up at 3:30am yesterday to catch a very early flight to Chicago for a day meeting. I was supposed to fly back home on an 8:25pm flight, but because of some nasty weather patterns, I didn't take-off until 11:00pm. I finally crawled home at 3:00am...after being up for 24 hours. I started work at 8:30am.


Perhaps my continued state of sleep deprivation explains my bitterness towards airplane seats. However, lack of sleep notwithstanding, I think the person who invents a quasi-comfortable airplane seat (I am not asking for much), can probably make a pretty penny . . .


If Microsoft Packaged the IPod

All of my house guests landed yesterday, and since their arrival, it has been non-stop drinking and fun. I have enough alcohol in my refrigerator to keep an entire frat house happy for months. I am not much of a beer drinker (red wine and gin being my usual poison), so this is a whole new experience for me. Everyone was up into the wee hours of the morning playing Texas Hold'Em, and my sister walked away with everyone's chips...hehehehe.

I am a little tired, after sleeping on my "Aerobed". It's definitely much better than sleeping on the floor, but not by much. Even my dog wouldn't sleep on it with me - instead, the little traitor slept with Drew and his girlfriend Anna (the UKers) on the pull-out sofa. The upside to this desertion was that poor Drew and Anna were awoken to puppy licks at sunrise, while I slept soundly until 7:30.

Alas, I am working today while they go enjoy the sites. At 3pm they will be chelaxing in my neighbor's apartment watching the football game (UK is playing), and then at 6, we will all head off to the Red Sox game (yehaw!). The weather is slated to turn sour...a la massive thunderstorms and showers, so there is a small chance the game might be called. We are all crossing our fingers that the sky will hold back it's floodgates!

Alright, back to work I go. In the interim, take a look at this great video clip created by Microsoft employees. I gotta respect people who can poke fun at their own shortcomings ;)


Look Ma, No Hands!

Today, I have reached a milestone! I have a list of 100 things to do before I die, and one of them is to ride a bicycle without holding the handlebars. For years, this simple task has eluded me. As a wee lass in Belgium, I tried, and tired, but all I got for my efforts were bloody knees and scraped palms.

Fast forward to the present. As of last year, I wasn't really riding bikes (other than motorcycles). I spent the last 7 years on my rollerblades, and I was a total fiend. I would rollerblade to law school, followed by roller-blading to work in NYC and Boston. I lived on my blades, and was affectionately dubbed "roller-girl"...which apart from the salient fact that I did not blade sans shirt, was an apropos surname. Alas, an old blading injury flared up last year, and my doctor told me it was time to cool it and find some other sports obsession.

Re-enter the bicycle.

I purchased my first adult bicycle last year (oddly enough, the same year I purchased my first adult car) and I have been riding it as much as possible. It's a lot of fun, but it has taken some getting used to. It's not rollerblading, but it's fast and is also a great means of locomotion (apart from the obvious health benefits). On the few days of sunshine we have had this year, I am riding my bike.

And today, I am an official "cool" rider...no handlebars :)


Aliens are Invading My Apartment!

Anybody who knows me well understands that I am blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) by permanent wanderlust. For the past 8 years, I have visited at least two new countries a year. I love nothing more than the freedom of traveling in an unknown country with only my backpack, Lonely Planet guide and my resourcefulness. The wanderlust "bug" bit me back in 1998 when I backpacked in Morocco and made my way through the entire country over the span of a couple of weeks - I made no advance reservations of any kind and simply meandered throughout the amazing country. From that point on, I was hooked - my backpack and I have made our way to Egypt (pictured above - that's me on the camel), South Africa, Guatemala, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Poland, Belize, Mexico...the list goes on. The adrenaline, thrill-seeking, freedom-lover in me has found NOTHING more exhilarating than the thrill of exploring new worlds from the inside out.

Unfortunately, I fear that this is the first year that I will not be able to visit two new countries. I am grateful to have had the opportunities and worldly experiences, so I really am not complaining. I do have a trip to Italy with my little sister, but unless I visit some neighboring countries, I am afraid to say, Italy will be my only international destination. My 8 year streak will be broken and it's hard for me to accept this bitter pill. Perhaps it's a mixture of increased responsibility, growing older (gulp), or simply that the wanderlust bug fever is breaking. Who knows?

So, instead of going out to see the world, the world is coming to me! I have been looking forward to this coming week for a long time now because some old friends from Australia and the UK are coming to visit little 'ole me in Cambridge. These are friends I met while backpacking in Egypt in 1999, and we have stayed in touch ever since. (In fact, I went and visited them in their respective countries). And, as wonderful icing on the cake, an old friend from Switzerland e-mailed me this week to let me know he would be in Boston this weekend, so I am also going to get the chance to see him.

What glee! What joy! I will be visiting Australia, the UK and Switzerland this week! What a lucky girl I am ;)


Back from the Big Apple

Man..I am so very, very, very tired. I got back a couple of hours ago from a work trip to NYC. It's always fun to go back there, since I did live there for 4 years. I don't think I could ever live there again. As I often say, Boston is the perfect methadone clinic for a NYC addiction. But it's great to have a chance to go back, and luckily, work always provides me with lots of opportunities to do so - see the old sights, see my old friends, and generally feed off of the intoxicating energy there.

Of course, I am a little worse for the wear after staying out too late with my NYC friends on a school night. A cocktail party, leisurely dinner, and some late night conversation with some of my nearest and dearest made my ability to fire on all cylinders particularly challenging today. But, I endured, especially since the difficulty was self-imposed. I caught the shuttle home after a full day conference, picked up Murphy (who I missed tremendously despite my short absence), and just finished watching "The Squid and the Whale". Another must see. The story of a tragically sad family.

With that, I'm off to bed at a pathetically early hour. No deep thoughts today. Maybe tomorrow. . .


A Recipe for some Kick A$$ Music

Wow - my last couple of posts have certainly been long-winded! In light of (1) the prior lengthy entries, (2) the current time (LATE), and (3) the serious ass-kicking I know I will receive tomorrow (long story - if you want to know more, drop me a note and I'll share), I will keep this post short and sweet.

I want to talk about one of my favorite topics - music. I am pretty much a music junkie, as judged by the size of my hard drive (meow) and the breadth of my musical taste. I find silence distracting - I am being quite serious - and always get more work done with tunes. The sweetest pleasure though, is listening to the perfect album while driving. The combination of some bitchin' music, and the thrill of driving literally gives me chills. I always pick one album and listen to it until I know it inside-out, backwards and upside-down. During the past couple of months I have listened to the following:

Beck - Guero
Madeleine Peyroux - Careless Love
Coldplay - X&Y
Triplets of Belleville Soundtrack
Keane - Hope & Fears
Doves - Some Cities
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Lhasa de Sela - The Living Road
Hank Mobley - Blue Note Fifties Sessions
Napoleon Dynamite Soundtrack
Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine

All in their own right great albums (and highly recommended).

My current album pick is amazing and I love nothing more than to blast this band with my windows and moonroof open (when it isn't raining!) Who is it? Well, which band do you get when you mix the following ingredients?

1 cup of Jeff Buckley
1 cup of Rufus Wainright
1 cup of Radiohead
1/2 cup of Coldplay
a dash of Rachmaninov


Please listen to one of their albums - you will not be disappointed.


My Blogging Manifesto

My friend "Joe" and I have a long-standing debate over the wisdom of blogging. (His name isn't Joe, but I am always very cautious about using people's real name on my blog - not everyone is comfortable with the public nature of blogging, and I have strong convictions that one shouldn't be thrown into the public arena unwittingly.) In any event, Joe is vehemently opposed to blogging and has very polarized opinions over this new phenomena. To Joe, a good blog and one worth reading is one in which the individual is making a stand - pushing a cause, or advocating a position. And, he recognizes that it's a catch-22. When one sticks their neck out for a cause in such a public forum, it will invariably come back to haunt you. Ergo, don't blog. Any other type of blog, to quote him "is plain vanilla" and a pure act of narcissism. Ergo, don't blog.

Either way, you lose.

I understand where Joe is coming from, and a recent "blogging incident" served to solidify his opinion. I have the utmost respect for Joe and while I may not always agree with his viewpoints, they are always well thought-out, reasoned and always provide me with good brain food. His comments forced me to sit down and really think about my motivations for blogging. Why do I feel compelled to post entries, and frankly, why do I enjoy it so much? I have thought long and hard about his statements, and at one point, I came very close to pulling the plug on my blog.

I started blogging back in February, and I never expected it to be something to which I would be so devoted. Fomr the beginning, I made the decision that certain topics would be off limits - my work, politics, dating and relationships, and anything else that I might deem sensitive (erring on the side of caution). It also wasn't going to be my place to air out my dirty laundry (other than things like car troubles etc.), or anyone else's dirty laundry.

So, what was left to write about? A lot actually - random observations, humor, and as the title of my blog suggests, any sort of "meandering musings." Does that make my blog vanilla? I m not sure. Of course, my ego would hate to admit that my blog is "vanilla", but upon further reflection, the vanilla title doesn't bother me. I am not looking to be controversial - I don't think this is the place to do it. My goal is to simply put a smile on my face and on my readers' faces. My goal is to help me take my life less seriously, and to help me see the humor in the little things. The past few months have been very personally challenging, and through it all there have been a few beacons of light. My incredibly supportive friends, my family, my dog and yes, believe it or not, blogging. Blogging has helped me view life through a different lens - it has nudged me gently into focusing on the positive even if I've had a bad day, and I love that.

This left me with one more issue to consider - is my blogging an act of narcissism? This one is tougher. I am an actress, singer and overall, performer. Does that make me a narcissistic person? I m not sure. What motivates anyone to write, sing, act, orate or the like? I'd like to think that there are multiple motivations for that, and that they do not stem from pure acts of selfishness. For me, it's the simple desire to connect with people, to share oneself and to find a way to relate to people in a world that seems to be growing more and more disconnected. Don't get me wrong - I am not advocating blogging or any technology (such as e-mail, IM etc.) as the best way to connect with people. I'll take face-to-face communication or a telephone call over this detached medium every day. But, blogging sometimes makes that easier.

So readers, I would love to hear your thoughts/comments on this topic. Don't be shy - please chime in!


Rock, Paper, Scissors Goes Legal

This really happened. I thought it was a hoax when my friend told me about it, but it's true. Go judge, go. I applaud you. Speaking from experience, too many lawyers waste time and their client's $$ quibbling over non-issues.

Judge orders a round of rock, paper, scissors to settle a dispute between attorneys.
By ADAM LIPTAK, New York Times

Fed up with the inability of two lawyers to agree on a trivial issue in an insurance lawsuit, a federal judge in Florida this week ordered them to "convene at a neutral site" and "engage in one (1) game of 'rock, paper, scissors'" to settle the matter.

Childish lawyers are commonplace, but the use of children's games to resolve litigation disputes is apparently a new development. The judge, Gregory Presnell of U.S. District Court in Orlando, wrote that his innovation was "a new form of alternative dispute resolution."

The proximate cause of Presnell's ruling on Tuesday was a motion saying the two lawyers in the case could not agree about where to conduct the deposition of a witness.

Presnell's order indicated that deciding such things was not part of the job description of a federal judge.

Still, wary that the lawyers would start a new battle over where to conduct the rock-paper-scissors showdown, he gave them a default location — the front steps of the federal courthouse in Tampa.

That will not be necessary, said David Pettinato, a lawyer for the plaintiff. He and his adversary have agreed to meet on June 30, Pettinato said, at "an undisclosed location."

Pettinato added that he has been wasting no time since the order came down and has been training with his daughters, who are 5 and 9. They have advised him to open with rock. Pettinato said he was inclined to agree "because my case is solid as a rock."

That would be an unusual opening for a lawyer, said Matti Leshem, the co-commissioner of the USA Rock Paper Scissors League, which he described as the governing body of the sport, whose headquarters are in Los Angeles.

"I guarantee you right now," Leshem said, "that both lawyers will open with paper.
Lawyers open with paper 67 percent of the time, because they deal with so much paper."

Leshem offered to officiate. "What I don't want," he said, "is some rogue element of rock-paper-scissors coming down from the bench. When the law takes rock-paper-scissors into its own hands, mayhem can occur."

The second lawyer in the case, D. Lee Craig, declined through a spokesman to preview his strategy. Judging from the spokesman's tone, Craig did not find the matter amusing.


My Transformation to the Dark Side Is Complete

It has been some time since I have updated everyone on my indoctrination into the cult of MAC. As you all know, my first MacBook Pro was a dud and to their credit, the good people at Apple replaced it with a new one. Alas, the second one was also a dud. It was part of the same serial number series, which upon further research, I learned was simply a rotten batch. So, back to the store I trodded (is that a word?), and again, Apple did right by me. In fact, they just gave me an better, more powerful machine on the spot. I am going on the end of month 1 with my new machine, and I am happy. Very happy.

In honor of being officially brainwashed, I wanted to share this very funny YouTube video. It is very ironic that I have made the Mac switch, now that Apple has embraced Intel chips, no?

In keeping with the Star Wars theme, I also couldn't resist sharing a Robot Chicken clip from Adult Swim that had me laughing my keister off. Star Wars junkies enjoy ("Oh Geez, he's crying").


Complex Explosion of Flavor Without the Burn

My sister came over last night and as always we had a great time. The combination of my sleep deprivation and her elation that she is on summer break, certainly made us one giggly bunch. We gorged ourselves on sushi at one of my favorite local haunts Takemura and found ourselves laughing uncontrollably at some of the silliest things. My favorite was her comment (above) which she made while comparing sushi to Mexican Food (apparently Mexican food is a complex explosion of flavor WITH burn). I told her it sounded like a hemorrhoid commercial or some other weird itch cream, and of course, we laughed about it all the way back to my apartment.

After the giggles had subsided, we decided to watch a movie and settled on a film entitled Everything is Illuminated. I must say it was a very touching film. I had always wanted to see it since I read the book about 5 years ago. The film was pure quality - the cinemotagraphy, the acting, the screenplay adaptation - everything. Hats off to Liev Schrieber, the director and one of my favorite actors since seeing him in the title role of Henry V at Shakespeare in the Park.

So, before I continue, I need to provide you with a bit of background info. In a former life I was a "non-profiteer", where I worked with a lot of Eastern European college students. This job afforded me the invaluable opportunity to travel all over the world, but I always looked forward to my trips to Eastern Europe more than any other region. Since then, that part of the world and it's rich cultures has always had a very special place in my heart.

Hence, it was no surprise to me that my favorite character in the movie was the Ukrainian protagonist, Alex. My sister and I were both enamored of the actor, but we had never seen him before (the actor was clearly a native Ukrainian and sported the sexiest accent). We had to learn more about this enigmatic and strangely attractive person. I promptly booted up my computer (during the film, much to my sister's annoyance) and IMDBed and ran a bunch of google searches to learn more.

The lanky actor's name is Eugene Hutz, and I must say he is one cool cat (pictured here). I'd love to meet this guy. Everything is Illuminated was his first film appearance, and the NYC resident is actually the lead singer of a gypsy punk band called Gogol Bordello. So of course, off to ITunes I went to see if I could get a sneak peak at some of his music, and I really liked it. They also have a myspace page, so if you are at all curious, you should check out their tunes. They really are a complex explosion of flavor without the burn.

Start Wearing Purple.

Sleep is Good

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa. I promised an entry yesterday and I disappointed. But, faithful readers, I had to protect you from myself. I have essentially been incredibly sleep deprived since last Thursday, when I took off for my mini-holiday and the culmination of this sleep deprivation resulted in some pretty wacky dementia-like symptoms. I sat down a couple of times with the intent to write an entry, but everything I wrote would have been as much fun to read as your shampoo ingredient list. It was as if I couldn't piece together one coherent sentence and the rules of grammar no longer existed. Granted, my usual entries are no great works of genius - I have no delusions there. But, I do like to think that reading some of my entries is akin to reading the back of a cereal box - nothing earth-shattering, but mildly amusing when one is bored and has nothing better to do while they crunch away on Grape Nuts, or Cap'N Crunch or .... you get the idea.

I passed out last night at 9pm and woke up bright and early this morning feeling like a million bucks. Have you ever have that experience of sleeping so soundly that you don't' move the entire night? And, you wake up feeling like you just had the most wonderful experience, or just ate the best meal of your life? That's how I feel right now. Rain be damned, I feel good :)


Gone Fishin'

Faithful readers, RSS feeders and everyone else who has inadvertently stumbled upon my blog. Rest assured, I have not neglected by blog, nor will my pointless ramblings cease. I will be back tomorrow.

I took a wee bit of a vacation, but will resume life shortly. Until then . . .