Where did February Go?

I am looking at my calendar and cannot believe it is March 2nd. MARCH!

Was I abducted for the month of February? Do I have amnesia? I cannot believe the whole month has slipped through my fingers. The only way to know what I did last month is to look inside my trusty little camera. There must be some evidence there of what went on… Let’s see…

Looks like the month started off with a party of some sort. That’s RIGHT! It was ashbloem’s birthday. We had some fondue! And as usual, our girl Ann was THE LIFE of the party. She kicked it off hard core when she tried to see how many pieces of fondue bread she could stuff in her mouth at once. I think she got to 10. Check out dearest Dabney in the background. You know what she is thinking, right?

Nothing says HAPPY BIRTHDAY like a candle in a round of cheese. Right, girls?

Oh! And then Ash and I had a rare night out to ourselves! ALL BY OURSELVES! It was glorious, really. I can’t remember the last time we did that. We laughed and chatted up the friendly bartender, Ski, who was not the bartender we were hoping to find that night. Ah, well. He tried on her hat, though, and we liked him for it.

Maybe I had a baby.

No, that can’t be right. I think I would remember that. But what a cutie!

Oh, check this out. Now I remember… the bloody mary bar crawl with Vic and Chris. We started at Harvard Gardens, on to Kinsale, over to Spire then across the river to Cambridge where we hit Noir (even though they had no bloody marys as we had been promised), go kicked out of Grendels, had some thai food, and ended up at John Harvard’s. It was a full day. We had a few drinks.

Then it appears that I was abducted by strange asian garden gnomes:

Noooo. That’s just Ann again killing me with her crazy antics again. She had a grand old time with my hot pink cashmere hat at the Lush Lounge, where we were hanging out with Dabney and the lovely Francesca.

[Ladies… I am telling you that guy at the bar was STRAIGHT.]

The month ended with a trek through arctic temperatures (I swear there was an Emperor Penguin following me down Tremont) to the Union Oyster House, and no I did NOT order the “Ye Old Chili Nachos”. Vic and I feasted on oysters, cheerystones, and mussels. Yummmmmm! I totally charmed the shuckers, Mike and Dave, behind the bar and they let me come back and take some great shots up close and personal. I am actually going to save them for a separate posting since I like them (the pictures, not the schuckers) so much. No, they were really cool guys who kept us well entertained.

Well, that brings us more or less up to date on my social schedule. Sure, there’s been more than bar hopping and parties… but who wants to hear how I did my laundry the other day, or just how comfy my brand new sheets and duvet are?

Back to more regularly scheduled blogging… Promise.

Plotting My Escape

I want to escape this weekend. I don’t know where yet. I have a car (thanks to big sis) so just need to decide on a place. I was thinking maybe cape cod. But anywhere coastal would do. I love the beach even in the winter. Maybe even moreso since you have it all to yourself.

I want to sleep late, pamper myself, take a long bath and finish a few books I have started. Bonus points if there is a spa in indulge myself in further.

A change of scenery would be perfect right now.

Cheeky Indeed

I first learned about olympic speed skating when I was living in Holland. It’s a pretty big deal over there. No, that is an understatement. It is one of the country’s most popular sports and the major players are revered as demi-gods. During the last winter olympics I was dating a dutchman who knew all about the sport, and we spent what seemed like hours in front of my TV watching the matches. At first I thought it was boring and difficult to follow, mostly because I couldn’t really follow the rapid fire commentary in Dutch (and he was often too engrossed to take the time to translate). But then, quite suddenly, I quickly learned to appreciate the sport…

And it’s easy to see why:

Meet Dutch speed skater Dennis Kalker

And let me present to youDutch speed skater Erik Jan Spijkerman

And finally wouldn’t you like to get to know Dutch speed skating olympic champion Gerard van Velde?

So, I ask you… what’s not to like about this great sport? But NOW, I have to tell you about my new skater crush: Mr. Joey Cheek. Sadly, US speed skaters don’t seem to have the same penchant for posing in the buff like our Dutch friends (maybe we should send a formal request or something).

How adorable is this guy? He just won a gold medal for the US in 500M:

And not only is he cute, but he is a good samaritan. He is going to donate the $25,000 awarded to him by the U.S. Olympic Committee for winning the gold medal to children in African refugee camps so they might have a chance to play sports. Wow! Wait a second, did you know that medal winners were awarded cash from the USOC? I didn’t. That’s just the beginning of his philanthropic effort though, he said he will ask his sponsors — Nike and Oakley — and “all of the Olympic sponsors that give hundreds of millions of dollars” to match his donation. And, if he wins the 1,000 meters coming up on Saturday, he said he will donate that $25,000 as well.

Anyway… the good news is it looks like he has a crush on ME too! Look! Look! Look at this article. I am just sure the flowers will be arriving any day now. Yippiieeee!

Sadly, however, based on what his mom thinks her son will tackle next, I doubt we’ll be seeing shots of Cheek’s cheeks anytime soon (ugh, sorry couldn’t resist that one). Ah. well. We still have the Dutch… like Ralf van der Rijst…

Happy Singles Awareness Day!

I have been cursed for Valentines day, did you know that? I blame this person:

Yes, my adorable and talented big sister. Sure, she looks innocent, but it’s all her fault that I am cursed on Valentine’s Day.

This is how it went down:

When I was in the 6th grade Erin worked for a Hallmark store called the Curiosity Shop. I had the BIGGEST CRUSH EVER on a boy named Brian Eisert*. Erin thought it would be just so much fun if I prepared a secret admirer present for Brian for Valentine’s Day. The Curiosity Shop, ehm, donated, a few items for my gift including a card, little white stuffed teddybear, and some candy. Erin and I devised a very solid plan, Bond worthy in fact, for me to sneak into the cloak room during lunch and put the gifts of love into Brian’s backpack. Easy, right?

Well, I guess as a 6th grader I wasn’t so stealth-savvy and I got caught. Worse than that, I got caught by my arch-nemisis Jon Soloman**. Jon just loved loved loved to tease me and did so at every opportunity. Nothing was sacred. He roasted me on this. He may have well tied me to a stake in the middle of the playground and pelted me with rancid cheese.

I was ashamed.
I was mortified.
I was 12.
I blamed Erin for putting me up to it, and still do to this day.

Since then I can’t really remember a happy-go-lucky-in-love Valentine’s Day. It just never works out like I plan.

The last time I attempted to celebrate it properly was in Amsterdam with Matthijs. I was giddy in love and wanted to celebrate it, even though I knew that he was very against the whole notion of Valentine’s and had absolutely no intention of recognizing the holiday in any way. I tried to make the evening special. At first I tried to play it off like it was just another day. I came over to his house after work and cooked a normal dinner. Unbeknownst to him, I had purchased a beautiful chocolate creation for dessert. Yes, it was in the shape of a heart. Yes, I think there was some silly professions of love and heart-ness on it. I admit to you, yes, I am a big sap. A big romantic sap.

The thing was, I had purchased the chocolate creation at lunch time and left it in my office for the duration of the afternoon until I biked over to his house that evening. Silly me… my office was a disaster and I just put it down where it would go…not even thinking that putting a chocolate creation on top of a radiator was a bad idea. Let me tell you now, putting a beautiful hearty chocolate creation on top of a radiator is a bad idea. Just in case you didn’t know.

Well, after dinner came and I opened the box of the chocolate creation with great anticipation and glee only to find it one brown blobby mess resembling more a pile of poo than anything else. Oh, the let down! Oh, the sorrow! He thought it was hysterical.

*Hi Brian! I still love you after all these years! (Just in case you google yourself and find this story)
**Screw You Jon, I’ll never forgive you for being such a jerk growing up (Just in case you google yourself and find this story)


OK, I am totally addicted to Yelping!

I am finding that I really love writing reviews on all kinds of places, from where I got my last pedicure to what I thought of the mojito I had the other night.

Once you start dishing out your opinions it’s hard to stop– especially when the other “yelpers” are so encouraging. This is particularly fun since I never really thought of myself of a very good writer. Surprisingly, I haven’t contributed any photos to Yelp reviews yet, but I do plan to soon.

Ahh, just another way to fry my brain on the internet.

OK! So about Key West!

As I was walking from the T to the office this morning, in 19 degree weather, I was dreaming of the recent days spent in Key West and trying not to think of the massive snow storm heading our way.

So, let me break it down for you.

First let’s talk Oysters. Are you a fan? I had only had oysters a few times in my life before this trip, but holy crap did we eat a lot of them. In one day alone I think Vic and I shared around 3 dozen oysters and cherrystones when we ordered the “tower of power”. Damn. It was good stuff.

Pictures of oysters are not really pretty– let’s face it, they look pretty disgusting. I have to wonder who the first person to open an oyster and say: Yum! Look at THAT! Yeah! Now lets add some horseradish and maybe a little sherry! Awesome! But for the sake of my documentary, you must see them to believe them:

(that was the top of the tower of power)

Next, let’s talk drinks. We had some. A few, in fact. Of course there were bloody marys. We had some beer. And one evening we even imbibed in some fruity tropical drinks. They were all tasty.

And hey, did you know that in Florida, you can buy BEER at CVS??? They know what they’re doing down there for sure.

So, how did we spend our time? Mostly in or around this, our pool which was all of about 5 steps from our cottage:

Speaking of our cottage, that’s a shot of it above. Here is a picture of the inside:

Victor is a very fun travel companion and was a great conversationalist, that is when not engrossed in his cell phone:

No seriously, he IS really a fun person to travel with. We had good times riding our rented bikes around town and generally laughing it up.

We even got to see some native Floridian wildlife!

All in all… it was an awesome trip. Finally got a chance to put my feet up and relax.

Did you see the shoe?

Do you remember that magazine you read as a kid, most likely in the Dentist’s waiting room, Highlights Magazine? There was always a puzzle in that magazine that fascinated me– the one where you would look at a seemingly normal picture and then have to pick out the things that were odd or out of place. The shoe in hidden in the branches of the tree, the pot in the flowerbed, the cat shaking hands with a mouse (you know what I mean, right?). I sort of feel like that’s what’s going on over here right now. On the surface things look just fine, but look a little more closely and you’ll find shoes in my tree.

For once, I have opened up to a few people about my concern over the shoes in my tree which is something historically I would have tried to cover up. Shoe? What shoe? I don’t see any damn shoe! But I have found that turning to friends has been more helpful than I could ever have imagined. It has also made me see that the friendships I have made here in Boston perhaps run deeper than I had realized. The offers of unconditional support, the declarations of love, and the simple gesture of just being there for me when asked have made more a difference than you could possibly know (you know who you are).

I always thought I was good at the cover up. I put on a good face and strongly believe in the idea to fake it until you make it. I know now that for those of you closest to me see right through it, and it is pointless for me to pretend otherwise. That’s quite a lesson for me. For those of you reading who haven’t been so aware of what is going on…well, here it is. Now you know. Ask me about it and I will tell you more.

I know I am not being very specific here, and that is by direct intent. I rarely blog about issues that are this personal, and it feels a little funny to expose myself even this tiny bit. But I think it is the right thing to do right now.

OK… enough. Back to tits, beer, poker and travel summaries…

Soul Friends

I haven’t lived in one place long enough to sustain many frienships where people know you through and through… you know what I mean… soul friends.

Soul friends know it all, or at least have access to it. They laugh and cry with you and aren’t bothered a bit by a late night emergency-I-have-to-tell-you-this-RIGHT-NOW kind of phone call. Often a whole conversation can pass through one glance or a raise of the eyebrow. They remember what you like and don’t like and even when they disagree with their choices they stand by your side and even hold your hand when your heart gets broken. And again when it is mended.

I have many good friends who have pieces of me, who can tell, in detail, many of my stories from the times we’ve spent together. But few can qualify as my soul friends. This girl happens to be one of them, and since it’s her birthday today it seems like the perfect time to shout a little love her way (although if you read her blog you’ll see she’s getting plenty of good lovin’ lately)

Girl, you are the cat’s pajamas! You keep me laughing even when I can’t find anything left to laugh about. If there is any piece of me that is even remotely hip, current, or cool it is your doing, more likely than not. You’ve taught me about lipgloss, the love of wigs, the fun of fake eyelashes, cool music, and even tried (albeit so far unsuccessfully) to knit. But still, watch out since I would steal your make-up basket if you weren’t looking. You are the perfect combination of Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem, Dolly Parton and Courtney Love.

Altijd Een Festje!