Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another Wonderful Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday, and probably the nicest to date. I've had some pretty nice birthdays (a few years ago, Michael Buble kissed me for my birthday at his concert and last year Stephen threw me a surprise b-day party on the tube trip) but this year was extra special. Not only did I have a birthday party last weekend, but this year, Stephen planned it. All.By.Himself.

We packed up the car yesterday and headed to the Se
a Dog brewery in Maine. For those of you who don't know, Sea Dog makes my favorite beer, the Bluepaw Wheat Ale, a delectable beer made with blueberries. We headed to Sea Dog, had some beers, then headed to Popham Beach. After sunning ourselves for a few hours, we headed back to Sea Dogs for more brew and a lobster dinner.

Here are some photos of my special day, including the beautiful bouquet of flowers my sweet friend Molly brought to the party last week.The flowers from Molly

Fudgie The Whale - many thanks to Sherlock!
Yummy - Blueberry beer in my new Sea Dogs mug.

Isn't this the cutest logo?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Vengeance is Sweet!

It's no secret I hate Massachusetts drivers. The not-so-awesome moniker of "Masshole" isn't something to be proud of, and it does describe quite perfectly what it's like driving on the roads up here.

Growing up in Texas, I've used my horn maybe 5 times the entire time I've been driving. Since I've moved up here, I use my horn no less than once a week, and it's usually because someone either decided to run a stop sign or thought the lane was big enough for both of us to share. It's frustrating and my mouth has never had so many expletives come out of it, but it's part of life, and I'm trying not to let driving here ruin every day; it's a work in progress though.

So imagine my delight this afternoon when I was sitting in traffic in the far right lane at the 28/38/16 intersection (Wellington Station) and two cars decided that they didn't have to wait; they figured that since they were turning right at the light they could just get in the emergency lane next to us and bypass all the traffic. EXCEPT....

there was a State Trooper, and he stood RIGHT IN FRONT of the first car and told them to turn into the parking lot. They were BUSTED!!!! The second car, a gold Honda Civic, must have had a deer in headlights look, because the State Trooper pointed at the driver again and motioned to go to the lot.

Luckily I was able to see this go down while sitting in traffic. I'm sure it didn't teach anyone around a lesson, probably not even those two who just got ticketed, but it definitely made my day.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Better Late Than Never

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dear friend Kaileen! A midwestern girl with great personality, she and I instantly became friends at work, and 5 months later we haven't looked back! She's been a staple at our house from the beginning, tearing down wall paper with us, and making the long trek to our house every other week or so to make sure I'm not sitting alone at Magoun's.

So, again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You deserve nothing but the best! We love you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie?

Well, friends, the dining room is complete! I finished painting it last night - just in time for tomorrow's party. I showed the pictures to a friend who said she immediately thought it looked like a chocolate chip cookie and made her hungry. WHAT?!?! That's SO not what I had in mind. I wanted something to exist peacefully with the celery green in the living room! The top color is actually called "Chai Latte" and the bottom half is "English Saddle."

What do you think? Chocolate chip cookie? Or maybe something else?The "before" picture- love the wall paper!
In process
Max helping outThe "after" shot - chocolate chip cookie?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crisp Celery

Crisp Celery... that's the name of the new wall color in our living room. That's right, one room down, and just one more to go before the big party on Saturday.

The color is exciting and soothing all at once. It's probably exciting because we finally have something up on the walls, but it is a soothing color. The yet-to-own couch is going to look awesome in the living room, and once we add window treatments it will finally start to feel like our home.

So kudos to Stephen and me for actually making progress - and for having fun along the way.

before photo - note the awesome wall paper

I'll probably get in trouble for this
the finished product - LOVE it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's Almost Done

The house I've been whining about for 2 months now is getting closer to being finished. We put primer up on our walls last night (well, the dining room and living room)and will start painting tonight. Fingers crossed that everything will be ready in time for the Housewarming/Kaileen b-day/Michele b-day party this Saturday.

It must! I hear that Fudgie the Whale is making an appearance that night!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Spy Game

I'm an avid people watcher. I love jumping in on other people's lives and watching them engage in something, or someone. There is so much to learn or laugh at just by watching someone else.

If you haven't done it yet, I highly suggest it. You'll learn so much about the people around you if you just stop and watch.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hard Lesson Learned

It has been a crazy week, which resulted in a long week. I won't bore you with ALL the details, but I mentioned in my last post that I was steaming mad. Our new tenants that just moved in on the first of this month, and whom Stephen and I have already bent over backwards for, decided to take advantage of their situation and threatened to withhold rent for reasons out of our control. The complaints were unfounded, and certainly not within their right (either morally or legally) to withhold rent. However, after a lot of back and forth, I believe we may have some resolved the situation.

Now, I'm not complaining about them or the situation they found themselves in. They had a right to be frustrated about things not working and to let their landlord know about it. Heck, if I were in their situation, I may have been just as frustrated! Where I'm upset is how poorly they handled the situation. Instead of coming to us respectfully and saying they were frustrated, they chose to handle their frustration by threatening to withhold rent. Rather than walking upstairs and letting us know, they opted to write it in a strongly-worded e-mail. And rather than give us consideration for what we've done for them - which is FAR MORE than what many landlords would do - they opted to use that as an excuse to DEMAND more things.

I guess this is a lesson learned for us as landlords, and an even harder lesson learned as human beings. But I have to ask:
-When did people stop being GRATEFUL for what they're getting (or have) and instead choose to focus only on what they're not getting?
-When did DECENCY and RESPECT go by the wayside?
-When did people stop looking out for each other and decided to look no further than themselves?

I guess it's been this way for a while now, but I don't want to give up just yet. I want to believe that people are still capable of good, that they're not always in it for themselves. I want to believe that people can be grateful for what they have, even if sometimes they wish had more. I want to believe that despite how LUCKY we've been and how HARD we've worked to own a house at a young age, that it doesn't mean we don't deserve to have respect from others our age who haven't been so lucky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Visual Inspiration

I haven't had anything really awesome to say lately. It's not that my life is free from drama - on the contrary, but that's for another blog post when my blood isn't boiling and I can write something more than just an expletive - but rather I'm just not feeling inspired by anything. And don't worry, my one or two readers, I'm well aware that my blog posts are suffering. But with the lack of words on paper comes a different kind of inspiration. Rather than coming up with something witty, lately I've been taking some kick-ass pictures (at least I think they are!) Maybe it's Boston, or maybe I'm developing an eye for things, but check out these recent photos I took.

I took both these photos of the Boston sunset on Friday at the 4th of July celebration at the Charles River.

This is the burial ground in Boston Common. I love the way the light comes through the trees and the old, crumbly headstones. There is something so serene about this site.

My hope is that sometime soon I'll have something worth mentioning on here. In the meantime, I hope this trend of photo taking continues.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Classics

Shout out to Martha for posting something so relevant and important. I'm going to make it a mission to read every single one of these "classics" as well as others that aren't on this list. I've included some of my top literary classics below that weren't on this list (which really makes me scratch my head.)

  • "Dante's Inferno" Dante Alighieri- Read this in h.s. and STILL one of the most memorable books I've ever read.
  • "The Odyssey" Homer

  • "The Scarlett Letter" Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • "Frankenstein" Mary Shelley

The Big Read, an initiative by the National Endowment for the Arts, has estimated that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed. How do you do?

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.

2) Italicize those you intend to read.

3) Underline the books you LOVE.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6 The Bible

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (as with most books, 1000 times better than the movie)

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (one of my all time faves – it’s such a seedy read!)

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

34 Emma - Jane Austen

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (how did this make it into the top 50?)

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

52 Dune - Frank Herbert

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I REALLY tried to get through this… and couldn’t. It was that terrible for me.)

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill

75 Ulysses - James Joyce

76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray – (another of my all-time faves!)

80 Possession - AS Byatt

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo