Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hark, Hear the Bells

"Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring, ting tingling too. .. " oh wait, sorry
 I forgot it's only July. 

This entire month I've been on my annual Christmas in summer kick, just as expected. Yes, each year during this sticky, sunshiney, farthest-from-winter-as-you'll-ever-get month, I start to think about the Holiday Season.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think this is how it usually starts. At some point on a 90 degree day, I start to get a hankering to bake something delicious, but don't want to turn the house into more of an oven than it already is. So, instead of baking, I start to dream of what delicious cookies I'm going to make for the holidays. Cinnamon Snaps, Nutella kisses, candy cane shaped peppermint sugar cookies. There are endless possibilities when you're sitting on your couch dreaming these tasty morsels up! Hmm maybe a yule log, or some chocolate covered peanut butter balls, my absolute favorite holiday treat by far.  

And then, as if concocting dreamy treats up isn't enough, I start to think about the years Christmas tree. Sadly, in my place in the city, a real, full size tree just isn't an option. Thus, last year Christopher the Christmas Tree joined the melee, as just about the cutest 3 footer I've ever seen. He might be plastic, but when his white lights start to twinkle, bathing his green branches in soft light, you'd never know it! I went for a classic red bow and pine cone look for December 2010, but this year I've got some different ideas for my little fir tree. I'm thinking of either glitzing him up for a glam look or going au natural with some wood cut ornaments. Good thing I've got 4 more months to decide (Chris goes up day after Thanksgiving). 

In case you're wondering, I absolutely do not listen to Christmas carols during this time, nor do I watch certain Christmas movies. Those are sacred and to also be kept under wraps until Thanksgiving (although, I've sometimes cheated on a particularly blustery fall day when the lure of some cheery Christmas tunes is too much. . .). I do, however, break out some of my favorite childhood Christmas books, namely the Christmas stories from all the American Girls (original). My favorites are Molly and Samantha.

At this juncture, you might be thinking I'm nuts, but really I think this little explosion of holiday cheer comes at the perfect time. It brings some cozy excitement to the summer months, and because I love fall more than any other of our glorious seasons in New England, it allows me a fresh perspective as leaves change and temperatures cool. I can enjoy every last pumpkin scented, leaf crackling moment of autumn before diving into Christmas

Monday, July 25, 2011

Heat Wave

You may have noticed I took a sudden and unannounced hiatus from blogging last week. It was a fun and crazy summer week and I really didn't have the time for everything, so blog posts got the ax.

And when I say fun and crazy, what I mostly mean is that Boston was experience a little bit of the heatwave that's been hitting our country hard. I can't really say I minded so much, as it's summer and what else is it supposed to do but get hot out? 

Friday, however, was so historically steamy I don't know how we all survived. In fact, topping the thermometer at 103, it tied for the second hottest day in Boston which occurred exactly 85 years ago to date.

The day began deceivingly cool actually, I'm pretty sure I was even wearing a cardigan on the way to the T. Hopping from there to my arctic work, I didn't realize just how hot it had gotten until my lunch companions and I stepped outside around 1pm. Right when the temperature was hitting 100. Yikes! 

It was on this scorching day that the most ridiculous moment in my week occurred. The afternoon finally wound down and finally 5 o'clock arrived (4:50). I bolted, bags in hand, to the train station, and within minutes of being out in the heat, had a stomach ache, and wasn't feeling so great. I arrived at the platform and reached in my bag to grab my iPod for the ride home. My hands searched every pocket of my purse but came up empty. "Dang!," I thought as I realized I'd left it charging under my desk at work. 

I stood for several moments, warring with myself on what was the better option. Dealing with no iPod for the weekend, or trudging back to the office (the whole 5 minute walk) and have it for my weekend activities. Finally, I decided it was imperative, and dragged myself back through the heat to the office. The elevator dinged and I popped out into my office's lobby.

I went to take out my fob to head into the inner office and retrieve my iPod. 

You guessed it. No fob

In a move I blame solely on the insane heat, I stomped my foot in a display of 5 year old frustration, and stood stared forlornly at the door for a few minutes wishing for someone to come by and open it. Alas, it was Friday at 5:10 and wasn't nobody still in that office!

Resigning myself to an iPod and fobless free weekend, I retraced my steps back into the muggy evening and got on a train headed home. And then was late for my evening plans because of the whole fiasco.

And then in a move alarming reminiscent of Friday, I sped out of work today to find, for the second day in a row, my fob was left forgotten somewhere on my desk (I've never forgotten it before these two days). 

I think the heat melted my brain a little bit. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear Summer,


 Fall is still my favorite season, but you always give her a run for her money.

Love, Katy

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

emily.veronica photography

a few weekends ago, my sister came to visit me for the weekend in Boston. I blogged about our adventures in an earlier post, but didn't touch too much on the real reason for her visit.

I've been wanting to have her take some pictures of me that are a little more professional looking for this blog and some other projects I'm slowly working on. 

My sister is a sophomore in college, majoring in art/photography and I couldn't be more thrilled. As she's begun experimenting and coming into her own with her photography I've grown more excited at the prospect of having a photographer in the family, purely for selfish reasons.

How convenient is it to have a sibling around who can take all the photos of our kids (who are hopefully to come, someday!), important family events, photos for the cake business I'll no doubt one day have. . .I mean, seriously, it's ideal. Everyone should have a photographer in the family!

Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot, some of which you can now find on my blog (look up!. . .and here.) She's good, no? The flair for artistic expression must run in the family (ahem). 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Warriors

Late Friday afternoon, my roomiefriend texted me to see if I'd be up for going to visit our old home in Western MA the next day. I, of course enthusiastically agreed, as a day in the country is just about the best way to spend time on a summer weekend, as far as I'm concerned!

Another friend planned to join in the fun and early the next morning we headed out. What followed was an idyllic day spent lazing on a little patch of beach hidden away from the rest of the world with some lovely friends (and a bunch of other random people), checking out a new(ish) risto in downtown Northampton, and topping it off with some amaretto soft serve ice cream--be still my beating heart!

 bathing beauties down by the river

 My beautiful friend V looking like a model from the '50s

Sharing a delicious plate of goodies after a long day in the sun at The Roost, why didn't this place exist when I lived close by?!

sad to be heading out of town. . .

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Great Fenway Fiasco

It's been a while since I've shared a tale from the always amusing T, and while I was getting to second base with two different people at once on the horrendously overcrowded train the other morning, I was reminded of a story I wanted to share that had completely slipped my mind!

Two Thursdays ago, my office decided to host a Ben &Jerry's afternoon at the office. Around 2:30 they called us down to the kitchen where B&J's has set up a spread for sundaes. Of course, I was thrilled, but also fully expecting to fall ill after gorging myself. I've begun limiting my dairy and in the last weeks an overindulgence has prompted symptoms ranging from leg cramps to extreme stomach aches and now. . .this story. (Ok, I don't know if it's actually the dairy, or I'm just a whacko. . .I like to think it's the former.)

After the intense sugar rush this mid afternoon treat provided, I found myself crashing around 4 o'clock or so. My stomach hurt and I could barely keep my eyes open. Finally 5 arrived and I schlepped along to the T station. It gets a bit fuzzy after that but I do remember waiting as a few trains went by (not my line) and then I remember a train approaching and jostling ahead to the door with the other commuters. At this point, I know I took pause to wonder why this guy who is always on my train with me wasn't getting on, but figured maybe he had other plans that day (not to mention, is it really any of my business which trains he takes?). And here is where our story begins:

I get on the train, elbow my way to a single seat by the window snuggle up against the plexiglass and promptly nod off into a sleepy haze, the likes of which only the combination of AmeriCone Dream and the rumbling T can produce. A few times, I pry my eyes open to see where we are, but we were still underground, so I let myself fall deeper into sleep, knowing a certain sharp curve on my line will jolt me awake before my stop.

Finally, though, as the T flies out of the tunnel and the car is overwhelmed with afternoon light, I decide to open my eyes and look around. Immediately, I know something is wrong. This isn't the first above ground stop on my train. Where are we? A few sections later, the sign at the T stop registers: "Fenway".

"What the. . .?" is my response as I sit straighter and try to piece together what's going on. The train must have changed lines sometime underground I surmise. Obviously. (Here, I take pause to tell you this has only ever happened to me once, during an insane Red Sox game day and there was NO WAY anyone would have slept through that joke of a situation) As we pull away from Fenway, my sleep clogged brain finally realizes I'm on the D line NOT the B line and unless I want to end up in Newton, I need to get off at the next stop, get back on going the opposite way to get back underground where the lines merge to get on my own line and head out above ground again on the right train. oy.

I can only imagine what I must look like to the other passengers as I drag myself off the train. Hair wildly askew, bags thrown carelessly over my shoulder, face red from the stale air of the train. A sight, for sure. In a moment of further craziness, my pride doesn't allow me to directly cross the tracks to the other side so that everyone on the train and at the platforms knows what an idiot I am. Thus, I walk down a ramp like I'm leaving the platform and then once the train has pulled out, double back and casually walk over to the other side as if I just arrived. Half an hour later, I arrive at my real stop and make my way home.

Apparently overindulging on some of the richest ice cream ever invented mid workday is a terrible idea (why do I feel like a lot of my adventures end with this final thought)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Taking A Stand

I'd like to take today and write about something of which we've all been made a victim. I've stayed silent too long, but no more.

I'm talking about the side hug.

Did I miss some sort of pivotal growing moment where everyone else was told the side hug is the best and most appropriate way to greet someone, specifically of the opposite sex. And OK, sure sure, as a man who might be married or in a relationship you don't want to be all up on a girl hugging her at a party lest your other half get jealous/angry/naggy about it. The same, I'm sure applies to woman with a significant other, but seriously? a side hug?

If you have been lucky enough to remain unscathed and thus are unsure exactly what I'm referring to: let me explain:

Imagine you walk into a room full of friends and acquaintances. someone you know medium well approaches with a smile on their face. "Oh, good," you think, "a familiar face!" They reach you and as they great you, they suddenly swivel around so that they are standing by you side. The arm snakes around you shoulders, most likely without a signicant amount of pressure. At this point you're left with several decisions. Where should your arm go? do you put it around there waist? How long do you stay in the hug? Some people let go after a quick squeeze, but others maintain very little pressure and keep their arm around you for several minutes as they ask vague questions about life and the weather. At which point, I usually began to feel a little claustrophobic and start itching to rip myself from their awkward side embrace. Also, instead of being able to look the other person in the eye, you have to turn and look at them at an uncomfortable angle, or have a conversation where both of you are facing front as you talk.

Note: this is just one example of a side hug. Other varieties include the side hug/shoulder caress combo (my personal nemesis), arm-in-side squishing hug, the double waist grip side hug, and the list goes on.

You're probably squirming in your chair right now and, frankly, rightly so. It's so awkward it's painful. Is it really that big of a deal to go for the full frontal hug, just briefly for half a second. You can even A frame it, if that makes you more comfortable. Then after a quick squeeze you can let go, step back, look the person in the eye and have a real small talk convo like God intended (actually, I'm pretty sure God never intended for small talk, much like the side hug, to exist at all.)

 Maybe I'm wrong, and this is totally inappropriate. But frankly, if a real hug is wrong. . .I don't want to be right.