What do you think the sex(es) of the twins will be?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

i married and am very glad i did

Anton Chekhov once wrote in a letter to a friend: "I married and am very glad I did.... My life has changed for the better."

I echo that sentiment. Dan and I were married four years ago this month. They have been a good and adventuresome four years.

He is a great friend and love. I can't imagine spending the majority of my time with anyone else.

A couple of months before we met on our own, our mutual friend Annie tried to set us up. I remember her telling me on the phone that there was a guy who lived close to her that was really cool and she thought we'd be perfect for each other. For one reason or another, I wasn't interested at the time (I think I was dating someone else).

I'm so glad destiny gave us a second chance.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

dan's ugly shirt

Dan is wearing a shirt right now that I HATE.

It was free, obviously, as most of his shirts are. It is incredibly wide and incredibly short for its width. It's basically like a belly shirt for obese people.

The worst part? The front of it says, "GET THE PUCK OF CAMPUS" (advertising hockey games).

I hate that stupid shirt. It puts me in such a bad mood.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

pumpkin's nine lives


He has used up two of them now, and maybe more that he hasn't told me about.

I was afraid to post about him, first because I was afraid he was going to die and then because I wanted to make sure he would get well.

BUT, after three weeks of force feeding, vomiting and other drama, little Pumpkin seems to be making a comeback. He's laying next to me on the couch right now, purring. He's doing so much better. He's eating and drinking a little on his own and even meowing to go outside (which I won't let him do yet). He hasn't thrown up in about a week. He's gaining back a little of the weight he lost. He's still a little jaundiced, but he seems to be a little more pink these days.

He got a get well card from his doggy friend McDuff last week and that seemed to make all the difference. Thanks, McDuff! He also received a most appropriate book from his little kitty friend, Rusty, who happens to look like a junior version of him. The book is called Pumpkin Cat. It's about an orange cat who arrives on the doorstep one night. And the name of the girl who rescues him? LISA.


Thanks to everyone who put up with my crazy cat lady drama the last few weeks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

my second post about deodorant

I just went to my local Rite Aid and took a stroll down the deodorant isle - you know, wanted to see if there are any new scents or exciting new products. I like to smell things, okay?

I was shocked to see that they have installed a contraption over all the deodorants. You have to lift a clear plastic flap to get your deodorant. When you lift the flap, an alarm goes off. The alarm does not stop until you replace the flap.

What in the world is this? Have people been stealing deodorant that much that locking it up is really necessary? I thought they only locked up expensive or dangerous stuff, but Teen Spirit for $1.99? I don't think I can think of anything more desperate than stealing DEODORANT. Or do they want to embarrass people like me so we won't sit there and sniff a bunch of deodorants? How are we supposed to comparison shop?

I find this to be very alarming (pun intended). Have any of you seen such a contraption at your local pharmacy or is this a sign that I live in the ghetto?

I grabbed one deodorant, but didn't even have the guts to smell it. I feel like society has reached a new low. I imagine someday reminiscing to my grandchildren about the good ol' days and saying, "I remember when we could smell all the deodorants we wanted! You could just take one right off the shelf and smell it! Those were the days!" and then they will look at me with awe.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

five days later...

and I still get the chills every time I think about Obama as president-elect of the United States. I have tears in my eyes right now. I feel so hopeful, so proud to be an American. I have renewed faith in democracy and good.



You can watch his acceptance speech here:

http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/speeches/obama-victory-speech.html

"So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers -- in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people."

"This is our moment. This is our time -- to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth -- that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

best & worst of boston this week

Worst of Boston:

1. We found out last Saturday that Pumpkin (our cat) has liver disease. We have to force-fed him four times a day, give him an IV of liquids once a day and give him medicine several times a day (which he always throws up). We have some hard decisions to make about our favorite cat in the world and it makes me sad to think about maybe having to say goodbye to him. Pumpkin showed up on my doorstep almost exactly six years ago and he has been such a good friend and companion. We've been through a lot together.
2. Crying at work because of Pumpkin.
3. Not being able to get everything I need to get done because of Pumpkin.

Best of Boston:

1. Discovering the Nutella Frozen Hot Chocolate at Paris Creperie. It is amazing and seriously cheered me up on Monday.
2. Hanging out with good friends this week: Outstitute, Garment District with Elizabeth and Eunice, Costco and other adventures with Laci today and in a few minutes we will be going to a Halloween Party hosted by Kate and Bonnie.
3. I got a story published.
4. My amazing husband cleaned the bathroom and mopped the floors this morning. He is also a champion at injecting Pumpkin.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

farmer in chief

I heard about this open letter on Fresh Air this week. In this nine-page letter (read it!), Michael Pollan (author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma) calls for a new food agenda to replace the broken one in place right now that is eating up fossil fuels. Pollan says, "There are many moving parts to the new food agenda I’m urging you to adopt, but the core idea could not be simpler: we need to wean the American food system off its heavy 20th-century diet of fossil fuel and put it back on a diet of contemporary sunshine."

Changing our nations food policy is not just something for the liberal agenda. Pollan says, "Writing of the movement back to local food economies, traditional foods (and family meals) and more sustainable farming, The American Conservative magazine editorialized last summer that 'this is a conservative cause if ever there was one.'"

Pollan ends the article talking about how he would like to see that big lawn in front of the White House turned into a garden, "...as deeply as Americans feel about their lawns, the agrarian ideal runs deeper still, and making this particular plot of American land productive, especially if the First Family gets out there and pulls weeds now and again, will provide an image even more stirring than that of a pretty lawn: the image of stewardship of the land, of self-reliance and of making the most of local sunlight to feed one’s family and community."

The more I research how our country produces food, the more it feels disgusting and unwholesome to me. It feels so wrong to take animals off of farms and put them on feed lots. It feels wrong to rely on pesticides instead of crop rotation. It feels wrong to catch fish in Alaska and then ship them to China to be filleted and then ship them back to the U.S. to be distributed. It feels wrong to use up fossil fuels to produce our food when we really don't need to. The death of the family farm and the switch from agriculture to agribusiness makes me sad. Whatever happened to sunshine and tilling the earth and eating dinner around the kitchen table? What happened to preparing meals with fresh ingredients instead of buying frozen faux-foods with a million unrecognizable ingredients on the label?

I believe in dinner around the table. I believe in food bringing people together. I believe in family farms and animals being let out of their cages to graze on what they're meant to graze on (how did feeding corn to cows ever seem like a good idea?). I believe in spending a little more money for humane, local food. I believe in gardens. I believe in the transformative power of a good meal.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

al gore and a new library card

Dan & I saw Al Gore speak at Harvard on Wednesday as part of the Harvard Sustainability Celebration. Harvard just launched a new greenhouse gas reduction plan. Here's an article about it. Al is a Harvard alumnus - apparently some of his grades weren't too stellar, though.























I liked when he quoted this African proverb: “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And then he said, "We need to go far, quickly." I also like how he ended his speech: “With American leadership, we can galvanize the global commitment to solve the climate crisis. We have everything we need with the possible exception of political will. But political will is a renewable resource.”

His speech was inspiring. I only wish things had gone very differently eight years ago.

And also, I got a free t-shirt that says, "Green is the new Crimson" and a Sigg water bottle that says the same. Gotta love free stuff (or stuff that's disguised as free, anyway - I'm sure Dan's tuition paid for a large chunk of it). They were also serving delicious apple crisp, soup, hot chocolate and apples - all served on biodegradable plates with biodegradable utensils.

The other exciting thing that happened on Wednesday is that I got my very own Harvard library card for $5. I was supposed to get a "special borrower" card for spouses of students. I think they messed up, though, because they put "research assistant" on mine. It makes me feel kind of fancy. Hurray for libraries!

Monday, October 20, 2008

three women

I took my first Creative Writing class in eighth grade. The teacher was Ms. Edvalson, a thin thirty-something woman with short hair and a long rat tail. As a fourteen-year-old, I loved words. I must have read at least two books a week. In that class, I began to feel the thrill of putting words together in beautiful ways. I remember Ms. Edvalson calling me out into the hallway one day with one of my stories in her hand and saying, "Lisa, this is really good." I remember her reading my stories aloud to the class and, even though I was incredibly shy and embarassed, how good it felt. Ms. Edvalson made me want to write more stories and after the class was over, I took more and more English classes and creative writing classes. Ms. Edvalson remarried, I think, and eventually left Butler Middle School. I wish I could find her and tell her how much her encouragement meant to me. I'd like to tell her that I'm doing a Master's degree in writing and that I love it.

In college, I had another teacher who I owe so much to: Melanie Rae Thon. Melanie is one of the gentlest, wisest people I've ever met. Read her: she's wonderful. She made me feel like she loved my writing. She encouraged me to apply to graduate programs. I had so many reasons to not believe in myself, but even though I didn't always believe in my own writing (and still sometimes don't), I knew that she did and that was enough.

I tell you these stories because I really don't think I'd be writing and in a Master's program if it weren't for the encouragement of these two women and my mother. My mother loves words, like me. I don't really remember many of the toys I had growing up, but I remember the books. She read to us all the time and made up stories about little people who lived inside sand dollars. At night she had us squint our eyes closed and pretend we were on a big magic carpet that took us on adventures all over the world.

So, I dedicate this post to all the good teachers in my life (but not the bad ones, okay?). I hope that someday I can give someone else the gift you gave me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

school friends

Last night I got to hang out with Jen, Mary and Lenore - my dear friends from Warren-Wilson who just happen to live really close to me. I love these girls. They are smart, beautiful, funny and oh-so kind. When we get together, we talk about writing and life and the writing life for hours and hours without stopping.

We also had a little celebrating to do last night because Lenore recently found out that she was selected as one of the 100 distinguished voices in this year's Best American Short Stories, edited by Salman Rushdie. Her name was right there on the list along with Alice Munro, Antonya Nelson and many other amazing, amazing writers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

two funny things

1. When we were laying in bed this morning, we all of a sudden heard a clicking sound. We were lazy and didn't want to get up, but the sound persisted. Dan finally got out of bed and went into the other room. Then he yelled up at me (because our bed is a loft bed), "Honey, you can't leave your computer open! Kitty is typing hebrew on it." Turns out Pumpkin was laying on the laptop and had somehow opened up the Hebrew language application on Word and was typing away. There's a catch though. I didn't leave my computer open. It was Dan's. This brings me to story number 2, which happened less than thirty minutes later.

2. Dan asked, "Honey, did you happen to throw some dirty clothes into the hamper? There are some dirty clothes in here." Seems normal, but we did laundry on Saturday and still haven't put the clean clothes away. They've been folded up in our hamper and the dirty clothes have been gathering next to it on the floor. Anyway, I said, "I don't think so. Were they my clothes?" to which he smiled sheepishly and said, "Well, no. They're mine. I just thought maybe you put them in there."

Wrongfully accused twice! But I kind of like being wrongfully accused because when I'm exculpated, I think I come off looking a little better...

(Dan's looking curiously over my shoulder as I write this).

Monday, September 22, 2008

washing the dishes to wash the dishes























Sometimes when I have a sink full of dishes, like I do right now, I think about a book I once read while I was a student at the University of Utah called "The Miracle of Mindfulness." It was written by a buddhist monk named Thich Nhat Hahn.

He said, "While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. At first glance, that might seem a little silly: why put so much stress on a simple thing? But that's precisely the point. The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality. I'm being completely myself, following my breath, conscious of my presence, and conscious of my thoughts and actions. There's no way I can be tossed around mindlessly like a bottle slapped here and there on the waves."

Okay, okay, I'm ready to wash the dishes now.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

roller disco

This video really makes me miss Saturday night disco skating at Classic. Those were the days.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

why i love my job

One of the best things about my job is that I encounter a lot of crazy people. There's the guy who answers "mediocre" every time you ask how he's doing, the guy we've labeled "walkie-talkie" because he's crazy and talks to himself and to cover it up he pretends to be talking on a cell phone (our suspicions were confirmed when we saw him drop his cell phone one time and he just kept on talking while he bent over to pick it up), the lady who smells like poo and the lady with the mustache and all the Russian ladies who for some reason always think I'm Russian and just start speaking to me in Russian (the only Russian I can say back to them is das vidanya (thanks, Alicen) which means goodbye or go away or something).

So the other day this lady comes through my line with a sandwich and says to me in heavily accented English, "If theese is not kosher I will throw up." I ring up the sandwich and hand it back to her. She then proceeds to unwrap it and sniff every inch of it, right up next to her nose. The sniffing lasts about a minute. Finally, she takes a bite, says, "good" and walks off. Maybe you had to be there, but honestly, it is little moments like this that make me so happy I work at a grocery store.

Friday, September 12, 2008

laissez-faire writing

I just got this beautiful book in the mail.














It's full of "writing fixations" from various authors, five of whom I've had the great fortune of working with: Michael Martone, Melanie Rae Thon, David Haynes, Karen Brennan and Robin Hemley. It also has great illustrations.

Karen Brennan's excerpt really reminded me of the way I do things as a writer, for better or worse:

"I don't know if I'm a rule o' thumb kind of gal. I'm not that OCD. I don't arrange the pens on my desk in a pattern, nor do I have the need to wear a special bathrobe before embarking on the creative journey in front of my computer. And when it comes to the work itself, I am a little laissez-faire: You write, it either sucks or thrills you, you can either work on it or not. I take a lot of naps.

Nevertheless, I have managed to plumb my shallows for a rule o' thumb, which is this: Write for pleasure, your own. When it (the work, the page, the words) stops delivering - when the muscles go slack at the jaw, when the eyes wander to the window of dull sky, when the mouth craves chocolate - put it aside. And if, when you return, the whole enterprise seems like just too much drudgery and pain, that's all the sign I need to abandon the thing and move on to something more nourishing, like a trip to the mall.

This is, of course, counter to everything I've been taught about success and Americanism. It is the lazy girl way - it reveals my poor character. And also, p.s., it doesn't work at the gym."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

here comes the catman

I'm going to brag for a minute about my brother Jonny. He pitched his show (Here Comes the Catman) to Cartoon Network yesterday and they loved it. They're having him make a pilot.

When Thurop was leaving work yesterday, the head of the studio ran out of a meeting and onto the street to tell him how amazing Jonny's show was and asked if there are any other Van Ormans that want to pitch a show. I guess I better brush up on my art skills...

Congratulations, Jonny!

(Oh, and rumor has it that the characters say "guysies" and "woowie". Gotta love the Ellen Van Ormanisms.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

how i spent the afternoon...


















i made these dark chocolate cupcakes. thanks to kate for the recipe.

so today i was talking to my coworker, kevin, and he told me he went out to dinner last night and it reminded him of me. when i asked why he thought of me, he said, "you know, eating food - i just thought of you." i really love that people think of me when they think about eating food.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

my new addiction























blood orange sorbet. it is so good.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

and the winner is...

Mom (a.k.a. littleoldgrammy)!

Mom, I'm going to throw a couple more magazines into the mix just for you: Better Homes & Gardens, Country Home, Ladies Home Journal, Traditional Home, Conde Nast Traveler, O(prah) at Home, House Beautiful or Country Living. Just let me know which one and I'll cash in my points for you.

Aunt Sue, Aimee and Jenny - thanks for playing. I'm sure there will be more giveaways in the future!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

giveaway

Remember this post?

Well, I've acquired about as many magazine subscriptions as I can handle right now.

So, I've decided to do a little giveaway with my Coke rewards.

Here's the deal: Post a comment by tomorrow at 5:30 pm. I will then put the names into a hat and whoever's name comes out will get either a subscription to ReadyMade Magazine or, for you local folk, 2 tickets to the Mayflower II in Plimoth. Your choice.

P.S. For those of you who won the CD contest forever ago, I have your burned CDs sitting on the desk. I'm lame. I promise to send them within the week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Favorite Season

I just looked out the window and saw that the tree across the street from us (the one that is always the first to change color in the fall) is starting to go red.

I love the fall. I love the cooler air, love wearing sweaters, love notebooks and pens and boots and thunder storms. I love that Dan and I fell in love in the fall (four years ago). Four years ago. We were talking about that last night. Some days it feels a lot longer than that. But then again, sometimes it feels a lot shorter. As Dan said last night, "Sometimes I look at you and think, 'who is this alien person I married?'" Thanks, honey.

I don't love winter. But it's almost worth it just to have the fall. Almost.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tour de France

France and bikes. I can't think of a more beautiful combination.

The Tour de France ended today. Carlos Sastre of Spain was the winner. I would love to see them ride through the French countryside someday.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Story of Stuff

This is a great little documentary that I think everyone should see. It talks about the history of consumerism and its effect on all aspects of our lives. We can't keep consuming at this rate indefinitely.

On a related note, here is an interesting story NPR did on planned obsolescence.

Check it out. Pass it on.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Spring Break 2008, a few months late

A few months ago, our good friends Scott and Aimee came to Boston for a visit during Spring Break. We had a wonderful time with them; we got to do a lot of fun stuff, but it was mostly good to just hang out and talk with them. We miss them. They probably live about as far from us as they could possibly get within the continental United States (Seattle).

After they left, I got busy with school and never got to blog about our fun weekend. Today I was looking through all the pictures Scott took while they were here. He is an excellent photographer. You can see more of his photos here. He did a photo shoot of Pumpkin and had us sign a model release form in his (Pumpkin's) behalf. Here are a few pictures from their trip.









My new commute

$20 dollars + 20 minutes =


















(mine's the one on the right).

I bought this road bike from my friend Rachel for $20 because she's moving to California. Isn't it a beauty?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jimmy the Geologist





















My brother Jimmy is a geologist. He was part of a team of researchers that found water trapped in volcanic glass beads on the moon. It's getting a lot of press recently.

Here's an interview he did today.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fixed

I'm hoping you'll be able to see my photos now. Let me know.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Martha's Vineyard

We just got back from a weekend trip to Martha's Vineyard with our friends Marci & Adam. We brought our bikes and stayed in a hostel.


















We had a great time biking around the island (luckily I avoided getting a flat on my "new" road bike that I got for $20 this week until today when we were on our way to the ferry), hanging out on the beach, looking at the cute gingerbread houses, eating ice cream and riding on the oldest carousel in the world (although I swear I've been on like ten carousels already that claim that title).

Marci & I saw Maggie Gyllenhaal in the country store. That was pretty awesome. I guess her family spends a lot of time on the Vineyard.



















We controlled ourselves and didn't act too starstruck or anything. She looked pretty normal: no make-up, shorts and a tank top. You'd think she would be out promoting the new Batman movie.

I posted some pictures of our trip on Flickr.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Fourth of July














Dan and I are off to Martha's Vineyard for the weekend.
I'll post some pictures when we get back.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hawaii

I just put a few of our Hawaii pictures on Flickr.

We had a great time. It was so much fun to hang out with Matti & Jonny - they were so nice to let us stay with them.

We also got to see Amorette & Parker in Kauai and that was awesome.

It was fun to show Dan all my favorite places and to do some new things I'd never done before. I think Dan loves nature a little more now.

I'm Back.

Sorry for my lack of posts. We finally have the internet, which means no more sitting on the toilet to use the wireless connection! So, for better or worse, you'll be hearing from me a lot more often.

My only problem now is that my cell phone is broken. I don't know what I ever did to technology, but it seems to hate me these days. Maybe I'll just move to Walden.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

STILL no internet

This is getting ridiculous. I set up internet with Verizon last week, only to have them email a few days later saying "sorry, but turns out we actually don't service your area." Seems like they should have figured that out sooner (not to mention that email might not be the best way to contact someone who doesn't have the internet - because of you).

So, I got Comcast. Cable guy came over this morning and couldn't find the cable in my apartment.

I'm getting a little discouraged...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Things That Have Happened Since I Blogged Last

1. I finished my semester/essay.
2. Dan finished his semester/master's program.
3. We went to Hawaii for two weeks and got to see Jonny & Matti and Parker & Amorette.
4. Dan's parents came.
5. Dan graduated/Flapjack Premiered.
6. We went to New York City for 2 days.
7. Dan had a birthday (27).
8. Dan's parents left.
9. After 2 glorious years of leeching and a horrible week of no signals, we have finally ordered the internet. It should be installed by the 20th.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Two Favorite Mums














Thanks for all you do for Dan and me.


I love you both very much and wish I could spend today with you. I would make you both breakfast and give you a foot rub.

Will you take a rain check?


Saturday, May 10, 2008

10 Reasons Why I Love Not Owning A Car

1. Gas prices.
2. Car payment, insurance, oil changes, flat tires, repairs, tickets - don't have to worry about any of that.
3. It's a great feeling to zoom past all the cars that are stuck in traffic on my bike. When I take the bus home from work, it takes at least 45 minutes. When I bike home, it takes 20.
4. I don't have to pay for the gym because I get my exercise by walking and riding my bike. I think it's so hilarious when people drive to the gym just to hop on the treadmill. What the?
5. Doing my little part for a greener planet.
6. When I take public transit I can read. When I'm not reading, I can watch all the interesting people that get on and off and wonder about their lives and their stories.
7. I know my neighborhood very well because I walk it. When you drive, you get the big picture of a city. When you walk, you get all the little details. I love the little details.
8. The bus drivers know me.
9. We probably save at least $300/month.
10. Don't have to worry about parking.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Reading

I'm doing a reading this Saturday, if anyone in the area would like to come:




PEN New England and UMass, Boston present
The Graduate Writers of Boston Reading Series

Join us at the Boston University Bookstore for a student reading
featuring graduate student writers from Warren Wilson
and guest host Daniel Tobin
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 660 Beacon Street
(at the Kenmore Square T stop)
5th Floor, The Reading Room
Saturday, May 10, 4:00 pm

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hair Model

This may be the closest I'll ever get to fulfilling my lifelong goal of being a model.

Yesterday I was a hair model at a Newbury Street salon. What does that mean? It means I got a free haircut, $20 highlights/lowlights and a nervous student operating on my hair. Also a stern teacher/stylist person frequently checking in to make sure the girl didn't mess up my hair.

The result? I'm likin' it. Especially the $20 part. But you don't have to take MY word for it...

P.S. Not so cool hairstyling done by yours truly. No matter how hard I try, I can never get my hair to look as hot as they do in the salon.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

FLAPJACK promo on Cartoon Network

Here's a promo for Flapjack which should come out on June 5th.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Will someone help me...

figure out how to personalize my blog page with a cool picture and font at the top? What template do I use?

Technologically unsavvily yours,
LVH

Flight of the Conchords

Dan and I just got the HBO series "Flight of the Conchords" on Netflix and so far (four episodes into it) we love it. It's about two New Zealander musicians who move to New York to make it big and get girls. They have one fan and a hilarious band manager named Murray. Sometimes, they burst into song, like in this clip (I think it's a parody of Prince singing "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World):

Friday, April 25, 2008

Best of Boston: This Week

  • I'm really loving Antonya Nelson's stories this week. See here and here.
  • Also enjoying reading Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. See here.
  • Went to see the Red Sox on Wednesday Night courtesy of a babysitting swap with these kind folks. It was the PERFECT night for a game: about 70 degrees, clear skies and great seats in the box. They lost by a little bit, but I was just loving being there. Seems like whenever we go to a Red Sox game (okay, so we've only been to two), some kind of record is met - last time it was some kind of home run record and this time it was the 400th consecutive game that was sold out.
  • I made amazing scones this week with this mix. If you're in Boston, get the mix at Shaw's or Whole Foods. Elsewhere, I don't know. Maybe Wild Oats? Make the drop scone recipe on the back of the bag with whole milk (I admit - I used half-and-half. Grandpa Van Orman would be proud. When I was a kid, I loved to visit my grandparents because they always served my cereal with half-and-half.). You won't be sorry.
  • Went to a BBQ on Monday night (Patriot's Day) and had a great time with fun(ny) people.
  • Got this wonderful illustrated version of Strunk and White's Elements of Style. Everyone should have this on their bookshelf. Also see this delightful video that goes along with it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Boston Marathon

Today is the marathon and I had the PRIME SPOT to watch from the window of Trader Joe's where I was working. I saw the wheelchair racers, the first men and women racers and LANCE ARMSTRONG in his yellow outfit. Word has it that Matthew McConaughey was also running, but I didn't see him. I didn't really care, though, since I think he's one of the worst actors EVER.

I got the chills when I saw everyone running past - there was so much good energy in Boston today. My friend Jen ran the marathon for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. What an accomplishment. I'm so proud of her.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sentences and Coincidences

I'm reading a great book right now: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose. Yesterday I read about sentences. Gertrude Stein wrote, "I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences. I like the feeling the everlasting feeling of sentences as they diagram themselves." I'm admittedly not that passionate about sentences, but there is a whole lot of satisfaction in writing a good sentence and in reading amazing sentences.

Here are a few of my favorite sentences (I'm probably leaving out the best ones since I'm limited by time and what pops out to me on the bookshelf):

"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself" from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. I don't know exactly what it is about that opening line, but it will always stick with me.

"But my mother's hair, my mother's hair, like little rosettes, like little candy circles all curly and pretty because she pinned it up in pincurls all day, sweet to put your nose into when she's holding you, holding you and you feel safe, is the warm smell of bread before you bake it, is the smell when she makes room for you on her side of the bed still warm with her skin, and you sleep near her, the rain outside falling and Papa snoring." From Sandra Cisneros's The House on Mango Street. I love the way this sentence travels from one image to another, from the description of the hair to the feelings it evokes. I love the music of the lines and the repetition. I love that middle part, where the rhythm changes completely with that little word "is."

This is more than one sentence, but I like the way these lines play off one another:
"'A peeper person?' queried her mother on the phone from Pittsburgh.
'People,' said Abby.
'Oh, those,' said her mother, and she sighed the sigh of death, though she was strong as a brick" from Lorrie Moore's "Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People." I love how Lorrie Moore does funny and sad at the same time. She's so good at that.

"One's first day by the sea, one's being feels salt, strong, resilient and hollow - like a seaweed pod not giving under the heel" from Elizabeth Bowen's The Death of the Heart. I love that she uses salt as an adjective.

"Sharp gray eyes, lean and narrow-waisted, and when he died it was almost beautiful, the way the sunlight came around him and lifted him up and sucked him high into a tree full of moss and vines and white blossoms" from Tim O'Brien's "How to Tell a True War Story."

I could go on. I won't.

As for coincidences, I talked to my friend Amorette yesterday. I was very happy to hear that she and Parker are moving to Pittsburgh this summer for Parker to do a PhD. It's not too terribly close to us (10 hours by car - but that doesn't really matter because we don't have a car anyway), but close enough that we can fly out and visit them. I love that more and more people are coming out East (Dan's brother, Patrick, is moving to Toronto this summer for a PhD and his cousin, Heather, is moving to NYC).

Anyway, the real coincidence is that when we were talking on the phone we realized that we will all be in Kauai AT THE SAME TIME. Dan and I are going to Hawaii for two weeks in May right after he finishes school. Parker & Amorette are going on a family trip. I hope we can eat some shave ice and spam together. The last time I was in Hawaii (2000), I was with Amorette, Jenny, Alicen, Thurop & Sherri. We missed our flight back to Utah because I didn't know how to read military time. So we ended up staying a night with a lady that Alicen's mom's friend knew or something. When she opened the door, she handed us a pamphlet and said (in a freaky voice that explained exactly why she was handing us the pamphlet) "this is what's wrong with me." Good times. That summer in Hawaii was the most carefree/fun/crazy summer of my life.

I'm really excited for Dan to see Hawaii and see my old stomping grounds. I always say that I've never missed living in a place more than I miss living in Hawaii.

Monday, April 14, 2008

An Explanation:

This is for all the people that were surprised at yesterday's post.

Dan got a great funding package here - so it turned out to be not only the best choice academically, but economically as well. And, we both think that staying here for two more years will actually make it easier to settle down in the west after school.

So, to all our friends in Boston: we're excited to be able to hang out for two more years.

And to all our friends & family in the West: we're coming. Just hold your horses.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's Official.

We're sticking around in Boston for two more years.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Six Words

I like this bite-sized advice about food from Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma:

"Eat food, not much, mostly plants."

P.S. This is my 100th post, I'm done with my essay, and I'm feeling a little bit celebratory. So, the first 5 people to comment on here will get a little CD mix in the mail from me, no strings attached.

P.P.S. This is what came up when I googled "Happy 100th":








Monday, March 10, 2008

Hazel Berri

I have a new niece! I wish I were in California with Dan right now so I could see her. Hazel was born last night to Thurop & Sherri. She was three weeks early and weighed 9 lbs. 5 oz.! Sherri has such big babies (Leif weighed more than 10 lbs.)

Thurop says she looks just like me (except for the hair). It's hard for me to tell from this picture, but I think she's pretty cute.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

East Coast or West Coast?

D & I have big decisions ahead of us. He got into the programs at University of Southern California, University of California Irvine and (he found out just now) Harvard.

It's going to be a tough decision. We have grown to love Boston and have such great friends here. On the other hand, it would be great to be closer to family in California...

What does everybody think?

Friday, February 22, 2008

University of California Irvine

Dan found out today that he got into the Urban Planning program at UC Irvine. This is the first school he's heard back from.

I'm California dreaming today because the weather is miserable in Boston. It's supposed to snow all night. This is bad news for us because we have a fun trip to Rhode Island planned for tomorrow.

Anyhow, we're going to sit tight and see what all our options are as far as school goes. I would be sad to leave Boston and all the great friends we've made here, but on the other hand it would be pretty cool to live closer to two of my brothers (who both live in Ventura). We'll keep ya'll updated.

(I just checked weather.com and it's 60 right now in Irvine!!! That sounds SO NICE right about now.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brother!

Today my dear brother Jonny turned 35. He actually gave me a present today. Over the phone, he officially told me I'm not a baby anymore. Jonny has been telling me I'm a baby for the last 29 years. When I was a kid he would always say, "You're still a baby until you're ____" and then he'd fill in the blank with whatever age I was turning next. So, as you can see, this was a really big day for me.

Jonny is one of the funniest people I know. Any of you who know him well can attest to this. He's also an extremely talented artist and is good at pretty much everything. He even taught himself to play a $10 toy accordion from Media Play. He's also very kind and humble.

I love you, Jonny! Happy Birthday!

(Photo compliments of Kristen's blog)

Sharing the Love

I was the recipient of a little love this week and want to pass it on. SO, I'm offering a little (but good) prize package for the first three people to post a comment on this blog. Only catch is that you have to continue the cycle and pay it forward to three more people. Sound good?

Okay, come one, come all (or three) and feel the Lisa love.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I love
all
things,
not because they are
passionate
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
because
this ocean is yours,
and mine:
these buttons
and wheels
and little
forgotten
treasures,
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms,
glasses, knives and
scissors –
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
lost
in the depths of forgetfulness.

(from Ode to Things by Pablo Neruda)

Happy Valentine's Day to Dan, the love of my life, to family and friends, and to all the little things in my life that remind me of all of you.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Coke Rewards

I've got to hand it to the Coca-Cola Company. Sometimes I'm about to reach for a Sunkist, but then I remember that if I opt for a Coke instead, I'll be that much closer to winning cool and amazing prizes. So far I've won: a free 20 oz., a free 12-pack, an Elliott Smith ring-tone that just says "Needle in the Hay" over and over and makes me want to rip my hair out, and a one-year subscription to Marie Claire magazine. I always hide the Marie Claires at the bottom of our bathroom magazine basket because they're so embarrassingly stupid and go against pretty much everything I believe in. Here are some of this month's headlines:

"SCANDALOUS! HOW TO SURVIVE AN OFFICE AFFAIR (you weren't fooling anyone)"

"LOVE STORY OF THE DECADE: HE WAS 75, SHE WAS 25 AND SO NOT A GOLD DIGGER"

"THINNING HAIR, THE NEW EPIDEMIC: CHECK YOUR PART NOW!"

Now I have my eyes on bigger prizes like AMC Gold movie tickets or the Coca-Cola Incredible Floating Cooler that promises, "You'll be the envy of your friends when you take your drinks into the water." Now THAT sounds like something I need.

Friday, February 1, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I'm exactly a month late (no, Marcus, I'm not pregnant). So sue me.

1. Use the phrase "so sue me" more, because it's pretty awesome.
2. Only post books on Goodreads that I'm willing to comment about.
3. Keep the desk clean.
4. Use up all the condiments in the refrigerator before (if!) we move :(
5. Write every day (this should probably be a no-brainer since I'm doing an MFA, but I'm just not one of those people who sits down for two hours every morning, rain or shine. I'm very erratic.). Which leads me to resolution 6: one of those people who sit or one of those people who sits? Should I use sits because it's "one" or sit because it's "people"?
6. Learn exactly what an adverb and gerund are and all those other little grammatical terms I should have learned in 7th grade (again, I should know this! I was an editor for 2+ years! I majored in English! I feel like I intuitively know how sentences should be put together, but never bothered to learn the terminology. As you can see from yesterday's post, this sometimes gets me into trouble.).
7. Finish my essay so I can write fiction again.
8. Learn to knit socks.
9. Be a better wife.
10. Become a fascinating woman.
11. Stop confusing the word "yesterday" with "tomorrow": I have this weird glitch in my brain that often substitutes these words for each other. For example, I might say, "I'm going to the mall yesterday," when I'm really going there tomorrow. Or, "I saw this really cool movie tomorrow." Weird, huh? I suspect that it probably has something to do with me being omniscient.
12. Keep my list of resolutions to a reasonable size.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'm well, thank you.






Oh grammar.

Yesterday a girl I work with tried to tell me that it's proper grammar to say "I'm good" when someone asks how I'm doing and that I'm wrong when I say "I'm well" because "well" is an adverb and "good" is an adjective. It seems that "well" functions as an adjective here, describing a state of well-being. Am I right? Spencer? Jenny? Somebody? I feel like my grammar is under attack.









Sunday, January 27, 2008

Birthday Fun

Yesterday for my birthday Dan planned a little excursion to the Good Time Emporium with Kate & Logan and Laci & Christian. When we pulled into the parking lot it was full of ambulances and police cars. Turns out someone got their hand stuck in the Skeeball machine. Consequently, the Skeeball machines were out of service for the night. This was VERY bad news for us because I happen to love Skeeball (I have very fond memories of playing Skeeball with Courtney at The Tilt and Lagoon). We found plenty of other fun games to play though, including Iceball which is an inferior cousin to Skeeball (yet oddly requires twice the number of tokens - maybe the risk of getting your hand stuck in that one is lower so it's kind of like Skeeball insurance). There was also one of those machines with the stuffed animals inside that you try to pick up with a claw. When we walked past it, I somewhat facetiously exclaimed to Dan, "Dan, win me a teddy bear! Please!" There was a guy at the machine who had just won a Bart Simpson doll and he told me I could have it. My Bart has a cleft lip, but I love him anyway. The cleft is really quite endearing.

Afterwards, we went over to Kate & Logan's apartment. Kate made me an amazing chocolate cake. We also had ice cream from my very favorite ice creamery, Christina's. Here are some pictures. Dan was behind the camera, so that's why there are no pictures of him. He was looking really good though.

Thanks for a good time Dan, Kate, Logan, Laci and Christian. You made turning twenty-nine into a very good thing.
























































Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Psalm 110

When I woke up for work this morning at 4:45, I asked Dan (still sleeping) what time he wanted me to set the alarm for (usually about 5 hours later than I get up). He fumbled around for a minute and then very confusedly replied, "Psalm 110."

This wasn't an entirely crazy reply (and/or prophecy) since he's been studying for his Hebrew Bible final for days. He finally took it yesterday and now has a week off. Meanwhile, I'm whittling away at my essay.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wee Houses

















When Dan and I moved into our studio apartment, the realtor thought we were crazy. She even told us after we moved in that if we were going to back out, we should tell her ASAP. I have to admit, it took a little adjusting to get used to sharing such a small space with Dan and Pumpkin. BUT, I can happily say that I am now a small space advocate. I'm learning how to maximize the space we have (loft bed, tall bookcases, foldable table). It has made me realize how little space a person/family really needs.

Some reasons why small spaces are a good idea:

1. Less to clean. Enough said.
2. Reduces your carbon footprint (a smaller space can mean less electricity, less suburban sprawl, etc.).
3. Causes you to buy less stuff (because it won't fit).
4. Encourages you to get out into the community. Instead of studying at home, I'll often go to a library or a cafe (as I type this I'm at the Harvard Design School looking out the big, beautiful windows).

There are some awesome small space designs these days, from pre-fab houses to custom designs. What I like about a lot of these is the huge windows which allow you to work the outside world into the design. Someday I hope we'll have a wee house of our own...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What I'm making for dinner...

Besides surfing the web, cooking/baking is my most common form of procrastination. I have a big fat essay to write right now. But instead of writing it I'm planning out what I'm going to cook tonight for dinner. I just went to the grocery store and bought delightful ingredients such as prosciutto and watercress. In another life I think I would go to culinary school. But then, maybe it's better to keep it as a hobby.

On a side note, I love this magazine. I don't subscribe to it, but sometimes I'll buy it for a plane ride (which is what I did on the way home from North Carolina). This is what I'm making tonight, compliments of Real Simple:

UPDATE: Just made the soup and sandwiches and they were SO good. The bright green watercress looked beautiful on the sandwiches and the little flourishes (olive oil, shredded cheese and freshly ground pepper) on top of the soup made it look super fancy. I used herb infused olive oil on both the sandwich and the soup and I highly recommend it. Did I mention that I LOVE prosciutto? And that I believe I am becoming a FASCINATING WOMAN (click on that link and search inside the book!)

Cauliflower Soup with Prosciutto Sandwiches

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 head cauliflower
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups whole milk
4 small crusty rolls
4 ounces sliced prosciutto object
1 cup watercress, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (8 ounces) grated white Cheddar
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, broth, and milk and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.

Cut the rolls in half. Layer the bottoms with the prosciutto and watercress. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin oil. Top with the roll halves.

Puree the soup in the pan using a handheld immersion blender or, working in batches, a standard blender. Stir in 1 2/3 cups of the Cheddar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Divide the soup into bowls. Add the remaining extra-virgin oil and Cheddar and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with the sandwiches.

Tip: The colder and harder Cheddar is, the easier it is to shred. So don't remove the cheese from the refrigerator until you're ready to grate it.


Yield: Makes 4 servings

NUTRITION PER SERVING
CALORIES 687(55% from fat); FAT 42g (sat 17g); SUGAR 12g; PROTEIN 36g; CHOLESTEROL 108mg; SODIUM 1884mg; FIBER 5g; CARBOHYDRATE 53g

Friday, January 11, 2008

Beyond Jennifer and Jason

Okay, no one be alarmed if you come over and see this book on my shelf:























I am NOT pregnant (heaven forbid Marcus ever see this post). My advisor this coming semester, the great Michael Martone, wanted me to put this book on my reading list. He says it's a good reference for naming characters (knowing what kinds of stereotypes are associated with different names, etc.).

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aimee!

(I had to steal this photo from Aimee's page because I'm in North Carolina and don't have any pictures).

Hope you have a great day, Aimee!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Peter Sarstedt

I've been digging this song ever since Dan and I saw "The Darjeeling Limited" on Thanksgiving. It's only available on iTunes if you buy the whole Darjeeling soundtrack. Boo. I just want this one song.

I guess I'll just come on my blog and click on this video every time I want to listen to it.

I also love that thick, hearty mustache. Too bad my husband can only grow a molester mustache...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

You know you're in the South when...

they announce at the beginning of your flight that chewing tobacco is strictly prohibited on the plane. Right now I'm sitting in the Asheville Airport waiting for my friend's flight to get in so she can give me a ride to the Warren-Wilson campus. I just had about a thirty-minute conversation with a Baptist. His name was John. The Baptist.

Anyway, flying always reminds me of this little clip from Seinfeld's "I'm Telling You for the Last Time." Have you ever noticed that airplane bathrooms have the best smelling soap? This stuff is much better than your typical pink commercial soap. My plane had "Lemongrass Wasabi" scent. Very sophisticated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

How 'bout sending your armpits to the cafe...

So I was walking through the drugstore the other day when I saw this:


















Vanilla chai deodorant? Am I the only one who thinks this is a little odd? Now I love chai just as much as the next guy, but on my armpits? Come on now.