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This Pony is going to Poland!

4 Feb

Hello Everypony!

So, for a while there, I must admit that I was in kind of a slump. After finally finding myself a permanent position as an editorial assistant; my life consisted of a flurry of learning and attempting to put my best hoof forward at Baltimare. Not to mention there’s obvious tension between Trixie and myself, which is waning now thankfully as I feel myself growing more confident and able to push back when needed.

Still, I had found myself stuck mentally at the office and couldn’t seem to wriggle myself back into writing, or reading or doing any of the things that I usually enjoy. Daily, I face the daunting task of fixing grammatical catastrophes (as best as I can) prior to publication on my daily deadline. (Try saying that then times fast!) So by the time I got back home, all I wanted to do was crash into my bed.

I soon found myself stuck in a rut of the same old daily routine. I felt myself growing less and less enthusiastic about things that I usually would be thrilled about. At parties, I had even begun finding myself surrounded by people but feeling completely and utterly alone. I knew I had to do something to spice things back up.

So I’ve decided to take myself on a trip.

I had debated this trip: worried over it. Would I have enough money? Could I still pay my bills? Could I manage to get the time off from work to do it?

But my mother, the wonderful and amazing woman that she is, put all of my worries to rest.

“You’re always talking about moving out, and you’ve been paying your bills really well–why not do it before you move? Once you move, you’ll regret it if you haven’t gone.”

And I realized she was right. So, in I jumped.

Everypony–the restless writer is heading to Poland!  (Krakow to be specific.) I leave in April, and I managed to get a really great deal on airfdaire. It’s been at least three years since my last trip abroad, and I will never forget it. I hope this trip to see one of my best friends and a very old city will be just as unforgettable.

Krakow, Poland

 

 

 

 

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2012 in Review and Thanks

5 Jan

Hi Everypony and Crimestoppers!

 

I know it’s been some time since I last made a post, as the end of the year has been chaos for me. But I would like to take a moment to thank all of my readers (loyal and not so loyal) for taking the time to read this blog.  My new years resolution consists this year of having more posts, more adventures and more snarky comments to fill this page with! I hope you join me for my upcoming adventures in the new year!

 

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Why Iphones Are One of the Most Irritating Advances in Technology

25 Nov

Riding the train is a normal part of my weekly routine. It has been this way for years, starting with my freshman year of college, and hasn’t shown any signs of ebbing. As such, I have long found myself tucking away my ipod for crochet hooks, and my books for people watching. (Mainly for paranoia’s sake, as news of weirder and worse happenings pop up more frequently in the news and I don’t want to be caught off gaurd.) Yet, what I notice more and more often as I glance around the crowds of faces on the T, is down turned faces with slightly unfocused eyes and ever-scrolling fingers. The ever-popular Iphone used to be hard to come by, reserved for people who had that sort of money to spend and felt the need to impress their peers. Now, it’s everywhere–and everyone seems to have it. (Most recently both of my parents have adopted one of their own little monstrosities.)

At first, I went along with the idea that they were cool. I mean, what could be so bad about a phone combined with massive internet capability and a music player? A lot, apparently. As more people obtained these irritating phones, I found more people on the train would blast music from them (usually irritatingly bad rap music saturated with curses that make you uncomfortable, especially if there are children or elderly women nearby.) and would forgo their provided ear buds. It makes me furious. It’s rude and inconsiderate of their fellow passengers. But this is not my only qualm with these annoying gadgets.

I miss normal conversations with people. Before the infestation of the Iphone, I could go out to dinner with a group of close friends, or a loved one and have real conversations. Intelligent conversations. Now, I long for those days as the Iphone invades the tables. More often than not, conversations lack significant eye contact as whoever you are at the table with fiddles with their phone; texting or forever scrolling through their memes or random photos they have taken of themselves or their food in the past week. They are distracted–and when you cease talking, a horrible awkward silence in which you can only hear the sound of their skin against the phone screen fills the air. (Or more upsetting, is when during this break in conversation, the iphone owner suddenly laughs at something on their phone–and it is the only interest they have shown in anything all evening.) If the silence goes on for too long, that Iphone person will lean across the table to you to show you whatever it is they are looking at on their phone, as it is clearly more interesting than–whatever it was you had just been talking about by yourself.

No one listens anymore. No one really talks or communicates. And no one gives their full attention to anything. Sometimes, I feel I could be on fire beside someone with an iphone, and they would only stop to take a photo of me to add to their creepy scrolling collection.

 

The Australians at the Omni Parker

9 Oct

The funny thing about plans, as cliche as it sounds, is that they never go the way they’re supposed to. Yet, what I love most about making plans often times is breaking from them and deviating to a path that I may have never otherwise taken.

Last night, I had  originally planned a time out on the town with one of my girlfriends who is visiting from Europe.  I decided that once I left Baltimare at 5, I would meet her at” the place”, Max and Dylan’s for dinner, and once we were full (and probably a bit tipsy) we would stake out together on one of the many ghost tours that skulk around Boston this time of year. It was a good plan. A solid plan. And I had always wanted to go on a ghost tour. So, I booked the non-refundable tickets, eager for the night to arrive.

I didn’t expect Baltimare to be so overloaded and hold me up until 5:30, or the trains to lock one side of the station due to a holiday that I didn’t have off so I would have to take an extra 20 minutes to get to the platform–but most of all I didn’t expect my girlfriend to find herself deliriously ill and cancel on me last minute either. There I was, staring miserably at her mess of missed text messages that I hadn’t seen until hours after she had sent them, feeling my night was ruined. Without her–there would be no dinner, no drinks, and most disappointing of all: no ghost tour. I was beside myself–until I decided to embrace this alternate path.

My fingers flew across the tiny keys of my phone as I dialed up another friend in hopes that he could make plans with me last minute. Somehow–he was free. I felt myself lifted from my disheartened state as if I were tied to a Zeppelin. So the adventure was back in business.

Our tour group met at the mouth of the Central Cometary across from the Colonial theater and my friend met me at Boyleston Street Station. I felt giddy that I had managed to get a hold of someone on such short notice. Our guide was a stocky man of a regular build, and glasses dressed all in black with a battery lit lantern to guide us to him. A message bag was slung over his shoulder like so many other Bostonians, giving him an oddly immature appearance. He spoke in a light Boston accent and to our great relief was interactive, expressive and captivating. As our guide led us around the commons, to the site of the “Great Oak” where people were hung for crimes, to the library that houses a book bound in human skin–he constantly kept us as well as the rest of the group enthralled in his stories. I was fascinated by the stories he came up with–mainly in that I had never heard them before. As best put by my friend during the tour, “Even if it’s all B.S. they’re interesting stories.”

Our tour concluded at the most haunted hotel in Boston, The Omni Parker House Hotel. Built in 1855 and located at 60 school Street, just down the street from Park Street Station, this hotel (though old) still speaks volumes of its rich and luxurious past. I have walked by this hotel more times than I can count over the years but I had never taken the time to go inside. Crown molding like I had never seen up close before lines the vestibule all the way to the concierge desk in the back. Heavy, dark wood paneling covered the walls and floral somewhat antique-looking furniture was placed against the walls and around small tables in a welcoming fashion as you pushed your way from the cold into the lobby. A smell of liquor greeted our noses as we entered, as we walked past the hotel bar and restaurant, “The Last Hurrah”. This hotel seemed to give off a slightly masculine scent of sweet cigars smoked over many years (but not in an unpleasantly overpowering way) mixed with brandy aged to perfection. I found myself more fascinated by the hotel itself than our previously enchanting guide. Here, we were told of the many haunts the hotel boasted, as well as being the inventor of the Boston Cream Pie.

Evan and I eagerly wandered into The Last Hurrah after tipping our guide, and after some finagling, managed to get ourselves a table. Here, the molding seemed more modern, but the feel was still of a gentleman’s lounge. I could imagine men in three-piece-suites, brown in color, smoking cigars in the high-backed armchairs having once sat here among friends, and possibly women, for some reason in my imaginings to be in flapper dresses and pearls. This was a place of masculine beauty and great comfort; and I immediately liked it.

We found ourselves seated beside a couple, possibly in their 50’s, with twanging Australian accents and smiling eyes. They were married, on vacation from home to visit their daughter who was going to medical school at Harvard. The man wore a bright yellow sweater and had striking blue eyes that seemed to be constantly twinkling with mirth beneath the surface. His hands were large and rough, wrapped around his half-empty glass as he jokingly complained about a woman who had “a big fat head” at the bar who was blocking his view of the baseball game.  His wife was a fair-haired, petite woman with laugh lines around her mouth and eyes that made me hope I would look that pleasant and warm as I get older. I liked the woman at once, and wish that I wasn’t so horrible at remembering names that I could recall theirs. She had once been a nurse, I learned, and was now happily retired with her husband. She and I struck up a conversation and somehow it turned to literature and books that we loved, the love of physical books, and our dislike of the modern “Kindles” and “Nooks” available. When I told her of my hopes to one day be known as a great young adult novelist–she wanted my name at once and I gave her my card with an autograph at her request.

“For when you make it big one day–I can say I met you on Holiday.” She told me warmly. They were beautiful people. Warm and vibrant. And over an irish coffee and a piece of the Omni’s wonderful Boston Cream Pie, I felt myself feel suddenly very alive and connected to the world again. Though I stumbled home a tad later than I had planned–I couldn’t help but think how wonderful the unplanned moments in life can sometimes be for the littlest reasons. I smiled, knowing that if my plans hadn’t gone so wrong that the evening wouldn’t have felt so perfect.

The Omni Parker House

Ghost Tour

 

 

 

 

 

Memories of the Marshfield Fair and a T.K.O’Malley’s Review

26 Aug

My earliest memory of the Marshfield Fair– which has been a tradition in the county since the 1800’s– is a memory that I attach to my great grandmother, Noni. I can’t exactly remember how old I must have been when she first began to take me, but I could guess roughly eight or nine–as I specifically remember not being tall enough to peek into the Clydesdale horse stalls to see them, without help or without pulling myself up by the bars of their stalls. I also remember the Bee keeper stalls, which even now as I am in my twenties continues to fascinate me for reasons that I can’t quite pinpoint. Noni had always been fascinated too. Together we would tromp the Fairgrounds, riding on the rides I was tall enough to squeak on and waving to Noni as I gleefully swung round, and round on them. I even remember that she would pay for me to play at least one game at the Fair to try to win a prize–but I never remember ever winning.

Noni passed roughly three years ago, and she and I hadn’t been to the Fair together for many years before that. For the first time in roughly twelve years last night; I went to the Marshfield Fair. It’s funny how memories come back so quickly and with such force when certain sights, smells and sounds overtake you. It was as if I were small again, and she was leading me around pointing at the prize winning animals, and giving me bites of cotton candy and various tasty fair foods. Her ghost seemed to linger with me for the whole night as I chatted with my friend and his family. I felt a small almost child-like joy as the lights of the Fairgrounds came to life, voices spiraling, laughing and screaming as we passed rides, vendors calling out to people as they passed by to tempt them into winning prizes full of sawdust. One prize I did stop to try my hand at winning–was a live Goldfish. I knew it was a rip-off and that I could buy a goldfish of my own at a pet store if I wanted, probably for less than what it was costing me to try to win one, ($5 for a bucket of ping-pong balls) but it was the excitement of the idea. The sense of old-time charm that drew me to it. And I happily won. Proudly, I displayed my prize–a fat orange Goldfish in a bag, swimming excitedly in a circle–to my friend who snapped a trophy photo of sorts for proof. I knew Noni would have smiled.

My Prize!

Posing with my Goldfish Prize at Marshfield Fair

In entirety, this weekend gave me back a sense of myself that I felt had been missing lately. I woke up this morning to a gorgeous day, and another friend waiting in the wings for an adventure to Scituate. Off we went, stopping only for an ATM, Gas and a quick car wash, we drove into the center of town where the charm of a seaside town has a heavy hold, and people milled about looking pleasant in their Sunday best. It was a sleepy sort of day, and the town moved at a pace that suited this. We wandered past the harbor at first, soaking in the smell of the ocean that I had missed all summer, before heading for lunch at a place called T.K O’Malleys.

T.K O’Malley’s had a typical sort of Irish Pub feel, but with the bonus of having the option of being able sit on the outside patio overlooking the bright, breezy harbor. Entering the restaurant was at first slightly confusing, as there are doorways to the left and right of you when you first walk in–luckily to the left we spotted a cluster of Hostesses sporting blue TKO’Malley’s t-shirts, hovering over the hostess stand and made our way that way. I held my hand up with two fingers, which in any restaurant would generally indicate table for two, but here only got me slightly blank stares, a chomp on what I hoped was gum in one girl’s mouth, and a mumbled, “Inside or out” from one of the hostesses that had her back to us. I looked to my friend for confirmation, and luckily he confirmed we wanted to be outside as I had barely managed to hear what had been asked. The hostesses then handed us a small slip of white paper that read, “Patio Voucher” and told us to head out to the patio. This was somewhat irritating to me. I had worked as a Hostess at Fenway park for a short while,  so I know that  it is the job of a good Hostess to greet customers, direct them to the appropriate table, ask if they need anything else, and alert the waitstaff that they have a new customer. These girls (who were only busy chatting at the hostess stand) did not guide us to the patio door–they only laughed and told us, “Any door out.” and waved us aside. It felt lazy and unwelcoming. Not a good start.

Once we got out to the patio, the confusion continued. More hostesses in blue shirts at another hostess stand clustered, staring blankly at us as we handed them the slip of paper the previous hostesses had handed us inside. The girls asked us how many again, to which we answered two, one scurried around the patio looking at the few vacant tables before coming back looking confused. Then one of them asked us to wait as they went inside, conceivably to interrogate the other hostesses about us. There were just way too many hostesses, and not enough communication. Finally a hostess returned and asked if five or ten minutes would be okay–to which we agreed. By this time we were slightly frustrated. Why had the indoor hostesses not been informed of a wait time for the outside? There appeared to be more than enough of them to run messages, and inside it seemed to be slow.Luckily, it was   only roughly two minutes for a wait and we were promptly seated at a table with an umbrella and menus.

Our waiter was the best service we had received since we entered the restaurant. He arrived straightaway with his clipboard to take our drink orders, (card us for said drinks as I constantly look underage) and scurry off to the bar to bring them back. The beer selection was fair, and my companion and immensely enjoyed sipping them with the cool breeze off of the water and the warm sunlight on our skin as we browsed our menus. The food was mainly a selection of pub foods–and not much to write home about. Though they did appear to have a varied selection of “University” themed burgers. Should I ever return there–I will probably investigate these. The main draw of TKO’ Malley’s has to be it’s prime waterside spot.  As we were waterside, I craved fish and took part in their Cape “COD” Ruben sandwich, which was a cod filet on rye with thousand island dressing, coleslaw and a slice of cheese. The portions were HUGE and I only managed to finish half of the sandwich but it wasn’t bad. The dressing and slaw were tasty, though the fish seemed a little mushy and was probably less fresh than I would have hoped. What the fish lacked–the slightly toasted bread made up for in crunch and flavor. My friend and I also shared a basket of sweet potato fries which were served with Maple syrup–but I wouldn’t recommend having these with the Syrup. The fries are delicious on their own–and unless you’re a big  Maple Syrup person–the Syrup overpowers the fries taste.

Prices were fair when the bill came, and we tipped our friendly and helpful waiter well. We were pointedly ignored by all of the hostesses on our way out. I couldn’t help but think of how easy it would have been to dine and dash had I been that sort of person. They wouldn’t have even noticed us.

All and all, the day was wonderful and easy-paced. Full of winding seaside roads, looming gorgeous houses, and even a stop at a historical lighthouse. I returned home sleepy but full of a bubbling happiness that only a day near the shore can bring.

 

 TKO ‘Malley’s website link in case you would like to check it out for yourself.

More information on the Marshfield Fair.

It’s Always Warm Enough for Ice Cream

3 May

Only in New England, would you find a couple making a trip to the ocean to get an ice cream in 40 degree weather.

As my boyfriend’s mother’s  junk-heap jeep wound around the rotaries and misty streets toward Revere Beach,  I eagerly peered out the window taking in the vacant shoreline.  The weather had been fairly miserable all weekend, leaving a feint fog hovering over the streets, as if the grey clouds overhead were escaping into the roads. Mickey looked pleased with himself as he carefully edged into the next rotary; excited to share his favorite childhood ice cream shop with me.

I had been to Revere Beach before, in the summer last year. At the time, the beach was packed with sunbathers, and sandcastle artists and massive sand-sculptures for the eager passerby’s to eye.  Vendors lined the sidewalks from anything from art to hot dogs to shaved ice, shouting to the generally half-naked crowd to tempt them closer. The skies had seemed tall and open then–shimmering blue overhead, making the ocean glitter blindingly. Now, it felt like the clouds would crush us at any moment.

Yet, despite this, I was very much enjoying myself. Heck, I was even enjoying watching the storm overhead gather, whipping sand across the street in snaky tendrils. I was getting ice cream–and that was enough for me. I called out places I recognized as we drove, and he pointed out places I might know but never have seen from the road. We chatted, and as we made our way toward Kelly’s Kreme, he shared with me that when he was younger, his parents would take him there for ice cream and that he hadn’t been in years.

Kelly’s Creme sits right next to the Famed Kelly’s Roast Beef with a view of the Revere Beach. (Be it on purpose or ironic they are both Kelly’s, I am not sure.) A giant, stereotypical neon ice cream cone sits atop the little shack, which is really no bigger than your local Dairy Queen. So, what is it that made this place so special?  Two words: Portion size.

The ice cream sundaes at Kelly’s Creme are not for the weak of stomach. I gaped in horror at the hot fudge sundae I ordered as it arrived. The sundae comes in what appears to be a cup the size of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s, is a soft-served flavor of your choice, drowning in two ladle-fulls of their hot fudge, a hefty squeeze of whipped cream and topped with a half of fresh strawberry.( I of course, wasted no time in devouring my strawberry.) Prices are fair for what they give you in portions, though a bit more expensive than other ice cream shops.  We shivered in front of the window, before finally deciding to eat our frozen treats in the safety of the Jeep. As we ate, I expressed my astonishment at the size of my ice cream, and Mickey confessed that he would eat until he felt he would be sick when he was smaller. I couldn’t bring myself to finish my sundae, but managed to eat most of the hot gooey fudge they gave me. Something my parents would have frowned on when I was small.

Next time we go, I will be sure to stick with a cone, so I can get every delicious bit into my belly.

 

Miniature Tigers? What Fun?! (A concert review)

23 Apr

The most wonderful thing about the House of Blues in Boston–is that there is a restaurant attached. Why,do you ask, is this the best thing? Three words: Pass the Line.

For my birthday gift this year, I asked to go to a concert at the House of Blues. Not just any concert: Fun. If you don’t know who Fun is–tune in to your local radio station some time. Or better yet, watch some television and keep yourself posted for the Chevy Sonic commercial with all the crazy car stunts. That, my dear reader, is Fun. The song everyone– from the tweens to the moms–seem to be singing lately is ‘We are young’. Frankly, it’s a bit disappointing that this is the song that caught everyone’s attention, since they have far better songs to offer. Nevertheless, since this commercial aired during the Superbowl this year, they’ve become suddenly and overwhelmingly popular.

So buying a meal at the House of Blues restaurant was a small price to pay for the opportunity to cut the seemingly endless line of eager fans at the door to get in. My boyfriend and I were one of the first guests inside, and the venue is by far one of my favorites. Small and warmly lit, the walls are lined symmetrically with artwork that looks as if small children completed them. The walls are painted in warm colors, and the stage is adorned with multiple religious symbols and the phrase “Who do you love” is framed at center stage. Arranged in three tiers of viewing, a bar adorns each level, back lit and glowing in the dim but welcoming light. The bottom level is standing room only, and features the authentic crowd-crushing capacity that most concerts are known for. I personally prefer to be able to see the stage with ease (as I am a regrettably short 5’4′–it is almost guaranteed that someone will be taller than me and will block my view of the stage.) and prefer the mezzanine level. There are two options for this level: standing room and ticketed seating. For both Fun and last year’s Panic at the Disco concert, I preferred standing room, just simply because you can wriggle closer to the stage if you get there early.   The standing room is to the left and right sides of the stage, and the seating is in the back. Above this level is similar, but shorter in length and can hold less people. I suppose this would be the best bet for those of you who find crowds extremely unpleasant but still love loud music.

The doors opened at 6, but I felt as if we were eagerly waiting, leaning against the railing for about an hour before the opening band, The Miniature Tigers began their set. Having been curious about this opening act, I had looked into the Miniature Tigers prior to attending the concert. From what I heard in their recordings, I doubted I would enjoy them. (Though nothing will ever surpass the horror that was Foxy Shazam. They played with their feet…literally…) Yet, I ended up being pleasantly surprised in that the Miniature Tigers were much better to listen to live than they were in recording. (A rare find–like a Charizard card in the original 150 decks.) However, I always find that the opening band is supposed to complete one simple task–warm up the audience for the band they really came to see. The Miniature Tigers seemed to fall a bit short in this respect. True, their lead singer did his best to get the audience interacting, but due to their somewhat mellow Modest Mouse meets The Beatles and Whites Stripes sound–it was difficult to get the audience pumped. Their last song, ‘Sex on the Regular’ was catchy enough to get a little “wiggle” (as the lead singer put it ) into the crowd. After re-listening to them, I think they may be something I could even get into.(And apparently their song ‘The Wolf’ was in  that movie Easy A.)

It was a bit of a long wait between the opening act and the main event–but was decidedly well worth it. Per when I witnessed Fun for the first time last year (At the previously mentioned Panic at the Disco concert) the lead singer, Nate Ruess, burst onto the stage full of energy and enthusiasm. This time, Nate sported a bright green Celtics Jersey, Rhondo’s to be specific, and proceeded to admit to the crowd that he wore the Jersey everywhere and that Fun had deep roots in Boston.

All members of the band seemed high energy and their joy was contagious. The crowd hooted and hollered, being encouraged by the band to sing along and make friends with strangers beside them. Fun lives up to their name with ease, and was a highly interactive and personable experience. Even in a crowd of easily hundreds, I felt as if I was interacting with the band. (If not the whole room.) They opened with the song, “One foot” (which I felt was an odd start out of the gate due to it’s strange almost grim lyrics) and ended with an encore of their newest song “Some Nights”. From start to end the energy was up, and Nate worked the crowd with the skill of a master performer. Each song was introduced like a personal friend of the band, and even the parents of the guitarist and the drummer were in the audience and brought to attention. The audience left with grins on their faces and I left with a skip in my step. Fun is by far one of my most favorite concert experiences yet, and I look forward to their next appearance nearby.

http://www.ournameisfun.com/

http://miniaturetigers.com/

http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/boston/