Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Bit More Seasonal

 Somehow this photo came out more like a painting.  I'm in love with it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fall In New England

All of the trees here are bare now, so I thought I would share some photos of what they looked like a month or so ago.  My first winter in New England is going to be interesting.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Your 2012 Arrow Calendar!

Without further ado I give you the 2012 Arrow Calendar!  You can get yours here on the blog for $15 shipping included.  You can click the pay pal link on this post or the one on the sidebar.  Thanks for your support.  Here's a peek inside:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Northeastern University - Late Afternoon

I took this photo with my iPhone the other day. I guess I was walking, which caused the blur that I love. This was just after the time change which means it is already dark here at 4:30 pm.  More on how I have been handing this soon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Boston Accents

I heard a repairman next door say that he left his khakis in his jacket.  It took me a few minutes of trying to imagine getting pants into a jacket pocket before I realized he didn't say "khakis" he said "Ka-kees" which in Boston translates to "car keys".

If you are given driving directions with street/exit names in them have the person write down the name!  You could spend an hour looking for the exist to "Wusta" before you realize it is spelled Worchester.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

There is a large reservoir around the corner from my apartment.  On nice days it is really wonderful to walk over to the reservoir and then walk the path around it a couple times.  I just have to watch out for the geese.

(Side note: All of these photos were taken on my iPhone.  I am continually amazed at what it can do.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Leaf Peeping

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Walking Through History

I was on a walk in Cambridge the other day and almost passed this house without another glance.  The sign caught my attention and I'm glad I stopped to read it.  It's really crazy how much history is around every corner in this area.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hold Sister's Hand

From now on, when people ask me if I like my job as a nanny I will refer them to this picture. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Boston Driving Hints and Tips - 2

  • There is a local radio station that starts its traffic segments with an old woman with a thick Boston accent saying things like "Put on my blinker? That's like giving information to the enemy" and "I can drive with one finger, my middle one".  I find the first one particularly accurate  My guess is that the average Bostonian's car horn wears out twice as fast as the average American's, and their blinkers last twice as long. 
  • I have seen people being pulled over by the police, but I can't imagine what makes the cops choose them.  There must be some algorithm that the cops use to cull one insane driver from the herd.
  • Boston is the only city I've seen where the school bus drivers are worse than the taxi drivers.
  • I recently heard this explanation for why Boston's drivers are so bad, "Well, Boston is a city where people commute both ways with the sun in their eyes."  Yep.  That was the explanation I was given. Blame it on the Earth's rotation.  Wouldn't this have to apply to all cities where the downtown area lies East of the suburbs people commute from?  This has led me to start a subsegment of my Driving Tips and Hints posts: 
Terrible theories about why Boston drivers are so terrible

  • Drivers in Boston know that they are never more than a mile from a world class hospital, so they figure they can risk it.  This is especially true since health insurance is mandatory in Massachusetts.  These people want to get their money's worth.
  • Boston is full of equal parts crazy old ladies and new college students.  The old ladies can't remember how to drive and the students have no idea how to get anywhere.  
  • The pedestrians are so bad that the drivers are constantly either having to avoid the pedestrians, or trying to hit them and get revenge.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spread The Word To End The Word

I'm sure that by now most of you have seen this commercial from the organization Spread the Word to End the Word, but I had to share it here.  I had to share it because I simply don't understand why I hear the "R" word so much.  I don't understand how the same young men who are one minute discussing astrophysics on an elite college campus can turn around the next minute and call each other "retarded".  I have to say that when I was growing up we used the "R" word all the time in school.  We would say someone was retarded or their idea was retarded.  We didn't understand the connection to real people.  I'm so glad that there is a campaign out there to raise awareness about how this word can hurt.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


-When deciding whether or not to see a movie based on a book you read ask yourself "Did I finish that book?". If the answer is yes, then go with god. If the answer is "hmmm, I remember the general plot, lots of happy stuff. But the ending? Uh..." then you should reassess. Spoiler Alert: I recently saw One Day, the new Anne Hathaway movie based on a book that I "read". I really thought I finished that book, but that bus came out of nowhere. I slowly remembered that I got about three quarters of the way through the book and got distracted by a butterfly something, and never finished it. Killed by a bus. That was a surprise.

-Since I nanny for a two year old I say the same thing over and over in rapid succession. "Feet out of your mouth please. Feet out of mouth. Feet! Mouth!". "I'll be right back. Be right back. Right Back! Back!"

-Disney is rereleasing Bambi and The Lion King, because apparently scarring my generation wasn't enough, they want to screw up a whole new group of kids.

-At some point in history the competing manufacturers of shower curtains, liners, and rings got together and decided how many holes EVERY shower curtain would have. Every last one. Let's put these guys to work on the economic crisis.

-I was walking out of the gym recently and glanced up at cars stopped in traffic. Right there in front of me was a truck owned by "Her Plumbing, Inc.". I think the "Inc." really gives the company credibility.

-Little known fact: starting a sentence with "I was walking out of the gym..." means you double the amount of calories burned.

-I drove past a Dunkin' Donuts on Friday at 12:30am and there were three police cars parked outside. My first thought was "They know I need blog material!". (Don't get me started on Boston's obsession with Dunkin' Donuts. Yuck."

-No one looks good getting up from an Adirondack chair.

-Some nights call for a delivery pizza, a screening of Airplane, and zero guilt.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Ten years ago, I woke up not feeling well and decided to stay home from school.  It was my senior year of high school and I knew one day wouldn't be a big deal, so I stayed in bed and flipped on the TV.  At that point no one knew what was going on.  Both towers still stood, like giant billowing smokestacks.  Then one tower fell.  Then the other.  I distinctly remember watching live video of people 80 stories up in the towers jumping out of windows.  The world was pretty different after that.

I didn't know anyone who died on 9/11.  For that matter I don't think I know anyone who knows anyone who died, though statistics say I probably do.  But that's the thing about a tragedy like this, we stop talking about it every day.  We keep it tucked into a little corner of our minds because there is no way we could look it in the face every day.  Yet people do.  Survivors, family members, friends.  They don't have the luxury of a back corner.

We can use words like tragedy and terrorism to describe what happened ten years ago today, and those words are totally accurate.  But sometimes the only thing I end up thinking is "wow, what a shitty thing to do".  I know it's not eloquent, but that's what comes to mind.  Some times the simple words will do.  Shitty.  Fucked up.

Sometimes on this day I post a picture of a flag as a memorial.  Somehow, that doesn't seem to do it today.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bad Blogger!

I know.  I suck.  I move 3,000 miles away and never call or write.  I apologize.  I'm not sure there is a good way to sum up how things are going here, but all in all I would say things are great.  I love my apartment and the area where I live.  I love school so far.  I love my job (most of the time, I mean, isn't that the best I can ask for?)

When I tell people the long and convoluted story of how I ended up in Boston working where I do and going to school, doing my research assistantship, etc, they are universally amazed.  "Clearly" they say "this was meant to be".  I completely agree.  Things have fallen into place so smoothly here that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Maybe it was all those years of Catholic school that made me think "Jesus is dead, there is no way I'm allowed to be this happy".  (Note: I'm not Catholic, I was just indoctrinated by their schools for 10 years).  Well, the nuns were wrong, things can be awesome without anyone having to pay for it.  I'm sorry Sister Clarita, but that's how it is.  May you rest in peace.

I know that there are a million little stories that I won't have time to relay here and that makes me sad, because I really want to have some of them documented.  There is something I have learned from my photography that I have been able to transfer to my blogging and other areas of my life, and that is this: If you are too busy documenting you forget to do the experiencing.

I just thought I would take a moment on this, my first day of Graduate School, to let you know that I am alive and well.  No...I'm thriving.  I will share stories and photos again soon, and plan on being a better blogger.  I have a "Ramblings" post in the works which seems easier for me to write than a long story lately.

In the meantime, please enjoy some photos of my backyard and its occupants.  My apartment has 7 windows that look out onto this gorgeousness.  Seven.  SEVEN.  That's one, two, three...SEVEN! I cannot overstate the importance of the windows.  Oh, and there's a skylight too.  The backyard is home to a very long swing that just begs to be photographed at many angles, as well as a pool and much foliage.

Something tells me that Sister Clarita would be happy for me.  Jesus or no Jesus, I've got a view.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Coming Soon To A Blog Near You!

I'm sorry it has been a while since I posted anything.  I spent the long holiday weekend on Martha's Vineyard and will write up a post soon.  I also have some fun photos to share.  In the meantime I'm going to go consider the terrifying fact that I start Graduate School on Wednesday.  Shudder.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunset - West Chop, Martha's Vineyard

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Martha's Vineyard, So Specific (And Some Other Ramblings I Wasn't Planning On)

(This photo is from one of the roads on Martha's Vineyard.  Gotta love it.  Right now the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Irene, Boston included.  It looks like we will get hit with some fierce winds and lots of rain on already saturated soil.  I'm prepared with supplies and plan on hunkering down tomorrow.  I will share stories after the storm passes, if anything interesting happens.  Also, for those who have asked, I did not feel the earthquake a few days ago.  But then again, it was relatively small for a California girl.  I do think it is funny that everyone ran OUTSIDE during the earthquake, pretty much the worst idea.  I also love how California has poked fun of the East Coast's reaction to the quake.  Here are a couple of my favorite joke pics of earthquake "aftermath".)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nautical Grammar

This is a sign on the ferry to and from Martha's Vineyard.  Inspires confidence, no?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My People

Beloit College just released their "Mindset List" for this year's incoming college freshmen.  Since I just celebrated my 27th birthday (shudder), I thought I would go onto Beloit's website and look up what the Mindset List for my incoming class looked like.  Here are a few that hit home (I've added a few of my own comments to their list too):

  • Most were born in 1983 or 1984 (I was always the youngest in my class).
  • "Ctrl+Alt+Del" is as basic as "ABC".
  • Paul Newman has always made salad dressing.
  • Bert and Ernie are old enough to be their parents (and now they can legally marry in New York!).
  • There has always been some association between fried eggs and your brain.
  • Computers have always fit in their backpacks.
  • The Osmonds are just talk show hosts.
  • They have always been able to make photocopies at home.
  • A Southerner has always been president of the United States (until Barack Obama, who is, of course, Kenyan).
  • South Africa's official policy of apartheid has not existed in their lifetime.
  • Cars have always had eye-level rear stop lights, CD players, and air bags.
  • Bruce Springsteen's new hit, Born in the USA, could have been played to celebrate their birth.
  • Barbie has always had a job (And still doesn't make as much money as Ken for the same job).
  • Afghanistan has always been a front page story.
  • The U.S. and Soviets have always been partners in space.
  • Nicolas Cage, Daryll Hannah, Eddie Murphy, and John Malkovich made their first major film impressions the year they were born.
  • The drug Ecsasty has always been around.
  • Electronic filing of federal income taxes has always been an option.
  • The Coen Brothers have always been making films.
  • Datsuns have never been made.
  • Directory Assistance has never been free.
  • They knew how to pop a Popple and trade a Pog (Total flashback to 8th grade).
  • They can still sing the rap chorus to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ("West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days..." Damn it, now that's in my head!)
Well, that makes me feel a little younger, thanks Beloit!  Now everyone older than me can proceed to the comments section and share their thoughts on me feeling old.  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boston Area Driving Hints And Tips

Okay, I have a confession to make.  I was wrong about how much it sucks to drive in Boston.  It sucks.  Hard.  I'm not sure what the other drivers are thinking but my thoughts usually go something like this:

   "Alrighty, pull out of the driveway and...wait, why is my street blocked off.  Oh, it's just a couple of hundred people double parked.  Everything is good...hang on, is this a rotary?  Damn, it is.  How many lanes is it?!  Why aren't there any lines?! Let me out!  Let me out!  I'm alive!!! Wait, why is everyone turning?  Is this a turn only lane?  But I'm in the middle lane! Okay, moving over.  Let me in!  Let me in!!  Ooh, that guy doesn't like me.  OH MY GOD THERE'S A TRAIN COMING!  AM I ON THE T LINE?!  That was close.  Now, the GPS says that my destination is at the next right.  Wait, there are three rights and four lefts at the next intersection.  Which fork do I take?!  Excuse me.  Pardon me.  Oh, go to hell! Okay, made it through the intersection.  Wait, why is that guy coming right at me?  Am I on a one way street?  OH MY GOD I AM!  But, wait, HE'S THE ONE GOING THE WRONG WAY!  Phew, I made it.  Now how do I get home?"

I'm sure I will continue this series as I learn to drive like a Bostonian, but here are my first observations:

  1. People generally go 15-25 miles above the speed limit and will sit three inches off your rear bumper if you don't.
  2. There are two places for informational road signs - six inches before an intersection and ten feet after an intersection (the latter saying, basically "you should have turned there, now you're screwed").
  3. There are two ways, and only two ways, that people give directions here: "Oh, that's easy to get to" and "You can't get there from here".  
  4. Blinkers are for pussies.
  5. Merge and Yield are not recognized words in Massachusetts.
  6. Why park when you can double park?  
  7. A two lane road anywhere else is a four lane road here.  Most of the time there aren't lines on the street.  I imagine at some point there was a conversation like this:
             "Hey Bernie, how many lanes should this road be?"
             "I don't know Ray, I guess it depends on how big the cars are."
             "Then we shouldn't put lines on the road.  We don't want to confuse anyone."
             "Wicked smart man, wicked smart."

Complain about any of this and you will get the following explanation -
"Well, the roads were laid out for horses and carriages".

I understand that, but there have been some upgrades since then.  Right?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Twenty Seven

More years than candles in the package.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Move It

What can I say about my move to Boston?  I think one word sums it up well: Surprising.  I was surprised again and again by how calm I was.  I'm still sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My mom and I flew out on 7/31 around 10pm and arrived in Boston early the next morning.  I didn't sleep on the plane.  At all.  Fun times.  When we arrived in Boston I discovered that one of my bags had been "misplaced".  And by "misplaced", I mean that it was probably sent to Boston via Madagascar and the Galapagos Islands, perhaps with a stop on Mars.  Luckily, the bag was dropped off on my doorstep sometime in the middle of the night having only gone to Philadelphia (but with a tan that suggested a more tropical locale.)

So, my mom and I spent the next three days waiting for my car and furniture to arrive and making many trips to Target and Ikea.  These trips were fun at first, but two hours in Ikea deciphering and translating is way too much time.  My right eye still starts to twitch whenever I see a letter with two little dots above it.  

As it stands right now, I am about 90% moved in (thanks, in large part, to the two guys downstairs who row crew at Harvard and have been my sherpas).  On 8/4 I dropped my mom at the airport and I drove down the coast to Martha's Vineyard.  (Note: the ocean is on the wrong side out here.  This may lead to some interesting navigation for a California girl).  I took the ferry here and am in paradise.  I'm sitting on the screened in porch looking out at the lighthouse and Vineyard Sound.  I can see why the Obamas and Kennedys hang out here.  

I will share photos of my place once it is completely set up.  Until then, enjoy some pictures from the Vineyard.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


While I get together a post detailing my move, Boston, and what Martha's Vineyard is like, I want to show you this hysterical video about Cleveland.  My other top choice grad school, Case Western Reserve University, is in Cleveland.  I think Boston was the right choice.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Life On The Deck

The decks at my parents house are gathering places for all kinds of critters. The top deck sees it's fair share of squirrels (which Arrow hates), various species of birds, and one chipmunk called Bob. I love Bob and was able to get a few shots of him and his friends last weekend. Behold - Bob!  (And Friends)