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some sort of April fools

So I'm not much for April Fools Day and I generally ignore it. But there was something going on this morning that I feel obliged to mention. See, it was our trash day, and I put the trash out last night like a responsible householder; but this morning, when I went out to dispose of some additional trash, I noticed that many, if not all, of our neighbors, had their recycle bins out. Now, we get recycling picked up every two weeks, and I could have sworn that I'd done it last week--and I had a half-empty recylce bin to prove it. And yet, the bins of my neighbors were all full to bursting. I asked Leah for her thoughts, but as she expressed her complete ignorance on the subject I was on my own.

I went so far as to take the recycling downstairs, but in the end I thought how foolish I, and my house, would look if that bin were sitting there all day. So I brought it back up. And I was vindicated in the end! because when I got home all those bins were still sitting out there. So I don't know exactly what happened, but I have a strong suspicion it was a scheme concocted by the neighbors to confuse me and make us look silly. A nefarious plot, in other words. Thank goodness I saw through their machinations.

cathederal chapter

There is something that might be said about the Pope and the 'culture of life', given those two prominant deaths in the last few days. But what can I add that hasn't already been commented to death by the hordes of the chattering classes? Oh, alright, maybe there is something. I may write it later.

But now we have other stories to fry, because there was a big Confirmation service up at the cathederal (St Pauls in Boston, if you're keeping score at home) this morning, which I was involved in as a sponsor and as, so I found out when I arrived there this morning, as a reader. The sponsor business was much more important--for those of you not familiar with our Episcopalian jargon, it doesn't refer to any commercial support of the event on my part, but rather to the fact that I am apparently now considered an adult sufficiently responsible to guide and lead one of the young people of the parish to the confirmation of his baptismal vows, and the assumption of his full membership in the church community.

Phew, where did that sentence start?! That's what I get for having to try and figure out the bit of Paul's letter to the Ephesians they thrust into my hands and told me I had to read out to the crowd, which at the point of receiving the assignment I imagined to be of some considerable size. I figured it out in the end, though, or rather I figured out how to say it: I didn't have any time to bother with attempting any understanding of the text. I brought the piece of paper they gave me home, though, so I can peruse it at my leisure. In any case, folks approached me to tell me I did a good job at it, even some folks I didn't know, so unless I was so bad they felt the need to salve my fragile self-esteem things must have gone well enough. I'll tell you, though, I didn't try and look up from that piece of paper once, from when I got up from the lectern till I was through with the reading. No need to make things any more difficult!

There is much to tell about the confirmation business itself, and about the lunch to which I was treated afterwords, but as I suspect that will be less interesting to the general audience I will keep it to myself for the nonce.


hey, it's baseball!

Red Sox are playing the Yankees right now, in the opening game of the 2005 baseball season. Unfortunately, the game started at 8:05 or some nonsense, so there's absolutely no way I'm going to manage to stay up til the end. Cmon guys, this is baseball in the Northeast in the beginning of April. If you're going to start the season up here so early, it'd be nice to do it in the afternoon sun (such as it was today); and I maintain games should never start after 7:00 here. It's a school night, for goodness sakes! Stupid national market. As I've probably said before, that was one of the best parts of living in California: sporting events were on at reeasonable hours.

Oh yeah, the game... Sox are losing now, but it's different this year! Nobody can say silly things like 'here we go again' any more. We're the world champions now! Hooray! One of these days I'll get to know the Sox lineup, too, maybe.

water, exciting

When I drove past it on the way home on Friday, the giant reservoir alongside Rt 128 was still a big sheet of ice; this morning it's all water, complete with rippling waves. The start of baseball season clearly has a stong warming effect.

Also, it's daylight savings time now. I seem to have reacted to the change fairly well, and adapted entirely to the new time within one day of the change. That is, my sleep cycle has adapted; my stomach is still a little confused. Though that is perhaps also due to my inconsistant, yet not inconsiderable, intake of food over the weekend.

Arlington Heights

The neighborhood we live in is called Arlington Heights, and since I grew up around here I always knew about the area and the name. But the part of the Heights I used to frequent, which is where we live now--the center of the Heights, if you will--is only a little bit higher than the rest of Arlington. The rise as you come up Mass. Ave is noticeable, but nothing you'd call steep. Still, it's there; and I always understood that to be the reason for the name. Now, though, that I've had some opportunity to take walks a little further afield on both sides of Mass Ave, I've discovered the truth: this area is called the heights because most of it is what you could call an absolute mountain.

Now, it's not like the ravines around Santa Monica, where the houses cling to the edges of cliffs and people can drop rolls of their back porch down their neighbor's chimney. That was such an extreme situation that the roads could only be in the valleys or along the tops of the ridges, so the layout of the neighborhoods were entirely dictated by the topography. In Arlington they pretended the hills aren't there, and run roads over just about everything. Some of the roads are consequently rather steep. Also, the hills are alot higher here. In Santa Monica the total change in elevation on any particular 'hill' wasn't more than a 100 feet, I think; in our Arlington heights you feel like you need an oxygen supply at the top of some of the more impressive rises.
And then, it's also the case here that we have the biggest hills for some distance around, at least on the east-west axis. You can see down into Boston in one direction from some of them, and then the other way there isn't much in Lexington that can compete (except for maybe the isolated rise, like Whipple Hill). So I can see why early residents were impressed, and I have a new understanding of the 'Heights' label.


Prenuptial Paralysis

I had a boyfriend in highschool who took a science final with a hundred-and-three fever, and then came home and needed to breath in a paper bag for half an hour. He passed the exam, but the panic attack was pretty embarassing. Especially since I, his hot highschool girlfriend, was sitting with my hands folded in the same room, watching while his mother hold up a paper bag to inflate, and in that kind of situation i guess you're concerned and compassionate and all because you wouldn't want your boyfriend to die even before the prom pictures are developed, but still, after the fact, it's hard not to kind of loose respect for a grown boy who hyperventilates into a paper bag.

Shallow zen can be so cruel.


And then i just couldn't get enough air into my lungs and instead of thinking "I can't breath, Should i go to the hospital?" I'm thinking, "I look sooooo stupid right now."

I had anouther boyfriend in college who had to be rushed to the hospital straight from an opera rehearsal because he hadn't eaten anything but a poptart that day and he passed out from low blood sugar. I dumped him too.

Amazingly enough, this morning Dan still wanted to give me hugs and pack me lunch, and he didn't say the wedding is off. Good thing he's more zen and less shallow than i am.


the benefits of the warmth

So why was I so excited about the ice melting off the reservoir the other day? Well, because it meant it's warm out now of course, but also because the water is sure nicer to look at than all that flat ice. Not, I have to add, that I mind the ice in its time: I'm happy to see it starting to form at the beginning of the winter. But we get a little tired of flatness and grayness, and especially when it starts getting soft ice doesn't have very much to say in the way of visual display. Water, on the other hand, looks different every day and every hour, and so it really livens up the commute, visual-wise.

Yesterday was spectacularly warm: so soon after the first outside day, we had the first no-shoes day. After kids choir we went outside and played on the grass, and it was very nice indeed. Even if you don't like winter, you have to admit it's useful in helping us to appreciate the spring. The folks in Los Angeles don't know what they're missing, I don't think.

Warning, there may be talk of Jesus

Just to let you know, you have been warned. If talk of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and not just some nice Jewish teacher who lived long ago makes you want to squirm and/or refuse attendance to our wedding, then read no further. There may be talk of Jesus in this entry.

Last night Dan and Judy and I attending a tester-outer meeting at Judy's church for a series of discussions called the Alpha course. The alpha course bills itself as "A Practical Introduction to the Christian Faith." Judy mentioned it to me because she thought that i, as a former Jewess and now a practicing church-goer, could benefit from a practical introduction to the Christian faith. I thought it might be a fun thing for the three of us (Dan being dragged only with the promise of free dinner) to do together, because you know what they say about families who pray together, and also i have absolutely no hobbies other than working out and working out. Also, i'm always intrigued when Judy talks about her church, because it's so different from ours. While we attend a small Episcopal community church filled with people who are very nice and tight-lipped about their spiritual experiences, Judy attends an enormous Evangelical church where they're always talking about Witnessing all the time, telling everybody you know about Jesus and how great he is and how he wicked wants to enter into your heart and forgive your sins. You can see why this church is run by Southerners because Boston folk are not too big on the talking-about-God thing, especially when it's in PUBLIC to PEOPLE WE DON'T KNOW!!!!!

So we went to the Alpha Alpha meeting at the big Evangelical church run by Southerners, and we ate food, and we made small talk, and we watched a video, and we learned several thing about God and about ourselves:
1) Sitting in a chair for longer than 2 hours hurts your back and brings back painfull memories of the LANDMARK FORUM.
2) If you already go to church every Sunday, you are not in need of A Practical Introduction to the Christian Faith.
3) Free food from costco is not superior to food that is not from costco but you have to pay for.
4) Southern Ministerial types are very friendly and outgoing in a way that is simultaniously comforting and inexplicably un-nerving
5) Jesus said I am the Way and the Light (already knew)
6) Christianity is not Lame (already knew, but if you have to say it in a video using 1990s clip art, i may be persuaded to change my mind.)

Yeah, the small talk and video and gross food and Southern witnesses were a bit of a turn-off, and to tell the truth we weren't expecting otherwise.

Actually, i'm going to tell you a secret, but only if you promise not to tell God: in my secret heart of hearts i wanted to go to the Alpha course to find out if there was a secret way to get Jesus. I mean, everyone says Have you invited Christ into your heart?and i say, I've invited him but He ain't comin. If you believe in him, it should be so easy and he should come into your heart and fill you with love and tell you whether or not you should go to grad school. So, like, where's the hold-up?

If i did get any insight at the Alpha dinner last night it was that if there is any sticking point between me and Jesus, it's me, in that i have no desire whatsoever to stop being wicked. I mean, i want Jesus in my heart and all, but not if it means stopping making fun of people who are fat and wear sweatshirts with pictures of cats on them. There are certain vices that are just part of who i am!


tooth excavation

So the other week, in deference to Leah's wishes, I went to the dentist for the first time in about ten years or so. He told me that my mouth was in suprisingly good shape, but that I did have one cavity, so today I went back to get it drilled, or filled, or whatever it is they do to cavities. I was uneasy about the whole procedure; my stomach was not all I could wish for on the drive to the dental office.

When I got there there was nobody home, but once they showed up (back from their lunch break I imagine) they sat me right down, swabbed some numbing agent on my gums, and stabbed me with a needle. I mostly didn't feel the needle, thanks to the aforementioned numbing--which also had a very interesting effect on my throat when I swallowed--but there were a few unpleasant moments when the deadly point approached too closely to some nerve or other. Then, after an interval for me to get all numb, they slapped some sort of scaffolding apparatus in my mouth to keep it open, the drilling commenced.

It wasn't actually that bad, the drilling, except at one point when it hurt some. When I made an 'owchie' noise (as well as I could through all the scaffolding and latex) the dentist was very considerate and apologetic, and explained that I had an extended nerve, or something of the sort, in that particular area of the tooth. He used a slower-speed drill after that, at least for that side of my tooth, and I felt no further discomfort. In fact, the only real discomfort of the whole visit came when he showed me my x-rays and told me that I actually had three more cavities hiding elsewhere in my mouth, and that I'd have to come back for two more drilling expeditions at a later date. That's in addition to the wisdom teeth removal which apparently must also be performed. The dentist showed me the x-rays to back up his diagnosis, but I confess I couldn't really see the cavities he was pointing to (they look like dark patches, I find); I considered it enough to be able to tell which bits were teeth and which were background.

So that was my trip to the dentist. One final note, that novacaine lasts a while and sure feels funny. Also, no matter how hungry you may be, it's just not possible to really savor your food when your mouth has no feeling to speak of. Aside from the little matter of not being able to taste due to tongue numbness, it's also not quite pleasant not to be able to tell when your top and bottom teeth are touching each other. Makes chewing difficult, I discovered. I'm fully better now, though.

On an unrelated note, it's nice to note that now, finally, the Red Sox managed to schedule a game when actual humans could watch and or listen to most of it. The first one was on a school night and started after 8:00; the next two were on weekdays and started at one. Guys, what's up with that? Now that we've reached game 4, though, they seem to have figured the thing out. Sox won too, so so much the better.


the odyssey

I fetched my bicycle from its winter dwelling place yesterday, but too late to ride it anywhere. So today I went out on an expedition: I packed a lunch and set off to visit our new house, which I haven't seen since the open house and into which we're moving in less than a week, now. It's right on the end of the bike path, so I zipped right out there in no time (well, with a slight detour to watch a soccer game), and looked, and decided that looking at the house wasn't much good without being able to get inside. So I went to bike some more.

Certain maps had led me to believe that the bike path continued beyond what is to all outward appearences its terminus in Bedford Center, so I asked at the bike store there, and a kind representative of that establishment confirmed that that was in fact the case, in a manner of speaking. And as it turns out, that manner of speaking was that, yes, there is a way to get though to Concord Center from there, but it is not in the least easy to find. Also, it's made out of dirt.

At least I have a fairly heavy-duty mountain bike, so I didn't mind the lumpy ground or the extensive areas of mud (to the depth of several inches). I did, however, have some difficulty with the fact that every time the path crossed a road it was a matter of several minutes before I was able to find where it continued on the other side, and only then after consulting with several local residents and passers-by. I wasn't the only one to have such difficulties: at one intersection I shared my confusion with another party of expeditioners, who unfortunately I was not able to help. Nor could they offer me any assistance at that point.

Eventually, however, I made it to Concord, with the purpose of visiting Leah in her store. I did that, and I stayed for a good long while. While obviously enjoyable for its own sake, the duration of the visit also had the side benefit of giving me a length of time in which I was not on the bike. By then, I have to confess, both my legs (specifically my anterior thighs) and my, um, seat were about done. I was about ready to walk the bike up the last big hill I had to traverse, and I was going pretty slow (and also moaning and groaning) when a couple other guys came by going, not remarkably fast, but a reasonable human speed. Since they had muddy mountain bikes too, I figured they'd been out a while as well; so I couldn't let them put me to shame. I caught up the slower of them and thanked him for providing motivation, and then we had a nice little conversation.

Then the last bit of the way home, back on the paved bike path, I was going as slow as anything. I was getting passed by folks on rollerblades, which is just as embarassing as it can get when you're on a bike. I bought some lemonade from some small children about a half mile from home, and I really don't think I would have made it without that little burst of sugar. I couldn't manage to get back on the bike after I crossed Mass Ave, so I walked it the rest of the way home.

One final note: having to carry my bike up the stairs does make me feel nicely cosmopolitan, but on the other hand it's not what you'd call particularly convenient. Although... I don't know where we're going to keep bikes in the new house. I think the second bedroom upstairs might be free...


taxing times

You'll forgive me, I hope, for the paucity of exciting updates this week (I'm afraid I rather expect it to continue). We're dealing with preparing to move into our new house on Friday--although the preperations are purely mental at this point--and I'm also kind of starting to look for a new job, in case I don't have a spot at Mason-Rice next year. And then there's also those forms that the goverment requires folks to fill out and submit around this time of year. If my calculations are correct, though, they're going to to end up owing me money, so we can tentatively file that stressor under 'all's-well-that-ends-well'. Now all I need to do is find that last W2 form, that seems to have been misplaced somewhere here. I have a feeling the Feds will be less likely to believe me if I don't manage to include it in the envelope...

I will get to the Wedding news, i promise...

Yes, we are moving and yes it is tax time and yes i am swamped at work and planning a wedding, but in my order of priorities i have way more important news to report to you today:
I Squatted 300 lbs this morning!!!!!!
Last week i had only gone up to 210, and the week before i had ended at a tentative 200, because i'm very wary of machines that require you to dip to a lower starting point and then lift the heavy weight before you can decide you really screwed up and needed to set it 10lbs lower.
Well, i had alreay done three sets of squats going up to 250, but i wasn't feeling maxed out and i said, "What the heck, maybe today will be the day!" For a few weeks, i've been embarassed that i can easily press more then 300lbs on a decline, but can't crack it from a standing position (even though it's two completely different muscle groups, should not be embarassing because no body ever pays attention except me, and half of you have stopped reading this post already because you wicked don't care.)
Anyway, i said a little prayer, "God, please give me your strength and let me not brake myself on this machine." And then i did it! I squatted 300lbs not once, not twice, but 8 times!!!!! I did a little victory dance in the gym, but the other meat-heads lifting at 8am were nonpulsed.
And then, because i'm so humble, i just went to work like nothing happened.

WEDDING NEWS: (skip to here if you don't care about weight training.):
We bought dresses for the bridesmaids last night!!!!! Joanna and my mother met me at Camilla's bridal in Arlington. There was much deliberation, and the process was a bit more drawn out and stressful because halfway through our quite session the place became mobbed by a throng of foreign ladies and extended family come to see their bridesmaid dresses. (My mother turned to me and said, "I'm glad we got the couch." "Aren't you going to give up a seat for the old Grandmas?" "No, i got here first!" I pray a seat will still be reserved for people like us in God's heavenly kingdom.) Anyway, trying on this and that and making Joanna play barbie doll for us lounging couch-hogs, we decided on some very pretty pink chiffon-y dresses, to be rush ordered right away because HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY WAIT UNTIL 145 DAYS BEFORE THE WEDDING TO ORDER THE DRESSES YOU UNPREPARED DISORGANIZED SLOB!

Then the bridal consultant (alternative: sales girl) measured Joanna for her dress. "Well, your bust and hips are right in the size six range, but your waist really puts you over into the next size." Excuse me??? "Yeah, your waist is too big for a size six. You need a size 8." Okay... if that's what we need to order... "It's just that, a size six waist waist would be a this small, see here, and see how small that is [squeezing joanna around the middle with the measuring tape] that would be way too snug. Yup, your bust and hips are small, but it's your waist that really puts you over." Joanna, still smiling and Zen: Well, i just want the dress to fit. We could take it in, right? "Yes, we'll have to order the size 8 and take it in a bit, because the size 6 would fit you everywhere else but just be too small around your Waist! We'll just have to order the size 8 because your waist is just too big. It's really your waist that tips you over..."
My mouth was literally hanging open. And we were about to go out to dinner afterwards! To her credit, Joanna was completely unphased by the sales-wench's talk about her ginormous mid-section: "Well," she graciously said, "It's easier to make it smaller than bigger, and as long as the dress fits it doesn't matter what size it is."
Me, i had to walk away and cover my ears i was so embarassed for the whole situation. And Joanna was truly unphased and zen about the whole thing. "There are fatter people than us in the world." She said. "Let's go to dinner, i'm starving!!!"

Thank God it was my Boobs that put me over into the next size catagory. Otherwise it would have been claws and teeth and chiffon everywhere, foreign bridesmaids diving to get out of the way and old grannys ducking behind the couch to sheild themselves.


I've got...

the love of Jesus down in my heart (where?)
down in my heart (where?)
down in my heart!!!
I've got the love of Jesus down in my heart!
Down in my heart today!!!!!

(good thing my mother doesn't read this weblog. She doesn't want to hear THIS sort of good news!)

moving days

It's kind of like the end of the school year at college: everybody moving away at different rates, and as in college, I seem to be last. Yes indeed, despite rumors that he was barricading himself in his house with a stockpile of cigarettes and a vow to fight to the death, our downstairs neighbor moved out yesterday, before we even really had a chance to start our packing. His speedy departure may have had something to do with the fact that he left without paying the last month of rent he owed (or so we hear; a forwarding address was not, we find, mentioned). The cleanliness of the appartment may have had something to do with the fact that his girlfriend was helping him move. Not that I'm casting aspersions; without the same sort of help from Leah I'd be lost entirely.

Anyways, despite his departure and despite the fact that we'll be out of here in the next week, the new owners declined to let us out of our lease for May. Which means, of course, that we'll be paying twice for the month--and that $1300.00 could have bought us a pretty nice sofa! It also means that there's no way we're letting the new folks in until a civilized hour in the morning on June 1st, so tough luck to them if they want to get a start on moving in. It does give us a comfortable time to move all our own belongings, but even as slow as we are a month and a half is a bit much. And in any case, we mean to be sleeping in the new place as soon as possible. I told our (former, I guess) landlord that we'd be holding raves in the appartment through the month of May, and he said that sounded good to him. In fact, he said we could use the downstairs too. Too bad we don't have a key. It was, I have to say, interesting to take a look into the appartment below ours yesterday; nearly a year of living above our neighbor there, and we never once saw beyond the narrow crack he opened the door. Of course we never invited him up either, but we would have if he'd have displayed the smallest spark of personableness.

There's lots to say about our new house, and many closing statments about the old one too, but I'll save those for later; in the latter case because we're not out of here yet, and in the former because Leah doesn't want to even start moving in until we can have the place blessed and make it, in her words, 'a house of traditional religion.' I quite agree. That will take place tomorrow, with all due ceremony and consumption of food; we're very excited about it. I will also use the opportunity to photograph the place inside and out, and such photographs will presently be posted on the internet for your viewing pleasure. Whee!

I also sent off my taxes and signed up for the Mass. teacher test. Two weights removed; only seven or eight still remaining!


getting it right this time

When we moved into this appartment here (where we're still living for a couple more days) we were really not in a good state of mind, and it was a terrible long time before we really felt at home and comfortable here. We're not going to make that mistake twice! And not only are we making sure to be much happier these days, we enlisted divine aide in ensuring our future prospects in our new domicile. With the help of a priest, candles, a prayer book and some real holy water, we got the house blessed in the approved Episcopalian manner. Then we had a picinic on the back porch.

The atheist readers of this blog may scoff, but it turns out there really is a service of house-blessing in the Episcopal liturgy. It's in a supplementary volume rather than the regular prayer book, but it's still real and fully-approved. And they may further scoff at the utility of any such a thing, but we're convinced: we want all the blessings out there for our cute little house, and we want to feel comfortable that it's been blessed properly by a trained professional.

It was nice to see the house again, and now that we have keys and have had alot more time to wander around, without folks rushing us back out the door, it feels much more comfortably ours. Now if only we didn't have to take the trouble to pack up all our junk here; I'd really much rather rig up some sort of giant chute from one house to the other and pour things down it. No wait, that would defeat all our grand hopes of reorganization! So never mind. I've promised to turn over several new leaves myself when we get in the new place, so it'd never do to start out on the wrong foot here; we'll have to just move in the regular fashion. Who knows, I may even throw some things out here.

Aside: unfortunately, I forgot the camera this afternoon so pictures will have to wait until a later date.

And Happy Patriots Day to the world as well, since I doubt I'll be up for writing much about the festivites tomorrow. We're going to be all sorts of busy!


Patriots Day

For folks not from Massachusetts: Patriots Day is the best holiday of the year. And for folks not from Lexington or Concord: it's alot more than just that silly marathon. We celebrated it today with pancake breakfasts (worked at by us) and a road race (run in by Leah) and a parade (watched by me) and a cookout (attended by me). Oh yeah, and also a a reenactment (very early in the AM, but we still made it in time to hover around the periphery). It was all great fun, and confirmed me in my opinion that our little local tradition is the holiday of kings. Which gives me yet another reason to oppose designating September 11th 'Patriot Day', as some have proposed. Whatever. We know who the real patriots were!

Leah did great in the race too, but she'll want to tell you all about that. And of course there's more that could be said, but you know, when you get up at 4:00 in the morning 8:30 starts lookin like a pretty reasonable time to go to bed.

Race stats explained

Yesterday many people from all over the world ran 26 miles. I am not that cool and i only ran 5. But still i feel pretty good about it. Sure, i run five miles lots of times, especailly in the morning before work, but yesterday i was racing, and that meant i needed to go, like, way faster.

Here is my score as it appears on the list on coolrunning.com:

165 165 LEAH BERNSTEIN 7/19 F2029 LEXINGTON MA 39:19 7:52


165 = the place that i came in the race. 164 people finished before me (the fast bastards) but 286 people finished after me, which doesn't mean a lot except that i'm not the fastest, but pleanty of people are slow.

165= the number that i wore on my chest, assigned to me by the order in which i signed up for the race. Dan concluded with glee that i was the only racer who placed exactly the same as my number. I didn't think that was particularly exciting, since my number was 165, and who can get excited over placing 165th, even if it is your own number. Next year i'm going to sign up way earlier and get, like, number 10.

7/19 = i placed 7th out of 19 people in my age group: women 20 - 29years old (that's what the F2029 means.) Since there weren't that many of us running, i don't really know what to make of that score except i hope next year i will do better and be more around the top 3. (i didn't even see anyone else running of my age group while i was on the course! They must have totally wasted me!)

39:19 = this was my total finishing time, 39 minutes and 19 seconds. This was pretty good for me for a five minute mile. It means i ran a...

7:52 minute mile average. This is actually the fastest mile i've ever been timed at, for the record. In high school i ran one mile at 8:15, and i thought that was pretty good at the time (what a lame-ass i was.) For my 10K last march, i ran 8:50 average for 6.3 miles, and i was all excited for doing under 9 minutes. Now that i did under 8 minutes, i not only feel pretty cool for running faster now, but pretty lame for the times i got in my other races. i realize now that my previous goals were wicked out of wack with actual potential performance. I mean, i ran this fast and still sprinted at the end and didn't even throw up. I'm going to have to step it up in the future.

Anyway, that's these times explained. Today my calves are a little sore, but all around i'm more tired from packing up to move. Next year i'll be so well rested from living in our big new house, maybe i'll run the marathon!



There's a new pope today, we hear: the head cardinal came out of his window and this time he didn't see his shadow. The new guy isn't anything special though, at least at first appearance. He's called Benedict the 16th, but from what I understand from the folks who know anything about all this John-Paul II.2 might have been a more accurate definition. Also, he's still European. I know there hadn't been a German pope for a thousand years, but who cares; there are Catholics on other continents too, I believe. And that's as much about the pope as you'll hear from me.

It was hot to day, terribly hot; still is, in fact. I went to the Super Stop & Shop in Bedford (a place of magical wonder, by the way, about which more later), and the dude whose job it is to round up the carts from the parking lot engaged me in conversation on the subject of the heat. I could not but agree with him that it was somewhat oppressive. I was glad I wasn't doing his job; at least with moving, which I was doing all day, you get to be inside at least half the time. The problem with this degree of heat in April is, the trees don't have any leaves yet so there's no shade. They tell us it's going to be in the 80s tomorrow.

I moved some things to the new house, and I met some of the neighbors. One of them is named Mark. They seem quite pleasant, nonetheless, and I'm sure this new neighborhood will be an improvement on the existing one. Not that I have anything against any of the neighbors here now, though: some of them were just as nice when we first moved in here, I recall. The neighbor who lived in our house, though, was enough to counterbalance all that and swing the balance firmly to the negative. Although, I must say: though we have no human neighbors living with us in the new house, there does seem to be a disturbing number of wasps about. Wasps and their nests both, actually, are much in evidence. I wonder what we're supposed to do about such things?


Papa don't Preach....

On NPR this morning, the voice of an American male MY AGE in Vatican square when they announced the new pope:
"I can't believe it, i am so excited! This is so Awesome! We had one great conservative pope, who was awesome, and now we have anouther great conservative pope! It's like, Two Awesome Popes in a Row!!!"

In a related story, today is 4/20, and i am embarassed for the whole of my generation. If you are not an irritating stoner, and if you did not crap your pants over the new awesomely conservative pope, please send me an e-mail because we should like totally hang out some time.

I actually wanted this post to be about the new Government food pyramid, but i couldn't learn anything about it because their web site, which is supposed to explain the pyramid and help you make individualized food choices, is totally broken. What should i eat, government, WHAT SHOULD I EAT??? Anyway, i will have to base the my judgement on information to come in the future, but here goes...: I bet it's stupid. I bet the new food pyramid is really really stupid.

new house! really, this time!

We have a real house now, to the extent that we're going to sleep in it tonight for the first time! Woohoo! Today I (with the help of some very kind people) spent all day moving the furniture and things, with the help of UHaul, of which more later.

Unfortunately, my computer remains at the old house, because that's where the internet is, and to me a computer without internet is... not useful. And Leah's feeling a little sickish, so I need to get her home to bed. So no stories tonight.

To make up for the lack, though, a celebratory picture!!

I didn't want to leave the house

I didn't want to leave the house this morning. I went for a walk with Leah before she left for work, and then I sort of just walked around, marvelling at the wonderous beauty of our elegant new dwelling-place. But then I had to come into the office here, to get some computering done. And also some more packing. So I thought I'd write down a little assessment of the old Arlington appartment here: the things I'll miss, and the things I won't.

Won't Miss

  • having to move the cars at least once a day.

  • shovelling out that long, skinny driveway

  • carrying groceries up the stairs

  • the badly-fitting bedroom door scraping on the floor

  • the refrigerator door swinging open after you think it's closed and slamming against the wall

  • the terribly designed kitchen cabinets

  • having to move the cars

  • the non-stick butterflies in the bathtub

  • the big pastel flowers on the wallpaper

  • the small, loud, washer and dryer

  • restrictions on when we could run the aforementioned washer and dryer, and also the dishwasher

  • sharing the house with someone who's not us

  • moving the cars

Will Miss

  • the beautiful windows, and the beautiful view
  • the front porch (up to code or not)
  • the sunny screen porch
  • living around the corner from the deli and the hardware store
  • our first house for just us, together

But never mind that last one, since the new place is a million times better! I'll need years to know everything about it, to make a comprable list of its attractions and problems; but you'll read the beginnings of that list in the next post here, I'm sure.


Coming out of the fog

For the past few days i have been sick with the WorstColdEver. Last night i made dan take me out to a restaurant just because all i wanted to put in my belly were hot soba noodles, (and everything in our kitchen was on the floor of our kitchen), only to spike a fever at the table in the restaurant and whine and moan, and instead of helping to pack up at our appartment i fall asleep on the couch, until dan packed up all by himself and carried me to the car, and then in the car i groaned and moaned, and then at our house i again fell asleep on the couch while Dan made the bed from the ground up, boards and all, and then i groaned and moaned and ploped right into the bed, moaning somesort of goodnight that sounded more like "WillYouBringMeMyCoughdrops and LockTheDoorBeforeYouComeToBed."

How sexy i was for our first night in our new house.

It is to Dan's credit that he has done nothing but taken care of me these past three days, and not once did he say, "Listen there missy, i just moved our entire house and made you a bed From Scratch so you'd better quit yer moaning and not be so bossy!"
No, Dan's one prince of a feller!

Thankfully, this morning i woke up feeling much improved, which means i can finally get to work on organizing this beautiful new house of ours! I guess it was meant to be that to prevent me from feeling like the luckiest girl on earth with this beautiful new house and this wonderful new husband-to-be, my body went into total systems failure. You know, to keep me on an even keel.


Yesterday I was just discombombulated all day, there's no other word for it. Living in two houses, and both of them very messy, is just too much to deal with. To make matters worse, I managed to forget my phone changer in Arlington two or three trips in a row, so for the last several days my phone has been crawling along on its last little bit of charge and I have not felt connected to the world at all. Yes, I need my phone to feel connected to the world; my phone, and also the internet. After I forgot the $#*&^# charger for the third time I thought, 'I should write a blog post about how reliant we all are on technology!' Alas, though our new house is marvelous and wonderful (though somewhat disorganized yet) it does not feature an internet connection, so I still have to come back over hear to Arlington for purposes of blogging. Which I'm sure not going to take an extra trip just for that! Anyways, by the time I get here I've forgotten any ideas for topics that I might have had.

All the flowers are blooming outside: tulips and forsythia and rhododendron. Spring has colors.

work? what?

I tried to write yesterday, I swear I did! But as far as I could tell the entirety of the squibix web was down, which is what prevented me from posting; and, presumably, you from even noticing. In any case, I went back to work on Monday (as is the way of things). After a whole week off, and that whole week spent in a furious hurricane of moving, I had absolutely no recollection of ever working in a kindergarten. I was surprised even to find that I remembered how to get there! It all comes back quickly, though; the kids were just like normal, though perhaps a little more excitable than usual and out of practice with sitting still and shutting up (relatively, in both cases). The drive in was different, though, with the little leafies springing out on the trees. How nice to live in a place with serious seasons, seasons you just can't escape noticing. I like it.

That's so Corney...

This morning I came down the stairs in the same fog of headache-stuffy-nose-exhaustion that has aflicted me for the past week. Dan, who was not only awake and alive at this point but also showered, said in his sweet birdsong voice,
"There's some fresh cornbread on the counter."
So there was. I tried it, and it was indeed fresh and good. Infact, i ate quite a few pieces before saying goodbye to Dan and going for my morning run.

When i got to work later, i noticed anouther piece of cornbread packed in with my lunch, so i grabbed it out and immedietly began snacking. So crumbly and good. Suddenly, it occured to me, like a flash of lightning!!! (I had to call Dan on his cellphone:)
"You MADE cornbread?"
"Yeah, of course i made cornbread."
"Last night when you were sleeping, the same time that i made the spinach and tofu and blackbean salad for your lunch."
"Wow, i ate four pieces and only at the end did it occur to me that someone actually had to put the ingredients together and put them into the oven!"

I went to bed in a world without cornbread. I wake up, and amazingly, there is cornbread. My Danny is truly amazing.

La Nausee*

*title refers to a book by Jean-Paul Sartre, in which the protagonist increasingly sickens as he coms face to face with the reality of existance. I wish i had such an excuse.

The marathon sickness is upon me. Will it never end??? first stuffy nose, then sore throat, then no voice, then stuffy nose, then exhaustion, and now, just when i thought i was starting to get better........ puking. Last night, after my nice relaxing swim at the gym, i all of a sudden was overcome with that unmistakable nausious feeling that says: You must get to a receptical within the next 5 seconds; either grab your purse or tie back your hair, because you cannot save both.

It was thus in the bathroom of the BSC women's lockeroom that it happened, that i threw up more than i have ever thrown up since the unspeakable sickness only known to a particular region in the south of France. That delicious lunch that dan had made me, spinach tofu and mushrooms, all came charging up in a huge un-digested mass (like, did i even chew this? how does whole food just sit in my stomach for five hours?) And then, staggering out of the bathroom stall with bloodshot eyes and matted hair, AND THIS IS THE GROSS PART:::
i proceeded to blow my nose, and a piece of spinnach flew out of my nose and stuck to the mirror.

It was super gross. I am super sick. At this point, i don't believe that i will ever ever ever get better.


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