Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Moonites Attack Boston!

OK, so I know I'm not s'posed to find possible terr'st attacks on the Hub funny, but I do. There I said it.

Turns out the so-called "suspicious packages" affixed to various locales around Boston are a stylish, tongue-in-cheek promotional move from the creators of "Aqua Teen Hunger Force." For those of you unfamiliar with this late night cartoon offering, it's the ridiculous misadventures of three housemates (anthropomorphic Frylock, Master Shake, and Meatwad). Don't ask, just watch.

Anyway, the suspicious items were magnetic, self-lit ads containing the Moonite character from the show, and from the sound of the evening news coverage, they've been in town for a while now... My man on the inside says the Moonites in question are flipping the general public off, causing them to be blurred on TV. I haven't seen them myself, but I'll be keeping an eye out, that's for sure!

added 01 February, 2007: my good man on the inside recorded a newscast that had footage of the ad. i still don't see it. i tried to see a bomb scare, and all I saw was something I'd be curious about, in a "I'll Google that when I get home" kinda way... Homeland Security will never hire me now.

Mayhem ensued, people. Public transport halted and evacuated, major roadways cleared and closed, traffic flow pandemonium, panic in the hearts of local officials. I mean, conceptually, it's scary, but at what point did investigators say, "Can anyone say when this went up?" or "Does anyone recognize this pixillated guy?" or "Hey cool!" before detonating them?

I'm quite sure trickle-down mayhem will cause my commute some kind of issue, even if it's only that everyone is on personal high-alert, causing the acute onset of Bostonian-Asshole-Driving Disease. Yippee.

At least they detonated the ads before they could do any real damage.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Eccentric Toddlers Unite!

This morning I got a pix message from Fibby depicting the little girl, M, for whom she babysits on Tuesdays, "hiding" objects for herself to find (as an aside, my high school English teacher just failed this paragraph for sentence structure). As I type, O is sitting at the kitchen table, pretending to talk on a hand-held Sudoku game as if it were a phone - and oh, did I mention he's only wearing a diaper?

There is a common misunderstanding among some people I know that I like all kids for the sake of being kids. Truth is, I don't. Much like adults, I like the kids I like, and the rest of them I'd cheerfully toss in a box bound for a mining community in Siberia.

I like kids with eccentricities and quirks; kids who are, in fact, kids. Unique kids. Kids who haven't been brainwashed by media. Silly kids. I don't like braggy kids, mean kids, aggressively manipulative kids, badly spoiled kids, kids without manners or respect for adults. I love most toddlers because they still have the bizarre little personality traits that make you grin, like M and her hidden objects, or O's ability to turn anything into a phone.

I wish I knew more kids like M & O, eccentric, cool little toddlers I could hang with. I feel like O's bored a lot when his bigs are at school. And then when they come home, three days out of five, they want nothing to do with him, because their littler jerk friends are around.

[I just erased a bit of biting sarcasm, of which I'm not proud. I feel I should own up to it, though, even if I never reveal what I said.]

I hope when I have them, that my kids aren't jerks.

Then I can spend my time searching for eccentric, happy little friends for them. And fervently hope that, when they get to middle school, a bunch of tarty little girls named Missi, Krissi, Kimmi, Jenni, and Nicki don't mess them up (oops, wait, that was my childhood...).


Monday, January 29, 2007

Missions Somewhat Accomplished

I started out my four day weekend with high hopes for keeping busy. I didn't count on two days of the coldest temperatures we've seen in two years. The last time it was this cold, I lived in a small apartment with enormous cast iron radiators. That = warm. My drafty, partially renovated house = freezing, so more time than I anticipated was spent under the warm blanket on the couch. I watched few movies, ranging from bad to ugh to shockingly-not-terrible. "First Daughter," "The Lake House," Talladega Nights," "The Devil Wears Prada" (best of the lot, by far!), and "Hope Floats."

I did, however, get some of my projects underway. I sorted and culled the prints, stashed the negatives, sorted and ordered prints, and got ready for a marathon photo album session. I spelunked in the closet upstairs, opening boxes that have packed since Medford, and eevn a few of Mark's that have been packed since Cambridge (he moved in with me in September of 2003, for the record). Oh, the things we unearthed, and let me tell you about the yard sale we're going to have in the spring!

I'm further along on the mystery gifty knitted project, too.

I haven't dealt with my music yet, since I'm admittedly a little attached to having it all here at my fingertips, as opposed to archived away on my external drive. But my iBook needs it's space back. It really does. 15+ gigs of music on a 40 gig drive is cruel. And I love my iBook. So, I must make this sacrifice, as there is not cash to upgrade the system in any way right now.

We visited Mark's Grandma yesterday, as she's home from the hospital for the second time this month, and not allowed to drive. We figured she could use a therapy pug for a few hours. It was hard to see her health and morale slipping, especially given that his aunt is still very ill, and while she's improved enough that she's out of imminent danger, she's not likely to make a strong recovery of any kind.

It's a lot to think about.

Of course, being back at work after four days, I'm mostly thinking about how difficult it is to have any kind of dynamic conversation with someone who understands everything and says nothing. Still so frustrating!

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Go Read This

If you have ever cried over hating your clothes, or the number on the scale, or hated something about food and your body, go read this woman's words. She's just amazing!

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ambition, Japanese Yarn Lust, and Flamenco

OK, so, has anyone else heard Rodrigo Y Gabriela? Their song "Tamacun" has been in heavy rotation for a bit on 92.9 here in Boston, and I am a fan. Who knew Mexican emigres in Dublin, playing flamenco guitar influenced by Metallica would sound so good!

Today is my last day of work this week, as Grandma and Grandpa are coming for four days while M&D are away! As long as everyone is all set when I leave tonight, I can go about my merry way. I'm hoping that, in addition to some organizational projects (listed below), I can get some serious knitting done on the mystery gifty project. I've promised myself that I will finish this one before I can start the Banff Sweater with my new Big Kureyon.

My organizational projects:
1. Sort and chronologize (word? no....) my prints.
2. Sort and order prints from digital files, the archive said files on giant backup hard drive.
4. Set my music collection up on the aforementioned giant backup hard drive, so as to free up some of my computer's memory to, say, run programs, etc?
3. Go through the crap in the upstairs closet that never got unpacked when we moved, figure out what, if anything, we still like or plan to use, and set the rest aside for the spring yard sale I'm dying to have.

Miss E and I had an American Girl doll party this afternoon, since I finally found my doll in the last boxes to come out of my parents' house. I hauled her, with all her accessories, into work today, and while E was in school, washed the clothes and scraped the tangles out of Samantha's hair, so she would be fit for socializing with Felicity after school. The dolls had tea, Miss E entertained them with a dance and recorder recital, and they did some serious period clothing swapping.

I cannot reiterate often enough how freaking exciting my life is, and yet, apparently unlike the rest of America, I'm OK with this life. I don't particularly want fame (or infamy), and I'm not going to waste my time looking for it when there are amazing things that happen to me every day. I read this article this morning, and it just kind of bugged me. I wholeheartedly support folks with marketable talent going out there and doing it (a number of them are my friends and acquaintances, after all), but I fear a culture raised to believe that celebrity is the ultimate achievement. It's a little Darwinian, I think... the human race is catapulting towards extremes in every corner of its existence, and becoming more and more self destructive along the way. If this crazy auditioning subculture is representative of a larger truth, I think we're in some serious trouble.

I hope I can raise these kids, and my own eventual offspring to appreciate a simple life, even while they live a life less ordinary - I think the two can be the same, if you try...

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Monday, January 22, 2007

I Will.

I haven't posted from The Scale in months, and that's been indicative of my motivation to take care of myself. New Year's always strikes me as a cliched time to start rehabilitating myself, but clearly I need to do it.

I've never been great at the psychological parts of the Weight Watchers plan. I read the Tools for Living, and I think, "Of course! Common sense." Seldom do I subject myself to the inner scrutiny that using the tools often calls for. I go to meetings, measure portions, make healthy meals, and get on the scale weekly, but my heart isn't always in the game.

Today, while I was on the treadmill (activity! hooray!), I decided that I should state a winning outcome, and re-kick-off the year. If I write it down and put it out there for anyone to read, maybe I'll stay more focused on why I'm really in this, because my reasons have changed.

When I joined Weight Watchers in January 2000, I wanted to be less heavy, to be more attractive to the opposite sex, and to regain my self-confidence, much of which is tied up in body-image. I lost 70 pounds, but before I made it to the weight loss goal, I achieved some of the other goals. I met a wonderful man, to whom I'm now married. I met him because, with renewed self-confidence, I was able to put myself out there and date. I looked good, and I knew it, and that positive image fit the person that I was inside. The trouble is, I never restated why I was losing the weight, and so, with all those other issues resolved, I slipped from the program.

I find myself in a very different place now. It's seven years later, and my needs from my body are different. I'll be 30 in a few months, and now is the time when my body is going to need vigilance. I have to get into the shape I'll need to stay healthy for the rest of my life. There's no more coasting on being "young." I still feel young, but I do need to respect that my body has a lot more work to do before it can give out, not to mention a lot more years.

I also need my body healthy so that we can conceive a healthy child, and that time is coming. The extra pounds I'm carrying aren't helping me to conceive and they may, in fact, be hindering me.. And so, my Winning Outcome.

"I will lose ten percent of my body weight, which will significant reduce health risks associated with being overweight, as well as improve my chances to conceive a healthy child. I will accomplish this goal by holding myself responsible for my food choices and eating habits (planning and journaling), and by exercising no less than three times a week."

In keeping with this goal, today I've planned out my day, journaled my food choices, and taken care of my body by walking for a half hour on the treadmill and completing the Abs and Arms workout from Weight Watchers.


O Weekend, How Thou Art Gone!

This weekend seems to have flown by, barely giving me time to come to grips with the week that passed before - and it was a long week that passed before....

Friday night we were (typically) too tired to do more than veg on the couhc for a few hours. Saturday, Mark worked a full day, leaving me to "accomplish something." I started with my WW meeting (eugh.), where I knitted more of the black and gray socks, then a meeting with another prospective MiddKid at Starbucks (no one even asked for my name - boo!), then off to the Natick Mall to replenish my undies, and then up to Sudbury to check out a new LYS, Knit Purl, that I found on the internets. Sadly, Knit Purl doesn't seem to have a website. However, what they lack in technological advancements, they make up for in yummy stock. The only disappointment was that they didn't have the Big Kureyon that I was looking for. In fact, they didn't seem to have any Noro at all....

Anyway, that problem was solved later in the evening, because I found another colorway that will work for my sweater, and I ordered sufficient hanks from

I spent a kickin' Saturday night with the kids, babysitting while M&D were throwing a party at a fancy club in Downtown Xing. I didn't get in until 1AM, and since the pug's breakfast waits for no man, we were up fairly early on Sunday. I had a bazillion loads of laundry to do, Mark was updating his shop, and there is always housework that needs doing, so that occupied us until it was time to head into JP for the Pats game.

Sad. That's all I'll say.

During the game, we also found out that one of Mark's aunts is very ill, and may not survive the week. It's especially difficult, I think, for Mark, though he's not saying so, since he and his next youngest brother were very close to her as children. My mother-in-law is bearing up well under the strain, but I can't imagine the heartache of losing a younger sister. It turns out to be good timing that I have some time off coming to me at the end of the week. I'll be able to at least offer some help...

After another late night, the alarm clock was pretty unwelcome this morning, but at least O&I have had an agreeable and easy morning...

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Unabashed Addiction

I have, on needles currently, two projects. One, a large gifty project, which is not challenging, but is very time consuming. The other is a pair of socks, one of which can be found in yesterday's post.

I am already planning....

I found a free pattern for a cozy turtleneck sweater. I found this Noro Big Kureyon colorway while cruising yarn sites, and I have a big crush... Trouble is, it's about $15 per hank, and I need about 9 to make the sweater, so I'll have to save up. ::sigh::

I also saw a crocheted stuffed rabbit on a website recently, and loved the look of it, so I'm writing up a provisional pattern. I figure that by the time I get the kinks worked out of that, and actually get it knit up, it'll be Christmas knitting time again! I think for the prototype, anyway, I'll use something inexpensive. I've had my eye on Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweeds at the craft store, and it would suit this project.

Of course, all of this distracts from the actual knitting of the current projects to a certain degree, so I must get back to the socks at hand (or afoot, I suppose?).


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knitting Update!

Awhile ago I started a layette set for Mark's cousin, who's due next month. I finished the hat, mittens and booties last week:
From Knitting
From Knitting
From Knitting

This week, in between afghan squares for a new gifty project, I made my first actual sock:
From Knitting

After finishing one sock, I understand why the instructions tell you to cast on for the second sock immediately, before you lose motivation - socks are a pain in the arse!


Reason #15

OK, so I got one of the stupid forwards recently; "101 Reasons You Know You're From Boston." Not all of them necessarily ring true, but this one did....

"Anyone you don't know is a potential idiot until proven otherwise."

I laughed, and then stopped. I considered for a moment, and then realized that it was, in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, "funny 'cause it's true." I do that. Awful, though it is, I do it. I'm always pleasantly surprised to discover smart, funny, interesting people, because while I like the folks I like (and they are many and varied), I'm not such a huge fan of people in general. Is this "Bostonian?"

I don't rightly know.

I don't exactly know where this trait came from, either. Is it in my family, and I don't see it because I'm one of them? Did I develop it as a defense, growing up as an oddity (free-spirited and awkward) in an often narrow-minded small town? Did the realization that there were other people in the world who saw things similarly (ie, that I was not, in fact, alone in my awkwardness), a realization to which it took many painful growing-up years to come, engender this automatic mistrust of the people around me - idiotic until proven otherwise?

I'm not sure I'm happy with this realization, but I am, in most ways, very happy with the me that I am, so I think that I will not lose sleep over this newly discovered negative. After all, it's hardly my only unattractive quality... (ah, self-deprecating humor...)

I guess in the end, I'm left with the fact that meeting someone who interests me still has the power to make me genuinely happy. And that's got to be good.


Monday, January 15, 2007

You're My Inspiration!

Welcome to blogging my pal in Texas, who thinks "y'all" is just for southerners. Ha! I've been saying it since I met Herman (from the great city of New Orleans) freshman year at Middlebury.


Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of All Ages:


Oh, and Go Pats!

I even put down my knitting last night to watch those last few nail biting seconds....

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Another Saturday in Suburbia; also, My Fibby Moment

This morning I went to the Starbucks at Whole Foods Plaza in Framingham to meet with a prospective Middlebury student. In a very Fibby-esque moment, when I picked my latte up at the counter, this was the name on my cup (and I swear I said my given name!):

I like these interviews. It lets me feel connected to the campus, and like I’m giving something back to the school. I know a lot of people say I shouldn’t feel that way, since my family paid for me to attend the school, but the truth is, Middlebury funded a great deal of my education - give or take 5/6th of it. It's not that I feel beholden to them, but I do like the sense of "making good" on their investment...

After the interview, I did some household provisioning, and headed home for another weekend cook-a-thon. On today's menu: cauliflower in tomato curry, chicken soup with rice, spaghetti sauce, and macaroni & cheese.

My reward for all this foolishness in the kitchen was dinner at the local Cantina and a cup of Ben&Jerry's for dessert - cause my man loves me!

Tomorrow will be a busy day. Mark's cousin's baby shower at noon, followed by the Pats game at our house with L&T, my brother-in-law, and maybe some others... Fibby? You in? or are you in Maine?

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Aha! Lake Placid

Sometimes, I'm astounded at my own dumbness (a word? no? I thought not...). You see, a few posts back, I was wondering where I was for 12/31/99 and 12/31/00. I remembered last night in the car, driving home from work. A song came around on fryPod that I got as part of a mixtape (tape!) from my friend Becs. She gave a copy to everyone that was up in Lake Placid that for the New Year that winter.

Both years, I was at my friend Brooke's house in Lake Placid for the turning of the year. That's where I was. And now I'm vaguely horrified that I forgot that. They were both great nights/weekends, and sometimes I miss those friends more than I'm capable of expressing.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007


This morning, LB and Son came to Boston for a trip to the NEAQ, so Fibby and I decided to tag along with the little ones for whom we care. We saw FISH!!! and penguins and seals and sea stars (we got to touch those!) and jellies and turtles... it ROCKED.
From NEAQ!

After fish, we had a civilized lunch at Legal Seafoods (oh the irony of eating fish after you've just gone to see them for entertainment), before going our separate ways. Now O's asleep with a faint ketchup smear on his cheek from his french fries and I'm ready for a nap myself...

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Our 200th Post!


Monday, January 08, 2007

And a Happy Monday Morning to Everyone, Too!

Oh! the traffic is back...


Enough about that.

It was a nice weekend, and a shockingly social one for the two of us (as we retreat further into our cave). We got my parents' old stove/range and microwave, as they have replaced all their kitchen appliances, so Mark spent Saturday rewiring the stove outlet and installing everything, before we loaded up our old stove and motored up to visit out friends, P&A (and C&7, too!) Mark installed their "new" stove, and we got pizza and hung out until it was time to go home for bed.

We spent Sunday pottering about. I cleaned, Mark worked a little and watched some of the Pats game, I knitted, and then we cleaned up to head west for my parents' annual January open house. After some schmoozing with my parents' friends and my cousins (mmmm, Carter's tasty brains!), we grabbed some Vietnamese and went home to veg on the couch with the pug.

OK, so "shockingly social" very likely equals "incredibly boring" for the rest of you, but we like it that way for the most part...

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More Than Eight Minutes of Talk Time!

After almost seven months, I now have a cell phone with more than a voicemail's worth of talk time! Very exciting. Very very exciting! Knitting, blah blah blah. Kids, yadda yadda yadda. House, yeuch. Dog, crazity crazity.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

MoMP: 365

I've decided to go forward with a Project 365 of my very own:

The Year of the Nanny

I won't always get around to posting every day, but I will have a photo for every day.

No weight loss or financial gain resolutions, just this.


Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Wine Challenge and the Ghosts of New Years Past

It's a quarter to ten in the morning on New Year's Day, the rain is pattering on the deck, and with the exception of Maurice, I'm alone. It's nice. I should be emptying the dishwasher so I can refill it with the rest of last night's dishes. I should be hand-washing all of the balloon glasses we used. I should be thinking about making breakfast for myself, Mark, and Mark's brother, Jason, since I can hear the boys starting to wake up.

But I'm blogging.

We normally eschew New Year's celebrations, because there's often a sense of trying too hard, and parties somehow fall flat under the expectation of an "amazing New Year's." I was recounting several gems I've had over the years, and it made me laugh. I feel like I got out just in time...

There was the one (12/31/96?) I saw the Bosstones in Worcester with my camp pal Tara. Awesome.

There was the New Year's (12/31/98) that I spent with Al & Friends, traveling around in his station wagon with Ari, Alison, and Matt (not to mention a crazy guy called Andy), and slept under a stranger's dining room table. Ouch. Such a good night, though!

If anyone remembers where I was for 99 or 2000, please remind me. I'm drawing a blank. (No, I can't remember what I was doing when the Millenium turned, whichever way you count it.)

There was the one (12/31/01) when Al and I, and another Andy hit three parties. I hit the cheap champagne too hard. I think I may have kissed Andy at midnight, and then I vomited in a cab on the home, and dropped my wallet on the front steps to my apartment on my way into the house. (A nice man rang the bell and returned it in the morning - Happy New Year, indeed!) Fun night, but a bit soured by the end events...

The first year Mark and I were dating (12/31/02), we got all dressed up, had a cocktail at the Ritz lounge, then had oysters at McCormick & Schmick's, where we rung in the New Year. It was nice.

After that, things have gone downhill...

New Year's Eve '03 we witnessed the death throes of a relationship, after going to another party, waiting for a guest of honor who was two hours late, and then having to leave before he got there so that we could meet up with the couple whose relationship was crumbling before our eyes. Hmmm.

New Year's Eve '04 Mark was in such a bad mood that he didn't speak the whole evening, causing a few of my friends to wonder what medications he was - or wasn't - on...

New Year's Eve '05 we gave up, and veg'd on the couch with Maurice. We were in bed by 11.

Gentle readers, New Year's Eve is back! Last night, Jason brought up a few bottles of wine from his cellar that needed to be opened before they spoiled, and some food, and we had a wine party, just the three of us. We couldn't head out of town because we're spending some of this weekend with my brother and his daughter, so we're sorry we missed all the parties, but last night was just right. All it lacked was a good woman for my brother-in-law.

We started with duck confit (did I mention he's a chef? and a pretty serious wine connoisseur?) and a 1998 Chateau de Montgueret Coteaux du Layon. It was sweet and smooth, almost a dessert wine, but it had enough spine to stand up to the richness of the duck.

Then, we brought back a decade long past and had fondue bourguignonne (with the hot oil and raw meats), accompanied by two bottles, a 1990 Monsanto "Il Poggio" Chianti Classico Reserva, and a 2000 Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet. I made Sauce Bearnaise with a couple glasses of good wine in me, and didn't break the sauce, so that was cool!

Jason brought four cheeses for the cheese course: a New York Camembert (icky rind, but yummy center), a French Chabichou (mmmm, goaty), a French l'Edel de Clavon (stinky and soft with a nutty finish), and one last cheese which will remain nameless because I don't remember it... The wine, however, was a crisp, clean 2003 Alto Adige Pinot Grigio. A little clarity was necessary at this point in the gluttony. The new year turned at the beginning of the cheese course - thanks for the shout out, Fibby!

To end it, an apple galette with a Campbell's Rutherglen Tokay, and then I had to peel my husband out of his chair and nudge him off to bed. Nice!

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