Our house smelled funny last night. Not just funny…but BAD. FOUL. We couldn’t figure out what it was…so Matt moved the couch and there was a DEAD MOUSE there. It was grotesque. While I was having a little freak out session in the hallway, Matt was cleaning behind the couch. He moved the subwoofer and there was a ton of mouse poop. So, he pulled the carpet up and underneath the carpet was a DEAD AND DECAYING MOUSE.
I hate mice. Well, when I see photos of them they’re cute and they’re cute in cartoons…but man, the idea of them in our house is just REALLY unsettling. Especially when they’re UNDER OUR COUCH DEAD.
I was sick to my stomach and even as I write this, I can hardly contain my grimaces. Just a year ago, I had an equally disgusting encounter with a dead bird.
Matt cleaned the carpet (while I continued my panic attack in the hallway) and bleached under the rug.
We think that the mice might be coming up from the basement so we let Levon down there to see if he could catch more. Now I’m worried constantly worried that I might come home and find dead mice in the kitchen that Levon caught and proudly put on display. My old cat Choo-choo used to do that a lot. Our house was on a field where we first lived in New Jersey, so we got field mice. As soon as we got Choo-choo, though, those mice scrammed!!
Anyway, after we finished cleaning and airing out the downstairs, it was about 1 o’clock in the morning. I was exhausted, grossed out, and annoyed. Matt decided to use that to his benefit and play a trick on me, as he so often does. There was a piece of my hair stuck on something in the couch (and mind you, my hair is very coarse and nearly down to my waist, so one piece of my hair is pretty substantial) and Matt pulled it out and said, “EWW! MOUSE TAIL!” I let out a blood curdling scream (hopefully our neighbors were not awoken by them) and ran away, arms flailing about. Matt felt bad and gave me a hug. Overall, it was a very eventful evening. I think we need to buy mouse traps. Add mice to my list of animal phobias…dead mice are the WORST.Filed under My Life, gross stuff | Comments (17)
Last weekend we visited our friends Debbie, Paul, and their 14 month old baby Kaitlyn in Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania (Debbie and I went to high school together). On Saturday we went to Waterloo Village, which is a fun place to visit but has sadly lost funding since I last visited when I was 10 (*Gasp!* That was 15 years ago!).
On Sunday, we went to the Quakertown Farmers Market and Flea Market in Pennsylvania. We got incense, whisks, bandaids, and RECORDS! Yes, records, glorious records!
Matt and I recently acquired an old record player…I need to post pictures of it; the thing is awesome. It’s in a wooden cabinet with storage underneath for records. The problem is, we didn’t have any records. Until our little trip to Quakertown, that is!
We bought FIFTEEN classic albums for eleven dollars! Our collection now includes:
The Allman Brothers Band: Beginnings (A two record set for ONE BUCK!)
Gregg Allman’s Laid Back…we’re going to see him at the Orpheum next month so we’ve gotta get in the mood! :-)
It’s fun to have some of these classic rock albums on record. There’s something about the sound of a record that CDs and MP3s don’t compare to. My first record ever was Culture Club when I was a kid. I listened to it on my Fisher Price Record Player! :-)
Getting these records made me sad about the direction of album cover art. It’s been going downhill since the advent of CDs 20 years ago. The worst was on tapes. Album covers never translated well to cassette covers. But now with MP3s, album covers really mean very little. Even when I do buy CDs (which is rare), I rip the MP3s onto my computer and often lose the actual CD case. :-( I guess at this point it’s more important for a band to have an impressive website than an impressive album cover. The art of album cover work is nearing nihility. Sad, sad, sad.
But for now, Matt and I will be enjoying listening to old records in the attic. And we’ll be continuing to build up our record collection. I think next we’re going to try to find some jazz.Filed under Greater Boston (General), Music, My Life, New Jersey | Comments (13)
I was so caught up in writing about idiots with road rage that I forgot to write about our success with the Jimmy Fund Walk! :-)
$5 MILLION WAS RAISED! Yay! :-) So thanks for all who donated! It was a great cause and it felt very empowering to be supporting it.
We walked a half marathon, from Wellesley to Copley Square. Ten miles into it, I swore my legs were going completely numb…but I was able to muster up three more miles. When I came home and took off my sneakers, I saw that my socks were bloody! My legs and feet were so numb I didn’t realize that my feet were bleeding. I’ve been hobbling around a little today, but I’m surprisingly not as sore in my legs as I thought I would be.
At the end there was food and entertainment. We got some food but didn’t stick around after that. Can’t imagine who would feel like partying after doing 13 miles, let alone the people who walked from Hopkinton!
Next year Matt and I are going to train to walk the entire marathon. Even though it’s a walk, Matt wants to jog it. I’m a little less ambitious. My left knee isn’t very happy today! But I am! :-)
So stay tuned and donate again next year!! We’re going to start a team for next year too, so if you want to join our team, please do.Filed under Greater Boston (General), Local News, Photos, Things to do in the Boston Area | Comments (7)
After work today, I had to drop someone off on Moody Street. I pulled to the side, and put my blinkers on. For some reason, someone pulled behind me. I’m not sure why, since it wasn’t a driving lane, it was just the side of the road. Anyway, afterwards, I was about to pull into the street, and the guy who pulled behind me shouted: “HEY! Move ya #$%*ing cah!”
WTF?! I was not obstructing traffic; I don’t know WHY he was behind me…but even so, was that neccessary? I mean, if I was really impeding his progress, wouldn’t a simple light tap of the horn suffice?
What must be going on in that man’s life to make him react with such anger? It must be dreadful!
Road rage is a funny thing. I think there’s a sense of anonymity while driving, and it’s probably the same reason why people are jerks online but oftentimes cowards in real life.
There are a few types of road rage:
1. The “Hey, the light’s been green for a fraction of a second! Better honk!” type. Sometimes a honk really IS necessary, but these imbeciles can’t waste a second of their precious time before the previous person proceeds through the intersection.
2. The tailgater kind. Ya really think driving 6 inches behind me is going to make me go the 65 MPH you want in a 35 MPH zone? Nope.
3. The swerving kind. “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” You’re not going to get to your destination ANY faster if you get pulled over or wind up in an accident.
4. The vocal kind. Is cursing at a stranger because they’re not abiding to your schedule really necessary? How emotionally unstable you must be to let something like that get to you.
One of the scariest encounters I’ve had with road rage is #4. It was when I lived in Alameda, California…I was preparing to cross the street and a woman in an SUV stopped to let me go. I didn’t start walking into the intersection because the people driving in the other lanes didn’t stop to let me go. The woman started SCREAMING at me from her car.
“Pedestrians have the right of way! You’re supposed to go! I stopped to let you go. You better start walking across the street NOW!” and she kept going on and on and on. I felt particularly vulnerable because I WASN’T in my car and I had this woman in an SUV just shouting at me while I was standing defenseless on a street corner. And I wasn’t even doing anything wrong! I was just dumbfounded and didn’t know how to react. So I just ignored her.
I always ignore people with road rage. Sometimes the temptation is there to antagonize them further but I can’t bring myself to do it. They’re probably total psychos to be acting this way on the road and honestly, I worry that if someone makes a road rage-filled person even more angry they could get violent. A car could be a real weapon if someone wants it to be.Filed under Greater Boston (General), Massholes on the road | Comments (7)
Some people dread the close of summer, but I think there’s a lot to love during the autumn and winter months.
- Hot chocolate!!!! Yes, hot chocolate especially with soy milk and WHIPPED CREAM!
- The smell of fireplaces. (I wish we had one.)
- Better yet: blizzards! I love me a blizzard. I love being snowed in when they don’t plow my street because then I can walk to Keltic Krust for cookies and hot chocolate! And later to Crowley’s for some beer.
- The picturesque leaves changing.
- Hot apple cider.
- Thanksgiving (and noodle kugel) because I only have kugel over Thanksgiving and Christmas!
- Christmas and spending time with family.
- The sound of the radiators at night.
- Using the steam room at the YMCA when I know it’s freezing out. Something’s very comforting about it.
- Having an excuse to just lie around the house watching TV, playing cards and board games with Matt, and reading.
- Brunch! This can be done year round but I particularly love it in the winter because it’s all comfort foods!
- Scarves, hats, and gloves. Fashionable AND functional!
- Cooking! When it’s 80 degrees in the kitchen, I don’t always feel like cooking. But in the fall and winter, I love it. I make extras and stick ‘em in the freezer.
- Flannel nightgowns!!
- Cream of Wheat. I know, Cream of Wheat is actually kind of gross but it reminds me of when I was a kid. We’d have that and hot chocolate on cold winter mornings. Also, waffles.
- Our attic. It’s so warm and cozy in the winter. I could just live up there. Actually, I probably would if the attic stairs weren’t so scary.
- Valentine’s Day. People hate it, but I really like it - CANDY! Especially because Matt and I like to go to CVS the day after Valentine’s Day and get candy on discount.
- At the end of winter when bulbs start poking out from the ground.
- Getting pizza or Chinese food delivered because it’s too cold to go outside.
- Shoveling the sidewalk. People think I’m nuts for liking this. But the way I see it, it’s great exercise AND it’s usually a time to chit chat with neighbors because the whole neighborhood is out there shoveling!
- The winter is the only time of the year when I don’t have allergies.
- Wearing pajama pants under long skirts. Nobody ever knows how comfortable I am!
- Cold, sunny days after a snowfall. Everything glows.
- Oktoberfest! BEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Chamomile tea with honey.
- Cuddling with my cat…he’s not so cuddly when it’s hot out.
- Turtlenecks. I like to watch TV with the neck part of the turtleneck pulled over my mouth and nose. It’s very cozy.
- Getting into my car and not scalding my hands on the steering wheel.
Yes, I am looking forward to the weather cooling off. It is good. There’s much to look forward to.Filed under Greater Boston (General), New England, weather | Comments (10)
Holy moly! It’s amazing how many comments and traffic my Vidalia Chop Wizard post gets.
I’ve even gotten comments from confused web surfers thinking that I am selling the chop wizard! Someone kept posting comments on non-chopper related posts asking how much it costs, plus shipping and handling, etc. They commented on a post I wrote about weird kids’ shows saying: “I need a Phone Number and total cost for the wizard? Don’t you accept telephone Orders?”
Sorry, dude…I don’t accept telephone orders!
People are also advising me whether or not to buy it…guess they didn’t see the post I wrote about how I received the Progressive Onion Chopper as a gift.
I actually think that most of these people didn’t read my blog post at all.
I have gotten over 3000 visits to my blog from people searching for the Vidalia Chop Wizard since my post on July 14. I might have to go back and edit the post to say that I am NOT a vendor for the Vidalia Chop Wizard and that I have also received something very much like the chopper as a gift.
I can’t decide if the comments are amusing or annoying.
Anyway, I recently used my Progressive Onion Chopper to chop a red bell pepper and it was a very lovely experience.Filed under Blogs, food | Comments (8)
After getting off the T in South Station and preparing to wait for the commuter rail, a little old couple told me that their vacation was over and that they had no use for their T-tokens…so, they gave ‘em to me! How sweet!
Of course, they’re only useful at some stations (and will soon be totally useless), and I don’t even know what takes tokens and what takes Charlie Cards these days. But even if I can’t use them, it was a touching gesture!Filed under MBTA, Uncategorized | Comments (2)
That was the original name for the Walter E. Fernald State School on Trapelo Road in Waltham.
I’m only less than 100 pages into The State Boys Rebellion, a book about some of the boys who were residents the school in the fifties, but it’s one of the most fascinating non-fiction books I’ve read.
The IQ ranges used then are now considered antiquated and offensive:
50-69 = Moron
20-49 = Imbecile
Below 20 = Idiot
It is now believed that a good majority of the boys at Fernald were of normal IQ range, but put there because they were either orphans or undereducated.
It’s terrible to hear how the boys were treated, and how some of the intelligent residents were fed radioactive oatmeal as an experiment sponsored in part by Quaker Oats and led by MIT. The conditions were absolutely deplorable.
In 1972, a movement for mental health reform ended the admission there for children although the facility still exists as the Walter E. Fernald Association for adults. However, it will be closed by 2007.
It’s fascinating because the school is right in Waltham — and reading the book, with the old residents recalling going from North Station to Park Street and taking the commuter rail to Waverly Square…it’s easy to imagine.
And on the flip side, at the same time there was the prestigious and private McLean, just down the street from Fernald, but treating Boston’s elite and other big names such as Sylvia Plath, James Taylor, and Susannah Kaysen, protagonist of Girl Interrupted. Two totally different worlds. For more information on McLean, and the rise and fall of the hospital, I suggest reading Gracefully Insane.
Waltham certainly has its share of mental health history. There was also Metropolitan State Hospital, which I think is either demolished or will be soon.Filed under Greater Boston (General) | Comments (18)
I’m generally fairly cutting edge with technology — or so I like to think. I’ve been using email since 1990 when my email address was CFHM67C on Prodigy. I’ve been blogging for over 6 years. I’ve been using Tivo since the year 2000 and I was burning CDs back when people were trying to time the spaces in between the songs on a mix tape.
So, HOW did I miss the boat on this whole MP3 player thing? It’s not that I’m a fan of CDs…because I’m not. I downloaded thousands of songs during the Napster craze, and I’m a loyal Rhapsody user. I haven’t purchased a physical CD in years!
Yesterday, I was meeting a friend in the North End to grab some chow. The commuter rail didn’t leave at a time that I could use it (more on that in another entry), so I opted to walk to Woodland and take the T to Haymarket. From Woodland to Haymarket; that’s quite a ride — nearly an hour. So, I took some Dramamine and grabbed my portable CD player to listen to some music.
In my defense, my portable CD player seemed “cutting edge” at the time. It not only played traditional audio CDs, but also MP3 mix CDs. I thought it was super cool, because it could fit *gasp* 150 songs on it!
On the T, I suddenly felt very self conscious of my clunky CD player. In fact, I hid in in my purse with the headphone wire sticking out so I could listen. Whenever I wanted to press “next”, I guiltily slid my hand in my purse so nobody would see my CD player. I looked around at the people around me with their shiny little MP3 players, a fraction of the size of my CD player. The little white iPod earbuds, the armbands so they can jog with them…JOGGING and listening to music! I can barely walk with my CD player without it skipping! In a city as tech-savvy as Boston, this is inexcusable!
I then realized something even more embarrassing. My headphones were being held together with tape.
I need to get on this MP3 player bandwagon — and pronto! Of course, by the time I do, I bet there will be some other cool technology and I’ll feel like a laughingstock for still owning an MP3 player.Filed under Greater Boston (General), MBTA, Music, My Life | Comments (18)