Archive | September, 2009

Komen Weekend

27 Sep

As you know, I’ve been running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Boston for the past five years.  The race was this past weekend, and once again, I was proud to be a member of Team GDT.

Team GDT started in 2004, and has been through a lot of changes.  We grew in number of members, and, most importantly, number of dollars raised to find a cure for breast cancer.  We went from an e-mail chain of details to a full website for members as well as donors.  We had so many people last year that we practically had to rent out a restaurant for lunch, and I believe we may have permanently scarred the staff at the hotel we stayed at near the race start.    We got so large that at times it began to feel impersonal, but we knew purposely reducing our numbers would cause us to raise less for Komen, so we figured it was a good problem to have.

Things changed this year, for a variety of reasons, many of which I can’t even accurately express.  It was a combination of reasons, and it was just one of those things.  Many previous team members ran races elsewhere, continuing to raise money for Komen.  The race location changed, the captains changed, the team change.  I don’t like change.

But one thing didn’t change: Team GDT raised a bunch of money to kick cancer’s ass, and that’s all that mattered.  And I realized that change is not only okay, it can be a blast.

The new race location (the World Trade Center in Boston, which I’m all too familiar with) was great, as was the hotel.  The course was very nice, despite the light smell of dead fish (I was just happy it wasn’t  ninety degrees), and, while I didn’t get a PR, I did shave 1.5 minutes off last week’s disastrous race (PSA: Don’t run after 6 margaritas and a shot of tequila.  It’s not pretty).  There was a great expo with awesome red velvet cupcakes from Talbots, and some fabulous teams.  There were too many people running with “In Memory Of…” signs, but also so many survivors in pink shirts who kick cancer’s ass on a daily basis.

In addition to the typical fun the Komen weekend brings, I got to fulfill a childhood dream by meeting Danny Wood of NKOTB, who is a big Komen supporter.  I even talked to him while my friend took two pictures of us(one with my cell so I could immediately send it off to my jealous friends) and sweated my ass off.  He didn’t say anything spectacular, but he sure smelled better than I did.  And I ate a cheeseburger stuffed with mac and cheese, so I’d say the weekend was a win-win.

Moral of the story: Change is good, Cancer is bad.

PS – Thank you to all of my very generous donors!  If you want to donate,  you still can via Team GDT or the Komen Mass website.

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Three Things Thursday #13 – Photo Edition!

24 Sep

#1 – Guacamole (sangria’s not so bad either!)

IMG_2543#2 — Molcajete (J called it a Pepe Platter)

IMG_2549#3 — Fried Ice Cream

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Ted Kennedy

21 Sep

(I know this is really late, but, in case you haven’t noticed, late is a running theme in this blog.  And it doesn’t sound right, but I can’t seem to fix it.)

A few weeks ago, Ted Kennedy died.  I know that most people from MA will remember him as their Senior Senator, a permanent fixture in the Senate for years.  But I, a transplanted Rhode Islander, begrudgingly living over the border in Massachusetts, have a little different memory of Ted Kennedy.

From a young age, I learned to love the Kennedys.  I have no idea why.  I just started reading about them, and loved their history.  I may have had a small crush on JFK as well.  Maybe.

For whatever reason, I read whatever I could get my hands on.  Books that lasted a thousand pages, detailing the family history.  I can recite all nine Kennedy children’s names, along with most of their spouses and means of death.  I may have had a small Kennedy shrine in my bedroom.  Maybe.

Even though I live in MA, deep down at heart,  I am a true Rhode Islander, in and out.  Did I mention that everyone in RI knows each other?  They do.  My aunt and uncle lived in young Patrick Kennedy’s (son of Ted) district, my mom’s cousin was his treasurer at some point in his campaign.  So, when I needed to do an interview for a seventh grade project, my subject was none other than Patches Kennedy himself.

I interviewed Patrick Kennedy in a classroom at Providence College, with a tape recorder in tow, and wearing the following, fantabulous outfit:  Black Chicago Bulls hat, thick glasses, large buck teeth covered in braces, a black BUM equipment tee shirt under blue plaid Skidz short overalls (one strap down, gangsta style), a brown leather bomber jacket (map print on the inside, of course),white ankle socks and brown boat shoes with the laces not tied, but cirlicued.  I was a fashionista at twelve, obviously.

And I was also a budding Barbara Walters.  I asked fascinating questions, such as “How do you feel having your uncle as the President and never having really known him?”  I should have won an Emmy.

Anyways.  The obsession with the Kennedys slowly faded as I grew up, but I still carried a soft spot for the family as an adult.  J texted me at 5 am while I was on vacation to tell me that Ted Kennedy had passed, and I was sad.

I know a lot of people have a lot of criticism of Ted, and the rest of the Kennedys.  And I’m no longer a starstruck teenager, I know a lot of them messed up in a lot of different ways.  But I still look at them as America’s Family.  Every single Kennedy kid was born and raised to be great, and many of them succeeded.  Their father (Joe, Sr) basically told them that they were privileged, and they had to do something with that.  Isn’t that the kind of lesson you would want every kid born privileged to have?

Did you know that Ted Kennedy called every family from MA who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks?  And he continued to check in with them as time went on?  Maybe there were other Senators that did that, I don’t know.  I still think it was a classy thing to do.

There is one of the nine Kennedy children left.  A lot of people are calling Ted’s passing the end of the Kennedy era of politics.  I don’t buy that.  I see a lot of “kids” waiting in the wings.  I see a lot of them waiting to take over in their parents footsteps.

Will it happen?  Who knows?  All I do know is that Ted Kennedy was a good man, a man with faults like we all have, but a good man none-the-less.  And he, along with his brothers and sisters, leave a legacy behind that we can only hope others will follow in.  RIP Teddy.

Three Things Thursday #12

17 Sep

1 – The weather.  I love sleeping with the windows open and all the covers on.

2 – September.  What’s not to love?  Races, Apples, Komen, Pumpkin Lattes, and, most importantly, my birthday!

3 – The Office season premiere.

August

15 Sep

Remember when I said I was going to do a monthly recap?  And I did one, and then I forgot about it.  Its never too late to re-live August!

  • It was hot.  I don’t like being hot.  I especially don’t like being hot and walking to the train.  Did I mention I still don’t have a car?  And it was really hot, and I was really not happy.  The people who had to sit next to me and my sweat on the train also were not happy, I’m sure.
  • My brother bought a deep fryer.  So far, we have successfully fried the following: tater tots, chicken wings, chicken fingers, jalapeño poppers, corn dogs, hush puppies, potato chips, mozzarella sticks, zucchini, ravioli, peanut butter cups, Snickers, Baby Ruths, Milky Ways, and a whole slice of cheesecake.  Mostly in one afternoon.  There have been no known frying injuries, despite some drunk frying and drunk flinging of items into the fryer.
  • Restaurant Week in Boston added to the tightness of my pants.  My college friends and I hit up a little restaurant in the North End, where I had some lovely baby cow.  Then we played Wine Bottle Ouija, a very complex method of choosing wine.  Other criteria included Red and cheap.
  • I went to the beach and danced outside.  That’s what summer is really all about.
  • I had lobsters that were sadly handicapped (one claw) yet still tasty.  They didn’t want to race across the patio, but they didn’t scream when boiled either.  (PETA would love this post, by the way).
  • I read some good books that I promise to write about on the What I’m Reading Page.  I think my favorite was A Prayer for Owen Meany.
  • And, of course, there was the fabulous trip to Florida.  There’s no better way to end a summer than floating in a pool with a beer in hand.  Life is good.

(I appear to have lost my spell check button.  Apologies for typos)

Three Things Thursday #11

10 Sep

1 – Flipping Out. I love Jeff Lewis and his obsession with brown salsa.

2 – Beatles Rock Band and the no-fail mode.

3 – White rice.

My Latest Outrage

7 Sep

I don’t like to collect offenses.  I’m not one of those people who wants to save the world with my facebook status.  I worry more about things that affect the lives of me or my family more than anything else.  I guess you could call me selfish in that regard.  But when I read this article on Boston.com last week, I almost had a heart attack.

Basically, a Massachusetts prep school is getting rid of all of the books in the library, and going digital.  They are buying Kindles, flat screen TVs to project information from the Internet, laptop work stations, and a $50,000 coffee bar with a $12,000 cappuccino machine.

Thud.  Where do I even begin?

I love books.  I’ve had my nose buried in a book for most of my life.  As a tween I could read a Babysitter’s Club book in an hour.  I went on vacation to Mexico at sixteen with a suitcase full of Steven King.  I was a freaking English major.  And my only saving grace on my three hour commute is my books.

There’s just something about a good book.  I love to go to the library with no idea of what I want to read, and wander the shelves.  I love to read outside in the sun, or in bed.

I’m not a fuddy duddy.  I embrace technology.  I have the Kindle app on my iPod Touch, and I have a few books on it.  I’m too cheap to buy the number of books I read, so I don’t use it too often.  It is convenient, but just not the same as holding a book and turning the pages.  Plus, I’ve found the formatting on some of the books I’ve purchased to be so poor that it almost ruins the book for me.

I can’t imagine being a high school student who has to do all of my research and reading on a computer.  Have you ever tried to read a long article on the computer?  It hurts your eyes.  Its also hard to highlight, dog-ear, and underline a computer screen while doing research.  How do you lay in bed and cram for test with the laptop? Its not easy.  And its just not right.

Furthermore, why do high school kids need to drink coffee?  I know they do it on the new 90210, but I didn’t know they did it in real life.  Why can’t they drink Mountain Dew and pop a No-Doze like we did, back in the day?  Don’t they know that coffee will stunt ther growth?  There’s no need for kids to drink coffee, especially not coffee that comes from a $12,000 machine.

I realize I’m beginning to sound like an old curmudgeon, but really.  The world needs books, real books with real pages.  If this is the way of the future, I don’t like it.  I’ll have to hole up in a library somewhere and refuse to let it be destroyed.  I’ll have my iPod and cell phone with me, of course.