Monday, October 27, 2008

Is there a verb "to turtle"? Turtling???

I'm retreating this week, like the turtle. Inside my shell I'll be writing, reading, thinking deep thoughts...and working on my gymnastics moves :)

See you next week!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blast from my gymnastics past

This week brought a flurry of activity over at Facebook, where--out of the blue--I've found or been found by a bunch of friends I grew up with. Kennebunk High School was a pretty small place when we were there, so everyone knew everyone. Now, as we reconnect, amazing to see how all our lives have turned out. The most astonishing thing, though, is how many people look the same! It's like we're all still 18, only now we have better haircuts.

The zenith of this reunion frenzy, for me at least, is this horrifyingly fabulous picture! This is me at gymnastics practice, in a photo resurrected by a teammate. Oh, the embarrassment! I was a pitiful gymnast: afraid of heights, so nearsighted I couldn't see the vault until I'd almost run into get the idea. I can't imagine why I needed the ankle wrap, because this was my ONE move on beam; the most strenuous thing I ever did to my foot during those years was to point it. We had some amazing people on that team, though, with serious skills--we were Maine State Champions, two years in a row. And I got to be part of it all based on...who knows...enthusiasm, maybe? It's amazing how far that can take you :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time to call in the big Gunn

I've been out searching for sweaters to fend off the coming cold. It's not going well. Mind if I vent?

First, WHAT is the deal with the proliferation of short sleeved items in the knitwear section of Ann Taylor? Store/Loft/Outlet--I've tried them all. Not a full sleeve anywhere. Have their designers ever been north of the Mason-Dixon line? Do they understand WHY we expand our wardrobe come autumn to include wool? To leave the sleeves off of a sweater is, in my humble (and shivering) opinion, to seriously miss the point.

And it's not just Ann Taylor. I've tried Macy's, Express, every store in the TJMaxx/Marshall's chain...Nothing. In desperation, I dove into the "these sweaters don't fit/look terrible/were ruined in the moth invasion of 2007" bag I found in the back of my closet. I pulled out several of the items, convinced myself that anything that warm (and full sleeved!) couldn't possibly look that bad, and put them back in my closet. Then Tim Gunn came along and ruined my celebration.

Have you seen the new season? So good! I love him. Even though he told a girl with similar proportions to mine--wearing a sweater almost exactly like one I'd just pulled from the discard bag to put back in the rotation--that she looked like a giant cableknit cube. Sigh. And her sweater didn't even have moth holes...

Today, those holey, ugly, pilled disasters went back in the trash. If you don't hear from me, it's because I'm huddled under a blanket, trying to keep warm. Hard to type from there...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just like Laura Ingalls Wilder

I just fixed the hole in my favorite sweater. Without scotch tape, staples, or safety pins. A domestic victory!

(The next installation of my 9-part life story will be called "Little Condo in the Big City")

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Food, folks, fun, fall

Oh, where to begin?

We had an amazing weekend, and my love of all things autumnal (including the word autumnal) was more than confirmed.

First, I drove to Maine to deposit THAT DOG for a visit with the niece, the nephew...and their new cat. This was THAT DOG'S first experience with a non-canine creature that's supposed to be indoors, and suffice to say she didn't warm to the concept. Upon seeing said creature, she responded in what was (in her eyes at least) the only appropriate fashion, howling in stunned alarm and chasing the cat up the stairs, down the hall, and cornering her under the bed. It was not one of those cuddly family moments you hope for, but at least no one got eaten. Sometimes you have to be grateful for small things.

After dropping THAT DOG off for her feline acclimatization, Steve and I drove to Ithaca, NY for the weekend, to spend some quality time with friends I met at the beginning of the book tour. Our running joke all weekend was that Ithaca is JUST like Cambridge...only without the stress, the crazy drivers, or the parking tickets.

If I had to sum up my weekend in three bits of life wisdom, here's what comes to mind:

1. When touring wine country (who knew Ithaca had wine country?) avoid the places with the giant Hummer Limos in the parking lot, especially if you see dozens of 20 somethings pouring out, shouting, "Bring on the VINO!" There are other, lovelier vineyards to explore.

2. It doesn't mention this on the label, but Tylenol is super-helpful when you're at a dinner party and your friends make you laugh so hard, for so long, that your face aches.

3. Don't eat at the Ponderosa off the side of the highway. Never, ever, ever. (But if you do, there's a Wal-Mart 35 miles east that carries a full selection of Tums).

But that all pales in comparison to what Steve and I really learned, which was that long drives are worth it when you get to spend time with great people and expand the scope of your world. (Of course, I'm not sure THAT DOG would agree, given that her world expanded to include an indoor cat...but I took her for a run on the beach on the way home yesterday, and I think that was her version of Tums, making everything better!)

Monday, October 06, 2008

A Golden Retriever at the Aquarium...and hurds of turdles

My sister and niece came to visit this weekend. My niece is five, and very sparkly. She's a girl who loves adventure. She's also a girl who knows what she wants. We went to the Boston Aquarium, where after 30 minutes of fighting her little way through the crowds to see Myrtle the Turtle and Sebastian the Shark, she looked up at us and said, "Can we go home and put on jammies now?" It was 3:30.

What's even funnier is that when asked which creature she liked the best at the Aquarium, she raved about Clancy... the Golden Retriever we met out on the sidewalk as we made our way home.

In grown up highlights, we found a FABULOUS new game called Bananagrams. We didn't find it, actually--it was a gift from our favorite Midwesterners who were in town on Friday. It's amazingly fun, but also (for me at least) mortifying. While playing with Steve and my sister, I had these brilliant moments:

"I could add LE to TURD and make...TURDLE!"

Then later:

"I can win this game! I've got all the letters I need to spell HURDS!"

Yep. Hurds of Turdles.

My sister's response? "Wow--your editor has her work cut out for her..."

Thursday, October 02, 2008


No matter what your voting plans are for this November, this will keep you entertained tonight.

And for those of you who'd like to compete against your spouse/significant other/roommate, here's a link to a card for the other side (Biden doesn't have his own card yet, but tonight could change all that...)

Let's get those bingo skills in shape for our golden years :)