Wednesday, June 30

Better late than never...

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!

Sorry I've been M.I.A. lately! I bet you thought I was going to pull the ole' disappearing act didn't you?

you did?! geeesh. Have a little faith. I'm in it to win it this time around....

so big things happening in Marie-land. I wanted to wait to announce it until all the appropriate authorities had been notified (aka the parents)

drum roll puhhhlease........

Sean and I are moving to London!!!!!!!!!!!

(However, when we actually go I will arrive via airplane. Photo purely for dramatic effect)

I could wax on about what a difficult decision this was for me to make, but let's be honest. Live in Europe for a year? Ummm yes please! Deciding to do this was perhaps one of the easiest decisions I've ever made for one simple reason: it felt right. No second guesses, no what-ifs...just sign me up!

After the that damn Eukadfj@*$^!!!! volcano ruined my vacation to Ireland and Paris, I realized my chances of getting to travel abroad were rapidly decreasing. As my $40,000 grad school tuition was staring me in the face with my dying car gasping its last breath on my back, I was feeling unhappy, stressed and just plain lost. I've secretly always had wanderlust, I transferred colleges, I've moved every year since college, I rearrange my furniture all the time (does that count?) but I've always stifled that voice inside myself for safer, more reasonable options.

But something inside me shifted and the more research I did on it, the more this move made sense. Sean has his Master's in International Business, we both love to travel, grad school is a fraction of the cost, what was stopping us? Too often in life, people weigh themselves down with their fears and anxieties. Uncertainty and fear of risk-taking are heavy things, they bare down on us, get into our brains and convince us that the feelings in our guts aren't the right thing to follow. How many of us have avoided the road less traveled for a safer paved, 3 lane highway? A quote I love says:
Successful people replace I could, I would, I'll try with I WILL

Is this a huge risk? Certainly. But is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. It all sounds so and Made for TV specialish (but c'mon who didn't love those), but it is true. For the first time in a longggg time, I am excited about what's to come. The possibilities are endless. I feel like the world is at my fingertips and my life is ripe for the picking and I haven't felt this way since...since...since I don't remember when. and that is the saddest part of it. We all deserve to feel that way in whatever we do.

So here I am: grabbing the bull by the horns, taking life by storm, shooting for the stars, you know, all those fabulous inspirational sayings. I'm doing them all. at the same time. while also trying to figure out how to pack my entire wardrobe into only a couple suitcases.

Well, I can fit into my I guess that means all my clothes can too.

crap, but what about shoes? eek! Good thing I have until September to figure it out!

* side note: I apologize for the overwhelming amount of cliches, metaphors, idioms, and other overused sayings sprinkled through this post. After rereading it (yes I reread my own 2938120938123 times. Remember that teensy little post when I mentioned how neurotic I am?), I caught them all. There are A LOT. Let's play a game. How many can you find? I spot at least 5. woops.

Sunday, June 20

Happiness is...

a cold beer on a summer day.

on vacation this week so posting will be a bit sporadic, but I have big big big news I am preparing a post get ready! (and no, I am not pregnant or engaged)

P.S. Happy Father's Day to all the great Dad's out there! mine included :)

Wednesday, June 16

When one door closes...

...another one opens.

This is a difficult post for me to write because it is hard to articulate my feelings on the subject, so bear with me as I tend to rant and overdramatize at times (me? neeeever!)

Today marks the end of many things: the school year, my teaching job, my security. I have decided not to continue teaching anymore and will be pursuing my Master's Degree in Publishing and Creative Writing instead. Goodbye paychecks, goodbye dental insurance, goodbye 9 to 5 (well technically 7 to 3, but you get the idea).

Many people have questioned my decision to leave education. Teaching was something I always thought I wanted to do. I have a lot of respect for the profession and the people who dedicate their lives to it. However, I am not one of them. Over the past few years, I've watched as my coworkers come in early and stay late into the afternoons. They take work home with them, teaching makes them feel alive. For me, the past two years, teaching has made me feel....tired. and bored. and that is a hard thing to admit. Too often this year, I found myself eagerly standing by the door way waiting for the bell to ring so I could go home. I spent too much time gchatting and internet surfing, and not enough time teaching. another hard thing to admit.

Teaching is a privilege. Nothing angers me more than people who say "ohhh I don't know, I guess I'll just teach". It is not something you "just" do. You have to enjoy it, be passionate and dedicated to it...because if not, it is the students who suffer. It is out of respect for this profession that I'm leaving. I'm not giving students what they deserve because I don't have the passion and drive for it. They need someone willing to come in early and stay late and go the extra mile for them. and that just isn't me.

It has been a humbling and scary road coming to this resolution. It is one that many do not understand and some do not necessarily support. But that is okay...because I know, for me, it is the right decision. Am I nervous for what the future holds? of course! But that doesn't mean I'm not just a teensy bit excited too....

As the saying goes...When one door closes, another opens...

and if it won't open? Well I'm a stubborn Irish broad who will just break it down ;)

L'Espalier is my homeboy

(Still no half marathon picture post- but it's coming, I promise)

ohhhhh man my belly is happy today! Last night, Sean and I had the ultimate dining experience. We went to cheese night at L'Espalier!...and I say it was an experience because it was so much more than dinner.

I wish I could've taken pictures but this place was f-aaaaancy. with a capital F. Fancy as in personal waiters for customer, greeters at the entrance, and egyptian cotton handtowels in the bathrooms. I felt it would've been totally inappropriate to whip out my camera and start taking photos, so instead my stunningly descriptive commentary will have to suffice. Well that and photos I steal off google images.

Like this one:

and this one:

So our menu for the night was a four course tasting menu, with each course featuring a wine pairing and a cheese from Italy. I kicked off the evening with a class of $18 champagne (apparently I think I'm P.Diddy instead of 20something soon-to-be poor graduate student). Pinot Grigio was first...and while I was in this amazingly decorated room, dressed up, tasting fancy wine I could never afford a full bottle of, all I could think of was Ramona from Real Housewives and her addiction to Pinot Grigio

Ohhh Ramona, you would've loved it darling. It was so crisp and sweet.

The other courses were duck and cherry strata with blue cheese and beef ragu, chili-rubbed shrimp in a parmesean polenta with grilled scallions, EIGHT piece cheese plate (all to myself!), raspberry peach dark chocolate. and did I mention wine with each course? ohhh the wine. The sommelier took time to explain each one and what flavors to look for. I even swished it around in my glass and took a few sniffs before sipping like I actually knew what I was doing. All the food was so so so good. I told Sean this morning that although I usually wake up and my first thought is "oh I love Sean, I'm so happy he's here with me" (barf, I know). This morning, my first thought after that meal was, "oh I loved that duck and cherry strata. I wish I had more right now". (sorry dear, love ya though)

While I have absolutely no complaints about the food or the service, it was out of this world, please excuse me while I jump on my soapbox to complain about something that really irritated me last night.

L'Espalier has a dress code, which I think is fantastic. I love dressing up. I own a ridiculous amount of dresses. I started planning which dress I'd wear to this dinner when Sean made the reservations over 2 months ago (I wore a Betsey Johnson black and white backless silk dress. it was fierce. I wish I had a picture to show you. I also wish I had Cher's closet from Clueless. sigh.) Their website says "Jacket and tie preferred" under dress code. pretty simple and easy to understand, no?

Last night, about 10 minutes into the first course a guy showed up and immediately all eyes in the room were on him. Not only was he late to the tasting, interrupting the cheese guy's schpiel, but he had WET HAIR and JEANS WITH A T-SHIRT on. I would've felt so embarassed for him if I didn't find it so damn rude. What has happened to our society? I don't know about you, but I think the way you dress and carry yourself can be seen as a sign of respect to whatever situation you are in. Different occasions call for a certain manner of dress. Lately though, people have gotten more and more lax. I was so disappointed when I went to the Nutcracker last Christmas and saw people in jeans. Again, totally inappropriate and disrespectful in my eyes. Is it so hard to throw on a jacket and tie? Can you not break out of your Levi's for a couple hours? So to the dude from dinner, how about we save the jeans and wet hair for restaurants that have the words "Barbecue" or "All you can Eat" in the title? Swing through your mom's house (because he definitely didn't have a girlfriend or she would've smacked him silly) get her to iron the wrinkled pants you haven't worn since your Uncle Bob's funeral 10 years ago, and stop being such a loser, mmmkay? thanks. * end of rant *

whew. I'm tired now. and hungry. Any chance the high school cafeteria will serve a cheese plate at lunch today?

Monday, June 14

Running Blues

In the car yesterday, Sean and I were debating what neurotic means. Both of us knew what it was but couldn't quite articulate it. So after a little google scavenger hunt, the following conversation ensued:

me: I think I'm neurotic! I joyfully explain once I've figured out what it actually means
Sean: uhhhh dear, I don't think thats a good thing... Sean shaking his head in concern

Before you write me off as certifiably insane, let me explain. I work much better with deadlines. Stress is my friend. We've had a close working relationship for about 20 years (I say that because I'm pretty sure the first 6 years of my life were relatively stress free. Then kindergarten kicked in and it became coloring within the lines and proper scissor form and I knew my lazy days of cartoon watching were over)

I'm having a bit of post race blues. I really really miss training for my half marathon. So much so that I want to run a full marathon, like tomorrow, just for the sake of training. When I was training, I got to make cool google calendars and eat a lot. Every long run was a new personal distance record so I'd walk around elated on my runner's high for the next 2 days. and now...

well, I'm in a running funk. Running 10 miles on a Sunday morning no longer seems like a motivational challenge, it just seems absurd. Especially now that there's a cute boy in my bed errrr, on my couch? (sorry Mom!) and no more intense running schedule inevitably means no more eating ice cream everynight and saying its "for the sake of my training". Major fail.

I think I need to take this opportunity to try some new things. My friend Kym and I figured out you can bounce around the city from free yoga session to free yoga session if you plan accordingly and weight lifting has always been a bit scary for me. Perhaps those will be my next challenges. In the meantime, I've also scheduled some smaller races to keep myself honest (and for the opportunity to "carboload" and eat lots of pizza the night before)

Upcoming Races:
June 27th- 7.5 miler
July 8th- 5k
July 27th- 10 miler

And in the spirit of all things running...and as a loving tribute to the Half Marathon I miss so much, the pictures from both the race officials and my parents are finally available!

okay, after repeatedly trying to upload them from my school computer which has been here since 1999 (making it so ancient it's half dead in computer years) and having both my gmail and blogger freeze, I will have to wait until after school. otherwise I may end up throwing the computer out of the 4th floor window in a fit of stubborn frustration and that wouldn't be setting a very good example for the kiddies now would it? so please, dear followers, hang tight and check back for Half Marathon picture post! In the meantime, enjoy the amazing photos of Jessica Simpson running

could she possibly put ANY more running accesories on? and I thought I had a problem. I also feel the need to post the obligatory "Jessica, what the heck happened to you, girl? I loved you" photo.
Come back to us. We'll take you and your chicken of the sea.

Where's Waldo?

Look at this lovely picture Sean and I took of ourselves at the Red Sox game this weekend:

notice anything strange about it? I'll give you a minute to study it...

do ya see it yet?

If you guessed the intensely creepy lady giving us a death stare in the background, you were right!!!

I don't know about you- but she looks ready to rumble. Perhaps she was a Phillies fan and was angry about how the dismal performance of her team? maybe she was jealous of Sean and I's insanely good looks? Is she one of Voldemort's dementors coming to steal away our happiness? (and yes, I did just reference Harry Potter. Don't act like you don't get it. or love it. I know you do.) In any case, I now have a ruined picture and a week's worth of nightmares.

Friday, June 11

Confessions of a hypocrite

If you follow me on twitter (and you should), you may have noticed the confessional tweet I sent out:

I'm breaking a cardinal rule of mine and wearing leggings out in public. Please forgive me.

We all know how I feel about leggings. However, in the interest of fairness and honesty, I have to admit to you, my beloved blog readers, that I did in fact wear leggings to the grocery store last night.

It was raining. It was a Thursday. I had just gotten out of the shower and was in the midst of making dinner when we realized we had no cheese for our pizza. It was a grocery emergency if you will. Innocent people may have been harmed if I hadn't run out the door at that very moment. I know, I know, there is no excuse for my behavior but still, I am sorry.

I only hope you will forgive me...and please do as I say, not as I do.

(my expression here reads: eeehhh. I'm sorry I'm wearing leggings in public. but hey! look at this cool butternut squash I found! be my friend still!)

Thursday, June 10

A day in the life....

I saw this on this fantastic blog I stumbled upon and totally stole the idea (with credit of course)

7:10- alarm goes off. hit snooze for 10 minutes. start planning day's outfit in my head.
7:20- alarm goes off again. for real this time. groan that I need a job that starts later.
7:45-8:30- multi-tasking at its finest. making the 45 minute commute to work while eating breakfast, doing makeup,and listening to Matty in the Morning (Mom and Dad, do not read this part. or maybe, go ahead and read it, and be proud I'm not talking on my cellphone?)
8:30- arrive at work.
8:31- sign into gchat. I cannot live without gchat. I swear it makes me more productive ;)
9:45- students helping me pack and clean my classroom. One boy tapes my "homework" sign to his shirt and starts asking girls in the class "Hey I'm your homework, wanna do me?"
9:46- I tell him to stop, because even though I find it hysterical, I don't want to get fired before the end of the school year.
9:47- I hear him whispering it to girls anyway
9:48- I assign the first detention of the day.
12:39-1:15- Lunch in the teacher's room. most hilariously awkward and uncomfortable place in the entire world. Its as if Michael from the Office, Marie Barone from Everyone Loves Raymond, and the kids in your 1st grade class who always used to pee themselves all became teachers and decided to eat lunch together.
3:07- School is out. Another day, another dollar on my baller teacher's salary.
4:00- go for a run. Garmin, have I told you lately that I love you? (you fill my life with gladness, take away all my sadness, ease my troubles thats what you dooooo)
5:00- Sweaty beast returns home in my place. Shower is priority numero uno
5:15- Stalking is priority numero dos. Blog stalking, facebook stalking, looking in my neighbors windows (just kidding on the last one...thats the wrong kind of stalking. creep.)
6:30- Sean and I make a delicious pizza. Spinach, mediterranean feta, garlic...yummm!I need to rehydrate after my run. Red wine has electrolytes and healing properties right?
9:00- watching and cheering for the Celtics/Lakers playoffs. from my couch. Last time Celtics were in the playoffs, I went to the bars for every game. Gosh, I'm old now.
9:01-11:01 DVRing RHofNY Reunion and Bethenny Getting Married. Sean loves me, but even the greatest love has limits and I think 2 hours of reality television with the Real Housewives might drive him to the brink of insanity.
9:45- eat chocolate? not eat chocolate?
9:46- eat chocolate? not eat chocolate? the battle rages on...
9:47- mmmmmm. I love chocolate.
11:05- going to bed. Not sure if Celtics win or not. Pizza, chocolate, red wine = food coma. I win. in the game of life.

Wednesday, June 9

OCD Risotto?

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
— Marilyn Monroe

You may be wondering what this quote has to do with making risotto. It has everything to do with it, my friends, everything. Risotto is a notoriously high maintenance dish to make...its time consuming and requires a lot of constant attention. It demands a lot of you as the cook (dare I say, chef?) to nurture it and take care of it properly so as not to ruin it. BUT, when its done properly, risotto is one of the creamiest, most delicious things around.

This weekend, I had my first experience cooking the infamous dish. I found this amazing recipe from epicurious and figured it'd be the perfect welcome home meal for Sean!

Now many people are daunted by the task of making this meal...Sean's first comment when I told him of my meal plans? "Oh man, that takes forever, are you sure that's what you want to make?" I was sure. I had committed to this meal and I was ready to take on the challenge. High-maintenance Risotto- you've met your match. So I mixed all the ingredients together and started to watch the magic happen. About 10 minutes into the continuous stirring process (don't you love the technical way I describe my cooking? I'm pretty much the next Iron Chef), I had an ephiphany.

Risotto is the perfect meal for me. You see, I am a teensy bit of a control freak (just a little bit, you a dictator, but without the cool hats and oppression upon millions of people). When I am cooking, I have a hard time walking away from the meal and letting it do its thang. I constantly check on the food, much to its own detriment. I have dried out many a chicken and de-crisped a multitude of roasted vegetables by peeking into the oven too many times. So as I stood there, in my designated stirring spot (I really am a culinary artist with these descriptions), I realized that Risotto is an obsessive, compulsive person's DREAM.

I HAVE to stand by the stove top, continuously checking on it and stirring it- it's an essential, mandatory part of the recipe. Yesssssss! I am in heaven! I can control and obsess, guilt-free, and STILL make a delicious dinner all at the same time.

So, my dear risotto, you may be selfish and impatient...but thats okay with me. So am I. I love and accept you for who you are. Even at your worst, you are full of buttery, parmesan cheesey, creamy deliciousness. Let's be bffs. forever. for life. mmmm kay?

Tuesday, June 8

A wordless weekend

Friday, June 4

Color me mushy

This weekend marks a very important occasion: Sean comes home from Ireland! wahooooo!

In honor of ending many months of Skype dates, time differences, and an Atlantic ocean between us, I wanted to pay tribute to the awesomeness that is Sean and I's relationship (I'm pretty sure awesomeness is a word- it's in the dictionary next to bajillion and fo shizzle)

I was going to write a delightful narrative tale of how we met and fell in love, but I realized I think all of 4 people would actually want to read that (those people being me, myself, I and I'd hope Sean?). Therein lies the beauty of facebook.
Quick reference point: I've known Sean since my freshman year of college in 2002, but we only started dating when he was living in Ireland this past year (gotta love our timing, eh?)
Do you realize that facebook has saved the wall-to-wall conversations of Sean and I over the past 4 years? It also held onto a picture of us back from the Boston Marathon in 2004, one of my favorite Boston days EVER. You know those days, when the city is at your fingertips and everything cosmically aligns into this Ferris Bueller's Day Off-esque scenario? Yeah, it was one of those days.

We were just young pups in this picture. Silly college kids drinking too much learning a lot. Even though we went our separate ways after this day...him to Hawaii, me to Florida with both of us spending several years in other relationships, we both credit this day as "the" day we knew there was something more to this than just friendship (awww, cue romantic music, I'm blushing)

Now, 6 years later, we are older, wiser, smarter and still drinking too much. We are also still causing trouble and having ridiculous conversations via each other's facebook walls, but this time as a couple.

This past year has brought lots of adventures for us while we've rocked this long distance thing...trips all over Ireland and Italy. Christmas together in Boston. surviving the Volcano (damn you, Elkjisdijaiojfaif@!*&$(@#!!!!)...but I'm ready for the real thing. Lazy nights on the couch, fights over toothpaste, dinners in the same time know the stuff people do when they don't live on different continents.

Welcome Home dear :)

P.S. Is it too soon to start a "Honey-Do" list for him? I've got man things I need taken care of like lightbulbs and spiderwebs

Wednesday, June 2

It's official, I'm in love.

2 days post race and I was missing running and my training schedule so I decided to just pretend I was still training and went for a 5 mile run. It was glorious.

Running and I are in love. I love running almost as much as I love LOST, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and LC's side braid.

(hey, I said almost. gahhhh- LC, you and your side braid are just too amazing for words. I always try to duplicate it and I just never get it right)

Tuesday, June 1

On a serious note...

Disclaimer: I had a great post ready to go on the crazies out there a la Spencer Pratt and Danielle from Real Housewives of NJ, but something much more important came to my attention, so for today I will be taking a more serious tone. Witty banter and sarcastic commentary to resume again tomorrow.

For the past 4 years, I've had the pleasure of teaching in some of the toughest neighborhoods around and when I say pleasure, I mean it. While most people shudder when I tell them my location, I thrive in it. The students I've had the opportunity to work with have touched my life in ways I never thought possible. They are some of the strongest, brightest, most creative and thoughtful people I've ever encountered. They've overcome things many of us cannot even begin to imagine and for young people, many of them do it with the grace of an adult. They withstand temptations and are in a constant struggle against drugs and gangs and of course, the normal issues of being a teenager.

Every time I see a headline "teenager shot" or "15 year old stabbed" I immediately wonder, Do I know them? Is it one of "my" kids? So on Sunday I was unfortunately NOT shocked to see yet another headline "14 year old shot dead in Dorchester", but I was shocked to find out that I knew him.

Nicholas Fomby-Davis was a 8th grader at Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury, where I taught the past 2 years. According to the news, he was riding his scooter down the street on Sunday night when a 20 year old and 16 year old pulled him off, pinned him down on the sidewalk, and shot him several times in the chest. 14 years old. riding a scooter. now he's dead. and I have to ask myself WHY!? There is NOTHING that boy could've done to warrant being gunned down.

His murder makes the 26th so far this year, and unfortunately, summer time is "busy season" for Boston's crime rates, so I fear we've only just begun. In the past, I've been guilty of glazing over news stories like this, rolling my eyes at "gang life" and being glad it doesn't happen in my neck of the woods. I subconsciously judge and criticize the people involved and go about my merry way. But as I've spent time with these kids and I SEE them for who they are, not the stereotype people paint them with, I know it's not always the case.

So what is supposed to happen? As summer comes and school no longer offers a place of safety and refuge 8 hours a day, I fear more of this will be happening to young, innocent teenagers...and yet, it such a powerless feeling. What can we do to stop it? I certainly cannot roll into the neighborhood and ask the corner gangbanger to put away his glock and move on to greener pastures. But I have to remember, there is power in numbers. Alone I am just one person, but if everyone felt this strongly. And slogans like "snitches get stitches" went away and people came together for something positive, maybe change could and would happen.

Despite the political, racial, and socioeconomic undertones this whole argument brings forth, I realize now none of it matters. I can't speak for everyone (although I wish I could) when I say this whole issue has brought the need for this to stop from the pages of a newspaper into my heart and mind. Nicholas isn't just a statistic, or a headline on the 5 o'clock news. He was a bright middle school student who his teachers lovingly referred to as "Fomby", who horsed around with his friends in the hallways, and who sometimes talked too much during class...after all, he was only 14 and isn't that what 14 year old boys are SUPPOSED to do?

There are a couple of great organizations out there trying to stop this madness in Boston. One, in particular, I came across was Peace Boston. Started by Cindy Diggs
Peace Boston is a movement that was created by members of the Hip Hop Community, Youth Workers and Youth to address the violence in the city of Boston

Will any of this help? The cynical, pessimistic part of myself is doubtful...but I'd like have a little more faith in humanity than that. The slogan for my Half Marathon this weekend, which was dedicated to fallen police officers, was "Our strength resides in their memories". How perfectly fitting for this occasion as well. My heart goes out to his family and everyone at Dearborn Middle School today.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...