Bolt Bus and My Blackberry

I am hoping that this post goes through because I am writing it on the Bolt Bus and technology has not been liking me very much today.

As some of you know I have become very dependent on my Blackberry since I got it a little over a year ago, and while I love it, I also hate it. The problem is my original Pearl was great and I never had problems with it, and then it was stolen out of my office at my other store. It as all downhill from there as they replace your new device with a refurbished device, and none of them ever worked right from that point forward. It was rather devastating and in the year I have had to go for 4 replacement devices. I was giving up on the Pearl, but wanted to hold off on buying a new phone until I had my condo in Boston rented.

And then it happened, right as I was sending a message to the Doctor to wish him a good night I got an input error on my phone, usually when it gets one of these it will restart and allow you to send what you were typing. But not last night. Instead I had an input error and shut down. I didn't start to panic until I couldn't get it to restart. Then I had no idea how I was going to live without my lifeline.

It didn't start up at all , so before I got on the bus today I went to Verizon, and the news got worse, while they would replace my phone they were not going to be able to transfer any of the 300 contacts in there. Literally this is my life including codes for alarms and all sorts of phone numbers. All of it was gone and there was no way for me to get it back. Yes, I know I am supposed to sync my blackberry to my computer to make sure that the numbers are saved there, but I have no way of knowing how to do that right.

So now I have a new Blackberry Storm, and I love it but I wish I had everybody's contact. I miss some of you people. Please let me know if I haven't contacted you in a while, I may not be able to.

ETA: Obviously the Bolt Bus technology didn't like me either because this post never posted! Just my luck.

Just A Quick Word of Advice

It is not a good idea to try taking out your contact lens after you have eaten a plate full of chicken wings.

It burns, a lot.

Just in case you didn't know, that is a quick word of advice! I know I'm not very smart.

More Gnomes

Back in July (July 12th) In "Attack of the Gnomes" I wrote about how some of our friends call us Gnomes. I wrote about the framed picture of a gnome at the house on the cape.

Well, the Doctor got home to Chicago and what does he see on his parents Christmas tree but gnomes.

Word is spreading...

New Cool Thingy

So while I have ben away from Blogger they added a new feature where you can add a playlist to your blog. So I added a song to the playlist for now because I wanted to have this feature and right now it is my favorite song of the moment which is...

Just Dance by Lady Gaga

Yeah I know, gay, but i love this song.

And while we are on the topic of music, The Doctor got me XM radio for my birthday (and diamonds for Christmas). XM is such a great invention and you get to hear all of those songs that you haven't heard in years. Her are some of our favorites from our drive back from New York on Thanksgiving...

Opera Trance
Walking on Broken Glass by Annie Lennox
All the new Rihanna songs
Just Dance
The entire 80's Channel
Most of the 90's Channel
and BPM

I am sure I will add some more songs to my playlist but for now, Just Dance... it'll be okay.

Not Dead

I was talking to S on the phone the other day and he told me I need to write an obituary for my blog. I know for the past couple of months the posts have been few and far between. I think I am still in an adjustment phase with my schedule. There is a lot for me to do each day like commute for 3 hours and go to the gym and work and enjoy time with the doctor. All of this takes time and I let the blog slip away. And then it was the holidays and the end of the semester which meant Christmas shopping and Book Buyback.

I leave for New York for the Holidays on Tuesday and it is the end of the year. I am going to start now but also for my New Years resolution (or at least one of them) will be writing more often.

So the moral of the story is that my blog isn't dead, I will continue writing and sharing funny stories about work and life... I promise.

Plus, I need to keep S entertained!

Thanksgiving In New York

Last week the Doctor had the joy of meeting the family in full force. Yes, he joined me in lovely upstate New York for Thanksgiving with the family. But not only did he join me for the family dinner but we were in New York for five entire days. That is the longest time I have been home in about ten years.

The trip started on Tuesday night leaving DC around 9:15pm. We figured it would be better to leave at night than brave the Wednesday traffic, so I picked up my cousin on the way back into the city on the side of the road, and then picked up the Doctor and the dog. We started the trip by trying to get my new XM to work, that took an hour of the trip but to no avail. Then we flipped radio stations for a good hour, and then it was midnight and we found ourselves in the mountains during a snowstorm. It appears that my GPS decided to keep us off 95 and bring us through Pennsylvania instead. Probably a great idea with the exception being that my GPS cant tell the weather. There was no traffic though.

We arrived in New York with dog in hand around 4:00 am. Built the dog cage, and then went to bed. I set my alarm for 9:30 so that I could walk the dog in the morning, but it turned out that I didn't need to because by the time I got up my Dad had walked the dog twice.

Wednesday was Thanksgiving prep day, we did some shopping, the Doctor bought stuff to make Sweet Potato pie, and prepped it, and we went to dinner once my sister got in from Boston.

Then it was Thanksgiving, we generally get to my Aunt's house around noon and the binging commences. As usual there was a tremendous amount of food and by 1 there was about 20 people at my Aunt's house. The Doctor got to meet the entire side of my mother's family pretty much all in one day. Appetizers continue for a few hours and then the table is cleared and set up for dinner. Of course I am still at the kids table, but at least the Doctor is older than me and gets to be the oldest at the kids table. We enjoy dinner, go home let out the dog, and then decide to bring her to my Aunt's house. She gets along well with people and is such a good vacation dog, but I was a bit worried that this may be too many people. After we got back the second wave of people arrived bringing the total close to if not over 30. Ah yes, it was time for dessert, and of course there was about 8 options on the table. I am not sure the Doctor knew what to do with all the options but he opted for cheesecake and I opted for pie and we switched halfway through.

By this point the Doctor was exhausted, he was pacing himself with the wine in order to keep up with names and faces, but enough is enough. Heck, half the time I can't remember family members names let alone girlfriends and husbands and wives. The family keeps getting bigger as my dad said in the things he was thankful for, but by the end of the night I think the Doctor was hoping that my family got smaller before the next time he visited, that way he had a better chance of remembering names.

All in all Thanksgiving was a success, and it was a very nice day to be home with friends and family, and I was very thankful that the Doctor joined me. I guess I really can't ask for more.

And Then I Came to the End

I am behind on my book reviews, and I am not sure how to review And Then We Came To The End. This book was highly touted and was a finalist for a National Book Award last year. I think I am missing what was so great about this book.

The characters were annoying, they seemed like the type of people that I would fire after about on week of them working in my store. The type of employees that sit in the corner of the bookstore and gossip about co-workers, instead of doing work. That employee that distracts everybody from actually completing the task at hand. I kept reading the book hoping that there was a strand a light at the end of the tunnel. I kept looking for the reason this book go so much praise, I didn't find it. By the end of the book I was frustrated and for the second time in as many years i almost threw the book on the floor.

Please somebody tell me what the redeeming characteristic of this book was...

A Fat Man Sat On Me

I was on the train home this evening calmly reading my book, siting next to the window, the doors open and I look up. Still plenty of seats on the train, no need to worry about anybody sitting net to me. I go back to reading my book. Suddenly, my book is bent backward a a very large man's ass is on my lap.

I try to look up and i am confused as the pressure on my right side increases. What the hell? You know somebody is sitting here don't you? A very embarrassed man quickly gets up and turns around.

He apologizes and says that he didn't see me there.

As the Doctor said, I know I am short, but i am not invisible!

I've Been Missing

I had all of these posts planned for my blogs second Birthday... I wanted to review some of my favorite posts from the last year, and then wish it a Happy Birthday, and then wish myself a Happy Birthday, and overall enjoy November.

And then my tenant in my apartment in Boston went MIA, I hadn't received rent and I started to call. I didn't hear from her for days and all I saw were dollar signs and I was scared. I started to panic. I called her, I called her job, no answer. I was trying to reach out and nothing at all. Then on November 11, she sent me a letter saying she had moved out on November 1.

Well, that's funny cause the bitch signed a binding contract (otherwise known as a lease) saying that she was going to live there until August 31. Oh, believe me the lawyer was called and this bitch is about to have her ass handed to her.

So that is just one of the many things that has happened to me over the past year. It has been an exciting year and a crazy year, and a hard year in many different ways. From a new phone to people kicking books around the bookstore. Going to preview parties and starting to go to yoga. The dog eating my pants (and now living with that dog). Fights in P-town and more vicious attacks in Boston. My back being sliced opened and moving out of Boston and living with another human and a lot of animals. Punching a pumpkin and losing my Tipsy. It has been a year of ups and downs. It has been a year of new beginnings and a year that truly proved that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I have had many days this year when I felt like I should just lay in bed and never move again, but I have also had those days when I have said that I am going to get through all this and I am going to live my life. I have lived my life and I have had a great year.

Everything happens for a reason, I believe that and all of the bad things that happened this year forced me to grow and look at my life and learn new things. I haven't enjoyed every minute of it but I know I am stronger now then I was at this time last year.

So, HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY Stuff On My Mind, here are some of my favorite posts over the past year:

December 7, 2007: Launch Codes- I got my Blackberry and there were way too many things on it!
December 12, 2007: When Worlds Collide
December 21, 2007: On Global Warming- Please note I may be living further South now but I still support it!

February 2, 2008: WOW- Best Book of the Year Candidate
February 11, 2008: He is So Demanding- S felt left out so I posted for him
February 13, 2008: Soccer Anyone- A customer kicks her book around the store because I won't let her return it!
February 22, 2008: An Innovator Not A Bad Speller

March 2, 2008: ???- JCH makes some interesting remarks sometimes.
March 14, 2008: The Semi Glamorous Life- I still stand by this post although some people hated it.

April 3, 2008: Seriously?
April 22, 2008: I Hate Lettuce- Yes, I still hate it

May 2, 2008: I Will Never Understand
May 15, 2008: There Is No Crying In Yoga- I still laugh when I read this post.
May 30, 2008: Maybe Another Line of Work Would Suit You Better- Yes, she was a recovering addict working at the liquor store

June 9, 2008: JRH This is Your Life
June 21, 2008: The Dog Ate My Homework- well she actually ate my pants
June 26, 2008: Sad Sad State

July 11, 2008: Really... Are We Really Fighting Here... Really- I love this post
July 12, 2008: Attack of the Gnomes
July 21, 2008: A DC Wedding

August 10, 2008: Here Is The News- The Doctor and I are moving to DC (crazy)
August 14, 2008: I'm Not Making This Up
August 20, 2008: Compromise, Couches, Olives
August 28, 2008: Crime On Columbus- My life is turned upside down

September 12, 2008: Should I Be Worried- JCH strikes again
September 29, 2008: The Best Ideas Ever

October 21, 2008: Punching Pumpkin Head- My PTSD hits hard at a haunted house
October 28, 2008: On Losing A Companion- I still cry every time I read this post.

Those are some of my favorites that cover a lot of what has happened this year. I hope you enjoyed some or all of them and I hope I have some great stories to share in the future.

On Reconsidering

Last week was a really rough week for me for obvious reasons. Putting Tipsy to sleep was very hard, and I swore to myself on Tuesday that I would not ever wish harm upon another living thing ever again.

Then I was on the Metro heading home from work on Thursday night. I was exhausted, all I wanted to do was keep my mind off of Tipsy and read my book. I wanted some peace and quiet and while I knew that wasn't going to happen I was hoping to at least get to read. I wasn't going to be that lucky.

About halfway home a mother rolled a double stroller onto the train with two screaming children. These two kids were literally throwing a temper tantrum while the mother was watching them with her feet extended out into the aisle. She said nothing, she just watched and listened to her screaming 2 year old. Then she got fed up and started screaming at the kids.

"Seriously, Jack, Shut the f#ck up"

I was blown away that a mother could talk to her children that way, and that she thought this was the way to control them. At this point I reconsidered my standing on violence and eliminating living things from this world.

If they were sweet and loving like Tipsy, then they should live forever, if they are stupid and annoying and curse at two year old then we should put the asleep immediately!

On Losing A Companion

I am sitting here writing this with tears running down my face
A dropper full of baby food still sitting on the coffee table
And the other four animals surrounding me because they can feel something is wrong

I thought I was ready
I spent the last two nights with her laying in my arms
She was weak but she still purred when she was with me
And true to form she hissed when anyone came near her

She was very sick
She was very young
I struggled with what to do

She was family
She was a friend
She was a constant companion

Did I do all that I could do
Would she have made it another night

After a week of being sick she had lost six pounds
Her spine was visible through her matted fur
Her skin was turning yellow as her liver failed
She couldn't go on much longer before the pain started

Last night I knew what had to be done
I fed her to keep her comfortable
She stayed wrapped in a pillowcase on my lap for hours
It was time

She was hiding this morning when I was looking for her
I thought she knew
I cried because I felt like a failed her

I found her cuddled up in the bottom of a kithen cabinet
She was always good at hiding
I was always bad at seeking

I wrapped her in her pillowcase
Slid her tiny body into a carrier
And we walked slowly down the street

I walked into the vet and they knew
Rough weekend says the technician
She pats me on the shoulder and says it okay

I take her out of the carrier and she continues purring in my arms
I hold her like a baby and pet her
Then it is time to put her down

I cry, she purrs
I cry

This won't hurt her at all
Two shots and she is free

I hold her on the table and we are face to face
She knows
One shot

They give me time with her
She is falling asleep
She sticks her tounge out
She breathes deeply

The vet returns
I cry knowing this is the end
Another shot

Tears are running down my face
One last breath

She is gone

I sob and the vet hands me a tissue
Take all the time you need
She lays there motionless

I cry
I hold her in my arms
I kiss her
I try to say goodbye

I apologize
I wish I could have done more
I loved her

She was family
She was a friend
She was a companion

I had saved her
And now I had lost her

I walk out of the office
Clutching her pillowcase
Crying as I walk down the street
She was my cat
I loved her
She was my family
She was my friend
She was my companion
She was my Tipsy
I loved her
And I am going to miss her
Rest in Peace Tipsy
Daddy Loves You So Much

My Poor Tipsy

My cats are not the healthiest animals in the world. Bob has had two major surgeries, but he has survived. Now I am very worried about my poor Tipsy.

Both of my cats found me on a cold January day while I was living in New Haven, since then they have been my companions as I move from job to job and from city to city. When I found them nuzzled together in my back door they were both very sick. I nursed them to health and then couldn't bear to give them away. I love my cats very much and although Tipsy is not affectionate with anybody else I know that she loves me (on her own terms of course). She will cuddle with me and she will purr when she is sitting on my lap, and she loves that I will sneak her some special food like ham when all the other animals are not allowed to have any. She is a very special cat, and she was a very fat cat.

Now my poor Tipsy is in the hospital suffering from liver and pancreas failure. The vet is not sure what is causing it but it may be from cancer. She has lost a lot of weight and when I picked her up last night I could feel her spine. I layed down on the floor with her and rubbed her nonexistent belly until she began purring, she fell asleep with my hand on her hear and I felt a need to say goodbye. I did and I said goodbye again this morning when I walked her into the hospital, she is still strong and she is still young but she only has a 50/50 chance of surviving this.

I am praying that she makes it through but the vet is cautioning me against being too optimistic. So I love you Tipsy and whatever happens it is for the best. I will make sure that we get you the best care and keep you from suffering. You will be happy and there will be plenty of boiled ham for you wherever you go.

Punching Pumpkin Head

I had to work on Saturday but the Doctor and I had a friend down from Boston, so after work I drove home and changed and we went out. I was not thrilled about going to the "Haunted Forest" but because our friend wanted to go and the Doctor wanted to go I reluctantly agreed. And as the Doctor pointed out it was with a group of nine people so it was an opportunity to make some new friends in the area.

Now here is some back story for those of you who don't know. I DON'T DO SCARY! I lie awake horrified for days after watching a scary movie, generally in a pool of sweat waiting for the man with the chainsaw to come bursting through my door. So a "haunted forest" was a very big step and quite honestly I wasn't sure I was going to enjoy it at all.

When we got to the forest in the middle of Maryland it was already my worst nightmare, there were townies with hats and kids and I think I saw a man wearing overalls. Remember I grew up in the country but I am a city boy at heart, townies scare me! There was even a big ole RV with weird people in it. Yes, I was scared of this and then I looked at the line for this place. The line was literally "disneylandesque!" It went on for what seemed like miles in and out of a roped of queue. Seriously, we can't be staying here to do this, I know we drove about 30 miles out here but there is no way we will stay in line out in the cold for the time it will take for all of these people to get into the "attraction." But we stayed and waited and froze, until the obnoxious townies and there teens began pushing forward and cutting the line. Then we moved with a mass of people, I am not sure if my feet even touched the ground. After over an hour we were approaching the entrance. As we got there we were forced to sign a waiver, and then we were put in groups and sent to the cashier. This was the scariest part, it was $25 per person to "enjoy" this attraction. This is where the ride was going to end for me, I didn't have $25 in cash and even if I did I wasn't prepared to spend it on something that I knew I wouldn't enjoy. I bid the group farewell and went back to the warm car with 2 others to wait for them to go through the forest. About an hour later we had still not heard from the group except for a few text messages. Then the car door opened and it was a group member. We thought we were finally free to go home but we weren't it turns out that they were going to be able to get us in but they were still waiting.

I once again, very reluctantly, trudge back into the mass of people, and find our group, it is apparently a few minutes from the group number being called. I am cold and very nervous, I am holding onto the Doctor like I may actually have a heart attack. I try to calm myself down realizing that thus us just a fun spooky thing to do and I am not going to die inside the haunted forest. I manage to calm myself a bit as we enter, to once again see another line of people ahead of us. Others thought that this was the scariest thing they were going to see all night, I knew better.

What happened after we entered the haunted forest however, is not what I expected to happen. I was frightened to a fun and reasonable point as were most people during the first 1/3 of the trail, it was dark and things jumped out at you, I held onto the Doctor firmly and screamed a bit. Then about a third of the way through a man with a pumpkin on his head ran at me, I had a flashback to the attack and went immediately into fight or flight mode and punched the pumpkin head square in his "face." Pumpkin man was down and now I was fully panicking and wasn't sure I was going to survive.

Let's all say PTSD together! I never thought I could have been a victim of PTSD, but this was an intense feeling. I really did think I was going to die. As we continued down the trail I was holding the Doctor in front of me to protect me. I man comes running at me, I panic, scream, he pulls on me and I throw him off the trail all the while kicking him in the balls and almost follow him down a hill because of the momentum. The Doctor catches me and at this point I am crying like a little baby and shaking. I don't remember much of the rest of the haunted forest, I remember my heart beating and tears running down my face and just focusing on getting out of there. The Doctor did a good job keeping everything else away from me but the people we went with must have thought that I was completely nuts.

Needless to say, my therapist is going to hear about this one, and I have a free pass when it comes to scary things for at least a year.

Note to self: Crap I really need to find a therapist.


I was closing the store by myself the other day and I somehow managed to trigger the fire alarm. At first I wasn't sure what I had done and as I was looking at the panel it started to screech at me. Within minutes the campus police are pounding on the door and fire trucks are on the way.

I try to convince the campus police that I am in fact a manager at the store who must have accidentally hit the wrong button when setting the alarm. This was to no avail however, because since I am such a new manager I don't have my university ID yet. They literally threaten to arrest me when my phone rings and it is the store manager. She got the message on her end saying that there was a fire in the store and wanted to make sure that everything was OK. I explain top her the situation and she lets me know that its fine and that she will call the alarm company. She then talks to the police.

I reset the alarm and walk out of the store leaving my keys on the counter accidentally. As the door closes and locks behind me the police tell me that they need to get back in and do a walk through to make sure that nothing is on fire. I fumble for my keys and then realize that I left them in the store.

You have got to be kidding me I tell the police the situation and they tell me that they need to get into the store, and the fire department will as well. Once again I call the store manager and she says she will be over. She loads her kids in the car comes out and tells me to come grab her keys. I tell the police and they walk off. I go to grab her keys once I have caught up with the officer but the store manager is already inside. The police are gone but the fire alarm is still showing on the panel. We are not sure what to do so we "no close" the store and head out.

Man what a fun day... and two run ins with the police in one week. Gotta love it!

A Favorite Series is Complete

I am mourning the loss of one of my favorite characters when it comes to mysteries. I have been a huge fan of Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series for about 8 years now and in that time I have read all of the Wallander mysteries including the Linda Wallander one which I did not love. For those of you who are not familiar with this series, Henning Mankell is a Swedish author who writes many books, my favorite is a series of mysteries that focus on the crime solving aspect of a mystery and one character in particular, Kurt Wallander. The books in this series proceed in the following order, although they were not published in this order in the United States:

1) Faceless Killers
2) Dogs of Riga
3) White Lioness
4) The Man Who Smiled
5) Sideteracked
6) The Fifth Woman
7) One Step Behind
8) Firewall

And this year the "prequel" to this series entitled The Pyramid and Four Other Kurt Wallander Mysteries was released in the US, I finished this book last week and wasn't sure what to write in the post regarding it. I loved the book and I love the character. This book was an interesting concept, where the author went back and developed the back story that had been eluded to in all other books but never really fully revealed. However, I feel like this development was unnecessary and sometimes specifics were confusing. The mysteries were interesting, but the strength of the other books which is the procedural development of the cases was missing.

I highly recommend starting with Faceless Killers and moving your way through the titles ending in Firewall before you even think about picking up this book. I feel like you will enjoy those more and this title is not necessary.

If you love all of those titles then come back and read the Pyramid its kind of like the eulogy, it provides a bit of closure, you can mourn the loss of a character and begin moving on.

An S Post

S says I am not posting enough! He is right I want to post at least one post every other day but I am commuting 90 minutes each way and by the time I get home I am too tired to post. But I am posting this today so S has a post to read.

This post contains nothing of substance, but it is a post! Does this make you happy S?

I hope so, and if not I posted a long post yesterday!

Just One Question...

Can I call you Joe... ?

I'm sorry I have resisted for over a week now, trying to refrain from talking politics here until at least after the election... but really...

Can I call you Joe...?

And as Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin) so nicely put it "What, we're not doing the talent portion"

Field Testing

I had a very busy weekend. I went home for a family wedding, and the trip from DC is definitely much longer than the trip from Boston, although if you got rid of New Jersey it would be a much more pleasant trip. My cousin and I left DC at one in the afternoon and I pulled in to the Italian restaurant to meet my parents at close to 9pm, supposedly I could have made it to Boston in that time. I guess there isn't much you can do about traffic on a holiday weekend so it is what it is.

The wedding was on Saturday afternoon. A good ole fashion (not really) family wedding. We got to the ceremony with just a few seconds to spare because my mother and sister needed extra time to get ready, I was ready in about 15 minutes (but in all fairness I wear a shirt and tie to work most of the time so its not a big change for me).

The ceremony was short and sweet, the cocktail hour was 45 minutes long (but the cheese was dry) and the reception was fun. My cousins even dressed up as the village people and performed YMCA. Yes, I do come from a crazy family. By 10pm the reception was over and it was time to head home. I had taken my car (err the Doctor's car) with my sister and offered to take a couple of my cousins with for the ride back home. My sister and two of my cousins decided that they wanted to go out for a little bit longer so I offered to drop them off and then pick them up at the bar later and in the meantime I would drop another cousin and his wife off at home.

All things went according to plan, as I was looking at my cousins honeymoon pictures the phone rang and it was the rest of the group wanting to be picked up. I drove over o the bar and as I pulled into the parking lot I noticed a police officer behind me. As I pull off to the side to let him pass I notice another one pulling up in front of me. At this point I realize that they are pulling me over.

Crap, I try to think back (knowing that I am a bad driver) and figure out what I could have done wrong when I realize that the tail light to the truck is out because the doctor backed into a pole trying to get out of our parking spot. No big deal, I am sure they will understand, as a matter of fact we have already ordered the part. The officer approaches and asks if I know why I am being pulled over. I tell him why, and then he asks where I am coming from. I tell him I am in town for a family wedding and that I was coming to pick up my cousins who are ready to leave the bar. He asks if I had anything to drink at the wedding and I answer honestly, saying that I had a glass of wine at the reception a few hours before. The officer asks me to step out of the car.

Now I start to get nervous. I don't do well with tests, especially ones that can effect your life. The officer asks me if I have ever been pulled over for drunk driving before, I tell him no. Then he asks me if I have ever had to complete a field sobriety test. I wanted to make a smart ass comment about why would I need to complete one if I have never been pulled over for drunk driving before but I thought better of it and simply said no. He puts me through a series of tests which are incredibly difficult for a mildly retarded dyslexic to complete. Considering I don't know my left from my right and I don't know how to say the alphabet backwards when I am sober I thought I did pretty darn well. I was horribly nervous during all of this and almost passed out when the officers looked at me and then asked me if I would mind completing a Breathalyzer. I knew I had to say yes, so I did and as soon as I finished blowing they looked at the test and asked me to blow again. After the second time they turned the screen to me, showing me that I have no reading, hand me my license and tell me to drive safe.

Now, if the getting pulled over wasn't nerve wracking enough the fact that they thought I was drunk because of my inability to complete the field tests, they actually made me take the Breathalyzer twice. That was crazy. I almost passed out and continued shaking the entire way home.

Man being the responsible cousin was not easy Saturday night, but I am glad that I offered to drive.


I am in my "mid" twenties at this point and i have always been a picky eater. my mother would tell me that I couldn't leave the table until I finished my veggies, inevitably I would sit at the table for hours (because I am stubborn) until it was time for bed. I knew I could outlast! However, as I reach this point in my life, and dedicate time to the gym i realize that I need to eat healthier and try new things.

I recently began eating pork on a regular basis as well as some red meat, and I have grown to enjoy turkey burgers. Now the big step that the Doctor is trying to get me to make is vegetables. It may sound like an easy step but it really isn't. He has gotten away with packing me a healthy lunch that includes fruits, I can stand some fruits and some I even enjoy (despise watermelon and cantaloupe though). Veggies on the other hand are tough!

We were at the grocery store and he told me that i need to start eating veggies, I am never going to be healthy without all of the blah blah that blah blah blah veggies. I submit as I should and say that I promise to try some in small portions with a couple dinners this week, so the Doctor picks out a couple types of veggies he thinks I will enjoy. This evening at dinner was the first test, we had amazing breaded pork chops whole grain rice and a mixture of veggies. Now I give the Doctor credit he did try to mask the veggies under fat free butter spray and sea salt but they were still veggies and they were still on my plate.

So dinner progresses and I eat my pork, the pork is damn good and I eat my rice and about halfway through I decide that I should actually follow through on my promise and I try a snap pea. Not bad but definitely not something I would eat again under my own volition but as I am being stared at from across the dinner table I eat a few more. Next, a carrot nope never going to eat that mushy grainy feeling thing again and finally I point to what looks like a slender green cucumber on my plate and ask the doctor... "What is that?"

He tells me that it is a squash and that I should try it because it was very good. I cut a small piece out of the center and stare at it for a while. I then close my eyes and reluctantly put it in my mouth and start to chew. I then gag, try to swallow, gag again and spit out the squash.

I am thinking that this veggie thing is probably not going to work!

The Best Ideas Ever

The following are two of the best ideas ever. One of these ideas is currently in action, the other one is not but I am not sure how to institute it.

Grilled Cheese 24/7- So Saturday after going out we walked back to our neighborhood and as always is the case at 2:30 in the morning we were hungry. In Boston there would be no options, in DC we have tons, but the best option was Grilled Cheese and mashed potatoes. There was a line at the Diner which is open 24/7 but hey if I can get grilled cheese at 3am I will. I am convinced that being able to get homemade grilled cheese at 3am with fresh mashed potatoes is the best thing in the world. Have I mentioned that I love grilled cheese!

Restrooms On The Metro- Ok so this is just the best idea in the world because I always need to go to the bathroom on my walk home. And I am sure that logistically it would be a very big problem, but when I am on the train for an hour and a half i need a place to go. Nobdoy wants me to go behind a seat now do they.

Anyway those are just two great ideas. I am sure I will have others. Not sure that any will top grilled cheese at 3am... and that wasn't even mine!

A Scare on the Escalator

I have had to deal with many escalators in my stores but nothing compares to the escalator at the Dupont Circle Metro Stop. This escalator is one of the most impressive things I have seen. If you look down it when you are on the way down you will feel like you are going to plummet into the center of the earth and when you look up on the way up you get dizzy. The best bet is to look straight ahead if you are walking up or down so you don't notice the size of this monster.

I am not sure of the specifics on this escalator but it is at least five flights and its not like it is five consecutive escalators in a row, nope it is one big long escalator. There are rules in DC about riding on an escalator. You need to walk on one side and stand on the other. Seems simple right, well the problem is when a tourist is not aware of this rule and they get in your way, or better yet try to kill you by knocking you over in the middle of the escalator.

Yes you guess it, a woman tried to kill me the other day with her suitcase as I was being lifted through the earths crust to street level. I got on the escalator on my way home after a long day, I was walking up the side as instructed by the laws of the escalator when all of a sudden a woman pops out of the standing side with her huge red suitcase and bumps into me. I am scared that i am going to plunge into the molten core of the earth but manage to regain my balance as this woman stops moving in front of me. People start bumping into me behind and and after a subtle push and excuse me she gets back into the standing lane although we all need to climb over her suitcase.

If people only obeyed the rules things would be so much easier. And also, if the escalator wasn't 12 miles long!

On A Happier Note

Well, with the additional time I am on the train each day I am going to be flying (at least compared to my usual pace) through books. I took a week off from reading while I was unpacking the house and preparing for my visit from my parents. But so far this week I have read 240 pages of Waiter Rant. As a matter of fact I should finish reading it tomorrow on my way into work and I will need to start reading another book.

I love Waiter Rant as a blog and I even prefer his book. His book makes me want to become a better writer and tell better stories. In his book he mentions how telling and reading stories allows the reader/writer to live and experience things (I am horribly misquoting the quote he used in the book.) But that line struck me and the struggle and experience he went through in writing the book has struck me as well. It is also amazing the how in tune with humanity he was/ is as a waiter and I was astounded by some of his observations and theories. Not necessarily because they were ground breaking but because they were spot on. I wish I was as connected as he is to the nature of humanity. I guess the fact that he studied psychology and worked in a nursing home helped him with that.

And yes I have stories, and I love writing but my I am not a great writer. I am a manager- but I writer I am not. I am a reader- but once again not a writer. But what his book inspired me to do was continue to write, and continue to share my stories with the few people who log on and read them. If I continue to write then I will continue to learn and experience things and I will allow others to learn and experience things as well. It will help me in many different ways and I hope that some of my stories have the ability to enlighten and inform readers and if not I hope that they at least brighten somebodies day and maybe even make them laugh. I don't ever expect to publish a book, I am sure that I will never have the pop culture fame one needs to get recognized. But that doesn't mean I should stop writing- actually I think that it is an even better reason to continue writing and improving. What I am struggling for here is to entertain, but also to enjoy. I am writing for myself and my few readers.

I love writing this blog and "The Waiter" has inspired me to continue writing and experiencing things.

See I told you it was a happier note! I am trying here but the lack of sleep is tough to write through!

Therapy Part II

A while back I mentioned that my blog was like therapy but cheaper. Well I need therapy after what has happened over the past month and a half but I haven't found the right fit. In that time I have also strayed from writing regularly on my blog, that's not good because I haven't been able to get my emotions out. This has lead to a lot of crying and that's just not good. So here are some things that I need to process.

1) I am scared- I go to sleep scared and I wake up scared- that is when I actually sleep. I am scared that I will never get my life back. I am scared being in a new city, and I am scared just to be alone in the simplest sense. I walk to the train to go to work and I am worried that some creep is going to come up behind me and hit me in the head. I am scared of change. Obviously, most people are slightly nervous of what the future may bring, but all of these changes at once have been hard to digest. I guess all of these changes are hard to digest for everybody but when you throw in an attack that lead to you being hospitalized a number of times and not being able to force your body to deal with the trauma. I haven't had a good night sleep since the attack and that scares me and they have tried putting me on any number of medications but to no avail.

I woke up last night at 2:30 in the morning punching the headboard and screaming. That is damn scary. The psychiatrist response was "funny... I can't think of why that would happen." Needless to say I am never seeing him again and I have discontinued the pill he put me on to help me sleep... cause it doesn't work.

2) I feel alone- I am not alone but coming from a city where you spent ten years of your life it is inevitable that when you move to a new place you will feel like you are just a needle in a haystack. I knew it would happen but I wasn't prepared for how it would make me feel. It feels very empty and I feel like I am lost. It doesn't help that I have so little energy because I am not sleeping and because the commute to Fairfax that was supposed to take 45 minutes each direction is taking a minimum of an hour and a half.

Feeling alone and feeling scared are not the two things I wanted when I moved to DC. I wanted to start a new life and e happy. I wanted things to change. It was after all an opportunity to start my life again and change things. And DC still provides me with that chance and all that's happened will make me a stronger person and allow me to continue to take the risks that brought me here to DC. I just need to figure out a way to get my feet back under my body and my head screwed on straight. I just want to be my old bitchy happy self but a better bitchy happy self. Is that really too much to ask for?

Getting Settled! Progress?

Well I am in DC now and I am off all week. Since my parents are coming down this weekend the goal is to get our new house looking like it is livable at the very least. We are getting settled and you can move around the house. The doctor was even able to make dinner last night. I feel like we have a place for most things (at least big pieces of furniture) but there are a lot of little things that need to be done and put away.

Yesterday my focus was the desk and dining area, today I am focusing on the bedroom. I just want to be able to see visible progress each day so that on Friday night I am not running around house shoving boxes under beds and the couch etc etc.

Ah yes and on top of all of the stuff we have 4 cats and a dog. Let me tell you while they are basically getting along there are going to be some turf wars. And poor Tipsy is so she she barely leaves the bed.

Anyway, I wanted to write and give ya'll a quick update. I am going to take a quick lunch now, and then continue unpacking.

Should I Be Worried

JCH's Current Facebook Status: JCH is preparing to kidnap a certain gnome-like friend so he can't move to DC tonight.

My Current Facebook Status: JRH is going to call the police because he is afraid he might be kidnapped by JCH! Not sure why... maybe his facebook status!

What Are You Reading??

I noticed today that most of my posts have been kind of sad and depressing. I don't want to be sad and depressing it has just been a rough month. So I decided to post a funny story. Ok, so the funny story happened while I was in the hospital having my back sliced into but it was still a funny story!

On Saturday night I had to be rushed to the hospital again becase the grossness that was my back had lost it's wick (because my back was apparently a candle that could not be lit). This was fairly major, however, because a wick is what pulls and drains the infection from the cyst. So on the way out the door I made sure I packed my medicine and my book and all three sets of discharge papers from my previous visit. I knew I was going to be waiting a long time and I knew I wasn't going to remember everything I had been told.

After waiting for two hours in mild pain but general calmness I was called into the rooms to have my back looked at and to officially become a patient for the fourth time that week. This is when the panic attack begins and I go from being a mildly rational human being to being a blubbering sobbing mess who is petrified of needles and needs to run screaming from the hospital. The change is immediate and obvious and as the doctor presses on the cyst to expell puss and other grossness I scream in pain and curse the doctor and almost kick him in the head. My sister is tring to calm me down and asks if I want her to read some of my book to me. I grunt in pain so she opens up to the page I have marked and begins to read...

"... surprise to those of us who find it so convivial to our well-being, but that is only because we have evolved to exploit it. To other things it is a terror. It is what turns butter rancid and makes iron rust. Even we can tolerate it only up to a point. The oxygen level in our cells is only about a tenth the level found in the atmosphere..."

At this point my sister stops reading and looks at me with tears welling out of my eyes and asks, "What the F*** are you reading?" I couldn't help but giggle in between tears as the doctor finished what he was doing on my back and said he would return. I tried to explain to her that I was reading A Short History of Nearly Everything by one of my favorite travel writers and that I knew it would be a challenge because it is about science but that I was loving it.

She looked at me like I was crazy, and all was right in the world because I am crazy and I had my sister there to tell me that and I felt better for a moment (at least until the doctor returned).

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to Boston is and has been an interesting and difficult experience. I was expecting to have a few weeks to slowly say goodbye to friends, family, co-workers, my home but instead I got kicked in the head and quickly said goodbye to my sanity and now I have relegated saying goodbye to friends to just a couple of days. I have been moved out of my house for three weeks now- the first house I owned is now occupied by a very nice woman and her child- but I never did say goodbye.

Boston has been my HOME for ten years. When I was crying in the hospital as they were sticking things in my back when I said I wanted to go home I meant my house in JP. It has been my worst month on record, but it has also been my last month in Boston. (By the way I had two more visits to the ER and one more to the surgeon this weekend). But beyond my home I am scared about saying goodbye to my friends.

Last night I had dinner with a couple friends and while it was nice to see them and dinner seemed normal enough as I was driving home I was struck by the fact that I probably wouldn't see one of my friends again. Yeah sure I would come up to Boston and we would talk but it wouldn't be the same. And tonight... I have to say goodbye to S. S has been a part of my life for a long time and while he abandoned me and moved to NYC to be happy (bastard) I still feel like he is part of Boston. And JCH is going to make me cry- hell he made me cry 4 weeks ago before we were attacked when he said he looked up to me and that he worried about me. Damn I am tearing up right now! Man I am going to miss going out for drinks after work with NS and LE and what am I going to do without HW who followed me here from New Haven (I still think her and J should follow me to DC).

People is really what makes a place a home and I have been lucky enough to surround myself with some really great people. People who love me and people who care. That is the one positive things that has come out of this whole attack experience. All of my friends who truly care have been by my side and helped me deal with it and its going to be hard to say goodbye to all of them.

All of this does not mean that I am not excited about the move to DC and moving in with the Doctor it is just a little nostalgia. It is and always will be hard to change you life and leave a place you call home but with a move comes new adventures and new fun and hopefully a lot less drama then I have had this month!

Links and Thanks

Once again thank you to everybody who has showed your support in all the ways that you have. I appreciate all of your kind words.

Also, some have asked for details in what happened. As I do not remember here are some of the articles that explain it. Most of them I find hard to read but they do include the details as well as the ass arrested.


Yes, I have been MIA since I posted about the violent attack, but as many of you know I have been going through a lot of things and the violence just added another layer of stuff that I needed to deal with on top of back to school and moving.

UPDATE ON ATTACK: I am still doing well and I am starting to sleep a little bit better. I have my moments when I freak out. I have my moments when I am close to breaking down. But overall I am doing well. SC, JCH, and JC are doing better as well. Even the Doctor who had the joy of speeding back to Boston to find his friends in the hospital is doing better. We are all moving on with our lives, with this event still in our mind but not controlling us.

They have caught one of the suspects and charged him with four civil rights violations and a few counts of assault. He is out on $10,000 bail but he is restricted and has a curfew. I believe that his next court date is October 10. This has been a big media story in the Boston area so I am hearing a lot of updates from the local news and papers. I am happy with the fact that they caught one of these people but I am still concerned that the other 2 or 3 are out there. The first time I saw my attackers face was when they showed it on the news. It was weird to see, and now I see his face in my dreams. Yes, sleep still really eludes me but we are working on that.

UPDATE ON MOVE: Last weekend in the midst of nausea and concussion and some crying we moved. Thank god that my company is paying the best movers in the world to move me because overall the move was pain free except for the drive down to DC. I left work at 2:00pm last Friday and met up with the Doctor, we loaded his car and we were on the way with 4 cats and a dog between us to DC. I was concerned about my dizziness which had subsided for the most part but reared its ugly head at the most inopportune times. The drive took close to 12 hours with labor day traffic and dog walking stops. We got to DC around 2:30 in the morning unpacked our cars and the five animals. Threw a blanket and some pillows on the floor and passed out for a couple hours because my movers were set to arrive at 8:00am. My movers arrived on time and had the house full of boxes in less than two hours. The Doctor's movers were late and rude and were the exact opposite of my movers (awful) but by mid afternoon Saturday everything was in the house and now we just had to unpack and make things at home. The kitchen took two days, I had to leave to come back to Boston but the rest of the house is going to take forever!

UPDATE ON MY BACK: On Friday before I left I thought I was getting a pimple on my back, not really unexpected I am stressed and it happens but man it hurt. On Saturday after sleeping on the floor of our new apartment and driving 12 hours my back was sore but I didn't think anything of it but the bump was getting bigger. Maybe it was an ingrown hair. On Sunday night I drove back to NY on my way to Boston to work for two weeks for Rush. My back was killing me I was starting to think that maybe it was a spider bite. Some Tylenol and I went to bed to wake up the next morning to a gross looking back. I decided I would go to the hospital after work on Monday if it didn't start looking better. Monday after work I call JCH and see if he will go with me to the hospital since I am afraid of going back there. We go and sit for a while a nice nurse comes in and looks at me and explains that it looks like I have an infected cyst on my back that the doctor will need to look at. The Doctor come in and says he is going to cut open... (and then he sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher). All I know is I am face down on the bed after them having given me two Valium and two pain killers screaming in pain with my heart beating so fast I am worried it is going to pop out of my chest. When the procedure is done the doctor (not mine another doctor) says its amazing that the Valium didn't seem to calm me down/

On Wednesday I go for my followup alone, thinking they were going to change the bandage and say good job and send me on my way. No such luck. It appears that the infection has spread towards my shoulder and they needed to lance again and drain. Even with Oxycontin this hurts like a mother and I am lying face down on the bed screaming and crying in pain. Six hours later I am bandaged up and on my way to my sister only to wake up and go to work.

UPDATE ON RUSH: Rush (back to school) and moving was easy I have done hundreds of Rushes in the 10 years I have worked for my company so why not throw in a violent attack and back surgery and for good measure put me on Oxycontin so all i feel is my slices in my back and my ever changing emotions. Man this week was fun.

You know what they say... "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" I ain't dead yet bitch so bring it! On second thought... maybe I have had enough fun for one month!

Crime on Columbus Ave Early Sunday Morning

This is not a laughing matter, this is actually a serious blog for me. I have been writing this post over the past few days and nights to deal with what happened to me on Saturday night when I was walking home with my friends from a fun night out as part of my goodbye to the city.

Many of you have read some of my blogs and heard me joke that violence is the answer, and while I was joking I feel bad saying those things now. I was the victim of violence. Violence that shook me to the core.

Some of you have read the stories in the media today and know about what happened on Saturday night. It is weird that the full stories printed in the media are the best recollection I have. Quite honestly I am fuzzy from moments before the attack all the way through Sunday.

I don't remember the attack... I don't remember the people who attacked me... I remember the bruises I woke up with... I remember hearing my friend scream in the hospital.... I remember looking over and seeing my friend with an IV in his arm and blood gushing from his forehead. I remember the stories I was told. I remember feeling dizzy and wanting to puke.

I remember when I used to feel safe in Boston, not the invincible kind of safe but the "Hey let me go move my car and I'll be right back" kind of safety. Now I sat in my car for 10 minutes on Tuesday thinking about getting out.

I was lucky, a few bruises a few kicks to the head and maybe thirty minutes of being out and not knowing what is going on is kind of lucky all things considered. A concussion is not being dead. All of my friends being alive is a blessing. But it is still hard for me to think about being beaten down and kick in the head because of who I am.

I am lucky because I have family who loves me, I am lucky because I have friends who love me and want me to be OK. I am lucky because I am alive.

I am mad because the people who did this to me and my friends are still out there, I am mad because I cry at night because I am scared, I am sad because a place I considered my home has been ruined by senseless violence.

I am not sure how this attack will shape my life, I will get back to normal, I will survive and all of us will. We are luck, we are strong, and we are proud of who we are! That will never change and if everybody felt that way then maybe just maybe we could put an end to all of the senseless violence in the world.

And now I vow that I am not going to cry anymore, I am not going to let this affect my life in a negative way. I am going to live my life safely but I am going to be myself.


Much love to everybody out there and all of you who have sent me warm and positive wishes. I love you all


For the last 6 years I have lived by myself. My house was my house, my style was prevalent throughout, and I was able to do what I wanted to do. I have always been strong minded to put it lightly (although others might call it stubborn and still others may call me a pain in the ass) and my general rule is that I am always right. In three weeks I move in with somebody who is equally strong minded, but has a different style and aesthetic than I do. I love modern, he loves traditional, love lofts he loves divided space, I love blues and greys, he loves greens and tans. Needless to say joining our stuff and figuring out where things are going to go has been a bit rough going and we are not even in the new place yet.

Our first compromise was a rough one that almost lead to bloodshed. I liked the loft he liked the traditional home and we ended up with a loft inspired two bedroom with an open living space but two bedrooms. This compromise was not really one we worked up but one we were forced into by a friend in DC and the overall price of the place. It was bitter and ugly and while we are both happy with our decision now we were both not thrilled at first.

Our second compromise was the one that was the most bitter and lead to the most fights and finally a discussion on how we are going to live in the space together. The second compromise/ decision involved the paint color in the bathroom. Yes, I am serious, this was a fiercely contended battle with my blues and greys going up against his greens and tans and all of the colors of the rainbow were considered. I am not joking when I say that we honestly considered over 200 colors for the bathroom and his mother called us crazy when we were excited to get the number down to 35. The 35 colors consisted of 17.5 colors I liked and 17.5 colors he liked and fights erupted over the elimination of a single color. We finally needed to step back and look at the absurdity of this and openly discuss how we were going to live together. We recognized that we were both stubborn and needed to be more flexible in order for this to work. Not only do we need to have our own space but we need to be flexible in our likes and dislikes and make things work together. Finally, after three weeks of discussion we narrowed the paint colors to four that we both liked (with these new attitudes in play) and I let him select the final paint color for both the bathrooms (silver strand) and the guest room/my room is going to be painted a pretty blue and we set aside a nice green for the master bedroom should we choose to paint it at a later date.

Now onto the couch... going into this move I immediately said that his couch did not fit the style of the house and that mine would be the better choice. He loves his couch (I hate the way it looks) I love my couch (he hates the way it feels). Again that traditional vs. modern debate and obviously according to him modern is uncomfortable. We finally came to the decision that he would sell his couch, I would store my couch and we would buy a new couch. We even decided that our compromise would be a nice small brown leather sectional. We knew exactly what we wanted, we had agreed on it, now all we needed to do was find it. By the way we decided on leather because we will have five animals and my cats hate to cuddle on leather and we can keep his dog from licking the leather and even if she does she won't leave a stain.

The quest for said couch took over two weeks. We knew exactly what we wanted but we could not find it in any furniture store. The options we did find lead to more debate. I thought this one was too big, he didn't like the color of that one, I hated the stitching on this one, the arms on that one were not comfortable enough. The problem here was we had set our mind on something and after several furniture stores we couldn't find it.

Flash forward to this past weekend, tax free weekend here in Massachusetts. Sunday was decision day, if we were going to get a new couch we needed to do it today. We set out for brunch with an agenda. We would eat brunch and then convince our friends to come to five furniture stores with us so that we had a second and third opinion and people that could also witness how crazy we were. After brunch we hop in the car and we are off to the suburbs (ick). Stop one Cardis... speed shopping... purple, no, curved, no, floral, no, fabric, no... thirty minutes in and we had ruled out a majority of the showroom, met some very nice sales associates and left the store with pictures of three options that weren't quite right. Two of them were not even sectionals. Next stop Bernie and Phyls... drive past the address twice and then notice that the store is closed. Next stop... Jordans, four floors set up like a maze, with movie theatres and screaming children. Again, speed shopping, yellow, no, fluffy, no, vomit, no. I run out of the store screaming that this place is my nightmare, no options and nothing even close to what we are looking for. At this point we are over two hours into shopping and utterly exhausted and drained. Stop 3... we find the new location for Bernie and Phyls and I send the doctor in ahead of me as I park the truck. He speed shops finds two bad options, I follow him in speed shop and find the same two bad options. One of them is across from a couch that looks like it is straight out of a Star Trek movie (ick). We sit and contemplate... the associate kicks us out of the store telling us if we are not going to buy anything we have to go (fine bitch see you later).

Back to Cardis (after I drive off the wrong exit). We walk in at 6:00pm with two hours until they close. Two amazing sales associates help us weigh our options. They sit down with us on our couches and explain the differences. They tell us that if we move a piece out of the harsh showroom lights we will notice that the color isn't that bad. They tell us that we do not want composite leather with the animals because they will cut into the polyurethane where as with Italian leather the damage will be almost invisible. They give us time to think. The Doctor is making this purchase so I obviously allow him the final decision. After an hour of honest and open help which included life stories trips to Vegas and Louis bags and the associate saying, "If I was your mother I would tell you to get this piece..." the decision was made. We ended up with a beautiful classic brown Italian leather sofa with a matching brown Italian leather club chair and ottoman. Not quite what we set out to get but damn it was comfortable and a nice piece that could be delivered and was discounted because of a sale. Even our guest judges (fellow friends) liked the one we ended up with the best.

After hours of grueling shopping we needed food, JCH hadn't eaten and was going nuts. We wanted food and we wanted it now. It had to be heavy in carbs and bad for us. We stopped at Olive Garden... it was the worst service you could have imagined. I always leave at least a 20% tip and I left 10% for this service. It was awful, but we had a couch and we had compromised.

I am sure we will have many more lessons to learn and that living with another person will be difficult for both of us but at least we are making the first steps towards being successful with just a little bit of compromise.

I Am Not Making This Up

The book I am currently reading is A Short History of Nearly Everything, I was oddly excited to tackle this Bryson book because as most of you know, I love Bill Bryson. I knew this title was going to be a challenge mainly because its a science book that covers topics like physics and astronomy. But Bryson has a way of making topics that are generally out of my reach (such as Shakespeare) oddly attainable. I knew this book was going to take me a few weeks to get through but today the time it is going to take for me to read this book increased.

I was reading it on the train home, I am about 65 pages in. I get on the orange line, find a seat and sit down. I have my BlackBerry out and I am checking facebook and sending a text message because I can multitask (or I am ADHD). About three stops from home the man next to me asks me what book I am reading, I tell him and he seems to express some interest so I show him.

We approach the next stop and the door opens, the man next to me grabs my book and runs out the door of the train! I sit there shocked for a second, and by the time I react it is too late for me to get my book back.

I immediately send the Doctor a text message... "I know what I am blogging about tonight."

Our Man In Havana

I went into Our Man in Havana with very few expectations, however, I came out of reading Our Man in Havana completely surprised.

I had never read any Greene before I tackled this short "entertainment" but as a good bookseller I knew a bit about him, yet I wasn't sure that he would be for me. I was under the vague impression that it was a thriller of sorts and I was a bit surprised when I started reading the book and found out that it was a comedy. I was delighted by the writing and the clean and understated (yet obvious if that makes sense) satire.

The book starts with a British secret agent, looking to increase his community of contacts, so he arranges for an ordinary vacuum cleaner salesman to file reports of any unusual activity in the area. The merchant, Wormold, reluctantly agrees to this arrangement for no reason other than the lure of extra money; he has a teenage daughter with very expensive tastes. To keep himself employable, Wormold constructs a whole world of intrigue to literally write home about. All of the "inventions" and stories Wormold writes home about are funny and any reader will giggle as they read. Of course will all of these inventions complications arise. He is sent reinforcements from London and he has to scramble to keep them in the dark. And then his inventions seem to take on life as his characters begin to die, and people are suddenly convinced that he is a spy. Despite the comic portions of the plot, the characters themselves are allowed to retain a certain dignity.

One particular scene stood out as a wonderful piece of writing. Placing two main characters inside a dark, dingy saloon, Greene describes the other inhabitants as looking like paratroopers about to parachute out of an airplane. Their quick glances at the door and their hushed demeanor are all beautifully described. Our Man In Havana is a relatively short novel; it makes for a quick read, but not a throwaway one. The neat cuts of satire make this a hilarious and whimsical tale.

Overall a great read, pick it up I think you will enjoy it. And for those of you who are faster readers than I am, I am sure you can finish it in a day or two.

Olympic Fever

The Olympics haven't even been on yet for more than a few days and it has become all consuming at a time when I can't really afford for it to be all consuming. I DVR the Olympics which means there is like 12 hours of coverage to watch a day.

Cut to me sitting on the couch with the Doctor instead of packing with a glass of red wine watching the men's 4x100 relay against those snooty French.

Cut to me jumping up and down rooting the men on as they catch up to the French in the final leg of the race then jumping out of my seat when they touch the wall first.

I am out of breath from yelling and jumping and the Doctor looks at me like I am crazy!

I AM! But what a race!

Here is the News

So over the past month I have been MIA when it comes to blogging and there is a good chance that I will continue to be MIA for a while, at least through mid-September. That's right once I am done with back to school rush I am moving to Washington DC with the Doctor, where he will be working for a university and I will be working for my current company at a store in Virginia.

It is a very exciting new phase in my life but it is also a very stressful move. Myself and the doctor will be living together in Adams Morgan in a great two bedroom apartment that has TVs in the bathrooms. I am serious it is really cool. Everything is happening very quickly and I need to pack and rent my condo and do any number of things including finish back to school rush at my current store.

After 10 years in Boston (with a brief interlude in New Haven CT) it is also going to be hard to leave my new home behind. I have grown accustomed to the way of life in Boston and have made many friends that I am going to miss them when I move but it was an opportunity to move on in my life, face new challenges, and to grow. I am nervous and excited and i know that i am going to love DC, and all of my friends out there better come and visit me!

I will keep you all posted on what is going on and where I am in the moving process. If anybody is moving to Boston on September 1 please let me know and I will rent you my condo!

My Sister is in Thailand

My sister is in Thailand for most of the month. This is a great opportunity for her to experience life in a different culture etc etc! I wish I had a full summer off as a teacher so that I could do things like this.

For those of you who would like to follow her adventures here is her blog address...


August 1

When did this happen? How is summer over already? Many of you out there think I am crazy, but in my business I have already had a Holiday Planning Meeting (as in Christmas) and our focus now is Back to School which is happening all around us. This morning when I held our pre-opening meeting I looked down at the clock and it said August 1, 2008! I almost screamed out in horror realizing that I have less than a month until the students start arriving in my store (and less than a month until the Doctor moves to DC).

I guess being away the entire month of July helps move the summer along really quickly but I can't believe it is over already. I guess I better try to enjoy the few weekends that I have remaining before student madness begins. Although, this may be hard with all of the other things going on in my life right now!

Ugh, I hope you all enjoy the last month of the summer even if I can't!


Wow, July is already gone and it has been a long rough month. I was traveling for work for 2 weeks and in between that I had to travel for other things. In the past 5 weeks I have been in...

Boston (5 days)
Rochester NY (2 times)
Washington DC
and Wappingers Falls NY

I was going to go to NYC as well but I figured that may be too much. I have no idea how people travel this much. I was exhausted and I have never been so happy to be in my house.

I have a lot of things going on in my life as well, most of them I can't share quite yet on this blog but needless to say some changes are coming. Change- while I should be used to it, scares the ever living shit out of me. As soon as I know what is going to happen and I can share things I will.

Other things going on... yeah I really don't know what else is going on, well I guess I do but I can't formulate sentences at this point. I have tons of open positions in my store, if you want to work in a bookstore in the Boston area please let me know!

While I was doing all of this traveling I finished a couple books

1) I Was Told There'd Be Cake- it was freaking funny, she is the same age as me and I related to a lot of her stories and her cultural references

2) Candy Everybody Wants- It was good but nowhere near as good as I'm Not Myself These Days. But it was good trash to keep me entertained while I was busy and traveling. Which reminds me- holy plane delays Batman- I spend about 20 hours this month stuck in airports because of delays. Flying home from both DC and Rochester was a nightmare (stupid US Airways).

3) I am about 80 pages into Our Man in Havana- it is quite good I am enjoying it.

I will try to keep you all involved in what is happening and I will try to post more regularly but right now I am not making any promises, but I will try!

A DC Wedding

No, I didn't get married in DC, but somebody did!

But first, here is some back story- I have been away for work, as a matter of fact I was away all last week, and then I flew to DC to help the Doctor with some things, and now I am sitting in an airport on my way back to lovely Rochester for a store opening. Basically, I have been home about 24 hours in the last 10 days. While in DC, which is the hottest place on earth, I am now convinced of it, we stayed in a hotel on the South West side, not a nice hotel, a really cheap hotel that was found through It was a Best Western, I hate to admit it! And for those of you unfamiliar with DC, the SW side is not the nicest area. We spent most of our day away from the hotel conducting the business that had to be done.

When we got back to the hotel on Friday evening we were burning up, covered in sweat, and in immediate need of some form of refreshment. We look out our bedroom window which overlooks a somewhat grungy pool, but it looked amazing. We quickly change into bathing suits, pulling our sweat laden clothing off and practically run to the elevator. In the elevator we run into a group of people who are all dressed up for the evening, we assumed they were going out for a fancy night on the town, or a wedding in the district. They must have been stuck in this crappy hotel by those evil people at priceline as well. As we get into the luke warm pool we feel slightly refreshed, its kind of like taking a warm bath in dirty bath water. We wade around in the pool for a bit and notice out of the corner of our eye that there is a photographer taking pictures of a woman in a pink dress holding a bouquet of flowers. The backdrop for these pictures is a lovely blue and white concrete wall around this grungy pool. I wish I had taken a picture of this so you could appreciate how beautiful this picture must look.

The doctor and I look at each other and slowly swim down to the other end of the pool so that the woman and photographer can't hear us. "Is she really getting married here?" "Are they really taking pictures in front of that?" We are totally confused as we go grab our towels and head back up to our room. We look down at the pool later and sure enough an entire wedding party of ladies in bright pink and men with bright pink ties are taking pictures in front of that pretty wall.

We head out for the evening for dinner and drinks with a few of the doctor's friends and when we return in the late evening the party seems to have died down but when we get off the elevator on the third floor we find this...

No, I am not kidding you, we get back to the hotel, ride the elevator up to the third floor, and what do our surprise and chagrin is there... ah yes rose pedals leading the room 311 at the Best Western Skyline in Washington DC. I couldn't help but laugh. I know its mean, and maybe this is the nicest place they could afford, I just think that it is weird that two people got married and spent their wedding night at this grungy hotel. I mean if you can't afford a fancy wedding go to city hall, or get married on a beach, or in your backyard.
Maybe it's not funny to them but I just found this picture absolutely hilarious. It made my night. I know I am a mean person, I get it, and I am stuck up. I just wish I had the wedding pictures to post here as well... what its funny I swear!

Attack of the Gnomes

A short but funny story from vacation... a lot of our friends call us gnomes... not for any other reason then we are short. When we were on the cape we walked into the house and up to our room which was the loft with a view of the ocean and the monument and a nice deck off the front. We look around and what do our wandering eyes see...

A framed picture of a garden gnome on our dresser, apparently marking the spot where gnome clothing should be deposited.

A picture is circulating of us with that picture somewhere!

Really... Are We Really Fighting Here... Really

I have been back from vacation for a week now, no I am not dead, but coming back to work is always tough especially when you are away for 10 days. And when you return your boss is not in. And after a week of being back you are required to go away for business for a week (to lovely Rochester NY). But since I have been back for a week i figured it was time to share a few stories from vacation, or at least one.

This is my favorite story from vacation because while it could have ended completely differently and it would have been my least favorite story with people being hurt etc, but instead it became the "highlight" of our time on the Cape. Also, keep in mind that this definitely was not my favorite story until at least the day after it happened. So here it goes...

It was our first night out on the cape, and being that I have been there for about five years in a row now I know the deal, when the bars close at one you wander over with the entire mass of people to the pizza place to continue talking and hanging out (and a few of the daring and possibly drunk gays go inside and order a slice of pizza). Because this is the only social thing to do after one o'clock in town there is an unbelievable mass of humanity squeezed into the outdoor patio in front of this pizza place and overflowing onto the road so that the cabs can't even pass. I decided that I didn't want a piece of pizza so I stood outside with a group of friends talking, but the doctor was being adventurous and wanted to get a slice. He goes inside to order, braving the crowd that is pushing in the door, and disappears in the mass.

About 10 minutes later he re-emerges, slightly pissed off, but with a slice of greasy pizza on a plate. Its late and the pizza looks good, so I have a bite or two and ask why he is upset. Apparently inside the pizza place the guy behind him was wanting to have two feet of space around him and was being an asshole the entire rest of the group. He was yelling and pushing people around. Us short folk have had a lifetime of being pushed around and we don't tend to like it, so when the doctor got pushed he told the guy to stop being an ass. Most people in line appreciated the fact that somebody had said something (except for the ass). The guy took offense and told the doctor that they should take it outside, the doctor ignored him, ordered his pizza, and met up with the rest of his friends outside, ate his pizza, enjoyed in and went across the patio to throw out his paper plate in the garbage can.

I hear the doctor yell, I turn, I see the ass with his fist in the air and i charge across the patio. No punch has been thrown yet as I reach for the assholes neck and pull him back breaking his necklace and taking him by surprise... "Back the fuck off" I spit as he turns towards me. The doctor has his fist up, he has his fist up as I push him away towards his friend and grab the doctor and pull him behind me. The doctor begins to pull me back and tell me to relax and the assholes friend pulls him back into the mass of humanity. The space between us grows. The crowd goes back to eating pizza, and we head back to our house on the hill. Crisis averted, although I am still fuming at the fact that the asshole almost did damage to the doctor's pretty face, over a crazy line for pizza I mean really.

Now, you are wondering why this is my favorite story of the trip aren't you. Well like I said didn't appreciate the occurrences until at least a day after. The next day we are at the pool sitting down and talking when a guy comes up to me and goes, "Hey your that guy that stopped the fight last night, that was amazing." I play all humble and say. "Oh, it was no big deal, I was just making sure nobody got hurt." The story is rehashed as he introduces himself and sits down to talk for a bit. Sweet I am a mini-celebrity, I love it! A few days later we meet a couple of guys from New Jersey, who are hilarious, we hang out with them for a lot of the night and towards the end of the evening a light bulb clicks on... "Hey wait, you are the guys that almost got in a fight at the pizza place, you were awesome swooping in there and pulling that guy off..." Again, all humble, oh yeah that was us, not a fun night really. "No really that was awesome, and it was like the most memorable story of our vacation."

And that is how this story became my favorite story from the entire ten day vacation. Sometimes it is what appears to be the low-light of a vacation that you will remember. But if you look at every day as an adventure you never know what will happen. And at least we have some fans now, and we gave some guys some memories that they will look back on and enjoy. Next year when I am walking past the pizza place I will laugh to myself a little thinking about that night and I will think, really, are we really fighting here... really!

A Story in Just Six Words

Well, if I can get the title of this post done in six words then I guess I can come up with a story in six words....

I've been tagged by Jennifer over at Bibliolatry ( to write a story in six words. I thought about this one for a little bit and much like Jennifer I tend to over analyze things. I decided that I would continue on her them for a six word story. (And if you think six words is easy you are wrong). Her story was:

Smiling grimly, she plotted her revenge.

My story which may be immediately connected or come some time in the distant future is:

Evil laughter was heard for miles.

OK so its not creative but it captures the essence of me, which is that of an evil man.

So now I guess I need to tag a few people so I am going to tag kea over at Kea's Blog ( and Andi over at Estella's Revenge ( Well that is two at least and if anybody else wants to give it a shot please feel free to do so.


Sad, Sad State

I apologize in advance- this post may run off in a few different tangents!

I was walking to get my haircut yesterday, and the woman who cuts my hair happens to be located right by a college campus. As I was walking I noticed a sign for an American Red Cross Blood Drive, but something on the sign struck me as odd. I stopped and backtracked to the sign and read it all the way through. Ah yes, this sign did indeed say "Free Gas Card with Donation."

I love my country and I am proud to be an American, but I knew this country was in the shitter 8 years ago when somebody (name shall go unmentioned) was elected and put in the White House. Hell, even my father (pretty hardcore republican) thinks that this unnamed person is the worst president of his lifetime. I hope I didn't give away who I was talking about (Bush... cough cough). But seriously, is the economy so bad that we are giving away gas cards to people who donate blood? I wonder if the number of donations skyrocketed when people were promised free gas for blood. I don't know it just seems freaky like for every liter of blood you donate we will give you a gallon of gas. That's right ladies and gentleman five bucks a liter, hows that for a deal!

And then I got to thinking, gas prices are through the roof lately, maybe I should go donate blood, but alas, I am gay, therefore no blood donations and no free gas. Wait that seems slightly discriminatory after all I have to pay as much for gas as all you straights. Ah, but my blood is diseased*, yes its called gay blood, and the last thing we need is gayness in the blood of straight people. Can you imagine if you got a blood transfusion of gay blood when you are straight, I think it would go something like this...

Wife: Thank god you survived that horrible car accident and they had blood in the blood bank that was a match for you.

Husband: Still woozy from surgery... yes honey I am lucky to be alive

Wife: But Honey they told me that the only blood that was available was from a gay man...

Husband: Well that explains why I am attracted to my doctor now!

I mean that would be awful if that gay disease started spreading like that, so now I understand why I can't donate blood. Oh yeah, and I also can't donate blood because I am deathly afraid of needles, like pass out for an hour afraid!

And this post was definitely a random one but I needed to post it to get these things out of my brain. It was bothering me and I wanted other people to know that. And now... I can go on vacation!

*Please note family members who may read this blog, my blood is not actually diseased but because I am gay the American Red Cross does not accept donations from me because I am at "high risk."

Vacation Mode

I don't want to do any work this week. I am in complete vacation mode. I have been since Monday. After all I had to leave early for an appointment. And tomorrow I get my hair cut at 5:15 which means that I have to leave work early again. And I leave for Chicago on Thursday, flight is sometime around 6 (guess who has to leave early!) OK, well maybe I am not in vacation mode it is more like pre-vacation mode where I am trying to get a ton of things done before I am gone for a week. To make matters more complicated this is a dual vacation (as in two destinations). The Doctor and I are flying with our friend SC to Chicago for the weekend and then we all fly back Monday and get in the car and drive to the cape for a week.

I am sure that the entire time will be loads of fun but the packing is stressing me out. There are so many things we need to do as well like go buy a case of wine so we have wine for the cape house. See tons of important things.

My reading is also in vacation mode. I finished reading Why You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris and I loved it. If you want to know how I felt about it I will recommend somebody elses review. What she was right on point...! I am serious, read Jennifer's review. She is wicked smart and kinda funny. She also writes the blog Bibliotary that is listed in my blogroll! And because I was in the mood for more light hearted and funny essays I immediately went into reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake. The cover blurb compared this author to David Sedaris and this was the kind of reading that I needed to do while I was on vacation! Or at least while I think I am on vacation even though I have 2 more days of work left.

I am sure you will be reading more about my adventures in Chicago and on the cape but probably not until I get back, unless the beach house we rented has a computer and free Internet.

Until then... WOOHOO VACATION!

The Dog Ate My Homework

Well, not exactly.

The doctor has a dog, her name is Annie and overall she is a very sweet but hyper dog. She drives most of the friends crazy but I don't have that big of a problem with her. Sure she barks a lot but she is a beagle what do you expect.

And then yesterday she crossed over into the dark side on me. I am now with JCH in saying that she is an evil dog. I woke up on Friday morning to go to work, I hopped in the shower, cleaned up and went to go iron my clothes for work. I had hung a pair of pants in the closet and a shirt to wear and I just needed to press them and be out the door. I grabbed the clothes, thought it was funny that my pants were on the floor but didn't think anything of it until i laid them out on the ironing board and the seat of the pants were missing. When you are half asleep in the morning and you are getting ready for work and you notice that the seat of your pants are missing, well its a little disconcerting. I was confused at first but then the pieces fell together in my groggy brain. After all, I was warned that Annie had an underwear eating fetish and if you left underwear on the floor she was bound to eat it. So I rummaged through the Doctors pants looking for a pair that I could wear to work ironed them got dressed- gave the dog a few "bad dogs" and then was out the door to the bus.

I was about halfway to work when the absurdity of the situation hit. I could not believe that she had gone into the closet and pulled a pair of pants off the hanger and eaten them. She is seriously nuts. And here is the kicker... the doctor later noticed a pair of his pants missing the seat and she ate a hole in the bed sheet! I think it is time to up her medication.

The Final Decision Has Been Made

I decided on what books to buy and what books to put back. The final list is below.

Candy Everybody Wants
Out Stealing Horses
Our Man in Havana

Non Fiction
The Nasty Bits
Smile When You're Lying
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
A Short History of Nearly Everything

This is the first time I think I have ever bought more fiction titles than non-fiction titles. I am excited about all of the books I bought and I got eleven titles for $84.94, not bad at all!

Uh Oh

Well, the drama of trying to limit myself when it comes to buying books at my additional discount continues. Man, it is so hard managing a bookstore, you just want them all. Anyway after some vetting today I was able to eliminate one title from my previous list but I added five more. L over at BU made some recommendations and I couldn't help but pick some of them up.

I actually eliminated The Secret History of the American Empire, because it was not getting strong reviews and I figured it could never hold its own against his previous work Confessions of an Economic Hit man. Now here are the five I added to my pile, and I have to narrow it down to the ones I am buying by tomorrow.

Smile When You're Lying- A travel book about being a travel writer and the lies they tell in order to make everything seem wonderful and to sell advertising. It looks like a fun trip through the world.

Our Man In Havana- I have never read any Graham Greene and this book combines mystery and travel and satire and it seems like a good place to start.

The Nasty Bits- I loved Kitchen Confidential and I read Bourdain's blog on a regular basis (see link in sidebar) he is funny and truthful and I enjoy his writing style. I think this one will definitely make the cut.

Out Stealing Horses- besides it being a bestseller at the store I have heard very little about this fiction title. It was a NYT Book Review Best of the Year last year, I guess it should be worth reading. I hope. (Any thoughts)

Finn- the opposite can be said about this book, everybody that has read it that I have talked to loves it. L loved it. Maybe I will love it?

Please feel free to give me a hand again in the comment section. I find the decisions to be overwhelming and I can't really justify purchasing 11 books. Can I?

I Need Help

Well its that time of year when I get an additional 10% discount on books. They call it employee appreciation and I call it torture. How can I not buy books when they are 45% off? Most book lovers would kill for a discount like that. This time I am narrowing it down to 8 to 10 books, last time I bought 15 and because my reading has slowed down a bit this year I have not finished them all from December. The problem is there are so many books I want to buy... please help me decide, here is a list of the books I have already pulled. I need to make a decision on which ones to buy by Friday! Ugh!

Candy Everybody Wants- I read this author's previous book, I Am Not Myself These days and enjoyed the ride- yes its kind of trashy but its summer.

The Secret History of the American Empire- this book counteracts the trash but I am not sure if it will be as good as Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Seeing by Saramago- I loved Blindness (except for the ending) I think I want to give him another chance to impress me

I Was Told There'd Be Cake- The cover blurb compares this author to David Sedaris, I love David Sedaris, as a matter of fact I am reading his new book now. Could this book live up to the praise?

Drown by Junot Diaz- this book is supposed to be amazing I am just not sure its for me.

Better- Gawande wrote Complications- this is his newer book. I liked Complications but I was even more afraid of hospitals and doctors.

A Short History of Nearly Everything- Bill Bryson is a god, I love his stuff, I always buy a Bryson. Don't try to talk me out of it.

All The Pretty Horses- Cormac McCarthy is another god (a much different literary god, Bryson is just hilarious and if you are laughing at McCarthy you are sick) but I may still be recovering from Blood Meridian.

So please help me decide what books to buy, write your suggestions in the comment section I need help!