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!