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Archive for February, 2010

I live in the Northeast, land of harsh weather.  Well, that’s what I thought when I moved here.  I grew up in the relatively mild Midwest, where we mostly dealt with hot, humid summers, the occasional tornado drill (but never a tornado, in my entire childhood!), and winters where it snowed, but the snow tended to melt before the next storm.  Living out East, I now have great, mild summers but wickedly snowy winters (I not only picked up the weather here but the oh-so-cute vernacular).   I’ve also realized that we really don’t have it so bad.  I don’t live in Minnesota, or Chicago, or North Dakota or upstate New York…they get slammed way more than we do, so that makes me feel better most of the time!

The other interesting thing about life here is that people talk about the weather a lot.  More than anywhere else I’ve lived.  This winter has given us a LOT to talk about here because for once (knock on wood!), it hasn’t been snowing!  We don’t have any snow on the ground.  I can’t even begin to explain how monumental this is – last winter, we had something like 100 inches, and the pile at the end of the driveway was taller than me. 

This week we got hit instead with a big rain/wind storm.  It was a reminiscent of the Noreaster of ’06 when our fence and tree blew down.  That was fun.  I decided in the middle of the storm to just embrace the weather for once and take Basil for a walk in the pouring rain.

It looked kinda like this...

We didn’t actually make it too far during our walk.  It was crazy windy out, the road had standing water (which Basil hates because he’s a beagle and they’re not huge fans of water), and at 40 degrees, my hands were numb pretty quick.

But, I did it.  And as we were walking, I came to an important realization: the weather is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ despite what people say.  It might disrupt plans, and cancel school, but it’s just weather.  It is what it is.  Shouldn’t we embrace it all?  I’m trying to.

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In an attempt to try new things and work on becoming an amazing photographer (#19 on the Life List), Drew and I attempted our very first souffle.  I realize that most couples don’t sit around on a dull Sunday afternoon and say to themselves, ‘Hmmm…not much to do…let’s make a souffle.”  In fact, until last Sunday, I had never said it either!  Rather than explaining the ordeal, I’ll let the photos do the talking:

We didn't have souffle cups, so first we went to the store!

Our trusty recipe - from The Sweet Life

Step 1 of about 50!

Almost ready for baking

The finished product looked great and tasted even better.  Yay!

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My experiences with public transportation in Boston range from pleasant (when you walk up to the T stop and your train magically appears with a great forward-facing seat and you happen to have an excellent book to read) to tolerable (crowded with open seats and a moderate wait time in okay weather) to horrific (standing outside in the freezing rain, when the train is running on a delay, and a Celtics game just got out and you can barely breathe with all the sweaty loud men around you and you use all your strength not to fall onto the poor soul stuck next to you as the train starts and stops with a frequency you can’t imagine).

Last night was tolerable on most accounts.  It was a little cold and rainy, the wait was a little too long for my taste but the train was nice and empty and I had a great book (Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane) to read.  The T driver was helping out the woman in front of me who was hard of hearing, by letting her know which stops we were approaching.  Then, as we were stopped at Fenway, the driver turns to those of us within earshot and says, “Look out that window.  There’s a possum on the fence!”  Sure enough, a lone possum was chillin’ in the drizzle.  Those of us who saw it all looked around at each other, smiling.  What was an otherwise unremarkable trip all of a sudden became kinda fun. 

I was struck by the driver.  Driving the T is a thankless job.  Most people are cranky and in a hurry.  It was so nice of her to be helping the older woman and she definitely didn’t need to clue the rest of us into the possum sighting.  On my way out of the T, I made it a point to say thanks to her.  Well, I actually said, “Thanks for the possum – it made my night!”  She grinned back and said “You’re very welcome!”

It’s a goal of mine to show appreciation.  People don’t know that you just made their night, or that you like their shoes, or that you really appreciated their help.  It doesn’t take any time or money.  And it’s just good manners.

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#18 My New Camera

#18 on my Life List is to get an amazing camera.  I cannot tell you how long I’ve wanted a DSLR camera.  Five years, maybe?  But, like most big purchases for me, there always seemed a good reason NOT to buy one. 

Reasons Not to Buy a DSLR:

  1. It’s too bulky
  2. My point and shoot takes fine pictures
  3. I don’t know how to use one
  4. What happens if I invest in the camera and then don’t use it?
  5. I take maybe 500 pictures a year right now…not much!
  6. People always say that a P&S can take equally good photos as a DSLR…so my crappy photos must indicate a mediocre photographer.
  7. They range from “kinda expensive” to “holy s*** – people actually pay that much for a camera?!?!”

My husband agreed with the list above so:  My Stagnation + His Doubts = No Camera.  Then, to keep the dream alive I suppose, I asked for a gift certificate to B&H Photo for my birthday from my parents.  It’s an amazing camera store in NYC with an equally amazing website AND online used store.  I figured that I might find a good deal on a refurbished camera at some point in the future, and it would be a deal I couldn’t pass up.

Fortunately, that time came sooner than expected.  Long story short, I found a great deal, made a detailed spreadsheet for Drew explaining why I should invest our hard earned cash in a bulky, difficult to use new hobby.  I may or may not have said “I’m not going to give this up so you might as well agree…” once or twice.  He relented.  Now, we’re the proud owners of this:

Isn’t it pretty?  We are going on vacation soon, so I am practicing hard most days learning the various settings so all of our vacation photos aren’t a blurry mess. 

Looking back, I’m surprised it took me this long to just buy the damn thing.  It wasn’t THAT expensive (well below the four-digit level), I’ve wanted it for ages, and while there were many reasons NOT to click “purchase,”  none of them were that good.  Big sigh of relief…

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