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29 September 2008

It's creeping up on me.

MealyMel starts her exams today.

Mine are exactly 28 days away.

I'm not ready.

I'm not sure I ever will be.

I almost started crying on the treadmill this morning.

How lame am I, really?

24 September 2008

Doctor's Appointments

I finally got to the ortho for my recent ailments. Happily, all that I had to pay was my copay! Yeah!! Doc checked out my finger and my hip and thankfully prescribed "free" treatments and gave me FREE samples.

Turns out my finger does indeed have a ganglion cyst on the tendon. It has gone down considerably and the pain is completely gone, but it still clicks when I use it.

Doc determined that I have bursitis in my left hip. Yeah for being old!!!!!!! Go me! I've even stolen a pic off the internet (note the copyright info) and included it for your viewing pleasure!

Doc gave me some free anti-inflammatory cream to rub on both my hip and my finger and told me to take an Aleve a day for the next ten days. He also told me that a heating pad on my hip will help to ease the inflammation. Yeah for cheap (i.e. non-surgical and no needle!) treatments. I'm actually looking forward to laying down on the heating pad tonight. It's friggin' cold out! I haven't been able to sleep in my left side for quite some time now, so I'm really looking forward to this as well! Of course, in ten days if my current course of treatment is unsuccessful, Doc wants to stap me in the hip with a giant needle full of some steroids. Let's hope and pray for the best.

Words cannot express how happy this appointment made me. I felt so good afterward that I treated myself to a mani and pedi at this new place that was pretty kick ass (although their website is rather lackluster.). It was fabulous! I feel relaxed and calm. Ahhhhh ...

23 September 2008

I almost forgot!

I snagged these pics while in The Granary. I though it peculiar. The "barbed wire" and the sign face the ancient cemetery and don't seem to be protecting much. I especially love the sign.

What is this about, really?

Chapter Three: The Best Of ...

Here, my faithful readers, I give the lowdown of the trip in the Best and Worst of categories. Because I am me, most of these involve food or booze. But that is why you love me.

Best Hotel Overall: Seaport Hotel
Best Hotel Room: Omni Parker House
Best Hotel Bed: Omni Parker House
Best Hotel View: Seaport Hotel (view of the harbor)
Best Hotel Location: The Regency (Portland)
Worst Hotel Overall: The Regency (Portland)
Worst Hotel Room: The Regency (Portland)
Worst Hotel Bed: The Regency (Portland)
Worst Hotel View: Omni Parker House (we literally stared at an office building across an alley way)

Best Lunch: Thai on Newbury
Worst Lunch: Gritty McDuff's (Portland)
Best Dinner: Vignola in Portland
Worst Dinner:
Best Breakfast:
Mims (Portland)
Worst Breakfast: breakfast this morning in Peabody (shredded wheat and a banana ... I've been spoiled.)
Best Alcoholic Beverage: The coconut martini-esque thing I had last night at Stephanie's
Worst Alcoholic Beverage: Is there such a thing?

Best Day:
Saturday in Portland
Worst Day: Thursday ... the travel day
Favorite Activity: The chocolate moose ... or the game. Either one!

So much of this is totally relative. Everywhere we stayed and ate was so great that the "Best" and "Worst" are only separated by minuscule increments. The trip was a total blast.

(Of course, as I write this, I am realizing a million things that have happened in the past week that I haven't written about! Like the coffee that some ass spilled all over my purse in the over head compartment, or the way I forgot my baseball tickets in G'boro and had to have LL FedEx them to me, or the Isabela Stewart Gardner Museum, or beer tasting at Shipyard brewery, or seeing the Queen Mary 2 parked in the harbor of Portland, or the crackhead teenagers singing in their mom's SUV ... oh there is so much to tell!)

Chapter Two: Boston

Thanks for your continued attention! Now for the Boston chapter...

Like I said in chapter one, I arrived in Boston on Thursday. Friday, ALL MORNING, The Boy had interviews in the financial district. So ... what is a girl to do? Shop! What else? I took the train to Kenmore station and walked up Newbury street and explored the posh and high-end shops. Of course, my sadly limited budget restricted me to only spending money in AT (of course!) and this really sweet little tea shop. I bought a gorgeous special occasion dress in a soft baby blue. I have no purpose to wear it, but it cost me $29.00, marked down from $128.00!, so I figured, why not?! After my shopping excursion wore me out, I stopped at this little Thai place for lunch and had some amazing Panang curry. It certainly reenergized me for the afternoon. After lunch, The Boy and I drove to Portland, ME (see chapter one) and then returned to Beantown on Saturday night.

After mass on Sunday morning, we drove back into the city and checked into our hotel in the Seaport. It was a "green" hotel and was very modern. Not the most memorable hotel (nothing really stood out) but still in a great location and was very nice. We had dinner on Sunday night at Miel and then took a nice walk along the river walk where I snapped a few pics while we smoked a nice cigar.
The harbor at night.

The Hood "pagoda" at the Children's Museum.

While The Boy went to his interview on Monday morning, I stayed in the hotel and worked. How lame, but the comps are just around the corner and I promised myself that I would get something accomplished while on my trip. And I did! Once I had met my work requirement for the day, I took the train to Harvard Yard and then promptly turned around a reboarded because The Boy told me he was done and ready for lunch. I had expected him to tied up for at least another hour. Oh well! I jumped back on the train, and we grabbed some lunch. While he was engrossed in his second interview of the day, I explored The Granary (burial place of patriots) and King's Church (burial place of Tories), the two Revolutionary war-era cemeteries in downtown Boston. I'd never been before and I do have a weird obsession with tombstones. So I figured, why not!

The head stones had rather interesting carvings. This one has two dancing skeletons.
(King's Church)

This one has an angel dancing with a skeleton. Huh?
(King's Church)

According to the plaques in the cemetery, the willow and urn was a popular motif. Not sure why. I should have read more carefully.
(The Granary)

Paul Revere's gravesite.
(The Granary)

More skeletons ... a little macabre ...
(The Granary)

This skull and angel wing thing was on quite a few stones in both of the cemeteries.
(The Granary)

King's Church

King's Church

(This will all eventually be turned into a photo collage-like thing similar to the one I have of Bonaventure in Savannah.)

After playing around in the cemeteries in the afternoon, The Boy and I headed back to the garage to stash our stuff and get ready for the ballgame. Of course, "get ready for the ballgame" involved making mixed drinks and stashing them on our person so we could avoid paying a bazillion dollars for a drink in the ball park. Hey, that's how we roll.

Before the game, we ate a quick dinner at Stephanie's where I ordered a "tower" of onion rings. Of course, I'm thinking "tower" is just a turn of phrase or simply figurative. Um. No. The evidence is below. Sadly, I was only able to make it through half of the "tower" ... about the fifth floor. I was a sad disappointment. But they were super tasty!!! And they kept my tummy full through the game!

The BoSox lost (sadly) but we had a really great time in spite of that. The weather was beautiful, the fans were happy, all was good.

And then today, bright and early, reality appeared in the form of a southward-bound jet plane.

Chapter One: Portland

Our trip started in Portland, Maine. I flew in to Boston on Thursday morning and Tony (The Boy's dad) picked me up and took me into Peabody. The Boy was on interviews in New Hampshire, so I hung out with Tony. By "hung out" I mean that I performed manual labor. He needed help covering the pool and winterizing the yard, so, being the good ole country girl that I am, I helped out. When we were all done, we had a beer on the patio while we waited for The Boy to get back. As soon as he got back from his interviews (which went really well!), we headed into Boston to stay for the night. We stayed at the Omni Parker House and then headed to Portland on Friday afternoon (I'll fill you all in on my exploits in Chapter Two: Boston).

Portland, being in Maine and in New England, was C-O-L-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm talking like 40 degrees that night when we were walking home from dinner. Not pleasant. Luckily our bellies were full of wine and lobster so the cold didn't affect us as much. We had dinner at Vignola and it was fabulous. I mean, spectacular. We started off with two wine flights, had Spanish almonds, a cheese platter (we got to choose from over 35 cheeses!) and then came our entrees. The Boy had some excellent gourmet pizza and I had grilled lobster. I mean, we were in Maine. What else would I eat?!?! It was fabulous. For dessert we had some great confections that topped off our full bellies. Luckily, the hotel was two very small city blocks away, so we walked our drunk asses home and crashed.

Happily, Saturday was warm and sunny. It got to almost 60, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We had breakfast at Mims Brasserie (where I had the most amazing crab-chevre-spinach omelet ever created) and started our day. Funny story about breakfast. The "hostess" seats us and we get to sit on the upper patio overlooking the harbor. The weather was warming and the sky was bright and sunny. The Boy made a comment about the weather. Something along the lines of "Beautiful morning, isn't it?" Our "hostess" responded with the flattest, most disinterested "glorious" we have ever heard. We almost peed our pants!

After breakfast, we toured the "city." (I use the term "city" loosely ... it may be the biggest "city" in Maine, but it is a quarter the size of Greensboro ... which is minuscule!) Below is my photo fun!

I love lobster. I love Guiness. I love this sign. I would have stolen it if it hadn't been so damn high up ... and noon.

One of the Portland lighthouses.

I'm not sure what this is, but I like to think of it as Portland's Alcatraz. Who knows? There's gotta be hardened criminals in Maine ... somewhere.
Looking through the canon ports at the fort. I don't really know what the fort was called, but it was a fort. And it had a lighthouse.

Not all that flattering, but it is one of three pictures of us from the past week. We are so bad about getting our pictures taken together.

The Portland harbor.

The Boy at the harbor. He seems to be contemplating big thoughts. Or just hoping that his sneakers don't get wet.
I like this pic. It belongs in an LL Bean Catalogue.

The highlight of the Portland trip. Lenny, the Chocolate Moose.

Here's Lenny and his friend, the bear (who has no name interestingly). I really wanted to eat him, but the task was rather daunting.

Although the little baby bears are rather snack size ...

Saturday night we drove back to Boston. We stopped in Kittery, Maine to do some shopping at the outlets there. I got an AWESOME new skirt that I cannot wait to wear. It's a full skirt, 1950s style, of hunter and navy plaid. It falls below my knees, and I love it. Oh, and I paid like 25% of the original retail value which makes me love it all the more!

Stay tuned from chapter two ...

The New England Travelogue

Because I have SOOOOOOOOOOOO many stories to tell and pictures to share (just for you, Kiki!), I'm dividing my vacation blog up into a few chapters.

Chapter One - Portland
Chapter Two - Boston
Chapter Three - The Best of ...
Chapter Four - Photo Stalking

Stay tuned!

22 September 2008

Quick update

Vacation is going fabulously. I wish I never had to come home. But, alas, I do .

But not before the BoSox game!

17 September 2008

Vacation starts ... NOW!

As of this moment, I am on vacation. Thank God.

I fly to Boston tomorrow morning at 6:15am (ugh) and don't return to this God-forsaken land until Tuesday afternoon. I need this break so badly. It is pretty damn ridiculous.

If any one is curious, these are the swanky places that the law firm's are putting us up in.

Omni Parker House - Home of the famous Parker House Roll

Sea Port Hotel

And the one I am most excited about ...

The Regency on Portland, Maine

I may even splurge for some spa action ... we'll see.

16 September 2008

If only ...

... I were Audrey Hepburn (with Katherine Hepburn's personality ... which I kind of already have ... just a little ...). My mild interest in the "Hepburn era" has morphed into a full-blown obsession. So much so that a colleague at work (AT) brought me in an original December 1955 issue of Seventeen Magazine. It's fabulous. I love the clothes and the styles and the prices of things (A bottle of perfume for $3.00! A stand mixer for $25!) If only I were alive then ... ahh ... le sigh.

I've already commissioned a colleague from AT to sew me a dress. She is a fashion design major and loves to sew. She's going to sew me the dress below (the blue one) in this really pretty pink (of course!) fabric. SOOO excited!! Hopefully I'll have it in a few weeks. Then I'll have to buy a petticoat to fill it out. Yeah!

In other news, the countdown is on. I get out of this hellhole in 33 hours. Damn it's gonna drag by!

LL is the bestest friend ever. She totally helped me out today. She came by the AT to fill out an application (I so want to hire her!) and then went to my house while I finished my shift and took The Beast on a walk. I had an apointment at 2:00 with The BaraCuda and then headed straight to AT for my shift. I had no time to let The Beast out. But LL was totally cool with it, and that is why I love her so much! She rocks. Coolest chick in America. And, to top it off, she is totally staying over tomorrow night and driving me to the airport on Thursday morning. At 5:30am. She is amazing. And is totally getting a kick ass present from Boston. I love that girl.

I love work weeks that only last for three days!

15 September 2008

Finger update

It still hurts but not as much. The swelling has gone down, but the clicking remains. I'm thinking about canceling my ortho appointment for Wednesday. The rational part of me says that I should go to the appointment to be proactive. The normal part of me says screw it. I wonder which one will win ...

The hip still hurts a little. I can't sleep on my left side which sucks because I am a left-side sleeper. That pisses me off.

Peace out.

12 September 2008

A new form of Comps Anxiety

So, a few weeks ago, I posted a blog about my amazingly good health. I'm such a dumbass. Way to freakin' curse myself.

I woke up on Monday and my hip was a little sore. This is relatively normal. My joints are a little weak, and I often have to "pop" my left hip when I am working out. No big. It pops and then it stops hurting. So, I ignored the pain, hopped on the bike and peddled my ass to the gym to work out. I figured that the exercise would work out the kinks.

Alas, I was wrong. It is now Friday and the damn thing still hurts. I'm not sure if it has popped or needs to pop, but it hurts. I can still walk and all that, but occasionally I need to favor it and put my weight on the right. It definitely hurts less today than Monday, but the fact remains that it hurts. Hopefully it will go away soon. Very soon.

More importantly, my right hand -- my DOMINANT hand -- is on the outs. When I was in undergrad (2001, I think?) I had a cyst on the tendon in my right index finger. The cyst would cause my finger to lock in place and be really sore. After a GIANT cortisone injection didn't make it go away, I had to have minor surgery to remove the cyst. By minor I mean the the incision was small. I had to be put out (general anesthesia) and the orthopedist had to go in and cut the damn thing off of my finger. It's actually a pretty cool little scar. But, back to my point. A new one has emerged on my right ring finger. At least, that is what I think it is. It feels the same except that it hurts LIKE HELL. Of course, I use this hand to do, well, everything. I type with it, drive with it, write with it ... you name it, I do it with my right hand. I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday (right before I leave town for Boston) to figure this thing out. But I'm basically in a no-win situation. If I need surgery on it, I can't have it until after my comps. Of course, if they can't fix it until after my exams, I have to deal with the pain and limited mobility until then and, more importantly, THROUGH then. I hoping he can shoot me full of cortisone to make the pain go away and at least get me through till my exams are over.

Damnit. Curses!

08 September 2008

A Random Update

It's the start of week 3 of the semester, and I already wish it was over. The semester, not the week. Well, I guess the week as well. Ugh. This could be the worst semester ever for obvious reasons.

I've been having very mixed feelings about the whole comps thing. Some days I feel mostly ready and other days I feel like I am still on Square One. Is that normal? Will I ever really feel ready to do this? I just want it to be over. Over and done with. I'm actually looking forward to the dissertation jut so this bullshit is over.

On a happy note, I leave for Boston in a week. We'll be up there for a little less than a week. We'll do some museums, take in a BoSox game, eat good food, and relax. It will be a nice break. It's rather sad to think that I need a break already. I mean, seriously.

The activities of the semester aren't all that bad. The student athletes are tolerable at worst and entertaining at best, and AT is going well. It's the busyness that is wearing me down. I am always doing something ... studying, working, working out, cleaning, going hither and thither. It gets old so fast. But it builds character, right?

Yeah. Right. By the time I am done with this whole process, I will have all the character I could ever want.

06 September 2008

A New Sensation

I went to bed with the windows open last night. It was fabulous. My room is situation so that the headboard of my bed is against a window and the other window runs along the side of my bed. I opened both windows wide open and set the fan up in the window along the side of my bed. (Hanna, you don't scare me! I can handle your rain!)

I woke up at about 5am to the feel of a cool breeze blowing across me and the sound of rain falling right next to me head. It was like I was outside ... but without the whole "getting rained on" thing. It was incredibly soothing. I could hear the rain hitting the leaves on the trees outside of my window. It was fantastic. I quickly fell back asleep and stayed that way for another three hours. Of course, I woke up with just a touch of water in the window with the fan, but it was very manageable.

And now I have to go to work. Well, it was good while it lasted.

04 September 2008

Working from home

I love that my job at the university is flexible enough to let me work from home on certain days. I woke up this morning with no real desire to go into the office. It's a cardio day at the gym, but I can make up for that by going for a nice long walk with Bailey (and she really deserves it!). I had a ton of computer-based work to do for the athletes, so I figured I would fire up the ole' laptop and do it here. Luckily, all of the paperwork that I needed was here.

So, here I sit, on the couch with the laptop where it belongs ... on my lap, of course! I've finished most of the work, and now I get to eat lunch and give my teeth a good brushing for my dentist appointment. After that, I return home for some comps studying. Yeah for that.

I met with KK yesterday regarding my comps questions. I left the meeting feeling rather confident about her section. Of course, I still have a ton of work to do, but it is far more manageable, and I feel good about it. Not great, but good. I'll take that.

52 days and counting.

01 September 2008

Another milestone!!

I have finished typing in all of my preliminary notes!! Yeah!

Of course, now I need to go back and fill in the holes and gaps, but that's part of my review. The exhausting transcription process is over though!

On to the next phase!

(Oh! I met with my special topics person the other day and we literally wrote the three questions that will appear on the exam. And she told me, "Only prepare for one and two. Don't really worry about three." So there's a little release in the anxiety on that front!)

55 days and counting!


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