Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monsters VS Aliens

(and no, that is NOT my spelling of official up there...)

I had the pleasure of going to the Jordans IMAX Theatre last night to see this movie. And when I say "see" I really mean it. 3D IMAX and exceptional animation make for one hell of a visual crack high, let me tell ya.

AND, get that huge theatre there were exactly 45 people.

Right in the middle. All clustered in awesome seats.

AND, get THIS...I sat right behind Eliot. He was really cool. It felt like a little neighborhood.

Maybe I am just easily star-struck, who knows.

But anyhugh, if you have the chance to see this movie in 3D please do. Really. You will be glad that you did.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Vroom Vroom


The crunchy sound of a few hundred bucks

There are precisely TWO places my daughter's new retainer should be.

1) In her mouth

2) In the case to store it in.

Not, in fact, the third option of the day...the bathroom floor.





See, I need new tires, and a new joint boot on my car. I could use an appointment at the ear-nose-throat guy to check into my substantial hearing loss on my left side. I am short on my tax payment. Dog needs heartworm medicine, too.



Tennis Anyone?

Okay, class, repeat after me:

Epicondylitis! EH-PEE-CON-DUH-LYE-TIS Click Here for more information

So, it began thusly: I slipped on the ice and slammed my forearm into the corner of my house sometime in January. I whacked my elbow but good. It healed over time. Until...

I slipped on the ice and landed on my ass with that same arm hitting the ground. Ow.

Then, one must add on the following factors:

Dog Walker get pulled often. Like children who have forearm problems from being swung around. Some days my dog walking job is more akin to hunting and hauling in marlin than it is canine companionship.

Sprinkle liberally with catering three events in eight days, chopping, flipping sautee pans, carrying heavy pots, unloading the vehicle etc...

So, yeah, owie. Looks like tennis elbow to me. I have isolated the muscle groups that are effected by which movements, and I am massaging them cross grain to alleviate the adhesions that happen when you strain, pull or over use a muscle group more than the others. Isometrics is a pretty balanced system of use and counter use with muscle groups. If you have a repetitive stress injury, you have micro tears in muscles that are used above and beyond their capacity, or are subject to trauma. Those tears can heal into scars which limits mobility, and puts stress on muscles to do jobs for which they were not created.

Massage, ice, heat, rest (isolation of muscle group by using the above support which limits my flexion in both palmar and dorsal directions), naproxen sodium, plenty of water, and accupressure are the things I am doing for myself to heal. Given that no bone breakage is present, any Dr. would pretty much tell me to do the above until the acute phase is over. Next comes therapy. I am researching that now.

One of the upsides to all this is that I am using my Right Brain more, due to the fact that I am using my left hand more than my right, consciously.

One of the downsides to that is the puddle of cooking oil which landed on my floor last night as the un-capped bottle flew from my left hand. Glug. Glug. Glug. One of my least favorite kitchen cleanups, right after broken egss. See, I don't USE paper towels. Think about it.

I am cooking for an event this weekend, and I need to heal up as best as I can so as not to backslide on my healing process thus far. This is yet another reason I am not on the computer as much as I have been in the past.

So, yeah, that is about what I am up to right now. Not going to play tennis anytime soon. Not that I would be likely to do so anyhugh...still.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Times

Nothing quite compares to running in a newly thawed field in late March with a dog. The morning was cool, and the mist was lingering among the trees having just fled from the field. Wide open spaces beckoned thoughts and cradled feelings. Excitement registered on every hair of the dog's back, her breathing fast and hard, her eyes darting back and forth, sniffing, searching, digging. This is what I call Bunny Field. Named thus because of the remains and evidence of rabbit warrens throughout the open spaces. There is low land here, water, early greens. Trails of raised mounds weave in and out, over and under.

Deer also live here, their footprints trail into the woods, little scat mounds like so many piles of tiny marbles are scattered in the fallen, wet grass and retired weeds.

Possibility reigns here.

Hawks swoop over head.

Little sprouts burst from the just softened soil.

Running freely, we both enjoyed the morning.

And then it was nap time.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In love with a cupcake...

Out with the Old-In with the New


Shovel, meet Rake!

Dearest Shovel, we had a long and lovely winter together. I held you often, and we played and worked side by side for many days. You are really pretty. I love your color. But, frankly, lately our relationship has been waning. I mean, I love you, really, but...there is someone new. She has a lot of fingers, and makes a delightful "twangy" noise when I pull her just the right way. And, well...under all that snow we played with over the winter is a bunch of crap that needs to be gathered up. As much as I care for you, you really suck at gathering up twigs and leaves. I need her now. Sorry. Can we still be friends? I am sure we will be playing again together a while from now. Be well, fair shovel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Really Keen Junk

Monday, March 23, 2009

Things I loved about this weekend...

My Nest

The joy of meeting a wonderful and sleepy 18 year old cat.

The wonder of baby chickens, just a week old.

Walking around Rockport in the sun looking at waves and seaweed and window shopping.

A pine cone being plucked from a tree on top of a hill looking over a lake. The smell of pine sap on my fingers.

Listening to old ALBUMS by an outdoor fire with friends, laughing, drinking merlot.

Sleeping in.

A 2 hour nap.

My dog taking up more than her share of the bed, and sighing heavily as I push her to the other side, then snuggling up to her with my arm around her chest, warmly rising and falling with her sleepy breathing.

Pork strips with peas, carrots, and garlic, sauteed and topped with fresh lime juice and cilantro.

Meeting new friends and going to see The Reader. Oh, my. My crush on Kate Winslet only gets more severe now...oh, my. Oh.

Talking on the phone with Kevin in Chicago while Jason, his youngest, is snuggled up in bed next to him. I love that.

Dinner with Jenny, and discovering the very yummy herbed goat cheddar to add to our pizza.

Hiking in the woods.

Eating Jelly bellies, and finding lots of licorice ones.

Pancakes the size of my head, eaten with eggs over easy and bacon while reading the Boston Globe.

Not running for a few days. (starting up again today, I was totally "off" in the tummy, and achy from repetitive stress injury, so I took some time off) It felt good to be lazy for once.

Seeing a 1934 Packard, in pristine condition in a huge old barn.

Seeing more spring flowers bursting from the ground (granted, it was 26 degrees here this morning...still..).

Feeling connected to people, places and things.

This Spring thing? I think it is going to rock. Hard.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheating, Stealing and Intuition

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Things I Know" Thursday

If I park next to a white, four door SUV I know there is a 99.999 percent chance my black car will get dinged.

That sound? In the garbage disposal? is NOT a bone.

Love may or may not be durable, but damn, it can be evasive sometimes.

People who spit on the ground are gross.

Bone Suckin' Mustard Sauce is the best condiment on the planet. Use liberally. Often.

Sipping a glass of Chardonnay while watching an episode of House on my laptop with a teary teen was probably the best part of my day yesterday.

The most significant portion of litter I find in North Andover is alcohol related.

The most significant portion of litter I find in Andover is condoms and wrappers.

This fact never ceases to amuse me.

My friend, Kevin, picks up strange hitchhikers.


If goldfish arise from their hibernation comas and there is no food in the pondwater they will likely die. Quickly.

The ticks are out already. And I don't mean AIG.

Brushing your dog's teeth really DOES make a difference. Think about it.

I saw crocus flowers today. And snowdrops. Thank all that is Holy.

You don't have to have the same experience as I do. I want to journey with you anyway.

Some love is better off left for dead, bleeding in a dark alley somewhere.

I think we should slip back into a barter system.

Almost everything tastes better with a little salt. Even sweets.

My new death row last meal would include dates stuffed with almonds and roasted with applewood smoked bacon made by my friend, Andrea.

This, my first year with my dog Lux, has been one of the most love-filled years of my recent life. I feel so blessed to have found her.

Hug someone every day. Just do it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Looking Forward


Church and State


My neighborhood is embroiled in a huge battle. The Trinitarian Church, a block away from me is about to "host" a rather powerful cell tower. The town battle with residents has been ongoing, brutal, and very emotional for many, as this is an area of town near the mills which is being updated and re-purposed in great ways (like High Street Grill, my latest watering hole , 2 blocks away! read: "Can wobble home by foot") . This is bringing more people to our area.

This area also is filled with children.

And the church? It houses a pre-school.

There are signs all over the place. Yellow signs speaking of protection. Others, more evocative for me:


Ow. Ow. Ow.

It is a difficult path to walk every morning. Reminders on every property, of the pending arrival of the cell tower. And, while a few voices do make a sound, in a sea of bureaucrats screaming drunk at the wheel, our siren song is drowned in the fury.

The upside, of course, is that I may have brain cancer in a few years, but, hell, for a while I had BITCHIN' reception on my gizmos.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Phone Cam Update

Here are some pictures from my last event, a wedding fair at the Commander's Mansion in Watertown.

Grilled Lemon Shrimp atop Tuscan White Bean and Pesto Salad on tasting spoons.

Andrea looking for something. Note the Soup-tinis! Watermelon, Mango and Ginger cold soup served in tiny martini glasses. They were a huge hit!!

Things have been busy for me of late. With three part time jobs, taxes, financial aid forms, college scholarship applications, two teens, two cats and a dog, life has been abundant with important things to do. Also of note, since I joined the gym in November I have gone, on average, 4-5 times a week and that, along with travel to and fro, takes up over 2 hours per day of my time. Thus the lack of posting.

The good news is that I now wear a size 8 jeans. And I feel really, really good.

The bad news is that I miss doing this daily, or semi-daily. Also, I have not picked up my camera in weeks. I guess life ebbs and flows in different ways, and my attention is wandering elsewhere these days. Not that I don't think of you all. I do. But, by the time my day is over I feel sort of "Meh" about writing here. So I save it for when I have time and inclination. I am sure you will bear with me. Or moose with me. Or squirrel with me, right?

Thursday, March 5, 2009


First, The Not So Very Keen:13 inches of snow. 9 Degrees. Brrr!

Keen Design:

Click Here for Whiskey Jack Paddles

Whether or not you are a paddle freak, a kayak fan or a canoe enthusiast you will likely enjoy the uber Keen wood work see here at Whiskey Jack Paddles. I don't know as I would let mine into the water, for fear of losing it.

Keen Brain Food:

I have been a member of the TED community online for a few years now. I am rarely anything other than stunned and thrilled and inspired every time I get email from them, with links to their lectures. Go take a looksie. Very, Very Keen.


Keen Kitchen Thoughts:

Culinate! Click Here!

I enjoy visiting this Culinate often. I find the articles fun, refreshing, informative and inspiring.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow Day Moments:


I have known B. for a few years now. He is part of the "family" of the property in which I live. B. is a friend of my landlord. My landlord is a gracious, kind and humble man with a huge heart. He has an awesome family, and friends who are close to him. Often, when there is work to be done at our abode, his talented friends, be they plumbers, painters, carpenters, whatever, come to fix things (except one time when he sent a goon squad to replace the roof, which they did, taking 2 weeks, not putting tarp under, hammering holes in the roof and leaving it in the rain for days upon days until the Lord Sayeth: Receede thine floodmark, ye rains of my desire!!...lonnnng story involving a metric butt-load of nails and little kids running barefoot...But, I *so* digress).

So this last whopper of a snowfall brought B. and his shovel. First, coffee was had. Then we went out and kicked that snow's ass. Together, telling wonderful stories. I learned things about him and his wife I never knew before. B. has a storyteller in him rarely seen. The things that come out of his mouth frequently astound me.

I used to sit around the fire with him and his wife and my neighbors (Hi Carla!) and laugh until tears were rolling down our faces.

The best story of yesterday was this one, and, to be perfectly honest, I cannot do this justice without the voices that go with it, and the funny sounds he makes when he tells these stories. So I shall give you the Cliff Note Version.

We were talking about Halloween costumes and he began a tale about how in high school he once came to school as Nipple Man. He wore a leotard, and a cape, had attached baby bottle nipples to the front as well as a huge "N" and walked right into school. Needless to say his English teacher did not like this so very much and he was berated.

Undeterred, the next year, he donned a Batman outfit. And he and his friends went to a large local restaurant where the party was being held, and they let off stink bombs, and rolled under tables, Bond-style. Unfortunately, a fire ensued, and the room was burned.

That must have been an awful thing to go through, I said. Did you learn anything from that?

Yeah. But more so the next morning when the papers read "Batman Burns Down Kowloon!"

Oh. The sides. They hurt from shoveling, but also from laughing so very, very hard.