Tag Archives: Boston

(Snow) drifting through life: Blizzard 2013 edition

I now have a new reason to look forward to getting old.

That reason?

Future Aprill now gets to be that old person who sits her grandkids down and forces them to listen to the story of how I survived the Great Blizzard of 2013.

blizzard

Yes, dear reader, yours truly has finally joined the ranks of the privileged few (million) who have lived through a historic storm and therefore have earned the indisputable right to bore those who didn’t experience it with their endless tales of what it was like (tales that, trust me, we will force you to listen to until the day we die or the day you die of boredom).

And it’s about time. I can’t tell you how often in my life I’ve had to listen to some blowhard launch into yet another “ah, yes, the blizzard of ’78” when I was growing up in Ohio and “oh, I was there for Hurricane Carla, all right” when I lived in Texas and “aw man, Boston had the worst winter ever right before you came here” anecdote.

But now? Now I get to be that blowhard. Regaling everyone who wasn’t quick enough to jump out the window at the first sign I was about to launch into the well-worn story all about how the city shut down as two feet of snow was unceremoniously dumped on us by Mother Nature (although, over time, obviously some of the details will get a bit exaggerated, such as it was 20 feet of snow and 400 mph winds and people started eating each other and then got sick and then turned into White Walkers whom we survivors had to battle as they tried to storm the giant ice wall that Boston built to keep them out).

The only thing left for me to do is to perfect my story. And by perfect I mean ways to drag it out.

There’s the whole pre-storm saga, where my husband battled overly panicked soccer moms (the most dangerous breed of mom that exists) at the store, eventually eschewing the riot mobs going after bread, milk and eggs (because apparently everyone has the overwhelming need to make French toast during bad weather) and coming home instead with Captain Morgan and a giant ham. Meanwhile, I maniacally cleaned the entire house under the assumption that our power was probably going to go out and as a result we were going to die and thus, I really wanted the people who found our bodies five days later to say “Hey, these frozen corpses kept a pretty tidy home.”

And then there’s the storm itself, which, well, was a whole lot of sitting on the couch, drinking rum and eating ham, and periodically saying “look, it’s still snowing” to each other. I’m…uh…still working on this part.

But perhaps the best part was post-storm. Waking up the next morning, seeing all the snow, trying to get our dog, Buffy, to go potty in snow that was higher than his head and him being vehemently opposed to this plan. Standard stuff, really. But then came the digging out process that afternoon.

Now, being a native mid-Westerner, I’m sure at some point in my life I have shoveled snow before. Granted, I can’t think of a single, specific time, but I’m pretty sure you’re required by law to do it at least once in Ohio. Just like you are legally obligated to drive like a jackass every time it rains in that state.

But, suffice it to say, it has been many, many moons since I’ve picked up a shovel. However, wanting to be a good neighbor (re: not egged next Halloween…again) I dutifully dug in (heh) and helped my husband and the rest of the neighborhood try to make some order of the chaos that had become the sidewalks.

Well over an hour (and many, many “holy crap, I think I might die of exhaustion” breaks) later, I had made a path that maybe an anorexic pixie fairy could get through. Which we all decided was, screw it, good enough (or at least, that’s what I’m assuming everyone else was thinking since most of them are fairly trim, although a fair amount rounder than your average pixie fairy). And then I went inside for some more rum and ham.

It wasn’t even an hour later when the pain started.

By the next morning, I thought my husband had tied down my arms in some hidden kinky whim he decided to indulge in during the night and I had simply had too much rum and ham in my system to notice. When I realized it was simply only gravity holding them down, I started to worry. When I tried to move them, I outright panicked.

“BABE! I think my arms are broken!”

“Yeah, well, I’d love to come help you but my back is currently holding my body hostage at this delightful 90 degree angle.”

As it turns out, shoveling uses muscles you never knew you had. Or needed. Or wanted. Until it’s too late. My arms were so sore they refused to raise more than roughly two inches. I couldn’t even pick up my weighs-less-than-a-pound cell phone without my body screaming at me to knock it off.

shoveling arms 2

As for anything heavier? Forget it. In fact, rather than attempt to bring my coffee cup to my face, I just jammed a bunch of straws together.

shoveling arms 3

And as for washing my hair? I literally brought my head down to my arm’s level.

Shoveling arms

There’s more to this whole story, of course. But I don’t want to give it away all up front. I’m just going to bide my time until you’re stuck in a windowless room and someone happens to mention the weather.

And then, well, I’ll never forget where I was during the blizzard of 2013…

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The Pizza Principle

You know, I often wonder what it’ll be like when I’m old. You know, like, when I’m 35.

Ha! I kid. Thirty-five is now the new 12. You’re not technically old until 44. Everyone knows that.

But seriously, I do often wonder how things will be when I’m in my 70’s and I’m (hopefully) a grandmother to grandkids who are way less messed up than my actual kids. And they all gather around their Ninja Gammy (<—–trademarked) and ask “What was it like when you were young, Ninja Gammy?”

“Well, kids, it was a simpler time, when Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Sphinx) was blasting from the 800-pound five-CD changer in my car trunk (remember, kids, always keep your mind on your money and your money on your mind) and we communicated via pagers, which were tiny machines that beeped to alert you someone wanted you to find a landline phone (which was a primitive and barbaric form of the cell phone) no matter where you were so that you could call them back immediately so that they could inform you they needed a ride, and we had to walk 30 miles in the snow without shoes to let our best friend know what our status update was, and when we wanted to watch a TV show we had to wait until the actual day and time that the TV network broadcast it, and we were forced to write (by hand!) in the now mythical language of ‘cursive’.”

And as if all that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I still have to figure out how the hell I’m going to explain/justify MySpace and Gangnam Style to them.

“Uh…there were bath salt zombies back then, children. What do you want from me?”

See, the problem is that technology is simply moving too fast. For instance, I remember my grandma playing music on a record player while I was jamming to my cassette tapes (pieces of crap that always had to be fixed with a pencil, kids). But it wasn’t a completely foreign concept to me. As a kid, my cousins had a toy record player that we used to play crappy kid’s albums on. And even though we all had cordless phones (slightly less barbaric versions of cellphones, kids), we could all figure out how to use the rotary phone she had because the generation gap wasn’t wider than the technology gap.

But now…oi vey…

Which brings me to the point of this post. Being the Smart Phone/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram addict that I am, I had an eye-opening experience just the other day that taught me a very valuable lesson about all this runaway technology we’re living with today.

Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…Flashback Wavy Lines…

It was just after New Years. My family was in town. Considering it was January in Boston, it was cold (which was confirmed by the 52 Instagram photos of thermometers in my feed). So we decided to take advantage of home delivery, the culinary technology break-through that made it possible for hot food to be delivered to your door (like in Star Trek: The Next Generation, only slower and without the whimsy).

Considering there were five of us, we decided to go with pizza, the ultimate crowd pleaser and the least likely choice to result in a fist fight.

Or so it would seem at first glance.

Being that this was my territory, I clicked onto Foodler.com, my go-to magical food portal, an absolutely brilliant contribution to humanity that lets you type in your address and then tells you what restaurants deliver to your ‘hood (complete with full menus for each eatery) and then LET’S YOU ORDER DIRECTLY FROM THE WEBSITE. I know I talk up toilet paper a lot as the best invention of all time (with the Snuggie as a close second), but seriously, I’d be willing to go back to leaves and/or our collective left hand in order to keep Foodler.

The problem was, however, that the majority wanted Regina’s pizza, which was not listed on Foodler. So, trying to be a good hostess, I Googled Regina’s delivery. Found out they do deliver. Clicked on link. Was taken to a new Foodler-esque website. Started to order. Discovered I also had to set up an account, complete with username, password, password hint, security questions, personal info, mother’s maiden name and itemized list of everyone I’ve ever had sex with. Decided to scrap that idea. Sooooo then…

Went directly to Regina’s website. Discovered they had a tab for delivery. No menu listed. Had to create own pizza from list of 3,000 ingredients. Twenty minutes (and 42 stitches later) we realized we cannot, as a family unit, create our own pizza unanimously (or at least, not without Thunderdome breaking out). Sooooo then…

More Googling. More half-hearted attempts to create “accounts” on other third-party food delivery websites. More “your food will be delivered in approximately 3 hours and there will be a $652 delivery fee.”

And just when we thought all hope was lost and we’d be forced to eat leftover Christmas food that may or may not have gained consciousness…

Someone suggested, “Uh, why don’t you just call the restaurant and order the pizza?”

Ninety seconds later, the pizza was ordered. Ready in 15. Have a nice day.

Lesson learned: Technology isn’t simplifying our lives. It’s simply making us stupid.

So, just remember that, kids, when 30 years from now it takes you three hours to order a pizza via the Internet.

And that’s only if you can remember your password.

Thanks for nuthin,’ technology

There are a lot of downsides to moving far away from friends and family to make it “big” in the big city (or in my case, make it “small-medium-ish” in the big city).

But one of the upsides is that you ALWAYS have the ultimate excuse to get out of undesirable social events, such as the lesser holidays, weddings of second/third cousins, high school reunions, the “Let’s help Bob and Sue move across town!” scenarios and, most importantly, showers, both of the wedding and baby variety.

But now, thanks to technology, that convenient trump card has swiftly become obsolete. To wit: This past Saturday I, while hanging out at my house in Boston, attended a baby shower for a couple who lives in Branson that was thrown by a group of our mutual friends from Texas.

Thanks a lot, Steve Jobs (or whoever is the Steve Jobs equivalent over at Google+). No, really.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. It really was great getting to see them all again, or at least the tiny, overly pixellated versions of who I suspect was them (Thanks to my 1998 computer software, I could have been participating in an amateur porno convention online for all I know. The dialogue would have probably been the same. We’re a super classy bunch).

And it was an incredibly thoughtful and sweet gesture by a group of people I’m proud to call my friends. The problem is simply that I’ve never really been one of those people who enjoys baby showers. In fact, I even wrote a column a few years back (which I have conveniently re-posted below for your reading pleasure) about my dread of these events.

This was compounded by the fact I couldn’t really communicate with anyone since my crappy computer had an approximate 17-minute microphone delay:

“So, Aprill, how’s Boston?”

“Can you guys hear me?”

“Yes.”

“Guys?”

“We can hear you, Aprill.”

“GUYS!?!”

“Aprill? Can you hear us?”

(15 more minutes like this)

“Oh, Boston’s great! I love it.”

And lest you start to think what a horrible friend I am (which I may deserve but for far more devious reasons than this), let me just add that I am super excited for Trysta and Steve and their soon-to-be-born unholy spawn baby and know they are going to be wonderful parents (Oh, and P.S. guys, your gift should be in the mail soon…at the latest, you should get it before she goes off to college).

30 Women & A Baby

As much as we like to think equality between the sexes has come a long way, baby, there is still one giant gap that exists between men and women. Alas, pending some major medical breakthrough, I don’t foresee this gap ever being bridged.

Yes, it’s sad but it’s true. In a recent study it was found that 99.9 percent of all babies come from women.

I know, I know. You’d think that since we’ve put three women on the Supreme Court, we could get at least a few men knocked up, but apparently the medical community is much too busy with other stuff, like curing cancer and finding new poisons to inject into our faces to combat wrinkles.

To be honest, I’m actually all right with the fact that my gender is shouldering this burden alone (or miracle, for those of you who are more of the “glass is half full” mind-set).

But what I am not all right with is that this biological difference gives men another Get Out of Jail Free card. Despite the fact that it takes two to make a baby, women are the only ones who are required to attend the dreaded (insert dramatic music here) baby shower.

Oh sure, maybe not all women hate baby showers. I once read a study that said one leader will emerge out of every group of 20 people. I have a feeling those numbers also apply to the amount of women who actually enjoy the finger sandwiches, uncomfortable small talk and swapping of horrific birth stories that make up your standard baby shower. As for the rest of us…well, dental surgery is an apt comparison.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love babies. I love holding babies. I love smelling babies. I love handing babies back to their mothers when they start crying.

I also love mothers. I fully believe they deserve all the rights and privileges as the rest of us. In fact, some of my best friends are mothers.

So the problem with baby showers is not in the actual act of celebrating the mother-to-be and the brand new life she is carrying. That is a wonderful thing and should be celebrated. No, the problem lies in the mechanics of the event.

See, a baby shower is essentially when you thrust together a group of women who have nothing in common other than knowing a pregnant female and then give them nothing to do for a couple of hours other than to watch this chick open presents and drink punch (which doesn’t contain even a trace of booze).

For you men out there reading this (all two of you who actually made it to this point before you flipped over to the sports section) and have no idea what I’m talking about, let me give you an inside glimpse at what you get to skip out on.

You ring a doorbell and are greeted by a perky woman whom you’ve never met. As you’re shuffled inside, you look around and see a bunch of women of all ages clustered in small groups of two or three, all of whom you’ve also never met. You stand there awkwardly until eventually some brave soul, usually propelled by the fact that they can’t stand the awkwardness anymore, will leave her cluster and strike up a conversation with you. Now if you’re both mothers, this tends to go well, since you can swap war stories about the time little Johnny got a toy army man stuck up his nose or the time little Aprill felt the need to announce to her entire second grade class that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, thus causing a mini-riot at Hardin Elementary (true story).

However, if you are a woman of child-bearing age sans kids such as myself, the resulting encounter typically goes something like this:

Random Woman: “Hi.”

You: “Hello.”

Random Woman: “So, how do you know the mother-to-be?”

You: “I’m her second cousin. And you?”

Random Woman: “Her dentist’s niece.”

You: “Ah.”

Random Woman: “Yeah.”

You: “So, great potato salad, eh?”

Random Woman: “Oh yes, it’s delicious.”

You: “Yeah.”

At this point, one of you will generally make some lame excuse to get out of the conversation, such as, “Oh, I think that’s my child on fire…will you excuse me?” This goes on for about an hour and then, just to add to the awkwardness, you will all be forced to play awkward baby-themed games with each other. These generally consist of smelling chocolate that’s been smeared on a diaper (fellas, I’m not even kidding about that).

Then finally, FINALLY, it’s time for the mother to open presents. This is the best part because now all you have to do to “ooh” and “ahh” over tiny baby outfits, many of them involving a hat intended to make the infant look like a tiny bear or dog.

Then at last, like a drowning man coming up for air, the last present is unwrapped and you are now free to leave. Just be careful not to trample grandma in your madcap rush to the door.

So gentleman, take it from me. Rejoice in your freedom from this barbaric tradition. And the next time your significant other returns from one of these things, be kind and give her the only known cure for the post-baby shower hangover: A glass of wine the size of her head.

Looking for like in all the wrong places

The one thing about moving to the city and being just another face of the faceless masses?

It can be hard to make new friends.

In the year or so that I’ve been in Boston, I’ve managed to snag a small group of good friends that I occassionally get to see when our (OK, their) schedules allow it (I’m a freelancer…my schedule is as wide open as Paris Hilton’s legs). However, these friends are all somehow or other related to my husband’s job, meaning the number of friends I’ve made on my own is…let’s see…carry the one…divide by pi…yup…zero.

Because you know what makes it really hard to make new friends? When you work from home, are no longer in your 20’s and happen to be married. Because you know what’s really creepy? Having a married 30-year-old freelance writer come up to you at a bar and ask if you want to be besties.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Boston isn’t necessarily known for being a city full of friendly, happy, shining faces (voted Meanest City in America, ya’ll!!!! Woot!). And it also doesn’t help that I’m not necessarily what you’d call a “joiner.” Unless your book club, sewing circle, writer’s collective, flash mob, steampunk convention or volunteer organization is meeting at the bar, I’m likely to just stay at home (and drink).

And it seems I’m not the only one struggling with this. A quick Google search (NOTE: make sure to type in ‘how to make friends as an adult’ NOT ‘how to make adult friends’ unless you want to be taken to a WHOLE different section of the Internet), brought up 30,900,000 results, at least 12 of which weren’t spam or thinly veiled porn.

Granted, the vast majority of articles on this subject belong to Mommy Bloggers, who are lamenting the fact they don’t know how to make friends anymore since their life has been reduced to wiping up the various fluids and semi-solids that spew forth from their offspring. Which didn’t help me much considering 1. I don’t have kids and 2. I think having kids would be a super easy way to make friends. You literally have an adorable 13-pound excuse to talk to someone else with an adorable 13-pound poop machine.

Because you know what else is really creepy? Having the childless 30-year-old woman come up to you at the playground and start trying to bond with you over how taking care of her neurotic dog is just like what she imagines taking care of a baby is like.

(Although in Buffy’s defense, he is wicked smart for a dog. Yes him is. Him such a smart, wittle puppeh).

The rest of the results were pretty much lame tips on how to make non-sexual adult friends, like join a gym, start a hobby, go to church and hang out at Starbucks, all of which are qualities I am not looking for in a friend.

So what’s a girl to do?

Well, although it hasn’t worked so far, I think I’m going to continue with my Lazy Friend-Making Plan (mainly because it doesn’t involve putting on real pants), which is two-fold:

1. Continue to stalk my virtual Boston-based Facebook and Twitter friends like @BarHavoc until they take pity on me and invite me somewhere.

2. Finally work up the courage to ask my hairstylist, Vildan, out on a friend date, since I’m pretty sure we’re soul mates. Although there’s a good chance that could blow up in my face due to the Hairstylist Theory.

(Quick summary of my Hairstylist Theory: They are trained like courtesans, skilled in the art of flattery and anticipating your every need, which is why we all want our hairstylist to become our best friend. Alas, for them, it’s just strictly business. They tell all their clients they have amazing cheekbones.)

And in the meantime, I’m going to take my dog to the park so he can terrorize little children as I chat up their moms.

“Isn’t he just the cutest! What’s that? Oh, no. They’ll be fine. He’s neutered. And he only humps the kids he really likes.”

The question that has been on all your minds…

I know. I know!

And let me just say, first of all, that I am so sorry to have kept you all in suspense. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it has been for everyone to move on with their daily lives while having to wonder…just how the hell did Aprill celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

I know. I know! Here I am, a big boozer, living in one of the biggest boozin’ cities in the world, during the biggest booze day of the year and selfishly keeping all my shenanigans to myself. But…BUT… in my defense, one, I just got over my hangover. (Bad for my liver. Awesome for stories I will never, EVER tell my children…unless I’m drunk and they ask me). And two, I was saving it all for my DigBoston.com column (which I have conveniently linked for you here).

But don’t worry. I haven’t left you completely without anything. Below I’ve posted my St. Patrick’s Day weekend accomplishments and failures in a handy-dandy little graphic:

And here’s some wicked fun photos I took from the world-famous Boston parade:

And now for a very special Halloween blog…

It’s been six years, folks.

Six.

Years.

Six years that I have been waiting to once again celebrate Halloween in a climate where autumn is not “hey, it’s only 91 degrees today.” Six years I’ve been waiting to wear a costume without sweat stains. Six years waiting to be able to drink a hot toddy without spontaneously combusting.

And now that I’m in Boston, it’s finally happening. The leaves are changing. The air is crisp. The ground is covered in snow.

Let me write that last part a bit slower, in case you didn’t catch that:

The……………..ground……………….is………………covered…………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………in……………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

……….snow.

Yeah. Snow. That white, fluffy crap typically associated with Christmas and Minnesota.

And not just any snow. Oh no. No, Boston had to have a Nor’easter, which is, as far as I can figure out, basically a winter hurricane.

Not that I’m complaining.*

But this does bring up a rather huge dilemma for me. All of my previous Halloween costume ideas are now kind of moot…especially since I am rather attached to most of my major digits and limbs. Which means I now have to scramble to come up with some new ideas for tonight. Luckily, I started drinking early today, so the creative juices are flowing.

So far, I’ve got:

Slutty nurse wearing a parka

Girl wrapped in comforter

The kid from “A Christmas Story” when he’s wearing the giant bunny costume

Slutty cheerleader wearing a parka and long johns

Snuggie representative

Sweatpants enthusiast

Huge sports fan who feels it’s appropriate to wear all their sports gear at once

Slutty Eskimo

Alaska resident

Girl wearing ugly, giant old man sweater but pulling it off because she’s awesome

Slutty slut in a slutty parka

And if all else fails, my last resort is drunk girl who is drinking until she can’t feel anything anymore.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

*Disclaimer: According to the contract my husband forced made me sign, I’m not allowed to complain about the cold or any other kind of weather in Boston since I used up all my wifely “bitching about the weather” tokens in Texas.

Occupying the Occupation

Well, for those of you who picked Oct. 11 at 1:30 p.m. as the moment I would officially become the cliché of the unemployed writer typing pretentiously away at my keyboard as I sip a triple mocha latte in a Boston coffeehouse, congratulations.

You won the office pool.

(Added financial bonus to those of you who also picked that I’d be the douchebag taking up the entire couch in the corner with my backpack, camera and pretentious copy of “The Best American Nonrequired Reading”).

Yes, today I opted to finally climb out of my beloved sweatpants and put on my other “big girl” pants (sans the elastic waist), hike it ALL the way to the subway and finally interact with other human beings. So far, I got two out of three (unless you count the homeless guy who thought we would make a beautiful baby together).

But it wasn’t just on a whim that I decided to exert all this effort. Oh no. Momma does not actually brush her hair and slap on some lipstick on a “whim.” I left my comfortable hermit digs on a mission. After following the Occupy Boston movement in the news and on the Twitter, I decided to go check it out for myself. Not necessarily to join…yet. I don’t know that much about it to put my incredibly questionable reputation behind it. But to simply go, hang out, talk to some people (or in other words, as my friend Billy put it, to occupy the occupation).

I mean, for a small town girl, the fact that I’m in close proximity to something like this is…well, I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t go check it out (because honestly, no one wants to someday answer their grandchildrens’ question of “Where were you when the Occupy movement was happening?” with “On the couch, eating Cheetos…but I did reTweet a bunch of other people’s experiences.”).

I mean, this is a MONUMENTAL moment in our history! People are taking it to the streets! Damn the man! Save the Empire! ATTICA! ATTICA!

Except…that’s not really what I saw. Well, not at first anyway. When I got there, it seemed to me more of a “Dude, corporate America sucks! Let’s, like, make signs and junk!” kind of deal. This was not, in fact, helped by the fact I encountered no less than four college-aged hipsters walking around downtown Boston in barefeet within the first three minutes. Granted, this is my own prejudice. I love me some odd characters but I draw the line at anyone who takes their shoes off in a situation that does not call for it. (And for you barefoot hipsters reading this, that is most situations).

Luckily, I stuck around. And talked to people who felt shoes were pretty much a necessity as well. And just observed.

And somewhere down the line, between reading the signs and overhearing conversations, I swelled with a feeling of…well, as close to patriotism as a jaded writer and journalist can get.  

Because that’s when it hit me. The most important part of this protest in Boston and other cities, is that it is happening at all. It’s the process itself that’s making the point. People are PISSED. At their government. At corporate greed. At the government and corporate greed being in bed together and having crazy monkey sex.

Say what you will about their message or their methods but you know what? No revolution or major change ever happened because a bunch of white guys/college kids/soccer moms/post-op trannies sat around a bar bitching.

And in my opinion, they are making some pretty good points. You (and by “you” I mean the “guvmint”) can’t keep telling the younger generations they have to go to college if they ever want to have a semblance of a decent life only to have them emerge deeply in debt and without a job prospect to be found. You can’t keep thinking those same generations (and most of their parents) are going to be OK with you pouring billions of dollars we’ll have to pay back for wars the government keeps bungling. You can’t expect them to be all right with the fact that by the time they reach retirement, there will be no social security. And seriously, you can’t honestly believe no one would notice that the top one percent keep getting bonus checks bigger than what most of us will make in our entire lifetimes when they really, truly suck at their jobs.

Will the Occupy movements change anything? Probably not. At least not right away. But what it is doing is getting people off their complacent asses.

And that, in my book, is already a victory.

And the best part is, if you don’t like it –to steal from William F. Buckley’s famous line “cancel your own goddamn subscription” he wrote in response to an angry reader –then start your own goddamn movement.

Feeling hot, hot, hot…and semi-homicidal

Full disclosure: I have never actually been to Vietnam nor fought in a war over there. So therefore, I can’t “technically” have a flashback to ‘Nam. But I’m pretty sure that during last week’s heat wave, I had the closest approximation a civilian can get to having that experience.

As the temps continued to climb into the 100’s here in New England, suddenly I was thrust back to the five years I spent living in South Texas. While I may have actually been walking down Newbury Street in Boston, in my mind’s eye I was back in that steamy (non)jungle, whimpering and rocking in the fetal position as my sobs mixed with my sweat.

For those of you who have never been to Texas, or anywhere in the South during the height of summer, there are a lot of ways you could describe the “seasons” down there:

Hot, Hotter, Really Hot and December.

Hot, Hotter, DAAAAAMN! and Satan’s Asshole.

Hot and Humid, Hot and Humid-er, Drought and Mosquito.

But personally, I think the best way to sum up the seasons down there in regards to my personality is: Homicidal and Slightly Less Homicidal.

(Of course, over time I got a little bit more used to the Texas heat. For instance, while my first summer was spent mostly lying down on the floor spread eagle by a fan in nothing but my skivvies, my last summer there was spent lying down on the floor spread eagle by a fan in my skivvies and a tank top).

Now, you may be thinking, “If Texas is so unbearably hot, how come so many people live there?” And the answer to that is very simple.

I am 100 percent a super-mega-ultra-wussy when it comes to heat. And the rest of the world is, in fact, not.

See, while normally I look like this:

…when I got hot, I turn into this:

To most people, being hot is a natural occurrence that happens from time to time and is no big deal. To me, however, being hot is akin to the end of the world and makes me want to stab little baby bunnies in the throat.

And the thing is, I don’t know why. I don’t know what it is about my chemical makeup that makes me turn into the Hulk (APRILL STAB BUNNY!) when it gets above 80 degrees. I see other people out and about, enjoying their days during the summer and not frothing at the mouth with one eye bulging out of its socket a’ la Mr. DeMartino from “Daria.” And I wish more than anything I could just deal with the sweating and the heat index and the steaminess rising from the concrete and the SWEATING AND THE STICKINESS AND THE SUNSHINE AND DID I MENTION THE SWEATING AND AHHHHHHH!!! DIE, BUNNY, DIE!

Yeah.

Anyhoo, the good news is the heat wave is finally over and Boston is back to seasonal temperatures…meaning I’m back to my old, non-bunny murdering, self. And I gotta tell you, it’s good to be back.

That is, until this weekend, when temps are supposed to climb back up into the 90’s…

Here bunny, bunny, bunny…

*No bunnies were harmed in the making of this blog post…too bad I can’t say the same for that raccoon.

Boston: America’s Mean Girl

It’s not always easy coming up with new subjects to write about (it doesn’t help that my go-to cure for writer’s block is drinking beer).

But every once in awhile, something comes along that makes it just too easy. Like, say, two smartie pants from the University of Michigan doing a survey to find the top 50 meanest cities. And then giving the title of No. 1 big, bad meanie to my new city of Boston.

Considering gifts like this don’t happen very often (especially since Tom Cruise has apparently temporarily jumped off the crazy train) I jumped all over it in my latest Weekly Dig Post: The Trolley Trollop: Wicked Mean.

So read it. Or else I’ll send a bunch of Bostonians over to your house to give you a nuclear wedgie.

Cheering on the Boston Marathon, one beer at a time

The Boston Marathon. A living testament to dedication, endurance, skill and no short amount of pain (and possibly permanent damage).

Naturally, of course, I’m talking about the livers of the spectators who begin drinking while the runners are still stretching.

Yes, while 20,000 people run 26 miles, pushing the limits of human athleticism and subsequently inspiring the world, the hundreds of thousands of people on the sidelines were busy pushing the limits of public drunkenness. And this first-time spectator was no different. 

Having only lived in Boston for a little over two months now, I felt it was my duty as a new resident to check out what goes on during Marathon Monday that they don’t televise. Thanks to a tip from the Tweeter (I owe you one @BostonTweet), I decided to start my day at the American Craft bar, which was on the marathon route and, more importantly, was opening up its beer garden at 10 a.m.

Feeling a bit sheepish (and dangerously close to a lush…well, more lush-ish than usual), I had reservations as I stepped off the train. I mean, what would people think of me as I ordered booze that was not the universal before-noon acceptable drink of Bloody Mary?

But that feeling quickly melted away as I realized I had absolutely nothing to worry about. As soon as I sat down at a prime spot (the early bird catches the worm in the bottom of the tequila bottle it seems) and ordered a screwdriver (hey, at least it has orange juice in it, I figured), groups of others quickly arrived and sat all around me, ordering everything from beer to shots of whiskey.

They say New Yorkers will come to opening of an envelope. If I’ve learned anything during my relatively short time here in Boston, it’s that Bostonians will make a drinking game out of it.

And so, there we sat, when suddenly a cheer erupted from somewhere, gradually making its way down the street to us. The first of the wheelchair division was making its way toward us.

Now, I’m not usually one for being sentimental. But watching everyone stop what they were doing, whether they were in the beer garden or just walking down the sidewalk, to cheer them on, made me feel, well, downright sentimental(granted, that feeling could have also been related to the second screwdriver).

By my third screwdriver, the first of the elite men’s division was passing us by and by this time, throngs of people were making their way to the sidelines. The cheering never stopped.

Realizing that if I continued drinking the way I was, I’d be lucky to be awake past noon, I paid my bill and made my way closer to the action. By this time, the sidelines were packed with people, everyone from families to the group of 20-somethings who were not-so-discreetly carrying around red Dixie cups filled with “juice.”

The sense of excitement, regardless of your soberness level, was palpable. Being the country bumpkin that I am, I had never experienced anything like this before (unless you count the time my husband and I accidentally stumbled into a re-enactment of the Alamo in San Antonio…like literally were walking down the street with the period dressed actors until we realized what was going on).

Hearing the encouraging cheers (even the drunken, slurred ones) and seeing the city come together like that was truly inspiring.

In fact, as I rode the train home (which was an adventure in and of itself…by my count, three drunks almost got run over), I started to think how much I really wanted to be a part of this great event, more than just getting my buzz on and using it as an excuse to daydrink. To think that there’s so many people out there that aspire to complete this Herculean task, sacrificing and training for months, made me want to be among their ranks next year. Seeing the entire crowded subway car cheer when a runner who completed the marathon got on only fueled my new resolve.

But then, luckily, I went home, took a nap, sobered up and decided eh, maybe in 2013…or 2014. 2015 even. Or maybe to celebrate my 50th birthday or something…

Besides, those screwdrivers aren’t going to drink themselves next year.