Sunday, November 30, 2008

col gets interviewed

I interviewed my boy Col for NPR's National Day of Listening. We went snowboarding together on Friday after Thanksgiving and I interviewed him on the way to the mountain, at the mountain, in the lift and then finally at home. I thought the location was very fitting.

Colin couldn't understand why I wanted to interview him. It's not because he has a lot of history under his belt--he's only 32 years old. But we both lead very busy lives and sometimes we can go through an entire week without really talking to each other. It felt good to set aside an hour of time to have a conversation and get to know each other again. He enjoyed it too, I think, and was honored to be asked.

Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

On personal accomplishments:

A favorite memory:

On life influences:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"sangweiving" & national day of listening

It's the night before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow Col and I will drive down to Sugarbush to be with my family and Kev's family. I'll be bringing my favorite Brussels sprout dish from Bon Appetit. Col's bringing the best-ever pecan pie from Harvest Market in Stowe (thanks Burton!). I tell you what, it's been Thanksgiving EVERYTHING at work. I can't believe it's finally here and I'm so excited. It might be my favorite holiday...

And just to let you know: Friday is the National Day of Listening. Storycorps & NPR want to inspire people to ask those around us about their lives and listen to their story. Storycorps even has a neato question generator to help you come up with interview questions. I've decided to interview Colin, my boyfriend of more than 3 years, since he's the one I'll be with on Friday. If all goes well, I'm going to post the interview here on my blog. (Provided he gives the a-okay).

Okay, Happy "Sangweiving" everyone.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

the first day: snowboarding, winter market, panang

We went snowboarding at Stowe yesterday for the first day of the season. It was snowing like crazy up there! There was a split second when I forgot which foot to strap in first, but once my board hit the snow, it was like we never even stopped for the summer.

When we got back into town, we hit up the first winter farmers' market of the season. They're happening the third Saturday of each month until April. There was lots there! We stocked up on root veggies, Brussels sprouts, herb mixes from Arcana, mixed nuts... there were vendors selling wine, cheese, bread, wild flowers, honey, maple syrup, produce, and lots of crafts and pottery.

Then Lauren cooked me a Thai panang curry dinner with some mad cooking skills she picked up in Thalaid. We drank mango martinis alongside. Yum!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Have I told you about the jellyfish at Hendricks Head?

When my dad became a preacher in 1985, he was assigned to a small fledgling church on the coast of Maine. We were living in the small town of Pawlet, Vermont at the time. We packed up and left our little house for good and headed off to Boothbay Harbor. I was just five years old.

We spent two years in Boothbay. They were magical years, despite some of our less-than-magical living situation. We lived first in a house in town. We were on the first floor and our landlords lived on the second. They were fighting all the time. Sometimes the little girls would come downstairs and stay with us until the fighting was over. Sometimes their mom's boyfriend would throw things out the window. I had the chicken pox in that house, after we went to England to see Gaffa for the last time. I think I got it from the cousins. I remember laying on the itchy couch and just couldn't get comfortable. Gaffa died shortly after. 

Eventually we moved out and went to live in a rusty old trailer right outside of town. One of the bedrooms was an addition and through the seam in the floor, you could see the ground below. That was where Hannah performed a seance with spaghetti and grape eyeballs. We all got in trouble. That was also where I got hit by a car riding my bike. I wasn't hurt, but the old lady driving the car had a scare.

The garden filled up with mud every time it rained. Mummy couldn't bring herself to tell Granny about the trailer.

We found solace in nature. We took swimming lessons at the Y and became very good little fish. So Mummy would bring us to the beach on Southport Island and let us swim far off to the back of the jutting rock that became an island surrounded by water during high tide. There, where the beach dwellers looked like baby crabs in the distance, we swam admidst the bulging beards of seaweed that swelled with the moving water. 

We were spooked by signs of life down below and scrambled onto the rocks, being careful not to slip in the slimy seaweed pods. There were mussels and crabs hiding beneath the seaweed tendrils. We knew, because in low tide, when their mop tops were pale and dry in the sun, we'd walk out and flip them upside down to reveal the wet squirming bugs beneath. But somehow, covered in dark ocean water, the tendrils came to life and were something less than friendly. 

On top of the small island, we'd run along the worn dirt paths and play "Let's Pretend"—an imagination game we made up on that rock and haven't really played since. "Let's Pretend" belongs to the rock at Hendricks Head. 

The road that takes you to Hendricks Head goes right by the beach where we played on the rocks. During high tide, the water rises all the way to the road, and the only thing separating you from the sea is a stone wall. At certain times during the year, hundreds upon hundreds of jellyfish congregate there to spawn. Some are left behind in the sand when the water recedes, so you have to be very careful where you walk, lest your feet get stung!

One night, my mother brought us there to watch the jellyfish. Have you ever seen a sea of spawning jellyfish at night? They glow electric blue. And the beach is transformed into a galaxy of stars, like a mirror of the sky above. It's pure magic.

I don't know what made me think of the jellyfish today or Hendricks Head. But I did, and then I wanted to write it down, so I don't forget. Although, I can't imagine that I ever would. Those memories are so clear in my head—they're unforgettable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've been watering my friend Lauren's plants while she's away. Tonight, when I went over to her apartment, I found two buds on her orchid plant. I think it might flower. Isn't that wonderful?

I always had the impression that orchid flowers require a lot of tender care. Mama Sonia was a whiz at growing orchids, wasn't she? They were her favorite. She had a special area for all her orchid pots and there was a little spray bottle sitting next to them that she would use to mist their pretty faces. I always pictured her garden in Puerto Rico just dripping with the floral beauties in all shapes and colors, some of them spotted like exotic sea creatures.

At her mass, there was a bundle of orchids tucked in with the rest of her bouquet, and I thought she would have loved that. I haven't seen an orchid flower since. And so I think, it will be nice if Lauren's plant blooms again, won't it?

These pretty pink orchids I snapped at the Winterpark Farmers' Market in Florida a couple of years ago:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

nyc, home

Just got home from a weekend in New York. We went down for a send-off for Mark & Kathleen—a sort of bon voyage to new adventures in England and congrats on the engagement all wrapped up in one fun weekend blitz. Highlights: another fabulous Moroccan brunch with Courtney at cafe Mogador; NY Firefighters save the day (and the apartment next door); a lovely bottle of white wine from the little shop around the corner; an out-of-this world Italian dinner at Aurora in SoHo; late-night dancing at Lit (that place never lets us down); and of course a 3 a.m. slice of the best white pizza ever. I want to tell you all about it and post pictures, but I'm just so tired right now. Gotta go to bed. Loveyoubye

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

i voted

Last night I had some terrible dreams. I found myself alone in a haunted temple with stony vaulted ceilings. The stones shifted shapes and lashed out at me—they were demons. Suddenly I was on the Metro in Paris and I couldn't understand what people were saying. (But how can that be? I speak French, I remember thinking.)

I didn't know where I was or how to get where I wanted to go. I got on the wrong train, one of those long distance trains that doesn't stop till the end. And it was going to a dangerous place. I was trapped. And the other passengers lashed out in front of me like the demons in the temple. They tried to rip my clothes; steal my passport.

Suddenly, I was back in the temple. But this time it was filled with people. I was crying uncontrollably. I realized it was a funeral. My friend's brother had died.

I woke up in a sweat, my legs and arms crossed so tightly. There was a sound coming from the street, the sound of cars driving slowly. I looked out the window. There were tons of cars lined up outside. They were all heading towards the school. And then I remembered: it's election day!

Election day. Just the thought gave me a chill. One way or another, all of this unrest will finally be settled.

I got ready as quickly as I could, then I walked out the front door and turned towards the Middle School. I'm lucky, it's just three houses away. As I walked closer to the entrance, there were tons of campaign posters and people holding signs. I didn't look at them. My mind's been made up for months. But I still got a chill entering the building.

We're making history today.

I walked up to the sign for district 3-3 and told the man my name. He gave me two ballot sheets. One for the official State of Vermont ballot and one for the city of Burlington. One of them was bright pink.

I filled out the ballot with a black marker.

Then I walked up to the machine that looks like a copier and put my ballots in one at a time. The volunteer next to the machine gave me an "I voted" sticker. I stuck it on my blue and white striped top.

Just a matter of minutes, and all before 7:45, but I feel so accomplished already. And at 1:30 today another huge feat comes to fruition: my sister Emi is defending her PhD thesis. I'll be there for the presentation with Kevin.

(I'm still trying to figure out the significance of the dreams.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

36 hours in Burlington, Vermont

The New York Times ran a travel story on Burlington, Vermont this weekend and the article was number 5 in the top ten most popular last time I checked. Read the story here.

I thought the writer did an okay job of hitting some cool sites. Lake Champlain Chocolates. Check. Radio Bean. Check. Flatbread. Check. Although I can't believe they went to L'Amante instead of Trattoria for good Italian. And, okay, I'm kind of sick of metropolitan journalists claiming that Burlington style is inspired by Birkenstocks. It's so cliché at this point, and frankly not true at all. Plus, do people really care that much about Nectar's—the birthplace of Phish?

I thought the Nylon Magazine review from last November did a better job of describing the city from the street rather than 1000 feet up, like this one does. (If you were a New Yorker visiting the city for the weekend, would you really want to spend your time at the Echo Aquarium? I think not.) Still, it's nice to know the city I love so much is getting some good attention.

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