Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Would you rather....

...Drink apple juice, red grapefruit juice or carrot juice?

...Travel by train, bike or car?

...Vacation on a cruise, go camping or visit a new city?

...Own a dog, cat or bird? "Punk'd" or be punk'd?

...Play tennis, football or World of Warcraft?

...Drink beer, wine or bourbon?

...Have a lavish wedding, elope or live in sin?

...Remain age 23 or younger forever, remain between 24 and 39 forever or be over 40 forever?

...Go for a run, lift weights or watch "The Biggest Loser"?

...Shop at Target, Wal-Mart or K-Mart?

...Buy coffee from Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, or a McDonald's?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Don't look a gift horse on the Web

From 7:30-8:45 or so this morning I drank coffee, ate pancakes, and read the online version of The Boston Globe.

I "liked" one story about a recent philanthropic gift made by a Boston gazillionnaire. My tweeted commentary on this story was retweeted twice. I tweeted another story from the same online version of the paper, which has led to two separate, albeit short, twitter dialogues. I emailed yet a third story to a friend.

About 15 minutes after I wrapped up the quiet online review of the Sunday paper, I was outside brushing snow off my car so I could make a run to the gym for a quick workout. A car came around the bend of my sleepy street and slowed down in front of my house. I have a 1/2 a kayak on the lawn, waiting for trash day later in the week. I thought the driving was a garbage picker. As his window came down I thought for sure the driver would ask me some questions about the storm-battered boat.

"Is this (insert my address here)?" the driver asked.
"Yes," I answered slowly and suspiciously.
"The Boston Globe would like to give you a free copy of the paper," he said, handing a waterproof package to me.
"Is this because I've been tweeting stories all morning long?" I asked, my suspicion changing to glee.
"Don't know," he replied, "but the free paper lasts until the 23rd. Congrats and enjoy."

Then he drove away.


Now I'm not sure there is any correlation between my high use of social networking tools this morning and the free paper.

If there is it seems like a weird incentive. If I'm a high e-user of the paper, and I get a free print copy of the paper, my e-use is likely to go down, at least for the two weeks I get the hard copy delivered to my home. Maybe a better gift would be a free link to my blog or a free copy of The Boston Globe app in the Apple store.

Nevertheless, I am delighted with my free paper. I had actually intended to buy the paper today, so I could enjoy the magazine and the puzzle. About half-way through my e-browsing I remembered this with a Homer Simpson-like "D'oh!"

Now, home from the gym and freshly showered, I'm looking forward to brewing another cup of coffee and enjoying The Boston Globe Magazine. Thank you @bostonupdate.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Awesomely ordinary

I found myself close to happy tears earlier today as I wrapped up four hours of errand running.

I took a minute to consider that I might be confusing tears of sadness with the unfamiliar welling up of a joyful expression.

I didn't think so.

"Why? What happened today that would make me feel so happy?" I wondered to myself. "I had a perfectly ordinary day." This is what I did:
  • Got up late (9:30 AM)

  • Drank coffee, read the online paper

  • Started laundry

  • Cleared the hardwoods of clutter and mopped them

  • I returned a gift for which I had no receipt with no hassle given

  • Picked up a special order at the bookstore for my sweetie

  • Discovered an item I wanted at Crate and Barrel, while advertised, was no longer available

  • Returned a handful of superfluous gifts I purchased for others in exchange for things I needed (bird seed, hair products, birthday cards)

  • Braved the long lines at Trader Joes in exchange for $55 worth of coffee, faux meat products and frozen foods

  • Drank 12 ounces of carrot juice

  • Went on a duck buying odyssey that came up short

  • Picked up three books at the library

  • Filled the bird feeder

  • Emptied the recycling and took out the trash.

Boring, right?

So why so happy?

I think because my day felt like it was completely my own. I felt accomplished in my errands. I didn't let irritating traffic, shopping frustrations, or a lack of nourishing food get me down. And right now, at 4:11 PM on a gray Saturday night, I don't feel like there is anything else I HAVE to do tonight.

So what am I going to do? I've lit candles around the house and am surrounded by a peaceful glow. I'm going to pour a glass of wine soon, start preparations for an early dinner, and then settle into the couch with one of my borrowed books.

Today was perfectly, awesomely, ordinary.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Celebrity Look-Alikes

Facebook memes often invite us to change our avatars to our celebrity look-alikes. I usually post a picture of Velma, the smarty-pants crime solver from "Scooby Doo."

In the last three months I've been told by colleagues that I remind them of celebrity chef Rachael Ray

and the smarty-pants crime fighter Garcia on the TV show "Criminal Minds."

I feel glad to (a) have celebrity avatar options, and (b) remind people of sassy smart gals.

How about you? Who is your celebrity avatar? Why?

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 things you might not know about me

The blogosphere is rife with lists of resolutions, non-resolutions, 2010 "best of" and 2011 "trends to watch out for" lists. I love lists, but don't want to be derivative. is my list...of 10 things you might not know about me. I invite you to share your list in the comment section.

1. Like Filmmaker Ken Burns I love the National Park Service and have visited eleven national parks including the remote Dry Tortugas (FL), and Guadalupe Mountain and Big Bend (TX).
2. I was hit by a truck while riding my bike to work in October 2001 and literally saw my life flash before my eyes.
3. I lived in a commune for two years.
4. I will always consider myself bulimic, having lived with this disorder from 1986-1995.
5. Since I started working at age 11, I have held more than 30 different jobs yet I have never worked in a restaurant.
6. I published several academic articles on reform in medical education.
7. I am trained as a liberal sexuality educator using the Our Whole Lives Program created by the Unitarian Universalist Association. If I could make a viable living teaching I would.
8. In spite of this training and experience, I consistently find myself challenged by transgender men and women. The good news is I know it and am able to learn through these challenges.
9. I have two regrets in my life: not accepting my placement with the Peace Corps in 1992 and not going to public college for my undergraduate degree.
10. I am actively afraid of worms, snakes, and any creature that moves on land without benefit of legs.

What are 10 things I might not know about you?