New Apartment (#83)

March 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm (For Personal Growth) (, )

A bedroom that’s roomy, even with a king size bed in it. A long lovely living room with hard wood floors. An elevator up to the 7th floor with an excellent view complete with a roof deck that might as well be a balcony, it’s so close. Steps to the T in the perfect neighborhood.

Lease signed, it’s ours! Now all we have to do is wait until June 1st so we can move in!!!

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March 13, 2010 at 9:20 pm (For Personal Growth)

For the record, I have been trying SO hard at waking up. I know it sounds silly, but it’s really difficult! What makes it even worse, is that I have consistently been thwarted by room mates in the bathroom. I’m about to get up when I hear the familiar sound of water running and the shower kick on. I figure it’s better to keep sleeping and wait until the shower is free. Maybe this week will be better…..

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Donating Blood (#29)

February 24, 2010 at 11:09 am (For Repairing the World) (, , )

So today, the MGH blood donation van came to my office. Looking forward to fulfilling a goal, I signed up.

Nervous as hell, I filled out my questionnaire, got my finger pricked and was hooked up to the bags. After about 2 minutes, squeezing the little ball far more frequently than I was supposed to, I apparently had an obvious look of discomfort. If I wasn’t squeezing the ball constantly, my hands would start to tingle… which is, apparently, not good.

4 measly minutes, and less than half of a bag of blood later, I was unhooked, iced and oreo-ed. At least I tried.

Goal completed

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The Midwest Grill (#75)

February 12, 2010 at 10:23 am (For Entertainment) (, )

The Midwest Grill, Inman Square, Cambridge.

I’m sure your first thought is “midwestern US cuisine”, not that I would recognize that if it hit me in a food fight. If this is what you thought, you would be mistaken. The Midwest Grill is home of all you can eat Brazilian Bar-B-Q. This was the first time I’d heard of this phenomenon. My idea of all you can eat is “pile the plate high, hold your breath and go” but this is not your average gorge-fest.

Beginning with the salad bar, full of rice, beans, and of course, salad we returned to our table. Serenaded by a Brazilian man playing the guitar and singing, we awaited the “meat man” as I will call him. And around he came. Brining skewers of garlic sirloin, lamb, bacon wrapped chicken and pork (which I’m told was delicious), rolls that were essentially marinated in garlic. We were in heaven. Each round was a different meat and we sat there for over an hour eating. Bliss.

I highly recommend this place. The service is great, the ambiance superb and the food is mouth-watering and delicious. We will most definitely be returning!

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Adventures in Paradise (#12, 19, etc)

February 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm (For Adventures, For Health) (, , , , , )

One week. 2 goals completed. 3 other goals progressed (with this post, we can call it 4!)

Last week, Ben and I took a vacation. 5 days of work-less bliss. Floating in the Caribbean Sea on the Carnival Destiny. Island hopping through the Bahamas.

It doesn’t get much better than this:

Me and Ben on Half Moon Cay
If this isn’t a vacation to someplace that cannot be reached by car, bus, or train then I don’t know what is. The private Island of Carnival Cruises, Half Moon Cay, is not only an island in the middle of the sea, but it is reachable only by tender from a Carnival Cruise ship.

I am, for all intents and purposes, solar powered. Hours of sunshine warmed my soul and powered my being. The air was just the right amount of humid and my hair was happy and extremely well behaved. We soaked up the sun on the white beaches, swam in salty sea water that looked clear enough to drink, read on the ship deck and explored the islands. We slept blissfully in our interior state room which, regardless of the time of day, was pitch black and glorious.

And now it’s back to the frigid dry air of New England.

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I’m Sorry, I Lied

January 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm (Goals) (, )

Ok, I said that I’m glad that I’m not making any new year’s resolutions this year. But I think there’s one that needs to be made (and Ben agrees). I have recently discovered The 11 Points blog. It doesn’t hurt that author and I share the same name (well, nickname anyways). He boasts that “Top 10 lists are for cowards” and features various lists containing 11 points each. I guess he’s never seen a 101 in 1001 list!

One of his posts was “11 of my New Years resolutions for 2010” and I feel that I must contend to take on one of his as a resolution as it is not a measurable goal that will fit into my list.

My New Years Resolution is, as paraphrased from Mr. 11 points:

Do laundry before it reaches critical mass, there is no reason that Mt. Laundry should aspire to heights achieved only by the Himalayans. My two load laundry basket is often packed to the brim and periodically spills over into a second basket. Unacceptable. Building on this goal (because I like the word goal better than resolution) I also will aim to put the clean laundry away immediately upon its return to my bedroom.

We’ll see how this goes….

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Who Needs Resolutions!

January 6, 2010 at 11:15 am (For Something Else) (, )

This year, I have no resolutions. Instead I have this list. I have reevaluated my goals for this list and habits that I would like to develop over the coming year but I feel lucky to have resolutions I know I can and will keep.

I am, however, adding a provision for this list. The assembly of this list took place over the course of 2 weeks. Some of the final additions ended up being space fillers or things that aren’t really that important. I am, therefore, allowing the following changes to be made to the list:

Each January  (2010, 2011, and 2012) I am allowing 3 “no questions asked” changes to be made to the list. These  changes must be made within the first 15 days of the year. The new goal should maintain the category of the original goal and no more than 1 goal may be changed in a single category in the same year. The total “New Year’s Changes” for all 3 new years may not exceed 8. Posts to explain these changes are preferable but not necessary.

Throughout the rest of the challenge, a total of 5 changes may be made at any time. These changes must be accompanied by a post explaining why the original goal was taken out and why the new goal was added and will be tagged as “change”.

For any changes, the original goal must remain in the list but crossed out. The date of change must be included.

Keep a look out for some New Year’s Changes

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My Financial and Tikkun Olam Goals

December 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm (For Financial Wellbeing, For Repairing the World) (, , , , , , )

For Financial Wellbeing

55. Get a Raise… twice! (0/2)
56. Have $25,000 in savings at the end of 1001 days
57. Put an entire paycheck into savings
58. Sell something on ebay/amazon
59. Create a realistic budget and stick to it for at least 3 months (0/3)

55. This challenge will take place over the course of two year-end review periods, I think it is reasonable to strive for a raise in each.

56. This is an amount to strive for within the alotted time frame. Edits may be made to the number depending on my current and changing situation

57. There are some months with 3 pay periods.  I think that one of those occasions I should be able to put the entirety of one paycheck into savings

58. Why the hell not?

59. I think I manage my money fairly smartly but I would like to have a better plan. Planning will help me to figure out where my money is and should be going and whether I can afford to save more or spend more, but differently,  or both!

For Repairing the World (Tikkun Olam)

29. Donate blood (or at least try)
30. Cook a meal made from entirely local ingredients
31. Make an anonymous donation (not telling!)
32. Recruit 5 people to do the LiveSTRONG Ride (0/5)
33. Buy “Spare Change” from 10 different people (1/10)
34. Leave an obscenely generous tip

29. I am more than a little paranoid about needles. Ironically I also have many piercings, but that’s another story. I want to face my fear and at least go and try to give blood. If they turn me away, so be it. But I need to at least try.

30. As Ben will attest, I have become interested in “food propoganda” books and the slow food movement in general. Specifically, knowing where your food comes from. I want to work towards using more local ingredients but, at least once, I want to make a full meal (salad doesn’t count) from local (within new england) ingredients.

31. It’s a nice thing to do.

32. I had an amazing experience riding in the LiveSTRONG challenge last year. I am working with the people at the PA site of my office to work on recruiting people up here.

33. “Spare Change” is a newspaper that is put out by the homeless community in Boston. They buy the papers for 50 cents and sell them for $1. It is a proactive thing for the homeless community and I like supporting it. It’s only fair to spread out the helping to many different people.

34. I have worked in retail. I realize it is nothing like waiting, but I appreciate that people in any type of service industry work hard and they deserve to be treated with respect. I may be a pain in the ass customer sometimes, but I smile, and acknowledge that I’m a pain, apologize for it and smile. Exceptional service should be rewarded with an exceptional tip.

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My Entertainment Goals

December 11, 2009 at 11:20 am (For Entertainment, Goals) (, , , , , , )

For Entertainment

60. Attend an NFL Football game
61. Plan an “Ice Cream Tour” of the Boston Area
62. Execute “Ice Cream Tour” for a group of at least 5 people
63. See a Broadway show
64. See at least 15 new movies from AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th anniversary edition)
65. Go to the batting cages
66. Attend a Red Sox game at a stadium other than Fenway Park
67. See a (non musical) play
68. Read and watch “The Graduate”
69. See 7 movies in theaters
70. Go out one night and try “all the blue drinks”
71. Watch the Boston Marathon
72. Play in the BUWRFC Alumni Game
73. Ride a mechanical bull
74. Go to the beach 5 times
75. Try 10 new [local] restaurants

60. I love sporting events and I have never been to a football game.

61 & 62. Boston is a ice cream jewel. There are so many great places and it seems to me that people always go or bring their friends to the same 2 or 3 places. I want to put this together because I think it would be fun and because it will give me something fun to do with friends who come to visit.

63. I love the grandure of theature and I have seen shows in Boston and otherwise but I have never seen a Broadway show.

64. I watch the same movies over and over. I have also seriously neglected some of the classics. This will force me (encourage me?) to branch out and “get” all those cultural references.

65. This one’s for Ben. Plus I think that it would be fun.

66. I LOVE the Red Sox. LOVE. I have been to tons of games but only at Fenway. Another stadium… what a perfect excuse for a vacation!

67. I love musicals but plays should not be neglected. This can be any play including community theatre or other local productions.

68. Cultural references understood and appreciated

69. I always say that I want to see movies, but I never go. I think 7 is not an unreasonable number.

70. One night, way back, my mom and Nancy went out and told the bar tender to give them “all the blue drinks”. Clearly this was a memorable enough experience that the children were told about it. I think it should be a tradition!

71. I have lived in Boston my whole life. In high school, one of my best friends lived at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill. I still have never seen the marathon. Even though I work for a Brittish based company without a sense of humor and, thus, we do not get Patriots Day off, I will make it happen!

72. At the last alumni game, I was instructed not to play due to neck problems. All I’m asking for is one scrum people!

73. If you know me, this is no surprise. It would be fun.

74. Something you should know about me: I am essentially solar powered. I slather on the 45 like any good red head and sit in the sun. Vacation beach days will be evaluated on an as-need basis

75. I tend to get into a rut and when I find something I like, I go there often. I specified “Local” because when I’m away from home, I’m a. more likely to go out for meals and b. most likely to visit a new place that I will never visit again. The goal of this goal is to broaden my horizons in my neighborhood and to try new things instead of the same old same old.

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Alex Says You Should Read These

December 8, 2009 at 9:57 am (For Intellectual Development) (, , )

After reading my post about books, my brother sent me a message with his recommendations…

“So for the goal thing you’re doing you talked about reading books. I thought of a good goal, read some real books, namely The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. It might help you become a real person. Don’t get your hopes up too much, but it might help.”

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