Urban (mis)Advantures

There was no creamer! — February 12, 2013

There was no creamer!

So, I’ve tried to give up coffee completely, but the coffee can reared up and kicked me in the head.  I do not have or need it every day, and still soothe myself with tea.

But this morning, dealing with little sleep and a bout of depression, I poured myself a cup after lunch.  Then I looked around the office’s small kitchen and realized there was no creamer.  Inwardly, I gasp, and realize it’s in the conference room where some fancy important meeting was happening.  But I need creamer now!

A search of the refrigerator yielded some whipped cream.  Yes, it sounds a bit desperate, but works for hot chocolate, I figured with a shrug.  A co-worker came in and caught me squirting some into my cup and laughed.  It’s actually not all that bad.  It is lightly sweetened, but now the coffee does not feel as heavy as the powder or liquid creamers.  But I probably won’t make a habit out of this.

Tomorrow, I’m guzzling some of the Cherry Lime-aid juice in the fridge.

’13 Blizzard — February 11, 2013

’13 Blizzard


That be my green VW Beetle blanketed by over 1 foot of snow!  Behind her is the Mister’s Jeep Cherokee.  This was the scene before we attacked the powder with shovels.  Our neighbor strolled through with the snow blower, which was a great help.  In all my gracefulness, I toppled into the knee-deep snow at least twice while trying to walk around.

When hearing that Massachusetts may break its snow accumulation record, accompanied by hurricane force winds, I took Friday off and schools were cancelled. On Thursday, I ventured to the grocery store for a few items to get us through the weekend, including batteries  The bread aisle was bare at Market Basket.  I prepared the fireplace for some burning and filled the bathtub with water.  Because major storms in Massachusetts usually means power outages.

But I believe the good Lord saw fit to spare us again, as our lights, heat, and water remained on during the blizzard.  I guess He thinks four years of losing power was enough for us.  Snow fell steadily for about twelve hours in our part of the woods.  White-out conditions hit on Saturday morning.  A travel ban was enforced on Mass highways; we were to be off the roads by 4 pm on Friday and remain off during Saturday as plows cleared our roads.  Although some may have griped about the ban, I’d rather be banned than deal with 350 car wrecks like Ontario did.

Now on Monday, many schools remain closed.  We now brace for one or two inches of rain/sleet/snow.  Argh.

Snow banks are about 5 feet high, y’all.  So actually stop at stop signs and ease into intersections, people.

Urban Adventure Time! The Mass MoCA. — February 7, 2013

Urban Adventure Time! The Mass MoCA.

The Mister had a great college homework assignment: view art on the internet, then view it at a museum and write a comparison paper on the subject.  Having been to more than one museum in Boston, he declared we would take a day trip to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, a.k.a the Mass MoCA, nestled in mill buildings in North Adams.  The Mister’s choice of internet pics/real life view of art:  the spectacular Phoenix, by Chinese artist, Xu Bing. 

Spending at least two years constructing the magnificent beasts out of items found at construction sites around Beijing, Xu created one 95-foot and a 100-foot long phoenix. Let me tell you, that our images do not bring justice to the breath-taking creatures.

Head, neck and feet of one Phoenix.
Head, neck and feet of one Phoenix.


Yours truly under the tailfeathers.
Yours truly under the tail feathers.


When taking a closer, real life look at the Phoenix project, you can make out wrenches, welding masks, hard hats, shovels, wheels, 50-gallon drums, and other metals intricately pieced together.  But my mind viewed them as wonderous living beings, and I half expected them to take flight.

We then had a fun time taking family shots throughout other exhibits, such as the Sol Lewitt wall paintings:

Plays with the eyes a bit...
Plays with the eyes a bit…

Then we ran into a familiar face at the Curiosity, a children’s exhibit:

Han Solo trapped in carbonite..made entirely out of Legos!
Han Solo trapped in carbonite..made entirely out of Legos!



All of us facing Gisele Amantea's "Democracy."
All of us facing Gisele Amantea’s “Democracy.”

The Mass MoCA is definitely worth the drive out to North Adams.  Paintings and sculptures aren’t the only art on display, as they host concerts there also.  The museum is spread out among spacious mill buildings, after all.  We will most certainly visit again.





Lights Out at the Superdome!! — February 3, 2013

Lights Out at the Superdome!!

Whoa!  Just after the Ravens made an unbelievable pass touchdown in the 3rd quarter, half the power has gone out in the New Orleans Superdome.
The downside: the power outage makes this painfully long game even longer.
The upside: Maybe I’ll get to enjoy more of what I watch the Super Bowl for- the commercials.  Give me more of the adorable E-Trade baby.  I’m still waiting for a great Volkswagen commercial!  (Although I don’t think they’ll top the Mini Vader add).
The Mister just said he’s waiting for Bain from Batman to waltz out on the field and take over the town.
So now football fans to go to the bathroom, take a cigarette break, or order some more pizza while we all wait for light to return during this surpisingly darkly beautiful moment.

An Almost Ironically Beautiful Moment — February 1, 2013

An Almost Ironically Beautiful Moment

The other day, I drove down Essex Street here in Lawrence, MA for work.  And ambulance, with its sirens screeching and lights flashing, approached the intersection from the opposite directions.  Those of us stopped at the red light scooted over to the right to allow for room.
Now, I don’t know about you all, but when I am driving in an urban downtown environment and hear sirens, I cautiously approach intersections since I do not know where the vehicle may come from.  Apparently people in Lawrence do NOT hold this same belief.
Traffic on Essex Street is stopped to let the ambulance through.  Yet cars blasted through the intersection on the adjacent avenue.  Including a Lawrence Fire Department vehicle.  The ambulance nearly t-boned him.
Let me emphasize this moment.  A Lawrence Fire Department vehicle zipped through an intersection in front of an in-route ambulance.  One vehicle that helps impose safety was nearly hit by another such automobile.  I can just picture the headlines.
In my mind, I saw the accident in the opposite lane.  I pictured myself passing by the disabled Fire Department vehicle with my window rolled down, laughing maniacally and shouting “Loser!” with my thumb and forefinger in the shape of an “L” on my forehead.  Instead I watched the EMT in the ambulance shake his head as he passed me by.