Tag Archives: massachusetts

Dear Mom, I’m doing just fine in Colorado without a gun

7 Aug

“You hear what happened in Colorado, at that movie theater?” The carpenter working on my Mom’s house stood there looking at me and dangling his paint-smattered hammer.

I said I did, then internally questioned whether I looked like the type of person to ignore national news in favor of reading People Magazine. Probably my hair. Anyway, we were standing in the middle of the living room with my Mom. She had just told the carpenter that I was leaving today, making the move from Boston to Colorado for a change of scenery that I’ve thought about making for a long time.

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This is the state of Massachusetts, or as I like to call it “the state that beckons Europe to come get in the van to play with its puppy”

“Let me tell you,” he started, planting his feet apart on the paper-covered wood floor. “Those shootings never would have happened if there were tighter gun laws in this country. It’s ridiculous! Any Joe can go down to Walmart and pick himself up a [insert gun name here — frankly I don’t remember what type of gun he was referring to but I remember using Context Clues to understand that he was talking about a gun].”

I could see that he wanted me to agree with him, because that’s what people on vague/poorly researched political tangents want you to do.

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Instead I decided to say what I was thinking.

“I don’t think gun laws would have stopped him, I think he’s just crazy. If he didn’t have guns he probably would have found out some other way to kill a bunch of people.”

The guy had that glassy-eyed, far-off, ‘the-government-is-screwing-us-those-sons-of-bitches’ look that I’ve grown accustomed to as a child of a giant, Irish, middle class family. I knew that face well, and there was no way to reason with it.

Later, I said goodbye to my hair elastic-obsessed cat Ponyo and filled up my water bottle in the kitchen sink. My Mom and I hugged and walked out the door, said a 20-minute goodbye in which she scheduled me to come back for New Year’s, then I had to run inside to get a banana I had left on the kitchen counter.

I bumped into the carpenter in the kitchen. “You know what you need to do?” he said. “Buy a gun.”

I laughed. Then straightened my face because he was serious. “Are you serious? Why?”

“Colorado isn’t like it is here. You go hiking, there are mountain lions and black bears everywhere in those mountains. You need to protect yourself. I’m telling you, buy a gun. And you never know what type of situation you might get into out there when you’re all alone and female.”Image

I said I’d think about it, and silently appreciated his flexibility concerning gun laws, which apparently should be adapted to different situations.

Looking back, I now realize that the carpenter had painted my Mom a beautiful picture of me being ripped to shreds by wolverines and velociraptors after I innocently decided to hike up a mountain without a gun. Or getting beaten up in a dark alley somewhere, gun-less, and crying out “WHY DIDN’T I LISTEN TO HIMMMM!”

Just to let you know, Mom, the most intimidating animal I’ve seen so far out here while hiking has been a chipmunk with no concept of personal space. At one point he did try to bite my toe, but I came down the mountain unscathed. And yesterday, something bit my right ankle. I’ll admit, after I got bitten I spent the next half hour waiting for the spider/rattlesnake’s poison to travel up to my heart and paralyze me. But it ended up being a red ant bite (so someone told me). You can tell the carpenter that I’m doing just fine without a gun.

chipmunk eating

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2 Aug

building 19

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Even Homeless People Need a Coffee Break; and Other Things I Learned on my Eurotrip

13 Jul

That Fateful Day - see bulletpoint #3

Oh hello, I’m back from my 2-month Eurotrip. Back to reality where money has to be made rather than spent on French wine, inflated museum admissions, and Croatian conditioner, the latter which I mistakenly used as shampoo for about 2 weeks. Feats accomplished:

  • Accidently visited a male strip club/potential gay brothel in Rome
  • Realized that sour cream does not compliment a day at the Croatian beach (should have gone with the container that said “Jogurt”
  • Was homeless with a guy named Jeff for 22 hours in Croatia. He wasn’t homeless; we got separated from our two friends who had the address and directions to the apartment we rented. Though I write this now in good humor, let me just say that you would probably never want to get lost overnight in a foreign country while wearing a little black dress. That being said, here is the postcard that I wrote to my best friend while Jeff and I were taking a homeless coffee break.

Sunset over the Adriatic Sea - Photo by Me - For Actual Postcard Please Visit MyiPhoneDeletedHalfofMyEuropePictures.com

JUNE 12, 2010

The arrow that you see on the front of this postcard is where I slept this morning from 6 to 8am today. Yes, this means that June 11th, the day of my birth, was spent walking the streets of Zadar in Croatia (never go here) trying to find the location of the obscure

Aw, look how happy I was just hours before wanting to KILL MYSELF

“B&B” where we paid for 2 nights, without an address or street name, only the first name of the 62 year-old proprietor “Jozo” who we met at a bus station upon arrival in Zadar (don’t go here). The night began swimmingly with wine and bread and cheese, and I saw my first sunset over a sea — the Adriatic. Myself and a Canadian named Jeff left our 2 friends to use the banya, and that’s when we last saw them. However, our friends were kind enough to leave us our bottle of wine (minus half) and a pack of cigarettes, which would sustain us for the next 15 hours of wandering the city. We still haven’t found our friends. We don’t know where we’re sleeping tonight. I love you, wish I talked to you on my birthday. [Then I bought a phone card and called her]

  • Decided I hate Croatians At Work:

Croatian Taxi Driver: “My shift, it is over. You must go. I will leave you here” [at a random neighborhood bar miles away from town]

Croatian Train Worker, Job Description Unknown: [Enters train compartment, mutters something in Croatian, I pull out my ticket and give it to her]. “Passport.” [Eyes close halfway in annoyance. I give her my passport.] “You must take off your shoes before you put on the seat.”  I completely agree. These chairs are nearly spotless, there are definitely no pen marks or mysterious streaks of brown crud embedded into the casino carpet -colored upholstery.

And any attempt to order a coffee from a Croatian Barista has been an absolute sham. The response to “espresso with cold milk” or “espresso with milk and ice” — even spoken in Italian — is always “No.” Is there a run on ice in Croatia?

"Really? Did you really just flip me the bird? And get down from there, don't even pretend like we're the same height, because we're not"

  • Saw major French penis at a nude beach then bought some pretty perfume
  • Rode the train through Tuscany listening to this Ludacris song
  • Had an affair with Italian chips
  • Decided against kidnapping a stray dog in Venice and naming him Ciao

Of course, while travelling I Found Myself blah blah blah — no, but mostly the trip emphasized something I had learned a couple years ago while travelling within the US. No matter where you go, everything is exactly the same. Whether you’re in Massachusetts, North Carolina, or Arizona, shopping plazas are the watering hole of suburbia, Walmart is always down the street and you’re never completely lost until you don’t hit a Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts after 5 minutes of driving. It’s good to get the f–k out of the US every once in awhile, or at least once in a lifetime. I personally can’t wait to go back. :)

Manarola, one town in the Cinque Terre, Italy

Trevi Fountain, Rome

Hot Dog only 3,50 - Street Food in Paris

Cape d'Ail, my favorite beach in the South of France

Noli, a beach in Liguria Italy

A Day at the Brain Doctor’s Office

23 Mar

Yesterday, me and my pal Restless Leg Syndrome climbed into the car and dropped in for a visit to my doctor at South Shore Neurology.

Walking into the waiting room at 851 Main Street is an enjoyable experience which I look forward to every six months. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I wish I could be Michael Keaton in Multiplicity and go shopping while my clone is left to leaf through a decaying People Magazine for a couple of hours. Despite the waiting, people-watching in a neurologist’s waiting room is fun. There are cute old people accompanied by their younger handlers, attempting to keep the flighty wanderings in check with inconsistent success. There are middle-aged, be-lipsticked working women impatiently bobbing their high-heeled feet. Yesterday there appeared to be a couple of divorcées on their 4th date, evident by the liberal laughter in response to the man’s second-rate jokes, and the absence of a goodbye kiss as the woman departed to get her brain checked out. But the most fun in people-watching at 851 Main Street comes via my vivid yet drastic imagination. It’s kind of a pleasure to imagine the crazy nonsense that is occurring behind each of my fellow patients’ skulls.

Old Mr. Pennyloafers to my left is undergoing the first stages of dementia. Somewhere in his brain, a group of synapses are munching on York Peppermint Patties while watching reruns of The Price is Right. Meanwhile Mr. Pennyloafers’ daughter, Elise, is downloading an iPhone app that will estimate the value of her father’s estate for when he croaks in oh, 2, 3 years. Across from me, Sharon Gladstone-Perry and her migraines might find relief in a new drug heavily promoted by Redbook. As for the lovers in the corner, Amy has decided to save her tidbit about narcolepsy for a later date in the relationship.

The nurse calls my name. I am led down a hallway to a familiar room which, though the building was built only ten years ago, still appears to be from the seventies. Leather-bound books with titles such as “Restless Leg Syndrome and You” and (in excessively large and visible lettering) “DEMENTIA,” line the walls. I settle into a chair and become entranced by a paperweight on my doctor’s desk. Is it very windy in this part of the building? At one point in the day does my doctor desperately scan his desk for something of just the right size that will secure flyaway papers to his desk, something other than the equally heavy stapler and book that are also within reach? At this time Dr. Herman enters the room and we exchange hello’s.

The conversation gets a bit off track with a discussion about the pitfalls of German cuisine. Such is the manner of Dr. Herman; our last visit was mainly about the two Canadian DJs who prank called Sarah Palin, peppered with a bit of discussion about my RLS. (For a man of sixty, my doctor really knows his way around YouTube.) He recommends Berlin for my upcoming Eurotrip, we advance to the screening room for a more comprehensive version of the sobriety test, and then it’s back to his office for the icing on the cake.

This is the part where Dr. Herman dictates a letter to my primary care physician into a tape recorder, which I assume is later typed up by some unfortunate medical assistant. I am still unsure as to why my presence is necessary for this portion of the visit, but I enjoy it nonetheless. As a man of sixty, Dr. Herman has probably been doing this tape-recording-shindig for decades. And at one point in time it was probably a cutting-edge technology. Dr. Herman begins. After every sentence, he says “STOP.” It sounds very official and I can perfectly visualize said unfortunate medical assistant rolling her eyes. Last is the update on my vitals. This is the part where Dr. Herman strings words and numbers together into a mess of gibberish. If you asked me if he were describing a 22 year-old girl or the approximate size and weight of a lawn chair, I would not be able to tell you. Click. He stands up, we say our goodbyes and I find myself once again in the waiting room.

As I make an appointment with the receptionist for 6 months in advance, I am saddened by the fact that I may have to cancel. (I’m aiming to flee Massachusetts for a warmer climate and better job market come Fall). My only hope is that Dr. Herman can refer me to a doctor’s office that is just as much fun as 851 Main Street.

Last Night at the Rodeo

14 Mar

In case I didn’t mention it, I’ve been in Texas this past week for spring break. I’m here in Dallas visiting my cousins, partly to get some sun, and partly to see if this is where I want to move to when I break out of the death grip that is college this May. So far I love it here. We visited Austin last weekend (more on that later), and spent the rest of the week in Dallas.

I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot this past week. First, I’ve realized that not everyone in Texas is fat. Austin is teeming with runners, and I actually have grown so accustomed to seeing thin people in Dallas that I do a double-take when someone larger walks by. Which I’m not sure is an accomplishment, but whatever. Second, I’ve forged a relationship with my cousin’s two cats — a major feat because the older one, Rascal, is apparently a punk ass bitch to most people. I feel special. Oh. Two accomplishments might not be “a lot” on paper, but it was in my mind. But onto the rodeo topic.

awkwardface.com

Being my last weekend in Texas, my cousin Laura bought us 2 tickets to the rodeo. This entailed using lots of hair spray, squeezing into tight flared jeans (which I haven’t done since I was 17), and layering on the eye makeup. I felt like we were going to an 8th grade dance.

We drove to Mesquite, Texas, ended up at a dark, empty building (wrong night), and turned around and drove 50 minutes in the opposite direction. We ended up at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, where we paid $12 to see Billboard’s newest sweethearts, Micky and the Motorcars. After seeing several cowboy hats, 2-steppers, and a girl in a baby tee, we decided to check out the rest of Fort Worth. = Sup tumbleweeds. Really, if you can avoid the city, do so please.

All in all, thanks for sitting through my anticlimactic story. I’ll have more interesting things to write about at a later date, when I’m not salivating over a Boboli pizza cooking in my cousin’s oven.

Whoever did this trailer needs to change professions

4 Mar

The Company Men.

I vote that it should have been a commercial for natural male enhancement. Special thanks to Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, and Chris Cooper for making out with my home city of Boston and hucking the loogy you call The Company Men.

It’s Carnie Time!

27 Sep

It’s that time of year again! The trees are turning orange, the air is brisk, and the Uggs are flying off the shelves. Yes, people, we have again entered state fair season.

Saturday night I paid $15 to get into The Big E, the biggest state fair in New England right in Western Mass.  What I actually got was the chance to peace out on societal norms for a night. Breath of fresh air, it was. Smelled like sausage.

The Big E 008

There is no other place where it is socially acceptable for a girl to shove three corndogs down her throat. (Well I’m sure there are some, I just haven’t been to them.) I watched as 15 year-old bastard children of carnies sadly dropped dough into vats of hot oil, struggling to earn their keep. A “M8K YOUR OWN SLUSH” cart failed to see the expansion of the 711 chain — but, paradoxically, people lined up all night to pay $5.95 for the same experience. My friends and I searched for 2 Girls 1 Cup on my cousin’s iPhone while standing in line for Fried Oreos — yet the thought of eating poop didn’t phase us when it came time to have an unofficial eating contest for the tasty, gooey-brown-center treats.

The Big E 001

Children on leashes, hick-couples handing over a buck to see “The World’s Biggest Pig,” a Bear Funhouse which hopefully didn’t contain a live bear, a horse show which I still have NO idea what the purpose was, fat people mowing down on steak hoagies. At the end of the night, a large splatter of vomit on the pavement was the icing on the cake.

Good times, good people; Fall has officially begun.

With this [Walmart Bag] I Thee Wed

2 Aug

Inspired by a failed relationship, a couple cool-ass contemporary sculptors and an online sculpture class assignment, I fashioned a wedding dress out of several unconventional materials.

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Title: Disposable Love. 2009.

Feast your eyes on this couture garment built from plastic Walmart bags, two shades of trash bag and clear plastic packing tape. The assignment was to pick a site on my college campus and design a sculpture for that space. Here’s an excerpt from my paper:

The site of Disposable Love is located on the Bridgewater State College campus on mornings from Monday through Friday. The site is a student named Samantha McCormick, also the artist of the sculpture. I am five foot three inches tall and one hundred and ten pounds.

I will spare you from quoting the rest of the paper, but rather give you a blog version. Stop reading now if you if you have no interest in learning something new via Internets. Perhaps you will have better luck filling out a 408-question survey about yourself on ForwardGarden.com. I hear StuffOnMyCat.com is also looking for contributors.

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Inspirations

serra TTI LondonRichard Serra: “Shotty I don’t play dat game” Because his sculptures are not fully alive until someone is in the room. When designing public art, he doesn’t cater to a building’s function or needs – i.e. he would never design a sculpture of books for a library. He urges other artists to do the same. He’s got a bit of a Fountainhead complex going on. One of his sculptures was removed by New York City officials shortly after its construction (see right). The case of Tilted Arc was brought to court on the grounds that it was unattractive and disrupted people traffic, which was Serra’s intent. Can’t have that in New York, oh no.

Kristin Hassenfeld & Petah Coyne: “White America, I go to TRL look how many hugs I git” I have a simple aesthetic. I enjoy crisp, clean lines, few or muted details, decisive and simple colors. Below is Hassenfeld’s paper art.

hassenfeld Though a little elementary school art class with Mrs. Gruppy -esque, it’s still pretty to look at. I don’t know if I’d ever go to an exhibit of hers but regardless, she did inspire to create a luxury item out of a common material. Petah Coyne creates scenes out of white wax (see right), usually morbid or ironic, always one or two colors.

Nick Cave: “Look Mayne its a Hood Thang” He validated my itch to make a piece of clothing. I love to sew and experiment with fabric. He has created tons of Soundsuits (below) for performance art, but even standing alone with no inhabitant they are damn cool. He also uses trash for materials, which inspired me too. Human hair, patches of dryer lint, bone, these are a few of his favorite things.

Because I got such a good response on Facebook from pictures of Disposable Love, I’m thinking of making others like it. It was really dear to my heart so I don’t know if I could ever outdo it, but I had alot of fun making the dress and showing it to other people. Future fashion show? Or trashion show, if you will…?

Homesick for Boston

24 Jul

I’ve been away from home for over 2 and a 1/2 months. With only 3 weeks left of my internship in North Carolina, it’s high time I started getting homesick for my hometown of Boston. Obviously, I miss my friends and family (Katie, Jess, Megan, Jenn, Devin, Mom, Dad, April, nephs, He Who Will Not Be Named…) Other than precious people, these are the things I miss the most…


1. Road Rage

Besides the drive-by shootings, I haven’t seen road rage once here. I actually miss getting cut off, then leaning on my horn and swearing at someone through two layers of glass and ample distance. It’s such a stress reliever.

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2. The North End

I’ve never had the money to go to Europe (hopefully that will change come next summer…), but there is no better local Italian than the stuff the families cook up in this little neighborhood. Dearest Mediterranean raviolis, a cannoli, and a cappucino, all for $20? I miss you.

3. Amvets

I tried shopping at the Goodwill here in North Carolina. It’s good if you’re looking for worn-out rayon clubbing -wear, I suppose. Shudder. I miss my Amvets, smack-dab in the middle of the ghetto, where I bought a J.P. Gaultier blazer and Vivienne Westwood jacket for $4 each. Because the average customer there doesn’t know Prada from Kathy Van Zeeland. It’s like stealing candy from a baby. :)

4. Wearing a sweatshirt in the middle of summer

Going camping in the summer in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Vermont means packing a coupla hoodies for rainy candy bar Bingo days and cool nights.

5. Bob’s Discount Furniture Commercials with 1980s Special Effects

Color me crazy, but I love waking up to a cup of coffee and a miniature Bob dancing in the the corner of my TV screen.

6. Dunkies

I don’t need a therapist. Just a little box to yell “A medium hazelnut iced coffee with cream and three Splenda” at.

7. People who think they’re wicked smaht

One of my favorite reasons to go to Harvard Square, the Institute of Contemporary Art, or the Museum of Fine Arts is to stand next to the bespectacled smarties or hipsters and listen to the ridiculous things they say. “Ah, this plywood table with a tennis shoe stapled to it must represent the poor and oppressed being stepped on by the wealthy and priveleged” — “Ah, yes, I concur.” Actually, my friends, you just stumbled into the supply closet where Mr. BeeBo the learning impaired janitor was working on a craft project.

Where am I?

"Where am I?"

8. Die-hard Red Sox fans

If I hear one more Tarheels comment I’m gonna throw up. I need me some red and white.

9. Serious Accents

I go into a gas station here and hear “Ha, how’re yu doin?” — I bump into someone, say I’m sorry, and without fail hear “Yer fahn, yer fahn.” VOMMMM. I miss walking into a gas station and hearing “Howaya, c’i getta packa Newports? ..Thanks take care.”

10. Being LOUD and being around LOUD PEOPLE!

Everyone here is quiet and proper. It’s really annoying because I often get shushed in the workplace, or on my lunchbreak, or in public, or in general. I’m loud – it’s who I am! Let me be who I am, North Carolina!

11. That Northeast sense of humor

Whether loud and obvious a la Chris Farley, or dry a la The Office, I miss the Northeast sense of humor. People just don’t joke around here like they do up North. One time I tried to sneak out early from a TERRIBLE improv show (don’t ask) and the magician intercepted my friends and I on our way out. His dress shirt was ridiculously wrinkly, so I told him “Good job ironing your shirt tonight.” My friends were APPALLED – and he was too. Don’t they know that, in the Northeast, making fun of someone is a playful way to engage in laughter? You must not take these insults seriously! (Regretfully, after I said this there was just awkward silence.)

August 20th I go meet up with the family for camping in New York (my sweatshirt will come in handy I’m sure), then I’m going home! :)

Summer in the South

3 Jun

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It took a buttload of willpower to walk away from the crashing 6 foot-high waves of Salter Path Beach in North Carolina. Every five steps, I would stop, take a picture, trudge ahead, stop, take a picture, trudge ahead… DSC00620Finally I reached the dunes and put my sandals back on. Whoever this Salter guy is, I’d like to thank him via blog for his cool ‘path.’ The walk from the beach to the car is a wooden boardwalk overgrown with trees from a small forest.

Being from Massachusetts, going to the beach means hopping a cement wall to face murky, 2 foot-high waves with  temperatures that numb the toes after 60 seconds. The Southern friends that I went with really enjoyed making fun of my Oohs and Aahs.

Picture 1 Salter Path Beach is on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and it’s about 2 hours from where I’m living for the summer. If you haven’t heard, I’m at East Carolina University all summer for an internship. The first time someone threw the “Pirates” mascot gang sign at me, I thought they meant “limp dick.” (Just make a hook with your finger. You’ll see what I mean.)

The beaches in the South aren’t the only things that are in stark contrast to what we have in the North.

Here, they smile even when they don’t know you, they do things slower (which can get really irritating), and they have gas stations that sell fast food, called Sheetz. I’m probably going to avoid it. And most people here have never been up North. Someone even asked me if Boston was in New York. :)
DSC00689Since I’ve been here, I’ve bodysurfed, tried on a lab coat, seen multiple palm tree farms, bought a hunting hat at “The Walmart,” found a beastly crushed spider on my heel, and smoked watermelon hookah. It’s not much,

but I have the whole summer ahead of me!

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