not driving, still travelling, and driving again

i headed to baltimore to visit a couple of friends, and to check out a job opportunity. didn’t feel like driving though, and still not too keen on the bus. . . so i took a train. nice way to relax, read, sleep, whatever, and no need to go through tsa.

got through another audiobook. ‘don’t get too comfortable.’ pretty witty.

i got into town and was able to meet up with lesley. she has a cute apartment, and a sweet cat. she has a roommate as well, but i never saw her, she’s interning at a hospital. it would seem that they have a schedule worse than a theatre technician’s.

lesley showed me all around centerstage- it’s a pretty great space, even got to see a show. we caught up a bit, and i got to see jacob, a former apprentice.

travis walked me through his neighborhood- it’s ‘miracle on 34th street’ time there. it’s really kinda spectacular. we headed over to their friends after dinner and set up to play a game but never got there. how can anyone play a game when there are cupcakes from scratch to be made! one of their friends had a new iphone, and i finally played around with it a bit. way incredible. . .

they were in a tech weekend, so i spent some time at the aquarium the next day and met up with travis again for a movie.

i left monday morning and arrived in boston, just in time to drop my bags, text dan to order me a drink, and walk over to meet them at the common ground, for another round of trivia!

i can’t remember the exact order of things, seems to matter a little less these days, but i did do more shopping, i got to the isabella stewart gardener museum (my fav in boston), the mapparium, and another evening of trivia at tommy doyles. i had a great time. it was nice to have so much around me, all in walking distance, or T distance. i definitely miss that about boston.

dan (my friend from highschool), cayla (his friend), dan and i all met up again for dinner as we planned before. we went over to the otherside cafe. really cute place, and really nice food. there was talk of meeting up again, and possible movie nights. it would seem that i could make myself a decent social life if i figured a way to live in boston. seems the same if i wanted to take the job in baltimore- but i didn’t. i have a couple other things i want to do first i guess.

for now though, headed back home. another audiobook, ‘the stupidest angel’, a dinner party that my mom has planned, a big snow storm, and plans to get to florida for the holidays.


back to boston

i seriously don’t remember if we went back on monday or tuesday, but. . .dan needed to get back to work, so we drove down. we listened to ‘m is for magic’ during the ride. such a sucker for neil gaiman.

i did a bunch of walking around boston, even visited some of the newer areas of emerson- they have a barnes and nobles now, and a slick new student center. . . i did some shopping, so hard to resist such cute places!

dan and terry held a poker night. i watched and made some food. . . but not really enticed to play at all.

tommy doyle’s-
we heard last wednesday that the next week’s trivia was cancelled. . . . it was cancelled at big city, but not tommy doyle’s. so instead of playing in allston, we headed out to cambridge. i met up with a number of dan’s co-workers. the pub was really great- excellent shepard’s pie. . . as a team we didn’t do as well, the competition was definitely stiffer, but a quick favorite.

clean sweep-
i cleaned my brother’s and roommate’s bathroom. made a trip to target and bought a new shower curtain, new rugs, made the afternoon of it. seems i can’t help myself every once in a while.

time to travel again.



dan and i drove to thanksgiving at our aunt and uncle’s early thursday morning. we hit traffic about 20 miles from our destination, and it held us up for almost two hours. annoying. . . frustrating. . . . but we made it just before the food was served. thanksgiving was really laid back and great. plenty of food, good chatting, a late night round of apples to apples. dan and i had thought about making something to bring for the dinner and then though better of it. instead we brought the wii and guitar hero, it filled up some late hours. both met with a bit of resistance, but eventually nearly everyone gave in and donned the guitar, or played a round of bowling.

for black friday a group of us hit the movies and caught ‘enchanted’ while others were occupied elsewhere. that evening two of my teenage cousins and i went to rent a movie for the group and i needed to get whiskey for hot toddy’s. it seemed that along with the joys of family comes a slew of germs and several of us were getting the sniffles. we sat through ‘spirited away’ because for some reason my manga crazed cousin hadn’t even seen yet.

mom, dad, dan, and i headed home on saturday. we drove our cousin tim up as well, since he’s up at potsdam state. dan and i popped in the audiobook, ‘stardust.’ we figured tim would pass out for the majority of the drive, but he actually seemed to get interested in it. we all stopped at mom and dad’s latest favorite pit stop, a little italian deli in warrensburg. mmmm, heroes and cannolis.

dan got in touch with one of his closest friends from highschool. he came over and we caught up for a bit. between dan’s and my class there were a large number of siblings, and they just had the 10th reunion, so i caught up a bit vicariously.

tim got off to school the next day, but not without finishing the last hour of ‘stardust.’

dan was in search of ‘rockband’ for the ps2. they seemed to be all sold out in boston, but the demand is never so great in the northcountry, so we headed up to the mall- if you can even call it that anymore. we found out that the game hadn’t been released for ps2 yet. . . bummer!



dan got wednesday off, and we planned to meet up with our cousin, ashley for a bit of an outing. dan helped plan our ride into town with a pit stop for boba tea. . . mmm, so good.

dan and i met up with ash and her friend currently going to college in boston. we spent part of an afternoon at TOMB. i HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. i wish the company had some other themed versions available, but it seems to be only the one. you enter this egyptian themed amusement thingy (not a park), and you go through and solve puzzles in order to complete a mission with a number of other people who just happen to be there, and the appropriately overly enthusiastic guide. it’s kind of amazing how quickly leaders show themselves, even among complete strangers. there was one puzzle that i’m not sure we would’ve gotten through if dan hadn’t taken over. he was fair though, let the kids around us be involved and do the work while he dictated the strategy. ash is an RA at her college

we spent dinner with a couple of my friends (well, my best friend from highschool and one of his friends from the area) we ate at fire and ice- a restaurant with an interesting set up. you walk around all the ingredients and add the ones you want to a bowl, then choose the type of sauce you want and walk over to the cooking area. you hand off your ingredients to one of the cooks along with everyone else there and they cook it up on a large circular grill. we had a great time and decided to take a walk to the movies. we caught ‘dan in real life’ and then made plans to do something similar when dan and i were back after thanksgiving.


a walk around

i took a decent walk through some parts of downtown. started at government center and had lunch at feneuil hall/ quincy market. . . yes, touristy, but great chowder. . . really hits the spot on a chilly rainy day. i walked through government center, downtown crossing and then headed to the mfa. it’s alright, it was never my favorite, and i tried to give it a clean slate, but i still found it a little dull. there was a nice display of ancient chinese furniture though.

dan and i had dinner with some of his friends. real nice people, and it was just warm/ chilly enough for them to fire up the grill. great dinner, lovely chatting, cute kitty. . .



that’s the mileage number i passed on my way to boston. the idea is that i would drive down a couple of days early to pick dan up for thanksgiving, and get a chance to hang out for a few days. i got in town just in time for a trivia night, which was pretty empty right before thanksgiving. . . our small team of two took second place- yeah, that’s right, lake placid IS the only north american city to have held the olympics twice in the past century. and there’s that great bookstore there that gives out 2 dollar bills for change, but that really wasn’t part of the question.



yes, what would erika do?

E: so, say you’ve taken some time off of work, undecided about how you’ve spent the past 14 years of your life.

S: oh, how awful.

E: yes, rather daunting but back to the quick of it. so you are back living with your parents. just recently you were a productive member of society. you made money, spent it, paid bills, fed, clothed and sheltered yourself, and with reasonable success. and now it would seem none of that ever existed. the questions made by your parentals suggest that within a matter of minutes alone in the house you are capable of burning it down or in some other way destroying it utterly. it would seem that you’ve never used a washer, dryer, dishwasher, vacuum, iron, or shower before. all these things are incredibly difficult to use and come with amazing instructions from said parentals. how ever did you exist before all this? oh right, you did. it’s a wonder, isn’t it.

S: where is this going?

E: i’m getting there. indeed, you’ve let some habits slide. at one point you were very organized. for a random example let’s say laundry was done on a specific day of the week and promptly put away. this made the rest of the week easier. you could wake up in the morning and easily locate the shirt you planned to wear to work, because it was neatly put where you expected it to be. this could even be done while groggy or in haste if one overslept a bit. but the initial organization made it easy. however, there is no haste that exists currently. there is no urgency. so these days when laundry is done, sometimes it sits in the laundry basket waiting to be folded for days.

S: odd.

E: well, it just doesn’t matter so much. no urgency.

S: what if you need to find something to go somewhere.

E: there is no where you NEED to go. so if you want to go somewhere, and it takes an extra 15 minutes to locate the shirt you want to wear it really doesn’t matter. follow?

S: sure.

E: even though you have loosened the grip on your habits, not all those around you have done the same. others stick to their habits, even when it impedes upon your territory. for instance, perhaps one of your parentals walks into your room, and noticed the ‘mess of clothes on the floor’ and decides, without questioning you, to pick it all up. now, said parental didn’t know that the clothes in the hamper were clean, the pile near the window was dirty, the pile near the dresser had another day’s use in them and the pj’s on the bed were going to be worn that night.

you knew this.

you had a system.

but the parental didn’t know and didn’t ask. just tossed all the clothing into the hamper. so now the system was all screwed up and you’d probably end up having to clean the whole lot (even the already clean because it’s now been contaminated by the dirty because you do have a little OCD). what’s more, you are just frustrated that instead of asking a simple question, action was taken that has now messed up your system.

S: mmm. i’m hypothetically frustrated.

E: well, you could tell said parental of this problem and ask them to stop moving your things about.

S: sounds good.

E: . . . but you already tried this and apparently the message was not received.

S: upsetting.

E: indeed. however, you once again state your case. when apologies are offered you refuse them and ask instead for your things to no longer be touched. simple, it would seem.

S: it would seem.

E: but you’ve been taught idiot proofing, and well, you have a mischievous side. so you decide to take a little action. it must be something related to the original problem, and not damaging.

S: what would YOU do?

E: i’d rearrange said parent’s underwear drawer. when getting up, while still sleepy and with little light, it’s just completely annoying. all you need is your undies so you can go and shower, but they aren’t exactly where you put them.

S: oh i see. so you’ve upset their routine just as they upset yours. and they might think, ‘hey, it sucks when someone moves MY things out of the place that i am used to. i must really annoy others when i’m doing the same to them. gee, i should stop those actions of mine. thank goodness my daughter has pointed this annoying habit of mine out to me through the use of this simple and yet not damaging prank.’

E: exactly.

S: so what if the behavior continues? what would you do next?

E: well, let me think a bit. heh, who am i kidding, i already know my next move. you see, i thought about it while running errands in town the other day. i was annoyed by my key chain, when i realized the annoyance was the new key dangling from it. my parental’s car key. after being doped up on a recent doctor visit, said parental couldn’t drive. so i chauffeured. i still have the key. it would be completely easy to drive to parental’s place of work and relocate the parked car. could be to another spot in the same lot, or could be a completely different lot.

S: and what does that accomplish?

E: well, not only can it instill fear and panic to not see your car where you put it, but to find it nearby and unharmed would be embarrassing, annoying, and may even create doubt and suspicion into the mental faculties of said parental.

S: huh?

E: it might lead them to believe that they are experiencing early signs of ‘senior moments.’

S: oh. how diabolical.

E: true.

S: so are you gonna go through with it?

E: eh. i don’t exactly HAVE to. you see, just the mere mention of the possibility is enough, especially when said parental reads this blog on a regular basis. they may turn from their computer and call me a snot, or a brat, but the fear has been imprinted.

will i move the car? let’s ask eddie. . .
(ps, play video below)


the sticks

the sticks, originally uploaded by ekissam.

for those of you who don't fully comprehend what i mean when i say i come from a rural area. . . i took this shot at the grocery store parking lot. yeah, there's some amish around here.


halloween.07.5, originally uploaded by ekissam.

my parents were in hawaii. while they were gone they asked to me decorate some pumpkins to get ready for halloween. really, what else did they expect?


halloween.07.1, originally uploaded by ekissam.

i made one for my grandpa's house too. :)


halloween.07.3, originally uploaded by ekissam.

not quite as brite as a lite brite. . . but slightly nifty i guess.