I apologise in advance but this has been on my mind lately and I just had to share.

I like the environment.  I really do.  I believe in walking and biking, using energy-saving light bulbs, and eschewing plastic bags. Whenever someone comes up with a new way to save the environment, my response is “Great! Let’s do it.”  



Apparently, there are limits to how much environmentalism I can stomach.  I’m talking, of course, about the Keeper. *I do not recommend clicking on this link if you’ve eaten in the last 24 hours.  Or if you ever want to feel hungry again.

The Keeper.  An environmentally-friendly tampon-alternative.  Really?  

The Keeper first appeared on my radar a few years ago when a friend-of-a-friend added the Keeper to their facebook interests.  Not knowing what it was, said friend told me to google image search it.  I did and we had a good chuckle about this thing:

The whole thing became much funnier when said friend explained that friend-of-friend had added it to their interests because a mutual acquaintance of all of us was “going through an environmental phase” and was using the Keeper.  Since I was not in the mood to vomit, I pretty much forgot about the whole incident (although I will say that I had a hard time looking at that acquaintance with a straight face the next time I saw her).

So a few years later, alternative menstrual products came up in casual conversation.  Mockingly, of course.  And then I got curious about the ol’ Keeper cause I remembered it had given me a good laugh.  So I google searched it again and my eyes were opened the vast world of period products.  And oh how I wish they were still closed.  

For those who are interested, you can choose between the Keeper, the MoonCup (think about that name), or the DivaCup.  You can find reusable pads or (my favourite) the Lunapanties, an “all-in-one deluxe period panty.”  Which is awesome because I’m so frustrated with my all-in-one BASIC period panty (?).  Also available is the ultra low-tech birth control method called Cycle Beads.  For $15.95, you’ll receive:

a string of colored beads that represent each day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. They are a simple tool that clearly shows where you are in your cycle. They tell you whether or not you are likely to get pregnant that day. Cycle Beads are based on the Standard Days Method of family planning. Studies have shown that this method is more than 95% effective when used correctly. Cycle Beads are for women who want a natural, effective, inexpensive approach to family planning with no side effects, and have regular menstrual cycles between 26 and 32 days long. Cycle Beads come with complete, easy instructions.

Did you see that? 95% effective!  Why use anything else?

Clearly all this “alternative” mumbojumbo is lost on me.  Rather than being swayed by this image,

I’m horrified about the idea of a 10 year old period cup.  Oh Holy Mother of God, please help us.  

I’m also ridiculously disturbed by the application instructions.

Umm, no comment.

So basically, when it comes down to it, I’m not so environmentally-friendly.  If being green means sticking latex cups in your cooch, I say PAVE THE RAINFOREST, BABY.

1.  The Running Skirt

This is becoming increasingly popular and more and more seem to be popping up at each road race I do.  Why?  From my perspective, it’s wasteful and impractical.  There are shorts underneath so the extra flap is superfluous.  I’ve never found myself wanting running attire that limits my movement.  Maybe I’m weird in that respect.  And while I’m all for being feminine, I think I can deal with wearing pants/shorts for the hour or so I’m running.

2. Geometry 

Math is, admittedly, not my strongest subject.  I’m a world-class bullshitter with a talent for words (are you getting why I was a history major now?).  That being said, I like math.  Algebra and statistics make sense to me.  They can also be kinda relaxing.  Not so with geometry.  I just don’t get it.  I kinda hate it.  And I’ve yet to find a real-world application for it.  I’m sure they exist but I haven’t dusted of my protractor or compass since sophomore year of high school.


3.  Sausage

Sausage has the distinction of being the one item on this list that I don’t WANT to understand.  I don’t know what it is.  I don’t want to devote anytime to thinking about it.  I don’t get how sausage can exist in thousands of forms from many different animals, but I’m okay with that.  How sausage can be “home-made” is a mystery to me.  A mystery to be left unsolved.    I choose not to think about sausage and I definitely choose not to eat sausage.  

So go on, tell me what you don’t understand.  

An Ode to the 10k

August 4, 2008

So I’m back from beautiful California and just wanted to take a minute to express my love for the 6.2-mile distance.  Less than 24 hours after landing in Californi-i-a, I embarked on a very memorable run through the mean streets of Santa Cruz.  In freezing cold temperatures, Sarah (sister), Emily (sister), Sam (sister’s boyfriend), and I conquered the 36th running of the famed Wharf-to-Wharf 10k.  

But let’s back up a bit.  Seven months ago, I was visiting California for the first time with my dear friend Dasha.  Her aunt and uncle took us on a driving tour of Santa Cruz, pointing out the hot spots like the boardwalk and the surf museum.   They also mentioned that a beach party-like run takes place there every July.  As a recent college graduate with not much going on my life, I joked that maybe I’d take up running and come back for the race.  The day I got back to Boston, I bought some Asics and bookmarked the Couch-to-5k-Plan.  I set out running and haven’t looked back.

Six months, two road races, and hundreds of miles pounding the pavement later, I completed the race that inspired me to start running in the first place.  And yet, I almost missed the significance of the Wharf-to-Wharf.  Smack in the middle of my racing season, I started seeing the 10k as just a stop on the way to Falmouth and the B.A.A. Half-Marathon.  My miserable days as a high school track not-so-much-star were forgotten.  I’d gotten so accustomed to running that I glossed over the fact that just six months ago I considered those who enjoyed running to be crazy-folk.  But all it took was an early morning run along the ocean to bring me back to my senses.  The 10k in general and Wharf-to-Wharf in particular freakin rock.  And here’s why.

-The 10k is twice the distance of the 5k (duh), which is perhaps the most egalitarian distance in running.  6.2 miles is a respectable distance and feels like an accomplishment, yet still retains the welcoming attitude of the 5k and attracts lots of less-than-elite runners.  This makes the crowd you run with diverse and entertaining.  Running with Elvis, 5 year olds, AND competitive Kenyans?  Sure, I’ll do it.

-As if the scenery and 15,000 other runners weren’t inspiring enough, the Wharf-to-Wharf course is dotted with 50 bands, spectators with cowbells, and a beach-party atmosphere.  A balloon arch at each mile?  Nice touch guys.  It makes every mile feel like an accomplishment and helps propel runners to a speedy finish.

-The 10k requires a certain measure of training and takes up the better part of one’s race-day morning.  BUT it doesn’t sap all of one’s energy and leaves the rest of the day to enjoy burritos at El Palomar and take a scenic tour of Route 1 while winding one’s way up to San Francisco for vacation.  It may also leave energy for a marathon-like eating tour of Northern California and a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge later in the week.  

All in all, the Wharf-to-Wharf is a damn good way to start off a vacation.  I’m sensing a new tradition.  Who’s with me?

On Making History

July 17, 2008

I’ve recently become obsessed with Mad Men.  My lack of work this week meant I had lots of time to watch episodes On Demand, which coincides nicely with the upcoming season premiere and its historic Emmy nomination.  For those not in the know, Mad Men is an AMC series based around the lives and work of Madison Avenue advertising men in 1960.  If the premise seems a bit dry, I assure you there is plenty of sex, booze, and scandal to keep you entertained.  The best part?  It’s historically-accurate debauchery.  

As many people know, I spent my undergrad years as a history devotee. As the proud holder of a $150,000 BA in History, I feel that it’s my responsibility to clear up historical misconceptions.  Most people assume that history is a dry subject and a degree in the discipline’s only utility is helping one get a teaching job.  In my experience, people are just as shocked to find out I have no plans on ever teaching as they are that I have no interest in the Civil War, ancient Rome, or George Washington.  

Case in point: I ventured to Charlestown last weekend with Amelia and Seth.  I was able to hold my own and let my out-of-state friends know that the Battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breed’s Hill, which I owe more to being a Massachusetts-native and having been indoctrinated in Revolutionary War propaganda from a young age than anything I learned in college.  I’m far more at home finding places for us to drink sangria in the North End then taking part in historical reenactments.  

To me, history is very much alive, relevant, and often salacious.  During my years as a history major, I wrote several papers on testicles, perused vintage Playboys, and learned as much about Hitler’s sex life as his military strategy.  I once spent a whole weekend in the computer lab writing 25 pages about Nazism’s and Judaism’s dual responsibility in castrating Freud. I know more than a little about the societal effects of the Pill, the relationship between communism and homosexuals, and tattoo rituals of Iraqis.   By the end of college, I had found my niche (or niches) in psychohistory and social theory.  Wars only interest me insofar as they precipitate social change and if anyone ever tried to start a conversation with me about Locke or Voltaire, I’d probably cry from boredom.  I like learning about people, and not specific ones as much as average joes and social trends they represent.  Enter Mad Men.

This show is brilliant in that in 13 episodes,  literally thousands of facets of 1960’s America are critically captured.  Consumerism, gender roles, de facto racism, beatniks and bohemians, homosexuality, psychoanalysis…you name it, it’s there.  With so many cigarettes, stiff drinks, and sex scenes to make me feel a little ill just watching it.  

Mad Men is both critically-acclaimed and professor-approved.  My Post-War America prof recommended the show last fall and I’d like to do the same.  It’s got its predictable moments (who couldn’t have seen that Peggy’s “weight-loss device” was actually a vibrator?) but there also some good plot twists and complex emotional situations being dealt with.  How would women today react to being threatened by their gynecologist with being taken off the Pill if they “abuse it?”  And how brilliant are those writers for simultaneously making you feel for the housewives, while also believing their husband belongs with his mistress?  Pure Hollywood genius.  Pure Hollywood historical genius.

If I weren’t so damn committed to helping people and too idealistic to get involved in the rat race, I bet I could go west and write awesome historical drama for the screen.  As a historian, I bring a lot to the table, like knowledge of Hitler’s undescended testicle and nuts and bolts of illegal abortions.  If that doesn’t make for cinematic gold, I don’t know what does.

Just Wondering…

July 12, 2008

I had an engagement today in the Woo, so I zipped a car.  Renting a little vehicle for a few hours has become pretty common for me, but unlike my other recent road trips, I didn’t have anyone in the car to chat with and didn’t think to grab some cds.  I’m not a huge music person, mainly listening to hipster-lite hits on my iPod but this lucky bitch got to spend some quality time with the radio while driving west.  Since my Nissan Versa’s radio console was hard to navigate and I was too busy rushing to make it to the dentist on time to fiddle with the presets (I’m not so good with multitasking when it comes to driving), I mainly flipped between soft rock, classic rock, and Boston’s #1 Hit Music Station! Some things I discovered were that the radio pretty much blows (but I knew that anyway) and that Miley Cyrus is apparently a huge star.  I don’t get it.

But here’s the point of this post.  I’d like to award the title of Worst Artist Ever to Marc Anthony.  I’m not sure if he’s still around or doing anything other than fathering J-Lo babies but his music is absolute shit! His song “You Sang to Me” came on the radio and I seriously contemplated driving off the road straight for a tree in order to end the pain.

Runner-up awards go to Lee Anne Womack for her craptastic “I Hope You Dance” and A-Ha’s “Take on Me.”

So  was just wondering…what gets your vote for lamest song?

My Demand List

June 27, 2008

I want a lot of things: world peace, universal healthcare, a job, good credit, ripped abs…but hey, we’re living in a material world and I’m a (sometimes) material girl.  So I thought I’d share some of my current yearnings.


1.  Religious Footwear

Lately I’ve been craving sandals.  I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for but the best way I can describe my dream shoes as resembling sandals Jesus would wear.  These Gap finds aren’t perfect, but at $14.99, they’ll hold me over until I find a holier pair.

2. A Pearl of Great Price

OMG I so want a cute, blue BlackBerry Pearl.  Unlike some people I know, I have no NEED for one but by golly would this little baby make my life more colourful.  It’s small enough to not look too ostentatious, but powerful enough to enable my texting-addiction and internet-junkieism.  

3. A Whip

I’m not really a car person.  I’m a walk/bike/public transport kind of gal.  But some wheels would be nice, making trips to the beach feasible and allowing me to occasionally grocery shop.  And at 46 mpg, the hot  little piece of ass known as the Prius is the ultimate eco-friendly status-symbol.  

4.  Pizza, Please-a?

I used to eat pizza maybe once a year.  I don’t know what’s happened to me, but now if I go a day without eating some greasy, gooey, cheesy pizza, I go through withdrawal.  In addition to unlimited access to Uno’s Spinnacoli Pizza, I’d like someone to come up with a new recipe for this gem of a pizza that cuts out some of the 1800 calories of the individual-sized one.


I live in Allston and, most of the time, I like it.  As an Allston-ian, there are certain things you have to deal with, like waking up to piles of vomit on your doorstep on Sunday mornings and fireworks being set off until the wee morning hours after the Cetlics win the NBA finals.  Despite this, I’m kinda a fan of my apartment.  I’ve come to appreciate the mouse (mice?) who I share my apartment with and look at my room’s lack of wintertime heat as a charming eccentricity.  It’s more than just being the first place I’ve lived for more than four months since going to college.  It’s cozy and convenient to all the hip spots like Our House and Spike’s

Ok, but let’s be serious here.  There’s been somethings lately that have suck beyond the realm of normal Allston quirks.  And I aint talking bout the mouse who ran over my foot at 1:30 am.  

1.  Early Morning Construction


Everyday I wake in the presence of 5-25 burly men.  7 AM on the dot, they’re digging, blasting, and pounding away at…whatever.  Best case scenario, I realise it’s pointless to try to hit the snooze button and get out of bed when I was planning on it.  Worst case scenario, my plans to sleep in on my day off are ruined.

2. Water Woes

Imagine, if you will, having no hot water for a weekend, making showering painful and sponge baths necessary.  Annoying, right?  Now imagine having NO WATER between the hours of 3 and 11 pm on a saturday.  A hot saturday when you’ve just gone out for a run and desperately want a drink of cool water or to shower before climbing into your freshly-washed sheets.  A saturday when guests have been invited over and the planned menu required water be boiled for the pasta.  A saturday in which you discovered no water means no flushing the toilet (not that you would have peed anyway, you couldn’t wash your hands).  Yes, heavenly.

3.  Crazy Neighbors

Yes, that’s cat litter on my stairs and no, I don’t know why there’s care litter on my stairs.  I do know I prefer my neighbors getting kitty litter all over the place to their other exploits (breaking the same window twice in 2 days or practicing the drums [poorly] at all hours of the day and night).

All this results in

an unwashed, unhappy urban-dweller.

I was just at McDonald’s.  No, I wasn’t eating there.  I wanted a fountain Coke, ok?  But that’s not the point.


McDonald’s.  150 Zillion Served.  No Hamburgers.  What?

-One never ends up in the ER when they have freshly-shaven legs, smell nice, or look good.  Every doctor, nurse, and tech in the place, however, did see my nicely-matching green-with-blue-polka-dots bra and underwear.  But then again, as a retired bra specialist, I ALWAYS have nice undergarments on.

-Going to the ER alone, when every one of your friends is legitimately out of the area and your one family member close by is sick, can be scary.  It can also be empowering.  Hell yes, I survived the BIDMC ER BY MYSELF.  I’m tough.  Don’t mess with me.

-No one in the ER is in good shape, but it always helps to see people in worse shape than you.  Also, many are crazier than you and you win points with the staff for being polite.  The award for craziest probably goes to the man who walked in, looking totally fine, immediately began complaining about wait times, then called other ERs to find out if they could see him sooner.  This genius decided to drive cross-town to Mass General in hopes of cutting down his time in the ER.  Little did he know Beth Israel was actually pretty speedy last night.  What a tool.

-IVs suck.  The getting the IV part is fine, but having a plastic thing in your arm really does hurt.  You’re also tethered to one spot and can’t easily move to pick up your phone, glasses, and book that you knocked on the floor, thus eliminating all means of entertainment and communication with the outside world. 

-When the health professionals tell you the drugs may knock you out, they ain’t kidding.  I don’t normally fall into a deep, 13 hour sleep and have dreams about my great-aunt eating a whole pig.

-It’s amazing your reaction upon waking from above-mentioned medically-induced sleep.  I woke up with my hospital bracelet on, bandages aplenty, and nicely decorated with my EKG stickers, not knowing where I was but utterly convinced I had to go to work.  

-Spending a friday night alone in the ER is not exactly fun but it’s worth it when you end up with the knowledge that you are not, in fact, dying.

Shameless Plug

May 26, 2008

Yes friends, it’s been a while.  What’s my excuse?  Laziness, I suppose.  There’s been plenty to soapbox about.  You know, quitting my job, graduating from college four months after I graduated from college, kind of starting a new job, getting the MONSTER bruise at the opening of the Apple Store, kind of figuring out my life, making the July trip to California official, learning I’m going to become a 1st cousin-once-removed, showing my best friend from high school around Beantown, being diagnosed as not the least bit clumsy by two specialists, my discovery of the greatest drink every (decaf iced grande soy peppermint mocha)…I’ve just been too busy livin’ life and enjoying these last days of being 21 to keep up with the ol’ blog.  Sorry, folks.

But now I’m back in the saddle.  With many of friends either on fabulous European get-aways or visiting their families, it’s looking like I’ll have quite bit of time on my hands in the coming days.  So what am I going to talk about?  The heartbreaking news that my favourite president wants my preferred candidate to quit?  My up-coming birthday? Life in the real world? Nope.  I’m just going to brag a bit here so please hold back your vom.

Yesterday I ran in my first race since my high school track days.  Tired, dehydrated, and sick as a dog BEFORE the race, I managed to finish in 44 minutes and 45 seconds, putting me at an 8:57/mile pace.  I placed 554th out of 1702 runners and was the 99th 19-29 year old female to cross the finish line (out of 418).  Highlights from the day included seeing two friends of mine from high school, cheering on/being inspired by the half-marathoners, and spending the afternoon on the couch recovering and eating an eggplant sub.  While I won’t be setting world records anytime soon, I would like to brag that I am officially a runner now.  And I have my cheesy finisher’s medal to prove it.