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Most Normal Girl

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


I wish I could take credit for this photo. I found it somewhere on Harvard's website and thought it was just so good.

Every morning on my way to school, I walk through a park called Cambridge Common. It's one of my most favorite times of the day. Here's what Cambridge Common looks like in fall. Not so much these last few days, as the weather is definitely turning more wintery, but at least you get the idea.

In person, it's even more beautiful (just like some people I know).
Posted by Jessie_b :: 2:58 PM ::

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Forecast This

I don't know what it is about New England weather forecasters. They're a stark contrast from our forecasters back home.

Anyone who lives in LA (or any part of the Southern California region, for that matter) knows how the newscasters dramatically highlight "storms" that roll into town. If there is a 30% chance of rain that MIGHT strike any part of the Golden State, you can bet that the weather dopplers and the "Storm Trackers" will be on it. Oh, and don't forget the TEAM of reporters who will be on every corner block to monitor the horrific weather. If it actually does rain, it dominates the headline news. You would think that it was the worst tragedy to have hit LA - RAIN, GOD NOOOO!!!

Boston, however, is quite different. While weather may be an issue for other parts of the country, it's not a big deal here. In fact, it's soooo not a big deal, the newscasters just assume that you'll be prepared. For example, television viewers have been told that we should expect rain on Wednesday - with a side note that there may be a spit or two of rain in various areas over the next couple of days. To me, this means that I need to bring an umbrella and a rain coat with me when I go outside on Wednesday, but I will probably not see much rain until then. Logical thinking, right? Well, much to my surprise, it rained as I was walking home last night. I hadn't brought my umbrella and I was wearing a wool coat. So, I got wet. Not that I'm afraid of melting or anything, but come on - I would have liked to have known.

I guess you could say I was a little pissed. Why wasn't I warned? In LA, that would have never happened - if anything, I would have been covered in rain gear and then NOT have seen any rain.

I don't get it. Why can't weather forecasters actually forecast weather? They know it's coming (or not) so why not relay the message? Is it a secret? Are they just not sure about their predictions? Are they not on the same page with their forecasts? Why do I have to get wet before I find out that it might rain? Who's with me?
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:33 AM ::

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Thanksgiving Holiday

Going home for the Thanksgiving Holiday was a happiness-induced high. I was so happy as I looked out the airplane window early last Wednesday morning and waved good-bye to the falling snow and to Boston. As much as I love it here, and love being back in school, nothing can replace the feeling of coming "home" for the Holidays.

My dad picked me up from the airport and my vacation truly began. I spent quality time with the folks, the grandparents and with Blair. I took pleasure in the smallest of moments - sometimes just looking around to take it all in was enough.

This is a pic of my wild parents. Or maybe the parents aren't wild, but the person taking the picture doesn't know what shutter speed to use...

All the way around, things were just fun and GOOD. I ate too much food and might have drank a little here and there, but damn, I deserved it.

Besides feeling good, there was so much more to appreciate. Family, friends, wine, FOOTBALL... you know, the usual. I was reminded, yet again, that I am not quite the tomboy that I was as a kid - I suck at throwing a football around. Unless it's made out of rubber; then I do okay. Seriously, I throw like a girl. This photo is of Blair, my grandfather, and the damn dog, who were out chasing the ball around. (Dad is off to the left somewhere.)

The whole crew (well, most of them at least) went over to my cousin's house for Turkey Day. We took this photo to send to my brother, in Iraq. We had to take it twice because we couldn't figure out who was going to take the photo and where we were all going to stand. In the room off to the right all the food was sitting on tables, getting cold. Trying to have everyone stand in one place for two minutes was next to impossible. After the second picture was taken there was a rush to the food.

I had my dinner next to the pool outside in the 70 degree weather. Back in Boston, it was snowing. Some people have said that they can't imagine a Thanksgiving with such warm weather - but I've never known anything else.

Driving to the airport on Sunday morning was torture. Every inch closer hurt even more. I didn't want to leave. I didn't want to say good-bye to everything that is important to me. Sometimes I wish Boston was next to LA - even with all the snow. I just hate being so far away. And I miss my car.

Ah, the Holidays are here. And with it comes all the stress, the headache of travel, the family drama, the fat tummies, the shopping, the wrapping, the music and the SPIRIT. It's my favorite time of year - for all of these reasons, and then some. I'm just thankful to be here to enjoy it.

Posted by Jessie_b :: 8:32 PM ::

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Good News Or The Bad News, First?

The bad news: I stayed up until 4:30am working on my paper.

The good news: If I get a decent grade on the paper, I won't have to do the last paper for the class.

The bad news: It's going to rain and snow in New England.

The good news: I'm hoping to be on a flight headed toward CA before it gets too bad.

The bad news: I'm exhausted and have more luggage under my eyes than a suitcase bound for Paris.

The good news: I'm almost done with school this week and will be able to go home and sleep.

The bad news: Oh shit, I have to go to work. So much for sleep.

The good news: I'll get to sleep on the plane tomorrow.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:48 AM ::

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Visitors Welcome

I don't have enough visitors.

This past weekend was GREAT. A good friend came to visit for a few days and it was exactly what I needed. I think she needed it too. The best part was that we felt completely comfortable to do NOTHING ~ just to enjoy the company, enjoy the conversation, and on occasion, enjoy the wine. It was a welcome reminder of home and all the people who are "rooting" for me; especially on those hard days.

The first time I met her, she intimated me. The second time I met her, she became my boss. And every day since, she has been my friend. She's a woman of marvelous strength and integrity. She has a presence about her that is almost angelic (I wouldn't have said the "almost" part, but I know her too well). She's a traditionalist. She is a true inspiration for anyone who believes in the value of education. She's one of those friends that you honestly know you could call in the middle of the night, just because you need to hear a friendly voice. I just feel lucky to know her.

I was sad to bid adieu at the airport today. That's the strange thing about airports: people are always coming or going - and either way, there's tears. I'll board a plane later this week to head back home for the Holiday. I am soooo looking forward to hugging everyone. I think a visitor's weekend was a gentle reminder that I've been away too long. I miss everyone.

Anyway, I look forward to welcoming more visitors. I think Mom & Dad are next in line... and they couldn't be here fast enough...
Posted by Jessie_b :: 7:14 PM ::

Friday, November 11, 2005

Just In Time

On the coldest day of the season (so far), I thought it would be appropriate to post some summer photos.

These are a few photos from our cruise last August. Blair took me to Ensenada, Mexico, for my birthday. It was an awesome trip to top off an amazing surprise. Just more proof of how lucky I am to be with this man.

Posted by Jessie_b :: 3:21 PM ::

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yay for "A"s


My week from hell didn't turn out so bad. I actually got through it with a few ounces of sanity - and with a couple of good grades.

I got three grades back within the last couple of days: A, A, B. It's not three "A"s, but two of three isn't so bad.

Now it's back to the grindstone - I have to do two papers this weekend. BLAH.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 1:50 PM ::

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Happiness is...

*Getting up at 4:00AM to leave for the airport where you will greet your boyfriend.
*Seeing your boyfriend after weeks of loneliness, wrapping your arms around him and feeling "home" all over again.
*Having the whole weekend ahead to keep hugging your boyfriend.
*Going shopping, even when you hate it, because your planning a party for your friends.
*Eating lunch at a Western restaurant while your boyfriend tries to throw peanuts down your shirt.
*Driving through New England and taking pictures of all the beautiful trees.
*Welcoming friends into your home and going through 4 bottles of wine in no time.
*Watching a rain storm outside your window.
*Dancing by the glow of candlelight with the person you love.
*Waking up the next morning wondering what surprises are still to come.
*Sleeping in.
*Walking through the park.
*Going to a show, when you weren't expecting it.
*Having your boyfriend pick banana out of your hair and clean off your face, after the show.
*Going to a movie to avoid going home.
*When you go home, you cuddle.
*Getting lost trying to drive around Boston.
*Blaming bad Boston signage for getting lost.
*Going to a Colts/Patriots game.
*Walking around a parking lot with your boyfriend, with no direction, while you freeze your ass off.
*Being told that your seats at the football game are in the no alcoholic beverages section.
*Drinking beer fast so that you can get to your seats in the no alcoholic beverages section.
*Talking with fans around you about a bogus no alcoholic beverages section.
*Making friends with the obnoxious fan who heckles everyone else - but likes you, so that's okay.
*Watching your boyfriend get excited about his team winning the game.
*Falling asleep on the way home.
*Arriving home after 2:00AM.
*Asking your boyfriend if he was scared when we almost crashed on the way home.
*Staying up for two more hours when you both know you'll have to be up early in the morning.
*Skipping class to spend more time with your boyfriend.
*Loving every moment together.
*Thinking "this just keeps getting better."
*Realizing that you've fallen in love with your boyfriend all over again.
*Knowing that you can't wait to see him again, only five minutes after he's left.
*Finding notes around your apartment, and in your coat pocket, reminding you of how much your boyfriend loves you.
*Excited about seeing him again for the Thanksgiving Holiday - only two weeks away.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:41 PM ::

Thursday, November 03, 2005

All The Pretty Lights

Boston has become alive with lights. Already, I know.

It's actually quite beautiful. If my camera didn't suck at taking night photos, I might attempt to show you. Cambridge Common, especially, has trees that are lit up ~ they look magical.

This time of year was always my most favorite. The smell of fall, with the holidays quickly approaching, family to see, food to be shared, memories to be made and the unending warmth that even a cold day can't freeze. It's what I look forward to, the most.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 6:34 AM ::

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Week From Hell

If you read the update a few days ago, you know that I'm in the throws of my "shit" week. On top of the normal lunacy of all the reading assingments, I have two papers due and a group (power point) presentation. Plus, since Blair is coming in over the weekend and I won't be able to work on Monday, I'm working an extra 8 hour shift at work.

Yesterday someone gave me chocolate/caramel kisses. I put them in my sweatshirt pocket and didn't think much of them. I took my sweatshirt off and stuck it someplace. Hours later I put it back on, just before I stepped outside to go home. The chocolates had melted. My pocket was now a caramel goo mess. I couldn't put my hands in there (it was way too icky) but it was also cold last night. So my hands froze during the walk home.

As if that weren't enough, I got my period. Mother Nature always does that - somewhere, She is laughing, I just know it. That bitch.

My crappy week just keeps getting better.
Posted by Jessie_b :: 4:11 AM ::