Bones + Biscuits

Everyday thoughts and photos organized and displayed in a way that appeals to me. And just maybe, you.

Today I…

…covered a shift from 8-2.

I was going to shop after because it was downtown, but the weather was SO yucky I didn’t want to carry bags around in the freezing rain.

I got on the train and went back to my store instead, where I did some managerial business before heading back to hang with the hubs before be closed up.

Got home. Watched the Voice abs then hit the hay. Day off tomorrow.

Whoo!

What is your preferred seat on the train?

I think we all have one. Whether it is the seat next to the conductors booth (you can spy on them), the one nearest a door (maybe you never stay on for long), the “Priority Seating” chairs (hey, this is the ONE time in life where I can use a space that has a handicap sign on it and its okay!) or the one in the corner (you like to feel enclosed?); I think we all have a favorite seat to occupy as we ride public transit to and from the destinations that make up our lives. And with reason.

I happen to prefer the seat pictured above. Any seat that has a handle to the right or left of it. This is to protect me from the all to common seat encroachment. You know. That really large person who should be purchasing two airline tickets. They take up two seats on the train, too. Or the infamous bag lady, who is carrying like five different manners of tote with her, and has no problem spilling it into your lap. Or, OR! Newspaper man - you know, he has no shame in sharing section B with you, well, as a matter of fact, he is doing you a favor by sharing his morning paper! 

I’m sorry, but I just can’t stand the elbows and butt cheeks that all too often edge their way into what is rightfully my space. So I prefer the seat that has a bar. Because I’ve found that it provides an unspoken boundary. When people feel that cold metal bar against their thigh, or get their bag wrapped around it, or hit their hand turning their newspaper page, they know to reel it in just a tad.

Ahhhh. MY seat!

What is your preferred seat on the train?

I think we all have one. Whether it is the seat next to the conductors booth (you can spy on them), the one nearest a door (maybe you never stay on for long), the “Priority Seating” chairs (hey, this is the ONE time in life where I can use a space that has a handicap sign on it and its okay!) or the one in the corner (you like to feel enclosed?); I think we all have a favorite seat to occupy as we ride public transit to and from the destinations that make up our lives. And with reason.

I happen to prefer the seat pictured above. Any seat that has a handle to the right or left of it. This is to protect me from the all to common seat encroachment. You know. That really large person who should be purchasing two airline tickets. They take up two seats on the train, too. Or the infamous bag lady, who is carrying like five different manners of tote with her, and has no problem spilling it into your lap. Or, OR! Newspaper man - you know, he has no shame in sharing section B with you, well, as a matter of fact, he is doing you a favor by sharing his morning paper!

I’m sorry, but I just can’t stand the elbows and butt cheeks that all too often edge their way into what is rightfully my space. So I prefer the seat that has a bar. Because I’ve found that it provides an unspoken boundary. When people feel that cold metal bar against their thigh, or get their bag wrapped around it, or hit their hand turning their newspaper page, they know to reel it in just a tad.

Ahhhh. MY seat!

This is Portland.

I’m on a subway train that is above ground. Weird. It rolls through the city streets far too slowly. In front of me, a tall skinny African American man mumbling softly into his cell phone. He’s wearing a white watch and a black running hat. To my right, the figure of a person takes up two seats, presumably napping, underneath a white linen blanket. In front of him, a man with greasy gray hair pulled loosely into a messy tail cradles an unlabeled plastic gallon jug of clear liquid on his lap. He chats casually with a hefty woman wearing a patterned bandana on her head. Her rosy cheeks glisten as they speak of their plans for the next day. Or week. Or year. I can’t tell. A group of normal looking young Asian people board the train. They sit across from Greasy & Bandana and immediately strike up conversation about the sleeping thing behind them. “He must be taking a nap” shrugs the young girl. It doesn’t last long. They get quiet and leave at the next stop. Behind me, a middle aged man in a black leather jacket speaks to a younger man with a pale complexion across from him. The young guy pushes his glasses back up the bridge of his pointy nose with a single finger. His dirty blonde hair is pulled back so tightly, I imagine it gives him a headache. I don’t know what they’re talking about until I hear the young guy squeak in a squirrelly voice, naturally all nasal, “Welcome to my secret lair, Mr. Bond”. Then I still don’t know what they’re talking about. Again, why is this train moving so slowly? It is perpetuating the weirdness. The shape under the white blanket shuffles and a sneakered foot makes a brief appearance, confirming that it is indeed a human. At this point, it is just as likely that it isn’t. I glance up again and there are now two hippy hipsters with brightly colored bicycles in the middle of the train. They aren’t talking or looking at anyone, or each other. They seem tired. The low chatter of their train companions fills the air, not leaving much room for their own additions. They take up more than their share with the bikes anyways. Someone is playing music somewhere in the train, it is low and soft. Maybe under the blanket? I hear a black woman wail soulfully. Gallon whispers something to Bandana, hand-to-the-ear gesture and all. They’re still there. Mr. Bond says “…something’s not right”. I still don’t know what they’re talking about, but now at least I agree. Black Hat is falling asleep in front of me. He catches himself and rubs his hand across his face. The doors are closing. The doors are closing. The doors are closing. Even the lone fly buzzing around the train car emanates weird. It lands on my leg and I watch it walk around, spastic, mocking a time lapse video. A man sitting behind Blanket is reading a text book through $2 reading glasses. He’s about halfway through. I wonder what it’s about. He’s on chapter 7. A man with geri-curled hair and a neon patchwork jacket swoops down the aisle and sits in front of Blanket. He bounces his foot nervously on the train floor. Our eyes meet, me watching him, and him, me. I quickly avert back to the safety of my screen. The car takes off a little faster now. Hum. Whirr. Chatter picks up pace. A little louder now. A drunk or high young person gets on, a male, and demands, “How ya doin ya’ll?!” Nobody answers. He’s humming something now. Whistles. I’m happy he’s behind me, it means we won’t ever make eye contact. A twenty-something girl sits, eyes fixed on her iPhone, occasionally glancing up, fingers frantically tapping the screen. Wait. That’s me. Este es un tren de la linea Gresham. And this is Portland.

Listen to My Rant on MBTA Customer Service

And I quote:

Good Afternoon, 

I would like to submit a formal complaint against your Charlie Customer Service employee, Liz. 

I have interacted with Liz on two occasions, both in the month of September 2012.

My situation involved two Charlie Cards. I added a Link Pass (via your website) to an old Charlie Card on 9/10/12. I updated the card at a kiosk at Forest Hills on 9/12/12. The kiosk informed me it was expired. I dealt with a very helpful attendant (whoever was working Forest Hills station around 7:30 am on 9/12/12) who explained to me that the cards can expire if they’re old enough (which I didn’t know). That week, I called Charlie Card customer service and spoke to an employee named Liz about my situation. She listened to my explanation. She seemed very confused and first thought that I was talking about an expired credit card and she tried to provide the steps to add a new credit card. This did not at all relate to my problem, which I explained again. Liz then informed that the only way to fix my problem was to go to the Downtown Crossing office. I don’t work for MBTA, but I have common sense, and I knew this was not correct, so I thanked her and ended the call. I then went onto the website myself and figured out how to stop the recurring pass on my old/expired card and added a Link Pass to a new card and I have been using that card successfully since.  

When balancing my credit card account this week, I saw that I had two ($70) charges from September - one charge on 9/10/12 for the expired card and another on 9/12/12 for the new card that I am currently using. I also received a charge on 9/25/12 for the month of October for my new card, which I am using and updated at Forest Hills, which is fine. There was no additional charge for the expired card, which told me that my recurring charge cancellation was successful. 

I called customer service today (9/29/12) to get a refund of the $70 charge from 9/10/12 that went to the expired card that was never used.

The same customer service representative I had spoken to earlier in the month, Liz, picked up the phone again. I recognized both her name and voice from our prior (unhelpful) conversation. I gave her all my information, and then she informed me that the system was down (this was at 10 am on Saturday, 9/29/12). She said she would take my number and call back when it was working. Having little trust or confidence in her ability because of our prior interaction earlier in the month, I instinctively called back 15 minutes later. She picked up again. I asked how long they expected the system to be down so I would know when to get a call back. She had my information in front of her still and apparently, the system was working just fine, because after confirming my address again, she told me I needed to go online and cancel the recurring charge to my old card. I tried explaining to her that I had already done this and that I saw confirmation on my screen. I tried again explaining that this was not the problem, and all I wanted was a refund of the $70 charge from 9/10/12 that went to an expired card I couldn’t and did not use. She then tried telling me that the recurring charge was still set up on that expired card and that I was still using it. This is absolutely incorrect. The card is thrown away and I could see on my own screen that the recurring charge was removed and I had NOT received an additional charge to my credit card for the month of October, which again confirms that the recurring charge was successfully removed. She had nothing more to say to me, other than claiming that I was still using the card. I believe she was mistaking my expired card for my new one. How can she not tell the difference on her system, when I can see it on mine? All I wanted was a refund of the first $70 charge to the old card that was expired and never used!

I could not bear to go back and forth with Liz any longer. I requested to speak to a supervisor, she said there were no supervisors on today. I then asked to speak to her colleague, who I could hear in the background. I explained to her that I felt we were having trouble communicating to one another. She put me on hold for 15 minutes, then hung up on me. I called right back and Liz picked up again. I asked again to speak to her colleague. After a brief hold, I was connected to an employee named Steve. He listened patiently to my story from start to finish, and acknowledged that he understood both what had happened and what I was now asking for. He informed me that there was no supervisor on and that only the MBTA itself can approve refunds of any sort, that there is a strict “No Refund Policy” especially for recurring charges, and that he could do nothing to help me and that I had to call back Monday. Although my issue was still not resolved after this call and I question the accuracy of the information provided by Steve, I at least felt like he understood what my problem was, which is more than I could say for ANY of my interactions with Liz.

Liz communication skills are absolutely horrible. Not only does she not understand her customer’s needs, she can not explain effectively back to the customer what to do or what their options are. She repeatedly provided to me false information, and repeatedly attempted to direct me to the Downtown Crossing office as the only solution to my problems. I lack so much trust and confidence in her ability to do her job, that frankly, I did not even want her to access my account after our second interaction, for fear that she may reactivate the recurring charge on my expired card, or tamper with my account in other ways so as to negatively affect it. I also lack confidence that the system was truly “down” and feel putting me on hold for 15 minutes only to disconnect me was unprofessional and rude.

She does not deserve to be an employee. In my opinion, she requires extensive training in not only communication and customer service skills, but also in the manipulation of the computer system. Her problem solving skills are next to none.

I am extremely disappointed that on both occasions of my interaction with Liz, she was not only unable to understand my inquiry, but also unable to offer any real solutions as well. It makes me wonder, “what are these people being paid for?”. Simply to direct me to Downtown Crossing or their supervisors? This is an utter waste of resources and money if that is the case. Exactly what CAN they do, if they have been unable to help me or provide any answers to my question on two separate occasions?

I am a manager for a local branch of a large corporation and we use something to assess both ourselves and our employees called the “Accountability Ladder”. There are 7 different steps to the ladder, which escalate from not being able or not wanting to solve a problem, to the top rung called “Getting On With It”, where you do whatever you can to find a solution. Liz is at the bottom of this ladder, at the rung called “Unaware” - she does not know how to do her job, nor does she seem to want to know how. She is clearly content sitting at her desk, not understanding her customers’ needs and not being able to assist them in any way. I’m not sure of the MBTA’s standards for employment, but for any employee of mine, this would be absolutely unacceptable.

This is a shame.

A Spontaneous Haiku

The Train Station

Red brick meets fast feet
Rumble like thunder, quiet
Like lightning they’re gone.

Snapped this on my way into work Saturday. Got me some coffee at Starbucks. I then sat for a split second and marveled at how short the tallest building in Boston is. It was so nice to appreciate the beauty of the John Hancock building. I have to say, I never noticed so much about Boston as I have since returning. It’s like falling in love all over again. It’s great!

Snapped this on my way into work Saturday. Got me some coffee at Starbucks. I then sat for a split second and marveled at how short the tallest building in Boston is. It was so nice to appreciate the beauty of the John Hancock building. I have to say, I never noticed so much about Boston as I have since returning. It’s like falling in love all over again. It’s great!

The Race

Okay, so I’ve run two full (26.2 mile) marathons in the past 3 years, as well as two half (13.1 mile) marathons. I consider myself to be generally fit, but still, it’s been almost two years since my last full marathon on October 10, 2010.

Each marathon has presented its own challenges, which is part of what makes them so powerfully memorable. Even if those challenges aren’t necessarily pleasant.

My first race was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. I believe the date was October 19, 2009. I may be completely wrong [edit: I was - it was actually October 25]. It is called the “People’s Marathon” because no prize money is awarded to the winners, and there is always a great turnout of spectators and plenty of entertainment and support along the route. It has a wonderfully patriotic feeling to it, as you are in our nation’s capital, get to run by the Capital Building, White House, Pentagon and many of the beautiful monuments are on the horizon and at one point, around mile 21 or 22, active military Marines hand out bottles of water - and loads of morale - as you approach what are often the most grueling of the 26.2 miles.

My challenge with the MCM was that I had developed (unbeknownst to me) Achilles tendonitis during my training. It was a novice mistake - I didn’t train long enough, I increased mileage too fast with no drop down weeks and often a week with no long run at all, I didn’t incorporate any cross training and I didn’t stretch as much as I should have. I was in pain all of the weeks and days leading up t, and for most of, my first full marathon. I could barely walk around to sight-see the days before the race, but I convinced myself I could do it anyways. And I did. But I also ended up in a 6-month relationship with a physical therapist and was ordered not to run in the months after the race. Lesson learned!

My second marathon, not even a year later on October 10, 2010 (I’ll never forget THAT date) was the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This time around, I was in much better physical shape. I felt both physically and mentally prepared and it being my second race, the “will I finish?” question was left at the finish line in DC. Overall, it was a much better race for me - yet my time was a good twenty minutes slower. Why? The heat! You may recall the infamous 2007 Chicago Marathon, just 3 years earlier, in which temperatures reached an unreasonable high of 88 degrees.  Tragically, one runner died, hundreds sought medical attention or were hospitalized and over 10,000 voluntarily chose not to participate. The course was shut down after 3 and 1/2 hours. The majority of runners would be somewhere between 5 and 10 miles shy of finishing the race. Bummer.

The high on race day in 2010? 86. The third highest temperature on record since 1962. As the hours and miles went by, and I progressed through the course, I recall the large color-coded signs gradually escalating the temperature warning level, all the way up to red, which was the last one before black - which meant the race would be shut down. 
Well, I finished and it was certainly memorable, but needless to say, no PR’s were set that day. 

The exhaustion of running 26.2 miles in the overheated Chicago marathon did a good job of convincing me that I was done with marathons for a little while. I took the whole year of 2011 off. I didn’t run a single race. 2011 was an off year for me in a lot of ways [see other posts about thinking I was unhappy, moving, being miserable, and deciding to be happy again]. Reflecting back, it’s a good thing I didn’t enter any races, because I don’t see how I would have trained or been able to really participate.

Enter 11/20/11 - an unintentionally conspicuous date - I decide to go online and register for yet another marathon! I can’t exactly explain what possessed me to do so, but it couldn’t have been anything too profound, or I would remember. Rather, it must have been a mere, “hmph, it’s time for another marathon.” At which point I clicked a few links and haphazardly committed to running another 26.2 miles. Am I insane? 

People question the point of marathons; if you love running so much, why don’t you just run 26 miles whenever? Ha. They’ve obviously never trained for a marathon. It is as much the process as it is the end result. It’s a matter of physical, mental and spiritual growth and empowerment that not much else can grant you. And, sure, we could pick any other day to run 26 miles, but it’s the concept of committing to an act, not knowing what’s going to happen between now and then, and knowing that you’re going to do it. It’s a promise to yourself that you’re going to be just as good, if not better, an individual come that day, regardless of the obstacles that may, as they often do, present themselves.

I’ve read countless stories of far more tragic and profound events that have stood in the way of a runner than anything I’ve ever faced, and it’s the overcoming of these things that often make a marathon so meaningful to someone. You have a lot of time to think to yourself when you’re on your feet for 3-4 hours. A marathon is as much the intense thoughts that fade in and out over the miles as it is the physical act of running. Everyone has a different reason, a unique goal, and although we all cross the same finish line, we cross it our own way, and that is what makes a marathon so powerful, so beautiful. And why it’s not the same as “just running 26.2 miles anytime”. 

Which is why I’m going to still run Portland, or at least try.

I sat at my kitchen table yesterday afternoon, pondering my upcoming marathon, and the reality that I have no plan was looming over me like a dark cloud on the morning of a long anticipated race day. Suddenly, a panic switch inside of me flipped and I started searching for “8 week marathon plans”. Psshhh. Yeah right, they don’t exist. But multiple running forum entires on them do, all of which strongly advise against not running a marathon if you’ve reached the eight week mark with no substantial training. I stared blankly at my screen, cursing the nay-sayers who claim it isn’t possible. What do they know, anyways? I’m ME. And I know me better than anyone else. I checked a few standard training plans, which usually run 18 weeks or more, depending on your fitness level. And then I actually counted the weeks until my marathon. Thanks to the generous five-week month of August, I had eleven full weeks, twelve if I was able to squeeze a long run in before work on Sunday. I pinned where I “should” be in my training, which was about week seven - a 14 mile long run. I thought about being ambitious, then consulted a close friend of mine, also a marathoner and a triathlete. But the better reason I sought his advice - he’s also a procrastinator extraordinaire when it comes to training. He’s run multiple marathons on next to no training - God bless him - and he reassured me that I would be able to finagle some sort of plan out of my eleven weeks. And when you’re in the position I’m in, all you really want to hear is “yes”. But my friend is also realistic, and I knew he would have my best interest in mind. So hearing that I could do it from someone who knows me, but has also been there, was very comforting.  I decided to commit, not to a full 14 miles as I had originally planned, but to a more realistic and manageable 10.

And with that decision, I embark on the “Eleven/Almost Twelve Week Marathon Training Program.” I’m far more comfortable having counted the weeks, as I originally had conservatively estimated a mere eight weeks, by rationale of only having the full months of August and September to train. But alas, I have juiced a couple weeks off the end of July and one in October. 

With that, I will leave you. I plan on updating frequently, as my training presents its obstacles and it’s successes. I was originally planning on Portland to set a marathon PR for myself, but given my training window, it may be a bit more of a challenge. Stay tuned to find out!

The Race

Okay, so I’ve run two full (26.2 mile) marathons in the past 3 years, as well as two half (13.1 mile) marathons. I consider myself to be generally fit, but still, it’s been almost two years since my last full marathon on October 10, 2010.

Each marathon has presented its own challenges, which is part of what makes them so powerfully memorable. Even if those challenges aren’t necessarily pleasant.

My first race was the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC. I believe the date was October 19, 2009. I may be completely wrong [edit: I was - it was actually October 25]. It is called the “People’s Marathon” because no prize money is awarded to the winners, and there is always a great turnout of spectators and plenty of entertainment and support along the route. It has a wonderfully patriotic feeling to it, as you are in our nation’s capital, get to run by the Capital Building, White House, Pentagon and many of the beautiful monuments are on the horizon and at one point, around mile 21 or 22, active military Marines hand out bottles of water - and loads of morale - as you approach what are often the most grueling of the 26.2 miles.

My challenge with the MCM was that I had developed (unbeknownst to me) Achilles tendonitis during my training. It was a novice mistake - I didn’t train long enough, I increased mileage too fast with no drop down weeks and often a week with no long run at all, I didn’t incorporate any cross training and I didn’t stretch as much as I should have. I was in pain all of the weeks and days leading up t, and for most of, my first full marathon. I could barely walk around to sight-see the days before the race, but I convinced myself I could do it anyways. And I did. But I also ended up in a 6-month relationship with a physical therapist and was ordered not to run in the months after the race. Lesson learned!

My second marathon, not even a year later on October 10, 2010 (I’ll never forget THAT date) was the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. This time around, I was in much better physical shape. I felt both physically and mentally prepared and it being my second race, the “will I finish?” question was left at the finish line in DC. Overall, it was a much better race for me - yet my time was a good twenty minutes slower. Why? The heat! You may recall the infamous 2007 Chicago Marathon, just 3 years earlier, in which temperatures reached an unreasonable high of 88 degrees. Tragically, one runner died, hundreds sought medical attention or were hospitalized and over 10,000 voluntarily chose not to participate. The course was shut down after 3 and 1/2 hours. The majority of runners would be somewhere between 5 and 10 miles shy of finishing the race. Bummer.

The high on race day in 2010? 86. The third highest temperature on record since 1962. As the hours and miles went by, and I progressed through the course, I recall the large color-coded signs gradually escalating the temperature warning level, all the way up to red, which was the last one before black - which meant the race would be shut down.
Well, I finished and it was certainly memorable, but needless to say, no PR’s were set that day.

The exhaustion of running 26.2 miles in the overheated Chicago marathon did a good job of convincing me that I was done with marathons for a little while. I took the whole year of 2011 off. I didn’t run a single race. 2011 was an off year for me in a lot of ways [see other posts about thinking I was unhappy, moving, being miserable, and deciding to be happy again]. Reflecting back, it’s a good thing I didn’t enter any races, because I don’t see how I would have trained or been able to really participate.

Enter 11/20/11 - an unintentionally conspicuous date - I decide to go online and register for yet another marathon! I can’t exactly explain what possessed me to do so, but it couldn’t have been anything too profound, or I would remember. Rather, it must have been a mere, “hmph, it’s time for another marathon.” At which point I clicked a few links and haphazardly committed to running another 26.2 miles. Am I insane?

People question the point of marathons; if you love running so much, why don’t you just run 26 miles whenever? Ha. They’ve obviously never trained for a marathon. It is as much the process as it is the end result. It’s a matter of physical, mental and spiritual growth and empowerment that not much else can grant you. And, sure, we could pick any other day to run 26 miles, but it’s the concept of committing to an act, not knowing what’s going to happen between now and then, and knowing that you’re going to do it. It’s a promise to yourself that you’re going to be just as good, if not better, an individual come that day, regardless of the obstacles that may, as they often do, present themselves.

I’ve read countless stories of far more tragic and profound events that have stood in the way of a runner than anything I’ve ever faced, and it’s the overcoming of these things that often make a marathon so meaningful to someone. You have a lot of time to think to yourself when you’re on your feet for 3-4 hours. A marathon is as much the intense thoughts that fade in and out over the miles as it is the physical act of running. Everyone has a different reason, a unique goal, and although we all cross the same finish line, we cross it our own way, and that is what makes a marathon so powerful, so beautiful. And why it’s not the same as “just running 26.2 miles anytime”.

Which is why I’m going to still run Portland, or at least try.

I sat at my kitchen table yesterday afternoon, pondering my upcoming marathon, and the reality that I have no plan was looming over me like a dark cloud on the morning of a long anticipated race day. Suddenly, a panic switch inside of me flipped and I started searching for “8 week marathon plans”. Psshhh. Yeah right, they don’t exist. But multiple running forum entires on them do, all of which strongly advise against not running a marathon if you’ve reached the eight week mark with no substantial training. I stared blankly at my screen, cursing the nay-sayers who claim it isn’t possible. What do they know, anyways? I’m ME. And I know me better than anyone else. I checked a few standard training plans, which usually run 18 weeks or more, depending on your fitness level. And then I actually counted the weeks until my marathon. Thanks to the generous five-week month of August, I had eleven full weeks, twelve if I was able to squeeze a long run in before work on Sunday. I pinned where I “should” be in my training, which was about week seven - a 14 mile long run. I thought about being ambitious, then consulted a close friend of mine, also a marathoner and a triathlete. But the better reason I sought his advice - he’s also a procrastinator extraordinaire when it comes to training. He’s run multiple marathons on next to no training - God bless him - and he reassured me that I would be able to finagle some sort of plan out of my eleven weeks. And when you’re in the position I’m in, all you really want to hear is “yes”. But my friend is also realistic, and I knew he would have my best interest in mind. So hearing that I could do it from someone who knows me, but has also been there, was very comforting. I decided to commit, not to a full 14 miles as I had originally planned, but to a more realistic and manageable 10.

And with that decision, I embark on the “Eleven/Almost Twelve Week Marathon Training Program.” I’m far more comfortable having counted the weeks, as I originally had conservatively estimated a mere eight weeks, by rationale of only having the full months of August and September to train. But alas, I have juiced a couple weeks off the end of July and one in October.

With that, I will leave you. I plan on updating frequently, as my training presents its obstacles and it’s successes. I was originally planning on Portland to set a marathon PR for myself, but given my training window, it may be a bit more of a challenge. Stay tuned to find out!

It’s time for a picture!

Here are the spices - turmeric, cumin, cayenne, coriander, white pepper, salt, garlic and ginger (arranged and photographed in a most naturally artsy way) that mixed harmoniously to create the rub I used for spicy tandoori style chicken last night. Which, really, isn’t tandoori at all because tandoori chicken derives its name from a tandoor and I’m pretty sure a tandoor is a brick oven and I didn’t cook this in a brick oven.

It’s time for a picture!

Here are the spices - turmeric, cumin, cayenne, coriander, white pepper, salt, garlic and ginger (arranged and photographed in a most naturally artsy way) that mixed harmoniously to create the rub I used for spicy tandoori style chicken last night. Which, really, isn’t tandoori at all because tandoori chicken derives its name from a tandoor and I’m pretty sure a tandoor is a brick oven and I didn’t cook this in a brick oven.

Bedtime Post

Nothing profound to write about tonight.

Had some beautiful rain and thunderstorms today, oh, the plants needed it so badly! I’ve always loved thunderstorms; as loud as they are, they bring a certain kind of peace and quiet with them.

Why are people afraid of them? Guess I have my mom to thank; she always got so excited and would run to the window to watch and listen, and I think that instilled the same appreciation and fascination in me, rather than fear. I remember always trying to count between the lightning and the thunder to figure out how far away it was. You know that one, right? If not, after lightning strikes, count one-one thousands until you hear thunder. Whatever number you get to (one, two, three, etc.) is an estimation of the number of miles away the thunder is! Not sure how scientific it is, but it was always fun. Thanks mum!

Anyways, another hot one tomorrow. Will probably go for a run, try to get out earlier than I did this morning and go a little longer, too.

Lists of Goals?

Why have em?

No, really. I’m asking this question because I’m laying in bed (where most of my constructive thoughts process) thinking about where I’m at in life. Oh, I’m digging deep. Haha. In all seriousness, I feel like I can for once focus my energies somewhere and be constructive with my time. I’ve always been a girl of many projects, one idea after another will spew itself forth, although only so many ever come to fruition. For many years, that lack of culmination was due largely in part to my life being entirely consumed by pharmacy school; any PharmD will tell you, it runs your life for six years, no matter how hard you try otherwise.

I thought endless times about cross registering and taking a photography class at MassArt, but my busy pharmacy-student schedule never once allowed the coordination in my six years. I thought about volunteering, researched countless opportunities, and then never made the commitment. I paid for the rights to two plots in the Fenway Victory Gardens one Spring, and the same Summer made claim to a bed of weeds. I did travel. I did learn new things, like golf. I did accomplish new things, like running marathons and well, getting a doctorate I guess.

But it’s been three years since I could reliably use school as an excuse for not seriously pursuing my hobbies and interests. But as of late, I feel some sort of ease of being from within. It feels as though my mind has taken a deep exhale - a big “ahhhh” - and that there’s room in my brain to share with things like books, painting, photography, gardening and volunteering.

As I ruminate on these thoughts, I am very eager to do what I’ve often done before, which is to make a list of goals and organize them by time of completion and resources necessary. ie: If I wanted to try and start selling photos, it would probably be in my interest to buy and learn how to use a nice DSLR. Maybe take a class at NESOP. Start a shop on Etsy. And so, one seemingly simple goal turns into a myriad of other, time consuming goals. And this is right about where you say this girl is crazy and go search some other blogs. Haha. Or you realize I’ve struck gold.

But really, I don’t think the list is going to do anything for me. I think about all the major accomplishments I’ve had in life to this point, and a list was never a critical part of my achieving those things, but rather a helpful means to an end. I’m not knocking down the list, I still have an unhealthy obsession with them, but for the first time, I think I’m going to forego the goal making list and just see where my path takes me in a more organic fashion.

This is where I normally would have said here’s my list of things I want to do, but instead, I’ll just start doing them, and see where it goes…!