Welcome to #Froston, Part Deux

January 24, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 2 Comments
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The paparazzi swarmed again!  Tonight NECN was pounding the frigid pavement at North Station asking for interviews with inconvenienced, chilly commuters.  Naturally they asked the queen of angry commuters (that’d be me) for an interview, but I declined again.  If I didn’t grant the crew this morning an interview, it would hardly be fair to give the evening news an exclusive. 

That and I had hat head…  

When I declined, the reporter suckered the guy next to me into an interview. He kept his hat on.


Welcome to #Froston!

January 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Posted in Around Boston | 5 Comments
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Happy Monday, dear reader(s)!  As our local fans know, it’s really friggin’ cold here in Beantown!  Witness:

It was -3 degrees AFTER a slight warm-up this morning! PS Don't worry, my car wasn't moving at the time this picture was taken.

So cold, in fact, that the news channels sent reporters to my train station this morning!  But when they tried to interview the miserable commuters like me who had been waiting over 30 minutes for a train that wasn’t announced as delayed, they found precious few takers. 

Could be because our faces had lost feeling and our mouths were frozen shut.  Or could be because, like the temperature, Bostonians have been declared one of the top ten “frostiest” city dwellers in America by Travel & Leisure Magazine!

Yes, it's cold. And no, we DON'T want to talk about it on live television.

Either way, we weren’t talkin’ without some complimentary hot coffee!

Stay warm, folks!


Jealous of Sardines

July 7, 2010 at 7:58 am | Posted in Around Boston | 4 Comments
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It has been a while since I complained about discussed my commute with you, dear reader(s), and I’m sorry to have deprived you for so long! Let me rectify this situation immediately and regale you with heroic tales from yesterday evening’s commute.

You see, I now take a variety of different routes to get to work: when I’m feeling adventurous about traffic on 93, I drive to Medford and take the orange line from Wellington to Chinatown; when I miss my bloggier half, I take the commuter rail and hoof it from North Station; and when I don’t feel like paying extra for parking I occasionally venture to Davis Square and take the red line to Charles. Yesterday I decided on the third option since a) I had no cash for parking, b) I had no patience for traffic, and c) the red line is my favorite subway route (when forced, under duress, to choose one).

Bad idea. Here’s how my evening played out…

I was hotter than this guy!

5:34-ish: I left my office, trudged (or should I say swam?!?) through 100+ degree temperatures and disgusting levels of humidity, and arrived at the T-station a hot mess.

5:42-ish: A train pulled up, opened and closed its doors, and left me standing on the platform. There were too many people on it already to fit any other weary commuters.

5:48-ish: Happened again. 

5:54-ish: Vowed I would squeeze on the next train no matter what. And I did, only to find the train had no air-conditioning. Do sardines sweat? Because if not, then I had it worse, hands-down! Everyone on the train reeked! Seriously – every passenger crammed into that little tin can was B.O.-tastic, yours truly included!

6:07-ish: Train abruptly halted between Kendall and Central… Sweat began to pool at everyone’s feet.

6:22-ish: Train finally arrived at Central Square station where we proceeded to continue going nowhere slowly. At least the conductor opened the doors while we sat there – I’ve never welcomed the stench of Central more…even eau de rubbish is preferable to the noxious odor we passengers created in the closed car.

6:31-ish: Train conductor became as grouchy as we were. Actually yelled “We’re leaving – get on!” over the speaker. Everyone on the car “laughed” (it was the closest thing we could muster to a laugh at that point.)

6:32-ish-7:14-ish: Train continued to slowly make its way through the next three stops. Hallucinations began. Fiji looks surprisingly like the MBTA tunnel system if you add a few palm trees, though the pools of sweat aren’t nearly as lovely as the limpid blue water in the island’s brochure.

7:19-ish: Arrived at my car in Davis Square only to find a new scratch on the passenger side door. Poor Blue Steel. It seems neither of us made it through the day without battle scars. 

7:21-ish: Got stuck in traffic trying to make my way to 93. Decided to sing the commuting blues away. Might be responsible for Medford-area wildlife’s loss of hearing. Oops. 

7:55-exactly: Pulled into my driveway. There’s no place like home!

I sure learned my lesson from that commute… I’m just too hot to remember it! Any ideas?


Sarah’s on a Mission…

June 1, 2010 at 9:22 am | Posted in Around Boston | Leave a comment
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Dear reader(s), 

Because you’ve been so loyal and non-judgmental, I feel the need to warn you about this blog post: I am about to channel my inner old codger – with a twist of activism for flavor (I call it the Shaken Shakin’ Senior Factini). Caveat lurker, and don’t say I didn’t warn you… 

Back in the good ol’ days when I first learned to drive, my parents ensured that I learn a thing or two about road manners, especially appropriate acknowledgment of driving kindness. They taught me that, when changing lanes, for example, I must always signal (and check my mirrors and the road, of course) and then, when a fellow driver grants ample space for the maneuver, I switch lanes and wave to acknowledge their assistance. 

Lately I’ve noticed that I’m one of the few old-fashioned drivers who still use the “wave-thanks.” In fact, I rarely even see anyone recognize drivers in other vehicles with a simple “palm-raise-thanks!” So I’ve decided to start a campaign to bring back etiquette to our roads by officially declaring the start of the “Road Manners Matter” campaign. 

Similar to Oprah’s “No Phone Zone,” I expect every television network to jump on the bandwagon (minivan? Is that what it would be in today’s terms?) and devote their top-rated news programs to discussing this issue. I expect people around the country to sign a pledge to improve their driving manners. And I look forward to seeing the wave-thanks in action daily. 

Gotta love the Masshole Proshop's products!


Am I trying to stifle anyone’s creativity or squelch reasonable angry outbursts? No. I’m a tried and true aggressive Masshole driver, too! When the situation is appropriate, I say honk out your feelings; when necessary, flip another driver the bird; and please don’t hesitate to play your radio so loudly that drivers three lanes over feel the vibration.  I would never stand in your way when it comes to loud noises and inappropriate gestures. I’m simply encouraging motorists to recognize the helpful drivers who allow us to quickly change lanes when we don’t realize an exit has gotten that close, or when we think that, in our daily commuting traffic jams, an alternate lane will get us to work so much faster that we absolutely must switch lanes (tell me again why we’re rushing to work?). 

Honk (or should I say wave?) if you’re with me! 


Unicorn Park

May 26, 2010 at 7:41 am | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | 4 Comments
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Nope, that isn’t the name of a six year old girl’s fantasy-inspired birthday party or a geeky renaissance faire location. Unicorn Park is an office building, visible from I-93, which I pass daily on my commute. And it makes me chuckle every time.  

I work with all sorts of fabulous creatures...

I mean, how seriously would you take me if I told you my office was in Unicorn Park? You’d probably either think I was having serious hallucinations or be tempted to ask me what it’s like working with mythical creatures… Sarah, how grouchy are the trolls before their morning coffee? Do fairies only work at night, or have they adapted their schedules to correspond to the Street’s hours of operation? Are elves really that resourceful and hard-working, or is that just a clever image they manufacture along with their cookies?  

In my role as a “citizen journalist” I did a little investigating into this peculiar building name and found… nothing.  I have no idea why someone named a place of business after a mythical horse-like creature with a single horn in the center of its forehead.  I mean, unicorns are symbolic of chastity and purity – and fantasy worlds.  What in the world does this have to do with business?  

Reader(s), what’s your explanation?  


Totally Addicted to ‘Burbs…

May 25, 2010 at 8:04 am | Posted in Around Boston | 4 Comments
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Last week Andrew and I made a momentous decision: we are staying put*. We will continue to inhabit the apartment we affectionately call Chez Gerrowski for another year. We are not, I repeat, not moving.  

I just can't quit my commute...

Why? Well, it seems we are both a) too lazy and overwhelmed with other things to change our situation and b) addicted to our quiet little suburban life. We are hooked. Seriously. I know it’s not good for me. I know the commute is unhealthy and horrible and may lead to a (probably comical) breakdown (or ten). I know it sucks hours of my life away – hours I can never get back. And yet, we can’t seem to change. When we’re in the ‘burbs we’re just so… relaxed, so tranquil and chill… it’s our escape from reality.   

‘Burbs, I wish I could quit you.  


*Okay, admittedly that sounds much more dramatic when I say it aloud.

Sketchy vs. Scheduled: Sarah’s New Commute

May 17, 2010 at 8:25 am | Posted in Around Boston | 7 Comments
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April has moved on and it is time I tried to do the same. No, I’m not moving to another state – this is far more drastic: I’m experimenting with new commutes. The Commuter Rail was just too expensive and restrictive. 

It’s all, like: be here at X time or it’ll take you three hours to get home on the next train, and while you’re here, give me all your money.  

And I’m all, like: you rip me off and are never on time anyway, so give me back my future children’s college savings and let me commute when I wanna commute! 

Okay, that’s not at all what the conversation would sound like (if we could have one), but you get the idea. Whoodles… 

My latest commuting adventures involve driving from Chez Gerrowski to Wellington T station in Medford, Mass., then hopping on the Orange line to Chinatown and walking the mile to my office. So far I have identified the following benefits of this route: 

  • Savings: by purchasing a standard subway pass instead of a commuter rail pass I save about $90 per month. The parking is $20 more expensive per month the new way, and I spend a lot more on gas and mileage, but in the end I still come out saving something (and every little bit counts).
  • Flexibility: I no longer have to dash out of my office mid-sentence at the end of each day to try to get home at a reasonable hour, and I can stay in town to meet friends after work more frequently. That makes this gal (slightly) less frazzled – a plus for everyone!
  • Musicality: Well, perhaps we should just say “Noise Opportunities”… All the added time in the car means I can belt out my favorite tunes for extended periods of time (and closed windows mean no one has to hear the racket). It also means I get a more robust morning NPR news fix, so we can add “smarter” to the benefits, too.

Despite these pluses, I have vowed to always present the full story to you, our dear reader(s), and so it behooves me to share some of the less positive aspects of my new commuting adventure, too.  

For example: on a good day, this new commute takes the same amount of time as the old one. On a bad day (cough cough traffic cough cough), it can take a lot longer. A LOT longer. 

Another negative: on my way to the subway after work, I realized that my walk took me through what my boss-man affectionately calls “the combat zone.” Here’s a taste of the day’s route: 

To boldy go where no commuter should have gone before... A place without tour buses, two "gentlemen's clubs" and hollow sidewalks, oh my!

Needless to say, I’m taking different streets to the T station these days and praying it gets a little less sketchy! Stay tuned… and maybe say a little prayer to the commuting gods on my behalf! 


Adios, Aquapocalypse!

May 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Posted in Around Boston, Office Humor | Leave a comment
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It has been a rough few days in the Boston area.  For those who haven’t heard about “Aquapocalypse,” I’ll summarize it by saying that Bostonians couldn’t use tap water for much of anything, and that makes for a grouchy metropolitan area! 

In addition to trying to kill all imaginable bacteria with copious amounts of Purell (and smelling ethyl-alcohol-tastic), Aquapocalypse meant we couldn’t get our needed coffee fix… In fact, when I arrived at work on Monday morning, this is what greeted me: 

Sometimes we don't "love that dirty water"...


I looked at my colleagues… desperation, depression, exhaustion (kind of like Snow White’s caffeine-deprived dwarves!) and knew something had to be done. RWC and I shook off our catatonic state and made our way to the nearest Starbucks for relief in the form of VIA packets. 

It didn’t look good… the line snaked around the store… terse Bostonians glared at each other… Honestly, I felt like we were in a zombie movie!! Thankfully we were able to snag a couple boxes before they completely ran out, and then ran for our lives with the powdered java! 

And this morning we awoke to wonderful news: the end of Aquapocalypse! So go ahead and wash your hands, brush your teeth and take a big ol’ gulp of tap water! After you flush your pipes, of course… 


So long, Massholes!

April 29, 2010 at 10:58 am | Posted in Around Boston | 6 Comments
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Today officially marks the beginning of the great move back west.  While the hubs and a couple of his buddies load up a U-Haul with more stuff than we could possibly own, I’m driving to New York with the baby and dog.  Road trip!

There’s a lot I’ll miss about Massachusetts — well, more specifically, the North Shore.  There’s also a lot I’m glad to leave behind.  And since I’m most likely driving as you read this, I’ll start with the roads.  Let me first say that Massachusetts’ reputation for horrendous drivers is no mere myth.  They lean on the horn before the light turns green, dodge pedestrians and other traffic as if attempting one of those drunk driving similutation courses, and apparently have never heard of cruise control.  But it might not be completely their fault.  If you’ve ever attempted to navigate the roads out here (and you’re not from around here), then you know the roads are a big part of the problem.  There are no street signs in Boston.  That’s a fact.  You have to know where you’re going to know where you’re going.  And the expressway off- and on-ramps are nonexistent.  One minute you’re veering onto what you assume is a ramp to ease into highway traffic, and before you know it, you have hunks of steel bearing down on you.  And don’t get me started on the potholes — made worse by the Commonwealth’s dry-patch band-aid solution.

You know what else I won’t miss?  The area’s inedible excuse for pizza.  Seriously?  Crushed tomatoes on an oily cracker covered with stringy cheese does not a pizza make.  My mom wants to grill out for our first night back.  I told her I’ve already got a pizza and wings ordered.

But I will pine for the ocean.  Lake Ontario has nothing on the vast expanse of nothingness and everthing that is the Atlantic Ocean.  Mike and I would often drive from our apartment straight up the coast to circle Gloucester and Rockport, periodically pulling over just to watch the waves crash on the rocky shore below.  And the fun we’ve had out on the ocean on friends’ boats…  Some stories can only be fully comprehended by those who were there. 

Which leads me to the many friends we’ve made out here.  Friends who were here for our marriage and the birth of our first child.  Friends we are not saying goodbye to, but merely, “We’ll see you again soon.”

And we will see you again soon!


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