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.


Lost in Space (aka Beverly, Mass.)

January 7, 2011 at 9:30 am | Posted in Around Boston | Leave a comment
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I miss April. A lot. Sometimes it’s a longing sort of feeling, like when my colleagues don’t understand my obscure references. Sometimes it’s a lonely sort of feeling, like when I’m stuck at North Station (our former commuting haven/twice daily date) and my train is delayed and I have no one to distract me or amuse me – or, for that matter, protect me.

Sometimes it’s a sad sort of feeling, like when I’m the only one to get the snortsies (that’s when you laugh so hard you accidentally snort) when someone does something ridiculous like accidentally falling asleep at their desk and waking themselves up by farting, and then looking around to determine:

  1. Who cut the cheese (until they realize what happened), and
  2. If anyone noticed his gaffes. 

And sometimes it’s a sharp, throbbing, stabbing pain, like the pain of being adrift in unfamiliar territory with no hope of escape. And by that I mean I recently got horribly lost in Beverly, the Massachusetts town Arps used to inhabit.

The hubs and I were en route home from a wedding on the North Shore when the traffic on 128 South ground to an abrupt halt, and then the coppers made all cars exit the highway and take the back roads. The unfamiliar back roads. Without any detour signs. Or information on where the highway reopened. Or signs pointing toward other official routes I was familiar with. And that’s when my intense longing for April’s companionship veered its ugly head.   

And yes, I could have just called April for directions anyway.  It hasn’t been that long since she moved and her memory wasn’t erased in the process.  Or I could have punched in “avoid highway” on my GPS and navigated home that way.  But that’s not the point.  Ixnay on the ogiclay! The point is that I miss my bloggier half.

This "Savage Chicken" understands my heartache...

In The Mood For Romance… And McNuggets

September 1, 2010 at 7:51 am | Posted in Around Boston | 5 Comments
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Early in my pregnancy with Max, my bloggier half and I had a date at McDonald’s. One of us was having a craving. We got nuggets, fries and milkshakes. It was amazing. Best date ever. Almost. The only one that rivals that date was my first Valentine’s Day with the hubs. We also went to McD’s. And we shared a bounty of nuggets.  But we got cokes instead of shakes. We’re classy like that.

Sarah and I have hit up the golden arches together probably more times than we really should have. But I just can’t resist those salty, golden fries. Or the fountain cokes. McDonald’s and Friendly’s do have the best fountain cokes around. Those two establishments have perfected the ratio of syrup to carbonation for the most delicious effect. And when you’re stuck at North Station waiting for the 10:40 p.m. train on an empty stomach, how can you resist the siren song of Ronald McDonald? No, seriously. How can you do that?

Hoodles, Sarah and I were recently reminiscing about that first date, and we decided we’re going to recreate it using the wonders of technology (and Skype). Provided McD’s offers free WiFi. Yeah, we miss each other.

Dear Reader(s), what are some of your fave friend-date locales? As a soon-to-be bride and an expectant mom, we should probably find an alternative to our nuggets-fries-shakes fix.


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?


April & Sarah’s Separation: Day 1

April 26, 2010 at 7:37 am | Posted in Around Boston | 6 Comments
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April’s last day in the office was Friday. While Mondays are never fun, today is worse than ever.

Welcome to my pity party…

I started the day waiting on my usual bench at North Station, next to my “favorite” domicile-challenged fatigues and camouflage enthusiast (after all these mornings I still can’t quite figure out what he is raging about, but no matter – he rages whether I get it or not). I sat and waited for… nothing, as it turns out. It took me a minute to realize that I was going to endure the commute on my own from now on.

So I journeyed the two miles to my office alone. I’m so used to blabbing about life on these walks that the silence felt completely unnatural and just plain wrong. In the future I am either going to have to find someone to call en route (any early risers out there itching for conversation?) or resort to talking to myself. Stay tuned… 

And now I have to get to the business of business. Another day, another 14 cents. I will try to provide periodic updates throughout the day between bouts of loneliness and hysteria… and work, of course. Sigh.


Deflowering a Commuting Virgin

April 20, 2010 at 10:43 am | Posted in Around Boston | 3 Comments
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Marathon Monday practically forced our newest colleague, Rhymes-With-Lawn, into our wonderful world of commuting. Normally, Lawn drives into the city from his home in the ‘burbs, but with yesterday’s race-related road closures and traffic, he decided to try the commuter rail to North Station instead.

It wasn’t pretty. His morning commute started with a brisk walk… to the closest T station. When my bloggier half and I heard this, well, let’s just say we “encouraged” him to join us on our commuting adventure yesterday evening.

We left our office in good spirits – a bright, crisp evening always helps! But it wasn’t long before the commuting gods started their games. Navigating through the throngs of Marathon-related tourists wasn’t as bad as we imagined, but we didn’t escape without a run-in. Literally. A lanky, all-elbows kinda guy actually ran into April! Too stunned by said runner’s bravado (and klutziness and sweatiness), we didn’t even make a snarky remark about how the race ended hours ago and that it might be time to give up — especially since he was miles off course* — or that running isn’t supposed to be a full-contact sport. We held our tongues and didn’t retaliate physically, though after the runner kept going without apology, we may have said something about how he deserved to be elbowed… I can’t really recall…

Anywho, in addition to human obstacles, we were also faced with Mother Nature’s minions. What initially looked like a small, innocent bird turned out to be a fierce attempted-assassin with her targets set on us! This bird was out for vengeance, and would settle for nothing less than blood. It swooped and performed sleek attack dives and other generally frightening feats of derring-do. This was the stuff of nightmares, Hitchcock-style.

With little more than a prayer, we escaped the avian attacker and made it to our 3/4 walk mark: the land where commuters are more like moving speed bumps (aka. the Whole Foods parking lot). Lawn had his brave face on until this point… but the Chevy that nearly plowed us down at 17 mph was the threat that broke the commuter’s back. It was sad to see a grown man nearly bested for a couple points on someone’s license, but, in true MoCo villager style, he persevered, and eventually we may even be able to laugh about it! (For now, though, it is too soon.)

With North Station in sight, we knew that we had almost succeeded, and a feeling of relief and hope passed over us… until we realized the Bruins/Sabres game, and all its rabid fans, stood between us and our trains. We gritted our teeth, set our sights for home and went forth with a strong battle cry. Sadly, our modest commuting party didn’t make it through the throngs of hockey fans intact. As we were herded like cattle into “lanes” to enter the building, I was separated from my colleagues. I watched as the mob propelled them forward into an abyss of yellow and black, and was swept into another lane in the process. I was powerless against the stampede.

This morning, by some miracle, April and I were reunited at North Station… But Lawn? Well, I’m sad to report that, at the time of writing this post, we haven’t seen him. If, by some commuting miracle, he made it through this ordeal, we can guarantee one thing: he won’t be commuting with us again.

Vaya con dios,


*Please note: He wasn’t actually part of the Marathon. We have great respect for the athletes who voluntarily run 26.2 miles and would never dream of discouraging any of those brave, strong souls. But this klutz? Well…

April’s New Career?

April 1, 2010 at 9:58 am | Posted in Around Boston | 4 Comments
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The blog I was originally going to write for today will have to be postponed.  You see, we started the day with a bit of a calamity, and, since this may impact our future blogs, I feel like I should give you a glimpse into what happened.  I waited for April at North Station, which is unusual in itself because she usually arrives a few minutes before I do.  Apparently, her train was delayed this morning due to an accident of sorts and, you guessed it: April was at the center of this debacle. 

As she was boarding her train this morning, April tripped, hit her head on the metal door handle, stumbled backward and landed (with a thud, they say) on the frozen ground by the tracks.  Before they left her stop, a doctor on board did a quick examination, but April insisted that she was fine and that they continue to Boston.  The conductor led her off the train at North Station to place her in my care.  He recommended that I take her to the ER, since, as he said, “She really got a wallop on that noggin’ of hers,” but my stubborn friend refused.  And she kind of made a scene… and she could easily overpower me with this darn boot on… so I didn’t force her, though I still feel awful about it. 

Anyway, April isn’t really herself today.  Or at least she wasn’t when I last saw her.  En route to work, she heard a siren and started mumbling something about saving the world.  All I understood from her muttering over the shriek of the siren was: “mumble mumble… wasting my life… mumble mumble… could be making a real difference… mumble mumble… time to take action… mumble mumble… save the world.” 

And then she raised her arm, made a fist, pointed her index finger and ran off in the direction of the emergency personnel.  The thing is, I won’t be able to cover for her much longer, and if she doesn’t show up soon, she may be kissing her job here goodbye!  And, unless she can somehow become a self-sufficient superhero with some sort of sponsorship or superhero sugar daddy, I don’t know that she’ll be able to save the world and pay her bills…


It’s All Fun & Games Until Sarah Starts Swearing

March 11, 2010 at 11:51 am | Posted in Around Boston | 2 Comments
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We may have mentioned before that North Station is also TD Banknorth Garden, so the place is pretty hectic any time there is a Bruins/Celtics game, concert, circus or other event. Last night was worse than usual.

Sarah was already in a fighting mood halfway through our commute, when she informed me that “someone is going to lose a limb” after being forced to walk around tourists too afraid to cross the street against the light. My usual antics only worked enough to prevent her from pushing innocent bystanders (or roadblocks, as she called them) into oncoming traffic.

And then we got to North Station.

Neither of us was too thrilled to see that the usual crowd control was not yet in place, meaning the hordes of rowdy, slightly inebriated Celtics fans were occupying the entire entrance way and completely blocking the doors. In our defense, other commuters were also muttering under their breaths about this situation. Empowered by Sarah’s earlier blog, I grabbed Sarah and started pulling her through the throng, yelling “excuse me” as I shoved fans aside.

And then a portly, vertically- and follicly-challenged male mocked me. So I turned around and told him to f*#$ off. Which, for those of you who don’t know me, is not unusual. You may think I am a mild-mannered mom, but in reality, I have the mouth of a drunken sailor. I’m working on it. But Sarah, on the other hand, rarely utters a foul word. So you know it’s bad when she lobs the f-bomb. And she did.

That poor excuse of a man probably didn’t even flinch when two young ladies cussed at him. But we both felt better. And we made it into the station faster than the other commuters who tried to enter the building at the same time.

And I’m not gonna lie — I felt pretty vindicated when the Celtics lost last night.


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