Tag Archives: right there on the village green

in which I meet the comfort dogs

Today I felt good.

Like actually good for the first time all week. Usually my happiness level on a scale of one to ten is about a seven, but ever since Monday, for pretty justifiable reasons, I’ve been sort of a four.

But then today, things got better.

The first reason for this was because of the Comfort Dogs.

The Comfort Dogs are a group of five golden retrievers that are trained to give emotional support to people who need it. Basically they just sit there, so calm you’d think they were sedated, and let you love them and pour all your emotional baggage into them. These dogs came down from their usual job at Sandy Hook Elementary to give their love to the city of Boston.

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I sat on the pavement outside the First Lutheran Church with the dogs for about an hour, talking to other people who were feeling down and needed a lift via these canine companions. And it felt good. It made me happy, both the people and the dogs. Dogs always make me happy, but these guys were particularly helpful to me at this time1.

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After leaving the Comfort Dogs2, I walked around the Public Garden. It was kind of a beautiful day today, and I thought it would be nice to walk through on my way to school.

When I walked into the Public Garden, the first thing I saw was this beautiful view of the Boston skyline, brownstones surrounding skyscrapers and the gold dome of the statehouse shining in the sun. Then there was the pond, with the swan boats gliding serenely across it and the weeping willows waving in the breeze. The trees were blooming pink, people were everywhere, happy and laughing, and George Washington was sitting atop his horse, watching over it all3. And the new-blooming flowerbeds were lined with messages from people to each other. From Boston to Boston, messages of peace and love and support.

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And it was all so beautiful, it was overwhelming. I just stood there and cried behind my sunglasses for a minute4. And this song I learned in Primary kept running through my head—“I Think the World is Glorious.”

Really terrible things happened this week, but out of it has come so many beautiful things, and so many examples of how wonderful, wonderful people really can be. Light drives out the darkness, bad brings out the best in us, and life always finds a way to continue doing the only thing it can: living.

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And no matter what happens, I think the world is glorious, and nothing can ever make me believe that that’s a lie.

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  1. Also, the dogs all have their own facebook and twitters. Which makes the social media geek in me really happy.
  2. Also the name of the gourmet hot dog truck I am someday going to start.
  3. He’s a statue. In case that wasn’t clear.
  4. It should be noted I am not an emotional person. It was just a moment of transitory peace in the midst of a turbulent week.
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in which a holiday is observed

Today is March 2. For completely arbitrary reasons, March 2 is my favorite day of the year.

Alright, not totally arbitrary. The story of my love affair with March 2 goes back to elementary school. This is going to be a big clue as to my real age, but I was in sixth grade when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out. My friends and I were all obsessed with it. I was obsessed with it, even though I had oppressive parents who would not let me see it. But I basically knew what happened. I had read the books. And all my friends filled me in on what they looked like.

For Christmas that year, my parents gave me a day-to-day calendar with a different still photo from The Fellowship of the Ring each day, as sort of an olive  branch for barring me from seeing the actual film. I was the envy of the schoolyard playground with that1.

The favorite things among my friends and I became seeing what picture was on your birthday. That was somehow telling of your character and your future, like a Tolkien tarot card. My birthday was, of course, a gross picture of an Orc being birthed out of the mud of Mordor. I guess the manufacturers didn’t feel comfortable putting some cute picture of Hobbiton on September 11. But one of my best friends at the time had her birthday on March 2. So we flipped to that day in the calendar, and it was a picture of Pippin looking delightful and happy. Really, the only happy picture from a pretty heavy movie. And so March 2 became known as Happy Pippin Day. And every day of the year, when March 2 rolls around, I immediately think of my Lord of the Rings calendar and Happy Pippin.

So Happy Happy Pippin Day!

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this was not *the* image, but it’s close.

This week was a really weird week for me. And not weird in a good way. So when I woke up this morning and realized it was Happy Pippin Day, I wasn’t sure how my favorite day of the year was going to turn out.

But today was unexpectedly awesome. A great way to end a really mediocre week. I actually woke up and did some writing in the morning, which has been hard for me for the past few days. I’ve been stuck in a rut where I couldn’t string two words together to save my life. Post-awesome writing2, my friend The Shark3 and I went to the book launch of my favorite Simmons professor. We then went to Harvard Square, where the Curious George Store, aka my favorite store in Boston, had a sale with lots of hardback books for $3. Loaded up on that. Then I accompanied The Shark to get her brand-new tattoo! It was very exciting, and she now has a lovely sunflower illustration from a Kevin Henkes picture book on her wrist. Then we headed over to the Old State House to see the Boston Massacre! Yes, you did hear that right. We watched the Boston Massacre. Okay, I admit, it may have been a reenactment. But it was undeniably awesome. We got to yell abuse at the red coats and watch people shoot each other. I really enjoy any event where I am encouraged to shout things like “Tar and Feather him4!” at the soldier who very strongly resembled Benedict Cumberbatch. And then we ended with dinner at Quincy Market.

And with that, Happy Pippin Day came to an awesome conclusion.

  1. Ah if only that were true.
  2. Accompanied by awesome French onion soup, which is my new favorite kind of soup.
  3. Known as such for many reasons that cannot be discussed here, but primarily so because she works at the front desk at Simmons College, and since we are the Simmons Sharks, she is the face of Simmons College. i.e. she is the shark.
  4. Also, apparently shouting “Lobsters!” at the British was a thing.
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in which i have a perfect saturday

Yet again I find myself trying to blog while watching Doctor Who. I’m sensing a theme in my life.

So you know how sports players have streaks? I actually don’t know anything about this, because I don’t watch sports, but I’ve heard that it happens, and have a general understanding of what it means.

I feel as though I am currently in the middle of a streak. A streak of awesome days. Because I’m going on my fourth awesome day in a row. From Florence+The Machine on Friday night to today, where I was just on fire, things have just been going great. Let’stake a look right in the middle of my streak, and talk about Saturday.

Because Saturday was kind of awesome. In fact, it was the kind of awesome Saturday that ruins every other Saturday for you.

Let’s go through the day1, shall we?

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We began the day at Walden Pond, one of the most serene and beautiful places I’ve ever been. It is the sort of place that begs to have books written on its shores. 

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After a brief picnic in Concord3, our pilgrimage continued at Ralph Waldo Emerson’s house, where I found myself basking in the shade of a large oak tree, writing in my journal, eating grapes off an arbor built by Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism like a boss.

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And just a short jaunt down the road, all my dreams came true when we visited the Louisa May Alcott Orchard House. Little Women was a book I came to relatively late in life4, but it still had a huge impact on me, and remains one of my great loves in literature. I am also convinced that I am a modern-day incarnation of Jo March, but that’s a whole other conversation. Orchard House was more than just delightful, it was also surprisingly inspirational. The Alcotts were big on following dreams and supporting each other. Also Mr. Alcott basically invented recess. Which is just one more reason to love that family.

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We finished the day with a stop at North Bridge, the site of one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. We’ve previously talked about how much I love the Revolutionary War (also how sexy it was), and frankly, the more battlefields I actually walk across, the more I am aware of the reality of it. When you study history, it is so easy to think of everything in terms of story rather than as things that actually happened. Visiting the sites always makes me feel much more tuned in to the lived experience of historical events.

Oh. And then we got ice cream at Kimball Farms. Which I’m convinced is the ice cream served in heaven. It could make even the worst days awesome. It was an extra dose of awesome on  an already exceptional day.

  1. Primarily in photographs, because I have awesome photographs and because I’ve written so many words this week I just can’t think about writing any more right now2.
  2. Oh wait, I still have to.
  3. Where I ate a sandwich that I’m fairly certain weighed as much as a newborn child. It was uber large.
  4. Okay, I was like fifteen, so not that long ago.
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in which i hit the east coast

Last night, as I boarded a flight to JFK at approximately 12:05 am, I thought to myself: “Red eye flights suck!”

Less than an hour later, while riding on said plane and looking at the stars from above the clouds, I thought to myself: “Red eye flights are awesome!” Because cities are pretty lit from above, and when you fly over cities rimmed by water, you feel like you’re going over the edge of the world.

When I disembarked a few hours later in JFK after sleeping for approximately three hours with my head propped on a tray table, and found myself tugging a carry-on full of shoes to the farthest corner of terminal A where the only diet coke in sight was at Wendy’s – $3 for a small– I thought to myself, “Traveling sucks!”

An hour later, as our plane dipped over the cape and circled the Boston skyline, I thought to myself, “I don’t ever want to stop traveling! Traveling is awesome!”

After touching down in Boston, as I tried to creatively maneuver two giant overweight suitcases and two overstuffed carry-ons2 from the baggage claim to the taxi stop, I thought to myself, “*explatives deleted* Please somebody just kill me3!”

Then, about twenty minutes later, as I rode in a cab across town with both the cab driver and I trying to navigate unfamiliar streets, I kept waiting for the panic to set in. The panic that accompanies new life beginning.

But it didn’t.

I spent the weeks leading up to my Chicago move in a state of extraordinary calm, then suffered a near debilitating panic attack at 30,000 feet, aka on the plane to Chicago. Boston was exactly the reverse. I have been thinking and sweating and panicking about this move pretty much since I left Chi-town, yet last night/this morning, as I settled into the medieval torture device known as the airline seat and squished my elbows together, I was extraordinarily calm. Perhaps it was the delirium of hunger and exhaustion4, but either way, I was alright. I was not panicking. And I’m still not panicking.

I am still alright. Even though my new bedroom5 is hanging in that frustrating stage of half occupation and half-unpacked, and I still have no soap or groceries and oh my hell I have not eaten since yesterday I think my stomach is starting to consume itself.

Lexington – which is the suburb of Boston in which I am living – is incredible. I feel like I am living half in the Revolutionary War and half in an episode of Murder, She Wrote, except with less crime and no Angela Landsbury. The streets are tree-lined and picturesque, and there is a monument in the center of town marking the start of the Revolutionary War, and a trail tracing Paul Revere’s ride. Lexington is isolated and remote, but just a short jaunt on the train to Boston. Which is where I will be heading Wednesday6.

So far, Boston and I are doing just fine.

  1. Worth it.
  2. Including the aforementioned bag o’ shoes
  3. It might have been the most hilarious and profanity-laced display to ever hit the baggage claim of Logan International.
  4. At this moment, I am running on 3 ½ hours of sleep, and have not eaten since a slice of cake at my premature birthday celebration last night around seven.
  5. Which only has two outlets, one of which is in the closet. This is not going to work.
  6. Tomorrow I am sleeping. All day. Tuesday I am job hunting in Lexington. Wednesday – Boston time!
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