28 June 2007

Shameless self promotion (again)

The summer issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine is out and each issue looks better than the last.

Besides articles on colonial landscapes and a summer guide to the Merrimack Valley, I have FINALLY taken the plunge and done something that I have been talking about for years - publishing a short story. It's in the summer issue, and I find myself wanting everyone - and no one - to read it. But, it's out there now, and it is what it is. But it's done.

Also, thanks to the amazing KJ I have been fortunate enough to write for Bay State Parent Magazine as of late, and am really enjoying it.

Check out the July issue for a piece on the performers of Circus Smirkus a popular Vermont-based youth circus that makes its way to Mass this summer.

21 June 2007

My new Kenmore dishwasher is saving my life

I don't know quite where to start, so I guess I'll start at the very beginning.

I am a horribly annoying worrier. I won't go into details, except to say that my worrying (most often about household issues- mold is a favorite) many times reaches unreasonable and irrational levels. It is heightened even more when I begin to "research" concerns online.

So, when our dishwasher broke, I would say no less than 10 months ago, I decided we should NOT get a new one. "I just don't think our plumbing system can handle a new one," I told my husband.

This assertion, I believed, was based somewhat on fact. Again, I won't go into details, except to say that my "facts" are often based on assertions I actually have no business making.

Anyway, for those said 10 months, I was ALWAYS at the sink, cursing under my breath that my family had the audacity to use so many dishes. I considered converting to paper. But, after trying to calculate which was the lesser of two evils for the environment - using absurd amounts of water or chopping down trees - I decided I'd better stick with my dishware.

I was miserable. But I persevered. And I bought environmentally-friendly dishwashing soap.

But a few months ago, when we decided we would put our house on the market, we HAD to get a new dishwasher. So, we did. About two weeks ago. While it was being installed, I was a nervous wreck and I annoyed the plumber by sauntering into the kitchen every so often to ask if it was leaking yet. "Nope, not leaking," he told me.

When he left, I was afraid to test it. But I did. And guess what? No leaks!

My new Kenmore dishwasher is saving my life.

No more naptime dishwashing sessions. No more hour-long after dinner clean-ups. No longer am I a slave to the sponge (mold and bacteria!). And no longer do I glare at my husband when, how dare he, reaches for a second drinking glass. I feel as if I have gained my life back.

Plus, we got the warranty.

And now, we're not moving. And I am beginning to think that the whole relocating thing was a ruse for this new appliance.

04 June 2007

recalling early d&d days

So, this Sunday, while reading the Globe magazine, I was reminded of my donut-tree-dress wearing days. This article on
adolescent coffee drinking brought me back to the tender age of 14, when I took my first sip of the liquid energy I have come to rely so heavily on today.

I don't remember ever drinking coffee prior to slinging donuts at D&D, but then again, I still don't remember how I managed to wake up in said D&D dress on the morning after my 21st birthday, so that doesn't mean much.

What I do remember is working at the Dunk before they actually had iced coffee machines. In the summer, when demand was high, we would continuously brew pots of coffee and leave them out on the counter, uncovered, until the next day. We stored as many as we could in the mini refrigerator we kept behind the counter, but on Saturdays and Sundays, when the Warwick beach goers sporting their bikini tops and cutoffs streamed in for their large iced coffees with extra cream and 20 sugars, we poured the coffee from the pots on the counter over tall, full cups of ice, and hoped for the best. (As an aside, after multiple customers returned bearing iced coffees with dead flies floating near the top, our location finally invested in machines).

During my young, "health conscious" days, I used to drink my iced-coffee black, loaded with sweet & low. That is, I would drink this if I wasn't sipping a wine cooler provided for me by one of the shop's managers, a 40-something woman and parent to two adolescent girls, with whom I often worked evening shifts and who probably still works there today, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anyway, I'd drink so much iced coffee, usually on an empty stomach- in those days I didn't eat - and I remember spending shifts calling a friend of mine who was transferred to a D&D about a mile away, and comparing notes as to how many coffees we drank and how "buzzed" we felt. Good times.

No wonder I am so high strung now.

Other things I remember about my d&d days:

- the old guy who every day used to order an extra-small coffee (no longer available now) and then complain that it was the size of a thimble.

- the time I got pissed at a customer, and spread horseradish sauce on his egg and cheese bagel.

- being challenged by a co-worker to take one bite of every treat that D&D offered, then, after meeting such challenge, attempting to drink a combination of mustard and raw eggs to throw it all up.

- crawling into work at 4 a.m. to make the donuts after a heavy night of drinking and mistakenly picking up the fresh-from-the-fryer rack with my bare hands.

-the day we shed the orange, pink and beige donut tree dresses for the more flattering and stylish gray polyester pants and maroon polos.