Wednesday, May 28, 2008


When I was eight or nine years old I failed a spelling test for the first time. I came home and showed it to my mom and she said, "yikes, looks like you will actually have to start studying!" To which I replied tearfully, "what good would that do??? If I don't know it, I don't know it!"

My mother still likes to tell that story, not because it's some cute little thought process I eventually grew out of, but because that still seems to be the guiding principle of my life-if I don't know it what good will things like practice and patience do???? If I'm not naturally brilliant then it's hopeless.

Which is not to say that I haven't learned to study over the years or that I don't like to try new things. I firmly believe that part of becoming an adult is that you not only identify your little defects, you actively try to overcome them. But that doesn't mean that my default settings are always kind to me. I still spend a lot of my life having to remind myself to switch them.

This new job is a prime example. My first day the HR rep said to me, "Welcome to T-give yourself six months to really settle in and figure this place out." Six months? This isn't my first rodeo lady. I'll be fine.

Well cut to three months later and I feel a bit like I've been hit by a bus. I came from a tiny tiny little family run company to a giant global monster and it hasn't been the cake walk I excepted out of myself. It probably doesn't help that I have had the same somewhat unreasonable expectations of myself socially as well. Because I do make and keep friends relatively easily I always forget that my pattern in a new place is to hang back a bit and survey the land before I jump in. So my first few months in a new place are typically a bit solitary (solitude and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship but that is a post for another day). You add homesick to lonely and throw in a little bit of professional uncertainty and you get a recipe for a fair amount of staring at the ceiling past your bedtime.

Today was the first day I recognized that I was doing my usual new girl routine and slowly driving myself insane. I took some people up on their offers to help, I relaxed around my boss because he seems to be OK with the fact that I'm still learning, I tried to calm down a little about the holes in my social calendar.

Turns out I'm not perfect about not demanding perfection. Working on it though. Possible future children should probably rejoice.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008


Weekends can be enjoyed outside!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some things

We are getting out of work early today. It's possible my brain is already gone. Here are some things to keep all of us occupied until this three day weekend gets started!

My friend Chloe introduced me to Schuyler Fisk last fall and she has become one of my favorite sing along in the car artists

She was once on an episode of Law and Order:SVU so I love her all the more.

Thispost by my sister made me laugh out loud.

I got to babysit this ridiculously cute child this week. I do hope I get one of my own someday. Although I said I wanted one at church on Sunday and the boy sitting next to me said, "oh good, just what a guy wants to hear." I didn't say I wanted it today!

My friend Dainon sent over this song today

I'm afraid it might actually be true that they just don't write them like they used to. Let us not forget that tune provided the inspiration for one of the greatest scenes in 80's teen movie history

Honestly, if ever there was a movie begging to be remade with the RIGHT ending...

I had to edit this to add a link my friend Jed sent today. I have no words

Boston is having a monster free concert at the Hatch Shell tomorrow. Cake, The BoDeans and The English Beat will all be there. Summer IS starting!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wasatch It's Back

Hip hip! We got our team number and start time for the Wasatch Back Relay today! I read through the list of team names and there are some real gems out there. I was glad to see one of my favorite name from last year on the list-Wasatch Sexyback. Here are a few more favorites:

R.O.U.S (runners of unusual speed)-you sort of have to know the joke for this one to be awesome
Blisters in the Sun
Ryan Seacrest (this one is still making me laugh out loud, so random)
Where the Hell's the Car? Park City!?
My Name is Hurl
At Least Ten Virgins (an all male team and the winner for "only in a utah race")

and my very favorite and a team I hope we run into on the trail

In Memory of Our Friend Ed Casmer, Who Couldn't Give Up Ding Dongs, And Was Too Lazy To Run This Year

I know some more of you are running this thing as well, some for the first time. Here are my top five bits of advice:

1. You will probably eat less and drink more then you think. Odds are you will stop somewhere for lunch/dinner at some point anyway but you can never pack too much water.
2. Flip flops. Bring a pair.
3. A little bottle of Febreeze is nice to have in a car full of people who have been running and not showering for 24 hours.
4. Make sure have the most current race bible! or Riley ends up running an extra mile-ha!
5. Easy on the Red Bull. Trust me.

I'm really excited for the race but mostly I'm really excited to be in Utah for a few days!! If we can just get nephew to come a few days earlier than he's supposed to it will be the perfect trip.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I had a feeling I belonged

I happened to be driving through a particularly sketchy part of Boston one day last week when an acoustic version of Tracy Chapman's Fast Car came on the radio. This song came out when I was 12 or 13 and I remember getting little chills everytime I heard it on the radio. I still think it's one of the prettiest songs in the world, but something about hearing it while I was driving past housing projects and abandoned buildings made me cry. I have yet to bring this up on the blog because I haven't even sorted out my own feelings but I'm living in a neighborhood that is just really different then anywhere I have ever lived. I'm feeling the differences between haves and have nots in a way that is both good for me and terribly uncomfortable. I will eventually elaborate, I want to make sure that I express it right.

Anyway, I haven't been able to find that acoustic version anywhere online except this streaming version. It's quite pretty.

Fast Car

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Adventure Day!

Sometimes the cure for a bout of homesickness (aside from great words of wisdom from friends/ex-coworkers/blog readers) is an adventure day in your newish home.

Yesterday started pretty perfectly with one of my favorite Saturday activities-sleeping until I woke up. It was kind of cloudy when I got up but I decided it was worth braving for a nice long bike ride. I had been out maybe 20 minutes when the skies cleared up, the sun came out and the temperature went up about 10 degrees. And out of nowhere the trail I was riding on exploded with people. I have no idea what everyone in this city does to stay active for the eight months of the year that you can't go outside without freezing your face off but once it get warms, suddenly it's like Miami Beach around here. I also happened to ride by the lunch stop for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer that was held this weekend. The Avon Walk is sort of responsible for me being in Boston now. My old company started sponsoring it five years ago and at the time I was working as a field rep in California. The GM asked me to manage the project and I ended up spending about six weeks commuting between Boston and HB. The summer went well and I got the offer to come to Boston permanently. Over the years I think I went to about 15 or 16 of the Walks in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Boston, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Denver and LA. There was something kind of surreal about just accidently bumping into one after so many years of them being such a big part of my life. I stopped to see if anyone I knew and was pleasantly surprised to hear the Executive Director had left to be a full time mom. Hooray for taking your dream job I suppose.

I also stopped in at the bike shop to buy a water bottle and the nice boys there helped me adjust a few things that made the ride much, much smoother. This biking thing is turning out to be way more fun that I was expecting from something that is also so good for me!

I got home and my roommate and I decided to hit the open market that is now comandeering the parking lot at our gym for the rest of the summer. But first! We had to hit the weird little shoe store just up the street where I got a pair of Kate Spade red patent peep toe heels for $50. Brenda found some equally absurdly prices Michael Kors sandals and we knew we were in for a good day.

We headed over to the market where we saw about a million cute things to buy for Nephew. This is going to be the most spoiled child on the face of the earth. We also ran across a really cute boy about our age selling homemade jellies so duh, we bought some so we could flirt with him a little longer.

Then it was over to try a cute little Chinese place that was a) delicious and b) clever

We took the bus to Downtown Crossing to brave the Saturday H & M crowds. This is us holding the rail in the bus.

Sadly I didn't find anything I liked BUT we did run into my old friend Jeremiah's little brother who was visiting from New Hampshire. And then we saw our photographer friend Tim who was heading to the North End to take millions and millions of pictures. Tim had a toothpick in his mouth which always reminds me of my dad. He is a big fan of the toothpick.

We shopped for a bit longer and then took the bus back to my car. We ended up walking by a Fire Station. There were a bunch of super friendly and super chatty firemen sitting out front who seemed to think that Brenda and I were sent to relieve their Saturday night boredom. The highlight of the conversation was when it came up that we were both from Utah and both mormons and one of them said, "so I could marry the both of you?" Gosh, those polygamy jokes just NEVER STOP being funny do they? Besides telling bad jokes though, they were very nice and we now know that if our house ever bursts into flames, we have some friends at the firehouse.

By this time it was late and no one was in the mood to cook so we went to my new favorite mexican spot in Boston. Sadly it is right next to Fenway and we didn't realize the Sox were playing a make-up game for a rain out the night before so we had to settle for takeout. There is not enough parking in this city when nothing is going on so when there is a game you can just forget it. So we came home and I decided to model a few of the day's purchases.

Then I stayed up until some ridiculous hour watching movies and reading and indulging my night owl tendencies.

Perfect day people.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Let Go

I have never broken off an engagement but I think I know a little bit how it must feel to watch an ex-fiance walk down the aisle with someone else. You must know that you did the right thing letting him go but there must be some pain in watching him get the thing you are afraid you might never have.

I spent two hours tonight googling my old company and reading up on the launch party they did last night with that big celeb I helped sign. It's getting some good buzz and by all accounts the event was a giant success. Someone else has my job now and judging by the website and the ad that just came out, she's doing a good job. On my last day at that company the owner pulled me into his office and gave me these parting words, "I'm happy for you if you think you need this change for personal reasons, but professionally I think you are making a huge mistake. You only get to ride a rocket like this a few times in your career and it's really dumb to walk away from that."

So I can't turn off my brain tonight. I do know that I am in the right place. But second guessing yourself is really easy to do. I am quick to wonder how miserable I really was and to forget how many times along the way I had assurances that I was headed in a good direction. So far all that is helping is listening to this song over and over

I guess maybe I'm a little homesick today.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I got called out by a BOY tonight on the way I chop garlic. How embarrassing. But the salad ended up being awesome so he was properly apologetic.

I'm posting this recipe because it's not always easy to find delicious ways to prepare quinoa. Don't let the fact that you have to boil two kinds of rice at once scare you, it was actually really easy.

Ottolenghi Red Rice and Quinoa Recipe

Ottolenghi uses (and recommends) Camargue red rice. I used wheat berries as a substitute because I couldn't find red rice. I think it worked just as well.

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1 cup quinoa
1 cup red rice (see headnotes)
1 medium white onion, sliced
2/3 cup olive oil
grated zest and juice of one orange
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
2 handfuls of rocket (arugula)
salt and black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spread the pistachios out on a baking tray and toast for 8 minutes, until lightly colored. Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then chop roughly. Set aside.

Fill two saucepans with salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer the quinoa in one for 12 - 14 minutes and the rice in the other for 20 minutes. Both should be tender but still have a bite. Drain in a sieve and spread out the two grains separately on flat trays to hasten the cooling down.

While the grains are cooking, saute the white onion in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil until golden brown. Leave to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl combine the rice, quinoa, cookied onion and the remaining oil. Add all the rest of the ingredients, the taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.

Makes a large platter.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Little Sis

Reason number 7658 my little sister is far cooler at 16 than I ever was. She was on Temple Square a few weeks ago on the day of the Swell Season show and she spotted Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova walking around. So she went over and chatted them up because she's cool and confident like that.

How cute is she???? Danny doesn't call her the best looking Clifford for nothing.

Here is Glen Hansard covering Justin Timberlake courtesy of my friend Dainon. My mind just melted.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Mondays

Highlights of today:

1. Long before I ever imagined I would work at my current brand I was pretty fascinated by the awesome turnaround made by our parent company a few years ago. My current boss was part of the team that made that happen and so that was one of the major reasons I was dying to get this job. The CEO who engineered that turnaround made a pretty rare appearance in our office today and I got to meet him. After years of reading about this company in general and him specifically, it was pretty awesome to get to shake his hand.

2. We had delicious burritos for dinner and BerryLime for dessert. Hooray for the resurgence of frozen yogurt.

3. Whitney and I went to see Cut Copy and it was MAGIC. This video is not great but if you watch until 1:30, you'll get the idea what the show was like. So. Much. Dancing.

But now I have to remember it's not Friday night and I'm not in college-off to bed!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mi Madre

I had a friend come over to work on a project after church today and for lunch I made some pasta and a salad. Very simple meal because frankly, I am not much of a cook.

I blame my mother. She never taught me to cook, or to sew or to clean. She didn't make my prom dress or put valentine's day notes in our lunches. But from my mother I learned that music sounds better the louder it gets, that it's OK to spend an entire afternoon reading because the dishes aren't going anywhere, that pink isn't really my color but red really is, that a boy can be 25% more attractive if he's wearing good cologne, that crepes are the best way to finish a dinner party, that sometimes it's not OK to quit (the track team halfway through the season) and sometimes it actually is (AP French when I had stretched myself way too thin), that my relationship with God is mine alone, that Dan Fogelberg is not a weenie, that even when money is really tight sometimes you just take your sad daughter to the Harry Connick anyway, and that little girls who are encouraged to do whatever THEY want with their lives grow up to be pretty amazing, accomplished women.

I figured out the cleaning thing on my own, I can sew on a button in a pinch and I have managed to feed myself several times a day for 31 years and have even pulled off a Thanksgiving feast or two so I'm pretty sure my mom taught me the really important stuff.

Happy Mother's Day Jaynie Pants.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Catching a Z

I haven't been sleeping well lately and I'm not sure what to blame. In case it's staying up too late I'm getting to be early tonight. I'm hoping that a hot shower, a little unwinding in my room and the Fleet Foxes will put me to sleep. This voice can sing me to sleep anytime.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Boardwalk

I said something to my friend Matt this weekend about not being able to find good places to run near my office and next thing I knew, I was commiting to a lunch time tour of the Boston waterfront. So for the first time in YEARS, instead of a lunch break I took a running break and we went down to Castle Island for a lovely four mile run. I had no idea such a place was only about five minutes from work. Matt runs or bikes pretty much every single day at lunch and I think he might have converted me. Having to take a shower in the office locker room in the middle of the day is a bit of a pain in the neck but it feels awfully good to get out in the sun for a bit. Now that it's warm outside (for a minute, you never know with Boston) I just can't bear to be on a treadmill. I am simply not a morning person so I've given up the dream that I will be the girl who works out before heading to the office. I still love evening running but it's kind of awesome how nice it is to break up the day and clear my head a bit at lunch. Definitely wards off that 3:00 wall where I just want to eat a snickers and take a nap!

I'm in one of those no real reason for it good moods this week. I mean work is going well, spring is valiantly trying to crush winter and winning occasionally, George W and his stimulus check bought me a cute dress and some sandals on Saturday, my nephew will be here in a matter of weeks, the Wasatch Back and a trip to Utah are all on the horizon. So there is no shortage of fun stuff going on. But it's more than that I think. After feeling restless and in a rut in California and then months and months of being unsettled through the interview process and the moving, I think it's just nice to be content. I'm practicing this thing where I try not to invent things to worry about and so far, it's making life a LOT less complicated.

So in honor of being just flat out happy to be alive, I'm posting something I stole from a friend who also stole it from a friend that absolutely delighted me when I saw it.

People are so awesome.

Monday, May 05, 2008

The View

I swear this will not become a bike blog but I really can't remember the last time I was so excited about something that I left my house with my bed looking like this to go do it....

And when I got home from work today my Wasatch Back team t-shirt was here.

This was a really good day.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vapour Trail

I woke up on Saturday to rain and cold. I was really tempted to crawl back into my bed and sleep away the nasty afternoon but since I've been DYING to take my bike out I forced myself into warm clothes and out the door.

Warm clothes and a helmet obviously.

Riding next to traffic was a little freaky at first but after the first few times I was able to navigate through a relatively small space I got a little braver. It was so cold and rainy but it felt a-mazing to be out. Bikes are FAST. It was fun to be able to go so much further than I can when I run.

So awesome to live in a city but to have this close by. The Charles River can give the Orange County beaches a real run for their money scenery-wise.

I love love love the Boston skyline.

I was wet and cold and tired when I got home but it's that kind of tired and wet that makes you feel like you really deserve a great shower and a nap. Despite the bad weather it turned out to be a pretty stellar Saturday. And yes, I am aware that my bike is an inanimate object but I'm pretty sure I love her.

Friday, May 02, 2008


I have sort of deliberately avoided venturing into my old neighborhood since I got back to Boston. I've had plenty of walks down memory lane over the last two months and they are always pretty bittersweet. So many of the people who made this place wonderful the last go around are gone and I really miss them. I had great friends here. But tonight my friend and former roommate was visiting and staying in our old house so I went over to pick her up. Our little suburb is very woody and the trees are in full spring bloom right now so it was really pretty.As I got off on my exit I wasn't really sure how I was going to feel. It's surprising how random the memories can be of a place you lived in for a long time. There were things I was expecting to think about that I didn't and other experiences that came rushing back. There is this really dirty little grocery store on the corner that a roommate directed me to my very first night there. I remember walking in and it was cold and dark and the produce looked so pathetic and I was convinced I had made a really, really bad decision. When I got to the house I walked over and poked my nose in every room. Not much has changed except everything has. We went to a movie and ate ice cream and then Linda and I sat in the driveway and talked and talked. About people we miss. About how much we both hated our jobs all the time we lived together. About how we don't know anything more about boys now than we did then. I have asked the heavens so many times why on earth I had to come here then. My job nearly sucked the life out of me, I got my heart fairly shattered a couple of times and I spent a lot of time cursing the weather and writing checks for parking tickets. And yet, I don't have enough fingers to count the important friendships I made here. I think maybe I'm finally OK with that being reason enough.

I turned the music up really loud as I drove home and let myself have a good cry. There are a lot of ghosts in my head right now, some of them are asking me questions, wondering if I have actually learned anything in the last four years. I don't know what to tell them. I'm so happy at work and I'm feeling less like I'm fooling everyone and more like I'm really good at what I do. But then last night I let myself act like an idiot to someone important to me and that is so disappointing. Sometimes I feel like as soon as I get one flaw somewhat under control, there is another uglier one waiting to take it's place. Maybe I should just make friends with the ones I have and leave it at that!

It's late and I think I'm mostly rambling at this point, this whole experience of coming back to a place I was so anxious to leave has been overwhelming but also really good for me. I was a little bit stuck in my last life and it's been really good for me to just move-forward or backward, it's good to be in motion.


I love social networking sites. I still remember wasting hours and hours of my life writing testimonials about people on Friendster and getting so excited when I found long lost friends. I love keep tracking of people and knowing what is going on in their lives. Facebook makes that really easy and fun.

That said, this sketch is pretty hilarious. And true. Best to be careful about what you reveal online (that was a reminder to me!)

Thursday, May 01, 2008


The worst feeling in the world is when you are saying something you know is really stupid/immature/insensitive and you can't stop yourself. Your brain is screaming at you to quit it and act like an adult and for some reason you keep going. It's gotten me into trouble more times than I care to count. I thought adults naturally grew out of stupid behavior but as it turns out, you actually have to work at it.