mini-jinx, mini-fix

I scored a 114 point word in Scrabble last week. The word was SEVENTY. On a double double, and then a bingo. Bam. I had a cold just after Town Meeting and a return from Montréal that lasted far shorter than it should have. In contrast, Jim has been sick an unreasonable amount with some sort of lingering crud so I haven’t seen him in a while.

What’s that, you say, you were on Montréal? I thought you were in Toronto! Both are true. Jim and I had a vacation scheduled to go see friends and walk around and eat food in Montréal. He was too sick to go. I figured I could stand to get out of the house anyhow. I had friends who had a friend who had a few cats that could use company and I hung out with them (friends and cats) for about a day and a half and had a nice drive up and back. Went to a new library and picked up some local library gossip. I’ve photographed 40 of Vermont’s 183 public libraries so far. Checked out a museum and got to use my Harvard Library card to save myself $10 (it’s almost like it was a paid fellowship!). Went to the public library and tried to get help getting on wifi from people who spoke French as a first language. Interesting experience. Stumbled into a street fair and walked for miles in five degree weather, it was a good time. More photos under this photo.

image of Douglas Coupland art project

Lastly, I brought bagels down to Town Meeting which was the day after I got back. We have a little coffee hour before the meeting and I’d always fill up on cinnamon buns and then be all jangley and crabby through the meeting. This year I said “BE THE CHANGE, JESSAMYN” and brought something with protein. And so did other people. I wrote a little bit about my Town Meeting experience on the Harvard blog, it was a good experience. Between getting up for coffee hour and staying late for vote counting (and getting to tell my friend he’d won his election!) I had a 12 hour day being busy. This is not usual for me. More photos under this photo.

stapler with a smiley flag sticker on it_f0fce3e108_c

So I got home and crashed and stayed crashed for a few days. My positive self-talk is that I was snuffly because I hugged too many people and that is the story I am sticking to.

Next week I am working at an actual library (filling in for Virgil who got a new job!) and tweeting for a week the @ThisisVT account which is something done by the State Department of Tourism. I am also feuding with the State Department of Taxes so I am sure this will all be just grand.

om. nom. nom.

hot donut action

As most of you know, I’m not much of a foodie. I eat to stay alive most of the time, and to have enough energy to do the other things I like to do in life, most of which are not really cooking or eating food. I mean, I really like food but I don’t dedicate a lot of mental energy or time to it. If there were a food pill, I’d take it four days out of seven. When I’m home and not travelling I’m likely to eat exactly the same thing every day for a week and then change it up for the next week. I’m aware this may be a form of OCD. This has always been true, since before my weight loss kick (essentially successful, I weigh 130-ish pretty much steadily now) but it makes things simple now.

That said (I’m a huge fan of the phrase “that said” it’s like saying “but ignore that part”) I enjoyed eating my way through Montreal this weekend. I went up to give a talk at Library Camp and then stayed with some friends the rest of the weekend. Travels were just a bus up and a bus down — though I missed a quickie bomb scare that was right near me — which worked flawlessly. I tried to eat a different sort of meal every time I ate out. This is what I wound up with. Each bullet point is an approximate meal or snack.

  • misc freegan food found on the way up: cookie, banana
  • gyro/pita/fries
  • free hot chocolate from hotel vending machine
  • fruits & cookies & coffee at camp
  • beer, blonde beer
  • chicken stuffed with spinach & veal & steak frites
  • bagels & cream cheese from this place (or another nearby bagelry)
  • ham and cheese crepe
  • indian food that could not be beat
  • the donut featured above along with some poached fruit compote over brioche with fluffy sweet yogurt
  • spiced nuts and a lime soda
  • obligatory coming home cheeseburger

I arrived home to find that the pool was closed and would be closed all week and I am a little fidgety wanting to get a little exercise. However, I’m also home to my slightly empty fridge, my meager local restaurant choices and my big jar of cereal so I think I’ll be just fine.

alert: february not always a pit of snowy despair


It’s been a while since I’ve been too busy to write here. I mean there are a few sorts of busy. For me they break down into busy online — where my online world/job/friends have all gone crazy and my typing is all devoted to that — or busy offline where either I’m away, socializing, ill, working, or some combination thereof. This was a nice offline time because I was all of the above, except ill. Before I mention anything else, let me say that it is pancake week in Vermont at the King Arthur Flour store, starting tomorrow. Free pancakes and real syrup. There was an IHOP Pancake day on Super Tuesday, but there is no IHOP in Vermont and their syrup is crap anyhow.

So… I went to Canada which is my favorite out-of-country destination. This time was particularly good because I could just drive up there to get to McGill. I managed to grab my mail before I left town and opened a priority mail envelope only to find that an associate of mine had sent me a book aboyt the madness that is the USA PATRIOT Act. I made a mental note to read it and tried to hide it beneath my seat. As I crossed the border I somehow managed to get into the truck lane. As I craned out the window wondering why the customs guy’s window was so high up I noticed he was laughing at me. “Are you a truck?” he said. “I’m in the wrong lane, aren’t I?” I said. Except for a little back and forth about whether I needed to declare the 50 lbs of birdseed in my trunk as “food” my border crossing was otherwise uneventful.

I gave two talks — or rather the same talk twice to two very different groups — and had a lot of delicious food at various restaurants representing totally unavailable food in Vermont. I drove home and my friends Andrea and Corey were just getting out of their car in my driveway for a weekend in the country and we did a bunch of country things including snowshoeing, geocaching, sitting around the fire, making soup, making hats, making pizzas with Wayne and Jill and Casey, eating birthday cake (Corey’s) and eating waffles. Andrea and Corey know they have shot right up to Favored Guest status in my mind because when I drag my sleepy ass into the freezing kitchen in the morning when they are staying with me, there is a hot waffle waiting for me. Also, Andrea crocheted me a hat. Everyone went home yesterday and I was happily exhausted enoguh so I went to bed less than twelve hours after I woke up.

Today will be my first day just hanging around the house since last Wednesday and I have a to do list with such exciting activities as “laundry” and “transfer station.” It’s vacation week here in Vermont which means no drop-in time and a few lifeguarding stints towards the end of the week and then more friends coming up from Western MA which is my impetus for making short work of the to do list early in the week.