Family Meets Family.

And so it finally happened.  M-3 Love paid Boston a visit.
An event that was supposed to be a reunion with Cory had the plus-alpha of a reunion with Angel-Chan as well, due to some very good reserve day karma.



I set off into town with Gwen, to show our out-of-state jet-setters the best B-town has to offer. Which included a quick strut down Newbury, dinner and drinks at the Middle East in Cambridge, and a several-hour long search for decent karaoke starting in Cambridge, leading us to Faneuil Hall and then back to Cambridge.  It might be strange that I got a kick out of showing them how satellite GPS doesn't mean a damn thing in Boston, as the roads are simply nonsensical unless you are walking or on horseback.  But because of this they were able to get an incredibly thorough driving tour of the city.

So at the end of the night we finally reached our coveted karaoke destination: The Courtside. Tons of people, all revved up. Should have been a total blast except for the fact that they use what they call the "old-new-old-new" system. Which basically means regardless of the order of songs submitted, they preference people who show up every week and folks like us ended up spending two and a half hours buying drinks without getting to sing once.  At the end of the night, Cory gave them a New York piece of mind regarding the whole crappy system.  Luckily he was able to cameo in one groups rendition of "Twist and Shout", and secure his place as a Boston karaoke legend in one song flat.

Either way singing or not, tons of fun was had.  I'm very much looking forward to the next time M-Class blesses Boston with their presence.  Name the date and time of your layover. I'll be at Logan with bells on.  Or Providence, just as easily. I'd even consider traveling to Connecticut on my days off.
I just love you all that much.

Also I found great joy in being able to introduce my home-friends and the Delta family to each other.  It was like two of the best things in my world colliding. Like a peanut butter and chocolate head-on collision.


Gwen Adventure and Cory!!!

Also, they all got to meet the Pat:


The Pat with which I spent Friday night carving pumpkins and eating steak tips.  Resulting in the following wonderment:




It was a 120% weekend. For real.


Another disjointed mess of a post.

To further expand upon the last post (in English this time), I took
one killer trip out to Northampton and spent the day with The Pat, my lovely sister and their endlessly witty friend Adrian. Not that the last post was about this in particular, but a bunch of the pictures were my 35mm prints from this excursion.
One and a half rolls of film cost me nearly $20 to develop. Granted that included cds as I don't have a scanner (or that much patience), but geez.  It saddened me.
I hate to think that the art of shooting on film is just going to fizzle out and disappear to the point where I have to send my rolls of film away in the mail.  Granted the DSLR is a mighty, mighty fine machine capable of great things, there are some things it just can not and will never be able to do, as seen in the last post.
And this is where I urge you to visit Lomography.com and buy yourself a shiny new toy.  Because the toy camera apps just aren't the same. And not nearly as cute.  I've currently got my eye on this bad boy.
And with that said, here's a totally fitting place for me to post my digital photos of the event.


Lunch at an adorable cafe, where we discussed whether or not the use of Ball jars as water glasses was a good thing or just inappropriate. I am for it. Unconventional details like that remind me of Japan.


Gotta love the western mass in-your-face liberals.



Truly, an awesome week. Doesn't even end there.

FOUND: One of my favorite cds from high school, virtually undownloadable anywhere on the internet.

And an overly-ambitious pumpkin carving project, inspired by the magic found in Providence last year.  Inspired by, but definitely not on-par or nearly finished for that matter. All progress up to this point was done with the help of only a small lemon zester. If I am ever to compete with real pumpkin carvers, I'm going to have to obtain some serious tools. And free time.
However today is booked solid as my dear friend and karaoke MASTER LEGEND from Phoenix Arizona CORRRYYY is visiting the B-town today. Can I even explain to you how excited I am? Nope.














00000012, Providence





That Time I Ruined Martin Scorsese's Night:


We're currently experiencing second summer, just in time for me to be in the mood for knit things, cocoa, fall foliage and Sam's Octoberfest. I suppose it would be worse to have a surprise February throwing a wrench in things though. Grey slush, raw cold and a general feeling of helplessness against the elements. I'll take 80 degrees over that any day.
I got a long overdue dose of sunshine and fresh air Saturday exploring Borderland state park with Gwen.
Armed with cameras we set out into the woods, unfortunately having the same idea as the rest of the suburban south shore. When I venture into the woods I want to at least pretend I'm having a brief "moment with nature".  As opposed to becoming an unwilling spectator in a petty couples argument:

"Do you ever notice that you'll ask me a question, but if I don't give you the answer you want YOU JUST KEEP ON ASKING IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN? DO YOOOU!?"

FUCK I just want to take pictures of leaves and mushrooms. Get off my path.
 Anyway, we managed to find some decent fall scenery whilst trudging through the mud being eaten alive by mosquitoes:




Also, remember that movie Shutter Island? The scene of the cabin on the lake, that was filmed here. Kind of a big deal. Not really though.


I remember when they were in the area filming these scenes. I was working at Starbucks at the time. There's kind of a stereotype regarding Starbucks baristas, I think. Snooty, condescending eye-rollers in green aprons, pissed about having to hide their various non-standard hipster piercings with bandaid bits. Well, it's not entirely without basis. You see when I worked there my coworkers and I dealt with many snobbish, impossibly anal people on a daily basis. I think it just rubs off on you after a while. You learn to fight back with the same techniques. And others.
Secret decaffinization.
Substituting half & half in the skinny bitches skinny latte.
And for the greatest offenders, the Everything Latte.
Which I'm pretty sure was a #7726 original, born from extreme boredom and people bonding over not taking their jobs very seriously.  It literally had everything in it. One pump of every syrup, one spoonful of every powder we had available to us.  It tasted like the medicine that used to make you cry as a child.

  One night I was working with my dear friend who's name I will not offer up, but feel free to guess.  We were three minutes away from the perfect close: Everything is clean, put away, and when the clock hits 9:30 we immediately punch out as the drawers are pre-counted, and make a race out of getting out and locking the door after arming the security system.  I believe my all time record as a supervisor was 9:31.  I don't think anyone has ever beat that to this day. I'm REALLY serious when it comes to leaving work.

  Anyway, as we begin to each put one foot through the blazing light at the end of the tunnel, a giant black Escalade (of course) pulls up.  This is where emergency plan B goes into effect. This last-ditch effort consists of bolting like you mean it to the back room while staying low behind the espresso machines, turning off the music and waiting silently. Watching the intruder on the security cameras from your secret hiding spot, you pray and hope with every fiber of your being that they give up and retreat back to where they came from because you have already dumped every last ounce of coffee anyway. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it did not.  This night it did not.

The time limit before the hiding game started to feel kind of ridiculous was approximately one minute.  This bitch was standing her ground and we trudged out to the floor, heavy hearted with feigned "OH HI!"'s and "Sorry about that!"'s. "How can I help you?"'s, barely audible through the sound of two sets of violently grinding teeth.

At this point, "This Bitch" (this is her birth name as far as either of us were concerned) throws us a giant peroxide smile and a ten foot drink list.
"Thank GOD you're open!!!! I TOTALLY just made it, didn't I AhahHa!!!"

 This Bitch demanded something like as follows:
3 non-fat skinny vanilla lattes
1 non-fat skinny caramel latte, on the dry side
2 non-fat skinny caramel lattes no foam
1 non-fat dry cappuccino
2 non-fat wet cappuccinos
1 coffee frappuccino light, 3/4 pump vanilla
2 non-fat mocha lattes
3 non-fat caramel macciatos
1 non-fat caramel macciato, decaf
2x decaf mocha frappuccino light, less ice on one....
and so on, and so on...
This Bitch just undid hours of work and careful preparation for a timely escape and then had the nerve to LOL in our faces about it.

We already had our trigger fingers ready to go on the heavy cream. We were a whirling dervish of revenge and it spiraled out of control.  What we passed over the bar that night was the coffee equivalent of making someone bite the curb.  I forget exactly how many out of the list became everything lattes.  I believe there were a few. 

I would have felt a tiny tinge of guilt, normally.  Almost undetectable, but I'm sure I might have if it were not for the fact that despite all of this, and making multiple trips to help her bring this nonsense back to her monster SUV, she did not tip us AAANNNYYYTHING.
(Obviously before she knew what we had done. So she totally should have tipped us. No excuses).

And it is during this last trip to the car that she casually informs me that she is an assistant for the movie crew in town.  That movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams.  Directed by Martin Scorsese.
This would explain all of the non-fat nonsense.

Upon this knowledge, my dear friend and I were beside ourselves, collapsing on the floor in the back room in fits of hysteric laughter. I believe I recall fist-pumping of some sort.
Hollywood. We sure showed them.

Upon posting this I do realize that I will probably never be eligible for re-employment at Starbucks, but I'm pretty sure I'm ok with that.  More importantly, I wanted to let the world know that I made Martin Scorsese an everything latte.

(Mr. Scorsese, if you're reading this I'm sorry. But it's funny now, right? - Love, Jackie)



As the exciting plot-line of my life continues to push forward...
Today I went to Target in search of yet another single serving Lean Cuisine and yogurt.
Which was all dullness and boredom until I discovered there was yet another exotic fruit that I had never heard of: GUANABANA:

Which is super-fun to say.  Judging from the picture on the package I assumed it was a massively sugared down version of the Thai Dorian (Smells like hell and feet) fruit. And yet, apparently the two are not related in any way.
It amazes me at this age that there are still fruits I am not aware of. It shouldn't amaze me. But it does.  Either way, I'm looking forward to breakfast tomorrow like a road trip to a city I've never been to..only at least 90% less exciting unless this fruit is going to be an alien, out of body experience. Which I doubt. Because I bought it at Target.  However, there's always that question of 
"But can it cure hangovers?"
Also, tonight I drew a hand-made card to my M-Class Delta brothers and sisters.
I miss them to a heart-wrenching extent. I really, really do.
In retrospect, Delta FA training was one of the most exhausting and stressful, yet interesting, challenging, rewarding and incredibly fun things I have ever had the honor of being a part of.
In the end, even though the job wasn't a good fit for me I regret nothing.
And that is because of the priceless friendships I made.  I have nothing but good memories and extreme gratitude.

Meanwhile, while they're all ping-ponging about the globe I've been home enjoying things like:

A- The feeling of still warm sheets fresh out of the dryer...


B- The idea of falling in Love.  As well put by Lykke Li:

And that's all I've got for tonight.


Without Equal

I've been having trouble coming up with entries partially due to the fact that I've been stuck on the idea of making each post about a particular topic which coordinates with certain pictures.
I'm giving up on that, because it's not working to any extent. My brain is pretty much lashing out against any sort of organizational effort as of late.  It could be called "laziness" or "getting old", but I prefer "having a knack for the abstract". (<--Bullshit I just made up).
Anyway, this is MY blog and I'll be all over the map if I feel like it. And switch between languages as I see fit, damn it. More than half of my readers are from Russia anyway (why?), and probably won't notice any difference. On that note:

 Today I purchased a $22 set of 3-D opaque gel pens from Japan.


On the ride home, in the dark and in the rain I realized that it would have been far wiser to invest in new windshield wipers as my current ones do a great job of smearing instead of clearing, creating a kaleidoscope of inevitable death.
But at least before that happens I'll have the means to create 3D pastel doodles on non-porous surfaces.
I will write my will and testament with these. Maybe on my windshield, to be ironic.  If it shatters upon impact, consider the intricate puzzle as my last gift to you all.
(Clue: Liz gets all my shoes.)

I've been in the mood for creative projects lately, although I've had a tough time channeling that into actual productivity aside from baking. I'm thinking it's because my imagination is rusty. Baking can only allow for so much imagination before it all goes horribly awry (like most/all things in my life, I've learned this the hard way), so it's a good outlet when I feel the need to make things with my hands while lacking a concept or solid purpose.
Dessert always has a purpose. FACT: Somewhere, someone you know is always wanting for cake.
 This is job security.


Banana-Chocolate Chip-Peanut Butter Bread Pudding.
Flavor concept by Patrick, put into motion by me and Ellliot's recipe which I kind of basterdized, since he wasn't working at the cafe on Saturday.  It's OK though, by now he must surely understand that I have an inherent need to screw with things that aren't broken.


Gluten-Free Buttercream Stuffed Brownies. Smothered in ganache and nonpareils.
Nonpareils fascinate me in the same way that NASA photographs of distant galaxies do. On a much smaller level. (I do realize that the cosmos are a far more mind-bending, impressive matter).
In French, nonpareil literally means "without equal". I get this. I think I would like to make a giant painting of just straight up nonpareils. If you can't relate just go to your local supermarket, buy a jar and stare at them for a few hours.
If all of the fuzzy and warm emotions that I experience on a daily basis as a result of interaction with friends, kittens, loved ones and general happiness had a physical form, they would probably look something like nonpareils.

Another source of excitement for me would be the onset of fall. Which seems rather overdue, but then again I'm not quite ready for another New England winter, so I'll take it as it comes.
As of this week I've finally been able to break out the knit hats.  And more importantly, over the knee socks:


And autumn-appropriate high heels:


And for additional warmth, we've got this gentleman hanging around:


Who rocks the Delta apron far better than I can.  And apparently has a following in Siberia, so this blog may just have gotten that much closer to becoming an Eastern European sensation.