It Is Cold

It is cold.

My week was action-packed. And now all I want to do is sit in bed and eat marshmallow peeps.

I walked in the Hasty Pudding Parade on Thursday. It was fun and wacky. It was the shortest, most disorganized parade of all time. I saw Anne Hathaway, but couldn’t manage to get a photo. There was a MOB around the car she was riding in the whole time. There was a marching band playing, so we danced as we walked along. We had dog treats to pass out to the crowd, which was kind of a bust since most of the crowd was composed of college kids who don’t own pets. Ah well.

Thursday evening I went to a special event at the Coolidge (thanks, Melissa!). The Sundance Film Festival screened films nationwide this year. The Coolidge was one of eight theaters across the country that screened a Sundance film, and brought the director along with it. We saw The Company Men, which was written and directed by John Wells. His claim to fame is writing and producing ER and West Wing. He did a great Q and A afterward. He was so down-to-earth and humble; it was refreshing. And we learned some great info about the film’s back story. The film is about three men who are laid off due to downsizing. It hit home to a degree, since I’ve been laid off a few times. The men worked for a shipbuilding firm in Boston.

John told us that the original idea was for the men to be working in the steel industry in Pittsburgh. But when he and the scouts went to Pittsburgh, they found that there were no remnants of the industry left! So he had to choose another manufacturing industry, and lucked out with shipbuilding. He found an old shipyard in Quincy, MA. He also told us that he interviewed hundreds of people who had been laid off, as well as HR people, higher ups, etc. It took about 10 years for the film to come to fruition. He went the independent film route because when he talked to the big companies, they wanted to change the entire outcome of the story! So he was fortunate to be able to go the indie route and stay true to his vision.

I also bought tickets for the annual Coolidge award ceremony. This year, Jonathan Demme is being honored. He directed Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia, Rachel Getting Married, and a bunch of other weird stuff in the ’80s. He also directed some concert films…I am going to a screening of a Talking Heads concert film from 1984. Burnin’ down the house!

Arthur Frommer!

Met one of my idols tonight. Arthur Frommer! Yeah, the guy behind the Frommer’s travel guides. He gave a free lecture at the Boston Public Library tonight. I got his autograph; it was awesome. His talk centered on the 10 best things about travel right now and the 10 worst things about travel right now. He praised the couch surfing and home exchange phenoms, a surge in hostel openings, and the stimulus money that Amtrak received. The one “worst” item that stuck out for me was Americans’ paltry amount of vacation time. I immediately recalled that I was fired up about that once!! I signed a petition or something…I can’t remember any details. The fire has been re-fueled. I think it is absolutely ridiculous that Americans are given so little vacation time. Other countries have a minimum amount specified in their wage laws…the United States has no such specification in its laws. I need to look into this situation again.

Tomorrow is the big parade day. Unfortunately, I feel like my cold is getting worse…I hope I can make it through the 30-minute walk in the cold tomorrow!

Quest to Be a Guinea Pig

So. When I went to the MIT Museum last month (#33 on my 34th birthday list), I learned about MIT’s brain research institute. I watched a video of volunteers talking about how they had their brains scanned for a research study, and they were given a picture of their brain scan. I thought, I want a picture of my brain! Sign me up. Item for 35th birthday list: be a participant in a research study.

I was dazzled by the prospect of being a guinea pig. Imagine my despair a few days later, when I researched the institute and found that I am not qualified to be a guinea pig! Because I am left-handed. ARGH! I searched for more research study opportunities…must be right-handed, must be right-handed. Oo, I found a study for left-handed people! But participants cannot be on any medication. ARGH! Foiled again.

I refuse to give up hope. I responded to a post about a vision experiment study. I have bad vision; this could work in my favor. Keep your fingers crossed.

My Significant Other Goes…

My Significant Other Goes “Movie Shipped: [insert movie title here].” Sorry Olive, I have a new SO named Netflix. I received Inglourious Basterds and watched it Friday. Put it in the mail on Saturday. Today I was told that I should receive La Dolce Vita tomorrow. And I watched Rudo y Cursi on my computer instantly on Saturday. I am boggled by my new SO’s efficiency!

In other news, another item has been added to the birthday list. I am helping to judge a contest. I don’t think I’ve done that before. The Boston Public Library and 826 Boston are putting on a contest for kids. Kids will be invited to draw or write about their vision for what the year 3010 will be like. Whoa!

New episode of House tonight…I can barely stand it. If things don’t work out with Netflix for some unforeseen reason, I’m ringing up Hugh Laurie next!

A Special Find at Marshalls

My friend Mary and I popped into Marshalls after work tonight. The stars were aligned in such a way that we both found something special.

After a two-year search, Mary found a cute comforter with lovely shades of blue in it. I am happy to report that I found my next birthday list item. For the low, low price of $3.00, I am now a proud owner of a funnel cake kit. Every year I cook or bake something I’ve never cook or baked. This is the year of the funnel cake.