Forks Over Knives


After watching Food, Inc. and King Corn (last year? can’t remember when), I wanted to become a vegetarian. I did begin eating less meat, but I still eat the occasional chicken sandwich or hamburger.

I just watched Forks over Knives. OK, now I really want to become a full-fledged vegetarian. This documentary features the research of a nutritional biochemist and a surgeon (whose expertise is in heart disease and breast cancer). Their research results are astounding. They, along with other doctors, have found direct correlations between diet and degenerative diseases. They believe that hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc. can be kept in check or even reversed by staying away from animal-based (i.e., meat and dairy) and processed foods.

Dairy is my favorite food group, so I am going to have a tough time staying away from dairy. But I am seriously going to try! If you have been thinking about eating healthier and need some motivation, watch this film!

Uggie Almost Made Me Cry


And yes, Jean Dujardin almost made me cry, too.

I finally got around to seeing The Artist. If you ask me, it definitely deserves its 10 Oscar nominations. If the film wasn’t warming my heart, it was breaking it. I am still in awe of what I experienced. The acting, the writing, the music…it was all perfect.I found myself relating to Jean’s character and his resistance to changing with the times. Oh yes, I can relate to that as I give a quiet stink eye to ebook readers, tablets,  iPods…

Just as in Beginners, a pet dog played a central role in the film. Love you, Uggie. We need more films with pet cats, Hollywood!

Although I’ve only seen five of the nine Best Picture Oscar nominees, my vote is for The Artist.

In birthday list news, I was in the North End last night and went to Modern Pastry for the first time. I picked up some cookies to take home. I thank the Lord above that I do not live near the North End, because I would not be able to resist the cookies. Or the cannolis, biscotti, cupcakes, eclairs…

Brighton Music Hall


You know you’re getting old when:

1. You go to a small club to see a show and are overjoyed to see stools (because it means you won’t have to stand for three hours).

2. Your ears feel like they are bleeding from the volume of aforementioned show and you swear to yourself that you will forever bring earplugs to future concerts.

I saw Saul Williams at Brighton Music Hall last night. I had never been there before, and I was so happy to see a few stools throughout the room. I was even happier that I had arrived early enough to find a free stool. Saul was good…he performed snippets of the slam poetry that I love him for, so that was great. I like his music, but don’t love it like I love his poetry.

I had no idea how loud his show would be. My one ear is in bad shape from too many concerts, so I really need to start wearing earplugs. Augh.

I don’t have any specific birthday list plans in the near future, but I need to keep up the momentum. Still have 25 things to do!

On a Roll


I have been on fire this week re: the birthday list. I did a shot of fernet-branca on Tuesday. It tasted like Listerine with a bunch of herbs thrown in. There’s something about it, though. I might have to try it in a cocktail sometime. I went to Scullers Jazz Club on Wednesday. My friends and I saw Buster Williams, a jazz bassist, and his quartet. They were great. The atmosphere was cool, except for the couple who talked really loudly through half of the show. To our surprise, there were even a couple of overzealous jazz fans in the audience who made us laugh.

Tomorrow, I am taking a tour of the Massachusetts State House. I don’t know a thing about the state government, but it will still be interesting. I will definitely learn something! And I will be watching Doctor Zhivago over the weekend (#39 on AFI’s top 100 list). AND I am working my way through John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. Trilogy (#23 on Modern Library’s top 100 novels list).

Last but not least, I’ve chosen a destination for my birthday trip: Nantucket. If anyone has recommendations, let me know.

Dancing for a Hat and Meeting Andrew McCarthy


Today I danced on a stage in front of 100 people for a free hat. And I met Andrew McCarthy.

Just another year at the Boston Globe Travel Show.

When I found out that Andrew McCarthy was going to give a talk at the show, I had to see him because 1) I loved him in Pretty in Pink, and I don’t know how many times I watched Weekend at Bernie’s and Mannequin back in the day. 2) I felt inspired learning that he has found a “second career” (plus it happens to be a career I would love to have).

He sat with a Globe editor who asked him questions about his experiences. I learned that he didn’t travel much as a kid, just like me. And that he “found himself” during a trying journey in Spain. Much like I “found myself” when studying and working abroad. He was an engaging speaker. His passion for travel was very apparent. Love him!

Linda, Andrew, and Me









Oh, where does the dancing come in? Linda and I arrived early for the Andrew talk, so we caught a presentation about Aruba. I have a soft spot for Aruba because I went there for my 31st birthday and had a fabulous time. The presenters talked a bit about Aruba and threw a bunch of free hats and shirts to the crowd. Linda caught a hat, but I wasn’t so lucky.

At the end of the presentation, a bunch of kids went up to dance on stage with some Aruban women in fancy costumes. Then a presenter said something about coming up on stage to get something free. And off I went. There I was, dancing center stage with a bunch of kids and their parents. Well, it’s a cute fleece hat.

One of these days, I will enjoy looking through the myriad brochures I picked up and daydream about all of the places I wish I could go…