A New England Delicacy

I finally tried the New England delicacy known as fluffernutter. I’m not sure why it took me 18 years to try it since marshmallow is in my top 5 foods list. But the past is the past. Marshmallow Fluff was created in Somerville, MA, hence the regionalism.

I haven’t bought white bread in years, so it was kind of a thrill to buy some Wonder Italian bread. I usually eat chunky peanut butter, but that didn’t seem like the right thing to use in this situation, so I bought creamy peanut butter. And then I bought THE FLUFF.








I wasn’t sure what the consistency would be like. Well, it’s like a gooey paste. I also wasn’t sure of the proportions…how much fluff to put on the bread. On my first attempt, I did not use enough Fluff.

Fluffernutter sandwich







The container is huge so I will have many more chances to perfect the proportions! The verdict is = delicious. A salty-sweet combination is always a winner, isn’t it? I’ve read that there are many variations of this delicacy; have you tried any?


Eighteen Years Later…

It was 1998. I had been working in London for six months through a work abroad program, and I had a few weeks left. I had read somewhere that the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields would be performing Mozart’s Requiem.

I could barely contain my excitement as I called the box office. It was a dream come true! I knew nothing about the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields except for the fact that it had performed the soundtrack of the movie Amadeus. I’m pretty sure that I discovered Amadeus in high school. I was immediately smitten with Tom Hulce’s Mozart, even though he was a hot mess. But he was a hot mess who happened to be a musical genius!

I bought the movie and soundtrack and would watch and listen to them throughout college. I wasn’t the type to daydream about getting married, but I decided that if I did walk down the aisle, it would be to a performance of the third movement of Mozart’s Serenade for Winds.

OK, back to 1998. I called the box office. All of the performances occurring before I headed home were sold out. AUGGHHH.

Fast forward to 2015. I’m flipping through the Celebrity Series catalog, and I read that the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields is coming to Boston with its musical director, Joshua Bell, as a soloist. Mozart was not in the program, but that was OK! Eighteen years later, I had my chance to see the famous chamber orchestra.

Celebrity Series of Boston










I was looking forward to hearing Joshua Bell, too. He and the orchestra performed a Prokofiev symphony, a Beethoven symphony, and another piece that I don’t recall (a fellow soloist canceled, so they substituted another piece). It was a wonderful concert and Joshua Bell was masterful.

Maybe I will be lucky enough to see the Academy perform Mozart’s Requiem someday. Until then, I’m happy with my Amadeus soundtrack.

So my birthday is less than a month away now. I have nine things left to do. That sounds a little daunting, but I have it under control. As you can see by the date of the concert (March 20), I am way behind in my reporting, but I will catch up somehow. Next up is a discussion about mortality and end of life…


Steve Martin, Museum Curator

He’s a comedian, actor, producer, and musician. And now he can add museum curator to the list.

Steve Martin was in town last month to talk about the exhibit he helped curate at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Martin is also an avid art collector, and he enjoys the work of Canadian painter Lawren Harris. He must know someone at the Museum of Fine Arts, and I imagine they started talking about Lawren Harris, and the MFA person suggested that Martin help curate an exhibit, and there you have it.

My friend Tracy and I stood in line outside of the MFA on a March afternoon for two hours to ensure that we would get a seat at a free panel discussion about the exhibit. Martin, artist Eric Fischl, and writer Adam Gopnik sat on the panel, which was moderated by MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum.

Luckily the lineup was projected onto large screens, so I didn’t have to keep craning my neck to get a glimpse of them.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston








As I listened to them speak, I imagined that I was really smart and rich and I was attending a cocktail party in New York City at which this type of conversation is commonplace. For an hour, they talked about Lawren Harris, the art world, and the MFA exhibit. Martin was serious most of the time, but he did crack a few jokes and made some signature faces.

It was totally worth the two-hour wait in line! I’ve been a fan of Martin since the ’80s and have always marveled at his many talents. It was a joy to see him in person.

So I have about six weeks to accomplish nine more things. Totally doable, right?

Long Island Medium

Four or five years ago, I was visiting a friend and she introduced me to the reality TV show Long Island Medium. We watched episode after episode, transfixed. The “Long Island Medium” is a woman named Theresa Caputo, who lives on Long Island with her family.

I’ve gone to a few psychics over the years and was never blown away by the experiences. But I do believe that some psychics are the real deal and can communicate with spirits.

I theorized from her TV show that Theresa could be the real deal, but I also knew it was TV…so when I heard that she was bringing her live show to Boston, a friend and I immediately bought tickets.

theresa caputo









As well as being a medium, Theresa is a born performer. She’s extroverted, sassy, and speaks her mind. She started off the evening by laying down some ground rules, e.g., do not dog whistle in hopes of luring her over to communicate with your loved one’s spirit. (Sure enough, someone did that in the middle of the evening and was she pissed!) She also mentioned that if you were relating to what a spirit was saying to some one else, that it could possibly be your loved one talking to you as well.

The show consisted of her walking through the audience until she felt “strong” spirits. Cameras followed her so the audience could watch her speak with audience members on a big screen on stage.

I spent the whole evening thanking my lucky stars that I have not lost a closed loved one to tragedy or old age yet. Many stories told were pretty high on the tragedy scale. The first spirit Theresa connected with was a 2-month-old boy who died from a respiratory problem. Then there was the spirit of a local woman who had recently died after being stabbed by a boyfriend. There was a college student who died of the norovirus. There was a woman who left behind a small son, whom her mother was taking care of.

Theresa would walk around saying things like, “Tell me about the daughter.” “I see an explosion; did someone die in a war?” until someone would speak up. I got the chills when a 19-year-old woman was talking with Theresa about her mother whom she had recently lost. Much of her story sounded like my own mother’s, who lost her mother when she was 14.

I left the show hoping that the people who communicated with their loved ones through Theresa felt some level of comfort and peace. I was also reminded of the importance of communicating with our loved ones while they are still with us. Guilt from things left unsaid and what-iffing after losing a loved one equal a very heavy burden.

Putting Pen to Paper

This happened a couple of weeks ago.










I finally broke down and bought a smartphone. I hemmed and hawed because I was perfectly happy without one. My family wooed me to join their family plan, which meant I had to switch carriers. And it was a good time for a new phone, because my dumbphone’s battery was fading.

Ultimately, I couldn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t want a smartphone within the next two years (as I would be signing a two-year contract).

Enter iPhone.

I was so overwhelmed by it the first week that I barely used it. I grumbled every time it dinged. It dings. so. much. I found typing almost impossible. A few times, I had to switch to email mid-text conversation because I couldn’t bear to (mis)type another word.

At the end of week 2, I finally got around to adding a couple of apps. Typing is a little easier. I still jump every time it dings, but I don’t grumble.

I asked myself why I was being such a grump, and I answered that it’s because of my analog heart. Being on a computer for 8–10 hours a day is enough for me. I don’t want to add any other digital items to my daily life.

The thought of making lists on the phone and reading on the phone and listening to music on the phone holds absolutely no appeal. I like paper. I like putting pen to paper. I like books and CDs.

So there it is. Over time, the smartphone may wend its way into my heart. For now, I’m keeping it at a safe distance and treading lightly.

Do you love your smartphone? What do you love about it?