28 September 2012


I feel like more and more my posts are centering around the theme of pizza. Apparently I can't get enough of it. Actually it makes me worry a little bit that I'm going to tire of it someday like I have of pasta and rice. However, until the most unfortunate occurs I am eating pizza like there is no tomorrow. I also am lucky (or possibly unlucky) to have about a million pizza places (or 4) within two blocks of my house.Today I sampled my third of these delightful food establishments. And it has been my favorite. I will admit that in someways my judging is a little unfair because I always seem to be getting slices of pizza at times when there isn't a chance that they are fresh (you like 2 or 3 in the afternoon). But Michael's Pizza held up well to the fact that I had to nuke it when I got home. I've eaten at Andrea's Pizza twice and while the second time the pizza seemed fresher the crust was still pretty hard. Stella's Pizza is great, and I like it, but I never was as big a fan of the thin, crispy crust as I am of not thin, crispy crusts. Of course none of these even compares to Ernesto's Pizza in the North End, but let's face it, the North End is a bit of trek. I also love how all these places are named after people. It seems somehow cooler than pizza named after kinds of buildings, or games or something.

27 September 2012


I was talking to one of my roommates last night about how many dystopian novels have some part of their premise focused around living your worst fear. And that got me to wondering what my worst fears are--well it got me wondering for about 5 minutes because then I went to bed and forgot about the whole conversation.

This morning I woke up at approximately 6:30 from a rather vivid dream that I was working and it was closing time and no one would leave. I'd told the patrons several times that it was time to go, and the PA announcements had happened. And I knew I wasn't handling it very well because I was starting to get very short with the patrons and turning computers off before their very eyes and such. It was dreadful. I woke up and it took me a moment to realize that it was just a dream, it hadn't happened, my problem patrons weren't being especially problematic. What a nightmare.

Apparently my dream self thinks that my biggest fear is of patrons not leaving the library at closing time...

26 September 2012

The Great Molasses Flood

How's that for the title of a great story? Maybe one that takes place in Candyland??? Or how about Boston?

The first time I heard about the Molasses Flood I thought that the person telling me was pulling my leg. I mean really? A flood of molasses? Well, it's no joke, it really happened.

In January of 1919 there was a huge tank of molasses (with something like 2.3 million gallons of molasses in it) that exploded in the North End sending a huge wave a molasses through the neighborhood and killing 21 people. The cleanup was horrible (can you imagine trying to clean up a neighborhood coated in molasses??). It's a pretty fascinating story. The molasses stored in the tank was bound for an alcohol plant in Cambridge where it was going to be used in the manufacture of Rum. Now, if you remember correctly then you'll remember that Prohibition started in 1920. You can imagine how that might make rum producers a little nervous...There was also an anarchy group that was working on Boston at this time and many people thought they had planted a bomb that blew up the molasses tank (I'm not exactly sure why an anarchy group would want to blow up molasses, but I'm sure they'd have their reasons).

So now that I've piqued your interest in one of the great forgotten tragedies of Boston's history you can read The Great Molasses Flood: Boston 1919 by Deborah Kops. It's a great, short, children's non-fiction. Kops does a good job telling the story simply and in a way that is easy for children (and adults) to understand. And then you can also feel productive because it's a pretty quick read. .

25 September 2012


My lunchbot finally came! Actually it came one day last week, but today I finally washed it up and packed my first leftover pizza in it (of course pizza, what else?). I also got my new produce bags in the mail--a couple of mesh ones, the easier to see the vegetables with my dear, and a bunch of muslin ones that will be good for all kinds of things. Now all I need to do is go to the grocery store. I'm thinking maybe Friday I can hit up the market. I will keep you posted on how much I love my new lunchbot.

24 September 2012

Modern's vs. Mike's

As you may or may not remember, my class I took this summer was in the North End. And one of the many things that the North End is known for is pastry. There is a lot of discussion too among people where to get the best pastry, and more specifically the best cannolis.

Mike's Pastry seems to be the place that you hear about the most. it's a big store, with good branding and is always packed with people. But you know what? They're cannolis aren't my favorite. Sure, they're big, and they come in basically any flavor you want, but if you're getting something fancy then they aren't stuffed fresh (which is the mark of a truly great cannoli) and so they're a little soggy. And yeah they're big, but they are actually a little too big (unless you're going for something you'd have to split with someone), and they are more expensive. My personal favorite are the cannolis from Modern Pastry. It's right down the street from Mike's, it is a smaller store, and I think they only do two flavors (and really, somehow if it isn't filled with ricotta I'm not sure it's really a cannoli), but their cannolis are a little cheaper and they're also a better size for a single serving. And they are always stuffed fresh, which means that your cream is cool and creamy and the shell is always crispy.

There are lots of other places you can get cannolis too, but Modern's are my favorite. And you can get all kinds of really good other pastries at just about anywhere. I may have to head back to the North End one of these days and get some more pastry...

21 September 2012

Looking back to moving

I was flipping through some photos on my phone and realized that I don't think you ever saw the proof that my stuff all fit in my car when I moved. It's a little hard to see, but there is nothing in the front seats. And all that I had to come back for was my bed frame, oscillating fan, nightstand, and groceries.

20 September 2012

Peanut Curry Pizza!

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I think that everything tastes better when it's on a crust. I love my pizza. I think my favorite thing though is that when I order pizza I always get plain old pepperoni, but when I cook pizza I hardly ever put meat on at all. On Sunday I made a delicious Thai peanut curry that one of my former roommates taught me how to make. It's pretty delicious. She normally serves it over rice, but I'm still struggling with rice since the winter and so I've been eating it over rice noodles (because apparently my stomach thinks those are different enough). I ended up with lots of leftovers and so... peanut curry pizza! Today's pizza features:
  •  my favorite crust--I usually pre-bake it with a little olive oil and garlic
  • the peanut curry sauce--spread pretty thin
  • some leftover cooked rice stick noodles
  • chopped up steamed potatoes--I've decided that I like them best steamed (they seem to always be cooked enough that way)
  • a little bit more sauce on top
  • and some cheese to hold it all together--I just used cheddar because that's what I have.
I was a little worried about the cheese. I know it holds it all together well, but really, cheese? with curry? But I was pleasantly surprised. It worked great. Held it all together and you couldn't really taste it at all. Also, you could totally use any vegetables you normally have with curry and I think it'd be great. I mean, we already know that zucchini and broccoli are both good on crusts... Overall, I'm a fan of this pizza. Next time though, I might broil it for a minute just to brown up the potatoes a touch, they look a little anemic...

19 September 2012

Too many books? I think not.

Last week I read Janssen's post about her library books and thought it was a neat idea. And then Mel posted about her library books. Being in library school I thought "what a good idea...too bad I don't have any good variety of books checked out from the library..." I'm pretty sure I had two seasons of Friends and a couple books about the evils of plastic checked out. So I figured I'd put that thought on hold till some of my holds came in and I had a more varied collection of books. That time has come. Now you'll probably look at my stack and think that I somehow contrived it based on the above confession, but I swear it wasn't on purpose.
Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery--Who doesn't love Anne and Gilbert?

Friends Season 3--I love that my library has full seasons of TV shows, in addition to a great selection of movies.

Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain's Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans by: Charles Moore and Cassandra Phillips--I haven't started this one yet, but I'm excited about it.

ABC for Book Collectors by: John Carter--This one is for one of my classes, but I'm nerdy and am looking forward to the readings from it.

Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It by: Elizabeth Royte--this one is actually fairly similar to the documentary Tapped, but I'm still learning new things about the battles over water, especially in Maine.

How to Be a Brit by: George Mikes--I saw this one and couldn't let it pass by. This looks hilarious.

Ernest Shackleton by: George Plimpton--So far it has been an enlightening biography.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Bike Maintenance and Repair by: Terry Meany--I decided it was time for me to learn to fix my own bike...

18 September 2012


A while ago Janssen posted this post about afternoon snacks. Now I being childless am not super concerned with feeding a child an afternoon snack. Nevertheless learning that you could make popcorn in a paper sack was very awesome. I now eat popcorn about everyday. And I don't feel guilty about it because I don't even always put butter on it. A little salt is good enough some days. And then even when I do put butter on it's not a ton. And I can feel good that I know what's going into my popcorn.

17 September 2012

Happiness is

Happiness is riding my bike on a crisp autumn morning.
Happiness is playing with rare books.
Happiness is bookbinding.
Happiness is having a nice meal with friends.
Happiness is going to bed early and waking up with the sun.
Happiness is watching the sun rise.
Happiness is laying in the grass reading a book on a warm sunny day.
Happiness is watching films you have to read.
Happiness is spending time at the temple.
Happiness is seeing people smile.
Happiness is when people laugh at your jokes.

What makes you happy?

Happy Monday!

Inspired by this post.

14 September 2012

Zucchini Bisque

I also made this delicious zucchini bisque. If you can't tell, I really love creamy soups. I feel like there isn't a much better way to make a soup delicious than to add cream. But then, cream is good in just about anything. And since this soup also needed something to go with it I tried my hand at a flatbread. This one is a green onion flatbread. It was good, but had pretty much no flavor. Next time I think I'll try a different flavor (maybe garlic??).
Zucchini bisque
Green onion flatbread

13 September 2012

Wellesley College

Here are some long awaited pictures of the gorgeous campus that is Wellesley College. I couldn't tell you what any of the buildings are, but they are gorgeous. It's super easy to forget that you're on a college campus.


12 September 2012

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

And lest you think that I haven't cooked in months... I made my own tomato soup. It was pretty delicious. I'm still learning about using cream in my soups. I have a little trouble with it separating because I add it when the soup is still too hot. 
 And nothing goes better with tomato soup than grilled cheese. Yum!

11 September 2012

What I did over summer vacation

Well, summer is drawing to a close, classes started up again last week and I feel like it's time for my "what I did over summer vacation essay." Unfortunately for you  (or not??) I don't feel the need to write an essay per se. How do you feel about a bullet list instead?
  • Spent 230 hours in class
  • Made 9 books
  • Ate a lot of pizza, biscotti, and pastry
  • Saw the Tall Ships
  • Saw the Queen Mary 2!
  • Commuted about 250 miles on my bike
  • Only had one flat!
  • Worked two jobs
  • Quit one of those jobs!
  • Had only two weeks of actual summer 
  • Went to Old Sturbridge Village
  • Visited The Cape
  • Got really sunburned
  • Museum hopped
  • Moved
  • Watched several documentaries about plastics
Old Sturbridge Village!

The Cape. It was a gorgeous day for the beach.

The USCGC Eagle

Some of the Naval boats. A US one and a German one I think.

The Queen Mary 2. Maybe as close as I'll ever be to cruising on it.
Ethiopian binding, and three varieties of Italian paper bindings

10 September 2012

The Story of Stuff

I was looking for a good book about plastics the other day and I stumbled across The Story of Stuff.  It's about 20 minutes long, but I highly recommend watching it. It's pretty enlightening.

07 September 2012

Beloved Norton Anthologies

Well, it's done. The last of my Norton Anthologies has been removed from my bookshelves. I am proud to say that I sold that book back to Amazon for a whopping $30. I'm sure that's probably a pretty significant loss, but since I bought it more than 4 years ago, and I don't remember what I paid, I feel like thirty bucks is pretty good. This particular anthology was pretty hard to give up. It had all my marginalia for The Wasteland and The Importance of Being Earnest. But I did manage to procure another copy of T.S. Eliot's poems and so I could copy my notes in. Of course it ended up being more of a project than I'd planned on because I had to copy many of Norton's footnotes in as well as my own notes, but I think I got most of what I need. And it does feel good to that those 4 inches of space back on my bookcase--especially since I've still got almost 2 dozen books that don't fit... Now if only I could figure out how my books keep managing to reproduce when I only recall buying two books in that last several months (and those both are my textbooks for the new semester, and one hasn't even arrived yet).

06 September 2012


By the year 2030 two-thirds of the world will lack access to clean drinking water.

This morning I sat down and I watched the documentary Tapped. After I watched Bag It last week, one of my roommates recommended Tapped to me as another good documentary about plastics. I promptly checked it out of the library (have I ever mentioned that I love libraries?) I'm coming to realize that I actually feel pretty strongly about environmental issues, and plastics littering our oceans is something that really bothers me. Bottled water also bothers me. Before watching this film, bottled water always bothered me from a financial point of view. Why would I want to spend $1.80+ to buy a bottle of water when I can get a drink from a water fountain for free? To me, I have a hard time understanding why someone would want to spend that kind of money. But then, I also don't get things like soda at restaurants for much the same reason.

I thought that Tapped was a fascinating look at the bottled water industry and the effect that it has on our lives. And below are some of the things that I took away:

40% of bottled water is just filtered tap water.

80% of PETE produced in the US ends up in Nestle, Pepsi, or Coke beverage containers

Municipal (tap) water is highly regulated and bottled water is virtually unregulated.

Municipal water providers have to test their water 300-400 times per month to ensure safety of their water. They also have to make their reports available to the public. Bottle water providers don't have to test their water or provide their reports.

We put an awful lot of faith and blind trust in a for-profit industry that is almost entirely self-regulated.

BPA is present in many kinds of plastic bottles, including water coolers, sport bottles, and baby bottles.

BPA has links to obesity, cancer, diabetes, ADHD, and many other diseases.

FDA approval of products comes from and is based on studies that are performed by the industry the product comes from. They don't typically ask for independent studies when looking at approving a product.

World average for beverage bottle recycling is 50%. US average is 20%.

Only 11 states offer container deposit legislation. (you pay a deposit on the bottle when you purchase and get it back when you return the bottle.) But only 6 of these have bills to include bottled water.

Michigan, which has a 10 cent deposit gets a 97% return rate. Other states with a 5 cent deposit get about a 70% return rate.

About half of Americans don't have access to curbside recycling.

Bottled water may have its place in disaster relief, but there issues around bottled water that make it unsuitable for regular use.

You're really better off just refilling a reusable water bottle at the drinking fountain.

I feel very grateful that I didn't grow up in a household that drank a lot of bottled water. Certainly we had some, picnics, the beach, vacations, etc., but generally when we were at home tap water was good enough for us. And I am so glad. I think it will make my desire to completely give up bottled water that much easier. If the demand for bottled water wasn't there I don't think that the bottling companies would bottle as much of it. I challenge you to consciously think, next time you have bottled water, about where your water comes from and where the plastic bottle is going to go when you're done with it.
There is enough water for human need, but not for human greed. --Mahatma Ghandi

05 September 2012

September Goals--live life plastic free

Owing to the success of my goals in August I'm going to make some September goals too. Remember that awesome, life-changing documentary I watched last week? Well, it has inspired me to try to become plastic free in my life. I will freely admit that I don't think I can quit plastic cold turkey. If nothing else, it's going to take me a while to find a replacement for the copious amounts of plastic Tupperware that I use. But, I can make small changes. At the end of Bag It the narrator gave some suggestions for simple things that we can do to reduce our plastic consumption:

  • cut way back on single use disposables
  • quit using plastic grocery sacks
  • don't drink bottled water
  • choose things with less packaging
  • buy used
  • bring your own containers
  • buy less stuff
  • reduce, reuse, then recycle
  • clean it up
  • simplify your life
I think this is a pretty good list of things to start with, but I'm not so ambitious as to think I can tackle all of them this month. So I'm  mainly going to focus on not using plastic grocery sacks, or plastic produce bags. I admit that I already failed this week. I've been looking around and have found some cotton mesh produce bags that I want to order online, but I'm waiting for some Amazon credit to post this week. But I still needed to go grocery shopping today and while vegetables like potatoes and onions really don't need bags anyways, broccoli really keeps together better in a bag. So I gritted my teeth and did use one produce bag today. But I repeatedly told the lady at the checkout that I didn't need my eggs in a plastic bag and that when she poorly filled my reusable bags that I'd take paper over plastic.

While plastic grocery sacks are going to be my focus this month I also want to work on not drinking bottled water (which I don't often anyways, but still), and I want to work on bringing my own containers (which means I need to work on coming up with glass containers that I can bring...)

04 September 2012

Recap on August Goals

I'm sure you've all been anxiously waiting to find out how my August goals went. As a reminder, these are the two goals that I made for myself for the month of August:

1. To be Facebook free for the month of August.
2. For all of my worldly possessions (with noted exceptions) to fit comfortably in my car behind the front seats when next I move.

Overall, they went pretty well. I do remember once about 2/3 of the way through August having a nightmare that it was August 31 and something weird happened and I forgot and checked my Facebook and then realized that I'd missed my goal. I was pretty happy when I woke up and realized that that wasn't going to happen. In fact I was so busy last weekend that it was September 2nd before I had time to sit down and spend 10 minutes realizing that I didn't miss anything on Facebook all month. And you know what? I really didn't miss Facebook at all the whole time I was gone (though Facebook thinks it missed me, it sent me a "welcome back" email after I logged back in). Sadly, my Facebook hiatus does mean that now I have that weird timeline thing going on, which I don't really care for. Oh well, all the more reason to not use Facebook. muahahah. I haven't decided if I'm going to continue my Facebook free life style indefinitely or if I'm just going to pick a time each week where I can check it if I feel like it. Probably the latter. I do like the idea of using Facebook to keep up with people. I just don't like Facebook.

As for moving my possessions. They pretty much all fit behind the front seats in my car. As my roommate can attest, she did have to sit with her knees by her chin because the passenger seat was pushed all the way forward, but she did ride with me to my new place. We did have to take a second trip for my bed frame, my fan, my nightstand, and my food, but my chair ended up fitting in my car, my mattress fit on top of my car, and I didn't end up taking the a/c unit at all. I'm not sure though if my stuff fit in my car well enough because I actually got rid of very much stuff, or if maybe I'm just getting better at packing. As I've been unpacking I've been finding myself with a fair number of things that don't have an immediately obvious home and so I need to try and get rid of some more things. I really want everything in this new space to have a home. I think that if it has a home it should be easier for me to keep my room clean.

Essentially I am pleased with my progress on my goals this past month. I definitely think I could have de-owned more things and with any luck I can do some de-owning this week as I unpack from my move, but I feel good about the progress I made. And I'm really happy with how my Facebook-free life has been going. And I will keep it up at least to some extent.

03 September 2012

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day. I feel very lucky. Here in Boston the Temple opens for half a day on the various Monday holidays during the year. Normally it's closed on Mondays, but about a half a dozen times during the year it's not. And since today was a Monday holiday I took advantage and spent some time at the Temple this morning doing baptisms for the dead. I love going to the Temple. It's so peaceful there, and it brings peace to my entire day.

Boston Massachusetts LDS Temple

01 September 2012

Merry Moving Day!

Just wanted to check in and wish everyone a merry moving day. So far my move has gone very smoothly. And I was only a couple minutes late for work. Traffic in Harvard Square was terrible. I'll post more next week.