• Notes from a Clamshell Path | No. 1

    Oh, hey, there! I've been missing this space and am making an effort to get back to it. Truth is I've never really been gone -- I've written over 25 draft posts in the past year or so. I just haven't hit "publish" in some time. With this post, I'm dipping my toe in slowly using a format that other bloggers (or whatever we are calling ourselves now) use. You'll find it somewhat reminiscent of my weekly Random Series

    Thinking About:

    • The election. Sigh. I'm with her. Like you, I've had every feeling on the emotion spectrum and I'm ready to vote NOW. I'm skipping this next debate and I'm actively doing everything I can to remove his voice and his words from my life. I gain nothing from continuing to listen to him so I'm turning inward and towards like-minded people. I worry about what is next for us as a society and, like many women, I'm tired of staying quiet. 
    • The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere. Did you see that sneak peak??? I gasped at the end! I have this feeling they are taking Daryl from us -- Norman Reedus has been giving off some weird vibes in interviews lately. However, he did use the word "we" the other day in talking about this upcoming season. Maybe because I've conducted hundreds of exit interviews, I know people start to use you "they/you" and "me", rather than "we" as soon as they give notice. It's some sort of psychological separation preparation. Anyway, we shall see very soon. (And how about that latest issue in the Whisperer Wars? SO GOOD!)

    Thankful For:

    • I've had a tough run this year with chronic (and debilitating) pain. Right now I'm grateful I'm currently in a low pain period and that I've learned to manage it for the most part. I still live in fear of a sudden flare-up (I've had four in a year) but I have a responsive medical team, a pretty large toolkit of countermeasures, and a much better understanding of how my body reacts.
    • My dog, Stephen, and I have been able to go on little adventures this fall. Sometimes it's just a romp at the dog park, a long drive through the dunes, and a few serene moments looking for whales and seals. Other times it's exploring new places, depending on how I'm feeling that day. I'm grateful to be mobile enough again to enjoy our time!


    • With All Due Respect and The Circus: Inside the Greatest Show on Earth. Back to that election. I am finding that I cannot stomach most news channels anymore but these guys are entertaining, fair-ish, and focus more on the strategy around the election process. WADR is on Bloomberg Politics every day at 5:00pm (EST) and The Circus is on Showtime on Sundays at 8:00pm (EST). It's worth going back and watching all the episodes on demand. It is FASCINATING!
    • Longmire. I am not a cowboy hat kind of person but this show is really entertaining. I started watching because I love Lou Diamond Phillips on Talking Dead, my weekly therapy show. And I love that Starbuck is on it! I'm on Season 2 and am thrilled there are 3 more seasons to binge after that.
    • The Hallmark Channel. There is nothing safer or more heartwarming than a good Hallmark Channel movie. I've been eating up the fall movies and am ready for the holiday season to start with the first movie on October 29. It's terrific counter-programming to the election coverage.


    • My Halloween costume. Halloween is a BIG deal in Ptown. I've heard they have a group of people practicing the Thriller dance to perform on the streets at random times that weekend. This year, I'm building my costume around a colorful payette sequinned kimono I just had to buy. I also have a large feather headdress. 
    • Election Night outfit. Our Election Night plans changed recently (see below) so now I have to make some Hillary Victory gear to wear on Election Night. I'm thinking a glitterized Hillary-circa-1992 headband that's multi-dimensional and lights up!


    • Yes, more election stuff! I check this page several times a day to see how Nate Silver and his gang are crunching the numbers. Apparently, I am not alone.
    • Email newsletters. Every week I look forward to reading the newsletters I subscribe to from various writers. There is something more intimate about their writing in these -- perhaps because the trolls can't comment. Here's a few that I like: Zen at PlayOf a KindThe Smash, and 3191 Notes.
    • How to Live a Good LifeI just started this and am planning my week around finishing it. I like a good self-help book, especially when it's built around a concept that speaks to me. Who doesn't want to live a good life?


    • Keepin' It 1600 podcast. Yes, even MORE election stuff. This one has me belly laughing all the way through. It features four former aides to President Obama — Jon FavreauDan PfeifferJon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor -- who are super smart, know their stuff, and are hilarious together. Warning: if you don't have liberal leanings, you might not find the humor in it.
    • The Magic Pill. This 10 minute podcast is all about exercise, but I promise you it will inspire you to do little things that turn into big things. There are 21 episodes of really interesting tidbits about how just a little bit of movement can improve your health.
    • And speaking of podcasts, I just switched to the Overcast app to listen to these. It's easier to organize your listening (playlists!), especially if you are like me and listen to all sorts of random stuff.

    Eating + Drinking:

    • Apple cider. I've been drinking it by gallon. Yes, I know how much sugar is in it. I don't care. (Bonus tip: The Trader Joe's Spiced Cider is fantastic when it's heated.)
    • Pear mules. Hat tip to my friend, Allen, for discovering these. I'm switching out my summer grapefruit vodka for pear vodka and adding a little ginger beer and some simple syrup. DELICIOUS!
    • Immaculate Baking Company cinnamon rolls. We used to live right behind a Whole Foods and since we left Boston, haven't done much shopping there (the closest one is 45+ minutes up Cape.) But occassionally we have to make trips to the big city of Hyannis and I grabbed a roll of these. SO cinnamon-y! The best in a tube I've ever had!


    • Online courses on finances. One of my commitments this year has been to pay more attention to my finances. I hate talking about money so, so much. I know enough to pass for an adult but it's time I get better versed. A couple of courses so far: Heal Your Money Karma and 5 Steps to End Regrettable Spending.
    • The Tarot.  Not sure why, but I've gotten interested in learning more about tarot cards. I started using the Golden Thread Tarot appwhich allows you to pull a card each day and log your response to it. It's really interesting and is eerily reflecting what is going on in my life. I'd like to learn more and plan to buy a real deck and keep learning through this online course: Read Tarot Cards Like a Pro.
    • My succulents had tons of babies this summer and I'm learning how to harvest and repot them. I think everyone will be getting succulent babies for Christmas this year!


    • Fall scented candles lit at all times.
    • Fluffy ivory blankets in a basket in the living room.
    • Roaring fires in the fireplace more nights than not.


    • Provincetown in the off-season! I'm parking under "no parking" signs, trespassing on private property to satisfy my curiosity, and walking confidently into restaurants without a reservation. We're starting to catch up with our winter friends and the off-season activites -- like trivia nights -- begin in a couple weeks. 
    • Canopy. Have you seen this site? People find the coolest, most design-y things on Amazon and then post them in one place for you to peruse. No more culling through the ugly.


    • With the uncertainty of my ongoing nerve pain, this has been the year of missing out. I've had to cancel so many things, including a September retreat in Sandwich and the entire film festival in June. And we are, alas, cancelling our trip to Cabo in November. The flight is too long for me and, since one of my flare-ups was on our last trip to Mexico, we're playng it safe. I've somehow learned to deal with disappointment this year and am now prioritizing day-to-day wellness over carpe diem fun. It's hard, though.
    • Normal footwear. No more flat sandals for me, friends. I've been replacing my shoes with orthotics and supportive sneakers. It's been hard to find cute shoes that meet my new criteria but I'm taking it as a challenge. If you find any, please send them my way. I will not be wearing ugly shoes.


    • My exercise routine. One of the things that helps the most with my nerve pain is my regular stretching and core strengthening routine from my physical therapist. I do it every day -- no matter what. I'm also getting my steps back up. It used to be really easy to hit 10,000 steps each day before my pain but now I struggle. I hope to get back to a place where I can easily get those steps in again.
    • An income gig. Notice how I did not say job or career. I'm totally changing my approach to work and am looking to build more of a portfolio career --a little bit of this, a little bit of that  -- for now. 

    Planning + Organizing:

    • I'm currently in the last stages of the post-summer switch over. We still have some warm days in October (70 degrees this week!) so we don't put everything away until November. This past summer, I planted over 50 PLANTS in planters around our deck and front porch. I'm trying to figure out where to put some of them inside our house now. I hate to see them die.
    • I've been thinking about doing an online sale of some of my summer sandals and clothes that I can no longer wear. I've seen Instagram auctions but I think I might find a way to do it here in some way. If you wear a size 9 shoe, you are in luck because I have tons of never worn or barely worn super cute sandals to share. Stay tuned.
    • We booked a trip to Costa Rica for next spring but we're thinking we need to postpone that for another year while my body continues to heal. While I have no interest in ziplining or things of that ilk, I do want to see toucans, sloths, and monkeys while we are there. So, I am currently in research mode for a new destination within a four-hour or so flight range. I think I may have found it but if you have any ideas, please let me know!

    I hope to make this a regular (monthly? bi-weekly?) series and to push out some of those drafts I've been saving. There are photos of two amazing trips to Mexico we took, a pretty intense and personal tome on a family issue we faced this past year, lots of info on my battle with pain that I think others might find useful (it was hard to find really helpful practical advice when I needed it), and various observations about life out here at the end of the world. So thanks, DJT, for compelling me to share my thoughts and writing again!

    Oh, and I started a new section here at the bottom of each post that gives you a little list of the things I have planned for each month, sort of like my Calendar posts from years past.

    Thanks for reading! See you back here in a bit!

  • The Secret to My Success (and my summer list)

    When I entered kindergarten, my mother told the principal: "I have one daugher who is here to study. And one who is here to have fun." So it was perhaps surprising that I've spent the last 16 years in a place that has the highest concentration of overachievers on the planet. I learned very quickly that I would never be the smartest, most educated, most well traveled, most connected person in the room. It took me a long time to figure out my own superlative and, when I did, I realized it had magical value. Chief Slacker in Residence may not seem like a title to aspire to, but, in that sea of bests and mosts, it was a perspective that was useful to a group of Type A's hopped up on stress. Here's what they'd get in a conversation with me: 

    Do you really have to do all those things? Why don't you pick just two or three? Do you need a break? When's your next vacation? That sounds complicated -- how can we make it easier? There really is no deadline with this, so take your time. Maybe you want to change your hours, work from home a couple of days a week? What can you throw overboard? Oh, that's too hard. Let's do something else.

    Turns out being the One Who Was Here To Have Fun was the key to my success. My mom is a prophet. And with that in mind, here's my Summer is a Verb 2015 list:

    • be outside
    • take time to enjoy each summer evening
    • read 20 pages a day (inspired by this)
    • honor our summer traditions (like our 8th annual family barhop!)
    • take lots and lots of photos
    • explore our new world on the lower Cape (the lower Cape, while counterintuitive, is the portion farthest from the mainland)

    For those of you who are thinking this is a very vague list, you are right. I keep a running list of all sorts of things I'd like to do (and each fits into one of these six categories). But I have time. I can pick two or three. I'm taking a break. I'm here to have fun.

    Happy Summer!

  • Thoughts on Moving to a Sandbar

    photo: East End tidal flats at low tide

    I've written this post six times since we moved to Provincetown a little over four months ago. One version was all yay-I'm-the-luckiest-girl-in-the-world (TRUE) and the next detailed all the unpleasant surprises (record snow requiring shoveling four times a day, wild animals tormenting Stephen, a complicated partially wooded yard to care for, the amount of bird shit left on our deck furniture every day), listed all the things that have broken (microwave, our car), all the things we had to buy (microwave, additional car, wood for the fireplace, more wood for the fireplace, a dishwasher, a grill, deck furniture, a shovel, a vacuum), and the endless list of things on the To Do List. 

    I thought we'd be completely settled in by now because I have imagined this life for a long time. Provincetown was my home before I moved to Boston when I was not only in my 20s, but in my EARLY 20s. When everything was about the person I wanted to become -- where would I live? what would I do for a living? who would I marry? would I have kids? what great adventures were in store for me? And now that I am The Person That I Would Become, coming "home" has been a mixture of unexpected feelings and in-your-face practicalities that never appeared in any of my daydreams. 

    I had envisioned stress-free days writing and reading, eating lobster rolls, taking long peaceful walks with Stephen, and wandering through town on my own taking photos of anything that caught my eye. I've had some of that, to be truthful, but not nearly as much as I had envisioned. Recently, someone said to me, "well, you're on vacation." Living where you vacation is not the same thing as being on vacation (see above.)


    The other day I think I finally accepted the chaos that is created by uprooting your life twice in 10 months and what that can do to your sense of equilibrium. When the Mr. and I decided to move here, we agreed on two intentions:

    1) We wanted to simplify our lives.

    Our life in Hingham was the most complicated it's ever been. And after moving here one week before the first blizzard hit and all the WTFing began, I thought we had made a turn in the wrong direction. I've since come to believe that "simple" does not mean the same thing as "convenient." 

    The number of decisions I have to make in a day, the number of people I have to respond to, the number of things I have to finish have all been vastly reduced. The pace of my day is comfortable and self-directed. And even though everything we ever needed isn't delivered to our front doorstep by someone else and we're doing the errands and housework that we used to pay other people to do, our overall objective for our life is simpler: stop striving and straining and enjoy it.

    2) We'd be all in.

    Living in the burbs for a year while still maintaining our usual lives in Boston left us with a neither-here-nor-there feeling. I'm still working on this since I have one foot left in Cambridge for work, which will continue a bit longer than originally planned. However, I'm way more Here than I am There and, after June, my time commitment will be limited even further. Whenever I do make the final transition, the next step will be something small and something local. No more world stage organizations and agendas for me.

    Being all in has mostly meant that we wanted to be an active part of the community. The Mr., being the outgoing extrovert that he is, is making friends all over town (bartenders holding the highest percentage of that group.) Stephen has started his own fan club here and is often greeted by name as we walk down the street. I'm just happy to follow along in the path they both forge for our Provincetown lives.


    I crave routine. Crave it, need it, hope for it, yearn for it. But until we truly settle in and all the newness fades in the ethereal Provincetown light, I am content with noting the adjustments we've made in the short time we've been here:

    • I've stopped wearing Spanx. And eye makeup. Ok, I'm not really wearing makeup at all now. I've even let go of my gel manicures. (But pedicures and hair color are non-negotiable. Gurl, please.)
    • I'm fine leaving the house in my yoga pants or with unwashed hair piled on top of my head. I've started looking at my closet and thinking what do I actually WANT to wear? (Not what can I get by with at work? or what will other people be wearing? or what is appropriate for this event?)
    • Stephen now often sets the pace for the day. Sleepy? We nap. Ready to play? We play. Wants to go out? We go out.
    • I've gotten used to the foxes running in front of me from all corners of the neighborhood. They hardly register at all anymore. Unless of course, Stephen is there and does his bonkers LOOK EVERYONE! EVERYONE! I MEAN EVERYONE!!!! THERE'S A FOX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bark.
    • My visits back to Boston have become painful. I hate being separated from the Mr. and from Stephen.
    • We walk on the beach twice a day -- the town beach is only two blocks from our house -- and it's become perhaps the first foundational piece of an actual routine. Weather and tides dictate the timing and the location of these walks and it's nice to be bound to nature's rhythm and not the MBTA schedule.
    • I now drive an SUV. Which is completely stocked with sunscreen and hats, both of which are necessary for all the time we spend outdoors. I even moved a giant bin of both next to the front door -- a place that used to hold my fully stocked commuting bag.
    • I've stopped using filters in Instagram. How could you possibly improve the light out here? I want my photos to look like real life. And real life has bright colors.
    • "Buying local" has taken on new meaning for us. We want -- no, NEED -- to support those who live and work in this remote town. Their livelihood is our livelihood. 
    • We are really good recyclers and Saturday mornings now include trips to the transfer station.
    • We've grown accustomed to having to use the words "husband" and "wife" to explain our relationship. People are always surprised when we tell them we live here (and we're not just a straight couple visiting town). Sometimes we let the confused ones suffer as they try to figure it out.
    • But mostly, mostly I've been cleaning the house. I miss having a cleaning service. But I do have a new vacuum cleaner.

    Sidenote: For those of you who may have missed it, CBS Sunday Morning did a wonderful piece on Provincetown. I've watched it at least 10 times and I tear up every time I watch it because it just gets this place. You can view it here: A Walk in Provincetown

  • Jump on in. The water is perfect!

    Welcome to the new Juniper Disco!

    The idea for a new web site was incubated in the Bahamian sun more than two years ago. I was sitting in a pool chair staring at the palm trees over my head and thinking about the one thing I do well: I'm really, really good at vacationing. I thought about how much of my life has been spent in and around pools and beaches. How most of my closet is filled with tunics, caftans, and sandals. How joyful I feel when I'm on the Cape and in the Caribbean. How much I like to share my experiences with others and encourage people to find their own little moments of sun-filled bliss. From that daiquiri-induced musing -- there may have been a conch fritter or two as well -- "poolside" emerged. 

    As most of you know, the Mr. and I are living YEAR ROUND in Provincetown now. (I know. Pinch me!) It's the perfect time for a new crisp, clean space that focuses on the poolside lifestyle while allowing me to chronicle all the other important moments in this little ole life of ours.

    Here's the NEW stuff you will find:

    • The poolside section focusing on the Caribbean (sortable by country), Cape Cod, "everywhere else," and my favorite resorting tips (including my ongoing battle with a fear of flying). 

    • A section for my photo series work. Already there: colors, shapes, and patterns of Ptown, my annual "The Mr. Contemplates the World" posts on the Mr.'s birthday, and my favorite series of posts possibly ever: my vacation diary from 2013.

    • A journal section for the random musings clunking around in my head. I carried over my chronicles of my path through grief after losing one of my friends to cancer as well as my healing through the Boston Marathon bombings.

    • Lists, lists, and more lists. In the coming months I'll be posting my completely revised life list. You can already see the list of things I accomplished on the current list. ALSO, I'm working on moving over every list I've ever made on Juniper Disco with the goal of ultimately making 100 lists.

    • Since I often do my storytelling through Instagram, you can follow my feed directly through this site.

    • And for those of you looking for the old Juniper Disco and things I left behind (like most of my life in Boston or the weekly Random posts), you can click through the tumblr link, head to the "archive" link at the bottom of one of the old tumblr posts, and see every post I've ever made since December 2010.

    I hope you'll grab a fruity umbrella-garnished frozen cocktail and join me poolside for a little fun! Thanks for swimming on over here!

  • Art, Heart Worm, Grey-shingled Houses, and Pineapple Drinks

    (originally published on December 23, 2014)


    So I've been rather absent from this space the last few months. Let me explain. Life has gone something like this ...

    Put life on hold to prep for the re-opening of the museum. Plan out complicated wardrobe and transportation logistics for 16 opening events in 10 days. Curse moving to Hingham. Take Stephen to vet where he tests positive for heart worm. Freak out. Move to a Cambridge Airbnb for first half of opening events. The Mr. takes Stephen to get chest xrays and he tests positive again. Freak out. Finish out opening events. Collapse. Eat all the food the Mr. makes. Sit on the couch and stare into space. Stephen goes on antibiotics for a month. The Mr. gets awesomest job offer on the Cape. Freak out. Host the in-laws for Thanksgiving and travel to my sister's for the holiday. Tell my bosses about the move and work out a general plan for work through June. Find a place to live on the Cape in less than a week. Finish Christmas shopping. Pack for the DR. Experience the bumpiest flight ever to Philly. Almost pee my pants. Enjoy 6 days in Punta Cana. Get a tan and forget about everything. Return home and thank my friend JR for watching my boo boo. Finish out work before winter break. Take Stephen to vet for first of three awful heart worm shots. Buy every chew toy ever made. Attempt to keep him still and cry every time I put him in his crate. Decorate for Christmas. Clean apt for guests. Finish wrapping presents. Plan out the holiday cheese board to end all cheese boards. Snuggle Stephen until his pain meds kick in. Start thinking about what to put in storage, what to give away, and what to pack. Freak out. Make a gratitude list.

    Gratitude List

    1. That my husband found a really awesome opportunity that he is going to love.
    2. That that opportunity takes us to the CAPE!
    3. That we somehow found an awesome place to live in Provincetown right around the corner from my mom and N. And that the place has a giant fireplace and deck. AND that it has grey shingles with white trim and a red door and blue hydrangeas and a crushed sea shell driveway. 
    4. That we have the means to manage Stephen's heart worm treatment and that I have the flexibility to take care of him for the the next 10 weeks of his painful treatment.
    5. That when he's through it and able to resume activities, he'll have the beach and a huge dog park to run around in. Plus the dog-friendliest town ever to welcome him back into the world.
    6. That I work for such awesome people that they immediately agreed to creating an even more flexible arrangement for the remainder of my time with them.
    7. That I got to be a part of such a big deal and with super awesome people. And only cried once during the whole thing.
    8. That we were able to take some time away and go to a really warm and sunny place.
    9. That most of my family will be here in a couple days and Stephen will be loved on even more.
    10. That one of my most deeply held dreams is becoming a reality -- living every day of every season in my favorite place in the whole world (and that there are only 77 days until we return to my second favorite place, Jamaica!)

    Happy holidays to all of you! May your own little whirlwind of a life be filled with joy, gratitude, furry faces that trust you no matter what, and really awesome pineapple drinks!

  • The One You Never Saw Coming

    (originally published on December 15, 2013)

    Hee! Hee! This is going to be good!


    OK, everyone, SIT DOWN. I have some big news. Actually, not one but TWO really, really, really big life changers to share with you!

    Drumroll ...

    Before we get to that, I did tell you I had changes coming. And change takes energy. Energy that usually goes to this blog. No excuses, but these things have been in the works for awhile and I haven't been able to say a word. Which makes it hard to blog. So sorry!

    Now that I cleared my conscience, here we go ...

    I am no longer in human resources. I will repeat. I AM NO LONGER IN HUMAN RESOURCES!  I'm feeling light as a feather, skipping my way to my new job (which is awesome!), and smiling like a lunatic. 

    I think the best way to share the evolution of my feelings about my former profession is through song: I went from feeling like THIS most days (NSFW -- don't listen without earphones, unless you want to end up in the HR office) to finding a happy, healthy perspective like THIS.

    You can bet I will now be using this phrase just as much as all of you do: "You should talk to HR about that."

    And ....

    The Mr. and I are moving. To the suburbs! As in, NOT IN THE CITY. I wish I could see your face. Jaw dropped, huh? Yeah, I've seen that in real life when I've told people. But, but, but ... What about Boston, Juniper Disco? What about Boston? (Major gold stars if you got the Pretty in Pink reference there.)


    This glittery city mouse is moving to the home of Talbots. To a town that rhymes with gingham. Next to "New England" in the dictionary is a picture of our new town. This is my Baby Boom moment, people! (Minus the baby, the high-powered career, and the apple orchard, but you get what I mean, right? )

    And don't worry about us. Well, worry about the Mr. He's never ordered food through a drive-thru window. Seriously. Ok, you can worry about me, too. I have had a freak out moment or 50 (What are we going to do without our concierge? Who is going to call me a cab? Wait, do they even HAVE cabs there? We have to buy a car? What time are we going to have to get up now to get to the airport?? Who is going to shovel all that freakin' snow? Can I keep my 617 area code? Oh my GOD!!! The PTOWN BOAT! How is that going to work?? HOW AM I GOING TO GET HOME FROM THE CHER CONCERT???)

    Truth is we're only 12 miles out of the city and we'll be commuting to it every day by boat. A boat with a bar. Only a few steps from where we'll be is a commuter ferry to Boston. Because we'll be living by the water! And we clocked it: 11 minutes to a legit beach. And less than 45 seconds to the pool. The best part of the plan: we'll be adding a dog to our family over the coming year. In my mind I've already dressed it in green turtleneck sweaters, pinched it's cheeks while snuggling it closely, bought it a toy lobster, and named it GoGo Elizabeth Mooney. (The Mr. is not exactly on board yet with that last one, but we'll get there. The other option I've given him is Tebucky Culpepper.)

    You can bet Juniper Disco will be chronicling our adjustment to the burbs. Since we'll be in the city every day, there will still be lots of shiny Boston bits. And complete freakout moments. Seriously, do they have cabs?

  • Boston : After

    (originally published on April 21, 2013)


    I still haven't processed what took place here on Friday. I've never been so anxious, so nervous, so scared. Only other Bostonians will really understand what it was like. To see the streets of my ordinary life corrupted by enormous atrocities, for the second time that week. The corner where the MIT cop died is the same place where I'd get pasta once a week when I worked there. Watertown -- a quieter place, with real houses, lots of families, and young couples -- is a town where I've lived twice in my life. We heard our friends report in one by one that their homes had been searched by SWAT teams. The story of one passing his young kids over the fence he had just climbed in his backyard after the cops ordered their family to flee in the dark of the night while the firefight with the bombers took place outside their home. Learning that that kid went to school a block from where I work -- two of our friends work at that school. Boston is nothing if not connected, the circles get closer and closer the longer you live here.

    As it looked like this nightmare was going to come to an end, things started to shift back toward normal. The Mr. and I were loving the locals being interviewed on the news -- that atrocious accent and unselfconscious, agressive way of speaking. (I hope you all got to see and hear some of that!) And the interview with the guy who left his house to get some pizza and ended up near the final gunfire exchange. Because needing a pizza after being barricaded in your home for hours is something we can all understand. And those stories we heard earlier in the day were now being told with comedic brilliance. In that Boston way. And the overwhelming relief when the kid was caught.


    The next day, like many Bostonians, we were drawn towards Boylston Street. As we hit the city streets, normalcy seemed within our grasp. The Mr. said to me, "That didn't take long," after I grumbled under my breath at the slow walkers on Charles Street. "Two blocks!"


    We walked through the Public Garden, the ducks decked out in spring hats and Marathon numbers, the swan boats back in the lagoon, the tulips just about to bloom.


    And then we reached the memorial site on Boylston Street. It looked like it did the day the bombs went off, minus the smoke, minus the fleeing crowds, minus the people holding arteries of the injured in their bare hands. In my mind I could see the bombs go off, I could hear the crowds, I could see the panic. And it hit me in the most overwhelming of ways. I began to weep. Like many people there.


    The comfort dogs who visited the victims in the hospitals, Liberty and Independence, were there. Everyone wanted a little time with them. 


    Shaken and slightly trembling, we decided a stiff drink was in order so we turned around and headed down Boylston Street to the Four Seasons. While we waited for the light to change so we could cross the street, we met a couple with a child. They were looking for the closest ATM. We learned they were from Northern California and they had come to watch the marathon. They had been watching it when the bombs went off. One of the "people in their party" had been injured. Before we parted, they asked if the train from Arlington station would take them to Children's Hospital. I felt nauseous and sick.


    What happened next will be one of the things I remember most about this day after. We bellied up to the Four Seasons bar and ordered some drinks from Jimmy, who may very well be the best bartender in all the city. A woman and her husband came in and sat next to us. She chatted with Jimmy, claiming martinis make her sleepy as she continued to peruse the cocktail menu. "Oh, screw it!" she exclaimed. "Give me a martini!" We all laughed and continued to laugh over the course of the next hour. Grateful to be on the other side of the nightmare.

  • A few days later ...

    (originally published on April 18, 2013)

    The Mr. and I got married at Old South Meeting House where, in 1773, rebels gathered right before they stormed towards the harbor for what would become known as the Boston Tea Party. It is a place of defiance and ultimately independence. We're both "I'm doing it my way" kind of people and love the symbolic nature of our chosen location, a sort of "yep, we're getting married but we're not doing this the way you all think we should." And I wore bright green shoes. That I made sure everyone could see under my nontraditional tea-length dress.


    Defiant. Independent. That's who we are. And that is what this city is. We are surrounded by reminders of the scrappiest of scrappy revolutionaries who walked these streets before us. It's why we laugh knowingly at that scene in The Town when Coughlin has been shot, heavily bleeding, and is clearly out of options. Jon Hamm yells out, "Coughlin, throw down your weapon." And he responds, "Fuck you!" with what may be one of the best approximations of the local accent that takes almost two decades of living here to learn how to love. Us Bostonians walk around with a little "fuck you" in our hearts all the time.

    On Friday, the Mr. and I are going on our usual date night. To a restaurant on the perimeter of the crime scene, one block from the first explosion. And when they reopen Boylston Street, we'll go pay our respects and reclaim our rightful place on that street. Alongside our fellow Bostonians. Scrappy. Defiant. I may even wear some green shoes. 

  • My City

    (originally published on April 16, 2013)


    My city. My home. My world.

    As I watched the coverage yesterday, I knew I had been changed. Just not then. That happened long before yesterday. 9/11 altered my neural pathways for life. And as I sunk deeper and deeper into stillness and into silence, some of the horrific images seared into my brain, the thought that the Mr. had been in the danger zone just a mere 30 minutes prior to the explosions, I knew what was in store for me. The signs were there. The word "motherfucker" spewing from my mouth at an accelerated pace. Scouring the news obsessively for information. Refreshing my Facebook and Twitter feeds every three seconds. Not talking. That dazed, hazy film settling over everything. Anger. Distraction. Fear.

    This morning I finally cried. And couldn't stop. One particular image of a man horribly injured kept flashing through my mind. And I wondered how he was, if he made it, and if he did, what he would be going through right now, tomorrow, next week, next year. What all of those injured and their families would be going through. All those who were there and saw the carnage. The trauma.

    We live smack dab between Mass General Hospital and the state police barracks. The sirens did not stop for four hours yesterday. This morning, they've continued. The sound of urgency and danger still rings in the air.

    At one point late yesterday, the Mr. looked at me and said quietly, "That was a close one." As he does on most Marathon Mondays, he was watching the Marathon at a local bar with his friends. It's a block from the first blast site. He left at 2:15. The bomb went off at 2:50.

    One block and 30 minutes. My world.


  • With Gusto

    (originally published on May 3, 2013)


    Two years ago today, my vibrant friend, Sarah, died of ovarian cancer. In my grief, I've written about her a few times: here and here

    Her greatest gift to me has been a strong belief that life is meant to be lived with gusto, no matter what happens. 

    Today is also a Green Grass Day. After a special Sarah Sadtler Feather dance party complete with glow sticks, glitter shoes, and disco balls, I'll be leaving the house to embrace this city we both loved, immerse myself in some art (also a shared love), enjoy something really decadent (chocolate milkshake, maybe?), and live a full day. With gusto.