“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”
I know I am late to the game here but I have to say, I am psyched that Ben Affleck is going to play batman. I know, I am definitely in the minority here but let me explain why.
Everyone loves to hate on Ben. And I just think it is unfair. Sure, he’s made some bad decisions in his life, like this and this. But who hasn’t make mistakes. I mean, two other guys were tricked into marrying J Lo too (and it looks like another guy is about to take the plunge soon). So although it is easy to make fun of Ben, we shouldn’t forget the great things he has to offer.
He has one of the best bromances in all of Hollywood with Matt Damon. Their friendship goes all the way back to Boston Little League and we should never forget this:
And who knows, maybe Matt will join as Robin.
And even though he did date J Lo, it gave us Bennifer, which was definitely one of the first celeb couple nicknames. Which basically means, that his one back decision resulted in a bunch of good ones, like: Brangelina and Kimye. So thank you Ben Affleck for ruining your reputation to give us years of name-blending fun.
And for some reason, people love to criticize Ben for dating J Lo. but everyone seems to forget this relationship… not too shabby Ben.
I mean, she’s been with Ironman and now Batman? That just seems right.
And who doesn’t love Jennifer Garner?
Oh, you? Well you have no soul. She is as American and wholesome as apple pie.
And let’s look back at the top movies Ben has done: Good WIll Hunting and The Town. What do they both have in common? A Boston accent. And let’s be serious, a Bostonian Batman? That would be wicked pissa.
So I am going to go out there on a limb and say that I am a fan of this decision. Just don’t remind me of this post if this happens again.
Over the holiday weekend Matt and I took a trip up to Boston. Despite the heat we had such an incredible visit. I think it was the first time that we had taken trip that wasn’t for a wedding or a “real” vacation. We just went to a different city, saw lots of great friends, spent time with our families and just relaxed. It was lovely.
A few highlights from the trip:
- Walking through Harvard Yard for the first time in years. Literally, I think the last time I was there was in 2010 for our friend’s wedding!
- Going to the Red Sox game. Thankfully our seats were shaded for most of the game or else I would have melted.
- Spending the 4th with some of Matt’s high school friends & watching the fireworks from a roof top in Southie
- Visiting our friends in Hingham and dipping our toes in the ocean
- Buying our first car!
- Eating burgers and hot dogs on the back deck with Matt’s parents
- Hanging out with my college roommate, her husband and their new baby boy – they even trusted Matt enough to hold him
- Spending the day with my parents in Boston – of course they made it educational by taking us to the MFA!
- Getting ice cream from my favorite place (Cafe Podima) on Sunday before our bus home
I need to extend to HUGE thank you to one of our friends who made the trip possible. He was kind enough to let us stay in his beautiful downtown Boston condo. Unfortunately he was out-of-town, so we didn’t’ get to spent time with him, but having a place to go home to made the trip that much better.
It was great to be back in the land that embraces madras print, pinstripe and Lilly Pulitzer all topped off with a Red Sox hat.
Last week was definitely a rough one in the lives of Bostonians and those of us who were lucky enough to call Boston home at one point.
It is difficult to know how to react to the events at the Boston Marathon and what transpired afterwards. At a time when the world doesn’t make sense feeling saddened, angry or threatened are all normal for such a terrible situation.
As a native New Englander and die-hard Boston sports fan, I know that no matter what, the city of Boston will persevere. As the Boston Globe wrote in Tuesday’s editorial “A commitment to rise to the occasion, to endure what must be endured, to remember all who suffered and lost their lives in times of strife, is written into the fabric of the city.” Acts of violence only work if they make people afraid to live their lives fully. We have an obligation not to let that happen. We will continue to live our lives, do our jobs and care for our neighbors.
Often, out of tragedy comes good. Boston’s people showed us their true colors last week. They gave the rest of us something to aspire to.
One of my favorite moments was when the fans at Saturday’s Red Sox game were treated to a performance by Neil Diamond to Boston’s unofficial anthem, Sweet Caroline.
Rumor has it that immediately after the second victim was captured, Neil purchased a ticket to Boston and called up Fenway asking if he could perform. Not realizing who the operator was talking to, she asked “what song would you like to sing?” His response… “umm, Sweet Caroline. If that is ok.”
Making this story even better, last week – the Yankees started an MLB movement to play this song, after the 8th inning in their stadiums to honor what happened on Monday.
I’ve sung along to this song many times at baseball games, parties and bars. Matt and I even asked the band at our wedding to perform this, along with a few other Boston favorites, while wearing Red Sox shirts… and they did.
This weekend, I realized that I didn’t know why this song was claimed by the people of Boston. My mom, aunt and I thought – what a perfect topic for a blog post.
The origins of the song’s association with the Red Sox date back to Amy Tobey, who worked for the Red Sox through a film and video communications company. From 1998 to 2004, she was responsible for selecting the music that would be played in the stadium. According to a Boston Globe article, she had noticed ‘Sweet Caroline’ was used at other sporting events, and she decided to send the sweetness over the Fenway speakers. The song was embraced by the fans, and the more it caught on, the more superstitious Tobey became about playing it – she considered it to be a good-luck charm. The Red Sox embraced the tradition and settled on the song being played during the eighth inning of every game.
Click here to see more of the tribute that took place at the start of the Red Sox game on Saturday (warning, you may need kleenex).
We are Boston Strong.
With all of the hiking, biking and climbing Matt and I did in Telluride, we got really hungry. Thankfully there were plenty of options to chose from. Here’s out edible tour of Telluride.
Telluride boosts a few bakery/coffee shops, all located within a 5 minute walk of each other. We visited 3 different spots during our trip.
The Steaming Bean – An electric coffee-house by day that turns into a rowdy gathering place at night. While this seemed to be the most popular place in town, Matt and I found it to be our least favorite of the three. The breakfast sandwiches we pre-prepared and the service was very slow. However, the “cool” factor and prime location of this spot will definitely keep business coming in.
Baked in Telluride – With their wide variety of breakfast pastries, donuts and coffee this place was probably our favorite. That being said, they make more than just baked goods; they also offer sandwiches, pizza, etc. I am a fan of bakeries just sticking to baked goods and breads. I think it takes away from the atmosphere and the quality of produces to branch out too wide.
The Butcher and the Baker: This small bakery definitely had the best atmosphere. Unfortunately their food didn’t quite keep up. Matt’s breakfast sandwich was again, pre-made, and the oatmeal that I ordered was too thick and prevented the toppings from getting mixed in. But again, their cute decor and homemade napkins definitely spoke to my style.
For lunch we found a couple interesting places. Typically, we were eating later in the afternoon after our “activities” and as a result, were coming into the restaurants starving.
Smuggler Joe’s: Located near the base of the gondola this micro-brewery is convenient for a post-mountain drink and bite to eat. Matt and I came here after our hike to get out of the rain and enjoy a locally crafted beer. The food was very typical bar food – I ordered the homemade chicken noodle soup while Matt chose the chili. Then we shared a buffalo chicken sandwich and fries. None of these options were bad but we definitely weren’t blown away. The beers were solid – I had the Shred Betty Raspberry Wheat and Matt had the Strong Scottish Ale.
Floradora Saloon: Right on main street, this a family owned and operated restaurant and bar offers a wide array of dishes. Matt and I sat outside and enjoyed the burger and the grilled cheese. We both enjoyed our meals and left full.
Brown Dog Pizza: The walls of this sports bar/pizza place are lined with Red Sox and Patriots posters. Naturally we felt right at home. We ordered buffalo wings and a pizza. Clearly we were really trying to eat healthy! The service was great, the patrons friendly and it was a great place to watch some of the US Open tennis while we avoided the afternoon rainstorm – something that is a daily occurrence in Telluride.
In addition to eating at there… (we loved it so much we ate there twice!) we found a couple other places:
Siam: While Matt loves Thai food, what really sold us on this restaurant was the live music that was being played on the large outdoor porch. They had a very large menu offering both traditional Thai as well as some more unique dishes that blend exotic tastes of Thai Cuisine with recipes from around the world including France, Malaysia, India, North America, China, Greece, Italy and Japan. I had drunken noodles and Matt opted for Chicken Friend Rice. This was definitely a good meal.
Allreds: Located on the mountain at the top of the gondola, Allreds draws people up out of Telluride for the incredible views. Matt and I decided to ride the gondola up and enjoy a glass of wine at their bar. The views were truly breathtaking. It was the perfect way to spend our last night in Telluride.
I was born and raised in New Hampshire. And although my parents (and basically every other member of my family) are from Ohio, I was thankfully raised a Red Sox fan. I guess that is what happens when you live in Red Sox nation, even when the team is terrible, as they were for the majority of my youth, you are a loyal fan. I think that when you are a baby, the nurses take you out of the delivery room, clean you off, swaddle you up and made you swear on your newly acquired life, that you will pledge your life to be part of the Fenway Faithful. You are then returned to the safety of your parents and your life is forever changed.
I still remember my first Red Sox game. My parents used to take Abby and I on “mystery trips.” They would load us into the car and drive us of to some fabulous location. It could be a trip to the movies to see the newest Disney movie, an educational adventure to an art museum (those were never my favorite), a visit to the circus, or a ticket to a musical or play. But my most favorite mystery trip ever was when we went to Boston to sit in the stands at Fenway to watch the Red Sox taken on the Anaheim Angels.
My parents went all out of this one. They blindfolded us for the ride down to Boston (or at least for the last few miles – I can’t remember all of the details, but it seems unlikely we would sit in the backseat of the car blindfolded for the full hour drive). I remember taking off my blindfold and seeing the massive green walls with the carefully painted lettering, spelling out “Fenway Park.” I couldn’t wait to get inside to get myself a Fenway frank and cheer on the sox.
Unfortunately we didn’t win the game. But I did come away with a lot of good memories and lessons learned.
1. I learned more curse words that I had ever been before. Clearly this was just as education as an art museum as my vocabulary expanded by at least 5 words.
2. The pitcher for the Angels was Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand. Imagine how happy my parents were to be able to turn this into a life lesson of “overcoming the odds.” We are JUST like an episode of Full House.
3. Abby and I were each allowed one “treat” – I got cotton candy (my go-to for sporting events, adventure parks, etc). Abby got an ice cream sundae that came in a little plastic Red Sox batters hat. She had that for years to come. I was pissed.
4. Someone hit a foul ball that was aimed near our seats. We were scared to death that we didn’t even realize the ball rolled right underneath out seats. I will never again let the fear of having a baseball to the face ruin my chances to earn Red Sox memorabilia. A black eye would have been a GREAT addition to a real MLB baseball!
5. Walking into Fenway, I felt like I was returning to the mother-ship. I knew, I would never cheer for another team. Ever.
That is, until last night.
Matt and I decided to stay in and watch Moneyball. I can’t even tell you how great this movie was. In addition to being a great movie start and humanitarian, I had no idea that Brad Pitt was responsible for transforming the sport of baseball too.
Well, really Jonah Hill should be given all the credit, but let’s face it. Even though he has lost 40 pounds, he is no Brad Pitt. And we all know, people give credit to those who have a pretty face (I learned this lesson from the musical Wicked).
Well last night I found myself rooting for the Oakland A’s. I wanted that 20th win just as much as I wanted the final game of the American League Championships in 2004 against the Yankees.
Well, let’s not get carried away… it wasn’t that much.
Although I liked the movie, I do have to say, Brad Pitt is an idiot. Why he didn’t take the job offer with the Red Sox is beyond me? Did he really think that his daughter’s song was that good that he should give up 12.5 million dollars and a world series trophy and a chance to be part of the best baseball franchise? Umm, no. (Sorry – I do love you as Paige from Brothers and Sisters though).
So while I found myself cheating on the Red Sox for a hot minute, I blame Brad Pitt. Honestly, he is probably the downfall of many relationships; including his own with Rachel from Friends… Sorry Brad but after that move, we could never be together – even if you were the GM of the Red Sox.
I would like to update you all on my progress towards my goals.
- To date, I have raised $1,025
Thank you to everyone who has already shown their support. I truly appreciate it! Unfortunately, I still have a long way to go! There is still plenty of time to make a donate – please click HERE to do so! Remember 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to the Jimmy Fund!
- In 2011, I have ridden approximately 120 miles
As a result, I am pretty confident I will finish the first day of the Pan Mass (110 miles) – not so sure how that second day is looking!
- Matt vs. Molly
Last year, I was able to keep pace with Matt fairly easily during the ride. So far this year, Matt has crushed me during every training ride. Last year Matt has a stress fracture in his leg that kept him on crutches right up until the Pan Mass. Apparently, that impacted his performance… and I thought he was just lazy. At least I will look better in my bike shorts!
As I have done in years past, I created a YouTube video from last year’s ride. Hopefully this helps you experience what it is like to ride 190 miles to fight cancer.
Thank you so much for your support! We are closer by the mile!
Last week I passed an important milestone; my blog, Focus on the Little Things, celebrated its first anniversary. My first post was written on March 2nd, 2010 as I was seating on the couch contemplating my life. I had become so wrapped up in the negative aspects that I was unable to see the countless positive things I had. Thankfully one year later, I was so busy enjoying my life that I didn’t even realize a year had passed.This past year has gone by so quickly and I am certainly in a much better place now than I was last year.
I have found a job that makes me excited to out of bed in the morning. I believe so passionately in the work that I am doing and the organization’s mission. I work with people who have high expectations for me and for themselves and people who strive to make a difference in the way other people live their lives. I am proud to say that I work for Robin Hood.
Matt and I are getting ready to celebrate our wedding in less than four months. And while the planning process got off to a rocky start, things are smooth sailing from now until the big day. Just this morning we were able to check off the last “big ticket item” on our checklist. We can not wait to celebrate this occasion with our friends and family. Already the excitement that other people have shared with us, particularly the two amazing people planning my shower, has been incredible. It is such a good feeling to know that so many other people are just as excited as we are, for us to get married.
After two and a half years, I am slowly starting to adjust to life in New York. No, I am not a Yankees fan, and never will be. But I have come to terms with the fact that Matt and I don’t live in Boston, and probably won’t in the near future. Instead of focusing on the things that I like about Boston that New York lacks, I am trying to focus on the things that New York has that I do like. These things include the following: Central Park, Bleeker Street Pizza, the fact that the Today Show is my local news, Union Square farmers market, Matt Kinsella, riding my bike to Piermont, Rubix Kube and frequent visitors.
This year has been incredible. I owe that to my family, friends and of course Matt. I couldn’t imagine a life without him. He has truly helped me focus on the little things, and sometimes the big things, that make life so amazing.
So thanks for following along… hold on tight, this year is sure to be a good one.
I have never really been into the whole Valentine’s Day thing. While I certainly enjoy receiving candy hearts and making homemade valentine’s cards out of red and white paper doilies, I never felt the need to expect boxes of chocolate, a dozen red roses and expensive jewelry. Matt agrees with me on this and we originally celebrated by going out to dinner.
The first year after college, I was working as a consultant, traveling to Princeton, NJ a fair amount. On Valentine’s Day, I had a 10am flight out to NJ so I wasn’t going to be able to do dinner with Matt. Instead, he suggested that we get brunch at the Four Season before work. It seemed like a good solution, so I went along with it. At 7am in the morning, we sat down to eat and enjoyed a delicious breakfast in a room with a breath-taking view of Boston Common.
There was something nice about going out to breakfast on a week day and in a hotel where the wait staff treats you incredibly nice. I am not sure if it is because they assume you are a guest of the hotel or not, but there was certainly something in the interactions that make you feel really special. Matt and I decided to continue this tradition of celebration Valentine’s Day with a breakfast in various hotel restaurants.
This morning, Matt surprised me by taking me to Norma’s, located in the Parker Meridien. He got the idea from an episode of Gossip Girl, when Nate first met Juliette. So not only did Matt take me out to breakfast, but he was aiming to be as smooth as Nate Archibald – pretty impressive after more than nine years.
Breakfast was amazing. Matt and I both enjoyed ourselves fully and left completely stuffed. It was the best way to start my day and I wouldn’t have wanted to celebrate Valentine’s Day any other way.
So apparently, there is a big football game this weekend. Well like many Patriots fans around the country, I am not very interested. I am ready for Spring. I am ready for the Red Sox. And I am ready for my boy Dustin.
56 more days till the season opener.