Tuesday, October 26, 2010

blog break

Every now and then, real life gets in the way of having a blog.
I think I need to take a little break this week to deal with some stressful, though thankfully relatively minor, things that have come up.

See you next week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Of course I am biased, but there is something so fundamentally right about Fall on a New England college campus.

Happy Wednesday, my dears.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Two weeks ago, Emma (the roommate), Cait and I took a day trip to Portland, Maine.
There is something about Maine that is just so quintessentially New England, every time I visit I feel a little bit like I'm going home. This time was no exception.

From Cape Elizabeth

The Parking Garage Guy recommended this place

I love a fish sandwich.

I think they put this there for tourists to photograph

We ended our day with a trip to Peaks Island, where we shared a fancy bottle of pinot noir and some processed cheese product while we watched the sun set. It was the perfect end to a perfect long weekend day.

From the ferry

Where we had our picnic

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bran Muffins

Bran Muffins

You know how sometimes, you make a recipe and it is completely, surprisingly good, and then you get obsessed and make it four times in the next week? That's how I am about these muffins. Except a recipe makes twelve, so I've only made them twice. Even including my recent muffins for dinner episode, forty-eight in one week is a bit much. Anyway, they're a Weight Watchers recipe, so I was skeptical at first, but they're moist and sweet and well, they're bran muffins. Adding whole wheat flour isn't going to change them that much.

Apple Bran Muffins
Adapted from here

1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup uncooked wheat bran
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (I just add lemon juice to regular milk and let it sit, since I never think ahead enough to have buttermilk on hand)
1 medium-to-large sized apple, peeled and diced

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine flour, wheat bran, salt, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and the sugar, add egg and beat thoroughly.
4. Add 1/3 of bran mixture and 1/3 of buttermilk, mix until just combined. Continue, alternating bran mixture and buttermilk. Fold in apples.
5. Add to prepared muffin tins. Place in middle rack of oven, and cook until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about fifteen to twenty minutes.

I like to eat them and pretend I'm still in San Francisco, where I used to go here to eat a bran muffin and drink a cup of tea before work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two things, before I go on the yearly family Columbus day outing to pick out a pumpkin and eat a caramel apple:

1. I saw The Town last night. I liked it, I think, though I am really curious: how have I not heard about all those violent bank robberies in Boston? (Also, how a Cambridge kid, one with a hippy Cambridge mother not unlike mine, manages to convince the world that he's a townie from Southie, or Charlestown, or wherever Ben Affleck is pretending to be from these days.)

2. Social change through pie? I think yes.
(Not to mention, an interesting and honest look at the trials associated with running a nonprofit as an outsider.)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Plant Babies, All Grown Up

Last night when I got home from work, I decided it was too lovely outside to get straight to cooking dinner, so I sat on the front porch and tended to my plants, instead. It was so relaxing to spend a little while with my hands in the soil, repotting a clipping my mother made for me, cutting back plants that had started to bolt, and enjoying one of the last warm nights before the weather gets too cold.

Then I went inside and baked some apple bran muffins.

Then I ate a bunch of them for dinner.

They were tasty.

But I didn't take a picture. It was too dark in my kitchen.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010



I went for a bike ride over the weekend, along the Charles River. The weather was gorgeous, you see, and I felt like flying on my bicycle.

And then I remembered this view. When I worked in the lab, I used to cross the river on my way to work every day, and I'd see this view. Especially in the beginning, when I spent a lot of time wondering and worrying that I had made the wrong choice when I decided to move back from San Francisco, seeing this view of Boston in all its glory did wonders to remind me why I was glad to be back.

So I stopped my bike and took pictures until I got one that came close to capturing the skyline as it really is. To keep reminding myself that I'm so glad I'm here. Because sometimes you forget, you know?

Boston, I think I've mentioned before that I love you.

Monday, October 4, 2010


On Saturday, I took advantage of the gorgeous weather by spending some time at Hi-Rise, which might be the most perfect cafe, ever.


I've been going to this Hi-Rise since the summer after my freshman year of college, when I was taking acting classes at the American Repertory Theater down the block and nannying a little boy who went to summer camp right nearby. A year and a half later, I was back at home, nannying The Girl, and I went there every day for a cup of coffee* and some time to read before I got on the T to pick her up at school.


I especially love to go there when the weather is nice. Then, you can sit in their courtyard and think your thoughts and read your books and eavesdrop on the grad students discussing grad student things.


When I was at college and then again when I lived in San Francisco, as soon as I came home after time away, I would hang out with my family, and then, as soon as I could, I would excuse myself to go to Hi-Rise for a latte, a piece of vanilla loaf cake, and some quiet me-time. It was my calm-down ritual. It still is.


*True story: I had my first-ever cup of coffee at Hi Rise. It was a latte, and it was amazing.

P.S. On a completely unrelated note, today I am wearing yellow tights with boots for the first time this fall, and it makes me happy.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Happy Happy (Belated), David!

David studies brains

This is David.
I've been friends with David since our sophomore year of high school, and about a month ago, he had a birthday.

I love David for lots of reasons. Some of them are:

1. David is up for anything. Having a birthday picnic, and want your friends to come? David will hop on Megabus from New York, and bring a pizza.
2. David and I traded coasts once- I moved to San Francisco just as he moved back east. I remember gchatting with him in the beginning, when I hated San Francisco and he hated New York. I promised him he'd fall in love with New York, and he said the same thing to me about San Francisco. We were both right.
3. As a neuroscience grad student, David knows more about the workings of the brain than almost anybody else I know. (The only other contenders are the neuroscience grad students with whom I work sometimes. He knows more than you do, though.)
4. David doesn't sleep. Well, actually, he sleeps, just really weird hours. Waking David up became a fun morningtime activity whenever our gang got together in college.
5. Because David doesn't sleep, he is always on gchat at convenient times. Like whenever I was pulling an all-nighter during college and needed a distraction (well, that was AIM, but same thing), or whenever I'm having an emotional crisis. David has patiently talked me down from more than one of those. He's a patient kind of friend.
6. David pronounces the words neurotic and neuroscience with a particular flair I have never heard anywhere else. Since no description of him is complete without the use of both of those words, it's only fitting.

Happy Happy, David!
I'm so glad you were born.