Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Reads

The Hunger Games, part 1, by Suzanne Collins
(on loan from a friend)

Critics have been making a big deal about the fact that Hunger Games is a "young adult" novel read by "actual" adults (see NY Times discussion here).  I like to read books, period.  Yes, I'm one of those people that's never been able to make it through Wuthering Heights (I hate all the characters.  I can't do it.  Sorry).  But I'm an equal opportunity reader, young adult fiction, non-fiction, biographies, what people recommend to me.  And that includes things like Hunger Games.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
for Skype bookclub with some of my girlfriends from undergrad

I read this book in seventh grade, I think, but I'm rereading it at the moment.  I'm struck by how easily movies and books inform me about periods in history that I haven't really thought about in much detail.  As in, I knew that India was a British colony for a time, but I didn't have a clue what that actually meant for the people that lived there.  Reading a book set during the time period is a  fascinating peak into history.

Chalice, by Robin McKinley
(kindle version from library back home)

I first read Robin McKinley's book Beauty, a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast---and I've enjoyed every book of hers I've read since.  Interesting characters, creative stories, they're lovely.

Friday, March 30, 2012

two ladies out on the town!

Dinner at Central Bottle's Thursday wine bar?  Yes.  

Fig jam and blue cheese is a match made in heaven.

Our fabulous college card seats!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I don't know how I forgot to post this (sick?  probably)...but I sent out the link to a podcast I did with the Museum of Science here in Boston in an email to a crew of friends/family/teachers/students and got an email back this morning from an old student and classmate of mine, now a rockstar in medical school:

"FAB. U. LOUS.  I remember this voice- the BridgetisanawesomeTAandshewasraisedbyteachers voice."

So, without further ado, Studying Malaria.    (you can also download this podcast through the Boston Museum of Science's "Science and Technology Podcast" within itunes)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mapping Boston

On a quest to find fabulous 60s dresses, Aimee and I went a'scootering all over town a couple weekends ago.  I had never been on a scooter before, but I was excited for the adventure.  It made me feel so European! 

I have to be honest, the first few moments were terrifying---Am I going to fall off the back?  And then in my head I see myself flying off into the windshield of the car behind us, no matter how illogical I know that would be.  If there was any danger of a second rider getting seriously hurt, we would have taken the T.  So.  Get over it.

Then of course you start worrying that you're suffocating the person in front of you.  And since it's me, I wore a skirt, a distinctly unwise decision regardless of the temperature.  At least I was wearing bike shorts.

What it reminded me of most was the really uncomfortable day I spent up at a cabin in Wisconsin with a former boyfriend's family and friends.  In a move par for the course, I wasn't informed of the possibility of swimming on this trip, so I didn't actually have a bathing suit.  And his younger sister, bless her heart, offered to loan me one of her bikinis.  (the younger sister who was six feet tall and willowy, totally toned from playing years and years of volleyball).  Ha.  Yeah right.  

So I was gamely swimming in the lake in a skirt and shirt, looking utterly ridiculous, I'm sure.  The next challenge was to go on a jetski, and I was plum terrified.  They go fast, they're loud...the sons and daughters of good Minnesota fishermen are taught to loathe these machines and their annoying accompaniments.  But I  was brave and went for it, clutching for dear life the. entire. time.  Seriously.  It was awful.  I felt like I had absolutely no control, I couldn't see ahead of me, I didn't know when we were going to turn --it was terrible.  

We went back to the dock eventually, and I got off looking shaken.  I tried to describe how I didn't really like feeling completely bereft of control, and one of his friends suggested that I just try going at it alone.  I protested, but he won me over.  And he was right, believe it or not.  When you know what's ahead of you---a quiet, glassy, lake, with no one in your way---going seventy miles an hour feels like you're flying.  And I loved it. 

And there's a component of that in being on a scooter, but in some ways it's a bit scarier, since there are other cars and people and lights and pedestrians.  Aimee, however, is a far less reckless driver, which put me at ease almost immediately.  As per the map above, we went from Cambridge and MIT towards Jamaica Plain, threading through Back Bay and Kenmore, hitting the South End and Roxbury.  From there, we went to Allston/Brighton through Brookline (it's own city, odd, eh?).  And then we headed back to Cambridge, a nice little loop.  It's kind of fun---I feel like I'm really learning these neighborhoods.  I almost feel like a local.

Maple lemonade in Jamaica Plain's City Feed and Supply.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mad Men Party!

Carrot cake, jello in molds, "candy bar" bars from the 1961 Pillsbury Bake-Off (winner was from Minnesota!), and seven layer bars!  I contributed the jello; it was actually the first time I had attempted putting jello in molds!  Lesson learned:  layered jello desserts with the somewhat more fragile evaporated milk layer are a bad idea.  Go with straight up jello, and make sure you fill it to the top. 

Candy cigarettes, making an appearance!

Getting my curly hair to puff into the faux poof thing as done by Casey of Elegant Musings was difficult, and I wasn't all that successful.  I used about 83 bobby pins to get everything to stay up, but it really reminded me that I should try doing crazy things with my hair more often.

It was such a glamorous evenings - gentlemen in suits, ladies in heels ---plus everyone drinking Old Fashioneds and Brandy Alexanders.  Add the candy cigarettes, deviled eggs, spinach dip, and Swedish meatballs (my other contribution) --and you've got quite the party. 

(Also--if you're in Boston and in need of 60s attire, the best spot is 40 South Street, with other thrift stores in Boston coming in second; you never know what you'll find!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

Birthday at Drink!

After the lovely tea,  a few girls and I met up at Drink!

Why hello there, don't you look happy to see me!

Drink's general manager, making our scorpion bowl.  

Precision is key.


Every group of giggling girls needs extra straws to fence with!  ...or in our case, use them to poke the extra shot glass full of cherries we requested!

 My favorite photo of the night, hands down.
And in case you'd like to make one of your own, here's the recipe for Stephen Crane's Scorpion Bowl (adapted from here and my recollection of how the bartender at Drink made it)

4 parts rum
4 parts gin
2 parts cognac
4 parts orange juice
2 parts lime juice
2 parts orgeat
1 part simple syrup

Mix and stir in ice to cool.  Add to bowl filled with ice.  Garnish with lime and orange slices, plus candied cherries if you so choose.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Birthday Tea at the Boston Harbor Hotel

My 26th birthday started at midnight, with a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" sung by tipsy guests at a wine tasting.  Embarrassing, but perfect.

After sleeping in (dratted daylight savings!), the celebrations continued with afternoon tea at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Clotted cream! 

Thanks to Mary Kay for sharing the lovely picture of us ladies above!

The birthday crew, minus Mary Kay, the fabulous photographer.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Meet Me in St. Louis

On the way to St. Louis for a wedding shower and bachelorette party---thrilled to have a view of my place on the plane out!

The sweetest golden lab kept me company one morning while everyone else was at the airport.

Beautiful day.

 The bride's home borders against the home of Budweiser Clydesdales.

Red noses from the wind!

The Arch!  I hadn't been to St. Louis since I was very young, so it was exciting to see it again!

Downtown St. Louis