Archive for the ‘Strange’ category

Crazy things I’ve done

September 28, 2010
  • I had my mom drive me several hours through cold and ice to a summer camp reunion, only to get there and decide I didn’t want to go. She drove me right back home.
  • I didn’t get on a plane to France after realizing I didn’t want to go (yup, I lost out on hundreds of dollars).

A week after I didn't get on the plane

  • I quit my job as a journalist without another job lined up.
  • When I was 19 I hitched a ride in Washington D.C. with a random Israeli and Palestinian.
  • I dated people from three different continents in one weekend.

I met the guy from South America (Colombia to be specific) in Collioure, France the day this photo was taken.

  • While in France I played bridge with elderly French ladies on Friday nights.
  • I carelessly ran into the street as a car was coming, fell onto the ground, and just missed getting hit by the car.
  • When I was in France I went to see a movie once  a week with my 60-year-old friend Gerard.

Gerard and I before the start of "The Kid Stays in the Picture"

  • I gave a tear-filled speech about how I had become a born-again-Christian on the last day of evangelical Christian summer camp (when signing up I had thought it was just a photography camp). I hadn’t really been born again, but I felt that’s what they wanted me to say.
  • At middle school lunch my friends would pay me to eat weird things. I remember the mayonnaise-filled cookies made me throw up right at the table (gross, I know).

My friend Jeannie (on left) was one of the ones at that lunch table.

  • I covered a car crash after having had a little too much wine (in my defense I hadn’t known I’d have to cover this…it was breaking news).
  • When I was living in Cortland on Friday nights I’d play Texas hold ’em Poker with the motley crew of people in my apartment complex. They included the unemployed guy with epilepsy, the seven-year-old girl with behavioral issues, and the heavy woman with fibromialgia.
  • I went to a club with a couple of friends (including my friend Tia) all ready to see Daft Punk. Turns out it was just a DJ spinning Daft Punk music.

Me and Tia in Annapolis, Maryland

  • In college my roommates and I pretended we were Sailor Moon characters.

My roommates and I

  • In college my friends and I scared away one of our roommates by pretending we regularly communicated with the late Pedro Arrupe (the Jesuit our dorm was named after).
  • My roommates and I did not drink freshman year of college. Instead we went to the symphony.
  • I sold so much Cutco I made it to their big end-of-the summer conference. To fit in I told them I was interested in becoming a branch manager.

I sold Cutco right after high school graduation.

  • I got myself fired from a waitressing job after serving coffee cold and bleaching a load of blue towels white (they were used as napkins in the pub area).

These are just a few of the crazy things I’ve done. Some are tamer than others. And believe me there’s more where that came from! Facebook “like” feature can be inappropriate

August 21, 2010

I was chilling on vacation this past week when I came across a Boston Globe article online (on about Philip Markoff (the alleged “Craigslist killer”). It was about how he had scrawled his ex-fiancee’s name  in blood on the wall of his cell before killing himself.

This article shocked me, as I hadn’t previously heard Markoff had committed suicide (due to being in Montreal/away from my computer).

It also surprised me because there was a Facebook “like” feature toward the top of the article (it has since been moved below the article).

By clicking on the “like” button you could “like” the article. It showed that 18 people had already “liked” the article. Reading this gave me a bad taste in my mouth. was advertising that 18 people had liked how an allegedly twisted man had supposedly performed this twisted act during his suicide, and encouraging others to do the same (like the article)?

I know there are always sick people out there, but why does have to seemingly go out of its way and expose/support their strangeness?

Anyway, my boyfriend, an avid Globe reader (buys a copy EVERY day), emailed about this feature. His main points were that the feature “devalues and de-emphasizes the seriousness of a story of this nature.” He said it’s not the Globe’s fault that people would “like” such an article, but that it shouldn’t be promoting that more people do so. He said he understands that news outlets want to embrace social media, but that in some cases the like feature isn’t appropriate.

Just like doesn’t allow people to comment on certain articles, it shouldn’t let people “like” certain articles, he argued. He got a response thanking him for his feedback, and stating that his comments have been forwarded to the editorial and product teams for review.

Since then I’ve noticed the “like” feature was moved to below the article where’s it’s less prominent. That’s a start I suppose. Though now one can see that the number of people who’ve “liked” the article has increased to 38!

Vacation is over

August 21, 2010

Just got back from an awesome wedding in Cavendish, Vermont; a drive through northern New York state including stops at Fort Ticonderoga, the Ausable Chasm, and Plattsburgh; and four days in Montreal. What a great time I had!

I will post some of my pics (the ones here are borrowed) once I get a new transfer cable for my camera. Here were some highlights from my time away:

  • I learned what Fall webworm is from seeing the moth’s larval-stage nests in northern New York. They are disgusting-looking! Imagine having them in a tree right next to your home!

Fall webworm webs

  • I saw that Montreal is undergoing a TON of construction. It’s like everywhere you walk there’s a crane, orange cones, and pits in the ground. One big project is a new arts center along Rue St. Urbain. I understand they’re trying to get work done before the weather worsens and college starts, but wow! If you’re unemployed in Montreal, consider becoming a construction worker!

At St. Catherine and St. Urbain streets

  • I saw how happy my friends Lindy and Steve were to get married. Their lovely wedding in the garden of a rustic castle in Vermont and handmade vows made me tear up majorly.

They're married now!

I’ll be back with more insights from my trip!

Images from,, and Johanna Howland

Some quirky exercise habits of mine

March 17, 2010

Like many people, I enjoy exercising for the way it makes me feel, both during the workout and afterward.

No matter how badly my day is going, it improves once I’ve hit an elliptical machine, played some volleyball, or gone jogging.

The act of getting to the gym may be a challenge, but once I’m there I’m golden.

Anyway, recently I’ve noticed that I have some pretty quirky exercise habits. I’m sure I’m not alone, as many of us have routines we can’t (or don’t want) to break.

Here’s a list of some of my strange practices:

1. Whenever I go jogging I imagine myself jogging a course I frequently ran during another time in my life. For some reason this makes my jog easier. The most common course I think of is a route I took while living in Castelnau-le-Lez, France. It was perfect for a 30-minute run. From home I headed down the Chemin des Centurions, past my bus stop, the tobacco shop and the pharmacy. By the time I got to the Avenue de l’Europe my jog was a quarter done. I then ran down a  stretch of the Avenue de L’Europe, past big box retailers, fruit sellers, and swarms of vehicle traffic, until my run was half over. Then I headed back home. Whenever I reach the midpoint of a jog I imagine myself circling a street sign on the Avenue de L’Europe like I used to do. Then I think to myself: “I was able to finish the rest then, I can do it now”. Other routes I commonly think about include six times around a large reservoir next to Loyola College in Baltimore, and a run through woods, up and down hills, and past horse stables in Saint Georges d’Orques, France.

2. When playing a two-person sport like tennis I always hope and pray that my competitor will play well. This doesn’t necessarily come naturally. I must tell myself to think this way, and then do it. The more I have this mentality the more naturally it comes. Right when the other person swings his or her racket to hit the ball I think: “Come on (insert name), you can do it! You can hit the ball over the net! I know you can!” Usually the ball ends up coming over the net, though surely not as a result of my thoughts. But because I told myself the ball would come over, I am better prepared to hit it. So by thinking and hoping that my competitor will play well I actually help myself play better. You should try this sometime!

3. When possible I choose treadmills that are in front of windows or bright-colored pictures. At my gym there is this one treadmill I feel is in an ideal location. It’s about 10 feet away from a large window enclosing the gym’s office. I like running in front of it because I can sort of see my reflection in the window. I don’t see enough for me to be critical about the way I look while running, but enough to see my outline. For some reason watching a silhouette of my steady running movements helps me focus on running. I think it’s sort of like how white noise can help you sleep better. Anyway, if I look through this window I see two pictures: one of a man flexing his muscles and the other of a red sports car. If I stare at either one of these pictures while running I can also run better. I think they help me from getting distracted and inspire me with their implied representation of greatness. Lately I’ve preferred focusing on the red sports car, even if it’s not right straight ahead like the muscle man picture is.

So these are a few of my quirky gym habits. Maybe they are stranger than most people’s, but that’s OK. What matters is they help me out!

Image from

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