Put the Lights on the Tree

I've got shoes. They're multiplying.

I've found that I need multiple news pairs and types of shoes in Boston. So I've gotten rid of some so as to acquire more. And by acquire, I really mean make space for. And since I've added three news pair in the last week(s), I thought I'd let you see what my closet sees.

Limited Edition Air Max 90s.
Reasons for purchase: Hipster street cred, plaid highlights, arch support, warmth.

I've been needing a pair of sweet Nikes since I got to town. And maybe I use the word need a little loosely. I've been coveting (sorry Commandment Ten) some nice kicks (what the kids call them) since I've gone into at least three different shoe / street wear boutiques in Boston. (Witness Exhibit A, B , C and D. ) And as a side, all these stores are a little off the beaten path. Or a little secretive. You have to enter one through a door that slides open behind a Coke machine in a little Bodega. So you have to be in the know just to see what they have for sale, too. And I found these guys. They say "I'm still young and with it" as well as "I'm a basketball playing lumberjack who wants to support my arches."

Kamik Ice Crushers.
Reasons for purchase: Traction, Warmth, Thrift, Creepy neighbor who might be burying a body

That last one was a Home Alone reference. I'm not crazy.

After our first snow slam of last week, I decided I needed to get some boots. And so I went online and sought out the cheapest, warmest, most 'I know what you did last summer fishing captain' pair of boots out there. They are warm down to -40. So says the box. While in the 20s this morning my feet could feel bit of a nip. They cover my legs up to the knees. They have some sticky residue that comes standard (although that probably shouldn't be there). They make me feel blue collar.

And last night they came into great use. My neighbor's car was stuck on the side of the road on a pile of snowice. And he and his girlfriend couldn't get it off. They kept spinning out. So I set out to redeem myself for a loud rager of a housewarming party months back. So I help dig. And dig. And break ice and sit on the hood and watch him spin out and dig and throw snow in the road that had just been shoveled onto his car and dig and sweat and fog up my glasses and dig and push and push and I think we got it and snap! and oh no! and step back and look.

And there it is. His front caught on ice and as soon as the car was free and backed up it ripped the front bumper off. Oh. My. Gosh. I felt so bad. And then he came over and helped me get my same model (he has a Golf) out of the snow. Two freed Golfs. One busted bumper. And the Ice Crushers.

Thirty Two Timba Snowboard Boots.
Reasons for purchase: Snowboarding.

This one is fairly explanatory. I'm going to Loon tomorrow snowboarding for the first time this year. And I needed some boots. And I've been working a lot lately on a project for an 'urban' target. And I just felt they were right.

Tomorrow will tell.

But hey, even if not, two for three ain't bad.


Snow business like snow. Business.

Hi. No big news. This weekend has been fairly chill. We had dinner on Friday night with Kay's sister Mary who was in town. And whoever comes up here, we've got to take you to the Border Cafe at Harvard. Amazing. And Friday night we went and watched Juno. And then yesterday just kinda sat around and did nothing. Like today. We just braved the snow on the way to church. That's it.

Friday morning at Marianna's place.

This morning. After our other 5 inches.


Snow. Party. Drums. Snpaums.

Hey folks.

So, here are some pictures of the snow as it was starting yesterday. Nothing too fancy, and not at all representative of the final amount.

Also, some pictures from the office Christmas party. And me playing a lil bit of drums. Sorry about lack of audio.

And while we are spreading cheer.

Gerbil runs on wheel. Wheel powers sign.

Another great Christmas card. Courtesy of AKQA.

See him go.

Monkey See.

Good morning world. Got the Christmas music cranked up, the post agency party breakfast flowing and a foot of snow on the ground. It's going to be a white Christmas up in these parts.

So, I learn to do a lot of things up here in New England by watching people. For instance, I watched people carrying their snowboots in hand yesterday, so they could have them for the walk home. Of course, I didn't do that, I just observed that from the bus. And when we got out of the cab last night, my feet were soaked and sitting in a lot of snow. But now I know.

When I got up this morning, I saw all of my neighbors clearing their sidewalks and digging their cars out from under the white stuff. "Well," I thinks to myself, "if they are going to do it, I'm going to do it." So I grab a snow shovel for the first time in my life and begin to move feet of snow for the first time in my life to uncover my VW for the first time in it's life. And moving snow takes a fair amount of effort (even if it is as light as the powder we got this morning), and overexertion is one of the leading causes of death during a winter storm (so says the weather channel). So, I'm out there for 20 minutes moving earth and parting clouds and causing birds to sing and school children to giggle and holiday spirits to raise.

And then I remember that I don't drive to work.

So I walk to the bus in my snow boots. And ride over the frozen Charles river.


A foot.

They are saying we could get as much as a foot of snow this afternoon. Who are they? I dunno. But they've been known to be right before. And wrong.

At any rate, we've got our company Christmas party tonight. And it might turn into the Great Arnold Sleep Over.

Merry Christmastime!

UPDATE: Snow Emergency declared at 12:24.


Oh Boy Oh Snowglobe Boy.

So, we've got a friend. And this friend, you see, is living in a Snowglobe for the next three and one half days. At least, that's how long we hear he is going to be living in it. It could be a day. Could be four months, maybe until it stops snowing.

But it's the Christmas card from the old agency we worked at. And it's a spectacular idea. But get there quick. Before it all melts.

Oh. And this picture of Snowglobe Boy on the phone... Micah's talking to him, just saying. We know people.

This one is from today (12.12)


The Big Green Monsters.

I can see why it would be easy to hate Boston sports teams right now. We've gone from sleepy intellectual town to a powerhouse of any sports we touch. Baseball? World champs. Football? Dream season. Hockey? Even those guys have a breath of fresh air (no doubt inspired by every other pro athlete in the area [or at least just trying to show they can play in the same sandbox]).

And the Celtics. Those beautiful, beautiful Celts.

We went to the Raptors game last night and watched the Big 3 (Pierce, Garnett, Allen) dominate. In that respect, it wasn't a very exciting game. An almost 40 point blowout. And now they move to 16-2 on the season. I don't even think they won 16 games all last season. Impressive what they've done after trading all their good players for Kevin Garnett. And how the rest of the team has stepped up to play at his level.

And this morning, I'm an hour and fifteen minutes into sitting in a virtual waiting room hoping that some Sox tickets are available. They've been on sale for an hour and are almost sold out. Wish me luck. I need it. But our pro athletes don't.


And finally, Ireland.

Before you begin. A legend.

Marianna typing = regular type
Micah typing = Italic

Without further ado...

The adventure began at approximately 1:00pm on November 21, 2007. Arnold closed early in preparatory celebration of Thanksgiving the following day. Kelly Early was nice enough to drive our bags into town and to the office so we didn't have to tote them on the subways. We left our bags at the office and grabbed a quick cheap meal at Bukowskis before heading to the airport, and hour-long-ish trek on the mass transit system. We checked in quickly - awesome for the day before Thanksgiving - and then sat and sat and sat at the terminal. Then it was off to Shannon, Ireland via Aer Lingus. No real sleep, a little bit of dozing, a lasagna dinner and one Simpsons movie later, we were there.

We arrived early, as in earlier than our early 6am scheduled arrival time - oh joy. The 22nd started off with a visit to the Dan Dooley rental car counter where we promptly paid an additional chunk of change for rental fees that weren't included in the rental deal. Sweet. Micah hit the coffee stand and I grabbed a diet coke, oh, and a double decker bar (my favorite Cadbury candy bar). After charging up a bit, we set off to find our rental car. The van man who took us to the Dan Dooley Rental Car lot told us......

That we could count on two things: "Rain. And Fun." So we took the car. I promptly began to freak as I was on the wrong side of the road on the wrong side of midnight, with no sleep. So we drove. Slowly, for a bit, and then a bit longer. Up to Galaway where we did things that I don't remember. Oh, now I remember. We had a proper Irish breakfast at the Skeffington Arms Hotel. And then we just walked around town. There were canals in town that were kinda neat / dirty.

We got back in the car and drove through the Burren, a super crazy moon like area with wild flowers (in season, I'm assuming, cause all we got were clouds). We stopped at the Cliffs of Moher.

And then sleepily drove back to Co Clare and the Clare Inn. Had a pint and an overpriced dinner (21 USD for chicken fingers) for Thanksgiving, then crashed hard. At 7pm.

For 14 hours.

We arose and stumbled out of our sleepy haze down to breakfast. Full Irish pretty much - tea / coffee, OJ, fried eggs, sausage, bacon (think Canadian bacon, not our bacon), tomatoes, toast, black and white pudding (Which, by the way, is disgusting. Only after our trip did I find out that it's mainly blood). Then we packed up and headed toward Kilkenny. On the way we stopped at Bunratty Castle and took a few photos and went to the woolen mills outlet. Then on we went to Kilkenny. We found Chaplins B&B (after several passes), checked in and then headed to the city center. We went to Kilkenny Castle and took a tour. It was pretty cool because a lot of the interior had been restored. The last time someone lived in it was the early 1900's, and after they moved out it was restored to how it looked in the 19th century. There's also a massive amount of land 'park' out back. After the castle, we wandered around the city, toward some churches, Black Abbey and just around. Then, back to the B&B and dinner down the road. The best beer I have had in two years was at the Brog Maker. It was a perfectly chilled, frothy Kilkenny. Those reviews for it aren't kind. It really hit the spot.

Insert sleep here. In a purple bedroom. Which was frigid. Oh, and at 2:39 a.m. some dude started throwing rocks at our window. I dunno if he was locked out or homeless / bitter or what. But after that point, neither of us slept very well.

Another Irish breakfast. Another patty of bloodpudding. Yuck. (Why did no one tell us?) Then we drove to Dublin. And got to Dun Laoghaire. Eventually. We made a wrong turn or two, and then kept going roundabout on the roundabout for roundabout 30 minutes. Checked into our place, the Lissadell B&B. Then caught a train into town. We didn't make it in until about 2:30. We headed straight for the Guinness factory, cause Marianna loves me and knows that I love beer and that it would've broken my heart had we not been able to get in. So we waited in line for an hour an a half until we were able to get inside and pay homage to one fine porter. By the time we finished up and got out, it was dark. Which, to be honest, doesn't say much because it gets dark at 3:45 there. Ireland is a lot more latitudinally north than I thought. We then walk. Shop. Grab a bite to eat at the Mercantile in Temple Bar. And then, like the old people we are quickly realizing that we are, head back out of town. On a Saturday night. At 10:00 pm.

The next morning we got up and had an amazing breakfast. Thanks to the fact that our B&B decided to go against the B&B association and offer options other than a full Irish breakfast (which apparently is a no-no). So we both had french toast and it was great. We took the train back into town and took a bus tour to get an overview of the city. Then we shopped around some and headed back to Dun Laoghaire to get the car. To set off up to Cavan. To stay in a castle.

Unfortunately, the road there wasn't quite as easy as the road we took to Dublin. The directions weren't very straightforward nor were the roads themselves very straight. Or wide. Or bright. Since, as mentioned before, it gets dark super early. Add to that the fact that our rental car's headlight was askew and blinded every oncoming driver in our path. Who, in turn, blinded us with their brights thinking we were so inconsiderate as to not turn ours off. After a harrowing 1.5 hours on dark, skinny, curvy roads we finally arrived at the Cabra Castle. It looked really cool (from what we could tell in the dark). It was huge and warm and castley. Our room was giant. With french doors. Too bad it was night time when we arrived so we couldn't fully enjoy the scenery. Oh well. We changed and walked around the halls and had a drink in the bar. Then we had a giant 4-course meal - soup, appetizers, entrees, desserts and wine. We were stuffed and sleepy. Good thing. Because we had to get up at the crack of dawn the next day.

And then we drove back to Shannon. In dark for two hours. Then in the rain. Then in the fog. Then, 4 hours after we left Cavan, the sun finally came out. The second we got to Co Clare. All of the sudden. Then we came home.

The end.

almost...don't forget to check out our other photos on Flickr

Clean up on aisle crazy.

Observed in front of me today, in line at Shaw's (a supermarket), as I was waiting to pay for my salad.

Man is getting his things rang up. He is 27-29, well dressed, and buying four bags worth of various sundries, including toilet paper. He pays for his wares, gets his receipt.

Man: Actually I don't want any of this stuff.
Cashier: Excuse me?
Man: I don't want this. I just wanted to check the price.
Cashier: ...
Man: So you can just put it back. I don't want it.
Cashier: But you just paid for it.
Man: I know. I wanted to do this.
Cashier: But...
Man: I'm sorry to do this to you. I understand I paid, and you can keep the money. I just don't want to have to take this out and then throw it away.
Cashier: ...
Man: Thank you. Have a great day.
Micah: This salad is all. Thanks.
Cashier: What was that all about?
Micah: I have no clue.
Cashier: Here is your receipt.
Micah: Actually, I don't want the salad either.
Cashier: Seriously?
Micah: Are you kidding me? That guy was weird. I would love my salad.

Bonus points for anyone who can figure out what the heck happened in front of me. Cause I have no idea.


On Perpetual Motion. December.

It's 22 degrees outside. The wind chill is 7. Snow showers all over Boston. The bike lanes are now snow lanes and black top is black ice.

And I'm still riding.

God bless youth.


Warm spot in snowy boston

So, I had just gotten back from getting hot chocolate from the fancy coffee machine, and what do I find on my desk, but a massive, unexpected box. Puzzled, I check out the label. Williams-Sonoma. Hmmm. Didn't order anything from there. No other address, except mine. So I proceed to open the gigantor box.

And what do I find but a package of warmth and goodness sent from my awesome mom. Or, to put it another way Hot Chocolate Bliss! A cute hot chocolate maker, hot chocolate, and a set of 4 snowman mugs. I was so surprised and excited. It put a huge smile on my face. And it's nice timing with the first real snowfall outside.

And for all of you who don't know, I dislike all other hot beverages - tea, coffee, cappuccino, cider - I'm indiscriminate in my dislike. But I love hot chocolate. And my mom.

love ya

(and obviously, this post is by marianna, considering the fact that coffee is micah's first love)

Daddy needs a new pair of shoes.

1. Sorry about Ireland. And no story. We've been busy. And I'm trying to beat Marianna in a battle of wits.

2. We got snow last night. Like an inch or two. And then, at midnight, it turned into freezing rain. And this morning, at around five, it was just rain rain. So I learned on the way to work this morning something very important:


There is a distinction. One that is greater than just a coveted parking spot in my closet. I believe that distinction is called tread. You might also call it the friction ratio, if you like. Very simply put, this morning 's commute was akin to putting my feet in socks, putting those socks in plastic bags, and praying for 2 inches of Crisco.

But before you go out and buy me some snow boots for Christmas, let me tell you that I'm going to go ahead and get some. I can't have this embarrassment happen another day. So, collectively, you can subtract 85 dollars from the pile of money I was going to spend on your each for the holidays. Drastic times...

3. We went out on Friday night. It's been a while since we've hung out with friends. Thanks to all those jokers who were involved.

4. We went to a new church on Sunday called Reunion. It meets in the Boston Hilton. I really liked it. Maybe it was just going to a new place and meeting some new people. Either way, we're going to go back.


Irish I was blogging.

Apologies on no stories yet. We've been trying to get into the holiday spirit of our US consumerism. I've uploaded all the pictures here. We'll tell the stories soon enough. Promise.


James Joyce, Arthur Guinness, and us.

Have all, at one point or another, been in Dublin.

We just got back to the B&B and are about to get some shut eye. But this is just a notification that all is well in the Emerald Isle.


Turkey Turkey Turkey Turkey, Shamrock.

We're off...at 7:15 tonight, and hopefully the travel fairies will be watching out for us. As we, along with 27 million other people, try to get where we're going.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Lookie there. Right where we are. Snow.

Hooray for snow.