Sunday, June 22, 2008


This is love. Seriously. Read the article, watch the video. It's a great story. And it just goes to show that everything is not lost for humanity.

Friday, June 20, 2008


This is a major bummer. not only did my external hard drive crash this spring, but now my iPod has crashed and I've lost all of the computer files of my music. Almost everything I have a hard copy of, but some things may be home so will have to wait for the holidays to update. LAME. Oh well. Guess I can start fresh though. And then soon enough I'll have my iPod touch. Huzzah!

On an unrelated note, Kung Fu Panda is friggin' sweet. I LOVED it. It's a great movie about being yourself, and it's hilarious (I love Jack Black and he's perfect in this character).

OK I guess I'll start uploading some music now...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Review: Eat Pray Love

Everyone has been telling me to read this book, from co-workers to my mom. Mom loved it so much she bought me a copy when I was at home because hers was loaned out (not that she wouldn't buy me a book she didn't love, but still). So I've read it. And here's my final assessment:

It's OK. But then again, going to the doctor and getting a shot is also OK. Not great, not a nightmare. I've thought about it, and the last third of the book, in Bali, is excellent. I loved that part and could read it again. But in the first third she sits around and eats pasta all day. Don't get me wrong, I love pasta as much as the next gal, but I don't write about eating Italian food all the time. And the second part, in India...let's put it this way. I spent two years studying Buddhism in America for my undergrad thesis, so I've read my fair share of Americans getting into "Eastern" religions, and I have a very low tolerance for most of what they have to say. So that personal bias came out very strong in this middle section. There were some parts that were OK, but having studied Hinduism as an undergrad and a grad student (I'm not an expert but know more than the average bear, so to speak), I definitely had a shaded reading of the middle section. It's a nice story, but seriously if you want to read a good journal read Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek or George Kennan's Tent Life in Siberia.

Overall grade: B-. I'm not giving it a C because the writing is very good. I just didn't find the book all that interesting, and kept reading it just so I could finish it (I hate not finishing books...I read The Brothers Karamazov every summer and only make it 50 pages further than the last summer.)

New England...stuff

I've decided to add yet another feature to this blog. It may only be helpful to those of you who live in New England, especially in the Worcester/Boston/New Haven area, but it could be interesting to the others. Before I moved up here, my primary ideas of New England were lighthouses, lobsters (both of which are more Maine than anything else), fall foliage, blue states, Puritans, cold, Red Sox, and Ivy League schools. Now, all of these things do exist in New England and are pretty prevalent, but I've found that there's much more out there. So this is a little section of my blog in which I'd like to mention a few "hidden treasures" that visitors and those living here might not know about.

1. Wachusett Brewing Company. This is a craft brewer in Westminster, MA. Rick and I go there pretty often in the summer, fall, and spring (the roads can be bad in the winter, depending on how you get there) with our growler to fill up on our favorite brew. I'm personally a huge fan of their Summer Ale, and I also like the blueberry (but only with blueberries floating around in my beer). I'm not sure what Rick's favorite is. New England boasts tons of local breweries, and the most famous one would probably be Boston Beer Company (aka Sam Adams...the brewery tour is great, and you should go). Wachusett is pretty close to Worcester, though, and they make great beer and are really cool people. We've gone on the tour a couple of times, once on our own and then we've taken friends there to experience its coolness. So you should go. Check out Leominster State Forest while you're on the way. They have some really nice hiking trails.

2. Purgatory Chasm. Rick and I stopped here on the way back from RI once just because we'd passed the signs on the 146 several times and thought it sounded cool. And it is. Purgatory Chasm is a huge chasm (imagine that!) through which you can climb over rocks and take in the beauty. You can also rock climb, with a permit (I think), and walk along the edge of the chasm. But be careful. People have gotten seriously hurt there before, so you don't want to go walking too close to the edge. But it's beautiful and I believe one of the cooler sites in central MA/ RI area.

3. Wholly Cannoli. Easily my favorite pastry shop in New England, this place has cannoli's of every flavor. I love the pumpkin ones in the fall, and next on my list is the pistachio one. They also have a beautiful selection of cakes, cookies, and other Italian desserts. I hear their sandwiches are really great too, and some day I want to try their pizza. It's in Worcester, and lucky for me really close to the house. They recently renovated the store next to theirs, so now they have beautiful display cases and a great coffee-shop ambiance for having your pastry. The North End in Boston is good (the pastry shop down the street from Mike's is excellent and not crowded with tourists), but why go to Boston when you can get superb Cannoli's without the crazy tourism lines right here in Worcester?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Actual conversation overheard this afternoon while in Building 19 (kind of an equivalent to Big Lots...)
Woman: It looks like we're going to have Thunderstorms today.
Man: What?
Woman: I said it looks like we're going to have T-storms today.
Man: T-STORMS????!!!

God New England is a weird place.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Back and books

What a nightmare. Yesterday and this morning were air travel HELL. Got to Philly too late to catch the flight to Providence, so I spent the night in the airport, which is a weird experience, got on a plane to Boston at 6 am, and got there with no luggage, which just got to Worcester an hour ago. LAME. And then there was work on the T, so my T ride to Porter was 30 minutes longer than it should have been. Oh well. The saving graces were at the Philly airport. One store was open where I could buy contact solution so I could take them out and try to sleep. I didn't have my glasses with me (they were in the checked bag) but at least I could give my eyes a rest. And the Au Bon Pain was open. I got to the airport at midnight and was starving. Thank God for ABP.

Anywho...this summer I've decided to add a feature to my blog. It's going to be called "Hilary's Rad Reading Roundup." Not really. But I've decided to start writing reviews of the books I'm reading for pleasure. This won't be the NY Times book review by any means, but it will let all of you loyal readers know what I'm reading and catch up on some cool books, if you want. During the school year I'll just write about books I read for pleasure, as there are too many I read for school (which doesn't say the school books can't be pleasurable to read, it's just a different type of reading process).

So...for the first review I'm writing about The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I've been wanting to read this book for years, and it's been on my shelf at home for a similar amount of time. The only problem is that I'd never gotten up the initiative to read it. So this trip home, I started to read one book (which I will write about when I finish it), but it's a nice hardback so I needed a paperback for the pool. This book was kind of beat up and a paper back, so the Kingsolver it was. I realize I'm years behind everyone else in reading this, but too bad.

On the whole, I thought it was a wonderful book. It really brought me to think about the function of missionaries, especially in the 50s and 60s, when Jim Crow still reigned supreme in the South, and these missionaries had to bring their experiences in this climate to the middle of Africa. The book was thought provoking and heart-rending. I loved it. I especially appreciated the different writing styles for each particular character, minus the Father. Not only did this provide different accounts of the spirituality of the book (I do believe it is deeply spiritual), but it also allowed me to revel in the liberation that happened for these women.

Downside of the book: I felt like after the family fell apart, the book kind of fell apart. We just started getting these small vendettas of what was going on in each particular woman's life. Much of the spirituality of the earlier portions of the book had suddenly gone missing. I'm not sure if it was intentional, but I thought it made the end portion of the book feel somewhat...empty. I still finished it, as I wanted to know what happened to each character, but in an effort to follow the rebuilding, so to speak, of a family there was a loss of something deeper that had been in the book.

Overall grade: B+.

Friday, June 13, 2008


Howdy everyone. Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I have been in KY for the past 10 days having a wonderful visit with my family. It's been great getting to see them, especially since I only get down here every so often, because of flight prices, etc. Anyway right now I'm sitting in the Louisville airport. It's been a nightmare trying to get back to New England tonight. I was supposed to fly through DC, and that was delayed to the point that I would miss my connection, so now I'm going through Philly, but will likely miss my connection to Providence there, spend the night in the Philly airport, and fly into Boston really early in the morning. I think I should get in around 7:40 am. What sucks is that I packed my glasses. But I just bought a contact case. I guess I'll try and sleep in them and if worse comes to worse take them out and put them in some rewetting drops I have. I couldn't find any saline solution, which is too damn bad. The plan is supposed to be here around 9:30 and we should soon be leaving around 9:45. Too bad most of the people around here are jerks, and not the workers I mean. The passangers are just MEAN. On top of all of this, there's a line of storms moving this way that could very well upset things. I kind of hope there's a delay of the flight to Providence so that I could make that flight and see Rick earlier, but my bags are going to Boston so thank God I have my prescriptions here. The guy sitting behind me is a real asshole. He was bugging the US Airways worker and standing around while he was trying to help others and then got all mad, and now all I can hear is him complaining. Sheesh. Get a grip people and calm down. Your complaining won't get you anywhere.

Anywho...yeah. So we'll see what time I get to New England. Either PVD or BOS. Luggage is going to Boston, since I think that's the most likely flight I'll be on (and not Providence, unless it gets delayed). To be honest, I really just want to see Rick. I haven't seen him much in the past month and I miss him terribly, and I was looking forward to seeing him tonight. Oh well. If I don't make tonight's flight hopefully the flight in the morning will go and I'll see him sometime in the next 12 hours or so.

The fam seems to be doing OK in general. Blaine is so big and talking and he's the cutest thing this world has ever seen. It sucks that I get to see him so rarely, and the rest of my family too. And now with gas prices going up...I was going to drive to work this summer because it was going to be cheaper, but now it's looking that since gas prices are going up I may start thinking about taking the train in order to save some money, or at least break even and help the environment a little.

I think I'm rambling now. I'm going to waste some more time online I guess. Hope you're all doing well and staying cool in this heat!