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Previous Blogs

Letterboxing Event
March 22, 2007

The Rock Party
March 8, 2007

Bethel Inn,
New Lamp

February 25, 2007

Best Photos of 2006
and Start of 2007

February 10, 2007

The Holidays
January 21, 2007

Nashville!
January 2, 2007

FLW House,
Random Stuff
With Brandie,
Greg's Going Away

November 22, 2006

Halloween Party
November 9, 2006

Mike's 30th Birthday
October 30, 2006

Project Runway!
October 18, 2006

Birthday fun
October 7, 2006

King Richard's Faire
September 19, 2006

Rocky Horror
September 4, 2006

Mike's Barbecue
August 22, 2006

The Samoset
August 13, 2006

Walloon
August 6, 2006

Camping!
July 28, 2006

Reunion and
Six Flags

July 5, 2006

Museum of Bad Art
June 21, 2006

Shadow: The
Man(Cat), the Myth,
the Beast. R.I.P.

June 14, 2006

The Return of
Anthony and Elise

June 1, 2006

Archives
May 2006–October 2005

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Marissa's Blog!

April 18, 2007
 

I've been busy!
 
 

I've had a really busy past month so I'm going to post highlights from some of the things I've done.

Brandie, her kids, and I visited Barbara and Sev at their BRAND NEW house in Roslindale. Brandie already posted some of my photos on her blog, please check them out! The house is so adorable, and they have SO much space. I'm really happy for them!


 
 
 
 

Barbara is now six months pregnant and she looks FANTASTIC! It's so exciting to see one of my closest friends going through a pregnancy and she is doing fabulous! We exchanged Xmas presents (yes Xmas, we've been busy :D), here is Barbara with the pi dish that I got her. :)


 

After our visit with Barbara, Brandie, Ford, Montana, Indigo, and I all went to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. Despite living in JP for a year during college, I had never been to this beautiful place and I absolutely loved it. We're going to go back as much as possible this summer! We saw so many amazing trees, including this one, where one of its branches had grown down towards the ground and then started growing back up, it looked really weird! While we were there, we found two letterboxes, one of which was totally not where I thought it was at all. This may have had something to do with the fact that none of the maps at the Arboretum were helpful in any way. :D I'm printing a map from the internet before we go next time!


 
 
 
 

From March 28–April 1st I was in St. Louis, Missouri for the National Science Teachers' Association conference. This conference kicked the asses of NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) and Reading Recovery (in Ohio). Here's the Heinemann booth that I manned for the time I was there.


 
 
 
 

Despite signs everywhere stating "St. Louis: There's more than meets the arch!" I found this to be not so true. The arch is gorgeous, but I really didn't see anything else of great interest, and even found it difficult to locate good restaurant recommendations. I still managed to never eat at the same place twice though, and had some FANTASTIC meals. Highlights were Mosaic, a tapas bar; Red Moon, an Asian/French fusion restaurant; and Faust, where I had one of the best steaks I have ever had in my entire life. :)


 
 
 
 

Just to give you an idea of how cool the NSTA conference is, here is a photo of me with a bunch of ROCKETS.

Other things that you can find at NSTA and not at NCTE or Reading Recovery:

  • live lizards
  • live snakes
  • live centipedes
  • a wallaby
  • penguins
  • a falcon
  • a giant inflatable globe
  • life-size anatomy statues
  • giant fossils
  • giant geodes
  • butterflies
  • Buzz Aldrin (not kidding)
  • Bill Nye
  • GIANT MICROBES!!! I bought 11 of these bad boys for friends and family. They fucking RULE. Check out their website. I got the ebola virus for Montana, rabies for Ford, tuberculosis for Indigo, a sore throat for Brandie and Dave, typhoid for my dad, a stomach ache for Mom, a red blood cell for Grammy... I bought a lot of them and I still want MORE. :D


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    This photo will inevitably end up in my Top Photos of 2007: a rainbow over the arch. It just doesn't get much better than that! :)

    I also got to do quite a bit of letterboxing while in St. Louis, which totally made the trip worthwhile. It's safe to say that I will now volunteer to go ANYWHERE since I can go letterboxing. I'm such an addict! :)


     
     
     
     

    One of the highlights of my trip was my last night there, when I went out to dinner with Robin (Heinemann science editor), Emily (Heinemann editorial), and four of our authors (Sandra, Lori, Brian, and Mark). During dinner, we asked Sandra (who grew up in St. Louis) what foods the city is known for. "Toasted ravioli, pork steak, and gooey butter cake," was her answer. To which we inquired what the hell "gooey butter cake" is. Turns out the hotel she was staying at served this St. Louis delicacy, so after dinner, off to her hotel we went.

    Now, the hotel served the cake with vanilla ice cream, pecans, and butterscotch syrup on it, and Sandra said she found the butterscotch just too sweet and recommended that we get the cake without it. Little did she know what trouble she was starting! :D

    When the waitress arrived, she did NOT look happy that seven people had just arrived five minutes prior to closing, and had no interest in the fact that we already knew what we wanted to order. She announced loudly, "Now you three with your backs toward me are going to have to turn around!" and proceeded to launch into a detailed description of each of the menu's desserts. There was no stopping her. Then she walked away. :D

    Finally, she returned and we began to order. And each of us, somehow, managed to order our gooey butter cake differently: Emily had hers with only the pecans, Lori had hers with no pecans but butterscotch and ice cream on the side, Brian had his plain, Michael ordered his exactly as it came on the menu, Robin had hers without ice cream and with pecans and butterscotch on the side, and I had mine with everything on the side. :D The waitress was not amused by this in the least, despite the fact that we were all cracking up (Lori could barely order she was laughing so hard). :D

    To our utter amazement, the waitress managed to get each of us our gooey butter cake as ordered (well, pretty much) and it was SO good. It's a yellow cake cooked in a pan, so the outside is crispy and the inside is gooey and warm. Oh it was delicious! :) -drool-


     
     
     
     

    The Friday after I returned from St. Louis was Randy's 30th birthday party—he's such a geezer! :D That Saturday, his mom had a very nice party for him at her house. Here are Randy and his brother Joe in their matching Alligator Adventure shirts from North Carolina (where Joe and his family recently vacationed).


     
     
     
     

    And here's a sight that will probably never be seen again: Doug holding Emily! :D Emily LOVED Doug, and was flirting with him the whole time she was there. :D


     
     
     
     

    The best gift Randy received for his birthday was given to him about a week later though, after a bunch of us went to see the new Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.


     
     
     
     

    Randy now has his very own Boba Fett helmet, courtesy of Doug and Mike. :D


     

    The last event I want to share photos from is the Step It Up rally against global warming last Saturday. I'm really trying to put my money where my mouth is (call it a New Year's resolution) and be more active politically, especially about the environment, so I thought it would be a fun thing to go to. And when I found out that they would have kids' activities, I knew it would be perfect for Brandie and the kids to attend as well! :)

    My original idea was to have the kids help out with the signs, but we were running late that morning, so I pretty much did the signs myself. Indigo helped out by drawing peace signs all over the back of her sign though and Brandie drew the fabulous whale on Ford's sign (my whale drawings are not nearly as accurate :D). All of the signs were a huge hit, people stopped Indigo and I numerous times for photos, it was awesome! :D


     

    Here is a closeup of my personal favorite: Indigo's sign. She was so cute with it, she loved the concept of the sign, but whenever people talked to her about it, she got really shy and would hide behind Brandie. So cute! :D


     

    Ford is my hero. Not only did he hold his sign up for EVERYONE we walked by (he literally stuck the sign right up in peoples' faces and shouted "SAVE THE WHALES!" It was SO FUNNY :D), he also got INTERVIEWED by a TV crew (it said "HDN" on their microphones but we haven't been able to locate the interview anywhere), and he got to meet and shake hands with presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Go Ford! :)

    For more photos of the Step It Up rally in Portsmouth, click here.

    We spent that afternoon letterboxing, but I'm going to do a separate post about all of my recent letterbox-finding activities soon! :)


     
     

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