Gearing Up for the Winter Classic

Let's talk hockey today. While I've always considered myself to be a fan, I've never really thought of Boston as a hockey town. That is, until our amazing season last year and the buzz about the winter classic in two days. But while these newly found lovers of the greatest sport on Earth are excited, I must say that I'm actually a bit nervous for my beloved Bruins.

For starters, we're playing the Flyers, who have managed to crush us so far this season despite being in last place in their own division (granted, the Eastern Atlantic is a tough division). Meanwhile, we are playing four games in just six days: playing back-to-back Sunday and Monday with another game tonight, and then of course the Classic on Friday. While I typically complain that I sometimes have to wait 5 days to see another game, these guys need (and rely on) the rest they get.

My last concern rests in the uncertainty of the love of my life and the morale maker of the team: Milan Lucic. Lucic is currently out with an upper-ankle sprain and though he has been skating with the team this week, his status is still a bit shaky. Hopefully he'll be back in it, the team performs better with him on ice due to the intensity of his play.

Now don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to this game. I'll be drinking beers and cheering my team on from the (warm) comfort of my living room - there was no way I was about to spend $200 on crummy seats just to freeze my butt off in 2 degree weather. Despite my doubts of a sure win, I know we have one of the best teams in the NHL and players who aren't going to give up a win easily.

My biggest hope is that this Classic will bring back some lovin' for hockey here in Boston. I dream of the days when the Garden sells out for them night after night. I remember going to empty Celtics games a while back, and now they're packed to the ceiling - that energy here is unbeatable.

But of course, this is just a regular season game for the B's. It's really the playoffs I'm looking forward to (though my wallet, I admit, is not).

The Winter Classic will be aired on NBC(HD) in the US and CBC(HD) in Canada - coverage starts at 1:00pm January 1st.


Realistic New Year's Resolutions

Yes, I make resolutions every year and no, I have never really succeeded... so this year I'm going to try to be at bit more realistic about them:

1) Get my GPA back to somewhere around a 3.5 - this should be pretty attainable, I have a much more relaxed course load and no 8am classes this semester!!

2) Save more, spend less - my internship is really helping me on this front, I shop without spending!

3) Embrace fearlessness, trust more easily, forgive more easily, and love more - this is a lot, but baby steps, right? I think I'm already half way there!

4) Cook more - I have no excuses here, I'm just lazy most of the time. I know how to cook, I have everything in my kitchen needed to do it, I just have to take the time. I'm going to aim for 3 meals a week that do not consist of take out or pasta or canned soup. We'll see how it goes from there!

5) Figure out what I want to do when I graduate - there will be just about two and a half weeks left in 2010 when I graduate college. I should probably decide what to do when school is over! For the time being, I have the ability to work full time at my current job, but it's not my dream or anything. I'm not really sure what is...

So we'll see how all of this turns out. I think I've kept it realistic this year, and when it comes to number 5, I don't really have a choice!

In other news, I'm ringing in 2010 with some amazing new friends and then spending the next day watching the Bruins kick some butt in the Winter Classic v. the Flyers. I honestly can't think of a better way to start off the new decade!


Never Did I Ever...

... think that I would be one of those crazy people who pays way too much money to follow a band literally across the country. And yet, I find myself in the midst of planning a trip to The Bamboozle Left in Anaheim, CA this March to see Something Corporate reunite.

I always knew I was maybe just a little crazy seeing Guster every time they played in MA, RI, NH, or CT these past few years - totaling over 30 shows since I started college (and a couple shows in high school as well). I have spent hundreds, probably thousands, of dollars on tickets and I can justify every penny of it. Not once have I had a terrible time, not even the times I was on a terrible date!

My best friend in the whole wide world got me into Something Corporate years ago, I was lucky enough to see them twice before they went on hiatus. Since then, we have managed to go to a couple of Jack's Mannequin shows (Andrew McMahon's side project) and we even saw him perform solo on his acoustic tour a few months ago. Though SoCo's status has officially been "on hiatus," Andrew had hinted that it was on a more permanent basis.

Photo: Andrew signed my copy of 'Everything in Transit' at his solo show!!!

So imagine the freak out I had when YouTube explained to me that they were headlining this festival! It was during this video that I all of a sudden understood why people do this. In my previous entry, I reviewed Dear Jack, McMahon's documentary about his battle with leukemia. His connection with his fans is truly impressive, he performs my all time favorite song, and his California Piano Punk is starting to become cooler than Guster in my mind. This is a pretty huge feat!

I'll be sure to keep you all posted on the trip planning. This would truly be the best concert I could possibly imagine attending. End of story.


To Recap on the Holidays

Oh Christmas morning. This year I got a whole lot of IKEA furniture. I can't wait to get back to Brighton, carry it up two flights of stairs, and spend the weekend making sense of the directions. Once that part is done I'm sure I'll better appreciate it. I also received a waffle iron, a crock pot, and my mom went over the top with a gift card for a massage at one of Newbury St's hoity-toity-est salons.

But the best gift I received this Christmas was from my landlord. A 30 rack of Beck's. Classiest gift ever. This is why you should all try to find British landlords. My last entry hinted at my love of the accent, after all, that makes up about 99% of Hugh Grant's charm. He also says funny things like "tea towel," and "cooker," which, I really find quite amusing.

Moving right along - this holiday season has led me to not one but two amazing reviews that you absolutely must take my advice on.

Earlier this year my aunt and god mother wrote a book called Letters. I read it because she was the one who wrote it, but I highly, highly recommend it. She's one of the most thoughtful and entertaining women I know, and though I now know way too many details of her personal life, it was a very fun read and incredibly reflective. I'm including a link for you to check it all out here.

My next review is for the 'Dear Jack' documentary put out by Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin. My best friend knows me all too well, and this really was the perfect gift; I cried the whole time I watched it. 'Dear Jack' starts on the day Andrew was diagnosed with leukemia in and around the scheduled release of Jack's first Album Everything in Transit. As one of Something Corporate's biggest fans, I have truly been touched by all of their music and was heartbroken when I learned that one of my favorite artists of all times was battling this disease. This rare look into Andrew's personal life is a must-see for any fan. Aside from the amazing story, there are also quite a few live performances throughout the hour long documentary and the soundtrack is made up mostly of B-side tracks. Check out the trailer below:


Holiday Movie Review - Why You Need to Watch 'Love Actually' (again)

This is my new favorite holiday flick. It has a lot of things other movies just don't: Hugh Grant, British accents, octopi and lobsters in a the nativity scene, and Colin Firth.

For those of you who haven't seen it, Love Actually follows nine different love stories (only eight if you're watching it on tv, the ninth is a bit "mature") from five weeks before Christmas up until the big holiday. I like this movie because two of my favorite things in the world are Christmas and love stories - you really can't go wrong with that combination.

So of course I watched again for what I would estimate to be the zillionth time or so and fell in love all over again. What is it about Christmas that makes it seem so easy to fall in love? What keeps the story interesting is that there are so many different kinds of love, cheating husbands finding new girlfriends, men in love with married women, a washed up rockstar finding the person he most loves is his manager, the British Prime Minister falling for a member of his house staff. It's easy to get caught up in the movie and you really find yourself wishing you lived in London with all these wonderful people.

Quite possibly my favorite new scene of any movie out there is shown here. While I don't normally approve of men hitting on married women (even if she is Kierra Knightly), I appreciate the courage and the crazy measures that he goes to just to confess his crazy little crush. I fall for it every single time, I can't help but cry during this scene and again, despite my normal disapproval of cheating, the kiss that follows is wonderful. So here's to hoping that this movie has inspired me to also have maybe just a little more courage to tell someone how I feel this year.

And in the spirit of the holiday, I'll leave you with this quote from Hugh Grant which opens the film:
Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. 


Baby It's Cold Outside

Oh hello again. Sorry I went missing for a week, but finals are my extreme enemy! Luckily I don't have to worry about school again until January 25th! Gotta love UMass' ridiculous break schedule. And on that note, let's proceed to tonight's entry...

Twas the week before Christmas and all through the city, there's at whole foot of snow but at least it looks pretty. Unfortunately, it's also ruined a pair of Uggs due to all my last minute holiday shopping and various parties. I ask for a "white Christmas" every year, and it looks like this year I've gotten my wish. But as nice as it all looks (especially now that I'm home in the suburbs where the snow stays white) it really isn't the weather that makes it feel like the holidays.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and being Italian, this is far more important than Christmas Day itself. Every year I count the days until I can eat seven fish dishes and entirely too many desserts. When I was about twelve my grandmother also got me and all of my younger cousins trashed by giving us too much wine. We're slightly older and slightly more responsible these days, but these crazy traditions are honestly my favorite part of the year. I spent all day today whipping up literally eleven different cookie batters and I can't wait to bake them tomorrow!!

It makes me so sad that in the past few years my family spread out a bit across the country and it's tough to see traditions change - but all of the important things are still there. We've come a long way from my childhood where Nona ran the kitchen and tried to serve us dishes like eel. Not a single one of us still believes in Santa and we don't go entirely overboard with our swap gifts.

But some things don't change. I will still probably gain a good ten pounds over dinner tomorrow, my little cousins are going to fight for mine and my sister's attention all night, the kids are going to love their presents, and undoubtedly Annie and I will convince our parents that it's a good idea to open about fifty percent of our gifts that night.

And then some things do change. Inevitably I will drunkenly text all of my friends to wish them a happy holiday and Annie wants to organize a family beer pong tournament. There will only be about ten people at dinner, not the usual fifty plus that I remember, but they're a very important ten people and there's no one I'd rather spend the holidays with.

I love the uniqueness of my family, our crazy get togethers, our delicious food, and our ridiculous conversations and I love how the holidays bring all of these things together. I hope that everyone else has something so special to look forward to and that Santa is good to you all.


Finals Week...

I'll be back to blogging on Sunday when I don't have a million papers to right.

In the meantime- I'm thankful that I did not buy Winter Classic tickets after last night's showing against the Flyers. More on this next week.


Putting your best face forward... during finals

So between all this blogging has been an awful lot of studying, I have finally finished up classes and I'm getting ready for finals. Usually this means that I spend so much time reading books that I completely for get to think about fashion- but why should a girl have to choose? She shouldn't!

1) My new favorite spin on a study break is to step away from Facebook and step into my closet. When I know I'm only getting three hours of sleep, choosing an outfit in the morning is next to impossible, but picking an outfit out the night before is downright brilliant. And when I really, really want to put off those papers, I even pick out jewelry and undies.

2) No fuss makeup. I'm all about black eyeliner, and spending time perfecting my smokey eye technique, but when I know I'll be in the library for 24 hours straight, it's not practical. Instead, opt for a waterproof mascara to open up your eyes and stick with a typical moisturizer and Chapstick. If you're feeling ambitious, go for some gloss too.

3) Never, ever, ever, forget how important skin care is. Seriously, finals stress you out enough to make you break out, so abandoning your skin care routine is a very bad idea. Whatever you do, wash that gorgeous face of yours regularly and your skin will thank you later.

4) I, for one, am sick of seeing girls destroy their hair in the name of laziness! Guess what, super messy pony tails on the top of your head are not attractive and they are ruining your hair! I understand you are literally rolling out of bed and getting out the door because you slept through your alarm, but that is why God invented headbands. Buy them. Use them. Love them.

5) Personally, I am always over tired and over caffeinated this time of year. It's not an attractive look for anyone, but it's really easy to fake a normal appearance in this situation. Just before your two hour power nap, use a cool cloth on your eyes and when you wake up you'll be sparkling and ready to drink another triple latte guaranteed.

As tempting as it is, don't wear your PJs to finals. Come on now, I just gave you five easy ways to look like you belong on the runway instead of behind a desk. Besides, it's all too easy to fall asleep in your sweats during that test.


Tweeting for Days in Only an Hour

Rate that Twitter App: Cotweet 4.5/5 stars

TGIF and TF for Cotweet. My new favorite third party application in the vast realm of Twitter. My goal for the @STAConsignment account that I          manage for my internship is to tweet about three times a day: 1) fun fashion trend 2) a RT of one of our stores with some merchandise 3) a RT from one of Twitters many #fashion or #style talkers. Sounds easy?

Well, sort of. The thing is, managing a Twitter for a company is tough just because I'm not in front of my computer 24/7 (and while I advocate technology, we all need to take a break now and
then). So what's the solution? Well, every Saturday I scour the fashion blogs, find my favorite links, and save them. From there, I log in to Cotweet and schedule them all in advance.

Okay, so that's nothing new- lots of sites do that. So where's the advantage? I can view all my accounts (personal and work) at the same time, and the other admins on my work account are all linked. We can edit each others messages ahead of time and I can make sure that my boss and I aren't scheduling our posts too close together and that we aren't doubling up on info and essentially spamming our followers.

So where am I docking that half star from? Overall appearance. It's easy to use and fairly intuitive, but it's slow to update new messages and even slower to delete older ones or mark them as "read." I get so excited when I see I have twenty new mentions only to be greatly disappointed by the fact that I've already seen at least 15 of them...


At the Movies: Boston Does It Better

You only need to meet me for about thirty seconds before you know that I'm from Boston Proper: the accent, the aggressive driving, the feeling that the rest of the nation owes me personally for Thanksgiving and Sam Adams... oh and I think we make the best movies too.

No seriously. Just read through my list of favorites and you'll see: Good Will Hunting, The Departed, Mystic River, The Boondock Saints even My Best Friend's Girl - I love them all! I take pride in seeing some of my favorite locals (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Marky Mark Wahlberg) drop their r's and glamorize the Southie projects and I fell in love with Leo DiCaprio all over again when I realized he could fit in here better than the 800 thousand college students who invade Suffolk County every fall.

We have spirit. We have class. We have stories. Hell, we have everyone from John Adams to Whitey Bulger. It's no wonder these movies are so big (and not just for us locals, these are major box office hits). So call me crazy, but one of my legitimate favorite hobbies is watching these movies over and over again, criticizing the accents (Dear Martin Sheen, only the Kennedys talk like that!), the silly inaccuracies (Hey Matt Damon, you missed your stop on the Red Line day after day in Good Will Hunting- why did you insist on going all the way out to Dorchester?), and generally loving the fact that my city seems to exemplify the creme de la creme of "American Dream-like" stories.

From the Revolutionary War, to the Irish and Italians of Boston, to the gentrification since the 70s there are a million more movies out there to be made. So New York can have its sky scrapers and its pizza, I'll take my "walking city" with our straightforward (okay, rude) attitudes any day.

Marky Mark once said that "girls from Boston will kick your ass, you've got to be on your toes, but there's a loyalty there that's hard to find." And he's right. Those of us born and raised here fit that description to a tee, and those are the qualities characters are made of.

So keep making your movies here, you Hollywood producers- because we love it!


Let's Take Care of Some Administrative Things

I think that really for my own sanity, I need to try to set up some sort of schedule for my blog here. Of course, the fact that I'm about to begin finals is certainly not helping my mental state, so here goes.

Sundays: I'm going to try to make a good fashion-oriented update because Saturdays are when I catch up on all my fashion news for my internship.

Mondays: This is the day for social media news- after all that is half the point of my blog/website.

Tuesdays: Because Tuesdays are usually my least favorite day of the week, I will discuss one of my favorite things: SPORTS. Be warned that this will largely revolve around hockey.

Wednesdays: I think the middle of the week is as good a day as any to share a funny personal story or other random musing. I have a lot of thoughts that really start to collect by Wednesdays.

Thursdays: I will use this fine day to discuss something related to TV or movies, because I watch a lot of both and have a lot of opinions on them.

Fridays: Another social media update. Because there is just so much to say!

Saturdays: Everyone deserves a day off. For me, Saturday is that day.

So anyway, I will try to stick to this as much as possible. Tune in tomorrow for a fabulous TV or movie related update. What will it be? Well, you'll have to come back and see!


On Corporate Holiday Parties

There's a lot of buzz around my office this week as we are all anxiously awaiting our annual holiday party this coming Saturday. Overall I think that people tend to have a lot of mixed feelings on the issue, and as such, I have made a pros and cons list to celebrating the holidays with coworkers.


-Dressing up: I like this for two reasons. 1) I am a girl. 2) We dress very casual in the office, so it's nice to see people all dressed up.
-Free meal: I'm a broke college student.
-Open bar: I'm a broke college student.
-Seeing co-workers in a non-work setting: I genuinely like the people I work with!
-Partying at a fancy hotel: enough said.

-Dressing up: who am I really trying to impress?
-Free meal: okay, there is no con here.
-Open bar: this has the potential to go from awesome to awful in one shot.
-Seeing co-workers in a non-work setting: too many people are going to be talking about work!
-Partying at a fancy hotel: who are we kidding? We're not that fancy, most of us are twenty-somethings who don't need a waterfront hotel to make us happy.

A quick Google search for holiday office parties reveals only the obvious. The bottom line is that it's still a company function- don't be too revealing, don't flirt, and don't drink too much. But maybe these authors haven't been to one of our parties; we break EVERY rule in the book. Part of working for a young company seems to mean that people act all but professional. Our summer party was a mess and we're rampant with inner-office relationships on an ordinary day. We also do silly little awards. Remember "The Dundees" episode of The Office? Yeah, it's like that. This is more like a party with close friends than a corporate event- and maybe it's not so bad that this is the environment they have chosen to foster. I don't know too many people in their early twenties who would be up for some stuffy corporate party where fun isn't a priority.

Besides, I think it's always a good idea to take advantage of the company's generosity- it's not every day someone offers to buy me dinner and unlimited drinks. So tomorrow after work I'm going to hit up Newbury St. in the search for a classy but fun holiday dress and somewhere between now and Saturday morning I'll touch up my roots, put my best face forward and pray that I don't win "Part-Timer of the Year."


Sorry I Disappeared!

As it would turn out, I'm very clumsy, ruined my laptop and have been computerless for a few days. Expect a real update tomorrow!


So this one time I was wrong...

While back I posted a nice little rant about coffee and the never ending battle between Dunkin' and Starbucks on my friend Steve's blog.

Well fellow coffee drinkers... my sentiment rings true. Enter November and wonderousness that is the Starbucks gingerbread latte. This is $5 a day well spent if you ask me (and it's my blog, so yes, you asked me). So I have gone along for a month or so getting my daily caffeine fix with a bit of a holiday twist.

But today this stopped abruptly. No, I'm not giving up coffee and no I'm not giving up the seasonal flair, but I am giving up on Starbucks. Part of it was the abysmal (and I mean seriously, seriously awful) customer service I've received the past week or so and part of it is my love of supporting local business, but I have discovered that there are at least a dozen or so small cafes that aren't terribly far out the way featuring their own version of my favorite beverage.

Now don't worry, I'm not going to go all Jeffery Steingarten and review each of these places for you (if this disappoints you- check out my reviews on Yelp!) All I'm trying to say is that I was wrong, and that's not something I'll easily admit to often - especially when it comes to my spending habits - so this is a big deal. I learned a big lesson this week: I can get my daily latte at a lower price, with more flavor, all while basking in the coziness of a quaint cafe and skipping the crazy lines and snobby baristas at The 'Bux.

Silly me! I should've realized this long ago- Boston has tons and tons of cute indie coffee places, but better late than never, right?


As a quick apology...

So I would have posted an entry tonight, but last minute Bruins tickets 10 rows behind the goal were too good to turn down! Look forward to an exciting entry tomorrow night!


Twitter & Advertising

Something that I've realized this week is that a vast majority of my favorite tweeters are actually companies. So how is it that I can hate commercials so much, but can't get enough of advertisements in the form of 140 characters or less?

Simplicity. No fancy thrills or sexy, seductive models, straight-to-the-point text works for me (and a lot of other people too). Sure those flashy Sephora e-mails are full of millions of products I'd like but one simple tweet about free shipping actually brings in a sale.

Other companies like sports teams are equally effective. It's always nice to see a quick reminder from my beloved Bruins letting me know that they've released more tickets at student prices and even nicer to see that Blake Wheeler uses the account so I get the sense the players are real and that they care about the fans.

I myself am constantly trying to come up with new ways to use Twitter to connect to fans for my internship. We advertise sales, tweet about current merchandise, and post trendy fashion stories. It may sounds pretty simple, but it's hard work! Looking for news that is relevant and important is hard, narrowing down stories worth reading or that are likely to be read are also difficult. Something I find even stranger is that with an application that's all about being concise, for a company that's even more important. If I want our followers to retweet and comment, I need to make sure that tweets are less than 100 characters to allow for this.

But when done well, this hard work pays off. In fact, our tweets about our Black Friday sales were a huge hit and over the last few months we've done a great job of building our brand. For a second hand designer store, we're making a name for ourselves as a fashion expert- up on all the latest trends. This isn't a store for clothes that no one wanted, it's a mecca for bargain hunting fashionistas, and thanks to Twitter, we're getting the word out.

Meanwhile, my own wallet is falling for all of it- makeup, sports tickets, clothing, half-price burritos- I'm buying it all. In a world where everyone is talking about tight budgets at Christmas, advertisers need to be creative. And they certainly are. In 140 characters or less at that.


And the winners of this week's DVR lineup are...

Sundays are my least busy days of the week. I sleep in, I run a few errands, catch up on the news, and then settle in for a day of catching up on my DVR (thank God for this wonderful, wonderful invention).

Today is Monday, which means I'm getting all of my weekly recordings set, and here is what I'll be watching six days from now:

Monday Night:
-Gossip Girl. Don't judge me, Manhattan's Upper East Side is glamorous and full of drama. I can get some stellar fashion notes for my @STAConsignment tweets and get some fictional gossip, to keep real drama out of my life, all at the same time.
-One Tree Hill. Again, don't judge me! I've been watching since high school. It's the last season. I'm committed. I admit, I have a slight crush on this season's newcomer Clay, played by the gorgeous Robert Buckley (you may know him as Kirby on Lipstick Jungle).
-House. Probably the least embarrassing show on the list. I find myself a little less excited about this current season because vicodin-addict-House was so much more charming. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he got over his bad habit, but I think his sarcasm has suffered from it.
-How I Met Your Mother. This is my newest obsession. I love Ted Mosby and would like to audition for the part of "the mother." I love that Robin and I are basically the same person. I love that Neil Patrick Harris can play a very, very convincing straight man. I love Lilly's (Alyson Hannigan) inappropriate outbursts. This is one of the better concepts on TV right now AND it's narrated by Bob Saget. You can't go wrong!

Tuesday Night:
-So You Think You Can Dance. THE ideal DVR show. Why? I watch the dancing, fast-forward through the judging, and I do not watch the results show, I just Google it Thursday morning. Mary Murphy and Cat Deely are two of the most annoying women on television, but the dancing on this show is of such high quality, that I continue to watch. Recording it is the perfect solution!

Wednesday Night:
-Glee. I am in love with this show. The drama. The music. The complicated love triangles (yes, plural). After seeing the pilot early last summer, I had my doubts, but I am glad I gave this show another shot. The characters are easy to like, they are stereotypical without being unrealistic, and while they may face a lot of problems, none of them are far out of the realm of what is currently going on in high schools. Most high schools today have kids who are coming out, getting pregnant, trying to fit in etc. and while in real life they may not all also belong to a Glee club, it's still relevant.
-Top Chef: Las Vegas. I have been a Top Chef fan since season 1 and while I think that this year's contestants may be slightly boring when compared to past years, the food is anything but.

Thursday Night:
-Survivor: Samoa. Again, I've been a fan since season 1, though I stopped watching at some point and have only recently become a fan again. Russell is really making this season memorable, lying about basically everything and outsmarting everyone. He has probably screwed over every single person on the island and none of them even know! I appreciate good drama and give props to the producers for finding people still worthy of reality TV... I was beginning to think maybe everyone interesting had already been on a show!
-The Office. With all of the big character developments to the show, it is just as funny as ever. I'm a little iffy about the "recession is hurting the company" storyline, because everyone else is doing it too. Times are tough, I don't need one of my favorite sitcoms to remind me! That being said, my love of Jim Halpert will compel me to continue watching even if the writing gets bad.

Friday Night:
-The Soup. Just in case I forgot to catch anything important during the week, I can rely on Joel McHale to keep me in the loop!


Getting Ready for the Holidays

It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Tuesday marks the start of December, and my DVR is set to record about ten different holiday movies and specials in the coming week. There's no doubt about it, the holidays are here and let me tell you, I am ready.

For the last week or so, my iPod has continuously looped a playlist consisting only of the three Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas albums, Josh Groban's holiday CD, and that annoying Mariah Carrey version of "All I Want for Christmas Is You." I was no sooner done eating turkey and apple pie on Thursday when I just had to watch Love Actually on TV and today I went to see my little cousin dance as Fritz in Boston Ballet's The Nutcracker.

Growing up we had the best holiday traditions. We went to my aunt and uncle's house in NH in early December to select the perfect tree from their Christmas tree farm. On Christmas Eve the whole family would gather at my grandparents' house for seven courses of seafood and presents. On Christmas itself, my granny would make a pot roast and spoil us silly with presents.

But with time, traditions have changed. My parents don't go crazy with decorating now that my sister and I have moved out and my roommates think I'm crazy for wanting to buy a real tree (which I expect them to help set up in our third floor walk-up). We still have Christmas Eve dinner with all that fish, but people have moved and there are fewer of us. My grandmother has cut back to a sensible amount of gifts but the pot roast is still amazing.

And despite these changes, I am still looking forward to the holidays as much as ever. My daily gingerbread soy lattes and never-ending lists of people to send cards to really seem to help.

Meanwhile, this year I find myself getting ready for the holidays at work as well. At CSN I am busy making sure that all of the holiday requests are in and that we're finding coverage for them. This coming Monday is the infamous "Cyber Monday," the e-commerce equivalent of Black Friday. At Second Time Around we had a post-Thanksgiving sale all weekend and we're encouraging people to stop in for gifts as well as fabulous outfits for holiday parties.

Oddly enough, I think that Twitter is the source of much of my early holiday cheer, both work-wise and personal-wise. Using Twitter to advertise holiday sales and seeing the holidays under trending topics is helping me realize that I am not the only nutcase out there who starts celebrating over a month early!


Today I discovered...

Today I discovered Orkut, Google's social networking service. I've been looking through the profile options and setting it up. Honestly, I think that Google is trying to get a little too personal if you ask me. These questions went way beyond Facebook. Yes I have a strategically placed tattoo, but does anyone need to know about it? I'm not so sure.

On the upside, there are some features that I wish the more popular Facebook had. Right off the bat you can tell this is a Google product- intuitive, easy to use, clean layout, and the familiar chat interface. There is also quite a bit more detail on the work and education section. There are more opportunities to showcase oneself in a professional sense which improves the business networking feature. I'm going to keep playing around with this to see what my thoughts are the more I use it.

This week I also got a Google Wave account, still not sure how much I like it. Unlike their other products, I'm not finding it as intuitive... I'm a little confused about where and how to begin. It doesn't help that my friends who are using it right now aren't the people I would generally use this program with- we talk socially, not collaboratively. I'd really like more opportunity to use it in the way it is intended.

In actuality, it's been a very Google-ish week for me between a few friends suddenly discovering how great g-chat is and me being in one of my organizational moods and going a little crazy with the calendar... A few weeks ago, The Metro highlighted the company as they are expanding their facilities in nearby Cambridge. It's the top company to work for according to pretty much everyone, so with graduation soon, it's nice to know that they are now right next door.

Orkut Update:
I'm having trouble figuring out how to tag pictures which is really very frustrating, starting to think it's a bug with Safari perhaps. Otherwise, I'm starting to like it. Yes, some of the questions seem a bit "high school" and very TMI, but for the most part I actually like the interface a lot. Now I guess I'll just have to convince all of my friends to try it out too. From the 94 contacts in my address book using GMail, only one had an Orkut account and it looks like he used it once and then abandoned it. But hey, maybe everyone will catch on.



So this is my boring first entry. This week I have launched my website www.amandajeanmeyer.com which I am using as both a personal site and a way to showcase what I have been doing with social media as a companion to my resume.

I'll be posting all of my exciting updates to this blog along with other entries about what has been going on in my life here in Boston.