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This Rainy Day Playlist Will Keep You Dry Today

30 Sep

It’s a rainy, wet day here in Boston. Looks like it’s raining in a bunch of other places too.

That makes it the perfect day to listen to my rainy day playlist.

That’s right. Not only do I have a summer playlist and a July 4th playlist, I have one for rainy days too.

Like those others, all the songs on this playlist have one thing in common: They reference a word — in this case, “rain” (or some variant of it) — in a significant way. (Or it’s “Umbrella,” which, I guess, is so essential to this mix that four versions of it are included.)

Here’s what’s on my rainy day playlist, in no particular order: Continue reading

Not So Sunny Days

6 Feb

I’ll be honest … At least on the surface, as far as any of you can tell, life is going pretty well for me these days.

I have two new nephews, two weeks ago I got “stuck” and had to spend an extra day in Las Vegas thanks to a snow storm back east, and this past week it happened again, only this time I was in Key Biscayne, Florida.

As I keep telling people: Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

But I have to say, I wish everything was as glamorous and fun as it seems. Continue reading

I Love These Days

3 Apr

During the cold winter months, my friend Todd often asks me why I don’t leave the northeast and move out to Los Angeles, where he lives. After all, it never snows there and the weather is near perfect more often than it’s not (just like Randy Newman sang in his famous song). Well, you want to know why? It’s because of days like today. Days so nice and warm and sunny and clear, days that come after a long cold winter and lots of heavy rain, days that you can’t help but appreciate because they haven’t happened for a few months. (Not including the tease a couple weeks ago.) Do the Los Angelenos notice the change of seasons? Doubtful. But we do here in Boston, and it’s awesome living here this time of year.

Everything’s better in the springtime in Boston. The temperatures are warmer. The skies are bluer. Clouds are fewer. Ice cream tastes better. People are more social. They’re better looking too. Baseball’s back and hope for the Sox springs eternal. Moods are better. More stuff’s going on. People are out in the street, shedding layers and smiling. I’ve got a more positive, optimistic outlook on life. To put it most simply, I’m happier. (I guess there really is something to be said for that Seasonal Affective Disorder crap after all.)

Today and tomorrow it’s going to be near 80 degrees. I’ve got my shorts on and a tshirt, and I’m ready to get outside and do stuff. Hopefully the bad weather is all behind us now. But even if it’s not, to paraphrase Billy Joel, “I love these days” and I can’t wait to enjoy them.

Thanks Again, Google Maps

21 Mar

Yesterday, with the temperature up in the lower 70s and the sun shining bright, I decided I had two options for how to spend my day: I could go for a long drive or I could go for a long walk.

I decided to combine the two and head out to the outlets in Wrentham. Continue reading

The Time of the Season

16 Mar

Driving home from work tonight, with the sun shining, my sunglasses on, the window down, traffic moving well, and my radio playing loudly (song of choice: Owl City’s “Fireflies“), I was reminded of just how much I love this time of year. And sure, it’s easy to be happy when three days of heavy rain have just ended, but it’s more than that. It’s the confluence of the changed weather, a bright sun, Daylight Savings Time, and warmer temperatures that just make me so happy this time of year. And … It’s the start of baseball season. It’s the opening of the ice cream stand at Pizzi Farm. It’s the impending arrival of golf season. It’s the reappearance of runners and bikers up and down Comm Ave. It’s … alright, fine, it’s mostly the increased sunlight and the warmer temperatures after a long, cold winter.

And it’s the happier mood of everyone around me too. How they all seem to come out of their winter cocoons all at once. Where I work, on days like today, the sun just shines on us through the window at 3 p.m. and practically blinds us — despite the shades. (Seriously. Someone today told me he had broken a sweat.) All of a sudden, there’s a buzz in the air. More people are laughing. People can’t sit still. No one is working. After all, it’s hard to concentrate when you know it’s so nice outside. There are so many other places you’d rather be.

So as we begin a stretch of days where the high temperatures are going to be in the 60s and the forecast is calling for a lot of sun, I hope I’m not jumping the gun tooooo much by wishing you a very Happy Spring. Woo hoo!

Cold Comfort

18 Dec

It got very cold here in Boston this week, and for me, among other things, that meant it was time to stop pussyfooting around and break out the winter coat. Normally, that would bring me little joy. After all, putting on a heavy coat (and scarf) for the first time in the season means an acceptance that winter is actually here, and will be for the next three-to-four months (at least). But Thursday I felt an odd sense of comfort when I put on my winter coat. As I unzipped the pockets, there, right where I had left them, were my gloves and my 180s ear warmers. And in another pocket was a packet of tissues. It’s kind of nice to know that nearly nine months after I hung up my coat for the year, these things were still in the same place and ready for one more season of use.

It’s a minor thing, I know, but when you hate winter as much as I do, anything that makes these frigid days more bearable is appreciated.

It Was a Beautiful Day

25 Oct

People often ask me, “Martin, if you don’t like cold weather, why have you stayed in the Northeast your entire life?”

And invariably, my answer is, “Because of days like today.” Continue reading

And to Think That I Saw It on Newbury Street

26 Apr

With all due apologies to Dr. Seuss, today was a great day to be out and about in the Back Bay area. Not that I saw anything soooo exciting, but the sights and sounds were nice enough that I thought they merited a quick blog post.

The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the weather was warm, there was a pleasant breeze at times, a parade was going by on Boylston St., musicians were playing in the Public Garden, flowers were in bloom, stores were practically empty, outside dining areas were crowded, people were wearing less clothing … and I took it all in with a great big smile on my face.

This has been a really great weekend and it’ll be a bummer to have to be back in the office tomorrow. Continue reading

Get Out!

25 Apr

“Unseasonably warm” is one of my favorite phrases, and I’ve been hearing it a lot in the past couple days because temperatures are in the 70s and 80s this weekend.

You know, people who live in cities that are warm year-round (like Los Angeles) often kid me about why I stay in Boston when it’s so cold in the winter.

Invariably, I tell them it’s because of days and weekends like this.

When, after a long, cold, snowy winter, the weather finally gets warm and sunny, and we have our first taste of spring (or, in this case, summer) weather.

Everyone goes outside, has a smile on their face, and is just happy.

You dig the shorts out from your dresser drawers and put on a short-sleeve shirt, maybe also some flip-flops.

You go for a walk, or maybe you get in the car, put the windows down, and turn the radio up.

There are lines at ice cream places.

The malls are empty.

The Red Sox are winning.

And it’s awesome.

When you’ve not had warm days like this in so long, you just appreciate them more.

Last night I got out of work a little early, got home, changed into a pair of shorts, and went for a walk around the reservoir over here by Cleveland Circle.

All kinds of people were out. I even bumped into some friends.

The sky was blue, the air was warm, I had my iPod on, I was getting some exercise, and it all felt really good.

I’ll probably make another couple loops today (at least) and a couple more tomorrow.

I love spring in Boston.

Really, why would I want to live anywhere else?

Tube Tops

31 Jan

Generally, I try to stay inside when it’s cold out. I’m not a skiier and I can’t get too excited about many winter activities. But Saturday, I jumped at the chance to go tubing — even if it meant an hour-long trek up to Amesbury. I layered up, putting on jeans and sweatpants; a tshirt, hooded sweatshirt and a hooded winter coat; and of course, gloves and a scarf — not because I needed protection from getting banged up or anything, but because it was damned cold out! But it was worth it.

The Amesbury Sports Park charges just $20 for three hours of tubing, and though we only stayed just over two hours, we still went up and down seven times — more than enough. Some hills were thinner and faster than others (I was told they’ve clocked a speed of just under 60 mph on the fastest ones), but no matter if we went tandem, on a wider path or a thinner one, if we went feet first or lying on our stomach, if we faced front the whole way or if we were spinning around, it was a great time. None of us went so fast that we couldn’t break and ended up on Route 495, so that’s good. None of us got hurt. And, truth be told, it wasn’t even that cold; the layered-up thing worked quite well. Would I run back to Amesbury to do this again? No. But now that I’ve done it, I can spend the rest of the winter nestled safely and warmly on my couch (under my Slanket, of course).

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