24 June 2009

something cheery to brighten your rainy tuesday [edit: wednesday. fail.]

this unrelenting rainy nastiness has GOT TO QUIT. this week has been AWFUL so far [edit: i'm over it, the whole thing. no need to spread the negativity.]

so to make myself feel better and to hopefully spread some joy this morning:
i give you baby kevin in a clown suit.

it toootally worked and made you laugh at your desk, didn't it.

thanks/sorry kev. and plz find those yellow chucks in your size [now.]

in other news: the band formerly known as "baker" is wonderful and TPB had the privilege of catching up with them at shay's last night, so good. the somerville jazz and blues festival is tomorrow at the armory and you should totally go. saturday is going to be FANTASTIC as TPB will be downstairs at the middle east covering taxpayer, thick as thieves, the good north, the information and barnicle. and sunday is lake street dive.

c'mon, wednesday. just make it 5:15 so i can catch my train home, go to dali or punjabi dhaba with preston for a long anticipated lady date, and then passsss out so that thursday can be here already. i heard a rumor that the sun is supposed to come out tomorrow. i'll believe it when i see it.

22 June 2009

because i'm totally vain:

ok so these are the unedited shots of lara callahan. but i lurve them. and i think these are the only photos that actually capture ME that i've seen in awhile. elci, i love you girl! also: the photos of jessie and gab are miiiindblowingly gorgeous.

in other news: life? thanks for letting me know today that i dodged a HUUUUUUUUUGE bullet. i refuse to surrender my grocery store. (jessie gets it.) jessie, you're really great.

photos: the girls of teaparty boston.

hey friends. we're still working out the kinks over at teaparty boston (and it's taking a lot longer than we'd like belieeeeve me), but we had our very first photo shoot and got to pretend to be models for an evening. here are my favorite shots of gab, jessie and myself. we really can't thank lara callahan enough for making us feel like goddesses and working a camera better than anyone i've ever met. so, lara, we love you! [also, do yourself a favor and check out her site. it's bangin'.]

we're launching this week. i PROMISE I PROMISE I PROMISE. in other news: boston, cut the shit with this rain. i'm not kidding anymore. it's the last week of june. give me some sunshine. love, hil.

20 June 2009

stulle-berlin wallets: definitely worth the international shipping fee.

almost exactly two years ago, los and i were finishing up eurodyssey, the two week trek we took from istanbul to amsterdam after our semester in spain came to a close. we started in istanbul, then moved onto the greek islands for a few days, then hopped on a plane to amsterdam and spent the last leg of the trip in berlin, one of my absolute favorite cities in the whole wide world. my friend konstantin, who i had met in my latin american econ class in granada, is a berliner and he oh so generously offered to play tourguide to los and i during our stay in germany's capital.

konstantin was the best possible friend we could've hoped for in berlin: he knew the city like the back of his hand and made it his personal mission to make sure that we saw all tourist attractions and all local underground spots in every neighborhood in our 3 full days there, which is no easy feat seeing as berlin is MASSIVE. knowing that we're fiends for anything shiny or pretty or beautiful and creative, konstantin took us to Hackescher Markt in West Berlin near Alexanderplatz to mosey through the community of boutiques, galleries and show rooms. i've been shopping in paris, buenos aires, rome, tokyo, all MAJOR fashion capitals of the world, and i haven't seen ANYTHING like the shops of berlin: Each store was literally a design studio where the decor was just as eye-catching as the goods and garb on display. when i say we spent HOURS leafing through hand-pressed comic books and trying on dresses that were silk-screened by the designer who happened to be working the register too i'm not exaggerating. los and i were totally enthralled with the hackescher markt, not gonna lie.

anyways, the point of all this "ICH LIEBE DICH BERLIN" business is to talk about stulle-berlin. my big purchase when we were there was a wallet that i found in this tiny, airy studio in the district that was essentially chock full o' gorgeous billfolds and bags and belts. the 45 EUR pricetag slightly deterred me at first, but nothing was going to stop me from getting that wallet. i had been using some shoddy urban outfitters canvas wallet that was entirely too big, and it was falling apart anyway... so yeah. long story short, i sucked it up and bought this beautiful baby:

two years later and we're still so happy together.
i think it may be love.

but ANYWAYS! i've been meaning to look up stulle for ages just in case, god forbid, my wallet happens to disappear or wind up, gasp, stolen. bored on the train home yesterday, i googled it on my blackberry and found, to my delight, that YES! stulle has a website. [i don't know why i assumed they wouldn't; at the time they seemed like a small operation, but now stulle wallets are being sold in the giftshop at the MoMA and it seems to be the only place where you can purchase them in the states.] i'm browsing through it this morning as i'm sitting here waiting for los to pick me up for our breakfast date [ohhh biscuit, i miss frequenting you on a daily basis!], and i'm dangerously close to picking up a new one. favorites from the site that i've seen so far:

i'm stoked that they now have leather ones instead of vinyl/imitation leather, so that may be my default wallet. i can't bring myself to throw away my blue beauty just yet, but i think it may be time for a replacement soon enough. i'm definitely eyeing the leather one. thoughts?

in other news: McAlister Drive is playing at precinct tonight and jessie and i will definitely be in attendance. if you want to see me [maybe!] sing with peter loring and the good time band around 10, or if you want to see jessie shaking a tambourine like a maniac with christoph and the boys, come by precinct around 10. dance dance pahtee timez for EVERYONE!

18 June 2009

The TeaParty Boston Blog is UP!


[just a heads up: this is in no way indicative of what the site will look like a week from now. it's taken longer than we'd like to put the final touches on our beta version and we don't feel comfortable launching TPB until everything is just the way we want it. as a compromise, we started contributing to our blog in hopes of getting people out to the shows and events we're covering over the next couple of weeks. as soon as teaparty boston is up and running expect a very, very big ol' YAY from me and many links so that you can go and check it out asap.]

17 June 2009

Spice Thai, 24 Holyoke Street, Cambridge: DON'T. EAT. HERE.

warning, friends: this is going to get graphic.

as a veteran of the food service industry, it takes a lot for me to discourage anyone from going to any eatery. shit happens: people have bad days and forget to put order slips into the kitchen, fridges break in the middle of the night spoiling produce and dairy, restaurants become short-staffed and frenzied if someone calls in sick with the flu. restaurants, cafes, bars and coffeehouses are especially susceptible to falling apart at the seams over a minute thing, but there are some standards that need to be set and observed, obviously, and serving ROTTING FOOD to customers? definitely not something you do, regardless of how crazy things get in a kitchen or how stressed you are. so, spice thai of cambridge? i'm officially you calling you out as a disgusting restaurant unfit for serving people.

last saturday, we ordered takeout from spice thai outside of central square while we were in the midst of a TPB production meeting. i was the only one out of the four of us who got anything different: gab, milap and jessie all had pad thai, while i went with tom kha gai (coconut chili soup with chicken) and the "special pad thai" (pad thai with wide egg noodles instead of normal ones.) we ate, we finished the meeting, i went home, blah blah blah.

fast forward to noon the next day: i felt DISGUSTING. i felt bloated, feverish, hung over and gross, and i hadn't been boozing the night before so it made absolutely no sense that i felt this way. i couldn't shake the feeling all day, and on monday i was literally doubled over in my cubicle at work feeling like an alien was going to explode out of my insides sigourney weaver style.

long story short: i spent every single day last week feeling like something was very, very wrong. i was told by my doctor that food poisoning, though violent, unpleasant and instantaneous, should only last up to MAX 48 hours and that me having these symptoms for over 5 days was a major red flag. after two trips to my doctor, a day home sick from work and a solid week of eating nothing but saltines and bananas, i just wanted answers. my friends insisted i go to the hospital, my family insisted i bail on the planned trip to maine we had set for that weekeend, and i was getting delirious and exhausted from oh, NOT EATING. i gave the doc a sample (the least pleasant kind you can think of, blaghhhh) and they did the lab work.

my doctor called me yesterday with the results. the verdict? there were "extremely dangerous levels" of campylobacter in my system, which is the bacteria that causes nasty food poisoning and comes from eating rotten chicken or coming into contact with feces. ROTTEN. CHICKEN. OR SHIT!?

spice thai in cambridge: having one of your customers keeling and puking and doing god knows what else and being unable to eat or function or even keep down fluids for over 5 DAYS is UNBELIEVABLE. is it that difficult to keep track of the groceries you prepare? is it that difficult to mark the soups you serve, the chicken you keep and the stock you use? is it that difficult to make your employees wash their hands, clean the utensils they prepare food with and make sure that they, oh, i don't know, adhere to regulations set for them by the department of health in order to ensure the wellbeing of their customers and employees? this problem is so easily avoidable and it has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the "restaurants get crazy" clause i mentioned above. my sickness was caused by ignorance, laziness and neglect, not stress, an inadequate number of people on duty or demanding customers.

and oh, it gets better! i called spice thai yesterday to tell them hey, i was sick because of food they prepared, maybe they should check out the chicken/potential transferral of poop problem in their kitchen. the woman on the phone hung up on me the first time, and when i called back to speak to a manager she told me that he wouldn't be in until friday. um, i called on a tuesday. i mentioned to her on the phone that i was filing a complaint because i had contracted severe food poisoning from their cuisine and that it needed to be resolved right away. she insisted i call back on friday.

the verdict: if you value your stomach, your small intestine, your colon, and your sanity, do not under any circumstances order takeout or frequent spice thai restaurant at 24 holyoke street in cambridge, massachusetts. i don't know about you, but i'd feel more comfortable checking out one of the other amazing culinary establishments in the area as opposed to going to a restaurant that serves tainted food and refuses to deal with an urgent problem having to do with their neglect to consider the safety of their patrons. spice thai in cambridge? you suck. and your pad thai is mediocre at best.

if you're looking for GOOD, NON-POISONING THAI FOOD: check out pho n' rice, sugar and spice and spice and rice, all within a stones throw of central, harvard and porter squares. they've all been delicious and affordable in the past and i'd gladly send more traffic their way then to spice thai.

16 June 2009

tim burton career retrospective at the MoMA: so far awaaay!

from The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories, Tim Burton, 2009. Found at the MoMA's exhibition page.

the lovely miss jules brought this my attention via fbook this morning and I CAN'T WAIT FOR NOVEMBER. i love tim burton so much it hurts sometimes and the moma is probably one of my favorite museums in the world [second only to reina sofia in madrid and la MALBA in buenos aires.] i really can't wait to see this. the MoMA's exhibit on tim burton's work will run from November 22, 2009 through August of 2010: for those of you who plan on visiting the MoMA before this trip or feel like checking out the museum anyways (which i strongly encourage you to do should you be in new york anytime soon), keep in mind that the museum is closed each tuesday and that it's free to get in each and every friday night between the hours of 4 and 8pm.

(and in all seriousness, this "i haven't been to new york in aaaages i should come for a visit!" thing really needs to stop and i just need to suck it up, buy a bus ticket and head down to my home away from home for a little bit. my weeks have been filling up SO FAST these days, what with TPB events and concerts and photo shoots and interviews and, uh, work... yeah. i'm not sleeping very much. i'm okay with that in the best of ways.)

where hil can be found this week: coolidge corner tonight, my bed tomorrow, passion pit/harlem shakes thursday at the 'dise, hopefully going to see "the hangover" friday and then up to the homestead for my stepsister's graduation party saturday, all before making it back to the 'ville for mcalister drive's jailhouse residency at precinct on saturday night, and then sunday it's the antlers at the middle east upstairs and then the sea monsters, as usual, on sunday night. WHEW. busy girl she is, this hil.

and ps, new england: quit it with this rain. seriously. i'm wearing a sweater, scarf and beanie to work today. it's halfway through june. knock it off.

15 June 2009

"i have a cigarette and a beer. mama needs a break." - marcy, dock at the lakehouse circa 10:45 friday night.

since friday evening, i've eaten/drunk my weight in burgers/steak/beer/french toast/cinnabuns/more beer/more steak, spooned with my best friends, gotten into noodle fights, gone swimming in the rain in 60 degree weather (and LOVED IT) and survived a weekend of fun in the sun on the lake without a sunburn.

and then i came home and went to three shows (the sweet & lo-down at upstairs on the square, followed by natalie portman's shaved head at tt's, followed by the sea monsters duh) and woke up this morning at 7:35 [aka 6 minutes after my train to work left from south station. oof.] i still have mom's suv [i borrowed it for the drive to maine] and all i gotta say is automobiles are MAGICAL once you've got one in your possession and you're no longer dependent on public transportation during rush hour. i made it to work in 40 minutes, slept in and drove through a drive-thru starbucks before getting to the office.

i could probably be more verbose/articulate about how wonderful the past few days have been, but the long and the short of it is i'm such a lucky, lucky person and i'm loving life so much right now.

09 June 2009


today marks day three of feeling like a pukey nasty mess.  i've been curled on my couch in the fetal position for the past 12 hours and called out sick today.  saltines, peanut butter and bananas? A GIRL NEEDS REAL FOOD DAMMIT! WHY CAN'T I JUST EAT LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!? WHYYYY?!  this is pretty bad, but what makes it infinitely worse, you ask?

today is the jimmy fund scooper bowl down at city hall plaza and christoph and the rest of mcalister drive will be there rocking out while scarfing all you can eat ice cream.



06 June 2009

the happy list, "i'm up way too early on a saturday morning and i love it!" edition.

1) the whole wheat special scones and the cappuccinos over at the biscuit. they change on a daily basis, but today it's a whole wheat brown sugar peach scone and i can think of nothing better for breakfast... especially on an overcast, dreary morning like today. i thought i'd be beating the crowd by getting here around 9 and i was sorely mistaken - there's a line around the block and most of the tables are full. [and, oh hey! i wrote a blurb on this very scone this week over at 3 Buck Bites. you can find the expression of my undying love and affection for this breakfast pastry here.]

2) paychecks... because i'm finally getting one again. after 4 months going without, your darling hil can finally look at her ATM receipts again because she has found a JOB. it's at a great company with great people and the only hang-up is that the commute is a biiiitch.it's kind of funny, because after i got the "real" job offer i was offered a bartending gig at bukowski, which would've kiiiind of been a dream come true... but yeah. i went with the desk job and now have a cubicle. but hey, whatever man, i'm employed. i'd be lying if i said i didn't slightly miss my funemployment a bit, but it's so, so, so so so so nice to be productive and have "real" responsibilities again. and oh yeah. being able to pay rent is pretty sweet, too, especially because this means i can sign my lease again and stay in my lovely little apartment :)

3) jessie's moving to this side of the river this weekend! j-rog is making the move to inman square from allston. this means that all of my best friends now live within a 15 minute drive of my apartment. well, except for marcy. marcy's still over in the land of yuppies, toddlers who wear more expensive shoes than i do and the best kosher brunches known to man [aka: brookline.]

4) in 6 days a bunch of my friends and i are heading up to my aunt's lakehouse and I. AM. SO. EX. CI. TED. a weekend full of barbeques, night swimming, bonfires, nearly forgotten '50s style diners and barnyard antique fairs? sign. me. up. the place is on long lake and is about an hour outside of portland, and i haven't been up there in about three summers or so. to say i'm looking forward to it would be understatement of the year. hopefully we won't burn down the place/get hit by a moose/OD on s'mores, and keep your fingers crossed that we don't have any of this weather while we're up there.

5) i picked up the latest Rolling Stone and nearly squealed when i saw the cover. frankly, i don't care that lady gaga's on there wearing bubbles and looking like herself. (i can't stand gaga, in case you were wondering. if she and katy perry were to be thrown into the boxing ring i would 110% gun for perry and i have no doubt that i'd walk out of that match a rich woman.) i was super excited because david lachappelle shot the cover and i love his work. he's the man responsible for that britney spears cover with the teletubby that everyone freaked about, and he shot pretty much every other fantastical, imaginative image that's graced the cover of the magazine for the past 15 years or so. maybe it's a sign that rolling stone is gonna make a comeback? maybe? c'mahn, jann.

6) talks with mariska hargitay and christopher meloni were successful and law & order: svu will see an 11th season. the fact that i am adding this to a happy list at all makes me hate myself a little bit but i cannot deny my inexplicable obsession with that tv show.

7) things are actually happening with tea party boston. i don't want to say too much too soon, but we're going to be bringing you exclusive, intimate interviews, some of the silliest/coolest photos you've ever seen and quirky features you won't find anywhere else right out of the gate. if you're sick of your arts & entertainment scene in boston going unnoticed, we're going to fix that, so keep an eye on us. [and we have business cards now. i guess that really makes us legit.]

8) i just realized that since i'm at the biscuit i can pick up a fresh loaf of homemade multigrain bread instead of spending $7.99 at shaw's for the iggy's pullman's loaf. one check off the grocery list, sweeeet. [and yes. i get that excited about bread.]

9) this is shaping up to be a summer chock full o' fantastic concerts. in the next two months, i'm going to be seeing passion pit, thick as thieves [edit: i met them. they're adorable. i want to be best friends with this band and you should too because they are great.] the harlem shakes, magic magic, the low anthem, lake street dive, taxpayer, casiotone for the painfully alone, mcalister drive, and obviously, the sea monsters. i live within a stone's throw of the lizard lounge, the middle east, tt the bear's place, precinct, toad, and the paradise rock club: could a pop culture/all-things-music junky be any luckier?

10) i also realized that this summer has the potential to be the best summer yet, i think. i was walking down beacon street to the biscuit this morning and passed a house that has a sprawling rose bush crawling up its front walls and porch banisters. these roses were bright red, vibrant, and unapologetically open, and when this massive grin spread over my sleepy face i took these flowers to be some kind of omen that there's only beauty ahead, however fleeting it may be, and that it's so important to recognize good when you've got it going for you. that rosebush was the best wake up call a person could ever get.

happy saturday, guys. go out and spend the day hanging out with your favorite people and doing what you love. that's exactly what i'll be doing.

04 June 2009

hil went to sarah lawrence, hil graduated, and a year later hil is....?

i just realized that it's been over a year since my commencement from sarah lawrence came and went. the culmination of my undergraduate education was pretty anticlimactic, but the year since then? i guess you could say it's been tumultuous/enthralling/liberating/ecstatic/orgasmic/abusive/satisfying/real.

since graduation, i've accomplished/experienced the following:

-got lost in translation in tokyo (oh my god i'm so witty/facepalm) in soooo many ways

-signed my very first lease on my very first apartment in one of my very favorite cities in the whole wide world

-beefed up my arts & entertainment press portfolio while contributing columns/music/arts pieces to chicks with guns, stuff magazine and go2 media

-applied for 3094850298348 jobs, landed a pretty sick one and got laid off four months later, agh

-loved hard and lost big and, gasp, got over it, even though it took months for it to happen

-learned how to ride my bike in rush hour traffic

-watched the first of my friends get married

-lost touch with old acquaintances; acquired new darling, wonderful friends

-relished in my unemployment and capitalized on the opportunities it gave me to nest, really take care of myself, satisfy countless creative urges and work on my fitness like a madwoman

-saw 93840298304298340283 concerts and met about half of the bands who played them

-watched my parents endure one of the worst tragedies a family can go through and loved them infinitely more than i thought possible when they lived through it

-ate red velvet cake on my 23rd birthday in the company of 25 of my absolute favorite people on the planet

-realized that i will never be the type who just "does it for the money", that i'm meant to do great things, and that i'm the only person who can get in my own way

-oh, yeah. and i cut my hair and got my nose pierced.

so, yeah. a year ago, i was caught up in all things new york: pinching myself over my days at rolling stone, nursing a pretty hefty caffeine addiction courtesy of my most dysfunctional of second families at slave to the grind, getting my ass kicked by the city on a daily basis only to run back to it in order to convince myself that i was alive and making the most of sharing manhattan with an incredible assortment of fascinating people i was lucky enough to call dear friends. today, i'm living in an apartment that finally feels like my home, spending every minute out of the office in the company of lively, lovable people and doing everything i possibly can to make sure that i'll be doing what i love and what i was born to be doing sooner rather than [too] later.

that's not so bad for a year, now, is it?