15 August 2010

hear ye! hear ye! i got the dream job!

snapped on the roofdeck at fenway park yesterday before the j. geils band/aerosmith concert by the lovely jsutt. (more on last night later.)



you can read the official press release here. [disclaimer: olde english abounds. i love this paper so much.]

to say that this is a dream come true is, well, completely accurate. i feel like the luckiest little journo in the world. (not to get all cheesy and everything.)

so, with that said, i'm gonna be maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad busy for the next couple of months. david - who was promoted from a+e editor to editor of the dig - put it pretty perfectly: "you're not gonna hit the ground running. you're gonna hit the ground FLYING." i. cannot. wait. to. get. started.

so yeah. if you guys weren't picking up the weekly dig every wednesday before, you sure as hell better be now ;)


04 August 2010

Hil in the Dig this week: Newport Folk, Ladies Rock and more...

that's l'il ol' me interviewing taylor goldsmith of dawes and mr. john shade at newport folk 2010. photo: jess hodge

today, i ran out, bought a baguette, a hunk of manchego and a chocolate bar, and sat down on my couch with the fan pointed directly at me for a day-long Top Chef marathon. why the laziness/comfort food? after this past weekend, which was filled with the music festival of my dreams, quality time with best friends/partners in crime and some good ol' fashioned late night debauchery, i. am. beat.

it's cool, though, because i spent all day writing yesterday and today. what have i been working on? The Newport Folk Festival Run-Down, Day 1 and Day 2 for the Weekly Dig.

covering newport folk this year was inspiring and enlightening, to say the very least. i saw one of the best live sets of my life courtesy of Dawes. i hung out along the waterfront with Christian Letts of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros after their set that nearly had to be cancelled due to the insane crowd that swarmed the stage. i got to catch up with the Matt the Ice Cream Man and see how his road trippin' series is going.

to single out one moment of the weekend would be tricky. OH WAIT. no, actually, it wouldn't be tricky at all. i got to sit down with my favorite band, the Avett Brothers, and talk about their music and their contribution to the Newport Folk legacy before their set on sunday.

i gush about them in the second day of the Dig's Newport Folk blog writeups, but there's really so much more that could be said for these guys. maybe i'll post the transcript from the interview here eventually. in the meantime, i'll let you look at jess' absolutely phenomenal photographs [PLEASE look at her tumblr, by the way] that she snapped during the interview and the avett brothers set on the fort stage:

scott avett backstage. swoooooon?

seth avett backstage.
this man singing "the ballad of love and hate" brings me to tears, always.

this dude is a four-stringed wailin' wonder.

bob crawford, aka one of the best bass players in existence.

can we talk about seth's hair here, please?

aaaaaand a banjo-gasm from scott avett.
please and thank you.

in addition to my newport fangirly glee, i also have a piece in print making the rounds this week - a lady rock showdown for an upcoming show at the middle east! if you pick up the dig this week, you'll find my feature on women in boston rock in the arts & entertainment section. this was one of the most fun photoshoots i've ever worked with mikey (mad props for such a stellar photo, mr. basu) and hanging out with the girls of this blue heaven, the downbeat 5, the sun lee sun beam, st. helena, do not forsake me oh my darling and naked on rollerskates was great great great. also, can we talk about this photo?

so, folks, that's what i've been up to :) pick up the dig or check it out online, but either way, you'll be reading some stuff of mine!

now, it's off to family dinner at dalí and hopefully a pimm's cup this evening or something. august, how did you show up so fast?


30 July 2010


a'right, kids! jess and i are awaiting the arrival of mr. ryan and then the lot of us are all roadtripping it down to the happiest place on earth (aka newport, rhode island) for the 51st annual Newport Folk Festival.

i am excited for the following reasons:

1) i am officially interviewing my favorite band of all time.

2) i am going to dance like a crazy person to the sounds of my newest favorite band (dawes) and another tried and true favorite that i'm so stoked to see again (sharon jones and the dap kings).

3) i am going to somehow find a bonfire dance party tomorrow night. this will happen.

4) quality time with partner-in-crime jess hodge and cristina (who will be working the festival on behalf of honest tea! yeeeeah!)

5) peach cream cheese muffins; fried clams.


i'll be blogging the big show all weekend at WeeklyDig.com and Jess' photos will be up there too, so bookmark it and come along with us for the ride, kids.

see you monday.

29 July 2010

dream interpretation, anyone?

image: greenweddingshoes. (this website makes me want to get married. it doesn't necessarily make me want to BE married - it just makes me want to have a beautiful, ridiculous wedding.)

okay. so, this morning, i woke up thoroughly confused/freaked out. see, i rarely dream, and when i do it's usually in black and white, and last night i had a DOOZY. granted, am i overwhelmed a bit at the moment and falling behind on the current piece i'm writing for the dig and trying to pack for newport and therefore stressed? sure. but hey, i'm always stressed by normal people standards, so this shouldn't be affecting my REM cycle, right?

anyways. the dream:

don't remember when the dream kicked off, exactly, but we were in a huge, fancy hotel in what i assume was boston and i was getting married to one of my good guy friends, let's call him bob. (bob and i have no romantic history and i've never had so much as a crush on him - no offense to bob as he's wonderful - but we don't really hang out as much as we used to, so this is also weird. also, i guarantee you that my subconscious doesn't want us to fall in love or anything.) so in the dream, i spend the morning getting ready for this wedding in this huge embarrassingly fancy looking hotel with my mother and the other women in my family. these women, in real life, don't necessarily get along and have a history as such, but they're all working together to get me pretty for the wedding. don't recall much about the dress, besides it's strapless, big, and my veil is huuuuuge.

bob comes in while i'm getting ready and i get upset (the whole "you're not supposed to see the bride before the wedding!" shabang), and then the next thing i know it's wedding time and bob is up front with all his groomsmen (including my brother) and then i get up there and notice that my bridesmaids are only my stepsister and alanna (my cousin) and then i freak out when i realize that my friends are missing. where's marcy and maya and jen and karen and everybody else? and, most importantly, where's los? (common knowledge: los is my best friend and has been since we were kids. obviously, should i ever get married, she'd be my maid of honor.) i get pushed through the wedding, bob looks all excited, and we go to exchange rings and i don't have one, only he does - i just have my engagement ring (which was huge in the dream) and i give him his wedding band. when i ask where mine is, he just says, "oh, you forgot to get it ahead of time, remember?" .... weird?

anyways, reception happens and i'm upset because my friends aren't around and i ask my mom about it and she tells me flat outright that my friends aren't coming and that they weren't invited. this shocks me for multiple reasons. it'd be one thing if my mom didn't like my friends/los, but that's ridiculous - she loves los and she loves my friends - and i get upset and my mom gets visibly angry and walks away. i can't find bob anywhere, and then i woke up.


a) WTF

and b) HALP. what does this mean. someone point me in the direction of a dream interpretation website or something because i don't get it. i'm 100% sure i don't want to get married right now so that can't be it, and i know that this isn't a YOU AND BOB SHOULD BE TOGETHER! dream because that's just absurd. this is just bonkers. anyways, glad i got it off my chest because now i have to go transcribe an hour of tape and whip up a good feature for the next issue of the dig. ah, life.


27 July 2010

"do you want me to come over?" the answer is always yes.

this lady has the right idea. bed, paris, gazillion thread count sheets, bliss.
(photo courtesy of one of my favorite blogs on the planet, so much to tell you. (hey, girls - if you want a pen pal in boston you got one!))

has your body ever just given up on you? lately, i feel like it's absolutely the hardest thing in the entire world to just get out of bed. i just want to sleep and sleep and sleep and sleep. maybe it's the heat, and maybe i'm not getting enough nutrients, and maybe i'm not working out as much as i should be, but whatever it is i'm just tiiiiired, man. the past couple of days have just been about tea and naps and getting work done on upcoming Dig features, so maybe i just needed a little down time in order to recharge my batteries and get centered.

on a high note: THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL IS THIS WEEKEND! old school favorite/photographer extraordinaire jess hodge and i will be heading down to newport friday morning for three days of beach, spooning with my aunt's puppies and music music music music. i'm excited for folk festival #51 for the following reasons:

+ saying hey to the festival/fort adams staff. they're all awesome and in such a good mood.

+ seeing edward sharpe and the magnetic zeroes, dawes, the low anthem, the david wax museum, sharon jones and the dap kings and, obviously, the Avett Brothers (duhz all around) right on the waterfront. absolute heaven.

+eating my weight in peach cream cheese muffins from the ocean breeze cafe. these muffins are magical. i kid you not. they are the most delicious breakfast pastries known to man.

+quality time with some favorite people. i'm thrilled that jess and i will be teaming up on this one, but i'm also stoked that ryan, sean, schluter, cristina and a few other friends will be either covering/working/attending newport this year. shenanigans on thames st should be plentiful indeed.

in other news, i've been listening to that black keys album and florence + the machine like crazy. i don't even care that that godawful lookin' eat pray love trailer yoinked the single from flo's debut, that album is glorious. and hey, it's been making me feel better lately. that's something!

05 July 2010

back to new york? back to madrid? back to changes.

(oh, ps, spain totally won the world cup. called it from the beginning. just sayin'.)

serious chat time, guys!

so as many of you know, i was laid off just before memorial day. this also happened about a month into my new lease in an apartment where nothing, and i mean nothing, had gone right since we moved in. (my roommate continues to be awesome. she's pretty much the only good thing about this place.) the long and short of it is this: for the first time since moving back to boston in june of '08, i'm ready to get going again.

i'm applying for jobs in boston like crazy still and i'm absolutely loving where i'm at on the music/lifestyle writing front here in town, so staying put isn't entirely out of the question. i would be lying, however, if i said that i wasn't seriously considering the following plans of action:

1) Move to Madrid, try to score an internship at El País and teach English on the side to pay rent (or try to). i'm one of those weirdos who actually prefers madrid to barcelona - everyone goes gaga for parc guell and las ramblas and the ocean and all that, and don't get me wrong, it's a fucking spectacular city (which i absolutely plan on visiting once my brother moves there in january for his semester abroad), but madrid and i just click. we get along famously and i could see myself living there in 2.5 seconds. with that said, the unemployment rate in spain is something absurd like 21% right now, it's the most expensive spot in the country to live in and i wouldn't necessarily be able to make rent just teaching english. as far as the internship/international journalism thing goes, it's always, always something i've wanted to do and i always said that if i were to get my masters in journalism i'd want to get it in london or madrid and i want to see if i can hack it on the bilingual front as a writer. huge leap of faith (and a costly one), but the payoffs? yeah, the payoffs could be pretty epic.

2) Head back to Granada and open up my restaurant with Andy. andy was one of my first friends in spain, and he's been dating one of my dearest friends for nearly four years now. i worked at andy's tapas bar in granada while i was studying there, and i had a pretty decent idea to open a particular kind of spot in the university town. andy's all about it, too, and can feasibly go in on a restaurant with me. we've only begun talks about it, but this is one of those "this would be a scary, terrifying, expensive and potentially life-changing experience in all the good kind of ways" kind of deals. i could run a restaurant in spain and live there for a year to get it off the ground. could i sink thousands of dollars into it and lose it all? sure. but yeah, currently i'm weighing the pros and cons of doing just that. i figure if there's any point in my life to gamble like this, it should be now. (oh, something to consider: this move would absolutely unequivocally piss off my family more than you could possibly imagine. i don't know if they'd calm down from it. they'd view this as pretty irresponsible, so that's weighing in pretty heavily here.)

3) Return to New York. i'm going to be 25 in january and i've always said that i want to be out of boston and either back in new york, madrid or buenos aires by 26. why not get a head start on it, if i feel like i'm hitting a rut in boston now? oh, the whole "hey let me move to a city full of people who work just as hard if not harder than i do who are smarter than i am and better at what i do than i am" thing? yeeeeah. starting over is tricky no matter how you slice it, but it would prove for a good challenge and i think i'd be able to run with the big dogs eventually. i hope, anyway. [gulp]. also - huge pro - I ALREADY HAVE A LIFE IN NEW YORK. i basically just picked up and left when i graduated, and all of my favorite people, places and things in the city are still very much so there. it's alarming to think how easily i could just fall back into old habits, but there's also comfort in that. moving there seems like the least traumatic/least costly of the options yet.

4) Look for gigs/apartments in Chicago when I'm there this week. i love chi-town, man. i'm going out there for a week to hang out with amy, help her pack up her gold coast apartment, and check out some shows while i'm in town. i get to meet nico's beautiful girlfriend (!) and frequent favorite haunts, and i get to go running along the coast of lake michigan every morning. that's swell. hopefully this trip will offer some perspective, and if anything it gives me a chance to head out of the city for a second and recharge my batteries.

phew. anyways. i feel better. thanks for listening. (or reading.) if you've got insight, dispense it, please.


28 June 2010

una memoria del verano porteño.

[this photo's actually from my friend tony's roof on charcas, which is a few blocks away from where i used to live. same idea.]

on a sticky, steamy night in buenos aires, my host family and i were finishing up with a late dinner when the power went out. as summertime in argentina can reach scalding temperatures (compared with boston, anyway) and the rio de la plata doesn't do much in dragging the humidity out to sea, power outages during heatwaves aren't all too uncommon. i mean, think about it: refrigerators, air conditioners, fans, you flick one switch too many in one of the most densely populated cities in the world and you're bound to exhaust some power lines.

the lot of us - mariano (host dad), ines (host mom), andrés y francisco (host brothers) and i were finishing up the wine and starting to clear the plates when all of a sudden the room went dark. mariano started grumbling, ines went to the kitchen for candles and andrés, francisco and i threw open the door to the balcony and shuffled outside. our apartment was the penthouse in a nine-story building, and though nine flights of stairs doesn't seem that high up compared with the sky scrapers i've previously known, the traffic from below was muffled and far away and an eerie calm settled over our corner of palermo viejo.

andrés and francisco, both lanky and at least a head taller than their father, leaned over the edge of the balcony and were looking out below when someone started banging a pot against a railing a few blocks away. andrés and francisco started laughing and shaking their heads, with francisco pounding his fists half-heartedly against our railing as andrés explained that this happened during el críses when people would lose their power on a regular basis. within minutes, that one resounding CLANG CLANG CLANG-CLANG-CLANG was joined by leaden thuds and aluminum refrains as the neighbors broke out various kitchen utensils and took to their doors and rooftops as we had. everything for the long length of our street, was pitch black - no street lamps, no illuminated locutería signs, just the occasional headlights from cabs creeping onto our side street in the middle of a cut through. mariano and ines joined us on the balcony, mariano chuckling at the ruckus echoing around us, and the five of us stood sweating nine stories up until the streetlights came on street by street and the dining room lights glowed behind us. just as quickly as it had started, the balcony railing clamor subsided and everyone went back to their TVs, their dinners or their bedrooms, and mariano and ines went back to clearing the table.

andrés, francisco and i stayed outside for a minute or two longer than our parents, and i stayed out for a minute or two after andrés and francisco got bored and moseyed back inside. i spent a solid fifteen minutes hanging over the edge of the balcony looking up and down my street to make sure that it wasn't a fluke, and i went to bed that night completely in love with a power outage and everything about my neighbors and my home.

maybe it's the world cup madness and the fact that argentina is kicking SERIOUS ASS right now, but i find myself missing buenos aires and my host family more than i have since i left.

(if we lose power in this crazy humidity, i think we should start bangin' our pots and pans together.)


14 June 2010

back on the grid! and back to june.


i've left oh hey! in the dust this spring and that's just SAD. basically, i've been up to a lot of ridiculous life changes, including another layoff and another move, and both of them have left me picking up the pieces and putting my life back together (in a good way. i think.) here's the basic gist of what's going on:

I MOVED! my last landlord, who essentially kicked me out of my one-bedroom in porter because his brother moved into the apartment underneath me and wanted an upgrade, wasn't the nicest dude ever. unfortunately, this new guy, who lives in the second story of the house alaine and i have moved into, is much worse and the apartment was in such a state of filth and disrepair when we moved in that we freeeeeaked out. six weeks later we're still sorting everything out, but it's a livable space now and the place has definitely benefitted from a woman's (or two women's) touch(es). with that said, alaine is awesome, the neighborhood is fantastic (i can literally throw a rock at dalí and the wine and cheese cask, not that i'd want to) and we're trying to make this place a home. so far, so good. progress is the name of the game here.

I GOT LAID OFF! that's pretty much self-explanatory and my feelings about it are pretty mixed - liked the job, but am always up for new changes and challenges. (and let's be honest, my last commute was absolutely terrible courtesy of the ever-failing MBTA.) i've got a few interviews/prospects lined up for the next couple of weeks, which is encouraging, but in the meantime it's back to Funemployment for your favorite Gonzette. everything at the Dig is going great, though, which brings me to my next point -

I'VE BEEN WRITING TONS AND TONS OF THINGS FOR THE WEEKLY DIG! since SXSW, my editor at the Dig has been super benevolent with the story handouts and i've had the chance to interview and write up tons and tons and tons and tons of fascinating and fiercely talented artists. i wrote my favorite piece ever last week (it's coming out this wednesday so PICK IT UP) and i had the chance to write a Boston Pride profile on MEandJOANCOLLINS and MRS DANVERS, AND i got to do a hefty feature on Nathaniel Rateliff, who's my new obsession. long story short: Weekly Dig, I love you, thank you for reminding me why i love what i do on a daily basis.

I'VE BEEN HANGING OUT WITH ESME! my favorite Brit hopped across the pond about two weeks ago because she's got an internship in Deval Patrick's press office, and she's shacking up with me for the month! SO. MUCH. FUN. i love this girl to pieces. we've had a blast so far, she's met nearly all of my crazy, crazy friends and she fought jet lag like a champ on her first night out at zuzu. i'm a proud american mama.

I'VE BEEN PLOTTING THE REST OF MY ENDLESS SUMMER! the Newport Folk Festival is coming up in 6 weeks (AHHH!) and i have a slew of weekends blocked out at the lake house, so i'm a little too excited about what the rest of the summer has in store.

I'VE BEEN HANGIN' WITH THE GIRLS OF NEW BRAHMIN! so, i'm one of the newest contributors over at New Brahmin and i can't quit with the gushing about 'em. (granted, half of the ladies over there were friends of mine to begin with, but still.) my beat at NB is The Dressing Room, a column i contrived that raids the closets of boston's rock goddesses and discusses the difference between donning a costume for performance and rocking hoodies and jeans on the regular. mikey takes the photos, i do the interviews, and we walk away with some style insight from some of the most inspirational women in town. yesterday we had a shoot over by the train tracks off the mcgrath highway and some uninvited guests showed up (like gigantic mutant raccoons and people who live in bushes) but we came out unscathed. look for the next installment of TDR on thursday!

I'VE BEEN TAKING PHOTOS WITH PHOTOBOOTH! ok. so this last one happened during an unforgivable bout of writer's block at Sherman Cafe the other day. colors are fun, ok?

also, oh hey friends: I NEED NEW MUSIC. lately, my inbox has been jammed with press releases and album downloads, which is AMAZING, but I WANT MOOOOORE. if you've got a record, band or song that you've been blasting nonstop, leave it in the comments. i think i'm going to be making a few mixes in the near future...


19 April 2010

hello and goodbye from portland.

this is what my morning looks like right now (albeit far more calm and less shaky; forgive the impromptu Photobooth shot.) it's calm, cool and bright in portland.  i'm packing up the last of my stuff, heading down the street for some breakfast at the bread & ink, and then hopping on a bus and beginning the looooooooong (way longer than i thought) journey back to boston.  i'll be back in town tonight around midnight, if anyone wants to fetch a fair damsel from the airport :D

this trip was lovely and full of food and friends and beach and GREEN. this city is LUSH. natalie took some beautiful pictures i'll share with you once she gets 'em up on the ol' flickr.  we had three days of the definition of goooooooood.

oh, and we went to the sleepy beach town where they filmed The Goonies.

more later.


13 April 2010

spring fever.

(photo ganked from ringo! have a banana, aka one of the most adorable blogs in existence.  
she's got the right idea with these lilacs, here.)


I REALLY CAN'T CONCENTRATE. like, REALLY REALLY can't concentrate. like it's writer's block and daydreaming about spring and portland this weekend and picking out what color i'm going to paint the walls of my new room next week and...... other things. all combined. in mah skull. i'm staring at four open word docs at my desk, i'm caffeinated, i have clients calling me every five seconds and i can't seem to just simmer down and get to work.  i would so much rather be in my bed with my laptop and some tea with the windows open doing my work from there, especially if my window had some beautiful flowers in it like the lilacs above.  a girl can dream, right? that would fix this crazy creative slump, right? GYAH!

this is for a multitude of reasons, but i think it just wittles down to the fact that it's been rather pretty out, it's finally time to tune up the bike and that my absolute favorite time of year in boston is here.  i'm missing my favorite holiday (marathon monday) in favor of exploring one of the best cities on the "best coast" for the first time, but i'll be celebrating the unofficial kickoff of spring with one of my favorite people in a place i'm bound to love, so it's ok.

for those of you with any portland (OR, not ME) advice to impart, out with it.  never been, so stoked to be there, and i want to make the most of my weekend!

oh, and while we're on the topic of procrastinating/not concentrating - i have to find a dress to wear to my dear friend erin's wedding, as the one i ordered on sale from anthro is hilariously small.  the wedding's in the afternoon and the reception is in the evening at the biltmore in providence at the end of june - how do we feel about this one, or too casual?

ok. need to buckle down and write some stuff, the next installment of defend yourself! that's getting published in the weekly dig next week.  did y'all read my feature on freelance whales? if not, go put on "Generator ^ First Floor" and start scrollin'.


09 April 2010

a spring weekend to-do list! ps: I'M MOVING!

here's my ideal (note, ideal) weekend to-do list:

1 - go grocery shopping at wilson's; grab asparagus, spinach, portobellos, apples, brussels sprouts, eggs, milk, tea (namely green, as i'm almost out), berries and other provisions for the week. NO CHEESE. i've been OD-ing on cheese lately.  there's some herb chevre in my fridge that cackles at me maniacally every time i open the door. i swear.  it's mocking me with each neglected bite.

2 - start. packing. i'm officially moving!  as of may 1st, i'll be living around the corner from my absolute favorite spanish restaurant, one of my absolute favorite coffee joints, and down the street from the best farmer's market in greater boston.  it's a 17 minute walk to harvard and trina's is literally rock-throwing distance from my new pad.  i'm also moving in with the lovely alaine, who's a good friend of los' from UMass and one of the silliest, raddest people i've ever met.  we've unofficially dubbed the new place the Flamingo Mapatorium because we've amassed a ton of maps between us and we want to have lawn flamingos in the bathroom.  (this is because the bathroom's kind of blah as compared with the rest of the place - lovely light, huge kitchen, HUGE rooms, and we get to paint it! oh, and did i mention there's a weeping willow in our front yard?  WEEPING. WILLOW. in our FRONT YARD. heaven.)

3 - make my grandmother a birthday card because her birthday was yesterday and we're celebrating it this weekend.  so much family over the past couple of weeks!

4 - clean my apartment, seeing as the landlord already has people coming over to check out my current space ALREADY.  inconvenient.  whatever.  more on this later.

5 - go to the gym.  i have been slacking on fitness so hard since the end of SXSW because i threw my back out (sort of?) at the airport picking my luggage up and then i just simply haven't had time between writing/interviewing/dancing/living life over the past couple of weeks.  zumba, you and i have a date tomorrow morning at 10am.

6 - sign up for zipcar and then jet over to lexington to pick up BRINT!  brint is one of my best friends from spain.  his grams lives up here and he's visiting her for the weekend, so we're going to have dinner.  he's got no car and i've got no car so zipcar it is.  (also, i just signed a lease to live here for another year, i may as well give in and get the damn zip car membership already.  have YOU tried parking in somerville lately?  it's unavoidable.) also, he and i have some talking to do because we may be plotting a return trip to eastern europe for august.  i can't sit still. it's true.

7 - organize all Dig clips to date before moving.  there's a few of them.  i see a lot of rubber cement/construction paper action happening over the next 48 hours.

8 - start thinking about portland because i'll be there this time next week! EEEP! my first trip ever to the west coast totally snuck up on me!

9 - go see The Runaways at Coolidge Corner on sunday with marcy.  she always treks to our side of the river and we rarely visit her there (we're awful friends, we know), so this is an opportune time to relish in one of the best attractions on her side: the coolidge corner theater.  yes yes yes yes yes. love love love love love.  i can smell the popcorn and twizzlers already. nomz.

10 - sleep.  i should probably start doing that again.

here goes, weekend.  X H

[ps: have you noticed how everyone's trying to get more comments/more retweets so they end every blog post/tweet with a question ("What do you guys think?" "What're you up to this weekend?" "Who would you rather punch in the face?") etc etc.  social media fo' SHAME. i'm not gonna do that. sorry dudes.]

28 March 2010

the happy list, "tea and blankets on a sunday morning" edition.

well, last night was silly.  there was whiskey.  i'm watching sex and the city reruns from the dependable couch fort and i'm thisclose to ordering new moon ondemand before throwing on rumpled jeans and going to dinner with dan, nick and los before hitting up the beach house show at the paradise tonight.  sunday afternoon, it could be love.

anyways, here's a brief update/latest incarnation of the happy list.

- one of my career goals as an aspiring journalist?  write a story for The Boston Globe.  what happened last tuesday? a feature i wrote ran in the Boston Globe's arts & entertainment section.  as i knew i would be in austin covering SXSW for the Dig anyway, i pitched an article to the Globe's A&E editor and he took my story.  result: a two page 1,000-odd word feature on notable sets by boston talent at SXSW.  the response to the article was so encouraging and overwhelming and to everyone who commented, called, texted, emailed, or simply pressed the thumbs-up "like" button on facebook, thank you.  i'm such a lucky person.  i'm going to post a bunch of my favorite photos snapped by the insatiable jess hodge and mikey basu, who are two of the most talented and professional photographers i've ever had the pleasure of working with, but in the mean time here are two silly ones of me in austin -

there was a cupcake truck.  the girl gave us free cupcakes because we ran across the street and grabbed a red bull for her when she was in need.  red velvet elicits this reaction from me, always.  (also: the chocolate cupcake to the left, covered in cream cheese frosting, was dubbed "the michael jackson." omg.)

this one was snapped by mikey in between shows.  i was sitting down for maybe like 30 seconds throughout our entire time at SXSW and he caught me.

- last night, one of my favorite local bands (and three of my favorite people in general), static of the gods, had a FANTASTIC cd release show at tt's.  it's really something special when you get to know a band, and you follow 'em for a bit, and you become friends, and you write about 'em a couple of times, and they put out a CD that's just absolutely amazing and that you can't wait to burn a copy of for everyone you've ever met.  knowledge machine is such a great album.  if you haven't picked it up yet, do so asap. jen, ben and mike, you guys were so amazing last night!  and thanks for the falafel palace pit stop and the ride home :)

- i made quinoa for the first time last night.  GREAT SUCCESS.  i went grocery shopping at wilson's farm yesterday, as i've been doing for the past month or so, and to say i came home with a bounty of goodness would be fact.  the quinoa, fresh spinach, fresh goat cheese, organic baby brussel sprouts, fresh blackberries, farm fresh milk, farm fresh eggs... foooooodgazm.

- los' birthday is next friday!  there will be funfetti and togas and kickball and people eating funfetti while wearing togas and schooling each other in kickball.  can't friggin' wait.

- i'm so excited about future pieces i'll be working on over the next three months.  there are such exciting things in store.  it's nice to have something to look forward to :)

soooo there you have it.  gotta brew another cup of tea and make some delicious food and watch rpatz be all sparkly and whatnot.


ps:  oh hey!  i launched my website.  sort of.  it's in the "coming soon" stage right now.  major thanks to the lovely jsutt and her design savvy :) - http://www.hilaryjanehughes.com/

15 March 2010


(FYI: this is the photo that pops up in Google Image Search when you look up "miserable rain.")

dear rain gods:


this is UNBEARABLE.  my umbrella is missing.  my coat hasn't been dry for three days.  my feet haven't been dry for three days.  everyone's in a terrible mood, including myself.  all i want in life right now is my couch, dry socks, piles upon piles of blankets, a cuddly dude to spoon with and HBO on demand for hours on end.  that's it.  that's all i require in order to find my sanity again. 

so, rain gods, if you could like, take a nap or something, that would be stellarrrrr.


(in other news, i will be landing in Austin and picking up my SXSW badge in approx. 52 hours.  TEXAS SUNSHINE HERE I COME.)

11 March 2010

Hil in the Dig: The SXSW Preview and 5 Drink Minimum!

in the most recent issue of the Dig, I have two pieces. yayz.  

first: as you all probably know by now, I'm taking off next Wednesday morning for Austin, Texas with the engimatic Jess Hodge by my side.  we're going to be running up and down Congress Street like chickens with our heads cut off in order to ensure that we catch each and every single set we wanna see, but we're gonna do it!  I swear!  if i was able to squeeze 25+ sets into 3 days at CMJ this year, catching every single Boston band showcasing at SXSW will be cake.  (i hope. gulp.) my SXSW preview is here, but be sure to check back on the Dig's website next week for showcase play-by-plays and plenty of Lonestar-induced debauchery.

secondly: cara, managing editor extraordinaire over at the Dig, was kind enough to include me in the Dig's semi-annual nightlife guide, Five Drink Minimum.  this installment of 5DM was centered on hotel bars, so los, mikey and I slinked our way into the sultry clutches of Noir at the Charles Hotel.  Five Drink Minimum, for those who haven't read the guide before, is basically a guide to getting hammered: we, the reporters, must imbibe in five cocktails at the assigned location, and each cocktail is picked out ahead of time (#1 is bartender's choice, #2 reflects the vibe of the surroundings, #3 is stranger's choice, etc. etc...).  this isn't horrifically difficult to do at Noir, as all of the drinks are just as pleasing to the palate as they are potent, soooo basically we got a little rowdy and the phrase "cheating-on-my-wife-ish" may have gotten thrown around a bit.  read all about it here and check out mikey's sick photo above and in the Dig - his is what they chose for the front of the feature :)

i have so much to do before SXSW it's not even funny.  here's hoping i get all my work done, pack, and steer clear of the green beer in southie on sunday afternoon.  (yes, i will be heading to south boston for the st. paddy's day parade with my girlfriends on sunday.  yes, we're going to a rooftop party and marcy's probably going to wind up doing a backwards and upside-down kegstand this year.  yes, i am ashamed to admit that i'm a little excited about it.)


03 March 2010

¡headshots! with lara callahan [[elciphotography.com]]

my favorite incredible photographic impresaria, lara callahan, snapped some new headshots for me for my portfolio/business cards.  honestly, people, if you're in boston or new york and you need to get some good lookin' photographs of yourself, this is the girl to do it.  lara's super encouraging, incredibly easy to work with, and just an all around sweet girl.  that, and she made me look like a badass, and for that i'm forever grateful.  [i like posing with shades, ok?!]  

anyways, yeah.  launching a new site soon.  very excited about it.  heading to SXSW in two weeks.  very excited about THAT.  2010, you're not going to let me sleep very much, are you?

23 February 2010

oh hey! it's hil writing about thick as thieves in the weekly dig.

thick as thieves! from left: kellen, aaron, mike and tyler.  
go see them downstairs at the middle east on 2/27.

in the latest edition of the weekly dig [which hits the streets tomorrow, look for the orange boxes and pick one up!], i had the goofy joy of interviewing a dude in a band i've loved for years who's also become a good friend.  tyler's the singer in thick as thieves, which is undeniably one of my most favorite boston bands.  i've interviewed the guys in thick as thieves once before, and that conversation took place on a particularly sunny saturday afternoon in kellen and tyler's living room over the course of nearly two hours.  this time, i had a last minute opportunity to chat the dudes up and plug their upcoming show with the lights out and cure for static, so i leapt on it and got tyler on the phone and the next thing you know he's talking about djembes and bloody guitars.  my favorite songs by them are "disasterology" and "weak end with no end", and i'm hoping i'll hear both saturday night.

aaanyways, go read all about it.  here's a link to this week's Defend Yourself! with Tyler Littwin of Thick as Thieves.

in other news, my editor totally made my life when he addressed me as "ms. gonzo" in an email.  yes, i'm a huge, huuuge nerd for revealing this.  no, i don't care in the slightest.

21 February 2010

Please Kill Me: An Uncensored Oral History of Punk (aka current "CANNOT PUT THIS DOWN" read.)

Please Kill Me... is one of those books that people have been telling me to read for pretty much ever.  "well, you're a music writer!" "you like rock and roll, don't you?" "you like andy warhol/david bowie/the ramones/iggy pop..." yes, i am an aspiring journalist who writes about music.  yes, i can think of no better occupation than chasing around rock stars and musicians hoping to catch a break in boston.  and no, i can't think of any good reason why i haven't torn it apart from the sheer voracity of reading it yet.

but i did.   and this book reminds me of why i work hard, why i sleep less, why i drink more, why i fight louder and harder and dirtier than i ever have before and why i will do whatever it takes to ensure that local talents receive the attention they deserve in a way that'll touch readers and hopefully convince them to pick up a paper on the regular.   i could recite half the quotes in Please Kill Me... because they're all fantastic ["iggy, what're you doing wearing a woman's dress?" "...this is a man's dress", etc], but as cliche as it sounds, i found myself relating to lester bangs more than i'd care to admit by the time i reached the Cast of Characters index on the last pages of the paperback:

"Just for the record, I would like it known by anybody who cares that I don't think life is a perpetual dive.  And even though it's genuinely frightening, I don't think Richard Hell's fascination with death is anything but stupid... And all the Richard Hells are chickenshits who trash the precious gift too blithely, and they deserve to be given to credence, but shocked awake in some violent matter.  Either that or spanked and put to bed." (Lester Bangs, "You Should Never Have Opened That Door", Please Kill Me... pg. 282)

it's painful to read through most of this - to read through the overdoses and the near brushes with death and the record company screw ups and the brutalized relationships and the untimely demises of the people who dreamed up, conceived and shattered one of the most revolutionary movements in modern music.  legs mcneil and gillian mccain did an exceptional job with their edits, because they absolutely document the beginnings of punk in the words of the people who made it happen, and they chronicle the rises and falls of the people who made CBGB's what it was and who were fortunate enough to know what the insides of warhol's factory looked like and who were panicking when pattie smith fell off the stage that night.  there's nothing more disheartening than a writer who manipulates the words of an artist to satiate their own needs for attention, or to use someone else's brilliance for their own personal gain.  legs mcneil and gillian mccain did more than write an incredible book: they restored my faith in my craft which i had lost and they restored my faith in journalism and artistic collaboration and the value of intellectual integrity in one fell swoop.

i found myself sobbing when people like lester and johnny thunders met their makers and when sid and nancy were reunited in a small jewish cemetery.  sure, it's sad reading about people dying and getting murdered and shooting themselves up until their blood runs black, but i had never had characters taken away so abruptly from me in a book before, and then the shock set in that these people lived and are directly responsible for making me love what i do.  Please Kill Me... makes me want to be a better writer.  Period.

also: this is probably the most emotional book review that's ever existed.  kind of embarrassing, but there you have it.

if you make music, if you write, if you make art, if you love music, if you love reading, if there's a creative bone in your body or a creative thought in your pretty little head.... juuuust read Please Kill Me... and go listen to the New York Dolls or Iggy and the Stooges or something, and be thankful.

03 February 2010

i am currently daydreaming at my desk about:

1 - planning a european vacation for may.  even if es can't go due to her upcoming trip to the states, i may just book a week in lisbon or granada anyway.

2 - purchasing one of the neon-hued cashmere throws offered today on gilt.

3 - making myself breakfast in bed and reading the current issues of interview, vogue, rolling stone, esquire and vanity fair in one sitting.

4 - going back to flamenco or tango class.

5 - love; lust.

6 - having a snowed-in fellini marathon.

7 - heading up to the maine house with my guitar, some books, lots of tea and firewood.

8 - running off to bangkok to go visit potter with kevin.

9 - trying on cowboy boots and soaking up everything through my ears at SXSW.

10 - the bookshelves at strand.

well, that was an entirely unproductive hour.


31 January 2010

hil's the hoarder: random collections.

confession time: i need to cut up my credit card. BAD.  sales have been too good to be true lately and if one more package is delivered to my desk while i'm at work i think my coworkers are going to start judging.  after ordering a necklace with a key charm on it [more on that later] and receiving the latest edition to my closet [a pair of kelsi dagger flats that i'm absolutely in love with] i realized that i've got a few collections of some pretty random things.  with inglourious basterds on tv in the background, i had a baby photo shoot of said random collections on my living room coffee table.  warning: there are lots of photos all up in here.  so, without further ado, hil presents I COLLECT THINGS YAYZ:

blue suede shoes

this grouping is definitely an accident, but a happy one [and how can anything remotely related to elvis be a bad thing?!]  the first pair on the left, the flats with the ankle strap and bow at the toe, were scored at a sale at the urban outfitters on first avenue sometime during senior year.  the other two, the gola skate shoes and the kelsi dagger flats that look like they're wearing necklaces, are two real recent purchases from gilt groupe.  i didn't realize that i had not one, but THREE pairs, of blue suede shoes until the daggers arrived and i went to add them to my closet shoe rack.  i love my new sneakers and the detail on the dagger flats, but my first blue suede shoes, though a little dingy, will always be my favorites.

floral headpieces

this fascination started when i saw one of ban.do's creations in an issue of nylon, and i was thinking about buying it for myself last year for my birthday when los, best friend extraordinaire, made the gorgeous peach flower headband you see above.  that was followed by a poufy turqoise headband and then the gigantic netting/tulle pink flower i snagged at an anthropologie sale this fall.  i think that my obsession for floral headgear stems from my flamenco dancin' days.  i plan on rocking the pink flower at erin's wedding this june with a strapless, sweetheart cocktail dress [if i can find a navy/peacock blue one that'd be perfect].  i am constantly, constantly on the lookout for pieces like these and am still seriously considering grabbing the ban.do #10 if a special occasion pops up out of the blue.

vintage clutches

this collection is one that started with a few vintage clutches that my mom found in a client's house - basically, her client had an attic full of hand-me-downs, costume jewelry and antiques that were all in fantastic condition and the client just didn't care about them and was going to throw all that glorious stuff aWAY.  [shudder.]  the silver clutch and mustard clutch with the handle above were picked from the litter; the gold clutch and the black and white beaded clutch were found at poor little rich girl [which is definitely my pick for local vintage.]  because i love these bags so much, here's a close up of my two beaded babies:

and the most recent addition to the family: a clutch i picked up at london's absolute vintage, which is supposedly one of the best second-hand/vintage spots in the world.  their selection of bags, scarves and riding boots was enough to make me SWOOOOON and esme and i spent a good hour perusing through the goods until i laid my eyes on this little darlin.  i'm particularly obsessed with the zipper detail:

seriously.  love at first sight.  also, it holds a surprising amount of stuff - as someone who's constantly carting around a notebook, a wallet, a phone, a camera and a tape recorder on any given evening, the roomiest of this little bloke doesn't go unappreciated.


when i unpacked my suitcase upon arriving home after my year in argentina/spain, i had amassed a huge pile of postcards somehow and i have no idea how the hell i managed to grab one from pretty much every museum or random shop i stopped into while abroad.  i like pretty pictures, ok?!  anyways, when i moved into my apartment last november i knew that i wanted the postcards to play a part in my decorating as i've got two huge maps on the walls and thought the well-traveled theme would work out.  this bulletin board pictured rests on top of a bookcase in my living room.

and these postcards are hanging above my bed.

favorites: flamenco singers from granada, hungarian postage stamps picked up at a flea market in budapest [fitting those all into the frame wasn't easy], murakami postcard from the mori art museum in tokyo, promotional postcards for movies and vintage stores in lisbon and a photo from an exhibit at la MALBA [museo de arte latinoamericano de buenos aires] which is one of my favorite museums, ever.

skeleton keys

arguably my most active pursuit when it comes to collecting stuff: i try to pick up an antique skeleton key in every city i visit abroad.  this started in vienna at the naschmarkt, where i found the gold, ornate skeleton key [second one from the left on the bottom] and wore it on a long black chord for months.  pictured, we've got keys from budapest, istanbul, london, buenos aires, granada, tokyo, berlin, prague and vienna, duh.  i friggin' love skeleton keys, how they look, how they feel, how much they weigh... so naturally my key kitsch expanded and now i have two key necklaces, too.

(the lock and key is from urban outfitters; the blue lanyard key necklace is by karin andreasson and was found at broadway market in shoreditch, london.)

vogue international

yeeeeah it's no secret: i love magazines.  love them.  and i love vogue.  and i love british vogue and spanish vogue and italian vogue and vogue paris and russian vogue and... yeah.  i started picking up vogue in whatever country i was in, if they had it, and my collection so far includes australian vogue, vogue UK, vogue paris, vogue españa, vogue brasil, vogue portugues, russian vogue [if i knew how to type that in cyrillic i would!], vogue deutsch [german, ja], vogue nippon [aka japanese vogue] and vogue hellas [aka greek vogue].  all i need copies from italy, china, korea and india, so if any of you plan on visiting those countries in the near future, pick one up for me :)  favorites: vogue paris and russian vogue.  ughhh. the parisian pictorials make me want to do nothing but drink wine and smoke cigarettes and marry a man named jean-luc with a rusty bike.

sooooo yeah.  i guess i'm kind of a packrat, huh?


18 January 2010

2009: Hil and the Year of Exclamation Points/Expletives

well! it's been 2010 for two weeks now, and the year has kicked off to an incredible start: my birthday was great, band practices have been great, writing for the dig has been great, my apartment's cleaner than usual and i've thoroughly enjoyed traipsing all over town in my new (WARM!) snowboots.  as happy as i am to leave 2009 in the dust, it deserves a look back, even in the form of a silly blog post.  i grew more than i thought possible in 2009.  i went through a lot of nasty firsts (first heartbreak, first layoff, first time i ever ran myself ragged etc) but the year had its high points, too.  found this rundown somewhere and decided i should give it a try.  if anything, it helps put the past 12 months in perspective and i feel more confident than ever that this year will be better than the last.  and the last year, overall, was a damn good year. if anything, the lows not only justified the highs, they made me appreciate 'em so much more.

also, 2010 is already the year in which i got a song written for me for my birthday, i saw my first fellini film (AND LOVED IT) and it's the year in which i'll venture out to texas with a rowdy crew of rockstars and one of my best friends.  that's not a bad start, seeing as we haven't hit the 20th day of the year yet...


1. What did you do in 2009 that you'd never done before?
flew off to another country completely on a whim; got my heart real broke; got laid off; road a bike on city streets; attended a bunch of big name music festivals as a member of the press;  met, interviewed wrote stories on and even befriended some of my favorite musicians of all time (liiiiiiiiike the avett brothers. le sigh.)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
the only resolution i ever make is to try to eat healthier and work out more.  throughout unemployment i was pretty good about getting to the gym every other day and kept that schedule up for a good five months... and then i found a job and my life turned chaotic and i had no more time for fitness.  as i'm currently a bit... softer than i'd like to be (i'm trying to avoid "fat" but 'cmon) as a result, i'll be making the same resolution.  vanity counts/kills.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
nope. no new babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
jolly old england.  i had a stopover in reykjavik for a good few hours in between logan and heathrow, so does iceland count?

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
a time machine.  there simply aren't enough hours in the day, period.

7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory?
january 23rd.  it's the day i got my nose pierced.   i have no idea why i'll remember it other than i distinctly remember writing in my planner "NOSE PIERCIIIIIIIING APT 8PM PINO BROS!!!" on the day of january 23rd.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
making my mom proud throughout a pretty painful, humiliating ordeal.  it may seem juvenile or silly, but i always (try to) do the "what would my mother think?" thing before i let loose on someone who's crossed a line.  i did this time around.  my mom's a resilient person who's been to hell and back so many times that she could draw the map to the route in her sleep, so to aim for her level of calm and class amidst the most tawdry of motives isn't an easy feat.  she says i made her proud; that's probably my biggest achievement.

9. What was your biggest failure?
letting my feelings get the best of me, generally speaking.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
i got a naaaaasty case of food poisoning that put me out of commision for a week.  other than that, my pride took a brusin'. (haha.) that's it.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
my first cashmere sweater ever; a plane ticket to london

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my friends are the most hilarious, loving, beautiful and fiercely loyal people i've ever met.  their behavior always merits celebration!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
it's really, really not worth getting into. take my word for it.

14. Where did most of your money go?
sadly, to material things.  having a full-time gig and money in the bank is dangerous for a girl with a newfound love for cashmere, hand-tooled leather boots and vintage goods.  my cashmere sweater count for 2009 is now up to 5, thanks for the sale package i just got from j.crew today.  [granted, i got  those sweaters at an average of 50% apiece, but still.]

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
spring and summer in the city.  i wouldn't take anything back about the bike rides, lake house trips, rooftop barbeques and sweat-soaked dance party adventures that took place in the spring and summer months.  and the UNION SQUARE FARMER'S MARKET. OH MY GODDDD.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
2009 will forever be the year of GAGA. [i was hesitant and late to the bandwagon, but i have arrived.]

17. Compared to this time last year, are you
i. happier or sadder? happier.  last year around this time i was in an interesting spot. haaa.
ii. thinner or fatter? softer. i'm SOFTER. (in the belly/butt region.  ok so i'm fatter.)
iii. richer or poorer? richer. in friends, in life, in wisdom, in cash, whatever, i'm richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
taking care of myself, honestly, be it sleeping more or making sure i've got my own back covered.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
i wish that i'd put WAY less energy into resenting and loathing the existence of people who hurt me, even if they were terrible and even if their transgressions were severe. i absolutely could've handled myself better in those situations and i'm not proud of how i dealt with disappointment, heartbreak and humiliation in that regard.  2010 is the year of turning the other cheek and cutting hurtful people out of my life.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
christmas eve at dad's, christmas eve at mom's.  pretty great at both houses.

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
noooo no no no.  i started 2009 in a bit of a haze falling for someone who had absolutely no business being in a relationship with a girl like me and it was the first time i had ever really opened myself up to the possibility of being a real girlfriend.  as awful as it sounds, i was waaaay too busy throughout 2009 to even THINK about love, let alone search for it or allow it to find its way into my life in a romantic sense.

23. What was your favorite TV program?
MAD MEN.  Joan Holloway, you're an inspiration to us all.  (i've never wanted to be a redhead so badly before in my life.)

24. What was the best book you read?
crime and punishment. yup.  dostoevsky and i get along famously.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
i'd go out on a limb and say lake street dive.  i love their music so much, and rachael, bridget, mike and mike are great people, to boot.

26. What did you want and get?
a week in london with some of my favorite people on the planet; a year full of fantastic music; the opportunity to work with and chronicle the works of great artists and musicians living in/passing through boston on the regular; absolutely incredible nights dancing and reveling and loving my life with my very, very best friends.

27. What did you want and not get?
looking back on it, i guess i really wanted my relationship with dan to work at the time.  that's changed.  i also really wanted to salvage some friendships that pretty much self-imploded.  that's changed, too.  either way, i'm starting 2010 with the attitude that i've left those relationships in 2009 and that's where they'll stay. i feel infinitely better as a result.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
pirate radio.  good god that movie was brilliant.

29. What did you do on your birthday?
it was pretty chaotic and frenzied and glorious - ten or so of us went to dali for dinner, and then we went back to my apartment, where boyfriend of the moment had made an AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS red velvet cake from scratch.  i blew out my candles surrounded by about 25 of my closest friends, and then we went to the inman bukowski.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
i dont know if it would've made 2009 more satisfying, but i wish that i had invested in a camera and dabbled with photography more.  i take decent pictures and spent a good half of the year hanging out with people snapping photos all the time wherever we were, so i regret not using that as a learning experience to gain some insight as an intro to photography.  with that said, i do plan on buying a new fancy camera before austin, portland and spain this year so that i can document my trips as i've never been able to do before.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
i think i threw out "urban bohemian" once and it stuck, so that.  i also like "that cambridge asshole": too put together/intellectual for allston, too hipster for back bay/beacon hill, a little more formal than your run-of-the-mill davis/union sq attire.

32. What kept you sane?
hours of conversation over dinner, subway rides, movies, albums, packs of cloves and bottles of wine with lianne.  afternoons on the couch with indian food, bad tv, cookie dough rolls and introspectives with marcy.  grounded, perspective-changing chats with maya. and the occasional "we love you, honey" from mom/dad/stepdad/grampa/broskie.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
this question is silly! i have no idea.  not robert pattinson.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii have absolutely no idea.

35. Who did you miss?
everyone i left back in new york.  visiting in october was such a painful/lovely reminder that i had a great life there and that i'm eager to return to it sooner rather than later.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
tall order!  i was so fortunate in the friendships i made in 2009.  that list is miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiles long.  you're all the best.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
don't let the bastards get you down. 

38. Quote a lyric that sums up your year.
"every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  i could've gone with the whole "one door closes/another opens" thing, but semisonic is so much more badass than julie andrews, let's be honest.

39. What are your plans for 2010?
world domination, one snappy interview at a time.  i also plan on using my kitchenaid mixer more as that sucker is a culinary dream come true for me.

16 January 2010

the irrationally happy list, saturday evening version.

i love this photo, which was taken by this adorable girl cecilie over at bakerby.  her blog is so great, and also on my "this makes me irrationally happy!" list.  also, she totally makes me want to book a trip to copenhagen so i can check out all the amazing cafes and streets she talks about.  go check her out!

things that make me irrationally happy:

+ terry's chocolate oranges.  i just made dinner, and now i'm drinking a glass of malbec and savoring the last "slices" of the last of my chocolate oranges that i brought back from the UK in early december.  this is my favorite candy ever.  too bad they don't have them readily available all year!  (actually, my waistline is very grateful that they're not readily available all year...)

+ impromptu saturday day dates.  jen, aka one of my absolute favorite people aka jen of fantastic boston band static of the gods, and i opted to try zumba this morning.  we had a BLAST and the class was a fantastic workout and i would absolutely recommend it to any and everyone who likes to shake it in any capacity.  after the gym, jen and i hit diesel for a caffeine boost [not that we needed it after zumba, but it was pretty necessary for the taste buds], and then we opted to go on a bit of a domestic adventure.  jen's got the band van, see, so we drove up mass ave to arlington to penzey's spices and spent a good while sniffing jars of vietnamese cinnamon and chipotle pepper blends and cardamon and coriander.  afterwards, we continued on to wilson's farm in lexington and i was NOOOT ready for the hugeness that's wilson's.   i always went t wilson's as a kid in the fall only, for haunted houses and caramel apples and the like, so to go in as a hungry grown-up in need of groceries... yeah it was pretty awesome.   i came home with the makings of a proper feast and ate grilled chicken, portobello mushrooms and eggplant either grown on the premises or procured from local farms.  delicious and good for the local first movement, woooo!

+ the brattle theatre is showing la dolce vita tonight at 8.  james and i are going and i've never seen a fellini film, ever, so i'm pretty stoked for it.  we had originally decided on avatar, seeing as we're the only two friggin' people on the planet who haven't seen it yet, but fellini on a saturday night on the big screen? perfect? yes. i think so.

+ iiiiiiiiiiii could not be more excited to go see freelance whales at great scott on tuesday night with jess and amanda.  "generator ^ first floor" is my favorite song of 2010 thus far and i'll put money down early that they're gonna be the talk of SXSW.

+ today felt like spring.   i know that it isn't even february yet, but we're through the worst of winter! (watch me jinx this by merely typing this and then i'll be dressed like an eskimo from here on out 'til april. ohhh new england.)

yeah.  today was such a beautiful, wonderful day.  i don't think my happiness is so irrational after all :)

10 January 2010

story for a sunday afternoon...

it's gorgeous out, so of course i woke up from sunbeams to the face at 9am. karen, best friend from a lifetime ago in spain, surprised me with a weekend visit and we spent the past couple of days catching up and celebrating friends birthdays and eating delicious things and drinking cups of tea upon cups of tea upon cups of tea. pretty heavenly. now, marcy and i are making thin mint/oreo brownies and watching clueless. yessss. sunday, it could be love.

i've been leaving this blog in the DUST because i've been so busy, so here's a brief recap of what's been keeping me away...

what hil's been up to lately:

+on a whim, i used up all of my remaining vacation days for 2009 and booked a last minute ticket to london on the cheap to go visit esme, a dear friend who i had worked with at an arts camp in maine a few summers ago. it literally feels like not a single day has passed since the last time we hung out and we're the definition of friends who can pick up where they leave off. esme has a beautiful flat in hackney [east london], so i spent about a week tagging along with her, shopping in shoreditch, making pizza while watching the x factor finale, getting lost/completely overwhelmed in top shop, scoping out the pop life exhibit at the tate and belting out amy winehouse's "valerie" in a rock-e-oke contest in covent garden. [i won said contest, prize being a £100 bartab, much to our friends' delight.] the trip was all i could've asked for and more and delivered exactly what i was looking for: a little jaunt out of boston, a little time away from what's happening in these parts, a lot of time to reevaluate some stuff going on/get my priorities and sanity in check. i'm looking into grad school in london and i can't wait to go back. londontown is officially another city to hit the "we get along famously and i could live here!" list, after buenos aires, chicago and lisbon.

+moved on from my post at TPB and am now an arts & entertainment contributing writer at the weekly dig, which is a move i couldn't be more thrilled about. i've been an avid reader of the dig for quite some time now, so to be a part of that editorial team is all walks of awesome. also, i wrote my first ever big paper feature, and i'll be covering SXSW in march for the dig which is kiiiiiind of a dream come true. (i mean, really. i'm gonna be all gonzo about it and i'm potentially going to be a band van stowaway.) here's a few of the pieces i've done so far -

-my feature on boston carnival rockers Mighty Tiny

-defend yourself! Q+As with Mystery Roar, Sidewalk Driver, the David Wax Museum, and my very own junior prom date Garett Hawe who just happens to be one of the featured ensemble members in the touring production of 101 Dalmatians: The Musical.

-a review on the DVD box set of Dawson's Creek. (guys, WB 90s teen dramas are totally emotional.)

-an exit poll or two, including one with my dad after thanksgiving dinner.

+ i turned 24, and had an absolutely wonderful day dancing, drinking and stuffing my face alongside my favorite people on the planet. look to the previous entry for the rundown.

+ i'm making music again. more on this development later, but it involves guitar and fishnets and 80s hair-dos and a debut at the lizard lounge early this spring.

+SXSW. I AM SO EXCITED. i can't wait to get my butt to texas.

those are the big things anyway. whenever i start writing these "oh hey hi it's met let's catch up lists" i always lose steam halfway through and forget important things. those are the biggies, though. it's nice to be back.