Holiday Firsts

You know that special feeling you get in your stomach when you hear your favorite Christmas song (provided that you’re a celebrant of the holiday)? It summons the thrill of an annual time of year that hopefully is filled with traditions involving fabulous food, family, and celebration. It’s a sort of nostalgia all its own. Chances are it evokes lots of moments from years past and brings back some fond memories which you hope to recreate in the coming year.
Christmas Firsts

Throwback to Christmas 2009

For anyone who has lost a loved one though, those same songs are a bittersweet reminder that the smiling face they remember from Christmas mornings past or the familiar voice they recall softly singing along to the tune might have to be just a happy memory. It’s a weird feeling, a sort of sentimental thought hijack. One minute you’re feeling fondness, then the next you’re thinking about loss. Continue reading

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On spectating.

20131031-123217.jpgRarely can I say with 100% certainty that I know my dad would have loved to be here for an event. Wednesday night was one of the exceptions. After growing up in the Cambridge projects and later moving to Medford, PVQ was born to be a Red Sox fan. When he’d humor my requests to tell me stories about “when he was little,” Fenway Park was a frequent setting for his memories.

At this moment, I cannot claim to be an avid fan of any sport, if I’m being completely honest. In fact, my dad probably dismissed me as a lost cause sports spectator a long time ago. In retrospect though, I’ve watched a lot of games over the years thanks to him. Though I certainly didn’t know what was going on the majority of the time, chances are that if he was posted up in our living room cheering on a team, I was probably sitting on the couch reading/crafting/playing my Gameboy.

I don’t think I realized until last Wednesday how much I’ve missed being the spectator of a spectator. With each out in the ninth inning, I could practically hear the sharp claps that customarily would have been coming from his chair. With the final strikeout, I half expected the furniture to rattle because someone had jumped out of their chair. Though the absence of all that certainly made me miss him, the win reminded me of just how special sports can be. Sports bring together people from all walks of life and all corners of the globe. The common love of a team can in the moment erase the distinction between friend and stranger. Sports also tend to outlive a lot of their fans, allowing for a passed down tradition of support.

I can only imagine how happy this year’s World Series would have made my dad, but I feel so lucky to have such a concrete, certain picture to imagine. Without teams, both college and professional, that would not be possible. After 22 years, maybe I’m starting to like watching sports after all.

Feel-Good Friday

Generally (and by that I mean like 3 times) I try to make Fridays about music. Today, I’ve been on a particular hot streak with OneRepublic and in listening to all their offerings on Spotify I was reminded that one of my favorite jams, especially from 2012, was by them: “Good Life“. Some of my more musically-savvy friends probably hate it, but I have to say that I love the song because, well, it is a good life isn’t it?! #cornyalert

Seriously though, we all have those songs that we especially like to play because they make us feel genuinely great. They stir something in our soul, perhaps bring us back to particular place and time. Sometimes they’re the only reminder we might need to cheer up and change moods.

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On details.

In high school, I often tried to just read the Sparknotes version of my summer reading books, but it was like pouring a bunch of sand into my hands – everything slipped out. I would forget what I’d “read” because at the end of the day, I’m someone who remembers subtleties. I retain in specifics, not generalizations. Admittedly, this habit means I’m 100% incapable of telling anything remotely resembling a “short version” of a story. Someone once commented that I recount things in “real time” and from time to time I’m sure that gets frustrating. I guess I just feel the smaller aspects of life are more important.

The funny thing about missing a person is that the more time goes by, the more the little things are what I miss. There’s something to be said for knowing someone beyond blatant personality traits or striking physical features. When you’ve known someone your whole life, you know more than just what meets the eye. You know their quirks, their irrational tendencies. You know the way they absentmindedly twirl their hair or what it sounds like when they’re walking down the hall. You know their turns of phrase, their tones of voice. You know their details.

There’s a certain intimacy in knowing the smaller, less expected parts of a person.  Such knowledge implies that you’ve spent ample amounts of time together. It suggests that you’re someone important, that you’ve been around for a while or at least pay attention. As with impressionist paintings, when it comes to people, the parts turn out to be greater than the whole. When we love someone, we love every little brush stroke, for without each one’s contribution, there could be no whole masterpiece of a person. Love and life, it seems, are in the details.

Details QuoteImage via

PSA: Revenge is back

EmilyBecause let’s be honest, I know you’re probably sad that ___________ is done.

A) Breaking Bad
B) The OC
C) Friends
D) All of the above…

If you don’t already watch Revenge on ABC, I’m here to tell you, first of all, that you’re making a mistake. Never fear though, there’s always time for redemption as far as television is concerned – the first episode of Season 3 aired last Sunday, which gives you almost an entire week (read: plenty of time!) to binge-watch Seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix!

Now, you might think I like Revenge because it involves beautiful, well-dressed people, is set in the Hamptons, and has an ample amount of scandal. You would be correct in that thought. However, while all those qualities certainly do play an important role in swaying me to tune in to a show, I also happened to start watching Revenge at an interesting time.

Revenge Cast

The premise of the show (don’t worry, you’d find this out in the first ten minutes of Season 1, Episode 1) is that Emily VanCamp’s character is seeking revenge for the fact that her father was wrongfully imprisoned, and later killed, for an act of terrorism he didn’t commit. Oddly, I began watching this series basically right when my father was passing away and that didn’t turn me off. In some ways perhaps that’s really weird, but in other ways it was kind of cathartic to watch a show where I could strangely empathize with a character who had lost a father. Thankfully my dad died a much more peaceful death than her fictional father, so I certainly posses none of the same anger, but it was sort of nice to watch her ruthlessly take people down (all while looking fabulous) because she wasn’t sad. It allowed me to think about my situation without being reminded of it in a particularly emotional way. Call me crazy – I know some people might think this is a borderline inappropriate reason for me to like Revenge! – but definitely don’t miss out on an excellent show!

Also, for literary buffs out there, apparently Revenge is loosely inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo. Feel free to use that fact to justify watching what is essentially a soap opera / drama, male readers…

Does anyone else love Revenge?

Images via & via