Monday, December 6, 2010

Acupuncture

So it's gotten significantly colder in Boston in the past week. I'm chilled to the bone right now and cannot warm up!

I had today off work because we had our 5th Annual Un-Gala yesterday and all of us worked both Saturday and Sunday. Today was a much needed rest day.

I know I haven't been blogging much and part of the reason is because I have been suffering from some major headaches. Tear. To help with this though, I have been seeing an acupuncturist. And by seeing, I mean, had my first appointment tonight.



It was strange but very relaxing. First the guy asked me about my medical history and what was bothering me. I told him that it's my migraines that I think start out as tension headaches and will become migraines if I don't treat them.

I also told him that what prompted me making the appointment was the fact that I've had a headache ever since before Thanksgiving. I often explain it to people like this: It's strange for me to NOT have a headache.

Anyway, so he took my pulse and looked at my tongue (IDK) and then decided to put needles in my arms and feet. He put a warming light on my feet as well.

As I said, it was really relaxing and I'm hopeful that with more sessions it will help me more. I have an appointment for next week.

In case anyone in the Boston area is wondering, I went Pathways to Wellness in the South End, because they offer payment on a sliding scale (by income). I recommend.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NY Sick


I'm not sure why it's hitting me right now. I don't know why I am longing for a place I for some reason had to learn to love to live in. I can't explain it, which shouldn't come as a surprise, because I can't explain a lot of my feelings, but I'm feeling homesick for NY.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Let me see that Tootsie Roll!

So, I recently moved to Cambridge. The reason I moved here from Brighton was so I could be on the red line for work. It's a straight shot for me now - there's no transferring involved and I don't have to ride the green line anymore, the dreaded "B" the train I used to think was cute because it's the oldest subway train in the country and is like a trolley, but I quickly realized is really annoying cause that meant it had to make traffic stops - which happens a lot during rush hour.

Anyway, as I was saying, I moved to Cambridge - Central Square to be exact. While Central isn't the greatest neighborhood ever, it definitely has the convenience factor in its favor. There's a WalGreens and CVS nearby, Whole Foods and Shaws, ATMs and banks, and multiple bus lines which will take me to the new warehouse/office when Cradles to Crayons moves in January.

The neighborhood I live in is called Area IV and I am convinced it's a secret base for aliens and UFO's. But more important than probably living with aliens, more important than probably having UFOs in my basement, is the fact that I live a block and a half away from a Tootsie Roll Factory.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. My walk home from work often smells of Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops and Junior Mints. I will walk an extra 2 minutes just to smell it and when people come to visit me I tell them, "make sure you smell the air on Main Street!".

It's the little things.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh SNAP

Yeah, so I knew this whole keeping-up-with-blogging-during-my-term-of-service-thing was not going to happen. That's just how I am and we all know it!

So, instead of trying to update my blog on everything I've been doing, I'm going to talk about something in particular - I'm going to talk about FOOD STAMPS.

As you may or may not know, Americorps Volunteers receive a very limited stipend. I'm talking 110% of the poverty level of the area you are serving.

Poverty is measured in different ways by different organizations. The Federal Government uses the "Orshansky Poverty Threshold" to measure poverty in the US. Orshanksy, an economist in 1969 who was working for the SSA, determined that the best way to determine poverty was by food. This is the equation she came up with:

$3.60 (the cheapest USDA Food Plan per day for a family of 4) x 3 (1950's studies showed families spent one third of income on food) x 365 = $3,942 (Any family of 4 living on less than this amount was considered poor)

The main issue with this calculation is the fact that it is pre-tax (income tax is about 1/3 of income -there goes your $ for food!). Also, it does not account for the variation of cost of living from state to state and between urban and rural areas. WTF, US government, WTF?

The government does include things like inflation, etc. So the 2009 Poverty Guideline for a household of 1 (ie: me) is $10,830!

So as I said, I am receiving 110% of the poverty level, so I can "live in the community I'm serving". The Americorps does take into account the cost of living for different areas, which is good, but since I'm at the poverty level in Massachussets, I'm elgible for Food Stamps.

Or, as us Mass'ers call it - SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). I recently applied for food stamps online and had to schedule a phone interview with someone from the Department of Transitional Services. I had to tell them my income, how much money I have in the bank, how much my rent is, if I'm paying for utilities, etc etc. So, I did that and now I have to prove everything and send them my lease, my bills, proof of identity, and proof of citizenship.

Once I do that, I'll receive $200 per month (this varies based on how much you are making, size of household and the area you are living in, obviously metro areas will get more, cause the cost of food is higher) that can be used at various grocery and convenience stores.

Now, I'm sure once I use it I will get different reactions. I know there's always been a stigma attached to food stamps, but they no longer look like play money, they look like a debit card:


I'm sure people will look at me and think that I don't look like I should be receiving food stamps, or that I'm taking advantage of the system, but this is obviously not the case.

I think an advantage to being on Food Stamps is that I understand what people need to do to get them. At the organization I'm working with, we determine if a school is eligible to receive our school-supplied filled backpacks if they have a certain amount of students on the free or reduced lunch program. Again, determining poverty by food, only one of the basic needs of people.

As an Americorps VISTA, our mission is to combat poverty, and I suppose the best way to learn how to do that is to live it yourself. You know, walk a mile in someone else's shoes, blah blah blah. Well, I am doing just that - I'm walking a mile by doing a year of service.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Big Girl Bed

So, I've been sleeping in a twin bed since, oh, I dunno, I was 4 years old or something. Actually, my bed is probably the same one that I had when I was 4.

Anyway, since I needed to come to Boston directly after pre-service orientation in Philly, I had to find a furnished room, which I did (kinda). The room came equipped with a Queen-sized bed - my very own big girl bed!

It's really strange to sleep in a bed this size. I mean, I'm a small person and I do fine with a twin. I'm not just saying that either, but sleeping on this....it was amazing. It was like I didn't know what I was missing. I imagine it's an awful lot like when people discovered fire.

The strange thing is, when I take a nap I can't sleep like I do when I'm going to bed for the night. I have to sprawl across the bed the wrong way, my feet dangling off the edge, my arms splayed out beside me.

I mention this because I took a nap after work yesterday and today. Bad idea on both counts, but, whatever, that's what coffee is for tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bad Blogger



I've been extremely bad about updating this thing about my time in Boston and in the Americorps, so I'll give you the short version, and then hopefully keep up with this.

  • Had Pre-Service Orientation in Philly, which was great. I met a lot of like-minded people, which did wonders for my outlook on my future. I thought I was one of a limited amount of people who value human service, philanthropy and volunteering, however, I learned that there are others out there who feel giving back is important.
The Liberty Bell, which was closed when we went.
  • Moved to Boston and started with Cradles to Crayons. I've been there for almost 2 weeks now and it's been a lot of fun. We've had fun activities and I'm learning how everything works in The Giving Factory.
Me and my "Freedom Trail" Tour guide. Hells yeah.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Drained

I am so tired when I get out of work, but it's a good tired. It's the kind of tired where you know you worked hard and are making a difference.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Americorps!


So, as I've mentioned, I have joined AmeriCorps*VISTA. I have moved to Boston to do a year of service with an organization called Cradles to Crayons. It's very exciting and I'm really enjoying it so far.
A little about Cradles to Crayons:
We are based out of Boston and serve the homeless and low-income children in the community by providing kids ages 0-13 with the everyday essentials they need to feel warm, safe, ready to learn and valued. The second part of C2C's mission is providing the community with volunteer opportunities so they can get involved and make a difference.

These missions are fulfilled in our "Giving Factory" which is a large warehouse in South Boston. We get donations from individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Then, we have volunteers come in and sort through these items and make sure they are up to par (so the child can feel valued).

We also partner with over 400 social service agencies and the case-workers log on and create orders for the children they are serving. We put these orders together (which is called a KidsPack) and could have clothing, pajamas, shoes, toys or school supplies.

It's a really great organization and I'm super excited to be working here for the next year.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Woot!

So, I know I'm not the most up-to-date blogger there is...since my last post I've moved out of NY and have accepted an Americorps position and will be moving to Boston. All I have to say is Phew! I've been relaxing at home and the month or so I have had here has flown by. I will be leaving for Philly next week where I'll attend a 4-day orientation and then I'm flying into Logan Airport and will start with the Americorps on the 19th. Ummm, yikes?

Anyway, Laurie from Cook Scrap Craft nudged me and suggested I update and check out her latest post because she had just awarded me the Versatile Blogger award!

Woot woot!! The Versatile Blogger award is, and I quote, "to recognize good design, writing, photos, etc.; to network amongst other bloggers; inspire content ideas, etc. Conditions of the award stipulate that I need to share seven things about myself and then pass on this award to other wonderful bloggers.”

First of all, thanks Laurie!

Now, my seven things about myself:
  1. I love volunteering (which is where the Americorps thing has come in) and I want to help others. I try to live my life by the quote "Be the change you want to see in the world" or however it goes. I want to get that tattooed on me...somewhere...and it will symbolize my time in the Americorps.
  2. I also want a tattoo to symbolize my time in NY. I just haven't finalized what I want yet, but I do know it will be on my left wrist.
  3. I love to do just about any type of craft, especially if I'm learning something new. I guess you could say I dabble. I crochet, sew, draw, sculpt, etc.
  4. A sneak peak into my newest crochet project:
  5. I own my own popcorn popper. Hells yeah.
  6. I am obsessed with the new social networking site for philanthropists and volunteers called Crowdrise. You can add people to your page, get points (and get prizes with those points), fundraise for the charities you care about it, log your volunteer hours, etc. It was started by Edward Norton and I love it more than I love Facebook. Which is a lot. Here's my page if you want to donate to any of my projects: Lindsey's Crowdrise Page.
  7. I would classify myself as "Lazy OCD" meaning I have OCD about a lot of things (how things are organized, etc) but I'm too lazy to fix them.

And then finally, I'm supposed to choose 7 other bloggers to give this award to. I don't know if I know 7 other bloggers, but here goes:

Ok, so I only really know 3 people, but they are all awesome, so whatever.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gleek


Confession time: I am a Gleek and I'm not afraid to show it! A friend of mine told me a couple weeks ago that they were opening up 100 tickets to each of the 5 Glee Tour shows at Radio City Music Hall for $25 each, first come, first served.

We decided to go for it because hi, $25! I got in line around 8am last Wednesday since the box office opened at 10am. There were quite a few people in line and it seemed as though I was #120ish - not too bad since they had 500. I ended up getting tickets to our first choice - Friday, and we were thrilled. Our seats were orchestra but towards the back and to the right. When we walked in the first thing we noticed was that it seemed like we were at regionals! They even displayed the William McKinley High School logo on the curtain.Then, some Cheerios came out and handed out "barf bags".
Sue came onscreen and told us what they were for (I'm assuming she was saying we would need them to puke in cause the show would suck)...but I was too busy screaming because Jane Lynch (Sue) herself walked past with Matthew Morrison (Mr. Schuester) in tow! Jane continued down the aisle but Matthew sat three rows ahead of us with Ryan Murphy (creator).White arrow is pointing to Matthew Morrison's head.

The show started with Don't Stop Believin'. I was fa-reaking out. It was awesome. I used my mom's camera for this since mine died, so I didn't quite have it figured out yet. As a result, some pics are blurry.
The rest of the set-list was as follows:

1. Don't Stop Believing
2. My Life Would Suck Without You
3. Push It
4. Don't Rain On My Parade
5. Beautiful
6. Sweet Caroline
7. The Boy Is Mine
8. Lady Is A Tramp
9. Defying Gravity
10. Bust Your Windows11. Bad Romance
12. Dancing With Myself
13. It's My Life / Confessions

14. Halo / Walking On Sunshine15. Rehab (Vocal Adrenaline)
16. Mercy (Vocal Adrenaline)17. Jump

18. Faithfully / Any Way You Want It
19. Like A Prayer
20. True Colors
21. Somebody To Love


At one point Chris (Kurt), Corey (Finn), and Mark (Puck) walked past me. I wasn't able to get any pictures but I did get to high-five most of them. Here's a pic of Puck's arm though.
They also did some "skits". The first one was between Britney and Mr. Schuester on screen ("Mr. Schuester, what are all these people doing here?"). Then Britney talked to us ("There are these guys backstage called stage-hands. I made out with all of them"). Sue and Mr. Schuester also had a bit, but I don't remember exactly what was said. Just know that it was really funny! haha

Also, Mr. Schuester went up stage at some point and played Israel Kamakawiwo'ole versions of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" with Puck, Mr. Schue on the uke and Puck on the guitar.


Overall, it was a fantastic show. Great songs, great performances. I love pretty much all of the people on the show (Rachel Berry, Puck, and Santana are my faves though).

Friday, May 28, 2010

I wanna rock!

So, one of the best things about living in NY is meeting people who have all kinds of jobs. Purse designers, Rockettes costume sewers, writers, actors, scientists. I know people who work for ad agencies, the museum of natural history, Sports Illustrated, NBC, law firms, the mayors office.
I have a friend who works for the Broadway League and since she knew my time in NY is limited, she decided to give me free tickets to some shows!
First up, last Friday I went and saw the Broadway play Race. Race, which opened in Dec. 2009 and stars David Alan Grier, James Spader and Kerry Washington, is a drama about a team of lawyers tasked with defending a white man accused of raping a black woman.

I enjoyed the play. The back-and-forth dialogue between the three main characters was fantastic and keeps you on your feet. I will admit, however, that some of it felt forced. I'm not sure if it's the nature of performance acting, but it did take me out of it at times.
Last Saturday I was able to see Rock of Ages. What a fun show! Rock of Ages, starring Constantine Mouralis of American Idol fame, is basically a rock show in script format. I laughed so much during this show and the music was awesome. The story, which chronicles a group of people working at a bar in the 80's, never dragged and was engaging. They gave out these "lighters" to hold up during the power ballads! Loved it!

Before I leave NY, I'm going to try to get lottery tickets for Wicked!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Today Show with Stalker Lindsey

So yesterday I had this plan to attempt to stalk Neil Patrick Harris while he was on the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee because I love me some NPH. I got into Manhattan around 9ish because Hoda and Kathie Lee start at 10. I knew it was a long shot to meet him since the weather was sucky and he most likely wouldn't come out to greet the fans.
When I walked up to the Today Show area in Rockefeller Center, I was approached by an intern who asked if I wanted to be on the show. I said yes of course! And she proceeded to tell me that I would be on a trivia portion where I could win a (an?) $100 gift card. I was nervous because I didn't want it to interfere with my stalking, but hello! a shot at a hundred bucks. I decided to go for it and I'm glad I did because not only did NPH not go outside, I also won $100!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/37233550#37233550
That's the video of me answering the question.

Basically, everyone who signed up to participate went to the NBC Experience Store at 10am because the segment airs at 10:30. We were lined up in order so Kathie Lee could go down the line when asking questions. The theme for this week was about college and graduates and my question was easy. True or False: More woman than men will enroll in college this fall, which, of course, was true. I got a $100 Visa gift card! Now I just have to figure out what to spend it on!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jersey Shore *fist pump*


To celebrate her new job and to conclude our amazing time of unemployedness together, Jess and I decided to take a trip to the Jersey Shore, more specifically Point Pleasant beach. It was a nicer day, but very windy. We had a fun time taking some pictures and just being dorks.
So true!


Yes, we did take jumping pictures.