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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

For 2012, gratitude is my attitude. I’m posting, via Twitter, something I’m grateful for, everyday for 366 days.

It all started after seeing this segment by Faith Salie. What I took away from her two minute 36 second commentary was that being grateful would stave off depression and death. Sold!

A couple of folks have joined in on the #Gratitude2012 hashtag (@rclansing and @martymiz). But it’s not too late! Come on, it’ll be fun!

Below is the running list of my gratitudes and some with background on what was happening that day.

susantran #365/366 Grateful I’ve got much to b grateful for!Hubby cleared car of snow in am b4 work.Friend went w me to cheer 4 #Pats! #Gratitude2012

susantran #364/366 I’m grateful for a fun visit from my friend Mike from #Charlotte. #Gratitude2012

susantran #363/366 I’m grateful for @CoryBooker quote: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” #Gratitude2012

susantran #362/366 I’m grateful for folks in #Saugus who put on best light display I’ve seen this season!! #Gratitude2012 #5again

susantran #361/366 I’m grateful my friend Darren introduced me to the mightily delicious hamantaschen!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #360/366 I’m grateful for Christmas with hubby and friends who are like family. #Gratitude2012 (6 days left in 2012.)

susantran #359/366 I’m grateful for hubby’s love of cooking. We all win. #PrimeRibPrepsForChristmasDinner. #Gratitude2012

susantran #358/366 I’m grateful for Sundays!!! Brunch w friends. Dinner w friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #357/366 Grateful hubby finally got to open the 10 yr anniversary box (time capsule) I have him in ’02. #Gratitude2012

susantran #356/366 I’m grateful that from here on out, every day gets lighter and lighter out!!!! #Gratitude2012 #WinterSolstice

susantran #355/366 I’m grateful for these delicious cookies hubby bought from @momomilkbar. #Gratitude2012

susantran #354/366 I’m grateful for a little holiday surprise from friends Bob and Jorge. #Gratitude2012

susantran #353/366 Grateful for Feeling powerless, it’s perfect vehicle to help classrooms and students in need. #Gratitude2012

susantran #352/366 I’m grateful on this very wet day I was able to stay relatively dry. #Gratitude2012

susantran #351/366 Grateful I got to come home from CT for a night to cheer on #Pats! A luxurious distraction. #Gratitude2012

susantran #350/366 I’m grateful I found some veggies to-go for dinner. #Gratitude2012

susantran #349/366 Today’s gratitude is tough. I’m grateful for crew in #Newtown and #Boston. You’re the best! #Gratitude2012

susantran #348/366 I’m grateful for the call from @drivesavers! They were able to recover 90% of my damaged hard drive! #Gratitude2012

susantran #347/366 I’m grateful for the ability to print address labels. Do you handwrite the addresses for your cards? #Gratitude2012

susantran #346/366 I’m grateful for some adversity in life. 1-Makes me appreciate joy more. 2-There is no better motivator. #Gratitude2012

susantran #345/366 I’m grateful for @BostInnovation and their article on watching #Pats game on laptop!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #344/366 I’m grateful we (hubby, housemate, and me) found a perfect #Christmas tree! #Gratitude2012

susantran #343/366 I’m grateful friends are expecting their first baby and we got to toast his eminent arrival. #Gratitude2012

susantran #342/366 I’m grateful for productive days. Knocked off a bunch of to-do’s and went into work early! #Gratitude2012

susantran #340/366 I’m grateful for the @CapeCodFishShar! Hubby made me yummy lunch from this week’s catch. #Gratitude2012

susantran #339/366 I’m grateful I got my backup to my backup to work on my laptop. #Gratitude2012

susantran #338/366 I’m grateful I ran into this cute pup on my run. #Gratitude2012

susantran #337/366 I’m grateful hubby took me to see #BookOfMormon for anniversary. #Gratitude2012

susantran #336/366 I’m grateful for hubby! 11 years in a row of marital bliss!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #335/366 I’m grateful for ice skating at #RockefellerCenter. #Gratitude2012

susantran #334/366 I’m grateful that the dorsal fins in the ocean w/ me belonged to dolphins not sharks. #Gratitude2012

susantran #333/366 I’m grateful for my little brother and his girl Rachel. #Gratitude2012

susantran #332/366 Saw on twitter that it’s snowing in #BayState. I’m grateful to be in #California. #Gratitude2012

susantran #331/366 I’m grateful for beautiful views in Southern California. Mountains behind me, ocean in view. #Gratitude2012

susantran #330/366 I’m grateful I got to boogie boarding w/ my friend Katie in late November in California. #Gratitude2012

susantran #329/366 I’m grateful to be a tourist in my hometown. #WarnerBrosStudios #Gratitude2012

susantran #328/366 I’m grateful for people like Shannon Gouveia, who selflessly donated a kidney to a stranger. #Gratitude2012

****In search of Gratitude #327.  Which happens to be Thanksgiving Day!!! I either didn’t know one, or I didn’t hashtag it #Gratitude2012. Please stand by.****

susantran #326/366 I’m envious of folks starting their holiday today, but grateful for the clear roads for my drive into work. #Gratitude2012

susantran #325/366 I’m grateful for being able to call an old friend and pick up where we left off. #Gratitude2012

susantran #324/366 I’m grateful for a lunch date with hubby. #Gratitude2012

susantran #323/366 I’m grateful for a nice fall day in Union Square Park. #Gratitude2012

susantran #322/366 I’m grateful for a gorgeous day on the #HighLine w friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #321/366 I’m grateful for fresh pasta with friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #320/366 I’m grateful for a pre-trip present from hubby – boots! Woohoo! #Gratitude2012

susantran #319/366 I’m grateful for the email from @Gazelle_com that it’s giving me $ for my old phone (despite the crack!)! #Gratitude2012

susantran #318/366 I’m grateful for the power of my own two feet. Woke up late for doctor’s appt so I put on running shoes and ran. #Gratitude2012

susantran #317/366 I’m grateful for an unusually warm autumn day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #316/366 I’m grateful I finally got to meet a Puli. Wallace was such a sweetie!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #315/366 I’m grateful for my tulip bulbs. Here’s to spring 2013!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #314/366 I’m grateful for a stakeout that worked. #Gratitude2012

susantran #313/366 I’m grateful for bag of marked-down Halloween candy&photog (@dustywoodshow) who shared it w me #Gratitude2012

susantran #312/366 I’m grateful for this piece of street art. I don’t know which part came first but I love it. #Gratitude2012

susantran #311/366 Gratitude today is easy one -I’m very grateful for the right to vote!!! Happy #ElectionDay! #Gratitude2012

susantran #310/366 Grateful 4 job where I get 2 cover local race w national implications. #Gratitude2012 (thx @tbone51558 4 pix)

susantran #309/366 I’m grateful for Sunday night with friends. I made quinoa salad. #Gratitude2012

susantran #308/366 (Saturday) I’m grateful for a busy day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #307/366 I’m grateful for caramels. They’re my favorite candy. What’s yours??? #Gratitude2012

susantran #306/366 (Thursday) I’m grateful my hair stylist (Alison at @DellariaSalons) could work me in for a cut and color. #Gratitude2012

susantran #305/366 I’m grateful for #Halloween at #FenwayPark. #Gratitude2012

susantran #304/366 I’m grateful for Milk Duds, one of my favorite candies! #Gratitude2012

susantran #303/366 I’m grateful for a small silly moment during #Sandy – found fish in floodwaters and caught 3. #Gratitude2012

susantran #302/366 I’m grateful for a quiet night at home before #MASandy coverage tomorrow. #Gratitude2012

susantran #301/366 (Saturday) I’m grateful my friend totally won at roulette!! #Gratitude2012 (cc: @ryancmiller)

susantran #300/366 I’m grateful for ice sculptures. #Gratitude2012

susantran #299/366 I’m grateful for a few moments of fun w @dustywoodshow during a crazy day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #298/366 I’m grateful for how fun it is to take pix w cardboard @RobGronkowski! #Gratitude2012 (thx @tvdang72)

susantran #297/366 I’m grateful for whoever is responsible for turning an ugly lot to a beautiful green space! #Gratitude2012

susantran #296/366 (Monday) I’m grateful for shows waiting for me on my dvr. #Gratitude2012

susantran #295/366 I’m grateful for my new #Patriots jersey!!! #75 #Wilfork!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #294/366 I’m grateful for the splendor of the #HeadOfTheCharlesRegatta. #Gratitude2012

susantran #293/366 I’m grateful for laptop computers. They make it possible to multitask! #Gratitude2012

susantran #292/366 I’m grateful the city granted an appeal to my ticket. #Gratitude2012

susantran #291/366 I’m grateful I don’t have kids. #Gratitude2012

susantran #290/366 (Late again, shoot!) I’m grateful for a reliable plumber who fixed our heater. #Gratitude2012

susantran #289/366 I’m grateful for a new profile picture. #Gratitude2012

susantran #288/366 I’m grateful for Southern comfort food. #Gratitude2012 #ShrimpAndGrits

susantran #287/366 I’m grateful for the piñata at my party!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #286/366 I’m grateful the mittens I ordered have arrived in time for a chilly fall. #Gratitude2012

susantran #285/366 (Thurs) I’m grateful for a clean house. #Gratitude2012

susantran #284/366 I’m grateful for the candy at the sexual harassment training session. (The session was also very good!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #283/366 (tardy again!) I’m grateful for meeting mother of Glen Doherty, former Navy SEAL killed in Libya last month. #Gratitude2012

susantran #282/366 (a bit late) I’m grateful for how awesome the battery life is on my new phone. #Gratitude2012

susantran #281/366 I’m grateful for icee and popcorn for movie night! I highly recommend Pitch Perfect. Very cute! #Gratitude2012

susantran #280/366 I’m grateful for date night with hubby. Dinner at @erbaluceboston with great bottle of wine. #Gratitude2012

susantran #279/366 I’m grateful for a leisurely walk through Government Center today that provided great people watching. #Gratitude2012

susantran #278/366 I’m grateful to have a really exciting day!! #Gratitude2012 (sent via my new phone! yeah!)

susantran #277/366 I’m grateful for the presidential debate. What a great country, that we can have civil discourse. #Gratitude2012

susantran #276/366 Grateful I needed to get video from parking lot of 1 of my favorite pie places! #PiesForCrew #Gratitude2012

susantran #275/366 I’m grateful for two new local stores in our neighborhood @UrbanGrape and @SnapTopMarket. #Gratitude2012

susantran #274/366 I’m grateful for how a good movie can be mood altering. #LiberalArts “Fortune never smiles on those who say no” #Gratitude2012

susantran #273/366 I’m grateful for an opportunity to emcee the Viet-AID event and win #Patriots tix! #Gratitude2012

susantran #272/366 I’m grateful for the sour apple Blow Pop our truck op just gave us!!! #IFeelLikeAKid! #Gratitude2012

susantran #271/366 Today, really, I’m just grateful for a few deep breaths. #Gratitude2012

susantran #270/366 I’m grateful for the people around me who make me better. Thank you! #Gratitude2012

susantran #269/366 Grateful for my dress that’s made in America. As a daughter of garment worker, I know the importance of that label. #Gratitude2012

susantran #268/366 Living in a houseful of unhandy people, I’m grateful for our handyman, Will, who can fix anything!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #267/366 I’m grateful for a fun bike ride before a working Sunday. #Gratitude2012 (Only 99 days left of 2012!)

susantran #266/366 On this first day of autumn, I’m grateful for pumpkin ice cream. #Gratitude2012

susantran #265/366 Grateful for running into old neighbors while doing story! Even better, they agreed to be interviewed. #Gratitude2012

susantran #264/366 I’m grateful for the nice man at #BedBathAndBeyond who helped me carry my new trash can to the car. #Gratitude2012

susantran #263/366 Grateful for new piece of furniture. Created by our friend Andy. ( #Gratitude2012

susantran #262/366 I’m grateful for the ability to multitask!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #261/366 I’m grateful for ‘vacation highs!’ They can sustain me for months!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #260/366 Grateful for great last day of vacation on Cape. Finale-bike and hike to Race Point Lighthouse. #Gratitude2012

susantran #259/366 I’m grateful for an awesome beach fire. #Gratitude2012

susantran #258/366 I’m grateful for a perfectly packed trunk. #Gratitude2012

susantran #257/366 I’m grateful crazy green peppers from @SienaFarms. Hubby coated w olive oil, grilled then sprinkled w sea salt. Yum! #Gratitude2012

susantran #256/366 I’m grateful for a relaxing evening after a day of fun in the sun! #Vacation. #Gratitude2012

susantran #255/366 I’m grateful to be with friends enjoying a beautiful sunset. #Gratitude2012

susantran #254/366 I’m grateful for the many literal and figurative signs of peace in my life. #Gratitude2012

susantran #253/366 I’m grateful for a beautiful double rainbow in #Provincetown. #Gratitude2012

susantran #252/366 I’m grateful for my new used bike. #gratitude2012

susantran #251/366 I’m grateful to be packing for the Cape!!! Woohoo. #Gratitude2012

susantran #250/366 I’m grateful for the very helpful folks at my local #Volvo dealership! #Gratitude2012

susantran #249/366 I’m grateful for live streaming. 4years ago I had to dvr all convention speeches, now I can watch online! #Gratitude2012

susantran #248/366 I’m grateful for sticky rice dumplings that hubby saw at market and thought I’d enjoy. #Gratitude2012

susantran #247/366 On this Labor Day, I’m grateful to live in Massachusetts the 1st state to pass child labor laws. #Gratitude2012

susantran #246/366 I’m grateful for coffee ice cream. #Gratitude2012

susantran #245/366 Grateful for fun experience @salmagundi_hats watching hubby and @BermudaDotCom tying bowties. #Gratitude2012

susantran #244/366 I loved seeing this flower growing out of side of dilapidated building.It’s like a life lesson. #Gratitude2012

susantran #243/366 Grateful for neighborhood stores like Tadpole. Zip in. They recommend fun baby gifts. Zip out. #Gratitude2012

susantran #242/366 I’m grateful I found a hose sprayer that works and doesn’t leak. #Gratitude2012

susantran #241/366 I’m grateful for our democratic process here in #America. #Gratitude2012

susantran #240/366 I’m grateful for coupons. I saved $10 today. #Gratitude2012

susantran #239/366 I’m grateful for a perfect beach day… Finished a book, chatted with a friend, got sun! #Gratitude2012

susantran #238/366 I’m grateful for cliff diving event at Fan Pier! Beautiful and powerful athleticism. #Gratitude2012

susantran #237/366 I’m grateful hubby took me purse shopping. I didn’t find ‘the one’ which is probably a gratitude for all. #Gratitude2012

susantran #236/366 I’m grateful that few goats and calf can instantly turned us into kids! #Gratitude2012

susantran #235/366 Grateful I got to meet Robert Curley. His 10yr son Jeff was murdered 15yrs ago. He advocates against death penalty. #Gratitude2012

susantran #234/366 I’m grateful for the invention of Bengay. I use it on big bites. Today, it’s key to my survival. #Gratitude2012

susantran #233/366 I’m grateful for a good diner breakfast. #Gratitude2012

susantran #232/366 I’m grateful for a great visit w my friend Brendan. #Gratitude2012 (Excuse the horrid pix!)

susantran #231/366 Listening to #Boston‘s own Gracie Curran & The High Falutin’ Band at Newport Blues Cafe. #Gratitude2012

susantran #230/366 I’m grateful to see two little old ladies, swim caps and all, boogie boarding!!! Love it! #Gratitude2012

susantran #229/366 I’m grateful for the beauty of a long weekend!!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #228/366 Grateful for notification that I won #Gotye tickets during a benefit before last night’s #BruceSpringsteen concert. #Gratitude2012

susantran #227/366 I’m grateful for an awesome night with the Boss. #BruceSpringsteen!!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #226/366 I’m grateful for #OldtimeBaseball. #Gratitude2012

susantran #225/366 I’m grateful for a moving sunset. #Gratitude2012

susantran #224/366 I’m grateful for beauty within and urban community garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #223/366 I’m grateful for my old, sassy girl Cricket. She’s 15 today. #Gratitude2012

susantran #222/366 (Thursday-I’ve been tardy!) I’m grateful for the peacefulness plants bring me each morning when I water them. #Gratitude2012

susantran #221/366 (Wednesday) I’m grateful that my tooth pain was nothing serious. #Gratitude2012

susantran #220/366 I’m grateful that working w photogs means a daily photo lesson. Say Cheese! #Gratitude2012

susantran #219/366 I’m grateful @tim_caputo was kind enough to let me take the last laptop this afternoon. #Gratitude2012

susantran #218/366 I’m grateful for an afternoon of shopping with my niece E. Senior portrait outfits-check. Cowgirl boots-check. #Gratitude2012

susantran #217/366 I’m grateful for Mrs. Dang who heard I loved this Vietnamese dish, so she made it for me. #Gratitude2012

susantran #216/366 I’m grateful for our beautiful National Anthem. Every time I hear it, I get chills. #Gratitude2012

susantran #215/366 (Thursday) I’m grateful I got to witness a spiritual scene on the streets of #Boston. #Gratitude2012

susantran #214/366 I’m grateful to have made my final credit card payment. I feel lighter. #Gratitude2012

susantran #213/366 I’m grateful for my new umbrella and old rain boots. It’s yucky on the Cape tonight! #Gratitude2012

susantran #212/366 I’m grateful for a great cup of coffee w my best friend before she went home & I went to work #Gratitude2012

susantran #211/366 I’m grateful for my best friend and husband who are quite similar!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #210/366 When I die I hope my heaven looks like the #Nantucket Hydrangea Farm. #Gratitude2012

susantran #209/366 I’m grateful for the fun created by the buoy bat at #MiacometBeach! #Gratitude2012

susantran #208/366 I’m grateful for my very best friend (of 25 yrs) who is visiting!!!! Yipppeee!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #207/366 I’m grateful for best brother EVER! Sent me bottle of fav wine as TY for his bday present! #Gratitude2012

susantran #206/366 I’m grateful we finally found something that keeps my pup from freaking out when there is thunder and lightning. #Gratitude2012

susantran #205/366 Grateful I got to meet Fernando Morales. Battled cancer last summer, this yr he’s going to #London to see #Olympics #Gratitude2012

susantran #204/366 I’m grateful for hot air balloons. #Gratitude2012 (cc: @awilliamson7)

susantran #203/366 I’m grateful for an afternoon of food, folly, and furry friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #202/366 I’m grateful for my small vase of garden flowers. On such a day, I needed bit a beauty. #Gratitude2012

susantran #201/366 I’m grateful for Bengay. For some reason they do the trick on my mosquito bites. And I have many! #Gratitude2012

susantran #200/366 I’m grateful for the beauty following a storm! It’s everywhere!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #199/366 I’m grateful for Willis Carrier who invented the air conditioner 110 years ago! #Gratitude2012

susantran #198/366 I’m grateful for the discovery of a yummy new eatery! #Gratitude2012

susantran #197/366 I’m grateful for ability to crowd source mosquito bite relief. Toothpaste was most effective suggestion! #Gratitude2012

susantran #196/366 I’m grateful for road trips. #Gratitude2012

susantran #195/366 Grateful for Tomasi Nurseries who are so helpful to a novice (black-thumbed) gardener. #Gratitude2012

susantran #194/366 Grateful for Mr. Ruckus, WWII vet, who said he’d kick butt if they said he couldn’t hang flag. #Gratitude2012

susantran #193/366 grateful for a lunch of watermelon and corn. #SummerTime #Gratitude2012

susantran #192/366 I’m grateful that the news gods were kind to me today. All 3 scenes I showed up at, someone talked to me! #Gratitude2012

susantran #191/366 I’m grateful when work takes me to the beach! #Gratitude2012

susantran #190/366 I’m grateful for a dirty martini, down. Cheers! #Gratitude2012

susantran #189/366 I’m grateful for a great book. Just started “The Fault inOur Stars – John Green.” Love it! #Gratitude2012

susantran #188/366 I’m grateful for wedge heeled shoes. #Gratitude2012

susantran #187/366 I’m grateful for dogs and how they humanize people. (This cutie was at vet today!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #186/366 I’m grateful to be an American! #Gratitude2012

susantran #185/366 I’m grateful for these beautiful sand creations at #Hampton Beach. #Gratitude2012

susantran #184/366 (Monday) I’m grateful for the advent of email. I can’t remember life before near-instantaneous response. #Gratitude2012

susantran #183/366 These are just majestic vessels. #Gratitude2012

susantran #182/366 (Saturday) A whole fun day of celebrating a friend’s birthday. #Gratitude2012

susantran Due to complaints-amend: grateful I got to work on my garden! RT @susantran: #181/366 My back aches after working in garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #181/366 My back aches a bit after an entire morning working in the garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #180/366 I’m grateful that a small plant can give a friend a big smile. #Gratitude2012

susantran #179/366 I’m grateful for the iron sulphate that keeps the slugs out of my garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #178/366 I’m grateful for a black bear who seems to charm us all with his travel exploits. #Gratitude2012

susantran #177/366 (Monday) I’m grateful for a great morning before a crazy day at work. #Gratitude2012

susantran #176/366 I’m grateful for the pair of Jacks at The Red Inn. #Gratitude2012

susantran #175/366 I’m grateful for marriage equality. #Gratitude2012

susantran #174/366 (Friday) I’m grateful for the magnificent beauty sunset against a #Boston skyline. #Gratitude2012

susantran #173/366 I’m grateful for a fun crew on this fabulous summer night. #Gratitude2012

susantran #172/366 First day of summer and hottest day and I’m in #Chatham where it’s beautiful. #Gratitude2012

susantran #171/366 Love it! #Gratitude2012 RT @techglance: A Cappella Group Gives Popular Wedding Song a Rap Twist [VIDEO]

susantran #170/366 I’m grateful for the arrival of my favorite fruit. Cherries!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #169/366 I’m grateful for my dad, father-in-law, and all the awesome father figures out there. #Gratitude2012

susantran #168/366 I’m grateful for an afternoon with some super cool kids (and their parents too!)!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #167/366 I’m grateful for my pup’s pride bandana. #Gratitude2012

susantran #166/366 Eating mint and basil from my garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #165/366 I’m grateful for coconut sauce. Put coconut in anything and it’s better. #Gratitude2012

susantran #164/366 There’s never a shortage of news in Boston. #Gratitude2012

susantran #163/366 I’m grateful #Middleboro, whose public profanity by-law, gave me a fun and interesting story tonight. #Gratitude2012

susantran #162/366 I’m grateful for chowder. Lots of delicious chowder on the Cape! #Gratitude2012

susantran #161/366 I am so grateful for friends, Cape, and clams! Together. #Gratitude2012

susantran #160/366 Had some late night pizza with housemate. Always fun! #Gratitude2012

susantran #159/366 Grateful for summer gift from hubby – a Nantucket Beach Chair. Will test it out this weekend. #Gratitude2012

susantran #158/366 I’m grateful for breaking news. Gets the adrenaline pumping. #Gratitude2012

susantran #157/366 Grateful for Cape Cod potato chips. #TastySnack! #Gratitude2012

susantran #156/366 I’m grateful for great co-workers. #Gratitude2012

susantran #155/366 I’m grateful for the miracle of life. #Gratitude2012

susantran #154/366 (Saturday) I’m grateful for TV News Prom. Big fun with new and old friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #153/366 I’m grateful I finally found an awesome primary care physician!! Yeah!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #152/366 I’m grateful for my summer scent: DEET! #Gratitude2012

susantran #151/366 I’m grateful for packaged ramen. It’s cheap and yummy and reminds me of college. #Gratitude2012

susantran #150/366 When working is fun.While waiting to get video of lightning, @tvdang72 got me w ominous clouds. #Gratitude2012

susantran #149/366 (Monday) Grateful for all our military heros. #Gratitude2012 (pix courtesy of friend Cyrus)

susantran #148/366 I’m grateful for the $3.00 bag of mangos with chili, salt and lemon juice. #Gratitude2012

susantran #147/366 I’m grateful to be visiting my friend in NYC. #Gratitude2012

susantran #146/366 Grateful to have a friend, an Army soldier visiting us this weekend. #Gratitude2012

susantran #145/366 I’m grateful for my 52 point word on Words With Friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #144/366 It’s nearly 8p and it’s sunny! Hip hip hooray!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #143/366 I’m grateful for the kind woman who offered me coffee after seeing me outside her store all day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #142/366 (Just a few minutes late!) I’m grateful for some new slug killer stuff (Hope it works!). #Gratitude2012

susantran #141/366 (Sunday) I’m grateful for the first beach day of the season. #MStreetBeach #Gratitude2012

susantran #140/366 Getting to see my niece off to prom. (I know, the resemblance is uncanny!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #139/366 (Friday) I’m grateful for flip flops on a sunny day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #138/366 I’m grateful for the beauty that lives in the #Boston Public Garden. #Gratitude2012

susantran #137/366 I’m grateful for #Wednesdays. They’re midway between what I’ve done and what I’m looking forward to. #Gratitude2012

susantran #136/366 I’m grateful for the construction guys who are kind enough to help me move my trash cans. #Gratitude2012 #SmallActOfKindness

susantran #135/366 I’m grateful for my dentist who squeezed me in after I chipped my tooth. (#3 in string of bad luck this week!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #134/366 Driving to #Greenland, NH to find perfect peony plant is something to be grateful about. #Gratitude2012

susantran #133/366 I’m grateful for the inaugural summer back patio dinner. #Gratitude2012

susantran #132/366 I’m grateful for grill cheese sandwiches. #Gratitude2012

susantran #131/366 I’m grateful for truck operator who brought us ice cream treats! #LourencoRocks #Gratitude2012

susantran #130/366 I had many fails today but I’m grateful they were all #FirstWorld or #UptownProblems. #Gratitude2012

susantran #129/366 I’m grateful that my phone still works even though her screen is shattered. (Like breaking instead of losing arm.) #Gratitude2012

susantran #128/366 I’m grateful for finding a new primary care physician (and getting an appointment)! #Gratitude2012

susantran #127/366 I’m grateful for the advent of flashmobs! Such a fun moment w strangers. #Gratitude2012

susantran #126/366 I’m grateful for movie theater popcorn. It’s just so yummy! #Gratitude2012

susantran #125/366 (yesterday) I’m grateful for a brand new tree planted in neighborhood. Thx @mayortommenino! #Gratitude2012

susantran #124/366 I’m grateful for the ice cream treat from @dustywoodshow! #Gratitude2012

susantran #123/366 I’m grateful for an 8yr w brain tumor who give me a better perspective on life. #Gratitude2012 #RileyRoman

susantran #122/366 Grateful knowing there are people who will risk their own lives to safe another. #EverydayHeros #Gratitude2012

susantran #121/366 I’m grateful for my digital camera. How did we manage when we could only get 36 pix on one roll of film? #Gratitude2012

susantran #120/366 I’m grateful for a fridge full of leftovers. #Gratitude2012

susantran #119/366 I’m grateful we got to toast our friends’ upcoming nuptial. #Gratitude2012

susantran #118/366 Grateful I still know how to ride a grocery cart from store front to car. #Gratitude2012 #IAmStill7Sometimes

susantran #117/366 I’m very grateful for friends who will show up at an event just to support me! Such love! #Gratitude2012

susantran #116/366 (yesterday) I’m grateful for the very helpful and friendly folks at the #Weymouth Police Department. #Gratitude2012

susantran #115/366 I’m grateful for spicy soups (combatant of congestion!)!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #114/366 I’m grateful to know there are so many kind, thoughtful souls in this world. #Gratitude2012

susantran #113/366 I’m grateful for umbrellas. #Gratitude2012

susantran #112/366 I’m grateful for good food and good company. #CharlotteFriends #Gratitude2012

susantran #111/366 I’m grateful for my #Charlotte friends visiting us in #Boston! Now we need sun on Sunday for #RedSox. #Gratitude2012

susantran #110/366 I’m grateful for grilled chicken. Hubby travels but stocks fridge w food and this time – delicious chicken. #Gratitude2012

susantran #109/366 (Late again!) I’m grateful for scanners… bring old pictures to the whole wide web. #Gratitude2012

susantran #108/366 I’m grateful for outdoor space in a city apartment! A cup of coffee is so much better when sipping in sunshine. #Gratitude2012

susantran #107/366 I’m grateful for Facebook’s ability to reconnect me with old friends. #BU #Gratitude2012

susantran #106/33 I’m grateful for strawberry shortcakes w/ homemade biscuits courtesy : @BradTatum! #Gratitude2012

susantran #105/366 (yesterday) I’m grateful for the side-ache I got from laughing so hard with friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #104/366 I’m grateful for the people of #Greenland. They suffered a great loss but still extended such kindness to us. #Gratitude2012

susantran #103/366 Such heartbreaking news out if #Greenland NH. Today I’m grateful for police officers! #Gratitude2012

susantran #102/366 (few minutes late!) I’m grateful for friends who bring in #Easter candy pilfered from their children’s baskets! #Win #Gratitude2012

susantran #101/366 (yesterday) Grateful for the tulips I planted in the fall. Nature, you are beautiful! #Gratitude2012

susantran #100/366 I’m back to work!!!! #PostVacationHigh #Gratitude2012

susantran #99/366 Coming home. #Gratitude2012

susantran #98/366 Rain day on vacation. One out of a dozen is a win! #Gratitude2012

susantran #97/366 Seeing a shade of blue I’ve never seen before inside the grotto in #Capri. #Gratitude2012

susantran #96/366 Delicious wine made by Gennaro’s at #MammaAgata ‘s! If in #Italy -u must visit them in #Ravello! #Gratitude2012

susantran #95/366 (Wednesday) Meeting great strangers on a ferry. #Gratitude2012

susantran #94/366 Romantic #Rome. #Gratitude2012

susantran #93/366 (Monday) The #SistineChapel. Beauty to behold. #Gratitude2012

susantran #92/366 (Sunday) Palm Sunday Mass with the Pope. #Gratitude2012

susantran #91/366 One of the best birthday surprises ever – friends meeting me in #Rome. #Gratitude2012

susantran #90/366 Fresh, homemade pasta. I can eat it at every meal. Tonight, it was pici pasta w duck bolognese! #Gratitude2012

susantran #89/366 (Yesterday) Wandering the streets of #Florence has a very romantic feel at night. #Gratitude2012

susantran #87/366 (Yesterday) Seeing #Florence from atop the #Duomo. Gratitude2012

susantran #88/366 Being ahead of schedule on the #Florence itinerary. #Gratitude2012

susantran #86/366 I’m grateful for beautiful sunsets. #Gratitude2012

susantran #85/366 Celebrating a birthday in a foreign land. #Gratitude2012

susantran #84/366 At Logan airport. I am grateful for the ability to travel! #Gratitude2012

susantran #83/366 (yesterday) I’m grateful for a great morning crew who were extremely helpful and supportive. #Gratitude2012

susantran #82/366 I have a great allergist. Hallelujah, this spring! (But I’m desperate for a primary care physician. Know anyone?) #Gratitude2012

susantran #81/366 (for Wednesday) I’m grateful for not needing a winter coat for work. #Gratitude2012

susantran #80/366 Spring – I love you and your above average high!!!! What a great day! #Gratitude2012

susantran #79/366 (for Monday) I’m grateful for the incredibly nice nurses at my allergy clinic. #Gratitude2012

susantran #78/366 Im grateful for a beer on the stoop w/ hubby. #Gratitude2012

susantran #77/366 I’m grateful for dinner parties; great way for friends to reconnect. #Gratitude2012

susantran #76/366 (Again, a day late!) A cancelled flight led to a surprise visit by a friend. Great to see you @BermudaDotCom! #Gratitude2012

susantran #75/366 (yesterday’s) I’m grateful for electricity. You don’t know how good it is to have power until you don’t. #Gratitude2012

susantran #74/366 Despite having no power, I still had a hot meal and shower at a friend’s. Very gratefull!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #73/366 I’m grateful for kale. I’m obsessed with sautéed kale. I know, odd. #Gratitude2012

susantran #72/366 I’m grateful for my sassy, old girl who is as stubborn as she is cute. #Gratitude2012

susantran #71/366 I had a nice long run and enjoyed the first day of Daylight-saving Time! #Gratitude2012

susantran #70/366 I’m grateful for pizza, movie and friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #69/366 Im grateful for the compliment I received today. #Gratitude2012

susantran #68/388 Eating al fresco and getting some sun!!! Great day to work mornings!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #67/366 Joy of all joys!!!! Sunshine and gorgeous outside and I’m enjoying it!!!! #Gratitude2012

susantran #66/366 The freedom to vote! #Gratitude2012

susantran #65/366 I’m grateful I’m half way done with my weekly allergy shots. They are not fun. #Gratitude2012

susantran #64/366 My college girlfriends and I got together for brunch. Good times. #Gratitude2012

susantran #63/366 I’m grateful for friends who are like family. #Gratitude2012

susantran #62/366 A thoughtful husband who scrapped my car of snow so I wouldn’t have to in the middle of the night. #Gratitude2012

susantran #61/366 I’m grateful for pilates and how much it turned around my mood. #Gratitude2012

susantran #60/366 #UrbanTriumph!!!!!! I’m grateful for the parking space right infront of restaurant where I’m picking up food! #Gratitude2012

susantran #59/366 (from yesterday) I’m grateful for a mango frozen yogurt after a long day! #Gratitude2012

susantran #58/366 I am grateful I survived an extreme schedule change w just a bit of crabbiness. (I should be nicer tomorrow!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #57/366 I’m grateful for a beautiful, sunny day. #Gratitude2012

susantran #56/366 I’m grateful for a dinner date with old and new friends!! #Gratitude2012

susantran I panfried some polenta for lunch. It was delicious. A small yumminess that gives me #55/366 for #Gratitude2012!

susantran #54/366 I am grateful I was at the end of my run and only two blocks from home when it started to rain and hail! #Gratitude2012

susantran #53/366 I’m grateful for a fabulous February day where I could eat ice cream, outside in the sunshine! #Gratitude2012

susantran Saw a young man help a stranger in a wheelchair.. giving me #52/366. I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers. #Gratitude2012

susantran #51/366 I’m grateful for considerate neighbor who had his demolition crew hold off on jackhammering until after 9a. #Gratitude2012

susantran #50/366 I’m grateful for Chinese takeout with friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #49/366 I’m grateful for a day spent listening to a beautiful service for #WhitneyHouston. #Gratitude2012

susantran #48/366 I’m grateful for a hole-in-the-wall restaurant Ferry St. BBQ where we got quick bite of delicious chicken! #Gratitude2012

susantran I feel off #Gratitude2012 bandwagon w #WhitneyHouston funeral coverage. Here’s #47/366 Grateful for station that likes to travel for news!

susantran #46/366 I am grateful for the infectious laughter inducing video. Enjoy! Thx: @mpcapasso #Gratitude2012

susantran #45/366 I’m grateful for the love that’s in the air because it’s Valentine’s Day! #Gratitude2012

susantran #44/366 I’m grateful I got to see my college girlfriend marry a wonderful man. #Gratitude2012

susantran #43/366 (I missed a gratitude Sunday!) I’m grateful for how much inspiration a piano can be for an impromptu photo shoot! #Gratitude2012

susantran #42/366 I’m grateful for old college friends. #Gratitude2012

susantran #41/366 I’m grateful for a housemate with whom I can share camera equipment. (His gear is WAY better!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #40/366 I’m grateful that I found a beginners adult tap dancing class! (And all the fodder that’s set to follow!) #Gratitude2012

susantran #39/366 I’m grateful for my parents’ insistence that I know how to speak #Chinese. #Gratitude2012

susantran #38/366 I’m grateful for hubby who did my laundry. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #37/366 I’m grateful for the 3-mile run that gave me a good attitude adjustment. #Gratitude2012

(I woke up and was reminded the Patriots lost. I equate it with waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I decided to go for a run and not stop until I was no longer grumpy. It took 3 miles.)

@susantran #36/366 I’m grateful for hubby’s buffalo chicken dip! Tough day for this. #Gratitude2012

(We were returning from Gillette Stadium to the station and I was so deflated after the Patriots lost, it was difficult to find a gratitude. I held out all night hoping I could be grateful for a win.)


@susantran #35/366 I’m grateful for a surprise email from @Faith_Salie. She’s the one who inspired #Gratitude2012

@susantran #34/366 I’m grateful for social media outlets like #Twitter and #Facebook that are megaphones for regular people. #Gratitude2012


@susantran #33/366 I’m grateful I got to work w one of my favorite photographers who can turn a mess into a fun little story! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #32/366 I’m grateful for Tony and the rest of the crew at @DellariaSalons! #Gratitude2012

(More details in this old blog post)

@susantran #31/366 I’m grateful for a fun retweet from my favorite #Patriots player @PatrickChung25. #Gratitude2012.

(This was such a highlight. A friend, sent to Indianapolis to cover the Super Bowl, took a picture of my favorite Patriot Patrick Chung for me. I posted it on Twitter. My friend @TomlinMatt replied and @PatrickChung25 did as well. I squealed when I saw Chung’s retweet)

@susantran #30/366 I’m grateful for days when persistence pays off. #Gratitude2012

(It was 4:45p when I learned @Harpoon_Brewery was redoing its 2008 Super Bowl wager with @BrooklynBrewery. It took four separate calls to find the person I needed. Well worth it, the CEO turned out to be a hilarious interview.)

@susantran #29/366 I’m grateful for dim sum w friends for #ChineseNewYear! #Gratitude2012


@susantran #28/366 I’m grateful for fun day trips to Portsmouth, NH. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #27/366 I’m grateful for a Friday night off. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #26/366 I’m grateful for pizza and wine with friends. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #24/366 I’m grateful for #nataing my favorite appetizer ever from Elephant Walk restaurant. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #25/366 I’m grateful for massages. #Gratitude2012

(My guy Steven Toland at Moore Massage is awesome!)

@susantran #23/366 I’m grateful for girlfriends. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #22/366 I’m grateful for an awesome #Patriots v #Ravens game; including a huge favor by Cundiff. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #21/366 I’m grateful for friends visiting. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #20/366 I’m grateful for laptop computers in the field.(what did we do before them?) #Gratitude2012

@susantran #19/366 I’m grateful for the people I get to meet through work who have beautiful stories to tell. #Gratitude2012

(I met fallen Peabody Firefighter Jim Rice’s mom and helped her finally meet the fire victim who named her newborn after Rice. Story here.)

@susantran #18/366 I’m grateful for knowing where to go for good Chinese food! Thanks @tvdang72 #Gratitude2012


@susantran #17/366 I’m grateful for old friends whom I can call when I need to talk out a problem. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #16/366 I’m grateful for breaking news with great visuals, descriptive interviews, and no one hurt! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #15/366 I’m grateful for beef stew. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #14/366 Grateful for a fun night at #GilletteStadium watching big #Patriots win! (few mins late!) #Gratitude2012

(To stay toasty in single digits: thermal pants, corduroys, wool socks, insulated wind pants, thermal top, silk turtleneck, fleece, #25 Chung jersey, knee-length down parka, wool scarf, fleece-lined hat w/ ear flaps, snow boots, ski gloves and technology gloves.)

@susantran #13/366 I’m grateful for wearing the right layers of clothing for the elements today! #ItIsFreezing! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #12/366 I get to look at Tom Brady’s picture all day and it’s work! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #11/366 I’m grateful for Twitter and how it connects me to strangers! It’s my source to the world. #Gratitude2012

(It was late and I needed an interview with a religious figure about Tim Tebow. Would the faithful in Boston rally around Tebow or remain Patriots fans? Thanks to Twitter, I had a connection to @CHines. He’s a great Patriots fan and interview!)

@susantran #10/366 I’m grateful for a glass of wine at the end of the day. (14 minutes late on this one. ooops!) #Gratitude2012

@susantran #9/366 I’m grateful for the bahn mi sandwich that @tvdang72 so generously shared w/ me. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #8/366 I’m grateful for the camera from my brother and lens from my hubby that takes great picture! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #7/366 I’m grateful for in-laws whom I love. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #6/366 I’m grateful for emails from a friend confirming her visit. #Gratitude2012

@susantran #5/366 I’m grateful for songs on the radio and how they can trigger happy, distant memories. #Gratitude2012


@susantran #4/366 I’m grateful for public bathrooms. #Gratitude2012

(It’s part of the job; we’re on the road and are so grateful for the random coffee shops, convenience stores, or restaurants! Thanks again and in advance!)

@susantran #3/366 I’m grateful for thermal underwear! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #2 I’m grateful for ‘official’ holidays and how they mean little to no traffic for my drive into work! #Gratitude2012

@susantran #1 I’m grateful for a husband who loves to cook and entertain. #Gratitude2012

mashed potatoes

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

***Updated 11/21/2012. Recipe now at end of post.***

We can never go home for Thanksgiving.  Mainly because I work.  Our Thanksgiving usually consists of hubby cooking for my co-workers and our friends who also aren’t going home.  We’ve fondly referred to it as Thanksgiving for Misfit Toys.  This year, hubby is traveling for work and not home until Wednesday night.  Which means I have to pitch in.  Please note I am inept in culinary skills.  Here’s my time line of what’s happening in the kitchen.

10:00  I walk into kitchen.

10:01 I search for recipe.

10:04 I locate it, and realize cooking with a recipe on iPhone is a recipe for failure.

10:05 Print out recipe.

10:11 scrub potatoes per recipe

10:15 darn, I forgot to turn on oven.

10:15 turn on oven

10:17 Cricket the Shih Tzu wants to go outside

10:28 walk-in and realize I left oven on.  (Don’t tell hubby!)

10:29 wash hands

10:30 finish scrubbing potatoes

10:33 stick potatoes in microwave

10:34 take potatoes out, forgot to fork them

10:36 put potatoes back in microwave

10:44 turn potatoes

10:45 make coffee, feel success is upon me

10:56 place potatoes in oven

10:58 look for standing mixer.

10:59 confusion, what is a paddle attachment for standing mixer

11:00 text hubby

11:01 twitter pix in hope someone online knows

11:01 facebook update that I’m making mash potatoes

11:02 get snarky response from Mrs. B that it is ‘mashed potatoes’

11:03 why is oven beeping?

11:15 turn potatoes in oven, realize i needed gloves, these things are piping hot!!!

10:35 forgot timer again.  get potatoes out of oven.

11:42 opened oven door so I can have a moment to finish reading recipe. I have to melt the butter? Why?

11:43 says to put inside of potato into medium bowl then transfer to mixer. Seems like too many bowls, and dishes to wash.

11:48 hot potato…. hot potato!!!

11:49 rereading recipe again. annoyed it says, don’t under cook potatoes.  like one can tell the cook-ness of a potato. it’s not like the tuber is going to tell me it’s ‘done!’

11:54 Cricket has lost interest in my endeavor and is sleeping instead of eating the dropped potato pieces on the floor.

12:00p Potato skins are not like egg shells right? They can ‘end-up’ in the bowl?

12:02 it said mix on high. that was NOT a good idea!!!!

12:03 oops. reread. that’s why there was supposed to be two bowls. i was supposed to transfer half then add half. oops. lesson learned.

12:07 Recipe says heavy cream needs to be hot.  Doesn’t that curdle it?  Do I just stick some in microwave?

12:16 heated cream. but 3 cups have expanded. do i use all or just 3 cups? help!!! help!!!

12:25 my hand is tired from mixing! i want this thing done!

12:33 done! kitchen is a bit of a disaster! but mashed potatoes are done! we’ll see how they taste… tomorrow!

***The recipe that hubby left me with a specific note to not get creative!***

Serves 8 to 10

Be sure to bake the potatoes until they are completely tender; err on the side of over- rather than undercooking. You can use a hand-held mixer instead of a standing mixer, but the potatoes will be lumpier.


5pounds russet potatoes (about 9 medium), scrubbed and poked several times with a fork
3cups heavy cream , hot
8tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Microwave the potatoes on high power for 16 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the potatoes to the oven and place them directly on the hot oven rack. Bake until a skewer glides easily through the flesh, about 30 minutes, flipping them over halfway through the baking time (do not undercook).

3. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and cut each potato in half lengthwise. Using an oven mitt or a folded kitchen towel to hold the hot potatoes, scoop out all of the flesh from each potato half into a medium bowl. Break the cooked potato flesh down into small pieces using a fork, potato masher, or rubber spatula.

4. Transfer half of the potatoes to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the potatoes on high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds, gradually adding the rest of the potatoes to incorporate, until completely smooth and no lumps remain, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in 2 cups of the cream, followed by the butter and 2 teaspoons salt. Gently fold in up to 1/2 cup more of the cream as needed to reach your desired serving consistency. Once the desired serving consistency is reached, gently fold in an additional 1/2 cup cream.

6. To Store: Transfer the mashed potatoes to a large microwave-safe bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 2 days.

7. To Reheat: Poke lots of holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of a knife, and microwave at medium-high (75 percent) power until the potatoes are hot, about 14 minutes, stirring gently halfway through the reheating time.


Sunday, November 21st, 2010

I went to my first Patriots game Sunday.  I’ve lived in Boston for nine years, though not consecutively.  I went to college here, worked here twice, I’ve covered numerous Patriots-based stories but this was my very first game.  And it was awesome!

Not only did the Patriots beat the Colts but a friend of hubby’s got us pre-game field passes. There was Tom Brady up close, that one was obvious.  But I also got to see my favorite player, Patrick Chung, told Deion Branch I was a huge fan as he ran by, watched Peyton Manning drill balls into the hands of his receiver, and was asked if I was part of the Kraft family because we were in Robert Kraft’s area on the field (We were quickly told to move on!).

What made the experience even more enjoyable… I was thoroughly prepared for my first Patriots game at Gillette Stadium due to all the fabulously nice tweeps on Twitter.  Here are some of the suggestions, many of which are brilliant!  Thanks!!!


@susantran OH I almost forgot, bring some cough drops for right after the game, or you might be a little hoarse from all the screaming later


@susantran Oh and snacks too LOL!


@susantran bring one of those little stadium butt pads. Those seats are uncomfortable.


@susantran LOL some inventive suggestions there. Average wardrobe for Pats game: Jacket, Gloves, Warm hat, lap blanket and Hot Cocoa.


@susantran are you able to go to CBS Scene. Or do you have to stick with NBC affiliated restaurants


@susantran Don’t forget your flask. Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint does the trick.


@susantran a Philadelphia Eagles jacket.


@susantran Must bring invite to luxury or owners box. It’s cold out there. My wife loved the Bass Pro Shop though. Seriously crazy.


@susantran dress like your going skiing no sun at 415 start


@susantran it’s going to be cold, get those hand warmers to put in your gloves and boots. Park in P-2 and Fried Dough at Halftime is my Fav


@susantran I went to 1 game when I was a kid. Bring a warm jacket (depending on weather). Sneak in snacks if prices are high. lol

kid party

Monday, March 29th, 2010

I love a good party!  Who doesn’t?  But when I got an invite to go to a kid’s birthday party, fear came over me.  As a childless adult, I’m a novice to the scene.

For more than a decade now, the word ‘party’ has meant some sweet food, cold beer, fine wine, hot tunes and an interesting mix of guests.  But a kid party instantly conjured up images of sticky hands, frenetic energy, and high-pitched squeals.

Just Out of College

What to do, what to do?!  My college girlfriend, Christina, invited me.  My other college friends would be there with their children.  I haven’t seen them in years.  I wanted to hang out, see their adorable offspring.  I wanted to be a trooper.  But the idea of being surrounded by 2 dozen children in varying ages between infant to 13, needed careful consideration.

I bought a gift, card, and gift bag.  I looked up directions on Google Maps.  And at the last minute, I hesitated.  Twitter to the rescue.

@susantran Getting ready to go to a ‘kid party.’ I’m a kid party novice. Is it ok to show up late and leave early?!

ReidBennett @susantran as long as you bring your own boxed wine you’ll be just fine.

(I didn’t!)

staceysimms @susantran hah! I think Miss Manners would frown on that.

(Really?! You can’t be fashionably late?)

mjsolender @susantran as long as you bring a cake and ooh and ahh

(Present – Check!  Cake – Love it!  Enthusiasm – Got it!)

It was very overwhelming to walk into a room full of screaming children.  I wore a stupefied look for a good 20 minutes.  I had to adjust to the scene the way our eyes have to recalibrate when we enter a room after a bright sunny day.

I was amazed as just how many activities were going on around me.  A jump castle, beanbag toss, cha-cha slide, balance beam, piñata, a rainbow parachute, balls, jump ropes, little stilts, cake, ice cream, balloons, face painting, presents … I got dizzy!  But I had fun though not as much as the kids.  Here’s my attempt at capturing their ENDLESS energy!

Follow Friday Friend WXBrad

Friday, March 19th, 2010

When we first moved to Charlotte in September of 2006, the first thing I noticed was the weather.  Each day felt more spectacular than the last.  Fall was gorgeous, winter was mild, and spring was perfect.  Then summer hit and it was humidity like I’ve never seen and ridiculously fierce thunderstorms.  The craziest thing was how quickly it all hit and changed.  I instantly knew, this would be a meteorologist’s dream!

Maybe that’s why I find Twitterer and WCNC Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich so interesting.  I follow him (@WXBrad) on Twitter and I’ve seen his tweets at all hours of the night.  Sometimes when I catch him on the news, I’ll see a tweet during a commercial break.  Many of my friends send him tweets requesting very specific forecasts and he often responds with alacrity!  (Please note: I worked at WSOC and I have mad love for Steve Udelson, John Ahrens, and Keith Monday.  They jointly utilize @WSOCWeather.)

When I sat down with @WXBrad, it became clear this new father, Cleveland native, and rabid Buckeyes fan, had found the perfect medium in Twitter to share his passion: the weather.  In 140 characters he can easily give you a forecast.  And he loves the social aspect, the give and take.  He can pinpoint weather for your picnic, golf game, or afternoon run.  And when there is severe weather, he receives Twitter updates from weather watchers and pictures.   He sees it as a win-win!

Mac Cult

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I had no idea I’d get such a response when I announced on Twitter I was breaking up with my PC (after decades of a monogamous relationship) and hooking up with a MacBook.

@susantran: It happened.  My computer died… and I got a Mac.  Apparently it supposed to change my life.  Today’s blog post…

This is what followed:

@baugussd @susantran Let me know how you like the MacBook… I’ve been thinking about getting one.
@KenBuck @susantran it will change your life for the better!
@chrismiller_wbt @susantran I don’t know if it’s changed my life. but I’m certainly happy with my Macbook.
@alisha_hord @susantran Had a MacBook Pro for a couple years and absolutely loved it. You won’t go back to PCs.

@susantran Really?! Mac folks r devoted! RT @alisha_hord: Had a MacBook Pro for a couple years and absolutely loved it. You won’t go back to PCs.

@KenBuck @susantran it is cult like and you MUST love it!

@KenBuck @alisha_hord @susantran Once you go Mac you won’t go back!

@stevorevo @susantran Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here.

@Billystrick Ditto/// @susantran Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here. (via @stevorevo)

@susantran Y’all are mac serious! RT @Billystrick: Ditto/// Welcome to the other side. You’ll like it here. (via @stevorevo)

@baugussd @susantran Is trading in your BlackBerry for an iPhone next?

@susantran I hope not! I actually do luv my BB. Worried about compatibility tho! RT @baugussd: Is trading in your BlackBerry for an iPhone next?

@CharlotteDateDr @susantran Have to agree with the bandwagon. Apple is amazing. Even put their sticker on my car and I hate vehicle decoration 🙂

@susantran A car tattoo. That’s commitment! RT @CharlotteDateDr: Apple is amazing. Even put their sticker on my car and I hate vehicle decoration 🙂

@JerseyGrl61 @susantran oh absolutely true; you will never go back, once you’re on a Mac.

@baugussd @susantran Seriously, can it be THAT different? You definitely have to let us all know what you think now. RE

@susantran Ha! Is there an initiation? Hazing for mac cult following? RT @KenBuck: @alisha_hord

@alisha_hord ha! @KenBuck ‘s right. Hazing? If so, it’d probably be broadcast on built-in-cam, so beware. RT @susantran Once you go Mac you won’t go back!

@KenBuck @susantran @alisha_hord actually yes. It involves burning your old PC while pinning a Voodoo doll of Bill Gates.

@jcorl49 @susantran final cut = much better than premiere. Do it!

@coreyanderson @susantran did you go with the iPhone? Please don’t tell me you ordered #iPad

And my lone dissenter!

@AssignmentEdit @susantran The #Mac I got in October has been flaky to say the least… and support from the “geniuses”…flaky at best. I’m with ya! Rocky!

Not everything converted. The geniuses (no sarcasm here, that’s what they’re called!) at the Apple store tell me — it’s a PC thing.  They said the PC programs won’t give up my data without a fight and not to blame my new computer, who’s more than willing to accepted any and all of my files.

Mac and Me, I think we’re in the ‘getting to know you better’ stage in our relationship.  As my best friend said, “you’ve been with your PC your whole life.   You can’t expect to know your day-old Mac the same way you knew your PC!  Give it time.”  I will.  I will.  Hopefully we’ll live happily ever after!

Follow Friday Friend Wade to Black

Friday, March 12th, 2010

I was out to dinner with my friend, @KatieBisbee, one night and we both started laughing simultaneously while checking our BlackBerrys.  And it turned out, we both were reading a tweet from @WadeToBlack.

My wife hates when I watch woman’s curling because she doesn’t like me to get any ideas about her learning how to use a broom.

Some of the funniest things I get on my Twitter stream are from @WadeToBlack.   

Sometimes I fantasize about never having to work but then I remember I don’t like talking to people so I would totally suck at panhandling.

Not everybody wants to rule the world, Tears for Fears. Me? I’d be happy just ruling this couch for the rest of the night.

At the bank, I noticed my wife’s signature is slowly morphing into mine. It’s clearly part of her diabolical plan to bilk me of my hundreds.

If you’re trying to import your own candy into a movie, there are wiser choices than boxes of Nerds. Might as well had maracas in my shorts.

My birthday this year falls on Thanksgiving. I really hate sharing it with a major holiday. Now I know how Jesus feels.

Our pediatrician told us our daughter is trending to be 5’10”. A blond-hair, blue-eyed, 5’10” teenage girl. I’m going to need a bigger cage.

I…like…big…WORDS and I cannot obfuscate the veracity of my proclamation.

Naturally I had to find out what the deal is.  Where does he get this stuff?  Is he making it all up?  What’s with the big words? What’s his secret? 

I found out @WadetoBlack is part of a Twitter community known as, where twitters compete for humorously notable tweets.  And fans of @WadetoBlack extend well beyond here in Charlotte.


Follow Friday Friend Crystal Dempsey

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If the Charlotte Twitter-verse had a queen, there’s no doubt it would be @CrystalDempsey.  She’s everywhere.  She has 2,351 followers and has sent 13,552 tweets (the number has likely changed by the time you read this, so you should probably just tack on another hundred new tweets).  She’s talked about Twitter on WFAE-FM.

She graced the cover of Charlotte Magazine as part of an article about the “New Social Elite.”

And Skirt! Magazine got this shot when they featured her in a recent article.    

She was an early adopter, starting to tweet in December of 2007.  And when she volunteered to be laid off from the Charlotte Observer in 2009, she knew good things were going to happen, she just didn’t know they’d revolve so much around 140 characters.

She became the face behind Amelie’s Bakery, taking it from a small café in NoDa to a 24-hour hot spot where she says, “Creativity happens.” 

She launched her own communications company, From the Hip; a one-woman show that focuses on new media marketing strategies.  She’s done so well and is so busy with her new company, she’s now only a consultant at Amelie’s Bakery (but no one knows because we all associate her with the place). 

I can see why @CrystalDempsey is so popular.  She’s outgoing, a hoot to hang out with, she has a bounty of ideas and wisdom, and genuinely loves connecting people.  She often uses Twitter to help non-profit organizations like Charlotte Community School For Girls, Dress for Success, and The Arts & Science Council.

She knows many of her journalist friends are at a crossroads or approaching one and she has advice for us.  It boils down to this: change is good.

Follow Friday Friend Pretty Annoyed

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Who knew?  Who knew when fellow Twitter user @CrystalDempsey suggested I do my Follow Friday Friend interview with @PrettyAnnoyed that it would create such a buzz.

This is what my Twitter feed looked like Thursday afternoon. 

Just chatted w/ @prettyannoyed for my blog post tomorrow. U don’t wanna miss it. She’s a riot! 

@briandfrancis @susantran You had an actual convo with @prettyannoyed ? Wow, you know how to tease a blog post!

@susanjspaulding @susantran Glad ur well!! 🙂 I see that you interviewed @prettyannoyed < WOW!!!

@KenBuck @briandfrancis @susantran @prettyannoyed Imagine talking to a bot!

@KenBuck – a bot?

@KenBuck @susantran it’s a running joke I have with her about not being real.

@staceysimms @susantran I hope @prettyannoyed never tells! (At least not until the book deal and movie rights)

I had no idea there was such a mystery behind this Charlotte Twitterer.  But I love it!  (Mainly, because I know who she is and she was a riot to chat with!)  What I can tell you is @PrettyAnnoyed works for corporate America, doing something in communications.  She’s a single female who lives in Charlotte and just needed a place to vent. 

Here are some of @PrettyAnnoyed’s latest rants, um, I mean tweets.

@prettyannoyed :

 How about all of you do me a solid: change your passwords now so I’ll stop getting “I’m sexually excited” DMs due to phishing attacks? Thx

Hey, guess how I feel about sitting in a conference room all day SATURDAY w/ a bunch of tools blowing hot air? Yep, that’s right. Annoyed.  

Saw a license plate on a car that reads “Chew More.” Gee, thanks for that suggestion. Like most old crows, I usually swallow my prey whole.

Tip for my fellow agnostics: today is Ash Wednesday. So quit going around the office telling people “You have something on your face.”

To further confirm my weirdness: I’m flipping channels and really, the old bald guy on Lost is kind of hot. I may need professional help.

Gave up being annoyed for Lent. Ha, just kidding. I mean, I’m not even Catholic and hell, it’s physiologically impossible. 


Follow Friday Friend

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Follow Friday is a modern social media vernacular for suggesting a person for other Twitter users to follow.  You follow?  One of my favorite Twitterers is Bill Voth.  We worked together at WSOC-TV where he’s the weekend sports anchor.  Bill’s originally from Cleveland, went to school at Syracuse University and loves to play football and basketball.  (I know, it sounds like a he’s a dating show contestant but ladies, he’s taken!)  The coolest part about Bill right now, he just got back from a sportsman’s dream, the Olympics in Vancouver. 

Bill spent 6 days in Western Canada where he did some “new media” reporting. Let me give you some background so you can appreciate how cool Bill is then I’ll let Bill share how he accomplished this feat in Vancouver. 

For the most part, a TV news crew consists of a reporter and a photographer.  Smaller stations have reporters shooting their own video while network folks (think Jake Tapper or Andrea Mitchell) usually come with a photographer, live truck operator, audio person and producer.  (If the big guns roll out, think Brian Williams or Katie Couric, they have the aforementioned crew along with staging, tons of gear and advance people.)  Anyway back to Bill. (And you have to watch until the end for his run in with Tom Brokaw!)

Here’s a look at one of six reports Bill filed from Vancouver — all by using his iPhone.

What Bill did in Vancouver is a testament to how news is changing.  We, consumers of news, want to hear the information now (with platforms like Twitter), have confirmation from a trusted source (with local, evening, or cable news), and then we want to get more information on the topics that interested us the most (with the internet). 

And Bill is kind of doing it all.  So on this Follow Friday, lookout for Bill.  He’ll have interesting sports tidbits on Twitter followed by more details on his evening sportscast.    As for me, hopefully my blog can be a fun part of this new media diagram.  A place to get that slice of life that might make you laugh, smile, or think – Hmm, I didn’t know that.