A Staggering Blow

March 15, 2012 at 2:38 AM (Personal Reference) (, , )

Today, a vast community of friends, family and colleagues received some heart-wrenching news: Carolyn Zambrello’s battle with cancer ended before anyone could possibly be ready.

I worked with Carolyn at Racepoint Group, where she also happened to sit across from me. In addition to being an absolutely stellar PR practitioner, she was also a beloved friend, sister, daughter, fiancé, mentor, and so much more. I can’t speak for her family – or even the rest of the RPG community (aside from the heavy silence that dominated the office for the majority of the day) – but I do know that no one was ready for this. Carolyn had been out for several weeks due to illness, surgeries, etc., but every week the topic of discussion would always be when she was coming back, never if she was coming back. She was a fighter, and we had always heard that she was looking forward to coming back to work, and we were eager to see her again. When we heard the news, we never saw it coming: not Carolyn, it can’t be Carolyn. She’s coming back soon. Even now, it hasn’t fully hit me.

I met Carolyn on my first day: we were on an account together, and she and another colleague took me to lunch. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was not only scathingly hilarious, but also damned good at her job. She was also the bravest, most down-to-earth person I’ve ever met. Even though she had been diagnosed with cancer during the summer of 2010 and I began working at Racepoint in the fall, I didn’t realize until a few months later that she even had cancer. She never used it as a crutch or let it get her down emotionally. Instead, she simply lived life to the fullest and refused to sweat the small stuff.

Everyone has their flaws, but I truly found none in Carolyn. She brought out everyone’s best side – and had an uncanny ability to make me laugh to the point of crying (where she would then point out I was crying, and I would proceed to laugh/cry even harder). Anyone who has ever had the privilege to meet her must smile when they think of her, as she has greatly impacted everyone she’s encountered in the most positive of ways. At the risk of sounding cliché (and do you really think I’d care, at this point?), she was pure inspiration. I was thrilled when I found out I got to shift cubicles to sit across from her. She was a role model to me in how she performed at work, in how she never bullshit anybody, and how she was never afraid to live the dream. I looked up to her as my mentor, whether she knew it or not.

When my grandfather passed away a couple years ago, I received a prayer card that I don’t carry with me often enough. However, the sayings are some comfort, and whenever I read them, I’ll now be thinking of two angels:


Grieve not… Nor speak of me with tears… But laugh and talk of me as though I were there beside you. I loved you so… ‘Twas Heaven here with you


To Those I Love And Those Who Love Me

When I am gone, release me, let me go – I have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears, be happy that we had so many years. I give you my love. You can only guess how much you gave me in happiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown; but now it’s time I traveled on alone. So grieve a while if grieve you must then let your grief be comforted by trust, it’s only for a while that we must part so bless the memories within your heart, I won’t be far away, for life goes on so if you need me, call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near – and if you listen with your heart you’ll hear all of my love around you soft and clear. And then, when you must come this way alone, I’ll greet you with a smile, and say “Welcome Home.”

While it hurts now, Carolyn, I’m sure one day the smiles will outnumber the tears when we think of you (how can they not, with your hilarious stories about farts?). May you rest in peace – until we meet again.

Love always.


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Today I Learned . . .

June 27, 2009 at 3:03 AM (Personal Reference) (, )

Today I learned that a beer at the end of the day may not eliminate the agony of having been on my feet for approximately 10 hours, but it sure does dull it.  Cheers.

Tonight’s Distraction
My bubbly roommate getting ready to go out. She reminds me that I am too old and crotchety to go out more than two nights a week.

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Today I Learned . . .

April 16, 2009 at 2:49 AM (Happenings, Personal Reference)

Today I learned that if your baristas think you’ve had too much espresso, they will cut you off.  For this, I am grateful.

Tonight’s Distractions
The suggestive ruckus on the floor above me.  Bah.

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Stuff I Still Need to Blog

March 26, 2009 at 6:15 AM (Personal Reference) (, )

North End Dining – in process!
Hartford Dining
Regrets of a Senior (for BU’s Dean Elmore, hopefully)
The Job Hunt, A.K.A., The World’s Most Mind-Numbing Scavenger Hunt
Wine Riot
–And How I Got Those Tickets
Beers with Professors!

I recognise that this post was of essentially no relevance to you, unless you actually follow my blog actively, and for that . . . what, you want me to apologise?  I’ve just told you what to expect between now and the end of the weekend!  Deal with it!

Right!  And I keep forgetting that I have real homework, too.  I may never sleep again, so I’d better enjoy my 40 winks tonight!

Tonight’s Distraction
The Sandman.  He won’t stop calling me.  Rather rude, really.

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A Brief Tribute to Fin’s

March 21, 2009 at 3:56 AM (Personal Reference) (, , , , )

If you like sushi, go to Fin’s, located in Boston’s Kenmore Square as well as Cleveland Circle.  I don’t care if you live out in Arizona.  Make a fieldtrip.

Okay, perhaps that’s a bit rash.  I’m no sushi connoisseur, and I’d hate to have one somehow manage to sue me for wasting his time and money after he decided that Fin’s isn’t that awesome.

Whatever, I think it is.

Fin’s opened in Kenmore this past summer, I think, and My Damn Roommate and I decided to meet there for a pre-semester meet-up back in August.  I immediately fell in love, and have been loyal ever since.

While out on Valentine’s Day, I decided to try something new: Fashion Maki, which contained avocado, cream cheese, tobiko . . . and grilled eel.

I was rewarded handsomely for my bravery.  As it turns out, I really, really like grilled eel.  So much that when I craved sushi tonight, I sidelined my default (Philadelphia Maki: smoked salmon, cream cheese, cucumber and scallions) in favour of the Fashion Maki.  While I waited for the delivery man of my dreams, I prayed that eel was as delicious as I recalled.

I was in luck.  It was even better than last time (perhaps because I was eagerly anticipating, but who knows?).

I encourage you all to try eating something new.  Perhaps not eel (even I was weirded out at the idea, initially), but if that’s the route you decide to take, I’d highly recommend Fin’s.

Some other things I’ve noted about Fin’s:

The woman who answered the phone was incredibly polite and clear in her speech (I am used to having to decipher through heavy accents and tolerate the rude rush at the other end of the line).

Even though the woman told me I had a 45-minute wait, I’m pretty sure my dinner arrived in a little over 20 minutes, but I may just have been lucky today.

Every time I’ve gone into Fin’s to sit down and eat dinner, the service has never been less than friendly and courteous.

The dishes are pretty affordable for those on the college budget!

I’ve yet to try a sushi roll I haven’t enjoyed, but I will admit that the grilled salmon roll was a little bland.

That was my third post tonight.  I’m going to bed.

Tonight’s Tunes
“Julia,” The Beatles
“Love For Sale,” De-Lovely
“Time On Your Side,” Emily Jane White
“Don’t Believe In Love,” Dido
“Heartstrings,” Secret Garden

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Today I Learned . . .

March 21, 2009 at 3:29 AM (Personal Reference) (, , )

Today I learned that I can chug 20 fl. Oz. of Dasani.  If my roommate witnesses this feat and begins laughing just as I finish, approximately 25% of those fl. Oz. will make a speedy exit through my nose.

Tonight’s Tune
“So High,” John Legend

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Grader.com Results

March 2, 2009 at 5:00 PM (Goals, Personal Reference) (, )

I promise to write about PRAdvanced 2009 tonight when I get back from work (it’s going to take me a while to cover everything).  In the meantime, I’d just like to share my Twitter and Facebook grades, courtesy of Grader.com, a delightful tool from HubSpot (B2B inbound marketing software).  Grader evaluates the marketing effectiveness of webpages and press releases as well as the influence of one’s Twitter and Facebook personal and business pages.

I’ll elaborate later (after writing about PRAdvanced!), but I’ll quickly share my scores: Twitter scored a 92/100, and Facebook scored a 94/100.  I’m going to target achieving 99/100 on each by the end of the month.

Off to work!

Today’s Tunes
“My Doorbell,” The White Stripes
“Piano Man,” Billy Joel
“If I Fell,” Across the Universe

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Today I Learned . . .

February 8, 2009 at 8:14 PM (Musings, Personal Reference) (, , , )


Today I learned that Jones pure cane soda in green apple flavour is probably the same colour as the Incredible Hulk’s sweat.  I mean it.  This stuff is the same fluorescent green as the can that encases it.  At the same time, I don’t think they taste similar, because Jones is delicious, and I can’t imagine that anything that the Hulk secretes can be deemed tasteful or enticing.

Today’s Tune
“Hot ‘n Cold,” Katy Perry

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Tidbits. 25 of Them.

February 7, 2009 at 9:05 PM (Personal Reference) ()

As those of you who use Facebook (or any social networking site, I suppose) may know, every now and then someone will try to get his or her friends involved in a silly little game that involves divulging random information about oneself in exchange for equally random information from tagged friends.  The most recent one I’ve been dragged into is called “25 Random Things,” or some variation.  Here are the instructions:

“Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you.”

A couple of my Facebook friends tagged me, and I ignored it at first.  Then another one tagged me.  And another.  I gave in.  I’m an opportunistic procrastinator.  However, I didn’t tag 25 friends.  Instead, I tagged the initiators, then my roommates, and closest friends who might get a chuckle out of my list.  I’ve shared it below, but I don’t expect anyone to post back.  This is purely for your entertainment and education.  If you have no interest in learning random, useless facts about me, feel free to skip over this post.

1. I never know what merits as random/ trivial/ interesting enough for these things.

2. I have never dyed my hair, but I seriously considered a nose ring for six months until I finally decided against it.

3. I’ve been swimming since I was a wee lass. In high school, I swam competitively and was the MVP my senior year.

4. I can’t eat spicy foods. At all. I can’t handle some Doritos flavours.

5. I spell “grey” with an E and add Us to many “-or” endings. I also substitute Ss in “-ize” endings.

6. I have 20.2 days of music, including 13.5hrs of the Rat Pack, 7 of Led Zeppelin, 6.3 of the Beatles, 4.8 of Coldplay, 4.4 of Shakira, 4.2 of Sting and the Police, 4.1 of Madonna, 4 of Michael Bublé, 3.6 of David Bowie, 3.4 of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, 3 of Gloria Estefan, 2.9 of Pink Floyd, 2.8 of Bond, 2.7 of Billy Joel, Matchbox Twenty, Maroon 5 & Sheryl Crow. This does not directly reflect my current music interests.

7. I’m 5’4″ and 102lbs.

8. #7 was half a lie. I’m 5’3″.

9. Okay, I was kidding about being 5’3″.

10. I listen a lot. Probably more than I talk [you wouldn’t think that if you read my blog, though].

11. As a small child, I played softball and skied for 13yrs, horseback rode competitively for 7, danced tap & ballet for 6, played basketball and ice-skated for 4, played soccer for 3, ran track for 2, and attempted gymnastics for 1. I still suck at sports, hand/ eye coordination and dancing.

12. I envy my roommate who has traveled the world, and I do plan to do the same, though perhaps not all at once.

13. I like Friday the 13th simply because other people don’t.

14. I like my cheese and chocolate like I like my victims of sarcasm: I prefer that they bite back.

15. I went to college planning on minoring in theatre or voice, but ended up finding ballroom instead. I miss singing and theatre terribly, but dancing, or trying, at least, makes me happy. Recent attempts at West Coast have been a blast, which I think will encourage me to try more new dances, as well.

16. I sang starting in grade school. In high school I started singing in musicals, grew into jazz/blues singing, and eventually started to focus on opera. I don’t know what my range is, but I can sing alto to mezzo-soprano. On a good day, maybe full soprano. I chose BU partly because of its voice programme, and of course I have nothing to do with it today.

17. I’m not finding any of this interesting so far, and for that I apologise.

18. I have a blog: incrys.wordpress.com. Again, it isn’t very interesting. [You obviously already know this.  Substitute #18 with “I have been known to wrestle with people over food.”]

19. I can’t do a split, but I sometimes question my backbone’s existence.

20. Seeing so many of these statements begin with “I” is really bugging me.

21. People have been getting my age wrong since I was 14.

22. I don’t say it often enough, but my family is pretty awesome, as are the few friends from high school with whom I’m still in touch, and my best friend from Kindergarten. I love you all.

23. You kids in Boston are alright, too.

24. I used to be able to remain under water for over a minute. I doubt I still can.

25. I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a geologist, then an artist, then a professional actor/singer. Now I just don’t want to be a full-time barista. If I could tie public relations into dancing and get paid well enough, I’d be thrilled.

Today’s Tunes
“You’ve Got a Friend In Me,” Randy Newman
“Nostalgias,” Carlos Gardel
“Ama credi e vai (Because We Believe),” Andrea Bocelli
“Quitémonos la Ropa,” Alexandre Pires

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Today I Learned . . .

January 24, 2009 at 9:49 PM (Personal Reference) ()

Today I learned that shot glasses are a waste of time.  Free-pouring is much more efficient.

Today’s Tunes
“Oh, Pretty Woman,” Roy Orbison

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