End of Summer Nails

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While technically October is the month that begins fall, I find that people often think of August as their chance to really enjoy true summer since school starts back up in September.

So I decided to do a really fun nail tutorial! Teal is close to my heart because it was my wedding color, and dark blue has always been my husbands favorite color. So I decided to use both of them to creative this fun, ocean like ombre nail. It may take some practice, but these nails will definitely get you noticed! Read more

The Reason I Haven’t Been Blogging or Doing Art

Dear Friends and Family,

For the last year and nine months Amin and I have been keeping quiet about something that has impacted our lives tremendously. It’s a huge reason why I have declined to hang out with some of you and it’s the main reason I haven’t really released any new art pieces.

I’ve been afraid to leave my home. This article will explain why. Please understand that since this is an on going issue that I’m working through with my lawyer, I can’t comment or answer any questions at this time, but perhaps it will give a little more insight to what Amin and I have been and continue to struggle with. Thank you for your support during this time.

Here’s the link to the main page: http://masslawyersweekly.com/2017/06/08/arlington-mailman-slapped-with-harassment-protection-order/

This Lawyers Weekly goes to every major lawyer throughout Massachusetts. They are highly reputable and decided to cover our story. I think Pat Murphy did an excellent job expressing what our experience has been. Here is what the article says:

A bitter and sometimes bizarre feud between an Arlington couple and U.S. Postal Service workers has reached a climax with one mailman being slapped with a harassment protection order after being accused of stalking.

Cambridge District Court Judge Michele B. Hogan issued the order May 8 against an unnamed postal worker, identified in subsequent orders as Allen Hodgkins. The ex parte order requires the defendant to stay at least 100 yards away from the plaintiff, Heather Astaneh, and also to remain away from her home on Rublee Street.

“[Hodgkins] has engaged in stalking behavior and has placed [my client] in very real fear of personal harm,” says Boston civil rights attorney Lauren M. Thomas, who represents Astaneh. “He’s been photographing and video-recording my client in her home. He sits behind her house and stares in her window.”

In an affidavit in support of her complaint for protection from harassment, Astaneh also accuses Hodgkins of watching and following her in the neighborhood.

“Most recently he tried to run me off the road in the rain,” the plaintiff says in her affidavit.

The strife first started a few years ago when Heather and her husband, Amin Astaneh, complained to the USPS about the service provided by their mail carrier, Sharon A. Demirdjian. Their major beef was that Demirdjian mishandled packages delivered to their home, leaving the contents damaged.

They also claimed that Demirdjian “engaged in systematically abusive, rude, intimidating and demeaning behavior,” threatening Heather when she answered the door.

The Astanehs installed a video camera at their front doorstep to capture Demirdjian’s actions in an effort to substantiate their complaints to the USPS.

But the video surveillance triggered a tit-for-tat between the postal workers and homeowners. The Astanehs allege that their mail service was twice stopped because they either refused to stop recording their mail carrier or because Heather would keep an eye on Demirdjian from the front window as she delivered the family’s mail.

The Astanehs also alleged that they came under video surveillance by postal workers, apparently intent on trying to catch Heather recording them.

Things got so bad that last June Thomas sent the Postal Service a notice of intent to sue under the Federal Tort Claims Act. In the notice, the Astanehs alleged that the USPS was violating their First Amendment rights by trying to stop them from video-recording the actions of postal workers.

Thomas says she since has been able to resolve most of the issues with the USPS without actually having to file a FTCA complaint. Notably, Thomas reports that Demirdjian was taken off the mail route servicing the Astanehs’ home.

The Hodgkins matter, meanwhile, may be a case of bad blood arising from the complaints against a fellow mail carrier.

Hodgkins doesn’t deliver the mail on the Astanehs’ street, but his route does include Sylvia Street, the road that runs behind the Astanehs’ home.

In February, Heather called police to report someone in a suspicious vehicle recording her home from Sylvia Street. Police called to the scene didn’t find the vehicle, but couldn’t help but notice that the Astanehs had a large bed sheet hanging from their rear deck with the message: “USPS stop harassing my wife.” Arlington police responded to a similar call on April 7, but again came up empty in their search for a suspicious vehicle.

On May 30, the USPS removed Heather Astaneh’s harassment prevention case from state court to U.S. District Court.

In its notice of removal, the USPS claims that, rather than harassing Heather, Hodgkins is simply doing his job by delivering mail along a route he’s had for more than a decade. In that regard, the government claims that it only makes sense that Heather frequently would see Hodgkins in the neighborhood. The government also claims that Hodgkins only photographed Heather because Heather was photographing him.

In arguing for removal, the USPS contends that the harassment order against Hodgkins interferes with his ability to perform his duties as a mail carrier.

But other judges in Cambridge District Court have already issued extensions of Judge Hogan’s original harassment protection order. Thomas says she intends to file a motion to dismiss the federal court action and have the matter remanded to state court.

That said, Thomas admits that Cambridge District Court will likely vacate the protection order if she’s unsuccessful in getting the matter remanded. In that event, Thomas says she will ask the federal court to issue a similar protective order against Hodgkins.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason C. Weida, who represents the USPS, declines to comment.

Vintage Horror Movie Review: Army of Darkness (1992)

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Every Halloween I decorate my house, dress up, break out the candy, and put on Army of Darkness. Out of all the Evil Dead movies, this happens to be my favorite. It really has everything from corny catch phrases, zombies, and of course Bruce Campbell. Read more

And I Quote: “Happiness is Not Something Ready Made.”

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“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama XIV

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We live in a very fast paced society. We want the fastest phones, we want to lose weight fast, we want to get rich fast, we want our food microwaved and sometimes when we’re really hungry even 1 minute can feel too long to wait for food. Many things are packaged to fit that instant gratification kind of life. Unfortunately Happiness is not one of those things. Read more

To Parents with Nerdy Kids: Four Things You Need to Know

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Dear Parents of Nerdy Kids,

What I’m about to write to you, is what I wish I had been able to write to my family as a kid. This is not a letter to bash, or be mean, but hopefully to shed some light on how I felt, and possibly how your kid might feel being considered a nerd. I’m writing this with the perspective that you as parents want the best for your child as I think my mother wanted for me, but perhaps you may not “get” or understand them all the time, and they may not even know how to explain to you how or why they are nerdy. Hopefully, this letter will give you some relief in understanding the awesome kid you have. Read more

Vintage Horror Movie Review: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

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Quiet honestly, I’m not a fan of many modern horror. There’s either too much blood and senseless dismemberment, or the computer generated effects are just way too real looking. I’m fairly certain if I watched the remake of Evil Dead, I wouldn’t be able do laundry for a week because my washer and dryer are in the basement of my house. Read more

And I Quote: “Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can’t – You are Right.”

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“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” -Henry Ford

(Founder of Ford Motor vehicles )

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I found this quote to be extremely true in my life. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that this quote alone, if really taken to heart can absolutely change your life if you take the time to think about it and implement it into your day to day living. Read more

How to do a Manicure at Home

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You can get a cheap manicure at the mall, but then you run the risk of some nasty health issues if you go to a less than tidy place. You can actually do a really nice manicure in the comfort of your own home, and you might find it even more relaxing, not to mention more cost effective. I have never done fake nails, and have no intentions of trying them since they tend to ruin your natural nails. In this “How To” I’ll give you tips on how to grow strong natural nails and do a really nice manicure at home. Set aside some time to do this. You’d have to take some time if you were having them done by a pro, and this is suppose to be relaxing so take this time for yourself. Read more

Vintage Horror Movie Review: Troll (1986)

Troll

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I once lived in an apartment in which I had a whole family of trolls that lived in the unit next door. They never slept, they were loud, and had no manners to speak of, but that’s for another post entirely. I now live in a house where I can enjoy watching other people with apartment trouble, like the ones in the movie Troll, from the comfort of my quiet living room. Read more

Start a Geeky Garden: How to Paint Terra Cotta Pots

Reallyangrypot

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We’ve all seen those hand painted flower pots…It’s usually done by someone over the age of 70 and the theme is delicate roses, fairies, and cliché quotes like “Love Grows Like a Garden” and crap like that. It makes me wonder if the person who painted flowers on a flowerpot wants me to compare how bad their painted flowers look compared to the ones growing it the pot…or maybe the flowers on the pot are there just in case the actual plant dies or something. “Thank God they painted a flower on that pot because that plant looks so haggard.”. Read more