Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I am remiss!

Well, thank you Wendy McClure, your book was indeed fun, and it provided me with a holiday gift idea. Yippee! One more off the list.

Yet, I am remiss: I never linked to the man who started it all, James Lileks! His Institute of Official Cheer houses The Gallery of Regrettable Food, over which D and I had many a teary-laughter-filled morning at GCI.

I urge you to pay Ms. McClure and Mr. Lileks a visit, whip up some fluffy mackerel pudding, and wash it down with dainty cup of sherry-based chicken bullion. And don't forget the pat of butter!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Various and Sundry From the Past Month

Ooooh, once again, I'm a lazy, bad blogger. I keep my three fans waiting for an entire month for something interesting to read. So, to orders of business first:

1. New link for The South End Is Over (kudos to RBD for alerting me to this site.)
2. Welcome to Planet Earth, Miss E and Miss Z. Your mommies are happy to have their bodies back.
3. Busted leg is recovering nicely.
4. No job yet. Sweat pants are still clean, but recent purchases of two new hoodies are concerning the Husband.
5. Finally started reading Wendy McClure's I'm Not the New Me

Okay, that's out of the way! Should I start the psuedo-philisophical navel gazing now? Rats..I said I was going to stop doing that and leave it to the pros. Well, that leaves the continuing story of my current unemployment journey.

Now, six years ago, during the horrendous, post-9/11 economic slump, the unemployment thing was welcome. I was footloose, fancy free, really grooving on the total lack of jobness. Fast-forward: I'm married, need health insurance, and this time, moving in with my sister is not an option.

Plus, I'm really bored. (I realize that the boredom is likely the primary result of the busted leg, as the whole "no walking unless you're being chased by a reality TV star" puts a damper on the shopping/lunching/gym-going layoff I'd envisioned.)

But it's really easy to be bored when you must do nothing.

Wanting to do nothing is a different story.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

LBD...or No One Dresses for Dinner Anymore

Thanks to J and M for an amazing evening's dinner at Harvest. When food is so good that it makes you cry, now that's a meal.

But to my point: My Mum is right. No one dresses for dinner anymore. I mean, I'm sorry, but if the menu features "hand dug Macomber turnips" then damnit, you ought to be dressing up. There is always a place to wear your Little Black Dress.

Care for the staff's work as much as they are caring for you: Put on something nice. Make it an event.

Now granted, I could extrapolate this to include MC's wonton soup, which while not hand-dug, is so incredibly good that it might be made from the pure and virginal blood of innocent little babies and I'd beg for more.

But what do I usually wear on Sunday night to MCs? Frumpy clothes.

Does that mean that I should be wearing my brand-spanking new, silk charmeuse LBD for egg rolls?

I hate when I back myself into a logical bind.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Attack of the Dirty Sweatpants!!!

It's beginning...the signs are all here!

How can I tell it's happening? Yesterday's decision to watch—on cable no less—My Stepmother Is an Alien featuring the preteen pairing of the later-to-be-paired as-teens Alyson Hannigan and Seth Green, was a sure sign.

It continued with today's almost total sloth-and-channel-surfing-filled afternoon. Highlights include:
• Sleep until 10:00AM
• Turn on TV. Surf between "E! Presents Plastic Surgery Nightmares", "Haunted America", parts of "Semi-whoremade Cooking"
• Make a quick trip here to blog
• Stop by Go Fug Yourself
• Leave GFY, skipping off to YouTube to watch a Celine Dion video
• Wikipedia loaded; look up Queen Elizabeth 1 and Tila Tequlia
• Compelled to still watch "Haunted America" with really bad "factual reinterpretations"
• Eat granola from bag. Call it "lunch"
• Begin to worry, quite seriously, about the U.S., and about me

The transformation is not complete. I did do some job-hunting related work, and I read an article in The New York Times about the slow failing of Christian Republican conservatism. (Also, my sweats are clean and I did laundry. Plus, yesterday I left the house and socialized with another human—however, she's embraced a Mom-based lifestyle, so technically, was as desperate as I am.)

If it so happens that I don't bathe for three or more consecutive days, and I begin to defend Cheez Whiz and Chardonnay as a complete breakfast, call my gay husband. It's time for an intervention.

Until then, I will ice my knee and love my severance!

Sunday, October 28, 2007 turns on one...or nickel, or whatever.

So, one day, I bicycle to work, get a flat, and get laid-off.

And then, after having a few really fun days, I blew out my knee (again) and think, the Universe is telling me: No bets, nothing safe, nothing fun, but everything is good.

I have everything and should just shut the fuck up.

(Yikes...enough with the navel-gazing!)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Random Items, Specific Conspiracy

So, yeah, been on vacation to both sides of the country (San Francisco, Mount Desert Island).

And thus and hence, have had no time to devote to my bloggage, which I suppose is a good thing, since there are far too menu navel-gazing bloggers out there....but I just don't care. It's not like I started this thing so that I could get a book/movie/YouTube/magazine/media gig out of it. This is the Save My Sanity from the Cube Farming, Soul-Deadening Job blog.

Which brings me to my Conspiracy Theory.

For quite some time now, this intrepid healthcare writer has been wondering about the so-called Obesity Epidemic and Corn. Because if we look at the evidence, I'm thinking that it all adds up. What crop do we have that is highly subsidized by our Government? Corn. What companies have bet the farm, as it were, on developing genetically modified strains of Number 2 Feed Corn that produce a mammoth excess to be sold off/shipped off/processed off? Big ChemAgra. Who do they own? Big Pharma. Are you still walking the path with me? Come one....keep walking.

What happens when you eat too many pounds of Number 2 Feed Corn? Well, if you're a cow on a feed lot, you get nice and fat. If you're a person sitting in an SUV on the way to your desk get nice and fat even though you though you aren't really aware that you're eating that many pounds of Number 2 Feed Corn because you don't really know that it's in every processed food you buy and consume. And soon, your SUV will be eating it too, in the form of ethanol. But at least your SUV won't get any fatter.

So what happens if you get nice and fat? You get sick. You get diabetes, heart disease, high lipid wouldn't it be nice if there were some effective medications to treat your illnesses? Yes, yes it would. And wouldn't it be oh-so-kooky nutty if those magical medications were manufactured by a subsidiary of the very parent company that manufacture the genetically modified Number 2 Feed Corn to begin with? Wouldn't that be the perfect capitalist feedback loop?

So folks, read your food labels. If you want to know how much Number 2 Feed Corn you're eating, here's list of derivatives.

Choose fresh produce and grass fed, grass-finished beef, pork, and chicken products and get the corn out of your life. Okay, so maybe you can have a bowl of freshly popped popcorn every once in a while. I'm not a total buzzkill.

Friday, September 14, 2007

When We Were One

Maybe it's because my Dad told me stories of how he wanted to build spaceships....and didn't.

Mabye it's because my parents woke me up, at the age of five, to watch a grainy, black and white televised image on a hot July night and I didn't understand what was going, but it felt important.

Mabye it's because now, in middle age, when the world seems so very, very wrong, I want to hope again.

We need it now, so desperately. We had it once, for a very brief period of time.

We were one people, one race, one species. We left our little blue planet and went into space. We went outward—together, as a nation, as a whole world.

So if you can—particularly if you're younger than me, or if didn't have a Dad who wanted to send people into space, and a Mom who thought it was exciting enough to wake up a five year old on a hot July night—go see this movie, In the Shadow of the Moon.

Because we need hope again.

We need to go outward again.

We need to be one again.

And I think, maybe, it's the only way we're going to make it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beantown's Back to School Bikers

Hello everyone!
Yes, it's back to school time her the land of the Hub and Spoke. So, I just want to wish all my co-cyclers good luck navigating our pothole-infested streets, and shout all the following advice at you (or if you prefer, just read the law, for pete's sake):

Okay, don't. Strengthen the gene pool by dying early because of your stupidity. Seriously, though, get a helmet. Please. Ninety-four percent of all disabling head injuries associated with cycling could have been prevented if the injured party had worn a helmet.

The sidewalk, people, is for PEDESTRIANS. Not cyclists. Your travel space is immidiately to the right of the vehicle, between the moving traffic and the parked cars. You are also allowed, by law, to be in the general flow of traffic, but you will get honked at more frequently.

Do you like it when the car doesn't signal and cuts you off? No, I didn't think so. And guess what? No one likes it when you don't signal. Learn your hand signals and use them.

This one is so easy. In heavy traffic? Just give a polite shout to the cyclist ahead of you, "Oh your left/right!" Then pass. Easy. Polite. Safe.

I know it's fun to talk with your friend while cycling home. It's leisurely and nice and pleasant and all that. But it's unsafe and illegal. Don't do it.

Run a red light and get hit? Guess what? It's your fucking fault. I don't care if the street is a one-way, it's your fault, same as if you're in a car. Don't do it. Save a few minutes, and save a life—wait on the green.

Your sense of hearing is a valuable ally as you cycle about town. It can tell you if there are cars on your left, cyclists behind you, etc., so please: Do not wear your iPod/iPhone/etc. when biking.

Yes, it's all well and good to swing your TJ's bag over your handlebars. But it's unsafe. It interferes with your brakes and your weight distribution. So if you want to haul luggage while you haul ass, get some saddlebags. The nice people at REI in the Fenway will set you up.

There is a marked bike path next to the sidewalk. Please use it.

Using a cell phone while on your bike is just stupid. Don't.

That's about it....oh, one more thing: If you're a bike messenger, just be kind to this pokey, porky old gal when you pass me, okay?

Friday, August 24, 2007

A cure for arrested musical development

I think it was her hair.
Or maybe it was her tatts.
But yes, ladies and gents, Amy Winehouse has done it.

She has been the cure for my case of Arrested Musical Development.

I think it was the fact that instead of pretending to a Boozy Rockstar Lifestyle, she embraces—without apology—said ethos.

She's like the love child of Eartha Kitt and Kate Pierson as raised by Ronnie Spector.

And what of her lyrics? I mean, she said it...."I should be my own best friend, not fuck myself in the head with stupid men."

You work it, you big-haired little girl.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's Bicoastal Media Cross-Pollination Day!

Let's here it for today's celebrant, Sloane Crosley of Random House. Sloane today not only appears as the author of a article on a uniquely kooky-nutty brain-wiring challenge, but she also crops up in The New York Times in a Style article about women embracing their inner—and flaunting their outer—meat-eaters.

Sloane has covered many potential media bases:
1. Author for left coast new media magazine.
2. Interviewee for right coast online version of the Grey Lady.
3. Publicist employed by old-guard publishing house.

Go Sloane!

Now, if she could just grab a spot on Larry King, she'll be all set. Clearly, this woman is a total slacker.

(Love those media outlets for maintaining their silo-like integrity.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Damp 'n Trashy? Don't Despair! Use The Bates Method®

Ever find yourself at an unfamiliar yacht club, wondering what time they shut down launch service?

If you're plagued by this pesky problem, you can use the patented Bates Method® to safely return your drunken passengers to shore!

It's a simple 10-step method to solving one of a sailor's biggest challenges:

1. After drinking heavily, call the yacht club three times even though there are NO lights on.
2. Upon getting no answer, unlash your trash-filled Zodiac.
3. Pile guests and Insta-Navigator® into trash-filled Zodiac.
4. Active Insta-Navigator's powerful flashlight.
5. Motor gingerly through large yachts in unfamiliar waters.
6. As engine cuts out, do not panic. Solve problem; restart engine.
7. Continue gingerly motoring through unfamiliar waters.
8. Arrive safely at launch dock.
9. Toss trash onto dock. Wave goodbye to well-fed, yet bosky and ungainly friends who fall merrily into soggy trash.
10. Go back to boat. Sigh with relief. Fall asleep.

(Insta-Navigator® not available on all cruises. Alcohol not provided on all cruises. Please read instructions carefully. When used properly and according to package directions, The Bates Method will usually result in fun and laughter. However, fun and laughter are not guaranteed. Guests not provided.)

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Smoky Pig at Pooky Beach

Ahhh, yes, well, you're wondering the same thing I am, I can tell! WHY am I not at the beach? Why?

Let's see, we'll go over the criteria:
1. Gorgeous, hot, sunny July day.
2. Puffy clouds.
3. No obligations or activities requiring that I be elsewhere.
4. Plenty of sunblock and reading material in my beach bag.
5. Car loaded with beach items.

So, where am I? I'm at Pooky Beach, a.k.a., the first floor deck of my apartment. I am watching the smoker. Husband has tucked a seasoned picnic roast into the smoker, and in exchange for my vigilance, I will be treated to mouthwatering, melty, delicious, lipsmacking smoked pulled pork, roundabout, oh, 9PM tonight.

Pooky Beach has a lot of advantages, including wireless access, a conveniently located loo, cold beverages, and a nice breeze. No waves. I have to fault it for that.

And, on a side note, last night, I was transported back to my senior year in high school/freshman year in college. Husband and I attended The Police reunion concert at Fenway Park. It was hot, muggy, disgusting, amazing, loud, incredible. I wouldn't have missed it.

And to think I almost did.

Friday, July 27, 2007

You and Your Planet

This is a very cool site from the New Economics Foundation. There is a Happiness Index survey as well, so take it and learn what I did: I have the same happiness index as someone living in St. Kitts, Nevis, or the Sudan.

Who knew?

Personally, I wouldn't mind moving to St. Kitt's or Nevis. Perhaps my Happiness Index would go up!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The One Ring

Okay, so I admit it. When I first became engaged to Husband, I referred to the ring he gave me as The Eye of Sauron. But, in all honesty, it did look like that giant, red pulsing eye poised between the two pillars at the top of the Tower of Mordor.

But we had it reset.

And I fell in love with it.

Which brings me to yesterday, one day after my second wedding anniversary.

I managed to accidentally flush my beloved, custom, Daniel Spirer-made engagement ring down the industrial strength toilet at work. (I'm not making this up.)

It used to be on my hand, covered with memories. Now it's in a sewage pipe, covered with poo.

I am so devastated. I spent most of yesterday crying. Today, I'm just tired and angry with myself and really sad.

The One Ring has returned to Mordor.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Brief, Midday Work Rant

Oh, I'm sorry....I've only been writing and editing for 20 FUCKING years, so I'm really, really sorry that yet again, I turned a complex piece around on a DIME yet, you, oh petite Vice Bitchident have decided that my short, sharp, powerful, memorable headline "sounds funny" and want me to rewrite it.

Oh, goodness gracious! I guess I must have once again FAILED to think about my word choices. Oh, yes, that must be it! I was once again dumping loose mental stool all over the page! Silly, silly me.

I will now be in the bathroom, trying to extract the painfully pokey disappointment stick from my gut.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Random Post-Vacation, Pre-HP7 Post

And yet again, I am shamed by my utter and complete lack of skill with the English language. The GFY gals have pulled another literary gem from their collective bag of cultural couture criticism with this beaut: "The flame of my hate candles..."

WHERE do they get this? Am I just not reading enough of the right stuff? Is it too much nonfiction history of the world via some specific subject Mark Kurlansky inspired kinda stuff? Do I need more Jane Austen? Is that it? I'm Austen-deficient and so will never really be lyrical, right? I was the lame English major who thought that nonfiction was more interesting but could never really embrace journalism.

Okay, so vacation was nice. Good to spend time staying up late talking with my husband. I really, really missed just sitting and talking with him. And yes, we did more than talk, I mean, I'm not that boring.

Here are the top ten chunky nuggets of vacation fun:
1 fabulous beach
2 bored but adorable lifeguards I've known since they were about four years old
3 delightful women in the prime of their lives
4 tuna sandwiches
5 bottles of Trimbach Pinot Gri
6 bags of recyclables to bring home to Cantabridgia
7 weeks of summer left to enjoy
8 tomatoes from the Cape Ann Farmer's Market
9 stripers caught and released
10 hours of the densest fog I've ever seen

And that's plenty, I think.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day

Long time, no rant. I'll spare you all the Scooter Libby commutation comments, in honor of our foreparents, who are, I'm sure, rolling in their respective graves.

So, try to celebrate the original spirit of this country, because the current practical reality is sure a long way off from that.

So Happy Birthday, US of A. This year's gift: More executive hubris. More corruption. More King George.

Maybe next year, we'll do better.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Days are long, life is short

A stunning stretch of weather is just enough to put the kibosh on considering mortality. Beautiful spring mornings, with sun so bright and a sky so clear it hurts to look up. My city, my home, in the throbbing push of everything that is springtime-birth, renewal; it's life and and its unceasing urgency to grow, push up and out.

And yet.

We gathered last night to comfort and mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend's mother, and to watch the shadows fall across the face of another dear, dear friend who knows she's next, knows that far too soon, many of the same friends will gather around her to comfort, support, remember.

I came home from a long, wine-and-sun filled afternoon in the presence of my own parents and can only wonder: How long? How much longer do I get? And why? I don't deserve this anymore than L or D deserved to lose their own mothers in the peak of all their lives.

One mother lived to see her son happy, loved, and content in the prime of his life. One mother lives to see her daughter also happy, loved, and content in the prime of her life.

And yet.

It's just never enough, is it?

It's never long enough.

It's never enough time.

We are only greedy for life in the face of death.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Rites and Rituals of Spring

Rituals exist to remind us of our connection to something deeper. Rituals force us to face our past and our future. The Changing of the Closet is such a ritual. Initiated by the vast and glorious stretches of daylight, the appearance of pale pasty flesh and nshod tootsies, the flowering of apple, cherry, and maples, a looming Lilac Sunday, those of you who live in a non-seasonal climate (and "hot" or "hotter" do not count as seasons), do not know The Changing of the Closet.

This is a dusty, tricky, self-esteem challenging rite of spring.

Let me begin with some background: The average New Englander owns Four Basic Coats.

Coat 1
This is the heavy, freeze-your-ass-off, subzero coat. It's a wardrobe VIP, in that it is extremely valuable, makes important appearances during inclement weather, and must be treasured, cossetted, and otherwise taken very good care of.

Coat 2
This is usually PolarTec, or possibly down. It's a combination of high-tech fabrics that allow you to muck about, shovel, play in the snow, and so fort.

Coat 3
Less warm, but highly water resistant, this is your spring/fall coat. The one that you can wear to approximately 35 degrees (but no lower, as this coat is not meant for snow). This is either a zip-out lined trench, or again, may possibly be of PolarTec.

Coat 4
Lightweight, maybe has a hood, and in some parts of the country, this would be called a "jacket". For dry, cool days.

(You can walk into any New England home, open the coat closet or see the coat rack, and wonder, "How many people live here?" and guess "Four or five people live here, based on the number of coats." You are wrong. It's probably just one or two.)

But I digress.

So, back to The Changing of the Closet. In addition to Four Basic Coats the boots, sweaters, pants, etc. that you need for winter, and you can see where I'm going. You need at least two separate wardrobes. You cannot keep all that stuff in one closet. So most of us have some kind of winter/summer storage system.

And that's where the fun begins.

After you change the closet, you rediscover a whole new pile of clothes. It's like shopping without the pain of spending.

But a summer or winter can have an impact.

A body can—and often does—change. Which is why The Changing of the Closet can be self-esteem building or shattering.

What if nothing fits?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Spring, running sap, fertility, etc.

Oh my god. If one more person around me has a baby, finds a baby, adopts a baby, or somehow or other procreates, I think I will scream.

Even the FISH are having (or at at least trying to have) babies—shad roe, a traditional New England-y, old-time-y sign of spring along with asparagus from Hadley, Mass.—is in the fish store.

Don't get me wrong.

I love babies.

Babies are the future.

They are amazing, cute, innocent, smell good in a peanut-butteresque way.

But with all my emotional and physical baggage surrounding the whole baby-making oeuvre, all those babies a' poppin' and a poopin' are causing a kind of painful, disfiguring, mental baby acne.


And to boot, I'm having serious PMS and cramps. I think it's my uterus' way of saying, "Well, if you're not able to use me, I may as well do something interesting."

An organ has to feel useful, you know?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Life Math

What's a life worth?

At least 160 people were murdered in car bomb explosions today in Baghdad, Iraq.

And in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA, a terribly sad, disturbed, and lonely boy murdered 32 people.

So what's a life worth?

Every day, hundreds of people are murdered because of ignorance (starvation), greed (invading other countries illegally to control their natural resources), or prejudice (any religious/cultural/ethnic group against another), or a whole host of other really stupid reasons.

Is it that such large scale murders (3,000 people on September 11, 2001, or 100,000 civilians and soldiers in Iraq during the past four years) are too enormous for our tiny, post-simian brains to process? Possibly.

And if so, there are those who maintain that Blacksburg will be used to encapsulate the helplessness, rage, anger, or sadness we all feel about these large scale murders. (Let's be clear here: These are murders. Not clean, emotion-free "deaths"—but murders. The purposeful taking of a life.)

So again, what's a life worth?

According to the zombified US media, a life is only worth remembering, honoring, or discussing when it's a young American citizen who isn't fighting in the illegal occupation of another country.

So media zombies, please start talking about everyone's murder, and therefore, everyone's value. Because maybe, just maybe, if you wake from your Shrub-induced stupor, and start reporting what's really happening, people will express their outrage, anger, and sadness by actually doing something good to improve conditions all over our sad, pathetic little planet.

As Charles Dickens put it so aptly, "Any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind."

Monday, April 16, 2007

Patriot's Day Bloggyness

Well, it's been an interesting month or so. And I am a bad correspondent! I'm sure that all one-and-a-half of my regular readers have wondered where I went? Here is a list of of locales I've recently visited:
1. Great Barrington (March 17-March 18)
2. The Burlington Mall (March 24)
3. My parent's house, Reading (March 31)
4. Beth Israel Hospital (April 5)
5. Various bizarre-o-world locations in my sleep, including my dead maternal grandfather's new house by the ocean. (Don't ask.)

Also, I'm a terrorist.

Yes, it's true. I've realized that based on the Shrub Administration's six-year mantra-chanting about elitist, lefty liberals "if you're not with us, you're with them", that, since I'm an elitist lefty liberal, I must be with them. I count myself in good company because Ben Franklin was considered a terrorist by the British and so was, oh, anyone else who thought carefully about revolution back in 1775ish.

Oh, and by the way, the country was NOT founded for purposes of religious freedom (and even it had been, the word "freedom" seems to have utterly dropped out of the equation for anyone not an Evangelical neoconservative Christian.) This country was founded by a group of 17th-century investment bankers. They supported the Plymouth Bay Colony in exchange for the Pilgrims' promise to turn a profit. Please see Nathaniel Philbrick's latest and greatest, Mayflower, for more on this.

So the next time you hear some Evangelical neoconservative freak rant and rave about how America is a Godly, Christian nation, you can just tell them to shut-the-fuck-up. America the Profit-Oriented yes. America the Size-Obssessed, yes. America the often beautiful, often frustrating, always.

I think this is all coming out because I have to attend a Daughters of the American Revolution meeting with my Mum. And honestly, if I'm going to be all Revolutionary and so forth, I'm going to get it right.

I suspect that this is why I don't play politics well with others. I have firebrand-y revolutionaries in the genes.

Things to enjoy today, Patriot's Day, here in the land of the bean and the cod:
1. Julie Powell's blog. If you can, read Julie's entire Julie/Julia Project Blogbefore you read the book. Trust me.
2. The Boston Masochist-a-thon.. Thousands of self-flagellating runners cruising along the streets of Beantown in the POURING RAIN for 26.2 miles to prove, what? That hypothermia is real? (All due respect to my sister, who ran in 1995. But I still think she's nuts.)
3. Spring in New England.

Happy Patriot's Day, everyone! Go spread some revolution!

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Freakin' Cold

So, no matter how craptastic you perceive your life to be, it's incredible how quickly one event can change your perception. And usually, that event is something simple. For example, dinner with a good friend. Or, five extra minutes in bed, next to the person you love.

And it makes you realize that instead of measuring your week (or day) in terms of how crappy it was, it probably might not be a bad idea to quantify all the really great moments, instead.

There's love there.

A lot of it.

And I should just shut the fuck up and stop complaining.

P.S. It probably didn't help that this week was really, really, really cold. Come on Spring, I know you're out there.
P.P.S. Early happy birthday to Mum, who is 71, and to the Lukinator, who is a spry and sassy 2.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

A P.S. on Publishing

First, it was Jordan Marsh.

Then it was The Boston Globe.

Followed by Filene's.

What next? Larry Luchino and George Steinbrenner get wise to the economies of scale, merge, and have The Boston Yankees play against their sister franchise, The New York Sox?

Enough with the Manhanttanization of the land of the b 'n c....already.

And the benefits of merging are apparently not lost on The Grey Lady's editors, who seem to be assigning stories to both theirGlobe and Timesunderlings on a "kill two birds with one stone" basis. Otherwise, how do you explain this story in The New York Times, and this story The Boston Globeboth of which appeared on the February 21.

Or is it that Wednesday is still Prince Spaghetti Day?

Freedom of, and from, speech

Part 1: Freedom of Speech
Okay, so here in the land of the b 'n c, we had an interesting kerfuffle about electronic freedom of speech vs. freedom from (certain) speech.

Over at, our guide to Perfect Propriety does a wonderful job of outlining the particulars of the situation. And, I have to say: I agree completely. With the advent of technology such as the one employed to create this blog, there has been an utter lack of civic instruction with regard to the eventual distribution of that technology. If 14-year-olds have access to a computer and the internet, they then must be taught that what they publish—and make no mistake, blogging or MySpace pages are publishing—is open for all to read.
(Let's just consider this: Why do "public" and "publish" share such close taxonomic roots? They are connected.)

And if your average 14-year-old chooses to use profanity, than he or she should not feign horror or shock when profanity is used back at them.

Part 2: Freedom from Speech
Company today requested that I be nicer to it. Company wants me to "not be so blunt, and perhaps, take an interpersonal relationships course".

Company has determined that it does not want me to speak freely. I don't agree.

Since technically, Company has more individual rights than I do, does that mean I must abide by Company's desire for freedom from certain of my speech? Where does the country end and Company begin?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Frakkin' rain

And here I was, levitating with glee about a big, ole' snowstorm....but no.

A mighty swath of tropical air is pushing the arctic cold front northwest just far enough to make certain that those of us dwelling inside and southeast of said tropical swath will see our hard-won, paltry, three inches of snow turn to slush by 3PM tomorrow afternoon.

Poopy smell-head warm air mass!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Cheese and Snow

Is it remotely possible to have a better weekend than one surrounded by good friends, good cheese, and good wine? I think not. Well, I suppose the whole thing could have taken place in a cozy, remote cabin surrounded by quietly wheezing pine trees and mounds of fluffy, yet sculpture- and ski-friendly snow.

Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot. It's never going to snow in Boston, again, is it? No, it's not. Thank you ExxonMobil.

Or is it? YES!!!

Let me frame my excitement for you:

Meteorologists on New England-based television stations get, on average, three to four times as much air-time as meteorologists in other parts of the country. Further, our local affiliates do not—DO NOT—hire "weather readers". In order to work those blue screens, you have to be a genuine scientist.

So, that said, these poor guys and gals have been stuck in the most boring weather pattern this side of of a desert. For almost two solid weeks, it's been "dry and cold...artic air will continue to settle over the area, and it will be bright and sunny".

Forecasters do not move here to say that.
They move to San Diego.

Residents do not live here to endure that.
They move to San Diego.

So I honestly can't recall the last time I've seen so many of our local meteorlogists practically levitate with glee at the potential for a serious snowstorm on Valentine's Day.

And, with so much cheese and wine and good fellowship still in me, I too, and levitating with glee.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Citizen Charlie

While my ideal method of transportation to and from the office would be....padding to the computer in my jammies, for now I either take the subway (the "T" for all those not residing in the land of the bean and the cod), or ride my bike.

And so, it is to the T we now turn our attention.

We who ride the T have become Citizen Charlie. On a good, high-functioning, not-counting-the-commuter-rail day, there are about a million of us. And Citizen Charlie is accustomed to:
• having packages, boxes, and bags shoved in our face if we are lucky enough to grab a seat
• learning to decipher a PA system that sounds like seven hoarse huskies barking into a wind tunnel
• using scampering mice at Park Street as a train-detection arrival system and wondering why the mice don't get smushed
• standing on the outdoor Green Line platforms in every wind and weather and realizing that we still have it better than the bus riders
• trying to explain where the name "Lechmere" comes from
• convincing confused tourists that the Government Center T stop is notthe entrance to a city-wide safety bunker
• looking on with scorn and disdain as the suburban, auto-driving masses invade our territory during Red Sox/Celtics/Bruins season and have the nerve to complain (File this one under, "Only I may complain about my family.")

And while this list is entertaining enough, it naturally brings me to the biggest, weirdest, most pressing issue of all:

Who the hell is Charlie?

This clip from YouTube features the Kingston Trio singing the song, but not including the political portion. (Clearly, the creator lives in Newton....the Green Line, commuter rail, and trees.)

So, as you drive/bike/rail/sail/fly/pad back to bed in your jammies home tonight...hum a tune, sing a song, and remember this: We are all Citizen Charlie....fightin' corruption and just trying to get where we're going.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

10 before 10

Since I have only one fan/reader, I think it's unfair of me not to post things more frequently. After all, with just the one audience member, the pressure is really on. Feedback has been "more posts, more often".

So, here's the poop: Ten posts before 10:00AM

1. Sandra Lee's forehead is now completely immobile. There are more preservatives in that woman's face than in a whole TV season's worth of her artificial-extract flavored CoolWhip.

2. Winter has not been feeling well. It's been in bed with a slight fever of about 50 degrees. Well, guess who recovered, put on some clothes, and hauled its sorry, cold ass out of bed and into New England? No snow yet, but I'll keep you posted. As for the temperature, "Mine goes to 11."

3. Apparently, the BosNyWash corridor has too many LuxuryCondos(TM) and now must rent them. Pity the poor wealthy homeless, who are apparently living, where? In the abundance of luxury hotels in these urban environs?

4. A new season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. Yes, they're all the same, fascinating shade of beigey-pinky-rust. Yes, they all have the same bizarre, boob-and-nose-and-botox'd look. Yes, they seem to have many, many misguided values. But, damnit, Jeana Keough and Vicki Gunvalson work their collective asses off. Those women are self-made millionaires who've worked hard for their money. And as for Lauri Waring, at least she seems to show the occasional shred of common sense, and seems very kind. It's my guilty pleasure, yes, but there is some deeper nugget of the interesting to be found.

5. J. had the baby on Monday. It's a girl. Welcome to the world Miss Claire. I hope we leave this place in half-decent shape for you and your big brother. I'll do my part and go buy some energy-saving lightbulbs.

6. I miss my friends.

7. Company wants me to laugh. And he let me know that a class is available for such laughter. And that if I laugh more, my stress will be relieved, and my BP might go down. I know this: The email made me laugh. The work I do makes me laugh. But somehow, I suspect it's not the kind of laughter that Company was hoping for. Yes, Company is a silly thing, isn't he? And if you don't think that I should bestow personhood upon Company, then you haven't seen The Corporation.

8. Husband looks good. I'm jealous. I need to join a gym.

9. I admire Dominick Dunne's writing. He creates a wonderful sense of intimacy without being intrusive. He's honest, but in a gracious way. He also has a wicked sense of humor, and, while he writes about tragic, and often gruesome events, he never loses his compassion. He must live forever!

10. I dreamed of St. Barth's last night.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Things I Will Never Do

I am happy in my East Coast cerebrally protective pod of elitism. Yes, yes I am. And I realize that's the flip side of a certain coin. But in my protective pod, here are things I will never, ever do:

1. Go to Las Vegas.
It's everything that's wrong with America, and I have no need to support our ongoing wrongness of bigness, profligate waste, and the continuing insistence that we create cities and habitations where naturally, none should exist.

2. Go on a cruise.
Now, with all due respect to N. who is the on-air voice of a certain cruise line, I just cannot, will not, and flat-out refuse to cruise. See above, Las Vegas, RE: profligate and that pretty much says why, or read Kristoffer Garin's "Devils on the Deep Blue Sea".

3. Go to the Disneys.
See all of the above.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Post-holiday Post

Ooh, post holiday bloggy goodness. How nice.
And a new year.
And another month of writing "06" on everything and then having to cross it out.

Well, the vacation was nice, and so were the holidays. So, I suppose that helps. And there's a dinner party on Saturday! Yes, I can delay the onset of January for one more weekend. Thank you Miss Q for having a soiree.

And now for something completely different: Three reasons that should be valid for calling in sick to work:
1. My bra doesn't fit right and I can't concentrate.
2. I forgot to iron.
3. I don't like any of my shoes.

And now, three good things for the start of 2007:
1. The iPod seems to be working.
2. I got new slippers for Christmas! Warm feet just in time for New England to embrace global warming!
3. Hope. (Okay, okay, cheesy, but necessary.)