Friday, December 19, 2008

My Favorite Holiday Movie

Every year, either on Christmas eve or Christmas night, I watch "It's a Wonderful Life." (Okay, a few times when I was younger, Channel 2 showed it on New Year's Eve, so I watched it then.)

My point: I love this movie.

It's my desert island movie.

I love this movie so much, that my family members laugh hysterically at the mere mention of it in my presence.

And in today's issue of The New York Times online, there is an interesting piece about what a terrifying tale George Bailey's life truly is.

And I agree.

Life is, generally speaking, not that pleasant most of the time. George's life in particular, is a long, hard road of deferred dreams and sacrifice, culminating in a suicide attempt at the depressing realization that he's "worth more dead than alive".

But like most lives, George has a choice. And no one is untouched by George's choices. And therein lies the redemptive power of this film.

When George finally realizes that his (self-perceived) horrible life touched so many others for the better, and that he was always surrounded by the only truly valuable thing we can ever have--love--it's a moment of pure grace.

And that's why I adore this movie so much. Grace, love, joy, the choice to do good....they are always possible even in the darkest and most self-doubting moments.

Embrace them.

Are You Essential? Take the Inclement Weather Quiz!

Welcome back, studio audience!

In today's changing and precarious times, it's important that employees living and working in a region where weather occurs, spend a few moments asking themselves this question: Am I essential? Is my physical presence at my place of toil of the essence? Not sure? We're here to help.

Take the Quiz: Are You Essential?
1. Are you responsible for ensuring that others continue living?
2. Are you responsible for somehow mitigating an occurrence that would result in the potential maiming/harming/dismemberment/ death of other humans (and possibly also any well-loved pets)?
3. If you do not risk life and limb (and a new car) to journey to and from your workplace, will you lose your job?
4. Do you get a secret thrill from driving around in a hurricane/earthquake/blizzard/flash flood/wildfire/tornado/frog plague?
5. Is an Act of Congress or a Presidential Executive Order required for you to miss work when faced with a hurricane/earthquake/ blizzard/flash flood/wildfire/tornado/frog plague?

One or more "Yes" answers. If you answered "Yes" to to any of these questions, congratulations! You are essential. As essential personnel, be aware that you may die in the process of arriving to, or departing from, your place of work, which would render you both non-corporeal and inessential (but perhaps not deprive you of your essence, although that's still subject to debate).

No on all questions but #4. If you answered "No" on questions 1,2,3, and 5, I'm sorry, you are not essential, you're just a dangerous adrenalin junkie. Please remain in the assumed safety of your own home, comfortable in the knowledge that today, you my have saved a life: Your own!

Today's quiz is brought to you by the United States Federal Government(TM): Providers of Silly Bureaucracy Since 1774!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Maybe it's the holidays....

but I do not feel like this.

I feel like I'm having the moment after the Grinch's heart grew three sizes. I feel so happy, and so freakishly lucky.

How did I get this life? Was I bathing the wounds of lepers or something in a past life? Yikes.

I have no right to complain.

About anything!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An Uncomfortable Position

And I'm not talking about my sciatica, or my office chair.

For the first time in eight years, I find myself in a very, very difficult position.

I have to be thankful to the man who inspires shoe-tossers everywhere.


I have reason to..cough...cough...thank President Bush.


Well, the rat bastard signed an executive order giving non-essential Executive Branch personnel the day off on 12/26.

Now, do I think the idiot did it out of the kindness of the Christmas Spirit? Do I think that his heart grew three sizes that day? Did he have a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come?


I think some number-crunching peon calculated the total payroll for everyone on vacation that day, compared it to the savings in light, heat, and overtime by closing up shop, and it was an easy answer: No one's going to be here anyway, so I'll come off seeming not so shoe-throwable-at if I do this.

Sadly, the end result is still the same: I have to thank him for the extra vacation day. And believe you me, if you work for the feds....that's a lot. We only get two weeks a year to begin with.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Okay, okay, so I lied. I'm going to post about Thanksgiving. But, I'm kicking it old school, and turning the blog over to Winslow & Bradford, the authors of the only two written accounts of the late fall harvest feast that became Turkey Day.

Edward Winslow, Mourt's Relation:
"our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others. And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie."

William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation
"They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; For as some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no want. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they tooke many, besids venison, &c. Besids, they had about a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corn to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports."

There are over 3 million descendants of the 52 or so Mayflower colonists who celebrated that day. Pretty impressive legacy for a bunch of city-dwelling religious zealots who just wanted the freedom to commune with their god on their own terms.

Job Self-Actualization

I could write a laundry list of thanks in honor of the holiday, but that would be boring, trite, and really, really long. I'm very fortunate and thus, thankful for a lot of stuff.

So instead, let's see what happens if esteemed pyschologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs were applied to the modern American office drone.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

An Open Letter to Gays and Lesbians Everywhere!

I am a totally unofficial representative of my six-state region, so I can do this: On behalf of all of New England, I invite you to move here and keep our economy robust.

So pack your dogs, cats, babies, and TiVos. Bring your income, your companies, your professions, and your brains.

What? New England you say? What do they have that's so fabulous?

Well, we've got oodles of ocean, hundreds of hills, four real seasons, big cities and small ones. We've got Provincetown, Brattleboro, Greenwich, Providence, and Ogunquit. Sure we have expensive suburbs (hello, Dover, Mass!), but we have lots more inexpensive countryside (hello, all of Aroostook County, Maine.)

And best of all: We have gay marriage in Connecticut and Massachusetts, and civil unions in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. (Okay, so Rhode Island is always a bit slow about these things, but give 'em time and buy a summer house for now....)

Rent the UHaul. Pack your bags. And book the Copley Plaza ballroom or the Mystic Aquarium for that spring wedding. Because unlike the rest of the country, it's clear that New England is smart enough to realize that legislating prejudice is not only stupid, it's counterproductive to a healthy economy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wish You Had Telepathy? I Certainly Do!

Because believe me, I'd give, oh what would I give? Oh, something important and sacred to know just what the Obaminator is thinking in this one.

I'll take a stab it it.

Obama: "I can't believe it: He really is that dumb."
The Shrub: "Hey tall fella...who are you? Are you my new Secret Service fella? Hmmm...seems like a nice kid...I wonder if he'll get me a cheeseburger....where'd that lady from Alaska go...hey, is it time for my nap? I feel funny."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thoughts for today

Like about, oh, a gajillionzillion other folks around the interwebnet, I think Walt Whitman sets the tone rather nicely for today (or really, any election day).

And to get you weepy, there's this from Salon's Alex Koppleman, who is sharing reader-submitted accounts of today's happenings:

From East Point, Georgia, near Atlanta:

"Huge turnout -- bigger than I’ve ever seen at our polling place. Lots and lots of young African-Americans. People with their children in tow. Taking photos with cellular telephones and video-cameras to document what everyone agreed was a wonderful sight to see. Great to see.

When I finally made it through the 2-hour-long line and nearly to the voting booth, an older African-American man in front of the line kept letting people go in front of him. When he told me to go ahead, I said, “Don’t you need to vote too?” He told me that he was going to need help and that a woman with whom I guess he’d been waiting had agreed to help him. So he was waiting for her. She happened to be in the booth next to me and so I heard them talking when he went up to vote. It was clear very quickly that he could not read. She helped him to make his choices. I couldn’t help but overhear who was his choice. It was a great thing to see that he was so determined to vote -- most likely for the first time in his life. I think change has already happened to some extent…"

Can't think, can't focus, can't wait....

So, you know how when it's an historical day, it usually takes you by surprise, and most of the time, it's not something good? (C'mon, think about it: shuttle disaster/war/shuttle disaster/9.11/another war/financial ruin....these are not good, people. Not good at all. Historic, but not exactly good times you want to recall over and over!)

Well today is not like that.

And I'm so nervous/excited/stressed that I cannot focus. I may as well not even be at work, because I just want to be home, glued to the TV set and interwebnet.

But it's a gorgeous fall day here in the land of the Bean and the Cod, and all I can do is throw my thoughts out to the universe and hope that this time, America will get it right.

(And California. California needs to get it right, too.)

Keep your fingers crossed, wait in line, and do the right thing.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Phrase o' the day

"Drunk enough to be flammable."

Today's phrase o' the day comes courtesy of the fabulous Sarah Hepola of Enjoy her feature about what not to be for Halloween.

And BOO!

Now, I think I'll really go scare myself and look at my IRA balance online.....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Magic Spurtle

I have NO idea how this happened.

It's not like we grew up in a "sports" household.

I mean, I do seem to recall the background sound of football on Sunday afternoon, accompanied by the smell of roasting chicken. (To this day, the sound of televised football and the smell of roast chicken takes me immediately to 73 Martin Road.)

So, here I am, at 11:30PM on a Saturday night, in the living room of the house I grew up in, with my sister, Mum, Dad, and Husband watching......a Red Sox game.

And my mother is whirling her spurtle.

Oh, silly don't know what a spurtle is?

So now that you know what one is, picture this: A 73-year-old woman in a 2004 World Series Red Sox baseball hat, whirling a spurtle over her head, like a tiny bat, screaming, "YOUK, YOUK, YOUK".

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Struggle....

Fat baby, fat adult, right? That's the saying. So, I ask you, was I genetically screwed at birth? If you've ever seen my baby pictures, it's all there, in glorious black and white, circa 1964.

And, if you Punnett Square the whole family, you get a nice even roll: My sister, petite of frame and loses weight easily, like Mum. My brother, tall like my Dad, but again, like my Mum. Then there's me and Dad, both tall but with the whole Eastern European zaftig/large frame thing going on.

But when you see it in living color, on Facebook, for all the linked friends to see, and you thought you didn't look that bad, but you do, well, it's so depressing.

It's a life-long struggle, the fat thing. It's ridiculous that we live in a day and age when if you called a person of color "nigger", you'd be branded a racist, yet complete strangers feel perfectly free to call me "fat" without thinking twice. Well, I am. But I'm bigger than I thought I was, at least in the D&M wedding photos, and here I was, heading off for pictures, thinking I looked darn swell.

But I don't.

(I was thin once. I swear to god, I really was. There are caveats to this: I expended a tremendous amount of calories. I rode my bike between 10 and 12 miles per day, and on top of that I worked out at least 1.5 to 2 hours, three to five times per week. I walked or took public transit everywhere. I ate crap, though. Tons of pasta, beer, not big on the vegetation.)

And now? Well, I freely admit that I'm a lazy poop. I gave up cycling because I had a fairly nasty accident that resulted in some facial scarring. My new bike commute is somewhat treacherous. I gave up taking the T, so I no longer walk 10 blocks per day. (New car is so fun, plus free parking at work.) And I cannot get motivated to go to the gym.

The flip side? I eat more healthfully than ever and I spend time with Husband, who loves and is attracted to me just the way I am.

So what to do? I felt like I finally made peace with my fat. I've tried to stay fit and healthy, with good blood values, but it's not enough; maybe it never will be. But I know I cannot look at those pictures. They are hellishly awful.

So next week, I start at the gym first thing in the morning and foreswear many, many forms of carbohydrate. I'll switch from plain yogurt and blueberries to veggie fritatta.

I refuse to become a food nazi, but I also refuse to be photographed with six chins.

And I love my friends who know all this and never said a thing about it, but instead, respected the silence of the fat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pardon Me, Your Chlorophyll Is Showing!

Hello and welcome to fall, or as we say here in Nouvelle Anglais, "Leaf-Peeping Season". Frankly, I've always hated that turn of phrase, because let's be honest: It sounds vaguely naughty and not in a good way.

However, the foliage is on fire this year, as evidenced by the long journey to and from Montreal for D&M's wedding (Best. Wedding. Ever.) The happy couple are vacationing in the Quebec lakes country and I hope they have une marvelluise lune de miel. And to all the Fabulous Boys I met at the wedding: MWAH! Big kisses from Beantown.

But I digress.

It's 10 Items of Flotsam Day
1. Totally agree with T&Lo. This was craptastic. I'm not sure I'll tune in next year. However, in the meantime, check this out for a chuckle.
2. IRA loss count: $11 grand...and rising.
3. Opinion about the so-called "bailout": Unchanged. It still sucks.
4. The Hotel Nelligan rules!
5. Parents' trip to Grand Canyon and Vegas: Successful. They both came back alive.
6. I snored at work. No really. I did.
7. Niece and Nephew #1 are 22 as of yesterday. I feel old.
8. Dinner: Chicken parm or mushroom pasta with broccoli rabe?
9. The Cole Haan ballerina flats are going back. No one my size needs short-looking feet.
10. And now, a poem from Ogden Nash

by Ogden Nash

There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It's not the vermouth--
I think that perhaps it's the gin.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Toot Your Own Horn Friday

I think I need to just toot my own horn, so here's the honk. It's a sample of what I do in my, uh, real life!

Addendum with shout-outs:

* D has a new new job.
* D&M are getting married on 10/11/08.
* Ma soeur is running the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Half Marathon.
* My parents are in Vegas....and on that weird note, I'll end.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oh the Irony

And that irony would be: Me, of all people, thinking (and writing) about MONEY! Yes, the horror.

Okay, it's a short one, so laugh while can.

The whole Wall Street financial crisis is like this: If I bought a house, ran up $100,000 in credit card debt, and then asked the goverment to save me and my house from the repo man, they wouldn't do it.

They'd laugh and and invoke "personal responsibility", right?

Uhmm, so near as I can tell, why are they doing it to all these idiot companies who had a bad balance sheet? Too much debt, too little capital. Pretty freakin' simple equation if you ask me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Supposedly Fun Thing He'll Never Do Again

David Foster Wallace will never do that supposedly fun thing called life again.

And the world is a less interesting place because of it.

Wherever he lays his head, may he rest on the fluffiest, whitest towels and have endless rounds on a ferris wheel with fried dough as his manna.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Sarah Palin Post

So, I've thought about it and thought about it, and I'm sorry, but I must post something about her.

And since my brain will explode if I don't comment, I'll add my two-cents worth by doing what all really great writers do: I'll let someone who said it better speak for me.....

Props (and a Michelle fist-bump) to Accordian Guy via Broadsheet on Salon for providing the perfect note on all this.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

How Not to Spend Your Birthday: A Game!

And hey everyone, welcome back! We've got a really fun post for you today, so sharpen up those pencils, haul out those horrific birthday memories, and let's play: How Not to Spend Your Birthday!

Begin by spending four consecutive summer weekends away from your home. This will cause both sleep deprivation and an excess of unwashed laundry. In concert, those two factors will also result in an underlying crankiness, a sort of low thrum of tension.

Each consecutive weekend away = 4 points
Low thrum of tension = 2 points
Painful, tense shoulder rodent = 2 points
Each pound of unwashed laundry = 1 point
Bonus: Award yourself 1 bonus point for resorting to generic shampoo and conditioner because you've been so busy that you're out of your salon brand goo.

Precisely 36 hours preceding the actual day of natal festivity, awake in a cold sweat, gripped by literally gut-wrenching cramps. Roll over. Touch clammy, yet hot, bedmate (this can be your cat/husband/wife/life partner/alien abductor you've befriended.) Run to the bathroom. Realize that you are, in fact, sick and so is bedmate. Fight with bedmate due to guilt induced by lack of ability to care for bedmate, combined with anger at bedmate's inability to let you sleep in the bed because bedmate is really sicker than you but you want the bed anyway and don't care.

Each hour spent in the loo = 4 points
Bedmate also sick = 2 points
Bedmate sicker than you = 4 points
Bonus: Award yourself 5 points if you have no bedmate of any sort.

Moving closer to the day of natal celebration, realize you are truly sick and cannot sleep well. Unfold futon in guest room. Sleep on rock hard futon and mentally apologize to all past guests made to sleep on futon. Dream feverishly of buying uncooked chicken from Boston-based musicians with whom you were once friendly. Awake from fever dreams. Sip ice water. Run out of toilet paper and cry plaintively for bedmate to bring you more.

Each roll of toilet paper = 3 points
Fever dreams = 1 point/dream
Bonus point: Award yourself 10 bonus points if you have no bedmate to bring you TP and must fish through the wastebin.

Now, sleep fitfully through the night. Awake within half-hour of your actual time of birth to slightly less gut-wrenching stomach cramps. Realize you are not going to work and will not be having a "happy" birthday. Sleep some more. Rouse yourself mid-morning and move from ice water to stale crackers and chicken broth. Snooze, nap, and try to comfort bedmate throughout the day.

Each stale cracker consumed = 3 points
Each birthday wish = subtract 1 point/email or phone call

BONUS ROUNDS = 50 points each
Round 1
Reach late afternoon. Make frightening realization that driver's license expires this very day. Shower. Suck up all energy possible. Go to RMV and renew license. Take license photo that resembles Jay Leno in a cold sweat.

Round 2
Leave RMV with Leno-esque photo in hand. You are now clammy and bloated, but it's your birthday and you want a present. Shop. In a mall. Go to grocery store. Buy pasta for dinner. In grocery line, covered with cold sweat and frizzy generically-shampooed hair, be stuck between tall, tan, toned Beyonce lookalike on left, and tall, tan, toned Maria Sharapova clone on the right. (Both MUST be purchasing nothing but veggies and Lean Cuisine in order for you to qualify for these bonus points.)

SUPER BONUS ROUND = 100 points
Parents have forgotten your birthday. You must call to remind them.

1-50 points: You are a total happy birthday freak. You are never getting another gift from me because you have not suffered birthday horror enough.
51-150 points: Pretty normal. You've had some crappy ones. I'll get you a Target gift card.
151-214 points: Wow. I'm impressed. You get a shopping trip to Barney's!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Our Parent's Hidden Lives

So you never know what's going to happen when you Google. And as someone who hates surprises and mysteries, this is problematic. However, Today's Google was to see if my brother was ever listed in association with B-52s (the plane, not the band).

But since they share a name, differentiated by "Sr." vs. "Jr.", I got results for my Dad.

Now, for those of you who know my Dad, he's an inordinately principled, righteous dude. He's humble (except when he's over-explaining something, like, say, geothermal heat exchange systems), has integrity, and well, he's just about the most awesome guy. (I pity Husband. How could he EVER live up to that?)

And well, turns out my Dad was, in his own small way, a civil rights pioneer.

I had always known that both my parents brought us up with a strong sense of right and wrong, of justice, of the value of each human life, but I never knew that he helped to further integration at one of the world's premiere institutions of science and technology.

I'm so proud to be his kid.

Love you, Daddy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Mugday, uh, Monday

Today's extremely brief post includes the following:

* postal workers' garment options,


* my new favorite blog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today's News from Planet Crazy

Okay, so, let me see if I understand life on Planet Crazy with President Crazy of the United States of Crazy.

We, the taxpayer, can pay to bail out a partially-government funded entity from which we borrowed (and are paying back) money to buy a house.

We, the taxpayer, can pay for a loan to JP Morgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns with mortgage-backed securities as collateral. (See above on borrowing money we funded with our taxes in the first place.)

We, the taxpayer, can fund our own debt with a tax rebate.

We cannot however, be fiscally irresponsible by letting Medicare recipients get care. After all, who cares that doctors will no longer accept Medicare patients because they simply cannot afford to? Those silly doctors. All they care about is the hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical school debt and malpractice insurance they owe.

Perhaps doctors should start working with hedge fund managers to use mortgage-backed securities as payment to the Medicare system. That way, whenever a home-owning Medicare patient arrives for treatment, the government will get paid with the money it originally loaned to the Medicare recipient to buy his/her house which came out of his or her taxes anyway.

Well kids, that's another episode of Life on Planet Crazy with President Crazy here in the United States of Crazy.

Tomorrow: Lifting offshore oil bans so that we can use mortgage-backed securities to buy homes for oil-soaked harbor seals in Iraq!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

From Watergate to 2008

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The seminal political moment of my youth was the Watergate scandal. I remember with relative clarity the shock, dismay, and sadness my parents expressed that the freely elected President of the United States had illegally wiretapped the DNC headquarters. That like some organized crime thug, he just decided that it was okay to break the law to get what he wanted.

And now, the Congress is actually going to vote into law the ability to spy on anyone, anywhere, without any legal review.

If you're reading this, I suggest you do your part to stop this. For a better sense of just how far we've fallen, read this from today's issue of The Washington Post.

Are we that worried about our mortgages and gas prices? Why in heaven's name aren't we worrying about our freedom?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, America...Have a Stiff Drink. You Need It.

So, no post tomorrow, just these for today.

If you haven't ever read 'em, do it. They're good documents. Pretty short as these things go.

The are our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

I am moved to tears of sorrow and anger as I read these, knowing just how many of these precious safeguards have been gutted by our current King George.

So, Happy Birthday America. You had good people to help you back then. I hope you have more like them soon.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Unable to Concentrate...Science to the Rescue!

I'm willfully avoiding work, due to a severe case of Summer.

So, I'm reading instead.

Science can be very entertaining.

From BSG to BFO

Now, for all three of my readers who watch "Battlestar Galactica" you probably think I'm going to write about the season finale. No. I'm too upset that I'm being made to wait SIX MONTHS to see 12 more episodes so that I can watch them all die miserably or something equally depressing.

And, as far as Barack Frakkin' Obama, I'm too upset about his recent FISA/telecom immunity vote to write about how I snarked at the O-campaign volunteer who tried to recruit me last night. Poor kid. I chewed his ear off about gutting the Fourth Amendment and what a missed opportunity to really stand up for a true voice for change.

But, I'm not writing about that.

I'm actually going to write that fake 'n bake works! I'm pleasantly surprised. Now, for the uninitiated, that's dihydroxyacetone....AKA, fake tanner. It smells weird, but it makes your skin a lovely shade of cultivation of carcinoma necessary!

Despite the whole "stand-there-in-your-birthday-suit-sticky-while-it-dries" element, I'm pleasantly surprised.

I blame Coco Chanel, who, after her trip from Paris to Cannes, cultivated the tan among the previously belly-white upper class French. And the rest is dermatological history.

Okay, additional random flotsam and jetsam:
* Hubby has been quite the jet-setter with a trip to Vegas, then sailing on the floating wine rack. (The French really know how to build a boat.)
* Lord Covington rules. I never thought I'd love a car as much as I love LC. Wax puppets for everyone!
* Weather is interesting. It was 90 degrees in Providence on Saturday, yet an hour a way in Beantown, it was 65 and foggy.
* Weather is interesting, take two. I'm so done with this forecast, "Partly cloudy, humid, with a chance of severe thunderstorms in the morning. Clearing in the afternoon, but with a chance for more severe thunderstorms between 6 and 8." It's been three weeks now. This is not Florida.
* Work is still very silent, but I have a nice chair now.

And really, there isn't much else. Oh, wait, the Zoenator rules.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Welcome, Lord Covington Cooper of Cambridge

So, it's been a really long day. And, granted, I don't live in a bombed-out foxhole in Baghdad, so as days go, I suppose when I say "long", it's not that long.

I fetched Husband after work, and sat in miles and miles of traffic on our way to get Lord Covington Cooper of Cambridge (AKA, our new car, a Mini Cooper S Clubman). Yet, we were foiled: Just a mere 10 miles from our destination, the long-suffering BMW tossed a shoe.

Thank god I grew up in the north suburban bedroom community of Reading. We were conveniently located but a mere few miles from family, and placed a plaintive call for help. A Mum-bearing Volvo soon arrived. (Yes people, a 240DL wagon....what would you expect from my Mum?)

Husband went off to collect Lord Covington, and I stayed with the Beemer waiting for AAA.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Let's just say that no matter how long AAA tells you they will be, they always take at least and hour-and-a-half.

Needless to say, when all was said and done, I was provided for in a most comfortable fashion: Sister fetched me and offered a bottle of a fantastic chardonnay. Mum brought Husband to the car dealership and Lord Covington is now ensconced in our garage. The Beemer is in the capable hands of 128 Tire and Auto (the family mechanic) and shall be serviced accordingly.

All in all, you couldn't ask for a better night.

The hard part is: A day will come when I can't call that phone number and go, "Mum, can you come get me?"

But tonight I could.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congratulations, Del and Phyllis!

You'd think that all this time in Massachusetts would have me taking gay marriage for granted and that I'm jaded old coot. Oh, wait, no I'm not! What a relief! How do I know? Because this morning I cried like I did at my own wedding upon hearing that Del Lyon and Phyllis Martin got married (again) by that handsome hunk of hetero-gay activism, SF Mayor Gavin Newsome.

Del and Phyllis could teach the rest of us a thing or two about longevity in partnership. They've been together for 55 years.

When love and truth are on your side, nothing is impossible.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An Open Letter to Senator Barack Obama

Dear Senator,

Our country is so wounded and broken that I doubt anyone could fix it, so please be the person we can all rally around to heal it together. Please be the person we need you to be. Please surround yourself with smart, honest people. Please listen to those smart, honest people, especially when they disagree with you.

Please care. Please make us care again. Please let me believe that we can be the kind of country that our forebears hoped we could be. Please help us be proud to be Americans again.

Please bring home our troops. Please rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan and let them decide their own futures. Please make sure people in this country no longer have to work three jobs only to choose between rent and healthcare.

Please don't let me down.
Please be a good man.
Please beat John McCain's sorry ass in November.
Pleaes take care of yourself.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Memorial Day Pause 'n Discuss

This Memorial Day Pause 'n Discuss is brought to you by the "Brazil"-like nightmare that is the US guv'mint.....

My internet access to The New York Times online video story about an Iraqi War veteran's thoughts around Memorial Day was blocked by the Veteran's Administration's proxy server.

But I can blog, shop online, and look for a house. (Oh, I forgot, home ownership, shopping, and invading countries that pose no military threat to us are part of the American Dream!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hey, there's a bathroom in my office!

I couldn't make this one up if I tried. There is a bathroom in my office. I'm going to take a picture and prove it to you.

I keep telling myself that this is the trade-off for having to use a PC, and suffering with highly restricted net access (no YouTube, no photo-hosting site access, no IM; the list goes on).

And now for a slight change of subject. A tribute to the letter M. For those of you who remember the "M is for Martha" segment of "The Electric Company", I hope you enjoy.

M is for Maria.
M is for Manolos.
M is for Mini.
M is Martinis.
M is for Mac.

M is for Maria, who motors in her Mini while wearing her Manolos.
M is for Maria, who likes to have a martini while mulling over her Mac.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The Last Friday of Freedom

Oh my months of unemployment and all I can think to do on my last full weekend of total sloth-filled irresponsibility is watch a What Not to Wear marathon? Yikes.

However, I embrace my decision, conscious or otherwise, to avoid leveraging this now-gone opportunity to self-actualize and grow. I really do. Take, for example, the following exchange with my sister today:
Sis: I thought you went shopping with Mum today?
Me: No; I'm too busy. I have too much to do before work starts on Monday.
Sis: What the hell have you been doing for the last seven months?
Me: Jack shit, dude....I have been sitting on my ass and doing nothing, but I'm good with that. 
Sis: (through much laughter) Uh, well as long as you're okay with it.....

So, now it's down to 48 hours to reminisce about my time off. Let's recap the highlights:
• broke my leg and spent 8 weeks recovering
• started a second career as a makeup artist, thanks to L's faith in me
• had some fabulous lunches
• bought my first Manolo's
• enjoyed time with Husband
• watched much less TV than I thought I would
• saw my car get smushed and bought a new one

So for now, I must enjoy. And then, I will suck it up on Monday and begin, again, dancin' to the man's tune! And what a man this will be: The Federal Government. Gotta say, I'm just a little freaked out. 

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'll Never Be That Girl Again

I'll never be the girl of my title/blog posts again.

And, well, I guess I'm finally okay with that. (Or am I?) I'm fourty-fucking-four, and I still want to be that girl. That 24-to-34 something who had an amazing (and I only realize it now) body; who knew good music and sought it out. Oh, and let's not mention the boys...lots and lost of them. 

Now? I suffer from a case of musical arrested development accompanied by a simultaneous case of bodily arrest. 

What happened? And when? 

When pressed, I do know what happened. This is no groundbreaking observation. The life gone; the past mourned. The thing we'll never be again but are so glad we had. It happens to all of us. If we're lucky enough, we realize that it's just age. 

But, I had it. I lived it. I wouldn't be who I am now (butt, wrinkles, and all) without it: A past. 

Thank you, my past.
My youth.
You were amazing. 
I was amazing. 
And sometimes, when all is well and good, I still am.

I traded it all for silence, stability and S.  I love him. He loves me.

Do we all choose to eventually inhabit a life that is pale and soft against the hard corners of our youth? 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Companies, Cool, and Compost

So, that title could be taken for "companies poop" or a number of other permutations.

However, I think that what I'm getting at is that while corporate America is corporate, its citizens may not necessarily be....and that you should never judge a book by its cover.

When Company dismissed me in October, I freely admit there was irritation and, to some degree, anger. I never really wanted to make Company happy, let alone spend four-and-a-half years there. The plus side was that I met some very nice, very interesting people. And, I also met people that I suspected were very cool, but didn't really have a chance to fully know.

Turns out, I was right about my suspicions. This individual was very cool, and herein lies the compost part of the picture. Way to go! I had awesome interaction with BG and I'm so psyched to read about someone doing their part to maintain local, sustainable agriculture in New England.

Hmm....that blog makes me hungry! I think I'll go grocery shopping....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Various Outrages

What a week. I tell ya, I'm done. I am so done, I'm on the blackish side of GBD. Here's why:

1. Friday, March 7. Interview for a job I really want. Get the job offer I have lined up rescinded.
2. Wednesday March, 12. Someone murders my beloved Audi and drives away. Thankfully, no one that we know of was injured.
3. Wednesday March 12: Get another job offer.
4. Friday March 14: Husband decides to become Road Warrior for a week. I'm supportive; I get a clean garage out of the deal.

And then today's Globe article, featuring whining, over-privileged urban mommies in the South End just about put me over the edge of blackishness into carbon-cured and unpleasant.

What is it with people who say things like, "That's just not family friendly", when tagged with a $45 double-parking ticket? Guess what, bitch, if it hasn't occurred to you yet, your neighborhood is not a Victorian-style theme park designed for your living pleasure so that when little Aidan or Madeline grows older, you can tell them stories about how "mommy and daddy lived in the city" once.

You live in a city. That entails all sorts of inconveniences that are not "family friendly" because they are not intended to be.

And let me tell you another thing: You owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the artists, urban warriors, middle-class families, and others who made your neighborhood what it is.

(Oh, I'm sorry. Were you not aware that your 'hood was not always the lilly-white homogenized uber-wealthy Lexus-riddled place you inhabit today? Why yes, it's true. My blog and email get their name from the neighborhood I once loved. I first lived there in 1988, when most of you 31 to 37 year-olds were still clutching the Holly Hobby your mother received at your baby shower. Thankfully, I moved five years ago, so that I didn't have to witness it's slow, painful death by hyper-gentrification. Speaking of gentrification, have you ever asked yourselves why that gentrification seems to halt so suddenly once you cross Mass. Ave. to Northampton Street. Wait, you don't know where Northampton Street is? Not surprising. )

I'm quite certain that when Aidan and Maddie are old enough for school, you'll move back the suburbs you came from, or you'll send them to private school. You won't participate in the public schools in the neighborhood you claim to love so much.

That's the most outrageous thing of all.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut

...and sometimes you don't. Or, rather, sometimes you think you have a new job, and then you don't.

All I can say is: I'm awfully glad that they had the courtesy to call and rescind my offer of employment on the Friday afternoon prior to my scheduled Monday morning start date.

After all, I mean, they could have waited 48 hours and sent me packing on Monday morning, as I waltzed into their offices, mocha in hand.

So, in retrospect, it was nice of them to call so far in advance.

Perhaps I should ask them for the money that I'd have made with the other job offers I could have accepted but didn't.

Or maybe I'll just sleep in on Monday morning and continue enjoying "Attack of the Comfy Pants: Part 2—Spring is Coming!"

Friday, February 22, 2008

When Did New Englanders Become So Incapable?

It's February.

It's Boston.


Oh. My. God.

When did we become so utterly incapable of managing in the snow?

This is the town that dug out with nonchalance and dignity during the Blizzard of '78. We walked to the store. We shopped for our neighbors. My mother built an igloo and kicked us out of the house. We were happy to go—after all, we had an igloo to play in, and let's be honest: How cool was that?

Yet now, with a WHOPPING five inches of snow due, the New England Emergency Management Agency and the Governor send state workers home early and encourage other businesses to do the same.

I simply don't understand it. I don't understand people who complain about the snow. I cannot comprehend those who wonder when it will stop snowing (early- to mid-April, people, that's when). Why do they live here? Why do they not understand that we live at 42.37 degrees North latitude, and hence, an area subject to a distinct, four-season climate, impacted by often severe changes in temperature resulting from a complex set of topographic and meteorologic factors into which I will not digress here?

(And I know that there are those of you who will claim some weird Puritan/Pilgrim attitude of liking to complain or a cultural memory steeped in a desire for hardship, etc., etc., but I don't buy it.)

So, to those of you who are freaked out, unhappy, or otherwise irritated by snow, I say this:

Move to Phoenix.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Locked up; Locked Out

Well, the first issue is the job. Yes, I've locked up my return to corporate america. Maybe New Company will be good. Who knows? I wish I could be happy about it, but I'm not.

The second is being locked out of my apartment for two days. Not pleasant. I love my parents, but I hate their futon. (For those of you who believe that "hate" is a strong word, I recommend that you spend two consecutive nights on my parents' futon.)

Third, the recession is real. How do I know this? Yahoo! News' deck has been featuring "stretch your food dollar" articles like "Make Canned Soup Tasty!" and "10 Things You Can Do With Ramen!".

I have three more weeks of freedom before getting cozy with New Job, and I've lots to do before then.

Perhaps I'll buy some ramen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I Bring You a Recession

I am responsible for so very much. Yes, I am. I control the U.S. economy—I'm that powerful. You can look at every layoff I've ever been through as a bellweather for an economic downturn.

You doubt me? Let me get my resume and I'll show you, nonbelievers!

In any case, I'm really relieved to know that the Medicare Part D program benefits only the truly deserving souls who needed it: The Shrub's friends running insurance companies.

What a relief that the elderly and disabled beneficiaries of Medicare have their expensive medications covered only most of the time, while Humana and CIGNA's senior leadership (not to mention some former senior execs involved with the local healthcare landscape) will be making out like bandits come bonus time. It comforts me, the jobless one.

And now that we've had a nice satisfying rant about healthcare, let's move on to Super Tuesday. Please to direct your attention to the cover of todays' issue of The New York Times online. See John McCain's Official Trophy Wife Number Two? Look closely, and in your mind's eye, superimpose the creature from Alien onto Cindy Lou's head.

If you weren't frightened by the Senator's proposed "permanent state of war" comment earlier this month, that image should do it for you.

Run away, America!!! This couple is just Shrub-lite, and in some ways, scarier.

Now, Hil, Barack, you two just figure it out right now, or I'm sending you both to your room. Run on a joint ticket. Barack, you take role number two, and Hil, give him something REAL to do. He's a smart man, and you don't want to turn him into Al Gore 2.0, do you?

Because as we all know, Clinton-Obama will whoop some serious election-day butt if pitched against any Republican.