Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Interwebs Are Interesting Today!

The interwebs are chock-full of fun stuff to read (including this here blog-a-delic thingey.)

But today, I have stumbled upon a cornucopia of goodness, including:

* An article about road-testing cat litter. Now, as someone who loves cats, and frequently changes poopy catboxes, I have a personal interest in this; however, overall, it's a well-done consumer product testing piece.

* A nice review of the fall TV season. My sister has been raving about Modern Family, and now my favorite TV critic is, too. I guess I'm going to have to tune in before my cable goes digital and I no longer have TV reception. (Don't ask; it's a looooong story.)

* An interview with Balki. I don't know, maybe it's that I grew up in a family where a funny accent was always encouraged, but I have a soft spot for Balki.

Tomorrow (or possibly later today if I'm really bored): The interwebs are also full of good things to buy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

You Can't Kill an Idea: It's Banned Bookweek!

Banned Book Week ends on Sunday, so take some time to celebrate your intellectual freedoms with a banned book, or with John Stuart Mill, who eloquently outlined the value of diverse discourse in On Liberty:
"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good Boss, Bad Boss, Part 1

Well, in case my previous post didn't indicate anything was amiss with work, I have been in the crosshairs since returning from my hoo-hoo-related medical leave.

Today, I was once again the recipient of another condescending, snarky email written in a tone more suitable for a mother addressing her stubborn four-year-old than boss addressing a grown-up professional.

Which brings me to my post title: Good Boss, Bad Boss.
Good Boss
* The Good Boss does not blame an individual for an error. When errors occur, The Good Boss looks to process, deconstructing and reviewing processes to detect potential weak spots. The Good Boss then works collaboratively to correct flaws inherent therein.
* The Good Boss understands that humans occasionally need time to go to the dentist, see a kid's play, or take the cat to the vet, and that the time to do these things doesn't necessarily have to result in lost vacation hours or lost pay.
* The Good Boss knows that most people are adults who will, when trusted and given the right resources and authority, do a good job.
* The Good Boss knows power and responsibility need to be delegated simultaneously.
* The Good Boss does not expect you to keep working once you get home.
* The Good Boss is happy and willing to do the grunt work alongside you, and in some cases, does it for you.

Bad Boss
* When errors occur, The Bad Boss is quick to jump down an employee's throat without assessing why the error occurred. The Bad Boss is not interested in processes, but in results only.
* The Bad Boss does not have your back. The Bad Boss leaves you to fend for yourself if something goes wrong, and takes all the credit when it goes right.
* The Bad Boss has no problem being unprofessional, but will become extremely indignant if you behave unprofessionally.
* The Bad Boss thinks that his/her employees don't talk about salaries, layoffs, who got a raise and who didn't, who left their stinky yogurt in the fridge too long, and so on.
* The Bad Boss is a master of intimidation and will use fear, passive-aggressiveness, and many other childhish tactics to get what s/he wants.
* The Bad Boss usually has no empathy.

As I said, this is Part 1. I'm sure that Part 2 will be equally thrilling.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Shove My Head in a Chanel Bag and Send Me to Manhattan

I have had it.
I am done, done, done.
I want to win the lottery, shove my head in a Chanel bag, move to New York, and become a Lady Who Lunches.

I'm completely serious.

I just don't give a shit anymore about "caring" in my work-a-day life. I don't care if what I do impacts anyone positively, because, oh, honestly, it doesn't. Show me ONE PERSON who read something I wrote and was moved to, say, get a mammogram, or go to the VA and get a check up for prostate cancer, or anything that would improve their lives or health or whatever.

I am sick of trying to push for what's informative, thoughtful, and correct, only to be told:
* This isn't very well written.
* You really don't understand the medical literature.
* This isn't your best work.
* You really don't understand our audience.
* You really don't have a sense of the corporate voice.
* This isn't very tight.
* This is confusing.
* You don't understand the relationship between copy and design.
* The designers know how to design, not you.

So listen up, all of you (and you know who you are): You are all correct! I have spent the past 20 years of my life learning nothing. I'm no smarter than I was the day I left high school. I understand jack shit about healthcare communication. I wasted $30K on graduate school and should not have bothered. Congrats.

I'm going to quit this bullshit field and go do what I do best: Shop, drink, and eat.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why I Can Never Be POTUS

I cannot ever be President of the United States of America because if I were Barry O., I would make a speech to Congress that would go something like this:
"You are a bunch of total asshats. Why in god's name do we spend more, per person, on healthcare, but are the LEAST healthy developed nation in the world? Why? I'll tell you why: Because YOU ARE ASSHATS who can't see beyond your own re-election coffers funded by Pfizer.

Now stop being stupendously moronic ASSHATS, and pass a healthcare bill that guarantees everyone some kind of basic, affordable, quality healthcare that won't result in 62 percent of all individual bankruptcy filings being related to medical bills."


And that is why I will never be POTUS. Hang in there, Barry.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sometimes, even though you haven't showered, are sad, uncomfortable, and wearing stained, fold-over waist shorts from Target, you can put on your sexiest pair of shoes and feel just a little bit better.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paragraph of the Day

I do not make a regular habit of reading Paul Krugman's column in The New York Times, but I'm always satisfied when I choose to do so. Today, in particular, was quite rewarding. I was pulled into it by the headline: The Swiss Menace. Turns out it's an Op-Ed piece about a subject slightly less near, but no less dear, to my heart: healthcare reform.

To wit:
Besides being vile and stupid, however, the editorial was beside the point. Investor’s Business Daily would like you to believe that Obamacare would turn America into Britain — or, rather, a dystopian fantasy version of Britain. The screamers on talk radio and Fox News would have you believe that the plan is to turn America into the Soviet Union. But the truth is that the plans on the table would, roughly speaking, turn America into Switzerland — which may be occupied by lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters, but wasn’t a socialist hellhole the last time I looked.

I'm not sure what made me laugh more: "vile and stupid" or "lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eaters".

Clearly, Krugman wasvon a role. But he should have taken it one step further and gone with, "lederhosen-wearing holey-cheese eating neutrality monkeys".

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So Much to Post About...Yet No Posts

You would think that the amount of sheer boredom and life-altering mishegas experienced as a result of a hoo-hoo-ectomy and it's subsequent convalescence would provide for many Deep Thoughts.


Nosiree, bob.

Actually, all I can think about is:
* When will I be able to roll over onto my left/right side?
* Did I really make the right decision, because this just sucks.
* Wow, I had no idea that EVERYTHING IN MY KITCHEN weighs more than 8 pounds and I cannot, therefore, pick it up.
* A well-mixed martini overwhelmingly outweighs the pain-relief powers of Percocet. And you don't need a prescription.
* The only man to touch me below the waist since July 18 is a highly paid professional hell-bent on causing me extreme pain by removing things in the name of saving my life. The nerve of him.
* Online shopping is fun; however, the post-surgical attempts at trying stuff on....not so much.
* If anyone else says, "Wow, you're so lucky! I wish they'd take mine out!" I will procure weapons and go from there.
* Six weeks off in the summertime when you cannot go swimming is cruel. Just plain cruel.

There is more; oh yes...much more. But perhaps that is best saved for another day when I cannot nap and there are no more "Say Yes to the Dress" marathons on TLC.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Making You Feel Better By Making You (Feel Like) Crap

There is a guaranteed method of making sure that a surgical patient will heal quickly. Apparently, it has to do with making that patient feel as NASTY as possible prior to the surgery so that, in retrospect, the patient is duped into thinking that s/he is "recovering" when in point of fact, s/he is NOT recovering, but is merely returning to the baseline point of health that would have existed after surgery had not the patient had to:
* Become dehydrated.
* Go 24 hours without solid food.
* Poop. A lot. For hours.
* Lose sleep.
* Poop some more.
* Go an additional 24 hours with hospital food.

So, I'm just pointing out that when you arrive at the hospital for surgery, and you feel extra-rotten, it's just a trick. They are tricking you.

Don't let them trick you!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Today's Statistics!

Okay, so in praise of my departing, uh, ladyparts, I ran some stats. It's the last ever time I will have Aunt Flo in town, and it got me to thinking about the whole thing:

* 33 years
* 400 times
* 2000 days
* 10,000 ob's

Other miscellany:
* If it ran continuously, that would be 5.4 years.
* Advil and Aleve used to be by prescription only.
* You don't have to have it at all now, if you take Yaz.

Will I miss it? Not really. But it's odd to think that I'm performing a biological function for the last time, quite literally. How often do you get to say, "This is the very last time I will ever (burp, fart, sneeze, etc.)?" I mean, seriously? If you knew you'd never sneeze, ever again, would you miss it? Would you think about all the other times you've sneezed and wonder about sneezing's role in your life? Would you think, "Hey, I'll never need to buy Kleenex again, because, hey, no more sneezing?"

Monday, June 29, 2009

At Home, Away From Home: The Irish

I am in an strange city, alone, but I find a fairly cheesy, inauthentic "Irish" pub. I hear a penny whistle, a bodhran, and a beautiful voice. I walk in, no longer tired, alone, and lonely. I sit down; order a black and tan....I am suddenly home. My mother's voice is with me, my aunts, my family....everything that I need to make it through one more long work day is here.

I am a mutt, but I am Irish. I can always go home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sex For Younger Ladies Is Healthy, Normal, and Fun....Really!

Okay, this is not another addition to the conversation about the whole madonna/whore, capitalist notion of female sexuality, and whether girls going wild can be empowering or just drunk and stupid. Those conversations have been augmented many times by others who've added more value and cohesion than I.

Okay, I lied. It is another one of those conversations.

We've entered into this Bizzar-O-Land of muddled sexual mores, and I can no longer take the Sex = Slut argument. It's really messing up a lot of Young Ladies, some of whom I am related to.

I say "entered" into this weird land, because I feel as though there had been a tiny window of opportunity in the early, pre-AIDS 80s where feminist ideals of female sexuality converged with cultural acceptance of said, and us gals were genuinely empowered about seeking out, and enjoying, lots of sex. Sadly, that time passed far too quickly.

I have had a lot of sex. Some of it was fun. Some of it was really fun. Some of was awful. Some of it was really awful. Some of it was with a known entity, some of it was not. So here's what I have to say on the subject.

Having a lot of sex, on your own terms and by your own choice, does not make you a slut.

I encourage the Younger Ladies to, in the absence of a partner, learn about their bodies and understand what makes that body feel good....sort of like training wheels. After all, you don't just go out there and immediately ride that two-wheeler, do you? So, spend quality "you time" first, Younger Ladies. Then, after figuring it out on your own, have a lot of (safe*) sex!

(*By "safe sex", I mean: condoms always and an additional method such as: foams, suppositories, creams, the Sponge--which is finally coming back again--oral contraceptives, Depo Provera, the ring, the patch, you name it; you've got options, Young Ladies, and barebacking with withdrawal is not one of them.)

Have sex because:
* It's fun.
* It feels good, physically.
* The guy/girl is hot and you want him/her for that night only with no strings attached and don't ever expect to hear from him/her again.
* It can help you learn about what you like and don't like.
* You love the person, and the person loves you right back and it's nice to be intimate with your loved one.

Do not have sex because:
* You think your boy- or girlfriend will leave if you don't.
* You think it will bring you closer. (If you need closeness, just ask for a hug and have an long conversation instead.)
* You think it will make you appear to be smarter/prettier/more important/popular.
* You are depressed and think it will cheer you up.
* You are pressured into doing so.
* You expect that by having sex, you will end up in a relationship with this person.

Yes, there are risks to having a lot of sex. Believe me, I know. However, there are far more risks to labeling and shaming an entire generation of Younger Ladies with the Sex = Slut argument, and by offering that generation yet another double standard about their own healthy, normal, exciting sexuality.

Monday, June 15, 2009

BMI Is a Lie

Kate Harding is a Chicago-based blogger, who, along with several other equally fabulous ladies, maintains the Shapely Prose blog. Ms. Harding has just put together The BMI Project.

It's a slideshow of average folks (mostly women, but a few fellas, too.) Using the Body Mass Index, which many healthcare providers default to as a measure of overall health, Harding demonstrates that BMI is really bullshit.

And, as testament to just how bullshitty and asshatty BMI really is as a measure of fitness, the delightful Ms. Harding starts the slideshow off with a photo of her doing yoga, in the Crow Pose.

Just another reminder to love the body you have, eat as well as you can, don't smoke, and get some exercise on a regular basis.

Carry on!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Very Short Story

Last night, Husband asked for a bedtime story. Here it is:

Once upon a time there was a little pig named Ralph. He ran away from the farm because he didn't want to be turned into bacon. He went into the forest, and lived happily ever after eating acorns. The end.

(I'm thinking Ralph is the one in the back...he looks ready to make a break for it.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Food Critic Link With A Side of My Past

So, it's high time I linked to another fellow blogger. Check out MC Slim JB's food reviews and blog.

We're weirdly connected:
A) He knows one of my siblings through professional connections.
B) He's an old friend of the ex-I-thought-was-the-one-but-who-instead-broke-my-heart-into-a-thousand-tiny-pieces-that-took-four-years-pick-up.

He's a decent food critic, if given to hyperbole on occasion. And, I sense he's got the usual hostility most writers have towards editors who dare monkey with their deathless prose.

But, as I said, he's a decent writer and critic, and by all accounts, a good guy, so go read his stuff.

Oddly, I've never met the man.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Was Frank Hebert a Boston Street Planner?

Okay, so I'm trying to find an alternative method of getting home from my office during Red Sox game nights....and I Google map a certain portion of a route I know, but wanted to explore a bit further. I call it "the back way".

And either Frank Hebert once lived in Mission Hill, or he was a street planner for the city of Boston in a former life.

Or possibly, this is just a weird, weird coincidence.

Gurney Street runs into Halleck Street in Mission Hill.

I kid you not.

Is a picture still worth any words? I think so....

I've had enough professional experience to learn a thing or two about design and photography. However, we live in such an image-predominant age that I feel like those mediums have lost a considerable bit of power.

Whether graphic or industrial, design and photography are relatively new when compared with writing, yet their evolution has been lightening-fast. Perhaps this seemingly endless explosion of imagery is responsible for diluting their strength?

That said, I still come across some arresting things now and then. For your consideration, here are two of them:

(Getty Images, May 19, 2009, Hebron)

(Flickr, Official White House Photostream)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Girl Crush on Shelley O. Continues Unabated

My supreme adoration of this woman just keeps growing.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Too Sleepy to Write This

There is simply no way I'm going to make it through the rest of this day without a 15-minute chair nap.

The art of the chair-nap is subtle, but highly skilled. You must be able to maintain a heightened state of awareness (to listen for footsteps) yet nod off enough to achieve a refreshing nap-esque state.

You must also do pre-nap prep: Be able to look immediately attentive, alert, and busy if your chair-nap is interrupted. I keep a highlighter and some important-looking papers handy; that way, if someone surprises you, you can instantly appear to be doing some reading!

If you choose this route, you should also have a work-infused salutation at the ready:

"Oh,, I'm not busy....just reading this study about cardiovascular interventions in minority populations...what's up?"

Now, there are those who ascribe to the "facing the monitor" version of the chair nap. Those who choose this option have the capacity to chair-nap with hands on the keyboard, so that in the event of chair-nap interruptions, they look like they're writing, designing, reading email, working on a spreadsheet, etc. I could never manage this. I do better with a hard copy document.

For pre-nap prep here, open a document and leave it up. Be sure to adjust your "sleep" mode though, because if you don't touch the document, you don't want your computer to lock you out--a sure sign of not working. The document should be a copy of something important; if you actually fall completely asleep, you don't want to hit a delete key and nuke an important piece of work.

Okay. Enough. I'm exhausted.

Off to chair-nap!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Today's Useless Trivia!

Did you know that you cannot leave New England via car, horse, feet, cycle (motor- bi- or uni-) or any land-based mode of transportation for that matter, and get to the rest of the continental United States without crossing a bridge?

Seriously. You can't leave without crossing a bridge. Think I'm wrong?

To the north and northeast: The St. Lawrence.
To the northwest: Lake Champlain.
Due west: The Hudson River.
Southwest: The Harlem River.
Due south: Long Island Sound.

Can't be done.

It's like we're one big, gay-marriage supporting, college-town loving, blueberry-and-potato-growing, lobster-eating island!!!

Phooey on you, Texas! If anyone should secede, we should!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Frankly, the planet puts up with a lot, and as my mother always says about Mother's Day, "Why should I just get one day? I'm your mother." To that end, this planet is the only parent we have (that we know of), so let's make every day Earth Day! My plug is for water conservation, so here goes:

Water is the single most important resource we have. You can live up to a month without eating, but you won't make it more than a week without water. (The average is three days.) Fresh water is increasingly scarce, as the majority of it is locked up in ice.

When you flush the toilet, dump stuff down the sink, or run the tap, you're wasting fresh water. So, here are a few things you can do to help:

Decrease the nitrogen load on our fresh water supply.
Nitrogen has a systemic impact on the planet. Once introduced, it sucks oxygen out of the water, choking off the ability for phyotplankton to absorb sunlight, and in turn, that throws the food chain out of whack. So, try to buy phosphate-free everything (automatic dish detergent, sink soap, laundry detergent, etc.) There are plenty of products on the market that do just as good a job cleaning without phosphates, so make a point of purchasing them if you can.

Install low-flow showerheads and a low-flow, high-efficiency toilet.

Don't run the tap while brushing your teeth.

Don't flush if you only do number 1. (Water-based waste disposal systems have a ratio of approximatley 97% water to 3% waste.)

Try to keep your shower to four minutes or under.(Oddly, this is a long time. Try it. Put a timer in your shower. You'll be amazed.

Do not throw everything down the sink, particularly fats and oils. Either sell them off to your veggie-diesel car driving neighbors, or recycle them.

Only run your diswasher when it's really full.

If you have a garden, install a cistern so that you can use it on the plants. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just go to Home Depot, get a huge bucket, stick it under your gutter, and voila! To prevent it from turning into a mosquito pond, buy a tight-fitting cover.

If you are renovating a home, install a gray water collection system.

The Earth is a nice place. It's pretty and blue, like sapphires or those fabulous silk-satin Manolos that Big gave Carrie for their engagement.

And honestly, for a 4 billion year old, she's looking pretty good. So let's not let her go all Grey Gardens, shall we?

Do what you can to keep the Earth looking fabulous!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The One Good Makeover Show

I admit it: I love a good makeover. I won't call myself a raging beauty, but I have come a distance from my ugly duckling past. I always inserted myself into the "And then s/he turned into a swan and lived happily ever after" story. So, that's why I love What Not to Wear, because each week, I get my ugly duckling fix.

And the best part? Well, check out this in the WaPo...she says it as well as I could have: Stacy and Clinton, as snarky as they are, harsh on the clothes not the person.

It's true....never have Stacy and Clinton ever told someone they were fat, chubby, needed to lose a few, etc. They just acknowledge someone's curves, ask what that person is not happy with, and then they get to it.

I can imagine that the hardest part about the WNTW transformation is that if you've spent the majority of your life being ignored, you grow up wanting to be ignored. So, you dress like crap and hope no one notices, because typically, what happens when someone does notice is not good.

But sadly, we are visual beings and we notice appearance. But that said, it doesn't mean that appearance has to be cookie-cutter or trendy. Most former ugly ducklings I know want to maintain some kind of individualism and sense of personal style. When you've been "other" for so long, it's comforting. But as Stacy and Clinton (and Diana Vreeland, and Carrie Donovan, and Grace Coddington and many, many others) have repeatedly shown, a sense of style, when fully embraced is the ultimate method of personal expression.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The MAC Daddy of Galaxy Clusters

So, I'm sitting here, at 10 minutes to 5PM on a lovely spring day, feeling sorry for myself, and then I stumble across this, and feel stupid, small, irrelevant, and yet strangely...optimistic.....and I smiled. You can enjoy more here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's 9 to 5 Image

Yep. For most of us, this is life in Corporate America.

But sometimes, if you're lucky, you get off the wheel, and a soft, kind hand picks you up, takes you out of the cage, lets you run around the lawn, then gives you a fresh piece of lettuce.

And while you're running around the lawn, the hand changes your shavings and fills your water bottle!

But most of the time, it's on the wheel, running off to nowhere.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WaPo's Givhan on "What Exit?" Housewives

I've always loved the delightful Ms. Robin Givhan's sartorial coverage for the Washington Post, and I'm sorry that she's giving it up to cover The Family O, but in the interim, we have a lovely piece by her about my newest favorite horror show.

I thought RHOC was bad, but this is just, oh, this is like watching aliens land on your front lawn, get out, and start talking to you. You're slack-jawed, frightened, yet intrigued and incredulous that something so other really exists.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Kicks Serious Tushie

This woman is amazing. Jezebel said it best: the Justice is on a "give cancer the finger" tour. (I can relate. There is only one answer to cancer: F.U. I'm not done yet.)

Read the full scoop here.

Michelle O. Rocks, and My Mom Should Thank Her!

First, let's just say that to all the hypercritical comments made about Michelle Obama's personal style, I say, "BOOOOOO". Yes, "BOOOOO". Damnit, I LOVE HER STYLE.

Michelle Obama represents something that I completely understand: She has the personal style of a smart, well-educated, tall, curvy 40-something woman who had a professional career before becoming First Lady. She is clearly a thoughtful, creative woman who loves to express herself, and is interested in looking cool and hip, but age- and situation-appropriate. She has had to dress for herself, not for a role as "political" wife, like Nancy Reagan or the Bush women.

I think Michelle Obama's personal style reflects a generation that, while not second-wave feminism, is also not Hillary Clinton's late 60's Wellesley feminism, either. To a degree, Hillary's generation had the luxury of not really caring that much about how they looked--it was important to break the stereotype in order to further women's goals. I understand that, and I applaud it. I think that's why Hill had such culture shock in the 90s when the media was attacking her style (or what the media perceived as a lack of style). Hillary is old enough that she was on the further side of the "what you wear doesn't matter" curve.

Michelle, on the other hand, is a year younger than me, and hence, is on the backside of the "What you wear doesn't matter" curve. She was clearly raised by a mom who took pains to say to her daughter, "There is a way you look, and there is a way that looking good says something to the outside world....that you want to be taken seriously." (I won't delve into the race issue, but I can only imagine that it was twice as important for Michelle to present an exterior that was perceived as professional and competent.) Further, I suspect that her mother also raised to her make the most of what you have. I don't know Michelle or her mother, but I get the feeling that Michelle never thought to herself, "Oh, well Barack has become President. I think I'll throw out all my old clothes, and buy new, American designer togs that are boring, cookie-cutter over-the-top pieces of crap which don't reflect my style at at all."

Which brings me back to my initial comment: I loooooove her look. If I were 30 pounds lighter, I'd be buying half the stuff she wears. I love it. Alaia, Thakoon, J. Crew, Talbot's....what a great blend of funky and classic. She has high-low style down pat. It rocks. Screw all of you who say, "You don't wear a cardigan to meet the Queen!" Did you see the crap-ass, poorly-fitted dress that Mrs. Brown wore? And she wore black tights with it! Mother of god!

Donatella Versace has been quoted as saying, "Wear what you like, and wear what looks good on your figure...that's style." And I agree. Michelle is controversial in the fashion press precisely because she wears what she likes.

I also credit her with the resurgence in day dresses, of which I bought two this weekend. My mother is thrilled. For all the time when I as young, and she tried to get me to wear dresses I say: Mom, patience is a virtue. I think she thought I'd spend the rest of my life playing in the mud, wearing oversized flannel shirts and cords.

So Mommy and Michelle, these are for you!

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Favorite Spring Ritual


The hard, empty, quiet of winter is over. The ground softens, as do our expressions, both no longer pinched and closed against the snow and ice.

I believe that celebrating this change is important.

Some people go to sunrise Easter services.
Some people make trip to neolithic site and watch the vernal equinox arrive.
Some people work wonders with matzoh and chicken and reflect on struggle.

As for me? Oh, honey, it ain't spring without a burning bush and Anne Baxter....

Spring Fever

Okay, so it's been two gorgeous spring days in a row! Sunny, 60 degrees, birds singing, and daffodils blooming. What's not to love? Anyone who lives in New England (or any other four-season geographic region) knows that we appreciate temperate weather in a way that say, San Diegans cannot. To paraphrase that old Smith Barney commerical, "We enjoy our spring the old-fashioned way, we earn it."

Sadly, the joys of spring in New England are tempered by the you know what (okay, okay, I'll say it: Global Economic Crisis). The T and the Globe face cuts that may shred them both into either nonexistence or a may-as-well-be-nonexistant form. And, speaking of nonexistence, can we just pause and discuss how, the mother ship has been a bit lacking, as it were, in its coverage of the potential Globe cuts? I think you had to dig to page B6, below the fold, of the Monday print edition to find anything. They haven't put anything on the interwebs about it.

Now, onto another favorite subject: Public transit. This is a subject near and dear to my heart, and now it looks like unless the Commonwealth steps in, the T will make seriously drastic cuts. Cuts to the point that no one will want to ride the T, despite reaching an all-time ridership high during the past year. Now, whether you love the T or hate T, use it or don't, this impacts everyone. First, it's a disincentive to those "on the edge" commuters (folks who'd otherwise drive) to throw in the towel altogether. Second, it encourages business to stay out of the Boston area (higher rents, no parking for your employees, no reasonable transit alternatives, etc.) Third, and perhaps most important, it disproportionately affects those of a lower socioeconomic status who rely on buses and trains as their primary mode of transportation. Granted, the T has had a host of issues from patronage to corruption to service, and while perhaps it's time for a major restructuring and house-cleaning, don't do it at the expense of those who can least afford it.

I close with annual spring rant about the Carmine Hose. This is related to the above: For the love of all that's holy, why, oh why cannot the many non-urban dwelling fans take public transit? I live 5 miles from my office. When a Sox game lets loose 30,000 fans at 5:15PM, it takes me at least 1 hour to crawl five miles. I can (and perhaps should) walk to work at that rate! What bothers me most about this is, as I pointed out: The majority of fans don't live in Boston, Cambridge, or Somerville. They have no idea what it's like getting to and from work on a normal day (by T or by car), yet when they invade, every spring, like some sort of squinty, sun-deprived giant red migratory bird drunk on Budweiser, they act as if this town owes them something just for showing up. You'd think after all these years, they'd A) know how to navigate the Green Line, B) know how to navigate the BU bridge, and C) know how to navigate the streets. But no. Although, what do you want from a group of people who collectively forget the idea of loss and pain year after year and keep going back for more?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Aaaaaaaand we're back

Yikes. Dear readers (all three of you), forgive me. I have, in my attempts to be a good worker-bee, failed to post anything--anything at all in the past three months.

And I am sorry.

So, so very sorry.

We'll see what we can do to get back onto the blogging bandwagon.

In the meantime, I blame Facebook.