Sunday, May 10, 2009

Long Time No Blog

Oh. Hello there.

When we last spoke, I was just getting into the swing of my new job at City Hall. The snow has since melted, the leaves are back on the trees, and things continue to progress well. Whether my boss is cleaning up the Boston Common or trying to save the mounted police unit, it's been wickedly busy.

Personally, things continue to move along. My family is still good. Spent a lovely Mother's Day weekend in Rhode Island with them. Despite my brother's hacking cough and the waves of pollen blowing across the yard, it was great to relax at home. Because I'm still ham-handedly managing my finances, I gave the gift of a very clean bathroom to my mother. She seemed to appreciate it, although years of watching TV have conditioned me to believe that I cannot express my love for her without dropping a few hundred bucks on nice gifts.

I've also hopped on the Celtics bandwagon as of late, even going so far as to go to Game 1 of the most recent series, which was the first playoff game I've ever seen live. I am keeping tabs on the Bruins. Really, my favorite thing about playoff hockey is this commerical. It makes me laugh every time.

I'm still not going to post regularly here. Just wanted to say hi to the few of you who've left kind comments recently, and to assure you I am not dead and that all is well. Oh, and Go Sox, Celtics, and Bruins.

Monday, February 02, 2009

It's On!

Just wanted to give you the heads-up that my Blogging Hiatus Party is on for tomorrow.

What: Um, it's my Blogging Hiatus Party.

When: 8 p.m. until we shut the place down. Or I want my jammies. Whatever comes first.

Where: Alchemist Lounge, Jamaica Plain. There's parking, it's near a bus line, and it's walkable from the Orange Line.

Who: Me. And, um, some other people. Hopefully my new boss and some of my peeps. And no stalkers, please.

Why: Because I'm giving up the blogging for the time-being, and want to thank you for reading. Also, I like the Alchemist Lounge and don't want to sit around watching TV on a Tuesday night.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Hi. Do you miss me yet?

Just wanted to pass along a couple items of note. If you've been missing my ugly mug, you can see it at 8 p.m. on NewsNight with Jim Braude on NECN for the weekly news quiz. I'm a little apprehensive since I haven't been keeping tabs on non-city-related news like I used to, but hope to bring the noise to Newton.

Secondly, I'm happy to announce my Blogging Hiatus Party has been tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. at the Alchemist Lounge in Jamaica Plain. The owners of the bar have kindly offered to reserve a section of the bar for us, so we must repay them by drinking their beer and snacking on their foodstuffs. I want all of you to come—journalists, bloggers, readers, friends, politicos, random hobos—and celebrate my new job while lamenting the lack of content on this and other Boston-area blogs. If something changes, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Gone Communicatin'

So. That happened.

As you may know, I've got a new gig communicating for City Council President Mike Ross. Since shortly after my unfortunate layoff, I've been doing some consulting for him, and it turned into a full-time position. Which is great news for my bank account, but less than stellar for pasquinade.

I love blogging. I relish reading your comments. Yes, even the nasty ones. Although my family is less than thrilled by my willingness to talk about my life here (my mother still prefaces some statements with "don't blog this"), I've really enjoyed oversharing with strangers. When I was making textbooks or acting as my own media personality, that was appropriate. Now that I'm representing a politician, it's less so.

This means pasquinade will largely go un-updated for a while. I'm under contract to write for for a while longer, so you'll see my sports-related thoughts there. When I'm officially done, I'm hoping to have a Blogging Hiatus party at a location to be named later to thank you all for reading. (By gracing you with my presence, that is. I was unemployed, remember. I can't afford open bar or snacks.)

With all the challenges facing Boston, this gig will be an interesting adventure. I hope you'll keep tabs on what's coming out of City Hall in the next few months, and I'll be talking to you soon.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Rules of Friending on Facebook

I learned a few weeks back that I had some security preference on Facebook checked so that my name didn't come up when people searched for it. After I lost my job, I figured I should probably make myself available through all appropriate channels for the new media-savvy, and opened myself up to the teaming refuse of the Internet.

But what I hoped would turn into a networking opportunity has become a forced march down memory lane. Right now, I'm debating what to do with the friend requests waiting to be processed. One of them is from a girl who threatened to fight me in seventh grade after I called her a slut. Another is from a girl who barely gave me the time of day in high school. The third is from some distant cousin who reports all my comings and goings on MySpace to the maternal grandmother with whom I have little contact.

I feel like there's no set etiquette for how to proceed here. After an informal poll of my friends, many subscribe to the belief that if they didn't like someone a decade or two ago, they shouldn't give them access to information. But what if my classmates have changed as much in the ensuing years as I have? Shouldn't I let the petty shit that I said when I was young and foolish go?

And family is an especially fraught battle. I friended a distant relative on my father's side, but my grandmother had already passed along my phone number because we live in the same part of Somerville. I added my brother because he pretty much knows what's going on with me, but probably wouldn't add my mother if she joined, if only to spare her the shame of seeing the large percentage of my pictures which feature me holding some form of alcohol.

One of my friends also believes this is a good plan, and explained to her mother that she wouldn't be friending her. Another cohort encouraged her mother to join in order to foster hobbies other than "obsessing over her grandchildren and drinking."

So here are the rules as I see them: If you're not comfortable adding someone, ignore their request. If they keep bugging you and you don't mind burning that particular bridge, explain politely that you'd rather not add them. If it becomes an issue where you might not want to piss the person off, add them with limited access to your information. That way the family reunion isn't too awkward, either from hurt feelings or when that aggressive relative starts talking about that picture of you singing "Copacabana" at Sissy K's Monday night karaoke.

Not that I have any pictures like that, mind you.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Further Adventures in Car Ownership Borrowing

It was bound to happen eventually. After the Chicken Grease Incident of Aught Eight, my grandmother's car has suffered another injustice.

Its first parking ticket.

Which would have been fine if I'd forgotten about street cleaning, or if I'd left the car parked in a resident spot downtown. But it was just sitting in what I thought was a perfectly legal spot at the top of my street. When I'd parked it yesterday, I noticed it was a little close to the crosswalk, but moved it up later that night.

Apparently, I didn't shift forward far enough. When I went to get the car this afternoon, it had the bright orange ticket on the windshield. It accused me of parking within 20 feet of an intersection.

Not to sound like an entitled brat, but this is total B.S., Somerville. People park in that spot all the time and don't get ticketed. Twenty feet would put me halfway down the block. And it's not like my place is in a big intersection—there's plenty of room for cars to navigate. Is it my out-of-state plates? Some bored cop decided to make a quick buck on my dwindling dollars?

Sigh. Just another expense for my unemployed ass.

The New York Times Is Selling. But Who's Buying the Globe?

Most employees of companies that are facing uncertainty during these trying economic times listen to every bit of gossip and hearsay that float around the office when rumors of a new owner circulate. It must be nice for the reporters at the Globe to call up the people who are reportedly considering becoming their new bosses to verify the rumors.

Both Boston Herald publisher Patrick Purcell and former Boston advertising executive Jack Connors separately flatly ruled out being involved in deals to buy the Boston Globe, which is owned by the New York Times Co. . . .

"There's nothing to it,'' Connors told the Globe. "I'm not buying the Boston Globe. I'm not buying anything that the New York Times owns.''
Hmm. Maybe Connors is waiting for the NYT to sell the possibly worthless broadsheet to another media conglomerate, and will then swoop in (perhaps wearing a cape) to purchase the Globe. Sure, it sounds crazy, but so does the possibility of News Corp. buying the Globe, merging it with Ottaway, and shuttering the Herald.

[I]n a statement today Purcell said he had no discussions as Ottaway chairman "with any potential bidders" for the Globe and called the Financial Times story "completely unfounded and not rooted in reality." The sole owner of the Herald, Purcell said he was committed to keeping Boston a two-newspaper city.

I'd like to announce that I am interested in buying the Boston Globe. I can offer $900, a 19-inch HD television, and my caustic wit. Provided I can live in the Morrissey Boulevard offices, of course.

Slow News Day Quick Hits

No kidding.

I enjoy the Espresso Royale near Symphony Hall or on Newbury Street.

I'd rather be broke in Europe than in America. At least then, I'd be living the dream while living paycheck to paycheck.


WTF, Part II.

Well, that sucks. But there's always next year.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Examining the Christmas Haul

You guys, I'm in love. I'd like you to meet the very special additions to my life.


Yes, that's a Big Blue Bug Christmas ornament (which will become a year-round desk ornament when/if I get a new full-time gig—it reminds me of my roots) and a 16GB iPod Touch. I know I say this every time I get a new iPod, but this is seriously the best thing to happen to me in months. Not only do I have all my music at my disposal again after years of using a teensy 1 GB Nano, but I think this may be the device that leads to my fiscal solvency.

Did you guys know about this site called You enter in all the information for your bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and investments, and it automatically updates and tells you what you're worth, what fees you've incurred, etc. I now know I'm worth -$49,532, and that's before I've added in my overdraft account and federal student loans. Which is a good thing to know, even if it does make me want to kill myself. And, provided there is WiFi available, I'll be able to see that before I make a stupid purchase.

This should be handy when my Mom and I hit the outlets tomorrow. Here's hoping for some good deals.

In other Christmas news, I'm happy to report I got a new coat, some gift certificates to Target, and some lovely soaps. And my brother hooked me up with a sweet USB hub and a portable battery backup which will keep me a-rockin' whilst I am on the road.

In honor of this special day, let's do the iPod meme.

Instructions: Go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle. Say the following questions aloud, and press play. Use the song title as the answer to the question. NO CHEATING.

How does the world see you?
Let Your Troubles Roll By, Carbon Leaf [Um, I guess I'm easygoing? I don't think so, but, 'kay.]

Will I have a happy life?
Say Hello, Jay-Z ["I come from the bottom, but I'm mad fly." Sounds good to me.]

What do my friends really think of me?
New Slang, The Shins ["Never should have called but my head's to the wall and I'm lonely." Depressing.]

What do people secretly think of me?
Original Sinsuality, Tori Amos [This is cryptic, even for Tori. I cannot divine meaning from this. Maybe I'm a ho?]

How can I be happy?
Georgia On My Mind, Ray Charles [I do like warm weather and peaches.]

What should I do with my life?
She Loves You, The Beatles [Tell people I love them? OK. Done.]

Will I ever have children?
American Girls, Counting Crows [Guess they'll be girls, which is OK. Just sad they won't have a British father.]

What is some good advice for me?
Thunder Road, Bruuuuce ["Hey what else can we do now/ Except roll down the window/ And let the wind blow/ Back your hair." Run away. Gotcha.]

How will I be remembered?
Seamless Life, Vance Gilbert [This is a beautiful song by an artist you should know, but it's very depressing. Basically about living the 9-5 grind without any adventure or complications. "No rough edges/ and no loose ties/ living the seamless life." Swell.]

What is my signature dancing song?
Gatheration, Lady Sovereign [Awesome. "Lightweights, I really can't stand 'em."]

What do I think my current theme song is?
Tears Dry on Their Own, Amy Winehouse [Um, yes. "Even if I stop wanting you/ Perspective pushes through/ I'll be some next man's other woman soon/ I shouldn't play myself again/ I should just be my own best friend/ Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men."]

What does everyone else think my current theme song is?
God's Gonna Cut You Down, Johnny Cash [Holy crap. "You can run on for a long time/ Run on for a long time/ Run on for a long time/ Sooner or later God'll cut you down/ Sooner or later God'll cut you down."]

What song will play at my funeral?
Don't Stop Believin', Journey [Dudes. If I die, seriously, I want this played. For I am naught but a small-town girl living in a lonely world.]

What type of men/women do you like?
Never Coming Home, Sting [Ah, yes. This is true. The ones who run away.]

What is my day going to be like?
Love At First Sight, Kylie Minogue [Hey, I did fall in love today. With my iPod!]