Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Hey everyone. Hope you all had a great Christmas. Mine was good-- ate too much on Christmas Eve, had gas, woke up early on Christmas, opened gifts, went to my aunt's house, opened a ridiculous amount of gifts, ate too much food, got gas, went back home, fell into food coma for next nine hours. Yesterday I cleaned out my room and saw The Nutcracker, which was really good. But you don't care about that. You care about what I got for Christmas. Maybe you don't. But I care, so here goes.
Say hello to my little friend:

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Oh yes. No more am I slave to my puny hand mixer. No more shall I toil to beat a merangue with a wire whisk and my weak arms. Now I turn this bad girl on and walk away. Many of my friends have this little beauty and swear by it. A woman who works in my office and didn't get this item bought on her registry laments the lack of Kitchen Aid in her life. So I'm doing better than The Marrieds in one way. A husband can die or cheat. A Kitchen Aid is forever.
I also got a neat little device that roasts garlic cloves in olive oil, kind of like at Vinny Testsa's. So I can make the bread dough, bake it, and roast some garlic to smear on it. My brother got me a book that was featured on the Daily Show that I haven't heard of but look forward to reading. I got my first Glarkware shirt and a nice sexy librarian sweater from J. Crew. And socks. I must look hungry, because my grandmother bought me a monogramed L.L. Bean tote and put Chex Mix, hot chocolate and Goldfish crackers in it.
I'm also trying out another Christmas gift tonight-- Zipcar. I signed up today, and a friend of mine is having a small party to introduce her brother to her friends, so I decided to make the epic trek down to Providence to say hello. I'll be driving a Scion. Soon I shall rent a Mini Cooper, just because. Also a Mazda 3, and drive by the Whatever's house, honking and bragging that I am driving his dream car and he isn't. I'd just have to figure out a way to hide the Zipcar logo on the door.
So if you see a sexy librarian with an ass that looks fantastic in some new jeans bought with the Christmas money she'd hoped to put toward her credit card bill, wave hello. Because it's me, if that's not clear.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas

I can say that, because this site kicks it that way. You'll get no generic "happy holidays" here.

Thank you all very much for reading this year. The greatest gift is having readers who listen to me swear, insult most political figures, and express my mopey moods in words. Y'all are wonderful, and I enjoy your comments and thoughts as well. I hope you and yours have a great Christmas.

Well, if we're being honest, the greatest gift would be all my student loans to be paid in full. But, this is the best non-monetary gift. And I am grateful.

To all the Jews, (hi, Deb!) a very happy Hanukkah to all of you. I'm glad we can celebrate our holidays together this year. The Menorah and lit Christmas tree glow side-by-side.

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I'm off to watch my Mom cook her mashed potatoes. Oh sweet, sweet delicious carbs, I love you so...

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Rhode Island Ruined Christmas

For real. They ruined Christmas. Check it out.

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Apparently, to comply with new, tougher fire codes enacted after the Station fire in 2003, the tree had to be hosed down with a flame-retardant chemical. Unfortunately, the chemical killed the tree, sending the needles to the floor like Charlie Brown's little spindly tree.
But here's my question. Read this quote:
Maynard said "the tree-growers' association warned us'' that spraying a tree with (No-Burn) fire retardant dries it out more quickly, but the decision was made to spray the tree anyway because it was going up in "a place of public access.''

If the chemical dries the tree out, doesn't that make the tree more of a fire hazard?
Only in Rhode Island.


Dear Dunkin Donuts,

I have loved you for all of my life. Baked goods are a bit of a tradition in my family. We love cookies and breads and delicious, delicous donuts. When I was a kid, we'd drive to Dunkin Donuts on Sunday to buy a dozen nutritionally void donuts for breakfast. When I was in college, I'd drink your coffee to keep me going. I'd eat your donuts as snacks. Most weekends, I am at the Dunkin in my neighborhood, even though the egg and cheese sandwiches taste like ass. I like your coffee, and I like that you remind me of my youth.
But I am scared of the direction that you're headed in. You got bought up by another huge conglomerate. Now you've introduced the "Latte Light," a Starbucks-esque attempt at making the calorie bombs that are sweetened coffee drinks appealing to people who know they're a nuclear detonation for a diet. I am not thrilled with this news. Nor was I thrilled by the idea of you branching into lattes of any kind, and I am less excited by your ass-nasty looking "grilled panini" lunch offering. Let me tell you something, Dunkin. You serve coffee in foam cups. Rough and tumble construction guys drink your coffee. Parents bring kids because the tables are made of plastic and a Dunkin Donuts is perhaps the loudest place in the world, so the added wail of a kid isn't going to bother anyone like it would at Starbucks. College students drink your coffee because it's cheap and not purveyed by a faceless conglomerate. Well, I mean, it is, but it's our faceless conglomerate. Dunkin represents New England. The coffee isn't fancy, but it's good. It doesn't need steamed milk or sprinkles to make it good-- it's good on its own. Dunkin Donuts is New England-- practical and efficient. And by muddling things up with sandwiches and fancy-ass lattes, it's become West-coast-ified.
Stop. Just stop. Dunkin Donuts should have the following items on their menu: coffee (decaf, regular, flavored), tea, hot chocolate, the yummy Dunkachino, muffins, donuts, bagels, croissants, breakfast sandwiches, and Munchkins. That is it. If you're in a pansy-ass, coffee-as-dessert mood, go to Starbucks. Dunkin will survive only as a simple, less-expensive coffee and carb stop. Like my Mom says, you can't be everything to everyone.


Somehow, the crack editing team at the Globe found two sentences in my rant about Johnny Damon to quote in today's edition.

The mood in cyberspace was very dark. ''Judas Damon?" was a headline on universalhub.com, a round-up of Boston blogs. ''Mr. Damon, you are dead to me," wrote one blogger. ''You couldn't have retired to be an underwear model? You couldn't have done ANYTHING other than go to the Yankees?" wrote another.

So thanks, Globe, for finding a few words in that bit that don't involve the words "bitch," "fellate," or "stupid whore." Now, hire me! Thanks!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Dick Head

...s back to break the tie and fuck us all over.
You guys, I'm like a recalcitrant three year-old. I have been in a riteous snit since I woke up this morning, and the news just keeps coming. Mitt's an insufferable douche twice in one day. Johnny Damon can't show his face anywhere in the Boston/New York corridor without getting pelted with sharp, heavy objects. Dick Cheney is coming back from some European jaunt to impose restrictions on Medicare, allow drilling in Alaska, fuck with federally subsidised student loans, and digital television. You can see the "highlights" (read: ways you get screwed) here. Here are some choice bits:

--Student loans. $12.7 billion in net savings, achieved chiefly by reducing lender subsidies and retaining a scheduled shift from variable interest rates to a 6.8 percent fixed rate on most loans. Increases loan limits to $3,500 for first-year students and from $3,500 to $4,500 for second-year students. Establishes a new $3.7 billion grant program for low-income college students studying math, science or specialty languages.
--Medicaid. Saves $4.8 billion from the health care program for the poor and disabled by reducing payments for prescription drugs, tightening asset-transfer rules for nursing home eligibility, permitting states to reduce benefits and increasing co-payments paid by beneficiaries.
--Medicare. Saves a net $6.4 billion from the health care program for the elderly. Saves $6.5 billion by increasing Medicare payments to insurers that cover sicker patients and lowering payments to those covering healthier patients. Accelerates premium increases for better-off Medicare patients for doctor visits. Increases Medicare beneficiaries' premiums for coverage of doctor visits by about $2.30 a month in 2007. Saves $2.8 billion by reducing payments for imaging services, and saves $2 billion by freezing payments to home health care providers. Provides $7 billion for doctor's fees to avoid a 4.4 percent cut otherwise taking effect Jan. 1.

I am tired, you guys. I can't rage against all this shit alone. Senator Chafee and I can't do it alone. Contact your senators and bust some heads, figuratively speaking. I'm getting the vapors and need to lay down for a while. Get all indignant up in my comments section.

Mitt Does it Twice

In one day, Mitt Romney has managed to infuriate me both with his lack of understanding of human nature, and now with his inflated sense of his own worth.

Gov. Mitt Romney said Wednesday he will remain "as relevant as always" during his final year in office, and may be able to achieve more legislative goals because his decision not to seek re-election in 2006 will remove politics from the deliberations.
The Republican chief executive also said he does not expect to make a decision about running for president until 2007, though he plans to continue laying the groundwork for a potential run by speaking in early voting states and raising money across the country.
"It's a long way off," Romney told The Associated Press during a year-end interview in his Statehouse office as a fire crackled and the smell of smoke wafted through the room.

You pretentious ass. I usually make it a point to not wish ill on other people, but in your case I'm making an exception. I sincerely hope your gay sexcapades are revealed, thus leaving you politically ineffective for the rest of your life. I hope several love-children from your Mormon concubines come forward, demanding alimony. I hope that you somehow grow a vagina, you lose all knowledge you have about sex and contraception, you're overwhelmed with hormones and have to navigate your second puberty in fear and sexual ignorance, you hateful, snobbish fuck. If I thought it would work, I would seduce you and immediately come forward and run you out of political office before the 2006 elections. I would debase myself so, just so this state wouldn't be run like a backwater hole in the South, which is what you envision for it. "As relevant as always." You're as relevant as an Atari video game system-- good for kitch, not good for actual use.
Mitt wraps up his lovely fireside chat with the AP with this gem:
[Mitt] added: "I will have an agenda. It will be clear. And it will have less political overtones because I'm not running for re-election. Things won't be the same, but they won't necessarily be worse."

Can it get much worse? Nothing is gets done because you pick fights about social issues that the largely Democratic and very liberal state legislators won't fly with. Our school test scores are slipping, and crime is up. Our roads are in disrepair. Pick the battles you can win in the next year and shut the hell up.

This Ain't No Foolin' Around

An interesting op-ed piece in the Globe today about the hyper-sexualization of girl's dolls. It's always been an issue to many people, but with the advent of Bratz dolls and the lack of career- or adventure-seeking dolls, Lyn Brown and Sharon Lamb wonder what a girl has to emulate nowadays. They bring up the American Girls dolls as well, and their cross-marketing with Bath and Body Works. It's worth a read.

Keeping the Poor Minorities from Doing it Well

Today has not been a good day for my nerves. First it was Johnny Damon being a tool (read the earlier entry detailing my rage). Then it was NPR's morning news. I was pulling my boots on when the local news began.

"In Massachusetts, Governor Mitt Romney is introducing a new abstinence-only education plan in Massachusetts public schools."

"What?" I hissed, probably scaring my roommate who thinks it's weird that I talk to myself.

"The program will target certain schools, primarily in black and Hispanic neighborhoods."


"The plan will teach abstinence, and not mention the use of condoms as a way to protect against sexually transmitted diseases."

"What the fuck?!" My boots were on, and had Mitt been nearby in my pre-coffee indignation, they would have ended up up his ass.

Buried in the news of Johnny's assholery, I found the article on boston.com. Check it:

The Romney administration plans to introduce a new abstinence education program in Massachusetts schools beginning next month, the state's most aggressive effort yet to use a controversial method of teaching Bay State teenagers about sex.
The campaign, scheduled to last through June 2007, will only target certain schools and will be aimed especially at teens in black and Hispanic communities, who tend to have higher rates of sexual activity. The proposal by the state Department of Health, quietly posted on its website earlier this month, would add an abstinence education program for 12-to-14-year-olds in an unspecified number of schools.
The campaign would be funded by a $50 million federal abstinence-only grant program, which provides money to states for initiatives that teach abstinence but deliberately do not address condoms and other methods of contraception.

Not in my state, Mitt. This is happening in Massachusetts now. The bluest state of them all is allowing the governor to set policy that will hurt kids. I'm not saying that abstinence shouldn't be encouraged-- kids who are twelve should not be having sex. But if they choose to, if they want to engage in risky behavior and will do so with or without an education, they need to know how to protect themselves and others. Not discussing sex doesn't make it go away-- it keeps it mysterious and bad, and makes it more appealing to a rebellious teenager. I hate the whole idea that some people have that teaching kids about contraception and condoms encourages sexual activity. We teach kids CPR and the Heimlich, right? But they don't go out and try to choke to try it out. As adults, we prepare children to handle the worst-case scenario. Most parents don't want their young teenagers having sex. But the kids need to know the facts. Condoms help prevent (note I didn't say "always prevent") the transmission of STDs. It's a fact. Condoms help prevent (note I didn't say "always prevent") young women from becoming pregnant. Not telling kids about condoms, or, worse yet, saying that condoms are ineffective, which is what some abstinence-only programs preach, makes teen pregnancy and STD transmission more prevalent.

This Massachusetts program is especially enraging because of the nice hint of racism that's involved. Only the poor minority kids are doing it? Please. I lived in a relatively affluent, white-bread area of Rhode Island and several of my young white classmates had kids. And we had proper sex ed with mention of birth control, condoms and other methods of contraception. You can scare most kids into keeping it in their pants by mentioning the gnarly diseases, showing them a child being born (still scarred TO THIS DAY), and other issues unsafe sex can bring up. Sweeping sex under the rug (heh) doesn't make it go away, Mitt. I know it may have worked with Mrs. Romney all these years, but not everyone shares your aversion to their bodies.

Johnny Damon is a Stupid Bitch

WARNING: Contains strong language. For real. More than ususal.
Yeah, you're DEAD to me. DEAD. You stupid, stupid asshole. Sure, you chose some more money, but you will not have the titty-baring, dick-sucking, religious deification following in New York that you had in Boston. Do I know you throw like a girl? Certainly. Do I know that you like to play human bumper cars with your cranium? Yes. Are you the World's Best Baseball Player? Hell, you're not even the best ball player in teeball. But like a girl who sticks by her man when all her friends tell her otherwise ("like?"), I defended you. You brought an endless stream of Jesus and caveman jokes; the persona of a rockstar to a team full of rednecks and born-agains, and I loved you for that. I loved you for your stupid singing on Bronson's stupid CD. I watched your Cribs, Johnny. I even tolerated your gold-digging, stripper-with-a-heart-of-bank-account-numbers wife.
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Take his head off, Carson!

But this? Going to the motherfucking Yankees? Oh hell no. HELL no. This I cannot forgive. Even Nomar had the good sense to not go to the Yankees. You couldn't have joined the 2003 Sox Reunion Tour in L.A.? You couldn't have retired to be an underwear model? You couldn't have done ANYTHING other than go to the Yankees?
Good fucking luck. Enjoy watching Jeter and A-Rod get fellated by the media in New York while you sit in the corner, cold and alone, rubbing one out to the memories of Game 7 of the ALCS in 2004. Donate your hair to Locks of Love, put your condo on the market, take your dumb-ass wife and get the hell out. Let the dirt dogs like Youks and Trot and Tek play some fucking baseball instead of trying to launch an additional career on the hearts of a baseball-crazed city. Stupid, stupid bitch.
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Say goodbye to your fashion show, Michelle.
Say goodbye to the book deals, Johnny.
Idiots. And not in the nice way, either.

For actual reflection and articulate analysis, please see Basegirl. You'll have none of that here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holiday Ruminations

Every year around the holidays, I get all reflective. It's odd that I can find the time between baking cookies, Christmas shopping, planning to exchange the gifts with friends, and packing my formidable pile of laundry for the greatness of my Mom's washer and dryer, but work tends to be slow around Christmas, and as people empty out of the office at the end of this week for their Christmas destinations I have time to ponder.
I know we've still got eleven days left in 2005, but I always think about what this year brought me, and what the next year has up it's long sleeve. This year was a roller-coaster, but was generally good. I had the Whatever, then I didn't, then I did, now I don't. As much as it drove me (and to a much larger extent, my friends) crazy, I'm glad I gave it a go. For a while there I thought I wasn't capable of being with a guy, of flirting, keeping him interested and introducing my Mom to a boyfriend. I got to do all that this year, and now I'm honestly content to be single. I miss waking up next to someone, but I like being able to do what I want, when I want, without considering someone else in the equation. I guess I'm selfish, but it's better to be selfish now then when I have a family and SO to consider, right?
Because I'm not considering another half of myself, I'm also wondering what I should do with my life this year. I've been at my Company for almost three years, and as much as I love the people I work with, I kind of want to try something new. I want to write more, which isn't going to happen here. I'd ideally travel for a year or so, in either a working or aimless wandering capacity, then settle somewhere where I can live by myself in a fairly nice place, perhaps with a big, friendly dog. But I also finally have a life for myself in Boston, after setting it up for five years. I have friends, I have a part-time writing gig, a job and an apartment-- would it be foolish to give it up? Or is now the time, when I can always come back to Boston with my tail between my legs and souvenirs for the friends I left here? "Sorry I moved away. Here's a bobblehead doll. Can we hang out?" How can I be sure this is the place for me when there are so many places I haven't seen? When the wind is cold and blows through my clothes like they're not there at all, when I pay the rent and have no money left over from my paycheck when it clears, when the liquor store doesn't shovel snow and I slide every morning on the glare ice, it makes me think I belong somewhere else, environmentally speaking. But I do love this dirty water when the cold lets up and people venture outside again. When the roar of the crowd at Fenway is audible when you walk down Brookline Avenue at dusk. The bartender waving in recognition. Do I want to try to find these moments somewhere else?
Winter just begs us to reflect. Summer wants us to go out, experience things, stay out until well after the sunset. Winter wants you to stay in and think. Last night I went home after work and prepared the cookies for our office cookie swap. I made chocolate and maraschino cherry cookies. They aren't very beautiful, nor are they very Christmasy (except the red cherry), but it wouldn't be the holidays for me without them. My Mom always made them for Christmas, and since I've been on my own I've made them for roommates and coworkers. As I melted the chocolate chips for the frosting that covers the cherries, I remembered how many times I've done this, how many times my Mom popped a Christmas tape in the kitchen radio and hugged me. The shiny chocolate reminded me that we can take the good times with us, and the little memories sneak up on us. No matter what happens in the next year, it'll be as it should.


If there is indeed a Britney and Kevin sex tape, I will quit life. Because at some point, I may see a clip of that shit, and that will not do. And as gross at Pam and Tommy Lee is, nothing can trump the Britney and Kevin sexual romp. Oh God. Pass the Draino, because life in which a recording of Britney and Kevin doing it is allowed to be distributed is not worth living.
Also, Britney totally had to ask her mom what "libel" means. She probably thought it was an expensive brand of liquor.
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Even skeevier than imagining your parents doin' it.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Taking Sides

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Oh my God, get me back to the other side of the Charles, now!

The Boston metropolitan area tends to be a bit provincial. Boston is a small city, perfect for walking around, but there is this big river that splits Boston from its geeky neighboring city, Cambridge. Although over the past few hundred years, various Bostonians and Cambridgians have seen fit to put bridges across the rivers to encourage co-mingling of the city's denizens, most times we can't be bothered to walk across a bridge and visit the other side.
At my work party last week, a slightly drunk coworker encouraged a friend and I to go to Cambridge, and at the time it sounded like a good idea. I've been to almost every bar in the Back Bay and off the C line. They don't card me anymore at the bar around the corner from my apartment because I'm in there every weekend, ogling the Hot Irish Bartender. I've been to the bars near North Station, I've frequented Fanuiel Hall. I'm sure I've missed some gems, but I felt it was time to cross the river Charles and try something new.
My friend Stephanie and I decided to head across the Charles to see Brokeback Mountain on Saturday. It was playing in Coolidge Corner, but we decided to make a night of it and head to Cambridge. Stephanie wanted to stop at a store in Harvard Square, and we both wanted to go to a Harvard bar to fuck with some smart kids. After a day of brutal Christmas shopping, I met Stephanie and we walked to Cleveland Circle to catch the 86 bus to Harvard Square.
We sat in the bus shelter, waiting for the bus to come by. The temperature had dropped dramatically since the sun set, and I foolishly wore thin cotton socks in my boots. Three BC shuttle busses drove hoards of students back to campus, but no 86 bus was to be seen. We waited for twenty minutes for the bus before I called the MBTA hotline. The number is on the bottom of the sign that marks which bus comes by, and allegedly someone will answer and tell you when your bus will come. Since the T sorely lacks the digital signage that other cities have, it's the best way to get transit information. Sadly, I would have done better to ask a ouiji board than call the number. "Thank you for calling the MBTA. Our offices are currently closed. Please call back during normal business hours. Goodbye." The phone cut off, leaving Stephanie and I to swear, our breath lingering in the cold air.
After nearly forty-five minutes of waiting and frostbite setting in, we hailed a cab to Harvard Square. The cabbie listened to a football game, and I looked out over the half-frozen Charles.
"I almost never come over here," I said to Stephanie.
"Me neither. I used to hang out at MIT sometimes, but I almost always stayed on the Boston side of the river."
"I feel like people are different in Cambridge than they are in Boston."
"Yeah, they are. They think they're smarter than us on the 'Boston side.' The guys have scraggly facial hair, and the women don't wear makeup. They're too busy being 'smart.'"
We got out of the cab on Church Street, and got in line to buy our tickets. We were lucky to get there early since the 9:30 show had sold out. We bought our tickets for the 10:30 and wandered over to L.A. Burdick's to get hot chocolate and chocolate mice for Stephanie's friend.
The line was nearly out the front door. We joined the line, the smell of hot chocolate thick in the air. The tables were full of people, many of them appeared to be on dates. Some small families crowded around a small table, wiping kids noses and sipping hot drinks. The harried clerks took our order, and we went to wait for our drinks. At the table nearest us, a white girl in dreadlocks sat with a black man, dressed in traditional African garb, charms and rings woven in with his dreadlocks. They talked passionately, and the girl got up to place another order. The man offered his seat to a little boy, who was asking his dad if he really was about to have the best hot chocolate in the world.
The clerk called our names, and I sipped at my tiny cup of hot chocolate that cost me two dollars. The chocolate wasn't overly sweet, and had a faint burned taste in the background that was delicious. I'm not normally a big hot chocolate fan (unless I've been sledding) but it was great, especially since I'd nearly lost a toe waiting for the bus.
Stephanie and I decided to have dinner at the Border Cafe. We sat down and immediately started eating the warm tortilla chips and ordered a Corona. I looked around, regretting the decision to grab the chair that faced the wall. Guys sat around in big wool sweaters, talking to girls with their hair pulled back in loose ponytails. The scraggly facial hair was popular, and Stephanie rued the fact that an otherwise attractive guy had a full beard on his face. I wondered what all these people were talking about. Some of them were probably in the midst of finals since we were so close to Harvard. I wondered if some of them were talking about Christmas shopping and cookie swaps like Stephanie and I were.
After dinner, we went back to the movie theater. I always hate going to the movies. I don't mind movies, and I love the previews, but I hate sitting with people. It seems that most people were raised by gregarious wolves, because they have no qualms with talking non-stop throughout a movie. Which may be slightly more acceptable when it's a Segal-esque orgy of destruction, but when it's a quiet, dialogue-heavy movie like Brokeback Mountain, it should be punishable by death. You think I'm joking.
Stephanie and I grabbed an aisle seat at the back of the tiny theater, and watched as the crowd filled in. A trio sat in front of us who made us nervous. The girls chatted nonstop, and the tall guy leaned forward so Stephanie couldn't see, then sat back a little, then threw himself into the back of the seat, sending the back of the seat into my knees. I wanted to ask him if he thought he should maybe use the bathroom then, before the movie started, if he had to go so bad. A couple sat in the same row as the trio, and they seemed fine until the movie started. A couple sat next to Stephanie and made out during the previews.
The movie started, and I was really excited. I had read Annie Proloux's story, so the plot wasn't a mystery to me, but I also knew the movie was not a comedy. I knew it would have it's ironically funny moments, but it was no Cheaper by the Dozen 2. It's labeled "drama." The Golden Globes has it nominated in the "Best Drama" category. It's not going to be a laugh riot.
You wouldn't have known that from the crowd reaction at the Lowes in Harvard Square. Now I'm not looking down my nose at people. I called it "The Gay Cowboy Sex Movie" about three hundred times last week, probably scandalizing my boss as she watched me type about how excited I was for TGCSM to Kristen. But I was impressed with the story and had heard good things about the film, and went in prepared to take it seriously. Our fellow audience members, however, apparently felt no compunction to do so. During the first sex scene, I heard a hoot (one of the third-grade, "you like a boy!" hoots) and laughter. It's not a funny scene. During other serious moments, the couple in front of us laughed. The girls chatted. The guy sent his seatback into my patella. At one point, I actually had to sush someone. By the time the movie was over, Stephanie and I could not get a cab back to Brookline fast enough.
We sat in the bar near my apartment, sipping our drinks, both of us happy to be back on the side of the river that understands us. The Hot Irish Bartender cleaned the bar as the crowd thinned out, and Stephanie and I tried to avoid making eye contact with a sketchy guy who kept looking at us and laughing when we were talking. The guys were clean shaven, the girls wore makeup, and none of us were too smart for anybody else.

Friday, December 16, 2005

She Didn't Steal Your Boyfriend

Because she passed out in Japan.

The "Catch Me When I Fall" singer, [Ashlee Simpson] on the road to support her chart-topping I Am Me--and to prove to the world that she really can sing--remains in an undisclosed hospital, publicist Rob Shuter said Friday.
There's been no official word on the cause of the fainting spell, but Us Weekly quotes an unnamed source close to the family citing exhaustion as the reason for her collapse.

Well of course she's exhausted. When you suck that hard for that long, you're bound to run out of oxygen at some point. I just fear she's pulling a Lohan "exhaustion" and will reemerge fifty pounds lighter and strongly resembling a bobblehead doll of her former self. Or she'll come out with horrible collegen lips like her sister.
But perhaps the best bit on information in this article is only one sentence long but speaks volumes:
Her family is reportedly waiting for an official diagnosis before deciding whether to travel to Japan.

"Daddy, I don't think Ashlee is that sick. I just got DIIIIVORCED, Daddy! Momma, tell Daddy not to go to Japan, I NEEEEED you! She's FAKING!"
Joe would be wise to go. Ashlee sells more CDs than Jessica does, although Jessica is certainly better tabloid cover fodder. It's so hard when a father has to choose between famewhore daughters.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


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Don't be so fucking smug, George. You didn't do anything that special. You agreed to not torture prisoners under the United States' watch. Good job. You know, the Geneva Conventions said we shouldn't do that in 1929, asshole. Way to keep up with this rapidly changing world. And the fact it took you this long to listen to John McCain, a member of your own party who ACTUALLY SERVED in Vietnam and WAS TORTURED FOR SIX DAMN YEARS and has actually BEEN THROUGH THE SHIT is shameful. You may want to listen to his ideas about how badly torture sucks and to maaaaybe dial the whole cruel and inhuman thing down a few notches.
And be nice to John McCain. Because he is what the Republican party should be, George. You are some horrible, horrible pawn in the devil's game.

Hey Miss American Girl

It's funny how four screwdrivers can make a cold seem much better. If I'd known the solution was in vodka and OJ I would have instituted this plan on Monday. It's way more fun than inhalers and cough syrup.

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Behold the corruption of America's girls!

I woke up this morning and turned on NPR. They did a piece on the American Girls company and their charitable support of Girls Inc., a group that encourages girls to be "smart, strong, and bold." Sounds pretty good, right? Something that American Girls, a company that got its start by producing dolls and books based on fictional characters from different times in American history would want to support.
But, as you may suppose, Girls Inc. supports a woman's right to choose, accepts girls of lesbian and bi-sexual persuasions, and offers girls and parents support in dealing with these issues. Because American Girls is selling a bracelet that benefits Girls Inc., many of the conservative groups are up in arms, saying that American Girls is using dolls and positive images of strong young women to advocate baby-killing and lesbianism. Check out this web site from the American Family Association as an example of the crazy. Another scary quote from the NPR piece is a young girl, picketing the American Girls store in New York, who says that "If American Girls supports abortion, it's bad for their business, since less babies means less dolls sold." Yes, I'm sure that all the unwanted babies that are aborted would have parents who are rolling in enough money to afford a doll that costs $87, plus all the accessories that cost extra. Of course, the girl haltingly admits that "[her] mother thinks abortion is wrong" as being the reason she's there.
There is also the issue of whether or not these funds are even going to support the birth control, abortion and gay rights activities of Girls Inc. American Girls maintains that it's only supporting the educational programs, but the AFA has a statement from Girls Inc.'s spokesperson saying that any money that goes to Girls Inc. can be used in any program they support. In either case, can't these people look past the abortion issue and see that Girls Inc. does a lot more than educate girls about abortion, birth control and homosexuality? It's not like Girls Inc. encourages the behavior. They're just educating girls in what's going on in the world.
In this culture that rewards thinness, nice hair, and girls who put out, any organization that encourages girls to go their own way should be supported, especially by a company that encourages girls to be smart and self-assured as well. I looked over a book that the American Girls company sells, and it encourages girls to eat healthfully because it's good for them, and that thinness doesn't automatically mean good health. There was also a section on how to pick out a bra, and what happens during puberty. These are all scary and intimidating things for a girl to go through, and I think it's great that American Girls supports educating girls through its products and through it's charitable contributions. Despite the efforts of some groups, girls need to know about all the options that are out there for them, not just the antiquated ideas of a woman being barefoot and pregnant if she chooses to indulge in sexual behavior.
I think I am going to take a page from the AFA's playbook, and write the American Girl President Ellen Brothers to thank her for supporting Girls Inc. If you feel the same, I hope that you'll drop her a quick note as well to thank her for her good works. If we complain as much as the hypocrites do, they'll have less sway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya...

Well, at least we have another soon-to-be-named Republican douchebag to run for governor in 2006, because Mitt doesn't need us anymore. I'd be hurt if I gave a shit, but I'm kind of glad to see him go. And, yes, I know that this gives him the opportunity to inflict his anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-aging social plans on the rest of the nation and the rest of the world, but I don't think he'll make it. As boston.com points out:

Should he run for president, a decision he is expected to announce closer to the 2008 election, Romney will need to break through a pack of more prominent Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
There has also been an undercurrent of concern among Christian conservatives, particularly in the vital South, rooted in his Mormon faith. One political operative in South Carolina branded the religion a "cult."

Yeah. So I think we'll be okay. Hopefully Mitt will be sent back to Utah, and into the private sector where his antiquated social policies won't be frowned upon. But, stranger shit has happened at the hands of the voters in this country. I'm just too congested to care right now.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Take Your Papi to Work Day

After lunch today, I wandered into my cubicle. Standing behind me was David Ortiz in a Santa hat. No, that's not the Robitussin talking. It actually happened. See?
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The hat reads "El Papi Navidad." I think I am going to get one of these made of Sting and bring him to my work party next year. This year, I've already got a hot date (hi, Alicia!). Papi the Publisher has either scared or delighted onlookers. Either way, I sense a good time will be had by all.

Monday, December 12, 2005


So the Red Sox have a new GM. It's Theo Epstein!
Oh wait. It isn't.
Yes, proving without a doubt that some sort of fucked up hoodoo voodoo is going on over on Yawkey Way, the Red Sox owners/kamakazi pilots picked two guys to fill Theo's shoes. Two semi-attractive, semi-smart dudes to pick up where the one guy who navigated us into a team that won a World Series left off. Two guys who helped, in the words of Kristen, got us fourteen third basemen and a semi-functional pitcher, and also traded away the Mirabelli during the winter meetings. Great.
Also, because I am selfish, there is the matter of appearance in all this. Behold, the newbies:
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Not bad, but not great. The guy in the foreground is married to a channel 7 sports reporter. The guy in the back I can't speak to, but my friend Alicia thinks he's hot. I mean, he's not bad, but look at him. Then look at this:
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Yeah. Add in the fact that Theo is also smart, and donates loads of time and money to local charities, and these two new dudes have a lot of work to do to curry my favor. Such as getting the Sox into the playoffs not as a wild card, and then winning the World Series convincingly. Good luck, boys.
There's some talk of Theo coming back in an advisory position with the Sox, but the general reaction seems lukewarm. Advisors don't get TV commercials with Johnny Damon. I can just imagine Theo barging into Fenway, sitting down with the two newbies, and saying, "Don't fuck up. That'll be $300,000. Have a nice day, gentlemen."

Hail to the chief

I just heard through the grapevine that Pete Bouchard is now channel 7's new chief meterologist. It was the rumored reason for Todd Gross' departure, but it's good to hear they didn't hire some inferior new guy to the head meterologist position. I hope there's some perks to the position-- good pay, a personal driver, a dedicated chromakey wall washer. We all get the perk of more Bouchard in our lives, which makes me happy.

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Now I'm going to crawl to 7-Eleven to get some OJ and fight the cold that is threatening to keep me from the open bar at the company party this week. And I shall not be kept from the open bar on the company's tab, especially with our new, shittier healthcare. White wine and Sam Winter for all, y'all.

Friday, December 09, 2005


If this doesn't make your heart grow three sizes, you're dead inside.

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Right now, the snow is cute. Kind of ill-timed since I need to go out and buy provisions for a party tomorrow, but at least the snow is falling now and not tomorrow. Indulge your inner child and throw a snowball on the way home. You'll be glad you did.


Hi, my name's Amy.
Hi, Amy.
I've been here a few times before to confess my addictions. To Ashlee Simpson. To pumpkin spice coffee. Now, I'm here with a significant problem. It has been one week since I purchased my first cashmere sweater. And I really, really want to buy more.

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I ended a relationship on Saturday. On Sunday, the girl I babysit was dancing at a mall with her dance class. It was perfect Christmas shopping weather-- a light snow falling outside, a chill in the air, kids excitedly running around looking for Santa Claus. I went out with the intention of buying my Mom a spatula and something for my brother. Instead, I got a new skirt, a cashmere sweater, and a cookbook. All for myself.
Ann Taylor was having a buy one cashmere sweater, get one half-off sale. My friend came shopping with me, so we agreed we'd each buy a sweater and split the cost. So I got a nice blue turtleneck cashmere sweater for $90. It matched the blue stripe in my funky skirt perfectly. My butterscotch knee boots matched the skirt and the sweater. It was a fashion perfect storm, and I was the eye of that hurricane.
The sweater was so warm. I thought because it was thin it would be cold, but I was toasty all day, even when I was outside. I wore a thick cotton sweater yesterday, and it was bulky and uncomfortable and not nearly as warm as my cashmere delight. And how soft! I ran my hand over my upper arm all day. It was like wearing a blanket, but sexy.
Now I'm avoiding my work and perusing Ann Taylor online. I want a v-neck sweater. I want another turtleneck to keep me warm. It's a good investment, right? I live in New England. It's cold here for six months out of the year. They'll get used. I mean, I'm broke and haven't gotten all the Christmas gifts I need to yet, but, come on. A girl has to keep warm. I'll save on energy bills if I put on a sweater.
Sorry. I'm losing control. Someone take my credit card and move me into the boonies where the stores don't have anything I want in them. Please. There's got to be a support group for girls who love (cashmere) too much.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Crayons and the $972,000 Man Search

The twinge you felt in your ass today was not last night's taco night overindulgence. It was, in fact, Congress eyeing your ass for a reaming. Because the tax cuts are hanging around like your indigestion.
I'll let the pussy-footing Democrats spell it out for you:

"Everybody loses under this bill. Everybody, that is, except the top one-fifth of 1 percent," said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. "Some might call them the superrich. Apparently, the majority calls them donors."

Oh, and there's this little gem:
The House rejected an alternative tax package drafted by Democrats that would have omitted the tax breaks for investment income. It also would have replaced $43 billion in government revenue lost to tax cuts by raising taxes on individuals earning more than $500,000 and couples earning more than $1 million.

Imagine, as the late John Lennon would say, what $43 billion could do. That could put SpongeBob on every package of spinach until 2020. Physical education classes could help tame obesity. Perhaps we could pick up some of the kids we left behind by underfunding No Child Left Behind. Perhaps patch up some levees in low-lying areas. But, no, the rich couples simply must keep their hard-earned money while the rest of us toil away in the mines. Or whatever it is us poor people do. Would that I was part of a couple that made over $1 million a year. All I need to do is find a guy who makes $972,000 a year and I can be in that wondrous bracket.
But, at least the news isn't all bad:
The tax bill includes some items popular with both Republicans and Democrats. Most of those provisions preserve tax breaks that would otherwise expire in a few weeks, including deductions for state and local sales taxes, tuition and classroom supplies purchased by teachers.

Well, at least the kids will have crayons IF TEACHERS BUY THEM. Isn't that what federal funding can be for? School supplies?

Last Stop

And all of the world cries out, "Noooo!"
And the film and television industry cries out, "How will we show people a scene is set in London now? The bloody clock alone isn't going to cut it."
And Tyra Banks exhales, "Phew! Good thing I did the London season before I had to rely on the clock and a chick with bad teeth."

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Which Came First

The fat kid, or the food industry's multimillion-dollar advertising budget?
A report was released earlier this week that recommends the government provide incentives to food companies to use popular children's characters on healthy foods, such as SpongeBob Squarepants Spinach (which has alliteration to it). If the food companies do not comply with the voluntary restrictions, the government could step in and force them. Something about the government forcing an industry to be responsible is a bit scary. Yes, the automobile industry had to be dragged into implementing mandatory seatbelts, but that's different. A person doesn't have control over whether or not someone slams into their car. People do, however, have a choice about what they put into their mouth.
I always think about the people I babysit for and how good their kids are about food. Of course, the kids love candy and Slurpees and cookies. But they also love homemade mac and cheese made with whole-wheat pasta. They like ants on a log. They love pretzels and apples and other healthy snacks. They know that sweets are something that you eat after a meal because they taste good, and do not serve as "good for you." It's not always easy to get them to eat veggies, but they don't refuse. Nor do they beg for the Scooby-Doo chocolate chip cookies because Scooby-Doo is on them.
I don't know how the people I babysit for keep these kids isolated so much from pop culture. The kids don't really watch live television with advertisements. They watch rented videos with episodes of Scooby-Doo or SpongeBob. Maybe that's why they don't insist that every item of food that enters into their body has a recognizable character on it. While I'm appalled that the seven year-old doesn't know who Kermit the Frog is, I admire that she's not begging me to buy her a Bratz doll for Christmas.
As it is with every issue about both food and advertising with me, it really comes down to personal accountability. Kids are not brainless drones unless their parents allow them to be. Kids should be taught that companies are out to make money, and while participating in this capitalist system is inevitable, they have to be critical of the motivations. Just because Elmo is on a package of crackers doesn't make them good. In fact, most of the branded foods taste like ass. It is a picture of a cartoon character. Kids need to know that doesn't mean it's endorsed by the character. It's not that difficult. Some parents won't teach their kids, in which case schools can step in. If schools lead by example and take the soda and snack machines out of their buildings, or instead use snack companies that have healthy products, that's a start. A school in Brookline recently had a chef come up with healthy versions of typical cafeteria foods that the kids actually like. Health class curriculums should address the food pyramid (or octagon, or whatever it is now). I think there should be lessons about being an informed consumer as well. Books have been written about the ways that corporations target young people, and the young people should have the knowledge and tools to be aware of how they're being manipulated. The government shouldn't force people into nutritional responsibility, but educate the public on how to make those decisions themselves.
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Who eats leafy greens in a pineapple under the sea?

Ann Coulter Gets Dominated by College Students

Ann Coulter gets booed into semi-submission at UConn. Amy never stops laughing. Stupid, hateful bitch. Yes, I'm aware that calling Ann Coulter a stupid, hateful bitch makes me a hateful bitch. But at least I'm not stupid. Ann.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another Reason Social Security Won't Be There for Me

Aw crap.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the government can seize a person's Social Security benefits to pay old student loans.

Back to the drawing board. I think I've arrived on "faking my death" as a way to pay this shit off.
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Hypocritical Girl

Shut up, Madonna.
Since Madonna single-handedly trashed up popular culture in the '80s by wearing racy clothes and being as open about her sexuality as a man, she has to rely on new tricks to keep her fading relevance from burning out completely. Britney and Christina have taken her playbook, and now Madonna must create a new one, now that she's well past the expiration date of a pop tart. Apparently, this involves writing a number of children's books, appearing at movie premiers with her husband, falling off horses, and pissing off rabbis.

U.S. pop star Madonna on Wednesday shrugged off criticism of a song on her smash hit new album, "Confessions on a Dance Floor," saying that all she did was ask questions and challenge authority.
The new album, which hit the top of the U.S. and British album charts following its release last month, includes a song which prompted rabbis in Israel to accuse her of sacrilege. In October, the rabbis who guard the legacy of Rabbi Isaac Luria -- founder of the Kabbalah school of mysticism which counts Madonna as one of its devotees -- accused Madonna of breaking a taboo by using his name for profit in the song "Isaac."
"I think as soon as you have an opinion that is outside... what is considered to be the conventional way of thinking -- as soon as you think outside of that you're considered controversial," Madonna told a news conference in Tokyo.

This comes from the same Madonna who made fun of Paris Hilton for just popping into a Kabbalah studio, picking up a red bracelet and saying she's a huge fan of Kabbalah. Quoth Madonna: "It's very hard to be a believer. I'm very serious about it." Yet Madonna, in violating a tenant of the Kabbalah rules, shows herself to be on the same level as Paris. Madonna chose to practice Kabbalah. Madonna told anyone with a press pass how much Kabbalah calmed her down, made her the new, matronly Madonna, and how devoted she is to the tenants of Jewish mysticism. But she's picking and choosing what she wants to believe, which is what Paris did by buying the bracelet and not really caring about Kabbalah, and Madonna got indignant. If you take Kabbalah seriously, and a rabbi tells you that the song you've recorded is in violation of the laws of the religion, wouldn't you take the song off the album? I mean, if you're so moved as to record a tribute to a figure of your religion, maybe donate the profits to a Jewish charity? I'm not clear if using the prophet's name for a charitable cause is taboo, but surely it's better than financing Guy's next shitty movie. Yeah, I said it.
Madonna is adopting her playbook to involve more clothes, but she's using the same techniques as always. Her reasoning is if people are pissed off, then they're thinking and talking about her, and that's how she'll get ahead. Pissing people off and breaking rules doesn't mean you're questioning anything. Thinking about what you personally believe is a way to question and challenge authority. Behaving like a surly teenager in a fifty year-old's body makes you look like an idiot. Before she throws stones at Paris, she should ponder her own actions first. Or else she'll make as good a Jewish mystic as she did a Catholic.

Everyone Here Was Fired

Uh-oh. Looks like another American car maker is looking to do a huge round of layoffs. Couple this with GM's mass firing that ruined about 30,000 families' holidays, and it's not looking good for blue-collar American workers. It's a scary time. Because when those jobs leave, many other industries are affected, and at some point, it's going to hit all of us. Right now, it's easy to think that your job is safe because you're college-educated, or because you work in an industry that's booming. But a job with GM or Ford used to mean stability and a good income. Now, it doesn't mean much of anything.
All I can think of is that quote about the Nazis:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

At some point, the lackluster economy is going to come for all of us. I wish I could come up with a solution, but there are a lot of forces at work here. The cost of health care and retirement benefits for a company is huge. When a company's product stops selling well, something has to give. First they try cutting benefits, then they start firing people. It's a sad thing.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh, You Look So Beautiful Tonight...

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So good. I am still exhausted from the show last night, but it was great. Good music. Good stage. Good times.
Alicia met me at my office, and we headed over to dinner at BeerWorks (FYI-- the lobster roll sucks). I sat in my chair, occasionally bursting into a mantra of "BonoBonoBonoBonoTheEdgeBonoBono" and drinking as much beer as possible before I headed over to the GardenCenter which engages in the violation of human rights by not allowing people under the age of 25 with an out-of-state ID to buy beer. I wonder if Bono knows about this violation of my basic human rights. We all deserve to be drunk if we want to be.
After we ogled the bartender who bore a strong resemblance to Detective Stabler on Law and Order: SVU, we headed over to the GardenCenter to buy our concert swag and catch the opening act, which was Gavin Rossdale's new band Institute. Which was good, especially when they played "Machine Head" and "The Chemicals Between Us." Gavin took a few spins around the oval-shaped stage while he sang, and then mercifully exited to make way for U2.
The crowd began to file in around nine. On one side of Alicia and I was a group of two couples. Next to Alicia, a guy in his late 40s or early 50s sat before the show. He seemed mellow enough.
Then two older guys, maybe in their late 50s, came up. One of them in his flannel jacket and Dickies pants asked me where his seats were. Of course, his was next to me, which I told him.
"I was hopin' to sit next to you!" He exclaimed, nudging me a bit too close to my boob for comfort.
"Of course it's not two single guys in their twenties who sit next to us, oh no, it's the old guys," Alicia said.
The lights came down, and the crowd went nuts as Bono, the Edge, Larry and Adam took the stage. They launched into "City of Blinding Lights" and "Vertigo" and we all screamed our fool heads off. The guy next to Alicia danced stiffly, but moved around enough to bump into her several times. I stood close to her, trying to avoid contact or conversation with the guy next to me.
Of course, they played "Sometimes You Can't Make it On Your Own," which, while technically a song Bono wrote for his father, reminds me of the Whatever, especially the lines "I don't need to hear you say that if we weren't so alike you'd like me a whole lot more." But, that was about the only sad moment I had. The rest of the time was spent watching Bono run around the oval, dance with Santa Claus and Elvis, chase the Edge around (it's amazing the Edge can play guitar AND run at the same time) and listening to Bono preach against poverty, war and AIDS.
It's interesting how bands that have been around for so long have such a cross-section of ways to experience one of their shows. When I saw Gwen Stefani, it was a fairly homogeneous crowd, with most people over the age of 30 there with a kid. Nine Inch Nails had a little bit more of a mix too. But acts like Sting and U2 have people who've been fans for twenty or more years, like the guys next to us, and people like Alicia and I who were in diapers when U2 was playing the small clubs in Boston. I don't think we enjoyed the show any less than these guys did (well, maybe, but only because they didn't respect personal space) but we don't have the memories of owning Joshua Tree on vinyl or anything. There's also the uncomfortable epiphany that someday we'll be at a show, watching Gwen Stefani prance around as best she can on her old feet, with people around us who were in diapers when she did her first solo tour.

Gross Weather

The Herald is on it, y'all.

On Friday, WHDH-TV’s chief meteorologist was called up to human resources after he went on the air to tease the 4 p.m. weathercast. There, Gross got his walking papers and station suits loomed over him as he packed his belongings in a box.
Sources told us Todd was escorted from the building in tears and watched in anguish while his security pass was destroyed. Oh, that’s harsh!...
While there are numerous and varied reports of “personal issues,” the prevailing theory is that Mike Carson & Co. tanked Todd in favor of Pete Bouchard, the viewer-friendly weatherguy who works the morning and noon shifts. (See “moving in a different direction” above.)
“He’s been the rising star over there for a while,” said Someone Who Knows. “They’ve gotten good viewer feedback on him. Pete’s more popular and ‘regular guy,’ while Todd was extremely arrogant.”

Something is up. I do feel bad for Todd, the way they nearly literally threw him in a sack and onto the street, but he does come across as arrogant, while Pete comes across as fantastic, like a guy who actually has a life outside the chromakey walls of channel 7. I just hope Pete keeps his feet on the ground and remains the hip voice of channel 7.
And if channel 7 shitcans Pete Bouchard, I will sit outside in protest, drinking only beer until they hire him back.
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Pete! Pete! Pete!

Monday, December 05, 2005

The Smell of Something Gross

You guys. Something's up over at channel 7.

Exhibit A: Universal Hub reports Todd Gross has been fired.
Exhibit B: WHDH's web site doesn't list Todd Gross on the weather team anymore. Odd since he's the chief meterologist, isn't it?
Exhibit C: Pete Bouchard is workin' the night shift tonight.

A friend who works at 7 doesn't know much about what went down, but says that she read in an industry newsletter that Todd was escorted from the building after his twenty years of service to channel 7. Channel 7 does have a history of firing less than young on-air talent, but this seems odd. I can't find much about what happened online, but it must have been something egregious to be shitcanned and tossed out onto City Hall Plaza right before the first potential snowstorm of the winter.
I'd like to be the first to nominate Pete Bouchard for chief meterologist. Because he rules, and I can actually enjoy watching him if he's on the evening news instead of the morning show. And, while he holds less esteem in my heart, I do hope that things are okay with Todd.

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Pete! Pete! Pete! Pete!

Hello Hello...

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I am so glad that my very benevolent friend Alicia picked me to share in the glory of U2 with her tonight. I harbor fantasies of Bono offering to put me in his suitcase and bring me back to Ireland.
"Oh, love, I have a charity song to record with Sting and Robbie Williams in the morning. You don't mind coming along, do you?"
Or, even if that doesn't happen, there should be some rock and fucking roll. Awesome.

NPR does Rhody

Interesting piece on Lincoln Chafee, the kick-ass Republican with a soul for my fine state of Rhode Island. Worth a listen. I can't wait to see the Chafee family Christmas card that my Mom gets every year.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Whatever and Ever Amen

The first time the Whatever and I split up, we ate at the Home Country Buffet. I knew but didn't allow myself to know what was happening. He barely touched me, he opened up and actually talked to me, and didn't come up to my apartment when I invited him. He put the car in park, told me he hated to do what he had to do.
A few months later, we ended up back together again, and it was good for me. Somehow, I viewed the problems we had the first time as all my fault, that my lack of experience with an actual relationship was the problem. And things went well for a while. Things were good when I was at home with my Mom since we weren't in the same city as each other. But once we were back in the same city, it was only a matter of time.
Yesterday the Whatever IMed me, and we talked about nothing for a little while, but then started talking about fighting with each other, and the fact that it probably wasn't going to work out. I sat in the living room to make sure the wireless connection wouldn't drop me, trying not to sob loud enough for my roommate to hear in the next room. The Whatever and I decided to get it out of the way, to talk in person and wrap it up. "I hate to do this because of what happened there last time, but can we do the Old Country Buffet? I need comfort food."
I threw a package of tissues in my purse and he picked me up and we headed down to the restaurant. It was about noon, so the place was mobbed when we got there. Searching for a possible moment of privacy, we tried Papa Ginos instead. We ate pizza and talked about what had been happening with us for the past couple of weeks. I would be fine, then I would realize that this was the end of it for us, that we wouldn't spend any more lazy Saturday afternoons eating pizza at the mall. I'd tear up, avoid his gaze, and sip my soda while studying the patterns on the table.
We finished eating and looked at video games for a little while, then headed back to my apartment for the inevitable. I hugged him and cried for about an hour, not because it was unexpected, but because this other person took root in my life and was tearing himself away. It's also the first time I've had to end things with someone I love. In the past I've been wronged and managed to hate the guys who fucked with me. But the Whatever isn't a bad guy, but we're too much alike to be together. We're both stubborn, smart, jealous people who love to be the center of attention. It's fine if we're friends and don't see each other much, but when we compete with each other all the time, it just leads to fights that could power a large city.
I hugged him for the last time, and he drove me to the people I babysit. I didn't want to get out of the car because that would be the official end of it, but I was running late. I patted him on the knee and kissed his cheek, he said "Goodbye, hon" then stammered, "er, goodbye, Amy" instead, and I got out of the car for the last time. He waited for me to cross the street, and then drove out of my life.
The girl I babysit asked me what I did yesterday. I said I had pizza with the Whatever, and that we weren't going to see each other for a while. She looked kind of confused and asked why. "Well, we both love each other, but we fight too much. That's not a good thing when you're somebody's boyfriend."
"Oh Amy," she said, splashing around in the bathtub, "you guys were just hanging out anyway. Maybe you can bring me and my brother to a football game now."
I finished babysitting, and a wave of exhaustion came over me. I called my Mom and cried into the phone, and she said she was sorry. We talked about a friend of hers who came to visit, and big news that I had to deliver (other than the Whatever's disappearance). I sat around, emailed a friend, tried to take a nap, then dragged myself downtown for a show at the Harp. Like someone who's overeaten and is presented with more food, the idea of dancing with a guy made me sick. I put on a modest sweater and bare essential makeup and resolved to just enjoy being out. The band was good, although the lead singer was wasted, and we stayed until closing time. I met a friend of a friend who was hilarious when she shared the cab home with us. The cabbie stopped at Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, and turned the car off. This girl tried to roll the window down, and kept saying, "Hey, guy, get back here, there's friends over there!" He came back into the cab, and this girl rolled the window down and said hello to the guys on the sidewalk, who flipped us off because we had a cab and they didn't. The girl kept looking for people to yell at for the whole ride home. With that, I know I'm back in the land of the single twentysomething woman. Right now, it's sad and exciting. Ask me again in six months when I haven't had a date and hate every man I lay eyes on.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Get Your Geek On...

Again, the RIAA takes on digital music, this time trying to pass legislation that would prohibit digital radio players, such as those that Sirius and XM sell, from recording music or other programs for less than 30 minutes, allowing the user of the device to search for a song or artist, and deleting old content while recording the new content. This will basically render the players useless by making them act like a very costly cassette tape (rewinding and fast-forwarding to find the content you want) instead of a digital music player.
If iTunes has shown the world anything, it's that people are willing to pay for quality digital content. iTunes has sold millions of tracks to its users, all of whom pay for the files. There is still, without a doubt, digital music and movie piracy, and people will find a way around the satellite radio legislation if it's passed. Already, there are programs that can rip feeds from web-based radio programs and divvy them into "tracks." The RIAA, just like it did with Napster, is acting too late to stem the tide, and acting inappropriately.
Perhaps XM and Sirius can offer their content online in downloadable form, with varying prices for talk shows, entire blocks of programming, or individual tracks, much like iTunes. Maybe charging subscribers an additional fee for recording the programs, or banning customers who retransmit the programs without permission of the company would be the better alternative. Getting into a Lars Ulrich-style fight with technology will just make the RIAA look a group of out-of-touch geezers.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pay No Attention to That Woman...

This may be my new favorite quote about Rhode Island:
"Regardless of what the flight attendant said, you've landed in Warwick."
Because I imagine about a few hundred poor souls a year figure they'll take Southwest into T.F. Green and then catch the commuter rail or Amtrak to Boston. Which won't happen. Because there is neither in Warwick. But I suppose with the average American's geographic prowice, Providence is hard enough to remember, nevermind throwing a strange little city into the mix.

O Holiday Tree, O Holiday Tree, How PC Are Thy Branches

I never thought I'd say it, but I agree with Laura Bush. It's a fucking Christmas tree. It is not, Boston, a "holiday tree." You know who you're fooling with that crap? No one. My roommate, who is Jewish, knows that's a steaming pile of crap. It's got red and green on it. It's been called a Christmas tree since Zachary Taylor was President, for fuck's sake. Call it a Christmas tree. I imagine it must be hard for people of other religions to walk around and hear all about Christmas and red and green and Christmas Eve and fa-la-la-la-la and all that. I'm not discounting other religions with this. Should other religions be recognized if they have holidays around this time of year? Certainly. Light a menorah. Spin a dreidel. Mrs. Goldenburg would come to my classroom and explain dreidels and the Hanukkah story to my class. It's kind of a cool story. I mean, the birth of the Savior is pretty good, but the story I heard most was about a big fat guy who would come down the chimney (which we didn't have) and leave presents. Sure, it's cool, but how did they keep that oil going for so long, man? But they don't call it a "holiday candelabra". It's a menorah. An evergreen tree with lights on it is a Christmas tree.
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You can't have it both ways, is what I'm saying. Call it a Christmas tree, because that's what it is. When Hanukkah comes around on the 26th, light the menorah. I'm begging you, can we drop this issue? I don't like agreeing with both Laura Bush and Jerry Falwell about anything.

Love. Hate.

I love fruit salad. I hate fruit salad.
What brings me to discuss this unexpected topic? The fact that I just ate fruit salad. Yesterday the Company bought lunch for the twenty-odd people involved in the newest edition of one of our best-selling textbooks. This was not the usual vat o' pad thai lunch we're usually treated to, but a nice lunch of individually prepared salmon, a roll, fruit salad, and a box of cookies. Pretty swank. I even got to have a diet Snapple iced tea to drink instead of soda. Nice.
We sat around and talked about what a gigantic pain in the ass the book was while we worked on it, but how good it looks now and how exacting the late author was. Since I'm relatively new here, none of it made much sense to me. But I ate my salmon and rice with a smile on my face, reaping my reward for a job well done. Salmon doesn't keep to well as leftovers, so I decided to eat all of that, and save the fruit salad, cookies and roll for today.
This morning, I poured myself a bowl of Kashi and sat myself in front of my computer. I ate that up, and then switched over to the fruit salad. Which was comprised of several grapes, several chunks of pineapple, a bunch of watermelon, a bunch of orange melon, a bunch of green melon, and a half-slice of orange.
I ate the orange, the grapes and the pineapple chunks happily. I suffered through the watermelon, which usually isn't that bad, but it had soaked up the flavors of the other melons and tasted like ass. I tried to keep in mind all the fibery, sweet goodness of fruit, but hocked the rest of the bowl, which was about three-quarters of the fruit salad. I even asked Kristen if she wanted some, but she said "I hate melon."
For the love of Christ and reindeer, why the hell do people put melon in fruit salad? Melon is gross. It tastes like an absence of flavor. It has a bizarre consistency. Nobody likes melon. People eat out the good stuff and chuck the melons. The melons give their life in vain. I mean, I know the practical reason why restaurants put melon in the fruit salad-- it's cheap and takes up a lot of space. But it's gross. I'd much rather have a small bowl of delicious fruits mixed together than a huge vat of ass-tasting melon with some good stuff tossed in for color.
For my Mom's birthday in May, my grandmother made fruit salad. And that could have been the end of the meal for me. Halved red grapes, halved green grapes, small bits of pineapple, delightfully firm bits of peaches, sweet, small blueberries, diced strawberries, and even a few pears for a change of consistency that wasn't nasty tasting. I ate two small bowls before the baked fish even came out of the oven. That was a fruit salad. A smorgasboard of fiber, antioxidants, and some scurvy-fighting vitamin C.
I will not rest until restaurants and office function caterers are aware that they aren't fooling anyone. Nobody wants melons in the fruit salad. Charge a little more for some interesting combinations. Raspberries and blueberries are good together, as are those fruits and strawberries. Pears and raspberries work well and have a nice change in texture between them. Grapes are always welcome. But keep that bastard melon out of my salad.