Friday, March 31, 2006

Rhode Island Born, Rhode Island Bred

Things I Miss About Rhode Island That I Remember When It's Nice Out:

Aunt Carrie's. My good goddamn, they have the best clamcakes EVER. The restaurant is huge but very basic. My Mom loves it because it reminds her of her grandfather's summer "cabin" that he built in the woods near what is now our house, with the thin strips of wood that make it look like the place could be disassembled like a MASH unit and set up again elsewhere. The windowframes are painted dark green and the walls are yellow, and it just seems like you crawled into the early 1950s. Did I mention the clamcakes?

George's of Galilee. This was my favorite restaurant as a really little kid. I remember this because my Mom and Dad were driving me down, and I barfed in my Mom's brand new Escort station wagon. She was mad I barfed in the car. I was mad I didn't get to have dinner at George's. The food isn't as good as Aunt Carrie's, in my opinion, but the location is much better. Alicia and I used to go to the beach every weekend in the summer, then drive to George's and order clamcakes and chowder. We'd eat on the rocks, watching the Block Island Ferry come in. Some old hippies would play reggae songs in the bar, and we'd listen. Now we're old enough to sit in the screened-in bar, have a 'Gansett in 'Gansett, and enjoy the music up close.

Newport. Yes, it's touristy. Yes, it's expensive. But it's also beautiful and worth the hassle. Also, I hope to run into that nice boy I had a date with last year and hope he develops some cajones and asks me out again. Ahem.

The Beach. This beach is the only one for me. Close to my Mom's house, relatively affordable, lots of surfers and clean water. A fun sea wall to watch college girls in bikinis strut, Harley-guys with beer guts watch the girls and show off their hogs, notes of music floating by out of passing cars. Even before it gets warm, it's nice to walk and fly a kite. I miss the beach. Revere Beach just isn't the same.

Bess Eaton iced coffee. As every high school senior in New England can testify, the coffee of choice is the affordable jolt at Dunkin Donuts. But when it got warm and I had time to kill before Drama rehearsal, I'd drive to Bess Eaton and pick up a Tank, which was 24oz of iced goodness. The coffee was weaker than Dunkin's, but they put little ice pellets in your cup with the Bible-quote, filled it with coffee and sugar, then sloshed that into a plastic tumbler, then back into your cup. Awesome. Also, Bess Eaton was the donut shop of choice for my town's finest cops, so that's saying something.

The Fantastic Umbrella Factory. Again, another early-childhood favorite. What's basically a hippie commune sells an impossible variety of gauzy skirts and tops, Bob Marley posters/tshirts/bumper stickers, and puka-shell necklaces. But there is a working farm, and I had the best lemonade of my life at the Spice of Life cafe. When I walk down the splintered shell paths, and look at the rusted-out antique truck that was there even when I was a kid I am instantly comforted that some things remain the same.

Aww. Now I'm all sentimental. I wish it would be this warm on Sunday, because I'd be down in the Ocean State so fast...

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Ladies! Run, do not walk, to your nearest shoe-selling establishment. Procure yourself some wedge sandals as soon as humanly possible. Knife a rich lady on your way in to pay for them if you must. I have purchased said style of shoes (without harming a rich lady) and I have seen the light.
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A rough approximation of my new lovelies.

It is the age old dilemma for women like me. I grew up a tomboy, living in sneakers. I never enjoyed putting on my Mom's heels, I never enjoyed dress shoes. The shoes I wore when my Mom got married traumatized me, and began my lifelong habit of wearing uncomfortable shoes for style. Occasionally I'd wear the white with pastel trim shoes to school, and by noon my feet hurt and I hated the fact I'd worn them. But every couple of months, I'd wear them and the ritual began anew.

When I experiment with heels I love the height, but hate the wobbly feeling I get on skinny heels. My black pumps are hot, but when I wear them I walk at about an eighth of my usual speed. I have to plan to leave the apartment early so I can get a seat on the train because if I can't sit, I stand and sway and stumble more than a termite-infested giant sequoia. But these wedge shoes? The best of both worlds. I am about 5'10 today with these shoes on, which is about four inches taller than my normal height. I rode the T into work today, transfixed and repulsed by the hot but pissy looking guy in a suit I was standing next to, and I did not sway or stumble once. The brown suede with gold trim matches my belt and t-shirt. I look easy, breezy, beautiful. And I am comfortable! Oh my God, I have on hot shoes and I am comfortable!

This can only end badly, with me being unable to purchase new pots and pans for my apartment but having fifty pairs of various wedge sandals in many different shades. AND I DON'T CARE BECAUSE I <3 <3 THESE SHOES!!

Ahem. Intelligence will come later.


Dear Army,

Unless you can provide "authorized gear" to all the people who need it, perhaps you should let soldiers run the risk of having less-than-ideal body armor instead of banning privately purchased armor.

Of course, some people have a problem with soldiers having body armor.

"I don't think the Army is wrong by doing this, because the Army has to ensure some level of quality," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. "They don't want soldiers relying on equipment that is weak or substandard."

Okay so. You're in Iraq. You don't know if that car you're driving by will explode on you or is just an ordinary car. But the first thought in your mind is certainly "Thank God I don't have weak body armor. I am so, so happy my torso is ready to be pierced by shrapnel at any given second." For fuck's sake. Having a coffee can to bail out a sinking ship is better than nothing.

Thankfully, there are some rational voices in the debate.
Murray Neal, chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said he hadn't seen the directive and wants to review it.

"We know of no reason the Army may have to justify this action," Neal said. "On the surface this looks to be another of many attempts by the Army to cover up the billions of dollars spent on ineffective body armor systems which they continue to try quick fixes on, to no avail."

Good God. You're sending actual people overseas to fight in a war. Give them a chance to make it home alive.


Thursday, March 30, 2006

A Million Little Somethings

I just finished reading James Frey's book A Million Little Pieces. The experience was tainted for me since I live in a world with electricity and heard about how most of the book was fabricated. If you read A Million Little Pieces as the God's honest truth, you view James Frey as a guy who had some really hard times in his life and is trying to make amends. If you read The Smoking Gun's appraisal of James Frey's actual criminal record, you view him as a spoiled little rich boy who flat-out lied about his past to make himself a martyr and sell books and himself as a personality.

You may remember I stuck up for Frey at first. Memoir is a tricky genre, and people who are stone-cold sober have a hard time remembering things that happened ten years ago, nevermind people who were cracked out when the events took place. Hell, even Oprah stood up for him. But when it became clear that Frey grossly exaggerated what happened to him for his own financial gain (and I think there's some emotional gain for him too) she and I both jumped the Goodship Frey.

Of course, now the obligatory spoof book has come out, predictably titled A Million Little Lies. The USA Today reviewer, Donna Freydkin, feels bad for Frey.

Lies is amusing, and it's certainly satisfying at moments to laugh at a writer who lied about his criminal past, turned a common problem into a sordid horror story and then made a mint off his fabrications. But what might have worked as a 1,000-word essay in The Onion is too long-winded.

And there's something mean-spirited about mocking Frey, who made a mistake and paid for it. Frey did so much damage to himself that parodying him seems, well, excessive.

I don't think it's excessive at all. I think Frey deserves being made fun of because he dishes shit out and he can't take it. As Sars points out on her website review of A Million Little Pieces and the ensuing debacle, Frey made himself out to be the savior for people who don't want to do the typical AA, higher-power route to recovery. If he'd written the book, appeared on the show and just talked about the book, I think people would be a lot more forgiving of his lies. But when Oprah sends you to a "Treatment Center" to talk to people who are overcoming addiction and you're acting like Doctor Phil, it makes you seem like you're accepting that role as a godless drug addict's messiah. Having read the book, I believe that Frey has an incredible need to be the center of attention and made to feel like a bad-ass. He's a spoiled white boy who feels his daddy didn't love him enough, and while that is a legitimate problem, that's not the book he wrote. Frey's willing to accept any kind of credit, even when it's not due to him, and people hate that. He did this to himself, and he should deal with the consequences, including predictable spoof books.

A Million Little Pieces is interesting, don't get me wrong. It's a quick read, and it is engaging, even if some parts of it aren't well written. At one point, Frey goes on and on about being fucked up, fucking people up, badass talk, and then drops in "I can solve this feeling with copious amounts of drugs." It takes you right out of the moment and jars you so badly you get reader's whiplash. It's worth a read if only to participate in the pop culture debate about artistic license versus putting a nonfiction book into the realm of fiction, but don't feel bad for Frey. He's got money to keep him happy, even if Oprah took him out of her cell phone.


I didn't believe it would end this way, but local reporter Jill Carroll was freed by her captors in Iraq. It seemed inevitable as the months passed by that she'd not make it out. When I was in Italy, Alicia and I walked by a building with her picture on it, and we feared she'd been killed. I was surprised when we got back and she was still okay. Even if you're treated well, you're still being held captive, and I can't image what she's been through. I'm glad she's okay, and I hope that Dateline held off on calling her until she got to see her parents again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Why Can't You..."

"...come when I fuck you?"

(In case it's not clear, frank sexual content. Steer clear coworkers/family members. You were warned.)

This is the question Margaret Cho's boyfriend poses to her, which she relates in one of the funniest bits of hers I've heard. Marianne played this for me a few months ago, and it rang all too true for me. The dull, bored tone that the question is asked in. "Why can't you cooooooome when I fuck you?" If you've ever had a partner who treats you like a Domino's pizza delivery (if it's not there in fifteen minutes or less, he crashes on the couch and whines) the whole bit is funny while being completely disconcerting. In this age of instant gratification, overnight shipping, and in by 9 out by 5 dry cleaning, is there any lover who takes their time anymore?

I was reminded of this Margaret Cho bit last night at the gym while I watched a piece on Channel 7 (shut up, I was waiting for Pete Bouchard) about female sexual dysfunction. In it, Rosalyn Adams, a woman in her late sixties with horrible makeup and an unappealing southern twang, discusses her problems with having an orgasm.

Married just 2 years, Rosalyn Adams says she lost all interest.
Rosalyn Adams: "One of the main things that I had was having trouble with orgasm."
Rosalyn says she found a sexual solution, not from a drug, but an over the counter oil called Zestra.

Okay, Roz. Good on you for being able to so frankly discuss your sexual issues on television. Seriously. I think a lot of women are socialized to not talk about sex, not discuss problems or things they'd prefer with the men in their lives, or with anyone. As women, there's still a stigma against wanting to get your rocks off just as much as a guy does. It's changing, finally, but women have to make noise about their problems.

However, I think ol' Roz's problem may be the old "Why can't you coooome..." problem. Later in the piece, the reporter says that the oil that Rosalyn used, Zestra, works in three minutes. Zestra works by increasing blood flow, so it's basically an oil you rub on your lady bits. Immediately after the whole "three minutes" intro, Rosalyn says, "That would be probably the biggest thing relief and also surprise that something that simple could solve the issue."

Something about this piece made me angry. Many women do have legitimate sexual dysfunction. Maybe they were raped, or abused, or brought up Catholic and taught that sex is a necessary evil and used only for procreation and not enjoyment. I think women are much more affected sexually by extraneous factors than men are. I know if I'm angry with someone I'm sleeping with, I am probably not going to have an easy time. If I am worried about something, I'm not paying as much attention. But the idea that an oil rubbed on my bits can allow a guy to wham-bam-thank you m'am me isn't helpful. Why can't we slow down? Why can't we enjoy sexual activity for more than twenty minutes at a time? The whole tone of the piece is that this oil allows everyone to leave happy in the shortest amount of time possible. This quote from the doctor running trials on the oil is probably what does it:
Dr. Andre Guay/ Lahey Clinic: "They said it's decreased their arousal time. A lot of women complain it takes an awful long time to begin arousal and have orgasms and it's markedly decreased."

We complain because a lot of guys don't get how women work sexually. I've explained it to guys I've been with, and they just expect I should be "like other girls." Well, you're not with those other girls now, are you? Right now, you are with me, and I am telling you what I want from you. You cannot kiss me for two minutes and expect me to be trembling with desire. It's not that easy. I am not saying that Rosalyn's problem is her husband. I do believe that movies and television show sex as this act that should overpower us so quickly, that it should be as easy as fucking a woman until she comes. Most women don't get off that way. Most of us need foreplay, touching, et cetera, before we come. Before you invest in some oils that may cause the cryptic and painful sounding "minor skin irritations," perhaps you should listen to your partner or ask her what she'd like from you. We're game. We like orgasms just as much as you. Switch it up a little and see how your lady responds. And take your time for the love of God. Sex stays hot no matter how long it takes to get there when it's done right. Save the whining and frustration for the Domino's guy who's running late.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Stand Up

Usually I have a set routine for my evenings. Leave work, go to the gym, head back to my hizzle and watch TV or read. Yesterday I had an opportunity to make a little money by ushering, so I walked through the Common to get to Park Street and head to the Other Side of the Charles.

As I got near the Tremont Street side of the park, I saw a ton of people gathered around. Usually I don't think much of protests, mainly because it's right by Emerson, and I figured they were protesting something trivial. As one of my classmates said, Emersonians protest the growth hormones used in their Starbucks lattes, but do so while puffing on cigarettes. As I got closer, I saw the crowd was much larger than any Emerson gathering, and the crowds were holding Brazilian and Colombian flags. Flags I didn't even recognize were flying. A woman spoke in Spanish and I couldn't make out what she was saying. She then started speaking in English and Spanish, and talking about Mayor Menino supporting the immigrants who were assembled on the Common to protest unfair immigration laws.

It was impressive. A calm scene, with ambulances and cops standing around in case anything should have turned ugly, but there was no danger. People milled around in the early spring air, wearing slightly less bulky coats and listening and cheering. As I walked toward the T station, noticeably against the current of people coming into the park, I saw that most of the people going to attend the rally were families. Women brought their daughters and sons, who carried American flags and the flags of their native countries. Kids skipped ahead of their parents, walking toward the assembly. Hand-made signs that I couldn't comprehend were in many people's hands, ready to be unfurled.

I don't know much about America's immigration policy. I know that since the World Wars we've had many excuses to keep "undesirable" people out of our country. I've seen the Dateline pieces about cops working the borders at night to capture Mexican immigrants and send them back, the Coast Guard in Florida capturing boatloads of Cuban immigrants and bringing them back. All I know is that it was great to see families going to a peaceful demonstration, looking to make their presence known. I think America would be much better if it's native citizens took more pride and thought in their country and involved their kids in the political process. I never went to a protest with my Mom, but I helped her campaign with the town Republicans as a kid (...yes, I know) and I got a good idea of how politics work that way (and a tongue thick with envelope glue). It's great to see people stick up for themselves and campaign for something they believe in, and show their kids that there's a peaceful way to go about it.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Okay. I watch Dawson's Creek reruns from time to time. I watched maybe two episodes when it was on the WB or whichever teen network it ran on. This show confounds me-- no teenagers can express their thoughts as eloquently as those kids can. I was a fairly wordy kid with a good vocabulary since I'm a book snake, so voracious is my appetite for reading (see?), but when I got upset elocution went out the window and I was reduced to the seven words you can't say on television in various combinations. I still do, as evidenced by my real-estate post. When I calm down, I can express it. But until then, watch out, motherfucker.

Anyway. Aside from the vocabulary on that show, I had major problems with the Joey Potter character. I didn't get why all these guys were nuts about her. She's skinny, but she's average-looking and kind of cross-eyed. I don't know why she ends up on these "sexy women" countdowns on VH1. Yes, she's not unattractive, but I don't get "sexy." I get "cute." And as a woman who relies more on cute and dorky than being a sex bomb, I can relate to this. But the show treated her like a sex-kitten. No. Michelle Williams' character was sexy. Joey was a sniveling mess who could expertly deploy doe-eyes.

I saw Thank You for Smoking on Sunday, and it was a fairly funny movie. I think it could have been a little better, but watching Aaron Eckhart for a couple hours didn't ruin my weekend. What took me right out of the movie was Katie Holmes' character. She was decribed no fewer than five times as "sexy" and having "great tits."

Cut to a shot of Katie Holmes, who has Joey Potter hair and makeup, and is wearing a blazer that appears to be two sizes too big and ten years too old for her. Not a shadow of cleavage on display. I can't see anything but a horrible rose-colored blazer that Blanche on Golden Girls would have worn. I can only see Joey Potter sitting in a fancy restaurant to talk to a man who could be her father. Ew. I can't believe for one second that the uber-charming Nick Naylor would fall for this person. She screams easy to manipulate, and Tom Cruise isn't even anywhere near her.

Almost any other actress could have played this part better than Holmes. Michelle Williams comes to mind. She has great tits, and can use sex appeal. If we're branching out from the Dawson's Creek alumni, Scarlet Johansson could have done it. Hell, Lindsay Lohan could have done it. Even before Tom Cruise attached her to a sonogram machine, Katie Holmes didn't seem to be able to manage or muster up her sexuality in the way this part required.

So, Hollywood, take note. Katie Holmes is not sexy. Katie Holmes still looks like she's in high school. I know that she's a go-to girl for the Lolita/nymphet roles, but Thank You for Smoking was not it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mike Timlin Has a Posse

Ladies and Gentlemen: Your 2006 Boston Red Sox Pitching Staff (plus some guy):

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Best. Thing. EVER.

Johnny Damon best watch his back.

Timlin, a born-again Christian, starts whispering about the importance of faith and the beauty of the earth.

''It's a good prayer time. I get to see things."

Wow. Never fuck with a man who prays when he kills. He means business.

Check out the photo essay. As much as I don't want to admit it, the Cheney/Bush loving redneck who kills animals for fun Mike Timlin is kinda hot. Shut up.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Vintage T-Shirts

Okay. Work is busy, after work I am apartment hunting and exercising my blinding rage away (thanks to Universal Hub for the link-- the more profane I am the more often they link to me), I've got another article to write, and it's all very stressful. I turn to mass media to relieve me of the strain of my day-to-day. I look for escapism, where the problems are not my own and the solution is clear. (Thanks for making the right choice in an election FOR ONCE, America, and voting Chicken Little off American Idol.)

Sometimes, I turn to sports. I am not as, um, intense as my friend over at Basegirl, but I enjoy a nice baseball game. Before America's Next Top Model, I watched the Yankees/Sox Grapefruit game. The dulcet tones of Jerry Remy made me more excited than any blooming flower for the warmth of spring.

However. Between Vinatieri signing with the Colts (I thought I was exercising too hard at the gym and was having hallucinations) and Bronson going Out West, I cannot derive much joy until these moves prove fruitful. I am also going to be extremely pissed if the Sox trade Trot. I know it's business, but for fuck's sake. The guy started out in Pawtucket and is an asset in any bench-clearing brawl that may happen. Who is going to shoot things with Mike Timlin? Trot is a dirt dog, and shouldn't go anywhere. All of our t-shirts will be vintage by the time opening day rolls around.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Dear Boston Rental Market,

Fuck off and die. May your metaphoric loins be beset by sores that ooze pus, thus your undergarments stick to them and you must rip the garments off, creating a blinding pain which renders you useless. I have TOLD YOU. I cannot afford $800 a month for a semi-decent apartment in a semi-decent neighborhood. I will NOT live in the fucking student ghetto that is Washington and Comm Ave. No, I cannot pay more than $1500 a month. This is what I have TOLD YOU. This is a RENTER'S market, and as a renter I must insist you come down in price a little. You classist, elitist landowning swine. No, Brighton Center is NOT OKAY. I don't have a car. I am not taking the bus. I hope you get herpes.

I saw a place last night. It has been vacant for six months because there are piles of dust in the corners. There was an old bottle of Gatorade in the fridge. Three bars of dried up soap sat in the shower. The toilet was a copper color in the bowl. The kitchen was small and similarly filthy. We were on the fence when the realtor offered to have the place cleaned, until the characteristic sound of music filtered through the floorboards and Deb and I ran in horror. Fuck no. $750 a month to live with the same type of shitty insulation I have now? Fuck. No.

So you'd better come up with something, or else I'm going to be commuting from my grandmother's house in Rhode Island until you do. So help me, I will move to Denver or Portland or wherever I must to have a fucking quiet apartment you greedy, horrible fucks. It's fifty goddamn bucks a month less I'm asking. If you're going to assrape me, at least get the rapist with a smaller dick.

Suck it,


I love how Australia turned down the United States' offer of aid after Cyclone Larry devastated Queensland.

"The president rang to express his concern about Cyclone Larry in north Queensland and to inquire about the extent of the damage," Mr Howard told reporters.

"[He] said that if there was any assistance we needed, the United States would be willing to provide it.

"Of course we are able, ourselves, to look after this.

"But it was a very generous, thoughtful gesture on his part and I thank him for it."

Awesome. "Listen, we don't want any of that ice you had crisscrossing the continent after you royally botched your own hurricane and your buddy Mike Brown down here mucking things up. Don't you still have thousands of people in your own country who don't have homes? Maybe you should take care of your own first? I'm just saying."

Perhaps Australia will be my new country of residence. I like warm weather, and koala bears are cute. Way to be, Australia. Take care of business your own selves.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Confidential to Theo Epstein

I know you're trying to keep things quiet from the media after the CHB blabbed your business all over Boston, but Bronson and I would like to know what the shit you're doing by sending him to someplace called Cincinnati. I didn't even know Cincinnati had a baseball team.

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What? Did Bronson violate copyright laws by singing "C is for Cookie" on NESN? Are the Jim Henson copyright enforcers stealing your ape suit? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!

I want my stringbean back. Because Schilling is going to do cornrows in solidarity, and none of us need to see that.

And someone named Willie Mo has no business north of the Mason-Dixon line.

Back to the apartment search. Kill me now.

St. Pat's at the Local

I hope you're all recovered from your St. Pat's overindulgence. I hope you Catholics are taking sometime this week to give up meat/whatever since you ate corned beef until you were ready to yarf. Probably not today if you're an Italian Catholic since it's St. Joseph's Day. Yes, I had a zeppole, and it was amazing. Not too sweet, but lots of fat and boiled cream. Delicious.

Amateur night was fun. We started out at my "local." I ran inside and ordered a Guinness straight off. The hot bartender handed it to me, I sipped it, and it was just as delicious as I'd dreamed it would be. Nutty, foamy, and just a little cool. The bar was busy, but not unusually nuts. My local doesn't advertise itself as an Irish bar. It barely advertises itself at all-- you have to look very closely for the signs. A van-cab full of drunk frat guys and their drunk sorority girlfriends in low-cut shirts with green hats dumped themselves out in front of the bar, and I hoped they wouldn't come in. But the bright lights of the bar across the street caught their eye, and the sauntered in that direction.

We talked to the owner of my local, a short, stocky, bald Irish man I used to call Seamus. (This isn't a racist thing-- he was the one guy whose name I didn't know, and he looks like a Seamus.) He's in the midst of building a new bar further down Beacon Street, and we asked him how it was going.

"Oh, it's fucking killing me. I'm already half a million over budget."

"Yikes. But, at this point, why quibble?"

"Fuck, I don't care. I got a loan for it anyway, so it's not my money."

"Don't worry," I said. "We're here so much we'll probably take care of the overruns."

He went off to chat with the other customers, and we finished our beers. We stuck with our original plans, and got a cab and headed into Brighton Center. As soon as we turned onto Cambridge Street, we knew this was a mistake. The line for the Green Briar was halfway down the block. Devlin's was about twenty people deep. Porter Belly's had about ten people in line. The four of us jumped in line at Devlin's, the wind blowing through our heavy coats. We jumped and shivered to stay warm. The line at Porter Belly's started moving, so we left the stagnant line at Devlin's and got in line down the street just as it stopped moving. The bouncers huddled in the doorway, shivering even in their down Patriots jackets.

A tall, lanky guy with silver earrings came outside, hung his head past the bouncers, and took a deep drag of his cigarette. The door closed behind him, and after another puff he turned around to go back inside, only to find the door blocked by the bouncers.

"Come on, let me back in," the lanky guy said in an Irish accent.

"No," the bouncers replied in their accents.

"Fook, I've been in there since two. I pay your wages. Let me back in."


At this point, I was openly laughing at the exchange. It seemed fairly light-hearted, and it seemed like the bouncers and the guy all knew each other, so I thought they were just fucking with him and would let him back in.

"Listen, I know your boss. He knows me, and he'll let me back in and fire your arses. I drink here every day, this is no way to treat a paying customer. What's the number? What's the number here?" Lanky Guy pulled out his cell phone and drunkenly entered the numbers the bouncers gave him. They had to repeat themselves a few times. Presumably, Lanky Guy got the number right. He put the phone to his ear and listened to the phone ring.

"What? He's not picking up? How come he's not picking up for his favorite customer?" The bouncers heckled the drunk guy.

Someone else popped his head out to tell the bouncers the bar was twenty-three people over the code limit, so nobody else could get in for a while. Lanky Guy sauntered away to call his friends and complain. Lanky Guy reminded me of my friend Jefe, so I sent him a message asking if he was hammered.

We decided we weren't getting anywhere at Porter Belly's, so we decided to head to SoHo earlier than we'd planned. Foolishly, we figured that everyone would have their sights set on the Green Briar and SoHo would be having a slightly busier than usual Friday. Unfortunately, we got to SoHo and found yet another line half a block long. Cold and shamed for leaving the local for the false gods of Brighton Center, we got in a cab and went back to the local place.

As the cab pulled up, I got a phone call from a Rhode Island number. It was Jefe and Christian.

"Where are you?" Christian asked.

"I'm at my local. Where are you?"

"Well, we tried to go to Fanuiel Hall, but it was nuts, so then we tried Boylston Street, and that's pretty nuts, so we're drinking at Uno's."

"You're drinking at Uno's? Get down here. It's an Irish bar, and it's not too busy. There's plenty of room and they're open till 2."

"Yeah, maybe. We'll give you a call later." They did not, so Uno's must have been rocking.

We grabbed two tables in the back (yes, we got tables in an Irish bar in the Boston area on St. Patrick's Day) and had more beer. As we sat and chatted, the hot bartender and the short bartender with hair ran outside, along with Seamus. The entire bar seemed to crane their necks outside.

"Guys, I think there's a fight happening outside."

I stood up and tried to catch a glimpse at what was happening, but I couldn't see anything. A couple minutes later, a couple cops showed up outside. The bouncer and Seamus talked to the cops. After the cops left, Seamus made the rounds, informing everyone as to what happened.

"This guy was just walking by, and bumped into this other guy. The other guy just sucker-punched him in the face. Then he tried to pull the 'oh, I'm a Boston firefighter, you can't do anything' trick. And I'm like, 'You're in Brookline now. It ain't gonna help you.'"

"Do you usually have a lot of trouble around here?"

"No, but this one arsehole came in one time. He was hammered, and he was spitting on the floor, you know, nasty chewing tobacco. I told him, 'Hey, you can't do that in here' and he then spat on my foot. So I said, 'Hey, come on, let's talk about this outside.' He came with me, and then I said, 'Now you're outside my bar, and you're not allowed back inside.' He tried to punch me, but he missed, and he kind of went on his way. Then I turned around to come back inside, and the entire bar was in the doorway, ready to come out if he'd tried to hit me again."

I stayed until the bar closed, but I wasn't hammered in the least. It was a great St. Patrick's Day-- not too intense, not a lot of drama, and no hangover the day after.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Last One for Today, Promise

This is pretty funny. This guy is live-blogging his St. Patrick's Day, which is awesome. It's best if you start early and watch his decent into dropping "fucking cunts" every other post.

(via Andraste)

Calling It

I'm saying this now. You will hear this headline trumpeted from the highest hills by those without sin:

2 Women Die After Taking Abortion Pill

Oh my God! This pill is dangerous! Women should not have access to this! It's clearly unsafe and should be pulled from the market immediately! It's a detriment, not an aid!

But wait! More than two women have died from this pill!
At least seven U.S. women have died after taking the pill, sold since 2000.

But read the actual article. Some choice tidbits:
In a cluster of four cases in California, the women died from an infection of the bloodstream, or sepsis. Those women did not follow FDA-approved instructions for the pill-triggered abortion, which requires swallowing three tablets of one drug, followed by two of another two days later.
Instead of swallowing the final two tablets, the second course of pills was inserted vaginally in the four women, a so-called "off-label" use of the drug that studies show works and is widely recommended by abortion clinics but does not have federal approval.

Dude. You do not put an oral drug in your cooter. It's called oral sex because someone else's mouth is down there. It is not a second mouth. Dumbasses. If the FDA says to keep it out of there, keep it out. Ew.

And, my favorite bit:
The FDA previously has said the abortion pill remains safe enough to stay on the market. The rate of sepsis is about 1 in 100,000 uses, comparable to infection risks with surgical abortions and childbirth.

A-hem. Note that. Surgical abortions (boo! horrible!) and childbirth (hooray unwanted baby!) have the same risk as this deadly pill. But that won't make it into the conservative pages. Only the scary headline will be used as an excuse to make abortions even harder for women to get.

In Honor of Italy

Here is some info on St. Joseph's Day. Because the guy whose wife came home one day and said she was pregnant and it's not his and he doesn't kill both her and the unborn son of the Lord should indeed have a day for himself. This year, we'll be celebrating on Monday.

All I personally know about this holiday is that my Mom would take us to Cranston looking for zeppoles. They are delicious. I think Borrelli's, which is closer to my Mom's house, also makes them. Eat up all your corned beef this weekend and get ready for Peroni and zeppoles on Monday. Because why have only green when you can have red, white and green?

Happy Amateur Night

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Little Ralphie Wiggum learns not to give into temptation and have the seventh Guinness

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all. Or, as it's been dubbed, Amateur Night. When a young girl pays a cover to sit in an Irish bar that's free and usually pretty chill every other night of the year as people who don't usually drink much drink themselves silly and wear 500 strands of green beads and look like assholes.

But, it's Boston; I have about .005% Irish in me, so I'm going for it. It won't be as annoying as last year since we're not going downtown, and I hope to not meet any guys without souls. In fact, I'd be fine not meeting any guys since I have had more than enough of their shenanigans lately. I've got to remember to take it easy since I've got to get up early and head to RI for a Family Summit.

So have a green cupcake and a Guinness for lunch to celebrate our good friends the Irish. I'll pass along your well-wishes to the fine men who run the place near my house.

Movin' On Up

So it begins. The move of 2006.

Last night my sketchy landlord came over to talk with us about ending the lease early. We're sick of the neighbors and the mice; he's sick of us complaining about the neighbors and the mice. When we told him he was wrong not to evict the neighbors after all the complaints we've made since they moved in, he came in with the priceless line "I am not the law. I am not a judge. I can't do anything because that's them." It almost made me want to sue him for violating the quiet enjoyment clause that is in the lease kit that he bought at Staples. But I must use my current apartment-hating rage to fuel my hunt for a new place.

The latest I can be out of the apartment is May 31st, but we're allowed to leave earlier, and I'd move next week if I can find enough boxes. Craigslist is looking a little sad right now, but one listing looks nice and Deb's brother has a friend who is a realtor, so hopefully we'll find something a little nicer than some of the shitholes listed now.

I want all this, for $1500/mo or less:

  • 2 bedroom, preferably with the bedrooms situated apart from each other
  • heat and hot water included
  • a fairly roomy kitchen with disposal/dishwasher and counters (we have none in the place we're in now)
  • a bathroom that isn't scary (this is scary) like my current bathroom
  • professionals-only building
  • close to Beacon Street, between St. Mary's and Cleveland Circle
  • not on Comm Ave! NO B LINE!!
  • not a street- or basement-level apartment
I am stoked. I do like looking for places because I get to imagine all the cool window treatments and how a couch will look and where I can put my books. I do not like dealing with realtors and paying deposits and packing my stuff. The longer I've been in a place, the more stuff I forget I own. I've been in my current place for three years, so I'm sure I've got endless piles of shit stowed away. But this gives me an excuse to get rid of my bad feng shui futon (it's ugly, and came from an ex-guy which is bad for chi) and clothes I haven't worn in years. It also gives me an excuse to blow some money at Ikea in a few months. Awesome.

So keep your eyes peeled for me, people. I'd be much obliged.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

State of the Day

Goes to New Hampshire, for defeating a bill that would require a pharmacist to notify a minor's parents before giving her the morning-after pill. Nor can an individual pharmacist refuse to fill the prescription on "moral grounds." I especially like the point that Iris Estabrook makes in arguing against the bill.

"Really, stop and think about how you are discriminating against women with this bill," she said.

Word. Way to go, New Hampshire.

Girly Issues Alert!

A couple days ago, I was feeling pretty good. I was back in the skinny pants, I was strutting around mostly unlike a drunk person in my heels, I felt pretty sassy. Even yesterday I felt mostly okay. I was going much faster on the elliptical machine at the gym (mad thanks to the 323 steps I climbed in Rome to the top of St. Peter's) and my arms looked jacked as I did the weight machine.

Then I see a picture of me from the party. Unlike the one I posted, it was not flattering. Granted, I was scrunched up with my knee nearly to my elbow, but it was horrific. There's a visible stomach paunch. And not in a cute way, but in an ugly, too-many-carbs kind of way.

How is it possible that I can feel so bipolar about my own body? I perceive it about three different ways every day, and it drives me crazy that the endless marketing ploys to shame women into buying products and bras and sausage-casings for their stomachs have permeated my psyche this deeply. Just yesterday I walked by the mirror in the locker room on my way to take a shower with just my sports bra and pants on, and I thought I looked pretty good in the gutular region. I've never had a slender stomach-- even as a skinny kid I had a little puffy belly. My Mom says I get it from my Dad, who was 5'11 and thin, but he had a little paunch in the gut, especially after a meal. And as my coworker reminded me, if we've learned anything from America's Next Top Model it's that a bad angle on a picture can make even the scrawny bitches on that show look like cows.

I have strong muscles. I'm a healthy weight. I work out four or five times a week. I watch what I eat fairly carefully. I'm aware that the only way I could completely lose the paunch would be to never eat a refined carbohydrate again in my life and set up a pup tent at the gym. I also know that I would not make those sacrifices. Life is too short to always pass up the beer or waffles for skim milk or dry wheat toast. I just wait for the day when I can be completely okay with the fact that I will have a roll when I scrunch up and that Madison Avenue can suck it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sweet Corned Jesus

As my Mom said, "What a bunch of hypocrites."

Yes, give up what is dear to you, so you can act like Jesus and understand his suffering. But give up corned beef? On St. Patrick's Day?! Quel horreur!

You can't allow gay people to adopt otherwise unwanted babies from Catholic charities? You can't overlook a lifestyle that your religion disapproves of so a child has a chance at life in a stable home? But you can grant dispensations so people can eat some salted meat and drink beer and look like assholes? It's a mortal sin to lust, but just skipping a day of your fasting is okay? Jesus didn't get to be a martyr by saying, "Boy, I do love corned beef... okay, I'll eat. But just for today."

If you believe something, believe in it. If you don't eat meat on Fridays or on Lent, don't eat it. Don't be a hypocrite and just pick and choose your suffering. Since I am a godless heathen, I'm going to scarf it down. The eternal hellfire being a small price to pay for beef and beer.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Madness of Hot George

Alright, you. Listen up. Don't make me say this again. Don't make me get rough with you. No, not like that. You dirty old man. Focus. I need your "legitimate artist" persona here for a moment, not your horndog, J-Lo co-star movie-making persona. Don't give me that look. No, stop. Stop.

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Let me tell you this. You can't break me with that sultry stare, the just-right grey hair... NO! I must say this.

I know Bono. And you, George Clooney, are no Bono.

Don't puppy-dog eye me, sir. You know what I mean. Rock stars have causes. Bono has more causes than the Library of Congress has back issues. And from him, it's fine. He's Irish. European people have a wider worldview than us lowly Americans. He and the boys play some rock and roll, the Edge plays a riff while Bono goes on with a touching informative PowerPoint display for ending war or changing human nature or whatever, then we get back to the rock. As an actor, you do not get this luxury. You can't just stop the movie and step aside and go on a five-minute diatribe about being a liberal. Know why? No Edge to keep the rock and roll in the background. It just gets annoying if not paired with the riff for "I Will Follow."

As an actor, you get to make your statements by the movies you choose to produce/direct/star in. You've done this compellingly with Good Night and Good Luck and from Syriana, which I hear isn't bad. You can even make statements during the press junket for these films since it's relevant to the conversation you've started. But now that you've won an Oscar, don't bother us for a while. We know you're hot. We know you're liberal (Bill O'Reilley probably wasn't asked to appear in Good Night and Good Luck). It would be like Heath Ledger writing endless opinion pieces for Out Magazine or the Gay Times. He's not-- he made his statement for accepting people by choosing the role of Ennis Del Mar, and that's it.

Yes, I'm being harsh. But the liberals aren't hurting for famous faces attached to their cause. Do something constructive. Run for office. Campaign for a specific candidate. Meet with the President about issues like Bono does, and be politely argumentative (like Bono is). Yes, by virtue of your smoldering hotness and status as "rich and famous" you can bend some ears. But an op-ed piece isn't going to get it done. Or else get the Edge to follow you around with a guitar while you talk.

There. Now I can succumb to your hotness. ::genuflects::

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Good and Bad

I would like to thank the fine people at Delta for holding off on pressing the "self-destruct" button until I was transported safely to and from Italy.

It's a slow day around these parts. Well, it's actually busy, which is why I haven't had time to scour the internet for articles to get my dander back up. I know Mitt's proposing an "itty bitty measure to allow Catholic adoption agencies to not recognize gay couples" that he's hoping to hoodwink us with, but come on. I don't need to tell you he's just trying to get the ball rolling by using an innocuous wedge. You are all smart people.

I am also happier than I should be that I'm back in the "skinny pants" and also moving around fairly adeptly on my narrow four-inch heels. I got my tax bill, which isn't as bad as I'd feared but not as low as I'd dreamed, so I can get the ball rolling on my apartment hunt. Unfortunately, I nearly dropped my laptop last night, but managed to land it on the bed before it hit the floor, but the screen bounced, and now I need to hold it shut with my tape dispenser. Oops.

Now it is time for company-sanctioned punch-and-pie for people who have gotten married/are planning to get married/who have had babies/are with child. They can suffer all the detriments of these behaviors (writing out lots of thank-you cards, stretch marks, lost sleep) and I shall reap the reward (cake).

Monday, March 13, 2006

Selling the Crazy Like Bagels

You know how I said that the worst thing about coming back to your life is dealing with your life again? And I proceeded to list stupid things like money issues and jet lag?

Good God, I had no idea what I was in for.

I have had at least three hugely emotional conversations since I landed in Boston. Not the existential-when-drunk fun kind of conversations, but the kind where wrongs are revealed, tears are shed, ass-kickery happens. In a way, I'm kind of glad it all happened since it showed me the true character of someone near and dear to me, and it feels like a weight has been lifted. My instincts were right and nagging me all along, and I wasn't listening. Now I know better.

Of course, the money and living issues are still flying around too. My landlord is showing the apartment today to potential tenants for a June 1 move-in. That's fine with me-- I hope that my tax situation will be good, and I'll be able to pay my deposits for the first time ever without borrowing money from my Mom. Unfortunately, getting my four roommates together to talk about whether we're all on board for that is difficult. One roommate came back from a trip last night, but I was in bed by the time my two roommates started talking, and I could not get up for the life of me. The past few days have drained me so much I'm thinking of checking out for a tropical weekend getaway.

But, there was an excellent party this weekend in which we pretended it was warm. Lookie how cute!

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We are such BFFs.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


The worst thing about going on vacation is returning to your life. Even as I was running myself into the ground in Rome, I didn't spend much time considering my place in the world. The first night in Rome I could not stop thinking about my money situation, my personal life, my apartment situation, but after a dose of Tylenol PM my brain stopped. The brain was off until I got on the plane to Boston, exhausted after 15 hours of being on a boat/plane, and remembered that my apartment is in the Allston Annex of Brookline, and my neighbors suck and blare music.

As I write this, stuffed up and miserable, the bass blares from downstairs, the chords from upstairs. Apparently, my landlord wants to meet with us to talk about ending the lease early. I welcome this with open arms. I will move tomorrow if I found a good place and a large number of boxes. I am sick of not having a quiet place to return to at night, especially when I am sick and exhausted. If I want noise and music, I'll go to Avalon. My apartment is where I go for quiet and to reflect upon my days.

First up in the Return to my Life, is to find out how much money I'll have left after I pay my taxes. Second, find an apartment in a quiet, professionals-only apartment in the neighborhood I'm in now and move there with Roommate Deb. Third, figure out which magazine to submit my once-rejected story to. Fourth, figure out my personal life. Fifth, beer.

Ciao, Italia. Hello, America!

I am back. I am sick, worn out, and stinky. I had a great time, saw a billion works of art, barely slept for a week, and drank a lot of wine. I'd planned to go to work today, but my suitcase was full of stinky clothes, and I can barely keep my eyes open, so I am crashed on the couch blowing my nose and watching TV.

Stories and images to come when I sort them out and sleep. Hope you're all well. Anything I need to know about that I missed? All I know is Crash won Best Picture at the Oscars and Dana Reeves died.