Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Belated Holiday Cheer

Despite my best intentions, I didn't make it to ye olde blog to write up my typical holiday post until after the big daddy of holiday ends. But I hope you'll accept my slightly buzzed and very full tidings of comfort and joy. I know I've been horrible at writing here despite my promises to keep at it, but I do appreciate the five people who still check back here to see what I'm up to.

It was a good Christmas. As always, I went overboard on buying for my Mom and brother, but they seem really happy with their gifts. We got my Mom a GPS, which is helpful since she has no sense of direction and is therefore scared of driving to new places. I got my brother a cool hoodie. In a selfish bent, I got a teeny tiny HD TV for my teeny tiny apartment. I guess I'll have to splurge on actual cable now.

But the best gift I may have gotten this year was a hand-made bowl from my grandfather. It's made from a maple that was just beginning to decay, so it has this amazing marbling on it. I probably won't use it that much, but I'll put it right next to the sewing basket my grandmother made out of a gourd ("In an effort to domesticate you," she explained when I opened that a few years ago). As I watch my family age and wonder what it will be like when they're not around, I love to get these things they made for me, that will outlast the expensive television and sweaters.

That's enough sentimentality for now. I'm off to plan how I'm going to spend the money gifts. (Pay off my credit cards? Whaaa?!)

A very Merry Christmas to you all. And, since I may not get back here before, a very happy new year.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nor'easters: Better Than Adderall?

Those of you who've been reading Boston Daily (all of you, I hope) know I had tickets to see A Celtic Christmas Sojourn today. Unfortunately, God has smote me and decided to send every manner of precipitation to New England and my Mom couldn't make it up to see the show. Instead of slogging through the mess to see it alone, I hunkered down at home and ate the $50 I spent on the tickets.

Here is what I accomplished today by not leaving my house:

Spent a leisurely morning with coffee and my bagel, though my Sunday Globe was conspicuously absent. Guess my paperman didn't want to deal with the snow either.

Watched Mitt Romney on Meet the Press.

Baked chocolate cherry cookies.

Baked peanut butter cup cookies.

Made risotto.

Did all those dishes.

Loaded Arthur's annual Christmas CD to my iPod.

Paid my bills.

Scrubbed my kitchen sink.


Washed the floors.

Cleaned the bathtub and bathroom sink.

Remembered my PIN for the library's website, so I can reserve books online again.

Reserved a bunch of books.

Watched the Pats.

Emailed and chatted with friends.

Packed my bag for tomorrow's epically long day.

Now I'm watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Then I'll probably take a bath, read, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. What an exciting life I lead.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Gorging Myself on Thanks

So it's officially the holiday season now, eh? A and I were cruising the aisles of Target last night, cooing like dorks over the cute wrapping paper and Christmas cards. With yesterday's snow, I'm giving myself a pass on the early holiday excitement. But I wanted to take some time to ruminate on what I'm thankful for this year.

  • My job. My job my job my job my job my job. My job. My awesome job.
  • The people I babysit for. Had they not taken me in, I would have moved home to Rhode Island after ditching the rat-infested basement studio.
  • My family.
  • My friends. Without them, I would have even less faith in humanity than I do now.
  • My apartment. I love it. I hope I don't have to leave until I'm able to pay for a place with an actual bedroom.
  • Pumpkin beer.
  • Hot coffee.
  • My Mom's health.
  • America's Next Top Model.
  • Gossip Girl. XOXO.
  • 24-hour Christmas Story marathons.
  • Pizza.
  • My iPod.
  • Zipcar. (I can use it again!)
  • My Mom's mashed potatoes.
  • Free laundry all weekend.
  • The fact that, as broke as I am, I don't need to worry about where my next meal will come from.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday full of food and safe travels.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Question and Answer

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You should have to ride the T with your fans, sir.

Question: What's worse than your rush-hour commute on the T?

Answer: Riding a Green Line train full of Dane Cook fans. If I'd remembered he was playing the Garden last night, I would have taken the bus home from Brookline. Between them and the two college-aged hippies drinking gin out of Poland Springs bottles, I've pretty much decided I'm not having children.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Everybody Get Random

I feel kind of awkward when I blog here now. I'm like that grandkid who never comes to visit—it just feels awkward when I show up. But I've been doing some really good stuff on the work blog, as have my internet-savvy cohorts. It's all the snark you've loved here, but with less first-person narrative.

Of course, I can't write about all the news items of note at Boston Daily, so I figured I'd give you a little taste of the things I've read that have made it onto my radar screen lately.

The one thing that had me muttering "Oh, GROSS" and scaring the interns this morning was this item. [via Jezebel]

Everyday thousands of people come to Disneyland to make life long memories. Apparently, some of those people want those memories to last forever, as in an eternity.

Scattering someone's ashes at Disneyland is strictly prohibited. But apparently that doesn't mean some people aren't trying. . . .

"Well it's been going on for awhile, it started sporadically with the Haunted Mansion and lately because of the spectral nature of the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' films, there's been this been this connection between people and that," Al Lutz said.

I've never been to Disneyland, but I've been to Disney World. And it is the last place I would want as my final resting place. To anyone over the age of 20, it is downright creepy. The entire experience is so carefully manufactured and happy happy happy that instead of having fun, I feel like I've walked in to the Stepford Wives on LSD. Also, for fuck's sake. Kids dip their hands in that water, lady. Find a Mickey-shaped shrub for Aunt Mert if you must leave her in the Magic Kingdom.

And John McCain started a small kerfuffle, laughing after one of his supporters asked "How do we beat the bitch?"

The camera is right up in his face, so he clearly thought he was going to get away without some flack for going along with the joke. A quick "that's disrespectful" would have done him a world of good. But McCain isn't looking to impress female voters, so he probably appealed to a lot of his supporters with his reaction.

Last week, I got a call from my grandmother while I was at work. My initial reaction was panic that someone had taken ill or died with her business-like tone. Turns out, she was calling to give me marching orders.

"Your aunt is coming home for Christmas," she said. "We're busy before Christmas, but after we want to come up to Boston for a day. Maybe your other aunt will come too. We can make it a girls night."

So I am in charge of finding a show or exhibit for my grandmother and aunts. While this sounds like a lame day, I am actually afraid it will lead to a criminal record. The women in my family like to party, and I fear after a few drinks they'll be accosting every single guy in the bar for me or my single aunt. Or my grandmother, for that matter. So if I end up in the papers, it's all their fault.

On a similar note, please remind me that drinking several girlie drinks leads only to headache, stomachache, and woe. Thank you.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Not So Zippy

A few weeks ago, I got extensions put in my hair for work. The salon that did it didn't have a location within range of the T, so I relied on my trusty Zipcar membership to get me there.

That's where it all went wrong.

The nearest Zipcars to my office are in the basement garage of a hotel. I hate getting cars out of this location-- you have to go into the hotel lobby and validate a parking ticket to get out, and the automated arm is hard to activate. The garage itself is hard to navigate as well. It's tight, and the Zipcars are located in a far corner that requires a lot of finagling to get in and out.

That day, I'd reserved a car that was parked next to a pole and a wall. It had been backed in by the last person who used it, and the space was so small I had to climb in the passenger door to get in. I got out of the garage, and hoped one of the other cars would have left its space when I got back.

No such luck. I got back to the garage and was faced with the narrow spot. My appointment at the salon had taken longer than I anticipated, and I was focused on getting back to work. As I pulled into the spot, I heard a crunch.

I'd hit the back passenger door against the pole.

I looked in the rearview mirror, and saw I was wedged against the pole. I tried to back the car away, but it continued to damage the car. Figuring I was already on the hook for what I'd done, I pulled the car into the spot with another squeal.

The back door was covered with yellow paint, and a four-inch gash was under some yellow flecks. Being the chronically honest person I am, I called Zipcar to tell them I'd messed up the car.

"Well, we'll put a hold on your account until we decide if we'll charge you the $500 deductible," the operator told me.

After a week, I got an untitled email (geez, guys way to make it easy for my spam filter to delete it) saying I'd be charged the deductible.

"Fuuuuck," I said.

It's going on my credit card, which is the last thing I needed. I can barely afford my apartment, and I've been very good about not charging things and putting what I can toward paying them off. Now I've got another huge chunk to rack up interest.

Another issue is that I want to get these extensions out of my hair, which I can't do until Zipcar reactivates my account, which may not even happen if they decide I'm too much of a risk. So if anybody's going my way, let me know. And if you want to organize a fundraiser for me, I'd be grateful.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I Can See the Destiny You Sold (Maybe)

Last month, I went to see my friend's band play a show at the Middle East. I'm one of those women who don't fancy themselves as easily attracted to musicians, but when I'm presented with a guy who I wouldn't normally pick out of a crowd on a stage playing an instrument I am totally smitten. One of those men was playing bass with my friend's band.

I'm of the age when I have to do the compulsory wedding band check. Much to my chagrin, I saw what was clearly a wedding band glinting on the bassist's left hand. Dammit, I thought to myself, and tried to assure myself that one of these days I'm going to meet a guy I'm attracted to who isn't married or in a relationship. I enjoyed the rest of the set, and went to talk to my friend when he was done clearing the stage.

The bassist was hanging around, so we were introduced. We chatted for a while, drank some PBR, and enjoyed the next band. I didn't get the married vibe from the boy, but that band kept catching my eye. He didn't mention a "we" or a "my girlfriend/my wife," so I didn't know what to think. I left the bar, figuring I'd run into him again.

Which I did earlier this week at another show. He wasn't playing bass for the band, but he was in the audience. We started talking again, and I noticed something strange.

The wedding band had moved to his right hand. He had a nomadic wedding band.

Gentlemen, it makes it difficult on us single ladies if you wear rings that travel between the "don't flirt with this guy lest his wife shiv you" and the "I just like silver bands" fingers. Pick a hand and go with it. I gave him the benefit of the doubt-- maybe he didn't want bookish writers hitting on him at gigs, so he wears the band to weed them out. But if he were single, wouldn't he want to meet cute girls at shows? My mind reeled.

I asked questions that could have led him to say that he had a girlfriend, but he didn't mention a significant other with a propensity for knives, so I dropped my number. He didn't seem scandalized by the move, but he hasn't called me either. Hey, at least I have a new story for the dating archives.

(But cute bassist, I'm around this weekend. Call me!)

Friday, October 12, 2007


I feel like I do people a service with my job. I write about fund raisers, keep tabs on local politicians, and provide general amusement.

Yeah, I was wrong. A friend of mine from high school is in Uganda, running a school for teenage mothers who were abducted and raped by Ugandan rebels. Read up on what she's been doing in the Providence Journal. Good for you, Sonya.

Friday, October 05, 2007

And Here It Is...

Your moment of Zen. Taken yesterday at the Sullivan Square busway (aka, the First Circle of Hell).

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Where's the Cold?

Long-time readers of this blog know I like it warm. I enjoy a day at the beach, sunning my pasty flesh to various shades of red that I fully expect to regret in my later years when I walk around like Nelly because I've had cancer spots frozen off my face. But I also enjoy seasons. After all, without cold, we cannot know warmth.

So any time the weather wants to cool down, I'm ready for it.

Come on, Ma Nature. It was cute a couple of weeks ago when I went apple picking and didn't need to wear a coat. It's kind of nice to have it warm because I can't afford a whole new fall wardrobe, so being able to wear my t-shirts for a while longer is nice. But it's dark before 8 p.m. and leaves are scuttling across the ground while I'm padding around in my flip-flops.

October baseball is all about the chill in the air, dramatic photographs of an athlete's breath hovering. The Sox aren't even wearing their red turtlenecks for the most part. One does not think of earth-shattering end-of-the-world baseball when it's sweltering hot out.

And my flannel sheets are on my bed. I want to pull the covers over me without needing to chug water when I wake up because I sweat so much.

Halloween should be cold for full effect.

Leaf peepers should be able to enjoy a hot cider after peeping all day.

Fall in New England is cold, Nature. So hop to it. But if you could warm it back up, I'd appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Sick kids? Who cares?


"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people," Reid said in a statement. "By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America."

Due to your aversion to pinko commie state-run healthcare, there will be a bunch of sick kids running around who can't afford the health insurance your buddies priced out of the reach of their parents.

Way to go, dipshit.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Trouble With Talk Like a Pirate Day

I like pirates. I do not like pirates as much as I like stealthy ninjas, but pirates use the word "plunder" liberally. I enjoy talking about booty. (Booty!) I used to enjoy today's holiday, Talk Like a Pirate Day, the celebration of the pirate vocabulary and cadence.

But now? I think it's just too commercial.

Talk Like a Pirate Day got its start in 1995, way before blogs blew every annoying trend out of proportion and we relied on Dave Barry to operate in that capacity. In 2002, Barry wrote about the Cap'n Slappy an' Ol' Chumbucket and their holiday. It caught on, and it was fun to talk about my friends' booty. More than I already did.

But just like Christmas, things got out of hand. Now the creators of TLaPD are cashing in on their success. They've released books. You can download ringtones. At some point today, your mom has called you to ask how you "Arrrr," then cracked up.

Next thing you know, there will be a touching cartoon special about how the lessons of Talk Like a Pirate Day should be honored all year long. We should always pronounce our Rs, which is an especially important lesson for Boston. We should always eat citrus to avoid being called scurvy dogs. It's all too much.

I just want to be left alone to honor Talk Like a Pirate Day without ringtones, books, or costumes. It's what my pirate forefathers would want.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bad Blogger

Oh hello, readers. How are you? I've been remiss in writing here, I know. But I spend most of my days blogging on Boston Daily, so if you're looking for me, that's where I am. I'd write here more, but I don't have much else going on. I get up, write stuff, then go home. Right now I've got some time, so I figured I'd drop in and give you some random thoughts.

Update: Jesus Sing-A-Long
Knock on wood, all's been quite on the neighbor front. A friend of mine pointed out to me this weekend that it was Rosh Hashanah last week, and maybe they were celebrating. But I think there was a Jesus or two in the songs, so it's probably not a Jewish thing. Whatever, at least it's quiet now.

In other frustrating apartment news, I motivated myself to go to the laundromat before the approximately eight hours of The Biggest Loser comes on, but when I attempted to leave my building, I saw that the pull handle on the lock was stuck in the out position. I tried to wiggle it, but it didn't move. I pulled on the door, and found I was locked in my building. Of course, the on-call maintenance guy said he can't fix the lock until tomorrow. Instead of risking being locked out, I'm just going to stink until I get to a laundromat next weekend.

Britney Spears
Okay, her performance at the VMAs was awful. But I would kill a puppy to be "fat" like Britney Spears is "fat." If I ever have a daughter, she's not going to see a TV or read a newspaper until she's in college.

Britney Spears is not fucking fat. Not to get all weepy about it.

I feel like I'm always up in arms about this. A casino is not a cure-all. While Massachusetts can probably handle mega-casinos better than the already densely populated Ocean State, I personally still don't like them.

Lincoln Chafee
He's not a Republican anymore!

Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee said he has left the Republican Party because the national GOP has drifted too far from him on critical issues, including the war in Iraq, the economy and the environment.

"It's not my party anymore," Chafee, who represented Rhode Island from 1999 until 2007, told The Providence Journal in an article published Saturday.


This is terrifying
There really are two Americas, folks. Here is a book on why women should wait to have sex until they're married. (Guess what? It involves "Satan's Big Fat Sex Lie." And the horrifying idea that one's parents should be brought into one's sex life.) Where is the edition that encourages men to wait?

Red Sox

That is all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Come On World Hear the Song That They're Singing

I was a little tired when I got home tonight and felt like nesting. I baked some lovely pumpkin bread and called my brother to see how he likes his new job. As I spoke to the family, I heard a loud booming bass sound coming through the walls.

On Labor Day weekend, a couple move into the previously vacant apartment next door to me, and when I saw them moving in I heard one person playing a banjo through their open front door. I slammed my door to let them know I didn't enjoy loud music at all hours, and so far they've only had small jam sessions. This new noise was loud, with a woman singing a kind of folk song.

I got up to check on my bread, and heard the music more clearly through the kitchen, and thought I was hearing a Negro spiritual or something. There was a loud guitar and what sounded like a group of people singing. I figured they had their stereo up loud and decided to let it ride until 9.

At 9:15, I'd eaten a considerable amount of pumpkin bread and the music was still clearly audible through my walls. Sick of being passive-aggressive, I went next door and pounded on the neighbor's door.

As I stood waiting for someone to answer my loud and impatient knock, I heard more clearly what was happening. At least four people were in the neighbor's apartment singing a song about Jesus. Loudly. I waited for a while, but I was chilling in my hallways in my gross pajamas and decided to go back inside since the Lord apparently does not care about pissed off neighbors banging on the door.

Of course, once I sat back down to watch History Detectives somebody opened the door. After a minute, I heard doors opening and closing and the music stopped. I don't know if another neighbor complained or if some of the band had to go home. Someone is still singing, but I think once I turn on my fan for some white noise I can ignore them. But while Jesus may love them, I am going to be mightily angry if this keeps up. I'm going to go look for apartments in a fallout shelter now.

EDIT: Just as I pressed publish, someone broke out a harmonica. Oh hell no.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Oh Jesus Christ

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For fuck's sake.

Seriously? Are we still making jokes about Hillary Clinton being a man-hating bitch? Really?

The Hillary Nutcracker, which sells for $19.95, is quickly becoming the most Hill-arious joke of the campaign trail.

The 8-inch plastic figure captures Sen. Clinton in all her walnut-crunching glory, with steel-lined legs (“stainlesssteel thighs!”) that can pulverize even the hardest shells.

Well, okay then. I'm going to go listen to my Sublime albums and put on my Doc Martens, since it's apparently still the '90s. Maybe I'm overreacting, but until somebody makes a Mitt Romney package of condoms for multiple wives or a John McCain paddle for little jerks I'm going to be kind of sore about this.

[via the Daily Intelligencer]

Men Behaving Badly

Living on a bus line isn't easy. For the past few weeks, I'd gotten in the routine of taking a bus that brings me to the Orange Line and into work, but with the new schedules the T started running this week, I've been taking a bus that brings me the Green Line at Lechmere. While the ride is a little slower, I always get a seat and can space out for a while.

This morning found me getting to work insanely early through some flux of the time-space continuum, so my Green Line train was unusually empty. At Park Street, a man got on the train and sat next to me. He then unfurled his Metro onto my lap, and leaned forward to read.

My purse was on my lap, but it was still annoying to have this guy gazing in the direction of my crotch. I started wiggling my leg to give him the hint that he was in my personal space. No dice. I rolled my eyes and gave a death stare so fierce the male nurse across from me who seemed quite nice was afraid. Nothing.

Instead of just waiting the guy out or talking to him (I was pre-coffee and therefore not verbal at this point) I too leaned forward and started reading his Metro over his shoulder. I got a few paragraphs into a piece about the Patriots before he caught the hint and maneuvered the paper away from me. But by the time I got off the train, the paper had wiggled back onto my thigh.

You know what's nice about a newspaper? You can fold it in half to make it easier to read. It doesn't have to be spread wide open and take up three seats. So keep your papers off my freakin' lap, people, or else I'll whack you with my bag as I get off the train.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Pigeon Hobo

My little brother went to Baltimore a month ago with his friends on vacation, and was startled to watch one of Baltimore's hobos picking pigeons up off the street and stuffing them in a bag. Lucky for us, he had a video camera with him and taped the act as it happened. Behold, Pigeon Hobo.


Friday, August 31, 2007

The Confusing Business of Life

I'm never quite sure if I make a good feminist or not. I rail against pro-lifers, I make sure I vote in every election, and I believe that women should be equal to men. Ellen Goodman's editorial in the Globe has me questioning the voracity of my feminism on a Friday before a long weekend because I liked a movie I saw this summer. This couldn't have waited until Tuesday?

Goodman's editorial doesn't seem to have a big point, but I think she's perturbed by the reinforcement of gender stereotypes at the movies and in bookstores this summer.

The remarkable thing is that the best-selling book [The Dangerous Book for Boys] and the number-one movie [Knocked Up and/or Superbad] are out there offering the most opposite and fanciful revised images of boyness since the culture became obsessed with the "boy crisis," the "boy trouble," and assorted imaginary "wars against boys."

I didn't have an entirely positive reaction to The Dangerous Book for Boys, either. A friend emailed me after seeing the book on the Today show, recommending I buy it for a boy I babysit. After reading the synopsis, I got a little angry. Why shouldn't the boy's sisters learn how to tie knots or make paper airplanes? If the authors had titled the book The Dangerous Book for Kids, I probably would have bought it, but the entire book implies that these hobbies are for boys exclusively. The idea that girls shouldn't like Latin or want to know about important historical battles put me off enough where I bought the boy a different gift.

But my take on Judd Apatow's movies is the opposite of Goodman's. I haven't seen Superbad yet, but feminist blogs like Jezebel loved the movie. I did see Knocked Up, and I liked it. Was the movie vulgar? Of course it was. Yet underneath the veneer of vulgarity there is emotion that saves the movie from being There's Something About Mary. Seth Rogen's character tries (albeit in a misguided way) to impress Katherine Heigl's young professional character. Rogen's character also promises to be a part of the child's life, and changes from a stoner to a corporate sellout to provide for the baby. Aww.

The moral messiness of Apatow's male characters is what I like about his movies. Women's comedies have hapless women like Bridget Jones who spend the majority of their waking hours jumping through hoops to attract and keep a man. In their own foolish way, Apatow's geeky high schoolers and stoner layabouts are going through the same thing, but they use booze for underage girls instead of makeup and heels to do it.

I may not agree with Goodman on frat boy comedies, but she and I can team up to torch a crate of The Great Big Glorious Book for Girls when that shipment comes in. Stage faints and "fairy flower parties"? Fuck that. If you need me, I'll be teaching little girls how to hog-tie their younger siblings.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Adventures in Klutziness

I am not a very athletic person. Yes, I work out regularly, but I do that to keep my ass from growing to the size where it will knock over the Pru. But when it comes to activities that require coordination or grace, I am not very good.

I thought I could handle some boogie boarding at the beach on Sunday. Annette and Amy P. came down to the fine state of Rhode Island to partake in the glory that is Narragansett Town Beach. After hearing that the surf would be two to four feet high, I grabbed the boogie boards from my Mom's basement. We got to the beach and watched as the surf pounded the shore.

"Awesome," Annette said, shedding her clothes to head for the water.

Amy and I took the boards out first. Annette stood by and coached Amy in how to use the boards as I tried to get the hang of mine again. The last time I used the boards was at least three years ago when I brought the kids down for a beach day, and I'd gotten rusty. When I finally caught a wave, I rode it but tipped my nose down, shooting a heavy spray of salt water into my sinuses. Undeterred, I took the board back out into the growing surf.

A wave came at me that I thought I could handle, but I noticed I'd kind of timed it wrong. Instead of just bobbing over the crest of the wave, I paddled for it. I caught the wave and soared toward the beach. On my high-speed journey to land, I rolled or tipped the board and threw myself into the crashing foam.

I couldn't find which direction was up for a few seconds, until-- SMACK. My right cheekbone hit the sandy bottom of the ocean. I held my breath until I could get my feet below me again and stood up in the relatively shallow water.

Amy and Annette laughed at me until they saw how freaked out I was. "Am I okay? Did I lose any teeth?" I asked them. (In my defense, I'm without health insurance right now, so I was making sure I wasn't looking at a huge dental bill.)

"No, you've got all your teeth," Annette said. "And a fat lip."

"And you're probably going to have a shiner on your face too."

Shaken, I brought my board back to our towels and then slowly waded back into the crashing surf. Between waves I stuck my head into the cool water to keep the swelling down. As you can see, it didn't help too much.
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I sat around, thinking of excuses for the huge shiner I figured would bloom on my face at any moment.

"I just wouldn't listen," I suggested.

"Fucking sharks, man," Annette added.

"There's the classic 'what do you mean what's wrong with my face?' line," Amy P. said.

Luckily, I haven't needed to formulate any excuses. My face looked much better on Sunday night.
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Beach hair and a semi-shiner. Why am I single?

Nobody's noticed my injury unless I've pointed it out to them, which negates all the cool excuses my friends and I developed. So I am pointing it out here to warn you that if you are thrown from any board to put your arms over your head to protect your face. That way, you won't have to explain how you got that bruise on your face and spraying liquid all over your bathroom because you lip is still kind of swollen.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Anyone Want a Burger?

At work today we had some hamburgers and beer for lunch. After the employees feasted on the delicious meaty and/or veggie burgers, we found ourselves with eleven leftover burgers.

"What do we do with these burgers?" asked one coworker.

"Maybe bring them to the post office?" Someone else replied.

"It would be nice if the Pine Street in were near here." Someone added.

Determined to unload the burgers on hungry people who could appreciate them and not unload them into a garbage can, my coworker Feifer and I decided to leave the office and try to peddle nine (a couple people took burgers on our way out) burgers on the public at large.

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"Free burgers!"

As we stepped out of the office, a crowd of four people stopped as we announced our free burgers. They were initially suspicious of a couple of giggly people with an unmarked sack of hamburgers, but hunger won out.

"I haven't eaten breakfast yet," one of the women told us as she grabbed a burger.

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We walked down Mass Ave., calling for people to liberate our burgers. One tourist came out of one of the Christian Science Center buildings and told us in broken English that she was on her way to buy a burger anyway, and thanked us. A man in a Yankees hat turned us down, but smiled and said, "You guys are nice."

After a while, we were down to one burger. "This is going to be hard," Feifer said, "because if you come up to me with a collection of something I like and offer it to me, I'll probably accept it. But if you said 'Do you want this particular item?', I probably wouldn't take it."

It turned out he was right, and despite our loud calls to the tourists around us, we returned to our office with one lonely hamburger in a big plastic bag. Luckily, one of our coworkers took it and all the hamburgers found a loving stomach today.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Called It!

Ten months ago to the day, I wrote this post. In it, I placed this image of Mitt Romney:
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With the following prediction:

He's totally using this image in his presidential campaign.

Lo and behold:
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Bundled up against the chill winds of liberal Massachusetts, Mitt stood tall.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Holla Back!

So I'm apparently late to the party on this clip, but it's still fucking hilarious. Thanks to TravelGirl for the link.

Be careful how you roll on the MV this weekend, peeps. Because there's nothing harder than a New England gangsta.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Don't Care How, I Want it Now

Hey Jessica Simpson, we know you aren't the smartest woman on the planet, what with all the dumping Nick Lachey for that guy from Jackass and the chicken-or-tuna debate you had with yourself, but this is way beyond your usual level of stupid:

JESSICA SIMPSON plans to adopt a child from a Mexican orphanage she has been visiting since she was a teenager. . . .

The 27-year-old tells Self magazine, "My father was a minister, so growing up we'd go on a missionary trip every summer. The first time I went to that orphanage I was 16. I remember holding this baby who was found in a dumpster. I wanted to adopt him right then and there. I was like, 'Dad can I have him for my birthday, please?'"

Are you kidding with that shit? A human child is not a goddamn pony, Jessica. An orphanage is not a pound where you can just grab a kitten and make your parents take care of it.

Between Jessica Simpson's grab-and-go method of adoption and Madonna's borderline baby thefts, it's a wonder any foreign countries let Americans adopt their children anymore. Which is a shame since there are many parents who give adoption a great deal of thought into adopting kids from abroad.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


If you've seen the latest issue of Boston magazine (which you all did, right?!), you may have wondered why I was so intermittently posting to this blog since I wrote all of 500 words in the August issue. At last, you can see why.

As you can see on the sidebar (points to the right) or at Universal Hub, there's a new link to a site called Boston Daily. Boston just relaunched its website yesterday, and the blog to go with it, which will be my primary writing territory. Cool, huh?

So if you need me, I'll be over there for the most part (though I'll still be posting here). Add BD to your blogroll, if you'd be so kind. It will help you live a better life. Or, at least you'll get reliably updated content there.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's Monday. Do You Know Where Your Civil Liberties Are?

No, you don't, because over the weekend they were further eroded by a new law that expands the domestic wiretapping program. All the fun of the old wiretapping with none of the pesky judicial interference or justifiable reasons!

First, the law requires telecommunications companies to make their facilities available for government wiretaps, and it grants them immunity from lawsuits for complying. Under the old program, such companies participated only voluntarily -- and some were sued for allegedly violating their customers' privacy.
Second, Bush has said his original surveillance program was restricted to calls and e-mails involving a suspected terrorist, but the new law has no such limit.

Okay, so that sounds bad. Surely there is someone responsible in charge of deciding who can be wiretapped?
As a check against abuse, the law requires Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, to design procedures for the program and to submit them for review by a secret national security court that normally approves warrant applications for intelligence-related wiretapping on US soil.

Well, Alberto Gonzales is such a bastion of justice and truth that this plan can't possibly be abused. Even though there's a provision that allows dirt found about American citizens to be kept if it could be evidence of a crime.

If you need me, I'll be deleting old incriminating emails and learning how to use a carrier pigeon to keep my messages private.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

We're Doing a Special for Dateline NBC. . .

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Now, if we could talk about me for a minute. . .

My love for Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC (that's the name on his birth certificate) grows exponentially with every episode in which he appears. Last night, CHfDNBC took the night off from nabbing pedophiles and identity thieves to nab i-Jackers, the hip name for people who steal iPods.

Through some ingenious plan, NBC laid boxed iPods in various areas around the country with a bogus CD that sent personal information to Dateline's producers, who then corralled the thieves/unsuspecting recipients of the iPods into describing why they would do such a thing. Most of the iPods were stolen by teenagers (hey, pedophiles, there's your new in!) who were immediately repentant when confronted with Hansen's brand of scolding disbelief.

The only reason I can fathom for Hansen not getting the shit kicked out of him by some angry pedophile or iPod theif is that brand of fatherly anger. His voice conveys, "I am both disgusted by you and disappointed in you" which is a pretty paralyzing combination. I am not a pedophile nor an identity thief nor an iPod stealer, and I feel bad about everything I've ever done wrong in my life when Hansen gets going. His poor kids.

Now they need a special where a pedophile carrying a stolen iPod and a fistful of stolen credit cards with thousands of dollars if receipts shows up. That is what they in the business call PAYDIRT.

For those of you who aren't in the know, here is infamous Naked Guy. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


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Aw crap. A moral quandary.

Despite my refreshingly unpretentious exterior, I do engage in some pretentious behavior. While I don't buy trendy bags that announce my green proclivities, I don't shop at Wal-Mart on various principles ranging from their sexual discrimination to their destruction of many local stores I once loved. I still shop at Target despite the fact that they sometimes don't fill birth control prescriptions because they do support some causes I think are good.

However, news of Rupert Murdoch's purchase of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal (holy fucking shit, goodbye journalism!) has me thinking. Somehow, it didn't register with me that MySpace-- my favorite workplace downtime activity and means of stalking people I went to high school with to see if they got fat-- is owned by News Corp until now.

Since I was disturbed by this knowledge, I talked to my socially conscious indie-band friend Chris about his thoughts on the subject. What follows is our comment conversation via Rupert Murdoch's pedophile paradise:

Me: Chris, I have a question. MySpace is owned by News Corp. Why do we use this? Is it like watching the Simpsons, and we have to take the good with the bad?

Chris: I've been thinking that everyone should switch to Facebook. Fuck Rupert Murdoch. I hope MySpace tanks and he has to sell five yachts to cover his debt.

Me: Sigh. But I have just built up my empire of minions on this site and have resisted facebook for so long. I guess revolution is always inconvenient.

Chris: Baby steps, Derjue; baby steps.

1.) Create Facebook profile
2.) Tell others about said profile
3.) When feasible, delete MySpace account

I think I'm going to do that myself, actually. Seriously, the only thing better about MySpace anymore is the fact that everyone uses it. But the more people that try Facebook, the more popular it'll be.

Now I just have to get the thirty- and forty-something folks I convinced to join MySpace over to Facebook. The revolution will not be bulletined, friends.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


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Hey kids. I'm still recuperating from my birthday festivities, but if you're jonesing for a fix, pick up the latest issue of Boston magazine. It's the Best of Boston issue, and I've got a couple non-Best items in the front of the issue. And my name's on the masthead!

. . . Nope. Still not old.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Thing one: I am so very tired.

Thing two: What did Buddy Cianci do first after getting out of home confinement early on Friday? Went to Federal Hill for a three hour lunch. Told you.

Thing three: I did not see Buddy Cianci at Waterfire, though he was present. My friends and I decided that he should have been put on a gondola and floated through Waterplace Park like the local hero he is. And I was wrong-- he rocked a bald head on Saturday.

Thing four: Thanks to The Big Man Upstairs for a great beach day on Saturday and dry weather for the Police show tonight.

Thing five: The Police were awesome. I have no voice left and I thought I was going to pass out from heatstroke. I suffer for rock.

Thing six: However awesome the Police are, I wish they'd stop jumping around on stage like they did in the '80s. It's awkward and something they're not anymore. It's like when my Mom says "bling."

Thing seven: Bedtime now.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rocky Point Awesomeness

Check this out. Thank God for MySpace, where I found this awesome piece of cinema.

You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park.

Trailer here.

All you Rhode Islanders know what I'm talking about. Fuck. Yeah.

No New Tale to Tell, Twenty-Six Years on the Way to Hell

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Aww, you shouldn't have!

Well, tomorrow's my birthday. I cling to my mid-twenties with bleeding fingernails, to be cruelly shoved into the abyss of my late-twenties next year. Instead of trying to round up all my friends into a bar they wouldn't be in if I didn't make them, drinking too much, seeing my ex on the train, then vomiting profusely upon arriving home (last year's celebrations), this year I'm going to the fine state of Rhode Island to celebrate with A. (Call me, Buddy! Get on yer best toupee! Drinks are on us!)

When I go through a hard time, I often think that maybe a future me is encouraging myself to get through it because shit gets better eventually. While I do get really down about life sometimes, I'd say I'm fairly optimistic. At this time last year I'd just been dumped, I was beginning to realize I lived in a shithole, I was totally broke in a scary way, and I knew I needed a new job. One year later I'm... well, still single but pretty okay with that, I live in an apartment that's great, I'm broke in a less scary way, and I have the job I thought it would take me years of freelancing to get. Last night my girls and I went to dinner, and I realized my friend Colleen was celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary this weekend.

"Holy shit," A said, "where did that year go?"

"Well," I replied, "I was miserable for about six months of it, so I guess that's where it went for me."

But I've got no complaints now. It all worked out for the best. So if you need me, I'll be drinking 'Gansett IN 'Gansett and rocking out to the Police to celebrate my good fortune.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Today the Way I Play the Game Has Got to Change

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"I'm comin' out, bitches!"

Man, it doesn't get much better. It's going to be muggy and hot for my birthday weekend, so I'm hitting the beach on Saturday. While I'm there, I'm going to be on the lookout for one Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, who is snipping off his ankle bracelet at 12:01 Saturday morning and busting out of his nephew's house.

The ProJo is positively glowing with the news that Cianci will return to his daily life, with a countdown clock on its homepage and a forum for Rhode Islanders to post images and reports of Cianci's whereabouts. They may want to dial it down a little bit. They have death-sniffing cats to report on, after all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Just Back Up Off Me

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Oh for Christ's sake.
(Photo blatantly from Pink is the New Blog)

I care about what Lindsay Lohan is doing. There, I said it. I don't buy the magazines, but I read the gossip sites. I will watch Access Hollywood in a post-NBC Nightly News stupor from the hotness that is Brian Williams. While I hate Paris Hilton with a white-hot passion and wish her only the worst, I have some sympathy for Lohan in my cold dark soul.

Of the fuckups that currently populate the gossip columns, Lohan is the most talented. She was great in Mean Girls. My love for her version of The Parent Trap has been stated for the record in the archives of this site somewhere. I liked her in A Prairie Home Companion. When I was working out at the gym and her video for "Rumors" came on, I'd watch it. With the sound on. She was normal-sized redhead in a sea of blond famine victims, and I admired her for that.

A friend of mine argues that Lindsay is the greater train wreck of the celebrities that are in legal woes right now since Paris at least attempts to exert control over her image. I guess I am forgiving of Lindsay because she earned what she has. Her family wasn't rich, and it's very fucked up with a mother who wants to be a friend to her kids and a father who's had his own legal and personal problems. I can kind of see why Lindsay is careening out of control, while Paris doesn't have a problem in the world beside her own stupidity.

Not that driving around drunk and irate while carrying blow is an excusable thing. I just want to see Lindsay get some help and make some good movies again. She could skip making another album, though.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wheeeeeere's Charlie?

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This morning, the aggressive Boston Now hawker doled out his papers. I didn't take one (I generally don't read until after coffee) but noticed the headline announcing the paper's quest to find plastic Charlie Cards. As you may guess, it didn't go very well.

A random survey of train stations found the cards, which work like a debit card, were often unavailable. It was worse for bus riders who depend on local stores to provide cards and add fare. In bus-reliant Brighton, Chelsea and Dorchester, six of 18 CharlieCard stores listed on mbta.com were either out of cards, had broken add-fare machines, or staff not trained to use the machines.

Considering that the MBTA is slow to make any changes at all, imagine my surprise when I got to the Lechmere busway this evening to find a T employee fluttering around the outbound busses asking if any passengers needed a Charlie Card, holding the passes fanned out like a hand of cards. I immediately started laughing and tried to take a picture, but I think he was on to me.

Way to go MBTA. That was the fastest I've seen you since you move since the out-of-service 87 bus blew by me last week.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Diamonds and Pearls

Upon reviewing my most recent posts, I realize they've mostly been about things I don't care about. I don't care about the iPhone, I don't care about Harry Potter. But I do care about some things.

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Rock me!

In one week, I will be another year older and drinking before the Police show at Fenway. And I am PSYCHED. I can't wait to hear my favorite songs live on a warm night in late July (I hope it's warm, anyway) in one of my favorite places. I can only hope that Sting is feeling lonely in Boston and calls me up.

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Gett off.

Last night was the Prince sing-along at the Coolidge Corner theater. I had a great time at the Ladies of the '80s sing-along last month, so I expected a repeat performance last night. Alas, it was not to be. While a crowd of Prince fans can't be expected to be sedate, the crowd last night was highly annoying. One girl, who was about sixteen, wore a dress that was shorter than most of my shirts. She had great legs, but it was way too short, and her white girl dreads and skinny hipster boyfriend made her highly punchable to Amy P. and I. There was also a douchebag who didn't understand the concept that he was in front of the screen for half of the theater, despite people booing him and one girl physically moving him to the side of the screen. During a lull before "Purple Rain" when he'd wandered back I finally yelled at the guy from the back of the theater.

"Get out of the goddamn way!" I yelled at his shaggy-haired shadow.

Most of the theater let out a whoop of agreement. The people on the stage booed back.

"What, do you want to be forty for the rest of your life?" He asked me. I don't know what this means. I can only hope that the crowd for Jiggy Crunk: the Pop Rap sing-along will be better.

So I still care deeply about music from the '80s.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Amy And The Order of Not Giving a Crap

There are moments in life where one feels truly alone. Walking down Revere Beach in February. Arriving at a Dunkin Donuts that mysteriously has no line. Getting one of the solo seats on the old Green Line cars. But I feel the essential loneliness of human existence most when a new Harry Potter book or movie comes out.

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You can try your abracadabra shtick on me, Potter, but it won't work.

This month has been hard for me. The Order of the Phoenix, the latest movie from the series, has made a gazillion dollars since its release last week. The last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released at 12:01 tomorrow, with millions of release parties tonight. Yet I feel nothing.

It's not that I haven't tried the Harry Potter Kool-Aid. In college, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in about three days and loved it. I saw the movie and I own the DVD. But after I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets I was underwhelmed. It seemed like the same formula. I just didn't care enough to pick up the third book or see the second movie. Thus began my cultural isolation.

My friends talk to me like I've suffered some traumatic accident. "I'm so excited for the midnight release party. You're coming, right . . . Oh yeah. I forgot you don't like the Harry Potter books." It's as if I'd just lost a leg and they'd asked me to go dancing before they remembered I can't.

Some friends try to pressure me back into the fold. If I'd just try the third book, I'd get back into it. The books get darker. The kids get older and deal with hormones. Whatever. If you need me, I'll be at the bar like on any other Friday.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Or, I'm still too lazy to collect my thoughts for a whole post.

Dear Yasmin,

Thanks for keeping me from having any baby Amys before I am ready. You keep my skin clear, my periods relatively light, and my cramps from flooring me. However, I have gotten the notice that I skipped one too many periods in the past few months. Tomorrow I'll start the white pills. So if you could stop with the pre-cramp cramps, spotting, breast tenderness, and homicidal hormone rages, I'd love it.


Dear MBTA,
It should not take me an hour and twenty goddamn minutes to go from Somerville to Addis in the South End. Also, if a green line train is at Park Steet and there's a disabled car at Boylston, could you maybe make an announcement before the train pulls twenty feet into the tunnel and stops for fifteen minutes? I could have walked faster and would have relished the opportunity to know ahead of time.


Dear Visa,

Any time you want to forgive my debts, I'd be happy.


Dear God,
I know I've had a lot of good fortune in the past few months, and for that I'm very grateful. However, if I could ask just one more favor of you. I'd really like if you could have the weather be nice next weekend. It's my birthday, and I want to sit on the beach and fry myself. I am also seeing the Police and would prefer not to get soaked while doing so. Sting won't do me if I look like a wet cat.
Oh, and please don't let me get in any accidents or develop any illnesses until I get my health insurance.


Dear Body,

You've been working out consistently for a month now. Could you maybe do me a favor and lose five pounds? For fuck's sake.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Brain Dump

Yes, I'm an asshole. I haven't written anything in nearly a week. I promise I haven't run away with a serial killer (yet) and have just been very busy doing other writerly things. I don't have a whole post in mind, so I'm going to give you the perennial favorite of lazy bloggers, a brain dump. My apologies.

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I'm surprised too.

Last night, I watched Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. While I feared that watching this may have been the end of my ever knocking anyone for poor taste again ever, it was actually not bad. I love watching bloggers make fun of Beckham's paparazzi photographs because she always looks miserable, so I expected her to be a complete pill.

Much to my surprise, Beckham showed a lot of spark for a woman who hasn't eaten a sandwich since 1996. Though almost everything was clearly staged, it was still good. Victoria "needs" her driver's license, only to be driven around by a driver for the rest of the episode. Victoria meets botoxed LA housewives. The highlight of the show for me was when Beckham went to "confront" celebrity blogger and ugly motherfucker Perez Hilton and stated that she couldn't eat a cookie. "I can't be caught smiling, having a good time, or-- perish the thought-- eating."

I forgot (mainly because I never wanted to hear the words "spice" and "girl" near each other again) that the Spice Girls where experts at creating an image. Each girl in the group had her own persona, and Posh never let hers go. While Victoria isn't my new hero or anything, I think a little more highly of her than I did yesterday. But I still want to buy her a turkey club and fries.

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Sweet God, I love Kyle Chandler.

Emmy nominations come out tomorrow, and Matthew Gilbert at the Globe believes that Friday Night Lights is going to get shafted. In the Boston.com polls this afternoon, 47% of those surveyed say they don't know who Scott Porter is, 45.5% don't know who Adrianne Palicki is, and a whopping 53.6% don't watch the show at all.

If you're not watching this show, we cannot be friends. It's an amazing show-- well-acted, well-written, and beautifully shot. I know I sound like those obnoxious people who yelled at you about not watching Arrested Development but please, please watch this show.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm a Real Live Wire

I'm not very comfortable in asking this question, but here goes.

Does anyone else think the guy who killed three people in New Hampshire last week is hot?

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Look, he's hot here too. And I know he's completely fucked up and feels no remorse for killing three people. He's sick, and I'm sorry for those who knew the victims. But the sicko is cute on a purely physical level. Am I going to end up as one of those sad women who become pen pals with convicts and fall in love with them? Or am I going to find a pre-capture guy like him and end up chased around by some guy with a chainsaw and an affinity for Phil Collins?

I have skeeved myself out now. I'm going to have a stiff drink, go to bed, and call the therapist in the morning.

It Doesn't Hurt It Feels Fine

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Ah, youth.

In a fit of youthful rebellion during my Emerson days, I got my upper left ear pierced. The fine folks at Evolution Piercing in Providence did a great job. For the first few days, I got a crash-course in exactly how much I use my left ear. Whenever I picked up the phone, the caller usually got an "Ow! Dammit!" as the receiver sent a jolt through the sore cartilage. The boy I babysit for was endlessly fascinated with the new jewelry, and grabbed at it when I picked him up, leading to an "Ow! Da--OW!" when he did it. But as the pain subsided, I liked my tame little display of rebellion. It bothered my mother. I could hide it under my hair for job interviews. Most days, it was the only earring I wore since I usually forget to put earrings in my lobes.

After working out today, I brushed my hair to even out the ponytail bumps. I'm not a delicate brusher, and like so many hairdressers before me, I gave the hoop a good tug. Usually, it's just a reminder of the initial pain of the piercing when it gets yanked, but as I lifted my hair to check for any bleeding I noticed the ball that holds the piercing on fell off. I looked around to see if I could find it, but had no luck. I debated leaving the hoop in and hoping it didn't slide off, but it looked stupid without the little red ball. Without a hint of pain, I took the metal circle out of my ear for the first time in at least five years.

The hole is already closing up without the earring in there. I know I could get another hoop at pretty much any store, but I'm not sure if I still want the piercing. Like one of those straw wish bracelets touristy stores sell children, I always kind of thought when the earring came out--be it by a stylist's brute force or a strong wave at the beach-- it was time to let it go. But it's the one physical thing that identified me as somewhat of a rebel since I don't like tattoos (on me) and I don't own thick-framed glasses. I guess I'll have to dust off my Docs and reminisce that way if the hole closes up.

Monday, July 09, 2007

No Money for You

File this bit of news under "No shit, Sherlock."

University fund-raisers are increasingly worried over young graduates like Minsky. They fear that with student debt ballooning today, campus coffers may be suffering tomorrow.

Private student loans are growing an average of 27 percent each year, according to the College Board. Almost a quarter of college students are turning to credit cards to help pay tuition, another study found.

I got my first alumni donation request before I'd even posed for pictures with my "receipt," known generally as a diploma. I'd just crossed the stage at the Wang, and along with a eleven-sizes too large t-shirt, I was handed a request to donate to the school. I immediately tossed the request. Fast-forward four years, and I still scoff whenever the alumni office calls to ask me for money.

The Globe's article kind of makes me feel guilty by listing all the kids who benefit from large alumni donations to financial aid. I got a decent financial aid package from Emerson-- they knocked about a third off my bill-- but I'm still in the hole about $60,000 for my entire education. I pay about $400 a month in student loan payments, which will jump to $530 in a couple of years. While I'm glad I have my degree (now more than ever), I simply can't give money to my alma mater. Hell, I haven't even donated to my friends' charity runs yet.

And even if I did have money to donate to an institution, I'd donate it to my other alma mater-- my high school. I was in there a month ago and my beloved stage is dug up and in dire need of refinishing and new curtains. I'm sure the TV studio could use some help too. The programs that typically get the shaft-- theater, art, TV, student writing publications-- got me through high school without losing my mind, and I'm sure they've helped the kids that came after me. Public school kids don't have a choice on where they go, and I think that kids can find out what they actually enjoy if given the opportunity to experiment. So don't call me Emerson-- once the Derjue Memorial Wing is built in my hometown, you can have what's left.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

She Didn't Look Eighteen to Me


[W]e're especially prone to overestimating the ages of teenage girls. In the British study, bartenders were shown pictures of people aged 13 through 22 and asked to guess their ages. They judged about one of every five 13-year-old girls to be over 18, while they correctly identified the 13-year-old boys 97 percent of the time.

So sketchy guys may not be lying when they said "she looked eighteen to me, officer"?


Yeah, I'm phoning it in. I was stupid enough to stand around in the driving rain (hey, Pete Bouchard-- what Annette and I were standing in was not "light rain" by any stretch of your weatherman hoodoo-voodoo terminology) to watch the very impressive fireworks.
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Happy 4th of July, indeed.

And why doesn't America understand that not all songs about America are blindly patriotic? I mean, we went through with with "Born in the USA" and it continues with "Our Country." While I'm all about talking about the problems America has on July 4th, I don't think most of the audience gets the point. It would be like playing "God Save the Queen" on St. George's Day in England. "Oh yes, do save the Queen indeed. ::golf clap::"

Man. I need a nap.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

That Don't Confront Me

Dear Sovereign Bank,

Hi. Amy here. I've unwillingly been a customer of yours since whatever chain of events led you to acquire my account from what was once Bank of Boston. I haven't left because a) I'm lazy and b) I am such a financial jackoff that I need that overdraft account you gave me. Generally, I'm okay with your big fees for using said account because I'm an asshole who never balances her checkbook.

However, when I checked my balance online tonight and saw my balance mysteriously dropped from a robust $1400 to $300 without my rent check clearing, I got a little nervous. I bought some new running shoes, but they didn't cost $1100. My long-overdue paycheck cleared, so I didn't see the problem. So I called you up.

I will give you props for having a very easy to navigate menu and for hiring actual English-speaking employees to staff the lines. The fact that you've only cleared half of my paycheck because it's a "large deposit" (doesn't feel very large) is not so nice. My direct deposit hasn't started yet, but the bills still have to be paid. Allegedly, the balance of my paycheck is going to clear Thursday morning, so I am left to pray my landlord won't cash my check until then. And yes, I'm sure I've read that little sign that says the first few hundred bucks alone posts right away, but could you reflect that in online banking next time? That was pretty close to a panic attack I just had, figuring I'd be back at the family's door, begging to move back into the spare room. I'm now going to drink Gansett and eat Pop-Tarts until I pass out to soothe my nerves.

But good work on the phone lady. She was nice to my broke ass.


More Perfect Union

Tomorrow is America's birthday. America, it turns out, is a Cancer, which is something I hadn't thought about before but makes perfect sense.

Although generally they do not like confrontation, Cancers are not above seeking revenge against those that hurt them.

. . . Or preemptively seeking revenge against those who may hurt them in the future.

As disappointed as I am in America right now, George W., I still love it here. So, you know, go democracy and junk. I'm going to drink beer, walk around humming the 1812 Overture and/or "Our Country," and take in the fireworks over the lovely city of Boston.

I hope you all stay safe this weekend. Don't drown, develop fungal infections from your flip-flops, get your face or limbs blown off by illegal fireworks, don't drive drunk, don't strap your pets to the roof of your car, and don't even think about bringing booze to the Hatch Shell. But have fun, kids! Enjoy your personal liberty!


Sunday, July 01, 2007


Saturday was perfect.

I woke up in my bedroom at my Mom's house to the sound of chirping birds. I don't have a clock, but since it was so bright I figured it had to be at least nine. I reached for my cell phone and was shocked to see it was only seven. Friday I'd called my friend S and told her I'd be ready by noon Saturday to see her, but wanted to get a beach run in before. Since I was awake, I stumbled downstairs to listen to the weather report.

"It'll be cool but sunny at the coast today, with a burn time of fifteen minutes," the weatherman said. I got my bathing suit on, hosed myself down with sunscreen, told my Mom I was leaving, grabbed the spare key to my brother's car, and took off.

I didn't think I'd stay at the beach for too long since the weatherman had called for it to be cool, and I did have goosebumps as I stubbornly drove with the windows down. WBRU had a countdown of essential alternative rock albums on, and I listened to Rage Against the Machine as I pulled into Dunkin Donuts to get my breakfast. After that, the next album was the Smiths, then the Cure. While it may not have been cheerful beach music, I couldn't have been happier driving the back roads alone, singing along with the radio.

Finally, I got to Narragansett. While I could have done a U-ie to get a closer spot, I parked along the sea wall and walked a mile or so to the beach. Elderly couples strolled along, and the old guys with Harleys jockeyed for a good spot along the wall. I practically ran to make it to Town Beach. After I paid, I got a spot right near the just past high tide water between a couple of families to keep away from teenagers. I spread out my blanket, took off my cover up, and took in some sun.

It couldn't have been a better day for the beach-- consistently sunny with a cool breeze. I ate my bagel, so happy I barely worried about whether my fish white belly was blinding any of the children nearby. I read my book for a few minutes, then listened to my iPod as I lay on my back. Once I got hot, I took a dip in the ocean. It was cold, but not as cold as the water on the North Shore last weekend, and the surf was rolling nicely. I went back to my blanket to dry off and read some more. I called S around 11:30 to tell her I'd be leaving the beach a little later than I'd planned. After I got off the phone, I began to feel the telltale tingle of sunburn and packed it in.

"I think you got a little too much sun on your legs," my mother said disapprovingly when I got home. I sat down and rolled my eyes until I got in the bathroom and saw the scarlet color of the backs of my thighs. I guess my legs hadn't had enough sunscreen applied to them. After my shower, I felt the sting clearly. I put on some lotion and then called S.

S and I went to a great cheap bar and then, after a few beers, went to Target. Despite the fact that I'd eaten, the sea air and sunburn in combination with the beer had me a little looped. I grabbed a toilet bowl scrubber for a dollar, which is exciting because I'd planned to buy a scrubber at Ikea and hadn't gotten to Stoughton to pick one up. I walked around the store with my find, muttering "bippity boppity boop" while waving the brush around.

"I don't think you're supposed to do that with that," S said to me.

After Target, I went home. Another friend and I were supposed to hang out, but she didn't get in touch with me until late, and I was exhausted and hungry. Finally, Sam came home from work and took me to Wendy's to get a snack. After eating a sack of crap, I passed out in my bed, happy to know I wasn't in a big rush today.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Read Me!

Check out my first full-time piece for Boston magazine, a write-up of the iPhone craziness and its impact on Apple store employees. Boston's July issue is out now and though you won't see any of my writing in print until August, you should read the new issue anyway. John Gonzalez gets in a fight with a Wahlberg brother and Joe Keohane imagines a 4th without Keith Lockhart, among other items of interest. And no, nobody's got a gun to the back of my head forcing me to say that.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mish Mash

It's not you guys, it's me. It's funny how starting two new jobs in as many months is both terribly exciting and leaves me catatonic on my couch by 10pm. But I'm still reading the news, still doing the whole young urban woman thing, and sweating my balls off. Metaphorically. So, I do the copout thing and give you my random thoughts.

Am I the only person who does not give two shits about the iPhone? This comes from a girl who geeks out over everything Apple puts out, but I just don't care to wait in the 90-odd degree heat to buy a $600 phone. You know who does? One Henry Breen of Cambridge.

"It’s a holy day of obligation," said Breen, a Cambridge resident. "And if you tell me you’re not going I just think you’re mad. End of discussion."

Dude. It's a phone. Yeah, it's cool and all, but maybe you should read a book or something. Go for a walk. Get a grip.

It sucks to be stuck inside your office in the middle of a city and read "it's a great day for the beach!" online. While not everyone loves the beach as much as I do, the idea of sitting in the glaring sun and playing in the waves sounds so nice. Instead I'm going to either sit in front of my box fan all night, trying to breathe as shallowly as possible or I'm going to crush a neighbor by trying to install my air conditioner by myself. All around Boston, women are wearing skimpy clothes out to bars to lure burly men back to their lairs, where they will whisper, "Hey, hottie. Wanna install my air conditioner? It's here in the closet."

Kelly Clarkson's new album isn't as good as I'd hoped. I don't hate it, mind you, but maybe Joan Anderman at the Globe was right in saying that perhaps Kelly should have listened to Clive Davis' advice. I still want to hang out with Kelly, despite all the haters.

The Globe's 27-part epic on Mitt Romney is going to kill me. Thank God they're putting it online, because I can't sit and read that much over coffee. I want to be up on His Mittness' past (now I know why he hates France-- France was a dick to him) but wading through his family tree, his business deals, and a few generations of Romney photographs is going to take some time. And Mylanta. I'd also like to say hello to Mitt's supporters, who like to leave comments (read "Once There Was This Boy..."-- Haloscan doesn't work on permalinks) on my Mitt posts months after the fact that attack me for things I did the exact opposite of. Thanks for stopping by, guys!

Oh, and, as always, Ann Coulter is a cunt.

I wish Elizabeth Edwards had been a little more forceful with that abhorrent little toothpick. Though the best way to deal with Ann Coulter is to not deal with Ann Coulter. She's a vampire-- she won't bother you if you don't invite her in. (No similes intended. I think Coulter is actually a vampire. Her tan is just to throw us off.)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Get Right

I swear to God, if I check the weather midweek and hear "Great weekend! Sunny and warm on Saturday, slightly less warm on Sunday" and make plans then only to have the forecast change on Thursday again, I am going to lose it. I don't know if networks are looking to boost ratings by keeping us riveted to our television sets or if the weather people are just stupid, but it's not cute. What is also not cute is me, sitting on a beach with my friends in a goddamn hoodie in late June because of this forecast. You can also file my appearance as I walked all over Boston today sweating because today was the warm day under not adorable. I left my house with all intentions of walking to channel 7's health expo and telling the weather team that it's especially stupid to biff a forecast when they have to face the public for a whole weekend, but $140 and a hot leather bag later, I found myself unable to get riled up.

I walked through the North End, watching tourists watch me. I then walked by the Phantom Gourmet barbecue festival in City Hall Plaza. At first, the smell of cooking meats was enticing, but then I realized paying a $10 cover to then pay additionally for delicious meats was stupid. Redbones is a short T ride away and they don't charge me a cover to eat their meat, and I wouldn't get seared alive in the hot sun.

I then took a detour through Downtown Crossing. The last time I was down there, I found the selection to be pretty dismal. Nothing cute, everything full price. Today I had the opposite problem. I walked through H&M's sale racks and picked up about four items to try on. I then walked through the rest of the store and picked up some dresses. Since starting so many new jobs, I realize that I got away with wearing some pretty grungy clothes for a long time. While I don't like running up more charges, I also don't like looking like I just graduated from college, so for the next month or so I'm allowing myself to invest in work clothes. All this is to say I bought two adorable dresses for $70 at H&M, which are going to have to last until I'm forty.

After my bonanza at H&M, I should have known better than to go to the Basement. But it's closing, and I figured I'd snap a couple pictures of the old-school signs to remember it by. I went in a few weeks ago and found nothing, so I figured it would be safe for me. That was until I found the Cole Haan bags.

Generally when a nice handbag finds its way to the Basement, it's because it is so trendy that the store couldn't move it even on sale. While the Basement had some pretty heinous trendy bags, it also had some fairly classic pieces that won't look ridiculous next month. I grabbed a black doctor bag and a brown bag. I admired my sweaty reflection in the mirror. I kicked myself for giving a coworker the additional ten percent off coupon out of the Globe on Friday. In a panic, I grabbed my phone and called A.

A is very good about talking me out of a financial tree. "Think about your credit cards. Put it down and walk away." When I called her to report a pile of Cole Haan bags, she said "Don't you buy that bag. But I'm coming down there. Can you find me a coupon?"

I set the bags down as other women descended like vultures upon my lovelies. I walked to Winter Street and checked the Metro box for leftovers from Friday to get a coupon. Other people had that same idea and the box was empty. I saw a discarded Filene's coupon in the trash and seriously considered picking it out to save another eight bucks. As I strolled toward the Common, I started to feel better. Maybe putting that bag down was my first baby step to financial solvency. Finally, at age twenty-five, I'd learned to say no to a gorgeous leather bag that felt like God's butter for well under half price but still beyond my means. As I maneuvered my way through tourists, I felt the dawn of a new day.

Then I found a Metro box with leftovers. I took two copies.

A made it downtown and we went back to the Basement. She grabbed a cute black bag and I found my brown one again.

"That is really nice," A said.

"I don't have a brown bag at all," I said.

"And that will last you forever," she replied. "I'd say it's okay. But nothing else!"

We purchased our bags and hauled them around with guilt as we slogged through the city. After walked to the Pru, we stopped at the Pour House as channel 7 dismantled the health expo. I silently cursed them out for their forecast as I sipped my cider. Next time, I'll just spend both days at the beach. At least they don't have automatic markdown there.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I Only Say It Cos I Care

My brother always says that I was a cruel and heinous big sister. I never thought I was very mean to him. True, I forced him to wear some of my dress-up clothes from time to time and yes, there may have been times in my younger years when I shoved him a smidge too hard when playing snow football, but I felt I was a kind and just elder sister. My elementary school best friend was the paragon of horrible big sister to me. She would rage-- I mean shrieking, red-faced tirades-- at her younger brother for the smallest of indiscretions. Of course, this only made him bother her more. Even when I was in my single digits, I thought she should take it down a bit. My brother says I got much cooler when I got to high school, mainly because I wasn't home as much and when he was in junior high I'd drive him to school.
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Okay, maybe a little cruel. And I wish I could still work shorts like those.

All this is to say that it's taking every ounce of self-control I have to not email my brother and brag that I'm smarter than him.

A massive study by Norwegian scientists appearing in today's edition of the journal Science concludes that a child raised as the eldest has a higher intelligence quotient, on average, than younger siblings.

Yes, the bossy mean side of me wants to brag that my IQ is higher than my dear brother's. However, my brother is having a hard time finding a new job so he's kind of down, and I don't want to hurt his feelings. Also, his only bills are internet and car insurance and he's not in the hole tens of thousands of dollars for a liberal arts education, so the jury's still out on our family. I guess I'll just have to give him a good shove the next time I see him to ensure his humility instead. I'll just have to hope he won't kick my ass in return since he's bigger than me.

I Feel Happy!

Hi. I'm not dead. I promise. More later.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Today I had an appointment, and Google maps sent me out of Boston on the Mass Pike. I generally don't take the Pike since I don't feel like I should pay a toll to take a major highway. After some construction worker forgot to cover up a detour sign to the Pike and after I missed a turn in Back Bay, I finally got on the Pike in Chinatown. The traffic was light, it was sunny and warm, and I was listening to the radio and generally enjoying myself, despite my road rage while trying to find the goddamn on-ramp downtown.

I got to the Allston/Brighton tolls and fished a dollar out of my wallet. I rolled down my window and stuck the bill out the window.

"Hi," I said the the middle-aged woman collecting tolls.

"Let's not talk," she said, barely raising her voice enough to be rude to me.

I was too stunned to respond to her bitchery while I was in the tollbooth. I figured I'd extend some human decency to a woman who probably gets sniped at by drivers and probably makes jack shit because I felt like it was a good thing to do. And how does she respond? By not even acknowledging my greeting politely or ignoring me, but by being a giant bitch. Fine. I hope someone threw a milkshake on you after I left, you nasty wench.

After taking Route 9 back into the city to avoid the milkshake-soaked super-bitch on the Pike, I got on the T to head home. A stop after I boarded, I noticed a tall, scrawny white boy wearing saggy jeans, a white wifebeater, black aviator shades, and had lots of piercings in his ears and face. His white loosely-laced shoes paced the length of the train, and he eventually stopped at the horizontal railing near the big windows on the old Green Line cars and started doing chin ups while watching himself in the window. I started to laugh openly, and looked around to make sure someone else was witnessing this. Across from me, a half-dead office drone nodded solemnly, as if to say fear not, you aren't imagining this. I wanted to believe him, but when the Eminem clone got off the bar and said "I'm so fucking hot" to his reflection I almost thought I had to be imagining it. Classes are over at Emerson-- this couldn't be a Jamie Kennedy Experiment-esque bit of comedy, could it? It must have been. No one person could exhibit so many signs of douchebaggery unless it's a satire. I hope.