Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The last day of the year.

You know, for some reason I felt like 2000-and-8 was going to be a better year than it turned out to actually be.

And above is the image that sums it all up for me. Chicken butt.

It has been a chicken butt kind of a year. It started off well enough for most I think*, but then chicken butt happened and everything went south. Not a wholly offensive year, with the occasional good egg event thrown in to keep us all from hurling ourselves off the cliff.

I suppose I am not alone in saying goodbye and good riddance to 2008.

And I am not thinking that I am going to wake up tomorrow and magically everything will be different, like in Sixteen Candles when Molly Ringwald's character thinks she is going to wake up on her birthday to newly grown boobs and a gift-wrapped car in the driveway.

No, I am pretty positive that tomorrow is going to be about the same. But it's just that it is easier to be more optimistic on the brand new day of the brand new year.

Chicken butt! Hopefully Oh-Nine will bring everyone a golden egg. Including YOU!

*I also started off '08 on a good note, seeing a really terrific guy who sadly would later prove to have a two-timin' sonofagun issue. Furthermore, I would just like to point out that in September, when I found out about that little hiccup in our relationship, the national and global financial markets collapsed. So yes, everything you've ever heard about a woman scorned is in fact true.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My poor temporary neighbors

Ok well after listening to my temporary neighbors (turns out the Boy and the Girl are visiting through New Year) fight last night, I am returning the favor today by making them listen to my bipolar music mix.

Not intentionally mind you.

It's just that recently there has been a weird electromagnetic issue in my area and now it affecting my sound system. Usually I just plug in my little MP3 thingy and turn the player on. There is a volume dial and you simply twist the dial for various levels of sound.

However something happened and now I have two settings: shhh-whisper and REALLYF*CKINGLOUDQUICKTURNITDOWN!

Which always startles me. I am trying to wrap Christmas presents (and yes, before you ask, I did get you something. A pony. I hope you like it.) and I am listening to Thin Lizzy and Pilooski and CSN&Y and Kenny Chesney and Bon Iver and it's going a little something like this:

"dancing in the moonlight, it's got me in its spotlight, it's alright, it's alright, this moonlight..."

It's unnerving. I probably should turn it off while I am cutting up wrapping paper before I cut off my finger or something.

Do YOU know how your medical care is decided?

I am not a great big fan of health insurance. I think it is basically a scam. But at least I have employer subsidized health insurance, and for that I am pretty grateful. I would really resent having to pay it entirely out of pocket.

Years ago I lived and worked in Ireland and I have a very vague memory of earning points towards health care, if you paid taxes you got health care - something like that. The few times I had to go see a doctor (or GP as they are called over there) I seem to remember they decided my payment that way. I dunno, it could have been sliding scale maybe. Eh, I could be imagining it.

However, I still think that forcing people to buy health insurance is a bad idea. It's insurance, not health care. You can pay for health insurance and still not be able to afford health care. And here in Massachusetts if you don't get health insurance, you'll be fined per uninsured month. And the fines aren't cheap.

Univeral health insurance is a misguided plan. And every single person who tells me that it is GREAT that EVERYONE now has access to HEALTH CARE is someone who a) doesn't pay full price because they either are covered through work or by a spouse, and b) doesn't get the difference between health CARE and health INSURANCE.

I've gone through uninsured times and I used to go to the community health center. Because I made a little too much money for free care, I paid on a sliding scale, usually between $30 and $50 a visit. Luckily I am a pretty healthy person. However now you can't even do that anymore. The only option to any uninsured is to go to the emergency room. If you want to test this theory out, call up the Joseph Smith Health Center in Brighton and ask them if they will see you even though you haven't got insurance. I give this example because when I was most recently without health insurance I had a terrible sore throat and called them up to see if I could go be seen by a doctor there. They said no, not without insurance and that without insurance the only place to be treated was the emergency room. Great.

The other draw back of being uninsured is that the prescriptions would kill me. An inhaler for asthma would run me $70 bucks. A pack of baby stoppers would run me $30. Because when you pay $7 or $10 for a prescription with insurance, that is the insurers negotiated cost. Not the street cost. It's a fricking racket.

And I think that things are going to get worse. The Globe is running a health care spotlight. Kind a tedious read, but worth it. It's a frightening thought to consider that one day just one or two insurance companies could run all the hospitals. That would suck if you were considered to be a high-risk because cancer runs in the family, or maybe you have multiple sclerosis. Or diabetes. I wonder what your premiums would be like then? And I also wonder, how will people start to feel if employers start dropping the health care benefit? It's a benefit after all, not a right.

As for me I am still lucky as far as my health goes. Knock on wood.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am a listener. Perhaps not much of a carer, but I'll listen.

And then I will write about it.

Today I had the opportunity to hear a conversation between two of my neighbors. Actually, I don't think they are my neighbors. I think they are visiting my neighbors.

At any rate no one told them about the paper-thin brick walls.

Turns out the Boy was looking at another Girl last night while Boy and Girl were out on the town.

Girl called Boy an "asswad". As in: "WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SUCH AN ASSWAD ALL THE TIME FOR F*CK'S SAKE!!"

Which at first listen doesn't sound so terrible. But then the more I thought about it, the more I decided that what I DO NOT ever want to be is to be compared to something that wads up in the ass.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Baby it's COLD outside. And wet. Blech!

La Maman and I decided to brave the elements and walk over to Copley Place and find a few last minute gifts. Now I am home. My toes are nearly fully defrosted and I am about to make spaghetti with meatballs.

It was cold and wet and pretty quiet out there. For what it's worth the only packed shop was Williams-Sonoma. Read into that what you will.

Empty mall. Dangerous (but shiny! and pretty!) ornaments.

Oh and since when has there been so many sparrows flitting about inside Copley Place Mall?

Click on an image to make it BIGGER.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

WTF kind of snow is this anyway?!

First of all I really thought we were going to get more snow than this. I mean, for all the hype I thought it was going to be Blizzard of '78 all over again.

However I will just say that I think this snow is radioactive or something because the electronical crapola in my house is running weirdly. Let me explain.

Around 1 this afternoon I get a text from my sister asking me where I am. Seemingly she tried calling me a bunch of times and the phone would just ring and ring. So I called the cellphone provider and they couldn't figure it out either. I can make calls, but I can't get them and the callers can only get to my voicemail if they listen to about 20 seconds of dead air. Even then I don't get the voicemail unless I randomly call my mailbox.

Weird. But at least I have my land line. Which has been acting weirdly too. It will ring and when I answer it the person on the other end will wonder why I am calling them. And I am like "but you called me! I swear!".

The wireless internet is working intermittently and when I play music through my computer it skips (or hangs) constantly even though I am now using Winamp and it was working perfectly until today. I switched to my MP3 player and even that is acting up now.

It's weird. I really think that the snow is to blame. It probably really is radioactive.

Or something.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

About music

I once read an interview with Wayne Coyne in the New York Times where he said he was "looking forward to the day when music is a liquid they pour into your head".

Dood, I can totally relate.

Music scratches the itch on my cerebral coretex and makes me happy.

Right now though I am listening to my music via Windows Media Player and it is making me mental.

The music is constantly "hanging" which is probably THE MOST ANNOYING THING EVER after all the other annoying crap in the world. Especially if you like to sing along. It's like the computer keeps stopping to think.

Eh. Whatever. At least it's a step up from a Victrola. You know, like from the days of yore.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hidden in plain sight

Isn't that how it's supposed to work:

The TARDIS in Boston.

(Forgive my crayon-like approach. The closest thing I have to a graphic design program on my computer is Microsoft Paint. Eh, you do what you can.)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

First Snow of December

Kind of hard to tell from these photos. But I am pretty excited.

I think that even when I am 97 I will get excited about the possibility of a snow day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Basic Tetiquette

Messenger bagged masses of the public transit system, please note: just because your bulky-ass bag is slung around on your backside does NOT mean you are not responsible for it.

(This pretty much goes for any bulky bagged rider of the MBTA, so take heed!)

I am tired of getting sucker punched by some dope, usually on the phone, totally oblivious to the 20lb wrecking ball they're slinging around out the back. Out of sight out of mind does not apply in this scenario.

The other day I was sitting next to a young woman who was in the aisle seat. First she got clocked under the chin by a dopey rider swinging an oversized tote under her arm. She then got a thwack on the back of the head from the same dopey rider who wanted to shift the bag to the other shoulder.

And the bag swinger knew she bonked the seated passenger because she then told her to "ooh, mind!" as if her massive tote was its own entity for which she wasn't responsible.

Seriously. WTF is wrong with people sometimes. There are millions of little annoying things about the T (people not moving INTO the bus/subway car, T drivers who abruptly smash the brake, riders who need to take up one whole seat for their bag) but for some reason it was the bag swingers who got me this week.

Phew! I just had to say that.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pattycake, Pattycake, Bake me a cake.... or a cookie....

Do you know how to turn on your oven?

Yes? Great!

Now go over to Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen and sign up for Operation Baking GALS Round Five with Team Calamity Shazaam.

Thank you!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

WTFF - What The F*ck Friday.

I sat out the shopping frenzy that has come to dominate the day after Thanksgiving, as I pretty much always do.

Apparently I, along with a few other people, were the only ones who did.

You know what? That sh*t is INSANE. I was reading about the shopping insanity out there today and all I can say is that I hope never to be a part of that. Just reading about it gave me the shivers.

It was so out of control that an employee at WalMart was trampled to death. Trampled to death by deranged shoppers who couldn't wait to charge up a storm. Unbelievable.

And from all accounts, folks are going crazy to buy flat screen tvs. So I guess this depressions breadline is going to be a flat screen tv line.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What a difference an editor makes.


From The New York Times:

Don't get me wrong, I think that what happened to Haleigh Poutre is horrific. However I just think that terrorist attacks in India are more relevant.

Oh well. The Boston Globe is pretty biased when it comes to which events they turn into a media circus. So I suppose that if these attacks had happened in a more culturally similar country, the front page of would look more like the front page of

My heart goes out to all the people in India, and around the world, who are directly affected by this event. Terrorists suck. Acts of terror that tear apart the tissues of society take ages to repair, and then even then never really heal. Because it is really hard to forget something like that.

Which makes me even more thankful this year for the things I hold most important in my life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I just have to say...

To the person who screwed over my sister, let me just remind you that karma is a bitch.

I understand that you have a complicated relationship with your father, that every boyfriend you've had in the past few years has rightly decided that you are a nutter and dumped your sorry ass/called the police on you, and that you've had difficulty keeping the past three jobs - I get it that you have "issues". However that did not give you a free pass to f*ck over my sister.

You stink. You stink like a bag of piss.

The right thing to do would have been to tell her that you were working with someone else and to take her to a nice dinner and say thank you for your help.

But you did the wrong thing. Which frankly doesn't surprise anyone. Because you seem to excel at doing the wrong thing every single time.

Good luck to you. As I mentioned, karma is a bitch. Or perhaps, who needs karma when they have the life you live.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I am glad I am not making car payments right now

Because I would be PISSED if I was paying for the lifestyles of the rich and clueless. Who just want to be richer and dumber.

Today it was the Big Three from Detroit who went to Capitol Hill to demand an automotive bailout.

Give me a break! It's like that story about the Emperor with no clothes on. Someone needs to point out that the lumbering old automotive behemoth is nekkid.

Why on earth should taxpayers be required to bailout the auto industry? An industry that behaves very much like a churlish old uncle that no one can remember whose side he's from and who drinks too much at family functions and tells off-color jokes that insult everyone in a two foot radius. I mean really. Throw us a bone or an electric car for the masses at least!

It's surreal.

As for me, I am going to stick to buying junkers off of Craigslist. I've had pretty good luck. And at least I won't be giving any money to any company who says this, in response to inquiries about traveling via private jet to ask for a bailout:

"Making a big to-do about this when issues vital to the jobs of millions of Americans are being discussed in Washington is diverting attention away from a critical debate that will determine the future health of the auto industry and the American economy," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson.

Dear Mr. Tom Wilkinson, you are very bad at your job. The only person worse at their job was Marie Antoinette. She also goaded the masses, and look what happened to her. Chop! Chop!

Here's a tip, and it's a freebie, flying about the country on private jets is a great way to generate plenty of free bad publicity at the very moment when you ought to be making every attempt at genuflection, no matter how insincere.

Even I know that.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is why I luuuurve the NYT

They use word like "Calamity" and "Fancy Pants" on the front page.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

10 Bonus points for you if you can answer this one....

So in case you've been wondering where I've been on recent Friday nights, I've been playing Trivial Pursuit at the Trident Bookseller & Cafe.

And guess what? Team Smartie Pants is on fire!

At first ShiftyMike and I had a go at trivia because I kept winning at Scrabble and I honestly felt badly about not being able to at least throw one game. ShiftyMike is an awfully good sport about it though.

The first time we went we won, much to our complete amazement. We really were not expecting that one at all.

Since then we've been on a winning streak. It's pretty ridiculous, especially when you consider the questions are hard. Which is a nice change.

SO the bonus question last night was: On the television series KnightRider, what was the name of KITT's nemesis?

And don't be the a**hole who Googles it ok. You either know it or you don't. And yeah, you probably don't.

And the answer is not F.O.R.D. - Found On Road Dead.

Trivia is every Friday night at 8 and is hosted by the dry and charming Max Power. It's free and you are not required to order anything, but you might as well. You will know who I am because I am the one who says "holy crap we were right?!" after every correct answer.

See you there!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dial 'S' for.....

Shut the f*ck up!

Is the Boston Globe kidding with the article about people who are ashamed of their cellphone?

Possibly my favorite bit is this quote :

"You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of phone they carry," says image consultant Doris Klietmann. "If you have someone with a BlackBerry, you can usually assume they're educated and they either earn a good salary or they have an important job that requires them to be in constant communication. You can also assume that someone with a 16-gigabyte iPhone also makes a decent amount of money and is someone who always has to have the newest thing. People who have these phones are conscious of things like fashion designers and like to stay on top of trends."

Hmmm oh really? And I thought when one "assumed" it made an "ass" out of "u" and "me".

I have never assumed anything about someone based on their goddamn cellphone. Admittedly I have judged some people as colossal twats for carrying on loud conversation in publics, usually about nothing interesting whatsoever. But not because of the phone they were hollering into.
Can you hear me now? How about now? And now?

Plus who cares how much money you earn, probably you're just going to pay for it on your credit card anyway. When I see the a big fancy expensive house I don't think "educated" or important job", instead I think "adjustable rate mortgage" and "short sale". Hey, images can be deceiving.

And anyway a Blackberry looks like a calculator. Or a remote control. No matter what anyone says. Sorry.

My second favorite quote is this:

"A lot of gadgets these days have become more of a style or status symbol," said Steve Kidera of the CEA. "Look at TVs. It used to be that people would hide them in the armoires. But now they're prominently displayed like art."

Ok, if you display a tv like art, you are an idiot. And you don't know what art is. Not that I know what art is either, but I know that you know it when you see it and a tv doesn't count.

At any rate, after I finished the article, I really was thinking that it was meant to be submitted to the Onion. Or published on April Fool's Day.

Oh, that's my calculator ringing. Gotta run and tot up some sums! Bye!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sign o' the Times

First of all this sign has been hanging there for at least 6 months.

And secondly, I am thinking the errors in spelling are directly related to the fact that it hasn't opened yet.

It's a sport bar that serves coktails and also offers causal dining.


Sunday, November 09, 2008

LiquorLand Wine Tasting

I think that LiquorLand has become quite the hipster place since its relocation to Mass Ave. It's the the trucker cap circa sometime late 1990's/early 2000's.*

It's still gungy enough for the wino's to feel at home, and hip enough to carry locally distilled spirits.

And one more reason to love them is that they are having a holiday wine tasting, and at first I was sort of annoyed at the holiday theme, until I realized that it is more of a Thanksgiving holiday promotion!

Yay, Thanksgiving does come first!

I plan to go with La Maman, which I think is probably the hip thing to do. Right?

*Let me just point out that I am not hip in anyway and have never understood the trucker cap popularity. I have always thought they made the wearer look dorky. And perhaps that is the point and it's meant to be hipster and ironical, but as a big dork myself, I don't know why anyone would try to be dorky. So when I say late 1990's/early 2000's, it is just a guess.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Tisn't the season, not yet!!


It's around 60F here in the town of the Bean, for some weird reason all the leaves are simultaneously turning red and flame and yellow and flying off the branches, and I am gearing up for Thanksgiving, while my neighbors are grilling in shorts & flip flops.

The most recent light frost was a few weeks back, and already I am sick of C-mas.

Every third tv ad is C-mas related, and two local radio stations are playing "holiday favorites". And Infinti cars are running ads trying to persuade people to give the gift of a luxury vehicle.

Are they for F*CKING REAL????

Who in the advertising department at Infiniti truly thinks that anyone watching local broadcasting is going to give a fancy car as a C-mas gift this year, of all years? Do they honestly have no idea what has been going on in the real world lately?


It's putting me off the holiday altogether.

But I am still excite about Thanksgiving! Whoo hoo! And today I listened to Alice's Restaurant and that improved my mood considerably.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thanksgiving Comes First

Last year Jim over at Suldog wrote about how Thanksgiving comes first and how any retailer who starts ramming C-mas down our throats before Thanksgiving ought to be boycotted.

I wholeheartedly agree. If I could agree more than wholeheartedly I would. Wholebodily? Yeah, wholebodily.

Why does this bother me so much, especially as I am not even a Christian? Well technically I am, but uh, that's a technicality. I was baptized in the church and at that time the only protest options available were to pee on the reverend, or to cry at the top of my lungs. I probably did both.

I hate it because it's a brazen push for retailers to squeeze yet more money out of a mostly financially strapped country - shoddily dressing it up in a cheap veneer of goodwill toward all. I hate it because it's a false hustle, trying to rush people through life. Life is so short as it is, what on earth are we racing to the finish for? The finish line is death! Boo!

I want to be here today, for every hour of it. I am grateful for my tomorrows no matter how crappy my today is. One day, followed by the next, not skipping through the days, leapfrogging from one holiday to the next, as if individual days are of no importance.

I look forward to Thanksgiving because it's a marker, tangible proof that we are together as a family, that we have our health, and a bountiful table. Our wants are few, our needs are met. Our lives are very, very, good. I know this is true daily, but it's nice to celebrate that once a year, like a birthday. But I am still glad for Tuesdays, and Sundays, and all the other days of the year.

Lately I've noticed a couple of C-mas ads on the teeeeeeeeeev. Notably:

- Walmart
- KMart (it's possible I am thinking of Walmart...)
- Hallmark Shops
- Blue Man Group

And those retailers are going on the boycott list. Also on the list is anyone who promotes gift giving at Thanksgiving.


Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted!

I got to the polling station a little after 7am and the line was out the door, and just down Northampton Street to Shawmut Ave.

By the time I had parked and walked down, the line was around the corner and I managed to get in line at Shawmut and Comet Place.

Within about 20 minutes of getting in line, the line stretched to Mass Ave. And from all accounts the line pretty much remained the same all day. Front to back that's just about 3/4 of a mile.

From Comet Place to the ballot desk took about an hour and fifty minutes. Then another 10 or so minutes to complete the ballot and then turn it in. Just around 9am I was heading out the door, excited to have cast my vote.

It was a long wait mainly because there were only 12 voting stations. And also because the group ahead of me started of as two women, but apparently they were holding places for their friends because as we started to inch forward, more people joined their group. Sort of obnoxious behavior but one woman in the group would fart every time she sneezed and I thought that was hilarious. However other folks in the line did take them to task for basically being line cutters.

I have to say that this is the first time that I have ever felt that something extraordinary is about to happen and that it is the result of the will of the people.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Just in time for Halloween

A very unusual tide occurred up in Boothbay Harbor on Tuesday.

Evidently low tide became high tide within minutes. And this didn't happen once, it happened a few times. Like six or seven times.

Up, down, Up, down, Up, down, Up, down, Up, down, Up, down - within minutes.

And guess what? Apparently it's just a mystery of nature.

Which alternately freaks me out - it's like the start to a Steven King book - and then it also makes me feel reassured that we don't in fact know everything, because sometimes it feels like we think we do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If $23K gets you a liquor license, I wonder how much a whole casino would cost...

At the beginning of the affidavit in the Dianne Wilkerson matter, the FBI agent Krista L. Corr says that she has not "included each and every every fact known" to her regarding the investigation (pg 1, line 18-19).

Oh yeah?

Agent Corr then later alludes to Wilkerson's trip to Foxwoods (pg 12. lines 21-23) and to her being encouraged to go to Foxwoods by the "CW" (pg 15, lines 8-10) after being given $3000 in cash.

Hmmm. I wonder - is Agent Corr trying to lead us to the Wilkerson-Used-Extortion-Money-To-Gamble-At-Foxwoods-Oh-My theory?

OR are a few of those "each and every every fact known" facts that might include a casino at Crosstown? If Wilkerson was willing to take $23K to obtain liquor licenses, I wonder what it would cost to get a casino?

I mean, the mayor is all about bringing a casino to Suffolk Downs so all Wilkerson would have to do is say 'Hey! What about Roxbury? Why don't we get one?' From what I read in the affidavit she likes to play that card to get her way.

Well, I bet that when this is all over some of those facts that Agent Corr is keeping to herself will have something to do with casinos in Massachusetts and Wilkerson trying to figure out how to get herself a slice of that pie and exactly who to lean on for it.

I am jus'sayin'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Best comment of the week - and it's only Tuesday

From UniversalHub's comment section on the Dianne Wilkerson story:

I laughed out loud at that one. You know why? 'Cause it's f*cking true!

Ah... hahahhahahahah....

Oh Dianne.

Didn't your mother ever teach you that just because everyone else is doing it, that doesn't mean you should do it?

Taking bribes is tacky. And there really is no way to gracefully come back from it. Especially when you've been photographed stuffing your brassiere with hundreds and with fifties.

Stuffing your bra? Please. That is SO high school, not to mention it looks utterly ungraceful on film.

I read the entire affadavit and a couple of things:

1. "Heightened" is spelled incorrectly on page three, line 15.

2. Who is Ron Wilborn? Is he the "CW"? And has anyone heard of the Back Bay Entertainment group?

3. Page 12, line 25 - good to know that backdoor deals are still done at the Parker House. At least that part hasn't changed.

4. A question: Item 29 (page 12, line 21) is her trip to Foxwoods. It just says that she went and ate and gambled. No mention of where the gambling money came from, so we can't say it's extortion money, and gambling is legal in Connecticut, so why that notation? I wonder what information they are leaving out.

5. I would bet that almost every elected official is right about now saying "oh f*ck". And trying desperately to remember every last interaction they had with her.

Eh, really it was just a matter of time. I really think that the shelf life of a politician is about 8 years. After that they all succumb to the corruption of politics and go rotten.

Ye Olde Boston

Today was Ye Olde Boston Food tour for me and Pam.

I snapped a few photos, and was reminded of a few things that I really love about Boston.

A few weeks back I got a book to review from Turner Publishing that contains about 200 historic photographs of Boston.

I love these kinds of books, and this is a particularly good one. It's mostly photos I hadn't seen before and it put me in the mood to track down some of the scenes to see how much has changed. I am also that kind of a person who examines each photo closely to read each sign, look at each outfit, marvel at the differences between now and then. I still haven't gotten through the entire book. Even better there isn't lots of writing to interfere with the photographs.

I am going to try to get a few comparison photographs, but for today it was all about the food.

Friday, October 24, 2008

You can pick your nose, and you can pick your friends....

But you can't tell people how to vote.

You can however send them over to Ballotpedia to help them figure out how they'll vote. The three (Massachusetts) ballot questions are explained in a way that is easy to understand, with the arguments for and against each.

And then don't forget to use that new found knowledge when you hit the polls on Tuesday, November 4th.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How many of YOU are there?

This site is weirdly addictive, but then even weirdlier the addiction passes kind of quickly. And gets sort of boring suddenly. But addictive at first, I swear.

(click on the logo)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Where to go when you gotta get OUT.

Sometimes I find that I have to get out of the city. I live in a very densely populated area and every now and then hearing my neighbor "ah-choo" through the walls gets on my nerves.

A few weeks back I was invited to tour the Orchard House in Concord, one time home of Louisa May Alcott and since it involved two of my most favorite people on earth I of course said yes immediately.

The drive out to the house was unbelievably calming, there is something that makes my soul thrum to see the blue sky and orange leaves and high white clouds.

The tour was actually part of a Hood alumni event. I didn't go to Hood but both my darling friend and her mom did and since they know what a bookworm I am, thought I'd enjoy the outing.

Boy did I ever!

The little brown house in the country. I immediately wanted to move in. Little Women is one of my most favorite books and I try to read it at least once a year, usually in the winter.

I don't know what it was about this time around, but I really did not want to leave. I was ready to duck into a closet and hide myself until after hours. However I am pretty sure that our tour guide Betty would have been onto me in about one minute.

I've never wanted to go back in time as much as I did in that house at that moment.


After the tour we headed off to the Colonial Inn for a little alumni chit chat, a little bite of food and a glass of wine.

It was so lovely.

I love fall in New England. Sometimes it's far too easy to get swept into the tizzy of things that don't really matter that seem to take over one's life every now and then and usually by Friday. Going out into the country, or at least outside the city limits, seems to be a very good way to remedy that.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Too much news.

I really can't stand local newscasts anymore. Well, really it's just Channel 7 news that I can't stand. They have obnoxious graphics, dumbed down reporters, too much fluffery, and a really morbid delight in reporting shootings and murders. And what the HELL has happened to Francis Rivera over the years. Poor thing with that face that keeps getting tighter and higher.


So I put together a very rough idea of how much news (local & national) each local broadcast station puts out in a day and threw it into an Excel chart. This is totally unofficial - I literally scanned through the daily T.V. listings and totted up the hours mostly in my head.

But I would say it's about right. Except for the 9 hours on Monday with NBC - I think that strictly speaking it's 7.5 hours of news. I have to double check that.

And I would probably just add up Channel 56 and Channel 7 together, since basically it's the same newscast. Which works out to about 50-ish hours of local fluffery over two channels in a seven day period.

In total, over a one week period, it worked out to about 180 hours of news. Uh, if you can call it news.

What I love about baseball.

Ok you know what, I am not much of a baseball fan. It's not that I don't like baseball or anything, it's just that I am not that into it.

It's like a really great guy who is so great on paper, but who you just don't click with in real life, no matter how hard you want to. That's how it is with me and baseball.

So Thursday night when I switched off the tv after the news, pretty much the sports reporter was saying it was all over for the Sox and aside from a small twinge of sadness I felt for Red Sox nation, I mostly didn't care.

And then Friday I didn't really catch up on the news too much. No one in the office really said anything about it, and when I sort of heard other people talking about the game I kinda tuned it out like I usually do.

So at lunch time when I went to the library I FINALLY saw the sports pages and realized that the Sox had indeed won!

I expressed my amazement at this fact to the librarian and the woman in line behind me starts giving me a detailed account of how the game was turned around. This is a woman I often see at the library - she wears a really tight head covering and has a mouth full of gold teeth and apparently is a sports fanatic. Well, maybe just a baseball fanatic.

I got an animated play-by-play, which was kind of wasted on me, but which was hugely entertaining, even more so when the librarian started offering supplemental highlights.

So now I am hoping the Sox take it all.....the......way..... if for no other reason than to go back to the library for more recaps!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bork! Bork!

Ugh. This debate is making no sense to me at all. It's a pissing match.

Things would get a LOT more interesting if they both just started slapping each other because you know they are just dying to.

And also I quite enjoyed the part where they were both asked to say the same negative things to each other's faces that they say in their ads, and neither could. Now THAT is real life.

With this debate I am definitely seeing things in both candidates that I don't like. And what good is a debate these days anyway? They don't answer the questions, they spin them and dance around them and spew out the lines that they think will get them the vote.

The two candidates can say whatever they like now, but after the election who or what is going to hold them accountable for their campaign promises?

That's right. Nothing.

And for some stupid reason I can't get the Swedish Chef out of my head. With McCain as the Chicken and Obama going Bork! Bork! Two points!

Skyyyyyyyyywriter in fliiiiight! Afternoooon delight!

It was a gorgeous sunset this evening.


I sure am glad you were born on this day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hello Mr. Bluejay!

Last year there were two bluejays hanging out over the winter.

This year it looks like there are four. Today they were splashing about in the birdbath and eating up the seeds I left out.

I tried to get a photo but they sure are jittery birds and the minute I even think about sneaking out onto the deck they fly off.

So here is a photo I found on Flickr to give you an idea:

You should go check out tanager55's photos, they are amazing, especially if you like birds. And photos.

And if I can ever get my own photo, I will be sure to post it. But I suspect I will have to mix some of the birdseed with a sedative in order for that to happen.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Maine Attraction!

The Evil Twin and I went uptah Maine for part of the long weekend and I think I must have said "It's the Maine Attraction!" more times that Rainman said "Ten minutes to Wapner".

I was positive the State of Maine Tourism used that slogan in their advertising, but turns out that the Evil Twin was right and the slogan is "It must be Maine".


Aaaaaaaaanyway. Random Maine photos, with commentary:
(click on the picture to see the big version)

Hampton is a popular place, but the tollbooths were pretty clear.

For a change I wasn't driving so this isn't as dangerous as it usually is for me....

I think that even when I am 97 years old I will still try to get a trucker to blow the horn.

Me & The E.T.!! Our destination was Hallowell, the smallest city in Maine. It is that kind of place where you visit then think about constantly and contemplate moving to. It is a very pretty city.

Most of the downtown buildings were brick, while the ancient homes that dot the city hill were wooden.

Water Street, Hallowell ME

The last rays of the sun. The Kennebec River.

More downtown Hallowell.

And then back on the road to head to the Nutty Professor's house in China. Mostly what we were also doing, aside from driving & eating candy & making farting noises, was leaf peeping. I am pretty sure that the term "leaf peeping" is just a cute term to use, because technically we weren't peeping, it was more like glancing, or gazing...

View from the porch at the Nutty Professor's house. Very conducive to leaf gazing.

We spent the night in China and then went and explored Hallowell again in the morning. We then went to Boothbay Harbor for the afternoon, before toodling home this evening.

All in all I have to say that Maine is a pretty awesome state. I know there is this terrible stereotype of the old Maine fisherman sittin' on a porch saying "ah-yup" and "ya cahnt get thayah from heeyah", but that's just to keep the stupid tourists from making dumb conversation.
The folks I had the pleasure of hanging out with were true Mainers who entertained us in high style. I haven't had a laugh like that in forever, and I am pretty sure that I have eaten about 57,000 more points that Weight Watchers allows.

But I am ready to go back for more. Tomorrow even.

Who's with me?