Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You heard it here first.

Nicollette Sheridan and Michael Bolton are NOT getting married. At least according to the NYT they're not.

I would just like to point out that I called that already here and here - and of that original list only Tory & Dean are still together. That's sad.

Anyway. I just wanted to point that out.

My new theory is that in a few years (maybe one, or perhaps three) they are going to run away together and get married on a beach in secret. Or on a ski slope in secret.

And when they do, remember, you read THAT here first.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Being British + Visiting Spain = Death *

So I read a very interesting article about certain British tourists in Europe behaving remarkably badly. It seems that these certain types go on booze fueled binges and tear through little Greek & Spanish towns that offer $50 booze tours. Hmmm.

As a Bostonian I am aware of certain behaviors by the British and all I can say is that between the Stamp Act, a Massacre, and one clandestine evening tea party - things involving a rabble of drunken Brits don't typically end well.

Anyway, aside from the lurid tales of binge drinking and general mayhemery, what I found most interesting about this article, that ran in the NYT, was the following statement:

"A recent report published by the British Foreign Office, “British Behavior Abroad,” noted that in a 12-month period in 2006 and 2007, 602 Britons were hospitalized and 28 raped in Greece, and that 1,591 died in Spain and 2,032 were arrested there."

Holy crap! 1,591 deaths in 12 months! Now granted this doesn't specify whether these are deaths due to drinking, or if the number includes elderly expats (Spain is like Florida to Britons - la sala de espera de dios, if you will), or if it's just pissed off Spaniards clubbing the Brits to death... but still, it is a high number.

That is just over 4 British deaths per day, every day for a year.

Spain is about 194, 897 sq mi in size, slightly larger than California at 155,973 sq mi, and yet according to the British Foreign Office, consular assistance was needed for only 95 deaths in the whole of the US in that same time period. That's like a quarter of a person per day.

I realize that there are huge cultural differences in the whys and wherefores in these numbers, but I am sort of awed at the fact that this kind of unrepentant boor-ism would come from the such stiff upper lips. G'lordy, the British brought us tea and wellies and Barbour and Marmite and Land Rovers, while we introduced them to the atom bomb and tobacco and bourbon, for crying aloud! Hmmm, however we should have seen this coming when they tried to slip us Heather Mills...

Ahhh well, I suppose it's those stiff upper lips that would drive a person to drink. If I had to draw a parallel to a US equivalent, I would go with the American college campus in terms of drunken debauchery. All those frustrated and highly pressurized teens suddenly let loose at college keg...

At least if I had to make the comparison, that is the first place I'd look.

* that is, if you fall into that .01% of unfortunate British tourists that the Grim Reaper is coming for.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ads I cannot stand

For the most part I can't stand advertising and since I haven't got cable, it's an evil I have to put up with.

Right now there is one particular commercial running that I CANNOT STAND.

I literally either hit the mute button or change the channel when it comes on. It is that ad for Dark Chocolate M&M's, the one where they are supposed to be the Addams Family.

It's unoriginal, unappetizing, and frankly, it's f*cking creepy. And not tongue in cheek creepy like the Addams Family is meant to be. It's just creepy. And with awful, uncatchy, lyrics. And why is Morticia sticking her tongue out? I love dark chocolate, but I am not likely to buy these ever.

As for print ads, well right now I am hating on the Fresh Step ads. Seriously, I hate it when advertisers use anthropomorphism to sell crap.

Especially cat litter.

Especially when it looks more like the cat was caught rubbing one out:

Seriously though, don't you feel bad for the cat? I kind of do. Ugh, you know, this is wrong in so many ways because I've just remembered... don't cats lick themselves clean? Oh!Oh! My brain! My eyes! See, this is another reason anthropomorphism is a sh*tty idea!!!

Moving on, moving on.... Oh wait one more...

Now THIS is a cat desperate for a clean place to poop:

Either that or it was just kicked in the kitty balls.

It's Monday. I have to b*tch about SOMETHING.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Best day EVER

So this morning I got up early because I can't help it on the weekends.

And I fiddled around the house for a bit. It was shaping up to be a beeeeyoootiful day so I was sort of trying to get things done before heading out.

Then the Evil Twin called. She was trying to get motivated, I was trying to get motivated, but instead we decided to go to the beach together.

You have to understand that in terms of coloring the E.T. takes after the northern European side of the family (pale blue to translucent white) while I take after the Mediterranean side of the family (pale sallow to weak tan) so it is rare for Evil Twin to come out to the beach with me.

In the summer, on very nice weekend days, I will easily spend the entire day switching between the sand and the surf. I can't GET enough sun on me. If Evil Twin tried that I am pretty sure she would straight out combust. Or shrivel up into a raisin. Which would be hard to explain to the family.

So it is a rare thing to have a great beach day with her. We tried last weekend, but that was a bust. This weekend was a fantastic gift of a day.

The temperature was perfect, the water was refreshing and not at all freezing, and for a change we were well prepared with a cooler packed with sandwiches, cookies, chips, and everything. The company, in my opinion, was excellent, and the conversation witty.

So civilized!

Anyway. I am now totally contented, completely starched with salt, and my skin is sun-warmed. I could not be happier if I was medicated. After a week of rain, I now feel wholly restored.

And my lovely neighbors just invited me over for BBQ and rum drinks. Seriously, could my life get any better right now?

Noise? What noise?

I deleted the player. It was beginning to REALLY annoy me.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The opposite of a fun way to wake up in the morning.

As you know, I wake up at a ridiculously early hour on the weekends. Clearly there is a bug in the program that needs work.

Today, Saturday, was no different. As soon as it got bright out, I woke up. I lounged about in bed for a bit and then decided to shuffle downstairs to make coffee.

I open my bedroom door and see something blurry flying around down the end of the hallway.


Nothing I own or have in my house can fly, so what the f*ck was that??

As I try to process this into my still asleep brain the blurry flurry flies towards me. I panic and bolt back into my bedroom and shut the door.

It is a sparrow and while they might look small on the sidewalk, let me tell you that in the confines of my small hallway a sparrow becomes 10 times its normal size.

Of course the first thing I do is call my mom. Who of course thinks this is hilarious.

Ugh. A very angry sparrow is totally NOT what I wanted to deal with on a Saturday morning. Eventually when it stops flapping I crawl out of my room, open the front window as wide as possible and then wait for the poor thing to fly out.

Which it eventually does, but not before crapping on a few things, bumping into every wall and into the window and then FINALLY zooming out the window.

I wonder if it is just a coincidence then that my car is now covered in bird poop.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Yeah, that noise is coming from this blog.

I inserted a little music player over there on the right hand side.

Let me know if you like it. Or if it is totally annoying to have music on a blog.

But if you just don't like my taste in music, uh, too bad. Or send me a suggestion.

Because I wouldn't really call it having "taste" in music. When it comes to music I am like a blind squirrel scurrying around for acorns - it's only every now and then that I hit the motherlode, but mostly it's just sad to watch. Or listen to.

Or something like that. G'lordy where am I going with this???

No, really, it's just allergies. I swear.

So today I realized I was completely out of allergy medication. What a surprise since I've been 8-balling them all week alongside Aleve.

It's a miracle that my liver is still functioning.

Anyway I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to get some more and also to refill a prescription, oh and to maybe buy some travel sized toiletries - because I like mini things.

So at the counter I ask the pharmacist where I would find Zyrtec. I am usually a Claritin girl but the Evil Twin keeps telling me about Zyrtec and since she knows I wear down quickly from repetition I figured I would give it a try.

However when I ask for Zyrtec at the pharmacy counter, the pharmacist tells me that it's sold by prescription only.

Hmmmmm. That's weird. I thought all allergy medications were over the counter these days. So I asked again, just to be sure.

And again the pharmacist tells me no, it's not OTC it is prescription only and that I should talk to my doctor about getting a prescription. I don't press the issue because the pharmacy is busy and there are lots of people waiting to both pick up and to drop off.

Finally I get my prescription and get ready to pay when I realize that I hadn't been asking for Zyrtec at all. While I thought I was saying Zyrtec, the actual word coming out of my mouth was Valtrex.


So I tell the pharmacist that I meant to ask for Zyrtec, not Valtrex, and where might I find it?

At which point the pharmacist kindly asks : "Ma'am, what exactly are you trying to treat?"


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Yeah, you know, I DO love living in the city.

After the madness of the past few days, right now I am watching out the window as a neighbor across the street sands down the Bondo on his sh*tbox and sings along to....

I, for one, am all about the restorative properties of the Golden Oldies.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Remember that movie.....

Something Wicked This Way Comes......

Yeah, I think it's coming all right. This was the view from the front of the house this evening:

While this was the view out the back:

Oh, right, I live in the city. I almost forgot.

Last night around 10pm, right around the time I am hunkering down to the summery sound of a million crickets in my backyard, I instead heard five gunshots in a row: BAM!-BAM!-BAM!-BAM!-BAM!

It was right outside my front window - oh and before you ask, I can definitely tell the difference between firecrackers and bulletcrackers.

So I get on the phone to call the police. You know what a fun time I have on the phone with them. Anyway the operator is really nice this time, but says:

"OK, wait, are you calling about shots fired on Lenox?"

Me: "Uh no"

Operator: "Oh ok, oh wait, are you talking about the shots fired on Tremont? We've just gotten a bunch of calls on that one."

Me: "Uh no, I am on Suchandsuch Street, it's between those though."

Operator: "Well, there are officers just up the street, can you see them?"

Me: "Weeeellll, I am not likely to go out and flag down the police right now SINCE SOMEONE IS FIRING A GUN OUT THERE, OOPS I MEAN, PEOPLE ARE SHOOTING A COUPLE OF GUNS OUT THERE APPARENTLY!!!!"

Except for I didn't say anything, I said:

"Oh, ok, I'll go check."

At which point I rang off and then opened the upper floor window to see what was going on. By that time there were lots of people out in the street trying to figure out what was going on. If you know this blog, you will know I am a complete nosy parker out the window.

It seems that some rivals gangs were shooting at each other. The five shots I heard were fired across the street and one building diagonal from me.

The fact that this didn't scare the sh*t out of me makes me a tiny bit worried. I feel like I ought to take these sorts of things more, you know, seriously. But I think that I am sort of used to it.

What does make me more concerned however is that when I checked up on the incidents this morning, it turns out that there were several MORE reports of gunfire later on in the night, from both across the street from me, AND from a few doors down from me.

I didn't even hear a thing. See, this is why I could never live in the 'burbs. Too quiet. I would never be able to sleep.

PS: I wonder if wooden bullets are as bad as regular bullets. Just curious.

Wait, isn't the Taj the old Ritz?

The Taj is at 15 Arlington Street. I really thought that was considered the Back Bay.

But I guess the Herald thinks differently...

Saturday Stroll v.2

Due to my own dunderheadedness, the post about my Saturday adventure was sent to the Great Blog-yard in the Sky.

Since I can never recapture the magic of the original, here is a not-as-inspiring recap, more visuals than humor. Sorry.

Recap. My auntie and our lovely French companion went for a stroll on Saturday.

This is where we went:

And this is some of what we saw:

An observation - lately I've been noticing "Fallout" signs on buildings. Also, the use of the word "Spa" doesn't seem to be as popular as it used to be in like the times before, oh say, 1978.

Saturday's Long Walk

New post, coming soon.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why cookies.

Usually I try to confine the cooking portion of this blog to Calamity Shazaam, but while this post/rant is from a food related incident, it is not really about food.

As you know from my previous post I participated in the great cookie bake off known as Operation Baking GALS (Give A Little Support). I baked, packed, and shipped a box of cookies to a soldier in Iraq. It was a fun thing to do, and I plan to do it again.

I blogged about it and talked about it to folks who asked me how my weekend was. Mostly the reaction was "Fun!" "Cool" or "Where's my cookie?" but then twice now the reaction has been "Cookies for soldiers? In Iraq? Wait, do you support the war?" and "Why for a soldier? You could serve dinner locally at the shelter instead".

Huh? Really?

Sometimes I am surprised at the things that come out of people's mouths.

First of all, I don't support the war, but I am not opposed to war. War is a result of human nature. We can't prevent or stop it anymore that we can stop or prevent people from inventing stuff or having road rage or desiring to procreate. That doesn't mean we have to love it or hate it.

Second of all to me I am very grateful that I live in America. I have a wonderful life. I've been vaccinated, have had regular dental & health care, I have hot and cold running water on demand out of three separate faucets, I have three separate toilets (yay indoor plumbing!), if it's cold I flick on a switch and heat comes on, or if I am too hot I can turn on a fan. I figure out ways to live with less so as to reduce my "carbon footprint". I was given a privileged education, I have my choice of careers, I own my own car, I can choose to drive to work, or walk. I have a little money in the bank, a family that is more or less intact - happy, healthy, and mostly successful. I have a comfortable bed and electricity that is supplied steadily 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I get to vote in reasonable uncorrupted elections and can petition for change as and when I see fit. I could go on, but if you live in the States, you know what I mean. What we can and do complain about is mostly superficial stuff.

I believe that the reason that I have this great life is because our system has armed forces incorporated into it. Not that I necessarily agree with every cause of war, I think that the Civil War worked out for a majority of the population, and that the Revolutionary War resulted in something good. These days it's hard to even talk about it because people get foamy at the mouth around here when you mention the military in any positive light, but whatever. I see it like this. I pay taxes, taxes pay for the military, making soldiers my co-workers in society. And everyone knows, the happier the workers, the better a job gets done.

I am glad that I have the resources to send a soldier a little reminder of the good life. And to let them know that someone is thinking just of them for at least a few hours in a day.

So I am going to keep sending cookies. And the next person who wants to pee in the punchbowl is going to get a cookie shoved in their..... uh.... pie hole.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lost Weekend - In the Kitchen

Check out my other blog to see what I was up to this weekend:

Calamity Shazaam in the Kitchen

Basically I baked several dozen cookies for Operation Baking GALS. Which means that I mostly ate cookies this weekend.

Which may explain the headache and why I am laying on the couch watching Enchanted.

Although I did take a few photos on my way over to the post office tonight.