Friday, May 30, 2008

Hook Heartbreak

I am heartbroken that James Hook burned down. It's like a kick in the gut.

It's like when you found out that as soon as you left the house, your parents threw away all the crap from your childhood - all the hand-drawn pictures, school papers, photographs, yearbooks, medals, ribbons, mash notes into the garbage- and then converted your old bedroom into a home gym.

Let me explain.

When I was a teenager I worked here:

Which is now the Barking Crab but back then it was just a lobster pound known as Neptune Lobster. Which explains why the word "Neptune" is lettered across the side of the building, and why there is a "Neptune Lobster Parking Only" sign affixed to the wall.

At that time it was all women who worked there. The Boss Lady (my mom! yay nepotism), the Deputy Boss Lady, Kimmmmayyyyy, Me, and the Evil Twin. The only boy was the four hundred year old watchman who lived on premises in a closet who had no teeth and called himself Wally. Kimmmmmmmayyyyyy STILL cries a little when she talks or thinks about him. That's a fact.

Neptune was directly across the channel from this place:

(Note: the smaller building on the right is a newer addition)

Anyway, most afternoons and on the weekends it was me n' Kimmmmmay hanging out and waiting for the lobster boats to come in to the docks behind Neptune. Then to kill the time between customers, we would grab the grotty old binocs and scope out the BOYYYYSSSS who worked at James Hook.

The office at Neptune was where the first window is in this picture:

And from those windows we would pick out the cutest guys of the summer stock. Considering how positively disgusting we smelled by the end of the day (kind of like the Super 88 on a 100 degree day when the power goes out) the truth was that the only other people we could hit on were other people who stank like we did, ie: other lobster sellers or the lobster men themselves. A pretty tiny pool really, especially since the lobster men were old back then.

But aside from that, they were always really nice to us. I remember going into shoot the poop with them when I would get stuck on the wrong side when the bridge when it used to open regularly. Those were some really fun times in my life.

That was before the Moakley bridge, when the Northern Ave bridge was still in use for both cars AND boats.

So to see it like this:

really breaks my heart. A part of my youth has been erased because even if it is rebuilt, it will be different. And while I reluctantly understand that these things happen, it still feels like a kick in the gut.

Even more though, my heart goes out to the Hook family. Never mind the past, it's their future that has been destroyed.

(Note: None of the photos in this post are mine, they are from Flickr. Click on them for more info)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sex-For-a-Fee in the REAL World

Sometime I read a police report that really makes me laugh. Sometimes they make me shudder. Other times they make me stop and think.

Lately, with Operation Squeeze going on, I've been thinking a lot about the whole sex-for-a-fee business.

As you may or may not remember (and honestly how could you forget) the previous governor of New York was done in by a very expensive 'ho. Which I think raised more than a few hopes on both sides of this tawdry transaction. And certainly left plenty of people curious as to what exact sex acts could be had for 4 grand. I mean I am imaginative, but sorry fellas, I am not $4,000 imaginative.

However for the regular Joes, or Johns as it were, it would seem that the men of Boston price sex acts in the twenties.

Some of you who read the Herald know about the Boston firefighter arrested for offering an undercover officer $29 for a blow job. I have to know: did he really expect change?

And then I read a report today about an older gent who offered an undercover $20 to first dance naked for him before having "straight" sex with him.

I wonder if he was expecting an AARP discount maybe. I just don't get it. I mean it makes $29 for a blow job seem almost generous.

I could go on, but it starts to get boring and a little ick after a while.

I am pretty positive I would never have sex-for-a-fee. Weeelllllllll, I might for a ton of money. Literally for a ton of money. 2,000 lbs of hundreds that is. A ton of $100's.

But don't tell my folks ok. They still think I am a "good" girl.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Dunkin Donuts Problem

Listen, I hate to admit my love for Dunkies just as much as every other pretentious Masshole.

But here is the truth: not only do I love my medium iced coffee with a little cream, tweekle*, and a strawberry frosted donut**, I only LOVE it when it comes from this one Dunkies in Southie. This is not a phenomena I can explain, it's just that no where else does that combination taste as good.


There are more than TEN (10) Dunkies within striking distance from my house*** and yet I will travel in my car to go to this one Dunkies in South Boston just for that particular chemical fix.

I AM a Masshole. Harbor water in my veins, a pot of beans for a brain.

Long live the Dunkin.

* Tweekle: means "two Equal" in my language
** Strawberry frosted donuts are alleged to be "seasonal"
*** Striking distance = a mile or less

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Let me explain something here.

This week everyone kept asking: "So any fun plans this weekend?"

And my response was: "No"

And what people mostly presumed was that while I did have plans, they weren't fun.

I should have explained that I have no plans of any kind. I was invited to go "down Cape", to go camping, sailing, zombie marching, picnicking, canoing, and while I will admit that I would have probably have said yes to oakie-noodling, I just did not want to have to do anything this whole weekend.


The luxury of my life is that I am only answerable to myself. I don't have to check in with anyone if I want to do something or go somewhere, I don't have to feed a kid or a pet, I don't feel bad if I drink the last beer or eat the last piece of toast - all things I don't mind having to do if I were in a situation that required it. But since I am not, I like to enjoy not having to.

Like right now, I am catching up on my blog and my emails and listening to Alice Cooper Nights on WZLX (the last few tunes included Dokken, Van Halen, Yardbirds...)

I got up when I woke up this morning, went to the gym, cleaned the house a little, had lunch with my sister, went shoe shopping, popped over to see the folksters, half cleaned the bathroom, purged out a desk drawer, talked to a friend for a little while, had a nap....

And you know what? I might do more of the same tomorrow. But then again I might not! Depends on how I feel.

Ah sweet nothing, I love it.

Audrey and Gretel at the Alchemist

Thursday night I went to see Audrey Ryan at the Alchemist in Jamaica Plain. She was playing a double-header with Gretel.

As some of you may know I went to see Ms. Ryan at the Dolphin Striker in Portsmouth back in February. The bar was packed, the crowd was nettlesome, and still she was enchanting.

After the show I bought her CD, exchanged a few pleasantries, and that was that. However since then her album Dishes & Pills has been an integral part of my playlist.

So I was excited to see her again at the Alchemist. The best thing about her music is that she sounds so utterly like no one else I've ever heard. Granted I don't know diddley-doo-doo about the technical nuances of music, I do know that music (to me) is either sounds I like, or sounds I do not.

What I heard Thursday were sounds that thrummed joyfully across my cerebral cortex.

Ms. Ryan's set was short and unfortunately played against the backdrop of the Celtics game - which meant there were bursts of applause at odd moments. Short though it may have been, sweet it definitely was.

After her set was Gretel, who I'd never heard before. Gretel seems to be a four person band, but for some reason they had five people this time. They were great too. And even better was that even though there was less than 50 people in the place, they rocked like they were playing to 500. In a good, full, way - not in the ear piercing annoying way.

I got home I checked Gretel out online and I have to say I think preferred them live. But I am not sure about that yet.

If you get a chance to see either, I highly recommend you do so. The best part was that the show was free. We ate there and the food was excellent, but there was no cover or anything which is great.

Quite possibly one of the best things in life is good live music for free!

PS: The food and the staff were really really nice at the Alchemist. Although that place will always be Triple D's to me, where the brother of a friend got so drunk he crapped in a planter outside thinking he was in the bathroom. Now THAT is drunk.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

L.o.n.g.e.s.t. W.e.e.k. E.v.a.r

For some reason the week before a long weekend seems to drag its butt around the carpet like a constipated dog.

How is it possible that today is Thursday?

I feel like Thursday was two days ago (Tuesday, for those of you not stumbling along the space-time continuum) and really I should not have had to have been at work today. Or wait, and not yesterday either, I think....

Gargh! You see how this happens!

This also means that it is quite possible that I will wake up tomorrow and it will really be Monday afternoon and I will be wondering where the weekend went.

Because you know, that happens to me A LOT.
But usually on Sundays.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I predict

That Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is going to rake in a milliongazillionbillion dollars this Memorial Day weekend.


I further predict that I will be one of those lemmings.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, but, you know.

I, for one, cannot wait until the BPD tries out "The Rumblah" on my car.

"The targeted drivers will hear, in addition to the conventional siren, a deep, guttural sound, then feel a vibration beneath their feet."

Yep, I am ready.

Although I am not so sure that the Shampagne Supernova would survive being "rumbled". She would probably fly apart into a hundred pieces.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Sometimes it's so pretty out.

It was a lovely late afternoon today.
In case you missed it.


Holy Crap! What the #&^%@ IS That?

The other night there was a kerfuffle in the street.

The kind that starts with the words "B*tch!", goes on to include the words "Muthaf*cka", "Ho", "No you di-int!", and typically ends with "I'm gonna f*ck you up!" or "Oh yeah? Why don't you come here and say that sh*t to my face b*tch!"

Nothing too thrilling - no bats or knives, but there is something grotesquely intriguing about two women fighting.

It's just that two men fisticuffing is guttural and unimaginative. Two women screaming at each other is far more engaging - the verbal sewerage that comes spilling out is highly entertaining. If I knew I wouldn't die doing it, I would totally go out there with a tape recorder. When I am mad, I sputter and every great comeback line comes to me about 3 days after the fact. A handier, pre-recorded, back-pocket retort would be awesome.

So wait, where was I going with this post....

Oh yeah. So there was this kerfuffle the other night. I listened out the window for a bit and then it sounded like they were exchanging a few slaps, there was a ripping noise, then some other women stepped in and the whole thing was over.

However when I was walking down the street this afternoon I saw this:

Of course I was like, what the f*ck IS that? A dead bird?

And of course I had to take a closer look:

Ha hahhhahaha! It was the hair! From the b*tchslap fest the other night.

THAT explains the ripping sounds! Good lord, another thing to remember about high-falutin' city living: never, ever, wear fake hair when you plan on tackling your ex-man's new b*tch!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great Gift Idea for a Grandparent

I am 100% Grandpa is NOT going to love me more for sharing this information with you, but he recently had a case of shingles.

Which is why he is growing a beard that makes him look much younger than 92.

I mention this because he was first diagnosed with having impetigo.

Which I thought was hilarious because it was right at the same time that Amy Winehouse was running around old London town with a dose of the impetigo herself. Never would I have ever put Gramps and Amy together in the same sentence.

But what really goes to show you that doctors aren't really expecting to see shingles in 92 year olds.

However the CDC expects that anyone over 85 who has had the chicken pox has a 50% chance of getting shingles. There is now a vaccine for it and while it doesn't work 100% for everyone, it is better than not taking it. Read more about it here.

Grandpa is lucky because he was treated pretty fast once it was diagnosed as shingles. Hopefully the painful effects won't last.

And if I had known that back in December, I could have gotten him the vaccine for Christmas!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's NOT a marathon.

I convinced my friend Moet (of Sassy Sauce fame) to run the Jack Kerouac 5k with me this September. I am pretty sure that I have likely consumed about 47 jars of sassy sauce, so really I blame her for my oversized hassock and shockingly high cholesterol.

Anyway I have been going to the gym regularly for three weeks now. Which quite possibly means that hell has frozen over, or, I've died and hell is a gym. I figured I would give the Couch-Potato-to-5K regimen a try and run the Kerouac 5K is in September, which means I have a couple of months to figure out how to run 3.1 miles without dying.

Some people out there won't get it, this inability of mine to run with ease. Those people are natural runners. They're the ones who hop on the treadmill next to me and run like gazelles, gliding along on long legs, leaping forward at a rate of speed that would chuck me off the machine immediately.

I clamber onto the treadmill and as soon as I hit "Start" I want to get off. I look ridiculous running. I look pained from minute one and things don't improve much from there. My legs kind of splay out weirdly, one foot swings out and around while the other foot goes off to see what else is going on over on the other machines. I am easily distracted and almost constantly panting.

Which is even more ridiculous considering I am only on week 1 of the plan which means that I am only running for 60 seconds, and then walking for 90 seconds.

Eh well. It's for a good cause. The Kerouac run is a fund raiser run to send a deserving Lowell senior to college and I am all for learning. Even better the race ends at a bar. So not only is it a literary run for a good & intellectual cause, there is beer at the end, a sort of Holy Grail if you will.

I just have to try and not die from running between now and September 28th.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

10 Reasons Why My Mom Rocks

Personally I love Mother's Day because it is the one holiday each year where I can reflect on how much I appreciate my Mom and not just in return for giving me a present (ie: Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthday...).

My Mom really does rock. And here is why - both my Evil Twin and I came up with this list because well we both think she rocks, but uh, I am the wordy one:

10. While she can occasionally make sweeping and often surprising judgments herself, she raised me and my Evil Twin to be open-minded and non-judgmental. We were raised in what was at the time a pretty diverse neighborhood - black, white, hispanic, gay, straight, whatever - she never put any emphasis on one or the other as being different or bad or special. My mother believes everyone is the same and treats everyone as such.

9. She wants everyone to be happy and always thinks life is wonderful. No, seriously. When I was a kid I used to test her. I would get wildly ugly haircuts, and torment her with absurd ideas of career choices - all she would say was "as long as you are happy". I think now that probably that was a personal mantra to keep her from killing me, but I do believe she meant it as well.

8. She has a super-sexy French accent.

7. Don't let her fool you, she is smart. She knows a surprising amount of interesting tidbits and lots of big words. There are two things you should not do with my Mom: take her to Vegas because I have a feeling that she is a card shark, or doubt her ability to do anything she puts her mind to doing.

6. She could not repeat a joke. Not for one million dollars. If you called her up right now and said "Tell me a joke and I will give you one million dollars", if she didn't hang up on you, she would not be able to do it. She does however think other people are hysterically funny. She thinks this blog is funny, she thinks my Evil Twin is funny (looking maybe.. ahahhaha) and she thinks life in general is pretty funny.

5. She has a farting double standard. She alleges that she doesn't fart. And other people who do are "really grozz". However whenever she lets one slip, it's hilariously funny. I mean, if she ever let one slip...

4. She signs all her notes, emails, and texts with her initials. As in: "blah blah blah, Love XYZ". The exceptions to this rule are Christmas present tags which she signs "Love from Christmas Mousey" or "Love from Guess Who". And birthday cards, which are simply signed "Love Mom".

3. Whenever she makes a meal off the cuff with random items out of the fridge she calls it "plat unique" which I believe is French for "Might taste like poop, might not". A recent chicken-corn-pineapple-bacon melange recently comes to mind, but I am not going to say which "might" column that fell into. I am afraid of never being fed again.

2. Without her I think my Dad would starve to death. Well, not before eating every last thing in the house, right down to the last cornichon. Which he would probably dip in cream.

1. Whenever she calls, she always ALWAYS leaves a message. So not only do I see that her number has popped up on caller ID, but then she leaves this exact message: "Hi Leeeleee! Zis iz your mozer. Call me back!" Uh, really? My mom? Are you sure? Wait, I am being sarcastic. How many other French woman does she think are calling me in a day?And yes, that is the exact message, every time. Except she calls me by my real name because she gave it to me.

So yeah Mom, believe me when I say that you are much loved by two great kids.

And thank you for your unfailing love and support, especially during the ages between 13 to 18.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Really, really sad.

Today the alleged murderers of Luis Gerena were arraigned in Roxbury District Court and I had the opportunity to see the members of his family and his friends who came for the arraignment.

To be honest, I don't think that I would have been able to sit through the arraignment. The facts of the case are heartbreaking enough on paper. I cannot imagine being the mother listening to them.

What is reported in the newspapers seems almost clinical: the mother weeps, the boy was shot, friends and family are devastated.

However I feel sometimes like words ought to be used instead to tear out your heart a little, just like the actual crime does to the people it affects.

I mean a thirteen year old boy was shot five times, five minutes from home. He was thirteen. He wasn't in a gang. He was a pre-teen living in a tough neighborhood but that does not mean his painful, solitary death should be shrugged off.

A thirteen year old boy, perched between the naivety of childhood and the sudden, surprising hardness of his teenage years, that's all. He was shot to death - hot, hard bullets shredding through the soft and pliant tissues of his liver, his kidney, his heart. A little kid really. Torn up by bullets on a cold winter night. Left to die by himself, without the comfort of his family, bewildered and terrified and dying.

And for what? For nothing. At the end of the day, there is no reason worth his life.

Ok, I know it's grim. But you know what, it was on my mind.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I Blame Little House on the Prairie

I know what a hair receiver is, do you?

Granted they haven't been in use since, I dunno, 1898. But I know what they are because little Laura Ingalls mentioned it in one of her Little House books. I believe she or Mary made one for Ma.

And when I was a kid - reading these books and coming across words that had been popular in the 1800's - my parents made me look stuff up in the dictionary instead of just friggin' telling me what the words meant. Possibly because it was a 100 years later and they didn't know either.

Which is why I was probably the only 10 year old who knew that braces are what I call suspenders, that dimity is a type of cotton fabric interwoven with heavier ribbon, and that a slough is basically a swamp.

And because of this constant word search I asked to get a dictionary for my 15th birthday. With a stand please. The Random House, 2nd Edition, Unabridged.

It doesn't have the word "internet" in it, nor any other 21st century contribution, but that's fine. That's what I have the "internet" for anyway.

You might just ask what all this book learnin' is good for? Well let me tell you! Scrabble for one thing. You whip "dimity" on the board and you are guaranteed a challenge that I promise you will win.

Oh and ShiftyMike in case you forgot to look it up, I was totally wrong about "oxbow". It IS a word (again, thank you Laura Ingalls), but has nothing to do with bows and arrows. But you are very welcome anyway. Next time I won't be such an amenable opponent.

I will instead crush you with my knowledge of random vowel-friendly 18th and 19th century vocabulary.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

It's Not Called the Roxbury Tollbooth for Nothin'

Today on I was pointed to an article on about panhandling at the intersection of Mass Ave and Melnea Cass and the highway.

First of all I find the graphic text hilarious:

Rather than just say "Area of Interest", it basically says "THIS IS A BAD FIRST IMPRESSION FOR OUT-OF-TOWNERS EN ROUTE TO A SOX GAME".

Or something like that.

And then they open the article with such a cheeseball line: "The call went out: "Yo, po-po!" and within seconds, the panhandlers who meander with regularity through the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Melnea Cass Boulevard near Boston Medical Center scattered to parts unknown." Really quite unforgivable writing.

Pretty soon someone there is going to start an article with the line "It was a dark and stormy night.." at which point we can just hire a few wreckers to tear down 135 Morrissey Boulevard
because all hope will have been lost.

Personally I don't really give a sh*t about panhandlers at that intersection. For the most part if you don't lower the window, and don't make eye contact, you're left alone. They might call you an a**hole, but if you can't spare a f*cking quarter, then they are sort of right.

And while the Globe article made it sound like the "street beggars" who run the Roxbury Tollbooth were innocent victims of a heartless economy, persecuted for being impoverished (hey! I could write for the Globe huh!), the reality is that often times there are other major issues that are the root of these people being homeless; drug addiction and mental illnesses to name an obvious two. So unless someone wants help and is willing to jump through a million bureaucratic hoops to get it, they are probably just going to continue to be panhandling, getting arrested, and basically living a life none of us would envy.

And when one considers that the nearby homeless shelter can hold up to 190 people, yet only about a dozen people ever seem to be panhandling that intersection, while the rest of the bunch are actually licensed flower sellers, the problem seems to be more aesthetic than endemic. I would be interested to see exactly how many assault by panhandlers on drivers there are in a year. I will see if I can find out.

Lastly, I am surprised that no mention was made of the kids who hang out there on the weekends in the warmer months. You know the ones, they are in bright orange shirts marked "Boston Chargers", shaking taped up tin cans at motorists. If you ask me they are worse than panhandlers, they swarm through the lines of stopped cars, tapping on windows, and dodging the light cycles. One day that is sure to end in tragedy. And can anyone tell me what exactly are the Boston Chargers?

Ok, I am done. Thanks Boston Globe for yet again providing me with the laugh of the day.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

What the Natick Collection really needs....

Is a big f*cking luxury/high-end casino. If they want something luxury/high-end to make money that is.

An article on reported on the lack of luxury spending out at the Natick Collection, you can read about it here: Downscaled hopes for an upscale mall

For some reason the article really irritated me. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that lately I have found that most everything I read on is either blah or irrelevant, or if it is because I think that the Natick Collection is just about the dumbest idea in retailing ever, or if it is because most of the people quoted in the article sound as though they ought to have their heads shoved up their asses.

Let me just state for the record that everything I know about Natick is based on no better information that the fact that I've only been there about four times in my life, and that I only know about five people who live there. And I hardly visit them because you know what? Natick is f*cking far from Boston.

However even in my limited opinion, it never really struck me that the people who moved to Natick did so to go shopping at high-end luxury retailers. Mostly the people I know who moved there did so to raise families, to be in a suburban commuter community, to be away from the "City". They are people who wear Gap chinos because they are wash and wear - show me one parent out there who sees a "Dry Clean Only" tag and doesn't immediately put the item immediately back on the rack.

So when I first read about the Natick Collection, I wondered who would buy a million-plus apartment at a mall, to then go downstairs and buy a pair of Manolos, and then stroll over to Sel de la Terre for dinner, without ever leaving the mall. Apparently the fancy, diamond-wearing, Chinese food eating woman on the homepage of the Natick Collection website is who. What a ridiculous photo! Who dresses like that - hair, make-up, jewelry - to eat greasy noodles on the floor in the middle of the day? Please.

It would seem to me that the folks who are into that sort of flashy consumerism want to be seen being chauffeured to the Capital Grille and then to the theater and later at the Four Seasons mingling with other spenderati rather than be ogled by the mall set. And in the city you have options. Really the Natick Collection is like a party on a boat - if it sucks, you better suck it up because there is no way out.

And anyway, is a Manolo in a mall, really a Manolo if no one else knows what it is?

The article only covered the high end retailers, although it did make mention that the Gap was pretty busy, as was Macy's. Right there is the DBATSO* phrase of the day - people are not really buying $3000 handbags at the minute. People want H&M, Forever 21, and 9 West - cheap, feel-good purchases, a kind of cotton candy for the soul as the proverbial belt gets cinched ever tighter.

But possibly there is another reason.

The expensive retailers seem to have an unfortunate opinion of the locals, and as everyone knows, if there is one thing New Money cannot stand, it is being talked down to. This is made painfully obvious when Betty Ruiz of Stil said: "It's been quiet. Even if you have money, you may not have taste. We have to educate our customers on style. It's hard. I thought it would be easier in Natick."

Wow, did you hear that you denizens of Natick, you have no taste! You need to be taught!

With an attitude like Betty's, it is no big surprise those luxury & high-end sales are sluggish.

*DBATSO - Don't Be Afraid To State Obvious.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Whatever he is, he is NOT gangster!

The Heraahld ran this picture in todays paypah:

For some bizzah reason they filed it under the Inside Track which is mostly known for provincial gossip and a weird, guess-who-did-what-or-who column once in a while.

I have no idea why they decided on this photo which was apparently taken in 2005, but I find it hilarious. Even more so that anyone would consider it a gang sign. Our beloved and belittled Mayah is like an angel food cake - white & airy. Not only that, but he is also completely unintelligible about 94.7% of the time, hence his nickname Mumbles.

And that is no joke. I met him once at the bakery where I worked and when I asked him what he wanted he said: "Gfarty! Hungindfth arbothed milk".

So that is not him flashing a gang sign, that is him mumbling in sign language. And anyway, look at how they are all dressed. That is not a gangster look at all.

That is gangster like gangster in the Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch kind of gangster way.

(And really you need to watch the video if for no other reason than to see Marky Mark lick his lips when he is in bed with his chick, because if you are even passing familiar with Dot boys, you will totally recognize THAT move. It's at about minute 2:41 and you're welcome.)

But yeah, back to the photo.

The best line comes from Menino's own office:

I think he thought he was speaking in Italian,” said Menino’s spokesgal Dot Joyce. “Either that or he was making shadow puppets.”

Which sums up the Mayah perfectly.