Friday, December 29, 2006

Natural selection in Norfolk

To all commuters arriving at the Norfolk Station on Rte. 115 after dark, and those of you wearing black please pay special attention- LOOK BOTH WAYS before crossing the street.
Those glowing orbs you see coming towards you are attached to large metal objects on 4 wheels. Their pilots just may not be able to see you too well when you dart out in front with no warning.

(Note to the town of Norfolk- a traffic light would be annoying in that particular spot, but might just save some of your citizens from being eligible for a Darwin Award.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Asian drink experiment

Roommate went on a shopping spree at the Asian grocery store on Xmas Eve (nothing else was open). One of the treasures he returned with was something called White-Gourd Juice. We both tried it and it's not terrible (meaning it didn't make me dry heave), it's just pretty obvious that it's not a fruit.

(In your Asian drink experiments, please remember to stay away from durian- a dining companion practically cleared the table one night at a Brookline restaurant. His durian smoothie smelled like someone mixed onions and dog poo in the blender before plunking it down on our table. How appetizing.)

Florida, in Photos

Don't you just love the famous 100 Foot Christmas Tree in Delray Beach?

The angry skies

Flew Jet Blue down to Florida. I'd totally fly with them again. It's not the airline's fault that the bad weather on Friday caused the passengers to feel like we were on riding a log flume at 40,000 feet, complete with periodic drops and dips and gasps of terror.

it was a bit odd when the pilot did a commercial for the Jet Blue AmEx card before taxiing down the runway at Logan. For the most part, Jet Blue is kind of like Target- they use design to hide the discount feel. They know that the small touches are what count. There was no in-flight magazine, but there were individual TV screens with 36 channels, plus 3 movie options. The flight attendants did not make you feel bad if you asked for another bag of chips. And I've never had so much leg room!

Bad moods abound in the Sunshine State

I spent the long weekend visiting family in Florida. I expected the heat, humidity, and rain. I did not expect the nasty attitudes. I'm not saying that all residents of the Sunshine State lack a sunny disposition. Just a large amount of the population of Palm Beach County.

  • A young woman that I spoke with while waiting on line told me that someone keyed her car the day before. The reason- she got a parking spot at the mall that the keyer had no chance of getting.
  • People, especially older people, who would rather ram their shopping cart into someone than say "excuse me"
  • A woman looked at me like I had 3 heads when I said "pardon me" as I scooted by her at the grocery store

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mall RugRats

I got yelled at by some snotty mom in the Chestnut Hill Mall today as I tried not to run over her wandering toddler.

It all began when I almost ran smack into a wandering little boy. He was right in the middle of the walkway, and I couldn't really tell who he belonged to (I almost asked him if he was looking for his mommy or daddy.)

I stopped. He stopped. I hovered, not sure which way the kid was going to move next. Right? Left? I feared that if I tried to twirl around him, I might wind up knocking right into the little boy. I may not love kids, but I have no desire to knee one in teh face. After an awkward little dance, he seemed stuck int hat one spot, and so I moved on. I was like halfway down the hall when a voice yells after me "nice face there miss!" I turned around. It was the mommy. (Had I been making a face? I don't know, I was too busy concentrating on not steamrolling a toddler). "I was trying not to run over your son!," I shot back. This did not seem to matter to the pit bull of a mom. She yelled some more. I don't remember what, because I didn't seem it important enough to bother paying attention to.

Let's recap:
Instead of appreciating my attempt not to hurt her little kid, who should not have been straying so into the middle of a crowd of holiday shoppers, some bitch yelled at me because I apparently made a face while doing so.

Some people have such strange priorities.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hanukkah Ornaments

I'm the only Jew at work. To make me feel less left out by all the Christmas decor, my employer sent me off to shop for some Hanukkah stuff. In addition to the usual dreidels and wall decor, I thought that a Hanukkah ornament of some sort would lend a somewhat ironic and funny touch to the office tree (which is like 7 feet high and covered in trimming).
I went to the Hallmark store in the suburb where I work. I inquired about Hanukkah wall decor as well as a possible Hanukkah ornament.

Me: "Do you guys have any Hanukkah ornaments? Like to hang on a tree."

A long silence followed. The store's employees looked at me like I'd just uttered a racial slur.

Still Stunned Employee: "No, Hallmark doesn't make one of those. Why would you think they do?"

Me: "It's kind of funny, right? Ironic."

Still Stunned Employee: "No."

Me: "I'm Jewish and I think it's funny."

(More silence)

Me: "People I work with, who aren't Jewish, thought it was a funny."

Moral of the story- Hallmark takes their holiday ornaments VERY seriously and has no sense of humor about them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Boston's ICA gets new home

The new ICA

hospitality tent

living art

is it destruction or is it art?

Headed out to the seaport to check out the new home of Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. It was a lot smaller than I imagined, and looked, from the back, like an air conditioning unit. The front and sides were much more impressive, allowing for multiple views of the harbor and city. There was also an outdoor area best described as a large patio.

I decided not to wait on line forever and opted to hang out on the patio. There was also a hospitality tent, sponsored by Target, a smart move, since the ICA people probably expected it to be freezing (which it wasn't).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Hezbollah cracks me up

I never thought I'd utter (type?) those words. The last organization you expect to use nonviolence to make a point is a group like Hezbollah.

I wonder if the headline was meant to be humorous?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Turkey is overrated

My family actually voted against having turkey this Thanksgiving, so we had some roast chicken instead. The dry, tasteless white meat from a chicken is similar enough to that of a turkey.

It was a generally uneventful evening, minus the repeated declarations of one dinner guest (brought by the son of a family friend) that she was a Zionist. Literally, whenever talking about her upcoming trip to the Holy Land or the group she will be traveling with (which was often), she'd somehow work in the phrase "I'm a Zionist," like she was the only person at the table who was a supporter of Israel. I'm fairly sure that no one present at my mother's lovely Thanksgiving meal hated Israel. Heck, even right wing nutcase Jerry Falwell is apparently a Zionist.

I'm happy that our guest is one (a Zionist, not right wing nutcase) but as far as I know there was no prize for Best Zionist being given out after dinner. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I work in advertising, therefore I must be....

I may work in advertising, but I like to think that I'm not as bad as this video makes me seem.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bagel Sacrilege in West Roxbury

I watched as a woman committed bagel sacrilege this morning.

Cream cheese and meat do not belong together.

I grew up in a kosher home. That was definitely where part of the horror came from. But when I told my gentile co-workers about what I'd witnessed and they were grossed out as well, I knew that the woman in the bagel store had committed some sort of crime against food.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Noise Pollution

The neighbors are at it again- playing bad music at a volume that ensures that anyone in a 3 block radius can hear. And, of course, the baby spent a good portion of the day screaming, since he hates the music too. Perhaps his parents should get the hint.

I was pondering their choice of music earlier, lamenting to my roommate that not only do we have neighbors who play music at an ungodly volume, it's that they play bad music loud enough to wake the dead. In my roommate's ideal world, there would be Music Police top stop people from playing music like the stuff coming from downstairs. I think that's a brilliant idea.

Check out accounting jobs, UK at

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chelsea's WWI Memorial 2.0

Went to the unveiling ceremony Saturday of the new WWI memorial in front of Chelsea High School (a friend teaches there). I'm not sure I've been to a formal celebration of Veterans Day ever before. It was an appropriate tribute to those who gave their lives for our freedom.

From the Boston Globe:

Ernie Sullivan was searching for a hands-on project for his Advanced Placement U.S. History class when he told his students to research a World War I memorial near Chelsea High School. What he and the teenagers found, he said, was a "huge historical omission."
Article Tools

The plaque didn't include the names of more than three dozen soldiers with ties to Chelsea who died during the war.

On Saturday, the work that began as a class project in 2001 culminated with the dedication of a new memorial with 99 names -- including 41 that weren't on the original. The ceremony was attended by Sullivan, his former students, veterans and city officials.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kerry Fallout in Boston

I was checking out something on the Mayor's 24 Hour Constituent Service page today, and noticed that if you go to the drop down menu labeled "Code" and scroll down you'll see the option to choose "Kerry Fallout," among other options like "Abandoned Cars" and "Code Enforcement."

Umm.. maybe I'm a relative newbie to Boston (I've been here about a year), but can someone please explain what "Kerry Fallout" is, and why is it on the Constituent Service page?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hounds abound!

While in Ipswich on Saturday, I saw a group of hounds(like 20 to 30 dogs) leading a contingent of English-style riders down Argilla Rd. Some sort of Anglophile hunting reenactment group? offers the latest on internships and entry level jobs.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Is a sweaty dog worse than a wet one?

While watching a dog show on TV today, I learned that the Chinese Crested is a hairless dog that does not pant, as it (unlike other dogs) has sweat glands. So, not only does it look like the victim of some sort of molting disease, it sweats.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Educating Texans, one d!ldo at a time

The smartest sex toys in the South

Texans can't buy certain sex toys, but they sure can get some nifty phallic "educational models."

And I thought we had some odd laws in New England...

(via Fleshbot)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Meditation on being a Grown Up

Ever feel like you are just stalled? Like there are a thousand things you should be doing, but aren't, because you don't know where to begin?
Ah, modern life. I've got a Palm Pilot to beep and remind me that I've got to do something, or, worse, that I forgot to do something. The many clocks at work, at home, and in the car are both helpful and a curse. They remind me that even when I think I'm on schedule, I'm still sort of behind. It's an embarrassment of riches... I mean obligations... They sit, patiently, waiting for the end of the workday (or worse, interrupt it) to jump up and say
"pick me!"
"it's my turn, you forgot to take care of me yesterday!"
"no, pick me!"
"you said you'd deal with me last night!"

The idea of a vacation seems nice. Until you realize that you're merely putting off all the stuff that you really need to get done while you spend your week sitting on a beach, sipping drinks with small, colorful umbrellas in them, trying to forget about what is waiting for you the second you walk through the door of your house - the bills crammed into the mailbox, the plethora of emails awaiting you at work, the fact that your fridge is empty and you're really hungry.

It's hard not to get overwhelmed when the thought flies through my mind- "I can't wait until all these demands and drains of my time go away" - and then I realize that they're never going to go away. This is life.

Being an adult is not all it's cracked up to be. I have no idea how people with children or dogs (or any being that requires constant care and attention) do this. Every single day. I always thought being a grown Up would be neat. No one ever told me that it would be like this.

It's been a cynical day. I'm feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. Tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Unexpected sexiness

So many cosmetics companies exploit female sexuality in their advertising and branding efforts. One Canadian company has a great sense of humor, as evidenced by some fun ads on their website, that put a new twist on the marriage between sex and cosmetics.
Make sure you see the one with the oysters....

(via Fleshbot)

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's time to play Jewish Geography!

Went to Kol Nidre at the Vilna Shul on Beacon Hill. Within 5 minutes of a conversation with a young woman there I discovered that the rabbi of the shul she went to growing up in NY was also my high school Chumash teacher. Small (Jewish) world.

The Vilna Shul was an interesting experience. The building has tons of potential. I hope that they become more 'disability friendly' in the near future (picture me and an elderly woman, both of us walking very slowly up the stairs to the sanctuary). The cantor went on and on. "Lovely voice, but we're all starving, can we speed this up a bit?" kept going through my head. If the holiday is over at 7:15pm (as was announced by someone official), we shouldn't be so far behind in the service that we won't finish up until around 8pm.

These were the first Yom Kippur services held there since 1984. It felt kind of neat, like I was a part of something special. This place and the Havurah on the Hill associated with it seems to have potential. It's nice to see a movement (if you could call it that) for Quarterlife Jews that doesn't feel to New Agey. I think they'd benefit from doing something with Emerson College's Hillel. (Roommate went there and said that they used to go to services at Boston University's Hillel, which was apparently not a pleasant experience).

There seemed to be a good number of people in my age range there, but not too many were overly friendly, either with me (and Roommate), or with each other. Not that stayed for their break fast- my ankle and I did not want to be anywhere near the stampede to the tuna and egg salad.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Is the Rainbow Party really that inclusive?

Does the MA Rainbow-Green Party hate Israel or not? I've been trying to figure it out, but just feel more confused now....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Random acts of kindness

After this whole injury I feel that my outlook on some things have changed. One of the things we Jews focus on this time of year is the sins we may committed against our fellow men and women. I'm not an evil person, but there are some things I've been unaware of when out and about in public (especially in the emotionally chilly climate that tends to prevail in Boston). From now on, I will try to pay more attention and:

  • to hold the door for anyone obviously handicapped (wheelchair, crutches, etc..),
  • to give up my seat on the bus or train for someone handicapped (wheelchair, crutches, etc..)
  • not to grumble audibly when a person who is on crutches, or is otherwise impaired, moves slowly in front of me

Friday, September 29, 2006

Red tape marks the spot

Spoke to the doc today about my MRI results. Seems the impact from the misplaced metal stub on Beacon Street has more consequences than just a sprained ankle. Doc says it might take months to heal. I'm supposed to let the pain be my guide - if I try something and it hurts, I'm to quit doing that. It hasn't really quit hurting since that remnant of a pole smacked into my foot on September 9th.

This sucks (and hurts). What's a blog good for, if it can't be a safe place for me to vent my emotions?

I've barely left the house since this happened (minus going to work). There have been a few ventures into restaurants, supermarkets or other public places, not all went successfully (the elderly were whizzing by me at Shaw's the other day - I am not kidding). There won't be much going out with friends for a while. Bars can be a dangerous environment for someone with a delicate and sore foot. Plus you have to stand a lot, not one of my talents lately. This leaves me feeling isolated in my 3rd floor apartment. I'm only going to climb those stairs once a day, unless given a really good reason. (I wonder how entertaining I can make this place in hopes of my friends wanting to hang out here more often? And sad that I'm missing the last of the nice weather before the dreary New England winter blows in. This means that I might as well toss any cute shoes that I was planning to wear this fall back into storage. No shopping or malls for a while (too much walking). I'm not getting much exercise either.

Side note- A temporary handicap permit in the Bay State takes up to a month to get. This makes a temporary permit kind of pointless. I've been relatively lucky with parking spots and people willing to drop me off near the door, but the luck has got to run out sometime. I'm not in a wheelchair, but I can't walk very far (without pain) or very fast. And I've still got the darn boot on.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brand Evangelism + The Masses

Citizen-spawned media creations are on the rise!
Accodring to an article in the NY Times, some forms of user-oriented media are making the move to the big time. IN advertising, that often involves a sporting event. Several organizations are sponsoring contests that invite users to come up with spot ads that will (potentially) run during the Superbowl. We the people even get to vote on them in some cases. Are big name brands making peace with user-generated media?

Commercials not chosen for the Super Bowl by the two companies may still be posted online on YouTube or individual blogs," Mr. Neisser added. The risk is that the consumer will tell you what they really think," he said.

Because who really cares what the customer thinks anyway, right?

User-generated content, now common on popular sites like MySpace and YouTube, includes videos, photos and songs created by nonprofessionals and shared with the world online. Advertisers have increasingly incorporated amateur content into their marketing plans over the last year because of the form's popularity.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ooh! I can feel the magnets!

Had an MRI this morning on my lame ankle. Doc thinks I might have some sort of problem involving tendons, especially since I should be able to put almost full weight on it by now. (I can't.)
As I lay there half encased in a giant machine I could feel the magnets at work creating grainy black and white images of my ankle. They tickled.

Monday, September 25, 2006

A very un-neighborly act

One of the neighbors stole my Sunday NY Times. I'm the only one in the building who gets a Sunday newspaper delivered, let alone the NY Times.
It was downstairs by the mailboxes when I arrived home from NY yesterday. I limped upstairs, planning to ask Roommate to bring it up when he got home. He got home not long after me. He saw it downstairs and planned to bring it up when we went down to get some stuff from my car that I needed help bringing up to the apartment. Not 10 minutes later, we headed downstairs. The newspaper was gone.
This was stolen by someone in my building. How uncivilized have people become? I hope the culprit was wearing something white and expensive and gets the newsprint all over themselves.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Caution! Graphic display of body art ahead.

I love BPD News. I'm a loyal reader. But sometimes they just crack me up. Here's an example:

"The victim was tattooed. A PDF file is available showing the tattoos of the deceased. WARNING This file may be considered graphic by some viewers, as it contains actual photos of the tattoos."

Forget that the pictures are of a dead body, beware of the tattoos.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Life in slow motion

I'm happy that the crutches are gone. But I can't get over how slow I still am, especially with this walking cast contraption shackled to my lame ankle. I'm like the member of the herd who would be the first to get eaten by a lion if this were the Serengeti instead of New England.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Comedy & crutches

Have been making slow progress. Spent Thursday evening laughing at Denis Leary, Bill Dana, Steven Wright, and co. at 30 Years of Comedy at Emerson College. The Majestic Theater was pretty good about accommodating my handicap issue. Some of their guests were not so accommodating. As I was being escorted to my seat, this one schmuck would not get up to let me and my crutches by. On my way out at the end of the performance, I said "Go ahead, you go first, I'll be slower" and again the asshat wouldn't move. I should've whacked him with my crutch and been like "Oops, sorry!" (if only I'd thought of it at the time). I was kind of dangerous with the crutches in public. I whacked a few people in the Ladies Room and some urban youth and students tripped over me on the street.
Friday evening's adventure involved a motorized shopping cart at Stop n' Shop. I didn't think I'd need one of those things for like another 40 years. It was strange driving through the store at 2mph. It was also kind of weird trying to reach things on shelves. And everyone, especially little kids, kept staring at me. Overall, this experience has really opened my eyes to what some people go through.
Good news is that I'm mostly crutch-free as of today (Sunday).

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

All booted up

I feel like a burden on friends, family, and co-workers. Hope to be rid of crutches soon. Went to orthopod today, he gave me a boot for my ankle. It looks like a black Ugg, only way less stylish (not that Uggs are terribly attractive to begin with). It inflates (sort of like the Reebok Pump sneaker) to provide a cushion of support for my damaged foot. I am to start walking on it, lightly, with aid of crutches, and hopefully be OK to walk gingerly on my own in the next few days. He did bend my ankle to 90 degrees, (the splint from the ER had it at about a 110 degree angle), not a pleasant feeling.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The lymph accumulates

Good teamwork at the office today We took digital pictures of my (more) swollen foot and ankle. So glad I happened to paint my toenails the night before the accident.

When Blogger lets me post them, I shall.

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Just call me "Hoppy"

Usually, I'm about to try to do something for myself when I'm gently reminded that it's bad to try and carry a plate of food somewhere while on crutches. As a result, I have a new appreciation for the physically handicapped. Being on crutches leaves me unable to the simplest tasks, like cooking for myself or filling my car up with gas. Getting out the door is a mess.
My apartment building has a heavy glass door, which is very tough to push open (I cannot imagine what it will be like to try to get back inside later today. I hope that the downstairs neighbors are home so that I don't have to wrestle with the door, keys, and crutches).

Monday, September 11, 2006

ER adventure

I ended up at the ER on Saturday night after trying to put some weight on my foot and having it cause LOTS of pain. By the time I got out of the house and to the car, hopping on one foot, it was about 7:45pm or so. Night in the ER was long, yet sort of an adventure. Roommate took me for rides up and down the hall. On my gurney. We were there until after midnight. I now have a soft splint and crutches and have stayed home from work today. This loss of freedom and independent movement sucks.

A quick recap our adventure (my first time being the patient in a big city ER):
  • As I limped/hopped in the doors of the ER an agitated older gentleman was trying to flee his friends and family who had brought him in. And when I say agitated, I mean lots of arms waving and other wild gesturing. I tried my best to avoid him as I hopped (yes, hopped, anyone who wasn't staring at the flailing guy was watching my slow progress) over to the desk to register myself. Once they got me inside the desk area, seated in a wheelchair, the agitated man took off again, nearing knocking down Roommate, who was walking into the ER after parking the car. Like eight staffers and security people took off after the elderly gentleman. We also overheard conversations that the man's family was having with hospital staff. From this we concluded that he might've had a stroke of some sort or a diabetic blood sugar freak out and that "the martini probably didn't help things."
  • Eventually they got around to officially registering me., ordered X-rays and then they told me that I couldn't eat until X-rays were done. Bastards! I mean how could this possibly effect the outcome of my X-rays?
  • Roomie went out to get food at the only place open in that area- Au Bon Pain. Thankfully he soon returned with a corn muffin and croissant. Mediocre pastries never smelled so good! Any business that is located near the Beth Israel ER could make a killing by staying open late, especially on weekends. I don't know why more don't.
  • No room at the inn- this means that I got put on a gurney in the hallway. Busy hallway too. I was like a curiosity in a museum.
  • I did get to observe the goings-on in my unit. Like the agitated elderly woman waiting for her nursing home to pick her up. They came to claim her around midnight. Turns out she's 90! This woman didn't look a day over 80 and, except for her agitation, seemed kind of clearheaded. She only wanted to stand and wait by the nurses station. They would not let her, as they have to keep patient privacy a priority.
  • A student at a local college had gotten trampled at a free punk show of some kind. That had to suck. She also messed up her ankle.
  • Nurses seemed nice and competent. It took forever to see a doc and when a guy came to transport me to X-ray, I insisted upon going even without having seen a doc yet. I'd been told by a nurse that ankle X-rays had already been ordered by someone. This set of X-rays was for my ankle.
  • By the time our area of the ER (the Blue area) was pretty empty, no one seemed to care what you do. This would be when Roomie was taking me for gurney rides up and down the hallway. We also tried to see how high the gurney could go and I had almost touched the ceiling when a nice young man came to get me for my second set of X-rays.
  • Second set of X-rays: the head resident seemed to think that I might've broken a bone in my foot and they needed slightly different angles to see. Oy vey! More contorting of my body and swollen foot. Just what I wanted after being there for over four hours.
  • Doctors were probably younger than me (I'm 27). Kind of a scary thing, as it took 3 of them to get the splint formed and on my foot. That hurt. Roommate's girlfriend was nice and held my hand through it.

After they finally finished putting my splint on, it was 1:30am. Where does one find food in Boston at that time? IHOP. Wow, was that place ever a melting pot at 2am. Eurotrash, students, urban youths, bikers. You'll find them all eating pancakes and bacon at the IHOP in Brighton.

I hope this is all coherent. The pain pills are making me a bit silly and sleepy. Much thanks to Roomate and girlfriend for coming with me and keeping me sane.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Metal spike ruined my night

Thank you, city of Boston, for not removing this lovely metal spike from the sidewalk on Beacon Street (inbound). If you had I would not have tripped over it and spent my evening (from 8pm to 1am) in the ER at Beth Israel. I also would not have a superstrong Fiberglas splint on my right leg and would be without this season's hottest accessory- a chic pair of metal crutches.

I called the Mayor's Constituent Complaint hotline. The woman I spoke to dispatched the DPW to see to a solution about the spike. She also said I could call City Hall on Monday to file any claims. (If anyone has ever done this, advice is much appreciated.)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Death by stingray- on TV?

Will the final moments of Steve Irwin's life be broadcast?

Part of me thinks that it's gross. Part of me is very curious (admit it, aren't you?) to see it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Where science meets art

You get over the fact that you're practically nose to bicep with a former human being. At first it was weird, but I got over any apprehension I had pretty quickly (doesn't hurt that they don't smell like formaldehyde). I have a much greater appreciation for the artwork that is the human body after visiting this exhibit at the Museum of Science in Boston.

Slow Elderly Housing Ahead

My drive home from work tends to be pretty typical whether I take backroads or the higway- Massholes, random construction slowdowns on VFW Parkway, etc... But a few days ago my routine boredom was broken by more than just my iPod.

I was driving down High St. in Norwood on my way home from work, around 6pm, when I saw an elderly man walking down the street in striped flannel pajamas. He was on the sidewalk, not out in the road, but this still struck me as odd. A man out walking on a summer evening in his pajamas. This is not something you see every day (as least I don't).

Then I passed a sign that read Slow Elderly Housing Ahead, which makes it seem like the town thinks that the elderly are slow* (take this as you will). I had not noticed this before.

*As a copywriter I get easily annoyed when text is displayed in a way that distorts the original meaning of the wording.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New England Gangstas (Old Money Style)

New England Gangstas (Old Money Style)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

F**k Comcast

My program guide now has annoying ads at the bottom. They flash a lot, including every time you move the program navigator up or down. Some of them are bright colors and hurt my eyes.
I hope that they don't end up causing seizures in anyone.

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You'll find London jobs at

Monday, August 28, 2006

The cost of news?

What are the psychic scars that result from observing and reporting on traumatic phenomena, like Hurricane Katrina or the child sex slave trade? Working on Dateline's perv of the week pieces can't be that easy.
While listening to On The Media recently, I learned of a NY Times reporter who had to suspend his work on an because he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (as diagnosed by a doctor). He had been investigating the online community of pedophiles.
I know many people who don’t watch or read the news because they find it too depressing. What about the people who report on and create the news that is broadcast into your living room or delivered to your doorstep every morning?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bloody Sunday Bush

Bloody Sunday Bush

Thanks to the Roommate for sending me this masterfully edited music video starring Geroge "Dubya" Bush.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hip hold music

I'm hoping that my laptop will not self-destruct as I sit waiting for Apple tech support to get to my call. They have the most eclectic hold music I've ever encountered-- and it's not all bad or Muzak-like. There's been some Miles Davis, Breaking Benjamin, Macy Gray, Al Green (I think), Hilary Duff (teeny pop, but not terribly offensive to my ears) and a variety of (decent) artists that I can't identify. IDing bands is not a particular talent of mine, but if I had to toss out some names I'd say Julianna Hatfield, Think a lot of angsty sounding alt-folk-fantasy-rock-grunge with a dash of soul thrown in for good measure.

Being that Apple spends a lot of time trying to brand itself as hip and youthful it seems fitting ordinary Muzak would not suffice for the hold music on their tech support hotline. provides call center jobs throughout the US.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Children trying to kill children

This is disgusting. What is wrong with some people? I'd be just as
sickened if the kids (yes, these are basically children stabbing each
other) involved lived in Greenwich or Newton.

From the BPDNews blog:

Daily Incidents for August 17, 2006

Witnesses Cheer on Suspects as they Stab Teen

"… On arrival officers discovered that a 13-year-old female from
Dorchester had been stabbed in the abdomen at that location. The
victim was transported to the Boston Medical Center where she was
treated for non-life threatening injuries. According to witnesses on
scene, two teenage females were responsible for the assault. Witnesses
further stated that four teenage black males were present at the scene
and were encouraging and cheering on the suspects during the stabbing.
No arrests have been made and District 11 detectives are currently
investigating this incident."

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Brotherhood" blogging

Unlike the last one, which, though enjoyable, was mainly filmed in Hollywood.

Having lived in the Ocean State for five years, I feel it's my duty to blog about the new Showtime series, Brotherhood, and comment on minutiae that might only matter to other Rhode Island residents (or former residents). I'll keep updating this list.

- I have never seen that many ugly, loud shirts in my past city of residence. If I did see any, they tended to be on the Eurotrash students from the local universities.

-I've never seen anyone get beaten up in the street in the middle of the day as a result of a dispute about a parking job. Especially on the gentrified Westminster Street. (But there are many people who do not know how to park in Providence).

-Yes, real politics in Little Rhody can also be as convoluted as they are on this show. Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction.Link

-Pretty thorough researchers. They've even got stuff about the controversial LNG facilities that were planned for the area.

I'm on episode #3, a bit behind since the hard drive on our evil Comcast DVR made some horrible crunching noises a few weeks ago and broke, eating everything we'd saved on it in the process. (Thank goodness for OnDemand).

-They are using real names of place in RI-- ACI, Rhodes on the Pawtuxet (from episode 1)

-They use real TV vans, not sure about reporters and the like. One interesting reference is made to a van from Channel 11-Fox Providence (WNAC), then alludes to the fact that Channels 6, 10 and 12 haven't arrived yet. Which would be fine if it weren't for the fact that Channels 11 & 12 are run out of the same newsroom.

-The houses that in this episode are passing for the rich East Side are actually in an area of Pawtucket called Oak Hill (I'm sure of this, since I drove past them not long ago on a visit to friends in the Ocean State. You couldn't miss all the large yellow "CREW" signs).

-I just heard my new favorite expression of exasperation, spoken by Rose Caffee-- "oh! my aching Jesus!"

Party on!

Saturday night I just had to get through not one, but two roadblocks to get home. First, there were the two cops on motorcycles I spoke with who seemed to be in charge of blocking access to some 'local roads on the rotary at the entrance to Franklin Park. Then I had to show ID to a cop who was all business at a second roadblock on Forest Hills St. I'm guessing that there was some sort of festival or event at Franklin Park that caused the police to shut down access to some area streets.
Funny, because when I left the house around 1:30pm, there was nothing unusual or out of place about the neighborhood.

When I told my boss this story on Monday and got to the part about the police officer who asked for my ID to prove that I lived in the neighborhood, she started laughing and said "You drive a Volvo! How dangerous did he think you were?"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Boston's new Latin Quarter?

In a recent Boston Globe article about the thriving Latino culture in the Hyde Park area of JP, I ran across a quote that bugs me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it just bugs me for some reason.

"... where patrons were munching on homemade moro (rice and beans) and patita de cerdo (pig's feet). ``You don't have to get on a plane to go anywhere. Get on the train and go to Jackson Square. You've got Mexican, Guatemalan, Dominican Republic. It's like living in the United States, without living in it."

[update 8/13/06]

I should've mentioned that the quote above came from the owner of the Latino Restaurant.

Also, a local historian explains the implications of this idea in relation to the historical context of Boston street naming conventions.

(via Universal Hub)

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Working out?

I sometimes feel a disconnect form the city that I live in. Because so much of my day occurs elsewhere, I wonder if I am missing out on things that go on here post-work. No Happy Hour with my co-workers, not that there are any bars near where I work that cater to much more than a townie crowd. But it's about more than just alcoholic bitch sessions with colleagues.

I wonder what life might be like, being able to take advantage of more of what this city has to offer. There are networking events I can't attend, because I'll never make it there in time, and ask myself if the lack of opportunities to connect with people will hurt my career in the future.

I guess it comes down to wondering if the grass is really greener on the other side of the commute. With what I'm paying for gas every month, dealing with the silly Charlie ticket machine on a daily basis starts looking attractive. I've heard that there are even some employers in and around the city who pay for employees' parking and commuting costs (though this may just be an urban myth).

I am also having some reservations about the behavior I see in my workplace, which I cannot elaborate on in this blog*.

*I agreed not to blog about work at my latest job
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Monday, August 07, 2006

OM the restaurant...

... not the mantra.

"Mixologist" is an apt term for the creator of such luscious libations. The drinks lived up to my expectations. My friends and I all enjoyed our drinks very much. I can highly recommend the Zen Te, the Hotel Costes, and the Power Smoothie (I think that's what it was called).
The only things that gave us pause at all were the amount of Eurotrash (which we understand the staff has no control over) and this weird guy banging on bongo drums. He would not have been so annoying if there had not been trancy lounge music playing very loud. But it became Drum Guy vs. the Lounge Soundtrack. This was a buzzkill. The management could've done something, like asked him to stop or shut off their music. I mentioned it to one bartender and she said "yeah, he's a bit much. I'll mention it to the manager" and wandered off, clearly pleased that a customer had complained, thus validating her annoyance.

The color changing lights in back of the bar made for an interesting atmosphere, as did the water wall at the entrance. Even the bathroom had cool stuff in it.

[update 8/7/06]

I got to try the food here over the weekend and I can't stop thinking about it.

I crave the duck, the deconstructed Cesaer, and the chef's well-known take on steak and eggs. Everything was fresh and tasty, which is expected at a place like this. What was not expected was how much I liked everything, even things I normally wouldn't (ex: a sauce featuring pepper- I usually view pepper as the most overused spice in American cooking).

The server was a dream, attentive, but not hovering. I do sort of wish that he'd given us instructions on how to eat certain things, as I felt a bit mystified by the deconstructed Cesaer. (Though he did point out that I was supposed to cut the egg that rested atop my fillet, to let the yolk and flavor drain down over the meat- scrumptious!).

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

First Date

Ah, love. Few things in life are more celebrated, hated, written and sung about. Especially the potential of love.

Roomie and I just returned from dinner at James' Gate, a fabulous bar with great food in JP. Midway through our meal a woman, she seemed to be in her 20's, sat down at the table next to ours and waited. Eventually a man about the same age showed up. I could tell right away it was a First Date. The body language tipped me off. Theirs seemed slightly stilted, as if each was not quite comfortable with the presence of the other. It also did not seem familiar, like they were skirting the edges of each other's personal space bubble. And then there was the chatter. It seemed designed to fill the spaces and deflate the nervous energy that surrounded the pair.

In contrast, neither Roommate nor I felt the need to speak to fill an awkward silence. I pretty much just sat and waited for him to finish, talking if I had something worth saying. Our body language was much more relaxed and unguarded. (Note- we are not romantically involved, his girlfriend probably would not approve of that.)

Meeting a friend at a bar is one thing. Meeting a stranger who has the potential of being Mr. or Ms. Right can be highly stressful. I hope that their Second Date (if there is one) will be easier and more comfortable.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Directions please

As I drove past Gillette Stadium this morning, I noticed an enormous electronic sign that said TRAINING CAMP with huge arrows pointing towards the stadium. Were the Patriots worried that someone might mistake the car dealership across the road for the location of the team's training camp? provides jobs online across the U.S.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hands Off!

Jimmy Kimmel's show kind of sucks. It was the (really boring) background noise during my moments of panic tonight when I realized that things had been moved and touch in my room while I was at work today.

The cable box tipped me off. I came into my room, turned on the TV, only discover the cable box off. I never turn it off. Ever. I only turn the TV itself off (as the cable box serves as a clock).

I feel unsettled. It seems that some people the management company hired came in to do work on the apartment Tuesday. This was a day after Roomie left strict instructions that they give us a day's notice before their next visit. (On Monday he came home to find that they'd spackled over part of his (very nice) speaker while trying to deal with our second mouse problem.)
Now I'm left wondering why the jewelry is moved around in my jewelry boxes and a set of keys to something important is missing. (Hopefully I just misplaced those. Which would be tough, considering I have only one 'home' for them).

Oh, and my pillows and blankets were strewn about. I'd also love an explanation, or even a note, about the white, powdery substance all over my sheets and pillows. (Now I have to remake the f**king bed!) And some things were left lined up on one dresser in a much tidier fashion than I ever leave them. In fact, one of them doesn't belong on that dresser at all.

If someone bothered to touch all sorts of my stuff, why couldn't they bother to leave a note explaining how it got that way?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Video Experiment

I'm experimenting with video on the blog. If this works correctly, you'll be treated to a very funny comedy routine. If not, I guess my future as a computer programmer is not going work out.

Snippets from the Holy Land

Excerpts from emails* from a cousin of mine who lives in a Tel Aviv suburb relating the recent upheaval in the MidEast.

From July 17th:

"...We are going about our normal lives, all of us, just listening to the news a bit more obsessively. For the best news on Israel, make this portal a favorite, . You can then easily check on Haaretz or Jerusalem Post for the most up to the minute local news. I've been reading the US news and it is frantic and not as accurate. At least, thought, it seems to be more evenhanded than news about Israel has been in the past.

By law here, all homes must have a bomb shelter, built to very strict regulations. Everyone ignores them most of the time, and ours was a glorified pantry/storage room. But now we have cleaned it out and made it possible to use in case we need to in an emergency. I hope we don't have to use it, but it is good to know its there."

From July 24th:

"... the greater Tel Aviv area where we live and there has been no impact on daily life here. I am sure that is hard to believe given the news, but it is honestly true. If we didn't listen to the news, we wouldn't know that stuff is going on.

The hard part is that we are losing people, both in the katyusha attacks, (2 the other day) and soldiers. One of the soldiers who died last week was from [name of suburb], of British origin, who had just been married 3 weeks earlier. Many of our friends knew him. That part is very hard. There is almost unanimous support for this war, despite the risk. People see it as a war of no choice, a war for survival. It is not expansionist, colonialist; it is defensive. The feeling of unity here right now is very special. And it feels good to have more world support despite the pictures of destruction in Lebanon (it would help it Hezbollah didn't hide in the homes of civilians.) But it is terrible to wait every day for the rockets to start raining down on the north thinking about those people whose lives have virtually stopped while they wait in bomb shelters, or knowing that soldiers are fighting in dark tunnels and bunkers. That part is very hard."

* The views expressed here are not my own. However, I believe that it is important to think outside my little American box and try to understand what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.

Drive Thru Life

Everyday I, as many New Englanders do, pass a few Dunkin' Donuts on the way to work. Lately I've noticed that the drive thru line often backs up out onto the road, whether it be the busy VFW Parkway or a street near a suburban town common or a mildly busy Rte. 140, 27 or 109. I find this amusing and sad. I mean, how hard is it to get out of the car? It's not winter (and, by the way, I never witnessed this phenomenon in the winter months).