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).

Monday, July 24, 2006

First time for everything

Gross. I saw a body yesterday when two friends and I drove by this scene on the way back from Cambridge. It (the body) looked more like a lump of burlap with a bunch of emergency personnel and cops standing over it. I thought it might be a body (since there were no cars on the median or other signs of an auto accident), but was hoping I was wrong. Oh well. First time for everything.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

BostonEats: B-Side Lounge

Good drinks. Quality ingredients. I recommend the Lemon Drop or the Cosmo.
While I enjoyed my fries with Bleu Cheese, I wish that the list of food options was as long as the one for drinks. (Could have had to do with the fact that I was there at midnight.) A friend had Pecan Pie that wasn't too bad. The Strawberry Shortcake dessert looking interesting, but those fries were just calling my name.
I expected the place to be busier at that time on a Friday night, but it was pretty tame. Music was not bad, just WAY too loud for conversation. I hate it when you spend your time shouting across a table at friends or a server. I feel rude.

Points for a nice, clean Ladies Room.

BostonEats:Punjabi Dhaba

Come on an empty stomach or bring friends to help you finish the huge amount of food that is served. The rice is so much better than any other Indian restaurant I've ever tried. The quick, cheap, and delicious food has convinced my roommate and that this affordable and tempting Indian food might be worth the drive from JP across the river to the City of Unattainable Parking.

The Indian music videos that play in the main room are hypnotic. You might find yourself so entranced by the high-pitched vocals and the "interesting" cinematography, that you may miss the counter calling out your order number.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I've been asked to contribute to a new blog- Overheard in Boston. I feel popular.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Minivan humor

A minivan was in front of me today on VFW Parkway with three bumper stickers that read:


Minivans are tangible evidence of evil

I married a nun... *

*the rest was written in tiny print and I would've had to rear end the guy to read it

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stubborn software

I can't take advantage of the free digital audio books from the BPL on my iPod, thanks to the ongiong Microsft v. Apple pissing match. What a bummer.

Why can't I transfer audio files directly to my iPod, or use these files on my Mac?

Our audio titles, provided by OverDrive, Inc., use DRM protection technology from Microsoft Corporation. Unfortunately the iPod (and Mac) do not currently support DRM-protected Windows Media Audio (WMA) files.

OverDrive, along with hundreds of online music and audio book providers, is hopeful that Apple and Microsoft can reach an agreement that would enable support for Microsoft-based DRM-protected materials on the iPod/Mac.

Monday, July 17, 2006

BostonEats: Diva

The Hookaberry is an amazing drink, and it alone is a reason for me to return to Diva. Fresh mango puree with muddled blackberries and rum. It was mixed perfectly, without the overbearing taste of alcohol that you find in some fancy libations.

We sampled the Lounge and the restaurant.

The Lounge was flawless, save for the wobbly stools at the bar and the bar itself. The actual bar is made of some sort of handcrafted, knotty wood. This makes balancing drinks on its less-than-flat surface somewhat of a challenge. The bubble-themed decor is fun (and must mess with the minds of the very drunk), as are the pod-like bathrooms. The drink concoctions are fabulous, but it takes a great bartender to bring out the best in a drink. I knew that the bartenders at Diva Lounge were really talented when one dining companion said that they didn't screw up his (traditional) martini (he said something about the right amount of Vermouth). The staff was helpful without being overattentive.

The restaurant was decent.
The only thing that keeps this place for getting 5 stars was that i had to send my Chicken Tikka back TWICE. When you list chicken on a menu as being plain, and then it comes with two sauces that the customer didn't ask for, don't be surprised when the customer isn't happy. I especially didn't like the odd mustard they had drizzled over it. Once they got it right, the chicken was delicious and not too dry. My dining companions loved their veggie thali combos. Dessert included very yummy mango and saffron ice creams that tasted very smooth and fresh. The staff was nice, but I was confused by the amount of staffers, some seemed to be waiters, some not, and it got confusing when we asked a question about food only to have someone say "let me get your waiter."

Musings on media... and Fark

Media Orchard Interviews Drew Curtis of

"The whole advertising industry confuses me sometimes. Advertisers for
some reason really, really want to buy ads that annoy the shit out of
the consumer. They want to buy ads that block you from seeing content,
that shout at you when you hit the page, that stay on the computer
desktop when you leave the site. You know why ads on the right sidebar
get better clickthrough rates? Because people are trying to scroll
down with their mouse and miss the damn bar, accidentally generating a
click. Most popup ad clicks are generated by people missing the X to
close the thing out."

I agree. Always have. I came to this conclusion the first time I could
not get a pop-up ad to go away, long before I got my degree in
Communications or worked at any TV stations or ad agencies.
I often wonder why more advertisers don't pay more attention to the
rational things in life. People don't like things that annoy them. And
annoying them will more than likely end up alienating them. That
doesn't sounds very smart or profitable.

"One unique thing about Internet advertising is that it's trackable.
You can tell how many people saw an ad, how many clicked on it, how
many sales were generated from it and so on.

Traditional media has rough stats like circulation or ratings, but no
real way for advertisers to gauge effectiveness. They'll tell you that
advertising in newspaper, on radio, or on TV performs well, but
there's no way to know for sure. They tell you that most people who
see your ad and act on it won't tell you, so don't be worried if no
one says they sought out your business because of your ad…

…Here's the thing: an ad may be circulating on mainstream media, but
no one really knows if it's being seen, and if it's being seen if it's
being ignored or not. If I buy an ad on page A5 of the local paper,
even though it got sent out to 100,000 people we don't really know if
anyone saw it."

I may be going against tradition here, but since I longer work in the
sales dept. of a TV station, I think I'll risk it- I have also
wondered how sales departments can say with any certainty that your ad
will be seen. Ever since my Audisence Research class (where they teach
you the formulas to calculate Nielsen and Arbitron ratings, newspaper
circulation and etc…), I have thought that those numbers not terribly
accurate predictors of media success. Sure, a commercial airing during
the Superbowl will most likely have a rather large audience. And so
will one that airs during CSI or another successful show. But that
doesn't ensure that consumers will rush out and buy your product. If I
(and I am admittedly no math genius) can fudge the numbers to get them
to say what I need to, how can I trust them to predict how well my ad
will do?

"Could it be the case that Internet advertising will ALWAYS generate
less income than traditional advertising because now we can measure
effective it really is? What are the ramifications of this for the
mainstream media giants? My personal opinion is they better get used
to operating on a fraction of current revenue in the future."

Fascinating, and scary, to think about a whole industry unraveling…

"Checkout Las Vegas jobs at NVJobSearch."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bad Car-ma

My rental car has a flat tire. Random. (A coworker spotted it in the
parking lot).

My life is now made more frustrating by much more paperwork and phone
calls to AAA and Enterpirse Customer Service lines.

Is there a charm I can get to ward off all this bad car-ma?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Volvo vacation

My car is at the spa (er... dealership) for a few days. The rental I've got (covered by my extended warranty, thank goodness) is a sweet little Dodge Caliber, or, as I've nicknamed it, the Mini-Magnum. It sort of looks like a Subaru Impreza wagon on steroids.

It's a got decent sightlines, allowing me to actually see behind me as I turn or try to park. Too bad the engine is underpayments and kind of spastic. It's still a fun toy until I have to pick up my grown up car later in the week.

(Almost) full frontal Providence

I;ve just begun watching the first episdoe of Brotherhood, the new Showtime series about family and politics in Rhode Island. I'm not a native Rhode Islander, but living there for 5 years I can tell a Providence accent from that of Boston or NH. And I must say, the non-American actors talk a lot like the natives, thanks to some serious vocal coaching.

Oh, and within the first 10 minutes, you get to see some dick (and I don't mean some guy named Richard). *

From a reccent Boston Globe article:

In any case, the particulars are important. If you're doing a TV series about Rhode Island's capital city, filming on location, striving for authenticity, you'd best get the accents right. And since a bad New England accent can turn drama into camp -- ``The Perfect Storm," ahem -- you'd better be prepared for some serious work.

Especially if your lead actors hail from Ireland, England, and Australia.

... The training, it turned out, was grueling. Before filming began, Clarke studied with Jones for six hours a day for more than a month, studying vowels, then diphthongs -- two vowels blended together to make a single sound -- then consonants, then cadence, slowing down his speech to sound more like the locals.

* I felt is was my duty as a woman to point this out. Not that it's a pretty one, or onscreen for very long, but it's there. That doesn't happen too often on American TV, even on Real Sex on HBO.

Masshole tendencies

I feel bad for you when your pickup truck breaks down right after a traffic light on a relatively main street in, say, JP or Dorchester. It's nice that there's a park for you to wait in until someone comes to tow you or whatever. But must you leave the driver's side door all the way open for all of us to wind around on the already curvy uphill road during rush hour?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

White Trash in Somerville

Went to the White Trash Fest at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville. Saw some good bands and steamy burlesque. Drank some PBR. Tried to blend in and disguise my suburban roots. Not sure how successfully my attempt at dressy trashy went. Guess I'm not a terribly trashy kind of gal....

Some highlights:

Saturday, July 08, 2006

More JP photos

More photos from the walking tour of Green Street in Jamaica Plain that I went on.

Green Street guide

Roomie and I went on a cool walking tour of Green St this morning, courtesy of the JP Historical Society. Was very cool. They have a bunch this summer. All free.

We learned a bit about the history of baseball fabrication and how Jamaica Plain is an intergral part of the history of the"modern" game of baseball. And we were lucky enough to meet the owner of one of the homes featured on the tour. He lives in "one of the best examples of folk Greek Revival in Boston," which is currently undergoing renovation (as it was moved form its original location).

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Car dealership harassment

I test drove one car at Herb Chambers Toyota. Now they are filling up my voicemail with commercials. They're almost worse than the credit card companies.
I must find a way to stop them.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

UrbanArt: New England Holocaust Memorial

Despite the rain and crappy lighting conditions, I managed to get some shots of the New England Holocaust Memorial, brilliantly designed by architect Stanley Saitowitz. What better way to appreciate the freedom that this country offers me than to spend a few minutes remembering the oppression of my ancestors in Europe?

July 4th mystery woman

Can anybody tell me what this dancing gal was all about? She was in front of the Sam Adams statue in Quincy Market on July 4th. She seemed to have on blackface- I thought that was considered sort of, um, politically incorrect..... I think she was singing too but there was so much competing noise it was tough to tell.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Setup setback

Just spoke to my mom, who inquired about my romantic status. Seems she's going out to dinner with some acquaintances whose son just moved to Waltham. He's a single, Jewish lawyer. She wants to know if she can give him my number.
I sighed at her request and replied that my romantic status doesn't actually figure into this. She can give him my email, but should not promise his family a date with me. I'm all for expanding my social circle. And I imagine that he wants to make new friends in his new home. A note to well-meaning relatives and parents, please don't take this to the next level. That's for the two people involved to decide.