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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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)

Get the latest on diversity issues in the workplace at Diversity Jobs.

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
Get call center outsourcing services from Furst Person.

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.