Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tacky Holidays

My family values the art of giving the boobie prize. Rather like participants in the Tacky Gift party (which, sadly, did not happen this year, due to my friend’s freak beauty parlor accident, requiring pins in her wrist—now that she’s recovered, I’m thinking about throwing a re-gifting extravaganza in January), members of my family relish obtaining something hideous, wraping it up beautifully, and bestowing it upon our loved ones.

This year, I went with the holiday food basket. On a run to the supermarket, I spied Spam with Bacon and just couldn’t resist. I got quite a few curious looks when I placed these fine items on the belt.

Tacky Food

I then wrapped them up like this and placed my gift under the tree.

All wrapped up

Since I often bring home the good food for the holidays, my parents didn’t suspect this basket. The pork rinds got an especially hearty laugh. The folks plan to re-gift the love by serving up these goodies without comment to my sister and brother-in-law when they celebrate late Christmas with them.

And, lest you think that we confine the fun to gifts, behold the Christmas Hand.

Christmas Hand

One year, my father gave my mother a hand cookie cutter in her stocking. The next year, she dutifully used it, and a hand appeared among the gingerbread people display. We now demand its presence. This year it looked especially creepy.

Aren’t you glad I don’t celebrate the holidays with you?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy (Early) Year of the Mouse!

Received from a Chinese publisher. I love this.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy (early) Year of the Mouse!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Dating: Nice Dates with McAlmost and McGuyIUsedtoKnow

One evening in early December I somehow managed to online chat with both of these guys at the same time—and had agreed to go out with each of them. Wistfully I thought if only I could somehow combine parts of them, say McAlmost’s hilarious sense of the absurd with a dash of McGuyIUsedtoKnow’s wonder at it all, I would hit romantic paydirt. Paydirt, alas, I did not hit, but I still had a good time on my dates with these guys, and here are the stories.

Dinner and a Walk with McAlmost
Have you ever had one of those dates where you had a great time but just didn’t feel that desire to become someone’s special friend? Well, that was me with McAlmost. I suppose anyone after the McWorstDate would have appeared to be Prince Charming, but I really did enjoy my date with McA. Witty, smart, and an actual grownup, McA was pretty darn close to the closest thing I have to a type. What’s more, I was apparently pretty darn close to being his type. I’m not sure what it is about audio/other-type-of-computer engineer musicians, but they leap out of the screen for me. As my sister says in her best commercial voice, “If you like being an audio engineer and a musician, you’ll LOVE Sassy.” I don’t know. I can’t explain it.

In any event, over a yummy Indian dinner in Davis Square, McA and I bandied about stories and anecdotes, talking so long that we shut the place down. We then went out for a wintry walk about town, chatting and laughing some more. It would have been perfect, except that we were missing that ever-elusive chemistry. We got to the T stop at the end of the night, and we proceeded to gab for another fifteen minutes or so, shared a brief hug, and then parted ways.

Very Late to My Date with McGuyIUsedtoKnow
McGuyIUsedtoKnow didn’t recognize me for my shorter hair when he sent me what had to be the sweetest initial message I’ve ever received from an online guy. That’s the thing about McGIUK—he’s really sweet. So sweet that he waited for forty-five minutes for me when the lovely MBTA bus let me down. Yes, I was horribly late for this date. On my way, I almost wish he’d told me to forget it. I wasn’t sure if I could go through with seeing him again.

Back in the day, I had aspired to be one of those lovely, airy, peace-loving women who do Yoga and run around fire circles to celebrate the full moon. I know, funny. I’ve since learned that I am not one of those women, that I have what I call “sharp elbows” in my personality, and I’m too much of a skeptic to run around a fire circle without rolling my eyes at least a little bit. My intentions can be a bit pointed. I had given the hippie woman the college try, though, and it was around the height of this experiment that I had met McGIUK.

I don’t know how else to describe McGIUK other than to say that he’s a male version of who I wanted to be. He’s (very) smart and an activist, but he’s also a sweet, airy, Reiki-practicing man who runs around fire circles to celebrate the full moon. I didn’t know him well, but he was loosely connected to a peace group I hung around with years ago, and we had talked a few times. When I saw that he’d checked out my profile, I had a feeling I knew who he was, and when he sent me a message saying that he sensed that I had an open mind and an open heart and that he’d love to know me, that confirmed it.

I replied to his message thanking him for being so sweet, and I told him that we used to know each other a few years back. He replied that he’d sensed a cosmic familiarity about me. Wasn’t it just regular familiarity? I thought somewhat meanly, and I turned it into a joke in my message back. When he initiated an online chat session, it was apparent that he did indeed remember me but hadn’t gotten the joke—but he was so sweet that he charmed me. Or, rather, there was something about my resistance to his charms that made me feel like a bad person (what’s wrong with me that I consider “sweetness” a character flaw?). I felt compelled to give it a try.

My friends know just how much I was dreading this date—some of them asked my why I was even going. “Well, we know each other, and he still knows a few of my friends. How can I be the bitch who turned him down for a date? Who wouldn’t want to date McGIUK? He’s so SWEET!”

Well, meet we did, forty minutes later than originally planned, and I’m glad that I went through with it. We had an interesting conversation about things I don’t normally talk about on dates. I don’t know too many people these days who still work in the nonprofit sector. The years and all of the crap going on in the world had altered his understanding of possible change, and he was seeking some kind of employment that would allow him to pay the rent, but his basic optimism remained undimmed. It was refreshing, and he made me think.

Unfortunately, our time together did not convince me that we would make a good couple, and I think perhaps he felt otherwise. Our goodbye was a bit awkward. I do sincerely wish him a lovely, peaceful woman who will run around fire circles with him to celebrate the full moon. He’s a wonderful guy, and he deserves to be happy.

I did have one more date this holiday season, but I don’t entirely know what the story is there yet, so I’m not going to jinx it. Suffice it to say that I panicked a bit, but I didn’t completely lose my mind this holiday season. Instead I took advantage of holiday dating to branch out (OK, too far in a couple of cases) and see what’s out there. This isn’t the time of year to find the perfect date—but it is a great time to experiment. And even if things don’t work out with the last date, January’s coming, and that’s often when I find a guy who’s just right.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Holiday Dating: My One Hour and Fifteen Minutes with McWorstDate

Before he became McWorstDate, there were warning signs. McWD’s profile indicated that he was into polyamory (I’m not—in nursery school I declared, “Sharing is damn yucky stuff!” I’ve learned since then, but there are still some things I don’t share), and it didn’t look as though we had all that much in common. All the same, he seemed quirky and fun, and you just never know.

Now I know. Our date lasted one hour and fifteen minutes. We had agreed to meet for hot chocolate at a chocolatier’s in Harvard Square on a Sunday afternoon. McWD had arrived before I did, but didn’t snag a table before they filled up, and so we had to get our hot chocolate to go instead. We ordered, and I pulled out my wallet to make the obligatory gesture to pay for my drink. McWD let me pay for him too. We decided to wait for a few minutes by the candy counter to see if a table would open up. He wanted to talked about what a ripoff the high-quality chocolate was.

When it became obvious that we were going to strike out on the table front, we left. “I’m starving,” McWD said. “I really need a sandwich.” Then why didn’t you ask me to lunch? I thought. He led us into an Au bon Pain, not the big one in the square (bad enough), but a little hole in the wall next to a Bertucci’s. There I watched him eat a sandwich and drink a container of milk, as he told me about different people he’d dated from the web site. He then said, “I’m surprised my profile didn’t freak you out.”

I’m freaked out now, I thought but said something more polite. After he finished, we agreed to go to the Harvard Book store. “Where do you usually hang out in the bookstore?” he asked.

“Oh, usually the fiction section. Sometimes I check out criticism or poetry, but mostly I just stick to fiction.”

“Well, I really like the erotic section there,” my date said exactly thirty-five minutes into our first less-than-successful encounter. Not only did I find this comment to be a bit sketchy, but I also found it to be just plain odd. The erotic section in this store is one skinny little shelf, and so far as I can tell, it has mostly best-of collections. Odd pick, that one.

We wandered around the front of the store a bit before heading back to the fiction section. “Oh there’s your section,” I said to him, pointing out the little shelf right before the fiction.

“Did they move it?” he asked, surprised by its location.


There, in the section, was a best-of gay men’s short fiction or something like that, featuring a ripped torso on the front cover with a book covering the goods. “Oh my god, that man is hot,” McWD said lustfully. “There is nothing like a really hot man’s chest.” Drool was practically dripping off his chin.

Excuse me? I know you are Mr. Polyamory Man, but you are out on a date with ME! I don’t want you talking about men. I don’t want you talking about other women. I want you to be talking about ME! Tell someone else about the bod!

“Yeah, that is one hot faceless torso,” I said and wandered into the fiction section. My date picked up a book, one I had actually enjoyed, and I said so. He found a damaged copy and decided to try to get a discount on it. “I used to work in a bookstore,” he said knowingly. Just then, his phone rang.

He answered it. Then he proceeded to talk for about fifteen minutes in the store. I nearly left, but for some reason, I didn’t. Instead, I wandered about the store pondering just how bad this date really was. He finished talking and then walked over to me and explained that a friend of his was contemplating dating her professor and she really needed advice. OK.

Next he went to the counter to try to procure a discount, only to be informed that discounts apply to the last copy only. “We have four available now,” I heard her say pointedly.

We left the store, and I informed him that I needed to go. He walked me to the T, gave me a weak hug, and then left to get his bike. I stayed down in the T station for about five minutes, walked back out and did some shopping. I got an e-mail from him saying that although the sparks didn’t fly that it was great to meet me. Yeah.

Next Post: Nice Dates with McAlmost and McGuyIUsedtoKnow

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Holiday Dating—A Series of Panic-Induced Encounters

Not to make a sweeping generalization or anything, but no one wants to be alone for the fall and early winter holidays. True, true, Valentine’s Day can suck, but at least one can disdain VD with impunity. No, there’s nothing like the dark days of November and December to strike terror in the heart of the singleton. Faced with yet another season of wandering through glittering parties alone, the object of pity and scorn, not to mention all of the questions from family, many lonely souls turn to the Internet to save the holidays.

Those of you who read this bloggy thing know that I am actually a big fan of online dating. It might not be the most romantic means to meet people, but it does have its advantages. After all, that adorable guy in the bar just might wind up trying to romance you with his Elliott Smith covers that he’s uploaded onto YouTube before sloppily kissing you in front of your friend. With the Internet at least you usually have a general idea of what you’re getting into. And right around the holidays, you stand a pretty good chance of someone wanting to (ahem) get into you. Unfortunately, while you are statistically more likely to get a date this time of year, you also run a greater risk of having a bad one.

I am attributing the fact that I have had arrangements for dates with a several suitors since Halloween to the annual holiday rush. And I’ll be honest. I think I’ve succumbed to the panic as well, as a couple of my dates passed my highly scientific selection process on a sliding scale. Over the next few posts, I will be regaling you with stories of my holiday dating life. Allow me to start with the tales of McNeighborBoy and McSleepyMcDorkwad.

Brief Fling with McNeighborBoy
In true postmodern fashion, I met my cute neighbor on the Internet, and we had our first “real life” meeting on Halloween. It went very well. We had ourselves a fine time for about a week or so, when we realized that we didn’t have all that much in common other than a mutual appreciation for each other’s (pardon the pun) bones. We decided to be neighbors instead, and that has worked out just fine. We chat every now and again when we see each other, and McNB shoveled out my car after last week’s storm. Now that's neighborly.

Stood Up by McSleepyMcDorkwad
About a week after McNeighborBoy and I decided to be plain-old neighbors, I signed on to check a message from what proved to be a disappointing lad. Sighing, I prepared to log back out again when I got an instant message from a more amusing character. We chatted for twenty minutes or so, and he seemed like a fun guy. He asked me if I was up for a drink sometime, and I said yes. The only problem was that the only night I had free between then and Thanksgiving was that night.

“Well, what about tonight?” he wrote.

“Why not?” I wrote back, and we agreed to meet up around ten at a decent watering hole in Union Square.

I got dressed, put on lipstick, and headed out into a rather cold evening excited for my spontaneous date. I arrived at the establishment, and he hadn't gotten there yet, so I stood outside and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited a bit longer until I realized that I had been stood up. What the hell? It was his idea to meet up! Why would he do that?

Ooooh, I was pissed, and I was even more pissed that I didn’t have his number to call him and tell him what-for. I had to console myself by going into the bar and having a drink anyway. I talked a bit with another guy and then left. I got home to an e-mail with the subject line, “So I fucked up big time :(” (yes, he used an emoticon). Turns out, McSMcD had gone down for a nap and slept until 10:45. He was deeply apologetic and asked if he could make it up to me after Thanksgiving. I wondered why he couldn't set an alarm, but I replied to McSMcD that I’d think about getting in touch with him after I got back.

I was bored the Saturday after the big T-day, so I sent McSMcD an e-mail saying that if he was up for it, I could meet him for a drink and gave him my number. I got a text message at 11:55 PM asking me if it was too late to meet up. I didn’t answer until the next morning. I know how to have a good time, but I’m not a booty call. I didn’t hear from him again until the following Saturday night when he sent me a text at 12:17 AM asking me out for a “light lunch” (WHAT is that?) on Sunday. No thanks, McSleepyMcDorkwad. I have to wash my hair.

Next post: My One Hour and Fifteen Minutes with McWorstDate

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Seeing John Malkovich

So on Sunday, I went to the Bazaar Bizarre, an annual alternative craft fair (I believe one of the mottos is “No cozies without irony!”) I’ve attended a few times over the years. At one of the booths, I moved in to look at a bizarre ware just as this guy swung around. He sort of bumped into me and muttered an apology. “Oh, no problem. Excuse me,” I said and looked up at him. The guy was John Malkovich. In our brief moment of eye contact, he saw the gears in my brain turn, and he shot me the biggest Don’t You Dare look. I shot him back a Don’t Worry look, eliciting a half-smirk from him before he went along his way.

A few minutes later, I spied him wandering about again, as did the crafters at the booth I was at. One of them observed, “Dude, that guy totally looks like John Malkovich.” His co-crafter said knowingly, “It IS John Malkovich. He lives in Boston.”

“Oh yeah. It’s him. He bumped into me,” I confirmed. For a moment, the crafters looked at me like I was the famous one. Don’t You Dare.

In other words, I got Malkoviched by Malkovich on a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Just Don’t Know What to Say

Let it not be said that the Universe has lost the knack. It can still render us speechless, force us to ponder the wonder it all. Yesterday, I encountered such a gift from the Universe while checking packages as part of my “warehouse duty,” my parent company’s way of making sure that we all pitch in and help during the busy season. I reached into a box and pulled out this:

Words fail me, but I think we should all hum “Also Sprach Zarathustra.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I’m Baaaaaack (Well, for about Ten More Minutes)

Ugh. Little Sassy Schmoozer dragged me off to San Diego for a conference, and she didn’t let me go anywhere. I was able to fit in a few moments with Fluff in the Gaslamp Quarter, but that was it. What an exhausting trip. Successful, from LSS’s point of view, but exhausting for poor me.

My connector flight from Denver was delayed by over three hours, two of them spent on the plane. Originally, we were told that it was due to a mechanical problem, and we were grateful that the airline wouldn't send us hurtling through space in a broken tin can. Later, however, it came out that we were parked at the gate for hours because an unoccupied seat in first class was a bit “dirty.” Our pilot decided to pull a publicity stunt by delaying the flight until corporate headquarters cleaned it up. He handed out fliers and encouraged passengers to contact the media. If he’d handed one to me, I would have delivered this story, Don’t Fly United Airlines: They Suck. Thanks to a dirty seat, I was stuck next to a chatty real estate agent for nearly six hours. Fuck the dirty seat, I wanted to go home.

What that flight delay means for you is that you will have to wait for the few Fluff photos and the story of my brief fling with McNeighborBoy. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a rerun, the story of
my freakshow Thanksgiving.

Off to New Hampshire, for a quiet (I hope) holiday. Happy Turkey, or as I call it, Happy Vegetable Pigout Day! Back soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Going to California: My Heart Aches

OK, I’m awake and alive. Life went into whirlwind pattern again (shows, work, brief fling with a neighbor, etc.), and I just haven’t been able to get to this blog. And now Little Sassy Schmoozer is dragging me, kicking and screaming, to California. Truly, I have an aching in my heart. The good news is that Fluff will be joining us, and I think I can give Little Sassy Schmoozer the slip long enough to get some photos. Wish me luck. Miss you all! I'll be back just before Thanksgiving.

Monday, October 29, 2007


And how! My heart's still pounding from that close shave in the bottom of the ninth.

Sleep. Finally. Wooooohooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Close One

Holy shit, my nails are a ragged mess. I can’t believe we actually won that one. Curt Schilling’s politics be damned, he settled in and did some fine pitching in what might have been his last game wearing a Red Sox uniform. I heart Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon—way to pick off Holliday, Pap.

Thanks to Jacoby Ellsbury (Eddie Munster’s way cuter cousin) for winning America free tacos by stealing a base. Can I redeem mine at Taco Loco, please?

Oh, and Manuel, my Blog Friend in Belfast, you rock. Way to cheer on the Sox!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What Will They Think of Next?

Garlic Shampoo

When I spy bizarre products, I often think about what it takes to get them to store shelves. Not only did someone think, Hey, garlic is a wonderful thing. It wards off colds—I bet it would help stave off hair loss. Let’s make shampoo! but they also convinced an entire group of people that it would be a good idea to produce it. The mad inventor successfully pitched the product idea to a company, who then went out and sourced “unscented garlic extract” and formulated Garlic Shampoo.

The company then turned the product loose to a marketing team, and they figured out a way to get desperate people to buy it. Judging from the spam I get in my inbox, the only thing worse than a tiny penis is a bald head, so I guess the balding population might be an easy target.
(Why is a mystery to me, as bald can indeed be beautiful, provided that comb-overs aren’t involved.)

Marketing teams are comprised of professionals, but in case they need some help, I’ve envisioned a few snappy campaign ideas for them:

Toupee a little too obvious? Garlic is the answer! Don’t worry—it’s unscented! They’ll never know!
Hair Club for Men? Don’t be a joiner! Try Garlic!
Don’t have money for laser treatment? Try our Garlic Shampoo! Cheap and effective!
Garlic Shampoo: Have a Full Head of Hair AND Ward Off Pesky Vampires!

Do you have any new product ideas? I’m sure we could convince this company to go with them. They did make Garlic Shampoo.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Oh Hell Yeah!!!!!

World Series, baby!

Wow, it was looking bad last week. All I can say is that the “triumvirate” (as Fresh Hell—baseball is her life, hee hee— put it) of Boston blog women must have worked some magic for our beloved Sox. Whatever it was, man, what a triad of games.

Scout, I did think of you when I saw the sad faces of the tribe. I’m sorry. They played some great baseball.

OK, off to collapse into bed.

Go Sox!!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Do the Whirlwind

It all started Friday night when Roommate had a date night so I went out to watch the Sox That all went fine until after the game when this guy kept buying me drinks I wound up making out with him a bit As I recall he wasn’t a good kisser I woke up the next morning with that feeling that it’s best that the details are hazy I had a killer headache Roommate laughed her ass off when I recounted the evening’s events in my little girl doesn’t feel good voice Had some water and prayed for death Rallied Made it out to the store to get a wedding gift for friend’s wedding the following day then went to the park so that I wouldn’t waste a beautiful day Bought a very cute dress for wedding as I have learned that looking good takes the sting out of spinsterhood Once shopping was completed I went home and collapsed on the couch for a time before rallying yet again to see Architecture in Helsinki Talk about a killer show Fun fun fun fun dance dance dance whirlwind blast Couldn’t stop smiling Got home Sox in bottom of the tenth Had bad feeling Collapsed into bed Woke up next morning to hear the score was thirteen to six What the fuck Got dressed and went to Friend’s wedding and had a genuinely delightful time I guess that can happen at weddings Caught up with old friends ate some food drank some wine came home Collapsed into bed Woke up and went to work Left work and drove to New Hampshire to see friend from England of original Fluff fame at her mom’s house Had wonderful time visiting with her and other friends That is until I found out the Sox lost yet again Drove home Collapsed into bed Woke up and went to work Long day Exhausted Got home and took off for hair appointment Ah the joy of having someone massage one’s head Exchanged drinking stories with hilarious and talented stylist Bought too many hair products Took train home Arrived just in time for the game to start Roommate and I swore at the television as the Sox lost yet again Collapsed into bed Got up and went to work where a monstrous index awaited my loving ministrations Long long day Got home Popped laundry in washer Fixed dinner Collapsed on couch and nearly fell asleep while watching the Grey’s spin off though I like it when Roommate came home We watched it together Put extra concert ticket up on Craigslist Sat down and typed this thing Will promptly collapse into bed Tomorrow am getting together with Fresh Hell and Andraste for beer and Sox Then off to Stars and then Vermont Sometime around Sunday I can get off this crazy thing for a bit Then it starts again Whilwind indeed

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

A week went by? Seriously? Yikes. Guess I was busy.

The calendar tells me that it’s time to do the Sassy Sundries, my weekly tally of things personal, political, and nonsensical, and so behold, the Sassy Sundries:

The Red Sox swept the Angels. Watching Manny Ramirez launch the ball out of Fenway Park erased the shame of spending Friday night in front of the tube. And then the Yankees needed their hankies. It was a beautiful week for baseball. Tonight, it’s Scout vs. Sundry, as Robyn’s Indians and my beloved Sox face off for Game 1 of the ALCS. October rocks. Plus Five

W comes out against a Congressional resolution calling the Armenian genocide a genocide, saying that it will harm our relationship with Turkey, a “key ally in the War on Terror.” Would he call the Holocaust an unfortunate incident if Germany hadn’t recognized its past and supported the Iraq War? Minus Three

California became the first state in the nation to pass a law prohibiting landlords from acting as immigration officials. Let's hope the nation follows. Now before everyone goes off in my comments box, I strongly suggest two things. First, read up on US activity in the regions where most of the illegals come from. Just as the positive results of our actions endure, so do the consequences of our negative actions. Second, put your money where your mouth is and start supporting organizations that work to give people a reason to stay home. I support and can recommend several. Plus Three

British writer Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not only does she deserve the honor, The Golden Notebook being one of the great novels of the last century, but her victory also upset the British bookies betting on the prize. For some reason, that last part makes me smile. Plus Three

The National put on an amazing show Saturday night at the Roxy. Music can take you to another place, and I’m still smiling over that performance. Plus Two

I made a new friend at the National show (not that kind of friend). Actually, I’ve been branching out a lot lately, and I’m enjoying my social life. There’s more to life than dating, and a woman needs friends. Plus Four

Hats off to Al Gore, for sharing the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to raise awareness about climate change. Plus Three

Total Plus: 17
Total Minus: 3

Last Week’s Total: +3

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Goddamn, it’s still lovely out. It may feel like August outside, but it’s October, baby, and the Red Sox are playing some baseball! Life is good. Well, actually life could be better for me. I’ve been a bit down this week, but hey, with wonderful things afoot, things are bound to improve.

It’s that time again. Time for me to tally up the week’s events, personal, political, and nonsensical. Without any further ado, here are the week’s Sassy Sundries:

Happy Birthday, Chester A. Arthur

A little celebratory cake, surrounded by Chester A. Arthur memorabilia

A very Happy Birthday today to Chester A. Arthur, the Ultimate Blank Years President. Today also marks the anniversary of my first comment from Robyn. Glad to know you, Blog Pal. Plus One

Hypocritical homophobic Senator Larry Craig fails in his attempt to reverse his guilty plea to a charge that he solicited sex in an airport men’s room. He’s still determined to stay in the Senate until the end of his term in January 2009. Yeah, good luck with that, Senator. Minus One

The Boston Red Sox, with help from the scrappy Baltimore Oriels, win their division for the first time since 1995. There’s a long row to hoe, but the hometown team’s performance in Game One was a great way to start. Oh, and Satan's Minions lost their first game. Plus Five

Congress initiates legislation to hold American contractors operating in Iraq accountable in US courts after reports emerge in Septmeber that employees of Blackwater USA opened fire and killed Iraqi civilians under questionable circumstances. With the administration strongly opposed to the proposed legislation, I doubt anything will pass, but the effort counts for something. Even

W delivers on his promise and vetoed the S-CHIP bill, stating that it would lead to socialized health care. Oh, no! Not a healthcare system where everyone’s covered, people live longer, and the infant mortality rate goes down! There’s been some talk about how this bill would be funded, but the way I see it, if we didn’t have an illegal and unnecessary war draining billions and billions of dollars a year, coming up with $35 billion to insure children wouldn’t take much doing. Minus Five

I finally got to see the Mountain Goats Sunday night at the Middle East. Fantastic show. Am looking forward to the National this weekend and Architecture in Helsinki the next (other shows to follow). October isn’t just for baseball. Plus Three

Total Plus: 9
Total Minus: 6


Last Week’s Total: +4

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

You Might See a Ghost, Dummy

Now that it’s October, our thoughts can turn to goblins and ghouls, to things that go bump in the night. And to more book proposals from people of questionable sanity. We recently received a two-thousand-page manuscript, in all caps, about spirits and ghosts. In case you didn’t know the difference, be enlightened:


Boo indeed. Beware of insane spirits. They turn into ghosts.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What the Fluff? Dispatch from the 2nd Annual Fluff Festival in Union Square, Somerville

Fluff What the Flufff 2007

Fluff’s still giddy from Fluff’s adventures at the 2nd Annual What the Fluff? festival in Union Square, celebrating the 90th anniversary of the invention (should we say “discovery”?) of Fluff in Somerville, Massachusetts. Fluff was still talking about last year’s adventures at the fest, but this year just flipped Fluff’s little red lid.

Today, not only did Fluff get to consort with other Fluffs, but (insert favorite Fluff gender here) also got to meet Archibald Query, the man who brought the gooey marshmallow goodness to the masses.

Fluff Query

Fluff really wanted one of those prizes for the cooking contest.

Fluff Prizes

Fluff Cooking Contest

Fluff, however, really hoped that Fluff’s friends weren’t hurt in the Fluff bowling.

Fluff Fluff Bowling

There were Fluffernutters, Ice Cream, and a “Fear Factor” wheel (where contestants had to eat something with Fluff).

Fluff Making Fluffernutters

Fluff Ice Cream

Fluff Fear Factor Wheel

Prospect Hill Tower (a local tower) was re-created in Rice Crispy Treats

Fluff Prospect Hill Tower

Fluff checked out some music in front of the Independent, a watering hole with an excellent beer selection.

Fluff The Independent

A little controversy broke out when some people called attention to the absence of Strawberry and Raspberry Fluff at the festivities. Was it possible that What the Fluff? wasn’t being inclusive? Oh no!

Fluff Where's the Flavored Fluff

“I beg to differ,” Strawberry Flufferette said. With Fluff’s flavored friends represented, peace was restored.

Fluff Here's the Flavored Fluff

Everyone ate “Fluffy things,” and a grand time was had by all.

Fluff What the Fluff Crowd

Fluff's exhausted.

To catch up with Fluff’s other adventures, click on the “Travels with Fluff’ link under “Favorite Posts,” and start at the bottom. Fluff may be from Somerville, but Fluff gets around.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Summer’s last hurrah continued to defy the crisp fall banshees, making it almost impossible to go into work this week. While the beach tempted me all week, I stayed away. This weather cannot last forever, and if I get back into summer mode, the cold weather will be that much more soul crushing.

So instead, I’m sitting inside (the sun has just begun to stream through my open window), tallying up the week’s events. Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries (Warning: Contains Grey's spoilers):

Tuesday had me boozing it up with Andraste and Fresh Hell (missing her favorite TV show’s premiere), and we had ourselves a time. Old Knudsen and Dive, we so talked about you. We also shared stories of drink, music, baseball, men folk (I know what SPOUSE’s name is!), gabbing and gabbing until we were drowned out by the karaoke performers—and then we laughed. The rest of you Boston blog friends missed a great time. You know who you are. Plus Ten

Protests led by Buddhist monks challenging the military junta in Myanmar turned deadly, and things look like they’re going to get worse. Minus Five

The Red Sox pull their heads out of their asses (until last night, that is), preserving their lead over Satan’s Minions. Can they do it? Even

Grey’s Anatomy returns. I’m with Terroni—what was up with Bambi? And, worse for me, what was up with that pun at the end (Alex hands Cristina some money from his patient’s innards just as Meredith starts the voiceover with “Change…”)? Still, it’s a soap opera, I know it’s a soap opera, and M and I had a grand time watching our interns learn how to be residents and debating George’s love triangle (I'm for Izzy, M's for Callie). Who knew that George would be the stud of the show? Plus Two

W has no problem throwing billions and billions of dollars down the drain in Iraq but can’t bring himself to sign off on an extension of the S-CHIP program to cover uninsured children. Compassionate conservatism much? Minus Three

Avalon and Axis, two music/dancing venues that attracted drunken throngs of Boston’s music fans and club kids for decades, will be closing down to make way for a bigger music hall. Having spent a great deal of my misspent youth at Axis and a fair amount of my misspent adulthood checking out shows at Avalon, I feel a twinge of sadness. Minus One

One of the Jena Six students has been released on bail prior to his trial as a juvenile. Plus One

Total Plus: 13
Total Minus: 9


Last Week’s Total: -29

A Note about My (Lack of) Commenting: I’ve said this a couple of times, but I wanted all of you to know that my silence does not reflect my feelings for you. My place of employment has gone all Big Brother over internet usage, and I could get fired for blogging. Since I’m not much of a morning person, it’s either post or comment. So, sometimes I’ll post, sometimes I’ll comment. I will check out your blogs when I can, and please know that I still love each and every one of you.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Grey’s Anatomy Is Back!

Warning to Irish fans: Contains “spoilers” from last season

Wow, it seems like only yesterday that my dearly departed (for the Promised Land of the West Coast) coworker Carissa, Friend M, and I gathered in M’s apartment for the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy.

What a blood bath! Burke leaves Christina, George’s love triangle came to a head and then the poor guy failed his board, Bailey fails to make chief resident, and McDreamy and Meredith appear to be “over, over, over.” Oh, and Alex realized too late that he loved Ava. And Meredith’s sister McSlutty turns out to be a new intern at Seattle Grace.

Now Burke’s gone, Addison’s gone, and Webber’s staying after McDreamy refused to take the chief job. Our favorite interns are now residents.

I’ve seen a couple of previews, but I have to admit that I’m at a loss for ideas as to what’s going to happen. Last season’s premiere required the plague and a dying baby to remind us that this is a “medical” drama. What will they need this time?

There’s really only one way to find out, and so tonight M and I will be sitting in my living room, possibly knitting (it is beastly hot out, so I don’t think I can bring myself to do it—maybe a condom cozy or something?) and heckling the TV. An evening of TV is just thing to help my convalescing liver after Tuesday night’s blog bonding.

Carissa, you will be missed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blog Friends and Beer: An Excellent Mix

Now THAT was fun. Andraste, Fresh Hell, and I had a grand time over beers last night in Harvard Square. Fluff agrees.

Today, however, is going to be a long day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm with the Folkie?

I don’t normally pick up Stuff@Night, the “hip” little guide to Boston nightlife (the Dig’s Media Farm usually sums it up nicely), but I grabbed the “Welcome Back” issue on Saturday en route to Chinatown after I realized that I had somehow forgotten my book.

As I perused the contents, I spotted an
article on thirty ways to shake up one’s nightlife routine. Being of the never-go-home-the-same-way-twice school of life, I decided to check it out. You can read the tips on how to get arrested and/or die of alcohol poisoning yourself, but I would like to focus on the advice for how to become a groupie for an evening.

Night 28: Become a groupie. Channel Kate Hudson and the Band-Aids in Almost Famous, then choose an up-and-coming local musician as the new object of your obsession. Arrive early to secure your front-row spot, and after the band’s set, flirt, schmooze, or buy your way backstage for a personal meet-and-greet with your new favorite. We suggest starting small at more intimate venues like the Paradise Lounge(969 Comm Ave, Boston, 617.562.8800), Johnny D’s (17 Holland Street, Somerville, 617.776.2004), or Club Passim [Ed: Click on the link] (47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, 617.492.7679); you’ll probably have more luck, and lesser-known artists will be more appreciative of your affection.
Now, I have nothing against getting up close and personal with the band. If that’s on your life-experience checklist, then go for it. As with
risqué dancing in public, however, there is a place for everything. Somehow, I suspect that a venerable folk club where nary a word is spoken during a performance and where the strongest drink you are likely to get is a very virginal raspberry lemonade is not the best place unleash your inner Pamela Des Barres.

I realize that Stuff@Night probably did not intend to send its readers to the hospital after they binged on alcohol from brunch to dawn (see Night 17), and that many of these tips were given with toungue planted firmly in cheek. With this little gem, however, I wonder if Stuff@Night had other, more sinister, plans up its sleeve. I know that I for one would certainly pay good money to see befuddled folk musicians fending off throngs of tarted-up young things determined to seduce them.

At least, I hope that Stuff@Night is filming a comedy instead of just demonstrating complete and utter cluelessness.

In other local news, tonight Andraste, Fresh Hell, and I will be meeting up for drinks. Should be a great time.

Monday, September 24, 2007

And the Winner Is…

My boss. For the most appallingly rude personal comment directed at me in years.

Here’s what happened. On Friday we received an outstanding résumé from a potential freelancer. It turned out that she had freelanced from us years about fifteen years ago and had since gotten her PhD. From the looks of things, she had not been able to find work in her field and was trying her hand again at freelancing. This is certainly common enough, and my boss, my coworker, and I were talking about the lack of work being a major deterrent to getting an advanced degree.

“I thought about getting a PhD after my master’s,” I said, “but I looked down that lonely road and saw years and years spent in my head, forming no real attachments and not having a real home, only to have to find a job outside the field. I decided that for me, it just wasn’t worth it.”

My boss looked at me and said sarcastically, “Well, you had all that time. Do you have any real attachments or a real home?”

Well, you know the answer to that one, Bitch. My life is completely meaningless, and I spend every night home alone with my fifty cats, eating ice cream out of the carton and plotting how to foil the neighborhood children.

I checked that reaction and used my schmoozer skills to take the “high road.” “Tell me when to stop,” I said, laughing and waving my fingers in the air. I then explained what I meant, which didn’t have anything to do at all with finding a man or buying a house but instead about living in a place and forming a community of my choosing. I didn’t love my subject enough to sacrifice the best years of my life for it—and that’s not to say that other people couldn’t decide to make those sacrifices and have it be the right decision for them. We joked for a few more moments, and then she went into her office.

And that’s when I started crying. I’d like to say that digs about my single life don’t hurt and that I’m just able to laugh them off, but they do. I know that I have a full life now, and I am enjoying it, but still. This isn’t my first pick. I really don’t need my boss’s judgment to remind me that it isn’t my first pick.

My young coworker, who was part of the conversation and was just as shocked as I was, offered a lot of support, and I managed to recover myself enough to enjoy my weekend anyway. In fact, I’m sure I had more fun. Single people get to go to parties and go off on their own adventures without any guilt whatsoever. Still, her words came to me this weekend, and I did think a lot about how this wasn't what I really wanted.

And now I have to go in today and face the winner of the prize for most appallingly rude personal comment directed at me in years. Wish me luck.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Ah, how I cherish these last warm days before The End of Summer. One almost feels instant nostalgia for these last t-shirt days, when walking home after an evening out brings joy instead of the urge to flash the cabbie in order to make him stop and drive you away from the cold disaster of New England winter.

It is on one of these days that I sit here, beside an open window, tallying up the week’s Sassy Sundries (idea stolen from Boston's Weekly Dig). After I pound out this post, I’m going to forget why I’m happy, rather like my reaction after the first cold snap hits. Which should be any day now—we are all entirely too chipper in this part of the world.

Behold, the Sassy Sundries:

First things first. What the fuck is going on with the Red Sox? I mean, I know. I get it. I’ve lived here nearly all my life. I’m starting to fear that the curse was not reversed, but that instead we were allowed to finally win so that losing again would be that much more painful. I believe this and yet, like any true Sox fan, I still hope that our beloved team can pull it together and maintain their scant lead over Satan’s Minions for a few more days. Please! Minus Five

The Democrats in the Senate fail to restore Habeas Corpus rights after the Republican Senate voted
last year to suspend them for “enemy combatants.” Joe Lieberman votes with the fascists, and Susan Collins of Maine shows why she’s still with the fascist party. Minus Five

The weather has been unbelievably lovely this week. It nearly takes the sting out of events of the world. And impending winter.Plus Three

Governor Deval Patrick comes out in favor of casino gambling in Massachusetts under the delusion that casinos will solve all financial woes. It’s not casino gambling that I have a problem with, as the Commonwealth already profits from lottery and Keno (available everywhere in my less-than-well-to-do neighborhood), and at least casinos require some travel and offer other entertainment. It’s that no one has the guts to say that running the government costs money and that taxes are required to fund it and then propose a tax structure that requires everyone, including the wealthy, to pay their fair share. Minus Five

OJ Simpson is in legal trouble again. The media eats it up, hoping for another gazillion-month show trial. Snore. Minus One

Reports of blatantly racist events in Jena, Louisiana, sound like they should be from another era. They’re not. The obvious motivation behind the charges against six black students reacting to nooses hung by white students from the “white tree” after a black student dared to sit under it only serves to expose the underlying racism that still plagues this country. Minus Ten

The Senate fails to pass a measure requiring that soldiers spend as much time at home as they do in Iraq or Afghanistan. Somehow supporting such a measure was cast as “anti-troop.” Although they know they don’t have the votes to pass it, Congress is taking up another measure to limit the war in Iraq. Frustrating. Minus Five

Total Plus: 3
Total Minus: 31


Last Week’s Total: +4

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Young Coworkers

The other day, my young coworker announced that she had seen the strangest thing right outside our office.

“What was it?” I asked.

Full of breathy wonder my coworker proceeded to describe a bizarre anthropological phenomenon akin to a primitive religious ceremony, or the Monolith in 2001. “There was this truck, and it drove up really fast and parked in front of the building. A bunch of people gathered around it. And then! The silver flaps of the truck opened up, and there was food! And pizza! It was kind of like a miracle!” Her eyes dazzled as she contemplated the mystery of it all.

The miracle in question? The lunch truck that comes every day around noon. She’d never seen one before.

If you haven’t seen one before, the Miracle Truck (as it has come to be called) is something like an ice cream truck for adults. The Miracle Truck has all kinds of strange foods for sale, including Fluffernutter sandwiches and egg salad. We’re still trying to figure out why if Fluff is food, pizza is not. The pizza may or may not be a miraculous non-food, but for $1.25 a slice, it’s pretty damn good.

Ah, the joys of watching a young person learn about the working week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

On the Road to Creativity

I first heard about Jack Kerouac in high school. It was the thirtieth anniversary of On the Road, not that my high school celebrated it. I don’t really want to talk about that, suffice it to say that fundamentalists ran my school. Still, they couldn’t escape it. The syncopated clickety clack jazz beat of drifters and poets smoking cigarettes and marijuana and having sex with girls they met on the road and (gasp!) men ran counter to the idyllic fifties my school portrayed as the last hurrah of family values before the terrifying plunge into promiscuity and drugs that was the sixties. This was the twentieth anniversary of the Summer of Love too, and our leaders attempted to indoctrinate us against the era from which they all sprung. They were Jesus People after all. Perhaps the road to freedom didn’t tempt my fellow sheltered classmates, but the pull of intellectual freedom, of Nietzsche’s quest to become who you are was irresistible to me. I picked up On the Road at the library, but my mother found it under my bed and took it away and it was years before I finally read the book. By then I’d become tired of the imitators, of the lazy attempts to replicate cool. All those anniversaries of freedom howls merely highlighted my own generation’s lack of creativity. All the cool jeans and tee shirts or the hippie skirts we wore to stake our claim to individuality made me wistful for a time when we would break free and be original. I made myself avoid the Beats as an attempt to keep myself pure, but eventually I broke down and read the damn book. By then I’d already taken to the road, and like Kerouac I’d come back home. I am still wistful for a time that doesn’t exist, when I will have a creative voice all my own and won’t sit here with at a computer with its muted clickety clack and have something original to say.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Sassy Sundries Return! My Week in Review

Friday has graced us with its presence again. The realization that today is Friday triggers a foggy recollection about a weekly tally of events personal, political, and nonsensical. This memory is a pleasant one, so I’m singing my Friday Song (sing along!) as I add up the week.

Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries:

Call me Auntie Sassy. My sister’s pregnant! Very excited. Very relieved that it’s her and not me. Plus Ten

W gave a speech on Iraq (I fell asleep on the couch and missed it, but I caught the replay). He announced that he’s bring home 5,700 soldiers (before Christmas!), failing to note that it’s time for those soldiers to come home. Remember when this surge was supposed to last six months? That safe place in Anbar where the sheik who aligned himself with the US forces was killed in a roadside bomb? Oops. W also announced his intention to leave an American presence in Iraq through the end of his presidency. Big shock there. Minus Five

David Ortiz (Big Papi) hit his first walk-off homerun of the season. Joy ensues. This makes me very happy that I don’t give a rat’s patootie about football. Shame on those Patriots, eh? Plus Two

David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus gave his report to Congress. He recommended starting to “draw down” US forces (but not a “precipitous withdrawal”—that would be bad), and he hailed the Iraqi’s government failure to meet all but three of its benchmarks as a limited success. When asked by Republican Senator John Warner if the continued surge would keep America safe, he said that he hadn’t thought about it. Why are we there again?Minus Five

I took back my birthday. Woo hoo! Plus, Smokestack came down last weekend, and we had a grand time gallivanting around Cambridge. Plus Ten

Had a bit of post-birthday letdown and felt a little lonely Wednesday evening. Roommate kindly listened to me cry in my beer. I’m feeling better. Even

Total Plus: 14
Total Minus: 10


Last Time’s Total: +23

Boston Blog Friends: Let’s do this meetup thing. I’m thinking midweek drinks somewhere (preferably somewhere where Rich, our non-drinking Blog Friend, will feel comfortable). My week’s fairly open next week and the week after that, so perhaps we could organize something? I have a few watering holes, and I’m open to suggestions. I have an e-mail link in my profile. E-mail me if you’re interested, and we’ll plan this thing!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Take Back the Birthday a Success

Take Back the Birthday went exceedingly well, if I do say so myself. A few friends, red wine (including a bottle of Irony Pinot Noir—I’m keeping that bottle forever), good cheeses and other sundries, music, and Apples to Apples (a kickass game) make for a wonderful midweek impromptu birthday celebration. Had Take Back the Birthday been on a weekend night, I probably would have gone for a blowout, but perhaps it was a good thing to wade back into being happy about having a birthday. Good times.

The only thing that gives me pause about the whole birthday thing is that I’m now officially in my mid-thirties. There’s nothing “early” about thirty-four. I have one more year of the snappy twenty-eight to thirty-four age bracket, and then the long, slow slide begins.

The thought of aging has always freaked me out. My mother caught me weeping on the porch when I was three, and when she asked me what was wrong, I cried, “I don’t want my little beedes to get big! I want to stay a kid forever!” (This is one of her favorite stories to tell about me. It gets laughs.) Time passed, and I got over my “beedes” getting big, but the essential Peter Pan feeling has remained with me. I loved being young. I loved all the possibility. The choices. Thinking about all those potential paths disappearing breaks my heart.

Still, though the thought of thirty-four freaks me out a bit, I don’t feel so bad today. Maybe I’m finally figuring out that most of our limits are those we place on ourselves. I don’t know. It’s something to think about. But first I'm going to go outside and play. It's beautiful out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Today’s my birthday. For the last six years, I’ve felt guilty for having a birthday at all. The only thing I can say about having a birthday on September 11th is that everyone remembers it now. Not that it mattered. I have not observed my birthday on my birthday since 2001. Whatever celebrating I did took place apologetically on the 10th or the 12th.

Last year and 2002 were the worst days to have a September 11th birthday. On my twenty-ninth birthday, the ground felt haunted. No one smiled all day, and who could blame them. The surreal memories of that day overwhelmed evereyone. Hardly a good day to whoop it up. And last year, I felt like

Today, though the day is gray and cool, I feel like it’s my birthday. This day will always mark a terrible event, but it is also a good day. I’m having a few local friends over to celebrate (the whole Tuesday thing made it necessary for Smokestack to come down last weekend, and my intrepid friend and I always celebrate our Virgohood together). I’m looking forward to it.

It’s my birthday! Woo hoo! OK, it still feels weird to say that on September 11th. It is also starting to feel right.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jedi Mind Trick

David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus just keep saying his name David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus the surge isn’t working David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus we’re in the middle of a civil war David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus George W. Bush has no idea what he’s doing but he’s determined to keep doing it David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus those benchmarks haven’t been met but we’re going to keep fighting anyway David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus if they keep repeating David Petraeus David Petraeus Congress won’t do a thing David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus I had no idea Jedi Mind Tricks really worked David Petraeus David Petraeus David Petraeus

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sassy Sundry Advises

I’d like to do my civic duty and offer some advice to those inspired to do the bump and grind from behind at live shows. You know who you are, and I hope you take this advice in the spirit in which it is intended.

1. Observe your surroundings. There’s a time and a place for risqué dancing in public. If, with the exception of the drunk blonde girls at the bar, the audience is doing the collective head bob and sway, take the cue and save the gyrating for later.

2. Listen to the music. Chipper indie pop doesn’t move most people to do the slow grind and breast grab (let alone the rabbit jumping done later). Maybe it moves you in such a way, but like a yen for picking one’s nose and eating it, it’s something best indulged in private.

3. If you are going to ignore points 1 and 2 and go for the clothes-on screw-from-behind anyway, have a sense of rhythm. And make sure you stop when the song stops.

4. Last, but not least for it being somewhat shallow, if you are going to dance like that at a 7 PM indie pop show, please look hot doing it. Honestly, watching two ugly people old enough to know better (and seemingly sober) “dance” like that made my friends and me throw up a little.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


For some reason, the opening scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead* came to mind when I spied these displays at the flea market.

Rocket Head

Scary Head


*If you haven’t seen this one, you really must. Time was, you had to send away to the UK to get the DVD (which I did) or score a bootleg copy from Asia (which a friend did for me), but no more. Now it is available in the US, and so you have no excuse. Once you see it, you’ll see that my photos have absolutely nothing to do with the opening scene, except they do.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Would a Super Demon Do?

I have a question for you. If you were an eight-foot-tall Super Demon, and you accosted some poor soul on a deserted snowy street and could demand anything you wanted of that soul, what would you require?

This question arises from a proposal we received last week at the office. My coworker fielded a phone call from a prospective author who felt compelled to pitch the story of his encounter with such a demon (how one determine the difference between a regular demon and a Super Demon is an outstanding question we have yet to answer). This prospective author encountered the SD while walking home late at night after failing to heed a warning that should he continue walking that route, he would encounter something that would “truly frighten” him.

Our foolhardy correspondent continued down the street and had just turned toward home when the SD appeared in front of a supermarket (see the connection?). Terribly frightening in his visage, this SD sized up our correspondent before making his demand. In a sinister, raspy voice, the SD said,

“Give me a quarter!”

Luckily for our correspondent, he just happened to have a quarter on him. He out his change and delicately crossed the SD’s palm with silver.

And, without a word, the SD closed his hand, turned, and flew through the supermarket window without breaking it. Because, it seems, even Super Demons with the power to pass through windows need to pay for their gumballs.

The SD’s booty has my coworker and I puzzled. Why a quarter? Does this coin posses secret powers we aren’t aware of? Did the SD show mercy (unlikely, as demons don’t truck in grace)? Was the SD merely cheap? Are SDs somehow limited in what they can demand?

We don’t know, and so I thought I would ask you for help. So, if you were a SD, what would you demand and why?

In other proposal news, we recently received this atop a manuscript. The lowercase “me” breaks my heart.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Time Slips Away

In the words of Willie Nelson, “ain’t it funny how times slips away.” Today Sassy Sundry Thoughts turns one. What a great experiment. I know I have not posted much lately, and I’ve commented even less, but I am enjoying this immensely. Thank you for reading. Thank you for posting. This is a blast.

OK. Time for an update about the time that slipped away from me. Some of the time has slipped away in delightful ways, but mostly I’ve just been drifting, adjusting, and trying to figure things out. Here’s what I’ve been up to since last time.

First things first. I met Devin! Oh, the lovely, lovely Devin. She flew into Boston to go horseback riding with her wonderful friend C and suggested a meet-up before her equestrian adventure. When faced with Krappy Koffee as the only option at the airport, she and C had another adventure—driving to Sullivan Square to meet me at the T. They did great.

Devin and C with Fluff on Da Orange Line

When I met Devin, it was meeting an old friend. Hugs and smiles all around. From Sullivan, we went to Newbury Street (ladies who brunch must brunch on the fashionable street). There was much catching up and establishing the “real” details of our lives over mimosas and Bloody Marys (Devin—“See. My drink comes with salad). The only weird thing was that it wasn’t weird at all to be sitting there chatting away with someone I’ve known only in cyberspace. Devin has inspired me in her blog, and she is even more inspiring in person. She’s also hilarious. We laughed a lot.

After brunch, we wandered among the beautiful people (and savaging their outfits—clear bra straps be damned!) and into the public garden before heading back to the T. If meeting blog friends will always be this much fun, I’m game. Bostonian bloggers, I suggest a meet-up somewhere.

Fluff with Devin and I

As I mentioned, life got a little strange on me. The evening after meeting Devin found me at a watering hole (not one in my immediate locale—so don’t think I was doing this at one of the bars I’ve described here), having a couple of drinks while reading my novel. “Excuse me,” this adorable young man said, “Would you mind if I joined you?” Well, we got to chatting, and we really hit it off, despite the TEN-year age difference (he was the beauty). One thing led to another, and well… (*sheepish grin*) At least we didn’t make a scene in the bar.

How does one not crack up when someone says sincerely, “Wow. You really have your life together” upon waking up hungover on a Monday morning after scandalously little sleep with a boy one picked up in a bar in one’s bed? I’m crediting the hangover. I don’t think I have it together at all, but I really needed the distraction.

It didn’t last long. No sooner had I finished giggling over the “Boytoy Incident” with friends that I heard from McI. He invited me to his next gig. Now I’m sure that he was just being nice and friendly, and in a way I’m glad that he invited me, but you know. Seeing his name in my inbox threw me for a loop. A very painful loop. I didn’t respond, which might not have been the best thing, and I didn’t go, which definitely was the best thing, but both were really hard. I would like to be his friend someday, but I just can’t right now.

More time has slipped away with a few entertaining online-dating prospects. None of them have the butterflies fluttering. I hate this phase. It, too, will slip away someday, and someone will excite me.

In other news, I’m really enjoying having a roommate. She also lives for brunch, and we’ve had a great time checking out new spots. Last week, we espied this sign after particularly filling meal.

We vowed to work out more.

Roommate also plugged in the cable, and we spent a very hot Friday evening on the couch sucked into reality television. America’s Next Top Model is strangely hilarious, and inexplicably addictive when presented in marathon format. Now that I’ve connected with my culture, I’ll be very content to remain ignorant of it for the next several years.

So that’s how my time has slipped away. The world goes on around me. Rove’s gone. Gonzales is gone. I’m nearly thirty four. And my blog is now one.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August's Worst Blogger Award Goes to Sassy Sundry

OK, I know. I suck. I haven’t posted for an aeon. I loved, loved, LOVED meeting Devin. I had a blast with her and her dear friend C, and I want to recount the whole adventure, but I’m in a weird space this week. More to follow.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Well, this week featured resolution for me. I’m afraid that I did not pay attention to much else (including all of your blogs—part of this is due to a major crackdown on web usage at work, but mostly it’s because I’ve been in my own head—I’ll be back soon).

Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries, my weekly tally of things political, personal, and nonsensical:

McOver. I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out with us, but I’m relieved to finally have things resolved. At least I’m not seething with anger over how the breakup took place (McAsshole doesn’t hold a candle to McI in the class department). I’m glad that I had the time that I did with McI, and I learned a lot about what I want and what I don’t want in a relationship. My friends and blogpals have supported me, and my therapist is worth her weight in gold. I have no idea how to rate this

I had a fantastic day at the beach with my friend Smokestack. We’ve both been going through some things the last couple of years, and it’s been a while since we had an all-fun-all-the-time day together. I think we both needed it. We’re still laughing over THAT’S NOT HEALTHY! Plus Ten

While writing about habits that freak me out, I remembered the best billboard ever. A couple of years ago, my sister and I were driving into NYC with friends to go to an art opening (she had a piece displayed). All of the sudden we looked up and say a billboard with this on it:

We couldn’t stop laughing for days. Maybe I’m feeling punchy, but this thing still cracks me up. I need to laugh, so I’m giving it a Plus Five

The War’s still going on, and W’s still an idiot. How can he stand there and express confidence in the Iraqi government? How can he say that the safety of Americans traveling on the roads isn’t worth five cents a gallon? Minus Five

Barry Bonds breaks* Hank Aaron’s homerun record. Baseball wishes he’d just go away. I don’t like A-Rod at all, but I have to admit that I’m looking forward to his breaking Bonds’s record. Just so long as it isn’t against the Red Sox. Minus Two

I’m going to have brunch with the Hangar Queen on Sunday! Look for Fluff pictures soon. Plus Ten

Total Plus: 25
Total Minus: 2

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: +23 (not counting McOver)

Last Week’s Total: -9

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Does Your Routine Freak Others Out?

She slept in the exact same position every night. Flat on her back, arms crossed over her chest, my sophomore roommate looked like she was preparing for entombment. Her blankets never creased.

In the morning, she would lift off the blankets and fold them over, swing her legs around, and sit straight up, ala a vampire arising from the casket. She’d stay there for a few moments before standing up. Then she’d turn ninety degrees to the left and walk over to her dresser. Grabbing her comb like a vice, she’d comb the right side of her short hair twice and then comb the left. She’d then grab her towel, throw it over her shoulder, and walk out of the room to the showers. She never said a word.

It freaked the everloving shit out of me.

I thought of her while laughing my ass off during the opening scenes of Shawn of the Dead, when the good people of London slept through their waking lives, completely unaware that they were already zombies.

And I’ve thought of her again this week while observing the habits of a certain neighbor of mine. See, now that I have a roommate, if I want to have a morning cigarette (I know, I know, but it really is better for me to smoke than hit the bottle in the wake of my McOverness), I have to go downstairs and sit on the stoop (I feel like such a townie doing it, and it makes me laugh). Apparently, I’ve been going down at the same time every morning, because every morning, I see the same guy.

Every day, he emerges from his building, dressed in khakis and a solid-color short-sleeved oxford. He slings his black messenger bag over his shoulder just so. He steps onto the sidewalk, furrows his brow and walks a few paces before crossing the street at the exact same spot (just before the tree). He walks diagonally across the street, and when he reaches the middle of the street, he furrows his brow again and then reaches into his pocket for his cell phone. Checking the screen for important 6:30 AM messages, he then shakes his head and puts his phone back into his pocket as he steps up on the curb. He turns the corner smartly, and then he’s gone.

He freaks me out, too, and has me thinking that I need to shake up my habits a bit. What about you? Do you do something in the exact same way every day that might make someone think you’re a zombie? Does that thought disturb you?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Flying Golf Balls!

Smokestack and I cracked up laughing over this sign spotted at the beach on Saturday while waiting for our snack from the vendor. “Somehow, I think flying golf balls might disrupt the dunes,” I mused aloud, giggling. Perhaps it was the vodka punch, but the picture still makes me laugh.

Nothing, however, could compare with the guffaws after we overheard a woman shouting, “THAT’S NOT HEALTHY! STOP THAT! THAT’S NOT HEALTHY!” while waiting in line for the bathroom. We opted for the other loo.

Just thought I’d share.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Yesterday morning I woke up, and I realized that I was happy. I’d had a date Friday night—not a good date (the guy was really, really good looking— there was just nothing there)—but a date all the same. Saturday I’d headed up to Portland and had a wonderful day at the beach with my old friend Smokestack. Thirty years of inside jokes came roaring out of us, and we were laughing like fools. I had all these plans with friends set for the week. I had no plans with McI, and it occurred to me that it really didn’t bother me.

My poor roommate’s plan of her Sunday at the beach fell through, and we went to brunch instead. After that I headed home and hung out in the backyard with the paper. Then I broke my moratorium on sequels again and went to see the new Bourne flick (I know, I know, but when The New Yorker gives an action flick a decent review, I figure it’s OK). On my way home, I tried to decide if I was going to let McI know that I was moving on or just let him go. I went with just letting him go.

This morning I woke up to a message from him saying that he just wasn’t in a space where a relationship with me was something he could do but that he had enjoyed our time together and that he’d be happy to hear from me sometime in the future. I messaged back saying much the same thing.

So, it’s over. I’m sad, and I’m cursing the Timing Gods, for timing was the real issue here, but I’m going to be OK. The parts of this relationship that were good were really good, but I deserve something that is all good. It's hard to remain optimistic when I have to keep picking up the pieces of myself, but I'm a survivor because I have hope.

I’m probably going to be offline for a bit, but I will try to get back to commenting form soon.

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week(ish) in Review

Happy hazy, hot, and humid Friday! Summer finally made a comeback here on the East Coast. Not only that, but the heat’s going to last through the weekend, so I’ll be hitting the beach. Only eight hours of work to go.

Well, it’s that time again. Time for me to give my numerical tally of events transpiring over the last seven days. This time, however, I’m going to cheat and haul a few dusty items off the shelves of time. I’ve stolen this idea from the Weekly Dig’s Bean Counter column. The Dig finally got their new site up and running. I haven’t looked through it too much, but I’m a little disconcerted about the “User Login” at the top of the page. We shall see.

OK, shut up, Sassy, and start assigning points. Here are the week’s Sassy Sundries:

I now have a roommate. After the chaos of moving in (and a good therapy appointment), things have settled down. Although I would have preferred to live alone, it is really nice to have someone around to talk to. Plus Five

A bridge collapses in Minneapolis, killing at least five. A steam pipe explodes in Manhattan. Minneapolis and Manhattan join Boston for failed engineering projects. But none of these cities touch Japan, what with that little nuclear plant accident and all. Geeks are weeping. Minus Five

Tammy Faye has begun her mascara sales campaign in the afterlife. Angels and demons wage war over who has to take her, as she weeps tears of black tar. At least we don’t have to deal with her anymore. Even

I have a date tonight with a new guy. I’m pulling a Dive on remaining mum on the whole McI situation. As he says, it’s complicated. Think of the date as heart insurance. Even

W has maintained that he can do whatever he wants because he has Executive Privilege. Alberto Gonzales, our man in the Halls of Justice, lies on the stand. Congress seems powerless to stop them. Another couple of weeks in government. I have to say I miss the days when the most exciting thing going on in politics was a debate over whether or not blow jobs constitute sex. Minus Ten

Things have gotten all 1984 at the place of employment. Minus Two

Fare thee well, Igmar Bergman. Thank you for living and for making so many incredible films. Even

People in Blogland think I’m pretty. Good thing I didn’t post that other one. Plus Three

Total Plus: 8
Total Minus: 17


Last Time’s Total: -1

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kate's Blogville Challenge (via Dive)

So Dive took up Kate’s challenge and thought that we should post pictures of ourselves to make a fake Photoshop image of the denizens of Blogland.

I’ve resisted posting pictures of myself on this thing, wishing to keep my anonymity, but what the hell. Here I am. Rocking you like a hurricane with Fluff in the background.

Happy, Dive?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Through the morning haze I could see the sun. I stared at it for a long time through the clouds, a white disc, almost like a full moon against the trees. Eventually the filtered light made me look away. A pink and purple remainder followed my gaze around the neighborhood. When I looked back, the sun had disappeared.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Alive

Sigh… Don’t you just love it when life takes over everything? I’ll be back when my head’s a little clearer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In Other Words: Reveal Your Belly

I’d like to hand it to Underware, purveyor of fonts, for jazzing up the font purchasing experience. Also, a towel.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My Mind’s on Random: Thoughts Pinging through My Poor Brain (UPDATED)

I have to pay my parking ticket or my registration’s going to be revoked. I think of this almost every day, and still I don’t seem to do it.
I have something in common with Barack Obama. Turns out when he was a student at Harvard, he lived in Somerville and had a number of unpaid parking tickets. He just paid his, and I just paid mine.

Yesterday I started crying when I got ready for work. I really didn’t want to go.
I’m taking Prudence’s advice and taking a couple of days off.

Today is David Hasselhoff’s birthday. KIT got him a Speedo. Also, a ticket to Japan.
Today is not David Hasselhoff’s birthday. It is a better day.

I looked up my birthday on IMDb too. I share a birthday with one Ugo Bologna.
I also share a birthday with Kristy McNichol. Ain't I cool?

“My Favourite Book” is my favorite song on In Our Bedroom after the War, the latest release from Stars. I feel a bit guilty about downloading it from iTunes months before it’s available on CD. It doesn’t give retailers much of a chance in this ever-shrinking music business. What will this world come to, I wonder.
B***** in Tokyo is another beauty. I got a snazzy speaker set up for my iPod, so now my downloaded music is no longer confined to little ear buds.

Why did I take so long to pick up The Wind Up Bird Chronicle? Talk about addictive reading.
What is going on with this guy? He’s having psychic sex and hanging out in the bottom of a well with a portal to a hotel? I want whatever drugs he’s taking.

I finally went to an IKEA store. It was completely overwhelming. I’ve never seen so many shovey people jockeying for Swedish meatballs in my life.
The flies on the wall were laughing their arses off watching me attempt to assemble my clothes rack. I felt like a high school boy—If I just shove it a little harder, this thing will get in there!

There’s a ton of my useless crap in my future roommate’s room, and I have to get it out of the room by Friday. Ordinarily I wouldn’t balk at such a task, but since the last time I schlepped stuff up and down stairs, I couldn’t walk for a month, I’m not eager to try it again.
It’s out of her room and all over the apartment. Hence, the days off.

I’m sick of being an adult. I want summer vacation.
Unchanged. Will probably remain unchanged for the rest of my life.

Fifteen more minutes, and I get to go home.

Sigh… More than that.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Sassy Sundries: My Week in Review

Ah, Summer. Hours, minutes, drift by, and it seems as though we have all the time in the world. I’m rather surprised to discover that Friday is already upon us.

It is, I guess, and so here are the Sassy Sundries, my weekly tally of things political, personal, and nonsensical:

About a quarter-mile up the street from me, people wake up to find a dead body wrapped in a sheet. Police have revealed few details. Freaky. Minus Three

Summer weather. The really hot stuff didn’t last that long, but it’s still been lovely. Plus Two

Sometimes I find myself envying W’s rose-colored glasses. If he has not had someone enchant them for him, I want the address of the company that makes them. How else can he stand up and say that the damning progress report on his surge means that things are looking up? It’s got to be the glasses. I don’t think Congress has the wherewithal to rip them off him, but the House did pass a bill calling for troops to be out of Iraq by April 2008. Minus Five

Speaking of envy, I want me some executive privilege (actually, what I’d really like is some vice presidential privilege—that’s some amazing stuff). I want to be able to defy Congress, break the law (not backing up official e-mails), and get away with it. Bush tells former White House aide Sara Taylor not to testify, and Harriet Miers doesn’t even show up. Congress might hold Miers in contempt, but they don’t seem to have the follow-through to stop the White House. Minus Five

I had a number of adventures this week, with friends and alone. I’m really enjoying this whole urban experiment. Plus Ten

Oh. I have a new roommate. She’s a friend of mine, and she’ll be moving in at the end of the month. I’m a little nervous about living with someone again after so many years on my own, but mostly I’m excited. I think it will be fun. Plus Five

Testimony from the former US Surgeon General reveals the extent of White House tampering with scientific judgment for political purposes. Ted Kennedy introduces a bill to make the position more independent. The new nominee once wrote a paper calling male homosexuality a pathology and unnatural. He might toe the line a bit more. This whole country is going down the tubes. Minus Five

Lady Bird Johnson died. Her husband’s disastrous involvement in Vietnam has all but obscured his domestic achievements (Voting Rights Act, anyone?), but I’d like to say that I admire her stance against segregation and her work to get the country to give a hoot and not pollute. Even

Total Plus: 17
Total Minus: 18


Last Week’s Total: +6

UPDATE: I knew I should have done this later. Two Buck Chuck, the crappy Chardonnay available at Trader Joe's won a prize for best California Chardonnay. Wine snobs everywhere are groaning. I think the week is now in positive territory, don't you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dinner Theater

On my way home from work yesterday evening, I decided to go out to dinner. Nothing I could think of to cook sounded all that exciting to me, and I felt up for little exploring. I began to mull over my options.

Chinatown? I thought and quickly dismissed it. I’ve hung out there quite a bit, sampling a lot of the Vietnamese offerings there (as a vegetarian, Chinese food can be a little tricky—if you want a laugh, check out Andraste’s cautionary tale).

Oh, I could try a new Thai place and check out a different part of the city. That sounded tempting, and I decided that’s what I would do as I turned the corner onto Broadway and toward home. That was when I saw Fasika’s Ethiopian Restaurant again. I have not had a lot of Ethiopian food, but what I’ve had I’ve loved. Oh god, it is tasty stuff. When I noticed Fasika’s during my move, I was so excited. That was before I peeked inside.

East Somerville has loads of character, and some wonderful eating options (Taco Loco makes some kickass burritos, and the restaurant in the back of Vinny’s Superette is amazing). It also features a slew of dive bars—the kind that have drunk people outside smoking at ten in the morning, staring at their losing Keno tickets. Fasika’s Ethiopian Restaurant is attached to one such bar.

When I first got here, I had decided to try Fasika’s but turned around and walked out when I saw all the drunk people and the Keno sign. Last night, however, I felt adventurous enough to brave it. Why the hell not? I thought. So I went.

I walked into the restaurant side, checked out the tacky décor, and smiled. A young Ethiopian woman smiled at me and told me to sit where I’d like. I sat at one of the mesobs, and she handed me a menu. A divider partially blocked the view of the bar, where a number of late-middle-aged white people were knocking back Budweiser drafts and providing loud commentary on the evening news. Over the divider, I could see the bartender, sporting a teased, bleach-blonde do, serving her patrons without once changing her facial expression.

I turned to the menu, which had a vegetarian section with lots of tempting options. A lentil dish and a vegetable curry caught my eye, and I decided to ask the server what she recommended. The menu also listed a number of Ethiopian wines, and so I decided to try one of those. When she came to take my order, she recommended the curry but promised to include a bit of the lentil dish for me to try. She suggested the honey wine for the food, so I went with that.

My wine arrived in a little bottle resembling an oil cruet (but without the spout), and the server explained that this was the traditional glass (I don’t think I’d had wine the few times I’d had Ethiopian food). “Great,” I said, and took a sip. The wine tasted different from the mead I’d had before but was no less delicious. I had just settled in with my glass when a song blared out of the juke box in the bar. It was some classic rock song I didn’t recognize (and considering that I grew up in New Hampshire, land of classic rock lovers, that is saying something). The fat guy who played it certainly did. The bar was suddenly transformed into his living room, and he started singing at the top of his lungs.

Then he started banging on the bar for emphasis.

Now I’ve seen this kind of thing before (and, have probably done something similar in my youth), but I’ve never seen so many people take it in stride. There was this guy, shouting to the music and banging on the bar, and nobody reacted. They just kicked back their beers and continued to watch the TV.

The song ended and my food arrived. I tore off some of the bread and dove into the curry. Yeah, that’s some really good food. True to her word, the server had made sure that there were some lentils on my plate, and I sopped some up with more bread. She was right—the curry was better, but I wouldn’t have been disappointed in the lentils. I ate happily, enjoying my adventure.

About half-way through my meal, a group of four white yuppies peeked in the restaurant side, observed the bar scene, and boldly decided to try it too. They sat down at the mesob next to me, and laughed at their intrepidness. The server brought them menus, and they started going over their options.

“I told you,” one of the women said, “This place is attached to a divey bar, but I keep hearing that the food is good.” The other woman turned to look at me eating, and I said to her, “The food IS really good.”

“What an atmosphere,” one of the men said, laughing.

“Oh, you missed the drunken singing.”

“No! Maybe it’ll happen again.”

“One can only hope,” I replied laughing.

The couples ordered as I finished my dinner. I had a little of the wine left, so I sipped it while I waited for the check.

And that was when the Bon Jovi came on. The guy started up again, screaming and banging about being wanted dead or alive. Howling, the couples stood up for a better view. I did, too. Once again, the bar patrons didn’t bat an eye.

“Dinner theater,” one of the men proclaimed, nodding.

“You can say that again,” I said. Another Bon Jovi hit came on, and the guy kept going.

“Did you like Bon Jovi?” One of the women asked me.

“Oh, for about two weeks in seventh grade,” I replied.

She sighed. “I liked them for longer than that. I had a poster.”

The check came, I paid up, and, bidding goodbye to the giggling yuppies, left for home.