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.