Thursday, September 30, 2004

Light Dawns Ovah Marblehead

This glossary (thanks, sis) reads like a Cliffs Notes to my childhood. The Lake vs. Nonantum bit under "L" is priceless Newton etymology; there really are places in MA that have 'official names' and then the names people actually call them. (e.g., all the signs on the Vineyard pointing arrows to "Aquinnah" when you're going to Gay Head.) And yes, streets there down the Lake really do have the center double line painted over with an italian tri-color stripe.

Some of my favorite entries:

Traffic tie-up caused by people looking at an accident on the other side of the road (or sometimes at excessively enthusiastic human billboards). Coined by long-time WEEI traffic reporter Kevin O'Keefe, who also came up with "stall 'n' crawl," "cram 'n' jam" and "snail trail."
[note: I did standouts in high school that are still on my resume.]

Those little chocolate thingees you ask the guy at the ice-cream store to put on top of your cone. The multi-colored ones are "sprinkles."

Worthless, at least in Newton (and in particular, West Newton). "My friends and parents still use it today,'' says Lucia Kegan. "If you had some piece-of-shit bike some mean kid might say 'quality bike' or if some guy got all loaded on malt liquor and threw up you would call him a 'quality kid.' ''

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

BBC: Battling Bush's Constipation

CBS, shme-be-ess. This network needs help.

From the BBC News website, there's this story on the rising popularity of Al-Qaeda tea in Guinea, either for "...its name or its alleged healing properties."


The establishment's master al-Qaeda tea drinker calls himself "Saddam Hussein", after the former Iraqi leader, and says he downs up to five litres a day.

"I used to have frequent constipation. But since I started taking this beverage, my bowels are now free, I pass urine freely also, and everything's alright with my body," one al-Qaeda drinker said.

This is Heywood Jablome, reporting from Conakry, Guinea.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Speaking of dogs...

Last night, I tried to keep my sister from watching "The Real World" by talking to her very quickly on IM. I asked her to go into favorites and send me any random link she had saved there. She sends me this. In my family, is there a normal one?

Perhaps not.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Good God, I had no idea...

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So this is what it feels like to have a job.

Last week, Lawyer, Partner & Sons LLP dropped the fucking hammer. I've found I excel at gainful unemployment, and until last week had successfully carried those skills over into the working world. In at 11, out at 5:25 had such a triumphant ring to it, like I was winning at some challenging game to remain both well-paid and unoccupied. Mocking friends and roommates for falling into an abyss of actual "work" that kept them office-bound until after the rerun of the Daily Show had ended was for me an exercise in fundamentalism; I denounced that which I did not understand. "You're at work until 1am? WHY? Just leave. Say, 'I want to go home now,' tell them you'll finish what's left tomorrow, and sign out. What could possibly be worth staying that late? Are you getting laid at work? Staying 'til then is so stupid." I jested along through my little fantasy world, oblivious to the iceberg that lurked ahead, until it tore the hull out from beneath me last Wednesday.

5am. I stayed at work until 5am. Left work at dinnertime to make class, then returned to work until breakfast time. Stayed the following night until 1am. Friday night? Back to 5am. Then in again on Sunday. And this morning, I had to be here at 7:30, not 11:30. These things add up; right now, I smell like a leather couch on a hot evening after it's been sat in sans vestitus for an entire evening's WB lineup. My Saturday night is a vague haze of rolling rock, red sox/yankees, Boston friend on the couch playing Ghost Recon, and being too lethargic to go out. Have I regressed to my life in Brooklyn? The the roomate's wadded tissue paper overflowing the bathroom trashcan and protein powder spills says perhaps yes.

Yeah, so anyway it's time for me to suck it up and return to the real world of blogging laziness, even if nobody's blogging and I can't be lazy. I spent last night vegged out with my two Sunday shows, "Topic A with Tina Brown" at 8 followed by "Jack & Bobby" at 9, which in my mentally weakened state almost made me well up at the end. (Jack & Bobby, not Tina Brown-- hearing her hot pick of the week doesn't have that much of an effect on me.) Now it's time to go home from the office and finally put away the pile of clean, folded laundry that's been sitting in stacks on my bed since I washed it last tuesday night... since then, I've been sleeping on a 2-by-5 foot strip of cleared bedding, snug against fabric softened underwear and bathroom floor towels. Oh, god... I hope none of my roommate's clipped neck hair is still in that towel...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Office Space

It's 5am. I am sitting at my desk, waiting for a car to bring me home. This work day has morphed into a beast I still do not comprehend. I've been here so long, my feet are swelling as if I was on a plane- I think it has something to do with the climate control. Florescent lighting is burning my ears. I'm talking out loud every word I type, because I'm the only person on the entire wing of the building. I also sang some Sinatra earlier, but Accuradio has moved on to Hip-Hop... Dr. Octagon is rhyming way too fast for me to understand a single thing he says right now. Work has turned me into a drooling retard. Mercy.

This is the worst week ever. Leave me alone about blogosucking, the pendulum will swing back I swear.

Monday, September 20, 2004

those crazy diplomats

I went to lunch this afternoon with two friends (the Croat and the caveman) to Burritoville on Water Street. We sat by the window, looking out at the sidewalk by a fire hydrant. Croat gets up for a fountain drink. Caveman and I, still looking out the window, watch a police tow truck roll up, pulling a green GM car with nice shiny rims. It then backs up to the curb, deposits the towed car in front of the hydrant by our window, and leaves.

I'm sure that New York ticket quotas are bad, but does traffic enforcement really have to stoop this low? Other suggestions to what we saw are gladly welcome.

Saturday, September 18, 2004


It took six months. But I am finally at work on a Saturday. But I like that I'm wearing flipflops, a dirty t-shirt and a Sox hat. Not that it assuages how much this sucks. Oh well, I have a Latvian bachelor party tonight-- I think that'll make up for it.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Yea, though I walk through the Valley...

The Red Sox are back in the Bronx tonight. What happened to Pay-Rod last time they met?

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Picked up and dropped like a sack of change. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I, Ronnie.

McDonalds has found the answer to its P.R. image problems.

Click this.
Then click on Mary-Kate and Ashley.

From the Fashion Wire Daily (please don't ask how I'm getting updates from there):

Olsen Twins Promote McDonald's Meals
(1 hour, 52 minutes ago )
A Happy Meal campaign featuring the twins started Sept. 8 in the 1,035 McDonald's outlets in France, said a spokeswoman for the French division of the Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast-food giant. She refused to be quoted by name.
The meals come either with a photo album, a denim bag or a crayon box, she said. The album bears the twins' photo, and the bag and box bear their names, according to pictures on the McDonald's France Web site.
Mary-Kate was released in July from treatment for an eating disorder.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Watch the Crossover...

So much to talk about from work, and I'm too afraid to hit on any of it. Reading Dooced recount the sordid details of being fired for mentioning (albeit a bit disparagingly) coworkers has scared me off the topic. Ok, sure I occasionally slip when the legal secretaries go over the line, but usually I steer around it. But last night I went to a cool going-away party for a fellow legal assistant, and over a bunch of shots and a red sox game, learned there is a much seamier underbelly to my relaxed-fit firm. Someday, I'll either work up the gumption or post drunk, and reveal some of it. Suffice to say, this woman apparently used to work on my floor.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What she said

Props to ViaGina. This site she found has owned me all day. Hollywood tailors should be throwing themselves on their scissors for this.

Monday, September 13, 2004

When did I get boring?

What is going on here? I have no fun stories. The weekend was bland. I sat alone on my roof for almost an hour saturday night, drinking two beers while I looked at the memorial spotlights in Lower Manhattan, looking up and having sort of galactic spaceflight daydreams to myself. (The lights go up really really far; I never saw 'em before.) Sunday, I visited Brooklyn and on the train home missed my stop because I was poring over a Village Voice to ignore the crazy homeless guy who kept telling me I have the height to play basketball and then humming the John Tesh "NBA on NBC" theme to everyone on the train. Maybe I need to start drinking more?

Friday, September 10, 2004

The Apocalypse Looms

This morning in AM New York, bracketing a photo of the twin towers:

Top Row- Photo of Colin Powell.
Headline "IT'S GENOCIDE." (Powell on Crisis in Sudan, p. 9)

Left Column- Photo of Paris Hilton.
Headline "IT'S PARIS." (Gossip, p. 22)

Thursday, September 09, 2004


As you certainly know, Boston's Boys of Bedlam have been absolutely tear-assing across the American League recently. After the NYPD-bathroom treatment he got last night, Tim Hudson of the A's was last seen 12 hours ago sobbing uncontrollably in the Oakland trainer's facility, having bat splinters removed from his G.I. tract. The unflappable Red Sox have seized control of the Wild Card playoff berth, and signs are popping up among fans at Fenway Park with messages like "Attention Yankees: Objects in Mirror are Closer than they appear."

But not lost in the hysteria of streaking victory is an interesting side-drama I've been pointing out for a long time: The Red Sox are doing their damnest to look as crazy as possible. This column about the dressed-down stylings of Yawkey's motley crew was long-needed, and it points out one root of the wildness is in trying to contrast the Steinbrenner Chic 300 miles south. (Mattingly, get rid of those sideburns! What sideburns? You heard me, hippie.)

Looking at it this way really does work:
The Yankees are the evil Empire.
Uniform, clean-cut, ruthless. A bunch of stormtroopers.
The Red Sox are the Rebellion.
Rag-tag, slovenly, unrefined, but bent on winning and playful at heart.

Steinbrenner is the Emperor. Torre is Tarkin. Pedro is Solo. And Manny is Chewbacca.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

What am I thinking?

After considering the sage advice of esteemed peers, I realize I'm being a dumbass, and will most likely end up getting tossed off the hamster wheel and slide down the glass upside down like a cartoon if I try and catch up pace with a bunch of Ivy league engineers and pre-meds in Columbia's Pupin Physics Building. So tonight I have plotted out a way to attend an already-full section of Hunter College's "Gravity is Why Things Fall" physics offering tomorrow with the other post-bac ringers who were in my bio lab group there last semester. Yes, from one point of view I am running from the academic challenge of Columbia with my tail between my legs. From another point of view, that tail between my legs is is going to keep me from getting sodomized by a vengeful Alma Mater wielding a TI-85 calculator.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Back into the Hamster Wheel

So I have it in my head that I don't want to be a workstation-inhabiting paralegal for the rest of my days. It was in that mindset that I thought it would be a good idea to re-register and take some post-bac classes, in the hopes of completing the pre-med requirements that were so daunting during actual college that I fled with tail-tucked following my freshman year grades. I happily spent the last year traipsing about Hunter College's campus, of City University of New York, taking a biology class and lab with community college kids who made me feel, well, smart. But Hunter's physics classes don't coincide with my schedule. And Columbia's do. I was re-accepted by Columbia University School of Continuing Education last week, and tonight was my first class.

I forgot what time the class started. I forgot a pen. And I forgot what the cosine of a 60 degree angle is. Inverse tangents, too. The super-eager Columbia students flocked together after class to form group study sessions and exchange contact info. I think I might be in trouble. Gulp.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Labor Day is for labor? Who knew.

How does it possibly work out that I have such a non-eventful job and can spend weeks on end getting to 5:30 without having anything to do to raise my office-time heartrate above 70 beats per minute, and then on those fleeting days before vacations when I secretly plot to skip out of work early in order to make a flight, or a ferry boat, or some other very hard deadline, all of a sudden the insulation over my cubicle comes crashing in with a mountain of spur of the moment requests? Now I'm stuck sheepishly explaining that no, I'm sorry I can't help you out with your mundane 4 hour printing job that I would have been happy to do any day but today, because today I'm trotting out after lunch. Murphy's Law is a real jackass.

On a side note, I'll be on a beach 'till tuesday. Misbehaving. Very badly.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Captain Planet!

He's our hero... gonna take pollution down to zero!
I loved that show.

Today, this big guy out on the sidewalk in front of my building was blocking off a section of the sidewalk from foot traffic during lunchtime, making people go around and looking down at the pavement. After a little bit, he stooped down, picked up something at his feet, and walked about 3 blocks to a plaza with a large, elevated flower garden with some trees, mulch, and a fountain, holding his arm out in front of him. The faces of people crossing him in the other direction on their way to lunch were all rather comical, and most skirted around him a few extra feet. Once at the little sanctuary, he put his hand near the base of a plant stem, and the big 3.5 inch Praying Mantis that had been lost on the NYC sidewalk crawled off the back of his hand and went out looking for lunch. So did the big guy. The Mantis found a beetle. The guy found a burrito. The magnolia cupcake he had for dessert was a little too sweet, though, and he's figety now.

Yeah, I did my good deed for the day. Actually, I was just covering my bases; I want to be on the right side when the human race finally submits to our entomological overlords.