Wednesday, October 15, 2008


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Oh Lordy Lordy

What a whirlwind. I've been to Portland, Oregon attending a family wedding. We had an excellent time, until we went to the airport to fly home and realized that a communication error had led to us not being booked on a flight home. I spent more on the return ticket than I had spent on the rest of the entire trip.

The kitten was being checked-up on by Paws to Consider, a JP dog walking and pet-sitting service. She did really well. The pet-sitters left wonderful notes about how sweet and adorable she was, and she was very happy to see us when we got home. She hasn't acted ticked-off at us at all. She also had her first check-up, and things went well.

Now I just have to re-acclimate to work on Monday.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I wish I were this cute!

This is Foot Foot (after the Shags song). She has one peanut butter colored foot (back right) and three chocolate colored feet, or paws I guess. We could call her Reese's. But we liked Foot Foot better.

Foot Foot was born to the feral colony that lives next to our house. When we first moved into this apartment, a litter had just been born. I occasionally see one of those cats lurking around. All of these cats are shy and even fearful of people. No matter how careful and patient I've been, I've never been able to get closer than a few feet before they've bolted. This summer another litter was born. I wish I had the resources to do more for this group, but getting one female off the street and spayed, innoculated and into a safe home will help, I hope.

Labor Day morning, we were looking through the chain link fence that separates our yard from the scrap yard behind the office building next door, and we saw some kittens and the mother cat. They all bolted. Except Foot Foot. She just pranced back and forth, just on the other side of the fence. If we walked away from her, she ran after us, mewling all the way. We hung out on the back steps with the door open and a bowl of water for her. Once she let herself in, we knew we were going to keep her.

When she came in, I left her with the missus while I went to the store for a litter box and some food (and cat toys, and cat nip, and litter). By the time I came back, she was passed out on the missus' lap. She sleeps with us, she follows us from room to room, and she purrs when we scratch under her chin. Ahhh contentment.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Annus Novus

I am very connected to the academic calendar. Even though I am more-or-less done with formal schooling, living in Boston puts you on the September to August cycle. Everyone moves on September first, an odyssey I will never indulge in again.

September first this year marked one year in the new apartment. To celebrate, we adopted a kitten. It wasn't a conscious decision. The feral colony next to our house sheds a litter of kittens every summer, and usually none of those cats wants to have anything to do with people. They literally melt into the trees and scrap yards in the neighborhood. But one little kitten was being very brazen this weekend. She would take a few steps away when we approached her, but chase after us when we turned around and walked away. We gave her some water, and she followed us into the apartment. Once we closed the door behind her, that was that. She's a house cat now.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So, where's my money?

When I was little, my family were constantly reminding me to not talk to myself. I've always done this, and still do. It isn't like I don't know what the answers are going to be. I just like to have a little company. But what I remember most is my grandmother telling me that people would think I had money in the bank if I talked to myself.

Still, no money in the bank. I'm going to keep talking to myself, though.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Blooorghh...Blahhhh. Blurp.

Ah. I feel better now. Sometimes my brain needs to upchuck, like my tummy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Was a Weird Kid...

...and I haven't changed much.

When I was six or seven, I got a desk for my birthday. It was the greatest thing I had ever been given to that point in my life. I was ecstatic. When I was little, I played "office" the way some little kids play "school." I would just sit at my desk and pretend to do paperwork.

Today, I was working on redesigning a form that my office uses to process work, and I had to ask a coworker about some edits I was making. She commented on how well I approached editing the form as if I were someone using it, and I started waxing rhapsodic about forms in general.

"I love forms. They're like the artifacts of policies, and policies are how we express what our priorities and norms are. When you look at a form, you see what's important to people."



...that's great, Kev. Let me know if you need my opinion on anything else."

Cripes. It's no wonder I always get pegged as the dork in the room.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Strong Bones and Teeth!

The weekend is for fun. Rest and relaxation. And building strong bones and teeth. I do that with a nice cup of ice cream and a walk around the pond. August is when JP Licks goes all out with their flavors of the month. They have this chocolate chunk insanity madness type thing. It's got cashews and chocolate chips and it's yummy. Hooray for the weekend!

Friday, August 08, 2008

An Allegory

If a man is addicted to heroin, and the increasing cost of the heroin drives him to burglary and theft in order to afford the heroin, cheaper heroin isn't going to solve his problem.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Topsy Turvy

The last few summers I have made note of the fact that I hear cicadas either on or after August first. This summer I was surprised to hear my first cicada in late July -- it may have been as long as two weeks ago. What is really strange is that now that August is here, I haven't heard a single cicada. I'm getting all thrown off and disoriented.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Mixed Media

I was reading the Boston Globe's new free monthly magazine, Lola, while eating my lunch today. The article I was scanning covered some suggestions for summertime activities. I'm not sure what the intent was, but many of the things listed were in boldface. I found myself lingering over the bold type, re-reading the sentences several times. For example, let's say one of the suggestions was, "summertime is a great time for a walk along the beach with an ice cream cone." My eyes would keep going over "ice cream cone" over and over. It suddenly dawned on me that I was waiting for a hyperlink. Like, where is the ice cream cone? Why aren't you sending me someplace where I can get more information about the ice cream cone? TOO MUCH INTERNETS!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


When I was a kid, I had a very visual way of thinking. I guess that's pretty normal. I would picture certain things when I thought of certain words. The one I really remember is that every time I heard or read the word "cozy" I would picture two things: the scene in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer when Rudolph, Herbie and Yukon Cornelius all settle down (together) in bed on the Isle of Misfit Toys, and the cover of my copy of The Cricket in Times Square. That was my favorite book when I was -- I think -- seven. I'm pretty sure my grandmother and mother read it to me, and I eventually read it myself when I was a little older. I've been perfectly happy living in small apartments in the city ever since.

Monday, August 04, 2008

What I Live (Here) For

Twenty-one more days until September. Autumn is the reason I will never leave New England. And as far as I am concerned, Autumn runs from September 1st until the weekend after Thanksgiving. I know it isn't good to be living in the past or the future, but when summer starts to get a little boring (weather-wise) I really start to wistfully anticipate the cooler, drier weather.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


Here I was, thinking all along that the Sox weren't doing so well because I wasn't being a good fan and following along closely enough. See, there was a time when the West Coast trips were my favorite part of the season (and they used to happen later in the summer) because there was nothing better than staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning on a hot summer night watching or listening to a game. But those days are gone the way of my twenties -- and thirties -- and with the West Coast swing just before the All-Star break (and the break itself, which never really holds that much interest for me), I kind of fell behind in my support. I was still paying attention, but I wasn't really catching up on a daily basis.

I figured my sub-par support was responsible for their slipping in the standings. I mean, I knew Manny was up to some hi-jinx, but I didn't think it was causing much more of a distraction than usual. One thing I did think, though, was that the scuffle he got in with Youkilis a few weeks ago seemed really unusual. Yeah, yeah, pushing the geriatric travel secretary over in the clubhouse was kind of low class, but who hasn't wanted to punch a suit now and again? I mean, I am a suit, and I want to punch me all the time. Well, now Manny's gone and I'm off the hook. The new guy seems to be having an easy time finding that left field wall (both offensively and defensively) and Youkilis seems to be back on track. Hmmm, wait a minute. That all happened since I started paying attention again, didn't it?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Post-lunch Conversation, Friday Afternoon.

Me: "I'm so glad they installed a sink in the break room. Now I can brush my teeth after lunch someplace other than the men's room."

D-- and N--: "Ewwww."

N--: "You can't brush your teeth in that sink. That's where I'll be cleaning the coffee pot and my lunch dishes."

Me: "So what?"

N--: "That's gross. You can't be spitting your saliva where I wash dishes and prepare food."

Me: "Where do you go to clean the coffee pot now?"

N--: "The ladies' room-"

Me: "And the sink in the public toilet is OK, but my saliva grosses you out?"

N--: "That's not the point-"

Me: "Besides, you can't possibly believe that no one has ever brushed their teeth in the ladies' room sink."

N--: "But it's not sanitary to be spitting in a sink where people will be preparing food."

Me: "People will be washing their hands there, too."

N--: "So."

Me: "Most people's hands are dirtier than their mouths."

N--: "Speak for yourself."

Me: "Really? Which one do you use to wipe your ass?"

N-- and D--: "EWWWWWW!"

(This is how most conversations among the three of us end.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Splitting hairs. (Hares?)

I was reading a book review this morning and the reviewer paraphrased the author's description of translation as being "more an art than a science." This is a pretty common phrase. I've always thought they aren't mutually exclusive. It's really more a matter of degrees. There's no rule that says you can't be systematic, disciplined and creative.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's my idea and you can't have it.

I had a great idea for a commercial for an exterminator service. Or, pest control service. I guess "exterminator" is a little strong for people nowadays. Anyway, I've seen the Orkin ads a few times, and had an idea of my own. It's pretty vague and needs to be flushed out, but this is the gist of it. A woman is following a trail of ants through her house. Of course it's a woman, because guys don't even notice ants in the house. At least not in commercials. Guys don't notice much of anything in commercials. Caked-on crap left on the dishes from the dishwasher. Foul odors. Skid marks. This stuff just doesn't catch a man's attention.

Anyway, Mrs. Housewife is following the trail of ants, and she is on the phone. She gets more and more agitated as she describes the scene: "They're in the bathroom. They're in the kitchen. Oh my God, they're everywhere!" The voice on the other end of the line says, "Stay calm, ma'am. You have to find the source. You need to find out where they're coming from."

She starts to tear apart some cabinets, and pops up into view with an anguished, almost maniacal look on her face. She screams, "Oh My God! They're coming from INSIDE the HOUSE. They're COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!"

Get it? Well, that's my idea. MY idea. Don't you go stealing it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
~1 lb chicken breast, cubed
~3 cups broccoli crowns
~3 cups (uncooked) penne pasta
salt and pepper
grated cheese

Start the water for the penne. Anytime you make something with pasta, the very first thing you do is start the water. If it boils before you need it, just shut it off (or turn it down); it will wait for you.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed large pan. I have a large, stainless stew pot that works well. Add the garlic. Let it just start to get brown. Add the chicken. Put some salt and pepper on it. Cook it well on one side, then turn it. Cook it so it's a nice, golden color. When it's cooked all the way through, take it out of the pan.

Toss the broccoli crowns in the pan with about 1/4 cup of water, give it a quick stir, and cover. Turn the heat down to low. Let that steam for about 5 minutes, then toss the chicken back in, leave the lid off, and toss that around. The penne should be ready to drain by now. Toss that in with every thing else, turn off the heat and throw some grated cheese on top. Eat.

This is one of the easiest things in the world to make, other than a steak or a pot of boxed mac 'n cheese. Somehow, though, Lisa enjoys this as much as if it were 4 star cuisine. It's the gustatory equivalent of a bouquet of roses for me: no matter what I've done, I'm pretty sure I can get off the hook with a batch of chicken penne (not that I've ever needed it).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Some Things Are OK to be OCD About

I have to do the dishes before I go to bed. If I wake up in the morning, and the coffee pot isn't clean and ready for me to use, my day is shot. I used to be a lot more of a slob, but nowadays a mess makes me nervous. Especially dishes in the sink. Now I need to develop some kind of neurosis about leaving a mess on my desk.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Good Eats

I love tacos. Usually, I don't like things that involve cramming a bunch of different food together and eating it at once. I like to pick at things separately. I always enjoyed TV dinners when I was a kid, because everything had its own compartment. It isn't that I don't want my food touching; in fact I like to mix some things together. I don't normally like peas (I don't really do anything normally), but if you give me peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, I'll clean my plate. And if you put the peas in a vegetable samosa, I'll give you $7.95 and clean my plate. But I am not a big fan of burritos, fajitas or most casseroles.

Tacos, however, I love. And I love them crammed with all kinds of stuff. FULLY LOADED. GIVE ME THE WORKS! Meat, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, Tabasco sauce, sour cream and guacamole. Did you know guacamole was an Aztec word that means "sauce (mole) of the avocado (guavacado)?" At least I think that's what it means; I read it on Wikipedia. So, anyway, I love big, loaded tacos. And now, I am aided in my pursuit of fully stacked tacos by Old el Paso's "Stand and Stuff" taco shells. (Stand and Stuff - sounds like something I always wanted to do on an elevator). These shells have a wide, flat bottom (just like me) so they don't tip over when I add the fifth layer of toppings. Of course, they still promptly fall to pieces at the first bite, but that's part of the fun of tacos.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My Bright Idea

Lisa and I took a walk around Jamaica Pond today. We saw geese and ducks and ducklings and dogs and JP's mascot, the albino squirrel. This little fellow is known far and wide in the neighborhood, and has even had a story written about him/her in the JP Gazette. I said to Lisa that there should be a flag for JP with the squirrel on it. I think it would be perfect for this neighborhood. A green background with a white squirrel with red eyes on it. Maybe there could be a slogan, too. Something like "Different and Happy" or "Stand Out In The Crowd."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Perfect Storm

The stars have aligned to make this a costly summer. I dropped off my car for some routine maintenance and a sticker, and ended up needing lots of work. I wasn't going to bother, since I just signed up for a ZipCar membership, but I figure I can sell the car now and get at least enough to cover what I spent on repairs. I'm sure some college kid will pay a few hundred bucks for an old beater. (Comment here with an email address if you're interested in the details.) I am a little unsure if I want to be totally dependent on the ZipCar, but I work with a few people who live in the city and use it exclusively, and they say it's great. I can at least give it a try for a while.

On top of the auto issues, I spent three hours in the dentist's chair this afternoon. I wasn't even thinking about the cost of that, and when I went to check out, the bill was almost as big as the bill for the car. But I only have myself to blame for that (I only have myself to blame for any of my problems, really) so I ponied up the cash with a smile on my face. A nice, clean smile, too.

One thing to consider if you haven't been to the dentist in a while and are trying to find someone to go to: try to get a look at the size of his/her hands before you commit to any work. You don't want someone with mitts the size of Johnny Bench's trying to cram them into your tiny mouth.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Don't you need a license for those things?

This morning at 8:10 I boarded the Orange line at Forest Hills and watched a woman feed her little boy Cheez-its for breakfast. When I got to work, the first story on that caught my eye was about a judge in New Zealand ruling that parents could not name their child whatever they wanted. The parents in this particular case wanted to name their daughter "Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii." Actually, they did name the child that, and the judge made her a ward of the court so he could legally have it changed. The poor child was so embarrassed by the name that she never told any of her friends what it was, and asked them to just call her "K."

For the most part, I am completely noncommittal when it comes to raising kids. I don't have any of my own, so I am not about to tell other people how to raise them. But as I get older, I see more and more instances of blatant stupidity on the part of parents, and I have to almost bite my tongue to keep from saying something. Doesn't anyone with a shred of common sense know that Cheez-its are not breakfast food?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Like frikken Sisyphus

On the evening of the 3rd of July, I chipped a molar. On a chicken tender, no less. A chicken TENDER. I didn't bite down on something hard and feel a crunch; it was more like something between my teeth. And when I went to remove it, it was my tooth. Long story short, I hadn't been to the dentist in years, and I found one the following Monday that was taking new patients. I went in, got a cleaning, and made about a half-dozen more appointments to have various issues dealt with.

Anyway, ever since the hygienist got my mouth nice and clean, I want to brush (and floss!) my teeth as soon as I'm finished eating anything. Suddenly, I am constantly staring at myself in the mirror, counting to thirty while I concentrate on going up-and-down and not side-to-side on each quadrant.

*Snoopy brusha brusha toothbrush, when you wake up in the morning...*

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Did you know that if you have rows or columns hidden in an Excel spreadsheet, and you select a big part of the spreadsheet and then press the control and semicolon keys, that you are selecting only the visible cells? And then you can copy and paste just the visible cells to another spreadsheet, and leave behind all the hidden stuff? Did you? You did?

Well, why didn't you tell ME, you JERK!? Coulda saved me a lot of time.


Monday, July 21, 2008


I don't remember the first time I noticed it, but there has been a dilapidated white Ford Thunderbird sitting in the driveway of a house on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury for years. Based on the pictures I found on the web, I'm guessing it was a 1960, because the rear end (the only part I got a decent look at) didn't have the two big round taillights, but a row of smaller ones. A few months ago it got so rotted out that the trunk popped open and then the sheet metal on the deck lid slid off and left the frame sticking up in the air. On Friday, when we went to drop off some laundry, it was gone. I always thought I would end up watching it slowly melt into the blacktop of the driveway, and now it's just - poof - not there.

Anyway, no big revelation. Just thought I'd share.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Better than fireworks

If you ever have the chance to ride out a thunderstorm on the bandstand at Jamaica Pond, you should - it's a great view and a perfect spot to take advantage of the cooling breeze that comes along with the storm.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Persistent Chauvinism

The double standard applied to female athletes is an indicator of how little progress has been made in the realm of gender equality. I was very happy to see Danica Patrick finally get an Indy Car win. Auto sport seems like one area where the inherent physical differences between men and women could be evened out, and the sexes could compete head to head. Patrick has been criticized as not being a serious contender, because she isn't afraid to capitalize on the fact that she is an attractive woman when pursuing endorsement deals and marketing her racing career.

Why wouldn't the same criticism be levelled at David Beckham flopping around in his underwear? Or Michael Jordan, for that matter? In spite of all that has happened in the last 100 years, if you are an attractive woman, it is assumed that the only contribution you can make is as window dressing. If you do anything that isn't part of the regular program for a beauty pageant, you're tagged as either butch or an amusing novelty. It seems like most men are stil uncomfortable with the idea of a woman who would pursue anything more than a husband to make babies with.

Friday, March 21, 2008


A whole month since I last wrote in my blaargh, and look at how much has changed. Okay, so I guess not that much has changed. (N.B. why does the blogger text editor tell me okay is a misspelling? Are you really supposed to spell it OK? OK; it doesn't treat that as a misspelling. That's crazy, but I guess technically it's correct.)

This whole early start to Daylight Saving Time is messing me up. I have a hard enough time saying "Daylight Saving Time" and not "Daylight Savings Time." Now I have to deal with it being at the beginning of March. It's too cold to be light out at 7:30 p.m. The only consolation is that I can feel the warmth of the sun a little more now than I could a month ago.

Another sign of spring was the big, fat gray and white feral cat sitting in my back yard the other morning. I don't know where they go or what they do, but you don't see them around from December to March. In the summer they come out almost every morning and sun themselves on the little patch of grass in our yard, or sit up on the fence and try to catch the birds flying in and out of the garage. I think this particular cat is getting fed, because he was almost chubby, not as scrawny and grubby looking as the other strays I see. Maybe he's my harbinger of spring.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


The debate tonight was what my father always described as "like kissing your sister." Not quite the real thing. We are getting down to the wire, and one of these candidates is going to be in the fight of his or her life (it's nice to be able to type that) in a matter of weeks. But tonight was a tame shadow of what the final election will be like.

The real fight will be on before Memorial Day, but the Democrats are still not sure who their horse will be. I think the nominating process is going to end with more of a whimper than a bang. If Hillary makes a comeback (and the Clinton machine is capable of comebacks) there could be an exciting horse race, but it will be over quick. If Obama stays on his roll, we will see the end come a little sooner and less dramatically. The best part is that regardless of who gets the nomination, the fact that the race lasted a little longer actually benefited the Democrats. Nobody is really interested in John McCain right now - he is probably happy for the ink he got from the Times today.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Evacuation Day is Coming

You Are 88% Massachusetts

Wicked pissa! Now go down to Dunkies and celebrate.

One of the questions in this quiz is about Evacuation Day. If you look in the archives of this blaaaahhrrgg you will see that I am not only familiar with, but an enthusiastic celebrant of, Evacuation Day. In fact, I was just reading a book review in today's Globe of a biography of Henry Knox, the key participant in the events leading up to Evacuation Day (along with Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys) and I thought, "that book would make a wonderful Evacuation Day gift."

I noticed that a few other people who took this quiz mentioned that they probably missed out on being 100% Massachusetts because of their dislike of Dunkin Donuts coffee. I think this is a mistake on the part of the quiz's authors. Nobody from Massachusetts actually LIKES Dunkin Donuts coffee, but they drink it anyway because the horrendous taste it leaves in your mouth keeps you wide awake through the morning traffic on 93 or the Expressway.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Wife Calls it a "Wide On"

That’s the expression she uses to describe female sexual “excitement.” Men get a hard on, women get a wide on. As in, “Boy, he had a hard on for that Lexus coupe,” or “That Fendi bag really gave her a wide on.” And right now, Ann Coulter has a wide on for the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency that you can’t imagine. She’s either going commando or changing her skivvies every ten minutes. (Personally, I hope it’s the latter, because the prospect of Ann Coulter going commando is repulsive – even more repulsive than she is under normal circumstances).

The last eight years have been pretty desperate ones for Fraulein Coulter. What’s a woman to do when the ruling administration is to the right of the Duke of Windsor and John Birch? She’s had to stoop to the level of the Joe Goebbels Handbook of Political Propaganda just to get anywhere near the front page of Not like the late 90s. Those were the days: ferried about in chauffeur driven limousines, four or five appearances a day, that bony face squawking out of every TV and radio in the land. And people actually listened to what she had to say then, too.

Just think, Ann, what another Clinton presidency could mean for you. A target you could slander at will, without fear of alienating your right-wing buddies. You and Rush could have a field day, what with a Democratic administration and Democratic majorities in the House and Senate – EVERYTHING would be their fault. Hell, you’ll even be able to blame them for the weather. So keep right on saying that you’d vote for Satan before you’d vote for McCain. Based on your past history, you probably won’t even vote in the right precinct anyway.

Friday, February 08, 2008

This Just In...

Getting a PhD does not entitle you to show up at my office looking like you just rolled off the back of a Northern Pacific freight car, expecting me to treat you like the mayor, Albert Einstein and the Prince of Wales all rolled into one person.

Just thought you should know.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I just checked CNN and haven't had time to get the details, but my initial euphoria at the news of Mitt Romney's "suspension" of his presidential campaign turned to vile, bitter hatred when I read the reason he gave. Am I mistaken, or is he essentially saying that if you don't vote Republican, you are a terrorist or supporter of terrorism? This is the most asinine, arrogant, repugnant thing I have ever heard from any Republican. This is worse than when everyone was falling all over them selves calling that racist prick Strom Thurmond a great guy after he passed away.

I wouldn't be surprised if McCain offered him the Veep spot or a choice ambassadorship to bail out now. You know the Repugnicans are in trouble when they have to gang up like a bunch of thugs to win an election. (But when do they not act like thugs?) Ugh. I should be happy, but I am just disgusted.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I went to the POLL and I CAUCUSED.

Well, I couldn't really caucus, since it's a primary. So I voted. But, I bumped into some friends who are neighbors, and we talked about politics, so that's like caucusing.

I am really nervous about this whole election year. I was supporting Edwards, and I think he dropped out too soon, which makes me think that either things weren't so rosy for him and Elizabeth in their private life, or some kind of deal was cut. The Clinton's make me nervous because they're shrewd, ruthless political animals, but I also have a lot of confidence in them because they're shrewd, ruthless political animals. The viral Obama music video/ad aggravated me more than it inspired me, because it is the kind of emotional-appeal demagoguery that makes me irate when the Republicans do it. It's the same thing as just showing the candidate in front of a flag with a caption reading "Americans are Great! Vote for me if you agree!"

The prospect of a McCain or Romney presidency really scares me, though. I think the Republicans are still attached to the concept of Manifest Destiny: "America is a world leader because she is mighty and powerful, and she is mighty and powerful because she deserves to be. Anyone who opposes this point of view doesn't just have a different opinion, they are wrong and dangerous. America's dominance and security are more important than things like free speech and civil liberties." I am afraid the transition from republic to empire has gone too far to be reversed.

Well, at least I still get to go to the polls and caucus.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Good Night Nurse.

You won't see much written about sports in this blog. I was the kind of kid you'd find at the bottom of a pile of jocks, and I preferred books and science-fiction movies to tossing the ole pigskin or hitting the batting cages. I grew up believing that being a Bruins fan and a Red Sox fan was just what you did when you were from Boston, whether you understood what they were playing or not. I liked Fred Lynn, Carlton Fisk, Bobby Orr, Terry O'Reilly and Gil Gilbert (the goalie, not the keyboard player for New Order - although I like her, too). Nobody really remembers Gilbert. He used to come so far out of the net he was like a third defenseman.

Anyway, I was saying that I don't pay much attention to sports. So why am I up at 11:24 on the night the Patriot's had their "perfect" season ruined by Eli Manning, some guy named "Plasticon" or something, and the fact that Matt Light had his head up his ass? I don't really know. This was the first football game I've watched from beginning to end in a long time. And I actually found myself smiling when it became apparent that the Patriots might not (in fact would not) win. I have always liked underdogs. I only wish I had put some money on the hunch I had.

Friday, February 01, 2008

It's all in how you say it.

I just wanted to start the month out by reminding everyone - it's not February, it's FABruary!!

That is all.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


So Edwards, who I liked because of his union position and his potential to have a good working relationship with Congress, is out of the race. I think Obama has a sincere desire to do good things for the middle class but might try to do too much at once and get off on the wrong foot with Congress, and Clinton has the machinery to get things running smoothly, although she's likely to show the same bias to the connected and well-to-do that was a hallmark of her husband's administration. I'm leaning towards Obama, but would put my money on Clinton if I were a betting man.

Giuliani has imploded, Romney is staying just this side of competent, and McCain is on an upswing. Huckabee is not going much farther, and most likely won't survive Super Tuesday. Maybe he'll stay in the race for the sole purpose of winning some delegates that he can pledge to his favorite. Two scenarios scare me. McCain getting nominated is frightening because I know there are Democrats that will vote for him. Romney is a little less scary because I don't think he'll hold his own in the general election, but if he does, and somehow gets elected president, he will probably go down in history as the next Herbert Hoover. That is, if Romney is elected, his plans for the economy will probably just exacerbate the problem.

The possibility that either party might actually have to go all the way to the convention to select a nominee is getting slimmer. I, for one, would find that fascinating. It's something no one in my generation can even recall. Sitting in front of the television until all hours, on a hot summer night, waiting for the 137th ballot. Hearing the roll call of the states' delegations as they declare for one or another candidate. Maybe a dark horse? Did somebody say "Al Gore?" The rumor mills and the smoke-filled back rooms. "I heard Mayor Bloomberg was on a train from NYC to St. Paul." As bad as it is for "democracy," the history buff in me gets a chill just thinking about it.

Anyway, it's not likely to happen. After next Tuesday, I'm thinking it will be McCain versus Clinton. A long, bitter and dirty general campaign. A late night/early morning wait for returns. Some surprises (McCain gets Michigan and Ohio, but Clinton actually pulls some of the Solid South back to the Democratic Party). Then, in all likelihood, a one-term presidency for whoever wins. George Bush has made such a mess of things that Solomon himself couldn't straighten it out in four years, and whoever "wins" this election is going to pay for that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I am resplendent in divergence

I am pretty sure that there was not another straight man at the gym today whose iPod shuffled from "Hot Rockin'" by Judas Priest to "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" by Culture Club. I laughed out loud and the woman on the stationary bike next to the elliptical machine I was on gave me a funny look.

Judas Priest is (obviously) great workout music. The Point of Entry album is also great pop music. I got really snobby about "heavy metal" when I was in high school, because I was a highly evolved Mod who listened to post-punk and not that knuckle-dragging Neanderthal music made by big-haired loonies in make-up and denim. GobShiteWankerBollocks!!

Now that I go back and listen to it, a lot of that stuff -- especially the English metal like Iron Maiden and Motorhead -- was great music. Those bands were paying more attention to the songs than they get credit for.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nancy Boy

I have a confession. I like lattes. In particular, I like Starbucks' lattes. I like other places' lattes, too. I used to go down the street from where I lived and get them at a place called Java Jo's, and they were excellent. I'm not that picky. In fact, I think I proved I was a latte slut when I actually drank (and enjoyed) a Dunkin Donuts latte. It's the steamed milk. I can't resist foamy drinks.

My ex-girlfriend from many years back was an espresso fiend. She was the first person I ever met that made her own espresso, in one of those stove-top pots. But she would "steam" her milk by putting it in a small saucepan on the stove and whisking it with a wire whisk. Not quite a latte, but still, it was foamy milk. I wasn't a big coffee fan at the time. That probably had something to do with all the reefer I was smoking. I mean, it doesn't make much sense to drink something to wake yourself up when you just smoked yourself off to la-la land, right?

Then, she got a fancy espresso making machine. I think I might have even gotten it for her as a present. But the thing made horrible espresso. It was more like drip-percolated coffee. However, the little nozzle attachment did a wonderful job steaming milk. So the espresso maker became a fancy milk steamer, and she kept making espresso in the stove-top pot.

I got attached to coffee after I gave up the cheeba. My favorite cup of coffee is the one I make every morning in my stove-top percolator. It isn't an espresso maker, but a regular coffee pot. It's like the toy coffee pot I had with my GI Joe mess-kit. And I use half-and-half in my morning coffee. But later in the day, if I'm feeling naughty, I go to the Starbucks in the student center and get a Tall or a Grande. Then I mince back to my office and giggle like a schoolgirl while I try not to get foamy milk on my upper lip.