Thursday, January 31

Second Thoughts

Flew into North Carolina, and boy are my arms tired ...

... Meeting went well and afterwards Maria and I went to a local supermarket to look at their packaging design. Maria had her camera phone out, and was all shoot shoot shoot like Lee Harvey Oswald in a Book Depository.

Now we're holed up in an airport Sports Bar and I'm drinking beer and eating chili cheese fries.

I have 2 client phone calls this afternoon, so I better not get too buzzed. The third one will probably take the edge off ...

Galactically stupid

Everything was going so nicely yesterday. Watched the last episode of Crowned, which was so pointless that I have already forgot who won. Got home and watched the end of A Few Good Men with Anne, "You can't handle the truth" is always quoted, but I also like "Galactically stupid".

But by bedtime, I could not sleep, despite needing to be up at 4am. I tossed and turned and dreamed of waking up late, then the cat got under the covers and that kicked off my allergies.

As a result I've had 3 piss poor hours of sleep. Now I have to venture out into the cold for a day trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Logan by 5am, meeting at 10am, fly home in the afternoon.

Ugh.

Tuesday, January 29

Don't tell me to calm down

In trying to gain a better understanding of my own characteristics and psyche, I'm paying more attention to those around me. Whether I see flaws or fantastic attributes, the idea is to use these observations positively. However, I must try harder because recently I seem to have a (mostly unconscious) desire to pick at other people's problems.

It transcends all communication; everyday transactions, phone calls, interaction at work and with friends, but my biggest failing is picking apart e-mail messages.

I'm tired of run-ins and I've felt like a metaphorical match collector recently. Using the matches to burn bridges.


I dislike duplicity. Specifically when someone tells me to stop doing something, and then proceeds to do the very thing they chastised me for.

It nearly always goes hand in hand with a passive aggressive threat, a great example of which is the "opposite of what I am saying true-ism"

Examples:

Don't take this the wrong way
Believe me
I'm not being funny but
I don't need to remind you
To be honest
Let me put this into perspective


It doesn't take Sherlock, (shit even that dumb-ass Watson could work it out) to realize that these statements are pre-cursors to dickishness.

Sadly it begins to take hold of your decision making process.

A simple compliment turns into "Ooh, what did he/she mean by that?"

"Can I help you?"
translates to "What the hell are you doing?"

I envy people who can always be the same version of themselves at all times, but unfortunately this often means I cringe when they give their honest assessment of a situation.

Maybe I'm up in my own head, or perhaps I should stick close to people I really like, but I refuse to do that. Instead I keep watching, trying not to judge (who am I kidding!), but mostly I try to, not lose my shit, when someone tells me to calm down.

Saturday, January 26

For Better or Worse

I love the city I live in. There's something about Cambridge that states your political and social preferences in one fell swoop. Sure, not everyone is a Saab/Volvo driving lesbian-loving tree-hugger with an iPhone, just the majority.

But let's not push it. On Saturday in the window of my local coffee shop, there was a guy, trying way too hard, to look like a slacker, sipping a $5 coffee, tapping his fingers to some World Music beats on his iPod as he read this book.

I'm no church pipe-organist, but come on. Really?

Friday, January 25

Let's work it out

I was relaxing in the bathtub tonight doing the crossword in Bust Magazine ... the magazine for women who find Bitch Magazine a bit too feminist.

37 Down - Medieval Holy Wars

Answer is Crusades and that reminded me of the knob cheese in the glasses store the other week. Anne had been for an eye exam and was choosing new sunglasses. The guy kept offering her ridiculous choices and she would turn to me waiting for a reaction. I have a face that says "no".

One pair looked good but had a strange metal logo on the side. When I asked what it was, the tight-trousered assistant replied, "It's their logo, it's a sword from the Crusades". Now what a pair of designer sunglasses has to do with the Knights Templar I have no idea, but we were in Harvard so perhaps the guy was studying History?

But as I kept saying "no", I got the feeling 'the guy' was getting more and more pissed at me, slowly revving up the passive aggressive comments.

To him I was the pain-in-the-ass husband sipping a Peet's latte extolling my knowledge of Suleiman, the Great Turkish marauder of the 16th Century.

Wankerish? Oh yes! But I figured I knew more about the Ottaman Empire than he did, and sho'nuff he went back to hawking overly expensive frames to my better half.


In the end she chose the sword logo'd shades, so I guess he won.

Back to my crossword ... 41 across - Please Mr BoomBox singer

Think it might be Lady Tigra.

Monday, January 21

Kinky Afro


What's Erykah Badu doing?

She's kicking ass.

That's what she's doing.

Sunday, January 20

Acronyms and Oronyms

UK - BBC. US - HBO. I get neither. But thanks to DVR and DVDRW I get shows thru' USPS.

In other words my parents just sent me the Extras Christmas Special on DVD and I watched it last night.

To be honest, it could use a few more jokes, however any show that contains the line, "Oh fuck off, I'm Clive Owen, that's mental", is OK in my book.

The funniest joke in the show is an oronym.



It's only an oronym (homophone) in England. You won't confuse Fish Stew and Fist You in the US.

I chose oronym instead of homophone, because frankly, homophone is just too easy a joke. What's a homophone? Make up your own answer.

Saturday, January 19

Japan

I was out with the missus today bemoaning how stupid kids are. I said something to the tune of, "And they are the generation that will look after us when we are old."

Anne disagreed. Apparently upon retiring we are moving to Japan where robots will cater to our every geriatric whim.

Love this idea. Emotionless machines just doing the right thing.

Meet Wakamuru. She'll be giving me a bed bath when I'm 80. Now if I can just get her to dress like the 5,6,7,8s.

Whipped up into a Japanese frenzy, I settled down this afternoon to watch Kurosawa's cinematic masterpiece Rashomon. But the damn DVD kept skipping. Crap technology from Jap...

Sunday, January 13

Oye Como Va

As travelers of international note and taste, we know that Lake Como is twinned with it's namesake crooner Perry (the poor man's Bing Crosby).

Tired of staying in a string of business hotels, I'm searching for an apartment to stay while in Italy. I found this place, The Peacock Suites, and it must be a scam? When something seems too good to be true...

Beautiful big spacious apartments, but no reviews anywhere on the internet. The holding company appear to be linked to Capella Hotels who are an ultra chic boutique hotel company, but I'm always wary when a website says they accept cash and Western Union transfers.

They even offer to pick you up at the airport. Bogus!


A DC (202) number is listed, but upon calling I got some faux classical music followed by an answer machine.

I apologize to Peacock Suites if they are legit, but guys you might want to create an e-trail in this age of über-cyber-crime.

As a true sucker for punishment I'm trying to combine the trip with a parental visit, plus side stops to visit friends in Paris and the Isle of Wight. I spent all afternoon trawling through the schedules of the low-cost Euro airlines. Weighing up low price Bergamo with convenient yet expensive Milan. Who the fuck flies from Lombardy to Bournemouth on a Saturday afternoon? I do.

Looking forward to returning to Italy. Great place, spoiled only by Italians.

Friday, January 11

Dear Mr. Spuds ...

I've worked on the North Shore for 7 years and I've driven past this crappy looking restaurant (it's opposite a Market Basket) dozens of times.

Just before Christmas, my colleague and some time dining companion Laura suggested we check out Spuds. What a delight! Who doesn't love Seniors? And this place is full of them.

Walking through the restaurant, we stepped to one side for a passing old lady using a walker, our bouffant laden maitre d told us to hurry up!

The food was plentiful. Big bowl of pasta and 2 solid chunks of chicken parm for only $6.99. What a bargain.

We've been a few times since with the sincere hope of being recognized as 'regulars'.

Cut to this week. Wednesday night is bad TV night. Before the TV begins I often go to dinner with my TV watching companion. Last Wednesday's plan revolved around a visit to Spuds II. Although not a chain, Spuds do have 4 North Shore locations.

With 2 locations under our belts, it is now clear that one of their main marketing drives is "No tables ... just booths!".

Think I'm going to visit all 4 locations? You betchya!

Once done I will write to Mr. Spuds and request a commemorative windbreaker or at the very least a keychain.

Thursday, January 10

Tampons for Kenya!

I was watching 'Crowned' - the worst (read: best) show on TV, where beauty queens are coupled with their very own mentally-abusive over-bearing superficial mothers, in a contest to become pageant winners.


Last night the losing pair had just been de-sashed with the over-sized shiny scissors and the show went to commercial. As I sat patiently for the "Next Week" on Crowned segment, an ad caught my eye.

Girls in Africa miss whole days at school when their menstrual cycles begin because they don't have any tampons.

Now interestingly I have a whole cupboard full of tampons at work. We have a client who markets them, and we end up with a ton of samples. Where's the client who makes chocolate?


So, today I googled "High Schools in Kenya", chose one, found the address, wrote a letter, and tomorrow I will swing by the Post Office.

Charity. It begins at home.

Friday, January 4

Hot Damn

I'm back in LA, and tonight was a treat.

My colleagues and I went to the kitschy delight that is Stevens Steak House. Eli the maitre d greets you, and he's a bone fide wise guy. Once inside, the decor is Long Island Italian; all very rococo. But there was a salsa dancing class going on - with no music, but plenty of ladies dressed for success and guys with "mucho" gel in their hair. Later on the music kicked in and it was all bongo and flute action for half the night.

Our waitress took a shine to me. She looked like Amy Winehouse's older latina sister, and she was dressed in a French maid's dress. When I ordered the Mexican steak, she purred with delight.

Check out their website, and turn up your sound. Each page has a different crooner, and Dean Martin has the home page. Love that!

Factor in José, our latin cocktail barman from last night, who wore a pompadour that Elvis would be proud of, and this trip is turning into a zinger.