Friday, February 29

Meth Espress

Stopped this morning at 1369 for an overpriced beverage and I caught the meth crowd. My neighborhood has a support group for addicts and they all hang out until their 8am meeting. Here's the thing. They're much friendlier than the Tibetan hat wearing, laptop tapping pseudos who hang there at weekends.

Also seems the CMAs all read the Boston Herald.

Tuesday, February 26


My car doors are shit. In fact they're the Ray Manzarek of car Doors.

Tonight I'd parked, unplugged the iPod, turned off the cell phone, and opened the door. As I closed it shut; bang, thud, wallop and any other Batman style onomatopoeia you might recall.

The door was stuck on locked and would not close (no matter how hard I slammed it).

It's snowing like a bastard and I was in a hurry because we needed to take Isobelle The Cat to the vet tonight.

But the door would not close.

Cursing my luck as the alarm went off, I let out a small expletive just as my polite Korean neighbor walked past. Great!

I ran inside the house for a flashlight to find Anne looking under the bed trying to cajole kitten into her purple carrier. I ventured back to the damn Saab.

Handyman that I am, I worked out the problem and fixed it. Christ I should get a show on cable. Hustled back inside to find Anne scooping Iso into her carrier and off we went to the Cat Hospital.

To soothe both myself and the stressed kitten I played some old Tom Waits. It worked for me but Isobelle wasn't too impressed. Then again, I wasn't getting a rabies shot or a finger up my ass tonight (it is Tuesday isn't it?).

Our wonderful vet and part-time Aimee Mann lookalike was happy to inform us that all is well in Isobelle's nether regions. So we have that going for us ...

Friday, February 22


Sadly not Super DJ Dmitri of 90's NYC Dance Collective Deee-Lite. Who you may recall believed that Groove was to be found in the Heart.

The Dmitri I refer to was my (blue-tooth ear-piece enabled) taxi driver last night. This Dmitri hailed from Lebanon, and to pass the time we enjoyed a nice little chat.

He asked me what I thought of the Middle East. I held back from saying that the sound is never any good, but I enjoyed the Dick Dale show a few years back. Turns out he was talking about the troubled hotspot at the right end of the Mediterranean and not the club in Cambridge.

His pearls of wisdom included:
Sunni Muslims - Bad Guys
Shia Muslims - Great Guys
Israelis or Syrians - Both pains in the ass for different reasons
Hezbollah - Get a bad press. Dig the Christians in Beirut
Turks - Don't trust 'em

Beats talking about the weather.

Monday, February 18

Double Chin!

I finally went to see Atonement this afternoon.

Chin #1
I'm not a fan of the large chinned Keira Knightley but she does OK, although she is the weakest of the cast in my opinion.

Chin #2
This one's a pretentious chin stroker. There's a five minute tracking shot of Dunkirk halfway through the movie that blows the rest of the picture away. In one single take the director demonstrates the scale, gravity, pathos, emotion and recklessness of the retreat that became the cornerstone of the British people's spirit during WWII.

To be clear, it's way better than Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas", Jean-Luc Godard's "Week End", Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil" and any other tracking shot your wanker film school/movie buff friends might name drop.

Saturday, February 16

On Any Given Saturday

I have a Saturday routine that usually ends with me stopping for coffee in my neighborhood. I bitched about this place before, and today was no exception. Standing in line for my $4 coffee the next people to be served were a Cambridge classic. Middle aged rich mother with her adopted black kid (which was ratified during the 2 minutes I waited).

Anyhow. The server guy starts making the order and compliments the kid on his 'Finland' shirt. The mom mentions that a friend was just there and brought the shirt back as a gift.

Server guy (scraggly beard, ironic t-shirt, crazy frames, shit tatts ... need I go on) awkwardly tells a story about his 'black' friend who lived in Tampere, Finland and was a pro footballer.

At the back end of the story, mom's friend shows up and asks about the shirt too. Cambridge mom says, "Yeah, I have no clue what it means, I think it means hello or something."

The shirt said, Suomi.

Suomi is what Finnish people call their country. Like Hellas, Nippon and Helvetia. Now maybe not everyone knows that. But if your friend brings a shirt back from Finland wouldn't you ask what Suomi meant? What if it was a Scandinavian colloquialism for twatbucket?

On second thoughts - what a great idea. Kids wearing shirts with offensive comments in Uralic languages.

Friday, February 15

Perfect Evening

It's been a long week at work, so when Friday night came around I slipped the chance of an after work gathering and headed home instead.

On the way I picked up beer, baguettes and stinky French cheese.

The Mrs was already home and Isobelle the cat was purring merrily.

Opened the beers, sliced the bread and dug into the cheese. Popped on a 'No Reservations' with Anthony Bourdain from earlier in the week and nested in for the night.

This episode was set in the UK and Anne got giddy thinking of all the 'bad for you' food we'll be eating when we go there in a few weeks time.

It's only 9.20pm and we're ready for bed. Isobelle has a cold, but even her sneezes are adorable.

I'm happy.

Thursday, February 14

You're in

I've had a fair amount of urinal chat this week.

Last Friday, at a Fish Fry in a VFW Hall in Suburban Cleveland, a boy scout (don't ask) inquired "How I was doing" during my call of nature.

Flying home from Ohio, the guy next to Anne on the plane stood up, explaining to her that he "Needed to Hit the Head". Apparently it's a sailing term. Just sounds crass to me.

At work we discussed at length, the height (can you discuss height, at length?) of the 2nd urinal in the Men's bathroom. We have a disabled access stall. Do we really need a kiddie height urinal? Best suggestion was to have a small portable step in case we ever hire a small person. Probably a Health & Safety violation.

I was reminded this week of the time I worked in Pittsburgh and was freaked out by people talking to me as I pee'd. Finally on my last day, I said hello to the guy stood next to me. Turned out he had one of those electronic voice boxes. Knob in one hand, mechanical larynx in the other. Great.

Wednesday, February 13

You've Gotta Fight for the Right to find Parking

Remember 1986?
The stupid fascination with VW badges spawned by the Beastie Boys?
Someone took the Saab badge from the front of my car in the past week. Which slacker liberal band of present day would get the students of Cambridge stealing Saab emblems?
I'm going with either Yo La Tengo or The Shins. Both Tools.

Thursday, February 7


I was enjoying a quiet beer with a colleague on Tuesday, when a nutty old lady walked up to our table and asked if she could join us. I'll always say yes, but ordinarily I would make an excuse to divert conversation away. Not this time. She had a large glass of Creme de Menthe in hand. Who doesn't love green drinks?

She told us it was her first night of freedom in 2 months. Jail, Rehab, Witness Protection? None of the above. She'd broken her left elbow in 4 places and had been housebound and told not to drive. To me you don't need your left arm to drive, but what do I know? And it seemed like a comedy break. I imagined a huge connecting rod attached to her waist keeping the elbow joint in place.

Minutes flew by as she discussed the merits of working in Geneva, overdoing opiates and driving through Normandy. Finally she buggered off to talk to someone else, and our night went back to normality, discussing the wonderment of chili cheese fries, the undeniably tight pants of our server and the problem with pdf workflows.