Sunday, May 30

Ouch (no eba)

Took my parents to Gillette Stadium this weekend.

How nice of the New England Revolution Soccer team to share their stadium with the far less popular New England Patriot Football team.

We watched the Revs play the NY Red Bulls. I would classify them both as 'pub team' standard.

That said, it was fun to sit in the stands, on a summer evening.


The Revs keeper went for a 50-50 challenge outside the area. And broke his tibia and fibula. There's nothing as gross as seeing a limb point in the opposite direction. Ugh. Big time ugh.

Frankly the rest of evening was secondary. I was vaguely amused by a bunch of Frenchmen behind me, also questioning the standard of the play.

I'll delay comment on those guys until we see how far Les Bleus get in the upcoming World Cup ...

Saturday, May 29

Machu Picchu

I went to Machu Picchu yesterday!

Sadly it's a Peruvian restaurant in Somerville.

I cannot remember a greater disconnect with taste and visual appeal.

The food was incredibly tasty. It just looked dreadful. My parents had lime green mashed potatoes!

I had the traditional dish of Carapulca. Essentially a stew of dried potatoes, beans and meats. Again, it looked like utter mush but I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.

The door-greeter was dressed in trad Peruvian dress, and of course there was a band with pan-pipes.

My parents went through a phase of listening to pan-pipe music in the 90's. This should have left me scarred for life, but I found myself humming along, and half expected a great big fucking condor to swoop down and claw me with it's massive talons. It did not. I am being wildly fantastical of course.

So. For tasty Peruvian food in the Greater Boston area. Give Machu Picchu a go!

Wednesday, May 26

2 syllables

Why do car service guys always feel the need to call me Rich?

Is the 2nd syllable a mouth motion too far?

Sunday, May 23

Sunday Sunday

We headed down to Uniqlo in SoHo. With a long line for the changing rooms I convinced my dad to take his shirt off in the middle of the store. Which led to me trying on shorts in the middle of the store.

Meanwhile Anne ran around like a kid in a metaphorical candy store scooping up all kinds of shirts and tops.

Afterwards we decided to go to a literal candy store. Economy Candy in the Lower East Side never disappoints.

We left with a big bag of liquorice, Curlywurlies, some jellies branded as 'Chuckles', and a Cherry Mash.

Then it was off to Coney Island to eat Hot Dogs, French Fries and listen to the guy cajoling people into playing "Shoot the Freak".

OK, so the ride home was a long one, but it was still light when we arrived back in Cambridge to end a great weekend.

Saturday, May 22

Dinner at Craft

Saturday night we ate at Tom Colicchio's Craft.

Tip top food!

After kicking off with cocktails and duck liver amuse bouche ... for apps we had Foie Gras 2 ways, Sweetbread, and Nettle pasta.

Then we shared a 28-Day Dry-Aged Porterhouse Steak with Hen of the Woods mushrooms, spinach, asparagus and gratin potatoes.

Dessert featured Sugar & Spice doughnuts, Seasonal Rhubarb, a Pistachio Pound Cake all with perfectly matched ice creams.

The staff were awesome, and I loved the copper coated sink in the men's room! And at less than $600 including tip it was WAAAAYYYY more value than the shitty dinner we had at the Oytser House restaurant in Boston the night before.

And as we left, they even gave us a freshly baked muffin.

To work off the calories we walked back to Times Sq. from 19th St ... stopping for a cocktail along the way.

A Weekend in New York

Drove to NYC with Anne and my folks. We stopped half way down at Ikea (?) for a quick cup of coffee. A quick cup of coffee turned into my parents buying bath towels and my developing frustration that nobody sells butter dishes anymore.

Shortly after we were valet parking in Manhattan ... doing the usual flustered shuffle as you realize the guy wants to drive your car away and you want to pack/unpack things from your bag, hide your valuables and double check your pockets with the patented double tap on your ass and thighs.

Anyhoo, we grabbed a quick sandwich and after 20 minutes of watching the crazies, we decided to create our own entertainment by renting bikes to cycle around Central Park.

My mum quickly broke from the peloton only to have the chain fall off when she tried to change gear. Miraculously the ride around the Park seems 80% downhill?

The hour passed by too quickly, and back in the car we headed for our Priceline booked hotel in Murray Hill.

"Welcome to the St. Giles Tuscany Sir", was as good as it got. The reservation was screwed up ... in that there was no reservation.


I spent an hour on the phone with someone with zero geographical knowledge of Manhattan. And what did the hour yield? No new reservation, just the name of a hotel in Times Square that might have 2 rooms free.

We sped thru the Mean Streets and I jumped out leaving Anne and my folks circling in the car as I ran into the hotel to try to snag the last 2 rooms in the place.

I slipped the reception guy a $20, which I think is the first time I have ever bribed someone. I got the rooms!

Reservation made I called Anne and gave her directions to come pick me up. Mixing her East/West from North/South I saw her drive by me. So Jack Bauer style I ran down the middle of 48th chasing after the car.

To quote Anne, "Christ knows why I looked in my mirror™", but she saw her husband running in the middle of the street with taxis coming up fast behind.

Friday, May 21

You Sushi Chef?

15 years ago.

I worked in a studio with a boombox. We had a tape of the Jerky Boys that we played most days.

Moishes, Brett Weir, Franz Rizzo, Jack Tors and Sol Rosenberg became part of our lexicon.

Radiohead even named their first album Pablo Honey after one of the skits on the tape.

Another skit had a Japanese sushi chef applying for a job. He spent the last 10 seconds of the call saying "Ungar."

So I was delighted to see this in Shaw's the other day.

Regardless of Ungar, I find Gefitle Fish gently amusing anyway.


Thursday, May 20

Top Notch

Well well well.

I flew across the ash-laden Atlantic last week, to meet up with 4 people I have not seen since we left college in 1988.

What a fantastic night. Any pre-match nerves frittered away when first Claire, then Boff, then Stu and finally Dave walked through the door of the very fancy bar where we had arranged to meet.

We liked each other when we were 18, and as we straddle the good old age of 40, it seems we are still eminently likable to each other.

Crazy tales of our college days were re-told, each from different perspectives. Some received clarification after all of these years, some were upgraded to legend status, and some were moved into a bucket called "No that never happened".

Speaking of buckets, we heard of Boff's patented "Shoe Bucket", when he was slumming it in the Manchester agency world.

This was one of dozens of new stories I heard that kept me laughing to myself, long after the night ended.

Perhaps it is obvious, but I never realized you should measure the length of a cat's leg when fitting a cap flap into a door.

The 7 hours flew by too quickly, but we will probably meet sooner than 22 years next time.

And back home .... 5 hours behind the UK ... I get a 4am Facebook ping each morning as the flood of back and forth messages begins.

College was awesome, and this was why.

Sure we were absolute dicks to the rest of the faculty, but we were all good friends who did not take ourselves too seriously.

And let's be honest, design students are always the coolest kids around!!

Thursday, May 13

Lucky Me

To call the service I just received crap would be to do a disservice to the fecal matter community.

I'm holed up in Terminal A ready to head to England. Thought I'd try Lucky's ... After all their main joint is awesome. First up it took 6 staff serving less than 20 people more than 15 minutes to even notice me.

One insipid lite beer later I ordered a Cubano sandwich ... Because that's me ... Filled with the mambo rhythms of Havana.

20 minutes later the guy dropped a plate of sliders on my table. Fuck it I said to myself, I'll just eat the damn mini burgers.

Felt terrible when they delivered my sandwich to the guy across from me 2 minutes later, but really how hard is it to deliver food to a table?

Ass + Clowns.

Wednesday, May 12

Home Alone

Anne is in San Francisco for a few days. Wow the house feels so empty without her.

I seldom order food, but somehow when I'm on my own the craving always wins. I was going to buy some beers too, but I held back. What a doyen of resistance I am.

Christ knows what life would be like if I lived alone. Sitting naked on the sofa eating a pound of hard cheese springs to mind.

Back to pleasant thoughts. I watered our Christmas tree tonight. We moved it out into the garden a few weeks ago, and it's not doing great. I talked nicely to it while I watered. Sensed the tree was saying "Who the hell are you? You don't come out here often."

Tomorrow I get on a plane and head for England* - it will be like when Anne and I first met. 5,000 miles and 8 time zones apart. I know we have a world of gadgets and modes of communication, but staring at the moon and chatting away is still my favorite method. I know Anne will do the same.

So while Anne hangs out with her old friends (who happen to be my day to day Scrabble partners), I'll be back in Blighty with my College friends. It'll be 1988 again for all of us.

* So I revealed we are both out of the house. Trust me, we have an awesome security system!

Gentlemen Please

I'm quite sure this is not as impressive as I'm imagining.

The Algonquin Club of Boston has invited me to be a member of their wood paneled haven.

To quote Groucho Marx, "I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member."

I suppose it demonstrates the trifecta is moving closer. I know I'm white and male. But am I old?

Christ I need to start acting younger. I'll start watching viral videos, tweeting and develop a sense of entitlement.

Fuck it, let's head over to Brooks Brother's and find a sweater to drape over my shoulders.

Tuesday, May 11

Boyz II Men

About 3 weeks ago one of my old college friends posted a photo on Facebook. A dozen comments later we had a reunion sorted out.

So Thursday night I fly back to England for the weekend ... provided that douche Eyjafjallajokull calms the fuck down.

I'll try to post a modern day photo later. I'm sure we all weight less, and have bushier, fuller heads of hair.

Monday, May 10

Time to get it on

Well haven't I been busy lately?

Just back from a weekend in the wonderful Land of Cleves.

We celebrated my Father-in-Laws birthday (bizarrely on my actual Father's birthday) by joining the whole Butchko family at Sokolowski's - a famous Polish buffet overlooking the city.

I had breaded Pork Chops, Perogies and Potatoes, all washed down with a Ukrainian lager. Skipped the salad.

So all nice and healthy.

On Saturday Anne and I went with our friend Amy to a hip place run by celebrated Cleveland chef Michael Symon. I had a Smoked Ham and Gruyere sandwich on Sourdough, with a Fried Egg on top ... because if a million seasons of Top Chef has taught me anything ... that's how you 'class up' comfort food.

And finally on Sunday we did the whole American Mother's Day thing, by scoffing down (more) Ham, potato salad, and our second cake of the weekend. Tip Top!

Throw in the usual mix of right wing/left wing political skullduggery, being freaked out by bats, an overly religious air conditioning installer, and my nephew's daughter taking a shine to me (probably to gain access to my iPad), and you have the recipe for a relaxing weekend of Ohio themed fun.

Fucking awesome ... as my family never say.