Friday, January 31


Movie night went south tonight when we sat down to watch Captain Phillips.

Presuming it to be a biopic of Princess Anne's first husband Captain Mark Phillips, we were surprised with the choice of Tom Hanks throwing a Minnesota accent deep in Vermont.

Worse to come we realized we hadn't ripped the subtitles so the Somali pirate scenes were harder to follow.

We decided to quit and watch Enough Said. My end of movie summary was "I guess that might be more meaningful if you are a single parent divorcée with a child going off to college."

Being none of those I was decidedly 'meh' about the whole thing.

Thursday, January 30

Let's Get Serious

Up to now I've been enjoying my post-surgery physical therapy.

A few stretches here, a few pulls there.

Today the therapist pulled out the Jermaine Jackson.

Squats followed by side-ways band walking.

I think most people know this, but just in case ... Jermaine Jackson named one of his kids Jermajesty.

What a knob.

Wednesday, January 29

Sorry Hamas, I'm a Mac guy

I had reason to use a PC today and as usual it was familiar to me as an old lady working in an air-traffic control booth.

I was reminded of a conversation I had over Christmas with my friend Amy, pondering whether terrorist organizations have to create Powerpoint presentations.

Up-and-coming terror guy, "Agh, my fonts are not loading. I'm more of a Keynote man myself."

Senior Beard, "This is unacceptable, Hamas is strictly a PC-centric organization."

Up-and-coming terror guy, "But Keynote harnesses the power of OSX and the Cloud."

Senior Beard removing revolver, "Fuck the cloud we need to kill some westerners."

Up-and-coming terror guy, "As my PDF takeaway clearly shows."

Senior Beard, "You mean you didn't bring a print out?"

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Death to tree-huggers.

"Who do I have to chain to a radiator to get a fresh cup of coffee round here?"

Tuesday, January 28

Tint Strip

John Boehner needs to lay off the spray tan, he's darker than PBO.

No idea why they hung Apollo Creed's boxing shorts as a back drop.

Monday, January 27

Thought for the Day

My friend Jeff texted me today, and for the second time in a week began with, "Am I just jaded or ..."

Last night at the Grammy's (where Americans celebrate their innate musically blandness) there was a performance by Michaelmas and Inspector Lewis, along with Queef Latina and Madonna's mom.

They sang their well-meaning hit Same Love, which outlines the sensible notion that any two people should be able to marry regardless of gender.

No problems there.

I, and it turns out J, had a bit of a problem with the tackiness of 33 weddings being fake performed during the song.

And this is my Thought for the Day.

Let's say the song was about the equally worthy topic of Pro-Choice, would they have performed 33 abortions during the song?

Tacky? Yep. Just like the Grammy's on CBS.

Sunday, January 26

That guy has range

Just saw the trailer for Noah starring Russell Crowe. Quite a strange choice to play a black French tennis player.

Happy to report the trailer had very few spoilers, as it focused on part of his non-tennis life when he appears to be building a huge wooden boat with Hannibal Lecter and the girl from the Harry Potter films, or maybe that was Lindsay Davenport?

Saturday, January 25

Niche Consumer

What did I do to deserve this fine medley of mail?

A catalog of wine refrigerators and racks, a selection of hunting knives and other outdoorsy shit, and an inspirational Christian prayer mailing.

Don't drink much wine, don't hunt and don't pray.

I was OK with the Netflix envelope until I discovered they'd sent me the 4:3 version of Down Periscope featuring Kelsey Grammer.

Friday, January 24

Fly Mother

A couple of years ago we bought my niece a kite that she annoyingly enjoyed playing with.

Annoying because I wanted to fly it.

So last year my sister gave me this one as a birthday gift and I think she ticked the box marked 'impossible to fly'.

Here's my parents in San Francisco trying to fly the kite.

For about 2.5 seconds they succeeded.

Thursday, January 23

This means war

Time to invade Canada.

Either make them the 51st state or an extension of Cornwall, UK.

I agree with the Irn Bru, but Marmite?

Wednesday, January 22

IRA Chic

After the last cold snap I went out and bought a balaclava.

I think the glasses finish off the look.

Looks like all the schools are closed today. There is about 2" on snow.

This reminds me of the time it snowed when I was at high school and the buses weren't running. I headed home changed out of my uniform and went snowballing and sledding with my friends.

That night when I asked my parents for a note for school the next day, my father, a champion of my education, reminded me that if I could walk to where I sledded then I could have walked to school.

There's no point arguing the logic of that.

Tuesday, January 21

We ordered pizza last night

And nearly flipped out when the guy delivered them.

The boxes were the size of trash can lids.

Alas the pizzas were not.

Monday, January 20

Imagine how good they could be

Congratulations to the Denver Broncos on reaching the SuperBowl.

We are told each week that they have no Shawn Moreno at Running Back, and yet his unnamed replacement appears to do a fantastic job.

Imagine my surprise when told his name is Knowshon Moreno.

Also, congratulations to Champ Bailey's mom, who after years of incorrectly naming her child was finally vindicated yesterday.

No word yet from the parents of Captain Munnerlyn or Major Wright.

Sunday, January 19

Good point well made

This made Anne laugh. Which made me laugh.

Guess which one is mine

I subscribed to Food & Wine magazine recently, and as I leaf through the magazine I try to remember easy-ish dishes to make.

Today I made Korean Dumpling Pancakes based on a recipe by Corey Lee.

Anne said they were delicious, which is good enough for me!

Saturday, January 18

How much is this?

I appear to have upped my crazy magnetism. In Starbucks this morning I was quietly stood in line waiting to order my decaf (2 months now) latte when a crazy dude in ski-wear asked if he could cut in line to buy his newspaper.

I nodded, and then he proceeded to ask the barista the price of each newspaper. 2 minutes later he decided to buy all 3 of his choices. Wallet in hand, he pulled out a wad of singles. I can only presume his daughter is a stripper, and with the speed of a growing flower he counted out six.

While the coffee-chick straightened out the notes he began fingering the 'health' bars they sell by the till asking, "How much is this?"

His presumption was that each were a dollar. A presumption surely nurtured from years of shopping in Dollar Tree.

Later in Whole Foods I heard a 4 year old ask his mom if they could get sushi for lunch. What a blossoming twat.

Friday, January 17


I experienced looks of shame and sadness tonight. Strangers saw me carrying my worldly possessions in a cardboard box to my car after work.

The reality is a bit happier. I'm working closer to home this year in Cambridge and this weekend I'm moving into my new space.

I'll still get to schlep up to Beverly a few times a month, but the most exciting thing about the move is that I'm in the same building as Whole Foods' East Coast Corporate office ... and they have a Whole Foods Café in the building.

That's all it takes to make me happy.

And then I get to drive home on Memorial Drive with it's riverside view of Boston.

Must not crash admiring the view!

Thursday, January 16

342 Days Early

It takes a big man to admit he was wrong, but here goes.

Today the Post Office delivered the iPad I sent my sister.

The trick here is not to say, "Why did it take the fuckers 39 days to deliver a package?"

Instead, think of it in terms of Christmas 2014.

Yes? How early did they get that package to the UK huh?

After my wasted time with Ms Passive Aggressive (January 8th), I did a follow up call a few days later and I had to spell out every single contact detail of my life to a barely functioning idiot.

I know I have an accent but why would I be sending a used pipe in the mail?

Why would I live on 4 Dykes St?

Why is Wakefield so difficult to spell when I tell you every single letter?

My favorite was, "Where does the hyphen go in those 11 numbers you just gave me?"

I was tempted to say "Who gives a shit, you have the wrong 11 numbers", but instead I patiently told Forrest Gump's sister about dialing codes in the UK.

I'd like to think she retained that information and is currently thrilling a captive audience with her new found knowledge.

Wednesday, January 15

Hey, I've gained a few pounds

And for once we're not talking 'holiday weight'.

Tonight I* won £25 of those British Pounds in the lottery. That's $40 of those American Dollars!

* Technically my mum won the money for eligibility reasons. But I know where she lives.

Tuesday, January 14

Joan's best joke

If you watch the Golden Globes, then you have to watch the next day's Fashion Police.

Describing the gold and grey dress on the Downton Abbey chick, Joan Rivers said, "It was like Lil Wayne going down on Helen Mirren."

And that is genius.

Monday, January 13

Offending 1.2 billion people with one jerky movement

I started an 8 week beginner's guide to Tai Chi tonight.

Because when I grow up I want to be an old Chinese lady.

Thanks to my shitty commute I was a few minutes late, which cast me in an evil light in some of my fellow students' eyes.

We went through 24 or it may have been 32 (I stopped counting) of the Tai Chi Yang movements. We must have looked like a bunch of retarded robots in slow motion.

Our teacher gave an excellent analogy of chi. It's like an 8 lane highway, but over time some of the lanes get blocked until you're left with a single one lane road.

Our class represented the gaping chasm at the end of that single lane road into which your life-force is swallowed up in a quick and painful violent death.

There's no better way to get a small evening class going strong than by reminding the shy useless bunch that there is no class next week.

It's Martin Luther King Day, and boy did he hate Tai Chi.

Sunday, January 12

Is it an isosceles?

Just booked a quick trip to Bermuda for the summer. Yay!

We'd planned to head down to the Cape but I had one of those tiresome exchanges with a cottage co-op who demand an awful lot for what is basically a shed dressed in chintz.

Plus it will be inevitably filled with townies drinking a plastic cup of domestic beer.

So Bermuda it is. Inventors of the triangle.

Couldn't resist tagging some BM to this post. That's Barry Manilow, not bowel movement.

I found this Top of the Pops footage. Whenever the artist couldn't (or more likely wouldn't) appear, and in the days before pop videos, TotP used to wheel out a sexy* dance troupe to prance along to the upward moving chart entry.

* For family TV.

Hot Gossip were the first troupe, but they got too sexy, so the BBC replaced them with Legs and Co. This was as erotic as it got for a sexually confused young boy growing up in a pre-internet age.

Enjoy, possibly the best combination of camp and cheap until I find some Village People footage.

Saturday, January 11

Puff up the pillows

The last few times we've gone home to Ohio to visit Anne's family we've stayed in a Hampton Inn.

Their latest branding is fun, with plenty of thought provoking stock images and hip sayings that create 3 seconds of amusement in an otherwise humdrum walk from your room to the breakfast area.

An aside to all hotels and airports. We don't all wish to listen to CNN. Turn it off.

In the room, by the side of the bed is the ubiquitous pen that I usually steal and they've managed to bring the notepad down in size to a couple of Post-it notes that they handily name 'thought pad'.

Very randomly and without any real malice I wrote "Kill Snakes", then headed out to Anne's fam.

When we got back the maid had drawn this lovely picture of a snake crying.

The next morning I added, "OK, let's save them."

I'd like to think that is what snagged us some extra towels but more likely it was the tip Anne left.

No snakes were harmed in the making of this story.

Friday, January 10

Random to say the least

I'm reading Morrissey's autobiog.

It's more flowery than a sunflower salesman sowing his seed at a snapdragon sexshow.

Speaking about one of his teachers he says, "She will die lonely, smelling of attics".

He spends an age talking about late 60s telly, but when he does get to music his choices are superbly flamboyant and off-kilter.

He loves the song Eloise by Barry Ryan. I've heard it before mostly because The Damned covered it, and I was vaguely aware that Barry Ryan was from Leeds.

More interesting (with the exception of the chap dancing by the stage) is that Barry was married for a time to Tunku Miriam binti al-Marhum Sultan Sir Ibrahim.

As everyone knows she was the child of Sultan Ibrahim of Johor in Malaysia.

My Uncle Mick's first wife Jackie is Malaysian. It must be a Yorkshire thing!

Thursday, January 9

You wait 2 years ...

And then you get 4 1/2 hours of Sherlock in 12 days.

Just watched the 2nd episode. I know we're blowing our wad, but it's so damn good.

In the time Sherlock has been away, the American version Elementary, which I also like, have shown 1 1/2 seasons. Which is 36 episodes. No they are not as long, or as good, but they certainly fill up more time on cold winter nights.

Wednesday, January 8

This is why Communism failed

Ever notice how the FedEx and UPS guys are running around at all times of the day?

They feel the pressure of competition.

Now compare this with the pension guaranteed fucks at the Post Office.

I sent a package in the mail to my sister before Christmas. Unusually for me I kept the tree's worth of receipt nonsense, and lo and behold the parcel wasn't delivered.

To create a sense of fairness I know the package reached the UK, and my sister suspects that someone in the delivery room stole the package (it contained my old iPad). It's comforting to know that it's not only the US version of the Post Office that are inept.

My sister burns way more calories on this stuff than me. She's already sent an envoy (husband and daughter) to the mail-room for a confrontation, and sent angry letters to the UK Post Office and contacted the Police.

I'm never sure whether to capitalize the Police in case anyone thinks my sis wrote to Sting. She bought their albums in the 80s, but as far as I know she never wrote to them.

There's also that time we found a message in a bottle. Link

Anyway numerous paragraphs ago I mentioned I kept the receipts. And there's a number to call for special International problems.

I was on hold for 25 minutes during which time I learned you can order stamps online. This internet thing is off to a flyer.

A thoroughly bored and irritated voice came on the line. I explained my situation. She mumbled something. I asked her to repeat. She said it slower and louder like a dumb tourist asking a local for directions to McDonalds in a non-English speaking country.

I thanked her for speaking way too loud.

She wanted the code on the receipt. Apparently I gave her the wrong code, because their code "Don't have no dashes."

I offered the Customs slip number.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no." She said.

"One no would have been enough, and why are you so angry?" I asked.

She put me on hold for 20 more minutes while I stood in the corner and took the time to think about what I had done.

After 20 minutes the line cut off.

I'll try again tomorrow if I have 50 minutes to spare.

Which I won't. Because I have a job that requires my fucking time, energy and focus.

Tuesday, January 7

Polar Vortex?

This appears to be the phrase of the moment to explain the annual phenomenon known as a snowy winter in North America.

The Weather Channel have tore into this season like Henry VIII receiving his latest copy of Single European Princesses Monthly magazine.

But in reality it’s just like every other predictable winter because of course;

  • Someone in Minnesota photographs water freezing as it exits a bucket/hose/kettle/penis (delete as necessary).
  • The Euro press fails to realize that freezing temperatures sound much sexier in Fahrenheit.
  • Somerville enforces a parking ban a day before it snows.
  • I get anxiety attacks about the uneven paving stones in front of my house and their effect on a litigious society. 

I could add that Anne’s feet are cold, but she once complained about that in Acapulco too.

Yes we had 2 ft of snow, but it’s been a balmy 40-50°F for the past 24 hours. Add in rain and most of the white stuff has disappeared quicker than a party at Rob Ford’s house.

Monday, January 6

Where are you Wild Abandon?

I regularly get Reiki. It helps me to de-stress.

For the uninitiated, Reiki is a massage where they don’t actually massage you. Instead the Reiki-Lady places her hands (or sometimes a rock) on you and doesn’t move it for a few minutes at a time.

All the while the whale music gently soothes you to sleep.

Afterwards my Reiki-Lady usually does a mini-mystic move where she says she visualized a big hawk above me, or got a feeling I was strapped to a chair near some water.

A few months ago she said the phrase, “wild abandon”, kept coming to her as she moved her hands and stones over my sleeping torso.

Since that moment I’ve been impatiently waiting for a sniff of wild abandon. Nothing.

And it’s not like you can make an appointment with it.

I don’t think I’ve done anything with wild abandon since 1997, and even then it was attacking the Pick n Mix at the Birstall Showcase Cinema.

Sunday, January 5

Flash-Frozen for your protection

I had a pretty intense back surgery in November. Lots of removals, chiseling and chipping going on in the spinal area.

2 weeks later, and feeling so much better, I went to see my surgeon, and probably 2 weeks and 1 day too late asked, "So what did you do?"

He began, "We removed your remaining disc in 3 places, chiseled out the spinal column to give the nerves more room."


"We usually chuck those pieces of bone out, but in your case we fused them with flash-frozen cadaver bone and attached them back onto your spine for strengthening."

Questions I did not ask.

Should I be writing a donor thank you letter?

Did they use bone from a bad ass muthafucker?

Or an elderly lady with osteoporosis?

My friend Amy said I'm lucky it was a human and not a pig. Thanks.

Saturday, January 4

Name redacted for my own protection

I went in an unnamed supermarket over the holidays. Unnamed because they are a client.

It was a few days before Christmas and the place was jam-packed full of people wearing Cleveland Sports Team clothing.

Anne and I, along with plenty of others joined one of the eight self-checkout lines. I couldn't help notice that the lights above the scanners were flashing like Erica Roe holding a flashlight at a Flash Gordon conference.

It transpired you had to own the supermarket's loyalty card to use these checkout stations. No signage of course - which is good because it's a fucking stupid rule.

So this old dear was scuttling from one station to the next, asking if we had a card, upon a negative reply she swiped her own card, which brought up a keypad into which she entered a 9 digit PIN code.

By my estimation she would have to do this 50 times an hour.


Friday, January 3

Best joke of past week

From Jeff's Book of Jokes

Q. What do you call a rabbit with a bent penis?

A. Fucks Funny

Thursday, January 2

No dragons? WTF?

As Anne and I walked to our New Year's Eve dinner the other night we noticed plenty of bored looking Asians (we live near MIT) presumably not enjoying the New Year fun. And probably longing for their own bonanza of celebration in about a month's time

Their favorite places to not celebrate appeared to be Chipotle, any heated indoor ATM area, and the seating by Kendall T Stop.

Couldn't help but feel how lame our celebrations are in comparison. The only dragon I saw last night was the old bitch on the next table to us complaining about the Prix Fixe menu. Boom!

We dined at Catalyst. So so food, but awesome cocktails. Not the best tagline for a restaurant, but apparently their chief mixologist is named Curtis.

When challenged to name the worst Curtis, Anne dropped Curtis Stone the bleach-tipped twat from Top Chef masters.

I went with Curtis Stigers. Back in the 90s he "Wondered Why".

Wednesday, January 1

New Year Challenge

I want to get back to blogging. I miss my own reminders for what I did on a certain date.

Of course the main reason I've stopped is because each time I type or use a mouse I get a shooting pain in my arm. And I figure my work deserves the first use of my beleaguered arm.

But it's time to see if I can push through, and in the words of the most famous American to be buried in France either, Break on Through to the Other Side, or simply this is The End.