Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As time goes by

And never can I remember such happiness about so little. There's happiness everywhere I look. In every corner, in every passing tree sunlit this morning. Another day has come for me to live. There it is for me to grasp and wring life from. I yearn for more life. There is happiness in the little tender sadness that spills over into the edges of my life from pop songs and memories. My life to do with as I please. To go to work each day, to thank my lucky stars, to love people as hard as I can, to log another 40 hour week and never forget that my whole life has been a blessing, a reward beyond reproach that I may never have known until this moment.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

With great periphrasis comes precious little

Dig if you will the little warning on the end of alcohol ads (because alcoholic beverage producers care about your safety a great, great deal)

It starts here:

-Don't drink and drive

It becomes this:

-Please drink responsibly

It starts to meander:

-Responsibility matters

It devolves into this here:

-With great beer comes great responsibility

I see it going here:

-A responsible person does responsible things

And in 2046, when all meaning has been painfully wrung out of the warnings and we live in a euphemistic hell of saying what we don't mean, it will end with this:

-Just be

Friday, December 25, 2009

I was so in shock my heart went down south

We're Christmas veterans

John McEnroe has no shame, and you wouldn't either if you were him

The Radio Shack commercial with Biz Markie? Takes cringing to a new level. It almost physically hurts me to see that crap. Who thought of this? Who? I want names and addresses. It is so unfair that the people who made this monstrosity have cushy advertising jobs and get paid. I can write a commercial twice as good for half the money. No kidding. This is the spot. It's beyond awful. Don't watch it, you might be hurt. Yeah we get it, Biz Markie had a hit song a long time ago and he badly needs some money. You don't have to hit me over the head with it, Radio Shack. And the part that kills me is that ad industry people are patting themselves on the back about the spot here. Could you be anymore out of touch? Please, someone justify this thing to me. I am dumbstruck.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Heigho, the tale was all a lie

The Jaguars are playing Sinatra's "My Way" at their stadium after losing to the Colts. What exactly is the statement that playing that song makes? They lost 'their way' to the Colts, who had nothing to play for, having already locked up the best record in the AFC (by the way, Sinatra is on tape saying that he hated "My Way", but that it bought him a lot of pizza pies). Personally, I played "My Way" after I graduated from college, which I definitely did do, by the way, graduate from college that is, because really, I got through college, or 'university' as they say in Britain, my way. My father seemed to think the song was a good joke, to be shared with people in conversation. I was perfectly serious about it. I messed up a lot, and I didn't really warm up to the whole college deal until at least sophomore year, but I did it, and I did it my way. If this comes off as self-centered, it's because it is. I don't mean to toot my own horn, but hey, I graduated from college. That's something that I did. Count how many times I used 'I' in this paragraph, or how many commas there were. See if you can do that, college graduate.

Peyton Manning, in the post-game interview, was at pains to point out that Jim Caldwell is the coach of the Indianapolis Colts, and that the team follows his directives. He was so emphatic that it almost seemed as if he had something to hide. I mean, Peyton Manning is clearly the coach of the Colts, right? Caldwell does not blink his eyes. This has been said before, but we can't be sure that Caldwell isn't an android. I'd just like some evidence that he's alive, and running the ole football club. He's sort of Peyton's beard so that he can deny that he is actually controlling the team. And why not bring back the player-coach? It worked for Bill Russell.

And a note: I hate when people call something a 'journey'. Just so sanctimonious, it seems. And how good are athletes at talking without saying anything? Why don't the reporters just skip the interviews and write responses to their own questions? It's pretty obvious that we all know in advance what an athlete is going to say.

every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main

You wonder where these things are headed.

I cannot for the life of me understand how people are so easily duped. They want to be duped, possibly. I have a hard time writing coherently. Down with adjectives.

The Jersey Shore. What's that all about?

It would be nearly impossible for me to be less worried. Just wanted you to know.

That's what matters most.

Again, nonsense.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Haiku pour vous

Magazines here, there
Haphazard piles cresting now
See them all topple!

Monday, December 7, 2009

When the dealin's done

I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.

There's such a great distance between that weird psychedelic beauty by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and his later song "The Gambler." I wonder how Kenny Rogers bridged that gap. I wonder how, psychologically, he can reconcile those two incredibly different parts of his career.

Kenny Rogers sure is crafty, to say the least.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Majority sports ramblings

-First real snow storm waited until December. A sign of the shape of things to come?

-Two different Minnesota Vikings players arrested for driving over 100 mph within a week of each other. Ever heard of cruise control, guys? Set it on 70 mph, you're golden.

-Mark Mangino is nearly spherical, it seems.

-Brett Favre's childlike enthusiasm, unlike the swine flu, is not catching.

-It looks like the mime robber from television's Nip/Tuck is back!

-As Michael Jackson said: "And we gon' ride the boogie". What does that mean?

-Beginning both your first and last name with the letter J will get you far in life. Witness Johnny Jolly, Jimmy Jackson, Julio Jones, Jim Jefferies.

-MTV's Jersey Shore: Everything you hoped for, and more.

-The horoscope said my luck would turn today. Is that bad or good? I usually consider myself a pretty lucky guy.

-Please, no singing in television commercials. Please.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

goodness gracious

And leave Tiger alone, eh? There's no way this is anyone's business but his. Don't give me that TMZ bullshit.

What happened to people being discreet?


The amount of information that google can and does collect about users of its services is staggering and frightening. I don't mean to scare you, o estimable reader, but through the magic of google Analytics I can find out what city you live in, what Internet browser and Operating system you use, and what language your computer is set to. Big Brother, anyone?

I'm not really making any comment, just putting it out there. I know far too much about who may be reading these very words. Spooky.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

my eardrums for a moment of peace

The question, fellow Romans, is how we could possibly endure approximately three weeks of commercial radio Christmas tunes at the workplace, supposedly a sacred place? And how can a radio station possibly sell this tired trick of attempting to go all-Christmas 24 hours a day for nearly a month straight? It is a fool's-errand. Nobody, but nobody, needs 24-hour a day Christmas songs.

And the repeats. O, the awful repeats. Mariah Carey's frighteningly exuberant All I Want for Christmas is You, in which she sounds positively tickled to be desperately pining for her significant other at Christmas time. Paul McCartney doing an interminable, and very, very dated 80's-style (it came out in 1979) holiday song, of which every other line appears to be the dread refrain "Siii-imply haaa-aaving a wonderful Christmas time."

Elvis Presley with Blue Christmas, which is fine, but no one needs to hear it more than once a day (we had it twice in four hours already yesterday), even at Christmas time. And the real problem at the root of all this holiday-themed sonic evil: today was only Monday, November 30th. What will we do for 23 more days when today was already jam-packed with repeats, played within lit'rally 4 hours of each other as if there weren't offices which through no fault of their own had been listening all the live-long day.

And besides all this, have you ever actually listened to the words of these Christmas songs? They are intolerably bad. The only thing they do is rhyme, the only thing. They are nearly devoid of meaning. We desperately need new Christmas songs (By the way, I actually enjoy the more religious Christmas songs that deal with the nativity and all, but you don't really get those on commercial stations like WODS Boston, usually a much-loved oldies station for me, transformed into a hideous holiday monster of trite, oft-repeated, cookie-cutter (how appropriate!) Christmas sentiments).

Let's run down what the Christmas songs say. All of them seem to come back to these several themes:

-Christmas is the BEST time of year. No serious person may question this.

-Snow is fun, even though it may at times be 'frightful'. Those are the times when it's a good excuse to spend more time with your beloved.

-You are always surrounded by many loved ones at Christmas. Relations with these people are blissful, always.

-It's no fun to be away from your beloved at Christmas time. You should aspire to be with them, and write a song about it if you can't.


If you have any other themes, let me know, but I think those are the major ones.

Christmas seems to be so much a sham right now. A sale masquerading as a cultural institution. People whip themselves into a frenzy with Christmas music and tear themselves up over what to get for their loved ones. Just enjoy the time off, don't get stressed out about stupid stuff, and spend time with your family. Because a man that doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man. Just take it easy. And lay off the 24-hour Christmas songs, they will drive you nuts.

A postscript: And today, Amanda's computer at work contracted a virus from a Christmas music website and had to be sent away to the help desk. It goes to show that the age-old maxim is true: If you play fast and loose with Christmas music, you're bound to get burned.

Monday, November 30, 2009

silly poems are my middle name

The floating yellow apparitions
in the black
Are windows.

Not windows on the darkness in
my soul,
but windows on North Shore houses.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

If there were an All-Madden team for name-dropping gourmands, I tell ya, you'd be on it

Isn't Thanksgiving really about overeating, after all?

As a red-blooded American, I was worried, as anyone would be, that I wouldn't be able to overeat to my heart's content in Canada.

I was wrong. There was more than enough food, and I ate more than enough of it. And it was great. It always is. Am I supposed to apologize for eating too much? It was delicious. I'm sorry that there are people who don't have enough to eat. I would like to help them. But at Thanksgiving, you stuff yourself. It's what's done. I can't turn the tide back from the shore, and I can't help but eat too much at Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving. Feel free to stuff yourself. And give some thanks.


take 'er easy

First blog post from Canadian soil

First USA Thanksgiving spent on Canadian soil

Canadian soil never tasted so good, etc. etc.

Went to the supermarket today here and saw a can of Habitant 'Soupe aux Pois'

I must explore squash. There are great possibilities in squash

I won't leave without sampling poutine, which is not spelled phonetically

Saturday, November 21, 2009

ramblings again?

* There is the mundane, there is the banal, and then there is the conversation on the T with an acquaintance from some previous phase of your life that you used to know and haven't talked to since. And then, in the next circle of hell below that is secondhand listening to one of these conversations that someone else is loudly carrying on.

* We should totally hang out some time!

* Have you considered, while eating, whether a juicy steak is worth the future high blood pressure and heart disease, and the attendant increase in healthcare costs overwhelming an already dangerously strained American healthcare system?

* Don't you just love looking for things to get angry about and rage at with righteous ire? Things like reality television. And righteously angry conservative television commentators who bemoan the rise of reality television.

* I never turn down the chance to have my back to a wall. It's just safer that way.

* A sausage is only a sausage, unless it's andouille. That stuff is spicy!

* The Journal of Economic Entomology: real or fake? That depends on how you feel about apiaries.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


There are only two rackets in this town: the Canadian whiskey racket, the integrated information management business, and the illegal fur trade. I chose the latter, and I've been kicking myself ever since.

Amoto quaeramus seria ludo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It Just Is

I like seeing things for what they are, but also not trying to see in them what's not there. I read David Foster Wallace and find that there is rich humor throughout. Do I ask why? I do not. I would like to advance the notion, perhaps forgotten, that enlightened people can enjoy art, music, literature, food, or anything else, without knowing the minutiae of its underpinnings.

The chicken is free range from southern Alberta, raised on handpicked rye and winter wheat as well as organic tulip bulbs. It's marinated in a Sonoma Valley white made with 100% sustainable Chardonnay grapes pollinated by ladybugs, along with some basil I raised from seed and ginger from Sichuan province in China. Of course, I don't need to mention that, really, a civilized person wouldn't use anything but Sichuan ginger. Would anyone like some more pesticide-free fetal asparagus?

Thank you, I really didn't need to know that. If something tastes good, maybe that's all there is to it. That's why we say it tastes good, rather than saying, oh, it's made out of fresh local ingredients derived from sustainable farming techniques and I know every stinking detail down to the chicken was born on a freaking Wednesday. If you saw an attractive person, you wouldn't start guessing about which side of her family the Roman nose came from, or whether the steely gray eyes are a recessive trait. No, you would say, that is a suitably attractive person for me to mate with, or something less creepy-sounding along those lines. We seem to have an unhealthy obsession with analyzing things, so that we can't see the forest for the trees.

Just let it be.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Post-structuralism in roasted potatoes

Christopher Ricks told me:

The biggest difference between poetry
and prose is that the line endings


in poetry.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

le petit nain barbu

To beard, perchance to dream

Never underestimate the power of a beard, or that of a mouse

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ramblings (customarily the crutch of the uninspired sportswriter)

-Considering all of the strange esoteric sub-groups and industries that have their own periodical, couldn't I one day hope to have my own?

-I cannot ridicule anyone for wearing a bandanna on their head since the death of David Foster Wallace. For all I know, that person could be DFW returned. Or Jesus, for that matter.

-Healthcare: something has to be done. This is not going to work long-term. Or short-term, for that matter.

-Writing down a menu plan is far more rewarding than you might imagine.

-Mice are crafty. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you vinyl siding for your house. You never have to paint it!

I wish I was only a bust, all head

Where are we headed?

I have rarely felt more pessimistic about the fate of the world, and yet worried so little.

We'll survive.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Seasons change, mad things rearrange

October showers bring....November snows? Extreme cold in December? Not as nice as the spring equation.

It's gonna be a long winter. We will need some tea, some hard liquor to warm up with, flour to bake bread with and heat up the house, and assorted other supplies to keep from freezing.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

unacceptable neologisms in advertising

Their tag line should have been:

"The difference is in how much water we add to an already flavorless beer."

Drinkability my foot.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"America is still the land of the rugged individualists"

I'm going to pose the question that I'm sure is on everyone's mind:

Is the only goal of every indie band starting out to get their song on a car commercial?

I've really had way more than enough of this junk. What happened to the good old days of Chevy picking Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" for their commercials and just pounding it into your head, day after day, night after night, advertisement after advertisement? Yes, those were the days. Enough of the indie band meal ticket ads. Really, what are the people who make these spots thinking? Nothing sells cars like seedy-looking, reedy-voiced twentysomethings in flannel?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

J-pop: not to be taken lightly

This one goes out to Tim Durkin

It's bitter, like beer for kids

Bonnie Pink lives!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

tough guy

Yeah, I'm with a little outfit out of Ipswich, Mass. It's called EBSCO Publishing, maybe you've heard of us?

Serials, baby, serials.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Again, I oppose fast food

This guy in the Phoenix said it better than I am currently able to:

"Watching folks eat at national fast-food outlets depresses me. Not only are they paying for advertising, but they're getting so little give-a-damn in their food."

Can we stop eating at these places already? Obesity will kill you! Yes, it will.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How long, how long?

It's fall. That can't be denied anymore when you look outside. When your feet get cold just sitting around the house. When you have to put on a sweatshirt to spend any length of time outside. When the light changes. When you get that little bit of fear in the pit of your stomach, that the warm weather is gone, and who knows if it's ever coming back?

There's a smell of chill in the air, and you can foresee the real cold coming, fall can just be the forerunner of winter. The leaves will fall, the temperature will fall, and April's a long way off.

It frightens me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hast Thou Considered The Tetra

Apparently Larry King jokes never get old

Except that they already are

Because Larry King is old

Which is the whole focus of the neverending torrent of jokes about him

Yeah, I get it, he's old. Enough

I love your majesty according to my bond; nor more nor less

Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score.

It's good advice. And every 'est' word is considered a mistake by spellcheck.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The fast-food chain doth protest too much, methinks

"I like not fair terms and a villain's mind"

The idea that McDonald's is trying to tell me what a real New Englander is, and how such a person feels, disgusts me on a level that I cannot express in words.

And by the way, fools, a real New Englander would never say the phrase "real New Englander". You sicken me with your pathetic attempts to connect to people. Your so-called restaurants are dehumanizing assembly lines for disgusting, nearly inedible food, which people only eat because it is cheap, and likely addictive. It is clear to any impartial observer that our society would be much better off without the influence and presence of McDonald's. Begone!

(Obviously I'm on some kind of little Shakespeare run here)

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

And other assorted thoughts.

This means nothing.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The sum of all cardinals of the kremlin

Were I a character in a Tom Clancy novel right now, one of my fellow characters would tell me "You look like hell, Jack." and proceed to fix me a pot of Navy coffee with a pinch of salt.

My thoughts betray me

It strikes me that having the letter x twice in a name where it only belongs once betrays a lack of class. People who add the second x by choice are telegraphing their urgent need to get your attention. If they can't get your attention because of their talent, why not try a gimmick like adding a ridiculous second x to a name? If I see the second x, I assume low-rent, low-class.

Alexx Woods

Bubba Sparxxx

Alexxis Tyler

The only exception is Jimmie Foxx, who was a solid hitter, and who clearly didn't choose to add the second x.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall

Can a man's worth be measured by the number of times, while suspended and gripping a bar, he can use the muscles in his arms to pull his body's weight upwards and raise his chin above the level of the bar he is gripping?

I certainly hope not.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

walkin' in memphis (brighton)

The sensation of walking up to a 7 Eleven in Brighton in the evening. It is a shining city on a hill. The glow of the lights out onto the sidewalk. The lights are sterile halogen. Very easy to pretend you're in an indie movie with some garbled theme about alienation in modern society, where you'd be a character who goes to the 7 Eleven, stares glassy-eyed at things in the freezer section, shyly avoids conversation with checkout girl, walks home alone silently to silent alone apartment where you do something comedic, but also indicative of your loneliness and alienation. The light, the light!

Stop up the access and passage to remorse

I foresee a future state of the National Football League that is centered around injuries. The games take twice as long because there are multiple serious injuries on every play. The rosters are twice as large because of the need for replacements due to in-game attrition. There are several deaths due to injuries sustained in games every year, which, while bemoaned as tragic, are tolerated. The year? 2025.

It's not too far away from today's game. There is an upper limit on how big and fast football players can get before very serious injuries become more and more frequent, eventually leading to the first in-game death. It will happen, someday, and don't be surprised when it does.

Mark my words.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Hear cars swooping by on Harvard Ave. Feel tennis soreness in the right tricep from hitting wicked forehand winners yesterday. Perceive cool breeze of a Boston September night. Decompress and rest feet from standing all day.

Let it go.

Friday, September 4, 2009

extreme abstraction

I'm all about new beginnings. I have a harder time finishing things. But I think this move will work out for the best.

Time to get a new shower curtain.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

While the sun and moon endure luck's a chance, but trouble's sure

Here's all the evidence you need that Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace is a great book.

-I carred it around urban metro Boston for a few days, and got no less than three comments from complete strangers about how much they liked it, including from the conductor on the Commuter Rail.

-I was walking in front of North Station and a woman passing by on a bike, who was presumably homeless, said "Great book. Great man. Too bad he offed himself." You can't say it much better than that, and that's really all you need to know about the book.

-I am still almost completely unable to describe the book to people who ask me about it.

I strongly urge everyone to read it.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

missed the saturday dance

The world is a big place. There must be room in it for me. I pray for the serenity and the forethought to realize that anything good or bad that happens to me is small potatoes simply because of the grand scale of life and the world.

There are pluses and minuses ahead, but the most important point is that there is an ahead.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

As the time that we can share never is enough it seems to me

There's really nothing like the nihilistic pleasure of knowing that you'll be dead before climate change really gets started on ravaging the earth in life-altering ways. The temptation is great to just say "I won't be here, so good luck with all that."

For now, I'm ready to indulge that temptation. Am I wrong? Probably. But I'm also an American. I'm free to think whatever I want. And right now, I think that I'll be long gone by the time the German tourists are learning to swim in Arizona Bay.

So as the sea level rises, I urge you to not worry about it too much because, frankly, it's not your problem. We're probably talking about at least three generations before things get really drastically wicked bad. And someone else will think of a cheap, easy, nearly effortless way to stop global warming by then, right?


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

don't worry if I write rhymes, I write checks

I'm ready for whatever comes next.

And I'm excited. Something's gotta give here, right? And really, I am a pretty employable person.

This summer has been fun in spite of the rain, but it doesn't last forever. It gets colder at some point and this old Allan has to move on. Bob Vila, anyone?

I have almost no idea what the future will bring, but I'm ready to check it on out. Bring it on, future, I'll take it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

je blog donc je suis? (not an original idea)

I'm disillusioned about blogging. It seems like everyone has a blog these days. It also seems, however, that no one reads anyone's blog. How many blogs have you seen with entries going back for months, with nary a comment to be seen, nary a speck of evidence that anyone but the writer has ever seen any of the words committed to the (web) page? And yet you probably know the feeling, because you probably have your own blog that nobody reads.

This blog is not an exception, by the way, I'm sure there are maybe 7 people who have ever read this blog. And really, why should they bother? I'm bringing very little to the table. I might be saying things that no one has ever said before, but does that really matter, considering who I am? I'm not anyone in particular. I don't have a reputation, I don't have power or influence. I'm nobody, for the purpose of this debate that I am having with no one on my blog that is not read.

And how many times can I write the somewhat ugly neologism 'blog' in this blog post? Are you counting, non-existent reader? You don't even exist, but I'm asking you what you think of this blog, which to me seems to be mostly just taking up valuable bandwidth. I think this is the problem with blogs. There are so many words being written, then immediately published. Snap your fingers and you're a writer. It's way too easy to get a blog, to have a blog, to suddenly feel at least a little bit self-important because you can publish your words at will, theoretically to a worldwide audience. But it's all for naught if no one reads it. The meaning of these very words that I write at this moment varies directly with the amount of appreciation that they garner. Have you considered this?

Insubstantial reader, are you considering your place, and mine, in the "blogosphere" (one of the uglier neologisms, right up there with "tweet", and thank goodness blogosphere is still not acknowledged by spell-check)? Do you wonder if you are anything but an grain of sand in the unfathomable blogiverse? Do you feel comforted by my asking questions of no one, questions that won't, and possibly can't, be answered?

I hate rhetorical questions.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

your future now

Someday I would like to make a move with this line in it:

"Well Barney, I'd like to think that today I lost a paying customer, but gained a good friend. And that's what matters most. Goodnight folks."

Just my little way of giving back to the community. Because that's what matters most. Goodnight folks.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

T-No (I'm angry)

I'm watching "The T.O. Show" on VH1.

It's awful.

It seems to be set up a lot like "The Hills", including all the shots looking down streets in LA with indistinguishable music playing between scenes. Aaargh, the music. The people who put this show together really seem to be trying to copy all of the worst parts of the Hills and none of the best. There are more little cut up bits of songs in this show than Sullivans in a Boston phone book. They add little or nothing to the show. There are plenty of pretty obviously scripted lines read by TO and his friends, and let me tell you, they aren't very good actors. I think the reason people like the Hills is that they've seen it before. They have some sense of who the characters are, and they enjoy ridiculing the people on the show for their bad decisions and ludicrous behavior. The T.O. Show has none of this familarity. It's just another badly produced reality show in a long, long, long line of badly produced reality shows that I couldn't care less about, but networks still feel obligated to produce because they cater to the basest and most moronic, and therefore the broadest swathes of our society. This show brings absolutely nothing to the table. They'll get a spike of curious viewers the first two weeks maybe and then nobody will watch because there is nothing remotely interesting about this show. I don't care about TO, he's not a compelling figure, the popular fascination with him makes no sense. And while I'm here, has anyone noticed that MTV doesn't show music videos anymore? Does that make any sense? All they have now is freaking marathons of "16 and Pregnant", one of the most despicable TV shows of all time, and a subject to be delved into at another time. The direction our culture is headed makes me steaming mad. We're getting stupider! The media we use to distract ourselves is getting dumbed down. I am not pleased, and I am not amused.

The dark little secret of the show is that there's nothing particularly interesting about the life of Terrell Owens. He's actually quite tame from the looks of things. The producers of the show try to create tension by having him act the party animal while his female friends try desperately to keep him from having fun, but there's absolutely nothing compelling about what ensues. The problem is, I don't know anything about Owens as a person and I couldn't care less about him or what he does. He's not strange, he has few distinguishing characteristics, he almost never says anything revelatory or surprising. After watching the show, I know maybe one thing about him that I didn't know before, that he likes to shop. Oh, wait, don't let me forget, he also appears to have no discernable personality traits!

Do yourself a favor and don't watch the show.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Remember. . . your different Life?

Just sunk 500 dollars into stock in China Mobile! Sometimes you have to play a hunch. My hunch is that China Mobile will not run out of people to sell cell phone service to, even though they already have 488 million subscribers. And they have a sweet dividend too. That never hurts. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Livin' in a powder keg and givin' off sparks

I need a new job.

Just putting that out there, take it or leave it. If there's anybody out there in a position to give me a sweet job with nice benefits and even average money, feel free to contact me. I'm actually putting a lot of eggs in that basket, the scenario where a mysterious benefactor somehow finds this incredibly obscure blog, and, knowing very little about me or any skills that I might have, desires to give me a shot. As Bill Lumberg would say, that would be just grrreat.

(Office Space? Anyone?)

Because we all know that a recession is the best time to look for a job.

Oddly enough, I've already gotten two jobs during this recession, since September 1. Maybe the third time's the charm, again. Although the first two times were the charm too, so, you get the picture.

I'm rambling, but I'd like to emphasize again, if you're a rich person who's handing out jobs to inexperienced young whippersnappers like they're cough drops, please consider me. You can leave a comment here with your contact information. Don't call me, I'll call you.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Portions for Foxes

Here's the one difference between me and Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Whereas my right honorable friend Sherrod gets angry on behalf of the American people when he hears about Goldman Sachs upping their bonuses after an extremely profitable quarter, I ask, "Where do I sign up?"

Come on Sherrod, we could be getting rich already. Furthermore, it's not usually a good idea to defocate where your bread is buttered. Goldman Sachs gave him 42,000 dollars in the 2006 election! It doesn't get any better than that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

do the right thing

Legend in two games like I'm Pee-Wee Kirkland

Just thought that was a cool lyric. As usual, it's about drugs.

And also, I've noticed that there are quite a few funny comedians who make fun of Michael Bolton.

Bill Hicks, Henry Rollins, the list goes on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

the seedy underbelly of the pizza business in Ipswich

This is too funny. I was looking for the phone number of a local pizza place, Theo's, tonight, and I stumbled upon what appears to be their website. The front page looks like it's about the place in Ipswich, has a little information specific to Theo's, a correct address, you know, the usual. But click on over to the reviews page, or 'About Us', and it's a whole different story. There you'll find that this site isn't about Theo's at all, but rather about Vinnie's Pizza, in good old Anytown, USA.

That's right. Someone out there thought it would be a good idea to create a form template on which to make a website for a local pizza place. Any local pizza place. Furthermore, someone at Theo's who was responsible for their web site forgot to finish filling out the template! This gives us gems like "Soon after graduating high school, Vincent began making pizzas at The Corner Pizza Place, in Northern Anytown." The story doesn't end there, though. "Although he had an affinity for The Corner Pizza Place, Vincent knew that greater challenges and opportunities awaited him in the heart of Anytown." Look you can take the fictional pizza maker out of Anytown, but you can't take Anytown out of the fictional pizza maker.

Sure the front page is up to date and includes some Theo's-specific information. But how am I supposed to believe anything Theo's says about their pizza when elsewhere on their site Gomer Pyle of the Anytown Gazette raves that they have "Simply the best pizza in Anystate. If you are looking for a delicious pizza, quickly make a trip to Vinnie's Pizza."?

Would it be too simplistic to say that this encapsulates everything that's wrong with American culture today? Instead of taking the time to jot down a few sentences for a web site, people expect that someone will have already created a template for them where they can just fill in the blanks, and presto, there's your web site. Basically it's Mad Libs for small businesses. No thanks.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If I don't see you soon I'll have to find another game to lose

Let's be clear here: I have no mercy in my heart to spare for people who go to baseball games, sit behind the plate, and get on the old cell phone so they can wave to their extended family and friends while talking to them on the phone. It's not limited to behind the plate, either, as now people down either baseline have figured out they'll be on TV when there's a close shot of a batter stepping out in between pitches. This still just ruins my television viewing experience. I know I should ignore it, I know that I should rise above it, but I simply can't. I am filled with unspeakable loathing, like a Huguenot who survived St. Bartholomew's Day.

I can't wrap my head around the mental processes of these people. Apparently they've never watched a game on television, or they would know how incredibly irritating it is to watch some grinning idiot waving to his buddies on the other end of a phone line. Often enough, you'll get the same person, apparently calling every single person he has ever met, going on through the entire 9 innings, phoning and waving, phoning and waving. Please, for the love of Pedroia, exercise some self restraint. You may call one person, and you may not wave at all, whatsoever, or you'll be ejected from the game. And family members can help too. If you get a call from one of these ballpark buffoons, threaten to disown and disinherit them forthwith if they do not hang up the phone and stop waving like a fool. If we all do our part, it's not too late to stop this inane phenomenon.

Monday, June 29, 2009

So smooth it gets into any party.

Excuses are a Yankee fan's best friend.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the lie becomes the truth

Here's my idea for a much better way to cover the sad death today of Michael Jackson.


Let's declare a moratorium on covering this story for three days. We can all have some quiet time to think about what Michael Jackson meant as a public figure, and as a person. Then we can come back in a few days and talk about it intelligently and coherently. Wouldn't that be much better than just tearing the story to shreds right now and speculating for hours on end about how and why he died? There's just so little to report here. The cable news channels will do what they always seem to do, which is have the hosts interview guests who really don't know anything that the hosts don't, so they pretty much just make stuff up. Meanwhile, an endless loop of file footage is playing, basically reducing the television medium to a dressed-up version of radio. Thanks, but no thanks.

I can commemorate Jackson myself by reflective meditation on his life and music. I don't need to be told how I should think by television hosts and commentators who are underqualified to think for themselves.

Monday, June 22, 2009

There hangs the fool who once had it all

Some of Le Bill Simmons' best work.

Exceptionally well-written, except for this little slip-up:

That was what happened to an arena when Jordan walked in. You would freeze, and you would hear screams, and then it would be a sea of lightbulbs.

Come on, Simmons, you're better than that. Flashbulbs, buddy. Respect to the big guy, though, that was a thoughtful column.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

i make dough, but don't call me doughboy

WEEI's Jon Meterparel, commenting without irony on the oh-so-lovely way the Lakers' Pau Gasol can take it to the cup with either hand:

He might have one of the best left hands in the league. He's amphibious!

Way to keep those standards high, guys. Incidentally, I don't find Meterparel's Boston College football play-by-play work to be repulsive-it's actually quite decent. This, however, is something which I will not tolerate from someone who is handsomely compensated to speak on the radio. The word for which you went fruitlessly searching is ambidextrous, and you're making America stupider.

Monday, June 15, 2009

come sail your ships around me

My semi-conscious thought during the drawn-out process of waking up this morning: I'm Captain Ahab and getting out bed is my White Whale.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

like a waterfall

you've given me so many songs,
ones that kept me going on when i'd wonder why

I'm wondering about the meaning of love, and the importance it has in the life of anyone. I want to be with someone, because every now and then I feel a sort of nagging, quite subtle loneliness. I know what it is. I want someone to share things with. I want someone who gets me on my terms, so that I don't have to change how I am to impress them. And now it seems like that person will never come around, and maybe even that I'm wasting my twenties not being in love. That's no fun of course, to feel like something is slipping away, specifically the chance to be young and in love, but I'm trying not to worry about it. Things have the darndest way of turning around on you when you expect it least. For now I'll bide my time until destiny shuts me up.

think of you that way a lot,
singing to the coffee pot and the kitchen wall

(lyrics by Kate Wolf)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's 16 miles to the promised land

I was completely fascinated by this quotation from an article by David Hare in the New York Review of Books:

"It's incredible but the country itself still feels provisional. Of what other state can this be said? I notice when I am in Britain that you plan for 2038, you say that there will be this railway or that airport. But no Israeli plans so far ahead without feeling a pang in his heart which asks whether we shall be here at all. We look so strong from the outside, we have such a large army, so many nuclear weapons, we're so certain in our expansion, and yet from the inside it doesn't feel like that. We feel our being is not guaranteed. You might say we have imported from the Diaspora the Jewish disease-a sense of rootlessness, an ability to adapt and make do, but not to settle. After sixty years, Israel is not yet a home."

Hare is quoting an unnamed Israeli writer. What he said floored me. Sixty years gone by, that's a lifetime for many people, and his insight into the country is that it is deeply ingrained in the souls of Israelis to wonder whether each day might be the last for their nation. Sixty years of being, followed immediately by suddenly not being. Can you imagine the great, great fear that state of mind would bring? Can you imagine living in constant terror of the end of your existence?

The writer is correct, we could never think of the state of things that way in a country like the US, Britain, or almost any other on earth. The mentality he describes is so inconceivable from where I sit that I am having a very hard time putting myself in his shoes. I'm not sure if I believe him either, but if it was true, what consequences it would have for our planet! Would we finally understand the Israeli mentality? Would we know the secret to peace? Would we have fairness and justice and equality on both sides? But we cannot the greatest question of all, and the one that may never be answered, Will Israel ever feel safe enough?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'll miss the alimony too

I used to own 32 shares of GM stock that I purchased for 5.50 per share. Now I own it all over again as a US taxpayer.

I'm raising my can of Schlitz to new beginnings.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

you're as subtle as a brick in the small of my back

Charlie Murphy of Chappelle's Show and Joe Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers: separated at birth. And I don't have the pictures to prove it. Really, what did you expect?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

better off in two year stretches

Q: Why don't you buy a woman a watch?

A: Because there's a clock on the stove!

Hey, I didn't say it, Charles Barkley did.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

my mama never warned me about my own destructive appetite

Hard to say it much better than this:

"I think Dan Brown is a terribly bad writer, but he has cliffhangers after every chapter which makes you continue reading," Skarsgard told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

"It's like eating peanuts at a bar. You don't like them, but you keep on eating them anyway," he said.

Who said this, you ask? One of the actors in the movie. A Swede no less.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Better call the taxidermist

"The House of sticks and stones"

drinking (cough syrup) again

I can't think of anything to write about, but I'm writing anyways. This must be what's wrong with the internet. Lots of people with nothing to say who are persisting in saying it anyways. Nothing, that is.

Why is this? Vanity would be my best guess. Everybody wants to be somebody, and especially to be a writer. It sounds glamorous.
"What do you do?"
"Oh, I'm a writer."
"Oh, my!"

Sounds a lot better than a great many other things you could put down as your occupation.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

working on coining cool phrases and being quoted by someone someday

Time is just a patina. Years accumulate on a person like kitchen grime on a neglected drinking glass left out on a high shelf, the kind where dust mixes with bits of oil and becomes a sticky, dirty mess.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And so three cheers for my morose and grieving pals

Boston has plenty of cool places to explore. For what are you waiting?

Brothers always come first

Top 5 songs from Your Favorite Weapon by Brand New (Which nobody who likes Brand New probably listens to anymore, but they should)

1. Logan to Government Center (Which has the added benefit of at least having a Boston-related title)
2. Seventy Times Seven
3. Magazines
4. Soco Amaretto Lime
5. Failure By Design

Honorable mention to Secondary, Last Chance to Lose Your Keys, Jude Law and A Semester Abroad, Sudden Death in Carolina, and Mix Tape.

Not an easy list to make. Also, there was absolutely no reason to make this list! But I did it anyway! That's how committed I am.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Last Lie I Told

I know it was you, Manny. You broke my heart

You broke my heart.

Maybe we could start a little independent repretory movie house or somethin

The weather is getting good. More than anything else, that really changes my mood. Everything about life is much easier when it's not freezing cold outside and when you don't have to worry about your car spinning out in a snowstorm. I for one think that New England is much prettier in the spring than in the fall, when people take "foliage tours". Isn't bright green better to look at than brown and yellow?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Grow Fins, Turkey

Manny did steroids? This must be a joke. That's probably the last name I would have expected to hear. Also, I have a hard time believing the excuse that the alleged Human chorionic gonadotropin was prescribed by the good old family doctor. What, Manny couldn't get pregnant? Maybe that's because he lacks a uterus. Take all the fertility drugs you want, you still won't end up with a bun in the oven.

Yes, I am declaring Manny guilty based on little or no evidence. He's guilty. The question is, why? I don't care to explore that in this space. I'm a bad blogger. So sue me. It's a blog. It means very little.

I haven't read this yet, but Simmons is always good.

This is Not an Exit

Those were the days. The floor was a bit dirty, but the weather was better than nice. May is Marvelous.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

State of the Union

Reggie Miller is growing on me; Dennis Eckersley the opposite.

you can't sing to save your life

Kinds of Port in my liquor cabinet: 4

Kinds of Bourbon in my liquor cabinet: 2

We are lacking in Bourbon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Keys To A Good Blog

1. Pictures of Cats

2. Opinions I'm not officially qualified to hold

3. Regular Posts

4. Snazzy Background

5. Great Font

We'd hide from the lights, on the village green

In case anyone hadn't yet heard, the bird's the word

Monday, May 4, 2009

I can see by your face that something's not the same

Saves the Day just was not the same. It's hard to put my finger on what went wrong with the set. The lack of David Soloway was huge. I don't think the new guitarist really fits with the vibe of the band, not to mention the fact that he didn't know most of the guitar parts on the songs. A lot of the time he would just let his guitar hang, sometimes he would sort of casually strum. This is not the Saves the Day that I love.
The sound wasn't great, but it was more than that. The set list wasn't great, but really that wasn't it either. It was something unquantifiable about the way they played. To tell you the truth, it made me sad. Maybe they just lost it. Maybe the regular lineup shuffling took its toll, finally. Maybe Dave was the one piece they couldn't do without. I don't know what it was, but for now, it will keep me away from the live shows. I'm gonna hibernate with the old stuff, the good stuff, before they lost it, whatever it is.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

This Charming Man

My current Top 5 Saves the Day songs off the top of my head (this is in no way a comment on whether it's worthwhile to make top 5 lists of anything, I'm just bored and let's say I like hastily making judgements on arguments that should be reasoned out over the course of several days, rather than minutes)

1. Hold
2. Jodie
3. Third Engine
4. Freakish
5. Jessie & My Whetstone

The sky grows bigger every day

I'm headed to Worcester today to see my favorite band, Saves the Day. For once, they're not the headliner (that's Alkaline Trio) so we don't have to sit through 2-3 hours and maybe 4 openers before we get to the good stuff. Saves the Day is great because there's a good chance on any song they play that I love the song and I know all the words. And so does everyone else in the crowd, so you can often get a crazy group singalong thing going where the singer's voice sometimes gets drowned out and it's just legions of crazed fans rising as one voice. Pretty cool if you've ever experienced it. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

mistakes were made

Tracy Morgan on SNL tonight. It was a rerun. I must say, not exceptional. I was expecting Morgan to knock it out of the park. I was disappointed. Some good sketches in there. The Brian Fellow sketch was solid, as was the scared straight type sketch, but a lot of the other stuff left me wanting. The writing has not been good lately.

Friday, May 1, 2009

me vs. maradona vs. elvis

Right now I'm listening to the songs that I listened to all winter, when I was working at the factory and things were kind of tough for me. I didn't like my job that much, felt like it was dead end, felt like I wasn't getting anywhere, and it was cold as heck outside and just overall kind of a bad time. That's why it's actually a little sad to hear these songs. These songs meant a lot to me during the winter. I listened to them when I was home from work, I knew all the words, I sang them to myself during work hours, and they just meant the world to me.

It's different now. I have a good job, I'm in a good place, the weather is warm, and things are just going swimmingly. It's sort of an embarrassment of riches, to be honest. I feel sorry for that edition of me from the winter in a way. If he could see what's going on now in our life, new beginnings, new jobs, new feelings that just feel like they have some promise, like they could lead somewhere, he would be so happy. He didn't have those things, he was stuck. And when I remember these songs and how important they were to me during that tough spot, it hurts. I want to go back there and tell myself that things are going to be so bright soon. Just stick it out.

My kingdom for some horseradish

It was a cold winter. I can't say it was a total loss, but it was cold.

what's your situation?

So here's my situation: I'm sitting alone in a darkened house in Ipswich, drinking some Trader Joe's-not-that-expensive-not-actually-real-champagne-but-still-from-France bubbly. I'm watching the Bruins play Game 1 against the Hurricanes. I'm eventually going to need to eat dinner. I could eat just about anything. I could have some leftover tortellini that I made the other night. I could also have some fried apples with curry that I also made for that dinner.

Sometimes lately, I completely lose my short-term memory. I have a quick flash of an idea, and it seems like something important, but then I lose it. It's gone. Maybe 30 percent of the time I get it back, but mostly I just lose it. Where do those ideas go? They might just be floating somewhere in space above my head, and whenever my mind wants to grab them it will, but often enough it doesn't want to. Maybe I could be great if I could just hold onto those ideas.

frisbee a la nude?

These Oregonians are crazy!

So, pants aren't really a big part of playing frisbee? This is absurd. This is exactly what's wrong with our culture and the youth of today. They think they can get away with playing frisbee pantless? They can't. This is inexcusable conduct. There has to be a line drawn somewhere. This is where we are drawing the line. You must wear pants to play frisbee. I will not negotiate on this point.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gee and Tea

I like a nice, sweaty Summer Gin and Tonic

I once had juice

but I drank the juice. A cautionary tale

I'm a bad blogger

I'm really not that good at blogging. It's fun, though. I can look back at previous blog posts and laugh at how terrible some of the writing is.

I don't really have any interesting topics to blog about. I'm really just throwing words out into empty space. This blog is a really good argument against blogs as an institution. Why should anyone, anywhere be able to get a blog with great ease? It's not as if they, or I have any qualifications. It's not as if anyone really wants to hear their opinion. The public is not clamoring to know what I think. But unbidden, I give my opinion. And it's expected that I would do so, like many other bloggers. Why is this? At this point, I'm really not bringing anything to the table. This blog is a joke, really. Why should I have any right to have my opinion heard? Why? Why do I use rhetorical questions so frequently? Does anyone ever answer all these questions I keep posing?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

little game that I made up

Little joke I thought of recently:

Q: What do you call it when two organic elements go out for a drink?

A: Carbon Dating! (Insert Catch Phrase)

Cheeky - Choke on a Cheeseburger

Cheeky is a punk band. Their singer is a girl. That's sort of unconventional, at least in the circles I run in (wow, didn't know up to this moment that I ran in circles, glad I learned that). They're not bad, though. They have a nice angst note, along with some plain old anger, which is good too. Their lyrics aren't exceptional, but good enough for this genre. I wish them great success. In the meantime their album can be downloaded for free here. Why not give them a donation while you're at it too. They're only giving you their intellectual property for free.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Abstinence only alcohol policy

I've been trying, lately, to not consume any alcohol for at least two days a week. It's easier than you might think. The experience leads me to wonder whether it might be time to consider the role alcohol plays in our lives.

I can't, for the life of me, figure out exactly why I drink. It used to be as a sort of rebellion. When I was younger, drinking was fun because it was illicit, secret, something I wasn't supposed to be doing. It's not like that anymore, but I still drink. I tell myself it's because I like the taste of a particular beer, wine, or liquor. More than anything, it's probably the force of habit. You start drinking because you like it, but you keep drinking because you were already drinking.

Furthermore, you drink because everyone else drinks! There are few other bad habits so common in our society, and so widely reinforced. Have a drink, everyone else is doing it. Of course, we all have free will, but the power of alcohol is immense. Don't underestimate how persuasive thousands upon thousands of movie images of good-looking people drinking alcohol can be.
I pledge to get something down in this blog every day. It will have proper punctuation, good grammar, and will be interesting. That's all for now.