Archive Page 2

iDon’t Even Know Anymore

My reluctance to board the technology train is well-documented. And see? Even the metaphor I just used is outdated. Ahem, my reluctance to board the technology HIGH SPEED RED EYE ACELA is well-documented.

You may have already heard about this on the news, but I got an iPhone. Ultimately I decided that it would enable me to communicate most productively and effectively and OMG THEY HAVE A SKEE-BALL APP! As far as phones go, it’s pretty, um, spectacular. It seemed like overnight it went from “whaaaat how do I use this?” to basically not reading books anymore. We’re in our honeymoon phase, I guess. I hope? Literacy is a big price to pay. But whatever, there’s probably an app for that too.

My cell phone history is spotty (oh snap) at best. The first time mine rang it was maybe 1999 and my friend Jason was calling it. I didn’t even know my number or how to answer it, and it was big enough that the scene in My Best Friend’s Wedding when Julia Roberts chats with Rupert Everett on what can only be described as a ginormous lockbox comes to mind.

Since then the various incarnations of my cell phone and I have had some adventures. When my godkids were younger I programmed Santa in to get them to go to sleep (nothing like “now calling Santa” to scare little kids straight around the holidays). I had a Radio Shack employee call his buddies over to openly mock my StarTac, way past its prime even in 2004.

We’re at a place now where your cell phone isn’t even your cell phone, it’s just your phone. Though I’m trying to wean myself off of it, I’m still one of those dinosaurs who still has a home phone. So yeah, I know, I’m a total pterodactyl. But I own it. Roar. Or, uh, whatever sound a pterodactyl makes. Maybe they just screech and spit venom at Newman.

DEAR GOD, a Jurassic Park reference. Forget it, I’m a senior citizen.


I Do Periodically Enjoy A Cold Glass Of Iced Butt. Who Doesn’t?

So, during pool breaks today, the godkids and I killed time doing silly Facebook-ish surveys. Here are their answers about me…

What is my favorite thing to do during the day?
Her – Read a fiction book.
Him – Texting?

What is my favorite thing to do at night?
Her – Go out to dinner with friends.
Him – Go to a Red Sox game. Or have a glass of wine with mommy.

What is my favorite food?
Her – Chicken.
Him – Yogurt.

What is my favorite drink?
Her – Martini! Just kidding. Iced tea or crystal light.
Him – Iced butt.

What is my favorite color?
Her – Blue.
Him – Black, because you have a black Blackberry. No, your favorite color is green because whenever you play Sorry you always have the green pawn.

What is my favorite place?
Her – Fenway Park.
Him – Heaven!

What is my favorite fruit?
Her – Strawberries.
Him – Strawberries with cool whip.
Her – Cool whip isn’t a fruit.
Him – I know that! She puts cool whip on her fruit!

What is my favorite TV show?
Her – Seinfeld.
Him – Friends.

What do I always say?
Her – “You must chill.”
Him – “Clean up your mess.”

What is my favorite movie?
Her – Slapshot!
Him – Jaws. Sponge Bob: The Movie. No, the Simpsons movie.

What is my favorite sport?
Her – Baseball.
Him – Ping pong! Sumo wrestling!

Who’s my favorite baseball player?
Her – (.27 seconds later) Jason Varitek
Him – Victor Martinez (to which I told him he wasn’t getting any lunch and he switched his answer to “JV”)

What was my favorite subject in school?
Her – Creative writing
Him – History. Or free period.

What annoys me?
Her – [Him]!
Him – When [their dog] licks your toes or licks your suntan lotion off.

What makes me happy?
Her – [Her]! Or the Red Sox winning.
Him – Thinking of heaven.

What would I do if I was abducted by a UFO?
Her – Use [him] to block your face.
Him – Scream your head off, probably. No offense. You’d probably die.

What would I do if I met the president?
Her – Hola Senor Obama!
Him – Puke.

Who do I talk to on the phone the most?
Her – My mom.
Him – I have no idea.

What famous person do I look like?
Her – Beyonce!
Him – Michael Jackson. A guy from Kiss. Wally!

How old am I?
Her – Approximately 32.
Him – 31.

What do I like to wear?
Her – Flip flops.
Him – A shirt. You always wear a shirt.

Oh Summer, We Hardly Knew Ye

On July fourth in Salem, some storm cloud of a guy rained on my friends and I long enough to say something like, “Well, summer’s basically over now.” Thanks, Eeyore. Who says that mid-fireworks? Except that conversation was about five seconds ago. Seriously, summer, why must you tease us so? And why must I use Old English? Bring me an answer henceforth at once.

It was a great summer, though. IS, sorry…I know. But Labor Day fast approaches, as does my life of gainful employment…and just in time, because no one is less liked than someone who works in edumacation at the end of August.

This summer was the usual fun litany of weddings and endless baseball. Vows and Varitek; doesn’t get much better. And great trips…I went to Pennsylvania for my grandmother’s 85th, New Hampshire with my family, New York City for the Sox-Yankees series. New Seabury beach on the Cape, yummy lobster and cold Riesling, nights at Fenway…

But I love fall. I LOVE fall. Sweaters, baby pumpkins, watching the godkids’ soccer games at sunset wearing a hoodie and drinking something warm. My job starts up, baseball heats up. Weather nice enough that you can have the windows open all the time. Apples, cider, Halloween. Speaking of, does anyone think I could pull off going as Tobie from Labyrinth at this year’s costume shindig? This may be the year.

Goddaughter is starting middle school next week and doesn’t understand why she got such a long list of supplies to buy, because “we already pay taxes!” Godson is starting fourth grade, and did I mention that he’s five foot one? Which is weird, considering I was just giving them bottles about three seconds ago. Now it’s all sports and friends and Miley Cyrus songs that show up on my online banking statement. Never link up your iTunes account with tweens, people.

Anyway. How were (are…ARE!) your summers going, friends?

Country Mouse In The City, or How Much Can I Possibly Talk About Baseball Before You Glaze Over?

This video will give you a pretty good idea of what my weekend was like.

Juuuuust kidding. Well, kind of.

My dad (a born and bred Yankees fan) and I drove into the city on Friday, checked into our hotel, and wandered around Central Park for awhile. The first person to comment on my Sox hat was a Jamaican street vendor. He came in peace, though, and he told me that there are more Sox fans in New York than Yankees fans. Uh. Really?

Later on, we headed into the Bronx for the first game of three that we would be seeing over the weekend. It was the second game of the Sox-Yankees series and the Sox had lost the first one the night before, thanks to the painful descent into oblivion of one John Smoltz.

First of all: Yankee Stadium. People, it’s a colosseum. Overwhelming, impressive, everything you’d expect. My friend Mary (a Yankees fan) said it best when she described it as Disney World. The jumbotron is longer than the distance from home base to first, and very well-designed. For every player that’s up, you get stats, random facts, game score, balls/strikes/outs, as well as pitch count, speed, and description. And of course, it’s ridiculously high-def. Very neat.

Friday night’s game was a blast. It was scoreless until the 15th inning and lasted five and a half hours. I know, I know, you have to really love baseball to enjoy a game like that. The pitching was phenomenal, and would continue to be, on both sides, throughout the weekend (aside from the occasional Boston relief guys). The Sox and Yankees had never before played a game that went scoreless past the 13th inning. My dad’s favorite player is Mariano Rivera, their badass closer. My dad had never seen him close before, so it was fun when he sauntered in to Enter Sandman by Metallica. Unfortunately, A-Rod was the one to finally crush the winning home run. It was a bummer to lose, but still a really fun game.

Saturday afternoon’s game: Scoreless for awhile, but then the Yanks pulled it out 5-0. Another game without so much as a run from the Sox. Very disappointing. Also, A-Rod threw himself in front of a pitch and then whined. Classy as always. Despite our loss, Buchholz pitched very well.

Sunday night’s game: That one was going to be ours! You can’t come from Boston to see your team get swept by its arch rivals, can you? Uh, can you? Turns out you can. Lester did well, and we finally got a run (our only two the whole weekend) thanks to Martinez, who is a nice addition to the team (despite the fact that his presence does somewhat threaten my beloved captain’s future with us). But it wasn’t enough. It was tough to leave that night, to a deafening chorus of BOSTON SUCKS. Well, we did. That weekend, we did. What can you say? The worst thing the Yankee fans did, in my opinion, was mock the “Yoooooouk” when our beloved first baseman (or third, or sometimes left fielder, hey why not?) got up to bat. Too far, New York, too far!

Other stuff: We met Manny Delcarmen (one of our relief pitchers, for those of you non-baseball types) and asked him if they can hear us cheering for them when they’re playing away, and their fans are a tiny fraction of the crowd. He said, “Yeah, we can, and that’s all we can hear.” Cool. We had a lot of fun conversations with very nice Yankees fans, among whom the consensus seems to be that the only black hole on their team is A-Rod. Agreed. (Well, I’d argue that Johnny Damon is another black hole, but that’s only because he left us. He’s a good player, though. I’m kinda over it.) Ate dinner at the very adorable Lily’s on Lexington, which was awesome despite the fact that my shrimp had a face (I had to remove the EYES, people). I got a free pity dessert from our waiter, who wanted to make sure it was red, in honor of my defeated team, so he added lots of strawberries. Got to meet up with Kate, Mary, and Terry for drinks. It’s important to have restorative time with friends when your team is losing, right? Did a three-hour boat cruise around the island which was interesting, but loooooong. All in all, New York was a blast. I missed the friends that I didn’t get a chance to see, and wish I had more time with Kate, but baseball weekends are quick. Two things I wish we could copy New York on exactly are their subway system and profusion of open air wine bars. Can we get on that, Beantown?

As far as my feelings toward the Yankees…they’re a great team. Let’s be honest, they’re not the dynasty they’d like to think they are, but they’re a great team. They were epic decades ago, and then up until 1995, they were pretty shitty, and they haven’t won a title since 2000. But that’s in the past, and a Sox fan is in no position to throw stones. Thanks to their pitching, they’re probably in their best form all decade. And with players like Jeter and Matsui, among others, they’re playing a lot of good, honest baseball, the kind Mickey Mantle would’ve been proud of. And anyway, what would we do without the Yankees? Play Toronto until we’re blue in the face? Kick the Twins all over the field? Tampa Bay has been playing great for a few years, but who wants to see them take home the rings? The Sox need a team that challenges them and raises the game to a new level, and the Yankees do just that. I hope that since 2004 the Sox have done the same for them.

One thing that kept cracking me up was the sheer drama of New York baseball. Throughout the games, they showed clips from Rocky, 300, and screaming coaches motivating their teams in sports movies. They played long video montage tributes to players and pitchers set to songs like Warrior by Pat Benatar. They had lots of silly between-innings games. They could use a little less payroll and little more soul, but that’s who they are. They’re rock stars. The Sox are very different, but then Boston is very different. New York is a big city and Boston is a small town. The Sox are the scrappy underdogs, playing in the most rundown but beloved ballpark you’d ever hope to watch a game in. The Sox are the Beach Boys and the Yankees are the Backstreet Boys, but I think those roles work for both cities. At the end of the day, as far as I’m concerned, they’re the only two teams in baseball. It was kind of a drag when the Yanks were out of the game so early last season. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see them win, but the fact that they’re back in fighting form makes this season, well, a whole new ball game.

Oh Infomercials, You Had Me At “But Wait, That’s Not All!”

Okay, I’m blogging again. Michael would’ve wanted it that way.

So last weekend I was in Connecticut for my cousin’s wedding (the only things I ever do in Connecticut are drive through it and attend weddings). I was watching TV in the hotel one night before bed, and there seemed to be an unhealthy abundance of infomercials parading before me. One in particular was for Meaningful Beauty, which is the beauty line that Cindy Crawford apparently promotes meaningfully. Watching it went something like this:

Ha. This is so dumb.

[seven minutes later] So the natural antioxidants in the rare melon extract in the moisturizer are what will protect my skin from free radicals and collapsing collagen? That makes so much SENSE. And I need the cleanser, day cream, night cream, eye cream, face mask, glowing serum, and neck cream (wait, neck cream? Oh, okay.) And a three month supply is available for just $29.95 per month if I agree to purchase…hang on a second. Is Columbia House selling skincare now?

I actually do have a few things that I’ve acquired over the course of my life from infomercials, and people, I have to be honest, this shit has just not let me down. Except for ProActiv, which made me look like Chucky after the toy factory went up in flames. Boo, Jessica Simpson. Good thing I’m not 11 or else I’m sure your candy-flavored body glitter would’ve broken my heart, too.

Anyway, in college, I bought a CD compilation called Cool Rock after seeing it advertised on late-night TV. It took 6-8 weeks to arrive (back then I’m pretty sure they used carrier pigeons) and boasted tons of 80s gems. I took lots of abuse for it, but I loaned it out once and never got it back. Clearly never got over it, either.

Back to one that I bought this century: Smooth Away! To be fair, I got it in a store, but it really is a good product. And I bet I’d totally grow tomatoes if I had the Topsy Turvy! The Strap Perfect seems like a great invention! I know they look like they’re about to start chanting, but darn if all those family members don’t look warm and cozy around the fire in their Snuggies. And I want like 97 Bumpits OMG you guys we should totally have a Bumpit party!

And then the truth sets in. I’ve never grown and seldom even buy tomatoes. I’ve never really had bra strap issues so extreme that intervention is required. If I’m chilly, I know of another warmth-creating product called a blanket. And as for Bumpits…well, fuck, it’ll be a cold day in hell before I say a cross word about the Bumpit. (I’m about to get like 900 hits from search engines from Bumpit enthusiasts. Bump it, ladies! Bump it long and bump it hard!)

All of this leads me to an alarming conclusion. I’m not saying that I don’t have my own opinions but apparently I DON’T HAVE MY OWN OPINIONS. What if cults start using infomercials? Or John Mayer? Or the Yankees?

Possibly The Best Thing On TV Since Spring Break Shark Attack

People, have you been watching Harper’s Island? Because holycrapyoumust. When I saw the previews, I thought it actually seemed like it could be a cool show, and a neat concept…an eight week long (or whatever it is) murder mystery, very Agatha Christie. And for those of us with the attention span of a what was I talking about again?, I liked the fact that it’s pre-packaged with an end date, so you know ahead of time that you won’t watch for endless hours wondering where the hell it’s going (are you listening, LOST?).

Well, it’s not a cool show. I mean, it is, but only because it’s so fabulously, tackily, soapily terrible. On the first episode (spoilers! if you care!) the bridal party was about to leave for a week on the island where seven years ago a crazy person killed a bunch of people blah blah scary music. Before they set sail for The Island That In Reality Nobody Would Ever Go Back To, they’re casually wondering where cousin Eddie is. Anyone seen him? Hmm, oh well, more champagne? Must’ve been a second cousin, because they’re anchors away, and OH SNAP, Eddie is totally strapped to the propeller. Bye buddy. The least they could’ve done is text you before they took off.

Also, in the first episode, the drunk uncle (Harry Hamlin!) is staggering across a rickety bridge in the middle of the woods in the middle of the night. The bridge breaks, his legs fall through, and as he’s trying to pull himself up, his TORSO IS DEMOLISHED! Well, naturally. Because apparently the mystery killer is a T-Rex.

The bride, randomly played by David Cassidy’s daughter, is possibly the hottest woman on TV besides Cobie Smulders. Her family is awesome because they’re rich which means they’re cold, mean, plotting, and none of them have to work, ever. And their last name is, of course, Wellington. The dad is trying to get the bride’s ex, one smoldering piece of man meat named Hunter Jennings, to come back and rip his baby away from the grubby clutches of the middle-class groom, who is not an acceptable match because he is not cold, mean, plotting, and presumably does have to work.

We also need to discuss Hunter Jennings for a minute. HUNTER JENNINGS, y’all. Was there ever a better name for a chiseled, shadow-dwelling ex-boyfriend? With whom the bride used to make lots of bad naked decisions?

One of the main characters, a friend of the groom’s, is my pick for the killer. She’s mousy and paranoid and doesn’t have pupils. The groom has a creepy brother who could double for that Wedding Crashers guy, you know, “the painting was a gift, Todd, I’m taking it with me.” One of the characters has The Quintessential Creepy Ass Long Brown Haired Adolescent Daughter who whispers evil things but somehow no one around her loses their shit. It’s all “Oh, that Madison, what an imp,” as her head spins around and pea soup hits the walls.

I’m so excited to find out who gets their spinal column ripped out next. And if there ends up being a hatch and polar bears and time travel, then so help me, I will… well, I guess I’ll just blog about it. But angrily! And in ALL CAPS!

Color Me Indecisive

I’m painting my guest room, which has been decked out in swirly multicolored children’s wallpaper since I moved in. Did I mention it’s peeling? And beautifully accented by the water stains from a melting snow debacle that happened before they put on a new roof? Did I mention that water stains eventually turn brown, making the walls look like they’re bearing the brunt of the chimney’s leaky diaper? Yeah. I like my guests to feel fancy.

A friend of mine mentioned that she saw a room painted spa-like green. I latched onto that idea, because spas are lovely, calming, soothing. But is that Seafoam? Basil? Shimmering Lime? Spruce, Spring Meadow, Peppermint, Sweet Honeydew, Irish Moss, Creme de Mint, Serenity, Shore House, or Summer Basket? Is it possible that I’m less excited about the spa color and more about the association with Swedish massages and seaweed facials and aromatherapy? It’s not like I’ve ever been pampered by celery. And what the hell is a summer basket?

Speaking of spas, has anyone else found that mud baths sound much better than they are? I basically just sat in a tub. Filled with mud. That felt like mud. And smelled like mud. And made me think about how they can put “dead sea minerals” in front of any word and we’ll pay, and tip well, for it. I’d be more excited about work if I was invited to more dead sea minerals meetings. Or if I had to swing by the dead sea minerals supermarket on the way home.

There are the colors that sound more like places I want to be more than colors that I actually want in my home: Galapagos Turquoise, Acapulco Sand, Bermuda Teal, Caribbean Azure. They may actually all be the same color, but regardless, they are seductive, warm, and must be kept away from me, or those walls will be Cayman Blue before you know it. With a Cancun Sand trim. And Provence Creme polka dots.

Some colors keep it real, like Grape Gum, which looks exactly like it sounds. But the Scandinavian Blue that is maybe a fraction of a shade different from it somehow has a name that betrays its blatant purpleness. There are lots of identity issues happening on that color wheel.

There are colors that just feel good, actual color aside: Sun Porch, Yellow Rain Coat, Bunny Nose Pink, Pancake Syrup. There are those that make no sense: Cool Lava, Elephant Pink, Nacho Cheese. Who wants their walls to look like cheap apps at happy hour? Maybe me, actually. Yum.

Turns out that First Light, Icy Moon Drops, Early Sunset, Melted Ice Cream, Venetian Marble, Full Moon, Creme Brulee, Icing on the Cake, and Pale Straw are all delicious-sounding synonyms for WHITE. Tuscany sounds wonderful, but it’s really the name that’s enticing, since it’s just a shade away from Fatigues and Artichoke. And where else but in a bucket of Benjamin Moore would Stormy Monday sound appealing?