Thursday, March 30, 2006

Some changes 'round here.

Here's the thing: I don't have much to say these days. My hiatus was due to more of a metaphysical illness than a physical one.

A mental malaise, if you will.

Realized that I was entering one of those gawdawful phases, we all have them, RIGHT? - just low-energy, weak, bored, queasy...disinterested. Can't pinpoint any attributable causes, though there are many possibilities that have crossed my mind. The state of the world, the fact that we have...God, how many more years of this twat in the White House, pollution, waste, a disposable culture, violence, intolerance, greed, and flip-flops.

Entering another busy period at work, this time of year in academia is a NIGHTMARE. And feeling pressure to come up with something to write here every damn day was starting to get to me. Nothing to say, not particularly interested in anything besides getting through my work days, welcoming spring (more on that later), getting my body healthy and clean, and my house in order.

Henceforth, I won't feel pressure to update this damn thing every day. I will only post when I have something worthwhile, or funny, or otherwise entertaininig to say. When the urge strikes, in other words.

For instance, if all I have to offer is a funny or stupid video, I'll save it until that can be part of a larger, more edifying post. I feel this will make for a better blog, for one thing. For another thing, it will relieve me of some pressure. And the mind-numbing blankness of staring at this stupid open 'create new post' blogger screen.

Okay, now that that is out of the way:

SPRING IS HERE. Now THAT is something to be happy about. And dammit, I WILL be happy about spring. The return of open windows, more daylight, fresh air, outdoor exercise, green...GREEN trees and flowers and ...ah, I just LOVE spring.

I have to say, though, that it also marks a return of the fatties in belly shirts, short skirts and flip-flops. This...this is bad. People who are taking up twice their allotted space on this planet, dressing like Paris Hilton (thanks Stephen, for the image. Lovely poem, by the way) and showing us their tramp stamps and flaccid, pale flesh, and HORRIBLE FEET.

Why? WHY?

God, it does my fucking head in.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Arena...

...of the Unwell.

I have drifted into it.

Need a blogging break. Back when my head isn't numb.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The news in brief

Yes, but how's the dog?

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Goddammit! ANOTHER RIP!

To the greatest, Buck Owens.

I'll miss you sorely, Buckaroo.

Tearfully, I raise a pint to your memory. And I'm blasting "I've Got a Tiger By the Tail." The neighbors love me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Almost as useful as...

...a screen door on a submarine.

Badoom, badoom, TISHHHHH.

Too knackered for original thought at the moment.

Have a fantastic weekend all. I'm all done here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

FOR GOD'S SAKE! Look up, look up and READ

Okay, I just got back from the Harvard Square post office. A nice, new, shiny, state-of-the-art facility, with a variety of services available, in a lovely, convenient location. As such a state-of-the-art facility, there is a menu of postage options, well-posted, above the service counter. All their services, prices, and time of delivery, right there in huge, glowing letters, and the forms and necessary paperwork all ready for you to grab and fill out while waiting in line.

Now...if you cannot figure out what delivery option is right for YOU in the half an hour you're standing there in line, and actually have to take 20 minutes of the clerk's time deciding once you're up?

I should have the right to pummel you.

That is all.

What do you do...

...when you can do anything you want?

For the past three weeks, I have spent more time doing my freelance work (transcription of interview tapes for students and educational researchers, mostly) than I have my real, 9-5 job. Get up in the morning: transcribe before work, lunch break at work: transcribe, get home from work: transcribe till bedtime, weekend: transcribe, transcribe, transcribe.

This basically means I've been all work and no play. I haven't watched any TV, aside from the few minutes I grab while putting laundry away, for three weeks. I haven't seen my friends, aside from my fab birthday party last weekend and the Pogues show. And it has taken me 6 weeks to finish the novel I've been reading, because the only time I've had for reading is on the bus, to and from work. SIX GODDAMN WEEKS to finish an 800 page novel, that normally would take me ...maybe a week. That's just plain wrong.

Today, I handed off the final interview of a large batch, and invoiced it. And I don't expect to receive any more tapes until next week. The money will be great, but I have to say, I would like to figure out a different way to get some extra dosh.

So, for the first time in almost a month, I can do whatever I want with my lunchtime and my evening. But I am at a total loss about what to do. I've actually FORGOTTEN what the hell I used to do with is that healthy?

What do normal people do with this time?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

...been thrown out of MUCH nicer places than THIS!

This is the story of my first and ONLY bar brawl.

When I was in my 20's I lived in a student ghetto west of Boston, called Allston. These were my hard-drinking days (much as I joke about drinking now, my current habits are nowhere NEAR the levels I consumed then), just out of college, working shite jobs in retail, not really making enough money to own...oh, you know, extras, like furniture for instance. But at that stage in a person's life, towns like Allston are perfect. More bars per block than is really necessary, plenty of shops, public transportation, a few decent restaurants, diners, greasy breakfast joints. Not a pretty place, or particularly clean, and DEFINITELY not quiet, but okay for a dipsomaniac in her mid-20's, who didn't really care about getting her beauty sleep.

At this time, I used to do much of my boozing at an absolute DIVE called Gerlando's. The place no longer exists, but if it did, I would make the trip into Allston on a weekly basis, it was that amazing for people watching and hiding out from the big bad sun. I used to joke that it was the type of place that Starsky & Hutch would go in, looking for Huggy Bear. No windows, dark brown paneled walls, carpet...well, it wasn't a carpet, really. More of layer of "nicotine on a sinew base.*" A jukebox, pool table, darts, and a fascinating bunch of regulars. Some townies, some students, a few ex-cons...just about everybody had that gawdawful Massachusetts accent. You know the one I mean, "Don't listen to fucken Chaaahhhhlie, he's retaaaahhhhded.**"

One Sunday afternoon, I think it was St. Patrick's Day, I was there with my drunken pals, eating corned beef & cabbage, drinking copious amounts of cheap beer, playing pool, throwing darts, avoiding sunlight. Pretty much your normal Sunday for us started at noon (when the place opened) and ran until at least after dark, sometimes till last call. (I wasn't joking about avoiding the sun. Perhaps that's why I still look so young.) So by this time, we'd been at it for a good 5 hours when this shrew came in with her posse. I won't use her real name, let's call her... Roseanne. Yeah, Roseanne, because she was white trash and advertised it.

Anyway, to cut to the chase: She starts fucking with the pool line-up board, insulting my friends, insulting the bartender, stealing people's bar stools, and making a general nuisance of herself. Then, when I said something like, "Come on now, no one's having any fun with this..." she called me "a fucking ugly bitch."

I slammed my beer down on the bar, and the place went silent, like in an old western film.

"Pardon me?" says I. Even pissed out of my head, I'm polite. Let no fucker say otherwise.


So I punched her.

That was it. One punch. She went flying into the jukebox, her boyfriend grabbed me and said, "don't hit her." I said, "Bit late, don't you think?"

And then we went to another bar for a while.

For months after that, the bouncers would joke that I was after their job, the bartenders called me "Golden Gloves" and I drank pretty much for free.

The irony is that I'm NOT a fucking ugly bitch. I'm actually okay on the eyes. But I have to say, Roseanne may have been cheap piece of trailer trash, but she really knew which buttons to push. She took one look at me and knew where my sensitive spots were. Wherever she is now, and I hope it's not prison, I would like to think she's using this power for good, and not evil.

*Thanks to the film "Withnail and I" for that very apt description.

**Adapted from something my friend Sara once heard in a Somerville baaahhh. Sorry I had to use your kid's name, it worked better with the accent, in print, than "my wife."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

40 today. Could be worse!

I'd like to start today's post by saying thank you to all my blogger buddies and non-blogging buddies who've wished me a happy birthday.

40, huh? Who thought I'd make it? Show of hands... oh, now, come on. NONE of you had any doubts? Not one of you is surprised my arse still points south? Bollocks.

I suppose...seeing as how I never became a rock star as I'd intended, and therefore haven't had the means or opportunity to die of a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning, or even a spectacular fiery plane crash or...or even being hit by a bus, I suppose surviving this long isn't as surprising as it should have been.

Still, I'm glad I started taking pretty good care of myself when I did. Otherwise, I'd feel like shit.

I don't really have anything very deep to say. Many people go through a period of reflection and 'stock-taking' around landmark birthdays like this, and have some tremendously insightful things to say. I am not such a person. I'm not particularly deep, or reflective, or philosophical.

I feel...

....I feel fine, thanks.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy bunny.

Okay, I'm not good at sentiment, but I have to say how moved and touched I am by the tremendous effort everyone made to show me a good time for my 40th birthday Saturday night. (The birthday is actually tomorrow, but let's face it, landmark birthdays should never fall on a Tuesday, but always on a Saturday, right kids? There ought to be a law.)

So, this is my meager thank you to everyone. It doesn't say nearly enough, but hey, I'm still hungover, so that says a lot about what a great time it was, dunnit?

To my loving husband, siblings, friends...everyone who came, and to those who couldn't make it, but were there in spirit, you're all amazing people and I'm lucky to have all of you in my life.


Damned if I'm not still choked up.

Friday, March 17, 2006 it...'hic'...happens...

Turns out there wasn't as much going on as I'd thought. Oh well, zero hour approacheth and yes, tonight's menu includes copious amounts of da black stuff.

I will NOT be going to any bars. St. Paddy's day celebrants have already made the pubs too crowded for me, and I've no wish to drink with amateurs tonight anyway.

Before I go, I just want to say Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. I look forward to reading about tomorrow's hangover continuum and comparing notes.

So again, SLAINTE!!!! Ya bollix ya.

Rockin' old nun!

Here's a St. Pat's treat for you all. I have this friend who lived in Galway for a few years, who took this picture and recently posted it on the Pogues' message board. It is 100% AUTHENTIC, untouched, photoshopped, changed in any way.

This rocking auld gal, taking a nap in her car, with a bottle of whiskey in a bag in her left hand...


Get that doon yer!!

Excellent stuff today. It's St. Paddy's, so there are special things going on all over the place. I'll update this throughout the day as I find fun stuff, so keep checking in.

Twenty Major is 'live blogging' from his local. Expect the posts throughout the day to get less and less coherent, more mis-spelled, maybe stop altogether when someone drops a pint onto his keyboard and he has to 'sort them out.' I will be watching.

*Here's something my European blogger friends will find enlightening and help to confirm a couple of cliches. See? PEOPLE LIKE THIS are my compatriots. God help us.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Tick bloody tock, mutha f*ckas!

Time marches, time marches.

Tempus fugit, my fat white arse. It doesn't fucking fly. It's more dogged and militaristic than that. Fucker stomps, in a relentless rhythm, with its pals Fate and Regret, till you're dead.

I'll have an order of angst with a side of melancholy to go, please.

Oh, fuck it. I'm not fooling anyone. I'm actually in a great mood. The sun is out, the hangover is gone, I am back at work and feeling very productive and keen. There's money in the bank, the fridge is packed with food and booze, the laundry is done, the house is clean, and my new jeans have arrived so UPS hasn't screwed me this time.

I just wrote that other shit because I think it's funny.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who needs a liver?

God bless the Pogues.

And God bless Shane, the only true poet that popular music has ever produced. (Don't fucking argue with me, it's true. The man's a genius.)

And God bless the friend who got me the ticket to that show...front row CENTER.

Shane was SPOT-fucking-ON. Clearly intoxicated, to put it mildly, and I could not for the life of me make out what he was saying when he talked in between songs, but when he sang, every single lyric was discernible. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT?! Animated, funny, dare I say it, almost seemed happy to be there.

The only moment I felt was a bit contrived was "Fairytale of New York." Fake snow, and a rather forced looking waltz. Meh...I don't know why they think they need to do that. Just because they improvised that part once with Kirsty MacColl and it was on video? Unnecessary. The song is beautiful, the girl (never caught her name, but I believe she's the daughter of someone in the band) sounded great, a lovely young thing in a delapitated vintage dress which perfectly suited the whole gestalt of the thing. Please guys, no need to force that little dance out there. Just sing it. Your audience gets it.

A more coherent review may come later, as I get my bearings, have some zoom juice and piece together what I remember of the set list.


But again...probably one of the best shows I've seen in a long, long time. I am truly, truly grateful.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


"Twenty fucking five to one, me gamblin' days are done.
I bet on a horse called the bottle of smoke and my horse won."

it's been in my head for the past 24 hours, for some strange reason.

Also: I shall be at the Littlest Bar for a bit before going elsewhere for food. Providing there's room in there for me and my tall friend. No lie, it IS the littlest bar. Paddy, save us a seat, wouldja?

Don't count on me being able to post anything tomorrow. I'm planning the mother of all hangovers. But if I CAN post, it'll be a review of the show. And then I can move on to other topics and leave this Pogues monomania behind. Fucking it 5 yet???

Monday, March 13, 2006


The Little Professor.

Don't know why. Just felt like putting a picture of Dom DiMaggio on my blog today. Though I wasn't even born until 20 years after his baseball career was done, for some reason, he's my all-time favorite ballplayer. Something about him and his career resonates with me, not sure what. But I just love him.

Can anyone tell me why he's not in the Hall of Fame? Thought not.

Totally unrelated but I just thought of this and have very little else to say today: Anyone see that little cheerleader last week, who suffered a spinal injury whilst cheering and kept going, even after they'd strapped her to the stretcher and were wheeling her out?

At the time, I thought it was brave and kind of cool of her to keep going. Even though I REALLY disapprove of cheerleading in general. It's dangerous, stupid, and if I had a daughter, I'd much rather she PLAYED the sport, rather than get all dolled up to cheer for it. Anyway, as I said, I thought it was kind of cool and brave of her to keep cheering at the time of the injury, to show the crowd that she was still showing her "school spirit." But THEN this perky little fool was on the Today Show last week. And when the camera panned over to her during that section of the show where they talk about stories coming up?

Yup. She was cheering, in a full body brace. And then when they did it AGAIN before the commercial break, you guessed it, she was still going.

It was THEN that she officially drifted into the arena of twatdom.

That is all.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Happy Friday, my lovelies. I have nothing much else to say.

Except that this video is funny. If you like cats. If you don't like cats...what the fuck is wrong with you? Cats are great pets. Except when they're not.


Thanks to Mr. Shife, from whom I just stole it. Cheers.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I hold no delusions about my public education. Public schools, a couple of years in an expensive private college, then a transfer to a state college because it was CHEAP. It's a cliche, I guess, but the description fits: I was an indifferent student. Got good grades without trying very hard, but wouldn't break a sweat and make that extra effort to get A pluses, when A minuses and B pluses were perfectly okay, and got me into the college of my choice. I spent my high school years drinking, wearing silly clothing, dying my hair funny colors (it wasn't hard to be 'punk' in Maine, just have a little fun with hair dye, listen to the Clash, and maybe wear a studded belt. I wouldn't break a sweat to be nonconformist either, it was faily easy to raise eyebrows and cause alarm.) And I spent my college years - shockingly enough - drinking, wearing silly clothes and dying my hair funny colors. Though college was in Boston, so had I wanted to cause alarm it would have taken more than camo pants and an extra earring hole, so I didn't bother. Yawn.

But at least I have a realistic picture of the progress of history, invention, what technologies were available in various eras, etc.

Anyway, I started this post to talk about something I just remembered from a college Shakespeare class that makes me laugh from time to time. The professor was on about the lack of solid description in some texts, when referring to people like Helen of Troy, or Cleopatra, for instance. "You see," he intoned, "since individual tastes vary, if you describe Helen as a blond, but certain individuals prefer brunettes, or if she is described as 'willowy' but you prefer an athletic or buxom build, then she falls short of the ideal you're trying to represent. But if you simply describe her as 'the most beautiful woman in the world,' then you're all free to picture your own personal ideal of beauty, and imagine what she would look like based on your tastes."

So, he's going on and talking about the play "Antony & Cleopatra," and how we're free to imagine Cleopatra as an exotic, olive skinned or black Egyptian, though we know she was Greek, so some are imagining an almond-eyed, mediterranean beauty, even a short, buxom woman with no ankles and a hairy upper lip, whatever you fancy.

A hand goes up in the front of the class. It's the late 1980's, so if I simply say "80's chick," you're free to picture a pink CK sweat-shirted female, maybe with the collar cut out and on lop-sided over a black tank top, or acid wash jeans and white Reebok sneakers, with hair teased up a couple of storeys. "Are there any pictures of Cleopatra?" she asks.

Class goes silent.


Well, I thought it was funny.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


In the news today: A Cape Cod town is considering a ban on perfume and cologne in one of its schools. YES! Great idea! Let's expand this to include the workplace, public transportation, EVERYWHERE!

Too much? A little over the top to ban fragrance EVERYWHERE? Okay.

Can we at least ban that fucking awful patchouli shite? Honest to Salma, a woman came into my office yesterday wearing so much fucking hippie effluvium, I was left gasping for air. After she left, the miasma stayed behind and I had to LEAVE MY OWN OFFICE for a few minutes while it dissipated. Even then, I felt like it was still stuck to the insides of my nostrils when I was going home.

Must people ADVERTISE that they are dirty, smelly hippies? Must people impose this awful fucking stench on others? I thought I was gonna DIE.

How about soap? That'd work a whole lot better, you miserable, smelly old hippie slag.

*Watch, I'll keep doing this stupid Pogues show countdown, and then get sick the day before. Just like me to tempt fate like that.

I wouldn't miss the show, though. I'd have to be in a coma to miss this, and even then, I'd figure out a way to signal that yes, I'll need to be wheeled into the Orpheum and yes, I'll need handicap access and seating. And I may STILL be more aware of my surroundings than Shane.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


One week. That's all I ask of Shane McGowan.

Please, Shane, don't die until AFTER March 14, 2006. I know you're not long for this world, there are some who would contend that you died 20 years ago, and are only being kept animated by adrenaline laced booze and electric shocks. I don't care. As long as your arse is pointing south on the night of March 14, 2006, when the Pogues play the Orpheum in Boston, I'll be happy.


Monday, March 06, 2006

Aren't I just high-brow and ABOVE such things.

Evidently the Oscars were last night. As much as I love Jon Stewart, even he wasn't enough to make me want to tune in. The television in my living room was OFF and I was reading Dickens.

Call me a pretentious old harridan, if you must, but I absolutely cannot stomach those self-congtratulatory wank-fests those idiots in Hollywood call their "party of the year." It'd be one thing if there weren't fifty million other awards shows out there, and if this were really it for movie awards, but let's face it, these shallow, idiotic, egotistical wank bags are at it just about every other week. God, how fucking boring.

Who's wearing what? I couldn't fucking care less. Of course I'll check in with the ladies over at "Go Fug Yourself" for some healthy lampooning of whatever gawdawful shite passes for red carpet fashion, because that's about as close as I can get to caring. Honestly, all the money in the world, and you picked THAT to wear to the biggest "event" in your industry's year?

A few things about the films this year, though. The only movie I have seen in a theater in 2005 was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Liked it. Hated having to watch it in a theater with a bunch of noisy, irritating, inconsiderate assholes. Though I DO WANT to see Capote, Brokeback Mountain, Walk the Line, Good Night and Good Luck, and a few others that look interesting, I simply haven't gotten around to it.

Oh, and someone please tell Joan Rivers that all that plastic surgery, far from allowing her to hold onto her 'youth,' has made her the most frightening gorgon since Medusa and I'm sure she frightens children. Jesus Christ, people. Plastic surgery is not the answer, if it is OBVIOUS that you've had it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Very tired, actually.

You know those cell phone commercials that say "Welcome to Sports Heaven"? This is what the waiting room would look like to me. Bloody hell. After my walk from the T to my office, with the wind blowing icicles down my throat, I needed a little "Spring is nigh" pick-me-up. And here it is, thanks to

And this is what would greet me as I made my way to my seat. Yesssss.

What a week! I have received, processed, delivered to faculty readers 60 dissertation submissions for June graduation.

(You, over there, the one with two misspelled words....IN THE TITLE? I'm afraid you may not make it this June, Slappy, but there's always next year. Here's a hint, set your spell-check to ENGLISH. There you go. On your bike now. Good boy.)

It's Friday. I don't even feel like drinking. Better see my doctor about that. I may be hosting an alien spirit, and a teetotaller at that. This simply won't do. May need an exorcism.

Bah. That's all I have for now. More later. Apologies for those who came over looking for my usual bile and bad karma. I'll fire up as the day progresses, maybe do a booze post as 5 pm approacheth.