Monday, September 29, 2008

New shoes

New shoes can always cheer me up. It takes some serious self-control not to delve into the depths of retail therapy. I mostly stress about money, so buying shoes would only complicate things.

My dog, Max, is not something I have talked about on my blog much so far. This is impressive since he is something I can rarely shut up about. I'm shielding you from how gay I am for my dog. I am SO gay for my dog.

If you're not up-to-the-minute on Max's life, then I'll have you know he had an ear infection last month. It was in both ears, and he scratched one ear so much that he gave himself cauliflower ear. I brought him to the vet and $200 later, I had a tube of cream and a bottle of ear wash to put in his ears. So, twice a day, I had to fight Max to put medicine in his ears. He was not a fan.
Now, I've been pretty lucky. Max has been (knock on wood) very healthy, with just a yearly check-up needed. But now, three of his paws look swollen, and he's been licking at them. Another infection is likely. How a dog manages to get three of his paws infected, but not all four, I'll never understand. So, I'll have to fork over another $200 to get more cream from the vet. $200 is a lot of money to me. I have pet insurance at least, so I get all but my $50 deductible back, but for three weeks I'm out $200. That sucks. Sometimes having a dog sucks. It's totally worth it, though. I just need to save up some money so that the $200 doesn't have to come out of the bills account.

Shirley Manson, one of my heroes, is on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles". So, even though I don't like this show, I've got it on right now so I can see her. God, this show is really melodramatic. Then again, what shows aren't?
Why can't Shirley Manson guest star on "Iron Chef"?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Open mouth

I have learned a very important thing today:
Never admit you have a blog in a room full of co-workers whom you don't want reading your blog. They will only badger you for the url and what the blog is about.

Heavens to Betsey!

MySpace Codes

I love you!

Adventures underground...

I have bad T karma.
I don't know why, but at point I angered the public transportation gods and I shall never again enjoy a peaceful ride on the T. I will post my experiences here, so that you can see that it cannot be a matter of happenstance but bad T karma.

Thursday, I boarded the Green Line heading towards Park Street. At the same time, a woman in her thirties and a man in his thirties, who clearly knew each other and were dressed for a day at the office, boarded the T and stood next to me. Next to the group of us was a very large man, dressed in hip-hop style. He did not feel the need to hang onto any o the hand rails, and so as the car moved, he kept bumping into the woman and her male companion. Eventually, the male companion says to the large man:
"You should hold onto something."
To which the large man responds:
"What for?"
And I think to myself:
"Here we go..."
First off, if someone is doing nothing to keep himself from bumping into you, and there is nothing preventing him from taking such action- chances are he doesn't care that he's bumping into you. Not because he hates you, but because he doesn't give a flying fuck about anyone else.
So the woman says:
"Because you keep bumping into me."
Large man: "Well then you shouldn't have gotten onto a college line train."
Woman: "But you could just hold onto that pole right there."
Large man: "You could've waited for an emptier train."
They go on back and forth like this a few times, until the large man says:
"Quiet down you big witch."
Male companion: "What did you say?"
Large man: "I said she's a big witch."
At this point I turned down the volume of my iPod so I could make sure I heard him right. He did, in fact, call her a "big witch." Now, I can't remember the last time heard anyone use this phrase except when referring to a Halloween decoration of unusual size. Why use such a thinly-veiled replacement for bitch? If you're already displaying your blatant disregard for the comfort and well-being of your fellow passengers, why stop short of swearing?
Large man: "I called her a big witch, what are you going to do about it?"
Male companion doesn't know what to do but before he responds Woman says:
"Whatever, he's not worth it."
Large man (daring Male companion): "Oh, no. You're worth it."
He gets off at the next stop, Copley, so the situation is automatically diffused. I assume the rest of the ride will be uneventful, but then I notice something...
Woman is crying.
Not full-on crying, but shaking and sniffing and wiping away tears from her eyes. She proceeds like this the entire way to Park Street.
This was the most confusing thing of all: Why was she crying?
Was she so terrified that this man might do something violent on a crowded subway car?
Was she seriously hurt because he had called her a big witch?
If any of these reasons are true, why say anything to the man in the first place?
If you know yourself to be that sensitive or non-confrontational, why not just move to another spot on the T? It wasn't so crowded that they couldn't have done this.
I couldn't help judging her. I couldn't help thinking:
"God, what a drama queen. Why not blow things completely out of proportion when it could get you some attention?"
That might not have been the reason. I have no way of knowing what the real reason was, or any of the reasons why this confrontation took place the way it did. So, there I was. 8:25am in the morning, so thoroughly annoyed with the woman who was crying on the T.

Friday, at Park Street. It is common for a musician to sit by the main support column on the platform in between the Red Line tracks and play songs for spare change. Sometimes it's a Latino fellow with a guitar playing the Cuban song "Guantanamera" and other similar sounding songs. Friday, it was a man who dresses like Sammy Davis, Jr. and sings along to karaoke tapes of Rat Pack classics. He is not the best singer. He's not the worst either. His voice sounds as if, after years of faithfully belting out "That's Amore!", it has had enough. It's raspy and strained, but strangely not entirely unpleasant.
Friday, he was singing "The Candyman can." from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
It struck me funny, but I did my best and didn't laugh. I came in at the tail end of the song. I was trying to guess what would come next...
"My Way"?
"Puttin' on the Ritz"?
But then he started "Candyman" over again. He got one verse into it, and then stopped it. I don't know what he chose next because the Red Line came. I wondered if he was adjusting his selection to suit the audience. Maybe at first we seemed like a "Candyman" kind of crowd, but then when we failed to get into it (which I'll never know how he could gage this) he had to switch gears. Another mystery at the MBTA.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dear Sarah Palin,

You scare the living shit out of me.

Please stay away,

Dear Joe Biden,

Given the current alternative, please accept my apologies for my previous blog comments on you. Campaign your ass off.

Voting always,

Dear Bristol Palin,

Just because everyone around you is pressuring you to marry your baby's daddy, doesn't mean you have to. I'm not saying things won't work out. Look at Sting and Trudy! Make the best decision for yourself.

Avoid caffeine,

No shirt, no shoes

MySpace Codes

No unless you're Iggy Pop.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

in case you forgot

Batman is cooler than you.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

... September first rolls around and the college students descend on Boston. Well, it's not just the college students, it's the fact that I would estimate 75-85% of leases begin on September first, so everyone and their grandma is moving today.
Except for me! This marks the first time in three years that I haven't had to move or help Dan move. Last year we lucked out when we got this place and got to move in on the 15th of August. We can end our lease whenever we want, so we'll not have to move on September first for a long time.
How bad is it to move in Boston on the first day of the ninth month of the year?
So bad that two years ago when we tried to rent a UHaul, we had to drive to Natick to get one. And it was still one size bigger than we needed.
This day could also be called free furniture day. The sidewalk is littered with people's cast-offs. If you're looking for home furnishings and don't really care about the whole used thing, it's a pretty good deal. I've been keeping an eye out for a coffee table, but I know I won't find a good one. Coffee tables are like couches, you don't throw it out until it's seriously damaged.

Yesterday Dan and I watched The Savages and Smart People.
These two movies were similar in narration and tone, to the point where you could think they had the same director.

The Savages is a sweet little movie about dealing with mortality and the flaws of everyone. A brother and sister, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney, are forced to care for their elderly father who is suffering from Dementia. Their father was abusive and abandoned them as children, and then their mother took off as well. Needless to say, hilarity does not ensue. The narrative drives home the isolation of the characters, even when they are with each other. A filter is used for most of the film, making daylight bright white and unforgiving. This was a very good movie, it falls in the distinctively independent category with the likes of The Squid and the Whale. You'll laugh, you'll feel the oppressive awkwardness and loneliness. It strives for realism. Life is complicated, death is not. Good acting, good story, good direction and cinematography. Completely worthwhile. Not life-changing, but a good movie.

Smart People is an odd comedy about two intelligent misanthropes, Dennis Quaid as a literary doctor at Carnegie Mellon who thinks no one else can possibly understand literature the way he does and his daughter, Ellen Paige, striving for a perfect SAT score and part of the young republicans who acts as a housewife since her mother died about ten years ago. Enter the doctor's adopted brother, played by Thomas Haden Church and the beautiful doctor and ex-student, Sarah Jessica Parker. The collective forces of these irresistibly likable people force the father and daughter to re-evaluate how they treat others. We see their coldness is a defense mechanism- by treating others as idiots they are able to remain emotionally distant. The acting is great, the story is good- except that you wonder why Janet (Parker) pursues the crumudgeonly narcissist in the first place. The son is left as an afterthought- he is as absent in the movie as he tries to be in his father's and sister's lives. Very funny movie, the dialogue reminds you of Juno, except more realistic. This film also reminded me of The Squid and the Whale

Watch The Squid and the Whale. It's fantastic.