Sunday, December 30, 2007

Veto List - The Publick House in Brookline

Never in my life have I walked out of a restaurant without leaving a tip. Until tonight.

As a direct result of this evening's events at The Publick House in Brookline, my party of five walked out having paid five cents above our $128.05 bill, simply because none of us had anything smaller than a dime.

I was with four friends this evening, and we thought we would check out The Publick House's trivia night tonight, as we enjoy trivia nights and, up until now, also enjoyed The Publick House.

Around 6:15, I arrived to find Tom and Brian at the bar, already having downed two rounds. Soon thereafter, Gilbert and Kelly arrived, and we shifted over to a table in the back corner. For those of us in the group who have kicked around local trivia nights on occasion, we always arrived early to eat dinner, grab a table, and stay for trivia (all the while continuing to drink through the whole evening).

This is exactly what we have done at every other trivia night in the city.

Trivia began between 8:15 and 8:30. After the first question, we were informed by our server that since there was a long wait, they needed the table, as we were finished with dinner.

Our table had been cleared just about five or ten minutes prior, and we still had beer in our glasses.

Never did they ask if we wanted dessert, after dinner drinks, coffee, more beer - nothing. Basically, we were handed the bill and recommended that if we wished to stay for trivia and keep drinking, we could do so at the bar.

Up until this point, it was a pleasant evening. Everyone was happy, polite, and undemanding.

We all agreed that this just wasn't right, and I went to speak with the host, who promptly dispatched me to manager. I explained to the manager where we were sitting, when we arrived, what we had been consuming and that we planned to continue consuming.

He reaffirmed that if we wished to stay, we could do so at the bar because of their two hour wait.

We did not wish to stay. We paid and walked out.

While I understand that turning tables is not only the recipe to clearing a two hour wait list, but also adding revenue for the evening, I feel that their decision was quite short-sighted by displacing customers that had spent over $30 at the bar, almost $130 (up until that point) at the table, and an undetermined amount of additional after-dinner drinking revenue, not to mention the now sacrificed good will inherent with keeping loyal customers happy.

Additionally, I find it odd to host a trivia night on a night that is, obviously, a busy one for a restaurant. Usually Sunday nights aren't packed (good for Publick House for attracting that kind of crowd), and usually trivia nights are strategically held on slower evenings to draw people to the restaurant.

Like us.

While I couldn't find a picture of the exterior sign for this posting, I found a picture of said manager (on the left) and the owner (on the right) on BeerAdvocate's excellent website.

So, Publick House management - I hope you pick up the 25 bucks for the tip on our $128.05 bill this evening (not to mention the tip on your lost revenue of the rounds of 8 dollar Belgian beers that we did not consume at your establishment thereafter).

Screw you, Publick House manager. And screw you, Publick House.

There are too many good restaurants in the Boston metro that would accept my hard-earned money and welcome me to stay and continue drinking during Trivia night.

Publick House, you are no longer one of them. Veto.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An Orange Day

Unexpectedly, today became an orange day.

I don't own many pieces of orange clothing and household items, however three of those few items seemed to emerge within the same hour this morning.

First, I took Rosie for a walk, and threw on a baseball cap - my University of Texas Longhorns hat, which is orange with white stitching.

Upon my return, I took a shower and grabbed the towel I had hanging up, which was also orange.

Finally, I went to put a long-sleeved T-shirt on, and for some unconscious reason, I grabbed my orange V-neck (which unfortunately eliminated my Texas hat from my active accessories today, forcing my to put my usual hair stuff in today).
Perhaps I'll have some carrots for a snack later.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Rain Forest

Rain Forest, originally uploaded by southiejason.

Just over three years ago, I took a trip to the Pacific Northwest, my one and only trip there. I had a client in Spokane, Washington and decided to add a few vacation days to the beginning and end of the trip there.

Being that Spokane is in the Eastern part of Washington, and most of the interesting parts of the state are on the Western part, I figured that I would fly into Seattle, rent a car, drive to Spokane, and drive back west to Portland, Oregon, from which I would return home.

While the purpose of the trip was primarily business, the extra vacation days I added made the trip much more memorable. I was about to turn 30 the following month, and this was my gift to myself - hanging out in a part of the country I had never seen, a few days of solitude and wandering around with a camera, and time to relax.

I have a ton of great pictures from the trip, which I just posted to my Flickr site earlier this week (I'm still catching up...). I took this one near Port Angeles in Olympic National Park, part of which is a temperate rain forest (?!).

I'm always interested at which of my photos garners attention from the Flickr community. This photo happened to be my most viewed photo yesterday, so I thought I would post it here as well.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Led Zeppelin

When I think of the biggest bands in Rock history, way at the top of my list is Led Zeppelin. It would probably be atop most music fans' lists.

But, I may have discovered another sign of my age.

I was bowling at King's with Chris, Ryan, and Jamen on Saturday. (aside - props to Jamen for winning both games, but my second-place finish with three strikes and 144 pins during the first game was one of my best performances. I usually hang around 100, so I'll attribute my score to practice playing Wii bowling).

One of the songs that came on was "Ramble On," by Led Zeppelin. When the part of the song about Lord of the Rings came on (T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her....yeah), I made a comment about it.

Not one of them - all in their late 20's - had any idea what I was talking about. They had never heard "Ramble On," and when I pressed them, asking if any could name another Led Zeppelin song, not one of them could.

Stairway to Heaven? Black Dog? Rock and Roll?

I don't get it. No, I didn't grow up when Zeppelin was releasing original albums. But, in high school - HIGH SCHOOL - I loved Zeppelin, as did many of my friends. It was kind of a given.

I graduated twenty years after Led Zeppelin IV. They weren't exactly the band of the moment. They were (and are) simply timeless.

Is Zeppelin really not gaining new fans? Is 30 the cutoff age, where they are irrelevant to people under 30?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Free Cup of Starbucks Coffee

Even though their stock is in the crapper this year (my one bad pick of 2007 amidst a number of good and/or lucky picks), Starbucks is still a store and a brand that I enjoy.

A company as highly standardized as Starbucks should seek to eliminate as many variables as possible. Customers expect drinks to taste a certain way every time. Ordering procedures at a store in Kansas City should be identical to those in Vermont.

What I don't understand, however, is their inconsistency in terms of the free cup of coffee when buying a pound of beans.

I have purchased a bag of coffee beans from a number of different Starbucks locations, and about two-thirds of the time, I am told that I am welcome to a free cup of coffee.
The other third is the inconsistency. I have had some store baristas mention nothing about the free cup, and charge me for the tall coffee after I order it, while others (such as today), didn't offer the free cup, but after ordering it, did not charge me, nor acknowledge that it was complimentary.

I think that this is a nice value-add for Starbucks, and should be marketed as such. What good is giving out free coffee if it's done inconsistently and without fanfare. If there were signs in the store promoting the free cup, or if the baristas made more of a spectacle over the free cup when a customer buys a pound of beans, I bet that sales of coffee beans would improve. A simple "your coffee beans come with a free cup of coffee," said audibly so the rest of the customers in line hear it, should suffice.

Similar but related, as I sauntered over to the condiment bar, I waited for another lady to finish using the Half-and-Half. I wanted to put a splash of it in my free tall Christmas Blend coffee. She had a venti coffee (their largest size), poured half of it into the trash so the cup was half-full, and proceeded to mix the remaining coffee with, literally, half a cup of Half-and-Half.

Perhaps she was headed home to eat a Crisco sandwich for lunch, and needed an equally unhealthy drink to wash it down.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pop Culture Signs of My Age

I've done this Christmas thing 33 times already (I was born in November, so during my first Christmas, I was just a month old). Christmas #34 next week has caused me to realize that yes, I am getting longer in the tooth.

I have also begun thinking about the pop culture signs that have confirmed my life as a childless early 30-something. Beginning with...

Zac Efron - I rented Hairspray, and didn't realize that he was one of the stars until the closing credits. Apparently, he's also in...

High School Musical & High School Musical 2 - movies I haven't seen yet. I believe someone named...

Ashley Tisdale is also in these movies. I couldn't pick her out of a lineup of two people.

I think Vanessa Hudgens is also in these movies, but I'm only familiar with her name because of her topless photo scandal.

And who knew that:

1. Britney Spears had a younger sister...
2. ...named Jamie Lynn Spears...
3. Who stars in some show on Nickelodeon named Zoey 101...
4. ...and is now knocked up at 16.

I suppose if I watched MTV more, i would know some of this. I think The Real World is still on, but don't know where the house is. I think there's also some show called The Hills, which I have never seen. Same deal with Laguna Beach. Is that the show Tila Tequila is one? I have heard that name too.

I did know that Hannah Montana is really named Miley Cyrus, the daughter of Billy Ray. But I don't know what she sounds like.

Of course, when I enjoy downloading NPR Podcasts, and have a preset button on my car stereo for 90.9 WBUR, a station I find myself listening to more and more these days (especially for their world news and A Prairie Home Companion), I'm not shocked that I only learn about everything above through blogs.

So, add one more year to the wisdom column.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Rise Up, Southie!


When you're placing your parking spot marker directly onto the blacktop, it's time to stop marking your spot.

I walked back from the Andrew Square T Stop today after work, and passed a mixture of unmarked and marked spots.

It's time to let it go.

Sure we still have iceberg snow mounds and many sidewalks still caked with ice.

But you can't save your spot forever.

Bring in your plastic lawn chairs. Use them for their intended purposes - sitting. Invite someone over for a couple beers and some chili. Tell your friend that your lawn chairs are now back inside your apartment, and that you have plenty of seating once again. Watch, your buddies will show up.

So, I declare - RISE UP, SOUTHIE! It's time for a parking reset.

Move your parking cone, go to work, and don't mark your spot. When you return, park in a different unmarked spot. Others will follow your lead and my example: I hopped in my car - parked on a street along my walk home - and moved it into another unmarked spot.


Please spread the word. Hallelujah.

Me in a Tire

Me in a Tire, originally uploaded by southiejason.

As the snow icebergs remain, and as our intersections alternate between slushy piles of black snow and frozen-over piles of slush, I thought some photos of warmer times might help.

This was taken along the Great River Road trip this summer in Moline, IL at the John Deere Pavilion. It was quite warm that day.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GQ blew it

I'm a cover-to-cover magazine reader. Rarely does the content of one of my selected magazines cause me to adversely judge its credibility.

And I subscribe to many periodicals. I just counted 12 of them off the top of my head, but it could be more.

In the latest issue, however, GQ blew it.

I don't read every word of every issue. But I do go in linear order, the way the publishers meant for us to read their works. Start at the front, work to the back. I enjoy processes and systems.

Sometimes a magazine takes a while to complete, as I don't usually read a complete one in a single sitting. I always use a subscription card as my book marker. If the issue has no subscription card, I dog ear the page to make my progress.

I received the latest issue of GQ a few days ago, and was working my way through the middle this morning during my ham and eggs. It's one of those year-end recap issues. I'm always interested at what songs, albums, movies, and cultural events each magazine deems "best" and "worst."

Page 226, of their eight songs on "The Hit List - the best party-starting singles of the year," was M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" (good choice), followed by Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold" (um...are you kidding? That's my vote for irritating song of the year).

On their list of "The Disappointments - surprisingly middling albums by perennial favorites" was Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky."

Nope. No way. Absolutely not. Wrong.

This was absolutely one of my favorite and most-played albums of the year.

Upon reading this page, the remainder of their issue became irrelevant to me. Page 226 was the final one I read. I put it into the recycling bin immediately, with half of the content unread.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Penny Saved...

OK, I can be cheap sometimes. I admit it.

For 4 1/2 years, I have lived in Southie thinking that if I hopped on the #11 bus (the route along which I live) to Broadway station, I would have to pay for the bus and for the subway.

While I have taken the #s 9, 10, and 11 buses on occasion, my reticence to take the bus-to-subway link has been the additional fee. Granted, we're talking a few coins here, but I figure that those quarters add up, and I would always prefer to spend my money on myself, friends, or family than give it to the MBTA.

I'm planning to take public transit to and from work for much of the week. My walk over to Andrew Square this morning was cold, traversing the icy tundras of frozen puddles and icebergs surrounding the plowed-in cars.

For the commute home, I thought I would give a new option a try - exiting the Red Line at Broadway, and transferring to the #9 or #11, whichever showed up first.

The #11 was the winner, and to my delight, when I held my CharlieCard up to the bus' fare collecting sensor, it read "transfer" or something like that.

I'm sure this information is common knowledge among most Bostonians. I tend to pick up things like this (how the fare structure on the T operates) late in the game.

But I'm glad I learned something new today. I can avoid the 20 minute blustery walk (13-15 minutes on dry temperate days) tomorrow morning!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Completely drenched day in Boston

What a weekend - the gallons and gallons of precipitation we received - everything from snow to sleet, freezing rain, and plain 'ol windy cold rain - made for a perfect weekend of watching movies, baking pumpkin bread, and cooking a chicken.

I did all of those things, but sandwiched in a trip to The Natick Mall (...excuse me.... The Natick Collection) on Saturday, and a matinee showing of I Am Legend during this, its opening weekend, on Sunday.

If the entire MetroWest population didn't also decide to kick around Natick and Framingham on Saturday, and if the puddles of sludge and slush at every intersection weren't each 3 feet deep, it would have made for much more pleasurable Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

We left Boston at 3pm on Saturday, and parked at The N.C. at 4:15. 40 minutes of that drive were sitting in traffic attempting to get off the Pike, through the toll, and onto Rte. 9. Oh,, why have I foresaken you?

The new retailers at The Natick Collection are quite nice, but I still can't figure out who would willingly purchase a luxury condo in the complex attached to the mall because of the shopping convenience. I mean, how often do you really need to go to Juicy Couture and Tourneau?

The Sunday movie was a spontaneous decision, precipitated by a call from Chris, who invited me to go. Trudging my way to the T in my ski coat, hood, and ski goggles, I managed to avoid most deep puddles (the same was not true for the walk back form the T after the movie). While I might appear silly to be wearing ski goggles around Boston, I was complimented today about how much of a good idea one neighbor found my goggles, and asked by another if I skied (um, yes...good guess there Einstein).

In the pouring rain around 4:30, I attempted to walk Rosie to my car with a snow shovel, thinking that I would throw her in the car while I dug myself out. After about five minutes, I gave up - soaked through to my skin, wet dog in car, futile shoveling of solid blocks of ice.

My gut tells me that I'm going to be using my CharlieCard a lot this week.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The first storm of the year

Southie residents, you surprised me this morning.

Usually, with the premise of a storm, the orange cones, trash barrels, and children's play sets come out to mark spots even before the first flakes fall. In fact, this one looked quite comfy. Rest for weary pedestrians AND a parking spot marker. Two for one!
While many inanimate accouterments indeed now adorn my neighborhood's streets, there were quite a few unmarked spots spotted during my walk to the T.

Are some of us behaving rationally, perhaps? Realizing that many spots were easy to traverse with four-wheel drive, and without a shovel?

Say it ain't so.

I'm certainly, however, happy to see this. I had to leave my car at the office yesterday (my vain attempt to drive home consisted of a 45 minute drive in gridlock around the block, and my better judgment to return to work, ditch the car, and take the T).
It's nice to know that when I come home later, I will have a spot to steal.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

For the Wessss-SSSSIIIIDE

In one of the more ridiculous requests I have had recently, I was asked to take a picture of "snow" by Mahwish, a former co-worker who has spent most of her life in California, and has never been in a snow storm.
One of her goals is to travel to somewhere cold, well-timed with when it might snow there. She really wants to see a blizzard.
So for Mahwish (and for everyone else somewhere warmer), I present to you...snow.
For everyone here in Boston, I apologize for boring you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Devil in My Salad

I was scolded by Karin for not posting today. My apologies, missy. I do have an excellent post forthcoming about the breed of dog that I believe I adopted (vs. the indeterminate "labrador retriever mix" I was told I have).

I went to Shaw's for lunch a couple days ago, and opted for their salad bar.

My 1.27 pound salad, with tax, came to $6.66.

I almost didn't consume it due to fear of demonic possession (there's evil in my three bean salad).

But hunger won. Again.

Or...did I simply succumb to temptation and make a deal with the devil?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Godiva Chocolate Tower of Boxes

Last Wednesday, one of our vendors sent us a Godiva chocolate tower. As it was addressed to me, it remained in my office.

While my mother LOVES Godiva, and I will admit to a fleeting idea of regifting for Christmas, I quickly dismissed my thoughts of frugality. I spread the word amidst our small corporate clan that everyone was welcome to the goods.

I'm not much of the candy-bowl-on-my-desk type, but it's nice to have visitors drop by for a chat throughout the workday (while we are a small corporate team, our actual office space is quite odd, and we're spread out on multiple floors throughout the building.

Pizza always gets people to meetings. Godiva chocolates cause people to visit and linger.

I am happy to report that after four workdays, my co-workers managed to polish off the entire tower, truffles and all.
I work with people who have very sweet teeth. I will not divulge the final stats of how many chocolates were consumed by each person, but I, of course, only ate two of them.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Shooting (movies, not people) continues in Southie

Filming continues in my nook of Southie, and I'm going to commend the film crew for giving forewarning this time. Perhaps they read this. Or, perhaps they simply determined that taking up BLOCKS of parking spots for 24 hours a day over the course of three full days (and half of Thursday, to be exact) in a neighborhood with a dense population is worth a polite note on the windshields of the cars parked in the vicinity. Minor props for the advance notification on Saturday night.

I finally made it to Gone Baby Gone this weekend, which I thought was a terrific film and story. I'll say it once again that I wish Hollywood wouldn't typecast Southie as the hotbed of gritty crime drama, but I do understand how it's easier to define people and places with labels. It could be a blessing in disguise. Sure the stray tourist might work his way into Southie to check out the L Street Tavern or Murphy's Law, but for the most part, filmmakers have scared the bejesus out of people with their characterizations of Boston's neighborhoods that aren't Beacon Hill, The South End, or The Back Bay.

For the record, to all of the Platinum Elite readers outside of Boston, you are not guaranteed to get jacked in a sketchy bar or popped in a dumpster if you venture outside of the Boston Tourist Comfort Zone. While your odds might increase, it's not all dirty cops and crime syndicates. I've yet to see nary a bullet casing or bag of dope anywhere in my surroundings (though I can account for two syringe sightings and a glimpse of these neighbors smoking something that wasn't sold in packs of twenty).

I'm forced to adjust my schedule a bit this week, as I have dinner plans both Monday and Wednesday night. I'm thinking of driving home tonight to park, let the dog out, and then take the (gasp) bus back into the Back Bay. I do find it odd that I seem to have much more enjoyable bus rides on the #s 9, 10, or 11 vs. riding the T (which, as I always state, is quite the adventure for me).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

I HATE Cross-Country Skiing

No doubt about it. I tried it once, and it was terrible (then again, the first time I tried downhill skiing in 5th grade, I fell on the rope trail, and couldn't get up for like 10 or 15 minutes, leaving the bunny slope dejected, in tears, and swore off downhill skiing for the next seven years).

I'm reminded of my hatred for Cross-Country Skiing because of an article I saw today, cheerfully proclaiming that I can now ski all the way from Massachusetts to Quebec on the Catamount Trail.

No thanks.

A few years ago, Kelly and Brian brought me Cross-Country skiing. I figured it would be a nice leisurely day floating across powder as I watch the wilderness around me. Kelly, a state champion Cross-Country skier, said she would teach me, and that it was easy if I knew how to downhill ski. The basic premise was the same, just a bit more acceleration required of my body, and that I should follow the ski tracks made by the people before me.

I found myself strapped to longer (i.e. less control), slicker skis with no edges (i.e. I couldn't snowplow on even the slightest decline). After lunch, I called it a day and drank my soreness and frustration away in the lodge, a mode usually reserved for beginning downhill skiers who just couldn't cut it. Kelly tried, but I was unteachable.

Don't get me wrong - I'm fine skiing downhill. Not quite black diamond, mogul-trail fine. But intermediate trails aren't usually a problem for me.

Cross-Country Skiing, however, does not represent a pleasant excursion for me, and the thought of a trail connection to our neighbors up north isn't my cup of joe.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Prevent Car Breaks in Southie

District 6 of the Boston Police distributed a mailer yesterday, calling for Southie residents to help prevent "car breaks in South Boston." I'm assuming they mean break-ins and not damaged cars. Whatever. I get the message.

They have five rules to prevent "car breaks":

1. Never Leave Valuables in your car (I have always thought of myself as a bit paranoid to remove my GPS unit's suction cup after every single use, but written on the notice was a reminder to "remove any telltale signs of the GPS such as mounts of suction cups." Therefore, I'm right. FYI, thieves - if I'm not in my car, neither is my GPS. Simple rule.)

2. Always lock your car (duh)

3. Completely Close Car Windows When Parked (check)

4. Use Anti-Theft Devices (OK I agree with this, however, they suggest to "invest in an alarm if possible. NO, NO, NO!!! I have had to call the police before to report car alarms that continued endlessly way past bedtime. Southie residents, PLEASE do not buy car alarms. Deep down inside, people don't care about them. They are simply irritating. I have The Club - same one I bought for my Ford Escort sixteen years ago. It works. And it's quiet.)

5. And most importantly...DON'T FORGET RULE #1 (a bit of a cop out, but OK).

I know car breaks are not exclusively endemic to Southie, but I appreciate the warning and call for fixing a problem. Just more car alarms.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hollywood overstaying its welcome in Southie

I don't care what you're filming in my neighborhood, or who is appearing in the production....when you, without forewarning, take up 25 overnight parking spots (although the sign says 5am, the spots were blocked last night), you're no longer welcome in Southie.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Metal objects on a grill are very hot

A couple weeks ago, my parents gave me a couple presents for my birthday, both of which were accessories for my (relatively) new grill.

Here is how the exchange for one of those presents went:

Father: "Happy Birthday"
Me: "Thanks"

(I open the present)

Me: "Wow, a digital wireless meat thermometer!"

Father" "We bought one for Pete and he loved it!"

Me: "How does it work?"

Father: "You plug the wire into the transmitter and stick the probe in the meat when it's on the grill, then you select the type of meat and internal temperature on the receiver and wait for it to beep when it's done"

Me: "Sounds great! Thanks!"

Here is how the exchange for one of those presents should have gone:

Father: "Happy Birthday"
Me: "Thanks"

(I open the present)

Me: "Wow, a digital wireless meat thermometer!"
Father" "We bought one for Pete and he loved it!"
Me: "How does it work?"
Father: "You plug the wire into the transmitter and stick the probe in the meat when it's on the grill, then you select the type of meat and internal temperature on the receiver and wait for it to beep when it's done. BE CAREFUL, THE PROBE WILL BE HOT WHEN IT'S IN THE MEAT ON THE GRILL"
Me: "Of course it will be, metal on a grill! Who doesn't know that? But I understand - safety first, and you are my father so I'm sure you're concerned for my well-being. Thanks!"

My thumb and index finger on my right hand hurt like a mother. Burn blisters blow.

The ultimate drive to work

Since purchasing my Digital SLR camera a few months ago, I haven't used my 3 1/2 year old Sony Cybershot camera all that much, even though it's advantages of being super small and relatively powerful (5 MegaPixels) lend to throwing it in my pocket when I'm leaving for the day.

Now that we're well into coat weather here in Boston, I have more pockets to carry stuff. This morning, I decided to carry my camera with me to document some relatively interesting components of my day, and not worry about staging a full-out DSLR photo shoot. Point, click, done.

Usually, somebody along my drive to work irritates me for double-parking, blocking an intersection, or simply being a general prick. Forget pedestrians - my sworn enemy while driving.

Nonetheless, today's drive was uneventful for one main reason - my amazing good fortune.

This has never happened before, but I drove from the Berkeley St. I-93 underpass at the Southie / South End border, all the way to this intersection - Charlesgate & Comm Ave - without hitting a single red light. I'm still amazed. The lights on both Berkeley and Comm Ave must be in sync quite well, and I must have hit all of them at the exact perfect time. No idiots walked out in front of me, no buses impeded my lane, no delivery trucks blocked two full lanes of traffic (one on each side - it happens too much), and the FedEx truck army from Southie didn't stop my progress.
Blue skies smiling at me today!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Another Southie Movie (yawn)

This weekend, I noticed a ton of trucks on E. 8th Street outside of the projects near Dorchester St.; I assumed yet another movie was filming in Southie. The dollys full of equipment and burly production dudes were other surefire giveaways.

I didn't give it much thought until this morning, when my drive to work took me a route that I don't usually traverse. Mass Ave seemed a bit hairy past Andrew Square, so I took a quick beeline up Dot Ave. to try Berkeley St. instead. I drove past my gym (Gold's Gym) which was transformed into "Zorella Gym," which seems more like a North Shore or, even more accurately, a Jersey Shore haunt.

I didn't see anybody famous (the light was time to stare, but I did see a bunch of Boston cops standing around probably earning lots of overtime), but it seems that the movie is called Real Men Cry featuring Ethan Hawke, Mark Ruffalo, and Amanda Peet.

We seem to have a bunch of crime dramas coming to Southie. Hollywood, how about changing it up a bit? We're not all about working class gritty streets. I bet you can find a romantic feel-good comedy script that needs a backdrop of triple deckers. How about a woman scored movie in some of our new loft condos? A Disney High School Musical-esque teen flick about summers at Castle Island? Now there's a real money maker.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A-Wreath-a Franklin

I'm totally immersed in the holidays after a bit of coaxing. Why not jump in head first? No toes in the water. Sing the songs. Drink the egg nog. Deck the halls. Dream of a White Christmas.

This is my first year in Boston with a tree, a 7 foot Home Depot special that makes my place smell great. Hopefully, later today, it will be fully trimmed.

And in a moment of sheer Martha Stewart-dom, I even made a wreath (named, of course, A-Wreath-a Franklin)! I think it turned out quite lovely.

At Home Depot, the tree was pre-bundled, but to shave a few inches off the bottom, they cut the trunk and lower branches and kept those cut lower branches within the bundle.

I'm not one to throw away discards, leftovers, or basically anything that can be re-used. Hence, my wreath.

How lovely are thy branches?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Highly inappropriate yet amusing comment of the night

When: Sunday morning
Event: Cousin Bryan's shotgun wedding bachelor party
Time: Around 12:30 am
Where: Way over-the-top and unnecessary Cadillac Escalade stretch limo

Unnamed member of bachelor party (not me):

"If your friends weren't so fat, we would let you stay in the limo"