Monday, July 31, 2006

Lesson Learned?

Look away. I'm hideous.

Yes, I've done it again. Went to the beach yesterday — specifically, Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester — and used that Coppertone spray stuff (it was SPF 30 this time). But despite the almost perfect weather (not beastly hot, not blindingly sunny), I still wound up with a bad sunburn. And it's a bit worse than the last time: my back is red (or at least the right side of it is), my upper lip is burnt (I actually went out and bought Blistex for it), I've got a red neck, and my face? Well, someone this morning asked me if I'd slept in a radiation zone last night because I've got that redness below my eyes again. But since I haven't scared any young children yet, I'm going to say he was just exaggerating.

Point is, that Coppertone spray stuff sucks. I will use it no longer. I mean, it's not so bad; after all, the blotchy white circles where it actually worked prove that it does, in fact, work. But the point is, it doesn't cover my body all that well, and it certainly doesn't protect my face. So, no more. From now on, it's lotion, lotion, lotion. No more spray. A friend of mine recommended this Peter Thomas Roth stuff, but frankly, I just can't justify spending $26 for sunblock, so we'll see.

Anyway, blah blah blah. Today I just feel silly for getting burned again for the second time in a month, and basically for the same reason. So I thought I'd share that I sorta kinda almost maybe hopefully learned my lesson this time.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Scarlett Feverish

Pick your journalism-related intro: "Breaking news" or "You read it here first." Either way, Scarlett Johansson can't act. That's the real downfall of Woody Allen's latest, Scoop, which I suppose isn't sooooo bad, but considering Scarlett is the lead and is in most every scene, well, that definitely downgrades the film. And given how good she looked in Woody's last film, the director really does her a disservice here. Otherwise, I laughed a few times and enjoyed the rest of the performances (well, other than Woody Allen's, which was grating at times), but the plot is pretty thin and it gets wrapped up too easily at the end. So I guess Scoop for me is just a slightly above average movie (which is being a little bit generous). And that's why it gets a C+.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury

If you live in New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago, maybe you’ve seen a billboard like the one above. According to today’s New York Times, it’s part of an elaborate promotion by Court TV to promote a new show called Parco P.I. Anyway, it’s good stuff, and the blog that goes with it, That Girl Emily is definitely worth a read — even if it’s all fake (the discovery of the cheating spouse happens around July 12, so you have to click through the archives to find it). There's even a fake surveillance video of the cheating hubby. Yes, it's sort of disappointing that it's not real, but check out the blog anyway. Someone is having a very good time keeping this going.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Down Here It's Just Winners and Losers ...

What happens in Atlantic City stays in Atlantic City, and that applies to my money too. As opposed to the last time I gambled, this weekend I ended up on the losing side. But hey, all in the name of a good time. After all, it was Jason's bachelor party and we were at the Borgata, where there wasn't much else to do but gamble. And eat. And gamble. And eat. So without going into too much detail about what we did this weekend — which was more than eat and gamble, by the way. I mean, it was a bachelor party — I'll just say our meal at Michael Mina's Sea Blue was yummy (especially the Molten Peppermint Patty dessert) and a good time was had by all.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Kingston Deli: R.I.P.

As you may have noticed (if you didn’t already know), I can be a man of routine. After all, during the winter I observe Argyle Wednesdays and Tie Thursdays. I also tend to frequent the same places for lunch each week, including Viga on Thursdays, because I love their Blanco pizza, and Kupel's on Sunday.

Today I learned that one of my other favorite places for lunch, the Kingston Deli, was closing. And not just soon, but today. What a loss this is for me.

Everyone needs a Kingston Deli in their work neighborhood. It’s one of those family-run, greasy spoon-type take-out places, that serves a steady and reliable selection of homestyle cooking, with great “dinner” plates. Before my company moved offices in December, I had the A Street Deli, which served the same type of food, only you always seemed to walk out smelling like you’d been there. Kingston Deli didn’t have that same kind of charm — actually, it had almost no charm at all — but I always enjoyed going in once or twice a week for the steak tips or chicken kabobs, always with rice and salad (see, even in a greasy spoon it’s possible to eat healthily).

So of course, when I stopped in for lunch today and saw the sign, I knew I had to stay and have a final meal. But sadly, they were all out of steak and chicken. I know it’s always questionable trying something new on a restaurant’s last day, but desperate times ... So against my better judgement, I decided to go with the Salisbury Steak (with rice and salad, of course). Happily, I can tell you it was not bad. I mean, it was good enough to leave my feelings about Kingston Deli positive, but not so good that I’d want to have it again anytime soon.

In September, the Kingston Deli family will be opening a new location on Arch Street. Until then, the current home of the Kingston Deli will be dark and empty. I’ll have to settle for more lunches at Quizno’s or Viga, or I’ll have to go to Cosi more often. Not such a bad fate, but I’ll miss my regular Kingston Deli lunches.

Kingston Deli is dead. Long live the Kingston Deli.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Does This Make Me Crazy?

This is easily the best song of the summer. It's a cover of the Gnarls Barkley song "Crazy" by Ray LaMontagne, who you might know from his songs "Trouble" and "Shelter." I like Ray's version of the song so much better than Nelly Furtado's and even more than the original. (Did you know such a new song had already been covered so often?) Give them all a listen and tell me which one you prefer. Of course, you can just right-click on any of the links to download the files. And if you missed it the first time, here again is a link to Ray LaMontagne's cover of "Crazy."

Whose version of "Crazy" do you like best?
The original, Gnarls Barkley's
Ray LaMontagne's
Nelly Furtado's
Can't decide. They're all great.
Neither. This song sucks.
Free polls from


She's Here to Stay

According to Us Weekly and the Boston Herald, Jennifer Garner is moving to Boston full-time because she wants to raise her daughter, Violet, in an "un-Hollywood" environment. Of course, this means her husband, Ben Affleck, will also be living here, but that's just a sidenote. I'm more excited by the fact that my letters, emails, phone calls, visits, television commercials, web sites, blog postings, and good wishes haven't gone unnoticed. Welcome to town, Jen! Let's do lunch sometime soon.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bloggers Are Cool

File under "Breaking News" ...

According to a new study, people who blog are predominantly young, novice storytellers who enjoy describing their own experiences. Apparently we also have a growing audience in the online world. Who knew? So, thanks to the Pew Internet & American Life Project for sharing this info.

But seriously, the entire study is sorta interesting and worth a read for anyone who is interested in blogging, or bloggers in general. And if you're interested in a particular blogger, well, either keep reading or send me an email. I'd be happy to fill in the blanks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Finally — a funny comedy. Trust me on this one: My Super Ex-Girlfriend is the real deal. It's light, cute, fun, at times even silly, it strikes just the right tone, is the right length, and above all, it's funny. This is a movie that for some reason is floating somewhere just under the radar. But hopefully it'll catch on once y'all have seen it and go spread the word. I mean, don't get the wrong idea; this one ain't gonna win any awards. But for easy summer entertainment starring a superhero and a Wilson brother (if that's your thing), this is the movie to see. It gets a solid B from me.


Monday, July 17, 2006

I Scream

Ladies and gentlepeople ... allow me to apologize. I know you expect me to be up on all the important stuff and to pass along information that will help you live your lives better (he said, with all due sarcasm — as if you couldn't tell). Well, I've let you down. So allow me to correct that mistake right here.

Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. Apparently, this holiday — and it is a holiday, as far as I'm concerned — always falls on the third Sunday in July. (Who knew? Not me.) Given the fact that it's so unbearably hot here in Boston and elsewhere around the country, I suspect no one really needed an excuse to eat ice cream. Still, I feel bad about not posting something about this exciting holiday sooner.

SO, I am happy to announce that the entire month of July is National Ice Cream Month, according to the International Dairy Foods Association and the International Ice Cream Association. And, believe it or not, for this we also have Ronald Reagan to thank. (Seriously.) Should you care to celebrate by doing some reading about the history of ice cream, simply click here.

And there you have it. Now go out and grab yourself a cone or something. If you're in the Boston area, head on out to Belmont for some Rancatore's (I recommend the Hydrox or, if they have it, Cocoa Joel). If not, Edy's will more than suffice (I love their Light Mint Chocolate Chip). Either way, stay cool ... and enjoy.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Happy Day!

According to a listing of unusual holidays that I have here at my desk, today is Embrace Your Geekness Day. Apparently, according to Holiday Insights, it's also Fool's Paradise Day and Barbershop Music Appreciation Day. And actually, this entire week is Nude Recreation Week too. (No, I won't provide a link for that one.) So no matter your interest or level of geekness, just wanted to wish y'all a Happy Day!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


One year. That's how long it took Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson to squander the goodwill they earned last July in Wedding Crashers. First Vaughn starred in The Break-Up, that unfunny romantic "comedy," and now Wilson stars in You, Me and Dupree, a pretty awful comedy that really is no better than the trailer promised — which is to say, if you've seen the trailer, you've seen all the comedy Dupree has to offer. And what's worse, this is another overly long movie (did all the editors in Hollywood take a spring break and not return?) that could have used some pruning. A 10-minute total running time would have been alright. Yeah, we get it: Dupree is a screw-up. It shouldn't take 100 minutes of reminding us until he finally gets his act together. The only real redeeming thing about this movie is Kate Hudson; she looks great. The movie itself? That gets a D+.


Chill Out

Hi there. It's me again, your friendly neighborhood PSA. Today is 7/11, so 7-11 is giving away free Slurpees. Just thought you'd like to know. Click on the links for the store nearest you.

Monday, July 10, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ...

It may only be July 10, but to me, it's the first day of the holiday season. Why? Because I received my first four (unsolicited) holiday CDs in the mail at work today. Nothing earth shattering — they're last year's releases — but what do I care? They're new to me and I'm more than happy to get the ball rolling on the new A Very Marty Xmas CD. Now the hard part is deciding which of the tracks — if any — on Hanukkah Swings! and SantaMental will make it. (Not sure I'll use the other two albums. I may even give them away.) Tough choices indeed. Last year's mix set the bar so high that I need to start now if I'm going to top it this winter.

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Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

I'm sure I'm not the first — and I know I won't be the last — person to point out the utter irony of the Herald's front page today. Juxtaposed right next to a photo of the chaos that erupted in the North End following Italy's World Cup victory is the headline "Peace on Our Streets." Ha!

(And yes, I know "rain on your wedding day" is not ironic. So isn't it ironic that the headline of my posting about irony is not actually ironic? Don't ya think?)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pretty Good

I needed a date for the weekend, so I went to see The Devil Wears Prada, where the ratio of guys to girls was, like, 1:7. Nevertheless, though I walked out as single as I went in, I enjoyed the movie, so I guess it was worth it. I mean, putting aside that some things are a bit far-fetched (like the fact that a modern job seeker — and an aspiring journalist — would not do her homework before an interview), I think Anne Hathaway gives a good performance, Meryl Streep is truly bitchy, and Stanley Tucci is fun, and the movie is light and easy to watch. It's hard to believe a boss could really be that much of a tyrant, but then again, I've been lucky thus far to have less demanding bosses than Miranda Priestley so I guess it's possible somewhere. Basically, The Devil Wears Prada is fun and generally well-made and fast-moving, and despite its subject matter, not really a chick flick. So I'm going to give it a solid B and recommend it. It's one of the better movies I've seen lately (though I guess that's not really saying too much).


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hot Dog!

Got an email from a PR person yesterday alerting me that the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile will be in town next week for the company's Sing the Jingle, Be a Star contest. Come one! Come all! From July 13-17, local residents will have their chance to sing one of the company's famous jingles (the bologna one or the wiener one — in English or Spanish) for a chance to appear in a national television commercial. I don't know all the details (that was all she wrote), but I thought I'd post an announcement here just in case it was your lifelong dream to be a wiener. Wouldn't want you to miss out on this exciting opportunity.

Friday, July 07, 2006

With a Name Like Manischewitz ...

According to the New York Times, everyone's favorite brand of kosher food, Manischewitz, wants to go mainstream. If I didn't know Manischewitz, chances are no kind of advertising would convince me to buy its products when up against other brands. And since I do know Manischewitz, I'll stick to buying their products only during Passover. But you tell me:

Would you buy Manischewitz products?
Sure. Why not?
Only if it tasted good.
If the price was right.
Free polls from

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Are You Bored?

My skin is starting to peel.

I tell you this not because I feel compelled to continue my sunburn saga or to share the gross details of my life, but because it's National Anti-Boredom Month and I know how some of you feel about coming to this site and not finding anything new. So consider this posting my cure for your boredom.

Need something to do? You can click here and watch ESPN's news coverage of Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest, which I wrote about yesterday.

Or, you can visit one (or both) of my favorite celeb gossip/photo sites: What Would Tyler Durden Do? or Celebrity Terrorist.

Or, you can read through my blog archives. For example, you could read my G.M. hire news story or my Aeroballoon experience or my "People Are Stupid" posting, which was the first one of my postings to be quoted in the Boston Globe.

Or you can go to and start your own blog. It's quite easy, lots of fun, and quite time consuming. You might never be bored again.

So there you go. Happy National Anti-Boredom Month. (And a day early, happy Chocolate Day.)


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Red, Red and Red

It's not officially summer until I get a horrible sunburn, and I've returned to Boston with just that, all over my upper chest and around my neck. I suppose my face is burnt a bit too, but not as bad (though the area around my eyes apparently makes me look like I have allergies). And yes, I did use sunscreen; it was the Coppertone Sport SPF 15 spray kind. So either the stuff is crap or I needed a higher SPF. Or, the sun in Florida was just that strong (temperatures were in the high 80s the entire time I was there). I'll say the correct answer is a little of all three. Either way, I was only a third prepared for the Fourth of July. I had plenty of red. I just needed some white and blue. And now I'm practically swimming in aloe.

Anyway, the rest of the weekend was fine. Nothing all that exciting (it was south Florida, after all). Went to Delray Beach on Monday night to go to Boston's, which was supposedly a big Boston sports hub in Florida, with the Sox game on all the TVs, and Boston décor, and a replica of the Green Monster along one wall. Suffice it to say, there was plenty of Boston décor, the Green Monster was about half the size I was expecting, and we actually had to ask to have the Sox game turned on. Oh well. Just makes me happier to be home, where the TVs are always turned to the Sox game.

Except, I should mention, when I'm flying JetBlue on Fourth of July, and the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest is on. If you've never watched this spectactle of sport, I highly recommend it. This is the highly-serious world of competitive eating, where the chili pepper champion takes on the birthday cake champion and so on and so forth. Twelve minutes to eat as many hot dogs as is possible (the winner, Takeru Kobayashi, ate 53-and-three-quarters, a new world record — and by the way, this was his sixth consecutive win). And the commentators, talking about how all the competitors have trained so hard and are in the best shape of their lives. Of course, the winner gets a belt, of all things. Sorry to all my fellow passengers if I was laughing a bit too loudly.

But yeah, now it's definitely summer. And as soon as this burn fades into a tan, I'll be enjoying it a bit more.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Sox Gone South

I'm in Florida this weekend, mainly to see the Sox play the Marlins. Went to the game Saturday night, and man, it was just like being in Boston. Alright, so maybe the sight lines were better, the stadium a bit brighter, and the hot dogs not as tasty — oh, and there were actual cheerleaders — but the place was crawling with Sox fans wearing the team colors and making their allegiances known. We must have outnumbered the Marlin fans 2-1. In fact, every time a new Sox batter came to the plate for at least the first two innings, the crowd erupted in "Let's Go Red Sox" cheers. (This was followed by a faint "Booo" by the local fans.) There were even a few chants of "Yankees Suck" when a fan wearing NY was spotted.

It's not like this was the first time I'd been to Dolphin Stadium for a game, but seeing the Sox play made it more enjoyable. Papi and Manny both hit two home runs each in the 11-5 Sox win, so suffice it to say, a good time was had. Our seats were in the first row of section 230, the club level, so we were just a little ways up from Trot (and then Gabe, when Trot was taken out). The weather was hot and humid, but it was all good. And, we got to the park early enough so I could watch the boys take some batting practice (and take some decent pictures — that's my boy Gabe Kapler, above, signing an autograph).

Still, the best part was being amongst so many Sox fans in a "foreign" city. I'm not sure how many were like me and just down for the weekend, but regardless, it was fun to be reminded that Sox fans are everywhere.

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