Saturday, September 30, 2006

There's Music in the Night

I told Pyles as the Jamie Cullum show was ending tonight that I should have guaranteed it, and promised to give her her money back if she didn't enjoy it. That's how much I love Jamie Cullum, and how strongly I can stand by his live shows. They're just incredible, and tonight's show at the Orpheum was no exception. No sense going into too many specifics, but from top to bottom, start to finish, I think this may have been the best Jamie Cullum show I've ever seen, and I've seen him four times. It was another rowdy, fun time. The crowd was into it, despite some folks who just kept getting up to go out. Our seats were great. And the set list was spot-on: Jamie played his good stuff (including "Mind Trick, which was missing from the set list the last time I saw him) and he played some really cool covers really well, particularly Norah Jones' "Turn Me On" (which, oddly, Jamie dedicated to his father, who was in the audience, because apparently it's his favorite song) and James Taylor's "Fire and Rain." Jamie came into the audience a couple times, and he actually sang a cover of "Nature Boy" entirely in an aisle. Otherwise, "Photograph," "Frontin'," and "London Skies" were great, as were "These Are the Days," the solo version of "All at Sea," and, of course, my favorite of his songs, "What a Difference a Day Made." Of course, there are songs I wish he'd played (like "My Yard"), but that'll happen when I like most everything on his three albums.

Perhaps you don't know Jamie, despite the fact that I've written about him before on this site. Well, for all you who don't know him — and those who like a little soundtrack with your reading — check out the new widget I've added to the blog in the upper right hand column. Just click "play" and you'll hear one of his songs, likely "Photograph." And know that as nice as that song is, and as good as his albums are, they don't compare to how good Jamie is live. As I said, I've seen him four times now and I'd see him anytime. I guarantee his shows as some of the best ones out there.

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Friday, September 29, 2006

An Open Letter to Comcast

Dear Comcast,

According to a recent story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Fox News Channel is seeking an increase in fees from cable operators, from 27 cents per subscriber to $1 per subscriber. Apparently, the network is prepared to mobilize its viewers; as the story says, Fox News is thinking about "unleashing the wrath of the channel's base of vociferous viewers" to get this increase to pass, because Fox knows those people don't want to lose the station.

I know how these things work, and how the cost increase will trickle down to the subscribers, so I'm just waiting for the memo telling me my monthly charge for cable is going up. Considering I already pay more than $80 a month for my service (including HBO and my DVR), I refuse to pay any more just so I can get Fox News on my TV. I've had enough of Bill O'Reilly's closed minded diatribes, and I've had enough of people saying Chris Wallace was in the right (no pun intended) for his treatment of Bill Clinton last weekend. And worse, I'm disgusted that Fox News chief Roger Ailes called Clinton's response to Wallace "an assault on all journalists." I think it's an insult that Ailes, O'Reilly and the rest think they can mobilize their viewers and force the rest of us to pay for their bullying, partisan news station.

I don't watch Fox News ever, and I don't want to have to help absorb the cost of this nearly four-times increase if it comes to pass. I'd rather not get the channel at all. Or better, I'd rather have the ability to pick and choose which channels I do get. In recent years there have been many pushes for a la carte pricing for cable. It's like a buffet: you pick which channels you want and only pay for those. I'll start with the basic networks (ABC, NBC, etc.), then I'll add some MTV and VH1, MSNBC for my news, HBO, and a few other ones that I actually watch. The plan has its supporters, and I am one of them.

Sure, I am against a potential price increase because I'm against Fox News. And sure, I'd probably be against any increase in the price of cable service, even if it was for channels I like. And yes, it needs to be said that you have not yet announced any price increase to help pay for Fox News. This is all just conjecture on my part. But I wanted to say now, before this got too far, that I speak for many Comcast subscribers when I say please don't make me pay for the channels I don't want. Let those who actually want Fox News pay for it.

Thank you.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Listen Up, Everyone

It's continually amazing to me that you can find nearly anything on the internets. For example, in a recent blurb in the "Sidekick" section of the Boston Globe, I read about a great Ryan Adams concert from 2003 that someone had heard. Finally got around to looking for the guy's blog today and lo and behold, there it was: a posting with individual MP3s of the entire show. Too cool, and he's right — it was an incredible show. Then I clicked around some more and found an awesome performance of "New York, New York" that Ryan did on The Late Show with David Letterman in 2001.

Anyway, about a half hour later, after going back to, I had dug deep into the site and found MP3s of all kinds of live shows (from bands like R.E.M., the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jane's Addiction, and Radiohead, among others), some current and some older (i.e.: from the last decade or so), and many of them worth a listen. I'll be going back to check out more of the site. In the meantime, I've provided a link to in the sidebar of this site for future reference.

While I'm on the topic, perhaps I should point out the two other music-related blogs I already have links to: Zeon's Music Blog and Ali's Blog. Zeon tends to have MP3s of his favorite songs, soundtracks, and artists, in addition to new stuff and rare covers and other cool tracks. Currently he's got up a weird but cool cover of The Killers' "Smile Like You Mean It" by, of all people, David Gray. For full, leaked new CDs (like the entire new Killers album, not out until next week) and hot singles, go to Ali's site. That's also where I found Justin Timberlake's new CD a couple weeks early, if you're interested. But because, well, it's illegal to download these CDs at all, especially weeks before they're publicly available, the links to them are only up for about 24 hours in most cases so Ali doesn't get in trouble. Act quickly. (And by the way, if you want to hear a cool remix of the Killers' "When You Were Young," click here.)

Plain and simple, the web makes it fun to be a music fan. (No big news there, of course.) And for the record (no pun intended), I have gone out and actually bought some of the actual CDs after downloading them online. And thanks to hearing new artists on sites like these, I've been turned on to their music and have spent money on them in other ways. So there, record companies. Fan music sites do serve a good purpose. Just do me a favor, dear readers: if you become a frequent visitor of the sites like I am, don't abuse them. Buy music too so "the man" doesn't come and shut these folks down. (Stepping off the soap box now. Putting my headphones back on.)

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Winning Ticket

As always, I try to stay out of the political arena on this blog simply because when it comes to such topics, I’m basically an uninformed idiot. But I have to throw my hat in the ring just briefly today because of Keith Olbermann, and what he said last night on his MSNBC program, Countdown, about Fox News and the attack (and there really is no other word) that was made on Bill Clinton the other day in his interview with Chris Wallace. Keith lately has made a regular habit of editorializing and making an Edward R. Murrow–style “special comment” when the mood strikes. He did so on 9/11 to great effect, and his words last night were again well-written and well-delivered. You can watch a clip here or just read it here. It was great.

And in other news, I hereby support George Clooney for President in 2008, even if he swears he’s not running. Now there’s a guy — an actor, even — who would do great things for this country. Really. You've heard me say it before and I'll say it again: George Clooney is the man. And Keith Olbermann can be George's vice president. It's a winning ticket for sure.

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Cupcakes ... Again

About two weeks ago I got an e-mail from Elizabeth Holmes, a reporter from of all places, the Wall Street Journal. Seems she was writing a story about, of all things, Johnny Cupcakes, and had seen my posting about the store and how much I love it. (You know the one. It was ranked number three on my first year countdown because it’s been the most popular posting so far.) Anyway, we had a nice chat, a few laughs, and I explained to her that I’ve developed something of a reputation for hating the store and the guy, when all I really wanted the day I visited with Mitzi and Jason was a cupcake. So I wrote that on the blog, and maybe my words got a bit twisted. I mean, sure, it is cruel and a bit of a tease for a guy to name his store Johnny Cupcakes and then not sell actual cupcakes. And it’s even worse when, instead of cupcakes, he sells $40 t-shirts that are only cool to people who like spending $40 on their t-shirts. But that was all.

Well anyway, the story Elizabeth wrote is in today’s paper, on page B5 … and I’m not in it. Oh well. I’ll have to settle for being in the Boston Globe every now and then. But it’s alright. The story isn’t a fawning tribute to how swell and creative Johnny Cupcakes is. Instead, via quotes from marketing professors and other folks, it raises questions about how long Johnny's novelty business can last. Personally, I still say if he’d only sell cupcakes in addition to his t-shirts he’d have a long-lasting business and I’d be a regular customer. Until then, he’s not getting a single cent from me.

(FYI: The story isn't available to non-subscribers online, so you'll have to check out the print edition if you want to read it.)


Friday, September 22, 2006


It's been a long, busy week, but I didn't want to leave for the weekend without posting something new. So I'll say to all my fellow members of the tribe, L'Shana Tovah — which, for the rest of you, means Happy New Year (it's Rosh Hashannah this weekend). See y'all on Monday.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Back in the day, I was an avid reader of Swing magazine, which was published by Ralph Lauren's son David and aimed to inspire twentysomethings to be active members of society (or something like that). In one issue, there was a profile of a young writer named Brad Meltzer, whose new book The Tenth Justice was getting good buzz. Brad was being hailed as "the next John Grisham." Being a young writer myself, I was inspired by Brad's success and decided to go to a book reading/signing and meet him in person. When the time came after Brad read from the book, I stood up and asked him a question about his web site and the character sketches, which I enjoyed. Or maybe it was a question about the movie rights, which had just been sold. Or actually, I think I asked two questions.

Anyway, Brad left a good impression on me that night, and when he came out with his next book a year or two later, I went to that signing too. Of course, just like I had done at Brad's first reading, I stood up and asked a question when he opened things up to a Q&A. Brad remembered me, and later he wrote something nice in my book, thanking me for coming back.

Long story short, Brad is one of the nicest writers I've ever met, one of the real good guys, and that's why every time he's in town with a new book, I make a point of going to his readings/signings. And yes, every time I also ask him a question, and every time Brad remembers me (tho not necessarily by name) and writes something really cool in my book. So I've followed his career over the years; I own all his novels (plus the graphic novels Idenity Crisis and Green Arrow: Archer's Quest) — though admittedly, I haven't read them all — and I watched Jack and Bobby, the WB show he created two seasons ago. (And a fun fact is that he was Real World: San Francisco cast member Judd Winick's roommate in college.)

I tell you all this because Brad's in town today (Wednesday) to promote his sixth novel, The Book of Fate, which has been getting some great reviews and debuted at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list last week. The book's a thriller set in Washington, D.C., about an attempted presidential assassination, the secret society of Masons, and all kinds of other stuff. He wrote it with some research help from former Presidents Clinton and Bush. I'm not doing a very good job of selling the book, so I encourage you to check out Brad's web site, where you can learn more about it. Brad will be reading from Fate at Brookline Booksmith in Coolidge Corner at 7 p.m., and if you're free, he's worth listening to, meeting, and reading. Just thought I'd do my part and give him a plug here. Look for me. I'll be there.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy! (again)

Much as I hate to post a "rerun," it's a busy week for me and I'm going to anyway.

Today is the 12th annual International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Last year I wrote all about how this holiday came to be and suggested ways in which you, too, can talk like a pirate. Rather than write the same thing all over again, why don't you just click here and read all about it. And if you want even more pirate goodness, well, you'll want to stay away from my review of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. It might give you scurvy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Seasons Change

It's a big day for me: I finally have things to watch on TV again. I mean, sure, for a while there I was content spending my evenings with the Red Sox, but I haven't watched a single game since the Yankees series a month ago (seriously), and my nights have been rather boring as I waited for the new TV season to begin. (Not that I didn't have a life or anything. I'm just talking about my TV watching habits here.)

So what will I be watching this season? Here's my week at a glance:

Monday: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip at 10

Tuesday: Nothing. It's a night I can have a life

Wednesday: 30 Rock at 8:30, Lost at 9, and (if it's good) The Nine at 10

Thursday: My Name Is Earl at 8, The Office at 8:30, Grey's Anatomy at 9, and Ugly Betty at 10 (recorded from when it was on from 8–9) or Six Degrees — unless it's really bad. This would be a terrible night to call me, by the way.

Friday and Saturday: Nothing. Nights I can have a life

Sunday: The Amazing Race at 8, Desperate Housewives at 9, and (if it's good) Brothers & Sisters at 10

I cleared some space on my DVR yesterday just in case I don't make it home in time for some of these shows, so I should be all ready. Let the TV season begin!

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

One More Time

Well, Adam Gaffin has done it again. He's gone and included me in his latest blog roundup article in the Sunday Boston Globe. And of course, which posting of mine did he spotlight? My recent silly one about how I don't like Cambridge, Somerville, or anywhere on the Red Line. This one has been popular ever since Adam linked to it a couple weeks ago on You can read the Globe story here.

And actually, if you're flipping (or clicking) through the Globe today, check out this story about the new musical version of High Fidelity, which opens in Boston in a week or so. It was cowritten by Tom Kitt, a high school classmate of mine, and is getting good buzz.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

One Thing Does Not Make a Man

Chances are good you've never heard of Half Nelson, but it's the kind of small, independent movie you should seek out as the weather turns cooler and the "better" movies come out. It's a film about a guy named Dan (Ryan Gosling, who you might know from The Notebook), who teaches eighth grade in New York City and also has an awful addiction to cocaine. In the classroom, he's largely in control and the students seem to actually respect him. Out of class, however, he's a mess. And then, one night he's caught by one of his students (Shareeka Epps) doing drugs in the locker room. The two form a strange friendship that transcends the teacher-student dynamic. That's basically the crux of the film; there's no other plot to explain. But this is an intense character study, and Gosling is simply great in the role. It's a terrific performance. The film itself is not the most exciting one you'll see all year, but it's worth watching. I give it an A–.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

You Can Thank Me Later

Sometimes I feel like I see movies so you don't have to. That's not to say that School for Scoundrels is soooo bad. But considering it's directed and co-written by the guy who did Old School and features a cast including Billy Bob Thornton, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, and Jon Heder, it's a bit of a disappointment that it's not terribly good. Heder plays Roger, a timid traffic cop who enrolls in a confidence class taught by Dr. P (Thornton). Roger's attitude changes so much that Dr. P engages Roger in a game of one-upmanship to see who can win the affection of Amanda (Jacinda Barrett — yes, her again), a woman who lives in Roger's building who he has a crush on. Anyway, the film has a couple good laughs and it's nice to see Heder playing a person, not a character, but other than that, ehhhhh. School for Scoundrels gets a C. It's out on September 29. Don't bother.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Kissing Summer Roberts

Michael, the character Zach Braff plays in The Last Kiss, has a pretty sweet life, and he knows it. He's got a good job, great friends, and a beautiful girlfriend named Jenna (Jacinda Barrett) who loves him and who is carrying their child. But Jenna wants to get married and buy a house, so Michael is getting antsy and nervous about the way his life is not just inching but sprinting toward more responsibility. Wasn't it just yesterday that he was a twentysomething and didn't have a care in the world? Now Michael is about to turn 30 and adulthood responsibilities await.

So really, it's no surprise when the young, carefree and beautiful Kim (Rachel Bilson) crosses Michael's path at a wedding and expresses strong interest in, ahem, getting to know him better, and Michael is tempted to stray. Will he go through with it? C'mon, people, what do you think? It's SUMMER FRICKIN' ROBERTS! If I was Michael, I would go with her in a shot. No question. Whoo boy. I likes me some Summer Roberts. A dowdier, pregnant Jacinda Barrett doesn't even compare.

Anyway, this is the quarter-life crisis that makes up the central plot of The Last Kiss and I have to say, I enjoyed the movie. There's a bit about it I could relate to, and it almost concerned me that I identified with Michael too much in the sense that I could see myself falter too when faced with a choice of responsibility vs doing what's more attractive. (No, this does not mean I have a pregnant girlfriend.) The acting is good across the board, and the various stories all ring true.

I know it's unfair, but it's hard to watch The Last Kiss without thinking of Garden State, which also featured a small town story, a similarly introspective lead character played by Zach Braff and a younger love interest. The Last Kiss is a good movie, but Garden State is more entertaining, longer-lasting and has a better soundtrack. I almost hate to make the comparison, but I can't help it. So in the end, I'm giving The Last Kiss a strong B+.

Incidentally, I saw The Last Kiss Tuesday night when it was shown as part of the Boston Film Festival. Director, Ghost star and fellow Brandeis alumnus Tony Goldwyn was there and he answered questions after the film. It's always cool to get a filmmaker's insights into the movie you've just watched, and Goldwyn shared some good stories about the ending that almost was and how this American film differs from the Italian one it's based on. Goldwyn also indicated that when the movie was initially being cast, Rachel McAdams was to play Jenna. I think I'd have preferred that casting because, among other reasons, it would have made the central conflict more believable. As it is, Bilson vs Barrett isn't too hard a choice.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Good Eats

I know I've already posted two things today, but I just had to rave about my lunch. Went with JPP to a new place (for me, anyway) called Sam LaGrassa's, where JPP said I would have the best sandwich ever. Boy, was he ever right. I had a basic roast beef sammidge, with mayo and lettuce, and damn was this good. The meat was warm, the bread tasty, there was just the right amount of mayo and lettuce, and the entire thing (on an Italian roll) was exactly the right size to fill me up without a side accompaniment (though it did come with a pickle). Yum. It cost me $8 just for the sandwich, but it was totally worth it. You know how seriously I take my daily lunch, and this place just moved to upper echelon of my list of favorite places. Sam's is in Downtown Crossing on Province Street, around the corner from City Sports and across the street from The Littlest Bar. If you work in the area, I highly recommend it.

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Free Ice Cream!

As an ice cream lover, there's nothing more exciting to me than a free cone — even when the temperatures here in Boston have cooled off. So thanks to Sara for tipping me off about a free cone offer from Brigham's. Every day from now until Sunday, just go to this site and click on the link to print your coupon. There's a different free flavor coupon every day. Today, for example, is Vanilla. Friday is Curse Reversed. Enjoy!


Cleaning Out My Wallet

This is going to be an expensive week for me at Best Buy. Today's a big day for DVD and CD releases, including ...
* The Office: Season Two DVD
* Grey's Anatomy: Season Two DVD
* Grey's Anatomy: Season Two soundtrack
* John Mayer's new CD, Continuum
* Barenaked Ladies' new CD, Barenaked Ladies Are Me
* Justin Timberlake's new CD, FutureSex/LoveSounds (though I might not actually buy this one since I already downloaded it — shhhhhhh — and don't exactly love it)

And I guess that's enough for one week! Damn. Good thing the My Name Is Earl: Season One DVD doesn't come out until next week. Well, I guess I had too much money in my wallet anyway.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Years Later

I'll say at the outset of this posting that I don't have anything particularly revelatory or important to share about 9/11. But as today is the fifth anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, I felt a certain obligation to post something on my blog to commemorate the day.

To me, 9/11 will always be associated with my first week at a new job. I had started just the day before, on Monday, September 10, 2001, and all was good. My manager and I discussed how successful the company had been so far that year and how it would affect our year-end bonuses, and I was excited about the change in my career and the challenges that laid ahead. The next day, I was meeting with the operations coordinator about my benefits package when people started to gather in the back conference room of our office, which is where the television was. The towers had been hit and no one was quite sure what was going on. Like those in offices all over the country, we were all glued to the screen and unable to really do much else but watch — and try to find our friends and family. I remember not being able to get through to my sister, who had recently moved to Brooklyn, where she had a great view out her window of South Street Seaport and the Twin Towers. People started to go home, but since it was only my second day on the job, I didn't want to go anywhere. No one could get any work done, though, so I finally left work somewhere around 12 or 1:00, I think.

As I've mentioned a few times on this site, among the things I work on is an inflight magazine, and this was a hell of a first week to start that. The magazine was obviously affected by 9/11, and in the months that followed, the person I replaced apologized multiple times for how difficult things were when I was just learning the ropes.

I'll admit that at the time, I was, I don't know, overwhelmed and in denial, so I didn't quite let the events sink in completely and affect me like they affected so many others. Somehow, I kept it all at a distance. It was almost like I built a wall around myself on a subconscious level, and didn't let it sink in emotionally. Part of the reason this was possible was that I didn't know anyone who died that day, thank God, or who was directly affected — despite the fact that I grew up in New York and knew many people who lived there. I've never had much of an attachment to New York (one reason I now live in Boston), so that must be another reason. Instead, this was just a news event to me, one that happened to and affected other people — as bad, cold, heartless, and insensitive as that may sound. It's not that I didn't sympathize with those who lost someone that day. I just couldn't empathize.

Five years later, I am still at the same job and the magazine is more successful than ever. And while others debate the merits and timeliness of movies like United 93 and World Trade Center, I can say I am affected by the events of 9/11 (and the recreations portrayed in those movies) now more than I was on the day itself. For example, I watched the 9/11 documentary on CBS last night, and I don't remember how I felt watching it the first time it was broadcast in 2002, but last night it was gripping television. The movie made me tear up and pause many times, as I felt like I was back on that day and I was living it again. So I thank these movies for existing and being as good as they are. They are helping me understand and appreciate just how horrific this day was, and letting me experience it on a more personal level than I was able to in 2001.

Like I wrote at the outset, I have nothing terribly brilliant to say about 9/11. But I wanted to write something, even if it added no value to the general communal discussion. No matter when or how the day's events affected us, we all lived through them in our own way. This was my story.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Four for Fore (and More)

When Joe, Marie and I (and Marie's cousin, Jenny) met up on Saturday afternoon, we had a four-item to-do list:
* lunch
* miniature golf
* bumper boats
* ice cream
Lunch was taken care of in Concord. After that, we headed to Kimball Farm in Westford, Mass. After finding parking, we grabbed our clubs and played a competitive (ha!) 18 holes of miniature golf. Thankfully, we put a four-"stroke" limit on each hole. That evened things out. Then again, I was awfully proud of my hole-in-one on one of the holes. But it was a great course, well designed, and fast-moving.

After taking a turn on the bumper boats, we endured the long lines for some ice cream. (Seriously. We must have waited about a half hour.) But it was all worth it; the ice cream was yummy and the weather couldn't have been much better. This was the most recent stop on Joe, Marie and my Ice Cream Tour of Boston, and we had wanted to get up to Kimball Farm for more than a year. Now we can cross it off our list.

So all told, it was a nice day trip. I recommend it to anyone looking to "get away" and do something a little different. In addition to the mini golf and bumper boats at Kimball Farm, there's also a regular golf driving range and a country store, and just a nice drive through "the country" to get up there. For the four of us, it was mission accomplished.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Do You Know Me?

So anyway, I went out last night with Sara and her "knight in shining armour," Todd. We talked about when her computer died and the weekend she went to New Jersey. And of course, she wished me happy blogiversary and asked how things were going at work in the two months since I was promoted. And we talked about how some people call me Martin and some call me Marty and what that's all about.

The funny thing was, this was actually the first time Sara and I had ever hung out (if you don't include a brief conversation at the reunion back in June). But because we both have blogs, we already knew a great deal about each other and what we'd both been up to. Which was cool and all, but also sort of weird because it reminded me just how much of my life is put out on this blog for public consumption.

I mean, it's not all here. You don't read about work or my dating experiences, for example. But you know when I go to the movies and how I spend my weekends and what TV shows I'm watching (for better and for worse) and how I feel about various topics, and all sorts of other stuff.

So it's funny. How many conversations start with something like, "What's new?" or "What have you been up to?" But if you read my blog, you already know the answer to those questions, don't you?

It's not that I mind people being able to live my life vicariously through this site. Far from it. If that was a problem, I wouldn't keep a blog like this one. And hey, if you find my life that interesting that you keep coming back every day, week, or whenever, well, then that's cool. It's just that it's sort of weird to talk with people and not have to catch them up on what's going on with me because they've been following along on here and they know all my stories already.

Not that it stopped Sara, Todd and I from keeping a conversation going last night. On the contrary. In fact, every so often we'd say something or do something or see something and wonder if the other would put it in his/her blog. And, well, I guess this posting (and Sara's posting) just goes to show that yes, some aspect of the evening did get documented. Blogs are funny like that sometimes.


The Other Side of the River

I don't often go to Cambridge, and it's not just because getting there by T is an uncomfortable experience.

Or at least it used to be. When I first moved to Boston, I worked for five months at a public relations firm in Kendall Square. Then they fired me, which was the best possible thing because I was not the right person for this job and I truly did not like it. But while I worked there and for a couple years after that, every time I'd ride the T, I'd get an upset stomach every time we'd go through the Kendall/MIT station. No joke. It was like a Pavlov's Dog kind of thing that my body just knew where I was and hated being there.

All that has passed now, thank God, and basically I just told you a story for no relevant reason to this posting.

Anyway, these days I don't go to Cambridge because I don't like Cambridge. Actually, maybe the anecdote above was relevant because I'll expand my statement to say I don't like anywhere on the Red Line. No dating relationship I've ever had with a woman who lived in Cambridge or Somerville has ever worked out. In fact, I don't even date people who live on the Red Line anymore. I'm strictly a Green Line dater. And I've just never fit in over there when I've walked around. All the independent stores and restaurants, with their "edginess" — they're just not my thing. I much prefer the Back Bay or Brookline to Central Square or Harvard Square.

In fact, I am strictly a Green Line person, and I do believe there are Green Line people and Red Line people. And yes, I prefer people who live on this side of the river too.

Cantabrigians (or whatever they're called) are just not my kind of people. They're a totally different breed. Somervillians too. Which is fine. It's not that I don't like the people who live there, I just don't like where they live. I mean, and also, it's so far away. Hell, it's like going to a different country going to the other side of the river. So I almost never go. And sure, maybe it's because I don't know the area so well. After all, for a while, I thought that Somerville was a part of Cambridge, in the same way that Chestnut Hill is a part of Newton.

But I went to that side of the river last night, to Harvard Square, with Todd and Sara. And it was a good time, but yeah, I don't like Cambridge very much.

(And for the record, this was just a silly posting, full of ridiculous statements, wild generalizations, and dumb, unfounded commentary. I was just having a little fun, so I hope you read it with plenty of salt. Even though, alright fine, there may actually be a shread of truth to what I wrote if you don't pay attention to the pesky details.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh, Baby

I know I'm late to the discussion on this, but since I've been asked a couple times today, let me add my two cents ...

Say what you will about her father, but Suri Holmes Cruise (or whatever her name is) is one adorable baby. As What Would Tyler Durden Do? says, the only way the photos from Vanity Fair could be any cuter would be "if there was a baby tiger and a baby panda dressed in little Halloween costumes in the background. The tiger would be dressed as a pirate and the panda would be a ghost in a sheet with holes cut out for eyes. And then they went to the house and the person ran out of candy after giving candy to the baby pirate tiger, so the baby ghost panda didn’t get any, so then the baby pirate tiger would share his candy with the baby ghost panda. Other than that, I think the cuteness is pretty much maxed out." Click on this link to see all the sickeningly sweet cuteness. (Or click here if the other link has been taken down.)

Good for Katie, I say. If this is the type of child she produces, Katie can procreate with me any day of the week if she'd like to. Otherwise, fine, I suppose I'll settle for Jennifer Garner. But damn. I can't get over how f'in cute this baby is.

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Bright Sun

Picked up Ray LaMontagne's new CD, Till the Sun Turns Black, this weekend and I have to say, I love this album. You already know I love Ray's cover of "Crazy" (the Gnarls Barkley song that everyone, even Billy Idol, has covered this summer) and this makes me like him even more. From the lush (can I use that word to describe Ray's music?) and string-filled first track, "Be Here Now," and "Can I Stay," to the more jangly, jazzy "You Can Bring Me Flowers," and on, this is great listening. I especially love "Three More Days," which is soulful and catchy, and sounds like classic Joe Cocker. Till the Sun Turns Black is a beautiful album that seems to be a big jump from Ray's last CD, Trouble (which, admittedly, I don't own, but have heard a lot of). Consider this one highly recommended. Go pick it up and listen for yourself.


Monday, September 04, 2006

I Can See Clearly Now ...

... the rain is gone. Sunday sucked. Simply said. Were it not for the great U.S. Open matches, the day would have been a total waste for me.

... because I picked up my new glasses on Saturday. They're rimless and more stylish than my old pair. And, they're a better, more up-to-date prescription (which always helps). Still, I'm not convinced I want to keep them. The titanium is just too light, the frames feel too loose, they look funny, and it's been a weird adjustment. Thankfully, LensCrafters' 30-day guarantee gives me that flexibility. So I'm keeping my eyes open. Pun intended.

... that school's back in session. Yes, it takes longer to drive down Comm. Ave and the city's just generally more crowded. But most importantly, shopping at Shaw's is no longer a pleasure. (I mean, not including the eye candy, which is great and back in abundance.) You may know that I take a small degree of pride in my ability to get through the self-checkout lane quickly, and these newbies do nothing but hold me up and make all the lines longer. Avoid 4–6p.m. at all costs.

... that some people just suck. I needed an activity today, so I ventured up north to Jordan's in Reading to check out (but not take advantage of) the trapeze lessons (and have a hamburger at Fuddruckers), and then I went to the Burlington Mall. Well, what must have been a half hour later, I still hadn't found a parking spot at the mall (yes, I was being really patient) and I decided to just go home. So a giant F.U. to the two people who literally stole my spots. One was right behind me and wouldn't back up so I could get the spot I had been waiting for because she wanted it, and another pulled out in front of me and grabbed a spot that had become available and that I was clearly entitled to. Not sure I've cursed that much in a long time. (That is, until someone in my building removed my clothes from the washers within five minutes of it being done. WTF? People can't give a person a five minute grace period?) ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!


Friday, September 01, 2006

They're Back? Yes and No

Yes: The T is full of stupid kids trying to squeeze on to already-full trains. There are random mattresses in random hallways, moving trucks on the side of the street, and clueless parents spending money to help their kids settle into their new apartments. There's activity in the streets after 10 p.m. Louder volumes in the malls and restaurants and most everywhere else you go. Are the students back in town? You bet.

No: Despite all their health scares and the off-field drama, the Sox have now won two games in a row for the first time in about a month. It's a frickin' miracle. So are they back in the pennant race? No, I don't think so.

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Happy Anniversary!

Anyone who knows me probably knows that I'm easily distracted and don't always finish the things I start. (I'm also a bit wordy, so get ready.) So it stands to reason that when I started keeping a blog, few people (including myself) thought I'd keep it going for very long. But here it is, one year later, and Martin's Musings is still going strong, with posts almost daily. Happy Blogiversary to me!

In total, I've written close to 350 postings over the course of the last 365 days. You've read about my sicknesses, my apartment cleaning, my obsession with Jennifer Garner, my movie watching, my picks for American Idol, and various other topics. Some of my postings have been fun, some have been serious, some informative, some just lame, and some, well, some just took up space. A handful have even been good enough to be quoted in the Boston Globe. But whatever I've written, y'all have been reading, and I just wanted to say that I truly appreciate the support. I don't know who all my readers are, but I can see when you visit the site and I thank you for coming over again and again, and for reading what I have to say. And of course, I hope you stick around for the next year or more.

But enough of that mushy crap. It's time to announce what I think is the most memorable post of my first year of blogging. Here's number one.

From November 1: "Exclusive: Sox to Name New GM"
This blog has been, first and foremost, an outlet for me to write in other ways than my job sometimes allows me. I suppose it also gives me another place to play jokes on unsuspecting victims. So when Theo Epstein decided not to renew his contract as general manager of the Red Sox last fall, I figured this was my chance. I wrote a fake news report saying I had been chosen to be the new G.M. and made it look like an actual Associated Press story. Apparently, some of my readers were actually fooled. But in all seriousness, of all the things I've written on my blog during the year, I think this may be the best post of them all. I'm still really proud of it. You can read the post here.

Yesterday: number 2
Wednesday: number 3
Tuesday: number 4
Monday: number 5

Now ... on to year two!