Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
Shabbat Shalom, Y'all!
Don't watch this if you're SHOMER SHABBOS! Especially not if you're SHOMER F'ING SHABBOS!
It's Mine! All Mine!
So, I made my own excitement. I made my first of what will likely be many trips to Target. I went looking at new furniture (didn't buy any, though). I bought all new dishes and silverware and I sat in the condo watching and listening as my new dishwasher got 'em clean. (Oh, how I love having a dishwasher.) I got dinner from one of the neighboring take-out spots and ate at the counter in my place. I did a little cleaning. And I basically just tried to soak in the fact that I was all grownz'd up, with a mortgage, equity, roots, and a condo (in Newton!) that I could call my very own. I'll tell you this much: It felt really good.
There's lots to do in the next week before the moving truck comes. Not surprisingly, I have a sudden urge to fill up some boxes and get out of my current place and into the new one. And of course, to get me de t-shirt with the alligator on.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Somewhere in the Middle
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
With Apologies to Clement Clarke Moore
And all through my place,
The boxes are sitting here
Taking up space.
They're all in the way,
There's nothing inside.
"You've got to start packing!"
My family has cried.
On bookshelves, on tables,
In closets and drawers,
My stuff has to leave,
Can't stay here no more.
But first there's a matter
Of higher import.
A check is still waiting,
And lawyers of some sort.
The closing will happen.
The forms will be signed.
And then I can say,
"This apartment is mine!"
And then I'll start packing,
I'll get on my way.
For now I'm excited
For a very big day!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
One come-from-behind win for the Sox.
One lame performance by Dice-K.
One game where J.D. Drew’s absence was felt (in a good way).
One game where Manny came through twice.
One game where Ellsbury made an awesome catch.
One crucial bunt by Pedroia.
One playing of “Shipping Up to Boston” to greet Pap.
One down, many more games to go. Woo hoo!!! Baseball's back!
Labels: Red Sox
I Love the Sight of Red Sox in the Morning
Monday, March 24, 2008
Giving Dyngus Its Due
Thinking Out of the Box
Of course, I still have plenty of books and stuff left on my bookshelves, but the point is, I have less of it now. Far less than what I had. My shelves were overflowing and there were multiple stacks of books on my floors, just collecting dust. So goodbye to unneeded clutter. Same goes for my magazine collection. This weekend I filled up four garbage bags of old magazines and dumped 'em. I did what were likely my last two loads of laundry in my building on Sunday night and instead of washing some old t-shirts, I just threw them away. I did the same with some discolored glasses and old bowls I hadn't used in three years. After all, I already had new glasses from my recent trip to IKEA (unopened, I might add), so that's one less thing I have to pack.
Point is, I'm being productive here, even if there aren't so many boxes actually packed. I really can't wait to move, and not just because of my instrument-playing neighbors. It's very exciting to close a chapter in your life both symbolically and literally — when you get rid of stuff you've owned for too long — and while packing up to move is definitely a chore, I can say I'm enjoying this part of the process.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I saw this right off Gardner St., the street that runs parallel to Comm Ave. near Shaw's, in Allston. It was on the wall behind the T-Mobile store.
Some neighborhoods have gang-related graffiti, others have large artwork. My neighborhood has film criticism. Hmmmmm ...
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Talented Mr. Minghella
Monday, March 17, 2008
Movin' On Up
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Tracy Jordan Is the New Tina Fey
Thursday, March 13, 2008
That's right, kids. The CW is developing a "contemporary spinoff" of 90210 to be written by Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars. No word yet on which former cast members will appear in the show, but apparently it's been "fast tracked" and if all goes well, it could be on the air later this year. I just hope the show is more like the original series' first five seasons (through sophomore year of college) and not the later ones.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Earfro and Ugly Dogs
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Dodger Blue, Cardinal Red, and Oriole Orange
Dodgertown is a pretty cool place to spend the day. It's a complex, and the practice fields and the stadium (more like a field with seats for the fans) are all in one place. And that allows for more up-close-and-personal interaction than you would get, say, in Fort Myers at this point in spring training. I got some great great photos (stay tuned for more of those later) and we talked with Tommy Lasorda and were inches from the players — especially during the game, when we sat about a foot behind the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. Joe Torre was there, as were Don Mattingly, Todd's favorite out-maker Juan Pierre, Derek Lowe, etc. etc. And Albert Pujols and Nomar both hit homers. Oh, and they serve Dodger Dogs at Dodgertown, too. Yum.
So what could be bad? Well, while we were enjoying ourselves, I roasted. And now I'm all red around my neck and on my face and arms. Appropriately, it's the same color as the Cardinals' uniforms. But it was worth it. We had a great time.
Today we went to Fort Lauderdale Stadium to see the Orioles and the Mets play. That's really all we could do. It's not a terribly big place and aside from the game, there's not much to see. The Mets sent their B-squad, so the big deal for me was seeing Kevin Millar, who didn't disappoint. He's a fan fave, still quick with a joke, and he went 1-3. Same ole Millar.
Even though these weren't the best ballgames I've seen, it's still really cool to hear the crack of the bat again, and more importantly, to see the players doing what they (and I) enjoy so much. Spring is here, my friends. And in just a few weeks, summer will follow right behind. Bring it on.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
This Is B.S.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Closer to Closing
Woo hoo! Buying a condo is fun again.
Monday, March 03, 2008
The More You Know
The really good cover of Don Henley's "The Heart of the Matter" in the new Sex & the City trailer is not, as I suspected, by the movie's costar, Jennifer Hudson, but by India.Arie.
Moral of the Story:
A well-placed cover of a great song in the trailer of a movie I was iffy about will make said movie a must-see. And, iTunes just made another sale.
Second-biggest Important Discovery of the Day:
All six of the laundry machines in my building — not just the two new ones — now cost $1.75 per load.
Moral of the Story:
I have more than one reason to be happy I'm moving and will have laundry in my apartment.
Third-biggest Important Discovery of the Day:
Buying a condo can be very stressful, especially the day before you have to sign the Purchase & Sale, hand over a big check, and decide on a mortgage lender.
Moral of the Story:
A week ago I told Todd I found the whole condo-buying process fun. Todd responded by saying, "If you're having fun, then you're not doing it right." Wise words. But I choose to heed the even wiser words of that old adage, "Anything worth having is worth working for." And I know it's all going to be worth it a month from now.
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Sunday, March 02, 2008
To My Neighbors ...
Since September I have put up with your your violin playing, complaining about it only on this blog. It has gone on day and night, for hours on end. And I think I've been more than tolerant and flexible about letting you play without banging on any doors or walls, or reporting you to the building management company. I've even dealt with your smelly cooking, which has stunk up the hallway, and every so often would back up into my kitchen sink — largely due, I was told, to the fact that you did not understand how to use a disposal. I've never spoken to you, even though we live next door to each other. But that day is coming and you're not going to like what I have to say.
Do you have any conception of how loud you are, and of the fact that if I walk to the opposite end of the hallway I can still hear you playing? Do you know how annoying it is to get home from a long day of work and hear your screeching violin playing echoing through the hallways? Do you know how difficult it is to enjoy a TV show or to relax at night when you're playing? Do you have any common decency or respect for your neighbors? Do you? I guess not.
Last week when you began playing violin during the Oscars, I finally lost all my patience, went beyond my breaking point, and reported you to Hamilton. I know they called you and sent you a note telling you it's building policy that loud noise such as violin playing is not allowed. And yet, it's Sunday evening and after listening to both of you playing your violins this afternoon for two hours — solo, and then together, and then solo again — now you've started again. Ladies, that's enough. No, it's more than enough. I've had it. This is fu**ing ridiculous. In fact, I've complained to Hamilton again (they asked me not to complain directly to you). Actually, I emailed them this afternoon and I've done so again this evening. And yes, I know I'm moving in about a month, but I don't care. You must stop. Now. You must go to the practice studio at your school and practice there — just like my upstairs neighbor does. You must never cross me in the hallway. You must cease to exist in the building. And most definitely, you must stop knocking on the wall the very second I laugh at something on TV, as you have done twice this past week.
I'm generally a very nice person. But even I have my limits. If you keep playing your violin, I will keep reporting you to Hamilton (as they have asked me to do), and they will kick you out of the building. I hope that when they send you a second notice tomorrow morning that you will understand what they say and take it to heart. Otherwise, it will only get worse for you. Because if Hamilton's efforts don't produce results, then you'll have to deal with me. And I can assure you, when my passive aggressive nature turns less passive, you will not like it. I, however, will enjoy making my last weeks in the building as unpleasant for you as I possibly can.
So please, for your own sake, please (and yes, I'm still saying please) quit it with the violin playing. Immediately.
ps: Obviously, this picture is not of you. Just in case anyone else was wondering.
Raise this Roof
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Power to the People
More than 15 years later, the lessons of Jerry Cohen have come back to life with the movie Chicago 10, a documentary about the infamous trial of the Chicago Seven — folks like Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale — who were put on trial for conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to violent protests that took place in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. (The title comes from a quote by Rubin, who said, "Anyone who calls us the Chicago Seven is a racist. Because you're discrediting Bobby Seale. You can call us the Chicago Eight, but really we're the Chicago Ten, because our two lawyers went down with us.") Director Brett Morgen mixes archival footage with computer-generated cartoons and a modern-day soundtrack to illustrate the trial and the convention week events. As historical documents go, it's pretty cool to actually see a lot of the older footage and see how folks protested the Vietnam War. It's also fun to see Hoffman in action; he comes across here as more of an agitator than a political activist, since he seems to delight more in getting a rise out of people than making actual change. The trial itself was a bit of a farce, since few of the defendants took the proceedings seriously. Judge Julius Hoffman (no relation to Abbie) was basically a crotchety old man who looked down on the defendants and made his disdain for them clear. And the fact that they all basically got off only emphasizes how silly the whole thing was.
Morgen uses the actual court transcripts as the script for the cartoon segments (with folks like Nick Nolte, Hank Azaria, and Mark Ruffalo providing the voices), and to be honest, these are some of the weaker segments in the film. The animation isn't terribly impressive, and the back and forth with Judge Hoffman gets sort of old. On the good side, songs like the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" are used to good effect to amp up the protest footage. I generally liked seeing these events I had in my head actually playing out in front of me. And it's nice that there's no present-day analysis from anyone, because what's happening basically speaks for itself. But that said, the film is missing some degree of insight, and some extra degree of engagement that prevented me from being completely impressed. So I'm giving Chicago 10 a B.