29 November 2005

Random Quizzilla

1) What do the blue or red lights atop the old John Hancock tower signify?
steady blue - a clear view
flashing blue - clouds are due
steady red - rain ahead
flashing red - snow instead, or the Red Sox game is cancelled.
(Right, Bags?)

2) "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays?" Oh, enough already. I say "Merry Christmas" to most. I always wish my Jewish pals a "Happy Channukah" and generally say "Happy Holidays" to people I don't know in case they fall within the one-tenth-of-one-percent of the population that is offended by someone else's misguided well wishing.


3) What was the last book you read? The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank, The Long Way Down by Nick Hornby and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer


4) When was the last time you acted phony?
Most of my phony moments these days occur at Panera Bread. Last week, my loquacious pal George DeFillippo from Linden Ponds plopped down at my table. He is a lovely man -- a widow, 70ish -- who plays golf four days a week and lives in Florida four months a year. He IMs his grandchildren and has a Shitzu named Carl. George made his way over to my table with a mug of coffee and a baked egg souffle. I could feel my deadline encroaching and precious babysitter minutes ticking away as he proceeded to read over my shoulder and ask me if I'd ever returned anything to Kohl's. I wanted to overturn the table and karate chop him, but instead I just asked him if the egg souffles had cheese in them.

5) Song currently on the radio that makes you want to drive off a bridge? "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt. Is he trying to sound like Rod Stewart or Alanis Morrisette? Either way, it's horrible.

27 November 2005

Get Down, Girl, G'head Get Down

(photo: Ofelia and the ladies pre-show at Club Cafe)

Whenever I'm planning an evening out with Miss Ofelia Cox, I've come to expect an evening that's as fiery and unpredictable as Ofelia's hair color. And this evening, she did not disappoint. Since black is the new black, Ofelia was all glammed out in a sparkly black evening frock with a slit up to there, fierce black stillettos and of course, her requisite to-die-for cleavage. Within moments of her grand arrival at 209 Columbus, lords and ladies alike were unwittingly caught up in the current of her fabulousness; they hovered, unable to turn their eyes away. Among the hangers on was Stacy, a 58-year old lovey with a grayish bob and a hostile bosom. While she was wonderful to chat with, she was not so much to look at. And as usual, Miss Ofelia's radiance only accentuated Stacy's as well as the rest of our cosmetic shortcomings.

(photo: "Oh honey, go on...No, really...go on!")

After warming up at Club Cafe, the ladies headed out to the show at Jacques. Before most of us even reached Berkeley Street, Ofelia, eager to get to the show, was rounding Arlington Street in her stillettos. I've never seen someone haul ass in five-inch heels quite as gracefully. It was very impressive. Someone shouted "Bring it" from a passing car. My car, on the other hand, was parked right by Grille 23. And being a less daring version of my former self, I decided to send myself home before the Grey Goose-effect kicked in and hobbled my driving ability -- which most of you know is atrocious sober. Annie continued on with Ofelia, etal. and said she experienced one of the most hilarious drag shows in recent history. As of 3 a.m. on Saturday, she was still downloading dance mixes from iTunes.


(photo: "Damn! That Ofelia's got a rack!")

24 November 2005

Turkey Lurkey


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL.

Trying to brine a turkey this morning. Even though we're spending the day at my cousin's house, we're still whipping up a full-on Thanksgiving feast for the obligatory leftovers. James gets this unbelievable Syrian bread from a Middle Eastern bakery in Roslindale that adds a dash of Lebanese flavor to the post-Thanksgiving sandwich. Jimmy ranks these creations among the "top 10 percent of all sandwiches" --so you know they're something special. If you're in the area this weekend, come on by and we'll make you one.

And be sure to pick up a Globe today. LP appears on the front page of the Living Arts section looking like she walked out of the pages of the NYT Style mag. Unfortunately the online version does not include photos, so just spend the 50 cents on a hard copy already.

23 November 2005

Season of the Sag - Nov 23 thru Dec 22



(clockwise: Moi 11/29, Dreama 11/30, Dawnie 12/1 & Di 12/18)

The sun officially moves into Sagittarius today, which means it's the season of "celebration for the sake of celebration." In other words, things may get a bit BASHY over the next few weeks. Many Sags subscribe to this philosophy year-round, but when they're "in season" they enforce it fiercely. And if you know anyone in the collage of babes pictured above, you likely have reason to whoop it up anyway. These Sags -- quirky, neurotic and chill -- come together to form a "pointy" prism of sparkling personality that should never be held too closely to the light -- or an open flame.

Below is a summary of typical Sagittarian traits that may or may not present themselves in a typical Sag, because as everyone knows -- it's all about the rising sign.

Pleasure: travel, philosophy, free-spirited company
Pain: responsibility, details, tightly-wound company

Generous and freedom-loving, Sagittarians are famous for their love of philosophy and debate; they crave knowledge, and will spare no effort to satisfy that innate curiosity.

Sagittarians often find that some of their most successful relationships are with four-legged creatures -- their connection to anything with fur, feathers and even leaves is legendary. (note: any references to bestiality in comment postings are welcome but will meet sharp, humiliating rebuttal involving photos - or straight-up deletion.)

If you're a human, you can only have a Sag of your very own if you're willing to hold on with an open palm. (again, watch your comments with this one.) Controlling types can shite in their hats. Free-spirited souls with similar life agendas will find a loyal, impressive, and witty friend/partner in a Sag.

Caveat: Sagittarians aren't known for their tact. Be extra-forgiving of seemingly inappropriate statements.

(source: paraphrased from Astrology.com)

22 November 2005

BRIDGING A CULTURAL DIVIDE

Bags, one of 413's finest, is offering clarity on some of the bewildering backspeak one may be confronted with when people from Western Mass infiltrate your family or group of friends. It's an unprecedented effort to bridge the cultural divide that exists between 617 and 413 and the Pointy Universe supports and gives kudos to Bags (and SAC, who contributed to this report) for his generous outreach.


413-isms by BAGS
There's 413 and then there's the rest of the world. The WSC crew only had a small glimpse of life in the world of Western Massachusetts. Unless you grew up there, [like SAC and I,] you can never truly appreciate how an entire region often speaks an entirely different language from the eastern part of the state. Many times we’ve been asked to explain, “what do you call that or what’s the equivalent?” only to do so to a bewildered look. I am setting the record straight once and for all:


617 / 781 World---- 413 Equivalent


Ice Cream Man---- Ding Dong Cart
The prom---- Prom (no “the”)
Jimmies / Sprinkles (on sundae)---- Shots (pronounced shahts)
Sub---- Grinder
Tonic / Soda---- Cola
BBQ/Cookout---- Picnicking (or Picnic as a verb)
Go to the Liquor Store---- Make a Packy Run**
Quarter Barrel---- Beer Ball

**often heard in parts of Massachusetts, mostly from underage drinkers.

And for all of you Bostonians who think deep fried turkey on Thanksgiving is trendy new tradition, you’re wrong. The Berkshire relatives have been perfecting this art form since the early 70’s. In the holiday tradition we’ll leave you with the Thanksgiving equivalents of what will be served this Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving:

617 / 781 Talk---- 413 Equivalent

Roast Turkey---- Deep Fried Turkey
Fresh Cranberries---- Cranberry with the can marks
Homemade stuffing---- Stove Top stuffing
Real mashed potatoes---- Betty Crocker Potato Buds
Pinot Grigio---- Jack Daniels
Merlot---- Pabst Blue Ribbon - cans
….and for dessert
Tom The Turkey – Carvel Cake---- Jubilee Roll – Friendly’s

18 November 2005

THE MUNG

Most of the time, I'm pretty healthy. But once a year, I get sick sick sick sick and it's always in November. A friend of ours calls it "the mung" - something that's worse than a common cold but not quite the flu.

I'm accused of burning the candle at both ends, living on little sleep and zero downtime. But I do this year round, not just in November so I don't know why this month makes me more susceptible. Last year, Caroline licked the fishtank at the Children's Museum on Halloween and introduced a particularly violent strain of the mung into the house a few days later. This time, I'm the host - feverish and hallucinating. It could be a combination of Theraflu and Sudafed. Or the hit of Children's Dimetapp.

17 November 2005

Random Quizilla

1) Name something in which you don't believe. Eternal damnation.

2) If you could choose a different name, what would it be? Probably some sort of throw-back name like Shirley or Maxine.

3) Favorite slang word for something "cool?" "Dope."

4) Who is Curtis James Jackson, III? 50 Cent, pronounced "fitty cent."

5) What kind of shampoo are you currently using? I have a huge vat of Biolage shampoo that I received in a Christmas grab last year. It's still half full, which shows how infrequently I wash my hair.

16 November 2005

On Time and Under Budget


(photo: Monday evening bar crowd at 53 South)

Annie and I had dinner with our friend and former boss Andy the other night. Since my digital camera's batteries bit the dust and rendered me photoless, I thought I'd use his Google image in place of the would-be photos. So, what happens when you type Andy's last name into Google images? Lo and behold, you get a face full o' Pope. This, in and of itself is odd. However, the fact that Andy has always said his father uncannily resembles the late pontif leads me to believe he is involved in some DaVinci-esque conspiracy involving the Vatican and swarthy suburban jews.


(photo: Pope Paven)

We had dinner at Fifty-three South, which by no small coincidence is located on Route 53 South. Aside from the occassional whiff of Chalupas wafting in from neighboring Taco Bell, the restaurant -- especially the bar area -- had the feel of a mini Bomboa or even Silvertone.

Over the appetizers, we revisited our Myers-Briggs personality profiles. I am an INFP. And while all three of us fall just shy of "misanthropic," Ann and Andy tend to be brooding and diplomatic, whereas I can be a reasonless freak with a faulty filter. No wonder Andy fired me.

When the Greater Tri-Cube Area was dismantled in 1998, our colleagues scattered in many different directions -- some to lofty PR positions, others to straight-up bumhood. Once a year or so, we have our "On Time and Under Budget" reunion where we huddle together like war buddies and try to work through the horrors experienced at the hands of the joint venture. But then there are the misty watercolored recollections too -- cherished ones of Prabu Prabakhar; the sound of his voice, images of his abandoned shoes, still fresh.

(photo: Prabu, where art thou?)

It's moments like these that make it so difficult to understand why attendance has dwindled over the past few years. Oh, there is no shortage of excuses, but the majority are flimsy reasons that border on self-effacing. We lost one colleague to an extended wallpapering endeavor, another to a fear of driving in the dark. Our former co-worker, Tex, is often present at these dinners, but his mind is now under the control of a cult, namely EMC. We usually roll with it because we're happy to see him and he's even inspired a new drinking game: Whenever Tex uses the word "storage," you take a drink. Still, it's only a matter of time before we'll have to slip him a mickey, shine a light in his eyes and de-program him. And Code Red and I are not shy about taking such desperate measures to save friends who have forgotten how much they miss us.

When BB Smooth J went underground a few years ago, we weren't about to let that X-ray with hair fade into obscurity. We said "We're goin' in," and descended on his Scituate home like a SWAT team, unannounced, on a Saturday afternoon. Just like that, BB Smooth J was back. If it hadn't been past midnight, BB just may have received another unannounced visit from us on Monday night. We were sort of in the neighborhood, after all.

After dinner, we were complaining to the bartender that it's hard to go out for a cocktail past 10 p.m. in this area. But she assured us we could find said drink just one mile down the road. Before you could say "Drop the Chalupa," we dove into Annie's car and peeled out of the parking lot. One mile later, we skidded into the parking lot of an establishment I swore I'd never set foot inside: T.G.I.Fridays, a soulless franchise next to a mattress retail store. But, it's not the place that matters as much as the company and we had a smashing time. And, in taking that step down, I reached a new milestone: I stayed out past midnight in the suburbs for the first time. On a Monday no less. And we can't wait to do it again. Just don't make us come over there, Andy.

14 November 2005

A Little Sauce, A Little Cheese

"A little saauce, a little cheeese. Nothin' to be afraid of."
- Guy with a thick Dorchester accent and a crush on Auntie trying to convince her to come over for pizza (1992)

I guess the theme is "there is nothing in this world that a little sauce and a little cheese can't fix." Although, I could do without the cheese. After an absolute ASS of a week, dinner with friends -- namely, the other Kate & James -- at Caffe Tosca inspired a 180 in my attitude. At the senior-citizen-early hour of 6:30 p.m., we turned over our wee brown babies -- crabby and insolent -- to our angelic babysitter/magician who inspires silence, obedience and sleep in Caroline and Paulie, and even Vito. We would likely have to drug the children and the pug to yield similar results...but we don't. We headed over to the Norton's in Hingham for pre-show.

(photo: The Kates: My hand, freakishly large)

When we arrived, Katie & James were in the midst of their own mayhem, having two kids ages 3 and 2. We hid out in their sitting room with a bottle of red that had a story behind it.

Katie said her status-obsessed neighbor, who incidently is a mail-order bride from Russia, gave the bottle of wine to her on the condition that she inform whomever she shares it with that it's "a very expensive bottle of wine." CLASSY BROAD. We toasted the misguided M.O.B, and enjoyed the delish wine. The best part: This story led to another of Katie's, detailing how she diplomatically negotiated a non-socialize agreement with the mail-order bride and other nosy, pole-in-ass neighbors. "Feel free to use the swingset in my yard..anytime! But just because you're there, doesn't mean I'm going to come out and talk." My kind of agreement as I still hide from neighbors.

(photo: The Jameses)

At Caffe Tosca, I learned that James N. is a fellow freak as he is also not a fan of cheese! Even better, his dislike is as conditional and layered as mine. Chunks of cheese are off limits, but he will eat pizza and ricotta-based pastas. Plainly put, he doesn't necessarily like cheese but is neither threatened nor plagued by it. Exactly. There's got to be a gene!

So, aside from the excessive amount of cheese strewn about the salads and entrees, it was another successful dinner at Caffe Tosca, followed by a booze-fueled nightcap at Star's. We were home at 11 p.m., which is like 2 a.m. in the suburbs, so everyone should be very impressed.

11 November 2005

Cream Shop Friday: Smells Like Brown Spirit



Today's distraction: Call for captions. This piece of fine art deserves one or two, or fifty. Best caption wins a frozen turkey.


*photo by T-Bag

Cream Shop Friday is a feature on this blog detailing the biggest distraction of the week.

09 November 2005

Wild Kingdom: Hanover

In the weeks prior to our moving to the South Shore last year, a six-year-old Hanover boy was attacked by a rabid raccoon in his driveway, and there were numerous reports of renegade coyotes snacking on small pets. While I'm always on high-alert, I've figured it's only a matter of time before I come face-to-face with nature. And last week, my number came up. I was in the backyard enjoying the 70 degree weather; Caroline was chasing Vito and I was trying to keep Paulie from eating rocks. Suddenly, I heard a slight rustling in the bushes on the other side of the brook. The rustling got louder, and I spotted some kind of brown-colored creature through the leaves and branches who appeared to be heading in our direction.

Even though I'd started fibrillating, I tried not to become shrill and give the kids major anxiety disorders before they're even potty-trained. "C'mon! Everyone into the shed," I said, trying to make it sound fun. I picked up Paulie and herded Caroline and Vito into the shed -- a safe harbor filled with lawnmowers, weed killer, and razor sharp garden tools. I could hear something drinking from he brook, which really freaked me out. I grabbed a rake and peeked outside. I saw the creature again, a little clearer this time. It didn't look like a raccoon or coyote. Maybe a beaver of some kind. The word "woodchuck" came to mind but then I realized I had no idea what a woodchuck looked like. As the animal turned and scurried up the hill, I glimpsed it in its full glory. It was a familiar creature, indigenous to the suburbs -- my neighbors' dachsund.



While I was never going to share this truly pitiful story, LP, having been attacked by a dachsund once, reminded me they are vicious little fuckers who should not be trifled with.

08 November 2005

THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY


This weekend, we attended LP's and Mike's lovely engagement party at Lauren's Aunt Pat's and Uncle Jim's spectacular home in Hull. I've put together a wee photo show. It takes a moment to load, but it's worth it. In this case, the photos tell the story perfectly, and no words, save a few pointy captions, could better capture the poignant and hilarious evening that occurred on Saturday. I hope this does. Click here and then click on "View PhotoShow Deluxe Slideshow" for full coverage.

**photos taken by Lauren's Uncle Mike, LP, and moi.

07 November 2005

Tomorrow in the Pointy Universe...


1st Anniversary Bags: A Guest Blog from Bags!

(photo: "Shock me on the Bus": Auntie tears it up at her bachelorette party Oct '04)

The Bags Officially Turn One
A guest blog from Keith "Bags" Beaudin

It “un-officially” started when I walked up to Auntie - all suave - at Finagle-a-Bagel and made one of the memorable blunders that still haunts me to this day. On an autumn Sunday morning in 1995, I saw Celine standing in line with the look of wanting to be left alone. Being about as smooth as a four-headed kidney stone I went up to Auntie for some cordial conversation and said, “Hey, aren't you Joe Carroll’s younger sister? So how’s it going, Celeste?”

Little did I realize then, that 10 years later Auntie "Celeste" would become the future Mrs. Bags. Unbelievably, we’ve cruised past our first year wedding anniversary on this November 6th. Rather than focus on all the daily accolades of wedded bliss, Kate thought that I could enlighten the PU with some unique family experiences that have transpired over the past couple of years.

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore: Trying to do the honorable thing, I flew down to Fort Lauderdale to ask Mr. & Mrs. Carroll’s blessing for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Having never been to their winter home (ala Seinfeld-esque Del Boca Vista Active Senior Center) I punched in directions on Map Quest. One little problem, the directions that I received were 20 miles off and three towns away from where I needed to be. Driving through a neighborhood that resembled war-torn Fallujah, I quickly ascertained that Joe and Peg were not active members of this particular community, (nor were they selling crack from the address that the local cops were raiding as I was pulling up.) Luckily I was able to get re-routed to ask marital permission and we made it in time for the early bird luncheon special at 11:00 AM at Horizons in Fort Lauderdale.

The Newlyweds Have Arrived: Enjoying ourselves at the open bar at our wedding and then really enjoying ourselves at the McDonald’s** after wedding party, Auntie and I decided to call it a night at 4:30 AM and headed over to the Red Lion Inn to crash at our bridal suite. When we pulled up to the inn, the entire place was pitch black, no lights on whatsoever and all the doors were locked. So with my tux still on, I had to let myself in through the service entrance (in the kitchen) and then unlock the back doors to the inn. As I look up the steep hill from where we parked our car, I saw Auntie standing in her wedding dress surrounded by luggage. Thinking it would be funny, I made the wave sign to grab the luggage and come down the mountainside to the inn. At which point Celine yelled down, “It’s my wedding night! I’m not carrying any luggage or scaling down a hill drunk in my wedding gown.” Ah yes, the Beaudins have checked in.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously: Call him what you want, Baby Bags, Beandip, Little Bags, Dinner Party PiƱata, etc. but this little bundle of joy was brought into our lives on my 33rd birthday as part of a hazing ritual from my fellow work colleagues. They thought it would be funny to get a doll that is intended for girls ages 4 – 12, from a company called www.mytwinn.com. This company creates dolls in the image of a person in which a photograph and physical attributes are sent in, describing the person you want to create. Baby Bags has become a staple at most life events parties. He was also present at Celine’s bachelorette party to usher in this blessed union. In all honesty, Baby Bags really is a creepy little bastard. He is a constant reminder to Celine and I that when things get stressful that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously because there will always be bigger problems to deal with.

(photo: Brownie and Bags take advantage of some alone time at the Nantucket house)
What A Year It Has Been:
Within the past year we have been married, traveled to St. John, Aruba, Ireland, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, Nantucket and South Hadley, bought a new house, moved three times, and watched the Red Sox win the World Series. All in all, a truly great beginning for the Bags’ marriage, with a few laughs along the way. However, all these experiences wouldn’t have the relevance they do without being able to share them with close friends and family. We look forward to the years ahead and new adventures as well as the immediate future and hope that the soon to be newlyweds (LP & Mike, Tom & Dawn, and Body and Keri) experience some of this first year wedding bliss.

**McDonald's as in Jess and Joe, not Ronald.

05 November 2005

Well I got a funky skull and I'm a...


(photo: A typical Saturday evening in Tom's world)

...SCORPIO!

Happy Birthday to T-bag and his 'fro, yo.
Why we love T-Bag: Owner of the best white-guy J5 ever, he has an almost savant-like talent superimposing photos of people's heads onto bodies that don't belong to them but could and should. He also displays unimaginable versatility in the art of karaoke, crooning Lionel Ritchie one moment, and Davy Jones the next. "Daydream Believa, Dreama." He's also a killer dancer. So killer that a concerned bystander who witnessed his moves at Johnny D's, approached his fiancee Dawnie and said, "Excuse me, miss. Is that man bothering you?" Happy 32!

03 November 2005

Random Quizilla

Nothing wakes one up like a Red Bull and a pop quizilla. The Pointy Universe will feature these random 5-question brainers from time-to-time. Feel free to post your answers in the comments...or not.

1) Why did Theo really leave? We'll probably never know the real reason. But it's much easier to stay true to your principles and believe in your future success when you have as many options as Theo has. If we walked away from our "dream jobs" the day we discovered we were smarter than our bosses, we'd simply be unemployed idiots, not visionary renegades. It helps to be rich, brilliant and hot, hot, hot when you're seeking higher purpose and meaning. The only thing I'm seeking is a moment in the day to take a shower.

2) FAKE WORD OF THE DAY: MAKE UP A DEFINITION
blumple (n.) - The pumpkin gut residue left behind on my front stairs by pillaging raccoons.

3) Who is Scooter Libby? VP Cheney's Chief of Staff who was indicted on obstruction of justice and perjury charges last week in the CIA leak scandal. Also bears an odd resemblance to one of the sous chefs at Panera Bread in Hingham.

4) What was the last song you had trapped in your head? Last time La Luna, I light my torch and wave it for the NEW MOON ON MONDAY, and a firedance through the night.... O-oh, it'still there.

5) Name a celebrity you've been told you resemble. A woman at Mike Drinan's wedding told me I looked like Calista Flockhart. While I loathe the bird-skinny Calista, I guess it's an improvement over the last celebrity I was told I resemble: Tracey Ullman.

02 November 2005

Pointy Note

I caved. I had to get some spamocide for the Pointy Universe because deleting inane, solicitous comments from spammers was becoming a full-time job. From now on, when leaving a comment, you'll have to pass through an additional word verification screen. Nothing changes and I hope this doesn't deter your leaving the comments that I treasure so dearly.

I only have two words for spammers that forced me to do this.

Sweet Tarts

(photo: No idea who these tarts are)

This Halloween was the most memorable one since fifth grade in East Boston. That year, the most popular Halloween costume among my female classmates was “whore.” I dressed up as a hippy, as I did nearly every Halloween through the mid-90s because I lacked creativity and liked to straighten my hair. Once a year at St. Mary’s, the nuns would pull their poles out and let the students wear their Halloween costumes to school. That particular year, three of the “whores” showed up in full hooker regalia; they wore lace teddys and fishnets, one girl even had plastic handcuffs clipped to her red lace garter belt. Please note: This is fifth grade. Everyone is 10. After first period, Sister Jeremiah put an end to the pedia-sex show. She marched them off to Father O'Donovan, our alcoholic, chain-smoking priest, who drove them home in the church sedan. Yikes.

Just when we thought all was quiet. Darlene DeNublia showed up second period wearing a roach clip in her hair, having innocently mistaken the feathered clip for a hair accessory. Just when Sister Jeremiah was about to send Darlene home, a nosy substitute teacher (and crazy bitch) decided to single me out. I saw her point to me from the hallway where Sister Jeremiah was standing with a hysterical Darlene. I have no idea what she said but I assume it was about my costume invoking feelings of free love/sex, not to mention that roving band of van-driving clowns that was doling out Mickey Mouse stickers with LSD on them. Luckily, Sister Jeremiah knew I was too heavy into Snoopy to be involved in drugs and sex. She also loosened up on Darlene who was considered mildly retarded in some medical circles. We were both allowed to stay for the ripper of a Halloween party that followed, involving pizza delivered by a one-legged woman in a Darth Vadar mask and velour sweat pants.

After that year, Halloween in Eastie was pretty quiet aside from the occasional fire truck dispatched to put out a barrel fire on Constitution Beach.

Trick-or-Treat!

(photo: Elaborate displays like this are not uncommon in the suburbs)

It was Caroline's first Halloween adventure and she, as Dora, was ready. Joined by Isabella, Maria, Demetra and Peg, Caroline warmed up for some serious trick-or-treatage. She rehearsed lines from her favorite Dora episode "Berry Hunt" and danced around the kitchen island to the Dora theme song, pretending to be chased by Swiper the Fox. Paulie had no interest in partaking this year.


(photo: If you try to put that monkey suit on me, I'll scream, I mean it, I'll scream)

In the burbs, Halloween is taken very, very seriously. Homes are decked. Some, tastefully, with elaborately carved jack-o-lanterns glowing along the walksways. Others not-so-tastefully with motion-sensored electric witches whose eyes light up and shriek when someone walks by.

(photo: Gimme a KitKat)

The pumpkins that I had oh-so-artfully placed on my front stairs were half-eaten by some forest-dwelling creature last week. I purchased an artificial jack-o-lantern at Stop & Shop and placed it in the window, but its ultra-low-wattage bulb barely glowed and filled our house with the aroma of an electrical fire.

All did not matter as we were on a mission. Caroline and Isabella (Sleeping Beauty) became intoxicated by the sound of candy falling into their treat buckets and vowed to hit every well-lit home on the street...and they did. I was also on a mission of my own, having been asked by James to identify the "elderly" people who may be moving out of the neighborhood soon.

(photo: I think they ran out of candy, Bella. Let's get some TP and deeestroy this place!)

James was happy to learn that several people in the neighborhood fit this profile. Not only have a few of our neighbors surpassed the adult-active community stage, but several look like they may drop dead at any moment. Homes in the neighborhood could be up for sale very soon, perhaps for some South Shore bound pals.