31 August 2006

Paulie Shorn

(photo: "I eat waffles with my bare hands.")

Boulos has traded his trademark Brit Pop hairdo for a neater, more clean-cut style, one never seen on his delightfully round head. It pained me to have those wavy rock star locks chopped but they were becoming super-high maintenance and we're already suffering a massive deficit of downtime. From maple syrup residue above his ears to sweaty, salty curls plastered to his forehead, we were up to two, sometimes three shampoos a day -- which was no fun for anyone, trust me. But it's all worked out just fine. Post haircut, our Crap Master P still has a bloody brilliant head of hair. He still smells like maple syrup too, new hairdo notwithstanding.

(photo: "Brit Pop's" forehead gets sticky under his lush bangs during hot and humid August days)

30 August 2006

28 August 2006

Lily Pad

Lily, a much celebrated 11-week old King Charles Cavalier, has taken up residence in a new pad -- or new stoop, if you will -- at Chez Cameo in Southie.

We spent an afternoon in Lily's shadow, walking around Castle Island where we were stopped every 10 feet so passersby could admire Lily's delicate puppiness up close. And Lily was all too happy to oblige.

Still flying high from an uncharacteristically gushing display of affection from Princessica a few days earlier, Lily caused Cameo to worry that this perpetual adulation was turning her pup into a bit of an "attention whore." This notion disappeared faster than a discarded cheeseburger a few yards from Baron for Lily has the goods to back up her diva complex.

24 August 2006


Last night's jubilant Suppah Club at Bacco (not Bricco) in the North End brought resolution to a long-standing philosophical quandary:

Question: What makes a regular celebration a "jubilee?"

Answer: A shot of Limoncello.

Unresolved: What the hell IS that thing?

23 August 2006

Apocalypse Cocktail Lounge: Crazy Fucker

"No kill you today. Kidding! I'm a kidder."

It's past midnight...Whew! August 22nd, the day that would be Doomsday has officially passed and we're still here. Rumors of the Apocalypse going down did not come to fruition. There is no nuclear annihilation to speak of, no horses galloping yonder, no Antichrist Tasering heathens and infidels. I guess any day you sidestep Armageddon is a good day. Still, Ahmadinejad -- who started all this crap -- remains jacked up on uranium, determined to harnass energy for "peaceful purposes" a.k.a giant buckets of bombs. While we're safe for now, there is nothing like the threat of end times to make you live a little larger, stay in the moment, abandon tedium and have a little fun. Perhaps Mahmoud is catching the spirit as well -- he's started his own blog and is featured in, like, 92 You Tube videos.

22 August 2006

I Don't Want to Talk About It

(photo: The Jacksons and Sepecks in happier hours during the rain delay)

I'd rather talk about anything else than what went down at Fenway. I'd rather rehash Matt Del's discussion of "anal bleaching" that came out of nowhere during our pre-game dinner at Canestaro.

(photo: "Don't tinker with your sphincter")

The "silver bullet," my umbrella and would-be talisman, could not prevent the skies from opening up over Fenway. But I'm pleased to report that the rain delay was a high-spirited one.

I'm happy to talk about seeing Wally run amok on the concourse and how I half-expected to see Bags chasing him with an aluminum baseball bat.

Happy to say I ran into my old friend Bob from high school just outside the ladies loo.

I can talk about but wouldn't do justice to Dayna's pitch-perfect heckle of Jason Giambi: "WASH YOUR HAIR!"

I'd love to tell you all about these 2 guys:

1) The guy sitting behind us wearing an "A-Rod Drinks Winecoolers" shirt

2) Johnny Demon, who would bolt up the aisle -- his red satin cape flying behind him -- and bark at Damon whenever he was on deck.

All told, it was the most exciting game I've seen all season...until the ninth inning. Beyond that, I just don't want talk about it. But I will say this: At Fenway, there are two simple truths: Foul balls and bats will always hurt --- and the Yankees will always suck.

19 August 2006

Fitty-Three South

Friday eve at 53 South : A spirited chinwag over some New England tapas and vino, vino, vino. No muthafuckin' snakes, no muthafuckin' planes.

18 August 2006

Snakes on a Muthafuckin' Plane

The most anticipated bad movie to hit theatres in decades has spawned yet another catchphrase even though the film has been out less than one day. The newest phrase, in its Zen-like simplicity, complements the raw eloquence of Samuel L. Jackson's -- and the film's -- flagship line: "I've had it with these muthafuckin' snakes on this muthafuckin' plane!"

According to Urban Dictionary, "snakes on a plane" is the new "shit happens," the "c'est la vie," the "whaddaya gonna do" of the noughties.

So, the next time something goes awry, something over which you have no control -- do not fret. Just take a deep breath and say,"Snakes on plane, man. Snakes on a plane."

Something's Rotten in the State of Colorado

I'll steal a quote from Michael Stipe too: "There's something strange going on tonight. There's something going on that's not quite right."

This absolute weasle of a man, sporting the high-pocket style popularized by Ed Grimley, has apparently "confessed" to murdering JonBenet Ramsey. I don't believe it. I haven't believed it since the news first broke late yesterday afternoon. My instincts as a legal news whore -slash -wee conspiracy theorist have precluded my jumping on the "CASE SOLVED" bandwagon just yet. John Karr strikes me as a uniquely disturbed guy engaged in a "Fantasy pedophile" league who seems freaky enough to confess to a crime he did not commit simply to gain international notoriety as a pervert. Dan Abrams was back on MSNBC for a Special Report on the case this evening and was equally as skeptical of this icky little man's story.

So, until there is a DNA match...

17 August 2006

"A Modern Marvel"

Guest blogger SAC waxes philosophical on a ground breaking invention, one that will surely revolutionize the way we imbibe.

Mankind has witnessed many great accomplishments over the past 150 hundred years. Each time something new is developed, society, in general, has benefited from these amazing feats. The accomplishments are far reaching, from transporation marvels like the Chunnel that connects England to France via high speed rail service (and as far as I know does not leak like the one we have in town), to things like the Hoover Dam that provide electricity to thousand of customers, to the Internet, which connects all people to more information and allows us to collaborate on projects from the four corners of the Globe.

Of course the list goes on and many have more impact on our day to day lives but if I elaborated on those subjects, I would not have enough time to tell you about, perhaps, mankinds greatest achivement to date:

The Beer Opening Flip Flop.

Very stylish and highly functional, this is something that I should have thought of! I no longer need to carry a churchkey on my keyring, keep one in the car, stashed in the cooler, borrow somebody's lighter, or use my teeth or anything else for so long as it is in the summer months, I have a beer opener at hand or rather at foot.

This will surely lead to the beer opening work boot, sneaker, dress shoe and snow boot.

I cannot believe it took this long to invent this!


16 August 2006

We Is Stupid

A new national poll confirms that Americans can name all seven of Snow White's dwarves but no more than two of the Supreme Court Justices; we know Homer Simpson but not Homer's Odyssey and can identify Harry Potter but not Tony Blair.

It’s appropriate here to simply say DUH.

The majority of us would never have retained the Preamble of the Constitution had it not been for Schoolhouse Rock. “We the People.”

This is not a new phenomenon. It's human nature. -- and much easier -- to remember things you have a natural affinity for, isn't it? I can remember the entire starting line-up from the 1979 Red Sox but I have no idea who the Secretary of the Interior was that year. I can remember the set list from a U2 show from 1987, but not a Hootie & the Blowfish show I attended on a horrendous date in 1995. Some things just don't stick. Others, like Chris Golan as Chucklebunny, do.

We retain some things, like cheesy commercials, through the osmosis of familiarity: "Big Mac Fillet of Fish Quarter Pounder French Fries Icy Coke Thick Shakes Sundaes and Apple Pies."

Other things because of the history surrounding them: I remember the Latin phrase “Sic transit gloria mundi” (thus passes the glory of the world) because the words hung on a banner on my high school after the Red Sox lost the World Series in 1986.

Forced repetition is also a fierce way to retain info: I can still recite the poem "In Flanders Field" that I was forced to learn in 4th grade, and the opening lines of Chaucer in Olde English.

Still, most of the information I DO recall has little-to-no-value, and some of it -- like knowing the Sox's starting line-up from 1979 -- has actually betrayed me. Let's just say I made a complete ASS of myself in front of Jim Rice at a corporate function.

("Yeah. Hey. Wow. Yeah...someone call security")

Professor Robert Thompson from at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University (who schooled our pal Colleen) said, “These results are not about how 'dumb' Americans are, but about how much more effectively popular culture information is communicated and retained by citizens than many of the messages that come from government, educational institutions and the media.”

Also, we may not retain information effectively because we no longer have to. In a world where answers are as easy as typing something into Google or Wikipedia (i.e,the Secretary of the Interior in 1979 was Cecil D. Andrus),we don't have to spend much time with bothersome learnin' or legwork. It's easy to see why we’re less likely to cling to anything, material or immaterial.

15 August 2006

Apocalypse Cocktail Lounge: I'm a Junkie

Ever since last week's WSJ essay on Iran and the Apocalypse, I can't read enough on the topic -- I'm riveted. It's not because I want the End of the World to go down...quite the opposite. I'm trying to understand why anyone -- regardless of their religious beliefs -- would want to vaporize the world, float up into the sky and watch sinners/infidels burn in hell. I've yet to be successful. Even salvation does not sound nearly as much fun as what I've got going on in the coming weeks and months: Caroline's first day of preschool, dinner plans at Toro, tickets to Keane, Baby Bags' arrival, the weddings of Brownguy and T-Bag (not to each other). These zealots need to HOLD. THEIR. HORSES. Or get out more often. Make some plans. Live a little.

So, over a glass of Cavit, I put together this little Apocalypse round-up. It is conversation fodder best enjoyed over cocktails -- some of it's frightening, some is straight up hilarious -- all of it's unimaginable.

Ahmadinejad Gives me the Willies
I watched the Mike Wallace 60 Minutes interview with Ahmadinejad twice last night and I can't get over how much the dictator looks like Patrick Dempsey rocking a Zeke beard.

But that's irrelevant. I was disappointed that the interview never got into this guy's wild-eyed desire to bring about the end of the world by fueling the chaos in the Middle East. Wallace questioned Ahmadinejad's nuclear intentions and challenged comments he'd made about ridding the world of Israel and the U.S. but he never once questioned Ahmadinejad's Apocalyptic agenda -- an agenda the Iranian president has made no secret of. Last year, he personally supervised construction of a massive mosque and prayer halls to accommodate the throngs of Shi’ite muslims who he expects will flock to Iran for the return of the Hidden Imam a.k.a the Islamic Messiah "within the next two years." Then again, Ahmadinejad seemed more likely to bust into the African Anteater Ritual than give straight answers. While the interview on its face was unrevealing, the dictator's beady eyes told the real story. The man scares me -- so much so, I had an unsettling dream after watching him. I was driving to Panera and spotted him walking down the middle of Route 53, right along the double yellow line. As he got closer to my car, I could see he was looking right at me and I wasn't able to turn my head or my eyes away. I woke up with my heart beating out of my chest. While the dream seemed silly in the light of day, I still plan to sleep with the light on tonight.

”You’ve Got a Better Chance of Seeing Jesus"
It's not only Shi'ite Muslims and Iranians who are courting disaster. Seems the Evangelical Christians in this country are wicked pumped about the possibility of Armageddon via nuclear annihilation too. While they look much goofier than the Muslim extremists, they are infused with the same brand of zeal that compels terrorists to whip up bomb juice in a bottle of saline solution.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't be such a big deal. However, the religious leaders -- powerful lobbyists for the Christian right -- are bringing the Armageddon agenda to the White House, politicizing "end times" like gay marriage and stem cells. They believe prophecy should play a role in foreign policy decisions and have the means and will to make it happen.

For instance, John Hagee, an influential pastor of one of those stadium-sized mega-churches in Texas, specifically believes that Israel must strike Iran's nuclear facilities in order to move things along. He is using his best-selling book, “Jerusalem Countdown,” his internationally broadcast TV talk show, and viral marketing offered by a network of mega churches to mobilize popular support for a war with Iran. Holy ass.

I don’t care if your Messiah is Jesus, the Hidden Imam or the Hamburglar. When Apocalypse-courting zealots have the ear of U.S. policymakers, it may very well be time to reset the Doomsday Clock.

Rapture Ready
The Rapture Index is a popular evangelical Christian Web site that bills itself as "a Dow Jones industrial average of end-time activity. The site monitors "prophetic activity" by calculating a global rise in natural disasters, war and inflation. An index below 85 signifies a week of "slow prophetic activity." Anything above 145 signals the Apocalypse is near.

The Rapture Index this week: 160. Hit the deck.

11 August 2006

Code Red is Our Hero

("Your toiletries or your life.")

Faster than a Shi'ite Muslim
More powerful than super-hold hair gel
Able to jump hot National Guardsmen in a single bound
It's Code Red!

**artwork courtesy of PhotoShop Savant, T-Bag

10 August 2006


(The terror plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners with liquid explosives was thwarted, but the threat level has still been raised to "HIGH.")

I don't think I've seen and heard such profuse usage of the word "thwart" in my entire life. Count how many times you see/hear that verb today, you'll be amazed. Things that TSA has thwarted: Carry-on luggage, beverages, shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, toothpaste, hair gel, and lip gloss.

Synonyms for thwart: bar, block, hinder, impede, obstruct; arrest, check, halt, stop; forestall, obviate, preclude; negate, neutralize, nullify; counteract, offset; conquer, defeat, overcome, put the kibosh on. (Merriam-webster.com)

The situation could've been much worse, but don't say that to poor Code Red today.

("Thwart, this.")

Apocalypse Cocktail Lounge: Crazy Iranian President

Break out the Infidel Zinfandel. We’re all going to die. Possibly as soon as August 22nd.

This news does not come from fringe blogs or sandwich-board-wearing Jesus freaks but from the WSJ, some Middle East scholars, and other smarty pants-types whom, up to now, have had a steady record of humorless sanity. To me, it sounds like the cast of Dr. Strangelove is about to hijack the planet with its doomsday machine.

You can read the entire WSJ piece here, but here’s the gist:

(photo: He may look like a swarthy Patrick Dempsey in this picture but don't let that fool you.)

The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a devout Shi’ite Muslim who not only believes the end of the world is near but that he can speed up the return of the Islamic messiah a.k.a “the Hidden Imam” by launching a catastrophic jihad -- first against Israel (the “little Satan) and then against the U.S. (the “Great Satan”). This guy is supposedly procuring or may already have acquired nuclear weapons that would give him the ability to fulfill his apocalyptic desire to kill all infidels and earn himself a free ticket to Paradise.

The shit will reportedly hit the fan on August 22 or thereabouts. It’s a date that Ahmadinejad handpicked to respond to the world regarding the future of Iran's much-ballyhooed nuclear program. Turns out Aug 22 is a very sacred date for Muslims; it's the anniversary of the supposed "night flight" by Mohammed from Saudi Arabia to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem to Heaven and back again. Thus, some experts are worried that Ahmadinejad's "response" on August 22nd could come in the form of nuclear holocaust against Israel and/or the United States.


Somebody call Jack Bauer. He could take down this lunatic with a few roundhouse kicks and a pocket knife and nobody else would have to get hurt.

Who knows. This could be well-placed propaganda or just an excuse to bomb Iran. I don’t know what to believe anymore so I choose to believe nothing.

In the meantime, I plan to party like it’s August 21st.

08 August 2006


We attended our first-ever Indian wedding last weekend and I hope it will not be our last. We need to hook up with some more Hindus....these people have got it going on.

Even though there were more than 500 guests at the Park Plaza, James and I were among a small handful of people who did not share the last name "Patel." The bride and groom were both Patels as were hundreds of aunts and uncles and cousins and other distant relatives -- some from India, others from Needham. Apparently, "Patel" is the "Smith" of the Indian world. Jackson is also a common name so when we spotted a placecard with "James and Maggie Jackson" scribbled across it, we assumed there was another Jackson couple in attendance.
We scanned the rows of Patels for another Jackson card. Nope. I was Maggie. This was new. I'm usually "accidental Kathy" in these situations. We rolled with it. James started referring to me as "Mags" and I proceeded to search the cocktail reception for Prabu Prabakhar.

All of the women were dressed beautifully -- saris in vibrant silks and brocades, bejeweled mojaris, jangly bracelets. I was so sour that I didn't get to wear this garb. I love everything about it. I'd been eyeing a sari on eBay but wasn't sure if there were different meanings attached to certain colors and patterns and it would be just my luck to show up in a traditional dress that meant "village whore." It wouldn't have mattered; a few elders still eyed us suspiciously and rightly so. We looked like Indian wedding crashers. I was a self-tanning freak in a blue polyester disco dress. James, in his mismatched suit, was wearing the anti-Caftan. Even so, we were warmly welcomed into the fold as Jackson-Patels...and it was quite an experience.

The only things I've ever learned at weddings were a few crappy line dances. Here, we learned about the food, traditions and music of an entirely different culture. A few nuggets:

FOOD: Until I discovered the Kashmir luncheon buffet in the 1990s, my only experience with Indian food had been the cooking smells that wafted into Planet Records from the old India Quality restaurant in Kenmore Square. The wedding feast made me realize our dining repetoire was severely lacking; it put Kashmir to shame and left us with a mad jones for Indian food that could involve some take-out from Indian Delight in Weymouth this week.

CULTURE: The blessings and rituals of an Indian/Hindu wedding place more emphasis on the joining of two families than the couple itself. While the ceremony remains largely traditional, the reception is more fly-by-night -- a fact duly noted when the groom's parents were introduced to Usher.

MUSIC: Indian techno music. Indian classical meets club. It's the sitar and the tabla set adift on techno beats and electronic samples. Yes. Very Good. Throw in a couple of tabs of Exstacy and you've got yourself a ripper. Not that we would know. Jimmy and Mags did spend quite a bit of time on the dancefloor though, only to be out-stepped by an 80-year-old indian man busting some Michael Jackson moves nearby.

That said, it's clear that we need to bring some new Indian pals into the fray. That's no small task in the burbs, however, as noted by the bride's sister who grew up in "not so diverse" Hanover. In her hilarious toast, she described how her father Mahendra would be at the Hanover Mall and would sidle up to strangers who even remotely resembled someone of the Indian persuasion: "Psst. You Indian?" That said, if anyone's looking for us, we'll be trying to pick up some Patels by the Orange Julius.

07 August 2006

Princess Party

We came from near and far -- from the South Shore and South Boston -- to gather on the outskirts of the South End. Joe, all furtive, planned surprise cocktails for his bride at Flash's, inviting all to rally around Jess as she turned 20-15 over the weekend. James and I hailed a magic carpet from the Park Plaza and made it there in time to celebrate with our pal, known and loved by all as "Princessica."

While the party did not feature sparkly tulle and fairy dust like the princess party pictured here, it was equally full of wonder. Before he left, Paul "Drop and Roll" McCuen upped the creative ante. Should he ever see his name in print, he wants any attribution to be prefaced by the adjective "aging _____." We were charged with coming up with a noun but came up empty in the haze of pinot grigio and indian techno ringing in the ears. Sunday brought clarity, however, and it became glaringly obvious: "Aging F.O.P'" -- Father of Princessica.

Happy Birthday, Jess! And thank you, Joe, for a fantastic celebration....and for picking up the tab!

02 August 2006

Africa Hot

(According to my digital thermometer, it is 110 degrees in my backyard right now. 1:30 p.m.)

"January 24 2006." I wrote this date in my notebook earlier this year to shut myself up when I started grumbling about the freakin heat and humidity on scorchers like these. On January 24th, it was 5 degrees outside and I was wearing woolen mittens in the house. I had to dress the kids in snowsuit-tipping layers of Gortex just to walk to the car (very time-consuming), and had to chisel a thick layer of ice and snow off the car before we could go anywhere. It sucked. I remember it well.

While it's oppressive outside, it's definitely preferable to be trapped inside with air conditioning than a capricious furnace. It takes two minutes to get the kids ready as they need only wear splashpants and sunscreen. We can hop in the car, crank the A/C and just GO.

Still, it's hard to stay positive when you open the screen door and the "wall of ass" cups your face like a hot, damp towel. It's a drag having to rehydrate after retrieving the mail and it's no fun feeling as if I'm about to burst into flames when I let the dog out.

(This excessive heat is certainly not good for the pugs, either.)

So I'm trying really hard to stay focused on January 24, 2006 because in order to get through days like this, it's imperative to remember days like these.

01 August 2006

What a Schmuck

It's always the holy rollers; the exaggerated genuflectors who fall on their knees at the altar, loudly praisin' the Lord -- they are often the most gigantic hypocrites, and even more frequently, the most gigantic assholes. Case in point...the uber-holy Mad Mel.

Last week, Mel apparently busted into the sacramental vino at one of the fringe churches he founded in Malibu, sped off into the night butt-wasted and was pulled over on suspicion of DUI. He then proceeded to launch into this inexplicable rant:

"Fucking Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," he barked. "Are you a Jew?" he asked the arresting deputy. When he noticed a female sergeant standing nearby, he yelled at her, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"


Considering the steaming cauldron of crazy that is Mel Gibson, I'm surprised this did not come to a head sooner. INGREDIENTS: 1. Mel's father, Hutton Gibson, is a religious zealot and holocaust denier who -- hand on Bible -- believes the 9/11 planes were flown into the WTC towers by an "unknown party" using remote control devices. 2. Mel's dad also founded a fundamentalist splinter church, a sort of Hezbollah for Catholics, to which Mel belongs. 3. A good Christian boy, Mel believes that his wife of 26 years is going to hell because she's Episcopalian. 4. In 2004, he pissed off the chosen people with his portrayal of Jews in The Passion of The Christ but was not widely viewed as an anti-semite...until he outed himself last week.

Tonight, Mel is holed up in rehab devising a better PR strategy. His first mea culpa which stated "I said despicable things that I don't believe" was transparent. Everyone knows people say things when they're drunk that they'd never say when sober. However, what they do say while intoxicated is often what they really think and feel. In vodka veritas.

It's all so familiar. A celebrity behaving erratically around relgious fanaticism. The Cruise must be pumped.

(YES! I'm off the hook.)