31 July 2006

Griswalds on the Pond

In search of a vacation vibe, we packed the family wagon to its maximum load capacity and headed to the Cape to spend the day with Katie & Jim N. at their place on Ashumet Pond. We envisioned an afternoon of clean family fun: Listening to WMVY radio on the surround sound, chilling on the pier, perhaps going for a boat ride. But the moment we arrived, our Griswaldian delusions were snuffed out by toddler revolt, with Carrie and Paul rising up in cranky indignation. Caroline's mood plummeted because her juice wasn't cold enough and/or because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction. She insisted we should just "go home" because her day could surely not recover from such horror. Paulie "one man wrecking machine" Jackson took off in his splash pants and refused to keep his lifejacket on. We spent the first half hour trying to keep him from falling off the pier.

Amid the chaos, Katie, looking out over the pond serene as can be, very matter-of-factly said, "These days, instead of getting frustrated, I just have a beer." OF COURSE! It sounded like too easy a solution for unrelenting mayhem but it was quite effective. I cracked a Corona and released its magic into the air. Suddenly, some F-16s from neighboring Otis Airforce Base did a fly over, their timing like the Hallelujiah chorus marking the monumental shift in attitude: The meltdowns ceased, the wind shifted, the juice was cold and Paulie kept his lifejacket on. We went for a few boatrides and were even able to sit down for 3o seconds to enjoy some italian sausages and potato salad. It was then that we waxed philosophical on our newfound solution: Did the Coronas cast a spell over the babies -- or was Mama just buzzed?

Let us raise a cone to the ice cream gods of Ashumet Pond.

Ryan and Caroline engage in a round of extreme ring around the rosy...

...then some yoga.

Thank God It's not the Playoffs

(Photo: "I apologize for my husband. He 's disturbed. He almost married J-Lo..remember? Cut him some slack.")

"Ben Affleck nearly interfered with Angel's first baseman Howie Kendrick on a foul pop near the Boston dugout. Affleck, who was sitting in the front row with wife Jennifer Garner, pulled back and allowed Kendrick to make the catch." -- Boston.com

I like Ben and I like Jen but I -- like any other commonfolk -- would have been ushered from those box seats like a disruptive whino had I leaped -- Peter Deluca-style -- after that foul ball. No biggie as it was not the playoffs but this should serve as a lesson to all who don't want to become the next Steve Bartman.

28 July 2006

Paige Carjacked at Suppah Club

(BUH: photo taken by great waitress/horrible photog)

Despite the violent headline, it was all love at Burton's Grille at the Derby Street Shoppes last night. As usual, Suppah Club started out quite mellow and lady-like with white napkins folded in the shape of isosceles triangles on our laps. We swapped harrowing work stories over a nosh of gazpacho and sesame encrusted tuna before degenerating into the typical shenans that accompany these monthly suppahs: We discussed the possibility of growing some khat in ceramic planters on my back porch and we made plans to make like 1991 and invade Jessica's parents house in Marshfield for a wee pool party (complete with Body Bombs) on Saturday.

Paige had an early flight to California the next morning so we walked her out to her fly new automobile -- all luxe and plush, like Paige as a car. Even non-car people like us could not resist the urge to wrap it up in a pink blanket and take it home. Thus, a friendly carjacking, born out of genuine fondness, occurred. Some shameless scenes:

Jess -- a latter day Tawny Kitaen in business casual attire -- strikes a pose on Paige's (car's) trunk.

"HEY! Shut up and drive muthafucka," says Pete, after bumrushing the backseat.

"We ride donkey's in Ireland, for fuck sake," says Nic. "I'm not getting out of the bloody car. Back off! I'm going to Foxwoods." (note: Peeping Jess)

Annie's got the keys!

Sorry, Paige. Don't know what came over us.

26 July 2006

Besotted Bags

THE BOSTON COMMON -- There could not have been a more apropos moment to belatedly bestow the Besotted Bison trophy upon Bags, the 2005 recipient of the prestigious softball award honoring the player who had the most intoxicating effect on the team's performance and/or personality.

At tonight's game, Bags jacked four homeruns over the left field fence -- an uncommon feat for this Boston Common field and possibly a Renegades record, according to Jimmy. "There is a short porch in right field but not in left field," he said. "I've been with this team since 1992 and I've never seen that many dongs from one batter over the left field fence in one game."

In keeping with tradition, Bags will be displaying the coveted award in the first-floor bathroom of his Cohasset home. >>>>>

Adding to the evening's jubiliation, WMD had two seeing eye singles in his debut as a Renegade. The budding Besotted Bison strikes a post-game pose here for Caroline, team photog and enthusiastic documenter of all things Dell'Olio.

24 July 2006

Tiger Woods Made Me Cry Again

It was nearly 10 years ago that I first heard the name Tiger Woods. James and I had only been dating a few weeks; we were at the Atlantic Cafe on Nantucket playing out a scene that was to become a familiar one in our lives: He was watching a "skins game" over my shoulder on the bar's TV while I rambled into my quahog chowder, completely unheard.

Out of nowhere, James asked, "Do you know who Tiger Woods is?" I shrugged. "I don't know...plays for the skins?" I had no idea who the christ Tiger Woods was or that a "skins" game was related to GOLF. I never watched golf...why would I know that? Jimmy just looked at me with that mixture of bewilderment and pity similar to when someone pronounces Bono, "Bone-o."

I learned a lot about Tiger that day as well as James who got all googly eyed at the mere mention of his name. Some of James' friends even began calling him "Little Tiger" because of his substantial man crush. A few months later, we sat on the floor on School Street and watched Tiger win his first Masters while Mikey C. made us all dinner in his bamboo vegetable steamer. I watched Tiger stroll off the course and hug his dad and -- having learned all about Tiger and his father and their relationship -- I cried. Not a few renegade tears in the corners of my eyes but a full-on meltdown that lasted well past the presentation of the crappy green jacket.

I sorted myself out and it never happened again...until today. Again, I was sitting on the floor. We were waiting out a thunderstorm at Maria's apartment and witnessed the emotional aftermath of Tiger's winning the British Open. His dad passed away two months ago and it hit him: he would not be hugging his father after this victory or any others ever again. Tiger openly sobbed in his caddie's arms, and then again in his wife's arms. I openly sobbed and frightened my children. A few minutes ago, I saw the news highlights and became unglued all over again. Little Tiger, however, was able to hold it together.

20 July 2006

Swampy, Swampy, Swampy

A steamy 90-degree evening was well spent at the Sox game on Tuesday night with Pete & Apryl --their first night out since baby Nate arrived two weeks ago. Catastrophic hair conditions prevailed and the swamp ass was as rampant as the phallic street meat and foam fingers. But far outweighing the heavy air: We had fantastic seats, we watched Jason Varitek tie Carlton Fisk's record of catching 990 games, and the Sox won. Some scenes:

(Apryl, Pete, me and Apryl's "hot mama" boobs)

While enjoying an italian sausage and a warm beer on Yawkey, we discussed the fate of a woman we'd spotted on Brookline Avenue. She was wearing fire-engine red yoga pants and sported a flagrant, sweaty camel toe. (there's a sequence of words I hope to never write again) Apryl considered reporting her to the authorities at Cameltoe.org, a non-profit that issues daily reports on the worst of the worst offenders worldwide.

A camera lens-full of Papi Posterior: Every time I tried to snap a photo of David Ortiz for Caroline, he'd give me "the ass."

Take me out to the bald game: Even the hairless suffer the humidity.

We nightcapped with Paul & Maria at Copperfield's, the most unchanged and most puked-in bar in the Fenway area, according to Paul. Here, we decided to launch a write-in campaign to change Jonathan Papelbon's intro theme from "Wild Thing" -- which is too reiminscent of that goofy Charlie Sheen movie -- to "Super Bon Bon" by Soul Coughing. Think about it: The "bon" is already in there, and the opening lyrics provide the perfect gateway: "Move aside and let the man go through, let the man go through." Much more worthy of the wonder boy, don't you think?

A fine photo hijacked by some donkey at Copperfield's.

18 July 2006

The Bathouse

The bath house on Constitution Beach in East Boston was slated for completion in summer 2003. Until about one month ago, the "bath house" remained a fenced-off vacant lot full of weeds, beer cans, a random shopping cart here and there, and for a few weeks, a torched futon.

It finally opened this summer to much fanfare. And by fanfare, I mean it was urinated upon and tagged by hooligans almost instantaneously. Then, as if to rub salt in the local wounds, this jive signage appeared on the building. Someone with the most tenuous grasp of the English language could not have fucked this up -- not even diehard EB residents or DCR employees who omit key consonants naturally: "Did ya see what they done to the new bat-house?" Colloquial spelling, bohemian grammar -- call it what you will -- it's offensive. I want to start a clock similar to US Weekly's Suri Cruise clock. How many days, hours, minutes will pass before the spelling is corrected?

(Photo courtesy of JAL, outraged EB resident and pissa spellah to boot.)

**UPDATE: The spelling was corrected on September 1, 2006. **

13 July 2006

Donde Esta Mango Salsa

I thought I struck gold at Hannaford's the other day when I saw Big Papi' s image blowing up a jar of salsa in aisle 7. I immediately assumed it was his elusive mango salsa, a top secret recipe that I've been searching for since he mentioned it in his 2005 commercial for Comcast. "I found a great recipe for mango salsa...wooooh, mama!"

But no. The salsa only came in one variety -- corn and bean -- medium or mild. It was fool's gold. I bought it any way and it is actually quite good but, really -- what kind of crappy tease is Big Papi perpetrating here? If he's going to schlep salsa, it's GOTTA be the mango salsa. It's his thing. This only fuels the popular conspiracy theory that like Popeye and his spinach, Ortiz derives his superhuman strength and pin point precision from a deep well of mango salsa. And if this recipe were to get out, it'd be anarchy. He somewhat confirmed this theory when Pedro Martinez was in town a few weeks ago and the two players had lunch together. Papi was adamant that mango salsa not be on the menu. ""No mango salsa this time," he said. "Mango salsa gives you power, and you've got to keep Petey away from power."

11 July 2006

Big Dig

Holy shit.

These are the only words I've been able to utter all morning. Out loud. Over and over again. Caroline's been following up dutifully with "Mama, don't say shit. It's bad." But I can't help it. I turned on the TV this morning and saw Big Dig project director Mike Lewis a.k.a "Poor Mike Lewis, smart man unmoored in a sea of boobs." There he was in his orange construction vest, standing behind Matt Amorello who looked like he was going to wet himself. It's a typical scene on the news with all of the Big Dig snafus going down these days but when I read the headline, the needle scratched clear off the record. Holy shit.

I shiver at the thought of how often we all drive on that stretch of roadway. I know I drive it with the babies at least three days a week. It's the only direct connection from I-93 to Logan, East Boston and South Boston. It'll be a total clusterfuck in the city there for days to come but sitting in traffic means nothing next to what happened to that poor woman last night. I'll be thinking of her today instead of road raging over the gridlock.

10 July 2006

"Steaming Drunk" Hoff Gets the Boot

JUST IN -- Hasselhoff was chucked out of Wimbledon last week for being "steaming drunk" and starting a "blazing row" with some security guards. This, alone, is fabulously Hasselhoffian. But the 53-year-old actor took it a bit further, reportedly barking at the guards, "Don't you know who I am? I'm the Hoff." Awesome.

Nantucket Nectar

ladies in kitchen
(How it all started in the kitchen)

For the past week I have been stuck in a mood I call “off season.” For some reason, leaving Nantucket – even in high summer – always feels like the end, like you may as well put on some fleece socks and call it a day. Spending time on the island is always a healing nectar (better than saying balm or salve, LPD) for the haggish and restless, but this time around the serenity faded faster than WMVY-FM on the Sagamore Bridge -- smack dab in the middle of a perfect playlist, no less. But enough bellyaching. Thirty six hours** does not a vacation make but we made the most of every hour -- because that's just the way we roll. (Even during July 4th weekend when it's a total CF down there.)

Jimmy’s toast on the fast ferry over summed it up perfectly: “Hour one of vacation: Better than hour 35.” At the time, I thought I heard a curmudgeonly old gent in the row behind us grumble, “I’ll drink to THAT.” However, when I turned to raise my plastic cup of Pinot Grigio, I realized there was a golden retriever sitting behind us -- not an old man. After some careful soul searching, I now believe I was hearing the voice of Duke, the talking mutt in those Bush’s Baked Beans commercials – entirely in my head. I've definitely got a few wires crossed upstairs.

Nevertheless, let's roll that beautiful bean footage from last week:

Coronas on the beach * Lover’s Lane family dinner with flavah that was decidedly Dell'Olio * Cambridge Street victuals * Wiffle Ball out front, Shoes out back * Cameo’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party that bore an uncanny resemblance to this one * T-Bag’s sublime acoustic set * The Dirtfarmer’s shiny new tractor * Annie, me and the hair of the dog at the Tiki * Hanging out with Colleen again after two long years * Astro-lunch at the Rope Walk where there was no sign of Phil Donahue behaving like a complete jackass * The Straight Wharf warm up * Jimmy's & Kathy's dinner at Cinco * Auntie & Bags staying out late * "I’m gonna stick your face in some dough and make some gorilla cookies" * "Enjoy the beaver hats,….shithead" * Dreama recanting David Sedaris' tale of Mrs. Peacock and the monkey paw backscratcher * Coerced trips to the "wine cellar" -- "Dooo it! Why won’t you dooo it!"

** Clearly this footage is abridged as we were only on island for 36 hours. Please feel free to add anything I missed or have since forgotten.

More photos and inane captions:

di and lp
(Thrilled to be in the same postcode as you, Cameo)

stays in nantucket
(What happens on Nantucket stays on Nantucket)

ladies on deck
(Girls with curls and big long locks, and beatnik chicks just wearing their smocks)

(Ringers and leaners, but no rimmers)

cols kate
(Crazy Mama & Cols)

capn tobys
(Ladies of the evening drinking booze and mingling)

(Lovely Essers)

k and j
(Jacksons on acid)

mike tom
(Ebony and Ivory)

k and a
(Code Red is Red Hot)

dreama dawn
(Sagittarius sisters)

lp kj
("I'm not naked in this photo...no, no, really -- I'm not," says Peetah)

t and d
(A million thank yous to Tom & Dawn for putting the whole damn thing together)

NOTE: Sorry this post took f o r e v e r. Blogger is still having problems with photo uploading so I had to enter code for each picture manually. Really not my thing, hence the completely porked format. I hope my sentiment transferred OK. Good times, all. Looking forward to '07