28 February 2007


LPD, WMD, the Haleys, [a little more than a] Cameo, James, me and other creaky throwbacks schlepped our old, haggard selves to the Paradise last night to see the Lemonheads, one of our favorite 90s bands.

On the ride into town, James and I wondered aloud what the crowd was going to be like. Would it be younger? Older? A mix of the two? We decided the club would likely be packed with aging hipsters with crows feet because “Kids today don’t know what good music is. Kids today listen to crap like Fall Out Boy. That isn’t even music. It’s just noise. NOISE!” I abruptly shut up after my 1995 self reached across the years and smacked me in the forehead with a meatball sub for sounding like a crotchety old hag.

As always, we congregated at T’s Pub pre-show where we raised a glass to our Tuesday night gathering. My jumbo hot dog intimidated everyone at the table. We talked about how the Paradise is still the best place to see a show. But then T-Bag sealed our fate:“Yeah, you know what sucks, though?” He spoke of that giant, obstructive-view pole that is in the middle of the floor at center stage. “Yes,” we agreed. “That pole does suck.” So, of course we got stuck directly behind it at the show.

We caught the tail end of the opener's set. He was ok but his lyrics sounded like they were written by a German Shepherd.

The Lemonheads were a blast, however. And after several plastic cups of Paradise Pinot, I even danced a little. Evan Dando was always good for a Big Star or Replacements cover at his solo shows so I was a bit bummed not to hear one.

Much to Jimmy’s dismay, there was no sloppy post show at T. Anthony’s involving greasy slices of pizza pie and playing the jukebox until they kick you out. On the corner of Comm. and Babcock, we all bid each other good night and fell back through the cracks from whence we came.

27 February 2007

Mighty Midgets 2007: A Redux

(Still shorties after all these years)

When the Owls gathered to roost at LPD's in Norwell over the weekend, they morphed into an entirely different breed of burrd: vultures. The transformation was not unlike like that of Blueberry the Chocolate Lab who "went all Dalmation" in Scituate many years ago. But few could blame us for our aggressive gorging as we were in the presence of a delectable smorgasboard of snackeroos. While we noshed, we rehashed -- with wine-out-the-nose laughter -- some WSC-era folklore like a roaming band of cackling minstrels.

"We're doing them now!": Cameo, Princessica and Lily on the importance of pelvic floor exercises.

An anecdote about Pint-Sized Stalker Corky Barboza puts Code Red in a glassy-eyed trance.

YUM! Annie and Auntie love hummus.

26 February 2007

I'd Like to Thank...

...the fucking Oscars for keeping me up way too late again. Right now, I'm so tired and cranky that I'm talking like Grandpa from Little Miss Sunshine.

23 February 2007

Random Quizzilla

1) Describe your disposition today in meteorological terms.
Partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of precipitation.

2) What specific subject(s) do you feel you know better than any other subjects?
Useless chunks of outdated pop culture. 80s-90s music. High profile legal cases.

3) Name a band you’re not fond of now but would have loved when you were a teenager.
Dashboard Confessional. Totally. My inner 15-year-old has downloaded some of their music but my current self skips right over the songs when they rear their heads on Party Shuffle.

4) Name something that you did today that you didn’t do yesterday.
JAL swung by and he and I feasted on Mediterranean wraps from the Cedar Café and watched the Anna Nicole hearing. Bonus: Dan Abrams popped up and ripped the loony, pontificating judge a new one. It was a fantastic afternoon.

5) When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
At first, I wanted to be a veterinarian. But once I realized math and science and surgery were involved, I set my sights on becoming the guy who opens and closes the doors and announces the stations on MBTA trains.

22 February 2007

Back in the Hab

Brit rechecked into rehab today and has to stay there for 30 days or she could lose custody of her two boys to K-Fed. I say she's already started digging a Shawshank-style teaspoon tunnel. Thoughts?

Awesome photo courtesy of Perezhilton.com

21 February 2007


...she did it again! ET is reporting that Britney has checked out of rehab for the second time in less than a week after being onsite less than 24 hours. I take it all back. She's an idiot. She's the next Anna Nicole. Her family is finally trying to help her but she refuses to help herself. Booze and drugs mean more to her than her kids. I'm down with Perez Hilton on this one: Give her babies to Larry Birkhead.

Defending Bald Britney

Another PU prediction has come true. Britney has officially checked into rehab.

I usually don't care about the self-induced plights of celebrity addicts but I really feel badly for this baldy. She's only 25 years old and has been living out the consequences of a whole slew of ill-advised decisions under the 24/7 media microscope: She married some wigger buffoon and had two kids back to back. Now, she is going through a divorce only months after the birth of her second son. Her career is in the turlette and she's always drunk or high and has been photographed in clubs pantless, acting the way Vito does when he gets around stuffed bunnies and throw pillows. Of course, her problems do not justify her neglecting her two babies (K-Fed is equally guilty, btw) But to rip off Chris Rock: "I ain't sayin' it's right...but I understand."

After having two kids back-to-back, I definitely went a little nuts. And I was 34, not 24. I was riddled with anxiety. I couldn't retain a thought. I couldn't eat or sleep. And I was postpartum in a large way -- I once became unhinged at a local deli when a sandwich I'd ordered arrived smothered in cheese. At the same time -- and this is the wild dichotomy of parenthood -- I was flying high and happy. All of this manic emotion, I now realize, was caused by my hormone-drenched, post-partum brain.

There are plenty of stable adults in this world who approach parenthood with breezy self-confidence and serenity. Then there are those of us who are averse to domestic captivity and prone to rebellion and moments of extreme immaturity. My initial instincts: "Shit! I'm the MOMMA? Are you kidding me? I can't find my shoes. I've killed Chia Pets." I was certain the cops were going to pull us over on the way home from the hospital and confiscate the carseat.

But when you're in this state, you're afraid to voice any comments about your insecurity or uncertainty because you're worried they'll be met with contempt instead of compassion: "Poor you. You have a beautiful family. Boo hoo."

So you stuff the anxiety down (maybe with some Grey Goose martinis) and one day it manifests itself as a massive panic attack on the ride home from NYC. Luckily, the insanity is fleeting: Hormones subside, you get into a groove, you adapt. But you do need help: I had a grounding force (Jimmy) and two other tiny forces (C&P) that compelled me to grow up a little and stop spinning. I also have good friends who would never say BOO HOO to me unless I deserved it. I now know that being a MOMMA doesn't mean distancing yourself from your identity, your life or your friends. (I've seen so many new parents do this but now I realize that they're just lazy).

We still have plans. We still have friends. Fart jokes are still funny. Life is good. BUT -- without a grounding force, I believe ANYONE could end up bald and in rehab. That said, I am pulling for Brit. I hope she emerges from rehab a sober blonde who can't wait to see her sons.

20 February 2007

It was all Yellerrr...

Congratulations to Code Red who earned her yellow belt in ka-ra-TE this week! Ki-YA! We knew you could do it! That said, I hope you and Nic will be bringing your rubber knives to LPD's this weekend so you can show us how it's done.

16 February 2007

Cream Shop Friday: The MEEZ

I'm writing a story on fashion avatars -- which are basically graphical representations of yourself that you can embed in programs like IM, MySpace, Facebook, blogs, online forums, etc. You can even add your avatar into the body of an email or to your email signature. In only a few years, these avatars have evolved from tiny animated smiley faces and immobile clip art to full-on 3D identities that you can dress and animate as well as assign moods and personality. You can change your look and mindset on a whim. You're free to be who you are or the person you've always wished you could be. You can be a punk rocker or a figure skater. Wear couture or acid washed jeans and a mesh half shirt. You can carry a Hermes handbag or a hockey stick. You can Breakdance or do the Thriller dance or sit slackjawed with an iPod. The combinations are infinite. That said, you can spend several hours in the Cream Shop assembling your online persona. I experimented on Meez.com this morning. I tried to make my avatar as close to my personality/look as possible but plan on reinventing myself as a lounge singer over the weekend.

In case you've forgotten, Cream Shop Friday is a periodic feature in the PU devoted to the biggest distraction of the week.

15 February 2007

"A Botch"

Fox News is already in the business of "fake news" so it's understandable that its attempt to rip off the "Daily Show" would backfire. Their regular newscasts are funnier and more absurd than the "1/2 Hour News Hour" (garbage title) which debuts this Sunday.

Even the most whitebread conservative bloggers and TV writers are calling it "a pus-filled abscess of a show" that "sucks decomposing dog ass." Yikes.

It's impossible to disagree: The only thing funny about this clip is the desperately exaggerated laugh track. The "Don't Tell Mama, I'm for Obama" t-shirt bit would be funny if they hadn't stolen it. The format is also a blatant rip off of SNL's Weekend Update. It should be clear to everyone that there is not an original, funny thought in any of the follicly-challenged heads at FNC.

From Hal Boedeker's review:

"Jon Stewart knows how to do slashing comical commentary. He weighs in on what's happening, such as the media's bizarre coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death.

David Letterman knows how to do slashing comical commentary. He takes President Bush's awkward speeches and contrasts them with the lasting words of John F. Kennedy and Franklin Roosevelt.

Fox News Channel does not know how to do slashing comical commentary. The channel debuts "The 1/2 Hour News Hour" at 10 p.m. Sunday. This show was meant to be a conservative version of "The Daily Show." It is a botch.

"The 1/2 Hour News Hour" does not comment on what is happening; it simply takes swipes at people. These people include Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Barack Obama and Ed Begley Jr. Other joke topics are the ACLU, Time magazine, children's books and global warming.

Laughter, of an awfully canned variety, greets all the gags. Nothing happening on screen justifies these outbursts.

Hey, I'm all for a good dig at the high and the mighty. But these satirists fall short of hitting their targets with wit, timeliness or punch.

Which raises the point: What is a comedy show doing on a news channel?

"The 1/2 Hour News Hour" was developed by Joel Surnow, who has given the world many minutes of entertainment through "24." On the basis of the premiere, Surnow should stick to political thrillers. At the top, Rush Limbaugh puts in a cameo as the U.S. president (the year is 2009); Ann Coulter drops in as his vice president. Then they disappear, a smart move.

Fox News Channel will offer a second episode at 10 p.m. March 4. If we're lucky, we'll never hear of this dreadful show again."

14 February 2007

Random Quizilla

1) What do you think about the snowstorm today?
By all accounts, it’s going to be more like a “filthy muck” storm on the South Shore later today. I’d rather be buried in 10 feet of snow than in three inches of partially-frozen filthy muck.

2) Have you been sick yet this winter?
Yes. I have to drop my daughter off at preschool (giant Petri dish) every day and since I don't own a hazmat suit, I’ve had a chronic cold since October. It’s nothing too intrusive; I just feel slightly under the weather and have been abusing Nyquil on a regular basis.

3) What is the ringtone on your cell phone?
“Jump”by Kris Kross. James got me a new phone after witnessing the humiliation I endured at the hands of my brother a few months ago. I used to cringe whenever my phone rang but now I bob and weave and flip it out proudly. 90s retro is so nerdy that it’s not. A wiggida wiggida wiggida wack.

4) On which reality show would you really like to be a contestant?
"Grease: You’re the One that I Want." It’s my accidental obsession this season.

5) In an alternate universe, I am enjoying a successful career as...
A storm chaser

12 February 2007


"Ladies and gentlemen, we are The Police and we're back."

So said Sting as they kicked off the Grammy's this evening. Woo hoo! Then they launched into "Roxanne" and got 80s throwbacks like myself juiced up in a large way. I hate the Grammy's but I absolutely LOVE The Police -- I have since sixth grade when I would spend hundreds of hours trying to record "Spirits in the Material World" off WHTT 103 FM without some cheeseball DJ talking over the music.

In what is perhaps the worst kept secret in Boston, the band is rumored to have scheduled two shows at Fenway Park (Jul 28-29) this summer. I am already writhing with anxiety over getting tickets. We may have to sell our house but it'll be worth it.

08 February 2007


There you go. The Pointy Universe noted in a random quizzilla earlier this month that we were way overdue for an untimely celebrity death. This one was too easy and almost expected. I think Anna Nicole has been on the roster of everyone's unofficial dead pool since the late 90s. Perez Hilton is jump-starting a conspiracy theory that Howard K. Stern, Anna's boyfriend, lawyer and faux father of her six-month-old daughter is behind the deaths of both Anna and her son Daniel last year. His motive: Getting his furry paws on the millions she inherited from that octogenarian billionaire. I'll jump on that bandwagon. It wouldn't be too difficult to make the public and police believe that these people (especially!) died of self-induced drug overdoses. Messy.


It was Nic’s turn to organize Suppah Club this month and she decided to kick it up a notch with a big Ki-YA!

Instead of simple dinner and drinks where conversation would have inevitably turned toward the diapered astronaut love scandal, we took to the Dojo and honored Code Red’s 20-17th birthday at the same time. Nic and Code Red signed us up for their karate (ka-ra-TE) class to learn some basic self defense techniques. They’ve only been at this a few months but already have more moves than Daniel LaRusso. Nic has her yellow belt and Code Red almost has hers after only a few weeks.

Last night, they were all togged out in the traditional white Gi as was the rest of the class. Enter the Burds: Cameo, Auntie and I -- in head-to-toe black -- were referred to as “The Ninjas” for the rest of the night. LPD, in a bright orange Tennessee t-shirt, stood out like a wee baby carrot as “Tennessee.”

Then, after the requisite bows, our workout – a.k.a. Hong Kong Phooey sideshow -- began.

I almost lost consciousness during the warm up, a side effect of not working out for seven years. LPD stubbed her toe during the high-impact skipping exercise but worked through it like a shinobi. Then we teamed up with each other, taking turns throwing kicks and elbows and punches. At one point, I couldn’t stop doing some involuntary bicycle motion with my pointy arms. The karate instructor reminded me it was not West Side Story. I still couldn't stop the flailing.

At one point, we were instructed to not just kick and punch the board but to kick and punch through the board, really kick and punch the shit out of it. “That’s kind of hard when your friend is on the other side,” we piped up. But then Nic flared up --“THERE ARE NO FRIENDS IN KARATE!!!” with the crazed look of a Cobra Kai.

It was a fantastic time all around, certainly one of the most physically-challenging Suppah Club’s yet. After class, we headed over to Salsa’s for a Mexican nosh where we ate, drank and discussed the diapered astronaut love scandal. Good Times.

07 February 2007

Boulos Confronts Bob the Builder Phobia

(Boulos is a little nervous as his sister boards the Bob the Builder bulldozer)

For reasons unknown, Boulos has long been terrified of Bob the Builder. Even the opening notes of the "Can We Fix it" theme song are enough to send him screaming from the room. For those unfamiliar with Bob, he's a computer generated claymation-like construction contractor with beady eyes. To Paulie's credit, Bob is kind of creepy. There are a number of ride-ons at the loathsome mall, one of which is a digger with Bob the Builder riding side saddle. Boulos wouldn't come within 10 feet of it until today. But in a strange twist, Paulie turned the tables on Bob, and faced his fears head-on. Here's how it played out:

He feels it out...

...then climbs aboard, refusing to make eye contact at first.

Finally, he comes face to face with his long-time nemesis.

And says, "He's nice."

Way to go, Paulie! As any recovery process, he is taking baby steps. When asked by his sister if he wanted a Bob the Builder DVD, he flipped out and took off running, screaming NO! NO! NO!

06 February 2007


It’s five degrees outside right now and it's not right. My fireplace and head-to-toe fleece aren’t even putting a dent in the icy chill that has settled into my bones. This morning, I was walking across the Congress Street bridge and -- with the wind whipping across the Fort Point Channel -- it actually hurt. I was braving the elements in my fiercely lame black winter coat, black mittens, a black hat and several layers of sparkly black scarves piled up around my head. Only my eyes were visible. I looked like a Shiite Muslim. Didn’t matter. No amount of creative layering would have helped; I am very indoorsy and do not have a closet full of Patagonia at my disposal. I might as well have been standing naked atop Mt. Washington during a blizzard.

Another indoorsy-looking feller who was walking in front of me on the bridge -- hatless and gloveless (and clueless) -- was literally screaming out in pain with every wind gust. “Sweet Jesus!” “Are you fucking kidding me!” “Motherfucker!” It was pretty funny actually, and I wanted to laugh but I was too cold and miserable. I was also too focused on putting one foot in front of the other, afraid I’d freeze in place if I stopped moving.

A few weeks ago, it was so balmy outside that my daffodils were starting to come up. Now, the front yard is a frozen tundra, and my burgeoning daffodils are a freeze pop garden.

And now, I've just swaddled myself in a down comforter and it’s not working.


05 February 2007

Random Quizzilla

1. Would you rather write a catchy one-hit-wonder that will be forever immortalized in the annals of pop culture or a beautifully complex novel that goes unnoticed for all time?
That’s a tough one. I have a deep, dark longing for the annals of pop culture but wouldn’t want to be immortalized for something inane. If it were a song like “Electric Blue” by Icehouse -- NO. However, if it were “Too Shy” by Kajagoogoo -- MAYBE. Part of me wonders what's the point of writing a "beautifully complex novel" if nobody ever reads it. However, the other part of me thinks about "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin that I read in college and have read many times since. It was never a commercial success, even in its time, but it's a book that hit me hard and changed the way I see the world. I don't know. It can't be answered as a black and white question, there are too many extenuating circumstances.

2) Have you ever met a celebrity?
Yes. Although the term "celebrity" may be entirely subjective in this case. I've met a few H-list rock stars. And an A-list rock star - Paul Westerberg --in the now-infamous "you smell good" meeting in the parking lot of the Somerville Theatre in 2002. Or as James called it the "Somerville Star Trek Convention of 2002." I didn't meet, but interviewed home improvement spaz Ty Pennington on the phone a few weeks ago. And last month, I met Tony Siragusa for my Man Caves story. He was a little miffed that I didn't know who he was and then said he was "impressed a 'broad' was writing this story." Yikes. But then we hung out in his trailer, shared some Goose Ribs and dissed decorative throw pillows together. I found that he wasn't quite the knuckle dragger that I'd pegged him for.

3) Name one thing you think people assume about you when they first meet you?
That I am neurotic and flaky. And they’re not wrong. I do experience moments of clarity and calm, however, but they’re not as apparent.

4) If you were given a free 30-second spot on the Superbowl to advertise anything you own, what would you advertise?
A giant trash bag of soiled Pampers. People will buy anything -- even a bag of shit -- if it’s marketed in the proper niche.

5)Are you watching the Superbowl tonight (or last night if you’re reading this Monday) ?
Yes. Right now, I’m watching the Superbowl on mute. A random Creeper Lagoon song just crept up on iTunes party shuffle (party shuffle never lets you down). I'm supposed to be working but I'm blogging Quizilla and trying to drown out Vito’s room-shaking snoring. James is playing hockey tonight and then watching the Tivo-ed Superbowl somewhere in Cambridge. Hence, the mute, the Creeper Lagoon, and Vito snoring on the couch next to me.

02 February 2007

The Hog Has Spoken

(Nice grill, Phil!)

For only the 15th time since 1886, Punxsutawny Phil, rodent meteorologist, did not see his shadow. According to folklore, we are due for an early spring. If you ask me, the hog is down with Al Gore.

So am I. Check out the size of the snowmen the kids made last weekend.

01 February 2007

BOOOOOOO! (vile, vile, vile)

Tonight, Boston is giving up a collective middle finger to Turner Broadcasting System after learning today’s “suspicious device” scare and its ensuing clusterfuck were all the result of a boneheaded publicity stunt for some late-night cartoon.

My initial reaction: “How far does one’s head have to be up one’s ass to not get how horrible a stunt this is.” But then I realized: “Of course they get it.” Up until now, the only people who’d ever heard of this particular cartoon were 40-year-old men who live with their parents. Now, everyone has heard of this cartoon whose name I won’t deign to mention. For TBS, it’s clear that any publicity is good publicity even when it’s despicable. I’ve gotten in trouble for posting flyers on telephone poles in the city without a permit. For TBS, the fines involved in doing something like this without a permit were a non-issue. They have buckets of cash and zero conscience. They knew exactly what they were doing.

The worst part is their “official apology” accepts zero responsibility but instead seems to place blame on Boston for overreacting.

"We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger," the company said.

What? How could any rational person living in the world as it is today NOT be wary of blinking electronic devices with wires and battery packs jutting out every which way? These things were planted between an Orange Line station and I-93, embedded in the underpinnings of the Longfellow and BU bridges, inside N.E. Medical Center and within six other densely-populated areas around the city that would qualify as “soft targets.” This city is not comprised of 40-year-old men who live with their parents. It’s the city where two of the 9/11 planes originated.

Unfortunately, our city was the real loser today. Because of TBS’s greed, we wasted millions of dollars, diverted the police away from real crimes and emergency responders away from real emergencies. Traffic was snarled for hours, commuters lost time, and businesses lost cash. I’m sure more personal horror stories will surface in a few days. But all told, this waste-of-a-day put the city on edge and in a collective bad mood. And we all know that bad moods are contagious. Even worse, the next time someone spots a suspicious device near the Zakim Bridge, they will be less apt to report it.