30 April 2007

Out of Town

James and I finally got to the point where we had to leave town. We needed to slow down. We needed to eat our meals seaside. We needed to be somewhere off-season and sleepy.

That said, we fled the Land of Zero Downtime for the Cape this weekend, packing the babies off on what was probably the most hyped sleepover in recent history. However, any separation anxiety they had ahead of our departure evaporated amid promises of "surprises" upon our return and a casual mention of Build-A-Bear being on the babysitting agenda.

We headed out to the Crowne Point Inn & Spa in P-Town, absolutely agog at the prospect of sitting slack-jawed in a steam room and soaking ourselves in a mineral tub for a couple of days. These days, just showering without interruption is enough to get me into a lather, but I was able to squeeze in a massage and a sea salt scrub too. We were even able to indulge in some ancient rituals like napping, reading and watching the Red Sox without TiVo.

Other things that happened:

-Excessive Buddha statues all around the property -- including a massive one squatting in the garden just outside our room --- reminded us to pause. We did. Mostly to gawk and comment on the exorbitant amount of Buddha statues.

-At the spa, we were greeted by John, who would be the spitting image of Philip Seymour Hoffman if Phillip Seymour Hoffman was excrutiatingly groomed. He batted his eyelashes at us from behind the reception desk: "Name, please?" I told him my name. He smiled and peered at James. "So this would be Farrah or Bosley?"

He fetched us some robes and flip-flops. I took off my rancid sneakers that I’ve had for way too long. They're already a total eye sore but because I'd walked through a few puddles on the way to the spa, they were bringing that soggy sneaker smell.

John picked up my sneakers as if they were two dead birds. “ I’ll take these. They’re sucking the Zen out of this whole place.”

-On an EPB recommendation (thanks), we headed to The Mews for dinner. The restaurant was waterfront, our table windowfront right on the beach. The open-air doors were rattling and you could sense the season about to bust wide open -- I can't wait to go back over the summer. On the cocktail menu, there were about 100 vodkas from all over the world from which to choose. Our waitress, very schooled in booze, suggested the Blavod Black Vodka -- some flavorless Burmese herb actually turns the vodka black-- which was not only cool but yummy in a way that won't kill you.

The waitress neglected to mention, however, that the vodka was 40 percent alcohol, so after one bowl of loudmouth soup, Jimmy looked like this.

All told, P-Town was the perfect getaway in its off-season glory. While many restaurants and popular shops like "Spank the Monkey" – weren’t open yet, we found surprises (and fudge) for those who made this minibreak possible and hung onto our newfound relaxation for about 15 minutes upon returning home. The babies, in a record performance, went on an absolute tear this evening. Payback. The glassy eyes and creased forehead are back. My shoulders hurt.

27 April 2007

A 50 Percent Chance of PG

Trattoria San Pietro, Norwell -- Auntie, all browned up from her Bermuda vacation, swooped back into town to host April Suppah Club tonight, dropping a bomb smack- dab in the middle of the antipasto: The Bags' family is expecting again; Jack will welcome a new brother or sister later this year. And like Caroline and Paulie, the Bags' babies will be a mere 14 months apart. Babies, babies everywhere. Princessica and LPD will be birthing babies mid-to-late summer. Those of us with two or more babies are making sure our IUDs are secure. To the Mamas and Papas to Be: We'll always be here when you need us, whether it is to babysit or kidnap you for daytime wine binges.

2008: We're going to need a bigger bounce house.

25 April 2007

My Digicam's Been Hijacked Again

So I tried to get a photo or video of the skipping man earlier today but couldn't because my card was completely full. There are 72 more similar photos where these came from.

24 April 2007

Random Quizzilla

1. Name one fictional character from a current movie and one from classic literature that you’d love to go out drinking with? Where would you go?
Grandpa from "Little Miss Sunshine" -- Drag Show at Jacques. Count Mippipopolous from the "The Sun Also Rises" -- The Bristol Lounge.

2) What columns or columnists do you read regularly?
Dowd/Rich/Friedman, NYT * *McGrory, Boston Globe *“Coupling,” Boston Globe Mag * “Lives,” NYT Mag * “Modern Love,” Sunday NYT * “The Sports Guy,” ESPN the Mag * Rebecca Traister/Garrison Keillor, Salon.com * “Talk of the Town,” New Yorker Online * Perez Hilton and Crabbies Hollywood (not really columnists so much as snarky gay bloggers tearing celebrities apart but I read them regularly). Also surf Clint Van Zandt’s “profiling blog” at MSNBC.com from time to time.

3) Name something(s) that made you happy/laugh-out-loud this week .
Well, it’s only Tuesday but it’s already been a good week for chuckles (and hopefully for Chucklebunny, wherever he may be)

-- “Daddy, is Appleboppins pitching?” – said Caroline as she plopped down next to James to watch the Sox on Sunday.

-- This is how a woman I’m doing some freelancing for described her company’s legal department: “They are all bastard-wrapped bastards filled with bastard cream.”

-- Audrey on 24 last night. I’m confident I’m not the only one who found this hilarious. After rescuing Audrey from Cheng, Jack realizes that she has no idea who he is. She’s apparently gone batshit crazy at the hands of her sadistic Chinese captors. In the show’s final frame, Jack observes her vacantly picking at herself, twitching and mumbling incoherently. He whispers “Oh my God” in that forboding way only he can pull off. But there is no time to tend to his freshly-schizo-ed girlfriend. Doyle & Co. have created another fine mess, allowing Cheng to escape with the nuclear circuit board. Jack will have to go rogue (again) and clean it up himself. I have to admit, Kim Raver gave some good crazy. I’m sure the twitching clip will be up on YouTube at some point today.

This made me happy. My daffodils bloomed in January and died in February and showed no signs of life a few weeks ago. I walked outside this morning and, well, there you go...

4) Did anything make you mad/yell out loud this week?
Writer’s block on deadline. Total paralysis. I was incapable of finishing a simple 750-word article yesterday. James heard me scolding myself in the basement last night: "Just finish it! FINISH IT!" I need a vacation.

5) I think it’s time to ________ and ____________.
I think it’s time to bring this ship into the shore and throw away the oars forever.

23 April 2007

Scenes from the Urban Canyon

There’s nothing like getting your hair done when you’re suffering from a mad case of the Hags. (Symptoms : Overall feelings of haggishness, corpulence. Crows feet - pronounced. Skin – pasty.) But it was tough for the Hags to bring anyone down this weekend. The SUN was out. Bulky outerwear was not required. The Red Sox SWEPT the Yankees for the first time since 1990 (and made HR history…that was insane!).

I wanted to skip – all giddy and gay -- down Newbury to my hair appointment. I had to downgrade to a shuffle, however, as the sidewalks all over the city were busting at the seams and were not conducive to strides or skips. Street musicians and artists were peddling their wares on every corner. A pack of elderly women was doing Tai Chi --- inexplicably -- on the corner of Dartmouth and Newbury which created a serious bottleneck. I was actually getting sweaty as I made my way to the salon. I had an overwhelming urge to ditch my black sweater and jeans for a sundress but there was a line to get into H&M, the only place I could afford an impulse purchase.

I let it go. It was finally above 60 degrees. This-is-why-I’m-hot. Embrace it. After downing an entire liter of spring water, I told Maria, my hair stylist and sister-in-common-law, that I was rendezvous-ing with EPB and Code Red at the Urban Canyon a.k.a the roofdeck at the Rattlesnake later that afternoon. Maria – always a conjurer of random cool stuff -- produced a GC to the Snake circa 2001. You can understand why this GC sat dormant in her wallet for six years. The food at this place is awful but it’s the perfect setting for certain situations, i.e, watching the Sox game outdoors in an uncrowded setting with cocktails.

Pointy Note: EPB -- pictured here -- is moving to Australia in June to work for at least one year. He’ll be firing up his own blog “Bean Down Under” soon so we can keep tabs on his adventures among the wallabies. Some friends of his who have lived there said kangaroos on the golf course are regarded with the same indifference as pigeons on the Boston Common. I can’t wait for his first posting which will likely involve giggling and the uploading of kangaroo photos to his BDU blog. It’s only a matter of time before the Aussies start calling him Joey.

Anyway, EPB was telling Annie and I the story of how whenever his parents go out to dinner, his 79-year-old father always thinks someone at the restaurant “looks familiar” and he can’t help himself from striking up conversations with these familiar-looking strangers, regardless of how obscure.

Less than a half hour later, in a seemingly unrelated incident, EPB pointed to a very tall, very young waitress in gaping fishnet stockings. “That waitress looks really familiar.” Right. Sure. “Seriously. I’m not making this up. She really does. I think she’s from Weymouth.” OK. He was adamant and was on the verge of betting cash-money that the woman -- if not from Weymouth --was from definitely Quincy or Braintree or Hingham or anywhere within a 10-mile radius.

Sure enough, he stopped the woman, confident in his point. “Excuse me, where are you from?”
Was it Quincy? Braintree? Weymouth? Hingham?

Nope. Ukraine.

After Annie and I stopped laughing, he said he said he was glad he didn’t know her after all, referring to her “skanky tights."

Oh man…EPB….I’m going to miss you so much!!

20 April 2007

What do Alec Baldwin and Penny's Mother from Good Times Have in Common?

By now, you've heard that Alec Baldwin got his Schweaty balls all in a knot and unleashed a psychotic voicemail rant on his 11-year-old daughter, calling her "a rude, thoughtless little pig" and threatening to fly across the country to "straighten her ass out." Yikes.

Alec Baldwin, welcome to the Society of Loose Cannons. Other celebrated members of the SLC include Michael Richards, Mel Gibson and others driven to rage by the limitations imposed upon them by black people, Jews and elementary school children. Baldwin issued a weak, somewhat arrogant statement acknowledging that he should've used "different language while parenting his child." So this was just a "parenting issue?" He must've attended the Leona Gordon School of Parenting then because calling your own child a pig is not a flawed parenting style, it's psychological abuse. Alec, frustration comes standard with being a parent. You've got to control yourself, man. Being a frustrated parent means walking out to the back porch, closing the door behind you and screaming "OH MY FUCKING GOD PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP" into a balled-up hand towel. So I've heard. You are a total ass.

Not that Kim Basinger is any better. She's an angry old mess who's only instigated the situation further. Poor Ireland is going to need a team of therapists before she's 20. Run away, child! Join the circus or find some Willona Woods-type savior to adopt you.

UPDATE: Baldwin's belligerent rant has been mashed up with the Ramones --you can download it as a ringtone at Cellytown. It's wrong, but kind of funny.

19 April 2007

The Best Birthday Present You Can Give James Today

Ok, Let's recap.

On April 19th...

1775: A shot is fired and the American Revolution begins at the Lexington Common. It was the "shot heard round the world."
[It's sad that I did not know that. Someone had to remind me that this is why we have Patriot’s Day. I always thought Patriot's Day was just another convenient Massachusetts holiday like “Evacuation Day” which "just happens" to fall on March 17th/St. Patrick’s Day. I assumed someone made up Patriot's Day so people could run or attend the Boston Marathon. ]

1861: The first blood of the American Civil War is shed. Four soldiers and 12 rioters were killed.

1989: A giant asteroid passes within 500,000 miles of Earth.

1993: Waco. Branch Davidian compound implodes after 51-day seige. 86 dead.

1995: The Oklahoma City Bombing, 168 dead

1999: Columbine, 13 dead. (April 20)

I've known him for 10 years but it is still staggering to me that James, a good soul, a healing man in every way, shares his birthday with all this negative energy. But he turns 39 today and the best birthday present you can give him is a piece of your own crappy history. Go to This Day in History and let him know of any shitstorms that were swirling about the day you were born.

My birthday Nov 29: George Harrison dies, 2001.

18 April 2007

A Face Full of Clint Van Zandt: Part II

co Van Zandt's back on the air right now in all his mustached glory; he was actually on campus at Virginia Tech today, lending his two cents to the tragedy. He’s clearly had some highlights and a few tanning sessions since I last saw him on air. He strikes me as a bit naughty. Regardless of the horror of the topic, he always speaks with a lopsided half-grin, glinting mischievously at the camera like he's wearing lacy thigh highs under his suit. Even though he runs his own consulting company, Van Zandt spends most of his days lurking in the hallways at MSNBC, and if the opportunity arises to discuss a workplace shooter's rage or a horny school teacher's ill-placed desire, he pounces on it with relish. While he's waiting, he probably rummages through the MSNBC employee fridge, sniffing the contents of Tupperware containers, stealing fruit from Contessa Brewer. Then, when he leaves the Seacaucus studio each evening, he slicks up his mustache with man-grease and trolls Manhattan for dirty women.

A Face Full of Clint Van Zandt: Part I

“I know you’re watching this. Can you believe it’s happening again.” It was Cameo’s voice on the other end of the phone, sparing cordials in an early morning call yesterday. I knew exactly what she was talking about. It’s the week of James’ birthday (April 19) and we’re glued to the TV watching yet another large-scale human tragedy unfold. April 19th has become synonomous with total disaster: Waco. Oklahoma City. We spent James' birthday in 1999 watching the Columbine kids fleeing their school -- hands on heads -- on all six TV screens at the Harvard Gardens. Since then, the third week of April has been all about retrospectives, anniversaries, and vigils. Now it's about Virginia Tech – unimaginably sad, and as horrifying as it is senseless.

I suspect we will spend the bulk of April 19th listening to former FBI Profiler Clint Van Zandt on MSNBC dissecting the shooter's mindset, his possible motives, and the warning signs everyone missed. One thing is certain: Had this tragedy taken place last week, Don Imus would still have a job. Van Zandt would have been sucking up all the airtime, diminishing Sharpton's beefy soap box. Lesson: Never screw up during a slow news cycle.

During tragedies like these, I always look for a distraction, something to quell the overall sense of self-loathing and uselessness I feel watching the news coverage, contributing nothing to the cause except my own morbid curiosity. So, I’ve decided to focus heavily on Clint Van Zandt these next few days. Really zero in on him and his profiling prowess. I'm mildly obsessed with this guy as it is.

17 April 2007

When "a Little Sauce, a Little Cheese" is Definitely Something to be Afraid of

I don't know which is better -- this clip of a fan getting smacked with a large slice of cheese or Jerry Remy & Don Orsillo's giggly commentary about it. This dude is just lucky WMD wasn't in the vicinity as the hurled concession would have been a large meatball sub. Meatballs of fury.

In this context, J. Wiley's old adage needs a disclaimer: "A little sauce, a little cheese...nothing to be afraid of." ***

*** Unless it's coming at you at 100 mph.

16 April 2007

Patriot's Day Quizzilla

1. Have you or anyone you know run the Boston Marathon before?

As a rule, I don’t run anywhere except from danger or to the loo. Not to mention, I get winded running up a flight of stairs. However, some of my athletic pals who have plenty of self-discipline and fortitude have completed the 26-mile trek: LPD, Auntie & Brownguy. Very proud! KT is actually running today amid the leftovers of yesterday’s Nor’Easter: 25mph headwinds and 50mph gusts. You can check her progress at www.baa.org. Her bib # is 22,999. Go KT!!!

2. Are you going to the finish line today?

No. As I write this, I am in a conference room downtown on a call that is serving no other purpose other than to satisfy some people’s need to hear themselves talk. I haven’t made a peep. I’m pretending to take copious notes on my laptop and am becoming an expert at avoiding eye contact. It’s too foggy outside to stare out the window and daydream. Moments ago, I found myself staring into space thinking about how sick I am of wearing boots. Wow. There is absolutely NO reason for me to be here. Face time is overrated.

3. What are your most recent or fondest Marathon Monday memories?

The most fun ones were the days we’d go to the Patriot’s Day Red Sox game and then meander over to Boylston Street to catch the end of the race. Just three years ago, James and I attended the Sox & Yankees game and it was close to 90 degrees (only 45 degrees today). We didn’t make it to the Marathon, however, as I was eight months pregnant and too wobbly for the crowds.

The previous year, we all gathered on the corner of Hereford & Boylston to cheer on Brownguy as he rounded the final corner. When we spotted him, he was waving his arms and pumping his fists and looking in the complete opposite direction.

Two years before that, we cheered on LPD and Auntie from the same location. There were some annoying BC kids in front of us busting into that tired “Eagles on the warpath oooh aaaah” chant every 10 seconds. Even Code Red, a BC alum, wanted to “burn them.” After our pals crossed, we headed over to Bukowski's to toast their accomplishments.

4. Have you ever fainted in public? If so, where and when?

Yes. Many years ago, I completely passed out on the MBTA Blue Line. It was a hot and humid day and there was no air conditioning on the train. I was standing up and remember seeing white spots and trying to sit down on some woman’s lap in front of me before I lost consciousness. The next thing I knew, the train conductor was elevating my legs on someone’s briefcase at Government Center.

I almost passed out at a fundraiser in Back Bay a few summers ago. Again, it was super hot, there was zero air conditioning and I was about three months PG. Cameo squirreled me into the ladies room before I lost it.

This past weekend, I woke up feeling like I’d swallowed a loofah. I had a high fever (but didn’t know it) and got a touch of vertigo at an REI sale I attended with James. I was ok when I got outside into the fresh air but I was forced to cancel lunch plans with EPB as well as a long-anticipated hair appointment. I spent half the day in a self-induced Nyquil coma and the other half shivering beneath a comforter on the couch watching the Red Sox game. As I lay there, my kids piled stuffed animals and Matchbox cars on top of me and kept putting dish towels over my face.

5) Name something(s) that you recently found amusing.

-Caroline and Paulie singing “Charles Has a Licking Problem” in the car, absolutely flawlessly.
-Learning about a weekly email exchange between Bags and T-Bag involving old Carvel Ice Cream Cake commercials about Fudgy the Whale, Hug Me the Bear, and Cookie Puss.
-A bike courier singing “ba-ba-DA-DA” to himself at the security desk this morning. He had his iPod on and was clearly listening to that Gym Class Heroes’ song that samples Supertramp: “Take a look at my girlfriend/she’s the only one I got ba-ba-DA-DA.” The security guards were looking at him like he was nuts. I love when people just don't care.

15 April 2007

Aloha and Mahalo

(At 76 years old, Don Ho was still a hit with the ladies)

Just when we'd thought we’d heard the word "ho" enough for one week, we learn beloved Hawaiian crooner Don Ho has headed off to that big luau in the sky. I never really got what his deal was. In my world, he wasn't quite as famous for his "Tiny Bubbles" lounge act as he was for his guest appearances on 70s TV shows like Charlie's Angels, Fantasy Island and Sanford & Son. His most memorable cameo, however, was on the Brady Bunch's three-part episode in Hawaii. I only remember it in flashes: The Tabu Tiki thingy, Cindy's & Bobby's encounter with Mr. Ho where they ask him if he knows how to play the ukelele (as the laugh track goes wild), Bobby somehow ends up sitting on said ukelele, and then the entire family sits in a circle on some beach where they take turns blowing into a conch shell. And wasn't Vincent Price involved somehow? It seems surreal now. Anyway, farewell Don Ho. I'm sure a heavenly pig roast is being held in your honor as we speak.

13 April 2007

Cream Shop Friday: Chasing Skipper

When I lived in the city, whenever I looked out the window, I could always count on something exciting happening outside: Furio hosing down the sidewalk for the 100th time. An inebriated neighbor shooting a bebe gun at Joe C’s dog for sniffing around his tomato plants. And let’s not forget about those midnight stoop parties during gas leaks. Now that I am a surburbanite, the only thing I see when I look out the window are our retired neighbors Lou & Nancy going to and from dinner.

That said, please try to reserve judgment on how I just spent the past 30 minutes of my life.

A man in black spandex pants and a yellow windbreaker has been skipping past the house all week long. I’ve assigned him a creative nickname: Skipper. I’ve never seen such a sight before: A grown man in a full-on skip. He’s definitely engaged in some kind of workout but man it is goofy looking. Is this some new exercise trend? If so, it’s even more ridiculous-looking than that speedwalking craze from the 90s. I wonder if he only does this during the day because everyone’s at work? That way, he can be as free and sprightly as he pleases without busybodies like me peering at him from behind their living room curtains.

Anyway, I just spent the past 30 minutes in the Cream Shop trying to catch Skipper on video with my digicam. He’s gone by three times now but I can’t get close enough without him catching me in the act. And I don’t think I’m strong enough to handle how much of a loser I’d feel like if that happened.

I tried to use Paulie as a pawn, pretending to take his picture so I could get Skipper in the background but the picture is too blurry when I zoom in. Alas, he’s clearly finished his work out for today and I’ve got to get back to work anyway. I hope to post a video of Skipper soon, however, so you can share in the overwhelming excitement.

12 April 2007

Hail to the "Nappy Headed Hos"

(photo: Embattled Curmudgeon Don Imus in the days before the bitches and hos got up in his grill)

I don’t listen to talk radio because it makes me carsick. It doesn’t matter if I’m in my car or in my kitchen, if talk radio is on, I am instantly stricken with feelings of motion sickness. This is likely brought on by a Proustian memory from childhood when my parents would smoke in the car with the windows rolled up while WBZ crackled on the AM radio.

Still, I’ve been closely following the Don Imus story -- mostly because he is this week’s diapered astronaut and I can’t look away. I listened to the transcript of his “nappy-headed hos” comments and their context. His egghead producer Bernard McGuirk egged him on, calling the women on the Rutgers team “hos” first, before Imus added the offensive frizzy adjective.

To me, they sounded like two old, out-of-touch white guys who just discovered Urban Dictionary. It was a lame exchange and it backfired like parents calling their kids “dawgs” in an effort to communicate with them via street talk. They should not only be penalized for sounding like racists but also for sounding like complete idiots.

But he apologized several times, spent three hours on Al Sharpton’s radio show --which is punishment in and of itself -- and is meeting with the Rutgers basketball team. As he should. His radio show has been suspended for two weeks, MSNBC has dropped its simulcast of his show and numerous advertisers have pulled their sponsorships.

And, of course, wherever there is indignation, there is Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

Last night, Keith Olbermann held their feet to the fire a little bit, something I’m surprised more media outlets or activists aren’t doing:

If they're protesting Imus for racial comments, why aren’t they going after Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz and their ilk who have built entire careers – quite unapologetically – on hatemongering, pandering to half wits who find racial stereotypes, misogyny, and gay bashing absolutely hilarious.

Is it because our expectations of these knuckle-dragging talk show hosts are so low that we simply accept this vitriol from them, sort of the same way you expect gorillas to hurl their own feces when they get excited?

Imus used the term “nappy headed hos” – that's pretty offensive, but is it any more offensive than these incidents:

- Last year, conservative talk show host Neal Boortz said Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney looked like a “ghetto slut,” and that her hair “looks like an explosion in a Brillo pad factory. It’s just hideous. No it’s not an Afro...it just shows contempt for the position that she holds. She looks like Tina Turner peeing on an electric fence.”

- Rush Limbaugh, drug-addicted conservative gasbag, has repeatedly referred to Halle Berry and Barack Obama as “Halfrican-Americans.”

- Barely-educated conservative blowhard Glenn Beck (also a former drug addict) called the victims of Hurricane Katrina “scumbags," implying poor + black = scumbag.

- Not even going to go there with skanky Ann Coulter as we've dealt with her before.

Where is the outrage here? The advertising exodus? If someone cannot control themselves or maintain the slightest level of decorum, they shouldn’t be on the public airwaves. I’ve always subscribed to the “don’t like it, don’t listen” philosophy but if they’re trying to set a new standard with Imus, then it should be applied to these hateful morons too.

10 April 2007

Freezing at Fenway

If you're going to the home opener today, be sure to dress in layers and wear a hat. I'm not going today but I'm not so sure I'd want to. Fun at Fenway is not about wrapping yourself in a down comforter with a cup of hot tea. It's about cold beer and sizzling street meat. It's about sunglasses and short sleevies with slogans like these. Bright side: It's easier to smuggle a contraband "Yankees Suck" t-shirt into the park under a puffy North Face parka. Down side: It's more difficult to eat a sausage smothered in peppers & onions while wearing woolen mittens. Go Sox. Brrrr.

04 April 2007

Cadbury Creme Eggs

Perhaps one of the greatest Easter commercials of all time. This is right up there with M&M's "Thank you, Easter Bunny -- Bock! Bock!"

I know I am likely in the minority here but I've always thought Cadbury Creme Eggs were straight-up nasty. I love all things chocolate but my texture issues could never get past that fondue-like yellow and white filling masquerading as yolk and egg white. Eww.

02 April 2007

Random Quizzilla

1. In what year of your life did you change the most?
2004. After birthin' two babies, I found it difficult to adjust to a life where I couldn't just run up the street to CVS to buy some lip balm and lightbulbs.

2. I really hate it when ________________________.
I really hate it when I mistakenly think some hands-free headset geek is talking to me at Panera. It's always some stressed-out corporate raider who looks like he/she slathered his/her face with Vaseline. I usually address him/her politely: "Excuse me? Did you just say something?" My pleasantries are often met with an annoyed look and flash of earpiece. Whatever, Headset. If you're so busy and important, why are you stuffing your face with an egg souffle at a suburban lifestyle center at 10 a.m. Get thee to a windowless conference room in the financial district immediately. You smell like burnt bagels.

3.When you can’t go to sleep, what is your personal remedy for drifting off into Lullabye Land?
It used to be Ambien or Trazodone until a few month ago when James found me in the bathtub at 3 a.m. knocking over the shampoos and deep conditioners, nearly pulling down the shower curtain. I was totally sleepwalking and had no recollection of it the next morning. I flushed the pills and am now back to my regular insomniac ways: Up late, reading, blogging, watching Conan while doing yoga stretches and having a couple of glasses of Cavit. I tend to get sleepy around 1 am when the commercials for Head On and Tiger Balm are starting to represent.

4. What is your favorite pasta dish?
Pasta Arrabbiata. SPICY & HOT w/ tomatoes. Unfortunately, it's tough to find an Arrabbiata done right. Even when we were in Italy, we couldn't find the perfect saucy balance of red peppers and Roma tomatoes. When we got home, we learned that D'Parma has a yummy Arrabbiata recipe that they won't share. I also experienced a memorable dish at Assaggio in the North End ala Brownguy who called in the order late-night a few years ago. Recipe, please?

5. Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?
Even though we've had some wild episodes down there, I have to say Nantucket. For some reason, I always feel calm and in my element on that island. The place has the same effect on my psyche that the island on Lost has on its castaways. I'm still looking for the hatch. I heard it's somewhere around Orange Street.