31 May 2007

Stripper Lover

(I love to text dirty.)

I was feeling badly for people who shelled out buckets of cash for the Sox/Yanks games this weekend just for the opportunity to boo Roger Clemens. The Yankees apparently don’t believe Clemens is man enough to handle the pressure at Fenway, so they have robbed us of that catharsis.

Now -- a gift of renewed contempt, wrapped in a blue bow, has arrived on our collective doorstep courtesy of A-Rod and his stripper-loving bravado.

That buzz in the air is the sound of “Stray-Rod” t-shirts being produced in factories all over Boston. Jerry Remy is probably composing some dirty limericks about the scandal as we speak. This has restored my faith in karma.

A-Rod has always been a big fat jerk but his inherent dirtbag-ness was confirmed for me after his childish and pathetic attempt to slap the ball out of Bronson Arroyo’s glove a few years ago. For me, that action was not only indicative of who he was as a ballplayer, but as a person: Cheap, petty, out for himself.

Now this clichéd indiscretion with the big-breasted bleached blonde has come to light. Maybe the term “indiscretion” is inappropriate as he didn’t seem to try to hide it. He was not only spotted squiring this “lady” to a strip club in Toronto, but also to a topless pool bar in Vegas a few weeks ago – a real class act. Worse, today’s New York Daily News reveals that A-Rod is known in NYC as the “King of the Strip Clubs,” a lap dance enthusiast who sends X-rated text messages to his conquests and indulges in wild after-hours orgies at a private social club in Chelsea that fronts as a poker club. Yikes. He even took one of his favorite strippers on a Versace shopping spree recently, according to the Daily News.

A quote from a strip club insider gets my vote for a t-shirt slogan: “A-Rod loves to text dirty.”

Still, I feel badly for his beautiful wife and daughter who not only have to deal with his cruel betrayal but his arrogance about it:

"I certainly don't think this will be a distraction to our team," he said, as if “this” was no big deal, as if he got caught leaving a shitty tip at a restaurant.

He’s deluded. The only possible distraction from “this” would be Derek Jeter getting caught having sex with a billy goat in the locker room.

At the very least, Sox fans will get their money’s worth this weekend in this renewed opportunity to boo someone just as mendacious and vacant as Clemens.

29 May 2007

MD Weekend: Good Times, Noodle Salad

Friday: Burds Posing in the Seaport Again

The weekend of white pants kicked off in the Seaport with Keane at Harborlights -- an absolutely euphoric show and the first of the outdoor variety this season. Tom Chaplin, usually mellow and reserved on stage, was crazy-energetic, leaping around like his hair was on fire, inspiring sing-a-longs and an abundance of sway-dancing.

Some took it a little too far. A group of baseball-hat wearing dudes a few rows ahead of us were carrying on like they were at a Metallica show. Each song inspired a series of fist-pumps and high fives and hip hop hugs. WTF. This is Keane. At first we thought they were kidding but it soon became apparent they were completely serious. Even during dreamy and melodic tunes like "Nothing in my Way," their hyperbolic antics were an odd sideshow -- not quite as odd (or as funny) as T-Bag’s giant dancing shadow puppet from a few years ago but it was up there.

Saturday: The Silencing of the Ding Dong Cart (nod to the 413-ers)

The Higgins -- of the Norwell Higgins-- joined us for the annual airing out of the cottage and first beach frolick of the season. The day began with the requisite pails and shovels and ended with the kids having a spontaneous nude beach party. Instead of chasing them with towels, we rolled with it. They were wearing sunscreen, after all and being naked in public is only cute for so long. Still, the entire beach gig -- building sandcastles, collecting periwinkles and crabs, the subsequent nudity -- was mere foreplay leading up to the would-be main event: the arrival of the Ice Cream Man. But one of the busybody beach ladies informed us that the town of Scituate recently passed an ordinance prohibiting the Ice Cream Man from playing his Ice Cream Man Music between the hours of 5-7 p.m. Everyone has finally had it with this instigator in the Ding Dong Cart who for years has caused kids to take complete leave of their faculties around dinner time. Sure, it's party pooperish but we applauded the ruling nonetheless. Last summer, the same Ice Cream Man trolled the same street three times in under one hour. Shameless. I looked him on the sex offender registry.

Sunday: Lookout, It's a Cookout

The Dell'Olio's party on Sunday was the horseradish mustard on everyone's hot dog this weekend. A grand time. The cookout was originally billed as an intimate, beach chair circle but it ballooned to 50+ guests (including children) after WMD got drunk at a wedding a few weeks ago and invited half the east coast. It turned out to be a great call.

We worried the day would be hijacked by toddler turmoil. Upon arriving at the party, Paulie was complete garbage having not had a nap. His crabbiness was remedied, however, by a rousing game of "Let’s Take Turns Sitting in a Cooler and Tipping Each Other Over" with some other little boys.

[This was perhaps a G-rated version of JGangi's co-ed Martha's Vineyard game: "Lock the Doors, Turn out the Lights, Whatever Happens Happens."]

The kids, by their sheer numbers, became a self-contained unit (with dads patrolling the borders). They initiated a few rounds of Extreme Duck Duck Goose --- and then some impromptu yoga. All the while, we were able to sit in the ever-widening circle of beach chairs, cackling and catching up. I debuted the first installment of the Accidental Latina Summer 2007 Collection --a yellow tube top that is probably appearing in a Shakira video somewhere as we speak.

Good times, noodle salad.

Enjoy some photos, most of which were snapped by PU freelance photog Caroline:

25 May 2007

Random Quizzilla

1) Have you ever ridden a mechanical bull?

2) Would you pay $350K to kiss George Clooney?
If I had the cash and it was for a good cause, why not? Then again, I saw the kiss on the news and it was kind of lame. Maybe a shaving cream fight. A colleague of mine noted for that much money you should be able to take him to work on a leash for the day.

3) Three things that get on your nerves:
Meanderthals on the sidewalk, any song by the Steve Miller Band, people who lack curiosity or imagination.

4) What is/was your opinion of Stone Phillips, the anchor who was recently let go from NBC’s Dateline?
I was never convinced that this guy was a real human. He always struck me as a computer-generated hologram, a talking head, a latter day Max Headroom of sorts. You never saw him anywhere besides Studio 3B in Rockefellar Center; he was only on location a handful of times and he never guest hosted anywhere else -- I’m just not convinced. Back when Dateline first aired, I had a vivid dream that Stone was my boyfriend and we were hiking together in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I distinctly remember walking behind him thinking: “I don’t even think this guy is a real person, what the hell am I doing?”

5) What are your plans for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend?
Keane @ the Pavillion * Beach day in Scituate * Badminton and Bocce at the Dell’Olio’s "Lookout it's a Cookout" celebration. Good times.

24 May 2007

A Mindblower

Wow. Up is down, down is up. Flashbacks are flashforwards and I’m still reeling.

Last night’s season finale was a mindblower – and a wee bit of a bloodbath -- packed with some instant classics: Hurley going kamikaze in a VW bus and saving the day; Sayid, supreme badass, using the figure four leg lock to take out an Other. Walt making an unexpected ditch-side cameo to save Locke; Charlie singing “You All Everybody” while being pistol whipped by Laura Kingman who once accused Steve Sanders of date rape.

But as satisfying as this year’s finale was, it was déjà vu all over again.

The score: Locke 2, Jack 0.

Last season, Locke “man of faith” prevailed over Jack “man of science” when it was proven that the button and the numbers in the hatch were real and indeed served a higher purpose.

This season, everyone thought Locke had gone off the rails when he blew up a submarine with C-4 because he didn’t want anyone to leave the island, insisting they were all brought there for a reason. Turns out, he is so sane that he just blew our minds.

We still don’t know why they’re on the island but we know they weren’t supposed to leave the way they did. In a flashback -- which we learn is actually a mindblowing flashforward -- Jack, full of booze and drugs, is stumbling around in a tormented stupor and a fake beard. Tortured by his “mistake,” he’s been using his Oceanic Airlines golden pass to fly around on Friday nights with hopes the plane will crash and he’ll be given a second chance to do the right thing (wow).

He meets up with Kate. We learn they are not together in the future; she is living with someone else.

“We have to go back,” he tells her in the final scene. Suddenly, the man of science wants to do right by fate.

That was unbelievable.

The concepts of fate and destiny have certainly taken center stage this season.

A number of gatekeepers and goons showed up to enforce the laws of destiny. For example, the woman in the jewelry store who tells Desmond he’s “not supposed to” buy the ring for Penny (he doesn't.) Locke and Ben try to tell Jack he’s not supposed to call Naomi’s people; they are not who they say they are. (We’ll call them the Other Others next season)But Jack doesn't listen and fucks up his fate. How could he possibly have known, though?

There was a lot of divine intervention in the final episode as well:

In the flashforward, Jack, suicidal, is about to jump off a bridge when a car crashes and catches fire behind him. His addiction to saving people wins out over his suicidal thoughts and he becomes a hero, albeit a completely miserable one.

Right before Locke tries to off himself, Walt appears out of nowhere and tells him he “has work to do.” Just like that, he’s back on the path and shows up in time to throw a knife in Naomi’s back and try to stop the rescue.

Of course, the saddest fate sealer of the night was Charlie’s death in the Looking Glass. We knew it had to happen. Desmond’s prognostication about the rescue -- “If you don’t die, none of it will happen” – meant Claire and Aaron would not get off the island so long as he was alive…and Charlie was willing to sacrifice himself for them.

After last week, part of me hoped the fates were giving him a reprieve for accepting his destiny so heroically. But the moment we saw the blinking yellow light last night, we knew it was coming. I still hoped he’d get his paws on some of that scuba equipment, though -- but that was not meant to be.

By locking Desmond out, Charlie was keeping his date with destiny. Perhaps in those final moments – before Eyepatch blew a hole in the Looking Glass with a grenade -- Charlie knew, in the same way Locke does somehow, that this was what he was “supposed to do.”

I bawled my eyes out but was able to console myself later by rewinding and giggling at Eyepatch’s foolish evil grin outside the porthole. This is the second time that crazy bastard has come back to life.

Anyway, this is “Lost” so Charlie could be back one day too.

Since he had to die in order for them to be rescued – and being rescued wasn’t “supposed to happen” -- perhaps in the future/past/present there will be a Sliding Doors moment where Charlie doesn’t die, they don’t get rescued and they are all able to fulfill their proper destinies. Ow, my head.

23 May 2007

LOST: Whitney's Prehash

We have a Bobby & Whitney dynamic happening over here when it comes to TV shows. James gets me hooked, and then leaves me -- strung out and alone -- in front of the tube mumbling semi-coherent commentary into a bowl of multigrain tortilla chips.

He checked out of “24” this season after Jack went rogue one too many times and ditched “Lost” after the infuriating Nikki and Paulo episode a few weeks ago. Not to mention, Lost is on at 10 p.m. this season and he's usually catching flies by 9:30.

That’s all well and good, but I could no longer stand for his abusive Thursday morning inquisitions about “what happened on Lost last night.” I’m far too impatient and cranky to recap in the AM. I finally told him he’d have to watch it on TiVo, read the online episode guide or just stay awake on Wednesday nights. Whitney’s taking her life back.

That said, I’ll be sitting on the floor with some Cavit and tortilla chips here this evening, rattling Vito with my extemporaneous outbursts. Or I might flee to the Dell'Olios.

I’m absolutely tingly about the finale, but I'm tingly in the way that I'm probably going to be disappointed. Expectations are high. So I’ve been trolling the Internets at night for a fix, spending huge chunks of time reading theories on Lostpedia. Ever since Lindelof and Cuse "promised" that the characters are not dead and or in purgatory -- I’ve had nothing.

Allow me some random thoughts:

-One theory I like: The space/time continuum theory holds the island is in another dimension or time. The island is a well-documented source of electromagnetic energy, which according to Lostpedia via Einstein can bend time and space. It still doesn’t explain what the Christ is going on but maybe it’s a clue about the setting. And it’s clear that the “Looking Glass," like in Alice in Wonderland, is likely some kind of portal to the outside world or another time.

-Why I love and hate Lost: For a few weeks, there was a mindblowing theory on EW about Nikki & Paulo, the proverbial “cousins Oliver” of the show: When Desmond turned the fail-safe key and went back in time, he somehow altered the course of history where Nikki and Paulo boarded flight 815 instead of Rose and Bernard (who’d been MIA all season). That would've been in keeping with the whole space/time continuum theory -- and really cool too. But then Rose and Bernard showed up last week and completely blew that out of the water. Damn you, Lost.

-I took the “Which Lost Character Are You” quiz: I am Hurley.

My lingering questions:

WTF was up with Jacob?

Is Juliet good or evil?

Will Locke kill Ben and take over as leader of the Others?

Most important, does anyone else think Charlie will meet his demise ala Samuel Jackson in Deep Blue Sea? Remember Ezra James Sharkington?

21 May 2007

Step Away from the Cornea: An Open Letter from Vito the Pug to his Mom

Dear Mom:

I’m pulling a Candy Spelling as I’ve run out of ways to get through to you.

There is no way to sugarcoat this, so I’m just going to say it: Woman, you are WAY too involved in my life. First, you need to step away from my cornea immediately – and my cornhole too while you’re at it. No more swabbing my anus with lukewarm baby wipes. Dingleberries are not the end of the world, they are a fact of life. These little sneak attacks of yours aren’t helping my anxiety. Second: So I had a tete-a-tete with a hydrangea bush and scratched my friggin’ cornea. So what? We all moved past it. But what did you do? You aggravated the situation by taking me to the vet . You know how much I despise him. What I hate even more, however, is the way you stand by and do nothing while he violates me six ways from Sunday, sticking things in places nature never intended.

But your recent behavior is testament to the twisted dichotomy of our relationship. One minute, you’re in my face, plumbing my wrinkles with wet Q-Tips, the next, you’re completely oblivious to me and my suffering. For instance, in the lobby at the vet’s office when that ginormous black mutt sniffed my undercarriage and upended my hindquarters – I was humiliated. But did you do anything to stop this uninvited dirty wheelbarrow? No. Instead, you chose to pet the perverted pooch, ask what kind of dog he was and laugh when his owner said, “He’s part Lab, part T-rex.” Trust me, you wouldn’t think it was so funny if this amalgamation had his snout up in your junk.

Where were you when the receptionist -- after breathlessly declaring that I was ”the biggest pug she’d ever seen,” -- called four or five other personnel out front to gawk at my girth, one of whom took a picture of me. Jesus, Mary and friggin’ Joseph. How could you let that happen? I’m going to wind up in some freak show photo essay next to that stupid two-headed cat.

Then, just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse, you allowed Dr. Sadist to dump fluorescent green dye into my left eye to locate my so-called corneal scratch. Now THAT was a true kick in the balls -- and I don’t even have mine anymore.

Perhaps the worst part, however, is that this was a horrible way to spend an afternoon. I could’ve been in the front yard, charging at neighborhood children and making them cry. I can never get that time back.

So now, you have to restrain me and put antibiotic goo in my eyes every two hours for the next 10 days. What a friggin’ nightmare. My advice to you: Let it go. Move on. Get a hobby. I’m chubby but can be pretty agile when people are chasing me with ointment.

Most Tepid Regards,

18 May 2007

Burds in the Test Kitchen

It was a Seaport Suppah Club last night at LTK, a test kitchen that serves up Legal’s seafood with a side of flying wineglass shrapnel. Upon taking our seats, JAL’s glass of red spontaneously combusted at the table. Moments later, our waiter hip-checked our bottle of pinot grigio, knocking a chunk of salmon with wasabi cream sauce onto my lap before spilling all over me. Cameo, quick and nimble, saved neighboring diners from injury, grabbing the wine bottle seconds before it rolled off the table and shattered to pieces.

It just wouldn’t be Suppah Club without some sort of jive ruckus.

(Gwennie "points" out the Dell'Olio fetus with glee)

Quite the afterwork scene happening at LTK. A wee bit of a sausage fest in the bar area, mostly young men of the corporate persuasian. A few gaggles of young women who haven’t yet learned to drink in heels teetered on the fringes. That said, to get to your table, you had to bob and weave through a gawking zone that rivaled Post Office Square park.

Good times, though. And even though some of us returned home looking like we’d been in a food fight, we’ll likely become regulars there this summer. It's the perfect gathering spot for Pavillion preshow cocktails and eye candy.

17 May 2007

Night of Pipe


My first Fenway outing of the season was a total washout, doused by severe thunderstorms and a tornado watch. While it was bright and sunny on the South Shore yesterday, a late-afternoon flurry of emails from Brownguy and Bags was much more forboding. Outside their office windows it looked like "the Apocalypse was rolling in," that we were "being eclipsed by the Death Star." "It's Independence Day out there." Great.

(Come to think of it, it did look like Independence Day)

As always, the mere threat of rain brings the entire interstate highway system to a complete standstill. James and I began our excrutiatingly slow crawl up 93 as the skies grew darker and darker. I have never (never!) seen skies this dark outside of my stormchasing shows on A&E. Normally, I'm weather junkie. I love thunderstorms. I have tornado fantasies. I just don't want them to coincide with nights we have Pavillion seats and free parking for the Red Sox game.

As we drove (about 5 mph) past the gas tanks in Dorchester, it started monsooning.

An hour later, we met up with Brownguy and Bags at the sub-par but non-clusterfuckish Tequila Rain. At this point, we were soggy, a little grumpy and praying for a postponement so we could all enjoy the game on a summer night that didn’t involve Helly Hansen rain gear and obstructive-view brellies.

Apparently, we weren't the only ones. When news flashed across the plasma screens that the game had been called, there was much rejoicing. Moments later: A lengthy string of profanity and instant ticket scalping. The game would be played at 12:35 p.m. the next day. Which is just great if you don't have a job. What a buzzkill.

So, in an effort to turn around what James referred to as this "night of pipe," we fled to Southie and had dinner at the Boston Beer Garden. While it took us almost a day to get there, we DID turn the night around, enjoying a mood-elevating nosh with bonus guest stars: Neighborhood riff raff T-Bag and my brother P joined us around the table, just as we stopped shaking our fists at the sky.

(Screw you, night of pipe)

16 May 2007

Random Quizzilla

1) When you travel, what are your favorite/least favorite modes of transportation?
If I could walk everywhere I would. * I love taking the train to NYC and then flying home. * I loathe the bus. Even the ones that don’t stop at random Chinese buffets in Connecticut. * I don’t mind car travel as long as I’m a passenger (I’m a terrible driver). * Flying never used to bother me but now I absolutely hate it. It’s not a 9/11 thing so much as a claustrophobia thing that seems to have snuck up on me over the years. If I don’t have an aisle seat on the plane, I tend to wig out. On a flight back from San Francisco, I begged the ticket lady for an aisle reassignment on a very full flight. Bitch put us in the very back row of the section right next to the restrooms. The seats didn’t recline and James got stuck in the middle next to a dude with a platinum mullet who talked about Nascar the entire six-hour flight. He still hasn’t forgiven me.

2) Name three things you plan to do in the next 10 years.
Write a book and a screenplay, and officially launch my “Accidental Latina” fashion line. Where is Carol West with her odd collection of Zippos when you need her.

3) Describe a kind gesture someone once extended to you?
Funny you should ask, Quizzilla. Just last weekend, Dreama gave me some Trish McEvoy #11 White Iris -- my favorite – yet cruelly discontinued perfume. As part of a parfum outreach program I started last year, Dreama stumbled across a stash in Connecticut, went the extra mile and brought the goods to Cameo's party. Now that I no longer have to be so miserly with my perfume rations, I'm back to walking around smelling like an old French whore. Thanks again, Dream!

4) Have you ever been “mugged”?
Sort of…almost. Back in the late 80s, I was walking through that Green Line pedestrian tunnel between Berkeley and Arlington streets that has since been sealed off. It was a hot zone for all things untoward and we were always advised to stay out of it especially if we were 1) Alone. 2) At night. 3) Carrying a hot-pink boombox. Which I was. However, I also had a false-sense-of- security golf umbrella as it’d been raining earlier in the evening. Right on cue, five or so tough-looking “youths” rounded the corner, almost in slow-mo, and started walking toward me in menacing way. One of them -- as he passed by -- grabbed the handle of my radio and flashed a pocket knife at me (which in retrospect was more of a glorified nail file.) My fight or flight response totally malfunctioned. Instead of letting go of the foolish pink radio and running for my life, I started screaming and swinging my umbrella around like some shitty, inept ninja. All at once, the kids cracked up laughing, bouncing themselves off the urine-infused walls. Then they threw my radio on the ground and took off giggling. Two T workers who’d witnessed the exchange and were supposedly coming to my rescue, were laughing too. “Sweetheart, I’m sorry but that was the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.” I was pissed.

5) Name a food item you try to always have on hand.
Lifesaver Popsicles. Yum.

14 May 2007

Who's the Master?

This weekend we descended upon The Vault for a surprise gathering in honor of our long-suffering Cameo who earned her masters in communications from BU while working full-time in and out of days and weeks, through many months and years. We're so very proud and everyone's high-spirits only reinforced this sentiment last night. And since no good time is complete without a crappy low-res slide show on the PU...here you go. Click and enjoy.

Almost forgot about our tribute/rip off. Maybe it's been overdone but it was a fitting testamonial in the moment.

Friends of Di Bring You a Real Woman of Genius

Tonight we salute you, Ms. Master of Communications.

Oh, Sagittarian magister who doesn’t get attached to people or things unless that thing happens to be a costume jewelry ring from the sale bin at Lord & Taylor (love those L&T clearance sales)

You’ve worked that postgraduate self-discipline like a bear hug from Bags’ non-stealing magical grandma. (EMMA!)

So let us celebrate your release from academic captivity

For you have faced down cognitive dissonance wearing nothing but a tube top and an acoustic guitar

All along, keeping your eye on the prize and impure thoughts of Anderson Cooper at bay (it does not matter that he’s gay)

But starting today, there is no more matriculating for you, smarty pants

Who’s the master?

YOU are.

So toss back a few orange sodies and wash away that integrated-marketing residue

Because tonight it’s all about you, Ms. Master of Communications.

Kiss the ring, bitches!

10 May 2007

Pops Smackdown


I promise to refrain from using the word “fisticuffs” anywhere in this post. It is without a doubt the most overused word of the week.

In what has become a national news story, two fools got into a knock-down drag-down fistfight in the balcony of Symphony Hall last night during the Pops' opening night concert. Both men were promptly escorted out to Mass Ave, one with his Oxford cloth shirt all bunched up around his neck.

Today, the city is in collective shock: This is the balcony at Symphony Hall, not the bleachers at Fenway. Aren’t the patrons of the Boston Pops supposed to be more cultured and dignified? The answer is "No." The BSO, maybe, but the Pops' crowd, in my experience, has always had its clusters of Grey Goose-swilling rowdies (present company sometimes included)

That said, I’m not at all astonished by this scene; I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.

Growing up, my family would attend the Pops’ Christmas Extravaganza every year. One year, my father nearly got in the face of some drunks who were sitting behind us, speaking loudly, drowning out the Christmas medley with F bombs. During "O Little Town of Bethlehem," he stood up in the balcony and yelled “Knock it off!” My mother, horrified, whispered, “Great. You’re probably going to get jumped on the way out of here now.” See? Even 20 years ago you had to worry about getting “jumped” at the Pops.

Another year, we were shuffling our way to our seats and a skirmish broke out between two elderly gentlemen (both wasted). They were unceremoniously booted before the house lights went down. Their wives stayed, however. Apparently the two men were lifelong friends.

Still another year, an aggressive homeless person was ejected after sneaking into the lobby.

I’m sure the Fourth of July concert on the Esplanade has had its share of disorderlies over the years as well.

So why are we so appalled by this latest clash of the idiots?

09 May 2007

Pop Culture Infraction: In a Soapy Lather

I’ve become so obsessed with Vitamin Water that I just wrote a letter to Glaceau.

James became addicted to it on his ski trip to Utah earlier this year and as so often is the case, he got me hooked too. This is much bigger than the blue Gatorade phase from a few years ago. I’ve gotten to the point where if a beverage is not fortified with B vitamins, I’m not drinking it. Not to mention, I was finally able to kick my Diet Coke habit with such a worthy replacement. (Now, of course, Diet Coke Plus – diet coke infused with vitamins and minerals – hit shelves this week. Jerks. Coca-Cola=Greedy Gretchen)

My favorite Vitamin Water is the “Revive” fruit punch. Had this healing potion existed 10 years ago, it would’ve made our 20s much more fulfilling. We would’ve spent fewer mornings hanging dark-colored sheets over our windows and more time at those halcyon brunches we’d always planned but never quite made it to.

While there are fewer hangovers these days, the V-water works equally well for sleep deprivation and exhaustion. We will definitely be sending a case to friends within the pointy universe who have babies crowning this summer and fall.

But my gratefulness for this product’s existence is not why I wrote the company; I wrote to inform them of what I believe was a pop culture faux-pas.

One of my favorite things about these Glaceau bevvies is the creative explanation about how each flavor caters to a specific need. For instance, the fruit punch label reads:

“if you woke up tired, you probably need more sleep. if you woke up drooling at your desk, you probably need a new job. if you woke up with a headache, on a ferris wheel at the Idaho state fair, wearing a toga, you probably need answers, not to mention this product. it’s got potassium and b vitamins to help you recover and feel refreshed – kinda like in those old irish spring commercials.”

That last sentence has been picking away at me since this little infatuation began.

They don’t mean Irish Spring, but Coast, “the eye-opener soap that actually brings you back to life.” The two products are easy to confuse. Both soaps had that marbled texture and similar ad campaigns back in the day. However, Irish Spring promised you’d feel “fresh and clean as a whistle” while Coast’s tagline was more on par with Vitamin Water Revive’s current purpose: to "bring yourself back to life."

I have a vivid memory of being at CVS, imploring my mother to buy Coast instead of Irish Spring like we usually did just so I could lather up and act out the commercial in the shower. Disclaimer: I was 7.

I looked up the ads on YouTube earlier and they were even better than I remembered. In one of the earlier spots, the person experiencing a soap revival is played by the mother from “Too Close for Comfort.”
It's likely that Glaceau is fully aware of the discrepancy but chose the more recognizable brand, figuring nerdy throwbacks like me wouldn't be writing letters to point it out. Either way, the correspondence is out there. Who knows what’ll happen. Maybe Glaceau will get me and send along a free case of the juice. Or, not. Since it’s likely the latter, I signed the letter with the alias “KJ Hagberg" -- named after an annoying spammer who recently soiled T-Bag’s inbox with crap about the lakes and waterways of Canada.

07 May 2007

This is a Good Thing

Did we really want this guy to come back here? Nothing good could come of it; it wouldn't feel right. It’d be like reconciling with someone who cheated on you: The relationship is never the same and you’re constantly waiting to be let down again. Not to mention all that self-loathing that comes standard with allowing someone so unworthy to dunk your soul in chocolate sauce and eat it.

Who needs that kind of negative energy?

I for one, was getting desperate for a new pinstriped villain. I could never conjure an ounce of contempt for Johnny Damon and any lingering vehemence toward A-Rod feels tired and contrived. For me, Roger Clemens is just another reason to hate the Yankees. I know I'm not alone. Ticket prices for the Sox/Yankees games in June have tripled on Craigslist overnight. It appears many people are willing to pay upwards of $500 to join the magnificent chorus of boos that will swell up at Fenway as Roger— bloated, aging, and hopefully flailing – takes the mound.

05 May 2007

Horse's Ass 2000 Revisited

(Hey, nice ass.)

I was rummaging around my attic last week and came across these old photos. I had to scan them in immediately. These pix were taken seven years ago this weekend but they still reduce me to teary-eyed giggles.

For much of the 1990s, LPD and I would do the Walk for Hunger each May. It was a springtime ritual: We’d start out on the Boston Common, break for some street meat in Cleveland Circle and then -- great humanitarians that we were -- duck out in Brighton (where we lived at the time), toss back a few margaritas and walk home.

In 2000, our home base was in Charlestown and since it was closer to the finish line on the Common, we decided we’d suck it up and walk the full 20 miles like big girls. It was one of those HHH days in the high 80s, it nearly killed us (well, nearly killed me, LPD runs marathons) but we schlepped our way to the finish line, collapsing on a grassy knoll on the Common. We were so proud of ourselves we wanted to take a victory photo immediately.

As you know, the month of May is one of the city’s most picturesque: the apple blossom trees are blooming along Beacon Street, the tulips beds in the Public Garden are bursting with color, etc. It’s difficult to screw up a pic with such an easy canvas.

LPD was about to snap a photo when she realized our situation was dire. It was bad enough that we’d planted ourselves next to a steaming pile of garbage, but a giant horse’s ass was hogging up the majority of the photo frame. Worse, the horse actually started backing up toward us, resulting in what was quite possibly the most unattractive backdrop in the history of backdrops. I don’t know if it was excess endorphins, mild dehydration or a combination of the two but we proceeded to spiral into a hysterical – now historical – fit of laughter that continued on and off for at least 30 minutes. It was one of those moments that on the surface wasn’t all that funny but when placed within a specific mood or context was suddenly hilarious. Kind of like the time James casually pointed out a ghastly toupee at J. Ring’s wedding and I had to leave the church. Others in recent memory: The Turkey Phone and *surprise* morning-after digicam photos of Cameo strumming a guitar at the Chicken Box. (Who has that photo?)

04 May 2007

Cream Shop Friday: The Hoff on the Sauce

I was planning on making this a Hasselhoff-free Friday but I couldn’t stay away.

I’m sure by now everyone’s seen the drunken video of him lying on the floor, shirtless, struggling with what appears to be a Godzilla burger from Eagle’s Deli. His teenage daughter shot the video – at the Hoff’s request – to show him what an idiot he looks like when he’s drunk off his ass. I’m sure he did not request the video also be leaked to EXTRA or other cheesy gossip outlets to show the world what an idiot he looks like when he’s drunk off his ass, but this is the world we live in now.

Hasselhoff is currently locked in a contentious custody battle with his ex-wife. The Alec Baldwin incident has ushered in this new trend of putting your dirty business on the street to use as leverage. The irony is that the act of leaking the dirty business may be worse than the original offense. I feel badly for the kids. “This is a mess,” Hoff says on the video, summing up his failed burger nosh. It’s only a matter of time before his daughters experience a similar fate. (Even more so because of that photo up there)

That said, I found the video sad but not shocking. He looks like any other drunken boob with the munchies. Who hasn’t had those mornings where you've woken up with shrimp fried rice in your bed, still clutching a chicken wing?

Also, I don’t think the Hoff will sweat this one. He’s made no secret of the fact that he’s a recovering alcoholic with wagon troubles. We’ve all seen his videos; he’s a pretty shameless guy, certainly not someone who is meticulous about image. In the wake of the “scandal,” he released a statement expressing gratitude, not contempt for his children, saying he will seek redemption in the leaked footage.

This morning, I spent some time in the Cream Shop looking at some classic Hasselhoff animations that we've randomly emailed to each other over the years. Next week, the drunken video will be the latest entry into the new Hoff Gallery, a burgeoning Internet database of all things Hasselhoff, but I will always prefer to watch this one.

Sheep Share

I had to share this photo. We took the day off and headed to the Roger Williams Park Zoo to do some gawking today. Whenever I try to capture Griswaldian moments on camera, the images always appear forced and unnatural. We could all take a few lessons from this sheep. Here, the sheep who has no familial or contractual obligations to pose for us, does just that (and appears to be smiling). He is the picture of patience and professionalism; it's like it's his job to be -- which on some level, I guess it is. Best part: the sheep's name was "Derek." Cashews! More cashews.

03 May 2007

Random Quizzilla

1) How fast can you type?

Fast. I don’t know how many words per minute anymore but when I was signed up with a temp agency many moons ago, I was regarded as some sort of typing savant. My skills once earned me top honors as “Temp of the Month," scoring me a $25 gift certificate to Souper Salad.

2) What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?

105.2 in 1988. Yikes. I had mono & strep throat and was in the grips of delirium. I remember being incredibly thirsty but not having the faculties to sit up and bark at someone to fetch me some fluids. Then I started hallucinating: I was sitting at a giant Mac computer where if I pressed the “escape” key, I would get a few orange slices. For whatever reason, I kept hitting the wrong key or missing it all together. Strangely enough, I was fully aware that I was lying in my bed and imagining all of this computer-driven-citrus-rewards crap, but that didn’t discourage me from trying like mad to get me some orange slices. Juicy. Once my fever broke, I drank a bucket of OJ while my brother told everyone at school that I had scurvy.

3) Share an anecdote where you displayed impressive self-restraint at work.

When I worked at the Big Dig, a protocol-obsessed hag who will remain nameless used to call these pointless weekly staff meetings. This is a woman who hated all other women so much she spent an exorbitant amount of time penning and distributing a company-wide memo forbidding certain "personnel" from congregating by the office's windows, i.e the "coffee klatch" that included me and several other female coworkers. While I never officially reported to her, she was one of my quasi-bosses, which meant mandatory attendance at her pointless staff meetings. These humorless gatherings brought together disenfranchised communications workers -- stripped of any voice or meaning -- from all over the Dig.

Anyway, the hag/quasi-boss used to wear these belts that were cinched so tightly around her waist I swear they cut off her circulation. There was a school of thought at the Dig that her belts were the true source of her misery. Then, at one of the dreaded staff meetings, the laws of physics finally took over. Her belt popped off and flew across the conference room and everyone had to pretend it didn’t happen. For me, this involved a monumental amount of self-restraint. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone and sat stone faced for the next 20 minutes with every cell in my body vibrating and twitching. Once we were dismissed, I had to cry in the ladie’s loo for 15 minutes just to release all the pent up energy.

4) Did you watch anything good on TV today?

LOST. It was one of the better ones of the season. Strange there were no flashbacks, though. (James loves that). Tonight, Sawyer killed Locke’s douche of a Dad. Woo hoo. The only thing that troubles me is that tonight’s episode is going to re-spark the whole Purgatory theory. I thought we’d already overanalyzed this topic and moved on. We’ve already been down the Dante-Divine Comedy road -- why is this coming up now? It’s gotta be a red herring, the show would never be this obvious. Any theories/thoughts are appreciated.

5) Have you ever reinvented yourself?

Nothing Mark Wahlbergian but I’ve certainly done some tweaking over the years. Who hasn’t? But I wouldn’t call it reinvention so much as maintenance or evolution. I don’t know, I’m just trying to be myself and behave.

02 May 2007

A Stinky Dilemma

I've received a lot of unsolicited advice on the PU lately but tonight I am compelled to solicit some. The reason couldn't be more insignificant but I'm at a loss here.

I love our cleaning person Leticia; she cleans the undercarriage of our toaster oven and thinks it's funny when Vito tries to hump her vacuum cleaner. Not to mention, her Monday morning visits have kept us from living in utter squalor. She and her Brazilian cohorts have been cleaning our house since one of Caroline's chocolate Munchkins rolled into a tumbleweed of dog hair two years ago.

While she doesn’t speak a shred of English, we've developed an unspoken rapport; she waves, I wave, it's cordial. A few weeks ago, she started bringing her husband along to help her out. This way, she can work faster and perhaps squeeze in a few more cleaning jobs while she’s at it. (I guess. Again, we don't speak.)

Since I work mornings, I usually flee the premises on cleaning days while my sitter/magician brings the kids to the park. Also, Paulie is frightened of the vacuum. Last week, I ran back into the house because I’d forgotten my sunglasses -- and for some reason, it was steamier than a power yoga studio in there. Leticia's husband, who’d just started vacuuming Caroline’s room, was already drenched in sweat. He waved, I waved. Then I headed off to Panera for a few hours.

When I returned home, the house didn’t smell like lemons and vinegar. There was something offensive, almost menacing wafting about and it only got stronger as I walked upstairs. Ground Zero was definitely Caroline’s room, the scene of the sweaty vacuuming. Also, it was still burning hot. I checked the thermostat and found that the heat had been turned up to 90 degrees ( I later learned that cleaning folk often do this to help the floors dry faster).

Here, we were dealing with straight-up, unadulterated BO and man, it was pungent. An entire bottle of Febreze and some PetFresh carpet cleaner were no match. I opened the windows a crack to get some fresh air flowing – the usual repertoire. We’re no strangers to larger-than-life stench here. Caroline used to hide her soiled Pull-Ups in desk drawers and elsewhere around the house. But in those situations, you just follow your nose, remove the offending diaper and thus the stink. This was an entirely different animal, it was neither contained nor concrete; it was suffusive.

Hours later, it finally dissipated.

This week, I played charades with Leticia upstairs, turning the thermostat down while fanning myself with a tissue letting her know it was too hot. She got it. I waved, she waved and I thought: problem solved. Nope. This week, it was actually worse. How do you communicate this? Six years of French and Latin are completely useless. I only know how to swear in Portugese: “Caralho!” the Brazilian’s equivalent of “Balls!” (literally translated: cock. Two different things, whole nutha blog).

There is no diplomatic way to inform someone you like that their husband is stinking up your house. At least for me. I’d rather die. The guilt would chip away at me (the nuns got to me early). I know Jimmy would have no problem dismissing them without explanation but I’d feel like a giant bag of dirt for far longer than I’d care to admit. Damn you, Sister Jeremiah.