24 April 2008

It's On: No Excuses

The first of the final five episodes of LOST Season 4 starts tonight and toes are already tingling. For those who have never seen the show, want to start watching it, but deem it too much of a commitment: Good news. Blogger and all around good guy defective yeti has done the math for you. No more excuses:
"The final episode of LOST Season 4 will be #82. After that there will be two more seasons, each with 16 episodes. The premiere of LOST Season 4 was in mid-January, 2008. Let's assume that the final season starts in mid-January of 2010. At that point, 98 episodes will have aired. So, what's January 15, 2010, minus 98 weeks?

Answer: February 29, 2008.

So: if you've never seen LOST, you can start from the pilot now, view one episode a week (with 7-8 double-headers), finish right before the start of season 6, and see the remaining installments in real time, thereby watching the entire series without hiatus." Wow.

If you still don't have that kind of time, here's a complete recap of the ENTIRE series in 4 minutes, 24 seconds....

22 April 2008

James at 40

Our meandering weekend-long celebration of James' 40th involved much fanfare and an abundance of meat products. It began with what could become a mid-week tradition -- the Spontaneous Afterwork Sausage Invasion. Two simultaneous (and serendipitous) trips to the Smoke House in Norwell ended in a consolidation of cured meats, and the grilling of peppers and onions in my partially-destroyed cookware. Friends in the kitchen, sausages for the soul.

We headed to dinner at Abe & Louie’s with P and Maria the following night. When we lived in the city, we always avoided going into town on Patriot’s Day weekend because of the madness of crowds, the lines, the Marathon in town, etc. This year was even crazier with both the Sox and the Bruins playing, but for some reason, we couldn't wait to get in there. We decrepit suburbanites craved that collective mid-April energy shared by all who are excited just to be outside without mittens.

Shuffling down Boylston Street, we were stopped by a twentysomething man in a backwards baseball hat who asked us if we wanted to go see Lynard Skynard with him, then go streaking on the Common. Before we could respond, he started skipping down the street, yelling over his shoulder: “No sa! No sa! Welcome to Boston!” Ok. Then came the food. James had this Flintstonian Bone-in Prime Rib that caused rubbernecking from neighboring diners. We dug into our Abe & Louie’s salads, filet mignon and then a six layer piece of chocolate birthday cake that rivaled the PR in size. Wow. All told, I think we met WMD's goal of eating one's body weight in red meat.

We filed out with the entire place erupting all around us because the Bruins had just won and walked back down Boylston for a night cap at Excelsior. We had some really kind vodka that I’d never heard of over which the four of us planned a long weekend in Vegas, which will hopefully come to fruition, kind vodka notwithstanding. The next day, we received P and Maria's entire Vegas itinerary via email and tossed all the leftover meat into a steak and eggs scramble, wishing BG had been there to fix Bloody Marys. Then, the meat-eating tipping point -- some Lebanese lahm mishwe on the grill that afternoon. Jimmy and Kathy shall have to fast. And if you’re wondering what happened to the bone in the bone-in prime rib, look no further than right here.

Happy 40th, James!

17 April 2008

Random Quizzilla

1) On a scale of 1-10 how clean do you keep your car?
It’s off the scale, hovering somewhere in the negative numerals. Last week, the Volvo bus was late picking up burds for S.C. because when I removed the booster seats from the backseat, I found several layers of crumbs and random stickiness. An abandoned yo-yo was welded to the seat with lollipop residue. I can’t blame the kids for this as my car has always been an ankle-deep receptacle of clutter. Besides, my other mamas' cars don’t look like this and they easily could. For me, clutter has become a kind of unfortunate lifestyle. I was eyeing an odd collection of crap on the kitchen island last week: A jar of bubbles, a blue Spiderman sock, glitter nail polish, Vito’s leash and paper plate with phone numbers scribbled on it. And I said aloud: “This pile would never occur at the Bags’ residence.” And it wouldn't. It may be time to call in the experts.

2) With skyrocketing gas prices, what are you doing to conserve?
As a rule, if we forget something back at the house, we can’t turn around and go back to get it.

3) On an average, how much fast food do you consume?
Unless there is a dire craving, not too much. Right now, we're trying to detox Paulie off a KFC popcorn chicken addiction so he doesn't end up on a childhood obesity special on Dr. Phil(DB). Damn laptop meals -- a million grams of fat for $3.69.

4) What book are you currently reading, or what was the last one you read?
"Be the Pack Leader" by Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. I've learned that, contrary to popular belief, Vito is actually quite balanced; he's simply mirroring my own neuroses. Baby steps.
"The Abstinence Teacher" by Tom Perotta
"The Easter Parade" by Richard Yates

5) What are your plans for the long weekend?
Jame is turning 40. Good God, man. Having dinner at Abe & Louies. I'd like to have a little cake in the kitchen on Sunday if the old man can handle it. Will send out word.

14 April 2008

Suppah Club: The Flipping Off of the Shusher

(Wait..didn't we just have Suppah Club?)

A late-March gathering made it seem that way. For April's SC, we headed to The Square Cafe in Hingham, a fantastic place save its utterly joyless clientele (more on that later.) Dinner got off to a late start after a phone call from Code Red let us know that she and Cameo had pulled into a gas station on 3A to investigate a "strange smell" in the car. It turned out to be the smoking remnant of a Heineken bottle, an automotive dumpling that some inebriated neighbor hurled at Cam's car last December. How rude. Crisis remedied, the table full, and SC in full-effect, we talked about about how Corporate America treats people like naughty little children, how it's fun being the oldest people on Facebook, and how the John Adams miniseries is awesome, but all those "Colonial sex" scenes are tough to stomach.

Then we got "shushed."

Like naughty little children. First, by two keg-shaped hags behind us and then a second time by a high-pocketed man who was probably the same age as us. How rude II. Never in my life have I witnessed such a thing. I won't get into the acoustics of the Square Cafe or the fact that were were a table of seven women or how the periodic eruptions from the bar area where people were watching the Red Sox were also shushed. Bottom line is -- it's not the MF library. If you don't want to dine among the masses, stay at home and whisper in hushed tones in your own dining room. Nobody was barking on a cell phone or carrying on inappropriately. At the very core of the shushing: Unhappy people simply can't stand the sounds of laughter and merriment.

As Mr. High Pockets passed by the window outside, Auntie gave him a passive-aggressive buh-bye wave. Confounded, he lifted his hand to reciprocate, but Gwennie -- not having it -- casually flipped him off. The shusher was flustered; he appeared to wet himself, then quickly flashed his middle finger and scurried down the street. We rejoiced, having chased away a restaurant bully. SC has a zero tolerance policy for buzz kills.

That said, everything else at The Square Cafe -- the waitstaff, the service, the food and wine -- was all fantastic. If they ever institute an anti-shushing policy for the rude and joyless, it'd be easier to become a regular.

In keeping with the "old people on Facebook" theme -- the Status of Suppah Club:

Cameo is...chastised for "smiling too much" during cheesy role play at a leadership training seminar
LPD is...wishing people at the table would refrain from using the term "heavy petting."
Auntie is...loving a good slipper.
Gwennie is...NOT about to be shushed by a man in angle-grazing khakis! .
Code Red is... wondering if they teach that shushing hand motion at Hingham town meetings.
Jess is...just going to drop and roll.
KJ is...is freaked out by wild turkeys

Some shots...

Auntie makes herself a little sick discussing the "many layers" involved in Colonial sex, corsets and such.

Code Red gasses up on Plumtinis ahead of her "old and cold" tour in Miami.

Fetch me a bowl of loud mouth soup!

"A tuna tar, a tuna tar, a tuna tar tar"

10 April 2008

SPRING HAS SPRUNG: Vito's Low Intensity Workout, Renegade Hot Dogs

Spring has sprung at last -- at least for today. The windows are open and the sun is shining and you can walk outside without contorting your face against an icy head wind. I took Vito (or "Gary" as the kids have inexplicably renamed him) for a long walk earlier, trying to budge some of his (and my) girth. Magical thinking. People (non-dog-owners) are always under the misconception that walking a dog is great exercise. They see people jogging alongside their hyper yellow labs and think that's typical. It's not. On a typical dog walk, there is no jogging or even walking briskly, and with a pug, it's more of a low-intensity shuffle. No one's heart rate is getting elevated when it takes 45 minutes to walk 10 yards. Even James, usually a paragon of patience, refuses to walk the pooch, finding the entire Vito-on-a-leash experience “brutal.” “The Walk” according to Vito: Sniff all shrubs within reach. Stop, sniff and mark all telephone polls and mailboxes. Bark at cars and joggers who don’t have a right to exist. Greet landscapers hauling bags of manure. Sniff a pinecone for 10 minutes. Collapse into a heap at all shady spots on the sidewalk to “rest.” Today, the landscapers had finished up their work and drove past us, noting “You’ve only gotten this far? That’s ridiculous. Hit the gym, Vito.” We made it all the way around the loop in 64 minutes and I had to pour a pan of cold water over him when we got back.

Another sign of spring: The Renegades softball schedule was released this week, which includes many waterfront games at Marine Field in South Boston. This factor led to another addition to “Jimmy’s World” where he enjoys Mexican fare at “CafĂ© Rodriguez” (Casa Romero) and Thanksgiving Turkey sandwiches from the “Groratoria” (Circe’s Grotto). Yesterday, I got an email that read: “The only reason you'll come to those Southie games is so you can get hot dogs at Flanagan’s.” Flanagan’s?

09 April 2008


Anyone with a beating heart (James would say "bleeding" heart here) had to have become completely unglued upon witnessing Bill Buckner's well-deserved reception at Fenway yesterday. I saw it on the news this morning and lost it all over again. This poor haunted man standing on the pitcher's mound, tearing up amid a thunderous four minute standing ovation. This poor man who was thrown to to the dogs (or in this case, to Idaho) for one error made 22 years ago. While October 25, 1986 was a bad day for Boston, it was an even worse day for him. I think most people felt sorry for Buckner but it sure couldn't have seemed that way to him and his family. Fans lacking empathy and grey matter -- always the loudest among us -- garnered the most attention and ran him out of town with pitchforks and torches. For once, the loud ones were on the right side. Ok, I have to go cry a little more.

I found this poem "Forgiving Buckner" by a Boston poet named John Hodgens. It's definitely worth checking out, especially if you are of the beating/bleeding heart persuasion.

03 April 2008


Happy Birthday to Sweet C. whom when you ask to get dressed for school, usually shows up in this get up. I can't believe she's five. It seems like only yesterday, she was this person. Happy birthday, sweetie!