28 December 2010

Scenes from the Blizza

For hours, we sat slackjawed in front of the TV, Wii, and iPad.  Then we figured out how to turn Apples to Apples Disney Edition into a drinking game.  Some gratuitous shots from a serious snow day:

James tackles the heartattack snow while Caroline pelts him with icy snowballs and Vito
hampers progress.

James scares the shit out of the photog.

Vito cools his junk on a snowbank.


No creature tracks yet.
Bunny-sitting:  One of the rare shots of Zippy that doesn't include Vito trying to wheelbarrow
her cottontail.
There were balls and gravy.

And snowy trees.
And more snowy trees.  Pretty.

23 December 2010

Get Drunk on the Christmas

Happy Holidays to all! Vito is going to reward everyone now with 30 seconds of uninterrupted eye contact.

20 December 2010

Word of the Day: Frottage

"I love living in Manhattan so much that I don't even mind it that much
when strangers dry hump me on the subway."  - Dream

My friend Dream came to town to celebrate the Sag/Cap birthdays and within minutes our pre-Beehive conversation turned to the phenomenon of Frottage.  From the french for "rubbing," Frottage is basically the act of dry humping unsuspecting people in crowded spaces.  Apparently this happens often in NYC and in larger cities, usually in night clubs or on the subways.  And while it's not accepted, it's by no means uncommon.  Dream said the "frotteurs" as they are called, "just get on you on a packed subway car and there's no where to go really." In her case, she stomped on the guy's foot but it only seemed to encourage him more.  "He was like a golden retriever on my leg."     

Dream did a little investigating and learned that Frottage was recently added to the DSM as a legit psychological disorder. In fact, the frotteurs prefer it when the humpee is an unconsenting stranger.  I can't imagine a scenario where anyone would welcome some gyrating intruder -- and definitely not on public transportation!  Thanks for that!  Would you like me to buy you a donut with sprinkles at the next stop?   

In all my years riding the T, I'm thankful that I never experienced this phenomenon, but I'm shocked that I have never witnessed it.  A large sweaty person fell on top of me on the Green Line once and lingered for what seemed like an unreasonable amount of seconds.  Another time, a dude who looked like Richard Simmons sat across from me on the train wearing short mesh gym shorts. Seconds later, his junk was weaving out of one side like a charmed snake. I've definitely seen and experienced the occasional grope, but a full-on dry hump? No.

Apparently, some well-trained "subway" frotteurs have honed their skills to the point where they are so attuned to the clickety clack of a train on tracks, that they can convince their unwitting victim that "maybe it is just a duffel bag."   Not all of these renegade rubbers are men, either. Many women are part of the movement as well, according to one of their Facebook pages.

This FB site is UK based and features hilarious descriptions of different types of "frotjects."  I've pasted them into the post below.  Study the list.  The next time you're in a crowded space, you may realize that jogging stroller behind you is not a jogging stroller at all!  It could be a "The Blitzkrieg."   We're pretty sure that Dream got "Bus Stopped." 
The canine approach, favoured by those new to the practice, used openly on friends, usually in a pub or club. One grabs the subject of the frottage (the Frotject) and while maintaining a firm grip with your arms on any available encirclable appendage they possess, repeatedly hammer your pelvis against their leg.

A more subtle approach. Perfect for drinks parties and when amongst new friends. Facing, and in close proximity to your Frotject, ensure you have a G&T in your left hand and your right hand in your trouser pocket. Whilst making the small talk, crack a ribald joke or comment and laugh obnoxiously loudly whilst simultaneously arching your back away and thrusting your hips forward into the Frotject. (Good Frommonts ((Frot comment)) to accompany the thrust are, 'COME FAR?' and 'LOVELY DAY FOR IT!'

A lightning attack on unsuspecting prey. Perfect to use on the beautiful stranger on that darkened dance floor. Gains maximum frottage for minimum slappage with strangers. Circle your frotject without making any obvious advance in their direction, gradually edging closer (similar to stalking wildebeast). Place your innermost advance to be situated immediately behind the Frotject. Under the play of grooving to whatever godawful song is lacerating the tender ambience of whatever sticky floored, red wallpapered, jug filled lounge you may find yourself in, raise your arms and, similar to the raa thrust, gyrate and thrust your crotch into the callipigian rump found in front of you. Immediately spin away to absorb yourself anonymously into the crowd to assume your innocent dancing.

Queuing for drinks at the bar, bank queues, standing on the tube. The most reckless of frottage involves a long contact frot, probably the most sensuous of frots on strangers. In a busy bar queung for drinks, one may engage themselves to press overly far forwards and 'hold' themselves against the back of the innocent frotject ahead of you in the queue. If any protestations of contact occur, the offence is easily palmed off to the people pushing behind you.

A skillful dance of the frotteur, dancing with your chosen partner guide the frotject towards a wall and keep bumping and grinding whilst pinning them against said wall. Great for turning that innocent boogy into something far more sinister.

One of the more rambuctious approaches to frottage. straddle your prey while they unsuspectingly take a break on a chair/sofa and ride the frot.

13 December 2010

No longer a misanthrope


Not Paulie.  Me. I am officially no longer a misanthrope. My faith in humanity has been shored up by some extraordinary kindnesses over the past two years, often in unexpected places.  This weekend: another testament to the random kindness of strangers.  Caroline and I had our girls' night at the Nutcracker a few weeks ago (thanks, Momma!) and Paulie and I had our own night out at the Bruins on Saturday night (thanks, Michelle P!).  We went super premium in the plush Heineken Boardroom.  Before we sat down, Paulie plotted his mission to get on the Jumbotron and I lingered by a carving station with a glass of pinot noir.  A group of men sitting in the front row saw Paulie and I trying to find a seat.  They all got up and rearranged their row so we could sit in the leather club chairs right up front.  Though he was the youngest kid in the Boardroom, Paulie got everyone on their feet, led the "Let’s go Bruins" chant and got up on the  Jumbotron twice before the game even started.  He treated our seat neighbors to his best Rene Rancourt impersonation, complete with fist pump.  Then he removed his yellow Bs cap, placed it over his heart and belted out the National Anthem.  

Lord of the Jumbotron
It was  heartwarming to see strangers enjoying his company, *appreciating* him and being right on board with his passion and silliness and incessant toasting with Sprite.  He told his new friend Jack that his favorite player was Tyler Seguin and that Tim Thomas rocked.   Jack disappeared for a bit during the third period. When he returned to the Boardroom, he handed Paulie a bag.  Inside: a brand new Seguin shirt from the Pro Shop.   Still flying high from his third appearance on the Jumbotron, Paulie became positively elated.  I thought he was going to faint.  I teared up and thanked Jack for his generous gesture.  He waved it off.  "Merry Christmas! He's a great little guy!"

There's a lot of good will floating around out there lately.  I need to plug into it.  I love the stories about people buying coffee for the drivers behind them in line at the Dunkies drive thru. I may have to start drinking coffee again.

And more good will.  Last week, a local company, Brownstone Insurance, pledged to donate $5 to Paula's family for every person who "Likes" their Facebook page.  Watching that number go from 12 to 1,200 within an hour of posting...let's just say I haven't cried that hard since the Apple store replaced my shattered iPhone free of charge even though it was past warranty.  Unexpected places.  Not a misanthropic bone in my body.

So I'm on a MISSION today to do a random good deed.   Any ideas? 

Boulos and I in the Boardroom

08 December 2010

Lennon, man

Elizabeth Edwards

I was planning on posting a couple of John Lennon songs today.  I certainly wasn't expecting this. When I heard the news, I felt like someone kicked me behind the knees. Then, I began steeling myself for an onslaught of packaged, flowery news stories; of celebrity doctors prattling on about early detection; and of tabloid mags salivating over the prospect of reliving the big scandal.  I flipped on the Today Show this morning and heard a truly bizarre interview with that Dr. Nancy lady about "the good death" and "owning the death."  Wha?  It's been less than 24 hours; it's a little premature, Dr. Nancy.  Obviously trying way too hard for a "more enlightened" news angle. Show some restraint. Wretched hag.

Amid all of the muck, I can't stop thinking about five friends of mine, in particular, who are feeling the unavoidable uneasiness this morning.  Hang on, ladies.  If anyone needs wine this week, you know where to find me.  

When I was trying to diagnose myself on Google, I found an interview with Elizabeth Edwards where she discussed finding her own lump: "I'd like to say that I found it because I was doing a breast exam," Edwards says. "No. I found it because it was just so friggin' large. In fact, I was thinking, 'How could I have not felt this yesterday?'"

I knew exactly what she meant.  How do you walk around with what feels like a ceramic hummel in your boob and not be aware of it?  But it happens. Sure, you wish you could've found it earlier, but at the same time, you were out living your life, not scouring your body, groping for impending doom, or searching for disease in every discomfort or discoloration.  

Be vigilant, but not doomy and obsessive. You'll hear enough about early detection this week so I'll spare you my screed here. :)

I love Edwards' final message that she doesn't want to be remembered for "losing" her battle with cancer.  She wants to remembered for living a good life.  Amen. 

Aside: "I'll save my 'battles' for AT&T's customer service reps."  Mary Elizabeth Williams, a melanoma survivor, discusses why it's time to put to rest the tired cliches of "battling" or "losing the battle to" cancer.

Earlier this year, some opportunist political hacks published a book about the 2008 campaign trail that excoriated Edwards for being a raving lunatic bitch. It was distasteful, poorly sourced, and felt like an unnecessary piling on (but, hey, it sells books). At the same time, I thought, if "bitch" was the worst label these people could attach to Edwards, perhaps she should wear it as a badge of honor.  I felt badly for Edwards but was relieved to hear she wasn't a saint.  If anything, it made me like her even more for being human. 

A Jan 2010 column by writer Connie Schultz was quoted many times after that book came out.  I hope it gets rolled out again when the publicity whores crawl out from beneath their rocks this week to critique Edwards' behavior in and out of the public eye over the past few years. 

"If I were living Elizabeth Edwards' life, I'm not sure who I'd be by now, and that uncertainty is mighty humbling.
We want to believe the best about ourselves. We watch someone else stumble and insist we'd respond differently. But live long enough, and life will bring you to your knees. I have not buried a child. I do not have incurable cancer. I have not been betrayed by the man I love, never had to set eyes on the baby the entire world knows he fathered behind my back.

I know this: I would stumble forward in pieces."

07 December 2010

I Think I May Be Over Thinking Things

I'm listening to Vito growl at a coil of fresh garland that I'm supposed to be stringing up but I keep getting drawn back in here.  I miss the PU.  I made a few ham-fisted attempts to start another blog over the past couple of months but could never quite agree on a name, or design, or font, or some other silly setting.  At one point, I actually used the word "rebranding."  Out loud.  Then I immediately had the urge to smack myself upside the head with a Mistletoe-scented Yankee Candle (large jar variety).  How could I let inane corporate speak tarnish this terrain?  Circle back up your own arse; this is not a goat rodeo, it's the PU!

Actually it's simple procrastination.  I've been paralyzed by fear.  After all that's happened the past two years, I'm afraid I have nothing to write about, or worse, nothing to say.  But, in revisiting some of the pre-2009 posts, I realized that never stopped me before.

So, it's 1 p.m. on a Tuesday and I've just poured myself a glass of red this big (no judgment) to see if I can conjure the spirit of this rudderless blog.  If Vito doesn't lift his peg leg anywhere near the garland in the next few minutes, we could be in business.

Updates (just in case...)

I lost my amazing sister-in-law Paula on Aug 9 and it's been nothing less than a spiritual amputation for everyone.  Anyone who has experienced loss can attest it's like waking up in a new reality that you never wished for.  She was a fixture on this blog and with bear hugs to Peg M and e.e cummings, the mantra:  "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart).  i am never without it (anywhere you i go you go, my dear)."

I wrote this essay about Paula for the Patriot Ledger in Oct and it's much more clearheaded than anything I could repeat here about the impact P had on me.  You would hear 100+ similar stories from anyone who knew her.

The Rack

I started the first phases of reconstruction back in April and it was touch and go for a several months as to whether the teets would “take." I had my final surgery on Nov 12 and all is well.  I look pretty much the same as before but they're just *out there.*  I didn’t want to look like a porn star (at least not permanently) so we're not dealing in cannonballs so much as billiard balls. Rack 'em up.

I'd write about the surgery experience but thanks to a wonderful, amnesia-producing pharmaceutical called Versed, it's all eternal sunshine. I remember nothing except an orderly in the recovery room who may or may not have been a member of Alice in Chains in the 90s.   

Other news:

Vito has lost 6 pounds... 

Can't you tell?

How about from this angle?

So, with a giant sigh and a "WTF was that," I'm ready to move forward.  Can the PU be reignited?  Can I get a fawning chorus of Hallelujiahs or boos?  I'll cry either way...believe.