Category Archives: local

Either/Or (or, “Terri Wins”)

Yesterday evening before I left work, Terri and I decided to meet for dinner at Johnny D’s. On the train I thought of a game to play over dinner, which I decided to call the either/or game. I would ask Terri either/or questions, and she’d have to pick one. I got there before she did, so I got the first “either/or” of the night, from the guy at the door: “are you staying for the show or just for dinner?” (Just dinner). I waited at the bar and eavesdropped on a bunch of good conversations between the bartenders and a couple of patrons (who also seemed to be fellow Johnny D’s coworkers and/or girlfriends who were hanging out on an off day). One of these conversations was another either/or conversation: who was hotter, the Celtics cheerleaders or the Patriots cheerleaders? (no consensus was reached).

Here are the highlights of my Either/Or questions for Terri:
“red or blue”? (declined)
“John Coltrane or Miles Davis?” (declined)
“The Specials or The English Beat?” (The Specials)
“Laurel or Hardy?” (Laurel)
“Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. Dubois?” (Booker T.)
“Greeks or Romans?” (Greeks)
“Beethoven or Mozart?” (Mozart! I can’t believe I married a Mozart-over-Beethoven!)

Terri asked me a bunch, too.
“Imperial or Parkay?” (Parkay)
“Mary Tyler Moore before or after Georgette?” (before)
“Empire Strikes Back or Star Wars?” (Empire, too easy)
“Mr. Ferley or Mr. Roper?” (Mr. Ferley, but if it were both of the Ropers as a unit, the Ropers).

The show started, and we asked for the check. As we were paying up, we exchanged pleasantries with Willie (the former Someday baristo (baristo?) who now waits tables at Johnny D’s). The opening band (violin, guitar, upright bass, female vocals) started off with “Love for Sale” (“Cole Porter or Rogers and Hart?” (ummmm, what did Rogers and Hart do again?…. besides “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”, I couldn’t name a song on demand!). I was almost tempted to stay, but then their second song was kind of a crappy country-sounding thing, and we left.

As we were heading home up Holland Street in the cold, I asked Terri, “Woodstock or Altamont?” She answered, “Monterey”. She totally won! She also thereby confirmed that I married the right girl.

Best snowstorm song ever

“Snowstorm” by Galaxie 500.

I always think it’s the one where they talk about being on Route 128, but that’s “Blue Thunder”; nonetheless, there’s a very Massachusetts snowstorm feeling to “Snowstorm”.

Well I listen to the weather
And he’s changed his tone of voice
And he can see it on the radar
Only seven hours away
Well there’s gonna be a snowstorm
When the t.v.’s goin out
And they got nothin else to think of
And they’re letting me go home

Well I’m lookin at the snowflakes
And they all look the same
And the clouds are goin by me
They’re playin some kind of game
Well you know there’s a snowstorm
When the t.v. has gone out
And they got nothin else to think of
And they’re letting me go home

Only one shopping day left ’til Veterans’ Day!

Friday as I was headed to the T station after work, I saw this banner, a two-story blowup of a sympathy letter from FDR.
Letter from JFK, as 2-story banner

After I got off the T in Davis, I decided I was tired enough that I could take the bus. Terri thinks taking the bus is cheating yourself out of a 15 minute walk. I think not taking the bus is cheating yourself out of a potential source of good stories.

Friday’s trip on the 87 bus was a case in point.

While we were waiting for the light to change to pull out of the Davis Square bus area, a rather inebriated guy with a grey crew cut and a fairly packed physique, kept putting his fist in the air and yelling “we’re the Marines!!!”. A couple of bratty kids outside the bus (let’s assume they were waiting for the 96 to Medford) started saluting him. He yells to the driver “hang on, I’m getting off!”. He proceeds to dangle out the front door and point threateningly and yell incoherently at the kids, who laugh and run into the station.

The guy swings back into the bus and lurches down the aisle to his seat as the bus starts moving. He’s talking to himself or yelling things at people on the bus, like “hey, cupcake, how do you know if you don’t give me a try?” or pointing sort of threateningly at this kid and saying “you, young man, need to show some respect”. The kid’s mom is sort of protectively standing over the kid with her hands on his shoulders. This went on for a minute or so and the guy didn’t seem about to give up, so I decided that I needed to take some kind of action. I didn’t want to do anything pick a fight with a drunk ex-Marine, especially since he looked like he could be a mad drunk, but I just kind of decided that I’d walk up into the aisle between him and the kid to distract the guy.

The guy looks at me. He starts studying my face. “You look very familar. Where do I know you from?” He keeps staring. “I KNOW! You’re the guy who got me out of jail today!” He holds out his hand. We shake. “Thank you, my friend. You got me out of jail today!” He calmed down a little and went back to just yelling “We’re the marines!”

And then it was my stop.

Overheard in Somerville, 06 October 2007

Walking home from the Honk! festivities in Davis Square today, Terri and I were chatting, and then we both suddenly fell quiet because we both started overhearing the conversation behind us. There were three guys, presumably on their way back to Tufts for a wacky Saturday night, and strategizing on the best combination of alcohol, interpersonal dynamics, and opening lines that they could use to start an orgy. I wish I had exact quotes here for you, but I don’t. The prevailing strategy, though, was that you needed a room with a large enough number of people, everybody had to be sufficiently drunk, it had to be sufficiently late at night, and then one couple might be able to start making out, and trigger a massive and simultaneous increase in hormones and decrease in social inhibitions among everyone else in the room.

Tufts freshmen are so cute.

Guys, I hate to disappoint you, but this is not a recipe for an orgy, it’s a recipe for vomit and people trying to figure out how to spend the next three years avoiding each other. Start small, like having sex with one person, and work up, OK?

What the Fluff? 2007

I thought “What the Fluff?” 2007 was tomorrow, but indeed, it was today; I hadn’t planned on going either way, but then Editrix reminded me that I needed to go because B for Brontosaurus was playing, and I had to represent, because she and the Herr Doktor Villain couldn’t make it because they were going to the Sox game tonight.

Terri worked today (!) so she was still in pajamas when I had to leave to make it in time to catch them play their 5pm set. They played all the favorites, plus a cover of the Jonathan Richman song “I’m a Little Dinosaur”, as well as an early Fluff jingle (video I shot is on YouTube). That’s Ben’s sister Jen playing the piccolo.

There will be more YouTubeage as soon as “Firetruck” and “RUT!” and “I’m a Little Dinosaur” finish uploading.

The whole event was once again packed, packed! with Somervillians of all stripes, though somewhat slanted toward high school hipsters and young yuppie parents and their progeny.

I ran into the indefatigable Shelley of Albertine Press. She was there for moral support for a friend who was MC’ing the event. I had actually come to see her last week in Union Square, because I knew she was doing the Urban Country fair and we were down in the Rainy Planet studio (just a stone’s throw from Union square) anyhow. But it was good to see her and talk shop and hear that she got into not only the Bazaar Bizarre Boston, but also the one in San Fran where she’s sharing the booth with a friend. (And I haven’t mentioned it on the Internets, yet, but Rainy Planet is back in the BB this year. Yay!)

I was too busy talking to Shelley to be able to snap any shots of the Flufferettes doing a baloon-popping routine, so you’ll just have to troll flickr if you want your neo-burlesque fix. But I did get some other ok shots of the event.

Deval Patrick proposes green line extension delay

Catching up on the local news now that I’m back, Universal Hub pointed out last week that Deval Patrick has proposed delaying the Somerville green line extension another two years. Given that this was one of the projects related to the central artery project, thrown as a bone to the non-car-commuting segments of the state, this is sort of a big disappointment, and you can tell Governor Patrick what you think here. Mayor Joe, naturally, expressed disappointment.

On the Acela back to Boston

Terri on the acela, posted from the acelaYears of practice of shoving to the front of the stage at indie rock shows with her camera have honed Terri’s ability to push to the front of any crowd. She managed to do the same while we were waiting for the 7pm Acela Express to Boston from New York, the last express of the day, and got us some of the last two seats together. We sat down early and watched the other people walk down the aisles and look glumly down the car.

I went into the cafe car just after Stamford CT to get a hot dog and a beer. The cafe car was full of about a dozen Massachusets firefighters in full dress uniforms, well on their way to being plastered. One of them had spilled his beer, and with some drunken incompetence was rubbing some paper towels back and forth about a foot to the right of the spill. They were having a good time and were pretty funny, though. The conductor looked like he was trying to gauge whether or not he should try to ask them to take some seats or stop drinking or just leave them alone. He decided to leave them alone and left the car, but a few minutes later came back and said “hey, boys, the Sox just won 11-3!”. They all cheered and one of them yelled “that means the conductah buys the next round!” They all laughed. The conductor sort of laughed and got out of the car as fast as he could.

After I got my hot dog, I went back to my seat and mentioned it to Terri and said “OH! They must have been in town for the funeral!” Apparently, she had been walking around Manhattan earlier that day and near St. Paul’s walked through a big funeral parade for a firefighter who died in action last week.

Later, behind us, a woman got on her cell phone and said “I’m going to be getting in in about a half hour.” She started to cry. “All I am going to want to do is come over and cry. Is that OK?”. The person on the other end seemed to answer in the affirmative and was greeted with more sobs. “OK, I’ll see you then.”

People gripe about the Acela, its delays, the Northeast’s aging track infrastructure keeping it from fulfilling its promise of lightning-fast rail service down the East Coast. But I’ve taken it 4 times in the last 6 weeks, and it’s been stellar each time. Comfortable, New York to Boston in 3.5 hours, no going through security, no getting a cab from airports to downtowns, power outlets, legroom, and the occasional adventure.

Congratulations to the couple I saw getting engaged in front of the Davis Square T station tonight

I was walking out of the T station tonight on my way home. I turned my head to the left, and saw a young woman on the bench under the wisteria, a young man in a suit in front of her holding up a little black box. In that split second thought, “no, it can’t be”, but then I lip-read her saying “yes!” and taking his face in her hands and giving him a big smooch.

I wanted to cheer, but thought better of it.

But I had a big stupid grin for the rest of the walk home.

So, congratulations, kids! Know that I wanted to cheer, but thought better of it!