Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hub On Wheels 2008

I'm going to sleep well tonight. Early this morning, my Biker Gang, the Boston Ramblers joined four thousand other cyclists for this year's Hub On Wheels Ride. It was incredible. Storrow drive and the Riverway were closed off for us, and for once, we bikers ruled the mean streets.

Hub On Wheels benefits Technology Goes Home, which is a great cause, but regardless, the tour of Boston is well worth the modest registration fee. We started out early at City Hall Plaza, our ride starting not long after 8 am. The Ramblers rambled, logging just over 30 miles in a stretched-out 2 1/2 hours.

My big "technological" breakthrough for the ride was my handlebar camera-mount. I'm a little proud of it, even though it launched relatively untested. In 14 hours, I've been stopped, talked about, and questioned about its source. I'll post supporting materials shortly. My favorite incident was today along the Riverway, when a gentleman rolled up next to me and asked, "How are the photos?" I told him pretty good so far, it's a little untested, and this is its big premier. His next question: "Where did you buy it?"

"I built it," I said. He rode on...

Here are some pics from the ride, along with as much narration as I can provide. I'm rather pleased with the camera mount. I own what is not known as the nicest, most expensive, or technologically advanced camera. But it seemed to do a good job holding up through the 30+ miles of H.O.W.

Without further ado:

Not long after the beginning of the ride, about to join Storrow Drive:

Yeah! We own Storrow Drive! Reverse THIS!

We rode out to Cambridge, where the route turned around. The sun was in our eyes, the signs said Cars Only, but no cars were around, so we took some liberties:

We exited at the Fenway,

Made our way onto the Riverway,

I pulled over along the route for a costume change. I handle a ride like a Cher concert: Lots of flash and many, many outfit changes. I'm a showman, what can I say?

Here's a shot of the Ramblers at the first rest area, at the Arnold Arboretum, 14.4 miles in, still fresh-faced and optimistic:

From there we went through the Forest Hills Cemetery (one of my favorite places ever, but especially pleasant to bike through) and through Franklin Park. I had some technical difficulties with the camera system here, so few photos, except this one:

Later, after drifting through parts unknown to me of Roxbury, we ended up along Morrissey Boulevard, along the UMass, the JFK library and the beautiful water. Many of the Ramblers said they were now thinking of attending UMass, simply for the view.

I'm not positive, but I think that's a Mark DiSuervo sculpture to the left:

(*addendum: yes it is.)

Eventually we ended up along the water in downtown Boston, and I was forced to rethink my earlier stance that Boston has some of the most stale, boring architecture around.

Here is Chris, freshly arrived at the finish. Look at that grin! Accomplishment much?

The Ramblers: L-R, Chris, Andrea, Jed, Christine, Nancie, me.

(AKA: Nugget, Crash, La-Z J, Sweet Ass, Pokey, Captain Awesome.)

And, of course, no ride would be complete without a photo taken with Zebra Man:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dental Damnation!

Last Friday I had my wisdom teeth extracted. Looking at it from this side, it wasn't a huge deal, but as I sat down in the chair my stomach was filled with trembling, vomiting butterflies. I'm a bit of an anxious person to begin with, so it was with not a small bit of nervousness that I entered the office that afternoon. I had done some Googling of the process, reading about the healing and recovery period, a few blogs on the issue, and a horrifying Youtube video which had me gagging and retching, and I came away with this overriding thought: I don't want to do this.

Well, turns out, it really wasn't so bad. When I checked in at the office, I asked to be pointed to the bathroom, and spent a few moments sweating and shaking, splashing water on my face. I figured I would then spend a few moments in the waiting room reciting "calmblueocean,calmblueocean, calmblueocean..." But there was no chance. As soon as I stepped out of the room someone said, "Mr. Sullivan we can take you right now in here." It's a trap!

The worst part was taking the Novocaine, which hurt a bit, but when the doctor gave me a huge shot WAY back in my mouth, my gag reflex was triggered, and I flipped out, flailing and coughing. I shoved the doctor and his assistant away, coughed and kind of sobbed, my eyes runny with tears, drool hanging in ribbons from my lips. Apologizing, trembling and sweaty, I reached for the cup of water offered to me, and was alarmed at the amount of blood as I spit. This wasn't even the gory part. Good lord help me.

The actual process wasn't bad, and went rather swiftly. For this I am grateful. I have to say I highly recommend this doctor. To anyone in the Hub, hit me with an email and I will send you in his direction. I got to keep my teeth (ugly little fuckers), which was a major sticking point with me to begin with. My plan was to make cufflinks from them (wasn't that in The Great Gatsby??) but they're really not all that pleasant to look at. Plus, there's still some blood and "tissue" stuck to them. Not a pretty starting point for jewelry.

So I spent the next few days in a Vicodin haze, wearing pajamas and an ice pack on my face. Black Eyed Susan insisted in coming over to dote on me, something I'm very grateful for. Not that I was helpless, but for the sheer nurturing kindness of her actions. And the back-handed compliments were priceless: "You don't look that bad," and, watching me eat breakfast, "Look at you! You're chewing!"

So, considering how bad it could have been, and how bad I had it cooked up in my head to be, having an extraction wasn't the worst thing in the world. But I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone just yet.

In other news:

I approved the proofs for my inclusion in the latest Make Magazine this morning. It comes out in October, and I'm very excited. I'm sure I'll be posting a lot more about it here as the release date nears.

On Sunday I will be riding 30 miles around Boston for Hub On Wheels. It's a charity ride that raises money for Technology Goes Home, and the route looks awesome. I can't wait, and it should be a lot of fun. To prep up I've gone on a bit of a shopping spree and bought a new seat and fenders for my ride. I'm halfway hoping it rains so I can give the fenders a real go-around. But not really, because riding in the rain sucks.

And in todays primary election, early results say that my candidate for Senate, Sonia Chang-Diaz has won, so WooHoo democracy!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

That Awful Sound

I used to do a lot of 4-tracking, home recordings where I pretty much played everything. In the early days it was pretty rough, because I could barely play the guitar, even though I had been doing it for over a decade, let alone bass or drums or keyboards. Four tracking uses cassette tapes in one direction. Rather than side A and side B, it uses tracks tracks 1 through 4, two tracks out of the right channel, and two from the left.

When I first recorded the drums I had to do it in two tracks: The kickdrum and snare in one, the cymbals in the other. It was pretty bad. I titled my first record (and I use that term loosely)"Foray Into Incompetence," and that's exactly what it was. But it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed making the album artwork, dubbing copies and giving them to my friends.

One of the greatest moments of my life occured in Paris in 1998, when some of my music found its way onto a soundtrack for a Mens Week fashion show. I had never heard it played SO LOUD in my life. It could be heard, no lie, from over a hundred yards away. It was awesome.

Today I found a couple masters from those days, and as I'm listening I've got a huge grin plastered over my face. From a critical standpoint, it's pretty bad, but it was a blast to make, and I can remember what was going through my head during each one, what time of day it was, what the weather was like, if not how to play any of it.

I was picked up a few times for my friend Darryl's Black Apple compilations, which was pretty cool, as I was rubbing elbows with a bunch of the people that I had looked up to when I started recording, people who were infinitely more talented than I was.

A couple weeks ago at work I dozed off during my lunch break and had a dream that one of my records had been selected as one of Rolling Stone's Top 10 Albums Of All Time. And when I woke up I swear I had a huge erection.

Those days are gone now. I finally realized I wasn't very good at it, and that my focus was better off directed elsewhere. But I'm glad I've still got these tapes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Not So Bright

This past sunday morning I popped in to see my lovely friend Renee at the cafe in which she works. I won't link to what that place is, because she hooked me up with a bagel and an iced tea, but nevertheless, she's there at 5am most mornings. I thought I had it bad, getting up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 everyday.

I sat down to savor my sesame bagel and cream cheese, and she soon joined me:

"I just had to explain to the new girl what a dumpster is," she says.

Intrigued, I ask for more info. Renee explains that this girl didn't know what a dumpster was, or how it functioned. "Earlier," she says, "I ask her to rotate the dairy, and she looks at me with this wide-eyed affectation and asks, 'you mean, like, the sugar, and stuff?'" Wow. By this time my brow is furrowed with concern for my poor friend who, while not inclined toward violence, just might head-butt this dainty naive.

She went on, "So I asked her what she does, and she says 'I smoke pot,' So... Do you have any hobbies? 'Just pot,' Do you go to school? Just pot? Ok."

I left Renee with a hearty hug, insisting that she was valuable and loved, and it wasn't she who was wrong. At one point she tells me, "I smoke pot too, but I can still function like a mammal!"

With a beautiful, full, sunny day ahead of me, I decide to squander it by spending part of it in the laundromat. I took a good whack at the new Sedaris novel while I was at it, so it wasn't a total loss. As I was loading my wet clothes into the top dryer, I noticed a girl next to me at what I call the Dryer Wall. She seemed distressed, and kept punching buttons on the dryer, shaking her head, adding more quarters.

Confounded, she asked me, "Are these dryers?"

"Yeah," my eloquent response.

"Even this one?" she asks, pointing.
"They're all dryers," I say, loading my unmentionables.
"Isn't it supposed to... spin?"

I assess the situation for a moment. "Yeah. You're feeding quarters into the top dryer" Her clothes were in the bottom.

I told this series of stories to Black Eyed Susan, and she came to the rescue of said girls, positing that they are not necessarily dumb, but perhaps they were just brought up so pampered and cared for that these day-to-day goings on of us mere mortals escape them.

Perhaps. Who am I to say? I just know that as soon as I was of legal age to work (14) I did so. And yes, as a college freshman, I did a load of laundry that turned all my whites pink (possibly while high, I don't remember), but I knew how to run the frigging dryer, and I've never since dyed my whites pink.

Is blissful youth something to be celebrated? I guess when you're as old and cranky as me, it's all too easy to shake your head and say "When I was your age..."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Exciting news!

I've been away for a while, and the fan club is all up in arms, but I promise new posts soon. Some things in blog form in the works:

My hijacked bike plot has found an audience with the mayor. I hope whatever ordinance gets passed is called "Brandon's Law".

I'm formulating a post about my collection of offensive t-shirts.

I received anecdotal tales of really dumb girls today, followed shortly by my own personal run-in with a really dumb girl.

Pictures and a short video from the Flight of The Angel at the Fisherman's Feast tonight in the North End.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cat Fartz

I guess you could call me a cat person. It's not that I dislike dogs. I really like dogs. Dogs have awesome personalities, dogs are loyal almost to a fault, dogs are hilarious, and dogs do tricks and execute tasks.

What keeps me from owning dogs are the following:

-I'm not allowed to own a dog in my building. Fair enough. I signed a lease agreeing to these terms.

-Dogs need walks. It's not that I'm against walks, it's that my life doesn't have the consistency to walk a dog every day at both 5am and 7pm. And furthermore:

-Picking up warm poop does not appeal to me. Period. In this sense I would make a horrible dog owner as well as potential threat to public health.

-Dogs smell. It's true, dog-people. Your beloved animals, regardless of how sweet, well-behaved and obedient they are, do, in fact, smell. Anytime I touch a dog I feel the need to wash my hands. Not because of some weird OCD quirk, but because that smelly dog smell is now living on my hand, and it grosses me out. I can't eat a sandwich with that smell on my hands.

So I own cats. I've lived with/cared for dogs, and I love them all. I've owned two cats by myself, and this is a story about my present cat, the love of my life, Ocho. I love Ocho-Cheecho more than life itself. She's beautiful, and in my eyes can do no wrong.

Until last night.

(isn't she cute?)

I was sitting on the couch with my roommate, watching Generation Kill, with Ocho between us, when suddenly, she (ocho) jumped up and began licking herself in a place not fit for mixed company.

Like a baton from a New York City cop, it hit us at once: Ocho had farted.

Holy crap! I didn't know cats had the ability to fart. I knew dogs could. I used to have a job where the boss brought her black lab along, and he ripped on a fairly regular basis. I had never experienced a cat fart, and let me tell you, it was horrifying. They may be small, those cats, but it only serves to compact the anal vapor that much more.

I know it wasn't a fluke, because she ripped two more before the night was done, and licked herself in the same spot each time. A diet change is in order...

Maybe it's not too late to own a goldfish.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I'm Not From Here

This weekend Black-Eyed Susan and I rented a car and named him Bjorn. We pointed the prow of that ivory beauty north and spent the weekend seasoned by salt air, playing games, and eating all the foods we both know we ought not.

We left the city at about 2 o'clock on friday and landed shortly after 3 at Perkin's Cove in Ogunquit, Maine, to take a stroll along one of my favorite places, the Marginal Way. For years growing up around here I used to enjoy walking along this path, occasionally venturing out among the tidepools on the craggy rocks, poking around among starfish, anenomes, snails and crabs as they waited for the tide to come back in and rescue them from their temporary prisons. This day we were not so fortunate, as it seems the extent of the wildlife available was numerous snails and small, bluish little blobs that, despite their active movements, I was unable to identify.

From there we took Bjorn to York Beach, a place where I have spent many a summer and many countless brain cells. For B.E. Susan's benefit, who hadn't been around these parts since she was just a wee pup, I swallowed my local pride and consented to do some very touristy things, but which I enjoyed nevertheless. First stop was the York Beach institution the Fun-O-Rama, where we rolled some skee-ball and played a few rounds of air-hockey. Ask B.E. Susan who it is that rules at air-hockey. Hint: Me.

I was a bit disappointed by my lack of skee-ball finesse. The last time I came here was a few years ago. I had some time to kill and decided to throw a few wooden balls to pass the time. I got bored pretty quickly at the straight forward rolling of the balls, which usually only resulted in 10 points, so I got creative with my rolling and tried putting a spin on the ball. Then I tried banking them off the side rails, and what do you know about that, 50, 50, 50, 50. I had cracked the skee-ball code! I kept rolling, and the points kept scoring. The flashing light on this machine was spinning so fast and for so long, people were dropping left and right, induced into epileptic seizures by the pulsating glow. I heard a young man behind me whisper to his friend: "check this guy out, he's awesome!". Prize tickets were rolling out so fast that smoke actually began billowing from beneath the quarter slot. For a few salty moments, there amidst the lights and the din, I was a god among men.

But not this time... I fairly sucked at skee-ball, which meant that not only did B.E. not believe the above story, but now she had proof that I was full of shit. Alas.

Broken and defeated by my humiliating attempts at a game which excites 9 year-olds, we then visited a few tacky souvenir shops, where B.E. bought a coffee mug for her dad, an avid coffee enthusiast. I picked up a miniature keychain license plate with my roommates name on it, as a small thank-you for watching my cat Ocho while I was away. And then we were off to my folks' place, where we supped upon lasagna and listened, oh-so-patiently, to my Dad's long-winded gripes about our next-door neighbor, with whom a dispute has recently arisen regarding the property lines. Yawn.

We later went out to visit with some friends of mine, but it was not an easy task. Susan, born and raised in Brooklyn, is used to the occasional streetlight. They ain't got none o them fancy-shmancy streetlights in Maine. Them's for city-folk and queers. (Whoa, sorry about that! A couple hours back Down East, and I pick the accent up pretty easily. Just ask me how to say "ayuh" and you'll understand). Regardless, Susan was a little stressed out about the lack of light on dark, twisty, narrow roads. Having cut my driving teeth along them, I hadn't seen a problem with it, but that just shows how unconcerned for others I am. After numerous detours, several miles spent driving in circles, and white-knuckle angst from B.E., we arrived at the Dover Brickhouse, a classy little joint in downtown Dover, New Hampshire.

It was Monique's birthday, and it was great to see her and her husband Thor. Matty was working the door, and later Kate The Great showed up fresh from another birthday shindig with her Dojo Bros. Gazpacho, an 80's cover band, was playing upstairs, something we didn't much care for. Until, that is, we heard strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" coming through the ceiling. We hustled upstairs and had quite a hoot watching these guys. They did a pretty good job of the song, and at this point had been playing for hours, an impressive feat in and of itself. Susan and I were less impressed, however, by their cover of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". You really can't half-ass that one. You gotta sell it, and it seems Gazpacho was phoning it in. In the end, a good time had by all.


After a night "sleeping" on an "air mattress," I was eager to get on the road and continue our adventure. We started out heading to Rick's All Season, another York institution. This place caters to all clientelle. The staff wears t-shirts that say "Bikers Welcome" on the back. But they also welcome tourists, locals, fishermen (that's why they open at 5am), high school truants (totally not speaking from experience here), hung-over partiers (ditto), those still coming down (double ditto), and anyone else looking for a decent no frills breakfast. The kid manning the register could not have been older than 15, and he doubled, nay, tripled duty as host, busser, and server. The service took a while, but it wasn't an impatient wait. BE Susan ordered decaff with milk, and got the unleaded, but without cow juice. Once our waitress realized what was wrong she apologized, saying "I have no excuse". I found this incredibly endearing, and it earned her and the crew at least an extra 10% tip. As far as the food, I had the "Fisherman's Special" and got all the goodies that breakfast should entail, for a good price, and coffee refills are gratis. I highly recommend this one.

Once we put me as an eligible driver on Bjorn's list, I spent a good hour and a half adjusting all his fancy gadgets just how I liked them, and we were on our way north to our destination of Portland, Maine.

Once we were settled in our yet-to-be-named motel, Susan and I headed to Portland's Old Port, where we were to catch the Ferry to Peaks Island. We found some municipal parking, secured all that we thought we wouldn't need, packed all we thought we would, and headed toward the Casco Bay Lines terminal to purchase tickets. At one point, looking down an alley, we spotted a very drunk, possibly homeless man hugging another human dressed in a full sized, furry lobster costume. It was then that we both realized we had forgotten our cameras at the car.

Fast forward to the ferry ride, each with our cameras, but without our lobster/homeless photos. We connect with a bunch of our (meaning: BE Susan's) peeps. We're all here for not a wedding, but a post-elopement celebration. I've never been to Peaks Island, so I'm grateful for the opportunity. The shindig is taking place at the Fifth Maine Regiment Memorial Building 1888, what I later learn is a summertime retreat for troops during the civil war. It's a beautiful building right on the water.

Inside is a "museum" dedicated to the men who had valiantly served the Union during the Civil War, with a fascinating array of souvenirs from the war and ephemera from the era. It was great, as I like to learn about these things. I took ample photos, including this one:

I took a lot more photos, and admittedly got a little crazy with it. Housed in this former R+R locale were portraits of heroes of the Civil War, one of which was named Horatio Bumpus. It was only later, when I used the men's room located at the front of the building that I saw the sign: "Absolutely No Photography Or Videotaping Without Express Written Consent..."

Whoops. I'm really sorry, American Heroes. You should post a sign at the back as well telling us not to pop shots. So instead of heroic military legends, here are some pics I took on the grounds of flowers:

Friday, July 18, 2008

Knock Knock

Tweedle Dee: Knock Knock...

Tweedle Dum: Who's there?

Tweedle Dee: Attention Deficit Disorder.

Tweedle Dum: Attention Deficit Disorder who?

Tweedle Dee: I like ponies!

I really don't know if I made that up or heard it somewhere. If I did make it up, feel free to use my stupid knock knock joke.

My pal Genghis sent me this one:

Tweedle Dee: Knock Knock...

Tweedle Dum: Who's there?

Tweedle Dee: September 11th

Tweedle Dum: September 11th who?

Tweedle Dee: You said you'd never forget... :(

Okay, maybe I'm not the knock knock joke master-craftsman I think I am. So here's some pictures from my recent trip to NYC.

Keller and me at the Heavy Metal Bar. Despite the look on my face, I'm having a blast. That's my air-drumming face.

The 2008 Mermaid Parade at Coney Island.

My new Second Favorite Person Ever:

The girl sitting on the top front of the bus was gracious enough to show the crowd her vagina. Twice. Maybe more, but I was only lucky enough to see it twice.

Now, I love vagina and all, but I need to be prepared to see a vagina to appreciate it in all of its wonder and glory. Surprise vagina is just that: Surprising. Had she informed me in advance of the Vagina Show, I could appreciate it a little more, perhaps. As it was, I was a little grossed out. Sorry, ladies.

My new Favorite Person Ever:

Olafur Eliasson show at MoMA:

The wall of moss was very cool. If you turned your ear to it, it absorbed all the sound from the room. A creepy yet exciting experience:

The show continued at PS1:

I was stealthy enough to get a few shots of this piece:

I forget who this artist is, but this is the point at which I got yelled at for taking pictures:

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Series Of Sent Text Messages

5:43 pm: A photograph of a dead squirrel on the bikepath. He looks drunk.

9:17 am: A photograph of a man dressed in full Boston Celtics regalia being lead away by security at the Boston Municipal Courthouse. It was jury duty, and the Celtics had just won Game 1 of the Finals. Sent with this text: "[sic] this guy is drunk off his ass. a great way to avoid i guess. wish i had thought of that."

6:17 pm: A photograph of a man urinating on the platform of the Jackson Square orange line stop. Sent with this text: "nothing like taking a piss on the subway platform"

5:56 pm: A photograph of Cock Flavored Soup Mix.

11:12 am: "i done split my pants"

11:48 pm: "I have semi-colons;"

11:51 pm: " (o)(o) (_(_) "

7:58 pm: "fung wah fatality this morning..."

2:46 pm: "would it be too forward to invite myself?"

9:15 pm: "o.m.g. i will never ever have a child. details later."

4:30 pm: A photograph of a little yellow mushroom growing on one of my houseplants.

2:30 pm: "oh the benefits of having a foodie for a brother..."

2:40 pm: "omg i was just going thru my sent txts and stumbled upon my junk. lol."

2:34 pm: "let's just say i'll be getting that pony gold plated."

2:42 pm: "followed by a caviar bath"

2:45 pm: "i already bought canada, so... mine."

8:54 am: "im wanted in ct on $ laundering charges. id have to wear a fake moustache, itd just be weird. youre better off going without me."

3:10 pm: "yeah! lets blow something up* ***"

10:55 pm: "extra sexy panties?"

9:37 pm: "poor little tomato! what did he ever do to you???"

9:43 pm: "whoa.thats like, star wars deep..."

11:16 pm: "gtf outta here. no way."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Big Baseball Weekend

By sheer luck, I was fortunate enough to be treated to a game at Fenway Park on friday night. Nancie's friend Kate knows the strength and conditioning trainer for the Baltimore Orioles, and he was able to provide us with four seats right behind homeplate. It was great! Going to Fenway is such a treat, what a venue to see a ballgame.

Afterward, the bunch of us went out for some drinks, to meet Jay and thank him for the tickets. What we didn't know until the last minute was that Jay was bringing the Baltimore third base coach, three-time All-Star Juan Samuel along! And guess what? Juan was the coolest guy! He talked to anyone about any aspect of the game, had a huge smile on his face the whole time (possibly because the ladies were all ga-ga over him). He even bought a few rounds of drinks, not that I needed any more.

Here's a picture of (l-r) Kate, Juan Samuel, Nancie, and me.

As you can see, the ladies can't keep their hands off Juan:

So at the end of the night, Juan says he can get Nancie and me a pair of tickets for tomorrow's game as well. I couldn't believe it. What an awesome guy! The seats were in the same section, and about 6 rows closer to the field. This night was a bit better to watch because the Sox won, actually, they clobbered the Orioles, and as a bonus, I captured my own footage of Kevin Youkilis hitting his first career grand slam:

Awesome. My thanks and sincere gratitude go out to Nancie, Kate, Jay, Juan, and the Baltimore Orioles.

Okay, So I'm wrong.

Nancie has a friend Meredith who works for the Mayor's office, and is a wealth of information regarding things like this. Her email reply to a query that Nancie sent regarding my bike-jacking went along these lines:

"there's a whole ordinance (city law) that protects light poles, traffic signals, street signs, etc. from things in the vandalism category (graffiti, destroying them, disabling them, etc.), and that includes locking bikes. It's kind of a one size fits all ordinance, so there's no gray area -- nothing may be affixed, permanent or temporary.

Of course, you never catch the guys who are vandalizing the poles, only the bikes that are attached . . .

My guess is that the locking bikes thing is only enforced in areas where the business owners want it to be. Technically, the sidewalk is City property, but business owners have what's called a site cleanliness plan which they are required to file and uphold -- having to do with sweeping the sidewalk and keeping private fixtures off it, etc.

I'd be interested to know who the person was who put the additional lock on the bike, and if there was a fine attached. . ."

And so it is, passed down from on high... I was wrong. I can admit when it happens, once every six or seven years. That doesn't mean I'm happy about it. So security guy, I apologize for calling you an asshole, however anonymously. Thanks to Nancie for taking up the cause and Meredith for her sage wisdom. But B+W: please put up some signage for the next poor dope who rides along.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I took the day off from work today because I had a doctor's appointment at the new Brigham and Womens Shapiro center . It's a beautiful building, and the artwork is surprisingly modern and interesting.

It was a lovely, cool morning, and I rode my bike because it's approximately five minutes from my house, parking is a nightmare on Longwood Ave, and I'm trying to exercise/downsize carbon emissions, whatever.

I locked my bike against a City of Boston standard issue traffic sign, andwhen I came out, was shocked to find this!

What the goddamn fuck??@? B+W Security had hijacked my bike! They chained my bike to the post along with a sign saying I had to call security to get it relinquished.

So I called the number (twice), and this fresh faced fella showed up.

He said something about a bike rack on adjacent streets, and that I should park there next time. That should have been obvious, as there was ample signage indicating where the bike rack was . (end sarcasm) So, as politely as I could I said, "Have a nice day, asshole," and rode away.

A few things to consider. If you notice in the picture, my bike is locked to a street sign, not to one of the fancy new light poles, which probably cost a lot and want to be maintained, and it's not locked to the handrail in the background. IF I had locked to either of these fixtures, I can totally understand B+W Security's actions. These things are obviously private property, shiny and new, and in the case of the handrail, a bike parked there could be seen as an impediment to public safety.

It's well known that bike theft is a huge problem, and a bike rack does little to deter this. Crowded in among several bikes, a thief will be able to work with less suspicion than on a single bike securely locked directly in front of a building. According to this site, Boston is the third worst city for bike theft. (The numbers might be a little dodgy there, but who cares? I want to keep my bike.)

So, I'm researching a little, got some wheels set in motion, as to the legality of this action. If Mayor Menino is suddenly such a bike enthusiast and is pushing really hard to make Boston more bike-friendly, surely bike security is a part of that plan. But I have a follow up appointment in three months at Shapiro, and I intend on parking in the same spot and bringing some tools with me to reclaim my ride.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stuck Songs, and Shouts at the Shore

This song has been stuck in my head for four days:

I blame it on Mtv. In those days I was sharply crafted by its pulsating glow. If only the marketing machine that we know today had been so astute in those days. Perhaps I'd still be wearing Wayfarers and Jams.

Speaking of music, on the commute into work today, I settled on the Breeders version of "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" from the album "Pod". As I was listening, I thought to myself, "This sounds a lot like it was Steve Albini behind the boards."

Flash forward to this afternoon, and after consulting, my assertions were confirmed.

So the Beatles, too. Mixed in with Cyndi Lauper, my internal soundtrack today.

I've been riding my bike a lot more in the recent days. It's fun and a great way to get sweaty.

Yesterday, however, it was too friggin hot to think about getting into, so for my daily outdoor activity, I opted instead for a walk with my camera around Jamaica Pond.

As I found the path around the pond, I noticed two people talking about 100 yards in front of me. Knowing that this is a neighborhood where it's easy to run into people one knows, I didn't think much about it.
As I got nearer, the two went in different directions. The old man was now walking toward me. About 15 yards in front of me, he abruptly stopped and threw his hands in the air:

"Smile, for crying out loud!" As he shook his hands I noticed his ear lobes, which were abnormally long, shaking back and forth. I couldn't help but conjuring the word "labia".

"You look as if you're going to a wake!" he shouted at me. All I could do was say, "Perhaps I am..." Lame comeback.

As I walked along, I could hear him shouting at the person behind me as well, and I really had to ask myself what this fellow was all about. Does he think he's doing good, yelling at anyone who'll listen to smile? What if I was indeed on my way to a wake? Does he think he's helping or harming society? How did his ears get like that?

My only regret was that I was not on point with my camera, and was unable to get a shot off of this fella. I walked (against my intentions) all the way around the pond to try and pass him again, but I guess he had had enough of berating strangers into enjoying his idea of an ideal world.

Maybe I'll keep up with the pond walks. I've got a pretty good scowl going on...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Potential Titles And Subjects For My Brand New Blog

Lifted directly from my actual life:

How to answer strangers that ask the following: "That's a nice piece of pussy, yeah?"

If midgets are going to jaywalk, they should have those tall fiberglass orange flags attached to them.

What to do after riding your bike through poo.

What is the protocol for tipping when your waiter/ess abandons his/her post?

An etiquette guide for informing your neighbor that
a) you don't give a rat's ass about their offspring, and in fact,
b) you strongly dislike said offspring for its ability to rouse you from sleep at 8am sharp on sunday morning.

A DIY guide for when your auto mechanic tells you, "Eh, just rip it off. It's not really important."

Suggestions from Nancie, each with valid merit:

"America's Sweetheart"
"I Drive A Monster Truck"
"The Machinist"
"Sidewalk Chalk"
"King Of America"

Tune in next week to see which contestants move forward, and which one goes home, crying like a little bitch...

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