Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Wrestler

I'm not going to put any spoilers in, so feel free to read even if you want to see "The Wrestler".

All I wanna say is that this is the best movie I can remember seeing in a long time. I say "remember seeing" because I forget a lot of shit these days, and I may have seen something last month that I liked better.

This movie, about a once-great-but-now-broken-down wrestler, is full of heart. Mickey Roarke plays this thing straight, and he is terrific, probably the best thing I've ever seen him do, with the possible exception of his partially computer generated role in "Sin City", which was (I say with massive guilt) a fantastically fun movie that I consider a favorite. You either love that one, or hate it, but I have yet to hear of anyone who plops down somewhere in the middle. The lines are so cheesy, you simply have to love it, in my book.

But I digress... so back to "The Wrestler". Roarke plays a real character, in fact, all the characters are genuine. They are beautifully flawed. Marisa Tomei blew me away as an aging stripper. This is the grittiest work I've seen her do since "In the Bedroom". Evan Rachel Wood is the soot-of estranged daughter, and she is excellent as well. But it all flows through Roarke, who seemed to own this role from the get-go.

Just see this thing when you can, eh?

Holiday Violence at the Homestead

The night before Christmas, I was just relaxing, looking rather scholarly in my nice sweater with maroon turtleneck, when an ugly side of Tina came out. I had never seen this before, and was certainly shocked that it surfaced on Christmas eve, of all nights.

Thankfully, a camera man happened to be present, and caught the whole thing on digital photo, ironically, on my camera.

At first, I felt foolish,like, "how did I not see this coming? How did I believe she was as shmoopy, smurfy and sweet as she seemed?"

I mean, come on, NO ONE is that sweet.

Initially, I was a bit shocked, it seemed like some kind of crazy, random attack. When I came to, it was explained to me that clean dishes needed to be put back in the cupboard, and silverware in the drawer, and that it was okay to take your boots off in the "mud room", but they didn't "belong" there permanently, and needed to be returned to their proper place.

Now that these things have been explained in very clear fashion
to me, I am sure we are all going to be much happier and more

Thursday, December 25, 2008

One Happy Little Elf

Well, I had a nice week this Christmas. Headed over to my sister Debbie's for dinner, and stopped by dad's on the way home. Also saw dad Christmas eve for a bit. He was getting a bit of cabin fever, as he hasn't been able to go out at all due to the pneumonia. He seems to be getting a little better, but is still tired much of the time and sleeping quite a lot.

As long as he feels okay, I am happy.

Dad was very enthusiastic about some thermal socks he got as a gift from either Lauren or Thelma, anyway, it was one of his Friendly's breakfast buddies. He said, "it was the first time in ten years his feet weren't cold" and he was "never taking them off... I don't care of they rot on my feet- I love these things."

Ah... he still cracks us up.

He was also quite fond of some elf slippers Tina picked up for him. Apparently, they fit well over the socks. I didn't think dad would be willing to wear them, now he won't take them off.

Gene and Patty were kind enough to battle their way through the snow to dad's cottage in Maine and rescue his "Health Alert" box and mail it to him. I set it up the other day, but I still need to call them and get the emergency numbers adjusted. I am waiting to get the next door neighbor's number, so I can do it all at once. It is good to have it installed before Louise goes to Florida, just in case.

This is dad on Christmas eve in his new elf slippers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good Deed for the Day

Boston's Animal Rescue League is sponsored by a number of advertisers. Those advertisers make donations based on the amount of traffic the Animal Rescue Site gets, and the amount of people who go to the site and click the "free donation" button.

It costs you and me nothing, but keeps the Animal Rescue League going, saving animals which would otherwise be destroyed. It takes only a few seconds and costs nothing.

Stevie- put that gym sock back in the drawer, pull up your pants, go to the site and... "CLICK DONATE".

Mikey- set the bong aside... just set it aside, don't get worked up, I didn't say "put it away", just set it aside for a moments or two, go to the site and "CLICK".

Donna- never mind, you have probably already clicked it, saved it, and sent it to more people than I have.

Dawty- click

Burnsy- click

Tom- You got your democrat in, stop perusing CNN online, The Onion, and The New York Times, and..., you got it, CLICK.

Tina- stop clicking donate, and get back to work. Someone has to earn a living around here, and it isn't likely to be me.

Shelley- stop letting your cat wake you up at 3 am and click.



Thanks everyone- click.

The rest of yiz- CLICK, CLICK, AND CLICK.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Bath

If you're a tad loony, it really pays to have a chick willing to laugh along with you, as opposed to file restraining orders or have you committed.

After a foot of snow Friday, we in the Worcester area were treated to another blast of 13-17" yesterday, leaving about 2 1/2 feet of powder is our front yard. I forgot how much more snow we generally get here than in the Boston area. The last decade or so, living in and around Boston, I convinced myself it just snowed less than when I was a kid, but now I recall noticing on the newscasts as a boy how we in central Massachusetts always seemed to get more snow than everyone else.

I enjoyed a very lazy day yesterday, not leaving the house until I went out to snow blow and shovel at about 8 pm. Tina had done some shoveling during the day, and had cleaned the cars off, which was immensely helpful. The snow blower stalled after about ten feet, and though I got it started, it choked out rather quickly. I realized it was probably running out of gas, astonished that using it once had depleted an entire tank, but after all, it is a pretty small tank.

I jumped in my car and went down to the corner buy a gas can and get some gas. After fueling it up, I was able to get it started, but the thing just had zero punch and wouldn't move even a small amount of snow. I could hear choruses in my head, chanting "that's what ya get for buying a snow blower the day before a storm on "Craig's List"... but hey, we had to do something, and they jacked up the prices around here through the roof on new snow blowers.

Anywho... we wound up shoveling, and it wasn't all that bad.

When I said "I think I'll warm up for my New Year's Day "L Street Brownie" swim with a snow dive in my swim trunks", I was well aware that many women would have said, "what re ya, some kind of an a-hole?" or signed out a restraining order, or perhaps had me committed, but all Tina said was "really?" before getting the camera and going outside.

I realize all you can see in the bottom photo is a cloud of snow...uh, that's would be me.

It was oddly, not all that bad, compared to the actual January 1st swim, which is an awesome rush, especially afterward. The snow was light and fluffy and it was cold enough that it didn;t really stick to me and came right off when I got up and brushed myself off. I was a little concerned that our neighbors (who recently replaced the "McCain/Palin" sign with "Romney for President") might be a little concerned, but no cops showed up. I guess that's why we wear the swim trunks in the first place. No point in adding "public nudity" or "indecent exposure"to the competency hearings.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Precious Moments with Dad, Volume II

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" came last Friday, and we couldn't wait to see it. My brother Tim recently got laid, so we were celebrating with the movie.. wait... he got laid off, laid OFF... BIG difference, apparently- so he came along to momentarily forget his lack of employment.

It is always entertaining to have a cohort along on my movie runs with dad, especially Tim, as he is one of the few individuals who enjoys tormenting dad, I mean enjoys dad as much as I do.

Saturday, dad had chest pains for about ten hours, which I believe are completely unrelated to Keanu Reeve's oaken performance. I found out about them Sunday morning, and drove to see him when I got out of work. The chest pains were gone, but dad was stuck with shortness of breath and a lack of willingness to go to the hospital. Can't say that I blamed him on a Saturday night. The emergency room on a weekend is a nightmare, not that it is a picnic the other five days of the week, either.

Dad decided to go to his primary care doctor Monday. upon arrival, where after being chastised for yet another goofy self-diagnosis, he was tossed into an ambulance, his doctor thinking he had had a heart attack Saturday. As it turned out, he in fact, had not had a heart attack, which was good news.

Upon hearing this, pop pumped his fist, saying with great satisfaction, "I KNEW I didn;t have any heart attack. I know my body better than these a**holes! Haha!"

I hated to break up the party, but I felt compelled to point out that laying in bed for ten hours and skipping a day's worth of meals as a solution for chest pains was probably not that ingenius, adding that dieing of heart failure is no way superior to dieing from a heart attack, though I am sure en route to the great beyond dad would be filled with personal satisfaction at being "right".

Being right, after all, is far more important than anything else. Dad is a guy who would defiantly stand in a crosswalk, pointing at it to denote he had the right of way even as a truck ran him over.

Even though my poor father had to spend the entire day and night in a room at the e.r., it wasn't all bad. When the attending nurse came in, we asked what the different numbers stood for on the monitor. The top one was heart rate. The middle showed wjhat percentage of oxygen was actually getting through, and the bottom one was respiration.

"So the bottom one would read zero if for example, someone held a pillow over the patient's face?"

Without missing a beat., the nurse said straightfaced, "yes, that's correct" and left.

A short while later, dad commented that his derriere, if I am spelling ass corectly, hurt from not moving. I lifted him higher in the bed, then slipped on a plastic glove, saying, "turn on your side, dad... I wanna check something."

This getting old is serious business, but I have to commend my father and mother for never losing their sense of humor. After they determined that pneumonia was the culprit, they gave dad some antibiotics and made a few suggestions for him to ignore.

I said aloud from the hall where I stodd with my step-mother, "no Louise, I don't see anything here in the instructions about administering a rolling pin or frying pan... oh, that's to make YOU feel better."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Well, here it is almost two weeks past the National Novel Writing Month challenge, and since completing the 50,000 words of drivel I committed to, I haven't done squat...or wait, since squat means nothing, would it be, "I've done exactly squat".

Irregardless, what I am saying is... GOTCHA! You thought I was actually using irregardless, didn't you? Admit it! Admit it! Hahahahahahaa!!!

Well, my next task is to figure out how to buy a ladder for the house without having a truck to transport it. I can't see asking my friend Boudy to come all the way out here from Billerica so I can buy a ladder. You wouldn't think there'd be a sense of urgency around a ladder purchase, but I got these cool snowflake lights to hang up, and the date is coming when it'll be too late.

Now that I think of it, I did invite Boudy and his son CJ (big Ball State Cardinal fan that kid is) out to have brunch and watch some Sunday football this week. Maybe if I haven't figured it out by then we can figure something out.

The place is shaping up pretty good. I've got some subtle blue lights on the little pine tree out front, and I put those light-up candy canes alng the walk (I've always loved those things.) The coup de gras will be the hanging snowflakes. If I can pull this off without burning the house down, I am going to snap a photo for the blog- woo hooooo!

It is 4:30 pm, and I go in early on Thursdays now. Even though it is a cold, drab, rainy day, I am pretty upbeat. I took a nice little errand run with Manny (80 lb English bulldog) and am just in a good mood for some reason. Maybe because I'm happy, who knows?

My brother Tim has agreed to come along to tomorrow's movie with dad. I think we are going to see "The Day The Earth Stood Still". Sure, Keanu Reeves is oaken, but I think that quality might play well in this role.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Got a text today from Tina. Apparently, one of the mice got bagged in a snap trap. He couldn't possibly be the last one, or be the ring leader. I suspect he is another stooge. Those little punks have been cleaning out those snap traps for two or three weeks, unscathed, so the mouse who tripped it must be a flippin' dunce.

Edison, he is not.

Still, one less rodentia is a good thing. There are a couple of blogs I'd like to recommend. One is Nick Zaino's Comedy Blog. Nick has been covering Boston Comedy for ages for the Boston Globe and Boston Herald. Due to budget cuts, that is no longer happening. Nick, driven by love of comedy rather than a paycheck, continues to write about Boston Comedy in a time when it is just beginning to explode all over again.

The energence of terrific new young comics like Shane Mauss, Dan Bouler and a host of other- Renata Tutko and Ken Reid, the list goes on and on, it is a privilege to have an experienced writer like Nick Zaino covering this stuff.

Dan Sally and Andy Ofiesh have a show at a new comedy club in Fanieul Hall called Mottley's. It is run by local comics Tim McIntire and Jon Lincoln. From past work with these guys, I know this club is going to clutch onto all the things that make a comedy club great.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Just Want it to End

Two snap traps, baited with fudge, surrounded by ten glue traps. I sprinkled sugar over the glue traps, tossed bits of cheese throughout the drawer, and strolled into the living room with renewed hopes of a mouse-free existence.

A couple noiseless hours later, I visited the "mouse drawer", as it has come to be known. The fudge was gone... the cheese, gone, most other assorted goodies... gonzo. What was still there were the snap traps, picked clean, but not set off. The glue traps were scattered around the drawer. I didn't even separate them, thinking they'd be harder to avoid or shake loose if still connected. I put glue traps under both rear corners where they seem to enter the drawer, which they avoided.

I was downtrodden, as I realized the one mouse we caught with the glue trap was a fluke- they weren't going to work. These mice are somehow smart enough to push or drag the glue traps away from the snap traps and return to them to clean out the eternally replaced free chow.

Sigh... I feel like Mr. Potter after the townspeople bail out George Bailey. Is there no end to these annoying mice and their Building and Loan??? What is it going to take? If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Two ideas that aren't going to work for us are 1) A cat- Tina is extremely allergic and 2) poisons- I don't want a mouse croaking in the wall or the insulation and wreaking up the joint.


On an interesting side note, I locked myself out of the house today for the first time. As I took out the trash, I realized the locked on the door was set and thought, "I've got to be careful not to let the vacuum effect from the mud room door pull this thing closed," then I did exactly that less than three seconds later.

A short while later, I bent the screen back and pushed open a basement window, crawling in through the basement. Wincing as paint chips floated into my eye, I reflected that it would have been a terrific idea to have placed one of our extra keys into the lock box by the door.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Buffet of Death

Okay, it's GO-time. We've played nicey-nice for too long here at 4 Ivy Street.

I knew Edison had pushed things a bit too far when, after surveying the "mouse drawer", (as it is now known) even Tina, perhaps the sweetest, the downright smurfiest munchkin in the land called Edison a "bleeping punk", except she didn't exactly say "bleeping".

While I admit, it is rather fun to hear Tina use profanity, especially when it is not directed at me, enough is enough. The gloves are coming off.

What awaits Edison (and his pals as I am no longer a proponent of the "Lone Mouse Theory") is what I would like to call "The Buffet of Death". Sounds positively dastardly, doesn't it? Sounds like something Dr. Evil would conjure up for Austin Powers, or maybe Simon Barsinister for Underdog.

It seems that these rodentia are at least brushing past the (miserable and disgusting) "glue" traps, sometimes even leaving a hair or two behind, and the glue trap did work once, (on Ed's double.) So... long story made painfully LONGER, I am going to create a mouse buffet that would shame the noon time special over at Han Dynasty.

It will be a repast Caligula would have been proud of- except there won't be naked chicks or be-headings. I am going to toss jam (to compensate for the shortage of slutty, naked mice) in there, perhaps a delightful piece of home made fudge, cheese, lunch meat- the freakin' drawer will look like a Smörgåsbord when I'm through with it- a Smörgåsbord of DEATH!

Muahahahahahaaaa!!!! Muahahahahahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

I'll toss in a few crumbs of home made bread, a smidgen of left over apple pie, and sprinkle it all with a light dusting of confectioner's sugar... which ironically looks like anthrax, from what I'm told.

It will be a culinary masterpiece on contact paper, the only catch, Edison and pals, is that you will not have to merely avoid a couple of lame-o snap traps and a glue trap... the drawer will be absolutely peppered with glue traps, peppered with them, I say.

What's that Eddie, a glue trap, oh you must be careful, my verminian pal, you'll want to wander over to the peanut butter bisque...oh what is that by the peanut butter bisque? TWO glue traps? What is surrounding the cookie? Is it two... no THREE glue traps? Weasle out of one glue trap, and BOOM, you'll find yourself in yet another? What a pity, Edison... what a bloody shame, Eddie-boy!

I must sound like one of those hopeless villains in a Bond movie who knows the script, knows Bond always gets out alive to wreak more havoc, yet blindly believes that this time, this time, he surely must fall into the electrified, acid-filled shark tank.

You've won this round, Eddie... but I'll be back... with nuclear weapons! (or, more likely, additional glue traps that don't seem to work all that well.)

"The Double" or "yougottabef&^$%#kiddingme"

Saddam had a double, had many of them actually. Most world leaders, from Fidel Castro to Simon Barsinister have had a double. Hollywood's leading men and ladies have stunt double- folks who come in and fall down a flight of stairs or take a punch in the face just in the nick of time... then the hero steps back in for the frontal camra shot and gets all the credit.

Apparently, the mouse we thought was Edison was nothing more than a lackey, double. To his credit, once captured, the mouse did everything in his power to convince me that he was in fact, Edison, and said nothing to betray his superior.

How could I have been such a fool? How could I have believed the genius mouse who pooped on top of the trap, who flipped a trap over and cleaned it out, who removed a piece of cheese wedged onto the trigger release of a trap, and walked away unscathed, could be so foolish as to get bagged on a glue trap?

To say it is embarrassing to be so easily duped into thinking we had captured Edison, would be an understatement of this like- "Babe Ruth was a pretty good ball player", "Paris Hilton might be easy", "Carlos Mencia is unfunny", GW Bush is not too bright. Buying this story is the modern day equivalent of catching a 12 year old 1800's native boy stealing an apple and believe his confession that he, in fact, was Geronimo.

This time, Ed... maybe that's too familiar, Edison, actually cleaned out the snap traps, then took the glue trap, and pushed it INTO the snap trap, setting it off.

I would be less humiliated if he pooped on my head while I was writing this blog entry.

Well played, sir... well played.

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