Sunday, December 30, 2012

Archive: New York

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Archive: Somerville

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Archive: Enoversary

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Archive: Theatre

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Throwback Thursday: 2001

Dec 1, 2001 - Harpers Ferry, Boston MA
(Photo: Terence Burke)

This was the World AIDS Day charity event I'd organized for Trish Baldwin.
What a great night. We raised some money and had some great bands play.
It was about 3 degrees outside.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

This year's Christmas card.

This year's card is a set. The theme: Deranged Elves.
I made nine more of these.
This one saw you when you were sleeping.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day.
Buffeted by the winds of democracy.
Good luck, 47%. We deserve better. Go vote.
(Photo: Joe Kowalski)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Drill, Baby, Drill

My conservative friends will be happy to learn that I don't consider the nation's environmental issues, generally speaking, to be a partisan problem. Conserving the environment is on all of us, myself included. We can all do better. If you drive an SUV, it's on you. If you use K-cups, it's on you. If you use a plastic spoon just once to stir a cup of tea and then throw it away, it's on you, too. If you buy bottled drinks, leave lights on when no one is in the room, throw away food that you allowed to go bad in your refrigerator, it's on you too. If you don't recycle, you need to take a closer look at yourself. Waste has taken over by showing up to the party dressed up as convenience. People in the 20th century have become lazy and complacent in trading the future of the planet for convenience. Again, I'm tagging myself here too. I love my Keurig.

Back In The Saddle

Joe posted on Facebook about how Aerosmith's free street show today is happening right outside our old building. We lived at 1315 Commonwealth in The Peerless. One of the local rock stories is about how the next building over, 1325 Comm, was where Aerosmith lived when they were a local Allston band, too. I didn't walk over to Comm Ave, because I was at work, but I took a screen shot of the live feed while it was happening. I added an arrow so you can see where me 'n Joey would have been today, if we didn't move to Lower Allston two years ago.

You know what would have been funny?
If we still lived at 1315 Comm, but weren't aware of the Aerosmith event.
Imagine waking up to this throng and Steven Tyler's voice outside.

The Peerless (1315 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston MA)

This is a photo of our building from March 2010.
I'd researched and was excited to find out that The Peerless would turn 100 years old in 2011.
 I'd started a private Facebook Group for the Peerless residents,
like a combination "good neighbor" group and "history of the building" thing.
But only one guy joined so I took it down.
Then we moved.
At least I made one new friend.
Related: Peerless Life in Allston Rock City

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Spirit in the South: A True Ghost Story

When my aunt Sharon and her boyfriend Greg pulled up to our house one summer day, my little brother and I became enthralled by the beat-up camper they had hitched to their beat up Volvo. They had quit their jobs, and were relocating from Connecticut to Florida to start a new life. Everything they owned was in that camper. We were mesmerized. That day stands out in my memory, serving as a sort of prequel to what I found out years later, long after Sharon and Greg had moved back up north again. Sharon told us an amazing story. I've told the story before, and I tell it again around this time of year.

My favorite aunt saw a ghost.


Here's what happened, best as I can recall. On their way down the east coast, Sharon and Greg stopped here and there, sometimes sleeping in the camper, sometimes staying with friends. The most anticipated stop was North Carolina, where they were excited about plans to reunite with old friends. If memory serves a bunch of Sharon's old art school friends lived together in a big old house where a sort of artist community had set up, and most of them were bikers. Sharon described the motley group as eccentric and wild, but friendly and fiercely loyal to each other. The reunion was going to be fun and sun and barbecue all weekend.

When Sharon and Greg chugged into the driveway, they found it parked chockablock with Harleys and vans and cars. Greg cut the ignition, put the Volvo in park and they looked at each other. Something was wrong. It was very quiet. When their friend (let's call him Jack) came out to greet them, as Sharon tells it, it was clear that Jack, though warmly welcoming, had forgotten about their visit. He was morose, distracted. Sadly, plans for a happy reunion were put out of mind because his close friend had just been tragically killed. It had just happened, and Sharon and Greg arrived just as everyone was gathering together to mourn, and funeral plans were being discussed. The deceased hadn't been someone she'd known, but it became obvious that this man was a well-loved friend of the group. The entire community was devastated.

Everyone said that Sharon and Greg should stay over anyway, make themselves at home. They were given a nice room and invited to stick around a few days.

The southern way to deal with death is a sort of celebration. Like in New Orleans, the funeral starts with a parade and ends with a party. This weekend was like that. After the cemetery, there was food and booze, and it lasted all day and all night. The whole clan was off somewhere getting good and wasted and remembering their friend in their own way. Sharon and Greg had the whole big house and land to themselves, which they used to relax and enjoy their respite from the road.

Sharon said that was up reading by lamplight in bed. Everyone was off somewhere else, so it was quiet while she read and Greg snoozed beside her. She got up to use the bathroom. In old houses like that one, the windows are tall, the sill located lower than on modern houses, and as she sat to use the commode, she  could actually see quite well out the window across a big clearing. She saw a woman down there on the grass, only the woman was more like a dim white light. Clear enough for it to be obviously a young female, but transparent, a faded spectre giving off enough light that she illuminated the grass.

A ghost.

The woman was walking around the clearing, at times kneeling down as if to pick flowers or look idly at a grass blade, then rising up again, walking around. As Sharon watched, it became apparent that this woman was waiting for something, or someone, the way she was looking around, but not appearing to be in a hurry. Sharon watched too, frozen in place, wanting to go back and wake Greg, but too curious to see what was about to happen, somehow knowing that if moved or left to get Greg the woman would be gone when she got back. It didn't take very long. Out of the woods walked a tall man. Unlike the gentle vague light of the woman, this man was very bright and quite clear. His big smile indicated that he was very happy. He was also, as if this wasn't strange enough, wearing a rather dashing top hat.

The smiling man in the top hat walked toward the woman, who turned and saw him. In an obvious reunion, they embraced, held hands, and walked off into the woods in the opposite direction.

Sharon scrambled up and went to wake Greg to tell him about the two ghosts. He was more interested in sleeping. When they woke up late the next morning, the house was abuzz with the funeral-goers who'd returned from their marathon party in celebration of their friend's life. Some were asleep on various couches, others were making breakfast. Sharon went to find Jack. She wanted to express her condolences, but she also wanted to tell him what she saw...or as Greg was saying, what she "thought" she saw.

As she described the faded white-lit woman, her apparent flower picking action and "waiting" stance, and the brighter man, Jack listened with interest but not with disbelief or alarm. Jack accepted without a trace of doubt that Sharon had seen two ghosts in his backyard. He nodded, then he got up and went to the kitchen, came back with a box of stuff from the funeral. He pulled out an large blown-up photo, considered it a minute and then turned it to show Sharon.

"Is this him?" The man in the photo was smiling. He was tall. And he was wearing a rather dashing top hat.

I love this story. What did Sharon witness? Why her? Did she get chosen to witness this, or was it pure chance? She hadn't known about the affectation of the recently departed, his top hat, so she couldn't have made it up. Did she see him? Do we take it as read that once we give up these bodies, we move on to another plane where our loved ones wait for us, to embrace us again and guide us to whatever's next?

I hope so. What do you think?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Purple is Universal

Velma, I didn't recognize you without your orange turtleneck.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Archive: Blogging

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mitt Romney: Commando in Chief

The blog is called "It Makes Sense," but I've read this paragraph sixteen times, and have yet to make any sense of it whatsoever.

"Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and opposes rapid change in society. Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself. It is the persistent image of society as a command structure in which the responsibilities of leadership can be exercised within the framework of a strong state manifested in divine right."
(Mission statement over at It Makes Sense Blog.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Where Is The Outrage?

I recently found myself participating in an animated discussion about what "freedom" means. No matter who you are, where you grew up or what lessons stuck with you from what age, your idea of "freedom" has been shaped by untold influences. When and how do we learn the concept of freedom, or any other tenet of the social contract for that matter, is lost to us in later years. I dearly wish this were not the case, because I would do anything to go back in time and observe myself learning what is freedom. And why not, since we're time-traveling, observe myself learning all of the trickier of life's lessons that all add up to who you are as a person, each new learned thing one more fiber of your moral code. When did we learn how to share? Can you pinpoint the day that you first understood honesty? What does it mean to be grateful? Is there such a thing as a selfless act?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Capital Vices / Cardinal Sins

"You know, I think it's about envy. I think it's about class warfare." (Mitt Romney, The Today Show, January 2012)

"Of course there are exemptions for those who make money from capital gains, which is legal....so vote for someone to change the laws...each person, rich, middle class and poor look for all of the exemptions and tax loop holes that they can find. If not for those spending money, our economy would be crashing more...stop the class war fare and the envy that is being broadcast by the O supporters." (Another informative Facebook rant from the right)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gosh Darn, Still No Growth?!


So you're chatting with your favorite conservative friend, you present a position, they pull out the "I don't believe it" policy card. You guys. I am so sick of it I can't even. Not only is "I don't believe it" pretty much a conversation-stopper, but doesn't it kinda sound like your friend will gladly re-engage in an adult conversation, if only you could provide some facts?

Oh, would that it were so! But this is not our reality.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It Only Hurts When I Lofgren

On August 27th, former Republican congressional staff member Mike Lofgren wrote a truly brilliant piece for The American Conservative entitled "Revolt of the Rich."

Lofgren points up the hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle, and he does so with fairness and class. No groundless generalizations, no name-calling, no wide nets, no blame games. He just calmly explains how we got here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's A God Thing

"God gives us our rights, not government." 
-Janine Turner, actress, Tuesday August 28, 2012, addressing the RNC

My initial reaction to some second-rate actress making such an outrageous declaration was, "Oh for the love of fuck. The chick from Northern Exposure? Seriously?" As is our wont these days, that's just what I posted on Facebook.

An old friend and staunch conservative from small-town Connecticut replied to my post with this gem:
"that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" -Thomas Jefferson (just saying) :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Vote For Chicken Is A Vote For Family Values

"I hope (chicken place) will make gazillions of dollars. This is a still free country and people will vote with their money." (August 2, 2012, Facebook, Author Withheld)
I will never craft a response to the "chicken thing" that could surpass the wisdom and clarity of Wayne Self's July 30th essay in his "Self's Fulfilling Prophecies" blog. And so I won't even try to do so. Mr. Self has accidentally emerged as a voice of my generation, and I applaud and appreciate the man.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Life in the Lower 99

"So many of my friends post about how they feel about the present economy. I wonder how they would feel if, in the future, they were one of the fortunate ones who was earning a lot more money. Would you still be angry with them for having more than you? Would you still think they should pay more than they are now? Would you still think your money should support those who don't have, because they aren't ambitious as you?" (August 24th, Author Withheld)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dear White Christian Lawmaker: How Are You Getting Away With It?

Dear White Christian Lawmaker,

I just don't understand how you're getting away with it. Has the nation gone so numb at this point that no one is willing to stop you? Have people forgotten that as state leaders you are not endowed with any sort of divine status? Put simply, you aren't actually allowed to legislate based on your personal religious beliefs, signing bills into law based on nothing but scripture. Not any more.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Little Baby Face

These things are good:
ice cream and cake
a ride on a Harley
seeing monkeys in the trees
the rain on my tongue
and the sun shining on my face

These things are a drag:
dust in my hair
holes in my shoes
no money in my pocket
and the sun shining on my face
           * Roy Lee "Rocky" Dennis
          (December 4, 1961 – October 4, 1978)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Never Forget Who Broke That Egg

One of my buddies confided that he can't stand it when his other single friends goad him into going "tom-catting around" on a Saturday night. I laughed, because I hadn't heard that expression before, yet it so neatly captures what the vibe of that evening was going to be; but then I felt bad for laughing, because the expression really bothers my buddy, here he was confiding that his dick-swinging trim hunter pals would tease him if he were to say, "hey guys, do we have to be so gross all the time?" A brainy, sensitive type, he would be thrilled to find a long term relationship with a sane woman. But when he's with "the guys" he feels labeled and corny. Group of dudes all out sniffing around.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

nun

I collect nun dolls.
New sister from a work sister.
Thanks, Tracey!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ten Year Enoversary


Project Eno (Photo: Michelle DiPoala)

"Have you ever heard of Joe Kowalski?"
T Max had been starting to despair. He could not find the right bass player for his Brian Eno tribute project.
"Lexi, he's great! Joe Kowalski came over today, and he nailed it!" 

I forgot about Joe Kowalski until a week before the show. 
Somehow or other I ended up being the one to take the band's publicity shot.
Mostly because I could get my hands on a digital camera. In those days, they cost a grand and weighed a ton.
So on a sweltering summer day I took press photos of
Gene, Peter, Shawn, Tamora, Joel, T Max, Glenn and Eddie,
barely noticing the new bass player that nobody ever heard of
who would,
pretty soon,
become my best friend and mad love.
After this photo was taken, on a borrowed camera for a show that I wasn't even planning to attend,
I fell in love with Joe Kowalski.

Happy Enoversary, my love.
I'm so happy my dreams pulled you through my door.


I'LL COME RUNNING
(Brian Eno)

I'll find a place somewhere in the corner
I'm gonna waste the rest of my days
Just watching patiently from the window
Just waiting season change, some day
Oh, oh, my dreams will pull you through that garden gate

I want to be the wandering sailor
We're silhouettes by the light of the moon
I sit playing solitaire by the window
Just waiting seasons change,
You'll see, one day, these dreams will pull you through my door
And I'll come running to tie your shoe.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

More Than Qualified (Kids Today)


Several summers ago I hired a nice, well-mannered person to lend a hand in my high-tech workplace. Pleasant enough, good sense of humor, polite in terms of the pleases and thank-yous. Spoke several languages fluently. More or less showed up for work in decent attire, albeit a tad wrinkly. And SO young. Privileged enough for an excellent education, worldly enough to have needed extra pages added to a well-traveled passport, but too young to rent a car.

My first Millennial.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Any Other Sunday

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
Father's Day. My day to reflect upon the fact that I've never turned any man into a father. Certainly not a daddy.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Team Muther vs Team Kaufman: Flip-flopping on the Issue

Boston Globe writer Christopher Muther has unwittingly sparked another round of heated debate amongst my circle of friends today. No, it's not about the unemployment rate or the high cost of housing. It's not about the way the Catholic church still treats women and it's not about Netanyahu or Chavez, or even Casey Anthony or George Zimmerman.

Some of you pro-floppers may want to click away from Low Budget Superhero now, because yes, dear reader, Mr. Muther's divisive write-up is about flip flops. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

With Friends Like These

Whenever I consider machine-gunning my Facebook account, I stay my hand. The problem is that I have some of the most well-read, pop culturally savvy, politically-aware and sharply intellectual friends, and despite the proliferation of the blog as a modern day conveyance of one's thoughts on any given topic, most of these friends do not, in fact, have blogs of their own. What they do have is Facebook, and even though half of what's posted on there is mind-numbingly stupid anymore, my own friends are generally spot-on, and as a bonus none of them use nearly as many hyphenated words as I do.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

This One's For Cats

So I've got this old-old online diary. Not to be confused with my, um, new-old online diary. It's not all archived here, because a lot of it was crap on a stick. Sometimes there wasn't even a stick. So basically just a pile of crap.

At one point in the early 2000s I would leap for my memo pad whenever life turned comical, and so we have, ladies and gentlemen, some fairly verbatim conversational gold spattered throughout those archives. Gold, I tell ya. I'm no fiction writer, I can't make this shit up. To wit, I give you "me and my mother on the phone."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Doggy Poo (Movie Review)

Title: Doggy Poo
Release Date: 2004
Run time: 33 minutes
Animated short, Korean

This odd little animated short is a uniquely-crafted fable offering a fresh, inspirational take on the meaning of life. The stop-motion animation is simple yet elegant, and the voice characterizations are delivered with candor, feeling and completely devoid of irony. Now when a film's protagonist is a sad, bulbous mound of excrement, it's easy to summarily dismiss it as ridiculous, trite, even tasteless. But remember, it wasn't so very long ago that parents were gazing quizzically at the television as their delighted children squealed at the antics of a yellow sponge wearing jeans. At the end of the day, it isn't so much the animal, chemical or mineral make-up of the main character, but whether or not the story achieves a poignant emotional high. This tale of a hopeful little pile of poo brings the viewer along on a shared journey, and why not, as every one of us seeks to find our place in the--

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Wolf At The Door

Anybody else broke right now? Scraping the bottom of the barrel, coaxing the ends to meet but they're just sort of half-heartedly waving at each other from across the dance floor? An informal poll of the ten or eleven people left in the world that I can stand anymore has proven that, no, it's not just me. We're all shaking the bag for crumbs to feed the wolf at the door.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Mommy Problem ("I Hate Jake's Turn")

"I have no children." 

There was a decent chance that the subject would come up if I were in the company of new parents. The chances would double if there were earshot-adjacent young marrieds who very much wanted children, and if there were older women in the room, forget about it. Aunts and stuff, not even necessarily mine. For the better part of the last twenty years, "I have no children" has been the axis on which conversation turned.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Those Shoes Were F**king Fabulous

When I was a kid growing up in a blighted burg in the least interesting part of Connecticut, my mother's take on the world was also my take on the world. She was a stay-at-home mom for as long as possible and I was super plugged into her.

Never at a loss for words, mom kept up a running commentary on our lives using a particularly colorful lexicon of expressions. Only now that I've opened the door to my 40s have I gotten an appreciation for these mom'isms.

"What am I, an asshole?" tops the list. Loosely translated, "I'm not some doormat, a servant, some idiot here to cater to greedy people at the expense of me or my family."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nine Demons Stabbing Each Other With Fifty Knives on Fire

If you work 21 days straight, and you feel a little bit off, have a tinge of ear pain and think you might be coming down with a sinus infection, go to the doctor. "Hoping it goes away" isn't the horse you want to bet on, just so you know. By Saturday, that's seven days ago today, it felt like my right ear was replaced by a vat of cement inside of which nine demons were stabbing each other with fifty knives on fire.

Friday, May 11, 2012

She's Lump

Presidents of the United States of America had this hit, Lump, in the 90s. I lurves them.

The "Lump" lyrics have long been a source of delight and amusement, even amongst the brilliance of the rest of the POTUSA catalog, this 'un is a fantastic nugget of irresistible pop goodness. BUT, the lyrics are mystifying. I'm sure there's about a kajillion Google results if one were to search for "She's Lump meaning." But I have never done this search, because I just need some things to remain points to ponder.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Outnerding the Nerds

After yesterday's talk of the "ring in the sour cream" incident, which, by the way, I would like to clarify was not intentional -- I really meant to hold Joe's rings, not toss them into the nachos -- I started to think about whether or not our story can be parlayed into a tale that I could write. You know, a mystical tale with virgins and quests and prophecies...okay well at least quests and prophecies. It would be the story of our union, but told via allegory. You know, like how E.T. is a Christian allegory. And The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a Christian allegory. And West Side Story is Romeo and Juliet, and A Simple Twist of Fate (the Steve Martin movie) is Silas Marner. Actually there are only about eight stories, we've just kept finding new ways to tell them.

Monday, April 30, 2012

"She's a Keeper"

I make no apologies nor offer any excuses for what I just did, right before dinner. I got home from work around 8:30pm, sat down to eat the dinner that Joe had cooked us, and though I was ravenous, I took one look at the juicy, steaming plate of slow-cooked pork ribs he put down in front of me, one look down at the dress I'd worn to work today, and then, friends, I excused myself from the table so I could go change into my rib eatin' shirt. "Hold on," I said, "I gotta go change into my rib eatin' shirt."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fat Woman Snores From Vegas To Dallas

Argh! It's like I have a head full of bees. I thought it was Vegas run-off, but as of this writing I have been home exactly one week, so it might be a sinus infection. Fuck!

I didn't feel super chipper when I got home, but I was hoping that a few days off after working 21 straight days would re-energize me. But I still feel weird. Weird even for Vegas. Can't seem to shake this fatigue, can't seem to find a groove.

I guess it started last Saturday, my birthday, when I left Las Vegas after working a massive tradeshow. Leaving for the airport at 4am is surreal, but especially 4am in Vegas, which is totally unlike 4am anywhere else. New York may be the city that never sleeps, but Vegas also wakes the neighbors.

F** it, dude.

It's been awhile since I felt that "zone" where muse met self-expression and held hands. Two things happened. First I lost control over the spammers at my old site. Those mean people broke my blog, and I don't have the programming chops to fix it. Secondly, I lost Lexi Kahn. What with focusing more on work, giving up all the local rock stuff, and the whole thing about Facebook, I am mostly all Michelle now. Work. Home. Facebook. Yawn.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joe Kowalski plays keys & synths for Brownboot - TT the Bear's Place, Cambridge, MA
(Photo: JustBill)

Bill has been getting great live shots of Joe since 2002.
He still teases me about the time I hired him to take photos 
of All the Queen's Men at The Middle East.
He says I said, "Make sure to get a lot of the bass player."
Probably I did say that.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday: High School

Somewhere...with Brenda Fitch-Schlosser.
On Lake Waramaug?

My hair was long. I used to twist it up and secure it
with two shiny Japanese sticks, or a couple of pencils, depending on the day.
(I still do that).
Bonus Throwback: Long and wholly unsecured.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Throwback Thursday: 1990

Edwardyne's graduation day at CNR.
The college paired up freshmen with a "Junior Sister," and Eddie was mine.
I loved her. Singer, actor and math major.
We ended up co-chairing the drama club, Props N Paint, and we're still in touch.

Some years ago, there was a piece in Variety. Edwardyne was playing Anna in Fermat's Last Tango.

A + B = Of course she's in a musical about a math problem.

That stupid white Gunne Sax dress.
My opinion on wearing Gunne Sax is the same as my opinion on Laura Ashley:
You feel like a princess for five minutes, and an idiot the rest of your life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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