Boston meme (4Lass)

boston-sunset-700.jpg

Lass hit me with a tag several weeks ago to do a meme.
And though I’m not big on meme’s I figure I owe her one.
Lord knows, I’ve managed to snake my way out of a few of them but this one was actually interesting in many ways.
And the fact that Lass is a good friend and has been on my blogroll since I started this whole blogging thing.

Without further ado here are a few of the “bests” in my area.
I’ve decided to give you a tour of Boston (my second home).

Best Place to Eat:

This one is almost impossible to answer in a city like Boston.
There are just too damn many great restaurants.
If I had to pick a few I’d have to say L’Osteria on Salem Street in the North End. This is your quintessential Italian bistro. When the warm crusty bread and salad make you think you’ve died and gone to heaven, you know the meal will knock your socks off.

After having the Veal Piccata, I’m still searching for my socks.
Another incredible restaurant is the East Coast Grille in Cambridge @ Inman Square.

It’s mostly a fish type of place but beef dishes are over the top (ask my wife).

This funky little place is unique. Period.
I had Grilled White Pepper Crusted Tuna with House Pickled Ginger, Aged Soy Sauce, Pacific Farms Fresh Wasabi, Grilled Vegetables & a Spicy Bok Choy Salad.
This meal had me moaning (once again, ask my wife).

I can’t wait to go here again. My birthday is in January so . . .

There’s the Rattlesnake on Boylston Street with the best damn catfish Po’ Boy I’ve ever had in my life.

I’ll wrap this up with Al’s State Street Cafe with their State Street Special: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and thinly sliced plum tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar served on a crusty French baguette.

Hungry yet?

Best Shopping Mall:

Not really a mall but a wonderful place to hemorrhage multiple Franklin’s; Faneuil Hall
Click on the link and take a “virtual tour”.
If you’re a woman, send hubby to the Union Oyster House.

You’re going to be a while . . .

Famous Landmark:
Should be plural for Boston.
Driving into the city via the Mass Pike the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square greets you (and every other Red Sox fan).

After that the Pru (Prudential Center) and the John Hancock buildings can’t help but catch your eye. They’re huge and stunning. I take them for granted. Shame on me.

There’s Paul Revere’s House, the Old North Church and last but not least Fenway Park.

Best Tourism Attraction:

The Freedom Trail

Symphony Hall

&

Fenway Park (again)

This list could go on ad nauseum.

Best Place for Kids:

Museum of Science
is a pretty safe bet.
It’s huge, loud and a ton of fun.
(once you find the effin’ place)
The frozen “Duck Pond” on the ‘Common” is great in the winter months for skating, the summer months for swimming.

Popular Outdoor Activity:
Walking, running, skiing, snowboarding, skateboarding, ice skating, roller blading.
It all happens here.

Breath-taking views:
Top of the Pru doesn’t suck on any given night and a four hour ride north of the city will put you in North Conway, New Hampshire in the heart of the White Mountains.
On a clear, fall day the view is spectacular.
Ever seen leaves explode in technicolor?

Only Found In:

Yawkey Way (Fenway Park)
You haven’t lived until you’ve walked this stretch of pavement on a Red Sox gameday.
The smell of simmering sausages and onions is a sacred thing.

The Zakim Bunker-Hill Bridge is a magnificent structure that connects Boston to Chelsea and beyond; awesome during the day, a religious experience at night.

Berklee College of Music; my alma mater. Scary. Cool school.

Newbury StreetBoston’s very own “Rodeo Drive”.

Though this list could turn itself into a book, I’ll stop here.

Should ever you find yourself in Boston, drop me a line.

I’ll meet you at Foley’s for a Guinness or three.

~m

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~m(assage)

Yvonne took very good care of me today.
I can’t begin to tell you just how good the massage was but should you ever find yourself in the New England area? Call me.
I thoroughly enjoyed an hour+ of some serious massage (and stretching)
Quiet, nice tunes, peace and endless muscular sanctuary . . .
Nice.
We had lunch at a quiet little Thai place in Webstah afterwards and agreed that even dogshit would taste really good with a great peanut sauce drizzled on it.
Thank you, Yvonne for making my first day of vacation so incredibly and phucking enjoyable.
My wife thanks you for omitting the “happy ending“. :0{ )>
I will sleep well tonight.
Peace and Out, folks . . .

~m

Fade to Black

newspaper shifting, a cough, smoky conversation, HVAC, swallowing, scratching skin, paper, face, construction and squeaky brakes, jet engine overhead, train rumble underneath, a possible shift in the Matrix; I am utterly surrounded . . .

construction, machinery, car horns and moving earth, muzak, PA announcements, metal to metal <at 2K, wind and leaves, sniffles and sneeze, Treo ringtones and Blackberry blasts of email with water running and footsteps walking; I am not even at work yet

child screams on the train, and screams and screams and screams, animal, and I scream (silently), doors open as fast as doors slam shut, a kiss, a grumble, laugh and whisper,
<my mind>bluebird chirp, dog barks and cat purrs, whistling</my mind>, humming,
the envious sound of money, cash register bleeps and the phone rings, time perpetual; I am sonically losing my mind

saxophone, drums, cymbals and melody, bass, piano, guitar and violin all singing the blues, a fucking out of tune shithead soprano doing scales in a room next to a mystical piano tuner, trucks and buses, earsplitting motorcycles because “loud pipes save lives”, noise, pinks and whites but it’s fucking noise, noise, noise . . .

Sometimes I just want it all to STOP
and it does . . .

~m

Not enough love in the world

I found a crumpled piece of paper on the train the other day and could see there was some writing on it. Being the perpetually inquisitive one, I picked it up and flattened it out.

It read:
I watched you sleeping
you’re beautiful

A simple, eloquent and somewhat heartbreaking note rolled into one (kind of disturbing, as well).
I wondered about its recipient as well as its author and how long this obsession had been going on. You just don’t see someone one day and write a note like this. This has been quietly simmering for sometime.

I’ve watched people sleeping on the train and more often than not, it ain’t pretty.

This must have been a very different scenario. Admiring someone from afar but never getting close enough to touch must be a terrible kind of living hell.

Maybe these two people knew one another but one of them couldn’t seem to bridge the impossible chasm between them for reasons unknown.
Six words rich in meaning written on a carelessly dropped (and crumpled) piece of paper. To me, it smacks of a significant sense of loss and incompleteness for both parties involved. The note isn’t the issue here as much as the story hidden deep within the text.

I told my wife about it and she wondered if the note was even delivered or if its author crumpled and dropped it, a thought that hadn’t even occurred to me.
Words like this have a weight and possibility to them and I can’t imagine not letting them reach home.

I think back to the number of times I gazed at Pamela from a distance, afraid to approach her for fear of rejection and embarrassment.
I know I fell in love with her face long before I knew her soul. Needless to say, we run deeper than the oceans.

And though the waters are much rougher these days than we’d both like, I consider myself a lucky one; my message in a bottle was ultimately delivered and read and I thank God my words found the still waters of acceptance.
I’ll never know any more about that crumpled note, but I wanted to give it some light hoping in some small way that it too, might someday find its way home.

~m

My name is June

My dear friend Annie left a writing prompt (idea) for me on her blog.
Your turn, kiddo. {{{{grin}}}}}

” You wake up to discover that all your daughters are sons & your wife is your husband – what happens?”

Here’s what transpired . . . I don’t really know if I even like this but here we go . . .

************************************************************************

You stare into the bathroom mirror and scream – OH! MY! GOD!
June Cleaver continues to stare back at you in horror. You watch your chest heaving up and down and think “Christ in a sidecar, I have breasts and wide hips and then no, no, dear God, no . . . yup, they’re gone.”
Your precious jewels are gone.
You scratch where they should be and look around the bathroom stunned by the realization that your world has turned to black and white and that you’re June Cleaver.

You pray that the kids have gone to school and Ward is at work before making your way to the kitchen when you see a handwritten note on the kitchen table;

June,

I decided to let you sleep in this morning and have taken the boys to school myself.

Don’t worry, I made them oatmeal and toast for breakfast.

Wally asked if you could get him some pimple cream. His acne is acting up again.

And Beaver is, well, the Beaver. You know how much I love the Beaver.
I’ll see you tonight for dinner, my dearest

Love,

Ward

Your world begins caving in when you realize and understand the sheer magnitude of the situation you’re currently in.
Boys?!
You think, “What Would June Do?” and laugh thinking the initials of the phrase would look great on a bracelet.
You desperately need some booze but it’s only 8:30 in the morning and you’ve no idea where Ward hides the hootch.

You think that 24 hours ago the world was a vastly different place, as was your gender.

The phone rings and you automatically answer it like a subservient Stepford wife.

“Hello?”

“Hi June! It’s Agnes Haskell. Have you seen my Eddie? He never showed up to school this morning and I think he’s up to no good and goshdarnit, I’m a bit worried.”

“Oh, Agnes! No, I haven’t seen Eddie. Ward let me sleep in this morning and he took Wally and Beaver to school. Boys will be boys! I’m sure it’s nothing serious, Agnes. If I see him I’ll be sure to tell him to call you, okay?”

“Are you okay, June? You sound . . . I don’t know, different.”

“Oh, if you only knew, Agnes. No, I’m fine. Gotta run, the milkman is here! Bye!”

You place the receiver into the cradle of the black rotary phone and catch a glimpse of yourself in the living room mirror and think: I’m going have to do something with this hair! It will never do!

You’ve never been ogled before in your life until you go out on the front steps to get your bottles of milk.

“Morning Mrs. Cleaver!”

“Good morning, Dan.”

“Hey, did I show you my new tattoo?”

“You have a tattoo, Dan?”

“Did I say tattoo? I meant to say my thick enormous tongue!” {laughing}

“Oh, Dan, you’re such a cut up!” {you’re laughing, and shaking your head because he’s such a freak}

You pinch yourself and repeatedly head butt the fireplace mantle hoping to wake yourself or ultimately pass out.
You somehow make it to 5PM when a bulb goes on above your nicely coiffed head.
You find a piece of paper and write:

Dearest Ward,

I must have come down with the flu because I’ve been sneezing all day.
(I must be contagious!)

I did manage to do some of the boy’s laundry. Please tell Beaver he needs to start wiping himself better or I may start calling him “General Beaver”!
Please take the boys for dinner. I just couldn’t cook in this condition.
I’ve taken two aspirin and plan on sleeping until my color returns.

I hope you understand, dear.

Love,

J

You lie down and close your eyes while praying for a Medjudgore miracle.
Your breasts are nice and quite perky but BIG DEAL.
You just want your junk back. {and rightly so – *authors note}

You accept the fact that you’d never make it in this world as a June . . . April or May could be a distant possibility though.
And though the hormone thing is just a killer . . . the nasty shaving business ain’t quite that bad.

~m

Yellow

Had to share this.
It’s from my good friend Yvonne . . .
Wish I could take credit for it

~m

The yellow shirt had long sleeves, four extra-large pockets trimmed in black thread and snaps up the front. It was faded from years of wear, but still in decent shape when I found it in 1963, home from college on Christmas break, rummaging through bags
of clothes Mom intended to give away.

“You’re not taking that old thing, are you?” Mom said when she saw me packing the yellow shirt.
“I wore that when I was pregnant with your brother in 1954!”

“It’s just the thing to wear over my clothes during art class, Mom. Thanks!”

I slipped it into my suitcase before she could object.
The yellow shirt be came a part of my college wardrobe. I loved it.
After graduation, I wore the shirt the day I moved into my new apartment
and on Saturday mornings when I cleaned.

The next year, I married.
When I became pregnant, I wore the yellow shirt during big-belly days.
I missed Mom and the rest of my family, since we were in Colorado and they were in Illinois.
But that shirt helped.
I smiled, remembering that Mother had worn it when she was pregnant, 15 years earlier.

That Christmas, mindful of the warm feelings the shirt had given me, I patched one elbow, wrapped it in holiday paper and sent it to Mom.
When Mom wrote to thank me for her “real” gifts, she said the yellow shirt was lovely. She never mentioned it again.

The next year, my husband, daughter and I stopped at Mom and Dad’s to pick up some
furniture.
Days later, when we uncrated the kitchen table, I noticed something yellow taped to its bottom. The shirt!

And so the pattern was set.

On our next visit home, I secretly placed the shirt under Mom and Dad’s mattress. I don’t know how long it took for her to find it, but almost two years passed before I discovered it under the base of our living-room floor lamp. The yellow shirt was just what I needed now while refinishing furniture. The walnut stains added character.

In 1975 my husband and I divorced.
With my three children, I prepared to move back to Illinois. As I packed, a deep depression overtook me. I wondered if I could make it on my own. I wondered if I would find a job. I paged through the Bible, looking for comfort.
In Ephesians, I read, “So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will be standing up.”

I tried to picture myself wearing God’s armor, but all I saw was the stained yellow shirt. Slowly, it dawned on me.
Wasn’t my mother’s love a piece of God’s armor?
My courage was renewed.

Unpacking in our new home, I knew I had to get the shirt back to my mother the next time I visited her.
I tucked it in her bottom dresser drawer.

Meanwhile, I found a good job at a radio station. A year later I discovered the yellow shirt hidden in a rag bag in my cleaning closet. Something new had been added. Embroidered in bright green a cross the breast pocket were the words
“I BELONG TO PAT.”
Not to be outdone, I got out my own embroidery materials and added an apostrophe and seven more letters.
Now the shirt proudly proclaimed, “I BELONG TO PAT’S MOTHER.”
But I didn’t stop there.
I zigzagged all the frayed seams and then had a friend mail the shirt in a fancy box to Mom from Arlington, VA.
We enclosed an official looking letter from “The Institute for the
Destitute,” announcing that she was the recipient of an award for good deeds.
I would have given anything to see Mom’s face when she opened the box.
But, of course, she never mentioned it.!

Two years later, in 1978, I remarried. The day of our wedding, Harold and I put our car in a friend’s garage to avoid practical jokers. After the wedding, while my husband drove us to our honeymoon suite, I reached for a pillow in the car to rest my head.
It felt lumpy. I unzipped the case and found, wrapped in wedding paper, the yellow shirt. Inside a pocket was a note: “Read John 14:27-29. I love you both, Mother.”

That night I paged through the Bible in a hotel room and found the verses:
“I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me, you will be very happy for me, for now I can go to the Father, who is greater than I am. I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do, you will believe in me.”

The shirt was Mother’s final gift. She had known for three months that she had terminal Lou Gehrig’s disease. Mother died the following year at age 57.

I was tempted to send the yellow shirt with her to her grave. But I’m glad I didn’t, because it is a vivid reminder of the love-filled game she and I played for 16 years.
Besides, my older daughter is in college now, majoring in art.
And every art student needs a baggy yellow shirt with big pockets . . .

Nano Shuffle

I put my Nano on “shuffle” tonight and wrote a little bit about the 5 tunes that randomly came up. Check it out.

*Michel Camilo – Just Kidding (from the album, One More Once)
What can I say? I have a new favorite piano player.
This tune has intense tight, screaming horns and is not for the jazz squeamish.
Camilo’s piano solo is the quintessential jazz solo. Amazing.
The man plays right-handed octaves faster than a frickin’ machine gun.
One of you guys better be listening to this guy after all I’ve said and posted about him.
Truth be told, I want someone to pinch me and tell me I’m not dreaming.

*Los Lobos – Colossal Head (from the album Colossal Head)
I’ve listened to these guys forever.
Raw, unpretentious and innovative, LL wrote the proverbial manual on how an electric guitar should sound in the studio.
If you’ve ever witnessed two musicians arguing over the difference between tube amplifiers vs. solid state you’ll eventual hear this: Solid State sucks!
The guitar sounds on Colossal Head totally support this statement.

*Fourplay – Kid Zero (from the album X)
Bob James (keys), Larry Carlton (guitar), Nathan East (bass) and Harvey Mason (drums), need I say anymore?
Alright, I guess I should.
You’ve heard all of these guys play more than you could ever imagine.
Believe me.
Kid Zero is a very cool song for all you smooth jazzers out there.
The hidden gem on the album is Michael McDonald’s vocal on “My Love is Leavin'”, an old Stevie Winwood tune off the album Chronicles. Schweet.

*The Tubes – I don’t want to wait anymore (from the album The Best of the Tubes 1981-1987)
I’ve loved this song forever.
Hardcore Tubes fans hated it because of the way it sounded.
It was produced by a musician named David Foster, another serious keyboard idol of mine from way back. (again, you’ve heard this guy before, you just don’t know it)
My playing resembles his in many ways. Ask my wife.
This tune sounded nothing like the old Tubes. It was a few years later that they hit the pop charts with “She’s a beauty”, another Foster produced mega-hit.

*Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Here’s that rainy day (from the album Solo)
Not exactly sure what to say regarding this one but if you like jazz piano and have yet to hear Rubalcaba, you ain’t lived.
Period.
They guy is a frickin’ piano machine.

I had fun with this.
I’ve also posted an Amazon link for every album.
Click and scroll down the page for a quick listen to each tune.
There’s some real nice stuff here.
If there are a few tunes you think I might like, leave a few titles.
I’m always looking for new stuff to keep the musical boat afloat and make the train ride just a bit shorter.

~m

Pink

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I wanted to post to tell all you ladies that visit Smoke and Mirrors to PLEASE GET CHECKED!!!!
It’s important for so many reasons.
Early detection saves lives, period.
Please just do it.
I’ve lost several close friends to this insidious disease and I don’t want to lose anymore.
Check your body and check it often.
I pray for all of you, everyday.
A few risk factors you should know about:

  • what you eat
  • how much you weigh, and maintaining a healthy weight
  • how much you exercise
  • whether you smoke
  • whether you drink alcohol and if so, how much and how frequently
  • the types of chemicals in your environment
  • whether you took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for menopausal symptoms for five years or longer

As my dear friend Carnealian says, “Feel your Boobies!!!” . . . .
Click HERE to give some underprivileged woman a free mammogram

~m

666

I had something happen to me tonight that was so bizarre and out of whack that I had to blog a bit of it.
After working in Boston for well over three years I would have thought this situation would happen there but life is not always so predictable.
Tonight, I came face to face with 666.
She came in the form of a woman 70+ years of age.
It all began as I was arriving at my stop tonight.
I made my way down near an exit door and found a seat to wait for the train to stop.
Across the way was an old woman looking out the window; 4′ 10″, black skullcap, white hair, weird clothes . . . yup, she’s nuts, I thought; a Poltergeist extra, basically.
Strange thing was I could see her face in the reflection of the glass and she was looking at me, studying me.
I didn’t think anymore about it and I began to quietly hum a blues song by a preacher named O.V. Wright, called “Don’t let my baby ride”, a favorite song of mine.
About 30 seconds before the train stopped, she walked over to me and got right in my face.
Weird right there, dude.
She asked about the clothes I had on (shirt and hat, compliments of my oldest daughter’s college) wondering if I attended said school.
The conversation went haywire from there and I refuse to write it here simply because of the amount of profanity. (on her part, not mine)
This hag seriously creeped me out but before I walked away from her I did say, “Please take your medication and do us all a favor and go play in traffic, you bitch.”
Not sure what else to say except that it doesn’t get much weirder than this, and if it did, I’d blog it and probably be rich.
Anyone curious about exactly what this gasbag had to say, email me.
I remember a few snippets but I was too freaked out to remember all of it at the time.
This encounter was just too freekin’ weird folks . . .
I’m now home, smoking a cigar and drinking Harpoon Octoberfest.
Life is once again, okay . . . for now.

~m

My one and only love

My Pamela,
You can still make this old heart skip a beat, make my eyes smile, set my soul on fire just by being you. Oddly enough, it’s not as surprising as you would truly like to think.
I still really love us.
There are so many things I’d love to give you today but a favorite love song is about all I can muster and afford right now.
You’ve heard this song many times before as an instrumental but probably never like this.
May you be surrounded by many people that you love tomorrow.
I couldn’t wish for anything nicer for you.
You are so loved and sometimes you don’t even know it.
And I have a feeling that’s exactly what’s going to happen tomorrow.
Count on me, kiddo.
Happy Birthday, green eyes.

9.25.2007

ps. No V.F.W. post either . . . :0{) >

~m