Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer. Wanting Fall

I want to see color upon a grey canvass.
I want to need to wear a jacket outside.
I want to feel that bite upon waking.
I want to hear the rustle of leaves.
I want to use my pockets.
I want to want heat.
I want fall.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Law & Order Ripped From The Headlines

Well this isn't possible for one because Jerry Orbach is dead and secondly because Law & Order was cancelled, but what follows is my rendition of the opening scene to an episode that would have occurred based on recent events.

Open to a shot of a maid being consoled by a coworker while the manager dials 911.
911 Operator: 911 may I have the nature of your emergency?
Manager: I would like to report a rape.

Cut to Jerry Orbach, Cop sidekick and Port Authority officers approaching the front desk of a distinctly French airline.

Jerry Orbach while holding up a warrant: Ma'am, sorry for the inconvenience but we are going to have to take a look at your plane, it will only take a second.

Cut to Jerry Orbach and sidekick boarding plane, flight attendant points to a worried looking Frenchman in the third row.

Orbach and sidekick stride towards him, Orbach lifts him up and shoves him over a seat to cuff him. Frenchman starts yelling and cursing in French. Sidekick reads him his rights.

Orbach as he walks the Frenchman down the aisle: Pardon his French.

End Scene, Cue Credits

Monday, May 9, 2011

Public Service Announcement

Let it be known that all things to do with the news, policy, politics and the like can now be found here:

Think of it as a spin off of a TV show, except its a TV show that has an audience of 5 people. Posts of a more Underling nature will continue to show up here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

On Government Shutdowns

I am fuming right now and have been since I learned that Speaker Boehner received an ovation after telling his caucus to prepare for a government shutdown.

Looking past the outright childishness of applauding the shutdown of the federal government, what really gets me about this is that the GOP has gotten what it wants all ready. The House leadership asked for $32 billion in fiscal year 2011 cuts and what do the Democrats give them? $33 billion, and that's in comparison to the billions they wanted to spend on infrastructure projects and extra stimulus. But they realized, as President Obama once said, that "elections have consequences" and that they have to compromise in order to govern (a more liberal man would say capitulate because they gave the GOP everything they want and more but I choose to go with the $60 billion as the new GOP number and be the bigger man).

One would think the Republicans would have taken the deal, declared victory, and moved on to fight the debt limit fight (more on that in a future post) and the Fiscal Year 2012 fight (ditto) with some momentum. Sadly logic and political ability escape the GOP freshman, and instead they decided to go whole hog on this one. They decided, with a shutdown on the line, to pick up their ball and go home instead of stick around and play with the other 192 participants in the game.

Now I don't profess to know anything about anything but if I were given dictatorial powers for an unspecified amount of time (powers I would relinquish upon completion of my goals of course), I might be likely to do some or all of the following:
  • Set up a bipartisan group to curb the long term debt and give them legislative powers (Simpson-Bowles, but with actual bite). They would have a fixed term that coincides with the next congress and would expire the day congress adjourns. Any recommendations would take at least 6 years to take effect, giving the American public the chance to vote out of office each elected official in office at the time of passage. All recommendations would be subject to bills passed by congress and signed by the president, that is to say if the congress and the president want to pass a bill to stop its implementation then it is their constitutional right to do so. Lacking a countermanding law then the recommendations themselves would become law.
  • After the term of this group has expired there would be boards for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Discretionary spending that would also have legislative authority to find redundancies and cost saving techniques and propose new taxes or cuts to pay for them (sort of like oh I don't the Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by the ACA). Again it would take 6 years for anything to be enacted and could be countermanded by the normal legislative process.
  • Debt increases would become something you have to vote down not vote for.
  • And possibly more if I put more than 30 minutes of thought into it.
The goal here is to take the politics out of the process so we dont have months like the one past and dont find ourselves in a political crisis. While at the same time giving our elected officials the final say (and do they ever say).

Who knows maybe the events of the past two days are a huge ruse being run by the GOP leadership in order to get the Tea Party to eventually vote for the compromise. I don't know but man do I hope so.

At the end of the day the only solace I can take away from this is that somewhere out there, there is a frustrated and fuming 20 something GOPer who is furiously pecking away at the keyboard about how the Democrats are shutting down the government.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

RE: The Lady On The Orange Line Platform

While exiting a sardine level crowded Orange Line train at North Station today I heard a woman extol "This is just unacceptable! How many days of crowded cars has it been like this?" Now I agree with this woman, but in the same way that a Massachusetts liberal can disapprove of the way President Obama is running the country, we can be greedy like that.

I'm no expert of the cost benefit analysis of public transit nor do I claim to understand the financial problems that plague the US public transportation sector but I do know that I can leave my house at 7:25 AM and arrive at my office at 8:05 AM for less $1.50  (plus whatever percentage of my taxes go to the MBTA) and I don't have to pay attention. If on bad weather days that takes a bit longer and its more crowded due to higher ridership then so be it. It's a fucking bargain at double the price.

I would gladly pay more money per trip if it meant faster trains, a more expansive system, extra tracks for express service, enclosed stations, expanded platforms for more cars per train, etc. But people like this woman, who hate higher taxes but love exceptional service, are not going to allow it.

Now I don't know this woman, but that wont stop me from pretending to know this woman. My guess is when she thinks of public transportation she thinks of something a little less of the quality than what you get for a hired car and at a fraction of the price. There is a reason why it costs me $40 to take a Taxi to Logan Airport and $1.70 (plus whatever percentage of my taxes go to the MBTA) to go by public transit. And that reason does not stem from a lack of effort by the MBTA its stems from the bizarre way we value the service.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cable News

Now I don't like cable news, we'll get to why in a moment but on days when I lose hope in the American Public's ability to make the correct choice (in my oh-so humble opinion) I find myself watching election night coverage on MSNBC. I know when I tune in I will not be getting impartial observers commenting academically on what the day's events mean for America. No, I'm getting exactly what I came for, no holds barred, unequivical conservative hating, tea-bagger bashing commentary.

Let's face it, like a sad fat guy needs ice cream and a depressed alcoholic needs a stiff drink, I need Rachel Maddow frothing at the mouth, Chris Matthews berating Michelle Bachman like an old man does a kid on his lawn & Keith Olberman telling me it's going to be ok because eventually America will realize John Boehner spends more time crying in a tanning booth than he does legislating.

That is what got me through the worst Democrat beatdown in my lifetime.

Am I proud of it? No. Am I ashamed? No, not really.

Why? Because I know they are entertaining me. I know this is opinion. I know facts are missing and more than likely will never materialize. It's along the same lines as finding yourself enjoying Enrique Iglesias sing "Tonight" but realizing at the same time that he is no Bob Dylan or John Lennon. But you know there is someone out there who would argue against that, or that Lady Gaga is the best female singer of her generation. Why? Who knows, but they believe it and you know it to be ridiculous.

To bring this around full circle, people think commentators like Keith Olberman & Glenn Beck are the modern day equivalent's of Walter Cronkite & Edward R Murrow by bringing sanity and reality to a very insane world. While the truth is Glenn Beck is closer to Joe McCarthy than Edward R Murrow and Mr. Olberman is simply the rabid propagandist of liberal Democrats and not the even handed and widely respected Walter Cronkite.

To be fair both men are admittedly over the top, strong personalities who espouse factually lacking soundbites in order to attract specific viewers. Are they journalists? Not even close, but tying them into the day to day journalistic workings of a news network is a no brainer, its just how TV works.

The problem with this is that it is deceiving and misleading to the viewers. Fact based reporting followed by factless opinion with no delineation other than a commercial or two is criminal. It leads to people regurgitating sound bites as if they were peer reviewed reports. It's harmful to true debate and contributes to the escalation of pigheadedness found on both sides of the spectrum.

But yet we (the viewers) continue to flock to cable news shows simply to have our radical opinion certified as "truth" by a pseudo news organizations bombastic opinion personality. A "truth" that is devoid of reality and fact.

And we are all the happier because of it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

What I Just Read: Neverwhere

The thing that I love, and at the same time the thing that irks me the most about Neil Gaiman is his ability to create this alternate reality that is incredibly detailed with characters and history. Then at the end of the story he dismisses the world he has created and moves on to another one. With both American Gods and the most recent book of Mr. Gaiman's I read, Neverwhere, he creates these intricate worlds with expansive histories and hundreds of characters that are only touched on for moments. Needless to say I found myself enveloped by these stories and characters and would like very much to hear more about the Marquis and Richard (though I did just receive Anansi Boys in the mail, a novel that is based in the same world as American Gods). But enough about my wants.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman did not disappoint in the artfully constructed fictional reality department. The characters were many and a couple of them I could not get enough of (Richard and Marquis especially). While the Marquis was a nice bit of snide and sarcastic ego worked into a heroes tale Richard himself was a perfect vehicle to reflect the thoughts the reader may have whilst engrossed in the story.

Richard does take a lead in scenes and is by know means a hollow character yet at the same time he is left out of the dialogue for pages at a time only to pop up with a sort of color commentary on the scene that is unfolding. It as if the rest of the scene is a play by play commentator and Richard is the second guy in the booth who chimes in with a "Woah!' and "Great shot by Neely on that play!". I do not know if he is meant to call attention to this or that but I can say that his mutterings in the middle of scenes are greatly appreciated.

Unlike American Gods, which may have been a bit longer than it was needed, Neverwhere is too short. The story flies by too quickly and could have used a slower pace in certain moments. Though I can not say that the book is any less enjoyable due to the lack of details.

The cover is average. Having seen what the new Fragile Things, Smoke and Mirrors and Anansi Boys looks like I think it is fair to say that this cover is lacking. It looks rushed and neglected. A photo with an easy Photoshop action to hide the blurriness below.

I read this book months ago, along with two others that I hope to post on soon (no promises). In the meantime you can blame The Economist. Katy does all ready.

Speaking of Katy and Neil Gaiman, Katy and I went to see Neil Gaiman's fiance Amanda Palmer play with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for New Years. After the show we bought their book and waited in line to have them both sign it. When it came to be our turn to get the book signed we both froze up (One could say we were starstruck) and kinda of mumble an inaudible greeting. We ended up leaving the whole ordeal with this dazed look in our eyes and feeling a bit silly.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Kingdom for a Suit of Armor and an Accompanying mobile Brass Band

Not your normal post but I sure do love it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

One of these things is not like the others.

Answer: The engagement ring. Not edible.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Grumblings of a Losing Liberal

Unless you live under a rock, which who knows there are some pretty nice rocks out there (the Harvard Museum has a whole bunch that I would be honored to live under), then you know that the great Commonwealth (of which there are only four, first one to names the other three in the comments section gets a prize) of Massachusetts elected a new Junior Senator who hails from Wrentham. He goes by the name Scott Brown and he looks like (only click the following if you want to see a sexy, but lightly clothed, Massachusetts man) this.

I did not vote for Scott Brown. Katy did not vote at all because she is currently in a country that does not allow people to vote.

I also have something they call a twitter, which if you dont follow (it's OK I forgive you) then you will find these Tweets to be new and maybe funny? I was hoping that I would be posting these as a "What If?" post but alas I live in a Commonwealth (of which there are only four) of slightly mentally impaired individuals.

But I digress.

To the Tweets!

  • I may have been lying when I said I wasn't worried.
  • I feel like tonight's election night coverage is going to be a prize fight, I am that nervous/excited.
  • I'm useless @ work right now, need to go vote & then head home to refresh Drudge 2848929 times, infuriating myself @ his bias in the process.
Scott Brown wins.
  • Like it or not. That's Democracy, and that's America.
  • Looks like it's time to roll out my new SN IAmAntiSBrown (for those of you who don't know my old (and still current SN is IAmAntiGWBush I was just looking for an excuse to change it). What? I made it months ago.....
  • Our long Commonwealth nightmare is over! Now he's a full blown National nightmare!
  • Well at least he's good looking.
  • I always wanted a porn star for a Senator.
  • Filibuster fans the world over watched in horror as the final nail that is Scott Brown was affixed to the coffin.
  • If there is one positive I can take away from today is that Scott Brown will never allow for a tax on my Coca Cola. No sir.
  • All jokes aside, congrats Scott Brown, I never thought I would troll on Facebook this much just to laugh at your supporters.
  • Between Scott Brown winning and Conan being kicked off the tonight show, what's a trendy person to do?
  • "If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain." Winston Churchill
  • Therefore all elected Democrats have no brains. How is that not the Republican attack line? If only I had no heart I would rule the world.
  • Where are the birthers on Scotty he doesn't look a day past 17.
  • What did you expect? You know only rich people can afford umbrellas.
  • Thanks for playing Folks! Don't forget to pick up your new cute, cuddly, and slightly "special", Junior Senator from MA on your way out!
Bonus tweet!
  • Roast-beef sandwiches are delicious, but a little less so when your Junior Senator is named Scott Brown.
[Crickets Chirping]

What not funny?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Possibly The Greatest Thing Ever

A tall boy can of coke (16 oz). Only if it was made with real sugar could I possibly be happier. I should have bought two.

Sorry for the poor picture quality, Katy left me two film cameras, an Elph without a battery and a 10 year old digital power shot that ended up taking this picture.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Humbling of An Underling

You may or may not know that for the past month I have been working as a temporary employee for Oxfam America. A job I was set to leave this Friday as the work from Christmas donations came to a close.

That was until today. As you all know yesterday at approximately 5 PM Eastern there was a 7.0 Earthquake in Port Au Prince, Haiti. A catastrophic event that has killed by the most conservative estimates over 100,000 people (amazingly the now expected toll is much closer to 50,000 updated 1/14). An event in which no one knows exactly what has happened over 24 hours later. In a time of email, the satellite phone, and super sonic jets the fact that we do not know the fate of some 3 million people is chilling.

It is because of that devastation and chaos that I get to keep my job for at least one or two more weeks.

Now do not get me wrong, I do not blame myself for a massive earthquake. I am not that narcissistic (says the man with the blog). Though I understand that it is not my fault and my good fortune is destined to help right a wrong (albeit in a very minor role), it's hard not to feel guilty and downright criminal for being able to pull a wage in such a situation. $10 an hour would go a lot further in Haiti right now than in my wallet.

If you are so inclined to donate to help the relief effort in Haiti here are a couple of links.

Oxfam America: Haiti Earthquake Response Fund

Or if that is not your cup of tea: List of Aid Organizations Operating in Haiti

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Friday Night at the Empty Bottle

The one, the only, Jens Lekman.
Katy took this picture and touched his hand. I may be jealous.

As you may or may not know I really like Jens Lekman (follow the hyperlink for more details or stand pat with the knowledge that he is the Swedish King of Pop). You also may or may not know that last weekend I was in Chicago, You probably don't know that Mr. Lekman was also in Chicago. Seeing as how I have previously stated that I would fly anywhere in the Western Hemisphere to see Mr. Lekman perform one can assume my trip to Chicago was centered around the show. It was.

Details of Chicago and what not will unfold in the next week or two, believe me I have the time. Wedding work has completed and the benevolent overlord is in Egypt being heavily guarded (Yes I know what benevolent means and for those of you thinking that A) I don't or B) that you the reader does not then here is the definition). But first I would like to share with you my Jens experience.

First I must admit I was not the most enthusiastic person in the room that goes to the girl standing to the right of Daniel, to you unknown Jens fan I award the "Superduper amazingingly into it fan" award, cherish it.

Second I despise live DJing and people who seem to think its quote: AMAZING! :end quote.

Second.5 It probably is not a good idea to drop some ecstasy and then come out and play cds as your set, and then try to continually open bottles of beer with your hands that can only be opened with an opener and then upon failing to open it you hand it to your DJ partner (i find that having a DJ partner is odd) so he can open it with his teeth x5. I know, I too heard my orthodontist crying somewhere in my brain (crying out of pleasure of the money he was about to make or out of pain I don't know).

A couple of inebriated Swedes

Thirdly if you don't know more than the word "skål" for it's respective language(s) please do not shout it at the top of your lungs while you drink PBR, have an awful mustache, wear tight pants, flanel and a terrible trucker hat. In fact just go back to the hell in which you crawled out of and stay there, i'm sure they have pointlessly made bikes there as well for you to ride, after all they are forms of torture. I mean really gears and breaks were invented to make riding a bike easier and painless yet you choose to forgo them????

Picture this concept applied to a car.

That's what I thought.

I digress....

4th I witnessed a woman typing with one hand on her iPhone, people like that (and people who have the "sent from my iPhone" signature) are people who should not have them. I should have them, but one will do.

Cincoth All this aside I really really really like Jens Lekman and when the show started I was no longer tired from only getting 3 hours sleep the night before nor was I mad about anything. I really enjoyed myself, to put it plainly. In my short career of shows I have never anticipated a moment quite like this one and it did not disappoint, complete with new music that I liked and which featured parts of Paul Simon songs ( I like Paul Simon) to every song I would have wanted to hear (save Happy Birthday Lisa).

You should have noticed by now I am very bad at conveying happiness and appreciation through words or speech. In my mind it's simple; I either liked it or I didn't, albeit it in varying degrees. If I don't like it I can tear it apart and stomp all over it (as seen at the upper part of this post). If I like it then I just do (with a "really" or two thrown in there). Sorry if it appears that I dreaded the evening, because I really really really enjoyed myself (I must have liked it because you just got a really cubed).

Stock Photo of an excited Kevin

Monday, January 4, 2010

Boston - 7 = Chicago

During the month of January the city of Chicago is on average 7 degrees colder than Boston.

I can say from firsthand experience that this is in fact true if not a little low.

As a result Chicagoans share my childish fascination with The Revolving Door, which may or may not have something to do with it being cold there.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An Overzealous Christmas Gift or a Problem?

Tonight the clerk at the Choice Liquors waved off my ID and said "I know you".

In Fridge:

Dundee Honey Brown: 12
Sea Dog Blue Paw: 12
Hoegaarden: 15
Harpoon UFO: 6
Sam Adams Cherry Wheat: 4
Young's Double Chocolate Stout: 2
Boddington's: 4
Long Trail Blackberry Wheat: 8
Stella: 1
Magner's Irish Cider: 6
Delerium Tremens: 3

That's 71 beers for those of you scoring at home.