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Friday, August 31, 2012


One of the things that drives me the most insane about living in New England is how easily its residents let go of summer.

It is Labor Day Weekend, and even though it is officially summer for a few weeks, for days a lot of the locals have been yammering about how the summer is over, so over.


This is a very curious thing given that a lot of New Englanders I know are the first people to drag out a pair of shorts on the first day in March when the temperature hits 60 degrees, or sport the flip flops.

Why do you guys want to put an end to a season that makes you completely bonkers when it arrives?

The warmer seasons are short enough around these parts as it is, days filled with sun and blue skies and yeah, admit it, a gin and tonic or two.

So can I ask you that even though the gloom is on the horizon, let's not spoil what we got left? Do all you remember the money we squander trying to heat our homes,  the woolen coats that make us all look like a Beluga whale? Never mind the winter weight we spent all summer jogging off our bellies?

Enjoy the heat we get this weekend, folks, the ice will come soon enough.

Amen, and pass the sunscreen.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The good news is I am fine.

The bad news is several hair raising moments spent at the wheel of a vehicle after the right rear tire had blown out.

I was driving home from a wonderful gathering of dear friends, enjoying the ride and thinking how lucky I was for those same friends.

The noise was sudden, the off-putting sensation from the right rear quarter of the car equally so; an increasingly loud series of puck-puck-pucks.

Something happens in the brain when trouble is afoot, a deep-seated all points bulletin. Don't hit the brakes! Steer in the same direction! Don't hit the brakes! Snap on the four way flashers! Don't hit the brakes! Stay clear of the steel guardrail! Don't hit the brakes! Slow down, slow down, slow down and stop on the grassy side strip.

Fortunately, a State Police trooper had noticed me and out of nowhere, it seemed, he was right behind my car, blue lights flashing. I was out of the car and safely away from the vehicle as my knees turned to the same mushy rubber consistency that was now the wheel of my car.

What followed was the usual, a tow truck, the tire was changed, and I drove home shaken and stirred. But a few someones were watching out for me that evening.

Amen, and pass the thank yous.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Ask anyone and they will agree -- scrapes on the knees are one of the most ubiquitious, albeit pesky, signs of summer.

Their origins are varied, either a miscalculated step on a sandy patch of street or a spill from a bicycle among others. And there is that split second, before the actual "landing," in which something in your brain snaps and your hands shoot out in hopeless hopes of somewhat curbing the fall. 

But as we all know, what that does is spread the wealth, resulting in two scraped kneecaps and nasty if not deep abrasions to the palms of your hands. After picking yourself off the road, you amble home and reach for the hydrogen peroxide and a box of band aids. 

No matter what your age or who is pouring that peroxide onto the fresh wound, your eyes shut and your teeth clench, and you open your eyes for a split second just in time to see the foam, let's not explain any more.

A few days of hobbling around and tossing out dramatic versions about the injury's origins, the end is the same: one or two oddly shaped dots which are completely different from your skin tone that remain visible clear into the winter months.

Instead of X marking the spot, now the dot does.

I've got two brand new ones of my own today thanks to recent road work in front of my house -- the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT -- DOT, get it? Dot marks the spot? Somebody stop me) has yet to even out the new asphalt they have been noisily installing for the last several weeks. It's hard to see that rise in the roadway. Needless to say, RIDOT is even further up on my you know what list for two very red painful reasons.

Amen, and pass the neosporin.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


NOTE: I posted this about a year ago, but turns out that this evening is the true anniversary of that fateful night. I was getting married. But Ralph didn't know that, and he called anyway.
Read on.
The ceremony was happening at 7:00PM and everyone was hanging about my parents' house, bridesmaids dresses in the corner and all the groomsmen elsewhere waiting for the limo.
The phone rang.
Now bear in mind this was an age prior to the internet or cell phones or anything else of that sort.
My mother picked up the phone and shot a peculiar look into my eyes. "It's for you," she said, and handed over the receiver.
I was in a robe, four of my cousins were fiddling with my hair and the makeup wasn't on just yet.
Who was it, I asked? My mother answered, "It is Ralph."
Ralph -- and yes, the name is real -- used to call me all the time in hopes I'd go out with him. 
Never happened. But the calls came anyway, at a time when things like caller ID didn't exist.
"You busy?" he said. 
"Yes, Ralph, very," I countered, swatting off someone's hand holding a hairbrush.
"Just wanted to talk for a little bit."
"Ralph, I can't talk much now. I've got plans." More swatting. 
"Really? What?"
"Ralph, I'm getting married."
Dead silence at the other end of the phone.
"Married, married?" he snorted. 
"Married, Ralph."
"About two hours from now."
More dead silence. Then a deep breath. I was busy swatting at my cousin Mary, who can be really pushy with a hair brush.
"So I guess you are busy tonight."
"Yes, Ralph."
Dead silence at the other end of the phone, again.
"I guess I should let you go," he said. 
"Yep. Sorry, Ralph."
He hung up. My mother gave me a funny look and all of the people in my house started to guffaw.
Amen, and pass the bridal bouquet.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Personal Watermelons at $3.99.

That was the signage at my local market recently, posted neatly above a stack of cantaloupes that were actually posing as watermelons.

No, really -- these things were puny, albeit terribly cute as fruit goes, nestled neatly in a tiny box right next to oranges which comparatively speaking were huge. 

The sign left me scratching my own head/melon. A "personal" melon? Really? As opposed to what, an "impersonal" one? Was this an editorial statement on the philosophical nature of the actual fruit?

And if not, why didn't they simply call it a Mini-Melon and be done with it?

But then again I've not been terribly impressed by the caliber of many people I've encountered who work in supermarkets lately. High school aged workers stare at produce and are stumped by much of it -- one kid stared at a bunch of asparagus so long that his manager came over and just identified it for him, with a curt apology to me.

So when I happened upon this other sign at the same grocery store just a couple days later, I was at a loss for words.

The sign was hawking "Canadian Strawberries" which according to the yodel that created the poster, "Taste Just Like Native Strawberries." 

Huh? I mean, look at the photograph. The "Canadian" berries are red enough, plump enough and certainly pretty enough -- why would they taste any different than those found in the US?

Does the word nincompoop fit here?

Amen, and pass the apologies to all Canadians.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I am trying to sleep now, but I'm having problems doing so because some braniac decided it might be a good time to accomplish some road work right outside my bedroom window.

Here's a picture.

See that giant truck, and that other piece of heavy equipment right in front of it?

Those two things are right now, and I mean right now at 3:20 AM doing some really, really, really loud road work about 100 feet from where I am writing at the moment.

And I am writing because I cannot sleep thanks to the incredible din that these things are causing right outside my window, and yes, they are closed.

What's going on here? A portion of the street in the down town section of my home town needs to be worked on and after months and months and months of buildup, this very very late (or early depending on your perspective) hour of the morning is when some idiot decided would be a really, really good time to do the work.

Here is another photo just in case you are not getting the full scope of the noise factor. 

Do I say now it's 3:36 AM?

And do I say now that I vow to vote out each and every single town representative who had some inkling that this was going to happen come the election in November?

Amen, and pass the ear plugs.

Friday, August 3, 2012


As many others did tonight, I watched the Olympics hoping to catch Michael Phelps do what I had already read earlier in the day -- win that final gold medal. 

I was enjoying myself immensely when the commentator -- Bob Costas -- made me start thinking that maybe the time has come to send Bob Costas to the Anne Curry Place For Tired Anchor People. 

The scenario: Phelps is getting on podium after his huge win, grinning widely and mugging for the camera as of course he should be doing. In the middle of all this, as Phelps raises his arms once again to the crowd, Bob Costas muses whether or not Phelps was as perfect as he was in Beijing. 

That jarred me nearly straight out of my couch.


I'd say he is even more perfect than he was in Beijing, you ninny.

It's not as if Costas has achieved any sort of perfection on his own in quite some time, if at all, for crying out loud. 

But then again, neither has NBC during this particular Olympic session -- the peacock network is looking a bit peaked, a far cry from the Must See TV days when all it touched was gold.

Fool's gold is more likely what Bob deserved tonight.  Step aside, dude, there's got to be someone else out there who has something new to say.

Amen, and pass the remote control.