Archive | April, 2008

I Scream for Cheap Ice Cream

30 Apr

Hey everyone. Somehow, and I can’t quite explain it, but I totally missed yesterday’s free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream day. Today I won’t make the same mistake. It’s 31-cent scoop night at Baskin Robbins. From 5pm to 10pm, head on over to your local scoop shop and pick up a cheap serving of Mint Chocolate Chip or whatever your favorite flavor is. And tell ’em Martin sent you — maybe they’ll throw on some sprinkles or something. (Or, more likely, they’ll just give you a free spoon. Think of it as my gift to you. You’re welcome.)

Something Borrowed, Something Blew

29 Apr

The mild and easygoing Made of Honor is certainly entertaining enough. But don’t get any ideas: This is no My Best Friend’s Wedding Lite. Sure, it’s basically the same story in reverse — a guy realizes he’s in love with his best friend just as she’s about to get married to someone else, and he tries to break up the wedding — but it’s not as good. Not that it doesn’t have its charms. Patrick Dempsey makes an appealing lead, and he and Michelle Monaghan have good chemistry. But too many of the plot points feel tired, and overall, the film feels longer than its 97-minute running time. So I’ll give Made an average grade of C. Not terrible, not great. But not worth paying admission to see.

Just What I Need: More Junk

28 Apr

The funny thing about moving into a new place is that people all of a sudden want to give you stuff. No, I’m not talking about the housewarming gifts I’ve received from family and friends. I’m talking about the endless stream of junk mail that’s arrived in my mailbox ever since I first put my key in the door a month ago. Within days of activating my mail, I was receiving “welcome to to your new home!” mailings from the U.S. Postal Service, Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel, Whole Foods, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Welcome Wagon, Welcome Neighbor U.S.A., and other companies and organizations filled with coupons and other special offers and tchotchkeys (like a magnetic message board) just for moving to a new condo and being a homeowner. And that doesn’t include the endless mortgage protection mailings I’ve been sent, informing me about what will happen to my mortgage should something tragic happen to me, or the postcards telling me about blinds and drapes specialists or gardening companies or other servicefolk who offer things I don’t need.

Don’t get me wrong: I like getting mail. I may subscribe to a lot of magazines, but other than that, my mail is generally just bills. Still, I assumed that one of the benefits of moving to a brand new place (not just for me, but completely brand new) was that I wouldn’t be on any pre-existing mailing lists and thus, I’d be safe from the catalogs and other direct-mail stuff I got at my old place. No dice. I suppose when I was signing all those forms at the closing, one of them must have read “Please add me to all the mailing lists that exist for residents of Newton.” That’ll teach me to read what I sign.

It’s nice that people want to give me stuff, even if it is coupons and discounts for things I don’t really need. But if these companies really wanted to earn a new customer, they’d give me something I actually want, like a high definition TV. Oh, how I wish that would fit in my mailbox. Oh well.

High Times

26 Apr

How much do you really need me to tell you about Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay?

If you liked the first film, you’ll like this one too.

It’s got laughs, racial humor, an obvious but still amusing scene where George Bush gets high, and lots of jokes about the U.S. overdoing the post-9/11 security.

Oh, and yes, it’s also got Neil Patrick Harris back again, tweaking his image in hysterical fashion.

I don’t think Guantanamo as good as I remember White Castle being, but it’s certainly enjoyable. And that’s probably all you really need to know.

I’m giving the movie a B.

Goodbye, Superstar

23 Apr

I’ve always known American Idol was a total crock, but tonight, with the premature ouster of Carly Smithson, the show proved again that the voters clearly don’t recognize talent. This video below is of Carly’s performance last night of “Superstar,” from Jesus Christ Superstar (it was Andrew Lloyd Webber night), and damn if it wasn’t one of the top 3 of the night (another being Syesha Mercado‘s performance of “One Rock & Roll Too Many”). Brooke White and/or Jason Castro definitely should have been in the bottom two, and one of them should have gone home. Sigh … Oh well. Goodbye, Carly. Best of luck to you.

Go, Speed Racers, Go!

21 Apr

Living right on the marathon route has its disadvantages.

Knowing that Comm Ave would be closed at 9 a.m. today meant I had to leave New York — where I was for Passover — by 6 a.m.

Thankfully, at that hour, there’s not much traffic, so I got home around 8:30. Continue reading

Back to Books

18 Apr

The nice thing about having a longer commute is that I get a lot more time to read now than I had when I took the C line from Coolidge Corner. In fact, I get almost double the time. It means I can plow through the latest issues of Entertainment Weekly in a day, for example. But then it leaves me with all sorts of time to fill. So, I’ve gotten back on the book-reading train. Perhaps you’ll be amused to know that while I dove right in to A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically last summer, I hadn’t read much of it since the end of October. Well, now, nearly six months later, I’ve finally finished the book. Yeah, it sure did take me long enough. But now I’m wondering what I’ll read next. Thankfully, I have a cleaned-up bookshelf full of options. Perhaps I’ll go back to Honeymoon with My Brother. Maybe I’ll finally read Tom Perotta’s Little Children. Or maybe it’s finally — finally! — time for me to read Faithful, Stephen King and Stewart O’Nan’s document of the 2004 Red Sox season. Something tells me I’ll leave those on the shelf and instead pick up a fun little collection called Things I’ve Learned from the Women Who’ve Dumped Me. That might be just the book I need to ease me back into this habit.

I’m Just Saying …

17 Apr

Getting off the T at Park Street/Downtown Crossing is so much nicer when there’s not a Boston Now hawker waiting for you at the top of the stairs. It’s a small thing, yes, but it makes the morning commute a little more pleasant.

Kids Ask the Darndest Things

16 Apr

B Not So Bad

14 Apr

You know, people (myself included) give the B line a bad rap. But now that I’ve taken it to and from work for a week, I have to admit: I’m changing how I feel about this dreaded line of the MBTA. Sure, maybe it’s because I get on at the very beginning, way out at Boston College, and I get a seat every day (actually, I’ve gotten the exact same seat every day). But the fact is, I get on the train at 8 a.m., get out a magazine, and less than 45 minutes later I’m at Park Street. Total time, door-to-door: less than an hour. Of course, this changes if I’m out at 8:10, and it means the train ride takes closer to an hour. But the fact is, for me, the ride is a smooth and enjoyable one. Not getting on somewhere further on down the line means I don’t have to squeeze in and find room to stand. I’m actually quite comfortable, and I don’t even notice how crowded the train is or where we are until we’re somewhere around Packard’s Corner. Heck, I didn’t even notice all week that the block I used to live on (around 1322 Comm Ave) is now totally different. I know some stops have been eliminated in the first half of the route over the past few years, and I’m telling you: this train moves a lot faster than it did when I last took it regularly, in 2001. A lot. The weirdest part of the whole thing is that now I get to work much (for me, at least) earlier than when I used to live closer to the office. It’s a little disorienting. And I also know that if I’m on the way home and a B train comes that’s too crowded, all I have to do is take a D line train and transfer at Reservoir/Chestnut Hill Ave. It’s just that simple.

The commute was my biggest concern about buying a condo so far out of the city, but so far, it’s a non-issue for me. So, at least for now, you won’t hear me complaining about the T. Nice.

%d bloggers like this: