Archive | May, 2009

So Damn Lucky to Have Been There

31 May

Where to start about night two of Dave Matthews Band’s two-night homestand at Fenway Park?

After all, there’s, ahem, so much to say.

For one thing, my seat was a vast improvement over the one I had Friday night. There’s just no comparison between sitting in the Grandstand (where I was Friday) and sitting on the field (where I was last night).

As Dave sings in one of my favorites of his songs, “Everything’s different … just like that.” The sound quality on the field is clearer, louder, sharper, crisper, and better — as is the view, of course.

Also, the audience is much more engaged with the show. They’re also older and less inclined to smoke up (at least that was the case with those around me).

And that all added up to a much better experience for me. It was like I had been to two completely different shows. Continue reading

In Craig I Trust

30 May

Like Anne Frank, I, too, believe that “Despite everything … people are really good at heart.” So this morning, when I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to log onto LiveNation.com and try to buy a better ticket to tonight’s Dave Matthews Band concert at Fenway Park than the one I already had (yes, I realize that’s a pretty silly thing to do), I knew that my next course of action would be to post that I had an extra ticket for sale on Craigslist. Lo and behold, I got lucky and found a seat right on the field, so I posted my ad on Craigslist, noting that I was only looking for face value so I could get my money back. Within minutes I had a few replies, and over the course of a couple emails, I deduced that the person who had been first to get back to me was for real, so I agreed to meet her at Fenway at noon to make the transaction.

Not surprisingly, there were already folks at Fenway looking to buy/sell tickets, and as soon as one of them realized I was there to sell a ticket, he tried to take it off my hands, and with a small profit for me too. Well, I’m a man of my word, so I said no thanks — I was already meeting someone and had agreed to sell it to her. Then, at 12, I got a text message that my buyer was stuck in traffic and that she would be a little late. No problem, I thought. I’ll give her a couple extra minutes to get there.

Alright, backtrack here to about a month ago when I had an extra ticket on the day of Bruce Springsteen’s second show. On my way into Boston to sell the ticket to someone I had “met” on Craigslist, I got stuck in traffic on 128, the Pike, and Storrow Dr., and ended up losing the sale because the guy ended up buying from someone else when I was late. So now the roles were sort of reversed, and I had a dilemma. Sure, it would have been much easier to sell the ticket to the guy on the street and make a profit in the process, but I decided I would do the right thing and wait for my person to get there. Worse comes to worse, I had a plan B hovering over me, waiting for things to fall through. And even though she, too, would have had this same plan B, it just wouldn’t have been cool to make her pay more if she was an actual fan.

As the time ticked away, and I would get texts that my buyer was getting closer, I started to waiver and considered selling the ticket at the higher price and just walking away. So I was relieved when, at 12:45, the woman finally showed up and was a real fan who was appreciative that I had been so patient and waited for her all that time. As promised, I sold the ticket to her at face value and we parted ways. (Alright, fine. She gave me a couple extra bucks for making me wait. But I’d say I’d earned those, wouldn’t you?)

Call me a sucker if you will, or call me naive or stupid, but despite all the negative press Craigslist has received in recent months, I continue to believe in it and use it, and do so honestly, with good intentions. You can be skeptical, but I think it’s nice to see that there are other people out there who are like me and do the same.

(BTW, those pictures up there? Not me, and not the scalper I was dealing with.)

I Love the Way He Moves Me

30 May

In the summer of 2003, I saw Bruce Springsteen at Fenway Park.

The next night, I saw Dave Matthews Band at what was then called the Tweeter Center.

Suffice it to say, the DMB show paled in comparison and I decided to take a break from what was, at the time, an annual summer tradition of seeing the band live.

Six years later, DMB are back in town to play a two-night stand at Fenway (their last time there was in 2006), and after attending last night’s first show, I can say that absence sure did make the heart grow fonder. Continue reading

Who’s That Girl?

26 May

In The Girlfriend Experience, director Steven Soderbergh explores the illusion of human connection.

The porn star Sasha Grey stars as Christine, a high-priced escort, who is so skilled that she charges $2,000 an hour. Christine treats what she does like a business, staying detached from her clients, obsessing about increasing the SEO of her website, and always looking for ways to expand her livelihood (including seeking the advice of a character named “Sugar,” played by an old college chum of mine).

Christine’s clients go to her because she’ll listen to their problems and won’t judge. She’s like a therapist, only more fun.

Oh, and of course, she’s beautiful — in her designer Michael Kors dresses and sunglasses, she looks like a sexier, younger Audrey Hepburn.

But for obvious reasons, Christine keeps her clients at a safe emotional distance. They don’t know much about her beyond what’s on the surface. They don’t even know that her real name is Christine — they think it’s Chelsea — and that’s how she likes it.

After all, wouldn’t the fact that Christine has a serious boyfriend, for example, spoil some of the mystery?

If these clients wanted to know the “real” Christine, they wouldn’t be paying her. Continue reading

Same People, Different Week

24 May

I was going to post something here about the people who are always in the Chestnut Hill Finagle a Bagel on Saturdays and Sundays for lunch, and how amusing it is that like clockwork, you can always count on seeing them. Because it’s true: There are a handful of people who are always there midday on the weekends. And I might have made fun of these people’s quirks or remarked about the endearing qualities of one particular couple, or commented on how these customers know the folks behind the counter so well. And then it occurred to me … The only reason I know who goes to Finagle at the same time every week is because I go to Finagle at the same time every week. How lame is that? Jeeeez. I’ve really gotta find a new lunch place.

Spacey

24 May

I went to the Wrentham Outlets yesterday to do some summer clothes shopping, and while it was a pain in the arse finding a parking spot, it was totally worth it. There were great deals all over, and I gave my credit card a good workout buying new pants, shirts, shoes, and other stuff. But parking was a challenge and it reminded me of two long-held thoughts I’ve had about parking lots:

1. I’m all for dog-eat-dog competitions in some instances, but come on … if I’ve been sitting idly at the end of one aisle waiting for a spot to open up, and then one does and I go to get it, another person shouldn’t have the right to come around the corner and steal it from me just because he got there “first.” Doesn’t patience count for anything in a crowded parking lot? I know not everyone is as patient as I can be (when I want to be), but maybe there should be a first come, first served rule that would mandate everyone wait their turn before they can have a parking spot.

2. One of the never-gets-old amusements of parking lots is people who lose their cars. Sure, it’s no fun when you’re following them to their spot and then you realize they don’t know where it is, but it is funny when you see people walk out to the lot carrying all kinds of bags and then walk up and down various aisles looking for their car with absolutely clueless looks on their faces. Someone should invent a Lojack-like device that works with cell phones or something, that will alert you to where you’ve parked. You know, like in a “you’re getting warmer/colder” kind of way. Until then, I’m always going to laugh at these people.

Oh, To Be David Letterman

24 May

As the ZZ Top song goes, “She’s got legs … she knows how to bruise them.” (Or something like that.)

Jennifer Garner was on The Late Show recently, and David Letterman got the chance to play doctor for her. Suffice it to say, he made me really jealous. 🙂 Watch for yourself.

http://www.cbs.com/e/CwGhXfH7nckEBOgDFS3T2OgSMU9IMw8Y/cbs/2/

Sweeter on Sweet

22 May

It took three or four loops around Harvard Square Thursday night before I finally found a parking spot, and I must not have been paying any attention to where I was driving. I was there to have dinner at Border Cafe with Amy, Amy’s mom, and AmyMac, and as good as the margaritas were (especially on such a hot day), you can only imagine how excited I was when AmyMac mentioned that a new cupcake place had opened in the Square. What was funny is that I had driven right by it those four times and didn’t even notice. How could I have been so blind?

Well anyway, this was no “new” cupcake place. It was a new, second location for Sweet, the Back Bay store that didn’t really blow me away when I tried it last year. And I have to say, I don’t know if it was the company I was with or the cake itself, but I certainly enjoyed my Sweet Cake with chocolate buttercream frosting more last night than the one I had exactly one year ago today. There was a very strong vanilla flavor, the icing was, well, sweet, and while the cupcake was small, it was definitely an ideal size given how full I was from dinner.

What I also missed while driving around: Tory Row had opened in the space formerly occupied by the Greenhouse. Next time I’m driving around Harvard Square looking for parking, I’m going to have to be better about looking around and seeing where I am. I can only imagine what other tasty treats I may have missed.

Back in the Swing of Things

21 May

Last week some coworkers grabbed me on their way out the door and invited me to join them at a local driving range.

Now it’s a weekly thing, and I’m happy to say that my golf clubs are officially out of storage.

Part of the appeal of buying my condo was its proximity to a public golf course, but I’ve lived here for more than a year and I’ve never taken advantage of it.

Now I don’t feel as bad about that because I work a short distance from another course and I’m taking good advantage of that one.

Continue reading

Feeling Glee-ful

21 May

Did you watch the pilot episode of Glee on Tuesday night? No? Well do not wait another minute: Sit at your computer and watch it right now, right here. It’s funny, the music’s great, and I really liked it. There’s an instant-classic peppy cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” at the 28:30 mark that’s worth watching. And let me just say that Lea Michele, the adorable actress who plays Rachel Berry, sure can sing (fast-forward to the 40-minute mark for proof of that). Alright, stop reading, click “play,” and enjoy!
http://www.hulu.com/embed/Fq-gwzQizV6MdAgIlglF1Q