Monday, July 31, 2006

Mel Gibson is a crazed anti-Semite, blah blah blah

Not meaning to beat a dead horse or anything, but if you haven't read the transcript from Mel Gibson's DUI, here it is.

Two words: sugar tits.

Weekend Report

Friday- Went to dinner with my parents, then went over Kim and Mike's, where I watched the season finale of The Office (hooray for Tivo) and a few of the webisodes.

Saturday- Played in a all-day soccer tournament in the blazing heat. Unfortunately, my team did not fare very well, but we had a good time nonetheless. Afterwards, we went out for beers and food, and later on hit the tournament party at Lir. Throughout the tournament, they videotape the games and then play a highlight reel during the party. Since I knew the guy videotaping, there was a lot of footage of me, including a close up of me misjudging a high ball and totally missing a header. I hate seeing myself on video- I'd much prefer to go through life unaware of my slouching problem and general awkwardness. This time wasn't quite as embarrassing as the time my neck fat appeared in a closeup on the jumbotron at Celtics game:

Oh, look, the camera is totally zoomed in on someone's neck fat. How awful! (camera pans out a little bit) Jeez, it's still up there. (camera pans out a little more and I notice that the neck fat belongs to someone wearing the same green jersey that I have on) Uh oh. (camera pans out a little more and oh yes, it's me up there) Nooooooooo!

Sunday- Acted like a good worker bee and spent all day in the lab. I did talk one of my coworkers into going out to lunch with me at Victoria's Diner; my bus passes by there every day and I've always been curious about it. It was a fairly standard diner, catering towards old people and workers from the surrounding warehouse district. I ate a roast turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce sandwich (yum!) but I'll have to try it again in the morning; breakfast seems to be the specialty.
Sunday night, I did another thing I've always wanted to do- I went to see Shakespeare on the Common, a free production on Boston Common that takes place every evening during the summer. This year's play is The Taming of the Shrew, and I really enjoyed the production. The slight modernization and Italian-Americanization (okay, I made that word up) of the plot kept things light and audience-friendly, but the adaptations did not stray too far from the bard's original work. The success of the play hinges on the performance of Petruchio, who must "tame" the shrew without coming across as a chauvinist pig, and lead actor Darren Pettie excels at this task. I'm glad I finally took advantage of the annual free summer Shakespeare production and would recommend it to other city-dwellers.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Why I love the Onion

Sparrow Aviation Administration Blames Collision On Failure To Detect Pane Of Glass: Mysterious Phenomenon Kills Millions Each Year

I especially love the pictures that go along with the article.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

New cooking blog

Meg has a new blog, Meg's Way. It's all about cooking, with recipes, tips, and more. I've eaten many of Meg's delicacies (she makes a mean snickerdoodle) and I'm looking forward to trying out some of her recipes, once I get off my beer and hot dog kick.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not quite The Answer

The Celtics signed undrafted rookie Kevin Pittsnogle, a center from West Virginia. He might not be half bad. And there's no way he can be worse than Scalabrine.

Musta got lost

Which makes me a bigger dork: the fact that I was genuinely thrilled to spot Peter Wolf in Copley last night, or the fact that I was really excited to write about it on my blog this morning?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Book reviews

I read two books last week, and these reviews contain spoilers (but not major ones), so be warned.

1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards, is a novel whose entire plot is hinged upon one moment. In 1964, a set of twins are born with only three people in the room: the doctor and father, the wife and mother, who is unconscious, and the nurse. The baby boy is born healthy, but the doctor quickly recognizes the signs of Downs Syndrome in the baby girl. He hands her off to the nurse and gives her the address of a home to take the baby to, and when his wife regains consciousness, he tells her that the baby girl was born dead. Nowadays, such an action seems unbelievably cruel, but, in those times, this attitude towards Downs Syndrome were more common, and the doctor believed he was doing what was "best for everyone." Instead of following the doctor's orders, the nurse takes the baby girl, moves out of town, and raises her as her own daughter. The story follows the two families over the passing decades, and one sees how the outcome of the doctor's decision destroys one life and rejuvenates another.

2. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, is the story of Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, three English children who grow up in an elite private school. Right away, the reader realizes that something deeper and more sinister is going on. They are not normal children, but clones created to serve as organ donors once they reach adulthood. Their lives are planned out for them- they will become "carers" until they begin their "donations," and after four donations, they "complete." Their true fates are never openly discussed, and instead the Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy grow up with a heartbreaking innocence. Once I figured out the whole cloning business, the plot felt a little bit like a one-trick pony and reminded me of the movie The Island, but the writing style, depth, and interaction among the characters was enough to keep me interested. Kathy, the narrator, is a keen observer of others, and always looking for the deeper meanings behind the words and actions of her friends, especially Ruth. I was impressed by how accurately the male author captures the tenuous, intense, and competitive friendships many girls have during their early teenage years. The one unanswered question the book left me with is why they accept their fate instead of trying to escape it or fight it.

I enjoyed both of these books but didn't particularly love either one of them. 7 out of 10 for both on the Eileen scale.

I just can't take it anymore

You guys, there's a bearded lady who rides my bus. A frickin BEARDED LADY. Every morning. I'm talking a foot-long, wispy, white Pai Mei beard. I try not to stare but end up concentrating so hard on not looking that my not looking is just as blatant and rude as staring would be. I cringe at the though of her sitting next to me. I'm sure the poor woman suffers from some sort of endocrine disorder or something, and I should feel sorry for her, and I do, but seriously, lady, trim that shit!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Weekend Report: NYC

I went to New York City this weekend for the second annual Girls' Trip with three friends from Framingham.

Thursday- I headed in a day early to catch up with college friends Amanda, Liz, and Beth. We met up at Amanda's apartment in the financial district, then went out for food and drinks on South St. Here we are looking very happy:

- Convened with Yuki, Kim, and Tejal, and we checked into our hotel and went for a walk around Central Park. After that, we saw Bodies...the Exhibition, an exhibit on human anatomy using preserved cadavers and organs. I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who isn't an M.D. or particularity squeamish. Our afternoon took a turn for the worse when we got trapped in a rainstorm, couldn't catch a cab, and ended up stuck on a boiling hot subway car due to a medical emergency in the train ahead of us. I'll never complain about the MBTA again...for all its glitches, it runs much more smoothly (and coolly)than the NYC metro. When we finally got out of the station, we were so exasperated that we sat down to eat in the first restaurant we came upon, a really crappy Mexican place in the Village. Back at the hotel, we lounged around watching T.V. and chatting. We tried to extract government secrets from Yuki (she designs nuclear weapons), but she stonewalled us, even denying offers like "If Kim tells you the name of her baby, will you tell us a government secret?" I wasn't feeling well and took a Nyquil, which somehow caused me to make a weird squeaking noise while I was sleeping.

Me, after suddenly jerking awake: Was I just making a weird squeaking noise?
Everyone: Yes.

Saturday- We ate breakfast at Popover Cafe, then shopped for a little while in the Village. On Friday, we had purchased discount tickets to the Saturday matinee of The Producers, so we went to see that. I liked it, and had the catchy "Springtime for Hitler" stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Although it was funny, it wasn't as good as I had expected, considering that it won 12 Tony awards. Some parts seemed too cliche- the horny old ladies, the gorgeous Swede, etc... After the show, we walked around in another rainstorm and had dinner at a Greek tapas restaurant. We met up with my friend Jonny and had drinks at a couple of places on 9th Ave.

Sunday- We awoke to discover a giant street fair right in front of our hotel. Oh joy, oh rapture! Blocks and blocks of cheap jewelry, purses, scarves, and other goodies! I bought a bunch of $2 necklaces and a pair of shoes.
We then headed to Chinatown for Dim Sum, which I had incorrectly believed involved a boiling pot of broth that you dip raw meat and vegetables into it. What I was imagining is called Hot Pot, and it's Japanese, whereas Dim Sum is Chinese and involves people pushing carts of food around the room and when you point at things, they put them on your table. Luckily we had Kim with us to identify the items, because the ladies pushing the food around were difficult to understand. I liked the pork buns and the sticky rice the best. After chowing down for a while, we left, and I caught the Chinatown bus back to Boston. Overall, it was a great weekend catching up with friends and enjoying New York.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Best day of the week

Thursdays have always been my favorite day of the week. I enjoy the anticipation of the weekend almost more than the weekend itself. Today is an especially good Thursday, because I'm leaving for New York City this afternoon on the Fung Wah- $15 each way, you can't beat it, even if the busses occasionally catch fire. Ern and I overheard an old man talking about the Chinatown bus the other day, he said "When you get on, they give you a fortune cookie. It says: I hope we make it to Hartford."

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Betty La Fea

Okay, this little news tidbit will probably be of interest only to my Peace Corps friends and anyone who routinely watches Latin American television. Several years ago, one telenovela captivated millions of viewers. The power of the novela is difficult to imagine unless one has witnessed it. Picture a country, with only one television station, that shows one show, every weeknight, from 8 to 9 P.M. Now imagine that every single person in that country watches said show; those with no electricity hook television sets up to car batteries, and those with no televisions watch the program at the neighbor's. Now multiply that country by every single country in Latin America. And keep in mind that there is no gender bias when it comes to the novelas, even the toughest, machete-wielding farmer tunes in. And the best part? These telenovelas only run for a few months, so interest never wanes before the finale. The most popular telenovela in history was Betty La Fea, a Colombian series about an ugly girl trying to make her way in the fashion industry. And guess what? ABC is doing an English version of the show, called Ugly Betty, this fall. It's produced by Salma Hayek. Even if it bombs in the U.S., I will be watching.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chappelle Show's Greatest Hits

Okay, I realize that the Chappelle show is so three years ago and was overquoted by white frat boys to the point of annoyance, but it's still pretty darn funny. In case you missed it, here are the 11 Best Episodes.
My favorites are:
The Wayne Brady skit (#4)- During the previous season, the show mocked the "Whose Line is it Anyways?" comedian: "White people love Wayne Brady because he makes Bryant Gumbel look like Malcolm X." In this clip, evil Wayne Brady takes Dave for a night on the town. Best part? When he kills that cop.
The Prince skit (#1)- Prince and the Revolution take on Charlie and Eddie Murphy's pals in a game of hoops.

Big Dig

Most of you have probably heard about the woman who was killed when a concrete ceiling tile (ummm...I think there's a reason why ceilings aren't normally made of concrete) fell and killed a woman in one of Boston's new Big Dig tunnels.

Well, today, the Big Dig is the topic of my favorite part of The Onion, American Voices.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Who knew the Finns were so unhappy?

This video by The Complaints Choir of Helsinki is one of my new favorite things.

Idiots don't know which side to stand on escalators. The employment agency only needs Java programmers. Our ancestors could have picked a sunnier place to be.

I love it!

via I'm just sayin

The Nerdiest Guy on Earth

I am certainly no fashion diva, and was looking worse for the wear when I hopped on the T after my soccer game in the blazing heat. I was wearing my neon green "E. coli Happens" t-shirt and suffering from a visible case of buttsweat. However, the Nerdiest Guy on Earth stepped on the train and stole my thunder.

Fanny pack? Check.
Enormous backpack with wheels? Check.
Foam earplugs? Check.
Not one, but two huge Computer Programming textbooks which he proceeded to take out and study? Check.
An old-school, big, pink eraser? Check.

Alone, everything except the fanny pack and the foam earplugs could have been overlooked, but the combination was deadly. The worst part is that the guy was in his mid-thirties and clearly should have known better. That level of dorkiness can only be excused in teenagers and the elderly.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How's the weather up there?

Check out The Tallest Men And Women Who Lived On Earth. I like how the title clarifies "on Earth." I mean, where else would really tall people live? Neptune?

via Gorilla Mask

Weekend Report

Friday- Went out for a beer after work, which turned into several beers on an empty stomach, which resulted in me A. stopping by the workplace of a guy I have a crush on (he wasn't there, thank goodness), B. befriending some African man on the T and giving him my phone number after professing my love for Zindine Zidane, and C. getting completely lost in Jamaica Plain and showing up two hours late to the cookout I was going to. All in all, a pretty typical evening.

Saturday- I went down to Rhode Island to visit my friend Colann. She picked me up at the train station and we ended up going to a scooter rally. What's a scooter rally, you ask? Well, it's like a bike rally, with Vespas instead of Harleys. I had no idea of the extent of the scooter underworld until we arrived on the scene: hundreds of people (mostly tattooed punk types), camped out in a field, all with scooters. Colann participated in one event, in which a one person sits in a plastic sled attached to a scooter with a rope, and whomever gets pulled the farthest wins. Here are some pictures:

In case you're wondering what's going on in this one, yes, that is Colann and I sitting in a tractor in front of a large bonfire. Later on, we attempted to take the tractor for a joyride, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view) the battery was dead.

Sunday- My wanton ways finally caught up to me and I woke up with a nasty cold- sneezing, coughing, and cloudy-headed. I went back to Boston and lounged around in front of the air conditioner, loading up on Vitamin C. Boooo.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Here come the Irish

There are very high hopes for ND football this fall. Here's's team preview and an article about Weis's impact on the program. ND opens on the road against Georgie Tech on Sept. 2, but the game I'm eagerly awaiting is their home opener against Penn St. on Sept. 9. I've always liked the Nittany Lions (although I have no idea what Nittany means) and Joe Pa, so it should be a great matchup.

In other sporting news, Bruce Arena is out as the U.S. national soccer coach. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Juergen Klinsmann, who did so well with the German team, will take the job. He's married to an American and lives in California, so it is a possibility.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Horror stories, laboratory style

The other day I received a junk email that said "Have you checked your cells today?" in the subject line. Something about it struck me as... ominous. It reminded me of one of those horror/ghost stories we used tell to scare each other when we were kids, the one with the babysitter who answers the phone and a strange voice says "Have you checked the children?" then she checks them and they're dead or something, I can't remember how it ended. They recently made a movie about it, When A Stranger Calls, which is actually a remake of a 1979 film of the same name. Apparently the original film is what spawned the ghost story used to scare legions of pre-teen girls during sleepover parties. Other scary tales included the one about the teenage couple in their car who hear a warning on the radio about a man with a hook who escaped from prison, and I bet you know what happens next. Cut to dead girlfriend and hook hanging on the side of the car. There was another story we used to tell about Wheelchair Mary, but I don't recall the details. There also existed an entire camp genre of ghost stories- the Indian women whose son got pushed of the cliff and her ghost haunts this very campsite and can be heard scratching on the tent walls at night, the girl who killed the other campers with a fork and sucked their blood, etc.
Anyways, now I'm rambling (too much iced coffee this morning), but for the record, I did check my cells and they were fine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

British Invasion

Rumor has it that cast members of the British version of The Office will be appearing on the U.S. version of the show in the upcoming season. I'm hoping for some sort of Gareth-Dwight office rivalry.

via GitM

Viva Colombia!

Yesterday, I purchased a ticket for Colombia. I'm meeting Carolina down there right after Christmas and staying for a couple of weeks. Wooohooo! (You know how I'm always broke and complaining that grad school takes forever? Well, this is why.) I've been feeling the wanderlust lately, and I'm hoping that this trip will curb my occasional urges to drop out of grad school and move to Venice and work in a hotel.
I'll have to brush up on my Spanish, which is still passable but has atrophied significantly over the past couple of years. I was still able to book my flight over the phone in Spanish, though.

p.s. RT, Australia will be my next big trip, I promise.
p.p.s. Although I am going to Medellin, try to refrain from the drug cartel jokes. They don't go over so well with the Colombians.

Zizou apologizes, sort of

During an interview with a French TV station, Zinedine Zidane did not reveal exactly what Marco Materazzi said to him to provoke the headbutt, but he said that it was an insult to his mother and sister (read translated transcript here).

For a more complete, and very interesting, profile of Zidane the man, check out this article written in 2004:

Zidane's occasional violence may well be a product of this internal conflict: the French-Algerian who is for ever suspended between cultures. But it is equally likely that, although in public he presents a serene and smiling face, he is underneath it all every bit the same hard nut he had to be to survive the mean streets of La Castellane. 'Nobody knows if Zidane is an angel or demon,' says the rock singer Jean-Louis Murat, who is himself a fan of the player. 'He smiles like Saint Teresa and grimaces like a serial killer.'

And here's an email one of my coworkers sent that sums up how most soccer fans (except Italian ones) feel about The Headbutt:

On the one hand, Zidane lost his self-control, sold out his teammates, besmirched his legacy, reversed the game's momentum, ruined France's positive karma, destroyed a nation's hope for a World Cup, detracted from the French team's larger symbolism as a force against racism, broadened the cultural divide in an ethnically torn country, and sullied the reputation of the world's most popular sport.

On the other hand, he dropped that Italian guy like a bitch.

P.S. Don't worry, Roger, despite my recent obsession with Zidane I haven't forgotten about you. Congratulations on winning your fourth Wimbledon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Michael Bolton is following me

Has anyone else noticed the recent outbreak of Michael Bolton posters plaguing Boston? Who is behind this vile campaign? He's everywhere. At the dry cleaner. At the nail salon. At the pizza place. Michael Bolton, leave me alone!

My new phone and Ron Jeremy

Two notable events occurred yesterday. The first is that I got a new cell phone- the Razr, because I'm trendy like that. I've heard that they lose their charge very quickly, so I'll post an update on that later on in case anyone is interested in getting one.

The second is the discovery that one of my professors was friends with Ron Jeremy. Yes, that Ron Jeremy. Our department has a softball team, and after our game we went out for drinks. I don't remember exactly how it came up, but one of the faculty members told us that he and Ron Jeremy grew up in the same neighborhood in NYC. They once got into a pencil fight during Hebrew school (dirty!) and Ron Jeremy stabbed him, and he still has a bit of pencil lead embedded in his arm from the incident. Apparently they made amends, because Ron Jeremy attended his bar mitzvah. And no, they didn't know anything about Ron's..ahem...talents until after high school.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Madonna in concert

My friend Colann won two tickets off the radio to Madonna's show last night, and she was sick, so my roommate Ern and I ended up going. I've been a fan of Madonna's music for a long time but had never seen her in concert. Madonna has made a career out of danceable music, pushing the envelope, and making a spectacle of herself, and the Confessions Tour is vintage Madonna. She mocked world leaders, she crucified herself on a giant disco cross, she dressed in leather and humped dancers and inanimate objects, and she danced her ass off for two straight hours. The majority of the songs were from the new album, but she did throw in Like a Virgin and La Isla Bonita, as well as Ray of Light (my personal favorite of the evening) and Music, which she performed in a white suit a la Saturday Night Fever. The only song I didn't like was "I Love New York," not because I have a Bostonian inferiority complex about the Big Apple, but because I think the song is lame: "I don't like cities, but I like New York, Other places make me feel like a dork" C'mon, Madge, you can do better than that.
Most of the crowd was on their feet dancing (and sweating....yeah, Madonna doesn't do AC) the entire time, except for a stodgy man in a suit sitting behind us. We became enemies after he tapped me on the shoulder to complain that my purse almost hit him while I was dancing to Ray of Light. Dude, these are $165 seats, and it's a Madonna concert. Have fun or go home!


Lisa and I went to Provincetown for the weekend. For those of you not from Massachusetts, P-town is located on the very tip of Cape Cod and is very, very gay. Gayer than Elijah Wood. P-town is also very fun- it offers both beautiful beaches and a wild and crazy nightlife, and we indulged in both. We hit the beach, the pool, watched the World Cup, explained that we weren't a lesbian couple, and drank some delicious pina coladas, and ended up dancing to Madonna in a fog machine amid a sea of shirtless men. One of the highlights was the drag queen show- hilarious! They did impersonations of Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson ("only in America can a poor, black boy grown up and become a rich, white woman"), and my personal favorite, Cher in the Turn Back Time leotard. Here are some photos of Lis and me, and old lady getting harassed by a drag queen, and possibly the shadiest "help wanted" sign I've ever seen:

It was fun while it lasted.

So, the World Cup is over. I am currently feeling symptoms of withdrawal. No more sneaking out of work to drink beers and watch soccer? No more discussing all of the games and the drama with friends and coworkers? No more watching hot, sweaty men exchange jerseys? This was the first time I've followed a World Cup from start to finish. Last time around, the 5AM and 6AM game times prevented me from watching a lot of it live, and back in 1998, I don't know what I was doing, but I wasn't watching World Cup. This time, I loved it all....USA's tie against Italy, France's masterful play against Brazil, Ronaldinho's smile, Rooney's nutstomp, Christiano Ronaldo's wink, the English inevitable chokejob in PK's, the diving Italians, crazed fans from all over the world, amazing goals, and Zizou, headbutt and all.

Here are some thoughts on the tournament:

-Like I mentioned before, FIFA needs to do something about all the diving. It's become too much a part of the game.

-I hope the US gets better. It's not necessarily the coach's fault, but I think Bruce Arena should have used more young talent instead of sticking with players like Landon Donovan. McBride, Keller, and Clint Dempsey were the only players who performed consistently well for the Americans. I'm guessing that Dempsey won't be playing for the Revolution for too much longer...I'm sure one of the top European clubs will be wanting to snap him up.

-Kudos to Mayor Menino for throwing a World Cup party and broadcasting the game in City Hall Plaza. "Boston is an international city," said Mumbles. "Nothing has illustrated that more than the excitement of the World Cup."

-Did you catch Bill Clinton in the audience? Coolest Former President Ever.

-As for the match itself, although I love Italians, I don't like their soccer team. I can't stand their whining, cheating, and diving tactics. I'll give them this, though: they do have a stellar defense (only 2 goals allowed through the entire world cup), and those tall forwards are deadly on corner kicks. Plus, they're fairly easy on the eyes, even if their D & G ads border on the homoerotic.

-I like France's coach, because he's just so very French, but I don't think he should have subbed for Henry or Ribery.

-The headbutt heard round the world. So, maybe the Italian deserved it after giving Zidane a titty twister and allegedly making some sort of racist remark about Zizou's Algerian heritage ("dirty terrorist" is the current rumor), but it was a bad thing to do. Not because it was "vicious" or "classless" (Don't you love how the broadcasters kissed Z's butt all game and did a complete 180 after the headbutt? It reminded me of Joe Buck freaking out when Randy Moss fake-mooned the crowd.) but because he let his teammates down. He KNEW it was a guaranteed red card and he did it anyways. He's the captain, and he missed the end of a World Cup final because he couldn't control his temper. So, yeah, it was stupid, and it sucks that it happened in his last game ever. Seriously, though, a headbutt? Ridiculous...yet 100% badass.

-Goodbye, World Cup, I'll miss you. See you in South Africa in 2010.

Friday, July 07, 2006

List #29...Worst Movies I Actually Paid Money to See in the Theater

I am not a very picky person. I like almost every person I meet, beer I drink, food I eat, and movie I watch. However, the things that I dislike, I dislike vehemently. They say hate is a strong word. Well, I hate these movies:

6. Joe vs. The Volcano. Even my thirteen year old self didn't think this movie was funny. The whole beginning part when they portray how dull, monotonous, and tedious Joe's life is pre-volcano was so dull, monotonous, and tedious that it ruined the entire movie.
5. Maid in Manhattan. Yes, I saw this in the theater. Willingly. I have no idea why.
4. All three of the new Star Wars movies. They all sucked. But the one with Jar Jar Binks sucked the most.
3. Blair Witch Project. I would have liked this movie a lot more if the painfully annoying girl had died first.
2. Diary of a Mad Black Woman. I ended up seeing this movie because Million Dollar Baby was sold out. I should have just gone home instead.

and the movie I hate most of all in the entire world....

1. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Utter and complete crap.

Happy weekend, everyone! I'm headed to P-town and then the Madonna concert on Monday night.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

My lucky day

I knew today was going to be a good day when I put on a pair of (dirty) jeans and found a five dollar bill in the pocket. Then, I found this video of the old Be Like Mike Gatorade commercial on YouTube. Love it! I don't even mind that the song will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day....Sometimes I dream, that he is me...
Then, my friend Colann emailed me to say she won two tickets to see Madonna on Monday night and asked if I wanted to go with her. Score!
Good things DO happen to bad people.

A tip for the gentlemen

Men, if you are starting to lose your hair, do yourself a favor, and buzz it! Trust me. It looks much better.


Not hot:

Can you believe Andre Aggasi used to look like that?

As an aside, congratulations to the hot, bald Zinedine Zidane and the rest of the French team on reaching the World Cup finals. I hope you crush those crybaby Italians.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Nicaraguan presidential candidate dies

This update will likely be of interest solely to my Peace Corps friends, but there's a lot of political shakeup going on in Nicaragua. Herty Lewites, the mayor of Managua, was expelled from the FSLN (the original Sandinista party) last spring after challenging the leadership of Daniel Ortega. Herty formed a new political party, the Movimiento de Renovación Sandinista, and several former FSLN party members joined him. From the article:

Lewites' political profile may originally have been that of a traditional FSLN militant engaged in the anti-Somoza struggle, but his rupture with Daniel Ortega and the latter's eternal presidential candidacy earned him respect among two distinct groups. Sandinistas anxious not to continue eternally losing with the same candidate turned to him, as did many disillusioned Nicaraguans who were seeking a real change from an old politics defined by a pitiful choice between two caudillos: Arnoldo Alemán and Daniel Ortega himself, partners in a dark political enterprise that has multiplied corruption, impoverished the country and weakened its institutions.

Lewites died of a heart attack last week, and with the presidential election just a few months away, it isn't clear if his party is going to choose a new candidate. I was living in Nicaragua during the last presidential election, and the country's political fervor blows America's out of the water. Since the country's economy hasn't improved much over the last five years, it's entirely possible that a leftist candidate will be voted back into office.

Weekend Report

Friday- While waiting for my friends Jeff and Heather to arrive from a long road trip from West Virginia, I decided to meet up with my friend Bob and one of his coworkers for drinks. The good news? Bob had won $500 on a scratch ticket, so we drank a zillion beers, leading to conversations like this one:

Bob: Hey, what was that 80s movie with the dead guy?
Eileen and Mark: Weekend At Bernie's!
Bob: No, not that one.
Eileen and Mark: Weekend at Bernie's II!
Bob: No! Oh, now I remember. Animal House.
Eileen: What? Animal House doesn't feature a corpse.
Bob: I meant John Belushi- he's dead.
Mark: Well, you shouldn't have phrased it "80s movie with a dead guy," because that is clearly Weekend at Bernie's.

Saturday- Jeff went on a fishing trip for the bachelor party, so Heather and I did the Boston tourist thing: Freedom trail, swan boats, Faneuil Hall, North End. We also watched France defeat Brazil, stopped by a barbecue at Sue and Phil's house, and did a mini Southie bar tour.

Sunday- My Peace Corps friends Jake and Gina got hitched. We had a great time at the wedding, and were on our best behavior until the reception ended, at which point I got yelled at for playing the piano and Jeff berated for climbing up on the sign in front of the restaurant in an attempt to rearrange the letters spelling "Congratulations Gina and Jake" into something more comical. We ended up partying back at the hotel with the happy couple and their crazy friends into the wee hours.

Monday- We went up to the Crane's beach on the North Shore with Jeff's cousin and her four daughters, three of whom are little, hyper, and hilarious. As soon as I walked into the house, they pounced and made me an offer I couldn't refuse:

"Hi! We have an albino hedgehog named Billy Idol and our dad dyed him blue with food coloring! Wanna see?"

After a few hours at the beach, we had dinner in Newburyport and then drove the strip in Hampton Beach, NH, so Jeff and Heather had both the high and lowbrow New England summer experience.

Tuesday- Watched more World Cup, and attended my niece Nora's 1st birthday party. Isn't she cute?