Friday, March 27, 2009

The Curious Case of the Lost Wallet

I lose my wallet ALL THE TIME. It's getting ridiculous. Here is a summary of wallet losing incidents that spans about twelve years.

1. Loon Mountain, NH. Lost in the snow during one of many spectacular wipeouts on the slopes. (Did I mention that I hate skiing?) Found and returned by fellow skiier.

2. South Bend, IN. Stolen at a bowling alley. Never recovered.

3. Boston, MA. Fell out of my bag as I was running to catch a green line trolley. Someone saw it fall and turned it in to a security guard.

4. Boston, MA. Dropped on a commuter rail train. Found and turned in to the conductor.

5. Philadelphia, PA. Pickpocketed at the Mummers parade on New Year's Day. Wallet never recovered but the driver's license was mailed back to me by the Philadelphia police.

6. Miami, FL. Dropped on South Beach in the midst of a mojito-fueled haze. A week later I received an envelope in the mail containing my license and a note saying "Hey I found this on the beach. Hope you had fun!" Other contents not found.

7. Boston, MA. Lost on #10 bus. Recovered and delivered by friendly MBTA bus driver.

8. Boston, MA. Lost on the #10 bus. (Yes, again.) Recovered and delivered by a helpful illegal immigrant from Guatemala.

9. Boston, MA. Dropped outside of the Broadway T stop. This happened on Wednesday night. I was starting to lose hope, but this morning, some dude named Jason called to say that he had found it. Hooray!

I really need to do something about this wallet losing problem, though. It's getting embarrassing, not to mention highly inconvenient! I think I'm going to stop carrying one. Or maybe get a slim one that holds only my license and an ATM card and fits in my pocket.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


It's been a long time since a movie trailer gave me chills:

Where The Wild Things Are is all over the web today and it looks, well, just about perfect. The boy (Max) and the creatures look just how I imagined them. I loved this book when I was a kid. And that soundtrack is choice!

Check out Aretha's birthday cake! OH HELLS YES. Internet, you are so good to me sometimes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

DCoE Recommends

Over the past year or so, I've taken to watching television series (the plural of series is series, I just looked it up) on DVD. I saw seasons 1-5 of Lost this way, and I gotta say I like Lost but I'm not totally wild about it. I like the characters but not the more science fictiony aspects of the show. The smoke monster? Moving the island? Lame. And it annoys me that the plot just becomes more and more confusing with each passing episode. I would say Lost is addictive more than it is excellent. Here are a couple of shows that I consider to be hands down excellent.

Freaks and Geeks. Long before Judd Apatow's movie comedies took over America, he created a television series that ran for one season on NBC. Freaks and Geeks catalogues the trials and tribulations of being a high schooler. Set in the early 80s, the episodes focus on two siblings and their respective sets of friends: Lindsay Weir hangs out with the Freaks, a group of cool slackers portrayed by the likes of James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel, while her younger brother Sam runs with a much nerdier crowd, the geeks, who hang out in the AV room and play Dungeons and Dragons. It's often hilarious, occasionally uncomfortable (in a good, The Office sort of way), and a very accurate portrayal of high school life. I tend to enjoy shows more when I can relate to the characters and the only other high school drama that reminded me of my experience was The Wonder Years. I wasn't hanging out at the Peach Pit or dating Jordan Catalano, I was babysitting after school and arguing with my parents about concerts that I wanted to go to. And just like Lindsay Weir, I had grown tired of being the smart kid. I also think it's cool that the show centered around a female character, as opposed to Apatow's movies, which definitely trend towards boyzone.

Next up is The Wire. I'm sure you've heard people sing its praises- in terms of fan devotion, The Wire is like the crime drama equivalent of Arrested Development. The show ran for five seasons on HBO, with each season telling a distinct story of a criminal investigation in Baltimore. So far, I've seen Season 1 about the drug trade and Season 2 about the docks. The show is unique in that it gives equal coverage to the cops and the criminals and its coverage of sociopolitical themes- every institution has its own level of corruption, and when it comes to good guys and bad guys, there are often shades of gray. However, the best part about the show is the writing and the acting- the plot and the characters are all definied, intriguing, and believable. We've got McNulty and Bunk, good police with weaknesses for booze and women, and Stringer Bell, an intelligent drug distributor with a vicious ambition. And Frank Sbotka, a union dockworker whose road to hell is paved with good intentions (and whom I also find strangely attractive). And Omar, the fearless gay thug who makes his living by robbing drug dealers. I also like how the show is structured, with each season telling a distinct story. So if you're at all a fan of the crime drama genre and haven't yet checked out The Wire, I highly recommend that you do so.

The next three seasons of The Wire will probably last me a while, but if you have any recommendations for good shows, let me know in the comments!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


For music fans: Paul Ford from The Morning News has listened to, rated, and written a six word review of every single track posted by bands performing at SXSW. And you can download the songs (over a thousand of them) for free. It's an overwhelming amount of data but there are some jewels to be found- here's the link.

This article about the history of drunk people putting lampshades on their heads made me want to, well, get drunk and put a lampshade on my head. I've never actually done that. The omnipresence of metal halogen lamps (as opposed to traditional lampshades) likely served as a deterrent during my college days.

Pink Dolphins! They actually exist. Learn something new every day. I bet they're magic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A soup, a link, and a photo

These three items have nothing to do with each other, except for the fact that they are all awesome.

1. Have you ever tried split pea soup? I've always been wary of it due to the vomity color and the baby food-like consistency. However, last week I was craving soup and decided to give split pea the ole college try. I bought an Alessi soup mix at the grocery store and cooked it up at home. And guess what? It's absolutely delicious! Who knew? Split pea, you may be my new favorite soup.

2. A new link for your enjoyment: Sexy People. You know, finding humor in bad portraits from the 80s will never get old. Never! (thanks, Neal) Oh, and the Norwegian Prime Minister? I mean, he's no Tarja but that's quite a photo.

3. Lastly, remember a while back I asked about gmail? I made the switch and I really like it. Once I got used to how the emails grouped together I found that I prefer it that way, and gchat is fun and much better than the msn chat platform. I never get spam in my inbox, but now that my email address contains my full name (my old one had my initials and some numbers), I occasionally get emails meant for other Eileens with the same last name. Sometimes I envy these other Eileens. They all live in Ireland or England. One is thinking of buying a flat in London. Another (or maybe the same one?) is a professional chef who publishes cooking articles in newspapers and magazines. And just today, I received an email with no message and this photo attached:

Drinking champagne with friends in what appears to be the middle of the day? I must say, this Other Eileen is my kind of gal. I may even be getting a glimpse of my own future here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It's the perfect occasion for one of my all-time favorite songs:

Tuesday Morning, by The Pogues.


As usual, I did my celebrating on Sunday with the South Boston parade. I live right along the parade route, so my roommate and I host a party every year, which inevitably devolves into a merry chaos by mid-afternoon. It was an absolutely gorgeous day- sunny and warm- and a perfect way to kick off spring. This year was likely the last of the annual shenanigans, in that I will likely be finishing up grad school and potentially relocating. And perhaps it's time that I stop living like I'm still in my early twenties. Naaaaah.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book Review: You Shall Know Our Velocity!

I have an ambivalent attitude towards Dave Eggers...on the one hand, the whole Young Famous Author bit annoys me (granted, the title may have been bestowed upon him against his wishes) and he strikes me as someone who would be insufferable at a cocktail party, like a literary version of Quentin Taratino- yeah, Kill Bill was great, but shut up already! On the other hand, he runs McSweeny's, which is a delight, and then there's his writing. It's stunningly good. My word, is it good. I recently read You Shall Know Our Velocity!, Eggers' first novel, which was released after his memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius thrust him into the literary limelight. Our protagonist, Will, is an intelligent slacker type in the midst of an emotional upheaval. His close friend Jack dies in a car accident, he suffers a vicious beating in a storage facility, and he has $80,000 that he wants to get rid of. Reeling from Jack's death, he enlists the other surviving member of their childhood triumvirate, his friend Hand, to travel with him around the world and give away the money. The plan is capricious and downright idiotic- they will take a week, circumnavigate the globe, flying from one destination to the next without any real preparation- no travel visas, no winter coats.

The plot is simple enough but the book is a beauty, elevated by the simple yet captivating, creative writing and Will's character- he is tortured by his own thoughts and he constantly holds imaginary conversations with strangers passing by and the likes of Winston Churchill. Hand is occasionally worthwhile but in essence, he's the guy who you're friends with because you've been friends with him forever, not because you particularly like him. The book vacillates between being humorous (a Val Kilmer poster on the wall of a bar in Senegal, a hilarious description of middle school dances) and desperately sad (Will's breakdown in a Moroccan marketplace). I loved it. I don't think Eggers' style is for everyone, and I would describe YSNOV as a rather masculine book- it's about two guys who do stupid guy things, like trying to jump into moving vehicles and whatnot. However, if you read and liked AHWOSG or if you're at all a fan of modern fiction or haphazard travel, I'd recommend checking out You Shall Know Our Velocity! I really enjoyed it. Oh, and here's the New York Times review.


People have often asked me where I find the links I post on DCoE. Perhaps you envision me, wrapped in a Snuggie and surfing the web with a glass of cheap red wine at my side. Did I say glass? I meant bottle. So yes, that does happen, but more often than not the links come from people who email me items they think I will enjoy. These next four links were all sent from friends, so thanks!

Bad Paintings of Barack Obama. These are a treat.

Snuggie Haters do have a sense of humor, at least. The WTF Blanket.

Last but not least, interspecies friendships alert! This week it's a double dose:

Here's a video about a friendship between a retired elephant and a dog. Awwww.

And last but not least, two people sent me this picture:

Yes, it's real. I love the look on the dolphin's face- so cute!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's cookin?

I'm going to start doing some more cooking again, because, well, I like to cook and it is generally cheaper and healthier than eating out. I've been working late a lot lately so by the time I get home I end up eating hot dogs or microwaved quesadillas instead of, you know, something less disgusting. Last night I made Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi from this month's issue of Cooking Light and it was delicious and very quick and easy to make. I served it with Caesar salad and garlic bread- yum!

Cooking for myself isn't always healthy, as evidenced by tonight's entree: a huge BLT&A. (Tomato and Avocado, heh.)

I want to marry this sandwich. Didn't Pee Wee Herman once marry a peanut butter sandwich or something similarly ridiculous on an episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse? Now that was a show ahead of its time.

Anyways, if any of you have any easy and tasty recipes to recommend (non-dairy por favor), please leave them in the comments. Bonus points if you can tell me what Pee Wee Herman married without looking it up.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Twitter me this

So I just signed up for Twitter- you can follow me if you so desire: eileenDCoE.
I must say that I don't really get it- is it just like updating your Facebook status? Is there anything special or fun about it that I should know? I feel like a geezer asking these questions, like one of those people who's all "what is a blog? what's it do?" but oh well. Help me out, twitterers.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Review: Shepard Fairey at the ICA

This past Thursday, I went to see the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the ICA. Fairey skyrocketed to fame as the designer of the iconic Obama HOPE poster but his "street art" has long been a subject of controversy- decried as vandalism, plagiarism, or both. To be honest, I knew very little about him and didn't have high expectations for the exhibit. I thought maybe Fairey was more hype than substance and I assumed that the exhibition would have ten posters or so. I was wrong on both counts, and I left the ICA very impressed by Fairey as an artist and by the exhibition itself. First of all, the exhibition is HUGE...there are literally hundreds of pieces, some of which are enormous. And they're really, really cool. Fairey has crafted an entire career out of an idea (a critique of advertising and propaganda), an image (Andre the Giant), and a word (Obey). His artwork is powerful and thought-provoking, but it retains a sense of fun and is pleasing to look at. In addition to the Obey Giant campaign and the political commentaries, Fairey has done a lot of work with music, crafting portraits and album covers in his distinct style. This Johnny Cash poster is one example, but there were tons more, and as a music fan, I especially enjoyed that section of the exhibit.

For those of you in the Boston area, I definitely recommend taking a trip to the ICA to check out the Shepard Fairey collection. (Free admission on Thursday nights!) For those of you not in Boston, well, here's Fairey's website.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The best prank I've heard of in ages

When Mimes Attack.

My goodness, do I love a caper that involves the humiliation of one's friends.

p.s. Mimes? Creepy.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Misconception Confessions

Here is a list of things that I wrongly believed to be true, for longer than I care to admit.

1. A Blind Drive sign means that a blind person lives in the house. (C'mon, who didn't think that?)

2. Avacados are the eggs of iguanas.

3. Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicklaus are the same person, an actor who is also very good at golf. Remember when Jack Nicholson smashed in a guy's car window with a golf club? Exactly.

4. Kurt Warner is black.

5. Sigur Ros is a rapper.

6. In baseball, it's not a strike unless you actually swing and miss.

7. In my most infamous misconception, I thought that Rob Lowe had played the older brother on the sitcome Mr. Belvedere. So convinced was I that, freshman year of college, I made a wager with my entire dorm section. We consulted TV Guide and found a cable station that still showed Mr. Belvedere, but only once a month. As the day approached, I squashed any inklings that I may in fact be incorrect. I was adamant- it was Rob Lowe! They would all see! The day came, and a large crowd gathered around the TV in the dorm common room. The opening credits rolled.....and there he was...Rob Stone.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Music Review- Dan Auerbach at the Paradise

Dan Auerbach, who in addition to having an awesome last name, is one half of the bluesy rock group The Black Keys. He recently released his own solo album and is now on tour promoting it. I caught his act last night at the Paradise, and it was great! I was expecting a mellow perforamce, with just him and a guitar on stage, but that was not the case at all. He played a rocking, energetic set with the 5-member band Hacienda (including a percussionist who looked like Hurley from Lost) backing him. We're talking loud, boisterous, bluesy fun music. Beer drinking music, people. Get the hiccups and pass out in the back seat of a taxi cab ("Miss? Hello? This is where you get out, no?") music. Not that that happened. I have not yet seen the Black Keys live but I can now vouch for the fact that Dan Auerbach puts on a fantastic show. I smushed myself up to the front to snap a couple of photos, because I'm obnoxious like that.

And here's the Herald review of the show. Even though I hate the Herald for being such a tabloid, they do a much better job than the Globe when it comes to covering live music in Boston.


My hometown (and the largest town in America, natch) was recently featured in a CNN article on the economy. And they quoted my mom!

Here's the accompanying slide show spotlighting 9 local businesses.

Oh and Do You Know What This Is? This is the President of the United States being awesome. But Bulls vs. Wizards? That's some ugly basketball right there. (via Web-Goddess)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Weekend

- New Haircut.

- New (to me) Restaurant: Tavolo, right next to the Ashmont T stop in Dot. Yummy Italian food and a laid back, fun atmosphere.

- New Snuggie. FUCK YEAH.

p.s. Thanks, Lis!
p.p.s. McSweeny's covers The Snuggie.