Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fuego de Ugueth

It is with the utmost gravity that I report the conviction of former Red Sox superstar and fan favorite Ugueth "Ugie" Urbina for attempted murder. The former Red Sox pitcher was sentenced to 14 years for setting five of his employees on fire. Yankees and Red Sox fans have been known to take any opportunity to take a jab at one another, but clearly it would be out of line to try to use this news in that capacity. That would be unnecessarily adding fuel to the fire.

Also, I'm not usually in the position to argue that a political party or government is soft on crime, but 14 years for 5 counts of attmepted murder? He should have gotten 7 for being on the Red Sox and 7 for being known as Ugie alone.

5 days and 45 minutes until the first pitch ...

23 days, 6 hours and 45 minutes until the first Yankees-Sox game ...

Monday, March 26, 2007

Lap Dance

I have a tad of a reputation in some circles as being somewhat creepy. It's that gray area creepiness that's sort of a combination of conscious comic creepiness and actual creepiness. I've even made light of it with the Creepy VTK photo series on this blog. But there comes a time when one stands back and takes stock of his/her creepiness. And there comes a time when the creepiness of others reveals itself and one sees just where he/she is on the spectrum. I have just discovered that I am a mere tadpole in the giant slimy swamp of human creepiness. I give you Lap Dance:

see also: Eat Me Pizza Song

and: Nursing Home Prisoner

Rosa Parks they asked to sit at the back of the bus.
Then they wouldn't let the black man vote
So from Selma they did march
Now they've locked away my Mom, and she isn't even black!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

BCSDDB at Halftime

It's a few pages short of the statistical middle, but I'm 5 chapters through the 10, so I'm calling it halftime. Time to start shopping this BCSDD Bad Boy to publishers. And as luck would have it the Boston Zine Fair is going on this weekend at Mass Art so hopefully there will be some good leads there.

I'd also like to welcome to the VTK family.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Saint Patrick's Season

So, it used to be a Day, right? It hasn't always been Saint Patrick's Season, has it? I mean, I think I remember growing up celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. As seen in the photo to the right (O'VTK on the far right). Regardless, I have to hand it to Guinness for their brilliant marketing strategy, turning St. Paddy's (Patty's) Day into St. Paddy's Season. So, you have an excuse to drink Guinness for a week instead of a day, or as I suggested when I heard it - 2 weeks - or as the guy at the bar suggested when he first heard it - 3 weeks. That's some George Lakoff caliber framing there.

But I do love me some St. Paddy's Day reverie. I know it's amateur night and cheesy Irish Americanism, but hey. I love the cheese. And it gives me an opportunity to post some photos from the St. Paddy's Days of the early 80's in my hood. Like this pic of a snowy St. Pat's Day that I'm reminded of by the madness that's going on outside in Boston right now. Speaking of Boston, here's a segue into the first of my three 07 SPD topics:

Phoenix Article - here's an interesting article about the purported unique nature of the Boston Irish as opposed to Irish American development in other cities. It's classic Irish American romanticism in it's criticism of Irish American romanticism.

JJ Foley's - and I'm sad to report that I am now boycotting one of my favorite bars in Boston - a place that I've been going to on a semi-regular basis since I moved here in 00, a place that used to be home to a diverse, intersting crowd, a harmonious mix of bike messengers and business casuals. The bar where the bartenders exclaim "Todd!" when I walk in because they once mistook me for a "dead ringer" of me named Todd. The bar that I was sitting in when Bush announced he was invading Iraq (which I think was on St. Paddy's Day, 03). The bar that I was standing in when the Red Sox won the World Series (a bar that is constantly filled with loud music, but on that night was filled with the call of the game, until the final out was made, at which point they blasted AC/DC's "It's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll" as the celebration exploded, which I have to say, and I say this as a die hard Yankee fan, was one of the coolest moments I've ever experienced). The bar where I have too many great memories to recount in a post about me boycotting it. Anyways, bigotry and intolerance is not acceptable, so fuck Foley's.

Cute Story From My Mom
- and on a lighter note, here's a cute St. Patrick's Day memory from my mom's youth as the daughter of an Irish family in Detroit in the 40's and 50's.

Irish Step Dancers ... I could watch them forever, with their straight posture, toes pointed downward, heads held high, dancing jigs, reels, hornpipes, and sets. It's in my blood. From early childhood, my brother, sisters and I were brought to ceilis, Irish gatherings for music and dance, sponsored by the Gaelic League in the Detroit area. We knew many Irish immigrants. My father was born in Ireland and so were my mother's parents.

My sister and I took Irish step dancing lessons in the basements of different Irish homes around the city. Unlike today's step dancers, we didn't participate in feises (Irish dance competitions), or have beautiful costumes with embroidered Celtic designs, or a headful of curls. But we danced proudly in our little white blouses, green cotton pleated skirts and gold cotton pleated shawls, attached over one shoulder by a broche and spread open across the back to display the green shamrocks on them. Like Peggy Fleming, our mother made our costumes. Every St. Patrick's Day, the family would go downtown to the Sheraton Book Cadillac Hotel for a big dance. We, the step dancers, were the entertainment when the big band took the break. One year I did a solo sword dance, using yardsticks as my swords. The governor of Michigan, G. Mennan Williams (Soapy) was always there in his polka dot bowtie, and he was sure to make a fuss over us. Our teacher, Annie Ryan, and her daughter, who sometimes danced with us, were Irish dance champions. Years later, we learned that Annie moved back to Ireland and her most notable student was to be her youngest grandson, Michael Flatley of Lord of the Dance.

We have no pictures of us as children in our Irish dancing outfits, but there is one of my sister and me doing the Irish jig at our parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I still do Irish dancing with the Irish American Club of Berkshire County.

Slainte, y'all.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friday, March 02, 2007

Boston Baby Boom

I am awash in babies these days. What, you say? The perennially single bachelor VTK? Babies? OK, clearly I'm not as awash as the parents of said babies, but I'm a little bit awash nonetheless. Ten good friends of mine (5 couples) have welcomed newborns into the world in the last five months and, by my count, there's one more baby on the way in the next 4 months or so. I think it's just the one. That's in addition to five VTK friend toddlers (1 to 2.5 yr olds) already bopping around. Oh, and there's the seven (soon to be 8) step nieces and nephews out in Michigan - the Costingitos. And the five young children of my cousins that I saw at XMas. So, I guess I'm awash in kids in general, but I've got babies on the mind right now. Counting the five new babies and the one on the way, that makes twelve friends of mine that are now consumed with all things baby, so I'm in second or third degree baby mode by default. Which is probably slightly easier than doing the actual parenting. I get to make faces at the tots and buy them Celtics gear and watch their development from unfocused, contrast-recognizing infants to smiling, more reactive, interactive tiny people. And I don't have to change "poopy diapers", get up at all hours of the night, breast feed, deal with separation anxiety, or feel the pain of hearing my child cry (am I missing anything? that pretty much sums up the experience of being a parent, right?)... Maybe "awash" isn't the right word here. I really do nothing other than go to the occasional baby shower or briss and visit the newborns occasionally. I guess I just went to Baby M's briss last week and visited Baby C and Baby L (aka Baby LDNCSC) the last two evenings, so it seems like I'm awash. In a good way, of course. Kids and babies are great. So untainted by the world. Hanging out with them is sort of like rebooting my opinion of humanity.

So, since it's become a major topic of conversation, supplanting usual VTK topics such as sports, politics, music, etc, I thought I would do a post giving a shout out to all the young babes out there. GOO GOO GAA GAA, y'all! And now, I will rank them in order of cuteness:


... hmmmm ... maybe I shouldn't do that. Suffice it to say that your baby (yes, you) is without question the cutest I have ever seen.

And now for the real reason behind this post - the latest in the Creepy VTK Picture Series (baby and papa blurred for their protection). Would you let this guy near your baby?