Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Tent Lives On


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Frosting and Farewells

The Cupcake Tent is now closed. The bakery thanks you for your patronage.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"You Know There's a Well in Your Backyard. Watch The Baby!"

On the twentieth anniversary of this defining moment of American history, I feel the time has come for me to speak my mind. Now that she's grown up and by all appearances seems to have a normal life, it's without reservation that I finally say: Fuck you, Baby Jessica.

Listen, we all felt bad when you fell down the well. Babies can be annoying enough to deal with given the optimal circumstances, let alone when they're trapped underground and being totally dramatic about it. But let me talk to you about a little something called Bad Timing. I'm not saying this was your plan all along, but news of your rescue cut into all the regularly scheduled programming back in 1987, and your victorious second birth from the pipe womb trumped the season finale of Rags to Riches. Remember Rags to Riches, the show where that Joe Pesci-looking guy inherited a bunch of teenage orphan daughters who randomly started singing and dancing to oldies songs? Yeah, it was pretty awesome, and not just because I was ten years old. Toward the end of this particular episode, Marta, one of the pivotal and more subtletly nuanced characters, was lying on a mountainside, half-dead from a rattlesnake bite. What was going to happen? I was riveted. And then, suddenly, breaking news. The well! The baby! The miracle! You were fine. But Marta? Poof. Gone forever.

Thanks to the internet and YouTube and the disturbingly comprehensive TV show collection at Best Buy, I could probably find out pretty easily what happened. Really, though, it's the principle of it. If you had been courteous enough to wiggle out during the daytime while I was at school, I might've been able to miss a few minutes of long division. But no, of course not. It had to be on your terms, and your gauze-clad self wasn't coming out until you were good and ready. Diva.

I couldn't yell at you when you were Baby Jessica. Yelling at babies is almost always frowned upon, but yelling at Baby Jessica would've resulted in automatic deportation, and learning a second language would've been a total pain in the ass. So now that you're Adult Jessica, it's on, bitch. You owe me four minutes of television gold and step-by-step instructions on how to remove snake venom while simultaneously singing Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow by the Shirelles. I'M WAITING.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Know You're Home Russell Answer Your Phone

So this afternoon I'm on my way from school to the home of one of the kids that I see after school and I get pulled over for making a left on a red light. In my defense, the person in front of me... and the light was just barely... and I would've been blocking the... meh, whatever. I'm a Boston driver, I admit it.

The one advantage that I can see to being pulled over in the city that I work in is the opportunity to milk the fact that I work at one of the schools and children are the future and please please don't give me a ticket. I got pulled over two months ago, though, and I got off on a warning then, so I'm not optimistic.

"Hi, I'm so sorry. I thought I could make that light but obviously not. I was just coming from the XYZ School."

"Yeah, you weren't even close to making the light. You work at the XYZ?"

"Yes, I do!" And I love puppies and flowers and most of all THE LAW!

"Okay, let's have your license and registration. It'll just be a minute."

Six long minutes later he comes back to my window. "You've had a lot of offenses, huh?"

Sure, driver retraining school comes to mind, but his tone sounds less like he's talking about illegal U-turns and more like selling crack to second graders.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, your license was suspended awhile ago."

"What? No, it was definitely wasn't."

"And there's a restraining order against you? Someone named Russell?"

"Wait, WHAT? I have no idea what you're talking about. I don't even know anyone named Russell." This isn't exactly true. I have a student named Russell, but it's been awhile since a kindergartener took legal action against me. And I had a camp counselor named Russell 15 years ago, but I'm fairly certain that I haven't been crowding him.

"How many tickets have you received in the past few years?"

"I got a couple a few years ago, but none recently. And my license was never suspended and no one has a RESTRAINING ORDER against me."

And then of course I stop for a second and think, wait, does someone? Would I know? Does my mom really hate me that much?

He kind of laughed and shrugged. "Okay, then, I guess I pulled up the wrong name. Anyway, I just wrote you a warning."

"Oh. But..." How would information on someone else come up if he ran my license? Why did he just shrug it off? But I'm already late and I decide not to push it. "Okay, well, thanks."

I thought when people stole your identities that they just bought crap online and called China. Maybe I should look into this.

And I'm sorry, Russell. BUT WHY WON'T YOU TAKE ME BACK?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Earlier tonight I was talking to a friend from college who now lives out of state and has always stood by his opinion that Boston is a townie town, i.e. people who are born here (not that anyone is ever actually born or raised IN Boston, just close to it) never leave, or always return, and natives will obsessively extoll its virtues to anyone who will listen.

I started to disagree on principle, and then I realized that I was sitting on my bed with the Improper Bostonian flipped open to an article about fall dining in the city (which I do more reading about than eating, but I love fall and I LOVE fall menus... cider apple soup, pumpkin ravioli, baked apples, cornbread and cranberry stuffing, I could go on) while watching the Sox play, and win, their first postseason game (last October I drew a big, optimistic "07" in the centerfield dirt at Fenway with my sneaker, so here's hoping). All I needed was Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in the other room writing a screenplay.

When I told him this, he started presenting more proof of my townie status, pointing out that my split second reaction after hearing that a friend moved to California was "Why would anyone DO that?" and that my idea of a money shot is the view of the Boston skyline after the Cambridge tolls on the Pike. He reminded me that anytime I go to New York for the weekend I get homesick (what, Manhattan is freakin' scary!) and he still insists that when my road rage creeps in, so does a slight Boston accent. I deny that, but okay fine, if that's your definition of a townie, then guilty as charged, I guess. I love the seasons, being close to the water, the fact that it's a baseball town, the overall sense of coziness, the locally brewed beer, the Cape, how people are wicked smaht... okay, I'm just driving the point home now. "Born and raised" sounds so provincial, I know, but I can't imagine living anywhere else. I'd never want to be transient, but I suppose if you don't like to be trapped in one area for too long then you feel as strongly about that as I do about being a country mouse (living five miles outside of a major city). Most of the people that I love are here, and I've always been happy here. I imagine that if they weren't or I wasn't, I would've made a different decision long ago.

Do you guys feel a major connection to where you live? Would you up and move for any old reason, or have you in the past? If you didn't have job/family/etc. connections to where you live now, would you move somewhere else?

And this is the perfect time to comment, because The Great Delurking Day was... oh. Yesterday. Yeah! So anyway.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

All Growed Up

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. If you manage not to die for long enough, eventually you turn thirty. In your face, Cobain!

I'm not bummed at all, actually, which is good since most of you are over thirty already and right now giving your computer screen the same hairy eyeball that I give my 27-year-old friends who talk about their biological clocks. Why do all the girls I roll with seem to be 27? Bitches. The 70s rocked and you missed it.

Also? Hairy eyeball is like the grossest expression ever.

Anyway, I'm ready! I own my age! And I've been telling people that I'm turning 50 just to try and elicit the "Holy CRAP you look great" response. That would also mean that my mom had me when she was ten, but hey. She's always been a little promiscuous.

Ahem. No more slutty mom jokes! I expect that the next time you hear from me I'll be older and wiser and wearing a smoking jacket and discussing equities. When you're thirty, you suddenly don't feel the need to do the Thriller dance in your living room, and you're such an adult that you don't leave cooked pasta that you didn't finish on the stove for two days, right?

Fine, three days.

Tuesday is The Big Day. There's a car commercial out right now that says, "Hurry, offer ends October first!" I always reply to my TV, "So does my youth!" Yeah, no one else in the room with me laughs either.

I guess I could try to come up with some corny life lessons or something, but why bother when Kenny Rogers has already done it for me? My life has been distilled into knowing when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and when to run. Sounds about right, though, huh? Of course, at the end of the day soft rock defines my life.

Anyway, I'll pretty much be drunk with my peoples all weekend (and I define weekend as being the second that work ends tomorrow until sometime very early Wednesday morning) so I'll see you once I shake off these 20s.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Quotes of the Week

Me: Okay, do you really want to talk about this? Because here's the deal. Rooting for the Yankees is like going to Epcot Center instead of Europe. It's like going to Italy and looking for the Olive Garden. It's like choosing Paris Hilton instead of Scarlett Johansson. The Yankees are the drive thru value meal of baseball. When you say you're a Yankees fan, especially if you're not from New York, you're saying more about your own lack of character and integrity and class than you even realize.
Dave: You know, I've still never been to the Olive Garden.


Me: The IT guy who works at my school winked at me on Match.
Kate: There are no words.
Me: And you know what this means? If my work laptop breaks there's no one I can call. Do they still make typewriters?
Kate: Who are you, Bridget Jones?
Me: Aren't I?


Over the weekend I was taking care of Dorie's kids, who are 9 and 7, while she and her husband went to a wedding in Philadelphia. First of all, I have new respect for parents. I got the kids off the bus after school on Friday and went home Saturday night so exhausted that I could barely muster the energy to club my ass off until 4 AM. Hearing "Hey, is that the book you're reading? Is the book you bought yesterday? Why did you buy a book yesterday but it's not the book you're reading now? Did you start this book awhile ago and you want to finish it before you read the new book?" five seconds after you wake up kinda makes you want to crawl back under the covers immediately, even when it's coming from kids that I've loved and adored their whole lives. And then between meals (apparently cocktail olives don't constitute "a balanced meal" for children), soccer practice and soccer games and fall ball, not to mention one little girl's mom who screamed from the sidelines, "ALEXIS! Run like you mean it! Put the pressure on! GOD, this is depressing!"... holyfuckingshit. I'm doubling up on my Ortho Tri-Cyclen this month just to be safe.

Anyway, the quote came when the 7-year-old was discussing how hilarious it would be to have a secret hole that allowed him and his friends to see into the girls' bathroom at school. His sister promptly admonished him and said that she and her friends would never want to do that. Then he said, almost wistfully, "You know, it seems like with girls, we want to see THEM naked, but they don't really want to see US naked." Pretty much hit the nail on the head there, buddy.