Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Monday, Dec 24 2007 

When did Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties become so popular? I’ve heard of so many in the Boston area, especially this weekend. My friend Lisa ended up thowing one of her own. Here are some of the pictures:


Survivors of Reading High — most of the group


The Brood — me, Beth, Alexa and Lisa. Still the hottest hos in any room.


Beth receives her Yankee Swap (a.k.a. Evil Christmas) gift from me — Chia Shrek! I couldn’t resist. She didn’t trade it.


Lisa opened the onion dip and it splattered all over my eyelashes.


Hott Girlz. My sister Sars (second from left) actually wore a Christmas sweater that belonged to my grandfather — and it’s at least 50 years old. 50!!

I also loved Beth’s combination of her mom’s Christmas vest, her dad’s Christmas tie and a cheesy Christmas t-shirt. I wore a sweater that my mom has worn since the 80s.

Overall, it was a great time — and it makes a great holiday party theme!

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Prostitutes at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze? Or just drunks? Thursday, Dec 20 2007 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people write really negative reviews of restaurants on Citysearch that have no basis. Usually, what happens is that one mildly negative incident happens and then they wildly exaggerate the rest of the events to make the restaurant sound terrible.

In those reviews, you get lines like, “The hostess held up one finger to us and said, ‘Just a minute,’ in a very rude tone. Then she walked five steps in front of us as she led us to our table and never told us to enjoy our evening. She didn’t even look at us on our way out. I will never return there again.” Come on. That’s crap. Why is it so hard for people to be reasonable?

Anyway, I read a GREAT story behind one of these reviews on Maze at the London Hotel in New York on nymag.com. This is one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants. Here is the review that New York magazine received:

My husband and I were at the New York restaurant, Maze @ the London Hotel tonight 12-18-07. We were so upset. He had four clients he was taking out. At one point one of the clients noticed that there were two prostitutes at the bar, trying to pick up men.

When my husband’s guest complained to the staff, they became hostile and asked us to leave. When we talked to the hotel staff, they informed us that, “This happens all the time, You need to talk to the management of Gordon Ramsey.” We were very upset — how could they let that go on? It’s almost like they were getting a cut of their action.

We will never dine at a Gordon Ramsey Rest. We spend $800, and had to watch a common prostitute pick up her johns. It was very ugly, shame on Gordon Ramsey and Shame on the London.

Well, that’s pretty cruisazy. So, what did NYmag do? They called Gordon Ramsay’s PR team. Here’s what they had to say:

There was a party of six people in last night, and they were very loud and obnoxious, yelling things at ladies at the bar — who were just ladies at the bar! People started complaining, and they became very nasty, so that’s when the restaurant asked them to leave. They were very intoxicated.

Well, well, well.

That explains a LOT.

I guess it just comes down to the guests’ word vs. that of Maze, but I think I’m inclined to believe the restaurant.

What do you think?

Google Street View has come to Boston! Wednesday, Dec 12 2007 

I remember the day that Google Street View came out. My co-workers and I pretty much spent the entire day looking at pictures of the Las Vegas Strip, all of our restaurants in New York, and the places in San Francisco where Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed (well, at least that was me).

Now, they’ve finally added Boston.

And it is WELL WORTH THE WAIT!!

Not only do they cover Boston with extensive detail, they also have all of Somerville (yes, including my house, but I’m not going to put that on here!). And not only that — they actually have my house in READING on there. (Not posting that, either, for obvious reasons.) They only took pictures of a small eastern portion of Reading, but they got the home in which I grew up!

The best part was seeing the area outside my office in Boston.

Check it out:

Yep, those would be four of my co-workers, just chillin’ outside, one of them wildly gesticulating at the camera!

There is so much that I want to put up on here, but I don’t want to attract any stalkers. For now, I’ll keep it simple, and I’ll post my dream address:

A brownstone on Union Park in the South End.

Yeah, that’s where I’d love to live someday.

Growing up, there were always three kinds of homes I wanted: a Victorian, a brownstone, and a purple triple-decker. (I was about six, spent a lot of time in triple-decker-filled Lynn and Revere, and thought that a purple triple-decker was the best kind of house you could possibly have.)

I’ve never lived in a Victorian, and my place now is kind of close to but not quite a triple-decker. Maybe a brownstone is next.

In the meantime, I’m very excited about Street View and I plan to do a bit of a project with it later! Ariadne’s Thread is coming….

Grammy nominations are out! Friday, Dec 7 2007 

Why do I always have faith that this year, finally, the Grammy people will pick decent nominees? Come on. They might as well call it the Grannys, because these people have the taste of a 90-year-old.

I will start with the absurdity:

Why was this beautiful man not nominated for a single Grammy?!?!

Robin Thicke made one of the most notable debuts of the year. He’s the only white artist to make an album that is genuine, contemporary R&B — not pop-R&B like Justin Timberlake, not retro soul like Amy Winehouse, but genuine, modern, contemporary R&B, and to be accepted without question.

“Lost Without U” became such a hit, and it was a shock, because his label did absolutely nothing to promote him or his outstanding album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke.

I’m especially surprised because his music is the kind of music that Grammy voters love — stuff that’s easy to listen to, like John Mayer or Alicia Keys.

This is a travesty. He should have been nominated for Best New Artist, Song of the Year for “Lost Without U,” and Best Male R&B Performance or Best R&B Album at the very least.

Before I go onto the next topic, I know most people don’t know the difference between the three kinds of awards. Here are the basics:

Album of the Year refers to a full album of songs. Deserving winners of the past include:

  • Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill
  • OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
  • Michael Jackson’s Thriller
  • Carole King’s Tapestry
  • Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life

Record of the Year refers to a single track, focusing on the production and the performance by the artist. This is awarded to the artist and the production team. Deserving winners of the past include:

  • Coldplay, “Clocks”
  • Santana, “Smooth”
  • Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
  • The Eagles, “Hotel California”
  • Simon & Garfunkel, “Mrs. Robinson”

Song of the Year is the award that honors strictly the song and nothing else. This award goes to the songwriter, not the artist (though the artist is often the songwriter). Deserving winners of the past include:

  • Alicia Keys’s “Fallin'”
  • Seal’s “Kiss from a Rose”
  • Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings”
  • Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”
  • Henry Mancini’s “Moon River”

That being said, it’s time for the most absurd nomination of all:


HOW COULD “CRANK THAT” BE NOMINATED FOR RAP SONG OF THE YEAR?!?!?!

Keep in mind that this is song, NOT record. I could understand record because nothing other track sounds quite like this. But song? SONG?! Do you really think it took Soulja Boy more than half an hour to write it?

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh YOUUUUUU!

vs.


Here are the major nominees. It’s too early for me to analyze and predict just yet, so I’ll just bold the ones that I consider most deserving:

Album of the Year:

  • Foo Fighters, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  • Vince Gill, These Days
  • Herbie Hancock, River: The Joni Letters
  • Kanye West, Graduation
  • Amy Winehouse, Back to Black

I can’t choose! Honestly, I think that Back to Black is the better album of the two, but this is Kanye’s hour. He’s been nominated for this award for all three of his albums, and he’s never won. Plus, his mom.

And Herbie Hancock?!?! WTF?!?!

Record of the Year:

  • Beyonce, “Irreplaceable”
  • Foo Fighters, “The Pretender”
  • Rihanna Feat. Jay-Z, “Umbrella”
  • Justin Timberlake, “What Goes Around…Comes Around”
  • Amy Winehouse, “Rehab”

Unique, ubiquitous and wild, this is one of the most original records in years. “Umbrella” could steal it. however.

Song of the Year:

  • Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats”
  • Plain White T’s’ “Hey There Delilah”
  • Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star”
  • Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”
  • Rihanna’s “Umbrella”

It works as a dance/hip-hop song, as R&B, and, as a few artists have proven, as an acoustic hit on the guitar. This remarkably simple tune is the song of the year.

Best New Artist:

  • Feist
  • Ledisi
  • Paramore
  • Taylor Swift
  • Amy Winehouse

No contest whatsoever. Amy has this in the bag.

Okay. Maybe I’ll allow myself to make one prediction. I think that Amy Winehouse will win a ton of awards for “Rehab,” but Kanye will finally take Album of the Year for Graduation.

Thoughts?