Rachael Ray or Lisa? Wednesday, Jan 3 2007 

My mom got me a Rachael Ray cookbook for Christmas: 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Groups. The book has meals with the portion sizes correct for groups of different sizes. It’s great — I’m particularly looking forward to doing the Amalfi-centered meal, featuring lemon pasta, lemon flounder filets and lemon sorbet, served with limoncello. As you can tell, I absolutely love lemons! I’m looking forward to doing a lot more cooking, and doing more cooking for my friends. I’m sure there’s a specialty besides my famous chicken picatta trying to burst out of me!

Anyways, there’s a meal entitled Firehouse Special, for 6, which is smoky bacon and bean salad, three-alarm Italian-style Chili Mac, and pistachio ice cream (store-bought). The description is Rachael Ray, but I swear — she is channeling one of my best friends, Lisa! Lisa loves fireman (or any other man in uniform) and this is written EXACTLY like Lisa would write it! Here it is:

Firemen are HOT! There’s something about any man in a uniform, it’s true, but firemen — wow! They carry big, heavy axes, not guns. They have that smoky, battle-worn gear — and look so strong and sexy. They know how to tame a wild hose and, best of all, they know how to cook! They’re all locked up together around the clock when they’re on duty, so they know their way around a flaming stovetop better than most. Keep those pots hot, gentlemen. This one’s for you! If you’ll excuse me, I think I need a tall drink of cold water now.

I’m sure you won’t appreciate it if you don’t know Lisa….but seriously, down to the tall drink of cold water, this is 100% her. Lisa, are you doing some freelance writing on the side?!

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Covered Tuesday, Dec 19 2006 

Some images keep coming to me lately. I keep imagining that what I’m thinking is on my skin — as soon as a thought leaps into my mind, black curlicues shoot up my arms and swirl darker, pulsating, vibrant, until my body is covered with the lower-case first initial of the person I’m thinking about, all connected in cursive.

Or a single letter is burned into my sternum. It glows pink, still fresh. It’s large — a few inches square — and Gothic. Sometimes it’s black.

Is it that obvious when I’m thinking about somebody?

Explicit Music Monday, Nov 13 2006 

Okay. I did my first late shift. And it was actually really fun! I think I’m going to like it. There’s a great group on Sunday nights.

I’ve been wondering about music with explicit lyrics. Just what is it that makes music explicit? I know that it’s easy to see why hip-hop gets that label, but that’s because it’s filled with profanity. What about the music in between? Just what is it that tips it over the edge?

Here are a few examples.

–Justin Timberlake’s Future Sex/Love Sounds. It has explicit lyrics. I have that album, and I can tell you that he drops the f-word twice in the entire album, and that’s IT (except for maybe the rap on My Love — but I’m not sure of the lyrics). That’s IT.
–Gwen Stefani’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby. It does NOT have explicit lyrics. Yet Hollaback Girl has a chorus of “Ooh, this my shit, this my shit.” It gets bleeped out on the radio — why doesn’t the album get an explicit rating?
–Fergie’s The Dutchess. Not a traditional album by any stretch, but very similar to Gwen’s first album, in that it has a song with a chorus of “Oh shit!” Now, that gets an explicit rating, and it seems appropriate.

I guess what it all comes down to is what the artist wants to convey. Justin wants to be badass, Gwen wants to appeal to pre-teens, and Fergie’s the only one who has the right rating for her album.

Hmmm.

In other explicit music-related news, I absolutely LOVE Jay-Z’s new song, Show Me What You Got. I never thought he’d be one of those rappers who retires and comes back and retires and comes back….I’m glad he’s back, because I love his music, but I hate when people do that!!

Boston vs. New York Saturday, Feb 18 2006 

I don’t know how much of this he wants me to say to the online world, so I’ll just give the minimum. Mike had an interview in Boston yesterday, and it went really well, and he’s got a second interview already. It’s ideally located (State St.), Mike LOVES Boston, and the company is based in PARIS….which means that there could be possible travel to there or their other awesomely located offices.

So we started talking about Boston, which he visited with me over break, and HYPOTHETICALLY about what would happen if he got the job. Particularly to where he would live.

I started talking about all the neighborhoods and describing them, but then I realized that I could just compare them to neighborhoods in New York!

Here are the comparisons that I thought of. (Note: I’m not doing it financially, since everything in New York is SO much more expensive than anywhere else.)

Cambridge = Greenwich Village. There are nice parts and less nice parts (West and East Village, plus the whole area where RENT takes place), and Washington Square Park/the NYU area is completely analagous to Harvard Square and the Harvard area!

Beacon Hill = Upper East Side. Old money, blue bloods, expensive, great view of the Common/Park. Of course, nowadays, there are a lot of younger people moving in, but the atmosphere remains.

South End = Chelsea. Somewhat funky. Very gay.

Mattapan = wherever’s the worst part of Harlem. Someplace where you REALLY wouldn’t want to spend time if you had the choice, and where you’d be the only white person around.

Dorchester = Washington Heights. Not nearly as bad as Mattapan/worst part of Harlem, but with a lot of bad areas, and more mixed racially. Also, surprisingly on the rise, probably to become a new powerful neighborhood in a decade or so — I think Dorchester’s going to explode one of these days, in a good way.

Back Bay = Upper West Side. Definitely a well-to-do area, but trendier and younger than Beacon Hill/Upper East Side.

North End = Little Italy. If only because guidebooks refer to the North End as “Boston’s Little Italy.” Also, Chinatown = Chinatown.

Theatre District = do they call it the Theatre District? Times Square, Midtown, that area. Lots of theatres.

Financial District = Downtown. Where all the business takes place, and all the tall buildings reign.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head. The thing is, Boston has something that New York really obviously lacks — a hybrid area of the urban and suburban, like Brighton, or the richer Brookline or even the poorer Somerville. And New York doesn’t even have an Irish neighborhood, which is interesting in itself.

I’d really like to know what you think about this — leave me some comments!