kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
All right everyone,

The overall message I'm getting from y'all is that these places do not treat the furniture well enough if at all, and I should just get rid of the furniture. I ran into [ profile] frobzwiththingz and he suggested we get a burn barrel, chop up the stuff with an axe, and burn it.

This sounds like fun to me.

Question for Somerville residents: any idea if this can be done legally? I'm thinking an impromptu get-together in our huge asphalt back yard might be a good time.
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
Hi there!

My RSM training has regional weekends, and [ profile] mattlistener and I are hoping to get a regional here in the Boston area.

Does anyone know of a space that matches these specifications?

-Need enough space for 8-9 massage tables
-Need the space for about 18 hours over two days (Saturday and Sunday)
-Cost between $500-$600

kitchen_kink: (hawaii sign)
Hi, fab friends list,

I'm looking for a place to crash in Manhattan on the night of Nov. 19. The venue I'll be going to is the Society of Illustrators, at 128 East 63rd Street.

I'm searching hotels on Hotwire, and it gives me only neighborhoods until I book. What neighborhood would you say that address is in?

There is no way not to end the previous sentence with a preposition. Dammit.

(Well, there is, but I'm impatient right now.)
kitchen_kink: (mercenary)
Say for the sake of argument that you lived outside Teele Square, off Broadway, near 16 and the Arlington border.

1. What's the nearest park-like thing in walking distance?

2. Where's a good place that's bikeable-to for running on grass or other non-asphalt turf?
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hi, all,

[ profile] imlad and I are looking to move into a place with [ profile] queen_of_wands. Below is was we're lookin' for; let me know if y'all know of anything!

The following criteria are necessities:
-3 bedrooms, or 2 bedrooms with extra common space of some kind
-Laundry in building, or laundry hookups
-Some outdoor space - deck or yard
-Reasonable walking distance (15-20 minutes or less) to Davis, Porter, Harvard, Alewife, or Kendall T

These things would be excellent plusses:
-Hardwood floors
-Offstreet parking
-Pantry space
-Storage space
-First floor or first/second floor
-Pets okay (we currently have no pets)

Please contact us if you have anything to show! Thanks!
kitchen_kink: (Default)
On Russell St. between Orchard and Elm, someone has put out what looks like a perfectly good weight bench or exercise equipment of some sort. I have absolutely no place to put it in my apartment, but I thought somebody else might like to have it!
kitchen_kink: (meditative)
It's the shortest night of the year. Rum singing in my head atop the sweet whorls of passionfruit and mango, I float in and out of shadow, strolling home.

Once or twice I practice a stance of defense, an alert posture learned from years of city living, the dance of you-can't-be-too-careful in a town where I've never known trouble.

It's quiet. I don't see a soul. A bird sings so many different tunes in a row I wonder if it's a machine, duplicating birdsong, that someone has hung in a tree in the ballpark just outside the square. I remember a story about a city mockingbird who'd learned to ape car alarms. One after another, this one sings tunes for a sore ear in the middle of the shortest night of the year.

Every air conditioner rattles; every streetlamp hums. Along with the idling of taxis, the silence forms a subtle chord, tuning to the harmonics of neon in the pizza-shop window, the fluroesence of a disembodied hand hefting a Coollatta to eternity.

Even the hippest coffee shops have closed.

My muscles sing the warmth of a night walk, alone, safe. A police car rambles around the block with nothing to do. The sidewalk trees sigh. In the doorway of the Goodwill, amid the debris of the day's donations, a bearded man peacefully sleeps.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
In China Fair today, Guy1 and Guy2 are lackadasically manning the front counter.

Guy1: Between the two of us, we almost make up one entire human being.

Guy2: We're better when we're not hung over, I promise.

Guy1: Y'know tomorrow? I'm gonna quit and go work at a bed store.

Guy2: That'd be great advertising for them. See, it really works!


I learned in yoga on Wednesday that the Sanskrit word for "cow" is (at least phonetically) "gomu."


On NPR, they were interviewing a woman who hosted the Discovery Channel show Adventure Divas was studying women travel/adventurers throughout the world. A retiree called in from the mouth of the Panama Canal, where she was at sea with her husband, as she had been for several months now. She was listing the ways it had been exciting so far, and the list included the casual sentence, "We were boarded by pirates near Colombia, and we fended them off with pepper spray."

Boarded by pirates! Fear not, loyal LJers: pirates apparently still exist. But I can't say much for their heartiness these days (arr, me hearties) if they can be driven off their booty by a couple of seniors with mace.

I forgot!

Sep. 26th, 2005 01:21 pm
kitchen_kink: (bliss)
In all the hullabaloo of my last post, I forgot a major point:

The glass harmonica.

In Harvard Square, we found a woman playing this bemusing instrument, and I took a turn (so to speak) at the crank while she played a lovely "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." The thing sounds a little like an organ, a little like a musical saw, and of course, a little like when you run your finger around the rim of a wineglass.

She played it by having someone turn the crank, then wetting her fingers and touching them along the gold-leaf edges of each glass bleb in the structure, each of which would make a different note.

This picture looks the most like the one I saw. I seriously could not stop grinning at this thing.

Apparently, this guy can't, either.

My favorite thing about this instrument, though, is its bizarre history and how it languished into obscurity:

A dictionary of music from the period warned that the instrument's "celestial softness" could cause spasms. Cases of Armonica-induced melancholia began making the medical rounds. Several Armonica performers (including one of the most celebrated players, Marianne Davies) were hospitalized for nervous disorders. Soon, the Armonica was being blamed on premature births, causing convulsions in farm animals, domestic squabbles, madness and death. When a child died during an Armonica concert in Germany, the instrument was banned there.

The woman's notes near the glass harmonica that we saw also included "raising the dead" as one of the feared results of the playing of this strange instrument. Damn! Why'd they ban it? Zombie glass harmonica players, come on!
kitchen_kink: (sparkly doubt)
Written on the side of a Planet Aid donation bin:

Jesus Saves

Written underneath it in a different handwriting:

Moses Invests
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hey out there,

Is anyone free in the next couple of hours to drive [ profile] imlad to the damn towing place to pick up the damn car which was damnably towed this morning by the damn city?


It would be greatly appreciated...
kitchen_kink: (male)
1. I just made one of the many cute Diesel chicks laugh by referring to an Odwalla bar as a "food object."

2. I am consuming said food object (oo, tasty food object!) because suddenly, at 2:30, I've hit a wall, and further, I'm starving. I ate cereal and goat yogurt (goatgurt!) and fruit for breakfast; plenty of protein and salad for lunch. But at 2:30, I could eat, with apologies to [ profile] ladytabitha, every one of you.

3. I got ogled at the gym today. And you know what? I didn't mind so much.

4. At the ATM, I winced in frustration as I saw the sign on the screen telling me that said ATM was "temporarily unavailable." However, it assuaged my risen hackles slightly by further informing me that it would, in fact, be "available shortly." Shortly is a rather vague and notoriously low estimate of time passage at the best of times, and I had five minutes to be where I was going. But it was around the corner, and for some reason I believed that "shortly" really meant "any minute" in this case. Sure enough, I heard a clunking, and the characteristic whirring the machine makes when it's about to spit out money. I figured it was about to be done being broken. Then, the ATM spoke to me.

"Just a minute!" the surprisingly human female voice said.

I paused, taken aback by this new development. "You can see me?" I asked the machine.

"I see your shadow," the machine responded.

With this mystical pronouncement, the clunking and whirring recommenced, followed shortly thereafter (as promised) with the screen going black, then the red screen welcoming me to my local bank.

A bit perturbed, and with a renewed sense of eerie surveillance (who is the gazer in this creepy culture?), I withdrew my money.

Now I have a sneaking suspicion that ATMs aren't automatic at all; they are in fact cardboard facades behind which people stand holding a VCR remote (with a button that produces a loud beeping noise on command) in one hand, and a fistful of money in the other.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I voted today in Somerville. Totally painless. However, the ballot was a weird one I'd never seen before, where you connect the head of the arrow to the point of the arrow. WTF, mate?

At Porter Square today, I saw a sign posted to two strange-looking green pole-like objects. The sign said, "What is this thing? I must know. Email me at ________________." I found this hilarious.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
The buzzer rang yesterday at around 6:30 and I was surprised: our guests weren't due until 7:30 or 8, and [ profile] imlad wasn't yet home. As I trundled downstairs to answer it (our apartment has no way of buzzing people in), I heard the neighbor's buzzer sound as well, and though I could not yet see the visitor, I had some misgivings, though I hoped it would simply be the UPS man uncertain of which doorbell was which.

Instead, I was greeted by a smooth-cheeked, toothy young lady in a red shirt, bearing the DNC logo. She was brandishing a clipboard in my general direction, and was careful to get her entire enthusiastic speech out, all the time looking directly into my eyes, before I could interrupt or say a word other than "hello."

In spite of my natural desire to dismiss her out of hand and shut the door to return to my cooking, I simply couldn't do it. Not because the cause moves me particularly or doesn't - it does, in fact; I want Kerry elected more than I've wanted anything in politics since I wanted Bush not to declare war on Iraq two years ago. It's more because I'm particularly susceptible to young kids earnestly pushing their various fundraising campaigns door-to-door.

Sure, it's hard going up to individual people's houses and bothering them around dinnertime to beg for money, and I sympathize with that. But more to the point, I empathize with that - because I did it for a summer, and man, it's the hardest frickin' job in the world.

I'm not sure how most organizations work, but I know how PIRG and Clean Water Action - two of the most successful environment and other public interest fundraising organizations - operate in terms of their lowest level employees.

Ever see those signs that say, "Work for the Environment! Make $300-$500 a week!" Yeah, I answered that ad once. And ended up working for the New Jersey Environmental Federation, an inveterate group of young wiseguys and older, earnest types who spend their time between 4 pm and 9 pm going door-to-door in various neighborhoods, spreading the word about one disaster or another (poisonous insecticides on your kids' schoolgrounds, mercury in your fish) that we're attempting to pass a resolution or law to prevent, reverse or correct. All you have to do is give us some money.

If it matters to you, and if such people have come to your door in the past, you should know that half of that money (with taxes taken out first, of course) goes into that little college student's pocket, which, for the hot (or cold), potentially dangerous, humiliating, demoralizing nature of the work, seems to me to be far less than their fair share. The rest of it goes to fund their lobbying groups and keep operations up. The people who run these things are nonprofit warriors to a man or woman, dedicated, honest, and working in lousy office conditions. We drove to our locations in beat-up Econolines. We practiced our "raps" to each other, the enthusiastic speech I mentioned earlier, over the bumps in the road and the loud engine. We had a whole vocabulary, a parlance of door-to-door fundraising, starting with the word "canvassing." People in houses were known as "doors," as in, "I had this one door tonight that let me in the house and invited me to dinner!" Once you had your door's attention, you made sure to keep their eyes as you delivered your rap, and to clip them - get your clipboard into their hands - as early as possible, without letting them look at it until you were done talking. That attitude of sunny rapport, and the pushiness and lack of change in expression when you tell them, again and again, that you simply can't give right now, that you gave at the office, that you can't afford the $25 "membership" level donation - that's called "assuming support." "That's okay," you probably hear those kids say over and over when you insist that you can't afford it, "folks are just giving five or ten dollars." Assume support. Go to every door imagining that this person is already on your side, already reaching for their checkbook. In our case, we had weird numbers, to be fun and also to get checks instead of cash, to get addresses: $6, $12, $25, $60. A $60 giver was called a sustainer, and boy were they ever, in making up half of your quota for the night. The desperation with which the fundraiser will finally just ask if you can pitch in a couple bucks became known, thanks to a hilarious, extremely bright surfer boy called John Hogan, as the "buckertwo." Once he steamrolled over a door's noisy objections to his very presence by insistently chanting, "Buck-or-two-buck-or-two buckertwobuckertwobuckertwo buck - er - two!" He later became so disenchanted with the job that he replaced our field manager's common exhortation "Make it happen" with "Let it happen."

I had a lot of highs, a lot of failures, and a lot of stories from that job. Someday they'll become a short story, I think. In any case, now, whenever one of those people come to the door, whatever their cause, with their little clipboards and their hopeful faces and endless positivity, I smile back. I grade them on their technique. Sometimes I even give a contribution. Because that's their job, and I know what that job is like. It sucks. And if you don't make your quota, you get fired.

But yesterday, I didn't. I went back into my comfortable house, back to my cooking, after she insisted three times and I, like Peter, three times denied her. Maybe I'm getting a bit hard in my old age.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
I just know someone reading me is looking for an excellent place to live.

Just so happens, [ profile] ert has bought a house in Somerville, on Spring Hill, and has a big-ol' 4 bedroom apartment available. It looks like this:

Pictures here!

Come on, now, you know you want it...
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hey, folks,

So, as should be obvious by now, I would appear to be moving. I'm going to severely consolidate my stuff, so I shouldn't have that much - especially furniture. It's going to be a strange move, likely involving a drive to Newton to pick up some old stuff, some of which will move to the new place, some of which will go...elsewhere, we're not sure as yet. But it shouldn't be *too* difficult overall.

What I'm trying to say is: help?

It'll happen August 29, a Sunday, and shouldn't take more than a few hours. Afterwards, you will be plied with things with which one plies people. (Um.)

Also, I'll be getting rid of some stuff: an old desk that nonetheless is still serviceable, a couple of dilapidated bookshelfy things, some dishes and silverware, and perhaps some clothing. So I'd encourage folks to claim stuff as well - otherwise a thoroughly annoying yard sale will be in order.

Thankye in advance for yeer support.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Hammering away at the Diesel again.

This morning I wasn't quite so ambitious: I couldn't drag myself up until about 7:30. But I still got up, resisted the urge to flop back into bed, tempting as it was, ate some breakfast, went to the bank and the post office, and now I'm here.

The problems, as I see them, are twofold:

1. I'm not awake until at least 10 anyway, so the hours between 7 and 10 are spent getting myself awake and not getting much done. That'll change, but it'll take time.

2. Salicom is evil.

Well, let me rephrase that. They're not evil; in fact, the guy I've talked to a bunch of times to help me with it is really sweet - and it's always the same guy! Small, these Salicom people are. (Yoda I speak like.) What they are is idiots. Every morning I've had to call them and fix one thing or another before I could have the privilege of logging on to the 'net at my favorite coffeeshop. And of course, T-mobile (provider of internet access for the Starbucks across the street and my cell phone carrier) are equal idiots, and for whatever reason don't give me reception inside the Diesel - in spite of the fact that I can usually pick up T-mobile internet access from inside the Diesel! Not sure if they're connected at all, but if they are, that shit just pisses me off.

Regardless. Enough bitching. Mostly I'm doing okay. It's good to get up early. I wonder if the regular use of the drops is helping with the allergy issue, and my grogginess and zombieness will pass by the end of the month...? It would be rather amazing.

This week has been a whirlwind thus far. Monday night, went out for drinks though [ profile] imlad had taken a day to work at home, since he was feeling sick. Working at home drives him nuts, so we needed to get out of the house. The next day, he stayed home sick for real, and again, by the end of the night he was feeling mostly better, and we stepped out to check the action at the Diesel (none, by 9pm) and then to get desserts at Gargoyle's. Last night we saw the director's cut of Donnie Darko, and I have to tell you - if you've seen this movie, loved it, but still have questions, see the director's cut. If you haven't seen the movie, see the director's cut. If you don't know what I'm talking about, see the fragging director's cut. It's beautiful, and it explains so much.

Off to find out if The Philosophy of Time Travel is a real book.
kitchen_kink: (thinking)
- Caffeine re-introduction appears to have the same effect as caffeine withdrawal. I haven't had a cup in three days, and today I had one. Now I've got a headache and I'm irritable, though I have a slightly more focused brain.

- [ profile] ladytabitha should be brunched with frequently. Every time I have my sorta-monthly what we've come to call Dine-N-Bitch with her, I remember why we're friends. We're extremely different people, but the ability we have to reflect on each other's different, but equally viable, approaches to life provides much-needed perspective on a regular basis. It's just so neat to talk to someone whose brain works so differently from my own, with no defensiveness or misunderstanding. Yay, brains!

- Sometimes, there's nothing to do but wait.

- Outbursts at customer service representatives are both useless and deleterious to efficiency. Today I went to mail something that needed to be taped shut, and learned that the post office - get this - no longer gives out tape over the counter. You have to buy it, and at the post office, it's four bucks. I thought the guy was teasing me at first, then he directed me to the sign. I was so irate that I didn't notice he was reaching for the tape and was about to make an exception for me, and I said, "Oh, give me a break!" He didn't. It was amazing to watch how effectively my impatient attitude caused his hand to move away from the tape and direct me to where I could purchase some. "Next!" I need to recall this lesson and avoid sending bad energy toward people: it multiplies.

- That last lesson, I suddenly realize, has other excellent applications for events which occurred last night, involving pulling away from my support network and stewing in my own misery. This junk should be shared with no one: it should be vented alone and thoroughly so I can open myself to comfort. Huh. The things we learn from postal workers.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
Are any folks planning on going to ArtBeat festivities tonight and/or tomorrow?

Lemme know, muthas.

Damn, I'm in a weird mood.
kitchen_kink: (Default)
The great hulk, steel growler, bump-and-grind garbage truck hitches down the street, plumes of dragon-smoke in its wake. It’s a party. Three men jump and dance, acrobatic, from its heels and backside, dodging the flame, a game of chicken with a voracious beast. The Amerindian-looking shaggy-haired boy leaps like a court jester from the bumper, runs and grabs a white bag of trash, throws it in an arc so it floats, like a cloud, then thumps down into the reality of the machine. A strapping blond appears as if from nowhere, emerging from the fog of dust and exhaust, spotting and spinning a box full of refuse. He twirls it so it skitters toward the truck, and the third man, a tall, lanky Latino, grabs it by one of its ears and flips it into the maw of the beast, like a sacrificial bit of meat.

Down the street they lurch, the Flying Sanitation Brothers, the truck like a circus train on fire, the men like trapeze artists, jumping, spinning, overturning trash cans in their wake. Behind, I walk, dodging the empty shells of other people’s waste, the rubber and metal, bouncing and rolling husks, ripe with flies and yellowjackets and the fruity sweet smell of rot. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


The screaming sirens disturb me with their insistance. The buildings of the square hold the noise in, make it all the more jarring. Firetrucks, ambulances, police cars, all day, all night. Who can keep track? The city deadens me to pain, makes me ignore the little tragedies that crop up on all sides.

An ambulance parks near me; its loud rumbling engine blends into the general noise. I look up and see a gurney, white wheeled death-machine, rolling past me, a pale paramedic attached to the end like an afterthought. They head for a park bench, where a nondescript, dark, thin man lies, twitching a little, wearing an olive-green shirt and a baseball cap. I hadn’t even noticed him. I don’t know what has happened. I feel somehow responsible, sitting here with my computer and my lofty thoughts, unaware of the events unfolding twenty feet away. Some man, dying, dead probably.

They wheel him onto the truck.


The woman, her face lined but by her slight figure and youthful attitude, likely younger than I am, sits hesitantly across from me at the table. I acknowledge her with little more than a nod, no eye contact.

“Excuse me,” she says after a few minutes of silent sitting, a copy of The Brothers K sitting thickly in front of her on the table. “Are you waiting for the Tufts bus?”

“No,” I say. “I’m just...sitting here.”

“Oh. Well do you happen to know how often it comes?”

“No, I don’t, sorry.”

She looks off down the street again, another little line forming between her eyebrows.

“You know,” I say after a minute or so, “if you’re going to Tufts, it’s not that far.”

“I know,” she says, “I live, about, a half-hour walk away. I’m just lazy; I’d rather read, and write, and ride there. I’m sure it’ll come soon.”

I’ve walked out to the square today from home. It’s not far, maybe ten minutes. I’ll walk back later. Last night I walked with my girlfriend, fairly aimlessly, through bits of Somerville and Medford, just to walk.

What if one could walk not just to get somewhere, but for the joy of walking?

The woman sees her bus, gets up, and hurries off.


kitchen_kink: (Default)

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