Archive for April, 2010

no kill spider zone

I have no qualms about killing bugs. Flies, gnats, roaches, creepy-crawlies of most varieties. I was the passenger in my friend Melissa Greenwald’s car one day when a bug landed on her dash. Unconsciously and mid-sentence my hand flew down with a killer blow. She laughed about how Southern I was and put on an accent and mocked me. It was pretty funny.

And there was one morning at work when someone spotted a roach in the hallway. Everyone was scared (!!!). They called for my help so I rounded the corner and saw it down the hall. Jay was throwing paper plates at it with results that you can imagine were less than satisfactory. “Excuse me, Jay, let me take care of this,” I said taking off my sandal. One swift slam and we scooped up the ex-roach with one of the paper plates and tossed it in the garbage.

Spiders, however, command my respect and I won’t kill them. When I see them in my apartment I say “Hello there, Mr. Spider, what’s shakin? Where’s yer web? Thank you for eating my bugs.” We’ve had so many sightings recently of the same spider that I am considering naming him. Last week I opened the curtain after my shower and saw him hanging less than a foot away from my face. I blew on him a little hoping he’d move up or down, but he was stubborn. Since I needed to use the room I got a piece of tissue for him to climb on and placed him on the floor behind the toilet.

Next day Chris and I saw him on the wall in the living room. Last night he was spotted on the floor under the coffee table. I followed him around on my hands and knees for a bit trying to get him to climb on my hand. Chris told me to be careful because he might bite, but I don’t believe that.  We’re taking good care of him - why would he bite me?  But he wouldn’t crawl on my hand, either, so I directed him to crawl under the TV stand.  I certainly don’t want anyone to accidentally step on him.

once more with feeling

I hate to complain about days with “nice” weather, but can’t we just have a sweet, slow progression into Spring without jumping to Summer?  What happened to days and days in a row where the highs are in the low 60s?  Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t crave the heat?

Left the house at 9:30 this morning and walked to the gym.  It’s only a 10-15 minute walk and when I got there I was sweating.  No.  I do not like this.  9:30am and already 65 degrees?  On April 3rd?   And these cloudless skies are killing me.   My walk back home was worse than the walk there because there was zero shade on either side of the street.   After a 2 and a half hour workout I need time to cool down and that just didn’t help matters at all.  Gah!

Winter or Summer, I choose winter.  Never thought I’d feel that way, but there it is.

square peg

Davis Square is a great place to live.  The Boston Globe’s online site did a survey recently of readers’ favorite square and Davis won, running against Kendall (I think), Central, Porter and Harvard.  Yes, it beat Harvard Square.

Davis is perfect because it’s Somerville surrounded by Cambridge on two sides, so it’s artsy, forward thinking and yet has its feet on the ground.  It’s not touristy, it’s got a real “center,” tons of restaurants and bars and shops and the population is a nice mix of locals, Tufts runoff,  mature professionals, families and artists.  I wouldn’t be surprised if all of Somerville contained more musicians than any other part of Massachusetts.

All that said, there is something in Davis that scares me.  It’s a restaurant/nightclub called Sagra.

As I sit here at my desk in my bedroom, which faces Highland Avenue, I hear the effects of this blight on my neighborhood.  Sagra attracts a crowd that simply does not belong here and which is embodied clearly by MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”  Club-going partiers,  girls almost-wearing clothes and stumbling around in heels trying to balance their cleavage and guys who are more Axe body spray and hair gel than man.  All of them are loud loud loud and have so much misdirected or unchanneled energy in them that I’m frightened to even walk past on weekend evenings.  With good reason, too.

When Chris and first started dating he was up late and I was asleep (what else is new?) and he heard a commotion on the street.  He went outside to check it out and witnessed a fight.  Not only did he see some punches thrown, but he saw a guy get hit and then fall backward so hard and so solid that he could hear his head crack on the sidewalk.  For months he said that sound haunted him, it was so visceral and disturbing.

Davis Square isn’t for melees and testosterone-filled macho “who you talkin’ to” fist-fights.  It’s also not for hoochie mamas and “like, ohmigod” spouting bimbos.  Begone foul pestilence!  Stay in the ‘burbs or Faneuil Hall and the clubs near North Station, please!   I moved here because you were not here.   If I had to choose I’d keep my white trash local yobbo neighbors (the ones who were up at 10am last July 4th starting a giant fire in their hibachi and drinking quarts of beer.  The ones who never did any actual barbeque’ing and who turned in for the night at 2pm) over this unsavory element any day of the week.  My WT neighbors may be ignorant or uneducated, but they keep to themselves and don’t stir shit up.  I appreciate that.


Last night I watched Twilight.  I’d never seen it before, though I was familiar with the storyline and the characters.  Frankly, I wasn’t expecting it to be very good, which I think is the best place to start.  (Chris gets annoyed with me that I rarely get excited about things.   But if I get all worked up like he does there’s a strong possibility that I’ll come away disappointed, so I try to maintain an even keel.)

Well guess what?  I liked it.  A lot.  And was I surprised.  The entire look of the movie was sumptuous, the soundtrack was amazing and the feel of the whole thing was spooky, seductive and hypnotic.  Who knew?  I guess everyone but me.

I can’t imagine any girl who wouldn’t want to be Bella.  She’s experiencing the ultimate female teenage fantasy, getting the attention of the handsome, brooding boy who doesn’t talk to anyone outside his small group.  Finding out he’s a vampire?  Bonus.  Maybe that was just my own teenage fantasy.

Since I’m all growed up now, ha ha ha, my vampire obsession from youth has faded.  For that reason I’ve been both surprised with the recent (fairly) resurgence of interest in them as well as annoyed by it.  Annoyed in the selfish way of someone gets when they’re “over” something, a real been there, done that feeling, you know?  I read the Anne Rice vampire books in the 80s and had my “goth” phase.  (Fortunately with my pale complexion I never needed that white pancake makeup I hear post-goths refer to these days.)  The curmudgeon in me mentally shakes my fist at the new wave/goth/punk kids and yells, “You’re not inventing anything, you know!!!  We did it first!”

Still, the vampire thing remains interesting and is retold again and again.   I’ve not watched True Blood, but the friends of mine who follow it tell me it’s amazing.  Then there’s Vampire Diaries on TV and I’ve never seen that.  Let The Right One In is one of my favorite movies now.  It’s a stark and haunting story about a child vampire set in a bleak Scandinavian suburb.   I’ve been lent the book and plan to read it, too.

It’s cool how people retell and reimagine the myth, too.  In Twilight the vampires never sleep; how amazing would it be to not need sleep?  Think how much more you could get done!  And daylight just makes them appear to be gold flecked and shiny.  In Let the Right One In, the vampires sleep during the day and incinerate if sunlight touches them.  This is much more in the traditional vein.

One final thing, the house the vampire family has in the woods is my dream house.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Reminds me of my friend Doug Schatz’s parents house in high school in Nashville.  It was beautiful and cool and I coveted it like crazy.