May 17, 2009

Stuff you never knew you needed!

Let alone ever asked for!

As seen at the grocery store today.



Aerosol Pancake/Waffle batter; but it is organic, and somehow that makes it alright?

PS. I know I haven't written anything in a while, I am working on it I promise.

May 9, 2009

What I done today


9:00am– leave to attend annual Karate Exhibition, see the boy and 100 other kids show their chops. Exhibition begins at 10am and continues until 11:30.

12:00 - go to JP Licks for ice cream to celebrate neighbor boys 10th birthday. On the way back to the car we stop at a local toy store where I buy 2 tin wind-up toys that are on sale.

1:30 Return home begin chores which includes:
Clean 1 and ½ bathrooms – 2 toilets, 2 sinks 1 tub and associated walls and floors.
Sweep and mop 2 sets of stairs and the basement hall.
Mow the lawn and trim the edges (it’s small)
Wash dry and fold 4 loads of laundry. (ongoing)
Vacuum parts of the dining room and kitchen that the boy missed while doing his chores.
Make fresh lime-aid (with the help of the boy) 1&1/3 cup fresh squeezed limejuice, ½ cup sugar, 1 qt water.
Make batch of tortilla chips from corn tortillas – cut 1 a pile of corn tortilla into 6 piece pie sections, lay out on cookie sheet, salt lightly and bake for 15 min at 350°
Wash dinner dishes.

10:30pm sit with glass of bourbon fold last load of laundry while watching last weeks PBS episode of We Shall Remain.

11:00pm write this while thinking that is it time to send the boy to bed.

Lost Opportunities



The above photo was taken at Lars Anderson Park across the street from the boy's school. I drove by yesterday about noon, and the hill side was covered with dandelions creating almost a yellow mist effect above the emerald green of the grass. I couldn't stop to take a picture as traffic was heavy and I was on my way to meet a friend for lunch. I made a mental note to try for a photo later in the day when I would be picking up the boy from school.

I arrived a little early to give me time, I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my camera and walked out to the street in anticipation. And this is what I found; sometime in the previous 4 hours they had mowed the lawn..

(I drove by again this morning on my way to karate class and noticed that dandelions were again beginning to appear. I'll keep my eye on the park for the next days and see if the effect returns.)

May 5, 2009

Not Much Ado

‘S 'bout time I added another update I think, time flies when you are having fun.

Speaking of fun, spring has really sprung here; the weather has been noticeably warmer now for a couple of weeks, but the kicker is that all of the trees have come into leaf in the last week. It always surprises me how quickly it happens in this part of the country. One week the trees are bare and you turn around, and they are green and leafy.

Big fun in the neighborhood over the last couple weeks; a film shoot is taking place up our street a couple blocks from the house. The film; ‘The Company Men’ stars Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones, not that we have seen them in the neighborhood, but the local press has been keeping us filled in on their every move. The shoot is taking place at what we called for lack of a better title the ‘Munster House’; actually know as the Hodgden House it was built in the 1860’s towards the end of the ‘estate ‘ period in the Roxbury Highlands. The house has been in disrepair for the better part of 50 years, going from Italianate mansion to rooming house and apartments, and vacant for many years. It is now owned by a cab driver. One of the more endangered old houses in the neighborhood, the owner has barely had the funds to keep the house standing let alone actually make any repairs. The plot of the film revolves around the Affleck character, once a corporate hotshot who looses his job and goes to work for his brother (Costner) who is a contractor. The house happens to be one that they are working on over the course of the story. The upside of the filming in and around the house is that the film company is putting a substantial amount of money in the actual repairs of the house as the house transitions from derelict to repaired over the course of the film.

video The house in transition.

The downside of the film shoot is that they keep blocking off the street for days starting early in the morning until early evening. The street happens to be narrow and one way, and the only straight route over the hill to the other side, and is the main route I take in the morning to take the boy to school, the first couple of mornings he was late for school in part because of the longer route. It isn’t like I could just take the next block over either, the streets were laid out in the 1830’s tend to meander all over and are often one way going the opposite direction.

Speaking of construction, the houses that are being built behind us are nearing completion. The last couple weeks have them digging up the street and sidewalks while installing the utilities. The houses dominate the view from the back of our house and make our humble home look even smaller and humbler. It will be strange having some one living so close. When we first moved here 8 years ago, we were the only house on the block with vacant lots to the back and to the side of the house. With the completion of these last two houses, what had been vacant land will now contain 10 units of housing, which is 6 to the side and 4 to the rear. It used to be that ours was the only car parked on the block and we could always park next to the house. That has changed dramatically, and god forbid you don’t have a space by 8:00am on Tuesday mornings when they are sweeping the streets and parking is prohibited on one side.

Before: October 20, 2008

Current: May 3, 2009

The other one: May 3, 2009.

In the broader picture, work is slowing down. The last few weeks were hectic with a variety of student groups performing in the theatre, of ten with four or more events in a given week. I’d like to say that they were all brilliant productions, but alas they all seemed to blend in to one mass of student bodies bouncing around the stage to pop tunes played and a painful volume. I was most disappointed by the burlesque troupe, I was hoping for something a little different from the other dance groups. But alas ‘twas not to be. Whereas the other groups we attempting to be ‘artistic’, the burlesque troupe was a little more ‘wink-wink’ about flouting their sexuality on stage, where it could have been more crass and in your face, in reality it was more of the same.

Good news; the triangle across the street from us that has been a vacant lot for 30 years or more which the neighbors have been tending for nearly as long is soon to come into the possession of a local land conservancy, and will

And they by ended the academic year, as classes ended Monday a week ago. I had two more events in this weekend, both of them benefits for worth causes, which featured a lot of good live music on stage. Unfortunately both events were poorly attended, and I doubt if either made any money for their chosen charities. It is kind of a shame to see the tacky student shows packed with kids, and when something of a higher artistic merit comes along the house is empty. I understand that the students are going to see and support their friends onstage, but it is still a little disheartening.
All that is left now is commencement exercises on the 17th and a few events scattered over the next month.

Beyond that life has been busy but pretty routine, get up in the morning, work and go to bed at night.

I am always raving in these pages about the neighborhood, here is a video that a local organization Roxbury Cultural Network put together.