:: This Goes Without Saying...Boston, MA ::

My collective impressions of the new controls.

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[::.. cast of characters ..::]

AL(al) n.
Narrator of highest note.

LORI(lohr-ee) n.
The girlfriend. Slightly bratty. Arachnophobe.

CHARLIE(chahr-lee) n.
A dieffenbachia plant spawn from the great Mother Charlie in Woods Hole, MA.

[::.. archive ..::]

:: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 ::

I can't believe I'm presently not doing what I am getting paid to do and am typing on my blog site instead.

Actually, I can believe that one.

:: posted by Al on 4/30/2003 09:09:00 AM ::

I can't believe I'm at work right now.

:: posted by Al on 4/30/2003 09:07:00 AM ::

I can't believe 600 people have viewed my blog site since March of this year.

:: posted by Al on 4/30/2003 09:06:00 AM ::

:: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 ::

I start a 2-day 'contract' job at Fleet in the financial district today. Minor techie stuff. At least it's something.

:: posted by Al on 4/29/2003 07:35:00 AM ::

:: Sunday, April 27, 2003 ::

See? This Al-ocracy is ruled by a benevolent Al-tator.

Some of you asked for a voice of your own to comment on my blog entries. Ask and ye shall receive. Just click on the 'comments(0)' link at the end of my entries and fire away.

Of course I still retain the decisive editorial power over all of your comments. It is my blog site after all.

:: posted by Al on 4/27/2003 12:13:00 PM ::

:: Saturday, April 26, 2003 ::

Today is NFL Draft 2003 day. I chose to watch the NFL Draft on my indoor TV this afternoon by myself instead of going to the outdoor WBOS EarthFest concert with my friends in the cold rain at the Hatch Shell in downtown Boston. Not a tough choice. Even if The Beatles were playing. Well maybe I'd go if The Beatles were playing. But they're not. Big Head Todd & the Monsters and Sheryl Crow are headlining. Big whoop de doo. They should've called the concert the WBOS RainFest or the WBOS MudFest.

The Patriots got themselves a Defensive Tackle from Texas A&M in the 1st round. Good move.

:: posted by Al on 4/26/2003 05:52:00 PM ::

:: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 ::

You had better not be trying to be facetious, Charlie.

:: posted by Al on 4/23/2003 10:41:00 PM ::

When you're weary...feeling small.
When tears are in your eyes,
I will dry them all.
I'm on your side.
When times get rough,
And friends just can't be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water,
I will lay me down.

:: posted by Charlie the Plant on 4/23/2003 10:33:00 PM ::

:: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 ::

Overall I guess I had a fun extra-long weekend on the Cape and all, but I seem to have lost my personal 'Fortress of Solitude', the place where I used to be able to relax and escape.

I drove back to the city today because I was getting too anxious about the realities of my life while down on the Cape. I even went on a 18-mile bike ride while I was down there, but it didn't seem to help.

Last night I lay awake in bed until 3am or so pondering the situations I find myself in. I don't like the increasing frequency of my sleeplessness.

:: posted by Al on 4/22/2003 09:58:00 PM ::

Life sucks.

:: posted by Al on 4/22/2003 01:56:00 PM ::

:: Friday, April 18, 2003 ::

The Bruins were eliminated from the NHL Playoffs last night after losing to the NJ Devils 3-0. Same old story, stupid Boston penalties highlighted by a remarkable streak of five straight NJ power plays in the first two periods. NJ should have won 10-0, it was that bad.

:: posted by Al on 4/18/2003 09:46:00 AM ::

:: Thursday, April 17, 2003 ::

Well someone finally did it, hopefully now all the Boston Press will shut up about it. Manny Ramirez hit a 2-out 'Monster Ball' homerun in the 3rd that sent fans sitting in the new Green Monster seats scrambling for a souvenir. This was the first time that a homerun has ever been hit into the actual seating area of these new seats. Nomar hit one into the area last weekend but it bounced back onto the field.

The stupidest thing about this entire situation is that the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has actually requested the ball from the fan who came up with it in the ensuing scrum. What?!?! What the hell are they gonna do with it?? It is a baseball that was the first one to be hit into a new section of seating, it is not homeun #756 that broke Hank Aaron's all-time record. They must have a lot of extra space that needs to be filled in the Hall.

:: posted by Al on 4/17/2003 01:56:00 PM ::

My very own sister Jessica is going to be on the field at Fenway Park before the Red Sox/Blue Jays 7:05pm game Friday night with a group of other cancer survivors. They're gonna spell out the number 50 to commemorate the 50 years that the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund have been together doing their thing to combat cancer, giving money, etc. Then she gets to chill in style and comfort to watch the game. Probably in a luxury box. Probably free food too.

I bet she gets all kind of free gear, they never send anyone out onto the field without tons of Sox paraphernalia to wear.

I think siblings should be invited as well.

Be sure to watch if you can.

:: posted by Al on 4/17/2003 01:38:00 PM ::

:: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 ::

Someone on the T today asked a bunch of us if anyone has heard of Professor Tom 'Harold Hill' Grassle, a Starwood Real Estate Manager who is ruining the reputation of all corporate hotel employees. This man explained that Grassle moves from town to town selling people on cheap hotel rooms in the Caribbean, and then leaves town with the collected deposit money before anyone has discovered that he has no hotel connections down in the Virgin Islands.

Yes sir, we got TROUBLE, right here in little Falmouth,
With a capital T and that rhymes with G and that stands for GRASSLE.

:: posted by Al on 4/16/2003 07:52:00 PM ::

It's 7:45pm and it says it is 47 degrees outside. Where do I live, Canada?

:: posted by Al on 4/16/2003 07:51:00 PM ::

It's 3:45pm and it says it is 77 degrees outside. Where do I live, Miami?

:: posted by Al on 4/16/2003 03:52:00 PM ::

Why is it that every player the Red Sox pry away from the Yankees ends up being sucky in the end while every player that heads from Boston to New York ends up being Babe Ruth? Ramiro Mendoza is our latest Yankee disaster.

Last night he didn't even complete the 8th inning while giving up 4 hits, a wild pitch and 4 earned runs. Of course at the time the Sox were up by 4 runs so their 5-1 lead turned into a 5-5 tie game. Shea Hillenbrand had to save the day with an RBI in the 9th to win it for the Red Sox. Mendoza was unhitable when he was with the Evil Empire, he was the go-to guy to come in and shut things down late in a game. But last night he was serving up batting practice, and Tampa Bay was crushing his every pitch.

The 'Closer by Committee' has turned into 'Closer by Calamity' or 'Closer by Catastrophe'. Changes are on the way, Bobby Howry was demoted to AAA Pawtucket last night. We'll have to wait and see who they promote to replace him.

:: posted by Al on 4/16/2003 10:07:00 AM ::

Yesterday's NHL results:
BOS 5, NJ 1
New Jersey leads the best of 7 games series, 3-1 after the Bruins chased All-World NJ goalie Martin Brodeur from the game following Boston's 5 goal explosion. Now the series heads back to exit 16W in New Jersey for Game 5.

:: posted by Al on 4/16/2003 09:50:00 AM ::

:: Monday, April 14, 2003 ::

I was having a "I live a sad, sad existence" kind of day this morning, but I went to the gym and now I feel better.

Plus I have fun Easter dinners to go to this weekend on the Cape and in Rhode Island to look forward to.

:: posted by Al on 4/14/2003 04:32:00 PM ::

:: Sunday, April 13, 2003 ::

Today's NHL results:
NJ 3, BOS 0
New Jersey leads the best of 7 games series, 3-0

Well the Bruins sure make it easy for the Sports writers here in Boston. All they have to do down at The Globe and The Herald is recycle their columns from last year's playoff run. It's the same story; bad Boston penalties and bad Boston goalies.

:: posted by Al on 4/13/2003 07:40:00 PM ::

Yesterday Lori and I went to a cake testing in Brockton with Krissy and Theo for their wedding in October. As a confessed sugar-freak, this was like Free BudLight and Lottery Ticket Day down at the Unemployment Office. Since Lori is not a big fan of cake and cake-type bakery products, it was up to Theo and I to render our opinions to Krissy as to which type we would like to see grace their reception's dessert table. There was chocolate cake, chocolate/white marble cake, white cake with raspberry, white cake with strawberry and kiwi, Grand Marnier cake, lemon cake, and carrot cake among the choices. I specifically did not eat lunch so I would not offend my delicate taste buds.

My philosophy on cake testing, which I found I share with Theo, is that a little Krissy-sized miniscule sample of cake on your fork will in no way give you the full 360 degree cake experience necessary to make such an important decision. You need to get at least three big, honkin', precariously-balanced-on-the-fork-because-you-should-be-using-a-shovel-instead sized samples from each type of cake to truly offer your most honest opinion. In the end, after just about all 7 pieces of cake were pretty much eaten by Theo and I, they chose marble, white cake with raspberry, and chocolate for the different tiers of the white butter-cream frosted cake. Fine with me. I hope the other 173 people at the wedding will appreciate our sacrifice. Never in the field of Wedding Reception Planning has so many owed so much to so few.

My pancreas must be hating me today, the Insulin Production Supervisor down at the plant had to pay workers overtime to come in on a Saturday to keep up with the record sugar levels that were registering in my body. He said he had never seen anything like it before. Huge waves of sugar, one after the other, crashing into my system. I probably blew the whole Insulin budget for the season in one afternoon. Empty stomach + heart rate elevated in anticipation + 6.2 lbs of sugar unceremoniously dumped into my system; they must have been working in 'Perfect Storm' conditions. Those brave pancreatic workers won't forget Saturday April 12, 2003 anytime soon. I hear that 3 men are still unaccounted for, they were last seen maintaining the insulin pumps in Sector 4 right before the chocolate cake was sighted off the starboard bow. I pray for their safe return.

:: posted by Al on 4/13/2003 12:48:00 PM ::

:: Saturday, April 12, 2003 ::

Last night's NHL results:
NJ 4, BOS 2
New Jersey leads the best of 7 games series, 2-0

Same thing every year. The Bruins start handing out beatdowns to the fans in the Spring, the Red Sox take over in the Fall. Sometimes it really sucks being a Boston sports fan.

I don't think any further explanation is necessary.

:: posted by Al on 4/12/2003 10:44:00 AM ::

:: Friday, April 11, 2003 ::

As I was walking to the gym today I came across a couple of guys pouring a concrete sidewalk on Mass Ave. I should also add that I happened by these workers just at the time the rain kicked it into high gear. You want to know what big, cold, raindrops do to a freshly poured concrete surface? I'll tell you. It makes it look like a long, flat, gray golf ball. Every raindrop that hits leaves a divot. What were those guys thinking??? They've been forecasting rain for today since Wednesday.

I'll tell ya though, those guys were some of the best durn cussers these parts have seen in a long time. Very descriptive as well as imaginative. Most impressive.

:: posted by Al on 4/11/2003 11:30:00 PM ::

:: Thursday, April 10, 2003 ::

Uh-oh. Yahoo just sent me this article: Air Force Moving Several MOAB Bombs to Gulf Region: Pentagon

:: posted by Al on 4/10/2003 10:37:00 AM ::

Where do you come up with these random song quotes?

Hey Charlie, I was looking at some old pictures yesterday and I found one from Christmas 2000 and you should see how small you were back then! You have like 3 leaves and you are sitting in a little pot on the table. I can't believe you've gone from that small to 4 1/2 feet in such a short amount of time.

:: posted by Al on 4/10/2003 10:08:00 AM ::

I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

:: posted by Charlie the Plant on 4/10/2003 09:58:00 AM ::

:: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 ::

These are my predictions for the upcoming NHL Playoffs:

Eastern Conference:
#1 Ottawa vs #8 N.Y. Islanders (Ottawa wins series in 5 games)
Yashin gets booed by Ottawa fans while Islanders get booted by Ottawa team.

#2 New Jersey vs #7 Boston (Boston wins series in 7 games)
Thornton, Murray, and Knuble 'trap' goal in NJ's net. Shields is born-again as a goalie.

#3 Tampa Bay vs #6 Washington (TB wins series in 6 games)
Jagr and Bondra can't get over Tampa Bay's 'Bulin Wall.

#4 Philadelphia vs #5 Toronto (Philly wins series in 6 games)
Old School Hockey Series. These two teams are gonna wail on each other. Too bad Toronto's already beat up.

Western Conference:
#1 Dallas vs #8 Edmonton (Dallas wins series in 5 games)
Marty Turco stops everything thrown at him by the nobodys in Edmonton.

#2 Detroit vs #7 Anaheim (Anaheim wins series in 6 games)
Detroit is beatable. Believe it. Anaheim goalie J.S. Giguere says what's a Cujo?

#3 Colorado vs #6 Minnesota (Colorado wins series in 6 games)
Roy, Forsberg, Sakic, Hejduk, Tanguay. Those guys can put up some truly Wild numbers.

#4 Vancouver vs #5 St. Louis (Vancouver wins series in 7 games)
Naslund, Morrison, and Bertuzzi versus Tkachuk, Pronger, Demitra, and MacInnis. Wow.

Conference Finals
Eastern Conference Finals:
Ottawa over Philly in 6 games
Ottawa defense holds down the fort.

Western Conference Finals:
Colorado over Dallas in 7 games
Forsberg and Hejduk score at will.

The Colorado Avalanche beats the Ottawa Senators in 6 games to win the Stanley Cup. Ottawa goalie Patrick Lalime says "Where's the puck?" Forsberg replies "Look behind you."

:: posted by Al on 4/09/2003 05:15:00 PM ::

I just watched a US Army M1 Abrams tank pull down a big statue of Saddam in the center of Baghdad. The Iraqis seem very happy and are currently jumping up and down in celebration on the fallen remnants.

:: posted by Al on 4/09/2003 11:00:00 AM ::

:: Sunday, April 06, 2003 ::

This was a long weekend.

Saturday began with a wedding shower for Lori's sister Krissy and her soon-to-be-husband Theo in Weymouth and then was immediately followed up with my friend Rob's bachelor party at various locations around Boston.

I really could have used that extra hour that daylight savings took away from me.

Since I have never been invited to a wedding shower before, I knew not what awaited me at Lori's cousin Frank and his wife Lisa's home in Weymouth early Saturday afternoon. 5 apprehensive looking guys, 6 or 7 little kids, and like 50 women was what I found when I got there. And TONS of good food. Oh man, you should have seen the spread at this shower, a feast for the eyes and the stomach. I was supposed to be a baby-sitter of sorts at this event, but at least for the first hour or so I found myself hiding out in the kitchen with the guys drinking beer and stuffing my face with food. I eventually had to work the crowd a bit because a majority of the women there are future relatives of mine. And because they're nice people. And because my Mom was there. After all that they started opening presents. Waiter, check please. I went downstairs and performed my assigned baby-sitting duties by making sure that 4-year old Britney played nice with her safety scissors and paper while I painfully watched the Red Sox relief staff blow another winable game in the 9th inning against Baltimore. Eventually, when the shower was wrapping up, Britney's mom Linda came down to retrieve her daughter. She walked in and promptly made the kid fork over the plastic scissors. Linda informed me that last week Britney had taken real scissors to a pair of bed sheets and apparently earned a lifetime ban from ever using scissors again. Oops, my bad. Hey, she was sitting there quietly making confetti for more than an hour, she wasn't bothering me so why would I interrupt her? It was 4:30 and time for me to leave as well.

I drove back to Brookline, dropped off Jen and picked up her boyfriend Alex at their apartment, met up with Tom and off to Rob's bachelor party we went. We got to The Rack in Fanueil Hall just after 6pm. Eventually there were about 15 or so of us playing pool and being loud and stupid (quite a stretch, I know). Rob and Gary had gone to the Bruins game at 1pm that day and were well ahead of everyone in the drink department. We ditched The Rack at 11pm or so and went over to Dick's Last Resort. 'Oh no' is right. I hadn't been to that place in a couple of years but alas, the passage of time has not affected this place. It is still the same place you remember if you have ever been there. Big long tables with mismatched chairs, loud funky 'Brick House' music from the band on the stage, goofy bachelorette parties running around all over the place, and party people everywhere drinking big beers in 40oz bottles. Of course, we fit right in. We broke a chair or two in friendly spats, we threw stuff at each other, we loudly traded insults from one end of the table to the other, there was even a drunken arm-wrestling contest amongst the more macho faction of our group(I think Tom was the champ, I couldn't tell after all of the individual matches). I even got myself a set of cheapo-Mardi-Gras-esque beads from some random girl who planted a kiss on my cheek for some reason. I got even with her though, when she turned away after her assault on me I tagged her in the back of the head with a wet napkin. Sorry ladies, back off. I'm all Lori's. Rob and Gary eventually made it down the street to the room that Tom nicely arranged for them at the Park Plaza hotel. Way to burn bridges with your professional contacts for the sake of your friends Tom. I made it into bed at 4am.

Yes, I took a nap today.

:: posted by Al on 4/06/2003 11:07:00 PM ::

Oh, and they're forecasting 2-4 inches of snow tomorrow for the Boston area.

:: posted by Al on 4/06/2003 10:09:00 PM ::

I can't believe NBC's David Bloom died while on assignment in Iraq.

I liked that guy.

:: posted by Al on 4/06/2003 10:08:00 PM ::

:: Friday, April 04, 2003 ::

Why is it still snowing here in Boston??

I already know the answer, I've lived in New England my whole life. I am supposed to enjoy the fact that we have distinct seasons, blah, blah, blah...

:: posted by Al on 4/04/2003 10:39:00 AM ::

Here's an interesting story: Downtown LA Fault Line Worries Geologists

:: posted by Al on 4/04/2003 10:04:00 AM ::

Don't forget, that new show called Scare Tactics premieres tonight at 10pm on the Sci-Fi Channel. It's a hidden camera show with a sci-fi/horror movie twist. I hope it lives up to its billing.

:: posted by Al on 4/04/2003 08:20:00 AM ::

:: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 ::

The Bruins are officially in the NHL playoffs, the NY Rangers lost in overtime last night to Atlanta so the B's qualify in normal fashion; through the back door.

:: posted by Al on 4/01/2003 04:07:00 PM ::

It's nice to see that the war in Iraq has not effected the Red Sox; in the midst of all this turmoil they still can find ways to dramatically lose games in the 9th inning. Way to go.

:: posted by Al on 4/01/2003 01:28:00 PM ::

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