Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Sign of the Times

I'm SO sorry I didn't grab a picture of the Burlington Mall marquee today. (It could because I was driving.) Anyway, the marquee--a very valuable space to mall tenants, because of the drive-by factor--reminded folks that there was still time to pick up (wait for it...) Chick-Fil-A gift cards!

Don't get me wrong. I like Chick-Fil-A low-cal lemonade and...well, that's about it. But my son likes them. Anyway, my point is that I've never forgotten something from a job running a retail-oriented print shop years ago in Virginia. We were in a small, but busy, shopping center. My boss explained to me that we only got the right to put up an ad on the shopping center marquee a couple of times a year (all his lease allowed without paying extra) and that we had to be very careful what we advertised. Good way to bring in new customers or remind old customers that we were still there for their letterhead/business card/copying needs.

So. It's Xmas week. You have a mall with a Nordstrom, a Lord & Taylor, a Williams-Sonoma, an Abercrombie & Fitch, etc., etc. And what does the valuable marquee space advertise? Gift cards for fast-food chicken sandwiches.

Which, sadly, probably fits a lot of budgets better now than Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Williams-Sonoma, or Abercrombie & Fitch.

Happy holidays to all--may your power stay on so your day can be merry and bright!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Hot Spot on a Cold Night

It was freakin' cold last night. Not "stop-the-world" cold--more like "oh-my-it's-finally-winter-I-don't-think-I'm-dressed-properly" cold. So The Boy and I met my husband in Lexington town center (he had just biked in from Cambridge, studded snow tires and all). It seemed like a night for soup, so we hit Lemon Grass. Then, despite the cold, we thought we'd round out the evening with a quick stop at Rancatore's, down the block. Because any time is the right time for ice cream.

Apparently we weren't the only ones who thought that IC was the perfect accompaniment to the frigid night air--the place was packed. Tables were at a premium. Kids plopped themselves down at the counter while teens stood around, eating cones and sundaes. After we finished, instead of lingering, I gave up our table to a mom struggling with two kids (one in a stroller and one in the coolest winter coat EVER--like Hello Kitty, but much, much better).

At first I was baffled. I mean, really--I will eat good ice cream anytime (emphasis on good). But Ranc's was overflowing, not just feeding the jones of a single family. In fact you wonder, if there had snow on the ground, like today, would the line have stretched down the block? Is the line stretching down the block as I type this?

Then I realized something: Maybe matching the season with the food is a classic American (or at least New England) tradition. Ice cream in winter. Barbeque in summer. That must be it.

(Or it could be that Starbucks and Peets had just closed, and people needed a place to hang. But I like my first explanation better.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Revenge of the Facebook Page

So, I was looking at the "friends you may know" list for my high school graduation year on Facebook. One of the listed was someone I've hated, I mean HATED, since junior high. I'm sure he doesn't remember me, but I sure remember him. (I don't hate many people, btw--this was a very memorable guy for me.)

And guess what? He's lost that whole head of hair he used to have (granted, back when he was 14). Now I don't really care about that--in fact, I think a guy who rocks the bald look can be pretty attractive (yes, I'm talking about you, Michael Chiklis of Lowell and Andover, Mass!). But really, can't a girl have a few petty thoughts? What's a little "Ha!" between classmates, right?

P.S. I did not send a friend invite.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Knowing That This Isn't the Place

So, we were at the movies last week seeing, yes, Twilight (which didn't suck, really, and if I were still 14 I'd be all over it). We saw a trailer for an upcoming Nic Cage movie called Knowing. Never heard of it. But it piqued my interest that it supposedly opens in Lexington (Mass.) in 1959. As a current resident, I know for a fact that Nic Cage didn't shoot a movie anywhere near my house in the last two years.

Then, in the "now" part of the movie--which has something to do with a buried time capsule, a secret coded page that predicts future disasters, patterns underlying EVERYthing in the universe, yadda yadda--the action moves to "Logan Airport." And I know for a fact that Nic Cage didn't shoot a movie in Boston in the last two years, either. At least not this one.

And based on the trailer (which my husband promptly dubbed "lame looking"--he's a mathematician, and it really bugs him when movies center on how EVERYthing has to do with patterns, no room for randomness), Lexington doesn't seem to have anything to do with it. Or Boston, really. So--where filmed? Melbourne, Australia.

Melbourne, Boston. Boston, Melbourne. Yup--I get those two mixed up all the time, don't you? For one thing, we all say "bee-yah" instead of "beer," right?

(On the plus side, the director, Alex Proyas, made Dark City, one of the best movies ever. Knowing still looks pretty lame, though.)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Mysterious Disappearance and Return of the Obama Sign

Back before the primaries, my hubby and I put an Obama sign on our lawn. It stayed--proudly showing our hope for change to all and sundry driving down our street--for about 2 1/2 months. Then, one day toward the end of March, it just up and disappeared. Gone. At first we thought it got dragged down the road by an errant snowplow, but after searching, it was nowhere to be found. We were a little sad--we'd wanted the souvenir (we still have stuff from Clinton in '92, for god's sake), but life moved on.

When we read all those stories about lawn signs being stolen (from both parties), we figured that's what had happened to us. And in fact, given how in-the-tank my town was/is for Obama, it makes sense now that I saw very few Obama signs anywhere (only the large, too-hard-to-steal ones). I did see a good handful of McCain/Palin signs, even though I never met a supporter of theirs at the local PTA meeting or down at Peet's Coffee. Were we Obamaniacs all victims of rampant sign theft?

Fast forward many months, after the election. Last week, out of the blue, what should turn up on our front steps but the sign? No question that it was ours (it was an early-edition sign, fairly straightforward, no Biden, etc.). No note. No "I'm sorry." Just back in all it's (slightly wrinkled) glory. My husband took it inside the house and put it in our curio cabinet, where we keep our one-of-a-kind precious memories.

What brought you back, sign? A fit of remorse? A desire to change, along with the government? A realization that having a stack of your neighbors' political signs makes you out of step in these "can't we all just get along?" times? (Downright creepy, actually.)

Whatever the reason, I'm glad you did. Thanks--but next time, get your own sign, please.

Note: I found this photo on the website, Embrace Adventure. I didn't have a chance to photograph my own sign in the spring, because I didn't know someone was going to STEAL IT.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Now That the Election Is Over

Now that the election is over and the good guys won and the transition has started and I'm not all-consumed with polls and pols, I'm really going to try and blog some more. I have at least two (maybe three!) people who apparently want to keep reading me (now that the election is over and they have more time on their hands), so I'm going to give it a shot.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm Back, and Broker than Ever!

Yes, I've been too busy to blog. I was going to say "so sue me," but someone might decide to take me up on the dare. Well, the joke's on you! Because tonight I'm picking up my 2002 Subaru Outback with its brand-new rear struts--an $1100 hit. And that's standard maintenance, folks! If you sue me, there won't be much to get. (I'm going on the assumption that retirement accounts are off limits. Right? Riii-ght?)

On the other hand, the car will probably stop making that disturbing creaking sound as it scrapes the pavement, so I still think we made the right decision.