An Alternative to “Southie Rules”


I get it. Long day at work, or studying, or taking care of itty bitty babes. Traffic was bad, the lingering cough is getting worse, dinner was something scraped together from the cabinets and (gah!) the freezer is devoid of treats. The couch is calling, and nothing sounds better than tuning in and quieting down your headspace.

So tune in! But maybe just for tonight, if it’s your usual habit, exchange the reality cotton-candy fluff for something a little more substantial, a little more thought-provoking. Trade the manufactured drama that has all the fizz and excitement of a half-liter of flat soda for the real, historically documented stuff that molded and shaped eras and people.

I’ve got to confess an ulterior motive – the documentary I’m pushing tonight is one that took up the better part of a year of my working life. A stellar team created it – director, writer, editor, producers and assistants of all levels. I think the music and sound design are great. The old film footage and photographs are unreal. And the parts of the story about the life of one of the most familiar names in American industrial and automotive history might surprise you. So instead of giving your hard-earned free evening time over to “Southie Rules” or a re-run of “Real Housewives,” please tune in to “Henry Ford” on PBS tonight, 9-11 p.m. EST. You can always DVR the fluff!

P.S. If you watch and have feedback, I’d love to hear it. Friendly critiques make all of us better.

The Vitamin Incentive

Four out of five work days, Matt slips a little packet of vitamins hand-wrapped in foil in my bag. There they lie in neglect, woefully forgotten, until I discover the mushy wads caked to the bottom of the bag when I clean it out. (Mushy because I do a lot of walking in the rain without an umbrella. Can’t manage umbrellas: too much tension and metal sticks and little latches that pinch fingers. Also, having one’s umbrella turn inside out in the wind is embarrassing, but shouldn’t be, and that makes me mad. I’d rather save my occasions of personal embarrassment for things that I did in public on purpose but regret, or when I tell someone that I have Vanilla Ice’s cell phone number and they remain unimpressed).

Anyway! Occasionally I’ll remember to remove the vitamin packets from my bag and put them on my work desk, where they continue to remain un-swallowed, partially hiding under a fluttery sea of yellow post-its, weirding out my colleagues.

It took a little while, but Matt got wise to the vitamin graveyard in my bag a few weeks ago when he was rooting around for the car keys. First he got a little mad (and his “a little mad” is like seeing one teensy cloud during a sunny day), and then he got smart. Smart in this case means he sends e-mails with jokes and pictures as reminders to take the vitamins. ¬†Unsurprising to both of us, it turns out I respond well to jokes and pictures. My omega-3 levels have never been higher.

Here for your viewing pleasure: select images from The Vitamin Incentive.

Be Aware, For Here There Be Clowns

There are a million good reasons not to text while driving, including, but not limited to, its illegality in many states. When you put the phone down, it helps regular pedestrians like me not get T-boned in the crosswalk. But my new favorite reason for keeping your attention on the road has to do with something that happened this weekend. Happily, this something was not an accident. Unhappily, it involved a clown.

There is not one single person in my life (on purpose? Probably.) who likes clowns, but the internet is a big place, and I’m sure that someone who might stumble across this has an appreciation for liberally applied face paint, gnarly wigs, and slapstick hijinks. So I’m sorry if you find this offensive, and I’m even more sorry if you’re the person we saw on Saturday. If you are the person we saw on Saturday, don’t you think it would be more appropriate for you to drive a yellow VW bug? With black-eyed susans in the dashboard vase? And 37 other clowns and a teeny dog in a bespoke tuxedo in the back seat? That’s what you clowns do, right?

My friend with the cool sunglasses, as you see, is not driving and texting. He’s driving and being amused. This would not be possible if he wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings while navigating the wild and wooly territory that is 93 South. When you relax your texting fingers and pay attention, you see clowns driving in your vicinity. Then you let your shotgun passenger safely take a picture of them.

To her credit, this clown is much more attractive than most. She has a nice smile, and is probably on her way to a 5-year-old’s birthday party, where she will creep out 98% of the attendees who will then compensate for their fear by eating way too much of this kind of cake and driving the supervising parents bonkers. Kind of wish I was invited. I bet there was a moonbounce shaped like a castle.