Sunday, February 27, 2011

View from the bar

Down in the bunker – Red Carpet is on.  You might expect by now that I would be all about the live tweeting or the blogcasting, or whatever the kids are into these days.  The only reason I don't is that I don't keep Internet and television in the same room.  If you need a reason for that, you haven't been following this blog very closely.  Internet connection and a working fireplace would make this a very dangerous man-cave to be in, for sure.

But tonight is a night worthy of cranking up the heat to 70 degrees, which makes the room with the Internet in it almost unbearable, but makes me (almost) want to roll my sleeves up .  One layer of them, any way.

Let's not fire all the cylinders so early.  This is a long haul, and it is only 7:57 just now.  Look forward to seeing you over your Monday morning coffee.  I am pleased to discover I have NO meetings in the morning, the Boss is out for the day, and all the nonsense paperwork I usually am doing on a Sunday night can wait until tomorrow.  Bow---nuss.

My Plus-One tonight is Aziz Ansari, from Parks & Rec.  He is a TV guy, so we don't have proper seats.  We're hanging in the bar instead. Upside is, it means we won't be distracted, and he is small and wily enough to slip us through some tight crowds.

I'll admit I'm more excited this year than I have been in a long time – all of these actors have done such top-notch work, and the pack of  nominated films represent some ambitious film making.  Even the big popcorn movie, Inception (which you know I gave a pfffttt to) doesn't irritate me – say, like Avatar or LOTR did. Someone has to be there for the craft awards.   

So I won't have to stomp around no matter which title takes it home – but again, I am about 4 hours ahead of myself.

Is it odd that Flair Pens would pick this opportunity to have an ad campaign?  
 It's official:  TV no longer fits my square screen.

I loved Melissa Leo so much in Frozen River, and I really didn't think anyone even knew who she was.  Now everyone does, for sure.  Let this be a lesson to all of us.  Write a speech.  It's not bad luck, and it's not arrogant.  It is too bad for Hallie, who is in the wrong category, and now must wait a long time to make it there again. She would have been a lock in Best Actor. I see a long future for her, though, if she plays it right and keeps her head on straight.

Toy Story 3 is brilliant, and might as well win in the Best Animated Film category, since it won't win Best Picture – but How to Train Your Dragon is better animation.  Toy Story, though… better movie.

Like Helena Bonham-Carter, Aaron  Sorkin is one of those people a lot of people can’t stand.  Apparently, the director and/or conductor number among them.  And he can be kind of a prick.  But I want to have a long dinner with him someday.

Does it seem like everyone is distracted by something off screen?  Or is my TV just really that small?  Perhaps they have all been looking at Dame Helen Mirren.  Because daaaaayyy-um, sista.  

 If I ever get a chance to go in full0out formal drag, I am going to age up, rather than down I think.
Perhaps everyone is stoned.  Did California pass that marijuana bill? 

Christian Bale was a shoe-in, of course – more surprising is that he has never been nominated before.  I wanted him to thank Spielberg for Empire of the Sun, still completely riveting every time it comes around.

Cate Blanchett is dressed as an Alka-Seltzer.  Is this the right idea for Best Costume Design?  I need to find EW's wrap-up of this ceremony.  They will get to the bottom of these questions.  Speaking of which, I have not received my Hollywood issue of Vanity Fair – Paul suspects that my postman used it as a wheel stop.

I need proof that Michael Moore and Randy Newman are not the same person.
These Toy Story songs do tend to run together, though I don't think this one is as good as the first one.

The show has to end soon;  I only have 3 hours of battery left.  It seems to lack bones this year, like it keeps trying out different themes, then abandoning them.  The big GWTW opening was a tone-setter, then we just dropped it.  Maybe we'll ask people on the street what they like, or we'll pay tribute to Golden Age of Hollywood legends, then our Moms.  Or no, we'll be campy.  Let's roll out the orchestra again.

Let's sell more JCPenney.

Someone needs to confirm whether I should to pour a second glass of win.
Ugh.  Mondays. 

Now that Tom Hooper has the Oscar, please go see King's Speech and explain to me why everyone is positioned so far left in the frame.  I am pretty sure my TV would not display them.  The wallpaper is fascinating Tom, but do get on.  

Congratulations Natalie:  To smudge Queen Amidala from your mind, go rent The Professional, Beautiful Girls, and Closer. And this [explicit advisory, yo].

Colin:  Col-in, Col-in, Colin… Sometime between dignified Masterpiece Theatre Mainstay, and dreamy Weinstein stable boy, there was Bridget Jones,  Nanny McPhee , and heaven help us Mama Mia.  As Michael Caine taught us, for every Alfie, there are several Blame it On Rios and Jaws 3s.  So never get above your station.

I need to say this about The King's Speech – not to throw any shade, because it is fine strong film and you will enjoy it.  I recently saw Bertie & Elizabeth, which has none of the  strength The King's Speech is, but surprisingly similar in structure and dialogue, blowing the theory that the story was "waiting to be told" until Elizabeth the Queen passed on.  I'd like a WGA ruling on this if they could.  

 Does it seem like Spielberg gives out Best Picture a lot?  I would research that, but I need to go to bed.  You'll have to go on without me.  I would have gotten this up sooner, but I had to obsess for a while about whether I had drunk a bit of cork, and whether water would wash it down or cause it to swell in my throat and kill me.

March is upon us.  And with it, we hope, some renewed energy for this Expression Space.  Please don't hold me to it.  I crack under pressure. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Great moments in home ownership: taking all day to not fix the sink

and how to take longer to write about it. 

I am perfectly happy to throw money at problems.  I believe it is money's best thing.  Most problems don't require money -- they are easily ignored or otherwise plastered.  So when you need it, it's there. But I can also recognize when problems are too small for money, and I'll do things the old-fashioned way.

I didn't really think that fixing the sink would make me feel any more competent as a homeowner or self-sufficient as a w-o-m-a-n.  I just thought that if was going to fail completely, it would probably be soon and 9:30pm on a Sunday.

I also thought that if I was going to have to brave the Depot to ask someone what part I needed and where do I find it, I might also tackle the kitchen shelves, which spectacularly snapped their cheap-ass brackets onto the dishes and me, and which have been sitting bowed and shamed in the corner of the already-small kitchen, for probably a year.  A year?  Maybe not that long.  I don't know.  What was the weather like -- I was barefoot when it happened; I do remember that.

That's (2) neglected household duties now.  The azalea is revealed to be crushed by snow, but I don't have the slightest idea what to do about that.  Del Boca Vista has announced they are establishing "Ground Stewards" (already informally installed as Grass Police) and I'll give you 2 guesses which member of our cell-block will volunteer for that one.  The azalea will have to wait.  The roof-rakes might be in, now that they are no longer needed -- so are the rules of supply and demand -- so I'll look into that, and I'll need a flashlight once I'm under that sink.  And a plumber.

A co-worker tells me that she is surprised I know how to do such a thing.  I don't, I say.  I am very good at following directions.  If I have directions, I can get a thing done.  It may take me hours, and I may have to do it multiple times, and I may forget to pay attention to the pieces after they come apart, and therefore think to take pictures of them with the cell phone the 2nd time.

I have a lot of tools.  You know how this goes -- you need a staple gun once, for 3 staples, and then you own a staple gun.   The main thing that might have intimidated me (finding the world's smallest Allen wrench to take the first step in dismantling) is already solved because the Fellas gave me a bottomless tool kit that never fails to produce results like a genie from a lamp.  In this case TWO RINGS of Allen wrenches I could wear as jewelry.  My smug home repair book clues me in that the "sink repair kit" will include all the piece of my faucet but I might not need them all, so I should just get what I need.

The other reason we bring home all these things from the Depot is because they package them in kits that are priced too low to refuse, so you're gold-diggin right I bought the little kit.  It is my right, as my own spouse, to have as many mysterious pieces of hardware in tiny ziploc bags as the next guy.  I mean, I stared at everything, I read everything, I talked to people in aprons -- I would have had a hot dog and ridden around on a pallet if I were a Seinfeld bit -- but in the end, I got the kit.

I've mentioned before I have a knack for buying the wrong size of thing -- and never better than when I am arrogantly pretending to know anything about home repair.  I had measured the length of the ruined shelves several times, and written it down on my little list.  I even write notes for myself beside the note, because later I will wonder if I meant on-or-off the bracket, inside or outside the window frame, to the carpet or to the molding  ...  (Incidentally, I do not have curtain rods or floor molding.  And now you know why.)

I also meant to buy light bulbs for the bathroom mirrors (which, can I tell you, I haaaate but will never do anything about) which are another thing I have dozens of the wrong size of.  Fortunately, I forgot to write that down or bring one with me, so I could just skip it.  Once I brought a bulb with me, stopped short, it fell to the floormat, cell phone fell after it and broke it.  Each bathroom has about 50 of them, so I don't have to do this often.

Sink kit in hand, and a couple of goofy energy-efficient bulbs for the night stand (because I ought to get on that bandwagon sooner or later), I go looking for the shelves and brackets.  The brackets are on one of those greeting card carousels, in all manner of styles and sizes, and are fortunately so cheap I can get them all.  This seems much easier than learning the metric system. 

  The main reason I didn't respond to the shelf crisis earlier is that the husband in me thinks we should just get all the cabinets redone because the kitchen is dopey, and the wife in me knows that is never going to happen, because which one of us is going to take the day off to baby sit that job, and neither of us wants to file the forms with the condo association.  And the wife thinks we have too many dishes anyway, and the husband will eat off a napkin.

What I forgot to measure was the width of the shelves, so we don't need to spend anymore time here.

Let's see if we can wander our way to the flashlights.  I have a good  "my but it is dark in this VT cabin" flashlight, but what I want was the handled lantern with the mashy pop-o-matic on/off switch so I can just set it down and get light.  I expect these will be in the "Emergency" aisle with detectors and rope ladders, but like the Yellow Pages, you can never anticipate the categorization of The Home Depot (sidebar:  I teach my GPS to say "the" in front of things, like an Old Time New Englander and it just cracks me up.  "Arriving at The JC Penney.  On left...")  No, flashlights are in Aisle 10, but the lantern  they have is for hurricanes, and comes with a car battery attached to it, but look at this.....

My husband begged for it.  I actually saved that image just now as "dork."

I make it all the way down to the Lumber Zone (woodywoodywoody) unable to find furnace filters, where Daryl and Daryl tell me they are back in Aisle 10.

Explain to me how the price range in air filters is 89 cents to $17.  And like at (the) Staples, you have to buy them in a pack.  I get a 4-pack for $6, knowing there is plenty of room to store them next to the wrong size 3 pack of 20x20x1 I bought last year.

The hot dog place is closed, so it is time to leave.  Stop for hot dog buns.  And, ooo, bottle of wine.  Oscar Night, honey.

Smug Book of Home Repair and the kit box itself are consulted, water is turned off (you were waiting for that, weren't you?  I'm not Laverne and Shirley... I'm just lazy) and I begin to disassemble.  I have this brilliant idea to lay the old parts on a towel in the order they were removed, with the new parts in a row below them.  I get the thing apart, but nothing appears to be damaged.  The old parts look exactly like the new parts, and I decide to pretend that what I really meant to do was wash everything because g-e-e-e-ross have I been drinking out of this???  The very moment on the calendar when you can no longer live in squalor is the same moment when you can not stomach resolving that.

And you don't have to got under the sink to fix the washerless faucet, so I didn't need the flashlight -- which is good, because I couldn't get the battery door open.

Now my sink parts are cleaner, and reassembled (not replaced -- I had lost interest) and the faucet still shuts down more slowly than I like, but maybe it always did.  Maybe that's how they work.  Maybe I should see what's on TV.

And I have 4 air filters that are 5 inches too short if anyone needs one.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My awards show has a first name...

I am pleased to report that I had better advance planning this season than last, so I only needed to fit in 2 films before the big night, and they are both still in theatres.

It's time once again for the Drawing In Room's favorite list...

Bender's Oscar Pix
In this 2nd year of the Field of 10, we are learning to expect a big popcorn fan-pleaser, at least one mainstream TV movie that your Aunt Linda can talk about comfortably, the "hard" actors' movies, the technical envelope pusher, the Ripped from the Headlines era definer.... we'll see over time if this slotting continues.  Or if the Academy will come to their senses and dial this back to 5.

In the meantime, learning to anticipate the contenders well in advance has become a new twist on handicapping the Oscars.  Do not be confused by my rankings or my commentary.  I did like all of these films.   But only one goes home with gold.  Time to sort.

10:  The Kids are All Right - this year's Blind Side space-holder. (King's Speech, of course, is in the period English slot founded by An Education.  More on that in a minute)  Have I lived in Massachusetts so long that I forget there are people left who don't know gay couples?

Let me clarify that this story is not about homosexuality.  It is, in fact, about adultery.  There.  spoiler.  And despite whatever happened at the Hollywood Foreign Press screening to make them think it was a comedy, it is not. ("well, the sun was shining all the time, and there were flowers."  Or maybe the thought of how seriously ruined American marriages are by affairs is just hilarious .)

Some mesmerizing acting by two leading ladies, though Julianne Moore skirts the edge of her 30 Rock character and Annette Bening borrows heavily from her American Beauty turn as a different ambitious put-upon wife of a lackadaisical spouse who suddenly finds extracurricular focus.

There is a lot to like in this film, but mostly I did not like this film.  It holds #10 on my list, under films I liked even less, but will explain in time.

9:  The King's Speech -  Many people can not abide Helena Bonham-Carter.  I can, on contrary, abide within Helena Bonham-Carter.  Who I can not abide is Geoffrey Rush, so that is a shame, isn't it?  At any rate, I found her believable as the young Duchess turned Queen, and could see her aging into the Queen Mum of my own lifetime, who Her Majesty called "Mummy," right to the very end.  Good story, interesting history, a family film (which can be hard to come by), charmingly acted and beautifully dressed.  So... #9?  These bottom 5 are films I do not believe would have been nominated in the traditional field, and King's Speech is not terribly cinematic or transporting.  Then again, seen Chariots of Fire lately...? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

8:  Inception - 1 of very few original screenplays written this year, and as written by its director, gets the "auteur" nod.  I can recognize when films of this kind are well-made, even when I find them a crashing bore.  The concept itself is interesting, but required too many repeated explainings and still didn't stick.  The thing we are risking our lives and sanity to chase is dumber than The Ring of Perspicacity, or whatever it was those hobbits were after.  And can we all admit that if you are going to have a character's murderous dead wife haunt him -- twice in 2 years -- he shouldn't be played by Leonardo DiCaprio in both films?

7: The Social Network - I don't believe for a minute that Mark Zuckerburg didn't on some level endorse a film that would re-energize interest in the Facebook just when it looked like every American who was going to get a profile did.  It may paint him in a bad light, but I don't know that anyone in there comes out a winner.  I found the story fascinating.  I really didn't know what was going to happen, or how it all was born.  Funny thing is, I was embroiled in the decline of when Facebook was born.  I had sort of missed it.

I am kind of a cheap fall for Aaron Sorkin, too.  And sue me for following J.T. wherever he goes.  The Social Network may have been nominated in a smaller pool, but not this year.  It is up against too many other films that just have it going in all directions.  It will have to go in the back of my pack.

6: The Fighter - Oh, we love our Down-and-Dirty in Massachusetts movies, don't we?  OOoo....haaah..?
It is hard to make an original boxing movie.  Man is born hard, man finds gym, man wears scary shorts, "cut me Mick," man triumphs against the odds.

Here's the full disclosure of what I personally brought to this viewing:  I saw Rocky 6 times in the summer of 1976.  I respect that Raging Bull is one of the great films of the past 50 years, but I find it unwatchable.  The Lowell dear to me has nothing to do with boxing or crack.  You never, nev-ah, think you're better than anyone else in Massachusetts, you nev-ah go outside the family, and the madder you get, the more you f**kin say f**kin in every f**kin sentence.  One interviewer described the characters as "realer than real," and film maker David O Russell replied that they actually dialed them down for the film.  I believe that.

Among the gritty true grit movies this season, The Fighter had some stiff competition, and I am going to favor the others over this one.

5: Winter's Bone - to wit.
In fact, this would be a fine double feature.  Put this in your "Setting as Character in America Cinema" film survey class.  Where The Fighter's family is loud, bold, chest-thumpingly aggressive, the Dollys are soft-spoken, quietly edgy, with long silence spaces waiting for someone to take a swing.  In fact, there is more bare-knuckle fighting in Winter's Bone than in The Fighter.  You say crack; I say meth.  Both show what the womenfolk will do just to keep the family from disintegrating.

What I appreciated more in Winter's Bone was the way nothing was explained to me, the outsider.  No one had to stand in for my character.  I just had to read the story.  When a filmmaker is brave enough to trust me to work along with her, and is skilled enough to bring me into her world, that feels like a better movie to me.  And I say she because Debra Granik of Winter's Bone does, and David O. Russell of The Fighter does less so.  But he is nominated.

4:  Toy Story 3 - Because an animated film needs a spot.  I don't suffer sequels easily.  I don't just go in for Pixar for Pixar's sake.  Toy Story 3 is different because Toy Story 3 is brilliant.

The story expands on the universe we know both more deeply and more widely, by taking Woody and Buzz to the literal brink of real danger against a truly sinister villain.  The laughs are big too -- Spanish Woody is just absurd -- and balance the tension at the right moments and in the right amounts. Lasseter and team mine new material out of the chorus of toys we thought had done all they were going to do.  And if you didn't choke up at the end of that giant "cartoon," well, there might be something wrong with you.

3:  True Grit - When I started this pick list a few hours ago, I would not have expected True Grit would appear this high on the list.  There is really nothing wrong with the original film that won John Wayne his Oscar (that is not improved upon by casting).  But set it aside from its predecessor, and it is a fine film on its own.  And simply speaking like Mattie Ross can be an enjoyable pastime all on its own.

But here are the facts: Westerns are rarely nominated in this category, and they even more rarely win.  On the other hand, the last 2 times they were, they did (Dances With Wolves and Unforgiven).  On the other hand, the last nomiee before that was in the 60's, and the last winner before that was in 1930.  So bet carefully.  I would be happy enough with a Hailee Steinfeld/Kim Darby joint podium, presenting Best Costume.

2: Black Swan -  I have seen it twice this season, which was one time more enough to spot some questionable moments in the a narrative, but maybe one too few to resolve them.  I will save that study for the DVD, and in the meantime, just respond to the fact that I didn't move in my seat through the entire film.  And I hate a theater seat.

Now this is a tough pick, because I think category-for-category, True Grit is the better all-around film.  And it is not True Grit's fault that I had seen it before.  (well, it sort of is, but you know what I mean).  So I bump Black Swan up a slot for pulling me in, even though this is in most ways the Prima Ballerina story we have seen a million times.  All I can tell you is that once a film has made a physical impression, it is a lasting one, and I can predict coming back to it many times.  And we finally got Natalie and Winona in a film  together, which has long been one of my goals.

This could be Aronofsky's year in the Director's category, though, on what was a technically difficult film to shoot.  Not as obvious as Inception, but you try laying dolly track around that many mirrors.  There's more to it than just making beautiful women look heinous, though he is good at that too.

1: 127 Hours - Surprised?  So was I.
I thought for a while, as I kept pushing it up the list, that it had the advantage of being the last of the group I saw, and I saw it only yesterday.  And there may be something to that.

If you can't stand these kind of claustrophobic Castaway locked-cave movies, I won't try to tell you it is not like that.  It is very much like that, and "we" are Wilson, witness to deathbed conversions through the digital video lens.  It is only a little less corny in its ending and a little less Hollywood in its structure. The "where the heck is the camera" tricks are just as mesmerizing.  The amputation is as bloody as you have heard -- 1000 times more squirm-inducing than Tom Hanks performing dentistry with an ice skate.

What makes 127 Hours the superior film is that it tells its story in 93 minutes.  That is some tight story-telling, controlled beats, great acting.  Castaway: 143 minutes, a lot of hair and sinew.  And much too long a denouement.  As a result, no story-telling Oscar nominations.  127 Hours: screenplay, editing, both music categories.  Not Direction, more's the pity.  This might be the first Danny Bole film I actually liked.  Someday we'll understand his fascination with human waste.

So -- my prediction?
After all this lar-di-da, my prediction is actually The Social Network.  Because the field is too large, and the votes will be split.  Because Jeff Bridges already had his party last year.  Toy Story will take the Animated Film category.  King's Speech will take a stand, but Tom Hopper is at his heart a TV director and it shows.  The Fighter and Winter's Bone will compete for the same votes.   After that, everyone goes for their personal favorites, and I think that puts The Social Network on the heavy end of the scale.

If you follow this blog, you know I am nearly always wrong.

As a special treat, the lifetime achievement award goes to Christian Bale's pecs.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


#31 in an occasional series of repressed 70's memories that turn out to be true.
“…as fresh as a garden”  Of chemicals.
We know how fond these kids today are of their corn syrup.  Good for them – literally, fat dumb and happy.  But does America’s new food ingredient have the added benefit of making you jump right out of your skin?  It wasn’t all cocaine and coffee that made the Pepsi generation bite through our retainers.  It was   bltchemJapan’s last joke on Uncle Sam.
The 1970s improved on monosodium glutamate by finding a cheaper way to synthesize it, and no reason not to.
So we ate it in everything.
Tuna Twist did not make your sandwich taste like a garden.  Vegetables would have made your tuna taste like a garden.  What Tuna Twist did was incorporate the literal grit of the 1970s and the rush of salt with the D.T.s of Day One kicking heroin.  ‘Cause tuna was just not charliecomplicated enough.  For the real flavor of the space age, use Miracle Whip, serve on toasted Wonder Bread with a delicious glass of Tang.
We’ll talk some other time about spokes-animals for products made out of the animal they are.
MSG2    Various “food kits” could be purchased that packaged MSG in fun shapes photographed as cuisines.  LaChoy (irony of the Indochinese naming convention wasted on all of us) came in two separate cans, presumably because Americans would not understand how to choose our ingredients in the ancient Chinese way.  Those ingredients, of course, are boiled vegetable rinds, boiled chicken, glue, and MSG (big can).  Serve with fried noodles (the little can)
Rice-a-Roni.  The best side-dish that nearly killed me.  Nancy to my Sid.
Only 2 reasons you’ll want to eat the whole box: chicken fat and MSG.  145/90 is perfectly fine at 17, as long as you already weigh 170 pounds. 
I’m so sorry, R-a-R.  I didn’t want to leave you.  But it just couldn’t be.
When there were no creative juices flowing in the test kitchens, you could always draw on the McCormick spice line.MSG4
I meant a different McCormick Spice, but she’ll do.
msg3This is McCormick “spaghetti sauce” mix.  MSG for your tomato sauce.  If that’s still too fancy for you, just whip out the Ac’cent. 

MSG5 Wakes up the flavor of your food, and keep it awake all night.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

There's got to be a morning after

That's not a conclusion; it's a prayer.

There's got to be.... right?

Despite New Englanders' 20 words for snow (and more that are not printable), writing about the weather just seems so cliche.  And a little tiresome.  I have been in the house since Monday, riding out the One-Two (the forecasters seemed to have settled on this name, and since it was like being eliminated on, it sort of fits).

Just now I am passing time before a 7:30am conference call, then I will leave for the office.  In the next 15 minutes I can try to relay to you what life is like where it snows every Wednesday -- every week of the year.

We don't really believe it will snow forever, but just now it is difficult to imagine that it won't.  It reminds me of that summer a couple of years ago where we had a raging thunderstorm every day at 5pm, until we began to travel around it.  "You leaving soon?"  (Looks at watch) "eehhh.. I think I'll just wait till after the thunderstorm, then get some dinner.  You?"

This week I had to ask one of the boys who works with me (and for whom I need to identify a collective noun, because not being able to write about them is limiting my best material.  Dodie calls the ones her husband works with Big Baby and Dumb Ass, and that is heading in the right direction).  I had to ask this kid what his travel contingency was for a project launch occurring exactly at the height of Storm One becoming Storm Two.

His answer began "uuummmm...." but then most of his answers do.
No plan, of course -- that's what he has me for.

I have enough contingency stress worrying about roof collapse and electrical failure than how he is going to get himself to work on time.

Uck - save it for the post-mortem, Bender.

Most of the past 2 days has been spent working remotely, which is both a blessing and a nagging reminder that there is no reason my job requires me to be there.  And if the company is looking to save money, I have a couple of ideas.

Left my boots at the gym.  That was a good move.  Of course, I have more -- we always have more.  But those were the best ones.  What we don't have are roof rakes, though one Home Depot began fashioning its own out of PVC and lumber, which would attach to a pole you could also buy or supply your own.  I want to applaud this Yankee Ingenuity except it came from the Boss, in one of her hourly reminders that she is better than you.  Yesterday a team-IM started, giving weather reports.  I said that we were under sleeting rain in the Mother Town, and she answered that her town had already had sleet for an hour.

Save it for the Exit Interview, Bender.

I hope you are getting the idea why I haven't been writing.

For more wild New England weather, click the "Talk About the Weather" Category at left.  And make me some Irish Coffee.