Category Archives: Rant

Anyone Wanna Explain To These Women Scrunching Their Lips Together That They Just Come Off As Try-Hards? Updated…

What is it with this new trend with women scrunching their lips up for social media photos?

Can anyone pinpoint when this all started and who made it a “thing”?

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Yo, your lips get stung by a bee or somethin?

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Weird thing is that most of these women are already attractive so I don’t get the lip move.  I get that they’re probably not desperate for a date but what it does reek of is desperate for attention.

Anyway, not that I think we necessarily have a young readership that this would apply to but just in case I can save a youngster that might be reading, not a good look.

Update:

OK,I spotted the trend but apparently I’m way behind on this-  www.antiduckface.tumblr.com/  has been on the case for a while now.

Worth a looksie.

UPDATE 2:
CHRIS DEWOLFE IS JEALOUS AS HELL AND WANTS YOU TO KNOW- NOBODY DUCKFACES LIKE CHRIS DEWOLFE DUCKFACES

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UPDATE 3 from Know Your Meme- http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/duck-face

Try To Look Worse Keene State. You Can’t.

What happened to getting going to parties and trying to hook up when you were in college?

What’s with the violence?

Doesn’t look like my idea of any kinda fun at all.  If the demographic displayed in these videos are the student population from Keene State then their PR department better have some magical wizards or something.  Right now people sending their kids off to school you gotta figure Keene State just raced to the very last pick in the US.  Like if you gotta pick between Keene State and garbage collector you almost gotta go garbage collector.  Beats getting smoked in the head with a bottle.  Not sure how you recover from this kind of bad look.

The kids in this video make the drek that hangs out in the MacDonalds /7 Eleven Parking lot look like the Debutantes and future rulers of America. Mutant City at Keene State Pumpkin Fest.  Mutant City.

RANT: Too many non-profits have an unfair advantage over small family businesses

Before you read this rant … vote for our grant.  It’s free & easy.  Just go here.

People who know us have seen how much Vickie and I support non-profits.  We volunteer our time.  We produce concerts & festivals that raise money for them.  And we donate money when we can.  Gloucester is blessed to have several excellent non-profits with dedicated staff, supporters and volunteers who serve our community well.  You know who they are.

Lately, it feels like some organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status are gaining an unfair advantage in the marketplace.  And last week, several events conspired to drive this point home to us.

It began last Wednesday when an MCC delegation came to Beverly for a proposed Cultural District site visit. The proposed Beverly Arts District (BAD for short) includes The Larcom Theatre, where we present concerts, so we arranged for the MCC delegation to tour the theatre and I participated in a round table dialogue afterwards.  The Larcom Theatre is clearly the largest arts organization in the district in terms of the number of people we connect with annually (over 30K people come to shows at the Larcom from over 320 towns in 30+ states).

But The Larcom is not eligible for an MCC Cultural Facilities Fund Grant because it’s not a 501(c)(3).  Neither is gimmeLIVE.  Currently, the Larcom has no air conditioning, so we don’t have concerts in the summer; and no sound system, so we rent one (an excellent one, BTW) for the season.  If we were a 501(c)(3) we could apply for a grant and use the money for those and other improvements.  But we can’t.  Nor can we hang posters in lots of locations (including Market Basket) that only allow posters for non-profits.

However, the group that hopes to purchase the Cabot Theatre (just up the street from the Larcom) is rumored to be a non-profit.  They won’t pay taxes.  They could get a Cultural Facilities Grant.  They could hang posters where we can’t.  So… our tax dollars are funding our competition, whose 501(c)(3) status gives them lots of other advantages over us too.

Does this seem fair to you?

When I mention this disparity to various people, their answer is usually, “Well, why don’t you become a non-profit?  It’s really not that hard.”  In fact, that’s what Biotech investor Greg Verdine is doing for his new Gloucester venture according to this Boston Business Journal article that I read on Thursday.

Is this really what we want?  Smart business people starting non-profits to gain an advantage in the marketplace?

We’re not talking about poor starving aid workers here.  People who run non-profits in the Northeast make over $148K on average and as much as $3.7 million a year in salary according to this report.

Recently we applied for a Mission Main Streets Grant from Chase Bank.  Getting this grant would allow us to hire people, buy sound equipment, take bigger risks on more expensive artists and maybe even help get air conditioning in the Larcom Theatre (it’s not enough for that, but it could help).  Refreshingly, these grants are only available to for-profit small businesses.  That’s us — a small, family business trying to make a living for ourselves, our crew and our artists by bringing the best live music to your backyard at reasonable prices.  Non-profits have a huge advantage.  Please help level the playing field by voting for us.  It’s easy and free.  Just go here.

Thanks.

Twinge Worthy

As a continued tribute to Back-to-School Week, I have found some inspiring examples of why we all need school in the first place.

While some of these messages are funny, and some are mildly inappropriate (I apologize), some just flat out make me twitch!

Yikes.

Colton High School takes the cake though with its expensive and permanent misspelled signage.  Congratulations to you all (not, for the record, congradulations).

Does anyone double check their spelling (or, even more embarrassing, their phrasing) anymore? Sign all of the responsible parties up for a lesson on homophones immediately!  It isn’t hard, people!  To, too, two.   There, their, they’re.  It is truly more than I can handle.

 

 

City Mouse, Country Mouse

Other than four years of college in Virginia, I’ve lived on Cape Ann for my entire life….however, I’m also fairly well-traveled.  I’ve traveled in Africa, I’ve been to Central America, I’ve been all over Mexico, to the Caribbean, the West Indies, and throughout the United States and into Canada.  And, for what it’s worth, I’m pretty city savvy.  I spent a lot of time playing in the city in my teens, 20s, and 30s….and photographed inside Fenway Park for several years in a row…heading in and out of Boston each night during home stands. 

So, while I call this post “City Mouse, Country Mouse”…I’m not necessarily either.  However, I sure as all hell played the role of Country Mouse the other night in Boston…and I am NOT happy about it.

I am truly, truly an idiot. 

This is how it went down.

I was meeting a friend in the city…just outside of Faneuil Hall.  I know the area well, but was heading to a particular parking garage that I had never been to.  I took a left onto Broad Street and saw the 75 State Street Garage in the Financial District ahead…a bit ahead, on my right.  The traffic was total clusterf___.  Horns were honking.  Almost in front of the entrance to the lot, a white taxi was stopped, coming from the opposite direction, blocking a good part of my lane so that I couldn’t go forward.  A nice man, on a cell phone, with a pile of money in his hand, appeared in front of my car and helped me navigate my kind of large SUV around the taxi and towards the garage entrance.  He asked if I was parking, asked how long, and asked me for $10.  As I didn’t have a ten….I handed him a $20…with a smile.  He flipped through his pile of cash….as if looking for change….and then said, “just pull on down there (pointing to the garage) for a second and I’ll catch you.”   “No problem,” I said.

I’m not sure why I wasn’t on my A Game during that exact moment in time….but, it only took about 6 seconds for me to realize that effer was off with my $$$ and that I’d clearly not be seeing him or my “change” anytime soon.  I literally sat on the entrance ramp to the garage for probably a minute contemplating how I could have been such an idiot.  Large parking lots never ask for money outside upon arrival. I know that. Everyone knows that. I also replayed my short conversation with the “kind and helpful” gentleman….and couldn’t help but think what a tremendous actor he was.  While I was mad as all heck….I also couldn’t help but give him kudos for standing right there…in the middle of a super crowded busy city street…stealing money in broad daylight.  And doing so with such manners and such a calm demeanor.

Shame on him….shame on me.

You may be happy to know that dinner at Strega in the North End was excellent, drinks at the Sail Loft were just like old times,  and the company of an amazing friend more than made up for the $20 that I was scammed.  My ego, however, is still bruised.

Consider yourselves warned my friends.

To the people who begrudge EJ From Pimping Her Book Here…

Please unsubscribe.

I’ve read your nasty comments.  Her Kickstarter has something like 11 more days for her to potentially be able to get her book financed.

If you can’t see how much she gives back to the community by posting artists openings, volunteering for the Rocky Neck Art Colony, hosting  Mug-Ups, ect, ect, ect then you’re just not paying enough attention.

She hits her daily time slot here on GMG 99 out of a 100 days and 95% of the posts she composes are to help promote other community organizations or bring some interesting bit of information to our readership that they might not already have known.

So if you are not interested in the Kickstarter campaign for her new book and simply can’t bring yourself to scroll past her post during the next 10 days of her Kickstarter Campaign without writing a nasty comment then lets just do everyone a favor and please unsubscribe yourself.

For all the labor of love energy we put into this thing called GMG we don’t need your negative energy mucking up the works.

Unbelievable. 

This goes for Kim Smith’s movie night promotions, Felicia’s cookbooks and anything else that our contributors who strive to bring you great stuff every single day occasionally will pimp here on these pages.   335 posts a year trying to help others throughout the community, 30 posts trying to get her book financed and some people are that ignorant that they have to spew vitriol because they begrudge her of promoting her art.

Again, Unbelievable.

This is what makes me laugh about the Anti Flouride People

So the rhetoric from the anti-flouride people is that all the dentists in the US and our health officials have something to gain by towing the “Flouride is good” line.

They won’t listen to a dentist with over 30 years of experience who says publicly that he has seen first hand that communities with Flouride in their water makes a difference.

They won’t listen to all the national studies, the Center For Disease Control, American Dental Association, and when our own local Chairman of the Board of Health Rich Sagall comes out and says that the benefits of Flouride are clear and there are a ton of studies that support this it falls on deaf ears.  But still the Anti-flouride crusaders beat the drum that ALLLLLL these people who are paid to look out for us: our dentists, our Health departments, the National Center for Disease Control are in cahoots to hoodwink us and mess us up because everyone is getting paid off to keep up the lie about Flouride.

So the theory by the anti flouride folks is that all the pro-flouride people can’t be trusted because they are being paid off and that is the reason why we should throw everything they have to say that is positive about using flouride out the window and yet the person they want us to listen to is getting paid and is going around the country getting paid to give the anti flouride speech (so he has nothing to gain right by towing his stance, right?).  Not only that, he has a book out that I’m sure he’d love to sell you for the low low price of $18.36 on Amazon with the Title “The Case Against Flouride”-  Nothing to gain financially at all.  So a guy pimping a book we should listen to but everybody disregard your dentist and your health departments, local and national.  Clear the decks because none of those people can be trusted, we gotta put all our stock into a guy that’s pimping a book-

Here’s the cover of the book, and whattaya know it’s the same image they are using for their press release-

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SPONSORED BY…

Here’s the press release-

Do you have questions about fluoride in our drinking water?  You have 2 opportunities this weekend to learn more. Sponsored by The Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network, Dr. Paul Connett, Author of The Case Against Fluoride (and most recently, The Zero Waste Solution) will be giving a lecture on Saturday, August 2nd at the Rockport High School Auditorium at 7 PM. Also on Sunday, August 3rd, same time and place, Dr. Connett will hold an open forum discussion.

All are cordially invited for both evenings.

Rockport High School is located at 24 Jerdens Lane with plenty of parking.

The Case Against Fluoride

 

Now the key I see here is the Sponsored by  part of the press release.

The whole anti Flouride case is based on that we shouldn’t listen to our own local and national health officials or our own dentists because somehow or other they have something to gain financially by promoting the use of flouride.  But the same people who say that we shouldn’t listen to people that have something to gain financially say we SHOULD listen to some dude that is going around the country on a lecture circuit pimping his book on an anti flouride campaign that is being sponsored.  I do believe sponsored by means getting paid or hosted by them to speak.

It baffles me why they all push aside anything trusted local dentists or our own health officials have to say but they are more than willing to give all the credence to some guy going around riding a crest of fame on a new fad of anti-flouride and pimping a book on a lecture circuit.

Here’s some local and national folks that the anti-flouride folks don’t seem to want to listen to:

Leif Bakland
HarborCoveDental.com-

Submitted on 2014/07/21 at 10:43 pm
Hi Joey, evidently, fluoride is a hot topic. I will say that I am definitely for fluoridated water supply. It’s safe and effective. I’ve been in practice for over 30 years and have treated families from fluoridated and non fluoridated communities, there Is a difference!

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July 23, 2014

City health chiefs back continuing fluoride use

By James Niedzinski Staff Writer

Dr. Richard Sagall, who chairs the city’s Board of Health and Noreen Burke, Gloucester’s public health director say the benefits of fluoride are clear.

Burke said records show that Gloucester began adding fluoride to the water in 1981. She said the city also created an ad hoc committee with the Board of Health, a dentist and others last month.

“We support fluoridation of the water,” Sagall said.

He said fluoride indeed makes a difference in fighting tooth decay, but added that “there are many other things to support fluoride use.”

Sagall and Burke noted the amount of fluoride currently added to Gloucester’s water is low — about 0.3 or 0.4 parts per million compared to the federal and state recommended level of about 1.0 parts per million.

The push to get fluoride out of water is not local, Burke noted. “This is a national movement,” she said.

Sagall said that the use of anything in excess can cause problems, but the state Department of Public Health, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control all recommend fluoride use in drinking water.

Sagall recognized the sheer amount of data on the issue, from seemingly endless amounts of government agencies, experts, institutions and dentists.

“You have to look at the preponderance of evidence,” he said.

I’m sure this guy is gonna give a hell of a speech and leave everyone in the room convinced that they’re gonna die within minutes if they ever brush their teeth using local flouride water.  He will say that flouride is poison and scare the shit out of everyone.

Guess what else is poison?  Just about everything if you take a bajillion parts per million of it.  The amount of parts per million of flouride they are putting in our water is miniscule but the way it will be presented I’m sure will be that death is knocking on our doorstep with the very next sip we take.

I trust Rich Sagall and our Board of Health, I trust my dentist more than I trust some guy who is on a lecture circuit pushing a book.  That’s what I’m going with.

Daily Discussion- What Is Proper Etiquette When It Comes To Dogs Barking In Your Neighborhood Throughout The Evening/Night?

I wonder how the thought process goes for dog owners whose dogs are outside and bark throughout the evening and into the night (like non-stop barking).

Do they much like the dog lovers whose dogs jump up on you and get your clothes all filthy think it’s cute when they bark all night outside as well?

You think those dog owners are saying to themselves “Ahhh, that sweet melody of my dog barking away at bunny rabbits in the yard all night, I bet all our neighbors love listening to our dog just as much as we do.  Isn’t it just music to your ears and oh so soothing when you’re trying to go to bed.  puts me to sleep every time”

I’m not the kind of guy that ever wants to call the po po or animal control on their neighbors.  I’d really just like them to realize that there are neighbors out there that just might not appreciate their dog barking all night the way they do.

What are your thoughts on the subject?  Have you ever encountered this and how did you handle it? Leave a comment on this post and explain what course of action or non-action you would take.

Way to be, Jack Ass!

I guess for someone, stealing is easier than working for it.  And from kids nonetheless. Allow me to explain.

If you’ve browsed any of my previous posts here on GMG, you’ve probably come to know a few things about me.  You probably know that I’m long winded (does that actually apply to writing?) and you’ve probably gotten to “know” my two young boys….and maybe you’ve learned that they love the ocean.  More than loving it, they work hard at being budding little lobstermen, and they’re pretty passionate about it.

If you haven’t seen it yet, maybe this will help paint the picture

Young and Salty

My boys, along with their three great friends…on our friends’ boat, go lobstering typically twice per week all summer long.  With only ten traps, they certainly don’t do it to make money….they do it because they love it.  And, they do it for Lobsterfest!  Once each summer (maybe twice if we’re lucky)… we gather our families and some of our local friends, and we have a feast to end all feasts. More importantly, we have laugh after laugh, in one of the most picturesque towns I know.  It is, without a doubt, one of our favorite evenings of the entire summer.

We check the tide chart….we check our busy summer schedules…and we pick a day.  This summer…that day was Saturday.

The kids feel tremendous pride that their hard work supplies the Stars of the Show:  The Rockport Harbor Lobsters!  They feel tremendous pride that our guests….friends who have watched them grow, learn, laugh, and cry…gather to enjoy a quintessential summer evening and “oooh and ahhhh” over their bounty! They feel tremendous pride in being such a huge part of such a special tradition.

So, maybe you can imagine our shock and dismay to discover that THE lobsters had been stolen from the water on Friday night.  Holding tank and all.  Gone.  As a friend put it, “It’s like losing your uniform the night before the Big Game.”  The night before Lobsterfest.

I get that maybe the thief wasn’t aware that those lobsters had been slowly gathered by a group of dedicated children…and their two amazing dads.  Two dads who take the time to show those kids how to haul and set their gear.  Two dads who, while they love lobstering with the kids, may actually prefer to cast a few rods, set an anchor at the beach, or play a round of golf on a few more occasions, rather than continuously tend to the traps.  Or maybe they wouldn’t rather do those things, either way, that isn’t the point.

The point is, Stealing is wrong…and I’m pissed.

“The children must be crushed!” you may be thinking.  Well, actually, the children don’t know.  Luckily, those two amazing dads also had the wherewithal to not let the children know that someone had stolen their lobsters.  They would have been beyond devastated.  They would have been hurt.  They probably would have been confused.

Those two amazing dads also didn’t want our guests to know that they had to scramble and buy lobsters in the eleventh hour.  They certainly didn’t want any guests to run out and purchase lobsters themselves….not that any of those guests would have minded!  Lucky also is that Cape Ann is the type of community where friends rally for each other.  Lucky also is that, having lived here forever, those two amazing dads have people who were happy to help them and that getting enough lobsters to feed our friends was possible.

So, Lobsterfest was a giant success.  Those little “lobsterkids” are none the wiser and, while we’re still mad, it would take more than a small time thief (Jack Ass) to ruin a wonderful summer evening with such amazing friends.  Still, shame on them.

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With Blog-Colored Glasses

 

A few people have asked me lately how I like contributing to the blog and while I’ve answered in better detail, the answer that is actually screaming inside my head is, “Cigarette Butt at Panera!”

“What in all holy heck?” you may ask.  Well, allow me to explain.

Since I started contributing to GMG, I have discovered that intentionally or not, I look at things differently. Things that I may not have thought twice about, or even noticed, are now potential blog posts.  I rate funny things I hear in everyday conversation as “blog worthy…or not so blog worthy.”  Friends are beginning to learn that they can’t have a bite of their food or a sip of their drink before I photograph it.  Even my own children ask, “are you going to put that on the blog?” when something makes me chuckle.  I have found myself parked on the side of the road on Nugent Stretch at 7:25 a.m. because we know that there will be a train barreling alongside of us at 7:26.  While I thought that video would be “blog worthy” it wasn’t as cool as it is in real life.  I’ve found myself turning the car around to go back and try to capture a particular shot…and I’ve found myself photographing porta potties because I thought they’d make somebody laugh.  I’m self diagnosed as “apostrophe intolerant” in that I feel mildly queasy when apostrophe’s are misused.  See what I did there?  If I ever send out a Christmas card that says, “Love the Schrafft’s” shoot me.  So, I have found myself noticing grammatical errors on menus, store signs, and even on a window of a local restaurant and thinking, “does that make a decent blog post?”  I told someone that I find myself looking at things through “blog-colored glasses.”

I digress.  Back to the cigarette butt at Panera.  With my older son off on a play date and the little guy in dire need of new baseball card holders for his big binder of cards, we headed out to Staples.  After waiting in line for an eternity behind a woman with what felt like hundreds of questions (and pondering, “is this the makings of a blog post?”) we felt we had earned a Panera Mango Smoothie and Frozen Lemonade.  I distracted Finn as we walked past the minefield of baked goodies in the display case in hopes of keeping his eyes on the prize.  Five minutes later we were headed back into the sunshine and I was enjoying some long overdue one one one time with my boy.  As I watched him hold the door for a lovely older woman, with a smoothie the size of his head in his mitts, and was in the midst of a “what a good boy he is moment” I looked down and saw a cigarette butt at his feet.  Finn’s keen little eyes spied it at the same time.  Not uncommon you may think, right? 

Allow me explain this a bit better, so you can maybe understand why I found it offensive.   When you enter Panera, you go through two doors.  You’re on the sidewalk…you open a door…you take 3 steps… and you enter another door…this time leading into the actual restaurant.  Someone had taken it upon themselves to chuck their cigarette butt down, right there on the carpet for the love of fire hazards, between the two doors.  I mean, if you have to chuck your cigarette butt on the ground with the wildly inaccurate assumption that it isn’t actual garbage, then at least do it outside!  Why in hell would someone chuck a cigarette down on a carpet….1/2 way inside a restaurant.  I have an issue with cigarette butts being discarded anywhere other than an ash tray anyway.  I have nothing against cigarette smokers, just their assumption that it isn’t trash. I am equally addicted to my cup of morning coffee…but, I’d never throw the cup on the ground.  Likewise, on a similar scale, I might not say “no” to a Hershey’s Kiss…but I wouldn’t throw the little silver wrapper on the ground when I was done.  Little or not…it’s still trash.

So I looked at the cigarette butt, Finn looked at the cigarette butt, and then a man began to enter and we stepped out of his way.  In my head I was thinking, “go back…take a photo…blog post in the making”…but I was carrying a smoothie, holding my little bag and my car keys, and enjoying a moment with Finn in which he deserved my full attention.  But, wouldn’t you know that as soon as he was buckled in and I had started my car, the little guy said, “Mama, you should have taken a picture of that cigarette trash and put it on the blog so more people would know not to do that.”  Cigarette Butt at Panera.  Enough said.

And….since I didn’t photograph the cigarette butt…here’s a photo of some serious porta pottage.  Caption it if you’d like!!

 

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Gloucester Welcoming Center Open House Thursday 5:30pm — YOU SHOULD BE THERE

So, you don’t think you benefit from tourists coming to Gloucester?  Well …. do you like: having a choice of world-class restaurants you can walk to; our extraordinarily hot music music scene in all kinds of venues, including schooners; guaranteed parking at some of the most gorgeous beaches anywhere on Earth all summer long for only $20; living among award-winning museums, studios & galleries, Broadway-quality theatre; a thriving cultural economy … I could go on and on … OR perhaps your an artists, musician, photographer, writer, actor, chef, carpenter, plumber, contractor, fitness instructor, diver, ship’s captain, etc … OR  you own or work in a hotel, restaurant, gallery, museum, boat, theatre, school or any retail store in Gloucester … or your business supports these people, like a lawyer, accountant, banker, realtor … Let’s face it, there’s really no business nor person in Gloucester who doesn’t benefit directly when tourists come here to share the City we all love.  So come to Stage Fort Park on Thursday and see what the good people who work so hard to make tourism possible do every day to make your life better!

Stage Fort Park Open House invite(2)

Not So Common Courtesy

I thought twice about writing this post (maybe even three or four times) because I didn’t want to seem all self-righteous and “I’m so awesome” because I’m not….but rudeness seems to be following me like my back pocket these days, and I simply couldn’t fight the urge any longer.  I just don’t get it.  I am F…A…R. from perfect and have enough flaws and faults that we could make it a full fledged category here on GMG (don’t get any ideas, Joey).  Just ask my husband.  Likewise, my boys have plenty of skills that could be worked on.  Lately, though, I have been more than the average dose of disheartened by the interactions that I’ve had “out there.”  The thing that started to push me over the edge is something that has chronically happened to me for years….making me wonder if, indeed, I am actually at fault.

Scenario #1:  Aisle of any given store.  Me: Heading one way.  Another shopper: Headed towards me.  Me: “Sorry. Excuse me” while we jockey for space to get by each other.  Other shopper: Nothing.  Nothing!  Crickets!  As if I was actually at fault!  Why am I always the one saying, “excuse me“??  Aren’t we both equally responsible for sharing the aisle?    Maybe I open myself up for being at fault by saying “sorry“….because that is probably a bit much?  Maybe I should just stick with “excuse me.”   Well, I’ve done that too.  Still….crickets!  How is it that I never hear, “no worries“or “excuse me too“?  Sometimes, the lack of response even comes with a quick glance that almost implies, “You’re darn right you should excuse yourself!  This aisle is all mine!”   Which I get, I don’t shop a lot.  I’m not a “regular” anywhere when it comes to shopping.  Well…my Amazon account and J Crew card would disagree, but they don’t have aisles.  Oh, and when I’m talking about said aisles, I’m not talking like Vineyard Vines… where I would expect to be looked upon with a bit of pity or quickly dismissed because my grosgrain ribbon belt doesn’t match the whale on my cardigan and headband.  (Before you write in…I’m kidding….I don’t really think it is ok to treat customers or fellow shoppers like that even in establishments like VV…and, for the record, my belt, cardigan, and headband always match…kidding, again).  I, to get back to my original point, am talking about places like Market Basket, Staples, Michael’s Craft Store, and Sports Authority.  Do these people really think they have more right to these aisles than I do?

Scenario #2:  Door Holding.  And lack there of.  I ALWAYS hold doors.  Sometimes too much so.  By that I mean that sometimes the necessity to hold doors is actually questionable.  Like, sometimes the next person is a good clip away and I think, for a second, “Do I really need to stand here and hold this door for them or should I let it go?”  Often though, in that space of a thought, I’ve inadvertently made eye-contact with the next person, and then feel obligated to stand there for a slightly awkward period of time.  Efff.  Insert Chariots of Fire slow motion music….and awkward wait period.  However!  What is up with all of the times that I hold doors for people and they DON’T say, “Thank you?”  Seriously!!  What in the world is wrong with people!  Does this happen to anyone else or just me!?  Blasted common courtesy, people!  I know that I didn’t hand you $1.000, but come on!  Likewise, I don’t do it for the “thank you” but when the other person acts like it is my purpose in life to stand and hold a door for them, I get pissed.  I won’t even bother getting into the lack of door holding and my secret ill-wishing towards those who let doors slam in the faces of my young children.

Scenario #3:  Driving Etiquette.  Turning into parking lots.  This indeed may be pushing it, because if you were to read the actual laws-of-the-road, these people are in the “right”, but I don’t think so.  I can’t tell you how many times I have been waiting, with my directional on, to turn into a parking lot across a lane of on-coming traffic only to finally see an oncoming car put their directional on to turn into the same parking lot and have thought “oh, good, they’ll let me go“(because now I’m starting to feel bad for the back-up of cars behind me) …..only to have them sneak in in front of me.  I know they probably really have the right of way….but, doesn’t common courtesy dictate, “hey, that person has been trying to turn in there for quite a bit now, and even though they’re in the opposite lane, they were here first, so maybe I’ll let them go???”   I accidentally did that to someone at Dunkin Donuts once and then bought their coffee in the drive-thru because I felt so bad.   And, for the record, if someone actually did let me go…I’d wave an appreciative “thank you.”  Just sayin’.

So, why rant now?  What brings this all to a head, you may ask?  A trip to the zoo, I would answer.  I love kids.  I love my kids, I love my students, I love my friends’ kids.  What I don’t love is kids that run freakin’ wild in public while their parents ignore them like crazy….so much so that they ruin other people’s fun.  Yesterday, there was a group of kids barreling between exhibits while shouting and hollering at the zoo.  I realize that I expect too much from my own children when it comes to manners in public…I absolutely border on the “strict” side….and I might even go so far as to say that sometimes I hamper their fun because I expect them to let other children have a turn too quickly or I make them wait longer because someone else’s child has cut them in line and I’d rather they take the high road.  I’m working on getting better at that.  That having been said, I have a super low tolerance for other parents who let their children act rudely in public.   This same group of children kept jumping in front of other children and one of them ran right into a lovely grandmother who was trying to show her grandchildren the jaguar.  No one told him to apologize…and it was kind of a rough hit.  Another snatched a view finder right out of a little girl’s hands.  No one told him to wait his turn.  Later, I watched a boy finish a snack and drop the wrapper on the ground.  WHAT!!??  Then, on the playground, this entitled little 5 year-old or so, snapped at Finn….who was soooo in line before her for a turn on the little zip line thing, and actually put her hand up in his face and said “I’m next“.  She then complained that “that kid (meaning my other son) left the bar 1/2 way across and I can’t reach it now” to me and added, “Can you get it?”.  To which I said, “Come on Finn.  We’ll come back when she’s done trying to have her turn” and walked away.  Where were little bossy pant’s parents….no idea?  Ironically, just 10 minutes later, when my boys wanted to ride the little train, we found bossy pants sitting mid-train crying like crazy because “she wanted to sit up front in the engine and it isn’t ffffaaaaiiiirrrr.”  Still not sure which parents in the crowd were hers.  But, I am sure that no one was telling her to “enjoy the seat she had or feel free to get off, but either way stop screaming” like I would have done.  My boys chose to wait until the next ride.  A much quieter one.  And sat in the engine.

And then lunch.  I’ll make it quick.  Picture if you will, two clearly marked cans.  A blue one that says, “Bottles and Cans Only” in large letters across the top…with a recycling symbol on it and a brown one with no words.  Wouldn’t you know that just as my 4-year old was done recycling his water bottle a lady came and dumped all of her trash…ketchup covered french fries, napkins, remnants of hamburgers, chicken fingers, drink cups, you name it….right into the recycling can.  Dumbass.  Ummmm….and allow me add…it was Earth Day.

I’d like to finish by saying that I am well aware there is an ocean of lovely, well-mannered people out there…including all of you, but for some reason, the way my stars have aligned, I seem to be missing them.

The “American Blogger” Documentary May Be The Biggest Crock Of Shitake Mushrooms Ever

I first saw this video on Barstool Sports but I’m thinking the whole thing has to be a joke, right?

Like a documentary is supposed to capture people in real life, if you watch that trailer you would think that the only people that blog are wealthy privileged female designers whose houses are spotless. Was there even one guy in the whole lot?

I feel like the whole trailer was something made up for The Onion or some satirical Saturday Night Live Skit where in the very next scene all these women hop on unicorns after farting out rainbows.

Somehow us lumping trailer loads of stinky herring at 5AM didn’t make the cut ;)

Where do you fall on the Whole Colbert/Park Thing

Anyone who has watched The Colbert Report more than once understands that his whole schtick revolves around being outlandishly satirical. This woman Suey Park claimed to have been a fan of the show for years but took offense to a bit he did in which he was poking fun of the Redskins owner for offering up a token amount of gifting to Native American Indians just after he said he would be sticking with the name some considered racist (The Washington Redskins). She started an internet petition to get The Colbert Report TV Show cancelled unless he apologized.  So Colbert making fun of The Redskins owner satirically was lost on this woman, or was it?  Did she not get the satire or did she see the opportunity to raise a big stink even though deep down she knew it was satire, the same satire he had used to poke fun at politicians for over a decade. Here’s more on that-

I don’t expect my mom to get the joke.  But someone that young and someone that supposedly has watched the show for years has to get it. Read the quote and tell me that that is a serious statement that anyone not using satire would use on national television. colbert You probably know where I fall on this-  Just another person that uses the internet to bully using political correctness and in this case it’s even more ridiculous because the victim, Colbert was using the example to make fun of the very same type of racism that you would think she would rail against. She’s no idiot, she knows this, but her desire to get “internet famous” is more important to her than recognizing publicly that he was poking fun of people she would consider racist.  If she’d watched the Colbert Report for all the years she did like she claimed there’s no way she didn’t understand his whole act of making outlandish statements to poke fun at the ones who would actually say them and mean them.

This tweet from Brad Fitzgerald-

Stupid people make me angry. . Satire is meant to highlight ignorance, but when you take it seriously, you just look stupid.

I don’t think Suey Park is stupid.  I think she completely understands that The Colbert Report was making fun of Dan Snyder but her desire to gain notoriety is more powerful than her desire to recognize that fact.

 

“Asinine” is Clearly Missing an Important Letter “s”

If anyone happens to be looking for further proof that “asinine” should really be spelled “assinine” take a few spins around Blackburn or Grant Circle.  It’s fun.   I, for the record, will continue to spell “assinine” incorrectly, no matter how many times spell-check tells me I’m wrong, because, honestly, if there is a word that begs for a more appropriate spelling, “assinine” is it!

Today’s proof that “assinine” is missing an “s” is dedicated to the donkey who thought that even though he was on the inside of the circle, and even though I was on the outside of the circle and clearly exiting the rotary to head home to Rockport, he should feel free to speed up, slice his way in front of me with a couple of inches to spare, and then throw his hands up in disgust…indicating that he believed I was in the wrong.  ASSinine.  See my point?

I’ve been commuting from Rockport/Gloucester to Beverly for 20 years now….5 days a week, if not more.  To and from.  Many, many go rounds those roundy-rounds.    I’m not going to lie, I kind of do it on autopilot because it seems somewhat obvious which lane you should be in…depending on where you are planning on exiting the rotary.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve learned to not overestimate anyone’s common sense, and I am always on the look-out for assinine moves by other drivers, but yet, it still amazes me.  Now, I know what many of you are thinking.  “Lay off.  Rotaries can be tricky.  The poor guy was probably from out of state.”  NO…GO.   Rockport sticker proudly displayed.  Rotary savy, my friends…let’s get on board.

So, as a mere public service message (not at all a sarcastic rant) I am posting the RMV’s rules for operating a motor vehicle on a rotary here in the state of Massachusetts.  Possibly “said driver”, and other assinine drivers, may want to take a gander.  And then, for your viewing pleasure, see how Chevy Chase handled it.

Mass RMV tells us how to drive on rotaries

Mass RMV tells us how to drive on rotaries

 

 

 

Here’s your chance to tell the Government what you think of them spying on you

Normally I write about music in this blog.  But this is a blog — and the fact that you’re reading this post has most likely just been logged into an N.S.A. database, along with lots of other info about what you’ve been doing just now, including where you are, every email you’ve just sent and read, what other websites, photos and blogs you’ve just visited, all the texts and phone calls you’ve made today, and so on and so on . . .  Does this make you a tad uneasy?  It should.  So here’s a chance to do something about it.  Perhaps I’m being optimistic (I’ve been accused of that before)  but I’ll bet Congress and the White House are a little worried about what we all think of their rampant invasion of our privacy.  That’s why they’re asking us what we think — and it’s why they’re trying to deflect our fear of them and point that fear toward technology itself.  Watch this video of former Clinton Chief of Staff, John Podesta as he tries to do just that:

Don’t let them get away with it.  Go here and fill out the survey.  Be sure to put something in their comment field labeled, “Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your thoughts on this issue?”  Be bold and don’t worry; it won’t increase the government’s surveillance of your actions.  There’s really nothing more they can do that isn’t already being done.  Here’s an excerpt of what I put in:

I found Councelor Podesta’s remarks a clever, but thinly veiled attempt to shift focus from our government’s vast and terrifying overreach to fear of technology in general.  Technology isn’t the problem.  The problem, revealed by Edward Snowden (whom I firmly believe will go down in history as one of America’s greatest modern heroes — on par with Martin Luther King) is that our leaders, including President Obama, have flouted the Constitution they swore to uphold and continue to conduct an insidious invasion of our privacy in the name of security. 
 
This situation seems upside down to me.  We let large companies collect vast amounts of data on us in return for the convenience of making phone calls, searching the Internet, communicating via email, text, etc. What we need is a government who protects our privacy by ensuring those companies keep that data secret and secure and don’t misuse it. Instead, what we’ve got is a government who secretly demands that those companies turn our private data over to them and then forbids those companies from telling us they’ve done so.

If you want to make a living playing music, you have to make a living playing music!

One of my favorite local stars, Inge Berge, shared a post on his Facebook page about this “Call For Performers” by the city of Yellowknife, NT in Canada:

As we head into Gloucester’s spring/summer/fall busy season, I’m glad he brought this topic up because that’s often when musicians are asked to play for free in return for “exposure.”

I don’t expect musicians to perform for free, because I don’t work for free.  Actually, the last time I asked any musician to play without pay (except for passing the hat) was when Vickie and I were helping organize the first Block Parties in 2008, at which I played for free too.   And that was only because everyone involved in starting the Block Parties donated their time.  By last year  (could have been 2012) the Block Parties had evolved to the point where the Block Party Committee raises money and pays musicians.

Don’t get me wrong, I do volunteer my time for various causes that I feel are worthwhile — and I sometimes work for trade.  But in every trade case, I’m getting something in return for my work — something of equal value to the value of my work.

Next time somebody asks you to play for free, ask “What am I getting in trade?”  If the answer is something like, “Oh, you’ll get great exposure,”  my advice is just say no.

Lugging your gear into your car, driving to the venue, setting up, breaking down, loading your gear back into your car and driving home would be enough to demand some pay (at least what stage hands get).  Then there’s performing, which (among other things) requires years of practice, tremendous dedication, a willingness to trust your artistic instincts and … talent.  That should be reserved only for those occasions where the people who’ve asked you to perform value the fact that you’re digging deeper into the human soul than most people ever get and sharing what you find with the rest of us. 

I could rattle off a dozen reasons why mere “exposure” is no where near enough compensation for performing — and the first one that comes to mind is that if you’re playing anywhere on Cape Ann, you can get plenty of free exposure right here on GMG and on gimmesound.com.

Plus, because you don’t want to play to an empty room, you’ll probably plug the event on your own social media pages, which gets free exposure for the people who’ve asked you to perform in the first place.

Feel free to share this post with everybody who asks you to play for free …

Downton Abbey: That’s All Folks (Until Next Year…)

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I grimace because I care…

Season 4 of Downton Abbey is over, and as much as I love to complain about its soap opera excesses, I’m gonna miss now it’s gone. I’m already looking forward to next winter, when the millions of us who watch this show can once again spend January and February with the Crawley family and their servants. In Season 5, will viewers get to see Mary’s decision about which one of her suitors to marry? For my money, I think it will be the Pigman. Mary will steal him away from Edith and together, Mary (Lady Pigman to you!) and her man will raise pigs and make so much money for Downton Abbey by selling bacon rashers that the old home place will never be in financial trouble again.

For my full rant, feel free to head over to my blog by clicking the link…

Now Knowing That This Year’s World Cup Soccer Tourney Is Being Held In Brazil- An Over/Under Death Poll

Craig Kimberley told me yesterday in the GloucesterCast Podcast that this year’s World Cup Soccer tournament is being held in Brazil.

After seeing some of the riots that happen at regular season soccer matches in Brazil I can’t even begin to imagine how many deaths will occur given the elevated emotional state that World Cup Soccer brings.

I’m gonna pin the line at 500 fan deaths and 2.5 Soccer Ref deaths.

Good times.

 

After thinking about it I think the frustration comes from not understanding the thought process…

image

I think the thing that frustrates me the most about people refusing to perform simple internet searches and asking others to do it is the not really understanding the psyche behind people asking other people to search the web for them.

It seems like the simplest and most direct route for someone to find answers.  For example:  If someone couldn’t find a post that had been written on GMG yesterday, last week or last year they could go two routes, right?

Route 1  They either search on the GMG Search box or if they didn’t know it even existed they could point their internet browser to Google, type in the search term and get the answer within 30 seconds.

Route 2: They write an email to me, wait til I actually have time to read it, perform the internet search for them, copy the results, email them back.  Could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple days before I get through the emails that come in.

Now knowing how much quicker it would be to just perform the search themselves I just have to ask myself why?  Why in the world does someone refuse to perform the search themselves?

Now we all know those people who pride themselves on “Not being a computer person”. Not the feeble minded ones, but the genuinely smart people in every day lives that are really really smart and successful but they wear the “I don’t have a smartphone” badge like it’s something to be proud of.  These are the type of people who would bite their nose off to spite their own face.  If you have a smartphone (and it’s not about money because you can get free smartphones with any carrier) you know the power you have in your hand.  You know that knowledge is power and the information at your fingertips with a smartphone is nearly limitless.

So to trot out the “I’m not a computer person” line in the year 2014 makes you look stupid.  I don’t mean this to offend anyone.  I’m just telling you that saying this line out loud to anyone is basically telling people that you’re an idiot.  Computers are so dumbed down today, that if you can spell, then you can use an internet browser.  A two minute YouTube instructional video can explain how to perform a Google search.

Here’s a great internet tutorial for beginners.  You may ask how I found it.  By golly I actually found it using a search on Google!  Crazy right? I knooooow!!!  So Crazy!

So then after the “I’m not a smartphone person” or “I’m not a computer person” people, could it be laziness?  Do the people that write in these requests for information posted on the web just not want to perform the task of typing in the query?

Again I’m not meaning to offend with these questions, I’m trying to figure out for my own sanity the thought process (or lack thereof) in asking someone else through email to find something online for them when the act of writing out that email request took more time and energy than simply performing the internet search themselves.  It actually takes less time and keystrokes for the person asking the question.

So I guess that kinda answers my question there.  It can’t be that they’re lazy because it actually requires more work for them to type out the email than perform the search.  So strike lazy.

I genuinely believe the disconnect is a simple 2-5 minute lesson on how to point their browser in the direction of a search engine.  Could it be that simple you think?  Do you think that people are so afraid of technology that they intentionally refuse to learn how to find a search box?  That two minute lesson would open up worlds of information and empower them so much but they still won’t take that leap.  Being able to search for flights, bus schedules, sports scores, local events, international events, knitting patterns, free music, writing, art, ect, ect, ect, ect, ect, ect, ect, ect……

What percentage of the people who refuse to perform internet searches do you think is due to “

Laziness

Stupidity

Fear of Internet

Please help me understand.  Please.  I beg of you.  If you are one of these people could you write in (and you can make it anonymous) to help me understand why you wouldn’t perform an internet search.  Maybe if we hear from a few of these folks we can find ways to help them understand how easy it is.

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