Between Perfection and Disaster, Living Starts

I’m not sure if I actually read that somewhere or if I actually just came up with that, but I do really think that is true.

Let’s go back here a second and this is going to be a weird one, but if you stick with me to the end, I promise the pay off will be good.  In 1996, I remember watching the Olympics and seeing Shannon Miller on the balance beam.  She was an excellent gymnast.  She over rotated a kind of a sideways back handspring into a split but adjusted her body to save the split and did the trick competently from what I could see.  I’m a gymnastics fan, not a judge but it looked fair to me.  The commentator at the time said “that’s what experience gets you,” those times when you know you’ve done something wrong and you need to save whatever you’ve done and you do it.  Its those moments that separate you from a hot shot phenom into an actual professional.

I’ve had tons of those types of moments on activities where I’ve had to save something.  Today was just one of those days.  We had a little snafu with our tour booking for the Boston Globe.  That snafu was completely my fault.  Oh disaster was imminent but I save us.  A little convincing, a little arm twisting and my back handspring was saved.

It got me to thinking.  If life were an endless string of perfect moments, wouldn’t that makes things really boring???  Isn’t life more interesting when things are thrown in there to throw things off balance occasionally?  What does our relentless pursuit of perfection get us other than boredom?  Of course we cannot live in a constant state of chaos, but throwing things off balance occasionally keeps things interesting, that’s what I think.

Oh and as an aside, any visit to the Globe means a visit to the paper carrying robots that wizzed passed us on our visit.  Who doesn’t love that?  First, a thoroughly excellent sign:


Oh and here is the robot passing by.  Thrillingly:




Sometimes I Don’t Hate New York

How did we get here?  I’m like a real New Yorker.  I mean there are New Yorkers that can tell you how to take a 6 train like nobody’s business.  Then there are people who remember a New York City of Run DMC imitators with boom boxes, Tower Records, the Bowery being a terrible neighborhood, Williamsburg not meaning hipster but meaning yet a more terrible neighborhood, Ed Koch, a polluted East River, dollar slices at Ray Famous Original pizza and a place that was associated with general mayhem.

To me a New Yorker is a person who spent their childhood in Manhattan.  Beyond childhood, you are just an impostor who thinks Carrie Bradshaw is a real person.

Imagine my surprise when this person turned into a Bostonian a few years ago and not just any Bostonian.  A semi-R dropping Yankee hater who refers to i-90 as “the pike.”  OK I will never stop loving the New York Rangers, but David Ortiz is basically like a demigod in my book and Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski, leave a comment on this blog and I will just give you my phone number.

We’re at paragraph three and I haven’t made a point yet.  Can I be Yankee hating, Ortiz worshipping Bostonian and kinda sorta at times like New York?  Well, this past weekend I found out those two things could in fact coexist inside one self.

My three dear friends from the Kingdom of Bahrain, here on their yearly Eastern coastal visit proposed a sojourn to New York.  No way I was going to pass up that opportunity.  Their older relative, the manager of that traveling circus, demanded that we leave Boston no later than 3:45am.  We went careening down the Merritt Parkway to the sound of what I think was a Qatari love song.  Talk about two chapters of your life clashing rather awkwardly.

As we neared New York I entertained my friends from way afar with stories of my adventures in places with mythical names like Valhalla where I experienced things they had only heard about in movies.  Things like for example senior prom.  Which belongs only in a movie.

Our time in New York started with a walk across the Brooklyn bridge.  We landed in DUMBO, which I don’t remember being as nice as it was.  We encountered a French bulldog, which we all collectively bent down to pet.  Honestly, when I got a look at the owner, I thought he would never let us pet his dog in a million years and that he was going to be incredibly unfriendly.  He turned out to be super friendly and I wanted to ask what part of Boston he had grown up in.  BURN.  Well, at that particular moment I realized that maybe not all New Yorkers were as unfriendly as I had thought.  Maybe there were moments when I didn’t hate the city.

As with all of these crazed weekend trips, we ended up in Times Square, or as I like to call it  — hell.  OK maybe hell’s post office, but that place is really hell.  Overly aggressive Metal Hero Friends and Aloha Cats.  Next to me, an Irish mother and son were having quite the quarrel using an array of curse words I had never heard before.  I nearly turned to her and asked if I could record whatever regional variety of English she was speaking.  No way, I mean forget it.  But I guess I could have tried.

Oh and I encountered Times Square’s least clothed denizens — the desnudas.  Times Square is now populated by competing packs of painted naked ladies who told me they only agree to have their photo taken if they are paid.  Aggressively they say this.

This photography ninja still got their photo anyway.  Petting the French bulldog and talking to his amiable owner made me hate the city less.  But the demanding desnudas…..

Never mind.  Let’s just have some photos now:



I Hate Shopping

Yesterday I was in H&M with a friend of mine who was on the hunt for a jacket or a sweatshirt of some kind.  He was going around looking at all the clothes and trying to find something that fit him.  He seems to love all of the trying on and choosing of clothes and all the rest of it.

I hate that stuff.  Whenever I go into a store, I feel like there are 5,000 pieces of clothing most of which I cannot wear, would not wear or cannot afford.  I do most of my shopping online where the choices are more limited and the window to buy things is smaller.  Now if you send me a ski shop, the story is different but that is another entry for another time of year.

While my friend was on the hunt for his sweatshirt, I spotted a kind of mannequin holding area.  There were so many mannequins and so interestingly arranged that I knew immediately that I had to take a photo or in this case, multiple photos.  I photograph mannequins a lot because I always imagine them having conversations with each other when no one else is around.  Kind of like when you are a kid and you imagine that your stuffed animals talk to each other when you aren’t around.

What exactly are they talking about???

boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 1boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 2boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 3boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 5boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 6boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 7boston h&m store downtown crossing mannequins 8


A Smile On A Dog

How can you not love an animal who actually smiles at you?  BTW, the way I got this photo was by putting the camera on the ground and composing from the window on the back turned upwards.  Camera smoke and mirrors:

boston north end st. lucy's festival august 29 2016 french bulldog

You Know That Moment In the Italian Movie When the Music Swells and Everyone Goes to the town square?

Yeah, probably not.  But there is always that moment.  Something is going to happen.  The town casanova is going to get his comeuppance.  The long lost prodigal son will return.

That’s how I feel when I go to the North End for the annual carrying of the dollar bill covered saint.  Like I’m reliving that moment.

Let’s go to the movies — Italian style:

Trust Me. This Homemade Aircraft Is Completely Safe. No, We Are Really Going to Be Fine!!!!

There are a few universal truths in life.  First, never mess with the people who touch your food.  Second, never trust a person who does not like dogs.  Third, if there is some kind of crazy event with people in costumes, music and homemade flying anything, I will surely be nearly capturing the unfolding chaos.

Ever since I saw a video of one of the multiple Flugtags in the world, I have wanted to attend.  Who doesn’t want to go to an event where a bunch of people attempt to pilot some kind of paper mache chicken into a body of water????

The event was tons of fun but I did think the paper airplanes and fake trains were going to go a bit further than they did.  To be totally honest, I wanted to be up there with the people piloting the homemade aircraft and falling into the water.  But those are just ambitions for the future, I guess.

Flugtag, there is be, what is was:



What’s Your Superpower?

Sitting in a plastic bag!!!!

boston comic con august 12 2016 portrait action figure plastic bag