The Big DumpTruck

Throwing Little Thought Pebbles at Your Windshield Since 1996

Month: January, 2003

Backfence: Surprising details from UN inspector

Hey! Looks like Lileks got two day’s worth of work out of my letter to him a week or so ago. You know, the “this” vs. “next” saturday thing? Read part two on the Backfence.

James, if you’re reading this: You’re welcome.


Where are the Merry Maids?

I was gone almost all day today. Got SO many errands done, you’d all be proud. I filed the abatement paperwork at city hall (ya, sure, my little cape with no garage is worth more than the colonial with the two car garage next door. Both homes are the same age, she has a slightly larger lot, and slightly more square footage. All other things being equal, no way in hell is a house without a garage worth more than one with.

While we were there I also paid the water bill. The water department office is across the hall from Mayor Mazzarella’s office. Last time I was there with Junior he said he wanted to meet the mayor, but the Mayor wasn’t in. Today, when we came out of the water department office I spotted him sitting in his own waiting area, so I walked the three steps to say hello. I told him Junior wanted to meet him and he went to shake Junior’s hand, and asked his name. Well, this is not a shy child by any means but he totally froze, didn’t say his name, and then leapt behind me. He would NOT come out until after we left, and then he acted like nothing happened. I’ve never seen him be that shy before. Ever. At least the mayor and his two admins were tickled about it.

Oh, so the Merry Maids in the title. When I finally got home there was a message from the photographer at the Sentinel. They want a picture of me for the article. Oh dear Lord, how can we take this and somehow hide the fact that people actually live in this house? There is crap on every surface. I’ve got a birthday party until noon and then photog gets here at 2. That’s two hours to take everything I own and put it in cardboard boxes and hide them somewhere. The clutter won’t look scholarly. It will look like a pig sty.


I’m a New Me™

Okay everyone, slide over and make room for our company from! I had another article in Mary’s newsletter this week: I’m a New Me™. For those of you who ended up here from there, welcome! I’m not a doctor or any kind of health professional. I cannot answer medical questions. Well, I can, but the answers could harm or kill you, if you catch my drift.

Okay, off to do errands. I won’t post an official list but it involves the bank, CVS (ya, the same one from earlier) and buying a birthday present to take to a b-day party tomorrow.


Very Funny Stuff

I just wanted to share something I saw on another blog. When I go in to Boston (into?) I park at Alewife.


Fireplace Screensaver

For a couple of years now I get hits every day for people looking for a Fireplace Screensaver. I started to feel bad about that (I don’t have one…I WANTED one) so every once in a while I search around to see if anyone’s posted a new one that I can send people to. Here is the 2003 link: I can’t vouch for the quality, or if the file is even virus three. Download sensibly.


Step AWAY From the Introspection…

So I had my interview with the reporter today. At the end of our time together (which may have been an hour, I don’t remember what time he arrived) I was left to wander the aisles and realized that I didn’t have anything interesting to say to him. Nobody is going to care about me or my website. It doesn’t have an agenda, I don’t have some special purpose [note: Not the Steve Martin The Jerk type of special purpose] for it. Nothing I hope to achieve. I’ve been doing this for going on SEVEN YEARS now, running this website, and for what? Has it gotten me anything? Fame? Money? Work? Love? Yeesh, how egomaniacal is it to think that anyone cares about my to do list? Why do I waste so much time on this when it’s so trivial that I start to panic in the middle of the interview that he’s going to make me look like a complete loser. That maybe I am a complete loser.

Now now, I’m not looking for praise, etc., I’m just saying that I don’t think anyone’s ever asked me “Why are you doing this” in quite so many different ways before. I have no idea why I’m doing this. Do I just like the sound of my own voice? Do I hope that people will throw dollar in my violin case? If it’s the latter, I’m in big trouble.

I just hope I don’t look too “duh” in the article. I’ll feel like I’m in Junior High all over again and I’ll be forced to move and take an assumed name.

So if you’ve seen The Hours, you’ll realize this type of introspection so soon after seeing the movie is NOT a good thing. That actually made me laugh, to be honest. I had a very Meryl Streep afternoon.


My Friend is a Sweet Potato Queen

My friend Karen B., who not only paid me to create a website for her business, sent me an Amazon gift certificate for my birthday so I could order a copy of The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love. She’d beent talking about the book and I said “I’ll have to see if my library has it” and she very awesomely did the whole GC thing. Now I’m just going to sit in front of the window and watch for the mailman. They said the package should be here in 5-7 days (ya, I went for the free shipping, are you crazy?). It will also contain two items from my wish list that I actually remembered to go remove so nobody else would buy them for me.

Okay, enough chatter. I have been very productive today, and have already crossed two items off my to-do list (which is not online today). I also have to be a Barnes and Noble early this afternoon for an interview with a local reporter about this very website. I hadn’t mentioned it earlier, because the last time I was interviewed, the article never came out. I was pretty disappointed. But I don’t think this will be the same thing.

Anyway, I’m going to look to see how much a copy of Mrs. Dalloway is going for these days. They must have a new release to co-incide with the movie The Hours.


The Hours

Turns out we couldn’t see Chicago because of the showtime, so we saw The Hours instead. Well, very different movie. While it may be the best movie I’ve seen in years as far as the screenplay, the acting etc. etc., it’s also the most mentally and emotionally draining movie I’ve seen in years. And it’s impossible to talk about without spoiling parts of it, so I won’t. But you really really should make a point to see this one.

In other news: The Church of [insert the name of the “church” John Travolta belongs to here] is hiring in Boston. I can’t think of a company I’d like to work for less than that one. Going to work every day would be like volunteering to go to a vacation time share pitch on a daily basis. Gah.


Movie Night

It’s girl’s night out in Jody-land! My parents will watch junior (he’s thrilled…I wonder what kind of manipulation will occur this evening?) and I’ll go with D and K to see Chicago. The movie, not the band. I guess I wouldn’t mind seeing the band either, if there wasn’t anything else to do. I’m so excited to be seeing a “grown-up” movie! For me, it was a toss-up between three movies – Adaptation, The Hours, or Chicago. I let D and K pick. I think my mom will go see at least one of the others with me – we can go some afternoon to a matinee. Okay, back to completing the items on the list!



Indulge me a moment while I put my to-do list here so that I can remember the full list of all the things I have to do. I will put some of it in code, to protect the innocent (them) and the guilty (me).

  • school dept

  • abatement form

  • send invoice

  • draft newsletter

  • update doc files

  • CVS (do this one tomorrow)

  • Clean my house because my parents are babysitting Jr. tonight

  • Get Junior by 1pm

I think that’s it. Actually, I think that’s plenty.