How the Mighty Have Fallen

May 19, 2009 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Video, Yankees | Leave a comment
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Courtesy of Barstool Sports, my guilty pleasure destination for nip slips and local co-eds with their cleavage on display, comes this video of Alfonso Soriano at a recent WWE event.

I haven’t felt this awkward watching something since…well, actually, it wasn’t that long ago.  We watched “Rachel Gets Married” on Saturday night, and that toast scene is just brutal.

Alfonso Soriano is easily one of my favorite Yankees of all-time, and I was crushed when they got rid of him in exchange for my least favorite Yankee of all-time.  I don’t care if he was an inadequate fielder or if he swung at lousy pitches or whatever.  I just loved him.

This video is terrible though.  Apparently Alfonso’s not much of a talker.  He barely spoke any English when he was with the Yankees, but you’d think he would’ve picked up a few phrases here and there in the last decade.  He looks like he doesn’t even know where he is.  And of all people to be dressed down by, a douche like The Miz?  Get it together, Fonz.

Reflections on Killing from a Cold-Blooded Killer

May 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Evil Tribune, Lowell, Lowell Sun, MBTA | 3 Comments
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Tavaryna Choeun, Lowell Sun, 05.15.09

UPDATE: For local readers, there will be an anti-violence rally thingie in response to this tragedy at Lowell City Hall on Tuesday, May 19 at 5 PM. Additional details are available here, and more pensive reflections than mine can be found here.

This morning while walking along the Suffolk Street canal – my regular route to the train station – I noticed a mound of flowers and candles along the sidewalk across the street, outside of the row of public housing.  I figured someone had died in a car accident or something, as it’s not that uncommon to see such displays with paper-mache crosses or hand-made signs.

Then I noticed a couple trash bins filled with used police tape.  This was not unusual either.  In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything ‘unusual’ while walking along Lowell’s canals.  Their waters and banks are clogged and littered with condoms, shopping carts, televisions, toys, weapons of mass destruction, etc.  I would not be surprised to stumble upon the $850 camera that I left in a New Orleans taxicab five years go.

At the train station, I got my paper and immediately noted something that did strike me as odd – the mere size of the headline font.  Such bold block letters are generally reserved for grave, unexpected, or historic national events.  And occassionally, a local story will also rise to that level.  Sadly, this was the case.

I generally wait until I get on the train to read anything, but the headline read “CAUGHT IN CROSSFIRE,” and it showed a photo of the sidewalk that I’d just travelled*, with an inset headshot of Tavaryna Choeun, 17, who the caption said “died yesterday morning at Lahey Clinic in Burlington.”  I walked slowly while I read, careful not to fall down the stairs to the platform, growing sadder and more stunned with each paragraph from Dennis Shaughnnessey’s report.

The bullet that would kill Tavaryna Choeun was intended for someone else, officials said yesterday.

The 17-year-old girl was shot in the head as she sat in the passenger seat of a car in Lowell’s Acre neighborhood late Tuesday night, according to Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone. The shooter was aiming for the driver, he said.

Choeun was left at the side of Suffolk Street, less than a mile from where the shooting took place near the intersection of Cross and Willie Streets. She died early yesterday morning.”

This is some bullshit!  What the fuck is going on???

Suffolk Street photo by Jon Hill, Lowell Sun, 05.15.09

I’m not ignorant to the fact that violent crime is nothing new in Lowell.  On the front page of today’s Local section, a headline reads “Shooting suspect arrested in Billerica.”  This charmer, Dennis King, shot a pregnant woman twice at her home in April.  That was literally footsteps from my front door, right next to Brother’s Pizza.

But this most recent incident is an outrage.  These are children!  And sadly, it’s hardly a surprise, because they’re everywhere, out all night in this city.  You should see them.  From the moment they can walk, they’re out on the streets, many of them barefoot, especially once the weather turns.  And when school lets out?  Good God.  It’s like an ant farm in The Acre.

And so many of these kids are really wonderful.  One of my favorite parts of living here is the neighborhood kids we’ve become friends with.  And I’m terrified for them; if something happened to little Xiomara or Christian or <GASP AND PERISH THE THOUGHT> my dearest Carmasita, my heart would shatter to such a grave extent that I’m not sure I could recover.

This is insane.  The girl’s friends didn’t even call for help!  They left her on the side of the street!  And I’m going to raise Nola Jane around this madness???

I tried not to think about anyof this on the train.  It’s important to go into the workday with a clear, positive frame of mind.  And I did successfully evict Tavaryna from my thoughts for a while, thanks to a chilling and strangely hilarious description of genital mutilation in Iraq from the FANTASTIC “Bowl of Cherries” and the beats pumping into my head from an equally FANTASTIC mix made by Lucy the Blog commenter mdub.

But as I was boarding the EZ-Ride shuttle bus, a girl in the first seat jolted upright with a look of horror and fear at the man across from her.  I was certain that the man must have drawn a gun or, perhaps, whipped out his peter for some morning commute self-pleasure time.  (Hey, we’ve all done it.)

Continue Reading Reflections on Killing from a Cold-Blooded Killer…

Thursday Morning Giraffiller

May 14, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Video | Leave a comment
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Lucy the Dog has been mad busy lately, but watch these two giraffes beast shit out to get your ass ubuntued up for Game 6 tonight.  Dwight’s a bitch.

An Idea So Crazy It Just Might Work! Just Kidding, It Won’t.

May 12, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Lowell, Lowell Sun | Leave a comment
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Much like you, Lucy the Dog has long wondered when we’d finally be able to pay a fee in order to read the musings of Chaucer the Cat and Lowellita the Walking VD on a website that looks and functions as if it was designed in a grade school computer lab.

Well, according to the intrepid and overgrown Scandanavian doofus Pax Arcana, that day is nigh.  If nigh means near, which I assume it does.  Though I don’t think I’ve ever used it, and I’ve never looked it up.

In any case, the brain trust of MediaNews Group – which owns The Lowell Sun – is apparently sharpening the final nail for the Sun’s coffin by threatening to charge readers for online content.

In last week’s memo to the staff of its empire, Dean Singleton and Jody Lodovic wrote :

“We will begin to move away from putting all of our newspaper content online for free.  Instead, we will explore a variety of premium offerings that apply real value to our print content.”

The Singleton/Lodovic memo rambles on and on, with a list of initiatives that will re-energize newspapers and send profits skyrocketing.  I don’t have much to say about them except that they’re wholly uninspired, and I want a refund from BU for my print journalism graduate degree.

If you’re interested, you can click this link to read the NewsMedia Group’s plans.  But most of them are likely to have failed by the time you do so.

The Sun Also Rises

May 8, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Evil Tribune, Lowell, Lowell Sun | Leave a comment
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Throughout its storied history, Lucy the Blog has taken some well-deserved shots at The Lowell Sun.

Isunlogot began nearly two years ago, on May 9, 2007, with our *NEPA award-winning evisceration of the paper’s plump n’ pasty editor, Jim Campanini.  Thanks to that fine piece of journalism, a basic Google search will now tell you all you need to know about this skeevy predator, who continues to embarrass his unfortunate staff on a semiregular basis.

Shortly thereafter, we exposed the Sun’s loathsome and underhanded efforts to intimidate and mislead American Idol voters, thus derailing the AI dreams of the dreamy Sanjaya Malakar.  Scoundrels!

Ultimately, it was not their chronic ineptitude or their flamboyantly whitebread columnists or their fabulous typos that caused us to give them the final gooseface by canceling our subscription.  It was the simple fact that they relied on 7-year-old children and drunken vagrants to deliver the paper in a timely fashion.  Some of my best friends are 7-year-old children and drunken vagrants.  But I would not ask them to deliver a newspaper on a daily basis.

Lately, however, I have been having a bit of a love affair with the paper, or at least my relationship with it.  Its faults remain, but I look forward to reading it, so that must count for something.  Of course, this is mostly due to my relatively recent commuter status.  Pricepoints and convenience go a long way, and the guy at the train station hands you the paper if you give him a quarter.  One Quarter.  I’m no economist, but that’s a good deal.  I can almost always find a quarter before leaving the house.  At the full cover price of 75 cents, I’d probably stop reading.  Or maybe I’d only buy it on Thursdays to torture myself with Lowellita’s column; just reading about one of her late-night romps a few weeks ago left me with a mild case of the crabs.

In any case, given our past criticism, it is only fair that we occassionally commend the paper’s editorial staff, most of whom perform a commendable job in a thankless industry that swallowed me whole and crushed my spirit in less than three years’ time, leaving me with little more than a heavy debt load and lingering animosity.

I loved reading the Sun this week.  In large part, this was because of events on the ground here in Lowell.  The reporters had a lot to cover, but they covered it.  And if they hadn’t, well…I guess these guys would have.  And these guys would have.  And in their own way, they would have and they would have too.  But they certainly wouldn’t have been able to alone, or at least not for any sustained period of time.  That’s why newspapers matter.

Photo by David H. Brow, Lowell Sun

Photo by David H. Brow, Lowell Sun

Because of the Sun, I know that cops arrested 22 drunk drivers in 3 hours at a Thorndike Street sobriety checkpoint.  Is that not insane?  These people should be executed immediately.  All of them.  Scary, scary shit.

I also learned about the United Teen Equality Center’s continued awesomeness.  They’re planning a $6.3 renovation to their facilities, which will hopefully get a boost from President Obama’s socialist pork funds.  As a result, UTEC will be able to serve even more kids and steer them from a life of hoodlum shenanigans.  Fuckin’ libruls!

(And speaking of this worthy organization, have you seen these lovely paintings of UTEC youths?  Why don’t you buy one of them, you cheap, selfish bastard?  Our family’s diapers, Perk Is A Beast t-shirts, and Budweiser drinks aren’t gonna pay for themselves, you know!!!)

Continue Reading The Sun Also Rises…

Wednesday Morning Resin: That Heineken Commercial

May 6, 2009 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Video, Yankees | 2 Comments
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Why do I love this Heineken commercial so much?

I want to hang out in a taxicab with people who wear sunglasses at night.  I want to get the spins and eventually vomit on that blond chick who raps off-key.

Then we would go to a diner and each smoke 19 cigarettes before returning to our cramped Lower East Side apartment to pass out on one another.  It would be wonderful, or at a pleasant change of pace from falling asleep on the couch while watching the Yankees lose again.

The closest I ever came to such a carefree, jubilant NYC taxi ride was with the Sherpa’s cousin, Daisuke, as we sang drunken but pitch-perfect harmonies to “More Than Words” by Nelson.

In hindsight, that performance was a little more gay than this Biz Markie sing-along.  And the driver did not seem inclined to participate.  But it was fun nonetheless.  Ah, to be young again.

OH BAB-EE, YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU…GOT WHAT I NEEEEEEE-EEEEEEED…….

Gary and the Conductress: An Appreciation

May 4, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Posted in Lowell, MBTA | 6 Comments
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mbtaA couple of weeks ago, the MBTA distributed a survey to solicit feedback on its performance.  I attempted to complete it, only to be foiled by a convoluted line of questioning that was too challenging for my feeble mind.

For example, here is question 6A:

6a.  How long did it take to get from where this trip started to the first place where you boarded a public transit vehicle on this trip?

I started in Lowell, which was also where I boarded the public transit vehicle.  So it took no time at all, right?  Should it have?  And even if I had boarded in Wilmington, wouldn’t I have also started in Wilmington?  Or would I measure the time from Lowell, where the line starts, to Wilmington?  And if so, am I to assume that the trip left Lowell on time?  How would I know?   

The questions proceeded in this way, bending my mind with their leaps from my present trip to trips I’d taken and then off to theoretical trips that I might one day take.  When I asked a fellow commuter to confirm the cryptic syntax of the survey, she suggested that I might be overthinking the matter.  Though I suspect she was too unnerved by my astounding looks to adequately focus her own thoughts, I will concede the possibility that I may be too dumb or too impatient for the MBTA survey.  But I maintain nonetheless that it could have been more reader friendly.

Because I was incapable of providing my feedback through the conventional channel, I would like to instead use this space to publicly praise two of the MBTA’s finest employees, Gary the Conductor and Female Conductress Whose Name I Don’t Know.

Gary is the conductor who, morning after morning, transports us without incident to North Station.  Like so many of the last Great Americans, he is a man of few words.  And he is super-dapper. 

When he strides down the aisle to check tickets, it evokes images of Cary Grant or Fred Astaire.  He is light on his feet, this Gary, breezing by with a subtle nod to the regulars as he acknowledges their monthly Charlie cards, and effortlessly manipulating his hole puncher to mark tickets for those just passing through.  (I’m always astounded by the number of holes that need to be made on a ticket for one trip.  So many holes, what do they all mean?  It looks like fun, and I sometimes wish that my job required more hole punching.)

One morning, Gary chided me for exiting the train before it had reached a complete stop.  I felt like a shamed little boy.  He did not raise his voice or berate me in front of the other passengers.  He just gave me a stern look and warned me not to do it again.  He was right too because I damn near tore an ACL that day.  The train was crawling into North Station and couldn’t have been exceeding 1 mph.  But Kanye was in my headphones getting me all fired up for the day to come, so I prematurely stepped onto the platform all cool and shit.  I was not cool, dear reader.  I had underestimated the speed at which we were traveling, and my body was ill prepared for the transition to stationary ground.  Had I not jogged that shit out a couple steps, I would have suffered a humiliating and potentially grave face-first digger.

My point is that, if you asked me to show you a Real Man, I would show you Gary the Conductor.  Confidence.  Dignity.  Manners.  Style.  And a 10-pound belt buckle of a locomotive barreling down the tracks.  Gary understands his job and performs it with aplomb.  He was born to wear that conductor hat and never looks distressed or unhappy, though I’ve never seen him smile.  For that, I’m somewhat remorseful because I’d like to see Gary smile.  But perhaps it would in some way compromise his mysterious aura of debonaire charm.  I bet he got a lot of ass in his day.

Then there is Female Conductress Whose Name I Don’t Know.  There have been several occassions in which I almost laerned Contductress’s name.  It’s right on the badge that hangs around her neck, dangling before her ample bosom.  But whenever I get the right angle, the badge flips over, concealing her identity and thwarting my curiosity.

Continue Reading Gary and the Conductress: An Appreciation…

An Open Letter to Kevin Garnett

April 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Posted in Sports | 1 Comment
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Dear Kevin Garnett:

Hold me back, Scal!

Hold me back, Scal!

I may have a slight man crush on you.

I remember your first SI cover, in 1995, right before you were drafted out of Farragut High.  The headline said, “Ready or Not.”  I didn’t even have to Google that, its memory is so clear.  It hung for a while on my wall.

A decade later, I remember eating a heavenly Peacemaker Po-Boy at the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans in 2004, watching the bar’s TV as you imposed your freakish will in the Western Conference playoffs.

By the time you were traded to Boston, I’d lost all interest in the NBA.  But that transaction piqued my curiosity.  

Hmmmmmm, I thought.  With Paul Pierce and that Beast that I’ve heard so much about, the Celts are suddenly mad talented and funky as all fuck.  (And that was before I’d even become acquainted with Rajon Rondo, who’s funkier than my pits at a James Brown concert.)   

I nearly pulled a hammy hopping on the Green bandwagon, in large part because of you.  I became a basketball fan again, in large part because of you. 

I love when you talk to the basket support before the game.  I almost cried when you gave your post-championship interview while shedding tears and dropping F-bombs of joy.  I get the douche chills watching your Adidas Brotherhood commercial. 

A more recent SI pic of you sits in my desk drawer today, along with clippings of Bruce and Bob and Fats and a bunch of pix that I plan to hang in my cube if I ever get around to it.  You’re crouched on all fours on the parquet, poised to D-up like a rabid animal.  It’s awesome.

I missed watching you this season.  But if it’s any consolation, I’ve really been floored by your dope threads on the bench.  In another life, I hope to be an enormous, rich, bald black dude who can dunk.  Any kind of dunk would be fine.  Just once.  

In the event of such a reincarnation, I will surely buy diamonds the size of medicine balls and hang them from my ears, just like you.  That shit is just too fucking badass.  And those sweater vests?  Damn, KG.  Can I call you KG?  You’ve got class to spare.

Which is why I’ve been so troubled by your recent behavior.  I realize you’re losing your mind as you watch these games, with your gimpy knee keeping you sidelined.  Life is not always fair.

But you’ve been talking a lot of shit to those Bulls.  And unfortunately, you can’t do much right now to back it up.

Now hear me out.  My admiration for you is clear.  And I’m no fan of these Bulls.  If I see Joaquin Noah outside the Seaport Hotel, I’ll kick him right in the shins.  And that Salmons character?  He irritates me.  As does Vinnie Del Negro’s dad, who sources tell me does NOT support the troops.

I will eat your face, Old Man Del Negro

I will eat your face, Old Man Del Negro

But with that being said, it seems beneath you to carry on like this.  I’m all for the unhinged expletives, the fist-pumping, the chest-bumping, the tailored suits, and the manic energy that you bring to the court, even when you’re not playing.

But couldn’t you do that without making those crazy looks toward the Bulls, like you’re going to beat their asses down.  Because sadly, circumstances prohibit you from beating their asses down. 

When you direct your rage toward their bench, it has the appearance of the drunk wannabe brawler, who screams “Lemme-at-him, lemme-at-him” knowing damn well that his friends won’t allow him anywhere near the lunkhead across the bar, who’s primed to tear him to pieces.

This is an imperfect analogy, of course.  If they did allow you on the floor tonight, you’d surely send Noah fleeing like a child – jockstrap dripping with filthy Joaquin Noah urine – to the teat of Daddy Yannick’s sloppy seconds.  It would not be pretty.

But that reality makes your present antics all the more perplexing.  To quote Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor and a proud Gooseface recipient, “it’s unbecoming.”

Throughout your career, you’ve not only proven yourself as an otherworldly athlete, but you’ve conducted yourself with grace and dignity.  So all that I’m saying is this shit seems beneath you.  You can keep the boys geared up through your playoff run – and perhaps join them in June in LA? – while keeping your cool, can’t you?

We are nothing if not classy here at Lucy the Blog, and that is why we’re such big fans of yours, Mr. Garnett.  We appreciate your understanding.

Sincerely,

Lucy the Dog

ED. NOTE: After the jump is that painting of Bea Arthur’s boobs that I promised on Tuesday!  You know you want it!

Continue Reading An Open Letter to Kevin Garnett…

SWINE FLU STRIKES LOWELL!!! HEAD FOR ZEE HILLZ!!!

April 30, 2009 at 12:03 am | Posted in Lowell, Lowell Sun, Nola Jane | 2 Comments
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If I die from swine flu, it's your fault, Chris Scott.

If I die from swine flu, it's your fault, Chris Scott.

I generally ignore such hysteria, but now that I have a vulnerable and precious little creature to protect, I’m admittedly a bit troubled by today’s news that two middle-schoolers from Lowell are the first confirmed swine flu cases in New England.  They likely contracted it during a recent trip to Mexico.

Amidst all the deathly implications, I found one quote from today’s Lowell Sun to be particularly disturbing.

Apparently, the mother of the infected children is a teacher’s aide in the Lowell public schools.  And, reports the Sun

“Superintendent of Schools Chris Scott said she was unsure whether the mother returned to work yesterday.”

Uhhhhh, excuse me?

Wouldn’t that be a good thing to know?  I mean, the kids haven’t returned to school since last week, and they were tested on Monday.  So it should come as no surprise to their mother that they’re sick.  Thus, as a precautionary measure, one would assume she should not be going to school. 

And one might even assume that the superintendent should be aware of the situation–I was, after all.  Perhaps she might even advise the mother to take a day or two off.  At the least though, you’d expect Scott to know whether the teacher’s aide (who, I remind you, is potentially carrying a potentially deadly virus) had, yaknow, showed up to work.

Is it really possible that Chris Scott didn’t know?  If so, that’s pretty lame.

ED. NOTE: I apologize for the hyperlocal Lowell coverage of late. I realize that our only Lowell reader is my wife, so this is probably a bore for the rest of you. But that’s your fault for not living here in the swine flu capital of New England. There’s a lot to like about Lowell!

Flamboyant Rainbow Antagonizes Dan Phelps

April 28, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Lowell, New Orleans, Obama | Leave a comment
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rainbow

This is a picture that I recently took of a rainbow in Lowell.  Because the photo is truncated on the ends, you can’t see the group of homeless vagrants living underneath the rainbow’s warm, luminescent shelter.  They were later removed by an anonymous city councilor.

I’m not sure I’d ever seen a full rainbow, end to end.  We were waiting at the light on Dutton Street and Broadway, just outside of Lowell Sun headquarters.  It was quite awesome.  Suck it, Phelps.

Lucy the Blog hopes to return later this afternoon with an overdue tribute to the late Bea Arthur.  Or, we’ll just post a portrait of her breasts and allow you to pay homage in your own way.  Whatever time allows. 

But until then, thanks for nothing so far, Barry!  Love, the City of New Orleans.

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