Small Person, Giant Presence

June 24, 2009 at 6:40 am | Posted in Lowell, Nola Jane | 3 Comments
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Oh, hello there.  I almost forgot about this dump. 

We’ve been a bit frazzled of late, with Ashlee scrambling to finish her show, and Lucy the Dog ass-deep in strong and supportive artist-spouse mode.  A true hero, he!

Her show is quite good.  It’s about moms and babies and shit.  So go check it out if you like art or meatballs.  I’ll be making some of the latter.  Crockpot, holla.

Small Person, Giant Presence
Ashlee Welz Smith and Meghan Moore
*OPENING RECEPTION:  Saturday, June 27th, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Loading Dock Gallery, 122 Western Avenue, Lowell, MA

"Transition: Part I" 2009 - oil on wood - 24" X 30" 

*The show runs from June 24th to July 26th, 2009 at the Loading Dock Gallery.  For hours, click here.

Lowell Folk Festival 2009: with Rosie Goodness

May 31, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Lowell, Muzak, New Orleans, Video | 2 Comments
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yes, please.

yes, please.

If you’re to believe the Bible of communist arugula-drinking Brooklyn hipsters, then Lowell, Massachusetts is the place to be on the weekend of July 25 and 26.  

But this time, dear reader, those queers at the Times got it right.  Suck it, Goldberg!

Yes, there are days when you may get shot in our fair city.

But I’m sure you’ll agree, a non-life-threatening injury is a small price to pay for a few moments dancing in the glory of Rosie Ledet’s pussiere.

So, please.  Let Dr. Michael White take you to school.

Let Glen David take you to church.

And then let him take you to the streets.

Alive.  Unique.  Inspiring.  Luscious, strong thighs that make your loins burn.

Yes indeed.  There’s a lot to like about Lowell.

RELATED: One Summer, 14 Weekends, New York Times
RELATED: Lowell Folk Festival Homepage

Do What You Feel Friday!: Calm the Fuck Down!

May 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Posted in DWYFF!, Lowell, Muzak, Video | 5 Comments
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bookendsToday marks the much-anticipated return of Do What You Feel Friday, Coach Football’s favorite blog feature and the preferred reading for his candle-lit mastubatory sessions*.

We’ve been dwelling on violence here at Lucy the Blog, in the wake of Tavyrna Chouen’s murder and my growing homicidal tendencies.  Last night, the face of violence quite literally showed up at our doorstep.  Hijinx did not ensue.

It came out of nowhere, really.  Ash was putting Nola to bed, and I was slogging through the wreckage of our home, trying to make sense of the chaos and clutter.  We’re having repairs done to flood damage in our bedroom and nursery, which required us to move everything into the office, where we all live like hobos under the glow of the iMac.  Because Ash can’t go to the studio, her painting gear is scattered about the living room, along with baby gymnasiums and chewed up dog toys.  All quite lovely.

It started with a few screams in the distance.  And then in seemingly no time at all, two grown men were rolling around our front yard, surrounded by a crowd of people cheering and hollaring, encircling the brawl like it was a cockfight.

Continue Reading Do What You Feel Friday!: Calm the Fuck Down!…

City Hall Anti-Violence Rally: Let Me Walk With My Brother

May 21, 2009 at 12:45 am | Posted in Lowell | 6 Comments
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UPDATE:  The Lowell Sun’s Police Line Blog by Robert Mills posted a couple videos from the rally. I embedded one of the spoken word performances at the end of this post, and you can click here to see the other two.  (At the 2:12 mark of the middle video, look for the sexiest bitch in Lowell on a leash held by a dirty hippy. Thanks to Robert Mills for posting these.) 

Yesterday afternoon, Ashlee strapped Nola Jane into her hippy-mom papoose device, and along with Lucy the Dog, we attended our second peace rally/vigil thingie in as many years.

Eddie, 2008, oil on linen, by my brilliant wife

Eddie, 2008, oil on linen, by my brilliant wife

The event was organized by members of the United Teen Equality Center, in response to last week’s murder of 17-year-old Tavaryna Chouen. 

As with the first vigil, held after a gay man was savagely beaten downtown, I didn’t know what to expect or why I was even going.  I generally recoil at such demonstrations, but even after a weekend of relaxation, I was still quite angry about Chouen’s death, and I wanted to be around other people who were equally angry.

We walked down Moody Street through the public housing projects, and Lucy the Dog decided to take a dump right next to two women who were loudly threatening to rip each other from fat-laden limb to fat-laden limb.  Apparently, minutes earlier, one of the women had walked in on the other whilst she was boning the first woman’s husband.  They were both hideous monsters, and it’s a wonder that either of them ever got laid by anyone, much less the same man.  He should be given a medal of valor for performing such a noble charity.

We tried to swiftly pass the ladies before they brought out the heavy artillery.  But Lucy had made an uncharacteristically soft, shall we say, bowel movement.  So, as the two women exchanged their “bitch this’s” and “bitch that’s,” I stood by unassumingly, trying to pick the shit up with a Quizno’s bag, but instead just smearing it all over the grass.

Meanwhile, Ashlee walked ahead unfazed, threading the needle between the crazed ghetto queens, with one hand over Nola’s head and the other raised in a dismissive ‘talk to the hand’ gesture. She is cooler than Trombone Shorty sitting inside a Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine.

When we got to City Hall, there was a decent crowd, comprised mostly of Lowell teens and UTEC organizers.  I’d guess it was 150 people, but it may have been 18; I’m horrible with numbers as they relate to measurements or quantities.  If you told me, for example, that I walked 400 yards from my apartment to City Hall, I would believe you.  And I would also believe you if you said that I walked 4,000 or 40,000 yards from my apartment to City Hall. 

I can say with certainty, however, that the weather was indisputably gorgeous, which made it a challenge to maintain the simmering rage that had brought me there in the first place.  It was like a pleasant reunion, seeing some of the friendly faces who had helped with Ashlee’s Lowell Teen Portraits show last fall, including two of the teens that she worked with, Kim and Eddie.  I also got a delicious oatmeal cookie.

In the same week that Chouen was killed by bullets intended for someone else, and in the same week that her “friends” dumped her lifeless body on a Suffolk Street curb, UTEC learned that state budget cuts could put an end to its Lowell Teen Coalition program, which, according to the Lowell Sun, “has reached hundreds of city youths, ages 13 to 20, getting them into after-school programs, arts, gang-prevention programs, and putting them to work organizing anti-violence activities.”

Thus, some of the signs and speeches at the rally called upon investments in peace and, more specifically, support for the threatened programs.  But most of the language was geared toward the Chouen incident and the urgent need to “Silence the Violence.”  Three teens addressed the crowd in a commendable fashion, though none of them displayed the level of aggression that I personally yearned for.  I realize it was an anti-violence rally, but I wanted blood, goddammit. 

Continue Reading City Hall Anti-Violence Rally: Let Me Walk With My Brother…

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…

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…

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.

Some Lowell Sun Pussy to Start Your Week

April 27, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Posted in Lowell, Lowell Sun | 1 Comment
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cat

google image search result of "chaucer cat lowell sun". but probably not actually chaucer the cat.

In this morning’s Lowell Sun, columnist Chaucer the Cat comes out aggressively against proposed state legislation that would, according to Chaucer:

“…tax consumers 5 cents per bag for each plastic grocery bag they use at the checkout counter at a supermarket.”

Given The Sun’s traditional pro-tax stance, it’s surprising that they allowed Chaucer the Cat to stray so far off the reservation.  But Chaucer has never been afraid to tweak The Establishment.

Here’s one for the outrageous pile,” (s)he(?) writes in ‘Plastic-bag tax? Paws-itively nauseating,’ arguing that the tax will force society’s most vulnerable out of their homes and into the aisles of our local Hannaford’s.  

“Hopefully, many will be out when this comes up for a vote, otherwise you’re going to be pack-mule-ing your groceries home or living at the supermarket, and that’s going to be very crowded. “

Chaucer also asks who will replace our prune juice, in the event that the legislation passes and the whole world goes to shit.

Continue Reading Some Lowell Sun Pussy to Start Your Week…

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