Tag Archives: birthdays

Top 9 Posts from 2015, Because Less Is More

Here we are at the end of the year when we run out of steam and cover it up with year-end top 10 lists. Because I want to leave you begging for more, there are only 9. If you want a 10th, send “10s and 20s” like Sally asked for in the Charlie Brown Christmas special. You think these posts grow on trees? Oh, wait some times they do. Sometimes they spring from the bushes of a Boston suburb, or an overheard conversation in a  coffee line, or from bras that look like snack bowls. Still, 10s and 20s couldn’t hurt.

Enjoy the 2015 top 9 posts, redux, and have a fantastic New Year’s! I will see you on the flip side of 2016, my friends, and thanks for reading this year!

9. Top Ways to Stay Warm Without Heat

The popularity of this one surprised me; I can only guess that people were looking for real tips, and I’m sure they were sorely disappointed, But they clicked on the link, so it’s all good from my end.

“You can’t prove that I tried to use the little flame from the candle lighter before realizing it would be spring before it worked or that I would set the hose on fire.”

8. A Girl, Her friend and Their Band U2

Best. Friend. Visit. And. Concert. Ever. EVAH!

“Seeing U2 with Sonia was like coming home. They are in a reflective mood with this new music and we are too. Yes, they forced it on everyone for free. Get over it.  I promise to hold my tongue when the new album from your favorite band I don’t give a hoot about shows up for free in my iTunes.”

7. The Girliness Adventures Go Underward

Victoria Secret never did retweet my post about this. I can’t imagine why.

“I was unprepared for the uniformity of what I can only describe as the matching snack bowl design of all the bras in the place. Seriously, rows and rows of hanging bowls.”

6. And the Repairman Sayeth, ‘Let There Be Heat.’

This was the third and final installment of my saga of being without heat for three weeks during THE snowiest month in Boston history. Makes me sound like a total badass, right? Well, it goes waaayyy deeper than that. There was some controversy about deflating and inflating certain things. You’ll have to read to find out more. I am grateful that folks hung in there to see how it ended.

“I would like to say, absolutely, I followed all the rules of blogging to the letter. I did not invent my lack of heat, nor did I inflate the length of time I went without heat merely for my own blogging use. Sometimes the environment can influence a topic, like lack of heat.”

5. Overheard, Secondhand

Why waste time thinking of topics yourself when perfect strangers will give you all the content you could ever want?

“She has chickens. Bubble hit: 3. Why are chickens a thing? Suburban chickens are the new black.”

4. Top 9 Reasons Why I Love the Gays

Clearly I like gays and the top 9 of various things. Deal with it.

“These reasons are particular to my friends; your results with your gay friends may vary.”

3. Birthdays: Top 5 Reasons 50 Is Better than 30

So sometimes I do 5 top reasons. It does confirm that people like lists of things, and who am I to deprive you?

“Reason 3: I finally can tell all the “experts” to go stick it in their pie hole.”

2. Jilted by My Hairdresser–Twice

True confessions. I wrote the original version of this piece of this many years ago and updated it for the blog. You’d never know. Oh, crap, except I just told you.

“It’s shameful I know, but I don’t remember her name.  I don’t remember any of their names, those who come after Eileen.  I made my way from Newbury Street to Supercuts and every place in between, shamelessly talking about her to them all.”

  1. And the number one spot? Of course goes to the ever fabulous, ever rockin’ Rick Springfield: Rockin’ in the ‘Burbs: Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Springfield

Yeah, so another top numbered list. I actually think it was the cool pic of him on my blog that got that post so many hits. I added it above, you know for comparison research purposes.

“Damn suburbanites. So I could have probably told you 10 things about Rick, but the crabby, unhip, “new money” people in Cohasset prevented me from learning any more.”


Birthdays: Top 5 Reasons 50 is Better than 30

At least these are my reasons; yours may differ, but believe me, you have them.

  1. Scheduling surgery on your birthday is not nearly as exciting a story as you think it will be. OK, so I was 30, and still dreaming of being a literary writer, and that’s the only reason I can give as to why I thought getting surgery on my occipital bone to remove a small, harmless, but annoying growth would be interesting. Interesting, as in I’m-a-writer-which-is-the-poor-cousin-to-actor-filmmaker-and-other-cool-creative-people-love-me-anyway. Um, yeah, Tom Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, or Dorothy Parker never wrote about their eye surgery, so why did I think it was going to help launch my literary career? I went into the hospital on my birthday thinking I was going to have a wicked cool story to tell; I came out the next day with a black eye and sleep deprived because my roommate had a nose job, and she snorted, snored, and gurgled her way through the night. Soooo not interesting, not even in a bad way.My 50th birthday celebrations, on the other hand, were two weeks of Hollywood-like productions. I had cake with family, jumped off a 15-foot-high rock into the ocean, went sea kayaking, got taken to a fancy restaurant, spent 19 hours with friends in Provincetown wearing the tiara pictured above, eating, drinking and dancing, had dinner and walked in Boston with my son, and concluded the two weeks with a dinner and dance party at a club. Now that, my friends, is a birthday.
  1. The birthday cards you get are waaay better. Let’s face it, turning 30 can be a mixed bag. My 20s were equal parts figuring out how to find work that would allow me to eat while trying to become said writer mentioned above, and engaging in the silly nonsense you expect kids in their 20s to get up to. I was partly grateful for leaving behind a lot of the uncertainty of what a sustainable writing career might look like, but mostly I felt like I was getting old. And unfortunately all the 30 birthday cards tend to support that. It’s totally depressing, especially if you are feeling like your, um, writing career isn’t where it should be and you get as a birthday present a novel from the newest 20-something literary breakout sensation who graduated from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop while you were slogging out a desk job and writing at night. Swell.The cards you get when you turn 50? Your friends are so excited and so happy that you made it this far pretty much intact, all the cards are funny and celebratory and people tell you how fabulous you are. I think the only other birthday number that is as exciting to your friends is 21, and that’s a waste because no one ever remembers it.
  1. I finally can tell all the “experts” to go stick it in their pie hole. For a while now I’ve been irritated by all the advice that pops up in my various social media and email feeds. Drink 6.25 ounces of water 32 minutes before you work out and then every 15.4 minutes after your work out to optimize hydration. Six things you should never eat (and gross things like lima beans are never on the list). Parenting advice, career advice, how to pick the best advice advice—it’s endless and irritating. But in my 30s I followed a lot of it—of course it came more by way of women’s magazines, but still, I read carefully about how to use my fingertips, not my nails to shampoo my scalp and how to comb my wet hair from the bottom to the top to prevent those horrible, unsightly split ends. OK, so most of it was hair advice, but still, I wanted to improve myself. Now that I’m 50, I finally realize why the advice is so irritating. It’s meant to optimize my years on this earth. And guess what? I’m not an effin’ Olympic athlete, so I don’t need to be optimized. I’m not looking to shave .0003456 seconds off my performance or have whiter teeth in minutes without pain (wait, what? Pain?), or find out what drinks to never have after dinner. I don’t care. I made it 50 years on this earth doing some things badly and getting better at them, doing some things well, and ignoring others entirely. I’ve learned the difference between what I need to do and what’s a waste of time. So, stick that in your pie hole and optimize it.
  2. I can favorably compare myself to 70-year-olds. Turning 30 felt like I was losing my youth, and that was hard. All the little things that let you know you’re aging—the stray gray hair, the twisted ankle that takes two weeks to heal instead of one—feel like loss. Being 50 means having made it through much of that transition, and now I’m grateful for all the things I don’t yet have because I’m not 70—arthritis, age-related high blood pressure, cataracts, more wrinkles than I have now. Compared to 70, I look fantastic, baby.
  3. Because I’m older than you, and I have more insurance. One of my favorite lines from “Fried Green Tomatoes.” Nuff said.


Rockin’ in the ‘Burbs: Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Springfield

My sister’s birthday is just three days after mine in August, so this year we decided to treat ourselves to double birthday gift of seeing Rick Springfield in a very small venue in Cohasset, which is on something we Bostonians call the “South Shore.” It’s also known as the place of “new money,” from like 100 years ago, as opposed to the North Shore, which is known as the place of “old money,” which I guess is somewhere between the Pilgrims and when people started making money. I have “no money,” which is why my fabulous sister treated me, but I digress.

We saw him at a very intimate venue called the South Shore Music Circus. The website says it seats 2,300–it’s like a circus tent with the stage in the middle and the seats going around 360 degrees. Half was closed off for Rick’s performance, (yes, we are on a first-name basis), so there was room for about 1,000 people and there were only a couple of hundred of us. So we were close to Rick. Wicked close, but we behaved ourselves. Here are the top 6 things you might not know about Rick Springfield:

1. The man has not, as my friend Mike says, “gone to seed.” The guy is 65 years old, and still has his rocker bod, his hair, his guitar muscled arms, and has had just enough plastic surgery to make him look good, but not freakish. He looks 50 and he’s hot. How many rock/pop icons can you say that about?

2. The guys who liked him in high school and got beat up for it because Rick was “strictly for girls” are vindicated. Not only is he still rockin’, he played four different guitars with licks that would make you cry and/or your fingers ache to hold a six string, including a blues guitar with a slide. As he said in the Q&A after the show, “You can tell them all to fuck off.” Amen, Rick.

3. He grew up in Australia, and when he was still a teenager, he and his band mates went to Vietnam in 1968. To entertain the US troops. They had to hunker down in the bunkers a few times during the shelling. Vietnam. 1968.

4. The people who go see him are old. Except my sister and me. We’re totally hot and have NOT gone to seed. But whoa, those other people. They may think they are our age, but they are nothing like us. In fact they are waaaaay older and weirder (see item # 5). We’re totally cool.

5. We sat next to a woman from Kansas who decided to vacation in Boston because Rick Springfield was playing here. She showed us her pictures with him that time they were staying at the hotel together after a show, and from the time she  paid $300 for a meet and greet. ‘Nuff said.

6. Rick is a class act. About 2/3 of the way through his set, his roadie came out to have an extended talk with him. Rick’s funny, so he made a joke, “Look over there!” while they talked. the roadie left, and without missing a beat, he started talking about how he came to write his most well-known song, “Jesse’s Girl.” He took a stained glass class and lusted after a women in the class who was there with her boyfriend.

“I went home and tried to write a song about Gary and his girlfriend, but I realized, there is no rhyme for ‘girlfriend’.” He told us the story, sang the song, and then had to shut it down at 10:20 pm, because the Circus is smack dab in a suburban neighborhood and they complain when the music goes past 10:30. Really? 10:30? This is why people hate suburbia. Maybe you should have bought a house in a different neighborhood. When I lived in the Fenway and the Red Sox were in the playoffs, I heard the damn fans screaming all night long, but you didn’t hear me bellyaching about it.

Damn suburbanites. So I could have probably told you 10 things about Rick, but the crabby, unhip, “new money” people in Cohasset prevented me from learning any more. Maybe I’ll have to go to Kansas when he plays there next, for vacation you know.


Photo credit: Commons.wikimedia.org e