Thursday, June 30, 2005

More from down South...

Vanessa here...

Since I got such a great response from yesterday's hay art posting, I thought I'd include just a couple more pictures from another farm we met on our pilgrimage through the back roads of South Carolina.

This farmer was a little more creative with his materials, but all the same, the results are hilarious -- at least to me.

Here...we were driving down the road and it looked like an airplane had crashed into a tree. Well, yeah, that's exactly what it was...Snoopy flying his Red Barron into a pine tree.



And in the same field as Snoopy, we had to pull over to properly decipher this one. Griz and I agreed that it's a matador fending off a wooden bull and saying "Call 911!") Okay, I'll give them a B+ for creativity but what the fuck?!



Which makes me wonder if the lovely people in this rural part of South Carolina have cable, satellite or DSL? To entertain yourself with farm equipment and models by the side of the road is a new experience to me. Granted, I laughed my ass off an almost had a car accident. I appreciated the efforts, but wonder what they'll do next.

Just goes to show the many differences in cultures and land in this fine country of ours. I have to say, I'm happy to be back on the Red Line, chugging my Starbuck's and commuting with the ill-mannered people I love so much.

Viva la difference...

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

What the hay?!

Vanessa here...

...with more adventures from my trip south.

In addition to my worshipping Chick-fil-a, I was also exposed to some very interesting art work. Griz wanted to make a pilgrimage to her alma mater (Clemson), so we drove these back country roads to get there. We almost ran off the road when we came upon this large open field on the left hand side of the road featuring the most curious form of art...hay art.

Now, for those of you not familiar with hay and farming, they cut the grass, let it dry on the ground for a while and then this big-ass machine comes along and rolls the hay into this 100 pound roll of hay. Farmers will "serve" this hay to their flock of cows so they can munch on it over a long period of time. However, this farmer found another use for his hay...check it out...

A monster coming from the trees...


A new fangled truck...


Sikorsky's new helicopter...


A bunny rabbit...


An inch worm...


Lying there like a spider...


A big doggie...


Some strange looking deer...


Anyone up for a boat ride?...


Get on that party train...


Captain Caveman?...


Arrrrrrgggghhh, matey...


See...I can't make this shit up, people. Spread the word. Share the link. Let's start a new Internet craze of bailed hay pictures!

Enjoy and hang loose!
Double Vee

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

She's baaaaaaaaack!

Vanessa here!

Did you miss me?

I missed you. Well, I missed DSL, Internet and cable television while I was gone.

As you may remember, I went on a long weekend vacation with my buddy Griz to see her parents in South Carolina. It was...an experience. Griz's father is a Southern Baptist minister and all that implies. He's very strict and simple. They live in Gaffney, which is not this podunk town or anything, but Rev. Perry doesn't believe in cable and the Internet, so talk about feeling removed from Planet Earth.

I don't know what it is, but her parents had this insatiable urge to constantly feed us. And not just feed us...but strap on the damn feed bag, feed us. We went out for every lunch and dinner. And...every place we went were All-U-Can eat buffets. Dude, I don't need to eat all I can eat. I swear, I tried to eat healthy, but all that was offered was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans in bacon grease, cheese grits, collard greens, hush puppies and all of the fish we ate was battered and fried. I'm nervous about stepping onto the scale because it was like Mrs. Perry was fattening us up for the Thanksgiving Day kill.

The weather was nice...very nice...and I got some sunshine. We wanted a bunch of war movies (Rev. Perry's a big fan) and managed to sneak in a bottle of wine Sunday night for our secret enjoyment.

Tomorrow, I'll post some interesting pictures I took alongside one of the highways in South Carolina. Unlike anything I've ever seen before...wait, you'll see.

But, I do have to announce a triumph known to God and man. We flew from Boston to Atlanta and then connected to a flight to South Carolina. While in the Atlanta airport...I discovered a little bit of heaven on earth...



Chick-fil-a.

This shit rocks.

Look at it and tell me you're not drooling right this instance...




It's a grilled, buttery bun with a piece of deep fried chicken breast, a couple of pickles and a side of thick waffle fries. A culinary masterpiece. We were fortunate enough to set down at gate A10 of which there was a Chick-fil-a not twenty feet from us. The smell was intoxicating. The flavor was mouth-watering. The calories and fat grams were...well, we won't go there. All I know is I was sorely disappointed last night when we buzzed through Atlanta again and landed in the B terminal, which apparently doesn't have a Chick-fil-a. I felt so ripped off. I damn near wept.

So, I settled on a Wendy's chicken sammich at 2:00 a.m. when we got back to Boston. It just wasn't the same...let me tell you.

If you're in Atlanta...you must make a pilgrimage to Terminal A. Tell them Vanessa sent you.

More tomorrow!

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Cleaning up the doctor's mess...and a little vacation...

Vanessa here...in full angst.

I spent most of my day cleaning up the kitchen flood in my apartment. And no, Mr. Paulsen wasn't right about the dishwasher causing floods. I know...don't even go there. This was human error, plain and simple.

While technically, it was Barbara the Dishwasher's fault, it was mostly Mia's doing for turning on Barbara this morning (after Mr. Paulsen left) and then leaving to go to the hospital. I woke up to a river of water running down the hall from the kitchen into my bedroom. I was expecting to see some castaways on a raft or something.

What happened was Mia hooked Barbara up to the sink, but she didn't do it right. You have the push down, then up and twist. Mia apparently forgot one of the steps, so when the water pressure built up too much when Barbara got running, the faucet spewed everywhere! Of course, I was wicked late to work because I was down on my frickin' hands and knees sopping up the water with (of course) all of Mia's good towels. (There was only one dry towel remaining which I used for my shower, thankyouverymuch.) I had to put the rest of them in the washing machine to soak...ewww.

Dude, it was a mess. A complete and total mess. And I had to act quickly so as not to tip off anyone to Barbara's existence.

Honestly, Mia's got a goddamned medical degree, you'd think she could hook up a dishwasher. She's so buying me a gallon of wine tonight.

Tomorrow, I'm off on a mini-vacation. My buddy Griz is taking me home with her to South Carolina for a looooong weekend. We're staying with her parents (her father's a Baptist minister, so this should be interesting) and will be back on Monday. I've been promised beach time and cute boys, so I'll be sure to report in from south of the Mason-Dixon line as to all of our adventures.

Until then...

Hang loose!
Double Vee

Monday, June 20, 2005

Rollin', rollin' rollin'...get that washer rollin'...

Vanessa here...

I am proud to report that Mia won the portable dishwasher auction on eBay for only $80 on Saturday! It was a triumph of the highest magnitude. And, the buyer was in-state (like we planned), so that made it even better. We just had to go get it, get it home and get it inside without the Freak of Nature finding out.

This is what it looks like...



These puppies sell at Sears and Best Buy for like $380!

So, Sunday, after the Paulsens left for their ritualistic go-to-Mass-then-visit-relatives-all-day, Mia and I borrowed her boyfriend Larkin's Jeep (he was too hung over from a Red Sox game to help) and drove to Wilbraham out in Western Massachusetts. Talk about out in the sticks! Yes...Massachusetts has "sticks." There, we met the elderly Barbara O?Grady who was selling the dishwasher because she's moving to this retirement community in Boca Raton, Florida. (She can't take the cold weather anymore...I can sympathize.)

Thank God this dishwasher has wheels on it (hence the portability), so we roll it out from Barbara's apartment to the Jeep and struggled to hoist it into the open top and into the back seat. We looked like two spastic monkeys fighting over the last batch of bananas. Almost dropped the beast of a machine twice! Good thing Mia takes Tae Kwan Do and has some massive muscles on her upper arm.

But before the dishwasher was in the Jeep, we were both soaking wet. See, Barbara O?Grady failed to remove the water from the connecter hose, so we got drenched when the machine toppled over the first time. I got the brunt of it since I caught the hose, therefore giving me the drowned rat look.

Praying the whole way home that the Paulsens were still visiting their "maahhh'tha" (or more likely their "faaaahhh'tha, since it was Faaaahh'tha's Day), we were relieved to see their Acura missing from the driveway. We hurried to get Barbara?we named the machine after the previous owner?into our second floor apartment, struggling with the bitch on wheels for over thirty minutes.

Finally, two lanky guys on their way to shoot some hoops stopped and helped us lift Barbara out of the Jeep and up onto the porch. Mia and I both flirted with them appropriately (what...like I'm going to miss an opportunity?) and we thanked them before they bounded off down the street. Then, we were left contemplating how to actually get Barbara upstairs.

"I'll push, you pull," Mia said.

So we did.

Half an hour later, minus four fingernails and completely dusted with fresh bruises on my thighs and forearms of all varieties, Barbara now sits quietly underneath our microwave oven shelf, ready to use. Five minutes after we got her inside and the door closed, Dan and Cathy Paulsen pulled into their driveway. Phew!

Drenched in sweat, Mia and I high-fived each other and thanked God for Sunday Mass, even if neither of us went.

The Paulsens ended up going out for dinner last night, so we ran Barbara. It was perfect. The gently swish of the water and the groaning strains of of the wash cycle. But it was over in no time and we have clean dishes. Dishes that I didn't have to wash. So what...we're bad tenants in that we broke the Freak of Nature's "rules," but man, this is the best $40 bucks (my half) that I've ever spent in my life! Now...if we can just keep Mr. Paulsen out of our apartment...

I'll worry about that later!

Happy Monday and Hang Loose!

Double Vee

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Weekend eye candy...

Vanessa here...

Well, here's your weekend eye candy. It's one of my favorites. Ewan McGregor. I've seen every movie he's done...except Young Adam which I'm still waiting to get from Netflix. (I hear there's a nude scene in that one!)

But...I wouldn't mind finding this in my bathtub...would you?




Have a great weekend!
Double Vee
...otherwise known as the Future Mrs. McGregor

Friday, June 17, 2005

California dreamin'...on such a winter's day...

Oh wait...it's June 17th! It looks and feels like November 17th outside. Cold. Gray. Overcast. Hazy. 45 degrees. This is fucking insanity. I'm tired of bitching about it. I'm tired of complaining about it. I'm tired of living it. I swear, if I had more in my crazy savings account, I'd move to Florida or California. Course, California's had four earthquakes and will probably fall into the sea and Florida's already been whacked with a hurricane this season...what's left? Moving to the middle? No thank you!

Okay...I'll quit carping. I'll just sit here in my veal cubicle looking out the window not being able to see Boston across the river. I'll just keep the heater turned on under my desk so my poor toes won't freeze. (I insist on wearing sandals since it IS summer!)

Think happy thoughts. Warm thoughts. Pretty places. Happy people. I mean, Tom and Katie are engaged! (snort)


We should all be doing roundoffs-back handsprings in the street that two such perfect Scientologists...err, I mean people...found each other in this world. Riiiiiiiiiiiight. I mean, look at them! Do they honestly appear to be in love? She looks scared shitless! And ewww...she had teenage fantasies about him? That's just too dirty old man of him to me. Am I honestly supposed to believe these two are desperately in love and are going to live happily ever after with tons of babies? Give me a break! Talk about orchestrated, manhandled and planned out. I think the funniest thing about all of it is that no one believes they're a real item, yet they're hamming it up for the cameras and playing this role to the fullest. I actually kind of feel sorry for them. I never thought I'd be the type of person to say this, but Tom Cruise is scary-creepy.

Speaking of scary-creepy...Mr. Paulsen, the landlord, knocked on the door this morning to tell us he's got an exterminator coming in this afternoon and he was just letting us know he would be gaining access to our unit. (Sounded kinky to me!) So, I had to go pile all of my floor shit up onto my bed in anticipation of whatever God-awful insect repellent they're going to come spray. Thing is...in my two years living here, I've never seen a bug. (Other than Mr. Paulsen.) However, he had a water bug in his shower last week (I know 'cause I heard him squeal like a little girl!) and so he's fumigating the whole house.

Just glad he's doing this now, 'cause at this moment, Mia is the high bidder on eBay for a portable dishwasher! Yes, that's right. We're rebelling! The hell with Mr. Paulsen and his backwards rules. We're hopefully going to get this portable dishwasher and then we'll just roll it into the closet and hide it when it's not in use. And, we'll only run it when he's not home. There...problem solved! So, keep your fingers crossed that Mia wins the auction.

Well...off to get more coffee to warm me up and maybe I'll be able to feel my extremities. Be sure to check in tomorrow for Weekend Eye Candy...which seems to be an appreciated feature of my blog!

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Boston drivers yield to Minivan Moms!

I have the proof, people!!

So...my car (a Volkswagen Cabrio left over from my sorority girl days at American University) had to go into the shop for a couple of days (fluid repairs, transmission ick stuff and other technical things that totaled $900!) and the dealership had to give me a rental car. It's always fun to get a rental car...a break from your regular driving, the chance to test out something new, sleek, maybe even sexy.

But no...

Enterprise gives me a frickin' soccer mom minivan! (Are you freakin' kidding me?)

A Kia Sedona to be exact. This is what it looked like:

Two days worth of driving around town, going to the store, hanging with friends...in a minivan!

I'm not exactly adept at driving such a monstrous machine. I mean, there's no front end and a mile of stuff behind you. It needed one of those beepy things so that when I backed up, people would know. It wouldn't turn for shit and a three point turn turned into about an eight point one. The console was big enough to play solitaire and the two backseats could have easily have fit the whole marketing department from DigitalDirection. Me, in a minivan? Thank God it had a CD player, so I could still listen to Ministry of Sound while toodling around town.

But you know what I discovered? Boston drivers aren't rude to minivans. I got away with things driving this Sedona that I'd get flipped off to the high heavens if I were in my little car. People yielded to me. Cars waved me ahead. Folks let me cut in front of them. A man even smiled, nodded and waved to let me turn before him at the light. There were even smiles! And, at the grocery store, a guy waved me into a "Shopper with Child" spot. What the fuck?!

What's wrong with these people? These are the same aggressive drivers who bang lefts, who run red lights and who beep at you if you don't gun it the millisecond a light turns green. Yet, in the Soccer Mom Mobile, I got away with things? Does that mean our society gives more leeway to moms with minivans full of chid'rens? Or do people feel sorry for the moms and want to make distance from them...letting them go ahead? Maybe it's that they know the moms are stressed and freaked out from having to tote Jimmy and Susie around and they're getting out of her way? One of the news stations should do an investigative report!

The minivan is gone (thankfully) and I'm back to my life of pissing off my fellow drivers and trying to survive as I navigate the streets of the city in my six year old car. Should I look into getting a minivan? Would I be eligible? Do you have to bring birth certificates of your children to complete the paper work? Maybe those minivan driving moms know what they're doing. Maybe I could get used to some common courtesy and politeness from my fellow drivers...

Nahhhhhhhh...maybe not. Not yet anyhow...

Hang loose!
Double Vee

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dishes aren't done, man!

Vanessa here...

Had a bit of a run-in with the landlord, Freak of Nature (FofN), last night. Mia and I dared approach him about purchasing a dishwasher for our apartment. I mean, what kitchen full of conveniences in 2005 doesn't have a dishwasher? Well, that would be us. The students below us on the first floor have one, but we don't.

We asked Mr. Paulsen why...

Us: Can we have a dishwasher?

FofN: Absolutely not.

Us: Why not?

FofN: Because of water leakage.

Us: Huh?

FofN: It's a well known fact that an appliance like that on any level of a home that's not ground level has a hazard of leakage.

Us: Not if it's installed correctly.

FofN: I just won't stand for it.

(Stand for it? Like I'm just chopped down his corn stalks or something?)

Us: What if we bought it ourselves?

FofN: I won't let you.

Us: But it's our own money. And we'd pay to have it installed.

FofN: No. It's my house and I say you can't have a dishwasher.

Us: But the people on the first floor have one.

FofN: (staring at me) It was already installed when I bought the house.

Us: So, if we get one that doesn't have to be installed, is that okay? You know, they make portable dish washers.

FofN: I won't allow a dishwasher, period. The portable ones leak even more than regular ones and if there is any water damage at all, I'll make you replace the kitchen tile. I don't trust machines like that...that turn themselves off an on. I just won't have it here!

And he stalks off...

Ooooookaaaaaaaaaaay...

Not worth the argument at this point. I mean, this dude doesn't have air conditioning in the summer or cable television the year through. He takes his laundry to his mother's every weekend instead of having a washer and dryer and they have a maid that comes in once a week to clean because what...they don't own a vacuum cleaner? Does he have a problem with household appliances? Is it a phobia of some sorts? He doesn't seem to have issues with the leaf blower and lawn mower, but then again, those are outside toys. He did balk when Mia purchased us a used washer and dryer and had it installed in the basement. He wasn't pleased at all, but we got our way on that one. We'll find him in the basement sometimes just staring at it like it's going to up and attack him. Aren't there people who think there are aliens in appliances?

As I said, Freak of Nature...

So, Mia and I are going to look online for a portable dishwasher and try to sneak it in when he's not home. What he doesn't know won't kill him...or maybe it will?

Hang loose,

Double Vee

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ramblings from the corn field...

Vanessa here...

I think I'm running out of things to talk about. Let's see, I've bitched and carped about the weather (which I could still do plenty of), I've talked about my job, my friends, my landlord, my lack of a boyfriend. I've ripped apart TV shows and certain parts of the city I live in. I've posted beefcake pictures and quizzes. What is there left to do?

You want a recipe? Nah...I'm not a good cook. A wine recommendation? I pretty much buy whatever's on sale. A movie to see? Well, of course, it's Brangelina's movie. Who cares about plot or storyline...people just want to see them get it on.

Oh, I do have a story about my landlord. Okay...I do have something to talk about. So, remember how he's all Farmer Ted out in the yard with the leaf blower? Well, now he's taken to mowing the grass every Monday morning. Same buzz-saw sound as the leaf blower. Thing is, the backyard is like twenty feet by twenty feet and it takes him an hour to do it. He criss-crosses and goes back and forth and I swear he's either trying to make it into a putting green or he's trying to make patterns in the grass. His wife (a quite normal woman, actually) planted a small garden on the right wall of the fence. She's got tomatoes, peppers, basil and parsley. The basil looks like wild jungle foliage and I admit, I snuck out there the other night for a little bit of it to put on my fettucini alfredo that Mia made for us.

But the funny part is, over the weekend, Griz and some friends from work came over and we were sitting on the back porch drinking and cutting up and there's Mr. Paulsen out back with a flashlight staring down at the left side of the yard next to the fence. He's all sneaking around Mulder and Scully style, skulking around with the flashlight. So, we got all quiet and watched him. He was tending to something like it was a secret and he didn't want anyone to see him. The next morning, after he left in his car with NPR blaring, I went out back to see what he was looking at. Get this, the crazy-assed man has planted CORN in the back yard. Just two stalks of it, mind you. They're about four inches each and he's got a little sign with a picture of corn on it, as if to indicate to the world what it is.



Doesn't he realize he can get corn at the grocery store? Why this return to Green Acres in the middle of Cambridge? I guess I understand the tomatoes and basil, that's like staples you can plant in your yard, but a couple of stalks of corn just sounds mental to me. Why can I, like, see him in our creepy basement making a dress out of the husks and silks like some sort of Jame Gum rip off from Silence of the Lambs?

I think I'll go to the store tonight, buy a can of creamed corn and leave it in his mailbox. Or better yet, scatter it on the ground around his stalks like there's been a corn massacre or something. Bwah ha ha ha ha... I. Am. So. Mean.

Ah well...time to get back to work. Must generate some leads for the sales people to make some money.

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Monday, June 13, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Parker...

Vanessa here...

So...is it just me, or does the Brawny paper towel ad with the hunky man making a birthday cake with a puppy for Mrs. Parker kind of creep you out?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out.

See, it's this hunky Brawny Man in this role reversal making a birthday cake for "Mrs. Parker," the woman in his life. He spills icing on the counter and hunkily wipes it up with, you guessed it, a Brawny towel. He's actually quite cute, but it's the slinky, smarmy voice over that creeps me out.

I understand that most ads on television contain babies and kids in them to sell you everything from tires to hair dye to McDonald's and Disney vacations, so it's refreshing that Brawny has tried something different (and the cute puppy is wicked cute.) But the voice over just makes my spinal column tighten and my ass slam shut.

Now, is this going to make me go out and buy Brawny towels? Not likely. Is it going to push me to the pound to adopt a puppy...more so.

I mean, what woman wouldn't want some hunky man in rolled up sleeves and beefcake arms baking a birthday cake? Who is this Mrs. Parker who gets to eat the cake and get a puppy for her birthday? Bitch. : ) Do men like this actually exist? Or, is this a mirage...a facade that will fade into the night as soon as midnight hits on the day after Mrs. Parker's birthday. Will he return to asking for his Buds and kicking back to watch crap like "Fear Factor" and "Everyone Loves Raymond," demanding dinner and keeping the kids away from him?

I'd like to think that the Brawny execs recognize that there's a need for good guys out there. And for that, I give them props.

So...I'll keep watching the ad -- that runs every 10 seconds, it seems -- and keep hoping for a gorgeous, built, sensitive man who'll bake me a birthday cake and present me with a puppy. I'll try not to be jealous of Mrs. Parker.

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Weekend eye candy...

Vanessa here...

Just waiting for the sun to come out and I'm headed outside to tan. Gotta take advantage of summer while it's here. Wednesday we're getting the remnants of the hurricane which will plunge our temperature like 30 degrees. So, get out and have fun today.

In the meantime, here's some weekend eye candy... I hate it when they post pictures of my boyfriend on the Internet without letting me know... :)




Enjoy!

Double Vee

Friday, June 10, 2005

What 'cha readin?

Vanessa here...

Boston is one the most literate societies in the country, I'm proud to report. We read!

I love that moment on the train each morning after every bullies their way through the sliding doors, scoping out a seat and maneuvering to get one before the person behind you and then you settle into the space you'll be occupying for the next half hour. People pull out their MP3s, their cell phones, their newspapers or magazines, but it's the hearty book reader that catches my attention. Women draw paperbacks from their purse, men get books from their briefcase, young kids pull them from their backpack. But everyone is reading.

And then, there comes that moment where everyone holds their book up in front of them, poised to read, as if to show off your literary choice and what you're about to delve into. People position and nod their head to get a look at what you're reading and oftentimes will proudly display their find.

There's the inevitable literary reader, holding their head high with today's bestseller. They probably read more for the chance to say at a party, "Why yes, I read The Five People You Meet in Heaven..." There's gals like me reading chick lit, romance and anything hip and cool you can get your hands onto. There's the older woman reading a battered, library copy of an old Sandra Brown book. There's the guy reading Mystic River -- and he's the same guy who last week was reading The Da Vinci Code. And, there's the woman who's probably reading something hot and steamy, of the bodice-ripping variety, because she's got her paperback in a dainty gingham and eyelet cover so you can't see what she's reading. Don't you love those?

But we're all checking each other out, perhaps taking notes for future purchases, looking for covers that stand out to us, watching the reader's face as they hurriedly flip the pages. Is it good? Am I missing out on a riveting story? Should I order that today from Amazon? Yes, yes and yes!

I had a friend from college visit me last year and we were riding the Green Line together. It was the first time she'd ever ridden a train, so that alone was a big experience. But she looked around at the train and this was the conversation...

Her: So, you ride this to work every day?

Me: Yeah.

Her: What do you do the whole time?

Me: I read.

Her: Like, a book?

Me: Yeah...like...lots of books.

Her: Well....lord.

So yeah...go get a book and read. It'll do you some good!

Hang loose and happy weekend!
Double Vee

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Don't people own nice shoes anymore?

Vanessa here...

So, I'm downtown after work yesterday to meet up with my roommate, Mia, for dinner and drinks. Man, do I love a plate of fish and chips...mmm...

But, as I'm walking through Government Center, watching the people leaving their offices and headed for their cars or the trains, a particular fashion statement is completely jumping out at me. Now, I don't know if this is a Boston thing or a new trend from Vogue and In Style I just don't know about yet, but it struck me as odd.

Every single woman I saw was wearing $5 flip flops. We're talking shower shoes here!

Women in suits...flip flops.

Women in short skirts...flip flops.

Women in nice tailored pants...flip flops.

Women in dresses..flip flops.

Women in expensive outfits...flip flops.

I do realize there are cute flip flops out there, but I hadn't realized they'd become the be-all and end-all fashion statement for professional Boston women.



Was there a memo somewhere I missed? Are flip flops the new black? And most of them weren't even nice. They were the ones you can get at Old Navy on sale. Or worse...at CVS. Maybe it's that flip flops are the summer equivalent to sneakers. You know, dress nicely for work, but since you have to walk so far, you'll put your sneakers on for the hike. Are the flip flops the warm weather response to that? Or is it just that people are so happy to set their toes free from the three pairs of socks and winter boots that they don't care what they put on their feet?

Do women in New York City do this? Or LA? Or Miami? Okay...well, Miami's got the beach, so that's understandable...but I'm such a shoe person that I don't get this. There are so many cute sandals people can wear. So many shoe stores that will sell you a nice pair of walking shoes for the nice weather. Why resort to cheap, rubber shoes that make an obnoxious noise when you walk?

And yes, I do own two pair of flip flops and they're comfortable shoes. I get that. But I'd never wear them to work. Work is for nice heels, fashionable sandals, professional footwear. How else would I justify my yearly trip to Toronto to buy Italian leather sandals?

Women of Boston...women of the world...toss aside those cheap shoes and go shoe-shopping!

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Thank you, Al Gore, for inventing the Internet...

Vanessa here...

Is it just me, or are you an Internet information junkie, as well? I mean, the computer is this extension of me. Attached to my fingers. Wired into my brain. Google is my speed dial. Yahoo News is my connection with planet earth. I can't get enough of wire stories and information and the fact that anything I want to know is seconds away as soon as I type it in.

For example, I'm watching the search for the Alabama teenager in Aruba and absorbing every news article and slide show I can find in hopes of more information. Salon.com, the New York Times and several good blogs keep me posted on the twisted weirdness of this whole new Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise relationship that seems to be orchestrated and maneuvered by the Scientologists. I even know poop on television shows I don't even watch (like Michelle Rodriguez is joining the cast of Lost...how? Why she's been lost on the other side of the island!) See, this information...I can't get enough of it. I have to be in the know.

I know that Governor (I shudder when I type that, thinking it's still a joke) Arnold Schwarzenegger did this "let's fill a California pothole" on television, but according to my handy-dandy Internet resources, I learned that not only was the whole thing staged, but they actually dug the pothole, so he could fill it!

And my favorite of the week, Mr. "I'm the World's Greatest Actor" Russell Crowe once again arrested for being a nasty bastard. Must post the picture for you to see! It's a keeper! (There goes this year's Oscar, Cinderella Man!)



Maybe it's the trivial monster in me or the need to be engulfed in pop culture, but knowledge is power. Through my sources and bookmarks, Googling and Asking Jeeves, I have the world before me. Dictionaries, Thesaurus, newspapers from around the world, entertainment news galore, fan sites, photo blogs, discussion boards, I can order lobsters to be shipped from Main to anywhere around the world. I can order anti-aging cream from France, Vodka from Russia or a t-shirt from the Hard Rock Antarctica. (Well...you get my point.) The coolest thing is, I can talk to anyone about anything. I have the power of the internet at my finger tips!! Bwah ha ha ha ha...I'm Queen of the Wooooooooooooooooold! Okay...maybe I shouldn't have watched Titantic the other night. :)

The power is intoxicating. And it's something we all have. Well, if we have connectivity and a computer. Just last night, I was IMing with a pal of mine in DC and she wanted to know the symptoms for anthrax. (D, you do not have anthrax!) But in a matter of mere seconds, thanks to the trusty DSL and my speedy fingers, I had a link to the CDC with the symptoms spread out. (In case you too need to know.) I felt like a hero, dashing in, saving the day and sharing my knowledge with my pal.

Now, off you go...into that blender-driven world we call the Internet. Google. Fandango. Peapod and IMDb to your heart's content. Knowledge is power and it's there for you!

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Does anyone have a job?

Vanessa here...

Okay, so I left work early today for a doctor's appointment and decided to run some other errands in the meantime. I mean, it is sunshining after all. Looking around at the hordes of people, though, I have to ask: Does anyone have a job?

People everywhere! Not just tourists in their flip flops, fanny packs and Red Sox shirts. We're talking just regular Joes of Boston walking around, doing things, out and about, but not working. Have we marched out of our 9 to 5's in favor of the sunshine we're getting? Is it summer and people are taking time off? Do only men work and moms and their kids flood the streets with strollers and shopping carts? The train was packed! People wall-to-wall at 2:00 p.m. These people look like they have money...and they're spending it.

My question is, where do I get a job like this? No...me, I'm stuck in a veal cube all day in Cambridge, only getting outside for lunch or the occassional errand to the post office. Where's the job that allows me to take so much time off to just...hang? I mean, sure, I have some vacation time, but it's like two weeks a year and certainly wouldn't allow for massive hookey like I feel was in progress on the streets of Beantown today.

If I weren't up to my ears in loans from college that I have to pay off, perhaps I'd take a sabbatical. A few months to myself where I could hang out, play around, go to museums, hell, head to Europe and backpack. Anything. Something.

So, to all you poeple I saw today out milling about...more power to you! I wish I could do it myself. Share your secret, if you can.

Back to work...

Double Vee

Monday, June 06, 2005

Note to self: Don't pick up tourists...

Vanessa here...

Just staring off into space about what to write about today. Nothing particularly earth shattering to report. It is back in the cold 50's today after a gorgeous weekend spent outside soaking up the rays, getting sunburned and turning all of us pasty-white New Englanders into the looks of boiled lobsters. I saw this one guy at the store and he looked like he'd dunked himself in a vat of Ralph Lauren barn door red paint.

Griz and I went to the beach this weekend (full of glowingly white people, like I said) and we also made a trip into the North End. I just just the North End. It's tiny, it's compact, it's damn-near impossible to find a parking place, but there's so much there in those few streets and blocks. The smell of pasta, seafood and garlic literally paints the air. Cappuccino stops are everywhere and you can find clumps of locals sipping the potent liquid and carping about their day. And no visit to the North End wouldn't be complete without a visit to Mike's Pastry. We stopped in for gelato (the tiramisu flavor was to die for!) and ended up walking out with some cannolis and fruit tarts. (The Italians should leave the fruit tarts to the French, quite frankly.)

In our sojourn, though, we ran into these really cute tourists who'd wandered a street or two off the Freedom Trail. They were cute guys...from Ohio. Jason and Justin. And no, they weren't twins or anything. They're here for a week as they're touring America before starting law school in California in September. So, Griz and I got them back to the red brick guide on Hanover Street that would get them headed towards the Old North Church on the Freedom Trail. We ended up hanging out with them and walking around. Then, we drove them over to the Charlestown Navy Yard (it's a long walk!) so they could see Old Ironsides and then walk up to Bunker Hill.

We met up later with Jason and Justin that night and had a great time...well, dinner was nice, we had drinks, but then it was weird...the guys started talking about high school. Like it was yesterday. Griz and I were looking at each other kind of strange like...what's this all about? Seems like they went to rival high schools, met in college, but continue to cluck at each other about whose high school football team was better. They talked about state championships and rival games and stuff, like it was yesterday! I mean, hello...you're 27 dudes...high school was another world ago. How could two guys this cute turn soooooo boring soooooo fast? I thought Griz was going to lay her head down on the table and go to sleep.

Then, outside the restaurant, they were arguing about a wrestling match that happened in like 1996 and then they literally hit the ground and put each other in these matching head locks -- we're talking feet wrapped around necks, faces turning red...it was soooooooo embarrassing! They were rolling around the ground (ewww...) like a couple of heathens. And they hadn't even had that much to drink. People started looking and laughing and one guy yelled, "someone call a cop!" Needless to say, Griz and I quietly headed to the parking garage to get her car...and we went home.

That'll teach me to pick up a tourist...

At least the pastries from Mike's were good.

Hang loose,
Double Vee

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Think I'll go hang out at Abercrombie and Fitch...

Vanessa here...

Since it's a beautiful day and I have nothing to say, I thought I'd let a picture speak a thousand words...



"Woof!" 'nuff said.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Double Vee

Friday, June 03, 2005

I hate my landlord...

Vanessa here...

One of the downsides to being young and single in the big city is you have to take the housing situations you can get. There aren't really apartment complexes here like out in Generica. You basically rent a floor of someone else's house and it's called "charming." Mia and I live in Cambridge in a 100 year+ three-family house on this residential street. We live on the middle floor of the three-family house. Below us are five college students who smoke pot all the time. (We can get a contact high hanging out by the heater vents.) And upstairs is The Freak of Nature. Our landlord. Dan Paulsen. He looks like an offspring of Herman Munster with his large forehead and hulking walk. He walks like an elephant (rattles our dishes, let me tell you) and listens to NPR turned up to "eleven."

Mia swears when he drops change on the floor, you can tell the exact denomination of all the coins as they bounce around.

Every morning, it's bump-de-bump-bump-bump at five o'clock on the dot. It's like the dude jumps out of bed each morning. We can hear him when he goes potty (#1 AND #2...ewww...) and he sings in the shower. (TMI!!) I don't know how is wife puts up with him. She's a nurse and is never home, working odd hours, so The Freak of Nature (FofN) is sort of a stay-at-home work-from-home type of husband. He's some sort of financial wizard and works from his home office, leaving only on weekends when he religiously goes to see his "mah'tha" like a good New England-grown man.

Thing about Dan Paulsen, aka, The Freak of Nature, he's anal-retentive, obsessive compulsive and he acts like he's mine and Mia's father. Scowling at us when we come home at certain times, fussing at us for our music, complaining when we grill out on the back porch (he doesn't like the smell of cooking food) and always snooping in our mail box.

You should see him in winter time. He's one of those people who'll spend three hours shoveling the show in front of our house and then sets out lawn chairs and garbage cans to "save" places for us and the pot-smokers downstairs.

This morning, though, I'm sleeping in a little bit since I don't have to be at work until nine and I hear this buzzing sound. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz........ I cover my head with the pillow. I mean, it's six-thirty!!! But the sound penetrates even the thick pillow. So, I get up and look out the window. Outside stands FofN with a leaf blower! At six-thirty in the morning?!?! And the thing is, there are no leaves to blow! It's June, for Christ's sake! He's basically standing out there blowing dirt around. And making a lot of noise.

I open the window and yell down to him. After about five minutes of screaming and waving my hands, I finally get his attention...

VV: "Mr. Paulsen, isn't it a little early to be making so much noise?"

FofN: "I have to do this before the rain sets in today."

VV: "But it's not supposed to rain until late this afternoon.

FofN: (stares at me like the guy at the fish counter)

VV: "I was really trying to get some sleep here."

FofN: "Don't you have a job, Vanessa? You should be getting up and going to it."

VV: "I do, but I don't have to go in until nine and I'd like to get some sleep."

FofN: "Did you get fired? Are you not going to be able to pay me my rent? Because if you're not, I have a cousin who can move into your place immediately."

VV: "No, Mr. Paulsen. I didn't get fired. I just want to get some SLEEP!"

FofN: (waving and putting his goggles back into place) "Okay then..."

And he turns the FRICKING leaf blower back on! Doughy-of-middle and slack-of-jaw he returns to his Promethean task ...

Needless to say, I got up, showered, got dressed and got to work early. The coffee's kicking in, but thanks to the FofN, I'm completely discombobulated. At least it's Friday. A bunch of us are going out for cocktails after work. And then, if the weather's nice tomorrow, Griz and I are going to the beach!

Hang loose people...

Double Vee

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I've been Googled!

Vanessa here...

I have to say, the Internet is a wild and wacky place! You never know who's reading your site or who's looking for information on you. Google is a creepy, scary, cool thing in that it can find anything, anywhere on any topic. And I must say, from my blog statistics, there are some frightening Google searches going on out there that yield "The Adventures of Vanessa Virtue."

For the record anyone wondering...I am not Vanessa Nimmo (shown below) from the UK version of "Big Brother."



This is not me. Sure, that Vanessa and I have a few things in common...we're both single, 27, but she's British and I'm...me. According to her TV show bio, she "has a pierced nipple and can twist the men round her little finger." That's not exactly a past-time I've mastered, although, dammit, I'm trying. Oh yeah...she's a model and a South African archery champion. So, folks who are Googling "Vanessa Big Brother" and getting my rant about the government...well, sorry.



There's also a great deal of pervs out there Googling the word "tinkle" or more specifically, a great deal of pervs in China are Googling "sprinkle when you tinkle" and it's pulling up golden shower websites (ewwww...) and my rant on the ladies room. Folks, there's nothing pornographic about my blog except the random potty (no pun intended) mouth I expel.



Today's funny was someone Googling "sex wearing tevas" and yes, this too, brought up my blog. This was in reference to a guy I saw with some nasty toe jam who was wearing Tevas. But this Google search brought up some a website that read (censored): "I like this guy so much, that I'd let him %$#@ me in the butt while he was wearing Tevas." Now that's just not right! This is a family website people! *giggle*

(Sorry...no picture for this reference!) And finally, someone was apparently interested in my cup size and Googled "Vanessa big boobs" and along with my site here, there's also this lovely advertisement for some chesty blonde named Vanessa Blue the Big Boobed Lady. Lovely. And hell no, I won't give you think link, go Google it for yourself.

So, it just goes to show you that every word in your blog is Googlable (I love making up new words) and it challenges me to stick some doozies in every now and then just to see what will show up in people's searches.

Besides...it distracts me from doing actual work, which I must return to now. Those marketing leads won't generate themselves!

Hang loose,

Double Vee

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Pissed off at the fish counter...escape to a happy place...

Vanessa here...

So, after my encounter at the fish counter last night at a local grocery store I won't name, but whose initials are Stoop 'n Shite, I had to go to my "happy place." Here it is...




Yep...that's me in Miami Beach...legs stretched out, gazing out to sea. (Nice toepolish, eh?) That's my happy place. Whenever life troubles me or people piss me off (which is this town is every day) or the traffic gets to me or the trains decide to park in the tunnel for eight minutes...I just go to my happy place.

And I had to last night in line at Stoop 'n Shite. I swear, we live on the Atlantic Frickin' Ocean people, yet I have to go to this grocery store to get my fish and seafood? And it's never as fresh or perky as it should be. It's degrading. This man standing behind the counter...sorry, but he's not the sharpest tack in the box. He's a mouth-breather too...just standing there staring ahead and not like he's in his happy place.

So, here's the convo...

Me: "May have have two pounds of the jumbo shrimp, please?"

(See...I was polite. Even smiled at the end of the request.)

Mouth-Breather: "You can get the frozen in a bag in the freezer section."

Me: "I know, but I don't want them frozen."

Mouth-Breather: "You can put them in water and defrost them."

Me: "But I don't want to do that." (tapping on glass) "I'd like these...right here."

Mouth-Breather: "The freezer ones last longer."

Me: "But these are on sale. And I'm here."

Mouth-Breather: "But it's easier to just get the bag."

(Yeah...easier for whom???)

Me: "I want what I want and that's the ones in the case in front of me."

Mouth-Breather: (biiiiiiiiiiiiig sigh)

Then he starts reluctantly putting the shrimpies in the bag, then starts throwing them in, like one at a time, taking for-freaking-ever to do it and mumbling to himself. I can't tell if he's just that stupid or if he's trying to piss me off. Finally, after several more sighs (you'd think I was asking him to give me his first born) and taking his own sweet time bagging and tagging the shrimp, he hands me the bag over the counter with his mouth hanging open.

Me: "Thank you."

Mouth-Breather: (staring at me with his mouth still open)

Me: (not letting him get away with this) "I said, 'thank you.'"

Mouth-Breather: (just standing there...sighs again)

Me: (now royally pissed) "Forgive me for actually making you do your job!"

Didn't faze him.

So, I stormed out the store (after paying, of course) and he totally runined by shopping experience. It was bad enough I had to dodge all of the unchaperoned children pulling candy off the displays and the little carts the parents now have that are like little race cars their kids can sit in that take up two-thirds of the aisle, but the jackass at the fish counter had to cop an attitude with me? What is it with me and people around seafood these days? Maybe I should go back to beef?

Anyway...I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and I was in my happy place...deep, cleansing breath...there we go...waves lapping, sun shining, seabirds circling....ahhh....there we go....

Here's hoping you have a happy place of your own!

Double Vee

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