Category Archives: Boston

U2 was in my neighborhood

Pax Arcana

U2 played a super secret omg keep it quiet omg it’s in the Globe? OMG I can’t believe it!!1!11! show at the Somerville Theater tonight — just around the corner from Pax Manor.

I didn’t see the show, obviously, but I did get a couple of shots of the throngs of people standing around looking at each other, wondering if they should, you know, like do something or something.

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Of course once those throngs decided that getting a beer was a better option than standing in the cool March fog, they swarmed Davis Square’s two main bars.

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Even the Sligo was packed with yuppies. Man it was like cats and dogs living together.

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Creepy doll will not sell your house

Pax Arcana

The upright and fantasmagoric Mrs. Pax Arcana and I did a little house shopping yesterday. Because we live in the greater Boston area, things in our price range tend to fall between “industrial solvent manufacturing plant” and “abandoned mental hospital” on the attractiveness scale.

So we’re open to fixer-uppers, is what I’m saying.

After lunch we took a little trip out to a certain well-heeled suburb to check out a single-family home that had fallen within our price range of late. We could tell by the pictures that the layout was a little unusual and the decor had not been updated since the 1980s. But we figured it was worth a look, since we’re not averse to performing a bit of cosmetic upgrading ourselves.

The first floor was ugly but not offensive. Then we made our way upstairs and discovered this:

In case you can’t quite make it out, this is the last thing evil dictators see before they die.

Here’s a closer look at the psychotic demon succubus in the middle:

I’m no real estate agent, but I’m pretty sure one of the first rules of “staging” a house is to avoid forcing prospective buyers into defecating themselves with your creepy death totems. Just look what this one did to this handsome stranger:

Long story short, we won’t be making an offer.

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Don’t get it twisted

Pax Arcana

Did you know that the atomic number of copper is 8?

Of course you didn’t. That’s because you didn’t ride the T down to South Station with Father Scott, Perry Ellis, the courteous and accomodating Mrs. Pax Arcana and I on Sunday night. If you had been on the Red Line with us, you would have learned that and much, much more, courtesy of this gentleman — who offered us a free lesson in inebriated physics:

The good professor, an adjunct lecturer at the Cape Cod school for the wobbly and barely coherent, held forth on all manner of physics topics that evening — from general relativity to the difference between conductors and insulators to the existence of a specialty topic within the field of physics called astro-astrophysics. He also really, really likes to say “Don’t get it twisted!”

Also, did you know that his second favorite physicist is Newton? And that Newton’s first name was Isaac? It’s true! You can look it up!

Just don’t look up the atomic number of copper. Google will tell you it’s 29.

Stupid Google.

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Inventory Purposes

Pax Arcana

Here’s a sign I spotted on the window of the Dunkin’ Donuts on the VFW parkway near the Dedham Mall (the one next to Burger King, not the one directly across the street from Burger King):

The sign does more than simply confound us. Verily, it expands our comprehension of the axis between economics, marketing, supply chain theory, environmental science, and the English language as a whole. Never has something said so much while at the same time saying so little.

My hat is off to you, Dunkin Donuts. I sit humbled and in awe of your awesome power to call upon the theater of the absurd to explain your policies, when a simple explanation would have sufficed. Within this simple 8.5″ by 11″ rectangle, the seemingly intractable rules of logic and order are sucked into a vortex in which neither light nor gravity can escape. Also, kudos for the inventive capitalization.

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Thursday Random 9*: Pax Absentia bonus edition

Perry Ellis

As the Paxman and the splendiferous and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Mrs. Pax are across the pond, sampling the varied pleasures of the Continent (weird animal parts cooked in their own fat and liter-sized steins of unfiltered beer), we present this week’s super-double-bonus edition of the Random 10.**

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I’m starting to think Massachusetts politics may be a teensy bit corrupt…

Pax Arcana

Outside of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Massachusetts state legislature is the world’s best argument against a one-party political system.

It’s not that the Democrats are worse than the Republicans in Massachusetts. It’s that the Democratic machine is so firmly entrenched on Beacon Hill that the natural creep of influence peddling has long since overrun the entire system.

Just one guy’s opinion, sure, but Perry Ellis and I — in our former lives — have both seen first-hand how things get done in this state, and it ain’t in press conferences or campaign speeches. From the local level right up to the top, the public is largely kept as far from the actual negotiation of governance as possible. Once the doors are closed and the microphones are turned off, that’s when the proverbial dookie hits the ceiling fan.

Consider the Globe‘s scrutiny of state Speaker of the House Sal DiMasi (D). In just the past five weeks, the Globe has dug into three legislative episodes involving DiMasi that hint strongly that he’s the kind of guy that, you know, does things for people, dig?

Here’s the recap:

  • DiMasi played an active role in ensuring that software company Cognos was awarded a $13 million state contract after the company had donated lavishly to DiMasi’s charity golf tournament. The contract was later voided.
  • Last year DiMasi’s personal accountant promised a group of sports ticket resellers safe passage of a bill intended to keep the practice legal in Massachusetts if they paid his consulting firm. They did. The bill passed easily.
  • Last year DiMasi quashed a bill that would have banned construction of an LNG facility in Fall River. A few months later, the owner of the property in question sold it for a $14.2 million profit. The owner, Jay Cashman, is a “close friend” and contributor to DiMasi’s political fortunes, and DiMasi’s wife has partnered with Cashman’s wife on a TV production deal.

DiMasi has told the Globe repeatedly that each of these decisions were arrived at independentl of his relationships with those who benefited. It’s possible that is the case.

But it’s curious how things always seem to work out for Sal’s friends, no?

DiMasi business ties questioned [Globe]
Just the ticket for brokers [Globe]
Winning firm gave to DiMasi charity [Globe]

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Monday filler

Pax Arcana

Happy Presidents Day!

While you’re out celebrating the good works of Franklin Pierce and Benjamin Harrison, I’m busy working. To fill space, here’s a photo of a neat little sign I snapped in my neighborhood. I have no idea what it means, but I like it.

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