A Summer Hike

It’s a lazy summer day here at the ranch; so Meg decided to take you all on a virtual hike with the family:

This is a start of one of the nature trails in Meg’s little town. It’s one thing town government can’t quibble over and get into some ridiculous argument over, like the big controversy where they play music at a baseball game and announce the names of players. Because, guess what, one neighbor who happens to be a town selectman lives NEXT TO a baseball field, and he doesn’t like the noise. So he made himself a little law.

I digress. Time to relax:

A man and his dog, what could be more perfect on a Sunday morning?

Jack likes to stop and smell the flowers!

He also likes to quench his thirst along the way.

Jack is always eager to help find the best trail to take. That would be the one where the most chipmunks are. Because, yeah, he’s a tracker and a herder.

Just look at him all puffed up and happy. He gets to be off leash and play with little dog friends and run around doing donuts in the woods.

Good boy, Jack!


The Last Act

…in an Irish tragedy.

That was how James Carroll described the capture of mob boss Whitey Bulger.

“Whitey Bulger was a one man plague, infecting his own turf with mayhem, murder and drugs, poisoning the very streets that honored him as a protector. One mythic figure in Irish tradition is the informer who betrays his own people. That, in every way is Whitey Bulger”.

Whitey started out with quite a resume, living a life of petty crime in Boston, and graduating to serving time for armed robbery in Alcatraz. Meg was astounded when she heard that years ago, she merely thought the prison was San Francisco’s least attractive tourist attraction. (note: Meg does not like to spend her time in jail on vacation…) Nine years on the Rock, that has to do something to the psyche, no?

When Whitey got out, he went back home and promptly hooked up with the Winter Hill Gang, where bank robbery, drugs,and racketeering were the name of the game. Where the once mighty Angiulo family reigned, they now were all going down thanks to Whitey’s new found partnership with the FBI. You see, the FBI and Whitey were like best friends. Whitey turned on the Italian mob, and in exchange, he got tipped off and protected by our federal government. He had, in effect, a license to kill.

Meg remembers as a young college student, her friend dated a guy we’ll call Marcus. Marcus had leather driving gloves and a fancy sports car; he also had a giant money clip full of cash, and he never wanted you to say the name “Angiulo” too loud. Meg used to think that was kind of funny in a dopey college student way, but then one day Marcus wanted to fly Meg’s friend and Meg to Florida for a weekend jaunt. She told her friend no one does that unless they want something, and Meg suspected the jovial Marcus wanted them to carry a little something on the plane. That trip was never going to happen and Marcus disappeared into the sunset; but Meg always wondered about that whole gangster aura he had and those connections.

Throughout the 80’s and into the 90’s Whitey ruled Boston with with both an iron fist and a velvet glove. He shook down a couple that owned the South Boston liquor mart by merely walking in with brown paper bag with $67,000.00 and saying “I own the place now”.

Did you all see the movie The Departed, where Jack Nicholson played the depraved mob boss? (Meg has seen it six times. As an aside, she is grateful Martin Scorsese did not make Jack do a fake Boston accent).

Jack was a saint in the movie compared to this guy.

That went on for years until finally, federal indictments were in process and before they could be handed down, Whitey dropped off one of his girlfriends, picked up another, and skipped town for 16 years.

We here in Boston heard tales from everywhere. He was spotted in London, he was living in Louisiana, then a few weeks ago they claimed he had died in Costa Rica. Meg and her husband were in a pub about 8 or so years ago, and their bar mates happened to be some FBI agents. Amidst trading a few rounds of drinks, Meg asked “So boys, what’s the deal with Whitey?

Needless to say, they sheepishly grinned and didn’t say much.

When the news came out he had been hiding in plain sight in a pretty Santa Monica apartment, it seemed improbable that he could not have been caught sooner. Meg is sure the story isn’t over yet; Whitey was smiling in court and asking for a public defender, and the families were there to make sure the hitman was indeed going to star in his very last act.

It’s so convoluted, tragic, and oh so very Irish.

What can we all do, except turn to Pabst drinking, cigarette smoking Jesus and just wonder how it’s all going to end? Jury duty for one intrepid blogger?


I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Absent That Day?

Did you ever run along your merry way for years thinking something, only to find out you were a complete idiot?

NPR is asking that question on Facebook this week and here are a few samples:

Meg can certainly relate to this. She remembers her sophomore high school English teacher telling the class it’s a doggie dog world. WTF? She could never really figure out what Mr. Linney was talking about until she went to college and realized it really is a dog eat dog world out there. Thanks for planting that cynicism into our hormonal young 15 year old minds; like we didn’t have enough to worry about back then. He was the same teacher that made us read Lord of the Flies and Man With The Golden Arm back to back, so I’m sure you all get he was not unicorns and glitter.

Teenage Meg especially was not great with song lyrics, and she thought ABBA’s” Dancing Queen” went a little like this:

Dancing queen
Feel the beat from the tangerine, oh yeah
You can dance
You can get high
Having the time of your life.

Hey, they were Swedish, who could really figure out what they were saying anyway?

She especially feels vindicated about this statement:

Little pre-school Meg used to think the Beatles were freaking exhausted all the time, because there were always singing “Help” and “I Wanna Hold Your Handall the time on the radio.

Meg was generally a good geography and history student; reeling off her state capitals and knowledge of foreign countries quite easily. But for the love of God, she could never understand why Sheriff Andy Griffith lived in Montpelier, Vermont? Why the strong southern accent in the heart of maple syrup country? Aunt Bee, could you not have thrown me a clue and told me it was Mount Pilot?

And don’t tell me you weren’t shocked to discover that Johnny Carson and his guests did not have to take naps in the afternoon so they could stay up and entertain us all at 11:30 at night. Meg always pictured the guests pacing the green room all evening long; she could understand why Don Rickles was raging by the time he took the stage.

So people, now that Meg has dished, what thing were you always confident about that you discovered simply wasn’t true?

She’ll leave you with one more tidbit. Meg had NO concept what the Who’s “Mama Had A Squeezebox” was about. She rests her case on that one.


Ode to A Glass Garden

This week, Mama Kat’s writing prompts led Meg to create a poem about a photo she took last week.

Meg had the good fortune to attend the Chihuly exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Dale Chihuly is a founder of the Pilchuck School of Glass Design in Seattle and creates fanciful and dreamlike pieces of spectacular glass; one of rooms in the exhibit contained an exquisite glass garden, and inspired Meg’s sonnet:

I contemplate this landscape, and wonder how it grows?
I stare and gaze as flowers twinkle, and cast an eerie glow;
I ponder how it came together, it’s bounty overflows;
However magical this glass is though;
I’d rather have a real live garden, one with many rows.

Meg is positively certain her sonnet isn’t even a poem. In fact, she would venture to say that her verse borders more on the limerick side, in the vein of a “There was a Man from Nantucket“.

Meg really did like the glass garden; but she likes her real one a whole lot better:

Also, to the real poets I know? Please accept my apologies and come back, I promise I won’t write any more crappy prose.


A Championship and the One That Got Away

For those of your in warmer climates that have no comprehension of ice and the game of hockey, Meg is here to say her team won the Stanley Cup.

Here’s what the cup looks like:

Oh wait, that’s little Matt in the backyard with his replica!

Here’s the real one:

What? You’ve never seen a trophy being wheeled around in a baby carriage?

And after a few days of tooling around, it finally made it to a parade.

I think it made the people of Boston rather giddy, because:

a). Well, 40 long years, hell yeah.

b). It’s freaking 80 degrees outside and we, along with the hockey players are prancing around in shorts and sandals and drinking cocktails on outdoor terraces! What’s not appealing about that?

Forty years ago, young Meg looked like this with her Bruins t-shirt:

Don’t you all wish you had some plaid polyester pants and some cateye glasses?

When she went into her way back machine for this photo , Meg also found this book she had been given long ago, and wondered exactly why she needed “Orr on Ice”?

Clearly, she needed it for two reasons. One, to see Bobby Orr in his underwear, and two, to make sure Bobby used some really cool after shave, because Meg wanted to make sure when she married Bobby Orr, he didn’t embarrass the family with the ripe smell of hockey gear. She was SOOOO happy he decided to go with the Yardley scent, it was a favorite of hers.

Alas, Bobby didn’t wait around for Meg, but he did marry someone with the same name, so she had the satisfaction he merely married the wrong Margaret.

It was a fun weekend of watching the celebration, and the family even went on a Stanley Cup hunt around Boston, hoping when the Cup finished watching the game at Fenway Park, it would be hungry again for some dinner in the Italian North End after having crappy hot dogs and peanuts.

Alas, all we tracked was garlic shrimp and chicken parmesan, but it was a good feeling to see the city awash with happy people. Meg was also delighted that the parade and celebration happened Father’s Day weekend, because she knows her Dad would have loved this band of scrappy players winning the grandest trophy of them all. And he would’ve said, “Quick, run here and check out this fight!”

Here’s to the fighters and champions. And the gangly girls that grow up to be reasonably cool.


I Can’t Help Myself Friday. Losing Sleep?

Meg needs to catch up on her sleep! It’s been a long week of late hockey nights and celebrating, but how she can catch up on her zzzzz’s when all this stuff is going on?

That media maven whore Kim Kardashian is getting married. Meg can hardly keep straight who is marrying who in that family, and why is it they all go from 0 – 60 like they are in a car race to get to the altar?

Here’s a little sample of from Kim’s wedding registry:

…a Baccarat Cosmos extra large vase ($7,500) to $46 martini glasses. Other must-haves from Gearys: Hermés presentation plates ($304 each), ice tongs ($195), a Tourbillon black vase ($6,500), a candy jar ($375), and a Lalique Ingrid black vase ($4625).

Meg knows she’s going to be awake at night wondering what to get her. Some discrestion might be a nice gift, no?

Meg loved Frances McDormand in Fargo. So quirky and zany and charming. When Frances won a Tony award the other night, she came to Broadway dressed in a beach towel:

I know a lot of people don’t really care about clothes, but honestly, can you at least comb your hair and throw some lipstick on? This outfit constitutes my worst nightmare.

Speaking of things that are really creepy:

Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is demanding NBC apologize to his wife for saying she’s screwing up his campaign by first taking a two week Mediterranean cruise, and then purportedly telling Newt early morning appearances were out of the question because she wouldn’t have enough time to do her hair. What must she look like without the make-up and jewels? SCARY! P.S. Newt. Quit being a deadbeat and pay Tiffany’s.

Oh so sad. Hugh Hefner got dumped just before his wedding to 25 year old Crystal Harris. Crystal decided she needed to spread her wings and and is now going to concentrate on singing and songwriting? Give a listen, won’t you?

God love her little gold digging soul. May Hef rest well knowing she won’t be singing him to sleep.

Meg’s going to end with a little bedtime story that’s gone viral this week:

Rest your pretty little heads, people.