r Letter From Eastie: August 2005
Click here to buy posters!
Click here to buy posters!
Collaged view of Boston, from East Boston

Letter From Eastie

News and other items from East Boston, Massachusetts.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Inspired by the impending sense of doom

I feel when I think about the invading student hordes just waiting to storm the gates of our fair city; I present you with a partial list of things that I have seen on the T that I wish I hadn't.

1) The lady with the handcrafted cloth bookcover. Setting aside the fact that nobody over the age of 11 should have a bookcover, are you kidding me? Not only do you have a book cover, not only is it handcrafted in a fabric covered with images of cats (Cats!!), not only does said bookcover have handles (Can someone please tell me why a book would ever need handles?), but you felt the need to put this amazing contraption on a dime-store paperback. It's not like it was an original edition of Johnson's Dictionary. It wasn't even a spiffy new supermarket copy of The Davinci Code. From where I was standing it looked like it was a used copy of some romance novel form the 70s. Why not just make a t-shirt that says "I live with 59 cats" and be done with it?

2) The lady with pigeon feathers in her hair. Yes ladies and gents, you heard me right. I said "pigeon feathers" and I said "in her hair." Dirty-ass, rat of the sky, picked up off the street pigeon feathers.

3) Live Strong bracelets. Seriously people. You gave a whole dollar to charity like a year ago. Get over it already. What do you want a cookie?

4) Suitcases big enough to hold a dead body. Unless you are leaving town never to return again and you are carrying all of your worldly possessions, or you are, in fact, carrying a dead body around with you, I'm pretty sure you overpacked.

5) Hipster kids on the Blue Line. You think you look hot in your vintage 80's gear, don't you? Ok, kiddies, take it from me, a person who lived through the 80s. That stuff was not that attractive the first time around. If you are too young to remember when Madonna didn't have a fake British accent, you definitely should not be dressed like you are a back-up dancer from her Like a Virgin tour.

6) Dudes with their legs all splayed out in the middle of train as if they are on their living room couch; and, their close cousins, the dudes who read their newspapers bent over so that the newspaper takes up half the standing-room on the train—Didn't your mother's teach you to sit up straght? Newsflash—the world does not revolve around you!!

7) The people sitting on the remote interiors of the train who feel the need to crawl their way to the doors so that they are the first person off the train at a stop where everyone else is getting off anyway. Why? If you need to be the winner of the getting off the train race then why the hell are you sitting in the most inner seat? If you are that late for work or you are in that much of a rush, you desperately need to reexamine your life.

8) The "leaners" and the “huggers.” These are the people that think the upright bars on the train are for leaning their whole bodies against or for embracing in a bear hug. Normal, fully evolved members of the human race stand at a reasonable distance from these bars, holding on with one hand for balance, thus allowing other humans the chance to hold onto the same pole for balance. What is wrong with you people? It’s there for the convenience of passengers forced to stand on the train. It's not your girlfriend. It's not a stripper pole. It's not your mamma! Back off!

9) B.U. students. Need I say more?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This is Pepsi.

Originally uploaded by marilora.

He is my former dog. I say former dog because I had to give him up when I moved. He was taken in by some family friends, though, so he is being well cared for and I get to see him every once in a while. (He's an Eastie resident, too.) He is a 14-year-old poodle and he actually does have eyes under all that fuzz.

Snaps for Rep. Petrucelli.

From yesterday's Boston Globe:
State Representative Anthony Petruccelli, an ally of Senate President Robert E. Travaglini, has told a local newspaper he will not vote for a proposed amendment to ban gay marriage and create civil unions that Travaglini sponsored last year. Petruccelli's decision is the latest signal that the amendment -- which he backed last year -- could be headed for defeat in the second and crucial vote by the Legislature expected later this year. Petrucelli, an East Boston Democrat, told Bay Windows that legalized gay marriage has ''made stronger unions among people who have not had the opportunity up until that time to get married."

And on a completely different note:


Some Canadian Geese enjoy the
New Philharmonia Orchestra warming
up last night at the Hatch Shell.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Revolutionizing Motherhood.

Originally uploaded by marilora.
The title of my post comes from a book called Revolutionizing Motherhood: the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo by Marguerite Guzman Bouvard. In all this attention on Cindy Sheehan and her quest to make President Bush accountable, I couldn't help thinking about the Madres of the Plaza de Mayo. Like Cindy Sheehan, they were mothers who had lost their children. The difference was that most of the "Madres" children had been disappeared by the Argentine government during the Dirty War.

In her book Bouvard argues that the Madres took the traditional passive role of motherhood and used it against the military dictatorship. When they marched in the Plaza de Mayo in front of the Casa Rosada (the Argentine presidential palace) holding pictures of their missing children, demanding to know what had happened to their lost loved ones, the government had what amounted to a public relations nightmare. How does a government undermine grieving mothers demanding answers about their children? The bottom line was that they couldn't. They tried. Three of the orignal founding mothers were actually disappeared as well. Their offices were vandalized. There were attempts to discredit them and their children. But the government could never quite get rid of them.

I see Cindy Sheehan's efforts as similar to what these women did. She's asking the President to be accountable. By being there in Crawford and refusing to keep quiet, she puts a human face on the issue of this war and the pain that thousands of families are feeling. At some point, even if he refuses to deal with Cindy Sheehan personally, Mr. Bush is going to have to deal with the issues that she is raising. It's reported today that the Army is planning for another 4 year in Iraq at current troop levels. At the same time we know that recruitment continues to go down. How will they keep current troop levels for four more years? How many tours of duty can these poor soldiers and marines pull? At some point, somethings gotta give. Even Pat Buchanan has figured this out. (God, I know the world is ending, if I'm citing Pat Buchanan) The conservatives can attack Cindy Sheehan all they want, but the more they attack her personally, the more obvious it becomes that they have no way to answer her politically. Somebody please tell the administration that their slip is showing.

Mothers of the Disappeared
from the Joshua Tree album
by U2

Midnight, our sons and daughters
Were cut down and taken from us
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

In the wind we hear their laughter
In the rain we see their tears
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

Night hangs like a prisoner
Stretched over black and blue
Hear their heartbeat
We hear their heartbeat

In the trees our sons stand naked
Through the walls our daughters cry
See their tears in the rainfall

P.S. I wrote this post before I saw this, so I promise I'm not a plagiarist. :-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

If I wasn't so dang lazy,. . .

maybe I could write stuff like this. Anyway, a nice post by Calla on the people in her [my] neighborhood.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Menino rocking the Latino vote?

Originally uploaded by marilora.
I saw this sign in a shop window in Kelly Square. I think it's the first time I've seen a political sign in Spanish.

However, all is not well at City Hall. It seems that the Department of Justice has brought a suit against the city for violations of voters' rights. According the Globe:
In a lawsuit filed yesterday [July 29th], the Justice Department alleges that the city and its poll workers interfered with voters' rights by ''improperly influencing, coercing, or ignoring the ballot choices of limited English proficient Hispanic and Asian-American voters" and of generally ''abridging" their voting rights by treating Hispanic and Asian voters disrespectfully at the polls and by failing to provide adequate translation services for them.

The lawsuit says the Justice Department has been urging the city to comply with the Voting Rights Act since 1992, spanning a period when the city's Hispanic and Asian populations have swelled, making the groups a potentially formidable political force. Justice Department lawyers contend that the city has failed to respond to repeated requests to improve the city's treatment of Hispanic and Asian voters with limited English skills. It does not provide specific instances of violations of voters' rights.

''The violations of the Voting Rights Act that we discovered in Boston are deeply disturbing, and there is no place for such misconduct in 2005," Bradley J. Schlozman, acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, said in a prepared statement released yesterday. ''Furthermore, despite having had an unequivocal obligation -- for 13 years -- to provide Spanish language information to voters who need it . . . the City of Boston has consistently fallen well short of the mark."

Under the Voting Rights Act, if more than 10,000 of a city's voting-age citizens are members of a single-language minority with limited English skills, all elections materials must be available in their first language. The city is required to offer all ballots and instructions in Spanish for the 34,000 Hispanic citizens of voting age in Boston. The federal law also forbids officials from imposing any requirement or procedure that denies or abridges the rights of minority citizens to vote.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I love this city!!!

Originally uploaded by marilora.
I'm riding the bus home from Maverick Station and as we get to the stop for Kelly Square, I notice that there is a stage set up in the middle of the square. So I decide to hop off the bus and see what's going on. It turns out to be Tito Puente Jr. with Edwin Pabon & orchestra and they are playing hot salsa music with a dance floor set up on the street and everything. Apparently this was part of the Parks Department, ParkARTS program. Tito Puente Jr. was so sweet. He let all the little kids salsa dancing on the dance floor, go up and dance on the stage with him as you can kind of see in the crappy picture I've posted. (Tito is the one in the white suit.) Oh yah. I almost forgot. The Mayor was there, too, but he's everywhere.

Here's a camera-phone video of some salsa dancers. Sorry about the crappy sound. Imagine that dancing to really good salsa music.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Is it me, or is it groundhog day?

I swear that every two weeks the New York Times has some variation of this headline:
Insurgents Using Bigger, More Lethal Bombs, U.S. Officers Say.

This just seems completely inane to me. First of all, the more they do this without anyone figuring out a way to stop them, the better the insurgents will get at it. That's just logic. Second of all, the last time I checked, we were at war with these people. Why does the New York Times continually seem surprised by the fact that they want to bomb our soldiers? Oi.
FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from freestats.com