it’s been a year or two since I was out on the floor: I can’t claim full faith and credit for the dance party at Common Ground on Friday, since packs the house every week and , , and are regulars. But I asked people to show up and they did: , who hurled abuse on Boston College’s mediocre forward John Oates (“I got a phone call from him and my phone committed a turnover”); , who danced and took photos and looked excitedly at her drink; , who introduced himself and promptly vanished like the shy boy he is.

I’m surprised I don’t scare more people off the dance floor, because I am a spastic motherfucker. I pitch something close to a full-on grown up temper tantrum whenever Mike plays “Flagpole Sitta” and I throw knees and elbows in all directions during Lo-Fidelity Allstars’ “Battleflag.” Lest you think this journal is nothing but self-aggrandizement, let me assure you: I’m a danger to anyone who gets near me.

Meg had lost her radio job that morning, so she got plenty liquored up. I made sure Steph was giving her a ride home, then stumbled into the night. If there’s anything less pleasant than walking through 30 degree in a shirt that’s literally dripping with sweat, I don’t want to experience it any time soon.

I wonder if you wonder: I debated whether or not to go see Double Indemnity at the Brattle on Saturday morning, but common sense got the better of me. I made it from Union Sq to Harvard Sq just in time – on foot, having learned after the last three tries that I won’t find parking in Harvard closer than my own driveway. If I was supposed to buy a ticket for the movie I failed that step: Trisha L. waved me right into the balcony.

I squeezed in next to , , and . We all checked our watches impatiently until the artistic director for the Brattle took the stage, explaining why it was important that arthouse theaters show classic movies. Then a colleague followed him, explaining that Double Indemnity had been written by Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler, “author of The Maltese Falcon and those books.” She also suggested we watch for the way that the language of film – lighting, cinematography and so forth – placed each character on the “Richter scale of morality.”1 Dave didn’t think his empty coffee cup could make it all the way to the stage, no matter how many times I asked.

Finally, the movie started. I don’t need to add my critical plaudits to Double Indemnity, a movie that still holds up after six decades. And the Cambridge audience did not disappoint: there was enthusiastic applause after Edward G. Robinson went on his phenomenal little rant (“why, I’ll bet you’ve never opened an actuarial table in your life …”) and audible chuckles at every dated innuendo.

I had a burger at Flat Patties and went home happy.

you’re toxic; I’m slipping under: My GPS finally steered me wrong! Two things:

  • Going northbound on McGrath Highway, just after you cross Broadway, there’s a point where if you want to go left you have to bear right, and if you want to go straight (for Medford) you have to stay left. The satellites don’t have that fine of an eye, so when they told me to “bear left” I did, not thinking that they meant “end up going left.” Oh, well.
  • The address I meant to hit, on Mystic Valley Parkway, sits at the end of a private way behind a skating rink. The GPS couldn’t handle this and put me on the other bank of Mystic River instead. Fortunately I’d made this same mistake last time, using Google Maps directions2. So I corrected myself without difficulty.

The event in question, a birthday party for Melissa from jiu-jitsu, was fun and low-key. I drank Red Stripe and mixed fruity drinks for the girls. Apparently four girls were celebrating February birthdays simultaneously: Melissa, Rita, Tammi (who’s also going up for black belt) and Lisa. Melissa was already on her way to wasted when I walked in the door and blew right by it, windows down and hair streaming, in the short time I was there. “Don’t jiu-jitsu throw your sister!” I yelled at her, three times in rapid succession, in the presence of witnesses. I had a good time.

1 A 1 is a mere fault tremor of good taste – a 6 is an EARTHQUAKE OF MORAL PURITY.

2 Oddly enough, Google Maps can pinpoint the address exactly – I checked just now. But asking it for directions to that address puts me completely in the wrong.


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