fish don’t fry in the kitchen, beans don’t burn on the grill


  • I thought I did the smart thing by eating a light lunch on Friday, saving room for Redbones barbecue that evening when Kristen A. came to town. But maybe my ab workout at the gym that afternoon hurt matters. Regardless, after a pulled pork sandwich, half a plate of fries and a too-sweet Dogfish Head 75 Minute IPA1, I felt like I had a wet bag of sand sitting in my gut. People stared at me with concern. I walked around with my hand on my stomach, as if I would give birth to a squalling pork baby any minute.

  • Lisa F. had a going-away party, prior to her move to New York City, which I devoted an hour and a half to. I expected a quiet gathering of a few close friends, but man! Her five-bedroom apartment got packed out in all directions. People from all walks of life – ImprovBoston, her music program, coworkers – turned out to snack, drink and carry on.

    “So many people,” I said.

    “I have lived here for nine years,” she explained.

    “I’ve lived here for ten years!” I countered. “I couldn’t get this many people if I threw a going-away party!”2

  • Deirdre’s the volunteer coordinator at the Dorchester Beach Festival3, so I dropped by to visit her and her husband Auston on Saturday morning before gaming. Gourmet caterers Au Soleil served some remarkably good burgers (considering it was a town’s summer festival) and Utz Potato Chips. Auston marveled at these, since you almost never see Utz north of Philadelphia. But apparently Utz has serviced Costco and WalMart since at least 1997, and they’ve got a distribution center in Shrewsbury. “These are surprisingly good chips,” he said with astonishment.

1 I recommend their 60 Minute for all IPA fans, and the 90 Minute if you want to get drunk really fast, but the 75 Minute didn’t work for me. Maybe if I had it with dinner instead of after.

2Immediately after making this statement, Royal realized that it was true.

3 Dorchester has a beach! With real sand! I’m as surprised as you.


back of my neck gettin’ dirty and gritty

I take for granted that I will never have everything I need out of the apartment – or even packed – by the day of the move. Years of experience taught me this. So I had relatively little stress on Saturday morning when I realized that I had yet to pack:

  • An entire bookshelf’s contents;
  • An entire media center worth of electronics;
  • The entire top shelf of my closet;
  • Any kitchen utensils
I stuffed things into boxes until Rachel, Lisa, Jason and Kate showed up. Through a mix of delegation and brute force, we muscled the UHaul van full to bursting and rolled over to Davis Square just as the sun reached its peak. I’d thought ahead, of course, and had a fridge full of water in the new place.

Once all the boxes and furniture migrated up three flights of stairs, the five of us settled in to unpack in air-conditioned comfort. The five of us quickly assembled the queen-sized bed frame, stocked the bookshelves and unpacked the kitchen mess. “You are going to get so much ass here,” Lisa observed with child-like wonder. I can’t verify that prediction in the first 48 hours of residency, but I think the place has potential.

I treated the four of them to Redbones barbecue right down the block. A conversation about music soon led to a poll about the most recognized guitar riff, then to the most recognized bass riff, then the sexiest guitar riff. Despite some pretty intense debate, we all agreed that the Dead are terrible.

I spent the rest of the weekend in air-conditioned comfort, except when I didn’t.