red tag of death...!

fire trucksso shayne was sitting at home tonight and she noticed that the furnace was singing. quietly. seeping out through the vents. it was like a slow dirge. a funeral dirge. josh (aka "mustache guy", but now sans-mustache) noticed that it smelled like an elementary school. it smelled like crayola crayons, or a cheaper generic maybe, like a Rose crayon maybe, melting on a heater on a muggy day.

i came home and confirmed the funny smell. checked the cats. checked the oven. listened to the serenade of the dying furnace.

bravely i went down to the basement to check on the condition, where i tripped over a dead starling. impressively, i didn't shriek. most of you prolly know that i am terrified of the basement at night. killers with rusty axes lure down there. they pull the fuses to lure me down there. i refuse! i send Shayne down instead. she's my canary in a coal for mile for axe murders.

but i digress.

the upshot is that Josh took care of the dead bird, while i called the Gas Company. they warned me that it sounded dangerous, although still safe to stay in the house so long as we didn't turn on any appliances or lights. i peed by flashlight since we didn't want to brave flipping on the light. we crouched in fear that somebody would ring the doorbell. we didn't touch the cats for terror of static electricity.

the road filled up with fire trucks soon after i called. alas, it was not for us. i was oddly disappointed.

the gas company finally came out, investigated, and slapped on a Red Tag of Death. they cut the gas and disconnected my furnace.

on the coldest night of the year.

this is how old people die. Joe For Oil warns me on tv all the time. check on the old folks!

and tonight it's my turn. please, friends of the casa call to check in. as i type the temperature is plummeting. my fingers are getting cold, but still i soldier on... growing weaker... i hear it's like falling asleep.... oh so sleepy....

(okay, actually we have a space heater running and the gas company should be out tonight at some time after midnight to give me a new motor).

you can't make up this kind of drama, kids.


thank you bernard derriman

for giving us a loveable animated bunny i'm completely mesmerized by.

your arj and poopy cartoons are pretty damn funny, too.


case: solved!

first of all thanks to loyal reader banky edwards for being the first to come up with definitive evidence proving that the owner/chef of the new city slicker cafe in somerville is in fact the orginal owner/chef of urban gourmet - you can check his work in the comments section of this post.

and in one of those weird and cosmic coincidences that the universe sometimes serves up, i had my very own personal confirmation of the connection this afternoon, when i ran into the owner/chef's wife (who i used to work with years ago at a local university). she confirmed that her husband just opened his new place on thursday and was glad to hear that some of us old customers had found our way to him so quickly :)

so for all of you urban gourmet lovers, get thee down to 588 somerville ave and pick up a menu! or just call them at (617) 625-0700 and order something (i highly recommend what used to be called the urban cowboy pie and is now dubbed the chicken club - white pizza with bacon, red onion and tomato.... ~drool~).


the case of the puzzling pizza!

that's right junior super sleuths -- we need *your* help to solve this crime! you might think you're not ready for field work, but i say that all your training has MADE you ready. get out there, hit the streets, and figure out what the heck is going on!

it's like this. many of you have heard out piteous laments about the burning down of Urban Gourmet, our favorite pizza joint. what we didn't mention is that Urban Gourmet was under new management when it burned. we are not sure where Jen and Rich went when they sold Urban to the owner of Soundbites (another fine Somerville establishment), but they wandered off into the sunset.

recently, a new menu was left in our mailbox (thanks Swissy!) for City Slicker Cafe. the offerings were eerily similar to our beloved Urban Gourmet. who else makes a shrimp and bacon pie, fer christsake? we were told that Jen and Rich were running the joint.

shayne immediately called in an order, and questioned the man who answered the phone there. what ensued was the most confusing ten minutes ever shared. it seems a simple thing, right? to find out who the owners are? nope. this dude wasn't going to tell us. no way. no how. he talked circles around shayne until she gave up in vexation.

"TO THE INTERNET!" we roared. there were numerous references on ChowHound, but they had all been deleted. in fact, there were no references to the new City Slicker that hadn't been deleted. City Slicker's own website isn't live either, even though it's mentioned prominently on their menu. there are no mentions anywhere.

so Junior Super Sleuths, we implore you... do any of you know the answer to this puzzling pizza pie?


tales from the couch...

so i have been informed recently that the blog has become in grave danger of TMP (too much paladin) and that perhaps i might want to tone down both the crazy cat lady antics and the geek gamer stories. apparently both of these things means that i will be doomed to be single for the rest of my life.

hidingwhile that proclamation doesn't exactly make me quake with fear, it did give me pause. one of the girls at work is reading "the girlfriend's bible" and has been tossing out interesting tid-bits about everything i have done wrong in my 35 years. she didn't even scratch the surface. other friends of mine have informed me that i need to get off my couch more.

since i am currently home sick on the couch, now is not the time. but here's what the world looks like from my couch... not too shabby. i have a house that i love, overflowing with friends, with a guest room that is often full (did leave a toothbrush here recently?). i have pets i cherish and a roomie who makes me snort with laughter. i have wireless which allows me to relate to the world even while i am crawling with germs and snifflier than a coke addict. i have a cell phone which allows me to know that one of my staff quit while i was out today (good luck in your new job, courtney!) and a landline that i rarely answer (sorry for letting my membership lapse ACLU!). i have music on in the other room (currently playing "if i were a moose" by Fred Small), and a sweet smelling candle burning on the side table. i have three different email inboxes open which tinkle often with merry dings and bells when i get mail.

i could, if i really wanted to, easily find a boyfriend without even leaving my couch. there appear to be a million men out there who are looking for a "partner in crime", a line which if posted in a personal ad will rule that person out automagically even if they are a doughnut baking, pub quiz playing, book reading, llama raising, smart, sexy, big, bald guy who wants nothing more in this world than to make me happy. partner in crime? forget it. he's out.

so, see? why do i need to leave the couch at all? i have it all right here.


Okay, NOW i have reached the new pinnacle of geekdom!

can you smell the excitement in the air, folks? do you know that that is? it's been all over the news. it's going to be epic. it's the midnight launch of World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade! and because i clearly decided about three months ago that dignity was over-rated, here' what i've done. shayne and i were both in for the night, plunked down on the couch. i had a long day at work. shayne had just taken a shower and hadn't dried her hair yet. but on a moments notice we ran down to the car and burned rubber over to the Ghetto Glen Mall where we put down $5.00 to reserve our copy of the new Warcraft.

but that's not the worst part.

the worst part.... the shameful part... or what *would* be shameful if i had any shame left... is that i will be getting back into the car later tonight. shayne, big daddy, and i will be doing the midnight run to EB Games to get our copy of the new game the minute it's released.

whispers: heh

ghetto glen


2007... year of the casa

so far 2007 is proving to be a banner year for the upper half. we're kicking the lower half's ass in the following categories: shenanigans, wacky hijinks and of course, tomfoolery. not only did we start the year with a squeaky clean casa, but the past two weekends in a row we've partied with various friends until the wee hours of the morning, we've had houseguests from down the street and the suburbs and even australia. you know how sometimes plants and animals get all messed up with unseasonably warm weather in the middle of a new england winter? we're like a pair of crocuses blooming too soon. it's probably gonna bite us in the ass if nature decides to right itself, but it sure has been fun.

for the first week of this still young year, we've been partying like rock stars and damn, are we tired.

to the whole casa family - we hope your 2007 has gotten off to the same kind of start. happy new year, all.