53 Brentwood Blog

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Lots of miles

I drove over 1500 miles last week, slept in a Uhaul and my car, and ate some Turkey.

On Friday the 18th I flew to Chicago to help my friend John move back to Boston. The goal was to fill up a truck and take turns driving it to Boston. Unfortunately the 26 foot truck he rented was filled rather quickly, and a 14 footer had to be rented in addition.

So on Sunday the 20th John and I left Chicago driving 2 trucks instead of 1. We left Chi-town at 1 PM EST. We arrived at my house in Boston at 2 PM EST on the next day. John almost killed a deer and I almost fell asleep. We slept for 3 hours (in the trucks non-reclining seats) at a truck stop just outside of Schenectady. When we got to Boston we were dead tired and John found out that he couldn't close on either house til Wednesday at the earliest. I then went to work, that was a stupid mistake.

On Wednesday I left for my mother's house in West Islip, NY at 10 PM. Around Midnight I was too tired to drive and pulled over at a rest stop in Connecticut to sleep for 2 hours. I awoke to my car covered in 2 inches of snow. I cursed and then went back to sleep and awoke at 5AM to 4 inches of snow. I cursed again, but I had to get a move on so I drove 45 MPH on unplowed roads until I hit the New York border where it was raining.

I got to my Mother's at 7:30 and went to sleep. The turkey was worth it.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Great story Guilio, thanks. I think.

So.....what did everyone do for Thanksgiving? I stayed local, myself, as Steph's parents live about 15 minutes away from us. Finally, an easy holiday trip! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Guilio, hope you had a good weekend, since you don't have Thanksgiving (I wanted to include you somehow).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Invent Radium or I'll Pull Your Hair

Girls who had gotten themselves "into trouble" in the village became surrogate breast-feeders for women who could not or did not want to breast-feed their own newborns. Well-to-do mothers preferred to have their babies nourished by a wet nurse. It was much more convenient than to have to be on tap around the clock. Besides, breast-feeding was considered to be degrading: it made you into a sort of milch cow. And for birth mothers who could not nurse their babies, a substitute was almost a necessity because there was no such thing as a formula to feed newborns.

Many years later, when the name Freud had entered the vocabulary of the educated and especially the semi-educated, people traced all kinds of real or imaginary psychological and physiological afflictions back to their wet nurses. As an adult, did you suffer from rheumatism, drug addiction,…hypochondria? Sure—it was all the wet nurse's fault: through her milk, you became predisposed to this disorder or that affliction, and so on, ad absurdum. By the time we were born, fashions had changed, and women were encouraged to breast-feed their babies. My mother went at it vigorously because, as she told me later, "I wanted to override the bad genes your father has contributed to your existence."

Doris Drucker: Invent Radium or I'll Pull Your Hair.
The University of Chicago Press.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Originally uploaded by giulio13.

I have no idea why my nephew Antonio wanted to have a picture taken with an envelope in his hand. Go figure.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


A culture of violence in Britain is to blame for an epidemic of school bullying that is devastating the lives of millions of children, according to a devastating attack by one of the country's leading experts on young people.
In his first major interview as the new Children's Commissioner for England, Al Aynsley-Green said nearly every child was affected by the problem: 'I have no doubt that children are being brought up in a society where violence is the norm in many ways. I include in this the violence on television, in the workplace and in the home.'

Amelia Hill and Gaby Hinsliff
Sunday November 13, 2005
The Observer

Friday, November 11, 2005


The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack. The round world
Should have shook lions into civil streets
And citizens to their dens. The death of Antony
Is not a single doom; in the name lay
A moiety of the world.

Antony and Cleopatra, William Shakespeare,

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In France: Curfews to stem riots

That's something.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

English as a Second Language

Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2005. From a guide intended to help foreigners understand the idiosyncrasies of British English, found by a journalist for The Economist in 2004 on an office wall in the European Court of Justice.
Originally from Harper's Magazine, December 2004.

What they say: I’ll bear it in mind.
What is understood: He will probably do it.
What they mean: I will do nothing about it.

What they say: By the way/Incidentally . . .
What is understood: This is not very important.
What they mean: The primary purpose of our discussion is ...

What they say: I hear what you say.
What is understood: He accepts my point of view.
What they mean: I disagree and do not want to discuss it any further.

What they say: Correct me if I’m wrong.
What is understood: Tell me what you think.
What they mean: I know I’m right—please don’t contradict me.

What they say: With the greatest respect . . .
What is understood: He is listening to me.
What they mean: I think you are wrong, or a fool.

What they say: That is an original point of view.
What is understood: He likes my ideas.
What they mean: You must be crazy!

What they say: Very interesting.
What is understood: He is impressed.
What they mean: I don’t agree, or I don’t believe you.

What they say: You must come for dinner sometime.
What is understood: I will get an invitation soon.
What they mean: Not an invitation, just being polite.

What they say: Quite good.
What is understood: Quite good.
What they mean: A bit disappointing.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Britain's former ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, delivers a damaging critique of Tony Blair's approach to the war in Iraq in an interview in the Guardian today.
He contrasts Mr Blair's meek approach with Lady Thatcher's dealings with the White House. Mr Blair behaved very differently from what Sir Christopher calls "the Thatcher style". He saw it first-hand on many of her trips abroad.
"Thatcher had no hesitation on the phone, or surging into the Oval office to blaze away if she thought Reagan was doing something stupid. And she did on a number of occasions and sometimes it was extremely effective and certainly did not damage the relationship at all. I think Tony Blair and Downing Street were reluctant to perform in that way," he says.
Lady Thatcher took pride in knowing more detail than her officials. "That is why it was terrifying to be summoned into her presence because if you did not know your stuff, she would expose you. There was never that danger with Tony Blair."

The Guardian