Last Saturday I did the Somerville Illuminations tour: trolleys depart from the City Hall and drive around Somerville, while tour guides point out the best decorated / illuminated houses and provide commentary on Someville history, joke around and sing carols. Our tour guide was Tom Champion, the voice of Somerville. We, I meant they, sang carols, and Champion has a very good voice. The Somerville Arts Council organizes the tour every year, which usually sells out pretty fast. This was the first time I did the tour and I really liked it!

I wish the trolley would stop for a moment so I could take some decent photos of the best illuminated houses, but so such luck.


I shot some short takes on video with my D90. That was my first time shooting video; well, what can I say, someone could use some video shooting classes. And now I have joined the thousands (or is it millions?) who use youtube to upload their trash. The first piece was shot when the trolley was going through some not so illuminated roads, but Champion sings a very good “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

This next piece is a very short short with some nicely illuminated houses.

At the end of the tour we even got a little gift



Synchronicity Won’t Help the Socially Awkward

Recently I got this e-mail that Dan Hirsch joined the World Music/CRASHarts staff, which left me wondering who’s the new concert coordinator at the MFA. Hirsch booked some of the coolest acts for the MFA, and off the top of my head I remember seeing there Cat Power, Vampire Weekend, Jon Langford… I think you can tell Hirsch’s influence on the upcoming World Music/CRASHarts concert lineup: Department of Eagles, Antony and the Johnsons, Tindersticks, Dean and Britta, the Idan Raichel Project, the Bad Plus and the Books. For a week now, I’ve been trying to see who’s the new concert coordinator for the MFA, but I’ve been unable to find an announcement.

Last night I went to the Somerville Theater and saw the swedish vampire movie “Let the Right One In”, which by the way I really liked. I was kinda late for the movie and sit four seats away from somebody who kept sniffing non-stop. So I moved some rows back and in the end I realized I was sitting behind… Dan Hirsch. I wanted to talk to him, and tell him how much I enjoy the cool shows he’s organizing, congratulate him for the new job, and ask him if he knows who replaced him at the MFA. But at this point what was running through my mind, was “OMG, it’s Hirsch, oh, man, what do I say, how do I ask, etc etc”. So, no, I didn’t talk to him. I couldn’t do it. The End.

So, if you are like me and join the ranks of the socially awkward, you know that the odds of sitting behind  Hirsch right when you want to talk to him are FAR better than the odds of doing the actual talking. I mean, REALLY, what is my problem???

Shut Up and Leave

Dick Cheney granted an interview to Jonathan Karl of ABC News, where in summary, while self-congratulating, claims that the Bush administration’s eight years have been a success, he has no regrets for anything whatsoever (what torture? what law-breaking?), pre-emptive war is justified, everybody else is guilty until proven innocent, and intelligence will soon be offered as a course at an arts college near you. Good riddance arrogance-oozing evil man, good riddance…

KARL: Now, President Bush recently said that his greatest regret was that the intelligence was wrong on weapons of mass destruction. Is that your biggest regret?

CHENEY: No, I wouldn’t – I understand why he says that. I certainly share the frustration that the intelligence report on Iraq WMD generated but in terms of the intelligence itself, I tend to look at the entire community and what they’ve done over the course of the last several years. Intelligence – it’s not a science, it’s an art form in many respects and you don’t always get it right.

KARL: You probably saw Karl Rove last week said that if the intelligence had been correct we probably would not have gone to war.

CHENEY: I disagree with that. I think – as I look at the intelligence with respect to Iraq, what they got wrong was that there weren’t any stockpiles. What we found in the after action reports, after the intelligence report was done and then various special groups went and looked at the intelligence and what the validity was. What they found was that Saddam Hussein still had the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction. He had the technology, he had the people, he had the basic feed stocks.

On another lighter and far more entertaining note, as Gail Collins writes in the NYT

(…) we’re approaching the one-month-to-go mark on the George W. Bush Out of Office Countdown calendar. The presidential quote of the week is: “Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”

Well done, well done…

Wish List

This year’s wish list is short, it contains only one item, but boy, is it heavy! The desired item is the “The Phaidon Atlas Of 21st Century World Architecture”  by the editors of Phaidon Press, hardcover, 800 pages, 19.2 x 16.1 x 2.5 inches (without case), 16.4 pounds (!!!), by Phaidon Press, list price: $195.00 ($122.85 on


1,037 buildings; 653 architects; 89 countries; 800 pages, and it comes with its own plastic lime-green carrying case, I gotta have it!

Mum, Dad, thanks in advance!

UPDATE: It’s on its way!!!

Funny… Not

I just don’t get it; I don’t know what people find funny about Roz Chast’s cartoons. They are so depressingly unfunny. I love the New Yorker, and the cartoons are exceptional, but jeez, what’s with her stuff? For example, see this issue’s Chast cartoon.


OK, we get it, some kind of crisis is always in the news, and people are freaking out, but the idea of a cartoon, I think,  is to bring a slanted commentary of the reality, a funny commentary on the issue. Here she just draws the obvious, the reality. SO what’s the fun in this? What’s the special angle of looking at things that she brings to the table?