Protests, First Night and Boston Getting it Wrong

I’ll tell you right up front as I start this that I’m as much of a fan of First Night here in Boston as I am of the 4th of July.  Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I hate the crowds and accompanying stupidity for both just as much, but what the 4th stands for matters more to me.  And, I’ve never been able to figure out why they call the celebration of the last night of the year First Night.

Anyway, New Year’s Eve here in Boston is celebrated with a giant city-wide party.  You can buy a button that will get you into all kinds of things for free.  There are concerts, ice sculptures, fireworks, skating, dancing, face painting, puppet shows, museums, all sorts of things.  The list is almost endless and it is entirely impossible to do it all in one evening.  This has been happening as long as I’ve been living here and, though it nearly went bankrupt and stopped happening a year or so ago, it is back with a vengeance now.

Enter politicians and police to screw it all up.

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School Vacation Week: notes from the front

To most of us, most of the world even, this week is the festive week between Christmas and the New Year.  Most Universities are in Intercession, some non-profits are closed, and many people choose to go on vacation.  To those of us who work in education, this is School Vacation Week.  To those of us who work in the Service Industry, this is Hell Week.

To those of us who do both, this is a tsunami of bad behavior, worse parenting, and unbelievable entitlement.

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When good causes go awry

Good people make mistakes.  It happens.  No one is perfect.  How we acknowledge those mistakes, and how we try to make amends, that is what’s critical to getting along with everyone, especially those who are harmed by our mistakes.  It makes a world of difference whether we recognize the harm we sometimes do as individuals, as organizations, and even as nations.

And that is why it truly pains me to see groups that I believe in make bad, even horrible mistakes, and then fail to do the right thing afterward.  It is just heartbreaking.  And lately it seems like it is one after another.

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The Holidays and Tips from your Friendly Local Service Industry Professionals

December is upon us, we’ve survived Thanksgiving weekend and the Black Friday-Cyber Monday mayhem that ensued.  I didn’t hear any stories about people getting trampled to death at Wal-Marts this year, but that just might be because I was working Fri-Sun and not watching the news.

To do my part to keep this month as harmonious and happy as possible, I’ve collected some tips and tricks from my own experience and from various individuals and places around the internet.  Read these, learn them, and you’ll find that your shopping, dining, and general interactions with people will go better for the rest of the year and possibly into the next one.

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Please vote today, everyone

I loved George Carlin,  and I thought he was a brilliant comic and social commentator.  But on one major point, I have always vehemently disagreed with him…

voting.

Your vote matters.  Because EVERY vote matters.

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2 Husbands, 3 Children in 2 Countries and no Reality TV Show, Yet

What gives?  Oh, right, internet security and common sense do.

This is where you ask, what on earth is she talking about?  I’ll tell you.

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A Gentle Reminder as We Approach the Holiday Season

I know that there are a lot of people who follow this blog who understand this.  I also know that there are a lot of people who follow this blog who might not.  I’m asking you to read this post and try to understand before you ask the dreaded Holiday questions of one of us who works in the Service Industry, Retail, is in Food Service, or is a Professional Musician of some type.

Why I Can’t Spend the Holidays With You – A Guide

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Today’s Craigslist Horror

Regular readers will know that I use the Free section on Craigslist to amuse myself.  As today is a sort of vacation day for me, I popped over there just now to see if there was anything funny worth tweeting.  I found something absolutely totally and completely NOT worth tweeting.  It was so awful, especially in light of all of the horrible racist atrocities happening in Ferguson, MO and elsewhere right now, that it merited its own blog post.

What could possibly be that bad you might ask?  I’ll show you.  Be prepared.

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Whitesplaining- don’t do it

I’ve been in a couple of situations lately I’ve witnessed the racial equivalent of Mansplaining.  That is, Whitesplaining.  In short, it’s when a white person explains to a non-white person how they should react to the use of a particular racially loaded term or epithet.  It also happens when a white person explains how non-white people should react to said to said terminology in an all white group.  In short, “this should offend you/them more or less than that” or, “that shouldn’t offend you/them at all.”

Awesome.

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When suburban uniformity and reality collide

It is difficult to overstate the importance of water for life. It’s one of the reasons why so many human cities and human civilizations sprung up in places next to rivers or lakes where fresh water was plentiful. And in many places the bringing in of fresh water is one of the first public utilities to appear. Even here in Boston, a public water system was available by the end of the 18th century.
So how is it that in the 21st century, we have so many places, not just in the developing world but right here in the United States, that are struggling just to provide potable water for their population?
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