Dorchester for Elizabeth

This morning in Dorchester-

Photo by Michael Lutch.

Robocall a friend received today

So, Karl Rove is in the Massachusetts Senate race. Who’s nationalizing this election now?

“Hello, this is Karen calling from Crossroads GPS, with an important message about the US Senate election. Today you can change your future by voting against Elizabeth Warren. A vote for Warren is a vote for the same type of government failures that got us into the situation we are currently in. Warren supports President Obama’s health care takeover that will cut over $700 billion from Medicare spending. The health care law backed by Warren could limit the availability of care that seniors depend on from the Medicare programs they paid for. Vote no on Elizabeth Warren for Senate this November. Paid for by Crossroads GPS (followed by garbled words we can’t make out) Not paid for by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 815-266-1387.”

I’ll get the audio as soon as I can.

What he ACTUALLY said

Just a reminder of what the President ACTUALLY said.

“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.”

Find of the weekend #2

Two words: junior prom. Two more words: potted palms. And two more: white/white.

Find of the weekend #1

Cleaning out Aunt Theresa’s house, I found this picture of Rocky and Teddy, who belonged to my Grandmother, Zita, and her sister, Katie, respectively. Rocky is very interested in a bunny rabbit you can’t quite see. I don’t know what year this is from, but Charlie Ashmont was happy to see his ancestors.


Chili Democracy

The Republicans would like the way we do it at the Dorchester Chili Cookoff. Everyone gets one vote with their admission, and they’re supposed to vote for their favorite chili. But once you’re in there, you can buy additional votes, and use those to vote for your favorite chili. The chili for which the most votes were purchased wins. Of course, at the Dorchester Chili Cookoff, the proceeds go to a charity. I’m not sure the Republicans would like that part.


So, it’s been 13 weeks since I passed papers on Ashmonticello, and it’s finally kind of starting to look like a home, by which I mean there are walls, but that’s pretty much it. Having only ever lived in place that required nothing more than paint, this is all new. When I bought it, I really didn’t intend to do a complete renovation, but as demo started, it became apparent that the house was in rougher shape than originally thought, and we (and by we I mean someone else) ended up taking it down to the studs on all three floors. As we began to tear down walls and ceilings, we found long-forgotten nooks and crannies and doors and windows, seemingly recapturing some of the house’s personality, lost over the years as the place was spilt up, patched and reconfigured by people who seem to have considered themselves handy (wrongly).

A couple of days after the papers were passed, I stood in the house with the renovation team and told them I wanted to move in September 1, and they essentially laughed at me. They were correct. I now have my hopes pinned on just after the election.

So, what have I learned? Many things. You know that cliché about everything taking twice as long and costing three times as much as you expect? Truer words were never spoken. Lighting is REALLY expensive. But, I keep looking back and forth between the pictures of nice lighting on my laptop screen and the charming-but-not-practical light fixture in my current kitchen left behind by the fabled “marble lady,” and tell myself it will be worth it. Also, though THIS belongs at Ashmonticello, I should probably face the fact that I can’t afford it.


Exterior doors are INSANELY expensive, and not terribly attractive from what I’ve seen so far. Anyone want to build a couple for me? I am now conversant in unfinished vs. pre-finished solid vs. pre-finished engineered flooring, though that still hasn’t helped me arrive at a decision. I know where to find the hardware to build dining room tables that expand from teeny-tiny objects to furniture that seats 20. (If it comes out nice, I’m thinking of starting a little side business with guy who is going to build two of these for me! We might be selling them by this time next year!) I’ve also learned something about myself and how my brain is wired. To wit, if you give me ten songs or ten movies or ten television shows or ten pieces of political propaganda, and ask me to deconstruct them, identifying common themes and placing them in social context, I can do that quickly and efficiently and have time left over to blog about my findings. However, if you ask me to choose between ten different kinds of tile or flooring or paint colors, I get to about the fourth choice, and then my brain explodes, at which point I stick everything in a folder other than my inbox and ignore that it’s there.

I’ve also learned a lot about buying and selling houses, which isn’t a very pleasant experience. The process of trying to sell my house was so unpleasant in fact, I decided to keep and rent the property instead. I accepted a considerably-lower-than-asking-price offer just because showing it was so inconvenient, and the buyer came back with a list of inspection points that would cost about $3000 to fix, asking for $20,000 off the price. It also turned out in the end, that most of the things on that list didn’t actually need repair. My Irish temper prevailed there, but I believe it is all working out for the best. This is a nice house, and I found some nice friends who want to rent it. Again, who needs a retirement fund?

So, onward! I’m looking forward to tax free weekend in Massachusetts August 11 and 12. Though I have openly mocked this practice in years past, I will be eating lots and lots of crow, and saving lots and lots of money. I haven’t started packing yet. Every few days, I stand in the middle of some room in the house, look around and want to cry when I think about all the packing and moving I have ahead of me. But, I am so looking forward to living at Ashmonticello one of these days.