Scandinavia buried deep . . .

. . . but still hanging in there.

Scandinavia needs a good screw


MG, I wish I knew how to quit you

In order for this post to contain something worth reading, I would like to note that the Telegram now has a one-stop shop for all comments, which I found a bit distracting yesterday but which I think will ultimately prove addictive.  It lists the comments on the top of the page, and then has some statistical information (comments most agreed/disagreed, top commenters, etc.) at the bottom of the page.

Now, on to the meat of the post.  Shaun Sutner wrote a whole article about applause today, which included the following:

One current city councilor, Michael J. Germain, said school officials should be more forthcoming about what happened at Goddard.

“I’m totally disappointed in the way it’s been handled,” Mr. Germain said. “We need to be as transparent as possible.”

Now, a reader might quite reasonably ask why, of all the city councilors in this town, Mike Germain was quoted in this article.  Was he the only one who’d return Sutner’s phone call?  Perhaps no one else would speak on the record?  Luck of the draw?

No, people.  It’s been at least a week since I’ve seen a good Germain quote (“It sounds crazy, I have a tough time talking about this without laughing at myself” was the last pretty good all-purpose Germain quote) and Sutner knew he had to hook me up. 

Thank you, Shaun.

It just so happens that I agree with MG on this particular issue, but at this point it really doesn’t matter whether he does or says anything that I agree with.

I’ve been listening to a great book (that is, the reader, Rick Adamson, is so good I can’t tell whether it’s him or the book or both), A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein [highly recommended if you liked We Need to Talk About Kevin], and there’s a passage that really reminds me of Mike Germain:

Sure, I’d had plenty of opportunities to fall out of love with my son: he’d dropped out of school, he’d run away a few times, he or some of his friends had stolen two of Elaine’s opal brooches for reasons that he never quite made clear.  His senior year in high school, he got busted at a high school kegger with five ecstasy tablets on his person, and another time loitering by the town elementary school in the vicinity of two known marijuana dealers, Dan Herkel and Shmuley Gold, whom I remembered carpooling home from Hebrew school ten years earlier.  Drug-free school zone, kids!  Pay attention to the signs!  Dan and Shmuley both got probation, but my lawyer brother, Phil, did some maneuvering for us, and Alec got released with a (skin-tingling) slap on the wrist.  He went to Hampshire scared straight.

And then, three semesters later, he dropped out.

Yet is it too ludicrous to say that of all the people in my life – mother, father, brother, even my wife – is it too ludicrous to admit that Alec is my one and only?  Others have been better to me, and others have tried harder, but there’s nobody I’ve ever loved more.

The last paragraph pretty much sums up how I feel about Mike Germain politically.  There are definitely people I agree with more often than I do with MG.  There are most assuredly folks who actually do things for me (or even respond to my phone calls and emails).  There are people with far better sartortial sense (looking right at you, Phil Palmieri) and an exhaustive knowledge of Robert’s Rules (Paul Clancy).

I swore to myself that I wouldn’t vote for MG because of the Meadow Lane thing, I couldn’t believe his rah-rah review of the city manager, I couldn’t stand that his committee filed a lot of really interesting elections ideas.  You name it, he’s done it.  But there’s no politician in this city I dig in the way I do Mike Germain.

The only thing that would make me adore MG more than I already do would be if he decided to fundraise for the next City Council race via a zazzle store full of t-shirts with various MG quotes.  “I’m still confused“, anyone?

Best of Worcester 2011

Of course everyone knows that Best of Worcester 2011 voting is going on.

I could recommend all kinds of businesses for various categories (I think we all know who deserves Best Flower Shop, yes?) but, above all, I would like to encourage you to (a) vote in as many categories as possible and (b) consider some of my suggestions for the following two categories:

Category 92 – News (radio or TV)
508: a show about Worcester.  Not only is it a way to get your weekly fix of Mike Benedetti’s NPR voice, but you can also find out what Brendan Melican is doing with his hair this week.  And if that’s not the most important news of the week, I don’t know what is!

Category 90 – Local Blog
There are so many good local blogs out there, but I would like to highlight three that I think are especially deserving of winning this category:

  • Bill Randell/Worcester Blog.  Bill is always able to inspire conversations on his blog, and I think that that’s one of the many reasons people continue to read him.
  • Karl/Hakkarainen Clipping Service.  Karl is always worth reading, but I’m really excited at the prospect of hearing about the conversations in his social networking class.
  • Eric/Image of Worcester.  Eric is able to combine two of my favorite topics — urban planning and Worcester — into one awesome blog.  I know that some of you out there don’t comment on his blog simply because you are blown away by the sheer greatness of it, but you should consider voting for his blog in Best of Worcester!

Yes, there are plenty of other deserving blogs out there — one written by WoMag staffers and another written by an elected official come to mind — so pick one and vote, folks!