My dog is pretty adorable

Yesterday, at the park, seven girls, maybe 10 or 11 years old approached and asked if they could say hi to Charlie. They formed a semi-circle, and with fourteen hands, petted the little beast. He moved in a circle, kissing each one in succession. Completing the circle, he turned back to me, sat, and looked up, as if to say, "it's cookie time." Yes, Charlie Ashmont, for that performance, you definitely earned a cookie.

Is VPI Pet Insurance worth the money?

I have a dog who has a couple of chronic illnesses. He was healthy for the first couple of years I had him, and I bought pet insurance within a year of adopting him. People often ask me if it's worth the money. For me, it is, in that I get hit with some pretty substantial bills, and it does cover some. But if you're looking to buy peace of mind in the event that your best friend is hit with some kind of horrible expensive illness, you might want to keep looking. I pay $625 a year for the VPI Superior Plan. Below, you will see what I spent in medical charges and what was reimbursed. The bottom line is they cover an average of 29% of expenses, which is a FAR cry from you may think you're getting.

2005 Spent: $907.47, Reimbursed $294 (32%)

2006 Spent: $289, Reimbursed $72 (24%)

2007 Spent: $2720.11, Reimbursed $636.72 (23%)

2008 Spent: $1077.73, Reimbursed $181.24 (17%)

2009 Spent: 1076.41, Reimbursed $582.29 (54%)

2010 Spent: $4748.62, Reimbursed $1256.11 (26%)

I hope that's helpful to people curious about pet insurance.

Pernice to me, re: next week's recording session

Joyce, will you be doing a supermarket order? Seems like a good idea to me. If so, when the time is right, can you please let us know so that we can inform you of our whimsical food desires? I'll tell you right now, I can't have any yeast. It adds colon-compromising minutes to my transit time. And when you swing by whole foods or the next time you're at the Dorchester Herstory club's coop, I'll take one of those reusable sea sponge tampons. As you know, I sweat a lot while performing (live, and in the studio), and those tampons are superb duper badass absorbent. I discovered them at Lilith. Thanks, grrrrl!

$250 Reward - Sleeping Moon tribute to dead neighbor stolen. Help us try to find it.

UPDATE: An anonymous donor is offering a $250 reward for the return of the "Real Men Fry Turkies" chef's hat. No questions asked. Email or call 617-265-8444.


You may have seen some mention last weekend of a neighborhood mystery: a chef's hat placed on the Sleeping Moon sculpture in Peabody Square, by Ashmont. It was stolen, and we'd like to get it back.

The Boston Phoenix had this post about it:

The whole story about how the chef's hat came to be on the Sleeping Moon is a very moving one. It was a tribute to Vince Droser, a beloved neighbor, who died suddenly on Jan. 4. Vince was a visionary civic leader, who is largely responsible for the revitalization of the Ashmont neighborhood. I could go on and on about his contributions, but let's just say that he left this neighborhood an even better place than it was when he came here.

The chef's hat was made by his children, who stayed up all night before his funeral making it. Among the many things Vince was well-known for around here was his family's annual post-Thanksgiving turkey fry, which I had the privilege to attend several times. The whole neighborhood got together and friend a bunch of the most delicious turkeys you've ever tasted. The hat said "Real Men Fry Turkeys," and included his initials, VAD III, on the top. The kids affixed it to the Sleeping Moon so that it would be seen by the people attending Vince's memorial service at All Saints, as they made their way to Tavolo for a reception with friends and family.

Unfortunately, the chef's hat was removed and taken, sometime after the memorial service last Saturday afternoon, in broad daylight, with lots of people around. I just learned about this today. I assumed the family had taken it home. We would LOVE to return it to Vince's children, who would really like to have it back. Have you seen it? Can you help me? No questions asked. I can be reached at or 617-265-8444.

Pushing Daises

There was this short-lived TV show called Pushing Daisies. The main character was a pie maker who has the ability to bring dead things back to life by touching them. The stipulation is that if the dead thing lives again for more than one minute, something else around it dies. And if he brings something back to life, and then touches it a second time, it dies again, this time permanently. He discovers this “gift” when he is a child, and he resurrects his beloved dog, which has been hit by a car. He can never touch the dog again. I loved it, but couldn’t watch it. It made me physically uncomfortable. I think you know where I am going with this. And if you don’t, well, that’s probably just as well.