My Home Town/City

(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 13)

This is a little bit local for those of you who don't live in Framingham, but I think it's interesting enough to write about.

It kind of has the unique feel of something that only comes around once-in-a-lifetime. (Except it's actually the fifth time in certain people's lifetimes that it's actually happening.)

On Tuesday, April 4th, the Town of Framingham will vote on whether or not it should become the City of Framingham.

And that's kind of a cool thing.

For those of you who don't live in Framingham, that picture above is the copy of the charter that every Framingham voter (or household, I guess) got in the mail a few weeks ago. I planned to read it cover to cover before writing this, but full disclosure, it's boring. I jumped around a bit. I did read the arguments for and against the change, though, and was a little dismayed at the lack of editing. There's awkward phrasing in the first sentence of the document that I had trouble getting past - not the tone you want to set, I thought.

Anyway, the brief history: this is the fifth time Framingham formed a commission to decide whether to become a city. I'm not sure if the other four made it all the way to a vote, but the commissions were formed in 1925, 1971, 1992, and 1996. 

I've solicited opinions on this and as far as I can tell the switch to a city won't have a negative impact on any of the Framingham institutions I am invested in. My hope is that the impact will be positive because my impression is that the government will run more smoothly in the city format and votes will have more of a direct impact. (Sorry to use the word impact so much.)

I have always liked the idea that Framingham is the largest town in Massachusetts. (It's also the largest town in the country, depending on how you define 'town', to the best of my knowledge...and I also like that fact.) But I won't let my vote be swayed by trivia. I'm interested in how this turns out - because often in a vote like this it's harder to get people to vote to make the big change...usually people vote to keep the status quo. I'm not sure this process panned out the way it was supposed to...and I'm not sure this model is the best possible city model in the world...but I think it's the right move and I have no better suggestions so I'm not going to complain about the conclusion others have thoughtfully come up with.

The reason I'm posting this now, more than a week before the election, is because I may be wrong and under-informed. I feel like I've gathered enough information to make my decision, but maybe there's something I missed.

So I'll state this: On April 4th, I'm going to vote 'Yes' for Framingham to become a city. Unless someone can make a case strong enough to talk me out of it.


*There's been a lot going on this week. I was commuting a bit this week to work on a project that's for an event at the end of April and that took me away from some of the writing work. But I kind of made up for that on Friday morning. We had a heating issue that was a quick fix for the heating company, but then we decided then and there to also take care of our annual maintenance. So I was forced out of my routine (I wanted to go to the gym!), and I don't like changes to my routine, but it also forced me to stay home and work for a couple of hours. So it was not a normal week in terms of schedule, but the productivity evened itself out. Also got assigned another fun history story due the first week in April, so I'll be working on that in the next couple of weeks.


*Thursday night was a really fun show. I performed at the Thirsty Ear Pub, which is located at MIT. It was my first time on the campus of MIT and it was such a cool little pub. (My understanding is it's only open to employees and grad students...and they're pretty thorough with their ID checks.) I've heard they sometimes have a crowd that spills out the door...but Thursday was about 25 or so people and they were a great crowd and it was a really great comedy space. Hope I get the chance to go back there - I liked it.

*Monday night I'm in Portland, Maine - I've been looking forward to this show for a while. I'll be doing a 20-minute set, so that's a great opportunity for me to stretch the legs, so to speak. I've done 20 minutes before, but the usual for shows I've mostly been working on are 7 to 10 minutes. So this is a chance to put a bunch of things together. Wednesday night I'll be in South Boston. Then, holy cow, it's April, and Saturday night I'll be in Allston. The 'Comedy Shows' link has all the details.

What I've Been Enjoying

*You didn't really think on a week that my brother put out new music that I would enjoy anything else other than that, did you? Matt Sucich released two new songs this past Wednesday, and you can listen to them on Spotify. That link takes you to his website, where you can either further explore all of his stuff or just click on through to Spotify to listen. For the record, I like 'After the Fire' a little better than 'Fire on Bowery', but I bet he wouldn't be surprised to hear that. I was always more of a fan of the rare, faster-paced Matt Sucich songs.


*OK. I know I told you I wouldn't talk any more about the NCAA Tournament unless my bracket was in great shape...but I had a good year. So two quick bullets here on the college basketball. I HAD a good year. It came to an end with the Kansas loss last night. I don't even mind - it's cool to see a team like Oregon make the Final Four. Another reason I don't mind - my oldest daughter is going to finish the year with the best bracket in the house...and possibly a better bracket than I've ever had. I couldn't be more proud.

*My friend Kevin (you remember Kevin) teaches at the University of South Carolina. They've had a surprising run of success in this tournament. So if you're looking for something fun to root for in a region of the bracket you are likely busted in anyway, root for South Carolina later today. And, while we're on the subject of Kevin, he can't really lose today - South Carolina is playing Florida, where he studied for and obtained his PhD. (For what it's worth, Florida made a Final Four run while Kevin was there a few years ago.) (And, if you're interested in reading about it, when he was in Gainesville I made a trip down there that accounted for New Things 231-237 back in the '365 New Things In 2013' days. I enjoyed re-reading those. I think you might enjoy reading them too.)

*This is pretty cool: when I got to MIT Thursday night a couple came up to me and asked if I had performed at McGreevy's. I told them I had. "You tell jokes about your kids," they said. I nodded. "You're very funny." I thanked them, and laughingly told them I haven't had many people come up to me and tell me they've seen me before. They said, "I guess we're your biggest fans!"  I like to think that what I do on stage sets me apart and makes me memorable in some it's nice to have that feeling validated. Even if it is just once every three years.

*(Actually, now that I think about it, this happened once before. I will happily tell you that story too whenever you ask.)

*We saw 'Beauty and the Beast' Saturday. The Disney cartoon is Kathy's and my favorite of the Disney movies. Separately...not like a joint favorite. So I'm not sure I wrote that right. Let's puzzle this out - it is the favorite Disney movie of Kathy and me? It is Kathy's favorite Disney movie as well as mine. Let's go with that. I can't get enough of the songs. And the new movie is great - new songs, some new scenes, and it was all enjoyable. Watching it reminded me of when Kathy and I saw the Broadway version - during the 'Gaston' song-and-dance number they're in a pub, and there's this choreographed dance where everyone's clinking steins and it's the best dance number I think I have ever seen on Broadway. And I thought that scene was coming in the movie. But they didn't do it. So that was my only complaint.

*Did you see the statue of Shaquille O'Neal the Lakers put up outside of the Staples Center? I'm not much of an NBA guy anymore, and I've never been one to be impressed by statues, but this is a great statue.

*I posted another #TBT Opening Day picture on Thursday, and I'm realizing I don't know that I have any more pictures of Opening Days I've attended for this Thursday. I want to post about Opening Day 1996 because that was the best, but I don't have a picture, as far as I know. I'll figure something out.

*Here's a fun little nugget for you - I wanted the title of this post to read: My Home Town City ?? But I couldn't get the HTML scratch-out content into the title I had to settle for the words without the scratch out. And when I figured out the HTML portion in the body of the post, I couldn't just ignore it. So I thought I'd throw this note in here and let you know about that.

*Have a nice week. Thanks for reading and everything.