Tags: boston: internalizing the map

Boston

[Friday] "You're so friendly." -CAUMC!Eric

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sexonastick, I saw a bit about Abby Wambach on ESPN's Sports Center this morning and thought of you.

CNN's This American Morning had Larry Elder (conservative) and Mike Papantonio (liberal) talking about Obama and McCain, and Elder talked about how Obama is a media darling, and Papantonio said that Obama has charisma, and I facepalmed.  I mean, do you remember wooden Al Gore in 2000?  I don't think you want to say that whoever has the best cult of personality should get to be Leader of the Free World.  He also said that McCain is just repeating the same Bush stuff that people tired of and that the media want someone with new ideas, but while he kept repeating that he also kept repeating the charisma thing.
      Elder also gave some stat about Obama getting 114 minutes of media coverage (in a given week maybe?) and McCain getting less than half of that and I thought, "But if it's all about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright furor, for example, does Obama really gain from that coverage?  I'm not sure that the Hollywood 'any publicity is good publicity' applies here."
    I was also really thrown when after like two minutes of this heated argument, Kiran was like, "Well it was great to have you with us."

***

MaryAlice had lunch in the Square today and when she came back she was all red and sweaty.  She said walking to the Square today was a bad idea.  I said that was, unfortunately, my afternoon plan (Prof.D. wanted a bunch of articles by Monday, and I couldn't find full text of some of them online).  She said to walk SLOWLY, that she knows I'm young and fit, but the air was like breathing through a sponge.  Now, we know that hot&humid makes me just wither, but while I was always pleased to enter the air-conditioning I was really fine.

    I went to Gutman, Widener (Pusey 3! -- also, sidebar, I saw E.Sherlock working there), and Countway (hi, mom -- and the M2 terminates at Sami's!).
    Countway has copiers with scanning capability so, like with our copiers, you can have your photocopies sent to your email address as a multipage PDF attachment (for free! win).  I chatted with the circ guy, who might well be gay (hi, he had two small hoop earrings in his left ear), and who is doing the Simmons library science program (he has "mixed feelings" about it and commented that it's hard to make the adjustment that this is not an academic program but a professional one).  Apparently academic libraries don't want you to reshelve books not just because most people are incompetent but also for tracking purposes, which I hadn't thought of but which makes sense when so much of your collection is noncirculating.
    On the way back I hopped off at Putnam 'cause it's where Nicole lives, so I figured it would be more efficient to just cut over to JFK from there rather than doubling back.  Except I took Putnam rather than Mt. Auburn.  After a few blocks I knew I must have done something wrong, but I wasn't gonna turn onto some street I didn't know, and I figured eventually I'd hit something I recognized.  Well, I hit Western, and I knew I didn't wanna deal with that, so I just turned around (I'd only been walking ~5min) 'cause I was not gonna just keep walking to Central (I recognize the jazz silhouettes on the white house from when MaryAlice drove me to and from Carberry's, so I knew I was headed to Central even before I saw the sign for Western).  I underestimated how far one has to walk on Mt. Auburn from Nicole's place to get to JFK, so possibly I wouldn't have saved myself any time anyway, but hey, getting a better sense of where things are in relation to each other . . . plus bonus scenic walk.
    Once I crossed the bridge, it was quite breezy and almost pleasant.

Oh, and speaking of navigating the environs of Harvard . . . within the past week or so, HBS put a campus map (complete with You Are Here) at the rotary at the parking lot finally.  Bravo.

I got back to the office at like ten past five (having left at like 2pm) and stayed for about twenty minutes, wrapping some stuff up but mostly just puttering and enjoying the AC before venturing out again.

I wanted a fruit smoothie and was trying to think of where I could get one.  I've been getting one of the $3.05 ones from Spangler like every other day recently, but summer hours they're closed at 4pm.  I haven't seen the fruit smoothie vendors in ages, and I only saw the spray paint guy like once this spring -- what up?  I remembered that Boloco has fruit smoothies (though I've only gotten their Nutella one).  Though once I was there in the AC I ended up getting a peanut butter based one ("Jimmy Carter," huh?).  I was hungry, so I also ordered a "Summer" burrito, which I ended up only eating half of.  There were onions, which I was not warned about, but I think the cilantro or something also made it too flavorful for me.  And as a sidenote I was underwhelmed by the rice.
    I also used a futuristic ATM (no envelope necessary for deposits) next door.

When I helped with the promotional mailing for the "Secret Knowledge of Water" [hey look, it does have a webpage of its own . . . way to fail at linking that from the gallery webpage] opening, Katherine had, um, strongly suggested that I attend -- I think she was worried no one would show up (and Karl curated it).  It was from 6-8 and I got there around 6:45.  There were plenty of people there, and I thought, "On a night like this, I'm not sure more warm bodies is really something you want," but I used the restroom, checked out the exhibit, and hung out 'cause there was food and drink.  Katherine was putting food on a table and I came up behind her and put my plastic cup full of ice water against the back of her neck.  She may have shrieked like a little girl.  I was like, "Hi O:-) "
    Later she was talking to a woman who was talking about a workshop she'd been in all week about interpretive Torah telling and I perked up.  She turned out to be one of the artists, but she had done one of the pieces I actually liked.  (I didn't actively dislike much if any of the artwork, but a lot of it I just wasn't impressed by, but I quite liked her piece in and of itself.)  I was pleased to hear it was part of a series about the Exodus story.
      The artist (Jane) asked if I was a member of this church, and I said that I was here because I went to this church but I'm actually affiliated with four churches and a member of none.  Liz facetiously said, "But we're you're favorite, right?" and I said, "No you're not."  I worried that it came out sounding harsher than I intended, but she totally loved it.  She felt bad that "I've known you for how long?" and she didn't know this about me (that I'm affiliated with a whole bunch of churches).  She was fascinated by this and asked if I had always been interested in faith.  I said not really, that my church growing up was nondenominational and had a pastor whose sermons put me to sleep so I rarely actually went to service, helping take care of the little kids instead, and my first year of college I didn't go to church but my sophomore year I felt like I should and I just picked a convenient one that said "Open and Affirming" on its front sign.  I talked about how words like "book" will totally win me and so I went to a book study that church was doing jointly with a church around the corner and I sometimes went to services at the college chapel when they sounded interesting and my senior year I attended RCFOS because I no longer had a conflicting commitment.  I've never actually told the story of the development of my churchgoing -- usually I just talk about church shopping when I moved to Somerville -- so I felt like I was discovering the story as I told it; I've gotten so used to being All Church All The Time, it feels so "me," that I forget that it's a really recent development.  She summed it up saying I'm very "curious," which makes sense to me.

There was an audio-visual program at 8pm in the sanctuary, also connected with the gallery opening, which I sat in on a few minutes of, but I wasn't blown away by it and was tired so I headed out around 8:15.

I walked by a house just two down from mine, and a couple was out front watering their garden, and I stopped to tell them that their garden looked lovely.  We got talking and the guy asked me where I lived and I told him (explaining that I was moving in just a couple weeks) and he asked how long I'd lived here and somewhat sheepishly I said two years.
    I'm so bad at being neighborly.  My DAD knew our neighbors, in both houses we lived in.  And my dad is probably the least socially-oriented person I have ever met.  Though I suppose having kids helps.
      Anyway, their names are Al and Deb, and they barbecue (she grills veggies, too -- I chose not to mention what a picky eater I am) and we were all sorry that we were only meeting just now but I will definitely be leaving my contact info and look forward to getting together after I move if not before.
    Edit: I forgot to mention that they've lived here about 12 years and the woman, who grew up Presbyterian, has been meaning to go to CHPC either for church or to check out the gallery like since she moved here. The guy grew up Catholic and said he had gone to a Presbyterian service with her once and loved the open table etc. stuff -- said when he was Catholic he was like, "Did I do confession last night? Did I eat within the last three hours?" I said a friend of mine had an interest in Orthodoxy and I came to appreciate the idea behind that -- that Communion is a special way that we connect with God and wanting to honor that, but that it's so easy for the intentionality (okay, I didn't actually use that word) to get lost and for it to become this thoughtless rulebound thing. /edit

I got home about 8:40.

***

I finished my reread of The Egypt Game and it held up really well.  Though I am very wary about The Gypsy Game.
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P.S. From phineasjones: coconut milk ice cream!  Doesn't that sound so deliciously decadent?  Plus, it has no dairy or soy.
Boston

Macbeth // haircut // karaoke

Friday night, Cate and I were gonna meet at the Qdoba by the Agganis Arena before going to Macbeth.  I walked from HBS to where the 66 meets the B Line, and figured I'd just walk along Comm. Ave., except my sense of direction is not great in that area, so I walked in the wrong direction and then hopped a B Line at Allston St.  The parallel street thing that Comm. Ave.'s got going on is weird and awkward.

The Qdoba was crazy busy.  We saw after we left that there was a hockey game that night.

The show was at Studio 102 at BU's College of Fine Arts.  I had thought I would have been to all the theatre venues in the city by now, but clearly I was wrong as I had discounted college venues.  This particular room had like no ventilation, so we were very glad to spend the intermission outside in the cold air.  (I'd been taking off as much of my clothing as I felt I could get away with sitting in a public venue.)

I say it's my (second) favorite play, but I become less and less sure about that.  Everything happens so quickly, for one.  And Lady Macbeth's all badass up until Duncan's murder and shortly thereafter she and Macbeth have a total role reversal, which I don't entirely understand.  And Macbeth goes seriously crazy (hello Banquo's ghost scene).  He spends like five seconds considering the possibility that the kingship will come to him without any effort on his part like Cawdor did, and completely dismisses the Banquo prophecy until after he gains the kingship.  A lot of this is understandable on reflection, but watching it happen in front of me I had difficulty finding it believable.
     It was an all-female cast, which neither added (except that girls are prettier than boys, on the whole /shallow) nor detracted for me, which I'm really okay with.  The animalistic costumes for the witches in the scene where Macbeth goes to look for them were visually v. interesting, though I'm undecided as to whether I find them problematic.  At the "all my pretties" bit, I teared up.

There's a Cold Stone Creamery next to the Qdoba now.
     I wanted something light-ish, but all the stuff that looked potential had mix-ins I wasn't in the mood for.  I felt like it would be lame to go to a ColdStone and just get a single flavor, so I got a Birthday Cake Remix.  The server asked me if I wanted it in a coconut-dipped waffle bowl and I said sure.  Turns out he waffle bowl is coated in chocolate and then coconut, so it's wicked rich plus hard to eat 'cause the waffle part is curved and it's coated in hard thick chocolate.  Eating it, I realized I think I've had their cake batter ice cream before and yeah, not a huge fan.  Sigh.
     Cate got an After Dinner Mint and decided that yeah, she should have just gotten the straight-up chocolate peppermint ice cream since the mix-ins (chocolate shavings, marshmallows) didn't really add anything.  (We both got samples of the chocolate peppermint ice cream, though, and it is tasty.)
     The cashier asked the girl behind us if she was a student.  (Apparently we don't look like we could be students?  Though possibly that girl was wearing some sort of college paraphernalia, which we definitely weren't.)  When we left we noticed the sign outside that we hadn't registered when we came in that said you get 10% off with a student ID.  Sigh.

***

I'd been getting 6 hours of sleep the past couple nights. Saturday I slept for nearly 12 hours.  It was AWESOME.

I got my hair cut at Salon Femia again.  Yay walk-ins.  I ended up getting the same woman I had last time; I should have asked her name since it totally escaped me from last time.  I actually enjoy that they don't chat with you while they're doing your hair. I'm not sure it's the best business practice for them to chat with each other and not so much the clients, but it works for me.  I'm not opposed to small talk in those settings per se, but I never have the right answers for small talk -- I dislike the hot weather, love the cold weather and not just in a cozy bundled-up kind of way, don't really follow sports, rarely have exciting vacation plans, etc.

I'm not sure my hair looks any prettier, but it's easier to manage, which is worth a fair amount.  (And Trevanna complimented me on it on Sunday, so that's yay.)

***

Michelle's living in Leominster at present, so she had her 30th birthday party ("karaoke, beer, and fun") at The Tiki in Westford.

Jess took initiative about getting directions and arranging carpooling.  Bless her.
     Michelle had said something about it being an hour drive, but it took us 40 minutes, so we arrived right at 8pm (the approximate start time we were given), beating Michelle and her sister.

I was deciding what to wear for the day and remembered that I was going to Michelle's party so I didn't need to wear anything classy.  Looking for a different black shirt and remembering queenmother49, I opted for my "Everyone loves a cunning linguist" t-shirt.  Practically the first thing Michelle said to me upon greeting me was love the shirt.

Eric and Trelawney bought her a bag of Doritos ("orange salty guilt," as she affectionately refers to it).  That was arguably the best gift of the night.  I fail 'cause it didn't even occur to me until she got her first gift that duh birthday party perhaps I should have gotten a gift or a card.  I just so rarely do obligatory gift-giving dates.  (And she didn't even say anything, I just felt sort of lame.)

I was in the mood for a side of fries or something, but the place serves Chinese food so my options were kind of limited.  I couldn't remember whether Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls were more likely to be vegetarian and just ordered a side of Spring Rolls.  The dominant taste was fried, and I couldn't tell whether I tasted meat in it or not.  The last bite I saw shrimp.  Sigh.  I was then mildly worried that I would get sick, which thankfully didn't happen.  Having gotten used to drink prices at real Boston restaurants (or, god forbid, clubs), I was really pleased to find that drinks were $5 (and beer $3.50).  Not that I ever drink a whole lot -- though I did buy the birthday girl two drinks.

I'd never been to karaoke before, and I was so grateful that neither Michelle nor anyone else pressured us to participate.  'Cause hi, I don't sing.  I had more fun watching/listening to other people's performances than I had expected, though.
     Someone did a a country song called "Big Deal," which I wouldn't have guessed was LeAnn Rimes.  The woman singing it had a country appropriate voice, just not a LeAnn Rimes voice.
     Someone else did "Goodbye Earl" (Dixie Chicks), which song I was surprised Mike didn't know -- yes, I know it's a girlie song and he doesn't listen to country, pop crossover or not.  Meredith was surprised I didn't know "Under the Boardwalk."  Someone did "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" -- which I didn't even know was a song until that night.  There was a lot of Frank Sinatra, which I wans't really into.  A couple guys actually came into the audience with the mic, which was cool.  Someone did "I Am... I Said" by Neil Diamond, which again I'd never heard before, but I liked it.
     Michelle's sister Nicole and their friend Denise signed up for a karaoke together, and the DJ called "Nicole and Dennis."  When we have him grief for it, he said he wished he had a projector so he could put up the slips of paper and see if we could do a better job than him of deciphering them.
     Michelle did "Trouble" (which Google tells me is by Pink), "Holdin' Out for a Hero" (Bonnie Tyler), and "Crucify" (Tori Amos).
     Mike did Billy Joel: "Keeping the Faith."  Again, new to me, but I liked it.
     Trelawney did "Head Over Feet" (Alanis Morissette) 'cause she and Eric are just that sappy.
     Eric did "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (They Might Be Giants) which I thought was fabulous, since he and Trelawney went to Turkey on their honeymoon.
     Someone did eve 6 "Inside Out," and I was like: I love that song ... I could maybe even sing that song.  Though I'm not sure if it crosses the line from energetic to angry too much for me to really feel like singing it.

We stayed until closing (12:30) and driving home was a bit more difficult than driving there, but we made it, and I learned a bit more about driving in the Harvard etc. area (Jess was driving me and Jenny, who lives near the Washington Street stop on the B Line).
Ravenpuff, Kitty Pryde

In other news, the green tablecloth has become a permanent fixture -- to add some color to the room.

Sarah Green's sports column in Thursday's metro opened: "This is more like it.  Recriminations, second-guessing, anguish --- this is what October baseball in Boston is supposed to feel like." ("Things are back to normal in Hub," p. 23)

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Friday morning gym, elliptical: interval program Collapse )

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I did FreeRice.com more thoughtfully on Friday and progressed much better than I did on Thursday.  (I am also starting to learn some new words just because the site times out and they reuse words sometimes.)  At Level 47 I mostly had no clue (ditto 46).  I did get amaurosis [46] = blindness, because I thought of amanuensis1, which reminded me of the term "amanuensis" from my Milton class.

I correctly guessed that sprat = small herring, so the "Jack Sprat could eat no fat . . ." nursery rhyme now particularly amuses me.

I also correctly guessed littleneck [40] = quahog, because thanks to Family Guy I knew what a "quahog" was (have never heard the term "littleneck").

Heh, "cacography" = "bad handwriting" (like "cacophony" + "calligraphy").

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I finally actually started looking at Simmons' library science program.  I know Jessie hated it, but I get the impression that nobody really likes their Library Science program, everyone just suffers through it to get the degree.  And Amy loves the kidlit portion of her dual-degree program, so that's a thought as well.

I don't feel excited looking at any of the classes, so then I ask myself, "Well what would I want to have a library science degree in order to do?" and I don't have much of an answer for that question.

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My mom asked if I was coming to Singspiration, and when I said yes, she said: "We'll slaughter the fatted shells&cheese" ♥

It having been six weeks since the last one, I had to re-adjust.  Hymnals under the pews, sitting for the songs, none of the hymns have been PC-ified.  I actually enjoyed most of the songs, though -- which I don't always. 

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I was showing off my autographed copy of Da Book (complete with sticky note on the spot in the Acknowledgments where my name is), and I showed Joe F., knowing he would be pleased.  He said, "Nothing you could do would surprise me -- the sky's the limit."  I pointed out that that was poor phrasing -- "even if I became a godless communist?"  He just laughed.

Oh, and in showing Mike F. (who was the first person I showed that night), I realized there are whole paragraphs I haven't read -- the Advance Praise bits :)

I gave Mike F. a back/shoulder massage, and he did like the human equivalent of a dog wagging its tail.  I gave Joe F. a shoulder massage, and he was mostly non-responsive, but at one point he did say it felt good, to which I responded, "That's the point."

I was talking with George K., and he was saying how I used to be really shy but I've come into my own.

My mom and I were chatting with Joe F. later, and he mentioned -- which he had told me in a letter about a year ago -- how he was willing to become a JP to perform a civil union between two women.  He said that if two people want to commit their lives to each other, regardless of their gender . . . he just doesn't want the word "marriage" used.  I said that I would be happy to let churches keep the word "marriage" and have the legal term for all couples be "civil unions."  I forgot about the "separate but equal" analogy until I was writing this up just now, and I still don't entirely know how to parse his position on this issue (we've really only discussed the "let the people vote" aspect, and I make assumptions because I know he's longtime close friends with PB -- "I didn't jump. I took a tiny step and there conclusions were."), but I keep mentally replaying that phrase "regardless of gender."  And I really love that the couple in question is the couple who left UCN.

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Last minute, Allie invited me to have lunch with her on Saturday 'cause she was gonna be in town looking at apartments, so I ended up at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival basically only long enough to say hi to Heather.

We had lunch at Arrow Street Crepes with Kath.  I got a sweet crepe with bananas and stuff (Metro).  Tasty.

Her next apartment viewing was right near Central Square T, so we walked there (and I recalled various times with Nicole) and then Kath and I walked around while Allie and her mom looked at the apartment.  I've mostly only walked along Mass Ave., so it was neat to walk around some residential areas and parks and stuff.  And despite not really sharing fandoms we talked fandom easily.

Afterward, we went to Million Year Picnic and stuff and then had dinner at wagamama -- where Allie's mom was generous enough to treat all of us.  I was unimpressed with the vegetarian options (though pleased to see that they sell Riesling by the glass -- which I didn't order but which I always check for).

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In Friday's metro I read a review of The Veiled Monologues, so Saturday night I went to see it.

The women interviewed were Dutch Muslims -- and all four actresses are Dutch, and at least two have Turkish ties.  They're all fair-skinned (three dark-haired and one blonde), but they all have meat on their bones.  Dance and song/music happened throughout.

It was really interesting hearing some stories of very positive sexual/nudity experiences as well as incredibly negative ones (one woman described her experience of her vagina as like that kind of torture where you're tied to the ground and a goat licks the salt off your skin until it cracks).  And the positive and negative contrasts between Muslim men/culture and Dutch men/culture.  I was also impressed at the amount of queerness.  Some women were raped by family members or family friends, and no one talked about it or protected them; others had their first sex with family members and were glad to have that first experience be one of safety and love.  Some women talked about wanting to be raped because then they would be freed of this burden of virginity but their honor would still be safe.  I really liked that there were so many stories of opposite experiences, because it meant you couldn't easily leave with a monolithic idea of what Muslim culture means for women's sexuality.  Female "circumcision" even got discussed.

A Moroccan woman used the word "cunt" [pronounced "koont"] -- said vagina sounded French, the language of where she was born.

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This morning, OriginalRoomie said that when she moves out I can have her room if I want.  I'd actually been thinking about this, and wondering whether it felt worth moving all my stuff.  She said "walk-in closet," and if her closet really is better than mine I think I'm sold.

This means she'd be showing what's currently my room, which is added incentive for me to make it actually look presentable (though she's not moving out for like six months).  I'm already starting to feel the pressure, though, 'cause I find myself looking for things and forgetting where I've stored them.  I swear I still have my bartending book plus my massage class books/notebooks, and I can't find them anywhere.  I tore through 14 boxes and then realized I'd forgotten about the 9 boxes under my bed.  I still didn't find them, which means I'm gonna have to dig through the boxes more carefully, since they can't have vanished.  Though I will probably just beg Palmer for another copy of the Massage 1 booklet.  I have learned not to trust people's enthusiasm for being practiced on (I didn't get credit for Massage 1 'cause I didn't have the 30 credit hours -- I probably could have begged some sort of extension, but by that time I'd gotten an office job and didn't think I'd have the time/energy to continue the program, so I didn't bother) but I think I could probably actually make it happen a few times given the responses I've been getting recently, and I'd like to be able to do it for real rather than just the bits I remember.

Having numerous people actually be enthusiastic about being practiced on, I've been wondering whether I'd want to take classes at Palmer again.  I'm really not sure I'm committed enough.  Plus the scheduling is bothersome.  Collapse )
big girl world

I actually feel really good about my life right now.

It was so dark out this morning when I got up at 6:16. I'm really impressed that I actually got up. I feel like if I tell people I only spend ten minutes in the weight room they would react like that was so pointless, but *I* know it matters. I tried the dip machine this morning, but it scares me. (Sorry, I don't know what it's actually called. You kneel on this thing and do like chin-up motions, and it works your arms, but the pad you're kneeling on moves up and down -- which you're controlling, via aforementioned arm work ... and there are lower arm bars, too, for when you get off ... but still, scary.)

Learned this morning HBS-Mike is on vacation in Alaska (after a few days in Seattle). This is totally on our List of places we should go. Though I think that, like Yellowstone, it's a With Parents trip -- as opposed to Italy, returning to the American Southwest, etc.
     Sunday night, when my brother was confirming that I would be up for going to Italy with him, I was realizing how awesome it was that this 20-year-old kid was matter-of-factly planning a trip to Europe/roadtrip of some kind with his older sister, rather than some college buddies (and it's not like I'm the "cool" older sister or anything).

Dentist appointment today.
     My hygienist (Meg?) just bought a house in Dedham, and her mom works at Norwood Hospital. She says I brush "too hard." (The toothbrush she gave me is really skinny.)
     She and ComedyDentist were having a conversation, and I was snarking, and he said to me, "You have twelve cavities." She said that was never funny, but I hadn't even flinched. I said I knew he was gonna come back at me with something for not being on his side in this discussion, so I hadn't thought he was serious at all. (I didn't mention that if it had been a more moderate assertion I would have fallen for it, since I was totally expecting to be told I had at least one cavity. She had mentioned my wisdom teeth, but he didn't say anything about it. Which I'm a-okay with.)

We scheduled a six-month cleaning. I got a card recently from my endodontist for the free-of-charge six-month follow-up appointment, so I should take care of that. And actually schedule a physical. (Amusing sidenote: When my brother came to visit, he brought me my 2001 medical records -- and my weight is almost exactly the same now as it was then.) Should I get the HPV vaccine?

Benefits open enrollment runs from Oct. 23 - Nov. 6. NOTE TO SELF.

It occurred to me that I could look for a VCR on craigslist, and lo, $10, in Everett. With a starting point of Harvard Square, MBTA.com thought I should take the Orange Line to Wellington (and then the #110 bus to where I was going). I thought I should just take the Red Line to Davis and pick up the #90 to Wellington. The #90 was delayed, so I took the #89 to Sullivan and then the Orange Line one stop to Wellington -- apparently I should have just taken the #86 from HBS to Sullivan and then gone to Wellington from there.
     I was feeling a little scared when I was actually on the bus, because I've never really been out in that area (except for that one time I was hanging out with Cate and a housemate drove me to Sullivan so I didn't have to wait forever for a bus) and I get nervous with new stuff, but it was fine. Have I mentioned recently how much I love the interior displays on buses that announce each upcoming stop?
     On the way back, I walked to where there was both a 110 and a 112 stop, got a 112 back to Wellington, got a 90 to Davis, and then decided to walk home rather than take an 87 or 88 to right near my house. Yeah, I was carrying a VCR, but I like walking -- I think that's part of why I opted not to take the 86 initially.
     I still need to obtain a coaxial cable (quick trip to BestBuy after work on Friday, maybe?), but assuming I didn't break it from jostling it around and occasionally dropping it, I should be in business. Which I'm excited about. Definitely worth eating up my evening. (I finished The Golden Compass, though I had originally planned to finally finish writing a couple letters tonight, which clearly did not happen.)

I have no segue for this: lesbian pulp by M. E. Kerr

Edit: Semagic no longer adds in   for extra spaces. What UP? It seems to be operating somewhat more like a word processing program, with auto-correcting some spelling, and doing the red underlining which I recall noticing in post boxes when I upgraded Firefox at work a while back. Is this an XP thing? How do I get this function back?
     Nevermind: I found the Options and re-enabled that function -- as well as a bunch of other functions.
moon house

"how far tell me, will faith get me?"

It's disturbing how much I'm catching in this my fourth read of the book (and the second/final page proofs round).

***

Katie was looking at extension school classes for the fall and I hadn't realized the 2007-2008 catalog was up yet.

Dude, last year I passed up RELI E-1325 Jesus of Nazareth and the Gospels to suffer through James Joyce and RELI E-1029  A Thematic Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) for History of the Medieval Church and this coming year neither of the ones I passed up are being offered.  Nof air. /Karen Brewster?Claire Pike

In looking through, I think I actually wanna take Introduction to the Classics of Western Thought I & II (Fall&Spring) -- for credit.

ENGL E-165 Criminal Love and the American Novel (12888) reminds me that I still need to read Djuna Barnes' Nightwood.

***

I got a "chicken" sub from T. J. Scallywaggle's [the other vegan place on the corner by D.E.A.F. Inc.].  Meh.  I've really gotta come up with a better plan for dinner Monday/Wednesday nights.

I've also been hungry with great frequency today (though not excessively hungry at any given mealtime or anything) which is mildly disturbing -- plus kinda frustrating, especially since I don't often know what I actually want to eat.

***

The first ASL class we had a sub (Kirk's boss, apparently) but tonight we had our regular teacher, about whom Kirk had told us (in part): He's a great fellow and "family" to boot!  When I saw him, my immediate thought was, "Kirk, you didn't tell us he was hot, too!"  Not like distractingly so, but yeah.

About midway through class he taught us stuff like "again" and "forget" and "I don't know," which I think we should have learned at the very beginning.  Especially given that this isn't like high school Spanish where you can ask the teacher stuff in English.

Also: We took this "Deaf Awareness Quiz," and at the end it says that the answers will come up throughout the workbook, which, okay, but I feel like it's mostly stuff that would be nice to know from the get-go (like the polite way to get a Deaf person's attention if they're facing away from you).  I also continue to be weirded out by the concept of Deaf as a distinct culture rather than just a disability.

Sidenote: Not only is this stuff harder to practice since it doesn't lend itself to flash cards or anything, but even just taking notes on what the sign is for a given word/concept/whatever is hard.  Also, I was reminded (cf. beginning Spanish) that I don't do well with rote memorization and want to have a logic I can root the word in to help me remember it.

We learned boy/girl, (grand)mother/(grand)father, baby, child, man/woman and wow, incredibly gendered.  "Boy" is basically miming a baseball cap, and "girl" is basically miming lipstick.  (These actually seemed really familiar to me, not entirely sure why.)  I was tempted to ask the sign for "trans."  Highly gendered signifiers totally make sense (and the other words aren't as obviously stereotyped, though interestingly the upper half of the face is where you make signs indicating male persons and the lower half of the face female persons -- which immediately made me think of stereotypes of males as cerebral and intelligent and females as verbal and emotional and physical) but I of course wonder what progressive Deaf people (you know, the ones who would be concerned about gender-neutral/inclusive language in written texts) do with this and what kind of niche signage has developed.

Will and I chatted with Abigail (she of the cool surname and Smithie-appearance) waiting for the bus (and then on the bus).  She's a rising junior at Cambridge Rindge and Latin who has to fulfill a two-year language requirement but is dyslexic, so she successfully petitioned to have ASL count and is taking it at Northeastern (which program the CWM interpreters come from, Will says) starting in the fall and is intimidated and thus taking this as prep.  On the Red Line back we chatted some about Pride, and I followed her out at Porter (where she lives) to finish our conversation.

***

Since I was walking back anyway, I figured I'd check out Ian's new digs -- except that I forgot Cottage is parallel to Orchard rather than off of it, so turning onto Orchard off Beech and following it to Davis didn't really help me.  I did see where Hope Fellowship (the place which was giving out granola bars at the T some time ago) is, though.  (Sidenote: Waiting for the bus, a guy handed Will a copy of the Watchtower, and I was thinking later that despite living around the corner from a Kingdom Hall, in the year I've lived her I've had no JW solicitations.)  And wow, just moving one block parallel to Elm you're in this really lovely quiet residential area.

When I hit the end of Orchard I decided to take Mass Ave. all the way back (CAUMC!Michelle drove by me at one point, hee) which was mostly fine, except that Alewife Brook Parkway abruptly ceases to have a sidewalk.  Yeah, there were a few moments when I was uncomfortably aware that if I slipped on this hillside and fell into the road I would be toast.
::looks at map:: Note to self: If you do this again, take Woodstock off Alewife Brook Pkwy to Waterhouse to Broadway.

***

I was checking LJ pages hunting for some info for a friend and saw:
Updates/Enhancements:
[...]
* Going forward, you can view up to 1000 entries per tag (rather than 100). If an entry is no longer displaying on the tag view, you'll need to re-tag it so that it displays, but any future entries you tag will automatically be included in the tag view.
I don't understand this need for re-tagging or even how exactly it works, but seriously, ABOUT TIME.
snow

Randomly, I've had Christian songs stuck in my head recently.

It's like the weather is learning how to snow.

This morning it looked like there was snow on the ground, but it could almost have been confused for frost.  A flake or two may have fallen on my way to work.  I looked out my window a couple times during the morning and could see snow flakes falling (around quarter past eleven they were lazily falling -- v. weird).  I left work around twenty past five, and the first flake I saw fall was so random I at first thought it was a piece of lint or something.  As I walked toward the Square the snow increased, though, and I decided what better idea than to walk home in the snow?  I sauntered through Harvard Yard, through Law School campus, coming out on Mass. Ave. by Jarvis Street (Harkness Commons) [map] and when I got to Porter cut through the shopping plaza to come up Elm Street.  I hadn't realized just how close Porter is to Davis when done that way -- we're talking ten minutes from T stop to T stop.

So now I'm pondering doing up a shopping list for Shaw's (peanut butter, french fries, anything else I can think of that I haven't been able to find what I want at the FoodMaster).  I also stopped in at the furniture place right at Porter (Eddie's Furniture).  He said I could get a custom-made coffee table for ~$150.  I honestly don't mind spending that much money, but I worry about when I eventually move since this living room is so big.

Coming up toward Davis, The Caning Shoppe looks like it has Asian style partitions, though probably pricer than I'm inclined to want to pay.  (btw, on my way to Porter I saw unleaded gas for $2.119!)

***

Today's Metro, page 3: BU students carpooling a taxi or walking instead of paying the outbound fare.  And the residents of the B Line said "Hallelujah."

"Situated on the B line of the Green Line, Boston University’s campus sprawls for more than a mile and a half and encompasses seven T stops. Many students who have always counted on a free ride across the long campus are determined to keep it that way."
If you really do have to walk a mile plus from residence to class, I will sympathize a bit, but if you're going that far, why is paying a couple bucks such a big deal?  (Assuming twenty weekdays in a month, if you get a monthly pass, you're paying less than $1.50 per ride -- assuming you don't get a subsidy from your school -- and surely college students take the trolley/bus elsewheres, so you.)  And if you're only going "a few stops" (A mile and a half divided by seven is a stop every two-tenths of a mile.  You see why I call the B Line the kindergarten line.) why is it such a big deal to just do a bit of walking?

***

This past Saturday I finally picked up an MFA film schedule for Jan-Feb.
The last couple two-monthers I've not been into (and theatre has almost completely dropped of my radar) but this set I find myself wanting to go to like every movie. -- Korean Film Festival, Russian Fantastik Cinema, etc.

Speaking of planning ahead:
CAUMC Game Night on Friday.  (Layna and anyone else is welcome to come if they wanna meet the CAUMC peoples.)
And then Alyssa's party Friday night and I think I'm going to go play billiards Saturday afternoon (though MFA film is tempting).
I hope to generate the evite for my notVDay party sometime this week.

***

I've been whinging recently about Nicki being so incredibly perky and energetic, but I've gotta say I appreciate her being non-grudgey and even taking half the blame.  [She's scheduling TGMs and I thought of saying "I'm sure you know already, but of course XYZQABC dates are job talk dates, so they're bad" but instead just gave her availability starting the first full week of February (the decision meeting is Feb. 2).  So of course she scheduled a TGM for one of the flyout dates.  Ah, juggling schedules.  The other flyout schedule issue -- from Friday -- also got resolved today, which was pleasing.]

Also, I got a confirmation e-mail from Tah Lady Wot Does the ID Card Access Activations, which like never happens.  (Usually you e-mail in a request and it gets granted or not but you never hear back either way).
face up (and sing)

" 'I wish you liked this city.' / She said, 'Maybe I do.' "

I went to bed shortly after posting last night.  Bliss.  (Oh, and I was this close to opening a window when I went to bed.  Ridonculous.  // 67F at 3:45pm today!  I love spring as much as the next person, but it's January; I would like some winter before my spring.)

I hung out with Jonah for like six hours today.  We had lunch at the Blue Shirt Café.  It says "Gourmet wraps and juice bar," but it's really not excessively pricey.  I got a California Dreamin' sandwich and wasn't thrilled with whatever flavorings they had used in grilling the tofu, though it wasn't bad; I quite liked the (Red, White, Blue) smoothie I got.

Because it was crazy pleasant weather we went for a walk afterward -- just started down Elm Street and kept going.  We ended up in Union Square, walked to Harvard, and then took Mass Ave. back (turning on to Dover St. at Cafe Barada).

On the way back to my apartment we were talking about Ani lyrics (specifically as applicable to relationships in our lives) and I mentioned some Dar ones also, so I ended up playing him selections from her Mortal City album -- "As Cool As I Am," "The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed," "Southern California Wants To Be Western New York."

He saw my computer desktop [second image], so then I showed him the most recent page or so of caladan_dd.  I must have been filtering her off my friendspage due to busyness, 'cause a bunch of the images were new to me; must go back and leave feedback.

We also talked about tv and he said he was recommending Six Feet Under to someone, talking about raw the characters are, and this person mentioned Sorkin, and I was really weirded out by this.  I think of the West Wing characters as "real," but "raw" wouldn't be a word that comes to mind -- not just because the show is about so much besides the characters' personal lives, but also because so many of them are rather tight-lipped when it comes to emotions, though in thinking of "raw" moments, some Josh and Leo moments came to mind ("Bartlet for America," "Noel," "The Short List"), the more powerful for their characters' reticence in speaking about emotional matters.  (Abbey and Jed also came to mind for "raw," particularly their fights.  Thinking about other possibilities gets me wondering about how one defines the difference between "raw" versus "real.")  [We're up to 3.11 at work, so no spoilers beyond that in comments, please.]

+

Tomorrow's Sunday, so I've gotta decide where I'm going to church (assuming I haul myself out of bed).  I think I should do a month or something in one place, am thinking Clarendon Hill and then the UCC.

This leads to thoughts of other planning issues:

* muskratjamboree: "A casual, multi-fandom, slash-oriented fan gathering. March 30th and 31st, 2007 [...] the Holiday Inn Boston/Somerville, located near Sullivan Square"
Nevermind; it's reached its 100 attendee cap, so that solves my dilemma.

* Boston Wine Expo: Feb. 10-11
I definitely want to go to this but would love company.

* remixredux
I want to do this but also worry about having the creative energy for it.

* Edit: Girls Program (a week from Monday)
Note to self: prep for this
[I'm leading a creative writing workshop for pre-teen girls.  If anyone has any suggestions, please share.]
train

"Then I saw a bird fly away, and I could not ask again. "

Having thought about how close I live to Mass Ave. when coming home with my brother on Tuesday, I decided to try the trek to Harvard Square since I had to go there to pick up the new Astonishing X-Men anyway.

Looking at GoogleMaps I decided to take Clarendon Ave. to Mass Ave., and that worked out well.  I didn't think to look at my watch (to time the trip) until I was about halfway down Clarendon, at which point I'd been walking for I would guess 5-10 minutes.  15-20 minutes later I was at Porter Square, and 15-20 minutes after that I was at Harvard -- well, a big sign for Harvard Law School anyway.  I'd forgotten that I'd be hitting Harvard from a direction I'm unfamiliar with.  So I decided to just keep going, knowing that if I kept on Mass Ave. I'd hit familiarity eventually (if nothing else because Nicole lives on Mass Ave.).  So I passed Harvard-Epworth Methodist Church, the giant building that is Littauer (so now I know where that is; FormerUnitHead is over there a lot), and then saw the Science Center which I know so I could orient myself and pass through main campus to the Square.

At The Million Year Picnic I couldn't resist a Mark Ryden Christmas card.  I also picked up chocolate on sale (post-Christmas) at CVS (I had stopped into pick up something I actually needed and then, sale...).

I took the T back.  It takes me about 40 minutes to get to work as I normally commute, so this isn't actually that much longer -- except that I'm commuting to the b-school, which is an additional ~10 minute walk from the Square.  So yeah, not gonna be giving up my T-Pass anytime soon.  But it's good to feel more confident in my ability to walk between the two places.

[It occurs to me that an actual Subject line would be something like "I walked 3 miles for AXM #19" but no, we quote lyrics etc., making it incredibly hard to find anything by Calendar:Subjects.  What really drives me crazy is when people Memory posts with those same unhelpful post titles; hi, people, you can give it a different title in Memories.  At least I'm likely to remember what I tagged it.]

Do we notice how I haven't touched my Joyce since the Break began?  ::is bad::

***

Among the Year in Review memes going around is a top ten fannish moments of 2006 (from the source text).  I don't so much have source text moments; I have fandom/community. Seriously, ask me for top fannish "moments" of the year, and the list goes something like this:

1. WriterCon
2. froplay
3. the whedonesque/Joss Whedon/likeadeuce thing
4. getting into new fandoms (How I Met Your Mother, Astonishing X-Men, Heroes, The West Wing)
5. mainlining CSI with Cat
6. Eric
7. my boss getting me the Serenity: Left Behind graphic novel
8. Yuletide
hermione by oatmilk

weekend

I jotted down lots of stuff at work on Friday, but it mostly feels like space-filler.

I did mean, however, to post antheia's solid point about the... whatever we're calling the England plane thing from Friday:
"Based on the fact that a complex terrorist plot, involving an ingenious scheme and a large number of players, was discovered and prevented before any of them had a chance to begin implementation, I feel safer than ever. It means that someone is doing their job. That we are a target for these plots doesn't make us unsafe."
It also began being unseasonably cool (temperaturewise).  I was pleased.  [Overnight lows of low 50s!]

Eric brought Roseanne to watch during lunch.  He said he was gonna bring Medium (which he loves) but it's boring.  I suggested Firefly and he said he'd considered bringing that in, but we can't watch the same thing 2 days in a row.  (So I hold out hope for this coming week.)  Anyway, I was entertained despite myself.  We watched 3 episodes (3.15-3.17 -- "Becky Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "Home-Ec," "Valentine's Day").
Becky: "You're as bad as mom!"
Dan: "Hang on a minute.  [to Roseanne]  If I tell you I'm offended by that, would you be upset?"
*

Friday night I had dinner with my darling Jonah at Trident.  He got challa bread French toast, with strawberries, and I ordered a watermelon mimosa (it comes in a champagne flute!) -- well and real food, too, but the mimosa was the exciting part (though more in theory than in actuality).

We were gonna have further yumminess at Tapeo per Layna's sister's recommendation, but we were both feeling in the mood for ice cream, so we went to J. P. Licks.  We're gonna get together again on Tuesday, though, and go to Tapeo then.

Amusingly, we both ended up both getting coconut almond chip at J. P. Licks (he decided against pomegranate sorbet, I decided against S'World Peace).  We looked at the Newbury Street cows (and I also showed him the one above the Lenox at Exeter Street, which I had seen on my way in) and then walked through the Public Garden and the Common and back to South Station and he made his 10:35 easily.  Oh, and we saw a possum on the security grating outside Staples at Downtown Crossing.  Awesome.

He remembered that my apartment-warming was gonna be this Saturday (Aug. 12).  I was impressed 'cause I had partway forgotten.  (He was away for the discussion about moving it to September.  Which reminds that I really need to pick a Saturday for that.)

Saturday I did dishes, laundry, and grocery shopping.  And I met Downstairs Neighbor #2. Oh, and Cat called that night. How did I forget to mention that?

Sunday I went to see a Russian film (I wasn't a fan) at the MFA and then met up with Hilary for lunch.  We were gonna browse the MFA afterward. but we spent so much time talking that we decided to forego that (esp. since she would have had to pay to get into the museum).  When Cat and Kate attempted to get from Ruggles to the MFA on their own they got lost (as it is easy to do; I can attest from experience) and wandered to the Prudential, so I've been meaning to figure out exactly how to do that (as part of my broader desire to just learn the city better) so we just started walking in that direction and I learned that my mother was right that there really are places to eat in the area, and I was reminded of just how close everything is to each other, and the Pru is so sprawling that I would want to have a map in hand to try to get back to Symphony/Northeastern from there but it's totally doable.  We then moved to Newbury St. (and wow Hynes really is so close to Trident) and eventually she had to go home -- which now that I'm not South Stationing means going basically my route :)  It was really lovely to spend time with her, and I'm a bit sad that we didn't do this sooner.  It's also been interesting this weekend noticing/thinking about which people I'm at ease talking to (I basically monologued at Jonah, meep -- but I didn't mean to, and he said it was okay) and what we talk about.

*

OriginalRoomie's been cleaning the house -- both in the aftermath of the painter and also in anticipation of NewRoomie's arrival.

I can't believe I hadn't noticed that our stovetop was so filthy.  OriginalRoomie did a preliminary cleaning of it tonight, though, and I'll probably do some scrubbing tomorrow.

She cleared out some of the useless furniture we never use and got some welcome mats and stuff -- which reminded me that I really need to do stuff like decorate my door.  (P.S. Mom, do you have an estimate on Maureen's Boston painting?)

Oh, and she mentioned that she leaves her door closed so that the sound of her tv on won't bother me.  That's nice.

NewRoomie is arriving this Wednesday evening, so I feel like light is visible at the end of the tunnel in terms of all the acquiring-stuff-for-the-apartment.  (My brother's helping me pick out a tv and I've been looking at tv stands on craigslist, the cable guy's coming Thursday, I'm hoping to enlist NewRoomie to go get a recycling bin, she's bringing some kitchen stuff and then I'll fill in any remaining gaps, and I really wanna get a couch....)

Oh, and there are rumors of the landlord taking down the fence, which would be exciting. (The street I live on has all lovely two-family houses, and then mine looks it was transplanted from somewhere sketchy with its two colors and its metal fence and everything.)

*

LJ's new notification system?  known issues like whoa  [I'm still a huge fan of the system, and it's great that they're starting it on a small group of users while they get the bugs worked out, but those select few of you I wanted to make sure you were aware of the issues -- the following strikes me as the most important one: If you have the "Email" option enabled for "All comments in my journal, on any post.", you won't get the old comment notification email anymore for entries you post in communities or replies to comments you post. Unchecking this checkbox until we fix it would be the best thing to do right now.]

*

And I seem to be writing fanfic recently. A lot of longhand while commuting places. Some previous WIPs as well as some new ideas. (Translation: Don't expect to see any ficposts from me anytime soon.) But it's really good to be in that space, after I wasn't for so long.

I've also been reading (and feedbacking) fic recently, which is also of the good.

*

That was longer than I had originally expected it to be.
moon house

"So I am going down to nowhere / It is steeped in history."

Killing time before today's apartment showings I checked out Ann Taylor Loft 'cause I've been wearing the same like eight shirts to work.  I actually found some stuff I liked (and their color theme seems to be beige, sky blue, and dark bluegreen, of which I mightily approve).  Going to pay I realized I had left my debit card on my desk (I never do this, but I had been doing online bank stuff).  The woman kindly said she'd hold the stuff through Monday (in case of blizzard -- I'll believe that one when I see it; note to self: they close at 7). In retrospect, I'm glad to not have had to carry around a bag of clothes all day anyhow.  That and tripping going up the Government Center stairs (tripping on my coat maybe?  I don't know) were my only incompetencies today, though, which was pleasing -- especially given my recent track record.  I even correctly instincted which way I was supposed to go a couple times and was actually capable at reading my maps.

I took the Green Line out to Allston and when I got on at Park some crazy (but not in a bad way) girls asked me if this train went to Newbury Street.  I was a bit thrown 'cause all the Green Lines go to Copley but hey, Boston's subway system is totally nonintuitive, so I said yeah and told them they wanted to get off at Copley (and I could even point them to a wall map as we pulled in).  I got two free Jelly Bellys for my trouble, too :)

The most forward of the girls kept not holding on to anything and thus being thrown around my the movements of the train, so when some people got off and their seats were thus available she promptly plunked down.  She then tried to strike up conversation with the guy sitting behind her.

Her: "Do you go to BC?" ["The destination of this train is..."]
Guy: [shakes head]
Her: "Harvard?" [where they had come from]
Guy: [shakes head]
Her: "Are you in college?"
Guy: [shakes head]

'Twas amusing.

Killing time in between apartments one of the places I ended up in was a used bookstore that made Puddingstone look positively uncrowded.  They were playing something like techno music, though, so I didn't stay all that long.

Anyway, the studios.

First was 56 Brighton Ave.  Basement level studio apartment.  Coin-op washers exactly the same as we had at Smith -- also in the basement, so right near the apartment I'd be living in.  Decent sized bedroom.  Closet.  Bathroom.  Kitchen nook -- including a microwave left by the previous tenant :)  Dumpster outside and recycling (blue containers just like Smith) in basement.  Heat and hot water included in the $850/mo.  Electricity estimated at $30/mo.  Supposedly something like 15 degrees cooler in the summer 'cause it's basement level.  Quiet couple lives directly above.  I get a good vibe from the property manager.

Next was 38 Linden St.  On the outside it looks like a nice two family house, lots of wood, big lawn.  It's actually broken up into lots of studios inside, though.  The open one is on the second floor.  It comes furnished -- or not, if you want, but it was furnished when I saw it -- nice rug, low bed that would fit two, some sundries, a sink/cabinet/small fridge conglomeration with a microwave on top of it.  No stove.  You could purchase a hot plate if you wished.  Utilities included in the $800/mo.  The laundry options are the nearby laundromats.  Tiny bathroom.  Closet.  Have I mentioned how I suspect the bedroom was smaller than my room at Smith?  It's very much for students, so I guess they all have laptops and dump their books in a corner and just don't have many clothes.  Or something.  I could fit a desk in there or a bookcase or a dresser -- though with a single bed I could maybe fit a bookcase and one other item of furniture.  And I could fit like one friend.  I mean, okay, I'm attached to the idea of an apartment-warming party but dude, I had more socializing space in my Smith room.  The guy showing me the place seemed in a rush, but he did ask if I was a realty agent, which made me who is always taken for younger than her age happy.

Intellectually I know I'm not gonna have something like Layna's apartment, but I was thinking of studio as meaning a bedroom larger than the one I have at my parents' house plus a bathroom and kitchen(ette), but this tiny (combined with the fact that I would still be paying good money for it) was, I hesitate to say "depressing" but . . . sobering.

Suddenly the Kendall 1 bedroom looks amazing.  And it makes me seriously reconsider my no-roommate stance.  I'm willing to pay extra money to not have to worry about clashing with roommates, having to find a new one when somebody moves out, etc., but to pay this much money for basically a roof over my head?  (I'll be out at work or wherever a lot, but I do want a place to live.)  Takes a lot of the enthusiasm out of the search.  Anyone within commuting distance to Harvard looking for a roommate?  (Or know anyone who is?)

Coming home we hit Copley at 3:15 and I knew I couldn't get to South Station by 3:20, so proving I am learning I got out and walked to Back Bay to catch it at 3:25.


Oh, forgot to mention from last night.  One of the commercials I saw during the Olympic coverage was: Gunn plays a NY ADA!  (Conviction.  And IMDb reminds me that Eric Balfour played Jesse.)  I heard an "all will be well" refrain playing during bits of the commercial and thought of my mom and sk8eeyore and tried to discern if it was the hymn I remember from First Churches Daffodil Sunday.  Today I learned it's an original song by The Gabe Dixon Band [lyrics here] and there's even a full ad/music video (which I don't think is what I saw on tv, but maybe I just wasn't paying much attention).

I saw a snippet of the figure skating pairs program tonight and wow, the new scoring system.  I'm surprised nbc.com doesn't have some sort of explanation on their website (I assume the opening of the televised program had some sort of explanation).  I Googled and found explanations here and here; the most succinct explanation [from my limited searching] comes from here:
Gone is the traditional 6.0 scoring system we grew up with. In its place is a complex, multi-faceted scheme that essentially transforms art into science — or worse yet, mathematics.

Skaters start at zero and accumulate points, based on the difficulty and presentation of their routines. A technical panel identifies each of the executed “elements,” all of which have predetermined and standardized numerical value. A judging panel then evaluates how those elements were performed and assigns a “grade of execution,” using a scale from minus-3 (worst) to plus-3 (best).

The judges also evaluate the five components of the overall program — skating skills, transitions, execution, choreography and interpretation — and award marks from 0.25 to 10.00.

And all of this transpires while the skater is performing.