I neglected to say in my previous Boston entry: many thanks for the hospitality, to all who put me up in Boston and environs. Much appreciated as always.
The drive back to Boston from Vermont went well. I mostly listened to NPR, including a local talk show discussing farmer's markets; the expert they had on said that the one in Madison is the best of the farmer's markets they've studied, by a variety of measures.
Wednesday evening I had dinner with David H at Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. (Warning: their website is Flash-heavy and slow to load.) Later, we wandered over to get ice cream, but discovered that Davis Square was totally packed at around 8 or 9 p.m. on a weeknight. Wacky. Anyway, turns out that Ben & Jerry's chocolate low-fat frozen yogurt tastes pretty much like ice cream to my uneducated palate, rather to my surprise. I ended up walking back to Michael's rather than waiting a long time for a bus; it's only a mile and a half, which didn't seem so bad in theory, but I wasn't reckoning on the heat. Note to self: in the future, go back to visiting Boston in October when the weather is nicer. (Except for weddings, of course.)
Thursday I met Kate for lunch at Chef Orient in Framingham, an unusual restaurant where you can either sit on the Japanese side or the Chinese side, but you can order from either menu on either side.
Then I returned the rented car to Enterprise, and got a ride from them back to Michael's; the guy who was giving people rides home was new to the area, but Google Maps on the iPhone let me navigate back successfully. Whew.
Thursday evening I had dinner with David VS at the new Porter Square branch of Addis Red Sea, an Ethiopian restaurant. Pretty tasty. The injera that they serve by default is a non-fermented wheat-based version that I didn't like quite as much as traditional fermented tef-based injera; turns out (though we didn't know this) that (according to a review) you can request the traditional version.
Friday morning, Michael and I got lunch and then he took me to the airport. The flight to Chicago was smooth and on time. I took the Blue Line to Mary Anne and Kevin's, where I got to hold and feed baby Kavya for a while; then M and I came over to the con for the opening party. I wrote most of this entry Friday night in my room at the con; the party was fine, but I was tired and a little mopey and needed to do some long-delayed editing, so I left early.
Boston visit summary: really great, as always, to see everyone. I wish it were easier--a bunch of people who are important to me have ended up there over the years, but I can't live there. I wouldn't be able to cope with the weather or the culture or the traffic, but mostly the weather. And, y'know, I don't see my California friends nearly often enough, so I don't see any reason to think I'd be more likely to see Boston friends if I were living there. But it ends up meaning that when I do visit, I try to see friends in a dozen households (spread from Vermont to Connecticut) over a week or two, which means I don't get enough time with anyone and I miss seeing some people entirely. And I'm not very good at keeping up with people when I'm not out there.
It's also a little complicated by the number of my friends (both in Boston and elsewhere) who have kids now. All the kids I know are great, and I enjoy playing (and, as they get older, talking) with all of them; but it means that sometimes I get little or no grownup time with old friends. (Often, I get to chat with friends after their kids have gone to bed--but by that time, the grownups are often exhausted and needing to go to sleep themselves.) This isn't a complaint against kids; kids are great, and plenty rewarding, and fun. But I do sometimes miss the long one-on-one conversations I used to have with various friends. But life is full of tradeoffs; there are plenty of other things that keep such conversations from happening, even with friends who don't have kids, including my own laziness.
Anyway. My mood's also being influenced by getting a note from an uncle on Friday morning (which I didn't see 'til Friday afternoon) indicating that Grandma is unlikely to last more than a few more days. Part of me wants to get on a plane and go say goodbye in person; part of me doesn't. I don't have coherent enough thoughts about that to write about it.
And I think part of what's going on is just exhaustion. I was tired already when I reached Boston, and I've been running around more or less nonstop ever since, with not enough sleep. I'm surprisingly coherent, given all that, but I really need to try to get more sleep, and more rest, this week. If I don't fly out to WA to see Grandma, then the week looks like it'll mostly consist of holding Kavya and/or helping M & K with household tasks, plus trying to catch up on all the magazine stuff I haven't been doing. So that should probably be manageable.