(Last modified 24 December 1996.)

Wanderjahr: Week 16

Locations: Somerville
Dates: 12/1/96 - 12/7/96

Sunday I did more knitting. Also spent the evening hanging out at Beth's to help out in case she needed anything. Called Arthur around midnight and spent a couple hours chatting with him, about screenplays and life and such.

Monday was One Of Those Days. I got up early (for me) and was almost on schedule, everything going smoothly, until I got in my car and discovered it wouldn't start. Battery dead. Eventually figured out that last week, after the snow, when the doors were frozen shut, my attempts to open the passenger door had left it partly ajar, which had presumably left the inside light on for a week. When I called Michael to ask if he could jump-start me, his phone began acting up again (we'd thought it was finally fixed), so he needed to work on that instead. AAA would've taken 45 minutes. So I walked to Beth's, skipping the oil change and arriving only a little late. Decided to get a little writing done, having done none on Saturday or Sunday, and discovered that FrameMaker crashed on launch. Sigh.

I spent the rest of the week not updating this travelogue. Oops.

Monday evening had a good home-cooked Indian dinner at Michael's, and met his friend Sarah. Spent a fun evening chatting about various things, mostly musical theatre.

The next morning Michael helped me try to jumpstart my car. No dice. I called AAA; the AAA driver attached his cables and my car sprang to life. I drove it to Ideal Engine Rebuilders in Somerville (near Davis Square) for an oil change. Left my car there, walked along Mass Ave. Had lunch at a great little take-out place called Mediterranean Market: good felafel, and a free sample of superb lentil soup. Got a haircut at Supercuts a few blocks away; had a fun chat with the woman who cut my hair.

Read Popular Mechanics in the waiting room at the car place for a couple hours, then drove the car back through the maze of Somerville streets -- tried to avoid having to actually drive through Davis Square, but ended up on a series of one-way streets all leading back to where I started. Finally got through it. That evening, another homecooked dinner and a poker game.

Spent most of Wednesday and Thursday hanging out with Beth, chatting and watching movies and doing a little knitting. Had utterly scrumptious dinners with Michael both nights (and Deb on Thursday): delicious tuna fajitas at Rudy's (never seen tuna fajitas before; they also have portabella mushroom fajitas), and marvelous chicken curry at Elephant Walk. Great company, great conversations, great food -- what more could anyone want?

Spent some time experimenting with a 28.8 modem (determined it's YVV's fault, not my modem's, that my connection's so slow/bad), and wrote a perl script to search-and-replace a string in html files in a directory and all its subdirectories. (Later discovered, in the Larry Wall book, a one-line perl command that does the same thing in a single directory. But it was good practice, and it does do the recursive-hierarchy thing. Useful for when you move a referenced file or image to a new location and want to make sure all referencing files are updated.)

Friday started out as another one of Those Days; had to take Beth (with a high fever) to the doctor before I was really awake yet, and later in the day found out Mark was ill and couldn't get together that evening. But I had a great long conversation with Arthur, largely about our screenplay, which is progressing nicely. And then in the evening I went to a Hanukkah dinner at Bhadrika & Steve's: about a dozen folks, more fabulous conversation. (Afterward I stayed up far too late dealing with humongous quantities of email and switching everything I could from YVV (ISP with problems) to pair.com (wonderful ISP with no problems I've seen).)

Saturday I attended a big birthday dinner for David VS and his friend Sarah. Met someone I'd only known through SWAPA previously; saw several friendly acquaintances I hadn't seen in years; heard about some fascinating upcoming work from, and discussed films with, a media-studies professor at MIT. Cool insights about the interaction between Tarantino and Hong Kong cinema, esp. Woo. After dinner some of us adjourned to Debby & John's place for games of Raj and Great Dalmuti. Fun. Went back to Michael's to sleep in on Sunday.


Movies, Books, etc.

Clueless
Forget "loosely based"; this is a modernized remake of Emma, in nearly every detail. Lots of fun, if a bit predictable.
Adventures in Babysitting
Possibly the silliest movie I've seen this year, and I mean that in the best possible way -- silly in the same sort of way as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lots of laugh-out-loud great moments, as long as you're in the right mood for fluff.
Can't Buy Me Love
Somewhat disappointing late-'80s teen romantic comedy; it wants to be a John Hughes movie but doesn't quite make it. It's not as funny as I wanted it to be; still, a lot of good parts if you don't mind the heavy-handedness of the message.

Jed Hartman <logos@kith.org>