Another Boston-visit update

Tuesday: Attended lovely roundsing. A little unusual: a higher than usual percentage of attendees could sight-sing, so we weren't as restricted as usual to singing only songs that someone there knew well enough to teach.

Wednesday: Met Julia for lunch and writing at Crema in Harvard Square; we chatted for an hour and then wrote for an hour. I wrote about 500 words of story (including getting through a scene I'd been having trouble working out) and about 500 words of notes; I'm still pretty consistently writing about a thousand words an hour. If I were better at setting aside time to write regularly, I'd be done with this draft by now.

(Also: maybe next time I'm in Boston I'll arrange a writing afternoon at a cafe, where any of y'all local writers can show up and socialize for a bit and write for a while. It didn't occur to me 'til too late that I could've done something like that.)

After that, hung out with Kendra. We went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History's glass flowers exhibit; some amazing (and educational) stuff, especially the totally real-looking tangles of rootlets on some of the grasses. (The guys who made them had apparently gotten their start making glass invertebrates. There's a career choice that you don't generally see in career-counseling booklets.) We also looked at a bunch of other stuff in the museum, mostly dinosaurs and birds and other animals. (I was especially impressed with the moa skeleton; I'd always thought they were about the size of an ostrich, but no, the thing was about twelve feet high.) After that, some wandering about, and dinner, and hanging out in a cafe.

Thursday, met Otavia for lunch, and we went to the Boston Aquarium, which I'd never been to before. Bunches of cool stuff, including eighty penguins. Took lots of photos, but don't know how many came out. (I also took pix of the museum the previous day, but not all that many.) I really like their design, with the big cylindrical central tank and the helical walkway up around it.

Friday, Amy S and Juniper came by, and they and Michael and I had lunch and chatted, and Jere7my showed up at some point. Then Deb B and Emma came and picked me up, and Deb and I went off for a long walk in Arlington.

(At some point, I mentioned to someone that I walk a lot more in Boston than at home. Whoever it was was surprised; they said they'd always thought of me as a walker. The walking I do in Boston is due to (a) hating to drive in or near Boston, (b) having a bunch of Boston friends who like walking and talking, and (c) enjoying walking myself, just not enough to go out and do it unless I have a reason, like a friend to talk with or a bus to catch.)

Friday evening, I came back to Michael & Lisa's and hid in the guest room. As usual, all the socializing this week was lovely, but I needed some downtime. Entered subs into the database while rewatching the last episode of season 1 of Gilmore Girls. Maybe also did some editing? I forget.

Saturday late morning, I finished up some editing and borrowed Lisa's car (thanks, Lisa!) to drive down to Mansfield. Was distressed when I realized that the first part of the route along 93 would take me right through Boston proper, but the driving turned out not to be too awful. Been a while since I'd driven a stickshift; it came back pretty easily, but trying to concentrate on that, on the much heavier than expected traffic (all the way out to 95 if not longer), on the fact that I was even later than I had said I would be, and on my map, led me to miss the sign that said that several left lanes were turning into an exit, while one or two right lanes were continuing on as 93. But I got back on 93 with only about a ten-minute delay.

Eventually had lunch with Diana and Tom and Stella, and a couple of nice long walks with Diana; then we wandered over to Bhadrika & Steve's and hung out with them and their kids for a few hours. Dinner, chat, a long but fun game of Scum, and a couple rounds of a Chinese (?) trick-taking game called something like “Find Your Friend” (kind of like Pinochle with wild cards, sort of). Then I drove back to M&L's.

Today, got off to a very slow start, but eventually made it over to the fifteenth annual Eggplant Party, the first time I've ever attended one. There were, as advertised, many foods featuring eggplant (and a bunch of others featuring special guest vegetable mushrooms (for values of “vegetable” that equal “fungus”)), and a bunch of cool folks, and I hung out and chatted for a few hours until I was too tired.

Now I'm back at M&L's for the evening, keeping the dog company. At some point I'll have dinner, and do some magazine stuff, and maybe watch a movie.

And maybe try to get to sleep earlyish. I'm still not sleeping well or much—about five hours a night, more or less.

Tomorrow, the plan (if the rain goes away) is to head up to New Hampshire for leaf-peeping with Julia.

And Tuesday I fly home.

As usual, good but somewhat socially exhausting visit so far. Nice to catch up with people (even people not physically present: Diana was giving me an update on an old friend I haven't seen in many years, and then five minutes later said friend called Diana, so she and I chatted a bit), nice to meet new people, bunches of great conversations, a few games, some singing; all good. But I'm glad I didn't try to stay in Boston until the day before I go back to work. I'll be back home for most of a week; that should give me enough time to settle back into California before starting work again.

3 Responses to “Another Boston-visit update”

  1. Annie

    I’m glad it is such a good visit. Reading this reminds me how many people in Boston I would like to know better.

    The glass flowers are remarkable. When I saw them years ago, I remember at first not realizing I had found the /glass/ flower exhibit.

  2. Mary B, Cambridge MA

    The Giant Moa is absolutely huge..but actually just 8’6″.

  3. Jed

    Annie: Yeah, when we were looking at the grasses at the start, I was sure that they were real plants that had been put into the exhibit for comparison or something.

    Mary B: Thanks for the correction! It really did look like it was twice my height; I wonder what made it look so much taller to me than it really is. (I had checked Wikipedia before posting, and it said they got up to about 12 feet tall, so I assumed my guess about its height had been accurate.)


Join the Conversation