Week 42: Somerville

Locations: Somerville, MA


Dates: 6/1/97-6/7/97

Sunday morning I finished the book I'd been reading on and off for a month or two. In the afternoon I went on a drive through the Massachusetts countryside with Sarah; we stopped for ice cream, and I dropped her back at home in time for her dinner. I went to dinner with Steve & Bhadrika and Susan at Rudy's, still one of my favorite Boston-area restaurants, and we had ice cream back at home (with Michael, when he dropped by) for dessert. I stayed up late doing email and updating Web pages.

Monday I got up late (I seem to be getting much more sleep this past week than I've had in weeks) and spent most of the day lazing about in my bathrobe—initially just because I was lazy, later because I discovered all my clothes were dirty. Bhadrika and I watched the last two-thirds of the new Murder One miniseries; not bad, but nothing terribly exciting. I had dinner at Deb & Charles' place, with them and Michael. Afterward (surprise, surprise) I stayed up late doing email and updating Web pages.

Tuesday I got up quite late, even for me, due to spending a couple hours in bed reading after waking up. Nobody was home all afternoon; I did even more email and Web-page updating, until it was time for dinner with Michael. After that, attended the going-away party Sarah hosted for me. Half a dozen people showed up; a quiet evening, with lots of food and plenty of cats, fun conversations and amusing episodes of kids playing with cat toys.

Wednesday morning I got up earlier than usual to go see Brian & Marguerite. They told me about Brian's new job at Wayne State and showed me pictures of their new house near Detroit. In a few months I'll know several times as many people in the Detroit area as I do now... Ran some errands in the afternoon, dined with Susan and the Victoria Street household.

I have no idea what I did Thursday during the day. I'd intended to spend a few days this week hanging out with Michael during the day, but he had jury duty for the week so I only saw him a couple times in the evenings. I suspect I spent most of Thursday trying to get out to run errands; eventually met Fran and Ed at Harvard Square and accompanied them back to Michael's, where we chatted for a bit (and I showed some England pix) before I had to go. They were meeting Susan to tell her about England; I'd told Susan about England from my perspective earlier in the week, and though I'd have been interested in the mix of perspectives, I'd scheduled dinner with Diana for that night. (This was one of about a dozen occasions this week when I scheduled something well in advance and only found out about something else I wanted to do at that time shortly before the time occurred. Ah, well, I guess that's the way it always goes.) Diana and I had a nice walk, looked at the sunset, and talked about teaching and science fiction and such over a dinner punctuated by three or four long phone conversations. I took the opportunity to read up on Penrose tiling, which is every bit as cool as I'd previously suspected.

After dinner I dropped by Michael's again and talked with him a little, then back to Victoria Street for the night.

The next day I finally made it to the gargoyle store I'd been wanting to go to (to buy various gifts) since I found out about it while we were in England. It's on Newbury Street in Boston, a couple blocks from Mass Ave.; it has bizarre hours (days when it's open, it's something like 2 pm 'til dusk); and it's a cramped little shop, gloomy to the point that I needed my flashlight to see a couple of items, crammed with gargoyles, grotesques, statuary, stained glass, carved skulls, and other items that you might expect to find more often in a church than in a store. The proprietors, like the stock, are odd in a reasonably nice way. Definitely worth wandering through, and the prices on small gargoyles are far more reasonable than I've seen elsewhere.

Laden with a bag full of gargoyles, I met Fran at her place and together we took the T to pick up Ed at Harvard Square. Fran had done a lot of walking that day and was carrying a couple of bags' worth of a picnic dinner for us; I was carrying a heavy bag; and so none of us were at all pleased when it turned out the directions we'd been given to get to that evening's performance of Patience were wildly inaccurate. It took nearly an hour and a half of walking, mostly without any certainty we were going in the right direction, to eventually find the well-hidden Publick Theatre, near the banks of the Charles, where Michael was waiting for us. I'd have been disappointed to pay full price for the show, but fortunately Michael had two half-price coupons that made the price quite reasonable.

Saturday I met Beth and others in Boston for the Gay Pride march. One of the group (whose name is being withheld for the time being) had never been to any sort of Pride event, and I think was a tad overwhelmed by the sheer size of it. I'd never been to Boston Pride; fun, but nothing spectacular, and pretty similar to other marches I've attended elsewhere. Closer in size to Seattle's than to San Francisco's.

Started to spend the evening packing, in preparation for planned departure Sunday morning, but though things were mostly under control so allowed myself to get sidetracked by having dinner at Deb & Charles' place, with them and Michael and Diana. Enjoyable as always, but it unfortunately left me with too much to do in the morning.

Movies, Books, etc.

Sons and Lovers, by D. H. Lawrence
I was mostly annoyed with the way Lawrence puts sentences and narratives together, but I have to admit he does some remarkably true-feeling characterization in amongst the repetitive Oedipal fantasies and incomprehensible theological ramblings. Also, the sex scenes late in the book, which must've been quite daring when the book was published in 1913, pepped things up considerably; still, I can't really recommend reading the whole book.
Patience (light opera performance)
A largely well-acted and well-sung performance of one of the lesser-known of the Gilbert & Sullivan oeuvre; the set was not professional quality, and I tend to think of G&S as more community-theatre level shows than professional level, but under the circumstances it was quite good. Standout performances were from Mark Light-Orr as Archibald and someone or other in the title role, and I'm not just saying that 'cause I know Mark.

(Last updated: 13 June 1997.)

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