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Back In Boston

As I readjust to life in the big city.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Sadly, my long weekend filled with pastry and burgers and chips and fiesta dip and lots of soda, shopping, lounging on the sun-soaked Boston Common or in my sun-filled and breezy apartment has come to an end.

To show for it I have some new clothes for work and play, some new tracks in iTunes, and the first feeling chill that I've really experienced lo these past three months. I reached a point yesterday afternoon at which everything was pretty much done, and nothing was looming straight ahead. I leaned back in my desk chair and surveyed my walls and felt instantly comfortable and relaxed. And I allowed myself to do nothing for the rest of the weekend that might jeopardize that.

I was compelled to leave again yesterday afternoon, though (the first time being to go out and do laundry -- which was such an opportune time on a beautiful holiday weekend afternoon) and take advantage of the beautiful weather: sunny, dry, beautiful weather that hurts in its reminder of the weather out West last summer. I headed to the Common, book in hand, and lay there for two hours reading and just enjoying the sun before heading back home. My flip-flopped foot got stepped on by an old lady on the T and I didn't even care.

I've slept in every morning and today was no exception. I slowly awoke and slowly got the day going, and did some sorting of more old stuff around here before heading to Stop and Shop for some fixins. Tonight's ironing wasn't even such a chore, as I triumphantly managed to do 7 shirts in 50 minutes.. before continuing with other miscellaneous shirts and pants.

And now, Finis.
posted by MJR  # 8:34 PM

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Last night I wined and dined in Boston's North End, having dinner at a trattoria on some street that cut between North Square and Hanover. I don't remember the name of it. But the presumed owner, a gregarious Italian fellow with big gray hair, garish wraparound glasses and a leather coat who stepped right out of Goodfellas or The Sopranos, cajoled us into entering to eat. The Pollo Marsala was good as was the Chardonnay.

So was the Mike's pastry purchased afterwards, although we didn't eat them til arriving home. In between we wandered the city a bit and then Coolidge Corner long enough for a stop into the Brookline Booksmith. It was a pleasant, relaxing evening to wind down a hurried week, although this morning's crisp, dry weather would have been preferred to last night's mugginess.
posted by MJR  # 10:32 AM

Monday, May 24, 2004

Tonight I'm paying for this weekend's follies. Actually, tonight I'm paying for blowing off yesterday to lie horizontal all day in terrible pain due to one kingfucker of a hangover instead of doing my laundry and ironing and cleaning up the place.

'Tis the price you pay.

Ben arrived around 5:30 on Saturday and we headed promptly to the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse for dinner. It's Ben and I've had a cold and...it's Ben. I figured we'd go out but we'd be drinking beer. So I was a bit surprised when, after having a Corona with my Ted Williams burger, Ben said he was inclined to drink liquor that night.

And the mayhem ensued.

Margaritas before heading out on my part, and then settling in at the Pour House to start the night with another 'rita and the first shot of Blackhaus. After that we adjourned to Whiskey's where the Blackhaus and tequila poured.

Poor, poor me.

I don't know if it was the cold medicine I took so my head would clear up before drinking, or the more typical reason: that the rate of consumption of shots and hard drink DOES NOT equal the rate of intoxication. Thus I find myself way, way, way drunker than I need to be about 1.2 hours after I have my last shot and/or drink.

Such was the state I found myself around 4:00 AM, back at my apartment after a cab drive home during which Ben regaled the cabbie and his 12 year-old son (what was he THINKING on a Saturday night) with all sorts of sordid tales. Sick I found myself, sick, sick, sick, and laying flat on my bed at 4:30 hearing my door buzz.

Why? Because Ben had left the apartment to wander the streets of Boston in search of the girls he had met and reconnected with by the phone. He was on his way down the sidewalk when they told him that they'd only allow a visit by TWO gentleman.

I told Ben to go the fuck to bed.

At 1:30 PM the next afternoon, after waking up on and off, I fully awoke to Ben knocking on my bedroom door. He greeted me and showed me the palm of his hand with "Kill Mark" on it in Blue Sharpie. Ben wasn't too pleased 9 hours earlier with the turn of events, and I wasn't too pleased with the way I was feeling.

The day was shot. I spent it horizontal with a mind-rending headache and a stomach that would tolerate no food or drink. Finally late in the evening I was able to eat an english muffin and the recovery process began.

But it wasn't until the slice of pizza for lunch today that I really felt better, and then I came home to wolf down hot dogs and beans and mixed veggies before diving into my laundry and, now, ironing.

The apartment's still a mess.

'Tis the price you pay.
posted by MJR  # 7:54 PM

Saturday, May 22, 2004

What I need is to have my BB gun from my childhood here so, on a morning like this, I could mount a high-powered scope on its barrel, pump it 25 times instead of the recommended 10, and use it to embed a nice round copper BB in the forehead of the son of a bitch who was running a leaf blower in my neighborhood at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. I'd probably end up doing him and myself a favor: the latest trend in body modification. I could be rich. Pay $50 to let some angry jackass launch a titanium BB into your forehead from 500 yards away. Surely the insurance costs would be prohibitive, though. Too close of proximity to the eyes and brain. Although in this fucker's case, the value of the latter is questionable.

So now I'm up. Day.


City Could Not Stop - hangs on my bedroom wall.
posted by MJR  # 8:38 AM

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

So nice to have a day off. So quickly the world rushes back in to fill the void.
posted by MJR  # 9:32 PM

It seems like there's such urgency to everything lately and the 2-month hiatus I took from worrying about car ownership has bit me in the ass.

I watched Colonial House last night and then went to bed, alarm set for 6:30 so I could get up and go get the state inspection for Goldie. Feeling crappier than I did yesterday, with yet another head cold, I emailed work and went back to bed. Finally I dozed back off and slept til 9:30.

The local gas station/garage was able to handle both the state and insurance inspection so I went and did that. Then I went to the grocery store and caught up on household necessities. Then I ate some cantaloupe and burned/ripped iTunes to send to Hoss. Then I made some lunch. Then I scraped the old registration/inspection stickers off the windshield of the car and cleaned it up. The car is already, by the way, covered in pollen and twigs and leaves again. Then I called AAA and straightened out my membership before the new insurance throws a fit. Then I called to cancel my old insurance.

I guess I didn't realize the last time I registered my car in MA that I had to hurry up and deregister it in NYS. I knew when I switched back to NYS last Fall that I had to surrender plates here before my coverage could be cancelled. I found out today that if I don't get the plates back to the NYS DMV, they'll fine me $8 a day if there's no insurance on it.

Huh.

So, I gotta send those back that way tomorrow and once I do so the old insurance will be cancelled. And I was told not to worry about the payment due tomorrow.

But, that doesn't mean that I'm done worrying about the car, because after all of this I'm afraid to let it sit again and I feel a need to keep a watchful eye on her lest some other age-related problem manifest itself.

We'll see how long that lasts.
posted by MJR  # 3:22 PM

Monday, May 17, 2004

Goldie and I are reunited and she's back, safe and sound.

(Well, I'm not sure how sound she is with each passing month, but you know what I mean.)

I picked her up from the garage tonight. Grand total: $287 for the alternator, $32 for the new serpentine belt, 162 freakin' dollars in labor, a $24.95 oil change and $25 disposal fee. They were good, though. Nice and easy to talk to and they gave me both the 10% off repair coupon and the oil change coupon, so I got her back for just under $500.

Plus the $200 down for insurance last week.

Plus this month's $314 payment.

Plus tomorrow's $29 state inspection.

Plus the $75 new battery.

Plus the $20 in gas tonight.

I don't want to know the total. The weather was nice today and we took a nice, long drive together, Goldie and me. Out to Natick and back on Route 9. I intended to visit the apartment complex we first knew, when I moved here and settled in Framingham in 2000, but we didn't need to deal with the Framingham traffic. So we came back and then drove through Brookline and Brighton, where Goldie got cleaned up and we got all the pollen and sticks and twigs off her.

That's another $5.

She better be damn happy and behave for a while.
posted by MJR  # 6:59 PM

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Toxic. As it turns out, it wasn't acidic water, or diluted acid or anything that splashed on me; it was acid.

I sat on the couch this afternoon and ate a wedge of watermelon. When I got up, I looked down at the splotch on my shirt from the battery juice and there was a nice clean rip right along it.

When I went to take off the shirt, I noticed a similar rip on my shorts along one of the orange spots. Those shorts lasted so many days during last summer's road trip. Now they've fallen victim to a tipped car battery.

I showered off in case any lingered on me, but what hit my foot in the store only itched, so I wasn't too worried.

I am, however, worried about Goldie sitting down at the garage all by her lonesome. And I'm tired. And it's hot.
posted by MJR  # 7:48 PM

Hello walls, I've missed you. I don't know what to do with myself now that I finally have some time for me. I feel like no minute of the past week was my own, between the atmosphere at work, time on the phone, time responding to landlord and insurance agent emails, time spent getting up in the morning to let the plumber in (stove = fixed), running to the RMV w/ insurance paperwork to register Goldie (Goldie = registered), time out with co-workers, new and former on separate nights, getting home, cleaning up, etc etc.

This morning I got up and rode in a Zip Car to get a new battery for Goldie, which she needed anyway, so that I could drive her to a garage on it. When I went out at 8:00 yesterday morning to drive it in before work she wouldn't turn over. The battery got sucked too low. I installed the new battery, swapped her plates for MA ones, and drove her down to the garage, where they won't get to it today or maybe even tomorrow, deluged that they are with oil changes and detailing jobs. Poor Goldie. Poor me, sitting anxiously waiting for the verdict and how much it will cost.

And now I don't know what to do with myself. I was just about to dive into washing the half-full sink of dishes. I've been waiting all week til I got some time to myself on the weekend and now I'm too wound-up to just stop and pause. Even in this miserable humid heat.

And the battery sloshed some acidic water on me that marred my shorts and shirt.
posted by MJR  # 1:04 PM

Monday, May 10, 2004

Life = nuts.

New Blogger = cool.

Mark = back.

New Blogger looks like it borrowed a little from its sister app: GMail (which really rocks). It's a slick, engaging interface that also looks like it borrowed some ideas from 37Signals' Basecamp.

Alas, I don't know that the slick interface is going to be sufficient to get me blogging with great gusto again. I'm too damn busy. My car's broke and needs an inspection, repairpeople have to be let into the apartment, and those things are the exceptions to all the rest of the insanity.

It's going to be a summer for the books.

As was the last. Hm. Some sort of precedent was set? Dunno.

On another New Blogger note: What's this profile crap? Pictures? Favorite Movies, Books, etc? Uhm, Memo to Google/Blogger: Buy FRIENDSTER. They can't seem to jump the hurdle to being a solid app, as cool as they potentially are. Show them how it's done (but do so by acquiring their community).
posted by MJR  # 9:12 PM

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