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jjohn (22)

jjohn
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Perl hack/Linux buff/OSS junkie.

Journal of jjohn (22)

Sunday May 18, 2003
03:41 PM

naked furniture and preening cormorants

[ #12289 ]

It was a spectacular spring day in Boston. Is it safe to retire my winter clothes to storage yet? Let's not be too hasty. I took early advantage of the day by going on a long bike ride around the Charles river. Leaving from Kenmore, I first made my way east to the Museum of Science then went west along the Cambridge side of the river, going past Harvard Square and the Arsenal Mall (yes, the Mall really was a place that once made guns and ammo but now sells Pokemon t-shirts and New Balance sneakers instead) finally arriving in downtown Watertown. Then the fun began as I headed east again through the thickly wooded bike path that undulates like a kiddy rollercoaster in parts. Good clean fun there! I made it back to my apartment in two and a half hours. The whole route was about eleven or twelve miles. Without hesitation, I can confirm I was thoroughly winded. I'm still trying to work off last year's blubber before I needed again for winter ought-3.

Another motivation for biking along the Charles is the scenery. Am I talking about the co-eds at BU, Harvard and MIT, not to mention the upwardly mobile ladies of the Hub? Of course I am. Don't be absurd. Yet to the patient observer, the Charles also offers an inspiring display of wildlife. The cormorants were out in force today. Near MIT, I saw clutch of the black things holding court on one of Harvard's docks. With their awkwardly long beaks and slick black feathers, they fleetingly remind you of living gargoyles. Near Watertown, I saw about six of them perched mid-river on a branch that was blanched and striped of bark. The birds, already freaky enough on their own, gave this otherwise prosaic scene a menace that I can't explain. I do wish I had brought my camera. Next time.

Later in the day, I wondered toward Copley Square to get my locks butchered at SuperCuts. Why do I go to SuperCuts? It's $12.50 for a haircut. Now mind you, that twelve dollars doesn't get you a good haircut or one that will get you a job or a mate, but the hair dressers there are efficient so the hair razing is dispatched with aplomb. After all, I'm not really looking for that "ready-for-action Disco look" that Bloom County's Opus was so keen to get.

After my haircut, I got a hot chocolate at Starbucks and headed over to the Mother Church of the Christian Scientists and read some of Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This is a book I've been meaning to read since high school. It influenced some of my friends in a not-at-all preventative way. If I hadn't heard the incomprehensible interview Thompson gave to Letterman in the mid-eighties, I would have thought it impossible for such a drug fiend to write with such clarity, irony and prowess (yes, I know about Aleister Crowley's autobiography). Thompson's prose is masterfully wrought. Modern essayists may wish to revisit this classic (I'm looking at you, Ms. Wurtzel).

I then purchased an unfinished wooden bookcase that will house my VHS tapes and possibly my DVDs. I went the extra distance today and stained the cabinet with Ipswitch Pine stain. It's a little blotchy in spots, but overall I'm happy with the results. My watercolor paints are calling to me...

All this means I have successfully dodged doing any real work. But that's a Monday problem. ;-)

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  • sounds like a lovely day...you even managed to make me a wee bit wistful for Boston. If you like F&L, you should definitely go rent the movie version with Johnny Depp as it was one of the best adaptations of a book I've seen in a long time. Depp apparently camped out with HST for a while to get into character and whomever did the hotel lobby scene has to have dropped acid at some point as it is utterly brilliant. :) The rest of the Gonzo Papers are a treat too. I'm currently reading Margaret Atwood's ne

  • ... I suggest looking up S. J. Perelman. Writer of both Horse Feathers and Monkey Business for the Marx Brothers, he has a style which, though stemming from a completely different worldview, reminds me delightfully of HST.

    _Crazy Like A Fox_, if you can find it, puts together some of his very best essays.

    With only two hours in Chicago I would be unable to see the city, and the thought drew me into a state of composure. I noted with pleasure that a fresh coat of grime had been given to the Dearborn Street