16 January 2007


I was just checking on weather.com, and read this:

I know it seems like nothing if you don't live in the Boston area, but we've not had proper snow since ... November? December? And even then it wasn't anything that actually stuck to horizontal surfaces.

It's been a sad, sad winter season for Boston.

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digging for the truth

It's a slogan that The History Channel has pasted all over the MBTA Green Line trains (I can't speak for the other lines, as I don't see them very often). It's a sentiment that would seem to express serious scholastic interest, but none of the accompanying images really match up.

"Digging for the truth" apparently means taking part in adventure sport--hang-gliding over lost civilizations that bear a striking resemblance to scenery from King Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, rock-climbing the face of large old statues (that, amazingly, aren't so old that they crumble or self-destruct under the stress and pressure of human weight), and base-jumping (or perhaps sky-diving, I couldn't tell) out of helicopters. ... But no actual "digging," no, not as such.

I had a lot of time to contemplate these advertisements over the three-day weekend (because I work at a university, and Martin Luther King Jr. received his doctorate here--if we didn't celebrate Martin Luther King Day as a proper holiday, what would people think?).

Saturday I spent indoors, watching DVDs from Netflix and some episodes of Psych that I had downloaded from iTunes. I also began to rearrange and tidy up my book-shelves, trying to give the madness a recognizable method--important since there are things I can't find that I really wish I could.

Like my sketch books or my votive candles. I had a whole bag of votives, and now I have no idea where they are. I really hope they're not in my closet (a whole other barrel of worms--yes, a barrel), but the fact that I dread even attempting to search there probably means that that's exactly where they are.

But speaking of Psych, the long mid-season pause (a pause of several months, as the last new episode was back in August) is nearly over; there's going to be a new episode airing this Friday. I'm looking forward to the continuation and hope that the series is picked up for another season. Blasphemy, but I like it better than Monk.

I nearly stayed indoors again on Sunday, but outside forces were at work that would change my mind midway through the day. Numerous instant messages overnight from my mother guilted me into inspired me to call my parents. My mother was happy to find that I'd been making use of the iTunes gift card they'd given me for Christmas (those television episodes). She also wanted to know my extended weekend plans, which had basically been put on the shelf due to inclement weather, and I said as much.

Then my father got on the phone and gave me a pep-talk--you know the kind. Don't let bad weather discourage you, get out there with an umbrella and enjoy the time, etc. It's a very easy pep-talk to give when your own weather is not shit (they live in North Carolina, and enjoyed a sunny and mild weekend). So I said in a very noncommittal way that I would get out of my apartment, and he seemed nonetheless satisfied with that unenthusiastic response.

They rung off, and I surprised even myself by actually doing what I said I would. I ate a quick lunch and left the house, North Station my destination--and arrived there at about 1:45 PM. I bought a round-trip ticket at the booth, and took the Rockport train out of Boston at 2:15 PM, which is how I ended up spending a rainy afternoon in Salem, MA.

While there, I [finally] bought Christmas presents for my flat-mates at a shop on Derby St. called Witch Ways: a sun-and-moon themed wind-chime for Michelle and an opalescent "witch ball" for Stephanie (they call it that because it's meant to protect a home from malevolent forces, but to me it looks like a pretty glass-blown Christmas ornament). After that, I went farther down to Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, the oldest candy company in America (open since 1806), and bought truffles--because I really like their truffles and thought they would be nice to accompany the gifts.

Christmas crises over with, I walked back toward Pickering Wharf, and stopped in at Cafe Jaho for a cappuccino and some writing--and, though I hadn't really expected much of myself, I got a fair amount of writing done. It needs editing, as the characterization of my main character is a little off for the scene (though I haven't dealt with him in 50,000 words, so that's not very surprising); but I like what I've done with the secondary character, so it wasn't a wasted or fruitless effort.

I didn't leave Salem until nearly 6:00 PM, and walked around taking pictures in the dark until the next inbound train was due to arrive.

Some of them turned out better than others.

Yesterday morning, as I was getting ready to go out into the rain again, the doorbell rang. It was the postman with my purchases from Amazon.co.uk--the three new books based on the Torchwood series. I unwrapped them, enjoyed the sight of them for a few minutes (when you line up the three separate book spines they make a picture of the whole team), and put Another Life in my bag for T reading material.

I spent the afternoon at the CambridgeSide Galleria, and bought a new protective case for my iPod (a black and red leather folio that I saw at the Apple Store in Raleigh, NC over Christmas break and had been coveting ever since, regardless of the U2-connection).

Shopping confession two, I feel, requires preamble to justify the purchase--one that the majority of my friends will still feel is not an adequate justification; but if they're really my friends they'll forgive the rather "preppy" vanity involved. I don't generally shop at Abercrombie & Fitch; it's usually out of my price range, and, quite frankly, most of the clothing is poorly crafted and overpriced for its quality (or lack thereof). I've only shopped their clearance, because that's when I feel that the clothing is actual worth what you're paying.

All that being said, I really like the way Abercrombie & Fitch clothing smells--you know, before the first time you wash it. And, while looking for clothing deals with my mother in the post-Christmas madness, we went into an Abercrombie & Fitch. I ended up buying a sweater and a pair of greenish-gray khakis; and again, I was struck by the fragrance on all of the clothes.

Waiting in line, there was a table beside the check-out counter with bottles of multiple scents, and I picked up the test-bottle of "Classic" on a hunch and spritzed it on a test-strip. Sure enough, "Classic" is what all their clothes smell like. And I wanted it, but I didn't buy it; it seemed like overkill at the time (and I'm sure still seems like overkill to you, dear readers, now).

With that long introduction to the fact, the shorter story is that I went and bought a bottle yesterday at the Galleria. Because I was there, and alone, and had no one in tow to give me judgmental glares about the silliness of such a purchase (you know who you are--yes, all of you, most likely). No, I'm only leaving myself open to criticism after the fact by mentioning it in my blog; but at least this way no one can attempt to talk me out of it.

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