Have a good break. Eat lots of Turkey. Sleep.

It’s the evening of Tuesday, 21 November as I write this. I’ve been meaning to write stuff about the last few days, and this is basically the first chance that I’ve had to do so. The stuff that follows will probably vary from simply describing events to random reflection and what not.

Wednesday, 15 November

Wednesday was the transitional day. I woke up in my Indiana dorm room and fell asleep in my Massachusetts bedroom. I had my last final in the afternoon: Graph Theory with Dr. Grimaldi. The test went OK. I’m sure there were a few things that I didn’t get fully correct, but on the whole, I think I did decently on it.

My RA wrote the following on his whiteboard outside his room. It’s quintessential Rose. This is precisely every Rose student’s dream for Thanksgiving break:

Have a good break.
Eat lots of turkey.
Sleep.

There was packing to finish and all that silliness. In addition to that, this was my last opportunity to see Curtis for some long indefinite period of time. Zollers drove me to the airport, and Curtis tagged along for the ride. Zollers rules. He actually makes sure that the people he drives to the airport actually board the plane before leaving, unlike most people who just drop you off at check-in. This was especially cool as it gave me a few more minutes to chat it up with Mr. Huttenhower before leaving.

We said our rather awkward goodbyes and I boarded the plane. I’m not the greatest person at handling goodbyes, but I’m not the worst either. I did end up spending the first part of the flight to Detroit on emotional damage control though. Most goodbyes are really easy, even when I’m really close with the other person. For instance, Hawver, Bryan, and Bill. Saying bye is never that big of a deal, beacause I know I’ll see them again in just a little bit anyway. It was different with Carolyn this summer and with Curtis on Wednesday.

Detroit is sketchy. One nice thing about the Detroit airport is that many of the signs are in Japanese, so I got to amuse myself by attempting to read them while walking from one gate to the next.

My flight from Detroit to Providence got in a bit early. My father and sister picked me up. Although the flight got in early, we had to wait around extra-long for my luggage, so the end result was as though the flight had been on time.

This was followed by an uneventful ride back to civilization and a blissful night of unconsciousness.

Thursday, 16 November

Thursday started out around noon for me, with a call from Bryan. He wanted to hang out, but I had already made plans with Bill, so I agreed to call if that fell through.

Which it did, sort of. Turns out that Bill never got my confirmation email, so he made other plans. Specifically, he went to see Red Planet with Amanda.

He stopped by my place before heading up town to meet her, and was even nice enough to drop me off at the Braintree T station on the way. At this point, the plan was to meet up with Bryan and Hawver in front of the Kenmore McDonald’s, and from there to go cause a ruckus somewhere.

I ended up getting to Kenmore around 6:30, and the most unexpected sight greeted me when I reached the top of the stairs: where once there was the Rat, and all sorts of other good stuff, there was a big void with a few pieces of construction equipment in it instead. So the Rat is no more. IHOP, however, was still standing, although it was clear that IHOP would be the next thing to go. This is not cool.

I kicked it into Store 24 for dinner (a Drake’s coffee cake and a Diet Coke), and continued to wait in front of MakuDonarudosu for H and B.

B pulled up in the Deliverator, and I joined him in the quest to find parking. We walked back to McDonald’s, but figured that we might as well catch Hawver at his place around the corner instead, and headed out that way. We caught the H-dawg as he was rounding the corner onto Comm Ave. Then we kicked it Deli Haus style, which was good. We headed back to H’s place and busted out Tekken on the PS2 for a bit.

So, H’s new place is 529 Newbury Street. This is the ghetto end of Newbury right behind Kenmore. Will of BON fame and this guy named Allen are his roommates. It’s quite the location for a place, and living there cuts 20 hours out of H’s weekly commuting, which rules.

We ended up settling on a trip to the Cheri to see Red Planet.

Now, there is one important thing to be said about Red Planet, and that is that it is a better film than Mission to Mars. That, and Carrie-Anne Moss is in it. Otherwise, this film is almost entirely unredeemable.

Friday, 17 November

My father woke me up at some outrageous hour on Friday. 8:00 AM is still the dead of night as far as I’m concerned. At least, it’s still the dead of night when I’m home on break. So this came as a bit of a shock. Of course, I’m the one who left the note on the kitchen table asking him to get me up then, so you would think that it wouldn’t have been as shocking as it was, but there you go. You see, I had to make sure that he got me to the train so that I would get to the Boston Ballet at the right time, to meet Carolyn C for lunch.

My father dropped my sister off at work and dropped me off at Braintree. I ended up arriving wicked, wicked early (about an hour and a half early), so I wandered around the Back Bay for a bit before heading over.

The first thing to notice about Carolyn is her barely contained joy. She strikes me as a thoroughly happy person, which isn’t something all that hard to ascertain when you see her smile.

We walked to Geoffrey’s for lunch. I had never been there before, and I was very pleased with the meal. Wicked good food is a good thing. Wicked good food during wicked good conversation is an even better thing.

Carolyn and I went to the Copley mall to wander around after lunch. This was most definitely windowshopping for me, as I was teetering toward broke at that point. In one store, Carolyn showed me these wonderful little pieces of art. They’re paintings of sorts, with really short stories written on them too. Many of them were very touching, and I would have liked to have picked up several of them, but $35.00 each is a bit much when you’re almost broke.

I had previously planned to meet up with Bill at the BPL at 2, and since Carolyn didn’t need to head back to the ballet until 3 or so, she came along. The three of us headed over to Marche so Bill could have lunch, and we talked about a variety of things. We invited Carolyn to the libertarian social at the Euchner’s Saturday afternoon. I had yet to ever go to one of the socials, but the Euchner’s rule so I figured it would be worth going to at least once. Carolyn had to leave to get back to the ballet, so we said our goodbyes.

Bill and I stayed at Marche’s for a while, chatting it up on a variety of topics, philisophical and otherwise. I’m expecting his paper for the Enlightenment meeting on certainty and justification to rule. We headed over to Cambridge to meet up with Amanda at ZDNet, but she wasn’t there, so we hung out in Border’s for a bit before heading to Hawver’s, as the plan was for me to meet up with Hawver there at 6:30.

The plan had been to go to Spike and Mike’s with Amanda Howe, but she ended up bailing on us, so Will, Bryan, Hawver, and I headed over to X night at Axis (after playing Tekken a lot). As usual, we spent most of our time in the Leftover Lounge, because the techno that they spin downstairs gets real repetitive real quick, and the 80’s ruled.

I officially danced with a girl in a non-family environment for the first time. It was rather awkward, as I had no idea who this person was and she just started dancing with me (on top of the fact that I have very little idea how to dance with someone else to begin with), and it only lasted for a few minutes. I assume that I was giving off every possible wrong signal, which probably didn’t help. I just had no idea what to do, so I made do by reacting to what she did.

When we got back from Axis there was much Tekken. Hawver and I vs. Bryan and Will. Hawver and I busted stuff up. We rule. At some point Will dropped out to go to bed, so Hawver and I continued. A bit later on, there was a thump behind us, quickly followed by the sound of snoring. We turned to see Bryan conked out on the couch. So that’s how we allocated living room furniture for sleeping that night. I ended up on the loveseat which, while very comfortable, is unbearably short when you sleep on it. There was much tossing and turning.

Saturday, 18 November

Hawver woke Bryan and me up a very short amount of time after I finally fell asleep on the loveseat. Fortunately, he make coffee. B offered to give me a ride to the ballet, as I was meeting Carolyn there at 12:30, so the two of us walked around the corner to the Haus for breakfast before leaving. It was packed, and we ended up not even getting served until a little after noon. So there was a bit of supersonic Deliverator action on Sturrow Drive to get me up there on time. I ended up being slightly early even, which ruled.

Carolyn and I took the train to North Quincy to meet Bill. We ended up getting there wicked early, so we went to McDonald’s for a bit so Carolyn could have some of their apple pie. Have I adequately emphasized the fact that Carolyn rules? If not, please feel free to insert additional praise here.

Bill picked us up and we headed out to the libertarian social at the Euchner’s place. I thought it was a pretty awkward afternoon, and although it was cool to see the Euchner’s again, I didn’t really enjoy myself all that much.

Things got a lot cooler when Kirez and Tom showed up. I hadn’t seen either of them since Vancouver. I was very pleased to see how well Carolyn C and Tom got along. Tom’s awesome.

Most of us left the social around 6:30 so we could get to the salon in time. Tom came down from Canada to give a talk on poetry at the salon, which was held at Hawver & Will’s place. I ended up being drafted by Tom to film the talk, which was made fun by the fact that all of the directions for the camcorder were in French.

Kirez, Carolyn, and me

That’s me fumbling with the camcorder on the right, Carolyn in the center, and Kirez on the left.

I expected the talk to be awesome, as Tom

A bunch of us at the salon

Clockwise from the left: Kate, Kirez, Carolyn, me, Gavin, Mark, Hawver, Bill.

I wasn’t disappointed. Perhaps the best thing about the talk was the clearly explicit method involved in it. This is one of the reasons why I think Tom’s talk was so well received, as well as why Diana’s talk went over so well in Vancouver: both talks are structured around the method of objectivity, which makes for an excellent way to present ideas. I don’t even think it’s necessary for the audience to notice or pick up on the method that is exhibited in the talk, although I think it’s even cooler if they do.

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Tom talking at the salon.

A quintessential Bryan expression at the salon

A quintessential Bryan expression at the salon.

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Hawver and Bryan chat it up at the salon.

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Bill playing at the salon.

I think Carolyn really enjoyed herself at the salon, which is a good thing. I was hoping that she would feel comfortable and welcome there, and I think she did. :) Bryan and I dropped her off at her apartment afterwards.

When I got home, I saw my mother for the first time since getting in on Wednesday. She had fallen asleep in a chair downstairs, which was convenient for me as the door was locked and I had no key. We stayed up talking for a while.

Sunday, 19 November

I got about four hours of sleep. Bryan and I headed in town for brunch with the BON crew, as Tom would be there and it’s all about hanging out with Tom as much as possible. Mark, Kirez, Tom, Spot, Kate, Bill, Bryan, and I were all there. The conversation was interesting and all that jazz.

Bryan and I bummed around the mall a bit before brunch as well as afterwards. We each bought winter hats, or rather Bryan bought two winter hats, one of which I have to pay him back for. Check it out:

Lounging in my new winter hat

Is it not awesome?

We kicked it back to Hawver and Will’s a little after one in the afternoon. They were just getting up. More Tekken ensued.

We ran various errands around the Back Bay for a while, which included getting Will’s roll of film from the salon developed, and food at the Pour House. The pictures in the salon section above are from that roll.

The Pour House is this random joint on Boylston which combines two elements which qualify it as awesome:

Bryan picked up Becki at South Station while Hawver and I hung out with Kim over at Simmons. I haven’t seen Kim in more than a wicked long time, so that was cool.

I got an email from Gwen. She hadn’t heard from Curtis since he left Rose and was trying to find another way to get in touch with him. Evidently, Curtis hadn’t given her his home phone number, and it’s unlisted or something along those lines.

Monday, 20 November

My morning was spent at a dentist appointment, and my afternoon was spent raking leaves in the yard. I had my first home-cooked dinner: ham, delmonico potatoes, peas, and egg nog. It’s amazing how good real food is.

Bill and I headed in town to meet up with Hawver after dinner. The plan was to head over to MassArt to see Lloyd (Jason Talbot) in some kind of art performance. The three of us went to the Haus beforehand.

The performance was entitled “A Perfect Combination,” which strikes me as a bit of a misnomer, as the different performances didn’t appear to have anything at all in common with one another. Lloyd’s piece consisted of him causing an amp and a turntable to make lots of feedback, causing headaches. Amanda Howe showed up during the bizarre puppet show that defies description. Lloyd introduced us to an environmental fine arts echange student from England during the intermission. Environmental fine arts, you ask? Exactly. Ryan read a bunch of her short stories, and I really liked them. Bill and I headed out after she finished up.

I talked to Curtis on ICQ later that night. He had talked to Gwen on the phone and all that, which is good. He might actually be in town this coming weekend, interviewing with Lincoln Labs. That would rule.

Tuesday, 21 November

Today, I actually stayed at home for the day. Go figure. I finally had an opportunity to write all of this out. But now it’s late and I’m tired, so I’m going to leave it at that for the time being. Good night all.