Having heard that someone I know is thinking about a trip to Hong Kong, and looking for places that serve goose, led me to a bit of reminiscence in email:

It didn't occur to me and L to look for places we could have goose—we didn't quite live on roast duck over rice and roast duck noodle soup, but we did eat a lot of duck, mostly just walking into places we passed that had roast birds hanging in the window—but our planning consisted mostly of getting plane tickets and a hotel reservation, buying guidebooks, and making sure to get transit passes right away. (The man who didn't seem to know what to make of two white women walking into his otherwise empty restaurant at 4 p.m. and asking for duck seemed reassured that we weren't going to make unreasonable requests when we asked for a refill on the pitcher of hot, weak tea that he had put on the table as a matter of course.)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 20th, 2018 07:14 pm)
Question for other people who are going to Scintillation: how long are you planning to be in Montreal?

I'm thinking of arriving Thursday afternoon or evening, just so I don't fret about missing things on Friday (even though the many of the things are trips to places I've already seen), and staying over until either Monday morning or Tuesday morning.

Being there longer has the advantage of more social time, if other people also arrive early and/or stay late. The disadvantages are that it will probably cost more (although Airfares Are Weird) and might wear me out.

(I have addressed this to people who will be there, in terms of possibly coordinating schedules, but other relevant thoughts are also welcome.)

ETA: This having been asked in the comments, Scintillation will be a small science fiction convention in Montreal, in October. (For reasons to do with hotel space, Kickstarter, and the person who is organizing, there are no more memberships available.) I sometimes lose track of who has what context.
Mostly it's just been hanging out with [personal profile] rysmiel, some reading, and eating a lot of fish. The weather has been surprisingly pleasant (meaning highs in the low single digits (C)), and my hips and knee are doing pretty well with moderate amounts of walking, but walking to Juliet et Chocolat for lunch today was just strenuous enough that we're staying in for dinner and having smoked salmon again. The only problem with "smoked salmon again" is that the local supply of smoked salmon is finite. I was looking last night at the table containing both Indian smoked salmon and novy, asked rysmiel what they would call the latter ("novy" being a NY dialect shortening of "Nova Scotia smoked salmon"). Rysmiel told me they had no specific terms for either, because until very recently, novy was the only kind of smoked salmon they'd had. Whereas I grew up distinguishing novy from the much saltier lox, though I also didn't taste the Indian smoked salmon until I was an adult.

I've been doing all my hip-related PT stuff, and still icing the left knee, though it is much better than it had been: after several days when it hurt when I woke up, on Tuesday the knee was okay until I walked around my apartment a bit, and then Wednesday [two days ago] I didn't notice any pain until I'd been up for five hours, taken transit to the airport, waited around at the gate, and was actually on the plane. This is vastly reassuring.

Rysmiel and I haven't been talking about politics (at their request, as part of their long-term self-care). My usual approach to reading news these days starts with either universalhub.com for very local Boston stuff or the CBC, and the last three days I haven't looked at any other news websites. I'm getting quite enough between twitter and assorted email lists, including one very wide-ranging discussion list and Penzey's spices.

The latest Penzey's email is mostly about gun violence, Disney, the NRA, and Bill Penzey's hope that good things will come from the #metoo movement. He promised he'd send the originally planned message about an offer for rosemary in a day or two, leaving us for now with "Tomorrow there will be time to sing the praises of Rosemary, and Sunny Paris, and to share the Curry recipes and short stories our customers have passed along. But today, from the long history that is Spices, here’s this quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet: “There's Rosemary, that's for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.”
I am visiting [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel in Montreal. It took less than a day for me to reach into my pocket for coins, look at the (American) penny that came out, and think "what is that doing there?" A few hours later, I reached in again, found the same ocin, and said "pennies. Feh."

Yes, there are a lot of more important things wrong with my country and its government, but being up here where the smallest coin is a nickel reminds me of what a nuisance they are. The last time I fed change into the Coinstar machine (and put the value on a Starbucks card rather pay a 10% fee) it told me I had put in between thirteen and fourteen dollars, including an even hundred pennies.

(In both countries I find myself wishing there were more $10 bills in circulation—it's almost all fives and twenties—but that's a smaller thing. It seems to make a little more sense up here, where the five is the smallest paper money.)
I am just back from a trip to New York to see my mother; I got far too little sleep, and therefore came home a day earlier than I'd been thinking of, but am glad I got to see people.

[livejournal.com profile] cattitude, [personal profile] adrian_turtle and I took a train to New York Tuesday morning. My mother lives in London, and is currently in the US to see us, her sisters, and my brother. I'd hoped Mom would come up here for a few days, but she asked if we could come visit her instead, because she is finding travel more wearing than she used to. (My aunts live in New York; Cattitude, Adrian, and I are here in Arlington; and my brother and his girlfriend just moved to New Orleans.) My aunt Lea didn't want to put four people up for three days, so Mom got a hotel room reasonably close to my aunt's house.

We spent Tuesday afternoon and evening with my aunt and her husband: tea, conversation, and dinner (we had Chinese food delivered, because we wanted to make things as easy as possible for Lea and Dave). My cousin Janet came over near the end of our visit, after saying she didn't think she'd be able to make it because she had a class. (Conveniently, the one dish the rest of us hadn't especially liked was very much to her taste, so everyone was well fed.)

I was pretty worn out by the time we left Lea's (and was thinking that I should have insisted on leaving slightly sooner), but we talked a bit more before bed.

And then everyone else went to sleep, and I just lay there: every time I got close to drifting off, I was interrupted by a siren. (I think most of them were ambulances headed to Bellevue.) By the time that ebbed, the cold front was coming through, and the wind was far too loud for me to sleep. (This isn't usually a problem, but I'm not usually on the 29th floor.)

As far as I can tell, I didn't sleep at all Tuesday night. I got through Wednesday, mostly, on stimulants, protein, and sheer willpower. Since the hotel is near the Second Avenue Deli [which is no longer on Second Avenue], I had matzoh ball soup for lunch; everyone else had sandwiches to go with theirs. From there, we went to the American Museum of Natural History, because I hadn't been there in ages, and it was too cold a day for me to want to walk around the Bronx Zoo.

That was fun: we went to the special exhibit on Cuba (which I think I liked more than Mom, Andy, or Adrian—I spent quite a while looking at various kinds of anoles] and to the Hall of Rocks and Minerals (an old favorite of mine and Catittude's, to the point that when I needed to sit down, I pointed across the hall and told him "I'm going to go sit by the big amethyst" and he knew exactly what I meant. Before that, I helped someone who was using a walker and, when we asked if he needed help, said that he'd been told there were gems and couldn't find them. So I said "I'll show you," led him up the relevant ramp (the hall is broken into lots of different levels, connected by stairs and ramps, not all of them obvious) to the Star of India, a well-known and very fine large star sapphire.

Dinner that night was at a sushi place that had odd ideas of what "chirashi" and "don" meant: in both cases, instead of raw fish on a bowl of rice, they served a platter of fish and rice, and put spicy mayonnaise on the rice. I tasted it, realized the problem, and asked for some plain sushi rice instead, which they brought, but while the fish was reasonably good, I doubt I'd go back there even if I lived in the neighborhood. I think I got between five and six hours of sleep that night: I tried going to bed early, but found it difficult not to listen to the conversation in the next room. (Again, this was nobody's fault, and when I asked them to lower the volume, they did, and came to bed soon after.)

Adrian took a bus home Thursday morning (so she could be back in time to teach), and Cattitude and I had lunch with my mother and then caught an afternoon train. Home in time for dinner and to reassure the cats that we still love them. [livejournal.com profile] 42itous very kindly came in to feed them and keep them company, but they seemed a bit agitated when we got home. However, Molly spent most of the night curled between my feet, and both cats were much calmer by morning. I was glad to be back in my own bed, and got about nine and a half hours' sleep, which has helped a lot.

(I realized yesterday that I had cheerfully done one of my balance exercises—standing on a moving subway without holding onto anything—on no sleep the day before, on our way to the museum. Successfully, and on the way back I realized I was more tired and sat down. However, the fact that this worked doesn't mean it was a good idea, and I had known my judgment was not at its best for lack of sleep.)

ETA: Looking at the news this morning, I saw that Amtrak had a "minor derailment" [sic] at Penn Station this morning, which was still affecting train travel to and through the city a few hours later, which made me suddenly and perhaps irrationally more pleased that I came home yesterday.
I'm in Montreal for a long weekend with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel and [livejournal.com profile] papersky; we have had lots of good food and good conversation. I'm flying back tomorrow around lunchtime, so when rysmiel and I came back from a walk, I logged into the Air Canada site and checked in for my flight. All very sensible; I changed my seat, paid to check my bag (I've bought a few things, some of them liquid), and printed my boarding pass. But it makes me feel a little bit like the visit is almost over, even though about a quarter of it is left, and we have actual plans for this evening.

The odd thing about visiting this time of year is that spring is much more advanced in Boston than in Montreal: a lot less is in bloom here (the forsythia are just starting, and they were close to done by the time I headed to the Boston airport Friday morning), and most of the trees are bare. (Montreal in January, or for that matter August, is probably going to be colder than New York or Boston, but it's not so visually different.)
This was an odd-shaped trip: I flew east on four days' notice, with the goals of (a) looking at one specific apartment and deciding whether we wanted it; (b) getting ice cream at Tosci's; and (c) spending some time with [personal profile] adrian_turtle [1]. [livejournal.com profile] cattitude said he would be happy for me to make a decision about the apartment for both of us, and I was willing to do that, so he stayed home with the cats.

Adrian had not only found and told us about the apartment listing, she offered to take a look at the place on our behalf. When she found it good, I made an appointment with the landlady to look at the apartment myself, and then hurriedly booked plane tickets. (The eastbound trip was a long travel day, getting up very early, connecting through Houston, and arriving close to bedtime; for the trip back, I was able to trade air miles for a nonstop ticket.)

The afternoon after I got to Boston, I looked at the apartment, and asked the owners (who have lived there for several years, and are moving because they now have three children and want more space) questions about things like the thermostats [2]. I called Cattitude a couple of times, describing things and asking his opinions about some of them, and then I told the owners that we would like the apartment. She asked for the contact information for my current and previous landlords; I had the current building office number in my cell phone, and for the place we lived in New York I gave her the street address and "it's Samson Management, Rego Park, N.Y." and she said she'd be in touch after she talked to them.

Then on Friday Cattitude talked to our building office, which wouldn't send our rent/payment history to the potential landlady, but was willing to walk him through how to get it off their website, and I emailed Samson, because they wouldn't release the information without our okay [3]. By then it was almost 4:00 Friday, and the Samson office isn't open on weekends, so I got to wait and worry. (An email Sunday evening saying that they were doing "due diligence" on "the strongest candidates" had felt like a lead-in to letting me down gently, but Adrian said it also sounded like someone who had had a difficult time getting three small children to sleep.) A little after nine on Monday morning, my cell phone rang; it was someone from Samson, who was having trouble finding the record; with Cattitude's name, and the address and apartment number, they found it, and about twenty minutes later I was making an appointment to sign a lease and a couple of checks.

The apartment isn't perfect, but we think it will do for a year and a half. Not only is it a walk-up (which is a risk, but my knees are a lot better than they were a few years ago), but there's less closet space, and less wall space where we can put bookshelves. We do get a large attic, which means we'll need to decide which books we need easy access to and which can spend a couple of years in boxes, and will probably also need boxes for different-season clothing. Advantages include a small sun room, and use of the back yard (meaning we can garden), and that we will be near Mass Ave, the Minuteman Bikeway, and Spy Pond, and a short bus ride from Adrian's apartment.

Adrian was teaching Friday, so I decided that would be a good time for me to go to Central Square for that hot fudge sundae. I usually have sweet cream ice cream in sundaes, but it's always worth looking at the current list of flavors, and last week one of the choices was orange clove. I got a taste, and then ordered it, and it goes very nicely with hot fudge and whipped cream.

Since I made this trip on such short notice, instead of telling my freelance clients I would be unavailable, I took my laptop with me in case they sent me work. I'd meant to bring the mouse (I don't like trackpads), forgot it, and discovered Thursday that the trackpad had broken since I last used the machine. Fortunately, wireless mice are cheap and readily available, so that was only a nuisance. I wound up doing the editing in shorter bits than usual, with longer breaks—I missed my big monitor, and Adrian's desk is optimized for her hardware, height, etc., not mine.

[1] I deliberately kept that list short, and something that I was sure I could accomplish. Look at this one apartment, and get ice cream. (Adrian presented me with a small container of Tosci's sweet cream when I got to her place on Wednesday, because she is thoughtful and loves me, but I still wanted, and got, the sundae.)

[2] an example of a question most people wouldn't think to ask, but the place we live now has weird thermostats which not only aren't programmable, they have no temperature numbers on the controls.

[3] I realize this isn't exactly high security, but anything that had been would have taken longer and/or been less convenient.
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Jun. 19th, 2015 06:06 pm)
I am settled in at [personal profile] adrian_turtle's apartment in Arlington (Mass.) for the next few days; I flew out here three days ago, a basically smooth trip, and am I think over the jet lag by now. Nice weather this time (I was here last in February, deep in the heart of the snowiest winter on record).

We had dinner with [personal profile] jenett last night, and talked happily about this and that for a couple of hours. I've done a good amount of reading, mostly on the plane but also an entire novel (and rereading a few short stories) since I got here. The book post may have to wait until I'm back at my own computer, which I am significantly more comfortable with than I am with Adrian's tablet. (I could have brought the laptop, but generally prefer to save the weight/luggage space.)

So, a few more quiet days here, and then we'll be spending a couple of days in New York with my mother (who doesn't live there either, but she and I agree that Seattle-to-London is an uncomfortably long trip).

When back in Seattle, I will check in with the freelance clients who I told I would be away for two weeks. (One of them said he'd probably have something the last week in June.)
My reaction to the contrast between here and Boston is weird: snow back east, cherries and other early trees in bloom here. Bright and cold above the snow versus warm, gray, and damp. Arlington looked more "normal" to my eye than Bellevue; I think that's as much architecture as weather.

I flew back yesterday (all went smoothly except that the airplane seat made my back hurt). Exercise this morning, and then PT after lunch. Both went well; the only change to the PT is that I am now supposed to do the arm-as-pendulum stretch in three different ways instead of two, and the isometrics were easier than last time. Also, this was the first morning in a while that I haven't felt a need/desire for an NSAID. I had a brief twinge while waiting for the bus after lunch, but only brief, despite the exercise and all.

(ETA: So of course I wrote that, did a bit of other stuff on the computer, and started to sort some laundry, and another twinge. By the time I got over to the sink to take a naproxen, it was feeling okay, so I am holding off for now.)

Apparently I drafted but never posted an entry from Adrian's computer, several days ago. The title of that was "Greetings from the snowy East Coast" and I'm dropping it at the bottom of this, partly for my own reference:

I am told that as of this weekend, Boston has passed 100 inches of snow this winter. However, I apparently picked the exact right time to travel: my flight from Seattle arrived slightly early, the roads were okay (though the cabbie was annoying for unrelated reasons), and it was nice enough Thursday for me to happily go to Davis Square with Adrian, who had an appointment: tea, Diesel's special apple cider with whipped cream (sounds weird, tastes good), and falafel, linked by walking around on a sunny day. It's supposed to get cold overnight, though, and I suspect everything that melted today is going to be a slick mess by morning.

Mostly I have been spending time quietly with [personal profile] adrian_turtle, reading and talking and such; the party we had hoped to attend yesterday was canceled because while the roads are fine, parking is still a mess.

exercise details, nothing exciting here )
I'm just back from spending a few days in Montreal with [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel. We had a good time, mostly in a quiet sort of way: rysmiel was feeling low-energy if not actually unwell, but I think we worked with that reasonably well. (It helped that the only specific plan we had was lunch with [personal profile] anne/[livejournal.com profile] txanne. The three of us had crepes, after which rysmiel and I walked Anne to a comic shop (because she wanted some specific French-language comics), and then went to Juliet et Chocolat because I concluded that yes, I did have room for dessert. We got there, glanced at the menu, and I was reminded of how much I'd liked the brownie with a balsamic reduction. So I got that again, and it was very good.

Also, one night we sent out for a pizza; rysmiel asked not-very-hopefully how I felt about fresh tuna on pizza, and my reaction was "I've never tried that, let's get it." I liked it, and it goes well with mushrooms, but I'm not convinced the meatballs added anything in terms of flavor. (This is one of the standard toppings at Pizza Pizza, if you're interested.) A less cheerful food note is that the patisserie nearest rysmiel's home has closed, so I didn't get croissants or other pastries this trip. (Next visit, if it's not deep winter, I will make more of an effort; this time, I decided to spare my knee the extra walking and stairs involved in buying some at Marche Atwater on my way to the airport yesterday.

Also, while it's a long trip to Montreal from here, Air Canada inadvertently put that in perspective with an announcement as my flight was landing in Vancouver "for those of you who are continuing on to Sydney…" and then my cab driver mentioned that when he goes home to visit his family, that's 22 hours' flight, because he's from India. (I had a short hop from Vancouver to Sea-tac: window seat in a Dash-8 on a gorgeous evening for flying.)
This isn't my home climate either, but the summer plantings look right: similar variety of trees, choices of garden flowers, and the weedy maple saplings growing up through other plants look like home.

The trip itself was fine once I got checked in at the airport: a car service (Eastside for Hire) stood me up annoyingly, with a series of phone calls starting a few minutes before the time I had booked the cab for. The driver wasn't much good at communicating on the phone, and I had to repeat the full street address to her. It didn't help. By the time she called to say she really was at the front door, I was on the 550 bus, about to get onto the highway across the lake, and hoping that the traffic would be better than predicted. At 7:12, on the bus, I told the driver that "6:45 means 6:45, not whenever you find a map of Bellevue." The transit part (bus over the lake, light rail to Sea-tac) all went smoothly, giving me 20 minutes from when I got off the light rail to get to the Air Canada counter before the official cutoff for checked luggage.

There was almost no queue there, and the people in front of me kindly let me go first when I explained, and then I had an easy time at airport security, leaving me time to buy and drink tea before boarding the puddle-jumper to Vancouver.

The lesson here is either "go back to the other car service" or "6:45 is enough time to do this by bus if I actually go to the bus stop at 6:45 rather than 7:05."

I got to Montreal a little late, but at that point I could do it on automatic: find the ticket machine, buy weekly transit pass, 747 bus to Orange Line metro to 90 bus, and here I am. I was very glad to see [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel, and we had a late-by-the-clock dinner including poutine, then stayed up past 1. OK, fine, my body should be on west coast time: except that I was up less than six hours later. Still, I am here, rysmiel is here, there is tea, and we even have plans for tomorrow.
In the early or mid-1990s, I bought an Eagle Creek "solo journey" backpack, a model that was recommended online; zipped tight, it was a legal carry-on for most airlines, and if I used the expansion zipper, there were built-in compartments for the shoulder and hip straps. By the time I saw the review, the model had been discontinued, replaced with something larger (so not checked luggage), but I found one in a shop in Greenwich Village. I carried it on most of my longer-than-a-weekend trips for twenty years.

It's been wearing out for a while, and Eagle Creek no longer makes anything at all like it; last summer I bought a replacement from Tom Bihn. The replacement appears to be the best thing on the market in that approximate size—but it doesn't give me as much flexibility as the old bag, which I decided to keep using as long as possible.

Somehow, on my way home from Montreal in April, the bag acquired an unpleasant odor. (Oddly but fortunately, none of the contents did.) After some procrastination, I tried laundering it, because I didn't have much to lose. It smells a lot better, but better isn't good enough: there's still a faint mildewy odor, and given the age of the bag, I'm not going to try heroic measures, and just threw it away.
If I'm going to Wiscon, I should get plane tickets soon. They are already looking expensive, but I'm not sure whether that's timing, this year versus last, or flying out of Seattle rather than New York. The thing is, a lot of what I'm finding involves getting up unreasonably early (6:50 out of SEA) meaning getting up I don't know when); is this just an artifact of stupid software that will let me specify "depart between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m." but not "anything that leaves between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m." (in which case I will take a deep breath and run umpteen searches and scribble notes on paper) or is it really showing me what's out there and/or halfway affordable, given that I'm looking at flying a significant distance east and making at least one connection?

Also, if there's anything non-obvious and useful that you know about this route, please tell me.
redbird: London travelcard showing my face (travelcard)
( Apr. 2nd, 2013 07:02 am)
At about 5:50 this morning, someone came to pick [livejournal.com profile] julian_tiger up and take him to Newark Airport for his flight to Seattle. He cheerfully went to meet her at the door (he meets almost everyone who rings the doorbell), and was no trouble at all to get into his travel kennel. He's been napping in it ever since we got it set up: it's a nice padded cave.

This somehow feels like we're committed, in a different way than signing the lease in Bellevue or sending out changes of address.

The movers show up sometime in the next three hours; fairly soon into that I expect to have to shut down this computer and put it in my carry-on bag. If you need me urgently, I have the cellphone (which is decidedly not a smartphone, so it won't get email, but the battery life is excellent).
redbird: drawing of a coelacanth (coelacanth)
( Nov. 2nd, 2012 05:46 pm)
I got home (i.e., back to Adrian's) yesterday evening, saw that Amtrak was selling tickets for today, and grabbed one on the 11:05 train from Boston to New York. My railroad trip was smooth (and I wound up with an unusually comfy seat in the cafe car; the attendant told me that car had previously been used as a first class lounge car on overnight trains) and surprisingly uncrowded. The subway ride home was also basically smooth (since what I wanted to do matched well with a part of the system that they have up and running), though crowded enough that I was glad to have left most of my luggage, and the big backpack, in Arlington.

[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I have now played Scrabble, and the Greenmarket website says our market will be open as usual tomorrow (though of course we will have to wait and see which vendors are there).

Yesterday in Boston, I ran some errands with Adrian, went to the gym in mid-afternoon and got a hot fudge sundae at Toscanini's afterwards (I figure I can make a habit of getting ice cream after working out at Central Square, since I don't go there very often or at times when I'd be spoiling my appetite for lunch or dinner), and then walked over to the library to meet Adrian (she was tutoring there). While I was waiting, I answered my cell phone (in the lobby; I'd set it to a quiet mode) and turned down a temp assignment for today because I wouldn't be back in time. I was surprised to hear from the agency; the job was/would have been at the ad agency they've been sending me to a few blocks from Penn Station.

Also, I saw another patch of periwinkle in bloom on Mass Ave at the edge of Central Square, and Cattitude reports violets in our local churchyard. At least the ginkgo fruit, while stinky, is basically in season. The city says "most" parks will be open again tomorrow, so I may wander around ours and see what shape it's in, mostly meaning which/how many trees we've lost (and look for violets, periwinkles, or any other out-of-sync spring flowers).

(Yes, there's still a lot of work to be done to get things running properly again; I happen to live in a part of the city that sustained relatively little damage.)
As my mother predicted (in email), Amtrak is not going from Boston to New York tomorrow. Ever-hopeful, I have booked a ticket for Thursday afternoon, and in the meantime am up here in Arlington with [personal profile] adrian_turtle. We are eating chocolate chip–oatmeal–cranberry cookies, still warm from the oven.

I went with Adrian this morning to her eye doctor, as general moral support; he seemed congenial enough that, on the way out, I observed that if I lived in the area, I would be making an appointment myself. (Dr. Nosike, at Mount Auburn.) We took the bus down to Harvard, then walked to and from the doctor, and over to Central Square to buy chocolate chips. It was a gorgeous couple of hours, sunny and warm, and still looking like fall, with colored leaves on the trees as well as on the ground. (I saw some branches down, and even one small tree that had landed on someone's fence along Mass Ave. And a remarkable number of flowers, including three rhododendron bushes that looked like April.)

I checked the Amtrak web site every hour or so; around 7:30 they posted that there would be no service between Boston and Newark tomorrow. I am not counting on Thursday either, but I have absolutely nothing to lose by booking a ticket. (If that's canceled, I may look into bus service for Friday, or just book again on Amtrak.) It's not a bad time to be out of New York City, but I miss [livejournal.com profile] cattitude (and [livejournal.com profile] julian_tiger).

*Adrian says "Commonwealth of the hobbit."
I'm visiting [personal profile] adrian_turtle for the weekend.

Saturday [livejournal.com profile] nineweaving invited us over for tea. I'm not sure it still counts as afternoon tea if you stay long past sundown, but we were all three having a fine time talking about books and life and such. (She invited us for 3:00, I'd put "3-5" in my calendar, and around eight o'clock Nineweaving remembered she had work to do just as I was about to remind Adrian that we really needed to get home and have dinner. Given the time and energy levels, we instead had pho in Harvard Square, which was an easy walk, and then took the bus home.

Since I'd wanted to walk and look at fall colors, Adrian and I took the bus most of the way to Nineweaving's apartment, and then walked the last mile or two down Mass Ave. That was pleasant, and warmer than I would normally expect for the last weekend in October in the Boston area. In addition to the colorful leaves (later than most years), I saw a couple of purple rhododendron blossoms (just two, on two different but nearby bushes; this was a couple of blocks away from the Common on Mass Ave, on the Common side, if anyone wants to go look for them when the winds die down again). I suspect that when most people talk to plants, they aren't saying "what are you doing? It's October!"

On the trip home, we were waiting for a bus and the one that pulled up (at the beginning of the run) was labeled "Not in service," but the driver opened the doors and people were getting on. Someone else standing in line wondered aloud whether the bus was going to Arlington; I said "I'm going to ask the driver." At that point, the person in front of him told me to go ahead of her, and she'd listen to the answer. I said "OK" and something about it sometimes being useful to be an outspoken New Yorker. Before I got to the front of the line, the driver turned on the recording that says "77 Arlington Heights," which answered that. But the woman sat down near us, and we chatted a little; she's from Iowa, and would have been too shy to approach the bus driver, though not to chat a little with me and Adrian. I admitted to also being able to sometimes understand the PA systems on subway trains; that one, I think it really does help that I started when I was ten.

My plan had been to go back to New York this afternoon, but between planned subway shutdowns (in New York; the T is doing fine) and what would have been my train not leaving until about 45 minutes late, I decided it was best to be warm and dry in Arlington. (I probably could have made it home okay, but I suspect it might have been a long and annoying trip, and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude would have worried. (If the train had left on time, I would have missed it by about two minutes.) I exchanged my ticket at the window in South Station; having announced that Monday's trains were canceled, they weren't selling any for Tuesday either, for the same reason, so I will be traveling around lunchtime Wednesday, after the storm passes and they've had time to pick up the damage.
[livejournal.com profile] cattitude and I went to visit his parents over the weekend. A relatively quick overnight trip: up Saturday morning and back Sunday evening, so one night away and no time off from work. But we didn't get home until bedtime last night (we stopped at a diner near Penn Station for supper rather than deal with that when we got home), in part because we spent an hour and a half on the Schenectady railroad platform waiting for a delayed train. It's a risk you take with the Adirondack, but the other trains weren't at anything like convenient times.

cut for length )

Today I went to the gym after work; a fairly ordinary workout, but reasonably satisfying. Also, I overheard one of the trainers talking a couple of pictures of one of the people she was working with; this suggests I might be able to get Emilie to do the same for me, to replace my now-very-old workout userpic. I've been assuming photography was against gym rules and didn't ask, but they might be more willing to trust their own staff using my camera than a fellow gym member or guest doing so.

numbers, cut to avoid boredom )
Con report, Friday of Wiscon 35 (27 May 2011):

I should note up-front that I talked to a lot of cool people during the weekend, and even if I get through to Monday, these posts are in no way complete. (I'm starting this one the Sunday after the con, with some brief notes I made mid-week.) As you know, Bob, Wiscon is a feminist science fiction convention held in Madison, Wisconsin. The con hotel is a block from the state capitol building. This was Wiscon 35, and I've been going almost every year since Wiscon 20.

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