before i got to work i went to au bon pain to buy a chicken caesar salad for lunch. work today was uneventful, prior to noontime i can't really remember anything exciting happening, which was quite all right with me. i bagged a few more new songs from audio galaxy, all music from the 80's, i'm going back to my roots yet again.

at 12pm i grabbed my gym stuff and went downstairs to change into my running clothes. 15 minutes i was out the door, black pants, black turtleneck, black gloves, and a hat, went running around the charles for 3 miles. i didn't think too many people would be out, despite the fact that it wasn't that cold (this morning was 30 degrees). i tried counting how many people i ran by during my run, but after the first few dozens i gave up. if i had to give an estimate, somewhere about 50-60 were out on the charles, either running, biking, or walking. running underneath the longfellow bridge, there were these ice stalactites forming from drainage pipes. i pity the fool who becomes the unwilling recipient of that tragic melt! a few people passed me (this one girl, who looked slightly overweight with all the winter gear she had on, sped by me, listening to her cd player, she had mad meghan speed!), the most annoying of which was this group of middle aged men who ran directly behind me. i wasn't going to let them pass, so i picked up the pace gradually, so they could never overtake me. finally though, they made their move and ran by me. it was warm enough that i wanted to take off my turtleneck during the run, after i had removed my hat and gloves. when i got the longfellow bridge though, i walked across and about midway through i started to feel the chilling effects of the river winds. i ran the rest of the way home just to keep warm.

when i came back from my run, i showered and went upstairs with my hair still slightly damp. i brought out my chicken salad from the refrigerator and ate it at my desk while reading up on using xml in director. i had an enlightening aim conversation with eliza. it all started when i told her i was having a hair crisis because my hair was drying up and getting all feathery and i couldn't find my emergency office supply of hair gel. she seemed to know where it was upstairs (i kept it in a drawer), i'm shameless, i showed everyone, despite the fact that i vehemently deny using any enhancing products in my own hair. then i was afraid to put it on because there was a big meeting upstairs and i didn't want anyone to smell it, nor did i want to secret go into the bathroom and apply, because when i walk out they could also smell it. so i had to wait until the meeting was over, but in the meantime my hair was slowly drying up and becoming frizzier. anyway, that got us into a big discussion about hair secrets, and the things we do to our hairs. that mutated to a discussion of camping soap, then about camping experiences, and degenerated to a critique of the designs of the US war leaflets dropped into afghanistan.

the meeting finally was over, and i was able to apply my life saving hair gel just as joel was here visiting to collect the first 6 hours of alias episodes i recorded during the new year's day marathon.

after work i went to the screen house office where i was to meet julie so we could go see this documentary film playing at the museum of fine arts about the bridgewater (massachusetts) mental hospital for the criminally insane. this movie use to be banned. i knew the subject matter would be depressing and i would probably derive no joy from seeing the film, but since i never seen a movie at the mfa, i was essentially going for the experience. i waited downstairs for julie and bumped into jared coming down. he let me upstairs using his access card. i went in and saw elias, klea, dan and chris muesel. and of course julie, getting ready to go downstairs.

we took the green line E train from lechmere, which was cool because we got to choose wherever we wanted to sit, since this was the start/end of the green line. with each stop closer to our destination, the train would fill up with some more people, until finally it was a crowded house (80's reference!). one of the topics of our train conversation was winter sports, like skiing (regular and crosscountry), snowboarding, and snowshoeing. we talked about what's the best color to wear on the slopes (black, because stains aren't as visible).

at the museum we bought our tickets for the movie ($8 each for adult non-members). we had about 2 hours to kill, so after leaving our coats at the coat check, we went to go see some exhibits. now wednesday nights are free nights at the museum, but they suggest you make a voluntary donation of $14, which is actually the cost of regular admission. we asked the admission ticket girl and she said that because we had purchased tickets for the movie, we essentially had fullfilled the donation part of the admission and could just walk in with our movie tickets, which was exactly what we did.

we went through the ancient americas gallery, then africa, then oceania. it was here that i had the idea of creating my own fake artifacts from a completely made up civilization. i would display them and persuade the general public that these are in fact rare art objects from an ancient lost world.

modern woodcuts

modern woodcuts gallery: you can't get anymore old school than woodcuts. you have to really love the medium in order to work in it. i would go crazy if i had to do woodcuts, i don't think i have the patience, let alone the skills. it is cool once you finish one though, you can take that woodcut and generate as many copies of your print as you want. it was here that i accidently set off a security alarm when i brushed my hand a little bit too close to a large woodcut block that had a sign specifically telling patrons "do not touch." it's my first time setting off a museum security alarm! a few seconds later the sound automatically turned off and julie and i quickly slipped away before the authorities could come and investigate.

that lead to the nubian gallery, which connected to the ancient near eastern, the greek and etruscan room, and back out to egyptian funerary arts. in order to avoid the halls of silverware, we saw the poetry of the loom exhibit: persian textiles.

sumerian cylinder

the ancient near east room was pretty interesting. the few dozen sumerian cylinder seals were really cool, i wish there could be just a single museum full of these. they're so miniature yet so full of details, and functional as well, sort of like the chinese chops. in one seal, i even caught a glimpse of a pre-muslim star and crescent symbol being used.

we went through the indian gallery, then islamic, followed by southeast asian and japanese. we saw the netsuke exhibit. there were some cool ones. i didn't think you could take photos but apparently these aren't part of the special exhibition gallery, so photos were okay (although i didn't know that at the time). my favorites are the little rabbit with red eyes coming out of a box and the cuttlefish. most silly netsuke: umbrella demon. most strangely sexual: phallus with embedded baby's head.

after that we left the galleries and we to the entrance of the movie screening room, where there was already a line of maybe 150 people waiting outside. we got to the back of the line, then they started letting people in.

the movie was frederick wiseman's titicut follies. depressing, brutal, funny, then sad (most of the time just sad). i give a more detailed examination of the movie in a future date though*. when the movie was over, there was a brief discussion of the film, after which everyone left.

too late for dinner (despite the fact that we were both starving), julie and i caught the train and parted ways at harvard square. with 10 minutes to spare, i went to skewers to get a gyro dinner to go before catching the bus back home.

* 020128 don't hold your breath though...