this morning i found myself on the south side of the charles river in a land called jamaica plains. i was meeting eliza jones at her place to go running. a tentative spoken agreement was made last week, and it took until today for the plan to come to fruition. eliza, whom i thought was a strict morning person disciplinarian, expressed some doubts when i her told i'd be able to run at 10am (if not earlier). but if there's one thing i know about eliza, it's that she's always up for the challenge, so a 10am meeting time was set. i left belmont and arrived in jamaica plains ahead of schedule, which is surprising, because i always get lost going anywhere south of the charles river, especially jp. i was afraid i'd have to find some way to pass the time so as to not arrive early. my fears were unfounded as i slowly but surely got lost. i stop 5 times to check the maps and try to find my bearing. you ever drive somewhere and just have no idea where the hell you are, even with the help of maps? that was me. so instead of arriving 10 minutes early, i arrived 20 minutes late, and i only found eliza's place after calling her on my cellphone.

in eliza's car we drove to jamaica pond, our first destination, my first time being there. the distance around jamaica pond is about a mile according to eliza. we ran it once around, in this cool drizzly overcasted weather (nice for running), stopping in the end to stretch. there were mallard ducks and swans in the pond, with a sprinkling of other fellow runners.

it's been almost 3 months since i last ran. and to think, i use to run 3-4 times a week! that was before my ligament damage. since then, i've lived pretty much without any kind of exercise, unless you call painting a house for over a month exercising. i think i went "swimming" a few times and did some biking though.

the novelty of jamaica pond wore off pretty quickly, which led us to our second destination, the arnold arboretum, which we ran to, passing some buddleia shrubs (aka butterfly bush aka summer lilac) along the way. for residents of jamaica plains, the arboretum is a great place to run, no cars and paths so wide you could probably run shoulder to shoulder a few runner strong and never have to break out of formation. north of the charles, we have the river path itself (narrow trails sometimes), the minuteman bike trail (no one says you can't run on it though), and around fresh pond. too bad the mt.auburn cemetery doesn't allow joggers, that'd be a great place to run if you don't mind disrespecting all the dead people buried there. not sure how many miles we ran in the arboretum, i want to say 2, but i think it might be less. we went up a hill and coming down i ran out of gas and had to walk the rest of the way. bear in mind that it's been almost 100 days since i last ran. i probably enjoy biking more, less hurt on the legs, greater distances, except there's all that equipment to carry around (bike, helmet, pump, water bottle). running is real, you're pounding the pavement, it builds street cred.

we ran back to the car (parked by the pond), and eliza offered to make me breakfast (being that i hadn't eaten yet), first stopping at the local coop market to buy some groceries.




she made french toast (which i don't think is even a french invention). i watched with riveted attention, having never made french toast myself, this was all very exciting for me. served with grapes, kiwis, some watered down maple syrup, and some jam, we ate said french toast along with eliza's new czech roommate, who dazzled us with stories about how unemployment works in european countries. mandatory 3 months severance pay? unlimited unemployment benefit? cheap poperties to buy in former soviet bloc countries?

i left brunch after 1pm, to go back to cambridge to get into renovation mode again. i took a shower and when i got out, my father had just arrived to help me take off the rest of the blue tape in the bedrooms, along with uncovering the hardwood floors. much to my dismay, there were some areas along the edge of the floors where paint had seeped underneath the tape and got onto the hardwood. not a big deal, those i can easily scrape off with a fingernail. a few more areas got stripped when i took the tape off, they'll have to be carefully repainted (carefully because the floors aren't covered anymore, i can't afford to drip).

finished master

blue tape all
over the floor

finished guest

paint globs
on floor

stripped window
frame paint

stripped ceiling

it's been over a month since i last saw my floors. these rooms are totally ready to be furnished (aside from the minor repair work i still have to do). in the next few days i will make the push and start bringing over my stuff from belmont. i'm going to seriously need some blinds though, i don't want nosy neighbors to be gawking at my material possessions!

tonight, alias and boomtown. sydney almost gets incinerated by a space rocket blast and she falls underneath some siberian ice in the episode cliffhanger. and we find out she played a turkey in a thanksgiving play when she was little (which brings back latent memories of my own 3rd grade thanksgiving play, held in a classroom, i was a pilgrim, i think my father showed up after it was already over). i think her whole cia evasive maneuvers to go to the underground lair to see her estranged mother is just an excuse to show her in some cute little running outfit. everyone knows jennifer gardner's got the sweetest run on tv (graceful strut, perfect form), don't even try to deny it. the explosive revelation that i think i accidently glanced upon on ain't it cool news didn't happen in this episode. i hope it isn't true, but it would totally make sense in the grand alias universe. then to boomtown, if you think television shows are lowbrow and devoid of interesting storylines, then just watch an episode of this show, it's an antidote to all that thinking. i can't even begin to understand how they write the stories told from mutiple points of view. and each point of view fits perfectly in the ending, like pieces of a puzzle fitting neatly together. you know what it is? it's like watching bob ross do a painting. at first you have no idea what's happening, but after 30 minutes everything makes sense with the pretty little clouds and the pretty little trees. well, that's boomtown, except the payoff takes 60 minutes to deliver but after just one episode you're hooked. boomtown is televised crack. watch at your own risk, you've been warned. and how's this for a sunday night lineup: an old gilmore girls episode at 7pm, followed by charmed at 8pm. gilmore girls i saw (the one where lorelai almost goes on a date with max medina, english teacher), but charmed i forgoed in order to catch an hour of bang bang your dead on showtime, about school violence, a la columbine style.

now my leg muscles are all sore from running today, but it's all good, just like old times.