i put on the warm polypropylene pullover jacket i wear when i run during the coldest winter days, then rode the bike into boston, a straight line down beacon street to cambridge street, across the longfellow bridge into boston, through beacon hill along boston common across downtown crossing finally to chinatown. at one point, crossing the longfellow, tears were streaming down my eyes from the cold winds. approaching chinatown i screeched to a halt at a stop light i had failed to see. i ended up across a pedestrian crosswalk, people giving me dirty looks (which i properly ignored) as they went by me. from my rearview mirrors i could see the silver line bus in the back of me, quite possibly narrowly avoiding hitting me when i breaked suddenly. when the light changed to green i quickly sped off. i parked my bike on lincoln street along with several other bikes. i was afraid i'd get a ticket because i parked so close to a fire hydrant, and also it was clearly over the "no parking beyond this point sign," but i survived the whole day without getting a ticket.
around 1pm kristine, alex and i went out for a run. since i ran yesterday, i could still feel the faint twinge of muscle aches in my legs, but an opportunity to run through boston on another gorgeous late summer day was too good to pass up. instead of going to the charles river, today we did "hills," meaning the steep inclined streets of beacon hill, part of which i rode through this morning commuting into work. i've never really walked through the residential section of beacon hill before, i was floored by the beautiful historical houses, the clean tree-lined streets, the overall poshness of the neighborhood. it reminded me of the north end, but just nicer. alex ran up front, i stayed in the back with kristine, but occasionally when the mood struck me i'd catch up to alex. it was a really fun run, the hills were a nice change of pace, and it allowed me to see beacon hill. when it was all over, alex and i waited in downtown crossing for kristine to catch up with us. while we stretched, a man sitting along a wall asked me, "why do you guys run?" "for exercise," i answered. he nodded his head understandingly but still with the look of disbelief on his face. "to live longer," i added. "why do you want to do that?" he said, "so you can pay more bills?" "yeah, to pay more bills," i confirmed his observation. "do you do any exercising?" i asked him. he laughed, "the only exercise i do is this," and he pantomimed the act of eating with a spoon. kristine finally showed up, i said good bye to my new friend, who told us, "you can get free water from across the street, go!" sure enough, across the street was a truck handing out sample bottles of cold fruit2o. advertised as a naturally fruit flavored spring water beverage, it tasted like flat diet soda, minus the carbonation, with that lingering aftertaste of artificial sweetener. one side of the bottle said "natural lemon" but "contains no fruit juice" on the other side.
about an hour after we got back to the office, i went out again, this time to chinatown, to hsing hsin pastry shop to get something to eat. in front of me where a quartet of chinese people speaking mainland mandarin, who spent 10 minutes making a complicated order, totally disregarding the people waiting in line (myself and this old lady). i tried to use my piercing stare to burn holes through the back of their heads but it didn't work. no, actually i was in a pretty good mood after the run, the most i did was to sigh loudly behind them, hoping they'd get the message and hurry up (they didn't). i got a steamed yellow cake, an oily meat-filled pastry, and a hot dog bun. when i used to work at newmarket network, hot dog buns were the favorite pastries of ayse and i, so it was a nostalgic treat.
after work, after 6pm, i left the office and biked back to cambridge. it took me a while to actually get out of boston. i didn't want to take storrow drive because i figured the traffic would be too crazy, so i weaved through the busy streets of boston so i could get to the longfellow bridge back into cambridge. even though it seemed like a long time, it took just 30 minutes to get back home, which to be quite honest is probably the same amount of time it takes me to get home via the t, but instead of spending $2 to ride the subway, my whole trip probably cost a few cents.
first thing i did when i got home was to pull out a few cookbooks from the shelves to find a recipe for tonight's queer night. i decided to make some stuffed chicken breasts along with some pasta. i went across the street to buy some groceries, running into jeff in the cheese aisle. when i got back home, i forgot a few things, so i went back to the supermarket a second time to complete my shopping list. the chicken breasts had to be pounded with a meat tenderizing mallet, then covered with a creme cheese + capers spread, rolled up then baked with a sprinkle of red wine. julie showed up just when i was about to throw the chicken into the oven.
while the chicken was baking, i made the pasta sauce (ground beef, tomato paste, celery, garlic, onion) and boiled the pasta. julie told me about how she was attacked by a swarm of bees yesterday during her run through a rhode island forest, followed by a leech bite (no lie). we debated whether they were actually angry bees or angry wasps. we were finally able to eat by 9pm, watching a red sox game. after dinner, julie showed me her recent ebay purchases, then thought about bidding on a few 8mm film projectors. mike and his girlfriend wendy came back to the house during that time, quietly retreating to his bedroom. at 10pm julie and i caught queer eye, which was actually a repeat (the unibrow long island husband), but one that julie had never seen before. julie left after the daily show (borrowing my chicken recipe book), then mike and wendy left as well.