if it wasn't marred by the stress that i have a code delivery due tomorrow morning and i have to finish up some serious coding tonight (sleep? what's that?), today wouldn't be such a bad day.

i woke up at 11am and coded for 5 hours, eating some moon cakes and baked tostitos chips for lunch. i made some good progress, but there's still a few hours of coding left to do. i stopped working at 4pm and started to get ready to go down to brookline, where author chuck palahnuik ("fight club", "choke", "lullaby") was giving a reading at the coolidge theeatre. i'd motorcycle down since the weather was nice, although a bit brisk. i circled the parking lot a few times before i found a space, that sort of grey area of a spot, not quite big enough for a car, but too small for anything else other than a motorcycle. finding a motorcycle parking spot is an art form.

the line for the reading snaked all the way out along the theatre alley way. i thought i was early, but seeing that it was already so crowded, i figured it'd be pointless to wait in line at that point, and besides, i didn't have the tickets ($2/person), eliza did, whom i was i meeting, along with her roommate anna (whom i met competing in the triathlon). so i decided to browse the brookline booksmith across the street. when i was done, i called eliza to see where she was (kenmore square), then told her i'd get in line. she showed up minutes later, properly attired in her work clothes, everything neat and creased. "are those new glasses?" eliza asked me. "no no, i've always had them, they're my 'buy one get one free' pair," i replied defensively. she figured out that people with tickets can go in already, so while she waited outside for anna, i went into the theatre to save them seats. eliza and anna showed up soon afterwards, but it'd be another 20 minute wait before chuck palahnuik was introduced. the theatre was filled to capacity with mostly kids 25 and under. there was a large hipster demographic, as well as fetish mongers and goths. many of them were carrying copies of diary, the new book that chuck was here to promote, as well his other books, which they were hoping he could autograph during the book signing after the reading.

chuck came out as a very soft-spoken man, white shirt, you couldn't tell from looking at him that he had such a subversive mind. he read a short story he had written for a collection that was coming out in a few years. without going into much details, it was about male self service sexual gratification and the problems that can arise when boys go experimenting, told in three anecdotes involving a vaselined carrot, a thin stick of wax, and having your lower intestine sucked out from you via a pool suction. it was a real funny groan fest, filled with descriptions of masturbations gone horribly awry, reminded me of those graphic surgery shows on the learning channel. after he finished reading, chuck was disappointed that no one in the audience fainted or threw up, and revealed to us that so far the count is at 20 the number of people he'd made sick or lose consciousness. afterwards he held a question and answer session, with the santa claus-esque twist of giving out gifts to anyone he answered a question from. gifts included tiaras, animal masks, funny hats, and homemade rosary beads he made while his friends took his money and his vicodin.

with the question and answer period over, people marched out the door and across the street, where chuck was having his book signing. while eliza went to use the lady's room, i chatted with elias, who was working behind the concession stand, a big "staff" tag affixed to his chest. his friend matt also came out of the theatre.

anna, eliza, and i decided to get some burritos at anna's tacqueria around the corner. the place was crowded, we got our order and left, wandering the streets of coolidge corner, looking for a bench we could park ourselves at and eat our burrito dinner. across the street was yet another line, of people waiting for the book signing. suddenly, out of the blue, a familiar face appeared, amanda garnier, my old partner in crime back at srm. it's almost been exactly a year since i last saw amanda (020918, when she helped me prime my house, along with carrie and julie). we did the five minute sidewalk catching up, where we filled in the blanks on each others lives since we last met. "you got new glasses!" amanda noticed. "no no, i've always had them, i wore them a few times when i worked at srm," i said. amanda told us she's no longer at her old job in kendall square but has a new job in davis square, which is a stone throw from where i am. we caught her walking back home from harvard square (that's a long walk!), as part of her exercise regimen. she left soon afterwards, leaving us eating our food on a bench in front of the theatre. we bumped into elias again, who was just getting off from work and heading back to central square.

after we finished eating, we went across the street into booksmith to see what all the commotion was about. the line was still so long, i'm not sure if chuck will be able to sign everyone's book. forward progress was slow as well, each palahnuik fan taking this rare opportunity to engage chuck in some mild banter. anna decided to go home, feeling tired. eliza and i roamed the bookstore some more, trying out some reading glasses (eliza thinks she's getting nearsighted, i have no real sympathy for her since i've pretty much been myopic my whole life), before we left as well. i got on my bike and rode home, slightly chilly but the polypropylene pullover keeping me relatively warm, even from the 40mph winds.

and now, coding! ugh. i'm going to be so happy when tonight's over and i get this programming done.

harry belafonte - come back liza