north 42°39'08.1" west 70°41'13.2"

i was surprised that julie agreed to go to the beach today, taking a break from her freelance work for a change. rob, his last day in cambridge, had nothing better to do so i invited him along as well. we left around 11am, me dressed in my swimming trunks carrying a beach chair in my arm, rob with his work clothes and a camcorder in his knapsack. we walked to julie's place even though she probably could've picked us up - i just wanted to walk around town to show off the fact that we were going to the beach on perhaps the last warm day of the year.

we drove up north. i tried to be the car deejay, jumping from one 80's song to another. julie revealed that she hated 80's music, but when rob and i compiled a list of 80's artists, she ended up liking most of them. we spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the lyrics for "i wear my sunglasses at night." approaching peabody, julie talked about the town dump and how her trash might be in the local landfill. that made me think of a cool idea for a book, where a person reunites with all the different pieces of his talking trash.

the beach was either senior citizens or mothers with children. we wondered why some of the kids weren't in school (someone heard something about a parent teacher day). there was nobody our age, we were the sole ambassadors of our demographic. although the weather was pleasant, with temperature in the low 70's and a cool ocean breeze, it wasn't the kind of weather that'd cause a massive exodus of people ditching work to come and enjoy the last few days of natural warmth.

rob hid a pair of swimming shorts underneath his pants. while julie and rob were lying down on the sand, i had the beach chair, positioned perfectly to face the sun, for maximum solar exposure. rob kept on finding toys on the beach: first it was a plastic german shepherd, then later a toy truck, followed by a plastic horse. at one point both rob and i jumped into the ocean after seeing some children frolicking in the surfs. the water was cold, but not as cold as we thought. we came back out after a quick dip, and i warmed myself up by lying in a shallow tidal pool.

there was some very good tidal pool action (i went exploring no less than 3 different times), showcasing many animal species indicative of this kind of environment: sand shrimps, hermit crabs, green crabs, mussels, barnacles, periwrinkles, starfish, and an assortment of seaweeds. i noticed the hermit crabs right away, jawbreaker-sized shells moving around the sandy tidal pool floors. standing in the pools, sand shrimps would emerge from hiding and come investigate my feet. we didn't find any live crabs (julie made a thorough search, rob was helping), although we did find maybe dead ones, either in whole or pieces, as well as lobster parts. i also saw a school of small fish swimming about. i was happy to come across a small starfish on a half-submerged rock, i've wanted to see one this season but figured i'd have to wait until next year.

sand shrimp



green crab

hermit crabs


knotted wrack

dead man's fingers

lobster claws

originally there were plans to buy some fried clams, or possibly get some blue ribbon ribs in arlington, but in the end we decided to come back home and get something to eat and drink at r.j. o'sullivans, where we were pretty certain the game would be on. we got stuck in traffic coming back, and i feel asleep briefly in the front seat (i get that way after going to the beach).

i've lived in the cambridge area for almost 2 years now and i've never visited r.j. o'sullivans down the street, even though people have told me it's a good place, even though i've seen a phantom gourmet piece about their great burgers. i just wasn't interested, it seemed like an irish bar, which in the greater boston area are a dime a dozen, despite serving food. having finally experienced the place, i can honestly say they definitely have some great burgers. thick and juicy, a mess to eat, but thoroughly delicious and filling, definitely worth many more future visits. when it was time to pay the check, rob disappeared (went outside to smoke), we thought maybe he decided to ditch us.

we came back to the house to watch the rest of the game. rob was busy moving the rest of his things in his car, his cat being the last thing to go. i went into his room and saw that he had completely emptied it, you would even know he'd ever lived here before. we said good bye and he drove off in the station wagon. i ended up watching the conclusion of the game with julie, switching between red sox postgame coverage, the yankees game, and the presidential debate. i still don't understand why the angels manager didn't walk ortiz. i know they swapped out the pitcher (despite the fact that k-rod was doing pretty well) for some better odds against a left-handed hitter, but if it was me, i'd walk ortiz and take my chances with nixon. in case you don't already know, the red sox swept the angels, waiting to face off against either the yankees or the twins.

now that rob isn't here, i kind of miss the company. i still think if i turned a corner i'd find him in his room painting, or maybe in the living room surfing the web on his ibook. i also still get the feeling that i'll see his cat scampering across the floor. living by myself again definitely has its perks, but it's lonely. i'll miss that daily dosage of human interaction. if nothing else, not having someone to watch dance 360 with will be a downer.

this day was so long it felt like 2 days.

corey hart - "i wear my sunglasses at night"