kenmore square rooftops
when the hospital called me wednesday morning to remind me of my electrocardiogram appointment in kenmore square, she asked me not to wear any cologne or perfume. since it was still early and i was still a bit slow, i didn't bother asking why. so when i had my appointment this afternoon, topless on the examination bed, electrodes attrached to my torso, and the technician rubbing my chest with a warm, slimy detector wand, i finally asked her. did it have anything to do with the equipment? maybe fragances throw off the reading? it turns out one of the technicians is extremely allergic to perfumes and a simple whiff will send her into a 30-minute coughing frenzy.
i don't know how electrocardiograms work. it's kind of like ultrasound, except instead of seeing a baby, i'm looking at an image of my beating heart. it's not just a visual experience because there's also sounds that go along with it: my heart either sounded like the popping of a video game or the swishing of a washing machine. i had a tremendous biology flashback as i watched the chambers of the heart collapsing and expanding, the valves opening and closing. i rested on my left side as the technician first took a reading from the right side of my heart then the left. on my back she examined it from the bottom and then the top (from my collar bone). afterwards she gave me a towel so i could wipe off the warm jelly she used to lubricate the wand (i was lucky: they'd just warmed up the lube - patients later in the day will get the cold stuff). it was painless and fast, and actually kind of soothing, in the dark, being probed, listening to the beat of my heart.
sunbather (charles river)
as i got out earlier than expected, and with the weather so sunny and nice (for a change), i crossed storrow drive via a pedestrian overpass and took a quick stroll of the bank of the charles river, looking for photo opportunities. with the population of boston drastically reduced now that most of the college kids have gone back home, there wasn't much to see other than the occasional sunbather.
i went to the cafe to rendezvous with my mother and sister. the three of us drove back out to saugus to revisit the salvation army store. i was shopping for shirts and pants. why i was shopping there and not elsewhere is besides the large and cheap selection, this is clothes i'll be wearing for the next 3 months, so they're going to be pretty tattered by the time i get back, so i might as well get them used. i've sort of adopted a traveling uniform when i go abroad: the white shirt with the dark pants. i look like a lost businessman but definitely not a tourist (although the camera and the backpack might give me away). my whole mantra towards traveling is to not stand out. this has its advantages, because it allows me to observe people in their natural state, and hopefully it'll make me less likely the target of petty crimes. people ask, "don't you get hot wearing pants and shirts all time?" my answer is this is what men in that part of the world wear everyday, so if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me. nothing says tourist to me more than a pair of hairy legs poking out from some shorts. covering up also decreases the chance of mosquito bites, something i'm always careful to avoid. besides, i close my fabric carefully: besides easy to clean and quick to dry, they also have to be very light, everything a synthetic blend, nothing cotton, and definitely nothing wool. anyway, made off with 5 shirts and a pair of pants, along with a slightly distressed pair of leather boots ($6!) - all for less than $30.
kelly's roast beef sandwich (saugus)
later we had dinner at kelly's roast beef. we all had a classic roast beef sandwich along with a shared serving of cheese fries (sprinkled with bacon). i ate so much that i swore off food forever. back at the cafe, i rode my motorcycle back home, where a large package was waiting for me on my front steps: a box from campmor.com! i couldn't believe how fast it arrived, i made the order late wednesday night, and less than 2 days later (with just standard $7 shipping) it arrives! taking out the new backpack i was a little nervous because if it wasn't what i wanted it'd be hard to return. after a thorough examination the mountainsmith maverick turned out to be a pretty good bag. i spent the next hour stuffing it with clothes, wearing it around the house, trying to simulate a full load.
(note: all the photos for this entry have been lomotized for no good reason other than for me to play around with photoshop)