8:30. i awoke to the loud sound of NPR blaring from my neighbor's kitchen window facing my bedroom. no matter how hard i tried, i couldn't fall back asleep. enough is enough! in my mind i started to write the note i would eventually send to them.
i was ready to go out for a run around 11am (third day in a row!) when my father called asking if i wanted to go with him to pick some supplies. when he arrived he parked the car and popped the hood. there was something wrong with the engine, it was vibrating so hard it made the SUV actually jump up and down. there was nothing we could do and we kept on driving. the car would be normal when driving, but whenever we stopped, the while vehicle was start shaking violently as if it was having a seizure. despite the car trouble, we managed to hit costco, home depot (4 bags of concrete mix), and restaurant depot.
i didn't get back home until almost 2 hours later. i quickly went out for that run before i became unmotivated. i continued to work on that noise complaint note in my head as i went around the charles river. i don't want to come off sounding like an asshole yet at the same time i want them to know what's been going on. there has to be the right level of humor, politeness, and subtle persuasion. following the pattern i've set the past few days, i went to the garden to water my vegetables afterwards. when i got home i finally wrote the note. i didn't think it was good enough and wanted to be a second version when i caught myself, what is this, a term paper? i folded up what i wrote and slipped it into their mailbox. i guess i'll find out tomorrow morning if it's successful or not.
i went out for a short motorcycle trip to the hess gas station in inman square to refill the tank then i went and bought a cheap ($5) bottle of white wine for cooking.
6pm i found myself at the harvard comparative zoology museum, attending a lecture called "good birders don't wear white," to coincide with the publication of a new book with the same name. the talk was given by robert braunfield and peter alden. braunfield, the artist of the book, kicked off the lecture. he basically drew pictures as he talked. it sounds cool in concept, but in practice he talked faster than he drew, and there were many moments of dead air as he scrambled to finish his picture. it was definitely original and not your usual guest speaker song and dance. he drew with a black crayon, which gave me some captain bob nostalgia. next up was peter, who was like the most popular kid in the class, the room full of birders laughing at everything he said. he knew a lot of the people in the crowd so it felt very intimate and his talk with peppered with many in-jokes as he called out to known audience members. he was very funny and had anecdotes about pishing, birding wardrobe, and competitive birdwatching. he had a great deadpan style and kept a straight face throughout; if the naturalist thing doesn't work out, he could have a career as a comedian, taking his act on the road visiting bird clubs.
after the lecture ended at 7 (there was drinks and snacks and booksigning afterwards, but i wasn't interested), i raced down to jamaica plain to catch the lantern festival at the forest hill cemetery. sunset was at 8:20 and dusk wasn't until 20-30 minutes later. since i'm more familiar with the mt.auburn cemetery, with its many rules of conduct, it surprised me to see people picnicking, or riding their bikes, or (worse) bringing their dogs. i'm no traditionalist, but to me it seems to somehow violate the sanctity of a graveyard. i guess they do things a little bit differently south of the charles. anyway, there was a chance that eliza and her boyfriend romain would show up as well. i walked around the pond once, basically waiting for the sky to darken and for the lanterns to be launched. around 8:20 i met up with eliza and romain. while waiting around for the action to get started, eliza was feeling mighty thirsty. looking at a nearby table there was an unopened bottle of water, which we managed to goad eliza into stealing. we all took a drink to solidify our crime.
seeing the lantern festival for the second time doesn't seem as exciting. once i got my photos, it then became a tale of stumbling in the dark graveyard towards the exit, hoping not to step on anyone.
while snapping away by the edge of the pond, a girl tapped me on the shoulder (i hate getting tapped on the shoulder when i'm taking photos, it's usually not a good thing) and asked if i could please not take photos of her lantern. i agreed and felt immensely guilty afterwards. while i see the lantern festival as this hokey little celebration, there are others who are very serious about it and see it as a spiritual remembrance thing. there are lanterns just for fun and then there are the sober lanterns, with messages about dying or dead loved ones, or hopeful thoughts about distant relative or friend.
after it was over, i sped back to cambridge via the jamaica way of death, just in time to catch burn notice. i heated up some chinese dumplings for dinner.