ask me to honestly say what i want to be doing this sunday afternoon and i'll answer truthfully that i would rather spend it at home watching game 7 of the celtics cavaliers matchup. but i promised alisa i'd attend her master degree graduation from boston university's school of fine arts (in music education) after she instant messaged me a week ago in a depressed mood because none of her family members would be coming (a little expensive considering they're all back home in taiwan).
i was watching the weather again, since the only way i could make it to huntington avenue for the commencement and then go to my parents' place for dinner is if i took the motorcycle. the forecast predicted 70% chance of rain but a slight drizzle at worst. the catch was i'd be in a suit and tie, and when was the last time you saw an business man riding a cruiser down the street? in a last minute decision i decided to abandon the suit (but kept the tie) and sped down to symphony hall ahead of schedule, figuring i'd need the extra time to find a suitable parking spot.
i got there before 3pm and waited outside the boston university theatre along with the graduates and their family and friends. apparently alisa wasn't as down-on-her-luck as i first thought, showing up with a guy friend, with two more on the way, her all-male entourage. i wasn't surprised, but if i'd known she wouldn't be alone, i wouldn't have felt too bad getting out of my obligation and spending some more quality time with the boston celtics. nevertheless, i haven't been to a graduation ceremony since the 90's. regardless of the circumstances, it was nice to be there just to see the spectacle.
while alisa went backstage to be with the other graduates, i followed her guy friend into the theatre to find seats. since he graduated just last year, i figured he knew the layout of the place pretty well. we ended up sitting in the empty front row, even though there were signs everywhere saying they were reserved. he brought a camera as well, a canon 40D (the next level canon model above mine) along with a beefy L-lens. he was fiddling with the controls and asked me if there was a way to take photos without using the flash. i was more than happy to answer, but strange coming from the owner of a relatively high-performance camera. maybe he sensed i was questioning his camera IQ and told me he just got it. i told him to shoot in aperture priority mode, drop the f-stop, increase the ISO, and decrease the exposure compensation value.
when alisa's friend left his seat briefly, he also left me to face the humiliation of eventually getting kicked out of the first row and then having to scurry around the theatre looking for a new place to sit. i knew those seats were too good to be true! when i bumped into him in the aisle i told him what happened. we finally had to go upstairs to the balcony section to find available seatings. he was a little upset because he didn't bring his telephoto lens. as for me, this ain't my first rodeo, and i had all my equipment ready. the only thing was the light was very dim and i had to shoot in grainy high ISO.
instead of the traditional black graduation gowns, the graduates of the college of fine arts were decked out in red. staring at them long enough, the color would eventually burn into my retina and i'd see ghost graduates when i blinked my eyes. the commencement speaker was craig lucas, whom i didn't know, but i kept asking myself if he was related to george lucas. he gave a very colorful funny speech, peppered with the occasional s-bomb (maybe i'm too prudish) and very political, slamming the republicans and george bush whenever possible. i guess not too many conservatives dabbling in the fine arts? alisa sat just along the edge of the stage where we couldn't see her until she got up for the handing off ceremony. i was relieved there was no performances (strange though, being that it is the fine arts school, with a lot of graduating actors and musicians) and the entire ceremony was over in about 2 hours.
after we made it outside, i bid alisa and her friends good bye. it had already started to drizzle a little bit. i got on my bike and headed to belmont via memorial then storrow drive (memorial was closed for sunday).
the first thing i did when i got there was to turn on the television. paul pierce was being interviewed and he had a smile, so i knew it was good news: the celtics beat the cavaliers. paul pierce scored 41 points, but lebron james scored 45. just a side note: lebron james is my mother's favorite new NBA player, after i told her they shared the same birthday. after some pasta for dinner, i returned to cambridge. before i left, i managed to infect my father's new laptop with some trojan horse spyware. fearing i had to do a complete system install to fix the problem, i was happy to discover that vista allows incremental restores, so it was just a simple matter of backdating the system right before i infected the machine.
i spent the rest of the night jumping from one sports show to another, searching for basketball game highlights. i ended up catching an ESPN rebroadcast early in the morning and didn't go to bed until 5am.