gainer2 was the agent helping me out. first thing she asked was if i was a citibank customer; since they recently shuttered all their banks in the boston area, they were getting a lot of residual customers from them. she was talking about old bankboston and fleet, but said i probably don't remember any of those banks. "nah, i remember them. check my id, i'm a lot older than i look." turns out she was also born in 1974, and an aquarius as well (january). so we naturally became instant friends.
i could've signed up for an account online, but doing it at the bank meant i could get it done faster. how much faster surprised even me, because they managed to print out my new debit card as well (although kind of a cheap card since the numbers aren't embossed, but gainer told me they'd send me an updated card with one of those fancy chip). i also had to deposit $100 so i wouldn't get stuck with a $15 monthly service fee. td bank also seems to be about giving away swag, and i got a nice pen as well as a plastic water bottle.
next i visited michael at 241 optical. he wanted to upgrade some computer software and hardware and asked me for some advice. i was most intrigued with the database system they used for their customer information. he said it was done in microsoft outlook (built by one of his sister's friends) but i've never seen anything like it (i thought outlook was just for e-mails, didn't realize it could also be designed for database entry with a customized interface). he was thinking about switching over from PC to mac and was wondering if he could migrate his database entry system as well.
my last stop was to the fogg art museum. i'd been there a few times in the past. the cool thing is admission is free for all cambridge residents (otherwise it's $15, and free for massachusetts residents saturday mornings). when i moved to my place back in 2002, i imagined myself making frequent trips to the fogg, like my own personal art museum. but since then, i've only visited the place twice, once back in early 2003, and another time in 2005 with eliza (i always seem to visit during the winter). then the museum did a massive renovation (as early as 2010, maybe even earlier) and was closed for many years until they finally reopened last november 2014. i've been meaning to revisit the new renovated museum but haven't found a time to do so until today.
the architect behind the new renovation and expansion3 was renzo piano, a person i remember drew eyerolling whenever he saw the name (piano also did the renovation/expansion for the isabella stewart gardner museum). the new space is nice, they expanded the central courtyard area by elevating it and adding additional windows to allow even more natural night. i also like how on every floor and seemingly like at every corner there is a bathroom and a drinking fountain. the one thing i miss from the old museum is they used to have this dark medieval room that felt like you were in an old church, seems like they got rid of it. the place seems bigger than i remember it, so harvard definitely got their expansion money's worth.
i'm a museum guy and could probably spend the whole day there. they had a modern art section which i decided to skip after i took a brief peek. my favorite painting in the museum is ingres' odalisque and slave. usually when i visit a museum (particularly ones i've visited before) is to photograph something quirky or interesting.
i finally left close to 3pm and meander my way back home. i felt a little self-conscious with my camera strapped around my neck, people must've thought i was a tourist. when i got back the dishwasher was running but ana was nowhere to be seen, her bedroom door closed, the lights off. reading the signs i could tell at one point she left the house, but was she still home or was she just taking a nap? i wanted to do some laundry but didn't feel like knocking on her door to find out if she was home, so i just assumed that she was.
when nighttime came around i began to have the sinking suspicion that maybe ana wasn't home. but even if she wasn't here, she could come back at anytime. for dinner i heated up some french bread pizza in the toaster oven. ana didn't come home until 11pm. i thought she'd go straight to bed but instead she made dinner (wasn't too oily, low on smell, make it was just pasta) before finally going to bed around midnight.
1 there's a td bank poster advertising their automated coin collection machine. the poster featured a photo of a bunch of old coins laid out in a tile. but the one thing i noticed was amidst all the US coinage, there was a canadian coin in the mix, sort of like a wink to the bank's canadian origin.
2 gainer had a great desk at the bank, right by the glass storefront where she can watch all the people walking around harvard square. unfortunately she got promoted recently, and will leave for the fresh pond td bank branch in a few weeks. though born in the same year i was, she looks late 20's early 30's. she also lives in brockton, and her daily commute to work is 1:30 hours. she owns 3 houses in brockton (sold one recently), and has a daughter who's 20 years old and a son who's 9. she's never been to trader joe's and will be looking forward to it when she relocates to fresh pond.
3 i only knew about this afterwards, but the fogg art museum is now a combination of 3 museums: fogg (western art), busch-reisinger (german art), and sackler (asian art). and it's not called the "fogg" but rather the combined "harvard art museums."