i woke up at 6:30am. it was a little chilly and i could see condensation on the windows. i checked the morning weather on my phone, temperature in the 40's. google maps tells me it takes less than 10 minutes to drive to the church from the hotel, so i had nearly 1-1/2 hours to get ready, plenty of time. the sun was rising and i went into the next room (with eastern facing windows) to get some photos.
while using the bathroom, i couldn't resist opening up the pokemon go app to see if there were any nearby pokestops. i stopped playing it back in august, it's been more than a month. i participated in a raid (surprised somebody else was up this morning playing pokemon go) and caught an inkay.
afterwards i took a shower. i like the rain showerhead with 3 adjustable settings. the hotel has excellent water pressure and temperature. i was looking for a blowdryer (i put some gel in my hair) but there wasn't one in my bathroom, so i had to go to the bathroom next door.
even though i was up early, i still ran late, and didn't check out until 7:50am. i texted john from the car to let him know i was running a little behind, he texted me the same. now in the daytime, i had a better view of the gideon putnam hotel. there was still an antique car parked the parking lot. my own car was covered with dew (which i wiped off with a towel). i also saw a crowned slug caterpillar, never seen one before. they feed on trees and are poisonous.
there was nobody there when i arrived at the church's parking lot. feeling a little hungry, i walked to the wendy's about 3 blocks away. they were supposed to be opened, but a sign on the door apologized for not having any dining service. i walked to the drive-thru speaker but there was no reaction. i started to head back, that's when i saw john arriving.
the priest showed up at 8:30am to let us into the church. he was dressed in civilian clothes, didn't look much like a priest without his priestly robe (looked more like a custodian). john and i started setting up, we were done by 9am, having figured out all the presets. his cousin sarah arrived early as well, she was doing the singing performances and wanted to check out the acoustics and where she'd be performing. the whole reason why we were streaming the funeral service was because of the pandemic. only immediate families attended, which was just brother tom's family, john's own family, and cousin sarah's family. i don't remember ever seeing john's twin nephews before, but they were full grown adults attending college now. i haven't seen deanna in a while either, but the biggest change was john's son will who's now in high school and taller than i am. i was surprised he still remembered me. his other son leo was still a little boy.
my job was to switch to the different presets AKA camera angles using the remote controller during the service. preset 1 was the default, which was just a wide angle, which captured everything. preset 2 was a medium shot of the altar. 3 was the lectern, 4 the cantor. unfortunately where the priest was sitting was blocked by a pillar from our camera angle. another preset was for the pews, and additional presets for the piano on the opposite side of the church (where the 20x zoom really comes in handy). this brought back memories of tv studio in middle school, where i learned how to both operate a tv studio camera and work as a director behind the booth (this was back in the 80's); nowadays, kids probably have classes teaching them how to edit videos and make professional looking online content.
i slipped john a packet of kleenex before the service started, but i also saw one of the church attendants handing out boxes of tissue. i've never been to a catholic funeral service, but it's not very different from a catholic mass from what i've been told. john's mother's body was cremated, so instead of a coffin, the funeral director brought out a small wooden box with her remains. john and his brother and their wives all got up to speak. all of them broke down in tears at some point with the exception of john, but later i saw him weeping quietly in his seat. i tried not to cry myself but when tom (who was the last speaker) talked about their mother, that got me a little teary. while the streaming was going on, i could also see the chat transcript. at one point there were 93+ viewers watching the funeral service, which would've easily translated to 200+ people had people been allowed to attend. i think even if it weren't during pandemic times, recording the funeral service is still a good idea, just to have a keepsake.
the service ended with the funeral director carefully taking john's mother's remains as a procession walked out of the church following behind. i sat by the computer as the church emptied, not sure what to do. thankfully john came back and we stopped the stream. we started taking apart the equipment. i told john i could do it if he needed to be with his family, but he said it wasn't like they were going to start without him.
the next part of the funeral was the interment, which was back in john's mother's old town which was nearby. that i didn't attend, as it was a private family affair and they didn't need my services anymore. after putting the equipment in the car, they all drove off. i took off my suit in the parking lot and eyeballed the wendy's. i decided to give it another try after seeing cars in the drive-thru. they were open, just not for indoor eating, which is a shame, because i was hoping to use their bathroom before leaving. the only people working there seemed to be a manager and an indian woman. when the manager handed me my order, i asked what was going on. he said they had a staff shortage (due to the pandemic); he's complained to HQ but they can't do anything about it, but hopefully by next week they'll hire some more people. i ended up getting just a spicy chicken sandwich. i would've gotten the combo meal but i didn't need the soda (drinking more water only makes me want to use the bathroom). i pulled up in an empty parking spot and ate my sandwich. afterwards i turned on google maps and told it to take me back to my parents' house.
i left by 11:35am. i lucked out, because they were starting to close down the streets for some kind of 9/11 memorial procession. the drive back was a little easier, because i knew what to expect, and there weren't as many delivery trucks as there was on friday. it was a little hot inside the car and i was afraid to use the air conditioner because i'd already used up nearly half the tank of gas, and i wanted to get back without refueling on the highway. i turned the air to maximum and would occasionally turn on the AC when it got too stuffy inside the car.
after 3 hours of 15 minutes, i finally made it to belmont by 2:50pm. it would've been even sooner had i not gotten lost trying to exit the turnpike in watertown, or stopping to fill up the tank before returning the car. i was only there for 10 minutes before my father drove me out to greater boston motorsports to pick up my motorcycle. he left as soon as he dropped me off. i paid $870 for the tuneup and the new chain and sprockets and waited for them to get my motorcycle. that turned out to be a very long 15 minute wait as one of the lower-ranking employees was washing my bike. i waited patiently nearby, but when the guy was slow vacuuming the water droplets, i told him i didn't mind riding a wet bike. he had to run in and get the guy because the previous guy had took the key with him when he left. i finally got out of there by 3:40pm, a 15 minute ride back to belmont.
so i wouldn't say the motorcycle rides better after the tune-up, it just rides different. the brakes felt a little looser for some reason, which was a surprise, i figured changing the brake fluid would make the front brake more responsive. because the brakes were loose, the bike didn't stop as quickly. i may need to adjust the back brake to compensate. the brakes also make a sound when i use them, but could just be because they're wet, or need some time to wear away te chemical. gear shifting was different too, smoother, not as sticky as before. the rattling sound is completely gone, which meant it was definitely a loose chain issue. the engine doesn't run as hot anymore. it used to be after a few minutes of riding, the tailpipes were hot enough to sear flesh; now they're just warm, not piping hot. they even did something to my signal light button, it felt looser now, not sticky like before.
my mother had a collection of hardneck garlics for me to peruse. she felt guilty for eating all my large korean red garlics. i appreciate the gesture, but with storebought hardnecks i don't know what kind they are. we could try eating a clove, and if it has a good taste, we can plant the rest, that's one way to figure out if they're worth growing, despite not knowing what kind they are. my mother got some giant garlics from whole foods (are these elephant garlics?) and my 2nd aunt got some hardnecks from her food collective.
we were cooking the fermented long beans with minced beef for dinner tonight, the culmination of weeks of fermenting. these were long beans that were kept in a fido jar from august 10th, so it's been more than a month, a better duration than the 10 days of fermenting from our first patch of long beans which i thought didn't have enough flavor. for some reason my mother mixed in some raw long beans, which i thought diluted the flavor. when i bit into a long beans i wanted to taste that fermented sourness, not a raw bean flavor.
riding back, it gave me another chance to get a feel for the newly tuned bike. it feels looser now, if that makes any sense, like i said before, it doesn't ride any better, just a little different. i'm sure i'll get use to it eventually, and over time, all the chains and pedals and buttons will go back to being sticky again. they did a good job washing it though, it seems even shinier than when i wash it, i wonder if they used something special.
i went to star market to pick up a few things: some red seedless grapes on sale, and some häagen-dazs ice cream, they had pineapple coconut, i bought two cartons to try out.