Dear reader, lately I have been remiss in my writing. Please accept my apologies sincere and deep. Of course there is much that I’d like to write to you. Each is worthy enough for its own entry, but, I do not wish to burden the reader [or the author] too much. So here’s a summary:
Tuesday through Wednesday afternoons, Stephanie and I camped out on my kitchen table, laptop beside laptop, to tackle the proofreading and last-minute writing and revision of her honors thesis, Writing: The Urban Calligraphy of New York City. If we’re lucky, she’ll let me post the final copy in PDF here. Then you’ll get to learn about the graffiti [which, by the way, is an offensive term to the Writers] and the artists who started it all back in NYC during the early ’70s, their innovations, their schools, and the rhetoric of their work. Bet you weren’t expecting to see the word “asyndeton” ever used to describe tags before.
Thursday I recovered from Tuesday and Wednesday. DJ and I drove into Cambridge to crash the free appetizers at Grafton but proceeded to Whitney’s, where we played darts with new and temporary bar friends Adam and Diddy. They appeared to be regulars, so there’s a good chance we’ll meet them if we go back. At the end of the night no one could close bulls. Scottie, the bartender, needed to close up. On his second dart he throw a double bull’s eye, proving to us that “it’s not that hard.”
Friday I was back in Cambridge to talk with Uri Treisman at the Harvard Foundation Scientist of the Year award ceremony and luncheon. Afterward, I headed back to the River — Pfoho always hosts the Foundation for some reason — to visit Paul to check in on his marathon training. Its being St. Patrick’s day, we went to Tommy O’Doyle’s for a few Guinesses. Had not been a holiday, I wouldn’t’ve touched the stuff: I usually hate nitrogenated beers. We got there at 3pm. I left around 7pm, only to journey three hundred yards away to dine with Michelle, Mary, and Mary’s cousin visiting from Arizona by way of Colgate in New York Tracy. I was asleep by 11pm. So when Patrick called at 2:29am to wish me a Happy St. Patrick’s Day, I wasn’t exactly ready for it. But Pat has a long history of waking me up, and while I was slightly out of practice, I garnered enough consciousness to hold a ten minute conversation. Still, all the reasonable celebrants start drinking at 1pm and can’t continue well passed 9pm. Paul’s wisdom is comprehensive; St. Patrick’s Day is such an “amatuers’ holiday.”
That brings us to Saturday. I had missed out on my weekly Saturday lunches with Dan, Susannah, and Henry for the past couple of weeks. So yesterday I was determined to show up. Before I left, however, I had to run to the bank to deposit $990 in cash money into my account so that I could by DJ plane tickets to LA and Mazetlan, Mexico. I also had to purchase the tickets. We bought them, and a few flights and shafts at the dart store down the street from my house, and took off to the T. I read about homogenous reductive groups on the way. My understanding of Lie groups and algebras is pretty weak in general right now, and I’m working to fix it.
After lunch Stephanie and I crashed the Holi celebration that the South Asian [Indian] student group held to welcome the coming of spring — at least that’s what they claimed. No one cared much about the change in seasons as far as I could tell. They couldn’t. Cubidi, a game that reminds me of a sort of reverse Steal the Bacon meets Red Rover combined with tackle football with a little holding your breath under water on the side kind of disaster waiting to happen, commanded the focus of the room. Truly, children’s games played by competitive adults can be very dangerous, and therefore fun to watch and cheer. The electrifying thumping in the Indian techno coming from the DJ’s table in the middle of the room completed the experience. It also prompted many of the players to taunt the other team with funny bhangra dance gesticulations and silly faces.
To end Holi, we convened outside in the Mac Quad to smear colored powder scented with rose water all over each other in a mad dash of bright color [none of which really occurs naturally but somehow signifies spring quite fittingly] and screams. The only rule: stay away from the eyes, in the beginning. Arianne and Evan found me on the street on my way to the T. I splayed for them, as if I were a work of art. [I believe I was.] On the right side of my head I wore a blood red hand print. Joining the magenta, aquamarine, yellow, and purple, the red powder spoke, as if saying, “I fought a clown. To the death. And won.”
But that’s not all. After a shower and more boiled dinner that my sister had cooked, and cooked well, it was time to meet up with my high school friends to celebrate. For the most part Liz, Nick, and I sat in the corner, silently watching and mocking Kershner, our host. Periodically, there were swells of gossip. Mark got married yesterday; his fiancee is pregnant; Jessie is getting divorced — wait, Jessie was married? We just found out from her sister. Everyone knew about the baby, she had married the father to try to keep him in the country, but he got deported to Brazil, no one knows exactly why. Jenny and Kenny were twins, not cousins, and their last names did used to coincide. An old, widowed history teacher was marrying another teacher, but wasn’t she the mistress in an extramarital affair with another history teacher when we were in the sixth grade? Yeah, Kristin’s mom came in and yelled at him, exposing the whole thing, in reading class shortly after he had carressed Kristin’s hair in the lunch room. Mostly gossip, nothing especially new, mostly fun.
But ah, ha! Heidi works with preschoolers and third graders, but she spends her one-on-one with a very cute boy with Down syndrome. She says her experience at school has taught her a lot about education and parenting that she had never thought about before. Most exciting to me was her lambast against technology and its seizure of children’s toys. “None of these kids will play with a toy unless it beeps…they want the castles to look like castles…none of them has any imagination.” And Heidi’s observations are founded in lots of experimental and researched fact. Rather than spending more time and space to rant here, look for it later.
My dad and sister and I went out for our weekly Sunday brunch. This is when we catch up and I get into a fight with my dad about family principles, education, and life, in general. We just had a heated discussion about my seventeen year old cousin and her July pregnancy and what to do with the child. It’s left me fairly exhausted, and I need to start my statement of intent. I plan to use notation like this:
I know that I promised a letter to those near-sighted state representatives a week ago. I did draft it, and an op-ed for the Globe, but I haven’t had the time to sit down and edit them properly. It’s nearly 5pm already, so I’m not sure it’ll happen today. Soon, I promise, dear reader, soon.