This past weekend was a very pleasant departure from the norm. After a very successful work day on Friday, I hurried from my last meeting at 6 to the red line station. This was to be the beginning of my commute south and then westward to Riverside, where my sister (Kate) and new-brother (Brad) were to be waiting.
It’s always important to remember that just when you want public transportation to really get you somewhere, that is the moment it is most likely to fail you. Indeed, as I arrived in Kendall station on Friday night to catch my first of several trains, the train I had just missed pulled into the tunnel at the end of the station and abruptly stopped. The loudspeaker announced that while trains were moving, they were doing so with delays.
The cause of all this was a switching problem at Park Street station, my first destination. This was not the best way to begin my fun weekend with my family. I caught the next train, which then sat at Kendall for 15 minutes. It then proceeded **very** slowly to Park. The Green Line connection that took me to Riverside (a D-line train) was very fast in comparison – this is far outside the norm for the Boston subway lines. Green is typically slow and steady, while Red picks up the slack.
Kate and Brad were at Riverside, after a small navigation adventure of their own. In fact, my timing (or mis-timing) may have been perfect for actually meeting them at the station. With my blood sugar crashing, we hit the road for the 1.5 hour drive to Manchester, CT. Dinner was taken at a retro-fifties diner near their home, where the only things on the menu for eating were heart-harmful and you could get a malt in any of about 25 flavors, including “pudding”. Hmmm. Oh, and did I mention that for some very odd reason my nickname for this weekend was “Stubbalubba”? Yeah, I thought I forgot to mention that.
We stayed up very late playing SSX (snow boarding) on their game console, and I got to meet their new-ish cat Orion. Saturday started with some DELIGHTFUL lattes, made by Brad, and a trip to a nearby hobby store where I picked up a present for my wife and Bad bought the extension set for a card game called “Killer Bunnies”. Yes, “Killer Bunnies”.
Brad spent the afternoon teaching me to play this card game, which was to be the focus of the night’s after-dinner activities. I have to say that after initial skepticism, I found this game to be quite fun (not a serious as “Magic”, but just as complicated) – where else are you going to be able to unleash such diabolical weapons as Ebola or a **black hole** on your enemies. Who are bunnies. Yes, bunnies.
Saturday night was wonderful. Kate prepared a feast of chili and biscuits and cheesecake. My good buddy Eric, who lives in Hartford, came over in the late afternoon to join the festivities. Kate and Brad had their friend, Sam, also come to dinner. However, instead of a game of “Killer Bunnies” we played a game of “Wise and Otherwise”. If you’ve never played this, the game begins with one player reading the first part of some saying; the goal of the rest of the players is to either guess the right ending or just make one up. Everybody then votes on which ending they think is correct. Guessing the right ending, which is added into the pile by the reader, gets you points. Guessing somebody else’s ending gets them points. The game usually degrades to something resembling moral chaos after about two beers.
We each had four.
I crashed at Eric’s place on Sunday. We spent the night watching a documentary about the American band, “Wilco”:http://www.wilcoweb.com/, called “I am trying to break your heart” (based on the time spent recording, mixing, and then trying to release their album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”). I own the album on which the movie is centered, and I haven’t been able to give it a fair listen yet. However, I must say that after watching this film I am more intrigued than **ever** about Wilco. Once I get back to California (and my excellent Sennheiser headphones) I intend to give this work its due.
Sunday afternoon, Eric busted out his new music machine: a jet-black Gibson SG. I couldn’t stand sitting there, just watching him play the thing. So, I did what any ex-drummer without a drumset would do: I grabbed an acoustic guitar and tried to follow the chord progressions. This was amusing, mostly because I haven’t played seriously in years (and even then, I was never **that** serious). I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time, not since I was in a band with Eric almost 7 years ago.
After a Greyhound bus ride back to Boston, I am eager to dive into this work week. It’s looking like a healthy blend of neutrino physics and B-physics, and it’s not even 9 am PST yet.