Friday, May 27, 2005


Fritz, on the right, and I. Posted by Hello

At 9:05am, just after I pulled away from my house on my way up to MIT, the sun came out for the first time in a week. The sodden lawns and wet pavements suddenly looked warm and bright. And that lasted all the way until 9:08am--three whole minutes!--at which point the clouds blocked it out again for the rest of the day. But it didn’t rain, and the temperature got above 50 degrees. It’s a start.

In case anyone was wondering where the warmth of spring had gone, Steph and Alek from Oh la la, Paris have supplied the answer—-it got on a plane and headed to France. Paris has been in the mid-90s with strong sun this week so Parisians are complaining, as we are here in the northeast, of highly unusual weather for the end of May. It’s probably just about right in Iceland.

I stopped off at my bank’s ATM after the sun’s very brief appearance to get some money for the weekend. For some reason, something that I have seen at every ATM I have ever used struck me this morning. When you insert your card, you’re asked for your PIN. After you’ve entered it, you’re asked if it’s correct. How the hell are you supposed to know?—-you don’t see the number you’ve entered on the screen, just a row of Xs.

The Big Dig has sprung another Big Leak, this time way below ground where the southbound tunnel passes under the Massachusetts Turnpike tunnel in the heavily waterlogged Fort Point Channel area. The flow this time is estimated at thirty gallons a minute. For this we (and all of you) paid fourteen billion dollars.

Fritz has decided to come down to Boston this year for Gay Pride (June 11th), something we haven’t done together for five or six years. Today I got an invitation from Theater Offensive to ride on their fabulous (of course) float in the parade. I’m going up to his place for the weekend very early tomorrow morning (avoiding the huge traffic jams trying to get out of town tonight) and will see if this is an idea that appeals to him. It could be a lot of fun.

The mocking birds are back. They sing beginning around 11pm and go for a couple of hours. There’s one who operates near my house or actually on my roof, and another about a block away. They sing continuously once they start and are very loud—you can hear their songs clearly through double pane windows. What’s strange is that you see one bird, but you hear five or six, depending on how many other birdcalls the mocking bird has memorized. As they sing, they occasionally flutter straight up a couple of feet, hover for an instant, and then flutter straight back down.

I wish everybody a happy Memorial Day holiday weekend.

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