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Monday May 08, 2000, 09:36

today is the start of another cell phone billing cycle. it's also the day that my college email account stops works. it's also monday.

that should probably say it all.

i walked to work with a crick in my back from the weight of my shoulder bag (i must get a backpack) and had this impending sense of doom sort of a feeling. could it just be the heat, which is slowly inching up from uncomfortable into that "unbearable" range? my feet were like lead as i pulled myself up the stairs to the office. i've been here for almost an hour now and have yet to motivate myself to really do anything. why is that?

this weekend was fabulous. while i complained to just about everyone about the state of my life right now, it was, overall, a fun time. ah, to begin at the beginning.

waking saturday to the phone ringing, i'd been drifting in and out of sleep for hours. simone. she'll be over in a bit, we to embark on a rollerblading and vcr buying adventure. oh, and do i want to go to a soccer game for which she has season tickets? logistics. etc. and lots of driving would seem to dictate that this would make sense.

me. at a professional sporting event. but i jump ahead of myself.

actually, there's little to note about the afternoon but to note that rollerblading along a river with a breeze in the air and little to no humidity is about the most enjoyable thing that one can do on a saturday afternoon. to sit, together, on bleachers and watch a pickup ulimate frisbee game (she, an avid player, me, totally clueless), skatles clunking against wooden (metal?) seats, windblown hair and to hear her exasperated "well that was totally gratuitous" in reference to a blown play on the field.

we're so different in so many ways, and so similar in many others. it's either a complete wonder or totally inevitable that we should enjoy each other's company so much.

we went to buy me a vcr. this is not such an amazing thing, but to note that i can't make decisions, so to watch as we wandered into a Circuit City, asked some intelligent questions about video cassette recorder features and then leave, having dished out one hundred and fifty dollars for the appliance plus warranty would have been an amusing thing. at least my parents would have been amused, i wager.

and the sporting event. in thinking back, i remember growing up in the suburbs and driving in to baseball games, my father having procured the company box seats right behind first base. we would always go on some give-away day, and our house is still littered with overnight bags and baseball caps and penants.

i think that one of the more memorable games for me had nothing to do with the actual event, but rather the fireworks display that followed. was that the first fireworks show i ever saw? i can't remember. but i do remember that it was really close, the launching station being set up in the outfield and the explosions happening up over our heads. we had to crane our necks up to watch them, but they were magnificent.

ok, so the soccer game on saturday wasn't quite as magical. simone did get to experience my "being mistaken for a girl for the sole reason that i have long hair (and i'm short)" situation first hand when she ordered two baskets of chicken and fries and was given the food with a cheerful "here you go, ladies." it was amusing, to say the least, and i feel like from now on i should make a big show of it. a giggle perhaps, or a little screech. whatever. ::giggle::

i know very little about sports. very little. i mean, soccer has to do with kicking the little ball into the big net, and not using your hands. i got that far. trivia about players and teams, however, is beyond the scope of anything i ever got interested in, or could keep my brain around when watching a game.

that said, my experience at a sporting event is much like my experience at a concert or any other gathering of people who are all focused on one particular thing and can get quite vocal about it. the home team almost gets scored on, and is saved by luck more than anything else when the ball hits the edge of the goal and careens off to the side and the crowd gasps, audibly, and then claps wildly for the goalie who just knew that it was going in and there was nothing he could do about it. or the rush you feel when you see the lone player on your team driving down the field with the ball, unopposed until the very last moment when he dodges the defenders and places the ball expertly into the opposing team's goal. you watch as the ball sailes through the air, breath held for that one moment when the goalie makes a dive for the ball and suddenly the net kicks back and the crowd erupts in whoops and hollars. it's that shared experiences, again, that makes it so much more exciting in person.

i realize of course that the previous paragraph demonstrates why i will never be a sports writer, but also note that this is not necessarily a bad thing. see, i have this big problem with not being good at things (which would explain much of my issues with work, but this is not about work, so i will not mention it). so, if i am not able to be good at sports, or good at watching sports, for which "good" is defined by "being of the same or better ability than the people i am with" then i immediately decide that i will never be anything but "bad" at said activity and will stop caring all together.

i don't seem to realize the benefit of "practice" and "improvement" as often as would be healthy, though in recent years i have made an effort to try to start incorporating these words into my personal philosophy on life.

the drive home was pleasant and involved a phone call to my mother asking her the title of a book ("of mice and men") and a discussion about my sister and her Advanced Placement exams and while my parents had been hard on me in high school and did get mad at me on occassion for staying out when I had studying to do, they didn't cause any permanent damage and i don't hold any residual resentment towards them. i like my family. they're all pretty cool.

sunday was.

channing and i had the best of intentions when we went out as we were going to drop in on some of the open studios in town. art is good, right? the outing was delayed a bit by a half our wait on the trolley as i was going to meet him, due to some track issues and the fact that the city needed to give me some other reason to bitch about the public transit system. i mean, there really was nothing that could have been done (from what i could tell) but the fact that it happened at all meant that i got a bit grumpy. at least i wasn't in a big rush.

oh, art. the art that we saw was, well, mediocre, at best. the watercolors looked like something out of a paint-by-number book. oh hell, i'm no art critic, but i looked at some of these paintings, and while i couldn't do any better, lots of people certainly could. was it just a color choice? or was it the fact that i like watercolors because of their liquid nature. the colors run together, as if a moment was captured out of life as you were turning your head from side to side. it can be clear and crisp, but it will still have that muddiness to it. you know that you could get the whole picture if you could just clear the fog out from in front of you.

the pictures that i saw were plastic and dead. and kind of sloppy too.

the photographs we saw were a bit better, but lacked a sense of composition that separates a nice photograph from one that looks totally and completely off. i examined the nudes, white against black background, which is the formula for something great. the human form against nothing, floating in space. and yet the works that i saw were lacking. something. i looked at the one, a small form in the bottom half of the page, the entire print black but for this person, curled up, knees against face.

"that's nice," i thought to myself.

but i looked closer, and the form was just a bit off, the symetry of the body marred by a misplaced arm, the form not centered and a bit crooked. it was just, off, and left me feeling uneasy.

suffice it to say that we abandoned our plans for an afternoon of art.

opting instead for some blatant consumerism, we headed to Harvard Square where we went watch and camera shopping and then spent the remainder of the afternoon people watching, on the street or in the park. i am struck by the absurd lack of stunningly gorgeous people in Boston. i'm not refering to people who are mildly attractive or cute, though i've not seen many of those either, but what is really lacking is any population of people by whom i am just floored by their beauty. i want to see a person who captures the total and complete attention of everyone around them as they walk down the street.

i have yet to see this person around here.

people-watching was interrupted by dinner which drifted into cd buying which then flowed back into people-watching, this time from perched atop the entrance to the subway in Harvard Square, an area, i've been told, used to be occupied by punks who have now been all but displaced by the Abercrombie & Fitch on the corner. oh, and ice cream. ice cream was good, even though i didn't think i was in the mood for it.

i ran into a friend of mine in high school in the square and am afraid that i might have chewed her ear off a bit with my talk of work and life and whatnot. but it led to nice, interesting, and fairly stimulating conversation and i even got to drop a business card ("give me a call sometime"). funny how life comes around like that.

sitting there atop the subway stop, perched as i often am, i felt oddly a part of something. a part of the world going about its business as usual on a humid sunday afternoon i guess. or, not so much a part of it, as being able to a part of something else. a part of a group that's chosen to sit by the side, to watch the world, to hold time still for a moment or several on that sunday afternoon. watching the men in tuxedos, the women in gowns. the couple with the child. the man begging for change. the boy on the skateboard rolling into the bank.

having no obligations and no destination. instead just sitting, talking, watching, perhaps reading, and watching as a fellow straggler blows smoke-filled sop bubbles into the wind.

a perfect sunday afternoon.

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