Tuesday, May 26, 2009

stickshifts and safety belts

What a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend! On Saturday, James and I took the #1 bus down to the South End, a neighborhood of Boston we had never wandered through. The architecture is traditionally Boston, and there's a crop of tasty-looking restaurants that we noted for later visits. We passed a couple of really large community gardens - the first one, Berkeley Community Garden, had to be like ten times the size of my little Squirrel Brand garden, and all the plots had wooden separators and sparse roof coverings, and very lush crops of green leaves! It looked so much more developed than our garden, with clearly experienced growers who probably have had their plots for several years now. I guess there's something to be said for continuity. We also came upon a small shop called South End Formaggio, which turned out to be a delightfully tiny place with an incredible selection of wine, cheese, sausage meat, and bakery sweets. About three-quarters of the wines and cheeses were accompanied by little handwritten signs describing their flavor - so personal! I loved it! Plus the people who worked there were super friendly. We bought a hard cider made in the Nothern Berkshires from MacIntosh apples - very delicious. Makes me want to live in the South End just to visit more often!

On Sunday we decided to enjoy the weather by bringing a picnic lunch down to the Arnold Arboretum. We packed up some tasty food, water, and a straw mat, and drove through the city towards Jamaica Plain. When we got to about Fenway, lightning started accenting the sky, and thunder rumbled ominously. Slowly it started to sprinkle, but we forged ahead. Soon enough, we were driving through torrential downpour, and chickpea-sized hail fell out of the sky. We had to laugh at what ridiculous timing we had for having a picnic. But at least we were still dry! We still drove to the park and had our little picnic in the car, with the radio tuned to some really old-school rock-and-roll ballads, giggling at how atrocious the weather was, but how romantic our little picnic turned out. The sun actually came out, in perfect timing with the end of our meal, and we walked around the damp Arboretum for a couple hours, by a rushing brook and deliciously colorful flowers. It was beautiful after all!

James drove back to NH yesterday evening, and I can't tell you how tired I am of saying goodbye to him every single week. I think it's affecting my overall happiness level. I've started stressing about finding an apartment for us to live in next year, just because it will be one step closer to us living together, seeing each other every day. It can't happen soon enough.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

you are the best thing

The weather was gorgeous this weekend. James and I made an impromptu trip to Home Depot and got some little seedlings to flesh out my fairly empty garden. He convinced me to get some little aslyssum and ageratum to add a little color to the plot, and we also got one plant each of mint, parsley, basil, red bell pepper, and cherry tomato. We planted them all happily in the soil, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see these little green friends sitting in my square of dirt.

The weather, although gorgeously warm and sunny, was too windy today for us to row in our Beaver Sprints Regatta, the MIT Club-hosted rowing races on the Charles. I didn't check my email in time, and biked all the way to the boathouse only to be told that the regatta was cancelled. I had almost guessed that from looking at the whitecaps, which are pretty rare on the water. Kind of a bummer, but I was also glad to have the whole day to hang out with James. We hadn't seen each other more than twice in the last month, and I can hardly bear to think about how much I want him to move down to Boston so I can see his silly face every day. The emergence of the sunshine from the winter gloom makes me look forward to things like vacations, beaches, hiking, picnics, bike rides, swimming, and sharing them with James. Kind of cornball, I suppose. But who cares.

Today we walked around Harvard Square, looking for birthday presents for our siblings, three of which have birthdays in the next two weeks. Instead, we ended up buying a lot of things for ourselves...! Less than productive, but so satisfying. Ha! But I'm still left with the dilemma of what to get my sister and brother for their birthdays. My bro is especially hard to shop for. He lives in a room the size of a shoebox, and he doesn't do much other than lift weights, read books, and watch football. What do I know about that? Kim is slightly easier to shop for, but we have very different styles.

I cut my hair short again last week. Sometimes it is so satisfying to see big chunks of hair fall to the floor, even though for most of my life, haircuts were the most terrifying events of the year. I used to be so afraid I would come out with a mullet, or some ridiculous bangs or something, and I would sit in the chair barely able to talk to the stylist when she tried to make conversation. Maybe because now I've found a pretty good salon with a stylist I like, I'm much more comfortable letting her take my suggestions and then cut away. Plus I'm really getting used to having short hair - it dries faster, doesn't blow into my face as much, and requires a lot less effort to style. Perfect for summer!