|God is dead! And baseboard heating is an abomination!
|The Focus Group, "We are all Pan's People"|
Ridiculously Social Wednesday Mk. II:
1. Met mrbelm at the Diesel for the second half of the book handoff, meaning I am now in possession of some items I was seriously beginning to wonder if I would ever see again. The Checkpoint Charlie-ness was substantially diluted by the fact that he threw in a CD with vast amounts of The Focus Group, Stereolab, Raymond Scott, and Carl Stalling. (Can you keep those last two on the same disc or will they fight?) Also I ran into audioboy, which was unexpected but pleasant.
There were a pair of children in the little plaza out front of J.P. Licks playing What time is it, Mrs. Fox? They were mostly calling nonsense hours: "Forty-three o'clock!" I hadn't thought of the game since elementary school; I had never heard the feminine version. I liked it. I sat on one of the benches and wrote the beginning of a poem, but it was terrible and will be broken down for parts.
2. Met Matthew Timmins for lunch at Taipei Tokyo. I couldn't remember the last time I'd ordered any kind of bento, so I got a box full of stuff and it was very tasty. He recently introduced me to Posh Nosh. I owe him big time.
I finally walked past Ward Maps when they were open, so I went in and, after resisting some pages from a late nineteenth-century book of astronomy, was suckered by The Boston Terminal Co. Diagram of Tracks and Signals. Resident Engineer's Office. Boston, May 28, 1905. NOT TO SCALE. It looks like the layout for a circuit board, only instead of transistors and capacitors, the components are labeled things like "Power House Yard," "Express Yard," "Atlantic Ave. Bridge," "Subway Tracks." I will try to get a picture up, although I believe I said that two months ago about a photo of George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in Canada.
3. Met Dean Grodzins for generalized hanging-out, including the discovery of Q Tonic. He showed me the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments in Harvard's Science Center. I don't own any sundials past the one on my ring finger—and I only wish I had an orrery—but the oscilloscopes, the Geiger counter, and the DC meters looked very familiar. I think the dot-matrix printer in the cyclotron control console is the same one we had on the sun porch when I was growing up. I recognized, but wouldn't swear to the Commodore 64. Upstairs was an exhibit on the Rorschach and the TAT. I remember taking the latter when I was in elementary school; I had no idea the history behind its invention was so batshit Jungian, Jack Parsons without the fulminate of mercury. (Or that it tangentially involved the OSS, but at this point in my encounters with WWII-era intelligence I am beginning to feel I should have been surprised if that wasn't the case.)
I fell asleep slightly on the bus, but I also read the last chapters of Angélica Gorodischer's Kalpa Imperial (2003) trans. Ursula K. Le Guin. How can this be the only one of her books in English? Is Le Guin working on more?
4. Came home just in time to meet lesser_celery for Millennium. We are nearing the end of the second season; I still think "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me" sounds like the hook of a cheerful country-and-western, but I liked the episode's ability to turn knife-quick from sardonically funny as Screwtape to suddenly not. I am not sure it was quite in the same show as the storyline around it, but this season has felt like two or three different shows under the same title already. Fortunately, I quite like at least one of them.
The afternoon mail brought me absolutely gorgeous contributor's copies of Cabinet des Fées' Cinderella Jump Rope Rhymes. One of the seven full-page, full-color illustrations is for one of mine. Thank you, Adam Oehlers. And everyone else involved in the lunacy. Goofing off on LJ should lead to art more often.
5. Met derspatchel for dinner at The Friendly Toast. Ordering the fish burrito, as it turned out, was a great idea. So were the Hitchcocktails: the Saboteur was a curiosity, though worth trying (Kraken rum, rhubarb purée, and mint, with what looked for all the world like a violet-streaked orchid stuck on top), but the Vertigo (Gosling's, chocolate ice cream, pomegranate molasses, Grand Marnier) was brilliant and doubled most satisfactorily as dessert. I still mooched off Rob's slice of Drunkard's French Toast. One does not pass up a sauce made with raspberries and Grand Marnier. He is the other person I know who's read Robert C. O'Brien's The Silver Crown (1968).
The title of this post is unrelated to anything that happened today, except that I copied it down from an utterly charming bit on The Colbert Report weeks ago and I might as well get it out of my head now.
I should really try to sleep.