Friday, July 17, 2009

We all look like we feel

Last Saturday found us all around the greater Boston area. First, we took the motorcycle up to Wakefield, where we hung out with one of Darren's new coworkers, Brandon; a visitor from his native New Orleans, Natalie; and a husband-and-wife team of Boston transplants, Tom from Phoenix, Ariz., and Emily, a school friend of Natalie's from New Orleans. We grilled in the back yard on Brandon's outdoor smoker, which he brought with him from New Orleans, and had a nice time sitting in the shade, talking and playing fetch with Brandon's dog. Later, we made plans to meet up in Boston to check out the tall ships. Darren and I dropped the motorcycle off at home, got changed and took the T into the city. We toured two of the stately ships, one from Romania and another from Brazil, and we took plenty of photos. They were all so beautiful, though I was a bit disappointed we didn't get to see more, such as the American ships. I read online there was even a German ship hanging around somewhere but never got to see it. Still, it was a great experience, and I'm glad Darren and I could share it with our newfound friends.

After that, we went to dinner at a very packed nearby restaurant Brandon had found, and then we took Natalie to Mike's Pastry in the North End to give her a taste of a Boston landmark. It began pouring just as we were leaving (the rest of the day had been gorgeous, especially compared to the past month and a half), so we booked it to the nearest T stop to head home. Our day began around 10 a.m. and ended by midnight, so you can imagine how exhausted we were. The next day, we lounged around the house like lumps without regrets.

And so we find ourselves at the end of another week, and already we have grand plans to visit the Narragansett beach house to go clamming, possibly spend some time at Scarborough Beach, and enjoy everyone's company. There was talk of possibly taking the motorcycle -- I bought a brand-new DOT- and Snell-certified helmet (for those of you unfamiliar with those, they give their seal of approval after exposing the helmets to rigorous safety and durability tests -- not all helmets are good enough to earn those certifications) that I bought on sale online. It looks really snazzy, with colors that match the motorcycle (red, black, white) and are bright enough to see at night. I also like the styling and the silver glitter. It's nice to have a helmet that finally fits me correctly; the one I was using before was a medium, and this new one is an extra-small. The old one used to slide over my face on the highway, so I couldn't see anything but the highway asphalt melting below us. This one feels much more snug, secure and comfortable.

Still, it might not be possible to take the bike -- regulations in the camping area are pretty strict when it comes to motorcycles, and the forecast predicts morning thunderstorms, and we'll be setting out early, in order to arrive around 9 a.m., just before low tide, the perfect time for quahogs. We'll probably do the usual as well: cookout, grilling, playing games. I always love going there, and I always feel welcome, almost like part of the family.

My helmet arrived a day earlier than expected, and now all I'm waiting for is a Marion Zimmer Bradley book from an seller. I figure it'll be great summer reading; indeed, I used to spend hours in the evenings of my high school summer vacations reading and rereading her Avalon books -- something about the word "Avalon" intrigued me, and as I got further into her mystical Celtic world of Romans, druids, priestesses and Arthurian legend -- half based on historical fact and fantasy, always concentrating on the women's perspectives -- I became engrossed in them. I've read probably her most famous novel, "The Mists of Avalon" (from which a TV movie starring Anjelica Houston, Julianna Margulies and Joan Allen was adapted in 2001), three or four times now. There was a time when I elected to reread it once a year, usually during the summer. So now I'm looking to continue a form of that tradition with "Ravens of Avalon," a take on the revenge taken by Queen Boudica of the Celtic Iceni tribe after her people were ransacked and brutally raped by the Romans. The book was actually written by Diana L. Paxon, a good friend of Bradley's who took over writing the Avalon books after Bradley's death in 1999. It'll be a much-welcomed respite from "American Psycho," which I dared to read thinking it wouldn't be as horrific and brutally gory as I'd thought. I was wrong, and now I'm paying for it, since I have about 60 pages to go and I just have to see it through or I'll feel bad. It's almost as torturous to read through to the end as the indescribably inhumane acts Patrick Bateman performs on his victims. The film is quite tame compared to the book; trust me.


At 1:38 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find myself checking your blog for updates nearly every day. It's part of my morning routine! Your little escapades with Darren and around the New England region are a joy to read, given your sheer brilliance with the English language. Looking forward to what you've gotten yourself into in August! All the best.


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