I seem to be a magnet for road closures these days. Mike spent the last hour of his driving shift parked in a traffic backup and now I have inherited it. Mike has gone to bed and I am currently sitting in the passenger seat enjoying the warmth of the computer across my legs as I type. When I travel to the northeast, major truckstops, and therefore WiFi connections I can utilize, become scarce. So I figured I would begin a running hodge-podge of thoughts and occurences and make one, nasty hyper-post whenver an internet connection makes itself available to me. If it gets too long, I s'pose I'll cut it. So let's begin by travelling back in time to Saturday night... (enter sound of harps and wavy visual distortion).
After the ballgame Saturday I did some some sorely needed Christmas shopping in the late afternoon then managed to finally meet up with fujerica after many months of missed opportunities and scheduling conflicts between the two of us. Without completely rehashing the details of a previous LJ entry, I first met fujerica nearly 15 years ago as part of the Lexington BBS community of the olden days and had lost touch with her over the past decade. Through the miracle of the modern internet, namely a mutual LJ acquaintance, we were reunited and had commenced with numerous IM's and a phone conversation. Satruday evening we met for coffee and conversation for a couple of hours. To my delight she's still as cute, cool, and engaging of a person as she was all those years ago. It was great to finally see her again and I hope we can continue our arrested friendship online as well as offline.
Incidentally, Coffee Times on Regency Road has an awesome drink called the Log Cabin Latte made with maple syrup. Mmmmmmmmm. It got me thinking that a coffee drink made with sorghum molasses would be mighty tasty. Someone needs to offer that.
(harps and distortion)
I hope to be afforded the opportunity to visit with mandy_moon on Monday evening in Boston, although it appears that the gods of weather and traffic patterns will make this occasion one of truly epic, nay Herculean, effort on my part should it come to pass. As it stands, even if I do make it to Boston by morning, I will then have to stay up all day with Mike whilst we make our deliveries. Tooling around Boston will be the first, real shift of city-driving for my young acolyte so there will be no sleeping for me. By the time we are done for the day I will have been up for 24 hours, so the thing I will be most interested in seeing is the business end of my pillow. I was treated to a brief phone coversation tonight with Ms. Moon, whereby I relayed this information as well as gushed that I felt like I was talking to someone famous like a movie star. She of course finds this amusing and hopefully not intimidating for I don't mean it to be. I know full-well she is a normal, every day person just as myself... but I've enjoyed reading her journal for some time now and have iterated on numerous occasions on these very pages that it is the best ElJay ever. So in a certain respect, I am a fan, thereby elevating her status somewhat in my own mind. She fears I will be disappointed, but I find that highly unlikely. So, unless I am just the walking dead, perhaps I can make it onto The List of People To Kill and maybe get a big ol' sloppy face-licking from Buddy.
During the course of our conversation, mandy_moon nonchalantly mentioned a list she was going to create of towns she had been to, with the rule being she could not have just driven through it, she had to have stopped there. Inserted into this revelation of intent seemed to be a thinly veiled challenge with her self-admission that, given my vocation, any list I came-up with would blow hers from the water. I don't think I have the energy to start and maintain such a list. An interesting notion to be sure, but we're talking about a list that would grow into the thousands. I must say it is an intriguing idea - one that would've been better considered earlier in life, at least, earlier in my current career. Who knows, maybe I'll start with some of my least visited states and see how it goes. It's just that I know once I get to Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky... hooo lawdy that'll be a lot of town listing.
Location: leaving Whitman, MA on the "T", 6pm, Monday
We didn't get to Boston until noon. It took us nearly 24 hours to get from eastern Indiana to Boston. It was quite a night of driving; closed roads, icy mountains, snow packed freeways. I saw the 70 car pileip in western Pennsylvania that was all over the news; it was a mess. I managed to get a couple of hours sleep this morning while Mike finished up the drive so I'm on the train as I type this to meet up with mandy_moon. It should be fun. Hopefully I won't get lost in this tangle of commuter rail and subways I need to navigate, especially on the way back. The last train back to Whitman arrives at 11:06pm, so I know I won't be out too terribly late. Mike or myself is going to do a bit more driving tonight while there's no traffic to get to our next stop before morning in Melrose on the other side of Boston. And we won't have to roll out of bed until about 9am, so I'll have plenty of opportunity to catch up on my ZZZ's later. This trumps sleep anyway, any day. I couldn't find the fresh batteries for my camera laying around the truck. I don't remember where I put them. I hope the current batteries maintain enough charge for me to take some pictures later. S'blood, it wouldst surely sucketh if they died on me.
Location: South Station, Boston, Mass (oooh twooo oooonnne threeee fooooour! send it to Zoom!)
Upon arriving at the train stop near mandy_moon's crib, I gave her another phone call. She was already en route to meet me and gave me a general idea of the direction she would be coming from. She was walking Buddy, she told me, that way I could easily recognize her.
No shit. Coming down the sidewalk was this tiny woman with a big, black Lab. I had seen photos of Buddy and had read the tales of his girth and his successful weight loss program, so I knew he was a large animal. But I think it was the perspective along side his owner that made him seem so much bigger. I would like to take a moment and add, that, throughout the rest of this entry, I will take extra care to mark certain particulars of my visit that those of you who are card-carrying members of the Cult of mandy_moon can appreciate. Since we've already mentioned it - we shall mark "Buddy" as "Buddy (MM1)" and continue forward.
On the walk back to her house, we decided food would be good so we stopped long enough for Buddy to be put away in her room. While awaiting her return from upstairs, I admired the Lionel Ritchie Shrine (MM2) in the front foyer. It is rather impressive to behold in person, I must say. With Buddy secured, she led me to a nice Vietnamese place where I had...
Man, I mean I knew it was going to be a whole, pan fried fish when I ordered it, but I had no idea it was going to be that big. It was quite a sight when the plate was brought out.
She and I proceeded to spend the next couple of hours chatting about this and that....
...and this is where I want to let you all know that I was not disappointed in the least; mandy_moon is one intelligent, attractive, funny woman. She exhibits a charming (and refreshing) lack of self-consciousness. Not a total lack, but a healthy lack and one which seems to come naturally and not by design. There are lots of people who go out of their way to act with a disregard for the traditions, customs, and archetypes of the social fabric. In fact they rail against it nad we call them rebels, punks, avant garde, fringe, or whatever the term of the moment is; various means and ways, but essentially the same end. Then there are people who simply two-step to a totally different rhythm. And while they may have some inkling of this at times, for the most part they are oblivious to it. many_moon falls into this latter category. She simply marches to her own beat. A lot of us like to think we are like this, but we're frauds; we're often all too aware of our actions and exactly how they will be perceived and accepted/rejected by the people around us. I don't know that I can adequately describe what I mean by this, you'd just have to meet her I guess. She's also one of the nicest people you'd ever hope to meet.
We walked back to her house after dinner and, since some of the dreaded roommates (MM3) had returned, I was invited to her room where I got to give Buddy a treat! He never warmed up to me as much as I had hoped, but he did lick my face! Of course he also growled at me, too, but that's ok. I was on his turf and he hardly knows me. I also got to meet Stephen Hawking (MM4) and there were Blood Donation posters (MM5) hanging on the walls. As a first visit, there wasn't a whole lot of time to be spent and I didn't want to be a total geek about seeing first-hand all of the world of mandy_moon as told to me through ElJay, but I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to meet Endless Mike (MM6), if nothing else because he's named after the greatest nemesis in the history of... history. Maybe sometime later next year, preferably during, like, summer months when it's not a bajillion degrees below zero outside, I can spend some more time in Boston on purpose rather than by chance. I ended up not ttaking any pictures either except of the seabass... I know, I know - bad blogger! bad blogger! But it's not like I could have shown anything that isn't readily available in her journal and I certainly couldn't have captured the essence of her personality any better than her own words already do.
She and Buddy walked me to the train stop where we parted for the night. She reminded me that I now would get to be on her List of People To Kill (MM6). I'll be anxiously awaiting my number on the list.
mandy_moon is still famous like a movie star in my book.