March 12th, 2007


The Mighty Mighty Boston

OK, so I MIGHT'VE not realized that Harvard University was in Boston, Mass. But, come on, seriously, that's not the dumbest thing I've ever said. Hell, probably wasn't even the dumbest thing I said on this trip.

Flying right through the ass of convention, I piled on the White Castle hamburgers as my final act of New York City defiance in the Eastern Standard Time. And they were good. They're ALWAYS good! Speaking of which, did you know that from the 1920s through the 1940s, White Castle slyders were five cents each? Yet another reason why I need to invent the first fully-functional time machine.

It was next-to-criminal how early I arrived at the bus station in Chinatown on Friday. The bus was set to depart at 2pm, they said to get there by 1:30pm, and I got there around 12:45pm. Not all was lost, however, as I needed the extra time because I wanted to make sure I didn't once need to use the bathroom on the bus during the trip. To remain on the safe side, I walked around, bought something off of McDonalds' dollar menu, and used their toilet to get every last drop.

Now, I've gotta say, I was prepared to see a third world country when I got on this bus, complete with screaming babies, roosters pecking at the sawdust-covered floor, springs poking their way out of the vinyl & duct tape covered seats, and a couple of banjo-pickin' shoeless rednecks with an eye for sodomy and a taste for Pacific Northwestern Gentlemen. But, it was nice. Probably the nicest $15 bus ride I've ever been on. Seats were upholstered, the little mini-TVs were upholstered (though, no movies were shown). Leg room was a bitch, but other than that I can't really complain. Although, I learned the trick. If you sit in the very first row, you've got enough leg room to comfortably house a 6-woman orgy. Learned that on my way back home on Sunday.

Traffic absolutely SUCKED getting out of New York and going through Connecticut. That's because it was early Friday afternoon and all of these corporate bigshots were trying to get out of the city and into their homes in Connecticut. See, that's where you live when you want to have an excuse to own a car around here. You fabricate this stupid commute so you can own the luxury car and pay thousands of dollars a year to park the damn thing while at work. Anyway, it took me almost six hours to get into Boston when it was supposed to take between 4 and 5. I listened to a 3-hour Pearl Jam concert and another 20 songs of my Fucking Cool playlist.


Sarah and Joe were waiting for me in the train terminal when I arrived in the bus terminal. After a few minutes of confused searching, we met up and got going. Joe works for this fishing company Wildcatch, they deal with fresh-caught salmon, mostly from the Alaska area I guess. And there's this huge Boston Seafood Convention going on this week (started Sunday, runs through Wednesday). So Joe and his dad (who half-runs the company) and the other guy who runs the company are in town to sell some product and shmooze with people in the industry. Sarah's got family in the area, so she decided to make a trip of it. That's the premise.

Sarah's grandfather - who I simply MUST meet one day - was out of town for the week, but he let us stay in his apartment. He's an interior decorator. If you could only SEE what his apartment looks like ... I'm telling you, I'm never washing my eyeballs again! First of all, everything in there was breakable. You know when you're a kid and you go to your grandparents and they take all their knick-knacks and hide them so you don't go and break anything? Yeah, Sarah's grandfather would have anyone under the age of 16 murdered before they stepped foot inside his apartment. There's blue-glass figurines and dishes and candleiers (chandeliers for his candle-holders) and plates on the walls and a bunch of small Roman statues and paintings and old antique furniture and rugs and the DOOR! You would not BELIEVE this door! So, you walk inside his apartment building, and all the doors are drab and white, it looked like you're walking through a crappy dormatory. Then, you round this corner, and at the end of a short corridor, you see it. Gigantic wooden door with two locks and gold designs and intricate patterns and ... it was glorious. You'd have the feeling that, upon opening this magical door, you'd be whisked away into some far-off fantasy land of wildebeasts and angels and mongo-tattooed madness. I would sell my soul to live there, bar none. Or, at the very least, be given a bat and five minutes alone with that place.

We didn't do much the first night. Went to a bar in Harvard Square, had a few beers, ate a meal (steak and salad and fries), and went home for mixed drinks. I made some damned fine Lemon Drops for the three of us. Oh yeah, Sarah's grandfather's drinking-ware was fucking amazing too. I drank from a crystal snifter that rested on the back of a crystal eagle. I almost didn't want to sully it with my contaminated lips.

Joe had to get up at a quarter to buttfuck to go over and set up things for the convention, so Sarah and I slept in at our leisure and went out to do the Tourist's Boston. We had lunch in Little Italy. We walked through Boston Common and the Public Garden. We took pictures with various historic statues. We saw the fucking Cheers bar! Looks nothing like it does on TV, yet another disappointment on par with the Seinfeld restaurant. We saw the Holocaust Towers (these six glass towers, each etched with a million numbers to represent the Jews who died in and around Germany in WWII). We walked through a super old cemetary and a super old church. We stood on the site of the Boston Massacre. We walked along the waterfront and through the financial district. All told, it was a solid four hours of walking around under dreary skies. Then, we met up with Joe and his family for dinner.

Joe's sister lives in New York City with her husband Patrick, so we all went out to dinner at this Irish pub next door to the Hilton Hotel where Joe and his dad have rooms. We were there for a solid four hours or so. I had a bowl of New England Clam Chowder because I couldn't go to Boston and NOT get some clam fucking chowder (it was aiight, I'm pretty particular about my chowders) and I had an $8 salad. And a few pints of Guiness. The whole tab was picked up by Joe's dad which was awesome. We sat around and chatted it up and then, at 9:30, this guy who looked like Walter from The Big Lebowski got up there with his guitar and sang some Irish tunes. God, he sang this Boston Red Sox song that about made me want to throw up.

On Sunday, we lost an hour to Daylight Savings Time. If you haven't set your clocks forward yet, then you're fucking late (or you're Arizona or Hawaii, the more sensible of the 50 states). Without much time to do anything, Sarah and I went into the city (her grandfather lives in Somerville, which is just on the outskirts of Boston) and walked around Fenway Park. I'm seriously thinking about seeing a Mariners/Red Sox game over there if it's played on a weekend and not in July. Ideally, the Mariners would be on an East Coast road trip where I could see Yankee Stadium and the inside of Fenway in the same week.

(of course, now that I see the schedule, Seattle plays in Boston for exactly three games and they're on a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday AND they're the first three Boston home games of the 2007 season. Maybe I'll see the Mariners play there in '08)

Sarah and I had lunch in the food court of the train station, right next door to the bus station. It was awesome seeing Sarah and Joe again; it's been entirely too long. But, that's the way it goes. Still, I'm glad we had the chance, and that we got to hang out in Boston. Quality city. I don't think I'd necessarily want to live there, because when I move I'm moving to fucking San Diego to get away from all this cold, but I'd LOVE to visit again. Preferably for like a week and preferably while staying at someone's apartment instead of having to rent a hotel. I wonder if Sarah's grandfather might be in the market for housing an innocent, young Pacific Northwestern Gentleman the next time I come to town.


The trip home wasn't nearly as long. Departed once again at 2pm and arrived a little after 6pm. I don't want to get off on the stereotypical foot here to end this thing, but I'll be damned if my Chinese bus driver wasn't all over the damned road! Fortunately for me, I don't get car sick anymore. Oh, and I'm working on my own little Top 200 Albums list. Seem to be having a bit of trouble just getting to the necessary 200, but I got 176 written down on the ride home. Now, all I've got to do is rank them. Vengeance will be mine!