Saturday, November 17, 2007


Yesterday morning stepping off the train and walking across the campus, the skies was filled with roiling dark gray clouds. The cold rain was coming down and the wind was blowing and chasing the leaves out of the trees like flocks of frightened, brightly colored birds, swirling crazily through the air.

By the time I headed home, walking across the Mass. Ave bridge, night was falling. Looking west, the last of an autumn sunset was outlining the horizon. A thin band of glowing orange, the few clouds left, a deep purple and the sky going from a deep vibrant lapis to deepest indigo, where a waxing crescent moon somewhere between quarter and half hung like a lantern. A Maxfield Parrish sky.

To the east the sky was black and the skyscrapers downtown were still lit. Yellow and pale orange light still illuminating the windows, red lights on top of the buildings warning air craft and making the city look like a giant Christmas ornament. Off in the distance the Zakim bridge barely visible in the half light, looking like it was spun from gossamer. The contrast at that fugitive time between twilight and night was magical.

This morning I went off to the gym first thing. When I got there, there was no one yet there and I began the days torture. As I started going through my routine people began to trickle in.

I went upstairs to use one of the machines. A member I had never seen before was there. He was young handsome fellow, though handsome in that regular featured sort of way that I have never found all that appealing, but he was handsome none the less.

Observing him as I rested between sets, he was doing the set round on the machine circuit. One of those people who either because of the blessings of youth or good genetics was able maintain an impressive physique just using machines. I will admit to more than a twinge of envy. I have to be unrelenting with the free weights or it's all over. I finished my sets and headed back downstairs to the free weight room.

As I was working my way through another set, one of the regulars I am familiar with came in. I have seen him for the past 2 years that I have gone to my gym. He is 80 if he's a day. He literally totters around and looks incredibly fragile. But he comes every day, like clockwork. He works out with the free weights and it is a bit frightening at times, he looks so frail. Yet he persists.

As I watched him out of the corner of my eye, I thought to myself, will I have that much determination in 25 years? What, I asked myself does he see, when he looks at me? Does he feel the same resigned envy that I felt looking at the young fellow upstairs in the bloom of youth, able to maintain a handsome physique with what seemed to me, so little effort? Is that what I look like to this old gentleman?

It was a bit like the day yesterday. Two extremes. A cold grey rainy morning, with its own beauty, and then the clear cold walk home, walking a bridge between the end of a day and the beginning of a night.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Slow news day

It is turning into a typical holiday week. 4 days at work with 5 days of work crammed into it, which makes it feel like a 6 day week.

On top of it all, I have jury duty today. I swear they have it in for me!

Every couple of years, like clockwork, I get called. A few years ago there were a few items in the Boston Globe about this. It would seem that instead of selecting from the entire pool of eligible citizens, they just kept a record of selected jurors and kept calling them as soon as they were once again able to serve. They were suppose to do something about the situation, but it doesn't seem, at least to me, that they have.

I called in last night to see if my pool had been canceled. No such luck. Honestly, I'd rather go to work.

Other than that, not too much happening. They are predicting the first snowfall of the year for Friday, though not so much snow as flurries. As unbelievable as it is, Thanksgiving is next week.

I have yet to make up my mind what to do. I believe I am still invited to Wahz house for the occasion, though I have mixed feelings about that. There will be about 14 people there and as I get older, these big gatherings don't have the appeal that they once did. It's odd, because everyone who is invited I have known and liked for many years now. Just not all at once.

I am looking forward to what I hope will be a quiet weekend. Laundry, grocery shopping and not much else. Exciting huh? I feel like I need some time to myself, so I am actually looking forward to it. So, I can pretty much count on something coming up that will require my attention.

Oh well, off to they gym and then the Suffolk Superior Courthouse for a day of being bored out of my mind.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


It has been a slow few news days here in Ganome land. The long weekend was pleasant enough, but nothing earth shaking happened. I went over to my friend C's place and watched Ratatouille which I managed to miss when it was in the theater. It was fun, and I enjoyed the movie and the chance to catch up with C. who I haven't seen much of over the past few weeks. If you haven't seen Ratatouille yet, I can recommend it. If you're a foodie, you will get all the gags and if you're not a foodie, it will give you an idea of why people become so passionate about food.

Sunday I spent the early afternoon with RG, so that he could replenish his office drag and get some music. Actually, I got a private chuckle out of the proceedings. Considering the amount of ribbing I have taken from him lately about the "Battan Death March" every time we get together, at his instigation we started from the the Fenway and didn't stop for lunch until we hit Chinatown. Over the course of our shopping expedition there was plenty of eye candy wandering around loose. Though the prize winner for the day was in the Filene's Basement outlet on Boylston St.

We had gone over to the Basement so I could, of course, use the restroom. We were getting ready to head off and were almost at the door when I was stopped dead in my tracks by this absolutely gorgeous kid. RG continued on oblivious. I snatched him by the back of his coat and hissed, "Look!"

RG was all, "Where?".

"Over by the sweaters."


I grabbed the back of his head and directed him to the steaming hottness that was leaving a vapor cloud where he stood.

I looked at RG for a second, picked the carpet lint off my tongue and then said, "Let's go look at sweaters."

Just as we got within drooling range, the kid took off his jacket. Things just got better. RG turned and looked at me with the face of an 8 year old that has been told that there will be no Christmas.

Undaunted, RG did shamelessly chat the young fellow up a bit. Then it was off to downtown so RG could get some music. RG then decided that it was time for lunch and we should have Dim Sum. It was a great idea. I haven't gone to Chinatown on a Sunday in ages and by the time we got there, the majority of brunchers had cleared out so there was no trouble getting seated or waited on, the little carts rolling around and dumplings, spring rolls and other goodies appeared on the table. We really did stuff ourselves.

After that, neither of us was in much condition to move, so we went our separate ways.

That evening I was contacted by my friend L. and wound up having an evening which featured a fair amount of naughtiness and then some dinner. At his suggestion, we went to a burger joint in Kenmore Square. I think what made the meal more memorable than anything else was the company and the forbidden fruit aspect of a burger and fries. I really have to get my eating habits back on track.

Yesterday was gray and cold, a real New England November day and I mostly hunkered down and took it easy. I swapped a couple of emails with FB, but mostly to catch up and talk about getting together in the near future.

I went off to the market in the afternoon while there was still some light and on the walk home I found myself being cruised by a very attractive young man who was traveling in the opposite direction, he with his Whole Foods bags and me with my bags from Shaw's. I gave him a smile which he returned and then we both did the continue on, count to three and look back. Yup, he was checking the old guy out. Another count of three, rinse and repeat. Judging by the evidence of the shopping bags, I am assuming he lives in the neighborhood and next time I will stop, chat the boy up and see what I can get up to.

I mentioned this little cruising incident to RG when we were chatting online last evening. His response was, "you get cruised a lot more than you notice. You just don't notice." I would dismiss this except that Monkey-boy keeps telling me the same thing.

The other thing that occurred, in that light, over the weekend was that on three separate occasions I had people describe me to my face as muscular.

To quote RG. Huh?

Honestly, these ideas of how I appear to others are completely outside of my personal frame of reference. I tend to think of myself as either passable or no great shakes.

I suppose that I should be happy about this. Feel flattered, get a fat head over the whole thing. I can only assume that while I only admit to myself out loud that I go to the gym for health reasons, that I do on some level hope for the ever elusive hot guy status.

On some level, I realize that my friends who tell me I should be cutting myself a little slack are right. I should try and be happy working with what I've got and derive some satisfaction from the goals that I have achieved and balance that against other goals that are still to be attained. But that's how we make progress. Not by complaisancy but by trying to become more than what we are.

I think also that on the whole, I am more worried about whether people think I am a good person and whether I am able to fool people into thinking I still have a couple of active brain cells than in winning any beauty contests.

I was talking with La Simpatica about this when we were getting coffee this morning. She seems to think that we form an idea of ourselves at some early point in our life and that's the image that we walk around with ever after. So, I will probably think of myself as the skinny funny looking kid, when I am not feeling like the dumpy middle aged guy, for the rest of my life.

Still, it is nice to get checked out once in a while.