Monthly Archives: June 2011

Weekend of 25JUN11

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Weekend of 25JUN11

Friday -

I didn't actually rush to get  out from work today, since I was meeting 
some friends at Copley Square at 5:30 or 6:00.  Since this was the last 
friday of the month, we were riding with the Critical Mass out of Copley 
Square, getting in cars faces and generally taking the streets back from 
the cars.  Yeah, I know drivers hate Critical Mass, but know what?  I 
nearly get smacked off my bike weekly.  You can survive one night a 
month of us taking the streets back.

The ride was really fun, where we went through Chinatown, around to 
Harvard, and back through Allston.  I met a few really cool folks, ran 
into people I hadn't seen in ages, and had an amazing time rocking out 
on my bike and getting in peoples way.  It was a really nice little ego 
boost too, since biking to and from work every day has really boosted 
my cycling endurance pretty nicely.  I think I'm going to bike home 
next weekend, after this ride.

After the mass swung through Allston I broke off and headed home.  I 
made some quick dinner and finished packing, picked up Allison at her 
dorm, and we hit the road to Pawtuckaway to do some camping.

Quick note: the corn-dogs you can get at gas station convenience 
stores?  Horrible, but SO GOOD!

We arrived and, after a bit of cruising around looking for the perfect 
tent site, set up camp.  Unfortunately none of the lake-side sites were 
open, but the site we picked was nicely secluded and had a very nice 
little firepit waiting for a warm blaze.  After camp was set up we 
tried lighting a fire, but the previous few days rain and mist had 
left everything drenched, so there was no real good tinder to get 
anything started.  We heated up some snacks beside the tent instead, 
and just seconds after we crawled inside the sky opened up into a 
massive lightening storm.

We zipped our sleeping bags together, and dozed off while hearing the 
sounds of the rain on the tent, and seeing the flashes from the 
lightening illuminating the inside of the tent.


Saturday -

After being kept awake for a bit too long by the lightening and other 
distractions, Allison and I slept in on Saturday.  Relatively slept 
in I'll admit, since we were at a campsite; we were up and had finished 
a breakfast of eggs by 10:00.  After we cleaned up from eating we 
headed into town, aiming to pick up some food for ourselves, and my 
friend who were slated to arrive around 5:00.  On the way we stopped 
in and paid for our campsite, and chatted with the folks running the 
camp-store for a few minutes.  Pro-tip; If you're a single guy camping 
with friends in Pawtuckaway, go to the camp store.  There were four 
very good looking ladies running the store when I got in, and they 
all were pretty bored, and it would be easy to convince them to come 
hang out after their shift was up.

Anyways.  After picking up some parts for dinner, Allison and I headed 
to the back enterance of the park to check out the climbing area.  It 
had rained the night before, but I was optimistic that the solid 
granite of the park would dry quickly enough for us to get a route or 
two in.  When we arrived at the boulder field I realized that I was 
being a bit optimistic on the dry-ness; the rocks were all coated in 
a thin film of water, effectively removing any and all traces of grit 
that the rock had.  Smearing was out for the day, but we were able to 
play around a bit on some of the more over-hanging routes.

Seeing that the bouldering area was pretty much a dud, especially for 
a new climber like Allison, we headed onwards deeper in to the park, 
looking for the main wall.  On the way we ran into some climbers 
rocking out at an overhanging boulder, something much too hard for 
Allison and I to do, but still definitely a fun problem.  We chatted 
for a bit, and then Allison and I pressed on towards the main wall.  
When we found it, the wall was covered in the same film of water that 
the rest of the boulders were covered in.  But these climbs were much 
easier, with legit holds instead of smears and friction moves... so 
we set up a top rope and got ready for Allison's first foray into 
climbing.

After the rope was set I showed Allison how to rapell, and then sent 
her down the rock for her first rapell.  She did impressively well 
for her first time climbing (ourdoors or indoors), and was able to go 
off the cliff edge on the first try, though there was a good bit of 
concerned looks and light wimpering going on throughout the "step off 
the edge" portion.  After we both were on the ground we did a few 
quick routes; they took a bit longer than usual due to the water on 
the rock, but we were able to get in two good climbs apiece before it 
got late enough for us to head back to camp in order to meet T and 
Maureen when they arrived.

But on the hike back, I learned that we could have stayed longer; 
their car had "died" (likely that they just didn't want to come, or 
had gotten a very late start, and didn't want to admit it) and so they 
were bailing out on the trip.  Annoying, to say the least.  All the 
drinks and extra snacks that we had bought would stay as extras, and 
the cool ghost stories I had thought up just wouldn't be as cool with 
only one other person around the fire.  On the upside though, it meant 
that we could fool around a good bit more than we would have otherwise.

So Allison and I arrived back at camp, and started up the fire pretty 
much immediatly, thanks to a bottle of lighter fluid that we had bought 
at the store.  Yep... liquid explosives definitely helped dry the 
leaves off and get the fire roaring, although the main logs were still 
quite damp.  We had some pre-dried wood with us, and ended up getting 
a whole other set of wood from a park ranger who came by and hung out 
with us for a bit... definitely a cool guy, though he did stay a bit 
longer than is comfortably normal, and was starting to edge into the 
"sketchy" category.  Was all cool though, because he hooked us up 
with tons of extra firewood.  I built a huge fort around the fire in 
order to dry the logs out, and by the time night had fallen the fire 
was a beast, roaring up nearly four feet or so.

We cooked an amazing dinner of Chicken Fajitas with rice, peppers, 
cheese and salsa, drank beer and other booze, made S'mores, and had 
an amazing time.  I had bought some packets of metal shavings that, 
when tossed on the fire, makes the fire glow really cool colors, so 
that kept us entertained for a good while between S'mores and other 
desserts that we had brought.  After we had eaten and drank our fill, 
we sat around the fire relaxing for a few hours, just staring into 
the flames and cuddling up in the warmth.  After a while we let the 
fire die down, did some basic cleaning, and headed to bed.  


Sunday -

We woke up late for camping, and started up on breakfast around nine 
or ten.  I cooked up Bacon and Eggs, with the remainder of the chicken 
from the fajitas, while Allison puttered around camp doing some basic 
cleaning and preparitory packing.  We chowed down pretty quickly, 
though for some reason we didn't think to make breakfast burritos... I 
only think of that idea as I'm writing this, and I'm smacking my head 
for not thinking of it then.  

After breakfast we debated whether to head to the shooting range, or 
directly home... finally deciding on heading home so that Allison could 
get a head start on studying for her finals.  Packing took us 'till 
around 10:30 or so, and we were on the road by 11:00, after picking up 
a few extra packets of the metal shavings that make the fire glow cool 
colors from the camp store.  The ride home was uneventful, filled with 
music and relaxing, and Allison taking short naps when the road got 
boring.  I dropped her off at her dorm by 12:30 (damn traffic), and was 
home and starting to unpack by 1:00.  The rest of the day was pretty 
chill, full of video games, internetting, and finishing off leftovers 
for dinner before heading to bed merginally on time.

Week of 20JUN11

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Week of 20JUN11

So, boring weekends mean exciting weeks it seems; thus, I'll post up 
some excitement from the week.  These're just the evenings, since I'm 
still spending my days at your standard-issue 9-5 consulting position.

Monday -
One of my free days, but since I spent the whole weekend (effectively) 
playing video games, I decided against doing any real gaming until 
Thursday.  After I got home Monday I quickly heated up some leftovers 
from the weekend and grabbed my climbing kit, jumping in the car to 
head out to Hammond.

At Hammond Pond I spent a good hour and a half or so doing traverses at 
the main wall, hanging out with the random folks who had congregated 
there.  There was a pair from MIT's outdoors club who were running trad 
lines up the rock; I was lucky enough to see one of them do his first 
actual trad climb... he did well, though I did notice a few "it could 
have been better" placements.  Another group was from Norway on 
vacation in the states, and they were running trad lines as well, but 
with a threesome group instead of a pair like the MIT kids.  Three 
climbers is nice though, since I saw the third partner always around 
taking cool pictures of the two climbers.  The last group... 

The last group was a trio of hipsters; one "awesomely rad climber" and 
two "total outdoors kids".  AKA, one guy who ripped his shirt off 
immediately and then climbed worse than a newborn, one scrawny skater 
boy, and one cubby "too cool" girl.  Shirtless-McGee set up their gear, 
and I had the unfortunate luck of seeing his anchor; he had simply 
wrapped a length of webbing around a tree.  No knots, nothing securing 
it to the tree besides friction.  It didn't even have both sides tied 
to the climbing rope, one was just loose, waiting to slip out and drop 
the climber.  Nothing was redundant, of course, and the single 
carabiner was braced bent over the edge of the rock, in the "holy shit 
worst-case-ever" position.

I mentioned all of this, the Norwegians mentioned it, and the MIT guys 
commented on the hipsters "completely assenine" method of belaying, 
using the belay device set upside-down and backwards. and the hipsters sighed 
and called us mainstream.  Fucking idiots.

After a bit I headed over to the bouldering area (called the 
ampetheater) and burt my arms out, and then headed home to play a few 
games of Starcraft with my dad.  We weren't able to actually get the 
game working though so I sat back, poured some brandy and put on music, 
and relaxed the rest of the night away.


Tuesday - 

Tonight was date-night with Allison, so we met up outside my office 
right around 1700 to head over to dinner before catching a movie.  
Yep... dinner and a movie, TOTALLY a unique date idea.  I was 
brain-melted, leave me alone.

The evening started off with a bit of technical difficulties, since the 
movie we were heading to see (Sondheim's "Company") was sold out, and 
thus we weren't sure what to do.  Allison's indecisiveness / willingness 
to please wasn't helping, since she was "up for anything you want to 
do", but sort of hinting that she would be quite cross if we went to 
see a superhero movie.  So we finally decided on heading out to see 
"Super-8" after going to dinner at Cambridge Brewing Company.

CBC is an amazing brewery right near where I work, and they have some 
of the best french fries I've had in Boston / Cambridge.  We ate, 
drank, and made merry while chatting about pretty much anything and 
everything before finishing up and heading over to the theater.  I 
biked while Allison took the T, and she actually arrived before me, 
thanks to my getting distracted by phone calls and talking to a 
security guard at Biogen.  When I did arrive, I found out that Super-8 
was sold out as well, so after a bit of deliberations we decided on 
"Pirates 4" instead.

Pirates was a quite good movie, even though the 3D was a bit poorly 
done, in my opinion.  Nothing would've been lost if it was only 2D, 
the third dimension was kinda bleh.  The biggest part of it, in my mind, 
was the revelation that Jack was unwilling to become immortal at the 
cost of anyone else, and that the mermaids were SMOKING hot.  Like... 
holy shit hot.  Hotter than the sun, I'm just really impressed that 
they were able to make those women as perfect as they were, especially 
their voices.  Yeah, I'm not just completely shallow and physical, a 
girls voice can be a huge turn-on too :P

After the movie we headed back to my place; I arrived a good bit 
earlier than Allison, and so played a quick game of StarCraft II with 
my dad, since the previous nights game had failed.  the game was 
actually quite good, and we were able to smoke the computer pretty 
quickly, and my dad was able to be the main pusher this time, instead 
of me leading the charge.  After the game, Allison and I e hung out, 
relaxed, played, and headed to bed a bit after midnight.


Wednesday -

Today is Wednesday, AKA "Wop Wednesday", AKA "Italian Night!".  I got 
home early and immediately got in the car and headed to Stop and Shop 
to help Allison and T do some food shopping.  We picked up everything 
we needed, and ventured out into the rain to bring it home and start 
cooking.  When Allison and I got home my friend Erin was already there 
(was a funny story; she lives in Cali but had come out on business just 
for the two days around today.  She called me yesterday asking if 
anything fun was happening, and thus here she was).  T and Maureen 
arrived rediculously late, especially since we had left the store 
around the same time, but once they were here we started cooking in 
earnest, even though the dinner ended up being just the six of us; T, 
Maureen, Allison, Erin, Mike and Myself.

We ate and made merry, cooking up Mozzarella sticks and garelic for 
appetizers and Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Parm for the main meal.  We 
had planned on special cookies for dessert, but unfortunately the 
person tasked with bringing them along had gotten sick and wasn't able 
to make it.  Dinner was excellent either way though, and we all had a 
lot of fun hanging out and relaxing, though Erin did dominate the 
conversation (per the usual / expected, hehe).  After we cleaned up 
everyone headed home, Allison and I polished off the remainder of the 
wine, showered, and headed to bed.  


Thursday -

My one relax day; the evening started with a company party and ended 
with a rediculously late evening.  The company party was for one of the 
main product lines reaching its 1 millionth use and its 5 year 
anniversary within the same month.  I enjoyed it primarily due to the 
good, free food, and the fact that I was able to finally meet some of 
the new interns that I hadn't met before.  Lots of cool people my age 
work here, but most of them are the 3 or 6 month interns, so I don't 
get a chance to meet them most of the time.  We chatted, drank champagne 
and beer, and made a rather good night of it until I headed out around 
1830.

After I got home, I spent the night relaxing and playing games; I 
started by watching a few episodes of a new series I'd found on 
Allison's netflix called HALO: Legends.  It's a series expanding on the 
HALO universe in a rather cool way, though some of the stories were 
rather strange for what the universe generally is.  Mostly due to the 
fact that they all stuck very strongly to the "standard-issue" anime 
tropes, such as the "too cool" soldiers, and the "super powered guys 
need to gather energy before punching someone" thing.  Strange.  But 
afterwards I switched over to the Witcher, rocked out, and went to bed 
around 0200.

Weekend of 18JUN11

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Weekend of Jun 18th

Boring weekend... lots of relaxing, video games, and generally being 
lazy.  A very good way to regain some lost energy from the last few 
crazy weeks :)

Friday - 
Work this week was dull.  I stuck with my buddy Dave's strategy of 
"well, just walk around.  You'll run into work somewhere", and it's 
definitely been keeping me busy, if only with the act of walking 
around.  

Friday Nights plans were pretty low-key; Meet up with Allison in the 
early evening, relax for a bit, and then head over to a friends 
"fashion debut", where she was unveiling her new clothing line for the 
first time.  Allison and I arrived there a bit late, but still about an 
hour and a half before the actual debut was set to happen.  The 
unveiling was being held at a very swank Euro/Indian-club in harvard 
square called "Om Lounge", with some rather amazing mixed drinks on 
hand.  Strong, amazing drinks :)

Since it was a fashion event the guest list was made up nearly 
completely of either designers or models, and everyone had quite 
interesting stories to tell.  I did, however, learn the hard way about 
Allison's opinion of what "too flirty" is, since she got rather 
indignant over me talking with a few of the girls, and inviting them 
along to some of my parties for the next week.  It was definitely a fun 
night though, and the actual debut went very smoothly, with the models 
all coming out in her clothes, strutting their stuff like the peacocks 
that they all were, hehe.

The night ended around 0100 or so, when Allison and I headed home.  
After a quick return to the club for me to pay my tab (yeah... I left 
my card there.  Nice.) we got home, and crashed.


Saturday -

Saturday started a bit earlier than I would have liked, primarily 
because Allison was getting out early to watch the Buins parade.  I 
wasn't interested in it, instead stayed home and got some virtual 
adventuring done in The Witcher 2.  Actually had a rather fun time, 
even with the rediculously hard difficulty curve for the game.  Its 
frustrating, since theres no "grey zone" in success with that game; 
either you win a fight with nearly 100% of your health, or you die to 
one or two hits.  Not very forgiving.

The only plans I had for the day involved an "Osa" party going on that 
night, starting around 6:00.  The "Osa" theme of the party pertained to 
a rhyming scheme; anything that rhymes with Osa was part of the party.  
Example: Sammy Sosa and Captain Barbosa masks were on hand, we ate 
Formosa (Thai food) and Samosa (Indian food), and drank Mimosas 
(orange juice and Champagne).  The goal of the drinking was to be able 
to see Caracosa (a mythical South American City).  

I met up with Maureen and Allison around 5:30, and we were at Rosies's 
place a bit early.  So we walked for a bit, then checked out an art 
gallery, and then came upstairs once it was around 6:20 or so... just 
in time for the Formosa to arrive.  To say the party was fun was 
definitely an understatement; we had an amazing time, and even though 
Allison was a bit shy at first, she did finally detach from my side and 
rocked out with the best of them :)  The downside to partying with 
people Rosie's (the hostess) age though, is that the parties start and 
end early.  

BY eleven or so we were heading back to the car, debating what to do 
next.  I was honestly feeling kinda wore out from the day (brain-drain 
from video games, good food at Rosies, and WAY too high humidity), so 
Allison and I just headed back to my place, poured ourselves small 
glasses of drink, put on some music and relaxed for the night, 
alternating between sipping, snuggling, napping and lounging.  After a 
while the music turned itself off somehow (iTunes...), so we took that 
as a sign and turned in for an early night.


Sunday - 

I'm still not sure if it was the heat, the fact that I went to bed 
early the night before, or just general well-rested-ness, but I was up 
and mobile by eight or nine on Sunday morning.  Allison was semi-mobile 
as well, so I took a bit of time to relax on my own before she woke up, 
just relaxing with my thoughts.  Around 9:30 or so we both got up for 
real, and headed down the street to grab breakfast at iHop.  Cue an 
excellent breakfast of Pancakes, Eggs, and Bacon, and my morning was 
quite excellent indeed.  On the way home from breakfast I made the 
round of calls; My Dad, my Stepdad, and my Grandpa (through my Grandma, 
since he can't really use the phone anymore).  Fathers day is excellent, 
though I kind of wish that I had been able to spend some time with any 
of them.

After we got back Allison had to head out, finals were coming up for 
her, so I hunkered down for a game of "Damnit, should I play games, or 
go climbing?".  Games won out, primarily due to the humidity and the 
fact that I was waiting for a call from an old friend who had moved out 
to Sweden.  Dangers of having exciting friends: they travel a lot, and 
finding times that work for everyones time zones can be rather tough.  
We finally worked it out though, and had a nice long conversation about 
everything from work, to relationships, to gangbangs, to rock climbing 
in Europe.  Yep... we're a unique pair, Rebecca and I.

For the rest of the afternoon I took it amazingly lazily; alternating 
between video games, napping, cooking food, and doing some quick 
tabata-protocol workouts (20s super-high-intensity cardio, 10s rest.  
Repeat 8+ times to supposedly equal a full hour of standard cardio).  
For dinner I cooked myself up a fairly simple plate of spaghetti and 
meat sauce, and then headed to bed around midnight or so, not at all 
ready for the upcoming week.