I awoke fully rested to an empty apartment at about 9:30am. I plugged my laptop into the network and Carl's place and browsed some internets for a while after showering, and then packed all my stuff into one place. I walked out the door at about 10:30am, determined to make the walk from there to the Back Bay, where Carl works. His current office is oddly located within sight of the office of his previous employer, along Boylston Street. Julia was still occupied with the injury mess of the previous day, and would not be able to join us for lunch. Carl and I tried to get a quick lunch, but the staff at the place we went seemed determined to delay us. It took fifteen minutes to get our orders in, and another twenty five to get our food.
Carl and I walked back to his office, and I announced that I was going to head up to Cambridge. By the time I had gotten down to the platform at Berkeley, over to the Park stop, switched over to the Red Line, and spirited up to Harvard Square, it was already 1:45pm. I called Julia, and she said she was leaving work momentarily, and would meet me at a place of my choosing. I chose Shay's, just down the street from Out of Town News, and Julia met me there about an hour later. We enjoyed a beer or two before heading over to Bukowski's to eat and have some more beer.
On the way there, I broke Julia's expensive GPS direction-giver by yanking the cord out of joint. I felt terrible as I fed fresh batteries into it. Amazingly, it only runs for about 30 minutes on batteries. I suppose I won't need to be sorry to anyone but myself soon, as I will probably just have to pay for a new one. It doesn't look like a device that can be repaired.
While we were enjoying some wonderful beers at Bukowski's, we enjoyed the excellent hospitality that's evident throughout most of Beantown. Why the hell do they call it "Beantown," anyway? While we were there, we had some of the best beers available on the East Coast, including, but not limited to: Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, Brooklyn Smoked Weissbock(I think I'm missing one word), Lagunitas Censored Ale, and more that elude my memory. In any case, we had a great time.
While we sat there, Julia sent and received many text messages to(I refuse to type, "to and from") her friends regarding the preplanned bowling event that had been planned that night. In the course of the planning, a figurative wrench was thrown into the works. In actuality, it was a truck, but the works turned out to be the salon above the bowling alley. So, to be completely clear, a truck hurled itself into a building in a position to make ruining our chances of bowling in the place downstairs impossible.
Julia and her friends dealt with this reality while I peed at least once. Without even consulting me once, the Council of the Unknown determined that instead, we would convene at a place in Cambridge called "Lanes & Games." Yes, it had an ampersand in its name. Despite semantic issues, we found its address, and adjusted our plans thusly. Julia and I made a quick stop back at her place to drop off my stuff and allow her to change clothes.
Julia had arranged in the meantime, that we would give her friend Andria a ride that night, as she lived, "close" to Julia's apartment. It's ironic that Julia considers it a short distance, because she lives in the Boston area. In actuality it was several miles, and almost completely unwalkable. About three minutes before our projected arrival at Andria's place, Julia received a highly unwelcome phone call. Against all odds, another person had managed to injure themself her plant.
With some quick goat-thinking, Julia came up with a new plan when we came to a stop at the door of Andria's apartment building. Andria came outside and two bombs were dropped. One was that Julia would ask Andria and me to continue without her companionship, as she headed into the office for hours of ridiculous crap. The second bomb, which completely invalidated the first in my reckoning, was that Andria possessed many of the traits held in high regard by the superficial male. Indeed, it was difficult to keep my mind on the matters at hand when faced the alarming reality that she was really attractive.
So I climbed into her car, dangerously oblivious to the fact that she was a complete stranger, blinded by her stupid eyes and her damned smile. We forced some conversation until we happened upon an actual topic. Andria is from the Pittsburgh area, and right now, Pittsburgh is dangerously close to losing its beloved hockey team to Kansas City, where on a previous occasion it was apparently revealed to Andria that I live. I made my position known, that I had no interest in Kansas City getting an NHL team by poaching off another city. From that point on, Andria seemed more civil with me.
When we got to the bowling concern, we were informed that it'd be an hour or more before a pair of adjacent lanes opened for our use, so we took a couple of seats in the second-floor bar of said concern. At about that time, we were joined by Dave and Polly, some more people that knew Julia through some way or another. It's not like it made any difference though. Any pre-existing relationship Julia may have had was completely irrellevant. I was on my own. Not one to buckle under pressure, I brought up the topic of urban development and infrastructure to them, and Dave was more than willing to dive in. Polly and Andria found it compelling enough to at least feign interest, if they weren't actually interested.
Things were starting to get entertaining when our lane reservation was called. We waited for perhaps twenty five minutes of the projected hour. I honestly wish we'd had more time, because the conversation was real and nice, and it never resurfaced after that. As we waited for the noticably slow and possibly incompetent staff to set us up with our allotted lanes, Julia joined us. The problem that called her away turned out to only be a bored factory worker hitting his funny bone. While certainly a waste of her time, she was definitely not called away for as long as she would have been if an actual injury had occurred.
We played candlepin bowling that night. It's a lot like regular bowling except that you get to throw three balls per frame, the balls are smaller, and I absolutely suck at it. I came in dead last in both games we played. Carl and Mike joined us after a confused run around Cambridge looking for the place, and once the playing was over, the assembled party piled into cars and left for Allston, where we filled in some more of the blanks of Boston beer bars, and went to the Sunset Grill, a popular spot with something like 110 draught selections.
We called it a night after the staff at the bar chased us out, and after Julia informed me that Andria was deeply entrenched in a relationship. It was a lovely evening. Friday was fun.
Did you actually go to a beer fest, or are you just pulling our leg?
3:43 PM, Feb 15, 2007