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Four days at a time

So, the first four days of May, things just kept getting better and better and better.

May Day started with a lovely late-night conversation with debgeisler followed by a comfy night's sleep on the super-soft sheets in benventiste's and Deb's guest room, a productive day of work, a humane society fundraiser at the Essex Art Center compliments of my friend Sandy WINOLJ, and the sheer joy of picking Gavi up at the airport for our weekend at the Cambridge Science Festival.

Saturday started with Deb's Mom's Sweet Rolls followed by Gavi and me stuffing every possible thing we could manage to do in Cambridge into one long day. We started at Crossroads: The Future of Human Life in the Universe, walked up to Harvard Square to catch the T, ducking into Harvard Yard in the process and discovering a weekend-long arts festival going on there. Two quick stops to Kendall/MIT, where we stopped in to see the physics demos going on. That was rather more like visiting the physics gallery of a science museum than illuminating anything about undergraduate physics education at MIT as the description promised, but Gavi had fun figuring the demos out before seeing them in action and I liked playing with lots of little bits of things. We stopped for pizza on the way up to that afternoon's Improbable Research Cabaret. We helped by handing out magazines before the show, then enjoyed the cabaret's variety and excellent view of all of the performers (especially the Performing Scientists). When it was over, we headed back up to Harvard Square for a longer walk around the neighborhood, exchanging comments on various fashions at The Garage. Then it was back on the T for a quick hop back to Central Square Theatre where a pre-performance symposia for Brecht's The Life of Galileo was underway. It was interesting, and a useful preparation for that night's performance. We ducked into Mary Chung Restaurant for duck and rice before the show itself.

The acting was excellent. Of Guthrie caliber, according to Gavi, who also had compliments for the choreography. The Life of Galileo runs through May 17th. Highly recommended.

Shortly after 11pm, we walked back up to the car. It was on Mass Ave halfway between the Central Square and Harvard Square T stops, so we saw a fair bit of the Cambridge nighttime bar scene on the sidewalks in the process. Then it was back to Deb and Mike's for ice cream that I'd picked up at Richardson's the night before. (Yes, Toscanini'sis on the list for Gavi's return visit in July. Susan will like it, too.

Saturday was grand. It's not that everything was a peak; the time at MIT especially didn't turn out to be the fit we hoped it would, but we were spending the time together and learning from everything we did. Win-win.

Sunday was even better! More sweet rolls -- this time cherry (Saturday was cinnamon) -- then down to Wellesley where we picked up Gavi's friend L. and headed over to the Danish Pastry House in Medford for their Sunday brunch. Yum. The food was as good as the company, and the company was simply splendid. Then it was back to Wellesley where L. gave Gavi a walking tour of the campus while I worked on a knitting project in the student center. Yes, there are far more important considerations when selecting a college, but the Wellesley campus in early May is simply stunning. Not only is it pure visual delight, the flowering trees were more fragrant than I've noticed anywhere else in the area. Wow.

There wasn't time for the MIT Museum, so Gavi and I spent her last hour before heading to Logan driving then wandering around Bay Bay. So, you Bostonians, what's with Smith and Wollensky, the restaurant whose name sounds like a law firm? More precisely, what's the history of the castle-like building it's in? The restaurant's website says has this to say about it:

"The prominent stone and brick medieval structure was constructed in 1891 and originally served as the headquarters for the First Corps of Cadets. The building has been on the National Historic Register since 1973. The first floor gunroom, social hall, and museum floor have been converted to the main dining room. An impressive fourth floor Banquet Hall makes the restaurant one of Boston's top destinations for large gatherings.

Ah, Lonely Planet has some more useful information.

After Gavi's plane departed, I drove back to Toad Woods and the thoroughly enjoyable company of cakmpls and her daughter, R. I especially enjoyed a late-night conversation with R. She and I haven't spoken much more than a "hi; it's good to see you" since I moved east in 2004.

Monday morning of course came way too soon, but we had an excellent time at breakfast, then visiting Old Sturbridge Village. Thanks, Carol & R! I thoroughly enjoyed your visit and thank you for our Monday outings.

Monday wasn't through with its highlights, of which there will be more news later. But then it turned midnight, and everything abruptly changed.

The less said about these four days in May, the better, most likely. I was felled by food poisoning, a norovirus, or something similar. The symptoms didn't match H1N1. While I thought nothing of it at the time, in retrospect I'm suspicious about some of the food I ate Monday evening.

The severe upper GI problems persisted through Tuesday night and I can't claim my body is thoroughly happy with me yet. At least it's keeping food down and I seem to have taken in enough liquid since Wednesday to have turned the dehydration around before it became a huge problem all its own self. I certainly have a lot of work to catch up on. Three days of barely making it out of bed'n'bathroom will do that to one, especially when it follows a weekend away from the salt mines.

Getting sick would have been plenty to make these last four days a downer, but the little bit I did manage to connect with the rest of the world brought bad health news from friends in three states, a job layoff and unwelcome job changes from two others. My love and best wishes to all. If only that were enough....

Then there was the fact that my net connection was rapidly giving up the ghost.

At first, it looked like the router was the guilty party, but 20 minutes after re-establishing my normal 5 Mbps connection once the router was removed from the equation, the connection dropped back down to 39k. Uh, no. Not good.

I eeked most of an additional day out of the modem, then managed to feel well enough to drive to Southbridge today and pick up a new one. At first, it wouldn't connect to the router, only directly to the computer. I went back and poked at it more with benyalow's help and then on my own after it appeared that D-Link was going to want me to pay to talk with them. Five years ago, Charter was extraordinarily difficult to set up. Even the tech didn't know what he did that finally caused it to work. Since then, I've had to spoof Mac addresses on new routers, since my old cable modem was only willing to talk to the Mac address it had originally been connected to.

The tech is a lot better now, and one I erased all signs of a Mac address from the WAN, Charter happily supplied its own and everything is now working as it should, and at full speed, too. Given that happened in the last few hours of Day 4, I'm hoping it bodes well for the days ahead. And that the run of good lasts considerably longer than the 4-day spurt the month started with!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
lsanderson
May. 9th, 2009 05:37 am (UTC)
WooT!
At all except the unpleasantness. Glad you're feeling better.
ckd
May. 9th, 2009 07:05 am (UTC)
Hoping for more like the good, and no more of the bad.
lesliet_ma
May. 9th, 2009 01:15 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh! And I thought I was having an interesting month. So sorry to hear about your Norovirus (or similar). I had it last year and it is the pits. But I guess one thing to be grateful for is that it waited until after Gavi had left. So it didn't spoil your lovely visit.

I like your very green skunk cabbage icon. A great symbol of spring.
cogitationitis
May. 9th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
You were at Hair of the Dog? Wish I'd known, I might have come by. (I take a lot of classes at the EAC.)
gerisullivan
May. 9th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
Sorry I didn't mention it. The art was interesting, the band solid, and the food (catered by Whole Foods) was fabulous. It was extraordinarily crowded though -- so much so that it tripped my "fire safety/escape routes" radar enough that I moved from the trapped in corner I was standing in to the pottery room where the band was playing. There was room to breathe there, and a direct exit to the outside within sight.

I loved looking at all of the tools in their pottery room.
cogitationitis
May. 9th, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
The pottery room is where I spend most of my time--in fact, I'd been there a few hours earlier. I've also taken paper-making, drawing, and glassblowing (off site), and am currently doing fused glass.
buttonlass
May. 9th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Much of that sounds fabulous.

The other parts I won't mention except to say I'm glad you managed to beat off the dehydration because I failed at that recently and it sucked and I hope things improve most quickly.
kaffyr
May. 11th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
What a wonderful visit with Gavi, and what a suckalicious four days thereafter! So happy to hear of the first, and rotten to hear of the second.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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