Category Archives: Day-to-Day: What’s Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

Boston Revisited

A friend of mine is visiting for a few days and it’s reintroducing me to the city I live in.

It’s too easy to forget those places you see everyday or those places you used to go to; but once you show a newcomer those things that caused you to fall in love with your home on the first place, it becomes easy to see once again.

I’ve enjoyed traveling to our old haunts and remembering again everything that made Boston, Boston for Emily and me.

I feel a little sad that we’re already planning the day that we leave, but at least I can remember why I’ll be sad.



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Subcultures in the Mist

As I’ve mentioned before in posts that I don’t feel like digging up, I’ve been getting involved in a new hobby. I’ll spare you the details about what this hobby entails, as I have a whole other blog for that, but I’ve thrown myself completely into the subculture that surrounds this hobby and it’s fascinating.

In every culture, there are heroes and tropes and easily identifiable figures. There are law makers and governments: figures that impose order. There are merchants and moneymakers. There are storytellers and stories to tell.

And as you go down the ladder, going into sub-cultures and sub-subcultures, you start to realize that this is true all the way down, that there are, in fact, turtles all the way down. I find it fascinating that, even in a rapidly expanding global subculture, there are still all these little hidden pockets that mirror the society at large and you can go your whole life and not know they’re there.

At times, since I’m still not fully embedded in this subculture, I feel like an observer, an intruder with a tape recorder, like Alan Lomax. There are leaders and tales of ancient history and eldars and songs and I’m there to witness it all. It’s very strange, like I’m straddling a line.

But now I think I’m making way too much of it and it’s time to move on.


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Lock Down

Last night, around 1am, I heard a sound. It sounded like a loud bang and, given recent events, I paid attention to it. But then it was quiet and I started to fall back asleep.

And then the second explosion.

And then I noticed the sirens and more sirens and what sounded like gunfire.

While Emily listened to a police scanner, I walked around and made sure the doors were locked, crawled back to bed and went to sleep.

This morning, I woke up to find that the MBTA has shut down completely. The police are advising that the residents in my town, as well as in Cambridge and Watertown, to stay indoors. As I write this, there is more gunfire in the distance and a small army of soldiers, police officers and SUVs just went down my street at a run.

The two bombing suspects, apparently, killed a police officer at MIT, stole a car and then drove the car within a hair’s breadth of where I live before the police caught up with them. The sounds I heard last night; the explosions, gun fire and sirens, were the sounds of the police catching two of the most hated men in Boston.

One of them escaped. The other didn’t.

The manhunt is intense and all encompassing. There are rumors of evacuations. There are constant reminders to stay indoors. I have been answering texts and phone calls since I woke up this morning.

This is…surreal. This blog entry is not so much for you as it is for me. I wanted to nail down what exactly is happening so I don’t walk through today like a ghost, dazed and out of sync with the rest of the world. I need more concrete words and solid sentence structure and less vague feelings of unease and distress. And as melodramatic as that sounds, I feel like I’m a little entitled to melodrama considering the view out of my window this morning.

So here it is: They are going to catch this man. It’s a little dangerous outside, but Emily and I are safe and we are locked down.

Stay safe.


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Resolutions? Uh-oh

So I think it’s fair to say that I have done none of my resolutions for this year yet. That’s fine. It is only April. April is…a third of the way through the year. Oh my God I have no more time to get anything that I wanted to get done and now I’m a resolution failure. And a hack, but that’s a separate issue.

I haven’t written anything. I haven’t run. I haven’t cooked anything beyond beer bread and brownies (both delicious, by the way).

My life is an unmitigated disaster.

That being said, it’s time to right this Titanic and get back on course.

I’m going to start running again this week. No delaying. No whinging. No more putting it off until, “it gets warmer”. This week. Running.

I’m going to polish up that writing sample and have it ready to go for when the window is open. Once again, the deadline is Sunday.

I am going to cook a dinner and move away from baking. It will be a meal. This week. It’s not bouillabaisse, but it will be food  made by me.

All this week. Nothing hard. Nothing complicated. Just three goals to do up right before Sunday.

Ready set and go now.


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New Years

I’m now on the train heading into Boston to participate in First Night. I’ve never done much for New Year’s Eve.

But now I’m going into the heart of all things and I’m terrified.

Wish me luck.


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It’s Coming…

I am, by nature, a cynical, awful person. I love horror movies and horror books and horror stories and horror in real life. I wallow in bad news and throw myself bodily into situations I know I’ll hate. When I hear there’s a hurricane coming, my eyes brighten and glitter and I ask, “How soon?” with a barely restrained glee. My pessimism is only limited by my imagination.

But my favorite time of year, my absolute favorite time, is Christmas. I love the lights on houses. I love the idea of Santa Claus. I love the music. I love the movies. I love stories that percolate to the top of the major news outlets this time of year about people getting together and giving to charity. I love the story of Christmas. I love the hope and good cheer and the attempts, for one month, of people to be decent to one another as a rule.

I think it’s important for all of us, at least once a year, to stop being such pessimistic jerks and say, have a merry Christmas. I say that as an atheist and as a non-Christian. Christmas is important. It’s about appreciating the people you love, whether they’re family or friends. It’s about getting together in the middle of winter and eating and drinking and sharing presents and laughing and having a good time.

It’s a holiday that started as the birth of the savior of all humanity*, someone who can save us from ourselves, so it’s a holiday about hope, about people maybe not ending everything in a terrible holocaust of violence and hate.

And I think, speaking as someone who spends a lot of time writing about murder and death and the scary things, that we can all use more hope.

I’m looking forward to the season and I hope you are too.




*Yes, I know it also started as a Roman fertility festival, but you don’t get points for being a know-it-all this time of year.

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We’ve Built a Race of Robots

I’ve always wanted a robot. Or robots, actually. Just a couple of them, wandering around the house at all times. They don’t even need to do chores. They can just…be there. Being robots.

And I’m not talking about robots that are remote controlled. It has to have some kind of AI.

For me, the idea of robots just wandering around the landscape has been one of those signs that THE FUTURE IS HERE. It’s a sign that humanity has progressed enough that we can create something that can respond to us and grow and learn and become more than it was at the start.

It’s the idea of making a companion race to follow alongside us that’s so compelling. While I think it’s doubtful that we’ll find an alien lifeform of comparable intelligence and that is actually physically capable of talking with us, I do think there’s potential for us to create a new life and robotics is one of the keys to that.

So I’m going to build a robot. It’ll be very simple. No real programming. It’ll just follow a light. But it’s a start. I’ve ordered it already.

In a week or two, the future will be here.


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