It’s kind of crazy but another year has gone by and it’s now SB and I’s 6th anniversary. We’ve lived together 7 years and known each other for 9 years. Time sure does fly.
But before I get into the anniversary-type stuff, what else has been going on?
Well, for starters, the pumpkins are slowly beginning their path to world domination. It starts off so cute – you notice that there are a few new additions to the pumpkin family next door:
But then suddenly they are multiplying in mass, and taking over public spaces:
I can’t help but wonder if Thomas II had something to do with this.
In other news, as I alluded to as forthcoming last time, I had another mole removed. I believe this will now be my 6th (because it’s so much fun). This time around it was on my big toe on my left foot. Not only is having a mole “punched” (literally) out of your toe not fun, what was really a pain was spending 1.5 months trying to schedule the stupid procedure. I don’t have the best of relationships with the medical profession. I am sure there will come a point in my life where I come to see them in a positive light, but as is, I believe that the profession as a whole is vastly overrated. When one is so incompetent that they can’t even manage to return a phone call, let alone schedule an appointment properly, am I really to believe that they are capable of diagnosing and treating anything correctly? The answer is no, no I do not think so. Yes, I am fully aware that medical administration is difference than the doctors themselves, and to be fair I will say that 90% of my disdain is directed towards the largely useless administrative staff (sorry Stepmom and others who work in said profession, I’ll give you defacto exemptions – but I stand by my gross disappointment with medical staff over the past 6 years of dealing with them regularly). Of course I don’t mean to give doctors too much credit, doctors are wildly egotistic – arrogant – elitist – and seemingly unwilling to take on anything that might challenge them (again with some exceptions).
All this is to say that the sad fact of the matter is, it doesn’t surprise me that it took me 2.5 months, at least 15 phone calls, 3 doctors, and traveling to two different medical facilities just to get a freaking mole removed. And then of course the staff seemingly go out of their way to be assholes in the process.
To be fair to all involved, this might be a symptom of our horribly broken medical system in the United States, but all I know is that my end-user experience has been objectively terrible – from flat out lies, to being accused of lying myself, to blatantly unnecessary rudeness, to gross incompetence, you name it, it’s happened – multiple times.
So I had a mole removed, lol. For whatever reason I couldn’t get it done at Harvard’s on-campus center so I had to go down to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, which (again for whatever reason) was not the same hospital (Brigham and Women’s) that I went to to have my nerve conduction stuff done (and again not the same place I went to for MRIs… you get the picture). This hospital is in one of those weird areas where there really just isn’t a convenient way to get to it via public transportation, at least nothing resembling a straight shot anyways. However, I can’t complain too much because I ended up finding a way to get there just by using two buses. Additionally, it was a nice day out.
The procedure went surprisingly quickly. Like always they had to give me an extra round of anesthetic. I have no idea why, but my body resists being numbed. I am sure there is some survival benefit to this that I may or may ever need to utilize, but in modern society it kind of sucks. Why? Because sometimes your pain medicine wears off in the middle of having your freaking wisdom teeth cut out of your jaw. Yep.
Anyways, I don’t recommend getting shots in your toe if you can avoid it, its not pleasant. I mean, I guess no shot is pleasant (unless pain and or shots are your thing), but toe shots feel weird in addition to hurting. It’s hard to explain. After I was all numbed up they used a punch device to literally punch out a section of my toe. Fun times. But all in all it took maybe 25 minutes. Because of the area and the size I ended up having to get stitches, which I have to go back in 14 days to get removed… at 9am (meaning I’ll need to wake up at like 5:30am – which is early for me, don’t hate).
Once the toe procedure was done it was time to hobble to some form of public transportation, which turned out to be the Green Line since SB was going to meet me for lunch. Of course I missed the train by about 15 feet, one can only move so fast when it feels like 1/2 their left foot doesn’t exist. But fortunately the next train was only 5 minutes away and then I was off to the Boston Common area for some beloved Einstein Brothers Bagels. We were fortunate to get some seats and took in some people watching and the nice day while we ate.
Before too long we had to part ways as SB needed to get back to her placement and I needed to get home. You see technically I was supposed to walk as little as absolutely possible for the first two days. As a student that isn’t feasible. In fact I’d already missed one class and I still had one more class that evening (which happens to be my favorite class – Wildlife Law). So, I wanted to get home a rest for a bit. Unfortunately someone smelled the blood and decided that he wanted to eat my toe (and foot, and probably me).
As relaxation time always does, the afternoon flew by and soon it was 4:30 and I needed to get to class. So I got dressed and very.. very.. slowly hobbled the 3/4 mile to school. The good news is that my anesthetic was still going decently strong (because they had to give me so much), the bad news is that even absent the pain (which would come soon enough) it was still hard to walk and I could barely get my shoe back on in the first place. But I made it.
The next morning would be hell to pay, and the following day, and the day after that, and then to a lesser extent the day after that, and then today hasn’t been terrible. But really, my entire week can best be described as “very busy with a dash of gimp squad.” Hopefully this weekend I can actually give my toe the rest it needs. I’ve cut way back on my exercise (for instance I didn’t exercise at all for two days after the procedure… or shower for that matter) but I’m slowly getting back into floor exercises, though the 35lb dumbbells have been replaced with cans of beans (for real). My hope is that I’ll be able to return to normal exercise maybe by the end of next week.
So what has law school entailed this week? Well, lot’s of the usual boring stuff that I won’t cover here. But there were a couple of things that were more fun that I did want to mention. First, I’ve been able to see some of the fruits of my labor unfold in real-time:
While I can by no means take the lion’s share of credit for it, it is cool to see something you are working on taking shape. If only my personal/main project was like that. Second, I got to meet Bob Schieffer, or as I knew him by “The anchor dude from CBS Evening News, Face the Nation, and various Presidential Debates” but now I actually know his name.
He was actually really cool. He talked about a lot of the “inside” stuff in contemporary politics and media, as well as shared a bunch of his person life stories as far back as 1940s. I actually didn’t even know he was going to be on campus, but I got an email about it the day-of, and since I was needing to burn some time until 6pm I decided to go. I’m glad I did, he was probably one of the most lively and engaging speakers I’ve had the chance to meet thus far – which makes sense given his career. I think my favorite story was from 1948 when his small Texas town got to see a helicopter for the first time (LBJ was visiting). When the helicopter was landing in the vacant lot north of town (where all the kids gathered to play basketball) someone on-board started using a loudspeaker to announce LBJ’s (then a member of a the House of Representatives) arrival. All the kids in the crowd thought it was God talking to them because the noise from the helicopter, the blades flinging dust everyone, and the booming mythic voice out of seemingly nowhere made them think of the Burning Bush. I thought that was pretty good.
Oh and if you were curious about what he thinks of modern news-casting (as someone who has covered everything from the Kennedy Assassination onward, let’s just say that he largely isn’t a fan.
As for that 6pm event. That was a “Suit and Tie” event hosted by the HLS student organization “Supero.” I don’t think I’ve really mentioned Supero before, or if I have I haven’t explained it. So before I get to the event, let me talk a little bit about Supero, which is one of the three organizations I am involved with.
First, the name. Supero, pronounced “Sue-pair-oh” (not “soup-er-roh”), is Latin for “surpass, exceed, overcome, etc.” This makes sense because Supero is a student group for first generation, low-income, or physically/mentally disabled students. Depending on who you talk to I am in all three of those categories, but I’m definitely in two of them. What makes Supero great is that I was able to help found it. Now, not to to give any undue credit to myself, help is exactly what I did. The mass bulk of the work was done by two other people. I basically assisted in getting through the loopholes required for the law school to formally recognize a group.
Now, since Harvard is 379 years old, and the law school is 198 years old [I’ll be the 200th class, fyi] it’s hard to be a part of anything new. However, Harvard being Harvard, there was literally no group at the law school devoted to people from those three categories, not a single one. There was even a LGBT group, but not a poorfag/gimp group. So a couple of insightful people decided to change that and I decided to help them. So I am very proud to be a founding member of something at Harvard. When your school is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere, it’s hard to start something new, but we did (and again, the credit lay solidly with others, but I’m happy to have played a part in it).
So that is what Supero is, a new group devoted to helping poors, first generation students, and disabled people assimilate into law school, and more specifically Harvard.
With that in mind, just how does such a group help said students? Well, there are a variety of ongoing efforts, such as creating a travel-fund for clerkship interviews, making the accessibility office more.. er.. well.. accessible, providing alumni outreach, etc. They also engage in more direct events, such as Thursday night’s event entitled “The Professional Etiquette Symposia.”
That flier sums it up pretty well. It was an entire formal symposium devoted to learning how to not be a filthy pleb. And, true to their word, I actually learned a lot, and I do mean a lot. It was especially fun because our “Etiquette Coach” had cut her teeth as an event coordinator for the King of Jordan (seriously) and was from Serbia, so she was quite intense. The food was also really good, though sadly there wasn’t any alcohol, which was weird, because we learned all about pairing alcohol either before, during, or after meals. When I noticed the lack of beer and asked about it she just laughed. Beer apparently isn’t on the Etiquette Register – reason 38239 of why Taco isn’t really a Suit after all.
But it was fun, and I talked and enjoyed myself like a normal non-asspie person. We also got some Swedish Fish (from one of the firm sponsors – the same firm I visited in NYC oddly enough) to take home which Valentino devoured. I also managed to avoid getting my suit (or tie) dirty from the food. Always a plus since dry-cleaners cost like 35 trillion dollars.
The following day was SB and I’s 6th anniversary! Yay!
However, there is this weird “curse” that runs throughout our anniversaries in that we tend to always wind up really busy during them. I was supposed to be in class until 5:30, but my professor ended up cancelling it because she was sick, however SB still had an event down at Boston College and then got suck in traffic on the way home, so it was almost 7pm before we even got to see each other. But the good news was that it was Friday, so it wasn’t a huge deal – though we are old and generally don’t like to be out late. 😛
We originally had a grand plan that involved making a “triangle” run of three restaurants all situated around one intersection. Since there were three of them, they would correspond to our (anticipated) three years in Boston. Dali was to be the first one, followed by The Kirkland Tap and Trotter, then finally Bergamot (a farm-to-table place).
Well, that was the plan.
Once it got time to be making reservations we realized that these places were.. ehm.. very expensive. Tap and Trotter was expensive for us, and Bergamot was just plain expensive period. So we had to divert our “Triangle” anniversary course and improvise. We ultimately decided to go with Atwood’s Tavern. It was a bit further away, but still easily accessible via bus or moderate walk. We were mainly drawn in by their beer selection and ok-priced sandwiches. We tried to make reservations and were told they didn’t take them, but SB was told that a table around 7pm on a Friday “wouldn’t be a problem.” Well, that was true, but there was one table left and it had no chairs. Fortunately the bartender got us some stools. Then came the fun part, ordering beer!
1. Ommegang Witte – Brewery Ommegang [Left Side]
2. Great Pumpkin Ale – Cambridge Brewing Company [Right Side]
SB went with the Ommegang Witte, which is actually a white ale brewed with both malted and unmalted wheat. It was pretty good, the balance between white and wheat was well done and it had a light body with a bit of a critus-nip to it. I went with the Great Pumpkin Ale, because how can you not try a beer named Great Pumpkin. I’d like to try more CBC brews, so this was a good start, especially given all the pumpkin beer I’ve been drinking thus far this year. What is really cool about Great Pumpkin is that it’s all local, with the sugar pumpkins coming from The Farm School in Athol (MA), and Wilson Farms in Lexington (MA), while the organic barley was also grown in MA and then small-batch malted at Valley Malt in Hadley (MA). So really this might be my first ever entirely local beer. It was also just a good pumpkin ale, plain and simple.
Oh yeah, we got food too.
I went with a turkey burger (forefront) – with Cranberry-Rosemary Ketchup, and Smoked Gouda, while SB went with their Double J Farms Burger – which has locally raised, grass fed grass finished beef (so more local stuff). Both sandwiches (and sides – salad, red slaw, and sweet potato fries) were quite good.
Although the beer and the food was good, Atwood’s on the whole was just average. It was pretty loud and the service was just “meh.” Nothing was really bad, but its certainly not the kind of place I’d rush back to either. Still, it was fun to get out with SB after a long week.
Unfortunately we had missed the most recent bus, so it was either wait 25 minutes or walk home. We (mainly me, I’m impatient) decided to walk which probably wasn’t the best idea with my toe (it ended up bleeding again). But it did give us a chance to walk off the 50lbs of meat we had just consumed and also we swung through Whole Paycheck for some Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and then through the Wine & Cheese Cask for my “weekend six (or twelve) pack.”
This was both a new brewery and a new beer for us. We’d never even seen it before, and since it hails from Waltham (MA) I figured it was worth keeping up with the local theme, so we gave it a try (plus we liked the name and packaging – because we are children). Turns out the brewery is less than three years old.
Oddly enough we didn’t even end up trying it that night, we were both feeling pretty tired after the long day/week and with the two beers at Atwood’s as well as some ice cream and couch-time I guess neither of us were feeling like opening up anymore booze. Of course the good news about that is that it means more for later (plus I still had 3 more cans from last weekend’s purchase).
If it wasn’t obvious, I got around to drinking Fuzzy Logic tonight [Saturday] (actually I’m currently drinking it). Fuzzy Logic was actually the first wide release for Portico, so it’s a good place to start I suppose. This is an interesting beer because its both a Kölsch and a Belgian Weiss, which isn’t a combination you’d normally see. That said, this beer does it well. There is the citrus-like body at one moment, and then the hint of bitterness the next. The Belgian yeast rounds things out. It has a medium body, so a little more towards the weiss than the Kölsch. The only problem with it is the classic “Jack of all Trades” effect wherein the beer is less than the sum of its parts. Still, I like blends (though I’m relatively new to them) so I’d definitely recommend it and I plan to explore some more of what Portico has to offer.
The next day we slept in a bit, then I flailed around on the floor for awhile (I still can’t do proper exercises) and then we were off to do grocery shopping. The good news was that since we had just gotten a Peapod delivery this week (although said delivery was late and contained wrong items) we didn’t need much, just one bag to carry home. Then after that we kept up with another anniversary tradition of getting the Halloween-themed Starbucks drink. While last year was the Franken Frappuccino, this year was Frappula Crème Frappuccino which contains white chocolate sauce, blended milk and ice layered on top of mocha sauce, a dollop of whipped cream inside the mixture, and then is finished with a drizzle of raspberry syrup and whipped cream on top. Sadly it contains no coffee, but we also got a latte to make up for that (Starbucks already has their holiday glasses out, yet its Halloween, what the feck).
In addition to the Frappula having its “scary teeth” sticker on the front, the barista was also pretty excited about making it, she drew a little ghost that was saying “Boo!”
The Frappula was good, but I think I liked the Franken Frappuccino more. Still, there is something fun about the “blood” theme.
After being Japanese Vampires for awhile we
mutilated cut my hair and then settled in for a lazy evening. I’m presently typing this blog, so I guess not too lazy, but still lazy.
So while our anniversaries rarely seem to go to according to plan (at least we didn’t have to mess with a car breaking down on the highway this year), they always manage to be a lot of fun and I like building on our growing repertoire of traditions. Next week is looking to be even more busy than last week as far as law school goes, and tomorrow [Sunday] I officially start growing my third November beard, but for now I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the evening and then procrastinating until I hate myself tomorrow (Sunday) 🙂
Happy 6th Anniversary to Me and SB. (yay rhymes!)
Until next time,