Friday, July 08, 2005

Back Bay, rm 11, Beacon Inn, Brookline, Greater Boston, MA

As we begin descent to Logan my ears remind me I've been congested for the last few days. This doesn't happen often, and it hasn't happened recently, but when it happened it was bad. I brace myself against the coming pain. It comes. It's bad, for a while I'm swallow-yawning and breathing deep and doing Reiki and trying not to brace so much that the tension makes it worse, but I see the ground soon enough. Now I'm just semi-deaf. Amma is too.

Carol Neidle meets us at the baggage belt. One of the first things I say is that I'm semi-deaf. When we get out to the roof where her car is parked I smell the sea. It's windy and cloudy and even drizzling. This is Boston in the summer? What's up with that? Spring '02 was a little chilly, but sunny as far as I remember. That year Bush's climate specialist officially stated they weren't going to worry about climate change till 2013. Worry, buddy, worry. Unless you wanna go down woolly mammoth style.

Skip skip skip to my loo. Let's say the loo in the Beacon Inn has a skylight and skip to the next morning. Amma stays in to rest up, Acchan and I take the T into MIT. We want to get to Morris Halle's office by 12 because he says Everyone will be there then. We get stuck on the way and have to be redirected to a shuttle bus and traffic is sucking big time, maybe because of the floods that Carol mentioned yesterday, so we get to MIT only by 12:40ish. Too bad for Acchan, Everyone will probably be dispersed again.

At some point en route Acchan talks wistfully about the falafel truck in front of bldg 20, but says there's no way it's still there. As we near the area that bldg 20 used to occupy he sees 4 food trucks, one of them falafel, and Squeals. Eeeeeeee, falafel truck, he says, wiggling his fists happily. I'm trying not to be rolling on the ground with laughter because rolling and walking don't go together. Later (after bumping into Jane Simpson, David Nash, various other linguisty people, chatting with Morris for a while and promising to be back at 3 when he would be back from his swim) we return to the truck and have falafel and baklava and throw bits of the thick dry pita (they just wrapped it around, instead of putting the falafel and stuff in the pocket, poopy) to the pidgeons. Acchan says it's a different truck and people, but the falafel is good anyway.
(Note to aspiring pidgeon feeders: they can deal with oversized pieces of bread, they just tear it up into smaller pieces, a process during which you'll have bread flung at you if you're near enough. But for lettuce, make sure the pieces are tiny enough for them to swallow, because their little beaks can't deal with the cellulose.)

We come back to the inn late because of an extended and delightful conversation with Donka Steriade. We leave again pretty soon, all three of us this time, to meet Morris and Ros at Elephant Walk for dinner, the same place Carol took us to last night. It being close to the inn and us being vegetarian seem to be a formula for this place. No matter. I thoroughly enjoy both the food and the company, so much so that after dinner when I have to go to the bathroom, I don't want to leave the table and miss any bits of the conversation. Later it turns out Amma and Acchan were doing the same thing. We're idiots. But we're cute idiots, no?

Wandering around MIT was damn fun. We hit the student center, the chapel, westgate, among other old haunts. We're heading back tomorrow so Amma can go too. So much more to say about the day, but enough now, my computer patience is nearing it's end. A couple things to note down that Morris mentioned
-Mansfield (?) Act of '70s (which did what?)
-Mission Act? which said defense could only fund projects which were directly related to missions which meant basic research, and fields like linguistics were kaka. He mentioned it in the context of the underground story of MIT linguistics, starting with some book called Loom of Language.

I gotta pee and my wrists hurt i'm askj;woreuitorwej out like sidhfsdk hjlk light see ya laktejlt later alli sdlkfj lfj gator. slkj;dfl jk


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