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Ramblings by sunlight

So foar the past three days I've been getting up and out when I wake up, even if I haven't slept nearly enough. The spark was this NPR piece on becoming a morning person by going camping, the idea being getting lots and lots of sunlight. I also realized that my usual excuse for nocturnality, a college-synced social life, isn't actually very true in Boston and I've just been going on habit. So I figured I'd try this way of getting back into more socially normal schedules. It also goes well with my having an absurd number of books I want to have read, so I can be out reading in the sunlight (or shade, still bright there) rather than cooped up on my laptop. I'm not sure it's working yet, but it's been different. The attitude did let me go on the Lowell trip yesterday, when I might have otherwise whined "only six hours" and stayed in bed.

Today I biked over to Mary Chung for dim sum, then down to the Charles River for the Sunday road closure. Biked up and down somewhat, read Hofstadter's latest, biked more. A closed road is a nice safe space I realized, so I practiced biking with only one hand on the handlebars, or even no hands, one time making it as far as a count of 8 or so without hands.

But there's no bathroom along there, so I went up to Harvard Square for The Garage. Whoops, the public bathroom there has become card access only. The war on the homeless and casual passers-by continues.

Having found relief elsewhere, I ended up sitting under a big tent in front of Harvard's Science Center, which turned out to be one of those very lucky decisions of mine, as we got visited by a surprise and rather intense sunshower. Rain was coming at like a 40 degree angle. Glad I wasn't by the river then... I figured it was an optimal time to see rainbows, and I was right. Very faint at first, but came in more as the rain moved east.

So, cool day.

Other random notes: TJ canned marinara sauce is actually really good, and cheap, and has unimpeachable ingredients. Apart from the salt content, maybe; TJ tends to be high. I thought it had 2x as much salt per calorie as an old jar I had from Shaw's, but then I wondered why Shaw's would have 2x the calories for the same serving size, and in fact the 110 calories makes no sense in light of the fat/carb/protein claims.

I kept flaking on buying replacement bulk pepper, and finally bought another shaker from TJ recently. Partly because I looked at the price per ounce and it seemed competitive with e.g. bulk pepper from Harvest Co-op. Ridiculous for pepper in a plastic shaker to be cheaper than pepper you scoop out of a bin, but TJ pricing vs. fancy food markups... and the shakers are rather large, 1.8 oz of pepper, so there's amortization going on.

[1] Meh. The siu mai was good. The "grandma's pie" was decent, if doughy. The steamed pork bun tasted odd, as did the pork and chive dumplings. I'm not sure how to categorize how it was odd, though one thing that comes to mind is "dishwater". Hmm, cilantro tastes like soap to some people, but I don't think I'm one of them, and those weren't obvious cilantro dishes.

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Damien Sullivan

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November 2018


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