Wednesday, 26 November 1997:

Out And About

One way to get a lot of reading done is to go downtown on the subway several times. I made another trip yesterday because I had a yen to eat lunch at Quincy Market (ghod, Boston pizza is so much better than almost anything you can get in Madison; plus I had fried dough, which is nearly unknown in the Midwest, as far as I can tell!), and then I went back to Harvard Square to buy that other Marvel Masterworks hardcover (it's the fifth Fantastic Four volume, for what that's worth).

(I also bought some Godiva Chocolates for our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Mmmm!)

Before that trip, I stopped to visit my sixth grade teacher, whom I've always liked (well, okay, maybe when I was actually in sixth grade I was a little frustrated with him at times!). Not many of my old teachers are where they were when I was in school, but he's been there almost thirty years now. The classroom changes a little bit every year, but in its basic appearance, it's just the same as when I was there.

That reminds me a little of my old friend Rob Mahnke; he and I have both changed a lot since we were good friends in junior high and high school, but I find that whenever we see each other we seem to interact on the same level we always have. I don't have many friends like that. We don't see each other much these days, though, since he moved to the west coast a few years.

Yesterday evening I made another trip to Quincy Market to meet my friend Bruce Canwell, who I met through APA Centauri about ten years ago. Bruce dropped out about six years back, but we've continued our correspondence; I flub the ball on responding to his letters more than he does on mine, but we still exchange at least two or three missives a year.

One great thing about getting together with Bruce is that we have so many interests in common. We're both comic book fans (in fact, Bruce recently turned pro in that arena, penning the recent Batman Chronicles: The Gauntlet book, which I understand from many quarters sold very well), both science fiction fans, both baseball fans in general and Red Sox fans in particular, both enjoy rock & pop music, and so forth. Our tastes don't exactly overlap in any of these areas, of course (whose do?), but we have enough common ground that we have no shortage of things to discuss.

One of the grand ironies of this friendship is that I'm a native Bostonian - more or less - but Bruce knows more about the city than I do! This is because I moved away for college, so I don't have much adult knowledge of the town. It's a little peculiar, from my end, but Bruce may be one of the Last of the True Gentlemen, so he doesn't say anything. A more understanding guy you'll be hard-pressed to find, in my experience.

All of which leads into the fact that Bruce chose a nice Italian restaurant for dinner, which was pretty yummy, and was a nice venue for us to spend three-or-so hours talking about these many subjects I've mentioned. My only regret is that our meeting was so short, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

It's gotten a little warmer today - up in the forties - and much of the remaining snow on the ground is melting. The snow has been a pain for the locals because they didn't even have a chance to rake their leaves before the white stuff arrived! So I think I'm going to look into doing some raking for my Mom this afternoon. About half the yard is clear, so there are plenty of leaves out there...

I also finished Steven Gould's Wild Side today, and it, too, was a pretty good book. He does a good job of maintaining a very high level of suspense through the book, although he raises the stakes so high that the ending comes off as just a little implausible, but by-and-large this guy seems like one to watch for imaginative speculative fiction in the near future. I may have to hunt down some of his short stories.

Well, it's just about 1:00 Eastern Standard Time here. An early entry for the time of day, but I don't expect a whole lot to happen for the rest of the day - which is just the way I like it on my vacations!

I'll try to write more before the weekend.

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