July 15, 2007

An Excellent Saturday

Yesterday was an excellent Saturday. The day began with breakfast at Culpepper's Bakery on Cambridge St. The food was good, the service was good, and our waitress got bonus points for giving LL a gentle ribbing about ordering the most fancy-schmancy coffee they had on the menu. The place seems to have a clientele of regulars, and I believe we're going to become that ourselves.

After breakfast, we decided to visit the Ecotarium, which was nice if a bit small and geared largely toward kids. LL fell in love with Kendra the polar bear in spite of my reminding her that nothing over 7' long that would gladly eat a human can truly be classified as "cute." We spent about two hours walking around the place, and on the nature trail I found my first mycological discovery here — a Russula of some sort that had been parasitized by so-called lobster mushroom (Hypomyces). It's the first time I've ever found this particular fungus, but I'm told it's pretty common around here. I'd like to try eating it sometime, though in this instance the underlying mushroom was far too decayed to do so and, in any case, the only other Russulae I saw in the area were R. emetica. Maybe I'll get luckier on the gustatory front next time, but for now just finding something for the first time made the whole trip worthwhile.

After the Ecotarium, we came home to rest up in anticipation of the evening's dinner party at Dr. H's. LL took a nap while I watched an old horror flick I hadn't seen since being a pre-teen, namely Horror High (retitled The Twisted Brain for some reason).
Did that ever take me back! The movie made quite an impression on me when I saw it as a kid, particularly a scene in which the main character chops up his teacher with a paper cutter. I remembered it as being cheesy, but it's still cheesier than I'd remembered. I love 1970's B-horror flicks; I think its the presence of striped and/or checkered pants and those horrific print shirts that were in vogue back then. In any case, the movie itself is very low-budget; the monster/villain is a picked-on science nerd who invents a Jekyll-and-Hyde type potion that transforms him into a murderous beast; you can tell that he's transformed because his hands become hairy and he doesn't wear his glasses. Great fun which I heartily recommend to anyone who enjoys watching the sort of movies that Mystery Science Theater 3000 used to lampoon.

Then it was off to drinks and dinner at Dr. H's, the first time I've seen him since my visit back in March. The (MaBi)2 were also present; (MaBi)f and LL seem to have hit it off, as I thought they would. Dinner itself was excellent and afterward we sang "Happy Birthday" to Dr. H's youngest, who turned 8, and had carrot cake. Conversation was largely humorous discussion of our experiences in the south and with students and the like. I think Dr. H and I have similar senses of humor. In any case, it was a most enjoyable evening. We stayed until about 10:00, which was when LL and my allergies to cat fur started to bother us.

Quite a full and fun day. Tomorrow, I go get my office space set up and have my new ID made. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the outing on July 29 with the Boston Mycological Club at Purgatory Chasm. I generally feel like things are starting to roll here, and overall I still think this move is going to turn out to be the best one I've made in a long time... probably since I landed in San Francisco in 1991, just in time for the Dotcom Boom.

I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good about life right now.

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