A Week of Excitement (and Fun)

Robert and I decided we haven't been having enough Fun lately--Fun, that is, with a capital F. Mid-May 2003 provided the perfect opportunity to have some of that elusive Fun.

We began with The Matrix: Reloaded, seeing it Wednesday at the Boston Common Theatre the night before it opened. Thanks to Debbie, we were able to get tickets for one of the coveted pre-11:00 p.m. shows. So, Bob, Jef, Robert, and I got to sit in the theatre--eating nachos and generally looking cool in sunglasses and Matrix-inspired pleather--from 9:30 on, while those who had tickets for after 11:00 were forced to wait on a line snaking down the block toward the Ritz. The movie was amazing. Words don't quite fail me, but I don't see the point in including spoilers here. I had some great theory about why, on a mythic level, Neo is a greater hero than Arthur, Jesus, or Luke Skywalker, but I'll leave that for another time, too.

On the following Saturday, we rented a green Volkswagon bug and drove out to Worcester to the Ecotarium--part science museum, part zoo, and free this month to FleetBank customers. It was a cute museum, but the nature walks were marred by the bitterly cold, for May, 50-degree weather. The Ecotarium, in case anyone is wondering, boasts several key features: 1) a stegosaurus model complete with an engagingly written first-person narrative of birth and childhood (below);

2) extreme morbidity, which in fact may appeal to children: there is a large emphasis on death, dying, compost, and recycling; 3) helpful volunteer staff: one pimply-faced volunteer accosted us in front of the owl exhibit, where a handwritten chart informed us that the owl had eaten 8 mice in the last day. "Um, do you know how many mice he eats a week--um, a month?" he asked. I stared at the boy. Robert took a wild guess: "300 a month?" The boy seemed disappointed. "Uh, yeah, just about that." He shuffled his feet. We looked back at the owl. "Yeah, one time one of them died, and we had to cut it open, and man, there were a lot of mice in there." Eventually, with no further encouragement from us, the volunteer went away. We shook our head at the single remaining poor owl, shivered, took the rest of the trails in a hurry, and headed off to a homemade candy shop and ice cream sundae bar afterward for some sustenance.

Driving home that day along Route 1 we found ourselves on the highway behind a giant cow. I snapped pictures out the window--now, this is Fun indeed. We filed the giant cow away as Fun Thing #3 in our week, and planned for thing #4 to be the Hot Dog Safari fundraiser at Suffolk Downs Racetrack on Sunday.

However, since the cow had apparently been en route to the track when we saw him, Fun Things 3 and 4 collapsed into one. The Hot Dog Safari was bizarre--I have to respect an all-you-can-eat hot dog festival that not only has blue ketchup, but only has blue ketchup: no non-blue ketchup allowed. Robert voted Kelly's the all-around best hot dog, primarily on the strength of its toasty, crispy bun, and the buffalo dogs the best individual dog. We compared Nantucket Nectars and Polar bottled raspberry lime rickey samples and decided that Nantucket Nectars had smaller bubbles, better color, and a more balanced, less sweet flavor. We did actually see two horse races, and, just to be loyal to the cow--with whom we felt, now, a special bond--we waited on a long line for free cups of mediocre ice cream in pretty much the only sunny, slightly warm day of the month of May. Truly, we have achieved Fun.

The week culminated in a rainy-day Buffy party, attended by Lise, Bob, Howard, Jef, and Debbie (that is, by the entire cast of Buffy fans among our acquaintances, plus Ben). Eight o'clock on Tuesday night saw us glued to the final Buffy: The Vampire Slayer TV episode ever, followed, at 9:00, by the action-packed finale of Kiefer Sutherland's second season of 24, and at 10:00 by an encore showing of Buffy that only Debbie, Lise, and I were excited about. We are big pop culture people, we know. We ate lots of food, had animated conversations about the shows, and even sported Buffy-themed costumes for the event: that is, I was Buffy, Robert was Xander minus an eye, Jef was a very classy Angel, Debbie was an extra from the Season 3 finale, and Howard--somewhat inadvertently, with his haircut and striped shirt and vigorous protestations--was the dead Jonathan. Robert calls the picture at left the, "Is it Buffy, or is it Willow?" picture, since for a moment in the episode Willow had white hair, and since I've got my hardworking iBook out here, just like Willow.

Okay, we're ready for Memorial Day weekend now--after such a hard-working, Fun-filled spring, we need a vacation!

P.S. Memorial Day weekend was rainy and cold, and Christina's parents were visiting from New York. So, what to do on yet another wintery May day? We decided to drive up to Maine, and, after some more shivering on a Maine beach, some fudge and taffy, lobster rolls, crab rolls, lobster stew, and shopping at LL Bean, we drove back down to Boston the same day and ate more lobster at Ocean Wealth in Chinatown. Below you see a shivering Robert in Maine, and a smiling, lobster-full Robert, Connie, and Harry in Boston, posing with a statue of a shrimp--just for fun, of course.

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Created: 5/21/03. Last Modified: 5/26/03.