tetslog archives

Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004


Before and After

Weird sunglass shading system; so she can see clearly and be shaded simultaneously. We didn't get free baseball caps this year.

Road trip?

The Tets Burger

Julian Opie Installation Near City Hall

Roof top of the Met

From the Top of Ashe Stadium
Towards NY


Big Hot Rush Delivery? Not a Problem for the 165!


I hate loading docks!
(they smell funny)


A squirrel on our front porch greets me with a nut.


Riding home on the Harvard Bridge (aka Mass. Ave)


Boston, MA 5/24/05

Intelligence Graph of
Boston Pedestrians and Drivers


Farragut Seaport Cafe



Angry Protesters


Jellyfish and Architecture
Click on images for more


Tenkaippin Ramen



Image of the Day


Quality education for all bike couriers

The Chimay Website
(Doesn't work well with Safari)



Summer 2005

September 15, 2005

Days until next U2 concert: 19 days
Days until I go to Tokyo: 23 days
Days until school start: 3 days

Since school will be starting this Monday, this will be the last entry of the summer, unless I feel motivated enough to blog again this weekend, which I doubt. Yesterday featured a very exciting day of studio option presentations followed by a lottery that will allocate all the design students who are not in core studios to various "option" studios offered by the Architecture, Landscape and Urban Planning and Design departments. Studio instructors presented what their studios will be focusing on for the entire semester, be it a museum in Portugal, a research center in Cyprus, or and urban planning studio focusing on train stations and parks in Tokyo. My recent interest in urban design led me to try and get into the Tokyo studio, which is jointly taught by Peter Rowe and Mikiko Ishikawa. It will focus on the possible interventions between park spaces and train stations. Very exciting! The best part is: I got in!!!!!

Now I'm very excited for school to begin. I will admit that last week I was dreading the start of school with the impending knowledge that I might end up with a studio that I didn't much care for, but the lottery worked out in my favor and I got the studio that I had been hoping for since the studio option descriptions first went up. There will be a fully funded trip to Tokyo, so really, how can it be bad? I just need to go find my passport now.

With all this going on, I nearly forgot that my next U2 concert is in less than three weeks! So much exciting things going on I don't know what to do!

September 13, 2005

Part Two: U.S. Open

For some unknown reason, we had to meet Alec at 10:15 in the morning to go back out to Flushing for more U.S. Open action. Not that I mind seeing tennis, but it's sooooo early. Anyway, when we got there, we perused the outer courts for the first hour or so to watch some of the juniors play. They're really good for their age. What was I doing when I was 16-17? Having trouble getting a first serve to go in. Once I was thoroughly depressed (impressed too I guess) by their abilities, we watched Ai Sugiyama and Daniella Hantuchova narrowly loose in the third set to Zi Yan and Jie Zheng. Afraid to miss anymore of the Agassi match we moved over to Ashe stadium to watch him play Malisse. Down two sets, Malisse came back to win the third (he would eventually lose in the fifth) but it was too hot and we were really hungry by this point, so we left the stadium to get some lunch. I had a hamburger of course. At this point, Alec had to leave, so the Becky and I wandered up to the Grandstands to watch some women's doubles featuring Martina Navratilova and Anna Groehnfeld defeating Tian Li and Tiantian Sun. Becoming veteran and experience U.S. Open spectators, we returned to Ashe Stadium to watch the Blake versus Robredo match, managing to sit much closer because there were plenty of open seats to choose from. We sat back contentedly while the late afternoon shadows crept up the stands, watching an amazing four set match where Blake seemingly came back from a poor start, riding the encouragement of the crowd and the J-Block, a section of avid Blake fans. Saddened to think there wasn't anymore tennis to watch, we began to file out only to discover that because the first match on Armstrong took so long, the final match, a men's doubles match, had yet to start. Note that it is already 6:30 p.m. by this point and we had already been at the tennis center since 11:20 and we needed to catch the last bus back to Boston from New York at 11:00. But, being the avid tennis fans that we are, we decided to watch the two Brian brothers play the Chilean duo of Massu and Gonzalez anyway (we saw Gonzalez play the night before). The atmosphere was very Davis cup like, with the American fans cheering against the Chilean fans and the match, while very lopsided favoring the Brian's was nonetheless very exciting. Finally, last match of the evening (er, technically they are day matches) or so we though: the mixed doubles match of Navratilova/Paes were in a tough second set already down one set to Srebotnik/Zimonijic. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to catch one more match now could we? Down a break already, we went to the Grandstand one last time to cheer Navriatilova/Paes to a third set, YAY! But wait. What are they doing? They're playing a tie-breaker for a third set? I'm glad we weren't the only ones in the stands confused and disgruntled; people actually started chanting "We want a third set!" So, unfortunately, Navratilova and Paes lost the third "set," but we still had an awesome day of tennis and we still had to get back to Boston!
The last Chinatown bus leaves at 11:00 p.m. and it was only 8:30, so we had plenty of time to get back to Oki's and then down to Chinatown to catch the bus. Or so we thought. By the time we got to Oki's and then walked to Canal St. it was only 10:30, but it turns out that the last bus left at 10. Go figure. Too tired to freak out, we got back onto the subway (luckily I still had two more dollars on my metro card) and headed up to the Port Authority bus terminal in hopes of catching a Greyhound. They're usually more reliable right? We hoped so. With about two minutes to spare, we were able to snag a couple of tickets for a bus the 11:30 bus to Boston. Then I slept. When the bus got into Boston, we discovered that taxi's were very limited at that time of day; a shock considering the number of taxis I see during the day just sitting around doing nothing. We ended up walking up to Tremont Street, near the corner of Bromfield St. before we were able to snag a cab to take us back to Cambridge at something like 4:30 in the morning. Needless to say, my day at work was a bit of a daze.

Well, now you're all up to date. Studio option presentations are tomorrow at 9 in the morning quickly followed by studio option lotteries. I hope that I get into the studio that I want to take.

September 10, 2005

Number of Deliveries: None, I'm DONE!
Final weight after a summer of biking in current food of choice: 13380.21 Mother's Animal Cookies
Number of Days until School starts: ugh, 8 days

So now what do I do for the next week? Yesterday was my final day as a bike courier and I finished up with a solid 28 deliveries. Not as good as my 30 delivery day, but none the less, an excellent way to finish up the summer. As tired as I was, my friends still dragged me out for a fun evening and I apologize if I started to doze off, but please realize I was on my bike from 9 in the morning until nearly 8 in the evening.

My blogging has been inconsistent over the last few weeks, so I feel it is necessary to fill in on some of what's been going on besides dodging traffic downtown.

The weekend before the U.S. Open weekend, I flew out to Chicago to meet up with the A.A. to help him drive back to Boston. I have now traversed on all portions of the Interstate 90, from it's start near Safeco Field in Seattle to it's end near Boston's Logan International Airport.

The next week was one of my busiest work weeks ever where I accumulated a total of 116 deliveries (over 23 deliveries a day!) and made 620 dollars, my best week of the whole summer.

Last Friday, with many of my fellow classmates returning to Cambridge, I had people over for Tets Burgers: 1/2 pound burgers, pan fried, with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and Tillamook cheddar cheese. They were mighty tasty.

The next morning, I took a bus down with Becky to New York to go see the U.S. Open. After meeting up with Oki, I ran across a public art installation by the artist Julian Opie. I recognized them because the images were also featured on U2's Vertigo Tour. To kill time before dinner I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and wandered around for nearly 3 hours. I don't think I got to see everything, so I'll have to go there and spend some more time later. Some of the highlights were finally seeing a Paul Klee painting in real life (he's one of my favorite painters) as well as the awesome view of the city from their roof garden. The trip to MET was followed by the best burgers I've ever had at a place called Rare Bar and Grill. WOW, what an awesome burger; it put my Tets Burger to shame (as well as the Breakfast Tets Burger that I had on bus ride down; a burger with egg and cheese).
The next morning, I went to the MoMA to view their new building as well as their massive collection. One of my favorite paintings that I saw was called "Masks Confronting Death," by the Belgian painter James Ensor, which is the title of a They Might Be Giants song, which incidentally is the song of the day.
I then had ramen at a place called Sapporo. It's still not as good as the best ramen shops in Japan, but it was pretty good. I didn't like the corn they put in it however and in stead of shinachiku, they put in kamaboko. Weird. The gyoza were small but acceptable.
Next, I met up with Becky at PS1, a contemporary art gallery subsidized by MoMA. Located in Queens, we figured it would be a good place to meet before heading out to Flushing to see the U.S. Open. Highlights of the PS1 included a really cool video by King/Diaz de Leon called "Prepare a Place." Before moving on to Flushing Meadows to meet Alec (he will remind us that we were considerably late, but I think it has more to do with the fact that he was really early), we had dinner at a small Cal-Mex restaurant where I had another hamburger. You could say I have a thing for hamburgers.
The first match we saw was actually on a big screen outside Armstrong Stadium. We watched the fifth set of the Sanguinetti and Srichaphan match from the courtyard rather than watching the Kim Clister's match. We then watched Roger Federer crush Olivier Rochus in straight sets on Ashe Stadium. Federer is really good and is probably my favorite player on the tour at the moment. I'll be rooting for him tomorrow in the Finals, but I won't be disappointed if Agassi wins one more U.S. Open. Because this match ended so quickly, we were also able to catch the end of Nalbandian versus Gonzalez match on Armstrong court. With our fill of tennis for the evening, we headed back to the Lower West-side where Oki lives, to get a drink at a small sake bar called Decibel. This was followed by pizza and a beer (I was still hungry) just around the corner on 2nd Ave.

That's enough for today, I'll talk more later.

September 8, 2005

One more day of working as a courier; I'm just glad that most days were not like today. Ugh. Let's get something straight: if you're going to ask for a courier to arrive to pick up a package, let's make sure that it is ready to go when you call it in ok? I don't mind waiting 10-15 minutes, I get paid for it, so it's no big deal. However, if you say that it will be a 10-15 minute wait, make sure you really mean it!

Because I only have one more day left and I'm done, I will not spare any names, Cambridge BioMarketing Group at 245 First Street in East Cambridge, MA! I went to pick up at 5:30 and they weren't ready with the package. They called for a courier at five, so naturally one would assume that the package would at least be ready by 5:30 (I was delivering in Southie when I got call, so it took me a while to get back to Cambridge for the pick-up). However, if you're picking up at Cambridge BioMarketing, make sure you bring a good book or something because chance are good you will be waiting a LONG time. For example, I went home after the first try because I didn't want to wait there the whole time. I returned to their office in half and hour, because they said that was about how long it would take for them to finish. Don't believe anything they say. If they say five minutes, it really means 15; if they say 10 minutes, they really mean 30; if they say 30 minutes it really means that they are incompetent and slow and won't be done for at least 2 hours.

Because I'm a design student, I understand that deadlines are often broken and adjusted. We want things to look perfect and we will work our butts off, often into the late hours of the day, to make sure that it does look perfect. Before final reviews, you can find me and my fellow classmates, still working until 5-6 in the morning. However, when it comes to being a professional and finishing work in a timely manner, the folks that I picked up from today failed miserably. Perhaps they don't realize that I'm not paid by the hour? They don't know that I've been working my ass off since 8 in the morning? They don't understand that even when they can go home after handing off the package to me, I still have to deliver the package to Medford and I won't be getting home until 8:30 and I still only get paid marginally more for the wait? I find it rude that the only thing they can do is apologize for making me wait rather than to confess that they should have been more on top of the situation and rather than continuing to say, "oh, it should only be a few more minutes," admit that you have no idea how to use Photoshop and Illustrator in an efficient manner to even be considered professional designers.

So if it weren't for the incompetent folks over at Cambridge BioMarketing Group, I would have had an awesome day, with 24 deliveries, lots of little breaks for reading and napping and enjoying the beautiful weather. You guys at Cambridge BioMarketing Group suck. I apologize for my ranting and whining.

September 6, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 24
Amount of napping time: 1 hour
Best Drinking Fountain: 101 Merrimac St. (although the security guard was a jerk)

Three more days as a bike courier and then it's back to school for theTets. I'm really enjoying the bike messenger lifestyle, being outside, exercising and riding my bike all day, but I don't think my bike can survive another week. It just has to make it until Friday. I bought these super durable tires at the beginning of the summer and now they are almost completely worn down. There's almost no rubber left and they are nearly flat on top. Oh well, I never really like them anyway because they are so heavy (more rubber for durability and flat resistance) and so wide (better grip?). Soon I'll be able to go back to my usual super lightweight and skinny tires. The brake pads that I bought about a month into work are also nearly dead. My rear derailleur is broken, the cables are worn and stretched out and there are so many annoying creaks throughout the bike that I don't even know where they are coming from.

Last weekend I went to New York again, this time to watch the U.S. Open. I'd love to share more about what I did at this time, but I'm still exhausted from the trip that I'm going to bed now and will blog about it later. All I have to say is I didn't get back to Boston until 4:30 in the morning and I had to be up at work by 7:30. You can do the math yourself.

August 24, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 22
Best Drinking Fountain: One Financial Center, 44th floor

I once owned three bikes. A shiny silver road bike, with fuzzy dice on the handle bars, a cool grey hard-tail mountain bike with Mr. Ducki for a hood ornament, and a rusty old cruiser with fat tires, silverish fenders and semi-functioning brakes. I now only have two bikes because some jerk-off stole one of them. My precious brown Schwinn cruiser is now owned by a criminal, a very bad and evil person. I'm very sad and angry cause I really loved that bike; it had character.

The bike used to live in my parents garage, gathering dust and cobwebs. Guests of my parents occasionally used it to ride a few blocks, but it was clear that it was not in very good riding shape. I already owned a few bikes, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving them out in the cold or riding in the rain with them. I needed a more durable and expendable bike, something with age and experience that wouldn't faulter under adverse conditions. That's when I decided the dusty old brown bike in the back of the garage could be fixed up pretty inexpensively and provide me with an excellent commuter bike.

First, the wheels were banged and bent back into, more or less, a circle. The bearings were replaced, nuts and bolts tightened, chain cleaned and re-lubed and the framed cleaned up. The brakes were re-aligned as best as they could, the cables were replaced and the gears adjusted so that it was once again a useable five-speed. In my opinion it was a cool bike, cool enough to ship it all the way out to Boston along with my other two bikes.

It served me well for the first two years and nearly a whole summer of my life here in Somerville. It just couldn't survive a couple of f*****g thugs in the Boston Commons where Becky and I were playing tennis. Sitting just outside the tennis courts, the punks tried to make off with our bikes. I was able to catch the guy who tried to take Becky's bike, but the jerk with my bike wobbled off into the dark with my bike "Rusty" (a name coined by Becky). Long story short: I'm down to two bikes.

Today was a semi-busy day and has helped bring up my delivery totals for the week after a very slow Monday and Tuesday. The song of the day is from U2's Zooropa album (my personal favorite when I'm not in love with Acthung Baby!) and it is called "Somedays are Better Than Others." I'm gonna go punch a wall now. Or eat something, whichever comes first. . .

August 21, 2005

Well that weekend went by quickly and I didn't even do anything. I did finish the apartment trash been locator map however, which time will only tell if it helps little Mikey find the trash cans. It's a pretty dumb little map, but hopefully it will get the message across.

I''ve been pretty much comatose today as I went on a rather longish bike ride yesterday afternoon. My legs feel pretty weak. Hopefully they will feel better by tomorrow morning when I have to go back to work. It's strange, I don't really think of it as work in the traditional sense. I still only sleep about 5-6 hours a night, so I just naturally wake up in time for work. As long as I get to sleep by about midnight or one, I'm good to go. When school starts up again, I'm sure I will return to the fall asleep around 2-3 in the morning and wake up around 9 or 10, but for now, I'm enjoying the "early" mornings. It's particularly enjoyable sitting in the park or in Copley Square watching all the office people walk while sulking towards their job, knowing that I get to ride my bike all day!

August 20, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: None, it's a Saturday. I'm going on a bike ride later though. . .
Largest Mess Left by Mike: A CD/DVD storage shelf that's sitting upside down, unfinished on the dining room floor
Number of Days some of Mike's leftovers have been in 'fridge: 15 days (I'm certain it's no good by now, but I'm afraid to check)
Estimated Number of Days Until it is Removed: 42 days

Mike, the fellow with whom I share an apartment, recently decided to start a collection of leftovers in our refrigerator and on our kitchen counter. Actually, the collection started sometime ago, with random fruits, vegetables and cheeses growing various fuzzy appendages. Perhaps it is his intention to start a fruit fly colony? In order to aid his inability to find the trash bin, I have drawn a simple map of our apartment with the various locations of trash receptacles scattered throughout the apartment. The map hopes to help the poor forgetful kid find his way from the kitchen counter, where he leaves his garbage, to the trash can underneath the kitchen sink (a vast and difficult 4 foot distance that one is required to traverse; a journey in which a map will surely come in handy). Also included with the map are simple and easy to follow instructions on how to use the trash cans. I'm also thinking of developing a similar map/diagram of how to get to and use the dishwasher. I will post a link to them as soon as I finish the drawings so you all will know where to go when you need to throw something away.

I had my second Hepatitis B shot yesterday morning before work. It was good because I got to sleep in a bit; it was bad because I lost two hours worth of deliveries and felt queezy all day. I'm pretty sure it wasn't from lack of food, cause the work was slow enough that I had time for lunch. It wasn't from the heat, because with the wind blowing in off the water the temperature was quite cool yesterday. So, I'm gonna blame it on the vaccination.


The beef roundup:

1) the burger joint
excellent price, 11 dollars for milkshake, burger and fries. The meat was well cooked, perfectly medium rare, and the fixings were fresh and crispy. I don't like it when the tomatoes are mushy and pink, I like bloody read tomatoes and crisp lettuce. Taste? while the meat tasted fine, the "special sauce" that they used turned me off. It was waaaaaaay too overpowering so that you didn't achieve the nice hamburger harmony that comes from the perfect balance of meat, to cheese, to vegies, to the ketchup and mayonnaise. It had a strong horseradish tint to the taste that I didn't care for and didn't allow the burger to speak for itself. And they didn't have bacon burgers. But they did have beer!

2) the steak from Peter Luger's
yum (please see picture). that was a good steak. It's been a really long time since I've had a steak that good, so I don't know how to compare it relative to other steaks. It's way better than Sizzler's that's for sure. It was cooked better than the steak I had the other day on my George Foreman Grill. Expensive? yes, most definitely. They had this weird steak sauce that came along with the meal that seemed unnecessary. The meat itself, broiled in butter, tasted great without the sauce. I tried a little with the sauce and the tanginess ruined it for me so I went back to just the meat. We also had two fixings: fries and this weird creamy green spinach thing. The fries were good for soaking up the excess steak juice, but I think the spinach was, well, gross. For appetizers we had a plate of sliced tomatoes and onions. The tomatoes were excellent and the onions were decent; not as good as Walla Walla Sweets of course.

3) The Shake Shack
Super tasty hamburgers! Big hunk of juicy red meat. I didn't care for the shredded lettuce, but I can over look it because everything else about it was pretty good. The milkshakes were also very good and the fries were decent. I like the fact that you get to sit outside and eat. It really is a shack, albeit a well constructed and fancy bourgeois shack as opposed to a rundown shanty-like shack, but I think it's intentions are good. It also had a green roof, so perhaps it's also LEED rated?

4) Amy Ruth's Restaurant
So not technically beef, but included because the chicken was fried and cholesterol/calorie consumption was about the same. I wasn't sure what to expect from a soul food restaurant, but it seemed a bit too touristy and less about "soul" than I expected. Everything about the place screamed a little too much about being an "IN" joint as opposed to just serving good food. I guess that's why I like the three other places; they seemed a little be more real and authentic about what they're doing and what they're about. Amy Ruth's looked like it wanted to be authentic but instead catered to the kind of crowd that cares more about where they eat than about what they eat. The fried chicken was good, but it wasn't like "HOLY S**T THAT'S SOME REALLY F*****G GOOD CHICKEN!" like the chicken that Joanne fried up for us. Now that was some good chicken. The waffles and cornbread were really good however, so I was please with that, but again, being in Harlem, I wish we could have tried a soul food restaurant with a little more soul.

All in all, it was a really fun weekend. It wasn't technically a triple hamburger day, I had two at the burger joint, followed the next day by a burger at the Shake Shack, because I decided against the Luger Burger at Peter Luger's and got the Porterhouse steak instead, a decision I'm sure you will all agree was the better choice. I gained a few extra pounds that I haven't worked off yet, which is a good thing because I'm trying desperately to keep my weight up. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Thank you POki for the accommodations.

August 17, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 25
Best drinking fountain: 85 East Concord
Longest run: Winthrop Printing, 225 Old Colony Ave. to Museum of Science, 1 Science Park: about a four mile trip total.

Blogs are a strange phenomenon. In one sense it wants to be a public diary of sorts, with my daily accounts and musings recorded and open for all to view. On the other hand, it seems like blogs want to find more of a focus or a theme, something readers can always expect to be informed about. I think my blog is somewhere in between. It's a nice cozy place to hear about what I did on my job or in school, but it's also a place from which I can keep people up to date on where to eat and what to read and where to deliver packages knowing a nice cold drinking fountain awaits you. I hope that someday the tetslog will become the foremost eating, reading, biking and architectureing blog.

I'm currently coming off of a nice three day weekend, the last two days of which involved the consumption of massive quantities of meat in New York. There are a lot of things to do in New York, such as walk through a museum and or galleries, shop along 5th Avenue, stroll through Central Park, or catch a show on Broadway. But I think finding good places to eat and drink is more fun!

I'm tired today, so I don't feel like mumbling much about where we ate and such, but if you are dying to hear what happened, please visit Laura's website for a more detailed explanation. There are a few conflicting reports on the tastiness of the food we consumed, but then taste is always so subjective. It will be easier for everyone if they agree with
MY taste in food, so wait until the next installment of the tetslog where I will write more on the topic of New York's food selection.

Currently I'm working on reading a book by the author Louis De Bernieres, called Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord. I've read many of his other novels and they're all very good, so I'm giving this one a shot and so far it hasn't disappointed. Bernieres is able to recreate such imaginative worlds and cultures that are clearly fictitious but could be real that it always gives his novels an intriguing sublime quality that I find very enjoyable. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, while one of his most well know novels (It's a movie now, but I didn't much care for it), is not my favorite of his stories for lack of a more exotic local. Senor Vivo and the Coca Lord, follows in the same lineage as The War of Don Emmanuelle's Nether Parts and The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman, both novels that I highly recommend.

Mike's band Stepanian was back in the studio last week recording a 3-4 track E.P. which includes a couple of new songs and a remake of a song from an earlier album and a cover that they often play at concerts. I've included a rough mix of this song as the song of the day. I forget what it's called. Enjoy.

August 10, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 13 (please let it be busier tomorrow. . .)
Best Drinking Fountain: 2 International Place
Worst Drinking Fountain: B.U. Medical School Building M (It was USELESS!!!!)

It's been a while since I've blogged, so here's a quick recap of the last week:

Thursday: I don't remember what happened, I went to work and I was probably tired.
Friday: Semi-slow day at work; followed by semi-slow Ben Folds concert. It was good, but could have been better. Drunkie and I had 7 dollar beers and made it worthwhile.
Saturday: Slept in, watched some television. Oh, and went to a Coldplay concert. Ho hum. . .
Sunday: Tried to sleep in, did some laundry, played some tennis.
Monday: worked a good 21 deliveries; not bad for a monday.
Tuesday: 19 deliveries but then killed myself with a couple of sets of tennis.
Today: missed breakfast again, worked, ate, ate some more, took a nap, got bored, came home, started blogging.

Work was pretty uneventful today, gorgeous day, but no deliveries. I finished my most recent book (no, not Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; it was more like Zen and the Art of Boring me to Death; I had to take a break and read something a little less wordy and dense) called The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink. If you haven't already read it, I highly recommend it. I was a little skeptical at first, but in the end, it turned out to be really good.

My last delivery today was a giant box that had to be rushed to the Superior Court House before the clerk's office closed at five. The image of the day is a picture of my bike and the box. I picked up at 20 'til and dropped at 10 'til. I had enough time to take a picture; get the idea? The lady at the law office was freaking out and kept yaking at me, asking me whether I would be able to make it on time, could she get my cellphone number so she could call to make sure it got delivered on time (I didn't give it to her, she wasn't attractive enough), do I know exactly where to take the box etc. etc. etc. Finally, I just told her if she keeps asking me questions I won't be able to a make it by five and that shut her up.

The two concerts last weekend were both pretty good, but the Coldplay concert was definitely the highlight of the weekend. They played a great set with songs from all three of their albums. The intro to the concert was really cool, and Clocks was really amazing as was the encore. They only played one encore unfortunately. As for the venue? They don't let people with out of state licenses purchase beer if they are under 25 and neither Becky and I have MA drivers' licenses and oops, I forgot to bring my passport, which is the only other way they would have let us purchase drinks. Also, it's impossible to get out. We got there early enough to get a good spot on the lawn, which meant we were doomed on the way out. It took so long to get out, we were starved and had to stop at an IHOP somewhere between Mansfield and Boston.

This coming weekend is 3 Hamburger Day in New York! Dunkie and I will be driving down to visit Oki-chan in New York to eat burgers and be merry. In other New York news, I just got tickets for the U.S. Open again on Labor Day weekend. This time we'll be going to a night session AND a day session. On a side note, when I was purchasing tickets, this is the word that came up on the word verification page that ticketbastard uses. Quite fitting me thinks.

August 2, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 15 (I guess it's better than yesterday)
Amount of time spent napping: 2 hours
Best Drinking Fountain: Beth Israel Hospital (Hospitals always seem to have nice cold water)

The second day of August wasn't much better than the first day of August in terms of work. Weather wise it's been great! Last night we had an amazing lightning storm, which I stupidly stayed up to watch, mesmerized by the bright shiny flashes and the subsequent rumble of thunder. I love the way it echoes and how the deepness of sound shakes inside your lungs. It's a lot like when U2 plays "Beautiful Day," live and during the bridge (see the world in green and blue, see China right in front of you. . .) somehow Adam's bass resonates so deeply that it makes your lungs feel like they are going to implode. Anyway, I think because I stayed up to watch, I was particularly sleepy today, so every time I sat down for a bit, I ended up dozing off. A combination of nice sunny weather and a warmish temperatures made it all to easy to fall asleep. I love summer.

I have a couple of concerts lined up for this weekend: Ben Folds on Friday and Coldplay on Saturday! As a result I'm posting a cover that Coldplay did at the Glastonbury festival. I'm very excited for these summer concerts outside. It's tough to beat outdoor shows, because at night it cools down to the perfect temperature and you can just chill to awesome music. I miss concerts at the Gorge (if you've ever seen a concert there you know what I mean), but we'll see how the Tweeter Center and the Bank of America Pavilion hold up. I love summer.

I found another interesting food blog: http://www.phoood.com/weblog/
It's too bad we don't have any Jack in the Boxes around here otherwise I'd try out the Bacon 'n Cheese Ciabatta burger and see how it compares to my personal favorite, The Bacon Ultimate Cheese Burger (it comes in at over 1000 calories)! The phood blogger also apparently only drinks diet sodas, so I don't know about the reliability of his ratings. I love food (and summer).

August 1, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 13, whoopeee!
Number of Pages Read: 72
Best Drinking Fountain: nothing really stood out today, I didn't have to drink much.

I watched the rain fall this morning from a musky old green bench in the Boston Commons. I listened as thousands and thousands of rain drops fell on the broad leaves of the tree I sat underneath, enjoying the peaceful white noise that rain creates, masking the sound of the busy cars and trucks traversing Tremont and Beacon street. I thought about how calm everything appears when the rain falls like it did this morning, in pleasant little drops that stream straight down in a translucent curtain (I can't help it; I'm a designer who loves transparency). The tranquility reminded me of home, where things take a little longer, where work feels more relaxed and time slows down a bit. But I'm not fit for that environment; I could never live like that. I need the energy and hyper-activity of an urban setting. I like density and the mingling of all different kinds of people: From the old chinese women strolling aimlessly through the park, to the young athletic students jogging around in their own little iPod world; from the homeless guy with the dog named General, to the business men walking to their fancy (but ugly in my opinion) office buildings in the Financial District to all the tourists who don't know where they are yet find the ability to get in my way; I need all this. I would be bored without them. I feel that if my life slows too much, it would no longer be so special; that's just the way it would be. So, in moments like these, I really appreciate the calm and quiet, in the middle of the city, where everywhere else things busily spin around and I sit, quietly on a bench listening to things slow down, waiting for the rain to ease.

July 26, 2005 (Part 2)

Number of Deliveries Today: a whopping 15
High temperature: 95ish
Best Drinking Fountain: 85 East Concord (not the best, but I didn't have much to work with today)

It's cooled down a bit, so I shall continue my rant on building entry procedures for couriers (I apologize, it's a longish rant):

Now let me emphasize that I'm just being whiny cause it's hot and I get grumpy in hot weather. The majority of the places I deliver to are easy to enter, the security people are nice, the receptionists are cordial and friendly and the deliveries go down without a hitch. A lot of places I just park, go in and hand them my courier I.D. and they give me a little visitors pass, or sticker, I go up, pickup or deliver, I get my I.D. back and leave.

However, some buildings really make you wander around making it take FOREVER to drop or pickup. Some places, make you take one elevator from the loading dock down to a lower floor in order to access the service/freight elevator in the center of the building. Other buildings make you sign in every single time even though you were just there a few minutes ago. Don't you remember me? I'm probably the only Asian courier you see all day! A few buildings are very odd because sometimes they make you sign in and other times they pretend to not see you enter the building. What's the point of security if you don't check everyone every single time? Courthouses are particularly difficult for me to get into because they have bag screening like at airports. They also have metal detectors. My shoes have metal cleats on the bottom: of course the detector is going to go off. No, I don't have anything else in my pockets; it's the cleats. No, I don't have any metal plates or screws; it's the cleats. They just don't get it.

I don't really understand why I have to use the freight elevator. Why can't I just go up with everyone else? I can understand it if I had large bulky objects on carts and stuff, or construction material or things that could dirty or damage the nice elevators, but it's just me. I don't smell that bad (my bag on the other hand is a whole 'nother story), and I don't look frightening or threatening by any stretch of the imagination. At least I don't think so. Instead, I end up in freight elevator lobbies and I have to call someone to come open the door for me so that I can get a signature for the delivery. More often than not, the person I'm trying to get a hold of is not there, so I have to try a bunch of different numbers until I find someone who can sign for it. Time consuming you ask? You betcha! You have no idea how many times I've gotten lost trying to find my way back to the freight elevator lobby after I've entered the "public office" zone. The freight elevator is rarely clearly marked.

The picture of the day is of the "bike rack" at one of the places that I deliver to frequently; it's in Southie. It's a law firm with one of the partner's names being Nutter. That's all I'm going to say. There's a "bike rack" out front that I've been told on numerous occasions that I'm supposed to use rather than leaning my bike against the building. I'd show you a picture of the ugly ass building as well, but I'm afraid it might break the lens on my camera, so here's a link I found for the building. I've also been told to use the revolving doors rather than the regular doors several time; I've made it a mission to use the regular doors as much as possible. The building security people annoy me; the mail room people are great though. By the way, I didn't write that, but I thought it was amusing enough to take a picture.

July 26, 2005

IT'S HOT!!!!!!!

That is all.

July 25, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 28
Number of times I was told to move my bike: 4
Best Drinking Fountain: One Pemberton (again, it's just so good!)

Yesterday, the temperature reached 94. Today, 97. Tomorrow? Who knows, but I hope it rains or something or I'm gonna melt. Since my courier company, U.S. Express is down to four riders, the number of deliveries per day rose and today, since there were only three of us, I nearly matched my record of 30. This of course means I'm not reading as much however, but I'm okay with that. I just started the book called Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I can't really say anything about it since I haven't had much time to read it, but will update you on what I think later.

When I first started this job, I had a problem with getting annoying songs stuck in my head. They invariably were Swedish pop songs (read: ABBA, damn them!), or cheesy 80's songs (Bonni Tyler, Journey, you get the idea) and other easy listening radio pop crap that I hear around town. The cure for this, at least in my opinion, is to listen to a good song before leaving the apartment. Sometimes it's U2 (ok, it's usually U2, but who's counting?) sometimes it's Coldplay. Regardless, it's always something good that I won't mind humming to myself. Today, I had a song called "Wire", by the band named Athlete stuck in my head. Athlete actually opened for Snow Patrol, so their musical stylings are very much in my comfort zone and the song is pretty good too. It was a free download off of itunes music store for a while, but I think you have to buy it now. If you go to 7-11 and purchase a 28oz Slurpee you get a free itunes download, in case you didn't already know.

I can't complain too much about my job as a courier because I not only get to ride my bike all day, I get to be outside and exercising, so it's really been a fun experience. I know the streets of Boston pretty well now; it's like having a 3D model (in FormZ naturally) of the whole city in my head and I just connect the dots from location to location. I'm now at a point where I don't even think about how I get from one location to another, I just sort of start riding and somehow I miraculously end up at the drop address. I dunno if it's cause I'm spacing out while I ride (which would be bad), or if it's because I'm now concentrating really hard on not getting killed (which is a good thing). I like to go fast and to see if I can do things faster and better than I did the previous day. I'm still working towards that perfect delivery day, the day where nothing goes wrong, I don't make a wrong turn, and I get everything signed and delivered without a hitch. I'm striving for courier perfection and I expect nothing less from myself.

However, now that I'm on the subject of liking or disliking my job, the one thing that annoys me about this job is the fact that I often have to go through elaborate hoops just to get inside a building. It begins with parking the bike. Many places don't like it when you lean your bike against their property and thus some grumpy security guard stumbles out telling me "Ya can't putcha bike theya." Why? Is it for security reasons? It's not like my bike is in the way or it's gonna blow the building up. Is it for aesthetic reasons? The buildings are ugly to begin with: a bike isn't going to make it look worse. Trust me, I'm a design student. Certainly the majority of the buildings I deliver to would look BETTER with my bike sitting in front of it. Regardless of the reasons, I find this annoying to have to deal with on a regular basis. In the future, when I design a building, I will allow bicycle couriers to park on my buildings; in fact they may even become an integral part of the facade, like special bike parking slots or something. I think it would look cool. It would be way better than some person smoking or yacking on their cell phone.

(Don't even get me started on people with cell phones walking or driving around downtown; and tourists with whinny little kids, and aaaugh so many stupid people, must. . . control. . . anger. . . [insert sound of Tets' bike helmet popping off])

I'm tired of typing, so I shall continue my rant on building entry procedures later. In the mean time, please enjoy this blog: http://kokonuggetyumyum.blogspot.com/
It made me hungry, surprise surprise.

July 22, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 24
Total Hours on the Job: 11 (missed lunch again. . .)
Best Drinking Fountain: 100 Summer Street (in the Loading Dock AMAZING DRINKING FOUNTAIN!! High pressure, and super cold to boot! The button sticks a bit, but I can look past that fact)

During this past week, the heat here in Boston approached the mid nineties with the relative humidity levels near and around 90-100 percent. In other words: not very conducive towards a happy bike messenger. Actually, it was just Tuesday that was unbearable, the other days were fine and I made it out alive with plenty of deliveries to keep me content. Tuesday, on the other hand, saw me return home to a state of exhaustion bordering death (I exaggerate of course, but you get the idea). I just sat in front of the fan with the television on, but I don't recall really watching the T.V. it just happened to be on and I zoned out. A combination of dehydration and lack of food (what's new, I'm always hungry) placed me in a near comatose state with a headache (heat related I assume) and a stomach ache due to hunger. Fun.

We lost one of our riders, so the number of deliveries on average increased. My company now employs three other bikers besides me. Thus my reading time has taken a bit of a hit as of late. Currently, I'm reading a book by Christopher Benfey called The Great Wave. The book narrates the historical accounts of the relationship Japan and the United States forged in the late 19th century as Japan looked to modernize under the guidance of the U.S. and Europeans, while the Americans, particularly wealthy New Englanders, sought cultural and philosophical guidance from the Japanese.

Last week, a slow work week if you ask me dammit, I read Camus' The Stranger. An excellent read, not just cause it's a small book and it doesn't take up much space in my bag, but also because I like the fact that the main character is a bit like me: If we don't have anything interesting to say, we won't say anything at all. Not that anything I ever say is interesting, but at least I don't say everything that comes to my mind, otherwise these blog entries would be much longer.

Anyway, I'm thirsty now and I'm gonna go get something to drink (maybe some of the beer we made!), so enjoy these pictures I took over the past week.

July 20, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 22
Temperature High: 92
Best Drinking Fountain: 1 Design Center (you have to run it for about 30 seconds then it gets super cold!)

Can't sleep; too hot. Want to blog, but it's too hot. I will write more later when it cools down.

July 10, 2005

Number of Deliveries on Friday: 14
Longest Period of Waiting: 2.5 hours
Best Drinking Fountain: 2 International Place

Nothing relevant to report today, not that I ever have anything relevant to say.

Thursday and Friday contributed nothing towards the "Make Tets Rich Fund," and the Friday rain washed away any hopes of a nice relaxing afternoon reading in a park somewhere. Instead, I finished reading a book called Bookmark Now, a collection of essays and stories by contemporary authors and their experiences in school, publishing and trying to make a living as a writer in an era when writing books seems less lucrative and exciting than many other forms of media, such as television and blogs (Like mine, well, not really, since no one reads my blog, nor do I make any money off of it, but you get the idea), on a bench inside the Prudential Center, listening to spoiled little brats on vacation with their family complaining about not getting some stupid trinket or toy. I apologize for the long sentence. It won't happen again.

Architects and writers seem to have the same worries and issues, so I could relate to some of the stories. We worry about how users of our buildings will engage the architecture, much the same way authors must realize that each reader will interpret the words in different ways. We must also be critical of the designs of other architects during the design process, similar to how authors read each others manuscripts to ensure that a particular story works before sending them out to publishers. Adam Johnson, the author of Parasites Like Us, had a particularly good story about collaboration, how working with others can reduce writer's block and allow the story to be reevaluated from different perspectives.

I'm not sure what book I'm gonna start reading next. To tell you the truth, I'd rather be delivering stuff than reading, but if there's nothing to do, then I might as well read something worth while. Maybe I'll read something architecture related. . .

July 6, 2005

Number of Deliveries Today: 21
Number of Near Accidents: 5 (3 Pedestrians, 1 Vehicle, 1 Dog)
Best Drinking Fountain: One Pemberton Square

Bike messengering today was interesting, I guess. Today it rained. It rained a lot. Read this article from the Boston Globe to see that I'm not making any of this up. I worked in this weather today. I left the apartment at 8 and by 8:30 I was already completely drenched. I didn't get home until about 7, so for nearly 12 hours, I was soaking wet. At least I couldn't complain about the heat; well that's not entirely true, I was pretty warm and sweaty underneath my rain jacket, so it felt like I was wet on the inside too. Now that I think about it, that's kinda gross; yuck.

There is a definite correlation between how stupid pedestrians and drivers are when the weather is nice and when the weather is bad. When the weather is really bad, people become complete idiots. When the weather is nice, people are generally decent, but the second the weather turns to crap, so do their brains. I've never had to yell at so many people for walking out in front of me. The best is when they obviously see me coming, because we make eye contact I know they see me, and yet somewhere in their tiny brain, one of the neurons forgets to fire the little warning that says, "oh wait, I'm not at a crosswalk, a bicyclist is approaching, it's raining and clearly will not be able to stop in time to avoid hitting me: I should wait for him to go by."

I didn't have work on Monday, since it was the Fourth of July, and nobody who uses couriers were at work, so there was no point for me to aimlessly ride around downtown. Thus, a beautiful day was spent, first on a late morning/early afternoon bike ride out to Lexington, a brief stint at the laundromat, followed by an afternoon and evening sitting along the Charles River waiting for the fireworks display on the Esplanade. Aside from the crappy country music that I had to endure during the pre-fireworks display concert, the event was pretty cool. The highlight of the fireworks display? One of the songs featured in the show was none other than U2's Vertigo!!! So, in honor of that, today's song of the day is a live version of Vertigo from the concert I went to in May.

June 30, 2005

30 deliveries today. That is all.

June 29, 2005

Number of deliveries today: 23 (technically 24, but when I went to pick up there was nothing there. Since it wasn't my fault, I still get paid for the job yay!)
Longest run: 45 Electric Ave (Brighton) to 350 Mass. Ave to 150 Federal (downtown)= 6.2 miles
Best Drinking Fountain:
89 South Street

So far, the week had been going pretty slowly, but suddenly today I was riding non-stop from about 8:30 til, oh, about 6:30 when I got home. I only had one small 20 minute break in Southie, otherwise I was on the bike. This will hopefully make up for yesterday, where I only had 15 complete jobs and Monday when I only completed 17 jobs. Regardless to say, I'm pretty exhausted.

The photo of the day is actually a photo I took yesterday during one of my many long breaks. It's an image of the trellace covering the patio for the Farragut Seaport Cafe. They were nice enough to re-fill my water bottle with some ice water. Perhaps I'll try some of their crab cakes or lobster rolls next time; they looked pretty good. I'm gonna rest up now in case tomorrow is as busy as it was today.

June 26, 2005

I did something very stupid yesterday: I went on a bike ride. Perhaps this may not sound too stupid until you realize how hot the temperature hit yesterday. I'm just hoping that next week, when I have to ride around downtown, it will be a little bit cooler. But from the weather reports, the probability that next week will provide pleasant bike weather looks poor.

The past week of messengering was pretty good. I never had less than 18 deliveries and I actually hit 22 on Thursday. I hope this will make up for the poor showing the week before when I averaged 15 deliveries a day. I'm still trying to finish up the novel by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami called The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. The story is very strange and surreal, and I'm not completely sure what's going on, but I'm hoping that in the last hundred pages everything will be wrapped up into a nice conclusion.

Today, I'm just trying to stay inside and cool. I'm not going to make myself do anything. I need to do laundry, but it's too hot. I need to go buy groceries, but it's too hot. I'd like to do something outside, but it's too hot. People complain about how cold it gets here in Boston in the winter, but I never do. I can't wait for the temperature to cool down again!

Today's picture of the day features some protesters in front of H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church in Copley Square. I couldn't understand a word they were saying due to a combination of their thick Vietnamese accents and use of a cheap megaphone, but I think they were protesting the Communist rule of Vietnam. I don't know, but it quickly became too loud and annoying for me, so I went to find another more quiet place to hangout until my next job. I felt bad for the police officers.

June 23, 2005

Hello hello. I'm home early today, made it back around sixish rather than around 7, so I've decided to blog before having myself a snack of left-over pizza from Dial-A-Pizza. Sausage and bacon pizza of course!!! I have two slices left, so I shall eat them up to hold me over till I make myself some dinner.

I tried a little experiment today: I wanted to see how much weight I lose over the course of the day. This morning when I woke up, I weighed 141.4 lbs. Now I weigh 137.6. I nearly lost 4 pounds. I actually had lunch today, so it is possible that I lose more on really busy days when I don't have time to eat. Even though I managed 21 deliveries today (yes, thank you, thank you, no need to applause) I didn't have anything to do for the last half hour or so. Anyway, I'll try again tomorrow to see if anything else emerges.

Laura has informed me that the correct term for a group of jellyfish is a fluther, or a smack of jellyfish. You learn something new everyday. Ok, that's enough for today. Sorry no picture, but I shall include a song: Beautiful Day cause that's what it was today here in Boston town.

June 22, 2005

Boston had some messed up weather today; one minute the clouds opened to produce torrential rain, the next moment the skies cleared up and the sun roasted my skin. However, it only rained when I was outside either on the way to a pick-up or on my to deliver. Whenever I stepped into a building to drop-off an envelope or package, naturally the rain eased up, only to reemerge the second I stepped outside again.

While the weather was nice, I did manage to take a few pictures. There was a flock(?) of jellyfish in Boston harbor, so I took some pictures of them, and then I decided to take some pictures of the still under construction ICA, Institute of Contemporary Arts building by the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Refro. I ride by the site on a regular basis as many of my deliveries come from a law firm located across the street from the ICA on Seaport Blvd.

Wimbledon has begun, but unfortunately I'm never home when the coverage is televised and I'm too tired to watch a replay of the highlight match of day in the evening. In fact, I'm usually too tired to do much of anything when I get home except eat. I'm really good at eating. Apparently one of the bike couriers quit, so the last few days I've been pretty busy averaging at least 19 deliveries a day and that has made me a little more fatigued when I return home. I'm not sure if that means I'll get more money or not, since a lot of the deliveries have been short runs, but I feel less nervous about how little I will be paid if I've at least been getting a decent number of deliveries per day. Like I may have mentioned earlier, I'm hoping to make at least 400/week. I really enjoy being a courier, but I know that this will never be a my permanent profession, so I think I can be a little bit more relaxed about how well I do compared to other couriers who truly depend on this for making a living. More on that at a later date, now it's time for my beauty sleep.

June 17, 2005

Did anyone else know that you can get Hershey's Kisses with caramel inside? What a brilliant idea! When I have enough energy, perhaps I will venture outside to go buy some. I was supposed to go on a ride yesterday, but I was too tired. I told myself I would go on a ride this morning, but so far, no luck. I'm reading the Sunday Times instead and it's much more satisfying. Plus, it's a little cold and cloudy outside; maybe if the weather perks up this afternoon, I'll go do something more active, but for now, I'm enjoying sitting on my ass.

I've been eating a lot of instant ramen lately and so I had to urge to watch the film Tampopo, by Juzo Itami. It's basically a film about eating, so obviously I think it's great. It revolves around a woman who is trying to run small Ramen shop with little success until a wise (in the sense that he knows good ramen) truck driver comes along to help her out. This in turn reminded me of one of my favorite ramen shops in Kyoto called Tenkaippin. They are especially well known for their "Kotteri" style soup, which is this really thick, creamy and garlicky broth. The noodles aren't anything to scream home about, but the soup is just so good. Anyway, that made me really hungry, so now I'm gonna have to go make some lunch or something.

June 16, 2005

I finally made some money this week: that's right, I got PAID!!! I made $475 for 6.5 days worth of work. Not as much as I would like to be making, but it was a little more than I had originally anticipated. I don't think my next pay check will be as much as it will only be for 5 days of work and I didn't have as many deliveries last week. I'm hoping some of those long Cambridge to Downtown trips will be worth more than my regular short trips around Copley and Government Center.

Thursday was a really busy day for me, however, where I found myself riding basically 8:20 in the morning, when I got my first pickup, till around 4:50 when I dropped off my last delivery. I stuck around Downtown for another half an hour or so, but the dispatch had no more deliveries, so I called it a day and went home, tired and hungry. I know people think I eat a lot anyway, but even I couldn't believe how much food I ate when I got home. I may need to get another job just so I can afford all the food I'm eating. Not really, I'm being facetious. So, because I know you are all always curious to hear about what I'm currently eating/consuming/inhaling, here is a break down of my food consumption for Thursday, June 15, 2005:

Tets' Food Consumption for 6/15/05:
-Breakfast (7:30ish am)-one cup of rice (made the night before of course!) with two eggs and soy sauce for added flavor. A glass of milk and a glass of water.
-10 am Snack: a banana (yeah, I know, I hate bananas, but I was feeling a little bit of a potassium deficient that morning) from a fruit stand in Downtown Crossing
-Noon Snack: A Cliff bar and a Pepsi from 7-11. I'd get a Slurpee, but they're hard to carry around if I get a call from dispatch.
-3 pm Snack: big mac meal from the McDonalds near the Children's Museum. the medium coke went into the empty Pepsi bottle.
-6 pm Snack: a bowl of instant ramen
-7pm Snack: bag of popcorn
-8 pm Dinner: half a 16oz. box of Macaroni shells with bacon, onions, mixed vegetables and lots of cheese combined with some marinera sauce.
-9 pm Dessert: some White Chocolate Chunk Chip's Ahoy Cookies and Milk
-9:30: went to bed a little hungry. . .

I know I've mentioned it before, but I reiterate: I am in a constant state of hunger, yet I'm eating constantly. I guess the combination of a strange metabolism rate and a day of doing nothing burning calories will do it. I love my job.

June 14, 2005

The weather sucked today. It's no fun having a cool outside job when the weather sucks. I felt like I was in Seattle, with temperatures no higher than 55 degrees, cloudy, rainy, misty and windy. It seemed like everyone driving was in a bad mood as well; I don't think I've ever been honked at, swerved at, cut-off and sped past as many times as I have today. Granted, I've never been a bike messenger in my previous 23 years of existence, and most of those years were spent in towns where traffic jams are unheard of except when a farming tractor takes to the road or some cowboy decides to ride their horse down the street.

So instead of hanging out outside today, I was, when not riding around in Boston's version of "summer" weather, trying to find refuge indoors. Dunkin' Donuts, Prudential Center Mall, various bookstores and lobbies of buildings provided much needed shelter. Since I was bored, it also meant I was munching on things constantly and even now, after eating dinner about a half hour ago, hunger returns. I just can't seem to eat enough food fast enough to make my stomach happy!

I know I said I would have a picture of the day, but I lied. I have been taking a picture or two in my spare time, but they suck and are not worth sharing. So I won't. Keep checking back and you might find some image worth viewing.

June 13, 2005

Went to the beach yesterday with the Dunkster, her roomate Vick and one of her best friends from Dartmouth, Mike. We huddled into Mike's white Nissan Sentra and headed north, away from Boston to a small little town called Manchester by the Sea. The beach was nice, kinda crowded, but the sand was soft and I comfortably read the Sunday Times and slept. The goal of course was to even out this crazy tan line caused by my bike courier job. I strategically applied SPF 4 Sunblock on my arms and legs, but alas, the sun was not strong enough to cut through the overcast skies. It evened out some, but it still looks funny in my opinion.

I've decided to take my digital camera with me to work from now on and post the "Image of the Day." Yeah, I don't know why, but perhaps something interesting will come of it. The first image of the day, is a pretty generic image of Copley Square, The Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower. Interesting thing about the tower is that I'm not allowed in through the front door, I actually have to go to the back to pick up or deliver items. I don't even get to go up anywhere. How boring is that? Anyway, I took this picture in the morning while I waited for my first job. I usually like to sit on the steps of the Boston Public Library and watch all the office lackey's walk to their respective buildings where they will be holed up all day, while I enjoy the nice weather and pleasant company of the homeless Bostonians.

June 11, 2005

I usually have about 30-40 minutes of down time before I start my day in the morning. So this morning, instead of reading, I began to observe a squirrel that seemed to have a nice stash of nuts in front of a tree. The greedy little rodent, then spent the next 20 minutes or so burying them in what appeared to be in locations all about 20 feet from the tree. He or she would scamper to a location, not in a direct path, but in a zig-zag pattern, perhaps in hopes of confusing anyone who might be watching, or care to know where a squirrel might be hiding his/her stash. I decided to name him Sammy the Squirrel, after a character in the book I'm reading. I finished the book this afternoon actually, so I will need to find another book to start on Monday. If anyone has any good books to recommend, please email me any suggestions.

So why am I bloggin' about a squirrel and my current lack of reading material? Because I've discovered that there are certain periods of the day where I have nothing to do. Early in the morning and around 1:30 till about 3ish. The problem is, I don't know when to take a lunch break. So far, I've found that if I decide to get something to eat, then invariably, the dispatch will come on the radio giving me another job to pick up and deliver. So I tried not getting any food until I was sure that I wouldn't be getting another job to pick up, which resulted in me not getting a lunch today. Regardless to say, I was pretty hungry by the time I got home. The job is physically rigorous for the most part, but I also have lots of down time, so it evens out. Today, however, being the last day of the week, I'm a little bit more tired, but I think that comes from a whole weeks worth of biking and tennis. I'm gonna take the weekend nice and easy.

It's been a while since I've offered a song of the day, so here goes:
Today's song is by a band called The Arcade Fire, and their song Wake Up, in honor of the fact that I now have to wake up much earlier than I'm used to. The song is the last song that is played on the P.A. before U2 begin their show. Enjoy, it's a cool non-U2 song.

June 9, 2005

I've opted to go to school to update this day's tetslog. You all who read my log should be very thankful that I took the effort to return to the GSD. Actually, I wanted to show my good friend B.J. my second home, so it worked out ok.

He's currently a graduate student at the University of Virginia (not in architecture) studying Middle Eastern Politics and heavy stuff like that. Anyway, he's one of my best friends from high school, so I'm glad that he could visit. He's on his way to take an immersion course on Arabic at Middlebury for the summer. This nine week program is regarded as one of the best in the nation because you are not allowed to socialize with people outside of your program and you are not allowed to speak any English at all. You can't listen, read, watch anything in English. Sounds intense. You are of course allowed to communicate in English if you have an emergency and the 911 operator doesn't know Arabic.

I had a pretty slow day of messengering. It was busy for about 4 hours in the middle of the day, but alas, I only ended up with about 16 runs total. My goal is to do at least 18 runs a day, with each run being about 5 dollars. That would give me a 90 dollar day, about 400 dollars a week after taxes and stuff taken out. The job is getting easier however, as I've pretty much figured out the city. I only get confused when the address doesn't have a street and number associated with it, rather the address is simply the something like 1 Financial Center, or something like that. Luckily, I knew where that was, but does anybody know where 1 Ashburton Place is located?

June 8, 2005

Yikes, I'm still having issues with the tetslog from home. I'm gonna try going to school to update this stuff. Yeah, I know, I'm not liking the idea of going to school either, but I don't know what else is wrong. I must be over my quota or something.

The messengering thing is awesome! It's so much fun. I ride around about 3/4 of the time and then, the rest of the time is spent with me looking for nice places to sit around and read a book. I'm currently reading a novel called, The Confessions of Max Tivoli. It's a book I bought over spring break, which I planned on reading then, but spent the time sleeping instead. Oh well. Now I have time to read. This will be good for goal number 4 for the summer.

I've pretty much got an understanding for downtown Boston now. The only thing that I use the map for now is to ensure that I'm making the most efficient path to and from a pickup/drop-off. I hate discovering later that if I had dropped or picked up something first, then I would have been able to proceed more quickly. However, I'm way better than the first day; I thought I had a lot of down time then, now it's almost getting annoying. But then again, I've never complained about having to do nothing.

June 5, 2005

Well, it seems as though I'm having difficulties uploading new tetslog updates from home. Sorry about that. I will try and figure out what the problem is so that it won't happen again.

My second day as bike messenger went well for the most part. Some addresses really don't make sense, I end up riding around for longer than necessary, but all in all, I think I'm starting to get the hand of it all. I made 17 deliveries, all within the time allotted.

The only thing that really annoys me is the fact that all messengers and couriers have to go through the loading dock and then get special pass and then use the service elevator to get up into some of the high-rise buildings downtown. I understand security is an issue and all, but it's a real pain in the ass, and I don't like being treated like some nobody. For instance, I went into the Suffolk University admissions office to pick up some mail for them, and one of the guys asked me, perhaps jokingly but I'm not sure, whether I had considered a bachelors degree from Suffolk. It's an unfortunate stigma that has been attached to messengers as if none of us have any higher education and that's why we choose to ride a bike all day. I politely turned down his offer, because, well, from what I've heard, Harvard is a much better institution than Suffolk will ever be.

I bottled our beer today, a Chimay clone. So far so good. It smells like beer and it looks like beer. I hope it tastes like beer too!

June 2, 2005

Day One as Bike Messenger

So this job isn't so bad I've decided. It's of course the first day, but it seems to be a lot of sitting around and waiting for deliveries to make. I am usually more tired after one of my longer bike rides than I am after working 6 hours this afternoon. Tomorrow, maybe more strenuous as I will start at 8:00 am and work until about 5ish. The weather was nice so I think I could get use to this; I may not want to go back to school.

Once I get used to the streets downtown, the job will be even easier as I won't have to spend so much time staring at a map and trying to get my bearings. After that, I'm not sure what will hold me back! A flat tire? A car door? A large moving truck? As long as I'm paying attention I'll be fine. Now I'm off to take a much needed shower.

June 1, 2005

Current state of theTets: Chillin back in the apartment
Weight in current food of choice: 327.8 plates of left-over linguini carbonara
Time till U2 Concert: 4 months and 3 days

Goals for the summer (in no particular order really):
1) Continue to blog as often as I can and maybe even revamp the website
2) Eat healthier foods
3) Sleep on a regular basis
4) Read more books
5) Be able to ride a 100 miles comfortably (right now I'm at 40-50 miles)
6) Play tennis as often as I can
7) Watch more television
8) Practice reading and writing Kanji with Dunkie
9) Go see Coldplay and buy their new album!
10) Go to the U.S. Open
11) 3 Hamburger Day with Oki-chan (download her desktop wallpaper or mine here)
12) Make enough money to survive the summer

Tomorrow I start my job as a bicycle courier. Wish me luck. Don't worry, I'll wear my helmet and look both ways before crossing the street. . .


Spring 2005 Archive

Spring 2004 Archive

Fall 2004 Archive

Contact: takemoto@gsd.harvard.edu


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