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.
The Tets Burger
Julian Opie Installation Near City Hall
Roof top of the Met
From the Top of Ashe Stadium
Hot Rush Delivery? Not a Problem for the 165!
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
Click on images for more!
of the Day
education for all bike couriers
(Doesn't work well with Safari)
until next U2 concert: 19 days
Days until I go to Tokyo: 23 days
Days until school start: 3 days
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
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!
Two: U.S. Open
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
September 6, 2005
of Deliveries Today: 24
Amount of napping time: 1 hour
Best Drinking Fountain: 101 Merrimac St. (although the security
guard was a jerk)
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.
of Deliveries Today: 22
Best Drinking Fountain: One Financial Center, 44th floor
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. . .
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!
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
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.
FOLLOWUP ON NEW YORK TRIP:
The beef roundup:
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.
you POki for the accommodations.
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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.
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
been a while since I've blogged, so here's a quick recap of the last
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)
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
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
page that ticketbastard uses. Quite fitting me thinks.
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)
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
26, 2005 (Part 2)
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)
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.
HOT, HOT, HOT, HOT!!!!
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
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.
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.
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])
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.
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)
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
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
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!)
sleep; too hot. Want to blog, but it's too hot. I will write more later
when it cools down.
of Deliveries on Friday: 14
Longest Period of Waiting: 2.5 hours
Best Drinking Fountain: 2 International Place
relevant to report today, not that I ever have anything relevant to
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. . .
of Deliveries Today: 21
Number of Near Accidents: 5 (3 Pedestrians, 1 Vehicle, 1
Best Drinking Fountain: One Pemberton Square
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.
deliveries today. That is all.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
Day cause that's what it was today here in Boston town.
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
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
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.
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
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
-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
-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.
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.
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
June 11, 2005
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.
a while since I've offered a song of the day, so here goes:
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
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.
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
June 8, 2005
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Time till U2 Concert: 4 months and 3 days
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
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
11) 3 Hamburger Day with Oki-chan (download her
desktop wallpaper or mine
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. . .