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02.may.2005 :: monday :: a beautiful day in the neighborhood

one of my favorite spring phenomena is new leaves. it isn't just that it's nice to finally see a little green out and about; it is the leaves themselves that i find so thrilling. i love how brand new leaves, even when they are pretty much full-sized, hang limp and translucent on their branches. i love the way they move in the wind, how they droop in the rain. before long, the leaves will lose their baby fragility, flatting out with new energy and pressure in their cells and taking on a darker hue...for now, take delight!

so last saturday we were poking around in our local outdoor-gear-supply-store, killing time, getting out of the rain, etc. a high school classmate from ncssm happened to be there, too...it'd been quite some time. she was beautiful and radiant, about to step in to the next phase of her life (yay, math!), and happy. i like making such cross-temporal and geographic connections...i wonder how many such incidents one can expect over a lifetime. there have already been a decent handful in mine. i ran into a woman from my unc german class at the tate modern once...big city, big museum. others i don't remember as clearly. seems i saw another acquaintance from carolina somewhere along the way in europe. i think we were waiting for a train in subway station in vienna. and a couple years ago, as evan was showing me around berkeley for the first time, we were almost run over by a former colleage from nrdc who was biking (and late) to class. oh! and on the same trip (i think) evan and his brother, jordan, and i were having an easy afternoon after hiking around in muir woods; we stopped to walk out on some cliffs (in the middle of nowhere), and a classmate of evan's from the gsd was picnicking there with his girlfriend. that was perhaps the craziest one. crazy, i tell you!

anway, this weekend was the first since classes ended...for the semester, for the year, for the three year block of life that was law school. don't ask me where it all went. i do seem to have a few things to show for it, though...the most important are the fabulous folk who have been a part of it all...friends both close and casual. ya'll know who you are :) do stay in touch...dorothee(at)mantzer.com. the best, Schatz, is you. thankyou for the ongoing adventure*

05.may.2005 :: thursday :: turd day

cinco de mayo, otherwise known as jordan's birthday! and for once in our lives, the usps seems to be deliverying things on time. i didn't know it was possible. even the gifts i sent to my dad for his birthday tomorrow actually arrived in the one day time frame i paid for down at the old PO. amazing.

i've wondered about a few things today, but the most perplexing was...what's that smell? (eww.) did our neighbor die in his apartment? i wouldn't put it past this old building to have dropped a big, hairy asbestos rock on his head while he was sleeping, but it must have been at least a couple of days ago, because MAN, does the hallway stink! or maybe someone just had shrimp cocktail last week and just now got around to taking their trash out. whatever it was, it was g r o s s. i hope whatever it was didn't find its way into the elevator, where the exhaust fan has been out of order since we moved in two years ago...maybe the superintendent will remedy things with a blast of his powerful cologne. even better. it seems to be an endless cycle around here.

15.may.2005 :: sunday

for the third year in a row, the middle of may is a day worthy of jeans and multiple layers. i'll miss many things about cambridge and boston - good public transportation, density, parks, the river, the minuteman trail, toscanini's - but i won't miss this weather. maybe the experience of walking in falling snow, but not the subsequent piles of dirty, frozen yuck that cover people's cardboard boxes set out for recycling that weren't picked up before the blizzard. it was amazing to see how much trash was left over when the snow finally started to melt this year. bottles, cardboard, hubcaps, cups, whatever. it was a sad reminder of how harsh we humans are on our environment even when it is already asphyxiated with urbanism...

31.may.2005 :: tuesday :: memorial day-after

it was a nice weekend in the 'hood. the three days' activities were an apt celebration of life to honor those who have served this country...interesting to be here in boston where the necessity of serving this country - even before it was a country - first began. on saturday, after several hours of studying (me) and bicycle maintenance (evan), we took advantage of the first sunny weekend weather in six weeks to ride to bikes not bombs to check out the place we'd heard so much about. we poked around a little, bought some new tools, and headed out for the arnold arboretum in jamaica plain. i was stunned by the arboretum's peaceful, healthy beauty in the midst of the city. it even smelled good...sweet from the trees and grass and flowers. after muscling up the fairly substantial hills we were treated to a nice view of the city and a refreshing rain shower that accompanied our ride home. it seemed like everyone was in a good mood that afternoon/evening...even the motorists were on their best behavior.

sunday morning we got up early (i mean e a r l y), had breakfast, went for a long walk, had breakfast again, and took the T to the JFK Library/Museum. it happened to be his birthday, but the museum wasn't serving cake. the place is mostly a well-organized collection of memorabilia, but the numerous video clips were quite amazing. one of the most illustrative was footage from a white house press conference, where Kennedy fielded tough, intelligent questions from a sincerely inquisitive press corps. his concern for social welfare and equality came through in thoughtful, articulate, non-defensive responses. the contrast to our current President's performance in such situations was, unsurprisingly, quite stark.

yesterday morning's sunny warmth was the perfect opportunity for taking our blanket bag down to the river. we stopped along the way at toscanini's for coffee and pastries, and settled in some thick grass for a couple hours of reading and studying before the rain let loose again. the day closed with Good Bye, Lenin!, a german film that provided some light-hearted, yet critical, analysis of the social consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall. i recommend it :)

for now, back to studying...conlaw's the order of the day. peace!