Worlds & Time

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Good Things

The NYC Marathon

The New York City Marathon was on the second, and Elliot ran it in 4:32. I was feeling a bit under the weather, but still came out to cheer him on. I missed him at the agreed upon Elliot rally point on 1st Ave, but caught up with him in the park during and then waited around with his beautiful, intelligent and unbelievably dedicated wife after the race for him.

I'll never be able to do that but I'm so proud of Elliot. He's an amazing guy, as long as he doesn't kill himself with all of the running.

Election Night

For the election I went up to Ben's place in Boston. I don't have a TV and I didn't have internet in my apartment yet, so it seemed like the best plan.

Ben went all out, with two televisions (split for most of the night between CNN and NBC, although we did watch a lot of the live Comedy Central coverage) and a laptop streaming MSNBC. Also, since he's a genius, he knew all of the races and had been tracking all of the polling (he was helping to compile the DKos synopses of the various Senate races).

There were, over the course of the evening, about ten people that stopped by and for the most part things went swimmingly. Really, it seems like the result was about dead between Fivethirtyeight.com's predictions and Ben's, and only the passage of prop 8 in California seemed to bring a downer to the night.

At this point, eleven days later, things still seem to be going our way, what with the run-off in Minesota and Sen. Ted Stevens looking like he's lost the seat in Alaska. I can only hope that our luck holds and they throw Lieberman out of his chairmanship on his ass.

The party eventually started to wind down and finally some people went to go downstairs to smoke (yes, winning an election is just like having sex to some people).

After a bit, a few of us in the apartment got a call from the people downstairs to come down and revel in the good mood with them.

Now, I said Ben lives in Boston but really it's Cambridge. People were driving down the streets near us and honking, and people were standing out on the streets in little groups. When someone honked, they would cheer. This was late, after midnight, but I've never seen people so happy and enthusiastic after an election.

We stood out there for a while, and the feeling never went away, so eventually we got the idea to walk to Harvard Square, and by mutual aclaimmation we found ourselves doing just that.

So it's 1 a.m. an we're in Harvard Square on Massachusetts Ave and we find that there are thousands of people there. Many are holding Obama signs and wearing Obama shirts (I certainly was under my sweater). The were climbing on roofs and spilling out into the street blocking traffic along Mass Ave.

Someone even brought a life size cardboard cutout of the president-elect, and while many people were waving American flags one guy was waving a Kenyan flag (I didn't find out about the celebrations in Kenya proper until the next day).

The level of energy was absolutely intense; people were doing Obama chants such as "Yes We Can!" and "Si Se Puede!" but they also did "Yes We Did!" (someone stopped that one with shouts of "There's works just beginning!" which got a cheer) and at one point people started singing the national anthem. Off key, but we sang it with pride and honor.

After we'd been there for about forty minutes, things started to wind down and somehow the idea was spread to walk to Central Square (also on Mass Ave). So a thousand people or so flowed out into the street like a swarm of locusts and down the street, completely blocking traffic in both directions.

Cars that we passed were still honking with support, and people were still cheering back. Someone had a pair of bongo drums and marked a cadence. Oh, right, taxis and buses were also honking their support even when we were blocking the street. At one point, we saw people in a building maybe ten stories up watching us fill the street.

About half way there, the police (who had been with us all the way from Harvard Square) decided that they need to reopen the street lanes. They honked at us, corraled us, and one of the cars stopped in the middle of the group. Then, suddenly, there's cheering. The cop is hugging us and cheering with us, which was probably a good thing since it prevented any hard feelings by the marchers.

We got to Central Square about two a.m., and we decided that it was time for us to head back, but it was still just an amazing night. I would never have imagined seeing people dancing in the streets after an election if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Also, being in a place like Cambridge probably didn't hurt.

Opera At Lincoln Center

A friend of mine from San Francisco was visiting on the 5th. At first I thought we were going to miss each other, but then he called to let me know that his pseudo date had canceled on him, and he had an extra ticket to the Metropolitan Opera and would I like to attend in his place?

Yes I would.

The Opera was "Doctor Atomic" and it was about the Manhattan Project, which is an interesting topic to me because I'm on the periphery of science geekdom and I'm from the area in which the Opera was set (large chunks are set in the town of Los Alamos, which is where the ice skating rink I went to as a child was).

At first I thought the writing was crap, until my friend pointed out to me that it was adapted mostly from unclassified Manhattan Project documents, personal notes, and poetry that Oppenheimer was interested in. The music itself was beautiful though and one song (Three Person'd God, I think it was called) was especially magical.

The set design, lighting, and the various performances were quite impressive as well. It was a great night.

Movies

Also been to a few movies with Elliot and friends of his this week. Zack and Miri was cute and although I love Katie Morgan she looked . . . not great. I was also attracted to the guy that plays Jay in "Jay and Silent Bob" and I'm still really confused about that.

I don't remember anyone saying that Quantum of Solace was part two to Casino Royale's part one, but Elliot was right, it is. Without seeing Casino Royale, I would have been completely lost through large sections of QoS.

Internet

Finally on Friday I got reliable internet service in my apartment. Yay! I also badly twisted my ankle but that doesn't conform to the title of this blog entry, so I'm not going to think about that until the next time I have to stand up.

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