Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kate Realizes that She Actually Lives in Boston

Well, Cambridge, but it seems that I have gotten myself ensconced. I have a CharlieCard. I have taken the bus-- TWO buses, in fact (1 and 66, holla). I have turned on my TV and tuned in to the dulcet tones of Remy and Orsillo calling a Sox game. I have gotten lost running and found my way back home. I have even had guests over for baked goods. It seems I really live here.

And already, in one week, I have seen more celebrities in Boston than I did in DC. I mean, real celebrities. Well, celebrity. The bar from DC was pretty low.

Friday night, I called friends to find out where they were headed for the rest of the evening, and I received vague instructions to go to the South End to The Gallows. Having never been to the South End and lacking a smartphone, I was sort of hoping for a little more guidance than that, but I'm pretty intrepid. So I found myself in South Boston, dropped off at obviously not the right place. Fortunately, a friendly stranger who asked me for directions (which is amusing) pointed me to the right street.

Once on Washington Street, I still had no idea where to go. Unenthusiastic about the idea of standing on a street corner waiting for someone to respond to my texts of "Help?" I spotted a valet standing outside a restaurant down the block and decided that it couldn't hurt to ask him. I set off briskly toward him, mostly oblivious to the presence of a large man chatting with the valet. And by large, I mean really quite large.

As I opened my mouth to ask the valet my question, a guy came running out of the restaurant.

"Mister Shaq! Mister Shaq! Can I have your autograph?!"

What? I briefly looked up.

Shit. It's Shaq.

Does Shaq know where The Gallows is? Probably not. His utility for me is most likely limited.

I refocused and asked the valet about the bar I'm trying to find. Shaq calmly signed something for the dude who came barreling out of the restaurant. I assume; I honestly wasn't paying attention. I was thinking about how, if you walk too far the wrong way down Washington Street, you get shot and pushed off an abandoned building.

The valet went into the restaurant to ask the hostess if she knew where I could find this bar (the existence of which I was beginning to question). The autograph seeker had gone back inside. It was just Shaq and me.

"Hi, how are you?" I asked.

I mean, it would be rude not to say hello.

"I'm good," Shaq rumbled. Seriously, his voice is really low.

The hostess saved the day and told me how to find the bar, which obviously makes her the most important person in this story. But Shaq, it was nice to meet you, and I hope you enjoy Boston.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kate Loses Her Mind, No One Reaps the Benefits

Today I lost a set of car keys. Within 30 seconds of driving the car with which they are associated. And, I was pretty confident, within the car itself.

I've heard stories of gynecologists warning menopausal patients that they are likely to lose their car in a parking lot at some point during their perimenopausal stage. Is this some kind of warning shot across the bow? Menopause is to forgetting where you put your car in the parking lot, as PMS is to being unable to locate your keys? And if that's true, someone should alert the makers of Yaz immediately, because they could use a new ad campaign stat, since they had to pull that other one.

The most infuriating part of losing car keys is trying to find them, and I really wanted to give up, but that wasn't even an option-- a.) they belong to Grammy, and b.) I lost them right after I pulled her car into our driveway, trapping my poor little Jetta, whose keys had not gone AWOL, so I had no legitimate way to go hunt down a spare.

I found them eventually. There was about a 25 foot path in which they could have disappeared, and it took me 20 minutes to find them. I started out as a reasonable person, tracing my steps, double-checking every possible location where I could have set them. Then I tore apart the pile of belongings that I had dumped onto the backseat of the car, becoming increasingly frenzied, hearing over and over in my head that obnoxious adage about things being in the last place you look. (I mean, really. I'm pretty sure the first person who ever heard that particular nugget of wisdom never found what he or she was trying to find, because they suddenly felt stabby and refocused their efforts on locating an implement to inflict pain on the speaker.)

But, shockingly, the keys were not in the last place I looked. No. Because I gave up looking. I stopped digging through my bag (where, by the way, there were two other sets of keys). I got into the car, sulked for a moment, and prepared to call my mother and tell her I was an idiot who was sitting in one of three useless cars-- one without keys and two without the tunneling or flight capabilities necessary to move past the first. And then, as I reached for my phone, the keys made themselves known to me, their little blue fob glinting under the passenger seat.

I rejoiced. I started the car and turned on the radio and pointed the car toward the beach.

And then I remembered that in two weeks, I have to be a functional person capable of higher-level thought. Gulp.