i am writing by hand, illuminated by the light of a single flickering candle. all this will later be transcribed to the mac once the power is up. can this day -- the final day of june -- get any worse? first i am drenched in extra salty boston harbor sea water. i might've swallowed some which at the time i thought nothing of it but in hindsight it might not have been the smartest thing to do from a "i don't want to get any harbor germs" perspective. not a big deal though, it was hours ago and i show no ill side effects.

anyway, after getting drenched with seawater, i got back on dry land to -- brace yourself for irony -- get totally soaked by a tremendous thunderstorm (the effects of which are still continuing right now). i then walked from the aquarium to downtown crossing. by the time i got to dtx, i was totally saturated, every article of clothing soaked and sticking to my body like some losing contestant in an unsanctioned wet t-shirt contest. i came home thoroughly wet and now there's this blackout. that's just great. if that blackout 10 days ago taught me anything, it's that it'll take another 4+ hours before the power is restored.

the summer of 2001 will be remembered as the year of the tan for me. i am now even darker now than ever before after having visited peddock's island in boston harbor with john miller. it was primarily a photo expedition for me with the secondary intent of seeing how much more dark pigment i can add to my skin through the help of the sun's harmful uv rays.

i arrived late to the pier because of a train malfunction in harvard square (first time riding a train that actually reversed direction to dump out all the passengers). luckily, john was still around by the time i finally got there. we purchased our tickets to george's island ($8), which is the hub island that has ferries that'd take us to the other islands, and in our case, peddock's island. according to the brochure i picked up, peddock's is one of the largest boston harbor islands and has the ruined remains of fort andrews.

just some random comments about today:

  • we almost got stuck on peddock's island. the final departing ferry was 4:30pm. we got a little bit lost on the largest of the boston harbor islands, despite the fact that i had my gps unit. now before you get all up in my face about the uselessness of the gps, in gps' defense let me say that i didn't have it turned on when we landed, so we weren't really sure where to go. if it wasn't for this park ranger we surreptitiously met on our walk over painful beach rocks around the island's perimeter to find the place where we take the ferry back to george's island, we would've never known about the last ferry. "do you have your own boat?" said the park ranger. "no, we took the ferry," said we. "oh, then you better get going, the final ferry's leaving in 10-15 minutes" said ranger. we ran in the direction the ranger told us to go, and got to the pier right when the ferry was pulling in to dock.
  • although it was unsuccessfully deployed on the island, the gps worked fine on the ferry boat. on the ride to george's i could determine our average moving speed (11.5mph) and matched buoy indicators on the gps screen with actual buoys as we "sailed" by them. for a brief, shining moment i was one with satellite positioning technology.
  • as far as wildlife's concerned, the most interesting things were the wildflowers: chicory, daisy fleabane, goldenrod, buttercup, queen anne's lace, cow vetch, red clover, deptford pink, bladder campion, rough-fruited cinquefoil, st.-john's-wort, mullein, wild raspberry, and daisy. occasionally you'd see a flying insect, a bumblebee or a butterfly usually. the island also has birds, which were more heard than seen. nothing more exotic than that. the shores were littered with empty mussel and crab shells of varying sizes and colors. john and i satisfied our morbid interest in playing with dead crustaceans by using them as props for our photos.
  • coming back home from george's island was interesting. we stood at the bow because it was the most exciting part of the ship (as we were soon to find out). there were many other people there too, but the one of particular interest was this woman wearing a skirt that blew up in the wind once the boat got moving. i see london, i see france, i see that lady's underpants! i'm not sure if she did it on purpose, but she did make a slight effort to tuck her skirt between her legs although you could still see australia (the land down under). after a while she attracted the giggling attention of a convoy of underwear hungry hispanic men who stood behind her and took in the sight, sheepishly grinning to one another in sheer disbelief on their incredible panty luck. i started to get embarassed for her, because i think she genuinely had no idea. it's not right to take advantage of people who honestly have no clue as to what's going on. but once the weather got bad and the water kind of choppy, everyone moved into the cabin area, away from the bow, and the peepshow thankfully came to an abrupt end. if we had a vote though, i think that woman would've easily won the "most popular girl" award for that day. (editor's note: um, yes, i think i will be going to hell for taking photos. although those men were bad with their leary eyes, i think i took it to the next level by taking some souvenir snapshots. luckily, i don't believe in god and all that jazz, so i will just wallow in my own miserable guilt)
  • we bumped into our old FOSH (friend of screen house) zach magoon and his girlfriend. it was really weird, because we had just been talking about him, discussing how he use to commute from hingham to boston via ferry boat. it was very cool though, we got the latest update on what he's been doing, but then he had go to catch the hingham ferry so we bid each other good bye.
  • we had some bad luck coming back to boston. we got soaked first by seawater then again in the rain. read the weblog entry above for more details. we saw the storm brewing when we approached boston on the ferry. the sky was just dark over the city, and the lightning bolts from the sky sort of gave away the fact that these were not happy little clouds. it was very cool watching lightning out from the harbor though. everytime we'd see one, there'd be a chorus of "woahs" from the bow-based crowd. i remembered what my cousin eric chow told me about how he use to watch thunderstorms on the beach and and see lightning hit the water. this was probably my closest to ever getting to see something like that.
as for my tan, i'm sort of in a quandary, because i have the worst farmer's tan that prolonged summer sun exposure can buy and i don't think there's any way to salvage it. while my torso, thighs, and feet remain ghastly white, the rest of my body looks like it's been dipped in soy sauce. that's why, more than ever before, i'm seriously entertaining the idea of topless running. and it's kind of scary, but when the hell have i ever been this body conscious? my motto has been "let this body go to shits" for the longest time. somebody's caught the fitness bug! and somehow having an even tan figures into this sordid equation.