Saturday, March 12, 2011


I've always enjoyed traveling around the former city that housed my beloved until he moved down to Pennsylvania. There's something neat about going some place that is definitely America, but is definitely not like where you were in terms of slang, accent, dress, expectations... a cheap way to get to a foreign land.
We had already done all the touristy bits before, including Salem, and on another trip he'd showed me the width and breadth of his world as lived in downtown Boston through college and afterward while handling adulthood and jobs.
This trip is different, in that we are basically mopping up the last bits of what we did not see before on this trip in addition to attending PAX East, and it feels downright weird not to have a list of places to hoof it to and endure the friendly crush of the T to get where we're going.
That is not to say we have not had fun! We toured the Cathedral at Copley and took a turn through the amazing Boston Library (pictures to follow, it's unbelievable inside). We had shabu-shabu in Chinatown and spent a few hours listening to really funny people talk about our mutual love of video games.
This has been a unique trip, in that I feel at home in the city for the first time without the rush of exhilaration for completing some menial task like not getting separated from my husband in the subway. At this point my brain has apparently learned that people moving possesses some factor of fluid dynamics and I now know how to swim in it and get back to him should we find ourselves split by the crowd.
Of particular joy was listening to the keynote speaker at PAX East, Jane McGonagal, who has basically figured out that being able to play games and video games does amazing things for people psychologically and physiologically. We bought her book while there, called Reality is Broken and fully expect to enjoy it. The keynote was all about how videogames are actually not a form of escapism, but make us better able to turn around and tackle issues in the real world than people who do not play video games. She was hilarious, she had scientific studies to show her points instead of simply saying "oh hey, we rock" (MUCH APPRECIATED, I am quite tired of telling people I am a gamer and having them look at me as if they'd thoroughly overestimated my IQ) and we all learned about other non-video games to try and play like "Barkball", which involves a game of kickball, several decoy balls, and one dog for every two human players. There's got to be a video of it up on YouTube, and I will be looking for it later.
It had never occurred to me that one could turn around and make a game out of anything, but it seems to me that she is able to do this with just about anything and make it more fun. It was such a shock to see people who did this, when I used to do these things as a kid -oh, the horrid throes of adulthood that steal such things from us- and found a way to apply it today. It was awesome, and my life is enriched for having heard her words. I fully intend to talk my husband in to a game of Barkball with our rescuehound when we get home. We have a soccer ball somewhere...
The Q&A with Jerry and Mike was, as usually, hilarious to the point of bursting. Through all the self-deprecation and dirty jokes you can see that they're still kind of caught off guard by the community that's built up around them, and they have a real appreciation for it. Hold it sacred, almost, as it is constructed of a few hundred thousand individuals... we're like a little ant colony armed with Nintendo DSs that all agreed to band together and have fun and share our love of a common thing. You don't see that too often, without the devisiveness and the "they're not a REAL fan of... X..." It is a lovely change.
Today, if I get bathed fast enough in time to get ot the T and ride down there, is a trip to the Chocolate Buffet that is quite notorious. There shall be oodles of photos of it. There are already oodles of photos, but it would take too long to dredge them up and I have 45 minutes to get ready. I seriously want to have breakfast where a chocolate fountain is involved, so hopefully you'll pardon me while I truncate this post and swear to add more later.... with photos.

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