Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Watcher comes to town

I have known Watcher for about 4 or 5 years now... having met him on the Internet, at Soompi. This was the first time meeting him in person. Although it is possible that someone could make up an online persona and pretend to be a religious "nice guy," fortunately the real Watcher didn't turn out to be a fake. I have no Catholic male friends here in Boston, as the New Scot has moved and the seminarians have been ordained and assigned to far away parishes. It doesn't bother me so much, since I am not planning on staying here much longer. However, I don't know where I am going to find Catholic friends if I return to California. Before Cal, most of my friends were Asian; the close friends I made since I graduated are mostly Catholic but not Asian. Watcher is somewhat unique in so far as he is both Asian and Catholic, and so we can relate on both levels, even if her prefers fobs more than I do. haha. It's nice being able to talk to another Catholic about Korean pop culture, and Korean female celebs. hahaha

If Fujian Gal gets baptized I suppose she will be another Asian Catholic friend. Perhaps I can meet some people at Our Lady of Peace. But I am a bit envious of Watcher since he will be joining his parish's young adult group in a couple of months. I am hoping that he will be able to find a wife there. He mentioned that the Korean women in his parish tend to wear chapel veils, especially the more attractive ones (which might seem paradoxical, but he just said they were beautiful both on the outside and the inside). Then he drove me nuts by recounting how one Korean woman dressed in a business suit attended stations of the cross with a chapel veil. (He didn't talk to her though because he was going to give a book to another woman.)

Wow. Chapel veils. Really, "that's hot." hahaha

If I were to teach at a true Catholic liberal arts school, it would relatively easy to make Catholic friends there, though it is likely that none would be Asian. If I do get a job in California, I will have to find a good parish and meet some devout people there, preferably close to my age. Ethnicity... won't be as important as religion. Too bad moving to LA isn't really an option.

After I met him at the airport, we took the outbound T. We started off with breakfast at the Greek diner on Harvard Ave. We came back to the apartment to drop off his suitcase, and I made a phone call to the Lady Downstairs, but she was away, running an errand at the bank. I spoke with her mother briefly, who seemed like a nice lady. (Unlike certain older women in Boston.) Watcher and I then headed over to Harvard to take a look at the campus. We joked that it would be nice to meet some Korean female tourists and then he could mention the fact that Love Story at Harvard was actually filmed at USC, his alma mater. He expressed an interest in getting some Harvard paraphanalia, so we visited the Co-Op.

Then we went to Newbury St, taking the bus down Mass. Ave. from Harvard Square. There wasn't much for him to look at or take photos of. We were somewhat disappointed. But Watcher did do some shopping at the Banana Republic in Copley. We then walked over to Boston Common and checked out a part of Beacon Hill after stopping briefly at Cheers. (I think Georgetown is slightly better.) Watcher picked up a drink at the corner Starbucks, and we sat on one of the park benches for a bit.

We then took the T back to Boston College, to hear a paper on Avoerres by Richard Taylor (Marquette Philosophy); I hope Watcher wasn't too bored; he said it was difficult to follow since he wasn't acquainted with the philosophers or the terms. The dinner was ok at least (Italian theme again), plus free beer for Watcher. Probably my last lecture/dinner at BC...

The Lady Downstairs' friend came over to help her find her visa, and was able to find it rather quickly because of the suggestions she gave him. After he left, Watcher and I went over to the Green Briar. Since it was still early, there was a cover charge ($5!). It wasn't very crowded, and there seemed to be a good male:female ratio. There was a cute brunette there, with her blonde friends. I think the brunette was probably the most attractive one there, especially since she wasn't talking as loudly as her friends. I think the other women I found attractive there that night were also brunettes. No Asians there besides us--Watcher had to content himself with his two beers.

On Saturday we finished our tour of Boston Common, taking photos of the State House (tours). We went over to Hei La Moon in Chinatown for lunch--dim sum only; I didn't get a chance to sample their spicy salt pork. I had been thinking of trying the roast meats place, Vinh-Sun, but Watcher expressed an interest in dim sum, so we headed there. I gave him a hard time about wanting dim sum though I wasn't serious. The prices at Vinh-Sun are about the same as Victoria. If Sarge comes to Boston again, I will take him to Hei La Moon to try the entrees there.

After I dropped him off at the bus terminal, I made my way back to Massachusetts Avenue. As soon as he left, all the young women came out in force. (He had been complaining that there weren't many walking about on the streets of Cambridge and Boston both on Friday and Saturday morning.) Cause and effect? Haha, I think we just had poor timing. Saturday afternoon was beautiful--the sun was out, plenty of people walking around. Watcher could have made good use of his camera. haha

It was a good 1.5 days with Watcher. I hope I can visit Southern California sometime, especially to see what is going on at Bohemian or Cafe Bleu.

While I was walking through Boston Common, I saw an 8-year-old(?) girl wearing makeup. She was with her mother and brother--I don't know what her mother is thinking. Maybe she thinks is cute, or is encouraging her daughter to follow the adult trends. Parents these days.

I saw two women wearing short dresses (down to the knees or higher) with high waists--I don't know if the waists qualify as "Empire waists" but the dresses were eye-catching, though not necessarily in a good way. Definitely not as modest as a traditional hanbok. They drew too much attention to the legs...

At the Prudential I saw 2 (Russian?) nuns with a Sharper Image bag... how odd... I wonder what they bought. They both had an Eastern prayer rope, but with actual beads. On their veil was a red cross. I wonder what monastery they are from...

I went over to the GAP to use up the gift card--the pants didn't fit me so well, I think because of the way it is cut, but I purchased them as I didn't like anything else, and I didn't want to wait for something to turn up. (Do GAP gift cards lose value after a year? I know gift cards for other stores do.)

I ended the evening by attending a performance of Titus Andronicus at Cambridge, in the basement of the Garage. The play was put on by the Actors' Shakespeare Project. I don't know if the play was abridged or not, but some of the lines seemed to have been adapted for a contemporary audience. The cast was made up of males only, so the parts of the women were played by males. They did an ok job; both actors shaved their heads (so as to play down their distinctive/particular maleness?). Their portrayal of women was only somewhat successful. I must admit that their performances did remind me of certain aspects of the theatrical acting profession; still some of the actors playing male parts seemed more likely to be homosexual. Their gestures, way of talking, and performance were somewhat less than manly from time to time, though mostly subdued during the rest. While such acting may resonate among the audience who can relate to the male characters being "catty," who is to say that an audience that needs a play and its performances dumbed to is really ready to be an audience? I wonder how such gender confusion would play in Elizabethan England. (Sure, we are talking about a period when men wore earrings and hosery and big collars, but this does not necessarily mean that they were less manly, if they were just following the fashion trend and not embracing the "metro" spirit. It does seem to me that being metro does oppose characteristic male virtues of any healthy society, especially the Romanitas of the early Roman Republic.)

I didn't like the accompanying music/soundtrack. It was unnecessary--does a play need a soundtrack? Should not the lines and acting be enough? I would think so. As for the play itself... I was expecting more. Was the revenge too over the top? The action seemed too narrow in scope, and I didn't get the sense that Titus Andronicus was a virtuous man surrounded by the vicious. I think I will have to read the original to judge it better.

(A question for literature experts: It is a historical play, but is it also a tragedy?)

Men and Friendship
by Thabiti Anyabwile

Apparently, AMC 16 Cupertino Square is supposed to open April 27. (Go to the link for a coupon for free small popcorn and drink.) I won't believe it until I see it for myself; will it revive Vallco?

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