oh, how I burn for you

This weekend’s theme: overheating.

I caught up with Grace on Friday, taking her to Redbones for Somerville’s best barbecue. She ate about three-quarters of her pulled pork sandwich, thwacking me on the head whenever I stopped paying attention to her anecdotes (“ow, Indian wedding, right”) and making fun of my beer selection back home. She’s a real charmer, that one. “You’re a doctor now,” I reminded her. “You need to learn to play golf and start making bad investments in real estate.”

Saturday I got up early and met Greg to take the train from Davis to BC. Our conversation proceeded in fits and starts, weighed down by the overcast sky, until the subject turned to BC’s endowment. Then we were off and running. As the B Line passed the service garage next to Evergreen Cemetary we became entrepreneurs. “That’s the only building between 2000 Comm Ave [the future site of BC’s newest dorm] and the rest of campus,” I said. “Let’s buy it and turn it into a pizza joint.”

“We might have some trouble getting it up to code,” Greg observed. “It being a former gas station, next to a cemetery.”

“So we spend a few weekends bleaching it.”

Aaron and Serpico had arrived early to stake out a corner parking spot in the BC parking garage, and Casey O’ and James F. arrived shortly thereafter with some emergency Blue Ribbon. The weather held together long enough for us to have grilled, so Aaron regaled us with stories of his mother’s secret barbecue recipe while we chowed on spicy sausage and chicken wings. And plenty of cornbread. A convivial glow spread over my face, aided by the Miller Lite, and I grinned from ear to ear.

BC then did their level best to tarnish that glow, losing embarrassingly to the rambling wrecks from Georgia Tech. They matched Georgia Tech turnover for turnover, but failed to complete and fell apart entirely in the second half. “Is that Crane’s third interception?” Casey O’ asked at one point of BC’s beleaguered quarterback.

“No, that’s his second interception,” I corrected. “You’re thinking of the fumble from earlier.” To the field: “Way to go, Ichabod!

The promised downpours never materialized, so I walked to Cleveland Circle with a useless poncho and the beginnings of a sunburn. Fortunately, back in Davis, Marie had some leftover homemade ice cream and some Dexter. I watched some Season 2 episodes with her, guest starring British stunner Jaime Murray, at which point I had to introduce Marie to Hustle (also starring Murray). Yay media.

I tried to go swimming at the BSC on Sunday morning, but did not take into account the aquarobics class taking up the open end of the pool. Rather than sit on the deck with my toes in the water and wait for an open lane, I showered and waited for the sauna to heat up. It never quite did, to my disappointment, so I got back in the car to drive home.

Turning from Mt. Auburn St to Brattle St, I noticed that my Check Engine light had gone on. I decided to ignore it – as I usually do – until wisps of white smoke started to trickle from my hood. Pulling over in the suburbs of Cambridge, I popped the hood and watched the engine tick from the heat. Smoke hissed from the coolant line along the engine’s perimeter. A man walking his dog and a Cambridge cop both asked if I needed help; I shrugged and they moved along. Running the heat on full blast to vent the engine, per Marie’s suggestion, I slowly idled home.

Back in Davis, I did laundry, ate lunch, and refilled my engine’s suspiciously low coolant reserves. I found a radio station that streamed the Ravens game online and listened while folding T-shirts. Joe Flacco had an auspicious debut, controlling the ball and letting the legendary Ravens D tear up Cincinnati. A win over the Bengals isn’t quite a litmus test, but it’s a good way to start the season.

I got word that Jonathon Katz would be doing a set at ImprovBoston that evening, so I went down early to make sure I got in. He followed a typical amateur improv troupe – you know the kind, two funny people and six mediocre cold cuts – and two stand-up acts that diverged wildly in quality. Katz’s set was hysterical: his deadpan delivery and veteran sense of pacing sold every bit he used. He’s wasted on Squigglevision.

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