i was suppose to have dinner with laurie in chinatown tonight, so it came as a bit of a surprise when she drove up to our designated loading zone in harvard square to pick me up with her parents in the car! but i was fine with it, her parents are pretty cool, and it's nice to meet the people who raised her, see where she gets her influences from. i think i've met a lot of people in laurie's life now, from her parents, to her brother, to her ex-boyfriend, to her friends. i am involuntarily stalking her!

so we're in chinatown, and laurie wants to go to the asia garden restaurant but we can't find it. we're wandering the streets of chinatown, laurie's mom busts out the blackberry wireless web access device to try and find asia garden in the listings (it didn't find anything). finally we located this elusive restaurant and discovered that it went out of business. so being the lone token asian guy, i am automatically elected to choose a new restaurant for us to go to. my pick? taiwan cafe.

we order up a storm: calamari, scallion pancakes, pork, duck, ma po tofu, and chinese watercress. surprisingly, we finished most of it. the dish that had the most untouched portions was the duck, too much fat and skin, not enough meat. of course once again i am the last person eating. and once again i am apologizing, but i point out that am actually savoring every bite because i am such an epicurean. when the check arrives, laurie's parents treat us to dinner, laurie and i split the tip.

after dinner laurie retrieve the car from the garage, we get in, and she drops me off in harvard square (i suggest she should just slow the car down to a crawl and i would just roll out matt houston fall guy style), where i then take the bus home and walk the almost half a mile from the bus stop to my house, looking at the stars above in the dark clear suburban night.

today i had my second open house viewing marathon. my father and i hit 7 apartments within a 2 hour span, concentrating in the cambridgeport area, which is where i'd really like to live. by the time it was all, all the houses i saw today sort of blended into one big house, and i couldn't remember which one was which. going to open houses is quite exhausting. you think it'd be fun visiting one house after another, but it really wears you down. i don't know how other people can differentiate the difference in their heads between the houses they see. the only way my father and i are able to do it is because i'm snapping photos with my digital camera while he's shooting with the camcorder. we're like two tourists visiting an attraction more than house hunters!

every apartment has its good and its bad points. last week's favorite on prince street has now been replace by a new property on brookline street, just two blocks away. tomorrow i have to make some calls to the broker and the mortgage guy, one to express some interest in seeing the property again, the other to see if i can acquire enough money to actually buy the place, since it is $80k more than the apartment on prince street. i now have a very zen like attitude towards house hunting. don't fall too much in love with a place, if something gets bought out, there's always more properties to see.

it's starting to get weird, i'm starting to become a part of the open house circuit. i see the same brokers doing open houses at other apartments. i see the same people looking at the same places i'm looking at (that is, cheap and within the cambridgeport area). my father and i actually represent a strange duo, since most of the people who visit these open houses are young couples, looking to buy their first home.

my desire to buy a house is also hampered by the fact that in two more weeks i'm leaving for turkey until october 9th. i feel like i can't really buy unless i somehow accelerate the process, but buying a house isn't somethiny you want to rush through! it's a bit of process. i hope if i do go ahead and jump on something, that my time spent away on vacation won't throw a monkey wrench into the process.