i saw the ending. i didn't think the diamondbacks could do it, i was very much ready to accept another yankees world series victory, their fourth one in a row. but you couldn't have scripted a more suspenseful, a more heroic ending. and they did it facing the yankees closer mariano "ice water in his veins" rivera. there is no asterisking, the diamondbacks totally earned this victory. randy johnson is a machine, having pitched last night and then coming back tonight to close. do i feel bad for the yankees? i feel back for new york city (they could've really used the win for a morale booster) but i don't feel bad for the yankees. my only regret is that it isn't the red sox toppling the yankees dynasty. it came from a little known newly created franchise team somewhere in one of those obscure desert states. after this win tonight, they've really put themselves on the map though. diamondbacks should enjoy their win while they can because next year that dangerous-looking world series trophy (can they make some more sharp edges and pointy projectiles on that thing?) will be in the hands of the beloved boston red sox. watch your backs...diamondbacks!

i haven't been in my backyard for almost 3 weeks now. the last time i was there was on a sunday afternoon as well, 011014. the growing season is over, everything is either dying or closing shop for the winter season. despite the depressing state of the yard, i still get a kick from walking around and inspecting everything. it has a calming effect on me.





autumn tomatoes: it's a sad sight, the garden is filled with fallen tomatoes, frost damaged, rotting in the soil, a reminder to more glorious days when they would have been celebrated and plunked with tenderness from their stems instead of being unwanted vegetable matter left in the backyard.

basil seeds: this year we grew basil but didn't use it very much. i remember when basil and coriander were in high demand in our everyday cooking and we'd sprinkle them onto our soups and noodles whenever we could.

fennel seeds: our first year growing fennel. i think fennel is a cool vegetable because it tastes like licorice. i first became aware of fennel seeds when i saw a bowl full of them outside of a thai restaurant, used to cleanse the palate when you chew on some in your mouth. i remember i went to chinatown and bought a bag of fennel seeds, but those weren't the same because they were too dried and tasted horrible.

nightshade berries: they're very colorful when they get like that, immature berries on the same clutch as mature ones. they resemble miniature tomatoes, except these are poisonous. i like the stems on these nightshade berries though, this really nice soft purple color.

sunday dim sum
so, i was in harvard square this morning waiting at the corner of au bon pain for laurie to come by and pick me up so we can go to dim sum together. it was early enough in the morning that the square was pretty empty. most of the people there were also waiting just like me, perhaps for a sunday morning brunch with friends they haven't seen in a long time, perhaps to attend church service with like-minded god-fearing individuals. i noticed the same cars coming around the corner over and over again. i didn't have to guess what they were doing, being that this is harvard square, and even though it's early in the morning, parking space is still a scarce commodity. laurie finally arrived, i jump into the car (as i've been trained to do), and while she's apologizing for being late, i'm telling her it's quite all right - our usual song and dance routine. then she started to tell me this story of how she wants to get a cat. bad news. too much responsibility, if you want a pet, better to get a fish or some plants, something with less maintenance. turns out an apparently stray cat had jumped into her house (she lives on the third floor of a building, so it's no small feat, even for a furry feline) and is now currently hiding underneath her bed. she took it as a sign that she should keep this cat and raise it as her own, if nobody came to reclaim it.

so we get to china pearl and it's busy enough today that we don't get our own table like we have the past few times we've been there but rather we have to share a round table with 3 other groups of people. this is by far the most congested tableshare i have ever had the displeasure of experiencing. but when you're hungry for dim sum, those are just minor inconveniences. we started off with a specialty dish of clams while we waited for the carts to roll around. we didn't have too much stuff this time around, just some shoumai, some chatsou buns, tofu, tripe (which made the group of dim sum virgins next to us wince when i ordered it), and these sweet fried water chestnut gelatin cakes that i've never had before. afterwards when we went back to the parking garage, the fee was just $9. apparently on sundays it's just a flat fee, versus coming to dim sum on a saturday, where if you stay more than 1.5 hours, it's the $17 all day rate. good to know.

getting stuff for the cat
afterwards, we drove to petco to buy some cat supplies for laurie's potentially new pet. laurie got a small litterbox, a container of kitty litter, and a bag of dry cat food. she wanted to get a flea collar as well but i told her what my vet told me when we had mozart, and that is, only make a pet wear a flear collar if it's absolutely necessary, otherwise they'd be better off without all that chemical hanging around their neck. the whole cat supply industry is amazing. i've never been to the cat supply section of petco because i don't have a cat (nor do i really want one), but today i got a glimpse of this cat world and i'm surprised how many things you can buy for your cat. cat posts, cat litterboxes of various hightech designs ("lift n' sift" litterbox, as seen on tv!), different kinds of kitty litter (biogradeable kinds, flushable kinds, crystals), cat toys, cat carrying case, cat food (canned and dry), not to mention the plethora of car grooming products and cat care items.

this unexpected petco visited allowed me to catch a glimpse of that giant millipede i wanted to buy. unfortunately, it looks like it's already been sold, as there was no giant millipedes in the tank. i probably didn't want it anyway. despite the fact that it's a pretty low maintenance pet, the idea of it eating and pooping and eating its own poop again (they are one of nature's best decomposers, as you very well know) is sort of gross.

with supplies purchased, we headed back to laurie's apartment to see how her feline visitor was doing. it was still hiding underneath her bed, a medium cat with a dark body and white markings on its face. i'm not a cat connoisseur, but from what i could see underneath the bed, that looked like a pretty nice looking cat. laurie tried coaxing out our little friend with some sweet talk but the cat wanted no part of it. she left a bowl of cat food on the floor of her bedroom for when the cat got hungry and was brave enough to come out from underneath the bed. she also wanted to take a polaroid photo of the cat and tack it up somewhere in her neighborhood to see if anyone will come to reclaim their pet.

back to the open houses circuit
laurie was curious to see these apartments that we've been visiting so she came with my father and i on our first open house since coming back from my vacation. almost all the properties we've seen prior to my departure had been sold by now. today, it was all new property. to be honest, none of the places we saw today really caught my attention. i think the biggest turn off was most of them didn't have an in-apartment washer/dryer unit. that's very important to me, to be able to do my laundry whenever i want, in the privacy of my own home, not have to share with others, and most importantly, not have to pay each time i do my laundry. i guess now we wait until some more new places go on the market. with winter just around the corner, i wonder if a lot of people are taking their homes off the market because it's harder to sell during the new england winter season? but perhaps it will make people more desperate and they'd be willing to get rid of their property at a cheaper price.

i seem to notice the carpetting a lot more in some of these furnished open houses (ever since i've been back from turkey and it's whole carpet culture over there), and by carpetting i mean the oriental rugs. i really like the look of a rug thrown on top of a wooden floor, makes the apartment feel very warm and homey.

this also marked my second time going to an open house with a young lady (the other time going with amanda for a lunchtime open house). i'm willing to write it off as mere coincidence, but i wonder if it's something else, like they enjoy house hunting with me, helping me pick my future home.

my day with laurie ended with a quick stop at my parents' cafe (where by some unfortunate coincidence of timing she met not only my mother and father, but my sister [no one ever meets my sister!], my aunt, my maternal grandmother, and a family friend!) and then i drove her back home, my first time driving her anywhere (it's usually the other way around).