today was my sister's 25th birthday. my present to her? $100 cash. i gave the gift that gift givers give when they don't have time to go out and look for a real gift. "i got something for you," i said. then i handed her the money and left. no "happy birthday," no "congratulations, you're 25 years old." that's how we do things in my family. i would've given her more, but with christmas in another few weeks, i figured save the other half until then.

tonight i was suppose to go out and meet up with amanda rawson, but that plan fell through when amanda had some car troubles in the form of her vehicle getting towed. so now i'm all dressed up with nowhere to go! as if that wasn't depressing enough, now i'm going to go do some coding work for the rest of the evening. so i think essentially this will be remembered as a very bad weekend. well, at least the celtics won again today versus the raptors, and i didn't spend any money this weekend (other than the $100 i gave my sister).

oh, i did go out running after the open houses, around 3:30pm. i started out strong then sort of pooped out and did some walking. i didn't bring my mp3 player because i don't like how the wires of the earbuds bounce up and down in my face. i tried to do some thinking when i went out running because i had a lot on my mind, but i couldn't form any coherent thoughts in between gasps of air. so if you ever wondered, "hey, what do people think about when they run?" i can you right now, at least for me, when i run, there's no thinking. my brain shuts down, i'm concentrating on my breathing, i'm hurting, i'm struggling, i'm hungrily sucking in life-sustaining oxygen. if i have any thoughts, they're all very basic ("me tired"..."me feel bad"..."hotties alert, run faster, smile!").

the house hunt circle widens to the brookline area, although today i only saw one brookline condominium. driving in brookline crossing beacon street, the area reminded me of parts of istanbul, it had this old world charm. i have always thought brookline to be a bit of a dump, compared to other towns like belmont, but for a city suburb it's not a bad place to live, it just has the misfortune of being affiliated with the cursed green line, the mbta line invented by deranged railway mechanics. the one place we saw in brookline was very beautiful and if i wanted it i could potentially buy but it lacked a parking space and if i were to live in brookline, i'd want a parking space more than if i lived in cambridge, because i have a feeling i'll probably do a lot of driving so i don't have to take the t. afterwards, we saw some more apartments in the cambridge area, two of them we had seem before, but since there weren't a lot to see, we had time for some revisiting.

bees have hives. turtles have shells. birds have nests. bears have dens. finding a home, a place of shelter, is something instinctive to all animals, great and small. it's kind of weird that this very primal act has been institutionalized for us human beings, that it's become this lucrative industry and a source of income for some people. i suppose gone are the good old days when you just pack up your stuff, head west, find an open plot of land, and settle down to build your new home. civilization essentially took that freedom away from us. now, there are no free land. the surface of the earth has been divided into sections, each section an owner. wherever you are, wherever you're standing, that land either belongs to you or somebody else. you can't claim it, everything's been claimed already. so what i've been doing the past few months is staking my own claim of a small piece of property. sure, a mere 1000 square feet of space isn't very much on the global scale of things, but when that happens, i will be a part of this idea that land has ownership, and you get it by buying it from somebody who already has it. but land is almost an intangible entity. sure, you can physically feel land, like when you stand on a property. but for some reason which is still unclear to me, it can be owned, this area of space on this planet of ours, and not only can it be owned, this intangible thing also has value. i guess that's what i'm driving at. land has value because with it we can build our home, and isn't that what we all want to begin with, a place to stay, a place to live? and because land has value, it becomes a commodity which can be traded or sold, inherited or bought. nevertheless, it's still strange business. i like the native american notion that the land is for everyone, and nobody owns it. but the world changes, for better or worse, and when i buy my own piece of property, i will be a part of this mysterious cycle of land ownership.

take a step back on memory lane: the first open houses i ever went to happened the end of august.