i didn't wake up in the middle of the night thinking i had to go to work. that's a good sign that i'm recovering. i even went to bed at a reasonable weekend hour, 4am.

i woke up today at noon with an agenda to start my christmas shopping with just 10 more days left before feliz navidad. since i've been busy, i haven't had time to even think about what to get people for christmas gifts. but now with my project over, i can look forward to some naked consumerism, spending some of that sweet money, bringing some joy to all those i bestow gifts upon.

i left my house at 1pm and headed for harvard square. shopping alone, i felt so mature. holiday shopping use to be a social occasion, i'd go out with friends in the search for presents. but now, shopping alone, i have a sense of purpose, it's all business. i went to the globe corner bookstore (where i found my secret santa present), beadworks, the discovery store (where i bumped into anuj and his friend), curious george bookstore (more presents located), wordsworth (even more), and the funny farm (didn't get anything here). harvard square was so crowded with people it was scary. my only real reason for going into beadworks was to see laurie and to confirm our dim sum appointment for tomorrow morning. it was my first time in beadworks, didn't realize how big it was inside. we chatted briefly while she put price labels onto packages with one of those label guns. she showed me a ring she was modeling, a large rectangular tile with a chinese animal on it which she thought was a rabbit. i almost didn't have the heart to break the bad news that the accompanying chinese character said it was a dog instead.

laurie working

(not a rabbit)

after about 2 hours of shopping i decided to go home, but not before getting a blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee from the subterranean dunkin' donuts. it was 3pm, i still haven't eaten all day long. i devoured the muffin while waiting for the bus, and i slowly drank my hot cup of coffee while staring out the bus window, pretty happy with myself, my first day of christmas shopping.

coming home i saw a car with a tree tied to the roof. that is such a christmas image. i always thought it looked funny though, like they went out hunting and killed a tree and were now hauling the carcass back to their homes, to be displayed prominently as a triumphant trophy. december is christmas tree hunting season, you know.

seed level


fatty junco


i noticed today that my next door neighbor has also installed a birdfeeder in her backyard as well. competition! it wasn't a small birdfeeder either, but rather a deluxe model with at least three tubes mounted on a post with a squirrel baffle, just like the way i set up mine (after a whole winter season of trial and error, mind you). fortunately, her feeder was empty, so hopefully winter birds will learn to recognize my feeder as the de facto feeder of choice for the block. i also noticed a strange thing with my feeder, that the tube facing the grapevines (where all the birds hide in when they're too shy to feed from the dish or the perches) gets depleted much faster than the other remaining tubes. this makes sense, since that's the side that gets visited most often. i saw sparrows, juncos, and a pair of cardinals feeding. i tried getting photos of the cardinals but they're timid birds and fly away when they hear anything. i really like cardinals. most of the other birds are in shades of black/white/grey, but cardinals really stand out because of their brilliant red. bluejays are nice as well, they add a touch of color to an otherwise drab winter palette, but jays are aggressive birds and they're big too, completely dominating the feeder when they visit. i guess i just like colorful birds. birds are one of the few living things that come in every color under the rainbow (other things being snakes and lizards, flowers and mushrooms).

later, i went to the alewife staples to get some supplies and decided to go next door to take a look at the toys'r'us. i think toystores are the business places during christmas. it was crazy, total sensory overload, like a crowded train station, people moving constantly. i browsed around a little bit (they had changed the layout of the store) but left soon afterwards. i drove across the street to newbury comics and bought some cd's, texas southside and erasure the innocents. i was asked by various newbury comics employees a total of four times during the time i was there if i needed help with anything. i hate it when people in stores ask me that. when they say "can i help you with something?" all i hear is "we're just making sure you won't shoplift so we're going to keep on checking up on you while you browse through our establishment." i almost wanted to give myself a five finger discount on something just because i got so annoyed.

jessica aimed me tonight. we've sort of lost touch, i haven't corresponded with her for a while (not since late spring?). she told me she got the postcard i sent her from turkey. we talked about her first semester at ubc and i consulted with her about my troubled love life.