when i got to the stop to catch a bus into harvard square, there was already an old guy waiting there. later, three smartly dressed yuppies showed up as well, obviously heading into the city to have a good time. i immediately disliked them. in the distance we saw the bus coming, everyone getting ready to board, fishing for change, taking out the bus pass, slowly edging to the curb. "whooosh!" the bus drove right past us without stopping. i was surprised. but my surprise no where matched the shockingly intense anger of the old man standing next to me, who screamed out with bloodcurdling outrage, "HEY!" but right behind that bus was another bus, and i think i heard the man say "oh" under his breath, his face completely covered in metaphorical egg. he got onto the bus and was sort of explaining himself to the driver, who obviously was unaware that this man was screaming just a minute ago because he thought the mbta had given him the shaft.

at harvard square i had just missed my connecting 66 bus to allston, so i called alex telling him i'd be a little late getting to pho pasteur. i went to cvs to buy some mints but actually just to break a $20 so i could give exact change later tonight for food and drinks. when i got to dawes island to catch the bus, i saw that the 66 had already arrived, about 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled arrival time. i quickly got on, very thankful and feeling lucky that i didn't just miss another bus. this was my first time riding the 66, and prior to leaving my house, i had consulted with various maps to familiarize myself with the route and to know where exactly to get off. i came down from the bus as soon as i saw brighton avenue (probably union square). after a few blocks of walking, i found pho pasteur.

kind of ironic, i thought i'd be late but i ended up being the first person in our party to arrive. i went inside, didn't see anyone i knew, and then left the restaurant to wait outside. the place was crowded, not with just with any sort of people, but with asian people. i heard the dictinctive sound of proper taiwanese mandarin being spoken. maybe i was imagining it, but i could feel the eyes upon me, like, "who's that stranger?" i am intrigued by asian-americans yet at the same time repulsed. my feelings toward those people are so complex, i can't elaborate too much on it tonight, it'd just take too long. i hate the whole racial exclusivity thing. true, most of my college friends who i still keep in contact today are asian, but i've always thought it had more to do with coincidence rather than on purpose. besides, i haven't really kept in contact with too many college friends. all the new friends i made after college, not one of them has been asian. once again, i think it's just a coincidence, nothing that i planned out. anyway, nick was the second person to arrive. there was a moment of awkwardness as we both realized we were wearing the same shoes! the horrors. our table was finally ready so the handful of us that were there went inside. i was the first in line, waiting to be seated by the maitre d'. he sort of looked at me and asked, "can i help you?" "i'm with them," i replied, gesturing behind me. "oh, i'm sorry! come this way." he thought that since i was asian, i couldn't possibly be a member of the their party. it was interesting to experience that.

who was there: nick, stacy, alex, michelle (stacy's friend), april, katrinka and her bf, dan, james, and amanda. i was kind of disappointed that adam didn't show up, i haven't seen him in a while, it'd give me somebody else to talk to. food and drinks were ordered, we ate (nick and i ordered the same thing! first the shoes, now the food! the horrors), we talked, we joked, alex opened his presents, and ice cream was brought out for alex while "happy birthday" was sung by the rest of the group (i missed the singing, i was in the bathroom, red pants and all). i have decided that pho pasteur is really not that good. their selection is horrible and the prices are not cheap (inexpensive food use to be a hallmark of vietnamese cuisine). for my money, i prefer one of the many vietnamese restaurants in chinatown, particularly to chau. the fact that there were so many asians in the restaurant surprised me, because usually that's a litmus test as to whether an asian restaurant is good or not. for overall taste though, i still think thai cuisine beats all others.

afterwards james went home (felt sick) while the rest of us went to the harper's ferry a block away. an $8 cover charge to see a band i have no idea who they are nor do i care? i was tempted to call it an evening, but always in search of new experiences, i grudgingly paid the the money and went inside. i stayed there about two hours, nursing a coke and eating harry potter inspired jellybeans with flavors like "snot" and "horse radish." the opening band was an instrumental ska sounding group called groove high (we think that was the name, nobody could really hear it when they announced it), while the main band (the one where we paid $8 to see, of which i only saw them perform one song before i left) was sugarhoney, which i thought was mildly interesting, their main vocalist a large woman with an impressive voice. when amanda said she had a headache and was going to go, i asked her for a ride home and bid good bye to the rest of the gang. when we got to her car, the inside smelled like paint. i guided her back to belmont where we exchanged good byes and i explained to her how to get back out to harvard square.

today was a nice day, 50 degrees. the only time i set foot outside though was for my weekend inspection of the backyard.

wintered tomatoes

daffodil sprout

maple wing

wintered tomatoes: when our tomato plants died, we left a lot of unwanted tomatoes in the dirt. i was surprised to see that these tomatoes were now white or yellow dried up versions of their formerly red selves.

daffodil sprout: daffodils are usually early bloomers, but in january? it shouldn't come as too big a surprise though, we haven't had a lot of cold weather this season. the area in the yard where the daffodils reside isn't covered up with leaf debris like it'd be for other years, because i cleaned it up to plant some bulbs back in december. a sign of the spring to come!

maple wing: there are maple wings everywhere, thanks in no small part to the large maple tree growing in our backyard. i like this particular maple wing because it's slowly decomposing to leave behind just the veins of wing.