we ate a lot, between him and me, we had almost $30 worth of dim sum. usually when i go with laurie, it's only $20. all around us were people taking photos, and being the natural bastard that i am, i'd try to get myself into the background of their shots by any means possible. i hope a lot of them get a delightful surprise when they either go home and download their digital photos or get them developed. the large table behind manny, there was a big group of asians with one token white person, this girl who reminded me of a blonde version of office amanda. yeah, doesn't take much to distract me.
the head waiter really wanted us to leave for some reason. maybe we had outstayed our welcome, most likely there were a lot of people waiting downstairs for seats. but instead of letting us know, he'd use these subtle tactics to try to drive us away. we were totally on to him and that's why we stayed even longer. first, he came over and asked if we were done, and started adding up our check before we were even able to consent. then, he had one of the staff waiters come by and clear any empty dishes off of our table. later, he put out a set of clean dishware and napkins beside us, in case we didn't get the hint. finally, he came by again and tapped on the table, "you done?" and we said, "yeah," and he said, "cash or charge? you pay," and i said, "cash...don't i pay up front?" and he said, "no, you pay me, you pay me now." well, i never! manny ended up charging the meal on his card, and we mutually decided to give about a dollar and some pennies as tip, having received some pretty lousy service. the head waiter took the slip and i kind of stood behind him, trying to see what kind of reaction he'd make (he played it cool, no discernible reaction). leaving, we passed him again, and he didn't bother looking at us, so that made me feel pretty good, because i think we got to him.
when i got home, i went and saw a single open house, a spacious 1300+ square feet space close to the mount auburn cemetery in cambridge. it's an interesting apartment in an interesting place, but i don't know, it didn't really set my heart on fire with home ownership desires. likes: parking space, good neighborhood, close to fresh pond, close to star market (i mean, shaw). dislikes: first floor, the interior could use some work, the previous tenants were apparently post-collegiate frat guys who didn't believe in cleaning. maybe i'm too critical. if i lived there, i'd be pretty much taking the same commuting route i do now though. i don't know if i want that. i don't know, i'll give it some more though. it was crazy though today, a crowd of people in the house, as if there was sort of party, people coming and going, cars parking and cars leaving. these are my competition, we're all trying to find homes within the same price range, within the same town. it's like a poker game, i see everyone of them and i'm sizing them up, trying to figure out their angle, whether they're aggressive about buying or whether they're just casual onlookers. i'm been in the game since august, i think i have a pretty good handle of the jargon, i can outbluff any other prospective buyer without batting an eyelash. "what's the owner occupancy rate?" "is the parking deeded?" "which direction is south? how does the sun come in during the day?" "condo fee?" "square footage?" "hardwood floors?" "storage space?"