coming into the downstairs office this morning i saw a custodian sweeping the parking lot of all the sand that had collected there during the winter season. there was so much sand it looked like the desert or the beach. it's actually a little bit mysterious why there should be so much sand around. we didn't have a particularly snowy winter, so salt trucks haven't really been around very much to dump sand on the roads.

my new cellphone came this morning. it arrived fully charged, ready to go. i remembered it was small but i was amazed to see how small it really was. i knew nothing about its features, and i didn't even know the phone number. the only thing i could do was to a make calls (the first person i called was my mother, just to test out the phone). for lunch klea and i went down to the lechmere area to meet david and julie for food. along the way, klea showed me how to access the phone number and for a brief second we were talking to each other on our own respective cellphones while walking side by side down the street.

the four of us ended up going to lunch buffet at ajanta's. i realized that not only am i the slowest eater, but i'm also a messy, wasteful eater as well. while julie and klea cleaned up their plates so they wouldn't have to be washed because they were so spotless, i had a big pile of mess all over my plate. topics of our discussion included klea's impression of the srm people downstairs and whether brown shoes go with black pants and whether navy blue socks go with black shoes. julie tried to invite us to go see this documentary film called meat at the mfa theatre tomorrow morning. i would've gone (i want to know where meat comes from!), but unfortunately i have other plans.

after work, i went downstairs to see if eliza was still in the office and whether or not she wanted to go out running. i had secretly hoped that she would already be gone, thereby giving me the perfect excuse to postpone my run for another day. the weather was getting colder, the sky was getting darker, i was quickly losing momentum, the mood was rapidly being lost. but to my surprise, my horror, my shock, eliza said, "let's go running," and never one to shy away from a run, especially when it was my idea to begin with, i reluctantly got changed (i didn't complain about it though, i welcomed the challenge). i thought it was cold enough for long pants, but because eliza only brought shorts, in a showing of solidarity, i went with shorts as well, but with a long sleeved top. eliza brought along a knitted hat, which i don't think she's ever worn before on any of our previous runs.

prior to me getting changed to go running, i spoke to alex briefly. i discovered that he and i have the same nokia 8260 cellphone (although his is blue and mine is champagne red) and the same at&t plan. he asked whether i signed my apartment or not, and offered some unsolicited advice. i've been getting a lot of unsolicited advice from a lot of other home owners. i totally don't mind, i actually welcome any words of wisdom from those who've already been there. this morning michael came to me and asked about the apartment, and told me that even if go with a bank for my mortgage, it doesn't necessarily mean the mortgage stays with the bank because a lot of times the bank will sell the mortgage to a third party in order to make some profit. it's weird, but it happens. alex's advice was more observation than advice, how living in a place that you own feels so much better than renting.

before eliza and i left to go run, there was a mini-crisis as nobody could find a set of keys for office (and we didn't want to be locked out when we came back). eliza couldn't find hers, and paula might needs hers for this weekend. not remembering where i placed my own set of keys, i thought it was a pretty good bet that they'd be somewhere upstairs because i remember playing with them (i often play with my keys). so eliza and i ran around the building, straight upstairs, where i still couldn't find my keys, but lisa was there and was gracious enough to let me borrow hers for the weekend. with keys in hand, i headed out the door with eliza with rebecca and scott still upstairs working.

coming down the stairs eliza warned me about how she was in worse shape than she was last week. i know this is all a ruse to lull me into a false sense of security as she springs her trap and sprints away into the night, laughing hysterically as she fades out of view. despite her warning, we ended up having one of our more pleasant runs, despite the cold weather, despite the darkness. the city is at its most beautiful at nights, i didn't might the darkness at all, and even though it was cold, because we didn't stop (we only stopped once at the small duck bridge for eliza to stretch and for me to pretend to stretch), we stayed warm by constantly running.

when we got back to the office around 7pm, paula was still there, the last person remaining in the downstairs office, although she was about to leave. the three of us had a nice thought-provoking chat about the state of the current economic situation before she left. eliza and i got changed back into our civilian wardrobe, and before we left the office, we stole some peppermint patties from rose's office.

when i got home, close to 8pm, i saw that my nikon 950 had arrived back from the nikon factory, all fixed. they've completely replaced the guts on the right hand side of the camera. the toggle switch on my original nikon was this glossy black knob, but on this newly fixed version, it's had a dull, black matte finish. the wheel in front of the camera is also very tight now. i'm hoping with repeated use it'll soon loosen up. i'm glad to have my camera back but i feel like it's never really left, since i was using my father's nikon 950, the exact same camera.

the rest of the night was spent playing around with my new gadget, the cellphone. i finally activated the voicemail, along with instant messaging capability. the nokia has a very intuitive design, after playing around with it, it felt very natural, the layout of the user interface. i changed the voicemail message, and i sent myself a few im's (from the web and also via e-mails). i added about 25 phone numbers into the phone book. i made a 30 minutes call to my friend alex (just got back from japan), just so i can burn up some of my 1000 weekend/night minutes. one thing i noticed what the phone got a little warm after the 30 minute conversation. the phone also came with a headset, but i don't think i'll ever use it, whenever i see someone using one of those i find it disorienting because it looks like they're talking to themselves. i never want to be like that. i can't believe the kind of reception this thing gets, especially for a phone that doesn't have a visible antenna sticking out. the only other cellphone i've ever used is an old analog nokia that belongs to my parents that i occasionally borrow if i'm doing something that requires a cellphone. that phone gets very bad reception and uses up the batteries very quickly. not so the nokia 8260. i was able to get reception just fine in the office (something i couldn't do with the analog) and it has a long battery life. so playing with it seemed so natural, i started to wonder what took me so long to get a cellphone. i have every other gadget except the one that most people have. finally getting one makes me feel very connected to the rest of the world. even though i just got it, i'm seriously starting to wonder how i ever lived without it.

so this week i enter two uncharted worlds, one being the world of cellphones, the other being the world of home ownership. it's been a crazy week. and beneath all of that, a project deadline is slowly starting to creep back into the forefront. i am in for something wild very soon.