after getting all dolled up, i walked to the 74 bus stop. while waiting for the bus i took a few snapshots. my days of riding the 74 are numbered! this may be one of the last few times i will ever catch the bus from this place. i wanted some pictures to remind me. ordinary things that i see everyday now seem new again.
at harvard square i made a quick stop at cvs to buy a pack of beef jerkies. i feel there's a lot of stigma attached to cured salted meats, but for some reason i just had a craving for them. i felt ashamed when i went to go pay, and made a lot of idle chitchat with the cashier girl in the hopes of distracting her so she wouldn't notice what i was buying when she rang me up. i waited for laurie outside of nini's corner. i noticed there's was new store called black ink, which i've seen before somewhere else (beacon hill?), that sells those kind of swanky novelty items that people of my generation are so keen to shell our serious bucks so they can decorate their homes with something kitschy. i will have to visit the next time i'm in harvard square (which is every workday). 15 minutes later after the designated meeting time, when i was taking out my newly acquired cellphone and just about to make a call to see what was going on, laurie pulled around the corner and i jumped in. her sister-in-law, who was suppose to come with us, ended up cancelling. one of the things i know about laurie is if she makes an appointment to do something, you better show up. she all about total social commitment, not some half-hearted "okay i'll be there" but then cancelling at the last minute. fortunately, i am the say way. if i say i'm going to do something, i'm going to do it.
dim sum was uneventful, except the head waiter for our shared table was that asshole waiter who made manny and i leave the restaurant. i was hoping he wouldn't recognize me because i recently got a haircut, but i've been to china pearl so many times before and i have somewhat distinguishing looks that it's hard not to notice me (i hope that didn't come off sounding pompous). one of the waiters gave laurie and i two glasses of water and a pair of forks, probably figured we'd be the kind of patrons who don't know how to use chopsticks. i'm only offended because i know others might be offended by it, but i personally think it's funny when they do that. we didn't have too much food tday and we had more leftovers than usual. we sat at a table with parents and their two kids. the older child was an angry middle school aged boy who wore a fat silver chain ghetto style with a dragon medallion. he sat at the table pouting, wouldn't eat anything. i tried to get a photo but it didn't come out so well. later, he was playing a gameboy instead of eating. i wonder if i was like that when i was boy? dear god, almost 2 decades ago?
during dim sum we got to the topic of my recent home buying, and i caught myself saying something unusual. i said when i moved, i'd leave a lot of stuff at my parents' house. the thing is, i should really move everything! it's not like i'm renting an apartment, that apartment is mine, for all practical purpose, that's my permanent home for the foreseeable future! so that's definitely something i'm going to have to get use it. luckily, i don't own that much stuff anyway (besides bookshelves of books and a few electronic equipment here and there), so regardless if i move a little or a lot of stuff, it won't be a big deal.
after we finished, i asked laurie to get the attention of the head waiter to add up our total. i sat silently making faces into the table while the asshole waiter calculated behind me. "you pay me now," he said, then walked away. did he recognize me? was he joking? has he upgraded his asshole plan to the premium package? i don't know, but laurie and i gave him a fat tip so hopefully he won't be angry the next time i come. it was totally weird, because we always pay at the door before we leave, but i shoved the fistful of cash plus the bill into his hand and said "thank you" while i was leaving. i could see him take a quick glance at the amount, and he said "thank you" back, which i hope is a good sign.
after dim sum we visited 3 fabric stores around the chinatown area. laurie wanted to get something purple and cottony to make couch pillows out of. the first store, besides the parking garage, carried mostly chinese materials, which meant a lot of transparent or silky fabrics. the other two stores where along chauncy street. the first one was really crazy, a lot of people there, mostly women, or occasionally i'd see a woman with her gay boyfriend who's going to help her pick the right fabric. all those patterns and colors and materials, it was dizzying. it's actually quite fun, like being inside of a sensory kaleidoscope, besides seeing everything i also touched everything to feel what the material's like. up to today, i've never been in any of these fabric stores before. i was entering another new world. made me wish i was a better student in my home economics class in middle school. it'd be cool to know enough about sewing or knitting to make your own clothes. it's so old school, and all that old school skills are becoming increasing cool. but i'm so lazy, i'm just as happy buying something instead of making it. still, i wanted to buy some fabrics, not because i want to make anything out of them per se, but just because they were so cool looking. the 3rd store we went to, it was kind of quiet, and the reason was probably because they didn't have a very big selection. they had a lot of children prints though, and laurie was checking out the barbie print fabric. laurie ended up not finding anything see liked and would try another store in arlington. i had my eyes on some polyester/cotton stuffing for $2/bag, for those cylindrical back pillowcases i bought in istanbul, but i didn't buy them, figured i'd get them another time.
since we were probably over the 1.5 hours parking time that we had to be under on a saturday in order to not pay the maximum for parking ($18), i figured there was no rush to leave chinatown so we went to that upstairs eatery place that sold bubble ice tea. for those who aren't in the know, it's essentially this drink that has these large gelatin balls at the bottom that you can suck up through a fat straw. i got a passion fruit drink (although i really wanted the carambola drink) and laurie got a banana shake.
to laurie's horror, inside the elevator of the parking garage back to her car, i told her i was going to work today. so she drove me back to kendall square. during dim sum we talked about her numerous ear piercings, and i told her she was one of the most pierced girls i know. she was very happy about a recent piercing, an antihelix, aka a rook. this is what the body modification ezine had to say about it:
|ear anti-helix piercing (aka rook)
this ear cartilage piercing passes through the upper inner cartilage fold. to many people's surprise, this is one of the more painful piercings.
total piercing: 6
total piercing : 3
while taking the photo of her left ear (the antihelixed ear), i spilled some of my drink all over my lap and into laurie's car. nice move! now i can go to work feeling all wet and sticky!
i got to work and no surprise but there were other people working there today as well, though none on my project. i got settled in and logged 4 hours of coding. no aim, no e-mail, no music, just me and code, one on one. occasionally i'd reload the cnn.com or boston.com website to see if anything new was happening in the world (i think i'm a news junkie). occasionally i'd go use the bathroom, enjoying one of the many recent magazines in the rack. i worked barefoot because it makes me feel more relaxed. at 5pm i left the office to go home.
i spent my night playing with the cellphone some more, called at&t wireless customer service again to find out how to make my "check voicemail" button automatically dial my voicemail password. the trick is to add several "pauses" in between dialing the number and then entering the password. while i was on the phone with at&t, somebody called me on the cellphone but i wasn't able to answer. after my conversation with the at&t representative, i checked my voicemail to see who had called me. it was eliza, asking if i'd be interested in some weekend running action. in trying to call her back i accidently dialed the wrong number in my missed calls list, getting ms.julie lepage instead. i didn't realize she'd called me, but then i figured out it was her who called me yesterday in the office, when i first got my phone and didn't know how to turn off the very loud ringer and scared the crap out of me when i received a call that i didn't answer. i caught julie at home eating a cereal dinner. i did finally manage to reach eliza but she wasn't home. later during the night i got a callback. "it's not too late to call, is it?" eliza asked. if people only really knew how late i stay up on weekends! it's going to be even later tonight with the start of daylight saving time. eliza's phone call is actually the first phone call i have received on my cellphone since getting it yesterday. yes, i've received calls before, but they were all for testing purposes, like i call myself from a landline, or that time when klea called me to check that my phone number was correct. and julie did try to call me but i didn't answer it, and eliza did try to call me and i didn't answer her the first time as well. but this call marked the very first time i have officially received a personal phone call from somebody, a genuine interpersonal connection, history in the making.
by the way, ryan gosling, he's the next young hot thing in hollywood. mark my words, you'll be hearing a lot about him in the near future.
one final note, i do notice when girls flash their bellybuttons at me. i pretend i don't, but i do.