i woke up early saturday morning to get my haircut at the local barber shop. the weekend is the only time i can do it, and they're not open on sundays (since i work weekdays), so saturday is the only window of opportunity. i'm not the only one with this predicament, as many local fellow working men find themselves facing the same problem. so usually saturdays are the busiest days of the week for a barber shop that doesn't open on sundays, that's why i have to visit early in the morning when they first open, otherwise the wait to get a haircut becomes too long. i got to the barber shop at 8am, still groggy from having slept only 3 hours the night before. two men were already getting their hair cut, there wasn't anybody else sitting down in the waiting area, so i'd be next. it's interesting to see the kind of magazines a barber shop would subscribe to. these would be magazines that cater to men's interests. issues of men's health, fhm, esquire, handguns digest, sports illustrated, cars & drivers, national geographic. i've also seen the daily newspaper alongside the other magazines on a few occasions, but not today. while i was waiting, men started arriving. when it became my turn to get a haircut, there were already 4 people waiting. the barber that i got was gabe, who i think is the fan favorite amongst the discriminating haircut crowd. how do i know this? on at least one occasion, a man let me have the other barber just so he could have gabe cut his hair for him. that's fan loyalty, especially when it's only a haircut (maybe some of those guys wouldn't agree), and men's haircut all pretty much look the same anyway (these are the traditional haircuts you get at a traditional barber shop, i'm not talking about a salon or a stylist). "short in the back and on the sides, just enough on top to comb," is what i always ask for. i am 28 years old but everytime i go to the barber shop, they assume that i'm a student, and immediately start asking about school. barber shops are also good places to get stories, and gabe was telling me about how i'm lucky i don't have any grey hairs, because he's been seeing an increase in the number of kids as young as 12-14 years old who come into his shop with grey hairs. after the haircut, i paid $11 + $2 tip and walked home, rubbing the back of my newly shorn head.

later, i went to the belmont public library, trying to find something new i could read. i tried very hard in the new fiction section, and despite the fact that i was very open-minded, all of it seemed like crap. i almost picked out the nick hornby edited speaking with the angel, but after skimming a few pages, found it too english for my taste. i ended up going with the mammoth book of best new horror 2000. i like books that give me cheap thrills quickly, and nothing does that like a collection of short horror stories. while i was checking out my book, the librarian told me that i had an overdue fine. after fishing for money in my bare wallet and explaining how i didn't even change, she told me i didn't have to pay for it today. i also picked up a free museum pass from the library as well, which was my original real intention of going to the library in the first place.

i hung out in the garden, the morning sun slowly warming up the backyard. although i haven't really confirmed this, i think mornings might be a good time to get insect photos because i saw a lot of bugs out getting some sun after spending a night in the cold darkness.

buggy threeway

bulb fly


i saw a new beetle that i haven't seem before, a kind of leaf beetle, similar looking to the more common three-lined potato beetle that live in my backyard eating nightshade leaves, but completely red. when i first saw it i thought it might've been a mutated potato beetle, but there were enough differences to classify it as a completely different insect.

unknown red leaf beetle



venus flytrap


split poppy

iris & money





for those who were wondering where my venus flytrap plant was, i have good news and bad news. good news is that it's growing at home in an enclosed jar, getting plenty of sun and humidity. the bad news is all but one of the flytraps are dead now, nothing left but wilted black leaves where the traps use to be. venus flytraps are hard to take care of! not sure what the future holds in store for my plant. this might be one battle i won't be able to win.

i could only watching helplessly as the bamboos continue to grow rampant in the backyard. the new plan is to wait a little bit longer, for all the shoots to emerge from the ground, before we go in with digging tools and uproot all the new expansion growth.

i heard this continuous soft chirping sound in the backyard, like a squeaky wheel on a bad shopping cart. i looked up into the maple tree and saw a downy woodpecker. that's when i saw the hole in the tree where it had made a nest and obviously little hungry woodpeckers had hatched and were waiting to be fed. i got a self-standing ladder and tried to look inside the hole when the adult woodpecker flew away, but i couldn't see anything, i could just hear the soft chirping.

close to noon i drove 30 minutes down to michael's house in weymouth where he was having a garden party. this is only my second time being down in weymouth, the first time was for rob's son's christening back in august. a lot of married couples showed up, friends of michael and sarah, and a lot of them had kids as well. there were probably an equal amount of children and adults. there were lots of lounging around, eating, drinking, enjoying the weather, watching the kids play.

i left around 5pm, just in time to get caught in some medium traffic on I-93. as soon as i could i got on the mass turnpike, where the flow of traffic was much faster. i fished two quarters out from the tray in the middle of the car and made an accurate throw into the exact change tollbooth basket to get myself onto storrow drive. when i got home i read a single horror story (the stunted house by terry lamsley, high creepiness factor) before falling asleep in the sun, in bed.