inspired by bitter girl who was in turn inspired by sekimori, a google search for "tony is" reveals that:

tony is a lightweight xml parser and pretty printer written in objective caml.
tony is the one for you, he can rock as well as swing!
tony is much too humble to admit this but i can declare his playing to be at the mastery level.
tony is a tough private eye for wallen & wallen.
tony is blind, autistic, and has savant syndrome.
tony is voted the club's greatest player of all time by fans!
tony is a keen recreational angler who has held several victorian and australian records for fish and sharks caught in the portland area.
tony is a sexy man beast.
tony is still very active nowadays.
tony is even better than i was told he would be.
tony is mr. handball.
tony is grrrreat!
tony is an honor roll student with a wonderful disposition and a great sense of humor.
tony is widely recognized as an entertaining personality, and most importantly, the preeminent produce expert in the united states.
tony is a natural with lions and continues to reintroduce them into the wild.
tony is fascinated by both the lao jia and xin jia systems of chen taiji.
tony is unexpectedly ordinary and very approachable, but the message he communicates is unique and revolutionary.
tony is able to grasp with his left hand.
tony is a young college student who likes girls.
tony is now perfecting his physique by entering the competitive ranks.
tony is really just a frustrated actor posing as an attorney.
tony is quite taken with frank's wife, elvira, but manny warns him, "man, dat's de bosses lady, ogay?"
tony is a hottie, and he's still pretty good lookin now.
tony is responsible for all of our fabricated rear-end housings.
tony is bewildered by the horrifying conspiracy he begins to unravel.
tony is on the record as having said, "i was my own puppet."
tony is a little too eager to jump right into a relationship.
tony is a very patient hunter, he will sit on a stand for hours.

as if yesterday wasn't early enough, today i was up at 7am, meeting a plasterer at the place to see how much it'd cost to cover up the textured ceilings. turns out he's also a general contractor as well, and after showing him a few other stuff that needs to be done, his prices were very decent so i think i'm going to go with this guy. unfortunately he's busy, as most contractors are this time of the year, but he said he and his team were willing to come in during the evenings and during the weekend, and probably in a total of 3 days he could have everything done. he's going to give me a written estimate tomorrow, but i've already pretty much already decided that he's going to be working on the house. that still doesn't take care of the floors, which my parents already know some guy who did a lot of work for our family friends. i'll also need an electrician, and maybe an hour or two of a plumber's time. i think once all the balls are rolling i can sit back and relax. i still have to paint, but that's something i can take care of myself, something i know i can do on my own.

item i brought to the house: the blue vase i bought yesterday from crate and barrel. there's a chinese superstition that says everytime you enter a new house, you have to bring at least one new item. i was doing this long before i heard about this superstition, it just seemed intuitive. i can't fill the place too much though, because once work begins, the condo will get a little messy and with different people coming in and out, things could get broken, or worse, stolen. tomorrow i'll buy some nice orange or yellow flowers from porter square t station, to go with the blue vase.

after that i went back to belmont, where i accompanied my father to chinatown to get some food supplies for the cafe. i borrowed the maxima to return to belmont yet again. i watched some price is right then went over to dan's place. i helped him install his air conditioner (his apartment is on the third floor of an apartment complex) before we left for our very first geocaching expedition.

what is geocaching? essentially somebody hides a container of goodies somewhere (in the woods, in the city, etc.) then posts the location and some info and clues as to its whereabouts on the geocaching website. then people go to the website, read the descriptions about the various caches, and then they head out, trying to find these hidden treasures with the help of a gps (although you could probably also do it with a map if you're good at that sort of thing). it's just one of those things you can do with a gps, like visiting confluence points around the globe or doing large scale gps drawings. it's an excuse to be outside of the house, often cases out in the wilderness, an opportunity to explore and maybe get some cool stuff in return. i picked the fawn lake geocache from the website, had an easy rating, figured it'd be a safe choice for our first geocache.

fawn lake

lake path

lake path

gps tracks

indian pipe

fallen gall


pine tree
growing from hole

we drove to fawn lake in bedford without too much trouble. there was no other cars in the gravel parking lot, it felt pretty secluded, which is what i like. i turned on the etrex vista gps, typed in the location of the geocache, and we started walking towards that direction. it didn't seem far, according to the gps it was just 0.2 miles away, but we overshot the actual hiding place of the geocache, and wandered around the woods up to 0.8 miles before we found the geocache. and we only found it after i had to decipher the slightly encrypted clue. it really would be a bad if it weren't for the mosquitoes eating us alive out in the woods next to the lake. the irony is that i had bug repellent in the car, just didn't seem like there were any bugs when i go out, so i didn't bother spraying any on. IF YOU'RE GOING TO GEOCACHE IN THE WOODS DURING THE SUMMER, ALWAYS WEAR REPELLENT. we learned that the hard way. i have welts on my face, my arms, my legs, and even my back, t-shirt fabric no match for the piercing mouthpart of hungry female mosquitoes. i wandered the woods slapping off mosquitoes. once dan found the cache though, a metal ammo box filled with trinkets and other goodies, i was able to forget about the mosquitoes momentarily.

lost in the forest


cache offerings

besides the trinkets, the box also included a log book and a camera to take a photo of the geocaching group. as is customarily with geocaching, we're allowed to take items as long as we add something back to the cache. i added a sinbad figurine, a fuzzy white teddy bear keychain, an origami angel (lame!), and what i thought was the best item i had, a chiang kai-shek penny from taiwan. danny added a temporary snake tattoo. for ourselves, i took an unopened blue crazeberry chapstick (hey, i don't want to get chapped lips, is that so wrong?) while dan grabbed a set of harry potter cards and a mousetrap keychain. after signing the log book and dan taking my photo with the disposable camera, we put everything back into the box and stowed it back in its original hiding place.

when i got back to civilization, i took a shower to wash off all that forest grime i had accumulated while out in the woods, sweating from the heat, eaten alive by the mosquitoes. a few hours later i was back in allston again, grabbing dan so we can pick up the foosball table currently still at his old apartment. as soon as i left the house it started to rain (fortunately it didn't rain when we were in out geocaching, that would've been a real mess). it was a heavy thunderstorm, i drove passed people walking on the streets totally soaked, unfortunate enough to be caught in the storm without umbrellas. i felt compelled to offer some of them rides, but my reasons weren't entirely altruistic. the rain got so heavy at times, i couldn't even see very well, like a blinding downpour of hard rain. we arrived at brighton, at the old apartment, and disassembled enough of the foosball table to move it down the stairs (the table itself we had to go through the landlord's place, the rest we took down the normal stairs). by the time we actually moved stuff into the ford explorer, the rain had already subsided, a very light drizzle at worst.

we drove back to cambridge, where after i got some gas for the suv, we went to my condo and moved all the pieces of the foosball table to the basement. we then grabbed some quick dinner from some small eating place in the porter exchange. i had some miso soup and a sukiyaki with egg on rice. i felt a little stomach discomfort and didn't finish the rest of my dinner. we went back to my place to assemble the foosball table. i went into the house briefly to use the bathroom and grab some tools. up to this point, the house seemed amazingly cool in terms of temperature, despite the weather being so warm and humid. well, not anymore. hope it was only like this because there was no air circulation, and the cool air inside of the house eventually warmed up. wonder if i'll need some sort of air conditioner when i do move in? the heat is unbearable if it gets warm like this and humid as well!

without instructions, we assembled the table back to its original state through pure memory alone. the whole time we were reminiscing about old foosball stories, different people's playing style and memorable trash talking quotes. i wonder what drake (former president of screen house) would think if he ever found out that the old screen house foosball table, about 5 years old, is still alive and well, safely stored away like a piece of historical artifact in the basement of my new house? it still needs some repair work, like most of pole guards are cracked and needs to be replaced. once the final rubber stoppers were on the poles, once the last paddle was securing screwed onto the bars, dan and i played a single game, score 10-8, dan's victory.

i drove dan home and finally returned to belmont, 11pm or so. just another crazy hectic 16 hour work day.