this morning when i woke up at 10:30am i made another pilgrimage to home depot (somerville). home depot on a weekday is where you find contractors out supply shopping for their clients. my father and i systematically went down every aisle, making mental notes of things we might need. i think i should come to home depot everyday. i don't know why, but some how surrounded by home improvement equipments and materials is soothing for me.

later in the afternoon some chinese window guys came over to the house. they took some measurements while my father did some negotiating in mandarin to get a better deal. the deal we struck was not only replacing the 11 windows in my unit, but also the 4 windows in the basement, including parts and labor. we ended up giving them a $500 deposit, looks like they'll be doing my windows!

the garden at my place continues to produce more new flowers! other than the speedwells, i couldn't identify any of them. the most interesting one was the magenta blooms that looked like pea flowers. my father and i staked them down and tied them up in order to keep them off of the ground.

i stayed in the house until my general contractor (zuka) arrived with his team, today being their first real day of actual work (not just bringing over supplies). they brought in more machines (i saw a band saw) and more materials (e.g. 2x4's for the new closet wall). he went around instructing his crew what to do, it was all very efficient. i also found out that my contractor isn't irish, as i originally thought he was. in hindsight, he doesn't look irish at all, but he had a thick accent, which i figured was an authentic irish brogue. turns out he's brazilian, and so are the members of his crew, as they conversed in portuguese. he didn't seem to be too impressed when i told him i had some brazilian friends. i told him that he and his team could drink whatever's left in the fridge, and i left them working, each man standing on a stepladder, scraping off the popcorn from the ceiling. it feels weird to have a team of people working for me. it's weird because i'm the boss, i can tell them what to do, and they'll do it.

back in belmont, with no groceries in the house, once i got hungry enough i jumped into the car and drove to the local star market, where i bought an equal part healthy food (clementines, bananas) for every unhealthy food (toaster oven pizza, soup in a can) i got. hanging out in the supermarket gaving me the same feeling of comfort as hanging out at home depot. maybe i just love being in these superstores.

finally, tonight i saw the documentary film children underground on cinemax. here's the blurb taken straight from their site:

nominated for a 2001 best documentary feature oscar(®), this heart-wrenching film paints an unflinching portrait of a small group of homeless children living on the edge of survival in post-ceausescu romania. shot over the course of one year, the film follows five children as they are seen sleeping on cardboard in a subway station, begging for food and water, enduring beatings and sniffing toxic paint to get high and escape their horrendous existence.

those who know me know that i don't often complain. it's not that i have a zen-like attitude about life, but rather, it's things like these - romanian street children - that makes my problems pale in comparison. it's bad enough that they're constantly hungry and dirty, constantly beaten for one reason or another, constantly high on paint fumes, but the fact that these are all children makes it many magnitudes worse. it's so awful, that on my worst day it could never compare to the lives they lead. if you have cinemax, try to catch this documentary when it repeats again 6:30am july 24th (wednesday morning). once you watch just a few minutes of it, it's impossible to turn away.