i met laurie in central square to go down to chinatown for some china pearl action with paula and jonathan at 11:30am. after a brief wait, laurie and i saw them rollerblading down the street. we went upstairs and was able to get a table right away (shared though). this was the very first dim sum experience for paula and jonathan. at one point a waitress came by with forks, which we politely refused, everyone chopsticks savvy (to be honest, i probably had the worst chopstick skills out of the group). we had a wide range of dim sum specialties: soumai, chinese broccoli stalks (gai-lohn), chicken feet, tripe, fried taro, mini custard pies, douhua, mango pudding, oil rice, and vegetarian dumplings.

afterwards, we parted ways, laurie and i taking the t back to cambridge. while walking to the station, we passed this asian couple. i looked at the guy and there was that brief moment where the both of us were thinking the exact same thing, "hey, i know you!" i let out an excited scream which scared the crap of out laurie. "mike lee!" mike lee, my roommate when i went to western china two years ago, mike lee from sacramento, mike lee here in boston going to harvard law. we sort of wrote to each other a few times, making tentative plans to meet, but it never happened, and neither of us have heard from the other for a while now. apparently he was going to nyc for the weekend, and i asked him a few questions, like where he was living. "in somerville, right on the border of cambridge and somerville, near porter square." that's where i sort of live! he told me the street that he lived on and it was only later, when i got back to cambridge, that i realized he lives just down the street from me. the serendipity of the moment made me smile. after my brief streetside reunion with my former roommate, laurie and i made a quick stop at the dtx 7-11 to get some candy. on the train over the longfellow bridge i had to make a call to my mother. i never thought i'd be the kind of guy who makes calls from the train, but i guess i am. laurie got off at central, i took the train a few more stops to porter.

outside the station i bought a bouquet of pink daisies for the house. arriving at my street, a group of young hipsters were calling me to buy stuff from their garage sale. just so happened they were selling a beautiful glass vase. "how much?" i asked. "a dollar," one of the girls told me. sold! i also bought a wireframe butterfly (to clip on the side of the vase, as suggested by the same girl) and a nicely painted enamel box shaped like a turtle ($1).

my father had been at the house all day stripping paint. when i walked into the living room it was warm from the heat gun with the faint trace of melted paints. there was a mini-crisis when his rusty hot water tumbler left an indelible ring stain on the white formica counter top. we were finally able to get rid of it with some bleach.

later during the day we made a family trip (including our house guest, suhan) to costco (costco! hooray!) to get some supplies. i was there to check out some pc specs for my sister, and she bought an inexpensive pc package (including monitor) after i gave it my seal of approval (i saw somebody else buy the same machine as well, apparently it's a hot item). after dinner, we assembled the machine, got a little bit of that new computer giddiness. 1660mhz pentium 4, 500+mb of ram, 80gb hard drive, cdrw, dvd, firewire (yeah, i was surprised about that one too), 17" monitor. even though it's my sister's computer i'm excited about it as well, because i figure when she's not using it i can finally play all those pc games i've been missing for so long!

two exciting things happened tonight. one of the dutchman's pipe (epiphyllum oxypetalum) from the backyard flowered tonight. i had seen it during the day, a large conspicuous pink flowerbud emerging from a plant that resembled a cactus (actually, this plant is also known as the orchid cactus). i didn't realize the significance of what i've seen until my father told me that it was a nocturally flowering plant that only blooms for a night before the flower wilts. as predicted, it bloomed tonight, and a fragrant flower no less.

the second exciting thing was i wanted to get rid of the wasp's nest building outside in the corner of one of the windows. i figured night time would be the best time to get rid of the nest, when the wasps are all asleep. originally my plan was to quickly grab the nest (about the size of clementine orange) while wearing a dishwashing glove and throw it into a plastic bag, quickly tying it up. in theory that sounds easy, but when i actually went to go do it, it wasn't that simple. it'd be a piece of cake if it was just the nest, but outside the nest sleeps about a dozen wasps, and while i was contemplating how to grab them, it seemed like they were starting to come out of their sleep. so i chickened out and went back inside, figured i'd get some sort of bug spray and chemically neutralize all the potentially angry wasps before getting rid of the nest. minutes later though, i was back outside again, poking at the nest with the end of a broom handle, trying to dislodge it from the window. i could see the wasps all stirring awake while i was trying to evict them from their home, when suddenly the nest fell off. but unfortunately it didn't fall onto the ground, but rather it fell in between two panes of storm windows, making it impossible to retrieve now without some serious face-to-face action with some pissed off wasps. i'll see what happens tomorrow.