this morning i went to the barber to get a haircut. no need to wake up super early to beat the saturday morning barbershop rush as today was only a thursday. i got there and i was the second person waiting, picked up a computer gaming magazine and waited for a barber to become available. when one of them was finished, i wait for the man who came before me to take the spot, but apparently he only wanted the other barber to cut his hair, so he let me go in his place. this is the second time this has happened. there are two barbers at the school street barbershop: gabe, italian, white hair and black moustache, playing up to all the stereotypes of the typical italian barber, and theodore, greek, a nice old man. i've had my hair cut by both men, and i think both do about the same job cutting hair, no discernable difference. if anything, theodore is more meticulous. gabe is the conversationalist, always asking about school or work or girlfriend. maybe i was lucky not to get gabe, because i have none of those things at the moment. so theodore started cutting my hair ("short on the sides, short in the back, just enough on top to comb" is what i always ask for), and there's something about getting a haircut that's very relaxing. maybe it's the personal attention, maybe that's what i crave the most, so i wonder how much more relaxed i'd be if i went to one of those spas that cater to both genders. get a nice steam bath, nice facial, manicure, pedicure, massage, really pamper myself. um, where was i? oh right, barbershop. after the haircutting, theodore put all sorts of oils and gels into my hair, giving it some style, which in fact made me look more and more like a guido. he had this little plastic brush that looked like something you'd use to polish your shoes but he used it on my hair. i love it when the barber brushes my hair, call me crazy. i think there's just something primal about enjoying a good grooming. after it was over, he flashed a hand-held mirror on either side of my head so i could inspect his handy work, i gave the obligatory, "that's great, that's perfect" remarks, paid the $13 (that includes a $2 tip), and walked home, rubbing my new haircut, feeling like a million bucks.

the chain of events after my haircut were a visit to a bernie & phyl's furniture store in everett (the red sofa set i wanted might actually be too large for my living room), the restaurant depot, bj wholesales, then some hours spent at the house assembling the second barstool and stripping paint. i've got all the vertical boards of the window frames in the master bedroom all done. i'd take occasional breaks just to take off my mask and get some fresh air, get a drink of cold water, and to walk around to escape the fumes and the heat.

i was going to leave at 4pm to walk down to harvard square to take the bus back into belmont when i casually checked the caller id log on my phone. i was shocked to discover that a "drake roberts" had called me. drake roberts, my old boss at screen house, missing in action for some time now? could it be true? i thought maybe the caller id log was busted or somebody was using his old office phone to call me, or maybe (as impossible as it might sound) it was a different drake roberts altogther. i called the number out of curiousity and guess who it was? the drake roberts! no one's heard from him since he left, i felt honored to be speaking to the mystery man himself, to get the inside scoop. he found my number through 411, and it's actually auspicious timing because i was just thinking about cancelling my landline since at&t was charging me a fortune just to keep it. he was calling to say hi, to start coming out of his self-imposed exile, to see what's happening in the exciting world of director lingo development. we xtshers all had theories as to what happened to drake, the most prevalent one being that he was probably off somewhere sailing the world. drake told me that he's pretty much been stuck at the marina in charlestown since he left screen house, working on his boat, having not touched much of his computer and the internet since. i felt like i was talking to a time traveler from the distant past, so much has changed in the greater screen house community since we last met! i filled him in on all the xtshers details and what they've been doing, particularly my own situation, how i bought a house and got laid off, and how srm for a brief period was home to a lot of xtshers in one capacity or another. i gave him my cell phone number and address, he said he'd send me a postcard from maine during his 5 week sailing trip starting tomorrow, and i invited him over to the house once he comes back.

i finally did make it to harvard square, really enjoyed the 15 minute walk. one of the things i miss about work is all that commuting and people watching. i wish i could photograph everyone so i could have a photo album that would be "all the interesting people i saw today at harvard square," but because i was in a rush to get back to belmont, i'll save that idea for next time. i cashed some checks, picked up my high blood pressure medicine from cvs, and then caught the 73 bus. because it was after 5pm, i don't think anyone noticed that i was unemployed. they probably just assumed i was coming back from work. if i was riding the bus, say, 2 hours earlier, it would've been pretty obvious that i wasn't working. maybe i'm shamefully paranoid.

the cactus orchid flower eventually wilted today after many days of full bloom. i was starting to think that thing would never die! not that i wanted it to, but i just thought it would've been more poetic if it just blossomed for one night before succumbing to wilt. how was i suppose to know it was so hardy?

i went out with my mother, sister, and suhan to the old country buffet in watertown. my mother raves about it, this was my first time visiting. my opinion? i wasn't inspired, felt like a college dining hall experience, with a lot more fat people. the food's cheap though, and it is all you can eat. afterwards, we went to the gap outlet followed by target. i bought a set of drinking glasses for something like $8 (price so cheap it's obscene!), and added about a 100 more items to my list of things to get in the near future, once my house is fixed. they got some nice furnitures though, i'll have to come back with some measurements. the place was packed too, transcending social-economic barriers left and right. old and young, ugly and beautiful, rich and poor, trendy and tasteless, white, hispanic, black, asian, indian, you name it, they're all there. this is the golden age of general stores.