in august, my second month of home ownership, i finished my house up to the point where i can start painting. i made a lot of progress, had all the windows replaced, had new lights and fixtures and switches installed, fixed some plumbing needs, and even got the floors refinished. makes me wonder what i was doing in july. i think once a couple of pieces fall into place, everything else comes together. i'm still not moved in yet, but the only limiting factor is me now and how fast i can paint the house. now's the fun i suppose, the final touches to really make the place my own. i actually did start painting, primed the guest bedroom. it was a good experience, learning from my mistakes.

my body sustained all sorts of injuries in the month of august. first, i tried to get my nevus removed but discovered it wasn't a simple matter and had to reschedule with a plastic surgeon. i fell of a bike and received some superficial injuries, luckily avoided castration by an inch. i also discovered i sprained the ligaments in my right knee, no more running for me for the foreseeable future.

although i haven't officially moved into the house yet, i did spend a few nights there in the month of august, once because i had to meet the electrician the next morning, and twice more when claudio came to town and stayed over at my place. it feels like camping, which means psychologically i don't really consider it home yet, except for the bathroom, which feels like a natural fit and i take showers there as often as possible.

speaking of visitors, i already mentioned claudio visiting, whom i haven't seen in over 4 years. his arrival brought another unexpected visit from manny's former girlfriend now fiance daisy whom i haven't seen in many years as well. i also reunited with mike lee my old western china roommate, whom i haven't seen in over 2 years, actually just randomly bumping into him in chinatown and discovering we're actually almost next door neighbors. early this month john miller invited me down to the hampton, where i saw deanna (haven't seen her since that time dan and i went down to nyc to see john's improv performance) and her friends (megan, christine, all of whom i haven't seen since last year at the hampton). finally, dave aronow brought down his family from new jersey for a brief visit in boston, and not only did i get to meet all of them (whom i haven't seen since their wedding, and this might be my first time actually seeing their son ben). and despite not having actually met him face to face, i talked to drake on the phone, haven't heard from him since my screen house layoff close to 2 years ago.

this month of august will also be remembered for a few other things: finally losing my ikea cherry and visiting an ikea store for the very first time, finally visiting rhode island for the very first time, playing croquet for the very first time, first time at qingping and le gamin in the south end, first time bicycling in a long time, and first time at a blog brunch.

i guess a lot of things happened this month of august, but for some reason it feels like it went by pretty fast. august, the last month of the summer, looks like my self-imposed vacation is winding down. next month i plan on starting to seriously look for a job (i've been out of work long enough!) and to be finally moved into my not-so-new house!

one last thing:

living roomapple green 2026-40
bathroomfresh cut grass 2026-50
foyer, hallway,
guest bedroom closet
tangelo 2017-30
kitchendark salmon 2009-30
master bedroomlittle boy blue 2061-60
guest bedroom,
hallway closet, coat closet
yellow highlight 2021-40

"tony, i'm so drunk!" jimmy said to me in a phone call an hour after our appointed time to meet for him to do the second coat of polyurethane on my floors. "i was at a bachelor party last night, you know how it is!" these guys might not be the best floor guys out there, but the amusing stories i get from them makes up for it. i think after our little deck bonding experience yesterday during lunch, he feels close enough to me now to confess everything. "i sent sunny to do your floors, i can't make it today." i told him it was okay, but the floors weren't dry yet, there were spots where it was still sticky. also, yesterday after everyone left the house, the mail man unknowingly slipped the mail through the slot, falling on the floor, and sticking to it, so parts of the foyer has to be refinished. jimmy called sunny, and then called me back. "okay, let's reschedule for 3pm, how about that?" i agreed, hoping that in 4 more hours the floors would be dry enough to buff and then recoat. i opened all the windows on this dry and cold last day of august, the sky blue with not a hint of clouds. i also plugged in the box fan and let it run to circulate the air inside. with that done, i got a ride from my father back to belmont.

with 3pm approaching i took the motorcycle back into cambridge to meet up with sunny. when i got there he was already waiting on the step with this other kid named calvin. "cool," said sunny as he saw me get off my bike and let them into the house. sunny sanded the part of the foyer where the letters fell through, then buffed the rest of the house despite the fact that some parts of the floor were still sticking. small spots, like on the knots, and all on the old wood (old wood's more stubborn about drying versus new wood). sunny said it was okay to buff when the floors are like that, not sure if that's true or not. then he started to reapply a second coat of polyurethane, starting from the back of the house and working his way to the front. in less than an hour he was done, i thanked him and he left. no money was exchanged because jimmy's the money man, and also because the doors haven't been put back in yet, and they might need to be trimmed slightly because they might not fit now with new floors in the bedrooms. sunny said he could come back monday night to put in the floors, but i should call up jimmy first.

with the riding season winding down, opportunities must be seized when they arrive, thus in this carpe diem spirit did i once more take the long way home, going up memorial drive, across the longfellow, and down storrow drive back to belmont. the posted speed limit on storrow drive is 40 mph. taking my life my own hands and facing my mortality like the wind blowing in my face, i went 30 miles above the posted speed limit. i got home, my eyes bloodshot from the pollution, glad to be alive, wishing i could go out another hour for more riding.

in what has now become a nightly ritual, i went shopping with my mother and sister, this time going to the wrentham village premium outlets mall, about a 40 minute drive out of boston. i didn't get anything other than a book (the browser's book of endings by charles panati) and a $6 bag of mixed candy. oh, and a pair of shoes. i did have my eyes on some really colorful handcrafted wool carpets but they're too expensive for my budget, $150 a rug. i especially like the green stripped edge carpet with repeating bee patterns in the middle. the place was amazingly packed with shoppers yet at the same time very organized and civilized, more in line with the upscale nature of outlet malls versus the lowest common denominator appeal of conventional malls.

finally, i went over to manny's tonight to grab some hand-me-down dishware from daisy's recently moved sister. i then gave them (manny and daisy) a ride to logan airport, to the avis car rental agency, where manny was going to pick up a minivan for tomorrow's sojourn down south to new jersey. it was cold tonight, 51 degrees when i left the house, i had to wear my wintertime peacoat in order to stay warm. prior to arriving at manny's i was actually having some atm troubles. i tried to get some money but after a few minutes of waiting (unusually long) i got back my card and a receipt saying that i had withdrawn $100 when in fact no money came out of the machine. i called the help number but fleet's offices were all closed until tomorrow morning.