my cellphone buzzed me awake at 7am this morning. i went into the bathroom to wash my face and to comb the rat's nest that is my hair. it's now long enough that it's starting to curl in the back. i got dressed and threw a couple of poptarts into the toaster oven. grabbing my breakfast, i put on my jacket and went out the door into the cold. destination: marion. today i'd skip 93 and go down 95 south instead. the commute was a little better, although at some point there was some slight congestion on the highway close to boston.

i arrived at the office of my freelance programming gig with nobody home but the door unlocked and a note on the keyboard from tom telling me he'd be right back. alone, i fixed a few more bugs on my project and patiently waited for somebody to show up. around 11am tom came back, and an hour later we left for osterville on the cape for a meeting with the client. in his jeep he told me an interesting story of something that happened to him the other night, i probably shouldn't divulge any details, but it was a case of mistaken identity and escalating local awkwardness.

it took over 40 minutes to drive to osterville. i've always associated cape cod with someplace far away, an exotic vacation destination, so it was pretty surreal to be going there so casually in the middle of the day, and for business reasons, not for pleasure. tom shaved with an electric razor while he drove, occasionally using his thighs to guide the steering wheel.

the client meeting started kind of rocky but after a few hours of serious information gathering, everyone left the table feeling pretty good about the future of the project. tom treated me to a calzone at the local pizza shop. it was pretty delicious, not sure whether it was because i was hungry, but i've found that the food on the cape to be pretty good on the average. leaving the town of osterville, we drove by a gathering of costumed children participating in some sort of halloween town parade. i'm utterly amazed on how powerful halloween is in mobilizing children to take to the streets in the pursuit of free candies.

i left the town of marion close to 5pm, the sky pretty dark already. that town was also holding a halloween gathering of some sort at the town hall, a mass of costumed children scattering into the streets with their flashlight holding parents. i accidently went in the wrong direction on I-195 and 20 miles later i discovered the error and turned back around. the ride home was rough, i was tired and the darkness wasn't helping me stay awake. i slapped my face a few times to keep from falling asleep, and chew on a mint strip. remember a trick eliza uses to keep herself from falling asleep, i turned the air conditioning on high and froze myself back to focused consciousness. by the time i got back to belmont (to drop off the car) two hours later, my hands were icy cold.

my sister gave me a ride back to cambridge, we passed groups of trick-or-treating children on the streets of belmont and cambridge. from a cursory glance, it appears the dracula costume is a big hit with the kids, as i saw numerous black caped vampires running around. by the time we got to my street, it was practically swarming with local kids, like some sort of halloween night street party, all light up by the glow of porch lights and candlelit jack-o-lanterns. down one street i could see a battle of neighbors vying for the "coolest haunted house" distinction. i thought it was funny that my upstairs neighbor steve was doing what i thought about doing, which was turning off all the lights so it'd look like nobody was home. but i actually wanted to get some trick-or-treaters, and i had some candies to give out (some lollipops and a bag of whoppers), so i made no efforts to disguise the fact that i was home. julie came by with her own bag of candies (an assortment of tootsie rolls and dots), and we greeted three groups of trick-or-treaters. first a bunch of boys, second a bevy of girls (who told me they were friends of the girl who used to live at my place), and finally another group of boys (they accidently walked straight through the unlocked front door not realizing it wasn't a common foyer, later one of them asked me if i'd been painting and pointed to my orange walls). i was very generous with the candies, dispensing handful of sweets into each bag/pillowcase, figuring that maybe i wouldn't get many more visitors later in the night. i didn't take any photos but i should've, halloween is such a photogenic holiday. while i was making tea, julie told me the story of how she fell off her bike headfirst and how she bruised one of her ribs. julie loved the orange and thought the cozy green bathroom was the best room in the house (we even have the same bathroom rug from target). i told her about my banding idea in the kitchen and she suggested uneven vertical stripes if i was actually going to do it. we spied on a neighbor suspiciously moving into his new place in the middle of the night. we watched tv in the living room before julie left to go watch ER back at her place in somerville.