today i continued on my quest to find a sofa for my living room. with my mother and sister we went to boston interiors in brookline. they're actually not that bad, out of all the big name discount furnitures place here in the boston area, they're a little bit more expensive than bernie & phyl's by cheaper than jordan's. none of them are more expensive than la-z-boy, nor circle furniture. two other places, ethan allen and thomasville, i'm not even going to bother looking because they're too high end for me. before i had a house, i knew nothing about furnitures. now, i've become a lightweight expert in the field. the couch that caught my eye was the "kendall" (88x38x36), although the "emma" (88x38x36) looked good as well, especially with the contrasting welts, although i don't like its suede-only choice of fabrics (i'm much more of a simple linen man myself). but i'm a sucker for legs, and the long tapered stems of the "kendall" is definitely sexier, at least to someone who's seem a lot of couches. it reminded me of the "catalina" (94x41x37), the very first couch i fell in love with back in july.




next stop was the crate & barrel store in the chestnut hill mall. i was looking for carpets on sale, they had some leftover discounted items but nothing i wanted. we tried going to the atrium mall (pottery barn, restoration hardware) but got as far as two levels of basement parking before we decided to leave. saturday mall parking is murder, especially in the claustrophobic subterranean confines of the atrium mall. instead, we drove to kendall square, where i took my mother and sister to see the cardinal "foxtrot" sofa i've been eyeing since the first time i saw it. it's a very affordable couch but missing some of the finer details on my couch wishlist, including raised wooden legs and a more streamline design versus the rather utilitarian block shape.

back at the house, my father helped me put up a mirrored bathroom cabinet. we had some problems with one of the drywall anchors, as it was too close to a wooden stud inside of the wall. we had to secure the cabinet with additional screws to make sure it wouldn't fall off. the mirrored cabinet door opens in such a way that i can see the back of my head from the reflection in the main bathroom mirror. this is very important in checking to see my hair isn't sticking up in the back when i wake up in the mornings.

for dinner, i finally took a crack at the fruit and nut pilaf recipe i've been wanting to try and that i got all the necessary ingredients for yesterday. please bear in my that i have no cooking experience, so everything, even the simplest cooking procedure, is new to me. it might scare you that a 28 year old man can go through life without ever learning how to cook, but coming from a family where everyone cooks, i never had a need to learn. the recipe was pretty simple in hindsight, gather the ingredients, chop them up if necessary, and throw them into a pot. i had some fun chopping the onion as my eyes started to water. oh yes, i've heard about this before, but to finally experience it for myself, i almost wanted to cry for real, not just because of the onion! the recipe called for pistachios but i couldn't find any at the supermarket so i opted for sunflower seeds, which i think work just as well. and when the recipe called for 3 cups of vegetable stock and i only had 2 cups, i poured in an extra cup of water when i noticed the rice was getting too dry. improvising! that's crazy thinking-on-your-feet cooking that i bet all great chefs possess! see, if i just know what every does, then it'd be a lot easier to cook than to just following instructions blindly. for instance, what was the point of putting butter and olive oil in the pot beforehand? to make sure the rest of the ingredients wouldn't stick? for flavoring? i'll figure it out though.

garlic and




when i was finally done (with the house smelling like an indian restaurant because of the basmati rice), i had way too much pilaf than i could eat. who knew rice would expand like that? i scooped out half on a plate (about 4 servings), and left the rest in the pot. this is something else i didn't realize about cooking, that it's a lot like juggling. you can't just make one item, there has to be a few other things. not wanting to cook some more (i was all cooked out, besides, i didn't know how to make anything else), i threw some buffalo wings into the toaster oven and pulled out last night's chinese leftovers. in order for balance, i did have a small bowl of salad, italian dressing. for the drink, a glass of pepsi blue (pretty color!) with a slice of lime, which i now think is just my futile attempt at making my meal a little bit classier. cooking for myself is no fun either, it's hard to just make enough food for one person. cooking for others though, i think that's the secret, because it gives you an incentive in trying out new recipes and the pressure to do a good cooking job so as to not poison your guests.

saw the most interesting documentary this morning about killer bees, aka africanized honeybees. remember when they used to be the scariest thing in the world? killer bees would invade our neighborhoods and no one would be safe from swarms of angry bees. anyway, if you've been keeping up with this whole killer bees saga, nowadays killer bees are our friends because it turns out they're much better honey producers, despite their aggressive nature. anyway, saw this documentary, and it talked about the cape honeybee found in south africa. it was probably the most interesting entomological anecdote i've heard in a long time, and let me tell you, i've heard and read a lot! (who doesn't?) cape honeybees will go out and seek the hives of killer bees. most of the time thedr intruders are instantly killed, but the few that do get in wreck havoc within the colony. apparently these bees are independent, not taking any orders from their own queen nor taking any orders from the queen of the killer bee hive they've just invaded. away from a central queen figure, each bee change from being a drone into a queen of her own, laying eggs within the hive. the killer bees get confused, because suddenly there are multiple queens inside the colony, and they end up feeding the cape bee queens as well as their own (feeding these imposters with the good stuff too, royal jelly, none of that inferior generic honey). as it that wasn't bad enough, since these cape bee queens reproduce without fertilization, all the eggs she lays are actually clones of herself, all queens as well. over time, the hive becomes filled with cape bee queens, and the killer bees end up killing their own queen. once that happens, no more new killer bees are born, and the hive slowly dies as all the remaining killer bees die from old age. the invaded hive, now completely filled with cape bees, spread out to conquer new killer bee colonies. isn't that just horrible?