i take pride in the fact that i don't wear gloves when i put the leaves into the trash barrels. real men use their hands, and that's what i do. i really get into it, armfuls of garden debris, dumping them into the proper receptacles. the cold autumn air, the strong scent of the earth, touching the wet leaves and god knows what else, this is what fall is all about. now is the time to rake because all the trees around my house are empty of leaves. all i have to do is to clean up the garden and wait for the snow.

when i wasn't out raking the leaves, i was inside doing a spot of freelance programming work (in cahoots with lisa coen), putting my new pc to some good use. for lunch i made some scallion pancakes and set out a fan on a stool to drive out the oil smell clinging in the air afterwards.

i woke up late today (12pm) , but only because i slept late (5am). as a matter of fact, i haven't been getting very much sleep all this week for whatever reason. by the time evening rolled around, i couldn't stop yawning, i was so tired. in my mind i have all these plans to go out and do things, like go out running in the morning, or maybe perfect my breakfast making skills, but i just can't get out of bed early enough. hopefully tonight i can log in early and cash in on some normal sleep hours. sleeping late this time of the year is not good because there's only so much daylight to begin with, by the time i wake up it's already starting to get dark.

after work, my parents gave me a ride to allston where i bought a $40 17" compusa monitor from this guy named neighbor. in what turned out to be a case of dizzy creepy small worldliness, he was friends with pat, friends with joel, and knew lucy (friend of laurie's) who actually showed him my website before. he was having a moving sale before he headed out to san francisco at the end of the year. i was impressed with the half dozen or so couches parked in his 6 roommate house, like a home for wayward and troubled sofas. unfortunately none of them fit within my wish couch parameters, and a few of them were in a state of euphemistic near retirement.

my parents came over to my place for dinner again, and like friday night, we got some takeout from zoe's to go with some home-cooked rice (rice actually costs 75 cents a bowl at zoe's, i think it's outrageous that a chinese restaurant would actually charge for the staple of chinese cuisine, it should be included free with every meal).

i tried out the monitor with my pc and it worked fine. not as sharp as a sony trinitron (a guy in lowell was selling one for $80), but this will do. the total cost of my whole pc setup is just $260, you can't beat that price. i would like to get a new keyboard and a mouse though. the keys on the current keyboard is skewed left for some reason and some of the letters have faded off from overuse. the mouse is an old school ball mouse (yeah, not even laser, can you believe that?), light and cheap, very unresponsive.

tonight i realized pc's aren't all that great. not really realized per se, sort of just reminded. there is so much virus checking going on with my machine, everything i do requires a virus check. the thing is, i'm afraid to turn it off, because i know what a dirty slut a pc can be, that it's very easy for it to pick up something nasty. on my mac, i never had to worry about viruses. mac's are clean compared to pc's. then, i couldn't get why my msie on the pc wouldn't just complete my url's for me instead of playing dumb. like when i type in "cnn," on the mac it knows to immediately go to "www.cnn.com," but on the pc, more often than not it'd get confused and go to the msn search page (it could be a conspiracy for microsoft to generate more ad revenue). or if you forget to type in "http://" in front of an url, sometimes it wouldn't work either. and finally, i don't like the fact that my pc does stuff without asking me, and the things it does that i do know of, i have nobody what it's doing either. for instance, the aol bookmark keeps on getting added to my browser. the first time it happened i thought it was just me, so i erased it, but then later when i came back, the link had returned. i feel like when i'm using the pc, i'm not entirely in control of my computing experience, that there are unseen forces at play. it could be because i'm still relatively a pc newbie compared to my experience on the mac, but i'm starting to feel that the honeymoon is coming to a close.

after dinner i went with my parents back to belmont so i could grab a power cord (for the pc monitor, it didn't come with one, i was using my mac power cable as a temporary substitute). out in the driveway sat a large metal disposal bin, collecting the pieces of shingles the roof guys have been dismantling from my parents' house earlier today (they're chinese, they work sundays). it was dark, so i couldn't really see the bare roof, but on top of the maibox i did see a shingle fragment.

after my father drove me back to my place, we made smoothies in the kitchen before he left to go back home. a little bit too much sugar, and too strong in the banana department, but other than that, it was very good. i used frozen fruits (strawberry, grape, peach, etc.), which meant i didn't have to add any ice, along with a cup of strawberry kiwi juice.