with those words over aim, i made plans with julie to come and pick me up when she went to the galleria best buy to purchase a replacement for her malfunctioning microsoft optical intellimouse. inside her car she had a new addition, dangling from the rearview mirror was a chief wiggum air freshener, which smelled so strongly of artificial sweetness (cotton candy? blueberry? donuts?) that julie kept it in its original plastic bag. after securing a spot to park on the outskirt of the mall (a nearly full 2 hours of time still left on the meter), we walked to the galleria, making a quick stop at petco for me to buy a packet of cat grass. at best buy, i helped julie in finding a portable cd-player for her car and a new mouse. she went with a sony cd-player that came with a car kit and a microsoft blue optical mouse (she was hesitant about buying anything optical from microsoft, but that was pretty much all they had in stock). after paying, we went to the food court. it was sort of like old times, when julie still worked at the TSH cambridge office while i worked at SRM down by kendall square. she went with latin, i went with cajun (spicy barbecue chicken). she let me try some of her plantains, i let her take free sips of my orange soda. afterwards, she dropped me off in porter square.
i picked up my hbp medication at the cvs, where i was behind an old man who was there to pick up his oxycontin prescription, but he was there early and they didn't have it ready yet. i then walked down to the newly opened family dollar store on somerville avenue. from a previous circular that i'd received, i knew that they had a $1 sale on potting soil, which i'd need for my renewed interest in regrowing some cat grass. the place was surprisingly busy with wide range of customers spanning all ages and races and apparent social economic classes. i got my bag of dirt, but also debated whether i should buy an $8 garden gnome. i've been secretly yearning for one, but the types i've seen online weren't the ones i like or were too pricey for my taste. when i went to pay, there was a customer at the entrance alerting the staff that the metal shoplifting detector wasn't working, because he was able to get a magnetic tag through the door without the alarm sounding. "ladies, you have a security breach!" he announced with pride at the discovery, "i could've walked out of here with all sorts of stuff!" he further elaborated, not fully realizing that there isn't too much that's expensive and worth stealing from the family dollar. "i know about this stuff, i used to be in the security business," he added. i left and slipped back into cambridge through the secret underground passageway.
i came home and prepared the cat seed, putting two tablespoon worth of mixed seeds into a cup of water to soak overnight for proper germination. once again i got cosmic kitty herb, which wasn't what i really wanted, since that brand is a mix of seeds, instead of pure barley, which i think gives a more uniformed growth of grass. what i need is someplace to cheaply buy a few pounds of barley, what i don't end up using for indoor growing, i'll sow them outdoors in the garden of my parents' place in belmont after the danger of frost, to become green manure.
when evening came around, my father made a quick food delivery to my place (another whole oven cooked chicken and a container of raw marinated steaks), before going back home to pack for my parents' weekend california trip. later, shannon came to pick me in her car so we could go grocery shopping for dinner tonight. she was coming over tonight to burn a bunch of music cd's, and in return she'd make dinner. having to run some errands at the fresh pond mall, we would get groceries from bread & circus. before that could happen though, we were at staples to pick up some blank cd's, at toys'r'us to browse some toys, at wainwright's to do some banking, and then to grocery shopping.
back at the house, shannon effortlessly made tagine with couscous with the marinated beef my father had brought over earlier tonight. it was very good, she wasn't afraid of adding a lot of flavor into what she tells me is a moroccan dish. i made fruit elixirs, perhaps one of the few things i can make with confidence. we ate by the dining table, occasionally breaking out in embarassed laughter over the "best of abc" cd i was playing on my bedroom stereo. we debated whether the duo from abc were gay or not, finally deciding that they were "so gay." we also decided that "when smokey sings" is coded language for smoking marijuana.
after dinner, we started ripping the 19 sets of music swapping cd's shannon had received in the mail (shannon couldn't do it at her place because her burner's busted and she has no firewire so i couldn't lend her my 8x burner). the idea was everyone would send in 5 duplicate copies of their mix cd (one set coming as far as australia) along with accompanying cool cd sleeves (some of them were very cool, most obviously touched by the hands of imaginative designers), shannon would swap them around and the sender would get 5 new cd's back along with another bonus cd of mp3 versions of all the songs that were sent in. shannon spent something like 3-4 hours ripping the cd's, but once we were ready to burn, i discovered that i had set my itunes to convert everything to a low-grade mono format. i suggested we re-convert all 19 cd's again and shannon nearly killed me. it was decided that people would just have to be happy with their bonus cd's of mono mp3's, so we burned regardless. unfortunately by that time it was 3am, and after doing some calculations, i figured it'd be another 3 hours to burn a double mp3 set for all 19 cd swapping contestants. we decided to call it a night and shannon drove back home.