the first thing i did when i woke up this morning was to go through my cookbooks looking for recipes that i could make tonight when amy littlewood came over for dinner. i found a recipe for thai creamy corn soup with egg, but i still needed a main course. i finally found a recipe online for thai red chicken curry. after a quick cereal lunch, i made a list of the ingredients and then headed out to the porter square star market to buy them. i picked porter square because it's bigger and has a wider selection. i normally try to avoid supermarkets on a weekend afternoon because i know it'd be crowded, which was precisely the case. it's kind of a meat market though, if you're bold and not afraid of rejection, it's a good place to meet new people, a much younger, hipper clientele than the housewives i meet at my beacon street star market. porter square had everything i wanted except for lemon grass (which i figured i could just use real lemon juice as a substitute) and basil leaves (i'd try beacon street).

when i came out of the supermarket, i called shannon, who was enroute to porter square, to pick me up so i could accompany her to the square one mall in saugus where she was looking to buy a new outfit at the h&m store, and where i could go back to the sofa factory outlet and order my purple couch. at the couch store i saw navarsha, the saleswoman i talked with last night. she got my delivery info, i gave her my credit card, and just like that i bought a couch. the really amazing thing was when she asked me if i wanted it delivered for tomorrow. tomorrow, sunday? you can do it that soon? apparently so. so tomorrow between 10am-12pm they're going to deliver the couch, just in time for the superbowl! at the square one mall, we noticed the abundance of nippled mannequins. we capped off our stay with a visit to the bookstore before leaving. on the way back to cambridge-somerville, there was a beautiful evening sunset.

by the time i got back to cambridge, i had less than an hour before amy's arrival. i still had to clean up the house, buy my last few remaining ingredients, and memorize the two recipes so it'd look like i was a pro at cooking. i went next door to the supermarket and found the basil, and then went to the liquor store (my very first time inside that place) to buy a carton of corona and a carton of samuel adams. i came back to the house, cleaned up a bit, started on the mango pudding, and secretly wrote down the recipes on a little post-it note. before i could finish however, i heard the doorbell ringing.

for most of the evening amy and i hung out in the kitchen. i assembled all the ingredients, did the dishes, then started on the soup. i had forgot to ask amy beforehand if there was any food she didn't eat. "beef and pork," was her reply. gasp! by sheer good luck, the two things i was making tonight were both primarily chicken based. amy helped with chopping the garlic and the ginger. when the soup was done, i started cooking the rice and made the thai curry, amy once again helping with the chopping duty. i burnt the garlic bits before i had the chicken cubes ready, so i had to dump out the burnt pieces and start afresh (2nd time around, much better results). my thoughts on tonight's dinner: the thai curry was pretty good despite the fact that i made too little rice to accompany the curry. it's an easy recipe to make, just a lot of ingredients to keep track of and when to add them into the pot, but a successful dish. the soup however wasn't as tasty, both amy and i had leftovers, probably needed a little more spicing up.

the bulk of our conversation was amy filling me in on the details of her life since we last met, which according to me was the end of freshman year of high school; her move to long island, her college days at mt.holyoke, her subsequent transfer to new mexico, all things i didn't know. later, she gave me the scoop on the private lives of a lot of former classmates, which she has amazingly kept in contact with after all these years (for me personally i've only really kept in touch with two people from high school). i was shocked at how many people are either married or about to get married. i guess that's the most popular thing to do for people my age. the news was kind of sobering. we also talked about home renovations, amy being a proud homeowner as well. plus: the schtickle policy at crate & barrel, everyone's driving cross country these days, you can't skydive if you're too heavy, yes there are lots of lesbians at mt.holyoke, and the perks of being a triathlete. and no, amy did not want to try the blue pepsi.

after dinner (11pm), we watched two back-to-back episodes of trading spaces while drinking some hot ginger tea and chatting some more. not wanting my guest to freeze, i quietly turned up the thermostat to 68 degrees, the house warming up to a comfortable fuzzy feeling. we were both appalled by the final trading spaces results, but the couples on the show were surprisingly happy with the change (or perhaps the world's best acting jobs). i was just disappointed that nobody ended up crying off-camera. amy left shortly afterwards, having to go to work tomorrow morning.