i went to the cambridge transportation department to renew my visitor's parking permit. this being the last day of january and the last day before the old resident/visitor's permits would expire, everyone was down there this afternoon, i waited in line for an hour. the line was so long it snaked out the building into the parking lot. i stared at a rusted green door for most of the time as the line slowly advanced. there was a most attractive girl wearing a red petticoat a few spots ahead, listening to music on tiny earbuds growing out of her collar. she looked like pascale bussières, and had the most attractive eyelashes that seemed to wave whenever she blinked her eyes. the city workers behind the counter didn't seem to be in any particular hurry despite the long line forming outside, going about processing permits in a leisurely manner. eventually i got my permit ($8), and gave the woman a letter requesting an additional visitor's permit, which will be reviewed, no guarantee that i'll be able to get a second one.

i went to the dunkin donut around the corner, ordered a salmon creme cheese on toasted garlic bagel and a small vanilla chai, listened to the brazilian music playing softly in the background. i walked back to kendall station eating my bagel, grateful for the hot cup of chai warming my hand. kendall square, that brings back memories. desolate, but nostalgic nevertheless. i used my familiar shortcut through the marriott hotel to the outbound station, and took the subway back to porter square.

i noticed the signs for record hog had already been blanked over with paint. another local store goes out of business. mark my words, if some chain store ends up moving into that place, i'm going to burn it down. it was 3:30pm when i got back home. i immediately changed into my running clothes, opting for shorts on this 35°F day, and headed out for a run before it got dark. it's kind of weird, if i was to normally go out on a 35°F day, i'd wear my long underwear and a coat and a scarf and a hat. but for some reason, when i run, there's this drive to wear as little as possible. i made it around the charles river once more without stopping. each time i run i notice just a little bit more improved in stamina and speed. i haven't done 3 runs in a single week in a long time. do i have that exercise bug again?

later, i went to the cafe to eat a small pre-chinese new year dinner with my parents and aunt and uncle, saved me from having to make my own dinner.

so, january! the coldest month in many years thankfully went by pretty fast. i finally got my couch (purple, not red, and from a totally unexpected store as well), went on the george bush unemployment extension (13 more weeks of benefits), i reconnected with a few old high school friends, dan got married, did i mention the lawn gnome? i got back into running, a few formerly unemployed coworker friends started working again. oh, and who could forget the superbowl episode of alias? or the first xtsher reunion of 2003? also this month i finally switched to os x. i still think it's kind of weird, but it's slowly growing on me, good and bad.