i didn't have to work as late as i thought i would last night so i went to bed at a reasonable hour. nevertheless, i had a hard time waking up this morning and didn't get out of bed until noon. in what will probably be a new routine, i surfed some online job sites and then had lunch (taiwanese imported jian-bing). after a shower, i got dressed and went across the street into the wilderness known as somerville to check out the round house.

what is the round house? the name says it all, a circular house built somewhere in the hills of somerville. i saw it for the first time last month when julie drove by it coming back from korean box lunch in union square. after some more research, i learned the house was built about 150 years ago. hey, that's 50 years older than my house! but not as old as my neighbor jeff's house, which is 200 years old. i didn't really know where it was but after wandering around a bit in the bitter cold, i found it, it's a "can't miss" landmark. there was a bit of drama as i watched this guy trying to get out of an icy parking spot. i volunteered to help him push his car, he told me he'd been stuck there for an hour trying to get his vehicle out, picking away at the ice underneath his car but having little success. with my stick arms i tried to give him a little push as he revved his back wheels, but he still couldn't get out. he thanked me for the help and said he'd keep on trying. because he was struggling right in front of the house, it was kind of awkward for me to be just standing by and gawking at the architectural marvel, so i snapped a few quick photos and ran away. i wonder how much a house like that is worth? what i'm even more curious about is how it's arranged on the inside. are the rooms arranged concentrically or maybe by slices? it's too bad it's a private residence, and from what i hear, the people who own it don't want to sell yet haven't really done anything to preserve the house as it's slowly eaten away by the new england elements.

not sensing i had enough fun for the day (i did promise amy i would have enough for the both of us), i decided to go to joie de vivre to look for fridge magnets. that place has become my favorite store in the area (besides star market), i go there every few weeks or so, i wonder if the people who work there recognize me already? i cut through forest street in order to get to mass ave, and saw that art deco entranceway to one of those brick condominiums. at joie de vivre, they had packets of those really strong neodymium magnets but at $8 for a couple of dot sized magnets i thought it was a bit pricey. instead, i got two more miniature magnetic LED strobe lights, a blue one ($3) and a red/green one ($2). i was trying to explain to the woman ringing me up that i was just buying these for their magnetic parts, but she misunderstand and reassured me that "oh, they come with batteries."

going back home via garfield street, i took a photo of my favorite house on that stretch of road, this beautiful neglected mansion. the house has these circular turrets, which in themselves are kind of interesting, but if you look closer, you'll see that the windows are actually curved as well, something you don't see anymore. what's more, above the windows are stain-glassed details. it's really a shame that whoever owns the house doesn't take care of it (just like the round house), a property of that size in this location can fetch a pretty good price. the parts alone on that house are probably worth a fortune.

my father came by after work to give me the batch of digital photos he wanted to upload and get developed. i'm using snapfish for the first time, not sure how good they are, but their prices seem to be the cheapest (29¢ a photo if you buy a set of 100 6x4 prints). prior to that i'd used ofoto one time but only because they gave me a free set of 50 prints. he decided to stay for dinner, i was making clam linguine (third time). it's nice to have him there to verify the steps i was doing were correct. i learned a shortcut for dicing onions, learned that garlic comes after onion because onions take longer to brown, and i realized i'd been using too much chicken broth in my past attempts at clam linguine. we used the extra chicken broth to make a single serving of egg drop soup. when everything was done cooking, we ate in the living room while watching cnn, my dinner passing the paternal muster.