renata came into my house around noon today. since i was in the bathroom (enjoying the latest issue of the weekly dig), i left the front door unlocked with a note telling her to just come right in. we were going to spend a day of unstructured one-on-one socializing, also known as "hanging out." she brought along some chicken breasts and bok choi for the possibility that we might be making some food. after some light hearted conversation, we went into the kitchen to start the cooking. not before renata asked to borrow a sweater, for once again my house was not warm enough for my perpetually cold guest (i promptly raised the heat on the thermostat as well). we took out the breasts and soaked them in salt water for a few minutes, renata's special family technique of sanitizing meat. renata chopped up the bok choi while i made the marinade for the chicken to soak in (a blend of soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, and ground black pepper). that was also when renata broke the news to me that she wasn't going to move to san francisco this summer, thereby relinquishing her "limited edition" status. renata, hungry for more fun in the form of cooking, decided we should bake some blueberry muffins as well, since i had a package of blueberry muffin mix. with the oven preheating, we added water and stirred the mixture, then poured the batter into muffin-sized bundt cake molds, which we then threw into the oven. i set the timer to 20 minutes and we went into the living room to look at my past artwork and digital photos, waiting for the muffins to finish baking. 20 minutes elapsed, but that wasn't enough time to brown the muffins, so we waited some more. finally they were done as we took them out of the oven and set them on the counter to cool off. after the tray was cool enough to touch, we used a plastic spoon to force out the muffins. amazingly, they came out perfect, not one of them was broken. renata sprinkled some confectionary sugar on top of the muffins and we shared one. this was my first time making muffins, and i don't want to brag, but these muffins are much better than any store bought muffins. because we used the bundt cake molds, the muffins baked extremely evenly, a brown crust on the outside, soft like cotton on the inside. it goes without saying that the house smelled pleasantly of baked goods.

after muffins it was time to cook what renata called "dunch," the combination of dinner and lunch. now i can do some cooking but i'm more than happy to let others "drive," and being that i was in a lazy mood, renata took control of the helm. the marinated chicken breasts went into a pan of sauteed onions, while the bok choi steamed into a pot with some water. we added ginger and lime juice to the chicken and sesame oil and some salt to the bok choi. the bok choi was really amazing, shrinking from a medium-sized pot overflowing with greens to this tiny portion of cooked vegetation. everything was served with some basmati rice as we divided up the portions, renata making sure at every turn that i would get a bigger share of the food. we ate on the dining table in the kitchen, my dean martin cd playing in the background. after we finished eating, for kicks we ate the rest of the lime slices.

around 6pm renata had to leave, but not before i got her to take two of my cadbury eggs.

i had some time to kill before i was due to go out, so i ate two more muffins and took a late nap on the couch (which by the way i slept on again last night). i left for harvard square around 10:30pm to catch a 66 bus into coolidge corner. i met dan in front of the theatre at 11:10pm, we bought our tickets for carnival magic, and then wandered around the area looking for a place to buy coffee. peet's, starbucks, dunkin' donuts, macdonalds, they were all closed. the only place opened was j.p.licks, bustling with young people congregating at one of the few places still opened in coolidge corner this time of the night. dan got his coffee, i settled for a medium chai. dan also bumped into one of the landlord boys who used to live downstairs from him back at william jackson avenue. there seemed to be a new rule against people waiting inside the lobby (due probably to the recent rhode island club fire), so a line snaked outside of people waiting to see midnight movies at the coolidge theatre. most of them were for donnie darko, a movie that i've only recently seen on cable but am completely baffled as to its cult appeal as i found the film to be devoid of entertainment value, besides being really creepy. only a handful of people marched upstairs for carnival magic. dan and i were the first two people inside the theatre, and we found good railing seats. when the porn-sliced trailers started, elias finally showed up as well.

carnival magic, how was it? i have never liked a movie featuring an ape or a monkey, and this movie did nothing to change my dislike. central to the film is one talking chimpanzee, alexander the great. as if making a chimp speak coherently would be too unbelievable, the filmmakers decided to make alex speak in this slurred mumbling fashion, kind of like that guy from sling blade. his master, markov the magician (who, by the way, has a hard time wearing shirts and must always appear topless for some reason), originally keeps alex as a secret hidden away in his off-limit trailer, but later must reveal alex to the world in order to save his job as a carnival act. his success brings the jealousy of the formerly hot tiger tamer (who also has a problem keeping on his shirt, but not as bad), who ends up kidnapping alex and selling him to this scientist who wants to dissect alex in order to ascertain his place in the human evolution family tree. parts of the movie were kind of funny, like when the carnies are mobilized on a mission to save alex from the dissection table, or alex stealing a car with a beautiful blonde sleeping in the backseat, or the transformation of "bud" the girl into "ellen" the woman. the movie definitely sounds better in the retelling than the actual viewing however, and viewers must be able to relish in its badness in order to fully enjoy the film. for my money, can't stop the music is still the king of good bad movie.

afterwards, elias ran to catch the 66 bus down into jamaica plains. dan and i walked to the 66 outbound stop, but he decided to walk home instead (a mere 15-20 minutes away, hard to tell because dan doesn't have a watch), leaving me to wait for the bus in the freezing cold. originally there was the possibility that if i couldn't catch the last bus, i could sleep over at dan's place, but since i was able to grab the last bus leaving dudley square, i didn't take that option (although i was ready, i had my toothbrush in my pocket). what bugs me the most about waiting were the numerous harvard-bound cars that passed me, when they could've very easily stopped and asked if i needed a ride, seeing that i was freezing my ass off. i vow if i ever have a car and i see somebody waiting in the cold for a bus, i'd give them a ride no matter how pretty or ugly they are. 20 minutes later the bus finally came, i eagerly hopped inside with my 75 cents worth of bus fare, resting in the comfort of warm moving steel. i got dropped off in harvard square where i speed walked home.