i spent about 2 hours trying to figure out the longstanding bug issue i mentioned yesterday. i uploaded another revision, fingers crossed that this one will solve the problem. lunch came in the form of a muffin and two meat buns heated in the microwave. after a shower, i spent the rest of the day working on the php/mysql version of this weblog. expect to see it up in a few days. a week's worth of entries (versus the one month's content on a single slow-loading page) and the ability to add comments will be some of the new features, the two most often requested change. my blog counterpart elias already has his site pulling from a database many moons ago, so i figured it's my time to get caught up to date on this new "database" craze that's sweeping the weblog nation.
renata came by around 5pm, she had a free educator's pass plus an additional guest to go see ocean wonderland 3D at the new england aquarium imax theatre. despite two weekend days of relatively warm 40 degrees weather (neither of which i was out to fully enjoy it), today was something different, a cold 20 degrees and below rabid monster that attacked without warning with frigid wind chills, making renata squeal in terror during the 10 minutes we walked from my place to the porter square t station. the sharing of the last muffin we made from saturday afternoon did nothing to help alleviate the intensely freezing temperature. our commute into boston was one that every stop we went to, the train arrived just as soon as we got there. this made for an unbelievably quick commute time, we got to the new england aquarium in just 30 minutes riding three different trains (red to orange to blue). plus, it was against the flow of outbound rush hour traffic, so we missed the crushing humanity that epitomizes t riding after 5pm.
renata was worried that we wouldn't have tickets because she phoned the reservation on saturday, even though the invitation said to do it before friday. perhaps the fact that the train was waiting for us at every station should've clued us in on that the hand of fate wanted us to see ocean wonderland 3D. renata's name was on the rsvp list (although spelled incorrectly). not only did we get free tickets, but we also got coupons to redeem free popcorns and drinks at the concession stand. while renata went to go use the bathroom, i was in charge of getting food. even though she told me to get water, there was only a choice amongst coke, diet coke, or sprite for the drinks, so i got two cokes instead (renata doesn't "do coke" i discovered when she came back and i told her the bad news about the beverage selection). teachers also got these little gift bags which amounted to nothing more than a collection of pamphlets and flyers about the aquarium and its imax programs and how to book engagements for schools. the place was crowded with "educators," and nothing makes me feel smaller than being surrounded by teachers. i think it's because i grew up with teachers being in a position of perpetual authority, so i'm still a little scared of them.
inside the theatre with our 3D glasses, we found seats at the very top of the theatre, which i know to be the most optimal position for maximum 3D viewing enjoyment. this was but my second time at a 3D imax, my very first time was with john miller over a year ago. renata looked like elton john wearing the oversized glasses (i probably didn't look any better), unfortunately no photographic evidence exists of this photoworthy spectacle. the documentary was about life amongst the coral reefs. shot on australia's great barrier reef and the bahamas, the film is narrated by a sea turtle. it was visually beautiful, but got a little preachy towards the end about how man is destroying the reefs and that in 50 years they could be all gone. when i heard that all i could think of was "then i better go see them before that happens!" instead of "then i better do something to save them for future generations!" i also felt that due to the fact that there was no size reference in lots of the shots (maybe a superimposing scuba diver or the sea turtle might've helped), i couldn't tell if a fish i was seeing was small or big. i'm proud of the fact that i was 3D savvy enough to not paw at the "floating" fishes like some of the other people in the audience (my companion no exception!).
after the movie we left the theatre and grabbed the subway into chinatown (somewhere during that trip, kenny loggins' "dangerous zone" got stuck in our heads). i took renata to pho hoa, formerly to chau, formerly my favorite pho restaurant in all of boston, before it burned down in one particularly horrific short period of time where two of my favorite restaurants were reduced to ashes (koreana being the other one). this was my second time at the newly renovated restaurant, and although the food was fine, they didn't have tom yum guy vermicelli noodle soup, so i will probably take my business elsewhere next time. still, i love the ambiance, despite the renovation and the new management. dinner conversation included vegetables we don't like, both of us confirming our love of broccoli, renata revealing her revulsion to green peppers, i admitted my animosity towards eggplants. other topics: smell memories, grandparents and how people live to be very old, white shirts, a book of improper chopsticks holding styles, italian dinners, and auspicious 8 horses painting. renata, in a pattern i'm starting to notice, made me help her eat some of her food and kept on adding items to my plate. she also recognized the restaurant music that was playing, some cd she and her college roommate used to play before going to sleep. we left pho hoa talking about nicknames all the way to the dtx t station, i revealing to renata one particularly inappropriate nickname of mine.
once we arrived in porter square (to the sounds of gum snapping), renata squealed all the way back to my place in the freezing weather, scarf wrapped around her face, my hat on her head. once we got there, we exchanged good byes and renata got into her car and drove off.