i was finally done after 3pm, and while i was burning a cd, i called paula to let her know i'd be driving down to the office to deliver the assets. although one section was still awaiting client sign off, i couldn't wait anymore, i just wanted put something in paula's hands so they can at least take a look during the weekend at what they'll be doing. it took a little bit longer to leave as i had to scrap the ice off of alex's car. when i finally got to the office, i called paula from outside, so she could come out and get the delivery. why not just bring it in? because i used to work at that office before i got laid off last june. since that day, i have never gone back to the old office. it's like that chapter of my life was closed and i never wanted to revisit it. since there was nobody there but paula and michael (the lone developer), on a whim i went back inside with paula. it was a weird feeling, not much had changed in terms of layout, but everything looked different somehow. things that used to look familiar felt somehow alien. i didn't miss the office, but the place holds a lot of memories for me. after a brief chat, i left.
from kendall square i went north across the gilmore bridge en route to malden, where i was going to alex's apartment to pick up his mail for him. all was well until i got lost somewhere in everett, the fact i was talking on the cellphone with the client didn't help much either. that whole area of greater boston, everett-malden, is such a mystery to me, i don't go there very often, and when i do, more often than not i end up getting lost. i finally did make it to alex's place, picked up his mail, and then drove back home to cambridge, cutting through medford center then davis square in the process.
originally i was scheduled to go see the core down at fenway 13, but that plan fell through. i was resigned to the fact that it'd be a quiet friday night, probably making some french bread pizza for dinner, followed by some television. fortunately, renata saved me from an evening of solitude by inviting amy and me (via e-mail) to her place for dinner. i walked down to porter square station to buy some flowers (yellow daisies), then came back home to burn a cd of music, before driving alex's car in the direction of belmont to renata's house. i arrived late, amy was already there. i gave renata the flowers (amy also got renata some flowers, the red ones on the dining table) and i gave amy some books about weblogs since she expressed interest in the subject earlier in the day via aim.
dinner was cooked chicken breast, carrots, bokchoi, and something that renata called "smashed" potatoes. there was also a bowl of salad heavy on olives.
after dinner, we relaxed with some tea, amy going to her car to get some leftover cookies and her latest piece of shtickle, a magnetic tackboard. amy wanted to give it to renata, but i ended up getting it because renata didn't have space for it. the girls made fun of me because i like my sugar with some tea, pouring in another tablespoon when renata was busy changing the cd (mob's greatest hits).
after tea it was time to work. amy had asked renata to write her a recommendation letter for the MINT program to teach science in disadvantaged urban areas of MA, and i was enlisted to help. it's kind of ironic, amy and renata have been friends for 16 years ("almost 2 decades"), yet somehow they figured i would be able contribute to writing the recommendation even though in the timeline of friendship i've only just started to become reacquainted with them. but i have a good memory, and i know how to spin anecdotes so they'll fit in any sort of occasion. amy was on the couch while renata and i took turns on the laptop, breaking down the essence of amy into manageable little pieces to fill the recommendation letter. we worked from just a list of points to touch upon, to something slightly coherent by evening's end. all this with sweet 80's music playing on the radio (98.5 FM) in the background. for some reason during that time my cellphone rang almost nonstop, something that never happens. i usually don't answer when i'm out socially, i personally think it's rude. however, i did call manny back because he had some tax software to deliver, and i answered a blocked-id call because i knew it was probably alex dialing long distance from japan (it was).
amy and i left at midnight, both of us scraping the ice off of our cars before driving off. my windshield kept on icing up, and i drove back home spraying windshield wiper fluid every few seconds. turns out the visitor's parking permit card was sitting on some heating vents. when i removed the card, suddenly my visibility was much better, but by that time i had already driven dangerously home, fortunate that i didn't get into a car accident on these icy roads, barely able to see. i parked far from home (the only empty spot on the street), and noticed another "for sale" sign. that makes two condos for sale! i heard from bruce that the first condo (a two level 1500 square feet affair) is going for $509k, which he thought was a low price.
when i got inside my house, slipped underneath the door were the taxing software from manny. fingers crossed that maybe i might be able to get a refund once i fill in the numbers!