i woke up this morning to see that my car was the only car on my side of the street. i've lived in cambridge long enough to know that this is a sign of street cleaning. street cleaning? but it's just the 15th? i put on my shoes and went outside. down at the other end of the street were parked two cars. it can't be street cleaning then, i thought to myself. i read the sign: third tuesday of every month. i went back inside and checked the calendar. sure enough, this month started on a tuesday, which meant today, the 15th, was in fact the third tuesday. i quickly raced outside and drove the car to safety, which meant a few yards away in somerville, where there wasn't any street cleaning today. hours later, while answering e-mails, while doing some work, while making breakfast (toast and jam and orange juice), i looked outside and saw a somerville metermaid writing tickets on the side of the street i moved the car to. oh no! once again i raced outside, intercepting the metermaid before she could write me a parking ticket. "if you don't have a somerville sticker you'll have to move your car," she told me. i drove around the block twice (getting honked at once by an angry car waiting behind me) before finding a brand new parking spot in cambridge, on a safe side of the street, away from somerville metermaids. as much as i like using the car, i'm happy today is the last day i'll have it, taking care of it can be quite a choir.

today's weather was insane. it was in the 60's when i woke up, around 70's by noontime, and 80's and beyond by the afternoon. nice weather calls for nice outdoorsy adventures (especially if you're unemployed), and i decided to go to the broadmoor audubon sanctuary in natick. i got my father to come with me and drove to belmont to meet up with him. what was supposed to be a quick trip down to broadmoor and back ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated due to the fact that there was some road construction on route 16. after close to 40 minutes we finally got to the sanctuary.

the first and last time i was in broadmoor was september 2000. this was the first time for my father. we did the glacial loop, being careful where to step as some of the lower grounds were wet and muddy. this time of the year in spring, the deciduous trees are just starting to bud. columns of pine trees reached for the sky while down below smaller pine trees competed for filtered sunlight. on the forest floor were an abundance of clubmoss, haircap moss, and even some horsetail. occasionally i'd also spot some wintergreen. in the waters, painted turtles were basking themselves, while on the waters' surface duckweed were starting to multiple. we saw a canada goose sitting on a nest further out in the marsh grass. there were some flying insects, most likely drone ants out establishing new colonies or some early season gnats. somewhere in the forest we also found a junked car flipped over on its back. the make was unidentifiable, but definitely from the 1950's based on the missile cones on the bumper. one of the great things about a private nature preserve is how clean it is. just watching from the river's edge, the water was crystal clean and clear, except for a yellow-brownish tinge which i figured was from the decomposing leaf debris.

after completely the loop, we left broadmoor, making it back to belmont around 4pm. my father went off to work while i went back into the house to collect some mail (i really should transfer a lot of that stuff over to my new place). just as i was about to drive back to cambridge, i got a call from renata asking me if i wanted to walk fresh pond on this beautiful day. since i had some hours to kill before i had to drive down to logan airport to pick up alex, i said sure.

i drove to renata's place, parked the car, and we walked down to fresh pond, each carrying a bottle of gatorade (thanks to renata). we walked and chatted, occasionally stopping to drink (since renata revealed she can't walk and drink at the same time, otherwise she'll spill). after the walk, i briefly checked renata's laptop to see why she couldn't get into my site (i don't want to lose a fan because of some technical glitch), then i drove back to my side of cambridge.

i filled the tank with gasoline before driving to logan airport. i took the alternative exit to the callahan tunnel, my first time. when i got to logan, i circled the airport one time before finding the entrance to the central parking garage. i met alex at the baggage claim. i also saw a woman who seemed familiar but it'd be too incredible if it was her. could it be? while waiting for the elevator, i bumped into this woman. we kind of stared at each other for a few seconds. "tony!" said debra may. "debra may? is that you?" i replied. we hugged. debra may, my old project manager from newmarket network, the very first job i had after college, debra may whom i haven't seen in something like half a decade, but whom i've heard bit and pieces through mutual friends. before we could even finish our sentences, the elevator arrived and our chance meeting was abruptly cut short.

i drove alex back to my place so i could see the thousands of photos he took while in japan, with his nikon 990 and his brand new 3 megapixel credit card sized casio s3. i used the ted williams tunnel and made it all the way to storrow drive completely underground via the new big dig tunnels, no more offramp exits! once we got back to cambridge, i quickly went across the street to grab some groceries, then i made french bread pizza. it was kind of weird, alex was in the living room watching tv and checking e-mail, made me effort to help me make dinner. luckily, making french bread pizza is just fun enough that i could let this one go, but i figured after taking care of his car for three weeks, going to the airport to pick him up, paying for parking, paying for the tolls, inviting him over for dinner, missing gilmore girls, you'd think a little appreciation might be warranted. however, he did buy me a namake body sponge, the poor man's version of domokun.

anyway, 20 minutes in the oven and the pizzas were ready. we ate while i continued looking at his photos. i remember the last time he went to japan, we looked at his photos one by one and it took hours and we were only half done. this time he took even more photos, so there'd be no way i could see every single one. instead, i just browsed the catalogs, expanding the ones i think are interesting. there are some really nice photos, if alex puts them online i'll try to link to them. in the meantime though, here are a few i tagged as show worthy, for your viewing pleasure:

photos courtesy of alex wong

and i also asked alex to take as many photos of young japanese people wearing the latest fashion on the streets of tokyo (note the repeating awkward stance in some of the photos):

photos courtesy of alex wong

after i finished browsing his entire set of photos, alex packed up and went home to go to bed. i did the dishes, threw out the trash and the recycleables, then spent the rest of my evening working on the weblog until the sun almost came up.