i started painting this morning at 8am, wanted to get an early start so i could get out early and do nothing for the rest of the afternoon as i'm wont to do in my current unemployed malaise. the weather didn't help matters, somewhere in the 50's, foggy and cold (well, maybe not fog, but it was definitely cold and wet). jeff had done the first coat on the ceiling and walls last night, but he left the edges, which are the more difficult and detail intensive parts. so i pretty much edged the bedroom for most of the day, while jeff cleaned up his windows and then primed then with an oil-based paint. the smell of ceiling paint, the smell of wall paint, the smell of oil paint, triple intoxication! while we painted, we also chatted about refinancing a house and US foreign policies. an appraiser stopped by as well, i overheard jeff going through the house pointing out certain details for her. after 4.5 hours of non-stop white on white action, i reached my painting limit and went home.

after the obligatory post-paint cleansing shower (not as much covered in paint compared to yesterday though), i had some dan chow fan my mother had brought over from last night, doused with garlic tabasco sauce to spice things up. i did some brief research on my refinancing situation, wrote to my contact person at cambridgeport savings, paid some bills, then went to porter square to run errands, cash some checks, mail off some letters (including a birthday card for carrie and my rsvp for manny's wedding).

even though i didn't travel far from my neighborhood today, i still got a touch of the natural life in my relatively small 100 square feet of perennial garden. it had stopped raining, so everything was still covered in dramatic raindrops. i squatted in the backyard with my camera, studying the new plants blooming.





so far this season, i've seen jumping spiders, ants, flies, and bees. i had my first significant beetle sighting today, a red leaf beetle (not it's real name, i couldn't identify it) eating parts of my fritillarias. i tried to get close but it quickly dropped off its leafy perch and flew away. i've seen this beetle before in belmont, i always thought it was a mutant three-lined potato beetle, but now i think it's its own species.

wild ginger

red leaf beetle
(on fritillaria)

nodding trillium

i got real lucky today, saw my first live snail in action. i tried looking for that snail i saw a few days ago, but it was gone. i hope it left on its own and didn't get eaten by some animal. i then went around the yard looking for maybe another snail and then something caught my eye: something bulky about the size of a nickel crawling up a dead oak leaf. i started to get close to get some photos. i tried to be real careful, didn't want to alarm the snail, because i wanted to get shots with its head out instead of hidden away in its shell. that's when the leaf fell over with the snail still attached. one of the things i try not to do when i take nature photos is to stage shots. i try to keep it as natural as possible, but this was an opportunity to good to pass up, so i picked up the leaf (with the snail) and set it down so i could get a good shooting angle on it. naturally the snail was securing hidden away in its shell, and i waited a few minutes before i saw two antennas slowly poking out. snails are weird creatures. there's something about eyestalks that makes me think "alien." i saw it slowly unfurl itself then crawl away, taking a few opportune snapshots in the process. it's "feet" was this slimy undulating rippled pad, and besides eyestalks i saw the two tentacles on the front of its "face." i'm still not sure how i have snails in my backyard, they seem so exotic. better snails than slugs though, i hate slugs with a deep passion.

i fell asleep for a few hours on the couch (my early morning start combined with the tiring effect of painting made me drowsy), waking up before 8pm to cook some dinner before my tuesday evening of television. it was cold in the house, and since i had turned off the furnace this past weekend (foolishly thinking that we were finished with cold weather, real amateur hour there), i couldn't easily turn up the heat. after i got some hot leftover crockpot beef soup into me though, i warmed right up, just in time to catch another new episode of gilmore girls followed by a new 24.

gilmore girls: sookie has definitely lost weight. she's like a size 2 now or something. dean is getting married? might be a plot trick to get him and rory back together again. jess' father is just like him, inarticulate, brooding loner. after some awkward silence, "i gotta go" says the father (whom jess has never seen before) and then runs out of the cafe. real mature! i felt sorry for jess though, riding the bus, seeing rory, still couldn't tell her he flunked senior year and would have to repeat it if he wants to graduate. "i couldn't get tickets," was his explanation why he couldn't take rory to the prom, instead of the truth. the best development in the show though has got to be mrs.kim allowing david to take lane to the prom. "you can take her to the prom but you can't marry her!" she shouted. i think she was impressed that david read the bible cover to cover to try to decipher what mrs.kim said to him before, which i can't remember right now.

during the few minutes of transition from gilmore girls to 24, i put out the trash. later, i could hear somebody rattling through my recycle bin gathering up 60 cents worth of cans and bottles. collectors in my neighborhood are really aggressive. i had put out the bin earlier during the day, empty, so i wouldn't have to bring it out later in the night. well, as soon as i did that, i looked out the window and saw a couple already looking through it. they must have a lookout station somewhere in the neighborhood.

24: tony and michelle working together to bring down the CTU boss with some chloroform! and i love how jack shot the president's ex-wife in the arm, and then later in the show she gets shivved by an audio technician. "help me!" she cries as jack leaves her bleeding to chase down the audio guy. kate warner in the bath? if i was her, i'd take a quick shower and barricade myself in the panic room with some weapons. how can she be so relaxed after all that's happened to her? isn't she in the least worried about her father, who's still in CTU custody? isn't she traumatized by the fact that her sister was a sleeper agent working for militant muslims trying to detonate a nuclear bomb in LA? or watching her father's lawyer get tortured to death right in front of her? why am i complaining about seeing a woman in the bath though? and kim? woohoo. even i was rolling my eyes. "shoot him kim!" jack yells to his daughter over the cellphone. BAM! "shoot him again, kim," jacks instructs her while she's crying. BAM! somehow i think kim's bad day isn't quite over yet, even with just two more episodes left. at least she's armed now, no? if somehow cougars or crazy survivalists or rapists are involved, she'll know what to do.