i woke up at 7am to go with my mother and sister to the todd farm flea market in rowley, massachusetts, about 30 miles north of boston. when we arrived there at 8am, the place was already crowded with vendors and buyers: apparently they open at 5am in the morning, and the true hardcore shoppers come armed with flashlights before dawn. i had been to a flea market many years ago, not sure where, but i vaguely remember there was just a lot of stuff to see and buy. i think i got a box of novelty snaps which lasted me all summer long with explosive fun.

it took us over 2 hours to wander the supposedly 200+ vendors selling their wares, anything from antique furnitures, to collectibles (toys, coins, glassware), political memorabilia, books, magazines, postcards, photos, rugs, basically anything and everything. i ended up buying a silver republic of china one dollar coin (circa 1912?) with a faded image of possibly yuan shih kai on the obverse side (or is it governor li yuan hung dressed in military garb with a cap?)
and two winged liberty head dimes (1937 & 1942) for $10. i also got a dorling kindersley classic mediterranean cookbook for another $5 (i have a bad habit of collecting photo-filled cooking books). my mother got some pots, a bag of colored threads, and this retro spring activated pedal exercise apparatus. the people there were from a wide cross-section of society, from leathery middle aged women puffing on cigarettes, parents with unruly children, couples looking for antique bargains, to alternative kids with their skinny pale bodies and dark rimmed spectacles. flea markets are for everyone!

we drove back to boston, where i wasted no time in falling asleep in the back seat, having only slept for 4 hours last night. we stopped by the cafe where i got some rice noodle for lunch then my sister drove me back to my place. i surfed the web in the bathroom via the new wireless internet (a lifelong dream finally made real), took a shower, then quickly ate my lunch before running down to harvard square to catch the 66 bus to allston square, to dan's place for the return of game day.

elias was already there when i arrived 20 minutes late, and of course cymara was there as well. we waited until dan's friend/co-worker mike showed up, then ordered chinese food. i just had a small portion of fried chicken wings. after everyone had fed, we started to play princes of florence (cymara had to leave). as the game was new to all of us, dan spent a long time explaining the rules. to be honest, my eyes sort of glazed over and i thought this would perhaps be the boringest game of all time that involved a lot of counting and too many rules to keep track. why must so many of these games be about counting? where are those games based on pure strategy or the element of chance? sometimes i don't know if i'm playing a board game or solving math problems. princes of florence is unique in that it had elements of tetris, as we each tried to build a beautiful estate using different shaped building pieces. once we started playing though, the game was actually pretty fun, although i probably wouldn't choose it over some other games because it had way too much math involved. next came evo, the game about dinosaur evolution. i was hesitant about playing it, because this is one of the rare games i've won before, and i wanted to keep my undefeated status. i didn't win either, but i had a good time losing. in both games though, i was able to keep competitive, unlike in games day past where i was the loser by a wide margin.

i left dan's place after 6pm (the rest of them continued on with another game), waiting for the 66 bus to take me back to harvard square. boston university had their graduation today, so allston center was crawling with neatly dressed people. the bus was late and didn't arrive until 6:50pm. i didn't mind though, gave me plenty of people watching opportunities and the afternoon sun kept me warm.

when i got back, andrew was already home, watching television in the living room. i was only back briefly though before i headed back outside to meet my parents at star market. i ended up going to dinner with them at zoe's. we sat next to a table of people they know from china. a woman kept on asking me if i was an artist (from the way i looked), or if people mistook me for japanese, and said when i talked i had a taiwanese accent (compared to the more sing songy "proper" beijing accent).

after dinner, i came back home and watched the adolf hitler CBS mini-series with andrew, who was naturally gravitated towards the movie because of his love for history. it's an interesting biopic, with its tale of fervert nationalism gone awry seemingly an analogy to our current american foreign policy. we have the scapegoats (terrorists), now all we need is the proper rallying music and an easy to identify insignia (old glory perhaps?).