for almost a month now i've woke up at 8am and went next door to paint, except on fridays, when i go to another neighbor to do some paving, nor on the weekends, when i don't do any work at all. you could say painting has become my full-time job now, i do it regularly enough, and i get paid for it, however menial it is in comparison to my former occupations. this particular full-time job however is starting to wear thin on me, and i sort of want it to end soon just when it seems like it may very well go on indefinitely. jeff, my neighbor and the guy i paint for seems optimistic, but i see many more weeks of work. i don't mind the painting as i do the preparation work, the sanding, the taping, the wood filling, the dust getting everywhere, the clean-up. all the things i've done before many times last year when i painted my own place, and which i swore i'd never do again, but in times of hardship (like when i'm unemployed and have a monthly mortgage to pay, amongst other things), concessions must be made, and i am making them.

after putting the final coat on the two bookcases, i called it a day and washed my hands with thinner to get rid of the paint stains. i went back home to the usual shower followed by lunch. i ate the remaining leftovers from yesterday's feast at renata's parents' place in providence, her mother's cooking sustaining me for 1.5 days.

after a weekend of miserable rainy weather, nature owed us and today she paid with a nice 70 degrees day. i went running and was finally able to complete a circuit without stopping, the first time in a long time. i felt wholely exhausted after it was all over, but it felt good, like somehow through this ironic pain i was increasing my health, extending my life. i came home and took another shower.

renata came by after work, to take that walk with me we originally wanted to do yesterday when we got back from rhode island but found it too late so we postponed it until today. two things we wanted to do, renata wanted to see the charles river while i wanted to get photos of the pink chestnut trees behind the riverview condominiums. we started from sacramento to wendell street, me showing renata some of the lovely houses and gardens of the cambridge agassiz area. we met a man walking two small dogs who asked what i was doing when he saw me taking photos of some flowers. "how can you be taking photos of flowers and not take any of these lovely supermodels?" referring to his dogs. "are those your dogs?" i asked. the man scoffed incredulously, "people line up to walk them," he replied. "so what were you doing, taking photos of flowers?" he said. "no," i replied, "we're actually part of a neighborhood watch, and i was secretly taking photos of you." he had a hairy chihuahua (8 years old) and another dog he referred to as a "puerto rican street dog" (7 years old). the chihuahua was unleashed, and the whole time he was talking to us, he'd also be telling his two dogs to sit. after we left, renata mentioned how he beared a remarkable resemblance to tom green, which i completely agreed.

from there it was hudson to bowdoin to martin, some parts improvised, other parts places i've visited during my many runs. avon to shepard to garden to hastings to phillips to mason to ash, then finally to the charles river. along the shores people sat on benches with the late afternoon sun shining on everyone while canada geese large and small fed on the grass. a chinese mother stepwalking with her little child scared away all the geese unfortunately. renata, have drank too much gatorade (which by the way she bought a bottle for me as well), had to use the bathroom, for which we headed into harvard square proper. relief was located inside of a local dunkin' donut, and while renata went to use the facilities (which was locked, but she was able to charm one of the cashiers to come out with the key to let her in), i bought a small coffee coolatta.

we continued our walk, back across the jfk bridge, down storrow drive, over the eliot bridge, across memorial, through the kids park, down mt.auburn street, into sparks. behind the riverview condominiums was a line of pink flowering chestnut trees. the flower petals feel on the cars below, coating the street in a confetti of pink like the aftermath of some lavish indian wedding.

onwards to craigie to concord avenue to bond to garden to linnean into the posh avon hill area of cambridge. there, along washington avenue, was another fine specimen of pink chestnut looming before a massive mansion. we also saw the oldest house in cambridge, built in 1690 (or perhaps earlier, there's some confusion depending on which sign you read), over 300 years ago.

renata left after we got back to my place. i had two stouffer's pizza for dinner and spent the rest of the evening watching the english patient, a movie i had never seen before but figured it was about time that i did.