i almost slept to 11am this morning, the first time in a long while where i could sleep late for a change. remember when i used to sleep until noon all the time? until i started painting six weeks ago and been waking up at 8am on weekdays? i had one of those restful sleeps where i couldn't sleep anymore and woke up feeling completely refreshed. after a lunch of two hot dogs (condimented with ketchup, mustard, relish, onions), i went with bruce to fresh pond for a walk. the weather seemed to threaten rain but it never came. i still brought my umbrella, just in case. bruce wanted to see the warbler renata and i had seen a few days ago, but we had no such luck today. instead, we found a clearing where we spotted many goldfinches and a few orioles as well. we also saw chipmunks and a bunny rabbit.




poison ivy

ladybug larva



train tracks

we drove back into town and stopped by harvard square (where we found a sweet parking spot) to visit a few bookstores so i could find a birthday present for linda teaseller. i found what i was looking for at the harvard coop (i went with a more psychological interpretive prose than the more mystical one), which has been vastly improved since the last time i visited, including many discounted books. i always thought the coop was this stuffy old bookstore filled with retail priced textbooks, but the new coop is worth a repeat visit.

i got dressed and left my house again at 4pm. it took me 40 minutes to walk from my house to tufts university in the rain. the campus was completely empty, i took a stroll down memory lane as i saw all the familiar buildings and haunts. i was the first person from our party to arrive at goddard chapel, another wedding rehearsal still in progress. this was only my third time inside the chapel. the previous two times were that one time i went to my first catholic service on ash wednesday so i could get some ash and the second time was to listen to some guest speaker (some former chinese political prisoner). i went back outside where i saw daisy's parents and brother, along with the filipino catholic priest father reyes. due to the heavy traffic volume, most other members of the wedding party were late, and we didn't get the rehearsal started until 30 minutes later after the scheduled start.

after the rehearsal, it was time for me to sacrifice myself for the good of the wedding party, time for me to drive father reyes back home to rhode island and miss the rehearsal dinner in the process. turns out though he had changed his plans and was now looking to get a ride to natick instead. this would mean i could make it back in just an hour instead of two hours had i driven him down to rhode island. manny gave me the key to his honda civic and i went about delivering the package to the destination. father reyes and i had a nice chat in the car, i asked him how he became a priest, he told me how he went gambling in las vegas and mohegan sun. he revealed the most weddings he'd done in a single day was 7, back in the philippines in one of those simultaneous ceremony. i had never talked with a priest before, it was pretty interesting. the only thing i had to be careful about was saying things like, "oh my god!" or "jesus christ!" i used a lot of "holy cow!" and "wow!" but at one point i didn't say, "oh my god" but i caught myself and sort of mumbled the words, "ohmigawd." we talked about weather, cities we'd like to visit, driving in boston, how some people think i'm morally bankrupt because i'm not religious, my first catholic service, and the frequency of church visits.

after dropping father reyes off, i quickly sped back to cambridge, to changsho, where the rehearsal dinner was being held. to be honest, it felt pretty cool showing up 1 hour fashionably late, i was the center of attention, and those who didn't know what i had just done would hear about it later through whispered conversations. i ended up not missing very much of the dinner, just the soup and some appetizers, but daisy's father had saved some for me. i came just in time for the peking duck and the banquet style dinner, dishes of chinese food served on a revolving lazy susan.

so it wasn't so bad after all, driving father reyes to natick. i think the fact that i didn't drive to rhode island made the difference, otherwise i'm pretty sure i'd miss the entire dinner. this whole situation was perhaps more terrible in theory than actual practice. now that it's over, it's sort of like no harm no foul. father reyes got to where he wanted to go, and i still made it for the food. on top of that, i got some presents from the groom (because i'm a groomsman, i guess there's some kind of tradition), dr.tatiana's sex advice to all creation by olivia judson (we'd heard the author talk on NPR about animal sex acts and were quite horrified by it), a copy of the devil's backbone on dvd, and A GEORGE FOREMAN GRILLE (in transparent red, to match my kitchen walls, daisy said she read that i needed one from my weblog).

changsho is just blocks away from my place, so after dinner, i invited manny's parents, his sisters, and rich, to come over and see it (maureen's the only one to have actually seen the place before). i gave them the familiar tour, revealing rooms one by one. rich was impressed at how big the place was (i told him is was an optical illusion, if were were to compare volume, i think his place is bigger because of the higher ceilings), while maureen thought the place actually looked smaller now that i have furniture, and maricar recognized some of my ikea acquisitions. while they were here, i also gave rich some directions on how to get back to the hilton hotel in boston.

later (the fun never stops), manny dropped by and asked if i could help him drive one of the cars back to his place in medford, where it'll be parked for the duration of the wedding.