what i thought would be a pretty mundane monday turned out be rather interesting.
i went to bed last night at 4am. i do a little calculation before i go to sleep, i'm sure a lot of people do this. i figure out when i have to wake up and how many hours of sleep i'll be getting. this helps me determine what kind of sleep i can have, the deep sleep if i have a lot of hours, or the light sleep when i need to wake up in a few hours. last night's number was 6 potential hours of sleep, with an estimated time of awakeness at 10am. unfortunately, i never made it to my ETA. andrew knocked on my bedroom door alerting me to the fact that the city of cambridge was doing street sweeping, and whether or not i needed somebody to move the manual drive saab that i've been taking care of while susan and dennis are away on their hawaiian vacation (i can't drive stick). i knew the care was safe, but got out of bed anyway to double check. once i did that though, i couldn't go back to sleep anymore, despite having slept only 4 hours.
although i had a lot to eat last night, i woke up this morning utterly famished. i opted to make some morning italian bread pizza, and after 30 minutes (10 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook), i was eating in the living room. i watched pat robertson tell viewers to pray for the removal of three liberal supreme court justices for ruling that sodomy is not a crime a few weeks ago. it was funny and scary at the same time, dan and i went online and checked out some more inspirational messages from pat robertson, including his age-defying protein pancake recipe.
after breakfast i went out to run some errands, pick up my prescription at cvs, get some stamps from the post office, and buy some flowers. i got this really pretty bouquet with violet carnation-like flowers and white rose-like flowers. it wasn't until i got home did i realize the two flowers were actually from the same plant. i couldn't for the life of me figure out what kind of flowers they were, even after renata told me one possibility (i forgot the name). these flowers, in addition to the sunflowers i bought over the weekend, made my living room look like a flower store, or perhaps a funeral home.
mail arrived with my first free issue of psychology today. i've never actually read the magazine before, but it's surprisingly interesting, with juicy tabloid style headlines like "109 surprising reasons men and women can't see eye to eye" or "sick desire: confessions of a pedophile". despite the headlines, i've always regardless this magazine as a hoity-toity affair, read by the same target audience that do the new yorker.
today's run was uneventful, although hot. when i wasn't sidelined with the cramps, i ran fast, seemingly able to catch up with anyone jogging further ahead of me. it was so hot by the time i got to the charle river that i stripped off my t-shirt and put it on a rock so i wouldn't have to carry it in my hand. when i came back around, i retrieved my t-shirt. if you ever go down memorial drive and across ash street, if you see a t-shirt on a sidewalk rock, that means i'm out running the around the river. when i got back home, i did 130 bicycle crunches before i had to stop, upping my repetitions. after my shower, i did a load of laundry, including my running clothes from last friday (when i ran in the rain), which smelled like mildew.
i took a nap (4 hours of sleep finally catching up with me), waking up to the sound of my upstairs neighbor sweeping the front of the house and cleaning up the backyard. it made me guilty, because here i am, housebound most of the time, and i don't do an ounce of maintenance work, and here he is, my neighbor, comes home from a hard day in the office and still finds time to do yard work. it made me feel so guilty i vow tomorrow i'm going to go outside and weed the backyard. i don't want to be known as the bad condo neighbor.
i didn't have any particular dinner plans, and usually right after a nap, i'm so groggy the mere idea of making dinner hurts my brain, but tonight i was inspired for some reason. after looking through some cookbooks, i decided to make the mediterranean dish yemistes piperies, aka stuffed peppers with tomato sauce. i went to the supermarket and got the necessary ingredients (peppers aren't cheap, 8 plants for over $6). i came back home and started cooking before realizing i was missing a key element, the cooking wine. i went back out to the liquor store, and after some quick browsing, i decided upon an ernest & julio gallo twin valley cabernet sauvignon (red wine). the woman behind the counter even carded me, which never happened before. i came back home and continued cooking. it was my first time opening a bottle of wine, i almost didn't know how to use the corkscrew. while pouring the wine into the tomato sauce, i took a few sips from the bottle, out of curiousity. the cabernet sauvignon tasted very mild, very fruity, definitely didn't taste like medicine, and definitely didn't taste like urine. kind of like unsweetened grape juice with alcohol. out of all the little taste samples of alcoholic drinks i've had over the past few weeks, this was the only time when it was a pleasant experience. i'm no wine drinker, but if i had to pick, i'd go with this one. the irony of the guy who doesn't drink finding a wine he likes! after my sips, i started to get worried that maybe i might be too drunk to drive later tonight, a problem that up to now was beyond my sphere of influence. at one point during the cooking, i had three stovetops operating simultaneously, one was cooking the sauce, one was cooking the stuffing, and the third was boiling the pepper shells. what i thought would take an hour to prepare turned out to take 3 hours (including an hour to bake the stuffed peppers in the oven). by then it was approaching 10pm, and i was beyond hungry. when my timer finally went out, i quickly had 4 of the 8 peppers i made. evaluation: the recipe asked for grounded lamb but i could only get grounded beef, but is okay, but i think the lamb would've been more flavorful, more mediterranean. the tomato sauce was sort of a waste, more garnish than actual food, although the sauce itself was very good (tomato sauce with fennel seeds and wine and cinammon and five space and bay leaves and honey). it was fun working with pepper shells though, they make the perfect natural containers. i'd like to try the stuffed peppers next time with a different filling (lamb if i can find it).
after dinner, i motorcycled back to belmont to borrow my parents' car. andrew finally came home from a friend's bachelor party after midnight. i drove him to the audi dealership in danvers (a special "danvers driving music" mix cd playing on the stereo, including many 80's songs), and after he retrieved his fixed car from the lot, we drove back, he going back to the house, i going back to belmont to drop off the car and take the motorcycle back home. it'd been a while since i drove, but it felt pretty good, especially on deserted highways so late in the night. earlier renata had called me, seemingly concerned that i wouldn't be able to drive since i haven't done in for so long. not to worry! i made it back home in one piece.
as if i didn't get enough from my 3 hour cooking marathon tonight, 3am in the morning i was marinating a small chicken, some rosemary, some lemon, and some olive oil, all sealed together in a ziploc freezer bag, it smelled pretty good going back into the fridge, ready to be cooked for tomorrow (or the next day).