i heard brooke moving about around 8am. "oh, you don't have to wake up," she said, as i stirred to consciousness on the living room couch. "oh, okay. give me another hour," i replied softly. one hour later, as promised, i was up, immediately making a beeline to my computer, that familiar whir as the ibook woke up from sleep as well. for the next 6 hours i'd be working non-stop while brooke came in and out, running errands. maggie dropped by briefly to assemble some brochure packets. for lunch i had the rest of my hasselback potatoes. even if i wanted to, i couldn't leave the house anyway to get anything better because i didn't have a car, and i was stuck in the middle of the forest. during one of my breaks, i looked up my name in the vermont white pages, discovering a "t. yang" who lives in randolph. i was tempted to call, but couldn't think of anything to say ("hey t.yang, it's me, t.yang!") so i didn't. i stopped working at 3pm, my work threshold reached. as soon as i was leaving though, brooke came back home.

with my still-wet shoes i ventured back out into the forest. there was no rain like yesterday, the weather replaced with a warm mugginess characteristic of bad summer days. it wasn't so bad when i was in the shade, the change in temperature very noticeable, like pseudo swimming in walden pond and coming across warm and cold spots. after all that rain from yesterday, it was the ideal condition for mushrooms, and i saw even more variety than i did yesterday. my favorite mushroom is the amanita muscaria (fly amanita), the stereotypical mushroom with with the white speckled red cap, as seen in numerous mario brothers video games. when i'm out mushroom hunting, if i can spot just one, it makes my day. besides being pretty, they're also hallucinogenic, which makes me love them even more (kids, i'm not advocating lyseric acid experiment, just say no to smelling colors and tasting sound). i came across a pretty specimen, a yellow variety, speckled with white veil scales on its cap. a wood frog startled me when it suddenly hopped besides me. not sure if i've ever seen of these before, it has great camouflage, i almost couldn't find where it landed. it was particularly afraid, sitting still so i could take a few photos. i read they spawn with salamanders in vernal pools during the spring. i think i'd rather see a salamander than a frog.




i followed the brook this time, sort of off the path, but easy to find my way back out. every few minutes i'd see another mushroom i'd never seen before. i tried to imagine how much a kick a real mushroom expert would get out of being out here, surrounded by fungi. i tried to keep moving, stopping only for photos, as i was chased by mosquitoes, constant buzzing in my ears. i got as far as beaver pond, which looked sort of inviting on the map, but in reality it's filled with aquatic reeds, you'd hardly know there was a pond there except the brook sort of flows into this small body of water. i turned around, went back on the path, and followed the route i took yesterday, continuing for another mile before heading back.






twig marasmius

walking across a field, i just happened to notice a moth resting in the field. maybe it was near death, or maybe it was just sleeping, but it didn't try to fly away when i picked it up, crawling around on my fingertips. it was a very hairy moth, almost like a furry animal, didn't seem like insect at all. it pooped on my hand (number one and number two) and i put it back into the grass. going by a tree, i happened to notice a wasp's nest when i looked up, about the size of a grapfruit. something about a wasp's nest just makes me want to tap it with a stick to see what would happen. it's an instinct that i'd be wise not to follow, which is exactly what i did, as i continued walking through the woods back to the house.

i took a shower (it was humid, i was drenched in sweat by the time i got back), then went back to work. around 9pm i stopped once again, and went with brooke downstairs to sam and jinny's house, her landlord and business partner, for dinner, bringing with us the leftover thai red curry as well as a few quesadillas (this weekend was all about the quesadillas, i must've ate some every single day i was up there in vermont). jinny i had met yesterday, but it was my first time meeting sam, although i've seen him from photos. their house was amazing, the size of their wooden kitchen island alone was nearly the size of my living room, so you can well imagine how big the rest of the house was. we ate in the sunroom, their dog sitting patiently nearby, waiting for table scraps. most of their conversation centered around who to send out invitations to for the grand art studio opening, i sat there quietly, politely listening. i was able to join the talk when the topic changed to the merits of taking cold showers and the healthy aspects of a cold dip after a workout.

after dinner, brooke and i showed them the website on my ibook. after hearing the details of how i was going to get back home tomorrow (brooke can't drive me to white river junction because she's leaving early to drive to colorado, so instead she's going to drop me off in rutland, which is farther away, but it's along the way for her), sam volunteered to drive me to the randolph bus stop (five minutes away), and pay for the addition cost on my bus ticket, which brooke was already going to reimburse me anyway. i'd also get to spend the night in one of their guest bedrooms, since brooke would be packing the entire night, and i wouldn't have to sleep on the couch anymore. brooke gave me a quick tour of the house, showing me the five guest bedrooms upstairs, then downstairs in the basement was a gym along with a steam room and a sauna and a cold dip, with a jacuzzi in the backyard, not to mention the lap pool. the basement's long enough to build several bowling lanes if they're so inclined.

ah, but the night's still young! a little bit after 10pm and there was still a lot to do! i went with brooke to first fill up her car with diesel fuel, then we went to tony's gym, which was where her current studio was, and which was where a lot of her art was hanging, for the gym patrons to enjoy. it's kind of surreal, adds a touch of artsy class to the usual gym decor, which are mirrors and training posters. although the art itself was interesting, the fact that i was in an empty gym was personally more exciting for me. after taking photos of brooke's art (which might eventually be used on her own personal website, to be designed at a later date), i went around playing with the machines. gym equipment that i was always too nervous about trying out, tonight i could play with them to my heart's content. i sampled the stair climber, and the climbing machine, and got a careful look at a few more equipment even i was too fearful about testing out. i got a chance to use the lat bars, my favorite gym equipment, the one that's usually crowded with people. i wish i had one at home, so i could really work on my back muscles (spoken like someone who's gone to the gym before - don't tell!). occasionally i'd visit brooke in her studio room, working on a piece she was donating to the library. her medium is mostly acrylic on canvas, an frenetic abstract style heavy in swirls of color, applied thick so as to give each piece a textured quality. i'd take a few more photos, then i'd go back out into the gym and explore. hmmm, what kind of music do people like to listen to at the gym? let me check out their cd collection! hmm, i wonder what's in the tanning room? it's a tanning machine! curious, i've always wanted to know what it feels like to lift a 100 lbs weight? boy it's heavy! i felt like a kid in a candy store, except it was a 29 year old immature adult and this was a gym. i thought it was befitting that the place be called "tony's gym", as i've always considered myself a patron of both muscles and art.

we got home around midnight, i figured brooke and i would touch some bases then call it a night, since she still had to pack and give me a few pieces of content. little did i realize we'd end up spending 2 hours discussing additional elements to the newly designed website. at times i was a little fustrated, and i tried on several occasions to end our discussion, but it kept on dragging. she and i have different work styles. i personally think the hours after midnight is a sacred time outside of work, while she thinks otherwise. this weekend has been weird, at times i felt like a prisoner of the state of vermont, of the town of randolph. could i just say "no" and confess i've had enough of work and all i really want to do is to go to sleep so i can get back to boston early tomorrow? i felt like i was at their mercy, so isolated from the rest of the world, so dependent on them for my survival, like that guy in misery. also, brooke had so much going on this weekend, i felt like my presence was an additional thing she had to worry about on top of her already insane to-do list.

when our late night meeting was over, i gathered up my stuff and brooke and i said our good-byes, since i wouldn't see her the next morning, she'd be enroute to colorado in a few hours. all my tension soon went away when i found myself in the guest bedroom. the peace and quiet along with the privacy really calmed my nerves and i was back to normal, as i worked on the weblog a little bit and then took a shower before going to bed.

8 photos to summarize my day. text content forthcoming. tomorrow morning i'm on a bus out of randolph back to boston. it'll be good to be home!