i got up early this morning to meet some potential clients on newbury street, for a lingo project i inherited from lisa. while trimming my moustache (hey, it doesn't just grow out like this, it needs shaping sometimes), i accidently shaved too much on one side, so i had no choice but to completely shave off my ironic moustache. suddenly i looked weird, but it was too late to fashion a fake moustache out of black felt paper. i ironed my shirt, then headed for porter square.

the screen house nostalgia at this company was so strong, it gave me goosebumps. everyone was beautiful, everyone was young, i knew where the designers sat, i knew where the programmers sat. the faces and the names were different, but these were my kind of people, my ilk. i met with their new project manager and their creative head for about 15 minutes, just introducing myself. i was slightly damp from having just commuted in this humid weather from cambridge, but also any sense of nervousness will often times bring an uncontrollable bout of sweating. soon the meeting was over, i seemed to have qualified, and after some exchanges of good bye, i left. yesterday i e-mailed eliza (who works in the nearby area) about possibly grabbing some lunch if she was available. i walked a few blocks before popping open the ibook i was carrying in my bag. to my surprise, i could see the free wireless newbury net, but i logged in through a non-participating unencrypted airport hub (it had a stronger signal). standing out on the posh newbury sidewalk, i checked my e-mails, and got a notice from eliza that she was all tied up with meetings, so i headed back home, but not before taking a long browse of the virgin megastore, trying to find a book to buy, but ended up purchasing nothing.

at porter square i bought a bouquet of purple asters ($3), the special occasional being that mandy, my former coworker from srm who moved to NYC (010827) right when she started to get interesting but has now "transitioned" back to boston, was coming over for dinner after she got out from work. i passed a woman getting ready to ride her motorcycle, and i asked her some questions about parking. she told me that i can basically park on the side of the street without fear of getting a ticket since cambridge doesn't offer motorcycle permits. if you do get ticketed, you're supposed to send in the ticket along with a copy of the registration that shows the "vehicle" in question is in fact a registered motorcycle. she said the only time she's ever gotten ticketed was for parking in a handicapped zone. "happy riding!" i shouted to her as i continued walking. i got home, showered, then had a pair of tea eggs. bruce dropped by to see the caterpillar, slightly bigger than yesterday, and showing signs of color other than the nondescript grey. it had eaten some more of the leaf, and had crawled up to the top center, the reason for said action remaining a mystery. it's weird though, raising my own caterpillar which will become a butterfly in a few weeks. being such a big fan of bugs, you'd think i'd have thought of doing something like this much sooner, but i never really realized how easy it is. i mean, little kids do this, how hard can it be? bruce also gave me some feedback on my inadvertent shaved face. without the goatee there wasn't that much difference from my old look, but without the moustache, it looks like i have a new face. bruce said the shaved look brings out my smile and eyes (renata said the same thing about my smile when i got rid of the goatee). i told him that in 48 hours everything will grow back, and i could already feel the stubbles starting back in. i think without a moustache, my face loses its anchor, it's focal point. after he left, i got changed and went out for a run.

despite hating to carry anything when i run, i ran with the gps today because i wanted to find out once and for all how fast and how far do i actually run. from my house to the charles river is a surprisingly long 1.3 miles. i always thought it was less than a mile at most. my circuit around the charles river, over the jfk street bridge and the eliot bridge, is a mere 1.7 miles. i always thought it was maybe 2.5 miles. if i ran from my house to the river and around, that's exactly 3 miles, which is the magic distance i want to run. i always thought i could default to a 10 minute mile pace, but after consulting with the gps, that speed is actually pretty slow, i could do a 10 minute mile and probably not even break out in a sweat. i think on the average though, i run a 7-8 minute mile, and if i really go fast, i can get it down to 6 minutes a mile. that's all nice and good, but compared to a marathon runner, that's nothing, they can run at a 5 minute mile pace for 26 miles. i run 3 miles and i already want to die. professional marathon runners are machines.

i bumped into my mailman while walking back, we usually wave to each other and say hi, but today he felt compelled to make a circle gesture around his mouth and ask, "what happened?" in reference to my lack of facial hair. "oh, shaving accident," i cried, "trimming my moustache, took too much off, had to get rid of the rest." he nodded his head as if he's done the same thing before. "it'll grow back in a few days though," i assured him, and continued walking.

i got back home, took my second shower of the day, washed my dirty clothes (including my running clothes), prepared the flan dessert i was making for tonight, vacuumed, had my mother and sister pay me a visit, received some work files from lisa, and called amanda rawson to wish her a happy 26th birthday. i noticed that my next door neighbor finally decided to fix her broken fence door. around 6ish mandy called. originally she was going to show up at 7:30pm, but she was going to bail on her yoga class and come straight to my place, which was fine with me.

the last time i saw mandy was over a year ago, during a weekend visit down in NYC (020518). i only got in touch with her because last friday was her birthday so i sent her an e-mail, not realizing that she had moved back to boston. i gave her a tour of my place, then went into the backyard to collect the jasmine flowers. she confessed her love for textiles and patterns, and then showed me the works of angela adams, her inspiration. after some catching up (including "are you still riding your scooter?", none of the ladies from my old job refers to my motorcycle as a "motorcycle"), we went across the street to get some supplemental groceries for tonight's dinner. the only thing i was missing was chopped clams, but we ended up getting some ingredients for a tomato basil appetizer mandy was going to make. at the market, we were talking about favorite television shows, mandy revealing that she watches a prodigious amount of mtv shows (real world, surf girls), and we discovered that we're both fans of queer eyes. we got back to the house and started cooking. i was going to try a new recipe, but i figured it'd be better to just go with something safe. the flan was already setting in the fridge, about 2 hours before it'd be ready. i cooked the chicken that i marinated from last week, defrosting in the sink from earlier in the day. added to that were hasselback potatoes, almost an unnecessary addition but i just like making them and they make good leftover food. the third thing i made was spicy clam parsley linguine, a pretty easy recipe, a sure hit.

as if all that wasn't enough, i also made some smoothies, temporarily turning off the fan so i could use the outlet for the blender. andrew came home 8ish right when the cooking was getting hot and heavy. mandy laughed in disbelief when she realized i put my red wine in the fridge. the three of us got a little liquored up, while mandy and andrew exchanged kids of divorced parents stories, their lives sharing amazing parallels. while chopping some onions, mandy told me about a trick to not crying, which is to put a piece of onion in your hair. it only worked because i kept my head up in order for the onion piece not to fall, which prevents me from looking at what i was chopping. boiling the pasta was the last thing to do, and the one that generated the most heat because of all the steam. once that was done, andrew and mandy helped set the table while i brought out the food.

i probably made enough food for 2 more guests. the idea of making a small amount never entered my mind. the irony is that i seldom eat leftovers, which is where andrew comes in, because he seems to thrive on food that's at least a day old. dinner conversation ranged from linguistics, diaspora, the next superpower (andrew thinks china, i say still usa), thai sex trade, and hitchhiking with girls in new zealand.

after dinner, we ate some figs, followed by a brief moment of clean-up (putting dishes into the dishwasher), followed by boiling water for tea. while andrew was out in the backyard talking with maura on the cellphone, mandy was showing me some yoga moves in the kitchen (her limberness coming from a childhood of dancing). when she wasn't doing that, she was busy eating her NYC street-bought birthday necklace, and told me the story about how she once ate a flower necklace that made her terribly sick. when it came time for the flan, mandy went out into the backyard to get a mint leaf and a jasmine flower for the garnish.

we ended up giving mandy a ride home back to watertown (so she didn't have to catch the bus or take a taxi). andrew and i did a brief tour of neighboring belmont, visiting some of his old houses. i go back to belmont all the time, but andrew couldn't remember the last time he was back there, the town where we both grew up. coming back into cambridge, we saw some kids who had moved a couch onto an island in the middle of the road on mass ave and were just hanging out. we swung the car around so i could take a photo of them. "put me online!" one of them shouted, not realizing it was already too late. i thought about giving them the url to the weblog, but hesitated. "on second though, don't put me online, it's creepy." yes, creepy. when we got back to the house, i checked the monarch caterpillar, it had eaten some more of the leaf, and less than half a day later, i could see the antennae and more distinctive yellow-black-white stripes.