i finally finished stalingrad: the fateful siege, 1942-1943 by antony beevor. i borrowed it from rob house back during the summer, and only now i'm finishing it up, my own literary siege. i'd read 2-3 pages a night before i fall asleep. not that the book was boring, it's actually a great history book, some nights i look forward to going to bed just so i could read it, what little pages i can get through before sleep takes ahold of me. beevor has another book, the fall of berlin 1945 which i think i'm going to get, the guy's a great writer. it's battle history filled with very humanizing details, and it's very objective, filled with first hand accounts from the actual participants, their letters, their journals.

ah, new england is cold again! none of that weird warm weather, autumn means cold, and here it comes! the weather news today is the arrival of snow in western and central massachusetts. none here in boston though but it's just probably around the corner. it's cold enough that i'm thinking about wearing a scarf or a hat, and if it gets even colder, i might have to bust out the thermal underwear.

my lunch break was all about running errands again. i the stairwell leading out the office, i negotiated the details of my real estate tax with my new mortgage company. every month when i pay my mortgage, a part of that amount goes into an escrow account that is used to pay off my property tax twice a year. so the mortgage company pays my taxes, since technically they own my house (until i finish paying it off in 30 more years). anyway, the city of cambridge for some reason sent me the tax bill instead of the mortgage company, so i got that resolved. i then went to the post office to mail off something. i returned to liberty travel, where i cancelled my belize ticket and asked to see what they have for other parts of costa rica. bad news: most of those packages are all closed up, even the good ones in belize. i got to pick from the remainders. i told jennifer to reserve a flight to just san jose, costa rica for me, and that i might know some people down in costa rica who might be able to find a place for me to stay. this of course is totally true, my godmother's best friend actually lives in costa rica, so i had to wait until after work to get in touch with her. i finished off my errands with a trip to chacarero, small beef sandwich.

after work i came home, watched television for an hour. it was cold in the house, but i was too cheap and lazy to get off of the couch and turn up the heat. i went next door to buy some groceries, a few cans of soup, some drinks, some snacks. i'd been rummaging through cookbooks prior to that, but didn't see anything i wanted to make (i need to get new cookbooks), so instead i just made canned clam chowder, ate it from the pot while watching some WWII documentary on PBS.

i got in touch with my parents who got in touch with my godmother who in turn got in touch with her friend in costa rica who told her husband who works right next to a costa rican travel agency. for a while i thought about going to someplace else, like maybe a secluded area of mexico, or perhaps the dominican republic (i found a DR penny in my change, i took that as a sign). i'm also going down with my father now. he really wants to see costa rica as well, and two people sharing a hotel room is cheaper than just one person, and also if i get lost in the rain forest thousands of miles from home, it's good to have a backup. i went to the american airlines website and bought two tickets leaving november 8th, saturday, coming back in a week. i then wrote my godmother's friend's husband with my itinerary and where i want to go (first choice corcovado, second choice monteverde). so costa rica it is! now all i have to get is a pair of good hiking shoes and some bug spray (which is ironic, i'm going down to see bugs after all).