how often do you see this? two strangers on the subway, sitting opposite each other, both using powerbook laptops. i try to imagine the scene when they first got onboard the train, and each saw the other had a powerbook, maybe a faint knowing smile was exchanged, perhaps a nod of silent recognition, the way jeep drivers honk at one another, the way bikers give each other the wave.

the office was more empty than usual today, with adam still in florida, with alex on his mexican vacation, with kristine helping her roommate through foot surgery, and most of the other staff members in a meeting. an office with so little people is depressing, nothing to do but work. can you believe that? having to actual work at the office! what will they think of next?

lunch brought me to chinatown (where a bus had just dropped off a load of passengers fresh from new york city), apollo grill box lunch specials awaiting shannon and i. i figured once every month or so i should treat myself to something really delicious. or more delicious than soup from a can or a handful of sweet tarts. i ordered the kalbi ribs ($10.50), shannon went all out and got the sushi deluxe. i got some stuff i'd never seen before in box lunch specials, edumame beans and a piece of sushi that's essentially squid tentacles stuffed into a hard boiled egg. spice of life (variety) my friends, spice of life! later we visited that upstairs cute store, i thought it was a sanrio stronghold, but there really wasn't that much stuff, a lot of cellphone paraphernalia.

my day was going fine, until i left work and got to porter square, where i went to a fleet atm to cash my check. i've never seen it happen before, but the machine literally crashed, completely froze up. i banged on it a few times, punching every button, but there was no action. thank god i had a cellphone, i immediately called the service number. it was kind of sketchy, people would come in to use the machine (there was one other functional atm), i'd be standing behind them like i was just loitering. everyone who came in i told them that the machine ate my card, and that i was on the phone with customer service. finally i got someone, "name and credit card number please," she said. "i can give you my name," i told her, "but i don't know my credit card, it's inside the machine, and it won't spit it out." there was nothing she could really do other than to cancel my credit card (not like there's a magical button on her end that she can just press to eject my card). because it was night, the bank was closed, so i couldn't even get a temporary card if i wanted to. fortunately i had a few dollars still, and i never got so far in the transaction that i actually fed the machine my check, so i still had my money, just not my card. 15 minutes later i finally left the atm booth, what should've been a simple exchange turned out to be a modern banking nightmare.

when i got home i was on a mission to make some creme caramel (called "flan" in some circles). alex dropped by briefly because he was in the neighborhood, but as soon as he left, i went next door to pick up some ingredients to make the dessert. just as soon as i was about to start cooking, i got a long call from renata asking me about the details of my costa rica trip, and when the conversation was finally over, it was too late to make the creme caramel, since i also had to make dinner as well. i'll just have to make it tomorrow then. so instead i cooked up a salmon steak in the toaster oven (i'm all about micro heating, using the fullsize oven seems like such a waste), whipped up a smoothie to go along with the fish.