my restful sleep was disturbed at 11am by two things, frances text messaging me on my phone regarding coming down to new york city (traveling from oslo, here for the thanksgiving weekend) and andrew leaving a message in my voicemail. i replied to neither one, going back to bed after looking at the phone to see who it was. but by then the sleep trance had been broken, and besides, i had a call of nature to make.

saturday, a day that was essentially an empty canvas. the most important thing on my mental to-do list was to buy a present for my sister who's birthday is on tuesday. if i had time, i would also take some time to work on the weblog, i still need to finish my costa rica travelogue, if not for hungry readers, then for myself, the longer i wait, the more my memories fade. after a quick lunch of oatmeal, i got dressed and headed down to the t station, a strong cold wind sweeping the landscape. i walked with my body hunched over, trying to stay warm. i crossed path with three teenage girls, one girl asked another girl if she was cold, her tiny halter top revealing bare midriff beneath a small denim jacket. "yes!" she screamed self-consciously, aware that i could hear them, her friend putting a hand on her exposed skin.

by total coincidence, i ran into bruce and jack at the station. bruce was going to the airport, going back to pittsburg. jack, whom i thought was seeing bruce off at logan, was actually going to kendall, going to the gym. i got off at kendall along with jack, and walked up to the galleria mall, the wind mercilessly blasting me the whole time, a tornado of hair on my head.

i cut through best buy, went upstairs to borders bookstore first. i browsed the pets section for a good aquarium book, wrote down a few titles to order from amazon.com, i wasn't about to pay retail. however, i did purchase the latest issue of outside magazine, i'll be honest, i bought it entirely for the cover of lokelani mcmichael. i then went downstairs to brookstone. i've bought my share of presents from brookstone, it's kind of like a gadgets haven, but i don't like how they brand everything they sell with their company logo. i didn't come here without a purpose though, i already sort of knew what i wanted to get, this mogu pillow i saw advertised in their holiday catalog: "a sensation in japan, mogu is now here to snuff out your daily stresses and bring happiness to your world. Inside mogu's soft, stretchy skin are thousands of mini mogu beads, creating a feel that's irresistible and utterly squeezable." i was intrigued, and figured it'd be something my sister might like. the first thing i did was to squeeze one, and i was sold. i got red, if she doesn't like it, she can return it for a different color.

the last thing i did in the mall was to get some more black socks from old navy. i was sorry to see that they no longer had their $3/3 pairs, so instead i settled for $5/3 pairs. i left the galleria, went next door to petco to check out some fishes, then walked back to the subway station.

instead of going straight home, i was struck with some photo inspiration and made a detour to the longfellow bridge, where i crossed it in the freezing wind (my nose runny, my hands icy, my ears frozen), snapping photos of the view of boston. i made it to the charles red line stop and took the train home, the welcoming warmth of the cabin a pleasant sensation.

i had a hankering for chicken and went to the star market by my place to buy some ingredients: some drumsticks, a few lemons. i was looking for rosemary but they didn't have any, so after paying, i went out again to the bigger star market in porter square, where they did have rosemary. i also bought a box of clementine oranges. i went back home, icy nuggets of snow falling on my jacket.

i made some shake and bake chicken for dinner, had more drumsticks than crumbs, so a few of them were light on the breading.

i also prepared two game hens, thawing them out in the sink, cutting them open when they were unfrozen. working with raw meat is gross, and when i sliced the chickens open to reveal frozen blood inside, i thought to myself, "what am i doing? this is nasty." into two ziplock bags went the chicken, marinated with scoops of virgin olive oil, some lemon juice, and a health dose of fresh rosemary leaves.

for dessert, i had my last dish of flan. now that i don't have any, i suddenly feel the urge to make more. i know what i said about eating so much flan that i could never have another bite, but it's one of those desserts that easy on the palate.