i woke up weird, woke up stressed. nothing directly affecting me, but my roommate mike was starting his 8 hours (8am to 4pm) take home final for one of his law school classes, and it brought back some personal test-taking memories, all bad. all i could do to help him was take my 30 minutes to prepare for work and leave him alone. everyday a little bit more snow melts, but it's not fast enough. at this rate, we'll still have the same batch of snow by the end of the season. i saw a few recently dug out parking spots with objects denoting their reserved status. it's a real problem living in the city, you spent 2+ hours digging out a curb side parking space so you some how feel that spot belongs to you, so you put a lawn chair or maybe some garbage cans in its place when you leave, to tell other people that's your space. thing is, there's no curb side parking ownership, but god forbid if you happen to park in somebody's spot, because there's a million stories about smashed windows and other forms of car vandalism in retaliation.

the most exciting thing at work today was i was given a special assignment to take the photo for the squid holiday card. i've been pushing this idea since october, about doing a diorama involving dressed up squids doing everyday things like squids having tea, squids watching a movie, squids holding a party. finally my wish is being granted, and this friday will be the photo shoot, i need to find little tiny furnitures and clothing for the squids, which will either be real or fake. for lunch, i had some pan fried noodles, walked all the way down to tufts medical, despite the intense glare of the sun (enhanced by the snow) and the danger of falling icicles.

when i came back home, inside the house was a package waiting for me from amazon.com, the books i had ordered sunday night had arrived. i'm surprised how fast it was, i wasn't even using any expedited service, just the cheapest (read: free) standard delivery. "wildlife of costa rica" and "aquarium owner's guide". i flipped through them a bit, but didn't have time to really enjoy them because i had to clean the house since guests were coming over. i washed the dishes, vacuum the floors, and cleaned the bathroom a bit, even lighting a candle to mask any smells. though mandy and her friend were scheduled to arrive at 7:30pm, they didn't show up until after 8pm. julie arrived before they did, walking all the way from davis square on snowy sidewalks.

mandy wanted to cook a recipe she had learned on her recent vacation to italy, some sort of spicy bacon pasta with a side dish of fennel salad. something about bringing back recipes from distant lands seem very exotic. most people bring back souvenirs or photos, but how many people bring back the flavor of another country? we were assigned little side jobs, mandy's friend (sorry, i forgot his name) grated the cheese, i chopped the onion (tearing, naturally), and julie minced the garlic. at 9pm i dropped everything and went into the living room to watch 24 while everybody else was still cooking in the kitchen. a man's got to have his priorities!

the four of us ate dinner in the living room while watching agent jack bauer pull an 180 degrees and get back in with the salazar drug cartel. just when i thought the show was getting boring! next came queer eye, the subject was a former marine trying to impress his girlfriend. during the commercial break i brought out the flan i made last night (julie had been asking for it about 30 minutes ago). that's when i got a call from bruce from pittsburg asking if i could go check up on jack for him, seemingly missing in action. wearing just a t-shirt, but ventured outside and rang jack's doorbell, even got one of the apartment neighbors to let me in (he shushed me for some reason, was i talking too loud? didn't he realize it was an emergency?). i went back to my place, where everyone was asking where i went for the last 5 minutes, and none of the flans had been touched. finally it was time for dessert, everyone loved the flan, even though i forgot to add the vanilla extract last night. mike and wendy came back for a few minutes to pick up some stuff, mike asked if he could borrow a $20 (i felt like a dad giving out allowance money), and paid me back with a check for the amount he borrowed plus the rent.

mandy's friend got sleepy so they had to leave early. after queer eye julie left as well, leaving me to my sweet battlestar galactica. it's frakking awesome! i think those are taiko drums beating during the battle scenes, and they do a lot of zooming in and out, i guess that's the latest trend in cgi effects. all 4 hours will repeat sunday 7pm on the scifi channel, catch it if you can.