my doorbell rang this morning. afraid it might be my annoying neighbor renee seeking some free technical consultation on her computer problems, i decided to ignore it. besides, the 30 minutes i have to prepare for work is a sacred time, full of rituals and precise ways of doing things that a visit from renee would throw my whole day off kilter, especially since the woman can't stop talkng once she starts and i was running a little late already. renee was persistent though, continuing to ring the doorbell. unfortunately the television was on in the living room, so she knew somebody was home.
"i'm in the bathroom taking i shower, that's why i can't hear anything" i rationalized to myself, even though i was really in the kitchen making my oatmeal breakfast and i heard each ring just fine. before i left the house to go to work, i looked out the window to make sure the coast was clear. there's something wrong when you avoid neighbors like the plague. went i left the house, i saw a box waiting for me. turns out it probably wasn't renee who was ringing my doorbell but rather the UPS guy delivering a package. since i'd be late for work anyway, what harm would there be in being another 5 minutes late? so i came back in with the box and opened it up. inside was a cardboard envelope, and inside that envelope was 200 rare earth magnets wrapped in a sheet of foam. i've been meaning to buy strong magnets for a long time, and earlier this week i bought them online in bulk. they're part of my plan to make cool fridge magnets using shrinky dink. magnets scare me, for they are the enemy of all things electronic and digital. i felt like i was handling something dangerous. i pried off a few magnets and stuck them to the fridge to test. they're magnets all right! with that i put them away and went to work, 30 minutes late.

arriving at the squid office, i was greeted by a plate of gingerbread men that katrinka had made for the office with the help of brian. each one was decorated differently, one was a woman wearing a bikini, another was supposed to be the hulk, there was also a mutant, and even a skeleton.

i went running again during lunch despite my rule of not running on consecutive days. i went with kristine, who told me she hasn't ran in a long time. alex was supposed to come as well but he left his running stuff at home in rhode island. the temperature barely broke 40 degrees, but the sky was clear so we got plenty of sunshine, compared to yesterday when the temperature was a little warmer but it felt colder because it was slightly cloudy. cutting across downtown crossing, we ran into a familiar face ringing the bell for the salvation army. "exercising, huh? i like it!" she told us. "wasn't that...?" kristine and i looked at each other. "caterina bandini!" i said, referring to the local news anchorwoman. later we figured out it was actually kim carrigan. it's the week of anchorwomen sightings! our run was nothing worth mentioning, we went slow, kristine threatened me with coughing and spitting, but none of that happened, and the weather was actually pleasantly warm. when we made it back to downtown crossing, she bought some clementine oranges from a flirtatious fruit seller as well as a vegetarian sandwich from chacarero, her first time. back at the office, i had some ramen again, nasty bit of artificial nourishment but enough to sustain me for a few more hours until i got home. i went next door to that chinese bookstore and got some bubble ice tea for alex and myself.

the diorama construction continues. i made the table today, covered by a red tablecloth. i cut a hole on top of the box for a light source, then glued a piece of dark green felt for the ceiling. i tested a paper banner carly printed out for me, and created a wooden picture frame for one of the walls. later, i created an alternative sign using pieces of felt. the whole diorama is illuminated with three light sources - a 4 LED headlamp for the backdrop, a small book clamp reading light for the foreground, and a xenon bulb flashlight for the skylight. i took a few test photos to gauge the results. i still need to make metal stands for the squids and to work on the backdrop some more, but the diorama is almost done.

when i got home, i made some french bread pizza from scratch, and ate my leftover buffalo wings from wednesday night. somebody rang the doorbell again when i was in the bathroom, interrupting a conference call. i didn't bother answering the door for fear of you-know-who. not enough that my morning was disturbed, but now my evening as well? mark my words, i will never help her again. the rest of the evening was spent recording the lord of the rings: fellowship of the ring extended version for manny, which meant that i couldn't change the channel and watch anything else for 4 hours, i hope he appreciates the sacrifice!