i had an extremely restful sleep last night. with no plans for sunday other than to continue with my holiday shopping, i could sleep however late i wanted. it felt like freefalling into unconsciousness, if that makes any sense. i finally did wake up around 11am, couldn't sleep anymore, and i had to use the bathroom anyway. shannon instant messaged me about getting some brunch, and although i originally said no, the fact that she could drive down to the galleria mall and we could have our food and shop at the same time was an offer i couldn't refuse. so she came to pick me up and we went to the cambridgeside galleria mall on the eastern edge of town. we settled on the cheesecake factory for brunch, shannon got a ginormous salad while i went with the barbecued grilled chicken sandwich. neither of us could finish our food, and we still had to leave some room for the eventual cheesecake. i ended up getting a caramel creme cheesecake, but in my mind was something like flan, but turned out to be more caramel than anything else. delicious, although the cake was probably a meal into itself, and i painfully stabbed away at the final few bites, finally calling it quits.

the only thing i had to get from the mall was some gift cards from best buy. we also went to the apple store and the borders bookstore. i bumped into manny and daisy, out doing some last minute shopping as well, trying to find a dvd. the galleria mall, because of its smaller size, exhibited more signs of the typical crushing humanity of holiday shoppers. it's amazing, everyone with a unified mentality of consumerism, of spending money, of acquiring material possessions. i don't see it as either a bad thing or a good thing, i just find it interesting. what started out to be a religious holiday has been hyped upon over the years to be this fantastic d-day of shopping. eventually shannon and i left. she drove across the street so i could get some fish tank supplies from petco: a heater, some pebbles, and a sticker thermometer. she visited two banks before i was finally driven home, despite the fact that we passed by my place 30 minutes ago.

back at home, i continued watching the lord of the rings marathon on starz. i also put down about an inch of pebbles at the bottom of my aquarium and refilled it with water. after some online research, i found out that the aquarium i have is only 2 gallons, the kind of cheap tank you can buy for less than $20, despite coming with an undergravel filter and an air pump. i also realized that the heater will not fit inside the tank (it's too long), and even if it did, the tank isn't designed for a second power cord snaking through its setup so the lid won't close properly. looks like i can only have a cold freshwater aquarium, and the only fish work considering are just goldfishes. since it's cold water, i really don't have to acclimate the tank to any proper temperature, so i should be able to go out and buy some aquatic plants. i personally like elodea (waterweed), which brings me back to my biology days, when we experimented with these plants. i figured i'll start off with this tank, and if it seems like something i might want to get into more seriously, i'll go out and buy a larger tank, or maybe an used tank that i see advertised all the time on craig's list.

later in the evening my father came by to pick me up for dinner in belmont. my parents were cooking with the habanero peppers my father had smuggled into this country from costa rica. they went into the stir fried spicy lamb, and the rest of the evening both my parents were complaining about how they can't wash the hotness from their hands.

back at home, i did a load of laundry and a second load of dirty bath and kitchen towels. i wrote out some christmas cards for friends too far away to be gifted. i finished off the evening by watching a tape of the star wars christmas special, a squid tradition where each new employee must view what is perhaps the most horrible christmas special of all times, featuring a lovely story of chewbacca's family being threatened by imperial guards on life day, which is supposed to be a holiday similar to christmas, except nobody gets nailed to a cross and it takes place on another planet. luke skywalker, han solo, and princess leia all have supporting roles, and half way through the special it suddenly transitions into animation. it was so horrible, i fast forward through most if it.