all this week traffic on the mbta have been sparse. there's hardly anyone on the train when i ride it in the morning, it's kind of peaceful, you can really feel a change in the air because of the holiday. it's going to be like this for the rest of the year. those who can take these remaining days off do so, and those who can't, people like myself, well, we get to ride empty trains and buses and trudge through work.

everyone left work early today. kristine and dana left around 1pm, followed by james, then alex and carly, and finally adam. i was the last person in the office, printing out sheets of shrinky dink with our squid diorama photo. i felt like i was making counterfeit money for some reason, one colored printout after another. i got some coding work done before we had a modest holiday "party" around noon. we played christmas simpson episodes up on the wall through the projector and had egg nog and little finger snacks. if you asked me, the classic christmas entertainment is a christmas story, i watch it every year, i know the movie by heart, and i'm tempted to get the newly released widescreen version out on dvd. i went over to katrinka's place for the last time to feed her pets. snickers had puked on katrinka's bed and i had to clean that up, nothing that i haven't done with my dog many a times. she and brian come back from florida the day after christmas, snickers will be fine after that.

by the time i left, i had over 20 sheets of shrinky dinks already printed, with 55 more to go, which i'll leave for alex and carly to do on friday (i'm taking that day off, it's ironic that the two people in the office who live the farthest away from boston will actually be coming in to work). there was a small crisis when the canon i950 bubble ink jet printer ran out of yellow ink. after i replaced the cartridge, it printed everything out super yellowy. two failed shrinky dink prints later, the photo cyan ink ran out. after i replaced that cartridge, everything started printing normal again. michelle called for adam, i helped him lie and told her he was out getting lunch and would be back, when i knew he had left for the day and went out to get a present for her.

i went to the petco across the galleria mall first. i almost didn't go because of the miserable rainy and windy conditions, but i went anyway, just to get it out of the way. i returned the fish tank heater that i bought a few days ago, it won't fit inside my 2 gallon aquarium, and the tank is so small it's not even worth it to try raising tropical fish in there. i bought a water plant, an "anacharis," which is just another name of elodea, the one i've been harping about. it wasn't expensive, less than $2 for a bundle of elodea. next stop was harvard square, where i was trying to find an issue of national geographic traveler magazine, which i want to subscribe for my aunt lili and uncle matthew, but i couldn't find it. what's going to happen is i'm just going to get the subscription online and tell them its coming, one of those delayed presents. i dropped by cvs to pick up a roll of wrapping paper, hot pink. i walked back home from harvard square, cutting through the courtyard, my pant legs soaked from the rain.

when i got home, my parents and aunt and sister had already arrived (they have a spare key). they came over to make dinner. my father helped me "plant" my elodea plant in the fish tank. i had to take out the olmec head because there just wasn't enough space. it's kind of pretty, the elodea look like green snakes gently swaying underwater. for dessert, my family all had the flan i made last night, i was the only person who didn't have any because there wasn't enough. before they left, i made another batch of flan (i run a flan factory) for tomorrow's christmas night dinner. my mother helped me organize the metal rack in my kitchen, hanging up some pots and pans.

once they were gone, i spent the rest of my evening watching the 24 hour marathon of a christmas story on TNT. one of favorite moments? when chinese food saves christmas.