i am taking an early morning bus ride to work. i'm with one of my cousins and we're traveling through suburban taipei. it's still dark but merchants have already started putting out their merchandise on the sides of the road, illuminated by clip-on lamps. we pass by all sorts of fruit vendors and i am jealous because i am leaving and won't be able to get my hands on all these lush tropical fruits back in boston.
i get to south station (boston) and i climb on top of some construction site on my way to work. i have to walk across some planks balanced precariously on crossbeams. i decide to walk along the side though, where there is an asphalt walkway. a construction guy with a hard hat, safety goggles and a moustache says hi. he looks like an engineer. we walk together and i make chitchat, telling him how great the place looks, how every week there's something new. we step over a barrier tape and walk across a large expanse of newly asphalted field.
the engineer asks if i know anyone who wants to live at fish drive. i'm confused. he explains the building is called "catfish". we walk through a condominium, perhaps it's for sale, but it's small and not impressive, nothing like the description he's telling me about, so i think the place for sale is somewhere else. he says $400k per unit and describes the bathroom, which he emphasizes is italian style, which i take to mean very expensive and lavish. i say i might know a married couple who might be interested (manny & daisy). i cook some sausages in the toaster oven of the condo.
when i get to the office (which looks nothing like the office in real life), adam is very happy and tells everyone how he's finally bought a place and will be moving out. i eat my sausages. it tastes good but i realize they're still raw, which makes me nauseous. i remember something else the engineer told me about the bathroom. they have italian doors, each one is 350 square feet. "the good ones, they only make the left door," he informs me.
continuing with my tradition of seeing a movie every weekend to try and view as many potential award nominated films as possible, i headed out to kendall square to catch the station agent. the theatre was busy with older theatre goers, a lot of senior citizens and middle aged people. you don't get a lot of mall kids going to see independent films. i bought a full price ticket (i thought it was the matinee, but apparently there was a first showing earlier in the morning) and a medium bag of popcorn.
what can i say about the station agent? it's not so much a story as it is a study of a group of people thrown together through special circumstances. it's hard to categorize this film, but it's a charming movie with very interesting characters and a mixed bag of emotions,loneliness, happiness, sadness, compassion, intolerance, just to name a few. finbar (peter dinklage) is a dwarf who works at a train hobby shop and inherits an abandoned train depot in rural new jersey after the death of his coworker/friend. he moves out there to escape from the world (a world seemingly insensitive to people of his ilk), but ends up making friends with the local through a series of events. there's joe (bobby cannavale), the ultra-friendly hot dog vendor, who parks his hot dog van right outside the train depot every day; olivia (patricia clarkson), the "sexy, smart, older type," an artist mourning the recent death of her son; cleo (raven goodwin), the little naive neighbor girl who asks finbar what grade he's in when she first talks to him; and emily (michelle williams), the cute libarian. a few comments: paula garcés sighting! you might remember her as the girl from clockstoppers (2002), she plays teenagers in films but she's actually my age. she as a cameo as a cashier in the station agent. it's funny, but everyone in the movie has a cellphone except for finbar, and cellphones play a vital role in the film (just as it does in real life). michelle williams! i really love her. out of all the dawson's creek alumni, i think she has the most interesting career, taking roles in good indie movies (dick for one). you could argue that katie holmes has been in a few good films as well, but i think her star shine will only last for so long, while michelle williams appears to have more staying power. james van der beek and joshua jackson, where are they now? so the station agent, go see it, it's definitely a feel good movie, you'll leave the theatre with a smile guaranteed.
coming back to porter square, i went down to the dollar store to see if i can get some cooking utensils, but left the place with some soap and batteries. next i went to star market to buy some ingredients for the chicken soup i wanted to make for dinner tonight. when i got home, i started three loads of laundry: dark cold delicates line dry, light warm normal tumble dry, and dark warm normal tumble dry. while all this taking was place, i was making chicken stock, a recipe i learned from an episode of food 911 i taped a few weeks ago. you got your basic carrots, celery, onion, then i add garlic, bay leaves, peppercorn, thyme to the chicken. i simmered that for over an hour, at one point i tried transfering it to a crockpot but the pot was too small. after all that simmering, i took out the chicken and strained the broth, throwing everything else out except the liquid. the broth was light (since i didn't add any salt) but it had a lot of flavor. i then stripped the chicken, shredding the meat off of the bone. in a pot i added chopped carrots, celery, onions, and garlic, cooked that up a little bit, before pouring the stock back into the pot, along with some bowtie noodles and the chicken meat. i also added a few pinch of salt.
the final soup? it had a promising start, but i'm sort of disappointed with the finish. too much carrots made the soup taste too sweet, which i didn't like. adding salt didn't really help it much, just made the sweetness more noticeable. next time, i'm going to use those daikon radishes instead of carrots. i had a big bowl of the soup, the rest of which sits on the stove.
my roommate came back tonight. the reason: he's got a final on monday so he needs to study this weekend. i can't quite place my finger on it, you figured a roommate who's never here would be an ideal one, but the fact is i think it's even more stressful, since even though he's not here most of the time, every so often he does come back and spends the night, so it's a game of russian roulette, i never know when it's going to happen, so i'm never quite sure when i can have total privacy. whenever i hear the lock on the door turning, it makes me anxious. maybe if he told me when he was coming back it would put my mind at ease, but that's a nonexistent line of communication. there's also some resentment when he does come back, since i'm so used to him not being here. it's completely unfounded on my part, since he does pay the rent, so he does have every right to live here. i wish he would just tell me what's going on. i'm too much of a coward to ask, since his rent helps me out a great deal financially, so i'm afraid of rocking the boat, putting the notion in his mind that, "hey, you know what, i don't really need to live here after all!" i was doing some math tonight, with my current salary i can cover the mortgage and pay the bills and the groceries with a smidgen of cash left to play or save. but i almost feel like i need a second job in order to live at the comfort level i'm used to living at now (which is modest to begin with, i don't have any expensive hobbies). i know a few people at the office have other jobs, either freelance gigs or other money making schemes, and i feel like that's one of my options if i want to live alone with no roommate. if only there was a way to make money that didn't require too much of my spare time nor require a lot of hard work. maybe i can convert the spare bedroom into a drug lab when my roommate moves out in june. what's the current street value of chronic anyway? i don't think the landlord would narc on me and i've always wanted to experiment in hydroponics.