what the heck, i'm going for it, i thought to myself when i crossed the street to the south station starbucks to get a cup of venti chai latte, knowing full well that such a dosage of caffeine will make me hyper for the rest of the day. i am not a coffee drinker, so when i do drink it, even in small amounts, i can feel it. dare i say it, work was fun today. i was eager to get out of bed this morning and get to the office, just so i can add more code to the jellyfish game. programming might seem like a boring profession, but it requires problem solving and creativity, and when you get something to work, it feels pretty good, like taking pride in your craftsmanship. the fact that i was going through a drug-induced euphoric state didn't hurt either.

i was supposed to go running with alex during lunch, but he got busy (as often happen with bosses), so it'd be a solo run if i decided to do it. the temperature was 25 degrees but the wind chill was in the single digits. i stepped out briefly just to get a feel of the weather, which was really windy, so i decided to forego running. last night i weighed myself and i'm back at 130 lbs, the heaviest i've been in a year. not that i care about my weight, but it's something i notice. it's hard to stay fit during the new england winter, especially when you don't belong to a gym. man, what i'd do for a gym membership. i'd get all jacktacular, go for that zero body fat look. as soon as the weather warms up (i heard this weekend might be in the 30's) you can be sure i'll be out running again.

so for lunch, i grabbed some quick chinese pastries, my usual store back in business after their vacation. it was cold, and the winds kicked up ice crystals from the dusting we had yesterday. a huddle of sketchy homeless people gathered on a street corner, eyeing passerbys, sizing you up to see if you're worth the effort of asking for a handout. "sir, i don't have any money to give," is a comeback i've been working on. usually they're so taken aback by somebody calling them sir, it gives me time to casually walk away minus the guilt trip. i stayed late at the office because i had nothing better to do at home, but finally left at 7pm to an uncrowded train waiting for me at the station.

i went to star market to get some groceries. i recognized the man at the checkout counter (actually, i recognize all the workers there, i'm a regular), a fellow in his 30's or perhaps 40's. "hey, is your name john miller?" i asked him while he was scanning my food, despite the fact that he was wearing a nametag that said "junior" on it. "yes it is," he said. "well, i got a friend with that same name," i told him, "i overheard somebody call you that the last time i was here, that's how i know." we both agreed that it was a pretty common name. the woman waiting behind me seemed impressed that i was on a first name basis with the employees.

the house was empty when i got home, but there were signs that somebody had been here earlier. i'm like nancy drew every night when i come back from work. first, despite the fact that nobody was home, the heat was turned to 72 degrees. NOTHING makes me angrier than coming home and seeing that the heat is turned on to an empty house. last year during an especially cold winter month i had the heat up only as high as 65 degrees (and back down to 60 degrees when i went to bed) and my heating bill still came out to something like $180 for that month. i can't wait to see the heating bill for january. the fact that i don't make my roommate pay for the heat because he hardly lives here (even though when he first moved in, i mentioned we'd be splitting the heating bill) makes me particularly upset. anyway, whatever, count backwards from 100, breath in breath out, relax you'll live longer. more clues: dirty dishes in the sink (at least it's in the sink and not just on the countertop, although why i have to wash his dirty dishes i'm not particularly savvy to that rule of roommate relationship). somebody did laundry (the laundry door was wide open). i also smelled cigarette smoke, but that could just be because of the laundry (and i didn't see any cigarettes or ashes in the trash).

i made clam sauce linguine tonight. nothing special, and i put too much parsley, so it tastes a little sour, but i made enough for tomorrow night as well, so i don't have to worry about food. i watched some television, nothing noteworthy. for some reason i got a copy of the international male catalog in the mail. medallion silk shirt, weekend gauze suit, london opera trenchcoat, now i know where deion sanders shops! my tv guide dufflebag also arrived, i didn't ask for it, it came free with my subscription renewal. i upgraded the firmware to my nikon coolpix 4500, i didn't have to, but i just wanted to have the latest version. i copied out all the phone numbers from my cellphone, so in case something bad should happen to my phone (wink wink, hint hint), i'll still have all those numbers.

then this happened: i heard the lock to the front door jiggling. i expected to see my roommate, but who walks in instead but his girlfriend. "hi!" she said, then went into his room. a minute later i she comes back out with a large satchel of clean laundry. "have a nice weekend!" she said. "are you going to watch the superbowl?" i asked, trying to diffuse this awkward situation. "no, i'll be down in new orleans this weekend," she told me. "wow! with mike?" i asked her, in my subtle way of saying, where is my roommate and how did you get into my house when i never you the keys? "no, he'll be here writing a paper, so you'll probably see him," she told me. then she left. and there i sat in my living room, a small scratch of anger festering into a large open wound. um, what just happened here?