i entered boston early this morning without a bag. i felt liberated but naked without it, kept on trying to look for the bag even when i didn't have one. i had a dentist appointment at 8:30am. the last time i went to the dentist was 3 years ago, september 11th, 2001. going to my old dentist, doctor huang, was a walk down memory lane, and i felt a rush of excitement before i entered his office. we chatted for a few minutes, i filled doctor huang and the other dentist about the details of my life from the past 3 years, getting laid off (again), buying a house, finding a new job. i crawled into the familiar dentist chair and my cleaning began. doctor huang loves his x-ray machine and took two x-rays of my teeth to commemorate this occasion. my dentist worked quadrant to quadrant, lower jaw first, then the upper jaw. it hurt, but it was a special kind of hurt, like a tooth ache that you keep on tonguing anyway, this prickly nerve pain. afterwards, doctor huang came back with the two x-rays and told me that i had no cavities (a miracle) but that my gums were slowly receding, and i would need some sort of scaling or perhaps dental surgery later in my life to remedy the situation. i got a free oral-b interdental kit and after paying the $60 fee ($40 for cleaning, $20 for the x-rays), i left with brand new clean teeth.

i cut through chinatown, walking to work. i rarely come into the city this early, so i was surprised to see a lot of stores and restaurants with their doors still closed. no one seemed to notice that i was in the office earlier than usual, 9:30am earlier than usual, and i quietly resigned to my workspace and started coding. on my desk sat some candy i bought yesterday. within minutes after my teeth cleaning, i'm already reverting back to my bad self.

i met julie in chinatown for lunch, a little shabuzen action AKA asian hot pot. it was my second time there, julie's first. the place wasn't very crowded, we sat facing the large widescreen plasma television across the restaurant turned onto CNN. because i didn't have my bag, that meant i didn't have my shabuzen gift certificate. even though i've had hot pot plenty of times, i was still confused by some of the accoutrement. fun fact: the hot pots are all heated by conduction plates hidden beneath the table! i had the mala (they call it "chinese spicy") broth and by the end of the meal, i was sweating from the overall spiciness.

afterwards, i asked julie to come with me to the fish store next door, so she could act as my decoy as i took some photos. she told me about the "turtles for meat" see saw at one of the asian supermarkets and we went to investigate. she also mentioned something about these "cooked turtles," which i've never seem before, but they turtled out to be bloated orange cuttlefish lying in a butcher shop's window.



chicken feet

we went to super 88 to do some shopping. the seafood department was rich in photo opportunities, a lot of weird fish i've never seen before. i got some snacks and we walked back to chinatown, julie taking the T back home while i went back to work.

the sky had that dusky post-sunset color when i left work. a crescent moon against a background of blue, next to a tiny reddish dot that's planet mars. not as dramatic as when the moon was next to venus, but an interesting sight for those in the know.

back at home, alex paid me a surprise visit. while i ate my leftover jambalaya from last night, he made himself some korean ramen. my streamlight headlight also arrived, i redeemed an old llbean gift certificate to buy it. it's the one that's got one green LED, two white LED's, and a xenon bulb. i turned off all the lights in my house briefly and walked around pretending i was spelunking. we watched "america's next top model" which was scream-outloud outrageous (very zoolander), with your host tyra banks, who with her newfound singing career is a poor man's beyonce. the girl who got eliminated, sara, was found lacking because she was only attractive to men, not to women.