i went to work early so i could leave early and meet up with renata to go to the movies. it wasn't very hard waking up at 8am, it felt no different than waking up at 9am. i ran into my neighbor jeff on my way out, he was walking his new pet beagle named lola. "how many times do you walk her?" i asked him, as lola jumped onto my khaki pants with muddy paws. "5 fives," he said, which i thought was excessive, but she's not yet potty trained and he doesn't have the luxury of a fenced in backyard that he can just let her run around in. poor city dogs. "besides," he added, "i wouldn't do it anyway because i'd be afraid somebody would steal her." poor tiny purebred city dog! at least with a mutt nobody there's no fear of dognapping. i cut our conversation short as i hurried to the train station. the problem with going to work at 8am is that's when most of the working world goes to work as well, and it means a crowded commute even though i was able to find a seat on the train. to my surprise i was the first person at the office and spend several minutes fiddling with the multitude of locks and keys before i finally got the front door opened. luckily i brought my bag today, otherwise i wouldn't have my office keys.

dare i say it? it was a fun day of work. the coding for the weather game is going along very well, so good in fact that i was bragging to everyone that this was my best work yet, "a game to put on the front page of a resume with." after having said that, naturally the demo crashed and i had to swallow my words and fix it. there's something that's just fun when you're integrating lingo with hardware, in this case a set of colored buttons that light up when pressed. i started having flashbacks of why i went into mechanical engineering in the first place (my college major), because it dealt with things that i could see and touch, nothing so microscopic that i couldn't view easily, nothing so huge that i'd need a team of construction workers to build. i imagined that my ME professors would be proud if they could see me now.

around lunchtime i took a walk to super 88 to get some provisions, snacks and drinks for tonight's moviewatching mostly, theatre contrabands. coming back, i dropped by the chinatown cafe to get some lunch, salt and pepper pork ribs on rice, my usual (no smelly tofu today). i noticed the place was spotless. perhaps a health inspector was going to pay them a visit, but i think usually they're this clean, probably the cleanest takeout place you'll find in chinatown. maybe it has something to do with the fact that they're right next to the tufts medical school. i imagined future cancer curing doctors and researchers coming in here on there lunch breaks to grab some chinese takeout. i'm eating the same food those smarties eat! intelligence by association.

one hour before i left work i was on a mankick. having just brushed my teeth, i was extolling the virtues of my toothpaste, this crest whitening plus scope with minty fresh stripes. it's the spiciest toothpaste i've ever used, it's so strong that it should be called "manpaste". kristine took out her toothpaste to compare, and despite the fact that her paste has glitter, mine had a stronger scent to it. i wanted to do a taste test, but they put so much chemicals into modern day toothpaste that it's nearly poisonous.

at the stroke of 5 i left the office, got swept up in the outflow of proletariats exodusing the city to their respective shelters. despite the rush hour crowd i found a seat again, crushed between two blondes, staring at a stranger's crotch standing directly in front of me. it was weird going home early enough that there was still some daylight to play with. walking out of porter square, i caught my sister and mother in a car leaving my place after delivering some food. renata called saying she was running a little bit late and arrived on my doorstep after 6pm with a blood orange and a bag of burritos. some how i knew she was going to grab some mexican food (we had probably mentioned it in an e-mail) even though i was going to suggest to her maybe we can forgo dinner until after the movie. we ate quickly, 20 minutes, before getting into renata's car and driving down to kendall square. she didn't know this but i didn't have my seatbelt on the whole time! (she's a real stickler when it comes to safety) i snacked on some lavash crackers she had in the car, leaving crumbs everywhere.

by the time we got to the theatre, they were already running the trailers, but we didn't miss much. from my bag i slowly started taking out my contrabands, first the bottles of jasmine tea, then a bag of dried mango strips. there was only about a dozen other people in the screening room, so we had plenty of room to stretch our legs.

the movie we saw? touching the void, a documentary about 2 climbers who scaled some mountain in peru and upon their descent, something goes wrong and one climber essentially had to "cut the rope" of the other climber, although in the end they both managed to survive. it's one of those inspirational tales of survival that's just ripe for a cinematic treatment. i first heard about the story on some segment on HBO. when the movie came out, i wasn't in any particular hurry to see it, but renata had actually heard joe simpson (the climber who got cut and crawled his way back to camp despite a severely broken leg) speak and she really wanted to see the movie. i tried to imagine myself in their positions. had i been the guy holding the rope (simon yates, who got a lot of flack within the climbing community his action, even though it was his only choice to save his own life, and the end result was that they both survived because of him), i would've cut it. no, i think would've abandoned my friend, climbed down the mountain, and tried to get help, instead of trying to climb down with him, broken leg and all. if i was joe simpson, having just broken my leg and fallen into any icy crevasse, i would've just given up, gone to sleep, and froze to death. it's remarkable, during that time, joe never once thought about god or any loved ones, and if anything, when he was nearing death, he had some boney m song stuck in his head. with a personality like that, this cold calculating pragmatist, it definitely helped his chances of survival. the situation reminded me another harrowing tale of survival, that of the shackleton expedition. these stories are true inspirations, because whenever you feel like you can't go on, all you have to do is to think if those men were able to do it, so can you. touching the void is a great documentary about man's will to survive in the face of adversity. as for the best documentary, that distinction still goes to the revolution will not be televised, and i wish more people had seen it because everyday when i watch the news, that's all i think about.

on the ride home i wore my seatbelt this time. when she wasn't looking, i secretly put a fortune kitty inside her car. this entire evening lasted a mere 3 hours, 2 of which was spent in the dark in silence watching a movie. we crammed all the comments we had about the film within the time period between when we left the theatre until i got dropped off. something fell out of my pocket when i got out of the car, a horrible clatter as my digital camera bounced on the street. if memory serves correctly, this is the second time i've dropped my camera, both times with renata present! let's just say i get distracted when she's around.

i took a bath, watched some television (nightline focused on the madrid train attacks), read more "uses of haiti" (a chapter on "papa doc" duvalier), before going to bed. tomorrow, friday! hooray.