so this afternoon julie was all about the bubble ice tea, and how she was going to buy all this supply online from this place that she found. i told her she might find them locally, like perhaps at the super 88 supermarket in allston. at first she was against going, something about hating allston, but i finally managed to talk her into it, although she wanted to bike down. biking meant i wouldn't have to run today, so i was okay with it. and since i didn't have lunch yet, i could get something to eat at the 88 food court. so we headed out, a blast of humid hot air hitting me in the face when i stepped outside my door for the very first time today. my ass was still sore from the last bike ride, and i sat on my seat gingerly. through harvard square, over the turnpike, down some small side streets, finally we made it to super 88.

we wandered the aisles, julie disappointed with the bubble ice tea making selection, even hesitant about getting the tapioca balls (she didn't think they were the right brand). ever since she got an almond flavored bubble ice tea from lollicup a few days ever, she's been fixated on almond flavoring. we did one final look in the tea aisle, and through shear luck julie found cans of powdered almond mixture. with all the ingredients located (including fatty straws), we left to go eat.

julie had never been to the food court before, and i look her around the long way so she could see all the different restaurants, from korean to chinese to japanese to vietnamese to thai. we even saw another lollicup store (the first one here in boston, at least to my knowledge). i already knew what i was going to get, the tom yum noodle soup from the thai place, and while i was waiting for my order, julie went to the japanese restaurant to get a plate of gyoza. "smell this," she said, handing me the container of diluted soy sauce. i had bought some hot dumpling sauce so i let julie use that instead. you know you're a real food snob when you bring your own seasoning to other people's food. my tom yum soup was delicious, i ate everything, leaving just a bit of spicy soup in the styrofoam bowl.

after finishing we left, biking back through harvard square again, passing the harvard lollicup store. we stopped briefly at my place to drop off the few pieces of grocery items i bought, then i followed julie back to her place, where she was helping me clean my bike (i don't remember ever washing it, the undercarriage coated in mud, the chains and gears rusted) with special bike cleaning equipment she had, changing into an unwanted t-shirt so she wouldn't get herself dirty with splattering bicycle grease.

we went back inside, where julie then proceeded to make bubble ice tea from several sheets of computer printouts with recipes she'd found online. julie is a "measurer" when it comes to cooking, and while i was rolling my eyes, she was scooping the exact amount of water one would need to boil tapioca balls, as stated by the instructions on the packaging. she boiled the bobas (they sink at first, then dance around when boiled, finally just floating on the surface), steeped the tea (3 bags of black tea for 2 cups), and even made her own sugar syrup, equal parts of white sugar, brown sugar, and water, heated to boiling. all the ingredients minus tapioca balls were thrown into a metal mixing container, along with ice cubes, creamer, and in julie's case, a few spoonful of almond powder. julie seemed delighted with her handiwork, rapidly finishing her bubble ice tea. i took my time to savor the flavor. i'm still having issue with the consistency of the milk tea, just like the few times i've made it, it always comes out sort of runny, not thick enough (too much ice cubes maybe? not enough creamer?). when i told julie this, she suggested i throw in some almond powder, but i didn't since i'm not a big almond fan.

i came home and continued with the unfinished business of freelance work. it started getting dark, mike finally came home, done with his bar exam. to my surprise, he gave me a gift certificate to loews theatre, for letting him stay here the past two nights. it was nothing, really! he was also curious as to what i've been working on, and i gave him a quick tour (it's always nice when people express some sort of interest in my work). he said he was going back to NYC tonight, and after we caught some more DNC coverage, he returned my keys and left with his traveling suitcase. he said something about moving back to boston in 2 more weeks, but made no mention of his living arrangements, so i'm assuming he's got another place in mind.

the television was turned on to the final night of DNC coverage. i was literally held hostage, checking the C-SPAN schedule of speakers, taking breaks when someone boring came up to talk. for dinner i'd be making cold peanut noodles again, since i still had a big bowl of peanut sauce left over from 2 weeks ago that i had to finish. i marinated some chicken in a lime juice + rice vinegar + sugar + chili pepper sauce, and cut up some vegetables. just when i was starting to cook, i realized i didn't have any spaghetti noodles, so i had to run across the street and pick some up. when i came back, alex kerry was just about to give a speech, so i waited until she finished before cooking. she gave a great speech, i was almost moved to tears. i know it was a prepared speeach, but she gave a nice delivery, didn't look like she was reading, left enough pauses for the audience to applause, maybe if her film career doesn't work out she might have a job in politics. with the two kerry daughters presenting their father, i wonder if the bush twins are feeling the pressure to do the same for their daddy? but the bush twins aren't even in the same league with the kerry daughters, quite frankly. this shouldn't become a competition to see who has the better set of daughters, although i'd pay to see something like that.

i made my cold peanut noodles with just about 5 minutes to spare before john kerry was due to make his speech to the convention. i forgot to water down the peanut sauce so it was a little thick, and the marinated chicken tasted more sour than sweet (lime juice + vinegar will do that to a chicken, go figure). i also had some cold chicken gizzards i bought from super 88 (if you don't know, don't ask).

i thought john kerry's speech wasn't the knockout i was expecting. john edwards gave a much better speech last night, and tonight i think kerry was upstaged by his own daughter alex (in as much a daughter can upstage a father). one thing i noticed is he didn't really pause to let the audience participate and applaud when he made good points. later i'd find out that he'd timed his speech so it'd be over by 11pm, for fear that the major networks would end the convention converage prematurely by switching to their 11pm broadcast. do speeches really have to be this long? can't politicians find a few key issues, talk about those items, then wrap it up? at one point i send a text message to julie's phone, "kerry is BORING" and a minute later she called back, saying she actually found it pretty interesting.

so i can't believe the DNC is finally over! i wish it could just stay here, and i say that without any sarcasm. i kind of like having boston in a state of siege, cops and transit police and national guards on every street corner, everyone watching eveybody else, the barricades, the protests, the rerouted traffic, the constant news coverage, the eyes of the world fixated on boston, and especially the celebrity sightings. i'll miss those famous people the most, even though i didn't get to see too many celebrities of my own. everything will go back to normal now, go back to being boring. at least i got to experience it a little bit.