(natick organic farmer's market)

this morning i was coding from home. whatever fix i made last night seemed to be working, after fixing a few new bugs i created. i had cereal for breakfast, then oatmeal for lunch, but i was still hungry. a stupid squirrel "ate" one of my habanero peppers, a green fruit on the ground with a single bite taken out of it serving as evidence. i don't expect that squirrel to come back anytime soon.

renata had the day off from school because of the jewish holiday, so she and i visited the rocky narrows reservation (sherborn), despite the rain. we noticed some red maples along the side of the road were already changing colors on our drive down route 16 west. she had spilled some milk in the passenger side seat and kept on apologizing about the smell (which i didn't really notice). turns out rain wouldn't be our main problem: a bloodthirsty swarm of ravenous mosquitoes threatened to drain us of our life fluids. being the seasoned naturalist that i am, i embarked on our expedition wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and a pair of shorts, essentially acting as decoy and mosquito bait, sparing renata the brunt of the attacks, bundled up in several layers of clothing with only her face showing. occasionally i'd look back and see mosquitoes flying around her head and one ambitious bloodsucker even managed to bite my poor companion on her ass through her jeans. a dramatic vista overlooking the snaking charles river could be had if we went further into the reservation, but several factors prevented us from doing so: no trail map, no gps, no identifiable trial, and an unwillingness to feed anymore mosquitoes. i also thought conditions were ripe for more eft sightings, but this point in the season, with more and more dead leaves on the ground, it's hard to pick them out of the background if they do exist. the rain however seemed to motivate the toads to come out of hiding, and every now and then something that looked like a rock would hop out of our path. a rather suspicious man (who drove a pickup truck) went into the forest the same time we did, walking ahead of us. very soon afterwards he came back out (maybe because of the mosquitoes). we weren't sure what he was doing, but i could swear i smelled wacky tobaccy. renata, having not had anything substantial to eat prior to leaving, fed from my generous supply of trail mix that i keep in my bag. being that we're both nature lovers, it's surprisingly that this is only our 3rd outing together, but it seems everytime we go hiking, conditions are always bad. if it isn't freezing and snowing, then it's too cold in the early spring, and now this third variation, wet and buggy. i wouldn't be surprised if renata never comes out with me to do naturing ever again.

coming back we visited an organic farmer's market in natick. it was after 5pm and the place closes at 4pm. there was nobody around, although there were wicker baskets of various fruits and vegetables on the counter. apparently they operate on an honor system, write down what you take and pay to a cash box. their confidence in the honesty of their customers baffled my mind, although who would really steal from a farm out in the middle of nowhere? outside, behind wire fences, were also goats and sheeps, lazily feeding on hay. most of the goats had the tips of their horns wrapped in duct tape to keep them safe.

if i thought the farmer's market was impressive, our next destination just blew my mind. renata's always harping about this produce place she goes to in watertown, that has all these great stuff ("they have 10 different kinds of bok choi"), but honestly, how good can a place like that really be? well, i now know the answer after visiting russo's for the very first time. i didn't know produce could be like this, it's a paradise for vegetarians and anyone who eats organically. they have vegetables and fruits there that i haven't seen in a long time or just plain haven't seen ever. and the colors! when i painted my condo, i must've been dreaming about a place like this: orange, red, green, yellow, purple, blue. i bought some bottled sanpellegrino chinotto and some early season pomegranates. renata bought a bunch of groceries and at the last minute asked if i wanted to have dinner at her place. yes.

renata made a colorful dish, yellow drumsticks with red tomatoes and red peppers and white onions and purple potatoes and green spinach and magenta beet. we both agreed that there's a lack of cooking based on not only taste but colors as well. for dessert, we chewed on some pomegranate seeds. i helped her put on a temporary chinese character tattoo that andrew gave her a while back that she's always kept but never used. we were deciding where to put it (i had some ideas): i suggested possibly stomach, renata proposed the small of her back, but we settled for the traditional arm location. i also helped renata write a chinese sign welcoming some exchange students before i left.

my original evening plan involved going down to the kendall cinema to catch warriors of heaven and earth (tonight's the last night), but i wasn't going to make it, so instead i just came back home and watched the rest of the baseball game, red sox beat the devil rays once more, with the yankees series in new york starting tomorrow. it's going to be a sporty weekend.