alex kates came to pick me up at 10am so we could test our program at the stow elementary school. the drive down route 2 was quite scenic, with a lot of trees already showing peak colors. we were in alex's pimped-out ride, complete with pink metallic floormats, mini blue dashboard spotlights, and a bobblehead dog (which was originally a present for me from manny).

we got to the school right around recess, and all the kids were outside on this nice day playing kickball. the school seemed new, with a lot of transparent glass walls. we spent our time in their computer lab, rows of blue imacs, debugging the application with their computer person, who would periodically log us in with her username and password to access the various levels. we ended up having to write a standalone applescript application to set the sound input source to internal microphone.

with that done, we left and headed for walden pond, where we changed into our running clothes and did two loops around the pond. walden pond was mostly senior citizens taking strolls and the occasional class group field trip. the kids seemed scared, like we violated the sanctity of their wilderness education. there were some honeys sunning on the beach but upon closer inspection there were elderly honeys in two piece swimsuits, happy to be receiving some inadvertent attention. at one point we came across an old lady walking the pond, who motioned for both alex and i to stop so she could talk to us. i thought maybe she was going to say how much she admired our dedication to physical fitness, but instead she said, "i just want to let you know...i don't condone what you're doing at all. i think walden pond is for walking, not for this [running]." we were shocked. she seemed very nice and all but she was basically scolding us. the balls on this woman! how did she know we wouldn't retaliate and murder her? if we had to do it again, we would've probably pushed her over the cliff, instead of thanking her for her unkind words.

after getting a ride back to cambridge, i took a shower. since it was still early (3pm), i decided to go see a movie at the kendall cinema, riding the motorcycle to the theatre. i decided to see motorcycle diaries, the story of che guevara as a young man, before he became a revolutionary. the movie is interesting in the same way that robert deniro's young vito corleone is interesting in godfather 2, to see the genesis of a "great" man, to witness the things he experiences that makes him who he is. if this was just a simple travel story about two young men biking the length of south america, i don't think it'd have the gravitas as knowing that one of them will one day become a revolutionary hero. the film doesn't pander one way or another regarding the legacy that che guevara will eventually leave behind, although it's definitely sympathetic to his cause. and what cause is that? equality amongst all men of course, the heart of communism, which on paper seems to be the perfect government but not so much in practice. but at that time period, no one could've known this, and the bright eyed idealism of youth seems to say maybe it is possible to form a society where no one is left behind. i found the film touching, with the scenes of the motorcycle riding through vast south american landscapes soothing to my soul. the movie made me think and want to get to know more about che guevara.

returning home from the theatre was an eventful affair. i've never seen traffic blocked up so far, but as soon as i turned the corner from the theatre, there was bumper-to-bumper traffic. perhaps inspired by the movie, i became quite bold and sped my way down the bicycle lane, like a free ticket to the head of the line all the way to inman square. the danger with doing something like that is i could run over a poor bicyclist (fortunately there was only one in front of me, and he soon turned a corner, so the bike lane was all mine) or, worst-case-scenario, somebody opens a door and i take off their arm as well as their door (not to mention sustaining serious motorcycle injuries). anyway, i *almost* escaped unscathed, were it not for a particularly tight space between a car in traffic and a car parked on the curb. i slowed down to about 5mph, held my breath (as if that would help) and went through the narrow opening. pop! pop! as rearview mirrors collide, as i quickly sped off, no time to look behind me, whose ever mirrors i hit, impossible for them to chase me down anyway while they're stuck in traffic.i heard the sound of a car alarm going off at the moment of impact, all my fault. 10 blocks down the street, at a stop light, i finally adjusted my mirrors, no harm no foul, although a close one.

katrinka wanted a copy of pond bugs to test and asked if i could get her a disc by tomorrow. unfortunately, tomorrow i plan on going to the beach in the morning, and wouldn't have time, so instead i realized i could actually quickly go down to her place at downtown crossing tonight to drop off the cd, while at the same time picking up that oriental rug i bought from her a few weeks ago. i had a great exchange on the subway. a young girl sat next to me, and judging from her body language, she seemed interested, legs crossed in my direction, fussing with her hair, accidently brushing up against me ("sorry," she apologized, "it's okay," i assured her). several stops into our ride, she suddenly turned to me and said, "i'm bored. are you bored?" we started talking, her name was jessica. "which school do you go to?" she asked me. "actually, i'm going into boston to pick up a rug," i told her. i asked her what she was doing with her cellphone, and she said that she can actually get reception in the tunnels through verizon, even though she really like sprint pcs phones a lot more. she asked where i lived, and when i told her, she said she goes to lesley and actually lives right behind me on sacramento street. "what're you doing after you pick up your rug?" she asked me. that was the opening. if only she was my type though; instead, i just told her i was going home to watch the game. she got off at park street and we said good bye to each other. "maybe i'll see you around," i said. when you live your life alone for so long, you almost become afraid to be with anyone else, and it seems people you don't like are always attracted to you while people you do like aren't attracted to you at all. c'est la vie.

not only did i pick up the rug from katrinka, but i also got a bag full of unwanted spices, like cayenne pepper and paprika. at the train station my token didn't work on the turnstyle and when i stuck my finger in the return slot, i was greeted by a booty of several other tokens. i rode the subway with the rolled up rug, 5 feet long and 8" wide. walking home, i had to shift the rug several times, balancing it on one shoulder, like christ bearing the cross, or maybe an urban lumberjack carrying around a log. when i got back it was 10pm. if i wasn't transporting carpeting i would've had dinner in chinatown, but instead i cooked up some chinese dumplings.

a sneak preview of my weekend: tomorrow the beach and rob moves out and the red sox game and the presidential debate, saturday the second annual new england carnivorous plant show in rhode island, and sunday a trip up to vermont to see the colors.