starving for nature (despite the fact that it's fall, where everything seems to be in the processing of dying or escaping from the coming winter), i got on my bike and decided to go out to lunenburg, were a rocky stream cutting through a forest promised water snake sightings. i stopped off in belmont to get some gas, but by that point i realized i wouldn't be able to make the 1 hour ride out to central massachusetts, that i'd sooner freeze to death before that happened. so i settled and went to habitat in belmont hill instead, a much closer nature site. i was hoping to see some woolly bear caterpillars and if i was lucky, catch a sight of a snake, which i seem to be able to find more often these days. the air was brisk but pleasant in the bright sun.
for the most part there was nobody there, but at one point i did see a man taking a walk (i didn't bother to wave, i pretended to be busy), and later another man walking a dog. standing there in the middle of the grassy field, surrounded by oak trees in the midst of color change, it felt peaceful. i didn't find any woolly bears but i did see a small garter snake slithering through the grass. when i tried to get closer, the crunch of my shoes on some dead leaves scared it away and i lost sight of it.

i went to the cafe, where my father had called me to ask if i could help him move a twin mattress and box spring. i left with some food. when i got back home, i took the homemade bread and made myself a sandwich, surfing the web for more red sox new, like information about the parade, which would now be on saturday instead of friday (i learned that from andrew this morning when he called me about the red sox victory last night). came evening, i got ready to go to another harvard museum lecture, "the rarest of rare," presented by edward wilson, regarding some of the museum's more prestigious natural history collections. i told julie about the lecture and she seemed interested as well, and showed up at my place via bicycle so we could go together.

when we got there, we went to the lecture room and sat down. there was only a handful of people (compared to the crowd i experienced last time), and they all looked like students, looking at us inquisitively but didn't say a word. neither of the two "speakers" near the podium looked like edward wilson. the discussion seemed to be more mesoamerican civilization than natural history. "i don't think this is it," whispered julie. i concurred and we made a quick exit. outside, a flyer was taped to a chain-link fence. upon some careful reading, we realized the lecture actually happened on "tuesday" not "thursday," so we'd missed it by two days.

so instead we walked down to harvard square to check out the final days of wordsworth and to get some food, including perhaps some bubble ice tea. passing by the newsstand we saw the stacks of collection-worthy red sox newspapers. when we got to wordsworth, there was a sign that said everything was 55% off now, and even though the lights were on inside, the doors were locked.

we got some dinner at cambridge 1, this trendy pizza restaurant next to bead works, the kind of establishment that prints their menus on a single rectangular sheet of cardboard. there was a 20 minute wait, so we sat by the front window bar stools, drinking our beverages, waiting. we got a table close to the back of the restaurant, where from the windows we could see the harvard square cemetery in their backyard. i don't think i've ever had pizza so close to dead people before. we shared a salad and each had half a pizza. maybe it's because of my unrefined palate, but i couldn't really say if this pizza was any better than any other pizza i've ever had before.

instead of bubble ice tea (cold), we decided to get real tea (hot), from tealuxe. i went with a pot of spicy chai steeped in whole milk, while julie had some rose-flavored tea. usually the place is so packed i never come in, so it was kind of refreshing to find it rather empty tonight. the chai was very good, a lot of cloves that made my tongue tingle, and they didn't skimp on the tea, stuffing the mesh strainer with plenty of chai leaves (it seemed like a waste, i wanted to take the tea home with me).

we went to cardullo's next, where julie wanted to prove to me that it wasn't just a cheese shop ("i don't even know where you get that idea," julie said, "i don't even know where the cheese is." ). julie, who i now realize is a teaholic, was taking a stroll down memory lane, through the cramped u-shaped aisle of tea boxes, naming all teas she's loved before. we ended up just buying candy, julie going with a stash of european chocolates, while i got a bag of licorice and a packet of lavender-flavored gum. the gum was tasty but immediately hardens after just 10 seconds of chew. the licorice smells like foul body odor, and tastes salty, like you're eating a bag of wrong. however, each licorice piece comes in a cute little shape, but no amount of kawai can sugarcoat the putrid flavor, and if i wasn't such a baby when it comes to admitting my mistakes, i would throw that package of hate into a ziploc bag and leave it outside.

before we left the square, i bought the latest copy of everyday food. we also took some time to admire the various magazine covers, a quick visual index of hotness. apparently woman in skimpy outfits never go out of style, but men wearing lots of clothes seem to be the norm when it comes to male celebrities, much to the chagrine of julie.

julie wouldn't be able to get home in time to watch her shows, so she watched it at my place. her shows? the apprentice, followed by a heavy dosage of ER. trump fired some indecisive blonde chick (no cobra action? i feel ripped off), while on ER (a repeat) babies are dying everywhere. julie left during the middle of america's favorite hospital drama. after struggling to attach her bag of chocolate to the back of her bicycle, she stuffed the whole thing down her shirt and rode away, refusing my offers of a warm winter jacket (cold tonight) or a bag to carry her candy.

and finally, i get an e-mail from renata at 4am in the morning (i'm not asleep yet). i write her right back and discover that she's actually awake pulling a near all-nighter, just like old times, finishing up a paper. i hope we all get some sleep before the night (or dark morning) is through.