i was at home working today, alternating between the 2 projects i have on my plate at the moment. it seems all of a sudden i'm busy; next week i have another meeting with some prospective clients regarding some more lingo work. i like having things to do because it pays the bills, but all this activity is preventing me from taking that vacation i've been talking about since i first got laid off back in the middle of summer.

my father stopped by briefly to deliver some ingredients (eggs, baking tray) for making my thanksgiving day flan, and after he left i walked next door to star market to get some more items (milk, sugar, vanilla extract). there wasn't enough time for me to start making a batch, so instead i'll have to prepare them later tonight.

i went to harvard square to meet up with eliza around 4pm. she was running late, so i visited the boston tea stop to get some bubble ice tea. the place wasn't anything special, less selection than lollicup although the prices seemed cheaper. there was also some seemingly free internet access and it was across the hall from a tanning salon. they didn't have thai ice tea so i went with the jasmine tea with boba instead. i met eliza inside of second time around, a secondhand home furnishing/clothing store. the selection wasn't to eliza's liking and the prices seemed high for used furniture (although not as expensive as authentic antiques). we went to the florist so eliza could get some flowers and bulbs before heading to pho pasteur in the garage for some early dinner. when the waitress wasn't looking she slipped me some brownies she'd made earlier. we both had the grilled chicken vermicelli while eliza ordered a glass of wine as well, "i'm on my vacation," was her explanation.

afterwards we did some browsing at the tattoo parlor. earlier, eliza was thinking about getting a dragonfly tattoo, but i told her it was a bad idea. next, hootenanny, clothing for hipsters, but what hipster has that kind of money to spend on those threads? instead they should shop at planet aid next door, the smell of old clothes hitting us as we walked downstairs. eliza ended up buying a dress, paid for with a fistful of change pulled out from her purse. before we parted ways for the evening, eliza said her final good byes before disappearing into the aldo shoe store. the girl was on a shopping mission.

i took the subway to park street, where i met joel and sarah at the boston common theatre for a sneak preview screening of alexander. sarah had already seen the movie and wouldn't be joining us. when i asked her how was the film, the only thing she could muster was it was "long." joel was inside, protecting a row of seats reserved for the press (of which i was an honorary member, at least for the night).

alexander was a long movie, and not a very good one at that, although there were some cool moments. my favorite scene was the large scale battle between greeks and persians. my least favorite scenes are the ones involving dialogue, which seem either too self-important or too melodramatic. this film has a hard time catering to any specific demographics: is it an action movie? then why so much talking? is it a drama? then why the prolonged action sequences? all i know is rosario dawson is hawt in this movie and fans of her body of work will appreciate ms.dawson's fine acting skills. alexander was bisexual and the film addresses his sexuality in a way that will leave no one happy: fans looking to find gay love with be disappointed that the director didn't go far enough ("stay with my tonight," alexander says to his boyfriend, then fade to black as they hug), and those who can't handle alexander's homosexuality will be put off by what little is included. i see alexander's desire to conquer all of eurasia as the story of a man with tremendous wanderlust. here is a man who loves to travel, who loves to experience new cultures, see new sites, to visit as much as the world as possible. were he a modern day man, he'd be an adventure traveler, bouncing from destination to destination with his camera and frequent flyer miles. but alexander lived in 300something BC, and he didn't have that luxury. civilizations are at war, and it's not safe to just travel from one area to another. fortunately, being the king of the greeks affords him some privileges that other men might not have, like traveling with a large army for protection. so that's the story of alexander, world traveler, visiting exotic lands, meeting new people, conquering them in the process, but that's just a byproduct of traveling with such a large entourage. this being an oliver stone movie, of course at the end of the film we get the, "that was how it really happened" pontification. one final note: towards the end of the movie there's a scene that resembles the ron artest fight from this past weekend, when alexander addresses his disgruntled soldiers.

joel and i grabbed the subway back to porter square. sitting across from us was a couple with the woman suddenly breaking out in tears. i looked at joel, and immediately pulled out my camera, "i'm going to go to hell." normally i wouldn't, but i become quite daring whenever i'm traveling with somebody else. after they got off the train, we wondered why the woman was crying.

i came home to julie's phone call about tonight's episode of SVU where viewers get to call in and decide the outcome of the show. i explained to julie that was a november sweeps stunt. i checked the flea trap and saw once again that not a single flea has been trapped yet (which could very well be the end of my flea problems). i finally made my flan (nothing like after midnight cooking), 12 ramekins worth, with the final batch i'll make tomorrow afternoon. while waiting for them to finish baking, i watched the swimming pool.