this is a weird week anyway, with thanksgiving somewhere in the middle, not too much work is getting done as people have travel plans on their mind and those who can afford it leave early to beat the traditional holiday traffic congestion. this was the rationalization i used this morning when i didn't crawl out of bed until 11am. i did a smidgeon of work, but mainly the focus of today was to clean up my place for tomorrow and to make a few more ramekins of flan. i decided to go the extra mile and add a few more steps to these final batch: using actual vanilla bean instead of extract, simmering the milk with the vanilla, straining the egg-milk-sugar mixture to filter out any leftover egg white, and baking in actual glazed clay ramekins. despite working with a warm mixture, it still took 1:30 of baking before the flans were done (normally, 6 ramekins take 40 minutes to an hour in the oven at 350 degrees). even though i was cooking, i didn't actually eat until 3pm, some pizza rolls and a blended smoothie. my order of printable dvd's finally arrived and i was able to successfully print one out with my epson R200.

as evening approached, renata came by to pick me up to go to the kendall cinema (ringing the ghetto doorbell from outside). she wanted to see motorcycle diaries but since i'd already seen it, we saw sideways instead, based on two glowing reviews from joel and mandy, who both said it was one of the best movies they've seen this year. i bumped into susan and mac rogers, who just happened to be seeing the same movie we were. that's when renata and i realized we were sold tickets that was for the 6:20 show instead of 7:00 (it was already 6:40). we cleared up the confusion at the ticket counter (we were issued new tickets) and went inside.

sideways was a funny independent comedy, but its brilliance and its accumulation of critical accolade leaves me scratching my head. maybe i just don't appreciate the art of wine making enough, one of the central subjects of the film. maybe i was looking for something profound from all the good reviews and expected too much from the movie. the blue motorcycle that appears in the film is an old honda rebel, the same model that i ride, i got a kick out of seeing that. the wallet retrieval scene is really funny, it's so classic it feels like urban legend. despite his appreciation for the subtle flavors found in good wine, paul giamatti's character miles is so negative and full of regrets and rejections that it's kind of painful to watch. and what's even more unbelieveable (both renata and i agree) is someone like virginia madsen's maya could fall in love with someone like that.

prior to the start of the movie, renata made sure in no uncertain terms that she must have her fill of delicious green tea smoothie. so after the movie, we drove down to harvard square, didn't even have to circle around before we found a parking spot. it helped that this was the day before thanksgiving, and the square was a virtual ghost town. we went to lollicup to procure our poisons, renata going with the aforementioned green elixir while i had my thai ice tea with bubbles. we walked around a bit, with almost every single store closed for the night. cambridge, and much of boston, is dead after 10pm. and everywhere we walked, we'd see former businesses replaced by yet another franchise, the independent spirit of the square leaching out before our very eyes (former charette now a city sports made renata scream). renata wasn't hungry but came with me anyway to get some greek takeout (gyros call my name). unfortunately the place was closed, and we decided to go back to my place, where i had reliable ramen on standby.

renata was determined to stay awake to midnight, and so long as she wasn't on the couch she was fine. she checked out my stack of night time reading material, while i embarassingly defended each book selection. when we returned to the kitchen, our tea had grown cold and my ramen noodles had absorbed most of the broth. renata stood on the warm forced air heating grate as i shared a small portion of my ramen with her. in the living room we watched happenstance, and it didn't take long for renata to go unconscious, as soon as she was on the couch. i finished watching the movie, using the sleeping renata as a pillow. as soon as the movie was over, she snapped back awake, achieving a new "endurance" record of 1am before heading back home.