the freezing rain never did come but rather a dense fog had rolled through the city for much of the day. i took the 20 minute walk to my parents' cafe to borrow their car so i could go to the library and see if they had any travel books on southeast asia. my first (and turned out to be the only) stop was the belmont public library. the drive was surreal: the fog was so thick, you could probably only see 20 feet in front of you. normally mundane landscapes were instantly transformed into moody gothic backdrops. i haven't been to the library in a while and totally forgot that my digital camera sets off the theft detection alarm on the door. i pretended it wasn't me and looked suspiciously at a pair of old ladies standing by the exit. i used to come to the library every week and could probably nagivate through the stacks with my eyes closed. i made a beeline to the travel aisle and found a lonely planet guide to southeast asia, exactly what i was looking for. when i went to go check out the book, the librarian told me i had $1.40 in overdue fines, for some book with the word "mambo" in it (back in june). i don't remember ever taking it out but i paid the money anyway.
driving back, i pulled a u-turn on concord avenue and parked next to the claypit pond (belmont) to take some photos of the fog. that's when i noticed my camera wasn't working right: one of the zoom buttons broke and i couldn't zoom out. it sounded like a similar problem i had a few months ago, all i have to do is to open up the camera and superglue back some part. returning to the cafe i noticed much of the fog was starting to disappear.
after i dropped off the car i walked to harvard square to look for more travel books. i found some that i wanted but will order them online since i'm not in a hurry (and will probably save me $20 in the process). since it was still early, i took the subway to kendall square to go watch guerilla: the taking of patty hearst. it was a really interesting documentary, a window into that time period during the 70's when idealistic youths took the spirit of revolution from the 60's and pumped it up with militant radicalism. a week before i was born, the symbionese liberation army kidnapped heiress patty hearst from her berkeley apartment (and just a few weeks shy of her own birthday). in truth, the SLA was just a small group of radical students with fairly affluent suburban backgrounds, who just wanted to rebel against the establishment with not just words but also action. coolest members: cinque ("sin-q"), the african-american leader they busted out of jail, and mizmoon, his bisexual girlfriend. they made crazy ransom demands, like provide free food for the poor people of the city. as the days wore on, patty hearst herself joined up in their cause with a widely circulated photo of her looking quite the guerilla girl with her beret, brandishing her machine gun, standing before the SLA symbol. that was followed by a bank heist caught on camera, which clearly showed hearst helping her former kidnappers. it's just so interesting to see how politically active young people were back then, even if it's for the wrong reasons. you hardly see that level of passion anymore in the kids today, bombarded with popular culture that turn them into mindless consumers as fast as possible.
when i came back home a netflix package was waiting for me: a touch of pink (2004), about a gay indian man living in london who's unsuspecting mother comes to visit him hoping for some possible wedding news but discover her son is actually living with his british boyfriend. okay, and kyle maclachlan plays an imaginary cary grant. hiliarity ensues! later in the evening i ate the rest of my leftover linguine: it wasn't very good but i'm happy it didn't go to waste (considering my track record regarding leftovers).
i managed to fix my camera. one of the plastic prong beneath the zoom toggle snapped off. it wasn't the one i fixed a few months ago (that one still works) but rather its twin neighbor. the broken plastic part is probably still inside the camera somewhere but no amount of shaking could get it out. so instead i fashioned a replacement prong carefully cut from a damaged dvd disc. it look a while to put back into place, like a reverse game of operation, plus there was the added element of superglue that wouldn't go where i wanted. after letting everything dry, i re-assembled the camera and now everything works again! the spirit of macgyver strikes once more!