the parade! it must suck to be a boston sports fan. back in the fall the red sox won the world series and the city had a massive parade, and now the patriots win their third super bowl in 4 years. at least until october, boston is the epicenter of sports greatness. winter is a lot less depressing with the red sox victory, and even less so now that the patriots have won their championship as well.

this shows how used to patriots victory we new englanders are, but i almost thought about skipping the parade. i've already been to the first and second super bowl parade, this third one wouldn't be anything new, and if anything there'd probably be less people for this parade compared to past parades. i made it to boston, got off at downtown crossing and walked to the corner of tremont and boylston. hordes of people were already lined up behind metal barricades, some standing on the unmelted snow banks. although the crowd was mixed, there was an overwhelming amount of young fans (older fans probably have to work and have more important things to do than go see a parade). a lot of people were dressed in patriots wear, unlicensed vendors would canvas the crowd selling patriots paraphernalia, and special commemorative copies of local newspapers were up for sale as well. james was meeting me at the corner, and i saw him wading through the crowd, his black and white speckled hair clearly visible. soon the procession got to where we were, the half dozen helicopters hovering in the air evidence that they were getting close. when the duck tour boats drove by it went pretty quickly, like 5 minutes, before it was all over, and the crowd started to disperse.

james and i got some lunch at the noodle alcove. i went with my usual beef noodle soup while james tried the shredded pork. i saw the owner but she didn't seem to recognize me. between chopstick-full of hand-drawn noodles we talked about the patriots and their possible dynasty. james ended up paying for lunch, a birthday present. he went back to work while i headed to south station to come back to cambridge.

my cold got a little bit worse today. aside from the thick coughs, my body ached (run related?) and i had a general feeling of fatigue. nevertheless, in the spectrum of cold symptoms, it's still a rather minor inconvience that will hopefully go away soon. i spent the afternoon writing to clients who haven't sent me my 1099 forms yet, mailing out final invoices, and even reminding one client that i still haven't been paid for work i did back in november-december. i also talked with my parents who contacted their travel agent about ticket prices for boston to taipei flights. there might be a possibility i won't be able to leave until the first week of march in order to get a cheaper airfare.

i took a quick nap before i headed out again.

i was meeting eliza at the boston common theatre at 7pm for a special screening of constantine (courtesy of sara). she wore a skirt, which is rare, since eliza is more of a pants kind of gal. before she arrived, i swore i saw jeff corwin (of animal planet fame) waiting in the foyer for his date. i almost wasn't able to get in through the security checkpoint because i had a digital camera. " you can't bring that in here," the young man holding the metal detector wand told me. "so what do you want me to do with it?" i asked. "you just can't bring that in here. put it back in your car and come back." i felt it was pointless to let him know i didn't come by car, let alone even own one. his "boss" came out to see what was the problem. "read your ticket," he told me, "no video devices." "okay, but this is a digital camera, it doesn't take videos," i said. "you just can't bring that in here," he informed me. so we stepped out of line. "does it make any difference if i told you we're press? go and ask sara." so sara had to come out and rescue us, the boss waved us in, "enjoy the movie," he said. i didn't bother to respond.

in a long (boring) season of oscar-contending films, it's refreshing to see something that's more about the visceral appeal of movies, the ability to transport us to a new world and take us for a ride. constantine is that movie. i know there's been blade 3 and elecktra, but the reviews are all bad for those films, your perennial formulaic action movies. constantine is in its own category: when was the last time you saw a religious horror/action movie? i mean, a good one (some of you might remember 1999 end of days with arnold schwarzenegger, about satan looking for a bride in new york, but that movie was crap). constantine is like a version of the exorcist directed by david fincher in that gritty fight club/seven style. it's the story of john constantine (keanu reeves), a supernatural los angeles detective who's trying to vanquish as many demons back to hell so he can gain entrance into heaven. he meets up with detective angela (rachel weisz), who investigasting the mysterious suicide of her twin sister. the movie is explicit and full of heart-racing moments. right from the start you know what you're in for when a mexican man finds an ancient relic (mysteriously wrapped in a nazi flag), only to be runned over by a car minutes later (the first of many flinches from eliza, i always seem to bring her to these really violent movies). the movie is cool in its strange mysticism: you totally buy into the fact that water is a conduit between the spiritual and secular planes, that halfbreed demons and angels walk amongst us, and one of the ways to exorcise a demon is to trap it inside of a mirror. just like the matrix made every hacker boy think he's "the one," constantine will do the same for every goth boy who dabbles in the occult into thinking he's on a mission to fight evil. after seeing constantine i just want to see it again, it's almost like i can't believe what i just saw, something so amazing, i want a second viewing just to make sure it really is the coolest movie to have graced the movie theatres in quite some time!

after the movie we walked to chinatown. even though it was only 9:30, a lot of the restaurants were closed since it was chinese new year's eve. we wanted to try shabuzen but they weren't opened, so we went next door to the noodle alcove. it was only after we ordered did i reveal to eliza that this was my second visit to this restaurant, sitting in the exact same seat, ordering the exact same food (beef noodle soup). the owner recognized me this time. the noodle alcove has a very family vibe to it, especially late at night, when the place is filled with relatives. a little kid was running around with a spear he made from bubble ice tea straws, and some people behind us were gambling with cards. at one point the place got really quiet, and i looked across the restaurant to see everyone hundled around a circular table eating: there isn't a tradition of dinnertime chitchat in the chinese culture, dinner is for eating, not for talking. eliza ended up paying for dinner, sort of a payback for helping her with the os x install.

we parted ways, eliza went off to catch a bus, while i returned to downtown crossing to catch the subway. my turnstyle got stuck and when i went to fish out my token from the coin return shoot, i ended up pulling out 4 more tokens. so get this: this entire day had been free: i didn't pay for lunch, i didn't pay for the movie, i didn't pay for dinner, and i ended up getting back all the tokens i spent today!