oh beautiful sleep! remember how a month ago when i was having sleep problems? well, i don't anymore! this morning i promised myself that i was going to sleep until i couldn't sleep anymore. when i did check the time, it was still early (for me that is), 7am, and i went back to bed with greater conviction, digging my head underneath the cool side of the pillow. when i finally did wake up it was 11am. it felt great.

since it was chinese new year, my mother dropped by my place briefly in the afternoon to deliver some food. this was good timing because i didn't have breakfast or lunch yet. she also came by to nag me about my trip, how i wouldn't have enough money, how it'd be better if i just went to vietnam instead of all those other countries (i rather go to all those other countries instead of vietnam).

i went to cvs to buy some blank VHS tapes (to record the red sox ALCS rebroadcast) then later visited cambridge travels in that small porter square mall. i told the woman there i wanted a round-trip ticket to taipei, leaving in february, coming back in about 3 months, with an initial stopover in tokyo. she told me some prices, all close to $1000. if i was just going to taipei and returning within 30 days, it'd cost just $500. when i told her that part of my itinerary involved going to hong kong to buy a ticket to go to vietnam, she asked why i'd want to go to hong kong, then tried to sell me a ticket that flew directly from taipei to vietnam. so then pushed for another ticket that would take me from taipei to hanoi to singapore. i got the feeling she wasn't planning according to my itinerary, and when i explained to her that my main reason for traveling was to visit much of southeast asia (much of it not by plane), she seemed to lose interest in trying to help me out. when another customer came in, i could feel that she was hurrying me to leave. i thanked her for all her help and left, knowing that i'd probably have to return again to get my JR pass ($425/14 days) for japan once i buy my plane ticket elsewhere.

in the evening julie came by to make chinese dumplings and to watch game 6 of the ALCS rebroadcast. working from a recipe she found in today's boston globe, she used square wonton skins and we crimped the dumplings together with forks,

cutting off the excess corners. instead of boiling them she fried them (pan-fried chinese dumplings AKA japanese gyozas). by the time we were finally able to eat, the ALCS game was almost over, bottom of the final inning. after watching an hour of news, it was time for project runway, julie's favorite show that she can't believe not everyone is watching as well. i've only watched a few episodes but i played along as well, providing my own comments. when it was all over and 23 year old drag queen designer austin scarlett was eliminated (leaving the much despised super-insecure uberbitch wendy), julie went home. i had to stop her before she drove away, she'd left behind her bag of ingredients. i got to keep the rest of the gyozas.