i woke up this morning anticipating a call from a client which never happened. when i realized i wasn't going to norwood, i started planning out the rest of my day accordingly. i invited julie to come over tonight to watch the baseball game, but didn't know what i'd be making for dinner. after looking through past issues of food magazine, i decided to go with some instant rice and sichuan style salmon steaks. while rummaging through the kitchen cabinets i came across some jello mix i'd purchased a while ago. i decided to make fancy jello, alternating bands of orange and blue. i poured the mixtures into glasses and let them solidify in the fridge (the instruction calls for at least 4 hours).

it was street cleaning this morning. although my motorcycle was parked safely on a private road immune to cambridge totalitarianism, just hearing the sound of the trucks rolling down my street was enough to put the fear back into my heart. still shellshocked from last time, the sounds brought back bad memories, and i was needlessly worried the entire morning.

renata came by in the afternoon. i'd called her earlier to maybe get together, but she was busy with work stuff. she called me back a few hours later, her brain apparently fried from being cooped up in her hot apartment, telling me she was coming over, where i had the air conditioner delivering the coolness on one more warm and humid day. it was another asterisked visit though, since her real motivation for coming to cambridge was to go to a dentist appointment later in the afternoon. once again, i was just the layover, not the final destination. once again, the clock was ticking. she made me do research for her online. we played a game of identify the southeast asian flag. then she left.

apparently renata wasn't the only one suffering from the intense heat today. julie, cooped up in her apartment, instant messaged me about possibly going to the beach. julie, with august just around the corner and still hasn't installed her air conditioner yet. hot summer day and an invitation to go to the beach? is there any other answer besides yes? so i gathered up my stuff and walked to her place so she wouldn't have to waste time backtracking and picking me up. our destination was gloucester, good harbor beach, willing to brave the rush hour traffic heading north in order to cool off in the atlantic ocean.

we didn't go to the beach right away though; first julie had to get some ice cream. i had a small maple walnut in a sugarcone myself, but it was a messy affair and i ended up with ice cream all over my goatee ("saving it for later"). after 5pm the beach parking lot is free; we were there at 7pm (the lot closes at 8:30). as soon as we found a spot to park our bags, i was walking slowly towards the water. the waves crashed onto the sandy beach, the atlantic ocean as freezing as always. in just a few seconds i was already cold and wanted nothing more than to warm up again. the weather looked like it'd rain when we drove up there, but soon we saw the sun peeking through the clouds. the beach was surprisingly crowded even though it was late, many people there escaping the heat like us. surfers rode the small waves near the rocky coastline, unleashed dogs splashed in the water, and children ran around with boogie boards. julie listened to the red sox game on her radio while i waited for green-head flies to bite me so i could take a photo for the sake of science.

after we had our fill of the beach, we went across the street to get some food. i had the baby back ribs dinner, it was so-so. but what i'll remember most of this night is eating outside and being swarmed by hungry mosquitoes. i ate with one hand, the other hand slapping my naked legs from the onslaught of biting flying insects. i didn't even finish my food, taking what was left with me as we got back into the car and drove back into the city.