pretty much everything i planned to do with renata today ended up not happening.

not that we didn't try; but every attempt ended up in failure. renata was apologetic and was worried that i'd be in a bad mood, repeatedly asking what i was thinking when i grew quiet. what was i thinking? even though nothing turned out right, somehow it wasn't that bad.

maybe i was a little too ambitious with my planning. this day was about going to the ponkapoag bog in the morning (renata had never been), then coming back to cambridge-somerville to pick some fresh vegetables from julie's garden (dinner ingredients), followed by an afternoon matinee at kendall cinema (wong karwai's 2046),

then back to my place for some dinner (pasta puttanesca, i'd been collecting a few internet recipes), finishing off the evening with a southeast asian slideshow.
renata actually called me this morning (9:30), where once again i lied to her that i was awake, asking me what time i'd come over to her place. she also added her brother marsian would be visiting from rhode island, but not until later. i figured i'd get there in 30 minutes, but i didn't arrive until 11am. i had some errands to run first in somerville, feeding dan's fish (dropped in a new 3-day automatic feeder in the shape of a seashell, i was happy to see there weren't any dead fish in the tank) then watering julie's vegetables. it's amazing how fast the tomatoes are maturing, it seems like just a few days ago i'd picked up a whole bag of red ones and now they're just as many new ones. i also saw the purple pepper her neighbor was growing, i didn't believe there were such things until i saw it for myself.

as soon as i got to renata's new place i was put to work helping her hang up some paintings. at my own place i don't have anything hanging up; my walls are bare, partly because since it was such an effort to fix and paint them, i can't stand the idea of putting holes into them. so i found it kind of refreshing to be in a place where hammering nails into walls was okay. renata was very receptive to my suggestions even though i don't have any real interior design skills. the place looked much better with the new wall decorations (my favorite "hangs" are the two items in the bathroom). after we got most of the paintings up, we decided to break for lunch then pay a visit to the bog before marsian arrived.

we couldn't quite decide what we wanted for lunch, but made our way to the junebug cafe to grab a sandwich. there wasn't any street parking so we parked in the hi-lo foods lot next door. feeling guilty, we decided to first visit the supermarket to buy something from their store (specializing in south american/caribbean groceries), thereby legitimizing our parking. we hoped to maybe just buy sandwiches from the market but they didn't have anything like that. then we decided we could make our own sandwiches, but seeing the lack ingredients and the hassle it'd be, renata decided we'd just get sandwiches next door. so after buying a few items, we went to the cafe to share a turkey sandwich.

next we headed out to ponkapoag bog. although i didn't have a map, since i've been there before via jamaica plain, i was hoping i could remember the directions. the problem was we had a tight schedule: marsian was arriving in JP, and we figured it'd take him a long time to get into town, but he surpassed our expectations and called saying he was getting close. it didn't help that towards the end i lost my bearing and couldn't figure out the street that led to the bog. and the fact that renata was making fun of the word "ponkapoag" didn't take us any closer to our destination. finally we decided to abort and head back to JP, which was perfect timing because marsian called saying he had just arrived at the train station.

marsian came to town for 2 reasons: to deliver a house warming present to his sister and to fix his broken ipod at the apple store in the galleria mall. the fact that i was here was a bonus for him because i could help him shop for an external hardware as well. not being a muppets fan, i was caught off-guard when he started doing his miss piggy voice impressions from the backseat; to me it sounded like a crazy person with a diva complex; actually he was practicing for some sort of muppetry understudy within the coming weeks. "you look gay," marsian fired at me when we got out of the car; it was either my short haircut or perhaps my laos beer t-shirt one size too small that triggered his gaydar. back at renata's apartment, marsian grew impatient and wanted to visit the apple store. i left my motorcycle in JP as renata drove us to the mall all the way back to cambridge. he got a replacement ipod and i helped him pick out an external hard drive. as for me, i bought an AV cable for my ibook, allowing me to connect my laptop to the television.

although we could've made the 5pm showing of 2046, renata and i decided to raincheck the movie since we didn't know if marsian would like it. instead we came back to my place and thought about dinner plans. marsian was outside taking a phone call while renata and i were tempted by a bag of doritos in the living room. we wavered back and forth between making something at home or going out to eat; finally renata decided we would eat in. while marsian slept on the couch with the television on, renata and i walked to julie's garden to pick some ingredients. "you know, this is the longest time we've spent together all this month," renata informed me. "sick of me already?" i replied, jokingly. "this is what i really wanted to do all day," she said, "to go somewhere quiet, and pick vegetables." we ended up harvesting some fresh tomatoes, basil, and scallions. we used julie's special yellow canvas bag to transport the produce back to my place.

renata is the macgyver of cooking. i've never seen anyone who can take a handful of simple ingredients and create some kind of edible masterpiece out of it. since her brother's vegan, we were limited to our ingredients. when she told me that tomatoes, basil, scallions, garlic, and some olive oil (along with pasta) were all we needed to make dinner, i didn't believe her ("no way," was what i said). like some sort of magician though, she chopped everything up and threw it into a pan adding some salt, pepper, and sugar, and before i knew what was happening (i was too busy prancing around the kitchen in my apron), dinner was ready. my one saving grace was i managed to make berry smoothies for everyone.

dinner started out innocently enough but quickly escalated into something wicked as our siblings regressed to their childhood ways. i can't quite mention the details of what transpired, but marsian did threaten to cut renata with a spoon in order to divulge her secrets. renata still had a movie to catch with another friend, so we dropped off marsian in harvard square (his car's parked in alewife) and renata gave me a ride back to JP so i could retrieve my bike. i ate so much i could hardly walk. the weather was brisk and for the first time this summer it felt like the coming of autumn. i just had my t-shirt (even though renata did offer me a thick long-sleeved shirt) but for some reason i didn't feel too cold as i raced back to cambridge.

after i cleaned up the dishes, i watched the red sox lose to the royals once more. that was followed by a few episodes of starved and a repeat of it's always sunny in philadelphia (the one where charlie has cancer, pretty hilarious). for some reason it felt like either friday or sunday, even though it's still thursday. after a day like today, i need the weekend to rest.