how much do i love eating? there are days, like today, where my whole life seems to revolve around food.
after punching out some code for a client, i got ready to meet james in chinatown for lunch. i could've kept myself dry, taken the subway into the city; but that'd take longer than biking in, and more expensive too (with 2 gallons of gasoline i can ride 140+ miles before refueling). the only problem was it was raining, and i would get a little wet. nevertheless, i decided to risk it and take the motorcycle. sure enough the rain started again just when i left the house. i wore a black poncho so that kept my upper body relatively dry, but the lower half of my jeans were soaked. it wasn't even a heavy rain (i wouldn't ride in a storm), just a light drizzle, but when you're cruising 25-30mph, every rain drop feels like a tiny pin prick. there was a time when i wouldn't have even considered riding if there was just a hint of rain; now, i feel like i've sort of graduate from that, to the point where a little precipitation doesn't bother me anymore.
i made it to chinatown without any problems, parked on lincoln street (former street of squid country), and waited for james. we ate at the noodle alcove, where i had my usual hand-drawn beef noodle soup. i talked about what i've been doing to pay the bills. james was telling me how both he and jaime are currently injured, which puts a damper on their home renovation work. we discussed the upcoming football season, then about a drive-in movie theatre in rhode island that used to show pornos.
i went to my parents' cafe to drop off some leftover tomatoes i couldn't use. in return they gave me a cucumber and some limes, as well as a sample hot pepper (the red one in the photo above, the long green one is from julie's garden) they've been growing behind the cafe. it's more of a pepper bush now, and hot peppers hang from it in shades of green, orange, yellow, and red, like christmas lights. this particular pepper my father grew from a seed we got from our friend when we visited costa rica. originally i thought it was a habañero, but the peppers themselves look like jalapeños. the plant itself is so tough, you have to snip off the peppers with a pair of scissors because the stems don't easily break.
mike (my roommate from way back) and his girlfriend wendy came over briefly, bringing with them gifts: a bag of assorted ramen and some unopened bottles of wine. since wendy's graduation from law school earlier this summer, they've both found jobs in NYC and were moving there, so they came by to say good bye. originally we were supposed to grab some lunch at r.f. o'sullivans around the corner (my second lunch of the day!) but instead i showed them a slideshow from my ibook connected to the television (essentially the same photos that're up on my flickr account). they seemed to be in a hurry, as they were still packing and selling used items on craig's list (wendy kept on getting calls on her cell phone), and left soon afterwards.
i got in touch with another new client to schedule a meeting for tomorrow afternoon. the past few weeks i've been getting a lot of offers to work on projects. it's getting to that point where i have to turn clients away, something i never thought i'd do considering how utterly out of work i was at the start of the summer. work-wise at least things seem to be going well for me. i'm going to be busy in the coming months, which means less adventures, but i'll be able to make some money and pay the bills, that's pretty important. summer's ending away, time to hunker down and prepare for the cold new england winter (literally and figuratively). my dream is to maybe make enough money once again so that by next year i can go traveling again. either that or use the money to switch to a better health insurance.
tonight i was making puttanesca pasta for dinner and went across the street to buy the necessary ingredients. before julie arrived, i started chopping and preparing, so i could just mix everything together and cook when she came over. my favorite part of cooking isn't necessarily the eating; i more enjoy preparing the ingredients and displaying them all on the counter, like "these are the parts of your dinner tonight," and them transform them into a meal.
as soon as julie showed up around 7pm, i started cooking. puttanesca sauce seemed like something i'd like because i liked the ingredients: anchovies, olives, capers. what i'm not a big fan of is tomatoes, which unfortunately i added a lot of only because i had a lot of fresh tomatoes. this is a chef's dream, to use fresh ingredients over canned ingredients, but because i wasn't using paste, it took longer to reduce the sauce to something that wasn't so watery. the final sauce was served mixed with linguine and chopped parsley with a garnish of cucumber slices and dusted with grated parmesan cheese. julie said the sauce tasted like a clam sauce, which i agree, minus the actual clams. the 5 pieces of anchovies i added gave the sauce a slight seafood flavor (but it wasn't overwhelming), and the finely chopped red hot jalapeño pepper left a trace of spiciness. the cheese really ties everything together, even though i read somewhere that cheese normally isn't served with puttanesca.
for dessert we had some italian ice. the red sox game was on the whole time, a great come-from-behind victory, helped by a few controversial calls that went in the red sox favor (jason veritek did not tag that player coming in to homeplate, and that one pitch to johnny damon shouldn't have been a ball).
when i weighed myself yesterday i was a surprisingly light 122 lbs. i'm afraid to get on the scale tonight.