i was down in norwood this morning, meeting a client to discuss a few projects. the weather was nice for a change so i had no problems biking down the one hour ride south of boston. while walking in the parking lot, i saw a large praying mantis on the ground. i knew mantises exist in the new england area but up until now i've never seen one before. from the brown color i knew it was a male (females are green). i tried to pick him up, being careful not to get bitten (i once saw a man in burma get bit by a mantis), but he was a fast runner so i gave up the chase. the meeting went well, and after showing them some past director work, i left around noon.

i headed over to renata's place in JP. when i called her this morning to let her know i might be stopping by, she said she was really stressed out. her printer wasn't working, she couldn't get her dsl to connect, and she was freaking out over job finding difficulties. when i arrived though, she seemed fine, hiding her worries behind a smile. she was proud of some small area rugs she had purchased ("isn't that a pretty doormat?" she said). she showed me some of my fisherman's feast photos that her father had printed out and framed for her. since neither of us had lunch yet, she made grill cheese sandwiches. i took a look at her internet and got her router to work. i thought i fixed the wireless as well, but the connection disappeared once the laptop was restarted. renata also made some green tea, but didn't have a teapot so she boiled some water in a frying pan. i called to cancel a developer's meeting i had at 2pm to hang out with renata some more. we waited patiently for her 3pm phone interview which didn't end up happening. originally we thought about giving the bog another try but by then it was 4pm, and renata wasn't up for any sort of driving, and suggested we walk around jamaica pond instead.

i would've been okay just to walk the pond in total silence with renata. talking is overrated. just having her company along with the good weather was enough for me. i was lost in thought, nothing i could articulate, happy but sad, hopeful but forlorn, distant yet close, optimistic yet cynical. i introduced renata to some jewel weed and we foraged in the brush looking for seed cases to explode. walking back to her apartment i took a call from my mother. renata stood nearby, gleefully listening in on my conversation, understanding bits and pieces with her newfound knowledge of mandarin. i looked at her with narrow eyes and wondered how long before my secret language would be deciphered completely. while i made my good-bye speech from the side of my motorcycle, renata wasn't paying attention, too distracted by my helmeted appearance. weaving between rush hour traffic, i made my way back to cambridge.

at 7pm i went over to joel's new single apartment in somerville. on top of a hill with a great view of the city and beyond, it was a really nice place, well furnished, like he'd been living there for a long time, impossible to guess he'd just moved in a few weeks ago. julie arrived soon afterwards with our wings order. we watched the red sox game on his widescreen high-definition monitor/tv. HDTV is so clear it's like being right there in fenway park. once again, a come-from-behind win, helped by the hitting power of john "old school" olerud.

and during the 7th inning, if the batter stands just right, you can see the words "GIANT ASS" in the background...

after the game we all dispersed, but not before i got a chance to admire the skyrocketing gasoline prices. funny thing is last night the sign read "$3.03" and i thought that was expensive!