where to begin?
normally my mondays are anything but action-packed, but today was a serious exception. i woke up early to finish the MBEL project i've been working on with dana for the past few weeks. there was a bit of code i had to complete, and instead of working on it during the weekend, i put it off until this morning. at 10:30 i called up BP to let them know i was coming down to norwood pick up the hardware. i went outside and noticed that half the street was empty - street cleaning! fortunately i was on the side that didn't get towed, but i completely forgot about it (i'll have to move the bike tonight). i motorcycled to the cafe so i could borrow the car (there wasn't any way i could transport the equipment via bike), then drove down 95 to norwood, where i spent some time going over the interactives and also to get my invoices sorted out. the weather was beautiful for a change, and normally i'd take a detour and visit the nearby ponkapoag bog, but since i was pressed for time, i quickly returned to cambridge.
dana and i were scheduled to presentation our interactive to MBEL but i was still waiting on an xtra to arrive. i ordered it on thursday, and i haven't heard back from the company, neither responding to my e-mails or talking my phone calls (one number was disconnected, the other number would ring nonstop), so i feared the worse, that maybe the company went out of business, and i was just ordering from an online ghost store. so i spent the next hour searching for a suitable replacement and testing it out in the code until i found a solution (i ended up going with something that cost $200 less). i got in touch with my credit card company to see if i could cancel the previous order (which hadn't gone through yet), but there wasn't nothing they could do. instead i wrote a letter to the ghost company, asking them to cancel my order (if they were still in business). i left to return the car, and ran into some middle-aged ladies standing outside my house and talking. they said they used to live here, that this was their old childhood home. their father had bought the place in the 50's for something like $4000. i ended up giving them a tour of the house, and just when they were leaving, they ran into my upstairs neighbor steve, who continued the tour with his his place. one of them gave me her e-mail so i could write her and get some old photos of the place.
once i delivered the car, i switched to my motorcycle and raced home. i saw an old lady about to cross the street but i was going too fast to stop so i sped past her. seconds later i saw flashing blue lights in my side view mirror. a motorcycle cop was coming after me, told me to stop right on my street. i gave him my license and registration and waited for what felt like an eternity as he pulled my record. i felt detached, sort of thinking to myself, "what just happened?" looking up at the sky, thinking what nice weather we were having. the cop came back and told me i was being cited for failing to stop for a pedestrian. i took my $200 ticket without saying a word and rode the rest of the way to my place. in my 15 years of driving, this is my first moving violation. fishing through my pocket i realized i still had the car keys, so i went back to the cafe, being careful not to get pulled over again. my mother told me she'd just gotten off the phone with her credit card company to get a $100 late charge/interest-penalty removed.
in the evening i went to harvard university for a slideshow lecture on poisonous and hallucinogenic mushrooms. before the show started, people were bringing in baskets full of different mushrooms for the "teacher" to identify. i imagined these mushroom fanatics scouring the forest floors and emptying the woods of anything fungal. doesn't that violate the number one rule of naturing, look but don't touch? like plants, are some mushrooms so rare that to remove them from their natural habitat jeopardizes that particular species? if that's mushrooming then that's not for me. the slideshow was interesting at first, then grew increasingly scary as i realized most of the mushrooms i've been photographing were deadly poisonous, then it became boring as seemingly every single mushroom was either going to make you sick or kill you. after the lecture ended, i came home and had some ramen for dinner. jawei, shuffling around the cold living room in his blanket, knocked over a can of soda but we were able to stop the spill before it got on the carpet.
finally, earlier i'd received an automated call from nstar electric telling me that from 1am to 4am my neighborhood would lose power. i think most of my neighbors are asleep around that time but not me. tonight i am being forced to go to bed early, like a naughty child.