i was thoroughly defeated by this monday.

first, the weather. could you overcast an already overcasted day? cold, rainy, grey, the kind of weather you wake up to in the morning and you just want to call in sick so you can sleep through the rest of the dreary day. then, there's my work. i'm already on a tight schedule, but for some reason, i just couldn't get anything started. to help me procastinate i decided to investigate how i would go about making a pie with the medium-sized pumpkin i bought last week. i didn't know this, but the filling for pumpkin pie actually comes from the thick skin of the pumpkin itself; since i was going to carve the pumpkin for display, there wouldn't be any skin available for pie (besides, pies are made from smaller gourds known as pie pumpkins). i then went about hollowing out the pumpkin and carving it. jawei was home (he had the day off from school) and watched as i slowly worked the pumpkin over with a deboning knife and a small spoon. at one point i was scraping the pumpkin with my fingers and managed to separate a part of my nail from my finger itself (kind of painful).

in the afternoon jawei went to harvard square to look for a messenger bag, while my sister picked me up and brought me to the fresh pond radio shack where i was switching my phone plan from cingular to verizon. my mother came by for some reason as well (because my sister had to go to work, so nobody could give me a ride back home). the phone selection was pretty crappy so i ended up just picking the model i least hated (the LG VX5200). after playing around with it, it's definitely a downgrade from my old sony-ericsson T637. the T637 was full of customizable options; the VX5200 has an ugly user interface that can't be changed and verizon has crippled it so the only way to import/export data to the phone is through some sort of paid service. it's not really the phone but the service i'm buying into; now that i'm on a family plan, i pay only $20/month versus the $50/month i was paying for cingular, and my calling range is nationwide (good if i ever want to take a cross-country trip). i also went with verizon for the better coverage, but after testing it out, i actually think it has worse reception at my place than my old phones. i'll live with it, it's only a 2 year contract.

back at home, it was freezing. i called nstar first thing this morning, and although they were more than happy to send somebody over to fix my heat (i was surprised, i figured it'd take at least a few days), they couldn't tell me when. so wouldn't you know it, i leave my house for an hour to get a new cellphone, and that's when nstar arrived. they even called me, but i didn't pick up because i didn't recognize the number. i quickly called them back once i realized what happened (after spouting a profusion of self-directed profanity), and the woman on the phone was quite curt with me, like it was my fault that i couldn't stick around all day waiting for the gas man to come. she said she could reschedule for tomorrow. i tried to put her on a guilt trip by saying, "well, okay, i guess i could take another day off tomorrow to wait." i think she let up and said she could have a repairman come between 8am to 12pm.

i was also starving, did i mention that? by the time i got off the phone with nstar, it was already 3pm and i hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch yet and i was feeling particularly runned down. my mother sent me home with a carton of rice noodles that i heated in the microwave while i was busy in my bedroom trying to squeeze out at least a little bit of code, just so i can say i did some work today.

while jawei was taking an early evening nap, i went out to christopher's in porter square to meet up with beth and laura, two fellow americans i met at the khao yai national park in thailand, and now living in the greater boston area. i was actually supposed to meet them during the summer but we never got around to it. they had an interesting year of travel, first in south america, then teaching english in china, before ending up in southeast asia (where i met them back in may). we caught up over drinks and nachos, before they left for davis square for some irish dancing.

in the evening we watched dark water on vcd (not particularly good, i wouldn't have gone to see it in the theatres anyway), followed by a new episode of prison break. when are they going to kill that child molester? and thank god for camera phones! for dinner i made some ramen for myself. i also transferred the phone book from my old phone to the new one, one number at a time, removing a few numbers i don't need anymore, sort of like cell phone spring cleaning.

hopefully a good night's rest will re-energize me for tomorrow. no more running around! and once i get my heat working again, my place will start feeling a little bit cozier instead of the frigid tomb that it is now.

(ps: signed up with a new webhost last night, dreamhost.com. i'm slowly transfering all my data, see how it runs on the new server. once i make the official DNS switch i'll let everyone know, because the site might go down temporarily.)