jawei and i traveled to jamaica plain this evening to see the annual jamaica pond lantern festival. i'd gone two years ago, and i almost went last year (though it wasn't meant to be, despite the fact that i even handcrafted two fine lanterns). the weather tonight was almost balmy, 60 something desgrees (it's hard to imagine that it was actually snowing yesterday). some how this year's festival seemed to have lost much of its luster (the same goes with jamaica plain, i try to avoid it now if possible). i never noticed it before, but there seemed to be a lot of children and dogs, most of them wearing costumes no less. that seemed okay, but it's when that random adult who gets all dressed up for this event that has me worried, and if i had a child, i'd hold her hand a little tighter.
eliza and i played phone tag trying to figure out where we were. at least a half dozen calls were placed before we finally met nearly halfway around the pond. she was with her friend ruben, and by that time i had already picked up a free lantern from a woman who said she had too many. once we made it back to the boat house, jawei and i walked back to the green street subway station.
we grabbed the train all the way to alewife, where my father came by to pick us up, and we had a late dinner in belmont. with the night so clear and planet mars a shiny red star in the sky, i brought out the telescope for some stargazing. the last time i used the telescope was on as very cold new year's day; tonight was a bit warmer (temperature in the 60's). i set it up in the driveway, the only place with a clear view of the sky. mars was a bright ball through the eyepiece, with a swath of grey across the middle. afterwards we all went back inside, where my father showed me the latest contraband my aunt acquired from sichuan: some red peppercorns, so potent that a small piece will numb your lips and tongue for about a hour.
back in cambridge, while channel surfing, i came across a movie on the azn network, together (he ni zai yi qi) (2002), directed by chen kaige (farewell my concubine), about a poor father who tries to get a musical teacher to take in his violin prodigy son. it was humorous at first, both jawei and i made fun of the way they talked (beijing style), but the movie was actually pretty good.