it took about 25 minutes for me to get the car out this afternoon. first of all, i couldn't actually get into the car because the doors were frozen with ice. i had to use the key to carve out the edges. although it was only 20 degrees, combined with the wind chill it felt like zero degrees, and my bare hands quickly started to hurt. when i finally managed to get inside the car, i realized there wasn't an ice scraper. i had the defrost on full blast but it was still taking too long, so i ran back into the house to find a plastic cooking spatula, and used that to clear the windshield. in my reckless de-icing i managed to damage one of the wipers when a section of the rubber blade tore off (stuck to a clump of ice). eventually i made it to the cafe, where my parents were making senjianbao. suhan came back from his california trip, bringing back with him a large bag of brochures and maps i'd collected in japan last year: i left them in taipei when i came back home because i was afraid i was over the weight limit, but suhan's mother brought them to the US when she went to visit his sister in los angeles (my parents were supposed to bring them back when they went to taipei in november but they ran out of space in their suitcases). after eating a late lunch, my aunt lili and uncle matthew gave me a ride back home.

in the evening i agreed to meet with eliza to see a movie at the boston common theatre. the 10 minute walk from my house to porter square was so cold and windy, i felt like my eyeballs would freeze and i was starting to get an ice cream headache. the escalator was broken again and i walked down the stairs unable to see since my glasses were all fogged up. i got to park street a few minutes early so i took a detour to the frog pond to see if i could get any good skating photos (there weren't too many people, no surprise since it was so cold). i met eliza at the chinatown T stop and we walked to the theatre. i was surprised it was so crowded on a sunday night. that's when it hit me: tomorrow's martin luther king jr. day so it's a long weekend! "do you have tomorrow off?" i asked eliza. "yeah," she said. i was kind of surprised she wanted to see a movie on a "school" night but that explains it.

the movie we saw was the matador, the pierce brosnan vehicle where he plays an aging hired assassin who befriends greg kinnear, a straight-laced businessman trying to close a deal in mexico. eliza didn't know anything about the film other than what i told her: she was basically coming along based on faith alone, which has failed us in the past (the last move we saw together was must love dogs back in july, which eliza seemed to like, but i thought it felt like an extended episode of a television sitcom) - but also because i told her i had a huge mancrush on pierce brosnan, and she wanted to indulge my infatuation. i just want to say right now that the matador is one of the greatest movies i've ever seen. brosnan has an irresistable charm, and although he says the rudest things in the film, you forgive him anyway. you know he's a scoundrel, but you don't care! greg kinnear as danny wright is a terrific foil, who at first doesn't believe julian noble (brosnan) could be an assassin, but once he learns the truth, he isn't repulsed but rather fascinated. hope davis plays danny's wife, and when julian unexpectedly comes to visit them one day, she too is attracted to the thrills of this charming assassin. the movie is fall-down funny; we knew greg kinnear had a knack for comedies, but who would've thought brosnan has an equally sizable funny bone? plus, it has a kicking soundtrack, all the music i love to hear. the matador - a must-see! i loved it!

afterwards eliza and i ventured to nearby chinatown to get some dinner. we went to the noodle alcove, and i was surprised that i never brought eliza here before (since i've brought just about everyone else). the manager - who recognizes me by now - must think i'm the most popular guy in boston, always bringing somebody else new to dine with! eliza filled me in on some former SRM employees news. she seemed to have some trouble with the chopsticks and ate her noodles spaghetti style, wrapped around those two sticks. after we finished with dinner we walked back to the T. along the way we watched a bevy of young girls in glittery tube topped club wear running down the street in the bitter cold (my camera was too buried in my bag to dig out in time for the perfect photo op). eliza high-fived me with her mitten then descended down the chinatown station. i fast-walked my way to park street, cursing at the cold, wishing for the warm comforts of home (even coding an 18-hour day seemed like a paradise in comparison).

when i finally made it home, i watched the 2 hour premiere of 24 (i taped it on the VCR - you remember those things, right? poor man's tivo) before going to bed. palmer, dead? michelle, dead? tony, critically injured? chloe is the office slut? OH SNAP OH SNAP OH SNAP! where does kim fit into all this? i thought the trigger that'd get jack to come back would be if terrorists accidently killed his daughter, but i guess that's not the case. i hope that moron president gets assassinated next. i don't even have to wait until next week - the next 2 hours is tomorrow (monday) night! fox, i don't like your news but i sure love your shows!