i debated long and hard on whether or not i should go naturing today. for one thing, the weather was cold, but it wasn't as bad as the weather forecasters made it out to be. i thought maybe i visit the south shore again: the only place i could find interesting was duxbury beach. problem with that is it was hard finding information about the place online, particular whether or not it cost money to visit (it costs $8 during the summer on a private lot, or you can order a non-resident visitor permit a few days in advance for $150). the whole point is the town of duxbury makes it very hard for people other than residents to visit their beaches.

so instead i went to harvard square with my camera equipment, hoping to find interesting photo ops. i got some money from the bank and visited the coop bookstore to look for a birthday present for dan. god how i hate that bookstore! when wordsworth was still around, i'd have never set foot in there, but now it's like one of the only few bookstores left in harvard square. and i hate how they always ask if i have a coop membership when i buy something. to have a membership you have to be a harvard alum or a member of the faculty, so it's like a constant reminder that, "hey, you're not a member of our prestigious club so you're going to have to pay retail." why couldn't the coop have gone out of business and wordsworth remained?

i put on my telephoto lens and walked down to the charles river. maybe i'd get lucky and see something new, but there were only mallards and canada geese on the river. coming back via the JFK plaza, i saw some trees with yellow flowers that i thought were forsythias (one of the signs of spring) - turns out they were witch hazel. the flowers are supposed to be fragrant but i didn't smell anything. if you're ever on memorial drive by the JFK school, you can see the yellow trees by the side of the building.

boring photo talk: i've been playing around with the telephoto+macro filter lens combo some more; i know i said i wasn't happy with the magnification, that it still wasn't as close as my nikon coolpix 4500. even at it's maximum range, it's still a 0.90x magnification (still not actual size). even with a dedicated primed macro lens ("primed," for those who don't speak the lingo, means a fixed lens, i.e. no zoom), the magnification would only be 1.0x (1:1 actual size). i was using the beetle embedded in my keychain as a target and realized that i can actually get a pretty decent magnification (the photo is a little blurry, don't use it to judge the sharpness). that beetle is large though, about an inch, but i think even smaller bugs i can get some good photos. the best thing about the telephoto+macro combo is i can stand 2 feet away from a bug and still get the same kind of photo i would have to stand 2 inches away to get with my nikon. i can't wait for the weather to warm up!

in the evening i went over to dan & cymara's place for dan's birthday party and clarissa's 1 month anniversary.

kevin was there along with his camera, my original inspiration to get the canon SLR as well. it was a real baby convention tonight, with no less than 3 babies total. i can't remember the last time i held a baby, but i got a chance to hold clarissa. heavier than i thought, and soft too (not scaly). fortunately elias and amanda were there (as well as punam) to balance the have-babies and the have-not-babies quotient. we learned a lot from the baby's manual i gave to dan (for instance, up to one year is considered a baby, but the few years beyond that you're considered a toddler). amanda nursed a blue tarantula drink, which got us to talking about blue-colored food, which led to a discussion of mushrooms, which then got using wondering what a blue smurf would taste like (are smurfes actually plant? i think they'd taste like mushrooms, on the account they live inside of mushroom houses and they also have a mushroom diet).

dan, elias, and amanda were discussing their plans to do the 24-hour scifi marathon in west newton tomorrow. dan had invited me a few weeks ago, but i had to back out since i have to work on monday. the event doesn't actually start until noon, but they were going to wait in line starting at 8am in order to get a good seat (or a good aisle, as the case my be, since they'll be sleeping there). i'm actually secretly glad i'm not going, i don't think i can wait 4 hours in the freezing cold, i'd die.

dan let me borrow his god of war game for the PS2. as soon as i got home i popped it in. the game is the complete opposite of i love katamari. it's scary and violent, and it throws you into the game right away; i didn't even realize the game had started until i noticed that zombies were actually attacking my character (a barbarian?). i guess after playing katamari for a while, i've grown fond of games that doesn't require killing.