i went to bed last night at 9:30am in the morning. doesn't make sense? you're telling me! suddenly, inexplicably, i was struck down with a severe case of insomnia. i did what i always do when i can't sleep: i got up and did something else until the mood struck me again. i spent a good deal of last night researching digital cameras. the past few days i've been using my sister's nikon coolpix 2500 while she borrowed my coolpix 4500. even though i was the one who recommended she get the 2500, i now realize it's not a very good camera. it has the nikon swivel lens design but that's about all that's good about it. there's zero manual options and for some reason it resets all the settings everytime you turn off the camera.

anyway, her 30th birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and i think i owe it to her to buy her a new camera. criteria? it has to be compact and it has to have manual controls (thinks like aperture, shutter speed). i looked at every single camera that fits that description from every single company. i thought i found the perfect camera, the panasonic lumix dmc-lx2: 10 megapixels, 16:9 aspect ratio, leica lens, image stabilization, 4x optical zoom, beautifully designed, elegant interface, packed with features. then i saw some samples: a great camera but horrible image quality. after searching the field some more, i found another candidate, the fuji finepix f30: 6 megapixels, iso 3200, 3x optical zoom, aperture/shutter priority. though not as feature-rich as the lx2, the image quality was way better, and this is the best low light camera on the market. the only thing i don't like is it uses xD memory, which is a format that only fuji and olympus cameras use and slower than the more standard SD memory.

so finally around 9:30am i got sleepy enough to try going to bed again, with the sun already out and most of the work force already in their offices. i wanted to wake up at 10am, figured i could sleep for 30 minutes, but i slipped into a temporary coma and didn't wake up until 1pm, when julie called me on the phone.

it seems like every day of this week i've been doing something related to my aquarium project. sunday i got the tank, monday i added the gravel and water, tuesday i put in my first plant, and wednesday i put in even more plants as well as a carbon filter. today was no different. without even eating any breakfast (more like lunch), i left the house to find a key component for my DIY carbon dioxide aquarium injection system. i needed to find some bulkhead fittings, and the only place i could get them was from a radio control airplane shop. fortunately i remember there used to be an RC hobby shop in belmont along my old 73 bus route. hoping that it didn't go out of business, i went there to check it out. i was relieved to find that alex's R/C hobbyworks is still there. i didn't even pretend to understand what a bulkhead fitting is used for, so i made a little drawing of what it looks like and the guy working there found the part for me right away ($4.50 for a pair).

it was around this time that i almost died. i was behind a woman driving a large SUV on heron avenue. she signaled right so i went to her left to pass her. suddenly she made a left turn instead. it felt like slow motion as i veered around her vehicle to avoid crashing. i looked back to see she was frozen in shock over almost hitting me with her car. i should've known better, because she was driving erratically, like maybe she was lost and trying to find a street. but 99.9% times when somebody signals right, they're going to make a right turn. afterwards i was extra cautious.

camping for nintendo wii playstation 3

i made my way to the watertown mall, hoping to find that lost issue of entertainment weekly, but they only carried monthly magazines, not weeklies. i also checked out some digital cameras (target and best buy), but neither places had the models i was looking at late last night. i ended up buying just a power strip from target. outside the mall, people were camped out in the sides of the building, sleeping in tents, waiting for the release of the next generation nintendo sony game console tomorrow.

next i found myself back at the petco in allston-brighton. i bought an 8' length of tubing (for the DIY CO2 injector) ($2), a pH testing kit ($3), and a bottle of acurel f ($5), an aquarium additive that clears up cloudy tanks (even with the carbon filter, my tank's still a bit cloudy). the man working the fish department used to have a pet store of his own and swears that acurel f is the best in the business. on the way back i went to harvard square to get some money from the ATM and finally found that issue of entertainment weekly i've been searching for, the one with beyonce on the cover.

it was 3pm by the time i got back home, and only then was i able to get some lunch in the form of a salmon spread onion bagel sprinkled with capers washed down with a glass of fruit smoothie. i added a few drops of the tank cleanser into the aquarium and performed a pH test on the water (it's color-based, so it's hard to get an exact match, but i think the tank is neutral leaning towards acidic). i set up the power strip and plugged in the heater for the first time. i don't know what sort of submergible heater this is, but it doesn't seem like i can tweak the temperature, which hovers at a constant 70-74 degrees.

in the evening i walked down to davis square to meet up with julie (a storm was coming, i didn't feel like riding in the rain, even though the temperature was unusually balmy for this time of year). we went and saw borat at the somerville theatre (7:45). maybe i expected too much considering all the buzz surrounding this mockumentary, but despite the fact that i laughed, i wouldn't really recommend the movie. some of the things borat does and say is just painful to watch. not that i don't subscribe to that sort of humor (i've always considered myself having a lowest common denominator sense of humor), but it's definitely cringe worthy. it reminds me of watching jackass, and see guys do gross-out stunts. also, a comment i share with james, maybe i've been too overexposed to borat because it seems like a lot of his jokes i already knew the punchline, so the material wasn't that fresh to me. anyone who's seem the trailer for the film has already laughed at a good number of these jokes.

i had a super burrito (carnitas) at anna's tacqueria with julie before walking home in a slight drizzle and a warm breeze. i watched a taped episode of 30 rock before settling in for the night. i took a look at the aquarium, and sure enough, the cloudiness is all gone now, what's left is a crystal clear tank. tomorrow: making gas with yeast and carbon dioxide injection!

one final note: eating licorice makes you have green poop!