for some reason i'm supertired tonight, so i'm going to hit the sack early, and do a write up tomorrow instead. a quick synopsis: eliza's brunch party, REI shopping with jess, street party back in my neighborhood, and picking up an tao at the airport.

it was raining this morning and i almost wanted to cancel on eliza's new year's day birthday brunch, but the thought of the copious amount of food waiting for me in jamaica plain was an irresistible reason to finally get out of bed. this is the third new year's brunch i've been to, each one at a different place (2004, 2005). i got dressed and went out into the freezing rain with my umbrella and my gift of 2 cantaloupes.

bagan, burma
january 1st! this day means a lot to different people, but for me, my immediate concern was the MBTA fare hike. i put $20 on a blank charlie card i got a few days ago and used the money left on my paper charlie ticket to get on the train. $2! it now costs $2 to ride the subway in boston! i remember how the MBTA used to advertise how it was the cheapest public transportation in the nation; funny, you don't see them saying that now! just yesterday it would've cost me $1.25 to ride the T but now i have to shell out 3 more quarters. the more i thought about it, the angrier i got. actually, if you use the charlie card (the plastic one with the rfid inside), it costs $1.70 to ride the T, but i still wouldn't consider it a bargain. $2 is the price of a gallon of gasoline - it's starting to seem more economical to drive versus taking public transport. if boston is starting to become a slum (which is my personal prediction), you'll have the expensive MBTA to thank for it.

jerica and rachel were already at eliza's place by the time i got there close to noontime (wearing near matching maroon tops, as if they planned it that way). we passed around some just-cooked eggs and potatoes while waiting for more people to arrive. eliza showed me the two kittens in her new housemate's bedroom, kept there so her cat won't attack them. the food disposal in the kitchen sink was clogged so jerica and i fixed it with a bathroom plunger (there was some debate as to whether or not this was a kosher thing to do). some other people i knew showed up as well: shauna, erin, jaeda, and jesse (whom i haven't seen since february). i met andrea who also went on a long china trip of her own 2 years ago. eliza's brother and fiance showed up briefly, as well as some of eliza's neighbors.

in the afternoon we played a game of "guess the name of the important person taped to my forehead." jerica was the first to win with marie antoinette, followed by rachel with princess diana. i had big bird which took a while for me to finally figure out. the one i wrote for erin was james brown "sex machine" which she finally got after we steered her away from dead rap stars. eliza had chip kidd, whom most of the partygoers didn't know who he was (including me). tara had one of the toughest ones, "eliza jones," and was asking some unintentionally funny questions such as, "does my person have a sidekick?" or "would people pay to see her online?"

by the time i left (5pm), carl and hillary had just arrived, along with some french guys. i never did get to taste the beef stew but i had other food waiting for me elsewhere. jesse was kind enough to offer me a ride since we were both heading in that cambridge-somerville area. we stopped off at the fenway REI so she could buy some smartwool socks and nearly lost our parking ticket but found it on the floor by the socks section.

it was 6pm by the time i got back to cambridge. after dropping off my stuff, i went across the street where my neighbor was having an informal new year's day party (started at 4pm). i got there with just enough time to se dennis and susan, as well as jack and bruce (back in town until the end of the summer). an hour later i was back at home, where my father was already waiting for me to take me back to belmont for another hot pot dinner.

at 9pm we left for logan airport, to pick up an tao, flying to boston from shanghai. he gave me his itinerary a week ago, but while confirming the arrival time last night, i realized he never told me what airline he was flying in. a check of logan airport's flight database wasn't very useful because they didn't have all the flight numbers. only after a systematic process of elimination did i finally figure out it was united airline, terminal C. my father waited outside while i met up with an tao. after he picked up his luggage, we drove back to my place - his home for the next 3 months.