a day where i didn't bake any bread, had a deadline, did laundry, ate wings, discovered my keyboard is broken, received a gift of communist pins, and found out my friend manny is moving (no, actually, he already moved a week ago - to pennsylvania - i'm only now finding out!). where to begin?
so the bread making streak is finally over! though i was tempted to make another loaf (a special sweet bread), seeing that i now have more bread than i can possibly eat, i decided to take a break from carbohydrates. instead i focused my energy on finishing some code for a delivery today. by my own admission, i am easily distracted, especially when i have work to do. for some reason, i always find the time to vacuum on delivery days (with the same vacuum cleaner i've had since college - they don't even make bags for it anymore, i have to cut my own from a larger bag). i discovered the option key on my mac keyboard is broken and went on to craig's list to find a cheap replacement. i found out my small hexagon aquarium had been leaking water and spent some time cleaning the mess, the surface of the wooden table warping a bit from the water damage. despite these setbacks, i persevered and before the sky went dark i uploaded the latest set of code for the client to test. relieved, i took a shower.
came evening manny came to pick me up and together we went to wing's works in davis square to order some wings: i got the 10 piece gourmet, he got the 14 piece combo of half gourmet and half medium. it was while waiting for our order that manny told me the big news: he's moving to pennsylvania! when? actually, last week! seems like daisy got a new job down there and her company wanted her company would pay her to relocate, so they went down to do some house hunting and came back with a place! manny, who's job is still in cambridge, would be working on a traveling project for the time being, so it didn't matter too much where he was located.
back at his old place in west medford i asked manny some more questions about his new place while we ate our wings around the kitchen island. the condo was pretty much empty while real estate agents had been coming over the past weeks to show the place. there was some furniture but daisy's father was driving up from rhode island to pack them up and send them down to pennsylvania. manny is the last of my college friends who still live in the area. with him gone, i have no more connection to tufts. not that i see him much anymore anyway, and even less so since he got married. in a year i can usually expect to see him around christmas and around our respective birthdays. despite the infrequency, it was still always something to look forward to for the past decade (since our graduation). it's sort of a sad day to learn about this news. i knew they'd been looking to buy a house, but i figured at most maybe they'd move down to southern massachusetts. but to pennsylvania? not even one of the cities but a suburb. he was describing the place and it sounded like a mansion: stainless steel appliances, marble kitchen top, remote-controlled fireplace, 4 bedrooms, a lawn, whirlpool bathtub, a refrigerator that dispenses ice - the only thing that's missing was a shark tank and a helicopter pad! i asked how much he was paying and found out it was about 5x cheaper than a place here in the greater boston area. on top of that, once he sells his west medford condo, he's looking to double his original investment.
the ironic thing is his job still occasionally warrants that he comes back to cambridge (the company headquarter). for those weeks however, he's essentially homeless, despite owning three places with three different mortgages. the place in west medford is already empty, and likewise daisy's place in the back bay (where he stays when he's in town, sleeping in an empty room on the floor in a sleeping bag).
our meeting wasn't just to eat wings however; it was also a belated christmas as we exchanged presents. i always give the worst gifts, and this year was no exception as i gave many an almanac. manny in return gave me a wad of tissue paper stuffed with communist pins. they came from daisy's parents' basement (their family was originally from vietnam) and daisy was going to throw them away but manny saved them for me. it's a like a time capsule, pins from china, vietnam, and the soviet union, as well as few others, like frente polisario (western saharan independence movement).
around 9pm daisy's father arrived and i helped them carry the furniture into the minivan: a dining room set purchased from bernie and phyl using a wedding gift certificate that only works in massachusetts (reason why they bought it here instead of in pennsylvania). after he left, manny packed up some more of his stuff (clothes from the closet) and drove me home to cambridge.
it was well past 11pm so i was surprised to find an tao still up and about, his blanket on the sofa, the television on, packing up some leftovers in the kitchen. i think it's good that he's "exploring the space" a little bit more, because thus far he's been overly polite when it comes to not invading my personal area. the guy lived here for 3 months when i was away, so this should practically be his second home already!