an tao was nowhere to be seen when i woke up around noontime. i wonder if he thinks i'm a lazy slug because i get up so late? but that only happens because i sleep late. from the evidence in the kitchen i knew he had already gone to the supermarket this morning and was probably at work again. a check of my aquarium showed no new fish fries so the wait continues. i vacuumed some more gravel and replaced some more water. i also built a semi-translucent "cave" from a small plastic solo cup punctured with a few holes just big enough for fries but too small for the adults to get it (now my aquarium is pretty ghetto, with something that looks like a piece of trash center stage). i'm not sure if the cave will do anything but it's worth a shot, at least the fries now have a place to hide now (when they eventually arrive). the only problem i can think of is if the fries are inside the cave all day, i won't be able to feed them (they will of course starve and die). i'll cross that bridge when i get there though, there's no guarantee the fries will even be smart enough to hide in the cave before they're all gobbled up. maybe i can give some away (those who may want baby guppies might want to contact me directly).

the big thing i had to do today was drive up north for andrew and maura's engagement party. i'd never been to an engagement party and had to look it up online to find out what exactly was required of me besides attendance. for some reason i thought it was in gloucester so i was relieved when i reread the invitation and realized it was in marblehead instead. with about an hour left before i had to leave, i finally started preparing, which entailed a shower, some moisturizing, some grooming, and picking out my clothes. at the same time i was trying to memorize the route google map was telling me to drive (i'd borrowed my parents' camry).

it was basically a straight shot up route 1A with some tricky navigation a few miles prior to the party site. i almost didn't go because i felt it was too cold (i'd rather stay at home and watch law & order reruns). i was able to drive up rather effortlessly because 1) i'd been to marblehead before (a rainy night party; thank god it wasn't raining tonight, just bone-chillingly cold) and 2) when i went up to nahant with jesse last saturday we basically drove the same route. i stopped a few times to check the map and actually arrived 20 minutes early. i figured i could pass the time walking around the neighborhood but it was so cold i got back in the car and studied the map before it was officially time to go inside.

the party was a surprise (thank god i had the foresight not to call up andrew beforehand and asked him when he'd be arriving) so people were still arriving before the guests of honor (andrew and maura) showed up. andrew's family was there: his brother todd i haven't seen since the summer of 2003 (a family barbecue), judy not since december 2004 (i helped set up her new ibook), and dave february 2005 (he let me borrow some thailand guidebooks prior to my southeast asia trip). my history with andrew's family goes way back, since my days of middle school in belmont. besides them, i knew a few of maura's friends (sarah, katie, rachel), as well as kwame.

when maura and andrew finally did arrive (maura's mother tricked them into coming by telling them she had some car trouble at the gerry #5 VFA function hall), there was all sorts of food, a live band, dancing, and the cutting of the cake. did i also mention speeches? made by the soon-to-be best man (todd) and bridesmaids. i also talked with a family friend who was taking a bunch of photos with a digital SLR (canon EOS 10D with the EF-S 17-85mm f4-5.6 IS USM lens) and got a chance to briefly play with his setup (that's a sweet piece of glass, makes me itch for a brand new lens!). it pretty much felt like a wedding, except less formal, and nobody actually got married.

the party disbanded close to midnight. after saying good-bye to a slew of people i made my way out the door for the hour long drive back home to cambridge.