waking up early is great. a few more hours of daylight feels like i've some how cheated time itself and i'm living a few more hours of life. whether this will be a continuous habit i don't know but at least for today i got a head start. i began making another loaf of bread, my 8th i believe. this time i'd be creating a jalapeño bread. the ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 egg, 2 tbsp melted butter, 3 tbsp dairy creamer, 2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 3 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, 3 tbsp chopped jalapeño peppers, 2 tbsp chopped chives, 1 tbsp yeast. into the pan everything went as the timer ticked down from 3 hours.

with that out of the way, i put on my clothes and walked down to harvard square. though i was expecting it to be cold, the 40 degrees temperature mixed with the shining sun actually felt pretty warm. i was down in harvard square to pick up the latest issue of entertainment weekly (eddie murphy cover), still waiting for my magazine renewal to activate. leaving the house was also my sad attempt at some form of exercise. i never though i'd be the kind of person who considers walking to be a form of exercise, but for one reason or another (laziness, weather, work) i haven't gone running in a long time. and with all this bread i've been making and eating! i just save my money to buy a wheel barrow and hire somebody to push me around someday soon.

back at home, i wavered between working and checking the bread machine. i was horrified to see the bread rising so high that it actually touched the window. although i did add more yeast, it wasn't anymore than last time (1 tbsp) and it didn't rise as much as it did now. i think it had something to do with the cheese, something else for the yeast to feed on besides the sugar. my father came by briefly to get me to burn a dvd for him, but after waiting for about an hour, i messed up the burn so he left. he also took the bread with him, which by then was all ready. the top of the bread had collapsed (first time this has happened) but other than cosmetic damage, the loaf was fine. the jalapeño peppers naturally made it pretty spicy and i cut myself a little bit before giving the rest away to my father. tomorrow: cottage cheese and chive bread!

i can't believe how dirty the streets have become. the little of bit snow the past few days have gotten the road crew to salt the roads and the thrawing and refreezing have stains everything outside with that familiar white residue. it doesn't look pretty but it's still interesting.

tonight i filled out the paperwork to extend the pages of my passport. with all my recent travels, you can imagine that i don't have many empty pages left (actually, none at this moment). so i thought i'd have to get a new passport by renewing it, but actually what they do is you send them your old passport (not yet expired), and i guess they physically put in more pages, free of charge. there was 2 pages of instructions and legalese that came with the request form and i think they'll also add that new microchip into the cover as well. so i'm curious to see what i'll get back.


finally, i added some new china bird photos to my flickr account. for those who're interested in seeing minivets, scimitar babblers, yuhinas, laughingthrushes, hoopoes, minlas, and finchbills, look no further!