bruce and i visited habitat in belmont hills today. with all the snow that came down a week ago, there was very little to see other than a lot of melting on this nice spring day. even the vernal pool hidden in the interior of the reservation was still mostly iced over.

coming back out we saw a large sugar maple with a pair of collection buckets attached. one of them was near empty while the other one was full. we both dipped our finger into the sap to try it out, tasted like water with a hint of sugar. outside an empty office cabin i also saw a maximum-minimum recording thermometer, i'd never seen one of those before.

bruce had to make a quick trip to whole foods at fresh pond. while taking photos of the produce, a smiling woman approached me, "hi, sir, excuse me, can i talk to you? hi, we don't allow photo taking here." if i hated whole foods before, now i just want to burn the whole building down. i don't know what possible harm there would be if i took a few photos. are these underaged zucchinis? perhaps its against the squash's religion? i hear the grapes are kind of camera shy. i think whole foods as an institution caters to the rich, white elite or those who want to be them. an average family with an average income, for the sake of eating "whole" (i guess that's supposed to mean "healthy"), shopping at this supermarket, wouldn't have any money left over given the outrageous price. if you don't think the prices are whole foods expensive, then you're the kind of person who can afford to shop there. i think today was the straw that broke the camel's back and i don't think i will ever go back to whole foods ever again. embargo on! i also saw my sister there but i think she was buying food for somebody else so that was okay.

close to the evening i headed into chinatown to meet julie for dinner. it was also an excuse for me to pick up some chinese groceries and to put the new lens to some good use. at porter square station i was taking a photo of the outbound train on the platform below when the middle train conductor saw me up above and pointed, "you can't take photos here!" i waved an apology. when did this happen? i've been taking photos in the T all my life and this is the first time somebody told me i couldn't. what's the big deal? and more importantly, did the whole world just suddenly decide that i can't take photos? in any case, i promised myself i'd write a letter to the MBTA when i got back home asking them to clarify the rules for me. i got at south station, went to c-mart (it was the least number of people i've seen in a while, at first i thought they were closed), before waiting for julie at the chinatown gate. by then it'd started to drizzle a little bit.

apparently there was some sort of movie shoot happening in chinatown tonight, as streets were blocked off, equipment were being set up, and crew members populated the entire area. two teams of chinese dancing dragons were waiting to be called to perform while groups of curious spectators gawking from the sidewalks. i wasn't immune and looked myself, but when i didn't see any stars, we decided to go search for a place to eat. we basically did an entire tour of the boston chinatown district, bemoaning over the number of restaurants now out of business, not just asian ones. after a long search, we decided to eat at the newly-renovated suishiya, so that way we could also keep an eye on the action that was taking place out. i ordered a spicy chicken hot plate as well as a dragon maki. julie had some fiery fish hot pot. i was surprised to find what i ordered to be pretty good (suishiya, at least their box lunch specials, are usually disappointing). julie on the other hand was having all sorts of problems with her food. first she doesn't like seafood but ordered fish anyway. then there were bones in her fish which she absolutely wouldn't eat until she picked them all out (as well as the skin). the sterno underneath her pot was boiling the soup too fast so she blew that out. i watched helplessly as she floundered with her dinner, wishing desperately for that proverbial undo button so she could order something less challenging.

afterwards we walked to the red line subway station. not the nearest, which would be south station, nor the second nearest, which would be downtown crossing, but the third nearest ("i like to walk," julie remarked). along the way we stopped by the CVS so julie could look for some raspberry chocolate, but CVS apparently doesn't carry them. i bought some more candy, including a bag of licorice twizzlers (because i enjoy making green poo).

before we even got to park street station we could hear the emergency alarm blaring and some firemen leaving on their fire trucks. down below, the siren was deafening and despite the fact that the fire department already left, nobody had bothered to turn off the alarm. people were waiting for the train with their fingers in their ears. it was almost funny if it wasn't so loud! when the train finally arrived, i'm sure everyone was wishing for the doors to quickly close so we could leave the station to someplace quieter.

so i think it's on: april 3rd and 4th i'll be flying out to las vegas. leaving tuesday morning, coming back wednesday afternoon. client B called me this afternoon to confirm the new schedule change. i know it's supposed to be a business trip but COME ON it's LAS VEGAS! i'm hoping i can debug whatever the problem is on tuesday and then go back to the hotel and party all night and be carted off in the plane back to boston.