fresh from translating some latin illuminated manuscripts in france, bruce and i headed down to the apple store in the galleria mall this afternoon so he could check out some apple laptops. there was a television news crew outside, doing a story on the iphone soon to be released friday night. although the computers seemed nice, bruce found them too expensive for the screen size he wanted (15") so he's going to do some more research. i myself have problems with apple's lineup of machines. where's the intermediate laptop that bridges the gap between the 13" macbook ($1100) and the 15" macbook pro ($2000)? and i'm still waiting for a decent desktop machine that has a barebone processor but tons of expandability (the imacs, the mac minis, they're both not it). before we left, i lovingly stroked the 30" apple cinema display. if i had the money ($1800), i'd buy that monitor in a heartbeat. i'm no computer display size queen, but the 30" cinema display is so magnificently huge, it's downright breathtaking. although if i ever get it, i'm sure i'd never leave the house. (plus of course if i had that sort of money, i'd probably go traveling with it instead).

bruce was kind enough to drop me off at my parents' cafe while he went to whole foods to buy some sushi (cold food) for dinner. i went with my father to belmont to pick up one of several old air conditioners sitting in their sun room. next we went to home depot where i got some potting soil and picked up a single tomato plant. returning to belmont, we set up the upside down tomato grower (i bought it last year but never used it). stuffed with dirt, the bag was so heavy it bent the iron shepherd pole (although it'll probably hold). my father was so impressed he wanted to hang it inside the house until he realized it'd leak every time you watered it. afterwards we drove two cars back to cambridge, my father returning to the cafe, while i went to my place to drop off some potting soil (to repot my prayer plant), a bag of unused marsh grass, and some rusty tomato cages. i returned to the cafe to return the car and to help my father install the AC at my aunt's place (where my grandmother will staying when she arrives next week from san jose). with that finished, i retrieved my motorcycle and came back home, stopping by market basket briefly to get some ingredients for tonight's dinner.

i made a pasta salad for dinner since it was such a hot day. another 90+ scorcher, i almost broke down and installed the air conditioner, but decided against it when i realized this would probably be the last miserable day before the temperature drops back down to 70's. instead i had two fans running, my oscillating fan and a box fan i brought up from downstairs. it was barely enough, and i still felt cranky and sticky.

i've had pasta salads at parties but never made one before. these are the ingredients i used: half a box of rotini pasta, one large onion, 3 tomatoes, cilantro, can of black beans, can of corn, 4 small chili peppers, lime zest. and for the dressing: 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup apple vinegar, dash of paprika, dash of cayenne pepper, teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoon of ketchup, lime juice, dash of grinded sichuan pepper corn. i blended the ingredients and let it chill in the fridge for about an hour. when it was ready to serve, i poured the dressing and blended everything together again. next time, i think i'll add some prosciutto for an extra bit of saltiness. as for taste, it was a blend of sweetness from the corn, citric zing from the lime, sourness from the apple vinegar, and spiciness from the chopped chili peppers and the cayenne powder. it was so easy to make, i think i might make pasta salad more often from now on.

julie came over for dinner, bringing some klondike bars. we watched the bitter end of the red sox game as the home team was swept by the seattle mariners. hopefully they can finish the last two remaining games of june with victories once they get back to fenway park.