sunday meant the continuation of carnival weekend. yesterday boston, today cambridge. coming along was alex (my godmother's son), who arrived 30+ minutes after first calling to confirm we were still go for today. he brought with him a pair of new canon lenses he recently purchased, a 28mm f2.8 prime and a vintage 49mm shinker (japan) mounted onto a manual canon adapter. he also gave me something called the expoamigo, which is a fancy grey card (used for getting the correct white balance reading) he had his mother import from taiwan during her most recent trip to the island. i suggested we drive since it was sunday and parking was free.

we arrived around 12:30, with the parade supposedly starting at 1pm. central square was so empty, we even had to ask around if a parade was even happening once we got to the main drag. we went to one of my favorite spots, the intersection of franklin and river street, with a clear view down river, right where the procession would be coming from. while alex went to go get his water bottle from the car, i sat with two african-american ladies discussing other parades and fairs in the cambridge and boston area. they knew about the carnival parade that happened in roxbury yesterday, and both told me how they read that the police made some arrests on gang members. the woman in the walker told me she avoids the area at all cost, while the other said she had friends who live there, but only go to visit, and would never consider living there because of all the crime.

the parade didn't actually start until 1:30, and didn't reach us until almost 2pm, as we watched the procession slowly inching its way up river street into central square. the angle of the sun was terrible for pictures, with the sunlight shining directly behind the people's heads, leaving their faces in shadows. i suggested to alex we move up to mass ave, where the light was better. i've never been much of a light snob, but i guess i finally crossed that line. alex bumped into his friend tommy (through pre-arrangement or not, i'm not sure), who ended up hanging out with us, even though he didn't have a camera. later i learned tommy also went to belmont HS like alex and me. interested as to what year he graduated, i told him i graduated in 1992. "i wasn't even in the US back then," he said.

i was expecting there to be more organization for this cambridge carnival parade, but it was just as messy, and not as good as the parade yesterday (despite the chaos). just that in the mad crush of spectators and participants, it was hard to get off any good shots. the procession can either grind to a halt or rush by in seconds. it probably would've helped if i used a more suitable lens other than the long-range telephoto. towards the end i finally switched to my 17-50mm and managed to get a few good ones, but my then the parade was nearly over, just the heart-pounding bass of the stereo truck leaving me fishing in my bag looking for my earplugs. when the carnival parades come again next year i'll still go, but they'll never be as fun as my first and second time. i almost wanted to apologize to alex for such a lackluster and crazy time, but hopefully he got a few good snapshots.

with tommy tagging along, alex dropped me off at my place. it wasn't long before i went to belmont, driving the car my mother left for me outside my house while she and my sister went shopping. my mother was already home, watching her korean soap operas on the internet. i took hailey into the backyard to play fetch. she's good at tracking the ball when she's not distracted, and more often than not she'll bring it back, but she has a hard time letting go.

after dinner i drove myself back to cambridge (i need to borrow the car for tuesday). i got back just in time to watch the tape-delayed olympic closing ceremony. why did i keep on thinking it felt like the ewok celebration at the end of the return of the jedi? it was kind of sickening in its excess. here's a thing i hate: flash bulbs in the stand. when i see that i see a crappy underexposed photo. and who were all those athletes prancing around? i only recognized two people, yao ming and shaun johnson. did the other big stars go back home already? i also didn't see the last hour because mad men was on.

mad men spoiler alert! (spoiler vision on) so far this season, tonight's episode has got to be the best one yet. don draper gets into a drunken car accident while cavorting with his client/mistress bobbie barrett. unable to post the $150 bail (not even a jail sentence for a DUI back then, just a stiff fine), he ends up calling the one person in the world he can trust: peggy?! i had no idea what's going on, but peggy's unwanted pregnancy is further explored in flashbacks. at the maternity ward where she's recuperating a mysterious man sits by her bedside. it'd don draper! he knows about her baby! he covered for her! he's teaching her his special denial magic! so great, so now everything makes sense. bobbie is recovering in peggy's apartment, and she teaches peggy a thing or two about how a woman wields power in a man's world. in the end, we see peggy use some of that newfound leverage when she demands her bail money back from draper and thanks him by his first name! oh snap! finally, how hot is don's new secretary? especially now that joanne seems to be off the market with news of her engagement that she flaunts around the office.