it took me more than 3 hours to figure out how to carjack my first vehicle in grand theft auto: san andreas, that lovely little interactive homage to destruction and mayhem. it goes without saying that i've never played GTA before. it wasn't too long before i was beating up crack dealers and retagging a rival gang's graffiti. i still can't drive very well and every once in a while i get into trouble with the 5-0 (the police don't take kindly when their fellow officers are runned down with my stolen car). by the end of the day i got good enough to steal a police motorcycle and then later took an empty cruiser for a joy ride (racking up 3 stars and getting chased by a helicopter, finally dying in a hail of bullets). who knew a crime spree can be so addictive? video games are dangerous!

i got a strange call this morning, from an 809 area code. where is that, california? oregon? i answered it nevertheless; who knows where somebody i know is having a crisis moment and needs to interrupt my beauty sleep so i could talk them off the ledge. "hello?" a man with a slightly foreign accent said into the receiver. "hello?" i said back. no answer. "hello? who's this?" no answer. a few more seconds go by and the caller hangs up. i was tempted to return the call because i had the number, but decided against it, in case it was just a simple wrong number dial. 20 minutes later the same number calls again. "hello?" the person says, but doesn't say anything more. i try both english and chinese but no answers. then he hung up again. later i was curious and went online to see where the 809 area code is. dominican republic! how could that be? some further research revealed that 809 is indeed DR, and that several bahama islands have telephone numbers dialed exactly like here in the states, without any country code prefix (other than 1). the 809 area code is also notorious for being international scam numbers, so that when you call back, they can charge you $10 to $100 per minute because it's a foreign exchange. was it scam? next time i should ask, "¿hablas inglés?" just to be sure.

an omelette for lunch, followed by an assortment of candies, pastries, and other snacks. that pretty much ruined my appetite for dinner so i just heated up some pizza rolls for a light meal. this day was all about lounging on the couch underneath a fleece blanket playing video games. every once in a while i'd go check up on the progress of some movie downloads on my bedroom desktop computer.

one of the PBS channels was playing the 1978 version of invasion of the body snatchers. of all the body snatchers films, i'm not sure which one is the best. i'm sure many people will agree that one of the best scenes in the 1978 version involves the dog with the human head. i'd forgotten how many famous actors had a part in the film: donald sutherland, brooke adams, jeff goldblum, leonard nimoy, and even a robert duvall cameo as a creepy priest on a swingset. what i love most about the 1993 version is gabrielle anwar. the snatchers in that one was more fungus-like if i recall (slime mold with spreading tentacles) versus the plant-like pods in the 1978 version. 2007 the invasion i thought was actually a pretty good 21st century remake, even though it was a box office disaster and critics unanimously derided it. it's one of the few rare times when i thought nicole kidman was hot. plus daniel 007 craig is in it!

the hardware guy from the museum called me around 11pm again. i spent the next hour answering questions and suggesting some hardware debugging ideas. i really think they should've sent me down there, and the project manager said as much, although they already have people there. being on standby mode over the weekend is not my idea of fun.