my former roommate called me up this morning and said he was coming over to my place on his way to market basket. i reluctantly got out of bed, after having stayed up to 6am watching the live nadal-federer tennis match at the australian opens (i got as far as the 3rd set before i decided to go to sleep). i quickly cleaned up the house a bit before my former roommate showed up. he stayed and chatted for about half an hour before leaving. little did i know my mother - who was coming over to pick me up for dinner in belmont - also needed to make a stop at the supermarket. we bumped into my former roommate in the parking lot just as he was getting ready to leave. we told him if he waited for us to finish shopping we'd be able to give him a ride back to the cafe, and he wouldn't have to walk the 30+ minutes back. the supermarket was crowded with folks making some last minute purchases before the start of the super bowl.

for the most part, my naturing exploits take a hiatus during the winter months. partly because i don't own a car and can't easily move around during the coldest season, and partly because there really isn't that much to be seen out in the wilderness. nonetheless, nature still has a way to work itself into my life. from the cafe parking lot i spotted a black squirrel chirping high above in a tree. i don't know if anyone's every studied this, but there is a thriving population of black squirrels in the 02138 area code. this is maybe the 3-4 time i've seen one around here over the years. then in belmont i noticed hailey was watching something in the air and from the corner of my eye i could see it was something big. i looked up and saw a red-tailed hawk swooping overhead and landing on the tip of a large evergreen.

i went with my mother to return some clothes at the belmont center macy's before going to marshall's at the arsenal mall. for some reason i was more afraid of my mother's driving than usual, maybe because cars were parked so far into the streets due to all the snow banks that i was certain she'd hit one before the day was over. fortunately that didn't happen. i was looking for a replacement doormat and browsing the kitchenware. i didn't buy anything there but i did buy a shirt at the nearby gap outlet.

my sister was at some super bowl party so sunday dinner was just with my parents and the dog. my mother cooked up the last of the goat meat i bought the weekend before. she tried a clear broth this time, so i could better taste the goat flavor. i thought it was okay, but i'm searching for even gamier meat next time.

although the game was on in the background, i wasn't paying a lot of attention. i thought i'd be more into the commercials but i missed most of those as well. plus, for the 5th time in a row, i failed to see the puppy bowl, something i've always wanted to watch but always forget. instead of being glued to the tv i was helping my mother decide on which 22" LCD monitor she should buy to use with my donated spare dell. i caught the final few minutes of the game, and thought for a second there the cardinals would stage an upset, a la 2008 when the pats lost to new york. but the hands of fate was kinder to pittsburgh than to new england, and the steelers staged a drive in the final 2 minutes to score a touchdown to put them back on top again. i'd brought my samsung 22" to do some tests; the older 2002 dell ran at native resolution without any problems but my father's newer compaq pc would only show the correct resolution in virtual screen mode. by the time i made it back to cambridge, i realized i'd left the video cable at my parents' place.

i ended the night with some more grand theft auto. one gripe i have about the game is that the location indicator map in the lower left corner of the screen is so small, i have a hard time figuring out where to go. it took me forever to find the shop that repaints cars in order to evade the police. later, after i failed another mission, i took los santos' finest on another wild chase before finally succumbing to lead poisoning.