i woke up to a blackout this morning. i didn't notice at first, but i did see that one of my aquarium tanks was unusually quiet. i thought maybe the GFCI outlet had been tripped, but when i went and pressed the reset button, nothing happened. from that point on i slowly realized there was no power in the house. to make sure it wasn't just me, i turned on my laptop and checked to see any neighboring wifi networks. they were all gone (except the few in neighboring somerville), which proved this was happening for the whole area. i still had enough juice in my macbook to watch a downloaded episode of 30 rock before the electricity finally came back on around 10:00. if i had just slept a little bit later, i wouldn't even have realized there was a blackout.

i woke up all congested. the past few days my sinuses feel blocked and every morning i'm hacking in the bathroom trying to clear the phlegm from my throat and nose. i've already used up a box of tissue blowing my nose. i couldn't figure out what it was until i read some blog entries from last april. last spring my congestion was so bad, i couldn't hear out of one ear. my doctor prescribed a massive drug cocktail, which cleared it up after 24 hours but left me twitchy from all that medication. it's definitely allergies though. i knew in the fall i get ragweed allergies, but i didn't realize this was happening to me in the spring as well. i used to be the kind of person who thinks allergies are all psychosomatic (i still think that a little bit) but the evidence shows otherwise. i think it's ironic that with my appreciation for trees and flowers and other plants that i should be stricken with pollen allergies. it should pass though, but if it doesn't, i still have plenty of leftover drugs from last april.

the temperature today was supposed to reach the 80's, but it was still in the 60's this morning. from the outdoor thermometer i could see that it was getting hotter by the hour though. after a quick breakfast of oatmeal, i headed out. i thought about wearing a jacket to keep warm but as soon as i set foot outside i knew a t-shirt with be just fine. i cashed a check at an ATM on beacon street before going to haymarket in boston. there weren't any available spots on cross street so i parked further into the north end in a visitor's zone. i didn't really need anything at haymarket, but my mother asked if i could get some oranges. i bought a bag of 15 oranges for $3, plus 2 large cantaloupes ($3) and two boxes of strawberries ($2). my sister asked me to find some basil but nobody was selling that. the closest thing i found were rosemary and mint (at $1 a bag). there was definitely a lot less tourists compared to last weekend, but still just as busy, with two parallel lanes of vendors compared to just one.

i swung around and went to chinatown to get some edible sunflower seeds at c-mart for my mother. since i was in the area, i also went to my favorite chinese takeout place on harrison avenue and ordered the spicy porkchop with rice. from there i made my way to berkeley street and returned to cambridge via kendall square. i dropped off the supplies at the cafe before returning home to eat lunch.

in the afternoon i set out to see some artwork for the cambridge open studios event that was happening this weekend. i didn't even know about it until i picked up a booklet at sandwich place yesterday. the first one i visited was actually just down my street, a photographer. he had set up a tent where he was selling prints of his photos as well as a garage sale. before i could even get a chance to look around, i heard somebody call my name. it was my old high school classmate alex delaney, who i saw at our last class reunion and figured out we actually live almost right next to each other. i've seen her jogging around the neighborhood, but never had a chance to say hello. i met her 3 kids as well as her husband. as for the photographer, i asked him what's his favorite place to take photos of in boston. he said on snowy winter nights with a slow shutter.

next i went to 170 rindge avenue, which turned out to be a church, not really a studio space. i was expecting to see a lot of artwork but other than the few hanging around the walls, that was pretty much it, so it was a real letdown. and all the artwork were on sale too, but at such an exorbitant price, i wonder if these artists all had an inflated sense of self-worth. at least the photographer guy on my street was selling his prints at a reasonable price ($10-80). some of the artwork i saw were hundreds of dollars if not thousands, for things i wouldn't even want for free.

i saw the studio on 93 harvey street, and tried to find a few others nearby, but either i had the wrong address, they weren't showing until sunday, or they just forgot. the next one i saw was a studio at 75 richdale avenue. two artists stand out: tabitha vevers and her creepy hermaphrodite paintings (amongst other works), and david phillips and his iron powder paintings using magnets. the last studio i went to was on 47 cogswell avenue. there was another photographer there who worked in black & white. one particular photo really caught my eye, looked like it was taken in taiwan. turns out he'd been to taipei a few years ago visiting friends, so we got to taking about the island. he showed me a great photo of a betelnut girl he shot from the window of a moving car.

the temperature eventually climbed to 85 degrees. it was soothing at first but then became slightly unbearable, as i found myself yearning for some winter cold. it was cool inside my house though, and i didn't dare open any windows for fear of letting the hot air inside. riding around all day on the motorcycle in the hot sun, i could already feel my skin tightening in that way when you've had a little too much UV exposure. later when i went to take a shower, i saw i already had a farmer's tan.

i got back home just in time to watch the red sox yankees game with started at 4:00. little did i know, the game could some my attention for the next 4:30 hours. it was another epic battle, with several lead changes, but the red sox ended up winning again after trailing 0-6 to the yankees.

for dinner, i reheated a container of homemade chicken broth along with some frozen korean dumplings my previous roommate had left in the freezer. the dumplings weren't very good (probably why he didn't taken them), some sort of imitation beef filling that's a combination of tofu and cellophane noodles and tasted nothing like beef (it was strangely sweet). the broth along with the bits of chicken was good though, after i added some white ground pepper, soy sauce, and a dash of hot chili oil. i'm going to add chili oil to all future broths.

i couldn't take it anymore: i finally took a claritin tablet, hopefully it'll relieve me of my night time congestion.

(as a side note, look how this day mirrored another day on april 2007)