running late, not enough time to write, so i'm typing out the abbreviated version of today's events (and then possibly fill in the details later). bear in mind i was struggling against my allergy-induced coughing all day long, sucked on enough cough drops to make my stomach hurt. my day started at the crack of dawn when i went down to mount auburn cemetery to join a birdwatching group.1 saw about a dozen different warblers2, highlights being the blackburnian and the chestnut-sided warblers (two i've never seen before). instead of resting, i spent a good hour working in the afternoon working in the garden3, retilling the soil and planting some lettuce and some spicy mesclun seeds.4 figuring i'd finally get a chance to maybe take a nap, instead i got a call from my bank alerting me to some suspicious activities on my debit card.5 it took more than an hour to sort out, finally i had to visit a branch office and get a temporary new card while they cancelled my old one.6 when the early evening rolled around, i went down to dan and cymara's place in malden to help them move.7 i was the last to leave, departing around midnight.

ever since i could remember, probably even while he was still just dating cymara, dan has told his friends about his future plan to move down to brazil. i was of those who never quite believed him, but now that day is here, it's finally happening. it's sad to see them go, especially more so since there seems to be an epidemic of friends leaving town as the years go by. one day there won't be anyone left and i'll be talking to a painted soccer ball. at least the internet will still keep us all connected, but it's a far inferior substitute compared to the real thing. i'm hoping one day i'll have the opportunity to visit them in fortaleza.

joe esposito - "you're the best"

1 i've been trying to go all week, but every attempt ended in failure until now. it's very easy to rationalize my way out of waking up at 5:30 in the morning, take a cold ride in the dawn hour when i'm barely awake, and then walk around a chilly cemetery 2-3 hours with other birdwatchers looking for tiny noisy specks of colors hiding in the trees. but now is the perfect time to see migrating birds because the leaves aren't completely out yet.

2 warbler checklist:

black-and-white warbler
blackburnian warbler
blue-winged warbler
chestnut-sided warbler
magnolia warbler
nashville warbler
pine warbler
yellow warbler
yellow-rumped warbler

other birds:

baltimore oriole
black-capped chickadee
blue jay
blue-headed vireo
chipping sparrow
eastern phoebe
gray catbird
mourning dove
orchard oriole
red-tailed hawk
red-winged blackbird
ruby-crowned kinglet
tufted titmouse
white-throated sparrow

i didn't take any photos because for the most part, these birds (and by that i mean the warblers) were very far away and high up in trees. there was also a bit of lens envy: one of the guys in the group had a canon 100-400mm telephoto, with a 100mm longer reach than my own lens. throughout the cemetery there were other photographers with serious telephoto lensed cameras mounted to heavy tripods wandering around.

3 after mt.auburn (9:00), i went to the nearby watertown home depot to get some lettuce seeds. i paid a quick visit to the cafe before cashing a check at a nearby ATM and going to market basket to buy some groceries.

4 since the last time i tilled the garden soil, new weeds have sprouted, particularly the wild morning glories, which were growing everywhere. 2 of my peas failed to grow and one looked like it'd be chewed by an insect, leaving still 5 good plants growing. i also found what looked like a cucumber seedling and transplanted it to a safer area of the garden. these 2nd generational plants usually don't resemble their F1 parents, so i'm not sure if i should bother keeping this one when i still have plenty of cucumber seeds. i cleared an area on the southern edge of my plot for growing lettuce. the 3 that i got are: iceberg lettuce, roman emperor lettuce, and a spicy mix mesclun. they finally turned on the water yesterday so i was able to mist the seedlings and the lettuce beds.

5 i actually received the automated call while i was still in the garden, but i thought it was a phishing scam (especially when they started asking me to key in my personal info) so i hung up. it was only when i got home did i realize it was a legitimate call when i saw i'd also received an automated warning e-mail telling me my card had been temporarily suspended pending re-verification. i called the 1-800 number and the agent told me my credit card number had been used overseas to subscribe to some online dating services. they told me to visit the nearest bank of america branch to get a new temporary card.

6 i went to the one in porter square, but after 15 minutes worth of waiting for the woman at the help desk to get off the phone, i decided to go elsewhere. i went to the larger branch office in harvard square (took me a while to find parking though). it must've been supermodel day or something because i sat in the waiting lounge with some young women pretty enough to make me nervous. when my name was finally called (10 minutes worth of waiting) i went to a cubicle office with my agent. what i wanted was just to simply get a replacement card but this guy was trying to sell me on a bunch of other bank services like opening up a business account. he was also clueless about my situation and said that the reason why i got flag as suspicious activity was because i had too much money just sitting in my debit card, which can be remedied by opening up a secondary checking account or possibly a savings account. eventually he did give me my temporary bank card, passing along his business card in the process (which i promptly throw away after i left the bank).

7 mike and elias were part of the moving team as well, and hitched a ride with dan when cymara picked them up at their boston office. dan treated us all to some wendy's prior to the manual labor. they'd originally thought about a 10 feet moving truck but decided on the larger 16 feet. in hindsight this was the better choice: although it seemed like we had ample space in the beginning, as we began to move more and more things into the truck it started to look like we wouldn't have enough space. we were also lucky that dan and cymara decided to ship some boxes, otherwise we would've needed a larger truck. kathy showed up at one point and gave mike a ride home. punam dropped by as well.