i don't feel sad, because the place is overdue for a renovation. i am however feeling a tremendous sense of nostalgia as i go back to lucky garden to help my father with some clean up work. i haven't been inside the place close to 15 years. but i saw things - little details - that i remembered from my childhood. in the morning, i helped my father move all the pavement bricks from the entrance into the backyard. it was kind of strenuous transporting hundreds of bricks piece by piece onto a hand truck and then dragging them away. i wasn't wearing any gloves and the coarse surfaces made my hands rough and dry. as for my father, he only had one good hand, with his other burned hand encased in a clear plastic bag like a ghetto michael jackson impersonator.
we finished part 1 by 1:00 and i had some chinese chicken noodle soup for lunch (with the cafe AC on). i had some personal errands to run so i took a break from the manual labor. first i went to the porter square radio shack to buy a packet of fuses ($1.99/packet of 4). i then came home (remembering i forgot to close the basement door and left my backyard door unlocked) and replaced the broken fuse in my washing machine. with fingers crossed, i toggled the power back on and the washing machine kicked back into life. it was a startlingly easy fix with no mention of it in the maytag owner manual. had i called a repairman, who knows how much he'd charge me. these days, i'm all about fixing it yourself or making it yourself. next i went to star market, where cherries on sale for $1.50/lbs. i bought $10 worth, to be split with my parents. i went back to star again when my mother asked me to get some corn for dinner ($2/10). she also asked me to look for some mung bean sprouts, but i forgot. earlier this morning, i'd already gone to market basket and the korean reliable supermarket looking for bean sprouts. i got some at reliable but turned out they were the wrong kind (the different colored bags confused me). there was a really snobbish korean woman ahead of me in line. she stepped out to check out some stuff, and i helped push her cart for her when she wasn't there. after she paid for her stuff, she just left her cart in line. after i paid for my own things, i put her cart away in storage (the cashier girl thanked me). as i was pulling away from the parking lot, i saw the korean woman again, driving off in her lexus SUV.
back at the cafe (2:30), i finally got a chance to tour the inside of lucky garden. the previous owners left last week. they pretty much took anything that wasn't bolted down, including all the dishes and tables and chairs. not that it mattered, since the new owners would've gotten new everything anyway. i then started helping out with clearing the basement and then cleaning it (part 2 of my day of manual labor). the lighting was pretty bad but it was for the best because i'm pretty sure i didn't want to see so clearly. it didn't smell bad - other than the pervasive odor of cooking grease - but the basement was pretty filthy, and behind an old couch was a stash of fortune cookies and mice droppings. i basically removed everything with my eyes partially closed. we did have face masks and rubber gloves, but i'm sure i was exposed to some possibly unhealthy spores or whatnot (dust, cobwebs, you name it). we finished around 5:00, leaving a convey of trash out on the curb for pickup.
i went to belmont ahead of my parents. being out in the backyard was a farcry from the trauma i'd experienced earlier. when my parents came home, my father brought back a bunch of bricks we'd removed earlier. he originally wanted to build an open-fire-pit, but i told him there might be zoning laws against that. so instead we used the bricks to edge the backyard.
for dinner we had barbecued corn, hamburgers, and a jar of nathan's half sour pickles. we watched sam the cooking guy on fitTV visiting hong kong on a foodie vacation. i returned to cambridge around 10:00.