i woke up at 7:20 this morning for the arrival of cleber the painter. it was also the first meeting between my upstairs neighbor steve and cleber. i got a sense steve was testing cleber with painting questions, trying to get a feel of what he knows and doesn't know. cleber seemed to have passed the gauntlet and at one point steve privately told me, "i like this guy," which is high compliment because he's normally very picky. we separately wrote checks for the first installment.

while steve left for work, cleber went ahead and power washed the outside of the house with a pressurized spray gun and a diluted bleach solution. for the next 5 hours i heard the sounds of spraying and the clanging of ladders and smelled the odor of chlorine. when he got to the back door, some water seeped into the house, but i quickly mopped it up with a towel.

cleber was finally done close to 1:00. he asked me to decide with steve on what stain color we wanted for the house and let him know before he returns next tuesday to start painting the house. about the same time i left to meet up with brice and case for lunch at tacos lupita on elm street.

i had lunch with brice in union square more than a week and a half ago. today's lunch was a chance for me to meet his friend case, who actually lives on my street, but i've never met him before (although i'm sure i've probably seen him before walking down our street). when brice showed up he told me case wasn't coming, having just gotten out of bed. brice was coming back from SRM, where they offered him a bit of work. he brought along a present from jen, a bendable rubber model of pokey (gumby's orange horse friend).

walking back home, i passed by another shepard fairey mural at the intersection of somerville avenue and elm street. this is the third one i've seen in the neighborhood (there's one close to union square and one in harvard square).

alex called me again around 3:00 saying he was coming over to show me the photos from his recent 4 month long china-taiwan trip. he didn't get here until well after an hour later, along with his brother jack. he brought back some postcards and a loaf of longan honey cake from taiwan. he showed me his photos on the vosonic VP8870, a nifty photo storage device (costs $260 without a hard drive). i saw most of the photos in thumbnail mode, there were just too many to see them one by one.

after they left, i settled on the couch, a bit tired from having gotten up so early. i think i fell asleep for a few minutes but woke up in that strange state where i didn't feel sleepy anymore. steve came down to my place around 7:00 to discuss house colors. i told him i'd go to the paint store and buy some sample stains so we could test them out on the house and make a final decision. before he left, i gave him a tour of the house. in the 7 years i've lived here, i've never once invited him over (i've been upstairs to his place a few times).