i didn't have the right kind of sandpaper for the eventual sanding so i motorcycled to the cafe to grab some from my father. it was an unusually warm day on the last day of october, with temperatures reaching the 70's. i left the house with all my windows and doors open in the hopes of finally airing out the burnt smell from last night. i was riding in just a t-shirt and even that felt warm. the leaves are at their peak brilliance now which also means they're falling like crazy. there were stretches of road where it felt like i was riding through a colorful kaleidoscope of dead leaves swirling all around me propelled by the gusty winds.
i would've taken the bicycle but i didn't want to take up too much time, especially if cleber was returning today to finish painting. i ran an errand for my mother, going to the trader joe on memorial drive to pick up a carton of chai tea. the place was crowded and it took me 2 loops around the parking lot to find a space. while i was there i also went to microcenter to look for some flat-plug surge protectors but they were all more expensive than what i could find online.
returning home, i passed by a yard sale on linnaean street and saw some under-the-bed plastic storage containers. since i was on the motorcycle, there was no way for me to carry anything that big, so after parking the bike in front of my house, i walked back out to linnaean street. i ended up buying 2 storage bins for $2/each (one of them was missing the wheels, but i didn't mind), 2 home improvement books ($2/each as well, they're about 10 years old so they're a little outdated, one on household wiring, the other home repair and renovation), and got a little canvas bag as a freebie. it was a real struggle carrying everything home and i had to stop and rest my arms a few times. if only i had a car!
when i finally settled back home, the second layer of wood plastic was already dry enough to sand. after i did that, i realized there were a few spots where i needed to caulk. i had bathroom caulk but i needed something stronger, suitable for outdoor use. i went to the somerville home depot (using some mnemonics to help me navigate: myrtle-peartle-vertle to get there, the 3-P's to get back). i ended up getting a toothpaste tube of phenoseal translucent vinyl adhesive caulk ($3.98), suitable for outdoor use, fast-drying and paintable. while browsing through the aisles, i came across a sale on surge protectors - belkin 6 outlet surge protector with rotating plug - for $10.97/each. even after taxes (now 6.25%, thanks deval!), it's still a dollar cheaper than the same one i saw on amazon.com. so of course i bought a pair. the surge protectors would've been able to fit inside my bag, but i had some mini bungee cords on the rack of my motorcycle and strapped everything to the back instead.
coming back, i passed by the new luxury condo on 221 beacon street. there was an open house sign which piqued my interest. i remember when that place used to be a gulf gas station. i'd been watching the construction slowly taking place, and was curious to see what the finish product looked like. i met mark, the real estate agent, who was also 1/3 stalk holder of the development property. he had an accent, either mediterranean or middle eastern. since there wasn't anybody else looking at the time, he took me on a guided tour. there was a total of 8 units selling for $665k a pop. 1729 square feet, 2 garage space (underground), 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, central air, 3 floors, hardwood floors, gas fireplace, skylight, granite counters, steel appliances, in-unit washer/dryer, $180 condo fee - in essence, the works. however, 3 of the 4 corner units were already taken, and i took a peek at one of the middle units and it's a bit dark. also, amongst all the luxuries, i was surprised to see there was no hood above the range (which is a essentially a deal breaker for anyone who does a lot of cooking).
while i was there i met mike, who was moving to boston from philly with his girlfriend. she was coming up next week to take a look at the place. he was taking photos with his iphone and mailing them to her. since i live nearby, i had some insight on the neighborhood which i was happy to share with him. he was thinking about marriage and possibly kids ("in 10 years time," he said), and i told him he was better off living in the suburbs (like belmont) for the finer schools and more family-friendly environment (he said he wasn't ready to give up the city life just yet). in talking with him i quickly got the sense that he was in an entirely different income bracket, since he and his girlfriend also own 2 more homes in philadelphia. the units are definitely priced to move, since a 1600 square feet 2 story condo 2 houses from me was selling for $600k (as far as i know, it's still unsold, and now the owners have become reluctant renters). i said good bye to mark before i left, who added, "tell all your rich friends about this place!"
finally back at home, i caulked up the porch. the problem was with rain forecasted for later tonight, i couldn't afford for everything to get wet. so i improvised and sealed everything up with some plastic wrap and tape. hopefully it'll keep out enough water for everything to dry. maybe cleber was finally show up tomorrow to finish painting, but if not, i can probably do it myself next week.
in the evening i went out to check out some the neighborhood halloween displays on traymore and crescent street. up and down my street, children in costumes were walking around in the dark along with their adult chaperones (who were also often times in costumes as well). i bumped into ed, who was standing outside his house as usual. "there are some really hot girls out tonight," he told me, surrounded in a sea of children. just then a young woman came out of her house, sauntering down the sidewalk in a leather cop outfit with a miniskirt that was essentially a belt. i left ed and went around the neighborhood. in years past i've seen pirates on traymore, but this year the decorations were a little lacking. on crescent street the central theme seemed to be prehistory and dinosaurs. having seen enough, i came back home and made some ramen for dinner. my neighbors franz and jen were having a halloween party and said i was welcomed to come. it seemed too quiet though, and i spent the rest of the night cursing the yankees as they won game 3.