it's the first year where i've bicycled the whole year. i've fully embraced the cycling lifestyle, that perfect blend of cheap (free) and non-polluting mode of transportation with a dose of much-needed exercise. i even managed to trade up my ride, going from my bianchi to a trek bicycle (bigger wheels mean greater distance for much less work). i picked up a few more bike repair skills, including replacing the brake and shifter cables, restoring old bikes, installing new racks and fenders, and truing a few wobbly wheels. the addition of several leftover bicycles definitely helped with my bike education.
this year's slew of gadgets featured a pocket warmer, wireless webcam (with a wide angle lens attachment), window fan, broken turntable, trickle charger, figuring out a way to geotag my photos using my gps, solar garden lights, the kindle, sewing machines, and the electric kettle. that kettle is singlehandedly responsible for me getting hooked on tea (which happened to coincide with the cooler seasons, i don't think i'll be drinking much tea once the weather warms up). also when my tv broke at the end of the summer, i went on a lengthy search for a replacement 20" standard definition tube tv; i ended up picking 2 free tv's.
with a lot of spare time on my hands, i managed to do some food experiments: slow-cooked pulled pork (2nd attempt), fried chicken (unsuccessful, although it did get me to buy a frying thermometer), spinach ricotta pie, homemade beef jerky, 4 batches of quince jelly, and even revisited a ginger ale recipe.
my one home improvement project was finally stripping and repainting that old bathroom door, something i should've done 8 years ago when i first moved in. i also recaulked the bathtub, with silicone caulk no less, the caulk of champion professionals. in belmont, i helped my father assemble a new backyard picnic table.
in gardening news, my father and i built a series of small trellises for the cucumbers. as for the squashes, i've discovered a new enemy: the squash vine borer, and spent a good amount of time researching different ways of killing them. i also learned how to tell the difference between lawn grubs by examining its raster (a polite way of saying "butt hairs"). i was on a peony kick this year, but unfortunately none of the ones in the backyard have sprouted yet (they were relocated last fall, it may take a season or two before they flower again).
it was definitely a year of bicycling, at the expense of my motorcycle. even though i personally wasn't involved in a motorcycle accident this year (although personal injury wise, i almost burned my crotch in a non-related incident), it still didn't mean there weren't mishaps. at the start of the riding season i had to make repairs to the bike from when i dumped it late last fall. i also replaced the dying battery. and then in the middle of the summer somebody backed up into my bike, crushing the fender and twisting the kickstand. that motorcycle seems to be more trouble than it's worth.
i didn't do much motorcycling partly because i didn't do much naturing this year. i've just gotten bored with it, and it takes a lot more effort to find something new i haven't seen already. the most exciting nature thing i did this year wasn't even out in nature: it was actually just visiting the wellesley college greenhouses.
for almost half the year i was living with astrophysicists. in late summer to early fall i had that shanghai girl stay here for 2 months, and then at the end of the year i had my spanish roommate for 3 months. they were both entertaining in their own ways, i had interesting times with both.
finally, i was poor in 2010. i made enough to get by, but had to dip deeply into my savings. that was the main reason why i switched banks; i couldn't keep a minimum balance at bank of america without incurring a monthly fee. 2010 was the year i was going to find a full-time job. that obviously didn't happen (despite a few half-hearted attempts, like testing for a census gig or applying for a job with the city of boston). but more so now in 2011, i definitely need a steadier source of income than the occasional freelance work that just happens to land my way (including a local painting job and a stint in a focus group). good news is this year i've finally managed to work on a few flash actionscript projects. hopefully that gives me enough experience to be hireable. basically i have nowhere to go but up at this point.
another one of those days where i went straight to work as soon as i woke up. i worked non-stop with almost no interruptions from 10:00 in the morning to around 8:00 at night. actually my upstairs neighbors woke me up at 7:00, stomping down the stairs and turning on the music. thoughts of murder flashed through my head, although they did turn it down 15 minutes later (maybe it was one of their inconsiderate houseguests). i did manage to sleep a little bit after that, but unpeacefully, as my mind was already thinking about work. that i was able to work so long is more of a miracle since i didn't have anything to eat today except for a banana. by the time i was done, i had a knot in my back muscles and my knees hurt from sitting on my legs awkwardly. but the good news is i managed to finish section 2, a herculean task considering how much scope creep there was. i just hope the client's happy, although personally i wouldn't mind if the project goes on a little bit longer since it's the only gig i have for the moment.
my parents closed up the cafe early today; not to go home and enjoy the rest of 2010, but rather drove an hour to shrewsbury to help a friend of theirs, working in the kitchen at a chinese restaurant. end of the year is a busy time for chinese restaurants, with christmas (a lot of jewish customers) and new year's eve.
for dinner i heated up some toaster oven pizza. i look forward to a peaceful start to the new year.