i can't believe they picked madonna for the superbowl halftime show. it makes sense though: they've pretty much already exhausted all other big ticket musicians - U2, michael jackson, rolling stones, paul mccartney, the who, bruce springsteen, prince, janet jackson & justin timberlake (infamously), no doubt, sting, even the black eyed peas. all that was left was madonna. the fact that the organizers waited this long probably meant she wasn't high on their most-wanted list as well. i have to ask though: was taylor swift busy? (although to be honest, i don't know a single one of her songs, i just know she's pretty popular musically).

don't get me wrong: i like madonna's music, especially all the ones she did in the 80's (did i say like? i meant love). i just don't like her as a person. from her faux english accent, to her desperate attempts at staying relevant in her twilight years as an aging rockstar, to her pretentious and egotistical personality. i've already seen her set list for the show: "vogue," "music", "give me all your luvin'", and "like a prayer." a song from each of the decades (80's, 90's, 00's) and a new song that nobody wants to hear. unfortunately i don't those are any of her best songs. for an artist with such an extensive discography, i really can't believe they picked "those" songs. what about "burning up"? "holiday"? "lucky star"? "material girl"? "into the groove"? "open your heart"? "express yourself"? i could go on and on.

i also had the misfortune to see some of madonna's media day interview. sitting on what appeared to be a throne, she rambled on about how this was a dream come true for a simple girl from the midwest. and what's madonna without opinions? as she rooted for eli manning, thereby automatically earning the scorn of new england fans. she also tried to give injured patriots' player rob gronkowski some medical advice. does she even know who he is?

one good thing that could come out of all this should the patriots lose on sunday: new england native maria menounos has made a bet that should her team lose, she'd run out on the field wearing a new york giants bikini. i think she should do it anyway should the team win as well. the world needs more bikinied menounos!

last night i finally entered avanchnzel. the interior looks very steampunk, with all sorts of strange machinery and pipes. it also felt like being inside an immense alien spaceship. guarding the ruins were various robots. i fought them off with my shock battleaxe, even though they themselves perform shock attacks (so maybe they were immune to shocks). robots contain a lot of loot, especially gems (precious and souls). they also contain robot parts which i collected until i realized they were essentially junk so i tossed them all out (i kept a few gyros though, as souvenirs). i also like the way the quest is narrated by talking ghosts as i made my way further down the ruin.

after spending a long time exploring avanchnzel and completing the quest (returning the lexicon cube), i was attacked by a dragon as soon as i stepped outside. dragon attacks seem to be on a schedule, like every 5 days or so. this was an ice dragon that blasted me with frost which surprisingly did little damage (unlike fire, i hate fire). i tried to coax it down to the ground but it remained airborne. i then ran to a sloped clearing with some trees and that's when the dragon landed. using my fire battleaxe, i quickly slew the dragon.

i was going to take my roommate to haymarket in the afternoon after she got back from looking at another potential apartment, but she told me around noontime that she had a headache and wasn't in the mood to go out. i thought about not going as well since i really didn't need anything from haymarket, but ended up going anyway just because i told myself i would. besides, i needed the exercise, and even though it was a cold day (30's), it wasn't too bad for biking.

the last time i was at haymarket was at the end of december, so it's been more than a month. not sure if there was a reason, but some of the stalls were missing and a few stores were closed. despite not being at full capacity, i was surprised at the selection, given the fact that it's wintertime. i ended up getting: 3 lbs. of grapes ($3, including a strand of champagne grapes), 2 boxes of strawberries ($2), 2 lbs. of cherry ($4), 6 forelle pears ($1), and 2 boxes of clementines ($3.50 each). the guy selling me the clementines was a young syrian man who gave me the chinese hand gesture for 7 but i didn't understand. he was going take the oranges out of the wooden crate but i told him i wanted to keep the container. he noticed one of the clementines in the box was moldy and replaced it with a fresh one.

riding over the longfellow bridge, i noticed they finally finished repairs on the outbound side, freeing up 2 lanes of traffic plus a bike lane. if they can only repair the balconies facing the backbay side of the charles river!

i went to the cafe to drop off some loot. my 2nd aunt and uncle are going to new york city for the very first time on monday and my father was explaining to them how to get around. these were megabus tickets i got for free during black friday weekend that i originally gave to my parents but they ended up giving them to my aunt and uncle.

returning home, i saw people moving into julia's old place, a mother (katherine) and her little boy (nico). i introduced myself and welcomed them to the neighborhood.

on my doorstep was the much anticipated logitech M305 wireless mouse i ordered a while back. i've been using a wired microsoft intellimouse for gaming but it's just too unwieldy to carry around. at first i couldn't get it to work until i read the manual and realized it only takes alkaline batteries, not rechargeables. so i ended up going to the nearest rite aid and buying a pack of AA duracell for $5 (when i needed just one). once i put in the battery it worked effortlessly. then it took me a while to track down the OS X version of the driver software online; once i got that installed i could assign different functions to the various buttons. the M305 is small but it fits my hand pretty well.

i asked my roommate about this new apartment she still ended up checking out in the afternoon. it's a 3 bedroom place, and the current renter is trying to get rid of it by finding people to sublet it or possibly renegotiate a lease with the landlord, since the old lease ends in the end of august and my roommate needs to find a place for a whole year. while we were chatting she suggested i sign up as a contestant on this popular televised chinese dating show (非诚勿扰) where one bachelor is interviewed by 20+ eligible bachelorettes. she said i'd be perfect for the show, and she knows people who've been on it before.

my roommate made extra noodles for dinner and asked if wanted the leftover. i was already heating up a brick of lasagna in the toaster oven but i agreed to finish the noodles. i even brought out some of my homemade kimchee for her to try. sitting around the dining table, she suddenly didn't feel well and excused herself to lie down. i was left to finish eating the noodles i didn't want in the first place before moving on to the lasagna i didn't want to eat either.

i ate one of the forelle pears. i'd never seen them before that why i bought them. they're small - about the size of a large egg - green with red freckles. for some reason i thought it'd be crisp and juicy like a chinese pear, so when i bit into it and discovered it was soft and sweet like a regular pear, i was sort of disappointed. but the taste! kind of has this perfumey flavor.

i played a bit more skyrim, venturing all the way to northeastern edge of the map to the serpent stone to kill an ice wraith. there was no element of surprise because i'd already fought several ice wraiths while climbing the throat of the world to high hrothgar. this was all an elaborate initiation rite in joining the stormcloaks. i've yet to decide if i want to join, trying to stay out of the impending civil war between nords and imperials. one interesting note: while crossing the ice northern wasteland, i fought a couple of bears and ended up contracting bone break fever! i didn't even know i had it but people i met back in town kept on telling me i didn't look very well. checking the list of active powers revealed that i'd contracted the disease. it was simple enough to cure with a potion though. i heard you can also get it by fighting with rats.

now all my quests are forcing me to explore northern and western cities. i'm trying to stick to just whiterun, riften, and windhelm because it's hard enough keeping just 3 cities straight! i'm also trying to collect enough gold to buy a 2nd house in riften, and thereby becoming the local thane. i still need 1000 gold pieces (already have around 7000).