i blame it all on the tea. i drank several "cups" (if 16 oz. tumbler can be considered a cup) of green tea. the box said it was naturally decaffeinated, but that meant there was still a little bit of caffeine. as someone who usually stays away from caffeine, my tolerance for the stuff is low. maybe that explained why i was so focused yesterday with work, but when it finally came time for bed, i couldn't fall asleep. the howling winds and rain thumping the house didn't help much either. i didn't go to sleep until well past 5:30, and even then i woke up at 8:30 to get ready for my 10:00 meeting with client R in watertown.
for having slept less than 3 hours, i was surprisingly functional. but i knew this energy level wouldn't last, and i was hoping the meeting would be brief so i can return home and get some decent rest. even though it was still windy, the rain seemed to have stopped, and a check of the doppler radar showed only small spots of dissipating precipitation. i was already walking towards harvard square when the clouds seemed to be clearing even more. i turned back and decided to bike instead, which was quicker than taking the 71 bus.
the sky turned grey and i could see some raindrops, but a final check of the doppler looked like i had nothing to worry about. so i biked out. halfway to my destination on aberdeen street, i was caught in a sudden downpour. by the time i pulled over onto the sidewalk i was already soaked. fortunately i packed an umbrella and stood on the side of the road, waiting for the rain to stop, sipping my insulated tumbler of hot ginger tea.
10 minutes had gone by and it was still raining. standing around seemed pointless, so i began pushing the bike. the downpour finally became a little drizzle a few minutes later, light enough to continue biking. i was pretty miserable, my wet jeans sticking to my legs, my shoes soaked, and afraid of riding on the bike lanes which were all puddles from the downpour.
when i finally arrived at client R, i took a few minutes outside to clean up the best i could. when i went inside i discovered the 2 people i was supposed to meet weren't even there yet. just perfect. i come out to make an in-person delivery (when i could've just sent the files via ftp), get soaked in the process, and nobody's here yet. so i waited in the office nursing my tea.
when my contacts finally arrived, the meeting was quick. i set up the interactive on the testing machine, got some feedback, and then promptly left. no additional delivery for today, but i promised them a revised version by tomorrow (friday).
it was after 11:00 by that point. the rain had stopped and the sun was out. it was still cold because of the strong winds and the fact that my clothes were still wet. i zipped up my jacket and rode to my parents' cafe enroute to going home. i ended up eating some lunch there. by then i started feeling the effects of not getting enough sleep.
although i bought myself some time since i really didn't have to work until tomorrow, i think i just got used to coding so i fired up my program and was trying to debug a few things (instead of sleeping). i did a little bit of work for both clients.
steve wrote me last night asking my help to empty his rain bucket at least once a day for about a week when he and paul "go away" in 2 weeks. i didn't have a good experience last time so i had no intention of helping again. first, he didn't tell me where he's going on, so i can only imagine it must be someplace fun. and then he had the audacity to remind me to return his house key the last time when i already returned it. i mean, if they came back with a present, that would definitely right some wrongs. but why do i feel like i'm being treated like a servant? not just with the rain bucket issue, but also with the trash cans that he never brings out (but has no problems filling up), or with me doing all the grunt work when it comes to finding repairmen for the house? so the only question was how would i respond to steve's e-mail? would i match his cryptic request with my own equally vague response? i ended up going with a lie, told him i wasn't sure about my schedule for that week, that i might be going out of town on business (no further elaboration). as a side note, i advised him to get a bigger plastic barrel that can hold more than just a few gallons of rain water. he never wrote back.
pau got in touch with me. he's been trying to buy a google nexus 4 smartphone in spain but they're all sold out. he asked me if i could buy it for him here in the US when it becomes available and he'll pay me back. for a few weeks we've been checking, until today we heard there was a new shipment. they already sold out in spain, but here in the US customers could still buy them except with a 1-2 weeks waiting period before shipment. after some e-mail exchanges, i ended up buying the nexus 4 for pau ($380 including shipping and taxes).
i couldn't go to sleep because i wanted to go to the hasty pudding parade in harvard square at 2:45. i left my house close to 2:00, ended up walking there instead of biking.
this year's recipient was marion cotillard. this is my 4th hasty pudding parade: 2009 was renee zellweger, 2010 was anne hathaway, and 2011 was julianne moore but because there was so much so snow on the ground the parade was cancelled (unbeknownst to me). last year 2012 was claire dane, but i'm not a big dane fan so i didn't bother going.
maybe i've said this in the past, but there really is no good place to stand and take photos along the short parade route. i suppose the best vantage point is on top of the photo truck in front of the parade procession, but you need genuine press credentials to get one of those choice spots. i only had my 18-200mm lens; next time i ought to bring the longer 70-300mm telephoto.
when i saw renee zellweger and anne hathaway, i remembered the temperature both times were bitterly cold. it even snowed during hathaway's parade. this time around the temperature was actually unseasonably warm, with the exception of the occasional strong gusts of wind.
back at home i still couldn't go to sleep because i was going to a harvard natural history museum lecture at 6:00 - "developmental mechanisms for the origin and evolution of birds" (arkhat abzhanov). i thought it was going to be an interesting talk, but the material was kind of dry. i knew right from the start it was a mistake but it was already too late to leave. with the lights off and the droning lecture on, i struggled to stay awake, dozing off a few times. thankfully the lecture was short, about 40 minutes. by turning on and off certain developmental triggers in chicken embryos, researchers have been able to show similarities between their distant cousins the crocodiles. the question and answer session afterwards was more interesting. abzhanov knew his stuff, and didn't even lose his cool fielding a few inane questions that had nothing to do with his talk.
i almost thought about just returning home and going straight to bed without dinner, but ended up fixing one last chicken caesar salad.
i'm only now getting ready for bed, 2:00. i'm surprised i've been able to stay up for this long, being so tired throughout most of the day. i plan on getting a good night's sleep tonight. i made sure not to drink any decaffeinated green tea!