i did a google video conference call with andrew p. at 11:00 regarding the transfer of my beta wordpress upgraded AFBHS site over to his newly registered domain. i'd hadn't seen andrew in a while, not since the last high school reunion i attended, which was around 7 years ago if not longer. he looked good, easily pass for 30's, maybe even younger. he still lives in belmont (just a few houses down from his parents) and has 3 daughters. what was supposed to be a simple call lasted 90 minutes, as we were having difficulties transferring the site. the first attempt ended in failure, the second attempt seemed like an unknown. andrew ended up calling godaddy tech support, but while we were both listening to the hold music, the site finally transferred. he asked the technician how DNS pointing so the domain name can point to our new site.
i was finally able to leave by 12:30, to take advantage of free MBTA day (a gift to make up for the numerous bus/subway delays during this past winter). i could go anywhere, even as far as providence (rhode island) on the commuter rail, but i kept it light, would take the red line all the way into south boston to one of the new asian communities for some vietnamese pho for lunch. it seemed i wasn't the one taking advantage of the free day, as the subways were a lot more crowded than on a typical weekday afternoon.
i can't remember the last time i rode the red line this far south, must be 10 years at least. i recall a trip down to quincy to buy a used laptop online and the seller never bothering to show up. south station is the farthest south on the red line i normally go. it's actually super convenient from where i live (porter square), essentially a door-to-door service to get to anywhere on the southern red line. too bad the MBTA is so expensive now (remember those 60¢ days? now it's $2), it's cheaper for me to either take the motorcycle or just bike down.
i couldn't remember which station had all the southeast asian restaurants. i looked it up before i left the house (fields corner) but got confused and got off at savin hill. when i exited the station it didn't seem right, so i pulled out my phone to check and discovered i was off my one station. i took a photo and went back to the platform (thankfully it's free MBTA day) to wait for the next train 10 minutes later. it was a nice day, blue sky white clouds, but a bit breezy that required buttoning up a jacket when the wind picks up.
once the train approaches fields corner it goes on elevated tracks. looking out the window i could see the busy stretch of dorchester avenue. once i arrived at the station, i followed everyone out, making a mental note to head in the direction of where i saw some restaurants. i walked up to heroes' square, stopping in a citizens bank to get some money from the ATM. there were some vietnamese businesses, but the place seemed sparse. i kept on going north along dorchester avenue, looking for restaurants. i came across a pho hoa chain but that's usually the place i go for pho back in boston chinatown, so decided to look elsewhere. next door was pho le, which seemed like a fancy vietnamese restaurant (quite busy from what i could through the glass windows), which meant it'd be expensive. i wanted a more authentic and cheap experience, maybe a little mom-and-pop place. i kept going.
i got as far as freeport street before it looked like there wasn't anything more further down, so i turned back. where were the restaurants? the fine eating? i checked the map and saw some place called pho 2000 back at heroes' square. i made a stop at truong thinh asian supermarket. this was not the huge southeast asian supermarket i'd heard about. i bought a package of fishsnacks ($1.89), a jar of crispy spicy shrimp rolls ($3.99), and a can of baby corn (for my next salad). getting close, i saw a red line train flying through some buildings, courtesy of the elevated tracks.
pho 2000 was just what i was looking for. there was only one customer who was just about to leave. it had the simple menu with the many varieties of pho, daily specials written in vietnamese posted on the mirrored walls, and some sort of vietnamese variety show playing off of an overhead HDTV at the end of the restaurant. after i ordered a large bowl of pho (the one that had everything in it, $7.99) and some spring rolls ($3.99), i went to go use the bathroom. the spring rolls with the peanut sauce was delicious, and i was worried that i wouldn't be able to finish a large bowl of pho but finished it i did, was hungrier than i thought. i liked that they had 3 types of hot sauces. i asked the waitress if she knew where the large supermarket was. she told there are two: one of one i went to, the other (much larger one) was further up dorchester street. (later after i got home and looked on the map, phu cuong supermarket is actually closer to savin hill than fields corner - so maybe next time).
i stopped by a vietnamese bakery i saw earlier that sold banh mi sandwiches. there didn't seem to be much inside, except a counter that had all the essential banh mi ingredients. there were 3 kinds: headcheese, chinese chashu pork, and teriyaki beef - all for the same price of $3.50. i picked the teriyaki beef. i wanted to call up my 2nd aunt to ask her if she wanted one (since she frequently picks one up for me whenever she's in chinatown), but i'm not even sure if she likes banh mi sandwiches, and i didn't want to deal with the hassle of having to stop at the cafe, so i selfishly decided not to call.
the return trip was much easier, i just sat back and waited until we arrived in porter square about 30 minutes later (12 stops). it felt weird yet oddly convenient not having to transfer in downtown crossing/park street. i walked home along mass ave, just for a change of pace. once i was home, i packed up some things and went over to belmont where i was dogsitting hailey overnight. in the car i could smell some of that stink from last night's grease trap cleaning. must've tracked some of that stuff inside. hailey was already home by the time i got there close to 4:00.
because of that big pho lunch i wasn't very hungry. i finally had dinner around 9:00, ate the banh mi sandwich, it was pretty good. later my sister called me to tell me once again her plans got cancelled, so she could've actually taken hailey back and i could've gone home. but i was already set to dogsit overnight, so she let me take care of hailey until tomorrow morning.
not sure if it's working in the basement with all that dust and mildew, or my time spent digging out the smelly solids from the grease trap, or just tree pollen allergy, but i've had an itch in my throat all day. i just hope it's not allergies, already allergic to early autumn ragweed, no need to add another allergy on top of that!
saw the new trailer for the black mass movie starring john depp as whitey bulger. i think it's going to be a bad movie because depp made up to look like bulger is distractingly strange. his blue contacts made him look unnatural, like maybe i'm watching a horror movie and not a real crime drama. maybe this film will be the final nail in his movie career. maybe there was a time when he was a serious actor, but nowadays he can't do a film without a disguise of some kind.