yesterday, because of the rain and housekeeping, was a temporary reprieve, but today i was back to house sanding again. i finished the lower section around the garage with the belt sander before doing some detail work with the orbital sander hooked up to just the dust bag up on the ladder. i stopped around noontime. i could've kept on going, but the next section was the area around the living room and i rather save it for tomorrow, when i have fresh arms.
i left the tarps in place because my father said he wanted to do some sanding when he came home. my mother was already back, and by the time i finished my shower, she had a bowl of noodles waiting for me for lunch. she relaxed with her knitting while watching her korean soap operas.
i went to my community garden when i got home, even though it was nearly dark. i was there to pick up the poblano pepper my garden neighbor picked because she assumed i was on vacation. i waited too long, the pepper is mostly rotten. i'm going to try and dry it out, but otherwise i'll try to salvage the seeds to grow for next season.
being a big astronomy nerd and constantly reminded on television about tonight's perseids meteor shower, i decided i'd go out and see it for myself. the weather was the deciding factor: cloudless moonless light, conditions were perfect, and here in new england we don't often get perfect astronomy weather, so i had to take advantage of it. the big question was where would i watch it? from my own backyard was out of the question, i can hardly see the sky from back there. the closest field was on sacramento street, but it seemed too secluded, and neighbors might call the police if they saw someone lurking around there in the dark. also there was the crime factor, which pretty much excluded any nearby parks. i finally decided on robbins farm park in arlington heights. up on a hill, it had a great view of the sky. it was also in arlington, a much safer neighborhood compared to cambridge (which earlier tonight there was a drive-by shooting in kendall square that left one person dead). plus, i'd been there once before, back in november 2001, to watch the leonids meteor shower.
i left my house sometime after midnight, taking the motorcycle. that late at night there wasn't a lot of traffic, so it was easy ride from mass ave to rindge onto a short stretch of route 2 into arlington heights. i passed by my aunt and uncle's house enroute. it's also been forever since i was last on a fast highway.
i arrived around 12:30. what surprised me was how many cars were parked outside the park. there is no overnight street parking in arlington, but here were all these cars. the place must've been crawling with other like-minded stargazers, but i couldn't see them in the dark. i found a spot along the side of the hill facing boston and put down my towel so i could lie down. when i got there the sky was full of stars; as soon as i settled in, clouds began to roll in. the clouds didn't leave until 2:00. up to that point i'd only seen 4 shooting stars. once the sky was clear, i saw about a dozen more, before the police came. i was very quiet, but a large group of people were being noisy and a neighbor complained (at one point i heard a man yelling from a house, "go home!" when the police finally showed up). the police took everyone's information before we left.
i rode back to cambridge, even less traffic at 2:30 compared to 2 hours before.