for the first time, i filed an electronic timesheet for the senior care service, making sure to remove 2 hours so i won't go over the allotted maximum number of hours per week. later i realized both the surrogate and the PCA have to approve the timesheet, so i signed in with my mother's account to approve it. this saves me from having to fax a paper version tomorrow.
today was a great day weatherwise - sunny, clear blue sky - with one exception - that it was cold. if you can get over the cold, it's really not a bad day to be outside. so i went online looking for something to do, even looking at google map to see if there was anything nearby worth checking out, that i might be able to take karen. problem was the fuji bike was in belmont, and i don't know if i have any good bikes in the basement. it might've also been too cold to ride, so i was looking for closer destinations, within walking distance.
there was a chinese new year event happening at harvard square around 12:30pm, with a parade procession of lion dancers beginning at 1pm. this was a little peculiar because chinese new year was back in january, and it's already march. probably the primary reason for this was a publicity stunt for some of the asian restaurants in harvard square. no surprise the procession ends at hong kong. karen said she might've caught a cold, so she decided to stay home instead. i left close to 1pm, armed with my wide-angle lens (the telephoto in my bag).
midway to harvard square a pair of indian men asked me for directions. "do you know the way to the harvard museum of realistic history?" he asked me. it took me a second to understand he wanted the natural history museum. i pointed him in the right direction. what i didn't tell him was if they came before noon the museum was free, but judging from their foreign appearance, i don't think they're local so they wouldn't have been able to get the discount admission anyway.
by the time i got to harvard square, i could see the procession leaving winthrop square down JFK street to mass ave. i was standing on dunster, and decided to backtrack so i could intersect the procession at harvard square central. the procession wasn't anything fancy, just a few lion dancers sponsored by some local martial arts club. i took a few snapshots from everything sunny intersection. at one point a videographer asked me if i was with the metro, i told him i was here on personal business.
i returned home along the eastern edge of harvard yard. not sure what it was - time of the day, cold temperature - but there weren't many people outside. it felt peaceful, like being up early in the morning despite being the afternoon. walking by the swedenborg chapel, i noticed some interested grotesques carved in the corbels. i took a moment to photograph them, including faces of leaf people, reading angel, and either a dog or a fox.
i decided to explore the crisscross of pedestrian paths in the harvard property flanked by oxford and kirkland street, hoping to discover a new shortcut to get home. i went up divinity ave and realized i could go see the harvard semitic museum, the only harvard museum i have never visited. fortunately they were opened, and admission is free. there was a lone museum attendant sitting behind a desk. only two visitors were in the museum, an older foreign couple speaking with what sounded like english accents. at the very least it was warm inside, although the attendant behind the desk had her coat on, so it wasn't that warm.
the reason why the museum is free is there really isn't that much to see. the semitic world encompasses the ancient near east, ancient people like assyrians, babylonians, egyptians and of course hebrews. but for a museum buff like me and a lover of history, it was an okay way to spend an hour. first floor featured a replica of an ancient hebrew house, along with personal artifacts like weaving tools, toys, and jewelry. second floor held egyptian items, including a decorated coffin. third floor contained various mesopotamia works, but many were plaster casts (though they seemed genuine enough for me).
i returned home by 2:30pm, finding a route that went behind the harvard divinity school. i wanted to stop by star market to pick up some green grapes on sale ($1.49/lbs.) but realized i didn't have my wallet with me. i stayed home for a little bit before going to the supermarket. i noticed the emerging perennials in front of the house had been trampled, obviously the work of owners who let their dogs walk in our garden patch. i went in the basement and grabbed the wire fencing. unfortunately it's been so cold the past few days, the ground was frozen solid and i couldn't push the wiring into the dirt. i did manage to push enough of it that it's currently standing.
karen worked from the kitchen table all day. in the evening i made myself some tuna sandwiches. she ate her kidney bean soup which been slow cooking all day. i had a little bit, mixed with a dash of habanero sauce.