i went to bed last night at a reasonable hour and woke up okay, despite the start of daylight savings time and losing an hour of sleep. there was a dusting of snow last night but much of it had melted in the late winter sun even though the temperature outside was still cold in the upper 20's. it was warm enough for me to bike as i trudged my way to belmont, my body still not fully recovered from all the biking i did thursday-friday. when i arrived at my parents' place, my mother already had lunch waiting for me (soy milk, pan-fried pancake, pork floss), and said we'd leave for the waltham costco as soon as i finished eating.

we left for costco around noontime. the waltham shop was busy (normal for the weekend) though it wasn't too crazy. the checkout lanes were a mess though, there was nobody in the store to traffic control, so it was just this long line of carts all wait to checkout in one lane when there were other lanes opened. i bought a 50qt bag of miracle-gro potting soil ($10). it look a bit of searching, as the pile of soil we first saw coming in was miracle-gro organic raised bed soil, which is just too course for potting soil usage. i ended up browsing the store and found the potting soil hidden near the clothing section. we left by 1pm.

back in belmont, my father and i pruned the grapevines. i don't think we did any pruning last season, relying more on my fungicide spray regimen to keep the diseases at bay. we managed to harvest some grapes for the first time in ages, if that can be a mark of success, but many of the grapes were harvested before they turned ripe, and i still saw signs of black rot, though not as past in years past. but our strategy this year - besides fungicide spray - is to drastically trim down the grapevines, so they're just primary vines left. this way they'll be better air circulation, and any diseased canes from last season will be thrown out. hopefully this "fresh start" will give us better grape production. tomorrow we'll prune the maple tree, which is more challenging and more dangerous.

my sister make a cameo, to wash some blankets in the larger washer and dryer. she took hailey out for a walk at the same time my mother and i went out as well. they couldn't follow us because we were heading back towards watertown, to coolidge center. our plan was to visit what da chick, that new thai chicken & rice restaurant, and get some takeout. we stopped briefly at the CVS so my mother could get a travel-size bottle of hair spray. we passed a few diners and an irish pub, the delicious smell of greasy cooking permeating the air.

i'd seen what da chick a bunch of times, whenever i went to the watertown home depot or target. my mother had never even seen the place before, and thought it was a chinese restaurant. the people working there were authentically thai, and when we arrived there was even a thai customer picking up an order. we ordered the 3-4-5: spicy chicken rice ($12.95), roasted chicken rice ($12.95), and combo chicken rice ($13.95). we waited about 10 minutes before we got our order. we brought an insulated grocery bag to bring back the food.

we stopped by super vanak and vanak cafe on our way home. seems like we go by there every weekend, and every weekend the cafe is packed with people. through the glass window it looks pretty delicious, we'll definitely order from them one of these days. outside super vanak they were also selling containers of hyacinth bulbs. we never noticed it before, but in the back there was also a small parking lot.

everyone had a chicken & rice plate: i had the spicy, my mother had the roasted, my father the combo, which contains both their signature chicken and crispy chicken. each one came with sauces: mine only had thai sweet chili sauce, roasted chicken had sweet chili and this delicious spicy fish sauce + hot sauce blend, and the combo came with sweet chili and sweet ginger. the chicken were boneless, tender, and seemed to have been fried on the outside. the rice itself seemed to be cooked in oil. each plate also came with a daikon chicken soup that was very flavor rich.

because we ate our chicken & rice around 4:30pm, we weren't hungry when dinner came around. not that we noticed anyway, because it was still daylight out at 6pm. my mother ended up making some uncured turkey bacon rolled up in croissants. i ate while watching the kevin garnett jersey number retirement ceremony at the boston garden. ray allen made an appearance, the garnett-allen rift seemed to be finally over after ray left boston to sign with miami. after i finished eating i returned to cambridge around 7:30pm.

finally, tom brady announced he's coming out of retirement and going back to the buccaneers. when i first heard the news i thought it was a joke. he's already retired twice, and now he decides he doesn't want to retire anymore? it's just really sad, and when one day he does officially retire, nobody's going to care. post-patriots tom brady seems to be self-centered and attention-starved.