i almost got to ride the bus today. i was 10 minutes walking distance away from harvard square this morning when my father called. he was at the cafe and said he could swing by and pick me up. i hesitated in accepting the offer because i really wanted to ride that bus. for me it's a nostalgic diversion and gave me a chance to maybe take some photos in harvard square. i even memorized the sunday bus schedule, and had it all planned out that a bus would be waiting for me when i got to the station. but alas it was not meant to be. i rendezvous with my father at a intersection off of mass ave. we swung by my place briefly to grab the mutt tool to break some ice.

that ice was the cafe parking lot, which we drove by on our way to belmont. from the quick glimpse i saw it was completely covered in ice, a perfect liability trap. my father planned on coming back later in the afternoon to clear the ice, but i told him we should do it now before any customers slip and hurt themselves. so we turned back and returned to the cafe.

there is something very satisfying about breaking up frozen layers of ice on the ground. it appeals to my inner destructive self, that same person who loves to throw a boulder into the river just to see the ice crack, or make footprints in freshly fallen snow. my father and i alternated between chopping duty and shoveling duty. early on however, my father slipped on some ice and stayed on his back for about 10 seconds. "did you bang your head?" i asked him, still not approaching to help. he did bang his head but it didn't seem serious (but what do i know, i'm not brain doctor). the bigger injury was he twisted his back, so i was in charge of shoveling the broken pieces of ice while he chopped about with the ice breaker.

it's easy to be the hero during winter and such was the case today. people coming out from the nearby yoga studio were thanking us for clearing the ice. even people who weren't using the parking lot and were just walking by stopped to thank us and or said hello when they went by. i could've broken ice for another hour but my father finally had enough and we finally left for belmont.

i had some chinese carrot cake for lunch and a bowl of red bean soup with gluten balls. then i went to the watertown home depot to look for a replacement handle for the broken ice breaker from the cafe. this one was similar to the mutt, but was longer at 7" instead of 4". a large section of the home depot parking lot was roped off for a massive crane that was being used to remove snow from the sloped roof. i ended up finding a perfect wooden handle for $6.50, and picked up a dozen seed packets in preparation for indoor sowing and early spring planting. i ended up returning to home depot minutes later when i realized i accidently double-scanned one of the packets. it was only $1.50, but it's the principle of the matter.

i fitted the forged metal ice breaker onto the tapered end of the handle. my father told me to soak the end so the wood might swell and provide a tighter fit. there were two screw holes, but because the ice breaker is all about vertical pounding, there wasn't any need to fit any screws since the ice breaker would only attach tighter with repeated use. i went outside and tested it out, the 7" is definitely better than the 4".

when my father left for the cafe, i went back outside to break up the ice on the driveway. he took the ice breaker back to the cafe, so i had to use to flat-ended shovel instead. it wasn't as efficient since the shovel end sort of curved and i couldn't chop with maximum force. i must've been outside for more than an hour, wearing just my t-shirt because i felt surprisingly warm in this 40's degree day. afterwards my arms felt so tired that i couldn't hold them up without trembling. that level of exhaustion is proof of a job well done!

the big spectacle of the day was of course the super bowl. after dinner (my sister wasn't home, she was at some super bowl party; i don't even think she understands football) i hunkered down to watch the game.

since the new england patriots weren't playing, i was emotionally detached from the final outcome. i was rooting for the green bay packers though, just because i didn't want the modern day pittsburgh steelers to have 3 super bowl victories as well, tying with the patriots. also a packers victory would be a poetic finish for former quarterback brett favre and his worst-season-ever. amidst the sex scandal, the neverending unretirements, and playing for the vikings, it just seems perfect for his former team to win the super bowl without him. still, watching the game, i did feel a little sad, not for favre, but for the patriots. this could've been them in the super bowl! it's unfair i know, the expectations are so high for new england, but i'm starting to get tired of waiting for next season.

i watched the game with a particular calm knowing i had no personal stake in the matter, but the fact that the packers pulled ahead to a large early lead definitely made it easier to watch. at one point the score was 21-3 before pittsburgh scored their first touchdown to bring the score to 21-10, within striking distance.

the halftime show was fraught with technical difficulties. i've always thought the black eyed peas are a self-important band, their mock swagger a source of derision instead of admiration. their set started with mic difficulties as we weren't able to hear fergie. ever since the china olympics of 2008, a show ain't a show without a sea of choreographed humans doing something eye-popping. they had people dressed up in led suits, but sometimes a suit would malfunction so there'd be a "dot" that stood out. they had an illuminated moveable stage that was supposed to form the word "love", but a portion of the stage didn't light up so it ended up reading "loi'e" instead.

i only paid partial attention in the second half, secured in the knowledge that green bay would win the game if they can just keep the steelers from mounting a comeback. but give pittsburgh credit, they made it interesting, getting as close as 28-25 with about 7 minutes left in the game. a field goal would tie, a touchdown could potentially win. even when green bay went up 31-25, the steelers still had a chance to win with a touchdown, but alas, they couldn't complete a 4th down conversion and time finally ran out.

immediately after the game i gathered up my things and rode my bike home. it was 36°F, cold in the first few minutes, but i soon warmed up. it wasn't too bad, even though there was very little road to go around and i was a little nervous whenever there was a car behind me. summer riding is definitely a lot nicer compared to winter riding. and winter riding is made worse by the expanding snowbanks. i got home in time to catch the start of the special post-super bowl episode of glee. i don't really follow the show anymore but occasional it can still wow with a musical number (nothing perked my interest tonight though).