my parents have late winter crocuses while i have snowdrops. i noticed them yesterday when taking my bike out from the backyard. i would've spotted them even earlier had there not been the several feet of snow burying everything.

the first thing i do before a grocery run is find a dinner recipe i want to try out. i was craving something hearty and thought about the hoppin' john bruce made at the beginning of the year. i did a search for the 3 main ingredients (bacon, back-eyed peas, rice) and found a comparable recipe.

i committed one of the major grocery shopping faux pas: checking out at the express line when i had more than the maximum limit. 12 items was the ceiling, but i had 16. i could sense the seething resentment of the people behind me, people with only 3-4 things. had i known i would've gone to a regular checkout line, but i only found out about after i'd already put everything onto the conveyer. i did make sure i had my debit card ready and bagged my own items so it took less than 20 seconds to ring me up.

i also bought way too much turkey ham from the deli. there was a sale so i asked for 2 lbs. without thinking. when i saw the actual amount - a tall stack of meat - i realized i overestimated my sliced meat needs.

i was supposed to cash a work check but forgot to bring it. after a turkey ham + honey mustard + wheat bread sandwich for lunch, i went to the bank in harvard square. along the way i bumped into dennis (who chided me for not wearing a bike helmet) and ed. "almost time for the motorcycle," ed said to me. i may wait until the first street cleaning in april since there's currently a lot of debris on the road, everything from chunks of asphalt, piles of sand/salt, and broken bits of tree branches - all dangerous motorcycling obstacles.

coming back from harvard square i spotted former high school/college classmate luke brennan riding a bicycle right by me. i haven't seen luke in more than 10 years (i don't think i ever saw him at any of our reunions). by the time my brain registered who it was, he was too far gone for me to call out without making a scene. i'll try to find him on facebook to see what he's up to these days (he's obviously local).

for the first time since the mid-january (before cambridge was entombed in snow), i parked my bicycle at my usual spot outside. it helps that the mountain of snow that had partially buried the street sign has now been reduced to a tiny mound. on the ground i picked up a neighbor's discarded grocery list. i love finding stuff like this. i like how "meat?" has a question mark, like the shopper was debating whether to go vegetarian or not.

i made my rice and bean dish for dinner. that specific combo might be a staple in certain households, but for me it was actually a relatively new cooking experience. i overcooked my bacon and ended up with dry brittle shards (more like bacon bits). the recipe called for bell peppers and thyme, both ingredients i decided to skip. i also used chopped cilantro instead of parsley. the final result wasn't that bad, but i cooked the rice too long so it had the consistency of oatmeal. overall, very filling and the leftovers should last me for a few more days.

victor came home close to 9:00 (he went to the observatory this morning at 10:30). he stopped by formaggio today and bought some expensive cheese and a strand of spain-imported chorizo. i tried a piece, it was okay, very oily and heavy in spicy paprika.