with my upstairs neighbors on vacation for a whole week, i've been having blissful nights of sleep without having to worrying about being rudely awaken in the early mornings from foot stomps. unfortunately they allowed some friends to stay over a few days while they're gone, and these friends (2 older ladies) showed up later in the day with renewed stomping. here's hoping they're not morning people or at have soft feet (i doubt it though, i don't expect inconsiderate neighbors to make considerate friends).

i was still tinkering with my macbook pro today, fine-tuning the settings to get it exactly the way i like. cocoviewx, the little app i use to quickly browse through my newly-downloaded photos (and throw out the bad ones), doesn't work in 10.6 anymore (actually, you need to install rosetta, but i rather not). i also use iview multimedia pro to catalog my images, but production on the program has ceased for many years. maybe i might try aperture or lightroom, one of these programs that combines viewing, cataloging, and editing.

i walked to wendell street to drop off my annual membership fee ($10) with the community garden treasurer. coming back, i paid a visit to the garden itself. it was still a dead zone, with some crocuses poking from the ground and some emerging buds on perennial bushes. in my own plot, i was surprised to find neat rows of green sprouts. those would be the garlic bulbs i haphazardly planted in late fall. i'm not so much interested in the garlics but i'm hoping to harvest some scapes (not sure if these are the varieties that produce them though).

what was also interesting was taking a survey of the few wooden raised garden beds. everybody has a different construction style, i guess there's no real right way to build one of these things. i'm still not sure if my parents should have them in their own backyard.

i finally finished reading ron chernow's washington: a life. it took over 2 months - which i thought was because i was a slow reader - but i found out today that the actual book is over 900 pages long (a quarter of those pages are just notes and bibliography, which i did not read). it's actually a pretty good biography, and worth reading for anyone remotely interested in washington. just block out 2 months to do it!

so what's next? fortunately i have plenty of reading material, too much really, and i feel like my reading list is now so long that i don't have any time to read anymore new ones. i read like the way i watch movies or surf the web - a bit at a time, jumping from one thing to another. i like books on science and history, so that's why the disappearing spoon by sam kean is perfect, sensational tales from the periodic table of elements.

another good natural history book i'm reading is winter world by bernd heinrich. it would've been a better book if it was actually still winter. the fact that it's not topical anymore might make this one in dangerous of being passed over for some other reads.

the surgeon of crowthorne by simon winchester is another compelling piece of history, about the making of the oxford english dictionary, and one of its main contributor who's actually a retired american surgeon living in an english mental asylum. i read the first few chapters, it goes by pretty fast,

i see the wire: truth be told by rafael alvarez a sort of history book as well, a compendium about the HBO classic. reading this one makes me want to watch the series all over again (but who's got time? i have too much reading to do).

finally, i'm also reading chronicles of the black company by glen cook. i usually don't read fiction, and i can't remember if i've ever read a fantasy novel before. i read some really good reviews about the book though, someone comparing it to the vietnam war set in fantasy time, from the point-of-view of one of the fighting soldiers, and a morally ambiguous one at that. i also read that amongst actual soldiers this book has a cult following. it's actually very good, like nothing i've ever read before, and i wholeheartedly recommend it.

for lunch i had a leftover piece of pizza, for dinner some hot dogs. didn't see much of my roommate, saw him when he left for work this morning at 10:30, saw him when he came back at 7:00.