the fact that the boston greek parade is in april leaves it at the mercy of our new england spring weather, although the two times i've gone the weather has been nice (once it was windy, other time it was hot). probably the years that i didn't go, the weather mustn't have been pretty awful. normally the parade happens at the end of the month, but for some reason it was early this year. it can be a bit repetitive, which is another reason why i don't go every year, although the turnout is fairly large, which says something about the local greek community.

i've been hyping up the greek parade even before my roommate's girlfriend's arrival. even though they already spent more than 7 hours yesterday wandering boston, they were going back to boston today just to see the parade. early this morning i'd already gone to the supermarket to get some blue cheese. originally we were supposed to leave together, but by noontime the roommates were still slowly eating breakfast in the kitchen, so i told them i was leaving first.

it took about 40 minutes to get from my house in cambridge down to copley square in boston, were i traditionally watch the greek parade. wooden barricades were already prepared on the sidewalks, ready to stop street traffic once the procession began. the weather wasn't bad, warmish, but would cloud over as the day wore on.

i had 20 minutes to kill, so i just waited for the action to start. i try to pick a strategic spot, one where people won't be tempted to stand in front of me, blocking my field of view. i was hoping to stand next to the guy in the mechanical wheel chair (nobody would dare block a wheel chair guy) but he grew tired of waiting and motored off in search of something more interesting. i was surrounded by a group of older greeks who suddenly descended upon me. it wasn't long before they were in the streets, to the point where they were mingling with the parade marchers.

i saw my roommate and his girlfriend arrive at exactly 1:00, right when the parade was about to start. i waved to them but they didn't see me, walking instead to the start of the parade route.

the grand marshall was supposed to be mayor menino but the organizers must've dumped him when they upgraded to senator scott brown and his wife (who may be of greek descent). the mayor was nowhere to be seen.

the first time i saw the greek evzone guards i thought they looked ridiculous: skirt, shoes with pom-poms, and calf tassels. since then i've seen enough to be jaded by their outfits.

at the one hour mark i began thinking about heading back home. the parade wasn't over yet, so i walked down the procession, hoping maybe to catch my roommate and tell him there was a greek festival down in boston common. when i didn't see him, i turned back around and grabbed the subway from copley square.

when i got back to my place it was around 3:00. i gathered up my things (including the blue cheese) and biked to belmont, where my parents were hosting my aunts and uncles to a barbecue. i was responsible for mixing the meat for the blue cheese hamburgers. i also made my chili sweet potato fries.

after closing up the cafe, everyone arrived at my parents' place. so who are these aunts? they're my mother's sisters. my 2nd aunt is my mother's older sister, who also works at the cafe. i call her my 2nd aunt because she wasn't my oldest aunt (she's still in taiwan, i called her my big aunt), nor was she my youngest aunt (that's my little aunt, who's the one visiting from california). my 2nd aunt came her with husband whom i call my 2nd uncle. my little aunt i've actually seen recently, a few years ago when i went to san francisco and drove to freemont to visit her for lunch. she came to boston with her husband whom i call my little uncle.

i assisted my father outside with the barbecue, bringing him clean plates while ferrying the cooked foods back inside the house. of the more than 5 lbs of beef, i managed to roll 21 patties, ready to be flame licked to barbecued goodness.

after dinner, my sister brought out her vinegar-sugar sliced strawberries for dessert, followed by the flan i made 2 days ago. "you made filipino pudding?" my little aunt exclaimed, "that's my favorite!" we all stayed a bit longer to chat, reminiscing about the good old days. my little aunt and uncle immigrated to the US about the same time my family did as well. they lived at our place at one point and my little aunt even worked at the same restaurant as my mother. my little uncle apparently has a photographic memory and could recall past events that few of us even had a glimmer of remembering.

when everyone finally left (my little aunt and uncle giving my 2nd aunt and uncle a ride back to cambridge), i dug out my laptop so my father could help me fix it. with the notches on the head completely stripped, there was no way we would be able to unseat the screw. so my father got his dremel tool with a diamond-tipped polishing knob attachment and buffed off the head entirely. finally i was able to remove the old optical drive. the only down side is the shank is still embedded in the hole; however, the optical drive is attached to the computer through 3 other screws, so missing one of them isn't a big deal.

finally i biked back to cambridge.