"well, i'm off to my parents," bram told me this morning, which caught me by surprise. his parents live in new jersey and he was taking the train. "when will you be back?" i asked casually, trying hard to mask the building excitement. "sunday," he said, and when he returns he'd pay what's left of his rent before he returns to atlanta for good next tuesday. so just like that i was roommate free for the rest of the week. best. august. ever!

i found my stash of tighty whities which i haven't worn for more than a decade, or probably not since the early 90's when i was still in high school. but if this is what the doctor ordered, i'm willing to give it a try. i've worn them since last night and i haven't noticed any improvement yet.

i went to chinatown to get some jasmine tea for my mother. the faster way would've been to take the motorcycle, but i picked the bicycle instead because i didn't want to deal with the headache of trying to find parking. in hindsight riding the motorcycle would've been fine (there was plenty of parking spots), i'll do that next time. i left the house a bit before noontime. it was a hot but still pleasant day, the blue sky dotted with clouds.

i went to the c-mart on washington street across from the turnpike, formerly super 88. i also picked up some watermelon seeds and spicy noodle packets. i was tempted to get some longans (they were on sale, $10 for 5 lbs., a gang of asian customers were hovering around the longans delivery guy) but my parents told me they already had a bunch at the cafe. afterwards i went across the turnpike to the chinatown cafe on harrison avenue to get some R45 spicy porkchops takeout for lunch.

i cut across back bay through berkeley street, weaving in and out of smartly-dressed city workers traversing the crosswalks. at the intersection with bolyston i tried looking for the hubway station but couldn't see it so i continued onwards. i followed the pedestrian bridge near arlington street across storrow drive to the banks of the charles river, where i then pedaled home along the bike path.

i arrived at the cafe a little bit after 1:30. after dropping off the jasmine tea and picking up some longans i hurried home to take a shower and eat my lunch. i was in a rush because i wanted to catch the screening of north by northwest (1959) at the brattle theatre. i didn't leave my house until well after 2:15. i parked outside harvard campus and walk across to harvard square, which actually wasted a bit of time. i would've parked closer, but the crowd at the farmer's market blocked my access. i was there not because i'm some diehard hitchcock fan but because my aunt and uncle gave me an 8 movie brattle pass which i haven't used yet and set to expire at the end of november. i wasn't expecting a big turnout for an afternoon matinee of an old hitchcock film but was surprised to find about 2 dozen patrons in the theatre.

it was actually a double screening of north by northwest followed by vertigo, some sort of bernard herrmann retrospective. i was only interested in north by northwest because i'd never seen it before. they don't show too many hitchcock movies on basic cable anymore, and i don't get any of the classic movie channels like TCM. cary grant plays an advertising executive who gets caught up in some espionage through a case of mistaken identity. the time period is very mad men-esque, from the fashion to late 1950's technology (telegram, anyone?). in that way the film is definitely dated but still enjoyable, although all that confusion would've easily been cleared up had they cellphones and internet access. i don't remember seeing too many cary grant movies; i vaguely remember a B&W film he starred in with katherine hepburn. grant reminds me a lot of george clooney (is this a common comparison?). even if you've never seen north by northwest, the film contains 2 iconic scenes familiar to many moviegoers: the biplane chase in the field and the chase on the face of mount rushmore. the movie ends rather abruptly but happily, and finishes with a blatant sexual double entendre that seems incongruous to the overall tone of the film but funny nevertheless.

i didn't want to stay for the 5:00 showing of vertigo so i left. i'd heard what sounded like the rumbling of thunder from inside the theatre but it wasn't until stepped outside and saw the wet pavement did i realize it'd been raining. not just any old rain, but a drenching, from all the soaked people i saw walking around harvard square. some blue sky was poking back out but on the horizon there was a wall of grey and i didn't know whether that was leaving or coming so i decided to quickly head home before i got soaked as well. sure enough, about a block away from my house, rain started falling again. i made it home just in time.

it started to rain hard with occasional bursts of lightning. it felt like somehow mother nature was making up for all those times when it should've rained but didn't. the rain beat down on the back of the air conditioner, making it so loud in the living room i couldn't hear the television anymore. for some reason i always take a shower during thunderstorms, which i don't think is very smart when electricity and water are involved.

since i only ate half of my spicy porkchops, i finished the rest for dinner. since it was garbage day tomorrow morning, i brought out the trash. my roommate had thrown away some rotten meat (some grey-green liver), which he just left on top of the heap, smearing smelly meat juices all over the bottom of the trash can lid. taking out the box of recycleables, i saw some of the stuff he's been eating: kombucha, delhi saag, lion's mane, aloe vera juice, sensoril, etc. who is this guy? i also found a jar of used stridex pads in the trash. why would he need that? makes me wonder if he's juicing, since one side effect is acne.

without a roommate, i can once again sit around the house in my underwear, which is a crucial summertime strategy to keeping cool from the heat. unfortunately prancing around the house in my tighty whities just doesn't seem dignified. what if a neighbor saw me through an open window? i'd be mortified. of course none of this would be a problem if i just wore some pants or shorts.