it didn't take long for my mother to call me this morning to ask me to go down to the somerville ac moore and see if they had any starbella yarn. i went there via the new route of central-broadway-mcgrath highway, taking me 10 minutes instead of the usual 14 minutes.

the shelves were still bare when i arrived at ac moore. i ended up just buying 2 skeins of regular price red heart pomp-a-doodle yarn using a 50%-off-one-item coupon. my favorite cashier will was there, we're like old friends at this point. i asked him about the latest shipment. he said they usually get new stock on mondays, but with so few people working today (3 compared to the usual 7-8), nobody had time to restock the shelves yet.1 he told me to come back either tomorrow or wednesday.

next stop was michael's. normally it's kind of a pain to get to the everett mall since it involves navigating the congestion of mystic valley parkway and jostling with several lanes of cars, but traffic today was unusually light and i made it to michael's in record time and ease. i was here not to look for yarn but to find some wind-up toys for marco's nephew who's into all things aquatic. i was about to give up until i found a display of wind-up remainders. even the leftovers were still $4 a piece. i picked up swimming frog and waited patiently in line (8 customers deep). i chatted up with a girl ahead of me in line who was wearing a foot cast. she broke her ankle and was several weeks away from healing, even doing some physical therapy at home. i used a 50% off coupon and only paid $2 for the wind-up frog.

coming back takes a bit longer, from mystic avenue to temple street to broadway, past magoun square until trum field, and coming down cedar street all the way to somerville avenue. still, it's 13 minutes compared to the 15 minutes of my previous route. this new route is also only useful for driving; i'll still use my old route if i ever go to assembly square by bicycle (i can't imagine riding up the murderous hills of central street).

i went to the cafe to drop off the yarn and to pick up some paperwork for getting a visitor's parking permit for my great uncle. i had to return minutes later when i discovered my father gave me an old copy of the utility bill (as proof as address) instead of a more recent copy. on my second trip back i was using my newly-arrived l.l.bean apex messenger bag ($20, more on that later).

i went to the city hall annex where once again i was waiting in a long line. a young russian man ahead of me was trying to get a boot removed from his car; he didn't bring enough cash (how much does he owe anyway?) and didn't have a credit card (suspicious). a construction worker behind me sighed loudly when he saw the line; i get it, you're not used to waiting!

i got a parking permit for my motorcycle ($20) and a pair of visitor's passes (one for me, one for my great uncle). when i told the clerk i wanted to apply for another visitor's pass (my great uncle's) after he was done with mine, he scolded me for not telling him sooner. i said nothing and just stared at him, compelling him to do his job with my eyes. sometimes i laugh or smile when i'm embarrassed or nervous, or apologize profusely; but i've learned that having a sullen expression can be just as effective a response. "i should've known because you were holding all that paperwork in your hands," the clerk replied nervously as he finished the transaction. "have a nice rest of the week," i told him blankly before walking away.

i went across the street to the bike shop to see if they had any reflective bands for my new bag. the cheapest one was $6, so i decided to go elsewhere. i ended up at the bike shop on somerville avenue. one of the mechanics watched me from the store window, dismounting from my motorcycle to go into a bicycle shop (the irony). they sold reflective bands for $3 but they were a cheaper variety (no felt backing). i bought one anyway, but didn't carry any cash (all my cash were in my other bag) and sheepishly paid with my credit card, much to the displeasure of the mechanic. he told me he's always wanted a motorcycle, but now that he's married and with child, he'll probably have to wait a bit longer.

it was 2:30 before i finally ate for the first time today. i had an opportunity at the cafe (my mother was about to fix me some noodles) but i wanted to get this parking permit business done so i left without eating. now back at home, i had 2 glazed donuts.

my motorcycle kickstand was sticking (possibly some rust) so i dropped some triflow oil into the joints. now if anything it's too loose!

i ordered the l.l.bean apex messenger bag a few days ago and it finally arrived today. it's bigger than i'd imagined, and has more of a semi-circle shape instead of a boxy rectangle. the bag is very light and seems to have a lot of room inside. supposedly there's a pocket for a 15" laptop, but you can only realistically fit a tablet pc or a netbook in the pocket (a laptop would go in the main compartment). i got it thinking maybe it could also be a camera bag, but there's no padding other than on the backside, so that's something to consider. there's a zippered pocket on the flap of the bag, but it's semi-circle in shape so it's difficult to fit certain things (like an envelope for instance, although documents can probably be stuffed in the laptop pocket). there's also a large mesh pocket on the inside, and a separate layer with built-in organizer for pens, credit cards, key strap, and cell phone. i don't like the mesh but i can see why they designed it that way, easier to find things in the see-thru pocket. out of curiosity i tried to fit all my stuff into the bag: my 15" macbook pro with recharger, my camera, my 3 lenses, and an external flash. i was surprised to discover everything fit. my favorite thing on the bag is the additional of two mesh beverage pockets on either side, something missing on my other messenger bag (my eddie bauer one which i use as a computer bag, not my everyday mountainsmith tour bag). the pockets are big enough that i can carry my 16 oz. insulated contigo travel mug. the bag is also designed with biking in mind, and comes with a detachable belt strap (which i've yet to figure out how to attach).

for dinner i ate the last of my salmon cream cheese bagel sandwich. a few hours later i was still hungry so i made myself some dan dan noodles while marco went out for an after-work night-time run.

1 i almost said i'd volunteer to restock the shelves for free provided i get first dibs on all the new yarns.