sitting in the cold bathroom this morning i turned up the heat on my nest thermostat using my phone. the power to order up some warmth from anywhere in the house, oh what an age we live in! then for breakfast i had a tea egg, a greek yogurt, and some orange juice. ana woke up around 11:30a, doing a load of laundry as her first bit of business. i biked to market basket to gather up some last minute thanksgiving ingredients. surprisingly, it wasn't as crowded as this past sunday, but still crowded since it's always crowded there. i smiled when i saw they now carried those extra large sized frozen turkeys, but nobody would buy one now since a bird that size won't defrost in time for tomorrow.

when i got back home, city tree services were outside pruning the locust and a few other neighboring trees. i told one of the workers about the broken branch dangling from a crook in one of the main branches; he assured me they'd remove it. i went out again to grab some asparagus from star market. when i got back, the broken branch was gone.

ana asked me about the definition of "fringe." when i asked her why, she said the guy she's been sort of dating described their relationship as "fringe." she ended up telling me it was one of her teachers from her school. they couldn't go out while she was still in class, but now that she's graduated, he asked her out. their age difference isn't that great, she's 28, he's just 32. yesterday returned to washington dc for thanksgiving. she said he's planning on visiting her in spain. in other news: ana also told me that her father is coming to boston on friday. partly to see her (even though she's returning to spain next tuesday), but also partly to see her brother who's celebrating his 40th birthday. so the next few days she'll probably be out, which means 1) she won't be at home a lot, and 2) she won't be cooking.

i left for belmont around 1:30pm, taking the bicycle instead of the motorcycle because i'd be returning home via car (so i can transport my flan to belmont tomorrow). i was bringing back a lot of things and not everything could fit in my backpack so i tied a box to the back of the bike. once i was in belmont, i did some cleaning, both indoors and outdoors. i vacuumed the living room, moved the old roller shades into the garage, put a squirrel guard on the suet feeder (still no action), moved the sodas outside (nature's refrigerator with temperature hovering around the upper 30's lower 40's), dusted the kale and radishes, and moved some boxes into the basement. i didn't overdo, and i took numerous breaks to watch NFL news and eat snacks.

my parents didn't get home until around 6pm, my mother getting her mammogram appointment, my father seeing a doctor about his hurt knee. since they had two cars, my mother came home first, and made some noodles for dinner. i wasn't very hungry, already steading myself for the food onslaught happening tomorrow.

when my father returned from visiting my grand uncle at the physical therapy rehab center, we expanded the dining room table, using all but 1 leaves since there was only 10 people for thanksgiving this year (my grand uncle is still attached to a urinary bag so he's sitting it out this year, and anderson has his own baby seat).

when my mother called binbin to ask them to bring their baby high chair, binbin told her that they have another thanksgiving dinner to go to at 6:30pm, so they can only stay for a little bit. that meant we have to move thanksgiving 1-2 hours in advance in order to accomodate them. if it was up to me, i'd just tell them not to come. if you're planning on spending thanksgiving with your friends instead of your family, maybe you need to reassess your priorities.

the other piece of bad new was when my mother called my godmother to asked what time we can drop off the flan tomorrow. she's gone for the whole day, so we have to be at her place by 8:30am, which means i have to wake up at 7:30am, despite the fact that my godmother and her sons aren't celebrating thanksgiving this year. so much for sleeping late on thanksgiving day! and i was so much looking forward to it, with my upstairs neighbors steve and paul leaving this morning.

finally, when i left to go home, i was confused by the car keys. the one that i had in my hand was the original, but didn't i remember using the spare yesterday? could i have accidentally not returned the car key yesterday? it just left me super confused as i drove home, looking for the spare key in vain when i got back.

the final piece of business of the night was to visit the liquor store and buy some beer for tomorrow (hard cider and an IPA). a trio of noisy thai girls came into the store. they seemed to know the manager, who gave them a free cherry pie for some strange reason. outside of thai restaurants, i have never met thai people here before.

i met the taiwanese tourists (brad & olivia) at harvard square this morning (9:00am) to take them to salem. i brought them back to the house to give them a quick tour, let the use the bathroom, and retrieve the car (ana had just came home after spending the night elsewhere, but she was asleep at the time). they gave me a box of taiwanese pineapple cakes as a gift. as i predicted, salem was pretty boring. we spent 2 hours just walking around before finally driving back.

i drove back the wrong way (thanks garmin gps!) and returned via lynn and revere so it took a long time. i treated them to some authentic american burgers for a late lunch. as if to make it even more american, the patriots-bills game from last night was broadcasting from the ceiling-mounted HDTV's. after letting them use the bathroom at my place, i sent them on their way back to harvard square at 3:00pm.

i returned my parents' car and was ready to help my father install the new hot water heater he got from home depot today (they only gave him $300 credit despite the previous tank still being under the 12 warranty; he paid an additional $150 to get a new 9 year warranty heater). unfortunately the new tank was slightly taller than the old tank so the pipings needed to be reduced in size. my father did the soldering originally but didn't feel comfortable enough to do the work again so called xiaowu for help.

i took a nap at 5pm, xiaowu came at 6pm (i kept watch on hailey to make sure she wouldn't bark), and he finally left at 7pm. after my father picked up my mother from work, we had dinner. later my father discovered that the heater was still leaking from the old coupling. nothing drastic, but we'll need to get it fixed next week. i bicycled back to cambridge in my fuji glow bike. ana wasn't home but came back around 10:30pm.

* woke up at 8:30am to make flan. made 12 for thanksgiving, 6 for godmother, and 3 extras. baked for 1 hour, added another 30 minutes, another one more 30 minutes (total 2 hours) to finally finish baking. had a glass left of flan mixture, drank it down as early season egg nog (raw eggs)

* ana woke up at 9:30am, left the house to go clean out her storage space (her final week in town)

* brad texted me this morning that he and his girlfriend leaving new york for boston (arrive in boston 3:30pm)

* dermatitis on my left palm: is it because of new usb charging cable?

* pickup at 1:30pm for chinatown supply run. ming's market parking lot packed, but the supermarket actually had very little people.

* solar shade samples arrived; best choice seems to be 5% openness

* suet feeder untouched

* attempting to repair hot water heater, went to home depot to buy new dielectric nipples, even after replacement and threading multiple times with plumber's tape, hot water outlet still leaking. called GE/rheem warranty hotline, instructed to return home heater for credit (or possibly exchange, though home depot no longer carries GE hot water heaters)

* buffalo vs. patriots rematch

any grand notions of waking up early sunday morning to go check the supermarket to see if they restocked their XL turkeys was just a notion at that. in reality, i didn't make it to market basket until 10:30am. market basket on a quiet day can be a madhouse crush of people. on the last weekend before thanksgiving? something you may not wish on your worst enemy. from the nearly filled bike rack, i knew it wasn't going to be pleasant. i made a beeline to the frozen turkey department. there were birds in the 20/24lb section, but they were really just 16/20lb turkey moved over to take up the space. the largest one i found was 17lbs, which i grabbed, fearing i wasn't going to do any better. i called my father to confirm, but in talking with him, i decided try elsewhere for a bigger bird, 17lbs. didn't seem like enough. so i left market basket with just some flan-making ingredients (gallon of whole milk, a carton of eggs).

i tried again the star market across the street, but couldn't find any of their frozen turkeys (in hindsight i think they're kept in the freezer cabinets, not the refrigerated bins), just fresh turkeys which were too expensive. i was a little worried. maybe we waited too long to buy a turkey, and now all the large sized turkeys were gone?

arriving in belmont via bicycle, i ate some rice noodles before my mother and i left in search of our thanksgiving bird. our last hope was the watertown stop & stop (pleasant street), which is a rather large supermarket that doesn't get a lot of shoppers due to nearby russo's; if anyplace would have a lot of surplus turkey, it'd be them. but first we went to nearby waltham ocean state job lot (river street), to get a smaller birdfeeder for my mother amongst other things. but while we were there, we realized there was a shaw's supermarket right next door, so we decided to take a peek and see if they had any turkeys.

shaw's1 didn't have a lot of frozen birds either. the largest one we saw was 16bs. (only $8!) but that was even smaller than the 7lbs turkey i nearly bought at market basket but later returned. so my mother and i were debating whether or not to just buy this 16lbs bird and call it a day, since there was no guarantee we'd find something larger at stop & shop. so we almost decided to take the 16lbs. when my mother thought we should just get a fresh turkey instead. we went to the fresh turkey bin and she found a perfectly-sized 20 lbs. bird. granted, it was $24 (3x more expensive than frozen), but with thanksgiving in a few more days, a fresh turkey meant we wouldn't have to thaw it and could begin brining right away. so we ended up buying the fresh turkey. my mother also scored a bunch of keurig coffee cups on sale ($5/box).

finally we went to OSJL. they had a lot of bird feed, but the selection of feeders was somewhat lacking. i told my mother we could just my old deluxe feeder (can take 9lbs. of seeds) and got a suet feeder instead ($2) anda suet cake ($1). returning home, we passed by the stop & shop and i could see that the parking lot was also pretty full. when we got home i set up the suet feeder and hung it from the shepherd's pole in the backyard. never had a suet feeder before, wonder how it takes before squirrels start pillaging the cake!

my father came home with the brine solution in a large bucket and began preparing the turkey.2 there was some juice in the bag and some chunks of ice in the center of the turkey. also in the cavity: a large length of turkey neck and some organs (liver). my father removed some loose skin around both ends of the turkey before putting the turkey into the bucket and submerging in the brine solution. he also had a bag of ice which i didn't understand until i learned that you have brine the turkey in cold condition to prevent the bird from spoiling. so either put it in the refrigerator (impossible with a bird so large) or add ice to lower the temperature.

Vestibulum auctor facilisis fringilla. Suspendisse molestie rhoncus magna quis tincidunt. Donec vel lorem cursus, dictum felis eu, pulvinar tortor. Integer nec mauris leo. Nullam facilisis, augue id maximus egestas, nisi augue tempor tortor, ac porta nulla orci in libero. Pellentesque at dolor vel lectus porta commodo eget eget leo. Suspendisse quis erat non mauris dignissim pulvinar ac ut lacus. Aliquam et dui fermentum, convallis erat vitae, blandit urna. Nulla vitae rutrum mi, id pharetra orci. Aliquam dapibus purus ex, cursus dictum augue luctus non. Ut eget eros pharetra, pulvinar erat ac, dignissim urna.

Vestibulum auctor facilisis fringilla. Suspendisse molestie rhoncus magna quis tincidunt. Donec vel lorem cursus, dictum felis eu, pulvinar tortor. Integer nec mauris leo. Nullam facilisis, augue id maximus egestas, nisi augue tempor tortor, ac porta nulla orci in libero. Pellentesque at dolor vel lectus porta commodo eget eget leo. Suspendisse quis erat non mauris dignissim pulvinar ac ut lacus. Aliquam et dui fermentum, convallis erat vitae, blandit urna. Nulla vitae rutrum mi, id pharetra orci. Aliquam dapibus purus ex, cursus dictum augue luctus non. Ut eget eros pharetra, pulvinar erat ac, dignissim urna.

1 shaw's bought star market a while ago, so technically they're the same supermarkets. but apparently that's not quite true, as we discovered things on sale at star's (e.g. asparagus, $1.99/lb) that weren't on sale at shaw's (asparagus, $2.99/lb) and vice versa. that's strange because there were also many things that were on sale at both chains. i guess they do this to make bargain shopping more fun for the customers!

2 shady brook farms fresh turkeys are actually already basted (brined) with turkey broth, salt, sugar, vinegar, celery, rosemary. double brining!

ana did not come home last night. i thought i heard something while i was asleep but it wasn't her. i actually woke up early around 8:30am to chat with sunmeng then i stayed in bed to read a few more chapters of dune, finally getting out of bed by 10am.

i finished my 100 day supply of rhodiola rosea root capsules. when i was in western sichuan i used the raw roots to brew a tea that supposedly helps to alleviate high altitude sickness. i don't know if it worked, because my symptoms definitely weren't as bad as in past trips to kham country. rhodiola rosea is also supposed to be prevent fatigue, increase memory, and boost energy. having tried it for 3 months, i can't really say i've noticed any changes. i can get just as tired compared to when i wasn't taking it. if i ever return to western sichuan though, i'll be sure to take some rhodiola rosea beforehand.

after using the bathroom, after a shower, after a tea egg for breakfast, i left for belmont after noontime via bicycle (cargo bike because i was carrying my grand uncle's exercising equipment that arrived yesterday).

nobody was home, but i helped myself to some cold breakfast sausage (2) on the dining table and some peking raviolis (8) in a pan on the stove. later i went outside and patched up any areas of the house that was missing some paint coverage. while going into the garage a pair of red-breasted nuthatch flew out. i've seen white-breasted nuthatch, don't think i ever saw red-breasted ones before.

my parents returned home sometime in the late afternoon, after visiting my grand uncle at the physical therapy rehab center and later getting some groceries at the mt.auburn star market.

returning to cambridge, i brought back all my pyrex ramekins along with a large lasagna dish for making my annual thanksgiving flan. i wrapped everything up in towels and secured everything in a flat cardboard box tied up with bungie netting. my mother told me my godmother wasn't celebrating thanksgiving with her kids this year, so i didn't have to make a lot of flan this season.

i'd been entrusted with getting the thanksgiving turkey (my parents tried earlier but they only had small birds at star market). i was going to pick it up tomorrow morning, but decided to visit market basket tonight just to get it out of the way. it was still pretty busy there at 8pm. unfortunately, all the large 20+ lbs. birds were gone, only smaller ones. i'll come back tomorrow morning, hopefully they'll have restocked by then.

ana wasn't home tonight, nor was she back at the house while i was out this afternoon. i took a shower and caught up on some shows (ash vs. evil dead, the knick) the rest of the evening.

i don't understand how anyone can take a one hour long shower. but apparently this is something my roommate ana is quite good at. to her credit, she does ask me beforehand if i need to use the bathroom. but how can i predict the inner workings of my aging bladder and bowels and know for certain i don't need to use the bathroom for the next hour-plus? she did wake up early today (earlier than usual, close to noontime), so i can only hope that she's planning on going out later and i won't have to see her until very late at night (if at all). actually i know for sure she'll go out. it's not in her nature to stay home on a friday night. when she first moved in the first few things she told me was she was "very social." this evidently means never being home on a weekend evening.

after more than an hour ana finally came out of the bathroom. i hurriedly made my way to the facility. perhaps feeling apologetic for being in the bathroom for so long, ana told me the reason was she had a date tonight and she was just getting ready.

relieved, i packed up my things and told ana i was going out to take some photos. with temperature in the upper 50's it wasn't like it was indian summer, but the sun was out and the weather will only get colder from now on so i took advantage of it. i decided to bike down to the mt.auburn cemetery. it's sort of the poor man's version of naturing, but it's close by, and i could ride down brattle street and admire the architecture, maybe get some sightseeing ideas for the taiwanese couple visiting boston next week.

i returned home by 4pm. ana left around 6pm. i finished the rest of my vodka sauce rigatoni for dinner.

i was up since 9am but stayed in bed until 10am surfing the web on my phone. with a rainstorm arriving this evening, today was about hunkering down and waiting out the storm. i was also waiting for ana to wake up so i could do a load of laundry. i left the house around 12:30pm, first to put the cover on my motorcycle, then to pick up my thiazide prescription from rite aid. the pharmacists there are always trying to get me to get a flu shot, and every single time i refuse. i don't get out very much, so my chances of contracting influenza are pretty low. in fact, i think i only had the flu once in my life, and it was either high school or college, or maybe it was when i first started working. i'm usually pretty good about hygiene, not putting my dirty hands on my face (dirty hands on other people's faces however, sure).

next i went to market basket to pick up a few ingredients for vodka prosciutto pasta sauce; i just have a hankering for a hearty serving of carbohydrates tonight. i bought exactly 12 items, including a large bundle of kitchen towels (6, $3.50) to replace all the ones ana used up since her time living here. i planned ahead and brought my bungie netting to tie the towels to the back of my cargo bike.

i was back at the house by 1:30p, stowing the bike back in the basement in anticipation of the rain. ana was still in her bedroom but i knew she was awake because i could hear the faint noises of her shows. i couldn't wait any longer and decided to go ahead with a load of laundry, including my bedsheet and pillowcases. tuesday would've been a good day to do my laundry after i came back from the museum, but i thought she was taking a nap (she actually wasn't home).

a few other things i did today: i spent some time sorting through my coin collection, adding them to my second coin collection album. i seemed to have forgotten that over the years i've amassed a collection of old american coins, like silver quarters, zinc pennies, buffalo nickels, and liberty dimes. i don't think they're worth very much since they're all in circulated conditions (other than the silver), but they're fun to have. i called acme shades to let them know we were going with a cheaper option; i think they can probably read that as "online" option. the woman was very understanding, everything was done very business-like, she didn't try to bargain with me to cut a deal. finally, i cleaned the tub with a bottle of soft scrub, which is the only thing that can get the tub back to white.

so much for door bottom insulation: because ana goes out into the backyard to smoke so often, the wear and tear from just a month since my father and i installed it has quickly taken a toll on the door bottom. i noticed 2 weeks ago one of the fins was ripped off, and today i discovered another broken fin (when i went down to the basement to reset the circuit breaker after ana was using the microwave and the toaster oven at the same time). there is a total of 5 fins and i'm already down to just 3. anymore damage and the door bottom will be useless. and don't even get me started on the insulation around the rim of the door frame: she managed to rip those off in 2 weeks after i put them up.

ana finally broke out of her room at 2pm, fixed herself a quick lunch (probably a simple iberian ham on bread sandwich because i didn't smell anything frying), then went right back to bed close to 3pm. girl likes to sleep!

i finally had some quiet time, folding my laundry after taking them out of the dryer1. the sky grew progressively darker as the storm front made its way into town. the heat kicked in at 6pm the scheduled time. only a little bit, raising the room temperature from 66° to 68°. ever since the software update a few days ago, the temperature on the nest thermostat now matches the temperature on the digital thermometer nearby. in the past, when the nest read 68°, the digital thermometer always read 2 degrees higher at 70°.

ana woke up around 5:30pm to iron some clothes and later take a shower, hanging a bunch of wet delicates in the bathroom. judging from her movements (longer time in the bathroom, talking on the phone) i had a suspicion she was going out and sure enough she left around 8:00pm. i warned her to take an umbrella since it'd be raining later. i used to always bring an umbrella everywhere i went because you know never here in the new england.

i started making my vodka pasta sauce around 7:20p, finished around 8:00p. i don't know why i don't try a different sauce, this one is starting to get a little boring. it's easy to make, but the recipe calls for some ingredients that might not have sitting around. like celery for instance, i always end up buying a bunch that i have a hard time finding other uses for. it also calls for a cup of half-and-half at the end, and i never understood why, because the sauce seems it'd be good enough just with crushed tomatoes. the deli butcher made a mistake, charged me for the 2x more expensive pastrami when i bought the on-sale prosciutto. i accidentally got a little drunk, because while pouring out the vodka i also had a little sip. with my low alcohol tolerance, i was already tipsy. but then while i was eating i also had a bottle of hard cider, and then it was a blur of pasta and alcohol and PBS television.

with ana not here, i could take my time in the bathroom, enjoying the latest issue of entertainment weekly (star wars cover) then later a shower. the bathroom carpet naturally was soaked and covered in strands of girl hair and bits of broken leaves (she wears her shoes in the house). all i know is she'll be gone in less than 2 weeks! i contacted alfonso a few days ago, my next roommate for december. he asked if his visiting friend could crash at our place for 3 days the 2nd week of december. i wanted to say no but there wasn't a way to do it without sounding like a dick so i okayed it. i'm starting feel my place has slowly become a spanish hostel. all i know is 2016 i'm not having anymore roommates!

it was an early night for ana, coming back home around 11:30p. she thanked me for warning her about taking her umbrella since it began to rain.

the fun thing i did last night was to install bootcamp and windows 10 on my macbook pro. i had everything ready: the disk space (on my SSD drive), the thumb drive (for copying the windows installer), and a windows 10 system ISO disc image. unfortunately the image wasn't 64-bit so i had to download a new one online. once that was done i ran bootcamp and allowed it to go through the process of partitioning and then installing windows on my mac.

windows 10 installation was effortless; getting the bootcamp drivers to install was a nightmare. i was using bootcamp 6 but it'd always seem to stall when installing the realtek audio drivers (one reason for not working: i have cirrus audios). i tried multiple iterations, even tried to extract the drivers so i could just manually install them, as well as downgrading to bootcamp 5 (this after i discovered v6 isn't explicitly designed for my mid-2012 macbook pro non-retina).

i kept searching for solutions online until i found one posting about manually stopping individual installs from a batch installer by opening the details pane in force-shutdown window. i force quit the realtek installer (x86) and everything was fine after that. my wifi still seems a little flaky though, i had to manually jiggle the settings to get it to work. but a small price to pay if it means i will soon be able to play games on my windows partition. now all i have to do is to register the software.

finally installed paragon NTFS on my OS X partition so i can read and write to the NTFS-formatted windows side.

1 the dryer is spitting out more lint than usual around the washing machine area, i may need to disassemble it at some point and more sure all the connections are solid. lint trap fire is a real concern.

a yogurt and tea egg for breakfast and i'm ready to go the rest of the day. i quietly surfed the web in the living room. i tried to refill a HBP medication but i sent the prescription a few months ago and it was never refilled because i still had a supply. i ended up having to call my doctor to resolve the issue, hopefully they cleared it up with my pharmacy so i can go pick up my drug tomorrow.

when ana woke up around 11:30a she brought the noise. with her laptop blaring some show, she went to go take a shower (does she watch videos while showering?). afterwards she did a load of laundry. as for me, i found some time to finally collect my watery membrillo and put them into containers. maybe i can eat them as a cranberry substitute for thanksgiving. my christmas cactus are flowering as well. i don't get a lot of flowers, but they do bloom early. when ana went out for groceries in the early afternoon, that was my cue to make a quick exit. i gathered up my things, left a note on the kitchen counter, and took the motorcycle to belmont.

city of cambridge seems to be finally paving parts of huron avenue. of course that made my ride to belmont a real mess, after i could hear the asphalt pellets grinding into my wheels and clattering inside the fenders. it's so much quieter at my parents' place, and with more cable channels to boot. my favorites are the sports channels, and i alternated between ESPN and the NFL network.

my parents' return was followed by my sister, who earlier took hailey to the vet to check up on the dogbite on her hind quarter. the vet gave hailey a rabies shot and prescribed some antibiotics. it didn't seem that bad a few days ago when it happened, but after the vet shaved off a patch of fur to examine the wound, it definitely looked worse. my sister should take hailey back into the woods to confront the original owner of those misbehaving dogs and get him to pay the vet fee which was $300 (fortunately hailey has dog health insurance, which will pay part of the bill).

my father and i ordered some free fabric samples for the three sunroom roller shades. we took another set of measurements - this time exact as possible - and figured out a price. if we went with the folks at the store, it's around $800, but if we buy online and install the shades ourselves, it's around $300. i think we'll probably go with the DIY approach. i just need to call up joe and tell him we won't be using his services. as for the samples, we got some premium solar shade material at various percentage of openness (from 1% to 14%). hopefully they'll come soon so we can make a decision and order the shades.

after i ate some meat buns for dinner, i returned home. i was happy to see my private street parking spot was just where i left it this afternoon. i'll put the cover on it tomorrow in anticipation of the rain we're expected to get thursday evening into friday morning. ana was home, naturally, watching friends in the kitchen with a bottle of red wine. we chatted briefly. as much as i hate that she does a million things that i find all annoying, we have good chats. i like the human interaction.

i noticed something weird happening to the heat in the house: it wasn't as warm as usual. it had nothing to do with the outside temperature, which was hovering in the 40's. my nest thermostat is set to 68° but normally my separate digital thermometer reads a nighttime temperature of 70°, but tonight it was a few degrees shy of normal. however, the thermostat was still reading 68°. i checked the updates and sure enough, the thermostat was updated within the past 24-48 hours, to nest OS 5.1.3rc1. i noticed something was off because the interface was slightly different than i remembered it. i went online to check the new features and apparently this update has a new heating algorithm (v2.0) that's supposed to save me a little bit more energy with possibly more accurate temperature measurements. it's not too bad, but i'm so obsessed with the heat, i can feel subtle changes of even a few degrees.

i left the house for harvard square around 11am this morning after eating a salty tea egg and a chobani yogurt for breakfast. i walked instead of biked so i could more efficiently meander around the square without having to retrieve my ride later (in hindsight i could've still biked and just parked it along oxford street). first order of business was opening a new checking account at td bank. as far as banks go, td bank is a fairly new player in town. this was something that drew told me a while back and which i'm only now remembering, but its actually a canadian bank1, and the td stands for toronto-dominion.

gainer2 was the agent helping me out. first thing she asked was if i was a citibank customer; since they recently shuttered all their banks in the boston area, they were getting a lot of residual customers from them. she was talking about old bankboston and fleet, but said i probably don't remember any of those banks. "nah, i remember them. check my id, i'm a lot older than i look." turns out she was also born in 1974, and an aquarius as well (january). so we naturally became instant friends.

i could've signed up for an account online, but doing it at the bank meant i could get it done faster. how much faster surprised even me, because they managed to print out my new debit card as well (although kind of a cheap card since the numbers aren't embossed, but gainer told me they'd send me an updated card with one of those fancy chip). i also had to deposit $100 so i wouldn't get stuck with a $15 monthly service fee. td bank also seems to be about giving away swag, and i got a nice pen as well as a plastic water bottle.

next i visited michael at 241 optical. he wanted to upgrade some computer software and hardware and asked me for some advice. i was most intrigued with the database system they used for their customer information. he said it was done in microsoft outlook (built by one of his sister's friends) but i've never seen anything like it (i thought outlook was just for e-mails, didn't realize it could also be designed for database entry with a customized interface). he was thinking about switching over from PC to mac and was wondering if he could migrate his database entry system as well.

my last stop was to the fogg art museum. i'd been there a few times in the past. the cool thing is admission is free for all cambridge residents (otherwise it's $15, and free for massachusetts residents saturday mornings). when i moved to my place back in 2002, i imagined myself making frequent trips to the fogg, like my own personal art museum. but since then, i've only visited the place twice, once back in early 2003, and another time in 2005 with eliza (i always seem to visit during the winter). then the museum did a massive renovation (as early as 2010, maybe even earlier) and was closed for many years until they finally reopened last november 2014. i've been meaning to revisit the new renovated museum but haven't found a time to do so until today.

the architect behind the new renovation and expansion3 was renzo piano, a person i remember drew eyerolling whenever he saw the name (piano also did the renovation/expansion for the isabella stewart gardner museum). the new space is nice, they expanded the central courtyard area by elevating it and adding additional windows to allow even more natural night. i also like how on every floor and seemingly like at every corner there is a bathroom and a drinking fountain. the one thing i miss from the old museum is they used to have this dark medieval room that felt like you were in an old church, seems like they got rid of it. the place seems bigger than i remember it, so harvard definitely got their expansion money's worth.

i'm a museum guy and could probably spend the whole day there. they had a modern art section which i decided to skip after i took a brief peek. my favorite painting in the museum is ingres' odalisque and slave. usually when i visit a museum (particularly ones i've visited before) is to photograph something quirky or interesting.

i finally left close to 3pm and meander my way back home. i felt a little self-conscious with my camera strapped around my neck, people must've thought i was a tourist. when i got back the dishwasher was running but ana was nowhere to be seen, her bedroom door closed, the lights off. reading the signs i could tell at one point she left the house, but was she still home or was she just taking a nap? i wanted to do some laundry but didn't feel like knocking on her door to find out if she was home, so i just assumed that she was.

when nighttime came around i began to have the sinking suspicion that maybe ana wasn't home. but even if she wasn't here, she could come back at anytime. for dinner i heated up some french bread pizza in the toaster oven. ana didn't come home until 11pm. i thought she'd go straight to bed but instead she made dinner (wasn't too oily, low on smell, make it was just pasta) before finally going to bed around midnight.

1 there's a td bank poster advertising their automated coin collection machine. the poster featured a photo of a bunch of old coins laid out in a tile. but the one thing i noticed was amidst all the US coinage, there was a canadian coin in the mix, sort of like a wink to the bank's canadian origin.

2 gainer had a great desk at the bank, right by the glass storefront where she can watch all the people walking around harvard square. unfortunately she got promoted recently, and will leave for the fresh pond td bank branch in a few weeks. though born in the same year i was, she looks late 20's early 30's. she also lives in brockton, and her daily commute to work is 1:30 hours. she owns 3 houses in brockton (sold one recently), and has a daughter who's 20 years old and a son who's 9. she's never been to trader joe's and will be looking forward to it when she relocates to fresh pond.

3 i only knew about this afterwards, but the fogg art museum is now a combination of 3 museums: fogg (western art), busch-reisinger (german art), and sackler (asian art). and it's not called the "fogg" but rather the combined "harvard art museums."