i was still eating cereal at home when my father stopped by this morning to pick up a usb-to-usb cable on his way to costco for supplies. afterwards i made my way to belmont and proceded to sand from 10a to 1p, detailing the middle front of the house. i was up on the ladder and using just the orbital sander with the dust bag. every 15-20 minutes or so i'd climb down to empty the bag. it wasn't that bad, with my talk radio on my mp3 player and when the battery ran out, google streaming interest radio, rhinestone cowboy channel.
i think we're very close to finishing with the prep work, definitely by next month we'll be painting and that'll go quick. yesterday i looked up how to replace broken shingles. there's still some caulking work, and the awning has to be taken down as well. my 2nd aunt is away on her california vacation for a month, so my father doesn't have a lot of time. if we need to, painting can be postponed to october, but i think i can manage a lot of it on my own. the shingle repair will require an overcast day, so the roof won't feel like fire.
my mother came home while i finished up by 1:30p. she fixed me some rice noodles for lunch and i left by 2:15p, trying to get home before ana arrives at 3p. when i got back ana sent me some text, asking if she could move it tomorrow, because today was too crazy for her. i said sure, although i won't be here when she shows up tomorrow afternoon, going instead to the carnival parade in boston.
that meant i had another free day of single living. i did a load of laundry and proceded to fall asleep on the couch from 5p to 7p. i woke up to watch the patriots preseason game against the carolina panthers while i ate two hot dogs for dinner.
it's starting again. i experienced it monday morning, the intense itching of the throat, and i knew right away that it was ragweed season. it doesn't help that i sleep with my bedroom window open, nor that i work outside. it comes and goes, but now i'm getting additional symptoms, like violent sneezing, itchy eyes, and running nose. i also have a overall sensation of feeling tired. i have to get some drugs for this!
the big project this morning in belmont wasn't sanding but rather helping my father move the tall filing cabinet from the hallway outside my old bedroom to the basement. the cabinet belongs to my sister and contains a bunch of her documents. why it sat in the hallway for years is a mystery, but it was finally time to relocate that behemoth to the cellar. i tried to removed the drawers yesterday but was unsuccessful. my father managed to remove them this morning. but even without the 4 drawers, the metal cabinet was still heavy. instead of moving it directly down the stairs, we had to move it outside first, put it on a handtruck, and then move it into the basement through the basement entrance.
i didn't start sanding until 11a, detailing the shingles to the right of the front door, using just the orbital sander, with and without the shop vac attached, depending on how high i was sanding on the step ladder.
i did take a break to go up on the roof to check the water-damaged shingles. i used to go up on the roof all the time for fun, but nowadays i find it very scary. i think one realize is the soles of my shoes not have very good grip, so i always feel like i could slip and fall off the roof at any moment. i came up by a ladder from the back of the house. i wore gloves at the time but threw them down below (which i'd later regret). a few of the shingles on along the sun room above the roof of the garage are crumbling and could use a replacement. in order to avoid slipping, i crawled around on the roof on my hands and knees. that quickly became a problem as the asphalt roof shingles were burning hot from the sun. that also meant i couldn't crawl back down the ladder without potentially scalding my hands.
fortunately there was another ladder on the other side of the house, leaning up against the garage. that side is in the shadows, so the roof shingles aren't as hot. that ladder was shaky, but slowly i managed to get my footing and climb down. i narrowly avoided getting stuck on the roof! if i ever got back onto the roof to work, i'm going barefoot and on an overcast day. those shoes are just too slippery.
i stopped working and finished cleaning up by 1p. after my mother came home, i went to home depot to return my old toilet seat and pick up the new one i ordered online. the cashier told me that normally they don't allow returns on toilet seats if they're out of the box for obvious health reasons, but said he'd allow it in this case (i never took the seat out of the bag). i then went to pick up the new seat, and got to choose a piece of free chocolate candy on some special promotional campaign for using their ship-to-store service. i got the kit kat, which began to melt the instant i went outside.
i went to target to get 2 new pillows for my new roommate. the ones that were currently on the bed are old and lumpy. unfortunately with back-to-school shopping currently going on, most of the good pillows were already taken. i ended up just grabbing a pair of cheap soft pillows, which might be too soft.
my mother made me some duck broth rice noodles when i got back. i wasn't sure if ana would be moving in today, but i had the feeling she'd move in on friday, after her english classes were finished for the week. nevertheless, even if she wasn't moving in today, i still wanted to get home and enjoy one last day of single living. so with the pillows and toilet seat strapped to the back of my motorcycle, i left for cambridge. i returned a few minutes later because i forgot my iphone.
back at home, i biked to market basket to stock up on schweppe's pomegranate seltzer. it's my favorite carbonated beverage because it has a similar taste to taiwanese apple sidra but without any of the sugar. the weird thing is i went to the company website and i don't see any mention of the pomegranate flavor, which makes me think they might be phasing it out. maybe that's why there's that unadvertised sale! in any case, i bought 4 cases ($2 each) and a bag of pluots.
joel from the community garden called me this afternoon. i only picked up because i didn't recognize the number but saw it was from cambridge and thought it might be important. joel called to ask me if i could help water his garden the first 2 weeks of september while he's away on vacation. "i'll water it when i visit the garden," i told him, but i think that wasn't the answer he wanted, because i'm guessing he'd prefer i'd go and water it every day. "i planted some seeds," he said, a subtle way of saying i should go water more often. i almost told him to go find someone else. the only way i know that will make him never ask me to take care of his garden ever again is to let all his vegetables die.
i installed the new toilet seat. not sure what to do with the old toilet seat, maybe put it back in the basement as a spare. it's not like i could give somebody a used toilet seat, it's simply unsanitary. i may end up just tossing it out, which was my original plan.
ana finally called me, said she was thinking of moving in tomorrow at 3p. as much as it makes me anxious to have a new roommate for the next 3 months, i also look forward to chatting with her, hear her thought on america.
for dinner i made some white cheddar shells with spinach. later, i took a 10mg of loratadine AKA claritin, to help keep my allergy in check. it's actually my aunt's prescription, but for some reason i have it because my parents brought it to me when i was in china while i was suffering through a mild bout of chinese hayfever. anyway, loratadine seems to be pretty powerful, doesn't cause drowsiness, and only need a single dose a day.
i haven't been sanding since last thursday. i found my father outside the house when i arrived in belmont. i ate a banana for breakfast before starting work at 10a. my father was up on the roof of the garage caulking some shingles. i have an irrational fear of shaky ladders and couldn't get myself onto the roof. instead, i set up some tarps and sanded the lower half of the front of the house, which still needs some detail work. i was using 80 grit paper on the belt sander, then switched to the orbital sander. my father left around 10:30a, i worked until 1p.
after a shower, i decided to ride out to the nearest mcdonald's in watertown (california street) to get myself a mclobster sandwich. when i finally got there, they told me they stopped selling it last week, so i missed my chance. unwilling to go home empty-handed, i got 2 cheese burgers and 2 fries ($4).
when my mother came home, she fixed me a bowl of cold noodles. then for dinner, we had some duck broth rice noodles before i finally went home.
i emptied more of the guest bedroom closet, made some space in the kitchen cabinets, then empties all the old jars of kombucha in the refrigerator. one of the jars turned out to be a bottle of cooking oil instead and i found out too late before i poured it all down the drain. i may need to a preemptive declog on the kitchen sink drain one of these days.
ana still hasn't contacted me about moving in, and i wasn't in any hurry to ask her when she was coming. she told me over the weekend that it'll either be thursday or friday.
i could've gone sanding today, since laura wasn't leaving until 5p for an 8:45p flight. but i associate sanding as morning work, and since i slept in late this morning, by the time i got up i wasn't in the mood for manual labor anyway. besides, there was a threat of possible strong thunderstorms, and even though it's mostly western massachusetts and northern new england, that was enough for me to rationalize my way out of sanding for the rest of the day.
laura was busy, spent the early morning packing, then went out in the late morning for some last minute souvenir shopping on mass ave, including wardmaps (her boyfriend hugo apparently loves maps) and paper source (scrapbooking is one of laura's hobbies). she came back briefly and gave me some gifts: a porter square station magnet and a bottle of spanish white wine. then she went out again to meet up with her friend ana for lunch. earlier she said she wanted some pancakes, and i told her about IHOP in harvard square, the quintessential american pancake chain.
while laura was gone, i went to market basket to do some light grocery shopping (package of hot dogs, a carton of pomegranate seltzer, gallon of milk, potato salad). i put away the bike i prepared for laura but she never rode, as well as my own bike (in anticipation of evening rain showers). i also went to the community garden to harvest some zucchinis, tomatoes, and zinnias. i didn't bother watering, so sure was i that it'd rain later today.
laura came back home around 4:30p. she told me they went to IHOP based on my recommendation, and that she had a classic american breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and bacon, the perfect last meal before she returns to spain. she returned my umbrella, her charliecard, and her keys, and then she left.
a tremendous relief washed over me afterwards. i savored my time living alone, since in another day or two, laura's friend ana will move in. laura didn't leave much behind since she only stayed a little bit over a week: a container of humus, a jar of orange juice, a bag of bread, some plastic sandwich bags. she did have some chocolate chip cookies but she said she was taking those with her.
i did a load of laundry, including all the sheets from the guest bedroom. roommates leave their own special odor and i lit a scented candle to try and disperse the smell. later i washed the small entrance way carpet, which to my recollection has never been washed before. after shaking it outside (a lot of sand came out), i started washing it in the bath tub. the water was black, even after 3 rinses. finally i decided to roll up the carpet and throw it into the washing machine, drying it manually in the kitchen.
for dinner i ate two hot dogs. nothing fancy, the only reason was because there was a sale on frankfurters this week. i ate while watching a PBS documentary about american pies. i've made a few pies in my days: pumpkin pie (2005), spinach ricotta cheese pie/quiche (2010), and chicken pot pie (2015). i've only used readymade crusts, maybe one day i might want to try making my own crust, up my pie game. i prefer savory pies though, i'm not much of a sweet pie eater, although i do enjoy custard pies and pecan pies around thanksgiving.
it's been a while since i've had the pleasure of being a boston tour guide. laura and i agreed on 10:30a as the time we'd leave, but by 10a we were both ready so we decided to get a head start. here are the list of sights: sacramento community garden, havard university campus, copley square, trinity church, hancock tower,
boston public library (including map museum and courtyard), boston marathon finish line, back bay down commonwealth avenue,
boston public garden, boston common, state house (went inside, saw both representative and senate chambers as well as charlie baker hosting a luncheon),
beacon hill, chinatown, dim-sum for lunch, granary burying ground, omni parker house, king's chapel (interior and cemetery), old city hall (benjamin franklin statue), old state house, city hall, samuel adams statue, faneuil hall, rose kennedy greenway, north end, paul revere statue, old north church, spite house, copp's hill burying ground, north washington street bridge, route 93 overpass overlooking zakim bridge, boston garden, downtown crossing.
in all we walked 9.48 miles (according to the google fit app anyway). by the end my left ankle was a little bit sore. the weather was overcast throughout, threatening rain that never fell until the very end of the tour in downtown crossing, when a light drizzle materialized (could've just been fog). temperature fluctuated as well, with laura repeatedly putting on her sweater only to take it off later. much of old boston resembles europe, which kept reminding laura of things she sees back at home, whether it's architecture or the design of narrow cobblestone streets.
i left downtown crossing around 4:20p, while laura stayed behind to look for jeans at macy's. after a shower back at home, i biked to belmont for dinner before returning to cambridge by 7p. laura was home, but was on her way out to meet her friend ana for dinner. by the time i went to bed at 1:30a, laura still wasn't home yet.
while laura was on her way to visit salem with ana and another friend with a car, i was biking to rite aid to buy a 12-pak of enemas for my grand uncle. it was embarrassing enough as it is, but i couldn't find them anywhere and finally had to ask a sales clerk. "do you know where i can find these enema things? i don't even know what they look like," i said, which was a lie, because i knew exactly what they looked like.
in no great hurry to get to belmont, i spent the early afternoon recharging my laptop before i took off, stopping by the cafe to drop off the enemas. there was a light drizzle, but nothing to be worried about. hailey was home; when i let her out into the backyard, she didn't want to walk on the grass because it was wet.
after dinner i biked back to cambridge. on garfield street somebody throw out a perfectly good baker's rack with peeling paint. i was tempted to come back and get it but i don't need anymore clutter in my place. i'm at a stage in life where i want less things, not more.
the highlight of the day was watching episodes 3 and 4 of show me a hero on HBO. it's a tough show to watch, and without spoiling it for myself through wikipedia, i already get the feeling that things will not end well. i view it more as a documentary (since it's based on a true story), and get a chance to learn something, even if the outcome isn't particularly happy.
laura finally came home around 11p. besides salem, they also returned to boston to visit the harpoon brewery they didn't get a chance to see yesterday. for lunch she had ribs in the north shore, for dinner sushi by symphony place. her plan tomorrow (her last full day) was to find a free tour of boston; i told her i'd personally take her out and show her around, as i am a seasoned unprofessional tour guide.
i'm watching the shanghai exchange drop down 10% this evening (morning in china). a tsunami of market collapse is sweeping the globe. there's going to be a lot of unhappy investors come tomorrow morning.
i slept until around 10:00 this morning, a clear victory for sleep. with my window slightly ajar, it was just the perfect combination of cool morning air mixed with a very comfortable bed. i was tempted to just stay in, but decided i needed to get up so my roommate wouldn't think i was hopelessly lazy. i went to bed at 2:00 last night and laura still wasn't back yet. i didn't think any bad happened to her, but was still relieved when i saw that her bedroom door was closed this morning, which meant she finally did make it home last night.
when laura eventually woke up, she told me her friend ana would be coming over today to see the place. laura told me she was going to make some breakfast, but i know for a fact that all she has for groceries is a loaf of bread, some chocolate chip cookies, and a container of orange juice. i asked her if she's ever tried apple chicken sausages before and proceded to make my typical chicken sausage oatmeal breakfast meal for her to try.
we got to talking about cooking, after laura remarked how many cooking equipment i have in the kitchen. she likes to cook herself, and back in barcelona she participates in special cooking classes where you cook and speak in the cuisine of a particular language (e.g. speaking in english, cooking american-british-indian food).
ana finally arrived in the early afternoon. just the fact that she's in the US studying english makes me think that she's kind of a party girl, because for most of those international students, english is just a small part of their daily schedule, while partying and shopping plays a bigger role. i can't quite figure out her celebrity doppleganger, with her shock of curly brown hair, i'll have to work on that some more. her english was fine, even better than laura's, but she said she still needs to work on her prepositions ("prepositions are not important," i told her).
ana really liked the place, but it was all for show, since she really didn't have many other options. she seemed to think the guest bedroom was a good size, even though it's the second smallest room in the house after the bathroom. she was also impressed by the in-unit washer/dryer and the large backyard deck. she seems like a nice person though, asking about household choirs ("i take care of all that," i told her) and whether or not i have any special rules ("none," i told her, "i'm pretty easy."). she will move in not the wednesday after laura leaves tuesday afternoon, but maybe thursday or friday. she also has a storage space full of her furniture which she will sell within the next 3 months.
i found out ana's never lived in somerville, but rather the brookside condo complex in arlington. back in may there was a large fire that damaged many units and even killed somebody. turns out that was her place. the fire started at 4:00 in the morning, but she was at a party (of course) and didn't come home until 5:00, where she saw her neighbors outside in their pajamas. her own apartment didn't get burned, but it did suffer so smoke damage, so she moved to her brother's place in arlington heights for the next 2 months, before returning to her previous place after they repaired the damages. however, the landlord now wants to sell, so when her lease expired at the end of july, the owner didn't renew so she was back to living with her brother. unfortunately they plan on doing some renovations starting in september, so she has to move again. actually she's been searching for a new place since april, but short-term lease apartments are hard to find, especially when there are so many returning students looking for longer-term leases. she did see a place in harvard square, but it was a shared apartment with a total of 8 tenants, kind of like an ivy league flop house if that's even a thing.
afterwards laura and ana left for the prudential center, where ana was introducing her to the cheesecake factory, followed by the samuel adams brewery.
i fixed my rear bike rack with a stainless steel hose fitting. one of the metal frames was coming loose, which in turn loosen the rear light bracket. i tried fixing it with some twist ties earlier, and even managed to cut my lip when i tried to tighten the tie with my teeth. i didn't know i was injured until i saw blood on my fingers. the hose fitting is a better solution and that thing has no chance of loosening again.
i rode to belmont with the unused toilet cover (to be returned) strapped to the rear rack. i spent the rest of the afternoon looking over some old china photos before dinner. i'm beginning to notice it's getting darker a lot sooner nowadays, with the sky already dusky by 7:30pm. i didn't leave until 9:00 though. laura was back at home but she kept to herself in her room so i didn't see her the rest of the evening. i cut up a quarter of my watermelon and watched the gory penultimate episode of hannibal while i ate (needed a strong stomach for that).
got in touch with john earlier tonight, our little hike trip to upper new york before he starts his new job next month will unfortunately not be happening. we still might be able to do a weekend trip in the fall, depending on our schedules.
hearing the heavy rain outside this morning, i figured there wouldn't be any sanding today, so i slept in. my mother called at 9:30 to tell me what i already decided. it was strange to have a free day, i didn't know what to do with myself. laura had already left, this being her last conference day, with the added bonus of a free lunch. i made some better breakfast: chicken sausage oatmeal versus the simple cup of greek yogurt i normally eat.
i got in touch with laura's friend ana, to exchange information regarding her desire to stay at my place. turns out she was living in arlington when her place burned down, then moved in her with brother in somerville. he's currently on vacation with his wife and 2 kids, but when they come back next wednesday, she won't have a place to stay. she said it's nearly impossible to find a rental for only a few months. she's attending kaplan english school in harvard square, so my place would be the perfect location. she's been here since last october, so she has some furniture which she will try to sell. she's only here for 3 more months, going back to spain come december. she had no problem with the price. she'll try to make a visit within the next few days, to see the place for herself, but it's more of a formality since she's definitely taking the place. she will be the 5th spanish person to have lived at my place (others: pau, david, david's wife, laura), fast approaching the number of chinese housemates i've had over the years.
laura came back home around 3:00, attempting to skype with her boyfriend before taking a nap. i went to star market to stock up on hagen-dazs ice cream ($1.99/each) and buy a large watermelon ($4.44). i also swept up the mess of acorns covering the backyard path.
8:45pm getting drinks at bella luna in jamaica plain with eliza, carl, hillary, and eliza's brother (eliza returning to paris tomorrow night):
i left my house around 7:15p, with laura just a few minutes behind me. destination: bella luna in jamaica plain, where i was meeting eliza and carl and hillary for drinks at 8:30p before eliza returns to paris tomorrow. google map said it'd just take 40 minutes to get there by subway, so i was ahead of schedule. then i saw i had a text message from eliza, saying we'd be meeting at 8:45p now. so i was looking to get there very early. scanning google map of the jamaica plain area while i was making my way on the red line, i came to 2 realizations: 1) 8:45p was kind of late for dinner, and 2) i should try to get something to eat beforehand. nearby in egleston square (roxbury) i spotted a mcdonald's: maybe i could finally try that elusive/new-england-exclusive $7.99 lobster roll i've been hearing about. there was also a new york fried chicken, so i had all sorts of eating options. if anything, i didn't have enough time, and now regretted not leaving even earlier.
i got to the stony brook t station by 8p, and proceded to make my way to egleston square. it wasn't my first time in JP, but i'm still not very familiar with the streets there, as i moseyed my way eastward. when i got to the main drag on washington street, i walked through a gauntlet of dominican and puerto rican businesses: restaurants, barbershops, grocery stores, nail salons, cell phone stores, etc. my first stop was new york fried chicken. i've had them before, sort of terrible, but pretty cheap. i had a feeling they didn't have any sit-down space and sure enough, it was take-out only. running out of time, i went to the mcdonald's. unfortunately they didn't have the lobster roll. for a second i thought about leaving and trying one of those latino cafes instead, but figured i'd just get something quick, so i got a cheeseburger ($1) and a sweet tea ($1). after quickly eating (eliza and her brother were already at bella luna), i made my back to our appointed rendezvous spot.
accustomed to the urban environment, i pride myself on my street smarts. so of course i felt a little nervous wandering the dark streets of jamaica plain, guided only by google map directions on my iphone, which i only peeked at briefly for fear of giving myself away as somebody who was lost. i went down germania street which eventually lead to bella luna.
eliza texted me that she was at the bar, but i couldn't find her. i did however see carl, who just came in with hillary, and they managed to locate eliza. space was at a premium, with a private wedding function happening at the same time, and there were no open tables for us to sit (the wait was one hour), so we sort of just mingled in the aisles.
the last time i saw carl and hillary was back in june 2011, when we had dinner at canary's in canary square (jamaica plain). as for eliza's brother, i don't think i've ever met this brother before (but i vaguely remember meeting her other bother in the north end). eventually the really helpful hostess found a spot for us.
mojitos were ordered all around. eliza was surprised i was partaking in alcohol, but if she knew the sort of hard booze baijiu i've been accustomed to during my year in china, she wouldn't be so surprised. even though i ate, the calamari appetizer ($12) seemed too delicious not to try out so i got that. i offered to square, but there were no takers on the fried squids.
we finally left after 11p. eliza was leaving tomorrow night, but she still had another day with her family on saturday before then. they offered me a ride, but i was within walking distance to the stony brook T station. i didn't get back until after midnight. my roommate laura still wasn't home yet.
i broke my toilet seat this morning. i must be using it wrong because how is that even possible? the screws that attach the seat to one of the hinges actually sheared off. i purchased this seat almost exactly 6 years ago; apparently august is the month where toilet seats go to die. i got the kohler stonewood ($17.99), which turned out to be a perfect fit. i tried to superglue the hinge to the seat as a temporary fix, but the new bottle of superglue i bought turned out to be defective and i ended up destroying the bottle just to get a few drops of cyanoacrylate. it didn't work anyway.
i woke up at 8:30 right when laura left the house. still unable to open the front door from the inside, she's been leaving the house from the back door. i heard the fence door swinging and saw her as she walked away, hair tied in a ponytail, wearing a pair of jeans.
i didn't arrive in belmont until almost 10:00, making a stop to get some gas for the motorcycle, before taking a long detour route because of road construction on walden street.
after a blueberry chobani greek yogurt for breakfast, i started to work while my father left for the cafe. earlier he'd already set up some tarps on the right side of the northern front, and enclosed space to trap the drifting dust. up on ladders, i belt sanded then orbital sanded. the sanding strip of the belt sander kept slipping off because it'd been stretched. i kept changing it with an older strip until finally the strip broke apart and jammed the sander. my mother biked home around 1:00 and that's when i stopped working.
in the afternoon i drove to the watertown home depot to pick up a new toilet seat.1 i'd forgotten how much they cost, figured it'd set me back $30-40. the cheapest one was just $5 (a very cheap plastic seat). seats with slow-closing lids seem to be all the rage (they cost $30-40). i needed a small round seat and found one that seemed promising: glacier bay 540 456 molded wood in white for $10. i also bought a small stainless steel brush for cleaning paint brushes.
laura wasn't there when i got home, but i knew she'd been back to the house because the door was unlocked! i took the opportunity to quickly switch out the toilet seat. before i even installed it though, i put it over the toilet to see if it fit. i was disappointed to see that it was too long and i'd have to return it. later i took a measurement of my toilet bowl: 16.5". the glacial bay seat was 16.8". too long.
fortunately i had a spare brand-new toilet seat in the basement. i'd been tempted to throw it out, but finally had a use for it, which unfortunately will only validate my hoarding tendencies. it was a mayfair brand seat, covered in dust and some mildew. i cleaned it off in the kitchen sink before installing it. it too was long, but this was just a temporary fix, until i could get my hands on a better toilet seat.
i went online and ordered a new toilet seat from home depot, the kohler ridgewood round closed front in white ($13.31). i ordered it before i checked my notes and found the model of my previous seat. the ridgewood looks an awful lot like the stonewood though, even down to the material and dimensions, except the difference in price.
laura came home around 11:30. she asked me if i'd be interested in renting to her somerville spanish friend who doesn't have a place to stay because her place burned down. it'd be for 3 months, starting in september. i said i'd give it some thought. as accustomed as i am to living by myself, since i don't have any work right now, this would be an easy source of income, so i'm probably going to agree to rent. i asked laura more about her friend. they met in college, when they were both majoring in physics. her friend is in boston learning english, and starting next year she'll move to brazil to work for her father who has an import business. she has a brother in boston who's also in the family business. she's temporarily living at her brother's place, but would like to move out since space is cramped.
i also finally taught laura how to open and lock the front door. the trick is to push/pull at the same time you turn the key. apparently she didn't have any problems with the key, but realized you also had to turn the doorknob in order to open the door.
in chatting with laura, i learned that besides english and spanish, she also knows french, participating in a few student exchanges, and doing her masters degree in toulouse. she also understands catalan from her years spent in barcelona, but she can't speak it. her boyfriend is basque and can speak the basque language.
earlier tonight she and her research associates went to dinner around fenway park, where she shared a lobster. apparently they have lobsters around the spanish coast as well, but they're called bogavante; lobsters from america are called langosta. she showed me photos and they look the same, with the european version appearing to have a more bluish color.
1 i also returned the strip of aluminum ($7) we were going to use to make our own replacement support struts for the front door awning, but now that we're going with a brand new awning, we don't need this material anymore. i didn't have the original credit card so returns department gave me store credit instead, while i used to buy my toilet seat.