bulk of the day was spent shopping in everett. not because of the tax holiday, which i only remembered sometime later. first it was michael's craft store, where my mother was cashing in on some 40% off coupons to get some circular knitting needles and some spools of yarn. just spending some time in those aisles opened my eyes to the world of knitting. the coupons only worked on one item per person, so my father and i were each given something to buy. next came home depot. while my mother waited in the car, my father and i bought some gutter elbows and a roll of sump pump hose. we both came to the conclusion that everett home depot has way more selection than either the one in somerville or watertown. finally, it was off to costco. my mother had pretty much picked up everything on the supply list before my father and i found her, after we were browsing the electronics and hardware aisles.

getting to everett was a nightmare, since we didn't realize sections of route 9 and 16 were closed to traffic for road repairs. the detour was several miles, and the resulting congestion was something awful. coming back was a little better, only because we knew which way not to go.

we stopped off at my place briefly. while my parents waited inside my house, i ran to the community garden to snip off some thai basil. this is only because my parents don't have too much in their garden while i have a surplus. i also gathered enough red tomatoes to make a single serving of fresh sauce. my father checked out some of my new found appliances and told me that the waring blender was pretty much shot since the blade housing in the glass jar was coming loose and would leak. so instead we tossed it back out onto the street, a little catch and release. it's going back better than i when i found it since i polished it to a nice shine with some WD-40 and fine steel wool.

maybe it was just me but it seemed like a lot of people were out riding bicycles today. i'd been in belmont earlier, bringing with me 2 jars of artisanal beef jerky. everyone enjoyed the jerky, even my sister who managed to overcome her fear of spicy foods. my mother ate the most and by evening we'd almost finished a whole jar. if i can just bring a little bit of happiness to the world through dehydrated meats, then my job is done.

the demolition construction site began banging away at 8:00 this morning. i think they were digging out a basement when there was none before. on a saturday morning? certainly neighbors must be complaining. the impacts strike with enough force that houses nearby shake (including mine).

i finally finished a feast of crows book 4 in the song of fire and ice series. one complaint against the book is that GRRM introduced a whole bunch of secondary characters, losing focus on the main stories. i totally agree, but it was still entertaining nonetheless. i can now move onto the next and most recent book, a dance with dragons. i'm just 2 chapters into the book and i can already sense the awesomeness of potential team-ups.

i volunteered to make dinner tonight, some thai red curry. my father did most of the cutting while i supervised and directed. instead of chicken breasts we used whole chunks of chicken (bone in). my parents didn't have fish sauce so we improvised with some shrimp paste and some salt. i also didn't realize we only had regular chinese rice (which is stickier) and not jasmine rice. the end result was okay.

i motorcycled home rather late (10:00), after trying to figure out how to convert my great uncle's book (a chinese-language biography on liang qichao) into an epub document (the answer seems to be in an open source program called sigil).

my hay fever kicked in a few days ago, soon after i began seeing ragweed everywhere. i irrigated with the neti pot this morning, which seemed to make it better, but by the time i returned to belmont after shopping the symptoms started up again: itchy throat and eyes, sneezing, runny nose. first thing i did when i got back to cambridge was use the neti pot once more, but this time it didn't seem to help. after rubbing my nose red from all the kleenexes, i finally took a sudafed tablet. what i really need is a benadryl but couldn't find any at home and was too lazy to go out and buy some.