i went to the nearest bank branch (in porter square) this morning to ask about the rejected check. i even shaved and put on a clean shirt, figuring i should at least look respectable when money is involved. they were understaffed and i waited about half an hour before the only working agent who wasn't behind the counter came to assist me. turns out i can make mortgage payments at the bank but they can't access my records (only draw out new ones).

i went to the cafe to chat with my parents before deciding to deposit a new check, assuming the last one didn't go through because it was drawing from an invalid account. the girl behind the counter wasn't quite sure how to submit the check into my mortgage but she finally figured it out.

later i received a letter from my mortgage company with the original check returned. not sure if they tried to deposit it or they just wouldn't take it. something about requiring a certified check instead. in hindsight i should've waited for this letter, which at least sort of clarified what went wrong. i called their customer service department and once again got dumped in a foreign call center. it took me 15 minutes to decipher what the agent was saying and to finally copy down an address i should be sending the money. i just hope the checks i deposited aren't considered bounced and need to pay some sort of penalty fee.

i bicycled to union square to deposit a rebate check at my other bank. since i was just a few blocks away from target, i decided to pay it a visit. i checked out their selection of bed sheets and then the leftover christmas lights. it's only been 2 days since christmas but they already took most of that stuff down. the only LED's were some ugly rope lights. i noticed also they already started putting up valentine decorations - in december! earlier i was at rite aid and they too didn't have any lights for sale either. coming back i went to market basket to get some groceries.

alex's christmas card from japan finally arrived, a 3-D pop-up card with a touch-sensor to activate a cheesy christmas song played back from embedded speakers. i'm just curious if the parts can be hacked to play custom music instead. greeting card technology sure has come a long way.

i did a load of laundry after getting some dirt on my shirt when i went outside in the afternoon to put the rain cover on the motorcycle.

for dinner i made some reuben sandwiches. i had to run across the street to star market (by then it was already drizzling) to get a can of sauerkraut.