today i rigged up a more elaborate setup to photography catone's chrysalis, now 24 hours later and her yellow spots turning into gold. i was pretty much shooting in the dark as the sky outside suddenly turned black and we received some torrential downpours. i used my two wireless flashes at first, but discovered it created unpleasant glare on the chrysalis. also i couldn't see the chrysalis as the flashes would only go off when i took the photos. i needed a larger steady source of light and the only thing i could find was one of my living room lamps (more of a lantern). i also used a white piece of cardboard for the background to bounce a little of the light back onto the chrysalis. the setup was okay, but shooting at ISO100 with an aperture of f/18 to get everything into focus meant long exposures of 30 seconds each. also with these old wooden houses, the vibrations of my steps would carry over into the tripod-mounted camera, so i used a remote trigger plus a mirror to fire the camera from several feet away, as i went back to the living room to wait for the exposure to finish.

my dream is to create a series of rotating chrysalis images that i can then turn into an animated gif. the problem is the chrysalis is not on the center of the lid bottom, so when i turn the lid to get the different angles, i end up moving the chrysalis forward and backwards, then having to reframe it again in the camera. also i shot about 2 dozen photos before i realized i was shooting at too low an angle and making the chrysalis look distorted. i raised the camera so it was nearly at the same level as the chrysalis and shot a dozen more images until i got too tired.

cattwo (5th instar) continues feeding, now measuring about 43mm in length.

i did a load of laundry today. i was going to do it yesterday, but it was such a hot day, i didn't want to make the house even hotter, and figured i'd wait until today, when it was a cooler day. i washed my bedsheets as i've been getting these hayfever symptoms whenever i'm in bed, so i'm hoping this will get rid of some of the ragweed pollen.

i've been listening to the police radio frequencies with the baofeng as a form of live police drama entertainment. the 3 channels i listen to the most are the cambridge police dispatch, the MBTA police dispatch, and the boston dispatch for backbay and allston/brighton (460.500 MHz D351). i'm learning to decipher police radio codes which is different for every town. the boston radio gets the most chatter, naturally. today i listened in as officers were changing shifts. kilo 211 frank ocean nora. kilo is the call sign for the allston/brighton district, 2 means patrol wagon, 11 is the unit code, ocean nora means logging on air, and frank designates the night shift.

i made an egg and cheese prosciutto english muffin sandwich for lunch, with some of that avocado bean dip as a tasty spread. afterwards i ate a mango that's been sitting in my fridge for a while. i figured it'd be sweet but it was actually a bit sour. the lesson to learn here is to leave mangos outside so they can ripen since they don't in the fridge.

there was so much poop inside cattwo's jar by 5:30pm that i decided to rinse it out. at the same time i could add another milkweed leaf as it was almost finished with the leaves it had. i measured cattwo once more, this time it was now 45mm (keeping in mind measurements are inherently inaccurate as caterpillars can stretch and shrink). the leaf that i had was from mondamin court, and seemed a little dry and old; i wanted to go to my garden to pick a fresh leaf, but it was around that time the sky began to darken again and i didn't want to get soaked if there was another downpour. besides, i figured cattwo wasn't going to eat much anyway since it looked like it was ready to turn into a chrysalis. i added that last piece of leaf as an insurance just in case.

an hour later at 6:30pm i saw cattwo had left the milkweed and was now crawling on the glass inside the jar near the top. the chrysalis'ing has begun!

all seemed accordingly to schedule until a few hours later, when i saw cattwo had crawled back down, spraying silk strands all over the glass. perhaps this is normal behaviour, as in the wild monarch caterpillars leave their milkweed food source to look for a suitable spot to change into a chrysalis. maybe it was just roaming, looking for a place to transition.

i heated up a brick of leftover lasagna for dinner around 7:30pm plus some grapes for dessert. li didn't come home until after 8pm. i forgot that now wednesdays is when they have their badminton matches. after a shower he did a load of laundry. he asked me if i had some vinegar because he wanted to treat some stains. i thought he meant clothes stains but actually he was trying to clean the inside of the microwave, which was speckled with splatter from past roommates. i never noticed because i rarely use the microwave. for some reason i ended up on my knees cleaning the microwave inside with a scouring sponge. once i realized what i was doing i stopped and told li he could clean the rest if he thought it was still too dirty.

one thing i haven't mentioned since li's been living here for a week now is i've had zero food issue complaints with him. the things he makes are easy and fast, with the most important thing being zero smells. he also eats fast, and a lot of times he's finished with dinner before i even realize. so a very good roommate so far. i haven't even closed my bedroom door once because i never have to worry about him stinking up the place with his cooking.

li also said he wanted to practice his english and asked if we could speak only english from now on. this is fine in theory but terrible in practice, because i have a natural habit of switching to whatever language (chinese or english) the person is most fluent in. his english was fine (better than i expected), but it's slow and accented, and i rather be speaking chinese, when there is no communication barrier. i tried speaking english with him but it felt unnatural, and i kept breaking into chinese.