i continued cleaning the house this morning, what's left of what i started doing yesterday, including washing the tub and shaving off my beard. after i vacuumed all the forced air vents, i put up the draft curtains between the living room and the small foyer. converting the house for cold weather conditions, i really got the sense that winter was around the corner. i went downstairs and fired up the furnace for the first time this season. i noticed my upstairs neighbor had already lit his furnace. i turned on the gas line, pressed down the pilot light button, and poked a barbecue lighter into the furnace. a woosh of ignition and instantly the gas lit up blue. i held down the button for a few more seconds then let it go. while i was at it, i also replaced the filter. back upstairs, i smelled the familiar odor of the burning furnace, as the inside of the house gradually became warmer. i walked into the bathroom, that nostalgic cozy warm feeling returning, reminding me that the warmest place in the house is here. wintertime, the most expensive time of the year because of the heating cost. i can't wait.
for lunch i had some tsongtse, and watched an episode of the gilmore girls while i ate. i spent a good part of the day reading up on the red sox, pysching myself up for the game later tonight. when evening rolled around, julie came to pick me up and together we went to the super target down in everett, where i was still searching for my special aromatherapy hand soap, which they didn't have. i ended up buying a new blowdryer (the salon series 1600 watt mid-size blowdryer, $9) and another fleece throw (red, $8). julie bought a ceramic heater (looked like a fencing mask), and took it to the light department to find a free outlet so she could test it before she bought it. we also made a quick stop at petsmart, where julie picked up some cat food while i bought a clutch of mondo grass ($1.50) for my fish tank at home. it was halloween night at the store, and people came in with their pets dressed up in costumes. julie really wanted me to take photos, but armed with only my cameraphone, i was only able to get a photo of a "hot dog." we hurried back to the house before 8pm, the start of the baseball game.
for dinner, julie brought over some chili she'd had a few nights ago. we also cooked up the rack of baby back ribs i had in my freezer. with the yankees-biased fox coverage on television, julie would only watch the game if we listened to the radio instead, so we hooked up my old circa 1980 radio shack clock radio (with the false wood paneling) to a pair of speakers, tuned into AM 850 (WEEI sports radio) (originally we tried her used circa late 1980's boombox that was in the trunk of her car, but it'd only receive FM stations). this kind of stunt game watching in past had the problem of the radio audio being a few seconds out of sync with the television video, but not the case tonight, where the synchronization was perfect. following each red sox highlight julie and i would high five, julie favoring the big wind-up while i preferred the more accurate close-contact slap. to say the least, our attempts were rather embarrassing. the game seemed faster than usual (despite finally ending at midnight) because the red sox were in the lead throughout the game. julie, superstitious, seriously debated not going to the bathroom, because it seemed the red sox always encounter bad luck when she does. i was just patiently waiting for the yankee rally, which eventually happened during and after the 7th inning. with a dwindling lead of 4 runs that eventually became 2, it seemed a matter of time before the score would be tied. when the red sox did finally win the game, julie and i went for the celebratory hug versus the awkward high five.
random observation: the heat (i cranked it to 68 degrees while julie was here, back to 60 when she left) seems to be doing some weird things in the house, like reviving insect activities. julie and i saw a mosquito flying around (i haven't seen a mosquito inside the house this whole summer), and i also saw a fruit fly. i'm also positive i saw a flea jumping across my keyboard.