the metallic clanging of a ladder woke me up this morning. when i looked outside, two guys were leaving in a van, ladders strapped to the roof. could it be my gutter guys? they left without doing any work, perhaps just to survey the height of the house.

i did some coding for SRM today, and also made some phone calls: to city hall to ask them if i had to re-apply for residential property tax exemption (no i don't), to citimortgage about paying my property tax (they had already paid for it).

i needed to go to weston today, a woman had posted an ad on craig's list last night selling an old bausch & lomb microscope for $35. where exactly is weston anyway? the town actually borders newton, and despite giving me directions over the phone, i decided to go my own way. i needed a car though, so i borrowed my parents'. my father came by with the toyota, and said that i could probably clean the gutters myself with ladders he had. so i went with him back to belmont, and we managed to hook up two tall ladders together to form a super ladder. one of the ladders had a small chrysalis attached to the side and i removed it for safe keeping. i was to return to belmont later tonight so we could bring the ladder to my place, when there's a lot less traffic on the roads (you'll understand why later).

having never been in weston, my first impression of it is it's a very lovely town. guided my maps, i was able to find the address, a suburban house with a for-sale sign outside. i rang the doorbell and a woman answered, piles of moving boxes behind her. she showed me the microscope, and it looked like an antique, all heavy and caked in dirt. she plugged it in to demonstrate that the light was working. i paid her the money and left with my new old microscope.

it was 3pm when i arrived at the cafe, holding the microscope in my hand like a trophy. up to that point i hadn't eaten yet and i nearly swallowed a bowl of fried rice along with some bubble ice tea. we discovered that the adjusted light aperture on the microscope was broken, one of the "wings" of the iris bent out of shape. if i had known, i could've haggled for a lower price. nevertheless, the microscope still works. my father gave me a ride back to my place, and i spent some quality time cleaning up the scope.

i heated up some buns for dinner, then played some diablo (even though last night i swore i would never play it again), before my father showed up. we returned to belmont, and proceeded to tie the super ladder to the roof of the ford explorer. it's two ladders combined into one, except one of the ladders was slightly bent, so the two of them wouldn't collapse completely together, leaving about 3 feet at each end. when we finished securing the ladder, it looked like a dangerous parade float, with flags tied to the front and back, making the cantilevers more obvious to nearby traffic. we started the slow drive to cambridge, with every bump in the road setting the ladder rocking up and down, like it would tear right off of the room, or maybe crush it. it felt weird riding the modified vehicle, and i thought we'd definitely get strange stares from pedestrians and motorists, but it seemed nobody noticed. thankfully, just as we planned, there wasn't too much traffic, and we made it back to my street unscathed. like burglars in the night, we stashed the super ladder in the walkway beside my house, leaving it for tomorrow when my father and i will attempt to clean the gutters of the house on our own. just thinking about it makes me nervous. if you don't hear from me tomorrow, i'm probably in the hospital. thank god i still have health insurance!

my evening not quite over, i went over to dan's place to watch the final half of monday night football between the eagles and the cowboys. dan was intoxicated by the fast-forward-rewind-pause powers of satellite tivo, and took every opportunity to show me how he no longer needs to watch television in the traditional linear way. the eagles had a comfortable lead by the time i got there, and further added to that as the game wore on. i was secretly rooting for the cowboys just so the game would be closer and more exciting. by the time cymara came back home, the game was pretty much over. i left soon afterwards.

i went vacuum crazy earlier in the evening when i thought spotted a flea in the living room. sensing that something was biting me but i couldn't quite see it, i put down some white paper on the carpet, hoping to catch a glimpse of a passing flea. when something small and black landed on my shirt, i held it with my hand and ran into the bathroom, throwing the bug into a sink full of water. sure enough, it was a flea. i poked at it in the sink until i was satisfied it had drowned. i picked it out of the water with my fingertip to study it more when suddenly it came back to life again, like that scene with glenn close in fatal attraction. the flea that would not die! when i finally did kill it (a fingernail comes in handy), red liquid squirted out. my blood.

so that totally freaked me out. i spent the next hour researching online for effective flea removal techniques. i'm going to borax the hell out of all my carpets, which will kill all the eggs and the larva, then use a flea trap to take care of the adults. i remember talking to julie about building such a contraption, one that's heated so fleas will think it's a cat or a dog, but once they jump on it, they land in a glue trap. well, apparently such a device exists, and so help me, i'm getting one tomorrow.