this being an tao's wife last day here in boston before returning to shanghai tomorrow morning, i borrowed the car and drove her out to buy some last minute items. we went to the bed bath & beyond in everett, where she almost bought a set of pyrex lasagna dishes and some placemats before i told her we should visit the assembly square mall and check out what they have there. at the christmas tree shops she found the same placemats for half off, and got some tableclothes. i bought a large cookie sheet for the next time i decide to make cookies (or possibly oven-baked sour dough bread) and a bottle of vaseline moisturizer for the next time my dry skin decides to crack. a few stores down there was a tj maxx and more, where an tao's wife finally found a set of plastic colored matching mixing bowls. next door at the somerville bed bath & beyond we found out the pyrex lasagna pans were actually on clearance (already 33% off) and there was an additional 33% discount on top of that. so she ended up getting two pans for about $8 after i cashed in a 20% off one item BB&N coupon. intoxicated with the bargains, we returned to cambridge, stopping off at market basket to look for some food to bring back to china.

my clients were surprisingly quiet today, so i took the opportunity to go out and chisel some more ice. that car that'd been parked over the storm drain finally moved, so there was a huge 3-car length long space in front of my house. after clearing away the icy wall, i moved the car promptly into that parking spot and immediately became stuck. my neighbor franz had to help me dig out but i finally managed to free myself (and the car) and found somewhere else to park. franz and i then worked on clearing out the parking spots, creating more canals for the melting ice to flow into the sewer. even with all our efforts, the spots are still an icy and snowy mess, but hopefully if the weather keeps warm tomorrow, more of it will melt.

when an tao came back from work, i brought them to the cafe to pick up my mother and together we went to old country buffet in the watertown mall. i'm normally not very judgmental but i feel OCB caters to a very lowbrow clientele, and i've only eaten there one other time before, but i promised myself i'd never go back again. however, apparently it's quite a favorite with the rest of my family, and they've been back on a few occasions without me. the foods not even that great, no better than your standard caferia food, and it's totally about quantity and not quality, showcasing the worst of america, things like obesity and wasteful consumption. nevertheless, there we were tonight, a farewell dinner before an tao's wife flies home. my sister arrived a short time later after finishing up her nanny gig for the evening.

afterwards we made a quick detour to my parents' place, where they gave an tao's wife a spare suitcase they had lying around since the suitcase she had packed earlier was over the weight limit. back in cambridge, while an tao and his wife redistributed their luggage into two suitcases, i was circling the block trying to find a parking spot. i ended up parking 2 blocks away - not close, but at least i wasn't trapped on a sheet of ice.

my petsmart order finally arrived today, but i didn't have time to really do anything because it was so late when we got back. i did replace the old heater from the 10 gallon aquarium with the 50 watt marineland visi-therm deluxe heater. tomorrow i'm going to be doing some water tests!