what a strange day. like a mushroom that spontaneously appears after a rainstorm, today felt like that. i didn't go to bed until 6am, after dropping an tao off at the airport early in the morning. he gave me his shanghai contact information before he left, and we shook hands one last time. i could sense that he was trying to say something but the words didn't come out. he didn't have to say anything though, no thanks required. it may be a long time before he returns to cambridge but i foresee myself being back in shanghai in the near future.

so i went to bed with dawn already approaching and birds singing outside. birds! singing! in the morning! spring has surely arrived. despite the late start i still stirred awake around 10am to check the time before going back to bed. if it wasn't for client N calling me at 1pm, i wouldn't probably slept through the entire day. they were compressing videos and wanted to know what format i wanted them in. even though i was just unconscious, i pride myself in going from zero to lucidity in a matter of seconds. i bet if you roused me out of bed and asked me to solve a math problem, i could probably do it. anyway, seeing how late it was, i quickly got out of bed to start my day.

while feeding the fish i noticed the adult female guppy wasn't as fat as i remembered. i bent down to look near the surface of the tank and saw a mass of new baby guppies, about 30-40. i can't even imagine how they could've all fit inside their mother. either they're totally condensed or they start growing in size immediately after they're born. i knew the female was pregnant and originally i figured i wouldn't bother caring for her new fries: if they got gobbled up, fine, if they survived, i'm fine with that as well. i figured she'd give birth to maybe 10 fries at the most, but i never figured it'd be 4x as much. since i have the spare 5 gallon minibow, i decided to set it up as a guppy nursery. i wanted it to be very minimal so it'd be easier to clean, so i siphoned out all the water, dumped the blue gravel, and refilled it with treated room temperature water from the trash can cistern. even at room temperature (62 degrees) i still had to heat the water to 74+ degrees, so i ran the heater for a few hours, as well as the filter (set to low volume).

although it should've been like any other saturdays, the day seemed different some how. with no longer a roommate around, i found myself having to readjust to life living solo again. for instance, i forgot how quiet living by yourself can be. sure, i have the television on, or playing music on the computer, but other than the occasional phone calls, i can literally go the entire day without speaking. i feel like a monk taking a vow of silence.

with an tao gone, i did some major cleaning. i hardly ever touched the stove but an tao used it everyday so it was pretty beat up with stains. i disassembled the components and sprayed them with an industrial strength grease cleaning gel. i vacuumed the spare bedroom and even swifted under the bed to clean up all the dust. i then reconverted it back to a storage room, moving some stuff from my bedroom.

i was supposed to do some major coding for client N today but i just couldn't get around to doing it. i probably did all that cleaning to procrastinate from doing "real" (i.e. get paid) work. it wasn't until the evening when i finally got motivated and made a bit of progress. there's still some work left for tomorrow so it may be a late sunday night for me.

with the 5 minibow temperature finally up to 74 degrees (same as the guppy tank), it was time to relocate the fries. with a plastic cup i had the arduous task of scooping out the babies one by one and transferring them to the minibow. once they were all relocated, i feed them a combination of finely crushed fish flakes and freeze dried brine shrimps. i spent a long time watching them eat, but also making sure none of them were deformed and needed to be culled (i've yet to euthanize a single fish). i don't much like the new replacement fluorescent light bulb in the minibow: it's definitely better than the original yellow incandescent bulb, but this one gives everything a purplish UV glow, which i think is great for plants, but makes the aquarium look unnatural. maybe the next time i do a batch online fish supply order i'll look for a different bulb.

for lunch i had another toaster oven pizza while for dinner just a simple microwave rice pilaf. i washed everything done with 2 cans of market basket golden ginger ale (made in chelmsford!) and also finished a bag of pork rinds (worst. diet. ever.).

around 11pm my mother gave me a call to let me know that my grandfather was being cremated right at that time (noontime in taiwan) and asked me to light 3 more incense for him.